Review: This Lie Will Kill You

This Lie Will Kill You

I knew nothing about this other than it was a murder mystery that promised to have great twists and turns Well, I’m still waiting for all of that to happen because they sure were not in this book.

The concept of a group of teens being invited to a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater type event was a great idea but the execution was just not there. Everyone keeps comparing this to the infamous I Know What You Did Last Summer movie but this read more like a really bad generic C-list movie rip off of.

The author wanted me to believe that a this group of highly intelligent whip-smart teens fell for weak lies and a flimsy promise of scholarship money if they attend this event. That was all it took to get them together in a creepy house where a murder/death takes place and everyone had a specific role to play as a participant. Could one of them be the murderer? It was obvious the author tired way too hard to make this a complex who-dun-it but it was not complex, it was just confusing. Everything was over-complicated to the point of being uninteresting. I often zoned out and my thoughts drifted to what else I could be reading instead of this weak attempt at a thriller.

I get what was trying to be accomplished but the journey to get there was rough. The writing did not feel fluid or natural. I don’t know how else to say it other than it was bad. The characters were badly developed (if at all) and had no redeeming qualities.The author should have just had a bad guy in a top hat twirling a mustache cackling the entire time. Everything was obvious and eye-roll worthy. It was tacky and predictable at best.

This story had so much potential but it let me down in every way a book could let me down. The most humorous part was one of the characters read like Edward Cullen’s strange rarely-talked about cousin. If the author was going to include Edward, at least he could have improved upon the character. There is no way anyone could be paler than Edward but I stand corrected. Do yourself a favor, hard pass on this book. I sure wish I had.


Books Left Unread #154


Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingsele

The Marked Girl (Marked Girl, #1)

The cover is stunning but I cannot figure out why I haven’t started it yet. Maybe the fact it is a fantasy and I struggle with them? Let me know if you have read and if you think I should bump this up my list.


Review: Heretics Anonymous

Heretics Anonymous

I borrowed this from my local library with no knowledge of what it was really about. I know that is terrible but I often like to go into my reads blind. This was so good that I may struggle with my wording because I enjoyed it so much. The snark, the wit, the humor, the sarcasm was just unreal! I was laughing my way through this one! I know that sounds terrible as the story circles around slut shaming, religion, homophobia, and more. This was not an insensitive book, it was exactly the opposite.

This story was narrated by Michael, the main character, and he was a brilliant character. His comedic timing was spot on and it made me devour the book. You see, Michael is an atheist who is forced to attend a Catholic school. From the moment he stepped foot in the door he never held his tongue and always had a witty comeback. He befriends the most rag-tag group possible: a gay jew, a pagan, a Unitarian, and a Colombian catholic. The dynamic of this group was nothing short of magic. Together, this group realized their school needed to be shook up a little.

Michael was brilliantly flawed and relatable as he tried to become a better person over the course of the story. Lucy was the self proclaimed feminist, fierce in her faith, and always put too much pressure on herself while trying to maintain balance at home. Avi was a spitfire who never backed down from anything. Eden and Max round out the group of misfits but they were no less dynamic. The fact that they all had their own beliefs and were able to have civil conversations was refreshing. It reaffirmed the fact that people from different faiths, backgrounds, and beliefs can still be good friends.

I am not normally a big reader of stories that revolve around religion but this was something I could not put down. It not only spoke of variety but it spoke about tolerance. The characters were able to accept the flaws in others and still continue on with their life. Meaning everyone can absolutely live coexisting. That topic mixed with the perfect amount of snark, wit, and humor made me wish I could read this again for the first time so I can laugh at it all again.

I highly recommend this to everyone! Do not let it fool you – this was an eye opening read that I hope everyone gives a chance. It has it all: friendship, humor, a unique story, and more. Please, add this to your TBR if you have not already.

Lady Smoke – ARC Review and Giveaway

About the Book:

Title: LADY SMOKE (Ash Princess Trilogy #2)

Author: Laura Sebastian

Pub. Date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 512

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudible,  B&NiBooksTBD

The sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that was “made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir” ( Bustle ), Lady Smoke is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people. 

