Suee and the Shadow by Ginger Ly

AF7DF41A-0E42-48CD-910F-3525D62A0D5FGenre: Paranormal/ Fantasy Graphic Novel

Shelf Location: Middle Grade/ Juvenile Fiction

Rating: ★★★★

I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.

 


Final Thoughts

The graphic novel starts from the narrator perspective, then transitions to the viewpoint of Suee, the main character. Suee is a mature twelve-year-old girl who was transferred to Outskirts Elementary after her father’s job transfer. She is a very individualistic girl who prefers to be a loner at her new school until she passes by a room and hears a voice. Suee tells herself that she doesn’t need friends, then a voice from the school’s exhibit room says that it will be her friend. Suee follows the voice into the room then wakes up sometime later in the nurse’s office with no memory of how she got there. And to make matters worse, her shadow appears to be alive.

Everything was fine until she went into the exhibit room, and her shadow came alive. Now everyone in her school is starting to look like a zombie and are being called Zeroes. The strangest thing is that the students called Zeros are missing their shadows. Suee must work together with another student to figure out what is happening to their classmates shadow and what her shadow is hiding.

This graphic novel is easy to read and age appropriate. I would recommend this graphic novel to students in upper elementary school or advanced readers. This book was a fast read, and the younger audiences would much enjoy the sarcasm the main character eludes and the hint of a mystery. The characters were developed in a way to provide a little bit of a backstory of each, but the story could have been developed a bit more to offer a bit more details. I do commend the author for the history provided at the beginning, the backstory of the main character, and the cliff hanger at the end. I felt the plot could have been developed more to provide a little more character development and a chance for the main character to make more friends. However, I hope that this was only the first book and that there would be more in the series.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! 


You can purchase copies of this book from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble |Abrams Books

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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Source: https://www.simonandschuster.ca/books/In-a-Dark-Dark-Wood/Ruth-Ware/9781501193484

Genre: Suspense Mystery Thriller

Shelf Location: Adult Fiction

Rating: ★★★★

I purchased a copy of this book over a year ago and it has been sitting on my shelf since then. I was browsing my collection looking for something to read on my flight to New Jersey. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.


Final Thoughts

This book told from the perspective of Lanora, the main character. Lanora is a writer who has decided a life of seclusion is better than facing the past she tried to keep hard hidden.  Somethings cannot stay hidden forever; she realizes this as she receives an invitation to old friends hen (bachelorette party). She hasn’t spoken to Clare in over ten years, and now she is getting invited to her hen. Against her better judgment, Nora goes to the hen. The story continues with twists and turns that left me on the edge of my seat. The plot started to unfold from the moment

However, I figured out the plot halfway through the book. I felt the book could have been developed more and wished the supporting characters played a more significant role in the overall plot. I also, felt the plot was a bit lackluster, but this is because I watched an extensive amount of Lifetime thriller movies as a tween. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style and the backstory associated with the main character and Clare.

I would recommend this book if you are interested in a thrilling mystery that takes you for a loop throughout the story. The author uses a vast amount of details to help create a real thriller environment in the story.


You can purchase copies of this book:  Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Simon & Schuster

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com.

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

4A836698-1066-4C5A-A39D-990D4CB69D07Genre: Adult Mystery/ Thriller Fiction
Pages: Print 328
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Author:  Matthew Sullivan
Rating: ★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a copy I purchased on my own.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the publisher or author. 


Goodreads Synopsis

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind. Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?

As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left.


Final Thoughts

The cover of this book is what caught my attention. This book focuses on the story of Lydia Smith, a longtime bookseller. Lydia has a passion for reading and during her time at her job she has built friendships with members of the community. The story opens with Lydia working a night shift at the bookstore, following the completion of the closing procedures she notices a missing patron. Lydia also hears a noise that doesn’t sound too promising. Lydia finds the absent customer, but when she locates him, he isn’t alive. A longtime regular customer has hung himself in the Western fiction section of the bookstore. As she struggles to come to terms with the customer’s sudden suicide, to make matters worse, she finds something sticking out of his pocket that somehow connects her to him. Lydia must unravel a new mystery while also digging up a past she has tried so hard to forget. With the help of an old friend, she uncovers more than what she bargained. In this whodunit-style mystery novel, the author continues to litter the pages with turns and twist at every page as you try to uncover the truth.

