Review: Lock the Doors by Vincent Ralph
*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Tom Cavanagh and his family move into his mom’s dream house in town. Everything seems to be going alright for once, until Tom notices strange holes on the door of his new room. Holes meaning that someone was locked in this room.
When new girl Amy Pearce starts at Tom’s school, he quickly realizes that her family used to live in the house. Something is definitely strange about the Pearce family. Tom and his best friend Zak befriend Amy and try to learn more about her, but every time someone bring up the house, she gets cagey.
As Tom digs deeper, he finds disturbing drawings of stick people on the wall. Someone must have been forced to stay in this room. But with Amy denying Tom’s theories and Mr. and Mrs. Pearce acting like the picture perfect parents, Tom’s got to figure this out on his own. And the truth is more disturbing than he expected.
We had no idea what to expect when we picked up Lock the Doors. Overall, we liked the twisted plot of this YA horror novel. Ralph surprised us with the ending and the real reason the holes/drawings were in Tom’s room. The entire book made it feel like you were trapped in a haunted house.
However, the characters were a bit lackluster. Despite being written in first person, we feel we didn’t get a sense for Tom’s personality outside of the mystery. Lock the Doors was definitely plot driven instead of character given. We wanted a little more information on the character’s backgrounds and lives.
Overall, this creepy YA debut is perfect for horror fans who wish it was Halloween season still.
Review: Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce
Ellie Nichols flees the country after a humiliating public rejection by her crush. At the last minute, she decides to join her high school’s study abroad trip to England. Wanting nothing more than to start over, Ellie is determined to reinvent herself and meet new people.
Enter Will: the charming, sophisticated and educated Brit. Ellie falls for him quickly and is determined to make something happen between them. But she doesn’t want him to know all about her strange interests and what happened before she left Washington D.C.
But as the semester goes on and Ellie makes friends in her study abroad program, she starts to question what she really wants and if falling in love with a Brit is really as romantic as her Jane Austen novels.
Hot British Boyfriend immediately gave us Anna and the French Kiss vibes. We love YA contemporaries set abroad and look forward to traveling vicariously through characters. While we expected this book to be set in London, we were pleasantly surprised that the school was in Waterford. Plus, Ellie and her friends go to Venice, Italy in the book as well.
Ellie experienced a lot of character growth in book. The best thing to happen to her was to make some real friends, like Sage, Huan and Dev. Huan is hilarious and Sage is the supportive and geeky roommate. Dev is the guy friend who Ellie goes to for help with attracting Will, which creates a love triangle. Love triangles are hit or miss for us, but we found this one to be pretty enjoyable because overall, Dev and Will are both good guys. But only one is the guy for Ellie.
Without giving away any spoilers, she picked the guy we wanted her to end up with! Plus, along the way she learned to be comfortable with herself by not changing for other people.
Overall, Hot British Boyfriend is a light and fluffy read if you need a pre-Valentine’s Day romance. Explore England with Ellie and find love along the way.