The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens

The Lies About Truth by Courtney C Stevens

“The Lies About Truth” by Courtney C. Stevens

Publishing House: HarperTeen

Release Date: November 3rd, 2015

Quality of Writing: 4 out of 5 stars.

How much I enjoyed it: 3 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads summary:

“Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she’s unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she’ll always be trapped in the past.”

Thank you, HarperTeen, for hosting the giveaway on goodreads and for sending me an ARC of this book. In no way has this influenced my review.

“The Lies About Truth” was a pretty good contemporary book. It had a lot of depth to it because of the issues that Courtney C. Stevens dealt with, and I thought that the character were well-written. I can see why people like “The Lies About Truth,” because it was a very good book, but it just did not click for me.

There are a lot of moments in my life when I wonder what’s wrong with me and why I don’t like something that seems, from all appearances, so good? I felt that way about this book because, even though it was well-written and had a great, emotional story, I just did not connect with the characters or the story. I could appreciate it and the journey that the heroine and her friends went on, but I did not fall in love with the heart of the story. I feel like whenever I read a novel by Katie McGarry, I am completely emotionally invested in the story she tells and the characters she writes; her books capture my heart, and that’s all there is too it. Sadly, I didn’t get that feeling of being emotionally drawn into the story or invested in the characters, despite their tumultuous circumstances and really wanting to connect with them. “The Lies About Truth” had a great story and well-developed characters for the genre, but for some odd and frustrating reason, I could not get into Sadie’s story.

Sadie was a great contemporary fiction heroine; she had secrets and had been through a lot, but she was not the kind of female character who grated on my nerves because of her more depressive inner thoughts. I was okay with her perspective because it was understandable considering what she had been through, and I did honestly want to see her break free of her fears and past hurts. I also thought that the emails between Max and her were very cute, and I liked that the two of them, who had been the most effected by the crash, were able to lean on one another and accept each other when they needed it most. I thought that Courtney Stevens did a good job of writing Sadie and the journey to self-acceptance that her character experience; it really was a lovely evolution, even though I did not feel super invested in this book.

Maxwell was also a good character, and the relationship that existed between him and Sadie because of the crash that took his brother’s life. One of the things that I loved seeing about both him and Sadie was how they accepted the “new” versions of each other, and where others might have seen flaws, they just saw a friend and someone who could understood them. I think that most people can relate, in one way or another, to the feeling that comes with finding a person who may or may not know every thought in your head, but they still understand you. While reading “The Lies About Truth,” I felt like Max and Sadie had that, which warmed my heart towards this book’s story and characters a bit more; I still didn’t feel attached or all that invested in the story, but I definitely appreciated that aspect of the it.

Overall, I thought that “The Lies About Truth” was a very good contemporary read. It was mature but clean, and I thought that Courtney C. Stevens handled the issues of self-image and self-acceptance quite well, despite not being that attached to her characters. This book was a bit predictable at times because the issues it dealt with are so commonly used now in young adult fiction, but isn’t that why we read certain contemporary novels, because we know how it will go and that it will end happily? “The Lies About Truth” was a good book, even though it was not necessarily my favorite contemporary story.

Fangirl Friday #17…Book Hauls Make Me Happy

January was a great month for books! Between generous giveaways and my book buying problem, I am awesomely swamped with books that I need to read! Sadly, I haven’t had much time or extra focus power to read too much, but I’m so excited to get my reading rhythm back so that I can get through a couple of books a week. It’s doubtful, but I’m going to try!

IMG_0171

“Shade Me” by Jennifer Brown was one of my awesome giveaway prizes, and “Into the Dim” by Janet B. Taylor was the ARC that I had been seeking out for quite some time, and I am so excited that I get the chance to read and review it before its March release. Yay!

IMG_0173

The rest of my book haul from January was “The Love That Split the World” by Emily Henry and “The Dark Days Club” by Alison Goodman. Okay, now it’s time for me to pick up one of these beauties to read…

Thanks for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a happy Friday!

Les Petits Bonheurs #4…

1602fff93a4e52d1125947fc50d75b68

 La joie des livres…

It’s odd, but I just recently discovered that I love Jane Austen’s novel, “Emma.”As a young girl, I was not into period piece movies and I was definitely not a fan of reading, which is practically the opposite of who I am today! I had thought that “Emma” was quite boring, with the except of the character, Mr. Knightly, so I never paid much attention to it; years passed, and with them, my opinion changed. Slowly I grew to like the adaption of “Emma” with Gweneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightly, and I appreciated the music in the movie even more as I grew older; I had loved the “Emma” soundtrack, even as a really young girl, and I guess the only thing that has not changed about me is the fact that I am a music lover through and through! So, through the last decade I have grown to love, even adore, the movie “Emma” with its beautiful soundtrack, and a while ago I decided to read the novel. (I know, I’m a little late on reading the loads of classic literature books that are available, but at least I’m getting there.) People have beef with the book “Emma,” but I ended up loving the book and the movie, and “Emma” and “Persuasion” are by far my favorite books by Austen!

