What Lies Within Review

jamesmorrisReview for ‘What Lies Within’ by James Morris

Synopsis: ““You’re going to die”

Shelley Marano is an ordinary, unexceptional high school senior…until the day she receives a cryptic text message, and her world tilts sideways. Now she’s in real danger, although she doesn’t know who would want her dead, or why. As she starts to unravel the mystery, the truth about who she really is proves to be more frightening than she ever imagined. With the lives of her and her friends hanging in the balance, one thing is certain:

Nothing will ever be the same.”

The Review: This book was a tough one for me to review. Its mainly because I have very mixed feelings about what I’ve read. It took me a good chunk of time to really care about the outcome of what was happening to the main character. In my opinion, the author didn’t pull me in as a reader or get me emotionally attached to Shelley in any way for the entire first half of the story. Sure, she had a sad accident from her past that left a hole in her heart. Sure, she received some news from a stranger that was more than a little jarring to her. Honestly though, she came off as whiny and somewhat boring with her reactions to the things happening to her. I found myself rolling my eyes at points when Shelley would interact with other characters. Her relationship with her father was especially unbelievable to me, but I can’t really go into details without spoiling some major plot occurrences.  One positive aspect of this book is Shelley’s best friend, Winston. As a character, Winston was enjoyable. He was the perfect sidekick: Faithful and witty. He was the saving grace for me when it came to Shelley. I decided to give her a chance because Winston gave her a chance. Had the author not written him into the story, I’m not quite sure I could’ve finished the book. There are some intense conspiracy theories in this one that didn’t entirely make sense to me, although the way the book ends is left somewhat open ended for a sequel. The author quickly insinuated that there was some sort of dangerous force after Shelley early on in the book.  As a result of this dangerous force, things would happen in the story that just didn’t seem logical to me and the author always found a way to explain them off. There was always some sort of unrealistic and convenient solution to Shelley’s problems that I felt no teenager would ever be able to pull of in the real world. I will say this: During the last few chapters of the book, I was finally able to feel some sort of emotion towards Shelley’s character. She discovers things about herself and has to make tough decisions based on those discoveries. She makes sacrifices and shares things to the reader as she is feeling them, which meant something to me. Some of her selfishness and ‘poor me’ attitude dissipates at the end and it did make me wonder what would happen should there be a sequel. However, it took me awhile to get to that point. I guess to close it up, I would like to say that I wish the author had spent more time on developing the main character. I understand that the book starts off with an intense bang, but its hard to care about a character who hasn’t been introduced properly. I would’ve liked to see better explanations for all of the characters’ actions and maybe a little more plot development instead of just magically having a solution to problems that happened to Shelley.  Perhaps she would have been better off written as a slightly older character instead of in high school, because I just didn’t get a realistic vibe from it. All in all, the ending saved this one for me but it was barely enough. Not bad, not great. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Conclusion: Read this if you’re into: Intense action scenes, conspiracies, and fast paced writing.

Don’t read this if you can’t stand: Characters without much personality, plots with extreme violence, or secrets that aren’t fully revealed at the end of the book.

The Rating: A shaky 2.5 out of 5 stars because I wish that the author had written the main character in a way that made me actually care about her well being. I say 2.5 instead of 2, though, because Winston was such a lovable and enjoyable sidekick.

My Spoiler for This Book: Coming Soon.

Author’s Goodreads Page: James Morris Goodreads


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I read all of the things and I write some of them, too.

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