BOOK REVIEW: The Better Liar by Tanen Jones

Today’s post is going to dive into The Better Liar by Tanen Jones. I received an eARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It was released on January 14, 2020 and I definitely recommend you go pick this one up. (Even if that means virtually right now!)

This story is told through three points of view, alternating between Robin Voigt, her sister Leslie, and Mary. It starts through Robin’s point of view–and…she’s dead.

After being introduced to the thoughts of a dead character, we turn to Leslie, who becomes the main voice, finding her dead sister and quickly thinking through her options. She had gone looking for her sister who had run away almost a decade earlier now that their father died. In his will he left a stipulation that both sisters must be present for either of them to receive the money left to them in the will. A nice $50,000 each. How can Leslie get that money now, without having to dispute through probate?

Easy. She walks away from the body, which has a fake ID on it. Nobody will know she’s been there. And even more convenient, a stranger named Mary is found near her car. They become acquainted with each other and Leslie asks Mary to pretend to be Robin in order to get the money.

Everybody lies in this book–but who is the better liar? I really enjoyed this book and the twists and turns that Jones wrote make sense and are satisfying to the reader. I hope to read more from this author in the future.

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: The Perfect Mother by Caroline Mitchell

This post is going to focus on The Perfect Mother by Caroline Mitchell. I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The book was released on January 14, 2020 so those of you into thrillers can already go find it!

Mitchell has created a story with a very short cast list. The main character is Roz, a poor, pregnant Irish girl. Then we have her best friend, her friend’s boyfriend and parents, and the celebrity couple looking to adopt Roz’s baby once it is born.

Roz flies to New York to meet the hopeful parents to be, Sheridan, and Daniel. She doesn’t know the identity of who she is meeting because of the identity protection behind the elite adoption site she has chosen to work with. Little does Roz know that Sheridan has figured out her password, and made it appear that they are no longer interested.

After spending almost her entire pregnancy locked up in their basement apartment, Roz still has some fight in her. It also turns out that her best friend back home has been working the case on her own as well.

But boy did this book have its twists and turns. Some of them I saw coming miles away and others I didn’t even notice until after the fact. This book was rated fairly well on Goodreads with a 4.17 rating as of this writing, but I gave it only 2 stars. It was too difficult to get through how certain characters were written. I had such a strong dislike for Sheridan, find her pretty unbelievable that I almost DNF’d the book completely. I also wasn’t a fan of finding out who the baby’s father is. I had almost returned to liking the book, and then found out who the father was, and I returned to not caring for it.

Have any of you read this book and thought differently?

Happy Reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: The Serpent’s Shadow (the Graphic Novel) by Rick Riordan; adapted by Orpheus Collar

This review will center on the third, and last graphic novel adaptation of The Serpent’s Shadow, the epic finale to Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles trilogy. The graphic novels were adapted by Orpheus Collar, and this book was released in 2017.

The Serpent’s Shadow is the darkest of the three books in both subject matter and art. The coloring reminds me of Jafar, with a lot of reds and blacks. In this book we find the Kane siblings attempting to turn Apophis’s shadow into a weapon against him. All of the side groups are divided against each other, and whether or not they support the Kanes’ mission in this story. And in all of this the stakes have never been greater, as Apophis is after the entire world, and wants to pitch it into darkness.

This was an excellent addition to the series, though I found Sadie a bit annoying in this one. Why does she have the be the annoying character that just wants one normal night, and not her brother? Why do we need to have a weird love triangle in her plot line, but not her brother? Her brother has his love interest, but he remains focused on the mission. I think I would have enjoyed this even more if Riordan hadn’t chosen to stick with gender stereotypes here of which genders come off as strong vs. weak.

I can’t wait to read the full length novels. I wonder if they will change my perception of the stories at all?

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan; adapted by Orpheus Collar.

This post will take a look at The Throne of Fire, the second book in the Kane Chronicles series written by Rick Riordan. I am taking a look at the graphic novel adaptation, that was adapted by Orpheus Collar, who adapted the first novel as well. It was published in 2015.

This second installment of the Kane Chronicles starts developing more of the characters and action. There is a lot more fighting in this book and we meet more of the gods. The main quest in this book is for the Kane siblings, and their trainees, to find the three pieces of the Book of Ra. In doing this they are going against the House of Life and the gods. Readers will be in the real world, and the world of the gods as they try to find the pieces and put the puzzle together. They need the Book of Ra to wake Ra from his coma-like-slumber.

I think this installment does a good job of balancing the serious fighting parts with comedic relief, like at the nursing home for the gods. It is a little difficult to slow down, as the entire book takes place at a roaring pace with non-stop action. This is probably my favorite of the three graphic novels in this series, though it is a close call between this and The Serpent’s Shadow.

