Book Review: Wicked Little Secrets (Prep School Confidential#2) by Kara Taylor

wickedWicked Little Secrets (Prep School Confidential#2) by Kara Taylor

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre: Mystery and Young Adult

Release Date: March 16, 2014

Pages: 304 (Paperback)

good good

Anne Dowling—a fresh, original, and funny new YA heroine whose knowing, irreverent voice will remind readers of Pretty Little Liars and Private—is back for her second semester at Wheatley Prep. Although things have settled (somewhat) since her roommate Isabella’s death, Anne’s still kind of obsessed with the disappearance of Wheatley student Matthew Weaver thirty years ago, since she found a picture of him and his crewmates with the words “they killed him” scrawled on the back among Isabella’s things.


When Anne learns that her boyfriend Brent’s dad is one of the now-powerful Wheatley alumni who rowed crew with Matthew, and that the crew team continues to induct new members with a creepy-sounding ritual called “The Drop,” she knows further investigation could put her relationship with Brent in danger. Determined to discover the truth, she reaches out to Anthony, Isabella’s townie brother, who helps her delve deeper into the secrets in Wheatley’s past. Secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. As the school’s Spring Formal—and its notorious afterparty—approaches, Anne sees the perfect opportunity to do some off-campus digging into the lives of Wheatley’s VIPs in this thrilling, unputdownable read—but if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next student who never comes back.

opinion

 

The excitement and fun never seems to end in this series. Wicked Little Secrets doesn’t suffer from second book syndrome, instead it charges forward and demands readers attention. I loved reading about Anne and all of the trouble she can cause in just a few hours. It’s a thriller that isn’t all about the planning and clues, it also doesn’t have an overbearing romance. It has just the right amounts of almost everything.

That being said, there are a few things that are off. As a person with a pretty small tolerance for info-dumping I found the beginning to be a little like even dismissing the recaps for the first book. Another problem that I had is with our protagonist, Anne (I still adore her though) and her friendship with her friend Chelsea. For someone she calls her best friend, Anne never talks to Chelsea and only mentions her in passing. I wanted more from this friendship because Chelsea is part of the old Anne, the one that I’m sure many people want to know more about and I felt let down by this. Hopefully her best friend is in the last book.

Nonetheless, this book is still great. I loved the writing, it’s still as smooth as ever and the romance isn’t in your face. It’s a lot laid back than I thought, only finding cracks in the story to seep into. Although I’m team Brent, the romances with both guys are really well done. Another thing that I enjoyed about the story is the action because it isn’t boring and there’s a constant stream of it with not too much planning. The characters for the most part are great, Anne is a lot wilder and committed than ever (she punches a guy in the face to defend her friend!). The problems that I had in the first novel are pretty much gone in this one. Remy feels a lot more real, letting her past and emotions through this time. Moreover, the sarcasm is so good! It’s not constant that it feels annoying nor is it far between that it feels forced. It’s perfection.

Wicked little Secrets is pretty intense but in a more fun than dark way. The ending will keep readers at the edge of their seats and craving for the last one. I recommend this series to anyone looking for a thriller that isn’t boring and straightforward. I’m hoping that the last one is just as good.

4 Dreamy Clouds
4 Dreamy Clouds

Book Review: Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock

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Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: February 11, 2014

Pages: 304 (Hardcover)

good good

Dreamy, poetic Claire, seventeen, has spent the last few months taking care of her six-year-old sister, Izzy, as their mother lies in a hospital bed recovering from a stroke. Claire believes she has everything under control until she meets “Brent” online. Brent appears to be a kindred spirit, and Claire is initially flattered by his attention. But when she meets Max, the awkward state senator’s son, her feelings become complicated.

Max, also seventeen, has been working the worst summer job ever at the beachside Snack Shack. He’s also been popping painkillers. His parents—more involved in his father’s re-election than in their son’s life—fail to see what’s going on with him.

