Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019: SIGN UP + MY VERY (!!) AMBITIOUS TBR

I am very, very excited to be finally writing this post!!! When I first saw the sign-up post for this challenge I almost screamed. Being a pure Filipino blogger, this challenge means SO MUCH to me since it promotes more representation for Asian culture, and it really is so heartwarming having to read books that I see my own culture in! Now, you may think, “Luxe. How come you’re only signing up now, when you’ve apparently saw the sign-up post right when it was first published?” Well, to be completely honest, I was ashamed of myself for not having enough physical books written by Asian authors so I decided not to join until I had bought a fair lot of those.

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Fortunately, the lovely Justine from Bookish Wisps encouraged me to join and made me realize that this challenge considers all formats. Whether it be eBooks/eARCs, audiobooks or physical books, everything’s accepted as long as it’s from an Asian author, you’re all set. How stupid am I for restraining myself when I could have joined from the very start?? facepalm But you know what they say… Better late than never!

YEAR OF THE ASIAN READING CHALLENGE

This wonderful challenge is hosted by four amazing bloggers: CW from The Quiet Pond, Shealea from Shut Up Shealea, Lily from Sprinkles of Dreams, and Vicky from Vicky Who Reads. In line with the many books released and upcoming releases this 2019, #YARC2019 aims to promote and read as many books as possible from Asian authors. And as I’ve said above, any format of the book is accepted, plus, all genres and lengths are welcome as well. The leniency of this gave me the extra push to join and I’m so excited!!

YARC 2019 begins at the start of, well, 2019 and ends on December 31st 2019. Therefore, all books read in that certain time period are counted towards the goal! With that said, there are multiple levels in this challenge and I am currently aiming for the lowest but by no means the least. And can I just say that CW’s graphics for every challenge level are fantastic and soooo adorable!!! CW is sooo talented. I apologize for fangirling.

If you want to know more about this and want to sign-up for yourself, go on over to CW’s Welcome Post for YARC 2019!

I am currently aiming for the Philippine tarsier which is 1-10 books to read. I can be so painfully slow at reading most of the time so I didn’t want to put pressure on myself by aiming for 50+ books this year. But if I get there, well, all the better!

LUXE’S #YARC2019 TBR

Contrary to what I’ve just said about being prudent on the number of books I aim to read for this challenge, I have put together an ambitious at least, for me TBR. The reason for this is to allow myself a selection to choose from. So here it is… Also, I’ve cut my TBR into different categories just because I’m that extra.

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM BLOGGER FRIENDS

ANTICIPATED RELEASES

BOOKS THAT DIDN’T FALL ON THE CATEGORIES ABOVE BUT I STILL DESPERATELY WANNA READ, IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY


So far, my progress for #YARC2019 is an embarrassing zero, zip, zilch, nada! Please don’t hate me. *hides* But rest assured that I absolutely do intend to remedy that immediately.

I think that’s it for my sign-up post. I’ll be updating my progress regularly on here so stay tuned for that. If you want, I mean, I’m not forcing ya. *slowly steps backward*

Again, I couldn’t be more happier in joining the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge. If you’ve signed up for this as well, please please PLEASE leave a link to your post. I would love to check your goals and TBR! And if you haven’t signed up yet, I highly encourage that you do!

Leave a comment down below if you wanna chat, as always! But for now, I’ve got some catching up to do. Au revoir!

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Blog Tour: That’s Not What I Heard by Stephanie Kate Strohm [BOOK REVIEW + MOODBOARD]

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Book Title: That’s Not What I Heard
Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: January 29th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

What did you hear?

Kimberly Landis-Lilley and Teddy Lin are over. Yes, the Kim and Teddy broke up.

At least that’s what Phil Spooner thinks he overheard and then told Jess Howard, Kim’s best friend. Something about Teddy not liking Kim’s Instas? Or was it that Teddy is moving to Italy and didn’t want to do long distance? Or that Kim slid into someone else’s DMs?

Jess told her boyfriend, Elvis, that he needs to be on Kim’s side. Especially if he wants to keep her as his girlfriend. But Elvis is also Teddy’s best friend.

Now, Kim’s run out of school for the day. Jess is furious. Elvis is confused. And half the lunch period won’t talk to Teddy. Even the teachers have taken sides.

William Henry Harrison High will never be the same again!


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.

MY THOUGHTS

That’s Not What I Heard has been on my radar recently since I saw it from a fellow blogger’s post/tweet. I thought the premise quite interesting and fun, but I didn’t expect the book to be this entertaining!

The book started off by introducing the most important thing (apparently) in William Henry Harrison High, Kim and Teddy. Their relationship, albeit only been briefly explored, was enough to make me wish for my own. I’ve always been such a hopeless romantic so a bit of romance impacts me a ton! Then the story continues on to the breakup of the said couple. A random student, who happened to be just buying chips from the vending machine, overheard the breakup and told someone who told someone who told someone… You get the idea. From then on, the rumors started getting more and more ludicrous that it ultimately led to their school’s chaos.

That’s Not What I Heard is told in the multiple perspectives of the characters. It was so interesting to read about since each of their thoughts were so different from one another, and the gravity of the situation can really be felt through this.

The story was really entertaining, I enjoyed every single page of this. Its flair for the dramatic got me laughing so damn hard at times! The different characters were fairly likeable and I love that each of them has their own quirks and personalities.

Also, I’m not sure if it’s just my deep, dramatic side that wants to take a lesson out of everything, but the message of the book was pretty good! Rumors are like wildfire; once lit, they destroy everything in their way, causing social structures and order to come tumbling down.

Overall, That’s Not What I Heard was absolutely worth the read. If you’re looking for a quirky and obnoxiously fun read, I really think think that this one’s for you!


✨ MOODBOARD BY YOURS TRULY ✨

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephanie Kate Strohm is the author of The Taming of the DrewPilgrims Don’t Wear PinkConfederates Don’t Wear CoutureIt’s Not Me, It’s You and Prince in Disguise. She grew up in Connecticut and attended Middlebury College in Vermont, where she was voted Winter Carnival Queen. Currently she lives in Chicago with her fiance and a little white dog named Lorelei Lee.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook

 

Cover Reveal: Lucid by Kristy Fairlamb

Today, I have the pleasure of revealing the cover to Kristy Fairlamb’s Lucid. The synopsis sounds very promising so not only am I doing this cover reveal, look forward to my review on this one as I’ll be reading this sometime soon and I can’t wait! Meanwhile, here is the gorgeous cover of the book.


Cover Reveal (Unknown).pngBook Title: Lucid
Author: Kristy Fairlamb
Published by: Lakewater Press
Publication Date: April 23rd 2019
Genres: Supernatural, Thriller, Young Adult

Goodreads / Amazon / Netgalley

A Terrifying Power. A Horrifying Curse.

Lucy Piper lives a lonely existence on the precipice between life and death. She possesses the horrifying ability to resurrect real-life tragic events in her nightmares, reliving over and over, as if she were there, the last few moments before the victim takes their final breath. Car accidents, drownings, plane crashes – Lucy has seen it all. No one understands what it’s like living death by night and fearing sleep by day.

When Tyler Sims and his family move to town to escape past traumas, Lucy is drawn to him. The two of them are linked through their dreams, and with Tyler’s trust and friendship, hope for a brighter future returns to Lucy’s world. But Tyler’s presence awakens something else in Lucy, and now she will be forced to make impossible decisions. Decisions that will change history, and the future.

Chilling, haunting and compelling, this novel is the first in a two-part series for fans of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and The Hidden Memory of Objects that will leave you breathless for days.


ARE YOU READY??

 

CLICK TO REVEAL!

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Isn’t it great?! I love blue book covers, especially those with the elements of water. I can’t wait to read (and review) this book!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristy Fairlamb is an Australian author of the Young Adult Lucid series coming out in 2019.

She spends her days drinking coffee and torturing her characters with loads of tension – both love related and the nail biting kind.

Long before her days of writing began she spent half her childhood in a make believe world; daydreaming about growing up, falling in love, and travelling the world.

She’s worked as a nanny in country England, a junior matron in a boy’s boarding school south of London, a governess in East Timor, and made coffees and cleared tables in the New South Wales snow fields.

She lives with her husband, teenage daughter, and two sons in the beautiful Adelaide Hills where they’re lucky enough to get occasional visits from the local koalas.

She’s terrible at gardening, likes her bookshelves sorted by colour, and recently checked off a lifelong dream of jumping from a plane.

