Author: Sara Shepard

Review Round Up | Last Seen, The Proposal, and This Lie Will Kill You

Posted January 18, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | Last Seen, The Proposal, and This Lie Will Kill You

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I can’t believe this series is over… hopefully! The ending wasn’t exactly ambiguous but I suppose there’s always a chance Shepard continues the series multiple times a la Pretty Little Liars. Jokes aside, this was a REALLY strong end to this trilogy! The main issue I had throughout all of the books was that I was disconnected from the characters. I never warmed up to them or felt anything for them – didn’t care about the ships, was uninterested in any of their personal lives, etc. I’m not sure if, again, it’s because it was a mystery and I was on edge or not trusting anyone? But I just could never get on board with them. I think it’s an interesting twist when you know who the murderer/culprit is AND get to read from their point of view. Sometimes it can take a little bit of the fun out, but that was certainly not the case here. There were SO MANY twists and connections that were built throughout the whole trilogy that I never would have picked up on. Just because you knew the killer and what he was doing, definitely did not mean that you knew why he was doing it or how he picked his victims. […]

ARC Reviews: Frat Girl and The Elizas

Posted April 11, 2018 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Reviews: Frat Girl and The Elizas

This is the kind of book I’d recommend to feminists and non-feminists alike. A lot of it was heavy-handed in the messages and would have maybe made more sense in the journal entries instead of internal dialogue, but the content itself was good. (More on that later.) I definitely figured that her study wasn’t going to be all black and white, and the really positive moments were so heartwarming. I loved the relationships that were developed between her and the guys, and one particular night where a few boys really stepped up to help. I didn’t do the Greek thing in college but this was a fairly accurate portrayal of a lot of the college experience in general; it felt real, which was refreshing. Bambi, Duncan, and Jordan were so great. The characters made me laugh and smile so much more than expected for “just dumb frat boys” (what the MC seems to think heading into the book). I think I would have liked more depth to Cassie’s character (and even a few other side characters, including her family). She came across as very preachy at times and it was hard to connect with her. I liked how she started to learn from her mistakes, and tried to grow from her existing biases as well. Some people calling her out made her realize she was working from a very “white feminist” angle instead of thinking of the bigger picture (her mentor talks about this early in the book and I […]

ARC Review: Meet Cute

Posted January 3, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Meet Cute

Further down you’ll find reviews for each story with their own star ratings, but my overall feelings about the book are right below. I really loved all of these stories overall, and this anthology left me with a really positive feeling… compared to other anthologies I’ve read! Meet Cute anthology Some People are Destined to Meet Edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout Average rating: 3.75 stars Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors. Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a […]

Review Round Up | Kissing Max Holden and Follow Me

Posted December 4, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 3 Comments
Review Round Up | Kissing Max Holden and Follow Me

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! My sister lent me her copy and has been bugging me for MONTHS about reading it. I can’t say that I blame her now that I’ve finished it. What a wonderful contemporary I didn’t know I needed! I had just went through a binge of mysteries and other non-contemporaries when I decided I should give this one a try. It ended up being so perfect that I read it in one sitting and stayed up until 3 AM to finish. I would call this fluff, but it’s a liiiittle more serious that fluff often implies. There is a LOT going on, family-wise, in this book. I absolutely hated her dad the entire time I was reading and was hoping she would tell him off at some point. The familial relationships were incredibly complex, both for Max and Jill. Max’s dad was recovering from a stroke that changed their relationship and, as I mentioned, Jill’s dad was basically a dickhead. I loved seeing her relationship with her stepmom grow throughout the book too. The romance was solid. I love childhood friends/neighbors-to-more SO much, because you can just feel the history bubbling into something new. They had a solid base to build a real (romantic) relationship and it showed […]

Review: The Amateurs

Posted November 23, 2016 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Review: The Amateurs

Initial Excitement I think everyone knows at this point how I feel about Sara Shepard? If you don’t, check this post out. I’ve read all of her YA books/series and 1 out of 3 of her “adult” books. She’s one of my favorite authors because her books are so quick and easy to read; I’m second-guessing my theories of whodunnit until the very end. I knew that reading this book would further propel me out of my reading slump, so it was released at the perfect time. I’d also like to point out that any book set in Connecticut is going to make me excited! Quick Summary Five years ago, a high school senior named Helena disappeared from her backyard in Connecticut. Her case remained unsolved and amateur detectives on the Case Not Closed website recently opened it again. Helena’s younger sister, Aerin, posts for help and Seneca is on the case. She used to be obsessed with it and is ready to dive in with two other members of the board – Maddy and Brett. They all head up to Connecticut over spring break to help Aerin, learn more, and hopefully crack the case. Storytelling, Setting, and Feels If you’ve read other Sara Shepard books you’re probably sitting here thinking that it sounds the same as her other series. Yes, they all seem to involve some kind of mystery and/or murder, a group of teens coming together to solve it, and other drama along the way. I have to say – […]

Series Review: The Lying Game Books 4-6 + Novella

Posted August 7, 2015 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Series Review: The Lying Game Books 4-6 + Novella

