Review: The Program (Program #1) by Suzanne Young

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Goodreads Summary:

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

My Review

The Program has been sitting on my Audible app for a year now. I honestly had completely forgotten about it until about a month ago. The concept of this book is just so surreal and intriguing! Don’t get me wrong, it’s also a beautifully vulnerable premise that had me feeling kind of down while listening to parts of it, but overall, Suzanne Young did a fantastic job!

The Program takes place in a dystopian type world that isn’t quite end of the world status but kind of is at the same time, at least for all young people. Teenage suicide has skyrocketed to such alarming rates, that the US government implements The Program, a “therapy” system that takes depressed teens and wipes their memories to prevent them from killing themselves and then proceeds to send them back out into society! Wow, right?

The story focuses on the couple: Sloane and James, two lovers who find strength in one another in the middle of extremely desolate times. However, just when you think there’s no way these two can crack, things go south fast. This book was entirely different from anything I’ve ever read! The dramatic irony in The Program was through the roof!! I commend Young for taking a character’s narration to a whole new level as the main character evolves in completely mind blowing ways. I sat there listening to this book in the car thinking, how the hell is she [Suzanne Young] gonna swing this?! I started to get angry and mad at the plot, but the way it played out just worked. I felt for the characters and for the human need to feel sad, and how completely OK that is!

By the time I reached the ending, I was left wanting closure for what had happened to these poor characters and could not wait to dip into the second and last book! It’s only a duology folks! Although there are multiple novellas. I am currently listening to book two and really liking it so far! Review to come.

I would most definitely recommend reading The Program if you are looking for a new scifi dystopian read! Buy it on Amazon here! 

Review:The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner

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Goodreads Summary:

Solving the MazeSolving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off. 

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive. was supposed to be the end. 

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off. 

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

My Review

I’m so glad I was able to listen to the audiobook of The Scorch Trials so soon after finishing the first book in the Maze Runner series. I definitely enjoyed the sequel but I think I expected a little more out of it than what I was given.

The Scorch Trials picks up right where the first book left off, with Thomas and the rest of the gladers alongside Teresa having escaped the Maze. Though they were rescued by seemingly good people, things go south fast. Things got crazy right off the bat, I couldn’t even process the impossibility of it all. So many questions were thrown at me at once! I couldn’t believe what went down actually happened. And that’s the thing about these books, they constantly make you question the characters’ reality. You never really know if what is happening is real or not or if it’s just a delusion put on by WICKED.

New characters are introduced and plot twist are created that had me all kinds of excited to see how things would turn out. I gotta say, parts of this book made me super angry and frustrated!! I don’t know who to trust now, and I don’t see a happy ending in sight. Thomas essentially has no control of where is life is meant to go. It was heartbreaking to watch him and his friends struggle with each new catastrophe that came their way. If anything, I can’t wait to see how he will get his justice for the way he’s been treated.

Once again, book two concluded with a sense of false hope in the form of a deceivingly positive ending. I don’t believe it for a moment, there is definitely more havoc to come. I look forward to seeing how Dashner can possibly turn things around for these characters. I will most certainly be reading book three or to put it more realistically, listening to book three.

Buy The Scorch Trials on Amazon here! 

Reread & Review: Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1) by James Dashner

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Goodreads Summary:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

My Review

I read The Maze Runner back when it first came out, and was super into it and wanted to know what happened since it had ended on a cliffhanger! Unfortunately, by the time I realized book two was out, I had forgotten most of what had happened in book one and wanted to reread the first book before proceeding to the sequel. So here I am years later finally rereading the first book in the hopes of actually completely the series now!

I actually listened to The Maze Runner on audiobook this time around! I definitely enjoyed just as much the second time! The story is just so wholly unique! It’s like a bizarre combination of The Hunger Games and The Gone series in one crazy ride! The characters were all so layered and different. Dashner did a wonderful job of creating a world and characters you could feel for and grow with! There were so many questions throughout, some of which were answered, and some of which grew into bigger questions that left me wanting more!

I liked Thomas’ narration, he was fearless, committed and took everything in stride.I cannot wait to see what he does with the next curve ball that gets thrown at him because based on the insane ending, there is sure to be one. I look forward to book two, which I will also listen to on audiobook hopefully very soon and not within multiple years this time!

I would most definitely recommend  you read The Maze Runner if your a scifi young adult fan and looking for your next addiction. Buy it on Amazon here!

 

Review: Specials (Uglies #3) by Scott Westerfeld

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Goodreads Summary:

“Special Circumstances”: The words have sent chills down Tally’s spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor — frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally’s never been ordinary.

And now she’s been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.

Still, it’s easy to tune that out — until Tally’s offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete. Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.

My Review

Well, after having not been too pleased with Pretties (Uglies #2) I had really hoped that I would enjoy Specials. I was wrong. Book three had the same repetitive plot that the first two books had.

Recap of the ending of Pretties: Tally finally finds Zane and David after spending a lot of time in the “wild.” However, she arrives to see Zane worse off then ever before but refuses to leave him when Special Circumstances arrives and takes them both away.

So naturally Tally becomes a “special” if you didn’t already assume that from the title. Once again we have a plot in which Tally is taken and becomes something she doesn’t want to be and then decides she likes it for a while until she doesn’t and wakes up again. So that’s essentially every plot of this series which gets old fast. Though I will say there was a lot more action/suspense in Specials than the past few books, but I still didn’t enjoy it all that much. There just weren’t many new things to take in. The ending went in a different direction I expected but I was glad it did, and the romance also finally took a turn that I liked. Based on the final events, I’m surprised there even is a 4th book. The series could have ended the way it does in Specials prompting me to be even less inclined to continue the series.

If you have been reading the series up until this point, I would recommend stopping at book three unless you really are eager to read more of this universe. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very impressed with the series overall. Maybe if I had picked up the books years ago before I had read so many dystopian books, I might have enjoyed them more.

You can buy Specials on Amazon here.

Review: Pretties (Uglies #2) by Scott Westerfield

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Goodreads:

Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect.

Perfectly wrong.

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

My Review

Pretties was an unexpected addition to the Uglies series. I can’t say that I disliked it, but I wasn’t entirely pleased with it either.Pretties starts off not too long after book one ends, with Tally now fully made into a Pretty and living the supposed “high life.” She has very limited memory of everything she went through to get where she is, and all that she sacrificed for her friends. That is until someone from her “ugly” past shows up and tells her about something that was left behind for her to find. Driven by curiosity and her fuzzy memories of the past, she sets out to find the answers she’s been looking for and to become “cured” once and for all.

This sequel was more aggravating than it was enlightening over all. I was really quite surprised by the direction the author chose to take the story in.Particularly the direction in which he took the romance. First of all, not nearly as much plot development occurred as there should have been. I blew through this book don’t get me wrong, but when I noticed I was on page 200 and not much had really happened to further the growth of the characters, I started to get concerned. I mean yes, the book naturally moves quickly because it’s a fast read in general. However, I didn’t think Westerfeld would take up so much time describing Tally’s journey to get where she needed to be. Which now that I think about it, is exactly the way the first book was structured as well.

Pretties was good enough to read and continue the series with, but not good enough to say that I really enjoyed it. Naturally, the story ended with a cliffhanger once again, therefore prompting me into being forced to continue, even though I’m not sure as to how pleased I will be with it. I love the characters and the entire concept of this series, I guess I just expected more from it. I will definitely be reading book three: Specials.

I would recommend reading Pretties if you are already invested into the series, if only to see how everything works out. Buy it on Amazon here! Or buy it at your local Goodwill (that’s where I found mine).

 

 

Review: Firstlife (Everlife #1) by Gena Showalter

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Goodreads Summary:

ONE CHOICE.
TWO REALMS.
NO SECOND CHANCE.

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

My Review

Gena Showalter strikes again! Firstlife packs a punch in every thrilling page! It is beyond anything I’ve ever encountered before, and left me reeling as the plot progressed.

