Blog Tour Review: Day Zero (Day Zero Duology #1)

Title: Day Zero (Day Zero Duology #1)
Author: Kelly deVos
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Dystopian
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 12, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

If you’re going through hell…keep going.

Seventeen-year-old coder Jinx Marshall grew up spending weekends drilling with her paranoid dad for a doomsday she’s sure will never come. She’s an expert on self-heating meal rations, Krav Maga and extracting water from a barrel cactus. Now that her parents are divorced, she’s ready to relax. Her big plans include making it to level 99 in her favorite MMORPG and spending the weekend with her new hunky stepbrother, Toby.

But all that disaster training comes in handy when an explosion traps her in a burning building. Stuck leading her headstrong stepsister, MacKenna, and her precocious little brother, Charles, to safety, Jinx gets them out alive only to discover the explosion is part of a pattern of violence erupting all over the country. Even worse, Jinx’s dad stands accused of triggering the chaos.

In a desperate attempt to evade paramilitary forces and vigilantes, Jinx and her siblings find Toby and make a break for Mexico. With seemingly the whole world working against them, they’ve got to get along and search for the truth about the attacks—and about each other. But if they can survive, will there be anything left worth surviving for? 

Review:

This is an amazing dystopian story!

The story was fast paced and thrilling. The action started right away, with a terrorist attack on multiple banks following an election in the United States in the future.

Unlike other dystopian books, this book doesn’t seem like it’s set too far in the future. The terrorist attack that sparks the problems in Jinx’s life are very realistic. The political world with two warring parties is also familiar in today’s world. This made the story much more tense, knowing that it is a real possibility for the future.

I thought there would be more coding and technical references to the story. The entire event started with a coded program, but I thought there would be more of Jinx playing the online game she liked. Hopefully that will come in the next book.

I loved this book and I can’t wait to read the next one!

Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1) by Emily Suvada

Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos

Author Info:

KELLY DEVOS is from Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her high school sweetheart husband, amazing teen daughter and superhero dog, Cocoa. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. When not reading or writing, Kelly can typically be found with a mocha in hand, bingeing the latest TV shows and adding to her ever-growing sticker collection. Her debut novel, Fat Girl on a Plane, named one of the “50 Best Summer Reads of All Time” by Reader’s Digest magazine, is available now from HarperCollins.

Kelly’s work has been featured in the New York Times as well as on Salon, Vulture and Bustle.

Have you read Day Zero? What did you think of it?

Review: Ninth House (Alex Stern #1)

Title: Ninth House (Alex Stern #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 8, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

Review:

This was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2019. It was worth the wait!

I loved the way magic and ghosts were brought into the university life. It reminded me of my time at university, and all the colleges that it was divided up into, like the houses in this book. There were real locations at Yale used in this book. It’s great to see images of these locations, so that the story is brought to life.

There were a lot of thriller elements to this story as well as fantasy. Though there were ghosts, called Greys, and supernatural rituals, there were also murders and lots of drugs. The real gritty underworld of drugs and gruesome murders, mixed with the supernatural underworld of ghosts. These genres blended seamlessly.

I loved this book! I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

What to read next:

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Have you read Ninth House? What did you think of it?

Review: An Anonymous Girl

Title: An Anonymous Girl
Author: Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us.

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking… and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

Review:

This was a chilling thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat!

There were two narratives in this story: Jessica and Dr. Sheilds. Jessica’s narrative was from her first person perspective, but Dr. Sheilds’s perspective was second person, speaking to Jessica. This second person perspective, with her speaking directly to “you,” brought me right into the story. It felt like she was talking to me, which was so creepy.

This story kept me guessing until the end. It was very hard to put down because I wanted to know what was going to happen. I had no idea how it would end, and I was thoroughly surprised!

I loved this thriller! I highly recommend it for a fast-paced read!

Thank you St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Have you read An Anonymous Girl? What did you think of it?

Review: The Grey Sisters

Title: The Grey Sisters
Author: Jo Treggiari
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Two years after a deadly plane crash, best friends D and Spider head into the mountains to face their grief. A gripping psychological thriller for fans of The Cheerleaders and Sadie.

D and Spider have always been close friends, and they are further united in their shared heartbreak: they both lost siblings in a horrific plane crash two years earlier. A chance sighting of a beloved cuddly toy in a photograph of the only survivor spurs D to finally seek closure. She and Spider and their friend, Min, set off on a road trip to the mountainside site of that terrible crash.

Ariel has lived on the mountain all her life. She and her extended family are looked down upon by neighboring townsfolk and she has learned to live by her wits, trusting few people outside of her isolated, survivalist community. A terrifying attack sends her down the mountain for help; on her way, she comes upon the three girls — a chance encounter that will have far-reaching consequences for them all. 

Review:

This book was a gripping thriller!

The story is told from multiple perspectives. D, Min, and Spider all have third person narratives. Ariel is the only girl who tells her story from a first person perspective, and she is the only one from the isolated community. The parts about the community seemed like they could have taken place a hundred years ago because of the isolated way that they lived. Since that was the only narrative that was told in first person, it made it easier to relate to her character.

