Genre: Dystopia


Stars Above by Marissa Meyer | Book Review

July 11, 2017 Book Review, Young Adult 1 ★★★★★

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer | Book ReviewStars Above by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4.5
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter
Published by Feiwel and Friends on February 2, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Retelling, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 369
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought from Amazon
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5 Stars
The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.
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The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.
Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….
The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.
The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess.
The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.
Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century...

I’ve never been a huge fan of the novellas that accompany full length novels. I rarely, rarely read them unless I love the world and the characters so much that I absolutely cannot let a story of theirs go unread. This was the case for Stars Above. I love The Lunar Chronicles so much that I wanted to know everything about everyone in them. The more info, the better! I knew about all the novellas as they were released, and I even got some of them on Kindle. I was never full motivated to read them, though, until I found out they were all being released together in a hardback bundle. It was then that I knew things were getting serious. I was also super heartbroken that the series was ending, so having another set of stories to anticipate helped me recover after finishing Winter, which I loved so much. Some of these stories really shine, whereas others were just ok for me.

My favorite story was Something Old, Something New, which is the epilogue to Winter. There’s a wedding of one of my favorite couples from the series, and oh the feels. I loved it. I also liked seeing Cinder and Kai’s first meeting in The Mechanic. And I love Thorne so much, so obviously I loved seeing a teenaged Thorne dream of his future in Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky. Oh, and I loved The Keeper! I loved learning about Cinder’s and Scarlet’s beginnings and Michelle’s part in all this. Several of the stories were quite sad, including Glitches and The Queen’s Army. They always say that heroes gain heroism by channeling their heartbreaking pasts, and that is clearly evident through these stories.

Really, I just loved the small snapshots into the pasts and side stories of the characters I’ve grown to love so much. This entire book, but mostly the epilogue, was a really special way to say goodbye to my favorite crew in the sky. I finished the series in January of last year, and read this book last summer, but I still can’t stop thinking about and missing these crazies and their shenanigans and intense love for one another. I think I need to re-read the entire series soon. I need to go back to the happy place that is the universe of the Lunar Chronicles.

How do you feel about companion novellas in series like this one?
If you’ve read these ones, which was your favorite?


Rebellion by J.A. Souders | Blog Tour Book Review (+ Giveaway)

July 15, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult 8 ★★★½

Rebellion by J.A. Souders | Blog Tour Book Review (+ Giveaway)Rebellion by J.A. Souders
Series: Elysium Chronicles #3
Also in this series: Renegade, Revelations
Published by Tor Teen on July 12, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Source: From the Publisher
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3.5 Stars
The thrilling conclusion to J. A. Souders’s riveting SF psychological thriller series for teens

In this conclusion to J. A. Souders’s thrilling, twist-filled Elysium Chronicles series, Evie Winters and Gavin Hunter return to the isolated, dangerous underwater city that they fought so hard to escape.

Back in Elysium at last, Evie has finally found her true self hidden under layers and layers of false memories implanted by the woman she knew as Mother. Thanks to the intervention of her father, she knows the horrible truth about Mother and her insidious plans for her city. With the help of the love of her life, Gavin, and her best friend, Asher St. James, she’s determined to free her people from the cruel dictatorship of Mother’s laws. But how do you free people who don’t know they need rescuing?

Working with the growing Underground rebellion, Evie tries to remove Mother from her position by force—with disastrous results. As the body count rises, Evie must find a way to save Elysium before Mother destroys them all.

Welcome to my stop along the official blog tour for Rebellion by J.A. Souders! Rebellion (released on July 12, 2016) is the final book in the Elysium Chronicles, which is a trilogy I absolutely LOVE (see my reviews for the first two books here and here). This concluding story has been a long time coming, and I’m excited to share my thoughts with you today! I’m going to keep things as spoiler free as possible, which is why my review will be shorter than some, but please be aware of the fact that my review might end up spoiling parts of the first two books in the trilogy.

Many of my points in my reviews for Renegade and Revelations apply to Rebellion as well. The city of Elysium is amazing, and we get to experience more of it in this book. I was really happy to be back here, rather than in the Outlands (which was the dangerous stretch of land Gavin and Evie crossed in Revelations). I just love cities beneath the surface of the ocean. Souders does a wonderful job of describing the setting and the scenery.

