BOOK REVIEW: NEVER FADE

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Okay! Finished book two of The Darkest Minds (with only a day to spare for A Series a Month) and I’m going to throw up a quick review before I get cracking on book 3, In the Afterlight.

SUMMARY:

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

THOUGHTS:

WARNING: Spoilers from book one MAY be included in this

Unfortunately, I felt a lot of disconnect with this second book (you can read my review of The Darkest Minds here) and felt it fell kind of flat. Maybe it’s because I was really tired last night trying to power through it, or maybe it was the book, I’m not really sure right now. But I stayed up pretty late getting it done, and maybe that’s why I just wasn’t feeling it.

I will say this- I’m really starting to love Vida. She’s brash and bold and all edges, but I know there’s a lot more to her than meets the eye. I’m reaaaaally shipping her with a certain character who shall remain nameless so no one yells at me for spoiling anything. BUT YOU KNOW WHO IT IS.

I think this review is less of a review than a confused rambling- I’m not sure where I’m going with it. To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember a lot of what happened, and it seemed like a lot of things were really anti-climactic, like the fight with Mason and them seeing the Slip Kid. I expected just a little bit more, so the disappointment was just a little bit more sharp.

But I did like it. I thought it was very well done, especially writing-wise. Although I personally skimmed some of the random details and setting, I know a lot of people really love that. I’m more of a sparse reader- I like to get right to the action, and that gets me in trouble sometimes because I’m a huge skimmer.

So I guess I was kind of on the fence with this one, but since I loooooove Cole and Vida (no, he’s not the aforementioned person that needs to remain nameless) I’m definitely going to read book 3. I did like Never Fade, but I think I wasn’t in the right mood to really enjoy it this time. I just hope I can get the series all done before tomorrow night!

Yeah, right

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A SERIES A MONTH REVIEW: THE DARKEST MINDS

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I finally finished my first book for the Series challenge! I’m almost positive I’m not going to finish the whole series before the month is over, but I’ve been doing pretty good reading this month, at least. I finish my TBR book for January, which is exciting, and I’m going to have the house to myself this weekend, so that could be promising for some serious reading! But anyway, I wanted to throw up a review of The Darkest Minds, the first book of Alexandra Bracken’s series of the same name.

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SUMMARY

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.’

THOUGHTS

Okay! I finally read The Darkest Minds, and it only took me three years to do it. Three cheers! Well, I’m happy, anyway. So, I gave it 4 stars for mainly this reason: I thought it was a great book, really chunky and interesting (I binged it in a day), but I was really confused through a lot of it. I couldn’t figure out why she was so upset about  being what she was. I thought it was really cool, and an advantage, but about halfway through the book when you find out what her powers did, I understood. But I didn’t quite get it at the beginning. Also, the action sequences came hard and fast, which I would usually love, but since my brain was still trying to figure out what Ruby’s deal was, I ended up being confused even more. Of course, I was also sick, and that could have contributed to it. 

In any case, I did really like this book, especially when I got everything straight in my head. I loved the slow-burn romance (I am NOT happy about the ending), I loved the secondary characters- Zu especially- and I didn’t predict much of what happened. There were some things that you could kind of see coming, but I’m not one for trying to figure out a book before I read it- I just let the book carry me along, for the most part, unless it’s super obvious. So I liked that part of it. I thought all the character development, especially Ruby’s, was really good, and I can’t wait to see where Alexandra takes her in Never Fade, book two. 

WHAT TO WATCH

That was another bonus for this book- it was exciting, fun, had a romance, but there was nothing to make it inappropriate for younger teens. Aside from some violence (which was never graphic) this book was clean and appropriate for everyone. I would recommend it even for younger teens who are looking for a thicker book that tackle.

So there it it! Book one is done, now on to book two!

#RockMyTBR: NOWHERE BUT HERE

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So, this will be another unconventional review- one for the #RockMyTBR challenge, hosted by Sarah! I’ve completed my first book (actually, it’s been about a week now) and I’m proud of that feat! The first book I decided to read was….*drumroll*

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Well. I’m glad I got through it, in anticipation of Walk the Edge, which releases on March 29th of this year (I’m pretty sure). While I still plan on reading that one, I’m afraid Nowhere But Here didn’t do much for me- not as much as Take Me On, which remains my favorite of McGarry’s books. Here’s my quick review, as posted previously on Goodreads, for all you lovelies waiting to see my reaction!

THOUGHTS

Finally made it through this chunky little baby! Not sure what my thoughts are yet- definitely a little slow in places, and I can’t wait for (hopefully) more information on Chevy and Violet. Emily got on my nerves more than I usually tolerate, and there were some weird personality morphs it seemed like, but I’ll have to ponder it more.

