Just Words on a Page

I am a Reference Librarian at a community college and an avid reader. These are my thoughts, reviews, ideas, comments, and everyday musings.
The Magician's Lie - Greer Macallister 99 Days - Katie Cotugno The Kiss of Deception - Mary E. Pearson Landline: A Novel - Rainbow Rowell Mr. Kiss and Tell - Jennifer Graham, Rob Thomas The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins The Heir - Kiera Cass The Eternity Key - Bree Despain

Six weeks worth of reviews...

So in the past six weeks I've read 8 books- I won't write a full review for all of them but I will summarize my thoughts and overall reaction for each:

The Magicians Lie by Greer MaCallister
I was eagerly anticipating this book- the Amazon blurb “Water for Elephants meets The Night Circus in The Magician's Lie, a debut novel in which the country's most notorious female illusionist stands accused of her husband's murder - and she has only one night to convince a small-town policeman of her innocence” made it sound so exciting! It jumped from past to present, in alternating chapters leading up to the night of the murder and what happens immediately after. It was a quick read and I enjoyed the character building- the relationships are at the center of the story and are ultimately what drives the plot forward. I might read this one again. Overall: 3.5/5 

99 Days by Katie Coutgno
A teenager has to endure one last summer in her hometown before heading off to college- one last summer as the most hated girl in town. Insert teenage love triangle, subsequent drama, and lack of friends. You get 99 Days. Overall a good story- very predictable. Molly, the main character, was a tad whiny. There were times I wanted to shake her and say “you brought this on yourself” or “grow up and deal with the choices you made” but she is a teenager after all. Typical teen love triangle,angst, drama, friendships, and backstabbing. Overall: 3/5

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
On the day of her wedding, Princess Lia flees from an arranged marriage to a distant village with her best friend and handmaiden. The two handsome men, one a the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill the princess, track the two girls to the village. The entire time I was reading this I couldn’t figure out what the magical “gift” Lia was supposed to have- I spent the entire novel confused about this. Maybe I missed it but even so, the “gift” was a major part of the plot and should have been flushed out more. Also the love triangle was a frustrating and a bit forced between Lia and the two boys- she just seems disinterested the entire time- until she finds out who they really are and then it turns into “love”. Overall: 3/5

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
I’ve read all of Rowell’s books- she can do no wrong. They are fun, quick reads and Landline is no exception. The characters are well developed and the intenseness of the marriage falling apart actually leaves you wondering if and how they will ever work through their problems. The premise- a phone that can call into the past- its very cool, I mean who wouldn’t want to call past selves or past loves and try to right wrongs and fix past mistakes to potentially fix the future?! Truth be told, I will probably read all of Rowell’s novels again- especially when I’m looking for something quick and fun. Overall: 3.5/5

Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas
I was (and still am) a huge fan of Veronica Mars: I was heartbroken when they canceled the tv series;I was overjoyed when the movie came out; and ecstatic when I found out the creator was going to use books as a way to continue the story after the movie. I read the first VM book (The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line) and was pleasantly surprised at how similar it was to both the tv series and the movie. The witty dialog was present- it read just like an episode or movie (which could be a bad thing in future books- becoming too cookie-cutter). The second book, Mr. Kiss and Tell, was very similar to the first- it read just like an episode or movie script. It was a quick read with all the witty banter between characters Mars fans have come to love. I will continue to read the series- even if it becomes cookie cutter, they’re quick, fun reads. Overall: 3/5

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I read this book while on vacation- I couldn’t put it down! The twists, the turns, the unreliable narrator, the anticipation, the questions, the conclusion- this book kept you guessing after every chapter. The main narrator, alcoholic Rachel is so unreliable that everything you know and learn has to be taken at face value- not to mention questioned heavily based on what you know and learn from the people she interacts with. This book has been compared to Gone Girl (both have unreliable narrators, females at the center of missing person cases) but I did not like Gone Girl at all- I found the two characters annoying and frustrating. I was weary of Girl on the Train because of this but boy was I wrong- I thoroughly enjoyed it and though I don’t know if I will read it again (the ending and the twists/turns are spoiled now) I did give it a 4/5 because 1) I couldn’t put it down and 2) I was so surprised at the ending! Overall: 4/5

The Heir by Kiera Cass
I read The Selection series last year- I enjoyed the breath of fresh air this series brought to YA. There was no killing (Divergent trilogy, Hunger Games trilogy), the love triangle wasn’t at the forefront of the story (yes, it played a big role but it wasn’t a distraction), the main female character was strong- and could stand on her own two feet- she didn’t need a man to rescue her. I was looking forward to the continuation of the series, America and Maxon’s daughter is now participating in her own selection. Eadlyn is a spitfire- doesn’t take no for an answer and is a strong, independent person (much stronger than her mother)- she actually has a bit of an edge to her- talking back to her father the king, not wanting to put on a show for the kingdom but not understanding why her kingdom actually hates her (she acts like she’s better than everybody else- she is a princess after all). It leaves plenty of room for Eadlyn to grow and mature as a character and for her to come into her own- hopefully there are more than three books in this series, as I feel three books wouldn’t be enough to fully flush out all of her potential. Overall: 3/5

The Eternity Key by Bree Despain
I enjoyed the first book (The Shadow Prince) and was impatiently awaiting the second title- The Eternity Key. I was(n’t) disappointed. I put the (n’t) in parentheses because I could’ve done without Toby’s POV- had that been taken out of the second book, I would’ve given it a 4/5. Toby’s POV added nothing to the story other than a whiny teenage voice who was jealous of Haden and wanted his sister back. The reader learned nothing of importance from his POV alone that we wouldn’t have gotten from other characters- he was only necessary for the last 1/16th of the book. I wish I could’ve skipped his chapters (and I could’ve because, like I said, everything you learned from his POV, you got from other characters as well). BUT HOLY MOLY- that ending! That twist! I was so surprised at the shocking turn- I had to read it over twice. Not to mention the cliffhanger ending- how can an author do that to their readers!? I will definitely read number 3 (and 4 and 5- if Ms. Despain is kind enough to continue the series) Overall: 3/5