one of us is lying | review

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Title: One Of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Publisher: Random House

Publication date: May 30th, 2017

N° of pages: 368 pages

Genre: YA Mystery

 

synopsis

One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

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I’m starting to realize there are some things you can’t undo, no matter how good your intentions are.

Breakfast Club + Pretty Little Liars + Murder = I’m sold! Honestly, when I first read the synopsis, all I was thinking was: Oh my God! I NEED this! Buuuut… (Yes, there’s a but!) It wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be.

Of course, that is not to say that I did not enjoy the story because I did. It was real fun and it makes you want to keep reading because you just need to know who did it, right? I don’t know about you but it is very hard for me to DNF a book with a mystery murder in it. It’ll just make me crazy not knowing who did it. It was far from being a book that I would DNF though because the writing was great and the plot even better. I find that the whole idea of a detention turning into murder and a bunch of people, who have nothing to do with each other, being accused of committing it really interesting! I think that’s why I enjoyed Pretty Little Liars. I just love seeing people framed for crimes they didn’t (or did) commit.

My issue with this book was with the characters. They are the kind of characters we find everywhere. When I’ve read the synopsis the first time and I saw Bronwyn: The Brain, Addy: The Beauty, Nate: The Criminal, Cooper: The Athlete and Simon: The Outcast, my first thought was: Well I hope they’ll manage to make something out of this! Also, since I’ve watched Pretty Little Liars I found a lot of similarities which kind of played a certain role in why I didn’t really get attached to the characters. I wasn’t expecting this to be a retelling. Or is it? Now I don’t know about everyone else but Addy sounds a lot like Hanna (PLL). They’re both “The Beauty”, they both go through struggles that make them think they’re better than that and they both have a single good looking mother. And at the beginning of the book, I almost felt that something was going to happen with the police officer but thank God it didn’t because that would’ve been PLL. I have no problem with retellings but only inspired retellings, not “copy-everything” retellings. This might not be a problem for a lot of people but I guess it was for me! Especially since I found out that Simon’s best friend was Janae. I couldn’t stop myself from picturing her as Jenna Marshall from PLL. Jenna and Janae…

I did like how they were all different from each other and I loved seeing them bond and develop a certain kind of friendship. It was probably my favourite part of the book along with knowing more Bronwyn and Addy’s sisters: Maevae and Ashton. They really are incredible supportive sisters and I think that Ashton is my favourite character in this book. The main characters being too cliché for me to feel for them or to care. I did enjoy the romance in the book though which is very unlikely because I usually don’t like romance. Oh, and at the beginning of the book, I really liked Nate “the criminal” but in the very last few pages I just came to realize that he’s not that good after all.

There are four POVs in this book but, in my opinion, they are so similar we end up thinking there’s only just one voice that is narrating. That didn’t really bother me all that much. I found the writing to be beautiful and quite simple. It’s an easy read that is slow paced but it fits well the story. You won’t find yourself bored while reading this book although for me to enjoy a mystery, I need to be more than just “not bored”. Nothing was really a surprise which is a bummer.

If you haven’t read a lot of mysteries and if you’re just looking for a light quick read for summer, then this is the book for you! It has a great premise (and a very beautiful cover!) and I’m sure you won’t regret picking it up! I fairly enjoyed it but it could’ve been way better and sadly this just wasn’t for me.

This book was provided to me by Random House and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Hope you’ve enjoyed this review!

Have you read One of Us is Lying? What did you think of it? Does it sound like a book you would enjoy to read?

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the heirs | review

Hello everyone! ❤

I’m back with yet another review! I was so afraid I wouldn’t like this book but I was saved! It is so not cool to go through a week of exams reading something that you do not like. I am so drowning in my studies that I don’t get to post as regularly as I should. I want to thank all of you who have tagged me to do an award or a tag. I’m really excited to do them! In fact, I have already started writing some of the posts. They just lack editing and correcting though. I’ll get to them as soon as I have more time, promise!

Oh and I should maybe mention one of my current favorites: Full House! I should’ve watched it sooner but the number of episodes was intimidating. Somehow I always end up watching sitcoms during exams (bad idea!!) but I don’t regret it. I freakin’ love it!!

Now without further ado, let’s talk “The Heirs”!

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Title: The Heirs

Author: Susan Rieger

Publisher: Crown

Publication date: May 23rd, 2017

N° of pages: 272 pages

Genre: Fiction

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Brilliantly wrought, incisive, and stirring, The Heirs tells the story of an upper-crust Manhattan family coming undone after the death of their patriarch. Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him. The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their father and feeling betrayed by him.

