Book Review: The Expedition by Chris Babu

40584496Book Title: The Expedition
Author: Chris Babu
Series: The Initiation #2
Publisher: Permuted Press
Publication Date: December 4th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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THEY SURVIVED THE INITIATION. NOW THE REAL TEST BEGINS.

Drayden and his friends thought nothing could be harder than the Initiation. Little did they know it had only been a warmup for the challenge that lay ahead.

With New America’s situation dire, Drayden and the pledges venture out into the unexplored world outside the walls, escorted by a team of elite Guardians. The group seeks to contact another civilization in what remains of Boston, but Drayden has secret goals of his own.

Dangers abound in the real world, including Aeru, the deadly superbug that wiped out humanity. While they battle the elements of a desolate landscape, a power struggle emerges within their ranks. The Guardians seem to be carrying out a covert mission themselves, and the quest turns everything they thought they knew about New America upside down.


I received a copy of this book from Netgalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my thoughts in any way.

MY THOUGHTS

I have read and loved the first book in the series, The Initiation, which was spectacular in multiple aspects (you can read my review here) so I was so excited to read this next one! I was also a bit skeptical at first since I barely remember the nitty-gritty about the previous book due to my severe forgetfulness, but I pushed through, hoping for the best. Fortunately, everything came back to me and I got to really enjoy this book.

The Expedition was a fast-paced book that is equal parts action and strategics. This allowed the group of privates to maximize their own individual strengths during their mission, and I loved seeing, in the little things, how they have grown closer compared to the first book.

I still very much liked Drayden as a character. If I were to think about an expedition, I’d probably immediately think that physical strength is a prerequisite for undertaking such. I had my doubts as to how Drayden might cope in the expedition, yet it proved to be unnecessary. What Drayden lacked in physical strength, he made up for in quick thinking, wit and intelligence. And frankly, I admire the latter far more than the former.

The challenges that the group faced in the expedition were much more different and difficult than the ones in the initiation. In this books, the struggles that the privates experience were much more crucial since they deal with unexpected troubles now, in the part of their world they’ve never set foot on. So seeing them all work together, and contribute each their own skills for their collective objective was really invigorating since, as you can tell, I’ve really grown attached to this group of brave kids.

And although I did kinda foresee one aspect in the book that is supposed to be shellshocking, I did doubt myself more times than I would care to admit. Thus, the book really has some unexpected twists and turns that would make you second guess yourself multiple times.

But despite all those, I still ticked off a star from my rating since I was not keen on how the sentences in dialogues sometimes run waaaaay too long, as if they’re each doing monologues. Aside from that though, I think my mood contributed a lot on this decision as well since I was pretty distracted with life when I read this.

Overall, if I were to pick this book up some other time, when I really am in the mood for a post-apocalyptic-ish adventure, this really would have the potential of earning a 5-star rating from me. I highly recommend this series, especially if you’re a fan of the genre. I can’t wait for the next book!

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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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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.

Book Review: Dreamology by Lucy Keating

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Book Title: Dreamology
Author: Lucy Keating
Publication Date: April 12th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, YA
Age Range: 13+ years old
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. It turns out, though, that Real Max is nothing like Dream Max, and getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

When their dreams start to bleed dangerously into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?


MY THOUGHTS

I’ve always been very intrigued by the concept of dreams. I just find them so fascinating and… random. I remember having a “dream journal” a few years back because I constantly experience such clear and lifelike dreams. Unfortunately, I have only filled in a couple pages of the notebook before getting tired of it and trashed the idea all too quickly. I never really remember much after several minutes of waking up anyway. (Do tell me if you want to hear about the dreams that I manage to jot down in the “dream journal”, I’ll gladly share them with you as they’re so odd.)

Anyway, when I first read the summary of this book, I just knew that I have to read it as soon as possible. And I’m so happy to have finally read and LOVE it. I loved it so much, I read it in a day.

The plot, I can’t really say much more of other than it’s quite unique and it’s interesting to see how it would be solved. With that said, I really wish that the solution was more elaborate. I wanted a bit more explanation as to what was done to stop them from losing their grips on reality altogether.

I don’t know if this is a spoiler or not because it’s kind of obvious anyway but just in case, please skip this paragraph if you’re interested in reading this book. I don’t get how Celeste can spout all the bullshit about “I thought we were friends, Alice” when they weren’t even that close. Alice clearly tried to stay out of her way but Celeste keeps coming to her. And they hung out, what, 2 or 3 times—and one was Celeste forcing Alice to let her stay at her place before a party! I probably would’ve appreciated Celest more if her character was given more depth, not just a few sentences going on about how she basically changed Max’s whole life.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I love how bizarre dreams are, so you can imagine my delight and entertainment while reading about Alice’s dreams. They’re the next level of unusual and extremely cute.

I think what mostly contributed to the speed of my reading is the fluidity of the writing. The book was written oh-so adorably which makes the readers want to read more and more.

When asked to pick a favorite character, I will definitely say Oliver. I know from the very beginning that I would love him. He’s just my type of (fictional) guy, all smiles and adventure; the one who captures his heart, aside from Alice, is one lucky person. I would’ve liked more showtime for Oliver in this book but then again I would’ve loved for him to have his own (Dreamology is about Alice and Max anyway).

Another character that needs more showtime, in my opinion, is Alice’s best friend Sophie. She is a star. I may be biased but she’s like the fictional version of my in real life best friend. Although Sophie wasn’t really around for most of the book, and I would have loved it if her character was given more depth/background info, they just seem so alike.

