Forbidden

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Title: Forbidden

Author: Eve Bunting

Series: Standalone

Publication: December 1st 2015 by Clarion Books

Pages: 224

Source: Netgalley

 

Summary from Goodreads:

In early-nineteenth century Scotland, sixteen-year-old Josie, an orphan, is sent to live with an aunt and uncle on the rocky, stormy northwest coast. Everything and everyone in her new surroundings, including her relatives, is sinister, threatening, and mysterious. She’s told that Eli, the young man she’s attracted to, is forbidden to her, but not why. Spirited, curious, and determined, Josie sets out to learn the village’s secrets and discovers evil, fueled by heartless greed, as well as a ghostly presence eager for revenge. An author’s note gives the historical inspiration for this story.

My Thoughts:

I’m honestly not sure what I want to say about this book… I mean, it wasn’t good nor was it bad. See my problem here? I think it was trying too hard to be the Young Adult Outlander meets Twilight sort of thing. Forbidden had a very interesting premise and an amazing world to work with – but the romance fell short and I could see every twist and turn coming from a mile away.

Josie, a young girl, is on her way to live with her aunt and uncle after losing both of her parents in a wave of Influenza. Her new home and guardians are anything but welcoming, and it takes all of Josie’s self-control to remain the young lady she was raised to be when all she wants to do is lash out. The worst part? Her new family even tell her to her face that the only reason they took her in was for the money. On top of all that, the people of the town are strange in ways that confound both Josie and the reader.

Forbidden is a mystery, but I think it is a mystery that tries too hard and relies on the silly details to get its point across. While the story is focused and quirky, it feels far more centered on certain events rather than emotional responses and character development. It seemed as though there was a lot of telling rather than showing. Then add in the fact that the story was rushed, over hyped, and sort of anticlimactic – and, well, you’re just left feeling like ‘meh’.

In my opinion, the best part of this story is the setting. It was the only thing that actually felt genuine. This was the one place where I could feel as though I was a part of the story, otherwise I just felt detached and like I was watching the whole thing through a television rather than living it like I normally do when reading.

The romance didn’t help either. Forbidden is so short and rushed that I would have been extremely surprised if it felt genuine, which it didn’t. This book is more dedicated to the plot than anything else, like I already said, and it really took away from the emotional journey this book should have been. I wanted to like it, I wanted to love the story as much as I loved the cover – but it fell woefully short.

Overall, Forbidden is a fast, easy read that you shouldn’t go into with any expectations. It is neither deep nor swoon worthy, in fact, it is quite boring if you’re looking for something driven by the needs of the characters. You won’t see me promoting this book any time soon.

 

The Girl With The Wrong Name

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Title: The Girl With The Wrong Name

Author: Barnabas Miller

Series: Standalone

Publication: November 3rd 2015 by Soho Teen

Pages: 259

Source: Publisher at ALA Annual

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Theo Lane has been hiding half of her face from the public ever since “The Night In Question,” a night that left her with a long, disfiguring scar, an unquiet mind, and no memory of what happened. An aspiring documentary maker, she uses her camera to keep the world at a safe distance, shooting hours of secret footage with a hidden button cam on her jacket collar. But when Andy Reese, a forlorn and mysterious “Lost Boy,” wanders into her frame, he becomes the unknowing star of her latest project. Her unhealthy obsession with him tears her from that sheltered life behind the camera, pulling her into a perilous, mind-bending journey through Andy’s world. But is it really Andy’s world she’s investigating? Or is it her own?

My Thoughts:

The Girl With The Wrong Name is an intense thriller that will leave you both cowering under your blanket and wanting more because it takes you by such surprise. I underestimated this book and its ability to be creepy and psyche me out – big mistake. The plot of this book is so unpredictable you’ll be holding your breath while waiting on the edge of your seat to see what happens next. Barnabas Miller has created something breathtaking and exhilarating, something that you will never forget.

The Girl With The Wrong Name is about a filmmaker named Theo. She often wanders around the city with a hidden camera, capturing humans in their everyday, mundane lives – until she sees a sad looking boy in a café. She soon becomes fascinated with this boy named Andy. She is obsessed with figuring out why he was in the café, why he was sad, and who he is in general. She hangs around him, watching him, and she eventually figures out he is waiting to see the elusive girl he has fallen in love with. Long story short, Theo decides to help and everything sort of goes to hell from there.

Theo was a very interesting main character. She is snarky, moody, and has very low self-esteem. She hides behind her camera or in her room, which – despite certain aspects of her character – made her quite easy to relate to. I’m sure all of us have had those days where the only reason we can step foot outside is because we have something to hide behind, a book for example. The most interesting part, though, is that she is an unreliable narrator. It takes a little bit to catch on, but Theo doesn’t really sleep – which means some things she sees, hears, etc. aren’t actually happening or are distorted versions of the truth. This book turns into a game of “real or not real” on crack, but it is up to you to decide what to believe – which is what makes it so terrifying.

As I have said, the plot is entirely unpredictable – mostly due to the information mentioned above. The truth, or whatever seems to be the truth, is your own interpretation. What you think is happening could either be completely wrong or something else entirely. This is the kind of book with an ending that leaves you gasping for air. This is the kind of book that punches you in the gut and laughs at your pain. It’s creepy, suspenseful, and an all-around thrill ride.

Overall, The Girl With the Wrong Name is a book capable of changing the face of Young Adult Thrillers. Miller is a modern day Poe meets Stephen King. In the spirit of We Were Liars, Gone Girl, and Damage Done, The Girl With The Wrong name will lead you down a million little paths just to distract you from what is really going on. This book will leave you guessing and pondering about what the real meaning of truth is. It was spectacular.

