Book Review: Five Midnights by Ann Davila Cardinal

***I received an unformatted ARC copy from NetGalley in order to write a review***

Five friends cursed. Five deadly fates. Five nights of retribución.

If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they’ll have to step into the shadows to see what’s lurking there—murderer, or monster?

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I loved this YA horror and suspense novel. The opening scene began with July 4th; Vico, turning 18 soon, was in old San Juan with cocaine in his book bag. It was a chilling scene (in a good way!) when the monster snatched Vico up. I was surprised, thinking he was a main character, but he died within the first few pages. I loved how this tied into next meeting Lupe, who’s 16. It was her first time visiting Puerto Rico without her dad, and she met her uncle who was working on the “murder” case.

The author was great with the setting details. I could picture being in Puerto Rico, even though I’ve never visited. All the scenes were interesting, moving the plot along. When two boys robbed a store, that was a pretty intense scene. I adored Lupe’s feisty nature and thought Javier’s crush on her was cute.

I really liked how the teens teamed up to try and solve the mystery. Since I have an open-mind about monsters and such, like Loch Ness Monster and BigFoot, I loved that they believed in the monster that was haunting Javier and his friends. The teens were relatable, regretting their past. I also liked that the author wasn’t afraid to portray the bad guys, a gang, as awful human beings. I hated that they were trying to hurt Javier (hated them in a good way, that the author did a great job with characterization).

My favorite lines: 1) He loved the way the decaying cement and wooden shacks were painted in bright colors. And the smell: salty ocean with notes of frying plantain, beer, garbage, and urine. Life. 2) “Monsters don’t come unless someone calls them!” 3) “You’ve been watching too many movies. Things just aren’t that interesting in real life.”

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Perfect Little Murder is here!

I’m happy to announce book #6 is available! What would you do if someone killed your brother? Cry? Get revenge? Check out my new suspense to see what Loren does.

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Franco was my brother, my best friend, my protector. He never missed any of my ballet practices.

Until Kina…killed him. I don’t care how many times she denies it. I know she killed him. And for that, she’ll have to pay.

CLICK THE LINK TO BUY:  AMAZON, B&N, APPLE, KOBO, OTHER BOOK SITES

***If anyone wants a free copy so they can write an honest review, please email me: author.yawatta.hosby(AT)aol(DOT)com. I can gift the book at any book site or give a PDF, ePub, or Mobi file.

Right now, Perfect Little Murder is only available as an ebook. Once my proof copy arrives, I’ll be able to publish the paperback too 🙂

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: The Smiley Killer By Julia Derek

***I received a free book in exchange for a review***

Seventeen-year-old Riley has been fascinated with crime investigation since she discovered CSI on TV. So, when it’s announced a serial killer is loose in the city, hell-bent on killing girls like Riley’s little sister, Riley’s on full alert. Not even Mark, the super hot college boy pursuing her, can get her mind off the case.

A victim found near the research lab where Riley’s friend Alyssa volunteers makes Riley think she’s found a lead: The killer’s signature—sad smileys—appears in the lab, so it seems the killer could be someone working there. Riley alerts Alyssa and the two notify the NYPD. But the police dismiss their claims.

Convinced she’s onto something, Riley embarks on her own investigation together with Alyssa. When another victim is found near the lab, it seems they’re close to finding the killer. Problem is, their prime suspect is a scientist’s younger brother—who happens to be Mark…

21570121I loved this book. The opening sentence “It took four dead girls for the NYPD to admit they had a serial killer on their hands” had me hooked right away. The story was written through Riley’s first person point of view. I admired her relationships with the other characters. She and her little sister, Cass, had a cute and entertaining back and forth dialogue. Even though the serial killer was hunting girls Cass’s age, she still held her ground that she should be able to go anywhere she wanted to go unchaperoned. I enjoyed Riley and Alyssa’s friendship. They were both busy (different priorities in life) but still managed to find time for one another. It took me back to my high school years, when it’s close to graduation and knowing my friends would be going to different colleges than me.

I appreciated that Riley acted like Harriet the Spy (my favorite spy of all time). She didn’t wait for clues to come to her; she actively sought out her own clues and came up with her own conclusions. I thought it was shady how Alyssa kept trying to get her to stop snooping. Was Alyssa sincere? Or up to something? is what I kept thinking throughout the story. The security guard who helped them seemed fun. He was really nice.

I liked the tension of Riley’s crush, Mark, being a suspect. Those scenes had me on the edge of my seat because I thought he could be the killer as well. I had four suspects, so the author did an amazing job of providing red herrings. The girls thought The Smiley Killer worked in Alyssa’s lab.

I wish facial expressions and/or body language would have been used more to emphasize the characters’ dialogue. It would have been cool to see them express their concerns, anger, confusion, sympathy, etc. in that way. I enjoyed the cliffhanger. Maybe there could be  a sequel?

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author and book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby