Review: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

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Title: The Girl From Everywhere (The Girl From Everywhere #1)
Author: Heidi Heilig
Format I Read: Physical ARC
Pages: 464
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release Date:  February 16, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Synopsis from Goodreads


Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.

General Impression


First of all, I’d like to thank Aila @ One Way Or An Author for letting me borrow this beautiful ARC. You’re the best, Aila!

Second of all, I’d like to thank Heidi Heilig for writing an absolutely gorgeous novel. The characters were flawlessly portrayed and wonderfully multi-faceted. Not to mention, the minor characters had an alarming amount of depth. And the relationships between the characters were simultaneously heart-aching and heartwarming. Heilig’s writing was the cherry on the top of the cake, with some of the most beautiful sentences I’ve ever read. The only hitch in the book I found was that the world was disarmingly complex, but Heilig expertly tied it all up in the end. The ending definitely made up for any rocky spots in the middle. I was left feeling completely satisfied! Continue reading

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Format I Read: Physical ARC
Pages: 320
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads


For those who haven’t heard of Everything, Everything:

This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

General Impression


Honestly, I’m super conflicted about this book. I really don’t know how I feel. My gut instinct says that I’m not quite fulfilled, but my brain tells me that this book was satisfying enough.

I’m caught between 3 and 4 stars–I’m giving it 3.5. It was a fresh, interesting read that kept me entertained enough to read it all in one sitting. Continue reading

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: 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

Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

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Title: Soundless
Author: Richelle Mead
Format I Read: Physical ARC
Pages: 272
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads


For those who are unfamiliar with Soundless:

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever…

General Impression


There is nothing more satisfying than finishing an amazing standalone novel. There’s something about the perfectly packaged story of a standalone that just leaves you so content. Honestly, I have the loveliest feeling in my heart right now. I feel like I can move mountains and change the world. I feel that good–Soundless was that amazing.

Since reading the synopsis and seeing the absolutely gorgeous cover, I’ve been coveting this book. Luckily, I got it in a spontaneous galley drop at BEA this year. As I read this book, I savored it–I let it muse in my mind, spreading the relatively short book out over four days. I’ll have you know, this is not something I normally do. I’m a “devour the book in one sitting with no regrets” kind of girl. But Soundless was just different. There’s something about Mead’s writing that just makes me want to drown in her words. I really don’t know what it is about Richelle Mead’s books, but I just want to wrap myself up in her stories. Continue reading

Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

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Title: Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy #1)
Author: Josephine Angelini
Format I Read: Physical ARC
Pages: 374
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads


For those who are unfamiliar with Trial by Fire:

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

General Impression


I quite literally read this book nonstop, with only a mild pause for much-needed sleep. Angelini completely sucked me in. My mind is boggled. Boggled. This book has to be one of the most interesting, most intricately created, most fascinating books I’ve read in a while. Angelini did a damn good job at building this mind-blowing world.

I’ve read many reviews of this book, and it seems that a lot are not favorable. I picked up an ARC of the sequel, Firewalker, at BEA, not even realizing that it was a sequel. Thus, in order to read Firewalker, I had to get my hands on Trial by Fire. I then stalked the #booksfortrade tag until I got a copy. Unfortunately, with all the reviews that I’d read, I was extremely nervous that I was going to hate Trial by Fire and be stuck with an ARC that I totally didn’t want to read. So I went into Trial by Fire with lots of reservations. Fortunately, I ended up absolutely loving the book. Continue reading

Review: The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

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Title: The Masked Truth
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Format I Read: Physical ARC
Pages: 340
Genres: Thriller, Contemporary, Young Adult
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Doubleday
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads


For those who are unfamiliar with The Masked Truth:

Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.

Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn’t dare reveal.

The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with “issues.” But that’s exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.

The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree.

Riley and Max know that if they can’t get out, they’ll be next—but they’re about to find out that even escape doesn’t equal freedom.

General Impression


I honestly don’t know how to write this review. I’m still reeling from that wild ride. Wow. I’m quivering, shaking, absolutely dying right now. The Masked Truth deserves every single one of those five stars–it deserves more than just those five stars. Continue reading

Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

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Title: Vengeance Road
Author: Erin Bowman
Format I Read: Physical ARC
Pages: 336
Genres: Historical Fiction, Action
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Synopsis from Goodreads


For those of you that are unfamiliar with Vengeance Road:

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there’s room for love in a heart so full of hate.

General Impression


You see, I’m not usually a one-genre kind of girl. I read just about anything and everything, as long as it’s YA and has at least a trace of romance. I read fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, whatever. But there’s one genre that’s typically no-go territory for me: historical fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read and enjoyed a handful of historical fiction. But it’s not a genre that often graces my TBR. I’ve just never been a girl who likes historical fiction. Until now.

I absolutely loved Vengeance Road: the characters, the voice, the intrigue, the adventure, the action. Bowman created a story that kept me on my toes. My eyes scoured the pages and my fingers were furiously flipping through the book. I found myself completely entranced. Continue reading

Mini-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 don’t know what Illuminae is about:

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.

What do you mean by “mini-review”?


Okay, so I have a full review written for this book (one of my favorites of 2015), but I decided that I’d also post a little “mini review” of sorts.

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.

In this mini review, I decided to share Aila’s and my emotions! I’ve screenshotted a bunch of our messages from our buddy read to show just how amazing Illuminae is. Seriously, it was a roller coaster. I recommend that everyone go buy this book–it’s going to change literary history.

Continue reading

Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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Title: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Format I Read: Physical ARC
Pages: 384
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Synopsis from Goodreads


For those who are unfamiliar with Truthwitch:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

General Impression


Susan Dennard has made me fall in love—with the characters, the world, the magic, the politics, the chemistry, the writing, everything. I was completely torn between wanting to devour every word and wanting to savor every word. I don’t really know what to say. I’m a little in shock.

Dennard wove together such a fantastic tale. I honestly think that this is going to be the next sensation in fantasy. I don’t want to sound presumptuous, but I’m definitely sensing a new classic in the leagues of the more recent Throne of Glass and the timeless Lord of the Rings. The world created in Truthwitch was truly captivating. Between the fantastically imaginative take on “elemental” magic and the suspenseful tangle of politics, I was sucked in.

Continue reading