When she’s not writing or daydreaming about her stories you’ll find her reading, cooking for her family, or doing anything to avoid the housework.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for organizing this cover reveal!

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Book Blitz: Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell [EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY]

You will not believe how excited I am to be sharing the news that Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell is finally out! This book is simply a spectacular read. You can know more about why I LOVED this book here.

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book yet (HOW?!), be sure to
check out all the details below. This blitz also includes an international giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card, courtesy of The Parliament House and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

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Book Title: Dream Keeper
Author: Amber R. Duell
Published by: The Parliament House
Publication date: January 29th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 288

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Kobo

The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.


BOOK TRAILER


EXCERPT

2
NORA

Shadows danced in the soft warmth of the white mini-lights strung around my bedroom. I hopped around my bed, fumbling with the buckle on my sandals,  and tossed my purse in the corner. Something hard—probably my phone—thwacked against the light blue wall.

“Whoops,” I muttered, then growled at the metal hook locking my footwear in place. There were places to go, people to see. Or, rather, one person, and it was already hours past our usual meeting time. I jerked at the stiff strap. “Get off.”

Finally, it popped, and I kicked it triumphantly into the corner with my bag. The other came off without any trouble, and my stomach fluttered in anticipation. I tugged off my jean shorts and stepped into a pair of plaid pajama bottoms, leaving on the ribbed tank top I wore out tonight. Who cared that a glob of nacho cheese stained the front? The Sandman certainly wouldn’t.

Climbing beneath the cool sheets, I dragged in a long breath and released it slowly. A small grin played on my lips as I stared at the lights hanging overhead. Then I shut my eyes and waited. Waited for sleep to claim me. To deliver me. But my body was too tense, and my mind still flipped through the day’s events as ridiculously boring as they were. When the highlight of your day was painting your nails a new color, what was there to mull over?

After a handful of long minutes, I opened my eyes again and bit my lip. I could ask. It had been… Actually, I couldn’t remember the last time I asked him for anything. Even this. But I had to be up early for work tomorrow and we’d already missed out on hours together. A grin crept across my face.

“Sandman,” I whispered, and closed my eyes again in preparation. “Help me sleep.”

It came swiftly then, sweeping me gently from my world to another as easily as the breeze carries a feather. I curled my toes, feeling the powder-like sand of the Sandman’s beach beneath my bare feet, and opened my eyes. The endless blanket of bright stars, the luminescent waves, the Sandman… This place, this dream, was like coming home.

“Sorry I’m late,” I called with a smile in my voice. The light aroma of lilacs filled my lungs and I sighed, content. “Natalie and Emery dragged me to a party to  celebrate our final first day of summer vacation.” By this time next year, we would all be high school graduates and legal adults—neither of which I was ready to think about. I stretched my arms over my head and fought a yawn. “Sandman?” There was no reply. I dropped my arms and spun, searching for a glimpse of the familiar black-clad figure. This was our spot—the place directly below the brightest star. My brows lowered in confusion. So why wasn’t he here? He was always here. “Where are you?”

The only sound was the soft hush of waves lapping the shore. I turned again, squinting down the beach, but there was no hooded figure in sight. My heart skipped a beat. The dream seemed to yawn open, the emptiness pressing in on me from all sides. He had to be here somewhere. A pit formed in my stomach, and I staggered back, unsteady. He had to.

The beach was an addiction I didn’t know how to cure myself of—didn’t want to cure myself of. For every time I had to pretend this place didn’t exist, the Sandman was there to absolve me of the lies. There to make me feel like I was good and sane and normal. It didn’t matter that he was also the reason I didn’t feel any of those things were true when I was awake. The Sandman was my anchor, holding me firm when life tried to wash me out to sea. Without him… I swallowed hard. Without him, I would be a ship without sails.

“Sandman!” I jogged down the water’s edge, my pulse drumming in my ears. “I’m here.”

But he wasn’t.

 

THREE THIRTY-TWO.

The clock on my nightstand glowed green, the colon blinking in a slow, torturous rhythm. I tapped my fingers on my stomach. The Sandman had never been a no-show before. And if he wasn’t there, maybe that meant they were right, and he wasn’t real.

No.

