Book Review – Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

Seven Ways We Lie

Author: Riley Redgate

Publication: March 8th, 2016

Publisher: Amulet Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 352 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ+

Read: February 2016

Riley RedgateGoodreads

 

Synopsis
In Seven Ways We Lie, a chance encounter tangles the lives of seven high school students, each resisting the allure of one of the seven deadly sins, and each telling their story from their seven distinct points of view.
The juniors at Paloma High School all have their secrets, whether it’s the thespian who hides her trust issues onstage, the closeted pansexual who only cares about his drug-dealing profits, or the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal. But it’s Juniper Kipling who has the furthest to fall. No one would argue that Juniper—obedient daughter, salutatorian, natural beauty, and loyal friend—is anything but perfect. Everyone knows she’s a saint, not a sinner; but when love is involved, who is Juniper to resist temptation? When she begins to crave more and more of the one person she can’t have, her charmed life starts to unravel.
Then rumors of a student–teacher affair hit the fan. After Juniper accidentally exposes her secret at a party, her fate falls into the hands of the other six sinners, bringing them into one another’s orbits. All seven are guilty of something. Together, they could save one another from their temptations—or be ruined by them.
Riley Redgate’s twisty YA debut effortlessly weaves humor, heartbreak, and redemption into a drama that fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins will adore.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
The first half of this book was painfully slow, it took me so long to get interested in it. I didn’t really want to pick it up but as I continued, the second half improved and was much more entertaining. Some things were kind of boring and it wasn’t as engaging as I was hoping it would be. It’s a coming of age story with important themes throughout but it just didn’t capture my attention.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
It was really confusing and complicated, it was really hard for me to understand what was happening. I understand what the author was trying to do but there were way too many POVs. However, they were each distinct to each character which was good, I just couldn’t keep up with them, even though the writing style was very simple and easy to read.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Usually this is the section where I talk about the main characters and a little bit in general about side characters, but this book in particular has seven main characters so I’m just gonna share my thoughts in general. First off, seven is way too many main characters for me. I thought the concept was a really interesting one, each character is meant to represent a deadly sin (you can hypothesize who is who which was great discussion in my book club). However, because there were so many, I didn’t connect with the majority of them. I enjoyed some of their points of views, I hate others, but in general, I just had a meh feeling towards them, specially added with the fact that the first part of the book was slow. Olivia is spunky, Matt is kind and quiet, Valentine is pretty peculiar, Juniper was okay, I hated Claire with a passion and I felt like Kat wasn’t really needed. I just realized that I didn’t mention Julian in my notes at all. I liked him but that just further proves that I was overwhelmed with the amount of characters.

Emotionally

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Monthly Obsessions #13

Hello everyone!

I’m here today to talk about my monthly obsessions. This month has been pretty crazy to me. It’s been stressful and nerve wracking and I’ve been trying to get myself back on my regular schedule again. Thanks for staying around guys, I really appreciate keeping your support while I’ve been a bit MIA. Anyway, I can’t wait to show you all what I’ve been loving recently!

SO let’s get started!

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T5W Mar. 22nd – Favorite Angsty Romances

Hello everyone!

Time for another Top 5 Wednesday. Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes and if you would like to join, here is the link for the Goodreads group with all the information.

This week’s topic is Favorite Angsty Romances. I am a huge shipper, I love to read books with romances that I can cheer on or agonize over. But most of the time, I love romances that start out slowly and that develop organically with not a lot of fuss and fighting. However, there’s also some amazing angst filled romances that I have loved and this list is going to feature them!

SO let’s get started!

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ARC Review – The Pants Project by Cat Clarke

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The Pants Project

Author: Cat Clarke

Publication: March 7th, 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Format: e-ARC, 272 pages

Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Coming of Age, LGBTQ+

Read: March 2017

Cat ClarkeGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Synopsis
My name is Liv (Not Olivia)… I’m not technically a girl.
I’m Transgender. Which is a bit like being a transformer. Only not quite as cool as cool because I probably won’t get to save the world one day.
A Transformer is a robot in disguise. Liv is a boy in disguise. It’s that simple. Liv knows he was always meant to be a boy, but with his new school’s terrible dress code, he can’t even wear pants. Only skirts.
Operation: Pants Project begins! The only way for Live to get what he wants is to go after it himself. But to Liv, this isn’t just a mission to change the policy- it’s a mission to change his life. And that’s a pretty big deal.

I am a cisgender, straight woman and I know very little about transgender issues. If I say anything in this review that can be seen as offensive to the transgender community, please let me know!

Also here’s a review by a multigender writer which I found on this list of reviews of trans/non-binary literature by trans/non-binary reviewers. If you know of any #ownvoices reviews of this book, let me know so I can share them here!

