A sound science fiction that’s imaginative and hearty, Elusion by Claudia Gabel nails the technology aspect of a science fiction but lacks in all other aspects.
The technology that was infused throughout this book absolutely fascinated me. Elusion, a program that brought you to another world altogether so you could escape reality for the total of an hour, was without a doubt creative. Once we were put into the program, I was sucked into the ingenuity of the program and how it worked. The program of Elusion was what began as something seemingly perfect, until we were exposed to the corrupt ways of the program, and all the areas that it was wrong. The slow progression of each thing wrong with the program that our protagonist Regan originally held on a pedestal, due to her father inventing it before he died, was equally addicting as it was mysterious. The technology itself isn’t prevalent in the book overall rather than the mystery behind Elusion. Personally, that topic was more intriguing than each time Regan used the program, but for hardcore science fiction aficionados, it may be a turnoff.
Elusion’s true turnoff for me was its lack of world-building. The characters continuously mentioned how polluted the air was, and how they had to pipe each building with purified oxygen or they had to wear a mask outside that filtered the air for them. Some areas were so dangerous to be in if they didn’t have a mask, so obviously in this time period there was a major pollution epidemic. But how did this even happen? I was so confused and I was hoping for a backstory, whether it be a brief paragraph about how the world never improved its energy consumption and exertion or a series of subtle hints in the book. Instead of that, there was no base at all behind how the world had gotten so polluted. I understood why it didn’t take a priority compared to the technology involved, but since the pollution was obviously included to signify a time difference between modern day and the time period in Elusion, there should have been more explanation.
Regan, as the main character, also had a series of “sidekicks”. The area where Elusion also suffered was in the characterization of her and her companions. Regan seemed to act completely illogically most of the time, questioning the wrong people, like her best friend Patrick. They were best friends ever since they were children, but Regan seemed more than happy to doubt his motivations and actions whenever someone suggested his intentions were any less than good. The same went for the other side of her love triangle, Josh. She seemed to be unable to trust anyone, which crippled my liking for her, as well as Patrick’s character. The way he was portrayed at first made him come across as a sweet, smart, and slightly overprotective best friend, however he quickly fell downhill to a completely different character in no time at all. I won’t divulge anything further due to spoilers, but I didn’t buy his or Regan’s personalities and character development....more
For anybody gearing up to read this book, I would like to share a few tips when it comes to this one. For one, keep reading. No matter what you do, keep reading. Told in both of our protagonists Charley and Thad’s points of view, the beginning is positively boring, and I was honestly underwhelmed. I was hoping for a problem to be established as soon as Charley found Thad and the rest of the civilization of people on the island of Nil. However, it seemed that all Charley did was walk around and dreaming about Thad, while all Thad did was attempt to lead the civilization of other teens stuck on Nil, otherwise known as the City, and fantasize about Charley. From how analytical Charley’s dialogue was, she continued to question the framework of Nil and how the island worked. The catch was you came into Nil through a “gate,” almost like a portal, and if you found and caught another gate, you went back home to society. Teens from all over the world showed up, and Charley was one of the first people who ever questioned Nil and the pattern of gates, out of hundreds and hundreds of other people on the island. I didn’t believe that before Charley came onto the island, people relied on finding gates by wandering around aimlessly instead of attempting to find a pattern to them. And somehow Charley went from having nothing to go on to figuring out practically the entire island. Come on, how come no one even thought of making a map?
Nil’s first half was really a huge mess, because while I understood it was to establish the atmosphere of the island and to let Charley in on all that was going on, there was a complete lack of drama throughout the entire first section. By the second half, there was slightly more, but to make up for the lack of drama or something happening, Lynne tried to build the relationship of Thad and Charley. It would have been okay if it weren’t for the severe case of insta-love. As soon as they laid eyes on each other, they started fantasizing about how they were looking at the most beautiful person they’d ever seen, and it seemed that their ardent love with each other had taken over all of their thoughts.
After the first half, the plot picked up and morphed into a mystery that slowly added on top of each other. The bonus was that Thad was nearing the timestamp of a year on the island, which added the urgency of the situation, because after 365 days, if you haven’t made it through a gate and off the island, you die. As Charley was in a desperate fight to figure out what was going on with the island to Thad racing for his life, I flew through the last half. It was more than worth the struggle I went through in the beginning. Fans of logic and a type of book that doesn’t provide a dangerous atmosphere but rather a laid-back one with a small scent of desperation must read this one soon. Although I felt that Thad’s decision at the end of the book was the stupidest idea I’d ever come across, the plot before the fact compensated for it.
Nil by Lynne Matson is a great read for its mystery and high stakes, and any Maze Runner fans would enjoy the style and concept. If not for the insta-love and slow beginning, this one could have been rated much higher....more
Wow, I thought I would be a black sheep, yet again, when it came to Uninvited. But that didn’t happen because I loved it.
From the very beginning, I recognized Davy’s life to be charmed. She seemed to get everything she wanted, and she had her whole life ahead of her. She was slated to go to Juilliard as a musical prodigy as an individual who could sing and play multiple instruments. Davy and her boyfriend Zac were on excellent terms, until she received the positive test results for HTS, a disease that made you more prone to commit murder. Then everything began falling apart. She pretty much lost everything, and I have to admit I was more than just a little sad for her. She was losing everything, from her family’s love to her boyfriend to her best friend. The discrimination against her actually made me want to scream “F*CK ALL OF YOU” like I was Johanna Mason in Catching Fire. These people had known her for years, and one gene made them balk at her. But this mindset of society only furthered my enjoyment because it’s so accurate. Davy’s society was trained to think that all carriers of HTS (Homicidal Tendency Syndrome) were dangerous and murderers, and getting her to be a carrier that everyone feared pulled at my heartstrings.
