Mini Reviews: October Catch Up Edition

I got so behind on reading and reviewing this month! I don’t know what happened, I just ran out of time! I like to provide my reviews at least a week within the release date and that didn’t happen this month. Anywayyy, here are some of the books I meant to review earlier this month!

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Title: Illuminae

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Publication Date: October 20, 2015

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

When Kady and Ezra’s planet is attacked, they find themselves traveling through space to find safety. During the invasion on their planet, one of their ships was damaged. The damage messed with the ship’s AI. To top it off, when their plant was attacked, a biological weapon was used and now there is a deadly virus going spreading.

This story is told through emails, IMs, video footage, beautiful graphics, journal entries, and more. I wasn’t sure how I was going to response to a story told in this manner, but I honestly loved it. The way this story is told provides the reader with such depth and beauty. It’s not a hard book to get into.

Kady and Ezra were fantastic. Their banter was a joy to read and I especially loved the interviews of Kady and Ezra. Oh, the sarcasm was brilliant. One of the most memorable characters was AIDEN, the AI. I never realized I could hate a character so much and then learn to love it. All the feels (and confliction).

When people say you have never read a book like this before, they aren’t joking! Pick this book up today!!

5 out of 5 stars


Meet The Authors

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Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, and Illuminae, the first in a new series starting in 2015. She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and her website.

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Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of The Lotus War trilogy, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy. Part 3, Endsinger, is out now. He’s also co-author of the upcoming Illuminae (with Amie Kaufman), a YA Sci-Fi… thing, to be released by Knopf/Random House in 2015, and Nevernight, the first part of a new fantasy trilogy kicking off in 2016.

Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13380 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

You can find him on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and his website.

23719469Title: An Inheritance of Ashes

Author: Leah Bobet

Publication Date: October 6, 2015

Publisher: Clarion Books

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The strange war down south—with its rumors of gods and monsters—is over. And while sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister wait to see who will return from the distant battlefield, they struggle to maintain their family farm.

When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks—and keeping desperate secrets. But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie’s own family are emerging. And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself.

An Inheritance of Ashes was quite an odd story. It’s a story about a young girl, Hallie, who is trying to save her farm. There are creatures called the “Twisted Things” that keep appearing on her farm. The Twisted Things are not of their world and can be quite dangerous. Hallie hires a veteran, Heron, to have an extra set of hands on the farm.

This was an extremely slow story. It took me about two weeks to finish it and that almost never happens. I kept finding myself pick up other books instead of finishing this one. I did finish though. An Inheritance of Ashes is unlike any story I have read before, which I did enjoy. I do love a fresh story. However, that was the only thing I enjoyed about this book. I didn’t click with any of the characters. Hallie and her sister, Marthe, fought constantly. While the romance between Hallie and Tyler was realistic, there was doubt and inconsistency from the two. I felt like the characters fell short.

There never felt like there was much of a climax. There wasn’t a single moment where I became so intrigued that I could not put the book down. It just didn’t happen for me. I’m not much of a fan for slower stories, but if I can connect and relate with the characters, it’s alright. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen here.

1.5 out of 5 stars


Meet The Author

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Leah Bobet drinks tea, wears feathers in her hair, and plants gardens in back alleys. She lives in Toronto, Ontario in a house full of artists who make lots of puns, but they also bake, so it’s okay.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

24605853Title: A Step Toward Falling

Author: Cammie McGovern

Publication Date: October 6, 2015

Publisher: Harperteen

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cammie McGovern follows up her breakout young adult debut, Say What You Will, with this powerful and unforgettable novel about learning from your mistakes, and learning to forgive. Told in alternating points of view, A Step Toward Falling is a poignant, hopeful, and altogether stunning work that will appeal to fans of Jennifer Nevin, Robyn Schneider, and Jandy Nelson.

Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing—until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.

Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they’re starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?

A Step Toward Falling is the story of three people, Emily, Lucas, and Belinda. When Belinda decides to go a football game on her own, something terrible happens to her. There were two witnesses, Emily and Lucas. Instead of trying to help, they walk away. Now Emily and Lucas have to attend a class where they can understand people with special needs. This story follows Emily and Lucas as they try to make up for the horrible mistake they made. We also follow Belinda as she attempts to deal with what happened to her.

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but I have no idea I would enjoy this book so much! I loved how Belinda was featured as one of the main characters. I have never read a book before that has a main character with learning disabilities. I also learned a great deal about different disabilities.

I adored the main characters. Emily and Lucas, while they made a terrible mistake, they are truly remorseful for what they did. They are trying their hardest to educated themselves and find something to make Belinda feel special. I loved Belinda! She was the sweetest, most kind-hearted character I have had the pleasure of reading!

This is an eye-opening book that every single person should read. While the content is heavy, it’s real. However, this book has the sweetest ending and I will recommend it to everyone I meet!

4 out of 5 stars


Meet The Author

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Cammie McGovern is the author of the much-acclaimed YA novel Say What You Will, published in 2014. A Step Toward Falling, another YA novel featuring characters with disabilities, is coming out in October, 2015. Just My Luck, for middle-grade readers, is coming out in February 2016. She has also written three adult novels, The Art of Seeing, Eye Contact, and Neighborhood Watch and is one of the proud founder of Whole Children/Milestones, a resource center for children and young adults with disabilities and their families. She lives in Amherst, MA, with her husband and three sons, the oldest of whom is autistic.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

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2 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: October Catch Up Edition

  1. How much does the Inheritance of Ashes look like a spin on the Six of Crows cover!!? And then both authors initials are L.B! I’m so looking forward to getting my copy of Illuminae! Everyone seems to love it and I’m so keen to see why. I really like Cammie McGover’s Say What You Will (except for the ending) so I’ve been thinking about definitely checking out A Step in Towards Falling especially since you said it surprised you how much you liked it!

    Like

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