Bite-Sized Reviews of Hiding Lies, A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Alex Approximately & The Lost Path

May 9, 2018 Reviews 42 ★★★½

I’ve got four bite-sized reviews for you today: three YA’s and a graphic novel! I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction!


Bite-Sized Reviews of Hiding Lies, A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Alex Approximately & The Lost PathHiding Lies by Julie Cross
Series: Eleanor Ames #2
Also in this series: Chasing Truth
on April 17, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 300
Narrator: Amy Melissa Bentley
Source: NetGalley
My content rating: YA (Characters have sex, Some violence)
My rating:
3.5 Stars

Fans of Veronica Mars or Ally Carter will love the snarky, whip-smart former con artist Eleanor, in this sequel to Chasing Truth.

At Holden Prep, dirty little secrets always have a way of coming to the surface.
Eleanor Ames has never been what she seems. Average high school student on the outside, but reformed con artist trying to break free of her past on the inside. When Eleanor receives startling news about someone from her previous criminal life, plans for a new operation coinciding with her school’s upcoming field trip quickly consume her.

But operations rarely go according to plan. And this is one her irresistible teen FBI agent boyfriend, Miles, would never approve of.

Now, more than just Ellie’s reputation is at stake. If she fails, it could be her life.

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In this second installment of the Eleanor Ames YA spy thriller series, Ellie is trying to make up for her con artist past and her mistakes in the first book, especially putting the wrong person in prison (well, sort of) and hiding things from her boyfriend (though he hid more than a few things himself). Of course, it’s not that simple.

Ellie ends up embroiled in another FBI investigation, and this time she’s determined to get it right. I’ll confess that I felt like the first half of the book was a teensy bit slow—or, actually, lots of things were happening, but I just wasn’t emotionally invested in the plot. At about 65% a major wrench is thrown into everything, and that’s where I started to get really excited. The rest of the book flew by, and I was eager to see where it all ended up!

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***


Bite-Sized Reviews of Hiding Lies, A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Alex Approximately & The Lost PathA Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
Published by Simon Pulse on January 9, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 400
Source: Library
My content rating: YA (Characters have sex)
My rating:
5 Stars

A girl who can’t speak and a boy who can’t hear go on a journey of self-discovery and find support with each other in this gripping, emotionally resonant novel from bestselling author Sara Barnard. Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Jandy Nelson.

Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say. Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life. The condition’s name has always felt ironic to her, because she certainly does not “select” not to speak. In fact, she would give anything to be able to speak as easily and often as everyone around her can. She suffers from crippling anxiety, and uncontrollably, in most situations simply can’t open her mouth to get out the words.

Steffi’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to help him acclimate. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk. As they find ways to communicate, Steffi discovers that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. But as she starts to overcome a lifelong challenge, she’ll soon confront questions about the nature of her own identity and the very essence of what it is to know another person.

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I’d read a lot of great things about this book, and I was compelled to pick it up. I’ve always been fascinated by stories that include deafness and Deaf culture. My uncle is Deaf, and though he lives across the country from me and I don’t see him often, he’s always held a special place in my heart. Because of this, I always appreciate when I see Deaf culture explored in books (well). This is definitely one of those books, plus it also portrays social anxiety.

There were so many things about this book to love. The overall messages of hope and self-acceptance were lovely. Steffi’s social anxiety and selective mutism weren’t magically cured, but she was able to find ways to help herself cope in a world that might not always understand her (and that she can’t always understand either). The romance between Steffi and Rhys was adorable, and I love that they both had to get over some assumptions they made about the other person. Neither of them were portrayed as perfect people who got everything right, but they both showed so much heart and you couldn’t help but love them together. I also loved the family dynamics and Steffi’s friendship with Tem.


Bite-Sized Reviews of Hiding Lies, A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Alex Approximately & The Lost PathAlex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Published by Simon Pulse on April 3, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 416
Narrator: Amy Melissa Bentley
Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
Source: Purchased, Library
My content rating: YA (Characters have sex)
My rating:
4 Stars

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

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This book made me very happy. I was a bit worried that I was starting to feel worn out with this topic of people who know each other online (or through letters) and don’t know who the person is in real life—and, indeed, I did figure out who “Alex” was in about the first ten pages of the book. (Okay, apparently, I was supposed to know this, since it’s in the synopsis—I rarely read those right before reading books, but I probably read it at some point. Still, the fact that I knew it immediately and Bailey didn’t figure it out until the very end could have been annoying.) But the book still somehow won me over pretty thoroughly. So, that’s saying something, right?

The book doesn’t have a complex plot or anything—it’s a quick romance, but it’s cute. I do wish there had been a little more resolution with a few things and I wasn’t a fan of Porter resorting to violence to solve his issues with an ex-friend (though I get why he was beyond frustrated—I was sort of glad that his behavior freaked Bailey out and she didn’t get over it immediately). Overall, this was a highly enjoyable read.


