Who Could That Be at This Hour? (All the Wrong Questions #1) By Lemony Snicket

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Title: Who Could That Be At This Hour?
Series: All The Wrong Questions
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published by: Little Brown
Release date: June 17th 2014
Length: 288 pages
Genre: Middle Grade
Format: Paperback
Why I read it: I read Snicket’s previous Series of Unfortunate Events books, and loved them.
What it’s About: A teen aged Snicket becomes the apprentice of S. Theodora Markson, and the two travel to a small semi abandoned town to steal an object of great value. While in the town of Stain’d by the Sea, Lemony meets a series of…..interesting people and gets swept up in a bigger mystery than he realized.
The Review: This series is supposed to be a prequel to Snicket’s Series of unfortunate events books. And I read somewhere (maybe goodreads, I’m not positive) that as the books progress characters that we met in SOUE will make cameos. That being said, you do not have to have read SOUE in order to read this series. Or at least not this book. It reads like a stand alone series.
What I liked: The silliness was just a fun as it was in SOUE, in fact that was pretty much the only indication that it was even remotely related to SOUE. The wacky characters were funny and irritating at the same time. The setting was just as wacky as the characters and, let’s face it, it wouldn’t be half as entertaining to read if it wasn’t. Also the time period is ambiguous as it is with SOUE, and it has a feel that it could be set anywhere. I like how Snicket never mentions a recognizable landmark like Big Ben or the Statue of Liberty. You as the reader can imagine it taking place in any country you wish. I Also like how it wasn’t like SOUE. In SOUE, you knew that it wasn’t going to end well. Bad things were supposed to happen to the  Baudelaire’s, but in this series, the outcome could be good or bad.
What I didn’t like: Like I said above, some characters were irritating. Like The Mitchum’s. I understand that they were supposed to be the useless police officers, but they really were very useless, and their arguing was just tiresome. And don’t get me started on their kid. he was a nightmare. And Prosper Lost for me just wasn’t a needed character at all. He didn’t add anything to the story, and just seemed like a filler character.  Another thing I didn’t like was that Snicket gives very little background information on himself. I know that it’s supposed to add to the mystery, but when he says things like ” I had an unusual education” I’d like to know more about this education myself.
Would I reread it? Most likely, yes.
Would I purchase it? I did purchase it, and no regrets about it.
Would I recommend it? I would if you loved SOUE. I’d love for my 8 year old nephew to read it, but I think he thinks too literally to get the silliness.
Love it or Leave it? Somewhere in the middle. I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars.

 

Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Title: Dear Killer
Author: Katherine Ewell
Length: 359 pages
Genre: YA
Format: Hard cover
Why I read it: A number of reasons.

What it’s About: 17 year old Kit is one of London’s most famous serial killers. She was trained by her mother from the time she was nine years old to be a killer and one day take over for her mother. She has a secret post box hidden in a restroom where she gets letters requesting her services. Kit is clever and arrogant, and very good at what she does. But when she murders a classmate, it seems like her luck is running out. To keep the suspicion off of her, she “helps” the police by giving the inspector clues and insight.

The review: This book was not without it’s flaws. Firstly, I can believe a serial killer bing young. Statistically most serial killers start between (I think) 16-30. So that’s not so far fetched. Especially when you take into account that Kit has been trained since a young age and her mother was a serial killer herself, and that Kit’s mom would let her help in the early years of her training.

Secondly, the police. Again not so far fetched that the police would get clues and what not from suspects/witnesses. I mean, it happens all the time. That’s how their job works. They interrogate/interview, the suspect/interviewee says something, bam, there is a clue for the cop right there and the cop then uses that clue to find more clues and catch the person they are looking for. That’s fine. But are we really to believe that all these anonymous people all over London know about Kit’s killing service and hire her to kill people, but the cops know nothing about it? Come on. That shit ain’t right.