I encourage you to pick this up for a fun read filled with action and Egyptian mythology.

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: The Red Pyramid (The Graphic Novel) by Rick Riordan; adapted by Orpheus Collar

This book review will focus on the graphic novel adaptation of The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. It was adapted by Orpheus Collar. It was published in 2012, and I borrowed this title from a friend.

In this first installment of the series, readers are introduced to the main characters, Sadie and Carter Kane. They are siblings that were not raised together. Sadie was raised by her grandparents and Carter travelled with their father. The two are tween to teenaged in these books. Carter has learned much about Egypt and the Egyptian gods during his travel with his father, but the two learn that the gods are real and waking in this graphic novel. The Egyptian god Set is the main villain in the book. This book is entirely introduction to the world where the siblings come to terms with their family’s destiny, learning magic, and starting their journey.

I found this graphic novel to be a great read for tweens and teens. It was still enjoyable for me, but I found myself wanting more detail, which I hope to find when I eventually read the novels for this series. The imagery does a really great job of pacing the story along. The colors used change the mood of the story too.

This was a fun read, and I hope you all enjoy it!

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson.

This review will take a look at Together We Caught Fire written by Eva V. Gibson. This novel is a contemporary YA romance that includes a blended family. I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It was released on February 4, 2020 and begins with a pretty lengthy content trigger warning. Normally, I’m not a fan of them because when I see these warnings it’s a page by page rundown of the plot that I want to get to as I get to it, but this warning was well done by giving general warnings of subject matter that occurs throughout the novel. In general, this includes suicide, drug use, and self-harm, among a few others that I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I think those were the most graphically described.

Together We Caught Fire focuses on four main teen characters, but it is told from Lane Jamison’s perspective. The other three main teens are her secret, longtime crush turned stepbrother Grey McIntyre, his girlfriend Sadie, and her wild older brother Connor Hall.

I was pretty confused for the first 15-20 pages learning who each of these four were to each other as the book opens with Grey driving, Sadie in the front passenger seat, and Connor and Lane in the back. Lane is known as the “bad girl” at school, while Sadie is the typical preacher’s daughter. Connor used to be evangelical as well, but now is the quintessential bad boy and is a metal worker. He lives in a shared workshop that houses many methods of art.

He and Lane bond over both being artists and I quickly saw Lane forgetting her interest in Grey. Connor, though he has his own problems and flaws, challenges Lane, while also always being there to support her when her traumas take the front seat.

This was an excellent debut from Gibson, that I thoroughly enjoyed. I bought the romances, and relationships between the characters. I liked that the book wasn’t a light fluffy romance, but a gritty real one that highlighted that relationships are work and there will be good and bad in any relationship, whether romantic, familial, or friendship.

I encourage you all to go find a copy and read it. It’ll give you all the feels.

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: Theodosia Burr: Teen Eyewitness to the Founding of the New Nation by Karen Cherro Quinones

This review will take a look at the YA nonfiction title Theodosia Burr: Teen Eyewitness to the Founding of the New Nation by Karen Cherro Quinones. I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was released today, February 4th.

Theodosia Burr was the daughter of Aaron Burr, who served as Vice President to Thomas Jefferson. Many readers out there will have more knowledge of Aaron Burr because of his feud (and duel) with Alexander Hamilton that was a plot point in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s famed musical Hamilton.

I found it important that this book acknowledged the lack of information remaining surrounding the life of Theodosia, and other women during this age. Though I understand this, and that the lack of information makes it difficult to write authoritatively on the subject, I had a difficult time digesting this book as a biography of Theodosia. It is a short book, only just over 100 pages, and the author spent much of that time building up to the child’s birth. Because of this it seems much more a biography of Aaron Burr to me, focusing on his relationship with his daughter, which was unorthodox at the time.

The author also makes it clear that Aaron Burr had very different ideas than general society about educating women at the time. Theodosia was extremely well educated, like her mother, and received the same tutoring a boy her age would have had.

What was emphasized throughout the book was how exceptional Theodosia was. Caring for her ailing mother, while pursuing studies. Taking charge of a household at a very young age, hosting parties for politicians, the list can go on and on.

This book just skims the surface of Theodosia through research of the letters between her and her family, though many of the family papers were lost at sea, along with her. While reading, I found myself wishing for more information leading up to her marriage, the birth of her child, and her death. These seemed glossed over in comparison with her unique childhood. I think this book is a good starting block for a pre-teen looking to learn about strong women during colonial times, but not for anything looking to go more in depth.

Happy reading 🙂