Books

Illuminae, by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Rating: 5 Stars

The Blurb: This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

This is probably one of the most difficult reviews I’ve ever written, because I don’t know exactly what to say. Illuminae is so unlike anything I’ve ever read before, that I feel that reviewing it as I would any other book wouldn’t do it justice. I struggled with rating this book, because I was so caught up in my own swirling mass of emotions. Illuminae is confusing and terrifying, and so, so good.

Illuminae is a about an intergalactic war over natural resources. While the blurb sounds fascinating, the first thing I have to say is that it is not an accurate representation of the book, meaning it does not do the book justice. Illuminae is not a typical sci-fi novel; it is so much more. Kristoff and Kaufman’s styles blend seamlessly into a beautiful, heart-wrenching story, not only about lovestruck teenagers, but about the world, and how just the slightest disturbance can fling it into chaos.

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Books, YA Fiction

Burn For Burn, by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

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Rating: 4 Stars

“You can chalk up things to coincide so many times before you have to face the truth.”

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes—and three girls secretly plotting revenge.
KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.
LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.
MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.
None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.
With an alliance in place, there will be no more “I wish I’d said…” or “If I could go back and do things differently…” These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.

I jumped into this book thinking it would be a light contemporary romance, but boy, I was wrong! The girls do some pretty scary stuff in this book.

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Nowadays, we might think the cliques, drama, and darkness in high school is a bit overdone and unrealistic, since many teenagers (including me) say that is not how high school is like. High school for me was never like this, but I’ve heard crazy stories about teenagers from good schools do pretty bad things, and it’s kind of scary. Burn For Burn emphasizes this darkness, not only in the high school atmosphere, but what can happen when you let your guard down or get out of control. The psychological aspect ties in very well with the chick-lit feel of the book and that eventually made it a highly entertaining read.

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Books

New Releases in YA for August 2015

coming-soon

Sorry for the delay on the new releases, I was in Hawaii :). But anyway, as this is the last month of summer, I’ve been reading as much as I can before I become too busy, and encourage you all to do the same! So let’s check out some August new releases!

1. Another Day, by David Levithan – Coming August 25, 2015

The eagerly anticipated companion to David Levithan’s New York Times bestseller Every Day

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan (co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green) tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person . . . wasn’t Justin at all.

I was so lucky to receive an ARC of this companion to Every Day, one of my favorite books of all time. I suggest you read Every Day first, but Another Day is well thought out as well. Read my review here.

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Books

Another Day, by David Levithan

3.5 Stars

The Blurb: The eagerly anticipated companion to David Levithan’s New York Times bestseller Every Day

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan (co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green) tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person . . . wasn’t Justin at all.

Ok, first of all, this is a companion, not a sequel, because it’s the same story as Every Day, just from a different point of view. Although you can read the books in any order, I would highly recommend (correction: tell you) that you first read Every Day before you read this book; in fact, even before you read this review.

Before I can explain my feelings for Another Day, let me first explain to you Every Day. Every Day is about A, a teenager that switches bodies every day, taking over the body of another teenager for a day. He (I’m gonna call A a “he,” even though “he” has no gender) tries to lay low and make no impact on the lives he inhabits, that is, until he spends a day in the boyfriend of Rhiannon, and falls in love with her.

Every Day is about love of the person underneath, no matter what their gender or physical personality, and that holds true for Another Day as well. What I love most about both books is the powerful message within them, speaking of love and life and the impact we can make on people’s lives. They speak of equality, how we are a lot more similar than we think, and how love is all the same, no matter the race, religion, or sexual preference. However, while I can describe Every Day as nearly perfect, I cannot say the same for Another Day, even though it’s the same story.

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Books, YA Fiction

Between Shades Of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys

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Rating: 2.5

“Sometimes there is such beauty in awkwardness. There’s love and emotion trying to express itself, but at the time, it just ends up being awkward.”

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

Well! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I apologize for my hiatus, I’ve been busy these days and many distractions have kept me from blogging and… reading. It makes me sad to think that it has become this way when before I couldn’t go a day without reading or going on Goodreads. Anyway, hopefully I can get my life back on track soon and blog more!

Yet another book has disappointed me, and it’s actually very surprising. I knew that a lot of books aren’t pleasing me nowadays, but I never thought it would have gone this far! Between Shades Of Gray isn’t something I would call hyped but critically acclaimed. Many reviewers and authors have praised the book, and I have to say that I don’t fully understand how.

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