Review

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4 stars to This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Published June 19, 2014 by katheryn13

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review

Well this was different to what I usually read, but I think that was part of the appeal. I had heard about This Is Not A Test for so long, but when I first opened the book, I had no idea zombies were involved.
Many on reviews say this is not strictly a zombie apocalyptic story, because while they are apart of the plot, they are not CENTRAL. The story is about the teenagers and their survival. They don’t know how long they’ll be alive for before the zombies fight their way through. It was definitely gruesome in parts, but I have read some pretty gruel stories and this was tame in comparison. The characters were intriguing and tough. Some were more central than others, and Sloane was the main character. Since her twin left her to her abusive father, Sloane has just wanted to end her life. But then she runs away when the dead come to life and start attacking, and her reasons to die become less coherent. It’s quite a powerful story, and at times I thought: this is it. She’s going to kill herself. But you gradually see she’s getting stronger and finding a reason to live, even if it takes time.

I’m really glad I picked this up from the library and will look out for more books by this author.

–Kat

4.5 stars to The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass

Published June 14, 2014 by katheryn13

THE SELECTION changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. Now, only one will claim Prince Maxon’s heart…

It’s swoon meets the Hunger Games in the final instalment of THE SELECTION trilogy!

For the four girls who remain at the palace, the friendships they’ve formed, rivalries they’ve struggled with and dangers they’ve faced have bound them to each other for the rest of their lives.

Now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown – or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realises just how much she stands to lose – and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

 

 

Review:

PRAISE YOU, KIERA! *high fives* I loved that bit in the Acknowledgements! lol

If I had any doubts about how this would pan out, then I wish I could go back to myself three days ago and slap my face. Shake my shoulders and tell me that I’m being silly. I won’t spoil it because it’s a pretty  big ending.

Anyway, America…wow she became so much more in The One. I’ll admit she got on my nerves a bit in The Elite because of her “indecision” over Maxon and Aspen. I mean, really. There is NO comparison. (pssst I love Maxon!) But I could also see her point of view. She’d only ever known Aspen and change isn’t always good, sometimes it’s freaking scary and if you don’t know what’s waiting on the other side, why would you want to change?

There were plenty of sad moments, however in this final instalment. I cried. I know, I know, I try not to. But…those letters. *zips lips* I can’t. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve read it.

I wanted to slap America at one point, though. Her attention to secrecy regarding Aspen was bound to slip at one point and when it did I was ready to start an intervention. This girl…hasn’t she learned anything by now? Secrets aren’t good.

The romance in this is swoooooon worthy and awww man….can i just grafitti my love for Maxon MAXON MY DARLING MY DEAR COME TO MEEEE! (I’m not crazy, I promise!)

I love her family, though. May…however overly giddy, she is a sweetie. Kota bugged me. Such a self-righteous git. Grr. We get to meet Kenna properly this time.

There are also new characters involving the Northern Rebels, and there are some surprises that took me by surprise.

I’m so sad this is the end of America’s story but I will forever love it. Such a roller coaster of feelings. I wish I could be a princess. *sighs*

Kat

4 stars to City of Heavenly Fire (Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare

Published June 2, 2014 by katheryn13

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last instalment of the internationally bestselling The Mortal Instruments series.

Erchomai, Sebastian had said. I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat him – must they journey to another world to find the chance?

Review:

Let me just clear this up: I was going to rate this book 3.5 stars. That was before the epilogue. I’ll just call this my “disclaimer” :P

So the end has come, and I guess we all knew it would happen. Would Sebastian aka Jonathan Morgenstern win the war? Would he rule all of hell and earth and whatever else he was planning?

A little part of me hoped he’d redeem himself. But alas it was not to be. I won’t say any spoilers, though that is going to make reviewing damned difficult because SO much happened.

I’ll get the negatives out of the way. I felt for the first half or three quarters of the book not a lot actually HAPPENED. Oh don’t get me wrong, lot’s went on, people did stuff and said stuff that were both bad and good, but the phrase “you say a lot without actually saying anything” comes to mind. Lots went on but not a lot actually happened. As in, I felt like I was being dragged around a playground for hours until suddenly there was a bump in the road. I dunno, bad analogy. Edit: I just remembered to add there were a couple of continuity problems and also the pacing…I don’t know if it was just me, but it felt off.

Then about half way, things started to get real. The ‘gang’ as I like to call them, travel into an unknown realm, which is basically…hell. They roam hills and vast desert, and encounter demons. This was the most interesting bit in this section for me, when they first arrive, and they each fall into a dream where their hearts desire come true. Although it’s not really their desire, as they each find out. I thought that added a nice twist, as opposed to just entering hell and it being a bit anti climactic.

As much as I hated Sebastian…I still kind of liked him. I understood (although not in a personal way) that he just, ultimately, wanted to be loved. The problem was, he didn’t understand that that other person needs a good reason to love back and it can’t be forced. He thought by threatening and practically forcing Clary to love him, it would happen. Which is what made me like him, despite the crazy shit he did, he was deep down lonely.

Now, we all knew that two new characters (well a whole family, really) would be introduced into this book. Emma and Julian being the centre pair. I understood why Cassie did this, because of her releasing a new Shadowhunter series in 2015. But…now here’s where my opinion might be unpopular. I didn’t particularly like how much they were in it. I get that you can introduce them, maybe have them in a couple of scenes, but in my view, that should have been it. They took up too much room and imo were quite boring. I felt zero feelings towards them, and it really bugged me. More because I had to drag myself through the long chapters they were in just to get to good stuff. I realise that I don’t have to read the next series, and I may not, but for an end of series book for the characters we already know and love, adding these new people for as much as she did, was a bit unnecessary.

Shoot pellets at me if you like.

Magnus as always was someone I hoped survived. Although in contrast to other books in the series, his part wasn’t that big. The wolves seemed to be more of a focus, which I guess yeah is okay, but I’ve never been a big lover of werewolves (long story) and so this put me off, but I was sad when a certain thing happened. Actually, two certain things, but that’s unrelated to the pack. *remembers not to spoil*

Onto the epilogue and this is where the dull parts of the book are redeemed because what happened at the end of the book broke me. I was sad, no tears though. Just…sad. Until epilogue and dammit, you got reminders of the Herondale family and a certain blue eyed boy and I’m like “WILLLLLLL I MISS YOU!!!” but yknow, that’s another story. Literally. hehe.

I just loved (and hated) all the references to the characters in TID and especially mentions of  certain ghost in the London Institute. (if you’ve read that series, you’ll understand.) but this is what made me cry. In some ways, I felt a stronger attachment to them than the Mortal Instruments crew.

I guess there’s not much else I can say. I enjoyed this book…well, most of it. Despite the whines and complaints, it was a good ending to a very good series. I’m glad nothing major happened, although some things were pretty scary. There were so many laughs, which was nice, it lightened the tension, and many twists and turns.

Looking forward to what Cassie next has in store for us…

Kat

TWO mini reviews: 3.5stars to Maximum Ride #3 by James Patterson & 4stars to The Death Cure by James Dashner

Published May 22, 2014 by katheryn13

 

In the third installment of James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series, the time has arrived for Max and her winged “Flock” to face their ultimate enemy and discover their original purpose: to defeat the takeover of “Re-evolution”, a sinister experiment to re-engineer a select population into a scientifically superior master race…and to terminate the rest. Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel have always worked together to defeat the forces working against them–but can they save the world when they are torn apart, living in hiding and captivity, halfway across the globe from one another?

 

Review:

I have enjoyed the previous two books in this series, but this one has to be my favourite. Funny, full of adventure and kicking ass, there’s plenty to love. Max’s smart-aleck comments always amuse me.

The twists and turns throughout this book, though, they were something to take in. Although some of this is really cheesy, I realise the series is for kids, and I mean, it’s obvious in the writing style and the language, but even so, I’m way older than the demographic, I’m sure, and I loved it.

Not sure about continuing the books, though, as I’ve heard questionable reviews. But as a trilogy, it works for me and I’d be happy to stop now.

Kat


 

 

 

The Trials are over. WICKED is planning to restore the survivors’ memories and complete the final cure for the Flare.

But Thomas has already remembered more than they think. And he knows WICKED can’t be trusted…

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

 

Review:

I have enjoyed this series completely, even if at times I have been thoroughly grossed out and have taken long breaks because yes the font is small and the context is heavy (for me.) but I have always finished. And this was no exception.

Now that the trials are over, WICKED has plans. Plans that involve Thomas and his friends. But Thomas has other “plans” and this time he means business. On a whirlwind journey across several parts of the USA (mostly Denver), we’re introduced to more of the Cranks, and where they live, and an underground (not literally) rebel group who plot to destroy WICKED.

The ending, as so many people have said, was a little…basic. It felt to me a little rushed, but in the end I just felt glad the torment of their story was over and they could have a somewhat peaceful life.

If the movie producers decide to do the whole trilogy as movies, this one will certainly take a lot of energy and devising. I can’t wait!

Kat

 

 

 

 

4 stars to What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Published May 2, 2014 by katheryn13

Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever.

Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world.

Now meet Eva and Addie.

They don’t have to imagine.

Review:

In a world where everyone is born as twins (2 souls in one body), but come their 7th year one of the souls/twins has to become dominant and the other dies.  When both souls remain, they’re classified as Hybrids. Addie and Eva are Hybrids though they hide away,  scared of what might happen if found out. After coming in contact with another girl (Hally/Lissa, who they find out is also Hybrid), Eva decides she wants go learn to share control of the body again. Unfortunately Hally gets caught and in turn, so do Eva/Addie.