In disconcerting contrast, their mother, Eleanor, is cool and calm, showing preternatural composure. Eleanor and Rupert had made an admirable life together — Eleanor with her sly wit and generosity, Rupert with his ambition and English charm — and they were proud of their handsome, talented sons: Harry, a brash law professor; Will, a savvy Hollywood agent; Sam, an astute doctor and scientific researcher; Jack, a jazz trumpet prodigy; Tom, a public-spirited federal prosecutor.

The brothers see their identity and success as inextricably tied to family loyalty – a loyalty they always believed their father shared. Struggling to reclaim their identity, the brothers find Eleanor’s sympathy toward the woman and her sons confounding. Widowhood has let her cast off the rigid propriety of her stifling upbringing, and the brothers begin to question whether they knew either of their parents at all.

A riveting portrait of a family, told with compassion, insight, and wit, The Heirs wrestles with the tangled nature of inheritance and legacy for one unforgettable, patrician New York family. Moving seamlessly through a constellation of rich, arresting voices, The Heirs is a tale out Edith Wharton for the 21st century.

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Rating | rating.pngrating.pngrating.pngrating.pnghalfrat

Review | Oh man do I love family drama! First of all, look at the book cover! It isn’t anything superfluous but I love the colors! Ever since I’ve seen The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore’s book cover, I’m in love with turquoise on books (especially if mixed with gold)! Which reminds me! The Nest (which is also about a dysfunctional family) by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney also has a blue/green cover with a touch of gold, is this a “thing”?

“I’ve always thought curiosity was jealousy in sheep’s clothing. The will to possess or control or annihilate.”

I wasn’t expecting much from this book since I have never read anything by the author before and I think it explains why I never like to delve into a book knowing too much about the author or the book and that’s because high expectations usually lead me to disappointments. It didn’t take me long to get interested in the story but I’ve got to admit it’s because I love family drama and different perspectives in a book. It still was clear from the beginning that something was going on in that family and I NEEDED to know it. The first chapter was all about Eleanor Phipps, wife of Rupert Falkes and mother of five boys: Will, Harry, Sam, Tom and Jack. The book starts right after his death. We get to know a little bit about the characters and then we get to meet this woman who claims to have had a relationship with him in the past and so we get to see how the family he’s lived with most of his life is reacting to those news, the news of a “second family”.

“Do men ever die for love that way, or only women?” he asked. He slid into a chair across the table from her.

Eleanor thought for a moment. It was a more interesting question than she had expected. “Not in novels, only in life.”

“I think I might die for love,” he said.

She finally smiled at him. “Heroically? Sacrificially?” she said.

“I’d like to think so, but that’s not what I meant. I meant dying from loss,” he said.

“How can you know that about yourself?” she asked. “Have you ever been in love?”

He shook his head. “Emotions are treacherous. I like to keep things cool.”

I’ve personally loved Eleanor. I found her so bright, well read, witty and so “femme fatale” if I dare say. I kept liking her more and more. She reacted to things differently!  I loved her relationship with her sons and also how she’s very loyal when it comes to people she loves. Through her story and her husband’s Rupert, I couldn’t help but think that you can never know a person well enough and I think that’s what the book is trying to tell us. There are some other characters that I loved or rather loved their friendship with one of the main characters because it put in a dose of cuteness in the story. I don’t know, I just found it cute how Rupert was fond of Francie and Sam of Susanna and Edward, his grandfather. Sam’s relationship with Edward actually reminded me a lot of Rory and Richard in Gilmore Girls!

There are also some characters I absolutely hated: Sam’s boyfriend Andrew and the woman who claimed to be the mother of Rupert’s other two sons: Vera. I think I mentionned on Twitter how mentally kicking someone is a thing (expression found in The Heirs!) and this is what I was doing to Vera and Andrew in my mind: mentally kicking them! They couldn’t be any more annoying! I did find it a bit odd for this family to be so perfect though! I mean, five sons and they all turn out to be really really successful? I don’t know, I sure would’ve wished for a bit more imperfection, not that I am jealous or anything! 😂

“The surgeons had started calling the oncologists the Brotherhood of Dracula; the oncologists responded by calling the surgeons the Sisterhood of Frankenstein.”

It is definitely not fast paced but I don’t think it’s a problem in this book. The slow pace actually fits very well this particular story. Sure, at first, it bothered me a bit but then the writing is beautiful and so I just kept on reading and reading. Besides, I really enjoyed spending time with the characters and especially knowing more about Eleanor’s story. I think It’s the story that caught more my attention. More than the woman who came to claim money for her boys I mean. I just loved knowing more about her. It didn’t take me long to read the book after I got interested in Eleanor. I’ve read this book in three sittings which probably added up to four hours and it was delightful! All of this actually made me want to read more books by Susan Rieger because she’s done such an amazing job with all of the descriptions and the character growth that we get while reading The Heirs.

