Scythe of Darkness by Dawn Husted

Title: Scythe of Darkness
Author: Dawn Husted
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook, ARC provided by author
Description
(Source: Amazon):

 

For Mia Hieskety, surviving high school meant focusing on exams and avoiding stupid parties. After breaking up with the only boyfriend she ever had, dating was off the agenda. That is, until Thanatos came along. Inexplicably drawn to Thanatos, she’s determined to find out who he is and why he insists on wearing gloves to school. Something is off about him. And it’s as if she can feel him when he’s near. Without warning, she’s thrust into a sinister world and discovers a truth that she never expected. When a supernatural connection puts Mia’s life at risk, she doesn’t know who to trust—especially Thanatos. But what if she’s in love with him?”


Okay, so first I need to apologize to the Author. The author so generously provided me with this book as an ARC, but with my recent health problems I have gotten so far behind all my posts and reviews. I’ve actually read about 12 books and haven’t written a single review in the last month about them because I’ve been feeling so sick. I do not see this changing for at least another month, so please bear with me if you follow my blog. I may have a little announcement in the next few weeks 😉 . 

Review:

Alright, onto the book. Scythe of Darkness is about Mia, a teenage girl who was abducted (and escaped) when she was a little girl. Mia is a relatively normal girl, despite her traumatic past. Mia runs into (literally) a boy named Thanatos with whom she shares an immediate and intense connection with. As you can probably tell from that last sentence, this is an insta-love story. It’s well done, but if you’re not into that you should know now. 🙂 Shortly after meeting Thanatos Mia’s world is turned upside down. Thanatos and his family are not what they seem and Mia discovers that she has been the center of a sinister play for power for years. 

The book itself was well written and kept a pace that moved quickly, but not rushed. I really enjoyed the writing style and the development of Mia and Thanatos. I’m hoping for even more character development from Mia’s character in the next book, because that ending left room for a lot of growth from Mia!

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:

That. Ending. 😱😱😱😱😱


The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Format: eBook
Description
(Source: Amazon):

The Star-Touched Queen by [Chokshi, Roshani]Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.


Review:

First of all, can we just appreciate this cover? 😍😍😍😍😍

The Star-Touched Queen is about a girl who is cursed with a horoscope of death and destruction. This makes her a social outcast and expendable within her kingdom. The story starts out pretty quickly with not an overabundance of world building, which is helpful if you are like me and don’t want to wait 3-5 chapters to get hooked on the book. I think one of the reasons the book begins so well is because of the protagonist Maya. She struck me as immediately likable, as she is strong, independent, an quick-witted. She makes some pretty stupid decisions in the book, but they aren’t out of character and I think readers can empathize with her logic during these decisive moments. 

Although the story starts out interesting, I found most of the first half of the book went pretty slow for me, but the last half definitely made up for it. The last half was more action based and starts to wind in the plot of the next book. The action scenes were well done and the climax didn’t seem rushed, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.  

I find that I’m torn on Chokshi’s descriptive style throughout the book. Some of the metaphors used just didn’t really make a lot of sense, but there were other times that I found myself completely enthralled with the tale Chokshi was spinning. Obviously this is subjective to who is reading, but overall her writing was beautiful. 

There were two reasons this book was only 3/5 stars for me. The first was what I had already mentioned about the book moving slowly in the first half. The second is the connection between Maya and Amar. I didn’t feel the passion or love between them and would have liked to have seen their relationship grow through more interactions in the book, rather than just a few kisses here or there. 

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
– I have the next book A Crown of Wishes on NetGalley so I will be moving onto that book next. Although I gave this book 3 stars (which is still NOT a bad review) I am excited to move onto the next because I love the character the story will be surrounding. 


The Glitch by Ramona Finn- Audiobook Tour

 Hey everyone!

I have decided to start participating in book review tours so you will see several of them pop up on my blog this month! There is a giveaway for this tour located at the bottom of the page 😉 I hope you enjoy!

Title: The Glitch
Author: Ramona Finn
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Format: Audio
Narrator: Genevieve Kaplan
Description
(Source: Amazon):

The Glitch (The Glitches, #1)On the brink of extinction, being human means more than just surviving. 

In Lib’s world, it’s dangerous to deviate from the norm. In fact, for someone who doesn’t live up to the Artificial Intelligence’s standards, it’s practically a death sentence. Lib learns this the hard way when she wakes up in a barren wasteland, with her memories erased, and only one thought lodged in her mind:

“It’s all my fault.”

Lib is a Glitch—an imperfect human component of the utopian world called the Norm. Now she’s thrown out, Lib will be forced to team up with another Glitch, Raj, and the mysterious Rogue Wolf and his clan to survive. Wolf only cares about the survival of his group, but Raj thinks they can hack the A.I. and change the Norm for the better.

Now, Lib will have to decide which path to choose—whether to go with striking loner Raj or stay with Wolf and his tight-knit group. Her heart is drawn to both, but she’s carrying a deadly secret that could jeopardize them all. Will she be able to save her newfound family and stop the A.I. before it’s too late? “


Review of the story:

The Glitch starts off by immediately throwing readers into a whirlwind of action. Our female protagonist (Lib) wakes up in a desert and remembers nothing- and I mean, nothing. Not her name, age, what she looks like, or even basic words at first. Over the course of the book Lib starts to have fleeting memories about who she may have been and her “purpose”, but it’s not until the end where we start to get big answers. 

After Lib wakes up she notices another girl in trouble and instinctively saves her life. The girl (Skye)  brings Lib to a group of people surviving outside the “Norm” (where Lib learns she was cast out from). The group of people is called a Clan and is comprised of Glitches like Lib, and Rouges – people born outside the Norm. It take a little bit longer than I would have liked to get an explanation to what a Glitch actually is, and this starts to enter spoiler territory so I won’t go into it too much. I can say however, that Glitches are people who used to live inside the norm but were tossed out due to the AI who runs the norm deeming them as malfunctioned. 

As the story progresses we see Lib struggle to gain the trust of her newfound friends and start to uncover truths about the Norm, the AI, herself, and the world. There is a little romance, but it definitely doesn’t overpower the main story-line.

The Clan reminds me of the Grounders from the show The 100. The harsh language, the lack of technology, and the reliance on folk-like traditions showed similarities to that group. If you like that aspect of the show, I think you will love the world that Finn has built outside of the Norm. 

My only complaint about the book is the lack of character development. I am very much a plot driven type of reader, so the action in this book was appealing to me. I do think however, it could have been slowed down a little for more character development. This would have allowed for more emotional connection not just to the protagonist, but also to the supporting characters that die throughout the book. 

Review of the audio:

Genevieve Kaplan does an okay job at narrating the book. There were times where I felt like she rushed the words and I thought I was listening at 1.25x speed, but she would usually even herself back out within a few minutes.  Her character voices were distinctive and I never had a hard time trying to decipher who was speaking. 

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
– Overall, the book was pretty good and I would recommend it to anyone interested in dystopian sci-fi. I will continue the series to see what happens to the group. 
– If you have Kindle Unlimited, It’s included in the program! If not, I highly suggest you get it. I can’t tell you how many great books I have found through Unlimited. Click below to join!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ramona Finn. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.


 

The Glitch Audio Blog Tour Giveaway


May 7: Dab of Darkness

May 8: Chapter Break

May 9: Chanda Reads

May 10: The Book Addict’s Reviews

May 11: The Page Unbound

May 12: SMADA’s Book Smack

May 13: Haddie’s Haven

May 14: terriluvsbooks

May 15: The Cinnamon Hollow

May 16: Lomeraniel

ABW Promos3

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Format: Audio
Narrators: Will Patton
Description
(Source: Amazon):
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Book 1) by [Stiefvater, Maggie]

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”


Review:
There has been a lot of hype about this series, which is why I think I was reluctant to start them, and the synopsis didn’t really appeal to me either so I kept putting it off. I ended up getting the audio from my library because it was available and I’m on the wait list for a few other things.

