A Conspiracy of Stars review

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This is going to be a quick one.

I went into this book not really knowing the full plot which is okay. It was different than the usual YA I’ve been reading.

What I didn’t like:

It was so sloooooooow. I do understand that we needed that build up and the backstory and etc, but I found myself drifting more than once.

Even though the world building was there, I still felt as though I wasn’t present…that I needed more. How? I don’t even know. It was just a feeling I had. I felt misplaced.

What I did like:

Octavio is a great character and a solid protagonist and she drives the story well. I also loved the diversity of this book as most of the characters are black. I recently read Binti so I am happy that we get to see them represented more.

I like that Olivia Cole created an entire planet with new species and everything.

I liked the friendships and the romance.

I think that I needed more and I am probably going to read the next one when it comes out.

Overall, I felt as though some things were missing for me and the plot.

Roar Review

roar
380 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Tor Teen
Let me just say first off that I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! I bought it on my Nook (at the time I read it last year) but I went on to buy the hardback after.
So, at first I was a little standoffish. The book starts off with a usual YA trope, a princess Aurora who is a timid girl about to marry a guy she’s really unsure of. She’s been isolated in her castle and has to marry this guy Cassius to save her kingdom. It has a bit of a Titanic feel to it. But that is where it stops. You see, Aurora is void of any magic and nobody can know. It’s nice to read a book where the ones without magic are the ones shunned.
That being said, she says, “eff this mess” and runs away making me think that she’s not as weak as thought she was. She links up with a rogue band of “storm hunters” who are all pretty awesome especially Locke, who has a more than one secret to keep. He started off a little aloof, but he grew on me. I like the slow burn romance and how it wasn’t overly done. It kept the focus on “Roar”.
What I loved about the book was the magic, it was really different from other books I have read. This is going to sound weird, but I like weak characters who find their strength. I mean, not everyone starts off life being awesome. We have to work at it, you know 😉
I like to have seen more of Cassius.
What I can say is that I finished the book feeling good and excited for the second.

Blood and Sand review

bloodandsand

 

320 pages
Published January 16th 2018 by Tor Teen
FORGED IN BATTLE…
FROM THE DUST OF THE ARENA…
A LEGEND WILL RISE
3 out of 5 stars.
It seems that I am going against the current of good reviews that this book had. Unfortunately, it was not the book for me. I love historical fiction and I think the YA genre needs more of it, but here we are.
Attia was as dry a character as Katniss Everdeen. She’s a warrior princess who loses her entire family and ends up a slave in Rome. She’s fierce and brave despite what she’s been through, but for some reason I wasn’t cheering for her. I was watching her, but I wasn’t connecting with her. I felt like I cared more about Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, who is a gladiator and the man Attia is given to as a “prize”. As a slave himself, he goes through the same heartbreak and sorrow as Attia, but he got more empathy from me just for the fact that he treated Attia so gently when he really didn’t have to.
There is some sexual abuse that didn’t pertain much to the story other than making us hate Attia’s master which I really didn’t since he seemed like an okay guy at the beginning in spite of being a slave owner.
For me, the plot wasn’t going in a set direction. It was kind of all over the place almost as if the author was pushing her characters through to move the story along. I knew Attia’s main objective, but it wasn’t really clear and precise. The romance could have been a little more fleshed out. I trudged through it just to finish it since I was committed by then. It doesn’t make me excited for the sequel. This just didn’t do it for me.

Busted review

busted

352 pages
Published January 2nd 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire
This book had everything I was looking for.  It’s filled with drama, romance, betrayal, humor-everything you need if you’re looking to break from the monotony.
I couldn’t put it down.
This is a story about Marisa who accidentally finds her best friend’s boyfriend cheating on her and hesitantly decides to make a business out of catching cheaters. She then falls for one of the accused and finds herself spiraling down a tangled web of lies.
Marisa was pretty cool in spite of making some mistakes which we’ve all done especially in high school…with hot boys… That being said, she didn’t take shit lying down and even stooped to her enemy’s levels which I didn’t find all that unnerving because, well, they deserved it. *shrug*
I liked the love interest, TJ. He’s the quiet, artistic type that all gals vie for and you say you don’t, you’re lying.  Marisa’s friends are also pretty bad-ass. I mean, someone who defends you when you’re being attacked if someone you want to keep around. That’s love, baby.
What I loved most if that every single person is called out on their actions and nobody gets by easy peasy. Overall, I loved it.

