We Were Liars found me, instead of the other way around. It was hidden in the pile of books in my sister’s room and something compelled me to touch it. Then I read the synopsis, and it didn’t reveal anything. So of course, I wanted to know more. I needed to know more.
A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
As you can see, the synopsis doesn’t give too much information. The mystery of it all brought out a curiosity I thought I had lost. We tend to rely so much on synopsis these days, that we become afraid to pick up books when we don’t know what they’re about. And I am so glad I dived into this one blind – it’s the only way to go!
And what an adventure this book is. We Were Liars is a story about a young lady and an accident. As we go through the book, we find out more and more about this lady, her family, her friends. A lot of lies, a lot of secrets, a lot of unknowns – all with a chill mood of young people having fun and easy to read chapters.
The book is quite short – 225 pages, and for instance, the chapters are very short too, with a lot of dialogues or easy monologues. As soon as you start reading, you get immersed into that world and you can’t stop reading.
And then we get to THE PLOT TWIST!!
I was very pleasantly stunned when I finished the book. I was hooked throughout the whole book and wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t that plot twist for sure! The ending was so shocking, that even now thinking back, I’m still shocked and amazed at how cleverly E. Lockhart did everything and set us up for that ending.
We Were Liars is one of those books that you just have to re-read again, just to see if you have missed any clues along the way and re-read the same story, knowing what you now know.
I definitely recommend it! If you pick this book up, you’ll definitely be in for a treat. And if you decide to read it, I recommend going in blind without knowing too much of the synopsis, to get the full experience!
About The Author:
E. Lockhart is the author of Again Again, Genuine Fraud, We Were Liars, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and several other books. Whistle: A New Gotham CIty Hero is a graphic novel.
Cassandra Claire is one of those authors that no matter what she writes, I’ll be there to read it. Chain of Iron was no different – a very high-paced and adventurous continuation to Chain of Gold. I love this series and can’t wait for Chain of Thorns to come out now.
The Shadowhunters must catch a killer in Edwardian London in this dangerous and romantic sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling novel Chain of Gold, from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Cassandra Clare. Chain of Iron is a Shadowhunters novel.
Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.
But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.
Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.
Chain of Iron is the second book in The Last Hours series. It should be read after you have read the first book, Chain of Gold. This review will probably contain spoilers for the first book, but I will do my best to refrain from revealing anything major in this book.
I love the writing of Cassandra Clare, period. Her chapter openings that make me tab and seek the books she is referencing. The way she adds a foreign language into the books. Here, have some Latin and Italian. Yes, please. I also love how she casually drops so many interesting facts. I don’t think I ever was curious how chess came to be, but I love the myth that was in the book. And also, not to forget, the unforgettable Magnus Bane cameos.
“You all know Magnus Bane, of course?” Anna gestured to the tall figure standing next to her.
“It’s my understanding,” Cordelia said,”that the question is never whether you know Magnus Bane. The question is always whether Magnus Bane knows you.”
The romance in the book was spot on.
Very slow burn, just as I like it. There were some couples I was expecting to start felling things for each other, and there were also some which pleasantly surprised me. It felt like every couple or potential couple had a unique connection and I felt differently pleased when reading their chapters. The middle of the book hyped me up, and I was so happy when I finished Chapter 22. I have also never been so annoyed at a bracelet before, so that’s a first. 🙂 The ending gave me a big heartbreak, and I can’t wait to read book 3 to see if some hearts will be mended, because I don’t like the way it ended, with some couples being heartbroken…
“My father used to tell me that sometimes you cannot reconcile with someone else. Sometimes you have to find that reconciliation on your own. Someone who broke your heart is often not the person who can mend it.”
I didn’t like the Lucie and Grace combo, and I really missed the relationship Lucie had with Cordelia in the first book. For best friends that are supposed to be parabatai, they didn’t have much time together in this book and I truly missed that. On the subject of Grace, I enjoyed her chapters, but I felt no sympathy for her at all and this didn’t change. She knew exactly what she was doing, and I will never have sympathy for her in this lifetime or the next.
“Love leads to pain, but if you are careful with the way you wield it… you can use it to wound, as well.”
The mystery part was a bit weak.
Without spoiling anything away, I will just say that a certain narrative kept being pushed as to who the killer is, and if you can instantly know this is not the truth and something else is going on. The reveal was very promptly revealed and wasn’t satisfying to me, but I did like some parts, for example the twist with Cordelia.
Overall, I loved this book. I devoured it very fast, and that always says a lot to me. If I don’t like a book, I tend to read it for longer periods of time. Chain of Iron was amazing and satisfied my need for adventure, romance, and Shadowhunter world vibe. I am looking forward to read the next book, and I also warmly recommend this series!
About The Author:
Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.
I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. When I picked the book up, I knew I was looking at an international bestseller, but I still had my doubts. Well, not anymore…
The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.
It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.
The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.
The Bone Season gripped me from the start. Literally from the first chapter, I was alongside Paige, getting to know her clairvoyance as she’s discovering it herself. Paige is a character that you want to root for, but you also want to understand the other side, just to ensure she’s making the right decisions. Meeting the gang in the underworld of Scion London gave me an introduction of the dystopian world that Paige lives in. Clairvoyant people are being imprisoned left, right and centre, and when something goes horribly bad for Paige, she discovers that it could be much, much worse. And somehow she managed to end up there.
“I fitted with these people. They understood the strangeness of my world, a world I was only just beginning to discover.”
The world building in this book is on another level.
Samantha Shannon created a world with different orders of Clairvoyance. On top of that, she created dystopian cities and a different type of creatures that have a role to play as well. Through Paige, we meet so many vivid characters, all unique and lovable in their own way.
I loved the chapters when Paige would reminisce about her past. It helped me understand her so much better and it ties very well with the story in the present. I also loved how the parts with the past tie into the plot to create a plot twist in itself. I feel like every scene was created the way it was with a certain purpose. To serve a bigger role and to tie into the plot in one way or another. But it never felt as if a scene was written just for the sake of it.
One of my favourite parts in this book were the parts focusing on emotion.
There isn’t a romance in this book, so to speak. But there were moments of building connections. Of building trust. Times of sharing experiences, memories and big heartbreaks. But all these moments were an addition to a friendship that turned into a little bit more. It only complimented a personality, rather than become a main focus of the story, which made these moments even more special.
“I didn’t believe in hearts. I believed in dreamscapes and spirits. Those were what mattered. Those made money. But my heart had hurt that day. For the first time in my life, I’d been forced to acknowledge my heart, and acknowledge its fragility. It could be bruised. It could humiliate me.”
And that ending… When that ending happened, it shattered me in a very delicate way. I grieved for one reason, but felt joy for another. The bittersweet taste is still between my fingers, feeling it as I was closing the last pages. But there is one thing for sure – this story doesn’t end here and I’ll sure as hell read the next book in the series.
About The Author:
Samantha Shannon studied English Language and Literature at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. The Bone Season, the first in a seven-book series, was a New York Times bestseller and the inaugural Today Book Club selection.
Her next novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, was published in February 2019 and became a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. She lives in London.
Before I dive into the lengthy review of Divergent by Veronica Roth, I have to say one thing. I truly need to stop watching the movie adaptations before I read the books. It happened with the Divergent series. Then it continued with Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. It also happened with The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. I need a special app that won’t let me watch a movie adaptation, unless that book title is on my “Read” shelf in Goodreads.
Sixteen-year-old Tris is forced to make a terrible choice. In a divided society where everyone must conform, Tris does not fit.
So she ventures out alone, determined to discover where she truly belongs. Shocked by her brutal new life Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her.
The hardest choice lies ahead.
Even having watched the movie first, Divergent was such a fun experience. I loved diving into this dystopian world, getting to know Tris. I wish I read it sooner. This book just proves that Young-Adult fantasy is still a favourite genre of mine, no matter how much older I get.
