Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the UniverseWhere To Buy:
Amazon, page Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Book Depository

Goodreads Synopsis:
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone – one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship – tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

My Review:
This book was WAAAAAY better than I expected! To be honest, it gave me the same emotions and fears that the Hunger Games series did — the whole not being in control of your existence and dictatorship and what not. It was brilliant.

Revis does an amazing job with the world building, and I found myself even more afraid of space and planets then I was before (my biggest fear is the movie Gravity). She not only made oblivion very really, she coupled it with twisted versions of history, sociology, and psychology. It was simply fantastic.

The characters were spot on great. Amy, the frozen human who was awakened too soon, was a great female protagonist. She wasn’t a quiet, timid girl. She was a powerhouse of emotion and spunk. And she didn’t back down, especially when she knew things were wrong. I really appreciate when authors take the time to develop a really strong female character.

Her support system in Elder and Harley was really great too. Elder, probably the most developed character (in my opinion), was a joy to witness. His thought processes shifted from beginning to end, which showed huge growth on his part. Can you imagine being told one thing all of your life, only to discover that it’s all been a lie? Amy was that breakthrough for him, initially, but he had to finally accept what he thought to be true all his own. I loved being in his mind.

Harley, my sweet boy, was such a joy to read about. He was the comic relief of the group, the laid back one, but also one who was in a lot of pain. I just wanted to wrap my arms around him and comfort him. He was so sweet.

The plot to ATU was such a great concept — genocide, slavery, murder — all in space. It’s amazing how concepts that we’re currently familiar with in the 21st century, can still be translated into future generations. Human nature is such an interesting concept. People fear what they don’t understand. Fear can lead to irrationality. So, in a way, I get what Eldest way trying to convey. But despite what he was trying to do, I can’t agree with anything he’s done. He was the ultimate antagonist, in my opinion. He’s a scary person. And Revis did a great displaying that.

The secrets revealed and the stories told were so shocking to me, at times, but as the plot unfolded, things really started to click and make sense. To the point where I kept telling myself, “I should have seen that coming”.

I enjoy the pace of Elder & Amy’s friendship/relationship and can only hope it turns into something beautiful.

Great start to this series!

Rating:
5 out of 5 stars!

Evertrue (Everneath #3) by Brodi Ashton Book Review

Evertrue

Where To Buy: Amazon, order  Barnes & Noble, page  Book Depository, order  Books-A-Million

Goodreads Summary: Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself… which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die.

Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?

**Do NOT read this review if you have not read the first TWO books. There are SPOILERS!**

My Review: The final third of this book is what decided the rating. Had my rating been based on the first two-thirds, I’d have given it a 3.5 or 4 stars. This book ended perfectly, first of all. I still say that the second book was my favorite of the trilogy, because it’s the one that shocked me and grabbed me the most, but the ending to this book was heartfelt, sad, yet appropriate at the same time.

We pick up with the decision of Nikki deciding she needs to destroy the Everneath because Cole tricked her into beginning her transformation into an Everliving. Throughout this entire book, I was suspicious of Cole yet I enjoyed him at the same time. I kept wondering what he had up his sleeve now that Nikki and Jack knew what he did. But then Brodi Ashton decides to throw me a curve ball and give Cole something quite big to deal with throughout the entire book. When I found out about Cole’s situation, I was PISSED! I couldn’t believe that Ashton would even allow me to be confused over how I was feeling about Cole. I mean, I will continue to say that he was the best developed character of the entire series, but that didn’t mean I had to like him. Or feel sorry for him. But Ashton has me questioning.

Having Jack back in the picture was great, but at times I felt like he was a little too much. Especially when Nikki had to feed off of Cole, which we all knew was necessary in order for her to stay alive. Jack needed to chill. Just a little.

Then Nikki, having been through hell & high water with the Everneath and with Cole, still made a few rash decisions that had me scratching my head. But by the end of the book, I honestly just settle in the fact that this was who she was. She’s a compassionate person, and sometimes even when you’ve been scorned, you can’t help having that compassion, even if you could potential get burned again.

Can I just say that I love Will? That’s all. No particular reason, other than I just love how dedicated he is and how he is always willing to help.

For me, the middle of the novel dragged a bit. Especially when Nikki & Jack are trying to deal with Cole. Once again, there’s the struggle with the decision to trust Cole or to not trust Cole. And I was struggling with it too.

Throughout the entire series, regardless what Cole has done to Nikki, you can tell that he cares about her. But he’s also acting out of his own selfish desires. You see it in Everneath, you see it in Everbound, and you see it in Evertrue. It’s just obvious. He loves her, which means he wants her happy, but he’s also selfish.

The queen — she was boring to me. In the previous book and this one. The Shades were scarier than she was. I kept thinking “Can you just die? Please? I’m over you.” I think the queen could have been written a little better. I always expect more out of female characters, so I just wasn’t feeling this queen.

My favorite scene in the entire book? Not the romance, not the fighting, not anything Cole-related. Nope. It was the frickin’ BEETLE scene! Can you say EWWWWWW???! I cringed as I read that scene. The fact that Nikki had to walk across a bed of beetles, each the size of half of her foot?? What the hell, man?! I would have just laid down to die. I couldn’t do it. That scene gave me hives just thinking about it!

Overall, this was a great story. There are things within the entire series that I wish were written better, but I am not going to nitpick over this trilogy. I’m just glad that Ashton ended the story in a way that was satisfactory. At least for me, and I’m sure for others as well.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5!

Cover Reveal: ‘The Bane Chronicles’ Print Edition

What better why to celebrate the release of the final installment of The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare then by revealing the cover for the print edition of said chronicles?! Cassie knows wassup, view so that’s exactly what happened.

I will not be buying/reading anymore of the individual TBC installments because I’ve been waiting to get my hands on the physical copy. Good news — print copy is coming. Bad news — we have to wait until November. Oh well. One step at a time.

Without further ado, this site here is the cover for the print edition of Cassandra Clare, more about Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson’s The Bane Chronicles.

The Bane Chronicles

Isn’t it beautiful? I mean we’ve always had an idea of what it would look like because of the installment covers, but this just looks magical.

And yes, that DOES say exclusive BONUS story there. How cool!

I’m honestly SO excited about this release, I don’t care if I have to wait until November. It’ll probably take me until then to get over my feels (or at least semi-contain them) from CoHF in May.

What do you think of the cover? Are you excited about the print edition?

The Promise of Amazing Book Review

The Promise of Amazing

Where To Buy: Amazon, viagra 40mg Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Goodreads Summary: Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who’s always done what she’s supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how. 

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

My Review: This book was pretty bad. I honestly think it deserves to be categorized as bad fan fiction. But I digress. This is the lowest rating I’ve ever given, that I can recall, and I have not a single ounce of guilt in saying so.

The characters weren’t believeable, the plot was very weak, and the title of the book is the real kicker. “The Promise of Amazing”? Really? There’s nothing amazing about this promise. As a matter of fact, I feel like I wasted my time.

Wren and Grayson are just so annoying together, as well as separate. I think the author tried to build something worthwhile & genuine between these two, but fell quite short. Wren was a just quiet naive girl and Grayson swept in with all of his problems, and it became your typical, predictable, boy meets girl story. Even the secondary characters were weak.

Wren’s friends were boring and somewhat inauthentic to me. The friendship between them was just off. I didn’t feel like they were good friends, they felt like some people that Wren just happened to know. And Grayson’s friends were just as bad, though we learn why his friends are they way that they are. Luke was an asshole, unnecessarily. He really was just a whiny brat, who pissed in your cereal if he didn’t get his way. And his flavor of the moment, Ava, was just as bad.

The only redeemable characters in this book for me were Brooke, Wren’s sister, and Eben, Wren’s coworker. They seemed like they had decent heads on their shoulders. I actually wanted to learn more about them, as opposed to everyone else. Wren’s parents were background characters at best, and Grayson’s parents were just there. I know that his parents were supposed to paint a deeper picture of Grayson’s life and why he’s the way that he is — but nope. That was a fail, too. You get a tiny glimpse into Grayson’s vulnerability with the hosptial scene, but it was over in like 2 pages.

I couldn’t bring myself to care about ANY of these characters. And I think that’s why I’m so PISSED! I just didn’t care. The only person I wanted to know about was Brooke and that was because she was pregnant (that’s not a spoiler). That’s it. And I know that wasn’t the author’s intention, which allows me to further state that this book was lukewarm and all over the place.

By the end of the book, when it came to Grayson & Wren, I was ready to scream “just break up and be done already!” Nothing is worth how bored I am with this relationship. He lied constantly, for NO reason at all, brought Wren into his web of issues. And Wren bought it. Girl, what? ASK questions. Do not be that girl. Yes, I know they’re teenagers, but I know a lot of girls (and guys) who are more mature about things than these two. It just wasn’t realistic for me. And I felt like everything was being forced to happen. And what made it worse — it was all happening within a plot that was weak to begin with.

I remember by the end of like, chapter 3, Grayson was talking about the “connection” he felt with Wren. What connection? You literally JUST met her, like one paragraph ago. What connection? She uttered ten words to you. I’m confused. I felt like a couple of chapters had been torn out or something. There was just a huge gap in character development. And it made me angry.

This is the harshest review I’ve ever written, but I write so many positive reviews that I feel I need to make sure I’m as honest with the books I don’t like as well.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

A.S. King, My New Favorite Author

So, side effects my initiative for the New Year is to read an author that I’ve never read before, viagra buy who I’m not familiar with, price and who is not in a genre that I typically read — quite the challenge for me (because I’m a creature of habit).

I chose contemporary YA author, A.S. King.

A.S. King

I ended up picking A.S. King (A.S. stands for Amy Sarig) because of Ariel Bissett on YouTube. She raves about King in many of her videos and so I did some research on her books and found them very intriguing. I decided to pick one book that sounded the most interesting to me, which initially was Everybody Sees the Ants. I read it in like a day or two — the book was fantastic! And my A.S. King journey took off from there.

I then read Reality BoyAsk the Passengers, and Please Ignore Vera Dietz — all of which I absolutely LOVED.

King has such a beautiful way of telling stories and making you feel for her characters. Her main characters are so deep and troubled, but they always come out better on the other side. There are quite a few metaphors through a lot of her books, which makes me think that King love to think in analogies, metaphors, and symbolism.

In Everybody Sees the Ants, the ants are a metaphor for Lucky Linderman’s social experiences. In Reality Boy, Gerald Faust’s bowel movements, while very real and very gross, are a metaphor for something as well. In Ask the Passengers, Astrid’s experiences with the passengers — those “passengers” are a metaphor for something else entirely. And finally, in Please Ignore Vera Dietz, Charlie’s countless manifestations are symbolism of a secret that Vera needs to tell.

A.S. King always has a life lesson at the end of her books, I’ve come to find. A lesson that, while meant for the character to experience, also ends up teaching the reader something about his or herself as well.

She even said that she enjoys writing for young adults versus adults because “young adult minds are endless…adult minds are often not so endless”, which is a true statement and is also part of the reason why I love Young Adult fiction so much.

1413846_ME_BookAward_LKH

King’s books have won many awards from the L.A. Times Book Prize awards for Ask The Passengers, 2012’s ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults in Everybody Sees the Ants, and 2011’s Michael L. Printz Awards for Please Ignore Vera Dietz. She is a writer of short stories as well, and believe me, I will get to those soon!

Her fellow colleagues, i.e. other authors, praise her work:

” A.S. King is one of the best YA writers working today. She captures the disorientation of adolescence brilliantly.” – John Green, best-selling author of The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns

“Timely, incisive, compassionate. All of A.S. King’s novels are must-reads.” – Matthew Quick, best-selling author of The Silver Linings Playbook

Overall, this is not an author to sleep on. King’s novels have lessons for you to learn, things for you to experience, and characters for you to fall in love with. If there is one thing that I can say about King’s writing and her creativity, she is not afraid to write flawed characters and she is very good at making us love them as they are — flawed. It’s not about them developing into the perfect person. It’s not even about them getting everything right in the end. It’s just a life experience. King allows us to experience human interaction and everyday life through the eyes of someone who is struggling. And after reading an A.S. King book, I come out of the experience a little different from when I started.

Not many authors have that power over me — but A.S. King definitely does.

Prepping for Sequels | Re-Watching & Re-Reading – Why Do It?

Hello loves!

