TTBF Author Repost Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


Team Midsummer, Jessica & Lyv, are attending the Texas Teen Book Festival again this year in Austin, TX! To prepare and get ourselves amped-up for this event, we are reposting some of our reviews by some of the TTBF 17 authors! Today features one of Jessica’s all time favorites: E. Lockhart!

This review was originally posted on August 14, 2014

 

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

When I met E. Lockhart at Book Expo America, I was trying so hard not to fangirl because I had been looking forward to this book for months.  Not only did I get a chance to meet her, but she also write an essential message in my copy of the book (which I’m sure she wrote in everyone’s) “Please Lie About This Book.”

Well, it is impossible for me to lie about how much I enjoyed this book.  I want to tell you so much about it in order to convince you to read it, but this is a book that needs to be discovered by each person individually.  The story line is excellent.  There I will tell you that much.

Lockhart’s writing style in this novel really helps add to the characterization of the narrator, Cadence (which is a elockharttweetname I’ve always loved), and it allows the reader to discover things as Cadence does…kind of.  This novel really explores the idea of an unreliable narrator.

I’ve said too much!

I cannot praise this book highly enough, and I won’t tarnish your reading experience with anymore.  Trust me, you will enjoy it immensely.

5 Bards  (I know you asked me to lie, E. Lockhart, but I decided to just withhold information instead!)

 

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Book Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was. 

I am a massive fan of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (Click the title to read my 5 Bard review)  so when Random House announced Genuine Fraud I was over the moon excited.

I can honestly say that I did not expect this book. Anything about it. It has everything that I love about some of my favorite classic novels:

An unreliable narrator (Example: Wuthering Heights)
Nonlinear Narrative (Example: Wuthering Heights) ***Look, I really love Wuthering Heights
Intrigue (Many classics)

Epic Beach Read

I could go on, but those are the basics that I am referencing. Lockhart is literally the queen of unreliable narrators in my book, because Jule and Cadence are similar only in their nonlinear unreliableness, but I love them both because of this and much more. Jule is much more hardened than Cadence and she spun so many lies and stories throughout this book that I found my head spinning but wanting more.

There are some incredibly hard things to read in this book and some of the plot points mentioned in the synopsis definitely happen.  Why yes, Murder is a part of the narrative (all True Crime fans rejoice!) and so are some doomed romances. Plus, Jule and Imogen get to visit some amazing places and have some epic experiences.

This is not one to be missed. I read it in 5 hours of sitting out in the sun on the beach, but I would have sat and read it in one sitting regardless.

Much like my review of We Were Liars, I can’t say much without giving a ton away!

Thank you, E. Lockhart, for doing it again.

4.5 Bards.

Book Review: Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide.

But June doesn’t believe it.

June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else-before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, tying them together like thin silk cords.

But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June’s boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this-things would never be the same again.

And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth…which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

This novel started off really awesome.  I will argue that the first half of this book was really spot on.  I will admit that I finished this book in around 3 hours, so it wasn’t that it became hard to read or that it was difficult in anyway.  In fact, I’ll tell you that it is easy and enjoyable.  Then why am I saying just the first half was good?  Well…let me just start with the good.

June is basically your typical high school teenager.  She underestimates her beauty, her intelligence, and her ability to stand up to anyone other than her equally typical boyfriend, Ryan.  She has a really interesting family consisting of a single, drunken mother, but we really don’t see a whole lot about that and we don’t hear about how it affected her growing up or anything.  The entirety of June throughout this novel revolves around Delia.  She is practically a non-entity until Delia is mentioned or brought up.  Delia is the sun and June is the scorched planet Mercury that rotates super close.  But then Delia kills herself, supposedly.  This is where the first half gets interesting.

June begins to suspect foul play in Delia’s death and basically goes off the deep end and reads absolutely anything possible, no matter how far fetched, as being related to Delia’s supposed suicide and everything that happened in their friendship.  The fact of the matter is that their friendship is so complicated and a bit obsessive.  I say “a bit,” but it begins to seem unhealthy around the halfway mark in the book when a pretty big “twist” occurs.  Why is twist in quotations?  Well, because it wasn’t much of a twist to me when I saw it coming.

