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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-01-21 12:14
Deadly Little Lies (Touch #2) by Laurie Faria Stolarz Review
Deadly Little Lies - Laurie Faria Stolarz

Goodreads Synopsis: Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, a new boy at school who had a very mysterious gift – psychometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry and experiencing strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow been transferred to her.

Ben returns to school, but he remains aloof, and Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Camelia makes the painful decision to let him go and move on. Adam, the hot new guy at Knead, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't. But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events uncovers secrets from Ben’s past – and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it's up to Camelia to figure out who – before it's too late.

 

 

Review:

 

This was basically like reading the first book all over again. She was yet again receiving threats, never mind that she was kidnapped before she again does not inform her parents or the police blah blah blah, there was no development in the story whatsoever! The dialogue is awful as it seems we get nowhere from the conversations between the characters, Camelia’s friends have their own family drama but all they ever want to talk about is her and Ben, so boring! Camelia also went back and forth between trusting Ben in the first book and then he saves her life for the second time so you think she’d fully trust him but no she still doubts him in this one, what more does she want??

 

The teachers at their school also just let bullying happen by looking the other way when students were pulling pranks on Ben and calling Wes names, what kind of school is that! I don’t believe that a school would just let this much destructive behaviour happen in real life. We were also introduced to a new character Adam. After only 3 dates, where all Camelia talked about was Ben, he said he loved her…hold up, what?! You can see how all this is really rushed in order to get to the conclusion of the story.

 

Everything wrong with the first book just carried over to this one, there was absolutely no character development, the story didn’t progress in any way, I can’t think of anything positive about it. I just can’t deal with this series, maybe it gets better maybe it doesn’t but either way I won’t be continuing with it.

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review 2017-01-04 14:00
Deadly Little Secret (Touch #1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz Review
Deadly Little Secret - Laurie Faria Stolarz

Goodreads Synopsis: Some secrets shouldn't be kept...

Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help-but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.

From the best-selling author of Blue is for Nightmares comes a story of paranormal romance that's sure to be a thrilling and chilling teen favorite.

 

 

Review:

 

When I read the synopsis of this book I thought it would be a unique mystery read but I was quite disappointed by it. It was a fast read as it only took me a few hours to get through but by the end I didn’t feel attached to any of the characters and the whole story felt rushed. It did have some similarities to Twilight, Ben rescuing her from an out of control car in the parking lot, them being chemistry partners, and him ignoring her in the beginning….there’s nothing wrong with Twilight but it just wasn’t original.

 

Camelia’s behaviour throughout the book got on my nerves. She was attracted to Ben the minute he saved her life and when everyone was saying he killed his girlfriend she wasn’t even a bit put off him, she knew she was in danger and her stalker had been in her house yet she didn’t bother telling her parents or the police and continued to stay home alone…makes total sense right? That’s not rational behaviour.

 

I did enjoy the mystery element of the story as even when I figured out who her stalker was I still doubted myself. However, throughout the story we didn’t get any interaction between Camelia, Ben, Kimmie and Wes all together so we didn’t really get a chance to get to know them. Camelia also didn’t seem a bit bothered that Ben completely ignored her in the beginning and then he suddenly liked her. He should have had to win her over in some way and spent time with her and her friends. Maybe then she would have actually trusted him instead of going back and forth between her saying she did and then doubting him when it came down to it.

 

I kept reading to find out the identity of her stalker but as for her and Ben ending up together or not it really doesn’t bother me as their relationship just wasn’t believable. This book isn’t all bad though it was entertaining, the writing was good and it had potential to be a great read but it just fell flat. I will give it a second chance and read the second book but I don’t have any high expectations.

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review 2015-09-07 09:59
Return to the Dark House - Laurie Faria Stolarz

3.5 stars, making this one a bit better than the previous book, however due to several things, it still lacked something.

Like all my other reviews I will try to keep my review spoiler-free, but I want to address the things that bothered me as well, so those will be going under the spoiler tags.

Unlike the previous book we don't have a lot of POVs, thank Lord for that. That was something that bothered me in the previous book. But in this one we have Ivy (a lot), Taylor (a bit), Natalie/a (a tiny bit), and a mystery person (though we quickly figure out who it is). It is a breath of relief that we don't have a lot of characters. It made it easier to follow the characters, though I have to say that Taylor and Ivy's voices were really close to each other, so every time I popped out of the book and then back again, I had to check who was speaking. :)

Ivy, ah Ivy. While in the first book it annoyed me how much she just stood out, she was the only one in the bunch of characters who hated the horror genre and had her own reason to be there, this book however, it annoyed me how stereotypical horror dumb she was. You know, she is the kind of girl whom you are screaming at during horror movies. Like: "Noooo, don't go through that door!" or "Noooo, you stupid person, don't listen to that person, arggghhhhhh."
While I can imagine why Ivy is like this, she wants to solve the mystery, she wants to get that Elf behind bars, however.... it just got really annoying how she stalked the police endlessly, didn't care about her medicines, did everything everyone warned her about, endangered more people and in the end fucked up quite a few things. All because she wanted to solve the fucking case.
And yes, at times I was cheering for her, for being so brave (which doesn't mean she wasn't also stupid though), for trying so hard. She is a pretty strong girl, even with all the stuff happening in her life (prior to this and now). Many a girl would probably have given up/worse than that. So yes, I have to say, applause for Ivy for being so strong, for never giving up what she wants, for continuing with this, even when everything is so dark, so gloomy and so endlessly dark.
But, I will also have to shake my head at the way she does things. How she lies her way through life, how she stalks people, how she just doesn't get people.