Working alongside Max is Barkley, twenty-one. Lonely and obsessive, Barkley has been hearing a voice in his head. No one—not his parents, not his co-workers—realizes that Barkley is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Until the voice in his head orders him to take out his gun.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Ever since that tragic incident that happened in Connecticut, I’ve been intrigued, no, obsessed with shootings and massacres of any sorts. So, of course when I found out that Before My Eyes has a shooting I knew that I HAD TO GET MY HANDS ON IT. So far, after reading quite a few novels about shootings I’ve been left with huge disappointment after huge disappointment

Caroline Bock is an author that tries too hard. It was sad reading about something that could have been so great fail so miserably. The writing for almost all of the story is very stiff and annoying. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters partially because of this as well as the fact that they all suck ass. Another thing that I had a problem with is the summary of the book since it says that Barkley hears a voice in his head. Where the hell is this voice?! It makes a millisecond appearance only twice where it says one word. Everything about the voice inside of his head is flimsy and pathetic.

Before My Eyes starts off great. It’s extremely creepy and odd, the writing is really proper and by that I mean there aren’t any contractions. I was instantly hooked after the first chapter which is told from Barkley’s perspective. This first chapter is intriguing and it’s the best part of the novel. I wish I were kidding but I’m not. However, the best character is the dog, King, who’s blind. Near the end of the story, King becomes braver than anyone and blindly risks his life to save others. Reading about him alone got this book one cloud out of me because he’s amazing.

Overall, don’t read this. If you’re like me and are looking for a well executed story about teenagers and a shooting you’ll have to look elsewhere. Before My Eyes is a sloppily done novel that has left me close to no hope that I’ll ever find a great teen story about a shooting.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Favourite Book Quotes of the Week#38

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A list of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read in the past week. Leave a comment/link telling me what your favourite quotes are! I’ll be sure to check your post out too!

Stormdancer (Lotus War#1) by Jay Kristoff

13538816Favourite quotes:

1.  “Dying is easy. Anyone can throw themselves onto the pyre and rest a happy martyr. Enduring the suffering that comes with sacrifice is the real test.”

2. “A conscience is easier to swallow on an empty belly, simpler to swing with a broken wrist. The people who hate money are the ones who don’t have any. The people who hate power are the ones who are powerless”

Book Review: Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential #1) by Kara Taylor

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Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential #1) by Kara Taylor

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: July 30, 2013

Pages: 304 (Paper Back)

Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential #1)

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn’t care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.

When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

This is such a fun novel! I couldn’t put it down, it’s an easy read with lovely characters and great pacing. Some things are predictable, I knew who the killer was only after reading about Isabella’s death but there are a few surprises that kept me at the edge my seat as well. So many things going on in the book that I think Kara Taylor did a fine job organizing.

Prep School Confidential has a few flaws that I couldn’t overlook. Throughout the novel, there’s quite a few clichés concerning the new girl and the mean girl and quite a bit slut shaming. Some characters like Remy feel really choppy and underdeveloped. Readers are told that she’s nice and strong, etc. yet, there are only a few instances that proves this and she doesn’t feel as real as I wished she should. Also, Isabella plays a huge part in the novel, both dead and alive. After her death, readers are told that Isabella was actually a completely different person but I didn’t feel it. The information given is lacking and albeit there are points given that show that Isabella had a dark side, they could have been elaborated on.

The writing is so fun! It’s light and laid back which makes it for a amusing read (even with murder in it). The romance in Prep School Confidential is so laid back and relaxed, nothing felt too contrived or fake to me and I loved it. I could see Anne with either one of them. Most of the characters are well written and beautifully developed, I felt satisfied with Anne and the obstacles she faces.

Overall, this is something I was not expecting. I went in hoping that I didn’t want to punch every character and that the clichés were a small amount. Even with the clichés, Kara Taylor managed to entertain me with her tale of murder, mystery, love, and life without getting on my nerves too much. I recommend this to anyone looking for a great summer read to pass the time with some heavy tones but an overall light read. Now, I can’t wait for the next book to come out!

3.5 Cool Clouds
3.5 Cool Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.