Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

Carrier by Vanessa Garden | Book Review

Posted May 26, 2014 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 4 Comments

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!


These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner | Book Review

Posted November 18, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 10 Comments

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner | Book ReviewThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on December 10, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
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5 Stars
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

I’ve always been a little iffy on outer space books and usually pass on them, but These Broken Stars sounded too amazing to pass up. It ended up being everything I could have hoped for! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. What a unique idea! A ship of vacationing passengers flying through space, only to be knocked out of orbit and crash land on a mysterious planet. These Broken Stars is a combination of Titanic and LOST.

2. I mention LOST, because this planet is wacky. There are whispers and visions and crazy animals and signs of former habitation. And this is all happening for some unknown reason. Are these characters crazy? Are they going insane? Is the planet haunted? Is someone these playing a trick on them? Are they being tested? What s going on!?!

3. These characters are amazing. Since the book really only includes two of them, the authors had to make them interesting or readers would get bored very quickly. I loved Tarver. He is a war hero who is trained in surviving situations like this one. He also comes from a tough life, and has a lot of depth. I loved his strength and his power of motivating Lilac to push on through the pain of hiking in heels and a fancy dress. He has a weak moments in the story, though, which made him more down to earth. His tenderness and dedication are quite endearing. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe, and she is completely thrown out of her comfort zone when she has to take a risk and save herself and Tarver from dying in the crash. She’s not as pretentious as I had expected, which was nice. She quickly adapted to this new life, and grew in maturity. She’s strong, confident, and capable of much more than she realized. 4. The story is told in dual points of view, which I really liked. I find that this is commonly done in survival books, and I always enjoy reading what’s going on in each character’s head.

5. What I did not like were the snippets of Tarver’s post-rescue interrogation at the beginning of every chapter. Because this was done, I knew immediately that they would be rescued. I did not like having the ending spoiled for me, and would have enjoyed the book much more if I had not known this ahead of time.

6. I liked the slow burning romance between Lilac and Tarver. They met on the ship, and while they were both intrigued by one another, they were from two different worlds. Lilac really shot him down and bruised his ego. When they ended up crashing together and being the only two survivors, they were forced to work together or die. They really hated each other for a while, but that began to change and they really cared for each other before they fell in love.

7. There is this mind blowing plot twist that happens, and OH MY THE FEELS. I won’t go into this anymore, but OH MY. I did not know what to do with myself.

8. Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner did an amazing job team writing These Broken Stars. I did not even know this book was written by two authors until I started gathering information to write my review. I’m so impressed that I could not tell! The writing was absolutely lovely.

I can’t wait for the next book! These Broken Stars really surprised me, and was a wonderful way to introduce myself to outer space. I’m so proud of these 2013 debut authors, and hope they continue to write lots together.


Renegade by J.A. Souders (Book Review)

Posted August 23, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 7 Comments

Renegade by J.A. Souders (Book Review)Renegade by J.A. Souders
Series: Elysium Chronicles #1
Also in this series: Revelations, Rebellion
Published by Tor Teen on November 13, 2012
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 364
Format: eBook
Source: From Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide), From the publisher through Netgalley
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5 Stars
Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

Renegade was a highly anticipated read for me, and I regret waiting so long to get to it! This book is absolutely amazing, and definitely a new favorite of mine. Thanks so much to Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide for giving me a signed copy for Christmas last year! Anyway, my main points are bolded, as always. :)

1. I love the setting in Renegade: Elysium. These people live in a glass structure at the bottom of the sea. Who needs wallpaper when you’ve got whales swimming past you? It’s absolutely beautiful, even though it is hiding a very creepy world inside.

2. Yeah, the world is creepy. Everyone is perfect. They all have blonde hair, blue eyes, never do anything wrong, etc. It’s a utopia, but it’s so perfect that it becomes weird and creepy.

3. Originally, I thought this was a mermaid book. It’s not. Everyone’s a human, and that made me happy. This book is original!

4. Evelyn has been sheltered from reality her entire life. She has been brainwashed to forget things, act a certain way, and think other things. As a result, her life is sunshine and roses. She sits in her garden playing with the flowers, and has no idea what’s going on. As she started figuring things out, with the help of Gavin, I started to really like her. She found out she was betrayed, and rather than denying it or crying about it, she became filled with this utter disgust for her mother. I loved that. She has a brain, even though it’s being altered, and she is strong enough to see the truth even though she’s not supposed to. She has no idea what her world is like, but she’s going crazy trying to escape it. And as the brainwashing gets worse, she has to fight herself to save herself. This girl has guts. I love her.

5. Oh, and Gavin. Mmm mmm. I love Gavin. Talk about a knight in shining armor. He randomly ends up in Elysium from the surface, and is being hunted for killing by the people here. Rather than hiding and trying to escape on his own, he decides to help the most valuable and protected girl there. He got himself into a real pickle for this, so it’s obvious that he’s completely fascinated by Evelyn. I love the he grounds her. He is her rock, and she can function if she has him by her side. And he says some of the sweetest things!

6. I mentioned Mother before, and italicized it for a reason. She is the leader of Elysium, and everyone calls her Mother. Somehow, long ago, she founded this world as an escape from the evil surface dwellers. She has lied to, controlled, and molded her people into thoughtless shells of themselves. And Evelyn is her prized possession, the Daughter of the People. She will stop at nothing to keep her below the surface. She will have her killed before she will let her escape. I’m sure you can imagine the crazy adventure and suspense that ensues. There’s something about a completely heartless, indifferent villain that makes a book SO much better.

7. SO much craziness happens! This book had me tearing through the pages. There was never a dull moment, and I could not handle the suspense at times. It’s wonderful.

8. The writing is gorgeous. Where has this author been all my life? The descriptions of the scenery, the world, the feelings, the romance. It was all incredibly beautiful.

I tried to keep things vague so as not to spoil the experience for you. Renegade is an amazing dystopia, and the start of an intoxicating series. I can’t wait for the next book (seriously, can I have it?), so I can continue reading about Evelyn and Gavin. Definitely try this if you’re a fan of dystopia. It does not disappoint.

 


Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) by Emmy Laybourne (Book Review)

Posted June 17, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 13 Comments

Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) by Emmy Laybourne (Book Review)Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne
Series: Monument 14 #2
Also in this series: Monument 14
Published by Feiwel and Friends on May 28, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Survival
Pages: 212
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
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4 Stars
Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.

Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .

Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . . .

If you read my review of Monument 14 last summer, you know I got quite attached to the children in this series. I’m not sure if it’s because I work with children all the time, or what, but I just had to know what happened to all of them–especially the ones who drove off in search of help at the end of the last book. What a cliffhanger to end on! Luckily, Sky on Fire picks up right where we left off and it does not take too much time to refresh your memory before being thrown right back into the action. As always, my main points are bolded.

1. I feel like there was a lot more action in this installment. Half the kids are driving a torn up bus through the ravaged towns and cities in search of a way to a safer world. Their goal is to make it to the Denver airport. All the while, they are trying to keep exposure to the atmosphere at a minimum, due to the dangerous effects of the chemicals in the air. This part of the story was the most exciting, and had me flying through the pages. The kids get attacked, their bus gets stolen, they find a little humanity left in the world, and they really get pushed to the limits. I was SO scared for them as I read.

2. And then we have the kids who stayed back at the store. Most of them become aggressive, murderous monsters when exposed to the chemicals, so they end up waiting things out in the hopes that their friends bring back rescuers. They are faced with their challenges as well including walls being torn down and letting the chemicals in, losing their electricity, and dealing with intruders.

3. I really like how the story flips back and forth between the two brothers, Alex and Dean. Alex, the younger brother, decided to go off in the bus with Niko and the others, while Dean stayed back with a pregnant Astrid and the little ones. We get to read Dean’s story as it happens, and Alex’s in the form of a journal he kept as a letter to Dean in case they didn’t make it.

4. Because such a huge part of the story takes place outside of the store, we finally get to see what’s really going on in the world during this time. The chemicals have absolutely decimated the place. These chemicals are so powerful, that they dissolve rubber after a few hours. The few remaining survivors are pretty much insane, heartless, or not even human anymore. The world has been plunged into complete darkness. Scary! I really liked seeing what’s been going on outside the store.

5. Alex really shown in this novel, whereas I hardly remember him as being anything more than annoying in the first one. He has had to grown up, mature, and learn to remain level-headed. I liked reading his thoughts much more than Dean’s this time around.