Oh and I almost forgot! This book being set mostly in the 50s, you get loads of good music and movies recommendations! I literally went like “OMG” whenever I saw a title there I recognized AND loved. I think I need more books set in the 50s now.

This book was provided to me by Crown Publishing, Blogging for Books and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

this impossible light | review

Are you a Button Poetry fan? Do you sometimes come accross their videos? Have you ever seen Shrinking Women by Lily Myers? I am. I do. And I have. Shrinking Woman has had more than 5 million views and Lily has now written a novel in verse called “This Impossible Light”. And guess what? The book is just as great (if not better)! If you love slam poetry, there’s a great chance you’ll like this! 😊

This Impossible Light

Title: This Impossible Light

Author: Lily Myers

Publisher: Philomel

Publication date: June 6th, 2017

N° of pages: 352 pages

Genre: Poetry, YA

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From the YouTube slam poetry star of “Shrinking Women” (more than 5 million views!) comes a novel in verse about body image, eating disorders, self-worth, mothers and daughters, and the psychological scars we inherit from our parents.
Sixteen-year-old Ivy’s world is in flux. Her dad has moved out, her mother is withdrawn, her brother is off at college, and her best friend, Anna, has grown distant. Worst of all, Ivy’s body won t stop expanding. She’s getting taller and curvier, with no end in sight. Even her beloved math class offers no clear solution to the imbalanced equation that has become Ivy s life.
Everything feels off-kilter until a skipped meal leads to a boost in confidence and reminds Ivy that her life is her own. If Ivy can just limit what she eats the way her mother seems to she can stop herself from growing, focus on the upcoming math competition, and reclaim control of her life. But when her disordered eating leads to missed opportunities and a devastating health scare, Ivy realizes that she must weigh her mother’s issues against her own, and discover what it means to be a part of and apart from her family.
This Impossible Light explores the powerful reality that identity and self-worth must be taught before they are learned. Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins.”

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Rating | rating.pngrating.pngrating.pngrating.pngrating

Review | It’s not very easy to review a book that ended up affecting you more than you thought it would. I have nothing but positive things to say about this book.

The Impossible Light is a novel in verse that follows a 15 year old girl named Ivy. She just went through what could be the worst summer of her life where her parents’ divorce made her see another version of her mom -silenced and ready to crumble-, which is a very sad thing. She also lost her best friend that came from Paris a totally different and changed person and her brother Sky moved out on top of it all. So she was left all by herself to face all of this, alone. Poor Ivy just wanted to get back the “Before” version of her life but she knows that it can’t happen and that it’s not really up to her. She knows she has no control over what’s happening to her and so try to imagine the aftermath of losing this much so fast and not being able to do anything about it. Horrible, right?

I couldn’t put it down aside from the times where I needed a pause to retrieve myself, to feel and to think. (No, you’re the one who’s been crying!) It was very captivating from start to finish. This book is definitely not your go-to light read. It tackles lots of difficult subjects such as the relationship between us and our body image and how it could deeply affect us, eating disorders, depression, broken families and friendships and the scars we inherit from these last two.

Before getting into this book, I didn’t understand eating disorders that much. Of course, the book didn’t deliver a textbook definition of what an eating disorder is but at least, I got a little bit more familiar with it and I got to know what it’s like and how it can destroy a person. I haven’t personally experienced suffering from an eating disorder so I can’t really say whether it’s accurate or not but I am familiar with depression and anxiety and I know what It’s like to lose control and to try to get it back by controlling a very specific thing that will give you the illusion of control but in real, is just breaking you. It’s probably why I felt a lot for Ivy and a great part of this book felt very relatable. It happens to be a great sign because my main problem with novels written in verse is the fact that I can’t get attached to the characters and therefore can’t feel empathy towards them. But let me tell you, Lily Myers just knows how to choose the right words to describe in a very realistic way the mind of a 15 year old teenager going through divorce , an ED and a need of control. And this is what the novel is all about: Ivy’s journey.

This wasn’t my first novel written in verse but this is definitely one of the very few that I loved so I was pleasantly surprised. It is divided into six “chapters”: Unknown Variables, Compression, Half-Life, Limits, Discontinuous Function, Exponential Growth. I love how these chapters were given titles related to Ivy’s favorite class: Calculus. I know that Compression and Half-Life are more related to Physics but I guess Smart Girl must’ve had a thing for Physics too or Science in general. I also love how at the end of the book, a list of additional resources were given about eating disorders along with body-positive blogs and websites. It’s genuine.

This book was provided to me by Philomel Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.