If you've ever asked me for a book recommendation you'll know that one of my top suggestions is Rossi's debut novel Under the Never Sky. I read an early copy and I just fell in love. So much so that I've been harassing her for the past...2 years and constantly reminding her how much I love her and her books (sometimes I wonder if she thinks I'm a little nuts, but if she does she's way to nice to say it). When I got my hands on an ARC of book three I knew I needed to read it ASAP, but life got in the way, and here we are today with me finishing it a day before it's out. Now, some of you are like "HOW COULD YOU DO THAT!?" And I KNOW, trust me I know, but for me sequels are hard and endings are even harder. This series has been with me for quite some time, and now that it's over I feel almost gutted in a way, because I came to love these characters so much. If I'm being 100% honest half of me didn't want to read this book because then it would be over. And now it is over, but that's okay, because Rossi did right by her characters. She did right by her world and her words and just, gah, she did right by EVERYTHING. Were there times that it hurt? YES! Were there times I wanted to scream? FOR SURE! But in the end she wrapped it all up and I don't think I could have been happier. We lose characters that were close to us, we see new sides of characters, and new characters all together, but if you have to end a story (and I guess you do eventually), this is the right way to do it. Actually I probably would have killed off a few more characters, because I"m pretty sure that should I ever publish a book I'm going to be one of those authors that people are like "PLEASE DON'T KILL OF SO-AND-SO!" and I'll be all "Sorry." But Rossi is so much better than me and I love her so very much for it! In the end I was happy with how things turned out for most of the characters, and maybe one day we'll even get to see a little bit more into their world (yeah, that's gonna be my next thing Rossi, sorry in advance). Now with the third book out (well, tomorrow, but basically it's out) there is NO reason for you NOT to read these books, at least pick up the first one because it's so different from everything that's out there, and it's so beautiful, and geeze Perry is SO HOT. I can't tell you all enough how much I recommend this series and it's now set in stone; Rossi writes a book, I need that book. Whatever she comes up next I'll read it, and I'm pretty sure I'll love it.
Out January 28, 2014
5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Harper Teen for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
If there's one thing I like it's a book set in space, so when I heard this was a YA version of the cult classic Firefly I knew I had to check it out. If you set a book in space you're going to get points regardless of what the book is like, but when you compare it to Firefly the bar is raised. Arnett rose up and met that bar. I think there's a fine line between being like x and being TOO much like x, and Arnett managed to stay on the right side of the line. Were there similarities to Firefly? Yes. The overall basic plot was similar, and Jeth is a lot like Mal in some respects. The character interaction was enjoyable as well as the little twists and turns in the plot, although a few of them I saw coming. I do have to admit that this book's villain might be one of the sickest I've read. To put this in perspective you have to know that there are very few things that repulse me, but the reason I didn't finish this book the day I started it was because I had to put it down due to the fact I couldn't stomach what was happening all in one sitting. It wasn't the blood, there wasn't actually a lot of that, but there were some psychological aspects of it that made my stomach churn. In those aspects it was almost more violent than Firefly, so there is that to be wary of. There is romance in it as well, although the female doesn't come into play until several chapters in and the romance isn't a humongous part of the story. I also want to point out the fact that there's ONLY a boy on the cover because this book is told from a male POV, which isn't all that common in YA novels today, so A+ for that. Overall it was an enjoyable book full of action and some mystery with interesting characters, some of which I would like to have seen a little more of. I will for sure be reading the sequel to this book so I can see how the series ends, but thankfully this is wrapped up well enough that I'm not flailing for the second one. Fans of Firefly should give this novel a shot (although please remember that it's NOT Firefly so it's going to be different), as well as fans of Star Trek.
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Harper Collins for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
I bought this book when it was on sale for the nook and finally read it because Robin was coming to my city for a signing. Although I had heard of her other books I have not read and do not own any of them, but have heard good things. I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting when I started this, but what I found in the end was a cute, spunky novel about a teenage spy and the complications that arise when she goes on her first solo mission. It was your average run of the mill girl meets boy, they fall for each other story, and although the romance happened a little too fast for my liking that's not necessarily a bad thing. All of the characters in the novel were fun though, they were colorful and stood out so it was no problem for me to identify which one was being talked about, which is sometimes a problem in some of the novels I read. My favorite character was probably Roux, but that's just because she was so quirky. I could see myself hanging out with her and Maggie. Overall the plot was fast-paced and the book itself was a quick, easy read. I would almost place it in the lower YA age-range except for the fact that there was some heavy drinking and a few swearwords dropped here and there, but then again what kid hasn't been exposed to swear words and characters (or family/friends) drinking in some aspect of their life? As a whole the novel was a fun, light read that was entertaining enough to hold my attention as well as get a few laughs out of me. Seeing as I have the second book in my possession now I hope to get to it sooner rather than later, and I think I might give this one to my younger cousin to read because it's something she might end up enjoying herself. Although I've not read Ally Carter's series I think fans of those books would also enjoy these ones because they're similar, if not possibly lighter (at least lighter than the later ones from what I've heard). I will be interested to see where Robin takes the characters in book two, and I don't think I would object to seeing a third and a forth book published (which Robin says she has ideas for).
