2 stars

The Lies They Tell by Gillian French

The Lies They Tell by Gillian FrenchThe Lies They Tell by Gillian French
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 1st May 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Everyone in Tenney’s Harbor, Maine, has heard of the Garrison tragedy. A mysterious fire. A family of five reduced to one. For people like Pearl Haskins—whose dad was the caretaker of the Garrison property when the house went up in flames—the whispers about that night are more than upsetting. They hurt. With her disgraced father now trying to find steady work in between booze benders, Pearl is stuck waiting tables at the town’s country club where the rich townspeople come in the summer to flaunt their money and gossip about one another.

This year, a group of privileged boys has made a point of sitting in Pearl’s section—throwing careless insults her way while also attempting to flirt. Though she’s repulsed by everything they stand for, she’s drawn to the quiet leader of the pack, Tristan—the last surviving Garrison. He wasn’t home the night a blaze took his entire family, and the sadness coming off him in waves is hard to ignore. Befriending the summer boys might irk her to her core, but inside their fold of elite parties and reckless whims could be answers to what happened the night of the fire. And that’s just what she finds.

Hidden beneath the glittering façade of wealth and luxury, Pearl discovers a dark and twisted web of lies and betrayals that, once untangled, will leave no life in Tenney’s Harbor unchanged. That is…if it doesn’t take Pearl’s first.

The Lies They Tell was boring. There’s no other way to put it. The beginning does nothing to grip you, aside from the initial prologue where the family dies, and the book really doesn’t improve from there.

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A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole

A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. ColeA Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole
Series: Faloiv #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 2nd January 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Octavia has only ever had one goal: to follow in the footsteps of her parents and become a prestigious whitecoat, one of the scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. The secrets of the jungle’s exotic plants and animals are protected fiercely in the labs by the Council of N’Terra, so when the rules suddenly change, allowing students inside, Octavia should be overjoyed.

But something isn’t right. The newly elected leader of the Council has some extremist views about the way he believes N’Terra should be run, and he’s influencing others to follow him. When Octavia witnesses one of the Faloii—the indigenous people of Faloiv—attacked in front of her in the dark of night, she knows the Council is hiding something. They are living in separate worlds on a shared planet, and their fragile peace may soon turn into an all-out war.

With the help of Rondo, a quiet boy in class with a skill for hacking, and her inquisitive best friend, Alma, Octavia is set on a collision course to discover the secrets behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family.

A Conspiracy of Stars was so freakin’ dull, you guys. I went into it expecting action-packed science fiction, but instead what I got was what seemed like an encyclopaedia of alien species and biology. So much biology.

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The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The Belles by Dhonielle ClaytonThe Belles by Dhionelle Clayton
Series: The Belles #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 6th February 2018
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

I am so, so disappointed by The Belles. It’s possibly one of the most hyped books of the season, and I was really excited to get my hands on it, but it turned out to be a massive disappointment.

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Layover by Amy Andelson & Emily Meyer

Layover by Amy Andelson & Emily MeyerLayover by Amy Andelson, Emily Meyer
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 6th February 2018
Publisher: Crown Books For Young Readers
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Flynn: At first we were almost strangers. But ever since I moved to New York, Amos was the one person I could count on. And together we were there for Poppy. (I mean, what kind of parents leave their kid to be raised by a nanny?) I just didn’t expect to fall for him—and I never expected him to leave us.

Amos: I thought I was the only one who felt it. I told myself it was because we were spending so much time together—taking care of Poppy and all. But that night, I could tell she felt it, too. And I freaked out—you’re not supposed to fall for your stepsister. So I ran away to boarding school. I should have told her why I was leaving, but every time I tried, it felt like a lie.

I can’t say I was a fan of this one. I really liked the idea of the three teenagers running around Los Angeles together and seeing the sights, but unfortunately it wasn’t executed very well and I had massive issues with the romance.

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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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