ARC Review: Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

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Some secrets are best kept hidden…

Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.

And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.

She’s the only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.

Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.

She will find her sister.

review

4/5 Stars 

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled Teen

Proof of Lies is what’s missing in YA and exactly what I’ve been searching for. An adrenaline rush of mystery and danger, an intriguing and twisty plot, and characters that keep you invested, Proof of Lies is at the top of my 2017 reads. 

PROS:

  • The mystery is epic. It sucks you in and keeps you invested. I was dying to know what happened to Keira. The clues are all there and they’re tricky. Anastasia is basically sifting through trash to find gold and ends up lucking out. She follows the barest of clues and with the help of some tech savvy friends the mystery gets progressively more engaging. 
  • Twists. This story is like a narrow, winding road up Mount Everest. Complete with all the twists, deadly turns, near misses, and heart-pounding risks that are so unexpected. Usually I can guess what’s going to happen in the first few pages, Diana Rodriguez Wallach did a fantastic job at every turn…well except for one that was fairly obvious. I was super impressed. 
  • Anastasia isn’t perfect. She’s delightfully flawed. She realizes that she’s been an ungrateful brat and pretty terrible to her sister and endeavors to change. She recognizes her flaws and actively works to be better. I loved that about her. Plus, she’s trained in self-defense and martial arts, speaks multiple languages, and dives head first into danger. She’s a risk taker and she realizes that the choices she makes are totally stupid and owns up to it. I hate when characters know that they’re making bad decisions and are just like woops, yeah, no. Anastasia has a strong voice, she’s likable and so devoted to her mission that you can’t help but respect her drive. 
  • The romance. The few scenes that took place in high school setting were cute and memorable. Some were laugh out loud, others made me angry. The sheer racist b.s. that some kids go through. Sigh. But Anastasia is a true hero in those moments and Marcus is made of swoon. He’s got a bad boy look but is fiercely loyal, lovable, and complex. He is the arms that Anastasia needs to hold her up and the shoulder she can cry on. What’s best is that he lets her make her own decisions. He doesn’t prevent her from making choices. He knows she’s going to do crazy stuff and he’s like, I’ll back you up. ❤ I mean, who doesn’t adore a guy like that? And those makeout scenes are FIRE. 

CONS:

  • My biggest issue was the mourning section. I was having flashbacks to New Moon when it’s just a page with a month on it and nothing happens. That totally destroyed the pacing, but thankfully, once Anastasia was invested in sleuthing again it picked up quickly. 
  • There were some issues with secondary characters. They played key roles and yet felt like throwaways. I needed more personality, more interaction-just more to actually care about them. The subplot with Julian and Sofia was compelling, but didn’t fit into the story as well as it could have, it felt random, but definitely key. Towards the end, parts with Julian and Charlotte were rushed and more telling than showing. There, but not really. More for function than anything else. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Thrilling reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review, Excerpts & Giveaway: Hotwire-Cindy M. Hogan

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Tour: Hotwire by Cindy HoganGoodreads/Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Kobo/Smashwords

cooltext1804448395 copyDivision spy Christy Hadden can’t wait for her latest assignment posing as a student at a prestigious New York City academy and car thief extraordinaire.

The best part of the mission is her attractive handler, Jeremy, and her new team. The worst part? The sociopath masquerading as the academy’s most popular guy.

But soon she realizes the car thieves are much more than they seem. Her simple spying mission becomes more dangerous than anyone imagined. If the organization discovers her true identity, they won’t hesitate to kill her, and if she fails, others will suffer the same fate.

Young Adults, teens and adults will love this exciting suspenseful adventure with a dash of romance. You won’t want to put it down.

cooltext1804472332 copy4/5 Stars

+++I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review and in correlation with this tour.

***This can be read as a standalone.

Hotwire is a fast-paced sleuthing rush of adrenaline. It will leave you nail-biting, on the edge of your seat as the culprits are revealed and the stakes grow almost too high to fathom. If you’re looking for the next book that will keep you up all night, frantically flipping pages, hyped up and eager to uncover the clues, add this to your TBR now. 

PROS:

  • The terror is REAL. It’s an oppressive force that acts like a black cloud over the book. Christy’s fear will leave you breathless and horrified, unsure of her fate or that a happy ending is even possible. The sheer evil jumps off the page as the violence and abuse escalates. The villains are not redeemable and as the plot goes on, you discover they’re far worse than they seem. 
  • The action is meticulously described, each move, punch, kick, is so precise it’s easy to imagine and understand the troubles Christy experiences in trying to escape.
  • Jericho is a sick, sociopathic psycho. He will make your skin crawl. He’s lascivious, a powder keg of fury and brutality just waiting to be set off. He never feels safe. Every time Christy is alone with him is a lesson in perseverance and prayer that she’ll make it out alive. The way he devours Christy’s body with a look, the wrath behind his fists, everything about him is deadly and vile. 
  • Christy’s team of spies are playful and perfect together. Their interactions are natural and each has a quirky, unique personality that leaves you no doubt of their presence and importance. The fake dad scenes are hilarious and add a lightness to the story. 
  • Christy is BA. She’s a little reckless, stubborn, and gets herself into serious messes but her quick-thinking keeps her on her toes and gets her out of many sticky situations. Christy is courageous, bold, brilliant, and has a big heart. No matter how dangerous the mission, how her life might be at stake, she refuses to give up, and will put everything on the line to save the innocent. Christy has a snarky, sassy side that borders on flirty and she always has something funny to say. Her internal dialogue is a joy to read. 
  • The secondary characters are so flushed out they could walk off the page. 
  • Romance is a supplementary aspect of this story but when it happens it’s lovely. Made of heat and steamy kisses.

CONS:

  • Some of the foreshadowing was too blatant and lacked the surprise that was intended. 
  • The murders were abrupt and almost too fast to process. The emotional connection that had the potential to bring the readers to tears fell a bit flat as the rapid-fire scene to scene action commenced. 

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cooltext1804462224 copyI was about ready to yank my arm away from his grasp when

I heard Carson’s voice.
“There you are. I was starting to wonder if you fell in.”
I chuckled quietly as Viktor let go of my arm. Carson deserved a huge kiss.
“Shouldn’t you be worrying about your own date?” Viktor snarled.
“I couldn’t find her. I’ve been waiting for Amber to get back from the bathroom so I could see Wind kick her butt in the race for the can.”

I took a step toward him. “I think you might be in for the shock of your life.” I took advantage of being free of Viktor’s hold and walked quickly toward Carson.

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Cindy M Hogan is the bestselling and award winning author of the Watched trilogy, a YA suspense series with a dash of romance. She has since branched off to write a mystery, Gravediggers, that won Best YA novel of 2013, a contemporary romance, Confessions of a 16-Year-Old Virgin Lips, and the first in a spy series, Adrenaline Rush, the 2nd of which, Hotwire, is due out in Oct. 2014.

She graduated with a BA in education and is inspired by the unpredictable teenagers she teaches. More than anything she loves the time she has with her own teenage daughters and wishes she could freeze them at this fun age. If she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her snuggled up with the love of her life watching a great movie or planning their next party. Most of all, she loves to laugh.

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If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this book:

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Pleasant reading,

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