Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams

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Title & Author: Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams

Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse/July 14, 2015

Genres: YA Thriller, YA Psychological Thriller

Format: ARC eBook

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Other Books By Author: Debut YA Book

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

A spine-tingling debut about the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse in reverse as a teen struggles to retain hope—and her sanity—while on the run from a cunning and determined killer.

Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people call her Ruthless.

When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup trick, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose.

At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before.

The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That’s when the real battle begins. That’s when Ruth must decides just how far she’ll go in order to survive.

Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

From the first day I saw Ruthless on Edelweiss I knew I had to get an advanced copy to read and review. After several attempts (I am quite persistent on Edelweiss when I see a book I reallyyyy want to read) I was finally granted access to download a review copy. Of course I immediately began reading it and was also immediately sucked into the story. Lately I have been on a young adult horror/thriller kick and Ruthless fit right into the thriller category and has also been one of the best I have read lately.

In the very beginning, I was just as scared, nervous, and confused as the main character, Ruth was. I have never felt so connected to a character before than I felt to Ruth. I felt like throughout the book we shared the same emotions. When she was filled with rage after finding out more about her kidnapper, so was I. When she was scared and her heart was racing so was mine. I loved that the author was able to make me feel so many emotions and really get that reaction out of me while I was reading.

About halfway through the novel I also thought to myself, “This would make an amazing episode of Criminal Minds or an amazing thriller movie”, but of course neither could do the book justice. It was interesting to see how everything came together in the end and how Carolyn Lee Adams linked the flashbacks to what was happening in the present. The storyline was original, it was thrilling, and it kept me turning (well swiping) page after page until it was finished. I of course was rooting for Ruth the entire time and was so insanely happy with the ending.

I loved how Carolyn Lee Adams decided to feature a strong female lead character. Too many times do we see women being portrayed as weak in similar situations in both movies and TV shows. It was refreshing to see a female lead character, one who was a teen, be able to fight back not only for herself but for the other victims who came before her. I wish we saw more female characters with the same drive, determination and hope that Ruth portrayed in the book. Every time she began to loose hope, she pushed herself harder reminding herself why she was doing what she was doing and who would be waiting for her when she was found. With all that being said you could say that I really liked the main character in Ruthless.

Ruthless wasn’t just a thriller but also a psychological thriller. Yes, I believe there is a difference between the two. The book wasn’t just thrilling, but it also messed with your mind a bit. When Wolfman (Jerry, what can I say I caught on to Ruth’s nickname) would tell Ruth things he had overheard her family and other girls on the farm say about her it really made you question if he was trying to break her down or not. He tried using so many mind games to control her that at times Ruth believed him and I did as well. You were also constantly thinking what was going to happen next and most of the time is was the exact opposite of what you were expecting. I loved how nothing was predictable about Ruthless, even the ending although I was satisfied with the way things ended.

For her debut young adult novel, Carolyn Lee Adams really knocks it out of the park with Ruthless. I am so happy and honored that I was able to read it and post a review for it before it is published. I hope everyone who reads this checks it out when it is published because you won’t regret it. I cannot wait to see what else comes out from Carolyn Lee Adams because I am positive they will be just as great as Ruthless.

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This Is How It Ends by Jen Nadol

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Title & Author: This Is How It Ends by Jen Nadol

Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse/2014

Genres: YA Mystery, YA Paranormal, YA Romance

Format: eGalley

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Other Books By Author: The Mark, The Vision

Rating: 3hearts

What This Book Is About

If you could see the future, would you want to? After the disturbing visions Riley and his friends see turn out to be more than hallucinations, fate takes a dangerous twist in this dark and suspenseful page-turner.

Riley and his friends are gearing up for their senior year by spending one last night hanging out in the woods, drinking a few beers, and playing Truth or Dare. But what starts out as a good time turns sinister when they find a mysterious pair of binoculars. Those who dare to look through them see strange visions, which they brush off as hallucinations. Why else would Riley see himself in bed with his best friend’s girlfriend—a girl he’s had a secret crush on for years?

In the weeks that follow, the visions begin to come true…including a gruesome murder. One of Riley’s closest friends is now the prime suspect. But who is the murderer? Have Riley and his friends really seen the future through those mysterious binoculars? And what if they are powerless to change the course of events.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

This review is going to short and simple. One because I was honestly so confused towards the end. Two because I bumped it up 1 heart because I don’t have a 2 heart rating image. I was expecting a lot from This Is How It Ends and was really excited when I was approved to read an ARC. I was left disappointed and confused at the end. Overall, This Is How It Ends really had potential to be much more than it was. I felt like it was rather short, questions were definitely left unanswered, and it was lacking a lot of the thrill I had been expecting when I began reading.

