i read an interesting article this morning about Plastic surgery and how men don’t like implants, nose jobs, and lip injections… it was pretty enlightening. i’d had no idea. check it out with the link above if you like.



that’s just to funny to pass up.

Ok, occasionally i find an awesome website with funny links. I’ve been subscribing to MLIA (My Life Is Average) for a while. here are some of their quotes:

“Today, my friends and I went our to dinner and had a super hot waiter named Aslan. We all left him out numbers, but next to mine I put "For Narnia!" Guess which one of us he called? MLIA”

“Today my younger sister was with her maths tutor. The tutor asked her about fractions saying "If you had 8 people over for dinner who all wanted some cake, but there was only one, what would you do?" my sister replied with "buy some more cake". I like the way my sister thinks. MLIA”

“Today, I brought a slinky into class. The teacher saw it and asked for it. Thinking she was confiscating it, I reluctantly handed it over. She then got out all of the textbooks and let me make steps to roll the slinky down, saying it was "in the name of science." MLIA.”

“Today, my cell phone went off in calculus class. My teacher turned around and asked "Is that a cell phone?" Without missing a beat, some guy yelled out, "No, that's just me singing because I'm so happy about calculus! Doododoodododo!" my teacher was laughing so hard she forgot all about the phone. Thank you, random guy. MLIA”

“Today, I was watching the live 10 PM news. The first thing the news reporter lady said was "Good morning." It made me laugh and I wondered how many other people caught that. MLIA.”

“Today, I posted on twitter, "I feel as if the happiness has been sucked out of me. I don't know why." Five minutes later, a guy (who I don't know) replied, "those damn Dementors. Expecto Patronum!" and sent me a picture of Harry's Patronus. I have found a new best friend. MLIA”

“Today, my friends and I were at the Cheesecake Factory. When they asked for a name my friend cut in and said Voldemort. When our table was ready the waitress shouted "Voldemort? Party of six?" The look on everyones face was priceless. MLIA”

“Today, I saw my cat in the hallway. He meowed at me, and I meowed back. We did this two or three times and then stopped. I then heard my mom meow from her bedroom. MLIA”

“Today, I got pulled over on the interstate. The officer asked me why I was going 88 mph. I didn't realize that was my actual speed, but I told him, "I must be trying to get back to the future but my flux capacitor doesn't seem to be working." He laughed. I still got a ticket. MLIA”

“Today, I had a guy ask me for an application to my work (I manage a video game store). He asked me what he had to do to get a job there, and I told him "bring me a stegosaurus!". He came back with his completed application and a stegosaurus toy. He's got an interview Wednesday. MLIA.”

there are so many more! go check them out and subscribe. they’re awesome.



Review Policy

for Authors and Publishers

Updated 4/19/2011

Before you e-mail me, please check to see if your book fits my policy and blog content.

Acceptance Policy

Genres I accept

     · Young Adult fiction

     · Teen fiction

     · Adult fiction

     · Romance

     · Mystery

     · Thriller or crime

     · Craft/instructional/cooking

     · Children's (ages 4-7)

     · Christian fiction

     · Christian living/devotional

     · Select non-fiction

     · Audiobooks in any of these genres

If your book does not fall into at least one of these categories, please do not e-mail me. Just because your book falls into these categories does not mean I will accept it.

Genres I do not accept

     · Erotica or sexually explicit books

     · Books with a lot of explicit language

     · Biography

     · Memoir

     · Non-fiction

     · Weight loss/health,

     · Religious books outside of Christianity,

     · Homosexual/Bisexual/Gay/Lesbian fiction.

     · E-books of any genre.

If your book falls into at least one of these categories, please do not e-mail me.


     · I will review select e-books. I do not have an e-reader so it must be a .PDF file. Please contact me about a specific title.

     · I cannot review a book if it is a continuation of a series or a sequel, and I have not read the first book(s). Please contact me about series reviews.

Review Policy

Books are given priority by publication date, not necessarily on a first-come first-served basis. I will review all unpublished books first, and published books second.

I will send the review to the publisher, author, source etc. as soon as I have finished it, but if the book publication is not scheduled for some time, I may wait to publish the review on the blog until closer to the publication date. With my e-mail, I will include a date the review will be live on the blog. I will send a link only by request.

I will usually post a review for every book I read. I cannot guarantee that I will finish the book, and I cannot guarantee that the review will be positive, but if I read it or any part of it, I will review it. Some exceptions may apply.

Please do not e-mail me and ask when a review is coming.

About the Review

I will post a rating in a basic format of #/5 stars, give a synopsis, critique the characters and plot, and touch a little on the writing and prose. I will always mention sexual content, violence, and language, and leave a recommendation of the age group the book will appeal to.

I will always post my 100% honest opinion.

My opinion is founded with the presuppositions of the Christian Berean nondenominational church. This may or may not affect my opinion of the book (see my disclaimer).

For FTC regulations please see my disclaimer. To see my source of obtaining the book, see Reviews and find the book (sorted in alphabetical order by title). The source is written beside the title.

Contest Policy

I ask for mailing addresses for contests so I can forward them directly to the publisher (see privacy policy).

There is no refund/exchange for prizes lost in the mail.

Any contest/giveaway winners under the age of 13 must have parent/legal guardian permission to enter a contest.

I am not in a position to hold my own contests. I can host them, but I cannot mail prizes for financial reasons.