Again, the story is written in dual perspectives from Evie and Gavin. I really enjoyed reading both their thoughts, and felt it enriched my reading experience. Our beloved characters have gone through some changes, and it was fun to see them grow. Evie, who started out as a naive, brainwashed, lightweight of a girl has transformed into a stubborn, kick-butt heroine who essentially holds the world of Elysium in her hands as she leads the rebellion against Mother. Gavin is the same old knight-in-shining armor I fell in love with in the first book, and will stop at nothing to make sure Evie is safe. Asher is still the sweet older brother figure, and Mother has reached new levels of insanity. We even meet some new people along the way.

The action is non-stop, heart-pumping, and ends in a way I’m not sure anyone will see coming. Rebellion is a strong conclusion to an even stronger series, and I will miss this world and the characters I’ve enjoyed so much. I definitely recommend this trilogy to anyone looking for a unique sci-fi reading experience. I’m excited to see where J.A. Souders takes us next.

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Tour Schedule

July 11 – Chapter by Chapter
July 12 – Seeing Double in Neverland
July 13 – Short n Sweet Reviews
July 14 – Gizmo’s Reviews
July 15 – That Artsy Reader Girl
July 16 – The Nocturnal Library


Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun | Blog Tour Mini Book Review (+ Giveaway)

April 26, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult 8 ★★★★

Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun | Blog Tour Mini Book Review (+ Giveaway)Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 26, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
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4 Stars
As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family; by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman; and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.

When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.

Welcome to my stop along the Heir to the Sky blog tour, hosted by Hannah at The Irish Banana Review! I’m so happy to review this book today because I really enjoyed it! I guess I had been needing a really good dystopia because I ate this one up! I’m really at a loss for words, and am having a hard time coming up with a coherent review. So much happens in the book and it is so well done. I love that it’s a standalone, as it is super refreshing to read a fully fleshed-out story for a change. Anyway, I’m going to keep my review short and sweet so as not to give too much away.

The premise of the story is really interesting, and I was immediately intrigued even though I was a little worried that the floating continents aspect would be too similar to Lauren DeStefano’s Perfect Ruin. The bulk of this story takes place on Earth, though, so everything ended up feeling unique and fresh. And really, the story picked up for me after Kali fell and was literally thrown from her extravagant life as a royal to surviving a cold, dirty, scary life. Her first night on Earth was really exciting for me, and I loved reading about her experiences with the crazy beasts and dragons. But Griffin. Oh, Griffin. I LOVE him. He definitely made this story for me. I loved the bond that he and Kali formed, and I loved how sweet he was to her as he protected her and tried to get her back home.

This story is surrounded by a lot of legend and secrecy, and I enjoyed watching the mystery unfold regarding how the islands really ended up in the sky, what Earth is really like, and who these people really are. Kali has been lied to her whole life, and falling to Earth gave her the awful truth very quickly. She no longer wants to get home for selfish reasons, she wants to get home to save the world. She learns a lot about herself in the process and what she is capable of. She also meets a lot of people, makes some friends, falls in love, and experiences some very dangerous and life-changing things. I enjoyed watching her grow and become more aware and fierce.

I loved Sun’s writing style and the details she provided. Earth is portrayed in vivid detail, with lots of colors and ferocious beasts. I felt like I was there. I loved the characters and all the little secrets to society and politics and ways of life that shaped the story. Heir to the Sky is a fast-paced, action-packed read that had me turning the pages as quickly as humanly possible. I’d definitely recommend it to people who are looking for an interesting dystopia/fantasy mash-up.


About Amanda Sun

I’m a YA author and proud Nerdfighter. I was born in Deep River, Canada, a very small town without traffic lights or buses, and where stranger safety is comprised of what to do if you see a bear—or skunk. I started reading fantasy novels at 4 and writing as soon as I could hold a pencil. Hopefully my work’s improved since then.

In university I took English, Linguistics, and Asian History, before settling into Archaeology, because I loved learning about the cultures and stories of ancient people. Of course, I didn’t actually become an archaeologist—I have an intense fear of spiders. I prefer unearthing fascinating stories in the safety of my living room.

