1 Gem & 2 Duds: Out of Left Field, The Lies They Tell, Love Beyond Opposites

Out of Left Field by Kris Hui Lee
Release Date: May 1st, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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There’s no playing it safe in love or baseball in this sparkling debut, perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Kasie West.

Marnie has never had a hard time fitting in with the guys. It would take a lot more than their goofy antics to keep her from joining them at the neighborhood sandlot to do what she loves best: play ball.

An added perk of hanging out at the sandlot? Spending time with Cody Kinski, their high school’s star pitcher and Marnie’s best friend. Sure, he can be stubborn and annoying. He also knows how to make her laugh and respects her skills on the mound. And when he gets nailed in the arm by a bone-fracturing pitch, Marnie becomes the team’s best chance at making it to the playoffs. Except no one told the guys they’re supposed to be on her side.

With her own team against her, Marnie begins questioning her abilities. And when fate throws her a curveball, can she play without losing the game, Cody, and her belief in herself?


When a book is said to be perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, I instantly add it to my TBR. It also didn't hurt here that Out of Left Field was giving me Dairy Queen vibes. I had high hopes, and I couldn't wait to dive in! 

The result? Out of Left Field left me feeling underwhelmed. I didn't love it nor did I hate it; instead, I felt indifferent. 

The premise is what originally hooked me. It screamed girl power, and while I've never been particularly good at sports, I still enjoy reading about them, especially when some romance is thrown in. However, the execution here wasn't the greatest. In some ways, I felt that Out of Left Field had no real plot; instead, it was felt like a compilation of a week of baseball games and practices with a teensy bit of romance and family drama thrown in. Even at the "big" moment, I wasn't exactly glued to my seat. It felt so incredibly anticlimactic. I felt that I should be pumped, eager to see the end result, but I just couldn't get myself to that level. 

Additionally, the characters weren't well developed. I didn't truly care all that much about any of them, and not because they had horrific personalities, but because they had almost no personality. The one that had the most development was Marnie, but even then I felt that it didn't dig much deeper than establishing that she had a bossy, determined personality. It was also hard to root for the characters when I felt that I knew almost nothing about them. Sure, some dramatic reveals were thrown in about Marnie's friends and family, but it was never dug deeper than that.  

Overall, Out of Left Field was not the book for me. I wanted to love it, but the plot and characters held me back. I think diehard fans of softball/baseball may enjoy it - there is a lot about the sport included - but if you're looking for a sports related romance, I would suggest Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks series or Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Dairy Queen instead. 

1.5 stars 

The Lies They Tell by Gillian French
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review 
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With shades of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, this dark and twisted mystery by the highly acclaimed author of Grit will be the page-turner of the year.

Everyone in Tenney’s Harbor knows about the Garrison tragedy. How an unexplained fire ravaged their house, killing four of the five family members. But what people don’t know is who did it. All fingers point at Pearl Haskins’ father, who was the caretaker of the property, but Pearl just doesn’t believe it. Leave it to a town of rich people to blame “the help.”

With her disgraced father now trying to find work in between booze benders, Pearl’s future doesn’t hold much more than waiting tables at the local country club, where the wealthy come to flaunt their money and spread their gossip. This year, Tristan, the last surviving Garrison, and his group of affluent and arrogant friends have made a point of sitting in Pearl’s section. Though she’s repulsed by most of them, Tristan’s quiet sadness and somber demeanor have her rethinking her judgments.

Befriending the boys could mean getting closer to the truth, clearing her father’s name, and giving Tristan the closure he seems to be searching for. But it could also trap Pearl in a sinister web of secrets, lies, and betrayals that would leave no life unchanged…if it doesn’t take hers first.


I was so incredibly excited for The Lies They Tell. I love mysteries, and while this book was not getting the best reviews, I still held out hope. Now that I've finished the book, however, I feel that I should have listened to the reviews, as The Lies They Tell unfortunately was not the book for me. 

The Lies They Tell falls into the 'meh' category.  I didn't love it nor did I hate it; instead, it was just kind of there. I had no problem finishing it, as I wanted to know how it ended, but at the same time, I never became hooked or felt a wave of emotions. 

