A Sequel that is Better than the First: Through the Ever Night

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throughtheevernight
Through The Ever Night
Under the Never Sky #2
Veronica Rossi

4stars


 It’s been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don’t take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe’s precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, can their love survive through the ever night?

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It’s not often that the second book is better than the first, but I’m glad to say that this is one of those times.

I enjoyed Under the Never Sky.  After initially being annoyed by Aria, I really liked the characters and the romance. I don’t think I mentioned it in my review, but I really enjoyed that the romance never overwhelmed the actual plot of the book and what these two characters had set out to do.

And Through the Ever Night continues this.  While there was a bit more focus on romance, both Perry and Aria continue to do what needs to be done even if it means they have to be away from each other.

And I LOVED Aria in this book.  Gone is the naive dweller who didn’t understand that sometimes you need to kill the people who are trying to eat you.  She is totally kickass in the sequel. She recognizes the hardships of living outside of a protected pod and she does what she needs to do to survive.

And while Perry did get a teensy bit whiny for a few chapters, I really stood behind him and what he was trying to do for his tribe.  It annoyed me a bit that his people couldn’t recognize what he was doing for them, but eventually they understood.  I think it was actually a pretty good depiction of a young man thrust into power.
And I really, really fell in love with Roar this book.  Such a great secondary character and I’m glad we got to see a lot more of him.

A minor issue I had with the first book is that the pacing was pretty slow.  Yeah it was a survival story with some adventure and romance, but it was pretty slow going until the last 100 pages.  Not so with this book.  I thought the pacing was right on point and I sped through with my reading because I had to find out how it ended.

We also learn a bit more about the catastrophic events that led to the Unity and how certain people came to live in pods while others remained outside.  It’s not particularly groundbreaking or in depth, but it did help satisfy my curiosity about the backstory of this world.

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Historical Romance Thursday #1

I’ve been thinking of adding more monthly features for awhile now.  So I’ve decided to mix my newfound interest in expanding the genres I read and monthly features.  From now on, on the 2nd Thursday of every month, I will highlight a Historical Romance novel that I have read recently.  This is a genre that I have been wanting to explore for some time, and I’m happy to say that my first few reads have been great experiences!

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Mine Till Midnight

The Hathaways #1

Lisa Kleypas

4stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.

Wealthy beyond most men’s dreams, Cam has tired of society’s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship—but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter…

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I really, really enjoyed this.  I actually liked it more than the first HR I read, The Rogue Not Taken.

Amelia Hathaway was a great character to start this series off with.  As the oldest female, at 26 (I think) she is resigned to life as a spinster.  In fact, she doesn’t have any desire to get married because she doesn’t want to give up her control of her own life.  She doesn’t want to have to obey a man.  All she wants to do is take care of her 3 younger sisters and her older brother.   All of the characters are great and I loved the family relationships.  In fact, I can’t wait to get to Poppy and Beatrix’s stories because they seemed like more interesting characters.

Cam Rohan was a very interesting love interest.  I don’t think I’ve read any books about a Romani  character.  I don’t really know much about them, so I can’t really tell if it was a stereotypical portrayal, but it didn’t seem bad. I liked how the book brought up the stereotypes that most people believed about the Romani, and explored them within the two characters of Cam and Merripen. What I liked most about him was that he wasn’t a brooding male! I am so sick of the woe is me love interest.  He was confident and sexy and seemed more than willing to let Amelia live her own life, while also taking care of her at the same time.

The only real issues I had with this was the random POV shifts to Merripen and Winnifred.  It’s actually a major pet peeve when new POVs are introduced towards the end of novels.  It wasn’t a deal breaker for me here because I felt like it was just setting up for the second book of the series which will focus on these two characters.  I will definitely be reading the rest of this series as soon as I can get my hands on them!

Review: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

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Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection

The Lunar Chronicles

Marissa Meyer

4stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


 

The enchantment continues….

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

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A Collection of short stories set within the Lunar Chronicles universe. Some of the stories had previously been available to read, but I never read them.  I usually don’t read the in between stories, but it’s hard to resist when it’s The Lunar Chronicles and they are gathered together in such a pretty book.   Overall I think it was an excellent collection.

The Keeper4stars

Damn, this one just broke my heart.  You get to know Michelle Benoit a lot better and see young Scarlet, and it was just so sad knowing how it ends.

Glitches 3.5stars

I enjoyed seeing Cinder’s arrival to the Linh household, but Cinder isn’t my favorite POV character.  It definitely cemented my hatred of Adri and Pearl, and made me sad that poor Peony had to die.

