TAG: TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE

What a fun and mischievous tag! Thanks @Sara for tagging me in this.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

  • Create a post with your two bookish truths and one bookish lie – but be sure to keep it a secret so your readers can guess!
  • Reveal the lie in a spoiler at the bottom of your post (you can use this HTML code! Just change the “S” in Summary to a lowercase)

<details><Summary>Reveal the Lie</Summary>Lie Revealed</details>


 

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE

  • I am a regular bookstagrammer.
  • I tried a Reverse Harem book for the first time and loved it.
  • I have never read any other book in the Harry Potter Universe other than the original 7.

I TAG AND

Hâf @librarylooter | Debjani @debjanisthoughts | Alyssa @alovelybookaffair| Brianna @briannathebookwork | Fictionnochaser @fictionnochaser |Darina @ Facing the story| Kayla @ Books and Blends | Lindsey @Lindseyreads


THE LIE IS… DUN DUN DUN…

I am a regular bookstagrammer.

Did you guess it right? Hit in the comments below!

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BOOK REVIEW : TRULY DEVIOUS

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.


Good News – I finally read Truly Devious.

Bad News – I am disappointed.

I liked the beginning and the first-half well enough. Especially the past timeline parts. But for the present timeline, I feel like I kept waiting for the story to take off the whole time but it never did. I also could not connect to many of the characters. Stevie was an interesting protagonist, if frustrating at times. I think I liked Nate the best. I also liked the friendship between Nate and Stevie. I found Janelle to be a promising character at the beginning but by the end, she felt so under-utilized. In fact, all the supporting cast felt under-utilized and wasted.

The character that I found the most annoying was David. I still don’t know what was the deal with him and am not the least interested to find out. I’m not sure I like whatever romance we saw between David and Stevie. I’d rather Nate was her romantic interest.

It was the pacing and the plot that disappointed me the most. Especially the ending. What was that, really? That was so anti-climactic. The whole later half itself felt very cluttered as if the author was unsure which direction to take the story to. I get that the author wanted us to read the sequel to get the answers, but that doesn’t mean that you leave the first book so unstructured. There was not one complete story in the book that was explored fully. And I can’t say I was too impressed by that cliffhanger.

I think this is more of a case of “It’s me, not you”, because almost everyone loved Truly Devious. This narrative in this one failed to deliver what I want from my murder mystery series. But I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and give The Vanishing Stair a try before having a final say.



★★★☆☆


 

BOOK REVIEW : TANGLED LIKE US (LIKE US #4)

How to protect your heart:
Let your bodyguard have it.

Jane Cobalt is an American princess. The loyal and painfully curious twenty-three-year-old has inherited immense pressure to preserve the Cobalt legacy. But for Jane — sex, love, and life have been a series of royal failures.

After a friends-with-benefits ended in disaster, she’s sworn to a “no sex” hiatus for, well, eternity — and she has no intention of letting anyone in her bed and definitely not her heart.

Twenty-eight-year-old Thatcher Moretti is painfully professional. As the stern 24/7 bodyguard to Jane, thinking about unbridled sex with his sweet client is a sin. One that he keeps committing. But the real act is a hard line he’d never cross.
When a family member betrays Jane’s trust, the media becomes obsessed with matchmaking the perpetually “single” Jane Cobalt and unwanted attention suddenly compromises her safety.
Thatcher would do anything to protect her, and one solution may level the threats:
Become the fake boyfriend to an American princess.
Entwined together with boiling chemistry, new “professional” parameters, and an oath, unsaid feelings threaten to rise and change everything.


The first question that came to my mind after reading the book –

“Why did this book get so many good reviews?”

It feels like the authors ran out of ideas and recycled a lot of their previous characters and plots here. And I’m fine with that. But what I’m not fine with is them butchering already established characters just to create some new conflict for the new book.

Connor and Rose were my absolute favorite characters from Calloway Sisters. And weren’t Rose and Connor initially written as characters who would go to any lengths to protect their family – even to the extent that it could be called interference? Their daughter is going through a disastrous security situation because of her grandmother, and her parents don’t make a single appearance to help her? No. I just can’t buy that.

Jane’s relationship with Rose was another thing that I just couldn’t digest. The way they interpret Rose’s character here just rubbed me the wrong way. I waited all book for their appearance and when they did appear in the end, it was really underwhelming.

