Sunday, 27 August 2017

Audiobook: Never Fade

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2)

Never Fade is written by Alexandra Bracken and narrated by Amy McFadden, and is the second book of the Darkest Minds Series.

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster. 

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her. 

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself.

The Breakdown:
1. I loved this book just as much, if not more that the first one.   Bracken does a great job of growth in the characters, along with the introduction of new characters.  Plus. the story is amazing. The things discovered in this story, and it leaves me wanting so much more.

2. I want to take a minute to really appreciate the narrator, Amy McFadden.  I think she is one the best narrators of any audiobook I have listen to.  She captures Ruby's character so well.  Plus, when she is doing the voice of the other characters, I almost think there are other narrators involved.

3. I loved Ruby even more in this book.  Seeing the changes she gone through since the end of The Darkest Minds.  Watching how she handles the consequences of her decisions and how she really has come into her powers.

4. I just want to say that this book hits me in the feels multiple times.  From Ruby's reunion with Chubbs, to them finding Liam, all the way to the end.  Bracken really knows how to pull at the heartstrings. Oh, and the big revelation at the end, I cannot wait to see what happens with that in the next book. (As I patiently wait for my next Audible credit to arrive.)

To Read or Not to Read:
Must Read

Monday, 21 August 2017

Sad Perfect

Sad Perfect

Sad Perfect is by debut author Stephanie Elliot.

The story of a teen girl's struggle with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder and how love helps her on the road to recovery.

Sixteen-year-old Pea looks normal, but she has a secret: she has Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). It is like having a monster inside of her, one that not only dictates what she can eat, but also causes anxiety, depression, and thoughts that she doesn’t want to have. When she falls crazy-mad in love with Ben, she hides her disorder from him, pretending that she’s fine. At first, everything really does feel like it’s getting better with him around, so she stops taking her anxiety and depression medication. And that's when the monster really takes over her life. Just as everything seems lost and hopeless, Pea finds in her family, and in Ben, the support and strength she needs to learn that her eating disorder doesn’t have to control her.

The Breakdown:
1. I rarely say this, but I absolutely hated this book.  First off the entire book is written is second person.  It makes it really had to connect with a character when the author keeps saying you ate an apple or you had a rough day at school.  I am just like it was not me.

2.  I felt that Elliot never adequately explains what Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder is to me.  I wanted to know about it and the psychology to it, which I never got.

3. It was honestly such a struggle to get through this book.  Multiple times I almost DNF'ed it but I am not a quitter.  The writing was bad, the character was boring, and the main point of the character's issues was never explained.

To Read or Not to Read:
Avoid like the plague

Monday, 14 August 2017

Dragon Spawn

Dragon Spawn (World of the Lupi, #13)

Dragon Spawn by Eileen Wilks is the latest book of her World of Lupi series.

Lily learns she was right. Tom Weng—a powerful sorcerer allied with the Old One who keeps trying to take over the world—is still alive. But that's not the worst. Weng is a dragon spawn, the product of a botched hatching given a human form in an attempt to keep him from going mad. A failed attempt.

Meanwhile, Lily’s husband Rule is facing a Challenge to the death. Then there’s the possible reappearance of another sorcerer. But none of that matters when their enemy strikes out of nowhere in the worst way possible. Lily must face a nightmare and return to a place she never wanted to see again. The place where she died…

The Breakdown:
1.  I really enjoy this series. The characters and the story lines are usually so good and keep you guessing.  That being said, this is not my favorite book of the series.  I felt Wilks dropped the ball a little with this book.   One of my favorite things about this series is the relationship between the featured couples, whether is be Lily and Rule, Cinna and Cullen, etc. It just wasn't there in this book.  It felt like Lily and Rule were not connecting as well as they usually do during the stories.

2. I did, however, enjoy the story itself.  I like that Wilks plots out interesting twist and turns to get to the end game.  I liked that Wilks spent a little more time focusing on Toby's point of view, and getting to know him as a character better.  I cannot wait to see what kind of roles he plays in upcoming books.  Plus, I liked finding out that Weng is a dragon spawn, and what exactly that entails.

3.  Be warned, that Wilks ends this one in a cliff hanger, and a little bit of a confusing one at that.  I have so many questions on what exactly happened and where she is going with the story.

To Read or Not to Read:
Overall Read because I think it will be important for the series overall story.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Audiobook: The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)

The Darkest Minds is written by Alexandra Bracken and narrated by Amy McFadden and is the first book of the Darkest Minds series.

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

The Breakdown:
1.  Loved this book on so many levels.  The dystopian setting, the characters, and the story all worked so well together.  It is an interesting world that Bracken as written with a disease that has killed many children and those still alive suddenly have strange powers.   I thought Fadden was the perfect narrator for this book.  She really captured the tone and characters so well in her narration.

2.  Ruby is definitely an interesting character.  She has the ability to see minds and control them, but hides this, mostly in order to survive.  Most with her talents have been eliminated by the government, but Ruby manages to hid who she is for a very long time.  She is kind and brave, although she does not think so.  Plus I love seeing the growth of her character throughout the book.

