Review: Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

Gia’s life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn good.  She may be a bit on the awkward side, but she’s got her two best friends and her books.  Honestly, what else does a girl need in life? All that changes when she accidentally falls into a book.  Yup. You read that right.  She fell into a book. When she lands in a library in Paris (thousands of miles away from the one she left in Boston), Gia is introduced thrown into a world far beyond her wildest dreams….and nightmares.

In a world where jumping through libraries is common, and there’s really no such thing as normal, Gia, accompanied by Arik, her leather-clad and oh so gorgeous protector, must give up her ordinary life to dodge an evil wizard hell-bent on her demise and save both the mystical and human worlds in the process.5 Stars

Okay, so first: things that have nothing to do with the content of the story….I mean seriously?! Would you take a second and look at that cover? It’s gorgeous and I want to live there…by myself….with nobody to bother me and all the pretty books.  And also, can I just say that the author is one of the nicest people I’ve encountered on Twitter?  No joke, If I wasn’t already tripping all over myself and getting in trouble at work to spend a few minutes here and there engrossed in this book, Brenda Drake’s demeanor alone would have made me want to, just because she’s that nice!

Now down to the nitty gritty actual review portion of our segment.  I requested it on NetGalley for two reasons.  First, it was put out by Entangled Teen.  I know, I know, never judge a book by its publisher, but since I started this blog, I’ve read 10(ish) books from them and loved every single one of them to teeny tiny pieces of infinitesimal glitter.  So, I trust their judgement implicitly when it comes to a good book.  Second, and most obviously, Hello? Libraries? Yes please!  This book is about people that JUMP.THROUGH.LIBRARIES.  What self-respecting bookworm wouldn’t trip all over themselves to be able to do that?  But, alas, we can’t.  So I relished the opportunity to be able to do so vicariously through Thief of Lies.biblioteca-joanina

I freakin’ adored the crap out of this book!  It had everything I look for in a good piece of YA fantasy: A world I can imagine vividly through the content of the story, believable and likable characters, a great bit of romance, and of course, the feels.  All the freakin’ feels.  Brenda Drake did a fabulous job creating a world of characters that is both relatable and fantastical at the same time.  While the world Gia is introduced to is far different than the one we experience, it has enough familiar elements to make it easy to imagine yourself there.  And it doesn’t hurt that the world within this novel is based on the world we live in with its cities being those that house the libraries that most bibliophiles drool over.

Perhaps my favorite thing about this novel is that it tackles some really tough topics in a way that is easy to read, but gives the reader the appropriate emotions without depressing them to death.  Gia lost her mother when she was young, never knew her father, and was raised by her step-father.  Unfortunately, this is a reality that a lot of teens face today and rather than side-stepping around it or giving her the ideal nuclear family, Brenda Drake stared real life right in the face and proved that even if life isn’t perfect, you can still kick some major ass.

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In the midst of her ass kicking and just being an all-around rock star, Gia does manage to fall in love.  I’m a sucker for good YA, and I’ll be honest, the prevalence of love stories is a big part of it.  However, one of the issues I find in a lot of stories is the ever-dreaded “insta-love”.  Thief of Lies is a fabulous example of how NOT to do that.  The love story in this novel was certainly a large part of the plot, but it was fabulously well-developed.  There was none of the typical “girl meets boy, girl swoons over boy, boy swoons over girl, kiss, in love, let’s make babies” that drives me and everyone else nuts.  The love between Gia and Arik happens slowly, and absolutely sizzles because of it.

This novel ended absolutely flawlessly as well.  I won’t lie, cliff-hangers drive me batty, especially when I have to wait a year or more for the next book, at which point I have to re-read the first and get mad all over again.  While the end of Thief of Lies certainly left me excited to read more in the Library Jumpers series, it ended organically and in a place that left me satisfied and feeling whole, rather than throwing a temper tantrum and beating up helpless pillows.

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Yay for intact pillows!

Sooooo, long story short, read this book.  Read it now…or you know, when it comes out next month.  Love it as much as I do (because there’s really no other option), and then tell me all about it!

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3 thoughts on “Review: Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

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