The Lies They Tell focuses on Pearl, a recent high school graduate who has spent summers catering to the needs of her town's elite. There wasn't much to Pearl. She wasn't incredibly interesting, and I never felt that she was the strongest character. I didn't like how she was so willing to throw her true friendships aside, and I also felt that she was incredibly indecisive. Sometimes I felt as if she was aiming to prove Tristan was the culprit while other times I felt as if she wanted nothing more than to shield him from the world. She brought that level of indecisiveness to all her relationships, particularly with the boys. Tristan, Reese, and Bridges...they all seemed to blend together. I was never fully behind her relationship with Bridges - they was never a true connection there - and her unrequited love with Reese became too much over time. There were so many times that everything with Reese could have been solved with a simple conversation, but Pearl was never willing to take it to that level. I also didn't like how she was so quick to throw him to the side...

The synopsis stresses a twisted mystery, but it took a long time to get to that mystery, and even then it wasn't the most gripping one out there. I could see the culprit coming from miles away. I wanted more suspense, more sleuthing, more clues. I liked the times at which she teamed up with Reese to look for clues, but those times were slim. Instead of focusing the mystery, The Lies They Tell focused on the divide between the rich and the poor of the town. In some ways, I liked that topic - it was interesting to see how the town's people interacted, how their was such a great divide - but at the same time, I never felt that Gillian could have taken it further. There were so many more things that could have been said regarding the video, the jobs, etc. 

In all, The Lies They Tell never managed to truly 'wow' me due to a variety of reasons. Fans of slower paced reads may enjoy it, however, if you're looking for a fast paced mystery, this won't be the book for you. 

1.5 stars 

Love Beyond Opposites (Grad Night, #3) by Molly E. Lee 
Release Date: May 7, 2018 
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush 
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary 
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 
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If high school has taught mathlete Jade Aaron anything, it's that nerds never get the guy.

So when rock star Lennon Pryor starts pursuing her, It's not rocket science. This doesn't add up.

I mean, sure, he's hot.

And charming.

And a god on the guitar...

But he's also the world's biggest player. Being with him would be a bigger mistake than 2+2=5.

Until graduation night, when a reckless moment leads to a reckless kiss. And now Jade's falling for the one guy destined to break her heart.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one epic party, complete with every high-schoolers-gone-bad shenanigan, and two opposites with nothing in common and nothing to lose...except their hearts.

Each book in the Grad Night series is STANDALONE:
* Love in the Friend Zone
* Love Between Enemies
* Love Beyond Opposites


Earlier this year I read Love Between Enemies, the second book in the Grad Night series, and I became hooked. I loved the characters, the excitement of grad night, and, most importantly, the romance!  

In Love Between Enemies, Jade and Lennon were spotted occasionally in the background, and it was easy to tell that there was something brewing between them. Good or bad, I didn't know, but one thing was for sure, I couldn't wait to find out! 

Love Beyond Opposites alternates between Jade and Lennon's perspectives, and just like Love Between Enemies, I loved seeing from both viewpoints. On the surface, Jade and Lennon couldn't be any more different. Jade's always been a quiet, sweet girl, focusing on her grades and actives rather than having the typical high school experience. Lennon, on the other hand, is a rising rock star. He's set to go on tour this summer, and he can't wait - the road is where he's meant to be. I adored Jade and Lennon for a variety of reasons. For instance, I completely related to Jade's love of math, and I also admired how determined she was to break lose, of her family, of the world's expectations for her future, etc. She was her own person for sure. Lennon wasn't the typical rock star. He was swoony of course, but he also had this level of sweetness to him, especially when it came to Jade. Like Jade, Lennon is rebelling against what his parents think are best for him - college rather than touring - and I gave him mad props. Lennon knew what he wanted to do, and he wasn't letting anything get in the way of his dream. 

The one thing I love about this series is how developed the romances become considering such a short timeline - 24 hours essentially. In Love Beyond Opposites, we have a case of long-term crushing. Both Lennon and Jade have been crushing on one another from afar, but they don't believe they're right for each other until they're thrown together for a night of adventure. I enjoyed seeing Jade and Lennon become more comfortable with each other. They had such a great banter develop, and I also admired how willing they were to stand up for the other. While there was some drama near the end, it added some suspense to the book. 

Overall, Love Beyond Opposites is just as sweet as the previous book. I'm sad to see this series come to an end; however, I couldn't be happier with how Molly ended it - that epilogue was perfect! 

3 stars!! 


  1. I'm sorry two of these were such duds for you! I prefer my mysteries to be more fast-paced, and even though I don't always love character-driven books, if I don't care about the characters or feel like I don't get to know them, it can put a damper on my reading experience.

  2. Wow. This is utterly disappointing. First, and foremost, my heart aches, because you read so many mostly disappointing books in a row. I am also a little bummed, because Out of Left Field looked promising to me. =/


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