Tenley or Ten has been locked away in an asylum by her very own parents for refusing to pick the place where she will go when she dies. And I’m not talking about Heaven or Hell folks. I’m talking Myriad and Troika, two very different place with very different beliefs who have been at war with one another for as long as anyone can remember. One place made of light and one of darkness, each side is aiming to gain the most souls toward their fight. Ten is one of the few “unsigned.” If she doesn’t pick a side before she dies, then she will spend her “second life” in Many Ends: a hellish dimension filled with unknown tortures.  Fortunately for her, she has two beautiful boys, one from Myriad and Troika to help make her decision all the more frustrating and confusing.

Firstlife consisted of nonstop suspense coupled with plenty of romantic implications that left me feeling baffled as to which guy/place Ten should choose. My heart and mind were at war with one another in the same way they were within Ten. I really felt like I was struggling to make the same decision she was! There was not a single slow moment in this book, and the emotions were everywhere; I could barely keep up sometimes.

The concept of life and death are very loose terms in this story. Nothing is what it seems. The overall concept is unique and riveting leading to an unpredictable plot.  And did I mention how awesome the characters are? Showalter has such a knack for creating strong female leads. Ten is a headstrong badass, and will do anything to take care of others. She adapts to each situation that is thrown at her and takes it down.

So much happened in book one, yet there is still so much that needs to be addressed. I was left hanging by the end of Firstlife and absolutely NEED to know what’s coming next!! The sequel (to my utter dismay) does not come out until next year!!

If you are in need for a new scifi-romance with an epic twist, then you should not hesitate to read Firstlife! Buy it on Amazon here!

Review & Excerpt Tour: The Fallen Prince (The Riven Chronicles #2) by Amalie Howard

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I hope you’re ready to be transported by Amalie Howard’s THE FALLEN PRINCE, a Young Adult Science Fiction novel and the sequel to THE ALMOST GIRL! Publishers Weekly calls the first in the series “a high-octane thriller.” Grab your copy of this amazing novel today!

 

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About THE FALLEN PRINCE:

Riven has fought for a hard-won peace in her world, and has come to shaky terms with who and what she is—a human with cyborg DNA. Now that the rightful ruler of Neospes has been reinstated, Riven is on the hunt for her father in the Otherworld to bring him to justice for his crimes against her people.

But when she receives an unwelcome visit from two former allies, she knows that trouble is brewing once again in Neospes. The army has been decimated and there are precious few left to fight this mysterious new threat.

To muster a first line of defense, her people need help from the one person Riven loathes most—her father. But what he wants in return is her complete surrender.

And now Riven must choose: save Neospes or save herself.

 

My Review:

I was thrilled to discover that the second book of The Riven Chronicles came out so soon after the first! After thoroughly enjoying The Almost Girl, I was more than ready to see what happened to Riven and Caden in book two! Amalie Howard certainly did not disappoint. The Fallen Prince was filled with all the action, emotion, and romance I was hoping for!

Now that Riven has brought back her Earth’s King she is more than determined to stop her father once and for all. However, as she delves deeper into her search for him, she discovers that there are even worse threats out there and embarks on her new mission to save her King and her world as she knows it.

The Fallen Prince was full of non-stop action and suspense, just when things started to slow down, a new curve ball would get thrown in. New characters are introduced and old characters are expanded upon more. Through every conflict Riven remained the epic badass that she is. And though her romance with Caden was definitely frustrating, the final outcome between them was everything I wanted it to be. The ending was unexpected to say the least, but all loose ends were tied up smoothly. I’m not aware of there being a third novel, but I’m sure hoping there will be! Fortunately, book two will not destroy you with another cliffhanger, so no need to worry.

If you enjoyed The Almost Girl as much as I did, then I would most definitely recommend you read the next book in the series! And if you haven’t yet embarked on the journey and are a fan of dystopian-scifi novels, then what are you waiting for? Get going!

 

 

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Excerpt:

I watch in horror as the stairs below us crumble like dominos, the metal lip dipping as the entire structure crumples inward. I scrabble forward to grab the Vector’s fingers. My suit responds immediately, anchoring me to the floor with tiny inverted hooks. It’s not much leverage, but it’s enough for me to get a better hold.

