Book Review

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Far From the Tree by Robin BenwayFar From the Tree by Robin Benway
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 3rd October 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

Having never read anything by Benway before, I had no expectations before I started Far From the Tree. To be honest, I only clicked on it because I liked the cover, and then after reading that the book is about adopted siblings, I thought it had potential. I’m really glad that I requested this one for review, because otherwise I don’t think I would have read it. And it’s a really good story, so I would have been missing out.

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By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side by Kasie WestBy Your Side by Kasie West
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 31st January 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

I hate to say it because Kasie West is one of my auto-read authors and I have really enjoyed all of her other books, but By Your Side was bloody boring. Jesus Christ. I wasn’t expecting to be put to sleep by one of my favourite authors.

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Lie to Me by J. T. Ellison

Lie to Me by J. T. EllisonLie to Me by J. T. Ellison
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 5th September 2017
Publisher: Mira Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. The couple seems made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

Lie to Me isn’t the best thriller that I’ve ever read. It’s probably not even in my top ten. Don’t get me wrong, I vaguely enjoyed reading it, but it had too many things wrong with it for me to truly get into it and love it. Continue reading

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGeeThe Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
Series: The Thousandth Floor #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 30th August 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

NEW YORK CITY AS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you're this high up, there's nowhere to go but down....

I was not expecting this book to be quite so Teen Drama! It gave off a lot of Gossip Girl vibes that I was totally unprepared for. Not sure why. I guess I was expecting it to be more of a thriller or mystery with some Rich People Drama thrown in? Instead it was just a lot of gossiping and partying.

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Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn HamiltonTraitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands #2
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 2nd February 2017
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Nearly a year has passed since Amani and the rebels won their epic battle at Fahali. Amani has come into both her powers and her reputation as the Blue-Eyed Bandit, and the Rebel Prince's message has spread across the desert - and some might say out of control. But when a surprise encounter turns into a brutal kidnapping, Amani finds herself betrayed in the cruellest manner possible.

Stripped of her powers and her identity, and torn from the man she loves, Amani must return to her desert-girl's instinct for survival. For the Sultan's palace is a dangerous one, and the harem is a viper's nest of suspicion, fear and intrigue. Just the right place for a spy to thrive... But spying is a dangerous game, and when ghosts from Amani's past emerge to haunt her, she begins to wonder if she can trust her own treacherous heart.

Rebel of the Sands was a kickass debut with some fantastic characters in an immersive fantasy setting. I was awaiting the release of Traitor to the Throne with baited breath, even during my reading slump from hell in the latter half of 2016. I hadn’t read any reviews for Traitor to the Throne before picking it up so I had no idea what to expect other than sheer awesomeness.

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