The Queen’s Army 3stars

I’m sorry but I’m just not the biggest fan of Wolf, especially on his own.  I like him a lot more in relation to Scarlet.  But this one was a bit sad and very enlightening as to how Wolf became the Alpha and what it was like for him to be taken from his parents at such a young age.

Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky 4.5stars

Ugh. I just love Carswell Thorne.  Even when he is a jackass teenager.  If I didn’t know how his character develops, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it this much.  Plus, it was really nice to see his parents and how they must have influenced his behavior.  Thorne is my ultimate Lunar Chronicles boyfriend.

After Sunshine Passes By 3.5stars

Poor Cress.  My favorite female character and her story is so sad.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to be all alone for so long.  It’s a wonder she stayed as sane as she did.  I just love her so much.

The Princess and The Guard 4stars

This story was great and it made me love Winter even more.  She is just such a strong character and Jacin and Winter are my 2nd favorite ship in this entire series.  Plus it made me hate Levana even more (and I didn’t know that was possible)

The Little Android 3.5stars

I read the entire book in order, except for this story.  I just wanted to continue with the characters I already knew and finally get to the epilogue, so I skipped over this one and came back to it when I was finished.  I think it was such a wonderful Little Mermaid retelling, and NOT the Disney version!  I was actually so surprised by how much I did enjoy it.  Plus the cameos helped a lot.  I love cameos.

The Mechanic 3.5stars

I’m not a huge fan of Kai or his POV either but I did really love seeing their first meeting from his perspective.  It actually made me like them as a couple a bit more.

Something Old, Something New 5stars

Perfect Epilogue is Perfect.  There is nothing else I have to say.  This was absolutely wonderful and totally worth it all!  I would have bought this book simply for this story alone.

 

Taken all together, the average star rating becomes 3.8, so I rounded up to 4!

Recent Reads

I’ve been on a reading spree lately where I finish one book and dive right into another.  This is wonderful of course, but it also means I haven’t been stopping to write reviews after I read each book.  Sometimes this isn’t a bad thing, but for me I need to write the review soon after finishing otherwise I forget what I want to say.  So here are some mini-reviews of recent reads that I never wrote actual reviews for.

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Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen

*no rating*


Well. I read it.

The End.

JK

I don’t review Classics and I rarely rate them because I don’t really have anything meaningful to add to a book that has been critiqued and evaluated for 100s of years. Also,   how am I supposed to rate this?? Obviously it’s an extremely important work of literature to have such lasting power but honestly?  I was bored. As I usually am when I read classics.  I mostly listened to it because every time I tried to slog through 19th century text I felt my eyes closing. But I did finish it and that is all that matters. I have officially read my first Austen novel and finished the first month of the Classics challenge. So that is all that really matter. Also, I didn’t hate it.  It wasn’t Ethan Frome  bad and I will probably read more Jane Austen, but not for a few months.

*this book goes towards the 2016 Classics Challenge*

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The Rogue Not Taken 

Scandal & Scoundrel, #1

Sarah MacLean

2015

4stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


The 4 star rating is a bit arbitrary because this is my first ever Adult Historical Romance, so I have nothing to compare it to!  I really enjoyed the book, so I defineitly plan on exploring more of the genre, so who knows, this could end up becoming  a 5 or a 2 star book!

It’s been about a week since I read the book and unfortunately, I did not take any notes while reading. (I find it often distracts me from the novel and lowers my level of enjoyment).  So while I remember the plot and the general demeanor of the characters a lot has already faded.

I do know that I thought Sophie was a wonderful character.  From the first page when she defended her sister I knew I would like her.  She was funny, smart, and ready to take care of herself even if she did often end up being rescued.

For the most part, I did also enjoy King.  However, he might have been a bit too broody for my taste.  Give me sarcasm all day long but you need to stop whining about your dead love.  Plus he became a huge dick towards Sophie at the end.  And he refused to believe she was being honest throughout the entire book.  He did have his moments, which saves him from going on my “WTF Love Interest” shelf.

The romance, when King wasn’t being a brooding little bitch, was wonderful. I’m glad my first foray into historical romance was a success and I will definitely be checking out Sarah MacLean’s other work. If you guys have any suggestions of other authors or favorite novels let me know! I’m ready to get sucked into this genre!

