Tag Archives: Catherine Lo

Book Review: Easy Pray by Catherine Lo (2/5)

24 Oct

I’m continuing through the audiobooks I got through my library’s Summer Listening program, finally catching up from a few summers ago. While a few of these have been fun, I haven’t been won over with a lot of them and this is no exception. I wanted to like this book, but the ending just ruined what was probably a Three or Four Star read for me, bringing it down significantly.

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Cover image via Amazon

Easy Prey by Catherine Lo

Summary from Amazon:

Only three students had access to a teacher’s racy photos before they went viral. There’s Mouse, a brainy overachiever so desperate to escape his father and go to MIT that he would do almost anything, legal or not. Then there’s Drew, the star athlete who can get any girl’s number – and private photos – with his charm but has a history of passing those photos around. And finally, there’s Jenna, a good-girl-turned-rebel after her own shocking photos made the rounds at school last year, who is still waiting for justice.

All three deny leaking the photos, but someone has to take the fall. This edgy whodunit tackles hot-button issues of sexting and gossip, and will have listeners eagerly awaiting the final reveal.

I liked this story for the majority of the plot. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was how Ms. Bailey was portrayed. She’s around the same age as me and it was implied she’s angry and short with students because she’s single and lonely. I don’t know a single peer of mine who has that mindset and I thought it was an instance of the writer wanting to make adults seem very ‘othered’ and it bugged me. But other than that, it was a good plot. Drew and Mouse were good characters, I liked Jenna’s arc, there were a lot of good things going here. I’ll talk more about the ending later on but it was a big crash for me.

Lo has a great ability to write teenagers. I knew people like Drew and Jenna. Drew was the jock everyone hated and loved. Jenna is an explosive ball of teenage angst that I know I felt while I was that age. Mouse was believable, even if I couldn’t relate to him as much. I admired his drive and I understood his desperation. These main three were great even if I wasn’t a fan of Ms. Bailey.

Until the end, I would have said Jenna was my favorite character. I’m not sure if I still feel the same way. Ultimately, I think Mouse was my favorite through the book. He was complicated and his motivations stretched his moral character in a way I found believable and compelling. I’m not saying I like what he did or how he did it, but I could see why he was pushed in the ways he was.

Jenna resonated with me. We had a lot in common. I worked at a FoYo place, I wore a lot of black, I tried to act like I didn’t care what people though. So I felt like I understood her and her story in some ways. There were things I couldn’t relate to at all, like her photo leak, but I could empathize with how embarrassing that would be and how angry she would be. However, her decisions at the end really bothered me.

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Catherine Lo Image via Twitter

I liked the structure of the book. Starting with the ‘day of reckoning’ and working backwards to how it happened and watching the puzzle pieces fall into place was awesome. I like a non-linear structure if done well and I thought this was great. Lo crafted a lot of suspense into the novel in a way that kept me reading and engaged, trying to see how we got to that day and see the motivations that get every character there as well.

OK, I’m going to talk about the end of the book so skip to the next paragraph to avoid spoilers. I thought the book wrapped up way too quickly and neatly for how messy of a situation they were in. There are so many ways Jenna could get caught in the end, so thinking she got away without a scratch is nearly impossible. I can understand her anger at Mouse to an extent, but I don’t think it warranted him suffering so much legal action and ruining his chances of MIT. She took things into her own hands when it seems like she had the evidence she needed to get them pined for their original crimes instead of taking them down in a mess she created. It was way too ‘perfect’ in the end for something that was far from it. I left the book frustrated and angry.

There were three narrators for this book: Nick Mondelli, Elizabeth Cottle, and Jack Meloche. I thought it was appropriate to have multiple narrators because of the multiple first person points of view in the book. It would have been odd to have a male voice reading Jenna’s sections. I thought all narrators did well and I liked that Drew and Mouse got their own voices. Cottle did well at conveying Jenna’s angst and anger. I’m not sure which person did Drew, but I really liked the smugness that was in his voice and how it came across. All three did really great.

Internet privacy is a tricky thing. If something exists digitally, it can be around forever and it’s hard to remove it. What happened to Jenna is horrible but so hard to prosecute. How can we protect ourselves and children in this digital age? I think Lo did a good job of exploring this topic, but I think Jenna’s answer came up short. The laws in these areas need to be reconsidered and revamped As a parent, I’ve considered that I’ll need to be more aware of these in a few years so I’m trying not to live under a rock. There’s only so much we can teach our children and have to trust they’ll believe us and listen to us and do the right thing. And even if they do, those around them might not. So let’s do what we can to create a system that helps protect children.

Writer’s Takeaway: It’s hard to end a book. I think this is an example of one that didn’t do it for me and fell flat. I wanted a lot more from this than I got in the end. There was some good intention, but it didn’t feel like everything was thought through. I wanted more. I wanted another chapter that either confirmed that things went the way it was implied or that things blew up. The ending was cut too short and seemed too clean for such a messy situation.

