I will never forget the moment when the twist in E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars made everything fall into place. My brain lit up, my eyes flew wide open, and I practically had to drag my jaw back up off the floor. So, when I realized that E. Lockhart had written another book with crazy twists and dark secrets, I just had to check it out. Somehow, though, I managed to miss the fact that the story was going to be told backwards. When I started listening to the audiobook, I literally thought my OverDrive app had malfunctioned and forgotten to play the parts in order. After all, most books don’t start with Chapter 18! After looking into it and confirming that it was, in fact, playing the parts in the correct order, I sat back to enjoy the ride. And what a ride it was!
I’ve said before that it’s rare for me to finish a book in a single sitting, or even in a single day… but to finish a nearly 7-hour-long audiobook in just over a day is quite a feat for this working mama! I had my headphones on at every opportunity as I found myself looking for solitary chores to complete — washing dishes, folding laundry, etc. I just had to figure out what exactly it was that Jule (using the name Imogen) was running from and how she ended up in a tropical paradise with money to burn. Beginning at the end of the story not only worked well for this thriller, but it even allowed for a completely shocking twist. I kid you not, I literally started the audiobook right over again and listened to the first few chapters to see what clues I may have missed! If you’re looking for a quick-paced thriller with a surprisingly charming villain, you have GOT to check this book out.
I’m thinking I Read YA Week is a perfect opportunity for me to catch up on some blogging… and I may even actually use my Twitter account to tag my posts! 😉 Day 1 is supposed to be something I recommend, and this book definitely fits the bill. I have read several of E. Lockhart’s other books — my favorite of which was probably The Boyfriend List — and I was over the moon when my friend Molly got me the ARC of this book. Although I slacked when it came to posting a review, I handed it off to a friend immediately upon finishing and was happy to hear that she passed it along as well. This book has legs!
Cadence has spent every summer of her life on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her entire extended family. Hired help does all the work while the family enjoys a life of luxury and leisure. She missed last summer, which she spent in Europe with her father, but she is back and trying to piece together what happened two summers before. All she knows is that she sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and now suffers memory loss and crippling headaches. No one in the family is supposed to talk to her about it because it upsets her and then she ends up forgetting anyway — the doctors have decided it’s best if they let her recover those memories on her own. I almost couldn’t get over the shock of what had happened when her memories finally sorted themselves out, and I was in awe of how well everything that seemed so strange finally fell into place. This is a great summer read for people who like mysteries and don’t mind shedding a few tears.
I love the title of this book — although what’s written above is not actually the COMPLETE title. Part of the reason why I love this book title is that it has so many humorous footnotes, including in the title:
*yes, boyfriends, plural. if my life weren’t complicated — I wouldn’t be Ruby Oliver.”
(And, yes, the lack of capital letters is intentional!)
E. Lockhart has a gift for writing tons of humor into what could very well be a horribly depressing book. Between Ruby’s panic attacks, her father’s debilitating depression, and Ruby’s boy troubles, this could have been a drag. Instead, readers find themselves laughing out loud as Ruby sings retro metal songs in her head to stave off panic attacks, recalls her father “drooling orange drool” (from his steady diet of Doritos, Cheetos, etc.) onto his sweatshirt as he camps out on the couch, and compiles lists of possibilities as to why her boyfriend is not answering her calls and e-mails.
While it probably helps to have read at least one of the other Ruby Oliver novels first (I have only read The Boyfriend List), this could certainly be a stand-alone title. Big thanks to my friend, Goddess Librarian, for letting me borrow her ARC! Be sure to subscribe to her blog, too, since she has lots of great reviews and occasional contests/give-aways.
A teenage girl, frustrated by her inability to understand boys, makes a wish that she could be a fly on the wall of the boys’ locker room. Of course, she gets her wish. Naturally, she discovers that guys are a lot like girls in their insecurities and friendship troubles. While there wasn’t much that surprised me, I still enjoyed this book — and laughed every single time she felt compelled to mention a guy’s “gherkin.”
Ruby Oliver thinks she is dying. How would you feel if you kept having panic attacks where your heart beat uncontrollably and you felt like you couldn’t breathe? Ruby’s parents get a doctor friend to check her out after they witness a panic attack, and then Ruby ends up going to see a “shrink.” As a part of her therapy with Dr. Z, Ruby constructs a “boyfriend list” — although it expands beyond “actual” boyfriends to include boys on whom she has had crushes, etc… Join Ruby on this VERY believeable journey through friendships, crushes, relationships, breakups, and general teen-life-craziness to find out how it all ends.