Taylor, ah Taylor, our mystery girl from the first book. The girl that got away, the girl that abandoned ship and left all of the others in a sinking ship of doom and death.
I wasn't sure what to expect from her, I could imagine why one would run away, but I think it would have been better if she had been stronger. Even in the later parts she is so weak. Generally she was only thinking of herself, of getting out of stuff. And while those are good reactions, and considering her past, they have been drilled in her mind. But, I wish she would have grown out of that or at least would have shown some more power.
Of course, she was also pretty awesome. She really cares about Ivy (going to great lengths for her), about the others, and she really showed that she was determined to at least try, even though her first sense was to run away and go to the police.
I felt sorry for her and what happened to her in the beginning/middle of the book. While she did do all that, no one deserves all that shit from people who weren't even there. I think most of those judging Taylor, would have done the same thing. It is just something that is proven quite a few times. Not many people would take action when things turn really scary.
I think out of all the POVs, she was my favourite.

Then we have the POV of Natalie/a, and a certain someone else. I have to be honest, I never really liked Natalie/a, that voice thing? It just was not that fitting, and it made the girl come over as fake, as desperate, and it made the story less believable (I know, it is already pretty unbelievable, but any credibility it might have, is just blown away with that Harris stuff).
The certain someone else POV? I was interested in the beginning, but around the middle I just started flipping through it, it was just not my cup of tea.

This time, instead of a creepy movie set/house/park, we have a new setting of a boarding school/Gothic house. I just love it. When I heard it would be the setting, I was delighted and so happy! As most probably know by now, I love boarding school settings, and it even gets better when it is horror/paranormal!
I was seriously creeped out during many of the parts and I was really just flying through the pages to get to the conclusion. To find out what happened to our other characters. Are they alive? Are they dead? Why did the murderer/Elf/whatever else do this? It was really interesting, but sadly, it took a while for the book to really find that excitement. Quite a big part of the book is just about Ivy finding out more, about Taylor and her life, about both of them getting together, and it takes quite some time to get to the scary/awesome boarding school parts. So just be warned, if you expect the whole book to be about it (or at least a big part), just like me, you will be (a bit) disappointed.

I didn't like the police at all. Sure, I can imagine that they are trying their best, but it just felt weird that someone like Ivy knew more, had more leads and did her best way more than them. Maybe this isn't true, but it is the feeling I got throughout the book.

All in all, it was a decent book, but due to various stuff I can't give it more than 3.5 stars.

Would I recommend this series? On the one hand, yes. It is a pretty fun series and it has good moments, but if you don't like a certain type of ending, I wouldn't recommend it.

Review first posted at http://twirlingbookprincess.com/

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review 2015-07-03 23:19
Deadly Little Secret
Deadly Little Secret - Laurie Faria Stolarz

This wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great, either.

 

Camille is annoying in a lot of ways, and she never really gets better. She is socially awkward in the most obnoxious way--she's extremely self-centered and it causes her to miss all sorts of things that are obviously going wrong in other people's lives. She's also not terribly bright and has that annoying YA "heroine" tendency to run straight towards the creepiest guy in the room at any given moment. If someone tells you they think he might be a murderer and you think he might be stalking you, seems like you should be running in the other direction, yeah? Is this just me?

 

Of course, because one time he managed to help her when she was in danger, Edward Ben somehow became the center of her universe at all times, and she trusted him even when he basically told her not to. Because that is not creepy at all.

 

There are no vampires, but this book was very clearly written riding on the Twilight wave, and sometimes the similarities are a bit too much. Unfortunately, vampires, even awkward sparkly vampires who play baseball, are just plain more interesting than what we have here in terms of paranormal stuff. Camille is awfully similar to Bella, but somehow I found the latter less annoying. Possibly because she was the first?

 

I did enjoy the thriller aspect and I thought the handling of the second viewpoint was done pretty well. I enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on, although I did manage to figure it out well before things were revealed. Camille is a trusting little soul and does not pay attention to things that should be obvious sometimes.

 

I won't pick up the rest of the series, but I'm not against maybe trying something else by the author, hopefully something that feels a little less derivative.

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text 2015-06-11 05:39
Reading progress update: I've read 63%.
Deadly Little Secret - Laurie Faria Stolarz

Is it bad that I'm more interested in what on earth is going on with her parents than literally anything that is happening to the main character? I'm going with probably. I'm going to finish this partly because it's very short and I'm really close to doing so but mostly because I really want to know what is going on with them. 

 

On the plus side, this is becoming more of a thriller than I had previously expected, and I appreciate that. 

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