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: Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James

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Goodreads Summary:

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world. 

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price? 

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution. 

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

***I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest Review****

My Review

I really struggled with this book, and I tried to enjoy it but I just could not get into it whatsoever! And to be honest, I didn’t finish Gilded Cage. I usually don’t write reviews for books I don’t finish, but I did get 62% through so I feel I should at least plead my case.

Gilded Cage starts off by following the lives of the Hadley family as they decide to embark on their “slave days” in which they must commit to a mandatory 1o years of servitude in a specific location. Everyone in this book is subject to performing these 10 years at some point in their lives. In the world of Gilded Cage, regular people have very little rights and are at the mercy of Equals who have something called Skill which basically means they have some kind of significant power that makes them more important than others.

The concept of the story caught my attention immediately, which is why I couldn’t’ wait to start it. I wish I could have enjoyed it more but I just didn’t. The beginning was pretty solid, however as the plot continued they kept throwing in more points of view and it just got messy and hard to follow. I found myself not caring about these other POVs and getting frustrated that there was this much content dedicated to these characters. The story quickly lost it’s appeal. The overall concept was certainly there but I think the foundation of the story got a little too jumbled for  me.

Has anyone else read Gilded Cage yet? Did you dislike it as well? Is it just me?

Reread and Review: Indebted (The Premonition #3) by Amy A. Bartol

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Goodreads Summary:

I hang my head in sorrow for just a moment when I know I am truly alone. I feel like I’m going to my execution, just as he had said. Then I move forward again. I hop a fence of fieldstone and cross a field dotted with Queen Anne’s lace. Goose bumps rise on my arms as I pass the cluster of windmills that I have seen in a dream. The scent is sweet in the field though, not the scent of heat, like it had been when it was forced upon me in visions. I gaze down the hill, beyond the small, whitewashed house that I knew would be there. The church looms dark and grim with its rough-hewn, timber façade, capped by tall, oblong spires reaching to the sky. Black, ominous clouds have collected above the roofline, as if Heaven is showing me the way.

My Review

I was so ecstatic to finally reread Indebted in my overly long journey of rereading The Premonition series so I can at last read the final book in the series! I absolutely love this series, and book three was just as fantastic the second time around!

Evie now has survived everything her crazy world has to throw at her: including archangels  and a hoard of fairies. Yeah this series really is this insane! After having just barely escaped Brennus with the help of Russell and getting thrown into the fire of Dominion, Evie must remain alert at all times for any other new threats. She is most definitely not out of the storm yet as she encounters creatures she never could have imagined existed!

Indebted is a pivotal novel in this series in that it makes you reevaluate the difference between good and evil. It also tears at your heart and emotions like never before. Although I am forever team Reed, I began to see things from Brennus’ perspective and sympathize with his love for Evie. Book three really delves into the layers of each character.   Of course I was hooked from the very start! And even though there were super frustrating parts in this book, I couldn’t put it down. The action and developments were non-stop! It was utterly enthralling and I am more in love with Reed than ever before!

I would most definitely recommend anyone who has started this series to continue on with it! I can’t wait to read more!

Buy it on Amazon here!

Review:Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead

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Goodreads Summary:

I wasn’t free of my past, not yet.

Sydney’s blood is special. That’s because she’s an alchemist – one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiences in question, her future is on the line.

When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.

The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside – and within – the school grounds. Now that they’re in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.

SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE VAMPIRE ACADEMY SERIES, READ NO FURTHER! 

My Review

I was so excited to get my hands on Bloodlines after absolutely loving The Vampire Academy! I knew the story was focused on Sydney the Alchemist but I wasn’t entirely sure what it was all about. I am so glad I started this journey with the series!

The story focuses on a new assignment for Alchemist Sydney with Jill (the half-sister of the Lissa). After Jill is brutally attacked at court she is asked to be sent away under the protection of guardians and Sydney at a boarding school among humans. After the events surrounding Rose, Sydney has been under scrutiny from her fellow Alchemists, so this is her chance to prove herself and her loyalties. However, as mysterious events surrounding alchemy tattoos progress, and she spends more and more time with Adrain, she soon finds that the line between good and evil is a lot more blurred than she realized.

Sydney’s point of view was refreshing and unexpectedly entertaining. She has a fire in her that you don’t get to see in the Vampire Academy books. Her wit and quick intuition makes her adaptable and lovable at the same time. Though there was not a whole lot of action throughout, I found myself wholly intrigued and pulled in by the characters. There were so many questions being thrown out and I had to know the answers. I wound up being very surprised by how things played out and completely enthralled by the content! The ending was highly suspenseful and utterly gripping, not to mention, I was left with even more questions by the time I reached the last page.

I cannot wait to read book two of this lovely series, I would definitely recommend reading Bloodlines if you loved Vampire Academy as much as I did! Buy it on Amazon here!