I did for the most part enjoy the characters of This Is How It Ends. Some I obviously was able to tolerate more than others, but while none were exactly horrible, none of the characters really stood out either. They seemed like your typical high school students and there really wasn’t a lot of substance to them. They weren’t obnoxious or make stupid choices so that it was I will give the book a third star for the characters.

The story itself was original and no where near what I had been expecting. I felt like at the end a lot was thrown at the reader and I was left trying to piece everything together and was left thinking well what happened next? I don’t want to turn anyone away from This Is How It Ends if you’re interested in reading it. Give it a chance because just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean you won’t as well. If you read it or have read it, leave me a comment telling me your thoughts (or link to a review if you have one).

The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

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Title/Author: The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse – February 17, 2015

Genres: YA Paranormal, YA Horror, YA Thriller

Format: ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy)

Source: Edelweiss

Other Books from Author: The Murmurings

Rating: images (2)

What This Book Is About

The fact that neither of her parents wants to deal with her is nothing new to Penny. She’s used to being discussed like a problem, a problem her mother has finally passed on to her father. What she hasn’t gotten used to is her stepmother…especially when she finds out that she’ll have to spend the summer with April in the remote woods of Washington to restore a broken-down old house.

Set deep in a dense forest, the old Carver House is filled with abandoned antique furniture, rich architectural details, and its own chilling past. The only respite Penny can find away from April’s renovations is in Miller, the young guy who runs the local general store. He’s her only chance at a normal, and enjoyable, summer.

But Miller has his own connection to the Carver House, and it’s one that goes beyond the mysterious tapping Penny hears at her window, the handprints she finds smudging the glass panes, and the visions of children who beckon Penny to follow them into the dark woods. Miller’s past just might threaten to become the terror of Penny’s future….

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I was so excited to be granted access to an ARC of The Bargaining on Edelweiss. I LOVE creepy, scary young adult books and was eager to jump right into this one. The Bargaining definitely delivered the creepy factor and much more. The first night I began reading this, I started dozing off and waking up, so by the next day I had to start all over again because I couldn’t remember anything I had read. I had been about 35 pages in and was just like…

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Once I started rereading the book, I was instantly sucked right in. I will admit that I began reading the book from the beginning for the second time in my Western Civilizations class, and I continued to read through the entire class. (Gotta love crazy old college professors…see Saturday’s post.) Luckily Monday was one of my short days, so I immediately went home and continued reading. In all honesty, and sorry for my choice of words, The Bargaining scared the shit out of me. Already being pretty afraid of the dark, reading this in bed in complete darkness (it was on my iPad so my lights were all off) may have not been my smartest choice. I was actually afraid to roll over because I thought someone or something would be standing next to my bed. I never experienced “scary goosebumps” from a book until I read this one. Seriously, read when it’s still light out!

I really liked the storyline of The Bargaining and how Penny’s and Miller’s pasts tied into it. I was constantly left guessing what was going to happen next and overall what really went on in those woods. Penny seemed like your typical moody, curious teenager. At first she annoyed me a little bit because she made no effort with her stepmom, but I ended up really liking her in the end. Miller on the other hand, we get to know his story in the prologue of the book. Knowing who he was and what he caused I think automatically influenced my feelings towards him. Even as he became friends with Penny, I still didn’t really like him too much. The huge shocking secret Miller finally shares with Penny at the end was so unexpected and surprisingly that I couldn’t believe it.

The Carver House reminds me of the many abandoned, haunted places that are all over the state of New Jersey. I’m a hug scaredy cat, but I’ve always wanted to check some of them out. (There were two specifically that really set the picture in my head for the Carver House and if you’re interested in reading about abandoned places and the rumors behind them here are the two houses. Demon’s Alley and Purgatory House. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a justifying article for Purgatory House.) I think I really was interested in the Carver House because of the mystery behind it. You don’t know what happened there or who previously lived there, just that a lot of people talk and have stories to tell about it. If the Carver House was real I may consider flying across the country to find it.

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(A house from Demon’s Alley, inspiration for what the Carver House looked like in my mind.)

Overall I think The Bargaining was great. It’s labeled as a chilling and suspenseful novel, and that it definitely is. It was truly terrifying at some points and I love when a book can deliver that level of terror. I will be purchasing a physical copy of The Bargaining in February when it is published and rereading it in the future. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in young adult mysteries, thrillers, paranormal, horror genres or anyone interested in local legends and abandoned places. I cannot wait now to read Carly Anne West’s other young adult book that has been on my TBR-list for so long, The Murmurings.