 

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Dangerous Lies

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“We spend our whole lives running from our past, never realizing it’s hitched to us – we can’t ever outrun it.”

Title: Dangerous Lies

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Series: Standalone

Publication: November 10th 2015 by Simon & Schuster

Pages: 400

Source: Publisher at ALA Annual

 

Summary from Goodreads:

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…

My Thoughts:

Estella Goodwin, now renamed Stella, witnessed something horrible. She came home to a murder scene, and her entire life is overturned because of it. Placed in the witness protection program, she gets carted off to Thunder Basin, Nebraska – and she hates it. That is, until she meets the boy/man who mows her new “foster mom’s” lawn: Chet Falconer. I have to say, Dangerous Lies has launched Becca Fitzpatrick up into the league of my favorite authors. I’ve read her other work, The Hush Hush Saga and Black Ice – but those don’t compare to Dangerous Lies. This new book, this wonderful thriller of a book, blew my expectations out of the water and up into thin air. I hadn’t doubted Fitzpatrick’s skill, but this book has proven her to be an amazing writer and brilliant in the art of crafting stories.

 

One of the most powerful aspects of this book is the change that Stella goes through as a character. At the beginning, I hated her. Hell, I still partially hate her for personal reasons – but she does move past and develop beyond my pet peeves. Fitzpatrick has crafted the epitome of what you want to see from a character. Stella’s character arc is inspiring. She goes from being a total brat that I wanted to bitch slap with a metal chair to becoming someone I was rooting for. In the beginning of the book, she is ungrateful, rude, and a downright unrepentant bitch to everyone trying to help her. Normally, this wouldn’t bother me in a character – but Stella crossed the fine line from fiery heroine to standoffish twit in about two pages. But, here is the illustration of Fitzpatrick’s skill – by the end of the novel, I freaken loved Stella and I wanted her to kick ass. She was amazing. She started to deeply care about the people around her, she realized her mistakes and took responsibility to fix them, and she finally came to understand what it means to truly love someone – not just talking about hot, hunky Chet here.

 
Honestly, every single character in Dangerous Lies is spectacular. Carmina is amazing, just downright amazing. My second favorite part of this book was watching the relationship between Stella and Carmina blossom from hatred into a real family bond. Carmina is the woman who takes Stella in as part of her WITSEC cover story for no reason at all other than she was asked to. Carmina doesn’t put up with Stella’s shit – that woman was a badass, trust me.

 
Then we have Chet… goodness gracious Chet. I love that boy. Love, love, love him. I know I say that a lot about the love interest in books – but this was a different sort of love. Not only do I admire him and what he stands for, but I also found myself feeling his pain and his longing for something more. Chet was a special sort of character. He is completely real. He is not perfect, not in the slightest, but it only made me love him more. Plus, he’s a complete cowboy. Like, boots, hat, works on a ranch, accent, good mannered cowboy – swoon worthy. He is a total sweet heart, but he also has a bad side that we do get to see come out – he was perfection and the best match for Stella.
I can’t pick a favorite character – Chet and Carmina are both way too high up on my list to be able to choose. It would end up going something like this:

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I was a little disappointed with the ending, no matter how intense and awesome it was. There were a lot of questions left unanswered – I prefer my standalones to be tied up with a pretty little bow at the end. Well, for the most part anyway – I don’t mind endings when I can infer the rest, but this was a little iffy. The entire book seemed to come to the end in the span of twenty or so pages – it just wasn’t enough for me. A little too abrupt, seemingly unplanned, and far too out there. I would like to understand just why some things happened, despite how much it made my heart pound. Don’t get me wrong, like I said – it was still wonderful, I just wanted more out of it, you know what I mean?

 
Anyways, overall Dangerous Lies is a breathtaking and wonderful Young Adult thriller that effortlessly blends themes of facing the truth and the deep bonds of family. Becca Fitzpatrick has done it once again and created one more book to take up space upon my favorites shelf. Filled with lies, steamy kisses, hilarious banter, and heartfelt bonding – Dangerous Lies is one book well worth the expenditure of funds/time/effort to get it into your possession. It will leave you satisfied all the while craving even
more.

Let’s just say Dangerous Lies is like this video. You’re like “Oh no! Bad guys”… and then WHAM! and you’re in love.

 

 

Waiting On Wednesday # 11

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released.

This weeks Waiting On Wednesday is Nexis by A.L Davroe!

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Publication: December 1st 2015 by Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner.

Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.

But Nexis isn’t quite the game everyone thinks it is.

And it’s been waiting for Ella.

That moment when a book synopsis features the names of two of your favorite bands. Cue Evanescence and Guster montages… if you don’t know who they are, shame on you – look them up. I’m a huge fan of dystopian novels if you haven’t picked up on that already. I love everything about them, and even though most of them are the same in some way, shape or form, I keep coming back for more. Nexis is no exception, this book sounds amazing! I mean, unbiased music obsession aside, I think the whole concept of a virtual reality game sounds pretty damn sweet.

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Teaser Tuesday # 11

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

This weeks Teaser Tuesday is for Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick!

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A glimpse of blue sky, a singing bird on the windowsill. Or, in my case, not having the weight of caring for my mom dragging me under. What if Thunder Basin was my chance to come up for air?

Danny Balando wouldn’t stop searching for me. He was in jail, but the rest of his drug cartel was roaming free. Any one of them could be paid to do his bidding. His only hope was to hunt me down and kill me before I could testify.

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