Tuesday, January 16th 2018

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) by Victoria Schwab
Published by Greenwillow Books on July 5th 2016
Pages: 464
Goodreads
four-stars

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

So the weird thing about this book is that I liked it. I did. I rated it 4 stars. I liked the plot, the characters, the action and the pacing. The weird thing, I don’t feel compelled to read the second book. I started to read the first few chapters and…I just don’t know. I feel like the first book could stand on its own even with a slight cliffhanger ending. I am going to give it another try sometime this month. But back to this book.

There are two main characters the perspective shifts with each chapter. Again, I am normally not a fan of this as I usually end up like one character over the other. But again, I found myself engaged and enjoying both characters. The plot is also very original and intriguing. My only beef with the plot is that I would have liked more history on the phenomenon. The pacing really worked in this book. And when the action really picked up I could not put the book down. If the plot sounds interesting to you and you like a little sci-fi/fantasy, I say pick it up.

four-stars

Monday, January 15th 2018

The Dazzling Heights (The Thousandth Floor #2)

The Dazzling Heights (The Thousandth Floor #2)The Dazzling Heights (The Thousandth Floor #2) by Katharine McGee
Published by HarperCollins on August 29th 2017
Pages: 422
Goodreads
five-stars

All that glitters is not gold.
New York City, 2118. Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a breathtaking marvel that touches the sky. But amid high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, five teenagers are keeping dangerous secrets…
Leda is haunted by memories of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’ll do anything to make sure the truth stays hidden—even if it means trusting her enemy.
Watt just wants to put everything behind him…until Leda forces him to start hacking again. Will he do what it takes to be free of her for good?
When Rylin wins a scholarship to an upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being there also means seeing the boy whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.
Avery is tormented by her love for the one person in the world she can never have. She’s desperate to be with him…no matter the cost.
And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who arrives in New York determined to cause a stir. And she knows exactly where to begin.
But unbeknownst to them all, someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, just one wrong step can mean a devastating fall.

I was a little surprised at how much I loved this book. I loved it more and rated it higher than the first one. I loved all the characters except for Calliope and the mystery person (don’t want to spoil anything). These characters were not badly written, I just disliked them as people. I just love the drama of these books. Everyone has secrets and is terrified of those secrets getting out, which of course, they do. Honestly, I would love some book recommendations that are like these books.

The characters are great, the plot is great and the setting is wonderful. The idea is that all of Manhatten lives in this tower with a thousand floors. The wealthiest live on the top floors, middle class on the middle floors and the poor on the bottom floors. And the book covers characters from each economic class and how they are linked together. It’s all woven together beautifully.

The book is written in multiple perspectives and each chapter is a different character’s perspective. I tend to run into issues with books written this way. I always find myself leaning towards one or two characters over the others and skim or even skip the chapters of the characters I am not that fond of. That did not happen with the first book or this one. I was engaged the whole time. I highly recommend this series.

five-stars

Friday, June 9th 2017

Sleeping Giants

Sleeping GiantsSleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1) by Sylvain Neuvel
Published by Del Rey on April 26th 2016
Pages: 304
Goodreads
five-stars

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.
Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.
But some can never stop searching for answers.
Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by a quest for truth—and a fight for control of earthshaking power.

I don’t know why I have been dreading writing this review. I loved this book. LOVED it. I think I know that what I write here will not do it justice.

This is one of those science fiction novels that you can enjoy even if science fiction is not your thing. I felt the same way about The Host by Stephanie Meyer and The Martian by Andy Weir. I did listen to the book from Audible. It has a full cast for the narration and it’s brilliant. The book is written as a series of interviews between one man and everyone else involved in the discovery and the project.

It’s brilliant. Even if science fiction is not your thing, please give this book a try. Sleeping Giants (The Themis Files)

five-stars

Wednesday, January 18th 2017

Replica (Replica #1)

Replica (Replica #1)Replica (Replica, #1) by Lauren Oliver
Published by HarperCollins on October 4th 2016
Pages: 520
Goodreads
four-stars

Lyra
From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.
But when a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own. And as Lyra tries to understand Haven’s purpose, she uncovers earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls.
Gemma
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life. A sickly child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April.
But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions. As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she learnes terrible truths about herself and her family that will threaten to destroy everything she loves.
Two girls, two stories, one novel.
While the stories of Gemma and Lyra mirror each other, each contains revelations critically important to the other story. Their narratives can be read separately or in alternating chapters.

I loved the idea behind this book. And the twists took me by surprise, which is always nice when you think you know where the story is going. I read the book in the order it was set up. So when I found the author photo at the end of Gemma, I considered that the end. So I read Lyra’s story first and then Gemma’s and I honestly now cannot imagine reading it any other way. The only reason I knocked this book down from a 5-star to a 4-star rating is because even though I know there is going to be a sequel, I feel like I was left with too many questions at the end. There is still so much I want to know. And I am hoping all the answers will be revealed in the next book. I was more drawn to Lyra rather than Gemma, but I thought they were both pretty strong and willful characters. My only other beef with the story was the insta-love which seems unnecessary and unrealistic, in both cases. I feel like the book would have been fine without it. The plot was fast-paced and had a great, “what the hell is going to happen next?!” feel. I was constantly trying to figure it out. Overall I think this book is pretty good futuristic, sci-fi, young adult novel with just that one trope I am not a huge fan of.

four-stars

Tuesday, January 17th 2017

The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1)

The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1)The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor, #1) by Katharine McGee
Published by HarperCollins on August 30th 2016
Pages: 448
Goodreads
four-stars

NEW YORK CITY AS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.
A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.
WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.
A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.
LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.
ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.
RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?
WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.
And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.
Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you're this high up, there's nowhere to go but down....

So I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read and saw a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads and BookTube, but I loved the bitchiness and backstabbing and deep dark secrets this book offered. I am very excited for the next book and I hope a certain character (you know who), gets theirs. I loved the concept of this huge skyscraper like its own city filled with people. I also enjoyed the literal hierarchy within the tower based on money. And this is the first multi-perspective book that I have read that I did not skim/skip chapters of certain characters because I wasn’t invested in them. I was invested in all of the characters and I wanted to know what was going to happen with all of them. Of course, I had my favorites, but I loved all of them and I loved how their lives intertwined. I cannot wait to read the sequel and more from this author.

Spoilers and rant beyond this point (read at own risk)…

four-stars

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