A lockdown surprises 5 grade 12 students, and they all end up in the same washroom. Alice, is an introvert who is really good at writing, she also has the responsibility to take care of her autistic brother Noah. Isabelle is the popular girl that everyone wants to be friends with, who has a big ego and sometimes only cares about herself. Then there’s Hogan, who used to be a football player, but is now someone feared by many because of the rumors going around that he killed his brother, he may seem scary but in the inside, he just needs someone to understand. There’s also the last guy named Xander, he’s socially awkward and sometimes says things that shouldn’t be said out loud. He’s always snapping pictures of random moments with his camera he calls “The Tank”. After a while, Isabelle gets a text from her best friend Brianna that this lockdown is not a drill, and there’s an actual shooter roaming around in the school, and it also turns out that one of the people know more about this shooter than they realized, and together they try to figure out what the shooter is trying to do, and how to stop them.
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I am currently reading this book called the Following by Jeffrey W. Johnston. This book is about a boy named Alden who likes to follow people and find out their secrets. He’s training himself to become a private investigator some day. But one day, Alden decides to start following and spy on a popular boy at school, named Greg Matthes. As Alden follows Greg into an old deserted park after school, he first sees them verbally fighting from a distance. A few minutes later, Alden seemingly witnesses Greg Matthes murder his own girlfriend, Amy. Alden saw her lying on the floor but couldn’t get a clear sight of her at the distance. He also thinks he saw blood on Greg’s backpack. Alden started to worry in fear. He ran from the area as fast as he could. Was Amy actually murdered by Greg, or was what he saw not really the situation? Now Alden has to figure out what he could have seen there and the secrets Greg is hiding.
This book is a fast paced read and an interesting novel that keeps you reading until the end. My rating of the book: 9/10
Review by Muskaan Rana
Galaxy “Alex” stern isn’t your average twenty-year-old at Yale and she worries she’ll ever be “average”. She can see ghosts. And her ability brings misery to her when she gets involved in a low-level drug deal. In Leigh Bardugo’s new dark twisty thriller, Ninth House, we follow the life of Alex stern, the only survivor of a multiple homicide that she shouldn’t have survived. When laying in the hospital bed she is allowed to turn her life around and begin fresh at the prestigious Yale University, she knows it’s bound to come with a catch. And what’s the catch? She is to be the newest member of the “ninth house” a secret society flourishing in yale looking over the arcane proceeding of the “ancient eight”.
Her life becomes intertwined with the dark secrets that run through New Haven’s secret societies when there’s a dead girl on campus, and only Alex seems to think there’s more to the story than meets the eye. She often wonders why doesn’t she just let it go; the societies have come up with a neat answer to the girl’s death. It would be convenient for her to just let it be, focusing on the new opportunities Yale brings her. But she feels for the girl, she knows what it feels like to be not cared for, to be pushed under the bus with a “nevermind’. She knows what it feels like to fight the world for the injustice it brings to you, “I want to survive this world that keeps trying to destroy me”. Following the girl’s death, she discovers drug deals, corruption, and cover-ups. She finds the truth beneath the facade run by the secret societies, dark ambition, and sinister motives to get power.
Leigh bardugo has created the best-written morally grey character that I just couldn’t help but sympathize with. Leigh’s world-building is amazing and mesmerizing and something I got lost in. Although the book proved to be more dark and troubling than I had expected, the brutal past of the characters just added to the full effect of the book and I loved every single second of reading it. If you liked The Atlas Six or Dance of Thieves, this fantastical world created by Bardugo is a perfect addition.
I rate this book a 9/10!
***Contains minor spoilers****
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover is a book which I got tempted to buy after reading It Ends With Us. This book did not disappoint me, and I enjoyed every bit of it. This book is for mature readers as it discusses sensitive subjects such as the loss of a child and other topics that might trigger certain readers. This book is not only realistic but also sad and happy and makes you feel various emotions.