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The Iron Daughter

The Iron Fey #2

Julie Kagawa

2.5stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


That 2.5 rating is all due to Meghan and how ridiculously annoying and stupid she was in this book.  This review comes off a bit like a rant, but I really did enjoy the plot of this book.  I just HAVE to complain about Meghan.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Meghan in the first book BUT OH MY GOD. She was so annoying in this one. So obsessed with Ash and so stupid. He literally tells her that he will not be able to talk to her and treat her the same way because he can not betray his queen (um DOUCHE ALERT).  I also remember them talking in the 1st book and both of them acknowledging that it is HIGHLY illegal for them to be together and they could both be killed or banished because of it.  But what does  Meghan do the first time she sees him? Gets SUPER upset and complains for what felt like 5 hours about how she can’t believe he would betray her and believes that he never cared about her.  I HATE HATE HATE when characters are this stupid.  YOU TALKED ABOUT THIS.   HE LITERALLY TOLD YOU ALL THIS.

And don’t get me started on that weak attempt at a love triangle. “Oh Ash is leaving me. How about I try it with Puck because he’s here and he loves me  and I realize out of no where, with no prior indication, that I love him too”. Nope. Get out of here.  First of all Puck is 500x better than broody Ash and he doesn’t deserve for you to do that to him.

But, as I said,  I do actually really enjoy the plot of this series so I will continue to put up with dumbass Meghan and hope she gets better in the last book (or last 2 books I’m still confused about the Iron Knight).

*this book goes to the 2016 Audiobook challenge

ARC Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

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Passenger

Passenger #1

Alexandra Bracken

Publication: 1/5/2016

Source: Netgalley e-ARC

4stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

I was provided with this ARC by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.


 passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever


*I feel like I should start off my review by saying that I am completely and totally biased when it comes to this book.  I LOVE books with time travel. That totally might influcence by ability to write an objective review*

With that said, I really did enjoy this book.  It actually reminded me a lot of the Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier (which is one of my favorites)  only, expanded.  Etta and Nicholas go all over the world and through all these different time periods, which was really, really cool.

I think the plot started off a bit slow in the present day and even once Etta arrived in the 18th Century.  I feel like there was too much time spent on the ship.  I get that these scenes held character development, but it slowed the book down.  Once Etta and Nicholas escape into the past again, that’s where the story picks up.  And it was awesome.  It was jam packed with action, as well as wonderful worldbuilding and even more character development.

And I loved being transported  to the different years and locations and I think Bracken did a wonderful job of bringing everything to life. Some periods were stronger than others, but I did feel as if I were in the middle of the Bltiz in London, or in the jungle in Cambodia.  She paints vivid scenes, and in a book like this that’s what you really need.

I really enjoyed that the plot and the characters discussed the difficulties (which is putting it very mildly) that both women and people of color faced throughout history.  And not just in the 18th century.  Even when they go to 1940s London they have to assess their situation to see how appropriate their behaviors are for the the time period. I also appreciated that it didn’t shy away from, not only the sexism and racism of the past, but acknowledged that we don’t live in some beautiful Utopia where everyone is finally equal.

Etta is a strong heroine.  She can take care of herself, even in the past in worlds she should be totally lost in. When she is thrown into the past, moments after her mentor is brutally murdered, she doesn’t break down (which is kind of a let down.  I don’t know about you, but if I had just seen the dead body of someone close to me and THEN I was brought back to the 1700s I think I would freak out a little) but I guess it just goes to show Etta is more composed than I am.  She stands up for what she believes in and is quick to point out the injustices of not only the past, but the present.

I couldn’t really get as strong as a read on Nicholas.  There are so many different aspects that influence his personality: he’s a freed slave; it’s a pirate (legally); he’s the bastard son of a rich and powerful white man, and he was separated from his mother at a young age. He is as strong willed and stubborn as Etta and hates being a pawn in the game of his powerful grandfather.

The romance was a bit meh.  It was sort of insta-lovey, but not really at the same time.  And I’m always quicker to ignore insta-love in cases where two characters are thrown together in dangerous situations.  I feel like if they are going through all of this shit together, relying on each other to survive and whatnot, it’s no surprise that they would fall in love.  I guess it was just the beginning of their romance, which is always the most passionate coupled with the fact that they are from such different times and may lose each other forever which stops me from hating on it.

There were some issues that I feel like probably might be bigger deals to other readers (but as I said, I love time travel books so I’m willingly to look past a lot).

I was very confused about the science (magic?) behind their abilities but I usually am when it comes to time travel books.  It didn’t really take away from my enjoyment of the reading (maybe because I just accept that I am not smart enough when it comes to physics (??) to understand that type of stuff).  Also, by the end of the book I had a more concrete understanding, but even so it wasn’t all explained.  I basically just told myself that I would have to re-read it which I will, because there is no way I will be able to go into the sequel in a year without rereading it.

