Once Upon A Gif: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Once upon a gif is a feature by Hafsah and Asma at Iceybooks, where a pre-review is written with gifs. My full review of LIARS, INC. will come out on February 20th, 2015. 

liars, inc. by paula stokes

For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV’s How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called “Captivating to the very end,” Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

Description taken from Goodreads.

LIARS, INC. impressed me from the very beginning. It wasn’t stand-and-shout-to-the-world-how-much-you-love-this-book good, but it was exciting, well-written and with great descriptions.

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Max is one of the more out-of-the-box characters I’ve read. There were so many times when I felt bad for him, or I cheered him on, or he completely disgusted me. For the most part, he was a hero that.. isn’t really a hero at all. Someone could/should do a complete post on the many faces of Max Cantrell. It’d be worth reading. Despite that fact, Max still very much retains who he is at the core (not in a Rob Swanson way, but in a Max way) and it was something I loved about him throughout LIARS, INC.

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I loved how flawed each of the character in this story are, and it was easy to keep track of the cast because not too many people show up in this story.

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Stokes take us into a world spun of lies and everything that leads up to Max in a cabin in the middle of the woods facing two FBI agents. The world-building is beautifully done and everything is well organized so that the mystery remains a mystery but it’s easy to understand.

And the romance. I will say, Parvati isn’t my favorite YA girl. Far far away. Like where Shrek lives far away. But at the same time, I did like her at times, and I didn’t hate her in the end. In fact, I rather liked her romance with Max, and I LOVED how this book turned out. Parvati tries to act tough and cool in the beginning, but as time went on I began to see more of a different side of her. It took way longer than Preston and Max and the other characters, but I came to like her. When she does show vulnerability eventually, it makes it more important to the story.

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Then everything blew up. Not literally, but quite figuratively. The villain was definitely not who I thought they were, and I got so confused (in a good way!) about who was what. Things get more and more messed up, and I came to finally see how perverse it all is.

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Then something happened that truly threw me over the edge, something I wrestled with for awhile and debated not reviewing this book over.

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Check back on February 20th to see my full review!

pg count for the hardback: 368


Once Upon a Gif: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Once upon a gif is a feature by Hafsah and Asma at Iceybooks, where a pre-review is written with gifs. My full review of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU will come out on February 2nd, 2015. 

a thousand pieces of you by claudia gray

Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

Description taken from Goodreads.

At first, I thought this book was clever.

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But then I realized it was so much more. I got to love the protag, and the people around her, and her relationships with them.

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Then I got into the schematics of it all and the physics and worldbuilding and plot.

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I loved so much of this book, and it truly was amazing to read. I did have a few minor problems with it, but overall it could end up being one of my favorite book of the year. Check back on February 2nd to see my full review!

pg count for the hardback: 339

Series: Anna and the French Kiss

Once Upon a Gif: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Once upon a gif is a feature by Hafsah and Asma at Iceybooks, where a pre-review is written with gifs. My full review of ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER will come out on RealityLapse on October 16th, 2014. 

isla and the happily ever after by stephanie perkins

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Description taken from Goodreads.

ISLA. Freaking ISLA. I got to read it.

I’m sorry, I’m very incoherent right now. Mostly because I feel like this:

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For those of you who haven’t read a Stephanie Perkins book before, you must know that after reading one of her books, you will be chasing after her other ones. I didn’t want to read her books in the beginning, but due to hype (yes, yes I know) I decided to read them. And when I heard that ISLA was coming out, set partially in one of my favorite cities and then set in a city I plan on visiting someday, well… Let’s say it wasn’t pretty.

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And then I finally got to read the book, and it was everything I thought it would be–and more.

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The imagery and prose was even more beautiful than her other books, and her characters. Oh her characters. Isla and Josh are right on par with every other character Perkins has created before. Greater than on par, even.

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There are just so many things to love about this book, but like all things it has ups and a few downs. Check back on October 16th to see my full review!

pg count for the hardback: 339

Series: Anna and the French Kiss

Once Upon a Gif: Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan

Once upon a gif is a feature by Hafsah and Asma at Iceybooks, where a pre-review is written with gifs. My full review of NOT IN THE SCRIPT, to be published October 7th, will come out on RealityLapse on September 30th, 2014. 

not in the script by amy finnegan

Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending nearly all of her teen years performing on cue, Emma wonders if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her relationships.

Jake Elliott’s face is on magazine ads around the world, but his lucrative modeling deals were a poor substitute for what he had to leave behind. Now acting is offering Jake everything he wants: close proximity to home; an opportunity to finally start school; and plenty of time with the smart and irresistible Emma Taylor . . . if she would just give him a chance.

When Jake takes Emma behind the scenes of his real life, she begins to see how genuine he is, but on-set relationships always end badly. Don’t they? Toss in Hollywood’s most notorious heartthrob and a resident diva who may or may not be as evil as she seems, and the production of Coyote Hills heats up in unexpected—and romantic—ways.

This novel in the deliciously fun If Only romance line proves that the best kinds of love stories don’t follow a script.

Description taken from Goodreads. I received an advanced copy of this book via the publisher from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. 

NOT IN THE SCRIPT is the third book in the If Only line by Bloomsbury, but each book stands alone and I have to say–NOT IN THE SCRIPT truly stands alone.

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In the beginning, I wasn’t too impressed or unimpressed. It was really just another contemporary that had an interesting premise.

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But then the author started showing off, subtly, what she was able to do with the characters. I began to love them

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and hate them

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but it was because they were real (even though I had to remind myself of that fact on certain occasions). Even the supporting/minor characters had depth.

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And even though Jake and Brett, as well as Emma and Kimmi, were extremely annoying/shallow at times,

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the characters really well the highlight of this book–even though the plot and pacing shined as well. And there definitely were these kind of moments as well:

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And I LOVED it. Be sure to come back to read my review with my full thoughts on the book and all the ins and outs of it (as well as who I would recommend it for) on September 30th!

pg count for the paperback: 272

Series: If Only #3

Once Upon a Gif: The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur

Once upon a gif is a feature by Hafsah and Asma at Iceybooks, where a pre-review is written with gifs. My full review of THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE, to be published November 4th, will come out on RealityLapse on November 3, 2014. 

the unhappening of genesis lee by shallee mcarthur

Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically-enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve memories perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.

Anyone could be next. Which is why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims that they’ve not only met, but that Gena knows who the thief is.

The problem is, Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things— or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast.

Because Gena’s life is unhappening around her.

Description taken from Goodreads. 

The first thing I noticed about THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE is the cover, which just happens to be really cool. It’s intriguing and different. Just… what is it?

the unhappening of genesis lee

In the beginning, THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE had me totally hooked. I loved the writing style, the premise and the way that Shallee McArthur wrote so many of the themes and elements.

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I do have to say though that after awhile, the fact that the MC keeps getting her memory taken away from her was really annoying, but I could see why it was necessary.

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And the MC made quite a few rather… shall we say disappointing decisions over the course of THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE, even though she was quite smart and likable when she wasn’t being dumb.

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But at other times, the mystery themes, plot and characters made me an extremely excited reader.

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And you can also come back around the time (October 22nd!) and find out about who, exactly, the author herself would cast for the roles in her book as well as win some awesome swag!

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As you can see, there were quite a few things I disliked about this book but this story was so entertaining though, and I liked so many things about it as well. There were lots of small things that I appreciated, such as the lack of contact between the Mementi. It brought a new aspect into love, especially with the society we live in. So what did I think of it all in all? Come back and find out on November 3rd!