Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger – Book Review

*This review contains spoilers for the first book of the series, Follow Me Back*

35355027

Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger
Expected publication by Sourcebooks Fire on June 5th, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 336
Goodreads
Amazon

Love. Obsession. Jealousy. Murder.

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she’s finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat… That’s safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.

Last year I had the amazing opportunity to read an ARC of the first half of this Duology, Follow Me Back (be sure to read my review here!) Ever since I tore through that book in a day, I’ve been dying to know what happens next. Did Eric really die? Did Tessa do it?

I am thrilled to report that Tell Me No Lies did not let me down: it was every bit as heart pounding and fast paced as the first book.

What I liked:

Just like the first book, Tell Me No Lies included police reports, DMs, and other online forms of communicating (like snapchat!) to tell the story. That not only added to the suspense and intrigue, but it made the story feel like it had such a fast pace. I seriously did not want to put this book down. If it weren’t for actually risking missing a class I might have read the whole thing in one sitting.

J4Yzs8U

I really liked Tessa and Eric. They both were so true to themselves and were very unique characters. Yeah, they both have flaws… but I like them so much anyway, and that is how you know that they are well written characters. Despite me never being nearly as paranoid as Eric or dealing with anxiety and agoraphobia like Tessa, I was able to sympathize with their characters and understand where their fears and motivations were coming from.

The story line itself was incredible. There were so many small details. So many questions and mysteries swirling around. So many high stakes moments piling up that made my heart race. At one point I was literally screaming “Come on! You need to go ______ and ________!!!!!!!” (not gonna spoil… but you get the point) at the book.

2

This story just had me gripped from the first page to the last. It was really something incredible.

What I didn’t like:

Not gonna lie. There were a few things in this book that were kiiiiinda hard to believe. As in I see where the author was coming from… but it’s just a little too far out there for me to get on board with. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’m not going to be able to give specific examples (this book’s plot is just so woven together that saying anything might ruin the mystery).

3

I also didn’t love some of the side characters. Again, I can’t say too much without giving some of the mystery away… (don’t you just love spoiler free reviews of mystery books?) but lets just say that some of the side characters were solely there to throw you off the scent (which they do very well), but their being there creates some of the situations that are just “too out there to believe.”

Overall:

Overall this book was amazing. My “complaints” about this book really didn’t bother me that much, and I loved reading Tell Me No Lies from beginning to end.

I would definitely recommend this duology (gotta read Follow Me Back first!) to anyone looking for a fast paced mystery! This is one you don’t want to miss!

I am going to give Tell Me No Lies four out of five hearts.

♥♥♥♥

*I received an ARC of this book from the publishers. All opinions are my own.*
Advertisements

When the Beat Drops (I’ll be home re-reading this book) by Anna Hecker – Book Review

35217468

 

When the Beat Drops by Anna Hecker
Expected publication by Sky Pony Press on May 1, 2018
Pages: 320
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Goodreads
Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Mira has always danced to her own beat. A music prodigy in a family of athletes, she’d rather play trumpet than party—and with her audition to a prestigious jazz conservatory just around the corner (and her two best friends at music camp without her), she plans to spend the summer focused on jazz and nothing else.

She only goes to the warehouse party in a last-ditch effort to bond with her older sister. Instead, she falls in love with dance music, DJing…and Derek, a gorgeous promoter who thinks he can make her a star. Suddenly trumpet practice and old friendships are taking a backseat to packed dance floors, sun-soaked music festivals, outsized personalities, and endless beats.

But when a devastating tragedy plunges her golden summer into darkness, Mira discovers just how little she knows about her new boyfriend, her old friends, and even her own sister. Music is what brought them together…but will it also tear them apart?

This book is so much more than the cover and synopsis make it seem. The way it is advertised makes it seem like a light fast read about a girl who likes music… but it is so much more than that. When the Beat Drops is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about finding yourself.

What I Liked:

I honestly loved Mira. Her whole world is music. She hears it in movement and emotion and nature. That’s why it was so easy to believe that she picked up DJing so fast and was so good at it. She lives and breathes music. It was that fact that made this whole book so believable and enjoyable.

All of the characters were actually pretty great. They all had so many dimensions to them. They had their own flawed and complicated lives. They also were all so unique and interesting.

I also liked how this book handled some pretty serious topics, like drugs, death, mourning, denial, and family problems. It was able to tackle these topics in what felt like an honest way… making them simple enough to understand without making light of them.

I also really loved how this book ended. I’m not gonna say too much about it (cause #nospoilers), but let’s just say life isn’t perfect and I love how this book showed it.

What I didn’t Like:

There really wasn’t much I didn’t like about When the Beat Drops. I was a little lost in the beginning, just because I had no idea what I was going to get out of this book, but that feeling went away pretty quickly.

I also didn’t really love Yelena’s character, but the more she was around the more I liked her.

Also, I felt like Mira’s introduction to the warehouse party scene was a bit abrupt and odd, but I got over that pretty quickly, and it didn’t bother me that much.

Overall:

I was completely surprised by this book. It was so much better than I expected it to be, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a YA contemporary that feels a little more solid that some others.

I am going to give When the Beat Drops 5 out of 5 hearts.

♥♥♥♥♥

*I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Busted by Gina Ciocca – Book Review

21825764

Busted by Gina Ciocca
Published by Sourcebooks Fire  on January 2, 2018
Pages: 352
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery
Goodreads
Amazon

Marisa wasn’t planning to be a snoop for hire—until she accidentally caught her best friend’s boyfriend making out with another girl. Now her reputation for sniffing out cheaters has spread all over school, and Marisa finds herself the reluctant queen of busting two-timing boys.

But when ex-frenemy Kendall asks her to spy on her boyfriend, TJ, Marisa quickly discovers the girl TJ might be falling for is Marisa herself. And worse yet? The feelings are quickly becoming mutual. Now, she’s stuck spying on a “mystery girl” and the spoken-for guy who just might be the love of her life…

Quite honestly I was expecting this book to be cute, fluffy, and predictable. But oh boy was I wrong. This book proved to be more than I could have hoped for… and much more complex than the description hints at.

What I liked:

I thought the plot was really well done. There were so many intricacies, secrets, ulterior motives, and sub-plots that fit together so well. Although so much was going on, it was easy to keep track of, without me necessarily being able to put together the pieces before the plot was revealed.

1

I was surprised so many times by this book. And what I liked even more was how the motivations that each character had actually made sense. There was none of those silly, unbelievable motives that leave you thinking “are you serious? You caused all this trouble for THAT?” Instead, I was like “yeah, I could see how those circumstances/character traits would drive someone to do that.” And honestly that made the story so much better and more satisfying.

2

For the most part, I really liked the characters too. Marisa (even though she could be a little annoying at times) had strong morals and stuck up for her friends. I liked TJ because instead of falling into the classic love interest role, he had a very dimensional personality. There was so much going on for him too, and he fit into the plot seamlessly.

Kendall, on the other hand, was an awful character… but the kind that makes the perfect antagonist. She’s the type of character that you love to hate, and I definitely loved to hate her.

What I didn’t like:

Honestly I don’t understand why some of the characters were there. Marisa has a best friend, Charlie, and she is essential to the plot. But then they have this other friend whose name I don’t even remember, because the story would have been exactly the same if she wasn’t in it.

3

Also the parents were kind of one-dimensional and barely showed up at all. It didn’t bother me that much (and it does tend to happen a lot in YA), but still it did bug me a little. Especially how un-invested they were in their kids lives.

Throughout the book, Marisa talks about this scholarship essay she wants to write, and the prompt is “How far would you go to get the story?” It fits in perfectly with the plot… only at the end of the book, although she does sit down to write the essay, it never says if she ends up finishing it, submitting it, or winning the money to go to her dream college (Lehigh University). So I wish that sub-arc was wrapped up a little bit better.

4

Overall:

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was so much more than I was expecting, and I’m really glad that I decided to read it.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a YA romance that focuses less on the romance and more on some awesome detectiving and mystery solving.

5

I am giving Busted four out of five hearts.

♥♥♥♥

Talk to me:

Have you ever read this book? What did you think? If you haven’t read it, would you want to? Let me know in the comments below!

Why Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett should be on your must-read list! – Book Review

35297469

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Expected publication by Simon Pulse on April 3rd, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 432
Goodreads
Amazon

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?


IMG_5240

Jenn Bennett has done it again. After reading Alex, Approximately and The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, I was super excited to get my hands on a copy of Starry Eyes, which the publishers were nice enough to send me. As soon as I got it, I sat down and read it in two days. Two days! 400 some-odd pages in two days. And I loved every second of it.

Why did I love this book so much? Because Jenn Bennett has a way of creating multi-dimensional characters that are so unique and believable, and immersing the reader into their lives from page 1. The plot also is so unique and gripping and entertaining. I kept telling myself, “one more chapter and then I really will get to my homework,” and then I read three more chapters because it was just too good to put down.

I loved Zorie and Lennon. I loved uncovering their past and discovering, along with them, what went wrong between them.

I loved how all of the side characters, no matter how small the role they played, they had a unique personality, and was clearly their own person.

I loved how wide of a cross section I was able to see of the characters lives. I had a full, unfiltered view into Zorie’s world, which made it so easy to love her and sympathize with her.

The story was fast paced and full of emotion. Although the book is long, it certainly doesn’t feel like it. It was a very quick read.

I would honestly recommend this book to anyone who likes YA, and to anyone who is looking to get into reading or get out of a book slump. Jenn Bennett has blown me away with her books this far, and if you haven’t read anything by her, I definitely would recommend picking one of her books up.

I am going to give Starry Eyes five out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Have you read Starry Eyes or another book by Jenn Bennett? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!

*An ARC of this book was sent to me by the publishers. Views and opinions of this book are all my own*

Book Review- By Your Side by Kasie West

30256248

By Your Side by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on January 31st, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 346
Goodreads
Amazon

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Initial Thoughts

After loving P.S. I Like You and hating The Fill-In Boyfriend, I wasn’t sure how to feel going into this book. Would it be adorable and cute or frustrating and cringey?

It turned out to be a bit of both.

What I Liked

Dax. Dax was honestly a pretty compelling character, and turned out to be my favorite character in the story. He was independent and closed off, yet he had this soft gooey center that made me want to love him. At first I was a little confused by his motivations, but as the story went on and I began to understand him better, he really grew on me. Also, he ACTUALLY READ in the library (unlike the other characters, which kind of made the whole plot questionable… but I’ll talk more about that later).

The relationship between Dax and Autumn was pretty cute. It definitely followed the hurt-closed-off-guy-opens-up-to-spoilt-rich-girl-who-secretly-has-problems trope, but it was done pretty well. I really liked how organic the relationship seemed (even if the part where them getting stuck in the library was… um… unlikely?)

I also liked the pacing of the book. It wasn’t too slow, but it wasn’t super fast either. And the plot was not too complex, but had a lot of complexity to it.

What I Didn’t Like

Jeff. He was the boy that Autumn was pining over, and honestly he didn’t do much except annoy me. Even though he was made out to be a fun, likeable, and go-lucky kind of guy, I couldn’t bring myself to care about him in the slightest. He felt too much like a cut-out, and it definitely didn’t help that his “best friend” was literally an exact copy of him (except of course the best friend didn’t like Autumn at all).

I honestly didn’t really like any of the characters except Dax. All of Autumn’s friends were boring, and I couldn’t even differentiate between them. And, at some point, there was a little bit of drama when one of the friends told Autumn that another one liked Jeff… and then it was never mentioned again. Like what was the point of that?!?

I also really didn’t like the parents in this book. They were all frustrating and pointless. Even Dax’s mom, who was built up so much, was a complete letdown. Then there were some loose ends left with her. DID THEY MAKE UP? DID DAX TELL HER OFF? The world may never know.

Also can we take a minute and talk about the library? What the hell?!? First of all, the whole Autumn being left behind thing was stupid and improbable. I just can’t see that happening in real life. Secondly, the very first thing I would think of in that situation would be pulling the fire alarm. It was SO FRUSTRATING waiting for Autumn to come up with that on her own. It kind of ruined the whole first part of the book for me.

And then, Dax was honestly kind of annoying about the fire alarm. Like just let the girl get out and hide if you don’t want to be seen. It’s not like they are going to search the library once they realize that she pulled the alarm because she was stuck in there.
And then the whole plot when she finally got out of the library. I mean, I guess I could see how that would happen, but it was all just a little much to believe.

And then Jeff’s mom. Oh MY GOSH she was the worst. I actually kind of wanted to strangle her. I get that she was just clinging onto any hope (given her situation that I won’t tell you more about becuase #nospoilers), but it was so unrealistic and annoying.

Let’s also take a minute to talk about Autumn’s anxiety disorder. She kept it a secret from her friends because she didn’t want them to look at her differently. UMMMMM. Honey. If you are scared to tell your “best” friend(s) something like that then are you sure that they are really your friends? I get that talking about stuff like that can be scary sometimes, but that’s something that people talk about with their friends. You should see how much I talk to my friends about stuff like that. It’s called building a support system.

And I guess it wasn’t even that I had the hardest time believing that she would keep it from her friends (although it was pretty stupid).What really annoyed me about Autumn’s Anxiety™ was how much she whined about it. Literally half the book was her complaining about her anxiety and then refusing to do anything about it.

“Oh my gosh my anxiety is so bad and it holds me back from life but I don’t want help I just want to suffer in silence please and make my friends think I’m a terrible flake instead of facing my problems. But you know I’m gonna whine about it 24/7 and wonder why this is happening to ME. I’m also going to ignore my parents and brother trying to help me because they JUST DON’T understand my mind.”

– My impression of Autumn for 90% of the book

Overall

As you can probably tell by the amount of good vs. bad things I had to say about By Your Side, this wasn’t my favorite book. It wasn’t the worst thing that I’ve ever read, but I don’t think I’m going to be picking up anything by Kasie West for quite a while.

I am going to give By Your Side two out of five hearts.

♥♥♥♥♥

Talk to me! Have you ever read By Your Side? What did you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with what I had to say? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Book Review-Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers

25898555

 

Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers
Published by Sky Pony Press on May 3rd, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 288
Goodreads
Amazon

His world is music. Her world is silent.

Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.

When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved.

Tone Deaf was a good story. It had all the right elements to it: a gorgeous, troubled love interest (who just happens to be a rock star), a MC who is just the right amount of tough and in danger, and a chance meeting that brings them together.

Plot

The plot of the story was compelling, and I couldn’t put this book down. The story takes place over a relatively short period of time, but it was more than enough to get to know the characters, and it flowed very smoothly; nothing seemed forced or too unrealistic (if you don’t count Ali winning the exclusive backstage tour that kicked everything off).

Characters

Unsurprisingly, Jace and Ali were the most dimensional characters in the story. Both of them had heart-wrenching stories, and honestly it was those stories that drove the book forward. I really liked both of their characters.

Arrow, Killer, and Jon were the three other boys in Jace’s band, Tone Deaf. They were all supposed to be older than Jace (who was 19), but they seemed very juvenile and more like cookie-cutter fill-in characters. That being said, they were entertaining and I liked them… I just wish they acted more like the age they were supposed to be. Jon was the most realistic of the three, and he had the least time in the book.

Ali’s dad, who is the main protagonist in the book, was easy to hate. He really is just a terrible person. However, he also was a very one-dimensional character. Although Ali talks about his other moods, they are never shown in the book. But that’s to be expected when he is only in a few scenes of the book.

Ali’s best friend/neighbor along with Jace’s manager and pretty much all of the other characters aren’t that complex. Not that I minded, as this story really was about Ali and Jace.

Things I Liked

I liked the relationship between Ali and Jace. It is fragile and sensitive and beautiful.
I liked the tone and pace of the story. It was easy to follow, not too slow, and not too fast.
I liked the friendship between the members of Tone Deaf, and Ali’s friendship with her best friend.
I liked how realistic all of the emotions felt, and how they were dealt with.
I liked Cuddles!! (You’re just going to have to read the book to find out who that is!)

Things I Didn’t Like

I didn’t like how young and immature the characters could be at times.

Yeah that’s really all I didn’t like.

Overall

Overall I really liked this book. It was a quick read with a whole lot of emotion that left me feeling good at the end and wanting more.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves YA contemporary romance, or anyone looking for a good book to help break them in to the genre.
I am going to give Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers 4 out of 5 hearts.

♥♥♥♥

Hiatus Mini Reviews

Before the New Year™ officially begins, I thought I’d do some mini reviews of the books I’ve read while on hiatus (not that I’m off my semi-hiatus, but I’m gonna try to post regularly again, and see how it goes). 

I read 4 new books (not including my assigned books for school, but I’m not going to review those) which I’m going to be reviewing. I re-read books 1-4 of the Throne of Glass series (reviews: 1,2,3,4), and will post my reviews for Empire of Storms and The Assassin’s Blade when I re-read them (then Tower of Dawn when I finally read that!). I also re-read Beyond the Rising Tide, which was as amazing as the first time (find my review here). I read My Lady Jane, and you can read my review for that here, along with why it did not live up to the hype.

So, without any further ado, here we go!


32487648

180 Seconds by Jessica Park

My Rating: ♥♥♥

180 Seconds was a really good book. It follows Allison, a girl who is more than a little closed off from the world, and Esben, who is super outgoing and a social-media celeb. The meet when Allison is roped into a social experiment that Esben is doing, where they basically just keep eye-contact for 180 seconds.
The emotions in this book were raw and relatable, and I even got a little misty eyed at parts. Although the plot and outcome of the book were predictable, I really didn’t mind at all. I knew what I was getting into when I picked up this book, and it gave me exactly what I expected.
Although the main characters (Allison and Esben) were very nuanced, the rest of the characters did feel a bit two-dimensional, which made the whole book a teensy bit less enjoyable, but for the most part I didn’t mind.
Overall I’d say this book is worth the read, especially if you like this kind of story.


7937843

Room by Emma Donoghue

My Rating: ♥♥♥

I watched the movie Room before I read the book (I know, I know, I should have read the book first), but honestly reading the book and watching the movie were two completely different experiences. For one, I sobbed throughout the entire movie (both my first time watching it and then when I watched it again after finishing the book), and I only got a little misty eyed once during the book.
The book definitely went into more detail (and had some plot points that the movie skipped) and gave an even more in-depth view into Jack’s mind and how he dealt with the events that took place. That being said, it gave the book more of a juvenile voice which could be a little annoying and confusing at times.
Do I think the book was worth the read? Yes.
That being said, in this case I do think it’s okay to skip the book and just see the movie.


1971304

City of Thieves by David Benioff

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

City of Thieves was a whirlwind from beginning to end. It follows Lev and Kolya, two war prisoners and strangers to each other, who are given the task of finding eggs during the Nazis siege of Leningrad in exchange for their lives. As they embark on this seemingly impossible journey, they have some crazy adventures and build a friendship.
This book was really interesting, and I found myself unable to put it down. It was pretty crude (which fit in with the setting, but was a little over-the-top at points), but also had some heartfelt moments.
This was the first real war story I read (I’ve read one since), and I was actually surprised by how much I liked it. I would recommend this to anyone who likes war stories, or anyone who wants to try reading one.


32830562

In 27 Days by Alison Gervais

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

In 27 Days was a complete cover buy for me. I hadn’t seen the book or author anywhere before, and I knew nothing about the story. That being said, I have read Wattpad books before, and I have never been let down by one that has made it through the publishing process.
In 27 Days did not disappoint.
The concept behind this story is a girl is given a chance to go back in time by 27 days to save a boy who has committed suicide. She doesn’t know him that well, but decides to take the deal anyway and try to save his life.
The story itself is pretty predictable (even the ending, which really tried to be surprising), but it was really cute and such a feel good story. The characters were likable and the story was compelling. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a fast, fun book to read!


Thanks for reading! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments below!