Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mini Reviews #23

Today I'm reviewing three hot summer reads. I'm sure some of you have been waiting for WICKED GAMES by Sean Olin, WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart and THE SECRETS OF LILY GRAVES by Sarah Strohmeyer to be released for a few months now. And I've heard great things about them, but they just weren't for me.

Wicked Games by Sean Olin

Carter and Lilah are the perfect couple. Until Carter falls in love with another girl and the wrath of Lilah is unleashed. 
At first I got excited that something bad was about to happen. It's like that gleeful feeling in movies when you are about to witness mean girls...well, being mean (but you know their ways won't work in the end). The first few pages you fall in love with the image of the perfect couple that are Lilah and Carter and the way they got to know each other. Then it fast goes downhill, your sympathy for them and the desire to learn more about their wicked thoughts, too. I admit, their fights offered a kind of cheap enjoyment at first. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for the story to get a psychotic and monotone feel to it. Sean Olin's characters hurt each other, they don't have empathy and have no idea what's going on in their minds and lives. So why would I want to invest any time in their relationships and finding a soluation for them when they weren't even willing to see reason? You should think twice about trusting those characters with your precious reading time.

2/5 ** WICKED GAMES – A crazy psychological drama, too disturbing for its own good, painting pictures of intrigues and false love without any morale.

When I first thought of WICKED GAMES as intriguing and entertaining to read, with a tinge of revenge and thrill, I almost couldn't bring myself to read on till the end. I didn't get the intention of the story at all, because characters keep repeating their mistakes, being ignorant to other people's feelings and acting upon their irrational and dangerous thoughts. 

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date: June 10th 2014
Length: 352 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, friendship, revenge, thriller
Source: Edelweiss
Author's Homepage

The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer

By family tradition Lily Graves lives and works in a funeral parlor with her mother, aunt and grandmother. She might have a crush on football player Matt. And when his ex-girlfriend Erin is found dead, Lily has more than one problem. She now becomes main suspect after having a fight with Erin. 
The title is a bit misleading because Lily Graves isn't the girl who's keeping secrets all the time, lying to everyone. She's quite a nice girl under all that dark goth exterior. The story setting was a very good source for the general dark and mysterious mood of the book. In the end Lily and Matt's romance wasn't strong enough to make the story a really good read, but the murder mystery was engaging and had some gruesome details to it, thanks to all the resources a funeral home offers.

3/5 *** THE SECRETS OF LILY GRAVES - A perfect read for fans of Pretty Little Liars, only less lying and more graveyard visits.

Sarah Strohmeyer's new YA release is on the darker, more mysterious side of summer reads with a gentle romance and a morbid, gothic touch to it. You'll enjoy the murder case most, lots of teenage drama in there, too.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: May 13th 2014
Length: 304 pages
Keywords: YA, funeral parlor, murder, gothic, romance
Source: Edelweiss
Author's Homepage

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Cadence Sinclair has spent her summers on Beechwood, a family island which belongs to her grandfather. She and the other grandchildren who are also her best friends since childhood call themselves the Liars. Cady tells you what it means to spent summers on Beechwood island. What is expected from you as a Sinclair and what does it mean to live with regrets, in a world in which no mistakes are allowed?
Stories set on a private island that only very few people have access to always draw me to them, especially if there's talk about a mystery and dark family secrets.
For me WE WERE LIARS was not so much a thriller working with tension and anticipation. I experienced it more as a live rendition of Cady's thoughts, piecing together what happened two summers ago. E. Lockhart's writing was jumbled, incoherent (kind of like Cady's memories), and absolutely not fit to engage a reader like me.
I have no idea why the teens were called Liars because in the end there really weren't that many secrets to be surprised about. I didn't connect with the characters at all, not even with Cady. And the entire family, the prestige, manipulation and money, everything that determined the Sinclairs' lives, was just so insufferable. No family I could bring myself to care about.

2/5 ** WE WERE LIARS – The tragic story of a family crumbling under the weight of its money, prestige and secrets.

I guess this is one of the reads you either really really like because you get it, or you don't. Well, I didn't. Couldn't see the sense behind all of Cady's musings and her telling you about her great Sinclair family. Originally, I didn't plan to read WE WERE LIARS and only wanted it since everyone else started talking about how much they wanted it. I should've listened to my original feeling that this wouldn't be a story for me.

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publishing Date: May 13th 2014
Length: 240 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, friendship, romance, memories, thriller
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read any of these; but I love your reviews :D But aw. I'm sorry you didn't like We Were Liars :\ I seem to have seen many people love it. I think. (Don't think it's for me either, though, lol) Thank you for being honest and sharing. <3