Book Review- Gemina

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Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 18th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 608
Goodreads
Amazon

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.

After not really loving Illuminae (read my review here), I went into this with relatively low expectations. Maybe that’s why I liked this one so much more. Or maybe this one was really just that much better.

I liked Hanna and Nik a million times more than Kady and Ezra. They were more entertaining, more unique, and just better characters in general. All of the characters in Gemina were more dimensional than in Illuminae, even if they still were a little too similar for my taste.

The plot in this one was pretty similar to the plot in Illuminae, and none of the twists surprised me (not that they did in Illuminae…. you know what? I’m just going to stop talking about Illuminae now.), but I still found them enjoyable. Even though the twist in this one was more “out-there”, I found it much more believable and enjoyable (than Illuminae… Ugh why am I still talking about this? I’m hopeless).

I loved that in this second installment in the series, I could actually tell the difference between who the characters were, and it didn’t sound like they were all 12 year olds. It was great.

I would definitely recommend reading this one if you’ve read the first one (even if you didn’t necessarily like the first one… like me) because this was So. Much. Better. Like 10000% better. Also, if you like sci-fi, you should give this series a go. It’s not so bad after all. Also I can’t wait for Obsideo now!! If it follows this pattern of getting better, than it is going to be amazing!!

I am going to give Gemina four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Winter

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Winter by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 10, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Retelling
Pages: 827
Goodreads
Amazon

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

If you haven’t read my reviews of books 1-3 of the Lunar Chronicles: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress

I had such high hopes for this book. This series was one of those that just seemed to get better the further I got. Maybe it was because of those high hopes that I was kind of let down by the finale of the Lunar Chronicles.

I know that this series is a fairy tale retelling. Cinder is Cinderella; Scarlet is Little Red Riding Hood; Cress is Rapunzel; and Winter is Snow White. I don’t have any problems with that. I love retellings! Love them so much. Which is why I’m kind of confused by my disappointment for this one.

It’s not that this book was bad. It was entertaining. I had fun reading it. But it just wasn’t anything special for me. Everything was kind of predictable (yeah, yeah, it’s a retelling, but still…) and it just fell a little flat for me. I had the same problem with Winter as I did with Cinder (the books, not the characters): they were just kind of “eh.”

After Scarlet and Cress, which were both super fast-paced and interesting, I couldn’t help but feel let down by Winter. The characters and world building and plot were still good and interesting… but this book just was not my favorite.

Maybe it was because this book was over 800 pages… but at the same time I don’t think the story could really be told in less. I wish I could tell you what exactly I didn’t like about Winter, but it really wasn’t anything in particular. The book just fell flat.

I would still recommend this book/series to lovers of dystopia, or anyone looking for a good dystopia series to try out. But, that being said, this series as a whole is not my favorite one out there.

I am going to give Winter three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Cress

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Cress by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel and Friends on February 4 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Retellings
Pages: 552
Goodreads
Amazon

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Yet again I fell in love with the Lunar Chronicles.

This book introduced Cress to the team of Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf, Captain Thorne, and Iko (can’t forget the awesome android). Cress again added a new side to this wild ride of a story, and I was not let down. Her story (Meyer’s version of Rapunzel) was super cool (if you can call being locked in a satellite “cool”) and really interesting. And, at one point I literally stood up and starting screaming “WHAT???? NO… WHATTTTTT??” but I’m not going to tell you why because that would be giving away too much. You’re just going to have to read it to see what I’m talking about.

Again I loved both the character development and the plot progression. I loved that Kai’s struggle was also well integrated, and his character was not forgotten among all of the other stuff going on. I loved how everything was tied together, and now I need to get my hands on Winter so I can find out what happens because I am going slightly crazy with not knowing.

So, as you can see, I really enjoyed this book, and if you have read Cinder and Scarlet, I don’t know what you are waiting for. Read Cress. Just do it.

I am going to give Cress four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- The Last Star

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The Last Star by Rick Yancey
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on May 24 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 338
Goodreads
Amazon

The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human.

After two incredible first books, I feel like The Last Star fell a little short. The characters were still awesome, and I was rooting for them 100%, but by the third book the trilogy lost its steam.

A lot of the plot points in this book felt like they were taken from books 1 and 2, reimagined, and thrown back in. It just felt repetitive. When a big decision came up, the outcome was too predictable. The characters didn’t grow and change, they just did the same things over and over again. Not that their decisions didn’t make sense (because they did), but I just wish that there were some more original situations that the characters needed to adapt to rather than having the same dilemmas over and over again.

I also found the alien’s motives more than a little confusing. Looking back, I’m still not exactly sure why they came to earth and what they were trying to accomplish. It felt like the reasons didn’t fit with the plot, and it just seemed strange. Also the way the plot was revealed seemed very unrealistic.

