ARC Review: The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston

The Truth by Jeffry W. JohnstonThe Truth
by Jeffry W. Johnston
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Pages: 240
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble
Rating:  photo three stars_zpsohkkn6ww.png

Lie, torture, kill—there’s nothing Chris and Derek wouldn’t do for their younger brothers…

When Chris wakes up tied to a chair in a dark basement, he knows that he’s trapped—and why. He shot and killed Derek’s little brother. He had his reasons, but no matter how far Derek goes to uncover the truth about that night, Chris’s story won’t change. It can’t. There is far too much at stake…

Derek is desperate to prove his brother didn’t deserve to die. And if kidnapping his brother’s killer is the only way to the truth, than he’ll go to extremes. But Chris’s truth is far more dangerous than Derek could have imagined, and knowing could cost both their lives…

I received a free ebook copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a short, quick and easy read, it took me about 2-3 hours.  It’s a mystery/thriller story as well as a tragedy and it will keep you wondering what the big “truth” is.  

It’s a story about family, sacrifice, and the reveal of said truth. There are two pairs of brothers in this equation: Chris and Devon, and Derek and Caleb. I just realized the characters share initials for a reason. Nice. 

The story starts with Chris waking up tied to a chair in a basement. It’s Derek who’s kidnapped him, and Derek wants to know why Chris shot and killed his little brother only a few days ago. 

The Truth reveals the, well, truths, bit by bit throughout the story. It alternates between “then” and “now” sections, i.e. it switches between Chris talking to his kidnapper and flashbacks to what happened before, during, and after Chris shot Caleb. A lot of the reveals are predictable and I was worried the very final reveal would be too, but I actually didn’t see it coming. Perhaps I should have because I had plenty of pretty wild theories throughout, some much wilder than the actual truth, but for some reason what actually happened didn’t cross my mind. I feel like an idiot, haha. 

The brothers, particularly Chris and Devon, have a Sam-and-Dean-Winchester-esque relationship. At least that’s the association I got almost immediately. Chris is 16 years old, Devon is only 10. Chris is fiercely protective of Devon and always puts him first, forgetting to have fun himself and actually act like the teenager he is. After their father was killed in the line of duty three years ago, Chris ended up taking over that role. Their mother admits that Chris is a “better parent than [she is].”

The book keeps you guessing and it’s fast-paced and fairly intriguing. You read and wonder what the hell Chris could be hiding that he’s willing to lose his fingers for. Still it’s only an okay book. I mean, I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t love it either. It lacked something that kept me from giving it more than 3 stars. Just that little something that would have made it into a complete page-turner. I can’t really tell you what that is, it might be just me. 

I did want to feel more connection with the characters though. I wish it made me really care about Chris and Devon, Devon in particular. 

There are also some lose-ish ends, like what happened to Rita? What was the purpose of her character outside of being some sort of love interest? I didn’t feel the connection between her and Chris, so to me she didn’t even work as the love interest. She says she said no the first time Chris asked her out (pre-story) because she legitimately wasn’t interested in him, but now she suddenly is? Why? Because he killed someone and she feels bad for him? I wanted just a little bit more there, without the book turning into a romance. The Truth doesn’t really need the romance part at all, but maybe the author felt like he should have at least one female character in the novel who’s not the mother? Possibly. But in that case you should probably avoid making her the love interest only. 

The constant “I know there’s something you’re not telling me” from Derek got a bit repetitive after a while too. I get it, you have to move the plot forward because there is something Chris is not telling Derek, but is there another way to get to that point? Or is Derek psychic? He seems pretty certain Chris is hiding just that one thing. 

That aside, this is an interesting little thriller. It’s easy to read and I admit I was surprised by the ending and I, like most readers, like being surprised. It’s not gory, despite the garden shears, but there are some mentions of child abuse (including rape) so if you need warnings for that then consider this your warning. It’s nothing descriptive or graphic at all though. 

I recommend this book for fans of young adult psychological thrillers/mysteries and interesting sibling dynamics. Don’t expect a masterpiece, but expect to be asking yourself some interesting questions after you’ve read the final page. 