The Paper Gods is inspired by my time living in Osaka and travelling throughout Japan. That and watching far too many J-Dramas. I currently live in Toronto with my husband and daughter. When I’m not writing, I’m devouring YA books, knitting nerdy things like Companion Cubes and Triforce mitts, and making elaborate cosplays for anime cons.

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Fairest by Marissa Meyer | Book Review

June 25, 2015 Book Review, Young Adult 6 ★★★½

Fairest by Marissa Meyer | Book ReviewFairest by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, Stars Above
Published by Feiwel and Friends on January 27, 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Retelling, Science Fiction
Pages: 222
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought from Amazon
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3.5 Stars
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

I’ve never really been a fan of the villain in any story because I don’t usually like the villain! Sure, there have been some exceptions to that rule, but I really wasn’t sure I wanted to learn about Levana and her excuses for being such an awful person. But I love Marissa Meyer and The Lunar Chronicles, so of COURSE I wanted to read Fairest. While I did not love it as much as the full-length novels in this series, I enjoyed Levana’s back story, I feel prepared to read Winter, and I also learned quite a few things about Cinder that surprised me. Bottom line, this book was certainly worth reading! So if you’re on the fence as to whether or not you should, definitely do it. You’ll learn things and more pieces will start to fit into the puzzle.

Levana is EVIL. I mean wow. Pure evil. At times I felt bad for her, but she is seriously a psychopath. I felt bad for her. She went through a lot in her youth, and all of these things helped shaped her to be a ruthless, evil witch she is. She had a horrible upbringing. We hear the heartbreaking story of why she must hide behind an artificial glamour, we hear her experience with being rejected by the man she loved, and her inner feelings and compulsions are brought to light. It’s a very interesting character analysis, and it adds a lot to the story, giving it more of a solid foundation. I do like knowing the why’s and how’s of any situation, and this book gives you that. I’ll never feel like Levana is justified in her actions, but at least I know why she is so crazy.

As always, Marissa Meyer’s writing is flawless and I loved being immersed in this world once again. I’m even more excited for Winter now!


Atlantia by Ally Condie | Book Review

November 6, 2014 Book Review, Young Adult 3 ★★★★

Atlantia by Ally Condie | Book ReviewAtlantia by Ally Condie
Published by Dutton Juvenile on October 28, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: From the publisher at ALA
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4 Stars
Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

I’ve been looking forward to a new novel from Ally Condie for quite some time, so I dove in to Atlantia as soon as I could! It took me a little while to fully immerse myself in the story, but I ended up really liking Atlantia. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I’ve always been a huge fan of books that take place underwater. Atlantia is a beautiful, self-sustaining, world under the sea that actually sounds a lot like Venice, believe it or not. They have canals and gondolas, and the city is colorful with lots of shops and places to visit. There’s a market in the depths of the city, plus an arena for after-curfew swimming competitions (I found the swimming arena rather random and out of place, though.). Basically, the city is unique and very fun to read about.

2. Rio is secretly a siren, who has had to hide her true voice from everyone in order to keep herself safe. Siren voices are very powerful, and can be used as weapons. Sirens are more rare now, which puts Rio in even more danger. When I heard siren, I immediately thought of mermaids. Sirens are human beings with special powers, though. I liked this unique twist!

3. Rio has always wanted to live Above, but when their mother dies she promises her sister, Bay, that she will choose to stay Below during the choosing ceremony (which is very similar to Divergent’s faction choosing ceremony). On the day of choosing, though, Bay announces she is going to the Above. Since only one child from each family can go Above, Rio is stuck and hurt. Alone forever. Rio starts planning her escape, and will stop at nothing to journey to the Above. This is where you see Rio’s stubborn, persistent, dare-devil personality. I really liked her!

4. Obviously, everyone is hiding something. There’s a lot of lying, and it’s hard to know who to trust. Rio’s aunt kind of takes her under her wing and mentors her, but this aunt is shady. Everyone is. And there’s a lot of secrets about Rio, her family, and the politics behind the separation of the Above and the Below. How did these people end up Below? Why is there no traveling between worlds? What’s the point of a city below water?

