Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review: Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong

AftermathTitle:  Aftermath
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers 
Publishing Date:  May 22nd, 2018
Pages: 384
Genre: YA Mystery Thriller
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  ARC

Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there's no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn't a victim; he was a shooter.

Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don't heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend--Skye.

Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can't resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer.

I have read a few books by Kelley Armstrong and I always seem to enjoy them. I appreciate how different they are from each too. I can say I was delightfully surprised with this book. I figured I would enjoy it since I have so many of her other books, what I didn't expect was this to be a mystery thriller. I thought it was more the line of realistic fiction. Which it is realistic fiction too and also a little bit of romance. It was a good story well written. 

There was a school shooting in the local high school. Skye Gilchrist and Jesse Mandal were in middle school at the time. When they heard of the shooting they had the shock of know their brothers were in involved. One was part of the shooters, the other one was killed. Skye and Jesse were friends at the time and on the verge of something more. The had crushes and Jesse just asked Skye on their first date, not as friends. Life was good, until the shooting. Skye lost her brother, she lost her friend, Jesse, and she lost her home. 

Now it is three years later and Skye is moving back to the town of the shooting. She is headed to high school with some of the same kids that lost someone in the shooting, that was there when the shooting happened. She isn't treated well. She is trying just to get through the day. Then things start happening. Someone is sending her messages with videos of the victims, sounds from the shooting. Other strange things are happening too. Someone is out to get Skye. She turns to Jesse for help, and together they piece it together while trying to stay alive. 

I really enjoyed this book. I felt it was well written and executed. I have a love-hate relationship with school shooting reads. I mean so many have happened over the years, one recently here in Texas. It seems to be an epidemic. ( I know that is not the correct word but I couldn't think of a better one.) I think sometimes they are glorified in a way, giving way to much attention to the event but it is also an issue that needs to be addressed. So yes love-hate relationship. This author did a great job on this book. 

What I really loved about this book, the school shooting was there, the issue was brought up, the extremity was evident, but it was not the main focus of the book. It more supported the main focus. The man focus was Skye and the mystery of all the stuff happening to her. There was also questions around her brother an the shooting.  So lots of mystery. The school shooting doesn't happen int he book. Its tidbits of flashbacks and video snippets and talk. So I also appreciated that. I really didn't need to live the school shooting. 

I liked both the main characters Skye and Jesse. They were different from each other and both had their strengths and weaknesses. Skye was anti-social. She has gone through a lot with online bullying. She is hated for what her brother did. She can't seem to concentrate on her grief of losing a brother because of the events that led to his death. she is super sad, angry, and just tired of hate. She is lonely. When Jesse comes back into her life, it's a very good thing. 

Jesse is known around school, but he is not the Jesse that Skye remembers. He is full of anger. It takes a bit for Jesse to talk to Skye. Not because of what her brother did but because of how he treated her right after. He is still working on forgiving himself. He is also angry at himself. He didn't get along with his brother and he doesn't quite know how to feel about his death. 

These two reunite and its just great. It does take a bit. Jesse is a bit stalkerish at first because he doesn't know how to approach Skye. Once they get talking again, things seem to fall into place. Of course, their relationship is a little rushed when someone is threatening Skye. Jesse is bound to figure it out and to protect Skye. Of course, their reunited friendship also ignites a romance. It's sweet and just perfect. I really enjoyed these two and their relationship. 

I liked the family dynamics in this book. There were all kinds. Skye lived with her grandmother and mother until her grandmother had some medical issues, and her mother was kind of nuts... so Skye moves in with a workaholic aunt. Her aunt wants to be there for her but has no idea what to do with a child much less a teen. 

Jesse parents are great and put together and there is a great family unit with dinners and trust and talking and all that good stuff. So there is all kinds of family dynamics. I like this because not everyone has the same family dynamics. 

Really it was good. The story was great, it was written seamlessly, it was paced well, and the mystery was well done. I didn't focus too much on who it might be but I did have a feeling of who it might be. A couple different times. So the red herring is there for sure. 

The ending was well done and I was smiling at the end. It was full of shock, revelations, thrills and chills. There were some very creepy scenes in this book too. Really it was well done. I think the only thing I needed was just a bit more on the chilling thrilling side.

This was a really good read. I enjoyed it from the first page to the last page. 

Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

Cover Up: Recent Reads #5

This feature I will just gab, remark, feature book covers. 

For this cover up I will be comparing two different editions of the same book, from books I've read recently. I will try to do this every couple weeks or so. Can be from a different country, or just a different edition in general

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff
Jenn Review here Ash Review here
Here’s what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, Sam’s best friend, Hayden, was dead. All he left Sam was a playlist of songs—and a note, saying that he took his own life. But what Sam doesn’t know is: Why?
To figure out what happened, Sam has to rely on the playlist and his own memory. But the more he listens, the more he realizes that his memory isn’t as reliable as he thought. Especially when someone claiming to be Hayden starts sending him cryptic messages, and a series of violent attacks begins on the bullies who made Hayden’s life hell.
Sam knows he has to face up to what happened the night. But it’s only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him—including an eccentric, unpredictable girl who’s got secrets, too—that Sam will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story.
And maybe have a chance to change his own.
American Cover                                               Other American Cover   
    Playlist for the Dead                               Playlist for the Dead   

I love the first cover so much. Not so big on the second cover.

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow
Review here
Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. It's a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It's a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer--a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person's real livelihood is at stake.

From acclaimed teen author (Little Brother, For the Win) and Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow and Koko Be Good creator Jen Wang, In Real Life is a perceptive and high-stakes look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture clash.
American Cover                                               Italian Cover   
    In Real Life                               In Real Life    

I love both of these covers so much! I can't pick one.

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Although I had never seen him before, I recognized him immediately. I'd have known his voice anywhere. This was the guy I'd seen on my last journey back in time.
Or more precisely, the one who'd kissed my doppelganger while I was hiding behind the curtain in disbelief.
Sixteen-year-old Gwen lives with her extended - and rather eccentric - family in an exclusive London neighborhood. In spite of her ancestors' peculiar history, she's had a relatively normal life so far. The time-traveling gene that runs like a secret thread through the female half of the family is supposed to have skipped over Gwen, so she hasn't been introduced to "the mysteries," and can spend her time hanging out with her best friend, Lesly. It comes as an unwelcome surprise when she starts taking sudden, uncontrolled leaps into the past.
She's totally unprepared for time travel, not to mention all that comes with it: fancy clothes, archaic manners, a mysterious secret society, and Gideon, her time-traveling counterpart. He's obnoxious, a know-it-all, and possibly the best-looking guy she's seen in any centrury

American Cover                                               Turkish Cover
    Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy, #1)                               Yakut Kırmızı (AÅŸk Tüm Zamanların İçinden Geçer, #1) 
These covers are both so different! I like the American version better, but the other is cute too.

Cress by Marissa Meyer
Jenn review here My review here
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
      American Cover                                               French Cover   
    Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)                               Cress (Chroniques lunaires, #3)    

Oh my god you guys, look at the French cover. It's so gorgeous!!

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Jenn's review here
Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a stranger on death row in this second novel from the author of the bestselling debut, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece.
Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret—a dark and terrible secret that she can't confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.
Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can—in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal.
American Cover                                                  Other American Cover
    Ketchup Clouds                               Ketchup Clouds   

I love love love the cover on the right, with the girl on it. I don't care much for the one on the left.


Wee Reads: Lulu is a Rhinoceros by Jason and Allison Flom

Ever since Finn was born, and even before then, we would read to him. We wanted to show him reading from an early age. Now he loves us to read the same books, over, and over, and over. But it is the sweetest thing, when he likes to pick out a book and climb into our laps. 

Lulu Is a RhinocerosLulu is a Rhinoceros by Jason Flom and Allison Flom


Everyone thinks Lulu is a bulldog. It's what she looks like on the outside, so it must be what she is on the inside. But Lulu know she's not really a dog.
Lulu is a rhinoceros-that's what she sees when she looks in the mirror. When Lulu decides to tell the world who she really is, it begins a wild adventure.

Do you like this book?
Yes! I love doggies and she wasn't a rhino, but she was cute! 

What's your favorite part of the book?
When she puts a banana on her head! And an ice cream cone! That's just silly, and she's not a rhino, she's a doggie!

What do you think of the cover?
It has a doggie and a rhino! And I like the letters.

Do you want me to read it again?

