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The Amateurs by Sara Shepard: BOOK REVIEW

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THE DETAILS:

Book: The Amateurs

Authors: Sara Shepard

Pages: 307

Read: 11th December, 2016

Rating: 4.25/5 Stars


GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Five years ago, high school senior Helena Kelly disappeared from her backyard in Dexby, Connecticut, never to be heard from again. Her family was left without any answers—without any idea who killed Helena, or why.

So when eighteen-year-old Seneca Frazier sees a desperate post on the Case Not Closed message board, she knows it’s time to change that. Helena’s high-profile disappearance is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It’s the reason she’s a member of the site in the first place.

Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, she agrees to spend spring break in Connecticut working on the case with Maddy Wright, her best friend from Case Not Closed. However, the moment she steps off the train, things start to go wrong. Maddy’s nothing like she expected, and Helena’s sister, Aerin, doesn’t seem to want any help after all. Plus, Seneca has a secret of her own, one that could derail the investigation if she’s not careful.

Alongside Brett, another super-user from the site, they slowly begin to unravel the secrets Helena kept in the weeks before her disappearance. But the killer is watching…and determined to make sure the case stays cold.


REVIEW:

Plot: 4.89/5

Characters: 4/5

Writing: 4.5/5

Well, I think it’s fair to say that Sara Shepard, aka. mystery/thriller/murder mystery goddess, has done it again with her latest novel, The Amateurs.

This novel was my most highly anticipated read of 2016, and I’m so glad it did not disappoint, even though I knew there was no chance it would.

It was crazy, exhilarating, and packed with mystery. It really got me being an investigator alongside our main clan of protagonists.

I love how this book was told from such an array of different characters, we really got to see how everything went down for everyone, and the ways in which they went about things. I found it so interesting to be able to assess each character as they were seen from their own points of view.

However, the characters did fall sort of flat-ish for me at times.
Usually, the characters are one of my favourite parts of (well any novel), but especially Shepard’s books. Even more so, the friendships between her characters draw me in the most, and I feel this book didn’t quite have that same feeling as her other series, say like Pretty Little Liars or The Lying Game.
But, I do think that is simply because it’s the first instalment in a series, and I have absolutely no doubt that both the characters, and their friendships will only grow immensely from this novel forwards.

I also cannot wait to see more of the side characters in future instalments *cough* Thomas *Cough*.

The concept of this novel, and the ‘Case Not Closed’ situation, I found to be so entertaining, and it certainly kept me on my feet throughout the course of it.

I loved the nature of the book. It was just such an enjoyable read, whilst still making me nervous and skeptical of every corner I turned… oh, and every page too…
Shepard always imagines the best settings/scenery, and immerses the characters, as well as the reader, into her fictional world, and makes it feel a little less like fiction.

The ending made me simultaneously go crazy, and think “really, the only person I didn’t suspect was found to be the murderer, seriously”. AAAAND they also happened to be one of my favourite characters in the whole book!!
However, that made me love it even more. I don’t quite know how but Shepard manages to fool me with every.single.new.story she comes out with. Seriously, my jaw always ends up on the floor.

I can’t quite believe that we found out the murderer in the first book! (Unless theres some twist put on it and it isn’t really who it is, but it is, but it isn’t…) Yep, that would only make sense to Shepard’s long-time reader fans.
It worked though! I am barely able to contain myself for the next book, I just need to see what happens to the squad (and to the murderer).

I cannot wait for the next instalment to come out in this crazy new series by my favourite author. I wonder if it’ll be another 16 book series. I don’t think I’d oppose.

Bring on more sleuthing, sneaking, and mystery, because no one does that better than Sara Shepard!

That’s all,

Kate :)

Life After Exams: Film Edition

Hey, my loves!

