We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
May 13, 2014
Hardcover, 240 pgs.
What it’s about:
The beautiful, blue-blooded Sinclair family sends the summers on their luxurious private island. The cousins have grown up together. They are best friends. They call themselves the Liars. They are untouchable. Until the accident. Cadence Sinclair, the oldest, the heir, is hazy on the details, but she knows that one summer changed everything.
Why you might like it:
So you think you know E. Lockhart? Clever and sassy Frankie Landau-Banks. Charming and awkward Ruby Oliver. All true, but We Were Liars will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about E. Lockart. While her previous novels are smart and fun, this newest offering is dark and suspenseful. This short book packs a huge emotional punch. If you like a story that slowly unfolds to reveal a surprise twist, then this book should be right up your alley! Do you like an unreliable narrator? Check! Flashbacks? You’ll find those too! How about dysfunctional families? You’ll find dysfunction in spades! If you are a fan of psychological thrillers you might like We Were Liars. It’s best to go into this book not really knowing what it’s about, so be on the look out for spoilers! The book description is cryptic for a reason!
Want more like this?
For a similar haunting atmosphere and psychological trauma you might try The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. You might also enjoy Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King.
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
Random House Children’s Books
June 18, 2013
Jeremy Johnson Johnson lives with his father in the back of the family bookstore in the sleepy little town of Never Better, USA. After Jeremy’s mother ran off, his father became a recluse, often refusing to leave even leave his bed. It’s not as if the bookstore needs his help. The only book on the shelves is Jeremy’s grandfather’s two-volume autobiography. All this is strange enough, but the real reason the towns people shun Jeremy is because he once admitted to hearing voices. Actually, just one voice. Jeremy’s best friend is the ghost of Jacob Grimm. As in one half of the fairy tale-telling Brothers Grimm. Jacob is trapped between worlds and while he tries to figure out how to move on, he has declared himself Jeremy’s protector. When Jeremy catches the attention of the vivacious and charismatic Ginger, a shocking series of events is set in to motion and Jacob may be helpless to save his friend.
From start to finish, Far Far Away is a modern fairy tale in true Grimm fashion. It is magical and horrifying and is guaranteed to enchant the patient reader. There is something for everyone in this book-quirky characters, suspense, mystery, charming romance, and a pinch of totally creepy. The stories within the story are just an extra bonus. It may take some work selling this to teens, but I think it is totally worth the effort.
Readalikes: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab, The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and Doll Bones by Holly Black
An e-galley of this book was provided by the publisher and NetGalley.com for review.
The Rules For Disappearing by Ashley Elston
May 14, 2013
It has been almost a year since Meg’s family was torn from their home and whisked to safety in the middle of the night. Now, six moves and six identities later, “the suits” from the Witness Protection Program have deposited the family in rural Louisiana. Seventeen-year-old Meg has had enough of the program that is destroying her family. She wants this will be their last move, but to make that happen she needs answers and after eight months, her father still refuses to talk about what he did or saw to land them in all in the program. In most ways this move is no different from the others. Everyone gets new names, hair styles, and cover stories. The rules are still the same, but something is different about this placement. The biggest difference is that Meg has a friend. Breaking all the rules, Meg starts to let Ethan into her life and she begins searching for clues about what happened. As she begins piecing together her memories of that night, a shocking truth that she is not prepared for is revealed.
I really enjoyed this suspenseful debut novel. There is plenty of tension and intrigue as the answers to Meg’s questions are slowly revealed and there are plenty of red herrings thrown in to keep readers on their toes. I enjoyed the details of small town life and the thoughtful accounts of the impact the Program has had on the Jones family. Ethan is the perfect good guy character, and I found that despite the rushed intensity of their relationship, I could help but like him. Being an adult reader, I had some concern about Meg’s total disregard for safety and some of the highly questionable decisions she makes, but teens will definitely identify with her frustration and feeling of powerlessness. Teen readers will be more willing applaud Meg’s decision to take matters into her own hands. None of these criticisms detracted from my enjoyment of this book and I will definitely recommend it teens looking for creepy suspense.
This book was provided by the publisher and NetGalley.com for review.