This is going to be my last post for a while because I am participating in NaNoWriMo, erectile which is an annual writing contest that I’m sure Sara spoke about in a previous post.

Today I want to discuss what I call “Prepping for Sequels”. This also pertains to trilogies, hospital serial installments, whatever.

Basically what it means is — getting yourself mentally ready for the next installment of a story — whether it is a book, television show, or film. How do you get ready? Or do you even get ready?

Divergent Trilogy

This idea came to me about a week ago when I was getting ready to read Veronica Roth’s Allegiant. I was conditioning myself and making myself ready to merge into the Divergent world once again by re-reading Insurgent, by reading various wiki pages and story notes. The reason why I did that is because I know that it’s the only way I am going to get the full experience that I know Veronica Roth is trying to create for me.

The same can be said for television shows — I will be doing the same thing for Sherlock when it returns in January; or films — I will be re-reading Catching Fire and re-watching The Hunger Games film, in preparation for the Catching Fire film in a few weeks!

So…do YOU have to be this extreme? Absolutely not.

But films, television shows, and books are created to give you an experience. And most of the time, that experience is disrupted by a book’s ending, a season finale, the next part having not been released yet, etc. There are all types of disruptions that leave us wanting more, but we’re unable to get “more”. So we’re left in a state of pause. In a state of constant anticipation until the next installment is in our hands or on our screens! Believe me, I feel like that everyday. There’s always something I’m waiting on!

But in that state of pause, time passes and we begin to fill our minds with new books, new shows, new films. And the details of what we were waiting for may not be as fresh in our minds as they once were. That is why “prepping for sequels” is such a good idea!

Hunger Games Trilogy

How do I prep? Well, it depends upon what type of media it is:

Books: I typically re-read the previous book (or two — depending on how long it’s been).

This may seem like a tedious process, but if you are an avid book lover and reader, like I am, then it’s not a problem. I have an entire reading calendar set aside for first reads and I have second calendar for re-reads. The experience is very important to me, so I make sure I’m prepared ahead of time, when I know I am waiting on the next installment to a story.

Television Shows: I’m not really a big TV watcher, but as you know, I do watch Sleepy Hollow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I have a rule for television, especially since I have a DVR. That rule is — I do not let a show pile up to more than 3 unwatched episodes. Why do I do that? Because, personally speaking, 3 episodes is all is takes for me to become uninterested in a show. Once I’ve missed 3 eps, I just give up because it’s a hassle for me to play catch up. But since I’ve given myself this rule, I’ve done a fairly good job staying on top of things.

But where the real preparation for TV shows comes into play is between seasons. When season one has ended and you have to wait 3 months for season two to begin. Oh the torture! But finally, it’s time for season two to start, but you need to refresh your memory on what happened at the end of season one. What I recommend doing (and it’s what I do now) is going back to season one and re-watching the last two episodes (at least). Give yourself time to get immersed in the world once again, so you can go into the next installment with freshly “seasoned” eyes.

Movies: For me, this is the category that could potential require the most investment. And I will use The Hunger Games trilogy as the example. I briefly mentioned that in preparation for the Catching Fire film, that I am not only go to re-read the book of the same name, but that I am also going to re-watch the first film. When you’re as passionate about book to film adaptations as I am, then it’s no surprise that I am doing this.

But if you’re really a moviegoer and not a book reader, then I’d just recommend re-watching the first film.

I think re-reading and/or re-watching allows you to have a broader perspective and a clearer mental lens when going into the next film. I use the prep as a means of getting myself excited — all over again — about the fandom and for the series. I don’t want to be the person that’s sitting in the theater confused because I can’t remember a crucial point in the plot. I hate that feeling.

Overall, I just think that preparing for a sequel that you know is coming can be a really fun and enhancing experience. It’s nice to remind yourself why you loved something in the first place. Or to just experience an inkling of the first time you read/saw that book or movie. I definitely don’t think you need to scold yourself if you don’t get around to prepping (unless that’s how you operate), but I do think we should all try it. At least once, if we haven’t already.

What do you think? What are some sequels/next installments that you’re looking forward to? And how are you prepping, if you are?

I’m out of here. Wish me luck with NaNoWriMo!

Christina Marie