It also suffered from some things that do annoy me in books: Etta’s totally and complete acceptance within 5 minutes that she can time travel, which I already mentioned.  I guess once you’ve already done it has to be easier to believe, but still. And the fact that everyone gets angry at her for not knowing the laws of time travelling. LIKE HELLO she just learned about it yesterday.

But even with those issues, I still loved it.  I still can’t wait for the sequel because that ending was just so cruel!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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There are some books I just can’t even think about reviewing. The Harry Potter series, A Song Of Ice and Fire series, etc. Basically if I love it too much I just can’t form the words. I’ve been having a problem writing my review for Winter, by Marissa Meyer, probably for that same reason. It’s just too good and my words won’t do it justice. So instead, I decided that I would just do quick, mini reviews for the entire series. I don’t usually give 5 star ratings to books, but I think this series comes pretty close. There are probably some minor spoilers, but nothing huge. I’m not really going to discuss the plot, just my overall feelings of the characters and the novels in general.

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Cinder

TLC #1

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When it comes down to it, I love Cinder simply because it is the first book of the series. I think it is a beautiful introduction to the characters, the story and the world in general. Out of all the female MCs, Cinder is probably my least favorite. I know she is basically the most important character, but I just don’t connect with her as much as I do Scarlet or Cress. And, at the same time, Kai is my least favorite love interest. And their relationship is my least favorite “ship”. It probably seems like I hate them, but I don’t at all. I still love them, and the book, but there are other characters and books I love more.

 

 

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Scarlet

TLC #2

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One of my favorite parts of this series is how each story introduces a new character and beautifully continues the plotline. While Cinder was a bit boring and reactive, Scarlet is the take charge type of woman. She is the most badass of the characters. While Wolf might not be my favorite love interest, I really, really loved that sex was included in this book. Ok, well, a little. It’s totally hinted at that Scarlet and Wolf slept together. Even if it takes place off page, sex in YA is important. The pacing was a bit slow and disjointed for a lot of this book, but I forgive it because of the introduction of my Lunar Chronicle’s man crush, Captain Carswell Thorne. He really helped give this book a (not so needed) boost.

 

 

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Cress

TLC #3

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Oh Cress, how I love you. This is definitely my favorite book of the series and a lot of it has to do with Cress and Thorne, individually and together. Cress is my favorite, with all of her beautiful naivety and dreaming of a prince to save her and figuring out she sometimes has to save herself. And Thorne just makes every scene better. Cress fixed the main issue I had with Scarlet, which was the pace. It is basically nonstop throughout this entire book. Cress also made me rethink my earlier assessment of Cinder, because I realized how much she had changed from the first book.

 

 

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Winter

TLC #4

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I’d like to use Winter as an example of how to end a series, especially one that continued to improve with each novel. Yes there were some points that were a little slow, but I didn’t even mind. Nothing could have turned me away from finding out how it all ended. Winter and Jacin are probably my second favorite relationship in the series. And I do love Winter.   I loved how Winter’s mental illness was handled for the most part. I could have done without Scarlet calling her crazy all the time, but overall I think it was good. I think a big part was that it expressed that Winter didn’t need to be fixed. And I loved Jacin and how supportive and caring he was. Basically I loved almost everything about this book.

 

Final Thoughts:

The Lunar Chronicles is probably one of my favorite fairytale retellings. Each novel brings new life to old tales in creative and original ways. A cyborg Cinderella, a kickass Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel trapped on a satellite and a black, mentally ill Snow White. Each new character added to my overall enjoyment of the series.

There are few series that continue to get better with each additional installment, and The Lunar Chronicles is definitely one of them. Taken together, the entire series is wonderful and is one I know I will be able to read again and again without tiring.

 

ETA: It’s a minor annoyance,  but does anyone else notice how the apple isn’t as red as the shoe, cape and ribbon??

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

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Sleigh Bells in the Snow

O’Neil Brothers #1

by Sarah Morgan

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Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green’s favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.

Jackson O’Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family’s resort—it’s in his blood, and he can’t let it fail. Now that he’s got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.

Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she’s out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it’s terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?


I don’t normally read Adult romances.  Actually, as I’ve gotten older I’ve moved farther away from “Adult” books in general.  But I wanted something Christmasy, which is weird, cause I’m Jewish.  So as  a Jew, I loved Christmas the only way I can…as an outsider.  (My boyfriend grew up celebrating Christmas so now that I have an excuse to have a Christmas tree I am all for it!)  So, I was in the mood for something to warm me up to the holiday season and this was the perfect book!

It was so adorable and sweet and just the right amount of sexy for me to really enjoy it.

