Bite-Sized Reviews | Lying, Con Artists, & Missing Girls

Oh, look, Series II in “Mikaela Catches Up On Reviewing All The Books She Read In December” edition!

But, really, today I’m here to review three of my most anticipated releases in YA thrillers last year! Clearly, you were all waiting for my thoughts on these highly anticipated releases obviously. Enjoy my extremely late thoughts!

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Bite-Sized Reviews | Faeries, Batman, & Videography (The Cruel Prince, Batman: Nightwalker, and Love, Hate, & Other Filters)

Yes, that’s right. I am publishing my first review post since August, probably?

I mean, I kind of missed writing reviews (shocker, I know). But I’m so glad to be back, and I’m hopefully going to be writing reviews more regularly, since I’m hoping to be reading more regularly, and, you know, not falling into awful reading slumps.

So, I thought, what better way to get back into reviewing than by doing reviews on some highly anticipated January releases?

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5 Tips For Reviewing Books (From Someone Who Hates Writing Reviews)

It’s no secret that I hate writing reviews. Like, a lot.

But, I still write them anyway, and I’m sure there are other book bloggers who have the same problem as I am (or think that I write good reviews. If so, thank you!), so I thought I’d list out five tips that I personally follow when it comes to writing my own reviews!

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[LET’S CHAT] Who Are Reviews Really For?

 As book bloggers, we’re usually expected to write reviews.

I’ve talked a lot about reviews in the past few months – whether they should be subjective or objective or if we should even be writing them – and I feel like there’s always been a constant chat in the book blogosphere about how unpopular book reviews are and how some of us just really don’t like writing  them. Which begs the question, “Who are we writing reviews for if we feel like no one’s reading them?”

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Bite-Sized Reviews | The “Oops, I DNF-ed ARCs Again!” Edition

ARC DNFs

Whoops, I DNF-ed some ARCs!

Last week, I praised some of the Bookcon ARCs I had read, but with the good always comes some bad. I ended up DNF-ing two ARCs I got at Bookcon, and I thought it’d be nice to talk about them, since both of them ended up failing my expectations, and my job as a bookworm is to save people from bookish disappointment, obviously!

(Also, just in case you were wondering, this wasn’t posted yesterday because I had no wi-fi over the weekend – from Saturday afternoon to Monday afternoon – and I hadn’t written any review, so I had to skip yesterday and post today instead!)

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Genre: Dystopian, Sci-fi

Series: Words #1

Rating: NONE

Release Date: August 29, 2017

Synopsis:

In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant and unexpected silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.

Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns fifteen, Speth must pay for every word she speaks (“Sorry” is a flat ten dollars and a legal admission of guilt), for every nod ($0.99/sec), for every scream ($0.99/sec) and even every gesture of affection. She’s been raised to know the consequences of falling into debt, and can’t begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she’s unable to afford.

But when Speth’s friend Beecher commits suicide rather than work off his family’s crippling debt, she can’t express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Backed into a corner, Speth finds a loophole: rather than read her speechrather than say anything at allshe closes her mouth and vows never to speak again. Speth’s unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, and threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.my thoughts

Originally, I was super excited for this book! The cover was nice to look at, the concept sounded amazing and different from most dystopian novels, and I saw zero mention of any romance, so I was really happy when I managed to get a copy of it at Bookcon. I was quickly disappointed. From the beginning, something just felt…off. It was interesting, but I still felt a little bit bored about what was going on. I was still sticking with it since I was so excited for this book and didn’t want to give up on yet…until Speth is saved from sexual assault by a rebellious group of people who are against the strict government, and – you guessed it! – one of the members is an attractive boy her age with an air of sarcasm about him. I knew from that moment on that it was just becoming yet another YA dystopian novel that I’ve already read and has been done better, so I quit. I’m so disappointed in this one since it had such a good concept, but it didn’t work out! I seem to be in the minority, so maybe others might enjoy it!

