Book Review: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Little White Lies
Title: Little White Lies
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Freeform
Pages: 400
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary

"I'm not saying this is Sawyer's fault," the prim and proper one said delicately. "But."

Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother's "society" might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father's identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn't expect to find is friendship, but as she's drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn't the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother's glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer's search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.

Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off.

This story has been pitched as Gossip Girl meets Gilmore Girls with some of Pretty Little Liars thrown in. I can see this throughout the story - there's scandals galore and high society (Gossip Girl), there's witty banter (Gilmore Girls) and there's some arrests and mysterious things going on (Pretty Little Liars). This blend was done well and felt original yet I appreciated the familiarities of a similar feel to some of my favorite shows. 

I love the uniqueness of this story. One of my favorite plot lines is when a character is put into a situation where they are unfamiliar or even a situation that they had misjudged in the first place. Here we have a young lady being bribed by her grandmother to be a debutante. The high society is another plot line I always tend to find so interesting and intriguing, this book was no exception. I was drawn in what would happen next. 

I liked getting to know all the characters and I enjoyed seeing how things played out throughout the book. There was always that "what is going to happen next?!" feeling that keeps pages turning. However, there were some portions of the book that felt like they were dragging a little bit - and then the ending really packed a punch. Good news is that there is a sequel coming! 

Happy Reading from me to you!

Waiting on Wednesday: King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.
This week pick is:

 King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1)

King of Scars

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Imprint
Expected Release: Janurary 29th 2019

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by
Book Journey * *
Here is what we Finished, Currently Reading, and what is
Next In line. How about you? These were some fantastic reads and we are so excited to share what we think with you! So make sure you keep your eyes out for our reviews!

The Darkest Star (Origin, #1) Vicious (Villains, #1)

My Favorite Half-Night Stand The White Christmas Inn
99 Percent Mine The Queen's Resistance (The Queen’s Rising, #2)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.
We love getting new books and seriously can't wait to dive into them.
How about you? What new books did you get?
War in Val d'Orcia: An Italian War Diary 1943-1944 A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary 1939–1940 Hate Notes Nine Perfect StrangersSpinning Silver The White Christmas Inn

Book Review: Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle Moss

Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen FictionTitle: Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen Fiction
Author: Gabrielle Moss
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback (purchased copy)
Publisher: Quirk Books
Age Group: Young Adult/Adult
Genre: Non-fiction

Every twenty- or thirty-something woman knows these books. The pink covers, the flimsy paper, the zillion volumes in the series that kept you reading for your entire adolescence. Spurred by the commercial success of Sweet Valley High and The Babysitters Club, these were not the serious-issue YA novels of the 1970s, nor were they the blockbuster books of the Harry Potter and Twilight ilk. They were cheap, short, and utterly beloved. PAPERBACK CRUSH dives in deep to this golden age with affection, history, and a little bit of snark. Readers will discover (and fondly remember) girl-centric series on everything from correspondence (Pen Pals and Dear Diary) to sports (The Pink Parrots, Cheerleaders, and The Gymnasts) to a newspaper at an all-girls Orthodox Jewish middle school (The B.Y. Times) to a literal teen angel (Teen Angels: Heaven Can Wait, where an enterprising guardian angel named Cisco has to earn her wings “by helping the world’s sexist rock star.”) Some were blatant ripoffs of the successful series (looking at you, Sleepover Friends and The Girls of Canby Hall), some were sick-lit tearjerkers à la Love Story (Abby, My Love) and some were just plain perplexing (Uncle Vampire??) But all of them represent that time gone by of girl-power and endless sessions of sustained silent reading. In six hilarious chapters (Friendship, Love, School, Family, Jobs, Terror, and Tragedy), Bustle Features Editor Gabrielle Moss takes the reader on a nostalgic tour of teen book covers of yore, digging deep into the history of the genre as well as the stories behind the best-known series.
I am exactly the target audience of this fantastic book. I mean, I read at least 50% of the books mentioned in this pop culture study of what it meant to be a young girl reading teen fiction published throughout the '80s and '90s, which is mind-blowing.

There are also interesting tidbits of information that I wasn't aware of such as, if you look closely at The Baby-Sitters Club (grammatically incorrect, by the way) book #2: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, you may not notice that young blonde baby is actually a baby Kirsten Dunst! I mean, this book is absolute genius. It's a study on what was going on psychologically, societally, culturally, and financially that was either reflected or absent, from YA fiction of the times.

The table of contents includes chapters such as Love, Friends, Family, School, Jobs, Danger, and Terror. It's interesting to see how authors and publishers were working to sometimes push the limits (such as focusing on taboo subjects such as AIDS), or the alternative, completely ignoring the fact that not everyone was white and from upper-middle-class society (I'm looking at you, Wakefield twins).

But one of the "thesis" presented in this book is that you just can't get mad. The YA culture really began during these times (and the trailblazers stemming from the '30s) and young girls were eating these books up - whether readers saw themselves in the pages or not. It's an interesting look at the multiple facets of this time period as it pertains to "young adult" as a category and how it emerged and formed into something of its own in the publishing world.

Here are just a sample of covers you see throughout the book, along with the author's narrative:

Patti's Luck (Sleepover Friends, #1)Kate's Surprise (Sleepover Friends, #3)
You've Been Away All SummerSweet Valley High Collection: Double Love, Secrets, Playing with Fire (Sweet Valley High, #1-3)Roommates (The Girls of Canby Hall, #1)Maudie and Me and the Dirty Book
Mary Anne and Camp BSC (The Babysitters Club, #86)Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls (The Baby-Sitters Club, #2)Ask Me If I CareLove and Betrayal and Hold the Mayo
The Prom Queen (Fear Street, #15)The Overnight (Fear Street, #3)The Midnight Club

As the title implies, this book certainly made me nostalgic, as I was a young, chubby, latin girl living in a lower-middle-class neighborhood who ate it all up and wanted more. Like the book suggests, and all the inherent problems aside, these books really did introduce me to a lot of "issues" and "concepts" in the world that I wouldn't have otherwise known about if it weren't for these books I read during my formidable years. Yes, I also liked the classics, but I still remember my parents buying me the latest Baby-Sitters Club book and finishing it by the time we got home from the store.

This book is great for those who read these books as they were published and for the readers of today! It's a great historical perspective which makes me feel absolutely ancient but excited that I lived through the genesis of it all!

As always, happy reading!!
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