#MurderFunding #Murderfunding starts not too long after #Murdertrending and everyone is shocked how everything played out on Alcatraz 2.0. There are two sides to this story now. You have a group that thinks the serial killers on Alcatraz 2.0 should be outed to the world and others who think this whole thing is getting way out of control. I loved that once again, the author chose to use message boards and other outlets in this book. I loved reading about what people were thinking and what was going on outside of what the characters are telling us. It seems more and more authors are including stuff like this and I’m a big fan. I think it gives the story an extra element. Our main character, Becca, just lot her mom and is trying to deal with the aftermath. When Stef shows up and tells her that he mother was a serial killer on Alcatraz 2.0 her life is flipped upside down. She wants to get to the bottom of things, so decides to audition for the newest reality show Who Wants to be a Painiac? This whole book is filled with the journey there and all that happens in between. At first, I thought this book wasn’t going to be as bloody as the first one, but I was wrong. This book gets bloody and descriptive and at times, I’m still not completely sure this should be labeled YA. I do like that the author kept the same style when it came to the brutal side of the story. It’s clear she thought this world out and stuck to it. Becca was an interesting main character. As a fan of the app that showed everyone Alcatraz 2.0, she has a hard time coming to terms with the fact her mother could be involved with that. I completely understand her need to get answers, even if traveling all the way to audition is a bit extreme. Having your whole world flipped upside down definitely makes some drama accepted. I could’ve done without the little romance part with Stef though. I mean, every character deserves love, but it didn’t fit in this story for me. It felt a bit forced. Red Queen Mare Darrow has Red blood, which means she'll spend her life in servitude, fighting and dying for the Silver elite. When Mare picks the wrong pocket one evening, it sets in motion a series of events that will change everything. Thrust into close proximity with the ruling class, Mare finds kindness in unexpected places and must decide who she can trust in a society where one wrong turn can lead to her death. Aaaand, that's pretty much the book in the tiniest of nutshells. The good news? It's a pretty good nut. In some super-obvious ways, Red Queen bears a passing likeness to another book series I have been reading recently - Red Rising by Pierce Brown, which was published a year earlier. The similarities are pretty hard to miss. First, there's the title (Red Rising vs Red Queen); then, the rhyming main characters (Darrow vs Mare Barrow); and finally, the color/class system (Red/Gold vs Red/Silver). I'll admit this made me wary and worried I might just be getting carbon copy of another book but that didn't end up being the case. Red Queen offers plenty of original material, but I'll let you discover the details for yourself. Sufficed to say, they may look the same on the surface but there the similarities end. Mare Darrow is a lot of things -- thief, sister, daughter, friend, princess, rebel -- but perfect isn't one of them. Sometimes she makes the right call and other times she fails in epic fashion. It wasn't all 'win' with her and that felt more authentic. It was incredibly hard to tell friend from foe in this book, and that made it delightfully unpredictable. Mare is torn between her feelings for two characters for much of the book...and so was I. They were hard to pin down, but I found that I liked not knowing who to 'root' for and where Mare's affections might land. Frankly, it was all rather delicious. My Life in Pink and Green A homecoming queen with a beauty crisis comes in a pouting fit to Lucy Desberg’s family’s drugstore. The Desberg family’s drugstore is struggling to stay in business, however Lucy fixes this threating problem-temporarily. Although after the homecoming queen’s “disaster,” the drugstore becomes a center for beauty and makeup tips, Lucy is still not able to restore the drugstore into the state where it is the central hub of the town. Eventually, Lucy finds a solution that will keep the environment green, and ensure the capability of the drugstore. However, Lucy’s family is in a personal crisis themselves, with debt for expenses and a sister in college. Will the drugstore ever become “the place” again? Will Lucy’s family have to leave town? This debut book is a great one indeed. While showing the usual ups and downs of being a teenager, a sense of responsibility and independence is introduced. My Summer in Pink and Green At the end of My Life in Pink & Green, Lucy Desberg had just won the grant that would save her family’s pharmacy—and turn it into a modern eco-spa. Now it’s summer, and the work has begun in earnest. Lucy figures that with the spa opening and her sister, Claudia, home, she’ll have a great summer. But her sister brings a new boyfriend, and their investor brings his extremely irritating daughter, Bevin. Plus there’s a new spa coordinator in charge of the plans, and so Lucy finds herself at loose ends. What’s a girl to do? A makeover, of course. But this time Lucy’s makeover skills might not smooth over the cracks in her happy family. Pink and Green is the New Black Lucy Desberg is in eighth grade, and she’s determined to make this year perfect. Over the course of the year, though, her talents for makeup and problem-solving will be put to the test.On the outside, things couldn’t be better: her family’s spa is doing well, and she has a boyfriend, Yamir. But Yamir’s in high school now, and Lucy’s too embarrassed to admit that he hasn’t called her in weeks. To take her mind off him, she throws herself into planning the eighth-grade masquerade, using her makeup skills to rally her classmates. But as she soon learns, ignoring a problem does not make it go away. It’s destined to pop up at the worst possible time.Lucy’s resourcefulness will be put to the test as she grows up and starts making decisions about the type of person—and girlfriend and friend and daughter and sister—that she wants to be. The Outsiders The teen-agers of the Oklahoma community in this novel are divided into the haves and have-nots: the Mustang and madras-shirt set known as the Socs and the long-haired, leather-jacketed, knife-and-chain set known as the greasers. When they meet in vacant lots for gang rumbles or personal vendettas, injury is common and murder almost inevitable. This remarkable novel by a seventeen-year-old girl gives a moving, credible view of the outsiders from the insiders — their loyalty to each other, their sensitivity under tough crusts, their understanding of self and society. Most frightening and most hopeful is the author's picture of teen-agers at the crossroads, at the point of becoming full-fledged "hoods" or something special. In Ponyboy, who lives to finish reading Gone with the Wind and to see more sunsets, and in Johnny, who dies a hero, we meet powerful characters in a book with a powerful message. As Johnny writes before he dies, "There's still lots of good in the world." JANE MANTHORNE.