Genre: Science Fiction

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi | Book Review

Posted January 6, 2014 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 8 Comments

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi | Book ReviewInto the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #3
Published by HarperTEEN on January 28, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
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5 Stars

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

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.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because 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.

Into the Sill Blue was a beautiful and exciting ending to one of my very favorite trilogies. I have always complained and ended up really hating the final book in a series or trilogy, because authors usually do everything I wish they wouldn’t. Or they don’t do anything I wish they would. Veronica wrapped this story up so perfectly, and I loved every word. I feel like so much of what I loved is already mentioned in my reviews of Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night, so I will keep my review short and sweet so as not to spoil it for anyone. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. In my review of Through the Ever Night, I mention that it is so much better than Under the Never Sky. Into the Sill Blue is even better! I love Veronica Rossi’s creativity and what she does with this world. I love these characters. I love the non-stop action and the heart-pounding sequence of what-ifs and questions.

2. I love the relationships between characters, whether they are romantic, familial, or friendly. These characters truly care about one another.

3. I feel like there was less of an emphasis on romance in this final installment, which was fine. The entire book was all bout making it to the Still Blue. As Perry and Aria tried to bring the Dwellers and the Outsiders together, conflict arose. New relationships were forged. Sacrifices were made. Bonds were broken. These characters have reached desperate times. The Aether is getting more and more volatile. It’s time to do or die, and not everyone makes it through this book alive. Tears were shed, and my heart broke a little.

4. There were a lot of strong emotions, which I felt right along with the characters. At times, it was hard for me to see my beloved characters go through such low lows, but the high highs made up for it.

5. SO MUCH ACTION. Like I said, this book is do or die. These people have to fight to make it, and they have to fight hard. There is danger everywhere, and I was flipping through these pages as fast as I could.

6. I still love Veronica Rossi’s writing. She just knows how to write scenery and emotions and action and feelings. She knows how to develop strong characters.

Really, I’m at a huge loss as to how to review Into the Still Blue. I finished this book over a month ago, and I still just don’t know how to express my love for it without ruining everything for you. It was a stunning conclusion that left me speechless. Literally, I guess. I can’t wait to see what Rossi has in store for us next!

5 Stars

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

Posted November 18, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 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: Publisher (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.

5 Stars

Revelations by J.A. Souders | Book Review + Giveaway

Posted November 1, 2013 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult Fiction / 7 Comments

Revelations by J.A. Souders | Book Review + GiveawayRevelations by J.A. Souders
Series: Elysium Chronicles #2
Published by Tor Teen on November 5, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Mail)
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4.5 Stars

Six weeks after her arrival on the Surface, Evelyn Winters is no closer to unlocking the memories lost in her subconscious than she was when she first came. Isolated in a strange new society, Evie has only Gavin Hunter to remind her of who she once was.

But even with a clean slate, it’s easy to see that Evie doesn’t fit in on the Surface. And as her differences make her feel more and more alone, she can’t help but yearn for that place she doesn’t remember: the isolated city hidden in the depths of the ocean. Elysium. Home.

But she can’t exactly tell Gavin what she’s feeling. Not when he’s the one who helped her escape Elysium in the first place, and has the scars to prove it. Though the doctors say otherwise, Gavin believes that Evie just needs time. And if her memories don’t come back, well, maybe she’s better off not remembering her past.

But the decision may be out of their hands when Evie’s ever-elusive memories begin to collide with reality. People and images from her past appear in the most unlikely places, haunting her, provoking her…and making her seem not only strange but dangerous.

Evie and Gavin can’t wait around for her memories to return. They’ll have to journey across the Outlands of the Surface to find help, and in the end, their search may just lead them back to the place it all started…

Welcome to my stop along the Revelations blog tour, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! I’m sure you remember how much I LOVED the first book in this series, Renegade, so I was absolutely delighted to be put on this blog tour! By the way, seeing as how this is book #2 in a series, there will most likely be spoilers for book #1. You’ve been warned! Revelations was amazing! I really loved it. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Revelations is written in dual perspectives from both Gavin and Evelyn. I really liked getting to know Gavin better by reading his thoughts, and thought this way a great way to add another exciting element to the story.