The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston
Have you read The Truth? Are you going to? 
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January Wrap-Up

young adult books

Hello guys, how’s your weekend going? We’re almost in February so I figured I’d do a little wrap-up posts. I haven’t gotten around to doing any of these before, so this is my first one. Yay. Hopefully I read enough every month to be able to continue on with it, haha.

Just an FYI, I never read this much in a month usually. The only reason I read this many is because of the RYBSAT readathon

Without further ado… 

Finished reading


The Private Eye: The Cloudburst Edition (ARC) by Brian K. Vaughan
and Marcos Martin (artist)

A very quirky, interesting, and diverse graphic novel series. 

4/5 stars


A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Unfortunately very disappointing. Found it pretty boring and bland writing-wise. 

1.5/5 stars


Den Sommeren Pappa Ble Homo by Endre Lund Eriksen
(translation: The Summer My Dad Turned Gay)

Listening to this on audiobook, read by the author, is the best decision I’ve ever made.
Hilarious, adorable, and realistic. 

5/5 stars


The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

A very gripping and haunting thriller, I enjoyed it a lot. 

4.5/5 stars


Wonder by R.J. Palacio

A very emotional read about a boy with a deformed face. 

4.5/5 stars


Room by Emma Donoghue

Another emotional and intense book. I enjoyed the 5 year old POV, I don’t think I’ve ever read an adult novel from such a young perspective before. It slowed down a bit towards the end, but overall it was good. 

4/5 stars

Books started


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

I’m loving it this far! Superb world-building, just like the hype said. 

Reviews written this month

The Private Eye

A Darker Shade of Magic

The Girl With All the Gifts

The Truth


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I will finally read in 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books recently added to my TBR

WWW Wednesday (Jan. 20)

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Fandoms

Top 5 Wednesday: Disappointing Eye Candy

Book Traveling Thursday: Book to Movie

So that’s my wrap-up! What’s the best and worst book you read in January? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

The Girl With All the Gifts reviewThe Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Published by Orbit in January 2014
Pages: 460

Genres: Adult, ApocalypticScience Fiction, Thriller 
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble
Rating:  photo four half_zpszfonypqk.png

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

I really don’t think it’s a spoiler that this is a zombie book. Like really, it’s implied heavily in the synopsis, plus it’s revealed very early on in the book that we’re dealing with zombies here. 

So yes. Zombie children. But not regular zombies, because these children actually have brain function, which is a far cry from the other zombies roaming about outside. And we’re reading to figure out why that’s the case, among other things. 

I found this to be a really interesting take on the whole zombie thing, I especially liked the how and the why to the epidemic, it made a whole lot of sense. And I’ve actually thought of the same thing before so imagine my delight when I realized someone has actually used it in a book. I liked the ‘normal’ zombies too (i.e. the ones without brain function), I found their nature very intriguing and different from what I’ve seen previously. I hated the word “hungries” though, it sounds so juvenile. But then again, there aren’t many words for zombies left that haven’t been used before. I’ll give it a pass even though I cringed a little every time I read it. 

I really enjoyed Melanie’s relationship with her favorite teacher, the beautiful and kind Miss Justineau. Miss Justineau treats the children like people, which is a rarity. She tries to teach them things and she reads them stories from Greek mythology. It’s not a secret that Melanie has a crush on her, I found that so sweet and lovely. This child would do anything for this woman and my heart can’t take it. Too precious. 

I love you, Miss Justineau. I’ll be a god or a Titan for you, and save you.

The first part of this novel is absolutely amazing. Like the first 130 or so pages? Fantastic. If you’re looking for a book with a gripping start definitely try this one. I hate it when books start slow but this one took you straight into the action and I couldn’t stop reading. The middle part lost a little bit of oomph here and there, but I was still immersed in the plot and the characters.

I enjoyed all the character development, because pretty much every character starts out as a generic stereotype but then reveal deeper parts of themselves as we read on. I grew to really like one character that you wouldn’t think you would ever like in the beginning. 

I was ready to give this book a solid 4 stars until the very last page. Holy shit, that last page gave me actual chills and I had to change my rating to a very strong 4.5. I really loved the way this ended. It was melancholic, tragic, yet beautiful and somewhat hopeful. 