5. I loved the worldbuilding and Ally’s writing is descriptive and lovely.

6. I was so hoping for more romance between Rio and True.

7. Throughout the entire book I was expecting a sequel, so to find out it’s a standalone was kind of exciting. In a YA world full of trilogies and series, it’s nice to find a standalone. At the same time, though, Atlantia was wrapped up so quickly that I wish we were getting a sequel. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

Overall, I really enjoyed Atlantia. I love underwater settings, and Ally’s writing and really enjoyable to read. I’m excited to see what she chooses to do next! I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a good dystopia. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like dystopias are becoming pretty formulaic and predictable. Atlantia is very unique, though, and breathes new life into dystopia.


Carrier by Vanessa Garden | Book Review

May 26, 2014 Book Review, Young Adult 4 ★★

Carrier by Vanessa Garden | Book ReviewCarrier by Vanessa Garden
Published by Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Limited on March 1, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 175
Format: eARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
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2 Stars
From the day she was born, Lena has viewed the world through the jagged window of a razor-wired fence. The hundred-acre property she shares with her mother in the Australian outback may keep her safe from the Y-Carrier disease, but it is no longer enough to hold Lena’s interest, and her mother’s increasingly tight grip on her free will is stifling.

Just as her curiosity blooms and her courage rises, she meets a boy through the fence — the first boy she has ever laid eyes on. His name is Patrick and he comes with a dangerous yet irresistible invitation of adventure beyond the fence, an invitation to which Lena cannot say no.

But Lena’s newfound freedom is short-lived and she soon discovers that the Y-Carrier disease is not the only enemy she faces on the outside. Her new enemies want something Lena has, and they are willing to do anything to get it...

After LOVING Vanessa Garden’s debut novel, Captivate, I was beyond thrilled to hear of her next novel. Carrier, a post-apocalyptic dystopian set in the Australian outback, and is completely different from Captivate. While it was an enjoyable read, I did not feel the same magic I did when I read Captivate. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I LOVED reading a book set in the Australian Outback. And I loved all the Aussie words like “dingo”. It was just fun to read a book from an Australian author, as I got a tiny glimpse of a place I would LOVE to visit (although the Outback is not my number one go-to Australian locale. Hehe.). I suppose there’s only so many ways to describe a vast and desert-like place, but I would have loved more scenic details that specifically pointed to the Outback. This story could have taken place anywhere.

2. The worldbuilding was minimal. I would have enjoyed more information about the disease. Where did it come from? How long has it been there? How was it discovered? How did everyone end up scattered all over the place? How much of the human race is left? I just felt let in on the story way too late. If things had started earlier, or we were provided a flashback or prologue explaining the events that led up to this story, I would have been much happier. I’m very detail-oriented, and I was a bit disappointed.

3. I was not the biggest fan of the sci-fi twist, which did end up answering some of my questions, but in an unsatisfying way. The last 10-15% of the book was like a detail dumping, but it was a little too late and a little anti-climactic.

4. A lot of time was spent on a very luke-warm insta-relationship. Patrick is the first boy Lena has ever seen in her life, so naturally they would fall in love almost instantly and start risking their lives for one another, right? I did not believe their love. They barely talked about anything important, and I really think they were more awe-struck at seeing a human of the opposite gender than they were in love with each other. There was just no development.

5. Lena’s mom is very abusive, both verbally and physically. And Lena decides she wants to run away. But not permanently. Just a day or two. And then when times get harder, everything is all of a sudden sunshine and roses. There is no discussion of how horrible Lena’s mother has been, and no reconciliation or amends made. I have a hard time believing that no feelings needed to be shared in order to establish a healthy mother-daughter relationship.

6. I did not connect with any of the characters because I never got to know them well enough. They were all flat and uninteresting to me.

7. The book just felt unorganized. It’s like towards the end the author realized there were some unanswered questions, so she just started throwing out answers. Some of them did not make sense, some did not seem believable, and some were unsatisfying. I think this could be faulted by the book’s length. This is a huge story, shoved into a very tiny package. It was not given enough room to grow, and that hurt it.

8. The ending was super unsatisfying. There’s no indication of any kind of sequel, but after ALL THAT we’re left with a ton of questions. Truth be told, I did not even know what to think when it was over. It just ended abruptly. It was kind of like someone slammed on the breaks and told you to get out of the car before reaching your final destination. I was just confused and let down.