The latter half of the book does have it’s highlights.  The synopsis refers to Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls as being for fans of E.Lockhart’s We Were Liars.  I’d say it’s a fairly weak comparison, but it does have the disjointed narration aspect down pat in the second half.  You will start to question every perception June has ever made and a lot of what she tells you as a narrator.  But, the novel then randomly splits into dual narration between June and Delia, after not doing this at all in the first half.  Delia’s narration, other than being peppered with heavy references to fire and burning, is even more full of confused statements and weird obssessive thoughts about June.

June really just wants to be loved and accepted.

The ending was nice in that it provides the reader with the option to decide the characters’ fate.  There are pretty much two ways that a reader could decide on, but I’m fairly certain a lot of readers will choose a specific one based on other reviews I’ve seen and reactions I’ve noticed.

Either way, I’m giving Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls an average rating because it really wasn’t unenjoyable.  I just wish it had been stronger as a story.

3 Bards

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Top Ten Tuesday: April 7

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Characters You’d Like to Check in With

 

1. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy
You know you want to know what happens after the end of Mockingjay.  All we get is a glimpse into Katniss and Peeta’s personal future, but what about everyone else?  Does another dictator step in and take over?  Do they form a democracy?  Is it anarchy?  So many questions!

2. Aysel and Roman from My Heart and Other Black Holes
What happens after they (spoiler alert) don’t commit suicide?

3. Alyssa from the Splintered trilogy
I just want to know what her life is like in Wonderland with Morpheus!  It does look like I’ll be getting my wish though, as a novella was announced as a follow up!

4. Laurel from Love Letters to the Dead
Laurel really went through a lot trying to find out the secret behind May’s death and I’d like to see how her therapy helps her.

5. Cadence from We Were Liars
Talk about this character going through an emotional roller coaster.  I just want to know that she is okay and coping well!

6. Remy and Dexter from This Lullaby 
I want to just see them where they are now in their relationship, and hopefully they are still very happy together!

7. Sarah and Linda from Lies We Tell Ourselves 
Such a tumultuous time in history for civil rights and for a bi-racial lesbian couple.  I’d love to see how their story continued.

8. Young Catherine and Hareton from Wuthering Heights 
Sure, Bronte gives us the hope that the cycle is broken, but I really would like to see these characters get the happy ending that Catherine and Heathcliff never did.

9. Death from The Book Thief 
I know that Liesel changed Death, so I’d just like to see if any other encounters changed or influenced Death as well.

10. Helen and Lucas from the Starcrossed Trilogy
Much like with Romy and Dexter, I just want to see their happy ever after!

 

Who are some characters you want to check in with?

 

 

 

Top 14 of 2014: Day 7

top14of14

Instead of taking a week off after the Christmas holiday like I have every year since A Midsummer Night’s Read opened, I am joining forces with Krista from Krista’s Dust Jacket and Kim from Kimberly Faye Reads to host a Top 14 of 2014 meme!

Not only are you able to participate in this meme, but we will each be hosting giveaways on our blogs including extra entries if you participate and add to our links! Feel free to use the graphic above in your posts.

Today’s topic is:

Top 14 Books of 2014….and a GIVEAWAY!

1. Unhinged and Ensnared by A.G. Howard
I know that TECHNICALLY Ensnared shouldn’t count since it doesn’t come out until 2015, but I read it in 2014 so I put it on this list!

2. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

3. The Jewel by Amy Ewing

4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

5. Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

6. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

7. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

8. Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

9. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

10. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

11. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

12. The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

13. My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter

14. TIE: Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele and Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler

memelistThese are MY personal top 14 reads of this year, and I know there are still a ton of books in my TBR from 2014 that I didn’t get to yet!  Thank you so much for participating and be sure to enter my Top 14 of 2014 giveaway!

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Visit the other blogs participating in this meme!

Top 14 of 2014: Day 2

top14of14

 

Instead of taking a week off after the Christmas holiday like I have every year since A Midsummer Night’s Read opened, I am joining forces with Krista from Krista’s Dust Jacket and Kim from Kimberly Faye Reads to host a Top 14 of 2014 meme!

 Not only are you able to participate in this meme, but we will each be hosting giveaways on our blogs including extra entries if you participate and add to our links! Feel free to use the graphic above in your posts.

Today’s topic is:

Top 14 Moments or Quotes from Books

(I’m choosing to do quotes!)

1. “We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.” – We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

2. “And maybe what growing up really means is knowing that you don’t have to be just a character, going whichever way the story says. It’s knowing you could be the author instead.” – Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

3. “We’re talking about the novel, right? But maybe we’re not. We’re talking about ourselves. And I guess that’s what can start to happen when you talk about a book.” – Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

4. “I somehow knew that the particulars didn’t matter. She was my heart, she was half of me, and nothing, certainly not a few measly hundred miles, was ever going to change that.” – Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

5. “There’s a difference between being a class act and being classy. Peeing off the side of a jeep doesn’t mean you’re not classy, it just means you’re a free spirit with a small bladder.” – Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler

6. “A strange thing, words. Once they’re said, it’s hard to imagine they’re untrue.” – A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

7. “A childish story take, and with a gentle hand, lay it where Childhood’s dreams are twined in Memory’s mystic band…thus grew the world of Wonderland.” – Unhinged by A.G. Howard

8. “The great thing about best friends is that they know you really well. And the terrible thing about best friends is that they know YOU really well.” – Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

9. “You have this weird fear of squirrels that defies all reason.”
“They have creepy eyes.” – Loop by Karen Akins

10. “We love films because they makes us feel something. They speak to our desires, which are never small. They allow us to escape and to dream and to gaze into the eyes that are impossibly beautiful and huge. They fill us with longing. But also. they tell us to remember; they remind us of life. Remember, they say, how much it hurts to have your heart broken.” – Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

memelistWhat were some of your favorite moments from books in 2014? Or your favorite quotes? I had to throw in a few comedic ones! Join our Meme!

Tomorrow’s topic is: Top 14 Favorite Covers!

 

Top 14 of 2014: Day 1

top14of14

 

Instead of taking a week off after the Christmas holiday like I have every year since A Midsummer Night’s Read opened, I am joining forces with Krista from Krista’s Dust Jacket and Kim from Kimberly Faye Reads to host a Top 14 of 2014 meme!

 Not only are you able to participate in this meme, but we will each be hosting giveaways on our blogs including extra entries if you participate and add to our links! Feel free to use the graphic above in your posts.

Today’s topic is:

Top 14 New-to-You Authors

1. Cheryl Strayed: Author of Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, and the non-fiction book, Wild, which has been adapted to a movie starring Reese Witherspoon.

2. Meg Wolitzer: Author of Belzhar, her first Young Adult novel. Wolitzer has written a lot of Fiction but I fell in love with her first foray into the YA genre, and hope she keeps bringing her talent to teens!

3. Morgan Matson/Katie Finn: My praise is definitely a double edged sword here, because I absolutely adored Matson’s novel Since You’ve Been Gone, but I really wasn’t happy with her pseudonym’s novel, Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend.

4. Rachel Hawkins: Evidently I’ve missed out on some good novels by not reading Hawkins’ work until this year, but I read Rebel Belle and fell in love.

5. Jennifer Lynn Barnes: Another author that I had never read before this year, but I fell in love with The Naturals (which I read in 2014) and managed to get my hands on the sequel. I don’t know if I’ll check out her supernatural series, but I really do love her Criminal Minds-eque series and hope it keeps going!

6. Jennifer Armentrout: I should just label the middle of this list as the authors I regret ignoring until 2014.  I still have only read one of her novels, Don’t Look Back, but I went ahead and bought a few more of her novels to read for 2015!

7. Amy Ewing: Ewing’s debut, The Jewel, was definitely one of the best novels I read this year. It was also her debut novel, so she really should be on everyone’s New-to-Me author list!

8. Ava Dellaira: Another debut author for 2014, whose novel Love Letters to the Dead, really exemplified how the grieving process can effect a teen.

9. Lindsay Cummings: So proud of this former book reviewer and now successful author! I’m not much for middle grade books, so I haven’t read The Balance Keepers, but I adored The Murder Complex!

10. E. Lockhart: I’m starting to get concerned for myself for not hearing about some of the authors on this list prior to 2014, but man, We Were Liars is now one of my favorite books of all time.

What are some of your favorite New-to-You Authors for 2014?  Be sure to join our meme!

 Tomorrow’s topic: Top 14 Moments or Quotes from Books

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