I love stories that revolve around natural disasters, so when I saw that Ashfall was available on NetGalley, I had to request a copy! Ashfall is the sI love stories that revolve around natural disasters, so when I saw that Ashfall was available on NetGalley, I had to request a copy! Ashfall is the story of what happens to a teenage boy living in Iowa--Alex--when the supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park erupts and turns his state into a disaster zone. The action starts immediately when a flaming rock from the volcano crashes into Alex's house, and it continues non-stop!
One thing that really stood out to me in this book was how well-researched it was. I could tell that Mike Mullin paid careful attention to the details (even when the details were gory) and that's important when writing about a volcanic disaster like the one that happens in Ashfall. Everything was researched and explained in a way that was clear to the reader -- one part that really stood out to me was when Darla had to butcher a rabbit and prepare it to eat. It was a very detailed (and not gonna lie, kind of gross), description, and reading those details made it apparent how much Alex's life had changed from when he could just go to the store and pick up pre-packaged sandwich meat.
Speaking of Darla, she was an awesome character, and I love how she and Alex brought out the best in each other. Darla was tough and resourceful, and Alex was a little more sympathetic to others (and also resourceful, but Darla was the mechanic of the two of them). His taekwondo skills were also quite helpful on their journey! Speaking of his journey, I liked how he not only completed a physical journey, but an emotional one as well. He changed so much through the novel, going from a boy who liked to play video games, complained a lot, and fought with his mom, to someone who was stubborn, strong, and stuck through the toughest of situations.
If you like natural disaster books, this is definitely one I recommend picking up. I also loved how in the authors notes, Mike Mullin talked about the facts behind the supervolcano. Very interesting to read!...more
I love the Gone series by Michael Grant, so I was so excited to be able to receive a review copy of Fear! The Gone series is a mix of science fiction,I love the Gone series by Michael Grant, so I was so excited to be able to receive a review copy of Fear! The Gone series is a mix of science fiction, thriller, and horror, and it's one of the most original series' in the YA genre. If you haven't read it yet, add it to your to-read list. I have no idea how Michael Grant comes up with the things he creates -- the amazingness of the Gone series always completely blows me away! And Fear was no exception.
Fear takes place about two months after the end of Plague, and it's clear from the beginning that the characters have changed during this time -- particularly Astrid and Diana. I really enjoyed reading Astrid's sections in this book. She's really grown as a character, and while everything she's been through is hard on her, I was happy to see her relationship with Sam improve. Diana was another one who changes -- to me she's always been that female character you're supposed to hate but like reading about anyway, but I found her to be more relatable in Fear. Maybe because as a reader, we get to go inside her head a bit more. We also got to see more of Penny, and wow, trust me when I say that she is deranged! What a crazy girl she is.
In Fear, the main issue going on is that the FAYZ -- more specifically, the weird shell around the FAYZ that separates it from the outside world -- is starting to turn dark. Finally the kids have a system to grow food and stay alive, but if everything goes dark, they're going to go back to where they were in Hunger -- starving, and maybe even resorting to eating each other. I loved how we got to see more of what was going on in the outside world as well. We got a few glimpses of it before, but now there were a handful of scenes that took place in the outside. I liked having this perspective of what the adults were going through. We also got to see the fate of Mary -- and trust me when I say that was not pretty.
Speaking of gore, one thing you should be aware of if you haven't read the Gone series yet and are considering delving into it is that there is lots of gore and some pretty disturbing, graphic scenes. (Kids being tortured, dismembered, etc.) Michael Grant really knows how to torture his characters, and he is a master at writing the scenes in a way that the reader able to visualize every disturbing thing that happens. This doesn't bother me -- in fact, it's what makes this series so different, and I feel it's necessary for the plot. But there is horror in there, so you should be aware of that before you begin reading. I was particularly sad about the terrifying fate of a character I enjoyed in the previous book, although I don't want to name names so you'll be surprised when you read Fear.
Fear was another amazing book in this incredible series. And wow, the ending -- things got so intense at the end of the book that even though I knew I should go to bed, I had to stay up to find out what happened. I can't wait to read Light, and see how it all ends!...more
A great end to the Gone series. I can't believe it's over, and that I'll no longer read about the FAYZ. This has been a stand out series since the begA great end to the Gone series. I can't believe it's over, and that I'll no longer read about the FAYZ. This has been a stand out series since the beginning, and Gone is unique to the YA genre. If you haven't read the series yet, I recommend that you do! ...more
I loved This is Not a Test! First of all, the title and cover are awesome -- I knew I wanted to read this book just from that.