Matthew Sullivan did an excellent job with the suspense in this novel. However, I would have liked a bit more added to the end of the story and more of a backstory on the main character’s history. Also, a few parts of the story felt a bit too dramatized for my taste, and I would have liked a more realistic approach to the interactions between Raj, Lydia’s old friend, and Lydia. This book is excellent for fans of mystery novels and older teens. The violent scenes are mild, but it can be a traumatic read for some. The authors take a tame approach to describing the challenging scenes that involve murder. For victims of suicide, this book has triggers as it tries to dive into the reason why the customer, Joey, committed suicide. If you’re looking for a mystery with a lot of twists and turns, then pick up a copy of this novel.

To view purchasing options and other books written by this author,  click this link https://www.matthewjsullivan.com


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

Secret Trust by McCaid Paul

IMG_0649Genre: Middle Grade Thriller/Mystery
Pages: Print 342
Release Date: October 29, 2018
Author: McCaid Paul 
Rating: ★★★★.5


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is a finished print copy.


Goodreads Synopsis

Five months have passed since Mick lived within the deep woods of Summersville, where a monster controlled his every move. Now, with his only chance at a fresh start, Mick hopes to begin a new life free from his painful past.
Until a secret reveals itself, one that spans for generations. When someone from his past returns, Mick must confront hidden truths, all the while risking everything for those he loves.

BILLIE is still dealing with the aftermath of being kidnapped, and having her best friend taken away. Ever since the incident in Richard Welch’s home, her dad has been her only consolation.
When Billie makes a discovery that ties back to her mother, all she once knew is thrown into question. Could Billie’s discovery hold the answer to why her mother disappeared all those years ago?
With both mysteries weighing upon them, Mick and Billie try to uncover the truth. For everything they thought they knew was a lie.


Final Thoughts

This middle-grade fiction novel written by a youth author continues the story of Mick and Billie. The town of Summerville is hiding many secrets, but the ones that the town seem to forget are the ones that are buried deep into the town’s history. This book starts off with a continuation of the current whereabouts of Mick and Billie. It recaps the events from the first novel in the series as Mick continues to have flashbacks. Mick tries to adjust to his new life after learning his previous life was a lie. He remembers the only father and mother he ever knew. Mick knows his father isn’t his birth father, and he knows the truth about his parents, but he has no idea that things are going to get more complicated. McCaid Paul takes you on a journey in this who-done-it thriller as we try to uncover more secrets. Now that the secret about his family is out, Mick continues to search for more answers as he discovers who he is and what happened to his family. However, while Mick figures out his family life, Billie still has no clue what happened to her mother. She wants to be a supportive friend to Mick but still harbors the doubt that her mother just disappeared. Will Mick and Billie finally find peace and uncover the truth? Or will Mick get kidnapped again for his snooping? In a town as small as Summerville everyone is watching you and nothing is ever really a secret.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved the suspense. This book is perfect for any middle schooler who is interested in a continuation of the first book and interested in thrillers. Everyone is connected somehow, and each supporting character is developed uniquely. The author did a great job of letting you think one character was involved when it was another. I was utterly surprised by the ending. If you’re interested in a well-written thriller novel, be sure to check this one out. If you haven’t read the first book, it’s okay you can still read this one.

Thanks to the author for the free review copy! I can’t wait for the next installment in this series.

To purchase your copy of this novel on Amazon, click this link https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Trust-Summersville-McCaid-Paul/


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

 

The Forgotten Headline by McCaid Paul

fullsizeoutput_150fGenre: Middle Grade Thriller/ Mystery
Pages: Print 187
Release Date: November 19, 2017
Author: McCaid Paul
Rating: ★★★★.5


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is a finished print copy.


Goodreads Synopsis 

NO ONE KNOWS what their last normal day will be like. For Mick Smith, the day that he goes hunting with his dad, turns out to be his. After a deer that his dad shoots runs on their neighbor’s property, he decides to retrieve it–without the neighbor, Mr. Welch, finding out.