Everless review

everless

 

368 pages
Published January 2nd 2018 by HarperTeen
The entire YA fantasy genre is filled with either female protagonists with magic they don’t know about or magic they develop. I am trying desperately to steer clear of these tropes, but….this cover though. ❤
I wanted to love this book. I wanted to love Jules and her father as they slog through a world run with time as their currency. It’s a cool concept and world, but had me confused for about half of the book. I hate when I feel as though books remind me of other books (before you say it, I know there are NO original ideas anymore, but at least when a plot is similar, the characters and situations differ), but sadly this one crushed Red Queen with some Ember in the Ashes and a few others and I couldn’t get past it.
That is not to say I didn’t enjoy reading it. I did. The writing was good except for some info dumps and confusing backstories. Jules was sort of dry and I admit that I do enjoy romance, but this one was lacking in that department.
Here’s the break down: Jules goes to work at Everless to pay off her father’s debts despite his warnings to stay away from the palace AND the queen both. She ignores all warnings which pissed me off. She came off like such a smart gal with a head on her shoulders, but she put herself into some stupid situations for reasons that were not even justified. Thus is the YA fantasy i suppose.
I feel like there was potential that was missed, characters that could have developed a little better and plot-lines that could have been scratched. I hope others enjoy it more than I did.

The Ravenous review

ravenous

299 pages
Published September 26th 2017 by Harlequin Teen
What the Hell did I just read?
The story is about five sisters with an army dad and a depressed mom. One day on young Rose’s birthday, she accidentally dies. Their mother then takes her body and leaves, telling the girls that she knows what to do to bring her back.
I’m over here thinking, holy crap, there’s going to be some zombie stuff happening real soon.
Well, Rose returns and holy batman balls, SHE IS ALIVE, albeit a little pale and confused. She can’t stomach any food and she’s acing real strange. She only eats this stew their mother cooks which turns out not to be the meat you and I eat if you know what I mean.
SPOILER
It’s human meat.
Well. their mother abandons them and the sisters quickly realize that Rose is going to either die again or eat them all unless they do some killing of their own. Basically these girls plan out and execute some murders to feed their hangry sister. If you think that is when all goes to Hell, you’re grossly mistaken.
Gross, get it?
Wellllllll, I loved this book and boo to all those who thought negatively about it. It was delicious fun and a treat from all those tropey YA’s I’ve been reading lately. Give me more of this.
I am off to read what else Amy has to offer me.

Love, Hate & other Filters review

31207017
288 pages
Published January 16th 2018 by Soho Teen
This is the story of Maya, an Indian-American-Muslim who dreams of attending school in New York while simultaneously dodging her old fashioned Indian parents and their ideals and the racism she finds so close to home.
I wasn’t expecting this to be as fluffy as it was. I mean, half of it was a a YA romance, I really wasn’t seeing where it was going in the long run. It didn’t fall into the category I would put The Hate U Give or Dear Martin where I felt for the characters on a deeper level than I did Maya. She came off rude and a little childish at times. I mean, her parents were oppressive in a way, but she was lying to them and didn’t give any chance for them to understand until she rolled it all out of them. I know she was scared about telling them about going to NY and liking a white boy and all, but if she wanted to be understood so badly, she had to give others the same courtesy.
The terrorist attack came almost as in afterthought, to push the story into a different category. By that time I was already in romantic fluff mode. It escalated quickly. This is not to downplay what happened. Maya deals with what I am certain tons of people in her situation do especially after such things happen. People want someone to blame Unfortunately they love to blame an entire group of people and that just sucks. It gives a peek into how racism can affect people in more ways than you can imagine.
I hated the ending and how her parents reacted to everything, but part of me felt like it wasn’t entirely their fault which means I wasn’t 100% on board with Maya.
This book wasn’t bad. Was it what I expected? No. Basically it was a love/hate for me.

