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Book Review: The Initiation by Chris Babu

38636861Book Title: The Initiation
Author: Chris Babu
Series: The Initiation #1
Publication Date: February 27th 2018
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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As featured on Bloomberg.com!

Everyone is equal. But no one is safe.

In a ruined world, Manhattan is now New America, a walled-in society based on equality. But the perfect facade hides a dark truth.

A timid math geek, sixteen-year-old Drayden watches his life crumble when his beloved mother is exiled. The mystery of her banishment leads him to a sinister secret: New America is in trouble, and every one of its citizens is in jeopardy.

With time running out, he enters the Initiation. It’s a test within the empty subway tunnels—a perilous journey of puzzles and deadly physical trials. Winners join the ruling Bureau and move to its safe haven. But failure means death. Can Drayden conquer the Initiation, or is salvation out of his grasp?


I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review.

MY THOUGHTS

If I were to describe this book in one word, I would say it is marvelous. I didn’t hesitate to give a 5-star rating because this was just so enthralling. The world building was great and the pacing was pretty fast, with the Initiation starting at 30% into the book, which I appreciated since I was in the mood for a fast-paced read.

Also, the author created such wonderful characters! I instantly loved Drayden, our main character. He started out as a fearful yet intelligent boy who doesn’t have the courage to stand up for himself. But as the book progresses, as Drayden comes face-to-face with losses and challenges, his drive to succeed grew more and more. I saw how his character developed to someone who set aside all fears and hesitations to save his loved ones. He also has a strong sense of morality. But aside from Drayden, another character that I had absolutely loved was Tim, the boy with the heart of gold and the perfect best friend anyone could ever ask for. I adored the friendship between Drayden and Tim, how they rely on one another and fulfill each other’s shortcomings.

The plot is fantastic and it kept me on edge. The challenges in the Initiation were ghastly yet exciting to read about. I liked how Drayden and Catrice explained in detail their solutions and strategies for the challenges, since not all of them in the group excel in intelligence. I also liked Drayden and Catrice’s chemistry from the start, though I’m glad that the romance wasn’t too much.

I highly recommend this one to fans of dystopian books. I’m really excited for the next books in the series!

All book cover photos and book info (such as summary, publication, etc.) are taken from Goodreads.

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Book Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

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Book Title: Pivot Point
Author: Kasie West
Series: Pivot Point #1
Publication Date: February 12th 2013
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, YA
Age Range: 13+ years old
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier…

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through… and who she can’t live without.


MY THOUGHTS

THIS BOOK YOU GUYS!!! Definitely a new favorite of mine. Forgive me, I did not put any negative points about the book in this review because I literally can not think of a single one. Now let’s get on to what I loved about this book and hope that I don’t run out of adjectives other than “sooooo good”.

I’m usually a character-driven reader. I bet you’re sick of hearing that if you read my other reviews (or if I comment that a lot on yours). Addie, the main character, is very likable. She loves books, rarely lies to her parents, and her retorts are always hilarious. As if that isn’t enough, her friendship with Laila is so amazing to read about. I absolutely love their personalities and I just can’t get enough of their banter! They can talk about taxes and I would still read it.

But aside from the awesome characters, the book itself is so unique and just mind-blowingly stunning because a) It’s so funny to read about the times when the “Paranormals” can’t work out how to turn a radio on or how to unlock a door or how to close the blinds, b) The romance is just perfect. The skin around my nails are red and raw from me gnawing on it (disgusting habit, I know but don’t worry, I’m working on it) because the story is getting soooo good and thrilling.

I seriously still cannot believe I finished this in one sitting. I rarely do that considering how slow of a reader I am. But this is just so gripping, I could not put it down. It kept me guessing and it kept me wanting more. When I finished reading, I literally said “wow” out loud—probably too loud as I almost woke up my little sister sleeping next to me. Yes, I did read until 1:00 in the morning. No, don’t judge me because I know you do it too.

I 101% recommend you read this one. After having read this, I fell in a reading slump but it was definitely worth it. Pivot Point is just the second book I’ve read from this author but I can assure you that this won’t be my last. Kasie West is now included in my list of favorite and go-to authors.

All book cover photos and book info (such as summary, publication, etc.) are taken from Goodreads.

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Book Review: In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

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Book Title: In The Afterlight
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #3
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Genres: Adventure, Apocalyptic, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, YA
Age Range: 12-17 years old
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the “rehabilitation camps” housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.


In The Afterlight is the third and final book in the series so I suggest reading The Darkest Minds and Never Fade first before reading this review in case I spoil anything for you. You have been warned.

MY THOUGHTS

The series is over.

This feels like the last episode of FRIENDS all over again. This feels like parting ways with your high school best friend as you graduate and go to different colleges.

I’m exaggerating, right? Because I don’t know what to feel right now. No more Liam, no more Chubs, Vida, Jude, Zu… no more Ruby.

I have to return all three books to my friend now. But I will buy my own copies, I swear on my life.

The final installment in The Darkest Minds trilogy is just as amazing as the other two books were.

It was a little slow at times, I would’ve liked it if the main characters weren’t in their HQ all the time. But nevertheless, I gave it a 5-star rating because I loved it so much.

This one is more heart-wrenching compared to the other two. I probably cried a lot more in this one.

Now, the plot twists. Oh my goodness! It would be an understatement if I say that I was taken completely off guard.

The ending was perfect, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The series was wrapped up really, really well. Al the questions are answered and I found myself smiling throughout the last chapter.

It’s amazing how Alexandra Bracken developed such beautiful characters and built this world that I was so easily drawn into. I have been so emotionally invested with the characters that it feels really weird not reading about them. I will be on the lookout for the author’s other books.

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely! I highly recommend this series if you love reading apocalyptic and/or dystopian books.


Reading order: from left to right

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All book cover photos and summaries are taken from Goodreads.