Thursday, March 29, 2018

Thursday YA Book Review: Subway Palliatopia by S.W. Lothian

Publication Date: 04 Apr. 2018

From the Publisher:


In a world that’s self-obsessed, every moment is shared and every move is posted. If you don’t follow you don’t care. Those who don’t care aren’t worth the time.

The city of New York grows by half a million people per annum. Each year over 20,000 go missing - that's more than 50 per day. Of these, 6,500 are runaways, 12,700 are found alive, and 1,400 are never found.

Does anyone notice?

What happens to them?

My Thoughts:

I really liked S.W. Lothian's books for younger readers, so I was very happy to hear this long-awaited YA was finally available for me to read.

I was not disappointed. S.W. Lothian knows just how to suck you right into the story, setting the scene for this eerie scenario where the population is so enthralled with their FEED, they don't even see what's happening under their noses.

We follow Wil, whose girl Cas has disappeared, a scary trend that has largely gone unnoticed in the city. In his search for the truth, Wil quickly gets into what seems to be a terrible subway accident, which in turn has him captured by a mysterious organization. He's trapped in Subway Palliotopia, where nothing is as it seems.

I don't want to spoil the plot, so I'll just sum it up this way: readers of The Hunger Games and Scott Westerfeld's novels will like this YA dystopian. The writing is superb and very accessible, the characters so relatable--I can't wait for the next in the series to come out. Subway Palliatopia is one of those books that transcends the YA genre. Highly recommended.

Check out the trailer for Subway Palliatopia:

You can order the book right here 

And find out more about S.W. Lothian here.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Cozy Mystery Review: Cinco de Murder by Rebecca Adler

Publishing date: Apr. 3rd 2018

From the Publisher:

ex-Mex waitress and part-time reporter Josie Callahan serves up more Lone Star justice in this spicy mystery from the author of The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole.
It's fiesta time in Broken Boot, Texas, and tourists are pouring into town faster than free beer at a bull roping for the mouthwatering Cinco de Mayo festivities. Tex-Mex waitress Josie Callahan, her feisty abuela, and even her spunky Chihuahua Lenny are polishing their folklórico dances for Saturday's big parade, while Uncle Eddie is adding his own spicy event to the fiesta menu: Broken Boot's First Annual Charity Chili Cook-off.

But Uncle Eddie's hopes of impressing the town council go up in smoke when cantankerous chili cook Lucky Straw is found dead in his tent. And when Josie's beloved uncle is accused of fatal negligence, she, Lenny, and the steadfast Detective Lightfoot must uncover who ended the ambitious chilihead's life--before another cook kicks the bucket.

My Thoughts:

This was my first time reading a book in the A Taste of Texas Mystery series. At first, my head was spinning a bit, getting to know all the characters in the series, and following along. But I quickly felt at home in Broken Boot, Texas, as setup began for a chili cook-off and Josie has to solve the murder of a chili cook.

I really liked Josie and her little dog, and enjoyed following along as she solved the murder mystery. As in any cozy mystery, some of the typical challenges writing an amateur sleuth who is solving a crime alongside police are there, but the author navigates the genre perfectly. The mystery is solidly plotted, and the supporting cast is just quirky enough to enjoy--I really felt like I wanted to live in Broken Boot, Texas.

What I loved most was exactly this: the different setting. Where so many cozy mysteries are set in a quaint New England town, this series really embraces and celebrates its small town Texas setting.
I'll be reading the first two, and hope there will be more books in the A Taste of Texas Mystery series.

**NetGalley provided copy for review**

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Cozy Mystery Review: Tart of Darkness by Denise Swanson

Publishing Date: Apr. 1, 2018

From the Publisher:

Right when Dani thinks she’s hit a dead-end in her career, she unexpectedly inherits an enormous old house in a quaint college town. This gives her the perfect opportunity to pursue her true passion—cooking! So Dani opens Chef-to-Go, preparing delicious, ready-made meals for hungry students attending the nearby university, as well as providing personal chef services and catering events for the local community. To help support her new business, she opens her home to a few students, renting them rooms and becoming almost like a big sister figure in their lives.

But just as Dani is relishing her sweet new life, the friend of one of her boarders is murdered, and Dani becomes one of the primary suspects! She’ll have to scramble to clear her name and save her business before the killer reappears—perhaps to silence the new chef forever.

My Thoughts:

Oh, this one was just a lot of fun to read. The opening was a bit rough, but once Dani sets up her Chef-to-Go business and the college girls move in, we're off to the races.

The romantic elements are a bit stronger in this cozy mystery series than I like, and some of Dani's actions made me frown, but other than those few bumps, this was a really fun new series. I liked the details about Dani's chef business, and her interactions with the upper crust of the small town she lives in. The addition of the college girls who live with her and help her with the business makes the series feel a bit younger and edgier--a welcome new take on the cozy mystery genre. The mystery wasn't too tough to figure out, but still well-plotted for the avid mystery fan.

Recommended if you like cozy mysteries, but are looking for something a bit edgier and fun.

*NetGalley copy provided for review**

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