Privacy Policy

I will never under any circumstances give/sell your information to anybody.


To contact me, please e-mail me at:

Thank you,
Haley Mathiot

Updated 4/19/11

Review: Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith

Lockdown  Alexander Gordon Smith
Rating: 4.5/5

My summary: Alex was like any other boy. Go to school, hang out with his group, and control the monkey bars. But when he started stealing, his life changed for the worse. Out of nowhere, his best friend is murdered, and he is framed for it. he is sent to the child prison: a Hell hole. Worse than Hell. Furnace. When he’s there, he is disgusted with the way people live. Kids do hard labor like chipping rock. Gangs kill kids. and he isn’t the only innocent person who was framed. But there’s no hope of escape. Nobody can escape furnace. Or at least, that’s what they all say. But that’s only because nobody ever has…

What I felt: Personally, the first time I looked at the cover, I found it just a little disturbing. I thought “eh, I doubt very seriously I’ll like that book. But hey—they want to send me a free book? I’ll take a free book.” So no, I didn’t really like the cover. They could have done much better, either artistically or graphically or even with the colors. But that’s just me as an artist and a girl :D so I did judge it. boy was that a mistake.

The first sentence of this book seemed to grab me by the neck: “If I stopped running, I was dead.” From there, the entire book held me and wouldn’t let me go, from that first sentence to the very end. In fact, it held me after the end, too. I distinctly remember my blood racing, heart beating, sweating, adrenalin searing through my veins while I read this book! It was breathtaking and riveting to the last word. And even after the last word. I sat there, staring at the blank page, gasping and panting like a dog from lack of oxygen from reading a book. (that doesn’t happen very often, people.)

Characters: The characters in this book were very relatable. They weren’t super people, they were real. They handled the horrific experiences of Furnace the same way I would have—screaming in their sleep, crying, throwing up from the horrors.

Writing: the writing was very good—not one of those books where the author just says what he wants to say. Alexander Gordon Smith followed my creative writing teachers’ first rule: Show, don’t tell. It was an amazing thing to read, the language was very full in vocabulary, and it had good prose. There wasn’t any really bad foul language either, like some of the other teen books I’ve been reading lately.

Recommendation: this book is a thriller, not a horror book, even though it’s mildly graphic (mildly. Not really that bad. Descriptive enough to be kinda gross at times… but hey, it could be just because I’m a girl.). It’s not the most horrific book I’ve ever read, but it’s certainly not for an eight-year-old. Personally I’d recommend it for anyone fourteen and up (but that’s just me).
I hope everyone gets a chance to read this book! It ranked my highest list: up with Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Not only was the writing very good, but the plot was thick and complicated, intricately laid out, and mind boggling, and the characters were real people.

one more thing—I’ve tried a new format for my review today. check out my other reviews and tell me if you prefer this way or the old way. thanks guys! you rock :D 

i had a really good day.

every once in a while i have a really good day and it blows my mind. i think, “wow. everything is going right today, i’m feeling happy, and God is good.”

I got an e-mail from Pulse It today (teen social networking for Simon and Shuster publishing) and i won the “totally obsessed” prize (me? obsessed with books? nah…..) and i won:
*Leviathan audio book!
oh it made my day! i’m so excited.

so, after i finished my homework, i went down to the used bookstore to scavenge and find some cool stuff. i found a brand-new (probably read once) copy of “The Book Thief” and a slightly used but great condition copy of “Transfer of Power.”

then someone came into the bookstore, and started asking questions about books. we (him, me, and the lady who worked there) started talking and he found a book he’d read several years ago, told me it was fantastic "(i quote: “this book made me cry—and i didn’t even cry when my momma died!”) and he bought it for me. yeah! a barely used copy of Beach Music by Pat Conroy. yay!

i got to book club just a tiny bit late (sorry Krissy!!) and Krissy had found me two books about C.S. Lewis (whom we’re studying during the month of September.) so now i have a whole C.S. Lewis list started that I want to read. who knows—maybe I’ll host a reading challenge!

then i went to my youth group river party. which was pretty freaking amazing. there was food (pizza! yum.) and tubing with my friends whom i love (we forced Kendal to go tubing. it was pretty funny.)  and someone had put two Switchfoot CDs in the CD player, so i arrived to the loveable tune of “Faust, Midas, and Myself” and left to the tune of “twenty four.” those of you who have never heard Switchfoot…. go jump in a lake. (no, seriously, find a song by them and listen to it. a few times. i recommend: Oh Gravity, 4:12, and Meant to Live.)

got home, got the dishes done ASAP, and….. sigh. now i’m relaxing and reading “C. S. Lewis’s case for the Christian faith.” it’s pretty good so far. i probably won’t review it, because it is non-fiction, but who knows?

anyway. friday, saturday, and sunday morning i’ll be out of town, so there will be no lists of giveaways. take the time to look at tomorrow’s list, (it’ll be huge :D) and the list on the side bar that says “September giveaways.” those are good for the whole month.

so all in all i’ve had a really good day. i wonder sometimes why God gave me such a good day. maybe just to remind me and say “hey, I’m watching out for you, and giving you a break sometimes, ok? gimme some credit here.” or something equally encouraging.

anyway. have a good day 2morrow, peoples :D


Time for a teaser!

Here’s an excerpt of Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith...

