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.

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

This is my second book by Jandy Nelson, and it was simply okay.

Compared to The Sky is Everywhere, I’ll Give You The Sun was lacking. Maybe it was that I did not find the book relatable but I didn’t feel emotional towards this book.

Like Jandy’s other book, I’ll Give You The Sun is beautifully written. The portrayal of the characters and events were phenomenal. I especially enjoyed the overall theme.

The one massive problem I had was the jealousy between characters. The characters’ relationships were damaged to the extent where they all should’ve gone on Dr. Phil.

Overall, the story was really good but did not surpass Jandy’s previous books.

ARC Review: I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

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Four talented teenagers are traumatized-coping with grief, surviving trauma, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults—and they’ll do anything to escape the pressure. They’ll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them… until they learn the only way to escape reality is to fly right into it.


I Crawl Through It was the first book that I have read by A.S. King and I was not impressed. After hearing all the hype that surround the author, I thought that I would adore her books. However, I Crawl Through It was far below my expectations.

As you read I Crawl Through It, you learn about four talented teenagers facing struggles. Even though you read about them, you don’t feel connected to them. The characters resemble background noise for the plot.

The writing of the story was extremely metaphorical. In fact, the whole story was various metaphors tied into a story. The metaphors were interesting and great but in the story, they were bizarre. Most of the story lacked sense. I understand the metaphors, but most of them felt unnecessary. At times, it seemed that the author was trying exceedingly hard to sound ‘deep’. Without the excessive use of metaphors that weren’t needed, I bet this story would be remarkable.
In the end, this story appeared illogical and crammed. Yes, I did enjoy the point that the author was making but I believe she could have gotten the point across better in other ways. I recommend this book to huge fans of magical realism.

Interview and ARC Review: A Christmas Kerril by Denise Jaden

*Thank you to Denise Jaden for sending me A Christmas Kerril. I received this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Sorry that I have been M.I.A. I have been preoccupied by the holidays. However, I promise you that I have some incredible posts coming soon!


Synopsis: In this modern take on a holiday classic, high school junior, Kerril, faces her past, present, and future to be reminded of the good in others, and in herself.


Haunted by the memory of the worst of her divorced parents’ public Christmas blowouts, Kerril, will do almost anything to avoid the upcoming tinsel-filled season. Unfortunately, a teacher with a grudge casts Kerril as the lead in the school’s holiday production. To add to the misery, she will star alongside ultra-awkward Adam as her love interest.

Wanting to ditch the play, Adam, her parents, and Christmas altogether, Kerril accepts an invitation to take off to a cabin with her ultimate dream crush, Perry – only Perry may not be the guy she hoped he was, and it’s not until she’s left Adam behind to fend for himself onstage that she realizes he might just be the guy of her dreams.


Description of the Plot: Throughout the story, we follow Kerril, a somewhat scrooge who has hated Christmas since the year that her parents had a huge brawl in front of her town resulting in the parent’s divorce. Following her parents separation, Kerril has stood by her mom and has avoided her dad at all costs. However, Kerril still remains in the middle of the family’s war.

At school, Kerril is faced with several dilemmas as well. Kerril’s best friend, Brooke, is determined to make Kerril and her new friend, Aysha, close. However, Kerril is not a fan of Aysha especially when she starts to date Kerril’s crush, Perry. Soon, Perry and Kerril become close and things between the three become complicated.

Also, Kerril is being forced to star in a play called ‘A Christmas Kerril’. Kerril believes that this is a revenge scheme created by Adam because of her making fun of his speech problem when he started school. Despite what happened, Kerril and Adam become close and Kerril begins to have dreams of great importance that feature him.


Actual Review: My overall opinion of the book is good. However, I thought it would be easier to state the negative traits of this book first. The one thing I have against the story is the cheating. I have never been a fan of cheating in books. Even in books I love, I still feel a little resentment for the cheating characters.

Now onto my positive review! I rarely read holiday books. However, this story has encouraged me to read more holiday based books. The greatest thing about this book was how unique it was to other holiday adaptations of A Christmas Carol. I may not read Christmas book, but I do watch an unhealthy amount of Hallmark Christmas movies that have an A Christmas Carol vibe! I can honestly say that I never watch a Hallmark movie similar to this book. I believe this could be a great book-to-movie adaptation for Hallmark Movie Network. Another thing I enjoyed was the characters. I felt that the characters, with the slight exception of Kerril and Perry, were easily likable. Finally, I enjoyed the topics that the book addressed and the overall theme of the story!


INTERVIEW TIME!!!

