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Book Reviews

The Truth – Book Review

The Truth - Book Review

Plot:

When Chris wakes up in a dark basement tied to a chair, he knows that he’s trapped-and why. Eight nights ago a burglar broke into Chris’s home. Eight nights ago Chris did what he had to to protect his family. And eight nights ago a thirteen-year-old runaway bled to death on his kitchen floor.

Now Derek wants the truth about what really happened that night. He wants proof that his little brother didn’t deserve to die. For every lie Chris tells, he will lose a finger. But telling the truth is far more dangerous…

Review:

The truth will set you free. For the Chris, that couldn’t be more true. Chris is faced with telling the truth about what happened the night that he faced an intruder in his house, or he and the ones he loves will suffer the consequences of his lies.

This book was a very quick read for me, which was appreciated, but I think it hurt the pacing of the book. Chris is supposed to be trapped, with no way to tell how much time has passed since he was taken hostage. However, because the book read so fast for me, the amount of time that seemed to have passed in the story didn’t seem very long at all.

This book has a great idea, and it was fairly well executed. It has a few hiccups (like the pacing) but other than that, I really enjoyed it. It goes to show that keeping secrets and lying is definitely not the best option.

The Truth came out this week. You can purchase it by clicking on the book’s cover image above.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Book Reviews

This Song Is (Not) For You – Book Review

This Song Is (Not) For You - Book Review

Plot:

Ramona and Sam are best friends. She fell for him the moment they met, but their friendship is just too important for her to mess up. Sam loves Ramona, but he would never expect her to feel the same way-she’s too quirky and cool for someone like him. Together, they have a band, and put all of their feelings for each other into music.

Then Ramona and Sam meet Tom. He’s their band’s missing piece, and before Ramona knows it, she’s falling for him. But she hasn’t fallen out of love with Sam either. How can she be true to her feelings without breaking up the band?

Review:

I read through this book very quickly. The story was so darn cute, and mostly relatable, if not necessarily in the most direct sense.

Sam and Ramona are best friends. They are in a band together. They are even auditioning to go to the same music college. They just make sense together. The thing is, Ramona has a crush on Sam. Little does she know, Sam has a crush on her too. But they are both too afraid to ruin their friendship to say something to one another.

Then they meet Tom, who is the perfect addition to their band. He complements their sound perfectly. Ramona soon develops a crush on Tom too.

This book does not have your typical love triangle. It is unconventional and different, and like nothing I have ever read before, which is saying something because I have read many a book with a love triangle. While this book was way different than any of those, it was still intriguing, even though Ramona’s choice is something I could never make myself.

These characters struggle with what to do after graduating high school which makes them feel so very real. I remember being in high school and constantly wondering what would come my way after graduation. For some it is an easy decision, but for others the choice of what to do isn’t always so simple and straightforward. And this book got that absolutely perfect.

I give this book 4/5 stars. You can order it by clicking the book’s cover image above.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Book Reviews

This Is Where It Ends – Book Review

This Is Where It Ends - Book Review

Plot:

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival

Review:

With the mass shootings that seem to be constantly in the news these days, this book is shockingly relevant. Overall, I enjoyed the book, though I feel as though it could have done a much better job at showing the reader what really drove the shooter to commit mass murder.

As far as the multiple points of view, I thought that they were very well written and it was easy to distinguish from one point of view to the next. It didn’t feel like the book was lacking a steady source of narration, which can sometimes happen when there are multiple POVs.

The biggest problem that I have with this book is that it doesn’t really make me feel anything for the characters. Yes, they are going through something tragic and horrific, which is very sad, but beyond that I feel no connection with any of the characters that I feel is kind of necessary.

I think that this book could have done a better job at portraying a school shooting and the events that can drive someone to commit such a crime. I didn’t dislike the book, but I am definitely not in love with it either.

