ARC Review & Giveaway: Breaking by Danielle Rollins

BREAKINGbreakingGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/TBD/iBooks

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Companion novel to Burning.

Prep school gets a twist of supernatural suspense in this commercial YA thriller.

Charlotte has always been content in the shadow of her two best friends at the prestigious Underhill Preparatory Institute. Ariel is daring and mysterious. Devon is beautiful and brilliant. Although Charlotte never lived up to the standards of the school‚ÄĒor her demanding mother‚ÄĒher two best friends became the family she never had. When Ariel and Devon suddenly commit suicide within a month of each other, Charlotte refuses to accept it as a coincidence. But as the clues point to a dangerous secret about Underhill Prep, Charlotte is suddenly in over her head. There‚Äôs a reason the students of Underhill are so exceptional, and the people responsible are willing to kill to protect the truth‚Ķ

Suspenseful and scintillating, with hints of the supernatural, this fast-paced thriller will keep readers hooked.

review

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley &¬†Bloomsbury USA Children’s

***Triggers violence and suicide. Animal cruelty.

HERE’S WHAT I LOVED:

  • The dark and gritty, almost fairy tale-like quality of Ariel, Devon, and Charlotte. It almost read like magical realism with a sci-fi twist. I adored the dreamy, twisted idea of them being archetypes of fairy tale princesses whose mothers either abandoned or neglected them and all they had was a sisterhood. Yes, that. Yes.¬†
  • The characters are imperfect. In fact, they aren’t even really likable for the most part. The more Charlotte reminisces about Devon and Ariel, the more cruel and sadistic they seem. Some scenes are truly horrific and disturbing. Like if you love animals…one scene will give you some serious anxiety. I held my breath through that one. The anticipation and fear are too real. Charlotte is one of those characters that you sort of sympathize with, though she does have quite a bit of self-pity. She thinks she’s less attractive, less intelligent, etc., than everyone at her school. There is a total of one scene that shows where that insecurity comes from-the pretty much abusive mind games her mother forced her to play as a child. I wasn’t entirely sold on her character. She was okay. As the story progressed, she did get better. She became rebellious, angry, and a little vicious. Not everything was so black and white.¬†
  • Mystery definitely propels the plot forward. What at first seems like a string of suicides becomes suspect. What made two girls who were relatively happy and popular kill themselves? There are all sorts of clues and weird incidents that make you question everything.¬†
  • The ending. Violent, vengeance-fueled, incendiary ūüėČ it’s sort of evil, but also justified. It was deeply satisfied with the ending.¬†

HERE’S WHAT I DISLIKED:¬†

  • The romance. There is so much build up that makes you think it’s something it’s totally not. Something more. Maybe Charlotte is blinded. Whatever. But the reader can see. There’s chemistry sure. And lust, definitely. But anything else, I wasn’t getting any strong emotions, even before the numbness started to set in.¬†
  • I read Burning. There were several references to things that happened in this book that it kept throwing me off and I flipping through my memory trying to remember anything that might be relevant to the story. There is SO little about what happened in Burning and as a companion¬†where the events that happened in the first book directly influence major plot points, I felt like there should have been more than a few measly clues.¬†
  • The pacing was a little slow for me. It did pick up but way, way towards the end. Then it’s just crazy action and violence and all sorts of chaos.¬†

authorDanielle (1)

Amazon/B&N/TBD/iBooks/Goodreads

Author of the best-selling MERCILESS series, SURVIVE THE NIGHT, BURNING, and BREAKING. I’m currently working on the last installment of the Merciless books, & starting a new series to be announced later this year.

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Enter for your chance to win a finished copy of Breaking. US ONLY.

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Read more, 

Jordan

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Best of 2016: YA Book Madness’ Top 16 YA Reads

It’s been a crazy year. I’ve done so much that I never thought I would with writing and making blogger/author friends. Through all the chaos I’ve read some amazing books (though not all of them got reviewed). Last year I broke my top picks into categories. This year, I’ve decided to do an overall top 16 and then into broad categories. Tell me if you’ve read any on my list, what you thought, and feel free to recommend some of your top 2016 YA books!!!

BEST OF 2016 YA OVERALL 

BEST of 2016 SCIENCE FICTION

BEST of 2016 CONTEMPORARY

BEST of 2016 HORROR

BEST of 2016 THRILLER

BEST of 2016 PARANORMAL 

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: Burning by Danielle Rollins

BURNINGGoodreads/Amazon/B&N

Release Date: April 5, 2016

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After three years in juvie, Angela Davis is just a few months shy of release, and she’ll finally be free from the hole that is Brunesfield Correctional Facility. Then Jessica arrives. Only ten years old and under the highest security possible, this girl has to be dangerous, even if no one knows what she did to land in juvie. As strange things begin happening to Angela and her friends that can only be traced to the new girl’s arrival, it becomes clear that Brunesfield is no longer safe. They must find a way to get out, but how can they save themselves when the world has forgotten them?

review3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Bloomsbury USA Childrens

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • If you like¬†Orange Is the New Black.
  • You’re all about the mystery.
  • You’re searching for a genre-bending book.

Burning is an unexpected surprise. The suspense creeps up on you. Nothing is as it seems. 

PROS:

  • The characters are intriguing. They come from diverse backgrounds. Each is unique and the¬†Orange Is the New Black¬†vibe is strong. That combination of crazies, druggies, weirdoes, and violent girls are all there and each paints a raw portrait of juvenile detention.¬†
  • Angela’s relationship with her brother is heart-warming and poignant. The way she cherishes his letters and relives memories of their times together will make you root for her.¬†
  • The first few pages are fantastic. I didn’t know what to expect. The secrets her father hides in the drawer, his monster stories, the dark atmosphere of Angela’s memory, it all draws you in and makes you want more. Unfortunately, some of that is lost in the many threads of the story.

CONS:

  • The pacing is slow. The periods between suspense drag on in a monotonous way without much happening. Most of the action took place¬†in the last 25% of the story.
  • The big reveal was bizarre and felt random. It didn’t have the shock factor it should have, though the imagery is powerful. There wasn’t enough build up.
  • That sinister vibe was so spaced out that it lost some of its punch. The initial meeting of Jessica is sufficiently chilling but as the story develops, the terror evaporates and it becomes more of a super villain scenario.¬†

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Keep reading, 

Jordan