Friday, July 22, 2016

Review: THE HEX BROKER’S EYES by S.D. Tennant

A glowing girl? That’s not something you see everyday.

Mindee is seriously questioning her sanity, especially when seeing a glowing left foot predicted a girl would slip and fall. Was she psychic? For a high school girl, that would be a lot to handle. Turns out that she could see the hexed and the glowing girl was hexed. A hex is a connection between a witch and a victim. Find the witch, find the hex object, break the hex. These kids work together to solve the mystery of the hexer.

That they made it all about student elections made it kind of boring. It turns out that there are two hexes in the story, giving readers two stories in one.

Interesting supernatural YA mystery, but the ending was ironic and confusing.

My rating: 3 stars

Review: DEATH COMES E-CALLING by Leslie O’Kane

Molly’s teacher and old mentor was voted “Most Likely to be killed by a student.” Now she’s dead. Was it a heart attack or did a student make good on that promise?

This all started out fine and dandy, but my biggest beef was that these old school mates all live in the same neighborhood, where their kids go to the same school they attended. So there were entirely too many forgettable characters that it was damn near impossible to keep track of the suspect list and the mystery.

My rating: 2.5 stars 


Meg Walton wasn’t going to rest until she put an end to the string of murders and catch the killer. It’s a good thing she has her witch powers to help her out.

Murder + Mystery + Witches = Interesting tale

Like Bewitched, Meg’s powers allow her to complete the most menial tasks, like feeding the cat and opening a gate. Now, her friend, a famous author, was dead. Could it have anything to do with the upcoming book she was about to publish, one that would shed an unflattering light on a rich and powerful family?

You would think a witch would be able to bring back the dead or at least be able to talk to their spirit or something. But I guess she’d just have to solve this the old-fashioned way—sort of.

This is a quick, cozy mystery that kept me going until the end. My only beef was that the ending felt a little too convenient. The mystery was wrapped up so quickly that it didn’t allow us to form a guess to who the killer might be.

But, all in all, this was an okay read.

My rating: 3.5 stars


Mara is your everyday witch that knows Wicca but doesn’t really practice it. And, just like everybody else, she has bills to pay, she can’t find work, and she’s being evicted. Bummer.

Then the ghost of her dad warns her of her mother’s curse. Great! Gus is right though. What’s the point of being a witch if you can’t use it to get what you need? So Mara starts using a little of her magic. Then strange occurrences start to happen. Possibly warnings?

“A good witch must be born with the gift and trained in the art.” I agree!

Things get even more interesting when Mara inherits Aunt Tille’s house and the real mystery horror begins.

Mara and Gus (a gay male witch) make a great duo! Both are funny and witty characters.

This story was a great induction into the Wonderful World of Witchy!

My rating: 4 stars

Review: BLOG THIS by Cami Checketts

Natasha is a blogger who has been receiving threats to shut down her blog or else. Oooh! Then, in the middle of the woods, she is shot in front of her kids. So far this was a good start!

What was her blog about? A video game that programs kids to be killers? Cool! Her blog was protesting the company that designs that game. A shut down would cost a psycho millions, which was why he had to get rid of Natasha.

So he sends Terminator Alex—an unstoppable, invisible killing machine—after her. He always shows up, scaring the crap out of Natasha and the police don’t have single clue. How does he keep getting so close to her without anyone noticing? Oh, he’s good!

An engaging thriller!

My rating: 4 stars

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Review: THE STRANGE YEAR OF VANESSA M. by Filipa Fonseca Silva

"Is life really that much easier for men?...As long as he's got that just-out-the-shower smell about him, a man with disheveled hair and unshaven chin is sexy. A woman with disheveled hair, with no time to wax her legs, is a slattern who ought to be ashamed to show her face in the street." (LOC 27)

Vanessa is just plain bored of the tedium of everyday life. With work, family, chores, and the spectacle of the people around her, she wonders if jail would've been a lot better. I like her already!

"The car is becoming an expression of all the rage and anguish we accumulate over the course of the day. Our eyes glaze over as we accelerate away from traffic lights we thought would never change. We stamp on the brake with the same fury we'd like to stamp on the people who drive us crazy. We honk as if the noise that fills the street was the shout we have to suppress. We think we're untouchable, invincible in our metal fortresses, where we don't hear the insults, or smell the smells of other people, where the urbane grime can't infect us." (LOC 59)

Vanessa is suffocating by it all! And she begins to wonder what life would be like if she were orphaned, single, with no kids, and being able to do whatever--to be absolutely free!

Vanessa comes up with thought-provoking questions like, why can't we tell a friend we don't want them in our lives anymore? I found myself agreeing with her a lot.

The big question: Was this life then? Really, was this it?

This then causes Vanessa to run off, leaving everyone without a word, and stay with her eccentric, hippie aunt out in the middle of nowhere. Very bold! Then she briefly returns to her lackluster life--husband, daughter, job, mother, therapist--before she says "forget this" and takes off, leaping into her one year of absolute freedom.

Story is about regret and sadness with a cynically comical twist. It's about losing so much control of your life that you feel numb. Vanessa shows readers that what was lost can be regained. It's all about seizing the moment--Carpe Diem!

This novel is totally relatable. At some point, we all feel overwhelmed by it all--a husband you can't stand, a child you never wanted, a job you hate--and we begin to wonder why we go through it. Vanessa is an inspiration and a true model of "living the world inside you."

My rating: 4 stars

Review: FACEBOOK JEANIE by Addison Westlake

Clara likes to spend her free time checking up on the one that got away (Brad) on Facebook—him and his wife, the one who nabbed the one that got away. Brad had model good looks and a 3.7 million dollar net worth—Yeah, she was right to break up with him in college. So the girl lives with regret. Basically, she hates her job, hates her life, and wishes things could be different.

Her wish: to go back to that day in college and do it right the second time. Then, with a rub of an old lamp, out jumps Facebook Jeanie, who installs a RESET app on her iPhone. A chance to RESET your life the way it should’ve been.

Now that was getting a second chance (and third and fourth,) she was starting to see something in that Alek, the serious, foreign nerd who annoyed her.

“You can’t sit around waiting for everything to be perfect in your life.” (LOC 798)

Story of nostalgia (Will Smith, Fast and Furious, Angel spin-off.) Relatable in a “where did my life go” sense.  Clara goes through a Groundhog Day of what-ifs, and she soon learns that the grass ain’t always greener on the other side. Turns out that the one that got away wasn’t all that great to begin with. Sometimes you just gotta take a second look to really see.

“You catch more flies with honey, but you catch more honeys if you’re fly.”

An enjoyable read!

My rating: 4 stars