| BOOK REVIEW | THE DARKEST MINDS BY ALEXANDRA BRACKEN

The Darkest Minds new coverThe Darkest Minds
Author : Alexandra Bracken
Series : The Darkest Minds
Genres : Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publication : December 18th 2012 by Disney Hyperion

Synopsis : When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

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I must admit, I started this book with somehow low expectations, even though I don’t know why. Well… Why have I waited that long to read this book ?!

The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.

Plot

The beginning gives us the pace. We’re in a dystopia where children who survived a deadly disease called IAAN are gifted (or cursed ?) with strange abilities. Think X-men. We don’t get to know how this disease emerged and I wished we knew more. Maybe in the next books.

In Thurmond, a children camp, kids become colors. Blue, Yellow, Green, Red, Orange. The color system is a code to identify their powers. I found it vry clever, really ! I must say, the universe Alexandra Bracken created is really amazing and so interesting !

Another thing I enjoyed is how the characters felt real and relatable.  At the beginning, Ruby is so fragile and afraid of herself, it’s very touching.

This book is fast paced and full of plot twists. I guessed one of them but that didn’t bother me.
And let’s not forget that ending !! It broke my heart.

I think maybe the most frustrating feeling in the world is to have something to say but not know how to put it into words. To have lived through something but not be able to get it out of you before it festers.

Characters

  • Ruby is such an amazing main character. From fragile to strong minded and a kick ass lead, she is incredible. Her story is really touching !
  • Liam is so brave and heart-warming ! He is such a sunshine ! He wants to protect his friends no matter what.
  • Chubs is such a difficult character to understand. I mean, it’s very difficult to pierce his shield.
  • Zu is such a cutie, impossible not to love her.

Together, they want to reach a sort of Eldorado for children. And it’s not exactly how they imagined it.

To put it in a nutshell, if you like dystopian books, X-men and fast paced books, you need to read it !

5 stars

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About the author

Alexandra Bracken

Alexandra Bracken was born in Phoenix, Arizona. The daughter of a Star Wars collector, she grew up going to an endless string of Star Wars conventions and toy fairs, which helped spark her imagination and a deep love of reading. After graduating high school, she attended The College of William & Mary in Virginia, where she double majored in English and History. She sold her first book, Brightly Woven, as a senior in college, and later moved to New York City to work in children’s book publishing, first as an editorial assistant, then in marketing. After six years, she took the plunge and decided to write full time. She now lives in Arizona with her tiny pup, Tennyson, in a house that’s constantly overflowing with books.

Alex is a #1 New York Times bestselling and USA TODAY bestselling author. Her work is available across the world in over 15 languages.

 

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|BOOK REVIEW | GRACE AND FURY BY TRACY BANGHART

Grace & FuryGrace And Fury
Author  : Tracy Banghart
Series : Grace And Fury
Genres : Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication : June 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton

Synopsis : In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace–someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

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I got this book into a Fairyloot box and I really loved it ! Moreover the Fairyloot’s edition is so gorgeous !!

Plot

We follow two sisters, Serina and Nomi. They’re very different but they can’t imagine their lives without each other.

At the first glance, they seem like the perfect opposite.  Serina is shallow, superficial because she was raised pampered by her parents in order to become a Grace.
On the other side, Nomi is reckless and absolutely at war with the patriarcal system they all live in ! She is fierce and loves her freedom.

Homesickness could be more painful than a bullet wound.

But as the story goes by, we can witness an amazing characters development. They become so different from what they used to be ! Serina is slowly but surely changing into a warrior, fighting for her survival. Nomi is becomingmore gullible but also slightly more cunning.

I reall enjoyed this book ! I have to admit I saw most of the plot twists coming. But the story was very enjoyable, the world our characters are living into is very intriguing !
To be honest, what I liked the most were the two main characters. I think it’s what makes this book stand out, really.

If you like court intrigue, fights for what’s right, cunning or witty characters, well you need to read this book as soon as possible.

And I haven’t talked about the most interesting aspect of this book yet ! Trust me, it’s worth mentioning : it’s a feminist book ! And let me tell you, it’s quality feminism. I mean, it’s not avoiding men, since it’s a patriarcal society, and it’s also not putting women above men. No. It’s about women helping each other.

Characters

  • Serina is my favorite character. From frivolous to badass, she’s really impressive ! She manages to stay good at heart no matter how much she faced.
  • Nomi also changed. She learned to be cunning, to hide things better than she ever did.
  • Malachi is definitively an intriguing character. You don’t know what to think of him, really.
  • Asa is nicer, charming and caught Nomi’s eyes.

4 stars

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About the author

 

Tracy Banghart

Tracy Banghart grew up in rural Maryland and spent her summers on a remote island in northern Ontario. All of that isolation and lovely scenery gave her the time to read voraciously and the inspiration to write her own stories. Always a bit of a nomad, Tracy now travels the world Army-wife style with her husband, son, cat, and sweet pupper Scrabble.

| BOOK REVIEW | STRANGE THE DREAMER BY LAINI TAYLOR

Strange the dreamer cover UKStrange The Dreamer
Author : Laini Taylor
Series : Strange The Dreamer
Genres : Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication : March 28th 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton

Synopsis : The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

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Laini Taylor is one of my favorite authors : I LOVED LOVED LOVED the Daughter Of Smoke And Bone trilogy. So I was really eager to read Strange The Dreamer.

It was impossible, of course. But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming.

Plot

We follow two points of view. First, there’s Lazlo Strange. He is such a lovely dreamer ! He studied everything he could about the city of Weep. He is so curious.

Sarai is Godspawn. She is not supposed to be alive. So she lives with her brother and sisters in a floating castle since the gods had been slaughtered.

This book is a wonder ! The writing style is so exquisite ! I started this book with very high expectations and I haven’t been disappointed at all !
But I must admit : I found the first part of the book a bit too slow for my taste ! I get it was mandatory so the author could build this wonderful world.
This book is like nothing I’ve ever read before ! I loved the world of Weep, its mythology, if I can call it that way !

I turned my nightmares into fireflies and caught them in a jar.

The intrigue around Weep kept me on the edge of my seat. I wanted more. I still want more. I want to know everything about this amazing world !

I really enjoyed the dual POV. Strange and Sarai are similar in so many ways, it’s really cute to witness.

I’m not gonna say much more about this book, nor talk more about the characters. I think it’s better if you go into it without knowing too much !

He read while he walked. He read while he ate. The other librarians suspected he somehow read while he slept, or perhaps didn’t sleep at all.

5 stars

Overall I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait for The Muse Of Nightmares to be released !

 

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About the author

Laini TaylorHi! I write fantasy books. My latest is STRANGE THE DREAMER, about a young librarian, a mythic lost city, and the half-human children of murdered gods. Check it out 🙂 Before that I wrote the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE trilogy, which has been translated into 32 languages. It’s about a blue-haired art student raised by monsters, a broken angel, and a war that has raged for 1000 years in another world. I also wrote LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES, which was a National Book Award finalist, and the DREAMDARK books. As well as various short stories and novellas.

| BOOK REVIEW | WITHOUT MERIT BY COLLEEN HOOVER

Without MeritWithout Merit
Author : Colleen Hoover
Genres : Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication : October 3rd 2017 by Atria Books

Synopsis : Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

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You all know by now that Colleen Hoover is an autobuy author for me. This one was not my favorite but I still enjoyed it !
She still deals with heavy topics into this book, especially abuse.
I read it many years ago so it’s gonna be a short review !

Don’t make your presence known. Make your absence felt.

Plot

We follow Merit, who doesn’t fit entirely into her family. I liked her dark sense of humor.

The story is about the Voss family, it’s not focused on the romance at all ! Slowly, CoHo unravels the tangles of strife between the members of the Voss family.

In this book, CoHo differs from her usual genre that is romance. She has taken a great risk by doing so but the result is a powerful, raw and true story. Merit and her posse are feeling more humans than I thought possible.

In this book she deals with mental health, depression. These are heavy and important topics but there’s always a dim of hope.
While the first part of the book seems totally unrealistic, you have to reach the second part of the book to fully understand the whole story.

Don’t make your presence known. Make your absence felt.

This book also shows us how important and crucial discussion is. If I had to describe this book in just one sentence it would be : talk to your loved ones so unsaid things won’t poison your life.

All families have issues, have flaws because perfection doesn’t exist. All you have to do is communicate.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. As always with Colleen Hoover, she manages to write something different than her previous books.

4 stars

No matter how hard you try, things don’t always turn out the way you wish they could.

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About the author

Colleen Hoover 2.International and #1 New York Times bestselling author of romance, YA and Women’s Fiction.

Still doesn’t know the difference between affect/effect, further/farther, or if the oxford comma is in or out.

| BOOK REVIEW | THE CRUEL PRINCE BY HOLLY BLACK

The Cruel PrinceThe Cruel Prince
Author : Holly Black
Series : The Folk Of The Air
Genres : Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Young adult
Publication : January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books

Synopsis : Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

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It’s one of my most anticipated releases for 2018 and there is so much hype surrounding this book ! So let’s say that I was a little frightened to start this book ! But it lived up to its reputation !

Trigger warning : abuse, violence

Plot

We follow Jude, her twin sister Taryn and their older sister Vivienne. Vivienne’s father is a Fey, called Madoc.
The book starts abruptly, violently ! It gives us the tone for the rest of the book. Madoc is not an average fey, he is a noble fey, Gentry. He took the three sisters with him and they’re treated as Gentry too. Well, at least it’s supposed to be that way.

Jude and Taryn go to the school with the other Fey but they are bullied, especially by the Prince Cardan and his posse.
The twin sisters couldn’t be any different : Taryn desperately wants to fit in while Jude is always defying Cardan.

If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.

This book is fantastic ! It’s the first time I read a Holly’s book and it didn’t disappoint. There’s something magical about her writing style. She really manages to capture the dark and dangerous beauty that is the Faery’s signature.

The world-building is amazing ! I especially love how the faeries are describded. There’s no sugar coat, just the bare truth.
The beginning was a bit slow, but once the real action starts, OMG it’s really compelling !

There’s also the political aspects. The game of thrones. (Ooops, sorry, wrong reference !) It has been a long time since I read a political centered plot and I missed it !

To be honest, this book has all the ingredients of a 5 stars read : action, betrayal, plot twists, diversity and twisted characters.

What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.

I also enjoyed how the characters weren’t just good or bad but in between. All of them. Even the humans. Because let’s be honest, Jude is deviously cunning too ! I found no character totally likeable, and I think that’s something the author wanted.

The spying part was also exciting. Seeing Jude becoming as deadly as the Feys, getting stronger and more cruel.

No, really, this book is excellent ! It’s dark, twisted and so compelling ! The ending nearly killed me and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel !

Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.

Characters

  • Jude is really interesting. She doesn’t want to fit in with the Gentry and yet she is as cruel and as cunning ! She is reckless, and badass in her own way. Yet, she is truely protective of her family.
  • Taryn is a character I disliked from the beginning. She was not loyal to her sister.
  • Locke I had doubts from the beginning about his demeanor with Jude.
  • Cardan is a character I despised from the beginning. But, as the story goes on, we get to learn him a little more and somehow I came to pity him.
  • Madoc was quite interesting too. For a Fey, he is very fair !
  • Vivi is the most normal acting of them all.

 

I really LOVED this book !

5 stars

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About the author

Holly BlackHolly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in January 2018.

 

| BOOK REVIEW | READY PLAYER ONE BY ERNEST CLINE

Ready Player OneReady Player One
author : Ernest Cline
series : Ready Player One
Genres : Dystopia, Science-fiction, Young Adult
Publication : August 16th 2011 by Crown Publishers

Synopsis : In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

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I really enjoyed this book. It has been sleeping on my TBR shelf for 2 years ! I can’t believe it !

Going outside is highly overrated.

Plot

We follow Wade aka Parzival in the OASIS. He lives in a very poor neighborhood with his aunt and her stupid boyfriend. During the day, he hides in a car in the middle of a garbage dump. He keeps all his most precious goods in it : his eletronical equipment he requires to log into the OASIS every day. He goes to school on Ludus and tries to earn credits whenever he can. It’s his only way to improve his search for the Halliday’s egg. The Copper Key mystery is onlythe beginning of an epic quest !

I had a hard time getting into the story, to be honest. It took me a little more than a hundred pages actually.
The beginning was  so slow paced but it was mandatory. The world building is so complex, it takes a lot of time to explain us how it works, to show us the tiniest parts of this huge virtual world !

One I was hooked, I was totally in ! The story is addicting. First, the Easter egg quest. You want to solve every enigma as much as Wade craves it ! You also want to know more about who’s behind the High Five. We don’t get to actually meet them in person (and not via their avatars) until the last part of the book !

I enjoyed the geeky and 80’s references even though I didn’t get all of them. This world is so amazing, really ! You want to dive into the OASIS too, trust me ! This book is tha good ! Everything’s possible, full of possibilites, more you can ever imagine !

That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.

Characters

  • Wade is a nice main character. He is your average teenager, all things considered. Except he is living in a post apocalyptic world.  A thing did disturbe me though : his way of stalking Art3mis.  But he changed so much during the book ! He learns to take his responsabilities, to stay focused on his mission and that this quest is way more meaningful than he ever thought.
  • Aech is such a great sidekick ! I was a little sad when his friendship with Wade was put aside for a little while. His story touched me !
  • Art3mis kicks ass in a wonderful way. She is badass, fierce and really smart ! She is a fierce ghunter fighting for a noble cause !
  • Nolan Sorrento is pure evil. I think he is a great bad guy to be honest. The kind you love to hate !
  • James Halliday is such an interesting character. His way of thinking is so complex. We don’t get to read about characters like him often enough ! He is a pure genius, with difficulties to interact in the real world.

Overall I really enjoyed this book ! I highly recommend it !

5 stars

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About the author

Ernest Cline
ERNEST CLINE is a novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. His first novel, Ready Player One, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, appeared on numerous “best of the year” lists, and is set to be adapted into a motion picture by Warner Bros. and director Steven Spielberg. His second novel, ARMADA, debuted at #4 on the NYT Bestseller list and is being made into a film by Universal Pictures. Ernie lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic video games.

| ARC TOUR | ALL OF THIS IS TRUE BY LYGIA DAY PEÑAFLOR

ARC TOUR - AOTIT

Marie from drizzleandhurricanebooks invited to join this ARC tour ! Thank you so much sweetie ! Also, huge thanks to the author who provided us a copy of her book !
The book will be released on May 15th which means … tomorrow !

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All Of This Is TrueAll Of This Is True
Author : Lygia Day Peñaflor
Genres : Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication : May 15th 2018 by HarperTeen

Synopsis : Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.

Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.

Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . . .

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I really enjoyed this book ! It was such a unique read, I’ve never read anything like this ! We follow a bunch of teenagers living a sort of dream : they get to interact with their favorite author and become close friends with her !

This book is INSANE ! First, it’s pretty amazing because the story is told from different points of view. The story is told through Jounal entries, e mails, interviews and book excerpts.
It made it so easy to fly through this book ! It’s so original, really !

If you knew these kids the way you claim to have known them, then you should’ve realized that when they admire you there’s a responsibility in that.

Now for the story … The topic is not an easy one, far from it. At some point, I felt uncomfortable. It makes you question what you believe.

It talks about so many interesting topics. First, about the unhealthy fascination around Fatima Ro.
I mean, I get it, it musts be nice to become friend with someone you admire. I also admire my friends for many reasons. But the other way around, I truly think it can be dangerous. The friendship can only be biased. There is a limit that shouldn’t be crossed and they clearly did !

Another thing that disturbed me is how Fatima used these kids, making them her little puppets to creater the story of her next book. She is so manipulative !

There’s also the issue of what Jonah did. It’s awful and disgusting !! But people can change, at least I hope so !

You can’t hug a lion and be surprised when it bites you.

I have to be honest with you guys. I was totally hooked by the book, yeah, because the story was totally gripping.  But I guessed every plot twist or revelation.
I wished we had Fatima’s point of view, at least toward the end of the book. It would have been enlightening to get why she acted that way !

The ending kind of disappointed me, Fatima decided to twist it in her book. In my opinion, it’s her way to make penance but it’s not that easy, girl !

4 stars

Overall I really enjoyed this book ! Trigger warning though : there’s violence and abuse in it. I totally recommend this book though !