Saturday, June 22, 2013

Review + Interview ~ Justice by Jade Varden

Series and number: Deck of Lies #1
Number of pages: 154
Edition: ebook
Published: Published December 24th 2011 (first published December 23rd 2011)
Link to Goodreads page

Goodreads description:

A House of Cards...

When you build an entire life on a foundation of lies, it only takes one truth for the whole thing to come crashing down. I never invited the truth in. I never went searching for it. I never had any reason to suspect that the two people I loved most were dishonest with me every second of every day.

I made one bad decision, and in a single day my entire world changed. If I'm ever going to discover the truth about myself and my parents, I have to trace all the lies back to their source. I have to try to find the truth that they're hiding.

The more I discover about myself, and my past, the more I realize that lies really are better than the truth. But now that I know the lies are all around me, I can't stop until I've discovered them all. I'll pull each lie away, one by one, and examine it to see what's underneath…until this house of cards crumbles into dust at my feet.

I just hope I can survive the crash.

My review: 

Rating: 4.5 stars
Date read: June 19-20, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the author in return for an honest review

I feel like I say this a lot in reviews, but it's true: I love books like this. A bit of a serious issue, a few flawed characters, a dash (or more) of romance, some (or many) secrets, a bunch of character growth, and a few surprises spell out a pretty good recipe that hardly ever fails to please me.

The first book in the Deck of Lies series was surrounded around Rain's recent upheaval in her life. Through circumstances she couldn't control, she was taken from the world she was already comfortable in and shoved into a cold, superficial one.

The von Shelton family made me very angry. They seemed so heartless and distanced from Rain (or, more accurately, Chloe) and I wanted to climb into the book and yell at them, telling them what horrible people they were. Bravo to the author for creating such a despicable couple of characters.  I do have a bit of hope that they (especially Carsyn) will learn something very valuable and start acting better in future books, but I have a feeling that won't happen.

I also have a feeling the web (or deck, in spirit of this series) is just going to get more and more complicated. There's three more books to the series, and as much as I want to say I've got the secrets and mysteries figured out, I know I will be in for some huge surprises. That is just what Justice was: one surprise after another. I started reading with very little idea of what to expect, so each twist and turn was more or less unexpected.

I gave this book four and a half stars (rounded to five on Goodreads) because I felt that it could have been better. It didn't quite reach it's full potential, though it did come close. I can't exactly describe why that was, but when I went to rate the book, my gut told me, "four-point-five," and that is how I rate most books—with a gut feeling. I can give one suggestion of how it could have been better. I initially loved the moments of foreshadowing, but after awhile, there seemed to too many of them. It kind of disrupted the flow of the story. 

Overall, I loved the feel of this book. Sometimes, while I read (usually with contemporary books—that's why I love that genre), I get a feeling that tells me, "hey, I'm really enjoying this book." There's a certain quality to these types of books (self-published/smaller-company published, lesser known, lower-priced, etc. ) that I just love. It's the sense of uniqueness—that differentness—that immediately piques my interest. Justice was one of those books that not only did that, but also held my interest from cover to cover, and then left me interested in more. 


Now, an Interview with the author

Jade Varden writes young adult novels for teen readers. When she’s not crafting mysteries in her books, Jade also blogs practical writing tips for authors who self-publish. Jade currently makes her home in Louisville, Kentucky, where she enjoys reading and reviewing indie books by other self-published authors. Follow her on Twitter @JadeVarden. Visit Jade’s blog at for reviews, writing tips, self-publishing advice and everything else you ever wanted to know about reading and writing books.

**You can check out the author's books on the above link.

The Q and A's with Jade Varden:

Q: What inspired you to write the Deck of Lies series?

A TV show, actually. It was a show about two girls and their strange family situation, and I started asking myself questions. I thought about what would happen if you were taken away from your family and thrust into a different family, and that’s how the series started.

Q: Is there any particular message that you hope that your readers get from reading your books?

I hope readers get entertainment from my books, but if there’s any particular takeaway it might be that the line between truth and lies is pretty blurry.

Q: I've only read the first book in the Deck of Lies series so far. What can I look forward to in the rest of the series? I have a feeling there are a lot more twists and turns to come.

There are a few surprises in store yet. A lot of readers comment on Rain’s growth throughout the series. You’ll see her continue to change and adjust to her situation, and she will start to become the person she’s meant to be.

Q: Is there any character in Justice that you liked developing and writing about the most?

I had a ton of fun with the suspicious, standoffish characters. Violet and Carsyn made me smile, and in the last book I had a great time writing about Diana.

Q: Are you in the process of writing or publishing any new books at the moment?

I've been working on a new book for several months, and I’m getting closer to having a release date. This book is very different from the Deck of Lies series, but you can expect a few small mysteries.

Q: Last but not least, what do you like most about writing?

Being surprised by what shows up on the screen. Sometimes I feel a little like a book is writing itself because everything flows really well. And what I like the least about writing is the moment those words stop flowing, when I get stuck and every sentence is agony to produce.

Thank you, Jade, for answering the questions I had.

That was the first interview on my blog, but it won't be the last. If you liked this one, keep an eye out for more author interviews coming soon. 


  1. Great review! The book sounds very exciting, and you did a great job talking about it! P.S. love the blog!

    1. Thank you! I appreciate the feedback. :)


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