But once they cross the property line, Mr. Welch fires shots at them, making them leave the deer behind. Mick’s dad warns him it’s too dangerous to go back and get the deer but Mick doesn’t listen. Later the same day, he finds himself crossing the neighbor’s property line once again. And what he finds there WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.

Deciding not to tell his dad about his discovery, Mick makes up his mind to investigate on his own. Only with the help of his best friend Billie, will he set out to solve the mystery, unearthing secrets about his discovery, his family, and one shocking secret about himself that threatens to destroy everything he’s ever known.
Some secrets are dangerous, and should stay forgotten.


Final Thoughts

This middle grade fiction novel written by a young author takes you on a journey through secrets of one town. The books starts off with a thrilling set of events that made me not want to put it down. The beginning definitely set the tone for the rest of the book as the author worked to unravel components of each character and events. It is prevalent that the author spent time on developing each character in this book. I would have liked more development of Billie, Mick’s best friend, but her story may come out in the next book. As a librarian, I especially enjoyed the two friends interaction at the local library. I liked that the author added realistic pieces into the book and showcased a bit of the importance of the libraries. The library is seen in this story as motivation and the match that lit the fire of the investigation. It is also seen as a pathway to the past as the two discover secrets of their own and as their curiosity is fueled by what they have discovered.

Overall, this is a great read! I enjoyed the interaction between characters and the climax of the book. I felt the ending could have used a bit more pizazz but it definitely had me reaching for my wallet to purchase the next in this series. This is merely the first book and if you are interested in a thriller that focuses on family, secrets, and friendship, then pick this one up. Also, this book definitely takes you on an emotional rollercoaster toward the end as secrets start to unravel and both Billie and Mick find their voices. Imagine if you had to stand up to someone you trusted, do you think you would live to tell the tale?

This book is great for middle school aged and upper elementary students depending on the reading level. There are scenes that involve hunting and shooting in this book. It may be mature for younger ages.

To purchase your copy of this novel on Amazon, click this link https://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Headline-Summersville-1/  

 


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

Bus 59 and a Half by Mel Ingrid

fMK4uviYToO8k+ioThLdEgGenre: Young Adult Psychological Thriller
Pages: Print 153
Release Date: June 7,  2018
Author: Mel Ingrid
Rating: ★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I purchased a copy of this book on my own from Amazon.com. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or the author. 


Synopsis:

In a tranquil town where no one pays attention, June of 2016 means three things to three people–the start of summer vacation, the conclusion of a divorce, and a plethora of cardboard boxes. But when a sculpture exhibit near the local high school opens, June 2016 isn’t just about three things. There’s a flyer inside the exhibit–a job opening hiding underneath an innocent façade, waiting to lure victims into an anomalous trap.

A few traffic jams and a pine thicket away from the suburbs is the worn down warehouse of two sculptors. They’re slaving over a collection with a deadline that puts their lifelines at risk, but that’s the least either of them is worried about. Art is a form of life that exceeds the limitations of reality, and it can be dangerous.

So what is one to do when the muses want their encore?


Author Bio:

Mel Ingrid is the teen author of a YA psychological thriller entitled BUS 59 AND A HALF and a short story, WHEN WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO, featured in the 2017 All In! Snack Fiction Anthology. She’s also a hardcore Sherlockian and a lover of movie posters, among several other things.

She was born in Long Island, New York, raised by loving Taiwanese parents and delicious food. When she was in the first grade, she and her family moved halfway across the world to Singapore, where she resided before her early adolescent years.

In her spare time, she enjoys playing her violin, playing online Scrabble, and doodling weird drawings. She also wants to mother a dog someday.

Her real name is Melissa Lee, and she uses Mel Ingrid as her pen name solely because she does not want to be confused with the CNN reporter.

She now writes and procrastinates in New Jersey.

*Taken from Goodreads author profile. Click this link to go to page.*


Final Thoughts:

Bus 59 and Half was a book that I stumbled on through another indie author on instagram. I was interested in reading more independent author novels and I found a few. This young adult psychological thriller takes you on a journey through the intertwining of a variety of characters. We watch each character play it’s own part in the story and mingle with other characters. The plot was definitely a twist no one will see coming but it was an interesting surprise. This novel is short but thrilling, so be prepared to finish it in one sitting.

