Review: Renegades

Renegades (Renegades, #1)

 

Who hasn’t been excited for this book?! The thought of a story about superheros… good vs evil, who will win? I was hesitant to start this after the bomb that was Heartless (don’t get me started) but because my love for The Lunar Chronicles is so strong, I was willing to give this another try. I was not disappointed.

Short recap: Nova was born into a time where superheroes are everywhere – people born with extraordinary powers, they are known as Renegades. They are supposed to protect everyone. But when they don’t protect Nova’s family from being murdered, Nova vows revenge. She grows up to be a secret member of the Anarchists (the bad guys). She vows to bring an end to the Renegades and seek revenge for the loss of her family.

Holy crow I loved this story more than I should admit. I was absolutely fascinated with everything! The thing that stood out the most was the powers everyone had. I really did expect the normal powers… you know, invisibility, telekinesis, fire, water, blah, blah, blah. But oh no – Meyer put some thought into these characters! It made me wish I was more creative and could have thought of a good superhero for the contest she had recently. (Between you and me, I did create my own character while listening to the audio of this book. Her name is Wink and while she may not be the most creative, she made me feel like I had some sort of creativity… If you want me to go into more detail about her, let me know!) To get an idea of some of the powers these characters had: one could move through mirrors, one controlled bees/wasps/hornets/insects like that, one would know your deepest & darkest fears, one could switch between human skin and rock. Those are just a FEW of the powers. How cool was that?! I won’t give them all away – you’ll have to read to find out what else is mentioned.

Now onto the main characters: Nova and Adrian. I loved Nova so much. I felt her pain from the moment her backstory was given. She had so much passion and determination that she lept off of the pages. She was brilliant, clever, witty, and still growing. I also loved her character arc. She grew so so much as the book progressed that I kept wondering what she would do. See, since her true identity was always hidden, she chose to go undercover and try out for the Renegades. Of course, she made it and played a double agent type role. But the more she learned about the Renegades organization and the actual Renegades, her hardness slowly started to soften. Were they all really as bad as she thought they were? Then there is Adrian, the post boy for the Renegades, also known as Sketch. He is the son of one of the founding members of the Renegades that died a mysterious death. He was adopted by two dads (!!!! Insert my excitement for two dads!) – two more found members of the Renegades. That means he has some very big shoes to fill. Adrian tries every day to make his mom and dads proud. Unbeknownst to anyone, he has some secrets that come out over the course of the story. Again, I’m not giving anything away. You have to get a copy of the book to find out!

There is some romance in this story, as with any Meyer story, but I don’t feel it overpowered the actual plot. It was a slow burn between Adrian and Nova. It did not give me super gushy feels but it made me curious what would happen to them in the next book.

The overall plot was brilliant. I already mentioned it above – Nova (who has the power to make anyone go to sleep and is known as the super mysterious Nightmare) wants to seek revenge on the Renegades for not protecting her family like they promised they would. She will not rest until the organization is destroyed. But she discovers there is so much more going on behind the scenes that she just does not realize. Needless to say, things are not always what they seem.

I cannot say enough good things about the first book in a new series by Meyer. I could not get enough of this story. When I wasn’t listening to it, I was thinking about listening and finishing the story (it was a long audio, btw). But then when it was over, I was sad because I have to wait so long for the next book.  I will say that book 2 was set up perfectly and I cannot wait to see where this series goes.

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Review: This Shattered World (Starbound #2)

This Shattered World (Starbound, #2)

 

Hot on the heels of These Broken Stars, I borrowed This Shattered World from my library. I had read this series a couple of years ago but I’ll be honest, I had forgotten a lot of the details. It was nice to go back and reread the story. Everything made more sense and that made me excited.

Short recap: Jubilee (Lee) Carter is as tough as they come. She doesn’t put up with flack from anyone, especially not the cute boy, Flynn. Flynn wasn’t quite ready for what he was getting himself into when he kidnapped Jubilee. These two have far more in common than they realized and together they set out to uncover the secrets to what is really going on with their planet and how LaRoux Industries is involved.

