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.

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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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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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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.

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber: 3/5 Stars

Caraval by Stephanie Garber – Review

Oh dear. Was this a joke? A mean joke played by dear old 2017? Yes. Yes, I dare say it was.

The covers are beautiful. If only there was more to them.

I don’t know what’s worse: that I actually finished Caraval or that it’s a series.

Let’s get into it.


Caraval by Stephanie Garber: 2/5 Stars

★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Fantasy, Romance / Content: 16+ / Recommended

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: 4/5 Stars

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – Review

This week’s review is a bit of a throwback. ;) I read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank back in January of this year, but since I’m lazy, you’re finally hearing about it now.

Boom.

I actually felt like I didn’t get as much out of this one as I should have. I felt like it should have resonated with me deeper; stirred me more. It didn’t.

That’s not to say, though, that it didn’t impact me or it didn’t sober me. There is a lot of responsibility to never let something like the Holocaust ever happen again; even a semblance of it. And I don’t take that lightly.

I just didn’t feel as impacted by The Diary of a Young Girl as much as I had expected I would be. And that’s fine. I was still touched, and it was still worth reading. Even if it didn’t feel like it at times.

Confused? I am too.

Let me try to clear my thoughts up for you in a proper review.

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: 5/5 Stars

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – Review

This week’s review is a bit late coming to you, but I hope you enjoy it! If you’ve read this book, comment below about what you thought about it! I’d love to chat with you.

Without any further ado, I give you…


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Fantasy / Content: 16+ / Recommended

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness. . . Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer: 4/5 Stars

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – Review

Oh. Just another Cinderella retelling.

“Just another Cinderella retelling.”

“JUST another Cinderella retelling.”

I don’t know about you, but that’s what I thought when I first came across this book. Slipper on the cover? The word “cinder” in the title? No thanks. I’m good. I know what that’s going to be about. Right?

Nope.

This is not “just another Cinderella retelling.” It’s so much more. Don’t be fooled by the name, or the cover. While yes, it still is as much a retelling as it’s advertised to be, it doesn’t deserve the criticism that automatically comes with it.

Allow me to show you why you should give Cinder a chance.

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The Giver by Lois Lowry: 3/5 Stars

The Giver by Lois Lowry – Review

Well.

This was a classic case of I-don’t-want-to-finish-it-but-it-looked-good-so-I-think-I-should syndrome. (Come on, I know it’s happened to you too.)

Regrettably, some books are best to read at a certain age window. Which is fine until you miss it. Like me. (Oops.)

But before I give my whole review away, let’s dig into the details.


The Giver by Lois Lowry: 3/5 Stars★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Dystopia / Content: 14+ / Recommended


Jonas lives in a perfect world…or so they say. A world with no war, a war with no pain, a world with no fear. But it’s also a world without love.

When it’s time for him to become a true member of his society, he gets the chance to see past its pristine facade—and discover the truth.

His job is to receive all the world’s memories that have been placed under the care of the Giver, where they couldn’t harm anyone, but also where they couldn’t be shared. It seems beneficial, placing the responsibility and control in fewer hands in an effort to keep the world at large innocent—but it takes away part of themselves. Who they are.  
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