Book Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

General Age Recommendation: 15+

Genre: Sci- Fi, Action, YA

Hello Everyone,

Well, I kind of dropped off the face of the earth for awhile, sorry about that. I think I needed a little break. Thankfully, I finally sat down and planned my next month of blog posts and I’m feeling really excited about blogging again! My first thing I want to share with you all after my mini hiatus is a review for a book I read recently and LOVED, Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

Summary: Kady Grant and Ezra Mason just broke up, but that morning they have much more pressing things on their minds. Their planet Kerenza is under attack by a mega corporation BeiTech. Citizens manage to escape in three ships, the battle ship The Alexander, The Hypatia and Copernicus. Running for lives from The Lincoln, BeiTech’s battle ship, the military on the three refugee ships organize their under equipped population and train civilians to help the best they can. Ezra is recruited to be a fighter pilot along with many other young people on the Alexander. It quickly becomes clear that the Captains aren’t telling the people everything and then the AI ADAIN starts going crazy, a zombie like virus breaks out. Kady uses her hacker skills to get as much information as possible while on the Hypatia, trying to help her mother, friends, fellow citizens and the boy she loves.

“Ezra: And then I said it.
Interviewer; What did he say?
Kady Grant: He said, ‘You picked a hell of a day to dump me, Kades.”
Amie Kaufman, Illuminae

 

What I liked: I did not expect to like this book nearly much as I did. The format is like reading a file, hence the name, Illuminae Files. The whole story is told through emails, survelliance footage, IM’s and reports. I was afraid the format would make it hard to read, but it just made it all the more interesting. This book was just heart pounding, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, the plot flowed really well, and I just had to keep reading. It is very sci- fi oriented with spaceships, hackers, fighter pilots and zombies, but it was nothing if not interesting. I loved Kady and Ezra they were great characters and I thought they carried the story well. One of the things I loved about the book was despite the intense nature of the story there were a lot of laugh out loud moments. The file format made the book extremely unique and readable. It was just really really good.

 

What I didn’t like:  The book was honestly a little scary, it was very intense and the whole zombie virus was disturbing. I liked the book so much, it didn’t bother me too much, but it was a little more intense than I was used too.

You probably will like this book:

  • You’re a fan of Sci-Fi, Action and suspense
  • You’re looking for a fresh, new read.
  • You like really exciting books that keep you on the edge of your seats

You probably won’t like this book if:

  • You don’t like really intense books
  • You want a traditional type of book
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Book Review: The Siren by Kiera Cass

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Hello Everyone!

I read the whole Selection series and for some reason waited a while to finally pick up The Siren, Kiera Cass’s first novel. I was pretty excited to read this because, I love Kiera Cass, she’s a great author and her books are nothing if not readable, also because Sirens/Mermaids and all that folklore has always fascinated me.

Summary: The Ocean needs to feed herself, which is why she employs five beautiful young women to be Her Sirens. Her Sirens sing about every six months, sinking boats, drowning passengers and leaving no survivors. New Sirens are chosen during these sinkings and are kept in service 100 years, their voices kill so they only speak to each other, despite the fact they integrate with society the rest of the time. Kahlen become a Siren in the 1920’s, now in modern day she only has about 10 years to go. Kahlen has never been like her sister Sirens and struggles with taking innocent lives, even if it is for the Ocean, who treats them like daughters. While they are staying in a college town off the Miami coast, Kahlen meets Akinli, a cute college student with a bright smile. Soon the unimaginable happens, Kahlen  begins to fall in love.

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“Am I talking too much?” He paused, staring into my eyes, genuine worry coloring his face.
I shook my head. No, I thought, I’d listen to you talk about nearly anything. You make phone calls sound like an adventure.”
Kiera Cass, The Siren

What I liked: Kiera Cass has a great style, I was instantly hooked in and wanted to find out what happened next every time I finished a chapter. I am a sucker for love stories and this one didn’t disappoint. Akinli and Kahlen were amazing together, they had a very natural chemistry and it didn’t seem like insta love at all. I loved them together and separatley, they were both good characters! I really liked The Siren sisterhood, growing up with lots of sisters and being really close with them, I love reading about sisters like that. Overall I loved the romance, the main characters and the writing was engaging.

What I didn’t like: I had a really big problem with the Ocean character. I felt she was supposed to be a sympathetic sort of misunderstood villain, but I wasn’t convinced. I found her extremely controlling, jealous and cruel. She didn’t choose to kill all these people that was just what she had to do to survive, but I felt like that plot was underdeveloped and it just seemed like a bad excuse. I also couldn’t stand the Siren Padma. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have the life she had where she was abused and murdered by her own family, but she literally couldn’t let go of any of her bitterness and the only thing that helped her was to then go and kill them. Like I said, that’s some unimaginable stuff, but I felt like her storyline had a message, that vengance and taking a life for a life will give you peace and resolution to previous darkness and that really bothered me.

“…simply being alive was not enough to be called living”

-Kahlen
Kiera Cass, The Siren

Overall, it was a good read. I was interested and enjoyed reading it, but there were a lot of big plot points I didn’t like at all. I don’t regret reading it, but I don’t see myself wanting to pick it up again anytime soon.

You probably will like this book if:

  • You like Siren/Mermaid folklore and theme
  • You want a cute love story
  • You want something easy to read
  • You want something with a unique setting

You probably won’t like this book if:

  • You don’t like Sirens (duh)
  • You don’t want to read something with darker themes

 

Have you read this book?

Did you like this book or The Selection better?

 

 

 

 

A Book Recommendation: The Christy Miller Series by Robin Jones Gunn

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The Christy Miller Series by Robin Jones Gunn

General Age Recommendation: 13+

Genre: Teen, Romance, Christian, YA

Hello Everyone!

I’ve been gushing all about these books since the beginning of the year. I just can’t help it, I love them. I picked them up hoping for a really easy, no-brainer read after I had been reading a ton of heavy stuff, but I never expected to love them as much as I did!

Summary: Christy Miller goes to visit her rich Aunt Marti and Uncle Bob for the summer right before her fifteenth birthday.During the long summer in Newport Beach California, Christy makes new friends who all impact her life, specifically the intense surfer Todd. After a tumultuous summer, Christy comes to know on God on a much deeper, discovering what it really means to be loved by Jesus. When the summer is over, she finds out her family is moving from Wisconsin to California and the series follows Christy through highschool, relationships and life.

“[A God-thing is] when something happens in your life, and you look at it and can’t explain how or why it happened, but you know there’s a reason for it. You know that God is doing something in your life, and it changes you. There’s no other way to explain it except to see it as a God thing.”
Robin Jones Gunn, Island Dreamer

Review: This series starts out really cliche, like I was expecting, but what I was not expecting was how much it would touch my heart. Robin Jones Gunn did really amazing job capturing being a teen/young adult and many of the situations were similar to ones that I have gone through. Christy Miller was a very relatable character and I found myself empathizing with a lot of the things she was going through or how she handled situation.I thought the messages in the books would be very cliche and totally Christianese, but while the first couple of books focus on really obvious issues like drugs, eating disorders and Processed with VSCOhanging out with a bad crowd, they dealt with a lot of real life issues as well. As the series moved on I started to enjoy it more and more and I was just so into it! I’m not even going to go into how much I love Todd and Christy, I loved how realistic all the characters are, while Todd is a good Christian guy, he was in no way perfect and it was refreshing. I loved seeing the relationships develop and romance slowly unfold, the series is honestly kind of addicting. It starts really cheesy, but I  found myself reaching for one book after another and now I’m totally obsessed.

 

“And your life,’ Katie said to Christy, ‘is turning into a rather predictable romance. Girl meets boy. Boy is a dork for four years. Girl blossoms into a gorgeous woman. Boy finds his brain. Girl turns into starry-eyed mush head.”
Robin Jones Gunn, In Your Dreams

You probably will like this book if:

  • You want something really light and fun
  • You want to read a relatable teen read
  • You like books with simple and heartfelt messages

You probably won’t like this book if:

  • You don’t like books that can be a little cheesy
  • You don’t like books that can be a little preachy sometimes

 

 

Book Review: The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

General Age Recommendation: 15+

Genre: Romance, Adventure, Fantasy. Fairytale,YA

 

Hello Everyone!

I got this book from my sister and was so excited to read it because I’m just a sucker for retellings and I had heard so many good things about this.

Summary:
Every night in Khorasan the young Caliph, Khalid marries a new girl, at dawn he kills her. After Shahrzad’s best friend is chosen to be the Caliph’s newest bride and is killed, Shahrzad volunteers to be the next girl to marry the Caliph, planning to use her sharp wit to come up with a way to kill him herself. When the Kahlid comes to her room, she buys herself more time by telling a long and interesting story, the sun rises before the story is over and the king allows her to live another day. She manages to stay alive for much longer than any other girl and in the process discovers that much more is behind the young, quiet and seemingly monstrous king.  The longer she stays at the palace, she begins to wonder how this gentle and sad boy is such a horrible killer, and wonders if she is beginning to fall in love with him. This retelling of A Thousand and One Nights is a tale of love, betrayal and intrigue.