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

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Goodreads Summary:

Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew… 

My Review

I listened to Paper Towns on audiobook which may or may not have been a mistake. I definitely feel like I missed some of the great lines from this book that were probably really profound. I’m honestly not really sure if I would have enjoyed Paper Towns more if I had physically read the book or not. I didn’t dislike Paper Towns by any means, but I wasn’t in love with it.

The story focuses on the point of view of Quentin who is a senior in high school and is just trying to make it through to graduation. He has known Margo Roth Spiegleman almost all of his life but they have drifted apart over the years. That is until she takes him on a wild night full of adventure and crime! However, when she disappears the next day, Q is determined to find her no matter what it takes. Though finding her is much easier said than done.

The beginning of Paper Towns was complete perfection! I was hooked on the characters from the beginning and thoroughly entertained! Though I totally found myself totally annoyed by Margo as time went on!! She just seemed like such a conceited b****, granted I didn’t feel so strongly in the beginning, but as events progressed I began to dislike her more. Although I was really intrigued by Quentin and his friends. Each one of them was so layered and structured. Their interactions were hilarious! Though the beginning and a lot of the middle and some of the end were very well done, I couldn’t help but feel super agitated by the conclusion! I just expected so much more after such a big buildup! I was left feeling bereft.

I still recommend reading Paper Towns, however I would exercise caution when approaching the end. Don’t look for things to work out as planned. I’m starting to notice a pattern with John Green and his endings…

Buy Paper Towns on Amazon here!

Review: An Ember in the Ashes (Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

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Goodreads Summary:

Laia is a slave.

Elias is a soldier.

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

My Review

I have heard all the hype on An Ember in the Ashes and have seen it all over bookstagram, but I never really knew what it was about until I picked it up! I actually have had this book checked out for over a month and had to keep renewing it until I was able to finally read it! And wow was it worth the wait!!! I absolutely loved this book!

The story follows the two perspectives of Laia and Elias, it alternates chapters between the two, which got pretty frustrating let me tell you. Almost every chapter ended on a cliff hanger and you had to wait to see the others POV to get back to that, it was great when the two characters began to finally interact with one another because you were able to learn more as you went. Anyway, Laia is a slave and Elias is a soldier, who happens to be the son of the leader of the army. However, things are a lot more complicated then a division of class between these two characters. Laia is forced into becoming a spy for the resistance in order to save her imprisoned brother, and Elias must make the most difficult decision of his life when he is thrown into a series of Trials made to test the very fabric of his soul. Their lives become remarkably intertwined as the stakes rise higher and higher.

The plot twists and developments in this book were non-stop!! I was so completely hooked from the start! The characters were beautifully structured and the story was very fast paced. The relationship between Elias and Laia was so endearing and very differently formed compared to past books. Though this book is not heavily romantic, it added greatly to the meaning of the content. The world that Tahir created is unlike any I’ve encountered. I cannot wait to see what comes next!! I am so eager to get my hands on book three!

If you are looking for the next great adventure, filled with twists, and epic characters, then I would most definitely recommend you read An Ember in the Ashes! Pick it up on Amazon here!

Review: Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca

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Goodreads Summary:

Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a supernatural connection. Since her mother discourages these beliefs, Ella keeps her cemetery visits secret. But she may not be the only one with secrets. Ella’s mother might be lying about how Dad died sixteen years ago. Newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident as her mother always claimed. After a lifetime of just the two of them, Mom suddenly feels like a stranger.

When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, at first she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before. If it’s not a warning, could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible for the strange occurrences? Or maybe it’s the grieving building superintendent whose dead daughter strongly resembles Ella? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her.

Soon the evidence points to someone else entirely: Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.

Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Timesbestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home. 

***I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review***

My Review

I was intrigued by Black Flowers, White Lies from the get-go! I mean look at the gorgeous cover!!  The story pulled me in instantly. First off Ella loves cats and books, so we immediately related! Although she’s definitely a crazy cat lady, not that there’s anything wrong with that! Any who, her life gets turned upside down when her mother remarries and she meets her hot and endearing step brother Blake. However, before she knows it she’s unraveling secrets about the death of her father and soon begins questioning the reality around her. Sinister plots lurk around her from every corner, and she finds herself struggling to distinguish the lies from reality.

Black Flowers, White Lies had a fast plot that was filled with twists and questions on every page. I was falling into the same traps with Ella. I desperately needed to know what was real and what was actually happening to Ella. Certain things however were most certainly predictable, although not everything turned out the way I had anticipated. The suspense was pretty constant.

I flew through this book, however the ending was a bit anticlimactic, so you can imagine that I was a little disappointed that there was no bang! Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the book, I was just expecting more of a big finish. This lead me to the expectation that there would have been a second book, but this book is in fact a stand alone.

If you are looking for a fast thriller that will hook you in from page one, I would most definitely recommend reading Black Flowers, White Lies. Buy it on Amazon here!