  “That Tuesday started off like a normal day. I ha d no idea that it was the beginning of the end, my first step on the road to Hell.”

Thanks for visiting! Just so you know, The Life and Lies is an affiliate of several websites, and may collect a fee for your clicks, purchases, and subscriptions. Any item featured or reviewed may have been received free or discounted, but in no way affects my review. Thanks, and enjoy!

Scary Tuesday, hu? I think so…

I’m on page 55 of Lockdown, and it’s AMAZING! I’m not going to spoil anything, or write a review before I finish it… but! This book is fabulous.

Anti-censorship, Pro-parent

this is an essay i wrote about book censorship last year in school. please read! and tell me what you think.

Governments and librarians have taken upon themselves authority that they should not have by banning certain books.

Book banning has been around for centuries; as long as books have been written, books have been banned. In 350 BC, Plato said about banning books while describing the ideal republic “…Our first business will be to supervise the making of fables and legends; rejecting all which are unsatisfactory…” (Claire Mullally) When books were hand-written, burning them was the best way to prevent people from reading them. But the invention of the printing press made it difficult. Early on, about 40 years after the invention of the press, laws were created all over the world; France, England, the Church, Germany, many countries required books to be proofed before they were ever printed. Some weren’t even allowed to be published. The banning in America started when puritan authorities in Massachusetts burned a religious pamphlet. Book banning is still in America today; mostly in our public schools and libraries. Many times books are removed from shelves because they contain “profanity, violence, sex, homosexuality, witchcraft, secular humanism, new age philosophies, portrayals of rebellious children, politically inaccuracy, racism, or sexist language” (Mullally) Many times, classic literature that is now on required school reading lists is also found on the banned books list, like Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, and other classic authors.

What is the purpose of banning books from our schools and libraries? To keep children’s minds safe? To keep people from forming opinions on touchy subjects, like religion, homosexuality, racism, and government policy rebellion? Books should not be banned because the choice of what we read is a personal or parental responsibility and it is against our constitutional rights.

Our first amendment to the US Constitution guarantees freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. However, there is nothing in the Constitution about the “freedom of not being offended.” With free speech, there will always be someone or some group that is offended by something they read. But that does not mean the government should jump in and take away the freedoms of the author or the freedom of choice from other people who may not be bothered by it. If someone finds something offensive in what they read, they can put it back. They aren’t forced to finish it. If a person finds a book that criticizes their beliefs or religion, that person has every right to walk away without a second look. If a person finds a book with detailed descriptions that they find offensive, they have every right to close it and put it back on the shelf. But banning books takes away the freedom promised in our rights.

If parents do not like what their kids are reading, they need to talk to their kids. “Individuals must have the freedom to choose what materials are suitable for themselves and their families…” says President Jim Rettig, American Library Association, or ALA. He also concluded that the responsibility of raising children rests with parents, and that guardians cannot expect the government to jump in and raise their children for them. "Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there." said Clare Booth Luce, who was an editor, play-writer, politician, journalist, and diplomat.

Parents who cannot constantly censor their kids can resort to other options. Those who don’t have time to look over their kid’s shoulders have every right and reason to be concerned for the content in the literature their children are reading. They may want, and agree, with school censorship, so they don’t have to worry about their kids finding something that they don’t want them exposed to. Although a valid argument, it would still be un-constitutional, and depending on the situation, irresponsible. The ALA claims that parents who have commitments in work and in society that have trouble shielding their children must find a way to do it regardless of their situation. It is their responsibility. It is true that certain things should not be easy for children to get to, such as gruesome detailed books or sex-related books. But it is the guardian’s responsibility, not government or library.

There are other ways to keep schools and libraries clear of “unhealthy” books. Krissy Boccia, Librarian at the New Bern Public Library, says that libraries should make careful, judicious, well thought out decisions on which books to shelve, and “encourage parents and caregivers to be involved in the selection process that each child is traversing.” Also, if asked by a parent, she is willing to discuss book checkouts and literature a minor (under age 18) has read/is reading. “I am anti-censorship, but pro-parent” she says. She is careful to try to read all new literature that comes into her department, and will recommend or advise guardians on the choices of books their children are reading if asked. The library allows parents to call and give a library number to find out what is in their child’s account, so there is some ability for adults to supervise their child’s reading habits. Krissy also tries to encourage the readers in wise choices corresponding to their maturity level. She understands that each person is different, and makes a point to get to know the person and make a recommendation based on that person, not the person’s age or grade.

But who gives the authority to say what is right and what is wrong? Who says the people who ban and censor books have it right? What’s wrong with strong language, violence, or explicit sex books? When there is no greater authority, no absolute ruler, (no God) no one person’s opinion is more right or wrong. So why the big fuss about books? Is what we see on TV any better? At least what we see on TV is rated; it gives us some kind of warning.

So do we just set all books out and let anyone read whatever they can get their hands on? Absolutely not: If I were a parent, there are things I know I wouldn’t let my kid read. I propose that books not be banned, but rather sorted and rated. A new system of classification is necessary. A system with strict guidelines on how to rate books on content, with a description on each rating provided for the adult/guardian would be a more appropriate response to concerned parents. Schools and libraries should allow parents a way of knowing what their kids have checked out at all times. A legal parent or guardian could choose to sign up for it, something either by e-mail notifications or a program that they could log into. These are better choices for controlling which books should be easy for a minor to get access to without legal guardian’s consent and which should be guarded. However, banning the books is not the answer to keep young minds pure.