At first, I was kind of annoyed with Davy. We’re introduced to someone who, at first glance, definitely does not have the capacity to kill someone. Davy knows that she is a good person; we know that she’s a good person. Yet whenever she sees other carriers, she immediately goes, “I have to stay away from them, they’re going to hurt me.” But if she knew that she had been unfairly marked as a carrier of HTS, didn’t that mean someone else could have, too? Davy was so narrow-minded, and I would’ve understood if it were a way to exhibit her character development, but the extent of her development was dropping the issue all together. Luckily, that only lasted for maybe a third of Uninvited, and the rest of the time I was on a wild roller coaster of feelings and HTS.
That aside, I found that the relationships between Davy and other carriers were irreplaceable. What I especially liked about them was that they were so different, but their discrimination as carriers brought them together. And how ingenious is something such as HTS? A notable element of Sophie’s take on HTS was that there were carriers that obviously didn’t deserve to be in their position and violent carriers. We got to get a taste of both of the sides, which was utilized to build up Davy’s likability. I loved Davy, to be honest. Although there was that part in the beginning that made me reluctant, she was such a strong character the rest of the time. She was loyal, compassionate, and completely relatable.
Definitely make sure to pick up Uninvited soon! It will make you feel all sorts of emotions, and you will most definitely fall in love with Davy and her society....more
For some reason, I struggled a lot with Time After Time during the first half. I found that I couldn't get into the plot, mainly because I couldn't find one, and also Bennett's voice seemed lacking in some areas.
To say I trudged through the first fifty percent is a huge overstatement. It took me a whole week to finish one half, and I had expected to finish it completely over the previous weekend. But the thing is there was actually no telltale plot line. There was no development of the romance between Bennett and Anna, no new issues getting in the way of their current relationship. For the most part, their relationship stayed stagnant, unlike how I wanted it to progress. I wanted there to be some kind of conflict, but there wasn't any hint of one for that entire first half. I can't speak too highly of the second half either, but the first half really jumped out at me because it set a really negative feeling towards the rest of the book.
Another issue I had was with the romance and its believability. I read Time Between Us a long time ago, but I expected to really feel that romance coming back to me even as I read Time After Time months, maybe a year, later. However, I found the romance so dry and lifeless. I couldn't feel any happiness towards them as a couple, and I didn't even ship them. Since I didn't finish, I have no way of telling whether or not they did end up together in their time situation, but if they didn't, I would not have cared.
I hated the obvious plot holes when time traveling was involved. Bennett would basically travel back in time, fix some kind of tragic disaster, and then take the place of his past self and relive however long that disaster he just prevented was. First of all, how could he not realize that if he repeatedly did this, he would end up so much older than what the date was saying. And, if that were true, wouldn't that mean he could just travel forward at least another few days to his real time period, since he couldn't travel outside of the span of his life? That never happened, though, and those questions lurked in the back of my mind for the longest time.
I wish I could have given Time After Time a few more chances after my current one, but I couldn't find it in myself to trudge past the halfway mark. Between the lack of plot and the plot holes, it was more than enough for me not to want to continue reading this one....more
I had my doubts in the beginning, whether or not I would end up enjoying Avalon. Luckily, the second half was enough to sway me in the right direction.
Avalon by Mindee Arnett had all the components that made up a good and promising science fiction story to put on the market. The world-building was fantastic, to start off this review. I was a little worried upon the introduction of the metatech that I would be rendered confused and that the world building would be nonexistent, but thankfully that didn’t happen at all. I got a really good grasp on what was going on early on in the book. There was that period of time in the beginning where I didn’t know what was going on, as with all books, but as soon as the proper explanation came into play, I was hooked on the world of Avalon. There was our fair share of crazy settings, devious people, and hard-to-believe circumstances, which I loved.
Like I said above, I kind of didn’t really know what was going on in the beginning. Jeth had just received his assignment to retrieve this mysterious ship from the equivalent of our modern day society Bermuda Triangle, and I was excited to see what would happen. But I kind of stumbled through the first third to half mindlessly. Luckily, I got a lot more into it by the second part. It got really intense and I fell in love with our main characters. I originally thought Avalon would be a typical storyline, where everything went wrong with their ship, resulting in a struggle for survival. While that certainly would have been interesting, it was much better the way that Mindee chose to execute her story. It was a power struggle between two conflicting sides, and it kind of reminded me of X-Men. That may have been a spoiler, but if you read Avalon, by the end you can see the similarities in the overall feeling in terms of the action and relationships between the characters.
Speaking of the character relationships, I loved Jeth’s character. He was so protective over his sister Lizzie, and he really had that familial bond with her that made my heart melt. I always love when siblings or families are really close. And it wasn’t just Lizzie that Jeth was close with; it was his entire crew. People always say that love isn’t bound by blood, and this was a perfect example of that saying. Jeth and his crew weren’t just a crew that went on missions together. They were like a family-owned circus troupe. Each person had their own unique job, and each of them were there for a special reason. But alone, they were just people with talents. Together, they were a source of endless joy and wonder.
Overall, Avalon is a great new science fiction novel that I would recommend to anybody who’s a fan of Beth Revis’s Across the Universe. The romance was kept at a minimum and the plot was coursing at an all-time high....more
Shades of Earth has the smallest font I have ever seen in my life and my eyes have been permanently killed.
You see it too right? Aside from that unfortunate bit, my eyes adjusted quickly, even if I must already need a new prescription of contacts already.
