Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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. […]

Review: Get Dirty

Posted August 3, 2015 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review: Get Dirty

I had suuuuper mixed (okay, fine, more negative) feelings about the first book, but was absolutely determined to read this one. All other issues aside, I NEEDED to know who the killer was. I had a few people in mind after the first book… and that cliffhanger GOOD GOD. I figured I should give this one a slightly better rating than the first one because for some reason I kind of liked it a bit more, but it technically all comes down to the same issues. The pacing was still an issue, the girls still felt like cardboard cut-outs of typical high schooler stereotypes (except maybe even worse this time around because there was pretty much no personality at all), and… the worst thing of all… my theory was correct. If you know me at all, you’d know that (a) I don’t read a lot of mystery/murder/thriller books and (b) I am ridiculously AWFUL at falling for red herrings and can literally never figure out who the killer is. Ever. Well, except in this case. In summary, if I’m able to figure out who the killer was in your mystery book, then it wasn’t that great of a mystery.  I liked how everything wrapped up but essentially everything else from the book wasn’t very memorable. I just finished the audio this morning (July 2nd, at the time of writing this DUH) and I can’t even remember what the fuck happened throughout the book. I feel like there was even LESS of […]

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: When

Posted May 6, 2015 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Review: When

I’m sorry for the inevitable rant that this review is going to become. I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this book before it was released and thought it’d be a solid one to listen to on Audible. I was definitely wrong in that, and now I’m wondering how much the format of the book impacted my rating and feelings. Would it have been different to read this in print, or did I reaaaally just not like the book at all? Anyway, this book was pretty painful to listen to for a variety of reasons: THE AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR. This is certainly my biggest gripe, hence the debate above. The narrator read so fucking slowly that I wanted to speed up the narration. (Yes, I know that’s possible on Audible, but then the person gets a squeaky mouse voice.) She had the weirdest inflection on certain words and characters’ voices that I cringed so often. It can always be awkward when narrators try to change their voice for different characters, but this was just so bad. THE MAIN CHARACTER. Maddie made me SO annoyed throughout the whole book. Coupled with the narrator’s young-sounding voice, Maddie was so damn immature and stupid sometimes I can’t even explain it. Her whining was so melodramatic; I rolled my eyes WAY too many times. I feel bad saying this because she went through so much, especially with the bullying from her classmates, but I can’t help it. Some examples where I wanted to punch my phone: Lady […]

Review: My Last Kiss

Posted March 2, 2015 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Review: My Last Kiss

This was a highly anticipated read for me and I’m not sure why it took me so long to get to it! I finally got around to checking it out from the library recently and I’m so glad I did. I’d seen somewhat mixed reviews on this one, so I was hesitant to buy it outright (even though the cover is perfect). I absolutely love books that involve that in-between space between life and death – the main character has some kind of unfinished business on earth that needs to be resolved before they can move on. I had pretty high hopes for this one as a result. It starts off kind of confusing with the different timelines and flashbacks. I did continue to be a little confused at times throughout because I was thinking that she’d have flashbacks to slowly piece together the night, in order, but it also had scenes from much earlier than the event. The book is about Cassidy, who dies at seventeen. Obviously the book involves kissing and cheating of some kind, hence the title/summary, but the reader tries to figure out what happened to Cassidy in her final minutes along with her. Her death is ruled a suicide but most signs point to the fact that it was either an accident or she was killed. Regardless, I could not figure out what happened for the life of me. I’m usually bad at figuring out books like this, but I’m always glad when I can […]

Review: Get Even

Posted February 20, 2015 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Review: Get Even