Update (added 3 days later):

Upon reflection, what really stands out to me about this book is how sexualized it was. It seemed like every two sentences one character or the other was thinking about various physical characteristics of the other person, and not in a ‘hey, he/she is pretty’ way. A ‘I want that person naked’ way. It got tiresome quickly, and it didn’t stop. Although it was by no means insta-love, it almost seemed like they got carried away by their physical wants and then decided to be in love after the fact. I know McGarry always writes romance, but this one was definitely the most romance-dependent- which is saying a lot. For a 500 page book, I thought there would be a lot more substance, especially as it was so hyped. I was really hoping for more of a blowout with the rival motorcycle gang, etc. On another note, the language was atrocious. I know most people don’t mind, and yeah, they’re a motorcycle gang, but Oz said it himself ‘We aren’t thugs.’ Anyhow, it was seriously chock full of f-bombs, which made more of an impression than a lot of the other parts of the book.

When you get right down to it, the underlying plot was really interesting- the secrets about Emily’s past and how everyone seems to have their own agenda really was what kept me going. But the romance was pretty off to me, maybe because I didn’t really like Emily or Oz all that much. I’ll still read Walk the Edge, because McGarry usually makes me happy, but this one was more of a miss than a hit for me.

WHAT TO WATCH

I think I would rate this one for older teens and up, although I won’t be recommending it for more reasons than one. As mentioned, there was a lot of foul language, a lot of not-so-innuendos, and all this hot and heavy hate-love-hate-love stuff that got pretty tiring after 500 pages. Maybe it’s just been too long since I read a McGarry book, but this one seemed more adult than the others. But obviously these are my opinions, and it’s all up to you.

Overall, I only give this one 2 stars. It wasn’t a strong start to the series for me, but my loyalty to the author (as well as my intense interest in a few select characters) will keep me reading.

IN ANY EVENT

Make sure you follow me on TWITTERbecause I’ll be giving away my hardcover copy of Nowhere But Here a little bit close to the release date of Walk the Edge! 

 

TOP TEN TUESDAY: TBR

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TOP TEN TUESDAY is a weekly meme hosted by THE BROKE AND THE BOOKISH where participants list their top ten lists of any given subject, given ahead of time.

THIS WEEK:

Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR!

These are in no particular order- only the most recent additions, and to be more fun, only the ones with covers 😮 Click the cover to go to the goodreads link!

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So there they are! Link me to your Top Ten picks!

QUICK REVIEW: FIRST AND THEN

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SUMMARY

Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.

MY THOUGHTS: 

DISCLAIMER: I’m experimenting with dropping the blog thing- I’ll miss Netgalley, of course, but I’m so busy that it’s hard to find time to read, let alone write the type of reviews that I love the most- long, exhaustive, full of rants and feels, etc. So I’ve been taking a little bit of time off and will continue to do so (my reviews, when I write them, still go up on Goodreads, but are often very quick and address concerns I see from other readers). This is an example of a very quick goodreads review I wrote after reading First and Then. 

Exactly what I needed. A light, quick read that takes you back home to high school football and daydreams about those brooding heroes. Definitely going on my list of comfort books to read when I’m down.

I’m seeing a lot of reviews bashing First & Then because of the issues it doesn’t go into detail about- Foster’s Mom, Marabelle, etc- but I think it’s okay that we don’t get into the gritty details of their messy lives. This isn’t meant to be a serious discussion of the issues that people face- it’s a fun, easy romance, one to sit down and smile at, to enjoy the growth of a few characters and that hometown feel of community even when things get bad. I, for one, was glad there weren’t pages upon pages of the mess. Sometimes, that’s what we need to escape when we read, and that’s why I live books like First and Then. It helps us all to remember that sometimes, it’s not wrong to just take a few hours and relax and not think about all the horrible details and underlying trauma-we can just enjoy the love of football and family.

I’ll add my What to Watch as well: 

This is your basic high school scene, so there is mention of drugs, some brief underage drinking, and some innuendos. But there is nothing graphic and I would have no problem recommending this to a high-school age teen (maybe not a freshman- they should worry more about their GPAs :D)

So, not a huge review and not very in-depth, but I’ve been really enjoying my time off, even though I have been working (slowly) on my 2 challenges for this month. I completed a book for #RockMyTBR, and expect to see a post on that soon! Thanks for reading!

A SERIES A MONTH: JANUARY!

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2016 is here! That means it’s time for my first series binge. Up to bat is a series I’ve been meaning to read for years, and haven’t ever gotten to. I’ve been told (by about 80 people now) that it’s great, so without further ado:

 

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I’m really hoping I get off to a great start with these four (and don’t worry, I have the author’s order for the novellas in between!) Happy 2016, everyone!