Monday, October 31, 2016

REVIEW: Armada by Ernest Cline - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 8:38 PM 0 comments
Rate: 2/5



Goodreads Description:
Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon


As always, thank you to BloggingForBooks for this review copy.

I simply couldnt find my love for this book and it is a huge shame because I hear nothing but wonders about it and people loving it left and right.

One thing I did really like though is the cover, like holy crap that is a gorgeous cover.

The characters where a bit boring for me, I just couldnt get pulled in by them like I do for most characters, a certain love that grows on you for them, I never got that.
There was something about the editing of the book that also just irked me, I cant pinpoint it maybe I just automatically didnt like the editing because I didnt like the characters? I dont know but I dont have much else to say about it to be honest

Recommend it?
ehh... No


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

REVIEW: Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments
Title: Shutter
Genre: Comtemporary Mystery-ish YA
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication: October 18th 2016
Cover Rating: 3/5


October is the month where I search and search for spooky books and movies to get me in the mood for Halloween. I picked Shutter up in hopes that it would be one of those books. Unfortunately, I was less than impressed.

Day is this really great teenage girl. She is always trying ways to help others or make the world a better place. But on the other hand she is also kind of hypocritical. She is mad at her parents for helping others and she gets upset if someone lies to her or omits details but she does that stuff all the time. She has her heart in the right places but her plans aren't always the greatest. Oh! Her real name is also pretty cool. Double Oh! She likes to take pictures and that is a fairly large part of the plot/story.

Julian is a sixteen year old convict. Okay, maybe not a convict, yet, but he is on the run after escaping juvie. So he is definitely not good news. Or is he? People believe he has been wrong accused of his crime. That crime being murder. And Day happens to be one of those people who think Julian got a raw deal. Which he did with his abusive father and zombie mother.

The other characters in this book just seemed pretty unneeded. They added very little to the overall plot and we're just fillers, overall. Day's parents were sort of needed because the mother was a lawyer so it played into the plot with Julian. Everything just magically fell into place. Such as when Day and Julian met. Had he met another random chick, who didn't have this need to save everyone, then his story could have ended entirely different.

Having read other books by Laurie Faria Stolarz, I can honestly say that Shutter felt mediocre in comparison. It had a decent plot and I liked the characters well enough but it just fell flat. It wasn't spooky or suspenseful and with the cover plus the title, and the fact that it came out in October, I was expecting something a little more thrilling but what I got was just a teenage girl playing detective.

The ending was sort of unexpected. I found myself siding with Day about Julian so when everything came to a close I was kind of surprised. It was very convenient that someone had ended up buying the murder weapon the same day it happened. I was so sure it was going to end differently.

So, all in all, it wasn't a bad book. It's just wasn't a great book either. 

Overall, I gave the book 3.5/5 stars.



Monday, October 24, 2016

October Weekly Wrap-Up[3] 16th-22nd

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 12:55 PM 0 comments


Finished 10/16/2016
These books were such a guilty pleasure. I think I finished ALL of the 5 books in a few hours per book. They were all one sitting reads. The Heir was where things started to get a little bit annoying for me and I wasn't even going to both with The Crown after how horrible Eadlyn was but I had the book on preorder and it came so I decided to finish it so I can have another series completely. I am glad I finished the series though because this book was so emotional and I loved how Eadlyn changed her spoiled brat personality. I found myself really liking all the Elite and I didn't want any of them to go. They formed a family and it was so beautiful to see. The ending was SOOO predictable but I loved it so much. I teared up with Henry and what he did. He is such an amazing character and it showed that language barriers can't stop love. 



Finished 10/17/2016
This book of poetry was absolutely beautiful. I found myself taking picture of certain poems and sending them to people in my life who I believed the pertained to. There is so much power in Rupi Kaur words and I urge everyone to read this, not just women. 



Finished 10/18/2016
I have read everything Carol Lynch Williams has written. I love her verse writing the best. But she writes very good regular novels as well. The Haven was the first non-verse novel I read by her and I really liked it. Her books are pretty short but they pack a decent punch. I never feel like the stories were rushed or lacking in anything. In fact, I find her books to be quiet appealing because they don't really contain fluff/fillers. That is where I normally get slumpy. I think this is the beginning of a series with how the book ended. I am hoping it's a series because I have a lot of questions. One thing that was a bit iffy with this book was the was everything just got really mixed up and confusing VERY easily. The end of the book was ridiculously insane but I know it was like that just to show how chaotic everything got. 



Finished 10/22/3016
I picked this book up hoping it would be a great Halloween time read. Sadly, that is not what I got. The book was just about a boy, who has been accused of murder, escaping juvie, meeting this girl and forming a special relationship with her. The things that happened in this book were very convenient and made the book less enjoyable.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

REVIEW: Lost Stars by Lisa Selin Davis - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 3:00 PM 0 comments
Rate: 3.5/5


Goodreads Description:
Before her older sister, Ginny, died, Carrie was a science nerd, obsessively tracking her beloved Vira comet. But now that Ginny is gone, sixteen-year-old Carrie finds herself within the orbit of Ginny’s friends, a close-knit group of seniors who skip school, obsess over bands (not science), and party hard.

Fed up with Carrie’s behavior, her father enrolls her in a summer work camp at a local state park. Carrie actually likes the days spent in nature. And when she meets Dean, a guy who likes the real Carrie—astrophysics obsessions and all—she starts to get to the heart of who she is and who she wants to be.

Okay so Carrie was annoying me to no end.
And that in it self annoyed me with me >.>
I was so excited when I got this book because the description just sounds like one of those books that will deal with the heartbreak of loosing an amazing loved one that thought the main character so many great things.
But Ginny was awful! I was going to say that she turned Carrie into this horrible person.. BUT IT WAS CARRIE HERSELF THAT DID THAT! And Carrie just kept mistreating her dad for no real and honest reason.
As you have probably guessed by now my 3 out of 5 is not because the writing was bad but because the main character was a horrible person.
Which I guess SHOULD mean the book it better than a 3 because the author made the character feel very real.... BUT I JUST CANT GET OVER IT!
Carrie, in the end did kind of start to realize how things truly were and started to change her bad habits which should have made for a satisfying ending and again, a higher rate considering the fact of my previous mentioned realization that my hate for the character means that the author is good, BUT I also feel like the book didn't really have much of a climax to it, no like UBER intense moment where things could go super wrong or super right which is a VERY important moment for me in books, what either makes or breaks a book you know?
But I just didn't see that moment on this book, it wasn't clear for me which is why I have given this book what I have given it
Recommend it?
mmmmm Sure why not, I feel like it depends on the person but it is worth a shot 


Monday, October 17, 2016

REVIEW: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 3:00 PM 0 comments
Rate: 5/5


Goodreads Description:
The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Timesbestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.” 


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.



So I did like it a bit better than I liked Illuminae, it was a bit more intense throughout the whole book rather than like fluctuating like Illuminae felt for me.
I feel like the main characters are very similar to each other but at the same time have their own flow to them, do I make any sort of sense here?
The drama in this book for me was more enjoyable and the plot twist was like oh shit!
They warned us in the beggining of the book to beware of that certain page that contained the plot twist and it was hard for me not to keep going back to it but when it did get to that I was just like OH LORD JESUS!
Another thing though, there is a character that, without saying what it was, does something, but I just called it from the very beginning
It doesn't mean that I still wasnt surprised when it happened
It's hard to know who to trust
What the character needs to do to move forward
The ending for this book was seriously out of this universe
Youll see what I mean
I was flipping pages so fast at the end I was barely able to actually finish each page before I moved onto the next one
I seriously can NOT wait for the next book
I need it
It's not over

Recommend it?
Yeah



Saturday, October 15, 2016

REVIEW: Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 3:00 PM 0 comments
Rate: 5/5


Goodreads Description:
Addie has always known what she was running toward. In cross-country, in life, in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night and she ends up pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same anymore. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross-country; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places. 

I actually read this book a long while back but totally forgot to write and post the review!
This book was written in like... poem style?
I dont know what to call it
but when you finish this book it is like plunging in a pool on a summer day
just, this freshness that kinda stings but you still enjoy and would do it again?
It is a quick read because of the way it is written but boy does it pack a punch. Got to give huge props to Heppermann because it just .. its a masterpiece. 
This is a book that needs to be read by all, it is a coming of age book that should be a required read, people could really learn from it

Recommend it?
Completely


Thursday, October 13, 2016

REVIEW: Resurrecting Sunshine by Lisa A. Koosis - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 5:54 PM 0 comments
Rate: 5/5


Goodreads Description:
At seventeen, Adam Rhodes is famous, living on his own, and in a downward spiral since he lost the girl he loved. Marybeth stage name Sunshine was his best friend from the days they were foster kids; then she was his girlfriend and his band mate. But since her accidental death, he's been drinking to deal with the memories. Until one day, an unexpected visitor, Dr. Elloran, presents Adam with a proposition that just might save him from himself. Using breakthrough cloning and memory-implantation techniques, Dr. Elloran and the scientists at Project Orpheus want to resurrect Marybeth, and they need Adam to "donate" intimate memories of his life with her. The memory retrieval process forces Adam to relive his life with Marybeth and the devastating path that brought them both to fame. Along the way, he must confront not only the circumstances of her death but also his growing relationship with the mysterious Genevieve, daughter of Project Orpheus's founder. As the process sweeps Adam and Marybeth ever closer to reliving the tragedy that destroyed them, Adam must decide how far he'll go to save her.

It is all too easy for me to give this book a 5 out of 5 rating but let me tell you why.
I thought this book would include an element of magic which is how they would be bringing Sunshine (Real name Marybeth) back but I was wrong. The book is set a bit forward in the future and the way they plan on bringing her back is through science
Through clonning and memory planting to be specific.
The main character, Adam starts off a year after Marybeths death and how he is struggling with her death and had issues with alcohol and such when he is contacted by a Doctor to bring her back.
He skeptically agrees to help, they need his memories as well, and leaves to a hidden location where Sunshine is being regrown
The book from the middle to the end starts making you question and realize if it is the right thing to do or if you would allow it to happen. There is a particular quote in the book that was kind of the changing moment, where the author starts to point out something else.
Marybeth is being clonned but she is still dead. There is still a dead girl on the ground.
In the book Adam meets Gen, who helps him cope with the whole process by being his friend
We also learn the truth of Marybeths death and again, brings the question to mind of, is it right and would you do it and allow it whether you would allow that to be done to yourself or someone you love.
This is a bitter sweet read that really submerges you into this whole idea, this whole world of things that other books simply fail to do.
And that, is why it is so easy for me to give a good rate to this book without a second thought.

Recommend it?
Completely


Sunday, October 9, 2016

REVIEW: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments
Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Genre: High-ish Fantasy YA-NA
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication: April 28th 2015
Cover Rating: 5/5


I  don't even know where to start with this review. I picked An Ember in the Ashes up because the second book just came out and I was seriously wondering what all the hype was about. I have read plenty of books that sounded similar to the synopsis so I didn't really get my hopes up about anything. I don't know if it was my low expectations or maybe I just connected with this book more than others but I really loved it. There isn't much originality to it. Horrible world, evil to be conquered, girl/boy tries to save the world, romance ensues, the end. Pretty straight forward but I really enjoyed the story and the world.

Laia is your typical YA heroine. She is weak and afraid and because of that she loses the people she loves the most. I hate that this is has become the trope for these books. With that being said, I did like this book. I didn't really care for Laia too much for most of the book but towards the end I did start to understand her more. I am just glad she didn't let herself become one of those damsel in distress type of girls where the guy saves the girl in the end because the girl is obviously incapable of doing anything for herself.

Elias and his story were confusing to me. I understood what happened and how he ended up where he did but I just couldn't get over who his mother was. Who his blood was. I am hoping we find out who some of his other relatives might be in the coming books. Elias was put into a difficult situation and in the end it was only made harder because he had to choose life or death. His best friend or himself. This mysterious slave girl or his best friend. There was just a lot of stuff shoved in his face. I do wonder why he didn't try to get out sooner. 

Then we have this group of resistance fighters who are trying to overthrow the government, which is also very cliche. Laia goes to these people because of her parents connection to them and they agreed to help her but it turns out not everything was the truth. Within these fighters, Laia finds solace in the  most unlikely of places. I really want to know how that turns out with her feelings being all over the place.

In the end, all I can say is that I am very glad the second book is already out and in my possession. I feel sorry for those who read this book right when it came out and had to wait a year to continue the story. I am having an internal battle as to whether I should pick up the second book right away or if I should wait a little bit so there isn't a huge year long gap between the next book. Either way, it looks like a war is brewing so it should be getting better in the next book.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.




P.S... There are 4 books on Goodreads for this series and I have no idea how to feel about that. I love that it is continuing but I'm going to slowly die over the next 2 years waiting for each release. There have been very few series that I have actually read as they come out and it has been hell. SAVE ME!




Friday, October 7, 2016

REVIEW: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 2:00 PM 0 comments
Title: P.S. I Like You
Genre: Contemporary YA
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Point
Publication: July 26th 2016
Cover Rating: 3/5

Let me start off by saying that I love Kasie West's contemporary romance books. They are all adorable and very quick reads but they also have great plots and enough issued to make the plot more realistic. Let's face it, the books where everything is perfect and rainbows and sunshine are a bunch of bullcrap. But her books are very good and P.S. I Like You followed in its predecessors footsteps.

Lily is our protagonist. She is super quirky and music is her air. I wish I could say that I loved her but, sadly, I can't. She had her good qualities but what I mostly saw was her insecurity and her ability to find the one bad quality in a person and latch on to it. She holds grudges way too long. If she could let go of things easier then she would have been an awesome protag because she had a good, albeit sarcastic, personality and she was smart and funny.

I really enjoyed the family aspects the story offered. You had Lily's family, which sounded like a normal family. Then you had Cade's family which was the complete opposite. But it was sad to see exactly how Cade's family was. It's not that they were horrible people but they paid no attention to Cade and they were just always off doing their own thing or making him help them with job related crap.

If anyone has seen A Cinderella Story with Hillary Duff, this book felt a lot like the relationship between Hillary and Chad. Even the side characters seemed similar. Very nasty "pretty" people, not so great families, and a happy ending. So, since I love A Cinderella Story, I was bound to like this book.

The book was extremely predictable. Normally I hate that but with these type of books it's actually not a bad thing because I was desperately waiting for the inevitable to happen and the wait was very beneficial because it meant that I would keep reading just to see how it all plays out.

The ending....made me yell. It can't just end like. I need to know about the song and the contest and ahhhhh. If I was standing in front of the author right now I would be giving her the evil eye and sighing very loudly. OH! What happened with Lucas?

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.




Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Release Day Review: This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 9:51 PM 0 comments
Title: This Adventure Ends
Genre: Contemporary YA
Author: Emma Mills
Publisher: Henry Holt
Publication: October 4th 2016
Cover Rating: 9000/5


 Contemporary YA books normally don't get much praise from me.I feel like they are the same cookie-cutter, copy & paste stories. Don't  get me wrong, I do have my GO TO authors if I want to read something fluffy after a fantasy book, but most just fall flat for me. Girl moves, girl meets boy, parents get divorced, girl acts out or turns inward and ignores everyone, boy changes girls life forever, etc... Yes, this book does have a few of the well know tropes BUT it is also something entirely different on its own.

Sloane was awesome. She had a ton of quirks and people loved her instantly. But she used her sarcasm and witty sense of humor to protect herself. I am not sure what led her to be this guarded. I don't even think she knows the answer to that. But she is a great daughter and sister. She tries to be a great friend but her guarded personality kind of got in the way. 

Sloane's dad was an author. A pretty famous one too. He moves his family to Florida as a way to start over and clear his head so maybe he will be able to write another book. His last book was kind of torn apart by a critics review. I think what he did was kind of selfish and his new book idea once he was there long enough to get an idea was pretty bad too considering the fact that he used someone close to him to "inspire" the book and characters. Even with all the flaws he was still a good dad that just wanted to keep writing because it was his passion. I do wonder if he ever published that book though. 

Vera and Gabe are the first people that befriend Sloane, besides Bree. They are eccentric to say the least but I loved both of them. Then with Vera and Gabe came Remy, Aubrey, and Frank. These guys were so great together and Frank was perfection. I really loved that he was the person who made the parties special. 

So, as stated above, tropes are what I feel kills the Contemporary genre for me. This book, however, has some of those tropes but it works around them and changes them. The tropes aren't what drives the book. Parents getting a divorce and just calling it quits? This book shows people trying to work it out instead of taking a kid and moving 500 miles away. Girl meets boy? Why, yes, girl does meet boy but it isn't some insta-love bullcrap. It is cute and believable. I really love that this book feels believable. 

