Review: ‘Genuine Fraud’

I liked Genuine Fraud until the very last chapter. And I guess the saying goes, “The journey is more important than the destination” – that’s exactly how I feel about this book. I really enjoyed the journey of it! I probably should have never reached the destination.

Title: Genuine Fraud
Author: E. Lockhart
Rating: 2.5/5 stars

I read E. Lockhart’s previous suspense thriller, “We Were Liars” when it was released and didn’t get the hype. I strongly disliked that book. I was curious to read something else of hers so when I had the chance to read the ARC of Genuine Fraud, I figured I’d give it a try.

Genuine Fraud is told in reverse chronological order, from the present and going back to how the main character Jule ended up at that moment. I feel like it is best read in one sitting (the ARC is just 262 pages) because otherwise you will forget what previous happened. (I made that mistake. I had to backtrack to recall what had happened.) It’s pretty clear from the first chapter (no, first few pages!) that Jule is lying about something. The entire story is built upon lies and whom you believe. It’s suspenseful in the aspect that you don’t know what is truth and what Jule has made up and accepts as the truth.

What I found interesting was all the lies Jule built up for herself and how she kept track of what the constant people in her life knew (or didn’t know) about the true Jule. She is very smart for being able to memorize bank accounts, passports, emails and other personal and valuable information. She can change her persona based on the situation. And who really is her bff Imogen and why is Jule going by “Imogen”?

I enjoyed the ride and thrill of this book, but the ending left me a little upset, just how I felt with We Were Liars.

I would recommend this book if you enjoyed We Were Liars. If you enjoyed that story, you will most likely enjoy this one. But if you don’t like suspense or not knowing what is going on until the very end – turn back while you still have the chance.

~Missy

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Review: Vengeance Road

Vengeance Road is a book I never expected to love as much as I do, but oh boy do I love this story! A “western” novel isn’t one I would typically pick up but in 2015, I won a Goodreads giveaway (I guess people do really win those!) for an ARC of Vengeance Road and I’m so glad I did. This was one of my favorite books of 2015 and I just reread it in preparation of the companion novel, Retribution Rails out November 7, 2017.

Title: Vengeance Road
Author: Erin Bowman
Series: Standalone (with companion novel Retribution Rails out 11/7/17)
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Vengeance Road takes place in the Arizona territory in the year 1877 during the gold rush. The story is fast paced and non-stop action from page 1. On page 1, we find out Kate’s pa was murdered and she wants revenge. And thus starts her on her road to vengeance. Kate has to pose as a boy because in 1877, nobody would have taken a woman seriously. Kate’s pa always told her if anything happened, she should ride to his friends home a few towns over. She does this and joins up with her father’s friend sons, Jesse and Will, and together the three of them ride together – on different missions but heading the same direction – safety in numbers!

This is written in a western accent but I found it very easy to get into. If you’re having difficulty, just read a few passages out loud and it will make more sense. For this reread, I decided to listen to the audiobook and I loved the audio as well, and it was nice to hear everything pronounced as it is written. Highly recommend the audiobook! And lets not forget the gorgeous cover of this book! It’s a beautifully drawn illustration that alone enticed me to pick it up and give it a chance.

I love Kate’s character – she is strong willed and determined, and won’t let society tell her what she can or can’t do. Even when her pa dies, she only allows herself a moment of sadness before she knows what she has to do – find the men who killed him. Kate is already well developed when we meet her and we learn more about her as the story progresses – I like this a lot about her. She isn’t weak. She isn’t scared. She sticks to her guns (pun intended). We also learn about Jesse and Will as the story progresses and I enjoy Kate’s interactions with these brothers.

“Am I more good than bad, more revenge than forgiveness?” – This is the question Kate battles with throughout the story. She is seeking revenge for her fathers murder by murdering more men. Where does it stop? Is there a line that is too far and once you cross, you can’t come back from? This is Kate’s struggle and I love seeing how she copes with her choices.

An educated 18-year old girl with a gun and a horse who can take care of herself in the year 1877. This is everything I never knew I wanted from a western! As I mentioned, if you’re wary because of the “western” genre, don’t be. Give this a chance. I did and I’m so in love with this story!