Alice and Max. *sighs dreamily* From the very first page, Alice and Max just click. I find this quality quite rare in books, when the couple just feels right from the start. I usually need to get to know the characters first before settling in to their romance. Maybe the fact that they’re already in love when the book started (they just don’t know each other exists yet) contributed to how I feel about this but I don’t care at this point. They’re just so damn perfect for each other.

I actually learned quite a few fun facts from this book: about brain mapping, fetal positions, even alpacas!

I highly recommend you check this book out if you love contemporary romance. Now excuse me while I do some research on how to dream of a hot boyfriend, like literally.

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

Tag: Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag

Burn - Rewrite - Reread

Welcome to the first ever book tag I’m posting on this blog! Although admittedly, not the first one I’ve done as I sometimes answer book tags in my spare time. They’re just so fun, I wonder why it took me this long to post one. Anyway, no one actually tagged me to do this one, I just saw Melia’s post at The Immortal Readers (do yourself a favor and check it out) and thought I’d do it to.

  • Randomly choose 3 books. (You can use the “random” option on your Goodreads read shelf but I didn’t do that, I let my sister pick randomly instead.)
  • For each group, decide which book to burn, which one to rewrite, and which to reread. (Who in their right minds would let me rewrite these books?! But let’s just pretend I’m an amazing writer for the sake of the tag.)
  • Repeat until you completed three rounds. (I’m gonna do five just because I can, plus it’s really fun.)

No books were harmed in the making of this blog post.


ROUND 1

Ooh, this one’s quite easy!

BURN: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga – I pick this one for “burn” simply because I got bored halfway through the book. The 45%-ish of the book is interesting but after that, my attention was completely gone. I was so disappointed.
REWRITE: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – As I said earlier, I am by no means a decent writer, much less an amazing one who would rewrite a Rainbow Rowell book. So let’s just pretend, folks. I enjoyed this book so much, but I would like to give it a bit more plot.
REREAD: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – I actually reread this book quite a lot. This is by far my favorite book in the contemporary romance genre. Every time I read this, I instantly brighten up a lot more. This is my go-to book whenever I’m stressed, in a bad mood or just wants to feel loved (even though it’s not directed at me, if that makes sense). I highly recommend this one.

ROUND 2

BURN: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler – This I would burn because I’ve encountered multiple problems while reading this. I gave this a rating of 2/5 stars because I only enjoyed the parts wherein Matt was still alive (I promise that’s not a spoiler).
REWRITE: Because I Love You by Tori Rigby – Although I absolutely loved this one, I’ll have to “rewrite” this to lessen the problems that Andrea Hamilton is juggling. As much as I believe that she’s strong enough to handle the dilemmas thrown at her, I’ll feel more comfortable about myself if I do poor Andie a favor.
REREAD: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – This is a favorite of mine. I’ve read this fairly recently but I’ll be no doubt rereading this multiple times in the future. This is such a lovely story and such lovely characters and such lovely writing. If you haven’t yet, I recommend reading this one because this is one of those books that speak to you (well, at least to me it did).

ROUND 3

I think my sister purposely chose these books she knew I love to see me suffer.

BURN: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West – I’m so sorry for this. I seriously never would have thought that I’d put this book in the “burn” category. I love this book to pieces! Caymen! Alexander! NOOOOOO! Okay, I may be getting carried away, but I really do adore this book. The only reason why I’d put this as burn is because I know that I’m not gonna be actually burning it I’d be reading more books by Kasie West. And I’ll buy another copy!
REWRITE: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins  I really want this to be rewritten purely because I wanted more action for bad-ass Harper Price.
REREAD: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken1000000% reread. If that’s not enough zeroes for you to think that this is one, if not the only one, of my favorite dystopian series of all time, here’s some more: 100000000000000000000000%. I can’t express enough how much I love The Darkest Minds trilogy. Maybe I can, but that would take ages so you would have to do with those digits I left you.

ROUND 4

BURN: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik  I gave this 4/5 stars—I can’t remember why because I currently think this deserves only 3 or, 3.5 tops. But I would burn this instead of rewrite it (I don’t want to!) because I see more potential in the other one. Read below.
REWRITE: Reboot by Amy Tintera – This I would rewrite because, as I said, I see potential. I only gave this a 2 out of 5 because I couldn’t bring myself to care for the most part. The first part of the book really got me going, but it fell through for me starting from the middle-ish part.
REREAD: Untethered by Katie Hayoz – This one, although I would’ve like several aspects to be altered, I would still gladly reread this.

 

ROUND 5

BURN: Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson  When I saw that this book is included in the group that was randomly picked, I knew right away that I had to burn it (not literally). The book was just too problematic for me. I didn’t like the main character, not one bit. And that’s one of my bookish pet peeves, not liking the main character/the person narrating.
REWRITE: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey – I actually really liked this book but I’d like to rewrite it for a couple of reasons. First is to fucking put a reminder of some sort of whose POV I’m reading because I got so confused. And the other is to discard of the cringey romance.
REREAD: Now May You Weep by Deborah Crombie – Another 5 star read for me. I am a huge mystery/crime novel fan. This book really thrilled me, although there were some parts wherein all they talk about is whiskey which I’m not a fan of, but I don’t see that as a problem of the book. Basically, this is just really great. And it takes place in Scotland’s Highlands!


So there we go. This was so much fun to do. Thanks again to Melia @ The Immortal Readers for introducing me to this tag. Do you agree with my choices? Why or why not? Let’s talk, leave a comment below! 😀

Book cover photos are taken from Goodreads.