I knew nothing about this other than it was a murder mystery that promised to have great twists and turns Well, I’m still waiting for all of that to happen because they sure were not in this book.
The concept of a group of teens being invited to a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater type event was a great idea but the execution was just not there. Everyone keeps comparing this to the infamous I Know What You Did Last Summer movie but this read more like a really bad generic C-list movie rip off of.
The author wanted me to believe that a this group of highly intelligent whip-smart teens fell for weak lies and a flimsy promise of scholarship money if they attend this event. That was all it took to get them together in a creepy house where a murder/death takes place and everyone had a specific role to play as a participant. Could one of them be the murderer? It was obvious the author tired way too hard to make this a complex who-dun-it but it was not complex, it was just confusing. Everything was over-complicated to the point of being uninteresting. I often zoned out and my thoughts drifted to what else I could be reading instead of this weak attempt at a thriller.
I get what was trying to be accomplished but the journey to get there was rough. The writing did not feel fluid or natural. I don’t know how else to say it other than it was bad. The characters were badly developed (if at all) and had no redeeming qualities.The author should have just had a bad guy in a top hat twirling a mustache cackling the entire time. Everything was obvious and eye-roll worthy. It was tacky and predictable at best.
This story had so much potential but it let me down in every way a book could let me down. The most humorous part was one of the characters read like Edward Cullen’s strange rarely-talked about cousin. If the author was going to include Edward, at least he could have improved upon the character. There is no way anyone could be paler than Edward but I stand corrected. Do yourself a favor, hard pass on this book. I sure wish I had.
I borrowed this from my local library with no knowledge of what it was really about. I know that is terrible but I often like to go into my reads blind. This was so good that I may struggle with my wording because I enjoyed it so much. The snark, the wit, the humor, the sarcasm was just unreal! I was laughing my way through this one! I know that sounds terrible as the story circles around slut shaming, religion, homophobia, and more. This was not an insensitive book, it was exactly the opposite.
This story was narrated by Michael, the main character, and he was a brilliant character. His comedic timing was spot on and it made me devour the book. You see, Michael is an atheist who is forced to attend a Catholic school. From the moment he stepped foot in the door he never held his tongue and always had a witty comeback. He befriends the most rag-tag group possible: a gay jew, a pagan, a Unitarian, and a Colombian catholic. The dynamic of this group was nothing short of magic. Together, this group realized their school needed to be shook up a little.
Michael was brilliantly flawed and relatable as he tried to become a better person over the course of the story. Lucy was the self proclaimed feminist, fierce in her faith, and always put too much pressure on herself while trying to maintain balance at home. Avi was a spitfire who never backed down from anything. Eden and Max round out the group of misfits but they were no less dynamic. The fact that they all had their own beliefs and were able to have civil conversations was refreshing. It reaffirmed the fact that people from different faiths, backgrounds, and beliefs can still be good friends.
I am not normally a big reader of stories that revolve around religion but this was something I could not put down. It not only spoke of variety but it spoke about tolerance. The characters were able to accept the flaws in others and still continue on with their life. Meaning everyone can absolutely live coexisting. That topic mixed with the perfect amount of snark, wit, and humor made me wish I could read this again for the first time so I can laugh at it all again.
I highly recommend this to everyone! Do not let it fool you – this was an eye opening read that I hope everyone gives a chance. It has it all: friendship, humor, a unique story, and more. Please, add this to your TBR if you have not already.
I know I am late to the game with this book but better late than never, right? I finally gave this a chance and here is my main takeaway: this is a very heavy book and holy crap it is a long story. It was almost offensively long. I bet if you cut 200 pages out it would have been just as good. I cannot figure out why a contemporary book needed to be nearly 500 pages. I will try like the dickens to not beat that topic into the ground but it is very hard to ignore.
Matson is one of my all time favorite authors and I will forever read whatever she publishes. That being said, this probably will not one of her stories that I highly recommend to others or reread. I liked the characters but wasn’t in love with them. They were all forgettable, flat, and boring. The plot was heavy and hard to get through at times. The The one thing that was over the top amazing was the world building. The entire story was set in a beautiful remote forest/summer camp setting. I often felt as if I was in the story along with the characters. That being said, it was the most detailed and long winded part of the story. The trees were described in extensive detail to the point it took away from the main point of the story.
