Two New Reviews From Our Local Book Reviewer

By Adventures in Obsessive Reading 

The Westing Game
Author: Ellen Raskin
Page Count: 216
Rating: B
Keywords: Murder Mystery, Game, Challenge, Family, Friends
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Younger Readers: Language and content are both appropriate for children.

This was another book that I read for work. The premise was interesting and I have always been a fan of mystery so I was hopeful going into this one.

Things I did like were the mystery itself, some of the characters, and the fast pace of the novel. Sam Westing’s murder and the ensuing game are a bit outlandish in the way that only children’s books can be but are certainly entertaining. Working through the nonsensical clues with the sixteen heirs is great fun and each character is unique. Many will enjoy the varied heirs from the stunning and obedient Angela, to the mildly crazy Sydelle, the angry Mr. Hoo, and Turtle the kicker. All of these oddball characters transform throughout the novel as they chase down clues pointing to Westing’s murderer. From one chapter to the next, there is no slowing in action. Plus the mystery is truly a mystery until the very end.

What I did not like was that there was so much going on so quickly and there were too many characters introduced at once. Younger readers enjoy this book but are quick to become confused from one chapter to the next. All sixteen characters are introduced at once and it takes time to piece together who is who while a fast pace lends itself more to nonstop action than plot development. Big mystery, big characters, and a short book led to general confusion for many.

I did enjoy The Westing Game as an overall fun read with a sweet ending. However, I did not love it. For younger readers who are not great at keeping details straight this could prove to be a difficult read. As an adult, I found myself losing track of who was who up until about half way through the book. If you think it sounds interesting and are up for the challenge then I fully recommend checking it out. I certainly do not regret doing so. 

Wicked
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Page Count: 300
Rating: A
Keywords: New Orleans, Fae, Supernatural, Apocalypse
Genre: New Adult Paranormal
Younger Readers: Detailed sexual content, older readers only

If you are familiar with Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books then you know that you are in for a fun read. The stories are always fast paced and engaging with intriguing paranormal elements throughout. Wicked did not disappoint in the regard at all.

Ivy is a relatable character that never comes across as whiny. I felt that she was a fun mix between the romance stereotype of helpless girl and the steely hard heroine I would expect in some dystopian. She has her moments, but she is far more kick-ass than a damsel in distress.

Our male leads are the hot but troubled Ren and the feisty pixie Tink. No, this isn’t a love triangle. Both characters add to Ivy’s character is delightful ways, showing her strength and compassion. Tink also is a great source of comic relief for the potentially heavy story line of the apocalypse.

Previously I reviewed Fifty Shades of Grey and mentioned that the sex scenes were surprisingly awkward for the book being such a popular erotica novel. Wicked has fewer full sex scenes but the build and tension between Ivy and Ren was far sexier than I would have expected.

If you are looking for a fun read and maybe want to start a trilogy you should definitely give this book a try. It is fun, fast paced, and hot.

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