Banning books gives too much power to the government and limits our freedom of speech and the press. It puts the government into the role of parents. We need to stand up, and fix the problem, not just try to avoid it, by creating a system that protects but allows the responsibility of choice.

Works cited:

1. Mullally, Claire. Overview [of banned books history], February 2003. “First Amendment Center”.

2. Elkins, Janet Yanosko. Forbidden Library. March 6, 2005.

Quote Clare Booth Luce quote:

3. Rettig, Jim. American Library Association. (date published not listed)

4. Mathiot, Haley. Krissy Boccia, YA Librarian, New Bern Public Library.
(Opinions shared are from an interview. All opinions shared are those of Krissy Boccia, not necessarily of the New Bern Public Library.)

5. "Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Q&A," American Library Association, May 29, 2007. (Accessed November 12, 2008)
Document ID: 388255

6. Women in History. Clare Booth Luce biography. Lakewood Public Library. 11/18/08.


please do tell me if you agree or not. what are your thoughts on censorship and book banning?

“Haley! i need more Agent Smith Smith!”

that’s what my mom told me this morning. she came down demanding the second half. is that a good thing?

i guess so.

i hope she likes it.

anyway, i’m gonna post a chapter up here for y’all to read, and you’ll have to tell me what you think.


It was dark when we left the white brick house, and it was dark when we arrived at headquarters the next day. I stumbled down the familiar halls and into my bedroom, climbed into bed fully dressed and fell asleep immediately.

The next morning I woke exhausted from a poor night’s sleep and ambled into the kitchen for breakfast. I saw Alex right away, and noticed a young little girl sitting beside him. his wife was across from him.

“Are you Smith?” she asked as soon as she saw me. I could tell she was angry but under control by her voice, but her eyes looked like she was ready to kill me.

“uh… it’s Smith Smith, actually.” My voice sounded groggy, and I rubbed my eyes.

“how dare the UIPA lie to me!” she stood up to yell at me. “I thought he was going to die! Do you have any idea how—“

Yes, Mary-Ann.” I interrupted her. “i do know what it feels like to think someone is going to die. And I do know what it feels like to watch people you love think that you’ve died. I know it must have be hard for you, and I’m sorry. But your husband had it worse, you know. because he knew you were in pain. We weren’t even going to call you. We were just going to show up and take you and your daughter here quietly once things had calmed down a bit. but he go on my nerves so much I called. Be thankful he’s annoying.

“and for that matter, did you ever have to attend your own funeral? Did you have to stand there, while people wept over an empty coffin, and your parents mourned, while you stood there, dressed as an innocent bystander?” my voice had risen from a soft quiet voice to a loud yell.

That shut her up. Actually, it shut everyone in the kitchen up. I turned away from her, my face hard, my teeth clenched.

It had been years since I’d thought about my funeral. I was only five, so I didn’t remember much. But some parts I remembered far too well.

I mostly I remember watching my mom and dad. I was behind several police men and agents, who had come to “honor the girl who’d given her life for the president.” The president had come, too, though he only made a short appearance. He put flowers on my “grave”.

I remember my mom falling to her knees, her thick black hair cascading over the dirt where i was supposedly buried, when it was time for her to leave. She didn’t want to “leave my side.” She cried and said “she can’t be dead. I won’t let her be dead! She can’t become the dirt…” my father had had to take her away.

My father didn’t shed a tear. He stood there calm and uncaring as he’d always been. Quiet, just waiting for it all to be over. Like he didn’t love me enough to even act a little bit. like he didn’t care enough to even act for my mom’s sake.

I never wanted to see them again. at least, not until I was over eighteen, so I could be sure I wouldn’t have to stay with them. I could only imagine what my dad would do and say…

I hadn’t thought about my parents in a long time. I didn’t really care about them, as they were just kind of… out there somewhere. They had nothing to do with me.

I jerked out of the memory. I walked over to the table where breakfast was laid out. I don’t know what it was, or what it tasted like, or even if it was any good.

“Smith Smith to briefing.” I heard over the speakers. I got up quickly, ready to be doing something that kept my mind busy.


anyway. that’s the second half of Chapter 12. so none of it makes sense to you, but that’s ok.


a website you should go to to brighten your day

Ok, i love looking at photographs of happy people. this website is the homepage of a photographer. her work is AMAZING. i don’t even remember how i heard about her, i must have just been browsing online through blogger websites and i found her home page. i love her photos. they’re fabulous. go and look at some of the photos and read the little stories.

have a good day!


I’m not into rap… but this is COOL

And just in case you missed any of that—like i did—here’s the lyrics.

