Book Review

Book Review: The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult sci-fi + dystopian
Length: 627 pages
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

I THINK I LIKED THIS?

This was an…interesting finale. And I had REALLY hyped it up (especially after the ending of Thunderhead). I was expecting a lot from this book, and something a lot different which is why my feelings are a bit mixed up over it.

Who did I miss most? ROWAN AND CITRA. I felt like they were barely in this. And I thought they were supposed to be the whole crux of the story, it really turned out to be the Thunderhead. That was different in its own right.

Y’all. I had seen multiple reviews about people not knowing what was happening. And I was thinking how odd that was…then I read it. No lie, til about 500 pages in I didn’t quite know where everything was going. It was a tad ridiculous. Everything was hidden so much that I felt it dragging because the level of action in the previous book wasn’t present here.

I’m finding it difficult to write out this review because everything was not as I imagined. It was honestly kind of heart breaking watching the demise of the planet because of Goddard. I liked having so many different POVs though because that gave me perspectives from truly every angle. I saw what the protagonists and antagonists were thinking, and even what some random side characters were witnessing. It helped round out the narrative.

The evolution of the Thunderhead was intense. This all powerful AI somehow had some actual humanity in him and helped lead the charge for change. I would go into more detail on this, but it would be best if you went into this blind! I promise it’s at least interesting and will make you think.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult sci-fi + dystopian
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: a lot (which should be no surprise), page 107 – suicide by drowning, multiple killings in hundreds of different ways

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Book Review

Book Review: Imagine Me (Shatter Me #6) by Tahereh Mafi

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Sci-fi / Dystopian
Length: 464 pages
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: March 31st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The explosive finale to the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shatter Me series.

Juliette Ferrars.

Ella Sommers.

Which is the truth and which is the lie?

Now that Ella knows who Juliette is and what she was created for, things have only become more complicated. As she struggles to understand the past that haunts her and looks to a future more uncertain than ever, the lines between right and wrong—between Ella and Juliette—blur. And with old enemies looming, her destiny may not be her own to control.

The day of reckoning for the Reestablishment is coming. But she may not get to choose what side she fights on.

SET LOW EXPECTATIONS.

This is what I’ve told people who’ve asked me about this series. The first three books (the original series) was stellar. One of the few dystopian series I really enjoyed. Then came the next three books which felt like extended novella/Warnette series (I do love them, so that part’s fine), but they never felt necessary. And this is where I stand on the last book – wondering yet again, why it’s here.

It was essentially another rescue mission book. Rescuing Juliette/Ella from the Reestablishment. The whole book. I was surprised at how fast I read it, and how much didn’t actually happen. A lot of neat bows were tied to get some closure on characters (truthfully, much appreciated or I would have had too many questions), yet again though…this was all solved with finishing the original three books.

WE DIDN’T EVEN GET THAT MUCH AARON/ELLA TIME. WHY.

Clearly, my biggest gripe. I read this book for them. I needed the happy ending (and you do get that much) they just weren’t together much of the book and lets face it, they carry the series.

Well them, and Kenji. Gosh dang, I love Kenji. He ranks up there with some of my favorite main (but more side) characters; i.e. Sevro from Red Rising. Kenji is funny, honest, a lover, and a genuinely good guy. Watching him and Warner through around a bromance was one of the highlights of this book. I like that it’s clear they both care of each other’s well-being, even if they have a hard time showing it.

Side-step back to my loves Warner and Juliette (I have the inability to decide which names to call them in this review so I apologize). I am smitten with Warner and his unending love for Juliette. He gives me all the butterflies and swoon worthy moments and that’s why there needed to be more. I loved the closing scene with him finding Juliette and the epilogue was perfectly fluffy as well.

Yes, yes. Buildings explode, some people die, and at last things seem to fall into a new world order. Lets leave it here.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult sci-fi/dystopia
  • Language: some strong (mostly in Kenji POV’s)
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs with removal of some clothes
  • Violence: guns, machetes, powers (Juliette can literally rip people apart); pretty gory at times

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Book Review

Book Review: Supernova (Renegades #3) by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy + sci-fi
Length: 560 pages
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Release Date: November 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

All’s fair in love and anarchy…

The epic conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s thrilling Renegades Trilogy finds Nova and Adrian struggling to keep their secret identities concealed while the battle rages on between their alter egos, their allies, and their greatest fears come to life. Secrets, lies, and betrayals are revealed as anarchy once again threatens to reclaim Gatlon City. 

