Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Blog Tour: Feuds by Avery Hastings | Review

Blog Tour: Feuds by Avery Hastings | Review

Blog Tour: Feuds by Avery Hastings | ReviewFeuds by Avery Hastings
Series: Feuds #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on September 2, 2014
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
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4 Stars

For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.

Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.

Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world...in Avery Hastings's Feuds.

picadillyblueFeuds was far from what I expected it to be and I mean that in both a good and bad way.  I started the book knowing very little about it and I went into it with an open mind.  To be honest  I only really knew that it was a dystopian and all I hoped was that it would be different from the rest.  It definitely had a unique feel to it and that was by far my favorite thing about it.

Feuds is told from the alternating points of view of Davis and Cole.  Davis is the daughter of a rich Prior who is up for election as the next prime minister.  She’s a driven ballet dancer who is very concerned about the role she plays in her father’s campaign.  She will do anything to help him get elected so that his new policies can be put in place.  She cares a lot for her family and that shows from the start.  The only problem is that she really doesn’t know the whole truth about everyone in her family and so she doesn’t quite know what it is she’s standing up for.  Cole is a Gen fighter in the FEUDS who does everything for his family and is willing to risk everything for them.  He’s strong and fierce but vulnerable and lost at times too.  He’s a much more well rounded character than Davis.  He’s also someone who should have nothing to do with Davis.  However, he’s thrust into her life and once he meets her he just can’t stay away.  He’s drawn to her without knowing anything about who she is.  She also knows nothing about him though and that’s just how he wants things to stay.  They are the definition of star-crossed love but neither of them realize that until it’s too late.

To be perfectly honest, Davis and Cole’s relationship screams instalove.  That’s what it is.  They meet, they kiss (very passionately, might I add), they have amazing chemistry, and they decide they are it for each other.  However, they still know nothing about each other when they decide this.  It’s when they find out the truth about each other that their relationship is really put to the test.

The story is a little slow to pick up but it’s interesting.  Feuds is set in a futuristic society split between Priors and Gens (or as Priors call them, Imps.)  The Priors are the upper class who have been genetically modified for perfection.  The Gens are just normal people but they are considered low class because of this.  Things aren’t so bad for the Gens though when the Priors start dying from a mystery disease called Narxis.  Narxis has no cure and what’s worse, most people don’t even know it exists.  The current prime minister of the Priors does not want word about Narxis to get out and he is willing to do whatever it takes to stop the Gens from speaking out about it.  For the first part of the book though very little about this is actually mentioned and most of the story focuses on Cole and Davis.  I get the necessity of building up the characters but I really would have liked it if the plot moved a bit faster.

Overall, Feuds definitely stands out in the dystopian genre.  It’s a bit slower than your usual fare of “down with the capital!” dystopian novels but it has a lot going for it other than that.  The characters, the writing, the romance (even if it is instalove) all stand in favor for Feuds.  I definitely plan on checking out more from Avery Hastings especially the next book in this series!

What others have to say about Feuds:

The Young Folks’ review: “Feuds, in one word, is captivating.”

Nick’s Book Blog’s review: “Feuds wasn’t the perfect book, by any means, but I do think this series has a lot of potential.”

Queen Ella Bee Reads’ review: “The marriage of political unrest and disease layered with copious amounts of romance will make any and all lovers of dystopia swoon over FEUDS (and Davis and Cole because, wow there’s some serious kissing up in this book).”
 
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About the author:
Avery Hastings is an author and former book editor from New York City. Avery grew up in Ohio, graduated in 2006 from the University of Notre Dame and earned her MFA from the New School in 2008. When she’s not reading or writing, Avery can usually be spotted lying around in the park with her affable dog. Like her protagonists, she knows how to throw a powerful right hook and once dreamed of becoming a ballerina. In addition to New York, Avery has recently lived in Mumbai and Paris, but is happy to call Brooklyn home (for now).

Twitter | Goodreads

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Giver (The Giver #1) by Lois Lowry | Review

The Giver (The Giver #1) by Lois Lowry | ReviewThe Giver by Lois Lowry
Series: The Giver #1
Published by Houghton Mifflin on August 1, 1994
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 179
Format: ebook
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4 Stars

In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.

The Giver is set in a future society which is at first presented as a utopia and gradually appears more and more dystopic, so could therefore be considered anti-utopian. The novel follows a boy named Jonas through the twelfth year of his life. Jonas' society has eliminated pain and strife by converting to "Sameness", a plan which has also eradicated emotional depth from their lives. Jonas is selected to inherit the position of "Receiver of Memory," the person who stores all the memories of the time before Sameness, in case they are ever needed to aid in decisions that others lack the experience to make. As Jonas receives the memories from his predecessor—the "Giver"—he discovers how shallow his community's life has become.

picadillyblueThe Giver has been on my shelf for years!  I’ve always been interested in it but never enough to actually read it.  As required reading for my YA lit class this semester I was finally forced to give it a try and I can see why everyone raves about it.

The Giver is a slower read with not much action.  However, it’s not a slow-paced read.  In fact, it’s actually pretty fast-paced.  I had a limited time frame to read it in but I honestly feel like I still would have read it quickly without the time constraints.  That’s partially because it’s such a short book.  The Giver weighs in at only 179 pages so reading it really won’t take long at all.  The subject matter and characters are quite interesting also so that helps speed up the pace of the book.

Jonas, the main character, starts off a little flat but is forced to develop very quickly once he is given the role of Receiver in Training.  He is a Twelve when he starts his training (I’m assuming twelve-years-old) but he quickly gains the maturity of someone much older and wiser.  Through his role as Receiver in Training he is given all the memories of the world.  Those memories include war, hunger, slaughter, but also sunshine, snow, and love.  All these things no longer exist in the society in which Jonas lives but it’s the job of the Receiver of Memory to hold these memories so that at least one person has the wisdom of the past.  Jonas is an easy character to relate to in part because it’s almost impossible to relate to any of the other characters, other than the Giver.  Feelings don’t exist for the other characters and so readers won’t really understand their motives or thoughts.  I know I was shocked at some of the things that people assumed were okay.  The Giver is also very easy to relate to and I saw him as a sort of father or grandfather figure to Jonas.

The story brings up lots of questions, like any good dystopian novel should.  The Giver will force readers to look at the past and the future and how each plays a role to the other.  It’s a thought provoking novel that shows a lot more depth than most books written for people in this age group.  Also, while Jonas is a Twelve and the book is written for people around that age, it does not show.  The Giver is not dumbed down at all for younger readers.  It shows the darker side of humanity without being gory or overdone.

Overall, The Giver is a wonderful novel that I’m glad I finally found the chance to read.  I know the rest of the series does not focus on the same characters and I’m eager to see how that is done by Lois Lowry.

What others have to say about The Giver:

Read Breathe Relax’s review: “This book will make you remember the first time you realized truths about your world that you wished you hadn’t learned.”

Thinking Out Loud’s review: “This is a story that rallies against the sacrifice of freedom for the sake of sameness and peaceful control.”

Two Moms Reading’s review: “I did enjoy The Giver, though I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would, based on how many people I see raving about it.”

Monday, July 7, 2014

Blog Tour: Idols (Icons #2) by Margaret Stohl | Review

Blog Tour: Idols (Icons #2) by Margaret Stohl | Review

Blog Tour: Idols (Icons #2) by Margaret Stohl | ReviewIdoles by Margaret Stohl
Series: Icons #2
Published by Little Brown on July 8, 2014
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
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4 Stars

The Icons came from the sky. They belong to an inhuman enemy. They ended our civilization, and they can kill us.

Most of us.

Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas are the four Icon Children, the only humans immune to the Icon's power to stop a human heart. Now that Los Angeles has been saved, things are more complicated - and not just because Dol has to choose between Lucas and Ro, the two great loves of her life. As she flees to a resistance outpost hidden beneath a mountain, Dol makes contact with a fifth Icon Child, if only through her visions. When Dol and the others escape to Southeast Asia in search of this missing child, Dol's dreams, feelings and fears collide in an epic showdown that will change more than just four lives -- and stop one heart forever.

In this riveting sequel to Icons, filled with nonstop action and compelling romance, bestselling author Margaret Stohl explores what it means to be human and how our greatest weakness can be humanity's strongest chance at survival.

