We return to ranking five of my recently read books!

5.  The Girl in the Picture by Alexandra Monir

What it’s About:  When Chace Porter is murdered, people are suprised when a picture surfaces showing him getting close with Nicole Morgan, roommate of his girlfriend Lana Rivera.  A dual narrative follows both the investigation and the tangled past of the three youngsters.

What I Thought:  I like the idea of following the mystery while also going back to see how the girls’ friendship had been torn apart, but the execution was a bit lacking.  I just didn’t feel particularly invested in the characters, and there is a paranormal element that comes out of nowhere and really takes you out of the story.  And I say that as someone who likes paranormal stories.

4.  Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

What it’s about:  When Colette goes to Paris on a class trip, she expects an experience she will remember for the rest of her life.  And she gets it, though not in the way she expects, as she gets pulled into a conspiracy involving a series of murders and what appears to be the ghost of the infamous Marie Antoinette.

What I Thought:  I enjoyed Alender’s Bad Girls Don’t Die trilogy, and though The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall was even better, in spite of a strange twist that didn’t really seem to make sense.  This story is a step down from those two, though I still found it an enjoyable read.  We follow Colette as she investigates the strange goings on while also moving away from her popular clique of friends towards the outcasts of the class.  It’s definitely not on the level of Alender’s previous works, but I’m still keeping my eyes peeled for news about her upcoming Groundhog Day meets the Shining novel, The Breaking Tide.

3.  Tales From The Darkside by Joe hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

What it’s About:  The CW passed on Joe Hill’s reboot of the Tales From the Darkside anthology show, but here the first few potential episodes are collected in comic form.  The new series would have attempted to bring some elements of a continuing story to the anthology format.

What I Thought:  People who follow the network pilot season often wish they could actually see the shows that get passed over, or at least read the scripts.  Interesting, show from Joe Hill make this a reality, as the Locke and Key pilot that Fox passed on got screened at Comic Con, and there has also been a book of the scripts for these episodes released as well as this comic.  The book left me curious about what could have been, though I do understand why the network chose not to go forward with it.  The series would have “followed” one continuing character, and his brief appearances in the stories of other people seems like it could get old rather quickly.  Also, in an interview at the end of the book Hill notes that the show would have followed a three-year plan.  For better or worse, that is probably too short for the networks.  Maybe the CW could take a look at the new Locke and Key pilot Hill is working on though.

2.  Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren

What it’s About:  When her sister is sent away to prison for life after supposedly stealing from the royal family of their fantasy kingdom, Valor gets herself locked up in order to free her sister.

What I Thought:  A fun middle grade story that takes the Prison Break television show to a fantasy kingdom.  My one real issue with the book is the ending.  Once everything gets wrapped up, there is a sudden twist that makes the ending very open—ended, but so far there is no indication there will be a sequel.

1.  Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

What it’s About:  Min gets murdered every two years on her birthday, only to wake up unharmed.  Her classmate Noah is haunted by dreams of murder.  And there is also an asteroid hurtling toward the Earth.  All of this comes together in one conspiracy that the two youngsters must uncover.

What I Thought:  Reviews for this one seem to be all over the place.  I definitely fall into the more positive side of things.  One thing to know going on, there is a lot going on.  While the first part of the book focuses very much on the mysterious “murders” that are troubling our main characters, with only a few mentions of the more worldwide plot of the incoming asteroid.  But as time goes on the whole destruction of the world plot becomes more and more to the forefront, and a few reviewers were ultimately disappointed with the way this changes the atmosphere of the story.  I can see where these people are coming from, but the changes do work with the story (as opposed to the sudden paranormal twist from an earlier story on this list), and I remained invested in the world and the characters until the end, which left me eager for the next book in the series.



Published by Andrew Clendening