Thursday, January 7, 2016

Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken | Review

Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken | ReviewPassenger (Passenger, #1) by Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger #1
on January 5th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 496
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

passage, n.i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.ii. A journey by water; a voyage.iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

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Why do I continue to do this to myself?  I swear, I think I just like torturing myself.  I knew better than to read an Alex Bracken novel without having the sequel in my greedy little hands.  Passenger is just as amazing as I’d hoped but my heart broke when I reached the end and found out I was going to have to wait another year for the sequel after that seriously major cliffhanger.  I knew better.  Really.  I did.  However, if you’re like me and just can’t wait when a favorite author has a new book out, here are the good things about Passenger.

Pros:

  • Characters: I can honestly say that every character in this book held some appeal for me.  Even the bad guys were awesome.  It’s not that I liked them all but every single character had serious depth and the ability to surprise me.  Nicholas was definitely my favorite though.  He lived through so much hardship and adversity and yet he was still such a good person.  The same could not be said for Sophia.  That girl is on my shit list.  As for Etta, she was pretty bad ass.  She was thrust into so many different time periods and places that she knew nothing about and she took it all in stride.  Not only that, she did it all under serious pressure.  She was impressive.
  • Romance: I’m a sucker for romance and Nicholas and Etta’s was adorable.  Nicholas didn’t think very highly of himself and he couldn’t have imagined a girl like Etta ever falling for him so it was tough for him to take in.  I think that made me like him even more.  He didn’t take her for granted or her interest in him.  As for Etta falling for Nicholas, I can’t blame the girl.
  • Setting:  I guess this one would be better classified as settings.  Passenger takes place over many years and in many different places.  Alexandra Bracken did an amazing job setting up each place and time.  I honestly don’t know how she managed it.  The amount of research that had to go into each setting just boggles me.  Each different place and time period was full of so much history and depth.  It’s not just that she chose amazing places but she also chose to have Nicholas and Etta be in these places during some crazy time period like London during the war.  I have to give her props for the setting above everything else.
  • Story:  I truly didn’t know how anything was going to come together but it all fit together so seamlessly.  I love time travel stories but I’m also typically scared to read them because they can come across so choppy and undeveloped.  That was not the case with the story in Passenger.  The passages, the settings, the clues; everything somehow just fit and worked for the story.  There were no extraneous details and while things were a little confusing at first, it makes sense as you read more of the story.
  • Writing:  Alexandra Bracken became one of my favorite authors because she is such a fabulous writer and Passenger really cements that.  I find that with historical novels like this one (calling it that because a lot of it takes place in the past) the writing can either make or break the story.  Alexandra Bracken’s beautiful writing made this story come to life in my head.

Cons:

  • History: I’m a history buff and I’m not afraid to say it.  However, even to me some of the history seemed a little heavy.  It was pretty much just in the beginning of the book and I feel like it maybe just felt that way because the pacing is a bit slower to start but I was a little confused at some parts.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the history that was woven into the story but when I was just trying to figure out the time travel and the plot, it added a bit more confusion for me.  Once I got past maybe the first 100 pages though it stopped feeling that way.
  • Pirates?: I can’t really say this is a terrible thing but I was hoping for a story with pirates and more ships.  Technically, Nicholas is a pirate but he’s not the kind I was thinking of.  And yes it starts out on a ship but not much of it actually takes place there.  This point is more just for me though because the cover had my hopes up.  Also, this point didn’t really take anything away from my enjoyment of the book.

Overall, Passenger is a hefty book that you will honestly wish there was more of when you finish it.  Nicholas and Etta’s story is really just beginning and I’m dying to see where it goes next in Wayfarer.  You can bet your butts I’m going to be getting that one the day it comes out.

What others are saying about Passenger:

Christina Reads YA’s review: “If you’re a The Darkest Minds fan, I do think that you’re going like Passenger; there’s a similar blend of cinematic action, romance, suspense, and emotionally charged situations.”

Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s review: “If you are looking for a brilliant adventure with a little swoon, I invite you to book your passage on the Passenger.”

Friday, December 18, 2015

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer | Review

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer | ReviewWinter by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
Published by Feiwel and Friends on November 10th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 827
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

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How do I write a review for 823 pages of awesome?  Winter was a highly anticipated book for me and I’m so pleased to say that Marissa Meyer did not let me down.  Everything that’s been building up since Cinder has finally come to a head and Marissa Meyer left no loose threads in this final installment in the Lunar Chronicles.

I refuse to spoil this book or anything about it so I’m sorry if this review is all over the place.

First off, I have to applaud Marissa Meyer’s ability to weave together so many storylines that have been building up for four books (five if you count Fairest).  Readers finally get to see all the characters together in one place and how they interact.  The revolution that kept being hinted at in the first 3 books has finally arrived.  I was a little disappointed by the fact that there was so much build up to this revolution and it seemed a little unorganized but I guess Cinder didn’t really have time to plan much.

Of all the characters, I’m pretty sure Winter just cemented the fact that Iko is my favorite.  Her sense of humor is just amazing.  Winter was an extremely crazy book but Iko always managed to lighten the mood.  I also loved her loyalty to Cinder.  She was more like a sister to her than a friend.  That’s not to say that the other characters weren’t amazing and that Cinder didn’t have some amazing friends.  At this point, I feel like these characters are my friends too and I’ve come to care so much for each one of them, even Winter and Jacin.  They weren’t as well known to me before reading Winter but when you have 800+ pages to get to know someone, you really get to know them.

I didn’t care much for Jacin in the earlier books (he wasn’t exactly the best ally for Cinder and her friends) but I really felt like I started to understand his motives in Winter.  He was raised beside Winter and his loyalty was to her.  He cared so much for her and he knew that she was not safe under Levana’s care.  To be completely honest, Winter wasn’t even safe by herself.  She was severely affected by the fact that she refused to use her lunar gift.  Her craziness was kind of endearing but dangerous at times.  It was understandable why Jacin did so much to get back to her.

Cress, Thorne, Scarlet, Wolf, Kai, and Cinder were just as fantastic as ever.  Cress has stepped up her game and I was impressed by her bravery all throughout Winter.  I admit that I didn’t exactly love her in Cress since she seemed so naive and a little weak.  Spending time with the crew of the Rampion has definitely changed her.  She’s become a strong woman who still had moments of naiveté and nervousness but those were understandable.  Thorne is still his charming self.  Pretty much every time I was reading about him I had a smile on my face.  He and Iko definitely provided some comic relief.  Scarlet and Winter’s relationship was a new addition that I really came to like.  I wasn’t sure how Scarlet was going to feel about her since Winter did keep her as a pet for a while but they grew past that.  Wolf has been one of my favorite characters since I first met him and that did not change this time around.  My heart broke for him so many times.  Kai didn’t play a huge role in Winter which was kind of disappointing to me but I understand that he couldn’t exactly be right in the middle of the revolution with the rest of them.  And what do I even say about Cinder? She’s strong, smart, funny, kind, and willing to do whatever it takes to take down Levana.  She’s determined to save the world.  She’s pretty damn impressive.

I want to say that while this book is huge, not one page is wasted with excess information.  Everything included in Winter is necessary to the story.  So much has been leading to this finale and there were so many little things that had to be tied up.  Marissa Meyer succeeded in leaving no loose ends.  All the romances, the fights, the villains, the heroes, everything is there.  I also want to mention that I love the futuristic twist to Snow White.  There are some parts of the book that really reminded me of the original story but with a unique twist that made it all Marissa Meyer’s.

Also, I hate Levana.  Hate her so much it’s not even funny!  She is psychotic and horrendous.  I wanted to reach into the book and punch her so many times I lost count.  She took pleasure from hurting others and they were people that I had come to care about so much over the course of the series.

Overall, I feel like I should probably stop gushing and let you read the book for yourself.  Winter is the perfect conclusion to the Lunar Chronicles.

What others are saying about Winter:

Literary-ly Obsessed’s review: “Overall Winter was an absolutely fantastic ending to unique and imaginative series.”

Mostly YA Lit’s review: “The other thing I will say about the book is that in spite of a backdrop of revolution, of serious action…every one of our beloved characters develops in this book and becomes stronger.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman | Review

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman | ReviewIlluminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 20th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 608
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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At this point I feel like I don’t even need to write a review for this book.  So many other bloggers have read it and reviewed it and I’m pretty sure they have all said everything that I am going to say in this review.  Oh well, you’ll get my review anyway.