The very first thing that broke my heart about this story was how it was not about Lilac and Tarver. *le sigh* But rest assured they do make an appearance in the story and when they show up, things get even better. The way all of the character’s stories meld together was nothing short of brilliant. I barely remember book 3, Their Fractured Light, but I do remember it bringing all three couples together for one overall story. Bloody brilliant.

Speaking of characters, I really liked Jubilee and Flynn. The romantic tension between them was very well written. I really wanted to just push them together so they would kiss already! I know Spooner and Kaufman know how to write suspenseful romance but c’mon! It was killing me. Jubilee was a well written badass tough chick that won’t put up with anything. She’s the captain of a special forces group on the planet Avon. She is feared and deeply respected by everyone on the base, everyone just knows her. She did not have the sweetest childhood growing up so she had learned to be hard. Flynn Cormac hasn’t had an easy life either. He is the younger brother of Avon’s infamous rebel and with that title comes high expectations. He went into hiding after she was murdered for her actions but that didn’t stop him from joining the rebels anyways. It was either run away or be shipped off planet to be shuffled through the orphan system. Easy choice for Flynn. Both of these characters have internal struggles about what is happening – Jubilee wants to help Flynn and Flynn wants Jubilee’s help. They both want to find out what is happening to Avon. It just works all the way around.

The planet setting of Avon was rich and vivid. I felt like I was actually there, it was amazing. The way it was described was a swamp-like planet with constant overcast skies. It made me think of a never-ending foggy day. The people of Avon never saw the sun or the moon and as a result, nothing ever grew on this planet. It never “terraformed” the way it should have. Would you be able to live on a planet that was under a constant sky? I’m not sure I would but everyone on the planet continued to survive but at a severe cost.

I think what I enjoyed most about this story is how it linked back to These Shattered Stars in so many ways. Spooner and Kaufman kept the storyline going and it was very well executed. The Whispers in TSS made an appearance in TSW but Jubilee knew them as a different name – The Ghosts. Regardless, a rose by any other name and all that jazz… The overall story was complicated, complex, and it was masterfully done. It showed that there was something bigger and more sinister working throughout the entire galaxy, not just in Tarver and Lilac’s world. LaRoux Industries is up to something big. I cannot wait to finish the series with Their Fractured Light. No doubt that it will blow these other books out of the water.

 

 

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Review: Daughter of the Burning City

Daughter of the Burning City

 

What a fabulous debut! I really did enjoy this one and cannot wait to read what this author publishes next.

Short recap: Sorina is a sixteen year old girl that has spent nearly her entire life within the Gomorrah Festival. She has a very unusual gift – she is an illusion worker. She has the ability to create very, very realistic illusions that people can see and touch.  Things change when her creations, her family, are being murdered. Who would do such a thing and why?

Nearly everything about this book had a hold of me: the characters, the setting, the story. Well… that’s everything, isn’t it? Ha! This felt like the total package. First, the story: a girl that can create illusions that are so real they take on a personality of their own? Count me in! The really wild part… Sorina has no eyes. She always wears a mask but she can still see as well as anyone else. Sorina’s character was such a great protagonist. She was level headed, down to earth, and oh so smart. She wants nothing more than to find out who was killing her creations and I don’t blame her. She was sharp enough to put simple clues together to get to the bottom of what was going on. Not only is she a carnival worker, she is also a teenage girl – don’t forget that. She wants to find romance. She is faulted, brave, fearless, and brilliant. I really liked her character. Her love interest in the oh so mysterious Luca. He is so awesome that I am struggling to find the right words to describe him. He is smooth as silk and yet has that brooding dark past that makes him mysterious. Double whammy right there. Brace yourself when he comes into the picture but you will find yourself quickly falling for him. You’ve been warned.

The setting of this story held my attention like few books do. It is set in a carnival but this isn’t a happy happy carnival with those psycho clowns that eat souls (that’s the only clown I know so don’t @ me with how great they are… they are evil!), this is a dark carnival. People travel to spend their hard earned money on a distraction and that is what they get. And when I say “distraction”, insert your own definition of that word here because it means something different to everyone.