There probably was no real way to have a developed character arc as the MC was simply dealing with the fact that her dad was dying of cancer and this was their last summer together. Let’s be honest, there was only so much an author could do with that. I lost a parent to cancer so I know how tough it is in real life so I ended up keeping an arm’s length from this story. I’m not say Matson did a bad job of portraying a daughter losing her parent, I’m saying there is a time and place for that type of story and it might not have been with a romance wrapped around it. That is what made the story so confusing – was I supposed to focus on the romance or the parent? Between you and me, the two topics should not have been mixed.
I will not ever be upset that I read this one but as I mentioned I probably won’t pick it back up. There were huge chunks that went on for far too long. I stand by my comment that about 200 pages could have (should have?) been cut. They were slow, pointless, and downright boring. I will still read everything Matson writes and I’m glad I can finally mark this off of my long TBR list.
Two immortal realms on brink of war. One mortal standing in their way.
With the quint squaring off against the king of Slait, Lera is running out of
time to tame her feral magic. Worse still, just when the quint must weave
together to survive, demons from Tye’s past surface to tear them apart. Demons
he fears facing, let alone sharing with Lera.
But when Griorgi makes a move that no one expects, throwing River, Shade, and
Coal’s lives into question, the clock runs out. Lera and Tye have no choice but
to fight their battles within—or risk losing Lunos and their quint forever.
LERA OF LUNOS is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel, the stunning
finale to the Amazon-bestselling, KU-All Star POWER OF FIVE series.
Four cords of power. Three trials. Two soul-crushing
For Lera, training has never been so hard. With the males’ power roaring in her
veins and River’s cold demand that she master the magic before the third trial,
something has to give. Worse still, River is keeping something from her.
Something about his past and Lunos’s future.
For River and Coal, the past must stay buried. Though one male’s nightmare sits
on a throne and the other’s hides in his soul, they are equally unprepared for
Lera’s startling determination to undress the truth.
But when Mors’s Emperor Jawrar makes a play for Lunos, neither Lera’s fledgling
magic nor the males’ old wounds can remain untouched—not if their world is to
TRIAL OF THREE is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel, third in the
Amazon bestselling, KU-All Star POWER OF FIVE series.
Three trials stand between Lera and exile. Unless the training
kills her first.
Quint magic has never chosen a human before, and the Elders Council is
convinced Lera is a mistake.
When the quint refuses to be cleaved apart, the enraged elders give them a
choice: exile from Lunos or demotion to the lowest of trainees. Subject again to
the humiliations and deadly trials they endured centuries ago, the males now
face a new challenge—training Lera to survive.
River, Shade, Coal, and Tye will do whatever it takes to keep Lera safe. But
Lera will do whatever she must to keep them together—even if it means putting
herself in mortal danger.
Four elite fae warriors. One mortal female. A magical bond they
can’t allow—or resist.
Orphaned and sold to a harsh master, Lera’s life is about mucking stalls, avoiding her master’s advances, and steering clear of the mystical forest separating the mortal and fae worlds. Only fools venture into the immortal realms, and only dark rumors come out… Until four powerful fae warriors appear at Lera’s barn.
River, Coal, Tye, and Shade have waited a decade for their new fifth to be chosen, the wounds from their quint brother’s loss still raw. But the magic has played a cruel trick, bonding the four immortal warriors to… a female. A mortal female.
Distractingly beautiful and dangerously frail, Lera can only be one thing—a mistake. Yet as the males bring Lera back to the fae lands to sever the bond, they discover that she holds more power over their souls than is safe for anyone… especially for Lera herself.
Power of Five is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel.
Quick review to wet your appetite.
This was a quick yet very enjoyable read. The characters were very well developed. I did fear the MC, Lera, would not grow into the strong character the story needed her to be but she had a wonderful character arc that helped her find her way. She became a strong force and I enjoyed reading about her.
Everything else about the story was well done – the plot and the pacing. Both were very well thought out. The world building was one aspect that I wanted to point out because the author did an amazing job of making everything realistic and lush. That could not have been an easy feat but Lidell made it seem easy.
This really was a good start to the series, which you can read on Kindle Unlimited now. Please check it out!
Alex Lidell is the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE
CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey
player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in
elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora
Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book
Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books.
Alex is represented by Leigh Feldman of Leigh Feldman Literary. She lives in
This book baffled me. The cover gives the impression that it will be full of paranormal events and mystery but what was delivered was something completely different. It felt like a light fiction with some weak fantasy thrown in.