I must say, Shades of Earth is one of the pure science fiction novels that I've actually really liked. While I did have my issues with the story, overall, it was really enjoyable and it would probably be one of the first I'd recommend to friends who enjoy science fiction. There aren't many young adult novels that would be so brave to create a whole new planet from scratch, full of monsters and dangers, but Beth manages it surprisingly well. Centauri-Earth reminded me a lot of both a prehistoric Earth and the moon. I don't know why, but it had that feeling to me. Centauri-Earth was so vividly imagined and described that I couldn't even begin to comprehend where Beth was going to take us next in this wild journey for survival.
While the plot was beautifully done and I found it to move at a fast pace, I also felt detached from it for other reasons. Amy was a completely flat character. She just sat there all limp while the story moved on and pushed her along, and sometimes without her. I never believed her and Elder's romance as well, and whether it was because I didn't understand it or because it wasn't as interesting as I would've liked it, I don't know. However, I did think that a bunch of the other characters were really well done. The amount of sacrifice in Shades of Earth was emotional and awe-inspiring, which was a definite plus.
I adored the mystery incorporated into Shades of Earth, but there were way too many convenient plot points. Without even trying, Elder and Amy fell onto them without consequence or incidence. Even though it progressed the plot and pushed it forward, everything felt peculiar because of how minor conflicts were resolved. The cases that led to Amy and Elder's temporary survival would probably never happen in real life, if we were put under that same circumstance. For example, let's say Amy and Elder were in a tunnel at the exact time that a bomb exploded outside of the tunnel, and Amy and Elder were one of the very few that survived. It was kind of unrealistic once it happened so many times.
A fitting story of survival, sacrifice, and braving the unknown, Shades of Earth will sweep any science fiction fans off their feet with its adventurous and engaging contents....more
I did not expect to love Bitter Angel, but, oh, how I loved it.
Bitter Angel is one of the first new adult novels that I've read that wasn't purely contemporary. It was science fiction, as well a dash of thriller, and I got swept up in this new, exciting premise. From the synopsis, I understood that Lila would live through two versions of a Friday night, but I hadn't yet grasped the gravity of the situation, which was that Lila, Nilah, and Heather got kidnapped and raped by a gang. It's a tough subject to deal with, and if you're expecting how these three girls deal with the aftermath of it, that's not what this book is about. The reality of the situation immediately had me intrigued, but it didn't focus on the raping rather than preventing it from ever happening.
By taking that line of action, the story was immediately transformed, and I can't say that I missed the fact that we didn't focus on the traumatic experience itself, producing a high-stakes plot and intense series of events. And because I stopped worrying about if the plot would drag, because about two chapters in, I was positive that it wouldn't, I started to focus on the main character: Lila. Lila was strong and compassionate—two of my favorite features in my characters. Not only was her unflagging determination to keep her friends safe from harm inspiring, the way she remained calm and composed through the scariest of scary situations touched me, too.
However, as much as I adored Lila, I got a little annoyed at her inner dialogue. She would go on profusely long rants about how she had to keep Nilah and Heather safe, how she couldn't bear to let her boyfriend Jay go. As a result, the plot occasionally slowed down and I lost interest for a few pages, until the monologuing stopped and the action began again. Instead of having the action be the prominent portion during these parts, Lila's monologuing skills took over and thus began the rant. Otherwise, Bitter Angel's plot was perfect except for those small blips in the surface.
Creative and fantastic, Megan Hand's debut Bitter Angel will blow you away with its promising plot line and fresh premise....more
Wow! Talk about a book that really threw you in for a loop, leaving you disheveled and confused; of course, all of the feelings were one-hundred-percent worth it.
All Our Yesterdays followed the story arcs or four different characters: Em, Marina, James, and Finn. While only told in Em and Marina's points of views, each of the four characters played an important role in our time travel plot line. Time travel has always been a hard concept for me to fully grasp, given how many unknowns there are, something my semi-logical brain doesn't like. However, Cristin captured the art of time travel on an above satisfactory level, answering all of my questions completely and effortlessly. With that out of the way, I could focus purely on our four main characters and their struggles within this topic.
The synopsis is vague, so I went in armed with only my own ignorance and a few raving reviews from bloggers. After reading the first twenty percent, I put it down for a few weeks, pretty much forgetting everything and having to reread the second ten percent when I decided to revisit. But, soon after I was caught up, I got hooked on Em and Marina's crazy world as they each fought themselves, each other, and their friends. While they both did have their moments where they were either naïve or stupid, I had no problem sympathizing with them and viewing them as strong characters. James and Finn also served important roles to the plot, and not just as love interests. It certainly was expected that we believe the romantic subplots to be genuine, when in fact the relationship had reached its peak long before the beginning of All Our Yesterdays. It didn't bother me, since we didn't focus on the relationships compared to the plot and conflict. Additionally, Finn and James were compelling characters, making it impossible to dislike them for their romantic involvement.
My one issue would have to be the ending. I didn't quite understand it, especially when we progressed from the climax to the resolution. It was abrupt, without any transition, leaving me confused as to what was happening. It seemed that what was done to solve the situation did not reflect over to the aftermath, which is a confusing thing to say, but I couldn't grasp what was happening. The scenes leading up to the climactic moment and the climactic moment itself had my heart pounding and my eyes glued to my screen, my fingers desperately turning the pages—if you can even turn pages on an eBook. (Is there a different term for it?) I almost cried out in surprise multiple times; imagine my dismay when I flipped to the last chapter and discovered it had almost nothing to do with the previous words that had me close to dying. There were connections, they were way too vague for comfort.
Suspenseful, daring, and compelling, All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill will keep you up late at night, reading under the covers. And once you finish, you'll find yourself at a loss for words, but it all too easy to gush....more
Oh, after the beautiful, beautiful reviews I received from fellow peers, gushing over the fantastic book otherwise known as Rush by Eve Silver, I was excited. Ecstatic, even.
