Review: Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi

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Goodreads Summary:

The thrilling second installment in New York Times bestselling author Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series.

It should have taken Juliette a single touch to kill Warner. But his mysterious immunity to her deadly power has left her shaken, wondering why her ultimate defense mechanism failed against the person she most needs protection from.

She and Adam were able to escape Warner’s clutches and join up with a group of rebels, many of whom have powers of their own. Juliette will finally be able to actively fight against The Reestablishment and try to fix her broken world. And perhaps these new allies can help her shed light on the secret behind Adam’s—and Warner’s—immunity to her killer skin.

Juliette’s world is packed with high-stakes action and tantalizing romance, perfect for fans of the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard and the Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken.


My Review

Unravel Me picked up right where Shatter Me left off, with Juliet living among her people and still struggling to control her abilities. Meanwhile, her relationship with Adam becomes more tumultuous as she must come to terms with the reality of her situation should she continue to pursue a romantic relationship with him. Of course matters couldn’t get much worse when she finds herself being more drawn to Warner despite his past transgressions.

I wasn’t wholly sold on Shatter Me after finishing the first book, but I saw the potential and figured it was worth giving book two a shot. Unfortunately, I continued to be disappointed. I chose to read Unravel Me via audiobook this time. That might have been a mistake. I don’t know if the content just wasn’t good enough for me to stay fully engaged, or that I was just too distracted by life to stay on top of the events occurring, but I just could not for the life of me give my full attention to this book. I started out involved in the story, and from the get-go I noticed Mafi going waaay over the top with her descriptions once again. It was like pages of details had passed, but nothing had actually happened. I get it, she really loves kissing/being with Adam, but should it really take 3-5 minutes worth of audiobook time to explain that? It made me stop caring fast.

I really wanted to get in to this book, more than that, I wanted to get hooked by the love triangle. I think this is one of the rare moments in book history, in which I just didn’t seem to care which guy she chooses, neither really did it for me. I felt like her love with Warner is kind of unfounded, he loved her out of the blue from the beginning. There was no true building of a relationship with them. Thus, I find it strange that she is so drawn and attracted to him when they never were given any kind of foundation.

I wish I could say that I enjoyed book two enough to read book three, but as of now, I don’t intend to continue any time soon. Sorry folks. I’m one of the minorities in this series it would seem. I’m bummed to say the least.

Be my guest if you wish to read book two. Buy it here. 

Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by

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Goodreads Summary:

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.


My Review

Shatter Me has been all over my news feeds for quite some time. I have to admit, I’ve been very conflicted over picking up this book. There are just so many conflicting reviews and feelings on it. And I’m beginning to see why.

Shatter Me focuses on the life of a girl who, for whatever reason, was born with a deadly gift. Everyone she touches for just long enough, dies, and if they let go fast enough, still suffer excruciating pain. She has never known the comfort of touch or the love of another, but has always been regarded as a monster. That is, until she is given a new cellmate at the mental asylum she’s imprisoned in, one who provides a new opportunity she could never dream of.

This book had an interesting concept from the get-go. The setting is dystopian, the girl has an unexplained ability, and of course there’s a romance. All things I love. However, I didn’t necessarily love Shatter Me. I didn’t dislike it either. Mafi’s writing style is unique to say the least. Unfortunately, it’s also a little scattered. One minute, I’m falling in love with her poetic imagery and analogies, and the next, I’m utterly confused and befuddled by how it has a place in the story. She just threw similes and metaphors around willy-nilly, without thought as to how it really fits into the narration. It was just a little too over the top, and didn’t quite work with the content. It also made certain descriptions way too long winded.

Despite the bizarre/sometimes annoying way of writing, I flew through this book. It was fast paced through out, and generally an easy book to get through. The ending events definitely intrigued me enough to continue. Shatter Me also came with plenty of unanswered questions. These characters are most certainly not who they appear to be; and I look forward to discovering the truth.

Buy Shatter Me on Amazon now.

Review: The Dark Calling (Arcana Chronicles #5) by Kresley Cole

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Goodreads Summary:

New intrigues, adventures, and stunning revelations fill the penultimate installment of #1 New York Times best-selling author Kresley Cole’s electrifying Arcana Chronicles.

