Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mini Reviews #26

Looking for some thrilling YA reads this summer and fall? Then these are your books! THE MURDER COMPLEX by Lindsay Cummings, BLACKBIRD by Anna Carey and UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris.

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

This debut transports its readers to a futuristic world where life means nothing and killing is everything. It's time for Meadow Woodson, who has been trained to fight and survive anything, to find her place in this cruel and dangerous society. Zephyr James is already part of that system, an assassin. Their roles in the system could uncover truths and secrets that could ultimately hurt both of them and destroy their new-found bond. 
THE MURDER COMPLEX is made up of short chapters told from Zephyr and Meadow's perspectives which I liked both. The actual story could be confusing at times though. When one string of action had just begun and got promptly interrupted by another, I tended to fail to stay on top of things. The system our characters are caught in is dangerous. When starting this read you have to expect violence to be a big part of this very extreme and unpolished world Lindsay Cummings invented. And it's no surprise society is slowly and inevitably crumbling under the weight of violene, death and betrayal. In the end this twisted game of killing and being killed was even too wicked for me.

3/5 *** THE MURDER COMPLEX -  One bloody great debut some would say! Rough characters, dark story line with unpolished writing in some places.

THE MURDER COMPLEX is Lindsay Cummings' debut novel. She's come a long way to become a published YA author. And she came up with a very powerful story idea, centred around a reckless society reigned by one of the most dangerous threats to humanity, murder. Promising story concept, lacking in realization. This book is for readers who are looking for extreme and challenging reads.

Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publishing Date: June 10th 2014
Length: 398 pages
Keywords: YA, thriller, dystopia, killing society, romance
Source: Edelweiss
Author's Homepage

Blackbird by Anna Carey

"A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her." 
Sometimes it felt like Anna Carey kind of threw her readers on the train tracks, too, and asked them to work out how to like BLACKBIRD with so few information about our heroine and everything about her life. BLACKBIRD starts as a complete mystery that needs to be solved step by step. First it was difficult for me to get into the mood for this kind of story. But then suddenly one third into the story, I was so invested I just needed to read all of it as soon as possible. Especially the love story and creepy flashbacks worked perfectly for me to make Anna Carey's newest book an equally dark and desirable fall read 2014.

4/5 **** BLACKBIRD - Anna Carey's newest book is a fall '14 highlight and should be an auto-buy for YA thriller readers!

BLACKBIRD is a definite must-read for fans of the MARA DYER series, too. It might not be as extreme and terrifying but sure sets a dark and dangerous atmosphere for one girl's fight to find out her true identity. The hunt for clues, the never-ending run from her pursuers and secret girl's relentless willpower are what make Anna Carey's new book so exciting and memorable.

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: September 16th 2014
Length: 256 pages
Keywords: YA, thriller, mystery, romance
Source: Edelweiss
Author's Homepage

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Janelle and Ben have the most uncommon start for a love at first sight. The story of UNRAVELING begins when a boy saves a girl's life and literally brings her back from the dead after she's been hit by a car and her heart stopped beating. How he did that and how Janelle and Ben are going to save the world together will be explored in Elizabeth Norris' fast-paced YA thriller debut.
UNRAVELING is a sci-fi thriller with many mysterious occurrences. It's also set over the course of 24 days. I was unable to put it down! 
It's when Janelle discovers a clock that counts down to the destruction of the earth, that our countdown of 24 days starts. In the beginning of every chapter there's a note on how much time is left, increasing the urgency and the enormity of what's at risk. Her familiar situation isn't that simple either and her brother, father and mother are definitly no happy family. I really loved that part of the story and its sincerity and realness. Just as real was the romance between Janelle and Ben. It was destined to be, impulsive and hot. And the end of UNRAVLING totally broke my heart! Very much need to get to its sequel, UNBREAKABLE soon.

5/5 ***** UNRAVELING - A badass teen agent caught between an unforgettable love story, a murder investigation and parallel worlds.

UNRAVELING is one of my favourite YA thrillers and I absolutely loved that Janelle was so passionate and professional about everything she did. She's a great investigator (probably thanks to her father being an FBI agent), always says what's on her mind and is fighting for justice whenever she can. The whole story reminded me a bit of a more mysterious and scientific Veronica Mars. If you decide to pick up a copy of this first book in a duology, you should get ready to solve a few gruesome crime cases and enjoy the romance between Ben and Janelle which is just as sweet.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: April 24th 2012
Length: 464 pages
Keywords: YA, thriller, mystery, romance, FBI, parallel worlds
Source: Bought
Author's Homepage


  1. Aw, YAY for five stars for Unraveling :D I loved that book too. <3 Great reviews sweetie. I'm still unsure about The Murder Complex. Sigh. Don't know if I want to read it or not :p Anyway. Ack. Blackbird. I had some big issues with it :( SOBS. But glad you enjoyed it ;p

  2. So glad you loved Unravelling! I completely adored that book, and it's sequel. I can't wait to see what the author writes next. I wasn't sure about Blackbird, but you've definitely made me curious now, especially with the Mara Dyer comparison. Great mini reviews. :)

  3. Yay, I'm glad you loved Unraveling too! I've got The Murder Complex in my TBR pile for when I'm in the mood for an action novel, but I'll pass on Blackbird because of the Mara Dyer comparison.