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book was really entertaining and cute. There’s a lot of passion and several themes that I enjoyed reading about and that I think are important within a middle grade specially. This book talks about acceptance, honestly, family, friendship and sticking up for yourself. Overall, it was a really nice read, super fast and just generally feel good even with the integration of serious topics.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
The writing style was really fast paced and easy to read. I could’ve finished the book in one sitting if I had had the time to do so. The main character has a very distinct voice and personality which I liked but it also felt very disjointed and there were some weird metaphors. Some things were not explained in the best way in my opinion and kind of made me raise my eyebrows a bit.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I liked the characters in this book, most of all the relationships between them and how they grew and developed as the book went on. Liv was pretty great. He was very determined and had a lot of tenacity which I appreciated. He was very adamant about what he wanted to accomplish with The Pants Project and what it meant to him and I love his purpose. However, he also had a temper that had gotten him in trouble a few times and it was interesting to see that kind of growth, learning how to feel his anger without physically lashing out. He was really vulnerable and secretive for various reasons but he was really kind as well. Like I said above, I really liked the relationships that were explored in the story. The family dynamic is really great and Liv has a sibling with whom he gets along well, as well as you can with a younger sibling and I loved their relationship! There are quite a few side characters and the ones that had most page time I felt were well developed and interesting to read about. I want to mention that there is one character who does say transphobic and homophobic things. They are clearly condemned in the text and the author makes a point to call them out for being bad things to say and to believe but I want to make sure people know before reading in case it’s triggering.

Emotionally

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Book Traveling Thursdays Mar. 16th – It’s Freedom of Information Day!

Hello everyone!

It’s BTT time! This is a weekly meme created by Danielle at Danielle’s Book Blog and Catia at TheGirlWhoReadTooMuch. You can find all of the information you’ll need to participate on the Goodreads page.

This week’s topic is It’s Freedom of Information Day! Because freedom matters choose a controversial book. I don’t particularly like the term “controversial book.” It just makes it seem like opposing opinions are automatically combative against each other and I’m not really there for that. So, I decided to pick a book that I didn’t enjoy as much as other people because I wasn’t prepared for the experience of reading it.

SO let’s get started!

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ARC Review – Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

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done-dirt-cheap-cover

Done Dirt Cheap

Author: Sarah Nicole Lemon

Publication: March 7th, 2017

Publisher: Amulet Books

Format: e-ARC, 336 pages

Genre: Contemporary, Coming of Age, Romance

Read: February 2017

Sarah Nicole LemonGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from Abrams Kids and Amulet Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Synopsis
Tourmaline Harris’s life hit pause at fifteen, when her mom went to prison because of Tourmaline’s unintentionally damning testimony. But at eighteen, her home life is stable, and she has a strong relationship with her father, the president of a local biker club known as the Wardens. Virginia Campbell’s life hit fast-forward at fifteen, when her mom “sold” her into the services of Hazard, a powerful attorney: a man for whom the law is merely a suggestion. When Hazard sets his sights on dismantling the Wardens, he sends in Virginia, who has every intention of selling out the club—and Tourmaline. But the two girls are stronger than the circumstances that brought them together, and their resilience defines the friendship at the heart of this powerful debut novel.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This book doesn’t have a linear plot in my opinion, it’s much more character oriented. But there’s a lot of amazing themes expressed and developed in this story. It’s a coming of age and it talks about hope, ambition, trust, friendship, honesty, bravery and just general girl badassery. It took me awhile to get into it but it caught my attention after the first quarter.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
This author’s writing is one of my favorite things about this book. Contemporaries tend to have very simple and easy to read writing, and while this has that, it’s also really poetic and lyrical. There are some really beautiful lines in this book that paint a detailed picture with descriptions that are intense. This book has dual POVs since the two main characters narrate the story but the distinction is very subtle and I wish it could’ve been more obvious to have an easier time transitioning between narrators.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This is the selling point of this book. Not only are there two amazing female protagonists but they build such an incredible friendship that is pretty much the most important part of the story. I am kind of obsessed with these girls and their bond to be honest. Tourmaline is kind of the more naive of the two. She’s been sheltered her entire life and has a certain perception of the world because of who her father is and what he does. She feels really guilty for what she did when she was younger. However, she’s learning a lot about what is really happening around her and she’s defiant and determined. I loved seeing her become more confident as the story progressed. Then we have Virginia (it got a bit confusing sometimes since the setting is also Virginia) and she’s kind of like rough and tough. She’s definitely been through hardship and her life isn’t really what she envisions for herself. She makes the most of what she has but slowly things start to unravel and she wants to look to escape. She’s very vulnerable and scared, she’s dealing with a lot of anxiety but she’s also learning to open up and depend on others. Again, the friendship between these two characters is absolutely incredible and the best part of this book. But there are also a lot of complex and interesting relationships and romances that I feel were very well developed but didn’t take away from the friendship being the focal point of the story.

Emotionally

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March ’17 TBR – Historical Fiction Theme

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Hello everyone!

As you read this, I’m probably at the airport waiting to get on a plane to take me away from the place I’ve called home for the last four years. I can’t really tell you how that’s going to feel like right now, because I’m doing this a whole week before but I can tell you that at this moment I’m both really sad and really excited. I hope this change brings me a lot of new opportunities and I am planning on taking advantage of everything new that’s comes my way. If you’d like to stay up to date with my trip, you can probably see some updates on Twitter, so follow me :). Anyway, I’m here to talk about the books that I hope to read in March. All of these are very tentative because I have no idea how much time I’ll have to read but hopefully I get at least a few read.

SO let’s get started!

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February ’17 Wrap Up

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Hello everyone!

February has been filled with nostalgia and sadness mixed with hope and excitement. I’m a walking ball of nerves and anxiety guys and it’s not gonna get better until I’m on the other side of March 3rd. Besides that, I’ve managed to read a bit this month. The last few weeks got super hectic and my reading slowed down because of that and it kind of sucked honestly. But I read a lot of books that I enjoyed and I can’t wait to tell you about them!

SO let’s get started!

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