However, Rush proved to be disappointing beyond measure. The exciting and intriguing premise was about the extent of the positive things I can divulge, because while science fiction isn't my thing, I've loved enough of them and the idea of being trapped in a game excited me. Quickly after, my initial excitement fizzled out. The plot moved so slowly in the beginning, and the only thing moving it forward starting halfway through was the romantic tension and the actual romance, which wasn't as compelling as I'd hoped. You can see the beginning of a potential love triangle, and I had a fierce hate towards it. Between Jackson and Luca, you could tell which one Miki would choose which reduced the surprise element by at least half.
Additionally, the world-building was shaky, at best. I have no idea how so many people didn't catch it, because I felt like there were so many plot holes and unanswered questions. What did dying to save the life of another have to do with being put into the game? Why did killing these alien Drau people in a game help anybody in real life? There was some explanation in the beginning, and then you were left trying to imagine everything for yourself. When some more "world-building" happened, it was so confusing because I had forgotten what very little I had learned before. If Rush's plot hadn't been so slow in the beginning, and if the promise of world-building had been stronger, I might have read more closely, and thus pertaining more information about the game.
Which brings us to another fatal flaw induced by the lack of world-building: Miki, our main character. I hated how naïve she was with a fiery passion. She kept asking these stupid questions, and nobody would answer her, which only frazzled both her and me. When the time came for her to be allowed to ask real questions, she asked the stupidest questions again, ones that had nothing to do with the world building or anything important. However, as hard as it is to say, Miki's complete ignorance worked out. Sometimes. When anybody brought up a gaming term, Miki would ask what it meant and we'd learn some new terminology. It was also a disadvantage to Rush because these kids are normal. They don't play video games 24/7 and when they're in the game, they don't talk to any other people except themselves. So how do they know to use all of these fancy terms that only a hardcore gamer would know? Maybe a former team member was, but it seems unlikely, considering the fact that every character apparently had to give up their lives to get into the game.
I would recommend Rush by Eve Silver to anybody who really loves science fiction and some classic romantic tension, but you might not be as pleased as you first expected....more
Parallel universes are officially part of my must-read immediately repertoire. Just Like Fate was lyrical, romantic, and uplifting, things I did not expect to find.
Just Like Fate was told in two separate realities, one where Caroline stayed with her grandma as she died, and another when she wasn't there to be with her for her grandmother's final words. Caroline was a wonderfully done character, who was compassionate and witty, even if she had her annoying naïve moments. The only thing I wished she had done more of was grieve. In her two realities, one was ridden with guilt and one was sadness in general. I wanted Caroline to really grow from the loss of her grandmother. It was a subtle growth, but I still didn't like the fact that I couldn't identify it right away. After identifying the subtle growth, I knew that I would end up liking what the authors did, but before I got to that point, I struggled.
However, what I did love about the two realities was how perfectly in tune they were. While I didn't quite understand them at certain points, I liked that they melded together so easily and effortlessly. Originally, they were tangents, touching only by a common death. By the end, they bent and morphed into a beautiful cluster of fate, trust, and pixie dust. (That was partially stolen from Disney Fairies because I am that cool and totally don't watch Disney Channel sometimes. Or all the time) Cat and Suzanne incorporated music, romance, and the underlying theme of, "follow your heart" into the story, and I didn't expect it to fit as perfectly as it did, but I was wrong, which is the best and worst thing one can say about their expectations entering and leaving a book.
The main supplement to the plot was, in fact, the romance. In the two universes, one was the full development of Caroling and Joel's relationship with each other, and the other was the full development of another relationship, Caroline and Chris's. One of those romances ended up fizzling out and evolving into the other, as most parallel universes often do, but I loved the main love interest. Chris was witty, endearing, and caring. He made my heart ache with sweet words that weren't meant for me, comfort that could cure anybody of a sick soul, and a love for Caroline unmatched by anybody else. I could look to Caroline and him all the time for scintillatingly goofy conversations, or an uplifting scene where she grew as a character in her own special way.
Inspirationally beautiful, Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young combines romance, growth, and, of course, fate into one neat little package. These two authors are ones that I must read more of from now on....more
With all of the hype surrounding this new science fiction venture, I knew that I had to get my hands on it for more than just that pretty cover as justification. It isn't uncommon knowledge that I don't like science fiction, but I found this one to be pretty enjoyable.
Before I do anything else, I need to clear one thing out onto the table: the plot moved slowly, because it was a love story more than a story of survival. I can even sum up These Broken Stars in a few words: trekking across the planet while falling in love. The issue with the plot was the fact that after they landed on the planet, there wasn't much that kept them engaged and in a constant battle for their lives. It had its thrilling moments, but overall I thought the plot dragged, especially in the middle, where all they did was travel across a forest or two. It was fantastic and promising in the beginning, thrilling and desperate in the end. Tarver and Lilac spent probably half of the book just constantly hating each other's guts, so there weren't even flutters in the pit of my stomach while I read. They didn't have moments seeping with romantic tension. They didn't slowly fall in love, and you could't even see the signs that they remotely even liked each other.
The romance was unbelievable and totally ridiculous. Tarver was an unspeakable jerk to Lilac half of the time, and Lilac was stubborn, so how could I even begin to comprehend their romance? There was an undeniable spark in the beginning, one that I loved, and then it quickly fizzled out, one-eightying straight into the hate zone, where it remained for a good half of the book. While Tarver and Lilac had small moments where they wanted to be getting it on with each other, the only thing on my mind was how forced it seemed. One does not simply go from hating each other to going at it like bunnies within a few hours, which is exactly what happened. The romance was not insta-lovey by any means; it was only abrupt.
Would it be bad if I said my favorite part was the cover? Okay, I'm totally lying; my favorite part was actually something within the book's pages, otherwise known as the character development. Even though I couldn't buy their romance, it didn't meant that I didn't buy them individually. They both had a strong inner fire and transformed from scared yet determined teenagers into willful and brave ones. It's hard to describe the exact change they underwent, but I loved experiencing it side by side with them. It probably did help that I despised both characters during the first half and evolved from that vehement dislike to a grudging like.
Overall, These Broken Stars is definitely worth reading, especially for those who are fans of science fiction and strong characters....more
Going into Parallel completely blind, I didn't know what to expect. Well, from the title, I probably should have thought, "Alternate universes," but nope. I was utterly clueless, yet I ended up being really surprised.
What surprised me the most was not only the introduction of parallel worlds, but also how hypothetical it was. Parallel focused a lot on "What if?" questions, and Abby was brought through an insane journey where we learned about soul mates, destinies, and it was all rather inspirational. I know a certain friend who is so passionate about destinies and happiness, and this definitely reminded me of her, because of the message. It basically brought forward a lot of "Believe in your heart and the power of the universe" messages, which was refreshing. So many parallel universe stories focus on the aspect of getting back to your old world, but learning something about how blessed you are with your current life. Parallel is more of a wide generalization to everybody, which was so refreshing.
My main issue with Parallel was the alarming amount of plot holes that it had. Why did Abby even get thrown into this parallel universe in the first place? Why was it only her? There were all these questions that raced through my brain at lightning speed and I was in a frenzy, trying to draw logical conclusions with what I was already given. (My English teacher would be proud!) Unfortunately, I found that, regardless of whatever I conjured up, none of it made sense, or I had simply no information to go from. It was something that aggravated me endlessly, and I just wanted to know what was going on. Furthermore, our ending seemed a little forced, because it just happened. As an extension of my first complaint, the ending seemed out-of-the-blue, and, honestly, too easy. I wanted our characters to work for that ending.
Another thing I worried about was if Lauren could pull off two same yet completely different people: Abby herself and her parallel self. She definitely did it with an obvious gusto. At first, I was a little confused at how different two particular chapters were, but after looking back, I realized what was going on. Additionally, in Parallel we don't just see things through Abby and Abby alone's perspective, we get a taste of things through her parallel's life and how that affects Abby in the future. Do not be worried if you get confused when it comes to some of the complicated parallel universe talk, because as you read and more and more, everything ends up falling in place.
Inspirational, romantic, and absolutely beautiful, Parallel is one of those books that will hook you from page one with character growth, and endless "What if" questions that will have you speculating Abby's fate....more
Where do I begin with 3:59? The book that, despite my greatest reluctance, I was actually excited to start. In the beginning, I fought against reading it for the fear of being kept up until 3:59 myself, paranoid someone would show up in my bedroom mirror. By the end, I had found myself a pretty enjoyable read.
3:59 primarily followed Josie Byrne's voice, portraying her as the heroine of our story. While she did have a doppelgänger in a different dimension, we didn't see much of her. Most of her personality was depicted by other people from her world, them telling Josie how different or similar she was to Jo. I, personally, did not form a very strong bond with Jo because of how underdeveloped she was. There was maybe one in every ten chapters where we saw things through Jo's eyes, a certain moment in time, and even then I felt so detached from Jo. I found myself pining for a deeper exploration of this fascinating character. She's the exact copy of Josie, and yet her personality was so different. What events could have possibly triggered such a dramatic change? Yes, this book was geared towards the science explanation of parallel universes and alternate realities, but that didn't mean the supporting characters had to suffer.
Another relationship that suffered besides Josie and Jo's was Josie and Nick's. Nick in Josie's world had cheated on her with Josie's best friend Madison, and the Nick in Jo's world seemed to have an unadulterated hatred for Josie/Jo. The thing was that Josie already had very strong feelings for Nick, even before she and Jo switched worlds, so her connection to him was present, both before and after. What I found hard about that distinction was the fact that I had to assume their chemistry with each other. I didn't believe their romance at all, which made the ending kind of overwhelming for me. I can't spoil, but let's just say there was a somewhat predictable—and cliché—ending that could have been really emotional and heartbreaking, had Nick and Josie's relationship been developed well.
There was one thing going for 3:59, though, and that was the plot. I flew through the pages, and no matter what I had to nitpick about the book, one thing remained constant: the plot. There wasn't too terribly much that happened, but the way that it stringed together kind of made it seem to fly by quickly. Maybe that or my burning curiosity, but Gretchen knows how to keep a reader hooked! I didn't regret my reading experience, despite how many things I found wrong with it, purely because I couldn't find myself wanting to put it down. That and the premise of course.
Thrilling and totally confusing in the best way possible, 3:59 will blow many readers away, especially those hardcore science fiction fans.
Mila 2.0 is the first science fiction novel that I've liked in a long time. And when I say long, I mean that it probably has been approximately a year since I've given any science fiction book above a three star rating.
From the very first page, I was skeptical up until Mila discovers who she really is: a lab experiment. She develops a crush on a guy named Hunter, has a best friend, and lives her life the way any teen would up until that moment. Then, before she can even blink, her life is turned upside down, her mom and her are running, and a government society is doing the chasing. Sounds pretty intense right? I loved it! There was always anxiety in the plot, from being on the run, and there was always a sense of danger that you couldn't explain but you knew was going to seriously mess with your head later on.
As Mila learns the extent to which her powers reach, she begins to think of herself as less and less a human and rather a machine, a monster, a piece of trash because she was "made" wrong and had too many emotions. My heart went out to Mila because she was regarded as a waste of space that should've been put down when these scientists were given the chance and I was like, "No way. You are totally sick." I just wanted to wrap Mila in an awkward bear hug and tell her it would be okay in the end. If anything, Mila 2.0 is a story of survival, and finding yourself.
However, despite how amazing Mila 2.0 is, I do have to highlight the character of Hunter. Since Mila develops a crush on him in the very beginning, I thought that he would end up being part of this evil conspiracy that created her. But he never showed up until the very end, and if he hadn't showed up and another character had taken his place, it wouldn't have mattered one single bit. I really hope the sequel explains why Hunter was placed into the story since he did nothing but further the plot in the beginning and then dropped off the face of the Earth for the rest. By the end of Mila 2.0, where he made a reappearance, I just wanted him to leave the story, in the nicest possible way. I loved him in the beginning, but I wish he played a more significant role because my mind always drifted back to how much focus was put on him in the beginning and how come he wasn't showing up yet.
Mila 2.0 is a debut by Debra Driza that will not only capture the hearts of science fiction fans but any fan that loves a well-paced novel that involves a conspiracy of sorts. This one will not let you down!...more
I'm not a very gung-ho science fiction fan and you can obviously tell from what I thought about this book. Revolution 19, while good, wasn't the best and it left a lot to be desired.
First, I had to admit I appreciated the three sibling's family dynamic. They all had talents of their own that when combined created a force that shouldn't be reckoned with. The three siblings Nick, Cass, and Kevin made up an amazing group together, which I admired. It wasn't like one or two people got all the glory; it was three siblings, and a few other people they met along the way. I also liked how tight their bond seemed, despite whatever happened to them. Not every sibling relationship can be defined as healthy and close, but it was a comfort to know that this one was.
However, something I didn't like about our three main characters was they all were really boring. Of course, I liked how much they loved each other, as I stated above, but when alone, they weren't very intriguing anymore; instead they were totally different people. Nick, Kevin, and Cass, within a second, went from the cute power family to the dull three individuals. They didn't have many interesting and/or compelling character traits, and I was really put off and bored by as soon as I figured out how impossibly hard it was to read this where the characters were concerned. The fact that Revolution 19 was told in third person made it even harder to relate to our protagonists.
Moving onto our antagonists, I can't say they were any better. The supposed "evil" robots were so completely NOT evil. At all. From the synopsis, you got a feeling of a barren, grayscale wasteland, and then when you actually moved on to reading Revolution 19, there was a feeling of a regular eating, breathing, living civilization, much like our current one. The worst robots did was punish rule-breakers, and that was only when there was someone to punish. Otherwise, they just floated around, occasionally doing security checks that consisted of scanning a chip that everybody had implanted in the nape of their necks. Get the picture? I don't know why there needed to be a rebellion or why a whole civilization lived on the outside of the city; the robots did virtually nothing that threatened an average pedestrian. You followed the rules like you would in the present day, you pretty much had a smooth life.
While I can see some science fiction fans falling head over heels for this one, I would definitely not recommend Revolution 19 to anyone who doesn't like it, or isn't a big fan of a book with minimal action. However, if you're into family things, definitely try this out!...more
I'm giving this away on January 18th on the blog if anybody's interested! :D
At a first glance, Nobody seems insanely awesome and really amazing right? Nobody is definitely perfect for any kind of science fiction fan, and if you're a previous fan of Jennifer's writing, then I would definitely recommend this immediately to anybody who asked.
The first thing I was worried about was the issue of the insta-love. From the summary, I got the feeling of a romance that moved too fast, and I really wanted to be proven wrong. Sadly, that was not the case. From the very first moment Nix laid eyes on Claire, there was this intense attraction between them. But, by the second time they saw each other, they were kissing. The romance positively ran through the plot, and one minute they were kissing, the next they were trying to avoid each other, and then we went back to the making out. It got insanely overwhelming at times, although I did see what Jennifer was going for.
Nix and Claire themselves were my favorite aspects of all of Nobody. Their characters were compelling and broken and just simply beautiful. I loved each of their inner strength, and how they found themselves in each other, but at the same time, I wasn't convinced that they really meant their actions, because their motives all lay within their love for each other. Aside from that, I easily fell in love with Claire and Nix, although Claire is a name that really annoys me. Not that Claire's name deducted from my final rating. I just thought you all needed to know that.
My last problem was the lack of world-building concerning the Nobodies and The Society that Nix worked for, that had Nulls and Sensors and all that. What exactly were all these things? I was so intrigued when it came to the concept of what they were; as soon as I started questioning the logic behind the concept, then that's when things went slightly awry.
Nobody is a compelling science fiction read that will most definitely capture your inner emotional snob, and if you can overlook a few errors, it can definitely make you ooh and ahh all day....more
I knew Eve and Adam would be a hit or miss with me, and I was hoping it'd fall on the positive side of the rating spectrum. Unfortunately, Eve and Adam didn't exceed my expectations.
Originally, I planned on giving Eve and Adam a 3-star rating. After reflecting a bit on my decision, and when I finally sat down to write a review a few days later, I felt like there weren't enough positive points to highlight. I admit, Eve and Adam was short and a really quick read, but maybe that's what gave it the illusion of another positive point. I do honestly feel that this will be a great addition to a science fiction fan's reading selection, but I was never a science fiction fan in the first place.
First of all, the characters weren't very dynamic, in my opinion. To avoid spoiling a major portion of the plot, Eve, our main character and Solo, another main character, didn't express a lot of emotion. They did actually feel emotions, don't get me wrong, but when it was delivered to me, I felt like they were really forced or underplayed. I wanted the characters to make a mark in my brain, but they were just semi-enjoyable throughout the duration of the book and afterwards, I really didn't care too much about what happened to them.
