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It's just another day on the Scrap: lose the last of your credits at the WarDome, dodge the gangs and religious fanatics, discover you can destroy electronics with your mind, stumble upon the deadliest robot ever built When Eve finds the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend and her robotic sidekick in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, battle cyborg assassins, and scour abandoned megacities to save the ones she loves and learn the dark secrets of her past.

402 pages, Hardcover

First published July 26, 2018

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About the author

Jay Kristoff

33 books23.6k followers
Jay Kristoff is a #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction. He is the winner of eight Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, has over two million books in print and is published in over thirty five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 12,000 days to live.

He does not believe in happy endings.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,593 reviews
Profile Image for Jay Kristoff.
Author 33 books23.6k followers
March 15, 2016
A quick FAQ:

That blurb doesn’t say much. Can you tell us a little more about the book?

Indeed. In the wake of an uprising in a post-apocalyptic USA, the robotic populace have been reduced to slaves, and androids (robots who look like humans) have been outlawed. LIFEL1K3 is about a girl named Eve and her best friend Lemon, who find a ruined android in a scrap heap – an almost-boy named Ezekiel, who knows the truth behind the robotic revolt. Shenanigans ensue.

It features (in no particular order) Giant Mechanical War Machines. Sexah Androids. Mutant Powers. Doomed Romance. Warring Corporations. Cybernetic Bounty Hunters. Sassy Robot Sidekicks. Rebellions. Chases. Escapes. Betrayals. Lies Upon Lies. Splosions.

My elevator pitch was “Romeo and Juliet meets Bladerunner, while Fury Road plays a guitar solo in the background.”

Is this the project you’ve been teasing on Instagram lately?

Yes. All those Mad Max and empty Red Bull can pics suddenly make sense, right?

Have you finished writing it yet?

Almost. We sold it on a 7 chapter sample and a synopsis of the rest of the series. I’ve got about 20,000 words to go. I want first draft finished before we head off to YALLWEST in May.

Fucking hell, do you sleep?

Sleep is for the weak.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,158 reviews97.9k followers
May 29, 2018

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

“Metal or meat. Blood or current. Everyone deserves a choice.”

Gentle friends, I loved this. This was an absolute treat to read! Jay Kristoff’s writing and storytelling is so unique, but if you love it then you will love it with the sum of your being. This book was one of the best things I’ve ever read, and I instantly knew it would make my top books of 2018.

I recommend this with my whole heart for fans of Borderlands, Mad Max, and even Fallout, because that is this book's aesthetic. Yet, this book also is very reminiscent of one of my favorite Disney Animation movies, but to say which would be such a big spoiler, so I will refrain, but it was so amazing! I was constantly reminded of all these stories constantly, and I loved each and every moment. LIFEL1K3 is such a different book, that I can only compare it to these video games and movies, but I truly think it’s going to completely win over the YA world upon release.

The prologue to this book is one of the most heart-filled, heart-pounding, heart-breaking things I’ve ever read. I was instantly captivated and instantly immersed, and even though I was crying, a hand over my mouth, I could never stop reading. The start of every chapter tells more and more (in true Jay Kristoff style), and my heart continued to break and break, but I promise you; this story is so well crafted. I have no combination of words to even weave together to express how smart and seamlessly this is woven together.

“They used to call it Kalifornya, but now they called it Dregs.”

This story starts out in an alternate post-apocalyptic future of The United States. Robots in this world are the equivalent to slaves, and robots that look like humans (androids) are completely outlawed. Our main protagonist is battling in the WarDome, against robots, in a mech she has built herself from scavenging. She does these battles so that she can afford her grandfather’s medication, and in the opening of the book, she is in desperate need to win. So desperate that something happens to put an X on her back, and she and her friends are forced to flee, because the battles are broadcasted all over Dregs.

Eve - A seventeen-year-old girl, who has been living with her grandpa in Tire Valley for two years now. Eve also only has one eye, and I loved that representation with my whole heart. Also, Eve soon realizes that the life she has always known, might not be the only life she has ever lived. So many secrets. So many twists. So many choices.

“Two lives, colliding like stars inside her mind. The life she knew—the life of Evie Carpenter. Domefighter. Top-tier botdoc. A skinny little scavvergirl eking out a living on the island of Dregs. And someone else. Another girl entirely.”

Lemon - Eve’s best friend, who lives with her. Also, the funniest character I’ve read about in a really long time. I’m talking about full on, have to put the book down, giggles. Like, this book has the best banter I may have ever read, and all of the amazingness came from Lemon Fresh. One of my new all-time favorite characters. But I will say that Lemon does have a scene that bothered me, when she tried to take a peak at what was under a lifelike’s pants. It didn’t happen, but still, things like that are never cute, and her being a girl and him being a boy doesn’t make it okay. But besides this one thing, Lemon Fresh was truly the star of this book for me, and I want to be her when I grow up.

“I don’t care who’s after you. Where you’re from or where you’re going. It’s you, me, Crick and Kaiser. No matter what. Rule Number One in the Scrap, remember? Stronger together, together forever.”

Cricket - AI that was made to protect Eve by her grandpa. And even though they are adorable, my only complaint is about this character. Cricket is with the girls when they find a lifelike, and when they find him, he is missing an arm since it was a really bad crash. Throughout the book Cricket calls Ezekiel “Stumpy” and “Braintrauma” and it just read really bad. It also kind of makes me not like Cricket as much as I’m sure many others will.

“If he wasn’t a real person, why does this hurt so badly?”

Ezekiel - I loved Ezekiel, so much, instantly, right off the bat. He is the lifelike that Eve and Lemon find, when they are rushing home after the events that happened at the WarDome. lifelikes are outlawed everywhere, because they somehow broke the Three Laws that are hard-coded into every single robot.

“He gave us life, but he intended us to live it on our knees.”

And many of these lifelikes resided in a place called Babel. Growing up, you guys might have learned about the story of Tower of Babel as a lesson about why we speak so many different languages. Basically, after the Great Flood happened, a bunch of people came together and agreed to build a tower that would touch Heaven itself. God, realizing what they are attempting, scatters them all around the world and makes them all speak different languages, hence our world today. And the irony was not missed on how perfect of a title for a residence this is. And all the lifelike’s names are also super biblical.

The soul of this novel is about oppression, and the sick things we are willing to tell ourselves to justify it. How people will treat other living being differently, and unjustly, because they feel like they are higher on the social hierarchy. This book may be about humans vs robots, but I think it mirrors a lot of issues going on in today’s world, and I think a lot of people could take away many things from this book.

“Look outside that door, and you will see a world built on metal backs. Held together by metal hands.”

The heart of this novel is about love, and how we are always deserving of it, even if we are searching for it our entire lives. The romance in this was exceptionally done, and I was swooning so hard at so many different scenes. But this book doesn’t just focus on the romantic love between two people, but also the importance of love between friends. Eve and Lemon’s friendship is honestly goals. And this book is for sure a love letter to found families everywhere.

“It’s simple to love someone on the days that are easy. But you find out what your love is made of on the days that are hard.”

And in true Jay Kristoff fashion, he ripped my heart out at the end of this book. I honestly am not sure how I’m going to be able to cope and deal with the wait for the next book. It will easily be one of my most anticipated releases of 2019, and I am so curious what direction the story is going to go. I also believe, with my whole heart, that the second book will be even better than LIFEL1K3. Even though this was a five star read, it was setting the stage for something that’s going to be such a damn masterpiece.

Overall, I loved this. I loved seeing Eve discover who she was, who she is, and who she wants to be. I loved the beautiful, lyrical writing. I loved the important themes and discussions that were expertly woven in. I loved laughing and crying and feeling everything in-between for the characters. I loved this world and traveling it alongside these characters. I even loved all the twists and turns. Also, to say that this has a cliffhanger ending is a damn understatement. But this was such a fun read, and I think there is so much that so many will love, too! I hope you all pick this one up come May 29th!

“Your past doesn’t make calls on your future. It doesn’t matter who you were. Only who you are.”

