Book Review & Giveaway: Starr Fall by Kim Briggs

** Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Summary: After Starr Bishop, swim-team star and all around popular girl, gets hunted down by an organization that wants to recruit her as an assassin, she goes on the run. With the help of a friend, Christian – the school’s bad boy and social outcast — they travel across the country to Christian’s parents cabin deep in the woods. But the organization finds them there, and there’s nowhere left to run anymore. Starr must face the organization that took everything away from her for a chance to return to her old life.

Thoughts: Alright! I almost read this book in one sitting. Starr Fall is a quick and addictive read, full of surprises and twists and a swoon-worthy love interest. There’s equal parts action and romance, and honestly, the build up to it was enough for me. I loved how well put together Starr was, despite the fact that her life had turned upside down. That stable quality in her voice really made all the turns and twists read well. And Christian. Hahaha! No way was he the same person I thought he was. I really loved him and every scene he was in, but I felt like the turn from goth recluse to dashing hero was a little too fast. He liked Starr from the start, but I don’t know why I wanted him to fight/resist his feelings for her more. Ugh, I guess I just like tortured characters. I also wanted to know more about the organization and I wanted Starr to have more close calls with them so that I could find out more about them, but the book is 160 pages only, so I get why I couldn’t find all that out. And now I want the second book because I just have to know what happens next! If this book were a TV show, I’d binge watch it pausing! 

Stars: 4/5

Giveaway!!!!

One winner will receive:

  • 1 Free E-Book
  • 10 Page Manuscript Critique

All you have to do to enter is drop any emoji in the comments below. The giveaway closes on Monday (01/05/2017) at 12:00 PM (EST).

Good luck!

Book Review: City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

Summary: While breaking into the house of the man who allegedly murdered her mother to steal incriminating evidence from his hard drive, Tina gets caught by his son and her childhood friend, Michael. To stop her from releasing all the information, they strike a deal to investigate her mother’s murder before releasing the evidence. But her crime boss is waiting and the more she waits, the more her life is in danger.

Thoughts: I was really looking forward to this book because it was pitched as The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo meets Gone Girl but set in Kenya. I think that pitch set my expectations too high. While it was an enjoyable mystery, it wasn’t a page-turning kind of thriller. The setting was great, and the characters as well even though they read a bit too mature for their age, but then again, it makes sense that they would be having gone through the things that they have. I loved how focused Tina was on avenging her mother, but at the same time, it was that very focus that made every thing else around her seem unimportant. And that includes her relationship with Michael. I feel like if the romance aspect was taken out, I’d have enjoyed the book more because I just couldn’t believe it when it happened. Tina was such a fierce and determined character, and her capacity for love was clearly evident in how much she loved and tried to give her sister a good life, that the Michael thing read a bit forced and unnecessary because Tina herself was only aware of it sporadically and most of it was concentrated towards the very end. However, what I loved most about this book though, and what set it apart from many other books out there, is how Anderson sheds light on real atrocities happening in the world and to the Congolese people specifically – like crime, war, violence against women, greed etc. If you’re looking for a YA novel set in Africa, with an interesting plot, great characters, and some real world stories, then you will really like City of Saints and Thieves. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read any page-turning thrillers with interesting settings that I need to read ASAP. Happy reading!

Stars: 3/5

Book Review: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

Summary: A modern day group of teenagers are chosen to participate in an all-expense-paid trip to France where they will explore the underground Palais des Papillons, which has been hidden since the French Revolution. In 1792, Auriele flees the revolution and hides in the Palais des Papillons. The story alternates between past and present as the teenagers try to uncover the secrets of the palace.

Thoughts: This is one of the strangest books I’ve read in a while. It’s a mix of genres: Horror, paranormal, science-fiction, thriller, historical – and they meshed together really well. However, this book gave me the creeps. I had to turn on all the lights in my room and push the doors wide open to read this comfortably because I just didn’t know what to think. I loved that the book kept surprising me and it never took the turn that I expected it to take, but that very thing also kept throwing me off because I had to constantly stop and readjust my focus. I think my favorite thing about this book was Anouk, the main character. Her narration made the book enjoyable to read. Her sarcasm and cynicism and dark humor somehow made the book lighter. I loved how self-aware she was and how her mind kept trying to figure out what was happening. Every time I’d wonder: but why is that? or how come? and this doesn’t make sense she’d point it out and ask the right questions at the right time to dispel my confusion. So even when things seemed to come out of nowhere, her narration made sense of it. I loved how the setting shifted from Anouk to Auriele, and how one person’s discovery complimented the other person’s problem and made sense of it. The one thing I couldn’t wrap my mind around was how easy some of the explanations for the weird things that were happening were – and I just couldn’t believe that it was just that easy. This had to knock a star off my review. I’m not sure if this vague review will convince you to pick this up because half the charm of this book is that you go in expecting one thing only to be hit in the face with something else. If you’re into that, then I recommend you read this. It’s a fast-paced page-turner and it took me a day to finish it, so if you’re looking for a quick read that will keep you on your toes, then look no further.

Stars: 3.5/5