Review: These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)

Publication date: November 20th 2013

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Number of pages: 374

Series: Starbound (1#)

Genre: YA science-fiction

Source: Purchased. This is my honest opinion.

pagebreaksbookcomet

Goodreads synopsis:

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

A timeless love story, These Broken Stars sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

pagebreaksbookcomet

Review:

Yes I’m going to put it out there. I’m not about to gush over this book like pretty much every review I’ve seen does. It wasn’t abolutely awful, but really, it was boring.

That’s really why I thought that this book as such a let down. It had the potential to be so amazing – have you read the premise? The idea seems great, and paired with my desire to read a sci-fi book, I was so excited to get stuck into it. And not to mention all the amazing reviews I’d read as well. Even people who said they weren’t really in to sci-fi gushed over this book. But unfortunately, in my opinion the book decided to take the boring route.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m really into character-driven stories – a lot of my favourite books are character driven. But I really disliked Lilac. Tarver was ok but that’s about it. I guess I enjoyed reading his point of view the best. So what happens when you put boring, stereotypical characters together? A boring, stereotypical romance. In other words, I disliked the relatonship between Tarver and Lilac.

But there’s a light coming. I actually thought it got pretty good around the time of the major plot twist. Then it came crashing down with a weird, strange, convenient, paranormal solution.

While the ending did bring up questions that I would like answered, I’m still not driven enough to read a sequel. Apparently this is a companion series – I’m guessing Lilac and Tarver would still be featured or mentioned at some point? Their story isn’t really done.

Before I conclude this review, there are two more things that I liked: the cover and the writing. The cover is really pretty and probably something that would attract a lot of readers. The writing is also really pretty and could have done amazing things for the book. Come to think of it, it’s super cool that the two co-authors could manage that, not only did they write together, but from opposite sides of the world.

I’m going to have to rate These Broken Stars a grand total of 2.5 comets. I feel let down and it really did bore me. I ay reread this n the future because one thing that probably affected my thoughts on this book was how tired I was when I read it. Seriously. I had been awake for a heck of a long time a couldn’t even concentrate on it properly (I was on an aeroplane).

2.5/5
Minor ident. Could have been a bigger hit.

Add to Goodreads

pagebreaksbookcomet

Goodreads author bios:

Amie Kaufman

Amie KaufmanAmie Kaufman is the co-author of These Broken Stars, the first in the Starbound trilogy, and Illuminae, the first in a new series starting in 2015. She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary. 

 

Meagan Spooner

Meagan SpoonerMeagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

Review: Infinityglass

 Infinityglass by Myra McEntire

Infinityglass (Hourglass, #3)

Publication date: August 6th 2013

Publisher: EgmontUSA

Number of pages: 293

Series: Hourglass (3#)

Genre: YA Sci-fi/Time-travel

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads synopsis:

No time like the present.
No time in the present.
No time left.


From the moment the Hourglass group violated the rules of the space time continuum to rescue a murdered loved one, time has been in flux. People from other centuries slide into our time, intruding into our space, threatening our world.

Frantically seeking a way to turn back this tide, the Hourglass begins a search for the legendary Infinityglass, tracking it to the city of New Orleans, a place where the past rests easily with the present.

Quiet, reliable Dune, the group’s favourite geek, is selected to travel to the Crescent City and somehow retrieve the renowned object.

But there’s a problem.

Because the Infinityglass is not an object, it’s a person.

A beautiful, headstrong dancer named Hallie, a girl so enticing Dune can’t take his eyes off her.

And time is not on her side.

 

pagebreaksbookcomet

 

 Review:

And, sigh, that’s the end of another series.

But what a great ending it was.

It was a total awwww ending, one that fills you with happiness. Sometimes we just need those endings that make you feel happy where everything works out. It was just great, I love it when final books have an epilogue because it wraps everything up and let’s you know what happens in the future. I felt that the ending to Infinityglass was ideal – all the loose knots were tied up well.

I was very surprised that the story was told from a new character’s point of view, Hallie, and Dune. In the other two books, very little was shared about Dune, so he was the last person I thought would be a narrator. I was even more surprised that there were two points of view. One of the things I love about these books, is that even though the narrator of the story changes, we still see plenty of the other characters that we have grown attached to.

I was kind of hoping that there would be some time-travel in Infinityglass but I had no such luck. Hallie’s transmutations and the brief rip scenes didn’t really count. Still, I was able to look past that because Infinityglass still was a great book.

Perhaps Hallie is one of my favourite characters. I mean, Kaleb will always reign supreme, but Hallie wasn’t that far from him. Really, all the characters were fantastic. I feel like I know them all really well and I love how they have all (well almost all of them) have been paired off.

The Hourglass trilogy must be pretty good if I can read them all back to back without feeling washed out or bored. That has happened to me a fair few times before, so it must say something if I’m interested in the series the whole time. I think that each book in the series gets better and better, the first book took me a while to get into, I was straight into the second book and I don’t think I really left the third book while reading it.

Myra McEntire creates excellent imagery in her writing. I could always picture her scenes and once again, that doesn’t always happen with me.

I think that the Hourglass trilogy was excellent and Infinityglass certainly met my expectations as a series conclusion. If you need a little YA sci-fi in your life, look no further.

4/5 comets!
A meteor shower. A great show.

Add to Goodreads

Review: Hourglass

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Hourglass (Hourglass, #1)

Pubication date: June 14th 2011

Publisher: Egmont USA

Number of pages: 390

Series: Hourglass (1#)

Genre: YA Sci-fi/Time-travel

 Source: Borrowed. This is my honest opinion.

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads synopsis:

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should’ve happened?

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Review:

Please, if you can time-travel, can you and tell me during the first half of this book that I really don’t want to DNF it? Because I came dangerously close.

Why, you ask? It looks like you really enjoyed it – I mean you gave it four stars! Well my curious reader, it’s because of the pacing. I’d say about the first half of the book had very slow pacing and I was getting bored. I was reading a book about time-travel and the main character really wasn’t even close to time-travelling yet.

My other intial problem, was with the main character Emerson. Sure, I could swear she was me in book form, but that’s a worry, considering how annoyed I got with her. I thought her personality was endearing at first, but then it just got plain annoying.

Luckily as the book went on, it got a lot better. Emerson’s personality stayed endearing and the pacing picked up. I’d say the real turning point is when she meets Kaleb, because he was more interesting than Michael. Yep, at that point the story definitely got engrossing.

Speaking of Kaleb, I never would have picked a love triangle for this book if I had just read the beginning. I mean, Michael seemed great and I thought the story would be about Michael defying the rules and falling in love with Emerson. But nope, Kaleb came on to the scene and I suddenly became all “forget Michael, marry Kaleb!”. But that’s not entirely true, actually. As much as I’d love Kaleb and Emerson to be together, Michael and Emerson are meant to be together.

The other thing I liked, was the take on time-travellers. It was definitely an interesting concept, particularly the part with the “rips”. If you think you have read all the time-travel books already, please read Hourglass.

I really loved the second half of the book. I sat down to read about fifty and ended up reading about 200. Yeah, it was that good.

I had been really wanting to read this trilogy for a while and will definitely be continuing on with it. I have a fairly high bar set for the sequel.

 4/5 comets!
A meteor shower. A great show.

Add to Goodreads

 

Review: The Eye of Minds

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine, #1)

Publication date: October 8th 2013

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 323

Series: The Mortality Doctrine (1#)

Genre: YA Sci-fi/Dystopia

Source: Borrowed. This is my honest opinion.

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads synopsis:

An all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure from James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.

Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.
And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.
But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Review:

Well, I think it was apparent before even beginning this book, that I would compare it to the Maze Runner trilogy. I mean, you’re talking about one of my favourite authors here. Not to mention the author that got me into dystopian books.

I have to say that I didn’t like it as much. I liked it, but I loved the Maze Runner trilogy. The Eye of Minds is really a mystery/sci-fi book as opposed to dystopian, so it’s out of my typical tastes. I’m not really surprised but I couldn’t pass up the chance to read The Eye of Minds.

I love James Dashner’s writing (obviously) and I stand by the fact that he has a talent for writing gorier scenes. He can make things sound really creepy (Grievers anyone?). The other thing he does is write unpredictable things, particularly near the ending, that drives you crazy in anticipation for the next book. Even in The Eye Minds, the things that should have been totally unpredictable, that stare you right in the face the whole time are unpredictable.

The book, or at least the paperback, is so pretty in person! Really pretty. I do have to complain about the spine, though. It’s pretty boring compared to the gorgeous cover.

The Eye of Minds should totally be a movie. I’m telling you, I was holding a blockbuster in my hands. I swear, it could look amazing on the big screen. An epic sci-fi action movie right here.

The characters were great. Bryson provided the totally necessary witty commentary. The lead character made for a great leader and the also necessary female in the group could envy Hermione Granger of Harry Potter.

I might continue with the series if I’m given the chance, because I really would like to know what happened after the last book and I can’t wait to gaze upon the next cover.

 3.5/5 comets
Looks like the start of an apocalypse!

Add to Goodreads

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads author bio:

James DashnerJames is the author of THE MAZE RUNNER trilogy and THE 13TH REALITY series. He also published a series (beginning with A DOOR IN THE WOODS) with a small publisher several years ago. He lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains.

