©St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books
©St. Martin’s Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books

You know, other than my classic novel reviews, I haven’t had many nice reviews to write lately. Unfortunately, I’ve just been reading a lot of unpolished coal. I mean, sure, there’s a diamond in there somewhere, but I don’t feel like getting my hands dirty with a book that’s already been published. So, if I get bored or am rolling my eyes too much, it’s going on the Maybe-I’ll-Finish-This-Some-Other-Time shelf. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened lately.

So, you can imagine what a breath of fresh air it was to read Julie Cross’ Vortex all the way through and enjoy it. I will say if I was to judge this book by the cover, I probably would have never touched it. In all honesty, I thought the cover was corny. Plus, I’m not a fan of real people on book covers. I mean, what if this is made into a movie? Are those the people who are going to play the actual characters? I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Okay, so you guys remember how I reviewed James Patterson’s Confessions of a Murder Suspect? So the protagonist in that was really smart and clever and her parents were loaded. These little details line up with the protagonist in Vortex. Both of them have little mysteries they have to solve. And in all honesty, I just want to throw James Patterson’s book in the fire. How is it that this is Julie’s second book and it was everything that Patterson’s wasn’t? Isn’t he the one that is supposed to be the big name author? Julie’s book kept me involved. I wanted to know what happened next. And on top of that, it was written in 1st person POV… and that protagonist is a guy! How many books are written from a guy’s point of view? Few. If I put these two books in a boxing match Patterson’s book would have been knocked out in round one.

Oh, and let’s discuss my favorite thing to nag writers about: cussing. Now, I’m not sure exactly where you’d classify this book genre wise… I mean, it read a lot like YA, but the content was above what I’d consider YA. So I guess maybe this is the budding “New Adult” genre. So, that being the case, it can get away with a lot more. I cannot stand it when someone puts cussing in a book and it has zero weight. What I mean by that is if you are gonna have a late teens or early 20’s kids say “fuck” it better hold some weight. Meaning I don’t really like seeing it in common conversation. Now, in Vortex this is handled beautifully. Cussing was used where it seemed relevant and necessary. You’d be surprised how often this is an issue with stuff I edit. Seriously.

Let me not forget Holly and Jackson. I’ll have to say that I was really glad I came into this series around book two because I was able to more wholly root for other members of the cast. If I had read book one and then read book two, I think I probably would have been a little disappointed how that whole Holly/Jackson thing played out.

Finally, I do have to note that the whole timeline vs. complete jump thing kind of confused me. Maybe had I been around for book one I’d get the plotline, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to really wrap my head around how events were really playing out. But, luckily for me, I was able to just realize that certain things had already happened somewhere/sometime else and it was usually explained why this was important. I think the ending would have been more climactic for me if I had been able to follow it better. But, this in no way stopped me from liking the book. It also never got confusing enough to put it down either.

So, all in all, good book. I’d recommend it. I loved Stewart and I loved Kendrick. (Two new female power houses.) Umm… what else? It feels weird not to be so snarky in my reviews. I kind of want to go around to every single book store and replace Confessions of a Murder Suspect with this book. It’s just better, so much better.

Published by Mark Brassington

Father and Husband. Works in Corporate Banking. Loves Books, Comics, Cycling, Music, Games, going to the Gym and Writing.

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