The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen, when Theo was only six. He took Theo’s country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess–a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn’t realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.

Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage–Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.

To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.

Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.

A darkly enchanting page-turner you won’t be able to put down.” –Bustle on Ash Princess, Book 1 in the Ash Princess series

About Book 1:

Title: ASH PRINCESS (Ash Princess Trilogy #1)

Author: Laura Sebastian

Pub. Date: April 24, 2018

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 432

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudible,  B&N,  iBooksTBD

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.


The second book in the Ash Princess trilogy did not disappoint. I’m starting my review that way because I want to stress how good this was, how surprising it was to read a middle book that impressed. You all should know me well enough by now that I can struggle with fantasy books but I did not with this one. I enjoyed it immensely.

While I do gush about the wonder that is the a second book that amazes, the overall plot was not overly unique or complicated. While there is a lot going on within the plot, it could seem like too much to some readers so keep that in mind. Here are some examples: Complex politics, secrets, betrayal, fighting for the rights to the kingdom, and more. I won’t talk about the romance because it was not the part of the plot I chose to focus on. It did not do much for me, if I’m being honest. However, Sebastian took what could have been a mediocre story and put her touch on it to make it enjoyable. I was hooked and couldn’t put this down until the last page. Then I screamed because I won’t know how it turned out until next year.

Theo (or Theodosia) was still our protagonist and her character arc continued to amaze me. She was complex, flawed, and relatable. I won’t beat the dead horse that is how much I found myself connecting with her character. What I will talk about are the rest of the characters and how much they added to the story. Thankfully the full cast helped give this story a much needed depth and fullness.

While my review does sound rather vague, I did that in the hopes it would peek your interest in reading this series if you have not already. But if you have and were on the fence about the second book, I hope I have pushed you to the side of the fence that causes you to pick this one up. I do not believe you will be disappointed.

About Laura:

Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo) and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it.

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes, buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dog Neville to take a walk.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of LADY SMOKE, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/1/2019- To Be Read– Review

1/2/2019- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

1/3/2019- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

1/4/2019- Random Bookish Banter– Review

Week Two:

1/7/2019- Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews– Review

1/8/2019- Jrsbookreviews– Review

1/9/2019- Omg Books and More Books– Review

1/10/2019- Fiction Fare– Review

1/11/2019- Du Livre– Review

Week Three:

1/14/2019- Loie Dunn– Review

1/15/2019- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review

1/16/2019- Paws and Paperbacks– Review

1/17/2019- A Gingerly Review– Review

1/18/2019- Lifestyle of Me– Review

Week Four:

1/21/2019- Paper Reader– Review

1/22/2019- Adventures and Reading– Review

1/23/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads– Review

1/24/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

1/25/2019- YA Books Central– Interview

Week Five:

1/28/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review

1/29/2019- Colorimetry– Interview

1/30/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

1/31/2019- Kat’s Books– Review

Two Can Keep A Secret – ARC Review and Giveaway

About the Book:


Author: Karen McManus

Pub. Date: January 8, 2019

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 336

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudible,  B&NiBooksTBD

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.





McManus’ new thriller was just as good as I hoped it would be. It was a fast-paced, action packed novel that kept me turning pages long past my bedtime.

I loved reading about Ellery and Ezra, twin siblings, and how they tried to adjust to living a small town way of life. These twins have not had an easy life: Their mom was court ordered into rehab, not growing up with a father, barely knowing anything about their family, and forced to accept the reality that they may always just scrape by. Now, forced to live with their only known living relative – their Grandmother – Ellery and Ezra will soon be thrust into something much bigger than they could ever realize. They always knew their mom’s twin sister disappeared decades ago and then years later their mom’s babysitter’s daughter was murdered. Whatever happened to their missing aunt and the babysitter’s daughter will soon be revealed and it is more than anyone could have imagined.

