ARC Review: Pretty Wicked

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review. As the daughter of a cop, and an advocate for YA horror, I was intrigued by the book concept. This is Kelly Charon’s first book, making it (I believe) my third book of a new author in the past month?

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Pretty Wicked

Kelly Charron

September 2016

Format: Kindle ebook
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Thriller
Rating:moose-mdmoose-md 2.5/5 Moose

Synopsis

Ryann is the fifteen year old daughter of the local police detective. She’s lived her life in the shadow of her older perfect sister, feeling the pressure and observing the ins and outs of how crime is handled in her small town.

And she’s decided her one way to be better than her sister: she’ll become the perfect serial killer. She wants to be responsible for death and the fear in her small community.

Carving out her own murderous legacy proves harder than she predicted. Mistakes start adding up. And with the police getting closer, and her own father becoming suspicious, Ryann has to prove once and for all that she’s smarter than anyone else—or she’ll pay the ultimate price.

Rants, Raves, and General Thoughts

Goodreads made this book sound so much better than it actually was, unfortunately. Even still, most of the reviews are incredibly positive. This isn’t the worst book I’ve read, but …..it could use some work.

This story is….fine. I can’t decide if I disliked the book or if I disliked the main character. Instead of reading as sociopathic or psychotic, she just read as bratty the entire book. Definitely more narcissistic than sociopathic. The author seemed to have several different stories going at once, but none of them were done amazingly well? It reads a bit like the author did most of her research by watching crime shows, rather than anything substantial. She had the main character doing research on computers that could clearly be traced (everyone has a library login — why keep researching serial killers? So many people can see that information.)

Introducing the Unknown Secret Admirer so deeply in the third act (yes there were hints of it in the second, but it was so understated) read more like the author couldn’t figure out how to end the book, so she added the Admirer in later.

I feel like the author has potential, but could use a good editor and/or feedback. At the very least, there is a point where the author said “night in shining armor,” rather than “knight in shining armor.” I mean, I get things are going to get missed, but this just could have used a few more pass throughs.

Final Verdict

I AM SO BUMMED I DID NOT LIKE THIS BOOK. But I can’t recommend it either. I am, however, going to keep an eye out on the author for her future work.

2016: A Book Review

One of my resolutions is to remember to post more (I got overwhelmed between trying to write more and adjusting to my new city!) But I did still read a ton, and I was organizing my books into categories when I saw Mari at Story and Somnomancy post this breakdown that I liked, that it looks like Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner posted. So here’s my reading habits broken down from 2016 – enjoy!

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2016 Reading Stats

Number of books read: 80
Genre You Read the Most From: Young Adult (too vague?) 

*added in*
Under 250 pages (not including novellas): 26
Between 400-449 pages: 6
Between 450-499 pages: 1
Over 500 pages: 2
Over 1000 pages:  0

Number of…
Audiobooks: 10
Re-reads: 11
DNFs (did not finish): 2 (About 5-7 that I plan on finishing, but shelved for now.)

Number of books rated…
Five Stars: 21 (9 of which were comic volumes) 
One/Two Stars: 7 2 stars, 0 1 stars

Number of authors met in 2016:  11

  • Victoria Aveyard (Signed)
  • Sophie Jordan
  • Rouhani Chokshi (Signed)
  • Sarah McCarry
  • Marie Rutkoski
  • Renee Ahdieh
  • Victoria Schwab (x2….and already planning to see her in 2017 T__T) (Signed) 
  • Sarah Porter
  • Fran Wilde 
  • Kim Liggett (Signed) 
  • Erika Lewis

Number of book events attended in 2016: 5

Number of books you read in one day: 2 at the most

Number of books that made you cry: At least 12. I am a crier. 

Number of 2017 books you have on pre-order: 0 (I don’t pre-order, I just wander into BoW eventually.) 

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read in 2016:

Stand-Alone: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Series: Firebird (A Thousand Pieces of You, etc) by Claudia Gray

Mid-Series: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Graphic Novel: Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan

2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Remembrance by Meg Cabot, The Last Star by Rick Yancey

3. Most Surprising (in a good or bad way) Book You Read? Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People to Read (And They Did)? A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

5. Best Series You Started in 2016?  Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Best Series You Started in 2016? Asylum by Madeleine Roux 

Best Sequel of 2016? A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Best Series Ender of 2016? Firebird series by  Claudia Gray

6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2016? Ernest Cline and Rouhani Chokshi

7. Best Book From a Genre You Didn’t Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone? The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

8. Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of the Year? Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

9. Book You Read in 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? I mean obviously A Gathering of Shadows, prior to the final book’s release.

10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read In 2016? The Wicked + Divine 1831 (both), A Gathering of Shadows, This Savage Song

11. Most Memorable Character of 2016? Lila Bard. Still to this day. 

12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2016? Station Eleven by Emily St. John Madel and The Star-Touched Queen by Rouhani Chokshi

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016? ?Laughable Love by Milan Kundera

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? World War Z by Max Brooks

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016? Taken from After the Witch Hunt by Megan Falley 

“The first time we made love I realized why
I never prayed. One human can only say
Oh God so many times.”

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016? Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (longest) and Belinda Blinked.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most (Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.) A Gathering of Shadows (I KNOW I KNOW)

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar) 
Rhy and Alucard FOR SURE

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year Harlan Coben brought back Myron Bolitar and Win Lockwood and my heart was full again. 

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: Home by Harlan Coben

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016? Alucard Emery 

23. Best 2016 debut you read? The Star-Touched Queen by Rouhani Chokshi

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? ?

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? ?

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016? 12 books. I am a crier. I don’t think I can list them all.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? What’s a Soulmate by Lindsey Ouimet

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? I honestly cannot think of one. 

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016? I have no idea — I guess Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as it was the only drama I read. 

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? A Gathering of Shadows, because of the bloody cliffhanger. 

LOOKING AHEAD

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017? Heartless by Marissa Meyer

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)? The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco or Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? Caraval by Stephanie Garber

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017? A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017? Finally finish a book! 

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: None yet