Review: Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten

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Such an intriguing title, and such an ambiguous beginning.  Two girls, both blonde, in a hospital.  One’s in a bed, one is not.  The question is, just which girl is which?

Kate.  Rising up from the ashes, working to better herself, crafting a master plan from day one never to be dissuaded from it.  She’s had a hard life.  Orphaned in theory, dad in prison for killing her mom.  She’s become very good at taking care of herself.  The perfect image is everything, and Kate is very good at it.  When she enters a new school, she sets her eyes on the prize.  She knows exactly who to target.

Olivia.  Poor little rich girl, mom dead, dad loving but always working.  She’s harboring a secret, one that took her away from school for an entire year.  Now back, she’s determined to finish her senior year while at the same time keeping everyone from getting too close.  When she and Kate happen upon each other, they feel like two lost souls destined to become friends.

As the story progresses, we’re left to wonder just who is in charge?  And who is being played?  Sometimes I thought it was Kate, sometimes I thought it was Olivia.  And even after finishing the story I’m not entirely convinced it wasn’t indeed both.

The story switches back and forth between Kate and Olivia, giving each girl her own stage from which to tell their perspective.  And some chapters blend the two combining their stories into one.  This isn’t a distraction and works well.  The author does an excellent job of giving us enough but not giving away too much until the very last pages.  Then it all comes together splendidly.  Still, I’m left wondering if the door remains ajar for a possible sequel?

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Beware That Girl

 

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Review: My Sister’s Secret by Tracy Buchanan

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Yes, I’m doing it again.  I’m recommending a book about lying families with dark secrets.  Sorry, it is what it is!  But never fear, this one is heavy on the emotions and light on the mayhem.

Willow has lived with her aunt Hope for almost as long as she can remember. Orphaned at a very young age, she takes her aunt’s version of what happened at face value.  Why would she question the past, anyway?  But when she receives an invitation to a gallery exhibit, she begins to wonder.  And the more she wonders, the more she uncovers.  An aunt she didn’t know existed, questions about her parents’ death…all these things lead her to dig deeper.  Unfortunately her aunt Hope is no help, preferring to leave the tragedies of her youth hidden and forgotten.  So Willow is left on her own, with a lot of determination and a bit of help from both friends and strangers.

Alternating between the past and the present, the author successfully blends the two together into a story that covers all possible angles.  I found myself caring as much about Charity’s story as I did Willow’s.  It’s a rare author that can do this.  A great summer beach read!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  My Sister’s Secret