13 Jun 2016

Review: Lies I Live By by Lauren Sabel

* I received this book in return for an honest review. All opinions and statements within this review are my own. 

Goodreads synopsis: 

Callie Sinclair is literally out of her mind; as the government’s youngest psychic spy, she finds valuable information for top-secret missions. Her work keeps her headaches at bay, but it means she must lie to everyone she loves, including her longtime boyfriend, Charlie.

When a new psychic arrives at the office, Callie can’t help but flirt; Jasper already knows her in a way Charlie never will.

But as her love life gets more complicated, so do her visions. People halfway around the world seem to be in danger...and people in her own backyard, too. If Callie can’t find a way to alter future events, she could lose the people she loves—and her mind. Literally.

Lauren Sabel’s enthralling, romantic novel captures the thrill of exploring a unique power in a dangerous world.

My experience with Lies I Live By: 

I can only describe Lies I Live By as a science-fiction novel, mostly because I have no idea what the sub-genres are and since I rarely read anything in that genre I haven't done the research. As this is told from seventeen year old Callie Sinclair's perspective it's quite easy to settle into this YA book.

Lies I Live By can't be described as fast paced, it's the kind of book that you can pick up and put down between other books that are just too much for you at the time. It's not until about two thirds of the way in that you feel the need to race to the end, like I did today. Literally one revelation had me speeding towards the last page like my life depended on it.

At the beginning, we meet Callie, a seventeen year old who's been recruited by a government agency to use her psychic abilities to 'view' things that are happening around the world and report back. She has a neat little cover story and a very odd relationship with a boy named Charlie.

Callie has been seeing Charlie for three years, they even have a game they play where they tell each other something they saw that day that reminded them of the other one *insert cute 'awwww' noise here* but something about their entire relationship had me very upset. It was hard for me to connect with their relationship at all, as very early on we're introduced to a guy named Jasper, who has recently been recruited to the same agency as Callie. Jasper is a bad boy and Callie finds herself instantly attracted to him as she believes he could know her better than Charlie ever could. To say this frustrated me, is an understatement. Callie has been with this guy for three years and in swoops this bad-guy and she's questioning her relationship?! From the get go, Callie is pulling away from Charlie and that made it ever so difficult to like him at all. I couldn't even be remotely upset when bad things would happen between them, I just carried on like nothing even happened. It was almost like Charlie was only there to fill a gap in the story, so much of me wanted to love Charlie, but I just couldn't get there.

Anyway, there's so much more to this story than the romance. I mean, I just stated that the romance wasn't the best, so there has to be, right? For the first half of the book we see Callie go to work and view with her boss Indigo, she views, tells him what she sees, and then writes a report. This essentially happens again and again with tiny bits of plot thrown in-between the viewings, that would be very easy to miss if you had no idea what was going on, until a plot twist comes along... then things get interesting.

The last half of the book is action packed, filled with lasers, imminent natural disasters, guns, interesting psychic powers, a reunion, and two unexpected allies. I guess what I'm saying is, the first half of the book, which is fine if not a tiny bit slow, is so worth it when you get to the end of the novel, which was just fantastic!

One thing I would have loved was for the things that Callie saw in the 'viewings' to be in italics because sometimes I'd have to re-read a page and figure out properly where the viewing ended and where real and current life began again.

The characters within the book were all very likable, I didn't find myself instantly hating or disliking any of them. Callie's point of view was very enjoyable, and although she made some idiotic decisions and got mad about things she didn't really have a right to be angry about (accurate teenager there, to be honest!) she was a great character to read and I would happily read more about her world.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed this book. I liked how slowly but surely the novel sucked you in until you were forced to read the last 150 pages like your life depended on it, I loved most of the characters, and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who's looking for an interesting stand-alone YA novel! I gave this book a 4/5 stars (★★★★☆)!

About the author (from Goodreads): 

Originally from the Rocky Mountains, Lauren Sabel has returned to the cool mountain air of Boulder, Colorado after living in several wonderful cities that she will always love and continue to visit year after year.

Lauren loves her husband, her kids, her family, her friends, and stories that end happily. She also loves digging into her mind and revealing tiny gems she didn’t know were there.

Lauren learned to mind dig while getting her MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa, a Buddhist college in Boulder, Colorado. Before Naropa, Lauren studied film in Rome, where she developed her love of crypts and other beautiful creepy things. She also worked in the film industry in New York and San Francisco, focusing mainly on film festivals, as she can never pass up a good party. In San Francisco she worked for Chronicle Books, where she was inducted into the fascinating world of book publishing.

For the past eight years, Lauren has been teaching college students the joys of creative writing, whether they like it or not.

In 2008, Lauren was published in Undiscovered Voices, an anthology of the best new writers for children in the U.K., where she was living at the time. Then life got very exciting very quickly. She signed with Jodi Reamer Esq. at The Writer’s House Agency in New York, and they made magic happen, and that magic is named Katherine Tegen. (aka: Katherine Tegen Publishing, Harper Collins).

Lauren's first book, VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD was published June 3 2014. Lauren's second book LIES I LIVE BY was released by KT Books on May 31 2016. She's currently working on her next book, which she can't wait to tell you about (but has to wait just a little while anyway).

Lauren believes that being a teenager is an act of courage, and is proud of anyone who manages to stick through it, despite the pain. :)

Keeping up with the author:

Website // Tumblr // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram 

I hope you guys enjoyed this review and consider adding Lies I Live By to your TBR!

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for reviewing my book! You made me smile ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š