I had this book on my Kindle for quite a while. I love witchy books, and I love New Orleans, so I really couldn't go wrong here. I'd give this one 3.5 stars out of 5.
"Jade loves her new apartment—until a ghost joins her in the shower!
When empath Jade Calhoun moves into an apartment above a strip bar on Bourbon Street, she expects life to get interesting. What she doesn't count on is making friends with an exotic dancer, attracting a powerful spirit, and developing feelings for Kane, her sexy landlord.
Being an empath has never been easy on Jade's relationships. It's no wonder she keeps her gift a secret. But when the ghost moves from spooking Jade to terrorizing Pyper, the dancer, it's up to Jade to use her unique ability to save her. Except she'll need Kane's help to do it—and he's betrayed her with a secret of his own. Can she find a way to trust him and herself before Pyper is lost?"
The Shadow Cipher (York #1) by Laura Ruby
This was a book I read for our local middle school Battle of the Books. It admittedly was not one of my favorite books of the seven in this year's contest. I found it very detailed and sometimes hard to keep straight. I wonder if it may have been more enjoyable if I had a familiarity with the city of New York? I'd give this one 3 out of 5 stars.
"It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before. Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction.
Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment house—until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long-held by the people of New York. And if Tess, Theo and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it."
Hunt Them Down by Simon Gervais
This was a book I read and reviewed for Books I Think You Should Read. I found it to be somewhat farfetched, but still fun to read. I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
"Former Army Ranger Pierce Hunt is no stranger to violence. Fresh off a six-month suspension, he’s itching to hit a notorious Mexican drug cartel where it hurts, even if that means protecting crime boss Vicente Garcia, a witness in the case against sadistic cartel leader Valentina Mieles. But things spiral out of control when the cartel murders Garcia and kidnaps his granddaughter and an innocent bystander, Hunt’s own teenage daughter.
Mieles wants the new head of the Garcia family on a plate—literally. Hunt has seventy-two hours to deliver, or Mieles will execute the girls live on social media. With the clock ticking, Hunt goes off the grid and teams up with Garcia’s daughter, a former lover and current enemy. To save the girls, Hunt will have to become a man he swore he’d never be again: an avenging killer without limits or mercy."
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
I really enjoyed this book. It was another from our Battle of the Books list. I especially appreciated the author's comment in her notes at the end - there's a lot written about the race riots of the 1960s, but what makes this book really thought-provoking is that it's from a kids' perspective. I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars.
"In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
In a humorous and breakout book by Williams-Garcia, the Penderwicks meet the Black Panthers."
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
I was surprised to realize I'd never read anything by Gillian Flynn, and quickly borrowed one from the library on my Kindle. I'd heard that her characters could be rather dark and not necessarily likable. This book definitely followed that for me.
"Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice" of Kinnakee, Kansas. She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer."
For the Sake of the Game edited by Laurie R. King
This book was a surprisingly fun read for me. I may yet read some real Sherlock Holmes, as these stories inspired by his stories were quite enjoyable. Check out my full review at Books I Think You Should Read, where I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
"In a sensational follow-up to Echoes of Sherlock Holmes and In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, a brand-new anthology of stories inspired by the Arthur Conan Doyle canon.
For the Sake of the Game is the latest volume in the award-winning series from New York Times bestselling editors Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger, with stories of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and friends in a variety of eras and forms. King and Klinger have a simple formula: ask some of the world’s greatest writers—regardless of genre—to be inspired by the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle.
The results are surprising and joyous. Some tales are pastiches, featuring the recognizable figures of Holmes and Watson; others step away in time or place to describe characters and stories influenced by the Holmes world. Some of the authors spin whimsical tales of fancy; others tell hard-core thrillers or puzzling mysteries. One beloved author writes a song; two others craft a melancholy graphic tale of insectoid analysis.
This is not a volume for readers who crave a steady diet of stories about Holmes and Watson on Baker Street. Rather, it is for the generations of readers who were themselves inspired by the classic tales, and who are prepared to let their imaginations roam freely.
Featuring Stories by: Peter S. Beagle, Rhys Bowen, Reed Farrel Coleman, Jamie Freveletti, Alan Gordon, Gregg Hurwitz, Toni L. P. Kelner, William Kotzwinkle and Joe Servello, Harley Jane Kozak, D. P. Lyle, Weston Ochse, Zoe Sharp, Duane Swierczynski, and F. Paul Wilson."