I refused to believe that. My mother meant well, but I couldn’t face a lifetime of pill-pushing psychiatrists. One white-haired doctor tossing around words like personality disorder and delusional was enough. By the time the final doctor deemed the Sandman a simple outlet for me to process my parents’ divorce, the damage was done.

Don’t worry about it, he said. It will pass, he said.

That was five years ago.

The divorce was a distant memory. My father moved across the country and my mother remarried, but the Sandman became a permanent fixture. One I’d learned to never, ever talk about.

What’s going on? I pushed the thought toward the Sandman even though I knew he couldn’t hear me. There was only one call that reached from this side of the Dream World to his, only one cry capable of bringing him here, but it never stopped me from trying.

I flung the sheets back with a huff and grabbed an oversized Lund Valley Community College sweater from the end of my bed. Natalie hoped we would go there together next year but… I wrinkled my nose and glanced at the dresser drawer where my sketchbook was carefully tucked between scarves. If I went to college at all, it would be for art, but that was a big if. No one in my family knew I drew, and if my mother was going to let me major in something “impractical,” she would want to at least see my work. Unfortunately, each page featured a majestic beach and a man hidden beneath a hood. Both things I was supposed to have forgotten long ago.

Tugging the sweater over my head, I made my way through the dark hallway toward the stairs. My mother and step-father were both working the night shift at the hospital and my sister could sleep through anything, yet I found myself tip-toeing down the hall.

I paused outside Katie’s door and listened to the steady, heavy breathing on the other side. Part of me wanted to wake my sister up to talk about what happened, but the other part of me—the part that remembered the piercing fluorescent lights of a therapist’s office—knew better. Katie had teased me about the Sandman when we were younger, but she never treated me differently. However, now we were older. Barging into her room to complain that my imaginary friend hadn’t shown up that night might alienate the last blood relative I could rely on.

Although Katie annoyed me like no one else, I loved her more than I was irritated with her. I needed my big sister on my side—even if it meant hiding a huge part of my life. So, I stepped away from her door and crept silently downstairs to the kitchen.

Maybe because I was about to steal someone’s box of frozen Thin Mints.

Sorry, not sorry.

Mist curled out of the open freezer, and I reached behind the chicken before a shrill, heart-wrenching scream tore through the house, squeezing the air from my lungs. It was made of nails and teeth and death. Of danger and fear. My eardrums rattled. Each nerve stood at attention, electricity buzzing over my body.

“Katie?” I yelled, frantically abandoning my pursuit of the cookies.

Confusion laced the edges of my shaky voice, but I was already racing across the
kitchen. Instinct twisted my gut, telling me to turn and run, to save myself, but I couldn’t. Not if my sister was in trouble. Not if someone had broken in when no one was home to help. Not if Katie was hurt and scared. I propelled myself up the stairs to the second floor, my skin itching me to go faster, faster, faster. Katie’s door was still shut at the front of the hallway. My breath shuddered, and I reached for the handle, pausing with apprehension. The metal was cold in my palm.

“Katie?” Her name came out as a crackling whisper and I forced myself to inhale. Then exhale. Inhale again. My hand shook as I twisted the knob.

I eased the door inward. Without a barrier between us, the sound cut through me like a knife. I slapped a palm against the wall, hitting the light switch, and flinched at the sudden brightness. At what it might reveal.

Katie lay flat on her back, her eyes shut tight, with the sheets snarled in a ball at the end of the bed. Sweat poured down her face, plastering her pink hair to her skin. The wild scream continued, unrelenting, her jaw stretched wide, her neck muscles protruding. But everything else was in its rightful place. Nothing was broken. The lock on the window hugged its latch.

I stepped into the room and spun, bumping into the dresser. My pulse thrashed; it mimicked Katie’s scream in pendulum beats. Loud then muffled then loud again. “Katie?” My voice felt tight. I knelt on the mattress and shook my sister’s broad shoulders. “Wake up.”

The scream cracked. Katie sucked in air as if she were drowning and began again, just as terrified. I used the back of my wrist to wipe the moisture from my forehead. My nails dug into her shoulders, and I shook her rigid body with every ounce of strength I had. The more I yelled her name, the more desperate, more savage, my voice became. Black spots danced in my vision. Nightmares were one thing, but this was something else. Something beyond that. I shook the dizzying fear away and darted into the bathroom across the hall.