I give This Is Where It Ends 4/5 stars. It comes out tomorrow, January 5, 2016. You can order it by clicking on the book’s cover image above.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Book Reviews

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between – Book Review

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between - Book Review

Plot:

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they’ll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Review:

So one of Jennifer E. Smith’s books, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, has been on my to-be-read list for what seems like an eternity. So when I happened upon a review copy of this book, I figured I would give it a shot and then if I liked it I would force myself to go out and get Love. Well, I guess I’m going to have to go to the bookstore soon, because I really liked the style of writing in this book, so I can only imagine that it’ll be the same way in her other books as well.

The main characters of this book, Clare and Aidan, are both leaving for college in less than a day when the book first starts. This might not be so out of the normal, except these two have been dating for two years, and are now at a crossroads in their relationship: do they try to make a long distance relationship work while they each go off to separate coasts for school, or do they just break up and call it a day?

Clare plans a scavenger hunt of sorts for Aidan, where they go from one place to the next, all of the places holding important memories from their relationship. These places range from their high school, to their friends’ houses, the local bowling alley, and the beach. As the night goes on, Clare and Aidan get closer to having to make a decision about the fate of their relationship.

I really liked the way that this story progressed, and the flow of the writing. It made this a very quick read for me, which is something that I always like. When it takes me too long to make my way through a book, it frustrates me.

I give this book 4/5 stars. You can purchase the book by clicking on the book’s cover image above.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Categories
Book Reviews

The Scorpion Rules – Book Review

The Scorpion Rules - Book Review

Plot:

In the future, the UN has brought back an ancient way to keep the peace. The children of world leaders are held hostage—if a war begins, they pay with their lives.

Greta is the Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy, a superpower formed of modern-day Canada. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. The hostages are Talis’s strategy to keep the peace: if her country enters a war, Greta dies.

The system has worked for centuries. Parents don’t want to see their children murdered.

Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He’s a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives—and is severely punished for it. Greta is furious that Elian has disrupted their quiet, structured world. But slowly, his rebellion opens her eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. And Greta discovers her own quiet power.

Then Elian’s country declares war on Greta’s and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to mete out punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed…unless Greta can think of a way to save them.

Review:

I feel like this book had the potential to be fantastically written, but in the execution it fell a bit short of the expectations that I had for it,

The book has a really interesting premise: in order to keep the peace between nations and thwart wars, the UN takes a child hostage from the leader of every country. If a country does end up declaring war on another, their child (or grandchild, etc.) is killed. It is thought that this will deter countries from ever starting wars. And for the most part it works.

But then there are those who believe that the needs of their country are greater than the value of the life of their hostage, and declare war anyway. This never ends up working out for the country, and their hostage is killed, but hopefully the country at least got something out of their declaration of war. If not, it was all for nothing.

While this had the promise of being a good bit of plot, the characters and the ways their stories unfolded did nothing for me. I felt lost throughout a lot of the story and was constantly having to pay close attention to detail so as to not get too confused.

Overall, the book was okay. Nothing too special, but it did entertain me, which I suppose is the main purpose after all. I give the book 3.5/5 stars.

You can purchase The Scorpion Rules by clicking the image of the book above.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Categories
Book Reviews

The Body Institute – Book Review

The Body Institute - Book Review

Plot:

Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body-leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti-Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…

Review:

From the second I got the email about the opportunity to review this book, I knew I had to read it. The description just hooked me and this book didn’t disappoint me in the slightest.

For Morgan, working out is something that she enjoys doing. In society, people are rewarded for being in “good shape”, and they are penalized and fined for being overweight. This is supposed to encourage people to stay in shape so as to relieve stress on the health care system.

From this emerges the Body Institute, where people who are struggling with their weight can go to have someone else’s consciousness implanted into their body to lose the weight, and then after the weight loss is complete, the original person’s consciousness is then restored into the body. Seems like the perfect way to lose weight for all of the lazy people who can afford to do so.

For most people, the idea of the Body Institute is something that just is—it’s not too outlandish to imagine that it is necessary. Some people are concerned by the technology that the system uses, especially those of older generations who aren’t too tech-savvy. But there are a group of protestors who will do anything to see the Body Institute taken down.

Throughout the progression of this book, we see Morgan go from being completely trusting of the technology used to perform the transfers, to a little skeptical, and then questioning everything about the program. Turns out that the program isn’t exactly what she thought it was, and she makes it her personal mission to let everyone know what’s really going on.

