YA Fantasy, Young Adult

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare is the fourth book in the Mortal Instruments series. Originally, the series was meant to end with the third book, so this last trilogy is a bit of a reboot. 

In this first installment to the ‘second trilogy’ (as Cassandra Clare calls it), Simon is trying to cope with life as a vampire while juggling two girlfriends along with the Mark of Cain, Clary is trying to keep her relationship with Jace afloat while a demonic force is invading his dreams and tearing them apart, and the Clave is investigating the mysterious deaths of several Shadowhunters. 

When I first started reading it, it really did feel like a bit of a jumbled reboot. There was so much focus on Simon with Clary and Jace and the other characters as an afterthought (though it was a relief to not have another book centered around their ‘tragic’ love story) and the events that took place didn’t really make sense. But then, things really came together in the last 100-150 pages and really made it worth sticking it out to the finish. It was an extremely entertaining book, even though it felt like it’s sole purpose was to upstart the series again. 

The Mortal Intruments is one of my favorite young adult series, and this book somewhat struggled to live up to City of Glass but kept my interest nonetheless in a fantasy world that I was familiar with. Overall, I would give it 4/5 stars. 

Fiction, Thriller

Accidents Happen by Louise Millar

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I found this book as I was wandering the library looking for some light summer reading. I had never heard of it before but the title grabbed my attention. Also, who doesn’t love a cover of a woman running away in the woods?

Accidents Happen by Louise Millar focuses on Kate Parker whose terrible bad luck has caused her a lot of anxiety that is seriously affecting her and her son’s life. Kate meets a man named Jago who has decided to help her overcome her anxiety about what could happen to her or her family. However, is it really a streak of bad luck or something much worse?

Starting out, this book was effortless to read and felt pretty straight forward (minus the names of the characters that felt like they were plucked from a Top 20 names from the 90s). It is immediately obvious that Kate is actually being stalked which I found fairly interesting. I almost always enjoy when you can see the point of view from the antagonist. As the book went on though, it really seemed to feel more like a romance between Jago and Kate as the chapters from the stalker decreased.

I did, however, love the ending and the way it made me feel anxious and stressed. And by the ending, I mean the last eighty pages. I just wish that the rest of the book (which is categorized as a thriller) made me feel that way. I feel like if the pacing were done a little better  I would have enjoyed it much more. Most of the time I forgot I was reading a thriller due to the constant obsession with Jago.

Overall, It wasn’t a terrible book but it won’t be one that I read again or purchase. It’s great for some light beach reading but if you’re looking for a keep you on the edge of your seat thriller, this book isn’t for you. I would give it 2/5 stars.

YA Thriller, Young Adult

Unbelievable by Sara Shepard

Unbelievable by Sara Shepard is the 4th book in the Pretty Little Liars series (Not including Ali’s Pretty Little Lies). This series is split up into 4 arcs, this one being the final book in the first arc.  It focuses around 4 friends Aria, Hanna, Spencer, and Emily who are dangerously close to discovering who A is after Hanna was hit by a car in the previous book.

Hanna and Mona’s friendship is revived after her near murder, Emily’s parents ship her off to Iowa to straighten her out, Spencer thinks she might have killed Ali, and Aria’s illegal relationship with her teacher sent him to jail.

This book is definitely geared more toward teenagers, but they’re my guilty pleasure. They aren’t the most amazing thing I’ve ever read but they are such a fast read and the plot is entertaining, no matter how many times you want to jump in the book and tell them to just go to the police. I guarantee the only thing I’ll remember about this book years from now is who A is in this arc. It’s an easy, mindless read (that still has a great plot) best suited for the beach or by a pool, so if you’re looking for something a little deeper to inspire some profound epiphany, I don’t suggest any book in this series. But if you’re looking for a couple of days of easy entertainment from a book that’s a little more plot driven, these could be the books for you.

Ultimately, I would give this book 3/5 stars. It was a fun read, but could be predictable at certain plot points, along with the characters seeming a little one-dimensional.

With that being said, the books are most definitely better than the TV show.