Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Best Of Her Best: Dangerous Lies - Becca Fitzpatrick

Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick 
Date Released: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster 

Pages: 400 pages 
Format: Hardcover
Source: For Review from
Rating: 4 Stars!
Series: Standalone!

Goodreads Synopsis: A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

From Goodreads

I went into Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick with no high expectations. Her other novels, Black Ice, was an okay read and I still have yet to pick up her Hush, Hush series, so I knew I couldn't set any high expectations. 

But wow, I was so wrong with that!

Dangerous Lies was a perfectly weaved witness protection program novel that had elements of action and suspense with a strong romance. I was so surprised on how much I greatly enjoyed the book, especially how far Fitzpatrick was able to develop her writing more. The dialogue was fluid and the plot was moving.

Dangerous Lies begins with Stella Gordon whose life has been turned upside down every since a violent crime involving her mother and Stella sent her to the Witness Protection Program. I enjoyed Stella, she was well-written and I think one of Fitzpatrick's best characters written. She goes through so much in the novel from a druggie mother who has a relationship with a leader of a drug cartel to the adjustments she makes moving to Thunder Basin, Nebraska, any reader can't help but relate to her. As she makes her way in Thunder Basin with the care of Carmina, Stella meets Chet Falconer who changes the person she become. The characters in Dangerous Lies might be a small size, but each one was well developed. There is such a flow between the characters and what they say, it very much felt real. In addition, I loved how fast the book started right away. Right from the first page, you get hit with Stella's situation and it all climaxes until the very end. 

I absolutely love witness protection program books, especially when it's filled with tons of suspense and action. Dangerous Lies was a great novel that tackles so much more than just living the consequences of your action. It was about coming face to face with what is really going on among it all and identity. I love how Fitzpatrick grew Stella's character throughout the novel. Despite the novel centering on Stella's relationship with Chet, Fitzpatrick brings up other aspects of the novel such as Carmina's past, Stella's mom, that are weaved throughly.

Ultimately, Dangerous Lies was a home run. Complex characters and a fast paced story line will have any reader on the edge of their seat. Check this one out!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Just Good: Break Away - Kat Spears

BreakawayBreak Away by Kat Spears
Date Released: September 15, 2015
lisher: St. Martin's Griffin 
Pages: 290 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: For Review
Rating: 3 Stars
Series: Standalone!

Goodreads Synopsis: When Jason Marshall’s younger sister passes away, he knows he can count on his three best friends and soccer teammates—Mario, Jordie, and Chick—to be there for him. With a grief-crippled mother and a father who’s not in the picture, he needs them more than ever. But when Mario starts hanging out with a rough group of friends and Jordie finally lands the girl of his dreams, Jason is left to fend for himself while maintaining a strained relationship with troubled and quiet Chick.

Then Jason meets Raine, a girl he thinks is out of his league but who sees him for everything he wants to be, and he finds himself pulled between building a healthy and stable relationship with a girl he might be falling in love with, grieving for his sister, and trying to hold on to the friendships he has always relied on. 

A witty and emotionally moving tale of friendship, first love, and loss, Breakaway is Kat Spears at her finest.

From Goodreads

You know when you are hyped up for a book, the moment when you can't wait to sink into the pages of a promising story? Then after finishing it, it was nothing special just good? Yeah, that how I felt with Break Away by Kat Spears. I was greatly looking forward to picking up her latest one. Everything about it seemed liked the perfect young adult contemporary novel, but it was just a good book. Nothing special here or there, just good. Average.

Break Away begins the story of Jason Marshall whose younger sister recently passed away. Jason was a great character, I believe any teenager could easily relate as he deals with family issues to friend problems and his girlfriend Raine. Jason also deals with a mother who is stuck in her own world grieving and a father who was never there to begin with in Jason's life. Having his life turned around he knows he can count on his friends - Mario, Jordie, and Chick to help him get through it. Spears does a wonderful job crafting each of Jason's friends. From Chick's social awkwardness and shyness to Mario, a upbeat friend and even Jordie who helped introduce Raine, a girl who is ready for change, to Jason. Spears definitely hit the mark on the characters, everyone felt real and true to what teens would experience today. 