2. The book started off a little slow for me, but once things picked up I loved being in this crazy world again! This time we start out in Gavin’s village, with a self-destructing Evie who has no memory of her former life. This lack of memory is seriously dangerous, because she does crazy things and also yearns for returning to the most dangerous place she’s ever been to: Elysium. In the hopes of restoring her memory, Gavin decides he must take her across the dangerous Outlands to the big city for medical attention. Visas are required, though, which will only happen in Gavin’s former best friend goes with them. So, the three set out across the desert to find the city, all the while dodging man-eating vulture-hawks, acid lakes, and coyotes.

3. I really, really like Asher. A lot. I’m having a hard time deciding whether I like him or Gavin better, actually. He’s very suave and he cares a lot about Evie. We get to see a lot of him during the journey through the Outlands, and I love his story and his mysterious nature.

4. Just as J.A. built the awesome world of Elysium, she built a wonderful one in The Outlands. It’s a crazy, crazy, creepy place! I love her creativity.

5. The writing is still absolutely lovely.

6. We learn so many things! Secrets are revealed, and I was just in awe.

I don’t want to spoil anything by giving more away, so I will end my review here. Revelations is full of exciting moments, crazy twists and turns, and wonderful characters. I loved getting more glimpses into the lives of these people, I loved learning more about these worlds, and I loved the sweet relationships that have developed and grown more since Renegade. I can’t WAIT for the next book!

 

About the Author: J.A. Souders

J.A. SOUDERS is the author of the Elysium Chronicles and lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and two children where she spends her time writing about the monsters under the bed, day dreaming about living in an underwater colony, and failing miserably at playing video games.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

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revelations tour

Tour Schedule:

Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsGuest Post
Katie’s Book BlogInterview
The Book LifeReview
Curling Up With A Good BookGuest Post
That Artsy Reader GirlReview
BookishInterview
Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
Supernatural SnarkInterview
Book Haven ExtraordinaireReview
Jenna Does BooksReview

4.5 Stars

Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett | Book Review

Posted October 28, 2013 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 10 Comments

Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett | Book ReviewDegrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett
Published by Samhain Publishing Ltd. on August 28, 2012
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 212
Format: ARC
Source: Author
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5 Stars

This time, the straight-and-narrow path could be the road to ruin.

Dr. Elyse Morgan’s mission: find the cure to the HTN4 virus. The compensation, courtesy of the United Nations: a lab stocked with hi-tech goodies, limitless resources and enough chocolate to make her rear look like a cellulite farm. Bonus: she gets to live.

Rescued (kidnapped) and secreted (imprisoned) on an undersea warship, Elyse adjusts to her assumed identity as a cadet with the finesse of a toeless ballerina. Her sulfuric temper and blatant insubordination capture the unwanted attention of the ship’s captain, the gorgeous, infuriating, engaged Nicoli Marek.

Elyse would rather perform her own autopsy than become the other woman, but Nicoli—who’s as full of himself as he is of secrets—regards his impending marriage as a mere political transaction. And Elyse as fair game.

As Elyse’s suspicions about the UN’s true agenda mount along with her attraction to the relentless, chronically shirtless captain, she must choose between the murky path to everything she’s ever wanted, or the squeaky-clean path of self-sacrifice—which could mean taking the secrets of the virus with her to the grave.

Warning: Features a strong, chocolate-loving heroine who takes no prisoners on the way to saving the world from an epidemic and winning a captain’s heart.

Did you know that Anna Scarlett is a pen name for Anna Banks, author of Of Poseidon??  I didn’t either, until Anna tweeted about it and I made the connection. I was excited to read this book before, but then when I found out that SHE wrote it, I was over the moon. I will read anything Anna writes. Anything. And I’m super excited that she wrote an adult romance this time! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I have a thing for books with medical aspects to them. A doctor on a mission to find the cue for a deadly virus… and terrorists hoping to kill her before she gets the chance? YES.

