Posted in Young Adult

Goodreads Monday (6/5/2017)

Goodreads Monday is a meme hosted by Lauren @Page Turner,  and the idea is to post a book that’s on your TBR pile and show it off. This is a great way to show off books I have not yet managed to read!


This week I have chosen:

scythe

Title: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)

Author: Neal Shusterman

Published: November 22nd 2016 by Simon & Shuster Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary:

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

I recently received this book in a swap, and I have heard nothing but good things about it! I am currently packing since I am 6 months pregnant and we will be moving into our new house at the end of the summer, right around the time Sophia will be born. So I figured I might as well start now before I can’t help out any more. The first thing that gets packed away? My books. =( I left myself a little pile of books from my TBR shelf that has now become my summer reads list. Scythe is one of the books that I left unpacked that I hope will be able to pick up in the next couple of days.

What is on your TBR shelf this week?

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Posted in Young Adult

The Diabolic Review

The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaidthediabolic

Published: November 1st 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The girl who has grown up by her side and who is as much as sister as a master. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…

The Diabolic (The Diabolic, #1)

Wow. What can I say about this novel by S.J. Kincaid?! This was going to be a standalone novel, personally I think it would have been great it Kincaid ended it there, but it looks like this will be a trilogy. I can see where the author can go to take this into a trilogy, but honestly it was such a great novel that it could stand on its own.

“A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.”

At first, I thought that the beginning was very drawn out and kind of boring. The only part I liked about the beginning, was how Nemesis became a diabolic and her transition to being Donia’s protector. After awhile though it starts to pick up and people start dying left and right! There are so many different people plots you have to try to keep track of, you never knew if one was an ally or not! Especially with everyone trying to throw blame at someone else. It kind of reminded me a little bit like The Hunger Games, in the aspect that Nemesis is trying to survive in a place where killing is seen as a sport (but that’s about it comparison wise). Others have said it is similar to Red Queen and I can kind of see it, but if I compared the two, then the plots would basically be the same.

Nemesis is not your typical YA heroine, and I really liked that about her. She is a genetically engineered super human, whose sole purpose is to protect the person that she was bonded to (which in this case is Sidonia). Nemesis has a backbone, isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, and is very perceptive (well most of the time). She doesn’t second guess herself most of the time and always knows her abilities and limitations.

“Tyrus!” rebuked the Emperor. “What have I told you about killing people?”

“Yes, yes ask you first, Uncle,” grumbled Tyrus, sweeping into a bow. “But in my defense, she was irritating me.”

“Oh, you,” said the Emperor fondly. “She was dead anyway. Why hasten it?”

Tyrus tilted his head up, his pale-lashed blue eyes gleaming, his lips curling up in a lunatic’s smile.

Tyrus on the other hand, is a more than meets the eye type of character. When we are first introduced to him, he is naked in the virtual reality forums and everyone always talks about how crazy he is. When Nemesis meets him in person for the first time  he killed her servitor. You think that he is a crazy mad man who is second in line to the throne. In reality, Tryus is a cunning, deceitful, and very clever man who will do anything to ascend the throne so that he can revolutionize the empire.

Together, they make a very good team. Nemesis proved to herself that she has humanity in her after all, even though Donia had been telling her the entire time that she had one. Tyrus finally had someone that he could trust with all of his secrets. Although the ending had me worried for a second there, and I don’t know if Nemesis made the right choice or not. The explanations seemed a little bit too neat and tidy to not question if something else happened. If this book didn’t already have a lot of back stabbing and conspiracies, I might not have questioned it and took it for face value. I do like that she ended up choosing Tyrus in the end despite everything that happened (well to an extent, I also wouldn’t have mind if she chose herself and walked away from everything but then there wouldn’t be room for a trilogy).

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to fans of dystopian and sci-fi novels. It did take me awhile to get into it, but I am glad that I stuck with it because it does get better!

Posted in Young Adult

The Forgetting Book Review

img_1339

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Published: September 13th 2016 by Scholastic Press

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes.

Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

I am made of my memories.

This was in my September Uppercase box (you can read my reviews of them here). I can’t believe I waited so long to read this! Where it isn’t one of my favorite books, it was still very enjoyable.

The gist is that every 12 years everyone in Canaan forgets everything, everyone except Nadia that is. She isolates herself because she is afraid, and then Gray starts inserting himself into her life. Nadia finally starts to open up and that is when they start to work together to figure out why everyone forgets every 12 years.