I returned with a Dixie cup of cold water and leapt onto the bed. The water hit Katie’s face with a splash. “Come on,” I shouted to no avail.

I fumbled for Katie’s cell phone on the nightstand. If our mother didn’t know what to do, she could send someone who did. My thumb hovered over the direct number to my mother’s unit when a quick, metallic burst of air whooshed in from the hallway. A shiver ravaged my spine, and Katie’s pitch reached new heights. I slipped from the bed, my hip smashing into the floor. The phone fell from my hand, seemingly in slow motion. I lunged for the door, and slammed it shut, leaning my back against the wood.

I couldn’t think.

Couldn’t… I couldn’t…

The walls seemed to shrink, boxing me in. Trapping me.

Above the screech, a deep chuckle rumbled in the hall. My heart rose to my throat, and I dove for the phone where it had landed on the rug. I managed to dial nine before Katie’s scream cut off. Palpable silence penetrated the room. My rapid breathing mixed with my sister’s, and I edged up onto shaking knees. Katie rolled onto her side with a twitch.

“Katie?” My voice came out as a squeak.

She snuggled into the pillow, and her breathing returned to normal. Okay. She was okay. I turned my attention to the space at the bottom of the door. There was probably no one out there anyway. My sister’s screams threw me off after a confusing night, that’s all. I was merely tired and scared and was likely imagining the whole thing.

But before I called anyone, I had to be sure.

With the phone clutched in my hand, I crawled across the room to where the bright yellow handle of Katie’s tennis racket leaned against the wall. I gripped the hard foam and held it to my shoulder. I didn’t want to leave Katie alone but what choice did I have? I couldn’t call for help if no one was out there. My mother would have a field day.

Clenching my jaw shut to keep my teeth from chattering, I dialed two one’s before opening the door. If anyone was on the other side, it would only take a single touch to call for help.

I eased out, holding the racket in front of me, and flicked on the hallway light. The stillness slammed into me like a brick wall. “Okay, okay, okay,” I chanted under my breath. This was stupid. And yet… at five-foot-three and a hundred and ten pounds, an intruder wouldn’t necessarily need to be armed to overpower me.

My nerves exploded with a burst of adrenaline, and I leapt from room to room until each light bulb on the second floor glowed. I checked every closet, under every bed. The racket shook in my hand. There was nothing. No one. An irrational spike of anger zipped through me at the possibility of my brain’s betrayal.

My body moved on its own accord, taking me downstairs one tentative step at a time. One million potential fates I might encounter, if there was someone lying in wait, coursed through my thoughts. The joints in my fingers locked around the phone with my thumb still over the green call button. My tongue was sandpaper against the roof of my mouth, and I crept through the living room.

The freezer was still open, rattling in an attempt to keep the internal temperature down. I chomped down on my lip and inched my way forward to shut it. The rarely-used alarm system beside the back door taunted me—if only I remembered the code.

It seemed like it took ages to finish searching the house. I looked everywhere from the coat closet to beneath the bathroom sink, but it had only been eleven minutes since I had woken up. No time at all, really. I gripped the back of a dining room chair to stay on my feet.

There was no intruder. Katie had a nightmare, and my mind deceived me.

Again.

Always.

Only this time, it wasn’t part of my subconscious. I wasn’t asleep. Katie had screamed. There was a blast of air. Someone had laughed.

I swallowed the fear rising in my chest.

No one believed they were crazy. I wasn’t sure what it meant if I thought I was unhinged but constantly persuaded myself to believe I wasn’t. Was I? Wasn’t I? Not even the doctors could agree on an answer. My sanity was a double-edged sword, and I was fighting to maintain balance on the tip.

I dashed back to Katie and climbed in bed beside her, nestling close. I tucked the
wrinkled sheet around us both and tried to ignore the nausea curdling in my stomach. Katie was older than me, bolder and more confident, but in that moment, she felt as fragile as blown glass. I wrapped an arm around her waist and squeezed my eyes shut. My ears strained to hear the slightest sound that could signal danger, but no one else was in the house.

No one had laughed.

The Sandman wasn’t real.