2. I loved the science fiction-y twist with the high-tech equipment, underwater battleships, transport pods, giant squid, etc. It was not so far into the future that it was unbelievable, but just far enough that Anna could let her imagination go. I really enjoyed the world building.

3. Elyse Morgan is seriously my best friend in another life. Her gumption is enviable. She is seriously kick a- and I totally who I want to be when I grow up (haha. I’m 25… I should be grown up already… right?). She is so strong and independent and powerful, doesn’t cave under pressure, sticks up for herself, and settles for nothing less than she wants. I mean, this woman essentially black mailed the UN at one point. Oh, and she is hilarious! Her thoughts had me laughing out loud, and I’m really good about not doing that when I’m reading in silence. Can I please be her? I love, love, LOVE strong heroines.

4. Nicoli is my kind of man… dark and handsome and protective, concerned, caring, flirtatious. He’s this strong military-type with a hardened exterior and a mushy center reserved for those he cares about. Swoonworthy. That’s really all I can say to sum him up. Other than perfect. Or please-can-I-have-him? I mean, as if I needed another reason to want to be Elyse. She has this guy chasing after her! Mmmmmm.

5. OH MY. Anna can write sexual tension as easy as the ABC’s. She had me hanging on every single word. The witty banter cat and mouse game that is Elyse and Nicoli is delicious.

6. The writing. Hello. I love Anna’s writing, but I already mentioned that. She’s awesome at capturing feelings and emotions and putting them into words, smacking you down right in the middle of it all. Even the medical descriptions had me engrossed! Sometimes I glaze over when medicine gets too complicated, but I got this. It was complicated, but written on a level that I could follow.

7. There were twists and turns and brand new information given out all the time! I love a book that just keeps on going and branching off the main storyline. Things were always exciting.

Basically, I can’t say a bad thing about this book. I loved it, and I think you should read it. It’s got a little bit of everything (romance, sci-fi, action, amazing storytelling, perfect characters, etc.) and I think it would appeal to pretty much anyone. I hope Anna writes more adult fiction in the future! And actually, I’d love to read more about some of the characters in this book. Do you hear me, Anna? You’ve got a request!

5 Stars

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier (Mini Book Review)

Posted October 14, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 4 Comments

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier (Mini Book Review)Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier
Series: Ruby Red Trilogy #3
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on October 8, 2013
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Mail)
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5 Stars

Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is. She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.

I loved this conclusion to the Ruby Red trilogy! I’m not used to books getting better and better as a series continues. Usually the first book is the best, the second book is pointless, and the third book is a major letdown. Not so with Emerald Green! I grew to love the trilogy more and more as the series continued, and now I am so sad to be finished with it! I’m doing a mini review of this book, just because most of what I loved about it I already mentioned in my reviews of Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue.

I read this trilogy almost back to back, but I still appreciated the recaps we were given on what had happened up to this point. The time traveling is a little confusing, but readers are kept on track with these subtle reminders. The writing is so pretty, and full of funny conversations and elaborate descriptions. I always love seeing where Gwen and Gideon will go, what they will wear, and what they will do. In this book, Gwen and Gideon get to go to a ball and they also go on some secret missions for answers. I loved it!

Gwen is still spunky and is not going to let anyone keep her in the dark. Rather than sitting down and being content with only being able to see a small piece of the large picture she’s a part of, she goes off in her own world and in past worlds to find answers to all these different mysteries. Her grandfather plays a huge role in this book, and I loved that she was able to have a strong relationship with him in some capacity. Lesley, Gwen’s friend, plays a larger role this time around as well, and I really like her. She’s the researcher, and I loved hearing about the information she dug out of the Internet. Raphael, Gideon’s brother, is a fun new addition to the group, and I liked his snarkiness. Charlotte bugged me more than ever, and Xemerius was even more endearing and funny.