This is my last “Life after exams” post, if you haven’t seen the other two, here are the links:
https://passthefeels.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/life-after-exams-book-edition/
https://passthefeels.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/life-after-exams-tvfilm-edition/

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little section of my life! Can’t wait to start posting new book reviews soon (when I’ll actually have time to read again!) haha

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    Allegiant: Yes, I still have not watched this film! Still! I’m bracing myself for what it’s going to be like. Who knows, it may surprise me, but we’ll see, I guess… Miles Teller saved Insurgent for me, so I’m ready to see more of him in this instalment!

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    Thor (and all the Marvel movies, ever): I’ve been wanting to watch this movie, and it’s sequel for the longest time. Who wouldn’t want to watch hunky Chris Hemsworth throw around a hammer? Idk. Can’t wait to see this one!

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    Ice Age Collision Course: Okay, come on. I love the ice age films. I grew up with them, and continue to love them. Sid is my spirit animal, okay? So excited to see where this one takes my crazy animal childhood loves.

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    Room: This one has intrigued me since I read what it was about, saw the trailer, and of course, Brie Larson’s Oscar win. Cannot wait to see what takes place in this film. It seems so unique.

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    Gone Girl: Still haven’t read the book, oops. But I love a good mystery! Can’t wait to see the craziness that is this movie. I’ve heard so much about the amount of twists and turns, and I do love a good plot twist.

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    The Girl On The Train: Knowing this film is a book, (yet, not having read it), I was intrigued by the trailer. The trailer looks so good, I really hope I can see this one in cinemas before it leaves!

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    Suicide Squad: Well, everyone and their dogs have seen this movie, even in my family. I feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t, and that I’m missing out. Although I’ve heard this one doesn’t have the best story line/plot, I’m still looking forward to watching it and seeing what all the hype it about!

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    Deadpool: Hmmm, this is a stretch for me. I’m not quite sure what this movie even is, well I do, but I don’t… you get me? But it’s Ryan Reynolds, so I gotta give it a try!

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    The Shallows: Blake Lively. Do I have to say anymore? I love her, and cannot wait to see what she did with this little movie. Looking forward to a good old shark/person war.

And that’s all I can come up with, not even 10 *sigh*.
I’m a much bigger TV person than I am movie, but I’m hoping to change that soon!
If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Until Next Time,

Kate 🙂

Life after exams: TV Edition

You’ve seen my Life after exams: Book Edition (I hope, if not here’s the link…)
https://passthefeels.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/life-after-exams-book-edition/

But, anyway, here’s a TV edition of alllll (well, most) of the things I want to watch when I’m free.

TV Shows:
(To catch up on)

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    The Flash: I recently marathoned season 2, and have watched episode 1 of season 3, so I’m not far behind! Can’t wait to see Tom Felton, aka. Draco Malfoy, in S3!

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    Arrow: Once again, only a few episodes behind, but still excited to be able to watch guilt free, and really be able to get into the new story line of Season 5!

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    Supernatural: Okayyy, so I’m not technically behind on this one anymore (which is amazing to be able to say, considering I only started watching this mega 11 season- now 12 season show- 2 years ago.) But I’m sure I’ll have at least a few episodes to watch by the time my exams are over. I love supernatural.

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    How to Get Away with Murder: I think I deserve an applause for having the will power to actually not binge watch the episodes that are already out in season 3, I mean, every episode is a cliff hanger! But I’m kind of purposefully/not purposefully holding back on this one, so that I can watch a whole bunch of episodes in a row. (I don’t like to be left hanging, okay…)

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    The Vampire Diaries: Okay, maybe now I’m just being crazy, because season 8 hasn’t even started yet (as I’m writing this, it airs in 15 minutes in the US). But I’m 99% sure I’ll be behind a couple of episodes sooner or later. So happy this is the last season, I love it, but it’s run its course in my opinion. Also, secretly hoping for Elena (Nina) to come back and marry Stefan in the end… yep, still a Stelena shipper.

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    Reign: So, I’m about a season and a half behind… Currently up to season 2, episode 13. I can only watch this show when I’m in the mood, and then when I’m not, it just doesn’t appeal to me very much. But once I start watching it, I can’t stop. Definitely not one of my fav shows, but I’m excited to see the direction it takes throughout the rest of season 2, and into season 3.

