The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler

This is another not superbly written book, yet this one is very entertaining and I love the series. It’s a quick read and I can’t wait to get my hands on the third book.

In this book taking place in 18th century Japan, Seikei is the son of a tea merchant who longs to be a samurai. But in this time, he must follow what he is born into. Also in this time, merchants are seen as low, greedy, and selfish which causes Seikei shame. When he witnesses the thievery of a jewel, Judge Ooka requires his assistance to go undercover and help find it.

This book had many things I liked and I found it quite enjoyable. Although the writing was a bit simplistic, it was still a nice and easy read. There is violence and sword fights, but would be good for 8/9+. It also was rather educational on the topic of Feudal Japan.

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Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks

This book was just…wow. I am pretty much wordless. It was just so amazing. It was one of those books that you want to read fast to find out how it ends, yet you want it to go on forever. I read this book the same weekend that I read two mediocre books, and this book was a nice change to that.

In this book (this fabulous, fabulous book) Ruben’s 19-year-old older sister is raped and murdered. He senses things, and sensed it, but didn’t tell. Afterward, he and his brother Cole (also older at 17, and Ruben 14) set off to find who did it so they can bring back their sister’s body for burial. This is a powerful book that makes you think and weaves in a number of topics like murder, family, racism, violence, love, and how dangerous big business and wealthy men can be.

This book has a lot of violence (I mean, it is about a murder) and other darker things. 13/14+, I think would be best. But this is a powerful book that is amazing.

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

I read this book on my way to my grandma’s, late that night, and on the way home. Overall I kinda like this book and will probably pick up the sequel. While reading this book and looking back on it, I have mixed feelings. I have things I liked and things I didn’t like.

This book is about smart, talented in some way, high schoolers who have chosen to spend a crap ton of money to go to a college in New Hampshire for 5 weeks and take challenging classes and stuff on topics of interest. Thing is, the dorms they stay in used to be an old insane asylum. Hence the title, Asylum. Dan and his friends, Abby and Jordan, find pictures and notes and start getting pulled into the past of the place, a past which they are connected to.

Well, that’s what the inside flap said, but I found that only Dan and Abby were all that connected to the past. Now on to the other things I didn’t like. The first hundred pages or so were rather boring, and I’m surprised I didn’t stop reading this book all together. And the book felt rather plotless until the last hundred pages or so. And like the fabulous book ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ by Ransom Riggs, this book had photographs. Unlike the other book, the photos in ‘Asylum’ were altered and changed, and I felt, unneeded. They seemed to be placed randomly or that the author was trying to hard to scare or creep out the readers by using them. I also felt that the photos were an easy way out for describing buildings and locations. Also, the romantic relationship between Abby and Dan seemed completely unnecessary. And Dan in general just didn’t seem like a likeable character at all. He was frequently jealous over nothing and hated Felix for no real reason. And the fact that Dan, Jordan, and Abby were such close friends after barely knowing each other and told each other so many deep secrets seemed really, really unlikely. I mean I have secrets I haven’t told my close friends that I’ve been friends with for years. And Jordan seemed like a really stereotypical character. And also really unlikely person as well. Last complaint (I think, I mean this is already pretty long for a few complaints) is: what college professors would want to spend their summer teaching more classes? And plus, that would cost a fortune for the college to do! I mean, teacher pay, dorms, food, lunch staff pay, janitor pay. It just doesn’t seem realistic to me. And the ending was clearly bad foreshadowing to want you to read the next book. And it would have been a much stronger book if it was in first person point of view instead of third (although I rarely say that).

Now for the good things. Lemme wrack my brain for a minute. Trust me, there are good things! I think. Well, it managed to creep me out in the first 20 pages. That’s hard to do. It was an interesting story though, and I was on edge waiting for the next time the three teens went back into the locked, creepy part of the insane asylum. And I do want to read the next book. I am not trying to convince you not to read this book, the paragraph above is just things I noticed that irritated me or didn’t make sense. I’m positive there were other good parts, it’s just that those were the parts that stood out to me.

This book had violence, mentions of past cruel treatments for patients, some deaths, some murders, and definitely creepy at times. I’d say 12+. Not a terrible book, but not amazing.

Ripper by Stefan Petrucha

This book was really fantastic. It has so many twists and turns and surprises. I read it in only a few days. The story plot is interesting, the characters are great, and the mystery is the best.

This book takes place a few years after the Jack the Ripper killings in White Chapel. Except, this book takes place in New York City. The main characters are Carver Young, Delia, Finn, Mr.Hawking, and Jack the Ripper. Carver just wants to find his dad and gets adopted from an orphanage by retired detective Mr.Hawking and is allowed to do so. Delia wants to be a reporter and gets adopted by two people at the Times and gets to work there. Finn was a bully at the orphanage and wants to stay top dog and be with his gang, but it doesn’t work out that way when he gets adopted by the district attorney and his wife so they look good. Together they figure out who Jack the Ripper is and the mystery of Carver’s past.

This book is really good, but is violent and gory, so I would say 12+ (since this is Jack the Ripper). I highly recommend!

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson

I absolutely love this series (which is three books so far)! This series is about the Angel family, Maud and Malcolm (the parents), Mathew (oldest, star football player, temper), Katherine (deceased), Harry (artist/musician, highly talented, parents dislike, twin of Tandy, emotional, 16) and Tandy (smart, focused, no emotion, mystery solver), and Hugo (super strength, temper, 10). It comes from Tandy’s point of view as she helps solve who killed her parents in their own home. Along the way, the discover the horrible things their parents have done to make them ‘perfect’. They learn about the supposed ‘vitamins’ their parents fed them that were actually drugs and untraceable steroids to make them stronger, faster, smarter. They also took drugs that attempted to cover emotions, but it only worked on Tandy. Tandy also starts remembering memories of James, a kid she loved but whose memory was wiped completely from her mind.

This book is a must read for mystery lovers. I say great for 12+ due to a fair amount of gore. But you really should read it.