Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Title: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Format I Read: Physical ARC
Pages599
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads


For those who are unfamiliar with the absolute masterpiece that is Illuminae:

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.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

General Impression


Guys, Illuminae is literally going to redefine the world of books as we know it–it is absolutely revolutionary. I’m honestly astounded by the magnificence and ingenuity of this novel. I’m still reeling, so excuse me if this review is gibberish.

My experience while reading Illuminae was unparalleled. I did a buddy read with Aila (@ One Way or An Author) and we gushed over every other sentence. I’m not even exaggerating about that. We started it at around 8pm on Friday night, stayed up until 1am, and finished at 3pm on Saturday. We could barely put it down to eat and shower–not kidding. I actually wrote all about Aila’s and my emotions in my mini-review, which I posted back when I first finished the book in July. You can check out our frantic, mildly incoherent, and jittery reactions (no spoilers) here. Continue reading

Review: Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

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Title: Blood and Salt
Author: Kim Liggett
Format I Read: eARC
Pages: 341
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Putnam (Penguin)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads


For those who are unfamiliar with Blood and Salt:

Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn in this one-of-a-kind romantic horror.

“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”

These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.

Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.

As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.

General Impression


Wow, that was a wild ride. To be completely honest, I really wasn’t expecting to love Blood and Salt; I was expecting something more along the lines of some thorough enjoyment. Yet I found myself undeniably invested in the story, the thrill, and the twists. I ended up loving Blood and Salt. Quite a bit. I read it in one fell swoop, and it was wild. Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday: Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the
Spine
 that spotlights upcoming releases that give us those book tingles!

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The book I’m waiting on this Wednesday is… Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry!

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Title: Walk the Edge
Author: Katie McGarry
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble Continue reading

Review: Starflight by Melissa Landers

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Title: Starflight
Author: Melissa Landers
Format I Read: Physical ARC
Pages: 320
Genres: Science Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date:  February 2, 2016
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads


Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world–and each other–the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…

General Impression


Having read Melissa Landers before, I had irrationally high hopes for Starflight. The second I heard about it, it jumped to the top of my “must read ASAP or I’ll die” list. From the cover to the synopsis to Landers’ writing – I was salivating for this book. Luckily, the lovely Becky @ Stories and Sweeties traded me a copy (thanks, Becky)!

And guys… oh, boy. This book did not disappoint. It was a page turner, a captivator – it pulled me in hook, line, and sinker. The intriguing worldbuilding, the blood pumping adventure, the heart stopping action, the swoonworthy romance, the multi-dimensional characters, the complicated plot, the exquisite writing: everything about this book made it an immediate all-time favorite. Starflight is an absolute must-read. Continue reading

Someone Special Sunday: Kit Cat @ Let the Pages Reign

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“Someone Special Sunday” is a little something I came up with to help spread some blogger appreciation. Feel free to join in if you’d like! If you want to spread a little blogger love using “Someone Special Sunday” just link back to me and use the graphic.

The idea of Someone Special Sunday is just to spotlight a fellow blogger, booktuber, author, or member of the book community on a Sunday. Show the world how amazing these people are!

This Sunday’s awesome spotlight is Kit Cat @ Let the Pages Reign! Continue reading

Mini-Review: Rusk University Series by Cora Carmack

Ms. Carmack is truly a literary genius and one of my absolute favorite authors. Of her extensive repertoire, I’ve read All Lined UpAll Broke DownAll Played Out, Losing It, Faking It, and Inspire. I’ve fallen in love each time (though I do have my favorites). Here, I’m going to include some mini-reviews of the 3 released books in the Rusk University Series (New Adult Romance read as Kindle eBooks).

5 stars to all of the following

Continue reading

Review: This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup

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Title: This Ordinary Life
Author: Jennifer Walkup
Format I Read: Physical ARC
Pages: 240
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Publisher: Luminis Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads


For those who don’t know what This Ordinary Life is about:

High-school radio host Jasmine Torres’s life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a New York City radio station, she knows she can turn things around.

That is, until her brother Danny’s latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she’s back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother’s booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny’s future.

Then she meets Wes. He’s the perfect combination of smart, cute, and funny. He also happens to have epilepsy like her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep her from going on a real date with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her.

Jasmine can’t control everything. Not who wins the internship, not her mother’s addiction, not her brother’s health–not even where her heart will lead her. She wishes she could just have an ordinary life, but maybe what she already has is pretty extraordinary after all.

General Impression


Though this book had an interesting concept, the characters and the plot fell a little flat for me. Honestly, if the book wasn’t such a short and sweet read, I may have given up and DNF’d this. I ended up giving it 3 stars, but I was actually planning on 2 stars until the very end. However, it did have some solid points and redeeming qualities!

Continue reading