The Takedown

By Corrie Wang

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: n/a

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: April 11, 2017

Published by Freeform

My Rating: four-stars

The Takedown

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

It would have been funny, if it just wasn’t.

Kyla Cheng doesn’t expect you to like her. For the record, she doesn’t need you to. On track to be valedictorian, she’s president of her community club and a debate team champ, plus the yummy Mackenzie Rodriguez has firmly attached himself to her hip. She and her three high-powered best friends don’t just own their senior year at their exclusive Park Slope, Brooklyn high school, they practically define the hated species Popular. Kyla’s even managed to make it through high school completely unscathed.

Until someone takes issue with this arrangement.

A week before college applications are due, a video of Kyla “doing it” with her crush-worthy English teacher is uploaded to her school’s website. It instantly goes viral, but here’s the thing: it’s not Kyla in the video. With time running out, Kyla delves into a world of hackers, haters and creepy stalkers in an attempt to do the impossible—take something off the internet—all while dealing with the fallout from her own karmic footprint.

This was a really good book! It’s slightly set in the future, so all of the technology and terminology was really interesting, but it was also kind of disturbing to see how much more attached people were in this future to their technology, and how easily it could be used to control/manipulate them.

The mystery was what kept me reading, and I finished this really quickly. I really enjoyed the Pretty Little Liars series, and I totally got a slightly-futuristic Pretty Little Liars / Gossip Girl vibe from this: the gossip, scandal, intrigue, and the underlying mystery of who made the video. It took some time for me to get used to the slang everyone used, but this was a very un-putdownable book.

Recommended!

Week In Review

September 25 – October 1

 

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It’s the beginning of my favourite time of year! Autumn, cooler weather, Thanksgiving, favourite TV shows coming back (Supernatural; The Walking Dead), Halloween, and then the lead up to Christmas! And today is my wedding anniversary, so it’s been a lovely weekend of celebrating with a fancy dinner and buying a new coffee maker!

😍

New books:

It’s also been a pretty exciting book week!

I received a copy of Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type from Penguin Random House Canada (thank you!), a collection of short stories.

From Raincoast Books, I received these ARCs as part of their Teens Read Fall Preview swag pack:

A Girl Like That, Tanaz Bhathena; and

Bound to You, Alyssa Brandon.

The Raincoast previews are always great, and this one was full of upcoming books that sound so good!! The ones I think I’m the most excited about are:

Zombie Abbey, Lauren Baratz-Logsted (zombies and Downton Abbey!);

Furyborn, Claire Legrand (the first in a new fantasy trilogy); and

Brightly Burning, Alexa Donne (Jane Eyre in space!).

I also picked up my pre-order of Stephanie Perkins’ There’s Someone Inside Your House, which I immediately read (and loved).

Books read:

I finished two books this week:

Genuine Fraud, E. Lockhart; and

There’s Someone Inside Your House.

Current reads:

What Happened, Hillary Clinton;

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling; and

A Line in the Dark, Malinda Lo.

Reviews:

I posted two reviews this week:

A Stranger in the House, Shari Lapena; and

Wonder Woman: Warbringer, Leigh Bardugo.

I also wrote a little bit about some of the books on my fall TBR. This time of year always puts me in the mood for darker, creepier stories.

Time to see if I can get a bit more reading done before the weekend is over! Happy reading!

 

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Books On My Fall TBR

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I am so ready for fall! This is my favourite season (and it finally feels like it – although it won’t for long). In addition to cooler temperatures (usually), cosy sweaters, Halloween, and changing leaves, fall usually brings some excellent books! So I wanted to make a list of some fall books on my TBR.

There’s Someone Inside Your House, Stephanie Perkins

I actually just finished reading this a couple of days ago, and I loved it! A full review is coming up, but this was one my most anticipated fall reads. I definitely got some Scream vibes. It’s a YA take on slasher movies and I finished it in one day!

This was a great start to kick off my fall reading!

The Ravenous, Amy Lukavics

I love YA horror, and I love that we seem to get more of it this time of year.

I enjoyed Amy Lukavics’ previous books (Daughters Unto Devils and The Women in the Walls, both of which were gory and creepy and totally impossible to put down), so I was looking forward to whatever she was writing next.

