Review: All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin ~ Sister/Sister Part TWO

Lying to Others vs Lying to Yourself

Lying to Others vs Lying to Yourself

Some redeeming elements; major hacking needed

Some redeeming elements; major hacking needed

Apparently it’s “YA Books about Younger Sisters Who Lie and Older Sisters with Psychological Problems Triggered by Strange Incidents” week here at LitHacker Central. First The Opposite of Hallelujah, now All You Never Wanted.

Verdict: This book seems to explore the different ways that lying to others and lying to yourself can be damaging. While this book has some strong writing and explores some interesting psychological issues, there are too many aspects that seem rather unrealistic, and the ending is somewhat abrupt. If you’re going to choose just ONE unstable older sister/lying younger sister book this week, choose The Opposite of Hallelujah instead.

Perfect for: People who like psychological fiction or somewhat unreliable narrators.

Summary: Thea and her older sister Alex are now living in a too-extravagant house (nicknamed “Camelot” by Thea) in tony Greenwich, Connecticut after their mom marries a rich man. Before this marriage, the girls and their divorced mother were barely getting by in their tiny apartment but they had each other and were pretty close. Now their mom seems to be always flying somewhere with her new husband – for vacations or charity events – and the girls are often left alone to adjust to their new reality. Told alternately in a forceful first person (Thea) and distancing third person (Alex), we learn that these sisters have dealt with the changes in their lives in very different ways. Formerly nerdy Thea has decided that conspicuous consumption and outrageous but borderline believable lies will make her interesting and popular. Meanwhile, Alex, who has always been somewhat of a golden girl, seems to be in the midst of a nervous breakdown that is getting progressively worse – for a specific reason that is revealed later in the novel. Continue reading

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Review: Gone Girl – by Gillian Flynn ~ Not too late in the summer for this fab beach read

Worthy Beach/Airplane Read

Only one element needs hacking

Verdict: Suspenseful page turner – great psychological thriller – totally entertaining.

Perfect for: While none of the characters are YA, people of all ages who like psychological thrillers or mysteries based on true crime will be sucked in by this book’s well-crafted plot and characters.

Summary: On their 5th wedding anniversary Nick’s wife Amy disappears. Soon the police – and public opinion – seem to believe that there has been foul play, and that Nick is responsible. Told in alternating chapters between Nick’s narration of ongoing events and Amy’s past diary entries, the book keeps readers in constant suspense: which spouse is to be believed? what happened to Amy? who is at fault? how could such a promising marriage go so wrong? why can’t I turn these pages fast enough to find out omg?????????

Continue reading