Monday, 30 May 2011

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

Published: 31st March 2011
Publisher: Harper
Pages: 400
Buy: Amazon

Rating: ★★★.5

Sutton Mercer had a life anyone would kill for – and someone did. But thanks to a view from the afterlife and Emma Paxton, her long-lost twin sister, Sutton has a chance to solve her own murder. Emma slips into Sutton’s old life to piece together her disappearance. But can Emma keep up the charade long enough to discover what really happened to Sutton…or will she become the next victim?
Let the lying games begin.

So I'm a big fan of Sara Shepard since her debut 'Pretty Little Liars' I loved that book so much and it took me ages to find its sequal 'Flawless', anyway I was very happy when I came across this novel from her in my local Waterstones the other month. I thought the plot sounded intriguing enough and liked the idea of a murder mystery type plot.
However I can't help but feel that Shepard is recyling her plotline from her 'Pretty Little Liars' series, I know the plotline isn't identical but you can certainly draw comparisons which sort of bugged me a bit.

I found Emma's character a tad annoying, I just thought she needed to lighten up a little (yes I know the whole experience is meant to be traumatic for her, but she's meant to be fitting into Sutton's life). I like how the mystery unravels and in true Sara Shepard style she leaves you wanting more at the end of the book.
I just hope with this series, she doesn't drag it on for too long. I did find that her 'Pretty Little Liars' series just went on for too long and when they were meant to be finished she decides to write another two books! *sigh*

Anyway if you're into light glossy teen murder mysteries then I recommened you this book or anyone who is a fan of 'Pretty Little Liars'. I wouldn't say this book is a miss as it was a good read, and I managed to finish it in just under two days so it did keep me hooked, but its nothing too complex and thrilling.

I just hope future novels from Sara Shepard are a bit more original.

Skin by A.M. Vrettos

Published: January 2006
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Pages: 288
Buy: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Donnie: 'I think back on things that happened. And I think about how if you were to tell stories about us, about our family, you might raise up your eyebrows and you might say, 'Well, no wonder.' I bet you think you could pinpoint where it started for her. It's easy to think that, when you can look back as something as a whole. But when you're living it, day by day, it's like you're in the belly of something and you can't see its whole shape from the inside.' Our summer by the lake was perfect. Then we came home. And that's when it all started to go wrong. 'SKIN is Donnie's story. It was Donnie who came first, when I was remembering an acneriddled classmate in high school who, despite being ostracized and discounted, seemed to have a pretty amazing life outside of school. I remembered seeing this kid with his friends, his girlfriend, his band, and I began to think about why this kid had had no problem opting out of the school cool chain to find his happiness somewhere else. He just didn't seem to care what the kids at school thought of him. When I was a kid, on the other hand, I cared a whole lot. A distance had spread between me and my junior high friends, and as high school began, I found myself adrift. Of course, now, it's obvious that everyone feels adrift at some point in high school, but at the time, the pain was very real for me, and there was no friend I could flop down beside on the couch and say, "I'm so lonely!" and be reassured.' 

I've had this book for many years now, it is one of my favourites. The story deals with 14 year old misfit Donnie and how he feels he is dissapearing. His home life has broken down, what with his dad leaving and his sister battling with anorexia. At school he is one of the most unpopular kids and his two best friends have ditched him.
The book opens with the death of his sister Karen and Donnie trying to revive her, which is quite an interesting opening, because the first chapter starts from the beginning of his story, when his parents are still together and his sister hasn't really developed anorexia yet.

I'll be honest the book always makes me cry when you get to the chapter where Karen dies and Donnie tries to revive her, even though this is shown at the beginning of the book the beginning doesn't make me cry because you don't know anything about the characters, but because A.M. Vrettos has developed the characters so beautifuly you can't help but feel as if you were Donnie this time round.

The author is very talented in making you feel as if you are experiecing Donnie's life yourself and I like how the author conveys a message of experiecing anorexia not from the person who is anorexic but from someone in your family who loves you.

I would recommened this book to anyone.

Day 1

Hey there!
I thought I would do a little introductory post about me and my blog. I love reading so much, it has always been a passion of mine, I believe there is nothing better than emersing yourself into a good story and not being able to put the book down.
I wanted to create this blog so I could share with you some books that I love, meet new people and have suggestions for new books for me to read.
As you'll see in the about me section on your right, I'm a 19 year old student from the UK. I love reading young adult books simply because I relate to them so much more than an adult fiction novel.
I hope one day my blog can become sucessful and that I can publish at least one story in my lifetime. I feel that publishing my own story would be such a big achievement, and it will probably never happen because I'm on a course doing Criminology which is not exactly English Literature or Creative Writing. However I've finished uni now for 4 months so I'm hoping to crack on with some storyboarding and perhaps get started on writing a first draft.
Well anyway I hope you like my blog, I apologize for the rubish 'graphic' at the top of my page, hopefuly I can master some photoshops skills and spruce the blog up at bit!
If you want to chat or have any questions feel free to email me at

Becca x