In Summary:

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Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Series: NONE

Rating: NONE

Release Date: September 19, 2017

Synopsis:

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.my thoughts

I honestly wasn’t too intrigued with this one since I read the synopsis multiple times, and each time I was like, “Wait…what?” But, since this was one of the Penguin Teen Game-Changers in the box I won at Bookcon, I decided to cave and try it out since after having the concept explained via Booktube, I got super excited. A mind-bending book where there are five different stories to tell, all in different genres? I was sold! Unfortunately, this book was just weird – even too weird for me. I didn’t care about any of the characters, the writing was way too stiff, I was getting bored just reading the 100 pages I did, and when I finally got to the part where we’re supposed to break into different paths, I was really disappointed where instead of being a story where the main character is faced with five doors that define her future, and she only has one choice, it ended up being about the main character having to choose between five different characters to go with, and going on a different journey depending on who you choose. Unfortunately, this book wasn’t for me, but it’ll probably be the perfect fit for someone else!

In Summary:

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Bite-Sized Reviews | The “It Is NOT A Cult!” Edition

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And I’m back with another edition of Bite-Sized Reviews! 

Tomorrow, two books are coming out that deal with very similar themes, but one ended up disappointing me and one ended up being a fantastic book! I decided to just go ahead and review the both of them today!

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The Marriage Pact

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Adult

Series: NONE

Rating: 5 STARS

Release Date: July 25, 2017 

Synopsis: 

In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?
  
Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.
            
The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .
            
Never mention The Pact to anyone.
            
Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples.
            
And then one of them breaks the rules.
            
The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.
            
For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

My Thoughts

I was originally going to give this one four stars, but I don’t even remember why I took off a star, so five stars it is! I was really intrigued with this one mainly because the synopsis tells you next to nothing, and I am a very nosy person, so I needed to know what was going to happen! I definitely liked seeing from Jake’s point-of-view, since I rarely ever read a thriller from a guy’s point-of-view. I was definitely intrigued with the whole cult-ish vibe of The Marriage Pact, and this book was extremely addicting, especially since it took a lot of twists and turns I really wasn’t expecting. Not only that, but I ADORED the writing. It was very formal, but not so pretentious, you don’t know what’s going on. I’ve just never read a thriller like that before. Also, this one inserted a bunch of facts about marriage, so I learned things! And I also really loved the ending. Basically, this was like Fates and Furies, but with a cult.

In Summary:

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first we were iv

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, YA

Series: NONE 

Rating: 2.5 STARS

Release Date: July 25, 2017

Synopsis:

A group of friends start a secret society in this out-of-control thriller from the author of The Telling and The Creeping that examines the all-consuming love of lifelong friendship—and what someone is capable of when they’re afraid of losing it.

Izzie loves nothing more than her three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry, and the bond the four of them share. And she’s terrified of their friendship falling apart next year when they go off to college. To bind them together, she decides to create that will belong only to them, a special thing that they’ll always share between the four of them. And so they dream up the Order of IV, a secret society devoted to mischief that rights wrongs and pays back debts. At first, it works like a charm—but when the Order of IV’s escapades get recognition beyond their wildest expectations, other people start wanting in. And soon, what started as a game of friendship is spiraling into something dangerous and beyond their control—and before it’s over, they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.

My Thoughts

Hm, I was sort of disappointed by this one. I absolutely loved The Creeping, so I was really excited for this one, but it was just meh. First off, I thought this book was going to be about a girl gang when I read the synopsis, so I was already let down when there were two boys in the group, especially since these two boys end up being the heart of a mini love triangle – probably the dumbest one I’ve ever seen. It also had this weird feminist slant where they stand up to sexist dress codes and girls can masturbate, too, but we also have girl hate THE ENTIRE BOOK since our main characters are outcasts and the people they hate are popular, so what was the point? I also thought the whole IV thing was dumb. I am a teenager, so I highly doubt teenagers would get up to this. They’re cutting themselves to bleed on a statue, dancing around in their underwear, going out until the early morning to dump blood on people’s houses and throw rocks at their window, and I’m supposed to believe teenagers would do this why? All because of the murder of some girl they didn’t know that they found the dead body of as kids? And I’m not even going to bring up the lack of parenting that goes on as well. It just seemed really far-fetched and dumb. I will say, this was an addicting book and it was very dark, and that’s not seen much in YA, so I’ll give it that! But, overall, I was disappointed. Hopefully, The Telling is better.

In Summary: 

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A huge thank you to Ballantine and Simon and Schuster’s Children’s Publishing for the e-ARCs via Netgalley!

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