Overall, a disappointing end brought this one down. Two out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Related Posts:
Book Review: Easy Prey by Catherine Lo | Hapa Bookworm
#allthebookreviews- Easy Prey by Catherine Lo | Jessicamap Reviews
Book Review: Easy Prey- Catherine Lo | The Bibliophile Chronicles

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WWW Wednesday, 19-October-2022

19 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: Yet again, nothing with Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner. I’m trying to think when I can dedicate some time to this one. I try not to use screens before bed and that’s some of my best reading time. Any thoughts?
I have been making good progress in Powering Up by Anne Doyle. I use it to wind down for a few minutes after work, give my eyes a break from screens for a bit. I’m hoping I’ll have this one finished in a week or two.
I took a massive chunk out of Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe the first day I started it. I was driving all over and had it running, getting through a quarter of it! It’s not what I expected from the cover (I didn’t read much of the description) but I think it will be an interesting read.

Recently finished: I wrapped up Easy Prey by Catherine Lo on Saturday morning. I’ll be honest, the ending ruined it for me. I was into the story and trying to figure out the twist and I kind of called it, but I hated how it wrapped up. I think it was unrealistic and sent a really bad message. I haven’t written my review yet so this is subject to change, but I’m giving it Two out of Five stars so far.

Reading next: I’m going to keep executing my plan for finishing When Are You Reading? Challenge this year. Next physical book is going to be Sophie’s Choice by William Styron. I hear a lot about this book but don’t have much of an idea of the plot so I’m excited to read it!

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 12-October-2022

12 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I’ve got a big old goose egg with Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner. Nothing doing this week. It was a less stressful week, but still busy and I didn’t find a good time to devote to this. I’ll keep looking.
I made progress in Powering Up by Anne Doyle. I think I did better than last week so I’m considering that a win. I’ll probably be another two weeks or so with this one, but I’ll get there!
I’ve moved fairly well in Easy Prey by Catherine Lo. This one isn’t winning me over, but I think it has a unique message and I’m enjoying it enough that I’m picking it up regularly to keep moving forward.

Recently finished: Nothing new finished this week. I did get to a review of Like No Other by Una LaMarche which went up on Monday so please go check that out! I gave it Four out of Five Stars.

Reading next: I realized I needed a plan to finish the When Are You Reading? Challenge so I put one together this week. My next audiobook is going to be Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe. This is another YA Summer Audiobook from the library so let’s hope the good streak continues!

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 5-October-2022

5 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I haven’t been any better and getting to Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner. I got through a few pages at the doctor’s office, but nothing to brag about. I’m feeling like I’ll be on this one for a while.
I’ve made some respectable progress in Powering Up by Anne Doyle despite being exhausted. Work has picked up a lot for me so I’ve been a bit more tired before bed and not reading quite as much as I would like.
I started Easy Prey by Catherine Lo on Saturday. Not too far along yet, but I think this one will be pretty quick since it’s only a seven hour audiobook.

Recently finished: I wrapped up Like No Other by Una LaMarche on Saturday morning during errands. I enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I would out of the gate and it surprised me a few times which was lovely. I’m hoping to get to my review soon. I’m giving it Four out of Five Stars.

I was also able to post my review of The 158-Pound Marriage by John Irving on Monday. This book really didn’t do it for me, unfortunately. I was kind of glad when it was over. My opinion didn’t change when I wrote my review. I gave it Two out of Five Stars.

Reading next: I don’t have a plan right now. I’m not sure if I’ll need a physical book or an audiobook next so I’ll feel that out. I doubt I’ll finish anything before next week so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 28-September-2022

28 Sep

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I keep reminding myself to pick up Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner when I find a minute. It means I read a few screens worth of it at a time, but I’m picking my way through it slowly.
I’ve been making good progress in Like No Other by Una LaMarche during drives and runs. I’m over half way through this one and the plot has been really enjoyable!
I picked up Powering Up by Anne Doyle finally! I’ve been looking forward to a change to non-fiction for a while so I’m excited to get into this.

Recently finished: I wrapped up The 158-Pound Marriage by John Irving during a vacation day last Friday. I wanted to like this book, but it really wasn’t for me. I like some of Irving’s other work so I was optimistic, but after a start I didn’t really enjoy, it didn’t get better for me. And the ending left me wanting more so I was disappointed. I’ll get more thoughts together in a review eventually. I’m giving this one Two out of Five Stars.

Speaking of reviews, I finally finished mine for Vessel by Lisa A. Nichols! It went up on Monday. I couldn’t bring myself to change my rating on this from my original call at Three out of Five Stars. I can’t say why, but it just didn’t do it for me.

Reading next: It looks like I’ll need an audiobook next. Next on the docket is Easy Prey by Catherine Lo. This is another YA book that I got as a library download a few years ago. I’m into that part of my TBR. I’m going to reserve the right to switch this one out, though. I might need a bit of a change of genre and I’ll make that call later.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.