The Definition of Original: Don’t You Forget About Me, Kate Karyus Quinn

Don't You Forget About Me

Don’t You Forget About Me

Kate Karyus Quinn

Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

Except…
There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.

You know what I’m going to call Kate Quinn from now on? The Queen of Queer. It’s a rightly earned title. Like her debut novel, Another Little Piece, Quinn returned with a brilliantly crafted tale that made little sense at the beginning, but then came together at the end and smacked me right in the face with answers for all the questions I ever had. And let me tell you, she did this all through an amazingly complex and original plot that just swept me off my feet. Too bad she wasn’t able to impress me throughout the story, though.

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Living Up To Its Name: We Are the Goldens, Dana Reinhardt

We Are the Goldens

We Are the Goldens

Dana Reinhardt

Nell knows a secret about her perfect, beautiful sister Layla. If she tells, it could blow their world apart.

When Nell and Layla were little, Nell used to call them Nellaya. Because to Nell, there was no difference between where she started and her adored big sister ended. They’re a unit; divorce made them rely on each other early on, so when one pulls away, what is the other to do? But now, Nell’s a freshman in high school and Layla is changing, secretive. And then Nell discovers why. Layla is involved with one of their teachers. And even though Nell tries to support Layla, to understand that she’s happy and in love, Nell struggles with her true feelings: it’s wrong, and she must do something about it.

You gotta admit that this book cover is nothing special (except for that creepy stare that girl on the right is giving). If I saw this in a store, chances are I wouldn’t even give it a second glance. But this book is the prime example of why we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover — though let’s face it: absolutely NO ONE will ever listen to this piece of advice. Oh, you will? Didn’t think so. I really enjoyed We Are the Goldens, despite the okay-ish cover and the fairly generic blurb. I mean, two sisters? One secret? I haven’t only read that a million times. But Dana Reinhardt put a spin to a common contemporary novel about sisters and supposedly earth-shattering secrets with the addition of a very difficult and oftentimes tabooed topic: student-teacher romantic relationships.

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Disturbingly Average: Parasite, Mira Grant

Parasite (Parasitology, #1)

Parasite (Parasitology #1)

Mira Grant

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives…and will do anything to get them.

Without me, SymboGen would never have existed. There are probably people who would say that was a good thing, too. I have to admit, there are days when I think it would be a good thing. I might even be willing to give it all back if it meant I still had my friends. But you can’t go home again.
-FROM “KING OF THE WORMS,” AN INTERVIEW WITH DR. STEVEN BANKS, CO-FOUNDER OF SYMBOGEN. ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN ROLLING STONE, FEBRUARY 2027.

After reading so many positive reviews from trusted friends of mine, I have to say that I am quite disappointed with Parasite. (I can’t trust you guys ever again!) It has such an original and disturbing premise — tapeworms that can enhance our bodies? said tapeworms turning restless and wanting to live their own lives? If that doesn’t make you squirm in intrigue, then I don’t know what else will. Mira Grant did a great job with the scientific aspect, but in terms of storytelling, not so much.

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Off With Their Heads: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer, Katie Alender

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

Katie Alender

Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . . .

Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this story of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen.

Light, quirky, but lacking quite a bit of depth, Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer, is the kind of quick read mystery fans will enjoy quite a bit. When it comes down to the smaller details, that is where the book fails quite significantly. Still, there’s something fun in chasing a serial killer in Paris, getting kissed at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and diving into the — fictional — world of Marie Antoinette-France. Katie Alender has definitely written an entertaining story!

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