Content/Trigger Warnings: murder, gore, violence, death, loss of a loved one, bullying, robotic animal cruelty, talk of suicide, talk of cancer, terminal illness, child abandonment, physical abuse, torture, bombings, and war themes.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Buddy read with Chelsea at The Suspense is Thrilling Me! ❤
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,083 reviews17.3k followers
December 8, 2018
It is with a heavy heart that I announce that I just don't give one singular fuck about this.

I fully admit that this is a fun read and quite fast-paced. But let’s be real here:
➽ I am not invested in any of the characters,
➽ the romance is straight-up boring, instalovey that lacks enough character development to remain believable
➽ the dude is – dare I say it, kind of creepy?
➽ the whole random-new-slang thing is so Jay Kristoff but it is getting on my nerves
➽ it’s trying to be funny
➽ I love that
➽ it is not funny
➽ both of the plot twists so far have been incredibly obvious
➽ I know I guess plot twists a lot because I read so much but really, come on
➽ I think I actually know what the ending twist is already and I am forty-five percent of the way through
➽ it just overall feels very lightweight and like it’s going through the motions of being something new when it really... isn’t

I think if I weren't in a slump, I would've finished and three-starred. but this kind of lightness is not what i need in my current state. and also, my standards for DNFing series beginners are pretty low. I have no interest in a series that I don't care about.

Anyway. Bye. Read Nevernight instead.

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Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,406 reviews9,541 followers
November 16, 2019
Something is wrong with me, I’m not liking much of anything any more. My 5 star books are few and far between it seems 🤔

But here is some of my art from the book.

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,421 reviews77.6k followers
April 8, 2018
I've been sitting here for days trying to determine the best way to review this book; it was so incredible that I'm finding it hard to put into words just how much I loved Eve and her merry band of misfits' story. I'm terrified that I won't do it justice, that I'll keep writing and gushing and raving and STILL won't capture the special qualities this trilogy's debut has to offer. I also know that the majority of my following isn't into young adult science fiction, but this book was so much more than a nerd's wet dream. After much deliberation, I actually feel those readers looking to ease into the YA Sci-Fi genre, the ones who need a bridge to go from something more mainstream to a book with more pointed interest will take to this heartily. However, if you've enjoyed Kristoff's writing in the past, you will EAT. THIS. UP. Seriously, this might be my favorite book he's written to date.

Ok let's talk about the plot. The synopsis makes it sound like this novel is a mash up of so many things that it could go catawampus at any given moment, but trust me, it works. Oh, it works so well. Muahahahahahaha. I buddy read this over a period of four days with Melanie "Meltotheany" Parker, and this worked well because the book is divided into four (more or less) equal parts. We get a few different POV's along the course of the book, mainly from Eve and her bestest Lemon Fresh, but also in the gang are Eve's logika Cricket and her pup Kaiser, plus some other peeps introduced along the way. There are machinas and cyborgs and automatas as well, but don't worry, there are handy guides in the beginning to explain all the terminology that you need to know while reading. Some stuff happens, and our gang is on the run, hoping to not only save Eve's grandpa but also stay alive for 400+ pages. Because that's important, ya know? Aside from that, you honestly just need to read for yourself. I sincerely would feel like the worst friend ever if I spoiled one of the numerous plot twists for you.

The twists. Oh the twists. There are twists in the beginning, middle, and end. There are twists you'll expect and there are twists you'll never see coming. There are twists that make you leap for joy and twists that make you clutch your heart. Oh Jay, why do you do this to us? My heart is never safe while reading your books. There are twists that seem small and end up large, and there are twists that seem to be plot changers that end up red herrings. Also, there are just plain old bombshells that will twist right on through until the end of book three I imagine. Oh, did I mention that there are twists? Sorry, must have slipped my mind. THERE ARE TWISTS GALORE AND I LOVE IT! You can never let your guard down here folks, because you'll be merrily reading along on the treadmill and all of a sudden BOOM! There goes your heart and everyone in public will stare at how weirdly emotional you are with your fictional characters. Be prepared-you've been warned!

Beyond the twists, fast-paced plot, and just overall well done writing style, the characters are simply phenomenal. I felt emotionally attached to each one, and in a different way, almost as if I was a part of this group and fighting alongside them in this dystopian world. The sense of humor between the gang kept a levity that was necessary to maintain the well balanced narrative here, and it was just so brilliant. Uff. The friendship between Lem and Eve was refreshing, the romance was minor enough to not be obnoxious but also relevant to the storyline, and even the bots were downright delectable. Cricket is such a precious pumpkin and I will fight anyone who tries to hurt him. I have unsuccessfully tried to convince Mr. Humphrey to buy/make/adopt a logika for me in order to live my best life, but he is not having it. *Sigh* 

Bottom line- you need this book in your life. Obviously after that devilish cliffhanger (Jay, you rascal you) I'm going to die until the next book comes out, but I guess in the meantime I'll just fangirl about this one. Ok, so there was a little closure in this book, but still, you're left with a desperate case of the grabby hands and the gimmie gimmie needy needies. I'm not sure how Mel and I will every find a buddy read to top this one, because it was just so incredibly good. This book will definitely make my highlights of the year, so you should read it too, then we can hold each other and sob over what just happened in this story. Highly, HIGHLY recommended to anyone who enjoys a perfect book.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy for review. 

Buddy read with the lovely Meltotheany <3
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,625 reviews5,070 followers
October 9, 2019
Anyone who’s been following my blog for a while probably already knows this was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, so it’s no surprise that I loved every second of it, but just saying “I knew it!” wouldn’t make a very good review, so strap yourselves in and let me tell you why I loved LIFEL1K3 so much—and why you need a copy or three of it in your life.

“Look outside that door, and you will see a world built on metal backs. Held together by metal hands. And one day, those hands will close. And they will become fists.”

First, the world-building in this book is exquisite. There is so much history to what has brought the world to the point it’s at, whether it’s the tidbits about the world wars, the natural disasters that led to California’s splitting from the rest of the country, or the havoc that mega-corporations have wreaked upon the world. There are a healthy variety of robots to choose from, too; you’ve got your lifelikes, your logika, your little bots like Cricket, your blitzhunds like Kaiser—list goes on. I loved the fact that we got to learn so much about the array of mecha floating around, as it furthered the sense of immersion to the point where it began to feel like these wastelands could’ve just been a crystal ball into our own futures.

Rule Number Three in the Scrap: Carry the biggest stick.

Not only is everything wonderfully fleshed out, but the aesthetic of this book was flawless. I’m a total sucker for these sorts of futuristic desert wasteland vibes. LIFEL1K3 feels like someone created the perfect blend of Mad Max: Fury Road, Borderlands, and the Fallout franchise, resulting in a wondrous balance of desolation, ingenuity, and badassery. I don’t remember the last time I wanted a book to be adapted into a film this badly, just to watch everyone run around being grungy and cynical and delightfully violent.

“The thought of lighting things on fire does unhealthy things to him.”

On top of the setting itself, the characters are so lovable it’s downright ridiculous. If you’ve read any of Jay’s work before, you may be familiar already with his sense of humor, and it truly shines in this novel. I laughed out loud so many times, and my e-ARC is highlighted to hell and back just for the bits that made me snort. Eve, our main character, is a bit serious and angry, but her closest loved ones—Lemon Fresh, Grandpa, and Cricket—are all a riot and a half, and Kaiser (the blitzhund!) is absolutely adorable.

She didn’t want to die here. She hadn’t liked it much the first time.

I only have one complaint about LIFEL1K3, and while it was not enough to change the star rating, I do think it’s worth mentioning here: there is a running joke in which one of the lifelikes (robot-esque humanoids) is taunted for having lost an arm early in the book, with a couple of crude nicknames being interchanged throughout the dialogue. It wasn’t a dealbreaker for me but did make me slightly uncomfortable, and I always try to give full disclosure in my reviews when it comes to this sort of thing—so, here’s your content warning for ableist remarks! Trigger warnings also apply for child violence/death (in flashbacks), gratuitous violence, and animal death.

“Stronger together.”
“Together forever.”

