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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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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Title & Author: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Publisher/Year: Knopf – January 6, 2015

Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Debut YA Book

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself-a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I have certainly be lucking out lately with all of these amazing books that I have had the opportunity to read, and All the Bright Places is no exception. What drew me into wanting to read this book was it’s reference to The Fault in Our Stars. The character’s attitudes definitely reminded me of Hazel and Augustus, but that is where the similarities end. I love the alternating narration between Violet and Finch and watching their friendship evolve into so much more. I thought Finch and Violet were perfect for each other and enjoyed when they would go on their adventures for their class project.

When it came to the characters, I really liked both Violet and Finch, but I do feel like I liked Finch a little bit more and found myself looking forward to Finch’s chapters. Finch is supportive of Violet and helps her with a lot of her personal issues. Violet on the other hand was once part of the popular clique at their high school and often doesn’t want to be seen or talk to Finch where anyone will see them. That bothered me after a while, but it didn’t make me dislike her either. I loved the moments in the book where they were together and I felt like they helped each other a lot.

All the Bright Places is a book that will make you laugh and cry. My heart broke a certain points, but the author put it back together again. This is definitely a book I want to read again in the future and would recommend it to anyone.

Death Date by Victoria Laurie

I was really pleased with Death Date by Victoria Laurie. I haven’t read any young adult thrillers lately and her book definitely satisfied my needs for one. Death Date was also one of the better young adult thrillers that I have read this past year.

Death Date by Victoria Laurie

Expected Publication: January 13, 2015

How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour

4stars

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Pretty Little Liars meets Medium in this fast-paced thriller and fantastic YA debut from a New York Times bestselling author

Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client’s young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who maybe connected to it all, Maddie’s whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it’s too late?

(Summary from Goodreads)

Not only do I enjoy a really great young adult thriller, but I love when they involve ghosts, spirits or psychic abilities. When requested to read and review this book as part of an ARC tour, I had honestly been expecting a lot from Death Date. I have to say, Victoria Laurie definitely delivered. While the plot line itself was a bit different from what I had been expecting from the summary, I couldn’t help but turn page after page until the book was finished. I loved how original the idea for this book was and the idea that someone could see people’s death dates just by looking at them. I also loved how completely shocked I was when I was reading the final few chapters. All throughout the book I constantly thought I knew who the murderer was and every single time I was proven wrong and left guessing again. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine when you can easily out who the murderer is a couple chapters into a book. In Death Date, I didn’t know until Maddie herself knew and I liked the element of surprise that came with it. In the final chapter, I liked how the author tied everything together in a way I also wasn’t expecting.

As for the characters, I liked some and didn’t really like a few others. Without giving too much away, there are a few characters you will get serious mixed feelings for. You go from liking them to disliking them within a few chapters or opposite. I really liked the main character Maddie. To me, she seemed like a strong female lead character. She put up with a lot throughout the book and never once backed down. She was determined to prove her innocence to everyone and no matter how rough or scary things got, she kept going. I also felt sympathy for her as she often blamed herself for her father’s death and would ask herself the infamous question numerous times throughout the novel, “What if?”. In a way I would say Maddie was easily relatable, but in other ways I would say she isn’t (obviously because I don’ see people’s death dates and have never been the suspect of a murder investigation).

Overall, I really enjoyed Death Date; it pulled me in and grabbed my attention from the beginning. It was a quick read for myself since I was unable to put it down for more than a few minutes at a time. Death Date is also original and unlike any other young adult thrillers I have read before and definitely makes my top ten young adult thriller list.

Forget Me by K.A. Harrington

Something about the cover of Forget Me just instantly caught my eye. It just looks creepy and after reading the summary I knew it was going to be a good thriller. I was very lucky to get my hands on a advanced uncorrected copy of Forget Me and I read it in one sitting. It will be on the shelves later this week, August 7, and everyone should check it out.

Forget Me by K.A. Harrington

Expected Publication: August 7, 2014

How I Acquired This Book: ARC from Publisher

4stars

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On the three-month anniversary of her boyfriend Flynn’s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to FriendShare to get some closure—but she’s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as “Evan Murphy.” She’s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Only this boy is very much alive.

Digging through layers of secrets and lies, Morgan is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her boyfriend, her town, and even her parents’ involvement in this massive web of lies.

(Summary from Goodreads)

From the first past of Forget Me, I was instantly drawn in. I loved the town River’s End and it seemed to just give off a lonely/creepy vibe. Forget Me was very fast paced and kept me guessing with each turning page. There wasn’t ever a time when I was bored or wanted to put the book down. Once I started it, I read it until the end. It was a definitely a great young adult thriller/mystery debut. I was constantly surprised and shocked at what was happening and at the end of the book, I’m pretty sure I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. I was expecting a lot from Forget Me because the summary made it seem like it had the potential to be a really good thriller and mystery novel, and it definitely met my expectations.

I really enjoyed the characters in Forget Me. They all played a huge part in the story line and I didn’t get annoyed with any of them. The only character I felt like the reader didn’t get to know was Flynn. I thought we would have had more time to get to know him and his and Morgan’s relationship, but it also didn’t take away anything from the story. Although like I said before, Forget Me is very fast paced, I felt like the author did an amazing job of allowing the reader to get to know the main characters and their relationships with each other.

I felt like Forget Me was a realistic thriller/mystery as well. If you have watched the ABC Family show Twisted, I would hands down recommend that you read this book when it comes out. It is similar in a few ways and I love both the TV show and this book. It also makes for a really good summer YA thriller/mystery read. It’s quick, enjoyable and addicting. Make sure you check out Forget Me by K.A. Harrington on August 7th when it hits the shelves! You won’t regret it.