Sons of Anarchy Bratva by Christopher Golden

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Bratva is “an original novel based on the FX series”and is “set after the fourth season of the groundbreaking television drama Sons of Anarchy, from the mind of executive producer Kurt Sutter.” The story is that Jax’s half-sister, Trinity, has gotten mixed up with some Russian Bratva gangsters so Jax, Opie and Chibs head out to Nevada to look for her.
The author, Christopher Golden, who is no stranger to tv-to-book adaptations, does a great job with the characters. They sounded and moved like themselves. He writes them as they are on the show, but with deeper insight. Even the side characters are fully fleshed out. Jax, Opie and Chibs were my favorites on the show, so reading a full length book about them was great.
The story moves along quickly as we piece things together with Jax and see things through Trinity’s eyes. The action scenes are face paced and well described. I could really picture the guys riding down a lonely desert at night. There were one or two slight editing errors, but it was ok.
I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it to any Sons of Anarchy fans out there.

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Riverdale Student Handbook by Jenne Simon

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The Riverdale Student Handbook is fun, quick read. It’s set up like an actual student handbook that has been altered by the characters of the show before it’s been given to you. They’ve written comments on the school, characters and things that go on in town and it looks like are newspaper clippings and flyers taped into it. I would recommend it for fans of the show.

Dracula by Bram Stoker (Oxford World’s Classics version)

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I got this book as a gift from a customer at work, which was really nice, and decided to skip it to the front of my TBR list. It has a first chapter in it that wasn’t originally included when it was first published and an index at the back. This is pretty neat. It sets up Jonathan Harker’s journey to castle Dracula and mentions some of the traditions of various people along the way.
This isn’t my first time reading Dracula. It’s probably my 5th or 6th (7th?), but reading it on the train as I read about Harker’s travels was different. I think the last time I read this book was almost 10 years ago (When I got the Kindle for desktop app I wanted all of the classics on it.) and I actually had a bit of a hard time getting into it. I don’t remember that ever happening before, but once I got into the story, it was good.
Somethings were a little funny to me now (how dramatic the men are, Seward watching Renfield eat stuff), but I could still feel Harker’s terror and despair at being trapped in the castle with the count, not knowing when he’d see his family again. It’s not like he could sneak out a window and run to the neighbors or call someone. He’s completely alone in a bad situation.
If you like vampires and classic books, this is a good one.

Being Exposed by Mae Worthington

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I won this in a First Reads giveaway. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like the book.

Being Exposed is told from the alternating points of view of three friends (Jackie, Tonya and Garrett) who are dealing with the aftermath of their other friend, Tracy, revealing Jackie and Garrett’s secrets at a party. Honestly, the way these people talk is ridiculous and unrealistic. I wanted to quit this book three different times, but I finished it anyway.

Jackie is self-centered and thinks only her issues matter, that she’s the only one with issues and it only matters that her secret was exposed. She also randomly goes off on the popular girl (for checking on her when she’s crying) and the other girls count this as some kind of victory. Ok?

Tonya is stuck up and judges everyone and everything around her. When Ryan, the nice guy she meets, takes her to a park to get her mind off of things she weirdly decides that, even though he took her there, she’s responsible for her happiness because she made the swing move. Then she compares him to her dad. Not weird at all.

Garrett does photography and photo shows. He wants his friends, especially Jackie, to be more serious about college. He’s upset when Tracy exposes him for being gay and keeps trying to be a “regular guy.” He even mentions his insecurities to his friends and they let him know that he sounds like a “guy’s guy.” I think him talking about his insecurities and worrying about his spot on his baseball team in the aftermath of his attack were the most realistic parts of the whole book. After the attack, his outlook is mostly positive.

I honestly got nothing from this book. Most of the characters are useless and Tracy and her sister Stacy are almost one character. I really think the author needs to spend time in a mall and observe how teens talk and interact. Going on weird rants isn’t it.

Concrete Fever by Nathaniel Kressen

 

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I finished this two days ago and I’m still not sure if I even liked this book. The main character/narrator is Jumper and he’s not the best guy. He’s a high schooler who drinks a lot and gets stoned while living in his deceased father’s high rise apartment New York City. One night, he decides to end it all and jump off the roof, but instead he meets a girl dancing on the ledge. He calls her Gypsy and they agree to act out a whole relationship over the course of one night while being honest with each other (but how would the reader know?), thus starting a crazy, alcohol and drug infused adventure. We never learn their real names and the ending was ok.

I honestly bought this book at the thrift shop based on the fact that the cover is neat and it’s signed. That’s not usually why I buy books, but it was this time.

Dark Moon Fell by Mari Biella

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“Deliver us from evil…”

When Angela Martin finds a job looking after Fell House for its absent owners, it seems like a dream come true. Her new location offers peace, privacy – and a chance to escape from the stalker who has been making Angela’s life a misery.

As the days pass, however, Angela gradually becomes aware that there is something wrong with the house. The words “Deliver us from evil” are carved beside the gates. A nearby hill, Dark Moon Fell, is said to act as a gateway between the worlds of the living and the dead. And as Angela learns more about the house’s former owner, violinist Meredith Baker, she begins to notice parallels between their lives – and becomes convinced that she has to help Meredith’s tortured spirit find peace.

But Angela soon realizes that Meredith may not be the only ghost in Fell House – and that she is in danger from an all-too-human threat from her past.

And this time escape may be impossible…”

I loved the set up of this book. A woman all on her own in a secluded, haunted house who also has a stalker out there. It started out with a tense atmosphere and made me wonder what would get her first.
Unfortunately, it devolved into a less scary murder mystery with a ghost where people keep pointing out the similarities between our MC Angela’s life and the deceased woman’s life as if it wasn’t completely obvious. Honestly, after chapter 4 or so I had this whole thing figured out and had to wait for the predictable stuff to happen, which felt like it took forever.
The book ends on a happy note, which is nice, but Angela’s love interest is a little too convenient for me.
I won this book through a First Reads giveaway on Goodreads. All opinions are my own. I gave it 2/5.

The Merciless by Danielle Vega

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The book’s about a girl named Sofia who moves to a new town and befriends the three popular girls (Riley, Alexis and Grace). They want her to spy on their former friend, Brooklyn, who’s now more “alternative” (dark eyeliner, tattoos, piercings, etc.). It’s literally Mean Girls in reverse for the first few chapters, but the book knows that and at one point Sofia quips “Most girls would just write a burn book.” (Pg. 112)
This is much more violent and gory than Mean Girls though. There are very detailed descriptions of physical harm and dead bodies. The book moves along at a quick pace and once it gets to the part where Riley (the head popular girl) is trying to “save” Brooklyn, the pace really picks up. This ends in kind of a cliff hanger, but I already own book two. I actually bought that one first. Oops.
I enjoyed this, though I think there could’ve been a bit more character development. We mostly learn about Sofia through her interactions with her grandmother and flashbacks and not much is really mentioned about the other characters. One other small issue I had, and it might be petty, is that there’s a song that’s supposed to be skipping on a cd in the book and it’s going “shout to the, shout to the,” but the song is “Shout at the Devil” not “Shout to the Devil,” so the lyrics are wrong.
I’d recommend it to anyone who likes young adult/horror who doesn’t mind swearing. It was also kind of fun reading a pink book with a pentagram on the cover on public transportation. I gave it 4/5 stars.