With that said, this book genuinely just has so much to offer. Underneath the raging violence, snarky quips, running from bounty hunters, fighting off terrifying pieces of machinery, and trying not to die from radiation poisoning (true cert’, can we get these guys some Rad-X?), there’s this really wonderful found family and a common theme that our past doesn’t have to define us. Almost every single starring character in this book is running from their past in some way or another, and I loved watching them each face down their own brand of demons.

This is not the end of me.
This is just one more enemy.

All in all, I could gush for days, but truly, this book is so fun, so suspenseful, so twisty, and so damn rock ‘n roll that you really can’t help but love it—and it’s so hard to put down. I’m already fiending for the next installment in the series, and can’t wait to see where Jay takes us next!

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,511 reviews31k followers
July 14, 2018
trying to cope with the devastating pushback of ‘darkdawn’ by putting as much jay kristoff as i can into my life. and i read this in nearly one sitting, so i guess you can tell how desperate i am. lol.

but it also helps that this is epitome of what a good dystopian sci-fi should be. the pacing was on point, the method at revealing background information/history was clever, the characters had great depth to them, the plot line was never lacking, and dont even get me started on that ending. i really, really enjoyed this.

the only thing that didnt make this a perfect read for me had to do with the language. jay kristoff has a real talent at world building, which includes integrating characterisation such as local slang. i appreciate the effort that goes into details like that, but i dont need every dialogue exchange to be bogged down with repetitive uses of ‘fizzy’ and ‘fug.’ it just was a bit much for me and kind of took some enjoyment out of it.

but overall, this book was classic kristoff, which is synonymous with pure brilliance.

4 stars
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
724 reviews4,628 followers
March 24, 2019
"Your body is not your own. Your mind is not your own. Your life is not your own."

You know that satisfied, giddy feeling you get when you enjoy an unexpected treat and it was even better than you anticipated it would be? That's how I'm feeling about this post-apocalyptic YA novel with both grit and heart . It's quite simply put - a gem of a book.

I found myself swept up in Kristoff's imaginative future world where robots and poverty are abound. It felt gloomy, desperate and strange. Yet, this wasteland was the perfect setting for his tale. You catch glimpses of the USA you know mentioned in passing and you can picture the long forgotten streets lined with scrap and trash. The people now living like scavengers - mice inhabiting a now forbidding land.

How then can I dare say the book was full of heart? The characters brought to life by Kristoff were the absolute strength of the book for me. He created a mismatched "family" - the kind that find themselves formed from circumstance and ultimately by choice, not blood - of robots and people that was funny, heartwarming and tragic.

Seventeen year old Eve is on a journey to save the only family she has left - her grandfather Silas. This journey is action packed, full of twists & turns, secrets, betrayal and plenty of emotion. Oh, how I came to love this band of misfits! Their chemistry was perfection for this reader - witty banter, genuine affection, courage and acceptance. The friendship between Eve and Lemon Fresh was one of my favorite dynamics. They were adorable. I'd join their BFF group in a heartbeat!.

The twists - there are plenty here to feast on. Some you will see coming and some you might have to stop reading and take a breathe to digest. Well, I certainly had to anyway. As for the cliffhanger ending - Oh Jay, you got me! All I can say is, I'm in this for the long haul.
Profile Image for Delirious Disquisitions.
436 reviews180 followers
July 24, 2021
You should read this if you like: Mad-Max Fury Road, post-apocalyptic worlds, badass heroines, strong female friendships, plot twists, insane action, dystopia, lifelike androids.

I always think of Jay Kristoff as this old storyteller standing on the streets peddling stories and dreams. I imagine he gets you addicted to his stories till you return daily to get your fix. But just as you near the story’s finale he stabs you in the heart, sucker punches you in the face, and runs away cackling. And you just sit there bleeding and hurt wondering why you ever trusted this shady man with his shady stories.

I don’t know where I was going with this really. Except to say this book and my entire life is a lie build on false hopes and dreams. And that I set myself up for the pain and now the only way to live with it is to talk about it. Possibly in group therapy. But I’ll settle for this review.

“This is not the end of me. This is just one more enemy.”

LIFEL1K3 is a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, western, dystonia novel. Its follows our protagonist Eve who is an eight times undefeated Domefighting champion. When a fight goes horribly wrong, a cornered Eve realizes she can fry robots with her mind. And that‘s just the least of her troubles. With her fighter bot destroyed, her money gone, the Brotherhood on her trail, Eve pretty much hits rock bottom when she finds an android named Ezekiel. Now on the run with Ezekiel, her best friend the sassy Lemon Fresh, and an anxious bot named Cricket, everything Eve thought she knew about her life starts to fall apart.

As per all Jay Kristof books, we dive headfirst into the action filled world of LIFEL1K3. It’s an adrenaline rush from start to finish, complete with badass characters, heaps of sarcasm, a healthy doze of banter, and the thrill of shit hitting the fan repeatedly over the entire course of the book. In a lot of ways this book acts as the introduction to the series, the world, and its characters leaving you with lots of questions going into book two. It is also a more PG than we are used to from Jay’s books and I kind of miss the excessive swearing!

Some thoughts on this book:

The world building is impeccable as always. Unlike other post-apocalyptic worlds, this one comes with some background history that explains why the world is the way we see it now. It has rules that clearly outline the boundaries of what is plausible in a way that makes the world that much more concrete. The vibe is very Mad-Max Fury Road mixed in with western/sci-fi elements. I’m not a fan of westerns as a genre so it took me a while to really get into this book. But once I got into the story I was fully invested!

One of my favorite things about this novel was the religious symbolism and mythology strewn throughout. They felt like disjointed remnants of civilizations past which is just incredibly cool and something that I hope we can explore more of in the next book. Similarly, I was also drawn to the idea of the Brotherhood who seem to be a religious authority on its own, capable of persecuting anyone they deem abnormal or a deviant. They feel like a postapocalyptic version of the Catholic Church. I want to know more about the Brotherhood, their evolution from the religions we know today, and about their current religious ideologies which seems fascinating.

I wish we had more of an insight into the minds of the LifeLike. Most of what we know about them is filtered through Eve’s memories and that may have distorted some of what was really happening at the time. The flashbacks left me a little detached from their character and I wasn’t nearly as invested in their story. Moreover, the villains of this book seem very black and white for the most part which is unusual for Jay’s writing style. He generally writes such compelling and layered characters. I think that can be attributed, again, to Eve’s biased perspective that makes them seem comically villainous. I’m sure we will learn more about these characters and their motives in the next book from Eve’s interaction with them.

The characters we did get to see though were simply wonderful. Lemon Fresh and Cricket being two of my absolute favorites! Every girl needs a BFF like Lemon. The female friendship depicted here was one of the best parts of the novel. These girls love and support each other like family, through the best and worst. And I just have so many feelings about this! The slow reveal of Lemon's story arc just broke my heart! Cricket is also another favorite with his astounding loyalty to Eve, his sarcastic humor, and his adorable heart. I love him and will fight anyone who calls him little!

My only minor complaint is the romance. There is a somewhat case of insta-love until halfway through this book. But Jay does a brilliant job of letting the characters question their feelings: is it love or lust? Is this kind of all-consuming love healthy? Or is it more of an obsession? Then subverting those expectations in the final chapters of the novel. Which I just loved!

There are some really good plot twists in this book that are done incredibly well! I saw a couple of them coming, but mostly I was left stunned by the end! The conclusion leads to so many questions, but it also leaves the characters in some very interesting places which just makes me super excited for the next book in the series! 3.5 Stars!
RTC for this book sometime when my mind stops spinning and I get my thoughts straight!
Profile Image for Hamad.
990 reviews1,307 followers
June 5, 2018
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book prescription

Actual Rating: 3.5-3.75 stars (tbh I don't know how to rate this!)

Your father gave me life. But you were the one who made me live.

🌟 It says on the cover of this book that it is a mix of Romeo and Juliet, Mad-max, X-Men and blade runner. That may sound cool but also too much? Jay is a creative author, we have already established that from the Illuminae files, so I was not so happy with this mixture, I wanted new things, the book starts with the rules of the robot community which sound pretty much like the rules in the movie I-robot and this also has some Robots (The animation movie) vibes! So this was just a collection of previous ideas into one book.