Bite-Sized Reviews of Hiding Lies, A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Alex Approximately & The Lost PathThe Lost Path by Amélie Fléchais
Published by Lion Forge on June 19, 2013
Pages: 96
Source: NetGalley
My content rating: YA (Some cartoon violence)
My rating:
4 Stars

If you've got the taste for adventure, come join this treasure hunt! Three young boys set off from Camp Happiness, map in hand, determined to be the first to find the treasure before anyone else. But the shortcut they take leads to something far more spectacular and sinister! All manner of magical beasties live in these woods, and the kids find themselves caught between warring Forest Spirits. Will the three boys find their way out of trouble? Get your map and ready, set, go! Amélie Fléchais's incredible artwork combines the best of French illustration with manga influences. A spooky new fairytale, for fans of Over the Garden Wall.

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I would give this book ALL the stars for the artwork—I could sit and stare at these illustrations all day long. They’re both creepy and whimsical, with an incredible amount of detail. I kept finding little surprises. I especially loved the color illustrations, which were gorgeous!

As far as the story went, I did find it a little bit confusing in a couple parts, but I still enjoyed it overall. The kids were entertaining (if a tad annoying at times) with their arguments—reminded me of sibling rivalry. Not a lot of character growth or anything, but I didn’t get the idea that that was the point with this story. I found it comparable to the character development in a single manga (not a full series). It was cute, and that was enough for me with the enjoyment I got from the artwork.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***


That’s it for now! Have you read any of these? What did you think?

42 Responses to “Bite-Sized Reviews of Hiding Lies, A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Alex Approximately & The Lost Path”

  1. Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

    Ooo con artist and FBI… I am very keen on picking up Eleanor Ames though I think I hated Julie Cross’s debut novel? Was she the one who wrote Tempest? If so, meh… but I’m still keen on trying this one out to see how I like it.

    I’m glad the social anxiety wasn’t magically cured in A Quiet Kind of Thunder – the last time I read a book that dealt with something else ended up being a lie. .-.

  2. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Goodness, I have not read any of these, I need to change that! I am soooo excited to start A Quiet Kind of Thunder (can we please talk about how ugly this cover is compared to the UK one though?) and Alex, Approximately! I didn’t even realize what the plot of Alex WAS because I am also the worst at synopses but now that I know I like it even more actually! Fabulous reviews!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Wonderfully Colored Covers
  3. Cait @ Paper Fury

    Ahh I LOVED A Quiet Kind of Thunder so so much too! It was so absolutely and utterly adorable (although Rhys being so “no I must be the one taking care of you!” grated on my nerves a bit bleh) and ended up giving it 5 stars and all the heart eyes too. It’s like really hard to find good disability rep in YA?! So this was special. 😍

  4. ShootingStarsMag

    I’m glad you really liked most of these! I haven’t read any of them, but I have heard good things about Alex, Approximately (and the author in general) and A Quiet Kind of Thunder.

    -lauren

  5. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    I haven’t read many books about deaf characters either, but I think I would enjoy reading about that. I need to go through my Netgalley back books and read them. I like that they’ve changed it so you can put that you will not be reviewing something. And that you can always go back later and change that. Great reviews!

    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted: Book Blitz with Giveaway: According to Audrey by Happy LaShelle
  6. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Great reviews! I had selective mutism when I was a kid/teen, so AQKoT is on my bookish radar. I’m not sure if I want to read it. People always talk about trying to “find” themselves in books, but I’m the opposite. I’ve had enough of myself. I want to read to escape. 🙂

  7. Jennilyn V.

    Haven’t read any of these books but I am especially keen on Alex, Approximately because I’ve heard lots of good things about the author’s books.

    And oh my, adding A Quiet Kind of Thunder as a must-read. I have been looking for books with fairly accurate representation of Deaf characters and I’m glad to find one here. I am really invested in finding out more about Deaf culture. I have an encounter with a Deaf salesperson before and I was frozen on my tracks when she was trying to communicate with me because I don’t know how. I felt guilty about it so I learned basic sign language in a class (that was 2014) and I try to further my studies when there’s time online.

  8. Daniela Ark

    ohhh I want to read The Lost Path so badly! The art work is indeed SO Beautiful! and maybe I’m a masochist because I should be tired of it because of my kids but.. I love stories with sibling rivalry! LOL

  9. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I’ve recently finished Hiding Lies and I really enjoyed it. I get what you mean about the slow start but I was invested from the start. my issue with it was I totally don’t get what Ellie had against her dad. I didn’t get her motivation for working with the FBI in the first place or why Miles’s parents were cool with his spy life. I did enjoy it though. And I loved Alex Approximately, it may have been predictable but the characters were awesome.

    Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity recently posted: Sunday Summary // 13.05.2018
    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I think Ellie’s issues with her dad stemmed more from the previous book because she blamed him for the fact that she lost contact with her sister and basically felt like he put conning above their family. And he was a criminal, so … that would sort of have to create some mixed feelings at the very least, I’d think. 🙂

  10. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    I’m so excited to see that you loved A Quiet Kind of Thunder too. That’s one of my favorite reads of the year so far. I haven’t read Alex Approximately yet but I did just read her book Starry Eyes and loved that one.

  11. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

    Lovely reviews! I’m really happy to hear you loved A Quiet Kind of Thunder so much, I really want to read that one – yay for adorable romances and no love-cures-all kind of storyline. I also really want to read Alex, Approximately: a cute romance, that sounds like my kind of book haha 🙂

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