THIS WAS A SOLID FINALE.

I was nervous walking into this read. Excited, but nervous. Archenemies let me down and I have all the love for Renegades. Combine these two polar thoughts and I had no idea what I was walking into for Supernova.

I ended up really loving this. I wouldn’t call it a FIVE STAR YOU NEED TO READ THIS NOW. More of as I closed the book I realized how much I enjoyed it and my favorite pieces. I thought about how everything came together in the end and how I was cool with everything as it wrapped up (not to mention that EPILOGUE Y’ALL).

My favorite thing about this was the character arcs for Nova and Adrian. They both were coming at the story from opposing sides. As they battled each other and all the secrets started spilling out I got a glimpse into new sides of them. Nova learned that her Uncle’s ideals weren’t all they were cracked up to be, just like she learned that the Renegades weren’t the enemy. Adrian finally found the truth of his Mom’s murder and to let go of some of his own ideals to see the story from another angle. It gave me all the chills watching them. This wasn’t purely superheroes vs. villains, because who can truly define those anyways?

I love that there was actual wickedness. I love a solid evil character who can’t see past their own desires. It makes everything feel that much more dire and puts me on the edge of my seat. I said multiple times, and even wrote it in my notes, that I had no idea how I was going to get a happy ending by the time this was over. There were even a few twists that I did not see coming and loved how they tied into the final plot.

The love story never took over, but did encourage Nova and Adrian through a few of their decisions. I like that is was held back, but that I got to see it flourish. They both deserved some happiness, and if it’s with each other, that’s great [a nod to Ruby & Oscar who were TOTALLY STINKIN’ PRECIOUS in the background over there].

The ending was fascinating and heartfelt. I really like what became of the characters and their super powers. I thought it could have gone one of two ways, and I would have been fine with either [depending on how it was done]. Meyer’s writing is amazing though and it’s so quick to read. Yes, it’s 550 pages, but you would never know it. I can’t wait to see what project she is working on next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + sci-fi
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a few light kisses
  • Violence: murder, battles, skirmishes, building collapses
  • Trigger warnings: Chapter 30 – a character talks about being previously molested as a child

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Book Review

Book Review: DEV1AT3 (Lifelike #2) by Jay Kristoff

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult science fiction
Length: 419 pages
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Expected Release Date: June 25th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Lemon Fresh has seen better days.

After the climactic battle in Babel, she finds herself separated from Ezekiel and Cricket in the wastelands. Lemon’s abilities to manipulate electricity mark her as a deviate, and deadly corporate operatives are hunting her to use as a weapon in the war between BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelus Technologies. Instead, Lemon finds herself falling in with a group of fellow deviates—a band of teenagers with astonishing abilities, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Major, who may hold the secrets to Lemon’s past.

Meanwhile, Cricket finds himself in possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for a head-on collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel finds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a plot that may see him reunited with his beloved Ana.

And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world. 

I LOVE LEMON FRESH.

And I love that this book focused more on her.

This book started out with a nice little refresher of who was who and what happened (which I appreciate because lets face it, when it takes awhile to get to the second book some facts slip my mind).

So many twists yet again. I couldn’t keep up and was on my toes waiting for the next moment when I would stare at my page saying whaaaaat, nooooooo. I was kept guessing as to who some characters were and where others were located. I love the mystery of it all and it really helps me want to continue reading and flipping pages.

Lemon Fresh got a lot of the spotlight this time and she’s seriously, the best. I love her spunky personality and her loyalty to her friends. We got to see her struggles and her triumphs as she navigated meeting others like her. The dash of romance thrown in for her was sweet and not overdone. I totally ship them.

Ezekiel might destroy me by the end of this series. Frankly, this may be the case for any of our main four (Lemon, Ezekiel, Cricket and Eve). There is heartbreak and disaster literally around every corner and I DON’T KNOW IF I’LL GET A HAPPY ENDING. Going in blind to the last book may hurt, but I’m also stoked for it. The reveals and action can only go up from here.

The pacing is on point and the way information is rolled out never feels like an info dump or not quite enough to go off of. We’re given direction as needed and I love the world-building around a defunct society. It’s got a level of creep, some radicals, and those just trying to make it through the day. I’ve been real hesitant to read any dystopian as of late, but this one is definitely a hit.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult sci-fi / dystopia
  • Language: very little light language (some cases of using funk as a bad word)
  • Romance: a kiss
  • Violence: robots fighting, fire, magic, physical, swords, explosions, guns

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