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Friday, September 4, 2015

What Lies Within by James Morris Review

What Lies Within by James Morris
Paperback, 207 pages
Published by Kindle Press
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository |
Rating: 1/5 Stars

Synopsis: “You’re going to die”
Shelley Marano is an ordinary, unexceptional high school senior…until the day she receives a cryptic text message, and her world tilts sideways. Now she’s in real danger, although she doesn’t know who would want her dead, or why. As she starts to unravel the mystery, the truth about who she really is proves to be more frightening than she ever imagined. With the lives of her and her friends hanging in the balance, one thing is certain: 
Nothing will ever be the same.

Shelley Marano is just a typical high school girl—or at least she was, until she received this text: “You’re going to die”. Suddenly, she is thrust into a world of danger where she has to question everything she’s ever known. As she slowly begins to discover the horrifying truth of who she really is, all that she knows for certain is thisShelly and everyone she loves is in grave danger. 

No matter how much I wanted to like this book, I just couldn’t enjoy it. First off, I really didn’t like the main character, Shelley. She was just plain dumb in so many ways. For example, you do not respond when someone texts you saying you’re going to dieand you don’t automatically assume that it's a prank either. Besides this, she also constantly makes dumb decisions that end up backfiring. Exhibit A: when Shelley needs to warn someone that they are in danger, she threatens the girl with a gun that does not exist and forces her into her car. Sounds logical and helpful, right? There are so many infuriating situations like this where I just wanted to yell at the main character that I literally threw my book against a wall—TWICE.

Other than that, I also did not like the writing itself. The author seems to be trying to force his writing to sound deep, and it doesn't work. Be more specific, you say? Here you are: "He hadn’t learned much in chemistry, but he knew this: he was a particle and others around him reacted" . . . Um? Another major problem I had with What Lies Within was how confusing everything was. It was an overly complicated plot, and even after I finished reading, I did not get nearly enough explanation or reasoning for the logic behind it and some of the events that occurred. Finally, I felt like the author did a lot more telling than showing. For example, I was told that Shelley was close to her father and best friend, even though throughout the entire book, she did nothing but ignore and argue with the two of them. All of my issues were major, and I sadly couldn’t find anything I enjoyed about this book.


1) Shelley, the main character, is dumb and difficult to relate to. She responds to a death threat text and dismisses it as a silly prank. Hell, if she had ignored the message, or simply reported it to the police, there would have been no book.

2) The writing was forced, as if the author was trying really hard to sound deep. 

3) I needed more explanations to everything in this book. I did not understand what the experiment connected to Shelley’s birth was, or why it needed to be done. Unfortunately, details of the plot were brushed over and because of this, many aspects of it did not make much (or any) sense.

4) There was no actual relationship development between the characters. Even though the book tells you that Winston is Shelley’s best friend and that her father is close to her, there are not many signs of it throughout the story. 


  1. great post, nikki! the protagonist and just plain dumb oh my god if i read this book she would probably just annoy me so thank you for this review :) i won't be wasting my precious time on this

    1. I definitely agree that the main character acts dumb in the book, and I wouldn't recommend it

  2. HAA you threw the book agtainst the wall? Awesome, review!