One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

 

Title: One of Us is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Pages: 368

Publisher: Penguin

Published: 2017

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★


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.


I tried so hard not to buy this book, but in the end I just could not resist. I mean, I am a bookworm after all, and don’t we all have basically no self-control when it comes to books? (Especially when they have sprayed edges, don’t judge).

One of Us is Lying really intrigued me. I enjoy murder mystery books and with this one being a contemporary novel, I really wanted to try it out. I downloaded a sample of it onto my Kindle while I was away and I did begin to read it but then I was a little worried that I’d get way to into it within those 4 pages they give you to sample and then I’d be upset because I couldn’t read the rest of it. So I ignored it on my Kindle and then when I got back, I’d gaze at it longingly in the bookshop. Then the author attended Yale and I was thinking about it again. After YALC, I just kept coming back to it and I read the first chapter in the bookshop and that was it. I had to buy it. I could no longer resist it. I’m glad I did pick it up. It was an interesting read and, as always with contemporary books, fairly quick.

This book starts off with 5 kids in detention and only 4 come out. It is assumed that one of the four kids murdered the other kid, however, they all deny it. One of them must be lying. This book follows each of the four kids over a small period of time and how they deal with being accused of murder. Now the reason that one of them must be behind the murder is because they all have a motive. This book follows them every day while the deal with the mess of being accused to their fellow classmates murder and jumps between multiple points of views. I can’t really decide who my favourite character was out of the four. Possibly Nate, because he seemed quite misunderstood. I felt that all four characters grew throughout this book and that their relationships with each other grew throughout this.

This book was fairly fast paced. The different points of view kept the pace up throughout the book which made it a relatively quick read. The writing was also pretty good and genuine for the age of the characters.

There was a twist at the end of this book and I honestly wasn’t totally shocked by it. I wasn’t that sure who did it, but I wasn’t that surprised when I found out who. One part of it definitely made sense, while the other part seemed a little bit more like it needed piecing together for the characters and us to understand.

Overall, I found this book to be enjoyable and I would recommend it. But please don’t ‘accidentally’ (it wasn’t an accident at all and I feel very guilty about it) read forward and spoil the book for yourself, because the twist was a little unexpected!

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!

Advertisements

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

 

Title: Invictus

Author: Ryan Graudin

Pages: 454

Publisher: Orion

Published: 2017

Source: ARC from YALC (Thank you TeamBkmrk!)

Rating: ★★★★★


Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems


I’ll be honest and admit that I hadn’t even known that Ryan Graudin had a new book coming out until I was told about it at YALC, on the morning that these books were dropped. I felt a little bad that I managed to nab one of these, considering the line was SO long. However, I did read Wolf by Wolf on one of the many European trains that we had to take and enjoyed that so had to get my hands on this one. Not to mention it’s a mash up of History and Sci-Fi, so I just had to have it!

This book has mentioned in the same sentence as Dr. Who and I do agree to an extent, but it’s not quite like Dr. Who. I used to love watching that TV program, but this felt like something more. Plus, the crew is made up of 4 people, rather than the Doctor and his sidekick(s).

I was not left feeling disappointed by this book at all. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this fantastic book, but I just fell in love with it. With the inclusion of the Titanic, I knew immediately that I would enjoy this book. It featured historic events, heists and an amazing crew. It basically had me wishing that time travel actually existed, although it’s probably a good thing that it doesn’t!

The writing in this book was so good. The pacing was kept up which left me wanting more and the chapters were a decent length which kept me happy. We also get multiple point of views throughout this book which I quite enjoyed. I think my favourite character was Imogen. From the colourful hair down to her personality, I loved her.

The characters in this book were so good. I honestly wish that they existed in real life because I would love to actually know them. They all had a personality of their own and worked together so well. There was even the feature of a red panda, which I thought was such a funny addition to this book! Farway McCarthy is the first main character we meet in this book, and it’s basically down to him that this book happens. Well, technically it’s down to him, but not really. You’ll understand more as you read this book. As I said, Imogen was my favourite character in this book, but the others followed closely behind.

The plot of this book was just fantastic. It flowed into each other so well, and I loved being transported to so many different settings with the crew. The ending was also something I enjoyed. I do want answers following the ending, but it does come to quite a nice and satisfying close. That is a good thing because this book is a standalone and I would be quite sad if it had been left on a cliffhanger.

I would most definitely recommend this book, especially if you are a lover of History and time travel. It’s such an enjoyable and fast paced book and I had a pleasure reading it!

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!

Spooky Reads!


Ok, maybe not spooky reads as such. Let’s be honest, I am a total wuss when it comes to anything scary, like movies. I mean, I watched one small clip from IT with no sound on for most of it and still squealed every time the clown came on the screen. I have since refused to watch it and am known on occasion to dash from the car into my house when I get home at night just in case Pennywise (or the Woman in Black) are behind me. So yes, scary movies are not my thing. I also tend to stay away from scary books because I feel like words really get in your head and I am just not here for someone using scary stuff to mess with my brain. Noooo, thank you.

