Review + Giveaway || The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Publication Date: May 16th 2017 by Feiwel and Friends
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating:★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher as part of the Blog Tour. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

From the moment I first heard about the premise of the book, I got intrigued and I wanted to read it, even if love triangles are basically a hit or miss trope for me.

The Love Interest is a refreshing take, subtly satirical, on love triangles and other YA tropes. Reading every page of this book was worthwhile.

I adored the complexity and polarity of Caden and Dylan’s personalities. Both of them had the struggle of being a Love Interest. The premise was Caden is the nice guy, while Dylan is the bad guy, and they need to work and make Juliet fall in love with them. One will get chosen and the other one will die. Caden and Dylan’s characters were well-developed and I loved how there seemed to be layers in their personalities. Their dynamics work well too, and the chemistry… just wow!

“I’m not, nor will I ever be, her friend. All I’ll ever be is the scumbag who manipulated her into falling in love with me.”

Juliet was very interesting too. Basically, the set up was she’s been friends with Caden for a long time so there’s the possibility of a friends turned lovers which is my favorite trope. I loved her with Caden too! Her personality is strong and it’s one of the things I like about her character.

The only issue I had with the book was towards the end of the book, the writing felt really fast-paced and rushed. The book was action-packed, and I liked that, but during some scenes things were just happening here and there, which made it a little lacking in terms of story depth.

“You know love can drive people to act irrationally.”

Overall, this book was a pretty solid debut. Cale Dietrich’s writing is very effective and entertaining. It’s a bit meta, which is refreshing, and I loved the pop culture references thrown casually in the book.  It’s definitely a good read if you’re in the lookout for something action-packed, and swoonworthy. It’s a good mix of sci-fi/thriller and contemporary, y’all!

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Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig (ARC)

last seen leavingLast Seen Leaving  by Caleb Roehrig
Publication Date: October 4th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository / Goodreads

Synopsis

Flynn’s girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange of a review. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

I think that the synopsis of this book is one of the main reasons why I felt so drawn into reading it. I’m still on this phase of reading tons of YA Thrillers and I’m really loving the ride.

From the first sentence of the book, I already felt like I really was going to enjoy it. And I really did. The book is set in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I think that this is the first book I’ve read that’s set in Ann Arbor, and the only connection I have with the place is a friend who lives there so I’m obviously not entirely familiar with the place and it’s nice to read about a new place from time to time.

The main character, Flynn Doherty, is a high school student, a typical one if I may say so. One day, his girlfriend, January, disappeared. Obviously, eyes turn to him, which led him to investigate on his own.

“Don’t let anyone tell you there’s no such thing as coincidence. They happen all the time.”

Most characters are well-rounded and dimensional. I enjoyed Flynn’s voice and his personality. It’s also nice to see that he has a high respect towards January. I can’t really say much about him because it might spoil the story but I really do like Flynn, especially his relationship with his parents.

The story was told in a way that will keep readers on edge and I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. It’s a mixture of flashbacks and present narrations which adds depth to the story. The pacing of the story is consistent, with kicks of thrills here and there. Although I have to say that this book really left me speechless. The ending is unpredictable which I enjoyed. I really can’t wait to read more from Caleb Roehrig, because this is such a strong debut.

inah

#ThrillerThursday: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

the darkest cornersThe Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
Publication Date: April 19th 2016 by Delacorte Press
Source: Finished copy from Publisher
Rating: ★★★
Amazon / Book Depository / Goodreads

Synopsis

The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

I received a finished copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of a review, as part of the #ThrillerThursday campaign. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

Ever read one of those books where you feel like you’re watching a cool movie as everything plays out in your head? The Darkest Corners is exactly that book. It’s gripping from the start and definitely a page-turner.

The story starts with Tessa boarding a flight to Pennsylvania to visit his father, which brought back memories of everything that happened surrounding the death of her friend’s cousin Lori.

This is pretty much one of the best and solid YA thrillers I’ve read in a while. It actually left my heart pounding as I finished reading it. I’m not the best fan of suspense/thrillers but I know one when I see one. The book is so enjoyable and creepy at the same time, especially when everything starts to unfold. I had a bit of a problem with the pacing because it seems a bit slow at first.

“I figure there’s only so much we can beat ourselves up about, things we wish we’d done differently, before we’re broken beyond repair.”

I love how the book remained unpredictable until the end. Kara Thomas’s writing style is on point, I think she’s written for TV before and I’m glad she translated that skill into the novel. It’s like the book is build to be seen on screen. I’d definitely watch the hell out of this book if they make a movie from it.

The emotional growth of the characters is also one of the best things about this one. Tessa and her best friend Callie, were distant when the story started. However, as the story progressed, they eventually made up. The two were linked as primary witnesses in Lori’s death, which sent Wyatt Stokes to prison. But there’s more to the story, which of course I’m not going to discuss, but I loved how the whole thing panned out. Each crazy twist and turn added the fear factor in the book, especially towards the end. Events were too climactic, it left me speechless and out of breath.

“The smallest things could mean the difference between a man’s life and death.”

Romance isn’t a big thing in the book but I adored Decker, Tessa’s friend. There’s a big potential between the two and the chemistry is great but I’m actually glad with the way how they remained just friends. The book focuses more on friendships and family relationships which I really appreciate.

The book has a dark tone overall, it seems like I was watching an episode of Twin Peaks, or those kinds of crime investigation shows, or even listening to an episode of Serial. It’s just too gripping and haunting, I bet it’ll bug your head for a long while. The ending is pretty solid too. Plus the epilogue is fantastic, it feels like it’s a post-credit scene in a movie. I definitely recommend this book if you’re out looking for a good thriller.

inah

Never Missing, Never Found by Amanda Panitch

never missing never foundTitle: Never Missing, Never Found
Author: Amanda Panitch
Publication Date: June 28th 2016 by Random House BFYR
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: ★★
Amazon / Book Depository / Goodreads

Synopsis

A juicy thriller about a girl who returned from the missing. . . . Hand to fans of We Were Liars, Bone Gap, and Vanishing Girls.

Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.

Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she’s starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a normal life.

Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it’s too late?

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange of a review. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

Having read Amanda Panitch’s debut, Damage Done, I knew exactly what I signed up for. Damage Done is one of the best thrillers I’ve read last year so when I heard that she’s going to write another thriller, I immediately put it on my TBR.

Panitch’s writing style is simple yet effective. It hooks the reader in all the right spots which prevents them from putting down the book. That’s exactly what happened to me.

“You know what they say: never missing, never found.”

Apart from the writing style, the narration is amazing as well. It’s not that complex but it’s really interesting because it sometimes seem like the narrator is unreliable. I also like how somehow it focus on the central character, Scarlett. For some books, it’s a bit of a problem for me but for this one, it works perfectly and it’s integral to the story as well. It’s easy to follow Scarlett’s character and narration and every chapter would leave you almost hanging and definitely wanting more.

The plot twists worked in a way that made my mind go crazy. It’s exhilarating to read the story unfold from the turning point. I know it seems vague but it’s better to dive into the story without knowing anything. Just trust me, I had several WTF moments but they’re all worth it.

“This is the fourth choice. And it’s the choices we make that make us who we are.”

The flashbacks work really well with the narration of the story and how they all pieced together. They’re well crafted and I love how they made the past complement and balance out the present events in the story.

This book definitely met my expectations and I need more! It’s a great read for readers looking for quality YA thrillers and suspense.

*Review also posted on YA Books Central*

inah