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It’s not often that I read a sequel that not only measures up to the first book but surpasses it but Idols definitely does that. Icons grabbed my attention and intrigued me but Idols had me hooked and dying for more.

Idols picks up right where Icons left off and it’s pulse pounding start. The Icon children are on the run from everyone. They need to find the fifth Icon child but they have to stay off the radar while searching for her. As if that’s not bad enough, the Icons are spreading, taking over more land and killing more people. Dol and the others need to find a way to shut down the Icons for good and get rid of the Lords.

Dol, Ro, Lucas, Tima, Fortis, and Doc are all back in this sequel and they are a lot easier to like this time around. It was hard to connect with all of them in the first book but that wasn’t the case in Idols. They were all much more developed and well-rounded. Dol was brave but also quite terrified. Her powers were constantly growing and changing and she didn’t know what to think about anything. There were times when she almost thought she was going crazy. I felt horrible for her but I liked seeing her grow with her powers. Ro’s powers were also changing but that was pretty much all that changed about Ro. He was still hot-headed, in love with Dol, and unwilling to trust/like Lucas. Lucas was much easier to like this time around. He was so sweet and I loved seeing a vulnerable side to him. Tima wasn’t very different from the first book but she did learn how to use her powers a little better and took a more active role in the group. As for Doc and Fortis they were definitely some good comic relief.

The story was so fast-paced. The pace was one of the my biggest complaints about Icons so I was really happy about the change in the second book. Things were constantly going on throughout Idols and there was never even a second of downtime for everyone. It was crazy! Also, there is still a lot of background information throughout Idols but I felt like it didn’t slow things down at all. The backstory was actually one of the most interesting parts of the book and I loved finding out more about Fortis’ part in the coming of the Lords and the Icons. It was not at all what I expected.

Overall, Idols is a fabulous continuation to the Icons series. My faith in the series is redeemed after reading this one and I can’t wait to see what happens next for everyone. Also I should probably warn you that the ending might break your heart, just a little bit.

What others are saying about Idols:

Reading Teen’s review: “If you like books like The 5th Wave and I Am Number Four, or movies like Edge of Tomorrow, I think you’ll really enjoy this series!”

The Library Canary’s review: “If you haven’t started this series yet and you love aliens, then what the heck are you waiting for?”

My Bookish Fairytale’s review: “This stunning sequel to Icons was a real page turner.”

About the Author:

Margaret Stohl is a lifelong science fiction fan, former video game designer, coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Beautiful Creatures series, and author of Icons. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her family.

 

Find Margie via: her Website TwitterFacebook | Tumblr | Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

The Giveaway

 

Thank you to Margaret Stohl and Little Brown, fans will have a chance to enter to win a copy of IDOLS at each stop during the blog tour (1 winner per book). Please be sure to fill out the form below to enter to win!  Please be sure to read the giveaway rules listed at the bottom of the form before entering. *US residents only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl | Review

Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl | ReviewIcons by Margaret Stohl
Series: Icons #1
Published by Little Brown on May 7, 2013
Pages: 428
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
3 Stars

Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.

She's different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.

Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.

picadillyblueIcons, Margaret Stohl’s first solo venture, let me down in a lot of ways.  I was expecting a fast-paced book full of pulse-pounding action and suspense and that is definitely not what I got.  Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but it could have been great.

The biggest issue I had with Icons was the pacing.  It was so slow!  I think the story would have been good if I could just get into it.  There were times when I almost gave up because I just felt like I was trudging through mud.  I couldn’t seem to make any progress.  There was a lot of history about Ro, Dol, and what happened on The Day but it felt more like an info dump than anything.  While the history behind The Day and all that stuff was interesting, I felt like there was maybe too much of it.  It actually was quite confusing to me.  I wasn’t sure what the Icons were or what they did and I really didn’t understand why some people survived The Day and others didn’t.  I think I probably missed a lot of info because I was bored by it.

