Truth or Dare – Jacqueline Green

15777797Title: Truth or Dare
Series:
(
Truth or Dare, #1)
Author:
Jacqueline Green
Category: Young Adult

Goodreads

When a simple round of truth or dare spins out of control, three girls find it’s no longer a party game. It’s do or die.

It all started on a whim: the game was a way for Tenley Reed to reclaim her popularity, a chance for perfect Caitlin “Angel” Thomas to prove she’s more than her Harvard application. Loner Sydney Morgan wasn’t even there; she was hiding behind her camera like usual. But when all three start receiving mysterious dares long after the party has ended, they’re forced to play along—or risk exposing their darkest secrets.

How far will Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney go to keep the truth from surfacing? And who’s behind this twisted game?

Set against the backdrop of Echo Bay, an isolated beach town haunted by misfortune, Truth or Dare is a highly charged debut that will keep readers in suspense from beginning to end.

MY REVIEW

Imagine if someone knew all of your darkest secrets. And intended to use them against you, provided you do not do everything that person tells you to, including betraying your own friends.

When I first read the synopsis, I was so excited, because it was like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars all over again. Trust no one. Even the people you think you know so well can be strangers. However, despite how awesome this came across to someone who loves GG and PLL and backstabbing drama (only in books!), my initial excitement to find a new series cataloging a vicious game of truth or dare quickly fell short when I discovered that this book was 99 percent slow-paced teen drama chock full of whining and moaning and characters talking about how attractive they are and blah-blah-blah.

Our blackmail victims come together in the eerie town of Echo Bay, where everyone knows everyone. Not to mention the curse of the Lost Girls – the story of three beautiful, wealthy girls in the prime of their life, each mysteriously dying in the ocean during Echo Bay’s fall festival just years earlier, before the town had elected to cancel the festival. With this years first fall festival since the events that led to the curse, everyone in Echo Bay is wondering if the ocean will claim yet another life, a fourth Lost Girl.

Every single one of the characters is, at some point, a suspect. However, during the shocking big reveal of who is blackmailing these girls – gasp! – once again falls short. Truth or Dare could’ve been thrilling and easily became a new guilty pleasure, but alas, it was remarkably dull. Oh, we get it. Sydney wants Guinness. Tenley wants Guinness. Caitlin wants to be perfect at everything. Boring. None of the girls being blackmailed spent much time worrying about it – not about some stalker out there following them around, sending them creepy notes. Instead, the group worries about everything but, like, oh, what to wear to seduce Guinness! And moaning about not being perfect!

And of course, the last twenty pages finally pick up, only to be left with a cliffhanger and barely any answers. And then the remaining girls went right back to being their obnoxious, underdeveloped selves, never mind that two people supposedly lost their lives.

Perhaps the next installments will be more thrilling and develop the characters more, but I don’t think I’ll be sticking around to read them.

3stars

Dark Triumph – Robin LaFevers

10194157Title: Dark Triumph
Series:
(
His Fair Assassin, #2)
Author:
Robin LaFevers
Category: Young Adult

Goodreads

Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

MY REVIEW

“Hate cannot be fought with hate. Evil cannot be conquered by darkness. Only love has the power to conquer them both.”

In the second installment of the His Fair Assassin series, we follow Sybella, mad and wild, locked in a castle with the cruel d’Albret, whom just so happens to be her father. Sybella, who we saw in Ismae’s story as a wild unruly girl, teethering on insanity. And here, we learn where the madness thrust upon Sybella was born.

Under d’Albrets cruel rule over his household, Sybella fears of being discovered as an ally of the Duchess, Anne of Brittany. She also happens to be a handmaiden of death, and can trust no one except her brother, Julian, who is sometimes hinted as her lover.

Sybella lies in wait, waiting on word from the nuns at the convent that her dear father is marked for death. Waiting, and waiting, and yet confirmation is never allowed. Sybella is angry, for she was the one who wanted to see her father’s life drained by her own hand. Instead of recieving word to execute d’Albret, she is given the task of rescuing a loyal ally of the Duchess… the Beast of Waroch. It was great to have a hero’s appeal based on loyalty and the love for his country and the Duchess instead of beauty. Beast, as you can tell by his nickname, is no handsome knight.

Together, Sybella and Beast fight alongside one another as equals and return to the palace to warn the Duchy of  d’Albret’s plans. There is very little romance, and it felt a little unattended, especially when you compare their attraction to that of Ismae and Duval in Grave Mercy.

LaFever’s does a swell job at making you want to keep turning the pages in order to find out all of Sybella’s dirty little secrets. Also, I loved the real events in this that made it seem all the more real. There really was a d’Albret and Anne.

While this didn’t live up to Grave Mercy in terms of how much I loved it, I still give it four cupcakes.

4stars

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