Review: Bad Girls With Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten

Note: We received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. 

I read this is practically one sitting, and it’s been so long time since I did that! It’s also been ages since I’ve read a YA thriller, so it’s been a books of ‘the first time in forever’s. Bad Girls With Perfect Faces was unexpected, with its lyrical writing style and detailed characters. Unfortunately, I felt like it took way too long to get started – the thriller element didn’t start until roughly 60% through the book!

This is the story of Sasha and Xavier, who are best friends, and on Xavier’s birthday they go to a club and run into Ivy, Xavier’s toxic ex-girlfriend. Sasha’s in love with Xavier, so obviously she’s not best pleased, and tries to catch Ivy in the act of cheating.

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(Spoiler) Review: Follow Me by Sara Shepard

*Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
This review will spoil the contents of The Amateurs so be warned if you are yet to read the first book! 

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I read The Amateurs. It was such a well paced and excitingly driven story with a plot twist that I really didn’t expect. Of course, I was pumped to read the sequel, but in comparison to the first book, it fell flat.

The main reason for this, I think, is because we knew from the very beginning who Seneca and the gang were hunting down. Brett, the guy from The Amateurs who helpfully joined their team, pointing them in all the right directions, only to be the killer himself. Since then, Brett’s changed his identity but not his MO, so we follow the group as they try and rescue Chelsea Dawson, a beautiful Instagram-obsessed teen from his dangerous clutches. Part of what made the first book so great was not knowing and so this felt like an entirely different genre: a mystery turned thriller, as we knew what Brett was capable of. But, because the book is so short, we never got to linger in the more menacing moments and so everything was a little…underwhelming.

There’s also the half-baked romance subplot between Seneca and Maddox that’s very much banking on their relationship and way they interact with one another being set up in the first book so the scenes between them lacked emotion. And romance in the middle of a thriller is just the biggest case of ‘now is not the time’ ever.

Also, whereas everyone in the group had a part to play in the first book, Aerin and Madison felt like they were just along for the ride. It was difficult to pinpoint what they were contributing to the situation. It seemed like social media was doing most of the work for them.

But then, I really did enjoy how reasonably everything was figured out, though. You could actually imagine that this is the way a bunch of teenagers would solve a crime by doing a little internet stalking and cross referencing comments on Instagram posts. The access to details the group had in the first book was a bit far fetched, but this had genuine logic to it.

I was also really interested in the way the police responded to Chelsea’s kidnapping and how they read it all as a bid for more followers on social media. I think there was some thought-provoking critique on how adults perceive teenagers’ behaviour nowadays.

The very last page about Brett kidnapping Aerin…well, it didn’t feel like there was enough groundwork to that for me to believe it would happen. And even then, because Aerin didn’t play a huge part in the narrative – being replaced by Chelsea – I don’t know if I care enough to know what happens next?

Overall, I’m giving it 3 stars. I definitely enjoyed Follow Me less than the first book, but if you’re in the mood for a quick kind of thriller read, I’d recommend it.

Review: City of Saints & Thieves

Apparently this book has already been optioned for a movie?? That’s so exciting! And, I think it’s probably best to put a caveat on this review, and say I’ll probably enjoy a movie of this more! So, City of Saints & Thieves is marketed as this sort of thriller/mystery story, but the one question I was left with after finishing was: where was the thriller?

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Review: Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten


Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten
Genre: Thriller, Contemporary
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★

So, I was sold on Beware That Girl as soon as I saw it being compared to ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and ‘Gone Girl.’ Hot Key also said that Elle Fanning was rumoured to be in the movie, and if that isn’t enough of a reason to want to read this book, then I don’t know what is! This book was unexpectedly good! It was somehow in my comfort zone but also not, simultaneously! However, I would ignore the ‘it’s this mashed up with this’ because Beware That Girl is its own separate thing that deserves to stand on its own.

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Review: Close Your Eyes by Nicci Cloke

33765805Close Your Eyes by Nicci Cloke
Contemporary, Suspense
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 304
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★.5
Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

We were initially drawn to Close Your Eyes because Bee was desperate to read a YA about a school shooting after missing the opportunity to get This Is Where It Ends for 99p, and the fact that this is UKYA made it all the more enticing. We’ve all heard about shootings in America, that are more likely because of the gun laws, but in the UK, they’re as unlikely as a dragon crashing into the science block. Close Your Eyes did not disappoint in its capability to build suspense and intrigue and freaking out everyone who reads it!
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(Spoiler) Review: Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter

30336923Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter
Publisher: Orchard Books
Pages: 320
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★

After not loving the sequel to the Embassy Row series, See How They RunI was a little nervous to how I’d take the final book! But, it was still one of my most anticipated books, because I feel like Ally Carter will always have my loyalty, no matter what. So, with rocky expectations, I dived into The the Key and Lock Her Up, but was pleasantly surprised to have a solid conclusion to a series that started with a bang and ended with a knotted bow. Be warned, I’m going to be talking about the ending, so if you haven’t read the series yet, or are just interested, there will be spoilers!

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Spoiler Review: Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

25431123Nerve by Jeanne Ryan
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 298
Format: Paperback (library edition)

I missed this movie when it was in the cinema, so when I saw it in the library I thought I would pick it up to read before I eventually saw the film! I hauled it in a Library book haul and someone commented that the book was quite different to the movie, I can only agree from what I see in the trailer, but I can definitely say that I was completely underwhelmed by Nerve and can see how a movie would ramp this up 100% The premise in general sounded really exciting but there was so much to dislike about the books, I can’t bring myself to give it any more that 1 star. 

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Review: She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

21248666She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Indigo
Pages: 354
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★

After reading and really liking Marcus Sedgwick’s story in the UKYA Christmas anthology, I went straight to my local library to see which of his stand alones were available. It turns out they had not one but three copies of She is Not Invisible, so this was obviously The One To Read.  Continue reading “Review: She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick”

Review: Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah by Erin Lange

25582820Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah by Erin Lange
Genre: Contemporary, Adventure, Thriller
Published by: Faber & Faber
Pages: 359
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★

I’m pretty much a sucker for anything that tries to be The Breakfast Club. TBC is one of my favourite movies and The Breakfast Bunch episode of Victorious is probably one of the most beautiful episodes of any TV show ever. So, four kids whose personalities you don’t think will mix end up running for their lives together? Sounds like my jam. But here are couple of reasons why it failed to live up to my expectations, even thought it was still a fun and exciting read.

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Review: Far From You by Tess Sharpe

20517739Far From You by Tess Sharpe
Genre: Mystery, Romance, LGBTQ
Published by: Indigo
Pages: 343
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★

Upon first picking up Far From You, I thought I was about to read another YA thriller mystery similar to all of the ones I’ve read in the past year. (I don’t know how I’ve read so many, it’s just happened!) When I mentioned this book in a library check out haul, someone told me it was so much more than my mystery/thriller assumptions, and I’m really glad I gave it a chance. Because what I was not expecting was the LGBTQ aspect, and without it this would’ve been a very cliche story.

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