A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund (An Uncertain Choice #2)

a daring sacrifice by jody hedlund book

“A Daring Sacrifice” by Jody Hedlund

Publishing house: Zondervan

Release date: March 1st, 2016

Quality of writing: 4 out of 5 stars.

How much I liked it: 2 1/2-3 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads summary:

“In a reverse twist on the Robin Hood story, a young medieval maiden stands up for the rights of the mistreated, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. All the while, she fights against her cruel uncle who has taken over the land that is rightfully hers. Forced to live in the woods and hide with the poor people she’s grown to love, she works to save and protect them, but she never anticipates falling in love with the wealthy knight who represents all she’s come to despise.

Thank you, Zondervan, for sending me a review ARC of “A Daring Sacrifice” by Jody Hedlund. In no way has this influenced my review.

The beginning of “A Daring Sacrifice” started off with a quicker pacing than Jody Hedlund’s first book, “An Uncertain Choice,” and I liked that because it helped me to be a little more interested in this book. I think that Jody Hedlund is a good writer for her genre and younger readers, but I’m personally not the hugest fan of this author’s stories. “An Uncertain Choice” and “A Daring Sacrifice” were both very small books, more like short stories, and I think that combined with me not caring for the characters kind of doomed me to the fate of disliking both of Jody’s books; I feel terrible for not enjoying her books, but sadly, they were just not the kind of stories that I like or connect with.

One of the things that I did not particularly care for in this book was its formatting, and how the perspectives shifted from the main female character’s to the male character’s with no real definition; the publisher used a slightly different font, but that was it. Granted, I love fonts and tend to notice them, but with the two protagonists in “A Daring Sacrifice,” I found their voices to be quite similar, despite being different genders, and that was a bit frustrating to me. When I wasn’t deliberately think about the font type, I kind of just floated through the chapters, not fully paying attention to the plot or the characters, and then I would realize that I didn’t know whose perspective I was reading from. There were obviously key words and characters that hinted at whose head I was in, but it still bothered me a little bit at times that I felt like I was adrift while reading “A Daring Sacrifice.” I did not get the chance to really find out who the characters were or understand their motivations in this book because of how short it was, and Julianna’s and Collin’s slightly disengaging perspectives kept me from being gripped by and pulled into the story that Jody had written.

In all fairness, I did like Juliana, the heroine of this story, more than Jody Hedlund’s previous female protagonist, whose name I no longer remember. (oops!) I appreciated the fact that Juliana was a more go-out-and-get-them kind of person, and I found her’s to be an easier perspective to read from, despite not being particularly attached to her. Although Juliana was a more pleasant female, she did not feel super distinct compared to some of the other fairy tale retelling characters. A lot of authors have been remaking the “Robin Hood” legend to star a female character, which is great, but it also does not make for the most diverse or unique protagonists in young adult fiction. A. C. Gaughen wrote a book about a female Will Scarlet who was a part of Robin Hood’s crew, and Melanie Dickerson combined the legend of “Robin Hood”  with the “Swan Lake” fairy tale that starred a heroine who stole and poached to save the poor… Retellings are great and some of them have even become my favorite books, but at times it is hard to distinguish between them when the concepts are so widely used and the characters do not possess distinct pasts or traits that set them apart from each other. Juliana was an okay heroine, I just felt like she fell into the pile of many heroines in this genre who are fairly similar.

I don’t have a lot of words for Sir Collin, the “hero” in “A Daring Sacrifice,” because I was not at all a fan of him in it. Collin was supposed to be a charming, handsome lord with a heart of gold, but instead, he came off as an irritating male who was unattractively self-assured. The “banter” between him and Juliana was in no way charming or endearing, and I had a distaste for this character that started during the second chapter from his perspective and it lasted through the rest of this book. I can acknowledge the fact that he supposedly experienced some character growth over the course of “A Daring Sacrifice,” but this book was just so short that it felt like I never got the chance to actually see any development or progress in this character. The insta-love romance between Juliana and Collin also didn’t help with the fact that I did not like this book.

*sighs* Maybe the time period this book took place in can justify how quickly Juliana and Collin “fell” for each other, but I just did not buy it. This book was only 221 pages, which meant that the romance had to occur at a very rapid pace, and I think that Collin said in his head those three little words by page 100 or 120. All I can tell you is that it felt like it happened WAY too soon.

I feel really bad about not liking “A Daring Sacrifice” and for my not-so-pleasant review, but sadly, it’s how I feel. I know that Jody Hedlund has won a couple of awards for her books, so don’t let my review steer you away from reading her books if their summaries sound interesting to you. “A Daring Sacrifice” was a fairly well-written book and would be great for younger readers because of how easy it was to read, but it just did not end up being for me.

