Tag: Dystopian (page 1 of 30)

BOOK REVIEW – The Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #2) by Amy Engel

BOOK REVIEW – The Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #2) by Amy EngelThe Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #2)
by Amy Engel
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

*** SPOILERS FOR 1ST BOOK***

Beyond the fence. I am still alive. Barely.

My name is Ivy Westfall. I am sixteen years old and a traitor. Three months ago, I was forced to marry the president's son, Bishop Lattimer—as all daughters of the losing side of the war are sold off in marriage to the sons of the winners. But I was different. I had a mission-to kill Bishop.

Instead, I fell in love with him.

Now I am an outcast, left to survive the brutal savagery of the lands outside of civilization. Yet even out here, there is hope. There is life beyond the fence. But I can't outrun my past. For my actions have set off a treasonous chain of events in Westfall that will change all of our fates—especially Bishop's.

And this time, it is not enough to just survive...

*** SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK OF IVY***

Review:

The Revolution of Ivy was such an entertaining Dystopian that I quickly devoured!  I enjoyed where the story went and how everything was fabulously wrapped up!  But while I was flipping through the pages, I desperately wanted Bishop back in the picture.  And I wanted even more for Ivy and him to get their happily ever after.  But I definitely questioned whether that was a possibility.  Not because Bishop didn’t come back, since we’re told in the synopsis that he does, but because I was unsure whether Ivy could get her shit together so they could unite as one. Ivy was definitely my biggest struggle in this book.  But everything else, eeks, it was so much fun!

Too weak and too angry. I hold my good arm out from my side, beckoning into the hot, still air. “Come on,” I yell. “You want me? Come and get me.”

Ivy was thrown out.  Bishop thought she was trying to murder him, and her family let her take the fall.  She was truly all alone.  The situations Ivy found herself in, right after she was thrown outside of the fence, oh my gosh, I was panicky for her.  I kept thinking, okay, that’s enough for now.  And then bam, something else would knock Ivy’s world off kilter and I questioned whether she could survive what was happening to her.  Ivy proved that she was tough as nails.  Her endurance and need to survive was impressive!

I know now that I can survive out here. The question is whether I have the strength to really live.

Ohhh survival.  It’s such a hard subject, since not everything is black and white.  I really, really struggled with some of Ivy’s choices.  She did what she had to do to survive.  Or at least what she believed she had to do to survive.  And oh man, that was such a hard pill to swallow at times.  I definitely got angry with Ivy, actually livid is a better choice of word.  I wanted to make her reconsider some of the choices she made.  And while she did come around, it took longer than I wish it did.

Bishop’s jaw tightens, but he only sounds incredibly tired when he says, “I just want to be with you. Walk next to you, Ivy, wherever you’re headed. That’s all.”

Let me say, I was so ecstatic when Bishop came back.  His faith and devotion to Ivy was beautiful.  His understanding of how she worked and what she needed was breathtaking.  Bishop was everything that was good in their world.  Yes he made mistakes, yes he suffered from some of his decisions, but his heart was so pure and in such the right place.  But, I have no clue how he tolerated Ivy during the time that she treated him like garbage.  She was horrid to him, and there was Bishop, waiting for Ivy to come around and love  him.  I found myself mad at Ivy again, for how she treated Bishop.  And I don’t want to go into all of the details, cause spoilers, but just know that because of a past boyfriend, I got Ivy.  I understood the way she was.  And I was able to forgive her because of that understanding.  But I don’t know if everyone else will be as understanding to Ivy as I was.

My voice already sounds more my own. Stronger. I point to the knife in Ash’s hand. “I need one of those. And lessons on how to use it.”

Not everything was all doom and gloom in Ivy’s new life or her attitude (haha) because she met two characters I absolutely loved, Caleb and Ash.  I liked them the moment I met them, even if Caleb was being a grumpy the first time we met him.  What developed between the three of them was so natural and it made me love every single scene that Caleb and Ash were in.  They added so much depth to the story!

I can live with blood on my hands.

So if you’re looking for a quick, fun dystopian to pick up, you may want to give this one a try!  The story itself was entertaining and that last quarter of the book was so fast paced, I loved it!  It made me even have tears in my eyes and I felt a plethora of emotions in my heart.  Oh, that ending was perfect!  But just realize that you may need to work on your patience with Ivy, even though she does grow throughout the story.  It just takes a while.  Or a little longer than a while.  But ultimately you’ll get to meet Bishop, sigh.  And he is definitely someone you will want to meet!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
the-book-of-ivy-by-amy-engel
The Book of Ivy #1
Review:

Jen
the-revolution-of-ivy-amy-engel
The Revolution of Ivy #2
Review:

Jen

BOOK REVIEW – The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel

BOOK REVIEW – The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy EngelThe Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1)
by Amy Engel
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

What would you kill for?

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president's son―my soon-to-be husband―and return the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he's not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

Review:
Our story was written long ago, and it does not have a happy ending.

The Book of Ivy was so much fun, and I quickly devoured it in two sittings!  It’s just one of those books that you can step right into and easily enjoy it from the first page on.  The characters, the world building, the way the story progressed, it was all so effortless to connect with.  And yes, I’m definitely kicking myself for not picking up this book sooner!

Once I’m safely out of range, I realize this is the first time I’ve spent more than five minutes with him where I wasn’t thinking about the plan or what to do next. Which is exactly what my father and Callie want, for me to act natural, to make it seem real. I should be happy. But I remember Bishop’s laugh, his crinkly nose, the warmth in my cheeks, and can’t help feeling I’ve done something wrong.

The story starts off with us following Ivy, who is on her way to get married to a stranger.  And that stranger is the President’s son, Bishop.  Yet Ivy isn’t looking forward to a happily ever after with her new husband.  Instead, she is looking forward to helping out her family’s agenda, which involves murdering her new husband-to-be so her family can step back into power.  And in the beginning, I was all for that plan.  I hated how the President maintained their population by arranged marriage.  That at the age of 16-18 they were expected to get married and for the women to start popping out babies.  I understood the importance of keeping up their population of 10,000, since the U.S. had been decimated from war, floods, drought, famine etc.  But I also understood the importance of Ivy’s family taking back the power and changing the marriage laws along with a slew of other things.  So I was on board with Ivy murdering the President’s son, but then I met Bishop.

“Sometimes,” he says, voice raw, “I hate this place.” He twists his neck and looks at me, hands still hooked in the fence above his head.
“I know,” I say, barely a whisper. “Me, too.”

Leave it up to me to fall for the man who is supposed to get murdered.  I couldn’t help it, but I loved Bishop!  From the moment he squeezed her hand before the wedding ceremony, I was a goner.  Yup, I’m that easy lol.  If you follow my reviews, you know I’m one of those people who always looks for the tiniest of clues to show that someone is worthy of falling for.  And Bishop gave me so much hope.  He was thoughtful, compassionate, caring and was open with her at times.  And his actions and words slowly started to plant foreign thoughts in her head and mine.   Who could we trust?  Was Bishop being honest or was he tricking Ivy?  I struggled trying to figure out Bishop’s motives, but I definitely didn’t struggle falling head over heels in love with every single tiny beautiful thing Bishop did.

My head knows what a horrible idea this is, screaming at me to stop, that I’m taking things too far, but the rest of me has no such reservations. I have the fleeting thought that perhaps self-preservation isn’t my strongest character trait.

Bishop and Ivy slowly started to get to know each other, after they were married.  It wasn’t always smooth, and they definitely had their share of fights.   But underneath their fights and their uncertainty around each other was always something simmering.  They had the best slow burn romance that continued to burn hotter and hotter as each moment passed.  It was undeniable.  So regardless of whether they were making each other smile, or making each other’s blood boil, there was always that sexual tension.  And it was so, so, so good!

I’ve learned the hard way, we can’t choose who we love. Love chooses us. Love doesn’t care about what’s convenient or easy or planned. Love has its own agenda and all we can do is get out of its way.

While I guessed how a few things would go, one thing went in an entirely different direction than I thought it would!  But that’s probably because I didn’t always agree with Ivy’s decisions.  There were things I wanted her to say and do, or not do, yet she had her own agenda and her own plans.  So I’m nervously counting the seconds until I can pick up the final book and see how it all plays out.  If you’re looking for a Dystopian that is easy to get lost in and has a fabulous slow-burn romance, then I definitely recommend picking up The Book of Ivy!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
the-book-of-ivy-by-amy-engel
The Book of Ivy #1
Review:

Jen
the-revolution-of-ivy-amy-engel
The Revolution of Ivy #2
Review:

Jen

BOOK REVIEW: Carve the Mark (Untitled Duology #1) by Veronica Roth

BOOK REVIEW: Carve the Mark (Untitled Duology #1) by Veronica RothCarve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

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Wow. I just…there are times when the words flow out of me in torrents and I can’t stop no matter how hard I try, but then there are times when I have literally one million things to say…and no idea how to say them. This book touched me in a way I’m not often used to-at least, not anymore. A long time ago, when I finally found my favorite genres and what made me the happiest, I was finding a seamless stream of five star books because I had finally found what worked for me. But lately, those streams of winners are harder to come by.