Illuminae was one of the most buzzed about books at BEA this year and after reading it, I know why.  I’ve never been a fan of science fiction books and I didn’t think it would be any different with Illuminae.  Boy was I wrong.  I adored everything about this book, from start to finish.  If I had the time to reread it right now, I would.  If you’re like me and a bit skeptical, I understand.  Ignore your misgivings and read it anyway!

The format of Illuminae makes for a quick, easy read.  Although I have to admit, the blacking out of swear words didn’t really do anything except make me curious.  I kept trying to figure out what words would fit in the sentences.  I’m weird like that.  Other than that, the story is told through interviews, chats, schematics, journals, and other odd styles.  I loved everything about that!  I admit there were some parts that confused me a bit and I had to reread sections to make sense of everything but I think that had a lot to do with the fact that I was powering through the book.  I just wanted to keep reading and I probably read a little too fast.  I guess that just means I’ll need to reread the book to see if I missed anything.

I was a little worried that because of the style of writing, I wouldn’t be able to connect to the characters.  That was not the case at all.  Kady and Ezra were really easy to like and I truly loved their relationship.  They definitely had their issues but they were so good together.  Even their arguments were cute.  There was actually very little physical interaction between the two but that didn’t bother me.  I’m all for romance and sexy times in my books but the build up in Illuminae might have been even better than actual sexy times between the two.  Together, the two were awesome.  Separate, they were also awesome.  They were strong and smart and funny.  I went through the spectrum of emotions while reading their stories.  I laughed, I squealed, and I definitely cried.  Boy did I cry.  Just goes to show that an amazing story can be told in many different ways.

The story itself is pulse pounding and full of surprises.  I really didn’t know what to expect with this story and I think that was a good thing.  I had no expectations for Illuminae but even if I had, it would have exceeded them.  The story is so unique and Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman did an amazing job with it.  And while things tie up pretty nicely at the end, there is clearly more to come.  I look forward to seeing what these two have in store for readers next.  I’m not sure anything can top Illuminae but I hope the rest of the series does.

Overall, Illuminae deserves every bit of praise it has received so far and I hope that it becomes a huge hit when it hits shelves soon.  Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman are two authors that are new to me but I’m definitely going to seek out more of their work now.  Add this to your TBR, if you haven’t already.  You won’t regret it.

What others are saying about Illuminae:

Cuddlebuggery’s review: “This is fresh and spectacular and clever.”

Book Blog Bake’s review: “There’s so much to love about it, I don’t know where to start.”

Good Books and Good Wine’s review: “For real, this book took me on quite the journey and I do not know about you all, but when I come back from a particularly great trip, I have this disoriented feeling as I try to get back to business as usual.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Blog Tour: Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe | Review + Interview + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe | Review + Interview + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe | Review + Interview + GiveawayEarth & Sky by Megan Crewe
Series: Earth & Sky #1
Published by Skyscape on October 28, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 306
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the panic attacks tormenting her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for its inhabitants and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help--but with each shift in the past, the very fabric of reality is unraveling, and soon there may be no Earth left to save.

picadillyblueEarth & Sky is a member of a genre that I don’t often read: science fiction.  I’ve never really been interested in things to do with aliens, other worlds, and time travelling but Megan Crewe did a wonderful job with Earth & Sky.  I was intrigued from the start and couldn’t stop reading once I started.

One of the draws of Earth & Sky is that it’s not super scientific or futuristic.  It’s set in a world like ours full of people like us.  Skylar in particular is very normal, just with a special ability.  She suffers from terrible panic attacks.  For most of her life she’s tried to hide them from people and learned how to deal with them on her own.  However, Win tells her that they aren’t typical panic attacks.  They are triggered by something truly wrong in the world, something that only a few people can actually sense, Sky being one of them.  As for Win, he may be an alien but that’s not to say he’s not just like a regular guy.  He just happens to have some really big jobs on his plate, such as finding a weapon to destroy a satellite.  No big deal.

This is not the first book I’ve read by Megan Crewe and it will definitely not be my last.  Earth & Sky reaffirmed my love of her writing style.  It’s simple and easy to read making her books even more fast-paced than they already are.  Her writing style also helps keep the story a little more simple since there is a lot going on.  It would be easy to make Earth & Sky a very hard to follow story but that was not the case.