The plot itself was full twists, turns, and red herrings. I was invested in Sorina’s quest to find out the truth. I didn’t see that ending coming, whoa! As with any good story, she uncovered far more than she expected and now her world is flipped upside down. I will not go into detail as I feel I’ve already given too much of the story away. I really want everyone to read this!

If this isn’t already on your TBR, add it now. The writing is very well done, the plot is thought out, as are the characters, and the romance adds just the right touch to make this story complete. I cannot stop recommending this to everyone.

 

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Review: This Is Not The End

This Is Not the End

 

This book caught me off guard. I was not ready for it to be as captivating as it was. I borrowed it from my library because it was a “new release” and was surprised not more people are talking about it. Once I started, I was pushing it on everyone.

Short recap: Lake is coming up on her 18th birthday, which should be a joyous occasion but she lives in a time when turning 18 means you can bring someone back from the dead. She has the chance to bring back anyone she wants. The plan has been to bring back her older brother who has been a quadriplegic for years (the family plan has been to end his life before her birthday so he can be brought back healthy and whole). But everything changes when Lake gets into an accident that takes the lives of her best friend and boyfriend. With her 18th birthday just weeks away, who will she choose to bring back?

Lake, the protagonist, was a really good character to read. I connected with her and her struggle. Her emotions came through loud and clear – what was the right choice? Her boyfriend? Her best friend? Her brother? I was not a fan of Lake’s parents at all. They were the ones that made Lake promise at a young age to use her resurrection wish on her brother. Then after the accident they constantly reminded her in the snarkiest and rudest ways possible what her duties and responsibilities were. Even her brother was the biggest and rudest jerk on the face of the planet, and I’m being nice when I use those terms. Read the book and you’ll know he was so much worse. The character that I struggled with understanding was Ringo. Ringo was a boy Lake went to school with at a very young age. He stood out and was memorable to her because he had a huge birthmark across half of his face. They ran into each other at a therapist’s office and struck up a conversation. I like how Ringo was straightforward with Lake but I didn’t like how a relationship/romance started between them, almost like instalove. If nothing else, this story did not need a romance. Plus, it started so soon after her boyfriend passed away so it felt… creepy and wrong.

There is no way I’m going to ruin this story by telling you who she picked, but know the plot was well thought out and stayed on course. There were no hidden topics brushed over or weird outer space aliens thrown in for a plot twist. This was a dang good solid story of a girl struggling to figure out who she wants to bring back from the dead. Even though she had everyone pressuring her, she stayed true to herself.

I found the premise of this story fascinating. The story does not state that it is set in any distant future so maybe it’s just an alternate reality from ours. There was not backstory as to how one was able to resurrect someone but only that it could be done and it could be anyone. The one thing that was stressed was that the person brought back might not be the same. They could not be all there mentally. I was still captivated by the thought someone could be brought back and it made me wonder if I would do that to someone I loved… bring them back from the dead.

I really want people to read this story. It is a quick one yet it will leave you guessing until the end. Please, add to your TBR and read this one. Come back and let me know your thoughts after you do.

 

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Review: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)

 

Let me start by saying the audio is ON POINT. It is a full cast and BRILLIANT. Well, as full of a cast as there can be with only Tarver and Lilac survivors of the spaceship crash.. but you know what I’m saying. 😉

No doubt you know the premise of the story: Lilac LaRoux is untouchable. She’s the daughter of the most powerful man in the Universe. Tarver Merendsen is only 18, but he’s one of the most talked about and high celebrated military personnel. The things he has accomplished in the field defies logic. Tarver comes from very humble beginnings so what could he have in common with Lilac? Besides that they seem to be the only survivors of the 50,000 +/- souls that were aboard the Icarus. What they find on the planet they crashed into is not something anyone could have predicted.

This story has it ALL. Sci-fi, mystery, adventure, aliens (!!!), romance, deception, and survival. I’m not sure what else you could possibly want out of a story. Kaufman & Spooner wasted no time starting this story off right: action, a huge disaster, survival, and secrets being revealed. Lilac proves she is more than her name and Tarver finds letting someone know the real him is not as terrible has he told himself it would be. These two are the most unlikely couple to get stranded on a strange planet but it works. Oh my does it work. The way these two characters developed as the story went was so well done. They really did grow and become better people.

