ADDICTING YA DUOLOGY: Debutantes Series Review

Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ Debutantes duology was among my 2019 must read books… and I managed to get to both books during the last week of the year! Although set in the world of white gloves and ball gowns, don’t be fooled. This YA contemporary thriller series is filled with secrets, scandals and more.

Little Whies Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

1368023754My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Little White Lies was on my ‘2018 Releases to get to in 2019 TBR’. The book overall has received mixed reviews, but many bloggers who have similar reading tastes as I do seem really enjoyed this one. Little White Lies follows eighteen-year old Sawyer Taft, who has just been contacted for the first time ever by her wealthy maternal grandmother. In exchange for living with grandmother and participating in debutante season for nine months, Sawyer will receive $500,000, meaning that she can actually afford to go to college- and try to figure out the hidden identity of her father. While she expected the white ball gowns and gloves, Sawyer did not expect to get pulled into a friend group of fellow debutantes with dark and scandalous secrets of their own.Read More »

YA ROMANCE DEBUT: Together We Caught Fire Review

Summary (from the publisher):

42372921._UY2120_SS2120_Lane Jamison’s life is turned upside down the week before her senior year when her father introduces her to his new fiancée: mother of Grey McIntyre, Lane’s longtime secret crush. Now with Grey living in Lane’s house, there’s only a thin wall separating their rooms, making it harder and harder to deny their growing mutual attraction—an attraction made all the more forbidden by Grey’s long-term girlfriend Sadie Hall, who also happens to be Lane’s friend.

Torn between her feelings for Grey and her friendship with Sadie—not to mention her desire to keep the peace at home—Lane befriends Sadie’s older brother, Connor, the black sheep of the strict, evangelical Hall family. Connor, a metalworking artist who is all sharp edges, challenges Lane in ways no one else ever has. As the two become closer and start to open up about the traumas in their respective pasts, Lane begins to question her conviction that Connor is just a distraction.

Tensions come to a head after a tragic incident at a party, forcing Lane to untangle her feelings for both boys and face the truth of what—and who—she wants.


My Rating: 3/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Everyone knows that I’m always up for a contemporary romance. Eva V. Gibson’s YA debut, Together We Caught Fire, definitely put a unique spin on the genre. High school senior Lane’s life feels turned-upside down once again when her father marries the mother of Lane’s biggest crush, Grey.

Together We Caught Fire is way more than a romance. At the book’s start, there is a warning that there may be some troubling content for readers, including depictions and references death, suicide, cutting, self-harm, nightmares, substance abuse, homelessness, trauma, and PTSD. It feels really important to me to mention these warnings here because Together We Caught Fire is certainly not the lightest read. I’ve personally never encountered these experiences, but there are definitely some hard-to-read and emotionally gripping scenes. Discovering her mother on the bathroom floor at a very young age, Lane is traumatized by her mother’s suicide and almost constantly has nightmares about her mother’s death. Lane battles this trauma and depression throughout the book.


Together We Caught Fire uses it synopsis as more of an introduction. When the novel begins, Grey and Lane’s parents are already married, the families are moved in together, and Lane is already hanging out with Grey’s girlfriend, Sadie, and Sadie’s brother, Connor. While Lane and Sadie do become friendly, I wouldn’t necessarily say that they are best friends, partly because their personalities really don’t mesh and partly because of Lane’s attraction for Grey. One of the most, if not the most, attention-grabbing element within Together We Caught Fire’s synopsis is Lane’s attraction to her step-brother, Grey. The attraction between the step-siblings is something I haven’t read before in YA. The culmination of Grey and Lane’s attraction for one another really doesn’t occur until the second half of the novel. I admit that I really wasn’t a fan of their relationship nor was I rooting for it. Read More »