When I first heard about this book I was interested in reading it because it sounded like it could be something drastically different from what's out there on the market today. I was correct in this fact, but it also wasn't what I was expecting it to be. The synopsis talks about "a breathtaking race" and so the first thing that popped into my mind was a high-octane race with futuristic cars and the like. Now that I look back on that idea it seems a little silly because a book like that probably wouldn't be very long, and most likely wouldn't require a sequel. What it turned into was something more akin to The Amazing Race with a sci-fi Hidalgo twist. Despite not being what I expected I found that I was quite pleased with the book as a whole, although there were a few parts that made me slightly weary. In terms of the characters I was fairly happy with how they all turned out. The main character does seem slightly out of place in this crazy Survivor-esque atmosphere, although I admit I like her spunk and her personality as a whole. What I think I loved most about the book though is the Pandoras, the animal companions that all of the racers have, at least at the start of the competition. That idea was so much fun and each one is just so unique. I wouldn't mind having one of those for myself. I was also a little confused as to what particular time period it takes place in, but that's not necessarily the most important thing. The only other thing that tugged at me was the fact that some parts could have been cut and the duology could probably have been fit into one larger book, although I do understand why it was split up. Other than those few small things I found the book to be engaging and entertaining, as well as being pretty original in concept and, in some aspects, in a main character, who (although it wasn't particularly appealing to me) was more girly than most female protagonists thrust into positions such as this. Fans of The Hunger Games and the like will probably enjoy this new series from an author that shows great promise and I'll definitely be checking out book two to see how it all ends.
Out February 25, 2014
4/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Scholastic for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
Last year I read Kiersten White's fourth novel and despite being so different from her Paranormalcy series I fell in love with it. When I got a hold of the second novel I was really excited to read it, but thanks to my classes I almost considered it putting it down. Thankfully I didn't, because once I actually got into reading page after page I didn't want to put it down. Just like in the previous book there was a dual POV, and it worked really well. The two voices were very distinct and honestly I'm wondering how Kiersten managed to pull it off. The sheer amount of emotion that she puts into her writing, into these books in general, is just mind-blowing. I was constantly surprised by the surprises that kept blindsiding me, one after the other. I knew something had to happen but I wasn't sure what it was, and when it happened I was shocked at the sudden turn of events. There were only two small things I had trouble with, one was the fact that there were names from the first novel that came into play in this one, and I couldn't remember who they were. That isn't necessarily anyone's fault though, I've always been bad with names. The second thing was the time frame that Kiersten decided to use, it was slightly jarring, the back and forth, but once I got used to it I was able to take it more in stride. It helped once I figured out that it's really important to look at the time listed below each chapter, especially under Annie's chapters, cause otherwise things don't make a ton of sense. Eventually everything falls into place though, so bravo to Kiersten for that, I'm totally impressed with what she pulled off. Based on all of this there's no doubt in my mind that this book is going to be pretty split down the middle, you'll either love it or not, and honestly if you didn't enjoy the first one you probably won't enjoy this one. Like I said about the first one fans of Shatter Me and that style will really enjoy these books, and the second one maintains the pace and tempo of the first. Personally I fell into the group that really enjoyed the book, and while I was a little confused through part of the book it all made sense in the end. I would love to see Kiersten write another novel like this one, but I seem to like whatever she writes, so I'll just be happy that she keeps churning out books.
Out February 18, 2014
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Secret Garden Books and Harper Teen for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
When I love the first novel in a series I'm generally hesitant to read the sequel because what if it sucks!? What if it kills me!? These are important questions to ask, so every time I read a sequel I feel like I'm taking a giant leap of faith in allowing an author more time to entice me, and Kasie did not disappoint. In fact, I might have even liked this book better than the first one. If there's one thing I'm crazy about it's a well done dual POV novel, and this was one of those books that managed to pull it off flawlessly. I had asked Kasie when I finished Pivot Point if this novel was also going to be split up into "searches" like the first one was, and she responded that, no, it wasn't. At first I wasn't sure about this, because when you change the format (for lack of a better word) of the second novel in a series it can be a point of hesitation for readers. In this book Kasie introduces an entirely new narrative; we get to see through the eyes of Addie's best from Lila, as well as through Addie's eyes. That being said Kasie does keep up the general in the compound then in the Norm world and so on when it comes to the main setting of each chapter, which was cool. We don't see a large number of new characters in this book, but what we do see is another side of many of them, along with more of characters from the first book that we know and love (or hate). Honestly I was so thrilled with how this book turned out, and I wouldn't mind reading more about these characters (maybe in a third book, or a short story or something). Kasie has such a fun style of writing and her story-lines are entertaining, as well as appropriate for the younger-aged audiences. Her boys are super swoony (Trevor is MINE!) and her female characters are likable and I would love to have them as a friend. If you haven't checked out her books I would highly recommend you do so, because she has something for everyone, and her first two are out in paperback already, so there's really no excuse to not try them. Whatever is next for Kasie, be it more paranormal or more contemporary, I'll for sure pick them all up and devour them with equal enthusiasm because I'm not sure that she can do any wrong.
Out February 11, 2014
5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Secret Garden Books and Harper Teen for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.
Two years ago I read a debut novel that blew me away and every year since I've been eager to read the next books in the series. I look forward to getting my hands on the books and just tearing through them, because somehow Marissa manages to make each book better than the last. There is nothing about her books that I don't like; the setting is amazing, the plot is intricately woven, the characters are so much fun, and the writing is superb. One of the things I love most about this books are the fact that they're companion novels and sequels at the same time. Each one introduces a new character, that is also based on a different fairy tale heroine, while simultaneously continuing the story-line of each of the previous main characters. This novel introduces Cress, the futuristic version of Rapunzel, if Rapunzel lived on a spaceship and was an expert hacker, and how her life has come to intersect the lives of Cinder and Scarlet. We also get a small glimpse of Winter, the character that will be introduced in the fourth and final book of the series. I am in awe of how Marissa has managed to intertwine all of the plots and, despite the grave events happening, manages to add a bit of lightness to it with her humor. She also puts in just the right amount of romance so it's there, but it doesn't overshadow the plot or seem out of place. The book itself was really long, over 500 pages, but it still doesn't seem to be long enough; I didn't want it to end. Hopefully in about one year I will have the final installment of the series in my hand, although there's no doubt in my mind that it too is going to be amazing, along with any other books she decides to write. If you haven't picked up her books yet I highly recommend checking them out because you won't be disappointed.
5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to MacMillan for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.