Have you guys read any of these?
Even though there were still a few things that I didn't entirely like (like Trigger, though now with the ending, he did make a perfect villain so I got to give points for that), and I still had one question (where is Reed??), but in overall I just can't give this book less than 5+ stars. I have been having troubles with reading stuff lately, and this one just grabbed me and held me. I couldn't stop reading (even if at times I really had to).
Not a terribly long review, just a short(ish) one to express my feelings on this book.
When I spotted this one at the library I knew I just had to get it, I did quite like Becca Fitzpatrick's other thriller book, though I never could get into her paranormal books. And in the end I loved this one even more than I did the other thriller book. Sure, it had some moments that I just wanted to tape our MC behind several layers of wallpaper, but in the end I just adored this girl, and she was my favourite.
Yes, the MC was quite annoying at the beginning. When we first see her I thought she came from a bad home, and was poor, but as soon as she gets to her new place she starts acting all high and mighty, dismissing several things because of how cheap they are, of how they look. Apparently mommy could still afford a big house with lots of clothes and such. And our MC missed all that. Hoo boy, I was worried our MC would be like this all the book, but thankfully no. I can't say much more as that would give too much away, but I loved how this girl changed. Even if the time span of the book was quite short (it all takes place in just over a month, maybe a bit more), it still felt natural.
Her relationship with Chet, that was a bit weird to me. Later it became more natural, but it took me several cringey moments, and several moments that I wanted to shout at our MC, before I liked it. I was mostly just angry with the MC for how she acted around Chet, you know darn well that wasn't friendship, that it wasn't that from the start (this is no spoiler, just read the book, and you will see that as soon as these 2 properly meet (I don't count the lawn-mowing part as an encounter) there will be sparks flying.
Of course I can't spoil much, but I can say that I loved how it developed. I was cheering for them both, and I was squeeing when things did happen.
Then we have the big secret that the MC is keeping, I have to say I had no clue what it could be, yes, I had some options, but I never expected that option to be a possibility. Wow. I can imagine she did what she did though.
Then we have a dickface (sorry I already forgot his name, he was just such a pest that I didn't care to even remember his name) who keeps ruining the lives of every female he encounters. :| I really despised him, and I also hated how everyone in town was protecting him for various reasons. :|
I don't want to talk longer about this character. He was a jerk, and well.... for what happens in the end....
The mother was just terrible btw. Especially when she does x things.
Carmina took a long time to get used to. Really, a long time. Sure, Stella was a bit over-the-top, but I did get tired of Carmina's preachiness.
Later on however, we did see a different side to her, and we also learn more about her past, which made me care for her more and more. She is still not my favourite character, but thankfully she changed and became better.
There was one thing that I was curious about. What happened to Reed? We hear that stuff happened, but I don't believe I have seen anything of a continuation about that part. Is he dead? Is he semi-dead? Is he somewhere else?
But all in all, I can't help but loving this book. I was in a bit of a reading slump, and this one picked me up and just lifted me out of it. Thanks book! <3 <3 The setting was fun, there were a lot of parts that had me thinking, there were lots of fun summer moments.
The only thing that I would have liked to have seen would be an epilogue.
I would recommend this book to everyone.
Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
While I did enjoy Dangerous Lies, I do feel as though the writing is a bit lack luster. The plot as holes in it and its left a bit open ended. Some character story lines weren't resolved at all. The main character feels very emotionless at times, especially for everything she goes through.
Stella is her new name. Carmina's house is her new home. A new city, a new school, far away from Philadelphia and the drug dealer her mom brought home. Witness protection isn't what she wanted. But the gorgeous boy in town isn't someone she expected to find.
I think Chett is the only thing I really enjoyed about this book. I want to know what happened with Trigger in the end, and what about Reed? So many characters are left unanswered for at the end of the story.
This is supposed to be a thriller but it reads more like a romance. There are some "action" scenes in the end but that's about it.
Dangerous Lies isn't terrible, I just wish it was better written.