I balled the back of Katie’s T-shirt in my fist. He was real enough to me, and I needed him. Please, Sandman, I called in a silent plea for the second time tonight—the one only he could hear. Help me sleep.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s constantly moving with her husband and two sons as a military wife. Before becoming published, she had a wide range of occupations including banking, bartending (though she’s never tried alcohol), and phlebotomy (though she faints with needles). She also volunteered as a re-enactor at the local Revolutionary War fort and worked near shelter cats which led to her previous crazy cat lady status.

She does her best writing in the middle of the night, surviving the daylight hours with massive amounts of caffeine. Her favorite stories are dark with a touch of romance and a villain you either love to hate or hate to love.

When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, snuggling with her cat, and staying up way too late to research genealogy. She loves to travel and has visited more countries than states. Kissing the Blarney Stone and hand-feeding monkeys in the mountains of France will be hard to beat, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to find the next real-life adventure.

Website | Twitter  | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr | PinterestGoodreads


GIVEAWAY

1 winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card (INTERNATIONAL)

Book Review: Secrets, Lies, and Scandals by Amanda K. Morgan

32333303Book Title: Secrets, Lies, and Scandals
Author: Amanda K. Morgan
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: July 5th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads  Amazon  Book Depository

In the tradition of I Know What You Did Last Summer and How to Get Away with Murder, five teens must overcome their paranoia in order to keep their teacher’s death a secret in this fast-paced suspense thriller.

Nothing ruins summer vacation like a secret…especially when it involves a dead teacher.

Ivy used to be on top of the social ladder, until her ex made that all go away. She has a chance to be Queen Bee again, but only if the rest of the group can keep quiet.

Tyler has always been a bad boy, but lately he’s been running low on second chances. There’s no way he’s going to lose everything because someone couldn’t keep their mouth shut.

Kinley wouldn’t describe herself as perfect, though everyone else would. But perfection comes at a price, and there is nothing she wouldn’t do to keep her perfect record—one that doesn’t include murder charges.

Mattie is only in town for the summer. He wasn’t looking to make friends, and he definitely wasn’t looking to be involved in a murder. He’s also not looking to be riddled with guilt for the rest of his life…but to prevent that he’ll have to turn them all in.

Cade couldn’t care less about the body, or about the pact to keep the secret. The only way to be innocent is for someone else to be found guilty. Now he just has to decide who that someone will be.

With the police hot on the case, they don’t have much time to figure out how to trust each other. But in order to take the lead, you have to be first in line…and that’s the quickest way to get stabbed in the back.


MY THOUGHTS

I’ve been wanting to pick up this book for a while now. Ever since I saw it on Book Outlet, blurbed as perfect for fans of the TV show How to Get Away with Murder, I knew I had to read it. Fast forward a several months and a Kindle deal later, I finally got to read it.

Secrets, Lies, and Scandals is a fast-paced thriller that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. At least, it had that impact on me. I was reading this non-stop because I just HAD to know what happens next.

The book is told in alternating perspectives of the five main characters: Ivy, Mattie, Kinley, Tyler and Cade. In my opinion, the most well-written character is Tyler. I found that among the five, he was the one I truly felt for. I sympathized with him especially with everything that’s been going on.

Other than that, I loved how each one of them has their own tricks up their sleeves which made their actions quite unpredictable. They were clever and independent on their own, but they couldn’t act brashly because they could all come crashing down. They were all good at manipulating other people and each other.

Also, I can’t resist not sharing the first sentence of the book:

“There should be more blood.”

The moment I read that, I got the feeling that this would be a gripping read. Besides, the promise of having a similar vibe to the hit TV show How to Get Away with Murder delivered, in retrospect. (Well, at least the part where a bunch of students killed someone.) Although I have to say, the means of killing the teacher in the book was a bit underwhelming for me. They could have done with something a bit more gruesome for the drama or maybe that’s just my evil side talking. And lastly, I would just like to say that however forced and instant the romance in this book was, I truly believe that it wasn’t completely unnecessary. 

Honestly, I had a hard time rating this book. I changed my star rating on Goodreads, like, three times, debating whether it was a 3- or 4-star read. But in the end, I really think this one deserves its 4 stars. This book is jam-packed with secrets, lies and scandals (see what I did there?) that indeed made it such an enthralling story. I recommend this one if you’re looking for a quick thrilling read.

DISCLAIMER: By clicking the Amazon and Book Depository buttons, you will be directed to my affiliate links for the respective sites. If you purchase the book using my link, you have supported me and my blog since I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

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