Knowing the truth makes me alone. I wrote that once, but I think I was wrong. Fear of pain is what has made me alone. But today I realized that pain and love have a balance. I can feel so much of one only because I feel so much of the other.

With that being said you can imagine how slow paced this book is. For at least the first half of the book Nadia tried to avoid everyone and suspicion of her secret travels over the wall. In the beginning she over hears a conversation and instead of investigating it (like anyone else would), she doesn’t even think about it until later when it is convenient to her current situation.

The romance between Gray and Nadia was cute sometimes, and a little bit annoying at others, especially in the beginning. I understand that it is hard for her to trust people because she knows they will just forget her at the next forgetting, but man she moves one step forward and then one small little hitch and she moves two steps back.

But who can find the truth in Canaan? Janis doesn’t tell it, the Learning Room doesn’t teach it. My father has twisted it, Mother half forgotten it, and the Forgetting is the thief that steals it.

At first I thought that this was just a dystopian novel, but then Cameron adds in a little twist to make this also a sci-fi novel and it was great! Probably one of the few twist aspects of this novel that I really enjoyed. Once this discovery was made, about half way through the book, the plot finally started moving again. The last 10% of the book was where basically all the action happened, and also reveal after reveal was made.

The ending is really what I enjoyed most about this book. I just wish that Cameron had incorporated more of those type of scenes throughout the entire book. We get a little hint of it when Nadia and Gray go exploring and discover some truth about Canaan’s past, but it wasn’t enough for me! Maybe I am too used to heavily action packed dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games or Divergent.

 

Posted in Young Adult

Goodreads Monday #20 (12/26/2016)

I hope everyone had a great Christmas, or whatever holiday you practice! I had a great day spent with my husband, our three dogs, and two extra dogs that I’m dog sitting.


Goodreads Monday is a meme hosted by Page Turner,  and the idea is to post a book that’s on your TBR pile and show it off. This is a great way to show off books I have not yet managed to read!


This week I have chosen:

gemina

Title: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)

Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Published: October 18th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

I just got this book yesterday for Christmas and I have heard so many great things about it! Although I should probably read Illuminae first before diving into this one. =p

What’s on your TBR shelf this week?

Posted in Young Adult

Waiting on Wednesday #15 (11/16/2016)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by  Jill from Breaking The Spine that shows the upcoming books that many of us are anticipating! This week, I’m waiting for…


carvethemark

Title: Carve the Mark (Untitled Duology #1)

Author: Veronica Roth

Expected Publication: January 17th 2017

Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books

Goodreads Summary:

Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

Honestly, I have only read the the first book in the Divergent series, and I devoured it in two sittings! I haven’t gotten around to reading the other two books, but I have a feeling I am going to like this new series even more!

What are you waiting for this week?

Posted in Young Adult

Goodreads Mondays #14 (11/14/2016)

Goodreads Monday is a meme hosted by Page Turner,  and the idea is to post a book that’s on your TBR pile and show it off. This is a great way to show off books I have not yet managed to read!


This week I have chosen:

legend

 

Title: Legend (Legend #1)

Author: Marie Lu

Published: November 29th 2011 by Putnam Juvenile

Goodreads Summary:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

I seem to be on a Marie Lu kick recently. I was too busy to post last week (okay, I really forgot because I was so busy), but my last post was also a Lu book for another one of her series. I have heard some really good things about this book, so I picked it up over the weekend while in Indy and have officially added it to my TBR shelf.

What is on your TBR shelf this week?

Posted in Young Adult

The Love That Split the World Review

The Love That Split the World by Emily Henrythelovethatsplittheworld

Published: January 26th 2016 by Razorbill

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

“Love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give.”

I don’t know if I can write a review of this book and do it any justice. I liked it, but then there was elements that I just didn’t like at all. I thought based upon the title that it was going to be a contemporary novel with maybe a little bit of fantasy woven in. For the most part I was correct, only there was a lot more sci-fi  and a whole lot of romance involved.

“No matter how hard it feels, you don’t need to be afraid to move on, and you don’t need to be afraid to stay either. There’s always more to see and feel.”

I’ll start first with the elements I did not like about this book. First, there was a lot of info dumping. The characters would go on very long tirades about a concept and then you’re left feeling “what did I just read?” At some points it was a struggle to continue reading, I would have to put it down and pick it up later after some motivation.

Second, there was insta-love. Cringe. I liked Natalie and Beau together, but I just wish that they had at least some sort of build up into a relationship. For the contemporary romance side, this was a huge let down. Especially since this made up of at least 85% of the book.

Third, there was just so many elements to the story and I don’t think Henry was able to incorporate all of them very well. There was your romance, time travel, world jumping, therapy sessions, boy drama, identity crisis, and well you get the picture. With all these elements coming into play, there was no character development. So when it is all said and done, you don’t really feel anything for Natalie and Beau by the end of their story. Oh and Henry tried to make this book a little LGBT friendly by inserting that her research scientist/therapist is a lesbian during one of the many tirades. I am all for different types of relationships, but it should at least be thought out a bit more rather than thrown into a random conversation.

Lastly, this book was a little boring. It started off great, and then it went to snoozeville quite fast.  Halfway through I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue or not, but I was already invested so I had to finish! The last 10% of the book was very quick, Natalie was running out of time , and it felt as if the book was running out of pages to get the information down. I’ve read some reviews that don’t like the ending, but I actually liked the ambiguity of it.

“And because she jumped, our world began”

I know it seems as if I don’t like anything about the book, but I do, I swear!

This book has a very diverse set of characters, and I love it! The main character is Native American, who was adopted into a Caucasian family. Natalie feels that since she doesn’t look like her family, that something is missing in her life. I found this very relatable, since I am from a mix household. I never felt like I didn’t belong, but there was hardly any other half Asians in my little town of one stop light (now they have about 5 and maybe more diversity, who knows).

Natalie is also a feminist, which you don’t see very much in YA novels. Well she was very feminist in the beginning of the novel, but I felt she kind of lost it somewhere around the middle. But I like that Henry made a very strong, independent, and smart main character.

The writing in this novel was fantastic. Henry knows how to use her words and make everything sound wonderful (even if I was a little bored). What I enjoyed most was the Native American myths and legends that were told throughout the whole novel. I am not an expert on Native American stories, but the stories were told very respectfully and seemed as if it was the only aspect that helped advance the plot.

“Why did they have to sacrifice anything?”
“It was a symbol,” Grandmother explains. “Of an innocent dying on behalf of someone else—the greatest act of love. A choice to die so someone else doesn’t have to.”

This book is definitely one of those hit or miss for most people. I feel as if you are either going to really like it or just be totally disappointed in it. I for the most part fall in the middle, it was just eh. Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Posted in Arc, Young Adult

Configured Review

Configured by Jenetta Pennerconfiguredfinal-cover

Expected Publication: October 20th 2016

Format: eARC

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

In the future love will make you a traitor.

120 years after a virus decimated earth’s population the survivors thrive in safety, away from the death and destruction of the Outerbounds. Divided into three levels of intellect, Citizens focus solely on duty.

Due to her advanced intelligence, seventeen-year-old Avlyn Lark is separated from her twin brother at birth and raised by adoptive parents. She gains privilege, the ideal future. He dies. Avlyn barely knows him yet remains linked to his memory.

But following a string of rebel intrusions on the city, Avlyn receives a cryptic message and begins seeing visions of her dead twin. The mysterious radical who urges Avlyn to join their fight becomes her link to answers. Freedom.

Opportunity awaits, but if she says yes will she lose it all?

Configured is the first novel in a trilogy YA dystopian/light romance that poses the question: does humanity need love for survival? Fans of Divergent, Matched, and the Maze Runner will love this world of dark secrets, intrigue and desire for a better tomorrow.

I received this book as an advanced reader copy from the author herself in exchange for an honest review.

“Defiant thoughts roll around in my brain. Why is it that a few people get to decide how we should live?”

I have read a lot of dystopian novels in the past few years, and this one stands out from the masses. I loved almost every aspect of it. The plot moved fairly quickly, and you never knew what direction it was going to go in. The supporting characters were amazing, and the main character herself was decent. I did get a Divergent/The Giver vibe, but only a tad bit. I kept thinking that Affinity will show a bad side to themselves, like in The Hunger Games, but it never happened. Which I was greatful for, there already are plenty of books where the rebel cause is just as bad as the current government.

“No one should die for the right to love. That kind of freedom is worth fighting for.”

As far as world building goes, Penner does a great job of going into detail about her new dystopian world. While I don’t necessarily want a food printer, I wouldn’t mind having an EP. Who wouldn’t like to know when someone you don’t like is about to go around the corner? Elora through Avlyn’s eyes was great. In the beginning, we see how Avlyn struggles to fit in with her fellow citizens and her prejudices for Level Ones. As she transitions to a rebel for Affinity, we see how she struggles with this new idea that she doesn’t have to hide her emotions around them

“If I’m going to die, I’m at least going to try to save my parents.”

