The Young Elites by Marie Lu: 4/5 Stars

The Young Elites by Marie Lu – Review

This was a strange book.

Seriously, it was.

It had a different feel to it than any book I’ve read before, and even reviewing it feels different. It was really difficult to decide whether it crossed the line to four stars or stayed back at three, and honestly, if I wasn’t reading the sequel right now and enjoying it, I’d give it a three star rating, no recommendation, and call it a day.

But I’m finding that it’s worthwhile to read for the next installment. Even if my feelings for The Young Elites were…different.


The Young Elites by Marie Lu: 4/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: FantasyAction/Adventure / Content: 16+ / Not Recommended

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Continue reading “The Young Elites by Marie Lu – Review”

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: 5/5 Stars

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Review

Sequels are hard. They’re hard to write, they’re hard to read, they’re hard to enjoy. And it’s super hard to not compare them to their precursor.

Remember InsurgentCatching Fire, and Glass Sword? Case in point.

At first, Gemina was a little like that. After all, it’s only expected, right? I’m pleased to inform you that it didn’t stay like that for long. It was out of this world.

(…had to.)

I’ve had to wait a bit before writing a review for Gemina because I needed to calm down. And give myself some therapy. And ceremoniously return it to its place on my shelf. You know where I’m going.

So I present to you, The Review. Pray I make sense.

BEWARE, THOSE UNFORTUNATES OF YOU WHO HAVE NOT YET READ ILLUMINAE. YOU MAY BE SPOILED.

If you are one of those unfortunate beings, let me steer you over here instead, where we can chat without spoiling the series for you. You’re welcome.


Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Science FictionAction/Adventure / Content: 16+ / Recommended

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: 5/5 Stars

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Review

It’s been a few days now since I finished Illuminae. Maybe a week. I’ve been trying to write a review ever since I flipped the last page, and the words just don’t come.

I NEED SOME TIME, Y’ALL.

Illuminae blew me away.

It’s one of those books that leaves you slightly breathless, and well, speechless too.

I’m hoping a week is long enough to let the book settle and fade so I can write a mildly coherent review. Though it’ll probably just sound like vague screaming anyway. THIS IS GOING TO BE A MESSY REVIEW, JUST SAYING.


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Science FictionAction/Adventure / Content: 16+ / Recommended

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.

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The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan: 5/5 Stars

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan – Review + Final Thoughts on the Percy Jackson Series

I loved The Last Olympian. It was my favorite book of the Percy Jackson series by a long shot, and was just the kind of conclusion the series needed, in my opinion.

In this review, I want to talk about the Percy Jackson series as a whole too, so at the end I’m going to share some of my final thoughts on it. ;) Savvy?

Let’s get into it!


The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Middle-Grade / Genre: FantasyAction/Adventure / Content: 12+ / Recommended

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

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The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan: 4/5 Stars

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan – Review

Before anything else, I apologize to my email subscribers who received a strange one sentence email saying only: “I read The Battle of the Labyrinth” a few hours ago. Like WHAT??? Uhhh good for you Marie!? You were confused, I was embarrassed, it was bad. REAL BAD. So here’s to no more accidents pushing the “publish” button before I’ve got a paragraph written up… May it last long!


The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★

Middle-Grade / Genre: FantasyAction/Adventure / Content: 12+ / Recommended

Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears at his potential new school, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.

In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth—a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.

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The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan: 4/5 Stars

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan – Review

I struggled a little bit to get through The Titan’s Curse.

But what a strong ending.

At last, I felt emotionally invested in the characters and the plot finally got personal.

I love the books leave me a little breathless and a little incoherent. The ones that leave me reeling a little bit. While The Titan’s Curse didn’t start out anything like that, it certainly ended that way. It took me by surprise.

I’m so pumped for what’s next.

The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan: 4/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★

Middle-Grade / Genre: FantasyAction/Adventure / Content: 12+ / Recommended

It’s not everyday you find yourself in combad with a half-lion, half-human.

But when you’re the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh, and guess what? The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive….

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Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth: 3/5 Stars

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth – Review

Does the graphic look familiar? I used the same design last week with my review for The Falconer, but since the background photo is actually from Carve the Mark, I thought I’d use it here as well. ;)

I finished Carve the Mark in a rush last month, but I had to wait a while to write a proper review because for the life of me I couldn’t figure out if I even liked it or not. Thankfully, I know now that’s a big fat “No.”

Though I didn’t particularly “like” it, I still can’t give a straight answer to someone if they ask me if I recommend CTM, because I don’t know if the problems I had with it are just my own pickiness or a universal flaw. So maybe my review can help you decide if it’s worth your while. I went ahead and tagged it as “not recommended” on here though because frankly, I felt like I wasted my own time. (Sort of.)

In any case, Carve the Mark is not a book I’m dying to run back to, and it’s not a book I’d care to remember.

Allow me to tell you why.


Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth: 3/5 Stars

★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Action/AdventureScience Fiction / Content: 16+ / Not Recommended

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive—no matter what the cost.
The Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth’s stunning portrayal of the power of friendship—and love—in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.

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Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan: 4/5 Stars

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan – Review

Anddddd Percy Jackson starts to accelerate.

I enjoyed Sea of Monsters much more than The Lightning Thief, which is kind of heresy in the bookwormish world, but go ahead and execute me because it really was better.

A few more layers were added, character flaws were explored, and in general the world felt deepened.

As a staunch deep/long/thick book lover, Sea of Monsters was definitely more my type. It still wasn’t Roy with crazy depth, but that’s okay. My hopes are high for the rest of the series.


Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan: 4/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★

Middle-Grade / Genre: FantasyAction/Adventure / Content: 12+ / Recommended

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half blood” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan: 4/5 Stars

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief – Review

I was refreshed and pleasantly surprised by this humorous modern take on Greek mythology.

Ultimately, it was a bit shallow in character development and plot complexity, but those are forgivable sins due to the target audience and the way the book was supposed to come across. It’s not supposed to be serious, or amazingly deep and/or complex. It’s middle-grade; expect that. But expect a really great middle-grade story.

At any rate, I ate it up, and I’m definitely continuing the series.


The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan: 4/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★

Middle-Grade / Genre: FantasyAction/Adventure / Content: 12+ / Recommended

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

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The Falconer by Elizabeth May: 3/5 Stars

The Falconer – Review

Ah, my first experience reading a steampunk novel.

Don’t know what that is? Don’t worry about itYou’re better off not knowing.

Now that sounds dramatic. I’m sorry. It really wasn’t that bad. Overall, it was a pretty fair story… It’s just that I didn’t become a bookworm to fall in love with a “pretty fair story.”


The Falconer by Elizabeth May: 3/5 Stars

★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Action/Adventure / Content: 14+ / Not Recommended

One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale.

Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

Continue reading “The Falconer – Review”