Thirdly, why did the cops not suspect Kit? Or her mother for that matter? Kit’s mom retired because she almost got caught (at least that’s what I remember, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), so why not look at her or her daughter as possible suspects? It was one of Kit’s classmates that fueled the investigation after all, and cops generally look at the people closest to the victim first. And why did Alex not get fired for 1: Letting Kit in on a crime scene, and 2: Giving Kit information on a case that was so high profile.

Although, this book for all the flaws pointed out above was so freaking good. True, the writing and situations were lacking in places, but it was a highly entertaining read. I loved Kit. She was arrogant, she was over confident, she was a know-it-all, but she was a good leading character. I loved the idea of a jilted husband/wife writing a letter to have “The Perfect Killer” murder their spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend for cheating or lying or what have you, not knowing that they’ve hired a 17 year old girl. It’s a perfect stand alone book, but I wouldn’t mind if it was a series or a trilogy. And with the Author being so young herself, I can’t wait to see how her writing improves.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Almost.
Would I reread it? If I ever get through my current reading list, yes.
Would I purchase it? I’m not sure.
Would I recommend it? Already have, to many people.

Run to You Part One: First Sight by Clara Kensie

Title: Run To You Part One: First Sight
Author: Clara Kensie
Length: 304 pages
Genre: YA
Format: ePUB
Rating: 3/5
Why I read it: Curiosity got me

What it’s About: Tessa Carson and her family are on the run from a man trying to murder them. Why? because they all, except Tessa, have special abilities. When Tessa and her family move to, yet another, new home, Tessa goes by the name Sarah Spencer. It isn’t until she meets Tristan Walker that her secret and her true identity are revealed.

The Good: This series reminds me of Heroes, big time. The characters either have abilities or they don’t and they are trying to bring down the people who are trying to capture the people who have abilities. The story itself is a relief from most YA trends of the moment, and it is a captivating concept. I especially loved reading about the different kinds of abilities people have. I also like the idea of a serialized series. The first book is comprised of three volumes, or parts, which is interesting.

The Bad: I read this book, and the other two parts two months ago, and nothing is really sticking with me. I can’t remember Tessa’s family, I can’t remember what their abilities are, and Tessa herself got on my nerves. I got so mad at her, we had some reader/character issues after a while. I know Tristan was her first love, but you’d think that after being on the run for eight years, she’d resist her impulse to tell him all her family’s secrets. And while I did love the concept, it would be nice to have a bit more… just more, I guess. Like Why does Tessa not have abilities? How did Tessa’s parents learn about their abilities? There was nothing that made any character stand out.

Final Thoughts: The reason I didn’t give this a lower rating is that I did like the book, and it has potential, so it deserves a medium rating. Hopefully some of the flaws in it will be mended with the next three parts.

Dorothy must die by Danielle Paige

Title: Dorothy must die
Author: Danielle Paige
Length: 452 pages
Genre: YA
Format: ePUB
Rating: 4/5
Why I read it: Seemed intriguing

What it’s About: Amy Gumm is swept from Kansas to Oz in a tornado, just like Dorothy Gale from Wizard of Oz. Only Amy’s version of Oz is vastly different from Dorothy’s, and it’s all because Dorothy has become a power hungry tyrant. Now it is up to Amy to save Oz and make it what it once was.

The Good: Since I first heard about this book I was itching to get my hands on it. I love the idea of Dorothy, the Tin man, the scarecrow, and the lion being evil. Amy herself was flawed, and rough around the edges, but I loved her. I also loved the fact that Paige wasn’t afraid to be gory. I love dystopian Oz.

The Bad: The lack of information. I know it’s the first book in the series, but I was hoping that as the book progressed, there would be more back story as to HOW exactly Dorothy became a corrupt power-hungry tyrant, and how the Beloved sidekicks became what they did. I’m hoping the second book explains a bit more.

Final Thoughts: I loved this concept. I do think that it could have been a great one off book instead of a series, but I also love that it there is going to be another book. Paige has the potential to build on something that is already good, and make it even better.