Okay, on to the main characters. I found Jane and Thatcher to be boring. Jane seems to be a recycled version of Lily. I was annoyed with her thought process regarding her weight. I just could not bring myself to care or feel interested in these two. And their connection felt very underdeveloped, with the focus on only the physical attraction which came off as too exaggerated and unrealistic.

You know what else is unrealistic? The hints of more of the bodyguards and the cousins hooking up. There was a certain reveal of a hookup and the other characters’ reactions to it that left me a little disturbed. But the general direction this series is taking is completely unoriginal and repetitious. I’m not even the slightest bit interested in how the other stories will pan out. This is so not the way I wanted to say goodbye to this world of characters, but I just don’t think that I can take any more of this.


review

☆☆☆


 

Jumping out of January ’19

Books I read:

The Next To Last Mistake | Amelie Jahn
★★★☆☆

Sourpuss | Merricat Mulwray
★★☆☆☆

The Kiss Thief | L J Shen
★★★☆☆

The Wicked King | Holly Black
★★★★☆

Beantown Girls | Jane Healey
★★★★★

Miracle Creek | Angie Kim
★★★★☆

Tangled Like Us | Krista Ritchie
★★☆☆☆

Be The Girl | K. A. Tucker
★★★★☆

It Only Happens in Movies | Holly Bourne
★★★★☆

 

I recommend :

 

Pick of the Month:


Beantown Girls – A historical fiction that did not quite feel like one. It felt like I was living the lives of these three girls. If you like stories with friendships, self-discovery, journey to growth, romance, and the backdrop of world war II, you won’t be disappointed.

 

 


I’m happy with my January reads. Some of the books disappointed while some exceeded my expectations. But I can say that I read a couple of books that are going to stay with me for the rest of the year and even longer.

Hope January was a good reading month for you guys too. Happy reading for February!

 

TOP TEN TUESDAY : The Ten Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Hello all! Back with another TTT entry for another week. I’ll just name the most recent entries to my TBR based on my Goodreads Want-To-Read list.

Top Ten Tuesday is a blog meme hosted by the awesome That Artsy Reader Girl.


ttt

What The Wind Knows 

Amy Harmon is one of my top favorite contemporary authors. And I absolutely loved the last historical fiction she wrote – From Sand And Ash. She’s a master at creating a mood in her books. This one’s a time-travel fantasy set in the Ireland of 1921. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 


The Place On Dalhousie

I could write essays on how much I love Melina Marchetta, okay? History suggests that if I read a book written by her, I’m bound to love it. I’ve been waiting for this book since I read the short story When Rosie Met Jim which is sort of a prologue to this book back in 2017. This book couldn’t come soon enough.

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 


Circe

I love Greek Mythology, retellings and strong women. This book happens to have all of them. Need I say more?

 

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 

 


The Poppy War

I found out about this book a little later than I’d have liked thanks to a friend’s review of it on Goodreads. The premise, the genre and the word-of-mouth – everything about this book compelled me to add it to my TBR.

 

Goodreads Link – here.

 


The Unhoneymooners

Two words. Christina Lauren.

A wedding? The bridesmaid and the best man? Hijacking a honeymoon? A lie about being married?

Gimme already!

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 

The Girl He Used To Know

This is one of the very first books I requested for in Netgalley… and got refused. So this was one of those cases of wanting what you can’t have (for the time being). And of course I love the sound of the book.

 

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 

We Came Here To Forget

The cover was the first thing that attracted me. The premise of a young olympic skier escaping to Argentina after losing everything and reinventing herself with a group of expats was what sold it for me.  Hoping that it will be a good one.

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 

 


The Vanishing Stair

I’ve just started Truly Devious. And I’m really liking it so far. So I just went ahead and added the sequel to my TBR. I’m hoping to love the series even more as I go ahead.

 

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 


The Beautiful

I can’t remember the last time I was this intrigued by the premise of a Young Adult with vampires. This one also happens to be a historical fiction. And this is Renée Ahdieh we’re talking about. Can you blame me for having high hopes?

 

 

Goodreads Link – here.


Park Avenue Summer

Mad Men meets Devil Wears Prada. This book promises an insider’s look at the rise of Helen Gurley Brown- the woman who changed the dynamics of what magazines would do as an editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan – through the eyes of her assistant who I assume is fictional.

