Book of the Week-Champion

It’s here, salve its here, cost its finally here!

And okay, Prodigy totally released back in January and I haven’t even had to wait a year, like you do for most books, but I was just so excited that Champion had finally released. I downloaded it to my Kindle as soon as I was able to, and spent the next three hours, devouring the novel.

This was a finale worth waiting for, and I can’t wait to dive into it, so let’s do it!

Champion by Marie Lu 

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GoodReads / Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository

Genre:

Young Adult, Dystopian

Part of a Series?:

The third and final book of the Legend Trilogy

Please keep in mind that while there will be no spoilers for Champion, there WILL be spoilers for Legend and Prodigy. You can read the review for the first book, Legend, by clicking here

You May Like if You Liked:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

Age Recommendation:

14+

Plot Summary:

From Good Reads:

The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

He is a Legend. 

She is a Prodigy. 

Who will be Champion? 

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic-and each other-and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them one again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s best selling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion. 

The Bad:

This is going to be so insanely vague, that if you haven’t read the book, you’re not going to know what I’m saying in the slightest. But if you’ve read the book, you’ll understand. Something happens in the end, something very dramatic, and a certain character’s reaction just…it bothered me a lot. It did seem very fitting to the character, but I think I was still in the immediate emotional reaction and I could barely deal with it myself, and the certain character’s reaction just surprised me. The more that I think about it, the more that it makes sense, especially for that character, but I think I expected more. Maybe I’ve been still stuck in the dramatic and emotional ending of Allegiant, so that’s why I reacted this way. Marie Lu’s ending was perfect for HER story, and HER characters. I think the lack of emotional reaction from a particular character just rubbed me the wrong way.

The Good:

There are so many reasons why I think Marie Lu is the top notch writer of young adult dystopia, and it really culminates in this finale. She takes everything and brings it all together in this final book, and she does it so beautifully. I was so incredibly satisfied and impressed with this book.

The relationships that Marie builds is so incredible. It was enjoyable to watch June and Day’s relationship in this book, especially after the lie that Day told at the end of Prodigy. Day is dying and he tells June that they aren’t going to work, and the book starts off with them in two very separate lives. The way they are brought together, and the way their friendship and relationship evolves in the book is so real, and raw, and beautiful. It all seems so real, and mature. The other relationships and connections are so real too. Day’s relationship and commitment to his brother Eden. His friendship with Tess. Even the relationships between June and Thomas, and Commander Jameson, even Ollie, all are so real, and they hold you in the novel.

And the world building skills! Her world building skills are SO beyond amazing. She is able to create an intricate dystopian world. She builds each country so realistically, and the interactions between the different countries are so well thought out. We had already had the Republic of America and the Colonies, the two countries of the former United States, and we get to meet Africa as a power in the world, and Antarctica as well. Antarctica was especially interesting to learn more about, especially their weird system of…life. Its sort of like…a video game, or even like a real-life version of the Sims. Its an incredibly intricate and detailed world, which what makes it so real and compelling. I hope that we can return to this world later, perhaps through the eyes of other characters besides June and Day.

Oh, can we just talk about all the action in this novel? So much action. You have the Republic on one side and the Colonies on the other, and involvement on other countries, and its just awesome. I liked it in both points of view, because Day has all that passion. He’s not a soldier but he has done a lot against the Republic and so he does everything with so much effort and passion. Then there’s June, who is a soldier, who is trained for this sort of thing, but now she has so much to fight for, and it all comes together for some great action scenes.

Finally, I loved the end of it. The reactions of a particular character aside, I thought it was incredibly real, and bittersweet. It shows the maturity of the characters and the maturity of her series too. Its so different from any ending that I’ve read before but I loved it. There’s so much maturity in the ending, I can’t say that enough. Marie’s novel, and series, stands on its own two feet, without help. The ending surprised me, in the way that a really great ending can, but I loved it. I am looking forward to re-reading the book soon. It will definitely be re-read.

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not?:

If you’ve read the series already, then definitely dive into this final novel. I absolutely positively loved it and thought it was an incredibly fitting ending to the best YA dystopian series out there. Marie Lu builds a beautiful, broad world and its an addiction until the very end. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, you definitely need to.

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s Book of the Week!

Don’t forget that you can check out other featured books here, and read all my other book reviews here.

Happy Reading!

Fandom Friday-Legend

Its been awhile since there’s been a Fandom Friday up on this blog. Mostly because I’ve just been so busy. Its about mid way through the semester, help and I’m trying to work on my novel, and I’m reading a TON so keeping up with those reviews is difficult but I want to keep doing this, and now that I have my three LOVELY contributors (Kat, Clarissa and Christina Marie), I’m feeling good.

