Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review: The Leveller by Julia Durango

My Rating: 4 Stars
Date Read: June 2015

Publication Date: June 23, 2015
Hardcover, 256 pages

Summary From Goodreads:

Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.

Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them.

But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?

Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?

Gamers and action fans of all types will dive straight into the MEEP, thanks to Julia Durango’s cinematic storytelling. A touch of romance adds some heart to Nixy’s vivid, multidimensional journey through Wyn’s tricked-out virtual city, and constant twists keep readers flying through to the breathtaking end

My Review:

When I first read the summary and as I was starting this book I had this strange sense if deja vu, and then I realized why...

It reminded me of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Virtual World story arc... you remember, when the Big Bad 5 trapped Yugi, Seto, and the rest of the gang in a virtual world, only it turns out that Seto and Mokuba's crazy step brother was the master mind behind it all and they-- oh you have no idea what I'm talking about? Oops I let my inner geek show {more than usual} sorry, not sorry. It also kind of reminded me of Digimon Frontier, but I won't let myself get started on that one...

I'm not a gamer girl myself but I still enjoyed this story. I was able to follow along without any problems because there wasn't any jargon that left me scratching my head. It was a fairly straight forward story that wasn't overly complicated with a million twists that you have to keep track of.

I like the fact that Nixy {whose full name is Phoenix, which is totally awesome by the way} is a kick butt, no-nonsense kind of girl. Not to mention that the story had a horde of zombies and a crazy killer witch

There was a little bit of romance in this book, but it was not the focal point of the book, which I was okay with, But I do forsee the romance factor kicking up a little in the next book.

I'm really curious to see what happens next, especially after what is revealed to Nixy at the end of the book... I wonder what the Legionnaires have up their sleeves.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Review: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

My Rating: 4 Stars
Date Read: June 2015

Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Hardcover, 304 pages

Summary From Goodreads:

A teen escapes to a boarding school abroad and falls for a Korean pop star in this fun and fresh romantic novel in the vein of Anna and the French Kiss.

Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can't stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can't deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she'll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

My Review:

I’m rather fond of stories where the super famous person falls for the sweet, small-town girl {or boy}. I don’t know why, I just am.

This book was slightly reminiscent of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, which is okay with me because I thought that book was fantastic {and for those of you who haven’t read that book yet either, it’s not raunchy like the title makes it sound. It’s rather sweet, actually}

The relationship between Jason and Grace was funny, sometimes sweet, but ridiculously frustrating at times. They spent the majority of the book fighting with each other, determined not to let the other know their true feelings. But I think all that tension is what made them getting together at the end much more satisfying.

There was a twist in the book, close to the ending, that kind of took me by surprise. And, looking back now, it really shouldn’t have. I guess I was just so focused on other things that were happening 
and I missed all the clues.

One thing I didn’t like about this book, was the way things were left between Grace and her Mother… I needed more closure on that, especially after finding out what really happen. But it seemed like the issues that they had were just swept under the rug, or pushed into the corner to be ignored…

Overall, I think this book is a cute, quick, summer read, though I wouldn’t suggest reading this if you are a die-hard K-Pop fan, because I’ve heard that it doesn’t represent the awesomeness that is K-Pop.

This was a promising debut from Katie M. Stout’s, and I am definitely looking forward to what she writes next

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review: The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

My Rating: 5 Stars
Date Read: June 2015

Publication Date: June 9th 2015

Hardcover, 368 pages
Summary From Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

My thoughts before I read the book:

From Reapers to Exorcists? This is gonna be good

My thoughts after I read the book:

Okay, no one inspires me to write a book review like Rachel Vincent does. I mean, seriously, how long has it been? Too. Freaking. Long.

I loooooooved Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers Series {Mostly because of the Super Awesome Swoon-Worthy Reaper whose name is Tod but, you know, whatever} and when I found out that she was writing a new YA series, I may or may not have fangirled pretty hard  Oh who am I trying to kid, I flipped out. I was FREAKING out, I was so excited. Then when the cover was revealed, I fell in love with it a little more. Because, well, LOOK AT IT. {I'm a cover snob, what can I say?}

I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant when I actually started to read the book, and found out Mellie’s “secret” was the fact that she was pregnant. I was just like “really?” books about teenage pregnancy just aren’t my cup of tea. I understand that some of you may disagree with me, and that’s absolutely fine.

But there was so much other stuff going on, I wasn’t focused so much on it. Except when I was trying to speculate what may or may not happen in the rest of the books, but I'm just not going to talk about that right now, otherwise I'll get myself worked up...again.

I really reaaaaaaaallly liked Finn’s character {maybe not as much as I liked Tod… what? Don’t look at me like that... I'm not obsessed!} I have to say that I totally shared Nina’s opinion when she first found out what Finn could do. I thought “No, surely he’s lying to her…” and that’s all I’m going to say about that for fear of spoilers. Sorry I doubted you Finn!!!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, even though it had its slow parts. It kind of reminded me of a mix between Soul Screamers, and Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, which is a good thing, for me at least, because I ADORED those books.

I can’t wait to see what happens to Nina and the rest of Anathema in the books to come. I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I know what is going to happen. It’s going to involve someone sacrificing themself and I hope, I reeeally really hope that I am wrong. Because if I’m right, it’s going to kill me.

Or, you know, the fact that the publication date on Goodreads just says a vague “June 2016” might kill me first… wish me luck as I try to wait patiently for the next book… I’m going to need it. {PSSST, the title is The Flame Never Dies!!!! *SQUEEE*}