Livin' n driven
Given a vision
Fulfillin' the commission
With spiritual intuition
People ya need ta listen
Remember in the beginning
The Word was livin' within Him
The Seraphim an da singin'
He said that suttns' still missin'
He wanted someone to bring Him
An offerering that was willin'
Not someone who was servin' Him
Jus cause He was tellin' em
So He made a planet
An put a man in it
To manage it
An replenish it
An made a garden fa fellowship
Now the devil was jealous
An Genesis doesn't tell us this
But Isaiah 14 gives us the parenthesis
The former glory
Lucifer was given
Was taken n given
To Adam n Eve
Cause of vanity
Satan knew that Adam was the seed of humanity
An if he could get him to sin that would cause a calamity
So he devised a plan
To get at the man
Through the woman
Cause he knew he couldn't fool Adam
Now he's speakin' ta Eve
Tellin' her to eat
From da tree of da knowledge of good and evil
To make her equal wid da Most High
But if ya equal wid da Most High
Den He wouldn't be da Most High, a lie?
Any way back to da case
Adam an Eve were disgraced
An from da garden of Eden
Adam an Eve were displaced
Dis is da reason why God an man are now separate
An it's da reason for da evil das in da world today
But God had a plan to make a second Adam
To be born of a woman who never slep with a man
Gentle jus like a Lamb but conquering like a Lion
Greater than Abraham, the call Him The Great I AM
He was Da Word in eternity past
He was the Let there be Light that the Father and the Spirit spoke at he start
He's still livin' today so why do so many deny Him?
When He comes back He'll be bringin' thunder an lightning!


cool beans.


Realizations and Epiphanies about my novel

I have realized that Lindsay get’s a lot of her obnoxiousness from growing up with Michael. I’m working on H.A.M.L. (Hiding Agent Michael Lewis) right now, and it’s amazing the similarities between Lindsay and Michael. they’re different from the similarities between Lindsay and Tyler.

Just little things I'm noticing.

as far as HAML, I realized today why Michael wouldn't tell me any more of his story—it’s because i was telling it all wrong. He got mad at me and blocked me out of his head, but now that I've fixed the problems it’s all coming together.

it’s amazing. i feel like they’re real people, you know?

it’s weird.

those of you who want to read my books, you’re more than welcome! is the Agent Smith Smith series. is the prequel series. I’m working on two of the five prequel books right now.



Ok Michael, you get your turn now.

here’s a short excerpt of my latest book “Hiding Agent Michael Lewis.” it’s the prequel to the Agent Smith Smith series.

The main character’s name is Michael, he’s a police officer at LAPD. he meets a new friend today.

Chapter 16—Brown

I sat up in bed to the sound of my pager beeping at me. I stumbled out of bed and around my room in the dark, trying to find my phone.

“hello?” I asked, my voice groggy from sleep.

“Michael. Station. Now.” Jon’s voice blared. “30 minutes.” he said it as if he was testing me.

“be there in ten.” I said. and I would meet my goal.

I got dressed rapidly, throwing on the first things my hands touched and not thinking about anything but my goal. Block out the world. Just do it.

I was in the car in five minutes, and I raced the LA night traffic to the station. I was there in nine and a half minutes to the second.

“Very nice, Michael.” Jon said when I came in, literally panting. “grab a coffee, you’re gonna need it.” he nodded to a pot on the other end of the room. But I was wound tightly, and didn’t feel like drinking anything. I had enough chemicals in my blood to keep me awake for a little while.

“what’s up?” I asked.

“I’ve got… a case for you.”

“a case?” I asked, clarifying. “as in, detective case?”

“yes and no,” he took out a file, then nodded again to the coffee. I got some just to reassure him I wouldn’t drop exhausted on the job.

“you’re working with a homicide detective, one I trust.” He nodded to the corner of the room, where a man I hadn’t noticed before stood staring out the window, hands in his pockets, feet spread wide apart. He was a big black man, friendly looking but intimidating at first glance.

“Anthony Brinson.” Jon said. the man turned, and smiled at me, then walked over and offered a large hand. I took it and we shook, and I couldn’t help but marvel at the obvious strength in his arm.

“nice to meet you,” I smiled. He smiled back. he had a warm almost comforting appearance, and I realized that this man would make a very good homicide detective, since their work often involved visiting people and asking a lot of questions. In the white population, a big black man would cause people’s walls to fly up. but this man looked so warm that I felt that it would be different. We’ll see what happens, I thought.

Jon handed me the file, and I looked through it as he spoke, as was our routine. It was a comforting one, the repetition was soothing, regardless of how nasty the work was.

“Psycho killer.” He said regretfully.

“ouch.” I muttered. Anthony nodded thoughtfully, his warm face slipping into a cold hard mask. The transition was amazing to observe. His large eyebrows lowered over his coal-black eyes, and his thick full lips turned down slightly. He gritted his teeth, showing his strong well defined jaw line. There was a strange and terrible beauty to his face.

“we can’t see any pattern to the killer.” Jon continued. “so far he’s targeted rich and poor, black and white, young and old, men and women.”

“do you have physical ID of the people he’s killed?” Anthony asked.

“yes, why?”

“just show me.”

Jon shrugged and took out an envelope from his desk and handed it to him. Anthony opened it and spread out the photographs. I knew what he was doing—looking for any relation whatsoever. On the backs of each photograph were some very basic facts—age, height, weight, school attended if it was a child, where they worked if it was an adult, religion. But Anthony wasn’t looking at the information. He was looking at the photos.

He stared at the photographs. He held one. he set it down and looked at the others. Then he froze, and picked up the photo again. he handed it to me. “Describe her.” He said.

“ok… A little black girl with braids and beads in her hair, a grin with several missing teeth and deep brown eyes.” I handed it back to him, but he motioned for me to hold onto it.

He handed me another. “Describe him.”

He was looking away from me as I spoke. “old white woman, silver hair, brown eyes, wrinkled skin, glasses, straight teeth.”