For those of you who are new, or may not be familiar with the Fandom Friday, its basically this: every Friday (I try, I do), myself or a guest blogger will feature a fandom. See, I remember I was teasing someone about a book series they liked because I thought it was just downright awful. Then I remember someone doing the exact same thing to me about a book series that means a lot to me.

And I realized, we judge each other SO much, all THE TIME about the different shows and books and all that, and its just wrong. We want to believe that the stuff that we like is SO much better than what other people like. And a lot of times, its before even giving stuff a good try.

So the point of the Fandom Friday is either to teach you more about a fandom that you’re unsure of, and to show you why it means something to a particular person, or to introduce you to a new fandom that you may not have heard before. To open your mind a little bit, to new things :) I admit, its partly for my boyfriend too, who has a bit of a hard time with opening his mind to new things, especially things that aren’t “critically acclaimed”.

So I’m trying to bring this back and hopefully I can do so. If you’re interested in writing about a fandom, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to have you!

Now for this week’s Fandom Friday!

The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

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What It Is: 

The Legend trilogy is a three book dystopian series written by Marie Lu.

The books in the series are Legend, Prodigy and Champion.

I know what you’re thinking: another dystopian novel? Well, fear not, my friends, I’m bringing you what I believe to be the best of them all. And this is coming from a good place. I adore The Hunger Games trilogy and the Divergent trilogy. You all know I absolutely love them. So you know that I’m speaking the truth, and that its truly meaningful when I say that I think this is the best of them all.

The books follow the story of two main characters, and two points of views, of June and Day. June has been born into the life of an elite, scored the highest possible on her tests, and has been groomed to be the perfect military leader. Day, on the other hand, was born in the slums, scored dangerously low on his tests, and converting to a life as a criminal in order to ensure the survival of his family. Two very different people with no chance of crossing until June’s brother Metias is murdered and Day is the prime suspect. Day is on a race to keep safe, and to continue the survival of his family, and June is out for revenge for her brother’s murderer.

However, when they collide, they discover there is a lot more going on in their society than they previously had thought, and the secrets they uncover shock the both of them, and the things that the country does to keep it secret. The choice is up to them to make an unlikely alliance but they were both raised differently and it is hard to trust the different, the unfamiliar.

The first two books have already been released, and the third and final book, Champion, will be released on November 5th. I am ANXIOUSLY waiting for its arrival.

How I Found It

I have my darling friend, Erin, from That One Geek Girl to thank for that! She had read Legend, and she literally threw it in my face, telling me that I HAD to read it. I was feeling sort of anti-dystopian at the time, right at the beginning of this year, so I was unsure of trying it, but she was pushy, and so I decided to buy it.

And I sped through it. It was sooooo good and so addicting and so compelling and so unique. As soon as it ended, I was like, WHERE IS THE SEQUEL? And by my awesome luck, the sequel was releasing the next day, so I waited until midnight, downloaded it to my Kindle and spent the rest of the night (morning) reading it. And even better, the third one coming out in less than a year.

I have been able to meet Marie quite a few times this year, and she’s a seriously amazing person, super funny and inspiring, and it only makes you want to read her books more.

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Why You Should Be Reading It

Like I said, I know there’s a hundred million dystopians out there, and its hard to find whats good. I know that I hear a lot of readers saying “no, please, no more dystopian.” Well, I say you break this rule for just this one series.

One main reason why I think this trilogy is incredible is because its set in Los Angeles. I’m a California girl; I’m only a quick drive away from Los Angeles. And I “love” that most dystopian books have California sunk under the sea after an earthquake and tsunami, and all of that. I love that there is so much focus, so much centralized on a place that I feel familiar with. So yes, there is that.

But its also that Marie’s world is on such a grander scope than some of those others that I’ve read. In Hunger Games, there is only Panem in what used to be the United States. What about the rest of the world? Its the same in Divergent, except even more limited to Chicago, and the surrounding areas. I do have a feeling that we are going to see a bit more of the US in Allegiant, but still, so limited. If the United States went into ruin, and had to rebuild, what happened to the rest of the world? I love that Marie addresses the rest of the world, and talks about the various different groups and societies that exist outside of the United States. I think that takes a lot more work to recognize that there are other entities out there, and other players in the game. Its brilliant, and its really what compels me so much to this world.

But I also just love the story. The story is brilliant and its different than the others. I mean, sure, usually a dystopian has a society that built itself after disaster and is run by tyrannical leaders and someone must come and take them down. And that’s true of this series as well but its not so black and white, which is where you get those two points of view. Even after so much truth and secrets are revealed, June is hard to persuade. She knows how she is raised and what she believes and how she was trained and its not easy for her to abandon it. And the same goes with Day. Although the Republic has not treated him well in the SLIGHTEST, he has been concerned of his family’s safety and surviving. Its not a heroic moment or decision for either of them to join a cause, and to fight.

