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!

Book Review: The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds (Darkest Minds #1)Image
Alexandra Bracken
Paranormal YA (Dystopian)
Published: 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
4/5

                When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp”. She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
                Now Sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
                When the truth comes out Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her – East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby but no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.
                When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
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                Going into the ‘Darkest Minds’ I was not really sure what I was going to be getting myself into. When most movies, books, etc., are over hyped I usually find it hard to really give myself fully to the experience. However, I was easily immersed in the effortless writing and progressive plot.
                Many of the things that Ruby experiences generally hurt my heart, I couldn’t imagine being a child and having been rejected by everyone and everything I had ever known and loved.  Knowing nothing about your situation or why you’re in that particular situation would be terrifying and I found that part of Ruby relatable in the sense that her reactions seemed genuine, they seemed similar to how I would have expected myself to react.
                One thing I really loved about the ‘Darkest Minds’ was all the unanswered questions, which may seem a little strange to you but to me it was refreshing. There is nothing I find more annoying than having all the answers before the story even really begins or has started to settle in.  Despite the story having been told by Ruby`s point of view, any information relating to her past is very secretive to the point where you wonder if she`s hiding it from herself. She seems to be just as much of a mystery to herself as she does to me.
                All of the characters really are shrouded in mystery and again that’s what makes this book so fascinating and why you find yourself without the ability to put the book down.
                Mind reading, mind control, telekinesis, etc., has always been fascinating to me. I couldn`t imagine a world where these things exist and if they do exist I hope it`s not such a brutal awakening as it were in this book. I thought that Alexandra Bracken did a marvelous and engaging job portraying these abilities and explaining them in how they pertain to the book.
                If you’re looking for earth shattering romance however, you’re not going to find it here. Obviously there is a little bit of lovey dovey stuff going between Liam and Ruby but it’s extremely mild, and yet very tender and realistic. Perhaps the other novels will have more of a thrilling romance but I don’t have high hopes for that as it seems to be that this book is definitely not a romance dystopian in the way that Delirium was.
                At any rate The “Darkest Minds” was a great success for me, I quite enjoyed myself and am looking forward to eventually diving into the next book in the series that’ll probably end on a terrible gut wrenching cliff hanger, because it seems to me that’s the way trilogies work these days.

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.

Seattle Book Haul

                For my Husband and I’s first year anniversary we spent the long weekend in September (our anniversary is September 1st) in Seattle. We stayed at a ridiculously nice hotel, ate amazing food and went to the Zoo. Of course, we also did some shopping and of course I did quite a bit of book shopping.

First we went to Half Price books, where I purchased Bitter blue, Beautiful Darkness, and Beautiful Chaos
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We then went to mutli-level Barnes & Nobel and I purchased Feed, Origin, Drowned Cities and an amazing hard cover version of Little Woman.
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I thought I would also share a couple pictures from our trip as well, so enjoy! ❤
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Book Review: The Death Cure

Name:  The Death CureImage
Series:  The Maze Runner Trilogy
Author:  James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s books
Published: 2011
3/5
(Spoilers)

                Thomas knows that WICKED can’t be trusted. They stole his memories and locked him insie the maze. They forced him to the brink of death by dropping him in the wilds of the Scorch and they took the Gladers, his only friends, from him.
                Now WICKED says that the time for lies is over. That they’ve collected all the data they can from the Trails and will rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission: To complete the blueprint for the cure for the Flare, but they must undergo one final test.
                What WICKED doesn’t know, however, is that Thomas has already remembered far more than they think and it’s enough to prove that he can’t believe a world of what WICKED says.
                The time for lies IS over and the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever have imaged.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ___________________

                The Death Cure starts out as strong as the first two books in the series but steadily falls and fails to capture the adventure of the first two books. I found that the book swayed from the main plot focus and started to become a little confusing and muddled, as though the author wasn’t sure himself where the direction was going with the final installment of the Maze Runner Trilogy.
                The synopsis on the back of the book heavily presses the fact that the ‘Time for lies is over’ However I found myself learning very little in the wake of this. All the revelations left with me with more questions and with less of a concrete ending than I would have liked. Characters were introduced that we learnt very little about although you’re lead to believe at some points that they’re important or they’re just not explained well at all in general.
                There are also a few character deaths, they’re brutal and cold and kind of left a gross taste in my mouth, they seemed needless and though life is not perfect and the world created within this book is very desolate, bleak and unhopeful I was hoping for more hope… more… something. The ending was also extremely open, open to the point where you basically get to decide what happens. That is unless the author decides to write a fourth book and make the trilogy a quartet… which isn’t likely to happen.
                Despite the lack of a strong ending the series is still enjoyable, I would still recommend the series, I would just warn you that the ending may not live up to your standards if they were set by the previous two books in the series. I feel as though James Dashner just wasn’t sure which direction he was heading in anymore and that’s how we ended up with a bit of a disaster.
                Have you read this series? How did you feel about the ending? What did you like/did not like? Would love to hear your opinions!