I was hoping that at least the end of the book would have a big bang, but I was let down. The end was predictable, and felt like it was trying too hard. The book didn’t feel resolved. It felt like I was left in some strange limbo version of the book, and there should have been another hundred pages to tie up the plot.

I don’t regret reading The Last Star, especially because I enjoyed The Fifth Wave and The Infinite Sea so much. However, I do wish that it was more original. I am going to give The Last Star three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

 

Book Review- The Infinite Sea

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The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Published by Putnam Juvenile September 16 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 320
Amazon
Goodreads

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

The Infinite Sea was a rush. It was high action from start to finish, and I could not put it down for the life of me. There were unseeable twists and turns, as well as those moments where you wish you could yell at the charater and tell them something they don’t know, but of course it’s a book so they can’t hear you.
There are two “books” in The Infinite Sea. The first book follows Cassie, Evan, Zombie, and the recruits (minus Ringer becuase she goes off on a mission). The second book follows Ringer, which I didn’t think I’d like, but I ended up loving more than I can possibly tell you. And the ending of that section tore my heart out. I mean, just when you think there are no good people left, one comes and rips out your heartstrings.
Rick Yancey has a way of building intricate backstories into the book that is absolutly beautiful. It builds this connection between you and a character, like you have known them your whole life. They seem like real people rather than characters written in the pages of a book.
If you like sci-fi and/or dystopia, this series is definately a series you need to read. And like I said in my review of The 5th Wave, if you are someone that wants to try a dystopia series, this is a great one to start with.
I am going to give The Infinite Sea five out of five stars! I can’t wait to see what happens in The Last Star!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- The 5th Wave

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Published by  G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on May 7 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dytopia
Pages: 457
Amazon
Goodreads

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

 

The 5th Wave was not your average end of the world story. Quite honestly I wasn’t sure how to feel going in. I had seen the movie (which I liked for the most part), but dystopian trilogies do get kind of *ahem* repetitive after a while. But boy oh boy was this a breath of fresh air.

First of all, I just want to thank Rick Yancey for not making romance a large subplot. THANK YOU. Was there romance? Yeah, sure there was some. But for once an author has been able to write an amazing book about teenagers trying to survive an apoctoliptic world without having all the groping and yearning and overall gaggyness (is that even a word?) that so many other books seem to have. Instead, there is the issue of trust, and the currency of promises.

Another thing that I love about this book is how relateable the characters are. They have their breakdowns and crises and somehow find a way to move past them. BUT IT ALL FEELS SO REAL. I couldn’t put the book down for fear something would happen while I was away. And honestly that is how all books should make you feel.

I would definately recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopian and/or sci-fi. And also to anyone who is looking for a good book to get them into the genres. I am going to give The 5th Wave five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Unraveling

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Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Published by Balzar + Bray on April 24, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 464
Goodreads
Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle’s mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died… and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth’s destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.

Unraveling is a mind twister. It is fast paced and is amazingly complex and completely understandable at the same time. The book defiantly kept me on the edge of my seat, and it was impossible to guess what was going to happen next!

I love Janelle. Honestly she is one of the most badass female characters out there. She doesn’t have any special skills or powers, but she is brave and selfless and willing to break the rules if it means keeping those she loves safe.

As for the romance in the book, I really like how it is written. This definitely is not one of those books where the romance takes over the whole plot. Instead, it feels natural and just right. And I love Ben. Definitely fictional BF material!

Another thing I love about Unraveling is how it kept me guessing. I did not see anything coming and my heart was shattered and pieced back together and then shattered again… and then the pieces were shattered. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster!

Unraveling is definitely one of my favorite books, and I recommend it to anyone who loves young adult, sci-fi, mystery, and paranormal books. It’s a good one, guys.

I am giving Unraveling five out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blog Tour Book Review- Turning Grace

Welcome to my stop on the Turning Grace
Book Tour
hosted by YA Bound Book Tours!


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Turning Grace by J. Q. Davis
Published by Createspace on June 10, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror
Pages: 190
Goodreads
Amazon

**Medal Winner of the 2014 New Apple Book Awards in the E-Book Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Category**

Life or death?
It all seems to be the same for Grace…

Some of us have been there before — falling for the hot, popular jock who just so happens to be dating the hot, popular girl in school.

Your snarky-but-always-right bestie insists you make a move, but you’re not so much into putting yourself out there.

Then it happens, and suddenly you find yourself eating a cat on your neighbor’s porch.

No? Never happened to you?

Well, Grace Watkins can’t say the same. Her hunger is growing with each day that passes and her urges are getting harder to control.
No one can explain why her body is changing, except one man.

Turning Grace was cute. It was easy to read and pretty entertaining. Grace is just an average teenage girl (or so she thinks); she has a crush on the popular boy and has a best friend who keeps her afloat in the world of high school. The characters did feel a little young to me, but it worked in the story.