All in all, the premise and the setting were the two strong points. The execution was disappointing, and I don’t even feel like this book is from the same author as the one who wrote Captivate. There was no magic, and I guess that’s what I was looking for. I’m still a fan of Vanessa Garden, though, and cannot wait for the next book in the Submerged Sun series!


Plus One by Elizabeth Fama | Book Review

March 24, 2014 Book Review, Young Adult 6

Plus One by Elizabeth Fama | Book ReviewPlus One by Elizabeth Fama
Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux on April 8, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 373
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
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1 Stars
Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.

Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.

Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.

Can we just take a second and look at that cover!? HELLO, Lovely! I was super excited to read Plus One as soon as I read the synopsis, and was even MORE excited when I saw the cover! I tend to really love dystopias, and I also love romantic thrillers, which the book’s synopsis claims that this is. I suppose I was thinking of super super thrillery romantic thrillers like Victoria Holt or Daphne Du Maurier, because I was not thrilled with Plus One. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I’m saying this immediately, because it was probably the biggest issue I had with Plus One. It’s not a romantic thriller. It’s not suspenseful, and I didn’t feel like it was terribly romantic either. I mean, I guess there are some more tense moments when you’re wondering how these characters are going to get themselves out of the pickle they’ve gotten themselves into… but I never found myself holding my breath or gripping the edge of my seat. I think I probably just set my expectations too high.

2. Going along with the lack of thrill, I really did not feel the romance either. We’ve got two characters here, a day dweller/Ray named D’Arcy and a a night dweller/Smudge named Sol. Sol’s brother was promoted to a Ray because of his amazing technological skills. He got married, had a baby, and Sol wants nothing more than to let her grandfather, still a Smudge, see his great-grandchild. So she formulates a dangerous plan to kidnap her niece from the hospital and bring him to her grandfather. But she kidnaps the wrong child. D’Arcy, is a medical intern in the hospital who figured out what’s going on, but feels compelled to save/help Sol instead of turn her in to the authorities.

This is where I struggled. WHY would D’Arcy risk his career and his life to help a girl he does not know AT ALL to kidnap a child from his post in the hospital? I mean, any medical professional in their right mind, you would think, is against endangering their patients and allowing them to be harmed. ESPECIALLY if that professional does not even KNOW the person who is breaking the rules/law.

3. In addition to this romance confusion, what aunt will deliberately put her niece in danger to bring her to her blind grandfather? I mean, this baby is brand new! And she is running around on a hot day carrying this baby in her sweatshirt, dodging bullets. She could feel the baby’s sweat on her skin. When she got it home, she put it in a kitchen drawer and then ignored its cries of hunger, pain, discomfort, and what have you. This is horrible! If she loved this niece so much, why would she put it in such grave danger? And I can’t think of a grandfather anywhere who would condone such acts. Did she not care at all about the baby’s parents or the baby itself? This book is centered around a plot that is dependent on the fact that Sol is incredibly dumb and selfish.

4. I wasn’t really a fan of any of the characters, just because they were making such dumb and pointless decisions. And since the romance wasn’t there, I just did not care.

In addition to Sol and D’Arcy, we are introduced to this rogue group of day and night dwellers (basically they’re out whenever they want to be), with extreme clothing and make-up. One of them is being sexually abused, which really bothered me. I really dislike reading about stuff like that. I never connected with any of these people, and the link they shared with Sol and her family bugged me. I’m not sure why. Things just got really political.

5. The world is never really explained. We’ve got a caste system and all these social rules, but I never knew the why’s and the how’s of it all! These details could have enriched the story so much more.

All in all, I pretty much know I am in the minority here. I’ve seen many raving reviews for this book, and I really don’t understand why. I did not believe the romance, and I was so confused by the plot itself. Because of these reasons, I had a hard time caring and even finishing the book, which is quite disappointing.


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi | Book Review

March 20, 2014 Book Review, Young Adult 11 ★★★★

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi | Book ReviewShatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #1
Published by HarperTEEN on November 15, 2011
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Bought from Amazon
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4 Stars
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

I’m part of a really exciting book club with Karin and Kat, called The Transatlantic Bookshelf, and Shatter Me was our first read! I’ve had my eye on it for a long time, so it was nice to finally have an excuse to read it. Sadly, Karin did not finish it. She’s considering trying it again later, but did just not love it this first time around. Kat and I both enjoyed it, though. I figured I’d put my thoughts together here! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I don’t really see the hype. I mean, I liked the book. I really did. But I guess when you hear every good thing possible about a series, almost anything would be disappointing. I guess the best way to put it is that I don’t see why Shatter Me stands above any other book out there. My mind was not blown like I had hoped.

2. Mafi’s writing style really irked me at first. There is a lot of repetition of words and thoughts, plus a lot of thoughts are crossed out (actually, strikeout would be the best term), with new thoughts added behind. It took me quite some time to get used to, but I did end up getting myself to a point where I could skim over them. I have to hand it to Mafi, though, she has a very unique writing style. It’s unique enough, though, that you might take a while to appreciate it like I did.

3. I love the idea of this story. I love that Juliette’s touch is fatal, but sexy Adam is immune. So to see how she is being able to finally touch someone… it was powerful. Not being able to hold a person’s hand, or to hug them? That’s hard. Humans need human contact. So when Juliette discovers she can have that, it was like she all of a sudden discovered how to see.

4. The romance was kind of a slow burn, but also kind of insta-lovey. And I’m not sure if I will be able to decide exactly which one it is. On the one hand, Juliette and Adam meet in a rather deceptive way. She thinks he is someone totally different than he ends up being. For a while she really hates him. But then she starts to recognize him for some reason, and becomes intrigued by his complete caring for her. On the other hand, once she realizes she can touch him, there was kind of a romantic explosion if you will. And I felt like feelings happened really fast. But then you learn things and discover maybe it’s not so insta-lovey. *shrug*

5. In any case, the romance was pretty swoony. Mafi knows how to write sultry scenes.

6. I hate Warner. He’s the guy trying to make Juliette a weapon for The Reestablishment, and he is slimy and creepy. Kind of serial killery. And I’m scared abotu what role he might have in future books.

7. I LOVE ADAM. Can I have him? He is just so sweet and loyal and courageous. And I will be reading the next book for Adam alone.

8. Too much metaphor? I think so. What do you think?

All in all, I enjoyed Shatter Me but do not really understand the hype. The writing style takes a while to get used to, but once I did I appreciated the glimpses it gave us into Juliette’s true thoughts. The idea of the story has me super intrigued, and I will be reading the next book because I have a crush on Adam and can’t wait for more of him.


Infinite by Jodi Meadows | Book Review

February 12, 2014 Book Review 8 ★★★★★

Infinite by Jodi Meadows | Book ReviewInfinite by Jodi Meadows
Series: Newsoul #3
Also in this series: Incarnate, Asunder
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 28, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 418
Format: ARC
Source: From Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
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5 Stars
DESTRUCTION
The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

FLIGHT
Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

CHOICE
The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

I love the Newsoul trilogy, and I have been pushing it on everyone I know. If you’re new or newish to this series, I would recommend reading my reviews of Incarnate or Asunder before reading this one! And then go read all the books!

Ok, so OH MY. You guys! I don’t even know how to review this book! It was just so perfect. I was so unbelievably happy to be reunited with Ana, Sam, and the rest of the gang. I missed them all so much. I was elated to get more of Jodi’s beautiful writing. I was so scared to finish, because I just don’t want to say goodbye to all of this! But Jodi did it right. SO right. If it had to end, this is how I wanted it to happen. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I will always love the strong theme of music that is woven throughout this entire trilogy. Music is everywhere, and in everything. Music saves lives, creates romance, and conveys the strongest of feelings. The musical theme, combined with Jodi’s lyrical writing, created the most amazingly perfect symphonic masterpiece. I have always been one to connect strongly and easily with music, so this story really made its way into my heart and soul.

2. I love what humans do when they fight for their lives, and I love the spirit of determination and self-preservation that these characters have. Enemies turn to allies. When push comes to shove, Ana and Sam along with other Newsoul allies head out on a journey to find help in preventing Janan’s ascension. I really loved seeing so much of the world outside of Heart and Range.