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    Once Upon a Time: I am currently only a couple of episodes behind in season 6, and I’m so excited to see where this season is going! You just never really know with this show… I love the emphasis on Regina this season, because I think Lana Parrilla is an amazing actress!

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    Shadowhunters: Well, well, ummm. I have about 2-3 episodes until I finish season 1, but haven’t yet because the motivation is just not there. This show does have its good moments, yes, but it is so cringworthy. The only thing that is going to motivate me now is how much better season 2 looks, so I’m determined to finish this one!

(To start watching)

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Supergirl: This show never reallly appealed to me, but seeing as I’ve become even more into the other DC shows, like Flash and Arrow, I now cannot wait to start this show! And a female protagonist with kick ass super powers? Yes please!

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Fear the Walking Dead: Well, I’m not sure if I’m gonna like this one, but I bought the first episode on special for 99 cents on iTunes, so, I shall check it out! Plus, Alycia Debnam-Carey, yassss!

 

And probably a lot more… Whatever I come across, or gets recommended by you guys! 🙂

 

So there are all the TV shows  I plan on watching (atleast in the immediate future)!
Please let me know in the comments, or on Twitter (@thebookgram), of any others I should add to my list. What have you loved recently?

Until Next Time,

Kate 🙂

Life after exams: Book Edition

Hey lovely people!

Today, whilst I’m sick, and therefore taking a little break from studying (although, not a break from stressing about the fact that I’m not studying… #procrastination right?).

I thought I’d write a post about the books I plan on reading after exams (9th November). Seeing as my whole life has been revolved around school and exams this year (senior year, yep, it’s great), I could not be more excited to get back to reading!

So, without further ranting, here are the top 10 books I plan on reading when I can actually read again (in a not-really-ordered order)…

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    It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. I’ve been dyinnnng to read this! I mean, a new Colleen Hoover book?! How could I not be excited to read it! Cannot wait to see what crazy plot twist, or other insane things you’d never see coming that her newest release has! 

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    The Last Star by Rick Yancey. I cannot wait to see how this trilogy ends. It’s so mysterious, it shall be interesting! I loved the first instalment, and although the second wasn’t great (in my opinion), I do have high hopes that this will not disappoint! 

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    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (yes, for the first time), I’m both so ready, and so anxious to finish this series. All the feels are gonna hit me, that much, I do know.

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    Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. I read Throne of Glass so long ago now, and didn’t completely fall in love, but it can only get better from there right? I’m so determine to get in on the hype of this series (and catch up…oops)

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    City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare, as well as City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. Because it’s about time I finished this series that everyone has probably already read 1000 times over by now. These books take a while for me to get into, but I love them once I do get into them. City of Fallen Angels has been my favourite instalment yet, so I’m excited to see where these 2 go, and how it all wraps up.

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    A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. Ahhh! I’m so, so excited to read this one. ACOTAR was so intriguing and crazy. Really pumped to see where this one takes the direction of the story (and to actually be caught up on a Sarah J. Maas series. That would be nice)

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    The Rose Society by Marie Lu. I was not the biggest fan of book one by any means, but I feel like now that I’m older, I’ll enjoy this story a lot more, if that even makes sense… haha. I received the third installment in this series for review, so I can’t wait to devour this one, and finish off the trilogy with a bang!

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    The Amateurs by Sara Shepard. My favourite mystery/thriller author has a new book? You know I’m gonna read it, and you know I’m gonna love it! Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

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    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. Which I can’t actually read until I’ve finished Deathly Hallows, but I’m so ready to see what goes on after the events of the final HP book! Also, I’m excited to read the script type of writing!

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    Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven. I’ve started this one multiple times since I got it, but alas, school has interrupted every time. I can’t wait to actually be able to read this book properly, and finish it!

 

So, there you go. Those are the top 10 books I plan on reading after exams, and to close out the year with! There are obviously a lot more, but, these are at the top of my to-read list!

Until next time,

Kate 🙂