From the very first chapter something about this book ensnared me.  I absolutely adored this book, but I still don’t even know how to put into into words why. The writing is beautiful, the story is interesting and surprising, and the characters are well developed and complex, but I’ve read plenty of books this year that share those same characteristics. This book had a little something extra that had me feeling addicted – just one more chapter. I’d take the long way home so I can just get a few more minutes. Yesterday while listening I even moved a restoration project up (one of my hobbies is restoring antique furniture) so I could work on it while listening to this book. It had that “it factor” that kept calling me back. I had just finished ACOWAR and had a bit of a book hangover from that, which makes me even more surprised at how much I loved The Raven Boys. 

I’m not going to give away anything from the plot because I think it’s better to go in not knowing what the book is really about and without getting any of the twists hinted at. 

Review of the audio:

At first, I though Will Patton kind of sounded like Donald Trump – which had me initially:

Within the first chapter though I thought maybe I was mistaken because I didn’t notice it anymore so I was surprised that my husband commented “that guy sounds just like Trump” when he walked into the room and I had the book on speaker. Don’t let it deter you though because it seriously vanished for me as he began getting into the story more.

His southern accents were great. I’ve found that some voice actors/narrators make southern accents sound like either stereotypical red-necks or uneducated. Patton did a great job at capturing that “old money” Virginian accent. And the whispering willow trees were creepy AF with him narrating, I kept getting goosebumps and looking over my shoulder every time they “spoke”.

Side note: I can’t be the only person who pictured this at first with the tree? 😂😂

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
– It has got great characters, a forward moving plot, and superb writing. I’ve already purchased the next book on audio.


Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Title: Flame in the Mist
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retellings
Format: eARC via First to Read
Description
(Source: Amazon):

Flame in the Mist by [Ahdieh, Renée]The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.


Review:
Flame in the Mist is a Mulan retelling of sorts. It has very Mulan-esque vibes, but is original in it’s own right. The story is engaging, thought provoking, and well written. I’ve never read a Mulan retelling, but it was always one of my favorite Disney films so I was excited to have the opportunity to get my hands on an ARC!

The checklist of things I love in a YA Fantasy that Flame in the Mist fulfilled:

  1. Kick-ass female protagonist ☑️ →Mariko is great. She is witty, intelligent, and funny. AND…..breaks the mold on YA fiction’s heroines (so pretty, but doesn’t know she is; clumsy and awkward, but can wield a sword like she’s been doing it ll her life; etc.)
  2. Lots of action☑️
  3. Plot twists☑️ →Two major ones. And the ending! 😲😲😲😲
  4. Great platonic friendships☑️→ Not only do we have friendships between males, but also a couple good ones between Mariko and other members of the Black Clan. 
  5. Romance☑️ →The romance is barely there, so if you don’t like romance in your books I still think you will enjoy it. 

The biggest reason I didn’t wouldn’t rate it a full 5/5 is because I found myself getting caught up a few times by all the descriptions. I connect more with plot-driven writing than character-driven, even when the descriptions and internal dialogue are beautifully done. 

 

Rating:

    – 4.5/5, but for the purposes of this rating system it’s been rounded up. 

Final Thoughts:
– This is a random and unexpected thought. I like how Mariko’s virginity was handled. It’s not really a major spoiler to anything significant in the plot, but spoiler alert if you don’t want to know. Mariko made the decision to have sex with a stable boy that she didn’t particularly know or have feelings for. She chose to do this because she wanted the loss of her virginity to be her own choice, not sold to the highest bidder. I liked the lack of slut-shaming and the fact that a big deal wasn’t made about it.

– Overall, I loved this book. I’m definitely going to be continuing with this series! – which is good because I’m getting this book in TWO of my book subscription boxes in May 😑


First Lines Friday (10)

First Lines Fridays is hosted by Wandering Words.

Here are the rules (as outlined by Wandering Words):

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book

Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love.”


Scroll down for more info about the book.


It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them – not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all – family money, good looks, devoted friends – but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the best-selling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.”


I’m actually listening to this on audio, and I love it so far! 

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Format: Audio
Narrators: Steven Crossley
Description
(Source: Amazon):

Kell is one of the last Antarimagicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in ArnesRed Londonand officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.”



Review:
Sigh. I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. Pretty much everyone I know told me how amazing this series was, but I hard a hard time with this one. I think there be a couple reasons for this: 1. The hype going in 2. the narration (I listened to the audio). The narrator did terrible female voices. Honestly, some of the worst I’ve ever heard. I listened to this on the heels of Illuminae, which is easily the very best audio book I’ve ever listened to, but still this was bad. His male voices were good, but maaaannnnn those female voices.

The story also moved a bit slow for me for about the first 50% of the book. There was a lot of world building and character development (the world Schwab creates was pretty amazing), but this made for a slow start.

With that being said, I did enjoy the book once I got past the halfway point. The two main protagonists are well developed and complex, and even the supporting characters are engaging.

 

Rating:

    

I rated it 4/5 stars because while it was slow moving for me, I can appreciate the incredible world building that was cause for it being a little slow to start. 

Final Thoughts:
– While it didn’t quite live up to the hype for me, I will continue the series. The second and third books have a different narrator so I would be willing to give those a shot again. 


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA
Format: Audio and Hardcover
Narrators: Olivia Taylor Dudley , Lincoln Hoppe , Johnathan McClain, full cast
Description
(Source: Amazon):

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 a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.
     But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
      Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.”


Review:
Wow. This book brought out my emotions more than any I have read in a while. One minute I was laughing at Kady’s sharp tongue, and the next I was crying at people’s last messages recorded and held in a ship’s black box (the box that is recovered after a plane, or in this case a spaceship, crashes). I’m not really much of a cryer while reading so the fact that this book made me cry three separate times speaks to how great this book was for me. 

Illuminae caught my attention right off the bat, as the very first page made me LOL.

…though profanity remains censored as per your instruction. Sure, the story kicks off with the deaths of thousands of people, but god forbid there be cussing in it, right?”

I wanted to point out that the book grabbed my attention right away because I am someone who usually requires 2-5 chapters to start getting connected with a book and the characters. 

I did something with this book that I have never done before: I got the audio from my library, but found that I started to get confused on the timeline of events so I bought a hard copy of the book to follow along with, and I loved it. The audio is amazing because there are 20, yes-TWENTY, voice actors! There are even sound effects as well! I think if you are only listening to the book you are missing out on an important aspect of the book though. The art and structure of the book is fantastic and entirely unique. I’ve already bought the second book (Gemina) in both audio and hard copy as well so I can follow along again. 

The format of the book being files and dossiers makes it seem like a mystery unfolding before your eyes. I kind of felt like a detective who was reading a case file. There is a huge plot twist in the book (that caught me 100% by surprise, and I am usually pretty good at guessing any twists) so I can’t really say much about the plot. I can tell you that it has lots of action, a little bit of romance, a crazy AI (AIDAN, why do I kind of ship him and Kady?!🙊🙊), a kick ass heroine, and lots of tear jerker moments. 

Read.This.Book.

Rating:

   

Final Thoughts:
– If you have the chance, listen to the audiobook while following along with the physical copy. It’s so much better that way, IMO.
– As soon as I’m done with my ARC TBRs in April I am going to reread this book. After some of the plot twists I want to go back and see if I can find any clues. 


Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Title: Defy the Stars
Author: Claudia Gray
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Format: eArc, provided by NetGalley
Description (Source: Amazon):

Defy the Stars by [Gray, Claudia]

She’s a soldier.

Noemi Vidal is seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything–including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine.

Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.”


Overall Assessment:
Defy the Stars is a great read that’s full of action, suspense, and love (both romantic and love of humanity).
The book’s opening line draws you in immediately:

In three weeks, Neomi Vidal will die–here, in this very place. Today is just practice. “

Right away we learn that Noemi is training on a (literal) suicide mission to help save her planet (Genesis) from an Earth 300 years in the future. Earth has depleted the resources available to it and has started to colonize other planets. Genesis attempted to break away from Earth about 30 years prior to the beginning of Defy the Stars, but Earth has recently redoubled it’s effort to reclaim their planetary salvation. The people of Genesis resist, because they know that Earth will ruin Genesis like they did their own planet. 

When a training exercise goes awry, Noemi ends up on an abandoned Earth ship from 30 years ago with a snarky advanced AI (Abel) who is bound to obey her by an unexpected oversight to his programming . Noemi finds that Abel may hold the secret to saving her planet, thus propelling them on an adventure through wormholes, other planets, and finally: Earth. 

It took me a couple chapters to get into it, but once the action starts it’s pretty much non-stop. I really enjoyed the book, save for the last little bit (read more about that below). 


Rating:
 

What I liked:
– Noemi was strong, independent, and skilled. She also knew when to forgo her pride and let someone else take over when needed. This is a big bonus for me in a character, as I find arrogant characters insufferable (*cough* Aelin Ashryver Galathynius *cough*).
– I loved being able to see into Abel’s mind. His revelations at his own transformation were really interesting to read. His growing sense of humor made me chuckle more than once. Abel was hands down my favorite character in this book. 

At some point Abel will have to analyze whether he has developed the capacity for passive aggression.”

^^I’m a queen of passive aggression, so this made me LOL.^^

– Okay, so this one is kind of silly, but I really liked having names in a YA sci-fi that I could actually pronounce. There were a couple names that were more unique, but nothing like some of the high fantasy or dystopian names you see. Adding the comic below, because “Wicker Basket” gets me every time. 😂😂😂

Related image

What I didn’t like:
– Okay, so I got ahead of myself and wrote out this section before I saw that this will be at least a duology….but I’m going to leave it to show how strongly I felt after finishing it, lol. In reality, there were no real cliffhangers (which I don’t mind, as long as I know they will eventually be resolved), but rather a lack of closure. 

The ending. I know a lot of people will really like it, but I hated it. Most of the book was great, but I realized at about 95% completion that there was not enough time to end it in a way I liked. The lack of closure ended on a sour note for me, but the rest of the book was really good. I still recommend it, but cautiously. If you don’t mind an ending where the story isn’t wrapped up all neat and pretty you should definitely read this book. I however, prefer the “wrapped up neat and pretty” kinds. 

–  lol see? strong feelings about it.
– The only other thing that somewhat brought the rating down was the use of a few predictable tropes, but these are found so often in YA and sci-fi that they can be easily looked past. 

Final Thoughts:
– Honestly, I probably would have rated it 3.5/5 stars if it was a standalone. I’m glad it’s not though so I happily give it 4/5 (maybe even closer to 4.5/5) stars. 


Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: Contemporary YA
Format: Paperback
Description (Source: Amazon):

Risk everything . . . for love.
What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken.

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.


I’ve Read many more books than you. It doesn’t matter how many you’ve read. I’ve read more. Believe me. I’ve had the time.”

Overall Assessment:
What a great first line! Definitely one of my favorite openers into a book. Everything, Everything is about Madeline, a girl who was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or SCID. It pretty much means she’s allergic to everything. The book starts right before Madeline’s 18th birthday. Because of her SCID she is forced to spend her days locked in her specialized house with only her mother and a nurse, Carla, for company. Madeline seems somewhat content in this existence until a new boy, Olly, moves in next door. Madeline’s world shifts in a quick and dramatic way as she gets to know Olly. 

I really enjoyed this book. It’s written in a unique way because the “chapters” are short, and the written entries are supplemented with Madeline’s diagrams, diary entries, pictures, emails, and doodles. The book moved fast and was easy to read. I connected with Madeline and Olly fairly quickly, and enjoyed watching their relationship blossom. 

  

Rating:

 

What I didn’t like:
– A little predictable. I kind of saw the twist coming, but it was still good.  

– The ending felt really rushed! I wish we could have had an epilogue or something to help wrap things up a little. I’m not a fan when a book has a huge reveal at the end and then rushes the conclusion. I would have liked more closure and more info on what happened to Madeline.
– I didn’t like how easily Carla seemed to disregard Madeline’s health. Once I figured out what the plot twist was I understood a little better, but still. 

Final Thoughts:
– Overall it’s a good book and I still recommend it. I’m excited to see the movie! Have you seen the trailer? I’m posting it at the bottom in case you haven’t.