Be sure to stay tuned for my review of Retribution Rails in a few weeks! I’m very excited to read it!

~Missy

Review: ‘When Dimple Met Rishi’

Hi! I am back to reading & reviewing after a 3-week vacation across Europe! It was an amazing experience to be able to have at this point in my life, but it’s slowly back to reality. This book appeared on my Overdrive the day I was flying home, so I was able to download it to my phone and begin it on the plane!

 
Title: When Dimple Met Rishi

Author: Sandhya Menon

Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary

There was a ton of buzz about this book on Twitter: I recommended the eBook almost immediately after hearing about it to my library-and they bought it! But I was third on the waiting list so I didn’t get to read it until recently. Let me tell you, though: it was well worth the wait. The story follows Dimple, a girl getting ready to head to college, and whose parents are deeply rooted in traditional Indian culture: which translates to them trying to find her a husband! Enter Rishi: their pick to be Dimple’s husband one day and who also attends the summer college program that Dimple does in order to woo her. Let’s just say things don’t get off to a great start: *spoiler* she throws an iced coffee in his face!

Likes

This book was heartwarming. I feel like that is the best way to describe it. I had heard all about it on my Twitter timeline and I felt like I was really hyping myself up for this book! I enjoyed the read, though: it was short (about 250 pages) and sweet, which made it a quick read for me as well. I found myself actually laughing out loud in the airport, much to the dismay of other passengers who were sitting next to me. It was funny at times and I think the lighthearted nature of both of the characters truly brought that out. Let’s start with Dimple: she is feisty and knows what she wants, and what she doesn’t want, mainly that being a husband. She cares about her future and her career and doesn’t think that she has time to invest in dating at the moment. I personally can say I relate to her in this aspect: I have been focused on my career rather than my dating life and while it does suck at times, I feel accomplished that I am investing so much in my future. But, we can’t short Rishi on this one: he is such a charming character, even after his unfortunate first run-in with Dimple. He is respectful of Dimple’s feelings (surprising in this day and age, right?) and shows he truly cares in the deepest of ways. I respect Rishi himself for this and I was finding myself falling in love with him even in Dimple didn’t want to! I also think their chemistry throughout the book is a strong element that makes it the most adorable of reads. Their friendship bond is what makes the book, in my opinion, and I love that about it.

(Dis)likes

I can’t fault this book for much because I think it also does an amazing job of giving the Indian-American community representation. *Spoiler ahead* Dimple is teased by a groups of teens at the summer program and has serious micro aggressions directed towards her. The group assumes that she was born in India, and she certainly wasn’t, but that was an assumption made by the American teens. I feel Iike this happens far too much in our society and we don’t respect the fact that while someone might have a heritage, it doesn’t mean that they adopt all of the elements of the culture, either. It is wrong to assume such things and the author does a fantastic job of addressing this and showing that it can be overcome. Why didn’t I give this book 5 stars? I just wasn’t totally engrossed and in love with the book: I think I expected too much because of the hype. But I definitely would tell others to read this book and certainly promote it

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to those looking for more diverse representation and for someone who is looking for a cute and sweet read. It is one of the better contemporaries that I have read in recent months!

Happy reading! ~ Taylor

Review: ‘We Are the Ants’

I picked this up on a whim after seeing it on some LGBT lists on Goodreads. I had no idea the story was out of this world!

 
Title: We Are the Ants

Author: Shaun David Hutchinson

Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary

This story is about Henry, who is kidnapped by aliens. He is shown that there is a button he could press in order to save the world, or he could not press it and let the world end. He is told it will end in January 2016 and is kidnapped a few times and observed by the ‘sluggers’ each time. In between, he returns to Earth and his story there is chronicled.