Book Review: The Selection

The Selection (The Selection #1) Selection
Kiera Cass
YA Dystopian Romance
Published By: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: April 2012
4/5

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels, To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
For America, being selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her current lover Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want and living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon and gradually she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined

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This book sure gets quite a lot of mixed reviews! I wasn’t sure if I’d like this book at all… some people were making this book sound like absolute dribble. I however enjoyed the book over all.
The writing wasn’t great, and some of the storyline fell flat and felt forced and lacked a feeling of ‘realness’. There are redeeming qualities though, it’s cute, it makes your heart flutter and you’re excited to watch the romance and plot line develop.  I found myself smiling quite a few times, and I may have even laughed. It’s very lighthearted despite some of the dark tones and it truly does make for a great lazy read.
I actually liked America’s character, I hate her name. I do not like it when people name their children after countries, cities or whatever It`s actually a huge pet peeve for me and another huge reason I put off reading the book for so long… I know that`s terrible. She wasn’t too aggressive with her dislike of the competition, she was humble without being annoyingly so and I felt that though she didn’t develop much over the story and stayed kind of static that I didn’t mind it so much.
Prince Maxon may have been a tad too perfect. I would think he would be more arrogant and entitled… you know have an attitude but he didn’t seem to have any flaws at all, he was very humble, awed and seemed surprised so many attractive women wanted to date him and potentially marry him. I found that a little frustrating, okay more than a little frustrating, he also read a lot like Aspen. They could be the same character a lot of the time and I am not a fan of that.
The romance developed nicely; it was really cute and made me smile a lot. Even if a books not great if it came make me smile and feel mushy it’s done a great job. Although I think every year I get older I get sappier, it’s really bizarre.
The plot had some definite holes in it that made no sense to me, and was under developed in some parts but again, I think this really comes down to what you want in a book. The Romance is definitely the main story plot and everything else is secondary, so it would make sense that other things such as the rebel subplot aren’t developed quite as smoothly. This is Young Adult fiction after all and it tends to be less complex for the most part (Not always but usually in books like this it is) however, if you enjoy romance this is a fantastic read.
The only reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 stars was for the plot holes, because despite really enjoying the romance, it did annoy me how often it fell flat in the development progression.
I am still looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of Elite, which is the section book in the “Selection Trilogy”
Also, this SONG really reminds me of this book so I thought I’d share it with you!
Enjoy! ❤

Book Review: Legend

LegendImage
Marie Lu
YA Dystopia
Publisher: SPEAK (an imprint of Penguin)
Published: 2011
5/5

            What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
                From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

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                This novel alternates between Day and June; each character receives their own chapters and all of Day’s chapters are written in gold ink. The detail that was put into the book art is fantastic, great fonts, embossing, foiling, texture; this is an absolutely beautifully put together book. The amount of detail is really quite something and this is easily one of the most graphically beautiful books that I’ve ever owned. I’ve spent a lot of time staring at this book even before I bought it; it does a fantastic job of grabbing your attention.
                Both Day and June are fantastic, well developed characters. They each hold their own and have strong voices that I did not find blended in together as one voice too often, the author managed to keep both of them distinctly different.  These two are going to make an un-stoppable team and I wouldn’t want to be one of their enemies!
                The world building was also very well done, it was pleasing, easy to follow and full of a rich culture that is easily believable. Despite technological advances each sector of the city has their own characteristics and the differences between all of them are vast, well thought out and detailed to an enjoyable amount.
                Everything about this book is strong, and it’s very easy to see why so many people are falling over themselves to read this series. Well written, strong characters, great storyline and development. June is a kick-butt character who can hold her own, she’s strong, smart, determined and a great fighter and in every way I believe almost the female version of Day, they’re just different sexes and grew up in different worlds but beneath the power of the same government.
                I enjoyed all the developments and little surprises along the way, all the events both large and small seemed to have taken place with a purpose and I really enjoyed that a whole lot.
                Definitely worth your read, easily one of the best dystopia’s written in the Young Adult genre.
                I am looking forward to Prodigy which looks like it will be another beautiful book.