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BOOK REVIEW: This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

BOOK REVIEW: This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerThis Shattered World (Starbound #2)
by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

Review:

“What do you know of souls and hearts and how they break here? You don’t know me at all.”

“Oh, Jubilee.”
My resolve shatters, and my hand slides toward hers. She doesn’t pull away, but she doesn’t look up either, watching my fingers curling through hers.
“Hearts and souls and how they break? That’s all Avon teaches anyone.”

Man I am just so happy that I decided to re-read this series. I forgot how much I truly loved it and that’s saying something considering the fact that I first read it quite a while ago and have grown as a reader a lot since then. Going into this in the back of my mind I was thinking that this was my favorite book of the series. While I’m not sure if I in fact liked it more than book one, I think that overall the story line is a lot more solid and intense than book one. Even the romance develops a bit more realistically (though let’s be honest, I’m usually not a judger of insta-love….usually).

“I’m not special,” I snap. “I’m no more important than anyone else.”
“You’re the most important thing in this universe. You; this vessel; the people of this planet; lovers, warriors, artists, leaders, dreams more numerous than stars. Each mind unique, each thought created for an instant and then broken apart to form new ones. You don’t understand the unbearable beauty of being you.”

While this is a continuation of another planet that has been affected by the Whispers, it’s more of a story about the people of Avon and the soldiers that occupy it and their power struggles. It’s about peace-keeper Finn, who is part of the local group of people and the brother of the women who tried starting a huge rebellion, failed, and was executed for it and Jubilee, or Captain Lee Chase who is obviously part of the military force occupying Avon. The two meet when Finn captures Jubilee, hoping to find information on this mysterious base he finds deep in the swamp. He ends up eventually letting her go and the two wind up forming a tentative relationship for the sole sake of finding out what in the hell is going on with the slowed terraforming and this mysterious “fury” that used to only affect soldiers but spreads to more people.

This book is just so much…more (?) than the first book. Finding out about the struggles of the local people versus the soldiers and hurting for them. Talk of change, of rebellion, of just spending every day trying to survive. It’s pretty heavy honestly. There is one scene involving death that just fucking ripped my heart out and stomped all over it. I forgot how intense this book was at times, honestly but that’s what made it so good. I loved reading about Finn’s love for his people and how all he wanted was peace and to find out why his planet wasn’t doing better. I loved reading about Jubilee’s strict moral code and how she eventually had to change what she thought because she realized she didn’t have the whole picture and that sometimes you need to break the rules in order to help people and actually do the *right* thing.

Their relationship, too, was just so good. Watching it develop was so satisfying in the end and I wouldn’t have changed anything about it at all. Overall, like I said, I am so happy to have re-read this. It’s of the good ones.

ALSO, SIDE NOTE, the audio of this is AMAZINGGGGGG. Between every chapters is a few pages of what we find out later to be Jubilee’s dreams that are being “stolen” from her. They are read buy this guy who does this soft, voice that honestly creeped me out while you can hear people whispering in the background. Like holy shit. So eerie and so amazing. HIGHLY recommend.

He can’t take his eyes off the stars, but I can’t take mine off his face.

BOOK REVIEW: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

BOOK REVIEW: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

How do you live again, knowing what waits for you in the end?

After I finished Aurora Rising I knew that I wasn’t yet ready to venture out of the world of sci-fi. With the loss that I was feeling though, I just wanted something familiar, something that I knew I had liked before. My mind immediately went to this series (which is partially even wrote by Kaufman). This is my third time reading this book and I have to say that I liked it just as much as the other two times. I think overall I’d rate it a 4.5. It’s not a book that blew my mind but you know what? I’ve realized that you can give a book a high rating just for the sole fact that you really, really enjoyed it. It doesn’t have to be life changing but if it means something to you, makes you happy, and is memorable in any way, rate it five stars if you’d like.

That’s what this book is to me. It’s a story about Lilac and Tarver. The daughter of the richest man in the universe and a cynical war hero. The two meet on the Icarus, the spaceship which then gets sucked out of hyperspace and ends up crash landing on a strangely deserted planet. They were lucky enough to make it to an escape pod and Lilac was able to use the knowledge she’d learned from an old friend to hotwire their pod off the ship. Out of 50,000, the two are the only survivors.

