Friday, July 8, 2016

YA Mystery Mini Reviews: With Malice by Eileen Cook, and The Blood Between Us by Zac Brewer

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The Blood Between Us
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Family secrets turn deadly in this edgy page-turner about the insidious limits of labels and the ties that bind just a little too tightly, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod.
Growing up, Adrien and his sister, Grace, competed viciously for everything. It wasn’t easy being the adopted sibling, but Adrien tried to get along; it was Grace who didn’t want anything to do with him. When their scientist parents died in a terrible lab fire, there was nothing left to hold them together.

Now, after years apart, Adrien and Grace are forced to reunite at the elite boarding school where their parents were teachers. Being back around everyone he used to know makes Adrien question the person he’s become, while being back around Grace makes him feel like someone he doesn’t want to be.
For as much as Adrien wants to move on, someone seems determined to reopen old wounds. And when Adrien starts to suspect that Grace knows more about their parents’ deaths than she let on, he realizes there are some wounds no amount of time can heal. If Adrien isn’t careful, they may even kill him.
REVIEW
THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS
Positives: I like the whole hate-hate thing the brother and sister had going on. That is one of the weirdest things I'll say about a book on this blog. But, I liked the dynamic it kept me on my toes. You didn't know what the other would do, so there was that. It brought up a lot of questions, sure one of them is adopted--but why all the animosity? Did they know something that had yet to be revealed, and that kind of thing.

The Uncles: It was nice to see two young-ish take on the responsibility of raising two teenagers--that--even though we didn't see it all couldn't have been easy. And, even harder because they couldn't stand one another. I just particularly liked their characters:

Adrien, was a confused soul--and I think some people will really relate to his story. It was interesting watching him sort of stumble around--coming to terms with both being adopted, and now the death of his adoptive parents. Not to mention all the inner turmoil, he was going through.

Grace--was okay, but I do not believe she was written for you to like her, so there's that.

Negatives: The story kind of drags, there's this big lead up--but the ending, for me was a let down. I can't say I was impressed. If the authors were going for surprise, I was indeed surprised--but not pleased.

The mystery's big reveal--is the make or break moment for me, and although the reveal wasn't disastrous, it was--oh okay, kind of moment.

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With Malice
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It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

REVIEW
 THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS
Positives: The intrigue: Obvs' the best part of this book is the mystery, what happened, how did it happen, why did it happen--that whole thing.

Memory loss: I have this weird thing about memory loss, it always fascinates me--the brain is a marvelous thing.

The friendship between Simone and Jill--there was something weird about their relationship from jump, at least that's how I felt--and to be honest it fascinated me. What was going on in their friendship? Was something wrong? Did they really like each other? What did really happen in Italy?

The mother: I liked Jill's mom, she was a pretty contemporary mom. Her husband left her for someone younger, and now she's a single mom--struggling to raise her daughter on a single income. I'm kind of glad she was the way she was. She needed to be this kind of mother to deal with everything that was going on.

The build-up: It was the build up to the big reveal that kept me going. I set aside everything else at one point because I really needed to know--what really happened.

Negatives: The reveal. I don't know. It wasn't that it was wholly disappointing but I wasn't thrilled. I was looking to be blown away, it was a tad bit surprising--but I kind of felt about this one, the way I felt about We Were Liars. Out of the loop or something. The ending is pretty genius but I still felt meh about the whole thing.

I'm sure there are a ton of people that will be completely thrilled about this one, so I'd highly recommend if you've been feeling YA mystery has been pretty lackluster lately. This is definitely the better of the bunch.

15 comments:

  1. I understand that can't stop feeling. I couldn't stop reading With Malice because I just had to know!

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  2. I agree the reveal/ending of With Malice left me wanting a little more. I did enjoy it overall though. Great reviews!

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  3. I need to read more mystery books! I feel that out of the two, I would enjoy With Malice the most. Great reviews, Jasmine!

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  4. Great reviews! I've seen really good reviews of With Malice so I may still give that a try but I hate it when an ending in a mystery/thriller disappoints! The Blood Between Us sounds ok, too -- glad there were some good parts. Have a lovely weekend! ♥

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  5. Mood readings. Nowadays, I'm not into YA mysteries all that much, but I like the sound of two uncles raising teens. That sounds like a hoot!

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  6. I haven't really been hearing great things about With Malice lately and everyone seems to be finding it solely mediocre so I doubt that's one I will be picking up. The brother sister situation in the other one does sound interesting though.

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  7. With Malice sounds really interesting, I love reading about memory loss, I'm fascinated by the brain too ^^

    @ "Book Addict"

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  8. Great reviews! I really loved With Malice. Sorry you didn't care as much for the reveal

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  9. Twice with the big reveal being less than stellar. Even when the rest of the book was okay, when you're left decidedly un-wowed by the reveal, it definitely taints the rest of the book for me. I mean, finish with a bang. Make me drop the book and say "no way!" But when it's mediocre... nah.

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  10. I'm so sorry you weren't satisfied with this book . :( When I saw it, i honestly wasn't impressed with it so... it's doubtful that I'll even try it girl. The cover is what drew me to it but after haring too many "meh" reviews on it, I doubt that i'm even going to try it. Everything, as you said girl, just seems very.... umm... lackluster?

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  11. With Malice has had a lot of hype so I'm a little hesitant to read it. I haven't really checked into the first book, but it seems like one I'd read. Great reviews!

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  12. The Blood Between Us sounds really interesting! I haven't had a chance to read many YA books featuring an adopted child and I love the idea of them being raised by young uncles. My co-blogger Ellen (Quest Reviews) read With Malice, but didn't care for it too much. Lovely mini-reviews!

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  13. The Blood Between Us sounds really interesting! I haven't had a chance to read many YA books featuring an adopted child and I love the idea of them being raised by young uncles. My co-blogger Ellen read With Malice, but didn't care for it too much. Lovely mini-reviews!

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  14. I am so unfortunate that I have not read either of these books. I think With Malice is fun to read but YA mystery? I hope it's good enough for me to read it until the end. I am not expecting much on a YA mystery. Maybe I'll give this one a chance.

    Yani - Paper Boulevard

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