*If you are an avid reader, you know book costs can add up, even if you have a library card. Me... I'm always looking for free books. Being an Amazon Prime member gives me two advantages: First, there is Kindle First, which allows Prime members to select one of four new releases each month to download for free. Then there is the Kindle Lending Library, which allows you to borrow a free e-book from those offered once per month. Here I'll tell you which Amazon freebies are worth taking advantage of. (Note: Freebies are rated on a free curve, meaning, the fact that I didn't pay for them obviously means I read through rose colored glasses.)
The first time I heard about Kindle First, I was skeptical. Frankly, it is a great deal for authors and Amazon, but not so much for readers. It is really a way for new or not so well known authors to get their books to a wider audience. And since I tend not to branch out, I wasn't really all that interested in the books. Till my cheapness got the best of me.
The first I read was April's Killing Ruby Rose by Jessie Humpries (I actually later read one of March's, but since it is no longer free, I won't write a freebie review).
Killing Ruby Rose is a young adult novel about a 17-year-old high schooler named Ruby who is not your average high-schooler. We enter her world just after her father, an LAPD SWAT sergeant, died in a raid gone bad.
To cope, Ruby has been trying to stay focused on school (the top spot in her class is on the line) and spending time on her shoe obsession (her parents buy her obnoxiously expensive shoes, one of many not really believable points in the book). After six months of therapy, her relationship with her mom, the District Attorney, continually souring, Ruby decides to pick up where her dad left off and starts going after the bad guys herself. Specifically: five of them. Five really bad guys who were caught, but were, generally speaking, let back on the streets by her mother through various plea deals.
If you ever watched the show Psych, the theme is is reminiscent of that show. Just as Shawn was trained by this ex-cop dad to see everything and become a great investigator, Ruby was trained by her father to be an investigating, fighting, and killing machine. Sure it is a little over the top, as with Psych, but it is fun.
Of course her pursuit of the five bad guys doesn't go as she plans. From the book's description on Amazon, which says it best without giving anything away:
When Ruby ends up killing a murderer to save his intended victim, she discovers that she's gone from being the huntress to the hunted. There's a sick mastermind at play, and he has Ruby in his sights. Ruby must discover who's using her to implement twisted justice before she ends up swapping Valentino red for prison orange.
The book is a super quick read, largely because it is a Young Adult novel with some fairly simple language. As a person who reads all the time for work, this was a nice change of pace. I haven't actually read a YA novel since I was a YA, but after this one, it might change. Or at least, I'll view them through different eyes. The novel was sophisticated in a lot of ways, and I didn't feel like it was scrubbed clean for the kiddos.
There is a heavy secondary plot-line of young love, which gives it a nice dynamic. I'm also not a romance novel reader, but as a secondary plot line to a fun, mystery thriller, I could get on board. It definitely gave the book extra substance; more reason to root for the heroine.
And of course, as a raging Jezebel nazi-feminist, or whatever, I couldn't help but love that it was a heroine. She was such a little bad ass. You can't help but love her.
All in all, I highly recommend this freebie. It is a fast, fun read, with enough twists and turns to keep you reading till the very end. Unfortunately, the author has planned a sequel, and I'm now going to have to buy it, which goes against everything Freebies stands for. Oh well.