The author did a great job starting the story off by introducing one of the characters Alexi. The author provided back story on Alexi and actually introduced members of her family. From there the story takes you on a journey that connects Alexi to another character and so on. Alexi is only the beginning of the start of the flowchart of character connections. We learn that she is offered a job as a model for a sculptor. We then are taken on a journey through the perspective of each person that will come in contact with the sculptor and the sculptor himself. We learn more about him and his past which becomes important as the story moves forward. However, I started to get lost closer to the end of the story. I could understand the structure behind the main plot but I was starting to get confused as people disappeared then reappeared in the story later. I was confused as to where they went and how they got there. I enjoyed the different dialogue perspectives portrayed and the chapter style of leading up to the main event in the story. It help understand how each supporting character intertwined with the main male character. I especially enjoyed the psychological aspect of the story but wanted to know more about the big ending and why the main character did what he did in the ending scene. The book was a bit short and I personally wanted more of an explanation of some of the events. However, the author did a great job of keeping me on my toes and guessing what the next action in the story was. I enjoyed the dialogue between the different characters but also hoped for a bit more romance and action. This book had a lot of potential and moments that made me gasp because of the absurdity. (I mean this in a grip your chair kind of moment.) The author nailed the suspense aspect of the book which made it more appealing to actually finish it. Mel did a great job on this book and I am excited to see more novels written by her in the future. See the link above to check out her book and learn more about her.


Interested in me reviewing your book or have suggested reads? Email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com

Flower Moon by Gina Linko

Title: Flower Moon
Author: Gina LinkoGina Linko
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Fiction
Pages: Print 242
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Rating: ★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from @KidLitExchange #partner in exchange for my honest review. Thanks again to @KidLitExchange  #partner for access to review a free copy of this book! The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or KidLitExchange. The  copy used in this review is a finished copy. 


Goodreads Synopsis: 

Tempest and Tally Jo Trimble are mirror twins—so alike they were almost born the same person—and they’ve been inseparable since birth. But it’s the summer they turn thirteen, and it seems like everyone can tell something is changing between them.

Pa Charlie, whose traveling carnival is the best part of every summer, is watching them closer than ever. Digger, who sneaks poor kids onto the carnival rides for free and smiles faster than anyone, seems to be fixing for a fight. Even Mama is acting different, refusing to travel with the carnival this year even though her own twin, who she hasn’t seen since childhood, will be there.

And Tally and Tempest are the most different of all. There’s a strangeness between them, a thickness to the air, an unseen push and pull, and it’s getting stronger. It starts as a feeling, but soon it’s sputtering and sparking, hurling them backwards, threatening to explode.

When Tally learns that she and Tempest may not be the first twins in their family to be separated by whatever this force is, she realizes she’ll have to find a way to stop it—or she might lose not only her sister, but everyone she loves.


Final Thoughts: 

This book started slow from the beginning. We learn about the twin sisters who Tally Jo and Tempest. Both are called mirror twins or identical twins in this story. There is some sort of pull between the two siblings but halfway through this novel and I am not sure what that pull is exactly. You learn more about the relationship between the two sisters in the beginning of the novel and learn how Tally Jo is mourning the loss of a connection she once had with her twin sister. Tempest is finally brave enough to have her own voice and try out new experiments. While Tally Jo continues to get into trouble trying to defend her sister and shield her from what she deems as harmful situations. Tally Jo has good intentions of protecting her twin sisters, although Tempest doesn’t always see it that way. Tempest is more interested in her experiments rather than her sisters antics. As both grow a part, Tally Jo starts to notice a force that is keeping the two from getting closer and reestablishing the connection they once had. The root of this mystery lies within the relationship between her mother and her mother twin sister Aunt Giana. Tally Jo must uncover many secrets with the help of Dibbler and find out the real reason her Aunt isnt in the picture. She must do this while still trying to figure out the how to save the relationship with her sister.

The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg

Title: The Great Shelby Holmes 
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg 
Series: Trilogy
Next Book in the Series: The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match 
Genre: Middle Grade Mystery
Pages: Print 243
Rating: ★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher.