However, I have gathered up some reads that you may (or may not) want to pick up this October. I personally do enjoy a good murder mystery myself, and so I have included a few in this list, although there are a few other books that you may find more interesting.

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling


Although I have only included the first book in this series on my October reads list, I can’t think of a better month in the year to start reading the whole series! The first book has a chapter called Halloween, so it’s perfect! I really just wish I could be transported to Hogwarts to take part in their Halloween feast. But hey, at least this candle by PaperFlamesCo gives me an idea of what the delicious treats may smell like!

Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco


My love for this series (so far) knows no bounds. I fell in love with Stalking Jack the Ripper and it took me all of one page to fall in love with Hunting Prince Dracula. I just love Kerri Maniscalco’s characters, writing, plots, just everything. I am a sucker for a Victorian murder mystery, I must admit. Especially when they are based on murder mysteries that existed! Example: Jack the Ripper! Oh, also! There are pictures featured in these books. If you are a little squeamish, perhaps skip over the pictures but definitely do not skip over this book! There is definitely another book coming out following Hunting Prince Dracula however I am not sure after that. Honestly, I just wish Kerri would write about my main pals, Audrey and Thomas, forever.

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly


Another murder mystery. I just cannot help myself. This time this one is set in a similar period, but in New York. I quite enjoyed this book and felt that it was quite unique. I enjoyed the characters and the investigation part into the murders. Definitely would recommend this one if you want a mystery combined with a historical fiction!

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman


Wow, I am really bringing out the Historical stops today! Again, another book set in a different time period. Although not so much a mystery, but more paranormal. It almost reminded me a little of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! I am yet to read the second book of this series, however I would definitely recommend the first book!

City of Bones and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare


This one features Shadowhunters, Demons, Vampires, Werewolves, Warlocks, Faeries and god knows what else I’ve forgotten. There is a lot to this paranormal world and although I have only read the first two, so can’t fully recommend the series, I do like what I have read so far so I would recommend this if you want something in a more realistic setting but still featuring the paranormal.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


I am a little bad as I still haven’t read the last book in this series to read. In this series, we have our favourite little crew from Henrietta featuring the famous Blue and Gansey. You’ve probably heard of these two before. This book is, like City of Bones, set in the real world but features the paranormal world, including ghosts and speaking forests. Although I didn’t have the best time reading the second book, which most people say is their favourite, I have really enjoyed the first and third book from this series and I’m really excited to read the final book!

This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet by V. E. Schwab


This duology includes monsters. That should explain well enough that this could be read in October. These monsters are essentially born from a variety of tragedies. Though these books do feature much more than just monsters, including emotional and mental strains but also relationships, this book does show the brutality of monsters and how essentially our actions as humans have the power to create these monsters. I would fully recommend these books if you’re looking for something that can make you think, or if you’re looking for a book/books that will draw you in and not let you go until you’ve finished this duology.

Hopefully there are a few recommendations here that you may not have read before. If so, please do let me know if you’re planning to pick any of these books up! Especially if it’s my fave, Stalking Jack the Ripper!

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

 

Title: There’s Someone Inside Your House

Author: Stephanie perkins

Pages: 283

Publisher: Macmillan

Published: 2017

Source: ARC at YALC (Thanks MyKindaBook!)

Rating: ★★★


One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.


This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and one of my biggest disappointments.

I think this is down to the fact that I had hyped this book up for myself ever since I heard that Stephanie was writing a new book. I was so excited to see her switching to contemporary YA murder, which is a switch from her usual contemporary YA fluff. I was left feeling that the romance part of this book was great. The murders were perfectly gruesome for this sort of story, but ultimately, I just felt disappointed that it wasn’t as scary or creepy as I had hoped or imagined.

This book was said to be perfect of fans of Scream Queens. I’d agree to a certain extent but from the episodes of Scream Queens I’d watched, there seemed to be a little bit more to that TV show. This was just romance and murder. There were no sorority or fraternity houses and no super rich kids.

With the book clocking in at under 300 pages, it was a relatively quick read. I managed to fly through it within 2 days, something I’m pretty happy with because I read books so slowly. The writing was actually pretty good and the pace was kept up. We did have the chapters from one persons point of view most of the time, but every so often, we’d switch to a new characters point of view which I quite liked.

Our main character, Makani, was a good character to follow. The only thing I didn’t like was that she was hiding this ‘big secret’ and it kept being mentioned throughout the book. Once it was revealed what it was, I was hugely disappointed. I was expecting something so big but I was left thinking ‘wait, that was it?’. I liked her relationship with her Grandma, and could understand why she felt like an outsider in this book due to coming from a different state into a small town. Her relationships with her friends was one that I also liked. Her relationship with Ollie mostly took centre stage in this book, but she did have other friendships, with characters called Alex and Darby.