🌟 This is my first book by Jay alone, I heard mixed things about his other books and I was scared to try Nevernight because I saw many readers say that it is slow and that is always hard for me to get into. Surprise, surprise, This was not slow, the pacing was actually pretty good and more on the fast side, so many things were happening all the time. I didn’t feel bored at all.

🌟 Another thing that readers argue about is Jay’s writing style. It simply isn’t for everyone. I can relate to both parties. I am always in for a magical, poetic writing style which Jay fans agree on. But sometimes he just overdoes it and it becomes gibberish and illogical. Also I hate, hate, hate repetitions; Jay mentioned the Olive skin and the beautiful sharp pecs of the LIFEL1k3 many times (5 times), it may not sound too much for some readers but I can’t just ignore these things. I mean you can’t just repeat when you don’t know what to write and I partially blame the editors because it is their job to notice this kind of things!

“Of all the mistakes I made, I think you were my favorite,” she whispered.

🌟 The characters were good, I don’t have much to say about them tbh, usually YA MCs are annoying but I wasn’t annoyed by the characters here.

🌟 The Plot twists were predictable 90% of the time, the ending was good. The author profile says that he doesn’t believe in happy endings which made me oddly happy. How many authors can say that?!

🌟 In short, LIFEL1K3 was a fast-paced interesting mix of many robotic/ sci-fi things with good characters, twists and ending. The writing is somewhere in the middle. I can still recommend this series for sci-fi and fantasy fans!
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
June 6, 2018
3.5 stars (more if you love YA SF with a good side of romance). On sale now! Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Jay Kristoff’s YA post-apocalyptic novel LIFEL1K3 stars seventeen-year-old Eve as its tough, fauxhawk-sporting protagonist. Eve is a gifted mechanic who lives with her grandfather, her only relative, in a post-apocalyptic island version of “Kalifornya” called the Dregs. She has a cybernetic eye and a memory drive (“Memdrive”) implanted in the side of her head, with silicon chips behind her ear that give her fragmentary memories of her childhood and supply her with other useful life skills. Eve’s secret pastime ― at least it’s secret from Grandpa ― is engaging in robot deathmatches to fund Grandpa’s anticancer meds. Eve’s besties are a feisty redhead named Lemon Fresh, whose name comes from the box in which she was found abandoned as an infant, a cranky little robot named Cricket who has major self-image issues related to his short height, and a loyal cyborg dog, or “blitzhund,” named Kaiser who is internally armed with a powerful suicide bomb.

Eve’s latest robot gladiator battle goes badly: not only does her robot, Miss Combobulaton, get reduced to a useless heap of parts, but at the end of the battle Eve manifested a psychic power that completely shorted out the robot she was fighting. Now several factions are out to capture or kill Eve, including the dreaded Brotherhood that kills all mutants as a tenet of its faith, a stunningly powerful and physically augmented bounty hunter called Preacher, and the local greedy and bloodthirsty gang.

On the way home from her ill-fated robot battle, Eve and her friends see an aircraft crash land in a junk heap of old auto wrecks. They pull the remains of a handsome android, an illegal “Lifelike,” from the pilot’s seat. At Eve’s and Grandpa’s home, the android, Ezekiel, unexpectedly comes back to life. Ezekiel seems to recognize Grandpa and Eve, though he calls her by a different name, but can she trust him? Maybe she’ll be able to figure it out while they’re on the run …

Kristoff originally pitched LIFEL1K3 as “Romeo and Juliet meets Mad Max meets X-Men, with a little bit of Bladerunner cheering from the sidelines.” LIFEL1K3 is a cheerfully violent pastiche of those iconic works and more. There’s a Terminator type of character, an unstoppable bounty hunter cosplaying an Old West preacher. Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics play a vital role in the plot. Pinocchio is also expressly referenced several times by the characters, just in case any reader might have otherwise missed the allusion.

It may be derivative, but there’s creativity and enthusiasm in the pages of LIFEL1K3 as well. As our main characters quickly move from place to place, the pace moves swiftly as well. Robot battles and other armed conflicts are interspersed with the developing relationship between Eve and Ezekiel. The human (and android) drama element of the story is also heightened by flashback scenes of a mass murder that plays out at the beginning of the first several chapters, and by Eve’s gradual gain of knowledge about her past. Sometimes Eve overreacts to the new facts about her past; though she’s a volatile character, it seemed (especially at the end) artificially included for the sake of the plot and increased drama. I couldn’t quite believe and accept some of the characters’ actions and reactions at a few key points. The villains in this tale are also a bit cartoonish, with motivations that are understandable but rather simplistic and single-minded.

The romance, though it’s central to the plot of LIFEL1K3, never really took fire for me, perhaps partly because it involves sex (though not explicitly related) between a fifteen year old girl and an android. Despite the unusual and star-crossed partners, the romance itself remains firmly mired in standard YA romance land. More powerful for me was the depth and loyalty of the friendship between Eve and Lemon.

The cyberpunk-infused post-apocalyptic setting is, even if inspired by other novels and movies, well-imagined, with many gritty, vivid details that add to the realistic feel. Also adding to the pleasure of reading this novel were the twists and turns in the plot. Kristoff deftly threaded the needle here with twists that were surprising but had enough foundation in the previous events of the story that they didn’t come completely out of left field. My only quibble was with the very end of LIFEL1K3, which added one additional and rather unlikely twist of the knife to a cliffhanger ending. We’ll have to wait for the publication of the as-yet-unnamed sequel to see how it plays out, and I’m definitely on board for that.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Thanks!

Content notes: lots of violence and some sexual content (non-explicit).
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,588 reviews1,468 followers
September 14, 2020
Reread since all the books are out now

Love it when a book holds up on the re-read. LIFEL1K3 captured my imagination once again.

This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart


I’m at a loss for words on how to describe LIFEL1K3.  It is a little like The Wizard of Oz meets Pinocchio and runs away to iRobot, just to make it all the more different.  Now Pinocchio is one of my least favorite stories but you add in Eve who battles huge megabot things in a gladiator pit, her bestest, a freckled up chick named Lemon Fresh, a little bot, Cricket, who tells her when something is a bad idea and a cyborg dog that could blow up any minute and really, why wouldn’t I love this story.

Cool Sidekicks – check

Mysterious past – check, check

Adorable Romance – check checkity check

Danger around every corner – um…Yeah

Crazy Plot Twist - OMG I can’t even.

Jay Kristoff became an auto-buy for me over the last year.   The best thing is his imagination. I never know what new cool/horrible/fascinating thing he is going to come up with next.  Plus the guy doesn’t do Mary Sue or Gary Stew. All of his characters are on the complex side of the spectrum and they do good things and bad things.  Not one of them is the golden hero and every single character is going to make a mistake or two along the way and might not make it out of the story alive because of it.
“Lawbreaker,” Lemon smirked. “Always had a thing for the badboys.”
“Put it back in your pants, Miss Fresh,” Cricket growled.
“What good will it do me in there?”

Eve is easy to like immediately.  She is a girl who has lost her entire family and so she’s gathered around her people and bots to make a new one.  She is also fighting in the Wardome to buy meds for her grandpa…how can you not like a girl like that.

But when a Lifel1k3 boy bot literally falls out of the sky, Eve’s life won’t be the same because he thinks she is Ana, the girl he’s been searching for over the last two years, and if he can find her, that means the others like him are coming too.

Lifel1k3 has a great dystopian world with fun language changes and a feel all its own.  I’ve never been to this world before. The character interactions and dialogue of the main group are fantastic and I adore that Eve and Lemon Fresh are there for each other through thick and thin….stronger together.  I appreciated all the little details thrown into the story which added to all of the crazy world-building and how I could picture this world and all the wonderful and ugly in it.
“Will you shut up?” Ezekiel bellowed.
“Right after you pucker up and kiss my shiny metal man parts!”
“You got no man parts, Crick!” Ana yelled. “Shiny or otherwise!”

Once this got rolling, it was action packed and threw me for a loop.  I never saw the end to this coming. I thought I had the big secret all figured out, but I wasn’t even close and my hat’s off to Mr. Kristoff for taking some chances and not going the easy route on this.
“Look outside that door, and you will see a world built on metal backs. Held together by metal hands. And one day, those hands will close, Ana. And they will become fists.”

