Thursday, February 27, 2014

ARC Review: 18 Truths by Jamie Ayres

Title: 18 Truths
Author: Jamie Ayres
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Format: ARC
Links: Goodreads - Barnes & Noble - Amazon
SynopsisLying is unbearable, betrayal is inevitable, and choosing which path to take is impossible.

Olga Gay Worontzoff ended her senior year as an eighteen-year-old girl totally in love with Nate, enjoying their new romance and about to attend the university of her dreams. Now she’s spending her summer in the weird subculture of the Underworld, with charmingly witty and powerful angels, and problematic demons, trying to rescue Connor, the best friend and secret crush she was unable to save during a freak accident.

But Nate has other things on his mind, mainly Grace. She’s their first assignment as joint spirit guides, and Olga’s feeling hurt and jealous. His mysterious behavior has Olga questioning everything she believed about him and now she must decide whether to stick to their plan, or follow her heart. Unfortunately, a series of mistakes threatens everyone around her and plants Olga in the center of cosmic events much larger than she ever imagined.

Only one thing is certain: the chilling truths uncovered during her journey will leave no one untouched. (via Goodreads)
My Review

I received an Advance Reader Copy of 18 Truths from Curiosity Quills Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

18 Truths by Jamie Ayres starts of where 18 Things ended. If you haven't read 18 things yet, I'd suggest that you stop reading here and go read that one first!

Olga and Nate are coping with the whole fact that the last year of their lives was simply an illusion. Oh, and the fact that they've been dead the whole time. Together, they decide to spend their post-death lives (haha) as spirit guides, helping other misguided folks like themselves find their way to heaven. Their first mission, Grace, proves harder than Olga thought, especially since Nate seems more invested in their little project than he is in her. And what happens when Olga finds out that Conner, the boy she spent the entire last year getting over, is just a few dimensions away? I guess you'll just have to read to find out!

Seriously, though. Read this book. Just do it. Jamie Ayres is a wonderful author and that is evident in how beautifully written this book is. Not only are the characters well rounded and relatable, but the world that Ayres created is hauntingly beautiful. No matter what your beliefs about the afterlife is, Jamie Ayres' version of the afterlife is comforting and imaginative. 

In my review of 18 Things, I touched on how I enjoyed the religious aspect of the book and that has not changed with 18 Truths. I am a religious person and the touch of religion is extremely comforting to me. Even with the hints of religion, I don't think that mentions of it are overwhelming or preachy. No matter what your spiritual beliefs are, I'm sure that you could enjoy this book. Personally, though, I did like the various bouts of scripture placed throughout the book. I'll be honest, I kept my own set of scriptures next to me as I was reading the entire time so that I could look up and highlight the scriptures as they were presented.

Speaking of highlighting things, I think I did more highlighting and note taking in this book than I have in a really long time! Once again, this book was just beautifully written. I didn't want to miss a thing!

And now, let's talk characters. In general, Ayres does a great job with her characters. They're all fairly well rounded and relatable, but I felt myself relating 100% with Olga throughout the book. 

Olga is level-headed and smart. And, just like most teenaged girls, love makes her do crazy things. I felt just as conflicted as Olga did as she went through her whole love triangle business. Seriously, that totally hit home for me…I could feel what Olga felt as she pondered the idea of the two guys that she loved more than anything. Her decisions and realizations even gave me some realizations of my own, so thanks Olga! I don't know that I would have made some of the decisions that Olga makes throughout the book, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do! Also, the book would have been super boring if Olga made the decisions I would have made :P!

As for her two guys, I couldn't help but compare them to the two guys I've been lucky enough to love in my life. What?! I couldn't help it! I promise! Anyway, I adored both Nate and Conner for different reasons (true to real life, of course). Conner is Olga's charming best friend and first love, that stuff does not die easily…let me tell you! And Nate is the one who held Olga up through everything that happened in the previous year, they've got an unbreakable bond. The relationships between Olga and her two leading men were realistic, beautiful, and, at times, absolutely heartbreaking. I loved it!

Of course, if there's anything that I learned from 18 Things, it's that Jamie Ayres loves a good plot twist (am I right?! ha). It was absolutely no different in 18 Truths. No worries, though, I love a good plot twist, too, and this one certainly didn't disappoint! But alas, you'll just have to read the book to find out what it is. I promise you won't be disappointed.

18 Truths is a wonderful story! It's not just a continuation of Olga and Nate's story, but also of Olga and Conner's story and Dr. Judy's story. I was never bored, I wanted to keep reading forever. It was beautifully written and it's definitely a story that sticks with you even after you close the book. 18 Truths will be just the second book in 2014 that I'm giving a 5 out 5 Star rating too! AND I'm recommending it to all of my friends!

Now, if only I could make time speed up so that I could read the next book already!

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