3. I really enjoyed getting to know more about the creatures that live outside of Heart. The first two books introduced us to the sylph, dragons, centaurs, and trolls, but we get to learn much more about them in Infinite. The sylph are glorious, and I loved reading about them and their gracefulness. The dragons are intriguing and have interesting personalities. Connections happen between Ana and these creatures, and I loved seeing this happen.

4. Jodi knows how to write her descriptions. I loved reading about this winter wonderland that Ana and Sam trekked through. I loved her descriptions of the true and complete love that Ana and Sam have for each other. The sexual tension had me swooning. The creatures I mentioned before are absolutely majestic and unique. I just drank in every detail I could, in the hopes of making it last forever.

5. There were so many emotions and feelings. I was tied up in knots, my heart broke, I smiled, I swooned, and I sighed. I was so concerned for my characters. I was sad for them when they had their hearts broken. I was scared when they found themselves in dangerous situations. I held my breath when they were on the cusp of losing everything. These people are my friends now. They have a place in my heart, and I felt everything they did.

6. The ending stole my breath, shattered my heart, and somehow ended up leaving me feeling warm and fuzzy as I said goodbye. I feel like I really went through the ringer. Finishing a series is really scary. We have all invested so much time and so many emotions in these characters, and we have all been disappointed before. Authors are really good at breaking hearts, but they can also shoot of fireworks of happiness. That’s what Jodi did for me. She left me so happy, with so many wonderful memories. She also left a little room for us to fill in our own details at the end, which I love. We might be leaving Heart, Ana, Sam, and everyone but they have been given a bright future that will leave you very satisfied.

Wow. I did not do the book justice at all. Know this, my friends. The Newsoul trilogy is a set of books you have GOT to read. Jodi Meadows is my rock star, and I will absolutely read anything she writes. I’m sad to see these books end, but am so excited for what’s in store for us next!


The Prince by Kiera Cass | Mini Book Review

February 3, 2014 Book Review, Young Adult 2 ★★

The Prince by Kiera Cass | Mini Book ReviewThe Prince by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #.5
Also in this series: The Selection
Published by HarperTEEN on March 5, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 64
Format: eBook
Source: Bought from Amazon
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2 Stars
Before thirty-five girls were chosen to compete in the Selection...

Before Aspen broke America's heart...

There was another girl in Prince Maxon's life...

Don't miss this thrilling 64-page original novella set in the world of the New York Times bestselling novel The Selection.

I was really excited to read The Prince, because I was intrigued by his life before the Selection. I wanted to get to know Maxon on a more intimate level so that I could better understand his decisions and is desires in a wife. While I did enjoy reading about his life before, I was a bit disappointed in the little information I received.

I would not label this as a prequel to the story, even though it is listed as being .5 in the series. A very small part of this takes place before the Selection, and even then it’s only a few days before the girls are selected. This “other girl” the synopsis mentions was not even worth mentioning, and I felt like I was a bit deceived. I was expecting some sweeping romance that Maxon was forbidden to pursue, or some unrequited love that caused him to choose the Selection over finding love conventionally. That’s not the case at all.

I enjoyed delving into Prince Maxon’s thoughts, but I also felt like I was wasting my time because of the subject matter of the book. I felt like Maxon was an open book in The Selection. I pretty much knew how he was feeling. Most of this book tells the exact same story as The Selection. It’s just from Maxon’s point of view. But like I said before, I was not wondering what he was thinking during The Selection. Instead of getting a new story, I got to read all about which girls were selected again. I got to read his first conversation with America again, just with his inner dialogue. I got tired of reading the same thing. Some of the sentences seemed to be taken straight from The Selection. I started wondering what the point of this novella was.

I’m sure my feelings come from the fact that I read The Prince the day after I read The Selection. Everything was very fresh in my mind, and I did not need to be re-reading things. I feel like this book is not really worth it if you’ve read The Selection, unless it has been a while and you would like a refresher before jumping into The Elite. If you’re wanting an easy way to decide if you DO want to read The Selection, this would be a good way to do that. I’m disappointed that I did not learn any more about Maxon than I knew before, however, I do think it was nice of Kiera to write this in a way that does not make this novella a mandatory read.