“The more a person pushes others away, the clearer it becomes he is in need of love the most.”
Renee Ahdieh, The Wrath & the Dawn

What I liked: I definitely enjoyed this book. It took me a little while to get into it, but once I read a bit of it I was totally hooked. I loved Khalid and Shazi, they romance was so Processed with VSCOcaptivating . A lot of people say it is a bit insta- lovey, but, while their feelings for each other grew quickly, it didn’t seem unrealistic or in any way lacking. I liked Shazi as a main character, she had a good strong personality and Khalid *swoons*. Like I said earlier I really really like retellings, and this retelling of a classic story from Arabian Nights was done so well. The book was a very unique setting, and I think the author did a great job of really transporting you to the world, everything was described so beautifully and vivdly. It gave me some serious Aladdin vibes. I was just super into it.

“My soul sees its equal in you.”
Renee Ahdieh, The Wrath & the Dawn

What I didn’t Like: I really think Shahrzad and Khalid were the strong points of this book. I really loved every scene and chapter that had either of them in it, but I found myself getting slightly bored whenever the perspective changed to a side character. It got better as all the storylines came together in the end, but in the beginning of the book I found it dragging a little bit.

You probably will like this book if:

  • You like fairy tale retellings
  • You like dramatic romances
  • You like the  Arabian Nights/Nights setting

You probably won’t like this book if:

  • You don’t like books about romance
  • You don’t want to read something really descriptive

 

Have you read this book? If so what did you think?

Do you like Retellings?

 

Book Review: One Day by David Nicholls

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One Day by David Nicholls

General Age Recommendation: 16+

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Drama, New Adult

Hello Everyone!

A little while ago, my sister and I were talking about books and trading favorites for the other to read. My sister handed this book to me and told me, “This book was absolutely devastating” she didn’t necessarily mean destructive or damaging, but she meant that it was the kind of book that twisted up all her emotions and when she finished it, she didn’t know what to do with herself. I knew exactly what kind of book she meant and I knew it was a kind of book I would enjoy.

Summary: Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew met on the night of college graduation, despite a (sort of) night together and the initial attraction they don’t explore a romantic relationship after that one night. As they move on and begin life in the adult world, they maintain friendship, growing closer and closer each year that passes, regardless of whether they are in the same country, in other relationships or not. Emma works a myriad of low paying jobs and tries to find what she loves, Dexter stays in the moment and embraces the world, becoming a TV host and enjoying all the industry has to offer. Life takes them through different opportunities, relationships, mistakes and happiness. Each chapter is the same day July 15th- spanning a number of years, giving a snapshot of Em and Dex’s life

 “Call me or I’ll call you, but one of us will call, yes? What I mean is it’s not a competition. You don’t lose if you phone first.”
David Nicholls, One Day

What I Liked: I loved this book. The writing was excellent, it pulled me in instantly and definitely made me feel the full range of  human emotions. It was almost frustrating how realistic the book was, so many times Emma and Dexter’s miscommunication left me seething in frustration, I felt sick when Dexter comes back to his apartment early in the morning coming down from a night of partying and I empathized with both of them as they tried to figure out what they wanted to do in life. I loved how you got see their lives unfold, sometimes together and sometimes apart. The one thing I probably appreciated the most, was that Emma and Dexter were best friends, but they both knew there was potential for more. It wasn’t like they suddenly realized they loved each other and should be together, the thought was always there. It happened at different times for both of them, they definitely weren’t on the same page, or in the same life place, but they both knew there could be more. I really liked that about the book, it wasn’t just another “boy and girl are completely platonic best friends then one falls for the other and life is never the same” kind of book. This book was touching, heart wrenching and absolutely beautiful.

“A moment passed, perhaps half a second when their faces said what they felt, and then Emma was smiling, laughing, her arms around his neck.”
David Nicholls, One Day

What I Didn’t Like: Maybe because I read a lot of YA fiction and this is probably New Adult/Adult fiction, but I found the book to have this vague hopelessness about it. I think it was partly to do with the story and theme of the book, but the book had a sad air around it.

You probably will like this book if:

  • You want a good love story that you can’t put down.
  • You like realistic books that really tug at your emotions.
  • You want a good book to cry over.

You probably won’t like this book if:

  • You want a light, funny book
  • You don’t want something sad
  • You don’t want to read a contemporary love story.

 

Do you like ‘devastating’ books?

 

 

 

 

Book Review | Since You’ve Been Gone By Morgan Matson

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Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

General Age Recommendation: 14+

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Summer Read

Hello Everyone!

So I actually read this book a while ago, back at the very end of the summer/early fall. I am just finally getting around to write a review because honestly I’m constantly behind on reviewing the books I’m reading, gah! Anyhow, while its freezing and wet outside as I write this I thought it would be a good time to talk about this fun, summery book!

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Summary: Emily is a quiet girl, over the past few years, she has been more than happy to let her outgoing, vivacious best friend Sloane take the lead. Sloane carries all the conversations with people, Sloane makes the grand and crazy plans and Emily is happy with that. The summer before Senior Year is just starting and Sloane and Emily  have some great plans. These plans come crashing down when Sloane packs up and leaves town without any explanation, only a list of challenges for Emily, like “Kiss a Stranger” “Pick Apples at Midnight”. Emily starts out her summer with no friends, missing Sloane, she decides to do every item on the list, with the help of Frank Porter and finds herself living one of the best summers ever.

“I don’t think you have to do something so big to be brave. And it’s the little things that are harder anyway.”
Morgan Matson, Since You’ve Been Gone

What I liked: This book was great. The premise was interesting to me from the start and I was not disappointed. The writing was really good, it flowed nicely and kept me interested. The book was SO summery and I just wanted to go on an adventure after I read it. My favorite thing about the book was how realistic it was. Emily starts out shy, not confident and without very many friends, by the end of the books she has gained a lot of self confidence and has people she very close to, but it all happened very naturally and realistically. It doesn’t happen overnight or in any crazy way. Some of the items on the list would make for awkward moments or would be hard, but Morgan Matson wrote it all to be believable. I just really enjoyed this book, it was fun to read and was full of summer and friendship vibes. I just ate it up!

*Spoilers ahead*

What I didn’t like: I honestly didn’t have many problems with this book. The one thing I didn’t like was at the end when she got in a fight with Frank, Collins and Dawn, it only shows her make up with Frank, but you never see her talk to Collins or Dawn after their fight. That made me sad 😦

You Probably will like this book if:

  • You like fun lighthearted books
  • You books that mainly focus on friendship and romance
  • You want a fun summery book

You Probably won’t like this book if:

  • You want something really thought provoking or mature
  • You don’t want to read something about teens

 

Have you read this book?

Do you like to read summery books in winter or vice versa?

Book Review |Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

General Age I Would Recommend It Too: 15+

Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary

Hello Everyone!

I love browsing at the bookstore, on one of my trips I found myself looking at this book. It almost instantly caught my attention, from the synopsis to the beautiful cover, I knew I had to read it.

Summary: Madeline has a disease, an illness where almost everything makes her so sick she could die. She literally cannot leave her house, which is set up to be sterile and safe for her. Her whole life is, school online, Internet, books and talking to her mom or nurse. Until a new family moves next door, that’s when she sees Olly. Just a glimpse of each other out the window leads to talking to each other through there windows, then chatting online. Pretty soon, Madeline finds herself falling in love, and wanting more than her safe and protected life. Should she risk her chance at love or risk her life?

“Everything’s a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It’s up to you.”
Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything

What I liked: This book was good. Like I said earlier, I was already intrigued by the synopsis and from practically the first page I was hooked in. I was afraid it was going to be really cliche, being a teen romance about a character with a disease, but I thought it was unique and it had good plot twists, all things that kept it fresh. The romance was so cute, it warmed my heart and made me feel all fuzzy inside. Nicola Yoon’s writing is the kind I fall in love with, engaging and so beautiful it almost has a poetic vibe to it. I also really liked all the different pictures and journaling bits inside. I really enjoyed it so much!

What I didn’t Like: I liked this book a lot,but I thought it was too short. Not too short where you think “Oh I wish I could stay in this story longer” but too short like, 300 pages half of which are pictures and diagrams, and I finished in one short sitting short. I loved the story and characters, but I thought the book was just SO short, that certain story plots lacked necessary development. I wished you had seen more of Olly’s family and just overall gotten to know the characters for longer. I really liked it all, but I wished it had been longer and a little more developed.