Pardon my language, but what the actual fuck? I struggled with this book because I alternated between loving it and hating it throughout. Rating this one is a struggle for me and is based purely on comparison. I literally went to my ratings page and compared the book to the books under the 2.5 stars and 3 stars categories. I was leaning strongly towards 3.5 throughout the book, but towards the end found it slipping to 3… and now based on the final ending, it’s dangerously close to 2.5 territory. (Endings are very important to me!) So ummm where do I begin? This book was interesting. It’s about a group of girls who start “Don’t Get Mad” (…get even) in order to right some wrongs committed by people in their school. They target bullies and as a result do some bulling themselves. Whatever. Okay. The hypocrisy of these kind of things don’t bug me that much. Then, someone turns up dead and the members of DGM are the main suspects. The school is trying to figure out who’s in the group, while the girls are trying to figure out who the murderer is. But let me tell you – these girls are kind of stupid and annoying. They have the typical group of “opposite” girls from each circle in the school. Olivia, the popular drama star with a crappy home life; Bree, the rebel with a politician father; Kitty, the “Asian girl who isn’t good at math” (that’s exactly how […]

ARC Review: All Fall Down

Posted January 19, 2015 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
ARC Review: All Fall Down

AHH THIS WAS SO GOOD GUYSSSS. Throughout the whole book, I kept wondering when I would find a flaw. I really couldn’t, for the most part, until the very end of the book. My first impression was  that this book had a more mature feel to it than the Gallagher Girls, which was nice. The one thing that’s recently bugged me during my GG reread was that Cammie felt too immature to me. I was really looking forward to seeing what Ally Carter could do with an older character. Of course, Grace has her own problems that did at times make her seem younger than her age. There were times when she got angry and pouty that were reminiscent of a bratty teenager… but when you think about everything she’s been through, you kind of understand why. She seemed overdramatic at times, but she always said what was on her mind and wasn’t afraid of the backlash. She was kind of a badass, while also being funny and very sarcastic. This book is about Grace trying to prove that her mother was murdered and not killed in the fire. She has very foggy memories of that night, but does vividly remember seeing the bullet holes in her mother’s chest. She tries to find the Scarred Man that she remembers from that night, as she believes he’s the one who killed her mother. I loved that Grace developed as an unreliable narrator in some ways; you start to doubt her memories […]

Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves

Posted January 14, 2015 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves

I had pretty low expectations when starting this book because I had seen a lot of pretty negative reviews. Most people said that it was glaringly predictable, but I am SO BAD at predicting things in books. Mysteries and thrillers always catch me off guard because I kind of try not to make theories about what’s going to happen because I would rather be surprised…. but even when I do make predictions, they’re wrong. I was thinking that I would be the black sheep and actually end up liking this one, but I was nervous about the ending. (I had a feeling this was going to a book that’s success hinged on the ending, and I was right.)  I think the overall concept and setting was really cool. It was the epitome of a story that sounds GREAT in theory but was poorly executed. What Worked The fact that the main character, Lily, was in a family that ran a funeral home was pretty sweet. I thought that would be a good setup for an interesting story that obviously involved death. It was able to give Lily some insider information to help her solve the mystery. That whole aspect was interesting and kept me reading. In general I think Lily was veryyy generally characterized, which is obviously not a good thing, but there were a few instances where humor and feminism shown through. I liked that she stayed true to herself no matter what. The pacing was pretty good. It […]

Blog Tour Review & Favorite Quotes: Gone Too Far

Posted January 4, 2015 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Blog Tour Review & Favorite Quotes: Gone Too Far

Review This is definitely a book that got stronger as it progressed. The first person perspective threw me off a little because I feel like most of the books I’ve read lately haven’t been. It’s a completely different reading experience, in my opinion. Some of the writing felt awkward at first because of that, but then I definitely got used to it. A lot of character names were introduced right away and I felt like they all blended together, but again I slowly got used to it and they all started to differentiate. Our main character, Piper, was definitely a character that developed over time. It was reminiscent of the character development in Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas. The character starts out with pretty general characterizations, (she’s interested in photography and just your average high schooler) and then becomes more involved with some darker stuff. She isn’t a villain or anything that serious, but she gets mixed up in some bad things for a little while. It’s very cool to see a character develop and change in a non-traditional way. Also, there were some majorly swoony scenes with a cute boy… which is always a plus. I like when there’s a realistic romantic relationship included in mystery/thriller books. It adds a little something else to the plot. I like books where I’m suspicious of every character because it makes things more interesting. I’m normally very bad at solving the mystery before the end of the book. I had a lot […]

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. […]