What Lies Within – James Morris


4 Stars (4 / 5)

Here I go again, another Young Adult book. I don’t know exactly why they appeal to me so much. Perhaps because I want to stay young at heart!

Shelley Marano is your typical 17 year old high school student. The most important decision she is facing in life is where to go to college and how to tell her father that she doesn’t want to work in his auto shop for the rest of her life. However when Shelley suddenly gets a text message warning her that she is in danger, her life unexpectedly gets totally turned upside down. Suddenly she doesn’t even know who she is anymore, and has to fight to stay alive!

I think the thing that appeals to me about YA books is the prospect for huge, life changing character development. I enjoy watching the young naïve characters grow. Shelley made some absolutely stupid decisions towards the beginning of the novel that made me cringe, but I soon began to like her and I became invested in finding out what happened to her. I liked her best friend Winston. I enjoyed their relationship and the interactions between them. I also liked the secondary characters and felt they all enhanced the story. Her father was a pivotal character even though he only appeared a few times. Remy was important in his own way, as were Michael and the scary man on the motorbike.

Like the majority of Young Adult novels, it has a love triangle… My ultimate pet hate… But this one isn’t too annoying, especially when one of them is far from worthy. Typically Young Adult, it had a lot of teenage angst. But all the characters were portrayed well. Often in young adult books I struggle to empathise with the young female character for some reason. I thought I might have this problem at the start, but things quickly turned around and I enjoyed Shelley’s adventure.

The nurse in me found a few small medical inaccuracies, but they were only minor and didn’t impact my enjoyment of the story.

It was an extremely quick read. The second half of the novel moved so quickly I finished it in one sitting. The first half was only slightly slower. Overall it kept me turning the pages! The ending was exciting. It left quite a few questions, however certainly paved the way for another one.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, I really enjoyed it! What Lies Within is a fast read, full of action, suspense and mystery, I won’t hesitate to read the next one!

With thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Hi my name is Mel. I'm from Sydney, Australia and I am a mother of one (so far). This blog is just a collaboration of my favourite things, reading, being a mummy, and just being. Hope you enjoy!

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