The book does focus greatly on Jason and Raine's relationship. From Jason dealing with family issues to Raine finding her way and place in school and in the world, I could easily relate to it all. It was so easy to step into Jason's shoes and experience what he went through, and I thought that is what made it a good novel. The relationship between Jason and Raine felt honest and true. It was not any of those fast paced relationships typical in young adult contemporary novels. 

Overall, Break Away was a solid novel. Nothing special, but well written and crafted to match the nature of teens and life's issues. I feel like every reader can relate to any of the characters and be sure to check this one out!

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Historical Thriller: These Shallow Graves - Jennifer Donnelly

These Shallow GravesThese Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly 
Date Released: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Random House Delacorte 

Pages: 496 pages
Format: ARC
Source: For Review Fr
om Teenreads!
Rating: 4 Stars!
Series: Standalone

Goodreads Synopsis: Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. Only now it might be too late to stop.

The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and the truth is the dirtiest part of all.
From Goodreads

These Shallow Graves was such a complex, rich historical novel that brought me back into reading. Everything about it, from it's quirky, emotional characters to a dark plot had me racing through the pages. I read Donnelly's other novel, Revolution, and loved it. It was great knowing These Shallow Graves lived up to my expectations!

The novel circles around the Victorian era. Girls forced into arranged marriages. The corrupt media spreading lies. The powerful men dominating the social classes. Donnelly creates such a rich and detailed setting, I was automatically drawn into it. The protagonist, Joe Montfort is from a rich, well-established family. She has big dreams to become a new reporter, but as her father's fatal death comes crashing into her life, that dream is far from reality. Her dad's death instantly sets the dark, suspenseful tone of the novel. I greatly enjoyed how Donnelly took the type to establish Joe and her motivating and strong personality within the first few chapters. 

As Joe searches for the answers to whom killed her dad, she meets Eddie Gallagher, a new reporter, someone she would never see herself talking with. Or much less fall in love. Joe and Eddies were great foil characters for each other. Joe is such a determined and strong willed character she balanced out Eddie's whimsical, caring attitude. The novel delves upon dark secrets hidden within Joe's world, but also the world Eddie comes from. While Donnelly's idea is not new, she presents it in her own way and provides a twist that I never saw coming!

The novel definitely kicked up as Joe and Eddies uncovered clues pertaining to her dad's killer. Joe and Eddies go through many emotional journeys from Joe's arranged marriage with Bram to a close betrayal from a family member, you can't help but be in her shoes. Another great thing was that Donnelly did not circle the whole novel around them. It was all about the killer and uncovering her family secrets. The romance between it all added to the emotional appeal of the novel and added a great depth to the novel. 

In all honestly, I believed Donnelly could have sped up on revealing who the killer is. 496 pages was a lot and she could have produced a much stronger novel with fewer pages. Some chapters just dragged me down and I felt like it didn't contribute to the novel as a whole. 

Ultimately, These Shallow Graves is one of my favorite historical YA novel from this year! Donnelly is back with a richly drawn novel filled with complex characters and a killer that will have you on the edge of you seat!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Life Updates: College Apps, Stress, Looking for Blog Designers

September was just brutal...I was so stressed out with everything and barely had time to do the blog, I feel like such a let down :/ As October approaches, I hope to still have time to read and blog just that senior year and college and stress reached a whole new level!

But I'm glad I have been reading much more and keeping up with emails and being active on social media! College apps have been pretty intense for the most part. If you guys have any advice please tell me here or on social media! And especially dealing with stress and school/time management!

I will definitely still be reading behind the scenes, I just need to find the time to write reviews and posts, I'll just see how October treats me. I MISS blogging!

ALSO! I am looking to change up my blog design, if you know anyone please tell me on social media or here in the comments section! 

Be sure to follow me on my social media to keep up with me :)
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