by: James Morris
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, YA
Publish Date: 2 June 2015
Review: Shelley Marano is your ordinary wallflower high school senior, until her life is turned upside down by four little words warned through text. “You’re going to die.” It’s a race for her life that leaves her with a haunting question. Who is Shelley Marano?
What I loved most about this book is that it takes some familiar ideas but with a whole new twist and it’s got a little of everything: mystery, suspense, action, love, sci fi, and coming of age. Morris is a genius at twists and there were several times that I was shocked to find where he took the story. (Well done. I’m the queen of prediction!)
I really enjoyed the relationship between Shelley and her best friend Winston. The way that they are written gives you a strong sense of the length of their friendship and their dedication to each other. Morris also does a great job at developing the awkward relationship between an almost adult and her widowed father. Shelley’s dad struggles with wanting to keep her a little girl, but also wants to be the “cool dad” and Shelley still needs her dad emotionally, but doesn’t want to.
What I enjoyed most about What Lies Within, outside of all of the unexpected twists, was the end. I loved how Shelley’s character unfolds to be strong, brave, mature, and selfless, but has this dark element to her (very female Batman…LOVE IT!). I also loved that the end is wide open for another.. Can’t wait for more!
So, why four and not five wings? There were a couple of small issues that I had with dialogue, both internal thoughts and interactions, that I felt were unnatural. For instance, Winston says “Holy smokes”. Definitely not something you’d hear a teenager say.
One reading tip… when you get close to halfway into the book, allow enough reading time to finish in one sitting. Once the roller coaster gets going, you won’t want to get off!
A special thank you to James Morris for offering me a copy of What Lies Within in exchange for my honest review. I hope you’ll remember me when Shelley heads off on her next adventure!
About the Author:
James Morris is a former television writer who now works in digital media. When not writing, you can find him scoping out the latest sushi spot, watching ‘House Hunters Renovation’, or trying new recipes in the kitchen. He lives with his wife and dog in Los Angeles.
How to follow James Morris:
Where to find your copy: