My Review of: Avalon (Avalon #1) by Mindee Arnett

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Avalon (Avalon, #1)Avalon by Mindee Arnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they’re damn good at it. Jeth doesn’t care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents’ ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he’ll go to get the freedom he’s wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon’s cult hit show Firefly.

My Review: From the moment I picked up this book, I was hooked. I love books about space. Although there weren’t any aliens in it, the story sucked me in until the last page. I know it took me a couple months to finally finish this book, but when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. Jeth and Lizzie are siblings who have a less than legal job stealing spaceships for their metadrive’s, and Jethro is also the captain of a ship called Avalon, who belonged to their parents before they passed away. This book had a little bit of an awkward start for me, the sentences didn’t feel quite right reading them out loud, but that quickly changed and it was a smooth read from then on. I found myself wondering why there were only humans on the planets, but that was swept away as I got further into the book. It’s a very exciting story, filled with twists I didn’t expect and lots of action. It progresses along at a nice pace, and the characters really grow throughout the book. I haven’t read anything like it before, and I really like the cover. The characters are full of depth and backstory, and the new characters that are introduced fit right in with everyone else. Jethro is a strong and interesting character, and he’s a fitting lead for the story. I feel like everyone in the book could be real people out there somewhere, and that’s awesome. I mean sure, not flying around in spaceships like the story, but you know what I mean. I chose to read this book especially because I like space, and my little cousins name is Avalon and I thought it was funny. I really got attached to the characters, and I felt bad for all the heartache and betrayal they have to go through, but the story really was a good read. I definitely recommend it if you haven’t read it already! I’ll definitely check out the next book. Thanks for reading.

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My Review of: Fragile Bones: Harrison & Anna (One-2-one) by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

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Fragile Bones: Harrison & AnnaFragile Bones: Harrison & Anna by Lorna Schultz Nicholson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: One is a fifteen-year-old boy with an uncanny ability to recite every bone in the skeletal system whenever he gets anxious ― and that happens a lot. The meaning of “appropriate behaviour” mystifies him: he doesn’t understand most people and they certainly don’t understand him.

The other is a graduating senior with the world at her feet. Joining the Best Buddies club at her school and pairing up with a boy with high-functioning autism is the perfect addition to her med school applications. Plus, the president of the club is a rather attractive, if mysterious, added attraction.

Told in the alternating voices of Harrison and Anna, Fragile Bones is the story of two teens whose lives intertwine in unexpected ways.

My Review: When I started this book I thought maybe I was a little too old for it, but that went away when I realized it was just a regular story about a girl and a boy. There aren’t many books with people with autism in them, so I thought I’d give it a shot, and it was a short but nice change of pace. Anna is very patient, and I was glad everything wrapped up nicely in the end for her. The writing style was simple. Nothing overly exciting happened, but nothing too bad happened either which is good. I really liked the cover for this book, that’s actually why I picked this book out. I appreciated the rotating points of view between Anna and Harrison, it kept things interesting throughout the story. All in all, it was a good book, but I probably won’t read it again, and if I find the rest of the books I’ll read them, but I won’t seek them out. Thanks for reading.

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My Review of: In Place of Never by Julie Anne Lindsey

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In Place of NeverIn Place of Never by Julie Anne Lindsey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: Can the truth set her free?…

A part of Mercy died the summer her sister tragically drowned. Now Mercy has a chance to discover if Faith’s death was an accident—or murder. Her first step is to confront the lead suspects: a band of traveling gypsies—the last people who saw her sister alive. But Mercy finds an unexpected ally in Cross, the soulful musician in their ranks. He’s a kindred spirit, someone who sees into her heart for the first time in, well, forever. Yet stirring up the past puts Mercy in danger…

Suddenly someone is shadowing Mercy’s every move, making her even more determined to uncover the facts. With Cross by her side, she is ready to face it all, even if that means opening up to him, knowing he may one day leave her. What she discovers is a truth that rocks the foundation of her small river town—and a love worth risking everything for….

My Review: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, and honestly I didn’t want to like this book at first. It seemed poorly planned and thought out, the characters were all over the place, and it was just really sad. There’s a lot of things going on, the main character, Mercy, is ignored by her father, the town pastor, after her sister dies and then her mother commits suicide. Although that doesn’t actually happen in the book, it happened three years before, but it’s still sad. There’s a lot of mention of self harm and self harm scars, and a couple characters are a little cringe worthy in their personalities, they’re pretty invasive. Then, something changed. As I read further into the book, about half way through, I realized it wasn’t a sad story about being sad, it was a story that started out sad but developed into happiness. It’s about getting over being sad. I found myself drawn to the mystery surrounding Mercy’s late sister Faith, and I stopped procrastinating reading the book. I really started to get into it. Sure, it had a rocky start, but who doesn’t like young love, a travelling sideshow, and a mystery? This book really grew on me, and the things I found annoying about the characters at first turned into quirks. The end was exciting, although I had a feeling about that specific character when we were first introduced to them, and the epilogue was cute. I don’t like country music, or church, but this was a good read and you should check it out and give it a chance. Thanks for reading.

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My Review of: Sever (The Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano

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Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3)Sever by Lauren DeStefano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

My Review: A heart wrenching end to an awesome trilogy. I absolutely loved every bit of this book, and the first two books as well. We pick back up not long after the second book ends, with Rhine in the hospital after facing horrible experimentation at the hands of her father in-law, and still desperately searching for her lost twin brother. Rhine is strong, though, stronger than I could ever be, and smart too, and that makes her an amazing main character. I really liked how although the characters are developing at an accelerated pace, they still always seem like themselves at the end of the day. I also really liked how the characters who were separated for the first two books were seamlessly blended together to make the third and final book. I was sucked into the story line immediately, and after the last book I couldn’t wait to read this, and honestly didn’t know what to expect. The new characters were just so full of life that you really believed that they’d always been there, milling around in the background, living their lives. The story is extremely gripping, and I really got attached to the characters, and was sad when I reached the end of the book, because I won’t be seeing them anymore. It really was an amazing read that took turns I never expected, and it definitely will be one of my new favourite trilogies. Check it out! You won’t regret it. Thanks for reading.

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My Review of: Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano

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Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2)Fever by Lauren DeStefano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago – surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous – and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion…by any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price – now that she has more to lose than ever.

My Review: At first, I could only vaguely remember the first book. I mean, I read it a long time ago. Then it started to come back. This series is chocked full of raw emotion, horrible situations, and the world it’s set in is so well put together that you really haunted by the things happening as you’re reading through the chapters. This book specifically, the sex slaves, the drugs, the experiments, even the way the characters react really sticks with you. Not a lot of books want to have things that real in them, and I really respect this series for being amazing, warts and all. You really believe that these things are happening as you’re reading through the story. I kind of pictured the city as looking like one of the cities from Fable, only without the magic and sword fighting, and better technology. So, this book picks up where the last one left off, Gabriel and Rhine have escaped their hauntingly stagnant lives in the mansion, left behind Rhine’s sister wives and the horrible Housemaster Vaughn, but now they face a new problem; Where to go. This is an extremely well written book, and exciting as well as heart breaking all at the same time. The characters are very real and well thought out, I really feel for them as I’m reading. I got attached. It must be such a hard life for them, living in such a broken world, and not living past their twenties. This is really an excellent book, and with such an exciting story line, it was hard to put down, and I caught myself thinking about it when I was able to put it down. Definitely my favourite book in the trilogy so far, I can’t wait to start the last book. Check it out if you get the chance, I highly recommend it! Thanks for reading.

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My Review of: The Martian by Andy Weir

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The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale.

My Review: What an awesome book. I loved every bit of it. Although I saw the movie before I read this, I was extremely excited to start it. The best part? The movie and book are almost exactly the same. So even though I knew what to expect, there were still exciting little surprises that the movie had cut out. The story follows a man named Mark Watney, who through an unfortunate series of events is mistakenly left alone on mars while the rest of his crew aborts the mission and safely escapes the clutches of a horrible sandstorm. It then switches between the point of view of Mark, the crew on the space ship Hermes, and many different people on Earth working on a way to rescue the lone astronaut. First of all, I love books about space, so this was a perfect fir for me. The characters are very lifelike and hilarious at times, and Matt Damon was really a perfect choice to play Mark in the movie. This book was honestly nerve wracking at times, and other parts had me literally laughing out loud. It sucked me in from the very first page. The world it is set in is also really lifelike and believable. Mark is hilarious, and very smart, as an astronaut should be, and he somehow manages to stay hopeful and optimistic throughout the story, despite being left behind on a deserted planet. I love how the viewpoints shift, it keeps things exciting, and humanity really came together to save him, and that’s really great. This is definitely one of my new favourites, and I recommend you check it out, or at least watch the movie. Thanks for reading.

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My Review of: My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul

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My Kind of CrazyMy Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can’t quite seem to catch a break. It’s not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells “Prom” in sparklers on her lawn…and nearly burns down her house.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank’s dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him—and his “work.” The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton.

My Review: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, and although it’s a little more plain than most of the books I’ve read lately, I’m so glad I requested it, and that my wish was granted. It’s such a good story, the characters all had their own little quirks about them, and they really jumped off the page. Not only were the main characters lifelike, but the background characters were well rounded as well, and you don’t see that enough in YA fiction. I loved the story line, it definitely could have been a true story and that’s adorable, and also not enough stories have blue collar families in them. On top of all that, the main character was a boy,m and his counter part was a girl who was a pyromaniac. I think that’s why I was interested in this book in the first place. This is a story about good kids who seem to be getting into trouble, when really trouble just seems to find them. I love how it’s written, I love the characters, and I love the story line. This book is an adorable tale of young love, and although they didn’t realize it at first, that’s definitely what it was. I’m glad they didn’t instantly fall for each other the moment they met like most books, and I like how it all wrapped up in the end. It’s definitely one of my new favourites, and you should check it out if you have the chance! Thanks for reading.

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