The factions were really interesting to me, and I was curious to see which faction I would belong to. Funnily enough, I am pretty sure I am a Divergent. And also, I think actually, all of us are too. You can never really fit into just one faction. We all carry a little bit of every trait, one more than the other. Humans are also curious by nature. We want to explore different things, learn new things. Our choices, wishes and goals in life also change all the time. And I loved how Veronica Roth took this topic, this ideam and expanded it into its extreme. By that, giving us a dystopian world with a brave female lead.
“Working together, these five factions have lived in peace for many years, each contributing to a different sector of society. Abnegation has fulfilled our need for selfless leaders in government; Candor has provided us with trustworthy and sound leaders in law; Erudite has supplied us with intelligent teachers and researchers; Amity has given us understanding counselors and caretakers; and Dauntless provides us with protection from threats both within and without.”
I especially loved Tris’s journey with the Dauntless. Also her dilemmas, and the need for her to make a choice of what feels right and what people expect of her to do. I was also very in love with Four. He is my book crush right now, and I cannot help, but adore him.
“We believe in the ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”
Everything about the book, from storylines, to world building, to character development was so well executed. Every little thing had its own meaning, nothing felt excessive or out of place. It gripped me from the very beginning and kept me hooked until the very end. I still have to buy and read the rest of the series, and I cannot wait to start the next book.
I definitely recommend you pick this up if you love dystopian fantasies. Divergent is popular for a very good reason, and definitely deserves the hype.
About The Author:
Veronica Roth is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Divergent series (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and Four: A Divergent Collection), the Carve the Mark duology (Carve the Mark, the Fates Divide), The End and Other Beginnings collection of short fiction, Chosen Ones, and many short stories and essays. She lives in Chicago.
I am so glad that the author, Intisar Khanani, sent me an ARC e-copy of Brambles. Brambles is a prequel to Thorn, and is a part of the Dauntless Path series. I absolutely adored Thorn, and you can read my review of it HERE. When I heard there is a prequel, I was immediately sold!
In the kingdom of Adania, everyone knows what Princess Alyrra did to earn the court’s contempt, her mother’s disdain, and her brother’s hatred.
She betrayed her own.
Yet, the truth hides another story, one of honor and honesty, of a princess gambling her own life for another’s. It’s a tale of courage and consequences, and a choice that can never be undone.
A short story prequel to her multi-starred fantasy, Thorn, Intisar Khanani’s “Brambles” gives Alyrra’s account of what really happened all those years ago, and how a few critical days turned her life into a daily fight for survival.
In Brambles, we get to meet princess Alyrra before she is betrothed. We also meet her family and Valka as well. As short as this book was, it was filled with a lot of emotion, as well as a good moral story of doing what is right. Valka enjoyed messing up with the servants and ruining their lives, and when Alyrra stood up to her, it was at this point that everything changed.
Alyrra did what was right, but it was interesting to see her brother and her mother’s reactions. Clearly, their reputation was much more important to them than integrity. It is also in Brambles that we witness Alyrra’s brother and how cruel he can be. And most importantly, it is here we witness her first connection with the wind.
If you have already read Thorn, Brambles will be such a delight for you. It has Easter eggs hidden in it, and it also shows us a different side to the characters in more depth than we get to know them in Thorn. It is also lovely to see Alyrra’s life before she needs to move to the city, and how she behaves when nobody is watching.
But at the same time – if this is the first book you decide to pick up from this series, it is a perfect introduction to the story that’s about to follow. You’ll get to meet Alyrra and find out more about the circumstances she lives in. Intisar Khanani beautifully created a loop of content, that no matter which book you choose to read first, it will be a delight nevertheless.
I still find it amusing how the author managed to create such a compelling and intriguing prequel in only 40 pages.
About The Author:
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Prior to publishing her novels, Intisar worked as a public health consultant on projects relating to infant mortality and minority health, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy.
Intisar is the author of the Dauntless Path books (Thorn, The Theft of Sunlight), and her indie epic fantasy series, The Sunbolt Chronicles.