He pointed at a third. “teenage boy, tan skin, looks Korean almost, black hair, crooked teeth…” I trailed off as I looked away from the photograph and at Anthony. We both nodded and said “brown eyes.”

Every one of the photographs, the person had brown eyes.

I took a deep breath and let it out, Anthony closed his eyes and nodded thoughtfully. “He’s targeting people with brown eyes?” I asked. “what does that mean?”

“it’s his clue to us.” He replied simply. “he has brown eyes. he doesn’t like who he is. So he’s killing people with brown eyes because he doesn’t like them any better. or… and this is more likely… he is going to kill someone with brown eyes and he’s warning us by killing these people.”

I shook my head. “that’s so strange… that it makes sense… for a psycho to do that is just right.”

We left the station with only one hint—the killer had it in for someone with brown eyes.


Read the first three chapters here:

until next time,

Review: Perfect Chemistry

by Simone Elkeles
Started September 6th 
Finished September 7th 
rating: 2-3ish/5 

Welcome to Sap City!

This book is like Romeo and Juliet with a cute twist. in reality, if i really look at it from an author's perspective, it was pretty cute. the characters were developed instantly, and the sentences drew me in. the prose was actually pretty good. aside from the sex, it was a cute book and a fun lighthearted read.

yeah, it's got some sex in it. i mean, c'mon. it's about chemistry between the two most unlikely people, and a guy who makes a bet to his friends that he’ll sleep with the girl by thanksgiving… but whatever. it actually wasn't too bad. (though i could tell a lot about the author's morals. or lack thereof. )

the first paragraph in the book is: "Everyone knows I'm perfect. my life is perfect. my cloths are perfect. even my family is perfect. and although it's a complete lie, I've worked my butt off to keep up the appearance that I have it all." I mean, that pretty much develops a character instantly, doesn't it? Poor Brittany is trying to please everyone (except herself) by attempting to live up to her family’s standards. the problem is, her mom’s standards are perfection. Alex is a gang member struggling through growing up, and makes a bet out of pride—but then realizes that Brittany is a real person, not just a sex object.

the end was pretty sweet, haha, i read it twice it was so cute.

I'd have to go with these ratings:
storyline: 3/5
prose/sentences/grammar etc: 3.5-4ish/5
characters: 5/5

but again, sap city, people.
the weak points of this book:
the sex
the language
the sappy sappy sappy.

I realize this isn't my best review, but I'm trying to keep it honest here.

Updated cover art:

Review: Sundays at Tiffany’s

Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson 
Started (and finished): 
September 7th, 2009 
Rating: 5/5 

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James Patterson never ceases to amaze me. I read this book in a matter of hours.
When Jane's imaginary friend, Michael, leaves and promises that she'll forget him, Jane is heartbroken. She goes through her life, seemingly in mediocrity, until one day after a terrible break-up with her crappy-boyfriend (dude, you so had it coming), she visits her favorite childhood restaurant and is bombarded by memories of Michael.

Then she looks across the room and sees him.

And then life takes off.

Jane changes her life, no longer afraid to be who she really is. Michael calls into question what he is, and struggles through his own identity crisis—is he human, or angel, or something else? And why didn't Jane's "imaginary" experience go the way it was supposed to?

But then Michael realizes his mission in New York—and his whole world comes crashing down. How is he supposed to do this, and how is he supposed to live with it?

The whole time reading this book, I kept thinking questions. For the sake of keeping this review spoiler-free, I won't tell you what they were. The seemingly dooming end was looming and nagging at me, and it drove me crazy. I could not put it down! I couldn't see a way out of the climax... but the ending was all too sweet. I squealed (don't believe me? my sister was in the room at the time. ask her. it's true).

All in all, this book is a treasure to me. It’s staying on my bookshelf where it belongs, I won't ever sell it back to the used book store, or give it away (yeah, you can borrow it if you really want to. be careful of the pages.).

Maybe I loved it more than anyone else ever has, because of a strange connection I share with Jane Margaux. My imaginary friend's name was Michael, too.

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Genre: YA Fiction, Futuristic, Adventure, Romance, Perfection, everything…  
Rating: 10/5 (I know that’s stupid, but it deserves it.) 

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Oh boy.

Starting this book was the highlight of my weekend, I was so excited. I should have waited until next year when I had the third one securely in my hands to have started this one.

The story that was left hanging in The Hunger Games picks right back up again, and drags you into the action from the first chapter. I’m not going to give anything away, but I will say that at times I laughed very hard, and at other times I very nearly cried. Obviously, a book that can make you cry is a good one.

Problem is, I want the third one RIGHT NOW!

From a writer’s perspective, it had a great ending. From a reader’s perspective, I’m very mad at Suzanne Collins right now. Those dreaded words almost killed me: END OF BOOK TWO. Nooooo…….

Now this is going to sound strange: Don’t read it. Wait until August 23 2010 and get the whole trilogy at your fingertips and read them all at once. That’s all I have to say about that.

Review: The summer I turned pretty, by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Rating: 4.5/5

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For such a simple story line, this book drew me in right way. Girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, and boy pretends she’s nothing until he gets to his last nerve and it breaks and he needs her. Although I was pretty sure where it was going, and there wasn’t much of a plot, I was addicted to reading it. It took me about three days (the pages took a long time to load, or I would have read it in one sitting.) and it killed me to stop.

