The Clasp by Sloane Crosley These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

A Round-Up Of YA Reviews

Monday, May 26, 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

WHAT'S THE DEAL? A groups of cousins and their friend visit their private island every year. However, one of the cousins misses a few summers and returns to find out what's really going on. 

ANY GOOD? We Were Liars is taut and tense. E. Lockhart is really good at building suspense and deftly handling a mystery. The first half was confusing and I kept thinking 'where is this going?' as a I frantically turned the pages. There are lots of dead ends and often you'll think you've solved it only to be thrown off the trail. The use of fairytales and this magical sounding private island really helps with the distortion of the truth but it will all make sense in the end. Great nod to Jaclyn Moriarty - I liked that book too. I don't really want to give anything away, so won't say anything about the characters other than I liked their names except for Gatwick. That's the name of one of our airports. Maybe there's some significance that I missed. Anyway, We Were Liars was excellent. 

ADD TO BASKET? Yes, if you're looking for a clever mystery.

WHAT'S THE DEAL? Amy is all set for a regular summer with her best friend and new boyfriend when suddenly she is told she has to spend time with her estranged father. Oh, and not at home in Chicago, but in Israel so she can meet his side of the family. Needless to say, Amy is not impressed by the new change of plans.

ANY GOOD? I bought this last summer because it was on a YA Buccaneers Reading Mutiny challenge but I ended up reading something else instead. On a train journey last week I just started reading it and ended up hooked and finished it in a day. Amy was really bratty but I liked her. I think watching Abigail on Dance Academy has softened me towards bratty characters. Those of you who've read my other posts will know I have a soft spot for Israel, so I loved the setting. Amy's exploration of her heritage and her relationships with her extended family and her estranged father were all so wonderfully handled. 

I always like a good group of friends in a story and Amy made some great friends who helped her on her journey. They never felt like filler either, which I really liked. I also enjoyed her interactions with her family, especially her grandmother. Obviously, there's a romance in the story - just look at the cover - but Amy's relationship with Avi was quite sweet once we got past the whole 'prickly, push-pull' thing. I'm definitely going to get the sequels to see what happens to them once Avi starts his military service. 

ADD TO BASKET? If you're looking for a fun summer story that also deals with Israeli culture.

WHAT'S THE DEAL? Katy and her mother move to W.Virginia to start over. Katy's mother encourages her to befriend the teens next door but Katy soon finds out there might be more to them than she otherwise thought.

ANY GOOD? This really wasn't my kind of story (and spawned this kind-of rant). However, if you like the human falling for 'the other' set up, you'll love this. I didn't believe the romance and thought it felt a bit forced. Maybe in the sequels everything is fleshed out a little more and maybe Katy (or Kat or Kate or Kitty Cat - she had too many names!) realises Daemon isn't for her and they become best friends instead like Chloe and Clarke. However, I highly doubt that (but please do prove me wrong if that's not the case). To me, it was like Twilight with aliens. However, it was well writen and the blogging in-jokes were a nice touch. 

ADD TO BASKET?  If you love Twilight and anything like it. 

WHAT'S THE DEAL? Anna and her friends' spring break trip to Aruba ends horrifically when her best friend Elise is murdered. Anna finds herself being held as the prime suspect and as she awaits trial she is forced to revisit the past two years with Elise and wonder if everything really was as it seemed.

ANY GOOD? Hands down one of the best books I've read all year. I know it got a lot of love last year but I only just got round to reading it and I wish I hadn't waited so long! It's so clever - oh the twists and turns! Dangerous Girls is a complete mindbender. I tip my hat, nay I take off my hat and curtsey, to Abigail Haas. The writing, the plot, the character - all PERFECT. There's nothing else to say other than read it now if you haven't already!

ADD TO BASKET? If you like a mind boggling thriller. 

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