Jackson O’Neil has returned home to Vermont after his father’s death to try and save the failing family business, Snow Crystal Resort.  He hires PR whiz Kayla Green to come up to Vermont to get the full “Snow Crystal experience”.  All he wants to do is make sure that the family legacy lives on.  Jackson was so swoonworthy.  It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book where I’ve liked the love interest as much as I liked him.  Perfect amount of charm and sex appeal.  He was the perfect opposite to uptight Kayla Green.  Kayla is driven to the point where she doesn’t have a life outside of work.  She eats, breathes and sleeps work.  I think I just liked Jackson so much that I didn’t even mind that this book was generally about “melting the ice queen”.

They did have great chemistry (although, the book does drive the point home a little too hard.  It seemed as if every other page Kayla is thinking about the Chemistry swirling around) and I love a good slow burn relationship.  Well, as slow burn as a week long relationship can be.  But sexual tension is what I live for in books.

I also loved Snow Crystal Resort itself and the O’Neil family.  Morgan really did a wonderful job of setting the scene.  I want to go and stay in one of those cabins, and go on a romantic sleigh ride, go ice skating on the pond and see a moose.   As soon as I finished this book I started researching “romantic Vermont vacations” and nothing even came close to the idea of Snow Crystal I have in my head.

Jackson is a man who is dedicated to his family, so this book (and review) would be incomplete without talking about said family.  I loved his grandfather, Walter.  He reminded me of my own grandfather, a bit of an asshole but someone you can’t help but love.  And I did really enjoy his brother, Tyler, but just taken together the O’Neil’s are probably one of the best families I’ve had the pleasure of reading about recently.

So besides the somewhat repetitiveness of the inner dialogue, and the fact that I can’t really totally ignore that this all happened in a week, the only other complaint I have is the weird POV shift.  The entire book is a dual POV between Kayla and Jackson, until about 50% through when we then get Jackson’s 12 year old niece and his younger brother coming in with their drama.  I understand why they were added in, but I think it could have been handled a bit better.

All together, as one of my first ventures into the adult romance genre, I don’t think I could have had a better experience.  And it was the perfect Christmas read.  Is it too early to start decorating?

Have any suggestions on romance/Christmas books I should read?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Illuminae (Illuminae Files _01)

by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.


Thoughts:

When I finished this book I knew I would have trouble reviewing it, so here is my best attempt.

 At 599 pages, (really? Couldn’t add one more page?) I thought it would take me awhile to get through this. I mean, I’m somewhat of a fast reader and I can read HP and the Order of the Phoenix in a day, (but that’s HP and I’ve read it so many times I can skim, but still). I thought it would take me at least the weekend.  But, if I hadn’t been forced to emerge from my bedroom and interact with a houseguest I could have finished this in one sitting.  It was just so exciting.  I felt as if I was Kady, alone and ignorant to what had happened, and I NEEDED TO KNOW.  And the format of this book was everything to making this story exciting.

While I enjoyed it a lot, I can understand that the way the story is told probably isn’t for everyone. Instead of a straightforward 1st person or 3rd person POV, we are presented with an array of different types of documents.  Through interviews, chat transcripts, emails, and official memorandums, to name a few, the events of the last year unfold.

I have to admit that there were points where I was confused. In my currently reading update I mentioned that I had seen Titus Andronicus the night before I started reading.  While watching, I found myself totally confused for scenes at a time until I was able to piece together what was happening.  That’s how this book worked for me.  I would read 15 pages, have no idea what had happened, and then get to another document that would help clarify what was going on. Unlike Shakespeare, where it is more the fact that it takes a while to get used to the language, I think this was actually the author’s intention.  The book tells the story of Kady and Ezra as they try to figure out what is going on and at times we are just as lost as they are.

And while I did enjoy the format, one negative was that it took longer for me to connect with the characters. We are kept at a distance between their actual thoughts, and it is only what they put forward in their e-mails and chats that we really get a sense of who they are.  Kady’s journal entries helped add an insight into her mind as well.  Even with the distance, I did find myself caring for the characters and their relationship (even secondary characters).  Their chats were adorable and from the start I was rooting for the two of them to work things out, despite the separation and the terrible situations they found themselves in.

It is hard for me to talk about the plot of this book without giving away important facts. Let’s just say that the first 250 pages or so were relatively normal and just when it was getting a bit tedious, shit got weird.  Real weird.  I don’t even want to explain what was so weird because I didn’t see it coming and I feel like it would ruin a bit of the surprise.

Illuminae didn’t answer all of the questions I had, but it didn’t bother me. This is a rollercoaster of a book and just went when you think you’ve hit the end of all the surprised and revelations, it knocks you back down and leaves you wanting more.