Tag: Dystopian (Page 1 of 31)

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Sunset Rising Trilogy by S.M. McEachern

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Sunset Rising Trilogy by S.M. McEachern

I read Sunset Rising three years ago & fell madly in love with this trilogy! When I heard that S.M. McEachern had been plagiarized, I knew that I wanted to help and re-read this fabulous series. I fell even harder the second time around with this series! Below you can read my 5 Star Review for the first book, and I’ll include links to my reviews for books 2&3. Also don’t forget to enter a giveaway to win a copy of the whole series. Enjoy!

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Sunset Rising Trilogy by S.M. McEachernSunset Rising (Sunset Rising #1)
by S.M. McEachern
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Deep inside a mountain in what used to be North America dwells the last of humanity. Welcome to the Biodome, where steel, rock and armed guards separate the privileged from the slaves.

Born and raised a slave in the Pit, Sunny O’Donnell has always accepted that she'll spend her life working to keep the Dome running and, if she lives long enough, willingly meet her end in the annual Cull when she reaches the age of thirty-five. This was the price her ancestors paid for their place inside the Biodome, the only safe haven from the global nuclear war of 2024.

But when Sunny’s mother is killed in the Cull, the hopeless reality of her future becomes painfully clear. Bereft and disillusioned, she heads down a reckless path that sets off a deadly riot in the Pit and leaves her accused of treason. Her only way of escaping public execution is to make a truce with her prison mate, who happens to be the heir to the dictatorship and hated enemy of the Pit.

Now caught between two worlds on the brink of war, Sunny must weigh her own survival against risking everything to save the Pit.

S.M. McEachern delivers the action and adventure of The Hunger Games, the intrigue of The City of Ember, and the romantic notes of Les Misérables in her debut novel set in a future that is disturbingly plausible.

Review:

Sunset Rising was an exhilarating, action pack ride that kept me on the edge of my seat. If you’re a fan of dystopian and slow burn romance that is forbidden, then you definitely need this book in your life! Just from the prologue alone, I knew this series was going to be a favorite. The end of the world was coming and the horror of a worldwide nuclear war held me in a death grip. We then jumped almost 300 years in the future and the current way of life had me in absolute shock.

My voice caught on hitch as tears stung my eyes, and I shook my head and silently admonished myself because crying was such a weak thing to do. And there was no room for weakness in the Pit.

Sunny O’Donnell was born as a slave in the Pit. Her ancestors had bargained for their safety in the Dome, and in exchange they were to be slaves. The rules in their world were harsh and just when I thought their conditions couldn’t get any worse, I learned more and was horrified. Like the Cull that happened when one turned 35. Sunny had just lost her mother to the Cull, and from that huge loss, it set Sunny on a path that would completely change her life.

“Sunny, I don’t know —”
“Tell me!” I yelled.
But he didn’t tell me. He just looked at me with a defeated expression, and I wasn’t ready to be defeated. In only a few months my entire life had been shattered beyond recognition.

I loved Sunny right away! She was fierce, brave and extremely loyal. Plus I loved her endurance, strength and how she always worked at making herself better. She was someone people could look up to and respect, so I instantly connected with her. And since I connected so easily with her, I felt every single tiny emotion she did. It made this book an extremely emotional ride that I loved! I can’t even count how many times my heart beat faster or I had sweaty palms because of the situations Sunny found herself in. There were even a few moments where I had chills racing down my spine.

He picked up my hands from the table, held them in his, and looked at me with his intense blue eyes. “I’ll do everything in my power to keep you safe.”

Part way into this story, Sunny found herself being accused of treason. And her only hope for survival, from a public execution, was teaming up with Jack Kenner. When Sunny met Jack, I wasn’t exactly sure what to think. Jack was from the Dome and even though he lived an extremely privileged life, I liked him. Jack was protective, smart, fierce, loving and seemed so honest. I had so much hope for him and before I knew it, I loved Jack with my whole heart and soul. So I kept my fingers crossed that he was one of the good guys and wouldn’t let Sunny or I down.