So, as you saw in my previous post, I went on a little binge. It was a very spur of the moment decision and I figured I’d just work through the audiobooks for these ones over the course of the month…. but, I couldn’t stop. It ended up being a full-on series binge-read, which fits nicely in my Summer of Series Challenge! I didn’t put it on my TBR, but oh well. I should have known Sara Shepard would make me turn the pages nonstop until I was finished with the series. The Lying Game: Books 4, 5, and 6, plus the other novella I won’t spoil each individual book in the reviews, as usual, BUT each review will likely have spoilers for the previous book(s)! So, beware.   To be honest, this rating is probably a little too high. The ending definitely didn’t surprise me but it did make the book a bit more interesting. I’m getting sick and tired of the same plot in each book: Emma learns a piece of information, aggressively suspects someone the entire book, chases down dumb leads and assumes the worst without thinking first, and refuses to think it could be anyone but the person she chose as the latest suspect. She spent the entire book being an idiot and jumping to conclusions. It was just SO convenient that the person she suspected just so happened to be doing sketchy things while she suspected them (when they never really had before). The TV show made me suspect […]

Series Review: The Lying Game Books 1-3 + Novella

Posted August 5, 2015 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Series Review: The Lying Game Books 1-3 + Novella

So, I went on a little binge. It was a very spur of the moment decision and I figured I’d just work through the audiobooks for these ones over the course of the month…. but, I couldn’t stop. It ended up being a full-on series binge-read, which fits nicely in my Summer of Series Challenge! I didn’t put it on my TBR, but oh well. I should have known Sara Shepard would make me turn the pages nonstop until I was finished with the series. The Lying Game: Books 1, 2, and 3, plus the prequel novella I won’t spoil each individual book in the reviews, as usual, BUT each review will likely have spoilers for the previous book(s)! So, beware.  WOO that was really good! I shouldn’t say that I’m suprised at how good it was, but I kind of am. Sara Shepard is known for writing the same kind of books over and over again. I think most people admit that, even her big fans (like myself). There’s just something about her writing style that works for me and keeps me engaged, even if some of it feels like deja vu. THE GOOD NEWS IS: this book was actually not like her other books/series at all. It felt like a completely fresh story, which is definitely what made all the difference. Instead of following a group of girls around trying to figure out mysteries and/or murders (Hi, Pretty Little Liars, The Heiresses, and The Perfectionists), this one involves long-lost twin sisters. […]

Mini Reviews: Magonia and The Good Girls

Posted July 3, 2015 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Mini Reviews: Magonia and The Good Girls

I don’t really even know what to say about it, except that it was incredibly unique and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I actually HATE birds and am very afraid of them, so I’m surprised this book worked for me at all. We chose this one for my book club and pretty much all agreed with that. Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I did have a few major struggles: It was hard to picture Magonia and the bird people. I feel like most fantasy books have the issue of too much description, but this one could have used a bit more. When writing about a land that’s technically an ocean with ships and different bird-creatures, people are going to have a tough time picturing it. I needed more detail overall. I know that Aza was trying to learn what the issues were in Magonia, as well as her reasons for being there, but it was hard to grasp. They didn’t really tell her anything, and thus the reader didn’t know anything. It would have been better to have a bit more information and explanation. Aza’s reaction to Magonia was not believable. Obviously most of the book is pretty unbelievable, but what struck me the most was that Aza just accepted it. She literally learned that she was basically a bird person in this crazy place above the clouds… and she just went with it! I would have been screaming “what the fuck” repeatedly. Same with Jason. How did […]

Review: Vicious

Posted December 10, 2014 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Review: Vicious

*Do not read this review if you haven’t read all of the other books in the series! I’ll hide spoilers about this book, but anything before book 16 is fair game. Oh god. I can’t believe I finally read this book and that this series is actually over. This could easily be the hardest review I’ll write, because this book means more to me than a lot of others out there, but I’ll try to make it reasonable! It’s kind of difficult for me to summarize how this series has been so important to me for the past nine years. It kept me guessing and kept me READING during years I had no time to read. I started  the series in 2005, when book one was released, and religiously read each one every six months when they were released. People think it should have ended sooner, but I was never wishing it would just end already like most people. I can’t say that I’m surprised about any of it, really: what happened in the back, how quickly I read it, and how everything ended. That kind of predictability turns a lot of people off from books, but I’ve grown to become so engrossed by Shepard’s writing style that I don’t care. Sure, this series should basically have a subtitle of “How Many Times Can These Girls Fuck Up?” – but I can’t say that I was ever bored. I’m sad that it’s all over, but am very satisfied with the ending. […]

Review: The Perfectionists

Posted October 20, 2014 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Review: The Perfectionists

Yessss Sara Shepard you can do wrong for me. So many people complain that all of her books are the same and she makes series drag on forever… I have no issues with this. Regardless of how similar the stories may seem, they’re always easy to differentiate in my mind. Her writing makes everything suspenseful, quick, and interesting. I was certainly intrigued by the prologue and beginning of the book, but thought the huge amount of characters would get confusing. After a while it wasn’t difficult to keep them separate. The book follows five girls who bond over hating Nolan, the popular asshole guy at their school. They jokingly plot to kill him during their class but end up deciding to mess with him at his party that weekend. By morning, Nolan is dead – and it wasn’t their fault. Their activities that night make them look suspicious and the girls try to figure out who killed him that night in order to clear their own names. The girls are keeping secrets of their own, and in the super-competitive world of Beacon Heights, everyone who knows them is willing to spill them. As I said, the story itself and the setup of the book is fairly similar, but Shepard touches on a lot of different secrets and keeps things interesting. I’m a HUGE fan of her style. She slowly releases information (like why they all hate him, what actually happened that night, etc.) throughout the book until everything comes crashing […]