The Deceivers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

GoodReads Summary:
Until their mother vanished, the Greystone kids—Chess, Emma, and Finn—knew nothing about the other world.
Everything is different there. It’s a mirror image, except things are wrong. Evil. Their mother tried to fix it, but she and an ally got trapped there along with Ms. Morales, their friend Natalie’s mom.
Now the four kids—brave Chess, smart Emma, kind Finn, and savvy Natalie—are determined to rescue everyone.
To do so, they have to go back: into the other world, where even telling the truth can be illegal.
But in such a terrifying place, Chess doubts he can ever be brave enough. Despite all her brains, Emma can’t seem to break the code. With everything spiraling out of control, Finn has to pretend he’s okay.
And for Natalie, the lies of the other world include some she wishes were actually true. What if she’s gotten so used to lying she no longer knows what to believe?
The second book in the Greystone Secrets series, The Deceivers, by bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix, continues the twisty and suspenseful story of the Greystone kids and examines the power of the truth—or a lie—to alter lives, society, and even an entire reality
Greystone Secrets #2: The DeceiversReview:
While I really enjoyed this book, I definitely liked the first book better. (Read my short review of the first book here.) I think this book suffered from telling instead of showing, though this got better toward the end.
We’re following Chess, Emma, Finn, and Natalie as their living with Natalie’s dad and trying to figure out how to save their mothers. After everything went wrong at the end of the last book, they’ve lost their way into the other reality and need to figure out how to get back so they can rescue their mothers. I thought the kids being able to figure out their mother’s message and another way to get to them was interesting. But once they get into the other world, they spend much of their time watching and trying to decipher the rest of the letter from their mother. While Emma is decoding the letter, the others watch cameras trying to figure out what was going on around them. Chess, Emma, and Finn spend most of this book hiding inside secret passages while Natalie impersonated her doppelganger. So, while Natalie’s chapters were exciting and full of new things, the other three were left to watch and stew in their inner thoughts.
Overall, this was still a really fun story and I enjoyed it. I’m definitely excited to see what’s going to happen next in this series. I think this is a great middle-grade series and I wish I saw more in the book community talking about it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

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GoodReads Summary:
Told in alternating points of view from Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone, Greystone Secrets #1: The Strangers is the beginning of a new page-turning adventure that examines assumptions about identity, family, and home, from the master of middle grade suspense.
What makes you you?
The Greystone kids thought they knew. Chess has always been the protector over his younger siblings, Emma loves math, and Finn does what Finn does best—acting silly and being adored. They’ve been a happy family, just the three of them and their mom.
But everything changes when reports of three kidnapped children—who share the same first and middle names, ages, and exact birth dates as the Greystone kids—reach the Greystone family. This bizarre coincidence makes them wonder: Who exactly are these strangers? Before Chess, Emma, and Finn can question their mom about it, she takes off on a mysterious work trip. But puzzling clues left behind lead to complex codes, hidden rooms, and a dangerous secret that will turn their world upside down.
The Strangers (Greystone Secrets, #1)Review:
The Strangers was such a fun and suspenseful story. I loved Haddix’s books when I was growing up so now that I’ve been starting to read middle-grade books again I had to get this when I saw it. I’m so glad that I did.
The Strangers was wholesome and bizarre in the best ways. I thought this was just going to be a fun mystery, which it was, but it took a turn toward science fiction that I was not expecting, but definitely loved.
I adored all three kids that we follow. Emma was smart and clever, but still very clearly loved her siblings and mom. Chess was the oldest and felt responsible for all the others, even though he really shouldn’t have all that weight on him. I liked Finn most of all. He was the youngest and always being underestimated. He played a role just as important as the others.
I loved how obvious their love for one another was. And their love for their mother fueled their mission. I also really enjoyed how they got Natalie in on helping them.
Overall, this book was an absolute delight. I really had fun reading it. The characters were easy to love. I definitely suggest this one to anyone that liked middle-grade books.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.