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review 2016-03-09 18:35
Sing Down the Stars - L.J. Hatton,Josin L. McQuein

Magnus Roma was a masher. the Show he had built shared fantasy with reality. Then a warden showed up at The Show and was seen among the crowd . Magnus had built the circus for Penn who was disguised as a boy for her to hide behind. Jarmay was Penn’s best friend for as long as Penn could remember.

Things changed when the Medusae came to visit ;never spoke of an attach. The Medusae  came to visit.For a year they watched the earth thru the whole year. the characters from the sky              but you were wrong. For a year the Medusae watched and then just left,The wardens were then commissioned to check out the soil.Then as time went on  people came up missing here and there. Then whole families disappeared. Then the uncontrolled was also at the circus that no one could remember that and definitely could not describe . One was next  to Evie. Our father had been gone for weeks . Their father had developed a three level city on rails  so they could travel anywhere and to hold their number. Also Penn was not a brother to Evie but a sister - Penelope but she had  to be protected.  Without their father the Show would all fall apart and it would be known it was not pretense but actual abilities that was in the Show. As it was dangerous anything different maybe called alien.  Then the circus is destroyed and Penn’s sisters were captured and she must find a way to set them free.

Well this story was definitely different. I definitely didn’t love this story but I didn’t love it nor did I hate it. At times it was slow and at other times seemed to busy. Also Penn seemed to change all the time. Not sure i would willingly read another.but it was fairly interesting for the most part.

I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.

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text 2015-03-12 01:07
So I discovered Book Outlet
Dragonswood - Janet Lee Carey
Premeditated - Josin L. McQuein
Dangerous Girls - Abigail Haas,Abby McDonald
Populazzi - Elise Allen
Perfected - Kate Jarvik Birch

It's this amazing website where you can buy super cheap books, heaps of them hardcovers and lots of them YA, so of course HELL YES SIGN ME UP.


"Our books are marked down because most of the titles are marked with a small line or dot on the edge of the book by publishers who sell us their returns and excess inventory. This mark ensures that the books will not be returned to the publisher for a second credit. The books we sell are not used, they are unread and in excellent condition. "


Except that I'm international, so instead of paying minimal postage I have to pay postage of around $8 per book.


Which would be OK except that Australia's dollar is performing quite poorly at the moment.

1 Australian Dollar equals 0.76 US Dollars. Sucks to be me.


However, even with Australia's poor dollar and the excessive shipping compared to the $4 shipping to the US and Canada, my order still comes in at what I calculate roughly to be $16 per book.


$16 for a hardcover? YES PLEASE.


And at the moment that's even better than local bookstores, and even The Book Depository.

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review 2014-06-30 00:00
Arclight - Josin L. McQuein This was more than what I expected! That ending was insane. Definitely enjoyed this.

I am a fan of Josin L. McQuein after reading her novel Premeditated. This did not disappoint at all.

This story follows Marina in a sort of post-apocalyptic society that lives under the Arclight. The world is split into two with a middle ground: light, dark and grey. Marina was saved from the Grey by the people in the Arclight. She lives in the Arclight with several other people. The Arclight is the last refuge in a post-apocalyptic world consumed by terrifying creatures called the Fade. Marina doesn't remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived. All she really knows is that the Fade want her.

After an attack by the Fade, Marina is recognized by one of them and her world begins to collapse. The Fade tell Marina the truth about who she is and what happened to her. Marina knowing she was an outsider never thought she'd be that much of an outsider compared to everyone else.

I absolutely love the idea of sacrifice that took place when Marina was saved, especially when the people knew who she was. At the same time I absolutely hated Honoria for her vendetta to seek revenge. It did nothing but harm people and make her a heartless brute. Tobin was a very interesting guy for me. I loved him and hated him all at once because he was so wishy-washy throughout the whole story. One minute he hated her the next he liked her and at the end he was still the same way.

The love triangle between Marina, Tobin and the Fade was all too funny to me. The idea of Marina loving of a Fade, who is supposed to be evil, struck me as crazy, but learning the truth its understandable. Tobin and Marina seemed great but Tobin never knew what he wanted.

Overall, the story started off slow for me, but ended on point. I'm excited to see what happens next for the people in the Arclight and if anything will change between the humans and Fade.
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review 2014-06-25 00:00
Meridian - Josin L. McQuein Fans of dystopian and science fiction series will love ARCLIGHT and its sequel, MERIDIAN. With a unique premise, lots of plot twists, and unpredictable characters, the ARCLIGHT series is a strange new world that readers will love to discover.

Marina and the rest of the Arclight settlement are struggling to cope with the aftermath of not just a physical attack on their home, but a psychological blow as well. Everything they thought they knew about the Fade has changed, and the secrets and lies never stop coming. Marina and her friends learn shocking things about their respective family's past and the history of the Arclight. On top of that, Rue and the other Fade reveal a new and dangerous threat from the Dark, one that the Arclight has seen hints of only in their nightmares. The secret of this new threat, and the intensity of the danger, will surprise readers up until the very end.

I loved getting to see more interaction between Marina, Tobin, Annie and the Fade. New Fade are introduced, developed, and become an integral part of the story. We also get to see half of the story from Tobin's point of view, which provides a different perspective on the entire history of the Arclight, as well as the Fade, and the action that takes place throughout the book. Flipping the world on its head and taking the reader from one unique perspective to another is definitely one of McQuein's strongest writing skills.

