Medallion of Murder by B. R. Meyers

Medallion of MurderBlue Moon Publishers, 2018.

Daughter of Egyptologists and superpower wielding Nefertari Hughes is at it again. Halfway through her senior year in high school, Terry’s got some major life decisions ahead of her. The rest of her life is looming and Terry and her best friend Maude must decide what they’re going to do next. Unfortunately, their choices aren’t exactly what their parents had in mind for them, and they’re both avoiding that reveal.

Soon, mind a jumble of thoughts and emotions about the future, Terry’s wrapped up in another big mystery involving Cleopatra’s legacy. Is it right for Terry to involve her friends and boyfriend in the danger that seems to follow her? Is she taking foolish risks because of her powers or is she simply a victim of circumstance?

I enjoyed this next installment of the mysteries–I especially loved the way Maude seems to be coming into her own as the series continues. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens in the next installment of the Nefertari Hughes mysteries.

Sweet Water by Lena North

Sweet WaterFAB Publishing, 2017

Jinx is a genius. She went to college at fourteen and holds a half dozen extremely valuable patents and an MD to boot. Unfortunately, her people skills leave a few things to be desired, and her friends have wasted no time in letting her know.

Jinx was involved in finding the mysterious crystal on her friend Wilder’s ranch a few months ago, and she’s promised to use her considerable scientific knowledge to help figure out what it is, but it’s killing her to do so. Her stomach’s burning, she’s exhausted, and she’s nearly bitten through her tongue in an effort to keep her mouth shut. She’s determined not to betray herself with statements the others will take as rude or conceited.

Jinx promised Wilder she’d stay for six months. As soon as the time’s up, though, she plans to get away to her house in the mountains. But when everything comes to a head at the ranch, Jinx insists on spending the rest of the six months in Marshes, away from her friends at the ranch and her colleagues at the University.

Feeling betrayed by her old friends and her own body, Jinx struggles to read the people around her and find her place in this new community. Will her life there continue on its downhill course or will this tiny, struggling town provide Jinx with the healing she so desperately needs?

Sweet Water is the second book in the Birds of a Feather series. Like the first book Wilder, Sweet Water sucked me in and didn’t let me go until I’d read it all. I read the whole thing the day it arrived. It’s got romance, a touch of the paranormal, and enough action and adventure to keep things exciting—a great YA read for a time you want to be carried away by a story.


ASP of Ascension by B. R. Myers

asp-of-ascensionBlue Moon Publishers, 2017.

Sixteen-year –old Nefertari (Terry) Hughes is stuck in another new high school in a town where her dad’s got yet another temporary job. It’s been that way since Terry recovered from the terrible accident took her mother’s life and almost took hers. But Terry doesn’t want to be in this high school. She may officially be American, but as the daughter of two Egyptologists, Egypt is truly home to Terry.

Terry’s managed to escape the notice of the other students at the last few schools she’s attended, but somehow that’s proving impossible in Devonshire, especially since her dad’s in charge of the big new Cleopatra exhibit at the museum, and the history teacher’s acting like a Nefertari groupie. When Terry catches the attention of Zach, the star basketball player, she’s really in trouble. His cheerleader girlfriend tends to be jealous, and she’s got a mean streak a mile long.

Before she knows it, Terry’s got more than social problems on her plate. There’s a snag in the opening of the exhibit, and it looks like Terry’s going to have to be the one to solve it before it’s too late and her life changes forever.

This was such a fun read! The mystery’s intriguing and there’s plenty of room in the story for heartwarming friendships, nefarious motives, and a tingly romance. It looks like there are more Nefertari Hughes mysteries coming up, and I’ll definitely be looking for them. This is one sleuth I’ll be glad to follow!

I received an electronic review copy of ASP of Ascension from NetGalley and Blue Moon Publishers.

Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

beautiful-broken-girlsFarrar, Straus, and Giroux Books for Young Readers, 2017

When sisters Mira and Francesca are found drowned in the bottom of the town’s old quarry, the citizens of the Boston suburb where they lived are horrified—especially since the accidental death of their cousin only a few weeks earlier. The town is reeling. The newspapers suggest a teen suicide trend. In fact Ben’s parents are watching him like hawks, afraid that somehow his one-time girlfriend’s suicide will spur Ben to take his own life. But Ben doesn’t want to die, he just wants answers: Why did Mira become so distant? What was going on in her head during the month before she took her own life? Did their father’s overprotective ways push the girls to do something drastic?

Ben’s first thought when he sees the letter in Mira’s handwriting is that she’s alive, but he knows better. Instead, before Mira died, she left Ben a series of messages hidden in the places that they touched. Each message explains a little bit more about what happened and why. But the messages are cryptic, and don’t always contain the information Ben is longing for. In order to find the answers his heart needs, Ben will have to navigate an ever more complicated labyrinth of locations past friends and adults who have their own agendas, suspicions, and fears.

Beautiful Broken Girls is a page-turner of a book and an eerie, New England tale. I zipped through it quickly, eager to discover what exactly had happened to Mira and Francesca. Ben is a sympathetic character, and I felt his frustration as he tried to piece together the clues to the mystery. Through flashbacks from Mira’s point of view, the reader also gets to know the girls in their last days.

I felt that many of the characters in this story did not have clear motivations. I would have liked to come away with a better understanding of the motivations of the adults in the story. Perhaps since the story was told entirely from the point of view of teens, this makes sense, but I would have liked a little more insight into their decisions and motivations.

A quick and engaging read, Beautiful Broken Girls comes out on February 21.

I received an advanced reader copy of Beautiful Broken Girls from Netgalley and the publisher, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.