Thursday, May 30, 2019

Thursday Teen Book Review: That Night by Cyn Balog


Publication Date: June 4th, 2019Hailey wants to know the truth, but there are some secrets that are best left buried…

Hailey is determined to find out all she can about her boyfriend's suicide. She knows Declan wouldn't kill himself, even if she can't remember a lot of what lead up to that fateful night.

Kane, Declan's stepbrother and Hailey's best friend, wants to move past what happened—not dig up bad memories. But the more Hailey searches for information, the more she remembers.

As the truth begins to unravel, Hailey finds herself unveiling secrets she never could have imagined—secrets that have the possibility of ruining everything...
 

From the Publisher:

Some secrets are best left buried...

It’s been a year since Hailey’s boyfriend Declan died, and Hailey is still far from okay. She’s lost almost all her friends, her grades are falling, and she pretty much lives wrapped up in bed. Everyone says Declan’s death was a suicide—after all, his father’s gun was found near his body—but Hailey knows that the happy, confident Declan she knew would never do that. She’s positive. The problem is, she can’t remember anything from the day he died.

Kane, Declan’s stepbrother and Hailey’s best friend, thinks that everyone should move on—why relive the pain? But when Hailey sees a strange picture with a threatening message amongst Declan’s belongings, she’s convinced she has proof that there’s more to the story. Hailey starts searching for answers and throws herself into memories her subconscious tried to make her forget…and the deeper she looks, the more she remembers.

But the truth she uncovers will be more dangerous and more devastating than she could have ever imagined. 

My thoughts: 

Such a good thriller and brilliant character study. I loved how the relationships were so complex in this book. There is a bit of unreliable narrator plot stuff going on—I kind of saw it coming as I’ve read Cyn Balog’s previous work, but still… A great mystery with a solid twist.

Recommended.

Caution: you might be up late reading this one…

**Publisher provided e-copy for review**


Monday, May 27, 2019

#MMGM Review: Can You Crack The Code? by Ella Schwartz, illustrated by Lily Williams

From the Publisher:
Codes can carry big secrets! Throughout history, lots of good guys and lots of bad guys have used codes to keep their messages under wraps. This fun and flippable nonfiction features stories of hidden treasures, war-time maneuverings, and contemporary hacking as well as explaining the mechanics behind the codes in accessible and kid friendly forms. Sidebars call out activities that invite the reader to try their own hand at cracking and crafting their own secret messages. This is the launch of an exciting new series that invites readers into a STEM topic through compelling historical anecdotes, scientific backup, and DIY projects.Codes can carry big secrets! Throughout history, lots of good guys and lots of bad guys have used codes to keep their messages under wraps. This fun and flippable nonfiction features stories of hidden treasures, war-time maneuverings, and contemporary hacking as well as explaining the mechanics behind the codes in accessible and kid friendly forms. Sidebars call out activities that invite the reader to try their own hand at cracking and crafting their own secret messages. This is the launch of an exciting new series that invites readers into a STEM topic through compelling historical anecdotes, scientific backup, and DIY projects.
My thoughts: 
Such a great addition to my collection of books on codes and ciphers. I'll be taking this one along on my school visits. The history text is the perfect length, with accessible text and narrative.
The illustrations are just perfect. And I loved the DIY projects—I could see these being a great project for the classroom.
Highly recommended for your middle-grade mystery and spy buff.


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