He opened the door and held out his hand for mine. I took it, lacing my fingers between his. As we walked down the hall together toward the common room, I felt stronger than I ever had in my life.

I loved watching Sunny and Jack figure out how to work together to survive. Yes there were intense and emotional moments, but there were also moments that had me smiling and laughing. They were so much fun together and their chemistry was undeniable. But she was a slave from the Pits, and he was training to be the next President from the Dome. Nothing romantic could ever come to be, it was forbidden. So I found myself glued to every single word and gesture there was between Sunny and Jack. It was absolutely addicting.

“I’ve always known we’ll be caught eventually, but now that it might be real, I’m scared.”
I didn’t want to die now that I had found a reason to live.

Hope, despair, friendship, love, freedom, slavery and political intrigue filled the pages and made Sunset Rising easily landed on my favorites list. But there was so much I didn’t even talk about. There were side characters I absolutely adored. The twists and turns completely consumed me. And there was also a few moments that made me cry. When I got near the end of the book, I found myself clapping, screaming and cheering because this story ended with a bang and an epic cliffhanger. Thank goodness this trilogy is complete lol! So yes, I definitely recommend Sunset Rising, and I can’t wait to devour the next book!

 

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)

Sunset Rising   #1
Review:

Jen

Worlds Collide   #2
Review:

Jen

New World Order   #3
Review:
Jen



 

About S.M. McEachern:

S.M. McEachern (who also writes new adult as Susan McEachern) comes from the rocky shores of Canada’s East Coast. She is a graduate of Dalhousie University, with an honors degree in International Development Studies with a focus on ocean development. Throughout her academic studies and early career, Susan had the privilege to study and work with Elizabeth Mann Borgese, daughter of nobel prize winner, Thomas Man). An author in her own right and a political activist for world peace, Mrs. Mann Borgese played a significant influence on Susan’s view of the political world stage.

Visit Susan’s website at smmceachern.com for free short stories and updates on new releases.

Sign up for S.M.’s Newsletter!

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

Giveaway:

2 winners will win eBooks of the SUNSET RISING series, International.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/11/2022

ScottBuryAuthor

 

7/11/2022

BookHounds YA

 

7/12/2022

FictionalFey

 

7/12/2022

Lady Hawkeye

 

7/13/2022

Ya Books Central

 

7/13/2022

The Biased Bibliophile

 

7/14/2022

Star-Crossed Book Blog

 

7/14/2022

Red Ink Book Reviews

 

7/15/2022

TakeALookAtMyBookshelf

 

7/15/2022

@books_in.the.clouds0899

 

 

Week Two:

7/18/2022

@JCMorrows

 

7/18/2022

mulberryreads

 

7/19/2022

Write. Read. Live.

 

7/19/2022

Two Chicks on Books

 

7/20/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

 

7/20/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

 

7/21/2022

A Bookish Dream

 

7/21/2022

Fire and Ice

 

7/22/2022

The Momma Spot

 

7/22/2022

More Books Please blog

 

BOOK REVIEW: Code (International Sensory Assassin Network #4) by Mary Ting

BOOK REVIEW: Code (International Sensory Assassin Network #4) by Mary TingCode (International Sensory Assassin Network #4)
by Mary Ting
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Behind enemy lines, new soldiers will emerge, and unexpected heroes will rise.

Ava is a prisoner. And she is not the only rebel held hostage at ISAN's secret compound. As she plans an escape, the lives of the rebel prisoners are in her hands, along with those she thought were dead.

Rhett and his team desperately search for Ava while one of the Remnant Council joins forces with another network looking for the creator of the Helix serum. And time is running out. Mr. Novak has been secretly creating an army called CODE, and what he plans for Ava will mean a permanent end to the rebels--and her.


Review:

CODE was a heart pounding addition to the ISAN series!  With a gritty and rugged story-line, that held a lot of heart, this book was impossible to put down!  If you’re a fan of YA or dystopian, then you definitely need to add this series to your tbr!

 “You are worth every gamble I took to find you.”

The story started off right where GENE ended, with Eva and Rhett separated and so many lives at stake.  I know this isn’t how I normally write my reviews but I have to talk about the twists first!  They were brilliant!  There was so much at play, the story played out ingeniously and my mind was blown.  I gasped out loud multiple times, screamed and kept whispering to myself this isn’t how the story was supposed to go.  I didn’t see multiple things coming. But looking back, ohhhhhh the clues were there, I just put the pieces of the puzzle together wrong. So hold on, because this story will take you on a wild and crazy ride!

Sometimes when one person couldn’t see the light, another had to carry the torch. I would carry that torch and make it brighter for the both of us. – Ava

CODE was told in multiple POVs again and we got to spend the majority of our time with Ava and Rhett. They have a forever place in my heart. I love how they’re both smart, brave, caring, fearless and would do anything for each other.  And watching their love grow stronger and deeper in each book?! My happiness soars when they can breathe for a moment and are together. They are the ultimate power couple! In CODE both of their emotions were put through the wringer but they each had the same end goal. To take Novak and ISAN down. I loved how Ava continually looked for Novak and Gene’s weak points and was defiant to their plans. With a psychopath for a brother and monster for a father, my heart continually bled for Ava. I longed for her to be back together with Rhett, for him to help her feel his love.

Too late. Too late. Too late. The words echoed with devastating finality. – Mitch

We also got to hear parts of the story from Mitch.  Oh how he has grown on me.  If you asked me in ISAN if I liked Mitch….oh wow, I would have laughed out loud and told you no.  He was such an arrogant jerk.  But there was more than meets the eye.  Mitch was cunning and smart.  He felt things deeply.  And in CODE he made friends and so much I can’t talk about other then I loved, loved, loved it! It was more than I ever could have hoped for.  I’m just as invested in Mitch’s life and happiness, as Ava and Rhett. And that terrifies me.  The position Mitch is in is beyond dangerous and I never know if this current moment will be his last.

Justine couldn’t believe her fate. Damned if she did, and damned if she didn’t.
How do I do the right thing when I’m so scared, Mitch?

Justine was another who we got to spend some time with. I hated her. And to put all of my cards on the table, I hated her for even a good portion of this book too haha.  But getting to hear a few chapters in Justine’s head?!  Oh you guys.  She wiggled her way into my heart. Curse her lol.  Justine even made me cry tears that couldn’t be stopped.  Sigh.  So good luck trying to ignore all of the feelings she’ll pull from you, because for me it was impossible to ignore.

We would fight for justice.
We would fight for peace.
We would bring the rest of ISAN down.

In addition, we got to spend a few chapters with Chancellor Josephine Chang who was beyond fascinating.  Her ties and connections.  What she did when she was not around Rhett, Ava, Zen or the public eye, WOW. There’s not much I can say other then I enjoyed the little time we got to spend with Chancellor Chang and I’m hoping for something to happen in her future, fingers crossed!

Something crunched under Rhett’s feet. He looked down to see … bones. Human bones?
“Is that…?” Zeke gasped.
Cleo’s eyes rounded and her lips parted to scream.

CODE had it all! Horrific plans were made, traps were set, people switched sides, impossible decisions were made and there was even sacrifice.  I had sweaty palms in multiple situations.  And new enemies we meet…..one of them is what nightmares are made of *shudders*. At the end of the day, I was terrified because I cared for too many people.  But I smiled so much and loved being back with these people that feel like family to me.  They are the ultimate squad that I want to be a part of! Rhett, Ava, Mitch, Brooke, Ozzie, Reyna, Momo and a few others, I kept hoping they would all survive!

We girls should lift each other up, support each other. We should ignite each other’s beautiful souls and not douse them in darkness. And that was the kind of friendship I had with some of the girls at the rebel base. – Ava

Coursing with adrenaline, CODE was impossible to put down!  And with love and friendship winding throughout the pages, it evened this book out perfectly.  So with a richly imagined world, characters that leapt off the pages and a story that kept you turning just one more page, this book easily became an instant favorite! Plus it ended at the perfect stopping and breathing point.  But I’ll definitely be counting down until that next book comes out, I can’t wait!

