Far Gone by Danielle Girard

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"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was such an exciting, heart-racing thriller! Far Gone is the second book in the series Badlands Thriller, but I think this can be read as a stand-alone.

14-year-old Hannah witnesses the murder of the couple she is babysitting for. Detective Kylie is assigned the case, and she finds a connection to an old case. We alternate between three storylines, Detective Kylie’s investigation, Hannah’s experiences, and the old case that the new one is connected to.

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The North Face of the Heart by Dolores Redondo

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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The North Face of the Heart book cover with dark clouds and statues
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

This was a thrilling story that takes the reader to New Orleans in the midst of a hurricane. I thought the author did a wonderful job of bringing the rage of the storm into the atmosphere of this story. It felt heavy and full of suspense, and I really enjoyed it!

Amaia is a detective from Spain, traveling to New Orleans to partner with the FBI to find a serial killer. I liked the mix between Amaia’s Spanish background and the American setting. I thought it was an interesting culture mix!

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How Lucky by Will Leitch

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"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

First of all, this book was AMAZING! Just absolutely wonderful. Leitch’s writing makes this story such a joy!

Second of all, don’t go into this thinking it’s a thriller. That will be really disappointing for you. This is a story about life and finding joy and experiences even when you have incredibility tough circumstances. There is a mystery and there are some action scenes, but I really wouldn’t put this in the thriller category.

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The Away by Cassandra DeJesus

"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance
Book Cover "The Away" with forest and dilapidated tunner entrance
Book Genre Block - "Young Adult" with 4 young adults

Sonia Peterson can’t help but be excited for the bright future ahead as she nears the end of her last year of high school. But she quickly discovers that things are not what they seem in the quiet community of Glendale. After her neighbor’s suicide and a slew of disappearances, Sonia’s friend Devon divulges one of the town’s best-kept secrets: at eighteen, residents are required to receive a serum that takes away their immoral impulses and imperfections, or they are exiled to a place called the Away. At first, Sonia can’t believe what she’s heard, but when her turn for the appointment comes, all of her worst fears are confirmed. Now, she must decide who she can trust and discover who is really at the core of the plot to rob Glendale’s residents of their elemental human nature. Her journey takes her deep into the heart of the Away in pursuit of freedom for herself, her friends, and her community. Can she unravel the conspiracy before it’s too late?

Just the Facts:

The Away by Cassandra DeJesus
Genre: Young Adult
Page Count: 224 pages
Publisher: Mascot
Pub Date: April 2021

Where to Find This Book:

Amazon ~ B&N ~ Mascot ~ Goodreads

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What You Never Knew by Jessica Hamilton

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Book Cover - foggy forest-covered land with water
Book Genre Block - "Paranormal"

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book was awesome! As a debut author, I am so excited to see what Hamilton will come up with next!

With a spooky, atmospheric vibe, from start to finish, this one had me completely entranced! The story is told through the alternating POVs of two sisters…one alive and one dead. WHAT?? I know right. It’s so good!

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The Light Through the Leaves by Glendy Vanderah

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

What an absolutely beautiful story! This is my first book by Glendy Vanderah, and now I need to go read Where The Forest Meets the Stars by her!

This is a story that you just get lost in. Vanderah has a wonderful way with her words! The amazing descriptions of nature place you right into the scenes with the characters. It made me want to go reconnect with the earth, go for a hike, and feel the healing powers!

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The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

Rating: 5 out of 5.
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Tea Cooper continues to create amazing historical fiction stories that are impossible to put down! This one is told through a dual timeline, providing a view of the 1860s as well as the early 1900s.

Strong female characters always make it easy for me to connect with a book, and these characters were definitely that! They are smart and headstrong. They are confident, and are impossible not to love!

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Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Book cover "Every Last Fear" with red string on push pins
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Holy moly! This debut novel by Alex Finlay is a psychological thriller you don’t want to miss! It’s perfect for readers that enjoy lots of surprises in their thrillers!

The story is told through alternating timelines and multiple POVs. It was a great way to tell the story and really allowed the reader to understand what was happening in the investigation and in the lives of the family before the murders. It was a lot of characters, and I was a bit worried as they started to be introduced that I would end up lost, but Finlay writes in a way that keeps everything organized and easy to follow!

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Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

Rating: 4 out of 5.
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance
Person peeking through hole titled "Thriller"

I thought this was a really interesting, engaging mystery! It had an exciting, explosive start, and surprises throughout the story that took me on quite a journey!

I really enjoyed that the MC, Frankie, was not a trained investigator or police officer. She was just a woman trying to atone for sins through the painful search for missing children. She’s an interesting character with her own demons that provide personality, and an attitude that helps her fit into any situation.

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The Shadow Box by Luanne Rice

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Book Cover with dark
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

This story starts off with a gripping scene that leaves the reader needing to know what in the actual world is going on. It was a chapter that had me at the edge of my seat, needing to know what happened next!

The Shadow Box is a mystery and thriller that creates an exciting story told through different character POVs as well as different timelines. I really liked Claire’s POV as she worked to prove her husband’s attempt at her murder as well as a 20+ year old crime.

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The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Rating: 5 out of 5.
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and
Book cover flowers with corked bottle
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book phtoo

A woman helping women kill their husbands in the 1790s through her apothecary shop? That got my attention! I loved the way this story was told through present and past day! It was a beautifully written, gripping novel that I thoroughly enjoyed!

The two characters we are focused on are Nella in the 1790s and Caroline in the present day. Nella is using her apothecary shop to help women kill their husbands with poisons. She has very strict morals about this killing. It must always be men, never women. She will destroy potions and refuse service to any request that has the intent to harm another woman. I really enjoyed her character. She was smart and resourceful, but also emotionally wounded, creating a character that I was deeply invested in.

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Battle of the Bullies by Fenyx Blue

Book Genre Block - "Young Adult" with 4
Book Cover with girl on cover
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bullying is a topic that needs to continue to be discussed, and I’m so happy to see these types of stories being written. This was an interesting mix of high school drama, bullying, and sisterly relationships.

The Dimes are this terrible group where each member tries to become the number 1 position in the group by bullying other students until they drop out of school. How awful! They are a horrible group that is easy to hate. When their sites are set on the Robertson sisters, they find it harder than anticipated.

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