There was some childish behavior towards the end of the book. But these are teenagers so it was appropriate. It all got worked out for the most part so that made them really mature. Most books where teens fight you see nothing but revenge and grudge holding. 

The end was sort of predictable. I didn't predict those exact events but the outcome was still the same for me. I really enjoyed the ending but I do wish there was a little bit more time to see how Sloane and her boytoy got along. They were cute together though. It sucks that they couldn't get that one thing back that was a big part of the plot but it also helped Sloane to realize that sometimes, words speak louder than actions. 

AHHH!! There is so much more I want to say about this book but I can't spoil it for you guys. Just know that Emma Mills is now an auto-buy author for me. She had been added to the super elite contemporary books list.

Overall. I gave the book 5/5 stars.






REVIEW: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 7:00 AM 0 comments
Title: Nemesis
Genre: Fantasy/High Fantasy YA
Author: Anna Banks
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication: October 4th 2016
Cover Rating: 5/5

I wanted to read Nemesis because I have been interested in Anna Banks's writing for a while but I have this extreme aversion to water/mermaid/under the sea books so I was super excite when I heard this was coming out. Then I saw the cover reveal and I was SOLD!

Princess Sepora has a gift. A gift her father locks her away and uses to get himself rich. Having that as the main plot line give the book a sort of Rumpelstiltskin type vibe. So Sepora gets tired of her dads crap and leaves. This causes a lot of chaos in all of the kingdoms that rely on the Spectorium(a type or metal/ore) she can make. It seems like a pretty weird gift to have, but, hey, I wish I could spew shiny rainbow goo from my sweat glands. I would build a house from that stuff! It sounds so pretty and the fact that the author even came up with this idea is very unique and ingenious.

Then we have "Prince" Tarik. He is a very odd character. He is supposed to lead his kingdom but he has different views on the world than most royalty would have. This makes him both the same AND different than most other princes I have read about. A lot of the male royalty I have come across in YA books are normally brutal or harsh on the outside but are hiding their true selves on the inside. Tarik is not harsh and he shows his kindness, or weakness depending on your point of view, everyday. He doesn't hide who he is and that is pretty admirable.

So, the two of them play pretty crucial roles in the life and death of Tarik's people. There is an illness going around and it is killing people. One of the Lyceum(their form of doctor or medicine man) came forward to meet with Tarik about a cure. Has this person came and tried to talk to Tarik's father he probably would have been killed or whipped for even suggesting such things. But Tarik listened and was willing to see what Cy has to say. Sadly, the cured involved something that nobody had anymore. But Tarik didn't let that stop him. He sent people to each kingdom trying to procure the item that was needed to cure his people. But... Would needing something THIS BAD mean that Tarik would be willing to give up anything to get it? Or would it start a war? Hmmm.

I am one of those people where I can read a book and it will start playing out as a movie in my head. I have this thing so badly that sometimes I will be out or at work and I will think "OMG I can't wait to go home and watch more of this move" even though it is a book. So this book did that to me. There was a character in the beginning of the book, his name was Chut, then ENTIRE time I was reading about him I couldn't help but to picture him as Ralph from Wreck-it-Ralph. It was the most vividly I had ever pictured a character before and that added a little bit of humor to the overall crappy situation that Chut's character was involved in. I was also sort of picturing the two main characters as Aladdin and Jasmine except reversed because the prince had the cat and the girl was that "street-rat".

This is a rather short review for a few reasons but the main one being that I don't want to give away ANY spoilers. But I will say that if you are a fan of An Ember in the Ashes then check this out. This book contains more fantastical stuff that AEitA, though. There are magical elements, and this book is overall higher fantasy, but I feel like the two main characters of this book fit well with the main characters from AEitA.

Sadly, for me, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I was hoping but I feel like that was ENTIRELY due to the fact that I read another very big, high fantasy book right before I got to this one. BUT I will be continuing on with the series and will reread this book before the second one comes out.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.
















*DISCLAIMER* I received this book in exchange for an honest review but I also ended up buying my own copy as well. Thank you!

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