Two other quotes that I loved…

I took another step toward him and another as something hot bubbled inside me. “I felt a lot of pain the second I found out you were my brother. It’s like being told the devil shares your blood. Do you even know what that feels like? Do you have any feelings at all?”- Ava
 
“Why me?” Mitch frowned.
Russ offered a sly grin. “You’re good at scheming and deceiving. That’s what you do well.”
Mitch chuckled. “Did you just give me a compliment? Are we getting along?”
Russ cackled and tapped the screen to close. “I think it’s a start of a beautiful friendship. But seriously , we’re here so think fast.”

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)

ISAN #1
Review:

Jen
 
HELIX   #2
Review:

Jen
 
GENES   #3
Review:

Jen

CODE   #4
Review:

Jen

About Mary Ting:

International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres: science fiction, fantasy, and swoon worthy stories. Her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.

Mary was born in Seoul Korea and resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two dogs—Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Becoming an author was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, she retired from teaching after twenty years.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / News update

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: GENES (International Sensory Assassin Network #3) by Mary Ting

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: GENES (International Sensory Assassin Network #3) by Mary Ting

I’m so ecstatic to be on the GENES blog tour because I am obsessed with this series. So check out my 5 Star Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy ♥.

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: GENES (International Sensory Assassin Network #3) by Mary TingGENES (International Sensory Assassin Network #3)
by Mary Ting
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Allegiances will be tested. Identities will be revealed. No one is safe.

While searching for the HelixB88 anti-serum on the black market, Ava uncovers valuable intel that may help the rebels in their fight to bring down ISAN—the location of a hidden facility. But first, the insurgents must find the female citizens unexpectedly displaying powers without use of the Helix serum before ISAN captures them. As the rebels join forces with other sectors, ISAN plans their destruction by using someone they don’t suspect at the rebel home base: a traitor within.

Review:

“Bravery comes in all forms. You just have to know which suits you best.”

GENES was an explosion of action and adventure, I was beyond addicted.  With characters I loved, new twists and turns, being on the brink of war and so much unknown, I was glued to the pages.  The story was gritty and rugged, so it was impossible not to have tears in my eyes at times.  But love and friendship floated throughout the pages and added so much light and hope to their dark and dreary world.  So if you’re a fan of dystopian, characters that leap off of the pages and a story line that keeps you saying just one more chapter then this series is for you!  Some of my favorite things were…..

I would move mountains for you. I would shatter the world to bring you home to me. Love is a powerful thing. – Rhett

✮ Teamwork:

Against all odds, we had made it. I was here with him. Beside each other was where we belonged. Our home.
My throat clogged. “My wish came true when I remembered you.”

One of my favorite aspects of this story was how friendships felt like family.  They would do anything for each other and continually had each other’s backs, I loved watching them work together.  Especially when a few of them combined their powers.  And with different groups merging, it wasn’t always easy.  There were struggles at times.  But the devotion, commitment and trust that came from all of them created such huge feelings for me.  Which ultimately made me nervous lol.  No one was safe in this book and I found myself caring for even more people which terrified me.

 

✮ Action and Adventure:

I will not die today. We will not die today.
Like a dandelion, be resilient.

This whole series is action packed from that first page to the last.  Yes we got lots of moments where we could breathe and watch beautiful moments unfold between the characters.  And those added so much joy in my heart,  I loved catching myself sighing out loud.  But in the next instant we were up and going again. My pulse was pounding and this is the type of book that is easily devoured.  Emotions and tensions ran high and I loved every single minute of it!

 

✮ The Whole Picture:

“I know. It’s okay. Whatever it takes, remember.” I tried to sound strong for the both of us, but my voice cracked.
“I love you.” Rhett held me tightly as if I was his lifeline, and then he kissed me with desperation.

While Ava was still our main point of view, I loved how we got moments with Rhett again.  I’m obsessed with his thoughts on everything, especially with how he saw Ava.  But we got a few other characters point of views mixed in a little bit.  I won’t mention who, so it’s a surprise, but it was truly genius.  The peaks we got into a few other people’s heads rounded out the story so perfectly. There was so much at play, with so many moving parts, and it made me feel like I was watching a movie play out.  It. Was. Fabulous!