The romance in Earth & Sky was a bit lackluster.  It was hard to tell if there was something blooming between Win and Sky.  I don’t know about you guys but I’m a huge fan of romance and I actually like books less when there isn’t some steaminess.  At first I thought there might be some romance between Sky and one of her classmates but that didn’t seem to go anywhere and things could maybe go somewhere between Win and Sky in future books but there wasn’t much action this time around.  I definitely don’t think that’s a huge drawback but for me it did take away some enjoyment.

Overall, Earth & Sky is a unique science fiction story that can appeal to all readers, even ones like me who aren’t the biggest fans of sci fi.  I recommend giving this series a shot and I definitely look forward to seeing where things go in future installments.

What others are saying about Earth & Sky:

Feisty Little Woman’s review: “The time-travelling in Earth & Sky is creative and well-thought out.”

Nick’s Book Blog’s review: “Earth & Sky was an entertaining read and offered something unique in the YA scifi genre.”

megan About the author:

Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives with her husband, son, and three cats in Toronto, Canada (and does on occasion say “eh”), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she can’t look at the night sky without speculating about who else might be out there.

Where to find Megan online:

Website: http://www.megancrewe.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/megan.crewe
Twitter: http://twitter.com/megancrewe
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2839407.Megan_Crewe
Tumblr: http://megancrewe.tumblr.com/

 

 

Interview

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog as part of the blog tour!

Thank you! I’m glad to be here.  🙂

Describe Earth & Sky in 140 characters or less. 

Teen girl joins alien rebel on a journey through history and around the world to stop his people’s time manipulating experiments on Earth.

What made you decide to write YA?

To be honest, it wasn’t so much a decision as a realization. When I first started writing novels, I was in my teens, so I wrote about teenaged characters because that was what I knew. As I got older, I found most of my story ideas still involved teens and that I enjoyed writing about that period in people’s lives the most. It’s such an intense time, with so many firsts and issues people are often only just becoming aware of, and it’s also a period of so much change as you grapple with your identity and whether it fits who you want to be. There’s a lot to explore there as an author.

Do you have a favorite character from Earth & Sky?  If so, why?

My main characters are almost always my favorites, and I am very fond of Skylar. She’s had to deal with a lot and still manages to find the courage to take all the risks she does to protect the people she cares about, but she isn’t afraid to stand up for her own needs either.

Do you have any must-haves while writing?

As much quiet as I can get—I have trouble focusing with music or chatter around me. Wrist rests to prevent muscle strain, especially necessary because when I’m drafting I’ll be on the computer for long stretches at a time. And an outline so I know where I’m going.

Do you know how a story is going to end when you start it?  Is it easier to figure out the beginning or the ending of a book/series?

See above about outlining—I’m very much a planner, and always work out the major details before I start a story. With a series, I need to have at least a vague idea where the overall story is going to go across all of the books, though I generally don’t figure out the specifics until I’m finished each book before.

As to beginnings vs. endings… I find beginnings really hard in general. It’s tough balancing introducing your characters and their world with getting into the action quickly enough. Whereas I love bringing everything together for a grand finale. But on the other hand actually figuring out the details of the ending is usually more difficult just because there are many different elements that need to be coordinated and built-up properly, whereas at the beginning I’m just getting the ball rolling.

What is next from you?  More books in the Earth & Sky world?

There are two more books to follow Earth & Sky–The Clouded Sky and A Sky Unbroken—which will be out in spring and then fall 2015. I don’t have any further books lined up yet, but I do have a couple projects waiting for their turn to be considered and another I’m in the process of writing, and I hope to have news to share about one or more of those before too long!

Short answer:

Bad Boys or Good Boys? Good boys—I like to see heroines treated with respect.

Happily ever after or happily never after? Somewhere in between–realistically hopeful, let’s say

Series or standalone? Reading: standalone; writing: both

Love triangles or soulmates? Between the two I’d have to take love triangles, but I really prefer two-person love stories that are romantic without it having to be a destiny/forever soulmates type deal.

Write at night or write during the day? Day.