The two different types of narratives seemed like separate stories for a lot of the book. D, Min, and Spider were going to see the crash site of a plane crash that killed D’s and Spider’s siblings. Ariel happened to live near the crash site. When both narratives came together, I was so shocked. They were connected in a way I never could have predicted. It was an amazing ending!

I loved this book! It’s a great, unpredictable book!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Have you read The Grey Sisters? What did you think of it?

Review: The Turn of the Key

Title: The Turn of the Key
Author: Ruth Ware
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback, Ebook
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Review:

I loved this thriller!

I read The Turn of the Screw by Henry James a few times in university, and I loved it. I was excited to see what would happen in this adaptation.

This story was very fast paced. I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down. It was quite creepy too. One new element in this adaptation was that the home was a “smart” home. Everything was connected by an app, including the water in the shower and the locks on the front door. These things were convenient, until they malfunctioned. The home was originally a Victorian house, but was renovated to have this modern technology. I love how this can be compared to the original book, Turn of the Screw, which was a Victorian novella, but has been adapted into this modern story.

One thing that I can’t really talk about is the ending. It gave more closure than the original story, but it felt a little rushed, especially in the last couple of pages. I’m curious to hear what other readers thought of this ending.

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Have you read The Turn of the Key? What did you think of it?

Review: Hideaway

Title: Hideaway
Author: Nicole Lundrigan
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

What if home is the most dangerous place you can be? For fans of Room and readers of Shari Lapena. 

Gloria Janes appears to be a doting suburban mother and loving wife. But beyond her canary-yellow door, Gloria controls her husband, Telly, as well as seven-year-old Maisy and her older brother Rowan, through a disorienting cycle of adoration and banishment. 

When Telly leaves, Gloria turns on Rowan. He runs away, finding unlikely refuge with a homeless man named Carl, with whom he forms the kind of bond he has never found with his parents. After they are menaced by strangers, Rowan follows Carl to an isolated cottage, where he accidentally sets off a burst of heightened paranoia in Carl, and their adventure takes a dark turn. 

Gloria is publicly desperate for the safe return of her son while privately plotting ever wilder ways to lure Telly home for good. Her behaviour grows more erratic and her manipulation of Maisy begins to seem dedicated toward an outcome that only she can see. The two storylines drive relentlessly toward a climax that is both shocking and emotionally riveting.

Suspenseful, unsettling, and masterful, Hideaway explores the secrets of a troubled family and illuminates an unlikely hero and a source of unexpected strength.

Review:

This story was difficult to get into at first. Most of the characters have mental health disorders. They were making bad decisions that they couldn’t help because of their conditions, but it made me uncomfortable to read about. However, once I got into the story, I couldn’t put it down.

The two narrators of the story are both children, Rowan and Maisy. They were unreliable because they were children, but also because their sense of reality was warped by the adults with them. Rowan spent time with Carl, who often had conversations with people who weren’t there and he would lash out at random moments. Their mother, Gloria, would convince Maisy that things happened when they didn’t, to cover for her own mistakes. These unreliable narrators added a lot of tension to the story.

This was a great thriller with an unpredictable ending!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Room by Emma Donoghue

The Substitute by Nicole Lundrigan

Have you read Hideaway? What did you think of it?

Review: Wherever She Goes

Title: Wherever She Goes
Author: K.L. Armstrong
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When it’s your word against everyone else’s–what do you do?

Bree Finch has fallen on some troubled times: her marriage has ended, she’s separated from her young daughter, Charlotte, and she’s haunted by a past she can’t escape. Routine helps, and every afternoon, during her lunch break, Bree goes for a jog in the park near her office. It’s the same every day: the same route, the same mothers with their children, the same people walking their dogs.

One day, during her jog, she spots a young boy a bit older than Charlotte, a boy she saw just the day before with his mother. But his mother is nowhere to be seen now. Nervous, Bree watches the boy as he wanders into the parking lot. And then she watches as a man grabs the boy, forcing him into an SVU. She watches as the boy cries and screams for his mother. She watches as the man slams the door shut, revs the engine and takes off. 

She runs after them into traffic, and tries to take a photo, but can’t. The SVU is gone.

Bree can’t deny what she’s seen, and she can’t get the little boy or his screams out of her head. But, she’s the only one who believes that she witnessed the kidnapping of a child. No one else at the park saw the boy or someone snatching him, and she can’t give a detailed description of the child. The police don’t believe her, nor does her estranged husband, with whom she has a tense and complicated relationship. Instead, they begin asking Bree the questions: Why is she always alone in the park? Why does she spend so much time there? Does she realize that she makes the other mothers nervous, with the way she watches them and their children?

Then, days later, a woman is murdered–and Bree is the first person the police talk to. 

Not because they think she may have witnessed something. 

Not because they believe her about the kidnapped boy. 

Because she’s their main suspect. 

Review:

This was an amazing new thriller!

I was glued to this book. I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down. It was fast-paced and unpredictable.

Bree was an unreliable narrator, which added to the plot. Even when she would talk about seeing things, I couldn’t really trust her. I was still unsure about some things she said right until the end.

I usually don’t like books that don’t give you enough clues to solve the mystery. I don’t think there was a way to figure out this mystery before the end, but I loved it. It was an exciting story because I was so surprised at the ending.

I highly recommend this gripping thriller.

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Have you read Wherever She Goes? What did you think of it?