The characters were like real people—because they weren’t perfect. Conrad was bitter and selfish, Jeremiah was immature, and Belly (cool name) lied to herself and made some poor choices. The adults, too, had their “fatal flaws.” But when you put real people into real situations (divorce, cancer, jealousy) you get a real story—and one worth reading.

I adored this book. I will probably buy it when it comes out so I can read it over again. It belongs on my bookshelf.

Review: Along for the Ride

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Genre: YA Fiction

Rating: 5/5

Sarah Dessen caught me by the cover: I’m a bike rider. So I approached this book with eagerness, and it paid. The story was compelling, as Dessen’s novels always are, and they force you to read just one more chapter. I got to the end of the book, and wished there were more chapters. I re-read the last chapter a few times, just because it was so perfect. So so perfect. It solved all the problems in the book, didn’t leave you hanging, and made you smile and whisper to yourself “yes.”

Auden is academically focused to the point that she runs to her studies when she’s afraid of choices. she’s developed a sleeping disorder from her parent’s fights before they divorced. Now she’s visiting her dad and his new wife and newborn baby for the summer, simply for lack of anything else to do. Auden is named after a poet that nobody knows about, has forgotten how to ride a bike, and made a bad first impression with her new co-workers. She meets a quiet boy named Eli with too many secrets and all the right answers. She missed senior prom because her date was just like her: to school-centered to care about having fun in life. She never had a food fight, she never broke curfew, and she’s never been to a bar (“it’s a rite of passage!”). Eli is astonished that anyone could “get through the first eighteen years of their life without going bowling at least once”, and sets out to help her experience everything she missed. But now that she has the answers to the things she missed in life, and can see the next step and the decisions she has to make, she has to choose to “get back on that bike,” even when she falls down.

The characters in this story were so relatable. I understood exactly how Auden felt (even though I did build a tree-house in third grade) and could feel her confusion in this strange new social world of hers, the surprise of showing up at work one day and discovering “hey, whoa. How did this happen? I have friends now!” I was blown away when I found out Eli’s mysteries, and loved Maggie even more when she showed her true colors. All characters have their fatal flaws, and these ones do too, but it makes them real people, not just fairy-tales. Her father was a selfish jerk, but he had his commitments—he just needed to prioritize his family over his novel. Her mother was a hard shell—but she could learn to talk about her feelings, and open up. Leah looked like a snob until you got to know her. And Eli… well, I’ll let you discover Eli the way you need to discover him…

I will probably buy this book when it shows up at my little used book store (because I’m too broke to buy it full price) and put it on my bookshelf with my name in the cover, and read it again, and again, and again… because I truly loved it. Thank you, Sarah Dessen, for writing good YA fiction.

Until next time,


Review: 1-800-WHERE-R-U, by Meg Cabot

I hate Meg Cabot.

she is a terrible writer. she doesn't write sentences, she writes fragments and then puts more fragments at the end to clear up what was perfectly clear in the first place. she leaves out things that are important. she doesn't describe stuff. her prose stinks. how on EARTH she became a best selling and popular author, i have no idea.


i read the first book of her series here, "When Lightning Strikes," and seriously had to read the others. i still haven't read the last book, my library doesn't have it in right now, but this book got me hooked to a story that was written by (excuse me) a sucky writer. it was wild, weird, crazy, funny, and had some very creative twists in it. great story.

now if only she could learn to write.
sentences, i mean. (<-- example of what she does. i swear i don't write like that normally.)

would i recommend this book? no. absolutely not. I'd recommend not reading it because the writing was terrible. in fact, I'd probably tell everyone who would listen not to read anything by Meg Cabot because she can’t write. published author vs.  writer= big difference.

sorry about that rant. it just had to come out. like I've said before. with me it’s not fluffy review. you get the good, the bad, and the ugly.

this is the ugly.

until next time (and a next and better book,)

Review: Wings

(Read in June 2009)

Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Genre: YA, Fiction, Romance, Paranormal 
rating: 3.5/5

This book had some good, some bad, some supremacy, some mediocrity. here's my warning now, that this has spoilers in it.

good: a wild twist. wild as in mind boggling. the idea that fairies are plants never once crossed my mind, the idea that Laurel had flowers growing out of her back instead of actual wings was... kind of weird but also really cool. and in my opinion, the good over-weighed the bad.

bad: I remember very vividly that the boy she falls in love with is introduced in the first paragraph (or second, or something like that.) and that totally gave away that part of the plot. I knew right away she'd become involved with him. I would have liked the author to develop his character a little more, or develop Laurel's character a little more, before introducing him. and then, the petals growing out of her back weren't actually wings, so why was the book called Wings? Just wondering.

supremacy: it had me hooked from about the fifth chapter to the twenty-second. I literally read for five hours. that's a long time for me. I mean, I read A LOT and ALL THE TIME, but five hours at once? seriously. the only other times that's ever happened was for twilight and harry potter. very nice, Aprilynne.

mediocrity: the writing itself, the prose, the sentence structure, was not all that fabulous. it was just basic sentence structure most of the time, and ok vocabulary. the words themselves were not poetic and artful, something that you find in Edger Allen Poe or J K Rowling.

the last thing was the end. it left you hanging, a little. which, as a writer, is a smart and mean thing to do at the same time. I'm a writer, and in every single one of my books I leave my audience hanging. but as a reader, it's annoying.  the one thing I want to know is what happens with her and the boy thing? who does she end up with? I’ll bet that the boy she met at school ends up with the girl who's had a crush on him forever, and she goes back to her fairy-boy. (can you tell I've forgotten some names and don't have the book with me? that’s what happens when you return books to the library before you write a review. genius.) whatever. but I hope there's a sequel, because that one little thing will bug me from now until whenever the new one comes out (if there is one.)

of course, again, the book was addictive, and had a great twist. I will say that if I ever had a chance to read it again, I would probably not do it. (because I don’t re-read a book unless it makes my top lists. there aren’t very many books on my top lists.) but I will (if there is one) read the sequel. all in all, I did like this book. quite a lot. and I do recommend it to anyone who likes romance, fantasy, or adventure.