Write in silence or write with music? Silence

Print, audio or eBooks? Print for collecting; eBooks for convenience

(Sorry, I’m obviously not very good at answering shortly.  😉  )

Giveaway

One grand prize winner will receive a Kindle Paperwhite with custom EARTH & SKY cover and preloaded with the ebook, and nine others will receive a signed paperback copy of the book. All winners will also receive an EARTH & SKY swag pack including star candies in Win’s favorite Earth flavors, signed bookmark, magnet, and sticker. (Open internationally)

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Monday, May 26, 2014

After The End (After The End #1) by Amy Plum | Review

After The End (After The End #1) by Amy Plum | ReviewAfter The End by Amy Plum
Series: After The End #1
Published by Harper Teen on May 6, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
3 Stars

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

picadillyblueThis book.  What do I even say about it?  It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it was just right there in the middle for me.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  I haven’t finished Amy Plum’s other series, the Revenants series, but what I did read was fabulous.  I expected the same level of fabulousness from After The End and that is so not what I got.

After The End is really hard to describe in terms of the story, at least without giving things away.  When I first saw the cover and was sent a copy for review, I expected a dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel and that’s definitely not what After The End is.  After The End starts off similar to a post-apocalyptic novel but you quickly find out that the apocalypse or in this case World War III, never actually happened.  And that’s where your story starts.

Juneau has been raised as if World War III happened.  She lived in the wilderness of Alaska in a village made up of yurts with no electricity and no technology.  Her village was full of people just like her, who believe World War III was a real thing and that they were some of the few survivors.  Needless to say it’s quite a shock to her when her village is kidnapped and when she sets off to find them she finds that World War III never happened and the world is a technological wonder full of cars, tvs, cell phones, etc.  Based on the way she was raised, Juneau comes across as rather crazy to people in the modern world.  She comes across that way to readers too.  She’s a really strange girl.  I couldn’t connect to her and I honestly never even sympathized with her.  Miles, the guy she teams up with to find her family, is not much better although I did like him a bit more.  He struggles to impress his dad and he’s sure that Juneau is the key to impressing him.  Even though he thinks she’s certifiably insane, he helps her on her quest to find her family.  Along the way, feelings develop, of course.  That part really bothered me because I never saw any chemistry between the two and most of the time it really seemed like they didn’t like each other.  The romance seemed a bit too forced for my tastes.

The story is fast-paced but it kind of goes in circles.  It seemed like there was a lot of extra traveling and that Miles and Juneau ended up going out of their way a lot of the time.  I guess it wouldn’t have been a very good book though if they actually made it to their destination without a ton of problems and speed bumps.  I really don’t have much to say about the story other than that I felt there was a lot of unnecessary information and side trips.

Oh and I have to mention the ending.  Be warned, you guys, this one ends on one of the biggest cliffhangers ever.  I honestly expected there to be more to the book but instead it just ended.  There was no closure in After The End.  If you want any of your questions answered, you’re going to have to wait for the next book because this one just ended.

Overall, After The End is one I’d recommend holding off on.  Even if you’re interested I’d suggest waiting until at least the second book is out to pick this one up.  Otherwise, like me, you’ll be left with a lot of questions.

What others are saying about After The End:

The Daily Prophecy’s review: “I am left frustrated and confused by this book.”

Novel Novice’s review: “An intriguing premise is followed by an even more surprising twist of events inAmy Plum’s After the End, the first in a new captivating, genre-bending YA series.”

My Friends Are Fiction’s review: “Though I never truly developed a connection to the characters I was always interested in the plot and Plum’s writing was easy to read and enjoyable.”

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Taking (The Taking #1) by Kimberly Derting | Review

The Taking (The Taking #1) by Kimberly Derting | ReviewThe Taking by Kimberly Derting
Series: The Taking #1
Published by Harper Teen on April 29, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing. 

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day. 

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men. 

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

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The Taking is the first in a new science fiction series from Kimberly Derting and I was seriously impressed with it.  I was a little skeptical when I first started it since I’d heard some mixed things but I went in with an open mind and I could  not put it down!

The Taking starts off with a bang (and a white light, in this case) and it never slowed down.  Kyra wakes up what seems like one day later but turns out to be five years later.  Her life is completely different and the only person she can turn to is her now ex-boyfriend’s little brother (all grown up now), Tyler.  Together they team up to find out where Kyra was for those five years, why she hasn’t aged a day, and why there are people hunting her down.  It’s a crazy thrill ride of a story that will hook readers from start to finish.  And probably even after you finish.