The Explorer review

explorer

336 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
I love Katherine Rundell. She is an auto-buy author for me. No questions asked. I have loved her books with every fiber of my being.
That being said, I was so excited to get my hands on The Explorer when it was new as I had discovered Rundell first through The Wolf Wilder. First things first, here is what the story is about.
Four children, Fred, Con, Lila and Max end up in the Amazon jungle after their plane crashes on its way to England. They learn to work together to survive with the help of a mysterious man they find after happening upon a map to a ruined city.
I love survival stories, but this one didn’t do it for me. For an author like Katherine Rundell, having characters with such little depth put me off because I was expecting more from her. Thank God, The Explorer showed up with his Captain Jack Sparrow like wit otherwise I would have fallen asleep. Don’t get me wrong, I was entertained as well as a bunch of kids eating bugs in a jungle can be entertained, but it lacked the warmth and the emotion that her other books have. I think I read this without reading her other novels, I would have loved it more.
Katherine, you are still an auto-buy author for me. The Wolf Wilder is still one of my favorite books of all time. I still do look forward to your next project.

Berserker review

berserker

 

352 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
Let me start by saying that the YA world is saturated with female protags with magical powers. Frankly, I’m a little tired of it. That being said, I don’t listen to myself at all so I picked up this book. Mostly because…Vikings.
Well, it has nothing truly to do with Vikings, but the powers the four Norse siblings have had been passed down by generations. They are blessed by the old Norse gods. Or so they believe.
Or do they?
Anyhow, this book is told by multiple perspectives. The main ones are Hanne, whose gift is called a “Berserker” meaning she has great power to kill. She lives in Norway with her two brothers and younger sister. When her dad is attacked one day and Hanne ultimately kills said attackers, they all must flee their home. So, they leave for America.
Que the cowboy! Note, this does take place in 1883 or so, where America is up and coming and gold rush and cowboys and all that jazz. Our second protag is Owen, a bastard out on his own, making his own way and making a lot of mistakes along the way. We know from the start that he’s going to be the romantic interest for Hanne, but it’s slow burned and almost set onto the back-burner, which I kind of liked.
Well, this Owen character ends up being the guide for the siblings on the run. They need to get to their uncle’s home somewhere in Montana. There’s a catch of course. There are men after them. These men seek out and find people with the “Nytte” gift.
Basically the mashup of Norse myth and The Wild West was just amazing for me. I didn’t expect it to be as violent as it got and at one point, I almost threw down the book with anger. Which is good. I book should invoke emotions. Even if you wanted to throw it out of the window.
Setting, characters, story, all of it worked for me. I will preorder the sequel the second it’s available. Emmy is an autobuy author for me.

ARC-When Light Left Us review

whenlightleftus

 

416 pages
Expected publication: February 13th 2018 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
This is a story of three siblings who get possessed, in a way by an alien parasite. Sounds simple, right?
Nope.
First off, this story is told by multiple POV’s so if you’re not into that, you can stop here. What I love about this is that you are seeing the story through different ages since the kids range from age seven to almost eighteen. And then you have the mother and the alien toward the end.
The story gave me a definite Spielberg vibe. We have three kids who have very different views of what the alien had done to their bodies and a mother desperately trying to help them the best way she possibly can. This alien “Luz” took young Milo’s ears, Ana’s sight and Hank’s use of his hands.
At first I was a bit confused since the author kind of throws you into it with little explanation. You collect hints along the way, but nothing is fully explained until toward the end of the book. To me, I liked this a lot because it kept me reading and wanting to know what in ever living Hell is going on. Because that is what I said after each chapter. Also this face. O_O
The plot is simple once you break it down. We have three kids trying to live life after this alien invaded them for a summer, coping with their father who had left them and a sort of confusing love life between Hank, who has broken up with his boyfriend in which his sister, Ana falls for, but Hank doesn’t know it and seems to fall for his straight friend who may or may not be gay and I’m over here like, Ana has stars for eyes and nobody seems to question that.
Through all of this, we have this alien who decides he wants to do some more damage which builds up to a climatic ending that had me on the edge. I couldn’t put the damn book down until i knew what happened. I forgot to eat.
All in all, I loved the emotion put into this book which is more than an alien story. it’s a story of coming of age and acceptance and sorrow. There’s something deeper in there that had me dwelling on it after I was done. It’s something poetic. I will probably buy the copy when it comes out.