Hey y’all! Happy Thursday! I hope everyone’s had a good week so far! It’s almost the weekend- woop woop! I don’t have too many plans for this weekend- I’m just planning on watching some TV, reading, maybe (hopefully) trying to workout some, and hanging out with the fam- but the TV and the reading is what’s inspiring this post! I’ve been re-watching Criminal Minds on Netflix these days (as one of the like 3 things I’m watching) and since I love Criminal Minds so much, I figured why not write about Criminal Minds and my favorite YA murder mysteries- anything by Karen M McManus! So what I’m thinking is that I’ll write about 2 character from Criminal Minds and then about one of Karen M McManus’ books and then I’ll do another 2 characters and then another book and then I’ll end with my last set of 2 characters and my last book (because, unfortunately I don’t have an ARC of the Cousins, I haven’t read it yet, so I’ve only read 3 of her books).
So we’ll start with my 2 favorite characters: Spencer and Hotch. Does anyone who watches Criminal Minds not like Spencer? He’s adorable and so freaking smart and slightly awkward and it all comes together in the perfect package. The way he interacts with his teammates is one of my favorite parts of the show! Hotch is my other top 2 favorite character- the way he leads the team and the fact that he cares about his people so much and he takes charge so easily makes him my fave. Hailey was definitely cheating on him, but he didn’t call her out on it because he knew that that wasn’t going to do anything for them and of course he knew, because, hello! profiler!
Book wise, we’re going to start with the first book I read by Karen M McManus, One of Us Is Lying. I read this book during the summer of 2019 and OMG it was so good! Here’s a summary of it for those of you who haven’t read it: Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
I loved everything about this! Bronwyn was probably my favorite character, with Nate coming in a very close second, but Cooper and Addy were great too. And their secrets were pretty big and when you get to the end and find out who really did it, man, that was not what I was expecting at all.
Now onto my next set of favorite characters from Criminal Minds- Morgan and Garcia! I love that Garcia is this badass tech wizard and Morgan is this gorgeous and amazing profiler who is always ready and able to jump into a fight to save someone. I love their dynamic with each other (and I know I shouldn’t laugh, but when the whole department had to go to sexual harassment training because someone heard the way they speak to each other made me laugh- of course, if it was sexual harassment and it wasn’t consensual and they both weren’t ok with the way they were speaking to each other, 100% they should have addressed that and sexual harassment training would have been very valid).
My next book is the sequel to One of Us Is Lying, One of Us Is Next. I read this one earlier this year, and again, so good!!! Here’s the summary of this one: Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.
A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.
This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game.
Truth or Dare.
Phoebe’s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.
Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.
But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.
Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.
I love that this one has Bronwyn’s sister in it as a main character and that our favorite foursome from book one makes guest appearances throughout this book! At first, it didn’t really seem like the murder was a real murder, but I loved how it ended up being one. And the truth or dare aspect of the game in this one was really cool- I was definitely a fan of that! I don’t know if I liked it quite as much as I liked One of Us Is Lying, but it was still a 5 star read for me.
Ahhh my last favorite characters from Criminal Minds are JJ and Rossi- JJ was one of my favorites from the get go. Her job as media liaison seemed so much harder in some ways than being a profiler, especially with all of the ruthless journalists she had to deal with and then the seamless transition she had into becoming a profiler was amazingly well done. Big fan. Rossi joined in season 3 and even though he can be super douchey at times, I think he’s hilarious and is a perfect contrast to some of the more serious members of the team.
Now for the last Karen M McManus book- Two Can Keep a Secret. This title always reminds me of the song from the masquerade ball episode of Gossip Girl and the theme song of Pretty Little Liars (they’re the same song- don’t know what I’m talking about? check it out here) Here’s the summary of this one: Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.
The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.
Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.
Oooo this one was creepy but like in a good way! And that ending! I had no idea how it was going to end or who had done it until we got to the climax and I was mildly freaking out throughout it- I LOVED everything about this book and our two narrators Ellery and Malcolm!
As you can probably tell, I’m obsessed with all of these books and I love Criminal Minds, so if you’re one of those people who hasn’t read any of these books or watched this amazing show, what are you waiting for????