15 May 2018

Bite Sized Books // A Teenage Con Artist Mystery I Really Enjoyed

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Before we start with the bite sized reviews I will say this is a review of a series there will be spoilers involved but only in the review for the second book (I hope).
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Chasing Truth
Published: 27th September 2016
Source: Bought/Free
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
At Holden Prep, the rich and powerful rule the school—and they’ll do just about anything to keep their dirty little secrets hidden.

When former con artist Eleanor Ames’s homecoming date commits suicide, she’s positive there’s something more going on. The more questions she asks, though, the more she crosses paths with Miles Beckett. He’s sexy, mysterious, arrogant…and he’s asking all the same questions.

Eleanor might not trust him—she doesn’t even like him—but they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Fighting the infuriating attraction is almost as hard as ignoring the fact that Miles isn’t telling her the truth…and that there’s a good chance he thinks she’s the killer.
I picked this book up for like 3 reasons.

1. I saw Sam post a positive review so I added to the old TBR.
2. There was a Veronica Mars comparison and I am a sucker for all thing VMars related.
3. It was going free for Kindle

I'm glad these things happened to get me to read, though, because it was damn fun. I do love a good mystery and although this one I figured out before the end there was still little things in there to keep me guessing.

I admit I was put off by the rich, private school setting for the book. I’ve read books where rich kids are just shown as the stereotypical over privileged, spoilt children and they are utterly unlikable. They aren’t given further personality or developed, thankfully that wasn’t the case here. Sure, there were characters who I didn’t like, but there was more depth to most of them and I knew a little about them to understand why they were or weren’t likeable. I think Ellie was one of the few not rich characters, I would have liked a couple more scholarship kids or something.

I was a little confused when I first began reading, while the set up to the story was happening. It felt like I was thrown right in there and was really lost about Eleanor’s past and her family and figuring out what was happening with her school. I had a vague idea of the premise but everything was mysterious, I figured out later the mystery surrounding Ellie’s past was probably intentional, but when I started reading I didn’t realise that so I just felt like I was missing something. Once it got going, though, I really got invested in the story to figure out both Ellie’s past but also what happened to Simon. I only wish we got to meet Simon because I didn’t really care about his death all that much and I felt like I probably should have.

Something that really sucked me in was the relationship between Ellie and Miles. They were both so fun together, Ellie all about bending the rules to get her way and Miles was strict black and white, following the rules. They were both so good together, though, with their banter and the fact they had such strong connection from the start. I loved slowly learning more about Miles and even though I did roll my eyes at pretty much all of this backstory because that was ridiculous, but I wanted a ridiculous book, so what did I expect? I did enjoy the one-upmanship happening between Miles and Ellie throughout. I was definitely reading for them and they are half the reason I'll read the next one too.

As a whole, there were flaws to this but I enjoyed myself and didn't want to stop reading. Considering I have had such a hard time reading lately I will not grumble about a couple of flaws but instead, celebrate a book I didn't want to put down.

Published: 17th April 2018
Source: Bought
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Mystery
My Rating:
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.
I'm conflicted on this one. As you can tell from my review for the first book, I really enjoyed it. Sure, it had flaws and issues but as a whole, it was a brilliant read and I couldn’t wait to start reading it. It began quite slowly, and I was a little confused about where it was going. Much like I felt in the first book really, but once it got going I was pretty invested.

I’d been so excited to read this because I was totally invested in the relationship between Miles and Ellie. It looked like they were set to have a cute and bantery relationship so you can imagine my shock by his absence at the start of the book. I was once more reading for the mystery surrounding him. I didn’t understand why he went off the grid and when we learn why I didn’t totally believe it. I won’t spoil anything but his story in this book definitely involves a bit more suspension of disbelief. Just putting that out there. I didn’t get the cute, bantery relationship I had hoped for. There were still good moments but there was another story central to this book.

This book focused a lot more on Ellie’s past and her family. Her entire family are cons, including some ‘cousins’ and ‘uncles’ which probably aren’t related to her by blood. She is trying to redeem herself for her past actions and rectify things when it comes to her family. This book focuses on her relationship with her dad, which is rocky at best. I hadn’t understood her dislike for her dad in the first book and I’d hoped to have that clarified a little with this one but it really wasn’t. All I know is she has issues, which might have centred around her sister, but it really wasn’t clear, but I didn’t get why it was so extreme. I just didn’t get it. I actually really liked her family and would have loved learning more about all of them. You could Ellie cared about all of them in her own way.

One thing I did like about this book was the fact that characters who came across as spoiled rich kids got to come into their own and actually became real people. For me the character who really shone was Dominic. He got to grow into his own and we caught glimpses of his family and it turns out he was actually a really cool guy. The only thing which would have made me happier is if he had been honest with those around him about who he was. He was obviously a lot smarter and more caring than he was given credit for. I hated when Ellie talked down to him because he was totally badass and where more capable than he was given credit for. If there gets to be another book I want more of him, he was my favourite this time around.

I struggled with this book a bit. I found the mystery side a little ridiculous again, I just couldn’t believe Miles’s parents would be down for everything he did, it seemed too farfetched, not when they both seemed so caring and no caring parent would let Miles do what he was doing. I also felt like the story surrounding Ellie’s family was quite weak because I didn’t get her motivation for past actions when it came to them. I think if I’d binge read this one as I originally planned I may not have had so many questions and doubts. I did enjoy it, though. It was a fun read that involves you not overthinking things. I just hope there’s another book because I still have unanswered questions.

If you’ve read The Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes then I definitely think this is a series for you. Have you read this, what did you think? And what fun mystery series have you read and would recommend?

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