Books, YA Fiction

Tonight The Streets Are Ours, by Leila Sales


Rating: 4.25 stars

“If you’re going to have the tortured soul of an artist, then you might as well create some art while you’re at it.”

Recklessly loyal.

That’s how seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley has always thought of herself. Caring for her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But lately she’s grown resentful of everyone—including her needy best friend and her absent mom—taking her loyalty for granted.

Then Arden stumbles upon a website called Tonight the Streets Are Ours, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, who gives voice to feelings that Arden has never known how to express. He seems toget her in a way that no one else does, and he hasn’t even met her.

Until Arden sets out on a road trip to find him.

During one crazy night out in New York City filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

I’ve been patiently waiting for this book to come out ever since I discovered it on Goodreads, so you can’t imagine the look of joy on my face when I picked this off the shelf of the public library. I had high expectations for a book with such an exciting premise, and I was not disappointed.

The plot was reasonably paced. I remember in Sales’ previous novel, the main character’s history is barely introduced yet she is taking large actions already, so it was hard to comprehend the personality and background of the character. In TSAO, the characters are introduced slowly, but also thoroughly. The plot is slow enough to understand each and every character, but not slow enough to be boring.

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The Wrath and the Dawn, by Renee Ahdieh

3.75 Stars

The Blurb: One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

This is a very hyped book, so I was extremely excited to read it. It was good, but I feel like my expectations were so high the faults in this books stood out a lot more than they normally would have, therefore the lower-than-normal rating.

Anyway, The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, which is a reason this is such a good book, because Ahdieh does an excellent job incorporating elements from the original tale into her story. The world-building is great, and although this is a much more character-driven novel, the world always felt believable and real.

Plot-wise, The Wrath and the Dawn is a bit slow, although it does not fail to capture your attention at any given moment. The majority of the book takes place in the palace, and Ahdieh adds just the perfect amount of suspense that every moment, even the slow ones, have a sense of danger about them, as we know from the beginning that Shahrzad could die at any time. Continue reading “The Wrath and the Dawn, by Renee Ahdieh”

Books, YA Fiction

The Lying Game, by Sara Shephard


“Always sleep with one eye open. Never take anything for granted. Your best friends might just be your enemies.”

Rating: 2 Stars

I had a life anyone would kill for.

Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does–an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me–to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, care-free daughter when she hugs my parents goodnight? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.

Let the lying game begin.

I had my eyes set on The Lying Game for a long while, but since Pretty Little Liars was my main goal at the time, TLG never made it onto my offical “To-Read” list. I still haven’t read any of the PLL books or finished the first season of the show, and to make things worse, I’ve only been rewarded with a crapload of spoilers (Here’s a hint: A). By re-reading and re-reading the premise of TLG, I decided to finally pick it up and use it as my independent reading book. I thought it was a pretty good move, considering I was in the mood for an entertaining chick-lit. I think this is the only chick-lit book I have ever read in my life in which I can say it was equally a boring and poorly written book.

I usually don’t pay attention to the plot holes in books, since they are usually covered up well with well-written characters and good writing. Of course, I was expecting plot holes, but I never thought there would be so many. No matter how much you tried to ignore them, you just couldn’t because NOTHING MADE SENSE. It was just coincidence after coincidence, the author manipulated her characters to do whatever just to move along the plot. There were so many times where Emma could have done this or that, but not even the most obvious ideas come to her mind! Every situation could have been avoided, every single one! This just shows how thin the plot is.

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