Review: The Diary of Pelly D

The Diary of Pelly D pellyd by L. J. Adlington
Genre: YA Fiction
Rating: 5/5

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I found this book while browsing at my local library. I tried reading it once, and it seemed so trivial and unimportant. I returned it and forgot about it.
A year later, I saw it again and thought "what every happened to Pelly D after she got kicked out of her holo-pool and lost her street-side friend?" So I borrowed it again and read it through in a few hours.
I got a lot more out of it the second time, I'll say that much right away.

The story is futuristic, it takes place on another planet. The author comes from an evolutionary viewpoint, saying that Pelly D’s race has “evolved backwards.” They have gills. They’re like human-fish. Which, in my opinion, is really kind of cool. Pelly D is a gorgeous girl who has nothing better to do than slack off in her homework, watch beautiful ships come into harbor, and kiss the new cute boy in town. Everyone knows Pelly D can have anyone she wants. Everyone knows Pelly D has the best house with the most rooms and the best pool. Everyone knows Pelly D is popular.
But then something changes for Pelly D. the government decides to enforce gene tracing on every citizen. Pelly D finds out that she is descended from (to put it lightly) the most disliked original gene carrier that their new planet was founded with. She is kicked out of her house with her mother and sister, but since her dad doesn’t have the gene, he gets to stay “for business purposes.”  It tears apart the marriage of her parents, her brother leaves so he won’t have to go to City 1 to be a slave boy, and Pelly D experiences poverty, hate, and prejudice from her former “friends.”

This book has a lot of hidden messages in it, and it's not something you can really say in words. The author used this book to paint a picture of something. It's more than fiction, it's a statement; like Orwell's 1984, or Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird . It’s main focus isn't Pelly D, it's actually judgment, prejudice, and politics.

But, it also has the lighthearted addition of a teenage girl who really couldn't give a rat's poo about anyone but herself.
I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it, but I do highly recommend it. I'll also say this: the ending is good, but it doesn't wrap up the story like most books do, so be ye warned. It's well written (aside from the missing letters, which is part of the author’s futuristic style of speech and writing used in the book. example: "v" instead of "very" or "cd" instead of "could.") and the characters are very real.

Take a step forward, go onward and upward, and plunge into a very deep, very good book.

Review: Along came a spider

Along came a Spider by James Patterson ALONG CAME A SPIDER COVER
Genre: Crime thriller
Rating: 5/5

**Spoiler Alert**
Where to start.

I fell in love with J.Pat after starting and finishing his Maximum Ride series in about... a week. Then I read his other kids book, the dangerous days of Daniel X. Very good.

But Along Came a Spider surprised me.

He continued his style that I love—not being afraid to write from anyone's perspective, good guy, bad guy, minor or random character that he'll never mention again.

His characters, as always, are very defined and specific immediately. I had an understanding of Alex Cross right away. I could see how he thought, how Samson thought, how the other characters thought. Except Jezzie. 

I didn't expect the twists he put in here. Jezzie being a double agent, Michael Goldberg being killed. and I still don't know for sure about the Soneji/Murphey. Multiple personality disorder, or not? No idea. But whatever he really was, he was a genius.

At the end of the book, when I found out about Jezzie and when I saw Soneji escape, and when Jezzie died, it left my mind reeling. My heart was beating hard from chapter 80 on up, and I really couldn't stop reading this.

James Patterson is a good writer. Not just a creative and fearless genius, (fearless in that, he’s not afraid of people like me, who, when they found out about the supposed “heroine” being the criminal mastermind, threw the book against the wall, and fearless in that he isn’t afraid of killing his characters. A weakness of mine.)  but his writing is good. I could associate with the characters, I could see what was happening. His words sounded good (save the occasional foul language, which did tick me off quite a bit).

And about that—honestly, does he have to use so much language? Because really it isn't necessary.

The book left me thinking, which is always a good thing. What exactly I’m thinking about, I’m not sure. What happened with Jezzie surprised me so much I’m not sure what I think about it.  I’m mulling things over, musing while holding my chin and staring out the window. Again, what I’m thinking about, I’m not sure. Trying to understand the criminal mastermind, I guess. Which, I promise, I’m not one. (Wink.)

All in all, I loved this book. it was heated at times, rather violent and, as my mommy would say, “scary,” though I’d prefer the phrase “overly descriptive,”  I can't wait to see what happens to Alex Cross.

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Copyright 2016 Haley Mathiot. All reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. One or more items featured in the blog post may have been free or discounted. Receiving free or discounted product does not affect review. For more please see my disclaimer page.
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