The book basically just features them getting from their downed pod, to the wreckage of the Icarus, and then on from there. It’s a journey book and I know that’s just not everyone’s cup of tea. For some reason though, I just really liked it. I liked reading about them trying to survive. I liked them observing this planet that was weirdly terraformed and not familiar. And most of all I loved their hate-to-love relationship. Actually, if I remember correctly, the relationships and the characters were the defining part of what I loved about this entire series. Some of the plot lines become kind of weak later on but the characters never failed me.

Even though it initially seems like Lilac could have the potential to be a spoiled brat, she’s the complete opposite. She never whines or complains to Tarver when he’s trying to get them from point A to point B, even when she got huge blisters on her feet and was completely worn out from not having any kind of stamina for a journey like that. ESPECIALLY after falling out of the sky and realizing you are probably the only one that survived. And Tarver. Of course I loved Tarver. Tarver is the kind of guy character that will always be my type. (similar to Gale, Chaol, Garret, Cassian, etc.) Soldier, hard ass, but also has that gooey caramel center that you didn’t expect at first, lol. I enjoyed watching their relationship bloom and EVEN THOUGH I would have been really sad for Tarver’s family if he had never come back, is it weird of me to think it would have been a really interesting read to see how they flourished if they would have just stayed on that planet and made a life for themselves (kind of like in the movie Passengers)??!?!? 

Also, can I just say that the Whispers kind of creep me the F out? I know they meant no harm in this book but the whole thought of Lilac starting to hear voices and them creating those specific ~things~ was just…something else. I started to listen to This Shattered World on audio late last week and OMG. The narrator who does the scenes between chapters that are set in Jubilee’s past and brought up by the Whispers is so eerie to listen to. It’s quite frankly amazing. I’ve only just gotten into audiobooks and am finding out they can make a book 10x better because of those extra things. 

Overall this is a series that I will always love and will come back to from time to time to read again! If you’re looking for a kind of lighter (POSSIBLY AT TIMES CHEESY BUT WHO CARES) sci-fi series that is strong in the character/relationship department, I’d give this a try!

For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space. Then it’s gone, the view swallowed by the hyperspace winds streaming past, blue-green auroras wiping the after-images away.

Until all that’s left is us

BOOK REVIEW: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

BOOK REVIEW: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman, Jay KristoffAurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1)
by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They're not the heroes we deserve. They're just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Review:

You know you’ve read an exceptionally good book when you relish the idea of writing your review as soon as you’re done because you want to impress upon everyone the exact emotions you were feeling as soon as you’ve reached the last page. Guys. I know we’re only a quarter of the way through 2019 but I’ve read some damn good books so far. This….is one of the best. As much as I loved Finale this might honestly have been better. I’ve wanted to get my hands on this book since it was first announced. I loved the Starbound trilogy by Kaufman and Spooner and also ate up The Illuminae Files which was by the same two authors who also crafted this gem of a book. In both series, I loved their take on the distant future and their incredibly addicting writing. The characters were unforgettable and there was always at least one relationship that had me swooning and dying for more. Based on ALL of that, THIS BOOK LIVED UP TO EVERYTHING I HOPED AND DREAMED IT WOULD BE.

Premise wise this book is about Tyler—a star squad leader who is about to get his dream cadet picks at the Aurora Academy and spend his life doing good and keeping peace in the ‘Way….until the complete opposite happens…kind of;

It’s about Scarlett, who only joined the Academy to stick with her twin brother, Tyler, and who is the mother hen of the group while also having killer wit and sarcasm;

It’s about Cat, Ace pilot, tomboy, not-so-secretly in love with her best friend who might also happen to be squad leader;

It’s about Kal, hot Legolas lookalike alien who has anger problems and may be the new love of my life;

It’s about Zila, trigger happy, very quiet, possible sociopath but also possibly there is a lot more to her than meets the eye and I’m interested to learn more???;

It’s about Finian, ALSO SUPER SARCASTIC, alien, techie boy who loves giving his squad shit whenever possible about whatever possible;

And finally, it’s about Aurora, or Auri, who was stuck in cryo-freeze on a missing ship for the past two hundred years and finds out she was the only one who survived and that she now has confusing new powers when she wakes up.

AGAIN, this is another one that’s been likened to SOC but other than the fact that it’s a group of misfits, it’s entirely its own thing. Each character has POV chapters but they never felt disjointed. I knew exactly who each one was immediately and loved each one immediately. What I’m trying to say is that Squad 312 is my new ~squad~ and I would die for each and every one of them. *sobs*.