I didn’t feel any sort of connection with Ro, Dol, Lucas, or Tima.  I felt like Lucas was the privileged child that just did everything he could to test his limits.  Tima was the misunderstood girl with a bad past.  Ro was the typical best friend who has been in love with Dol since forever and she’s never noticed.  Then there was Dol herself.  She didn’t really seem like someone who could lead some sort of revolution.  She was a little too timid for that although she did seem to come into her own throughout the course of the book.  I just felt like all the characters were very undeveloped and lacking the strength to hold the book together.

The plot took forever to pick up.  I made it about 75% through the book before anything seemed to happen.  Then things actually got interesting.  It seems like at that point all the historical info has been told and there is finally room for a plot.  I do feel like the pivotal moment was a bit rushed and the whole ending seemed a little abrupt but it did redeem the book for me.  It’s got me interested to see how things are going to take off in the next book.

Overall, Icons wasn’t what I expected but it did get me excited to continue the series.  It holds a lot of potential, things just need a bit more development.

What others are saying about Icons:

Book Swoon’s review: “Although the ending came on a little abrupt, everything was wrapped up nicely and set the stage for further development of the storyline in the next book.”

Chapter by Chapter’s review: “I’d recommend Icons to readers that are looking for a dystopian novel with a twist, readers who are fans of alien invasions and readers who want a story about love and death.”

Realm of Fiction’s review: “Despite its flaws (and believe me, there are several), there is enough basic potential for the concepts here to excite and demand attention.”

Monday, June 2, 2014

Blog Tour: The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1) by Lindsay Cummings | Review

Blog Tour: The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1) by Lindsay Cummings | Review

Blog Tour: The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1) by Lindsay Cummings | ReviewThe Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
Series: The Murder Complex #1
Published by Harper Teen on June 10, 2014
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
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4 Stars

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

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The Murder Complex is Lindsay Cummings’ debut novel and the start of what promises to be an awesome new dystopian series.  The characters, the story, and the pulse pounding action make for a thrilling read.

Meadow is a strong female character who knows how to take care of herself.  Her dad raised her so that she would never have to rely on other people to save her.  She can fight, she can feed herself, she can be brutal when need be, but above all else, she can still be vulnerable.  She is not some cold person who wants to be alone.  Sure she can take care of herself but that doesn’t mean she wants to always have to.  Enter Zephyr, someone she never expected and someone she definitely couldn’t plan for.  He is a surprisingly vulnerable male character.  He is not afraid to show weakness or sorrow or shame.  He balances out Meadow.  She may not be cold but she doesn’t always show emotion and Zephyr definitely does. They work well as a team because they both have strengths and weaknesses that work well together.

I’ve seen The Murder Complex compared to The Hunger Games and in this case, I have to agree.  This is a gritty story that is very rarely happy and I could definitely see comparisons between Meadow and Katniss.  However, that’s not to say that this is a rip off of The Hunger Games.  It’s a completely new story set in a completely different world but it will appeal  to The Hunger Games fans.

The romance is a little too fast paced for me but otherwise it was cute.  Meadow and Zephyr had some serious chemistry but I felt like their relationship was a little too fast.  The only concession I will make is that it’s set in a dystopian world where death is a daily occurrence so I can see why things might move a little faster than normal.

The familial bonds were some of my favorite things about The Murder Complex.  Lindsay really developed these relationships in the short amount of time they spent together.  Each member of Meadow’s family had a different kind of relationship to Meadow.  Her dad clearly loved her but he was very fierce with her.  He knew that she needed tough love sometimes and he gave it to her.  Her brother, Koi, was protective of her like any older brother would be but he was also so proud of her.  He wanted her to succeed where he had failed and he encourager her a lot.  Her little sister, Peri, was adorable.  Meadow was super protective of her and she was pretty much a stand in mom for her.  She did everything she could to make sure Peri had a good life and it was so sweet.

Overall, The Murder Complex stands out in a crowd of boring, overdone dystopian concepts.  There are so many fresh aspects to this book that will hopefully really help this series succeed.  I can’t wait for more from Lindsay Cummings!

What others have to say about The Murder Complex:

Cuddlebuggery’s review: “There is a small rebellion, some cool science stuff and plenty of tension to keep a reader turning pages.”

Crystal in Bookland’s review:  “If you love fast paced thrillers I would definitely recommend that you read this book!”

