Alive – Scott Sigler Review

  Oh my goodness, where do I even start this one? As asked by the author, this review will be spoiler free although I wish I could delve right into it.
I have never read anything by Scott Sigler before and I haven’t read a sci-fi in a very long time, but after reading this book, I definitely want to read more of his work and more science fiction in general.

This story starts off with a girl who wakes up in a coffin with no recollection of who or where she is and why she’s there. She escapes her coffin to discover that there are more people like her and that none of them remember anything about themselves except that it is their birthday. 

As the story unfolds, our main characters find themselves in some scary situations where sometimes, the enemy is yourself. 

Sigler’s writing is very easy to follow and hooks you in from the first sentence. Since the book is in first person, it is very important that the protagonist is likable. While in the beginning of the novel, M. Savage’s mind is a bit like a broken puzzle, she adapts to her environment very quickly and fully matures by the end. I liked the hint and idea of romance but it’s never the forefront of the plot. I like the unique characteristics that each character brings to the story and I really like that I could clearly picture the settings in my head. 

M. Savage is very relatable as a person but I really enjoy her interactions with Bishop. They have plenty in common but also have a lot of differences that I think compliments each other.

The book was very fast paced, with something important happening in every chapter. I found myself catching my breath and becoming nervous for these characters as I turned each page anticipating the end. 

If I had to compare it to something, personally I found it had a ‘The Lord of the Flies’ type feeling typically towards the middle. Although I did not enjoy that book nearly as much as this one. This is definitely one of the best reads of 2015 for me and I think everyone should give this a try! 

DO NOT READ ANY SPOILERS IF YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK! Trust me, this is a book you do not want to be spoiled for, you can thank me later. I recommend this for anyone who wants to read science fiction but doesn’t know where to start. 

5/5 stars

Sincerely,

B

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Deceptive – Emily Lloyd-Jones Review

Deceptive is the second book in the Illusive series by Lloyd-Jones and it was fantastic! 

This series takes place about 30 years into the future where a cure was created to aid victims of a severe meningitis epidemic. However, o.ooo3 percent of the victims that took the vaccine have gained one of these abilities: precognition, body manipulation, perfect recall, levitation, telepathy, induce illusions and mind control (in order from most to least common). The story follows an illusionist teenage girl named Ciere. Along with her best friend she finds herself in some sticky situations running away from the Feds and criminals alike. 

Now, in the sequel, it begins four months after the end of Illusive with Ciere and Alan training with Guntram and the Gyr Sundicate. After Alan is accused of murder by Guntram, Ciere travels to Washington D.C. To clear his name and find the real killer. She crosses paths with Daniel; who is working with the FBI as instructed by Aristeus, and Devon; the best friend she left behind who finds himself also working for Aristeus. Although they each have different motives, they work together to find the criminal; Maya Cooper. 

I absolutely loved this book! It was a lot better than the first one which I would rate a 3.5/5 stars. Deceptive was full of action and suspense; I never wanted to put it down! Ciere is a bit more mature in this book, probably due to her life changing experiences. I really appreciate that even though Ciere is technically the only main female character, the author does not give her a long triangle. The romance is very brief and mostly happens at the end. I’m really happy that Lloyd-Jones left Devon and Ciere’s relationship as best friends and not some kind of romantic thing. I also really like that Ciere and Daniel approach each other like brother and sister. It’s really refreshing. 

(Spoilers) I was surprised Aron Macourek ended up being Aristeus. I can’t believe I didn’t see that coming! It was shocking. I am upset about how Devon reacted to Ciere protecting herself and Alan at the end of the book. Devon knows Ciere better than anyone and his view of her completely changed after that.. I don’t think that was fair. I was also suppressed to find out that Gervais was a levitas! (End spoilers)

All in all, Each chapter was filled with action, seriously there was not a dull moment. In the first novel, it is compared to X-Men and where I can see how that connection is made, this series stands all on its own. 

Definitely worth reading! 