I feel like Turning Grace is a great book for girls 12 and under. Get much older than that and the events in the book just don’t feel possible. It was a little (*a lot) out there for me, and I just couldn’t see any of these events actually happening. And let’s get real people: in order to totally love a book you need to believe that somewhere in some alternate universe these events have actually taken place. Turning Grace just didn’t do that for me.

Overall the story was entertaining. I do want to read the next book in the series just to find out what happens next. If you are looking for an easy, fast, and fun read then you might want to try reading Turning Grace.

I am going to give Turning Grace three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥


unspecifiedAbout the Author

J.Q. Davis is from New Orleans, Louisiana. She and her husband,
an active duty Marine, have no children but consider their pooches, Lucy and Bella, their daughters. When she was little girl, she aspired
to become a writer. But then one day, she learned about zombies…and now she wants to be a zombie.
Find J. Q. Davis Online:

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Author Q&A- Teagan Kearney

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing the amazing writer of the Samsara Trilogy, Teagan Kearney! If you are a lover of sci-fi and fantasy, her books are for you! Read the interview below.

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Q: How long have you been writing?

A: On and off for quite a few years, but, despite my aspirations, life often had a way of taking over, so my writing projects ended up on the back burner, and I fitted them in around everything else. A few years ago I decided to get serious and gained a Diploma in Creative Writing and Literature from the Open University (which IMHO is a brilliant institute), as well as learning not to send off first drafts! Since then I’ve focused on improving and developing my writing, and published three novels so far, which is barely a start compared to many writers, but I’m pleased with my progress.

Q: What inspires your writing? Do you have a muse?

A: I’m inspired by a love of stories, and I’m always gripped by the challenges characters face, and the drama of a story as it unfolds. I’ve been an avid reader since young, and found entering into a different world from the one I normally inhabited, fired my imagination. I don’t have a muse as such, but there are plenty of writers I admire, and I learn something from every book I read.

Q:Tell me about your book, Tatya’s Return. What was the original idea behind it?

A: Fantasy and science fiction is my favorite genre, and I’d written a sci-fi flash fiction which I posted on Wattpad, and was encouraged by the feedback I received. So when a name jumped into my head, Vance the vamp, (which struck me as humorous) the seed idea for a paranormal trilogy followed. Vance did make it into the books, but not as the protagonist. Tatya, the heroine, is a gifted healer, who has an independent spirit. She faces many challenges, learns the value of freely offered help, even from the most unwelcome sources, and discovers she possesses a great inner strength. There is also an eternal triangle with a twist, and a lot of action taking place as well. As they say, it gets complicated!

Q: How much ‘grunt work’ goes into your writing?

A: I’ve begun writing a lot more detailed outlines than I used to, though I still get caught out with plot flaws and character inconsistencies when it comes to writing the first draft—which is my favorite part of the process. I enjoy research, but editing is labor intensive, (I use ProWritingAid) though I appreciate it when I see some improvement in my writing! Editing also gives me a chance to look hard at what I’ve written, polish, tweak and, hopefully, bring it to a better standard.

Q: What projects are you working on now?

A: I have three projects on the go right now, so my head is really buzzing! First, there’s the completed first draft of Book Three, the final in the Samsara Trilogy, which is currently resting. I have a science-fiction novel written when I participated in the annual Nanowrimo a few years ago, which is seventy-five percent finished, and I usually work on that while the work in progress is incubating. However, last month I had a lightbulb idea for a mystery/detective novella, and outlined and wrote a first draft. So now I’ve two projects waiting for the next step, and in the meantime I’m finishing off the revisions to my nano novel. So it’s all go!

Q: What is something you want the world to know?

A: Wow, what a really great, but very tricky, question. I’m not sure I can condense my thoughts into one sentence, but here goes. Have goals, make plans how you’re going to achieve those goals, and don’t give up, because even if you don’t achieve the goal you’re aiming for, you’ll be nearer than if you did nothing. Another thought: don’t spend your life hankering and lamenting, because we have so much in our lives to be grateful for. Oh, and a final one—don’t forget to read!

Find Teagan Online:

Blog

Amazon

Smashwords

Wattpad

Twitter

 

Book Review- Emerald Green

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Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier
(Translated from German by Anthea Bell)
Published by Henry Holt on October 8, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction
Pages: 451
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

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 read the Ruby Red trilogy in record time. Seriously. It took me 2 days.

Emerald Green was just as good as Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue. The stakes are high, and Gwyneth is running out of time; both in the present and the past.

One of the really fun things about the book is you see events from the first and second books from a different perspective. For example, you get the full story of what happened when Gwen travelled back for the third time and saw herself.

The book definitely had a lot of unexpected twists, and left me with a warm happy feeling when I finished. Some characters really do surprise you.

My only complaint about the book is it’s the last one. Now I’m stuck with that sad feeling you get when you finish a series.

I’m going to give Emerald Green five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

It was an amazing book, and a fun, fast read!