The thing that stood outI loved This is Not a Test! First of all, the title and cover are awesome -- I knew I wanted to read this book just from that.
The thing that stood out to me most about This is Not a Test was the style. It reminded me of a contemporary-literary YA book, with zombies. The main character, Sloane, is going through a lot more than the zombie apocalypse, with all the troubles she had to deal with at home. There would be a story to tell here even without the zombies, and the zombies amped it up to make it more intense. The different levels of this story are what make it unique, and is what made me continue to turn to pages.
This is a zombie book, but it's not full of blood and gore the entire time. (Yes, there is blood and gore, but not for the majority of the book). Because throughout most of the story, it is about five kids inside of a school while the zombie apocalypse goes on outside. I've heard this book described as "Breakfast Club meets Zombies," and that is SO TRUE! Besides Grace and Trace (who are twins), no one else in the school was friends before the zombies happened. They had seen each other around, and they do have small connections, but they would never call each other to hang out on a normal day. One of my favorite things about apocalyptic stories is how people who wouldn't normally be friends are forced to learn about each other and get along, and this book definitely served in that retrospect. I loved seeing the relationships develop throughout the story - especially the relationship between Sloane and Rhys.
And since this is a zombie story, and people are bound to die, I'm happy to say that Courtney Summers is not afraid to kill off characters the reader grows to like throughout the book! Also, each death was unique, and took me by surprise.
Final opinion: This is Not a Test is a unique addition to the zombie genre, with its contemporary-literary flair and the growing relationships through the story. If you're a zombie fan (or even if you've never read a zombie book and want to try one out), this book is for you!...more
I loved Partials by Dan Wells! This book immediately appealed to me because of the tagline: The only hope for humanity isn't human. At first that madeI loved Partials by Dan Wells! This book immediately appealed to me because of the tagline: The only hope for humanity isn't human. At first that made me wonder if perhaps this was an alien invasion story. It turned out to be even cooler -- Partials are robots created to look exactly like humans. But while they look exactly like humans, they are actually fighting machines, and were built to help out with fighting wars. Something went wrong though, and the Partials rebelled against the humans. During this war they released a virus called RM that killed 99.99% of the human population.
When Partials begins, we're introduced to the main character, Kira. Kira is a doctor who just completed her internship, and she is determined to figure out the cure to RM. Because while a small percentage of humans were immune to the disease, no baby has lived for 14 years. So the cure needs to be discovered, or the human race will eventually die out.
Kira is doing research and she realizes that the key to curing RM might depend on studying those who created it -- the Partials. This is where the adventure begins. There is always something going on, leading to a new discovery. Also, while it's a YA book, I found that it seemed to be geared towards older readers, even sounding more like an adult book at times.
Without giving anything away, I just have to say that a MAJOR fact was revealed near the end of the book that left me staring at the page thinking, "OMG I can't believe that's true!" It changed what the entire book was about. Read the book, and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
Partials is one of those books that after you read it, you think about what an amazing read it was. It's on the longer side, and there were a few times when the pace slowed down a bit. However, Partials is fantastic and I highly recommend picking it up! I can't wait to read the rest of the series. ...more
I love apocalyptic stories, so I was so excited when I saw MONUMENT 14 on NetGalley! This book jumped right into the action -- a few pages in, and hugI love apocalyptic stories, so I was so excited when I saw MONUMENT 14 on NetGalley! This book jumped right into the action -- a few pages in, and huge hail balls were falling from the skies. I like how the kids survived in a Greenway (which is sort of like a Walmart/Target), because whenever I think of the "best places to be during the apocalypse," big stories like that always come to mind. Well … minus the fact that those stores are the most likely to be rioted, so you might get in harms way.
Except luckily for the kids, the gates come down, so they are able to barricade everyone out of the store. Everything seems to be going well until an earthquake strikes and a chemical plant nearby has a spill, releasing dangerous chemicals into the air. This chemical reacts differently with different blood types, which I enjoyed reading about because for some reason I've always found blood typing (and other things genetics related) to be very interesting.
I really liked the characters, but I also didn't' feel as emotionally connected to them as I thought I should have. Not in a bad way though -- I just wish I felt a little more connected to them than I did. I loved the scenes where they got updates on the outside world. Because they were in the Greenway, lots of times the reader has no idea what's going on outside. I wish they had been able to stay connected via the television for a little bit longer so the reader would have been aware of what was going on outside.
All in all, I enjoyed this book. If you love apocalyptic stories, definitely read this one. ...more