  1. What is your book, A Christmas Kerril, about?

A Christmas Kerril is a reimagining of the Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol. In this YA novel, a modern-day teenage “scrooge,” Kerril, experiences her past, present, and future through lucid dreams, and must decide between filling her selfish desires, or making herself truly happy—by helping others.

  1. What inspired you to write your book?

I was recently critiquing a friend’s novel, a YA retelling of Alice in Wonderland, and I loved the idea of retellings. I’m also a big fan of all things Christmas (I leave my tree up year-round) and was very familiar with A Christmas Carol. I hadn’t seen a teen retelling of this one, so I thought it would be a fun story to reimagine.

  1. Which character do you relate to most in your book?

I relate to a lot of the characters in different ways. With Kerril, I relate to her in her desire to do what’s best, but still somehow making stupid mistakes. How many times have we all made stupid mistakes, and then the more you try to cover up or make up for your mistakes, the deeper you seem to dig yourself? I relate to Brooke in that I tend to look a little too much on the bright side of life, even ignoring reality sometimes. I relate to Adam (my favorite character in the story) in that I am the type of person to push past my fears, sometimes putting myself in ridiculously difficult situations in order to overcome them.

  1. Which character was the hardest to create?

Kerril was the most difficult character to create. She’s loosely based on Scrooge, and so I realize many readers will have trouble warming up to her, especially when she is at her most selfish stages. But I saw the depth of her and how much she really did want to be a good and helpful and loving person, and I hope I was able to deliver that side of her to readers as well.

  1. What do you think readers will enjoy most about your book?

I think readers who enjoy retellings and reimaginings will enjoy the uniqueness of this story. I hope they’ll also enjoy the voice and bits of humor.

  1. If there is one thing readers get from this book, what would you want it to be?

I’d love for readers to take away that we all make mistakes, but it’s never too late to turn your life around, to have a better outlook. Also, that helping others will always bring more personal joy than helping yourself.

  1. What is it like being an author? What is scary about it? What is great?

I love writing and telling stories, and would not give up my career for that reason alone. The publishing side can be scary—not knowing what books will sell, which ones will resonate or offend. The most rewarding part, at least for me, is hearing from readers who have really connected to one of my characters or books.

  1. What has been your greatest experience throughout your journey of writing your novels?

One of my greatest experiences was hearing from a reader who had been struggling with an eating disorder and with cutting. After hearing her painful story, she told me my book, Never Enough, was a comfort to her and helped get her through her days without hurting herself. I look back at that letter often and it reminds me of all the wonderful connections I’ve made with readers. It reminds me of why I do this.

  1. What advice do you have to give to new authors?

I’d say to try really hard not to compare yourself to other writers, at any stage in your career. When you’re first writing, you may compare the amount of agent requests you get with someone else. The next thing you know, you’re comparing publishing deals, foreign sales, and movie rights—or lack thereof. The list goes on and on, and it can be all-consuming and leave you feeling depressed and inadequate. I encourage all writers to focus on and enjoy their own journey, whatever that may be. There are joys to each stage, if you remember to look for them.


Buy A Christmas Kerril:

Amazon

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Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian

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I have mixed emotions about this book. I loved it but hated certain aspects of the book (Brandy). Just like The Shatter Me series by Taherah Mafi, you either loved it or hated it. There is rarely an in between. In this book, I veered more on loving it than hating it. Why? Because despite what others might say, it was an enjoyable read.

Personally, I have no experience in the aspect of bisexuality, therefore, I do not know whether it was relatable. Being that I am less educated on bisexuality than other reviewers, I will not base my review on the relatability of the story. However, this story made me more intrigued on the topic of bisexuality. Reading about someone’s confusion and frustration about being attracted to both genders was something I found unique because you fully feel Will’s emotions. Story’s that are similar to Cut Both Ways are now becoming mentioned more on my TBR.

Another thing I enjoyed about the story was Angus and William! They were so cute and incredible! I shipped them together more than William and Brandy.

The final thing I enjoyed about this story were the characters (besides Brandy). The characters were well written. Carrie has a great talent for adding depth to her characters that make them appear real.

Despite my enjoyment towards the book, there was one thing I disliked. Carrie. Brandy tended to annoy me every time her name was spoken. Maybe because of how love sick she was. Brandy felt weak and had little respect for herself at times. *SPOILER* I mean, she had sex with Will without a condom *outside* because they felt like it. Brandy did the most idiotic thing you could possibly do when having sex at a young age. Brandy basically stated that she did not care if she got pregnant or inherited an STD because of her desire for sex. How careless could you possibly be?! *SPOILER IS OVER*.

Overall, I enjoy this book, and think that it is a great entrance to the topic of bisexuality. I cannot wait to read more on this topic.