Initial reaction: Well, at least I can say this was better than "Black Ice", but not by much. Oy vey. I'll talk about this one when I give myself enough time to collect my thoughts. But suffice to say, Stella was a character who wore on my patience one too many times, and while there were moments where she felt realistically like a teenager caught in extreme (and unfortunate) circumstances, she was so judgmental and presumptuous that it made her very difficult to follow. I don't ask to like every heroine (heck, I read my fair share of flawed heroes and heroines) that I read about, but this was just messed up in places and as per usual - it threw me out of what otherwise could've been an engaging narrative.
I'll admit I'm torn on my reflections on "Dangerous Lies" (hence why I waited so long to reflect on it. Even then I'm still torn). Admittedly, I want to give Becca Fitzpatrick credit for this book. I really do - it's a decent thriller for premise at least and I'll admit I read through this rather compulsively (barring the times it threw me out of the story for Stella's prejudiced commentary). There were even times I could understand why Stella was as bitter as she was. When you're a teenager who has their whole life ripped away from them - mother strung out on drugs, father wants nothing to do with you, you're told to forget about your boyfriend, friends and high school, AND your life is in danger because you were the key witness to a crime - that...is far beyond the point of unfortunate. Seriously.
But even understanding that didn't make me forgive how judgmental she was through the entire book with rampant misogynistic comments and put downs from the get go (even to a young woman who was pregnant). It threw me out of the story one too many times and detracted from the overarching narrative. This isn't even a new thing for Fitzpatrick's narratives on any level, from everything I've read from her thus far. I don't expect a character to be perfect, and anti-heroes/heroines need their stories told too - that's not the issue at all. Rather, it's the fact I see the same stereotypes, same prejudices, same problems in every single narrative that Fitzpatrick has written thus far, and it's annoying as crap to me. Same slut shaming and rampant girl-girl put downs, same stereotypes when it comes to characters of different nationalities or racial groups. Same...issues and it feels like a paint by numbers template to me at this point. *sighs* I feel like this could've been as strong of a narrative, if not stronger, if it didn't have all those narrative judgmental tangents thrown in (and the narrative felt longer for it). Not only are they offensive in themselves, they just feel like a distraction from the overarching story, which is decent in theory for a thriller/suspense revolving around a displaced teen. Lauren Oliver, Courtney Summers, Megan Abbott are among a few names I could mention who have managed to make bad girls/anti-heroines worth following without reiterating and championing harmful stereotypes that divert the focus from the overarching narrative.
Rant aside, "Dangerous Lies" sees Stella relocating to another household in a small town, where she's kept under the supervision of Carmina (who, considering all the stuff Stella does and says against her, is very accommodating and fair. Stella gives her a very hard time even from the beginning, but I expected some blowback given Stella's situation.) Stella rebels, finds herself befriending a few of the locals, including an insta-love connection with Chet ("I'm an insta-love machine, and I won't work for nobody but yooou....")
The novel takes a turning point when horrible events bring back Stella's connections to the crime she witnessed and hold the possibility of her being in danger again (or just the target of the local bad boy who hates Stella with a passion). And considering Chet's feelings for Stella grow stronger, she's torn between her loyalty to him, her loyalty to her former boyfriend Reed, and the secret of her identity. I could certainly see the divisions in that (though Reed became an afterthought once Chet was in the picture in full. Ugh). The narrative after that point has certain places where Stella's character is flawed, but more tolerable than she was in the first half of the book. I actually identified with her grief over her mother, her struggles with her secret, some events that involve Carmina that allow their bond to grow more (and I liked Carmina probably the most out of all the characters in this book).
Even then, Stella's still a TSTL heroine with all the rules she breaks while in protective custody, so it's little wonder why she finds herself in trouble eventually while marching towards the end of the book. So...not much in the way of suspense for that reason. *sighs*
In the end, it was more tolerable than "Black Ice" and much of Fitzpatrick's "Hush Hush" series, but I still had rooted issues with this book. It's a combination of recycled narrative flaws and plot points/holes that didn't measure up the book's experience for me.
Overall score: 2/5 stars.