Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

Beautiful Lies sounded like a book that was right up my alley. Plus, Warman is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. There’s something about the way she writes a real story, one that doesn’t always have a happy ending, that draws me in, even though I always have a feeling my heart is going to be crushed several times as I read.

As a narrator, the main character is completely unreliable. And yet I believed every single word she said. I knew as I was reading that something wasn’t quite right with how she was viewing the world, and I still went along completely with her. She’s so unreliable as a narrator, that she becomes reliable. My heart was aching through the entire book, wanting to make things better for her, to tell her what was going on, to help her.

The plot of this novel had me guessing with every turn of the page. I never knew what was going to happen. I’d think I knew and suddenly there was another plot twist thrown in that had my head spinning is such a wonderful way. I wanted to figure the book out, I needed to, and that only propelled me to read faster and faster.

Beautiful Lies is a completely enthralling, entrancing novel that I couldn’t put down. If you like anything with a good mystery and suspense, read this book.

Between by Jessica Warman

I am in love with this book. It’s not a happy book and sometimes it got tough to read, but I love it. Warman created a murder mystery and layered it with an exploration of the different kinds of love people can have. It was intense and meaningful and I loved it.

Liz annoyed me at the beginning of the novel, but she was supposed to. She has everything she could need in life. An almost too perfect boyfriend, friends that love her, parents that just want to make her happy. The only major flaw in her perfect life is waking up on the morning of her 18th birthday as, basically, a ghost.

With the help of Alex Berg, the boy killed in a hit and run less than a year earlier, she gets pieces of her memory put back in place. She’s trying to figure out why she’s still around instead of passing on to wherever it is the dead are supposed to go. She watches her family grieve and her friends fall apart. The secrets that held everyone together start to come out and it’s easy to see that life isn’t always what it looks like on the surface. People aren’t black and white; you can’t judge a person’s character on only what one person sees. People are grey and sometimes you don’t see everything about them.

Alex is on his own journey in this afterlife. He spends time with Liz, helping her with her own discoveries before the truth comes out. I loved him as a character and he really helped Liz’s growth and even though we didn’t see much of his life; it was easy to see him grow as a person as well.

That was another thing Warman did wonderfully in this book. The characters don’t end up the same people they started as. They change and grow. Each one has flaws and strengths. It’s so refreshing to see a book where even the minor characters are people. It made the book even more enjoyable for me.

This book was fantastic and such a wonderful journey to be taken on. So much happened in this book, but it was never too fast or too slow. This is definitely a book people need to read. It will make you think in such a wonderful way.

Breathless by Jessica Warman

I’m conflicted about this book. It was well written and covered a tough subject very well. But I still feel let down by it. There wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with it, it just wasn’t right.

The characters are well written and you can see the growth in most of them throughout the novel. They are realistic and I can see myself coming across people just like them in real life. I didn’t really fall in love with Drew, but that’s more due to personal reasons than the writing of him. He was a great character to have in the sea of crazy teenage behavior.

I think my main problems with this book are that it covers such a long time period and there is never really a major conflict and resolution in the novel. I always think a book should start as close to the end as possible, which is why I can typically forgive the “love at first sight” plots of young adult novels. However, this book covers 3 years of Katie’s life, and during those years, yes, things happen, but there isn’t one main event. I kept waiting for something to happen that would have me on the edge of my seat and nothing ever did. I wasn’t blown away by the plot and it felt a little ho-hum for my tastes.

Overall, this was a good book, but it just left something to be desired. It felt more like a story instead of a novel, in that things happened, but at the same time, nothing really happened. There was so much potential, and I feel like it just didn’t quite reach the level it could have.