I’d recommend this book to everyone, it’s haunting and gripping and makes you think about what it means to be human. 

Have you read this book? Or are you going to? Tell me what you think!

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RYBSAT readathon Wrap-Up


So the Read Your Bookshelf readathon is over so I thought I’d write a little wrap-up post. I didn’t get to read as much as I’d hoped, but it’s still way more than I’d read during a normal week so I’m happy. 

What I read:


The last 130 pages of The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. I’d started it before the readathon so this is what I had left. Loved this book a lot. 


Wonder by R.J. Palacio (310 pages). Really touching book, I enjoyed it and read it in one sitting. 


Room by Emma Donoghue (401 pages). It was really interesting and disturbing, I found the five-year-old POV very believable. 


The first 137 pages of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I’m loving it this far, the worldbuilding and the atmosphere is great. 

Total pages read: 978

If only I could add all the fanfiction I read to the total, hahaha XD

Did you participate in the readathon? How did it go? 

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Top 5 Wednesday (8) | Disappointing Eye-Candy

top 5 wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey @ gingerreadslainey. If you want to join Top 5 Wednesday take a look at the Goodreads group!

The topic of today is Disappointing Eye Candy, i.e. books that look beautiful but that ended up being disappointing. Let’s admit that the negative topics are the most fun.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

beautiful book coversGorgeous cover, fantastic title, mediocre content. I mean, it was alright, but I’d expected more. [review]







Cinder by Marissa Meyer

beautiful book coversI didn’t hate this either, I liked it ok, but I’d expected a lot more from the hype and the premise. I’m not a fan of how this cover looks just online like this, but in person it looks fantastic, I love how all spines look together on a shelf. 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

beautiful book coversAnother hyped up book with an adorable cover that failed to convince me of its awesomeness. I liked the second half better than the first, but it took me a year to get through this book. [review]






Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

beautiful book coversEveryone who’s followed my blog for a while knows I didn’t like this and found it extremely overrated and not scary in the slightest. It’s such a shame because this one really is eye-candy. The hardcover especially is just beautiful. [review]

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

beautiful book coversThis is my number one disappointment because my expectations were through the roof because of all the hype and because the author wrote one of my favorite books. I’m still sad that I didn’t like this book. The cover is so so beautiful! But alas, I found the book so boring! It was a classic “it’s not you, it’s me” moment. [review]




Am I alone in these opinions or does anyone agree? What’s your number one eye-candy disappointment? 
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Book Traveling Thursday (10) | Book to movie

book traveling thursday
It’s Thursday and time for another Book Traveling Thursday. This weekly 
meme was created by Cátia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much and Danielle @ Danielle’s Book Blog. Visit their Goodreads group to learn more about Book Traveling Thursday 🙂

The rules are to share covers related to the weekly theme where you include the original cover, the cover from your country, your favorite, and your least favorite.

This week’s theme is a book that’s going to be adapted into a movie in 2016

I’m picking Let It Snow, even though I haven’t read it (yet?). I picked it because it’s got pretty diverse covers so I have something to choose from. 

Continue reading

WWW Wednesday #1 (Jan 20)

WWW wednesday

Hello, everyone, this is my first WWW Wednesday post. Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic wasn’t anything I felt like I could answer, so I’m doing this instead 😀

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Samantha @ Taking On a World of Words where you answer the following questions: 

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I just started reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio last night as part of the RYBSAT readathon. I’m only 6 pages in so it barely even counts as starting, but I got too tired last night to continue. I’ll read some more after I post this. 






Recently finished

zombie booksI finished The Girl With All the Gifts last night and I enjoyed it a lot. The final page was so great it almost gave me chills and it made me bump up my rating to 4.5 instead of 4 stars. I’ll post a review of it either this week or after the readathon is finished. 






Reading next

room by emma donaghueAs part of the readathon, I’m moving on to Room by Emma Donoghue after I finish Wonder. I’m excited to finally read it because it’s been on my bookshelf since 2011. 







What are your three Ws?

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