I also like the two points of you makes it hard for you to decide what is right as well. You’re in both of their heads, you see how both is raised and sometimes you can’t decide who is right and who is wrong, and its all so gray. You’re never sure of what the right move is to make and that’s what keeps you reading because you’re determined to find out how this works. I still don’t have any clue how this series is going to end, because its just so twisting and turning. You just don’t know what will happen next, and its just brilliant.

She also has the ability to tell a love story without it being SUPER sappy. And no love triangles. I mean, there are tiny baby ones, but they are so inconsequential when compared to the rest of the story. You have moments where you’re fanning yourself, or you’re saying “Oh yeah, I totally ship it” but you’re never overwhelmed, and it makes it that much easier to focus on what a great story she is spinning

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So seriously, why are you still here? You should be reading the first book now. I mean, honestly, I’m ready to pick them up, and reread them again, because now I’m getting OVERLY excited for the release of the third one in just a few weeks.

I hope you all will give this series a chance the way I did, and you’ll discover the amazing series that is.

Also, Marie is going on tour in November and December to celebrate the release of Champion, so make sure to check out the tour dates, and hopefully I’ll see you when she comes to California!

Happy Friday everyone!

My Reading Journey

So i was doing my daily journey through the blogs that I follow and I came to one of my favorites, no rx The Perpetual Page Turner, there run by the lovely and awesome, Jamie. Her most recent blog entry talks about her Reading History (which you can read here) and the different books that shaped her life.

I loved it. It was so cute, and it was nostalgic and it really brought to my mind my own reading history.

See, the one thing I’ve noticed in my journeys as a reader, as a writer, and as a blogger is that so many people that I’ve met have that “moment” or that “one book/book series” that just does IT for them. It brings them into the world of reading. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard, “Harry Potter/Percy Jackson/Mortal Instruments/Divergent/Hunger Games/John Green/Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants/etc got me into reading”. Which I think is absolutely wonderful and is a testament to how wonderful YA literature can be.

And I get that question a lot. “What book got you into reading?” because people know how insane I am with books and reading. And I always feel really perplexed when I get that question. Like…”Um, Green Eggs and Ham? Go Dog Go? The Polar Express? Chicka Chicka Boom Boom?”

Because, the thing is, reading has exploded over the past decade, and I do think that it is in LARGE part to do with the young adult literature boom. So many people are picking up these books, loving them and becoming readers, and picking up more  YA books.

But for me? I’ve ALWAYS been a reader. I can’t pinpoint a moment in which I discovered reading because its long before my memory can remember. I’ve been reading since I was a small child, three, maybe four years old. Reading has always, always, always been a part of my life. I can’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t reading. But I am seriously curious about the different books that I’ve read through out my life and so this is where I talk about my reading journey.

Thanks Jamie for an awesome post, and I hope you don’t mind that I’m borrowing it!

Childhood (3-10 years old)

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In my childhood days, I spent most of my time reading probably what most kids read: LOTS of Doctor Seuss, lots of Berenstein Bears, lots of Shel Silverstein. However, those books got really easy and really “boring” super fast. So I was already moving on to chapter books, formula books, by the time I was about five or six and I stuck with those for quite a many years. I’m talking Baby-Sitter’s Club, Pony Pals, Boxcar Children and the various Sweet Valley series (Sweet Valley High, Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley Jr HighSweet Valley College). I ate these books up SO fast, and they probably were way below my potential but I could read a couple Baby-Sitters Club books a day and I loved that. I also read a lot of Judy Blume books in those days too.

I also realize now that reading all those Sweet Valley Books as a nine-year-old was probably unbelievably inappropriate. The high school and university series TOTALLY has sex in it and I was so cavalier about it, when I was a child. Interesting.

But those were the books I loved as a kid. They weren’t challenging and they were easy reads and I could bust through those books so fast, making me seem like a better reader than I probably was because I wasn’t challenging myself!

Preteen/Middle School (10-14 years old)

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I was 10 years old when I discovered Harry Potter, and this seriously changed my life in so many ways, I couldn’t even begin to write about it. That is a whole ‘nother blog post. But it changed the way I read books. Books didn’t have to be short, and they could be so different and interesting and challenging and wonderful. Harry Potter was the first book that I read that wasn’t a formula book, really, and I just loved it. I ate that up so fast and it was the first step I took into a whole different world.

Also when I was in middle school, I discovered both Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot, both of whom are still some of my absolute favorite authors. This is where I discovered YA literature, and this is why I’m still obsessed with YA and I”m writing this blog. A friend of mine gave me Dessen’s Someone Like You and I loved it so much and went out and bought That Summer, Keeping the Moon and Dreamland and I’ve bought every book since then on the day its come out. For Meg Cabot, I went and saw the movie The Princess Diaries and realized it was a book. Then I read the book and realized how much better it was than the movie and I’ve consumed every single Meg Cabot book to come out since then.

This was the beginning of my foray into young adult literature. I had dipped a toe in, in the contemporary world of YA lit. I think this is also when I sort of discovered that I liked to write too, at about 10 years old. I think that’s when I realized that I liked the way these YA authors wrote, so relatable and so real, like you were stepping into the messy minds of teenagers.

High School (15-18 years old)

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This is what I am going to call my exploring years. I read a LOT during high school, and a lot of that was classics because of school. And I’ll tell you: Shakespeare? Steinbeck? I get they were great guys and all and changed literature and all that…but ugh, ugh, ugh. I can’t read either one without wanting to drown myself.

But I did discover a lot of classics I did like. I loved The Great Gatsby. Gone with the Wind. Poisonwood Bible (okay, which isn’t a classic, but is a great book). Brave New World. Huckleberry Finn. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD! (Hey, I named my dog Scout for a reason).

This was also the time that I was really getting into fantasy, especially young adult fantasy. It hadn’t QUITE broken out yet but it was definitely getting there. I had consumed the Lord of the Rings books with fervor, because I just loved the movies so much. (I had read The Hobbit as a kid). I was still reading Harry Potter like crazy, and I had discovered two of my still favorite authors, Tamora Pierce and Libba Bray. Tamora Pierce introduced me to a world of pure fantasy and it still is one of my absolute favorite fictional worlds to be in. Libba Bray gave me the sort of urban fantasy that I didn’t really know existed. I didn’t know that you could read fantasy books in a world you recognized, even if it was a Victorian England you never actually lived there. This is where I think my obsession with the supernatural, the fantasy, and all that started. I was full on 100% obsessed with Harry Potter and my reading habits were growing and growing by the minute.

I will also say that it was during this time that I discovered Twilight. Now as much as I don’t think its a well written book and all that, it was also very instrumental into the books that I enjoy now.

Young Adult (19-now)

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And this is where the trouble started :) This is where all the build up, all the YA I’d been obsessed with like Sarah Dessen, and Meg Cabot, Tamora Pierce, Libba Bray, Harry Potter just escalated.

Now, as you guys now, I read YA by the stacks and stacks of books. I consume YA so fast and so easily. I have discovered The Mortal Instruments (and in turn, the Infernal Devices), Percy Jackson and The Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, Seven Realms series, The Hunger Games, Divergent, John Green, The Lux Series, the Legend trilogy, the Grisha trilogy, and so so so so so many more that I couldn’t even begin to tell you them all.

But I’ve also continued my love of contemporary YA as well, as that is what started the journey. I still love Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot to no end. I read John Green now and David Levithan, Morgan Matson (!!!), Jessica Brody, and so many more. And this love of young adult books and what motivates me to do this blog and its what I read most of. I still read adult books but for the most part, its YA all day.

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So that’s my journey through books. Its been a long journey but an enjoyable one and I know its going to continue because my love for books only strengthens every day. I discover new authors and new books every day. I’m so grateful to my parents for pushing me so hard to read as a young child because I’ve been reading for longer than I can remember and books are magic to me, they are therapy, they are entertainment, they are escape.

So what was your reading journey? Did it start early like mine, or was there certain books or series that helped you to become a reader? As always, let me know in the comments!

And if you write a post as well, let me know and I’ll link it in this one :)

A Little Less than Famous is On Sale!

Hey guys, ambulance hope you’re having a GREAT week!

I’m heading off to The Grove in Los Angeles to go to this SUPER awesome panel featuring two of my fave authors, sickness Leigh Bardugo (of the Grisha Trilogy) and Marie Lu (of the Legend Trilogy) and other guests, thumb Michael Dimartino (the creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra) and Seth Hoffman (brains behind The Walking Dead television show).

It should be super fun, and look for an epic contest coming VERY soon :)

But in the meantime, I am SO stoked to share that my second novel, A Little Less than Famous, a contemporary YA/NA novel, is on sale for Kindle for a WHOLE WEEK, for only 99 cents!

You can find it at THIS link!

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Definitely take advantage of this now because on July 5th, it will go back up to 5.99!

Hope you guys are able to check it out!

And stay tuned for a giveaway VERY soon!