This book hit shelves two years ago, and it seemed to just explode. If someone hadn't read it they wanted to read it, and I was no exception. Of course because of my crazy reading life it got pushed to the side, but when I saw Ransom was coming back to my city this year for the sequel I decided I needed to read it. I had actually started it in a store one day while waiting for my grandma to finish her shopping, but then I put it back on the shelf and didn't pick it back up. From what I had read I thought I would enjoy it, and I was right, although I didn't LOVE it. There were several good parts of the book, first off was the pictures. YA books don't have pictures in them (well, a FEW do, but not many), and these pictures were rather creepy. I love creepy things, and despite paging through the book when I bought it I forced myself not to re-look at any of the pictures before I came to them in the text. The second thing I liked was the story. It was really inventive. Sure, none of the ideas are 100% unique, but what idea is now a days? It's all in how you string your ideas together that makes them different, and Ransom did that very well. The other huge thing I found pretty great was the setting of part of the book (that will make sense when you read the book). I'm a huge fan of WWII, and there seem to be a lack of books set in that time (in the YA age group) so this was a nice surprise when I found out about it, granted it's not a HUGE part of the book. All of this being said the one small problem I had with the book was that it felt like the story progressed very slowly. Something would happen, and it would be exciting, but then several dozen pages would go by and nothing of huge significance would occur. I feel like there were several parts that could have been cut out and the story could have still continued uninterrupted. That said it was an enjoyable novel with interesting pictures and characters that were a lot of fun. I'm eager to see where Ransom goes with this story in the second and third (Ransom confirmed there will be a third book in the series) books. There's potential for a story-line that could be even creepier than the one in this book.
About a year and a half ago I read a debut I was very pleased with, both in terms of plot originality and as something to think about. Khoury has done it again in her sophomore novel, and I almost feel like this one was better than her first. Again Khoury has fused YA fiction and science together, along with moral questions that revolve around the most basic "just because we can doesn't mean we should" idea that is currently a big issue in the scientific world. I enjoyed the triple POV that Khoury decided to use, along with the three people she decided to use as those POVs. I would have been interested to see into the head of one other character in the book, but I do understand why she decided to leave that character's POV out of the story. The one thing I had a little trouble with was the fact that some of the chapters seemed to overlap with one another, happening at the same time as something that had just happened (I think) and that confused me. Don't get me wrong I love the double perspective, but when there was so much happening I found myself going "okay, I get it, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!" which I guess is the point, but still. That being said I think that everything else in the book was really strong. There were some twists and turns, although I did see most if not all of them coming, and the little connection to her first novel made me smile. I could have done with maybe a wee bit more romance, but given the circumstances of the novel it might have hindered the plot and stood out so while it would have been nice it wouldn't necessarily have been the right call or moved the story forward any. Khoury did put in an fair number of moral and ethical questions into this book, which is something that isn't always done in YA fiction, but in terms of sci-fi it's a big thing that's included because of the plot. All in all I was really pleased with this novel and hope that Khoury continues writing novels like this one, set in the same world and focusing on the same multi-million-dollar company but with different...science projects. Fans of Khoury's fist novel will enjoy this one, and if you're a fan of classic sci-fi plots with real-life connections I would also suggest this book to you.
January 14, 2014
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Razor Bill for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
Years ago I started a book by Laurie Halse Anderson, probably one of the most famous YA novels in history, Speak and I didn't end up finishing it. I can't remember the reason I quit reading it, but I haven't picked it up since so when I got an ARC of this book I wasn't crazy excited about it like some people might have been. Anderson is coming to my city for a signing so I decided I would read it before she came but seeing as I had never finished a book by her I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found, at least in this novel, was something that I can only describe as a contemporary version of Shatter Me in terms of style and voice. At first I wasn't really sure what I thought of it, there were a few times when I had to re-read a few passages so they got through to me, but in the end I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This book has the potential to be one of those novels that's going to be talked about by everyone and criticized by parents because of the harsh language and subject matter it deals with. That said it's really beautiful and although I really don't have anything in common with the main character I found myself connecting with her on a mental level and understanding what she was going through in terms of basic feelings. Anderson did something pretty unheard of in the book as well, there were a few passages that were told from the adult's POV, which, in YA fiction, isn't really done. In the end this was a raw, gritty novel that managed to mix in beautiful writing and punch-to-the-gut feelings. Hopefully everyone will eventually read this novel, but fans of Ellen Hopkins will eat up this lyrical book chock-full of things to talk about that mean something. I hope that I will be able to read Anderson's famous novel, Speak, soon, but with all of the books I need to read and things I need to do I'm not going to hold my breath.
Out January 7, 2014
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Viking books for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.