The way this society is so obsessed with weight and image is only a slight exaggeration of what our current society looks like. Is it really so hard to imagine that people are so obsessed with weight loss and looking thin that the government would step in and do something to aid the obsession? Not really.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Categories
Book Reviews

The Corridor – Book Review

The Corridor - Book Review

Plot:

Stel Alaster has never known life without the Corridor. It appeared suddenly seventeen years ago, the only portal to a parallel version of our world—Second Earth. Everyone on First Earth fears Mods, the genetically modified Second Earthers who built the Corridor. They are too smart, too strong, and have powers that can’t be controlled. Any Mod found on First Earth is branded, then detained in the Corridor’s research labs.

Only Stel has a dangerous secret. She has a power, too: She can open a portal to Second Earth . . . and several other parallel universes she’s discovered. If anyone ever finds out, she’ll be imprisoned, no better than a Mod or common lab rat.

But when the Corridor starts to fail, emitting erratic bursts of energy that could destroy First Earth, Stel must risk everything to save the people and world she loves. With the help of an escaped Mod and an infuriatingly arrogant boy from a third universe, Stel sets out to unravel the mysteries of the Corridor and stabilize it before it’s too late. The fate of every world lies in the balance. . . .

Review:

Imagine a world in which there is not only one Earth, but many Earths, with the possibility of traveling between each of the Earths and finding the same planet with different people, different technology, different ways of life. This is the world of The Corridor.

A group of people from the Second Earth open up a portal to First Earth, but this has unexpected consequences when it causes chaos and destruction on Second Earth, killing many of its inhabitants. Seventeen years later, an unexpected energy pulse occurs at the portal, leaving Stel with a mysterious power that allows her to open up portals to the other Earths.

On her journeys between Earths, Stel meets two brothers, Flinn and Cohl, who both help her in their own ways. While with the brothers, Stel finds information that could help her father put an end to the Corridor between First and Second Earth once and for all, but there are plenty of people who stand in his way.

Stel is a very strong character, which is why I took such a liking to her. While she is still relatively young, she is independent and does things that are difficult, simply because they are the right thing to do. She is also a caring loving person who wants to look out for the best interests of those who are dear to her, even if it means she can’t always see things as they are.

This book was a pretty quick read for me, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Even though the idea of portals between worlds is not a new one, the way that the story was portrayed made it feel very new and unique. Overall I would give the book 4/5 stars.

The Corridor goes on sale tomorrow, June 23. You can order it by clicking the book’s cover image above.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Categories
Book Reviews

The Decaying Empire – Book Review

The Decaying Empire - Book Review

Plot:

When eighteen-year-old teleporter Ember Pierce wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, she remembers only the basics: she’s been trained by the government as a spy, she’s sent on dangerous missions, and her last assignment—the one that landed her in the hospital—was a setup.

Caden Hawthorne has spent the past ten months of his life grieving Ember’s death. So when she shows up in his room like an apparition, he can’t believe his eyes. But this Ember is different. Her hair is longer, her skin is paler, her gaze is haunted. She tells him what he’s already begun to suspect: someone he trusted betrayed her.

Now, uncertain who is friend and who is foe, Ember and Caden face the toughest mission of their lives—to stay together and survive, as they run from danger toward an unknown future.

Review:

The Decaying Empire is the sequel to The Vanishing Girl (you can read my review of that here), and it was everything that I was hoping it would be after I loved the first book so much.

After being set up and seriously injured at the end of the first book, Ember Pierce thought she was a dead woman. Teleporters can’t just poof back to their original location unharmed after being injured on a mission—teleporting with a bad wound usually leads to a teleporter being spliced, or torn apart, while trying to get back. Most can’t survive being spliced, but amazingly Ember does. When she wakes up 10 months after her accident, she is keen on seeking revenge against the program that has taken her life and decided to put it in danger.