This book was intense in a way that I had forgotten sci-fi could be. I don’t read a ton of it but when I do it strikes me that same way every time. I mean there’s the magnitude of Auri waking up TWO HUNDRED YEARS after she was put into cryo-sleep, knowing that life as she knew it is completely different and everyone that she had ever known and loved is dead. There’s the fact that a character dies and the incident ripped my fucking heart out and stomped all over it and I was sitting there crying in my car trying to hide it so my husband wouldn’t ask and then make it worse hahaha. I guess I’ve been reading too many romances or something. But I took it hard. HARD I TELL YOU. And the mystery of the story itself was one of the most gripping that I have read in a long time. I am dying for the next few books. Dying to see how certain characters grieve and heal. Dying to see how certain relationships blossom. And most importantly, dying to see how the universe is saved from sure destruction.

Do yourself all a favor and pick this book up when it comes out. I give it my highest of recommendations.

HUGE thanks to NetGalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers for an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

BOOK REVIEW: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay KristoffIlluminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Mason, E, LT 2nd: you have me
Mason, E, LT 2nd: until the last star in the galaxy dies
Mason, E, LT 2nd: you have me

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Guyz. This book….this MOTHER FUCKING BOOK. I am sorry. So so sorry, but I don’t even know if I can write a coherent review! I mean…and it’s like…I can’t…ugh just LOOK, okay, my LAPTOP is even working all of a sudden!! If that’s not a fucking sign that my inner fangirl has been dying to be let out, I don’t know WHAT IS.

Ezra Mason: You’re taping this, right?
INTERVIEWER: Audio only. Camera is faulty.
Ezra Mason: Okay, well for the benefit of the sight-impaired, I am now raising my…oh, dear….yes, it’s my middle finger at Mr. Postgrad here.
INTERVIEWER: Mr. Mason…
Ezra Mason: Now I’m wiggling it.
INTERVIEWER: Terminating interview at 13:58 on 03/19/75.
Ezra Mason: Look at it wiggle-
-audio ends-

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So this book…okay…how does one explain this complex, earth-shattering, phenomenal, shocking, original, and emotional book? It’s one of those that can’t be simply explained-This book has to be experienced. It’s a series of interviews, IMs, surveillance logs, emails, etc etc etc….It sounds so weird, yeah??

Mason, E, LT 2nd: You know, you’ve REALLY gotta think of a better pet name for me than “idiot.”
Mason, E, LT 2nd: What about “sweetiepuff?”
Mason, E, LT 2nd: “sugarpants?”
Mason, E, LT 2nd: NONO WAIT. “CUDDLEPIE.”
ByteMe: I will hack the Alexander comms system and let them know you prefer to be known as Cuddlepie immediately, my love
Mason, E, LT 2nd: noooooooooooooooooo

And, at first, I think I was in love with Ezra and Kady’s tremulous relationship, but unfocused on all the science terms and the technicalities behind it…and many of you will be, too. In fact, I know MOST of you will-especially my friends. And, ya know, you’ll be questioning not only why I adored it, but why in the world I rec’d it to you. And that’s a complex question, so I’ll answer it twofold:

1) I’m selfish. I want to gush with all my friends and bask in the epicness that is Ezra.
2) THIS BOOK IS FUCKING EPIC AND I NEED YOU GUYS TO READ IT AND SEE WHY
3) EZRA
4) EZRA
5) EZRA
6) EZR-< error >

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ByteMe: You do not have a long history of telling the man to go **** himself.
Mason, E, LT 2nd: Could’ve thrown me in the hole for that. Kinda stupid, right?
ByteMe: My kind of idiocy.
Mason, E, LT 2nd:
Mason, E, LT 2nd: maybe I should do it more often then?

So yeah, those are my reasons, did they convince you? And yeah, I lied. Whoops. Hmmm this review is NOT even close to being a real review…BUT OMG I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY OTHER THAN READ IT READ IT READ IT FOR MEEEE!!

Mason, E, LT 2nd: i miss you, you know
ByteMe: you too
ByteMe: and seriously, things r only going to get more intense. be calm. be smart.
ByteMe: stay safe, shnookums
Mason, E, LT 2nd: see now you’re just being silly

You might hate it. You might not like anything other than Ezra. You might only like Kady. You might not like anything …but you’ll never know until you try. I waited a YEAR to read this, waiting until I was in the mood for it and now here I am-Obsessing, freaking out, begging my friends to read this and embark on the same journey as I. And it was a journey….from beginning to end.

Lock me in the hole. ****, space me. I don’t care anymore. I’ll keep your secrets. Shut my mouth. But I can’t shut my eyes.

