Book Review: In the End & In the After

In the After & In the End
Demitria Lunetta
YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Published: June 25th 2013 & June 24th 2014
4/5

                                              They hear the most silent of footsteps.
                                              They are faster than anything you’ve ever seen.
                                               And They won’t stop chasing you…until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.
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9780062105455_p0_v2_s260x420 I really enjoyed this duo! It wasn’t what I expected at all and I’m really happy that I tried something out that I hadn’t heard much hype about. The first half of the first book was fantastic and then I took a turn that I hadn’t quite expected in the end and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first but have decided I really liked the plot twist. It sets up the next book pretty well and overall it was a face paced and enjoyable read with a fairly complex story plot for a YA novel.
Baby was a great character, I found her interesting and at times really frustrating because even after finishing the series I feel like I didn’t get to learn enough about her, or at least learn everything I wanted to about her backstory and why things turned out the way they did for her a little more. She was very strong willed and seemed very adaptable, and again there were aspects of her character that I really wish had been delved into a little bit deeper.
Amy was a strong female character, independent from other people; which was refreshing. I really liked that she could hold her own, and that she fought every step of the way for what she believed in and for those who she cared about. She was 100% focused on her mission and despite distractions she kept on a one way track to get to her end game.
It was fantastic that not everything was what it seemed and that we got to travel so much in this new world with Amy as she set about getting things done. Demitria did a fantastic job creating a world that was vivid and easy to imagine. Those creatures were terrifying and I’m very thankful I’m not having to deal with them on a regular basis.18140842
There were some aspects to this duo that I wasn’t a huge fan of, like all the unanswered questions and plot holes. There were a lot of things that were mentioned and never really explained or touched on again. The side characters sometimes really blended into each other and I lost track of who was who a couple of times, though that may have been my fault as I was reading so fast because I was so excited to find everything out. The science was a little weird but realistically it also made a little sense so perhaps most of my issues with that was the fact that it was done so poorly but they did/do have limited resources.
The ending of this duo was really open, and I feel like if the author wanted to write another book or write another story that took place in the same universe she certainly could just because there were so many unanswered questions and blank spots in the plot line. It could be really interesting having a story revolving around baby when she was older perhaps.
Over all a very fantastic, quick paced and action packed read. Really easy to follow plot line and development. I highly recommend binge reading this two books!

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Book Review: Sea of Shadows

Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1)Image
Kelley Armstrong
YA Fantasy
Publish Date: April 8th 2014
*Received an Advanced Reader Copy in good reads giveaway
** This Opinion is 100% my own.

            In the Forest of the Dead, where the Empires worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

            Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

            Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sister’s journey to find each other sends them far from the only home that they have ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls’ cross a once empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court – one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

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            I’ve only recently started reading Kelley Armstrong’s work. I’ve already invested in her new series Cainsville and was really excited to try her young adult fiction. I definitely was not disappointed with Sea of Shadows!
            I really, really, really enjoyed the backstory and all the lore. The whole concept of the Keeper and Seeker, and even the Forest of the Dead really drew me into the story and hooked me. I’ve been getting into fantasy novels a lot in the past year or so, largely in thanks to my Husband and I am super pleased to be adding this series to my collection!
            It’s dark, edgy and has a strong sense of purpose. There is a point and reason as to why each scene in is in this novel and I find that extremely refreshing and uplifting that there were no needless fillers. The main characters each have their own voices and strongly defined personalities. There is personal growth for each character in Sea of Shadows which doesn’t always happen with series, so it was great to see that already taking off.
            The romance aspect is great and seems really natural. It never seems too forced or too rushed for me to find it awkward and unrealistic. I definitely have a favorite couple and a favorite character at this point in the story but will reserve on ‘fan-girling’ all over this book review.
            I’ve noticed that this book isn’t getting the best reviews currently and am hoping that will soon change as I think this series has a whole lot of potential and has a very fascinating story and cast of characters that I personally cannot wait to get to know even better. I love it when things are revealed over time and when you’re not bombarded with information and I think Kelley Armstrong’s writing style is really suited to my reading style and what I want from out of a novel.
            I am looking forward to the second part of this story and am deeply saddened by how long it is I’ll have to wait for it. Thank goodness Kelley Armstrong has many more books and series for me to try out while I wait!
           

Check out of Goodreads Page Here!

Top 10: TBR

Today I am going to share with you the top 10 books that I’ve had on my TBR for the longest amount of time. I am really hoping that I’m going to get around to finishing my amazingly massive amount of TBR books this year! Wish me luck!! I’m definitely going to need it!