I think I enjoyed the supporting characters a little bit more than our MC, Avlyn. I thought Avlyn was a little bit of a weak character, but she was strong when she needed to be. I wanted her to have more of a backbone at least by halfway through the novel, but she didn’t develop it until near the end. It seemed as if every time Avlyn resolved that she had made the right choice in picking the rebel cause, she would grow and become more confident in her decisions. But then, the next time a mission or something comes up, we are back to square one with the indecision. This aspect was the only part of the book that I did not enjoy. I hope in the second book Avlyn will be a stronger character than she was in this one. I also hope that we find out more about Avlyns immersion power(?), she used it all throughout the book but she would only say she doesn’t know why it happens. I was hoping she would discover a little bit more about her ability at some point in the book, but maybe that’ll be in the next installment.

“‘Avlyn, this world is both beautiful and broken.’ She closes her eyes, and her breathing slows. ‘Make more beautiful moments than broken ones.'”

The supporting characters were what made the book, in my opinion! Meyer…what can I say about him that won’t give anything away? He is the stereotypical stoic guy who only treats Avlyn like an assignment, but really has feelings for her deep down. I like that Penner didn’t include a insta-love type of situation here, their feelings grew gradually and wasn’t the main aspect of the book. Sometimes romance takes over a book and the plot gets lost, I am glad to say that it did not happen here. Everyone else you had to wonder if they were a part of Affinity or not, which made it interesting to find out who actually was a rebel.

“Everyone has secrets.”

If you are a fan of dystopian novels, you should definitely check out this book. You also get a nice dose of futuristic technology, that I wish we had today! For a debut novel, Penner did an excellent job of drawing the reader in from the very beginning. I can’t wait to see what is in store next for Avlyn, Meyer and all the other characters!

Posted in Young Adult

Starstruck Review

Starstruck by Brenda Hiatt18374994 (1)

Published: August 22, 2013 by Createspace

Goodreads summary:

Nerdy astronomy geek Marsha, M to her few friends, has never been anybody special. Orphaned as an infant and reluctantly raised by an overly-strict “aunt,” she’s not even sure who she is. M’s dream of someday escaping tiny Jewel, Indiana and making her mark in the world seems impossibly distant until hot new quarterback Rigel inexplicably befriends her. As Rigel turns his back on fawning cheerleaders to spend time with M, strange things start to happen: her acne clears up, her eyesight improves to the point she can ditch her thick glasses, and when they touch, sparks fly—literally! When M digs for a reason, she discovers deep secrets that will change her formerly humdrum life forever . . . and expose her to perils she never dreamed of. Yes, the middle of nowhere just got a lot more interesting!

I wish I could say that there was something I enjoyed about this book, but I can’t. I didn’t enjoy this book at all, and all I can say is that I am glad I got this book for free.

“I never would have believed a guy—any guy—could affect me like this.”

Marsha is probably the worst main character I have ever read, and that is saying something because I have read a lot of books in my lifetime. She falls in love with Rigel after hearing him talk for the very first time. Let’s be honest, this is the worst cliche ever and authors should just stop using it. This was the first in many cliches in this entire book, but really the whole book is one. M’s whole life now is dedicated to Rigel; her every thought, emotion, she is basically obsessed with him. When they fake break up, she becomes very depressed and pines over Rigel. If I wasn’t listening to the audiobook while I worked, I would have thrown the book across the room.

Also, lets talk about the “twist” in this book. Marsha finds out she is an alien from Mars… Ok…but it gets better, she is not only an alien from Mars, but she is also their long lost princess! All I could think about what Princess Diaries when Mia said “shut. up.” I think from here I really lost interest in the book. (Well, if I am honest with myself, it was way before then)

“I admitted, still drinking in his eyes, his amazing face. I never seemed to get enough of that.”

Even when her life was in danger, she just thought that the adults were just lying to her to get her to cooperate. If I am a long lost princess and was told that the bad guys who killed my parents and grandparents were after me, I think I would have listened to them and been very cautious. Instead, what does she do? Goes right up to the guy to see if he recognizes her as the girl they were looking for. She also cared more about her relationship and going to the homecoming dance than the “danger” that was around her.

If you are looking for a good alien novel, then this is not for you. If you are looking for something similar to The 5th Wave look elsewhere!

I give this novel 1 out of 5 stars (and even a 1 is being generous)