Tag: Murder

Review: Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Posted October 15, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Title: Haunting Violet

Author: Alyxandra Harvey

Publisher: Walker Publishing

Publication Date: June 2011

Genre: Young Adult Ghost Story

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I purchased this book.


Violet has spent her childhood helping her mother “contact” spirits, as in fooling everyone into believing she is a medium. However, one day, Violet finds that she can really talk to spirits. And the dead have a lot to tell her.

I really like Alyxandra Harvey’s Drake Chronicles, so I was excited to give this stand alone novel a try. The book is much more serous in tone, taking place in Victorian England with all of the era’s rigid rules and social restrictions. Immediatley, it’s obvious that Violet’s problems is not restricted to only being haunted by ghosts. Her dear mother is a huge source of danger, manipulation and abuse. The ghosts are scary, but Mrs. Willoughby is scarier.

The challenges Violet has to face, coming to terms with her own gifts, finding the murderer of this innocent girl, choosing between to very different suitors are well balanced. Harvey’s dialogue is natural. It’s easy to believe that Violet and Elizabeth are friends, why she is attracted to Colin and how years of being treated by a selfish mother has cost Violet.

The book started off slow for me, it took me a couple of days to get into it. But by the time I was over half way through, it picked up and I finished the rest in a night. It’s worth the wait. While I didn’t love it as much as I do The Drake Chronicles, Haunting Violet is still a well written ghost story with a creepy personality.

Rating 5 Ok, Decent Like Diet Coke

Posted October 15, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Book Review: Broken Harbor by Tana French

Posted July 16, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Title: Broken Harbor

Author: Tana French

Publisher: Viking

Publication Date: July 2012

Genre: Adult Mystery

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Four

Synopsis can be found here.


Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy is a Dublin murder detective who just landed the biggest case of the year. A beautiful and perfect family, the Spains, have been brutally murdered in their luxury development complex. Jenny Spain, the mother, is in critical condition in the hospital. And Scorcher and his new partner, Richie Curran are there to investigate.

Every book by Tana French has me conflicted. I want to read so fast, so fast, to find out what happened, who did it. But I wind up reading them all so slowly, taking my time with every word to make sure I don’t miss anything.
Because that is what happens in French’s books. Reading too fast, and you will miss something.

And that is why I loved Broken Harbor.
Mick’s voice is new, brash and hard. I loved his narration, his second guessing, his hard stances. Mick’s tone was a constant reminder through the book that this is the guy you want on your side. If the worst was to happen, you wanted him asking why. I loved it in contrast to Richie’s voice- new, naive and softer around the edges.

The plot takes you round and round to the usual suspects, thinking you know which way its going to go. The housing development is deteriorating. There were break ins before the murder. They had cut off all contact with most of their friends. The Spain’s had a perfect life. Why did this happen to them?

Back and forth, by the time it all sorts itself out, I didn’t know if I could call the ending satisfying. It was a kick in the face, it was.

Add Mick’s family troubles to that and you’ve got a whole other layer of crazy. Broken Harbor holds memories for him too.
And maybe, even though he won’t admit it, he is not the best man for this case.

Pick up Broken Harbor or any of Tana French’s books. 

You don’t have to read any of the other books in the series to enjoy Broken Harbor, though I recommend you do.
You won’t be sorry.

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Posted July 16, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Book Review: Slide by Jill Hathaway

Posted March 19, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Title: Slide

Author: Jill Hathaway

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: March 2012

Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction/Sci-Fi

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.

NetGalley review.

I loved the idea of Slide. Vee suffers from narcolepsy, and when she falls from her world, she is inserted into someone else’s body, depending on what the last thing she touched. Objects that hold emotions emit a certain kind of energy, and if Vee has touched this right before she has an episode, she slides into that person’s body for a while.

But when she slides and finds herself holding a knife over a girl’s body, she knows her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. How can she find who did?