 

✮ The Characters:

“Why does it have to be another one of us to die? Why doesn’t ISAN die?”
Oh, my heart. Air left my lungs in gasps. I fought back the sting in my eyes and sank to my knees.

Whether it was Ava being brave and fierce, always protecting those she loved at all cost. To Rhett’s love that shined as bright as a star and being the voice of reason.  To Ozzie’s teddy bear ways that made me just want to squeeze him.  To Mitch’s complexity that pulled me in again and again, I loved learning a few more of his secrets.  To Tamara and her knife wielding ways.  To Momo, Bobo and Coco, oh I came to care for those kids so deeply.  Even to Mr Novak’s creepy and nefarious ways. These characters came alive.  They were complex and stood easily apart from one another.  Each one was so pivotal to this story, I loved it!

 

I fought the sting in my heart as I leaned back into Rhett’s arms. Moments like this were rare. We had to take all the good offered to us. No one knew what would happen tomorrow, or even an hour later.

GENES was my favorite book in this series!  I loved how even more pieces of the puzzle came together and the bigger picture is becoming more clear.  But it still felt insurmountable at times.  Thankfully as the story progressed, hope bloomed in my chest.  But beware, because there were setbacks that had me whispering no, no, no.  I found myself crying for death and being terrified over the fate of those I cared for.  But I also cried tears of happiness too.  So if you’re looking for a story that you can get completely lost in, definitely add this one to your tbr!  I can’t wait to see what happens next, especially after that ending!

PS I knew it!!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)

ISAN #1
Review:

Jen
 
HELIX   #2
Review:

Jen
 
GENES   #3
Review:

Jen

CODE   #4
Review:

Jen

About Mary Ting:

International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres: science fiction, fantasy, and swoon worthy stories. Her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.

Mary was born in Seoul Korea and resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two dogs—Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Becoming an author was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, she retired from teaching after twenty years.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / News update

 

 

Schedule:

Can be found here.

 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Resistance (The Union #5) by T.H. Hernandez

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Resistance (The Union #5) by T.H. Hernandez

I’m so excited to be on The Resistance Tour! In case you don’t know, The Union Series is one of my favorite series ever! So check out my 5 star review of the latest book and enter in a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy!

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Resistance (The Union #5) by T.H. HernandezThe Resistance (The Union #5)
by T.H. Hernandez
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Fighting back is twice as hard when battling on two fronts.

Living in an encampment in the Ruins, life is harsh for most Unis in the Resistance, but for Cyrus and the other Ruins survivors, it's just more of the same. While training for their ultimate mission to take down the Uprising, tragedy strikes, turning Evan's and Cyrus's world upside down. Before they can recover, they discover someone in their ranks is working against them.

Facing tougher odds than they ever imagined, the group realizes the only hope they have of saving the world they know is to find help. When no one is above suspicion, even accomplishing everyday tasks is fraught with danger, but seeking out reinforcements could mean the end of the Resistance and all of them along with it.

Review:

The Resistance was an action packed ride from start to finish.  All of our favorites were back and the stakes were even higher.  With fabulous twists and turns, and characters that continually pulled at my heart, this book sailed right onto my favorites list!  If you’re a fan of young adult, dystopian and romance then you definitely need to add this series to your tbr!

I take one step forward, then another, heading to an unknown future, fear spiraling through me, on the verge of twisting me apart.

 

✮ Twists and Turns:

“It scares me.”
I reach out and locate her hand in the darkness, giving it a gentle squeeze. “What does?”
“I don’t know what’s real anymore.”
Leaning forward, I find her lips, devouring them with a searing kiss. “You and me. We’re real. That’ll never change.”

I absolutely loved how throughout this book, so many of the puzzle pieces were falling into place.  It made me feel confident with where the story was going.  I should have known better, since moments started making me gasp out loud.  My mind was blown.  Multiple times.  I had some guesses that were sooo wrong and there were twists I didn’t even see coming.  Looking back, the clues were there, I just thought they were leading me elsewhere. The Resistance unfolded so effortlessly and the unexpected twists made for a fun and exciting read!