The Book Lantern’s review: “While “The Murder Complex” hints at Cummings’s potential as an action writer, there are too many questions left hanging, too many plot holes gaping wide open and a whole barrel-load of problematic content that tries to be shocking but ends up being distasteful.”

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour stops:

June 2 – Fangirlish – GUEST POST

June 3 – The Story Book Kingdom – REVIEW

June 4 – Chapter by Chapter – REVIEW and Reading Teen – INTERVIEW

June 5 – Page Turners – BOOK PLAYLIST

June 6 – The Book Smugglers – GUEST POST

 

June 9 – Shelf to Screen– INTERVIEW and  Never Ending Stories Book Blog – GUEST BLOG

June 10 – Alice Marvels – GUEST POST

June 11 – Hypable – REVIEW

June 12 – Novel Novice – INTERVIEW

June 13 – Sasha Alsberg – REVIEW   and Mundie Moms – REVIEW

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Short Story Saturday: Leaving by Ally Condie | Review

Short Story Saturday: Leaving by Ally Condie | ReviewLeaving by Ally Condie
Published by Harper Teen on September 20, 2011
Genres: Dystopian
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
3 Stars

A journey may take hundreds of miles, or it may cover the distance between duty and desire.

Sixteen of today’s hottest writers of paranormal tales weave stories on a common theme of journeying. Authors such as Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, and Melissa Marr return to the beloved worlds of their bestselling series, while others, like Claudia Gray, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl, create new land-scapes and characters. But whether they’re writing about vampires, faeries, angels, or other magical beings, each author explores the strength and resilience of the human heart.

Suspenseful, funny, or romantic, the stories in Enthralled will leave you moved.

picadillyblueLeaving is one of those stories that could be good but wasn’t really.  Ally Condie started off strong but there was just too much information missing from the story for to truly love it.  It was almost like it was the beginning of a story and she just decided not to bother writing the ending.

At first I thought Leaving was set in the same world as Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy but it quickly became clear that this was set in a different futuristic world.  However, that’s about all I knew about the world Leaving was set in.

Sora, the main character, is considered an untouchable (whatever that is) and her father has left her (I still don’t know what exactly happened to him) and nobody associates with her at all (except this one guy.)  Seriously, that’s about the gist of the whole story or at least that’s what I took away from it.

Overall, I honestly don’t have much to say about this one other than skip it.  I truly have no idea what the point of the story was.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Treatment (The Program #2) by Suzanne Young | Review

The Treatment (The Program #2) by Suzanne Young | ReviewThe Treatment by Suzanne Young
Series: The Program #2
Published by Simon & Schuster on April 29, 2014
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”

How do you stop an epidemic?

Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.

Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.

Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?

picadillyblueThe Treatment, the second and final book in The Program duology, ties things up nicely and left me feeling satisfied, if not exactly happy.  I mean that in the best possible way though.  The Treatment is a book that will leave you thinking about life, love, and how to live in the moment.  It’s pretty much perfect.

Sloane and James are on the run.  Realm has given them a way to escape and they have to take it.  The Program is coming for them (again) and if they get caught this time, they may not come back.  Stakes are extremely high for everyone involved and every last secret will be revealed.  Love, lies, and betrayal lead to a pulse-pounding ending that will have readers on the edge of their seats.

Sloane is a very strong girl.  Even with everything going on, she doesn’t lose her cool.  She knows what will happen if she and James are caught by the Program so she’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe.  However, she can’t fix everything, especially her memories that are slowly slipping back in and tearing her mind apart.  She also can’t quite control her feelings for Realm.  This causes a lot of tension between her and James.  James is strong but he has weaknesses and Sloane is one of them.  They are so cute together but they are also bad for each other.  They bring out the best and the worst in each other.  James isn’t afraid to show his weaknesses though.  It’s what makes him such a great guy.  Realm, on the other hand, has some serious issues.  He believes he loves Sloane but it’s hard to tell if he’s even capable of love.  His secrets come out in The Treatment and boy does he have a lot.

The plot is a little slow moving at first but the writing was enough to keep me going until it picked back up.  Suzanne Young has a way with words that makes The Treatment just plain amazing.  And once the plot does pick up, it doesn’t slow down again until the very end.  There were so many things I never saw coming.  And while I did think the ending seemed a little abrupt, I still liked it.