I know I did not describe that very well but let me tell you – it is an edge of your seat, double bolt your doors, and check your locks kind of read. I could not get enough of this once I started. Sure, I had my guesses of who the murderer could have been but I’m not a detective in real life so I could only speculate. Or, perhaps, I wanted to be surprised. Either way, this did not disappoint. The characters were flawed, complex, and relatable. I especially enjoyed how Ellery claimed to be good at solving mysteries but couldn’t figure this one out. HA. Well done, McManus.

I am not going to give anymore away. I urge you to read this. McManus now has a forever reader right here. I will read whatever she publishes, even if it is her grocery list. This author can write and she has won me over. If you are on the fence about this, this is me pushing you to read it. You won’t be disappointed!

About Karen:

As a kid I used to write books when I was supposed to be playing outside, and not much has changed. I’m a marketing and communications professional who also writes Young Adult contemporary and fantasy fiction in Cambridge, MA.

When not writing or working I love to travel, and along with my nine-year old son I’ve ridden horses in Colombia and bicycles through Paris. A member of SCBWI, I hold a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Which I have never, ever used professionally.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/1/2019- Lifestyle of Me– Review

1/2/2019- Paper Reader– Review

1/3/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

1/4/2019- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

Week Two:

1/7/2019- Pink Polka Dot Books– Review

1/8/2019- Do You Dog-ear?– Review

1/9/2019- Adventures and Reading– Review

1/10/2019- The Phantom Paragrapher– Review

1/11/2019- Book Dragon Lair– Review

Week Three:

1/14/2019- A Gingerly Review– Review

1/15/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review

1/16/2019- Sweet Southern Home– Review

1/17/2019- Simply Daniel Radcliffe– Review

1/18/2019- The Hermit Librarian– Review

Week Four:

1/21/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

1/22/2019- Owl always Be Reading– Review

1/23/2019- BookHounds YA– Review

1/24/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads– Review

1/25/2019- Eli to the nth– Review

Week Five:

1/28/2019- The Clever Reader– Review

1/29/2019- All the Ups and Downs– Review

1/30/2019- Two Points of Interest– Review

1/31/2019- EatingbetweenthelinesINC– Review

Review: Second Chance Summer

Second Chance Summer

I know I am late to the game with this book but better late than never, right? I finally gave this a chance and here is my main takeaway: this is a very heavy book and holy crap it is a long story. It was almost offensively long. I bet if you cut 200 pages out it would have been just as good. I cannot figure out why a contemporary book needed to be nearly 500 pages. I will try like the dickens to not beat that topic into the ground but it is very hard to ignore.

Matson is one of my all time favorite authors and I will forever read whatever she publishes. That being said, this probably will not one of her stories that I highly recommend to others or reread. I liked the characters but wasn’t in love with them. They were all forgettable, flat, and boring. The plot was heavy and hard to get through at times. The The one thing that was over the top amazing was the world building. The entire story was set in a beautiful remote forest/summer camp setting. I often felt as if I was in the story along with the characters. That being said, it was the most detailed and long winded part of the story. The trees were described in extensive detail to the point it took away from the main point of the story.

There probably was no real way to have a developed character arc as the MC was simply dealing with the fact that her dad was dying of cancer and this was their last summer together. Let’s be honest, there was only so much an author could do with that. I lost a parent to cancer so I know how tough it is in real life so I ended up keeping an arm’s length from this story. I’m not say Matson did a bad job of portraying a daughter losing her parent, I’m saying there is a time and place for that type of story and it might not have been with a romance wrapped around it. That is what made the story so confusing – was I supposed to focus on the romance or the parent? Between you and me, the two topics should not have been mixed.

I will not ever be upset that I read this one but as I mentioned I probably won’t pick it back up. There were huge chunks that went on for far too long. I stand by my comment that about 200 pages could have (should have?) been cut. They were slow, pointless, and downright boring. I will still read everything Matson writes and I’m glad I can finally mark this off of my long TBR list.

Books Left Unread #153


Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Just Visiting

This sounds right up my alley but I cannot figure out why I haven’t started this yet. 😦