I will definitely be first in line to pick up the sequel to LifeL1k3.

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net.
242 reviews551 followers
May 1, 2018
See this review and more like it on www.bookbastion.net!

This was the first full novel I've read by Jay Kristoff, and it certainly will not be my last.

I knew I liked the style he brought to Illuminae, Gemina and Obsidio, and I've been meaning to give his solo work a try, so when an advanced copy of Lifelike landed in my hands this weekend, I set aside everything I was doing just so I could dedicate myself to this. Which is probably a good thing, as it turns out this is a story that demands your attention from page one, and doesn't let up on the gas until the very end.

Pitched as Romeo meets Juliet, meets Mad Max, meets X-Men, with a little bit of Blade Runner thrown in for good measure, Lifelike is just as frenetic, character-driven and fast-paced as all the above descriptors would imply. Thematically, the story explores the usual sci/fi tropes - the meaning of life; a world devastated by violence, and artificial variants of humanity - but it does so with awesome characters and a breath of fire that made this book difficult to put down! 

One thing I've begun to learn is fairly indicative of a Jay Kristoff novel is his penchant for action filled sequences that are unflinching in their imagery and evocative of the action movie genre as a whole. This was no exception. The opening scenes alone establish this world as one of brutality and violence towards human and machine alike, and equally lights the fuse for that breakneck pace. 

The entire story takes place over the course of only a few days, which should tell you something about the pace of this book. While full of almost constant movement, this story is grounded by the strength of its characters and the unexpected places Kristoff explores along their journey.

All of the main cast of characters were fablous and instantly memorable characters. I especially loved the friendship between Eve and Lemon though. One thing I appreciated about their dynamic is that so often in YA stories, the "best friend" character is eventually sidelined into what is clearly a role of lesser import to the world at large. Kristoff pays special attention to Lemon throughout the course of the story, and it is clear that her role in later additions will only expand from here.

The development of all the characters is quite well done, particularly in how twisty so much of it is. There were aspects I called early on, but just as many aspects that totally blindsided me. One character's journey in particular really wowed me and made me anxious to get my hands on book 2! In a way, I think this book is as much an origin story for the villains as it is the heroes. It appears Kristoff has used this first book as a launching pad for a number of greater character moments set in this universe and I'm so excited to see where it goes next.

The worldbuilding is surprisingly tight too. In a lot of post-apocalyptic set stories, we the reader are privy to nothing except: "the world has ended," because in a lot of those stories the fact that it's ended at all is the most important aspect. Kristoff is a bit more ambitious and sets the bulk of the plot squarely between corporations vying for control of what resources remain in  the irradiated wasteland of  America, post-explosion, and also in the rise of artificial intelligence and the exploration of what it means to be human. 

That being said, I appreciate that in this story there's no true robot uprising. There are only a handful of Lifelikes (androids) in comparison to human beings, but their existence at all creates quite the quandary for the characters that is explored over the course of the story. It's a softer opening than one might expect for a story that thematically tackles the implications of artificial life.

I could go and and on about how I enjoyed this all day, but I think this is one book that really speaks for itself. If you're a fan of sci/fi or action driven stories, make sure you put this book on your reading list for 2018!

5 out of 5 stars!

Thank you Netgalley, Knopf Books for Young Readers and Public Random House for approving my request!
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,162 reviews2,011 followers
August 21, 2018
For the first few pages, I was not sure about this one. It plunged straight in to poverty, strange robotic machines, fighting, dirt and gloom. It actually kept on in much the same theme for the whole book, but by then I was swept up in Kristoff's imaginative world and in love with his characters.

LIFEL1K3 is set in a futuristic world at a time when robots are the norm and scientists have achieved the perfect android, a Lifelike. The story follows Eve as she attempts to find out who she really is in between being pursued by a band of killer Lifelikes and a bounty hunter. There is constant action, a lot of blood and engine oil and some very sad moments. There is also romance but it fits in nicely and never takes over the book.

Kristoff's characters are just delightful. Eve's best friend Lemon Fresh who does nearly take over the book and in fact could do so in future episodes. Then there is the love interest, Lifelike and generally perfect male, Ezekiel. He is worthy of his own book too. And special mention to Eve's robotic companions who suffer hugely on her behalf.

Generally an all over excellent book. Four hundred pages just whizzed by with never a dull moment. I look forward to the next book especially so because of that huge surprise at the end. I did not see that coming at all!
Profile Image for ♛ may.
805 reviews3,774 followers
July 7, 2018

the next time someone asks me what my accomplishments are im going to respond, "i survived lifelike by jay kristoff"

literally dont know how to function oml

RTC after i discuss with my buddy readers IF THEY EVER FINISH

4.5 stars (rating is tentative)


if it wasn't well known from before, i'm kinda trash for anything jay kristoff writes
even though he ruined my life with his bloody cliffhangers

Buddy read with the babes, ms. awaad & my mc partner in crime
Profile Image for Ishmeen.
378 reviews152 followers
June 1, 2018

Can I just say that wow I was not expecting to be so shook by this book. I have read books by Jay Kristoff before and they were bloody amazing but somehow he still managed to surprise me. Actually surprise would be an under-statement; I prefer the term ‘shaken to the core’. I. was. so. unprepared.
Lifel1k3? More like Lifeless because I could feel my soul drifting away in those last few pages.

I absolutely love science fiction and so when I read the premise for this book and the fact that one of my favourite authors was writing it - you could imagine my anticipation for its release. I am grateful to Allen & Unwin NZ for providing me a review copy because I was going through a stressful period and reading Lifel1k3 helped me get through it much more easily. The world-building in this story is very intricate and the vocabulary is very tech-y which I struggled with a little at times but in no time was I so engrossed into the story and the characters, that it did not even matter.

Character-wise, my heart hurts so badly for Eve. I am reallyyy curious about what her game will be like in the next book especially after the events that played out in the last couple of chapters. Lemon's character was so unique and fun to read about - I am glad we got some chapters in her POV! I love books with multiple points of view so I was happy that we got some different views in this story as well! And the romance. Oh my god. It turned me into train wreck. I am not going to say anything else about it since I don’t want to spoil but all I’ll say is just prepare your heart. I also cherished the flashbacks which came as a surprise to me since I am not usually a fan of flashbacks in most books and prefer for the plot to continue with the present tense instead. But reading about Eve's past made me feel so many emotions and it was just so ... interesting?!?! I loved it :')

I cannot wait for the next book to come out because it was honestly those last 100 pages that shot this story up from a 4 to 5 star for me ❤️ Looking forward to more mind-blowing plot twists and amazing characters which were a joy to read about.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,094 reviews1,510 followers
May 11, 2018
LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff is the first book in the new Lifelike series, a bit of a young adult science fiction fantasy set in a dystopian environment. The blurb compares this to a bit of Romeo and Juliet mixed with Terminator. The author himself mentions Bladerunner and Mad Max. What you really have here is one heck of a creative mash up that certainly held it’s own and distinguished a personality all for itself.

The story revolves mainly around seventeen year old Eve who lives in a world filled with so many horrors and does what she needs to survive. We join Eve in the middle of a battle in the Wardome that is a fight to the death with the mech she built herself as she fights to earn money in her way of surviving.

After the battle things begin to build for Eve and she finds her grandfather in danger and her memories are slowly coming back that she had forgotten. Eve and her best friend Lemon Fresh along with a whole cast of other creative characters then begin their dangerous journey that the story takes them on.

From the opening pages there’s action piled on top of more action and the story will take you to places you’d never expect. Robots and romance, battles and blood, action and adventure…what more do we need? This is all just the opening pages really and one must read the story to understand the journey in Lifelike. The characters are well fleshed out, the world building quite intriguing and for those afraid of the romantic side it was definitely in the shadow of everything else the book held. Overall a fun beginning to this new series for sure.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for emily .
234 reviews2,080 followers
Shelved as 'physical-tbr'
December 11, 2018
the cover isn't my favorite but jay kristoff created mia corvere so he can do whatever the hell he wants tbh
Profile Image for Brithanie Faith.
259 reviews164 followers
July 18, 2018
5/5 "You can call me Daddy" stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (God, I love Lemon! And-yes that's an actual quote from the book!)