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Title: Faking Normal
Author: Courtney C. Stevens
Length: 210 pages
Genre: YA
Format: ePUB
Rating: 3/5
Why I read it: Debut author challenge hosted by The Story Siren

What it’s About: Over the summer Alexi was raped. She has not told anyone, and she scratches her neck and hides in her closet to try and forget. Bodee’s mom was murdered by his dad. He hides under his bed to cope. Alexi’s mom take Bodee in after his mom dies, and soon Alexi and Bodee become friends and together start to heal from the tragedies that they bond over.

The Good: I loved Alexi and Bodee’s friendship. It was a very understanding relationship. They never pushed each other to talk about their secrets. Well, not until it was important for them to. There was a lot of respect between them, and it was nice to see Alexi trust someone.

The Bad: As much as I understand Alexi not mentioning the rape, once it was revealed who had raped her, I wanted to scream at her. It also seemed that Alexi used Bodee as a crutch a lot of the time. Yes, he helped her to cope with her rape, but after a while, it seemed that she couldn’t function without him.

Final Thoughts: I honestly don’t know if I liked this book or was just compelled to finish it. Usually books about rape are ones that I try to steer clear of, but something about this book caught my curiosity. I’m glad I read it, and maybe I’ll read it again, but for now I’m done with it.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Length: 395 pages
Genre: Mystery, thriller
Format: ePUB
Rating: 3/5
Why I read it: I am unashamed to admit, I am a Gillian Flynn fangirl

What it’s About: On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary Amy Dunne goes missing. The prime suspect is her husband Nick.

The Good: I, for one, was not invested in either Amy or Nick. I didn’t like either of them, but I didn’t hate them either. This was good because when Flynn wanted the reader to feel like Amy was the wronged wife, I felt it. When Flynn wanted us to feel Nick’s desperation, We would. It was a great tactic to keep us guessing what the outcome would be. Flynn once again showed her flair for writing a perfect twist. The book went in a direction I wouldn’t have seen coming, and she did it in such a way that it made me need to keep reading.

The Bad: the first part of this book was boring. I had no desire to read it, and when I did read it, I would put it down soon after. I would have liked a little more with Amy’s parents. They seemed a little too perfect and it simply didn’t seem enough that their books were the motive behind anything that Amy did.

Final Thoughts: Read this book. Even if you, like me, feel that the first part is boring, it picks up and is worth struggling through. I feel like I need a palate cleanser book after reading Gone Girl, and that rarely happens anymore.

Goddess of the Night by Lynne Ewing

Title: Goddess of the Night
Author: Lynne Ewing
Length: 294 pages
Genre: YA
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 2/5
Why I read it: 2014 Series Challenge hosted by A Novel challenge

What it’s About: Vanessa, Catty, Serena, and Jimena are Goddesses of the moon and each have their own special powers that they must use to defeat and ancient evil called the Atrox and their followers. Vanessa can become invisible, Catty can time travel, Serena has the ability to read minds, and Jimena has premonitions.

The Good: When this series first came out, or at least when I first started reading it, I loved it. The concept was different than what was out there at the time, and the same can be said now. I love how the four girls have vastly different personalities, but they become friends very fast. I like the California setting. It helps warm me up when I’m feeling a bit too cold. Ewing has a flair for descriptions, and making you feel every scene of the book. I guess it’s from her background as a screen writer.

The Bad: The girls are wooden. in fact all the characters are wood, even, sadly, the “hippy” type characters. I guess it’s understandable since this was the first book in the series. Vanessa was the worst. She was the central character of the book, but I just didn’t care about her. I wanted to slap her most of the time. She was too afraid to do anything “wrong” including, but not limited to prank phone calls…. Yeah. Then there are the unrealistic situations. If my best friend in the whole world went missing, I would not A) keep it from my mom for a week, or B) get dolled up in a too short dress and body glitter and follow a guy I don’t know into a neighborhood I’m unfamiliar with.

Final Thoughts: When I first read this series, I got to book 5 and then the books went out of print. I scoured used book stores and yard sales to find the remaining eight books and complete the series, and I’ve finally done it, and I’m happy. I’m even happy to re-read the series, but maybe it’s first book syndrome or maybe it’s something else, but I think I’ve out grown the series. We’ll see.