Showing posts with label Young Adult Suspense/Thriller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Young Adult Suspense/Thriller. Show all posts

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Student Saturday: One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus


Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller 
Student Reviewer:  Campbell P.

The book "One of us is next" is a part of a suspenseful mystery series. The story is based on a group of kids called the Bayview four, who recently solved a mystery on their friends' death. It takes place in the town of Bayview in present times and contains much high school drama as well as a dangerous game of truth or dare. The three main characters, Maeve, Knox, and Phoebe are all very determined to solve this mystery of who runs the truth or dare game. This book reminds me of the book A Good Girl's Guide toMurder,   as they both feature friend groups being the target of someone's plan. This is a very suspenseful, yet a must-read book that I would recommend to readers who love thrilling, mystery, and good plot twists.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Indecent by Ethan Brant

Genre: Young Adult, Adult, Suspence
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:

Based on true events!

There was a time when six countries were united by one man named Tito. He defended the country from the tyranny of Hitler, thus establishing himself as a leader. His system of government was Socialism controlled by his Secret Police¾the UDBA. Most of the population was thrilled to live such a life and they considered the agents their protectors, but one brilliant kid disagreed. 

Zlatan, at the age of sixteen, decides to live outside the system, but that leads him to prison, to serve a sentence of five years. Inside he meets his teacher, Uncle, a former spy for Tito’s Gestapo, who arranges an early release for him, but it comes with a high price. 

In front of the prison gates, two agents catch him and give him an ultimatum¾do or die. Zlatan agrees to their criminal requests but not for ”King and Country” but for the freedom he craves. His actions lead him to discover something dark in the pit of his mind. He learns there are greater things to fear than the police and other criminals. He must answer the question . . . 


Be the first one to find out in this debut novella by a young author, filled with suspense and psychological battles of an abnormally self-aware man.

My Thoughts

If you are looking for a light, easy, feel good read, then put this book down. This young talented writer knows how to draw out the emotions in his readers. His book is a fictionalized account of actual events.  His main character Zlatan has found himself in a situation where he is searching for freedom. The acceptance of what he hopes will give him that turns out not to be freedom. We see this young man go from a period in his life where he is a small time criminal who ends up in prison, to a young man who accepts what he thinks will be his ticket out. He leaves the prison only to find himself in a deeper hole. It makes you wonder how dark a person is willing to let their soul get. For Zlatan you can see the struggle within. He is power hungry yet you still see a side of him that wants to be rid of all the evil.  We can remove ourselves from bad situations and turn our lives around. Unfortunately the things we have done in our past, no matter how much we are able to cover them up still haunt our thoughts and memories.  This up and coming author has done a great job of touching a nerve in his readers. It makes us take a deeper look inside our own selves. With the exception of  a small amount of language I didn’t care for, I would definitely recommend this book.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sapient by Jerry Kaczmarowski

Genre: Young Adult, Adult Science Fiction, Thriller
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

What would you do to help your child? In Sapient we find Jane Dixon, a scientist working hard to find a cure for autism. This is something her own son has. While experimenting on rats and other animals she has a breakthrough. Einstein a rat can suddenly read and write.  We see Einstein and Bear a dog interact in ways that animals don’t usually interact. Some of these interactions are funny. She thinks there is something in the serum that will also help her son.  She makes a connection between her test subjects and when the serum begins to work on them. She realizes her own son is approaching that time period and her window is limited. Now the CDC and the army are both interested in her results.  She injects her son Robbie to try to cure him.  This causes a problem of epidemic proportions. When she is held, her son and the animals go on the run.  The entire time I was reading about her animal testing I kept thinking, if I taught older students and used this book the first thing I would do is get their perspective on whether it is right to use animals as test subjects.  I love reading books that have a controversial theme running through them.

As parents we often react without fully thinking of any possible consequences.  The author has shown a mother who does just that, under the false assumption that she is doing it for her son’s best interest.  The story flowed smoothly and quickly. There were enough twists and turns to keep the reader involved with this story.  Highly recommend this to people who like that science fiction thriller quality in a book.

About Jerry Kaczmarowski:

Jerry Kaczmarowski lives in Seattle with his family. He writes techno-thrillers that explore the benefits and dangers of mankind's scientific advancement. His first book, Moon Rising, was released in June 2014.  His second book, Sapient, was published in April 2015.

Jerry spent the first twenty years of his professional life in the consulting industry on the West Coast. His fascination with technology is matched only by his love of stories. His books intertwine action with a keen insight into how technology will shape our lives in the coming years.