Fangirl Friday #16…There Were Zombies Involved

Wow, this week was definitely an eventful time for everyone I know, including myself. *sighs* There were definitely some good happenings during the week, but it was mostly tiring and stressful, and I am kind of wondering, since I am only going into my third week of the Spring semester, how I am going to keep going? Well, fellow bloggers and book-lovers, this is how one survives (A.K.A. staying awake when all you want to do is take a nap) and keeps trudging forward on a Thursday night after school: they go see “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”

I am not traditionally the kind of individual who likes to go out at night after being at school to see a movie, and I instead lean more towards a porcelain teacup full of a black tea and cozying up with a book or TV show. But I guess there’s a first for everything, and “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” was well worth breaking the traditional, and predictable, nightly plans of this bookworm.

Gosh, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” was so friggin’ fabulous! Mr. Bingley is my favorite male character in “Pride and Prejudice,” so to have Douglas Booth play him just made my world, as well as my sisters’.

3f6d23f75a946f76b25089def2d0c737

I probably drove them nuts during the movie, because I kept giggling like an idiot and nudging their shoulders whenever he came on screen. In the light of day, I am trying to justify those giggles as one of the side affects of being uncharacteristically alert and giddy after 7:3o PM, but Douglas was pretty amazing, so I guess I just have to admit defeat because, yes, I giggled over a boy. Oh, gosh, and then there was Matt Smith playing Mr. Collins…

I try to be quiet in theaters so that others can also enjoy the film on screen, but every time Matt Smith came into a scene in “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” I could not stop laughing because his lines and mannerisms were FABULOUS! Again, it could have been the hour of night that was making me delirious and/or slaphappy, but I feel like his scenes were some of the best in the movie, and his portrayal of Mr. Collins was beyond hilarious and entertaining!

af0ef770c67d57b77ee9d4f4d794aa9c

For him alone, I would see this movie again, but since there was also Douglas Booth in it, well, how can I resist repeating the events of last night sometime soon?

Now that I have sung, or written, as is the case, the praises of Matt Smith and Douglas Booth, I do have to commend the lovely Lily James and Sam Riley for their fabulous portrayals of Lizzy and Mr. Darcey.

7b415deade4547f2535c5aa64618e199

The chemistry and mental sparring between Darcey and Lizzy was fabulous as always, and the situational comedy that only a zombie apocalypse can bring, lent a certain kind of dark humor to these characters’ relationship that made it even better than the original. Some Janeites might hate me writing for this, but I kind of liked Darcey and Lizzy better in this movie because their relationship was less melodramatic and more humorous, and I do dearly love to laugh…

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” was a fabulous film, and I think that it was very much like “The 5th Wave” in the fact that I enjoyed the movie so much that I do not think the book could be quite as good. I loved what the film kept concerning all of the characters and what it added to them; everyone felt like themselves, just with a little extra something thrown into their characters to make them pair well with the concept of zombies taking over the world. ;-) I obviously loved Bingley, and Jane was also great, and I adored Lily James’ portrayal of Lizzy. Sam Riley also did a great job with the character of Darcey, and he made me actually like the character (sorry, I am more of a Wentworth, Knightly, and Bingley fan!). If you are looking for an extremely witting, fabulously acted, and well-made film that is constantly engaging, then “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is the perfect movie for you to indulge in this weekend. Just beware of the zombies in the woods and in the tea parlor…

a908bf05ff4d142017eb09e527d8c1bc

Les Petits Bonheurs #3…

2a2485c9f3daedf36aff896b98652197

I just love this quote by Emily Brontë! I find her description of dreams, whether they be the kind you have while you sleep or the ones you experience wide awake, and how they can change your perspective. For me, I think that books are the kind of waking dreams that have colored my thinking, and I love that they can be portals to new ideas and concepts that I may not have thought about or noticed. I feel like literature is one of the most powerful tools for making good changes come about besides action because it can help people see the different angles that every story has, and it has the power to touch and move people. Not a lot of things in the world can do that, and I think it’s beautiful how much good people can do, the hope they can bring, if they wield the sword of the written word to bring others together. I love the written word because it has the ability to bring people from all walks of life to a place where they can share and relate to each other (nothing’s better than bonding with a fellow shipper of your favorite book couple!), and it has forever altered how I look at people and the world.

Lire c’est rêver avec les yeux ouverts.

(To read is to dream with eyes open.)

February New Release Giveaway Hop

Check out this amazing giveaway!

The Candid Cover

feb16-2

Hosted by It Starts at Midnight.

February is such an amazing month for book releases! I am super excited for Riders, Stars Above, and The Shadow Queen! In celebration of these new releases, I will be giving away a new release of the winner’s choice worth up to $20 CAD.

This giveaway is open internationally, as long as The Book Depository ships to you.  :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

View original post