Favorite Quotes:

"...There's nothing quite the same as sitting with a real book in your hands. Breathing in the ink and feeling all those wonderful lives beneath your fingertips. In between the pages, I'm an emperor. An adventurer. A warrior and a wanderer. In between the pages I'm not myself- and more myself than in any other place on earth."

"Your past doesn't make calls on your future. It doesn't matter who you were. Only who you are."

"It's simple to love someone on the days that are easy. But you find out what your love is made of on the days that are hard."


-I loved everything about this! There was plenty of action, the characters were an absolute joy to follow, and there were several plot twists (some of which I kind of guessed at, but others that completely caught me off guard)!


-While I'm giving this book a 5 star rating, it did take me 40-50 pages to get into it! (Sometimes that happens though when you're reading the first book in a series, because there are new characters, places, and even words/phrases to get used to).

Final Thoughts/Comments:

Jay Kristoff has become an auto-buy author for me! For the first half of this book I was convinced I would give this a solid 4 star rating, but it just kept getting better and better, and I kept on getting more and more invested in the story/characters! Bring on the next one! ♡

Profile Image for Elise (On The Bookshelves).
61 reviews368 followers
May 14, 2018
Posted on The Nerd Daily

“They used to call it Kalifornya, but now they called it Dregs.”

When a book is literally described as “Romeo & Juliet meets Mad Max meets X-Men, with a little bit of Blade Runner cheering from the sidelines”, you can be a little hesitant as to what you can expect. Either it’s a huge oversell by the publishing company, or somehow the author has a genius mind to be able to pull all those elements together to make it work. After reading this book, it seems Australian author Jay Kristoff has been blessed with a gift.

LIFEL1K3 is set in a post-apocalyptic USA and after an uprising, the robotic populace has been reduced to mere slaves and androids have been outlawed. Our main protagonist is seventeen-year-old Eve who builds robotic gladiators so she can earn credits to help her sick Grandpa, who is her last remaining family member. Unfortunately things go downhill pretty quickly for our girl when her gladiator is destroyed and almost winds up being killed herself—except she manages to stop the looming robot with the power of her mind and a raging scream…

Due to the fight being so public, her newly found ability is revealed to all and now the puritanical organisation known as the Brotherhood are after her because of her abnormality, just like they have done with all the others they killed before her. But why should the drama stop there? On her way home with her little AI robot Cricket and best gal pal Lemon Fresh, they discover an android boy within the wreckage of a recently crashed plane. Taking him home for parts, Eve doesn’t expect Ezekiel, the android boy, to get up and walking again. She also doesn’t expect him to recognise her or the onslaught of people after her because of the lifelike and her strange new power…

And so a series of events unfolds that hooks you in from the get-go with its chaos, robots, epic car chases, romance, friendship, and pure badassery.

The characters are incredibly enjoyable with just the right amount of attention, background, and detail given to each of them over the course of the book. That being said, Eve is quite the multi-faceted character, which may be a little frustrating for some since her character is pushed and pulled in so many ways that she’s always confused as to who she is and who she should be.

Then there’s her best friend Lemon Fresh. She’s yet another strong female character that doesn’t rely on our main protagonist and can instead hold her own. Her character isn’t sidelined like the typical best friend characters in books, and it seems that she will be explored further in the following books.

Joining the girls are Kaiser, who is a fierce and protective robotic dog, and a hilarious AI robot by the name of Cricket who will go ballistic if he ever gets called little. Surprisingly, these two were interesting characters and even though Kaiser doesn’t speak, his actions when it comes to Eve and Lemon are sweet. Cricket on the other hand has plenty to say and he’s the wittiest robot I have ever come across, and although his quite literally programmed to help and protect Eve, their relationship is something I didn’t expect myself to enjoy as much as I did.

As for our android boy named Ezekiel, he is what is known as a lifelike. Lifelike’s were made by Gnosis, an organisation created by Nicholas Monrova who essentially referred to them as his children. Monrova copied the personalities of those he loved to create the lifelike’s, so hopefully, they would love, protect, and serve him in return. Unfortunately a virus was purposely injected into the lifelike’s to free them of the three laws of robotics:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the first law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Instead, they eventually had their own thoughts on these: Your body is not your own. Your mind is not your own. Your life is not your own. After being set free from the laws, the lifelike’s rose up to destroy Gnosis and the Monrova family. Now, a few years down the track, BioMaas and Daedalus Technology circle one another in order to become the top tech dog.

Now that’s all we can cover without giving anything away!

When it comes to the writing, it might throw you at first. I haven’t read anything by Kristoff before other than the Illuminae series he co-wrote with Amie Kaufman, but the slang that was used was a slight deterrent for me at first. That being said, the flashbacks were a great reprieve from this and it did ease off substantially after the first few chapters, so I implore you to keep at it. Once you hit one of the twists Kristoff throws at you, it will propel you to stay up all night reading.

If you’re after an action-packed adventure that will take you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions by filling your heart with love for the story and characters and then ripping it out at the last page, then LIFEL1K3 is the book for you!
497 reviews2,420 followers
May 29, 2018
I've been wanting to read a Jay Kristoff book for ages. AGES! I was so sure that I was going to adore LIFELIK3--but I didn't. The writing was incredibly irritating, the characters were bland, and the story had too much drama. This book's basically Lauren Kate's Fallen with robots.

1. WRITING: My biggest problem with the book was the writing. The book uses a lot of slang/weird-ass jargon from a supposed future America, which I quickly grew tired of. It was hard for me to connect to, and was just overall really cheesy for me. 

2. CHARACTERS: The main characters in LIFEL1K3 have as much personality as my life-sized teddy bear. Which is just about none, if you're wondering. We have Eve, who suffers from multiple flashbacks so we get zero sense of her character, and Ezekiel, who is, well, a robot. Inside and out.

The side characters were a lot more endearing, especially Eve's best friend, Lemon Fresh, who is really cute and acts realistically.

3. STORY & PLOT: PRE-DICT-A-BLE. I felt like I've read this story a thousand times before--well, minus the robots. There was so much build-up for the twists, too, and they weren't even that "whoa," if you get what I mean?

4. WORLD-BUILDING: LIFEL1K3 gives us a look at post-apocalyptic America, where there are robots, androids, and "lifelikes" that live among humans. Personally, this was the aspect I liked most about the book.

It was interesting seeing another perspective of what the future might look like, scary as it is. We have the WarDome where robots fight to the death; the Scraps where Eve and her friends hunt for discarded materials they can revive or rebuild.

5. ROMANCE: Creepy. Fast-paced. Zero chemistry. Makes 5% sense. Wait, I totally forgot we were talking about LIFEL1K3--I thought we were talking about Fallen or Twilight. Eh, same thing.
Profile Image for Ari.
759 reviews177 followers
May 1, 2020
Blog | Amazon | Waterstones | Instagram | Twitter

"I mean it," he whispers. "No matter how perfect they make us,
they can't make us human."

Find me a book inspired by a historical event that intrigues me, and I will devour it. Better yet, let this fact be a mystery that I don't solve until after I've been reading for a while, and it will be an even bigger treasure to come across. Enter, LIFEL1K3.

I've heard and seen content about this novel since its release in 2018, and yet I had no idea that this book bases some of its plot on the assassination of Nicholas II, Emperor of All Russia, and his family. Like many people, I have been fascinated by Anastasia Romanov(a) for years, but it's not often that I read a work of fiction that takes content from her life or the tragedy that befell her family. Not only is it neatly weaved into the rest of the storyline, but it jump-starts an exciting and fast-paced ride for the reader.

LIFEL1K3 isn't a good book merely due to originality. There were parts of it that reminded me a lot of Marissa Meyer's Cinder (not just in personality of Ana/Eve vs. Cinder, but as far as their knowledge on machines goes, how to work them, and robotic side-kicks). However, LIFEL1K3 has a voice of its own. It has its own vocabulary, its own identity, and there's a ruggedness to the atmosphere of the story that makes it even more believable when one takes into account the world in which these characters live.

The characters themselves are, for the most part, well shaped. Cricket is a hoot, as most little robot allies in these books tend to be. And while Eve/Ana takes the lead, I absolutely loved Lemon Fresh and I am greatly looking forward to seeing how she deals with her struggle to not just figure out who she is, but how to cope with her abilities. I liked Ezekiel, but he fell a little flat for me, and I was never able to commit to his romance with the lead—then again, there's a good reason for this revealed in the end, so if the lack of full-on chemistry is taken as something purposefully created then it is very well done.

At the heart of the story are Gabriel, Faith and Mercy, the lifelikes turned enemies that were initially created by Ana's father in the perfect image of man. Not quite human, not all machine, struggling to have their own sense of self and ultimately take over humanity. I'm a sucker for this type of story, where a group of cyborgs fight against humans so that they may become free, and in return unleash their revenge. I know that we're “supposed” to root for the humans, but I always feel that the “bad guys” are justified after the way that they're treated. That belief not only stuck in LIFEL1K3, but it was cemented. Kristoff does a great job in making you feel for a being that is designed to be, essentially, used by humans while their individuality is supposed to be discarded. You feel the injustice, and you want retribution for it.

If anything, the thing that grated on me was Ana/Eve's reaction to the revelation of who she is at the end. As Myriad stated, a secret as big as this one, once revealed, had the potential to make her go insane in her attempt to process it. But she didn't go insane. Rather, she turned against those that she was supposed to have loved all this time, so fast and with so little thought, that it left me baffled. On one hand, I understand her need to distance herself due to the hurt that she felt, but on the other hand, it came across as rash. It'll make for a good follow up in the second book, I'm sure (and hope), yet the rush to get there was abrupt.

Full of nonstop action, and with plenty of twists and turns, I hope the excitement holds in DEV1AT3.
Profile Image for Lauren Lanz.
653 reviews242 followers
July 29, 2020
“Your past doesn't make calls on your future. It doesn't matter who you were. Only who you are.”

LIFEL1K3 was hardly what I expected from my first solo written Jay Kristoff novel. We follow Eve, a girl fending for herself in a destroyed world after the murder of her family. In the WarDome Eve loses the last of her money on a robot battle, leading her to the dumps in search of scrap parts she can sell. What Eve never expected was to come across a lifelike; an android named Ezekiel that looks and thinks as a real person. Together she and Ezekiel along with Eve’s best friend and robot companions embark on a journey to uncover her mysterious past.

The characters were one of my favourite aspects in LIFEL1K3 from the start. I grew to like Eve in nearly no time, as well as her best friend Lem and other companions. The bunch were mainly outgoing and at times witty, making for an overall good time following them.

Jay Kirstoff’s worldbuilding was also really well done. I liked getting the backstory on different types of androids and technology, plus how they came to be in the particular setting.

The main downside I found with this story is that the plot was either predictable or lacking in terms of shock value. There wasn’t a moment that had me on the edge of my seat besides the very ending. The fast pacing was enough to keep me reading quickly, though, and I was never truly bored by anything.

“It's simple to love someone on the days that are easy. But you find out what your love is made of on the days that are hard.”
Profile Image for Scrill.
407 reviews232 followers
June 26, 2018
I received an ARC via Netgalley for a fair review.

In a futuristic world where AI has become so much apart of our lives they are practically family Eve finds herself fleeing her home after it's broadcasted that she is a deviant, and can stop machinas with just a thought.

With the help of her bestest, Lemon Fresh, her AI companion, Cricket, and the unlikely android that she just met she starts to uncover more about her past that has remained hidden from her in more ways than she realizes.

The Story
This fast-paced, action packed sci-fi YA leaves you on the edge of your seat as you learn more about Eve and the world she lives in. Who is this girl that has so many people on her tail and can bring down a robot through her anger? This book is ridden with so many twists that you will get whiplash from it. And if you're new to Kristoff, be prepared to have your heart ripped out of your chest and stomped on.

The thing about this book is that it dapples in the morality of creating life with the AI and what it means to be one of them. The world that we are given has pets that are AI, friends that we rely on and keep us safe, and of course AI that look so much and act so much like humans.

Trigger warnings: violence, suicide

The World Building
All the geekiness that we love about Jay Kristoff in the Illuminae Files has broken out and is in another book. Kristoff does this fantastic job bringing out this world that he imagines through familiar descriptions while morphing them with slang that just fits. Often times I am not really impressed by a dystopian novel that make up their own slang and curse words, but somehow it just blends in nicely here. Instead of bestie, we get bestest, instead of an F bomb, we get fug. It stands to reason that in the future our terminology would have morphed at least a little bit if our technology has made so much advancement.

While the story itself is incredibly entertaining, it's the characters that really drive this book. Of course, Eve is such a strong willed and an enigma that we are unraveling. But it was her friends that really had me going. Lemon Fresh is  the bestest that anyone would want. Street smart, quippy, and loyal to a fault. I don't know what Kristoff is planning for the next book, but if she's not in it or the main character, she will be sorely missed.

Can I just say that I absolutely adored Cricket? I love that even as an tiny AI he brought out so much flavor to the story. He's snarky and loves Eve so much. I'm not sure if it's because of her name, or the way he was able to express his feelings so well, but every time he spoke I imagined his voice almost like WALL-E's, and I just found him incredibly endearing.

Portishead - The Rip

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Profile Image for Alaina.
6,122 reviews215 followers
August 5, 2019
second time read and review.

sdjfldsjfldajflkdjfsaljlfd - is how I felt while listening to this book. Which by the way, was really freaking good. Lifel1k3 was a wild roller coaster ride and I loved every second of it. This was a book that I definitely needed to reread. It doesn't hurt that the second one came out and after this ending, I'm pretty much pumped up for it.

Eve/Ana is still freaking amazing in my eyes. Even though I was a teeny tiny bit confused in the beginning, because the coffee didn't quite kick in yet - but when it did I felt like a noob. I couldn't believe that I forgot about her and I was so annoyed with myself. Mentally kicking my brain to work. Ugh, it was torture.. but hey - I still enjoyed my little confusion.

Other than that, the gang is still just the wonderful gang they were before. Zeke was adorably annoying and then I definitely felt for him. He's dealing with a crazy person that has no idea how they feel about them. It's confusing for him.. and I'm all for it. I definitely enjoyed this book again, so I'm really hoping that the next one doesn't disappoint me. REALLY FREAKING HOPING.

Overall, the ending killed me. The end.

Mind blown!

Lifel1k3 was so freaking good! Although I will admit it did have some ups and downs. I was interested.. but at the same time I was also starting to lose my interest? I don't know if that makes any sense.. but it's how I felt while reading it.

In this book, you will meet Eve. Or is it Ana. Honestly, it doesn't matter what her name is because she is such a bad ass. Heck, all of the characters are! Even the evil ones. I will admit that I was definitely starting to ship Eve with Ezekiel after they met. However, I soon realized that secrets were about to be unleashed.. and I knew shit was going to hit the fan for not only my ship.. but for everyone in this damn book. Friends became murderers.. people find out who they really aren't.. and friendships are definitely tested in this book.

My favorite character(s) throughout this book were definitely Cricket and Lemon. They were hilarious from the beginning all the way up to the end(ish). They grew on me and I fell in love. Besides all of that there is one point when so many answers are sort of solved and how this whole thing because so mysterious. I still have so many questions though and I'm wondering when the hell those will be solved.

That ending. MAN OH MAN! THAT ENDING GUYS! Anyone know when the second book will be out? Asking for a friend.
Profile Image for Angelica.
805 reviews1,071 followers
August 6, 2018
And to think, I could have loved this book! Reading slumps are the worst!

I've been a fan of Jay Kristoff for a quite some time now. Before he co-wrote the thrill ride that was Illuminae, he had written a steampunk sci-fi fantasy series names The Lotus Wars, set in feudal Japan, filled with magical creatures, deadly machines, and some pretty epic swordfights.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I've known from the very start that I was going to end up reading whatever Jay Kristoff wrote and that I was going to love it.