 

✮ An Emotional and Action Packed Journey:

“Cyrus!” Evan yells as if she’s entered a tunnel . “Oh my god! Cyrus!” Cool hands cradle my face that feel like ice against my raging skin. “Cyrus.” One sob follows another as she continues to yell my name, softer and softer, as if she’s fading away.

One of my favorite things about this series, is how emotional moments and action packed ones were seamlessly intertwined.  With love, family and friendship splashed across the pages, it made for an emotional story.  The characters became a part of my heart and soul.  And since that first book, I have felt everything they have felt.  So it wasn’t a surprise that I found tears pouring down my face multiple times.  And once those tears would dry, then I’d find myself with sweaty palms.  I was scared to death over the fate of those I loved, since there were so many moments where I was on the edge of my seat.  This book impossible to put down!

 

✮ The Heart of This Series:

“All the shit we’ve weathered , we’re still us, Ev. We go from one disaster to another, but we never lose who we are. I’m sorry I forgot that. No matter what still lies ahead for us, that’s all I need. Just… you and me.”
“Always,” I say, squeezing his hand. “That will never change.”

The hurdles thrown in their way seemed insurmountable at times.  Yet these characters, who I love with my whole heart, kept pushing forward.  Even when the odds were stacked against them. And that’s because they have all grown so much since they first appeared in this series.  Especially Evan and Cyrus.  Their moments together were powerful and I loved how they’ve learned to communicate. Even if it was hard at times.  It made my heart so happy watching the two of them be such a formidable team.  And when you throw in the rest of their group of friends and family, they were a true team.  I loved how they worked together.  I couldn’t be prouder of all of them!

When our lips meet it’s a sultry dance of desire, forgiveness, and undying love.

I loved The Resistance with my whole heart!  With a heroine I’d love to have by my side, a book boyfriend I want to steal from the pages and a storyline that had me turning the pages faster, this book was such a huge win!  Add in the fact that there was a strong redemption theme in this story, how could I not love every single thing about it?  Okay maybe I didn’t completely love Bryce.  Yet.  But that yet is all I’m admitting lol!  So definitely add this series and book to your tbr, it’s a must read!

 

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 
 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

 

About T.H. Hernandez:

T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.”

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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BOOK REVIEW: Keystone by Katie Delahanty

BOOK REVIEW: Keystone by Katie Delahanty Keystone by Katie Delahanty
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

When Ella Karman debuts on the Social Stock Exchange, she finds out life as a high-profile "Influencer" isn't what she expected. Everyone around her is consumed by their rankings, in creating the smoke and mirrors that make them the envy of the world.

But then Ella’s best friend betrays her, her rankings tank, and she loses―everything.

Leaving her old life behind, she joins Keystone, a secret school for thieves, where students are being trained to steal everything analog and original because something―or someone―is changing history to suit their needs.

Partnered with the annoyingly hot―and utterly impossible―Garrett Alexander, who has plenty of his own secrets, Ella is forced to return to the Influencer world, while unraveling a conspiracy that began decades ago.

One wrong move and she could lose everything―again.

Review:

Keystone was an instant favorite!  It enraptured me in its spell and was impossible to put down.  With characters that quickly snuck into my heart and a story-line that had me turning the pages faster and faster, I absolutely loved this book!  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before.  If you enjoy dystopian, science fiction, a fabulous group of friends or even rooting for a heroine in a new world, then definitely add this one to your tbr!

Right then, I bottled up my feelings, turned them off, buried them so deep I’d need a treasure map to find them.  I understood the flat look in Deena’s eyes, the one that took my friend.  Like her, I had to die inside.
It was the only way I was going to survive.

Katie Delahanty painted a vivid world that I easily got lost in.  The first chapter started out with a bang.  And there were lots of missing pieces to the puzzle.  So I absorbed every single word trying to figure out what in the world was happening.  We met Ella Karman, who just left her influencer life.  With her name changed to Elisha DeWitt, she was on her way to train at a secret organization called Keystone.  There she would learn how to steal information, since someone was changing history.  We were just as clueless as Ella, for what was to come, and I loved learning right along with her!