1. The Luxe – Anna Godbersen Image
Beautiful Sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan’s social scene, or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City’s elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone from backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud threatens Elizabeth’s and Diana’s golden futures.
With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love but when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city’s gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan’s most celebrated daughter disappear…
In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and break the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.

 

2. The Last Romanov – Dora Levy MossanenImage
She was an orphan, ushered into the royal palace on the prayers of her majesty. Yet, decades later, her time spent in the embrace of the Romanovs haunts her still. Is she responsible for those murderous events that changed everything?
If only she could find the heir, maybe than she could put back together the broken pieces of her own past – and maybe she could hold on to the love that she has found.
Bursting into life with the rich and glorious marvels of Imperial Russia, The Last Romanov is a magical tale of second chances and royal blood.


 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Extras – Scott Westerfield Image
It’s a few years after Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specails regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. “Tech-Heads” Flaunt their latest gadgets, “Kickers” spread gossip and trends, and “surge Monkeys” are hooked on extreme plastic surgery.
It’s all monitored on a bazillion different cameras, the world is like a gigantic game of American Idol. Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes, Popularity rules…
As if being fifteen doesn’t suck enough, Aya Fuse’s rank of 451,369 is so low, she’s a total nobody. An extra… but Aya doesn’t care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle and make kick a good story for herself.
Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull completely crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are but doing so would proper her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity… and extreme danger… a world that she isn’t prepared for.

 

 

 


4. The Book Thief – Markus ZusakImage
It is 1939 Nazi Germany, the country is still holding it’s breath. Death has never been buisier and it will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.


5. The Farm – Emily McKayImage
Life was different in the before; before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are – holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farm by turning on each other…
And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.
Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices – like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears of nowhere, offering to help…
Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world but like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race.

6. Pure – Julianna BaggottImage
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost – how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers… to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. Now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
There were those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked: Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Patridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss – maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotional distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it’s his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely ridged order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Patridge risks his life to leave the Dome and find her.
When Pressia meets Patridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

7. Beautiful Creatures – Kami Garcia & Margaret StohlImage
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten south, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.


8.  The Secret Keeper – Kate MortonImage
During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy.
Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades. From Pre-world WW2 England through the Blitz, to the fifties and beyond, discover the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds – Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy – who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined.
The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams, the lengths people go to fulfill them, and the consequences they can have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers, and schemers told – in Mortons signature style – against a backdrop of events that changed the world.


9. Eona – Alison GoodmanImage
Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon’s army. The renegades are on a quest for the black golio, stone by the drug-riddled Dillion; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona’s power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his trone from the selfstyled “emperor” Sethon. Through it all, Eona must come to terms with her new Dragoneye identity and power – and learn to bear the anguish of the ten dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered. As they focus their power through her, she becomes a dangerous conduit for their plans…


10. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie war – Max brooksImage

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Afria, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies dedoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

BOOK REVIEW: Insurgent

Insurgent (Divergent #2)Image
Veronica Roth
Dystopian YA
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: May 1st 2012
4/5

 

One Choice can transform you… Or destroy you

                Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves – and herself – while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
                Tris’ initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grow. And in the times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable – and even more powerful.
                Transformed by her own decisions but also by her haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so

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                Divergent ended with such a fantastic bang, that I knew despite already having purchased Insurgent I was going to be waiting to read it until Allegiant come out.  I was really excited when I could escape back into the fictional world that Veronica Roth created.  The world building and back story that she has created came through flawlessly in Insurgent, a book that was considerably more action packed than Divergent.
                Insurgent runs high on emotions as politics, family loyalties and friendships are called into question and tough choices have to made. The overall emotional intensity of this books sets it apart from other Young Adult fiction novels that I’ve read and I found that refreshing.  Veronica Roth has a way of exploring more mature themes but in a way that regardless of your age you’re able to identify and relate too.
                The relationship between Four and Tris is constantly tested throughout this book, and despite their differences, personal issues and their young age they deal with them maturely, with unconditional love and compassionate understanding once they allow each other in. They’re both hurting for different reasons and together they are stronger than they ever would be apart. Together, they are an unbreakable force, they are a team and one that I certainly wouldn’t want to tangle with.
                Four’s family background and beliefs are called into attention quite a few times in this book and we learn a lot more about him, mostly why he is the way he is today.  He had very strong character development through out this novel. His loyalty to Tris is unwavering, he is heartwarming to read.
                Over all Insurgent was a good read. It left you waiting for the next and final installment in the series.
                I will be posting the review for Allegiant tomorrow and then will be posting a discussion piece on the series as a whole.
                Let me know what you thought of this book! I’m interested in knowing.

Book Review: Delirium

Delirium (Delirium#1)Image
Lauren Oliver
Young Adult Dystopian
Published: 2011
3.5/5

 

                Delirium takes place in a world fighting the battle against a powerful and vicious disease; one so fierce it could destroy everything that you love about the world and about yourself. It makes people sick, deranged and sometimes it causes people to take their own lives.
                The American government has a cure however, and once each person turns 18 they are placed on an operating table and the cure is administered to them.  After that no one should have anything to fear. Everyone over the age of 18 will be saved from the worst illness to have ever conquered and almost destroyed the human civilization.
                Love is evil, it is bad and no one wants to be caught in its seductive and powerful grasp. At least this is what Lena knows. She is looking forward to her 18th birthday and the day of her procedure. In fact she can hardly contain herself with the want of just getting it over with so she can move on with her life because the last thing she wants is to end up like her mother.
                Delirium is an enjoyable young adult novel, it’s not my favorite Lauren Oliver novel but it’s okay. Sometimes when a book receives a lot of hype the person reading it somewhere down the line gets a little lost in all of it and that’s what happened to me. There were just so many problems with how society would work without love that were not explained and parts about it that left a bitter taste in my mouth. Along with Love they’ve lost emotions like compassion, nurturing parents to start it off.  I cannot imagine any parent could be considered a good parent if there child is screaming in the street and the parent of that child is all like ‘get over it, I’m so not concerned with your tiny human problems’. They do discuss kind of or at least mention that some mothers are unable to bond with their offspring. I feel like the psychology  in this book is seriously lacking… like a lot and though this is a Dystopian and a Young Adult novel I think this was over looked a little too much.  This is the first book however; there is a chance this could be addressed later.
                This book is however, enjoyable to a point. I enjoyed most of the characters, how they all interacted with each other and the romantic storyline though a little shaky and awkward was cute and was affective to the plot and progression of the storyline. This book does end in a cliff hanger, and not even a small one… it’s a pretty massive and enraging cliff hanger. It’s also I think maybe a pointless cliff hanger? Obviously what they are suggesting is not going to happen because that would be terrible and why on earth would anyone want to read a book where something terrible like that happens? It back tracks the plot!
                I own the first book and the third book but do not own the second book which I believe is called Pandemonium so obviously I’m going to have to convince my Hubby that I need this book a.s.a.p. so I can finish it and pray and hope and whine to the book gods that it be better than the first. I’ve been hearing that people are unhappy with the way the series ends and perhaps I’ll be one of those few that’ll be happy with it? We shall see in the future.

                If you have read Delirium, what did YOU think about it? Do you think it lives up to the hype? Also if you’ve read other Lauren Oliver books which one is your favorite thus far?
                ALSO (because I can’t shut up today apparently) what do you think about Delirium becoming a TV Show? Click HERE to find out more!
                <3<3<3<3<3

The Knife of Never Letting Go Review

The Knife of Never Letting Go
-Patrick Ness                                                                                                                                                     The_Knife_of_Never_Letting_Go_by_Patrick_Ness
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What I liked about this book

– How original the story was… I can honestly say that I have not read another book like this at this point in my life
– The Characters all have different and distinctive personalities
– The world, how the people interact with each other, the history of Prentisstown. I thought everything was very creative
– A lot of surprises, I mean so many things I did not expect, and sometimes it was brutal.
– I think this book would appeal to men, it’s adventurous enough, violent enough and there is next to no romance… Plus it’s about a settlement on a new planet! How cool is that? My husband would like this… he’s very into Science fiction/action books.
– Easy to read, easy to understand and left me wanting more!

What I didn’t like about this book
How you are supposed to be able to hear people’s thoughts but people could still sneak up on you? I’m a little unsure how this actually works?
-Something I want to mention but would be a complete and utter spoiler so I won’t mention it.

Would I Recommend this book?
I would 100% recommend this book! To both men and woman… maybe even leaning a bit towards guy readers?

Favorite Characters
My favorite character is actually the puppy Manchee. He was so sweet and so loyal despite Todd’s initial reaction to him.
I also loved Todd’s innocence, and am excited to see where the story takes off after this book.

Thoughts on story as a whole
I loved the whole thing, every page, every part. Thought it was just a fantastic surprising read, there were so many twists and turns and surprising plot lines. Beyond fantastic, I am not usually a huge Science fiction reader but this book completely won me over. There were some scenes that were so heart wrenching and shocking that I almost couldn’t believe it.  One of my favorite books I’ve read in 2012. I also think you should READ THIS BOOK!

Will I read the Sequels?
Yes, Yes, and yes.