Ember, along with her pair Caden, wants to escape the facility that has them “imprisoned”, and along with the help of some outsiders, expose the program that has taken their lives and put them in death’s way on a daily basis. But once the program gets wind of this, they ship Ember and Caden off to their other facility—where they send teleporter couples that want to start a family.

The duo decide to go through with their plans to escape and expose the program, but not without many complications along the way, which tests the strength of their relationship.

This book is written in a way that flows well and at a fast pace, which really allowed me to speed through it as I was reading. I love reading books that don’t feel like a chore to get through, and The Decaying Empire definitely qualifies.

Overall, I give this book 5/5 stars.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Categories
Book Reviews

Soulprint – Book Review

Soulprint - Book Review

Plot:

Seventeen-year-old Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned on a secluded island—not for a crime she committed in this lifetime, but one done by her past self. Her very soul is like a fingerprint, carried from one life to the next—and Alina is sick of being guilty.

Aided by three teens with their own ulterior motives, Alina manages to escape. Although she’s not sure she can trust any of them, she soon finds herself drawn to Cameron, the most enigmatic and alluring of the trio. But when she uncovers clues from her past life, secrets begin to unravel and Alina must figure out whether she’s more than the soul she inherited, or if she’s fated to repeat history.

Review:

This book was unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and I absolutely loved it. Poor, poor Alina Chase has lived her entire life being punished, or as most people like to put it, “protected”, for a crime that she committed in a past life.

In the world of Soulprint, science has discovered a way to keep track of souls and who has “owned” a soul, giving people a way to know who they were in past lives. But for Alina, this comes with unfortunate consequences, as she has the soul of June Calahan, a girl who figured out how to hack into the soul database and started releasing the names of people who had been criminals in their past lives. According to a scientific study, souls who have committed crime before are likely to continue committing crimes in future lives as well, so June feels as though she is doing a service to the people.

A group of three people break Alina out of her confinement with the hopes that Alina will be able to lead them to a copy of the soul database that it is believed June made. Along the way there are many things that get in the way of the mission and peoples’ intentions and motives are made clear as Alina begins to realize who she can really trust.

I thought that the story flowed with a great pace and didn’t feel too rushed or drawn out. I made my way through the book fairly fast, though that might just be because I liked it so much I didn’t want to put it down. I’m definitely going to be checking out some of Megan Miranda’s other books because if they’re half as good as Soulprint I am sure I will enjoy them.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Categories
Book Reviews

The Vanishing Girl – Book Review

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Plot:

Each night after Ember Pierce falls asleep, she disappears. She can teleport anywhere in the world: London, Paris, her crush’s bedroom, or wherever her dreams lead her. Ten minutes is all she gets, and once time’s up, she returns to her bed. It’s a secret she’s successfully kept for the last five years. But now someone knows.

A week after her eighteenth birthday, when frustratingly handsome Caden Hawthorne kidnaps her, delivers her to the government, and then disappears before her eyes, Ember realizes two things: One, she is not alone. And two, people like her—teleporters—are being used as weapons.

Forced into a quasi-military training camp for teleporters, Ember discovers she has been paired—perhaps for life—with Caden, the boy who got her into this mess in the first place. Now, she has to work with him on a series of teleporting missions, each one riskier than the last. But Caden just might hold the key to Ember’s escape plan, if she can survive her missions without losing her heart…or her life.

Review:

The Vanishing Girl is the book I never knew I needed in my life until now. Immediately when I started reading it, I felt like Ember was a character that I could relate to. She’s a strong leading character who has no problem questioning what she’s told to do if she doesn’t believe that it’s right.

Ember can teleport in her sleep, but only for 10 minutes before she returns back to her bed. She believed that she was all alone until she is taken by the government. Her parents, who struggled to conceive, were a part off a government fertility program, where the government secretly altered the children’s genes, thus allowing Ember and others like her to teleport.

Then there’s Caden, Ember’s pair. He is the type of guy who’s hot and he knows it, yet Ember still falls for him. He helps teach Ember things she will need to survive like sparring and weapons skills.

This book has a story unlike anything else I’ve read. I really enjoyed reading it and can’t wait to see where the next installment takes Ember and Caden.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.