Monday, February 27, 2017

Shooter by Caroline Pignat

From the Publisher: 

The Breakfast Club meets We Need to Talk About Kevin.

A lockdown catches five grade 12 students by surprise and throws them together in the only unlocked room on that empty third floor wing: the boys' washroom. They sit in silence, judging each other by what they see, by the stories they've heard over the years. Stuck here with them--could anything be worse?

There's Alice: an introverted writer, trapped in the role of big sister to her older autistic brother, Noah.


Isabelle: the popular, high-achieving, student council president, whose greatest performance is her everyday life.


Hogan: an ex-football player with a troubled past and a hopeless future.


Xander: that socially awkward guy hiding behind the camera, whose candid pictures of school life, especially those of Isabelle, have brought him more trouble than answers.

Told in five unique voices through prose, poetry, text messages, journals, and homework assignments, each student reveals pieces of their true story as they wait for the drill to end. But this modern-day Breakfast Club takes a twist when Isabelle gets a text that changes everything: NOT A DRILL!! Shooter in the school!

Suddenly, the bathroom doesn't seem so safe anymore. Especially when they learn that one of them knows more about the shooter than they realized...
 

My Review: 




I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Shooter instantly appealed to me because I love books that deal with raw emotion. I knew I just had to read it. As an added benefit, this one also has multiple narrators, so readers are given bits of information from various perspectives as they puzzle the story together.

As I anticipated, I devoured Shooter! Each narrator's voice was unique and gave an added struggle to the situation unfolding at this school, which could be anywhere. Readers will race to uncover the personal struggles of each character as they deal with being locked together in the boys' bathroom during a school lockdown. As readers get to know the characters, suspicions will rise, wondering if each character could be somehow involved or targeted.

Shooter is a fast-paced, raw, emotional novel that packs a punch and makes readers think about what goes one when no one else is looking - really looking - at us. This book is for fans of Jennifer Brown's Hate List, Shaun David Hutchinson's Violent Ends, and Marieke Nijkamp's This is Where it Ends.           

Monday, February 20, 2017

Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

From the Publisher: 

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?
   

My Review: 




I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Sophia dreads leaving Tokyo, and she has only one week to come to terms with leaving her home - the only place that's ever felt like home, her friends, and her school behind. Just when things can't seem to be any worse for Sophia, Jamie comes back to Tokyo. Having left on bad terms for boarding school in the states years ago, Sophia wants nothing more than to wish Jamie's return away. The connection she feels immediately, however, is strong. 

There is a lot going on in this book, and I feel like more backstory about their eighth grade year would have been helpful. Within the seven days, only a few of them actually involve Jaime, so to me the title was slightly misleading. Really, Sophia's seven days are about her sadness over leaving Tokyo. 

Having never traveled outside the US, this book was a whirlwind, one week trip around Tokyo. That said, I am assuming the descriptions are realistic; they certainly are lifelike, and I could very easily imagine where Sophia was describing. I am surprised at how freely the teenagers come and go, but maybe that is part of the international school lifestyle. 


Though there is some language, drinking, and non-explicit descriptions of sex, this book will be a hit where first love (with an international flair) is popular. For fans of Stephanie Perkins, Jennifer E. Smith, and many other YA romance writers! 

The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom

From the Publisher: 

When her diplomat father is kidnapped and the U.S. Government is unable to help, 17 year-old Gwendolyn Bloom sets off across the sordid underbelly of Europe to rescue him. Following the only lead she has—the name of a Palestinian informer living in France—she plunges into a brutal world of arms smuggling and human trafficking. As she journeys from the slums of Paris, to the nightclubs of Berlin, to the heart of the most feared crime family in Prague, Gwendolyn discovers that to survive in this new world she must become every bit as cruel as the men she’s hunting.


My Review: 




I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

With the roles reversed from the Taken movies, The Cruelty begins by building the backstory of Gwendoyln Bloom's life with her father before he disappears. Upon her father's disappearance, Gwendoyln transforms from average high school student to mafia/mob spy infiltrator after her father goes missing. Instead of trusting the authorities, Gwendolyn follows a series of clues left behind by her father. Readers looking for a fast-paced, though not necessarily realistic, action-packed adventure around the world will enjoy The Cruelty


Though the ending is somewhat resolved, it absolutely sets up book two, and readers will anxiously await more of the story.