All our questions get answered in Emerald Green. What’s up with Lucy and Paul? What happens when the circle is closed? Who is Count St. Germain? What’s in store for Gwen and Gideon? We learn a LOT. Gwen learns about her past and her future, which was so exciting. We learn all about the count and the Guardians. We get to fill in various time travel holes, and piece together different things that have happened across the rest of the trilogy. It was all very satisfying.

I kept this vague and short, just because I know not many people have even read the first book. My point with this review is to get you all excited about the trilogy. If you enjoy time travel, a little humor, adventure, great characters, and history then you will definitely enjoy all three books! And if you quit with Ruby Red because it was not for you, give Sapphire Blue a chance! You’ll love it. :)

5 Stars

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier (Mini Book Review)

Posted October 11, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 3 Comments

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier (Mini Book Review)Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier
Series: Ruby Red Trilogy #2
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on October 30, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 362
Format: eBook
Source: Gift
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4 Stars

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

I’m so proud of Sapphire Blue for not suffering the second book syndrome! I actually liked this book much more than Ruby Red. It was full of twists and turns and witty banter between characters. There was quite a bit more time traveling, and now that Gwen is getting used to it, the visits to the past have a purpose. I was always excited to see what year she traveled back to, and what she was going to do. She has started to really question this time travel business, and so she’s breaking some rules to do some investigating in the past. She gets into trouble, and meets some new people.

Gwen and Gideon do a lot of traveling together also, and I love their conversations while they sit in a locked room doing homework while they wait to travel back to the present. They also get to go to a soiree in this book, and I loved the descriptions of the gorgeous costumes that they get to wear, and the pretty candlelit rooms. Gwen gets a little drunk on a “secret” punch, and makes a fool out of herself. I loved it!

At the end of Ruby Red, we met a small little gargoyle demon named Xemerius who is very excited that someone can finally see and hear him after so many years of being invisible. I really did not like his constant presence at the beginning of Sapphire Blue. I was annoyed with his interruptions. I grew to really love this little guy, though! He is quite funny, and adds a lot to the story. I looked forward to having him show up.

We learn a lot more about time travel, and what role different characters play in it. We learn more about the past, and why certain things have happened the way they have. Finally, we also get to form a lot of new questions that I’m hoping will be answered in Emerald Green, which I really can’t wait to start! Definitely read Sapphire Blue, even if you were not the biggest fan of Ruby Red. It’s exciting, a little romantic, and full of rich historical elements that will have you dreaming of elaborate balls and poofy dresses.

4 Stars

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (Book Review)

Posted October 7, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 8 Comments

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (Book Review)Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Series: Ruby Red Trilogy #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on May 10, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 322
Format: Hardcover
Source: Won
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4 Stars

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

You know a book is bound to be awesome if it was translated from German to be published in the USA! I was really excited about Ruby Red when I found out, and even more excited when I discovered it’s all about time travel. As alway, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I was really impressed by the translation. We all know how easily wittiness and the beauty of descriptions can be lost in translation. Not so with Ruby Red! The writing is beautiful, the characters witty, the current way of speaking taken into account without seeming out of place. I can only imagine how amazing the writing is in German, if it is this good after translation. I applaud the translator, and I applaud the author for writing a story that is amazing even in another language!

2. I’ve got this thing with real people in history being woven into fictional stories. It brings a completely different kind of awesomeness to the table, and makes a story so much more believable if people like Sir Isaac Newton are brought into the story. He plays a significant role in Ruby Red, even though he is not a character in the book. It made things really interesting.

3. I loved the clever, witty dialogue between the characters. Lesley, Gwyneth’s best friend, is particularly fun to read. She knows all about Gwyneth’s ability to travel through time, and watching her drink it all in is pretty great. Gwyneth’s ghost friend, James, is also highly amusing. He died years ago, but does not know it. So he hangs out around the school and teaches Gwyneth about how things are in his time, mostly regarding manners and how to be a proper lady. I love that Gwyneth can see and talk with ghosts. It allows for a lot of side stories to come into play, like with Robert, the little boy who hangs around his dad all the time.

4. The entire cast of characters is great, but I really like Gideon. He’s a snarky, experienced time traveler who is a complete nuisance to Gwyneth. At the same time, though, she blushes when he’s around. She hates that. Hopefully we get to learn more about him in the next few books.

5. The approach to time travel is pretty cool. Across history, there are 12 time travelers (all born with a time traveling gene), all of whom are called a different precious stone. Gwyneth, the ruby, is the 12th and final stone in the circle of twelve. The main goal of the characters in this book is to go back in time to get a blood sample from each time traveler so they can read it into the chronograph (their time machine, essentially) and unlock a secret. Some people want to unlock it, and some feel it would be very dangerous to do so. Gwyneth and Gideon get to travel back together, meet old ancestors, try to figure out what’s true and what’s not, and deal with some obstacles. It’s really exciting, mysterious, and full of history that is totally believable.

Basically, Ruby Red blew me away in a subtle way. The more I think about it and let it marinate in my mind, the more I discover I really liked it! I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. :) Definitely read this if you’re looking for a unique spin on time travel. I see romance in this series’s future as well, so that’s another plus for it!

4 Stars

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (Book Review)

Posted October 4, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 10 Comments

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (Book Review)All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Series: All Our Yesterdays #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on September 3, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
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5 Stars

"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

I almost passed on All Our Yesterdays, just because I had not heard very much about it, but then I learned it’s a time travel book and that changed my mind completely. I love time travel books. Love them. And… Oh. My. Gosh. You guys! It’s amazing!! AMAZING! My mind was blown, and when I closed it I immediately thought, “How in the world am I supposed to review this?” I’ll do my best, but I can’t guarantee it won’t be just a bunch of fangirl. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. The story itself is so amazingly unique, and I can’t tell you why because that will spoil everything. There are so many twists and turns, each giving you bits and pieces of information until you figure out what’s going on. And once the picture is completely painted, and the blanks are all filled in… your mind will be blown.

 

There’s really no better way to describe my thoughts on the book, actually. Your mind will be blown, and your eyes will get huge, and your brain will try to comprehend it but it’s really wacky. And amazing.

2. I loved the explanation of how time travel works, and the paradoxes and all that great stuff. I kind of felt like Sheldon Cooper was teaching me a science lesson at times, and it was really fun to read all the ins and outs.

3. All Our Yesterdays goes back and forth between the past and present/future. We read all about Marina and her life with James and Finn before the world took a turn for the worst. I loved the sweet relationships between Marina and James. To me, it kind of felt like Corey and Topanga from Boy Meets World. They grew up as great friends, leaning on each other during hard times, and then things start to change into something on the more romantic side. James is so unbelievably caring, and Marina is devoted to a fault and secretly insecure. And then we have Finn, who is just like Sean–the goofy friend who tags along with James and drives Marina crazy.

We also get to read about Em and Finn, who are from the future. I liked Em a lot. She’s strong and realistic. And Finn is daring and romantic. They have been through a lot, and are out to save the world no matter what.

4. James is a very complex character. He’s a prodigy, comes from a wealthy and famous family, and seems to have everything going for him. But there’s just something in there that’s not quite right, and he ends up being a ticking time bomb. He fights with his emotions, is scared about his future, and wants everything in the world to be perfect. His intentions are good and true, but he teeters on the edge of insanity because he does not know what to do with himself. He captivated me, and I was very interested in his story.

5. The romance was so special and unique, even though it was a very small part of the story. I can’t give much away, but I loved seeing different relationships changing in different ways throughout the book. Romance blooms, romance fades, new feelings grow, old feelings are explored. People flip flop. Lots happens. In the midst of all of it, the characters learn a lot about themselves.

6. I loved the constant feeling of hope that was presented. The future is dark and dreary, the present is a little crazy, and through it all everyone is optimistic that things will turn out for the best. I loved that. So often, books like this tend to be downers. All Our Yesterdays is a book that makes you wish good things on everyone, even the villain.

