14 September 2013

Review: Loving Your Lies by Piper Shelly

What they say: Julian is drop-dead gorgeous, annoyingly provocative, and he's fast becoming her best friend. But he also has a secret that makes the little hairs on her arms stand on end...

My name is Jona Montiniere, and that’s pretty much the only good thing to say about me.

I’m seventeen, I’m snarky, and I’m a crap-load of trouble. Or so they say. But what did they expect from me really, when they dumped me in an orphanage at age five? That I’d grow up to become the new first lady? Nah, I think it’s much more fun to raid Camden Market in London with my friend, Debby. She’s cool. She lives on the street. I learned so much from her.

The only thing she missed to teach me was how to tend to a vineyard. And yeah, that’s what I’m going to do for the next 6 weeks, courtesy to this darn judge, who sent me off to France after I was caught stealing again. Fair enough, the vineyards are okay, and so are my aunt and uncle, who I haven’t met up ‘til now. What isn’t okay, and I mean it, is that I have to live in the same house with my mother, that god-awful dragon, who spurned when I was only a child. And now she wants me back? Demands my forgiveness? Why, because she’s about to die of cancer? Uh-uh. Sorry, but that’s not gonna happen. I want no contact with that woman, thanks.

But what’s Julian got to do with all of this? About my age, he’s too young to be my mother’s lover. So why doesn’t he leave her side? Ever. He’s different, as in the paranormal kind of different, but he’s sa-woon-worthy gorgeous. He obviously has secrets, but he’s also get-under-my-skin charming. In short, he’s a riddle to me. But he likes me, and that’s scaring the shit out of me. I sure won’t let anyone come too close.

So now I'm wondering only two things: How did he manage to hold me in his arms after only three days? And how the hell do you keep an angel earth bound?
What I say: Aww Loving Your Lies is such a cute YA fantasy story. It's about first love, loss, growing-up and letting go.
17-year-old Jona lives in an Orphanage/care-home in London after being abandoned by her mother 12 years ago. At the beginning of the book Jona is forced to accompany her mother (the Dragon) and her handsome young carer, Julian, to stay with relatives on a French vineyard. Jona has often been led astray by street kid Debby and it's after being caught stealing (thanks to Debby's interference) that Jona is placed into her mother's care. Even Jona's friend and confident, a young policeman called Quinn can't help her.
I loved Jona even though she is a brat for a lot of the book. She's plucky and vulnerable, I can totally understand why she's so guarded; Jona had no idea about her Aunt and Uncle in France and her mother abandoned her as a young child. Jona has nobody in her life and is distrustful of anybody nice and caring. 
Oh Julian! He literally has the patience of a saint because he has to work so hard to get through to Jona and to help her mother. Watching Jona stumble and drool over him was hilarious and endearing. There were times when although Jona was being a bit of a brat, I felt he told her off when it wasn't necessarily his place to do so. He's her love interest and not her father, but I think somebody needed to call her out when she said or did something rash or thoughtless. Jona has lived in a world of loneliness and it was sweet watching her learn to trust Julian and her family.
I noticed some reviewers mentioning the Americanisms in the book. Yes, Jona says sweater (as a Brit we say jumper) and Blimey a lot, but I found these kind of endearing and a small thing when you consider the rest of the story.
Some scenes, in particular the ones with Jona and her Mum were so sad. I snivelled through most of them. Even though Loving Your Lies is a fantasy story, I felt this was a side element (in a good way) because the focus is on the characters and their journey. Jona has a lot to learn, but finds a way through her suffering and I was desperately hoping she got her happy ending.
4 Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • Bloody hell, what had brought a god to my hearing? It had been a freaking sweater!
  • "Complicated?" Wait, let me eat a bowl of alphabet soup and poop a better argument than that.
  • A picture of Cogsworth, the living pendulum clock from Beauty and the Beast, sitting on my nightstand danced through my mind, the hands on his Disney face spinning madly.

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