Review: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

5th Oct 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: The Lie Tree by Frances HardingeThe Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Published by Amulet Books
Pub Date: April 19th 2016
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover | Source: Publisher
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

To earn a secret so profound, I would need to tell momentous lies, and make as many people as possible believe them…

Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is modest and well mannered—a proper young lady who knows her place. But inside, Faith is burning with questions and curiosity. She keeps sharp watch of her surroundings and, therefore, knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing—like the real reason her family fled Kent to the close-knit island of Vane. And that her father’s death was no accident.

In pursuit of revenge and justice for the father she idolizes, Faith hunts through his possessions, where she discovers a strange tree. A tree that only bears fruit when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit, in turn, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder. Or, it might lure the murderer directly to Faith herself, for lies—like fires, wild and crackling—quickly take on a life of their own.

Faith Sunderly and her family have just moved to the remote island of Vane. They fled their former home in Kent when Faiths reverend father made a discovery at a dig site that was not received well. Faith is a 14 year old well-mannered young lady on the outside. On the inside Faith is far more interested in science than housework and she has a ton of scientific questions she is dying to find the answers too.

When her father is found dead on the island, Faith knows it was no accident and she is determined to find his killer. Though Faith has a few ideas of who would hurt her father, she has no proof. Faith begins to run out of time proving the murder. In a desperate fit, she begins to rummage through her father’s belongings and discovers his biggest secret of all, a tree. Of course this is not an ordinary old tree, this is the sole reason Faiths father was murdered. This tree has the ability to reveal a truth to you, but in exchange you must tell it a lie. Once you tell it a lie, and the lie takes hold in the community, the tree produces a red fruit. Eat the fruit and it will send you into an opiate dream-like state where the truth is finally revealed. The tree must remain in very dark conditions though and to properly care for it, Faith has to sneak out in the middle of the night and somehow avoid leading her father’s killer directly to the tree.

I ran across this book at BEA this year and immediately fell in love with the cover and the premise. I admit I did have a little trouble getting into the book, it starting out a bit slow for me. I was immediately annoyed with Faiths father and his nonchalance toward her; Harding portrays the sexism of the time in almost every chapter. It’s completely accurate but frustrating none-the-less! I love Faith and her hunger for knowledge; her fierce persistence made her a woman to be feared in her time.  I did feel like the ending was somewhat abrupt, maybe I just wanted more. I do think this could easily be made into a series, I’d love to know more about what happened to Faith!

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Misfit by Jon Skovron

12th Dec 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Misfit by Jon SkovronMisfit by Jon Skovron
Published by Amulet Books
Pub Date: August 1st 2011
Pages: 384
Format: ARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

Jael Thompson has never really fit in. She’s changed schools too many times to count. The only family she’s ever known is her father, a bitter ex-priest who never lets her date and insists she attend the strictest Catholic school in Seattle. And her mother—well, she was a five thousand year old demon. That doesn’t exactly help.

But on her sixteenth birthday, her father gives her a present that brings about some unexpected changes. Some of the changes, like strange and wonderful powers and the cute skater boy with a knack for science, are awesome. But others, like the homicidal demon seeking revenge on her family? Not so much.

Steeped in mythology, this is an epic tale of a heroine who balances old world with new, science with magic, and the terrifying depths of the underworld with the ordinary halls of high school.


Misfit is a story full of cool demonic fun. Demon’s aren’t fun, you say? Well, in this book they were pretty fun…some are scary, yes, but they’re also funny. I hadn’t yet read a young adult urban fantasy book that focused on religion and demonology in this way, but I can get behind it. There’s a lot to work with in that area and Jon Skovron gives us a unique and witty take on it.

I thought Jael was endearing. Through the course of Misfit, she grows from a shy, quiet girl to a kick-ass confident half-demon. I am a sucker for single dads in books. Though Jael’s father seems like a hardass, he really is just doing his best to keep her safe. I loved seeing their relationship open up and blossom. I really liked that we got to see how Jael’s parents met and lived, fell in love and worked together. Definitely not your typical love story, that one. And Jael herself gets a little love in this book too, which is always a plus for me, but it’s definitely not central to the story.

I enjoyed seeing these characters discover knew things about themselves and each other in Misfit. Certainly not your typical self-discovery type of book, but very cool indeed. :)


Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Blog Tour: Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell – Dream Cast + Giveaway!

8th Oct 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Blog Tours

Blog Tour: Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell – Dream Cast + Giveaway!

