Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"Twisted" by Hannah Jayne

It's going to be really hard to say much about this book without giving too much away. Let's start with the blurb:

When her father is accused of being a serial killer, Bex becomes the ultimate bait in this game of cat and mouse

Bex is ready to start a new life in foster care. There, she won't be known as a serial killer's daughter. Though her father was never tried for the murders attributed to "The Wife Collector," he disappeared after questioning. And Bex struggles with the guilt that she provided the circumstantial evidence that convicted him in the public's perception—and drove him to abandon her.

But when a body turns up in her new hometown, all signs point to the Wife Collector. Bex's old life isn't ready to let her go. The police want to use Bex to lure in her father. But is she baiting a serial killer or endangering an innocent man?

I like that this story was from the perspective of a serial killer's daughter. I have read so many mysteries and thrillers from both the victim and the  killer's perspective, but this was the first time I have read a book from the accused killer's child. Author, Hannah Jayne did a wonderful job portraying the emotions and thoughts of a teen whose father is a supposed serial killer. Embarrassment, concern, sadness, confusion, and anxiety are all expertly portrayed by Bex, the main character. 

Bex is trying to start her life over, moving to a new town with new foster parents. She desperately wants to be the "normal girl" and has no intention of letting her new foster parents, friends, or other classmates know about her past. The murder of a young girl in her new town brings back all the stress of being a serial killer's daughter again and leaves Bex wondering if her father has followed her to this new place.

Bex, to me, was not a very likable character. She spends most of the book worrying and stressing out. She makes horrible decisions and puts herself into dangerous situations. The mystery and intrigue was strong throughout the entire book, but Bex's inner thoughts and actions got to be annoying. She wasn't a strong female lead character.   

I, of course, will not tell you how it ends. Overall the book was full of intense moments and heart beating plot twists, but the lack of answers to all my questions and the fact that the story seemed unbelievable left this a 3 star read for me. There were just too many twists and situations that I couldn't wrap my head around. No way would a teenage girl act or respond like Bex did. I wanted this to be great, but it just left me confused and shaking my head.

"Twisted" by Hannah Jane is due to be released on July 5, 2016. 

Thanks to Netgalley and SOURCEBOOKS Fire for allowing me the eARC to read and give my honest review. 

Happy Reading!

Friday, May 13, 2016

"Pork" by RS Anthony

"Ready?" Sandy asked.

Steven's heart hammered in his chest. He turned to her and placed his hands on her shoulders, a solemn look on his face. "Look, if something gets me in there, I want you to run and save yourself. Don't tell anyone. If you don't see me at school tomorrow, then you should alert people in town, okay?"

"Steven, you're making me scared."

"Just do as I say. Promise?"

Sandy's own palms started sweating as she tightened her grip around her inhaler. "Promise."

"Good. Now let's go."

RS Anthony's "Pork" is a book that evokes almost every emotion throughout the read. High school student, Steven, has had a hard go at life ever since his father left. With an alcoholic mother who works several jobs and "entertains" men on her living room couch and a school full of bullies who constantly pick on him, Steven constantly feels constantly alone. 

His only refuge is a tree house near the dark and terrifying woods. He spends all his time outside of school hanging out there playing guitar and doing his homework. One day he arrives to the tree house and finds an unconscious little girl laying next to the river bank. He takes care of her, bringing her to the tree house, and learns her name is Pork and she lives with her father in the mysterious woods. Pork's life seems even worse than his and they quickly form a bond. Pork is Steven's first real friend.

Spending all the extra time he has with Pork in the tree house, Steven grows to feel protective over her. Circumstances occur that make the tree house Pork's main home, and leave Steven clamoring for a job so he can take care of this strange little girl. 

A calamity happens that threatens everything and Steven is forced to keep secrets to hide and protect his new friend. He confides his secrets to Sandy, a girl he has started talking to at school, but as things start to unravel Steven's mother, his teachers, and his classmates start to see that there is more going on in Steven's life than they could have ever imagined. 

From sadness to hopefulness, gratuity to fear, happiness to despair, RS Anthony does a fine job of writing and telling Steven's strange story. The writing style is precise, not too much fine detail which I liked. It allowed me to focus on the "meat" of the story and not be distracted by details that really didn't matter. She touches on some heavy subject matter like alcoholism, child bullies, child sexual abuse, and prostitution. 

The flow was easy to follow and I feel like plot twists kept the story moving at a steady pace. I do feel like the story was wrapped up a little to quickly and I wish there was an epilogue as the end kind of left my mind swirling with thoughts about what just happened. The end was a bit too abrupt.

This was a quick, enjoyable, thought provoking read and I thank the author for allowing me a free digital copy to read and review. If you are looking for a quick afternoon read that leaves your heart pounding and mind reeling I suggest you give this a read. I look forward to more intriguing stories from Anthony in the future.

Happy Reading!