I didn’t think the motive was good enough almost. I understand that murderers and serial killers don’t always have good motives, but this was one that I couldn’t get my head round. I don’t want to spoil it so I won’t tell you what it was, but I just felt that for murders as gruesome as they were. There was also one murder that I felt was a little unnecessary. It felt as though this characters death had just been thrown in, almost as a shock factor but it just made me feel even more disappointed. It just felt like the death had been chucked in for good measure to make sure this book was extra gory. Plus, after this character’s death, it was as if no one had really cared that much. Like it was an after thought, right at the end.

This book could have been 4 stars, but due to the disappointment that I felt from this book in multiple different ways, I had to give it 3 stars. I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a book that is a light murder mystery (so strange using the words light and murder together), but I’d say go into it with lower expectations if you have set them high due to Stephanie’s other books. If you’re looking for a scary or creepy book, perhaps skip out on this one because it doesn’t quite fit the bill of a frightening book.

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

 

Title: City of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare

Pages: 442

Publisher: Walker Books

Published: 2007

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★


When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…


City of Bones, if you didn’t know, is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and is hugely popular. I went into this book having watched the first series of Shadowhunters so I was aware of what to expect, however having now read this book, I can already sense that the TV show is quite different to the books! Less about the tv vs book though, and more focus on City of Bones book-version.

So in City of Bones, our main character is Clary. I quite like book-Clary and much prefer book Clary as she seems better. She does seem a little immature, however, she doesn’t seem as annoying as tvshow-Clary which is good. I think that the TV show perhaps make the characters more mature than the actually are, whereas in the books they act more like their age which I think works better. Although I do have to remember that the TV show does verge off the books in some respects and so, while they can’t be compared against each other fully, things like characters can be compared! Anyway, I am doing a book review, not a book to TV comparison!

So yes, the characters. Magnus is a fab character, Izzy and Alec are also good. Alec doesn’t seem as moody and jealous as TV-Alec. But Jace. Ok, he is a decent character, but man I think he is a bit of a weenie. He just seems so up himself and that really sort of annoys me. I am hoping throughout the books that he will become less insufferable in some of his ways, but we shall see. We have a long way (5 more books, to be exact) to go so let’s hope I see some positive changes. He just seems very cocky about himself, that’s all I’m saying. Oh, now Simon. Simon isn’t featured as much as I expected him to be, which was sort of surprising considering he is Clary’s best friend. He also seems like he gets hurt very easily, and I don’t mean falls and bumps, but I mean that he seems sensitive. He also does get jealous, which I do understand because Clary is his best friend and then these random people just come and swoop on in and one guy in particular catches Clary’s eye, when Simon has not really had to compete for Clary’s attention before.

One thing that this book had, which grates on me anyway, is the lengthy chapters. I have never been a fan of lengthy chapters, mostly because I feel like it really slows my pace when reading. I don’t know why, but it just has that effect on me.

So there was that little shocker at the end of this book, however, it wasn’t a shocker for me. That’s because I already knew what the ‘big twist’ would be, thanks to the TV show, so I was just waiting for it throughout the whole book basically. I’m wondering how relationships shall carry on with this knowledge as I have not watched Season 2 of the TV show and will not until I have at least got to book 3/4 of the series. City of Bones does give a basis for the next book and to me, the whole series, although I’m not entirely sure what will happen so we’ll see where it goes.

Overall, I did enjoy this book and I am glad that I am finally part of the Shadowhunters world. I have heard that the third and fourth books are where the series really begins to pick up so I am looking forward to reading those. I just need to catch up on all of Cassie’s books so that I am ready for her next book release in 2018!

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) at here!

September Wrap Up

Yet another month has come and gone, leaving us with 3 months of 2017 to go. Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year, particularly the months of October and November. The leaves, however, started changing in September and that is something I look forward to every year!

I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I read in September. I felt like this month lasted ages, but for some reason, I thought that I’d only read 2 or 3 books this month. I was wrong because I managed to read 6. My reading goal of 20 has been surpassed by 22 extra books now. I’m hoping to hit 50 books read by the end of the year, but ultimately, I’d like to hit 60 books read in 2017 as I have never done that before.

October goals: To read 5/6 books. I’m starting a new job on the 2nd of October and I am studying alongside working full time, so I have a feeling that the amount of books I read will definitely go down over the next few months.

Editing Emma by Chloe Seager

I posted a review for this book here. This was a 5 star, contemporary read. I don’t really read as much contemporary as I used too, but I tend to fly through them when I do. This was no different, except I think I got through this one extra fast. I thought it was a funny and honest book and would definitely recommend it, particularly to those in high school and college.