There’s so much going on in this book that it was so hard to put it down, and page to page of drama. I really liked Ryan/Devon, although Ryan more. The two guys (souls) were very different in personality and so it was easy to tell them apart, although it was usually Eva telling us which one it was. With all the different souls, I did, admittedly, get a bit lost on who was who. It seemed to me there were double the amount of characters. Haha.

So yes, I loved this story. As I said, lots going on, which made it hard to process everything sometimes, but that didn’t mean I had time to stop. Oh no. It was a rollercoaster.

On a side note, going through other reviews, why does no one ever mention other characters names? Occasionally I forget the names and have to google, and sometimes I on Goodreads to see reviews and all I see are the main two names but no others. I’m screaming WHY IS NOBODY ELSE MENTIONED?! Sorry, had to mention that. Back to the review.

There’s an aspect of survival’s instincts in this, and certain times when Addie/Eva would do something extreme, it made me want to cry out and hug them.

Honestly, I don’t know what else to say. It’s just so good that I WILL be reading the sequel. I want to know what happened next. I NEED to know. I haven’t read anything this engrossing in such a long time.

Kat

3 stars to Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Published May 2, 2014 by katheryn13

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you’d been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth’s collapse, the ship’s crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader’s efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don’t know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them…

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren’t all from the outside.


Review:

Glow had an unusual and fairly original premise. There’s a second Earth, but it’s in the form of a spaceship. Our earth is far past the point of inhabiting and now population on New Earth is in trouble. The Empyrean’s sister ship, New Horizon, has found they can’t reproduce. Once partners, the two ships become enemies.

Albeit, the story is revolved around Kieran and Waverly, two teenagers who are supposed to get married and help the population by having children. That is until New Horizon strike an attack on the basis of taking the girls and leaving the boys to die. Both ships fight for survival. This is where it reminds me of the Gone series and then there’s also the Maze Runner, but in space. That’s just me, though. haha.

Both sides have leadership issues, and they each go through such terrible situations that made me cringe and gasp. I’ll admit, i felt more sympathy for Waverly and the other girls because what happened to them was far more serious than the boys. Boys were just…bratty and stupid, where as the girls literally couldn’t help their problem, as they had adult leaders on board who were determined to get what they wanted.

Kieran irritated me with his holier than thou attitude. When the two groups were finally reunited, I was quite happy how the book ended, with the slight impression Waverly was going to change things now she was back. Kieran had turned into a preacher and came across as arrogant and couldn’t understand why Waverly (who isn’t religious) didn’t like it.

I’ll maybe read the sequel, but there were far too many irritations with the characters that I couldn’t rate it higher than 3 stars.

Kat

4 stars to Shattered (Slated #3) by Teri Terry

Published April 30, 2014 by katheryn13

Kyla is in danger from both the government Lorders who erased her memory and the terrorists who tried to use her. So now she’s on the run. Sporting a new identity and desperate to fill in the blank spaces of her life pre-Slating, Kyla heads to a remote mountain town to try to reunite with the birth mother she was kidnapped from as a child. There she is hoping all the pieces of her life will come together and she can finally take charge of her own future. But even in the idyllic wilderness and the heart of her original family, Kyla realizes there is no escape from the oppressive Lorders. Someone close to her may be one of them, and even more frighteningly, her birth mother has been keeping secrets of her own.

In this stunning series finale, Kyla finally finds out who she really is, and the road to this discovery, and to deciding who she wants to become, is full of dangerous twists and turns that will keep readers riveted.

 

 

Review:

So this last instalment of the Slated trilogy was a tornado of feelings. First off, how many names does Kyla need? I got so lost. Anyway, I loved this book. Was sad to see the series end, but it tied off loose bits and we find out more about  who Kyla really is. Or rather, we try to.

Having set off with a new identity, Kyla travels to Cumbria to meet her birth mother, Stella. Who well, I’m sure you can guess, has some secrets of her own. Things are never as straight forward as one hopes, and Kyla soon realises that there are more details of her life to unravel, just when she thought things were calming down. Become somewhat normal in a world full or terrors.

Kyla and Aidan, a guy who I actually forgot existed (it’d been a while since Fractured), helps her find the answers. Although there are new people introduced along the way, you still get the same classics like Ben. Oh Ben, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?!

That’s all I can on the matter.

Kyla becomes heavily involved with MIA and helps Mac and Aidan to unleash the truth about the Lorders and the government in order to shut them down. Unfortunately Stella’s mother who happens to be JCO (don’t ask me what that stands for, I just remember reading it a lot. >_<) for the Lorders and ends up sabotaging most of MIA’s effort, until a final revelation is revealed. This ending completely mind bombed me (new phrase, you like?). Page after page I needed to find out what and how this story would be resolved but damn if it didn’t kick me in the gut occasionally.

A dystopia with a twist to the future, this series is by far in my top 3 of series to read.

<3

-Kat