This is such a cute book! Lulu is a pug who believes with everything that she is, that she's a rhinoceros! She says even though she's soft and fluffy on the outside, on the inside she is a rhino. And she believes that if only she had a horn then everyone will see that she's a rhino! So she tries to find horn shaped objects to put on her head, such as a traffic cone, ice cream cone, and even a banana peel!

This is a great book that teaches kids that if they believe enough, no matter what anyone else says, they can be whoever and whatever they want to be.

Lulu is a Rhinoceros had me cracking up, and saying "aw!" It had such great artwork and great writing, and like I said, it's a great story.

We received an ARC for this book in exchange for an honest review.

Similar Books...
The Thing Lou Couldn't DoYou Be YouYou're Here for a Reason

Answer Me This: What Are Your TV Addictions?

Answer Me This. We are hoping this will help our friends get to know us a just a tad bit better. 

This week's Answer Me This is all about TV shows. What shows do you currently love? What are your all-time favorites?


I have a habit of finding one show and fixating on it. I will binge watch it, and then go on to the next one. There are times I start a series and then get bored and watch something else, but I try to stick to one.

So a few of the shows I'm currently in the middle of...

Jane the Virgin. Season 4 just came out on Netflix, so that's what I'm on.

Jane the Virgin Poster

Vampire Diaries. I've never watched the entire series, so I'm trying to actually get through it from beginning to end. I'm about halfway through season 2.

The Vampire Diaries Poster

Riverdale. Season 2 is now on Netflix and I'm super excited. We watched about half of the second season when it was on TV, but kind of lost track of it, and now can binge it all on Netflix.

Riverdale Poster

Grey's Anatomy. I'm also about halfway through the newest season, which is on Hulu.

Grey's Anatomy Poster

Slasher. I just finished season 2 of it, and it's so much better than the first season.

Slasher Poster

13 Reasons Why. Only on like episode 3 of the second season. 

13 Reasons Why Poster

But I also have the few shows that I've watched from beginning to end about ten times each. 

So some of the ones that I have already seen all the way through and will watch or am watching all over again...

Walking Dead. I will forever rewatch this one. Every time a new season comes on Netflix I start again at season 1.

The Walking Dead Poster

90210/Beverly Hills 90210. I love both the original and the new 90210. And I have seen every episode at least twice.

Beverly Hills, 90210 Poster90210 Poster

One Tree Hill. This is one of my obsessions. I watched it when it was on TV and then I've watched it all multiple times.

One Tree Hill Poster

Raising Hope. I have watched this one a couple times though. And John is in the middle of watching it and I catch a few episodes here and there.

Raising Hope Poster

How I Met Your Mother. I've seen every episode twice, and most of them 3 times. I need to binge this again soon.

How I Met Your Mother Poster

Friends. A show that I put on whenever I'm blogging, or cleaning, or just want something I really don't have to pay attention to.

Friends Poster

So there you have it. Some of my all-time favorite shows, and also what I'm watching currently.


Oh, I love so many shows all the time. I am a television show addict. I just finished binging the second season of 13 Reasons Why. I loved it and I so hope there is a season 3. It's a hard show to watch and I don't think it should be a show watched by teens. So I do have mixed feelings about this show. The issues they bring to light are important ones but man is it so graphic I do love it though. It angers me and makes me cry and also makes me laugh. It's so emotional! 

Image result for emotional gif

So other television shows I love... Well, Survivor just ended. I do like to watch that show. I love so many home design shows... Trading Spaces, Nate and Jeremiah on Design, Flip or Flop, Fixer Upper, Good Bones. They are all so dang good.

I just started The Crown and also Westworld. I have heard wonderful things about both of them and enjoying what I have seen. Not very far in either though.

I am huge How to Get Away with Murder and Grays Anatomy fan. Although they are on break right now. In fact, a lot of my shows are on break right now. 

Image result for broken heart  gif

Some of my all time favorites... Charmed, Friends, Vampire Diaries, Walking Dead, One Tree Hill, How I Met Your Mother, and Big Bang Theory Those are ones I can think of right this moment. I know I probably have more but its hard on the spot. I do know these I can just turn on any episode anytime and I will watch it. 

Really though, I love television shows way too much and probably watch way too much tv. Thank goodness for Netflix and Hulu

Image result for big bang theory gif

Imagination Designs