Saturday, February 15, 2014

Review: The Convenience of Lies by Kimberly Castillo


“It doesn't matter if it's right or wrong. All that matters is if you can. If you can do something, what difference does it make?"

Based on a true story, The Convenience of Lies is a novel that keeps readers up past midnight with its story of friendship, mystery, crime, sex, and betrayal. Set in a suburban town, this story is told through the eyes of a high school junior, Mackenzie, who describes her crush on a "bad boy," Ramon and her relationship with her best friend, Kira. During the course of the story, Mackenzie does her best to attract the affections of Ramon while her friendship with Kira evolves. Eventually, the different characters' property starts getting vandalized and a mystery develops as Mackenzie and Kira try to get to the bottom of who is behind the vandalism. 

Description taken from Goodreads 

My Review
Oh, boy this book.  I hate to say this but I barely made it to the halfway mark.  I really tried but I just couldn’t get through a page without cringing.  I really wanted to like this book.  I really did, but it was just not for me.

Let’s start out with the positives.  It has a great premise, which made me want to review it.  A coming of age story, some teen angst, friendship and throw a mystery into the mix and you’ve got the makings of what could be a great book.  Right off the bat, from the first page, I was hooked.  It was interesting, I loved how it was part of an email and you were forced to read the rest of the book to kind of understand what was going on.  What the purpose of the email was.  I also love how it’s a short read.  It’s not even two hundred pages, so if you’re looking for a short contemporary read to kind of ‘cleanse your pallet’ of all the supernatural, fantasy or dystopian books you read, then this would be a good book to read.

Unfortunately, there were quite a few things wrong with The Convenience of Lies.  The main character, Mackenzie, was just so unlikable.  I had absolutely no sympathy for her.  She was naïve, whiny, a complete pushover and extremely clingy.  I love my female protagonists strong, intelligent, strong willed, and independent.  All I could get out of Mackenzie was that she wanted a boyfriend and she would do anything to get this one boy, Ramon, who only likes her as a friend.  She was just so infuriating.  I couldn't even understand why she had a crush on Ramon, there was absolutely nothing special about him and the both of them had no chemistry whatsoever.  It was not believable at all.  On top of that, the writing was just not attractive.  It was juvenile and had way too much ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing’.  Each time a new character was introduced; there would be a paragraph about what they looked like.  It was just very bulky and not pleasing. In my opinion, description should be spread out.  Don’t make it look like you’re filling out a profile on a dating website.  The dialogue was choppy and uncomfortable to read.  I realize that this novel is based on a true story but this is just not how teenagers act, it was too over the top and exaggerated.  And some of the things they said.  Completely ridiculous and cringe worthy.

It’s really too bad that I didn’t enjoy this book.  It really could have been a great read.  It was definitely a great effort, especially for a debut novel, but it’s really nothing spectacular.

So, if you enjoy short contemporaries, a bit of mystery, and coming of age novels, then pick up The Convenience of Lies.  Maybe you’ll enjoy it more I did.

Did Not Finish

Thank you to Kim who provided me with copy in which to review.  This did not affect my opinion of it.

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