Slide is entertaining, dark and edgy. I liked the way the story unfolded. Vee is a unique character. I enjoyed her struggles with opening up and trusting people. Her personal baggage was its own hurdle to overcome and that made her feel more human to me. She’s an outcast, used to be popular but now on the sidelines, watching her sister taking her place as cheerleader. Vee’s sharpness makes her more likable though. The entire plot of Slide is fun. It started out a little slow, but after a couple of chapters, I was fully invested in the characters and the story.

The murder mystery was fun and not so easy to figure out. A couple of times during the story, I sat up and thought – “aHa! I see!” only to find myself completely wrong a chapter or two later. All of the characters were well crafted, none of them being cookie-cutter stereotypes. All had elements of dark and light, secrets of good and evil. I liked how I had to keep guessing not only who the murderer was, but also who Vee’s real friends were.

When the ending and murderer is finally revealed, I was satisfied with the twists and turns the story made to come to that conclusion. But I wasn’t completely satisfied with the motives behind the crime. As everything fell into place, I felt like the ending was rushed and would have liked more explanation.

I still enjoyed the journey through the maze.

Rating 7 Pretty Cool Would Recommend

Posted March 19, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

Posted January 30, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 8 Comments

Title: New Girl

Author: Paige Harbison

Publisher: Harlequinn Teen

Publication Date: January 2012

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Horror/Mystery

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
Netgalley review.

One of my favorite books of all time is Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier. My middle school librarian recommended it to me, promising me a tale of intrigue, dark secrets, murder mystery and love. It is that and much more. Since then, I have sought out tales that create a new spin on Rebecca.

New Girl is the latest retelling of this Gothic tale.

As in the original Rebecca, our nameless narrator is thrown into circumstances she feels unable to control. New Girl is sent to boarding school in her senior year of high school, only to be overshadowed by Becca, the beautiful, fun and popular girl who went missing earlier that year. Becca is mysterious and adored, leaving her presence around the boarding school. The other students wait faithfully for her to return. Here is our new girl, living in Becca’s old room, with Becca’s old roommate. And even, gasp, crushing on Becca’s old boyfriend Max.

The tale is creepy, slowly moving through Manderley boardings school like an old movie. The unfolding of the past events, the ghost of Becca everywhere from the photos in her room to her name on everyone’s lips. New Girl cannot get away from Becca. The roommate, Dana, is every bit unhinged and wicked as I hoped she would be. (Seeing as how she represents Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper in the original).
Though there are similarities between the books, I found it to be a captivating read. Harbison changes things just enough that she keeps readers on her toes.

Luckily, New Girl has more self awareness and a stronger backbone than our dear Mrs. duWinter from the original. New Girl slowly develops into more than just a wallflower, fighting for what she wants, making her a refreshing heroine.

I love the chapters about Becca. An uneasy feeling crept over me, reading about the past, this manipulative girl wandering the halls of her boarding school, using her power and influence over everyone. Harbison makes this Becca more defined and real than duMaurier’s spirit. But that’s not bad. I love both time lines of the story, eager for the other to start again.

Be warned: there are a few sexual situations in this book. Good for you, Harbison! They’re juniors and seniors at a boarding school! Of course there’s going to be some “adult content” going on! It really added to the story, not only shining light onto Becca’s character but also onto her relationships, manipulating those she loves, and those she doesn’t. There is also sexual abuse. It didn’t take me out of the story at all, and I think it added a lot of depth to Becca’s past.

The only moments of the book that lost me were towards the end. One I won’t disclose, but it seemed too far fetched for me. And the second was when our beautiful vixen makes a long speech. It seems good to explain everything, but I feel like this was out of character for Becca and more for the reader.

The ending is just right.

Overall, if you aren’t a fan of the original Rebecca, you’ll be swept away by New Girl. And if you are, you’ll be happy to visit this new Manderley. Sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted January 30, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 8 Comments