I’m really intrigued and excited by the sound of this book. Hope it won’t disappoint.

Goodreads Link – here.


This is it. Fingers crossed that these books live up to my expectations!
2019, please don’t let me down!

BOOK REVIEW : IT ONLY HAPPENS IN MOVIES


Audrey is over romance. Since her parents’ relationship imploded her mother’s been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn’t mean things are easy. Because real love isn’t like the movies…

The greatest love story ever told doesn’t feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy clichés. Oh, and zombies… YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel.

 


 

What’s not to like about this book?
A broken and yet badass heroine? Yes.
Feminism? Yes.
Fake zombies? Yes.
An amazingly real book? YES.

It Only Happens In Movies is a rare take on the problematic impact of romantic movies. The author takes everything wrong about romantic movies and deconstructs them through the awesome main protagonist Audrey.

Audrey – who funnily enough was named after Audrey Hepburn – has had enough of romance. Her father’s betrayal and her so-called first love dumping her has left her broken and cynical. I could totally relate to her disdain for romantic films. But more than that, I relate to her struggles. We see her grow from this broken and humiliated girl to a confident and self-respecting person who knows what she deserves. I absolutely adored her.

The prologue gives us a sense of what’s coming with the central romance right away. But the thing is, the romance isn’t central at all. It’s Audrey’s journey that’s central. And for once, I just wanted Audrey to be happy, regardless of the outcome of her romance. I liked Harry a lot too. He’s my favorite kind of jerk with a soft heart. But he’s also an idiot. I liked Audrey’s group of friends, especially Leroy. I loved the parts with the zombie movie filming, the theater shenanigans and of course the conversations about movies. My only complaint with the book was that the problems with Audrey’s mother got too conveniently resolved.

I’m so happy that I read this book. It points out a lot of problematic things that we take for granted in movies and in real life. The feminist outlook wasn’t in-your-face but it was spot-on. I could connect to Audrey on a very personal level. Also, I have now a list of movies I want to watch, thanks to the references in the book.


★★★★☆


 

BOOK REVIEW : BE THE GIRL


Almost sixteen-year-old Aria Jones is starting over. New postal code, new last name, new rules. But she doesn’t mind, because it means she can leave her painful regrets behind. In the bustling town of Eastmonte, she can become someone else. Someone better.

With the Hartford family living next door, it seems she will succeed. Sure, Cassie Hartford may be the epitome of social awkwardness thanks to her autism, but she also offers an innocent and sincere friendship that Aria learns to appreciate. And Cassie’s older brother, Emmett—a popular Junior A hockey player with a bright future—well … Aria wishes that friendship could lead to something more. If he didn’t already have a girlfriend, maybe it would.

But Aria soon finds herself in a dicey moral predicament that could derail her attempt at a fresh start. It is her loyalty to Cassie and her growing crush on Emmett that leads her to make a risky move, one that earns her a vindictive enemy who is determined to splinter her happy new world.


 

I had high expectations from K A Tucker’s next after I absolutely adored The Simple Wild.

Did I love this book as much as The Simple Wild? No.
Was it a good book anyway? Yes.

Why didn’t I love this book? Aria. She’s a real character. The way she is written is excellent. She’s a teenager and the author does so well to bring that to life! But her being a teenager is the reason I could not endear myself to her. I just couldn’t relate to her angst. And when the cause of her angst was revealed, I was even more conflicted. How can I elucidate my feelings towards her for most of the book? I don’t necessarily like her as a person but as a reader I absolutely love the character? Does that make sense? Nevertheless, at the end, she does something truly brave that earned my respect.

My favorite character of the book was Cassie. I want to read more about her. Would it be too much to ask for a separate book for her? I also liked Emmett. It’s rare to get a nice guy as a hero these days. Especially in books about high school. These guys are usually written as broody and intense. And that’s why I found him such a refreshing character! The romance felt very natural and uncomplicated. I was not as invested in it as I’d like to be but that’s fine because this story was not about the romance.

The story here is not fast-paced. It takes time to build up. There’s not many important things happening and it’s more character driven than anything. And I appreciate that. It felt very real. The themes of bullying, forgiveness and second chances explored here ring very close to reality. I think everyone should read this book!


★★★