This book revolves around Miles and Tate. They’re two people on and off without any label and pretty much limited themselves to using each other in bed and bed only. Tate catches feelings, and she knows Miles has to, but he’s not ready to commit and like her. This book revolves around ups and downs and plot twists on why Miles is so reluctant to be in a relationship with Tate. This book has other characters on the side, which flow nicely into the book’s storyline. In the end, everything ties back together and gives this book the plot twist and ending it needed. Not only does this book show the pretty side of love, but it also shows its ugly sides.
Overall I would rate this book an 11/10. After all, it’s a realistic book because it engages you and is a quick summer read. I would recommend anyone who loves romance to read this book because it does not disappoint. My favourite part of this book would be how Tate and Miles met and how they slowly ended up getting closer and closer. 10/10 for character development and keeps you hooked!
WARNING! Spoilers Ahead!
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover is a book I’ve seen on BookTok for quite a while. When I picked up this book from the shelves of Walmart, I expected it to be another typical romantic book, but after I finished reading it, I was pretty shocked and left thinking about how impactful it was. This book is for mature readers as it shows abusive relationships and other topics that might be triggering for certain readers.
This book starts with Lily Bloom, a 23-year-old redhead woman who has a dream of opening a flower shop and moving to Boston after the funeral of her abusive father. Her entire life, she’d seen her father hit her mother and even witnessed him trying to rape her. On a rooftop in Boston, on the day of her father’s funeral, Lily meets Ryle, also known as Dr. Ryle Kincaid, a neurosurgeon. His looks have Lily swooning, but unfortunately, he only does one-night stands and does not want to get into a serious or committed relationship. Little does Lily know that that rooftop is not the only place she will see Ryle. Fast forward a couple of months, Lily finally bought a place to open her flower shop when a happy and charismatic woman named Allyssa offered to help her run it and work for her. Lily soon runs into Allyssa’s husband Marshall and her brother which is coincidentally Ryle. Lily and Ryle interact more than intended and eventually end up dating. After Lily and Ryle finally end up dating after being so crazy about each other and flirting for months, Lily is ecstatic. Their relationship is strong until she runs into Atlas, her teenage love, and this is where the novel takes another twist. The reader is kept hooked and wondering about the choices Lily will make. Throughout the novel, Lily’s letters to Ellen DeGeneres are shown. They talk about Atlas, a homeless boy who lived in the abandoned house behind her home. Lily reads these letters whenever free, taking the reader to the past along with her.
Overall, I rate this book a 9/10 and would recommend anyone who loves romantic books to read it. This was the first Colleen Hoover book I read, and it definitely got me to read her other books. My favourite part about this book would be when Lily opened up her flower shop or when she was put into her mother’s shoes and had to deal with an abusive relationship.
The book Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu is told in the POV of Ethan, a boy who was kidnapped and found four years later, and Caroline, a girl whose autistic younger brother was kidnapped for a few days. The story moves forward as Caroline tries to find out what happened to her brother by talking to Ethan, and Ethan deals with triggering flashbacks and memories.
This book talks about trauma and how to move on for it. I thought the plots were amazing, and some of the quotes were deep and insightful.
The ending though…I wouldn’t really call it an ending. It just abruptly cuts off. I was disappointed because the book was really good.
Chloe Mitchell is a wonderfully thought out character, who has excellent development!
Her older sister, Ivy is on the autism spectrum and is reliant on Chloe for a lot of things. Chloe decides that Ivy needs to become independent and get a boyfriend because she’s going to college. Ethan, a boy from Ivy’s special needs class would be a perfect candidate! She arranges the dates between Ivy and Ethan with the help of Ethan’s older brother David, a boy from school who is hated by the “cool kids”. She is worried about her life at school where she is popular but begins to feel like a fake with her boyfriend and amongst her friends. David and Chloe meet every time Ethan and Ivy do and that starts to create problems when rumours begin to fly.
They all bond with each other, but some bonds get stronger than others. 😉
This book has great representations and shocking twists that I didn’t see coming! I rate this book a 10/10!!
Good Girl, Bad Blood – a teen mystery book written by Holly Jackson – has been #1 on my reading list, ever since I finished reading A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder a while ago. By the way, quick recap: I absolutely loved that novel. It was thrilling, suspenseful, and easily the best mystery book I’ve ever read. So how was its partner in the Good Girl series? Let’s find out…
In Good Girl, Bad Blood, Pip is turning her first solved mystery into a podcast for people all over the world to stream. She feels like she’s finally falling back into the rhythm of her own life again, after losing so much to be able to solve the murder last time. So, you can imagine how she feels when one of her best friends comes knocking on her door, stating the three simple words: “My brother’s missing.” Will Pip sacrifice herself again and accept the investigation?
Just like the first book in this series, Good Girl, Bad Blood has a phenomenal plot, and the amount of suspense crammed into a relatively short book is truly impressive. Again, Jackson succeeded in making me turn each page with bated breath, too intrigued to put down the book even for a short while. I think my favourite thing about the book was honestly the dialogue, especially between Ravi and Pip. I must’ve been smiling way harder than what was considered “natural” reading the dialogue between those two; IT REALLY WAS TOO ADORABLE.
I’m going to have to say though, I liked the first book better. Maybe it was because I had relatively high expectations for this one, but I think the ending was significantly more underwhelming, and we all want a plausible ending in a mystery book, especially since that’s what the clues and suspense in the whole novel is leading up to. I’m also starting to get rather annoyed by Pip; I think her personality always becomes as bland as a piece of stale bread whenever there’s a mystery she has to solve. Like, come on, we want to know who the murder is, but that doesn’t mean the main character isn’t any less important.
I would give this book 8/10, simply because it’s missing that little bit of spark throughout the entire thing, which most likely has to do with the main character’s lack of personality. I do recommend this book, though, and I think it’s definitely worth reading, especially if you’ve already read the first one. Speaking of, there’s a third book in this series that I haven’t gotten around to yet! Looking forward to binge-read another one of Jackson’s novels 😉
** SPOILERS FOR THE SELECTION (FIRST BOOK) **
I’m an absolute sucker for romance novels, so I was really excited to continue this series. You can read my review on The Selection here.
The Elite by Kiera Cass continues the story of the Selection, with America Singer being in the top 6 chosen girls competing for Prince Maxon’s hand in marriage and the crown. This story mainly revolved around the love triangle, the competition within the girls, and the rebels that keep breaking into the palace.
While reading The Selection I wasn’t sure which side I was on, but finishing The Elite, I’m in Team Maxon. As kind as Aspen is, he has no personality. He also does things that could get them both charged for treason! Is “love” worth the risk of it all? America must decide that for herself.
What I said about the characters being boring in the previous book isn’t true in this one! You really get to connect with the characters, we find out about their beliefs, and what they’re willing to do for them.
Really love this series and would recommend it to all age groups!
So many people accurately describe The Selection by Kiera Mass as a crossover between The Hunger Games and The Bachelor, and I agree 100%. Even though this book was predictable, I enjoyed it immensely!
In America Singer’s world, everyone is divided by caste, the 1s, royalty, the 2s, and 3s, living a lavish life with tons of wealth, and the rest of the lower castes in the professions chosen for them, barely getting by. America and her family are 5s, artists. (America Singer is a singer, how ironic).
*Minor Spoiler Warning*
Prince Maxon holds out a Selection nominating 35 women who will all compete for his hand in marriage and the crown. Her boyfriend, Aspen convinces her to sign up because getting nominated means you receive money, and that’s what they need to get married. After a bad breakup with him, she is nominated and is sent to the castle where she meets the charming Prince Maxon. As they get closer she has to choose between Prince Maxon who could make her a Princess, and Aspen, who she’s always loved.
I loved this book! The plot was good, the caste system based on numbers was interesting, and the ideas were well thought out.
That said, I think the characters were all boring. America has a *I’m not like other girls* and *I’m so ugly* mindset throughout the book and it gets old really fast. Aspen’s whole personality is, “I need to be a man and be good enough for America”. Ew. Maxon is one of the better characters. He’s willing to make mistakes and learn. When he finds out that the 7s and 8s are starving he does something about it. He is adorably awkward and does what he can to help the girls and make an honest opinion about who to marry.
This book isn’t for everyone but it sure was for me. Looking forward to reading the next book, The Elite. 🙂