Monday, 23 October 2017

Audiobook: Shatter Me

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

Shatter Me is written by Tahereh Mafi and narrated by Kate Simses and is the first book of the series of the same name.

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I'm more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

The Breakdown:
1. I picked this book because a friend was going on about how much she loved this series.  I can say I was not disappointed with the story.  The story did have a slow start to it, but once it got going I easily lost myself in it.  I was not crazy about the narrator, Kate Simses, her voice was a little too child-like on the parts that were Juliette. 

2. Juliette is a most interesting character.  A character with the power to kill with her touch, but has a very kind heart.  She tries so hard not to harm anyone with her touch, and really she just wants to be loved and accepted and not seen as a monster.  I have so many questions about her powers and why she has them.  I cannot wait to see where Mafi takes her character.

3.  Adam and Warner present an interesting dichotomy of characters.  Adam, who she knew as a child, who wants to protect her from the world.  Warner, who is obsessed with her, wants to use her to help him. I am interested to see how things with play out with them and how their relationships evolve.

4.  I really enjoyed the supporting characters of Kenji and James.  Kenji was definitely funny, and has a few secrets of his own, and I am dying to see more of him in the future.  James is wonderful in his child innocence and his love for this brother.

5.  I have so many questions still at the end of this book.  I am interested to see where Mafi is going to take this series and the characters.

To Read or Not to Read:

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The Thing with Feathers

The Thing with Feathers

The Thing with Feathers is by debut author McCall Hoyle.

Emilie Day believes in playing it safe: she’s homeschooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she’s probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can’t swim.

Then Emilie’s mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj’s to halls full of strangers. To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn’t told anyone about her epilepsy.

Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she’ll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet’s advice and “dwell in possibility.” 

The Breakdown:
1.  Hoyle's debut book deals with being different, and wanting to fit in, which is a problem that faces many people.  Emilie different is she has epilepsy, and starting at a new school she does not want to be known as the seizure girl.  Hoyle, also, deals with grief and learning to move on and opening up and face new things. 

2. Emilie is an extreme introvert.  She is afraid of having a seizure in front of others, that along with the loss of her father from cancer puts her in a bit of a tail spin.   She definitely pulls off moody teenager very well at times.  I enjoyed seeing Emilie grow as a person.  She slowly learns to make friends, sees that not everyone is what they seem, and try new things.   I liked that by the end, she does not let her epilepsy define her as a person.

3.  I enjoyed both the characters of Chatham and Ayla.  Both were important to Emilie is her journey of self discovery.  Ayla shows that she can be accepted for who she is. That friendship is an important part of life.  Chatham teaches that is good to try new things and the importance of being honest with each other.

4. Overall, I enjoyed the story and characters, but I felt that the big epilepsy reveal Emilie's classmates was predictable.  My other complaint is that Cindy's, the neighbor girl, story did not really do much for the story.  It felt like it just did not belong.

To Read or Not to Read:

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo is the first of the DC Icons series.

Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.


Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

The Breakdown:
1. DC Icons is a genius move by DC.  It is a series written by different best-selling YA novelist, and they kick it off with a bang with Leigh Bardugo doing Wonder Woman.  I love Bardugo's writing, and I love what she has done for Wonder Woman.  It is amazing how she takes a well established character and makes it her own, and still keeps with her true to the ideas from the comics. I really adore what she has done with how Amazons are created and the legend of Helen of Troy.

2.   I adore the fact that Bardugo made this story more focused on friendship and sisterhood between the characters.  Yes, there were some romantic undertones at times, but that was not the focus of the story.  I really enjoyed watching Diana and Alia build a friendship.

3.  Speaking of Diana and Alia, I love that they are both strong female characters. Diana in both the traditional sense of the word and she also has a strong heart.   Her determination to both save Alia and the world is amazing.   The Alias is super smart, loyal, and brave.  She wants to do what it takes to prevent the wars she would cause as the Warbringer.  The courage it takes her to face this, and accepted it makes her more amazing than Diana in many ways.

4.  Holy Cow!  The twist that Bardugo throws at the end was amazing and I so did not see that coming.  Made me love the story even more.  I am excited to see where the other authors take the next stories in this universe.

To Read or Not to Read:
Must Read

Sunday, 8 October 2017

The Ship Beyond Time

The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl From Everywhere, #2)

The Ship Beyond Time by Heilig is the second book of her Girl From Everywhere series.

Some things should not be stolen.

After what seems like a lifetime of following her father across the globe and through the centuries, Nix has finally taken the helm of their time-traveling ship. Her future—and the horizon—is bright.

Until she learns she is destined to lose the one she loves. To end up like her father: alone, heartbroken.

Unable to face losing Kashmir—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—Nix sails her crew to a mythical utopia to meet a man who promises he can teach her how to manipulate time, to change history. But no place is perfect, not even paradise. And everything is constantly changing on this utopian island, including reality itself.

If Nix can read the ever-shifting tides, perhaps she will finally harness her abilities. Perhaps she can control her destiny, too.

Or perhaps her time will finally run out.

The Breakdown:
1.  I enjoy this series partly because it is like a blend of pirates and Doctor Who.   I love the concept that as long as you have a map and the map maker believed in the place, you could go there.  Plus in this book, the crew of the Temptation meets another Navigator, and begs the question is it really possible to alter history or does it find a way to happen.

2.  I loved Kashmir's chapters the most in this book.  I found myself wishing that he got more of them.  Plus, he poses an interesting question of himself.  Since he is from a mythical land, is he really himself or an idea that Nix brought to life. There are definitely some deep thinking moments in this book.

3.  Nix, herself, presents interesting character development.  She finds out just how much she is like her father in pursuit of saving the one she loves. 

4. There are some interesting plot twist in this book, and finding that the words of a predicted future are not always what is expected.  I enjoyed the ending of this book, but it does leaving me wondering if this is the end of the series or will there be another book.

To Read or Not to Read:

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is by Becky Albertalli.

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

The Breakdown:
1.  I will admit that I read Albertalli's second book, The Upside of Unrequited,  before this book and the books have a loose connection. I enjoyed this book, but not as much as the The Upside of Unreqiuted.  Her characters are quirky and realistic.  I feel like their problems are problems that real people have.

2. Simon is pretty adorable.  I would definitely want him as a friend.  His love of Harry Potter and Oreos totally won my heart. His struggle with his crush on Blue, and wanting to meet him, and worried how he will react is a problem anyone can relate to whether gay or straight.  I can definitely relate to how his parents makes a big deal out every mile stone in their children's lives.  It both sweet and horrifyingly embarrassing.

3.  I admittedly vacillate between hating Martin, the guy blackmailing him, and feeling sorry for him.  He is obviously awkward and wants to figure out how to approach his crush, but he goes about it all wrong.

4.  I do not know if this is what Albertalli intended but I figured out fairly early Blue's identity based on something that happened in Simon's English class.  Also for me, I thought it was weird that everyone's older sibling seemed to be going to college out of state.  Okay, Abby's brother made sense because she moved from D.C. But the others did not, being from Georgia myself, most people stay in state due tuition and Hope scholarships.

To Read or Not to Read: