Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

*I was granted this ARC by the author but all opinions are my own*

TitleProof of Lies

Author: Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

Date of Publication:March 7th, 2017

Publisher:Entangled Teen

Description: Some secrets are best kept hidden…

Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.

And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.

She’s the only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.

Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.

She will find her sister.


In the first book of Diana Rodriguez Wallach’s upcoming series, she sets the stage for a story of excitement filled with intriguing characters. Proof of Lies gives the series a promising appeal. Also, this series opener allows readers to become immersed in the story that Wallach is creating.

As a reader who mainly focuses on fantasy and contemporary books, I was nervous to read something out of my comfort zone. However, I welcomed Proof of Lies with an open mind and I was pleasantly surprised. Based on this outcome, I believe that Proof of Lies is a great book for all genre-lovers.

The plot of Proof of Lies is different from your stereotypical mystery novel. Instead of the story leading us to the person who is guilty, readers are caught trying to decipher clues through conspiracy theories.

In the beginning, the book has a slower pace which made it hard for me to get interested in. A vast majority of the first half of the novel was detailing of Anastasia’s struggles and feelings which could get tiresome at various points. However, once the plot thickened, the story was addictive. I couldn’t put the book down. Readers will become invested in the story and will be on the edge of their seats while trying to uncover the mystery.

The characters in the story were written in a remarkable way. Wallach has a talent for making her characters dynamic and realistic without damaging how they are perceived by the audience. The main character, Anastasia, was a sympathetic character. Readers learn about her and the struggles that she faces in a deeper way.

Finally, I greatly enjoyed Wallach’s writing style. The author has the ability to naturally tell a story. This talent makes the story feel realistic while entertaining the audience.

Overall, Proof of Lies  is a must read for young adult lovers. Readers will greatly appreciate this debut to the series. I believe that this story will create a massive franchise. I cannot wait to see what is left for Wallach to create.

Changing Themes!

If you read the title to this article then you are aware of my intentions on reading more adult literature along with young adult. After my blog hiatus, I began to enjoy reading adult literature more than young adult. The reason I became inactive on my blog again is because my blog is strictly Y.A. and I couldn’t mess up my theme by adding adult literature reviews; if I did decide to post adult reviews, it would not be fair to my audience. However, I decided that I would make known to my audience of my plan to focus my blog more on YA and adult rather than middle grade.

For those of my audience wondering why I am removing the middle-grade section from my blog, it is because my site is based upon ‘a teen helping teens find a love of reading’ and since I have become older on the scale of teenagers, I believe that the reading level on my blog should change. In all honesty, I haven’t read middle-grade book since Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi so incorporating it as part of my theme is pointless. However, I have grown fond of YA, new adult, and adult fiction which is why I have made them my theme of my blog.

To add a sense of clarity, I am going to keep my site teenage friendly. I won’t review erotic books because it is not my genre of choice and my audience still may remain the same. I hope you all understand my interest in changing themes and continue to be a part of my audience.

Favorite Book Quotes: Part Two

This past weekend, I had no time to write or read. I was with my best friend from Thursday until Sunday. With that being said, I did not have any reviews to write. I could not continue to not blog though so I decided to share some of my favorite quotes at the moment.

  • “We don’t ever leave that old world behind. We just create a new one.”-Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
  • “It hurts to look at the clouds, but it also helps, like most things that cause pain.”-The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
  • “I’ve made books my life because they let me escape this world of cruelty and savagery.”-The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  • “Part of being healthy is being able to hold and remember who people actually are instead of who we wish they were. It’s a daily struggle against a brain that tends to want to cling to fairy-tale hope, but it’s also the only way to guarantee a life surrounded by those who build rather than destroy. In the end, the loss is about letting go of what I never had in the first place.”-The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter
  • “Because just like all the other times I’ve drowned in my life, I’m determined to keep paddling forward, to believe that none of it has affected me at all.”-The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter
  • “That’s the weirdest thing about being cut off from life. Everything gets washed out or muted or recedes into the background except for other people’s laughter. Other people’s laughter gets very loud and jarring. It penetrates. It is a reminder that other people live.”-The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

A.R.C. Review: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

*All opinions stated in this review are my own*

TitleHolding Up the Universe

Author: Jennifer Niven

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Date of Publication:October 4th 2016

Publisher:Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages:Hardcover, 400 pages

Summary:Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.


At Bookcon 2016, the friend who I was with was desperate to find an A.R.C. of Holding Up the Universe. When All the Bright Places was being praised by bloggers everywhere, I appear to have missed out on that trend. I, shamefully, never read the popular novel by Jennifer Niven. However, I am proud to say that I have read Holding Up the Universe.

This being my first novel written by Jennifer, I am pleasantly surprised. At first, I was skeptical because of the backlash that followed the novel’s initial description. Apparently, people thought the description was offensive which made me hesitant about reading it. Since I got the book, I decided to give it a try.

The book is not offensive at all. In fact, the book is a beautiful example of accepting who you are and how two unlike people can support each other. Jennifer Niven did an astounding job creating the story. The book will be a great read for young adults because it teaches many important lessons.