Kyra is confused, scared, and pretty alone after everything she has been through.  Her parents are divorced and her mom seems to have moved on with her life.  Her dad became obsessed with what happened to Kyra and pretty much threw his life away.  Her boyfriend and best friend moved on without her and now her former boyfriend’s little brother is grown up and looking pretty good to Kyra.  Don’t get me wrong, I did find it a little odd that one day Tyler was 12 to Kyra and the next day he was 17 and she was all over him.  Especially seeing as her boyfriend and best friend betrayed her.  I didn’t expect her to move on to Tyler quite so quickly  but I really wouldn’t call it instalove since they did know each other for years.  Tyler is supremely adorable.  He’s such a sweetheart.  If I was Kyra, I would have a hard time resisting him too.  I really did think they had great chemistry and it truly didn’t bother me all that much that it was her ex-boyfriend’s little brother.  They were better together than her and Austin, by far.

The story is completely unique and I loved it.  I’m not normally a fan of science fiction but I loved Kimberly Derting’s take on it.  I don’t want to give anything away  but I will say that it’s nothing like I expected.  I didn’t really get much from the synopsis or the few reviews  I’d read and I’m really glad about that.  This is one of those books where the less you know going in, the better.

Overall, The Taking is a fabulous start to Kimberly Derting’s new series.  I’d forgotten how much I loved her writing and this just reminded me so I’m definitely going to go read some more of her books while I impatiently await for the next book in this series.

What others are saying about The Taking:

Beauty and the Bookshelf’s review: “And while this isn’t my favorite Kimberly Derting novel and I did have a few issues with it, The Taking is a fast-paced book with an addictive quality, because you just MUST KNOW what on earth is going on.”

A  Book Obsession’s review: “I enjoyed THE TAKING and it was a pretty quick read, but there were a few things that just felt a bit too underdeveloped for me, making it frustrating as I couldn’t quite get fully immersed into the story.”

Looking for the Panacea’s review: “Unfortunately, being action-packed meant that Derting spent hardly any time on character development.”

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Revived by Cat Patrick | Review

Revived by Cat Patrick | ReviewRevived by Cat Patrick
Published by Little Brown on May 1, 2012
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: ALA, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

It started with a bus crash.

Daisy Appleby was a little girl when it happened, and she barely remembers the accident or being brought back to life. At that moment, though, she became one of the first subjects in a covert government program that tests a drug called Revive.

Now fifteen, Daisy has died and been Revived five times. Each death means a new name, a new city, a new identity. The only constant in Daisy's life is constant change.

Then Daisy meets Matt and Audrey McKean, charismatic siblings who quickly become her first real friends. But if she's ever to have a normal life, Daisy must escape from an experiment that's much larger--and more sinister--than she ever imagined.

 
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After reading Cat Patrick’s sophomore novel I can safely say that she is a new favorite author of mine. She is an amazingly talented author and she has a gift for writing twisted, thrilling, addicting stories.

Revived is a very interesting story. It could almost be a contemporary story if it wasn’t for the whole drug that brings people back to life thing. For that reason I think this book will appeal to a wide variety of readers. It reads like a contemporary with a super sweet romance, a life-altering tragedy, and some typical coming-of-age issues. It just has this slight twist that the main character is part of a secret government program that is run by a person who might not be such a life saver after all. It really was full of twists and turns that kept me guessing and kept me reading late into the night (or early into the morning.)

Cat Patrick’s characters have to be some of the best I have read. Daisy is a girl who has died five times but she worries about all the same things as normal teenage girls; boys, clothes, friends, driving, etc. She is smart, inquisitive, funny, nice, and sometimes awkward (mainly around Matt.) Her best friends, Audrey and Megan, are great. Audrey is so sweet, funny (especially when teasing Matt and Daisy), kind, and obsessed with Jake Gyllenhal. Megan is another program kid so she understands what Daisy has to go through and she is always there for her. Then there is Matt who just happens to by Audrey’s brother. He is very nice, funny, sexy, and sometimes awkward (just like Daisy!) His and Daisy’s interactions are just the cutest thing ever. Then there is Mason, Daisy’s “dad.” He is not her real dad but it is obvious how much he cares and his presence in the book is awesome. I liked seeing a parental figure who cared what their kid did and who paid attention.

My one complaint was that the ending seemed a little abrupt. I didn’t see it coming AT ALL which I loved but then everything just seemed to happen too quickly. However this is a very minor complaint.

Overall, Revived is a must-read. Full of sweet romance, awesome friendships, and surprising twists, everyone will find something to love about it!

Looking for more reviews of Revived?
Dazzling Reads’ review
The Story Queen’s review