The Vector wraps his fingers around my wrist just before the metal ledge rips out and I’m dangling over the edge, held in place by nothing but a few well-constructed hooks. Someone flings his weight on top my feet, but the Vector’s grip starts to slip from mine in cruel slow motion. Several feet below, Caden’s eyes meet mine and a smile forms across his lips—lips mouthing three words I don’t want to see or hear.

Tears burn my eyes. A voice inside me screams at me to say it back. Say the words. But I can’t. I can’t lose him. I refuse to lose him right now.

“Protect your king!” I scream at the tumbling Vector just as our fingers part. Acknowledgment shimmers in his milky eyes and I see the muscles in his shoulders tense, corded veins bulging in his neck. With a roar, he heaves the arm holding on to Caden upward—a feat of pure programmed, inhuman strength.

Caden lands on top of me, and strong arms haul us back to safety. For a moment, I meet the eyes of the Vector as he falls into the abyss. I don’t know if thank you means anything to them, but I send the message anyway.

Briefly, I imagine something like satisfaction flaring in those milky irises, and then his eyes close as he disappears from view.

 

Praise for THE FALLEN PRINCE:

 

“[P]acked with action . . . Imagery is the highlight of this book.”—VOYA

“A parallel-dimension–jumping cyborg soldier must make questionable alliances to save her country from an existential threat in this sequel to The Almost Girl. [O]ffers a solid conclusion.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This sequel to The Almost Girl was everything I wanted: non-stop action, smart science, new and intriguing characters, and a satisfying romance. I couldn’t put it down!” —Page Morgan, author of The Beautiful and the Cursed

“[T]he next step in a dark, clever and thrilling scorched-earth, world-hopping adventure.” —Jet Black Ink

 

And don’t miss the first book in The Riven Chronicles Series!

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THE ALMOST GIRL

 

 

 

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Amalie Howard - headshotAbout Amalie Howard:

AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts.

She is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller, and the sequel, Bloodcraft, was a national silver IPPY medalist. She is also the co-author of the adult historical romance series, THE LORDS OF ESSEX. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children.

 

 

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Amalie Howard’s THE FALLEN PRINCE – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

May 30th

Movies, Shows & Books – Excerpt

My YA NA Book Obsession – Review & Excerpt

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

The LitBuzz – Review

Deluged with Books Cafe – Excerpt

WTF Are You Reading? – Review & Excerpt

Rambling Reads – Excerpt

AC Book Blog – Excerpt

Cynthia Bloggs – Excerpt

May 31st

Dazzled by Books – Excerpt

Comic Book Love – Review

Pandora’s Books – Excerpt

Have Words Will Scribble – Review & Excerpt

Vagabonda Reads – Excerpt

Hannah’s Words – Review & Excerpt

The Romance Reviews – Excerpt

Maari Loves Her Indies – Excerpt

June 1st

Socially Awkward Book Nerd – Excerpt

Escape Inside the Pages – Review & Excerpt

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

Penny For My Thoughts – Review

Blissfully bookerized – Excerpt

Amy’s Review Obsession – Review

Bookish Things & More – Excerpt

Readers Live A Thousand Lives – Excerpt

June 2nd

Book it – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Books Need TLC – Review & Excerpt

BookCrushin – Excerpt

Roxy’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Romance Book Nerd – Excerpt

Mes Livres – Review & Excerpt

TMBA Corbett Tries to Write – Excerpt

The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Review & Excerpt

June 3rd

The book slayer – Review & Excerpt

Fishing for Books – Excerpt

The Recipe Fairy – Review & Excerpt

YA Book Divas – Excerpt

2 girls who love books – Excerpt

Book Lovers Life – Excerpt

Only One More Page – Excerpt

Teen Readers’ Diary – Excerpt

June 4th

Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps – Review & Excerpt

Hart’s Romance Pulse – Excerpt

The Cover Contessa – Review & Excerpt

Evermore Books – Excerpt

The A P Book Club – Review & Excerpt

The Travelogue of a book addict – The Book Drealms – Excerpt

City of Books – Review & Excerpt

RhiReading – Excerpt

Danielle’s Domain – Excerpt

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