One lesson that it taught is that nothing can stop you from living your life. Libby is an example of this lesson because she manages to move on after the loss of her mother and her accident. Libby loses weight and returns to school despite her fears. She overcomes the bullying and focuses on herself.

Another lesson is self-love. Libby embraces her body and understands the effort that was taken in order for her to lose the weight. Also, Libby stands in front of everyone in a bikini to show people that she is wanted and that she is beautiful.

Finally, Jennifer teaches that you cannot use your faults to justify your bad decisions. Through Jack, it is shown that you cannot use your weaknesses as reasons for your mistakes. Eventually, you have to take responsibility for yourself.

Despite the many positive messages in the book, there are other aspects of the book that I liked. The main aspect that I found enjoyable was that Jennifer was able to successfully make readers understand what the characters were going through. Her constant emphasis on how someone with face blindness viewed the world made it easier to understand Jack’s situation. Also, we are able to understand Libby better with flashbacks to her mom’s death and the accident.

Another thing that I enjoyed was Jennifer’s writing style. The novel was easy and fun to read. The use of lists in the novel showed readers the characters’ thoughts.

Finally, I loved Jack. His situation was interesting to read about. Also, his point of view was captivating. In all honesty, he is the character that I feel made the book so great. I believe that Jennifer focuses more on Jack rather than the rest of the characters.

Despite greatly enjoying most of the book, there were a few things that I disliked. The major issue that I had with the book was that, besides Jack, the characters seemed flat. Some characters seemed hard to relate to.

Another thing that I disliked was the slightly forced chemistry between Jack and Libby. They do not appear to be a romantic relationship but rather a friendship. Their feelings felt rushed and not established well.

Overall, the book was very fun and interesting to read. I believe that this book is a positive read. Jennifer teaches many important lessons in the story.

Book to Movie: The Silver Linings PLaybook by Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook is my favorite movie. I loved the movie since the first time I saw it. Not only is the movie filmed very close to where I live, the story captured me in an emotional way. I felt changed by the movie. Realizing that the movie was inspired by a novel written by Matthew Quick, I knew I had to read The Silver Linings Playbook. After finally reading the story, I am shocked that the book and movie are complete opposites.

As many book lovers know, movies are rarely similar to the books. Some book-to-movie adaptations seem as if their only purpose is to ruin the story for its original fans; while others seem to compliment the story. No matter what the movie does for the original book, they are never completely alike. Is a movie adaptation allowed to be different? That is for the reader to decide.

The Silver Linings Playbook‘s book-to-movie adaptation was the most drastic change in a story that I have ever witnessed. When I mentioned this to my mom, a fellow lover of the movie, she asked me which was better. In all honesty, it’s impossible to compare the book and movie because it is like comparing two different stories.

The biggest difference is Pat’s mental health. The movie doesn’t portray how serious Pat’s mental illness is. In the book, Pat had to stay at the facility for four years as opposed to the eighteen months mentioned in the movie. Also, in the book, Pat is unaware of Nikki cheating on him and what he did to the guy. Pat is unaware of Nikki divorcing him and that she is now married to another man until the end of the novel. Pat’s ignorance allows him to naively believe that happy ending always happen and that he and Nikki are still in love. He is obsessed with reconnecting with Nikki and refuses to believe that she does not want him.

Another change is Pat’s reaction to Tiffany when she pretended that she was Nikki in the letters. In the book, Pat is devastated. The book portrays his feelings in the way they should have been. He spent years clinging to the idea of a happy ending with Nikki. He believed that Nikki was writing to him only to find out it was Tiffany. As any human, Pat was hurt and angry. In the movie, he appeared okay and wanted a relationship with Tiffany.

Tiffany and Pat’s relationship felt overly romanticized in the movie. Throughout the book, Pat was focused on reuniting with Nikki. Pat never saw Tiffany as a potential love interest until the end of the novel.

One change that bothered me was the dance recital. In the movie, it is seen as more professional. Also, the movie mentions that Tiffany and Pat did not perform well and that the recital was scored. However, in the book, the dance is a deep and meaningful piece that Tiffany and Pat worked hard to succeed at.

The final change I will mention is that Pat never sees Nikki in the book. Unlike the movie where Nikki shows up at the dance recital, he only sees her when he drives by her house at the end of the book and realizes that she is genuinely happy. Seeing Nikki content with her family was Pat’s ‘happy ending’. All he wanted was for Nikki to be happy and that was his closure. The movie makes it seem like Pat has a choice between Nikki and Tiffany which is false. Honestly, I do not believe that the Pat in the book would choose Tiffany if Nikki was at the dance recital.

Overall, I believe that both versions of The Silver Linings Playbook are amazing in their own unique ways. Both focus on different aspects of the story. I believe that one does not overshadow the other, but that they are two stories that loosely relate to each other. No matter what the relationship is between the book and the movie, I am still a fan of the story and believe it is something that people should read/watch.