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My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
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- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
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- New York (4)
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- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (10)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (4)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
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My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

27 / 40 books. 68% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

26 / 100 books. 26% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

64 / 104 books. 62% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Friday, January 19, 2018

Ware's Third Novel Just As Compelling As Her First and Second

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

"I haven't thought about [The Lying Game] for so many years, but in a way, I've been playing it all this time (17)."

At a small, second-rate boarding school on the English coast, four girls formed a fast and lasting friendship.  With very different personalities, Isa, Kate, Fatima, and Thea bonded at Kate's cozy home near the school, where Kate's art master father let them roam half-wild.  They also amused themselves by playing The Lying Game, wherein they told elaborate falsehoods to both other teens and adults, gaining points when they did so without being caught.  It was supposed to be fun, a diverting way to pass the long hours away from home.  When their deeds caught up with them, however, the girls were all expelled in a hush-hush event that left their schoolmates in the dark.

Seventeen years later, a dead body is found in The Reach, a tidal estuary through which Isa, Kate, Fatima, and Thea often tromped while scurrying between school and Kate's home.  As soon as the discovery is made, Kate, who still lives in her father's home, sends a text to her old friends—"I need you."  None of the women want to return to Salten and revisit the past, but they have no choice.  They promised to always be there for each other, no matter what.  Now is the time for them to stick together, no matter what.

As the past and present converge in the little coastal village, four women will be forced to face the truth about what happened during their senior year at Salten House—a truth that could have devastating consequences for each woman's future.

Although The Lying GameRuth Ware's newest thriller—gets off to a slow start, ultimately the novel is just as engrossing as her previous two bestsellers.  The moody, atmospheric setting gives the story a creepy vibe, creating a shivery background for what proves to be a chilling tale.  It's more haunting than Ware's others books, and just as compelling.  True, the characters are not very likable, and the plot drags a bit in places, but honestly, I still found The Lying Game difficult to put down.  In fact, it might be my favorite Ware novel yet.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, sexual content, blood/gore, violence, and depictions of illegal drug use and underage drinking

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of The Lying Game from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

YA Anorexia Novel Not Mind-Blowing, But Powerful Nonetheless

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

In an ongoing effort to slim down, 16-year-old Elizabeth Barnes has finally starved herself into a size 0.  Weighing only 90 pounds, she's elated with her "progress."  The side effects she's experiencing, though, are a tad concerning.  It's possible she's gone too far—it's possible she might now be "a little bit" anorexic.  Alarmed, Elizabeth's parents enroll her in a treatment program at Wallingfield, an in-patient clinic for young women with eating disorders.  Elizabeth, a studious good girl, plans to be a model patient, following the rules until she can get back home and continue her extreme weight loss regimen without nosy nurses looking over her shoulder.

As Elizabeth settles into life at Wallingfield, she finds surprising commonality with the other patients.  While they swap tips and tricks, offer sabotage and support, the girls become a close-knit family.  Elizabeth can't imagine what she'll do without them, especially when she returns home to her weight-obsessed mother.  In the meantime, she's receiving care packages at the clinic from a mysterious sender.  Could her ex-boyfriend be trying to mend their relationship?  Or is some prankster toying with her when she's at her most vulnerable?  As she attempts to claw her way back to health, Elizabeth will make some surprising discoveries—about her anonymous gift-giver, about her new friends, and about herself.

What I Lost, a debut novel by Alexandra Ballard, is an affecting story about one teen's rocky journey of self-discovery.  As she attempts to achieve wholeness and healing, she really finds herself.  Through Elizabeth, Ballard presents a candid portrait of anorexia, showing how difficult the disease is to control and how thoroughly it warps the minds of its victims.  Naturally, What I Lost does not offer a perfect ending.  It does close on a hopeful note, however, which makes it an uplifting read despite its serious subject matter.  Any teen who struggles with body image/eating disorders should find this novel both intriguing, illuminating, and empathy-inducing.  Issue novels abound in YA lit; while this one isn't all that original or mind-blowing, it's still powerful.  


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs) and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of What I Lost with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.
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