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

I am currently in the process of writing a review for this one. I enjoyed this book but felt that the twist wasn’t all that shocking to me. I enjoyed the relationships between the teens in this book, and liked that it had multiple points of views. It was a decent who-did-it? novel.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

I have never read a book by Adam Silvera before, but I have heard that his previous books mostly make people cry. Now, I didn’t cry reading this. I don’t know if that’s because I was actually listening to the audio book or what, but I just didn’t cry. I did like this novel though and I would like to speak to Adam Silvera because I have questions!

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

I was super lucky to pick a copy of this up at YALC from the Team Bkmrk stand and I am so glad I did. I was even able to get it signed by Ryan herself. This book is a mash up of History and Sci-Fi, which I loved. It was a unique story, but I can see why there are comparisons to Dr Who. I loved all of the characters in this book and wish that they actually existed. I would fully recommend this book!

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

This was one of my most anticipated books of 2017 but I was left feeling disappointed. It’s not that I didn’t like it, because I did. Perhaps I hyped it up too much for myself, but I felt that this just wasn’t totally what I expected. There were elements that I did like, but I just felt disappointed that it didn’t quite live up to the hype.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

I began this book right at the end of July and finished it on the last day of September. It took me two months to read this. However, that is not a reflection of the book but shows exactly what a reading slump will do to you. I’m not sure if I just wasn’t in the mood for this at first, or if it was the fact that it clocks in at 510 pages, but it just took me ages to read this. I enjoyed this conclusion to the story but I am a little gutted about the ending. A review for this is to come.

So there you have it! I’m pretty happy with myself for managing to read 6 books this month. I doubt I’ll have another month of reading like this again for a while, although now I’ve finally finished Our Dark Duet, I do feel a little more motivated to just read everything and anything I can. Too bad time isn’t on my side, and neither is work!

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

 

Title: Geekerella

Author: Ashley Poston

Pages: 320

Publisher: Quirk Books

Published: 2017

Source: Bought (from Shakespeare & Co. in Paris, France)

Rating: ★★★★


Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.


When we travelled round Europe for 6 weeks this Summer, our first stop was Paris. I just had to visit Shakespeare and Company and so, dragging Myles behind me, we went. I enjoyed looking round the shelves and really wanted (and had) to buy a book from such a famous bookshop. I spent a while deciding because I’ll be honest, all the books I really wanted, I already have. I was a little unsure of buying Geekerella at first because I felt that I should be buying a classic book or something from this shop. I went for it anyway because I loved the cover and the sound of this book and I’m super glad I did!

Yeah, the cover..let’s just talk about that quickly. It’s so gorgeous. I love the colours, it sparkles and there’s a sausage dog on the cover. What’s not to love about it?!

I began reading this on our long train from Paris to Barcelona and I pretty much instantly fell in love with this book. I find that contemporary books are fairly quick and easy for me to read and this was definitely one of them. It was a pretty fun book. The main character, Elle, was a likeable character and it sort of reminded me a bit of A Cinderella Story. Probably because it’s another modern-day Cinderella inspired retelling.

One thing that I really loved about this book is that it featured a convention. I have only been to two conventions in my life, and both have been this year, but reading about Elle’s excitement for the con and her gearing up for it was something I enjoyed reading. I felt that I could definitely relate to Elle’s love for cons and completely understood the disappointment that the fandom had towards the new actor.

In terms of relationships with Elle’s step mum, her step sisters and her friend, there isn’t all that much to discuss. Virtually everyone knows the story of Cinderella. She doesn’t get on with her step mother or sisters and she doesn’t have any friends. This was much the same, although Elle does have one friend which I thought was great as it meant that Elle did have a little support system. The whole ‘girl meets prince’ is also played on in this book in a unique way, especially since it had a different coming together of the two people in a way that hasn’t been explored before. Although, it did remind me a little of A Cinderella Story (that’s twice I’ve mentioned it now!)!

The writing was perfect for a YA contemporary and flowed really well. The chapters weren’t too long which was definitely good because long chapters are definitely not for me – they really slow a book down for me. This book definitely kept up the pace and never left me bored at all!

Obviously this story is quite predictable because it is based on such a famous fairytale, but that didn’t stop it from being such a fun read! I think this book has garnered positive attention within the book community because many of us can relate to the fangirl side of this story. It is a cute book but it just works. I am glad that I chose to buy this book from Shakespeare & Company and do not regret my choice at all.

So I give this book a 4 stars mostly because it was just a light, fun read and had everything that a fluffy contemporary should have but also it really added to the retellings of Cinderella in such a unique way that I think all of us fangirls and fanboys can relate to!

Fun fact: this book also had the Shakespeare & Co stamp on the first page!

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!