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review 2018-05-03 19:41
5+ Out Of 5 "just what I needed" STARS
LIFEL1K3 - Jay Kristoff

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Lifel1k3

Jay Kristoff

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On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

 

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

 

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

 

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I loved this!!! Thank you, to whoever decided I was worthy of an ARC of this. I seriously wondered if I would like something by Jay Kristoff without Amie Kaufman involved…but, I totally did.

 

I was thrown off by the dialogue, for the first few chapters, which I would say is somewhere between Dust Lands Series and the Illuminae Files.  The world in this is fantastic, fleshed out perfectly, with just the right amount of world building.  The pacing is intense.  The action is top-notch, non-stop and depicted in a way that's easily followed.  The characters are possibly my new favorites. The twists at the end were unexpected and I can't wait for book #2.  Oh, and I'm for sure doing a re-read/listen on Audio of this before that second book comes out. 

 

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~MY RATING~

5+STARS - GRADE=A+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 5+/5

Secondary Characters~ 5+/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5+/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Yes…a "to be continued"

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Book Cover~ Awesome

Publisher~ Random House Children's, Knopf Books for Young Readers

Series~ Lifelike #1

Setting~ Yousay (California)

Source~  I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-04-27 14:16
3.2 Out Of 5 STARS for The Lost Girls
The Lost Girls - Heather Young

 

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~ABOUT THE BOOK~

The Lost Girls

Heather Young

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A stunning debut novel that examines the price of loyalty, the burden of regret, the meaning of salvation, and the sacrifices we make for those we love, told in the voices of two unforgettable women linked by a decades-old family mystery at a picturesque lake house.

 

In 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes from her family’s vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. Her disappearance destroys the family—her father commits suicide, and her mother and two older sisters spend the rest of their lives at the lake house, keeping a decades-long vigil for the lost child.

 

Sixty years later, Lucy, the quiet and watchful middle sister, lives in the lake house alone. Before her death, she writes the story of that devastating summer in a notebook that she leaves, along with the house, to the only person who might care: her grandniece, Justine. For Justine, the lake house offers freedom and stability—a way to escape her manipulative boyfriend and give her daughters the home she never had. But the long Minnesota winter is just beginning. The house is cold and dilapidated. The dark, silent lake is isolated and eerie. Her only neighbor is a strange old man who seems to know more about the summer of 1935 than he’s telling.

 

Soon Justine’s troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with Emily’s disappearance, her mother arrives to steal her inheritance, and the man she left launches a dangerous plan to get her back. In a house haunted by the sorrows of the women who came before her, Justine must overcome their tragic legacy if she hopes to save herself and her children.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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A very languid slow-burning mystery, for me, maybe too languid.  The characters were difficult to emphasize with or even like.  It just seemed like they were too blasé about everything.  I just wanted to scream at them to wake up.  I also found it really difficult to keep all of the names straight.  For some, I believe the pacing will be fine, evidenced by all the great ratings this book has.  For me, it was just so-so.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.2STARS - GRADE=C+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.8/5

Main Characters~ 2.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 2.5/5

The Feels~ 2.5/5

Pacing~ 3/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.2/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~  It's okay…

Narration~ 2.5 -Alice Rosengard (Aunt's Voice) and 4.3 -Laurel Schroeder (Justine's Voice)

Setting~ Remote lake in Minnesota

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-04-25 18:28
4.3 Out Of 5 "This shit is bananas!!!" STARS
Pines - Blake Crouch

 

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~ABOUT THE BOOK~

Pines

Blake Crouch

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Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was until he must face a horrifying fact—he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Wow, I had no clue where this was going when I started it, and that’s the best way to go into this, I'm thinking.  If it's at all possible to do, what with the TV show and all.  I don't have cable, only Netflix, Hulu, and Prime, so no problem for me, there. This will suck you in and have you frantically trying to figure it out. 

 

I should probably admit that they were some explanations near the end of the story that kind of, totally, lost me…my solution…was to start watching the show (it's on Hulu).  The only problem is so far the show has a lot of differences and I'm only on the second episode.  So, I don't know how or if it's going to clear up my confusion.  But we'll see.  I also, immediately added narration (only $1.99) to the last two books of the series, that I already bought on sale previously.   

 

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~MY RATING~

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 4.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.7/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.2/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.3/5  Cliffhanger~ Just a "to be continued…"

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Book Cover~ It's Cool

Narration~ Paul Michael Garcia

Series~ Wayward Pines #1

Setting~ Wayward Pines, Idaho

Source~ Own on Audible

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review 2018-03-30 17:57
4.2 Out Of 5 "Tarnished...But Not Broken" STARS
Tarnished City - Vic James

 

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~ABOUT THE BOOK~

Tarnished City

Vic James

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A corrupted city. A dark dream of power.

 

Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own.

 

New alliances and old feuds will remake the nation, leaving Abi and Luke questioning everything – and everyone – they know. And as Silyen Jardine hungers for the forgotten Skill of the legendary Wonder King, the country’s darkest hour approaches. Freedom and knowledge both come at a cost. So who will pay the price?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I was torn as to whether I was going to continue this series because I struggled to get through the first book.  Then way before it (Tarnished City) was due to release, I noticed my library had already purchased it in audiobook format…I thought…hmmm…maybe I could eliminate some my issues with Gilded Cage by listening to Tarnished City, rather than reading it.

 

Overall, I'm happy that I gave this series a second chance because this world that Vic James has created is darkly captivating and dangerously alluring.  I applaud her ingenuity with the unique plot and the complex characters.  She also threw in some very clever twists.  While there are still many elements to this that I found confusing and I know I didn't always comprehend the situations totally, I did enjoy it, nonetheless.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2/5 STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4.3/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.3/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.2/5  Cliffhanger~ More or less…yes.

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Book Cover~  Awesome, I think this darker version goes with the story better.

Narration~ ☆4.3☆ Avita Jay, for having an accent, which I always seem to struggle with, I thought she was pretty good.

Series~ Dark Gifts #2

Setting~ England & Scotland

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-03-25 15:10
I recommend reading the book before listening because not all of this story works in audio format.
Gemina (The Illuminae Files) - Jay Kristoff,Amie Kaufman

 

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~ABOUT THE BOOK~

Gemina

Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

 

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

 

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair is struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

 

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

 

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I don't know that I would have gleaned everything that was going on in this if I hadn't previously read it.  I felt like the audio was difficult to follow in certain sections.  If I rated on the audio version alone my rating would probably be 4-Stars.  What follows here is my review of the book edition:

 

This series is the cat's meow and dog's bark and the ram's bahhhaah…all that shit and more…It's not going to be for everyone…but damn, it should be.  I think so, anyway.  The format is crazy, and it (for me) may be part of what makes it so good…that, and the amazing and intricate plot.  Nothing is off limits in this series.

 

I read this both from a hardcover book (that my daughter bought me for Christmas) and a Kindle eBook that I borrowed from the library at the same time.  I'm so glad that I did it this way.  Because…the eBook is good for low lighting and when I was at work, seriously though, that book is lug…and the actual lug of a book is perfect for those pages with small, teeny tiny pictures/documents and such on them.  I flipped back and forth between the two constantly.  I also used an Audible credit for the Audiobook of Gemina, which I plan to listen to right before Obsidio comes out in March 2018.

 

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~MY RATING~

5/5 STARS - GRADE=A+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5+/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ "to be continued"

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Book Cover~  Awesome!

Narration~ Awesome! Full-cast is the best!

Series~ Illuminae Files #2

Setting~ Heimdall Station

Source~ Own Audible Audio

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