7. So. Much. Action. I could hardly handle it, but I loved every second!

8. Cristin Terrill tackled a majorly hard subject for her debut, and did an amazing job! I’m not sure I could wrap my head around writing a book like this one. With shifts in time, shifts in characters, and shifts in emotion, I never got lost. I always knew who I was reading about and what was happening. That’s true talent, right there. Her writing is amazing, too.

All our Yesterdays is an amazingly wonderful and unique addition to the time travel genre. Things felt fresh and exciting, and the writing was perfect. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would, and I cannot wait for the next book! Luckily the cliffhanger is not too heart stopping, since I have a while to wait!

 

5 Stars

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review)

Posted September 30, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 11 Comments

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review)Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Internment Chronicles #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on October 1, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 356
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Mail)
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4 Stars

On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

I’m always on the lookout for unique story lines, especially in the dystopian genre. I love reading about new worlds that authors have created, so of course I gravitated right to Perfect Ruin. I was not the biggest fan of Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, but I really, really enjoyed this first installment in the Internment Chronicles. I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to read it! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Internment is a huge chunk of Earth that has been RIPPED out of the ground and placed in the sky by the Sky God. Because the island is so small, people have to apply to have babies, and are exterminated when they reach a specific age in order to keep the population under control. Babies are betrothed before they are born. There’s a strong wind just off the edge of the island that keeps people from jumping off. People who venture there anyway go insane, and are labeled as Jumpers who have to go to therapy and take medication. Morgan’s brother, Lex, is a Jumper. Thus, the entire family is watched for signs of rebellion. If that’s not a crazy unique and exciting sounding story, I’m not sure what is.

2. Even crazier, people are turning up dead on this happy little island in the sky. The first one is a girl who was murdered and left on the train tracks. The entire population is now in this constant state of paranoia, not to mention they are under even more surveillance by their oppressive king. Everyone knows everything, but only a couple people know the truth.

3. I really love this cast of characters. Morgan is not content with her small life. She knows the world has more to offer her than the rock she’s living on. She begins questioning everything especially after she comes across Judas, the boy who has been accused of murdering the girl on the train tracks (his betrothed), and is convinced he’s innocent. She also comes upon the mysterious sister of the murdered girl, and begins to learn things that make her question her life even more. She confides in her brother and tries to convince herself that she will not end up a Jumper like he is. She also holds on tight to her betrothed, Basil, who is so caring and understanding with her. We also meet Morgan’s best friend, Pen, who is outwardly reluctant to be with her betrothed, but secretly adores him. All these characters are strong, dynamic, and unique.

4. I loved learning about the inner workings of this city. There are so many laws and cultural elements. I can’t wait to read more about these people.

5. There are some really amazing twists and events that had my jaw dropping. The story is go, go, go, and I did not want to put it down. And the cliffhanger!!!!!!!!!! Oh man. I can’t even handle it.

6. Lauren’s writing and worldbuilding skills have improved so much! I was completely invested in this story and these characters. I loved her descriptions and her writing style.

7. As is typical with the first book in a trilogy, Perfect Ruin brought up a lot of questions. There is so much going on here, with so many layers of secrets that I’m still not sure I know what’s going on. I actually really loved that. I’m usually a control freak when it comes to books. I want to know everything all at once. With Perfect Ruin, I was left in the dark a lot. It’s perfect for the story, though. I felt just like the characters did, I learned with them, and I really could picture myself living in their world.

I feel like this review is really unorganized and pointless, but there’s so much I just don’t want to say for fear of spoiling things! I went into Perfect Ruin knowing only two things: it’s about an island in the sky, and there’s murder going on. That was it. And I think because I knew so little, I loved it so much more. Bottom line, I’m a new fan of Lauren DeStefano. She has created an amazing story that had me gasping for air and wishing for more. I can’t believe I have to wait a million years to find out what happens next! Definitely read this book.

4 Stars

Renegade by J.A. Souders (Book Review)

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

Renegade by J.A. Souders (Book Review)Renegade by J.A. Souders
Series: Elysium Chronicles #1
Published by Tor Teen on November 13, 2012
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 364
Format: eBook
Source: Gift
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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.

 

5 Stars