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Like I was saying above before I got derailed, this book starts out kinda scary. The terms, the lack of continuance, the disjointed feel….I was obsessed with everything Ezra, but when I put the book down, I would remember only him and only their star-crossed love and their struggle to get to one another, to defy the impossible and survive the plague overtaking the Alexander where Ezra was stuck. But then something amazing happened-At a certain point, and I can’t say when because it just became impossible to put down and to separate because it got so unputdownable all at once, this book CAME TOGETHER IN THE MOST AMAZING WAY. Every conversation made sense, every IM became more important, every surveillance video became continuous feed, weaving seamlessly into the messages our star-crossed lovers spoke of and all the captains and officers and controllers secretly emailed about. The slow destruction and spreading of a deadly virus on two ships became the sole purpose of the story…and the desperation of two people who have only each other fighting to find one another and stay alive as their universe came crashing down around them.

ByteMe: what about when you said you loved me? when you said you wanted the best for me? all that was just ****, was it? doesn’t mean anything as soon as there’s something that matters more?
Mason, E, LT 2nd: Kady I DO love you.
Mason, E, LT 2nd: god
Mason, E, LT 2nd: you’re all I think about. Every time I close my eyes, I see you. Every time I dream, you’re there. I think about us and how i messed it up and it’s like someone is tearing my insides out.

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Kady and Ezra had broken up at the beginning of this book, and I think this really added to the story…more heartache, more regrets, more declarations of love. If you’re a sucker for heartbreaking romances and young lovers doing their best to overcome the odds, this book is for you. It’s more than that, though. It’s friendships crumbling all around them and fighting every obstacle to stay alive. It’s defying the odds and getting around every person standing in their way…and it’s about beating something more cunning than you ever imagined humanly possible if you want any chance at surviving.

Mason, E, LT 2nd: More than you deserve?
Mason, E, LT 2nd: you deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet and a thousand diamonds in your hair. You deserve someone who’ll run with you as far and as fast as you want to. Holding your hand, not holding you back.
Mason, E, LT 2nd: You deserve more than I could ever give you, Kady.
Mason, E, LT 2nd: But I’ll give you everything I can if you still want me to.

I had to keep putting this down because I was crying so hard, bawling on every other page because of the impossibility of it all-this book made me more of a lunatic than usual, shaping my Saturday night into a total zombie fest long after I had put this masterpiece down.

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Ezra Mason: She asked for something I couldn’t give her.
INTERVIEWER: …I beg your pardon?
Ezra Mason: My girlfriend. Kady. She asked for something I couldn’t give her.
INTERVIEWER: What did she ask you for?
Ezra Mason: Doesn’t really matter now, does it?

I cannot remember a time I have cried this much for a book-I may cry at the end of a story, I may tear up at some heartfelt conversations….but to be so invested in a story that it breaks your very soul?? Your entire being? That’s truly something to behold-And I hadn’t seen it in myself until now. Bravo book….you evil, manipulating bastard. I re-read every single highlight twice, spoiled this whole story to one of my best friends (you know who you are, and I’m sorry, so so sorry, but not that sorry obviously, THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME PURGE THE CRAZY) and have yet to stop looking at the Ezra quotes every single day, shaking my head at the sheer brilliance that is this story. I love you book…and I will keep you. Oh yes, there is a special place on my bookshelf for you, my pretty. Oh yes-My pretty, you’ll be.

AM I NOT MERCIFUL?

***********************
Words simply cannot express how much I-

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This book was FUCKING FAN-

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I was a complete and utter sobbing me-

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Ezra OMG HE WAS SO GD PERFECT OM-

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EPIC

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BR with my lovely Laura!!! ♥

View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW – These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman

BOOK REVIEW – These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie KaufmanThese Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
by Amie Kaufman
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


I’m not even close to the type of girl he’d want, just as I’ve been signaling at every opportunity that he’s the last man in the galaxy I’d want to touch. The only difference is that I was wrong.

Awwww….that was SUCH a good book. And the kicker is that I haven’t been able to devote the time to this book that it deserves and I STILL teared up a few times and found myself wishing I had more time to finish it-inevitably, I didn’t get to immerse myself fully and that really blows. Imagine if I had had time to really dig into this-I’d have been a mess! This book was heartbreaking, beautiful, both sad and happy, and it was about self-discovery-taking what you want from the world even if it doesn’t want you to have it ….I was all over the place with emotions.

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