To learn more, go to   

Connect with Jerry on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bound By Guilt - C.J. Darlington

Publisher: Tyndale
Pages: 402
Source: Review Copy for Title Trakk Blog Tour
Genre: Young Adult/Adult/Christian/ Mystery/Suspense

Synopsis from Title Trakk Wesbsite:

Shuttled between foster homes, Roxi Gold will do anything to fit in. Soon she’s traveling the country stealing rare books from unsuspecting bookstores. Police officer Abby Dawson has seen the worst of society—and not just at work. One fateful night, both their lives are changed forever. One searches for justice, the other finds herself on the run. Will the power of forgiveness set them free?

My Review:

There were so many connections to make with this book.  My first connection was with Abby Dawson.  She was a cop who felt she had failed at her marriage and then felt like she was a failure as a cop.  Her ex-husband, a lawyer and fought for custody of their daughter and won.  I admired Abby for not putting her daughter in the middle of their divorce and problems.  I know there were times she wanted to shout and explain the truth to her daughter.  I know when I went through my divorce it took every ounce of strength I had not to let my children know how I felt when they would tell me what new thing their father had purchased for them.  Our problems were not theirs and so I kept my mouth shut.  Abby did the same thing.  I understood her strained relationship with her father.  When her brother is killed some of her old problems and feelings resurface.

Roxie Gold reminded me of so many students who have passed through my classroom.  One kid in particular stands out.  He would misbehave daily.  At the end of the year he came to thank me for being his teacher.  He told me I was his favorite.   I told him that I was surprised because I had griped at him almost daily.  With a grin on his face he said, "Yes I know.  At least I know you loved me."  How sad that kids will do anything, even if it is wrong for an ounce of love.  Roxie was like that.  Since she'd been passed from foster home to foster home.  She felt lucky to be with her aunt Irene and her son Diego.  She didn't like that to win her aunts approval she had to help steal rare books.  It was obvious from the outsider's  point of view, meaning the reader, that Irene was a user.  She exploited Roxie and her own son for personal gain. That is not love.   Greedy they change their plans and go back to the Book Barne to steal some valuable first editions.  The manager, whose apartment is connected to the book store, hears the break in and confronts them.  That is when a gun is produced and he ends up dead.  Roxie can't live with this so she runs away from Irene.  She is picked up by Jan and taken home to stay with Jan and her husband Keith.  It is here she finds out what unconditional love is. 

This book is full of hope, love and forgiveness.  The Christian theme throughout is wonderfully done.  It is not an "in your face" preaching.  God's truths are presented in real life lessons that we se examples of around us all the time.  This was a wonderful book.  I had not read her first book Thicker Than Blood but I will.  I also look forward to her next book.  This is an author we need to watch closely.  Her writing is fresh and touching.  Her characters are so real you can't help but identify with them.  
Buy the Book at
                               Barnes and Noble

View the book Trailer

These Things Hidden – Heather Gudenkauf

Publisher:  Mira
Pages:  352
Source:  Review Copy form Netgalley
Genre:  Young Adult/Adult Suspense

Synopsis from Goodreads:
When teenager Allison Glenn is sent to prison for a heinous crime, she leaves behind her reputation as Linden Falls' golden girl forever. Her parents deny the existence of their once-perfect child. Her former friends exult her downfall. Her sister, Brynn, faces whispered rumors every day in the hallways of their small Iowa high school. It's Brynn—shy, quiet Brynn—who carries the burden of what really happened that night. All she wants is to forget Allison and the past that haunts her.
But then Allison is released to a halfway house, and is more determined than ever to speak with her estranged sister.
Now their legacy of secrets is focused on one little boy. And if the truth is revealed, the consequences will be unimaginable for the adoptive mother who loves him, the girl who tried to protect him and the two sisters who hold the key to all that is hidden.

My Review
What happens when an over-achiever teenager gets pregnant?  What happens when she hides the pregnancy from everyone?  Who will be there to help her when time to deliver the baby?  What will happen to the baby?

This book had me from the opening chapter.  Allison is being released from five years in prison.  Her crime?  She is accused of giving birth to a baby then throwing her in a river to drown.  But things are not what they seem.  The book is told from the perspective of  four women.  Allison who is accused of giving birth and killing her baby, her sister Brynn who secretly helped her with the delivery, Charm a woman who has dropped a child off at a fire station and Claire a woman who could have no children and has an adopted son named Joshua.  All of their lives are intertwined.
The best way I can tell this story is that it is gritty and heart wrenching.  It shows the dysfunctional families and the distance people will go to protect those they love.  Every time I thought I had the story figured out then something else happened and my theory went out the window.  You get the feeling as you are reading that things can not turn out well for all involved.  This is not one of those feel good books with the happy ending for everyone.  It is both happy and sad.  It is a book of beginnings and hope.  It is a book that needs to be recommended to friends.  And that is what I am doing. 
This was an Ebook from netgalleys, but I have already ordered the print copy for my shelves.