In a world teetering on the edge . . .
When Evie receives life-changing—and possibly game-changing—news, she has trouble believing it. Why doesn’t she feel any different? Is it possible someone she trusts might be lying?

With enemies at every turn . . .
Tensions seethe inside the castle of lost time as Evie starts to doubt her own sanity. Answers can be found outside their stronghold, but will Death help her find them—or prevent her from learning the truth about her future and Jack’s possible survival?

Darkness beckons.
A mysterious, sinister power begins to affect the Arcana in its path. Forced out into the wasteland alone, Evie must depend on unexpected allies. But as a battle with Richter looms, can her new alliance defeat the Dark Calling before hell reigns on earth?


My Review

After well over a year and a great deal of anticipation, I couldn’t wait to finally get my hands on book five of The Arcana Chronicles. Little did I know how disappointed I would be after finishing it.

The Dark Calling picks up right where book four left off, with Evie discovering (to her dismay) that she is pregnant with Death’s child, after having just found out that Jack is indeed alive. With so much information and betrayal in their midst, she finds her very foundation crumbling around her as she fights for her life against the very person she trusted the most.

I had such high hopes for this book. I figured that extending the wait for book five would mean that it would really pack a punch. Unfortunately, it struck out. The Dark Calling was fast paced, don’t get me wrong, but as I came to its conclusion, I realized that absolutely nothing essential toward the plot of the series happened. This book made me feel like I was in limbo. The events that occurred did not warrant an entire novel. They could have been added to a larger story that would have contributed a lot more to the series as a whole. I was expecting so much to happen, I wanted earth shattering information, and kick ass action left in right as more arcana get taken off the board. Very little of these things came to fruition, and I found myself sorely disappointed.

Now we all know that The Arcana Chronicles has a killer love triangle. However, it is slowly starting to destroy itself and it’s breaking my heart. I am still 100% team Jack, but I’m beginning to just want Evie to make a damn choice already so we can all move on with our lives. Both men are just so fricken genuine and perfect that it almost bothers me. It just doesn’t happen like that. My heart breaks for both men, who really seem to be taking the most fallout throughout the books. At this point Cole is messing with the readers’ emotions big time. It’s just not fair.

I wish I could say that The Dark Calling was worth the wait, but it just wasn’t. It barely scratched the itch I was having to read this series again! And now I’m even more bitter that that was all I got after all that time passed. I can only hope that the next book will make up for it! At the rate the story is going, I’m thinking the next book will be the last. At least I hope it will be. Not sure how much longer I can be strung along. I still love this series, so I’m definitely giving up!

Pick up The Dark Calling now! 

Review: Beyond the Red (Beyond the Red #1) by Ava Jae

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Goodreads Summary:

Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.

Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn’t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him.

When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.


My Review

Beyond the Red’s plot summary had me hooked as soon as I read it! I was so looking forward to devouring it’s pages. Unfortunately, I found myself disappointed overall.

The story is set in a desert-ravaged planet during a reality in which humans are minorities, and aliens are the dominant race. They rule over the humans, half of which they take as slaves, and the other half they force to live in the desert landscapes in camps. Beyond the Red is told by the point of views of Kora (an alien queen of sorts) and Eros: a half-blood who is forced to act as her pretend servant. These two must work together to overthrow an evil plot to dethrone Kora. Of course feelings become stirred and though both are in denial, there is no avoiding the love that has grown between them as they go to more and more lengths to ensure each others safety.

Beyond the Red was most certainly a unique tale. The setting was new and different, and the concept was intriguing. However, there were definitely predictable components as well, components that should have been huge reveals, but were just so obvious. And as events continued, I couldn’t help but disengage from the content. I just lost my excitement toward the characters and the story. The romance was constantly a tug-a-war and so frustrating that I found myself not caring anymore. I had so much hope for this book when I first picked it up. I was definitely enthralled by the first 50 pages, but after that, it started to slow down a little too much.

The ending of Beyond the Red was full of suspense and could prove hopeful for a good sequel. I am still deciding if I want to give it a shot or not. Ultimately, I didn’t dislike Beyond the Red, but I didn’t necessarily enjoy it either. I have noticed conflicted reviews on Goodreads, so if you want to give it a shot, I wouldn’t tell you not to.

Buy it on Amazon here.

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!