Blog Tour: Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell – Dream Cast + Giveaway!Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell
Published by Amulet Books
Pub Date: October 1st 2013
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover | Source: Blog Tour
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Rebecca Blue is a rebel with an attitude whose life is changed by a chance encounter with a soon-to-be dead girl. Rebel (as she’s known) decides to complete the dead girl’s bucket list to prove that choice, not chance, controls her fate. In doing so, she unexpectedly opens her mind and heart to a world she once dismissed—a world of friendships, family, and faith. With a shaken sense of self, she must reevaluate her loner philosophy—particularly when she falls for Nate, the golden boy do-gooder who never looks out for himself. Perfect for fans of Jay Asher’s blockbuster hit Thirteen Reasons Why, Coriell’s second novel features her sharp, engaging voice along with realistic drama and unforgettable characters.


Dream Cast

Nate Bolivar

Federico DeVito is Nate Bolivar. Hands down. He has hunky Nate’s dimples, athleticism, and charisma. I can see this good guy taking care of his little brothers and sisters, saving sea swallows, and kayaking through romantic sea caves with Rebel.


 Kennedy Green

Do-gooder Kennedy Green appears in only the first chapter, but she’s a HUGE part of Goodbye, Rebel Blue. Plop a perky blond ponytail on AnnaSophia Robb, and you get an idea of how she looks. But I also think this Hollywood A-lister has Kennedy’s strength and depth.


Macey Kellingsworth

Macey is one of those characters who slooooowly revealed herself to me, and she holds such a special spot in my heart because I know her back story. I’m thinking Allisyn Ashley Arm as Reb’s pie-baking, grim-reaperesque best friend.


Rebecca “Rebel” Blue  

Gah! This is the toughie. Reb isn’t a square peg in a round hole. She’s a “trapezoid.” But she’s also strong and true to herself. My publisher, Amulet Books/Abrams absolutely nailed Rebel on the cover with model Jenna Pasquale. As far as Hollywood, I’ll have to go with a young Ellen Page.


Penelope Blue

Cousin Pen is Rebel’s nemesis through most of the story, so I’ve always envisioned her as the anti-Rebel. Bella Thorne is a shoe-in as a “Cupcake,” Reb’s term for members of the practically perfect popular crowd.




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Shine by Lauren Myracle

28th Apr 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Shine by Lauren MyracleShine by Lauren Myracle
Published by Amulet Books
Pub Date: May 1st 2011
Pages: 350
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.

Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author.

From the moment I started this book, I knew I’d better make myself comfortable. There was no way I was getting up before I finished it.

The book begins describing the awful crime done to Patrick, Cat’s once best friend. She hasn’t spoken to him since she was 13, when Cat suffered a traumatic experience herself. She closed herself off from the world and stopped talking to all of her friends, including Patrick, who until that point had always been at her side. Patrick then started hanging out with the guys in town that Cat hates, she calls them “the redneck posse”. They are mean and make fun of Patrick for being gay, but still, he sticks around.

Now, three years later, Patrick is in a coma, and nobody is doing much to try and find out what happened to him. Everyone, including the town sheriff, is convinced that it was done by out-of-towners and there’s little to no hope in finding them. But Cat suspects it was done by people in town, specifically his group of friends. Cat decides that being a ghost has lasted long enough, and that maybe if she hadn’t cut-off her relationship with Patrick this never would have happened. She takes it upon herself to find who is responsible.

Cat’s journey to find the perpetrator is not easy. In this small, tight-knit community people don’t often tell on each other. She often puts herself in dangerous situations to try and get any kind of leads. I admired her determination and strength, which didn’t come easy for her. She has been a shell of a girl up until this point and watching her breakout into her own person was really great to read.

On top of this, Cat also discovers the struggles her childhood friends are having with drugs. She never suspected that it was such a problem in her town. It’s painful to read and see how hard it is for some of them. While some are trying to get better, others are spiraling deeper and deeper.

When the unlikely perpetrator is discovered, I was so incredibly saddened. Mind you, I suspected who it was before the reveal, and yet it didn’t take away from the blow once it was out. When Cat is trying to get to him before he does any more damage, I was literally biting my nails. It was suspenseful! And I was so scared of the outcome.

I thought the ending of this book was incredibly touching. Lauren Myracle had me in tears. I’m definitely adding Shine to my list of favorites. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking book with some mystery, suspense, and a lot of heart, this is the book for you. Trust me, it’s not one you want to pass up.


Jess @ Gone with the Words

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