 

 

Best YA Travel Books

So, are you lucky enough to be going on a holiday or trip of sorts sometime soon?

planeflyingoverbookbookcomet

 (image credits – plane: courtesy of arztsamui, book: courtesy of khunaspix @ Free Digital Photos)

In a few months I am, and yes, I’m already choosing what books I’m going to take.

So what is the ideal plane book? Or at least my ideal plane book?

My criteria is:
– interesting. On a long flight, I want to be entertained.
– about average in length. Nothing crazy long, unless there is a book you really want to finish in the epic size range. But nothing short, or you’ll finish it before the flight is over! Plus if you’re like me and keep track of the page number, you don’t want anything that takes forever to get through because it makes the flight seem longer.
– reasonably well paced.
– If it’s a physical copy, paperback. Hardbacks are heavier.
– something I have been looking forward to.

So based on the above criteria and books I have read on/off planes and trains, here are my YA recommendations for long trips! My top five per genre.

Fluffy reads:

  • Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan MatsonAmy and Roger's Epic Detour

Fantastic for a road trip. And for those of us out there who love a great travel romance story.

  • Geek Girl by Holly SmaleGeek Girl (Geek Girl, #1)

This is my favourite book in this genre ever. That’s not true, I adore the second book even more, actually. I love this. It’s quirky, funny, captures my essence perfectly and you can annoy people sitting next to you with the random facts dotted through out.

  • Flirting in Italian by Lauren HendersonFlirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1)

Does this really need explaining? It’s cute, travel and romance all in one book.

  • Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie FinnBroken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend (Broken Hearts & Revenge, #1)

It’s sooooooo good. Especially if you’re going somewhere sunny. I can NOT wait for the sequel.

For dystopian book lovers:

  • The Selection by Kiera CassThe Selection (The Selection, #1)

This one is great for if your main focus is entertainment. It’s like watching The Bachelor but with a small side of dystopia. It’s not exactly a literary masterpiece, but definitely entertaining and addictive. I will probably bring this one myself.

  • Wither by Lauren DeStefanoWither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

Same deal as with The Selection. Entertaing, but not a literary masterpiece. Seriously, I am so addicted to both of these. They kind of remind me of eachother.

  • The Maze Runner by James DashnerThe Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)

I know that these are all obvious choices, but there’s a reason for that. I actually preferred the Scorch Trials (the second book) but both make for great plane reads because it’s such a unique world and there are so many questions you want to know the answer to. And there are twists.

Contemporary:

  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow RowellEleanor and Park

This is my top contemporary book at the moment. I read it when I was on holiday and loved it. Just use the holiday as an excuse to read it. And for some reason it’s really engrossing.

  • Notable by Marni BatesNotable (Smith High, #3)

Another really addictive book about travel. Plus the main character is a little different from average. The mean girl goes to Cambodia.

Paranormal:

  • The Summoning by Kelley ArmstrongThe Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1)

It really is great. Honest.

  • Nevermore by Kelly CreaghNevermore (Nevermore, #1)

One of the thicker ones on here. And another one I read on holiday. Bonus points if you’re a fan of Edgar Allan Poe.

  • The Goddess Test by Aimee CarterThe Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)

Very addictive. I read this series earlier this year and adored it. It’s especially great if you want a series to fly through (see what I did there?).

Sci-fi:

  • Across the Universe by Beth RevisAcross the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

My favourite ever sci-fi book! There’s mystery, space and a great story set in the future. Definitely recommend.

Fantasy:

  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J MaasThrone of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

This one is for those of us who want a little assassin and adventure set in a kingdom. Don’t be afraid to admit it. I took this on holiday and have the sequel ready for this coming holiday.

  • The False Prince by Jennifer A. NielsenThe False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)

I personally recommend the audiobook. It’s kind of like Throne of Glass in the kingdom sense, but there is the competition for the crown as well. LOVE.

Historical:

  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversGrave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)

You could wear my outfit inspired by this. You would be the best looking person on the plane/train/bus/boat. You could also read the book. Rephrase: you SHOULD also read the book.

  • The Luxe by Anna GodbersenThe Luxe (Luxe, #1)

It’s Gossip Girl in the 1920’s. Each book in the series gets a lot better.

  • The Falconer by Elizabeth MayThe Falconer (The Falconer, #1)

Another assassin/hunter book. But this time in Scotland in the 1800’s with faeries.

Humour:

  • The Hunger Pain by The Harvard LampoonThe Hunger Pains: A Parody

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

————————

Anyway, I hope this list helps you when you are picking your next book to take on holiday!