***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
I am a major Kelley Armstrong fangirl so I knew I would love this book but I still ended up being surprised by it. The Masked Truth is so different from Kelley Armstrong's YA novels in that it’s more mature and also happens to be a thriller (her YA books so far have been Urban Fantasy/Fantasy.)
One thing Kelley Armstrong has been good about is incorporating diversity in her novels and she does it again with a Hispanic female lead and also by discussing mental illnesses in a way that is heartbreaking but REALLY realistic and enlightening. I also appreciated that therapy was portrayed positively in the book (even with some of the things that happened.) The main character isn’t always on board with some of the things her therapist asks but getting help is NEVER mocked and I loved that.
Riley is suffering from PTSD after witnessing a couple she babysat for get murdered. She saved their daughter, but in her mind, because she hid under a bed, she is a coward and the fact that everyone considers her a hero makes it worse. When she and a bunch of other kids are held hostage, Riley really steps up her game to keep everyone together but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have flashbacks or panics. I think her entire character is so fantastically developed. It’s realistic and makes it so easy to believe in Riley.
My favorite character is obviously Max who is unlike any love interest I’ve met so far. He is schizophrenic. And it’s really his struggle that makes this book stand out to me. When we first meet him, he seems like a classic case of bad boy and I was like *shrug* but the more I read and the more Kelley developed him, the more I fell in love.
Through Max, Kelley really looks at the stigmas surrounding mental illnesses and specifically schizophrenia. Before reading this book, I didn’t know much about the illness but The Masked Truth really put into perspective the kind of prejudice people have and how hard it can be to deal with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia. In my limited knowledge of the illness, I’d say that Kelley did a fantastic job with dealing with the illness and never undermined its seriousness in any way.
As one can imagine, the romance between Riley and Max would be all kinds of interesting and it was. Given the situation they are in, being held hostage and all, the time frame within which their romance develops might make some readers see it as instalove but I was okay with it because Kelley really makes me root for these two. Their romance is built on understanding and team work rather than attraction (although there is that too) and I really liked that.
The thriller aspects, unsurprisingly, were amazing too. This book does get twisty but in a way that works and I enjoyed it. Of course, that could just be my bias since I adore Kelley Armstrong but I also think she just did a great job with the twists. She never throws unnecessary red herrings and nothing is predictable. Her twists also aren’t bizarre or unbelievable. They just make sense within the context of the story. It’s like watching pieces of a puzzle click rather than experiencing sheer surprise or shock.
The book does start off slow, and it wasn’t until the second half that I was really sucked in but Kelley has a way of writing stories that work for me and many other readers. I loved this book and hope that Kelley will write many more like it.
Note that I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review
Publisher Karl Beckstrand on new thriller: To Swallow the Earth, an Adventure 108 years in the making!
A man and a woman, each searching for missing family members, clash amid a Nevada silver rush scheme that leaves both unsure who to trust--and scrambling to stay alive.
"A wonderful story of adventure, grit and survival. Karl’s done an amazing job of beautifully illustrating this story through his words. I highly recommend it!" - Lindsay Condie
I started reading The Last Changeling expecting nothing more than a little entertainment, a light paranormal story and hopefully sweet romance. I got much much more. Contrary to what pretty cover and summary lead me to believe, The Last Changeling is not just another young adult novel.
In a lyrical, unusual style, that’s fit better for literal fiction than paranormal genre, Chelsea Pitcher weaves her magical web around us. Whether it’s the descriptions of nature or feelings, style of writing is not something you read every day.
But late one night, death offered me an opportunity. She whispered dirty secrets in my ear and pulled back my eyelids with curling hands.
Narrators are Elora/Lora, fae princess, and Tyler, human boy. Every chapter switches perspective. You could not miss who is talking in each chapter, even if it was not written at the beginning. Taylor’s language is modern and short. Elora’s speech has archaic traces, reminded me of Shakespeare’s dialogues (if someone rewrote them for modern-themed Broadway show).
The story is typical. Fae princess comes in disguise to human high school and falls in love with a human boy. But the writing and the characters make The Last Changeling unique. I already mentioned the writing style. As for the characters, when people complain and tweet #WeNeedDiverseBooks – they are saying that more books should be like The Last Changeling. Homosexuality, bisexuality, peer pressure, drugs, bullying, dealing with loss of a family member, complex characters, … It’s all covered.
Sadly, all Chelsea Pitcher‘s talent was pretty much wasted on me. Someone would have enjoyed this book like a rare cup of exotic tea. I sipped it, made face, concluded how I can see it’s good, but it’s not for me. I might even continue readingFaerie Revolutions series, since I am intrigued to find out what will happen next. But it feels kinda like a sacrilege reading and not enjoying it.
The Last Changeling is not a book for everyone. But if you like writing styles with literal flare and are looking for a young adult paranormal novel with diverse cast of characters, then The Last Changeling might be the book you will enjoy.
Disclaimer: I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.