As far as plots went, I felt like there wasn't anything revolving around it. The idea of creating your own person was really complex and well done in terms of genetics, although it didn't make a significant appearance until halfway through the book. If you were eyeing to read Eve and Adam because of the fact that there was genetics involved, you might be a little let down. However, Eve and Adam is kind of structured like an internal dystopian. Instead of the main character rebelling against the entire political system, the main character's rebelling against her mother's science lab.
Speaking of which, the details of the genetics were really great. I would never have thought of all the genetic thought it would take to create a person, and when the genetics of that were introduced, many other plot lines were introduced, making the plot a lot faster and engaging. I did like how Michael and Katherine expanded on their original idea, and after maybe the first half it was a really pleasurable read.
A sure hit with science fiction fans, Eve and Adam was a light read that would appeal to readers who enjoy something not as intense. However, for me, it wasn't something that I particularly enjoyed. It was a quick, light read with a lot of potential positives that didn't hit the mark for me.
Origin was an extremely hard book to rate properly and justifiably. While I loved it, I also hated it at the same time. I spent hours agonizing and classically debating "to bump it up a star or to not bump it up a star?" Finally, I made a decision, and kept it where I originally planned it to be.
Why, might you ask? First of all, Pia got onto my nerves at times. She seemed extremely righteous and full of herself in a way that wasn't extremely appealing. Pia knew she was perfect and wouldn't let anybody tell her otherwise. When somebody questioned how perfect she really was, she would get defensive and rattle off all these statistics like "I can run so and so miles in half an hour, I can heal any injury within an hour of sustaining it." Her attitude really annoyed me, and people continued to tell her that she was perfect, even though she clearly was not after she started defying everybody's orders. Also, Pia always wanted more. On her birthday she brooded over how much she wanted more than what she already had, which I found ridiculous.
On the bright side, as Origin progressed, Pia became a more humbled person, which was definitely a good thing because I was really quickly getting fed up with her. Now, onto the next problem I had. (Trust me, this is the last one!) Eio and Pia's relationship moved completely too fast. As soon as they met they had this attraction to each other. My rule for when I pronounce something insta-love is if that immediate attraction you feel when you first meet each other is that it eventually blossoms into something much bigger and you get to see the transition from like to love happening. However, I didn't see that here. I felt the relationship moved too quickly for me to be able to feel any love.
Origin's best part was every villain. The antagonists were all around Pia, and in a way, she had no way to escape except from the aid of some of the friends she'd amassed. I loved Pia's friends. They were supportive and while they might not be Pia's peers, they were great companions for her, especially when she needed help. That happened a lot. Pia's parents were EVIL! I totally was about to strangle Pia's mother. She was so selfish and ruthless and didn't even care about her own daughter. I wanted to strangle Pia's mom because even though Pia annoyed me, Pia actually had a really great heart and didn't deserve to be treated like a lab rat. Truly. I think I would've strangled Pia's mom if I ever met her.
The last thing I have to point out was at the end of Origin, you could see Pia's growth as a character and a person. Instead of being this perfect immortal being, Pia had turned into a sacrificial immortal being who knew that if you were blessed with immortal life, then you better do something to make the best of it. Otherwise, what's the point of living and never changing while everybody around you grew up and moved on?
Full of unexpected plot twists and characters that either made me want to strangle them or hug them and cry into their shoulders at times, Origin will appeal to any science fiction fan who isn't afraid to be exposed to the ruthless nature of the world that Pia lives in....more
As a serious sucker for a gorgeous cover, I fell for Beta; I'll be open about it. However, looks can deceive. I traded it with a friend, so I'm not too upset about not enjoying it that much, besides the fact that it was not an enjoyable read. In the end, Beta didn't live up to par.
In Beta, we were first introduced to Elysia and her first moments waking up as soon as expert scientists created her. She's a Beta, a test drive of a teenage clone. Beta's opening was intriguing, to say the least. I was intrigued, and I thought I'd be one of those people who would end up giving this one a high rating. However, that was completely wrong on my part. Elysia was really annoying because of her perfectness. She could sing; she could dive; she was smart; she was an athlete; she was nice; she was polite; she was whatever. It was extremely annoying and I wanted to throw the book against a wall. Characters are not perfect. Elysia was the only perfect Beta, as far as I knew. The excuse that was given to explain why she WASN’T perfect was because she could feel human feelings. Last time I checked, feeling joy and excitement was a good thing. Also, Elysia was selfish. When she fell in love with this hot surfer boy, she wanted to use drugs just because he noticed her when he was under the drug. That isn’t healthy. It really isn’t. I couldn't get over how she was willing to go so far just so a boy would like her. And the boy wasn't even remotely appealing or swoon-worthy that a girl would go that far. Contrary to that, something that did save this novel from completely crashing and burning was that Elysia did have positive intentions. She displayed it in an odd way, but I appreciated her well being.
Speaking of which, the romance was a complete turn-off. First of all, insta-love. By the second date they were telling each other they loved each other. By the third date they were making plans to run off together. By the fourth they were ready to do "the deed." There was no foundation behind the romance and most of it was drug-induced anyway. Forgive me if I'm not too sympathetic towards this aspect of this book. When another guy came into the picture (don't worry it's not a love triangle, thank God), the romance picked up so quickly. I didn't even feel the chemistry between them, even though the love was supposedly organic instead of caused from illegal drug use.
Also, the idea of this was...a little odd. I felt like these humans were so unsympathetic to these clones, just because they were synthetically created. Like Giselle from Xpresso Reads brought up, this was like a slave business. I really hated how these clones were treated like the latest fad. As soon as they went out of style, they went in the trash. These owners really weren't sympathetic at all to clones, which honestly got to me. I wish that Beta's social classes weren't built like the 1800s when slaves were whipped and horribly under-treated.
