*REVIEW* The Unquiet

Released yesterday: The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett...

For most of her life, Lirael has been training to kill—and replace—a duplicate version of herself on a parallel Earth. She is the perfect sleeper-soldier. But she’s beginning to suspect she is not a good person. 

The two Earths are identical in almost every way. Two copies of every city, every building, even every person. But the people from the second Earth know something their duplicates do not—two versions of the same thing cannot exist. They—and their whole planet—are slowly disappearing. Lira has been trained mercilessly since childhood to learn everything she can about her duplicate, to be a ruthless sleeper-assassin who kills that other Lirael and steps seamlessly into her life.

Wow, The Unquiet is a disturbing and interesting ride, that's for sure! I've never read anything similar to this and was really blown away by how CREEPY it all is. Can you imagine never knowing for sure if the people around you are who they claim to be? Any minute, a loved one can be stripped away from you and replaced by an alternate. CREEPY!!!! I really enjoyed this debut novel by Mikaela Everett. Girl knows how to spin a thought-provoking and chilling tale!

THE UNQUIET introduces us to Lirael, a "cottage girl" and sleeper training to take over the life and identity of her alternate on the other Earth. Lirael has been trained in a variety of cold and cruel methods that leave her feeling empty inside. When the time comes to infiltrate her new life, Lirael finds that it's not as easy as she thought it would be to not only fool everyone else, but to fool herself as well. Because shockingly, Lirael is beginning to feel things she never thought possible...

Shocking events, friendships, betrayals and more await readers as they delve into the creepy world that Mikaela Everett created. A heartbreaking twist will break the hearts of those reading this tale and this book will stay with readers long after they've read the final page. A wonderful and addicting debut from a promising new talent.

I highly recommend this book to others. You'll end up feeling weirded out in the best way possible and Lira is the type of character anyone can get on board with. Scoop this one up as soon as you can. Enjoy!


*REVIEW* What We Saw

Released today: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler...


Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

I really didn't expect to like this one as much as I did because the subject matter is just so uncomfortable but I think that a really good book forces you out of your comfort zone at times, forces you to think about unspeakable acts and how you would feel and react if placed in a similar situation. What We Saw will definitely make you stop and think about right and wrong, falling in line or standing up for what you believe, and the sad prejudices that remain about women in the country and whether or not their actions, their clothes, their behavior opens them up for sexual assault. Don't read this one if you're not prepared to think about serious social implications.

What We Saw follows along Kate, a soccer star at her high school who left a party because she was wasted. Luckily, her long-time childhood friend and crush was there and took her home before she could do anything that she regretted. Unfortunately for a fellow classmate, this was not the case for everyone. Stacey... the girl who claims that several star basketball players sexually assaulted and raped her at the party when she was too drunk to give her consent sets off a war in their small town, a town ruled by the fans of their state championship-bound basketball team. People are told to keep quiet and their small town becomes a media circus over night. Kate cannot shake the feeling that the truth needs to come out... but will knowing what happened give her peace or drive her away from everyone, and everything, she's ever known? A gripping and compelling tale based on real events that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

This book is definitely one that should be placed on your TBR list immediately. I was appalled by the actions of some of the people in this book and the sad thing is, you hear about these kinds of things on the news all the time. It really makes you stop and think... what is rape? What is true consent? And is a girl or woman or anyone for that matter ever "asking for it" based on their appearance or behavior? How can "no means no" be the standard when some people are not in the mental state to form words? Wonderful topic that truly deserves to be addressed. I applaud Aaron Hartzler for a look into this, a look that young adults are likely to take because this book is engaging and necessary. My only, and I mean only, dislike about this book is Kate's inability to forgive what she views as a major betrayal. I personally see things a little less black and white and would have liked to see her and this other individual be able to move past the "betrayal" and form a stronger relationship afterwards. But that's just me... all in all, this book deserves space on your TBR shelf. You won't be disappointed!


*REVIEW* Mirrored

Released today: Mirrored by Alex Flinn...

A modern, multi-generational tale of Kendra, the witch from "Snow White," who trains Violet, an ugly, lonely, and heartbroken girl in the 1980s who transforms herself into "the fairest one of all" but still cannot win Greg's heart, and Celine, Greg's daughter with Violet's high school rival, Jennifer.

I've only read one other Alex Flinn book and I liked it and her ability to modernize an old school fairytale. I was really excited about Mirrored because who doesn't love the story of Snow White? I think she did a good job creating a cute, easy to read retelling of a classic. Were some parts a little over-the-top? Yes. Is this book world changing, one that will stay with you forever? Nope. It's still an enjoyable, solid and fun read.

Mirrored introduces us to Violet, an extremely homely girl constantly bullied and picked on by her classmates. Her only friend is Greg and Violet harbors quite the crush on him, a crush that continues even after Greg dumps their friendship to become part of the in crowd. Enter Kendra, a witch who takes Violet under her wing and suddenly Violet has the power to change everything... she becomes the most beautiful woman in the world. Until Celine is born many years later...

Celine is Greg's daughter and after her mother tragically loses her life, Violet becomes her stepmother and she's quite the evil one. A tragedy unhinges Violet's grasp on sanity, forcing Celine into hiding with unlikely allies. Will Violet get the ultimate revenge or will true love save Celine? All is revealed in this modern retelling of the classic Snow White.

As I said above, this book is far from perfect. The teen idol thing was absurd but this book isn't trying to take itself seriously so neither should you. It's cute, quick to read, and worth the time. Enjoy!


*REVIEW* Truest

Released today: Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers...

Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He's curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening-- and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister-- and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.

Truest is one of those books that will stay with you long after you turn the final page. I read it in a day because I couldn't drag myself away from the story. It's romantic, sad, moving, hopeful, and haunting all in one. What a wonderful debut from a very promising new author!

Truest  introduces us to Westlin Beck, local pastor's daughter and small-town girl, and Silas Hart, a mature, introspective, and philosophical boy so different from other teenage boys that West knows. They begin a partnership one summer that turns into a friendship and possibly so much more... West begins to experience things she had only dreamed of before. The gray cloud on West and Silas's horizon is Silas's twin sister, Laurel. Laurel has a secret... one that threatens to tear not only herself, but her family apart. Right when things seem to be right as rain, a shocking event will send ripples through their small community. Will West and Silas's connection be able to survive the worst, or are some things just too much to overcome? All is revealed in this stunning and highly addictive debut from Jackie Lea Sommers.

*sighhhhhh* I really, really enjoyed this book. One, it was nice to read about teenagers with individual, intelligent, and unique thoughts going on upstairs. I work in a high school and sometimes got to say, some maturity in teenagers is a welcome change! Since I also have a background in psychology, I was fascinated with Laurel and her "secret". I don't want to spoiler anyone, but it's definitely an interesting thing she's got going on. 

All in all, this book is a SOLID read that will keep you hooked from beginning to end. Even though I finished it several days ago, it's still with me and THAT is the mark of a truly great book.


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