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!)

 

fivebards

Book Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.

As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?

Fan Art is significantly different from the other LGBT books that I’ve read recently, in that it deals with two male characters, and the character’s sexuality is the main focus of the narrative.  Whereas some of the other LGBT books I’ve read are more focused on other aspects of the story.  For example, Caela Carter’s My Best Friend, Maybe really deals with the broken friendship between the two main characters and how religion and prejudice concerning homosexuality can cause issues, and not a romance.  You should really read that one too, it was great.  Check out my review here.

Fan Art isn’t particularly jazzy or addicting from a narrating standpoint, in fact, the narration is down right bland.  However, I think that this was a purposeful move on behalf of the author.  For example, Jamie, the main character, constantly tries to fly under the radar at his school in order to protect himself and his sexuality.  I think that the narrative style that Tregay used was perfect for this, because it really added to Jamie’s characterization.

Another thing that I really liked about Tregay’s story is that it really utilizes the whole fangirl process of shipping just about any fictional character with one another regardless of sex or sexuality. If you have ever been an avid fan and scrolled through Tumblr, then you definitely know what I’m talking about.  Example: Captain Hook and Prince Charming from Once Upon a Time.  Anyway, I can’t imagine that this wouldn’t happen at a high school where some guys will fantasize about two girls together, and the girls can ship any of their guy friends together.  Kudos to Tregay for cashing in on this whole subgenre, because it was truly innovative and a lot of fun to read.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story even though I totally predicted where it was going before I was even half way through the novel.  I’d argue that this isn’t a bad thing, because I loved the story and where it ended.

Pick up a copy!

4 Bards.

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A huge thank you to Jeremy at Novel Thoughts for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!

 

 

Book Review: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long? 

When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.

Gemma’s plan is working (she’s finding it hard to resist Josh), but she’s finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is? 

Oh boy. I went into this novel being super excited and ready to have a new summer read.  The first few pages are so awkward and weird when the main character gets dumped in a parking lot at Target, but then refuses to acknowledge the fact that the relationship is over for a few good days.  Which then makes it easy to believe that as a young teen the character had an entire summer of intense denial.

I was especially bummed that I knew what was happening from almost the very beginning, and it just made reading it a lot less fun.  In addition, there is just an unrealistic amount of naivete that Gemma displayed throughout the entire narrative was both unbelievable and ridiculously annoying. Josh, however, I adored as a character, and I might be a little bit partial due to the fact that him and my boyfriend share a name and some similar personality traits.

It really just all ended up being like a really juvenile episode of Revenge (even in the same setting!) I hate that I didn’t enjoy this novel, because Katie Finn is really just the pen name for Morgan Matson, and if you are a regular reader then you know that I adored Since You’ve Been Gone.

Seriously though, there’s going to be more? An ongoing war in a series of books between two girls? This is definitely a series I’ll be skipping.

2 Bards (because I liked Josh and I liked the consistency of Gemma’s delusional self.)

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Book Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

The Pre-Sloane Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just… disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try… unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait… what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um…

I’m going to use one word that will describe reading this book for me:

Red Christmas gift box and baubles on background of defocused golden lights.

This book took me back to reading Sarah Dessen books over and over again every summer, when I took 2 to 3 hour phone calls with my two best friends on a three way call, when we would coordinate our bathing suit colors so we wouldn’t clash at the community pool, when we would dare one another to jump off the high dive, and senior week beach trips.  Long story short (too late!), this book is everything I could have hoped for a summer high school story.

Matson’s prose was just descriptive enough to make me feel like I was watching a feel good teen movie and it made me smile almost the whole way through.  Losing a friend is hard, and no matter how odd it is that one would disappear without saying goodbye, it happens.  So the fact that Emily felt up to the challenge and then really did all of the things that Sloane listed for her is beautiful and uplifting.

The plot develops at a normal pace, and I wasn’t bored at all.  I’ve read a few reviews saying that this novel read a little bit young, but considering how naive the main character, Emily, is…I think that the voice is just right. I loved that the chapter titles kept us on track of which task Emily would be working on or striving for.

Emily’s new friends were introduced well, and I think that they were integrated into her life very organically.  I wish that we could have gotten some closure on the Emily/Dawn front, considering how Dawn reacted toward the end of the novel.  Frank. Oh, Frank. I’m just going to leave it at that.

Oh, and if you don’t know a lot of the music from the book, go check it out. Matson has some great taste!

Thank you Morgan Matson for reminding me of why I still hang out with my two best friends from childhood, and I hope it inspires readers to reach out to lost friends as well.

4.5 Bards

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This post is dedicated to my two oldest friends: We’ve been best friends for 15 years now. Here’s to 15 more!

gibbymecourtney

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