4/5 stars 

Sincerely,

B

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S I Still Love You – Jenny Han Review

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It’s summertime bookies, you know the season the one that entails sunshine, beaches, virgin cocktails and fictional contemporary boyfriends who wreak havoc. This week’s contemporary of choice is not only a cutesy read but the kind that inevitably leaves you feeling “meh.” That’s right folks, I did not like a summery Jenny Han contemporary.
This story follows a sixteen year old Lara Jean, the middle sister of three “Song Girls” who encompass Margot, Katherine (Kitty) and their doctoral father in middle suburbia. Our main protagonist is delving into the semester of her junior year, without a clue, and clear as day a Mary Sue from her goody two shoes to the top of her pristine head. Now, without my dislike for this series I’d like to refer to the fact that it does follow a certain series of love triangles and love letters that at the end lack the certain something that I thought Jenny Han would bring. Lara Jean,  who has never had a boyfriend but has fallen in love several times, loses her precious and very secretive hatbox that inside holds love letters to these fellows of her past. With that loss, comes the mystery of who, what, where, when, why and how?
Throughout the book, these fellows are sent these love letters of the past and leave Lara Jean in a pitiful mess. The worst of it all? She ends up playing pretend girlfriend with her second last lover, Peter K. who has indubitably changed over the course of the years she had known him. Yes yes its all good and dandy, she now has the hottest boy in school as her pretend boyfriend who indulge in pretend PDA and pretend gossip as they venture through their first semester of junior year together.  Drama soon follows and hearts are broken, tears are shed and I was left pondering if I would ever get past page 54.
Without the spoiler factor, I’d like to highlight the love triangles that ensue throughout this duology. Lara Jean and Josh, her sister’s ex boyfriend and the boy of her dreams, (yes girl code is broken, all is lost, SOS.) Lara Jean and Peter K. (I don’t know why the K is so important, don’t ask me.) Lara Jean and John Ambrose Clarton? (The longest name in human history.) I’d call that some sort of love rectangle minus the very present gay Lucas whom all in all I think is my favourite character in this entire novel. OOH SPOILER ALERT!!!!
All in all, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is the first novel in the duology and has per its rank, it did not succeed more than a 2.5/3 out of 5 stars for me. Mostly? It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy this contemporary, I more so disliked the main protagonist, Lara Jean and her childish outlook on life. I didn’t fall in love with the boys that she so desperately did and I did not see why they had so much importance when she didn’t understand her own emotions to begin with. I did however, really enjoy the family aspect to the story and I admired the secondary characters and how their story developed as well. P.S I Still Love You completed the mild cliff hanger in the first novel, yet didn’t come to terms at all with what I expected this duology would end. I was left confused and wanting to know more about the secondary characters. Like, How did it go in Scotland with Margot? Did she ever get over Josh? Did Josh ever become part of the Song family again? Or was he just another neighbour across the way? What about Kitty? Chris? Genevieve? Did John just disappear into the night like some sort of clad up soldier in battle? Did her father end up dating Mrs. Rothstein? So many unanswered questions and all I received was a somewhat heartfelt ending regarding Lara Jean forgiving the boy who did in fact screw up several times without folly.
And that’s all I have to say about that. 
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before     2.5/3 stars
P.S I Still Love You                             2.5 stars
Sincerely,
C

The Coldest Girl In Coldtown – Holly Black

Okay, so let me just start off by saying that this is the first non-contemporary book that I have read in a while! I mean before I read this, I probably read 5 contemporary books in a row plus a graphic novel so I was away from the paranormal world for a while, but I actually loved this book!

The coldest girl in Coldtown is about a world where vampires are very real and the humans know about the vampire community. Places with mass breakouts of vampirism have been quarantined for many years (cold towns). Even the humans within these quarantined walls cannot leave. From that, we follow a girl named Tana Bach who goes to a sundown party with a bunch of kids from school and her ass-ish of an ex-boyfriend. When she wakes up the next day, everyone is dead except her, her ex-boyfriend (who is in transition to becoming a vampire) and some vampire boy. After a bunch of badassery, they escape the house full of vampires and go to Coldtown, only to be thrown into a shit loads of problems. From betrayal to murder to a celebrity vampire. 

I haven’t read anything from Holly Black in a very long time but I was pleasantly surprised with this book. The writing style is very easy to follow and Tana was very mature so it was quite simple to be on track with her. Due to my extensive and ever growing TBR, I love that this is a stand alone. Black does a good job at balancing the relationships along with the action. I especially liked that a lot of different types of relationships were expressed from gay, straight, bi, and transgender. It was refreshing to see that in a paranormal setting in YA. 

I did not have any problem with Tana. I thought she was brave and head strong but still very relatable and human. I liked Aiden’s complex personality and Gavriel’s poetic melodrama. 

The ending was a bit too bittersweet for me but overall I really enjoyed it. I recommend this to anyone who loves vampires or someone who wants to read something by Holly Black.

4/5 stars.

Sincerely,

B