Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

genuine fraud by e. lockhart

Young Adult + Fiction // Categories: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House)
Format: ARC // 262 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars

Links: Purchase from The Book Depository or AmazonAdd to Goodreads
Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat. Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. A bad romance, or maybe three. Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her. A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.
reason for reading
E. Lockhart is an author I've read from before I even started blogging. I'm fairly certain that one of her earlier novels released in 2006, Fly on the Wall, was one of the first YA novels I've ever read—before I even learned what YA is—but I can't remember a single thing about that book now.

I decided to pick up Genuine Fraud because I read We Were Liars back in 2014 and loved it. It got a lot of hype, and I remember it was either well-loved or really hated. I haven't come across anyone who has nothing to say about it.

what genuine fraud is about
In the same vein as We Were Liars, you want to go into Genuine Fraud with as little information and influence as possible. So I won't give any clues as to what this book is about, but I will tell you that it's a story told from present to past. The first couple of chapters may feel a little disorienting, just trying to figure out what's going on, but I think it's worth the wait.

"Jule believed that the more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle." (5)

good story vs. good writing?
Lockhart is an incredible writer — the way she structures her sentences, the way she tells her stories, the way her stories flow. She really knows how to capture readers and maintain the right amount of mystery. But I have to admit I didn't really like the story itself. Almost every character is unlikeable—which, normally, doesn't matter too much to me—but because their lives are driving the plot, I wasn't invested and I didn't really feel sympathy for their misfortunes 😔

Wanting to figure out the HOW and WHY is what kept me reading. I needed to find out how it all plays out! Lockhart is also very strategic in unraveling her stories slowly, at the perfect pace, leaving you with some sort of reaction after every chapter.

verdict (tl;dr) + breaking it down
Although I love the way Lockhart writes, I didn't like the actual story. Genuine Fraud was good, but it's no We Were Liars.

  • Would I re-read this? // Unlikely, but I won't say no! I was reading other reviews and some theories got me thinkin' ... what did you guys think of the ending?
  • Can I read this in one sitting? // Yes! And you should, if you can. It's a fairly fast-paced book, one you can definitely finish in a day.
  • Are there any diverse characters? // I think just one. He is described as "Some white and some Asian heritage, Jule guessed." (221)
  • Trigger warnings? // Suicide, some detailed violence.

Other reviews from bloggers I follow: The Book Addict's GuideBooks & Cleverness

Thank you to Delacorte Press/Penguin Random House for allowing me to read and review an early copy!


Have you come across any books or movies where you've disliked the story but loved the writing? I felt this way toward La La Land — I LOVED the music and the production, but not the story :(

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Coffee with "A", No. 1: I'M GETTING MARRIED!

You guys, this year has really been kicking my butt.

I am currently getting over a case of strep throat (no idea where I caught it from, but THANK GOD for antibiotics) and had just figured out why I was having abdominal pain. I think God has been trying to teach me what REST looks like. I am always go-go-go, so having a fever + chills + swollen lymph nodes + headaches + painful throat = SLOW DOWN AND STOP DOING TOO MUCH. And by "doing too much," I mean "doing all these extra things that don't matter."

So hi again. My name is Amaris and I am not a writer (which probably explains my absence(s) and a lot of other things) but I am typing these words here because I want to share my brain with you.

life updates and other stuff

I finished the first season of Westworld ... WHAT A TWISTED ENDING. It took me a while to get through it, mainly because it's an incredibly slow and detailed show. It's very heavy on the world-building and set-up, but man when it all comes together = mind blown. I would recommend it for fans of Black Mirror and Ex Machina.

I'M GETTING MARRIED!!! I said yes in the middle of June and we signed the contract for our venue this past Friday so it's really happening! So far I'm not too overwhelmed, but I know I will be once we need to make decisions on the little details ... it's hard to say whether Pinterest is helpful or hurtful right now — there are too many options!

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes is the last book I finished. The plot is incredibly intriguing — Minnow Bly escapes from a cult, ends up in juvenile detention, and is suspected to know who killed her cult leader. Also, she had her hands cut off?! 😱 I have a really strange fascination with cults, and this book was a really easy and interesting read!

I'll be in Seattle this weekend! My fiancé, my parents, and I are going as a birthday hurrah for my fiancé. He's turning 25 on Monday! We are staying 15 minutes away from Pike Place Market, so send over any recommendations on things to do and see :)

books i hope to finish by the end of september

Word-Filled Women's Ministry by Gloria Furman and Kathleen B. Nielson // I mentioned back in April that this is the book we're reading through at my church as part of the women's mentoring ministry. Even though it doesn't end until December, I want to finish this asap! Basically, I am reading two more books with the church groups I'm a part of (youth ministry and a community group) and I don't want to have too many things going on at once. Anyway, I only have three more chapters!

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda // Why I left myself only 32 pages, I don't know! But it's been so much fun reading through this and listening to each track.

The Dinner by Herman Koch // I hate to say it, but this book has been so boring 🙊 I'm 63 pages in but I don't want to abandon it because Abby from Crime by the Book thinks it's better than Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I hope I can follow along with the audiobook.

two favorite things on the internet right now

Gabi from Let's Gab About Books shared her free bullet journal printables last month! She is one of the most creative people I've ever encountered, and I dig anything she photographs/makes.

Rachel from Hello, Chelly! has been in the ice cream game for a while now, and this round-up of the places she's tried recently makes me want to hunt down all the new shops in my city. This list is gonna be my go-to the next time I visit New York City!


I named this new series 'Coffee with "A"' because "A" is my response to baristas when they ask me what my name is! I never use "Amaris" because it's unlikely that someone will spell AND say "Amaris" correctly — "A" is much easier.

What do you use as your "coffee name?" Tell me below, and include some things you are grateful for this week. Happy Tuesday! ☺️

Monday, July 17, 2017

Book Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Thank you to Quirk Books for approving my NetGalley request to read Geekerella by Ashley Poston. This in no way affects my opinions.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Young Adult // Categories: Contemporary, Retellings
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Quirk Books
Format: eARC // 320 pages
Rating: 3.75 stars

LinksPurchase on AmazonAdd to Goodreads

Other books by Ashley Poston: The Sound of Us

Get ready for your hearts to burst with joy — Geekerella is the perfect read if you are part of a fandom and know what it feels like to love something so much.

Geekerella is a modern retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale told from two points of view: Danielle "Elle" Wittimer, passionate fan of Starfield (a classic sci-fi/Star Trek-esque series); and Darien Freeman, the actor chosen to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the upcoming Starfield reboot. No one believes Darien is good enough to play this iconic role, including Elle. Things get interesting when they "cross paths," and the story plays out from there.

You know what's going to happen if you've seen or heard the story of Cinderella, but I don't think this makes it any less enjoyable. There were so many fun twists, like who the fairy godmother is, and the pumpkin being a food truck! Reading Geekerella reminded me so much of A Cinderella Story, which made me love it even more.

Having two different points of view gave this book a little something extra — I think that's what makes this retelling stand out. Aside from our Cinderella storyline, we get to follow Prince Charming too. The more we learn about why he chooses to do the things he does and what's going on in his head, the more I grew to love him.

Knowing that Darien and Elle have misconceptions of each other in real life made me want to root for them even more. I couldn't stop turning the pages because I wanted to see how they would end up meeting each other!

One of my favorite things about Geekerella was the friendship formed between Elle and Sage, her co-worker. I don't want to say too much about their scenes, but there is one that really captures what it feels like to introduce someone to something you really love. There's excitement, because you're hoping they will love it as much as you do; and then there's some fear, because what if they don't?

I think I enjoyed Geekerella so much because I GET IT. I love things with a passion. The main synopsis says this book is a "love letter to nerd culture," which I couldn't have said better. I am wishing so hard for Starfield to be a real life thing!

Are you a part of any fandoms? Chat with me if you love THE FLASH!

Friday, June 2, 2017

TBR: June 2017

Out of the seven books I shared from last month's TBR, I read four: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Snotgirl, Vol. 1: Green Hair Don't Care by Bryan Lee O'Malley and Leslie Hung, Paper Girls, Vol. 2 by Bryan K. Vaughan, and The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord! Yes, two of them were comic trade paperbacks ... but I would say it's a win since I normally throw my list out the window after reading one book!

This month is going to be insane, so I really should be choosing less books. Here are ten anyway, OH WELL ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'm either out of town or at an all-day event for 15 out of 30 days in June ... if I survive, praise God for sustaining me cause I know it's definitely not of my own effort!!!

This summer is going to be filled with contemporary (as if my whole year isn't already, lol) and I'm planning to revisit some favorites!

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson // I've heard this one is the majority favorite of out of all the Morgan Matson books! I'm tackling her books in publication order, and I've really enjoyed both Amy & Roger's Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han // I picked up this book around seven years ago when I was in high school at BORDERS! It was one of the first YA books I've ever read, before I even knew what YA was. I didn't continue on in this trilogy, so I'm hoping to do that this summer.

That Summer by Sarah Dessen // I am so conflicted because I want to read Once and For All (it comes out on the sixth!) but I want to read Sarah Dessen's books in publication order first. What do you guys think? If I start with That Summer, I will not be reading Once and For All until next summer :p

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord // This would also be another re-read for me, so it doesn't actually count toward this challenge. But I didn't write a full review for it the first time around, so I'm hoping to do that this time! I'm also very curious to see if my feelings for this book has changed at all.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson // I was planning to start a new fantasy series this month, and Sierra (from @sierraiswriting on Twitter) just happened to mention that she was going to be reading this one for #oldiesYA! This works out really well for me because I own the trilogy so I am PREPARED. Although I really should be continuing on in the Grisha (now Shadow and Bone) trilogy ...

I will definitely be reading Alex, Approximately in June — I just picked up my hold from the library last week. Windfall was an unexpected addition (I want to read Jennifer E. Smith's books in publication order and I've only read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight) but I just thought of a post idea that I want to do! I'm still not sure if I want to save I Believe in a Thing Called Love and When Dimple Met Rishi for July when I have more time ... my library has an option to "freeze" a hold, which I haven't been utilizing since last month, but I like it a lot because sometimes I get click happy and reserve a ton of books that I don't want to read *at that moment*. And then there are other times when I remove a hold and put it back on my account the minute I want to read it but then there's a long wait ... and when it's finally my turn, I don't feel like reading it anymore. Please tell me I'm not the only one like this!!! I also added Wonder to this list because the movie is coming out and I STILL haven't read it :x

What are you going to read in June? If we're reading the same book, let's discuss!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated Releases

Top Ten Tuesdays is a feature created by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to share your own lists in the future, the prompts can be found on their page! You can also find my previous lists by searching the label "top ten tuesday" :)

We're talking about ANTICIPATED RELEASES today, specifically titles coming out between July and December. I am looking forward to many many many books, but these are the ones I'll be reading as soon as they're published! The first five are must-reads because of their authors, and the last five are must-reads because of their stories.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart // September 5
We Were Liars, E. Lockhart's previous novel, was a hit or miss with a lot of people but I loved the style of writing. I'm especially excited for this one because it's YA psychological suspense! Sounds like we will have an unlikeable main character.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin // September 26
Ryan Graudin comes up with the most unique storylines — seeing her on my list shouldn't come as a surprise! Wolf by Wolf, the first in her duology, is one of my favorite books; I was completely sold after reading the synopsis. It's no different with Invictus ("... after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.") I love a good time-travel story!

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins // September 26
I love this cover, and I've loved everything Stephanie Perkins has written so far. Mystery/horror is not her usual genre, so I am very curious about this new approach.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer // November 7
Yes to books about people with super powers. Other than that, I have absolutely no idea what this book is about but I will 100% pick it up because it's written by Marissa Meyer. Thank you and good night.

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills // December 5
Another book I want to read only because of the author. Emma Mills is definitely an auto-read author for me — her debut novel, First & Then, is one of my favorites!

Lucky in Love by Kasie West // July 25
The synposis sounds very similar to Windfall ... it'll be interesting to read both. But I think the love interest is Vietnamese, and I'm all about books with Asian characters.

The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee // August 29
The first book, The Thousandth Floor, was so addicting to read through. If you like Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, there's a high chance you'll enjoy this series too. It's perfect if you are having a book hangover!

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo // August 29
I am a little disappointed by the cover but that doesn't really matter because Leigh Bardugo is writing about WONDER WOMAN, whaaat?!

The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke // September 1
Someone using dark magic to change history + time-travel = the perfect combination, so sign me up! Historical fiction is always a bit slow for me, but this sounds so good.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust // September 5
Jodi Meadows, author of the Newsoul trilogy, said this debut novel is "everything a fairy tale should be." I AM HERE FOR THAT.

Which titles are you most looking forward to read?
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