Set in the time when women are not allowed to vote, hold a job, or do more than be a homemaker, Olivia wants to break out of that. She wants to go to college, speak her voice, and even vote. Her dad will have none of that and starts treating his daughter the same way he treated his wife, who ultimately ended up leaving him for those reasons. He makes a rash decision to hire a hypnotist in the hopes that having his daughter hypnotized will rid her of her independent thoughts and make her a subservient daughter. It all backfires when Olivia still has her strong willed thoughts but now she can see “everything the way it really is”. She sees things that should terrify her but instead she just accepts them.
Olivia’s character was supposed to be a strong force to be reckoned with but I read her more like an okay character with a weak story arc. I find it very difficult to believe that she would openly and quickly accept the new changes to her “normal”. Being able to see ghosts and “things as they really are” would have freaked anyone out but Olivia just shrugged it off.
I had really hoped there would be a stronger paranormal presence in this story but it never happened. Olivia’s weird obsession with Dracula meant she constantly saw vampires everywhere. Her father was a vampire, people he worked with were vampires, and you get the idea. She constantly talked about the book and pushed it on everyone she talked to. It bothered me and came across unbelievable.
The actual plot of the story was predictable. Since I could sense the end of the story from the very start, there was no great AH-HA moment for me. I was let down by what I read. I’m not upset I read it but I certainly was not blown away. Everything just felt MEH. If you read this and loved it, I can only wish I read this with your eyes.
I absolutely love dystopian novels and have had this one on my radar for a long time. People told me to not give it my time because it was not good but I didn’t listen. Oh what a fool I was.
This was the story of a group of teens that were forced to survive with no adults, no technology, no sense of order. Yeah, that’s about it. I had a hard time finding my will to care for what was happening because this was a hot mess of a story. Nothing about this story felt developed or flushed out. The world was not properly established and as a result I could not envision this as a story set in a time when there were no adults and no infants, only teenagers. I had so many questions! Where did the this all come from? Was it a man-made virus? How was it dispatched? Why was it linked to hormones in only adults and toddlers? I needed answers but I wasn’t going to get them.
On top of all of that nonsense, the story felt dated. By that I mean there were constant references to people/places/things that were relevant *now*. With people talking about social media platforms as if they were forced to stop using them only last week, it lead to my difficultly connecting with any part of this story.
The story was told from two POVs and both were terrible narrators. The one that irritated me the most was the female – Donna (Madonna was her given name). She talked as if she were an incompetent valley girl who struggled to remember which foot went in front of the other when she walked. While she talked like an idiot she tried to act like she was so tough. I didn’t buy it for a second. I wanted nothing more than to punch her in the hopes it would knock some sense into her. The male narrator, Jefferson, was a little more believable. His hangup was that he was in love with Donna. Well, “love” is not strong enough… he was obsessed with her. Given that the teens were not expected to live past the age of 18, he chose to confess his love to her with less than a year left to live. I get why but it felt far too puppy-love for me.
This story let me down in every way I could be let down. The world building was not developed, the characters were weak, and the actual story was full of holes. I never connected to any part of this nor did I care to. I should have DNFd rather than stayed with it until the end. There is no way I will continue the series because I don’t care what happens.
I was so excited when I finally picked it up because the premise hooked me. What I read did not live up to my expectations and I finished the book knowing I would not continue the series.
Aurora (Rory) was an American teen that was given a great opportunity to spend her senior year in London. The day she arrived in London she learned that there was a serial killer on the loose and the killer mimicked the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. The killer was never caught and murders continued happening closer to Rory’s school. Things change for Rory when she crossed paths with the killer but the catch was that she was the only person who could see him. She quickly realized that she had the ability to see ghosts.
I sort of checked out after that. I was fascinated with the premise of a Jack the Ripper cases sprinkled throughout the story but this book failed to hook me. The writing itself was what turned me off from caring what was going on. It did not feel like solid writing. Things felt sloppy, rough, jagged, and thin. This was not Johnson’s first book but it certainly felt like it. I expected more solid writing. The characters were not flushed out nor was the actual plot developed.
The characters had the personality of a wet sponge and had zero character arc. They were all completely forgettable. Johnson tried far too hard (and failed) to create an arch-nemesis for the MC. There really was no solid reason to hate this girl other than I was told I needed to strongly dislike her. That doesn’t work for me as a reader. I never understood why I was constantly being told to hate a character that was head-strong and had a plan to get what she wanted. In fact, it really bothered me that instead of encouraging girls like that, I was being told to bash them. Sorry but I’m not here for that.
There were other things that stood out in a negative way: Rory was supposed to be in London to stay with her parents but they were absent the entire time; the incompetence of the local police; and the lackluster villain. All of these reasons and a few more solidified my decision to not continue with the series. I expected so much more but walked away disappointed.