But I didn't love this one. And it's not entirely the book's fault.

By all means, I should have loved this. It has everything I could want in a book, and then some. The action was none stop, from the opening lines to the last sentence of the novel, it was a complete roller coaster.

The charcters were fun and compelling and there is a brilliant example of female friendship in this one between Lemon and Eve (and yes, her name is Lemon and I love her). Also with Cricket who was such an entertaining addition to the gang. And let's not forget about Zeke, who only got better as the book progressed because let's be real, for the first few chapters he had the personality of a toaster.

The writing was super fun and fluid. The plot was engaging and fun and interesting. There were many many twists, some of which took me entirely by surprise and left me speechless, some of which didn't surprise me at all, but that's to be expected.

Sadly, my life has been quite hectic lately, and to make matters worse, I'm currently in a serious slump so I wasn't able to enjoy this as I would have liked. I can't blame the book for that

Another thing for which I can't really blame the book is that I could kind of predict when and how things were going to happen. This though is mostly an effect of reading so many books and knowing how stories tend to work, especially when you've read several of that author's books.

Although the slump and the busy life and all the inconveniences that have been plaguing me lately all influenced my low rating, there were some problems I would have had with the book regardless.

The main issue being the romance aspect. I felt a little...flat? A little weird, maybe? A little too Romeo & Juliet?

Also,  the pitch is “Romeo & Juliet meets Mad Max meets X-Men, with a little bit of Blade Runner cheering from the sidelines”. I guess it does have elements of all these things, and in fact does have a scene that looked taken right out of Mad Max, but I feel like a more accurate description would be Pinocchio meets I, Robot meets Anastasia, with a little bit of Paradise Lost dropping biblical references from above, but I guess that didn't sound cool enough.

I think if I weren't in a slump this would have been a four-star read, for sure. If my life weren't going to crap right now, and I had read it in less than the three weeks it took me to finish, I would have enjoyed this so much more.

But that's not how it all went down.

So, do I recommend this book? Sure. It's a fast-paced, action-packed thrill ride. It's fun and futuristic and very Jay Kristoff-ish.

I just don't think I was in the right mindset to really read this book. I will definitely be trying to read the sequel because I'm actually really curious at two what happens next.

*** This last part involves a very minor spoiler! Heck, it might not even be considered a spoiler. Read at your own peril! ***

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Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
976 reviews776 followers
September 1, 2018

So I've been a fan of Kristoff's ever since I read Nevernight. And thank you to publishers for again providing me with a copy to read and review before publication.

Honestly, almost the whole time I was reading this book, I thought it was going to be three-star read at most. Because everything seemed pretty standard and by the books. But then the last 25% or so came along and just changed the game. And I, for one, am here for it! 🙌

Eve/Ana & Zeke
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Everything about these two is complicated. And as the story goes on it only gets more and more complicated. I can see why some people might make a Romeo & Juliet comparison, but I find that an insult to these two. Because while they certainly seem star-crossed, their relationship is far more interesting and complex.

Eve/Ana & Lemon
Lemon is such a ride or die chick. She is the sort of person that once she loves you, that's it. She is with you. They have such an amazing friendship and I am so sad with how the book ends for them.

Speaking of ending, OMG, that revelation at the end...
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But I'll be honest as soon as the truth came to light I had a wicked thought in my head. Like, this is it. This is the final breaking point. A large part of me thinks we are now headed down a path similar to that of Adelina Amouteru. A descent into darkness, the rise of a villain. And I would be lying if I did not admit, I'm living for it!

This book has a little bit of everything, friendship, romance, action, adventure and heartbreaking betrayals. It keeps you guessing until the very end. It hooks you, and it's nearly impossible not to wonder how this all ends.

I received a free ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers and Public Random House approving my request.

Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,239 followers
July 16, 2018
When the ash rose up to choke me, it was thoughts of you that helped me breathe.
When the night seemed never ending, it was dreams of you that helped me sleep.

Set in a post-apocalyptic America where natural disasters caused destruction on top of war fought by the corporations for control of what was left of the country, robots are basically slaves who do our bidding. Androids (lifelikes) have been outlawed resulting in the end of the third corporation, while the other two corporations continue to fight for dominance.

Eve is just trying to get by with her grandpa and best friend Lemon Fresh by her side. Oh, and you can't forget Kaiser, her cy-borg dog (the only organic part of him is a cloned Rottweiler brain..other than that..pure robotics). She's had a rough life having had lost her family in a militia raid where even she got shot, but luckily her grandpa who is an expert in robotics installed cybernetics to save Eve's life. Eve makes money for the meds her grandpa needs by fighting in the WarDome against robots. Everything changes when an outlawed lifelike falls from the sky. His name is Ezekiel and he seems to think he knows Eve. Only he keeps calling her Ana. Apparently Ezekiel isn't the only one looking for Eve....

I'm leaving the plot at that. It's action-packed and the world-building is just outstanding! I only divulged what was necessary for a brief-understanding of the book. There is a lot to this world and the corporations that makes this one well-worth the read. I'm very excited to see where the series goes from here. I can't deny the Westworld vibes I felt at times and let me tell you....I was all here for it! There is something about a story with robots so similar to humans that leaves you thinking deeply about humanity. It makes you begin to question who is actually the villain and who is the hero. And what gives anyone the right to create or destroy life. It's all rather fascinating on a deeper level.

There is romance present. At first, I wasn't so sure how to feel about it. In the end, I'd say it's not bad. I understand the point of it, so I'll just say it exists. The science fiction, action, and world-building were my favorite aspects of the book. The writing is strong, as well. I wasn't sure if Kristoff was a one-off for me having loved Illuminae and not caring for Nevernight, but Lifel1k3 proved otherwise. I am very excited to get my hands on the sequel to this. The way this ended.......I am itching for more!
Profile Image for Sarah.
137 reviews25 followers
May 8, 2018
I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

I am going to keep this short and sweet because I do not want to drop any spoilers in this review.

Where do I even begin?! Firstly, the description on the front of the novel “It’s Romeo & Juliet meets Mad Max, Meets X-Men, with a little bit of Blade Runner cheering from the sidelines” – this could not be anymore spot on.

Lifel1k3 was EPIC! Filled with chaos, badass female characters, crazy powerful people, bad corporate organisations, robots, robot wars, romance and epic car chases through the desert.
This book was ACTIONED PACKED! I was hooked from the very first page. Only Jay Kristoff could do and pull off what occurs in this book.

The characters, oh the characters! Jay just knows how to write such incredible BAD ASS female characters. Eve is our main protagonist, but her sidekick/ street sister/ best friend Lemon Fresh is honestly the love of my life. I was instantly in love with these two characters and I just wanted to keep reading more and more of their interactions.

Eve’s life is turned upside down after a fight in the dome goes a little differently than normal and what occurs is broadcast live – leading powerful greedy corporations, a crazy hitman and the puritanical Brotherhood onto her. You’d think that would be bad enough – but let’s add in a ruined android as well as some crazy kill happy very similar androids that are quite ‘alive’ to the mix and you’ve got a party Kristoff style.

The events at the beginning of the novel kick off a crazy and wild ride, filled with death, truth bombs, real bombs, gun fights, mysterious creatures and some crazy means of transportation. It will bring Eve and her comrades into the arms of enemies they didn't kow they had. There's also a little bit of time for some love with a very handsome looking character. And it will also bring Eve face to face with secrets long since buried, buried secrets never lead to a happy ending – who she can trust will be questioned and who she is will be answered – Kristoff style of course, so be prepared for some major shocks.

Kristoff will leave you speechless as he throws curveballs at you left, right and centre. Whilst I did see some things coming, there were definitely times where I was like WTF just happened. The plot is faced paced – my eyes were glued to the pages and I don’t think I could have turned the pages faster even if I tried.

True to Kristoff style, he will make you fall in love, rip your heart out and leave you with a cliff-hanger so big you won’t be able to close your jaw – thanks Jay.
I can honestly say Lifel1k3 is crazy, epic, badassery and you will not regret a single moment reading this crazy new one of a kind novel. Gimme book two now, please and thank you.
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