He’d be great for my numbers.  Stupid.  This is why I can’t trust my instincts.  This isn’t who I am anymore.
But I can’t look away.
And neither can he.
My heart thumps.

One of the most ingenious things was the way the story unfolded.  We started in the present, and I loved watching Ella train and figure out her new life.  Her tests were intense and they made me nervous and have sweaty palms.  But I was excited for what she was capable of doing. I felt every single thing she did and I was so proud of how hard she worked.  But the people she trained with?  While I didn’t know what to think of some of them, others warmed my heart.  I loved watching her form true, heartfelt friendships. Especially since she didn’t have that in her past.

A slow smile spreads across his face.  “I like to keep an eye on the competition is all.  I know you’re a fortress, Ellie.  Don’t worry.  I have no intention of scaling your walls.”
Stupid disappointment dips in my belly, but I shrug it off, fluttering my eyelashes. “You’re welcome to try.  I’m confident the dragon will get you in the end, anyway.”
He bites his lip, holding back a laugh. “You’re nothing like I expected.”

Just when I thought I had a good grasp on what was going on, we jumped into her past.  It was brilliant how we seamlessly would get glimpses of her past throughout the story.  And it made me not only understand Ella better, but I saw how toxic her world was.  People were ranked through their presence online and it established their worth.  To keep her numbers up and her parents happy, since she influenced their worth too, she went along with or witnessed stuff that was horrific.  The injustice and fakeness of it all made me sick.  Yet Ella was trapped.  I watched as lies and secrets shrouded her past.  It was like a train wreck that I couldn’t look away from.

Swallowing hard, I stare at him. “My heart runs deeper than you could ever imagine.”
“I highly doubt that.” His words are ice, and tears spring to my eyes.
“You don’t know anything about my hurt,” I say, my voice cracking. “Don’t pretend to.”

Not only was the story unique, but so were two of the guys I fell for.  When we were in her past, we met Adam.  With fake people surrounding her, he was a breath of fresh air.  He was real.  He spoke from his heart.  And even though he played the influencer game, his connection to Ella made my heart beat faster.  I fell in love with him through all of their moments together.  Yet from that first chapter, we know he was there, when there was an explosion that killed Ella’s friends.

“Need you?  I need you.”
His eyes sparkle. “Yes.”
“You’re right.  I do need you.  I need you to realize you’re not God’s gift to thieves.”
“I love it when you’re angry.”
“I love it when you’re silent.”
He laughs.

And in the present, we met Garrett at Keystone.  He was such a huge mystery to me.  Garrett intrigued me and captivated my attention.  He was completely addictive.  Yet I didn’t know where Ella stood with him.  Especially since it seemed like he had a girlfriend.  I wanted to know his thoughts and understand why he kept certain people around him. So I desperately wanted to know all of Garrett’s secrets.

Garrett points to the ceiling, and I glimpse stars twinkling through a skylight.
CLICK
Grabbing me, Garrett throws me to the ground, covering my body with his.  My insides leaping, I squeal, certain we’re done for, waiting for the bullets to ravage us.  He clamps his hand over my mouth as the walls around us shift, rearranging themselves into a new layout.

The latter part of this book, I swear I lived between having sweaty palms and smiling my face off.  And here’s the thing, I thought I knew where this story was going.  But as we learned more about their world and started to see the bigger picture, there was a twist that was beautifully done.  I never saw it coming.  But looking back, I could see the clues, I just hadn’t grasped what they meant.

The tears flow, my aching throat sobbing out the betrayal.  Is anything real?  Hiccupping, I gasp for breath, the fireplace blurring before me.  Is anyone loyal?

So if you love stories that you can’t stop thinking about, long after you close the book, then definitely add Keystone to your tbr. With a smart heroine who held her own, and a group of friends that were total squad goals, Keystone landed on my favorites list! Now I’ll desperately be waiting for that next book. We got a lot of answers and ended at such a great spot, but I need to know where Ella’s story goes next. I can’t wait!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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