Overall, The Treatment is the perfect ending to this duology.  Every last question is answered and readers will be really satisfied with James and Sloane’s ending.

What others are saying about The Treatment:

Once Upon A Twilight’s review: “Roller-coaster ride that will have you on edge and making you turn those pages.”

Reviews from a Bookworm’s review: “The rushed ending just made this all seem very anti-climactic and I was left unsatisfied.”

Mission Viejo Library Teen Voice’s review: “This book felt less dark than the first.”

Monday, April 7, 2014

Into The Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi | Review

Into The Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi | ReviewInto The Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #3
Published by Harper Teen on January 28, 2014
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 392
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do--and they are just as determined to stay together.

Within the confines of a cave they're using as a makeshift refuge, they struggle to reconcile their people, Dwellers and Outsiders, who are united only in their hatred of their desperate situation. Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. Then Roar arrives in a grief-stricken fury, endangering all with his need for revenge.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble an unlikely team for an impossible rescue mission. Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival--he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her earth-shattering Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

picadillyblueInto The Still Blue, the conclusion to the Under the Never Sky trilogy, brings everything to a head and ends the series with a bang.  Veronica Rossi managed to write a perfect ending to the trilogy that will leaver fans eager for more from her.

Through the Ever Night set things up perfectly for this final book.  It ended on a bit of a cliffhanger with Cinder being taken, Reverie collapsing, and the “dwellers” and “savages” being forced to work together to save themselves.  Into The Still Blue picks up immediately after that ending and things are tense.  The world as they know it is ending and if they don’t reach the still blue, they will die.  The stakes are higher than ever and no one is safe.

I’ll keep this short and sweet because I don’t want to spoil anything.  Into The Still Blue is fast-paced, action packed, and will have readers on the edge of their seats.  Everyone is in danger in this final installment and each injury and death is crushing.  I definitely shed some tears and bit off some nails while reading this one.

The characters are still just as awesome as always but they are all very changed.  Liv’s death has changed Roar’s outlook on life.  Roar’s attitude changes both Perry and Aria even more than they’ve already changed.  Perry is still young but he’s forced to be a  leader and put his people’s happiness and lives above his own.  Then there is Cinder.  He’s so different from the Cinder in previous books.  He’s grown so much.  He definitely took center stage in Into The Still Blue and he shined.  I loved him.

The ending wasn’t as neat and tidy as I had hoped but it was far from open-ended.  It’s not a book with an overall happy ending but there are happy pieces to the ending.  The one thing I would have liked to see was a romance for Roar.  Can we get a spin-off for him?

Overall, Into The Still Blue will please fans of the trilogy.  I’m excited to see what Veronica Rossi does next.

What others are saying about Into The Still Blue: 

Good Books and Good Wine’s review: “Overall if you have not read this series but are that weirdo reading my review, I don’t know why, do yourself a life favor and pick up the Under The Never Sky series.”

YA Midnight Reads’ review: “Into The Still Blue is the final conclusion to the Under the Never Sky trilogy and delivered a lot of kick-assery, sweet romance, unforgettable friendships and higher stakes for all the characters.”

Christina Reads YA’s review: “Into the Still Blue is both satisfying and enjoyable for Rossi fans.”

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink #1) by Mindy McGinnis|Review

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink #1) by Mindy McGinnis|ReviewNot a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Series: Not a Drop to Drink #1
Published by Harper Teen on September 24, 2013
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

picadillyblueNot a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis’ debut novel, is a unique dystopian story that kept me hooked from beginning to end.  It’s a story that hasn’t been overdone in YA and readers should really enjoy that about it.

Not A Drop to Drink is not your typical action packed, evil government overlord dystopian.  It’s a much slower paced story about survival.  Water is scarce (at least purified drinking water) and people are dying left and right because of this.  Looting is popular, medicine is almost nonexistent, and people are not friendly.  It’s a very realistic futuristic story.

Lynn is not your typical heroine.  She’s not all that likable.  She is unfriendly, wary of everyone, and just outright mean sometimes.  She’s much rather shoot someone than get to know them.  That’s how her mother raised her.  She doesn’t stay that way though.  She starts to see the error of her ways.  Eli, Lucy, Neva, Stebbs; each one of them plays a role in reshaping Lynn’s outlook.

The danger in Not a Drop to Drink isn’t actually present for much of the book.  The greatest danger is that Lynn could run out of food and water before the winter is over.  It’s a danger that’s there but not something you can attack and get rid of.  There is some of that danger too.  There are people moving in on Lynn’s home and pond.  She has to protect her childhood home and her only water supply from this unknown danger.

Not a Drop to Drink perfectly ties everything up at the end.  I’m sure a sequel could be written (and is going to be) but this book makes for a perfect standalone.  All questions are answered for readers.

Overall, Not a Drop to Drink is a solid addition to the YA dystopian genre.  Mindy McGinnis is definitely going to be an author to watch for.

What others are saying about Not a Drop to Drink: 

Jenna Does Books’ review: “At the end of the day, NOT A DROP TO DRINK is one of the most realistic and believable speculative future stories I have ever read.:”

Effortlessly Reading’s review: “Overall, I highly recommend Not A Drop To Drink.”

Beauty and the Bookshelf’s review: “Not a Drop to Drink is different from a lot of YA out there, at least from what I’ve read; I can’t think of anything quite like it, though I can think of some books with that sort of realistic grit to it.”

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa | Review

The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa | ReviewThe Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood Of Eden #3
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 15, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

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I’m not sure how she does it but Julie Kagawa continues to write books that completely blow my expectations out of the water.  The Forever Song was no exception.  This final installment in the Blood of Eden series left me both sad to see my favorite characters go but it definitely answered all my questions and left me with a happy feeling.

After the ending of The Eternity Cure, I had some ideas as to what might happen in The Forever Song.  Some of those ideas turned out to be right and some of them were way off the mark.  However, I really enjoyed reading The Forever Song and finding out whether I was right or wrong.  I started The Forever Song expecting some happiness, lots of tears, and some really good fight scenes.  I got all of that and more.

Allie, Zeke, Kanin, Jackal, and Sarren are all back.  Allie was a little scary this time around.  In The Immortal Rules she became a vampire and believed she was a monster but readers could see the good in her.  In The Forever Song there were a few moments where I wasn’t sure if that good was still there.  Zeke’s “death” broke her in ways that becoming a vampire never did.  It broke her heart and killed her belief that there was still good in the world.  Her world narrowed down to surviving long enough to kill Sarren and get revenge for what he did to Zeke.  It was scary to see Allie like that.  (Think Elena without her humanity in TVD.)  Kanin was there to help her get through it and save her humanity.  Jackal, on the other hand, was cheering her along as she killed people.  I kind of pictured them as the angel and devil on her shoulders.  As for Zeke, well let’s just say that torture can change a guy and that was definitely the case with him.  Julie did a truly spectacular job with all the characters in The Forever Song.  (Seriously, I never thought I would love Jackal but I definitely did by the end of this book.)

It took a while for me to get to that happy feeling at the end though.  Seriously, Julie Kagawa likes to drag her characters through hell and back.  Also, I wouldn’t say they ever really get truly happy endings.  They get more realistic endings.  That was definitely the case with The Forever Song.  Allie, Zeke, Kanin, Jackal, and the rest of the characters readers have come to know and love, get endings that readers won’t really find all that surprising.  They fit with the personalities of the characters and the place and time that they live in.  I never expected Allie and Zeke to ride off into the sunset together and that’s not what you get with them.  However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like how things ended for everyone.  It truly was a perfect ending even if it did break my heart a little bit.

Overall, The Forever Song is the absolute perfect ending to the Blood of Eden series.  And while all my questions were definitely answered, I still wouldn’t mind a spinoff series about a certain secondary character.

What others are saying about The Forever Song:

Carina’s Books’ review: “It is a perfect ending to an already perfect series.”

The Reader Bee’s review: “Julie Kagawa has managed to amaze me once again with The Forever Song, the dark, disturbing, amazing conclusion to the Blood of Eden series.”

Reading Teen’s review: “Such an epic conclusion to an amazingly exciting series.”