Likes

Within the first chapter, I knew that this book was going to be a bit weird. It dove right into the whole being abducted by aliens, but it was funny. I laughed a few times just in that beginning chapter alone but I found it to be entertaining. The entire idea of pressing the button makes me think of that online internet game where you can choose either one thing or the other, and one is really good, but there is always a ‘but’ attached to it. I thought that it was an interesting story putting the fate of the world in the hands of a kid. But I think it also made me think deeper than just about the story being told. It is called we are the ants and that is what it points out: we are just one life form in a huge universe that probably is inhabited by many more. A single person is just an ant and while they could not matter much at all, they could also matter the most and make the most difference in the world. It is about the fact that one person can make an impact and change something that would otherwise go horribly wrong. That philosophical idea was something that I enjoyed thinking about as the book is over.

This book also contains LGBT characters! The main character, Henry, is gay and struggles with what that means throughout the book. He is being screwed around by some jerk at school, bullied, and having to deal with the suicide of his boyfriend that had already happened. But, he also finds himself exploring new friendships and trying to meet new people. As mentioned, there is reference to a suicide in this book and so it also examines that aspect and what it means.

Dislikes

What I didn’t like about this book is that I felt it was a little bit too boring for me. Okay, I know I didn’t make it sound boring, but it kind of just went over the same thing over and over. Was he going to press the button? Or wasn’t he going to press the button? And it examined how people in his life made him go back and forth on that. I think the point was to show what a person can do to affect another person, but it just didn’t read that way to me.

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to those who like a deeper read and aren’t looking for fluffy unicorns and rainbows.

Happy reading! ~ Taylor

Extra Pages: ‘Wintersong’

I picked this up because of the hype surrounding it as well as the gorgeous cover! It’s hard to not judge a book by its cover when its so gorgeous~

 

Title: Wintersong

Author: S. Jae Jones

Series: Wintersong

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary

This book was so unique and I wasn’t disappointed! It follows the story of Liesl, who has known the Goblin King all of her life. She made him a promise when she was younger and, in this story, he comes to collect. Stealing her sister away, she must win 2 out of 3 tasks in order to get her sister back from the Goblin King. But, he has other plans, and the game is not always played cleanly.

Likes

I felt a Beauty and the Beast vibe from this book. The Goblin King is one of those characters that is disliked and made out to be a villain, when he actually is neither of the two. Leisl was a likable character and I didn’t feel like she was forced at all. She was genuine and her care and concern for her sister (and brother, by the way) are shown through delightful narrative and emotional scenes. She was willing to give her own life to save her sister but in return her family would begin to forget her at home. That was a sad aspect of this book and she was sort of trapped in the goblin realm akin to Persephone being trapped in the Underworld, without getting to return. Going to/from the goblin world is not that easy in this story and Leisl is definitely affected by her two servants, and not in the best of ways. The Goblin King was kind of a smart**, but I liked him! As I said earlier, there was a beast vibe from his character and I think it was admirable in the way he acted towards Liesl. There were plenty of secrets about living in the goblin realm but I think his honesty was something to give credit where credit is due and made the character feel much more human than goblin, in my eyes. I also have to mention that I loved the cliffhanger in this book! Good series’ always end with a cliffhanger for continuation but this one really got me!

(Dis)likes

I didn’t feel very attached to the love story in this book. But maybe that’s because I felt it was more than a love story and really about a joining of souls together. I think the Goblin King (that’s the name he goes by the entire book, so I have to keep writing it out) and Liesl have a heartfelt connection at the end of the story and I really can’t wait to read the next one to see how that blossoms. It wasn’t very romantic, not heart-eyes and rainbows, but it was a love story nonetheless. I think love, anyway, is more about sacrifice and showing the other person that you truly care about them by being able to give them what they need rather than focusing on what you need. That was really deep, y’all, so let’s move on.

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to those who are fans of fantasy and a truly developed other-world. I felt like I was in the goblin realm (which I didn’t want to be, because damn those goblins) but it painted a lovely picture and I was rooting for the Goblin King, I have to admit!

Happy reading! ~ Taylor

Review: ‘City of Saints and Thieves’

This book actually got me out of my reading slump! It was 6 books long before I read this one.