Annoying, undermining, and a little frustrating, Beta did have its pluses that I could have grown to enjoy but in the end, the shocking amount of insta-love, manipulation of drugs, and shallow characters really got to me.
I got this book for an honest review, and I'm really starting to hate myself for accepting a lot of the requests I get out there and recently I just gI got this book for an honest review, and I'm really starting to hate myself for accepting a lot of the requests I get out there and recently I just got literally an onslaught of review and tour stop requests. (Seriously? I love whoever thinks of my blog and likes it enough to want me to review their book, but it's overwhelming.) I usually think that a certain book will end up being interesting, and then I usually don't like it as much as if I'd chosen it myself.
I really liked Gemme at first, and how I was brought straight into the action of the book when a comet hits the ship. As everything went on, I slowly got more and more drawn into the book, and I loved the romance and the action that happened on Tundra 37 that progressed during the entire thing. Two other really important characters, Vira and Mestasis, were shown in their POV, but I didn't find those as enjoyable because I thought they weren't too important to the end.
I found myself skipping these chapters, but in the end, I turned around and I reread them and enjoyed them. I really reread them because they were important to understanding this big confrontation at the end, and it's a good thing that Aubrie didn't just include their POVs because she wanted to. I really liked the overall concept, and I really liked the romance between Brentwood and Gemme, but the chapters concerning Mestasis and Vira were a little iffy to me.
I thought Gemme was a really strong character. Another character as a part of her expedition on Tundra 37, Luna, wanted Brentwood to herself, and through Luna's constant blackmailing and flaunting, she still stayed strong and she even helped Luna after she was caught in a bad situation, Luna witnessed it, and instead of helping Gemme, Luna ran away, but instead got herself caught as well. Gemme still helped Luna and I thought that was extremely courageous and noble of her....more
In this eagerly awaited sequel to Across the Universe, this book immediately jumps into action and just as quickly captures me. The ending of Across tIn this eagerly awaited sequel to Across the Universe, this book immediately jumps into action and just as quickly captures me. The ending of Across the Universe was not only complete and satisfying, but it also was a cliffhanger of sorts, because almost no one had really resolved most of their problems. The cover immediately brought me in and taunted me, literally whispering in my ear while it was sitting on my table, "Read me, read me. Come on, why do you have to read those books first when you can read me!" I agree wholeheartedly with the book, it's just that I was reading tour books that were more urgent, but now I've read it.
The first scenes were very well written, perfectly crafted to make me keep my nose buried in the book. I really liked how in the first book, how there wasn't much romance, there was a lot more in this one. I was slightly annoyed at the first book for that, but this book's romance made it up for it. Now I will admit it, some parts of this book were excruciatingly slow to me and I wanted to skip them, but there were only a few, like I said before, so as a whole it was really good.
The characters in this book were really well developed, as well. Amy started to slowly but surely grow a backbone throughout the entire process and Elder was trying to assume his role as a leader at such a young age. Even though he may have not made the right decision by taking people off Phydus, he still sticks with this choice and sees it through, taking the consequences like a real leader. These characters were also flawed, like any reasonable character should be. Amy was self-conscious of people calling her a "freak" and Elder was doubtful over his decision of taking the ship off Phydus.
In the end of the first book, we found a plot twist, and a whole confrontation for what had happened in the previous parts of the plot. In this book, there was the same mysterious quality along with romance and the science-fiction. Along with the confrontation that was satisfying at the same time mysterious. I also really liked the alternating character POVs, so you know what both characters are feeling about something. I sometimes hate having just one POV—especially during the part in a book where the MC is falling in love with his/her trusty sidekick—and I'm mentally screaming at the book to have some insight for us to read as to what the other character is feeling.
I don't always need it, but some books aren't complete without that type of stuff, without us knowing about the different perspectives when relating to romance, because it's fun to live in the mystery of it and the romance isn't so extremely touching in a few parts that you need to know what they're feeling, but in this case I felt that it was necessary and I'm so happy that it was there so I didn't have to do any speculating by myself. ...more
First of all, I think this cover is really awesome! I saw Maria at Fantasy's Ink review it, and I thought it looked interesting, and then I saw it atFirst of all, I think this cover is really awesome! I saw Maria at Fantasy's Ink review it, and I thought it looked interesting, and then I saw it at the library, and I decided to borrow it. This book did not disappoint, and I am eagerly awaiting the next book. Sort of.
I really loved the fact that this book was a cross between dystopian, science fiction, and a little paranormal. There was even some romance. I'll get into that later. Amy is very determined, and I like how Elder is very protective of her. Amy is guarded of this new place, because many people look at her funny because she has red hair and green eyes, when everyone else has dark skin, dark hair, and dark eyes.
I like how realistic this is (as realistic it can get, at least) because who wouldn't be guarded and angry and longing for their parents if they were separated from you? I probably could never be as strong as some of the heroines and main characters I read about, because I'm a total softie, but it's nice to live in someone else's world for a while.
My only problem was the romance. It wasn't that well developed. I didn't get tingly at romantic parts (which, actually, there were next to none so I really hope there's more in the next book) but I loved basically everything else. If there were more mushy parts, which I really like because I'm a sap, this book would've gotten a bigger rating.
I want Amy and Elder to develop their relationship further in the next book, instead of Elder liking her only because of her hair and because of her weird appearance. If she was normal, would Elder have been interested? You can fall in love because of your looks, it's about the personality. So now that you've been attracted to the girl, get to know her! Don't just stand there and obsess about how red her hair is!
Other than that, this book is truly truly truly really awesome, and I will be reading the next books with my expectations set high....more