Goodreads Synopsis:

Meet spunky sleuth Shelby and her sports-loving sidekick Watson as they take on a dog-napper in this fresh twist on Sherlock Holmes.
Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen—always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes.

When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. Easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that’ll take both their talents to crack.

Sherlock Holmes gets a fun, sweet twist with two irresistible young heroes and black & white illustrations throughout in this middle grade debut from internationally bestselling YA author Elizabeth Eulberg.


Favorite Quotes:

“I observe. Then I assemble all my observations into several different theories and pick the on with the likeliest narrative. It’s called deductive reasoning. I don’t understand why others don’t do  it. I realize some people find my observations rude, but I don’t know when to stay quiet.” -Shelby-


Final Thoughts: 

This book is filled with a set of diverse characters. We follow the story of Shelby Holmes and John Watson, two unlikely friends who grow to learn something new from each other. John is new to the busy New York City, and he is looking for someone to guide him around his neighborhood. Shelby seems like a nice person who looks to be about his age, so why not follow her around for a bit. Shelby is not too excited about her new follower. Shelby is a smart, outspoken, seven year old who solves mysteries in her neighborhood. She doesn’t have friends she has contacts. Watson just moved to the community with his newly divorced military doctor mother. He is slowly adapting to his new neighborhood and trying to find his motivation to write again. The two unlikely pair are approached by Tamra after her prized show dog goes missing. Shelby and Watson search through clear clues while Tamra and her family argue over which one of them stole the dog. Will Shelby and Watson solve the mystery? Will Shelby accept Watson as a friend?

This is my first middle-grade mystery novel involving a stolen dog. The book was fascinating, but the idea of the family arguing with each other over who took the dog was a bit far-fetched. I also did not like the part in the story where Shelby was interacting with a “sketchy” character. I thought that part of the story was wholly inappropriate and should not have been included in the book. I could not believe this was in there. I also thought two young children exploring the streets of New York unsupervised was a bit unlikely in today’s society. I would have liked that part to be a little more realistic. I did like the idea of freedom of expression and the mystery solving tactics in this book. Some tactics were unnecessary but comical. The author did a great with this book by capturing the attention of the reader, and it makes me want to read the second one in this series. I thoroughly enjoyed each character, and I am hoping to learn more about Shelby Holmes’ family. I recommend this book to middle-grade students in the earlier grades. It is on the Texas Bluebonnet List.


Have you read any good mysteries lately?

Share them in the comments below!


Interested in me reviewing your book or have suggested reads? Email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com

ARC Review: Sneaking Out

img_2534Title: Sneaking Out 
Author: Chuck Vance
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Pages: Print 384
Release Date: March 3,2018
Rating: ★★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from @KidLitExchange #partner in exchange for my honest review. Thanks again to @KidLitExchange  #partner for access to review a free copy of this book! The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or KidLitExchange. The  copy used in this review is an uncorrected copy from Dunemere Books


Goodreads Synopsis:

Could you sleep next to a murderer?

Luke Chase—yes, that Luke Chase, a modern hero ripped from the headlines—didn’t mean to get caught up in Mrs. Heckler’s murder. He just wanted to hook up with the hot new British girl at St. Benedict’s, and if that meant sneaking out to the woods after hours, then so be it. But little did he know someone would end up dead right next to their rendezvous spot, and his best friend and roommate Oscar Weymouth would go down for it. With suspects aplenty and a past that’s anything but innocent, Luke Chase reluctantly calls on his famous survival skills to find the true killer.


Favorite Quotes:

“You refuse to acknowledge your  heroics. Now you can’t deny them. You can now know that you are truly special.” 

“Ever since he had been in captivity he had learned to play game where he had tried to pick up on small clues from the small things people said about themselves. Sort of like honing his powers of inference, Sherlock Holmes style. He had started it because he never wanted to be surprised by people he thought he knew.”


Final Thoughts:

First off, Chuck Vance did a great job capturing my attention this entire novel. This young adult fiction book provides a thrilling mystery between these pages. The begins with a group of four students at a boarding school all deciding to sneak out one evening. They have no idea what awaits them in the woods on that starry night. Luke, Oscar, Kelsey, and Pippa all decide they want to take a break from the dorms and head into the woods for a midnight stroll. Luke is hoping to get closer to Pippa, the new student from England with a hard personality. The story begins to unravel when the students hear a noise out in the woods hoping they are alone they remain quiet while Oscar ventures out to investigate. Luke hears Mrs. Heckler arguing with a man in the woods but who is that man? Everyone assumes that Luke is paranoid because of the things that occurred in his past. The four start to head back towards their dorms hoping not to get caught and put the chilling night behind them. The following day the entire school gets word that Mrs. Heckler was found murdered in the woods the same night those four were out there. Luke, Oscar, Kelsey, and Pippa must decide to either share the information about that night and risk expulsion or try to solve the mystery on their own. Luke must decide who to trust as he watches his roommate and best friend get framed for murder. Everyone has something to hide including Oscar, Kelsey, and Pippa. As Luke starts investigating her begins to uncover many secrets about his friends, his teachers, and even the late Mrs. Heckler.  Can the Kidnapped Kid use his survival skills to locate the real murderer?

This book is well written, and the plot twist was fantastic. The entire novel I thought one character killed Mrs. Heckler, but in the end, it was someone else. I was extremely confident in my detective skills, and I was on the edge of my seat. I prevented myself from looks to the end of the book to ease the pressure of finding out who did it. In this “whodunit” novel it is hard not to love the writing style and the cliffhanger at the end. Sneaking Out is book one of the Chased Series, so I am curious to see what other things Chuck Vance has up his sleeves. I recommend this book to any young adult or adult looking for a great mystery novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.


Interested in me reviewing your book or have suggested reads? Email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com

ARC Review: Lou Lou and Pea and The Bicentennial Bonanza

img_2084Title: Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza
Author: Jill Diamond ; Pictures by Lesley Vamos
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary, Realistic
Pages: Print 251
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from @KidLitExchange #partner in exchange for my honest review. Thanks again to @KidLitExchange  #partner for access to review a free copy of this book! The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or KidLitExchange. 


This Middle-Grade contemporary novel provides a realistic view of two friends, Lou Lou and Pea. This book is the second book written by this author about these two friends who seem to have an eye for solving mysteries. Lou Lou and Pea are incredibly excited about their neighborhood hosting the two hundred year anniversary of the town. The Flyers have both their names showcased. Lou Lou is a horticulturist and will be showcasing her prized honeysuckles at the event. Pea is a designer and will be showcasing her hats from the hat shop where she is an apprentice. Unfortunately, Mayor Montoya’s dog becomes ill a few weeks before the ceremony, leaving the vice mayor in charge. Andy Argyle will stop at nothing to get to the Bicentennial Bonanza moved to Verde Valley from El Corazon. Andy and his daughter Amanda create a scheme together to get the event relocated. How far will these two go to get what they want? Will Lou Lou and Pea save the day with the help of a few friends?


Favorite Quotes:

” If conclusions were a pool, Lou Lou would be constantly wet.”

I laughed so hard after reading this because it is just too clever. This is an iconic moment in the story where the plot starts to unravel.

“‘Being kind is always in style,’ Pea replied with one of her fashion quotes. ‘Who said that?’ Lou Lou asked. ‘Peacock Pearl, of course.’ Pea winked one bright blue eye.”

This is an absolutely amazing lesson to teach young readers. Kindness is important regardless of the way others may treat you.


Final Thoughts:

I adored this novel and thought the author did a great job capturing the essence of Lou Lou and Pea. I also loved the author used a Spanish influence throughout the entire novel, providing text in a bilingual manner was very creative. I was able to learn a few words throughout the story. I enjoyed the instructions on how to make a hat and the Spanish-English dictionary at the end of the story. I loved the connection between friendship throughout this novel and the emphasis on kindness. The author spent time providing details of the characters that fueled my imagination throughout the entire book. I loved the portrayal of Lou Lou’s parents and their uniqueness. I thought it was a bit strange that her parents went with a nautical theme for their home, but it does happen. I would have liked a bit more explanation of Pea’s parents instead of the full focus on her grandmother. This novel is well written, and I recommend it to any in middle school who is interested in a little bit of mystery, friendship, and excitement.


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