Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mini Book Reviews: Double & The Vanishing Game & The Butterfly Clues

Double by Jenny Valentine
February 21, 2012
Hyperion Books for Children
Young Adult | Thriller
Standalone
Pages: 256
Source/Format: NetGalley/eGalley
Rating: ★ 1/2
Author's Website | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound


When the sixteen-year-old runaway Chap is mistaken for a missing boy named Cassiel, his life changes dramatically. Chap takes on Cassiel's identity, gaining the family and friends he's always dreamed of having. But becoming someone else isn't as easy as he hoped--and Chap isn't the only one hiding a secret. As he teeters on the brink of discovery and begins to unravel the mystery behind Cassiel's disappearance, Chap realizes that he's in much deeper danger than he could have imagined. 

After all, you can't just steal a life and expect to get away with it. 


Award-winning author Jenny Valentine delivers an explosive mystery where dark secrets, betrayal, and loss pave the way for one teen's chance at redemption.



REVIEW:

Double has an interesting premise, but the story itself was, for the most part, boring. Chap doesn’t really start to unravel Cassiel’s life and why he went missing until page 200, and there’s only 256 pages of this book. The last 50 or so pages really were interesting, although I felt a tad bit rushed, and I needed to know what had happened to Cassiel and Chap. I just wish the action started earlier, because otherwise this thriller is a yawn-fest. I almost put it down a few times but I was determined to finish this book out of sheer stubbornness (I do this a lot, sadly.) I did like the twists that came up after Chap figured out more of Cassiel's mystery.


The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers
February 14, 2012
Bloomsbury USA
Young Adult | Thriller/Paranormal
Standalone 
Pages: 353
Source/Format: NetGalley/eGalley
Rating: 

Seventeen-year-old Jocelyn follows clues apparently from her dead twin, Jack, in and around Seale House, the terrifying foster home where they once lived. With help from childhood friend Noah she begins to uncover the truth about Jack's death and the company that employed him and Noah. 

Jocelyn's twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes-and now he's dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from "Jason December"-the code name her brother used to use when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn's childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House. 

But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out the house's powers weren't just a figment of a childish imagination. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he is, what kind of trouble is he in? The answer is revealed in a shocking twist that turns this story on its head and will send readers straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light.



REVIEW:

The Vanishing Games was… something else.  I found the beginning very confusing, and very straight to the point. I almost put it down a few times during those first chapters, but nonetheless I surged forward! And I’m kinda glad I did. The clues were weird and interesting; I never figured them out before Noah and Jocelyn did. The ending, however, had me looking like this: O__O  O_o o_O o__o What a strange little ending it was! I NEVER saw it coming, and afterward I pretty much thought the main character was crazy. The very last chapter of the book I thought was boring—it’s very telly, not showing, and I see why the author included. I just didn’t like it that much.  I also wasn’t feeling Jocelyn and Noah’s romance AT ALL. Like seriously? He said he would kill [Jocelyn] the next time he saw her, then in the middle of the book HE’S KISSING HER. Argh. I thought the romance was just thrown in because YA has a LOT of romance subplots (and I’m not against romance! I love it. I just felt it wasn’t right for this story.) Overall, this story has its weird moments, but if you’re confused while reading, I say keep going. Unless you hate it then you can read the ending. ;) 


The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
February 14, 2012
Egmont USA
Young Adult | Thriller
Standalone
Pages: 336
Source/Format: NetGalley/eGalley
Rating: 
Author's Website | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound


Penelope (Lo) Marin has always loved to collect beautiful things. Her dad's consulting job means she's grown up moving from one rundown city to the next, and she's learned to cope by collecting (sometimes even stealing) quirky trinkets and souvenirs in each new place--possessions that allow her to feel at least some semblance of home.
But in the year since her brother Oren's death, Lo's hoarding has blossomed into a full-blown, potentially dangerous obsession. She discovers a beautiful, antique butterfly pendant during a routine scour at a weekend flea market, and recognizes it as having been stolen from the home of a recently murdered girl known only as "Sapphire"--a girl just a few years older than Lo. As usual when Lo begins to obsess over something, she can't get the murder out of her mind.
As she attempts to piece together the mysterious "butterfly clues," with the unlikely help of a street artist named Flynt, Lo quickly finds herself caught up in a seedy, violent underworld much closer to home than she ever imagined--a world, she'll ultimately discover, that could hold the key to her brother's tragic death.
REVIEW:
The Butterfly Clues is something else. This mystery thriller is a little bit on the predictive side, but for the most part an enjoyable read. The main character, Lo, has OCD and I could relate to her because of it; she has a really intense case where mine is much, much smaller (and I have control, not the OCD, which in Lo’s case it’s vice versa.) The Butterfly Clues reads like it’s set in the 1970s (why I’m reading books set in that time period, I don’t know…) but I honestly don’t have a clue when it’s set, probably a more modern time since they have cell phones. I found Lo’s obsession with Sapphire, the murdered girl, a little creepy at times—especially when she starts wearing her bustier and hearing Sapphire talk to her. I do wonder if there’s another mental disease lurking in Lo’s mind because she does hear voices and hallucinates (kinda?) at times. I think The Butterfly Clues will be a hit or miss type of book—I didn’t like it at the beginning, but it slowly sunk its claws into me and before I knew it, I had to know how it was going to end. 


Which book are you more excited to read, or have read? Which one are you most likely to read out of the three?

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reviews :) I've generally seen mixed reviews for these books, but I may try them if I ever stumble upon them in the future. And they're all standalones! I don't see a lot of those anymore lol

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  2. @April X, I know, right? Hafsah at IceyBooks is hosting a Standalone Reading Challenge if you want to join in. And FYI, The Butterfly Clues is still haunting me a week after finish it. I would pick that one up first, but like I said in my review, it'll be a hit or miss with some people. I don't know your reading preferences, so I don't know if you'll like or hate it. But enjoy them!

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  3. Your reviews always make me laugh, Ash! I love this part in your review of The Vanishing Game: o__O o__o 0_0o_o. LOL. These mini reviews are nice and to the point. Great job.

    Although, I'm not able to see what your ratings are for the books. Did you use images for them? Somehow it seems to not be showing up for me.

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  4. @Cathy, can you see these rating images on the past few reviews, or not? I have been using the star symbol for almost two weeks, I believe, for my reviews. I don't know why you can't see them... :(((

    Double: 2 1/2 stars
    Vanishing Game & Butterfly Clues: 3 stars.

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  5. The romance was a little lacking in The Vanishing Game, but I really liked it. I didn't see that end coming.
    I would like to give Double a try.
    Thanks for your reviews.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews

    ReplyDelete

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