Book Review: The Red Labyrinth by Meredith Tate

Book Title: The Red Labyrinth
Author: Meredith Tate
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: June 4th 2019
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult
Trigger Warnings: physical & emotional abuse, death of a child, discrimination, border walls, one scene of (non-romanticized) forced kissing, description of PTSD

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The massive labyrinth was built to protect Zadie Kalvers’ isolated desert town. Unfortunately, living in the maze’s shadow makes her feel anything but safe. Even without its enchanted deathtraps and illusions, a notorious killer named Dex lurks in its corridors, terrorizing anyone in his path.

But when Zadie’s best friend vanishes into the labyrinth-and everyone mysteriously forgets he exists- completing the maze becomes her only hope of saving him. In desperation, Zadie bribes the only person who knows the safe path through-Dex-into forming a tenuous alliance.

Navigating a deadly garden, a lethal blood-filled hourglass, and other traps-with an untrustworthy murderer for her guide-Zadie’s one wrong step from certain death. But with time running out before her friend (and secret crush) is lost forever, Zadie must reach the exit and find him. If Dex and the labyrinth don’t kill her first.


I RECEIVED A COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA NETGALLEY FOR REVIEWING PURPOSES. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINIONS IN ANY WAY.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A thrilling, fast-paced book about a powerless teenage girl riddled with years’ worth of childhood trauma, as she goes on a literal life-or-death journey in the deadly labyrinth in hopes of saving her loved ones.

“I am brave. I am strong. And I am not afraid.”

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Book Review: The Seclusion by Jacqui Castle

38899614Book Title: The Seclusion
Author: Jacqui Castle
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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In the year 2090, America has walled itself off from the rest of the world. When her father is arrested by the totalitarian Board, a young woman sets out to escape the only country she’s ever known.

While on a routine assignment scouting the viability of dwindling natural resources outside the massive urban centers most American citizens call home, Patricia ’Patch’ and her co-worker Rexx discover a relic from the past containing dangerous contraband―unedited books from before The Seclusion. These texts will spark an unquenchable thirst for the truth that sees Patch’s father arrested by the totalitarian Board.

Evading her own arrest, Patch and Rexx set out across a ruined future United States, seeking some way to escape the only home they’ve ever known. Along the way, they learn about how their country came to be this way and fall in love. But their newfound knowledge may lead to their own demise.


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

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Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa of Wishful Endings. This allows bloggers, like me, to feature upcoming book releases that we are ecstatic about.

If you’re familiar with the weekly meme Waiting on Wednesday, this one is similar to that. I have joined W.O.W. before but it seems like it isn’t being hosted anymore so I’ve decided to continue on with Can’t-Wait Wednesday!

For this week, I’m featuring The Darkest Legacy. I cannot explain how ecstatic I am about this one. The Darkest Minds series is one of my favorites and with the movie adaptation coming and the release of this, the fourth book in the series, I feel like I’m being blessed by the heavens. Unlike the first three books in the series, this one will be in the perspective of Zu instead of Ruby’s. And can we talk about that gorgeous cover? The 31st of July can’t come any sooner for me and I’m just bubbling with excitement right now, I hope I don’t explode before I get to read this.


37688046Book Title: The Darkest Legacy
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #4
Publication Date: July 31st 2018
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult

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Five years after the destruction of the so-called rehabilitation camps that imprisoned her and countless other Psi kids, seventeen-year-old Suzume “Zu” Kimura has assumed the role of spokesperson for the interim government, fighting for the rights of Psi kids against a growing tide of misinformation and prejudice. But when she is accused of committing a horrifying act, she is forced to go on the run once more in order to stay alive.

Determined to clear her name, Zu finds herself in an uncomfortable alliance with Roman and Priyanka, two mysterious Psi who could either help her prove her innocence or betray her before she gets the chance. But as they travel in search of safety and answers, and Zu grows closer to the people she knows she shouldn’t trust, they uncover even darker things roiling beneath the veneer of the country’s recovery. With her future-and the future of all Psi-on the line, Zu must use her powerful voice to fight back against forces that seek to drive the Psi into the shadows and save the friends who were once her protectors.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a harrowing story of resilience, resistance, and reckoning that will thrill loyal fans and new readers alike.


Are you waiting on this too? Let’s chat in the comments! Also, don’t forget to leave a link to your own Can’t-Wait Wednesday post because I would love to check it out. 😀

Book Series Review: Slated #1-3 by Teri Terry

Welcome to my first book series review! This post will consist of reviews for all three (3) books in the Slated series by Teri Terry. This would not contain any spoilers but if you haven’t read Slated, the first book, I suggest you stick with the first part of this post only, just in case. Same goes if you haven’t read Fractured, the second book, I suggest you stick with the first and second part of this post only. 😉

My general view on this series is pretty positive. I liked this one and I recommend this if you’re a fan of dystopia!