Overall MERIDIAN was a strong follow-up to ARCLIGHT, continuing the unique sci-fi story and adding many interesting new elements that readers will enjoy.

Literary Merit: Good
Characterization: Good
Recommended: Highly
Level: Ages 12 and up; high school
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review 2014-03-01 15:00
Them pretty covers tell lies
Arclight - Josin L. McQuein

**This review has also been posted on Tangled in Pages


Arclight was one of my most anticipated reads of 2013 and after I got the book, I kind of shelved it and forgot about it. That is until I got my eyes on the sequel. At this point I hadn’t read any reviews of Arclight so I dove into the book knowing nothing but the synopsis. If I had bothered with the reviews, I probably wouldn’t have so much as bought this book because.. love triangle alert. You know what the sad thing is though? The love triangle isn’t actually my main problem with this book. I loved it for the first 60 or so percent. This was an assured 4 star read until then and I was flying through the pages. 


The book opens with an attack by the Fade. At this point we don’t know much about anything except that light is safety because the Fade are allergic to it and that our MC suffers from amnesia. She remembers nothing from 'before' and she also happens to be the only person to have survived the Fade. People died to rescue her from the grey. She represents hope to many, hope that there is still a world outside the arclight but at the same time, she also represents the death of loved ones to certain kids. There are rumors about her being fade proof but they don’t work in her favor. Kids in her class despise her and are constantly getting in her face.


Marina is a pretty decent character. She didn’t actually annoy me. For the most part she isn’t actually stupid. It’s hard to actually talk about her because I don't actually have anything to say. Her character made no significant impact on me. She was realistic and well nothing about her shines out. She is dull as far as characters I’ve encountered go. I mean the twist that came later on? I guessed it so far in the beginning it’s ridiculous. The point I am trying to make here is that Marina was neither a good or bad character. She was just decent. She was easy to follow and you could understand her actions. Also she did not go on and on about how Tobin was absolutely gorgeous (I still have no idea whether he is or not).


Now Tobin, Tobin was someone who grabbed my attention. He may have been passive aggressive in the beginning. Hating her but also saving her at same time but I couldn’t help but like him. Marina is the reason why his father isn’t alive yet he is the one that helps her instead of all the other kids. He has more reason to hate her than they do but he decides to save her life. Before we even go anywhere with this, it wasn’t insta love, no he hadn’t decided he loved her and hence decided to save her, he saved her because that is what his father would have wanted. Tobin feels very real to me, he clings on to hope that his father is alive and he also tends to turn into a rage beast when someone says something about his father. It seems childish and angsty, but he lost his only parent, give the guy a break. It’s healthy to express anger. It’s one of the stages of grief. 


The romance (before the love triangle was thrown in) was well developed. It could definitely read like insta-love but for me it worked. They are two people, all alone in the world and so they depend on each other. They’re initial exchanges aren’t exactly hostile but neither are they full of love either but that changes. They cover each others backs, save each others lives and hence a bond forms. Their relationship starts blooming and no I love you’s are said. This brings me to the love triangle (which also happened to be strike 1). The love triangle adds a measure of angst that is NOT appreciated. I am a hater of all things love triangle so it’s a wonder I didn’t run in the other direction as soon as it was mentioned. I felt like it was completely unnecessary but this also ties in with something I’ll talk about later. As far as love triangles go, this isn’t actually horrid (if you can look past the amount of angst it adds and how it was completely unnecessary). The female lead actually has a good reason to be confused. It makes complete sense and there isn’t an obvious choice at the moment because Marina herself has no idea what she wants. She doesn’t know who she is and until she figures that out, neither of the guys will come out the victor of her affections. 


My ranting skills will now be unleashed as I talk about strike 2 which was when we learn about the reality of Fades. Up until that point, I thought, no I HOPED that this book wouldn’t go down that road. I thought that for the first time ever, the leaders of the society weren’t out to ruin lives, that they actually meant well but that was all a lie. It was just building up for that supposed big blow. It ruined the whole book for me. I might have been able to swallow the love triangle but this was the last straw for it took what I liked most about this book, and smashed it into pieces. It took away from the dark and scary atmosphere and it almost felt like I was in a rainbows and sunshine land. Where everything is perfect. Where everyone lives in harmony. Well let me tell you something, HELL TO THE NO. Things don’t work like that in the real world. Hell I COMPLETELY understand the supposed villain who I feel like is actually a victim because she is surrounded by brainless people with no sense of self-preservation. Perhaps I am one of those annoying people who think humans are better than everyone else but I am not completely sure about that. There are some things that just aren’t meant to be and the reality about Fades wasn’t. It pissed me off and I just couldn’t. 

I cannot enjoy a book that paints these disease stricken people as good. They destroyed humanity at one point, how did they suddenly turn good, and what the hell are they doing breeding and living in families? Are you telling me that they are human? BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT. Let me repeat that if you didn’t get it the first time around. THEY ARE NOT FUCKING HUMANS and I for one would definitely not want to hang out with them. Now I am not saying the whole family thing is only something humans do, it's just the way it pains these creatures, it feels like they are basically humans with a few 'advantages' and that does NOT work.

(spoiler show)



The whole situation basically ruined the world building for me. I loved the world building up until that point. I was immersed in this world the author had created and then it had to go down the drain because no good things can last. 


It pains me to give this book such a low rating but I cannot say I regret buying it. It does look pretty on my bookshelf. With that said though, I am not completely sure I want to read the sequel. I don’t want to dive back into that world after the ‘twist’ the author threw at us but that may change in the future.

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