The world building was marvelous and mind-blowing. It blew me away how lifelike the planet felt. The science behind everything that was going on blew me away. I loved reading what was behind the Whispers, the terraformed planets, and everything that came with it. It was brilliantly done.

GAH. I am struggling to write this review! I feel that always happens when I try to talk about stories I really loved. I never read a sci-fi book before I first read this in 2015. I know the book published in 2013 but I’m the type of reader that will wait until an entire series is out so I can binge the whole thing. I had hesitation before starting because I was afraid I wouldn’t like or understand sci-fi books. Boy how I was wrong! They are now one of my favorite genres. This story set the bar for me and that’s saying something. I reread it when it came available through my Overdrive app and it brought back all of the feels and emotions I had the first time. The admiration of Lilac’s determination, the swoony feelings for Tarver, the wonder of what the Whispers might be, the desire to figure out just exactly what is going on with LaRoux Industries. It is all there again, like reading for the first time. I cannot thank these two authors enough for writing this type of story, this type of series. I would not have ever started reading sci-fi it if wasn’t for them.

No doubt you can tell I adore this series. It holds a special place in my heart and on my shelf. If you have no picked this series up yet, please do. I want everyone to have the love for Lilac and Tarver that I have carried for years.

 

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Review: Daughter of the Pirate King

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King #1)

 

Who wouldn’t be excited about a female pirate story?! That’s what immediately caught my attention! I didn’t care about the overall story, I just wanted to read about female pirates. Let me tell you what… I was not disappointed. This story was great!

Short recap: Alosa, a famous pirate captain, allows herself to be captured by her enemies in hopes of finding the map that will lead her to a hidden treasure trove. The one obstacle she didn’t prepare for – Riden. Will she let this handsome sailor distract her from her mission?

I tore through this story. It was gripping, action packed, witty, and delightful. Alosa’s character really brought this story to life. She was amazing! Honest, fearless, daring, and resourceful. It seemed there was nothing this girl couldn’t do once she put her mind to it. Yeah, that sounds cliche but it is true. She knew in her heart of hearts who she was and that was enough to keep her going. I wish I had confidence like that. Riden’s character was just as good! He was well thought out and developed. Plus, the banter between him and Alosa was marvelous. It was just so well written, as was the romance that developed between the two. They have a wonderful slow burning type of romance that keeps you turning the pages to see what happens.

I loved the way this story was written, it flowed so well. Everything from the plot twists to the world building was so well done. Before I knew it, the story was almost over for me and my heart sank. I wanted to stay in this world just a little bit longer. The author did a heck of a job setting up for book two and I cannot wait to see what adventures these characters go on next.

Pretty sure I don’t have to tell you that I really did love this book. It surprised me at how good it was. It made me want more YA pirate stories. I highly recommend this to everyone, especially for those looking to read a great adventure read. Please, add to your TBR if it isn’t already there.

 

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October Monthly Wrap Up

books

Hello everyone! I promised myself I would be better at my monthly wrap ups so here we are! I knocked a lot of want to reads off of my TBR so I’m proud of myself for that. I reread a favorite (Geekerella FTW) and groaned with disappointment when some of my anticipated reads turned out to be massive duds.

Books I Read

I roughly finished 37 books in October. As always, I feel I could have done better. I’ll admit, I DNFd a couple of these books but GR counts them anyways. Most were through Overdrive while two were sent by publishers for book tours and/or review, and a few were through my Audible account. Thank you to the publishers!!

Total for the year: 360/100

29 – Audio

8 – Physical

nov 3

nov 2

nov 1

 

October Book Events 

I attended Texas Teen Book Festival and it was amazing. I was blown away by how great it was (check out my recap of the festival here).

November Book Events

I don’t have anything on my radar as of right now but that could always change. Until that does, I’m going to continue to plow through my TBR. 🙂

 

How about you? What did you read? What bookish events are on the calendar for you?

 

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