12743472Book Title: Slated
Author: Teri Terry
Series: Slated #1
Publication Date: May 3rd 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

MY THOUGHTS

I have no idea as to how I can write a coherent review because I literally have zero notes. I usually take down a couple of notes when reading so I can easily write a review afterwards. For this one, however, I became too absorbed in the story to that. Well, here goes…

Stating the obvious, I really enjoyed this one. I think that the beautiful cover and the intriguing blurb set very suitable expectations for the book. The overall plot was good; it always kept me wanting more. The concept of being Slated, wiping all memories for those under 16-year-old lawbreakers, is interesting. I also think that Kyla’s dreams are really thought-provoking, as it may provide clues to the mystery of who she was before being Slated.

I warmed up to Kyla, our main character, despite her being dull at times. She has been Slated after all, and she has the Levo which prevents her from having extreme emotions so I understood why her character can seem dull.

The only thing that kept me from giving this book a 5-star rating is that I feel like the end was anti-climactic. I was actually surprised when I flipped the page and all I saw was the acknowledgements. But I suppose that’s understandable, there are two more books in the series, anyway. Also, the thing between Kyla and Ben feels a bit insta-love so that kind of turned me off. Other than that, Slated was a great read which I flipped through very quickly because I really got immersed.


13490543Book Title: Fractured
Author: Teri Terry
Series: Slated #2
Publication Date: April 4th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Perfect for fans of the dystopian settings of The Hunger Games and Divergent, the gripping second installment of the Slated trilogy is a riveting psychological thriller set in a future where violent teens have their memory erased as an alternative to jail.

Kyla has been Slated—her personality wiped blank, her memories lost to her forever. Or so she thought. She shouldn’t be able to remember anything. But increasingly she can—and she’s discovering that there are a lot of dark secrets locked away in her memories. When a mysterious man from her past comes back into her life and wants her help, she thinks she’s on her way to finding the truth. But this new knowledge lands her in the middle of a tug-of-war between two dangerous adversaries, and despite her misgivings about both of them, she’s forced to choose a side for her own protection.

MY THOUGHTS

I really like the first book so you better believe that I have a heck of an expectation for this one. Fractured met the said expectation, for the most part.

This is the part of Kyla’s story wherein she regains her stolen memories, find out what happened. Because of that, I kind of got annoyed at Kyla sometimes because of how stubborn she can be. I guess she’s just curious in nature but sometimes, what she’s doing is just borderline stupid.

As I anticipated, there was a lot going on here. Like information dump. I liked getting to know more about who Kyla was before. There were plot twists, some I saw coming but some not at all. I actually cried in a certain part of the book, for a certain character. It’s just so heartbreaking, it really had me going.

But as you can see, I rated this one star less than what I’ve rated the first book. Why? I’m not really sure. Maybe because this didn’t leave much of an impact on me as the first one. Maybe I was looking for more about certain characters. But I still really enjoyed this.


17901410Book Title: Shattered
Author: Teri Terry
Series: Slated #3
Publication Date: March 6th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Kyla is in danger from both the government Lorders who erased her memory and the terrorists who tried to use her. So now she’s on the run. Sporting a new identity and desperate to fill in the blank spaces of her life pre-Slating, Kyla heads to a remote mountain town to try to reunite with the birth mother she was kidnapped from as a child. There she is hoping all the pieces of her life will come together and she can finally take charge of her own future. But even in the idyllic wilderness and the heart of her original family, Kyla realizes there is no escape from the oppressive Lorders. Someone close to her may be one of them, and even more frighteningly, her birth mother has been keeping secrets of her own.

In this stunning series finale, Kyla finally finds out who she really is, and the road to this discovery, and to deciding who she wants to become, is full of dangerous twists and turns that will keep readers riveted.

MY THOUGHTS

It took me like, what, three days to finish this one. It’s not even the book’s fault. I had to put it down a few times because of the TV shows I’m so obsessed with (which you can read about here). Anyway, when I did pick this book up to finish it, I stayed up late reading. Like I-can-see-hints-of-sunrise-from-my-window late.

Since this is the last book in the Slated series, I’m really curious as to how it will conclude so I was really excited. The pacing was great throughout the whole book. There’s a great balance between information-centered and action-packed scenes. Still, the plot twists leave me shocked and the ending was actually alright for me.

Although I did tick off 2 stars because I was getting bothered by how Kyla still appears to be a bit of a dry character despite having her Levo, the device that prevents her from having extreme emotions, taken off. And I didn’t like the slight love triangle in this. Not at all. Oh, also, I really craved more of Aiden’s character. Other than those though, it was a great finale for the trilogy.

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

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.