6. Dean’s chapters were rather monotonous. There’s only so much that can happen in a store, and though some more intruders arrive and a romance blooms (one I’m not so sure I like, for that matter), I really looked forward to getting back to Alex.

7. Our supporting characters do not play the same dynamic roles this time around, and I really did not get to hear much about them. I missed little doomsday priest Batiste, although he is there piping in every once in a while. I think a little character development had to fall to the wayside since Alex was writing about his impressions, not giving us a play-by-play of what everyone is up to. Honestly, I didn’t mind much. I was so interested in what was going on, and how things would turn out, that I didn’t crave the dialogue between characters as much as I would have if they had all stayed in the store.

8. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. SO much happened! I had to keep reminding myself that these kids had only been living like this for a couple of weeks, because it’s insane how much happens to them and how long it takes to get places.

9. I was super satisfied with the ending (holy crap, it was tense and insane) until the last paragraph or so. I was thinking we were done, but BOOM. Cliffhanger! We are not done with kids of Monument yet, and I’m kind of excited to see where things go next.

All in all, Sky on Fire is a great read. It’s fast, action-packed, and I love those kids! I just want to squeeze them and save them from their world. They still have the strong determination to survive that they did in Monument 14, and I just LOVE watching children being portrayed in books as strong. I still love how much they care for each other. They are tenacious and smart, and they work with what they have. I just loved reading about them. Definitely read this book if enjoyed Monument 14, because I’m pretty sure I like this one better!


Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Book Review)

Posted November 14, 2012 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 7 Comments

Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Book Review)Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Series: Black City #1
Published by GP Putnam's Sons on November 13, 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 374
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
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0 Stars
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Black City is a very dark romance that takes place under harsh conditions and during very harsh times. It’s gory and bloody and actually rather upsetting, which is why I’m having such a hard time reviewing it! I wanted to love it, and while I loved aspects of it, parts of it upset me so much that I’m afraid my thoughts about the book are a bit tainted. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. The idea is awesome. I’ve always been a fan of forbidden love, but a love that makes a dormant heart beat after so many years? That’s powerful. And I’ve always enjoyed post-apocalyptic stories. I love watching an author’s creativity run wild with all the possibilities of a new beginning.

2. I really liked Ash and Natalie. Ash is this bad boy, who softens and becomes a force for good once he has a reason to fight. Natalie is his reason, and I loved the devotion he felt for her, even when he was confused and trying to figure his life out. Natalie developed throughout the story into a really strong, exciting character. She went from a ball of nerves to a spitfire, crusading for what’s right. She took so many risks and cleared so many hurdles, and I really enjoyed reading of her strength.

3. I also really liked the supporting characters: Day and Beetle. I loved the friendships and love that circled around these four people.

4. This story is gory, and I had a really hard time with that. There’s SO much blood, death by crucifixion, torture, a rape attempt, drug overdose, numerous attacks, sacrifices, and murder. And it was all described in depth.

5. The worst part of this book, though was a very upsetting scene with the murder of a cat. Many of you know, I can not handle cat killings. I just can’t, especially when they are overly gruesome and detailed. They are unnecessary, and I slaughter books with scenes like these. I refuse to read anything else by an author who does this, because I think it’s terrible and I think it promotes animal violence among young people. I boycotted Origin when I found out about a similar scene in that book, and I vowed to never read another book by Elizabeth Chandler after reading her Kissed by an Angel trilogy and coming across another scene like this as well. I honestly had to talk myself out of quitting this book. I set it aside for hours, and finally went back because by accepting this ARC, I promised a review. I had to try and give the book a fair chance. I’m glad I finished it, because I was very curious about how things would go down. I was either intrigued enough or horrified enough, that I had to see if these people could pull out of the evil world they were living in and make a better life for themselves. Honestly, though, I did not recover from the heartbreak of that one scene. Luckily Black City did not end in enough of a cliffhanger that I’m dying for the next book. I can just quit here and be satisfied enough with the ending I’ve been given.

All in all, this book was dark. I can handle dark, but not this dark. I was super intrigued, and really enjoyed aspects of the story. The characters were great, and I loved the romance and the creativity of the idea. But the violence was just too much for me to handle, and the animal violence has me so sad that I don’t even want to continue with the series. I can definitely see why people are raving about the story, but I also wish I had known about this one scene before I chose to read it. I know there are many readers who feel the way I do, so this is the warning I wish I had received. I’m extremely disappointed that I did not love this book as much as many of my fellow readers did.


Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne (Book Review)

Posted June 14, 2012 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 19 Comments

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne (Book Review)Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Series: Monument 14 #1
Also in this series: Sky on Fire
Published by Feiwel and Friends on June 5, 2012
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Survival
Format: ARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
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5 Stars
Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Wow. This book was SO different than anything I’ve read before, but I actually really loved it. I was in the process of reading Monument 14 when I got to meet Emmy at the Fierce Reads author tour stop near me a few days ago. I loved hearing her talk about her book, because it made me understand and enjoy the story even more. She said that this book is pretty dark, and that a lot of sad things happen to wonderful characters. Originally, so wondered what was wrong with her. Why would she do that? She answered that question for us. She said she did it so that her characters would be able to show heir humanity towards one another. That even during the darkest, most bleak times of our lives, we humans will do what we can to let our light shine through from within. I loved that thought, and I immediately went home from the tour and devoured the rest of the book. I’m SO glad I read it, and I am eagerly awaiting the next one. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. What a unique idea for a story! Think of any survival story you’ve read or seen in movies/TV: Castaway, Survivor, Lost, Hatchet, Lord of the Flies, etc. Then put those survivors in a huge superstore (like Target or Walmart) and you’ve got Monument 14. The world outside the riot gates that they were trapped behind was completely falling apart: natural disasters, chemical spills that affected people depending on their blood type (some people blistered up and died, some became vicious and attacked others, some became incredibly paranoid, and some lost all their reproductive function.), scary people trying to get in, injuries and sickness, depression. These kids went through all of it.

2. I loved the characters. These kids were amazing, and made the entire story. And when I say kids, these kids are KIDS. There were a few older teenagers, and then a bunch of little littles, like 5 years old. The little ones were adorable, and just like the kids I’ve taught at school. They warmed my heart, and were so sweet. Batiste was a bit of a mini doomsday priest, but lightened up when he got to assist Dean (the MC and chef) in cooking really detailed meals for the rest of them. Niko, a boy scout, is appointed as leader and has to keep everyone safe. Josie becomes the level-headed mommy of the group. Alex (Dean’s brother) takes care of the logistics and electronics. Everyone has a job, and everyone does it. Some of them start of resistant and very immature (and downright jerky), but grow into adults very quickly. They all became so mature and responsible. I loved seeing these young people grow. They really did shine through the darkness to take care of each other and provide.

3. They were so smart! I loved what they did with the store. The renovated the dressing room to serve as bedrooms, they blocked off a “dump” for trash and bodily functions, they sealed off the vents from the outside so the chemicals would not come in, they took baths with bottled water, they knew how to use the pharmacy, etc. The older kids knew what to say to the little ones to make them feel better. I loved reading about all of this. So often, kids are labeled as being naive and unable to do anything for themselves. As a teacher, I know that this is not true. Some of my students have taught me more than the adults in my life. I really appreciate Emmy for allowing these kids to reach their fullest potential. Kids deserve more credit than they get.

4. The fight for survival was amazing to read. I love reading about people who gain courage and determination when they are faced with the decision to sit and take it, or to get up and fight for their lives. We got to see a different part of these characters as the need to survive grew bigger, and time was running out.

5. This story was SO fast-paced! There was no down time or time to recover. One thing after another after another happened. I was tearing through the book to see what happened. Emmy told us at the signing that her brother compared the book’s plot to, “being handcuffed and thrown down a flight of stairs. It just goes bam, bam, bam, bam!” I totally agree! Haha. And then when it’s all over, you’re just laying there going, “Whoa…”

6. Emmy’s writing is wonderful. She’s an amazing storyteller. The details and word choice she used made the story an experience, rather than a book.

I’m going to quit while I’m ahead, because I want to give you the chance to experience this for yourself. Haha. I know the bulk of my review focused mostly on the characters, but that’s because they were what brought me back to the book when I had spare time. If Emmy had thrown a different bunch of people together, I’m not sure it would have been such a powerful and moving read. Maybe it’s just because I’ve worked with so many little kids, but the message behind the book was inspiring. I really can’t wait to see what happens next!

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