So when I learned that her next book, The Ravenous, sounded like a zombie story, I pre-ordered as fast as I could! I love reading all kinds of supernatural and paranormal stories, but ones with zombies are pretty much irresistible. And this is also a story about siblings, which is another of my favourite things to read about.

A Line in the Dark, Malinda Lo

As much as I love gory, creepy YA horror, I also love a good psychological mystery/thriller, which is what I think this book is.

The Merciless III: Origins of Evil, Danielle Vega

Back to creepy and gory YA horror with this pick! I really enjoy Danielle Vega’s The Merciless series (and their pretty covers!), so I’m definitely excited to read this book, which I think is a prequel to The Merciless and The Merciless II. It seems like a perfect choice to read on a chilly evening.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found, Moira Fowley-Doyle

This sounds really good: mysterious strangers, an ancient spellbook, and secrets. This sounds like another good pick to read while curled up and cosy, when it’s chilly outside.

All this talk of books I’m excited to read as me wanting to pick one up right now! What’s on your fall TBR?

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Wonder Woman: Warbringer

By Leigh Bardugo

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: DC Icons #1

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: August 29, 2017

Published by Random House Children’s Books

My Rating: four-stars

Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.

Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

I am a big fan of Leigh Bardugo’s books. The Grisha trilogy is amazing, and the Six of Crows duology is one of my favourite series. So when I learned that she was writing a YA Wonder Woman story, I knew I had to read it.

 

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I don’t know anything about Wonder Woman beyond what I saw in the movie starring Gal Gadot that came out earlier this year (I love that movie!!), but I don’t think I needed to know anything going into the book. It isn’t connected to the movie in the sense that you need to have seen the movie to read this book – it is a younger Diana in this book, and I loved her! I so enjoyed reading about Themyscira and Diana’s struggles with her identity (she isn’t a battle-proven Amazon like the others; she is the daughter of the queen), and her desire to prove herself.

The warbringer concept was something totally new to me and super interesting. And at first I wasn’t super excited when Alia came into the story, because I wanted to just keep reading about Diana and Themyscira, but I really liked Alia (and her BFF, Nim).

As I have learned from her other books, Leigh Bardugo is great at writing plot twists and turns, complex characters, villains, and action scenes. Wonder Woman: Warbringer was no different! And I loved that there was a big emphasis placed on friendship, particularly the friendships between Diana and Alia and Alia and Nim. There were some fantastic girl-power moments that had me smiling, and I loved that there was practically zero romance in the book as well.

I was nervous going into this book because I had really high hopes, but thankfully it was great! I’m definitely interested in the other DC Icons books, but I’m even more excited for the Wonder Woman film sequel!

Pick up a copy for yourself:

Chapters-Indigo

Book Depository

Amazon Canada

A Stranger In the House

By Shari Lapena

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: n/a

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: August 17, 2017

Published by Doubleday Canada

My Rating: three-stars

A Stranger In the House

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

In this neighborhood, danger lies close to home. A domestic thriller packed full of secrets, and a twisty story that never stops—from the bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

He looks at her, concerned. “How do you feel?” She wants to say, Terrified. Instead, she says, with a faint smile, “Glad to be home.”

Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.

There’s a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.

The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.

Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won’t stop asking questions.

Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.

I read and liked Shari Lapena’s previous book, The Couple Next Door, so I was definitely interested in reading this next book of hers.

While I read this one very quickly, curious to know what happened, I didn’t find it all that interesting overall. It was a quick, easy read, and somewhat entertaining, but I really feel like for all of its attempts to be twisty and unpredictable, this book was quite predictable in the end.

Now, perhaps that’s because I read a lot of books, including certain mysteries and thrillers that got a lot of buzz and have many imitators – I won’t name them but I’m sure you can guess which books I’m talking about – and which are used in the marketing for all kinds of mysteries and thrillers written by and/or about women. And compared to those other books, something like A Stranger In the House isn’t as twisty or insightful.

It was a pleasant enough way to spend some reading time, however. It was an amusing yet predictable story, likely not one that will stick with me, but it may be a good pick for readers who loved The Couple Next Door.