 

Title: City of Saints and Thieves

Author: Natalie C. Anderson

Series: Standalone

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary

Wow. I was absolutely floored by this book. It sparked some deep thought and also included a murder mystery. It follows Tina, who lives in Kenya with her sister because they have left the Congo as refugees. Her mother was killed under the employment of Mr. Grayhill and Tina joins the Goondas (a local gang) so that she can eventually find out who murdered her mother.

Likes

This book knocked me on my a**. It was the perfect mixture of reality and fiction and I couldn’t have asked for better. First, I want to mention that there definitely had to be a ton of research that went into this book, more than I think I’ve seen in a book in a while. Those elements rang so true and close to home because they were reality and not fiction. There are elements of how the lives of refugees truly are and what the political situation is like both in Kenya and in the Congo. I had read a book about a woman from Rwanda in the past who lived through the genocide there and was a refugee and that just made my heart hurt. I remembered her tales because of this book and that was a really beautiful thing. Also, I loved the mystery element to this book. At every turn, there would be another question popping up after getting an answer: kind of like a question in response to a question. I never knew what was coming next and every step of the way was a new twist. It was intriguing and gripping and so so good. I thought that Tina was a fantastic character who exemplefied what it means to care about your family. She was strong and believed that she could do anything, even in times where it didn’t seem like she could, and that was something I admired a lot about the character. Her perseverance and will power really rang strong.

(Dis)likes

I can’t fault this book for much, as my rating reflects. I think the story was very complete and didn’t leave me at a cliffhanger. The details were just right and it wasn’t too wordy in places it didn’t need to be. The book was a little long but I think that it told the full story and didn’t leave anything to be desired. I usually don’t care for thought provoking books all of the time but I think this would be an exception because of the fiction element, but still made me feel very strongly for the characters and what happened to them.

Recommendation

I would suggest this book to fans who aren’t afraid of a really ‘real’ book that makes you think and isn’t just a fluffy and lighthearted read. I would highly recommend this!

Happy reading! ~ Taylor

Waiting on Wednesday: ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’

AHHH! I am so happy that I was able to trade for an ARC of this book that has been at the top of my TBR since I knew it was coming out. I absolutely fell in love with Wonder Woman after seeing the movie and was ready to see a new take on the story. Here is our first Waiting on Wednesday post (WoW created by Breaking the Spine!)

 

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series: DC Icons

Rating: 5/5 stars

Publication date: August 29, 2017

I received this as an ARC through trade. This is an honest review.

Summary

WOW!!!!!!! That is the one word I can use to describe this book. It was literally everything that I had hoped for and more when reading a superhero book. I haven’t read many in the past but I can’t wait to read the rest of the series as they come out. This book is about Diana, who lives with the Amazons on Themyscira and encounters a ship crash in the ocean. She dives into the water to save the survivor, who ends up being Alia. She brings Alia back to the island, where everyone mysteriously starts getting sick, and Diana & Alia must travel to Greece in order to stop the disease from spreading: but not before a quick pit stop in New York City that turns into a wild adventure.

Likes

I have to say I didn’t know what to expect. I love Leigh’s writing and I was at her screening event during Bookcon, where she spoke a little about the book. It is a truly fresh take on the Wonder Woman tale and I love the fact that the two main characters are female and incredibly badass. Diana comes off much as she does in the movie, clueless to some things in the ‘real’ world and incredibly strong as a fighter in other areas. Alia is a character that intrigued me from the minute I was introduced to her and I love the twist that Leigh puts in this book that makes it so interesting. I found the bond between Diana and Alia to be strong and incredibly loyal, something that is accomplished very early on in the book. I also have to mention how much I love Nim, who is Alia’s best friend back in New York. She is an LGBT character and I also love her sarcasm and wit. She surpasses Diana and Alia as my favorite character in the book and I can see myself wanting to write some fanfiction about this girl in the future because I love her so much.

(Dis)Likes

I can’t fault this book, in all honesty. No book is perfect, and I will say it dragged in the beginning for a bit before really taking off. But once it took off, it stayed that way and I really love how the story unfolded. There is also a huge twist at the end that blew my mind and will blow yours too!

Recommendation

I recommend this book to fans of Wonder Woman and those who enjoy strong female characters who defy all odds.

Happy reading! ~ Taylor