3.  Liam is definitely a swoon worthly character.  He really does have a heart of gold, and wants to make the world a better place.  The way he cares not only for Ruby, but Chubs and Zu is so heart meltingly sweet.

4.  Speaking of Chubs and Zu, they are such great supporting characters.  I kind of adore Chubs dry humor and prickly self.  And who could not love Zu with her sweet self.  I do have to say that I did not like the Slip Kid one bit.  He just came off as disingenuous to me from the beginning.

5. OMG that ending.  It punched me right in the feels.  I might have gotten a little teared up during it, which is never good when you are driving.  I definitely download the next book in the series to start tomorrow because I have to know what happens to everyone.

To Read or Not to Read:
Must Read

Friday, 11 August 2017

Wires and Nerve

Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerves, #1)

Wires and Nerve is written by Marissa Meyer and illustrated by Douglas Holgate.

When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the series.

The Breakdown:
1.  I am almost ashamed to admit that this is my first graphic novel.  I, of course, had to read it because it is Marissa Meyer and the Lunar Chronicles.  I loved that Iko is getting her own story, and a graphic novel is perfect for the sassy android.

2.  I loved Holgate's illustrations for this story.  They captured the characters and the mood of the story so well.

3. It is definitely interesting to see Iko evolve as a character, especially since as an android she should not evolve at all.  Plus seeing Kinney's reactions to how she handles things makes things interesting.  He has not quite grasped that she is not your ordinary android.

4.  I will definitely be picking up the next one when it comes out at the beginning of next year.  I can't wait to see how Iko and Kinney's story progresses.

To Read or Not to Read:

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters is by Francesca Zappia.

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

The Breakdown:
1.  I really enjoyed this book. I loved both Eliza's story and the glimpses into the world she created with Monstrous Sea.  Zappia did a fantastic job of really capturing a extreme introvert with Eliza, and her struggles with being social.  I loved reading her story.

2.   While I am not nearly as introverted as Eliza, I could identify with her struggles to socialize.  I felt her character really helps to bring awareness to struggles with anxiety and depression.

3.   I liked Wallace, who struggles with anxiety and issues himself.  I like that he and Eliza just seem to get each other.  I am disappointed in his reaction to finding out Eliza's secret.

4. One of the most amazing scenes of the book is when Eliza's brothers, Church and Sully, confront their parents on what revealing her secret did to her.  I adored them in that moment.  They seemed like high energy middle school kids who had little to do with Eliza until that moment.  It showed Eliza how much they cared for her and how much they wanted to be apart of her life.

5. I have to say, I really want a Monstrous Sea book/graphic novel.  I loved the little snippets of it that Zappia gives during the book.  Plus, if you check out her wattpad, she gives teasers to more.  Hinting there could be a full length novel if enough interest.  Check it out here:

To Read or Not to Read:
Must Read

Sunday, 6 August 2017

A Fierce and Subtle Poison

A Fierce and Subtle Poison

A Fierce and Subtle Poison is by Mabry.

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl--Isabel, the one the seƱoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers--and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

The Breakdown:
1.  This story had so much potential, but Mabry just did not deliver on it.  While well written, the story just fell flat mainly because the main character, Lucas, was so flat.  The setting was wonderful and I was fascinated by Isabel's story, but I felt those were pushed to the side for Lucas's story.

2.  Lucas was such a disappointing character. He was flat, and honestly did not make sense for the story.  He inserts himself into a situation where he really had no business, which Isabel tells him multiple times.  He is just a really boring character.

3. Mabry left wanting more of Isabel and her mother's story.  The teases she gave from their lives and why Isabel is the way she is were the best part of this book.  I wanted to know where Isabel's mother went, and felt there was so much more to that story.

4.  I also felt that when Lucas becomes a suspect in the girls disappearance did not make sense.  I get that the Inspector did not like him for being a main lander whose father is a jerk, but any investigator worth their salt would have easily concluded he could not have done it.  Especially due to the fact the American girl went missing before he arrived on the island for the summer.  It was ridiculous.

To Read or Not to Read:

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Dark Days Pact

The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen, #2)

The Dark Days Pact is by Alison Goodman and it the second book of her Lady Helen series.

June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen to spend the summer season in Brighton so that he can train her new Reclaimer powers. However, the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work have taken hold, and his sanity is beginning to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are even higher for Helen as she struggles to become the warrior that everyone expects her to be.

The Breakdown:
1.  Much of this book deals with Lady Helen learning her role in the Dark Days Club, along with dealing with the politics that go with it. Goodman introduces new enemies, and not all are Deceivers.  There a secrets kept and new powers and obstacles to deal with, and thankful, way less about gloves.

2. Interesting to watch how Lady Helen deal with keeping secrets from Lord Carlson and the Duke of Selburn.  She is becoming quite the strong young woman.  Although, I do get very irriatated with her at times because she almost blindly follows Pike's orders and does not question closely enough due her sense of duty.  I do like the resolve she shows at the end with the whole situation.

3. I felt the ending of the book was well done.  It fit with the story, and revealed a lot of important information.  It will be interesting to see where Goodman takes the next book with those turn of events.

To Read or Not to Read: