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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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles: 5/5 Stars

A Gentleman in Moscow – Review

He can’t leave. You won’t want to.

What a charming reminder that “a life without luxury can be the richest of all.”

I savored every minute I spent reading A Gentleman in Moscow. It wasn’t anything like the book I was expecting. It was sweeter, softer, wittier, and way, way classier.

Take a bow, Amor Towles. You have created a masterpiece.


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Adult / Genre: Historical Fiction / Content: 16+ / Recommended

A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

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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 Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: 4/5 Stars

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – Review

This is not what it says it is.

The Night Circus was not a normal book. So of course it won’t get a normal review. ;)

I finished The Night Circus a few days ago, and have moved on to another circus-like book, which has only made appreciate The Night Circus more. (Because, well. The completion is slim.)

I had horrible misconceptions of TNC when I started it, so before I get into my review, here’s what it’s not.

The Night Circus is not a romance; it is advertised as one, and does have a love story, but it’s not the focus of the novel. (But more on that later.)

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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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