“Maybe we can’t predict everything, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster”
Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything

You probably will like this book if:

  • You like sweet teen romances with only a touch of angst
  • You want a fun quick read
  • You want something that will really pull you in

You probably will not like this if:

  • You want something really in depth or long
  • You don’t feel like reading a romance

 

Have you read this book? If so what did you think

Do like shorter or longer books?

 

 

A Book Recommendation: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

First Book in the Series: Cinder

General I Would Recommend It Too: 14+

Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, YA

 

Hello Everyone!

This series is very popular, there’s no doubt about it, I had been hearing about it for months before I finally picked it up. I have to say, I wasn’t initially very interested in them, because I’m really not a huge fan of the Sci-Fi genre. However I was really intrigued by the fairy tale retellings. I did finally pick them up, I was so glad because, let me tell you these books are fantastic.

Summary: This four book series follows four classics fairytales; Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White. You start with Cinder who is a cyborg mechanic in New Beijing. She is famous being the best mechanic in the whole city, this is why Crown Prince Kai brings his malfunctioning android to her to be fixed. Kai is not only worrying about his android, but also his father, the Emperor who is dying from Letumosis, a deadly disease that is sweeping the globe. Meanwhile the annual Summer Ball is coming up, with a special guest, Levana, the Queen of Luna, the civilization on the moon. Levana comes to earth with a proposed alliance, but many doubt her intentions, especially with the rumors she killed her niece, Selene, the rightful heir to the Lunar throne. Cinder ends up being swept up in the action when she is drafted in the Cyborg draft, a program that drafts cyborgs to be test subjects for the Letumosis cure. As the series moves on new characters are introduced, and it is up to a ragtag crew of nine to try to bring justice to Luna and save the world.

“You said yourself that the people of Luna need a revolutionary.” She lifted her chin, holding his gaze. “So I’m going to Luna, and I’m going to start a revolution.”

– Cinder
Marissa Meyer

 

Review: I know I’m probably the 7,000th person to say this, but READ THESE BOOKS. They truly do live up to the hype, like I said earlier, I was skeptical coming in, but here I am now utterly obsessed. These books have a little bit of everything, a great original story, an amazing, diverse cast of characters, incredible friendships and romances. This series is like a mixture of, the original fairytales (think Grimms, Perrault, ect.) meets Star Wars. The story and whole concept are so great, but its the characters are just as amazing. I legitimately cannot pick a favorite, they were all so engaging and original.One of my favorite things was that there were strong females and males, every character was excellently written.  I have to say, I enjoyed Cinder, but it’s definitely one of those series that just gets better and better with each book. The whole series just builds and weaves together in each book and its awesome. Read these books, you will not regret it, also I guarantee you will find a new fictional crush or two…

You probably will like this book if:

  • You Fairytales, especially the classic ones.
  • You like Sci-fi, space, andriods, cyborgs, ect.
  • You like “heroes save the world” kind of stories

You probably won’t this book if:

  • You don’t like stories that get a little intense
  • You don’t care for the Fantasy or Sci-fi genres

 

Have you read this series? If so what were your thoughts?

Do you like fairytale retellings

 

 

 

Book Recommendation: The Women of the West Series by Janette Oke

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The Women of the West by Janette Oke

General Age I Recommend It Too: 11+

Genre: Romance, Historical, Christian Fiction

Hello Everyone!

If you have been following along with my monthly TBR’s, you have probably noticed that I have progressing through this series recently. I often find myself wanting to read something light and undramatic and this series fits that mood perfectly.

Summary: This series is about 11 books long, and none of them are connected. They all have a similarity, being about young women living in the west of Canada, most of them are about how they are setting out living new lives. One is about a city girl living moving to a rugged country town with her new doctor husband. One of the books is about a mail order bride, another about a young women who has to raise her younger siblings after her parents death. They are all very different stories, but all so good.

Review: I love these books so much! They are short, light and cute. They all have focus on  a sweet love story, family and growing in life. These aren’t the kind books that I think everyone would like, they aren’t terribly plot driven and lack intense story building, but I enjoy them because they are sweet and cute. They fit my mood when I want to read something easy to read that is simple.

You probably would like this series if:

  • You want to read something simple and cute
  • You like mountain/prairie stories

You probably won’t like this series if:

  • You want something with a lot of depth
  • You don’t like fluffy stories

 

Do you like really simple books?