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For one, I’m extremely picky now-I know what I like, down to the very last word, and anything less is unacceptable. It’s no secret to any of my friends that I love all things mayhem, death, destruction, forbidden love mixed with peril peril peril. But not many authors truly, truly give you all those things at once. It’s so rare, anyway. And, because it’s so rare, those authors who do deliver on all things nasty and despicable in the name of love make it impossible to forget who they are.

“You’re a Noavek,” he said stubbornly, folding his arms. “Brutality is in your blood.”

I have this little niche of what I like to call ‘peril authors’. They are my go-to when I want something that isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. Now, I’m not saying the stories don’t eventually end happily…but they leave you with some very nasty cliffhangers. Did I happen to mention that nasty, white-knuckle cliffhangers are literally my favorite thing EVER?? So, these authors, they never shy away from doing what they need to pack a devastating punch. I never go all in when my head isn’t in the right place-after all, even the most dastardly and peril obsessed reviewers need a break from all the heart-break. We aren’t robots, ya know?? And, after a while, if you read hardcore books one after the other, you are bound to become a little bit jaded.

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So, when I was offered this beauty from the publishers of Veronica Roth’s newest MASTERPIECE, I, of course, accepted. For one, what an honor-little ol’ me, getting a book from a best-selling MEGA FAMOUS author before most of the world. It’s crazy, and I did not look a gift horse in mouth-I didn’t hesitate in responding. Secondly, I adored-ABSOLUTELY ADORED-the Divergent trilogy. And not just the first two-all three. Veronica Roth, while a very cunning and devious woman, is someone I wholly admire. Her writing is poetic and flows effortlessly from paragraph to paragraph, page to page. I have ALWAYS lumped her in with my favorite poetic authors.

“A knife,” I said. “A hot poker. A rusty nail.”
“You are more than any of those things.”

And, while she isn’t someone I think of weekly, or even monthly, I have never forgotten her after her shocking finale to the Divergent series. The ‘what-if’s and ‘what will she do next’s were never far from my mind…it has just taken a while to finally see a new book in the works from this spectacular woman.

“And you’re starting to sound kind of cocky, for someone I routinely beat up.”

I know many people are weary of what comes next from the daring author who shocked the world (and that is the LAST time I will mention her former series, because it is doing a great injustice to this beautiful book), and I know there are going to be a million comparisons-it’s just inevitable. But I truly saw something so amazing here-something I never thought I’d see. It would be such a shame to not give this duology a chance because of an uncertain future and phobia of the past. I know everyone is quick to fall in love with main characters (I fell so hard, so fast for these two new characters that it shocked even me) and people are quick to protect those they love—but the love I feel for these two AMAZING characters is so unparalleled, and permanent, that I must insist on reading this the moment it comes out.

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When I looked at him again, he was smiling at me hesitantly.
“You love them,” he said. “All these places, all these things.”

I’ll admit that I was scared of the prospect of space travel-and for that matter, space lingo-but not once did I ever slow down or feel lost as I was racing through this fast-paced, addicting story. And that’s my favorite thing-I never wanted to put this book down. Roth’s passion was reflected on each and every page, echoing to us in a new, inventive way with each arising issue. Each character was created in a delicate manner, making for layered, flawed, and believable characters. These were people you wanted to root for, and you never really knew if they were going to win-in both mental and physical scenarios.

“You and I, we’ve become what we were made to become.”

Their minds were tested in unimaginable and barbaric ways, twisting what they believed and hoped for in life to the point of utter despair. Loyalties were bent and broken, repaired and restored-the boundaries of love and family snuffed out in a manner of minutes. You were forced to pick a side and survive…whether you wanted to or not.

The same thing she always did, only now he noticed-noticed that he knew it, that was; knew her routines, knew her.
And liked her.

Akos is from the peace loving Thuvhe, a wintery world where you have to wear goggles to walk around outside. It’s beauty is unparalleled to its inhabitants, crystallized and serene and snowy as can be. Grays are the norm, much like the environment…which can be seen as dull to others. Cyra is Noavek-Brutal and unforgiving Shotet tyrants who wear blue. Their beliefs couldn’t be any different, nor could the difference in style of life: One place bloodthirsty, unrelenting in its quest for power and dominance. Pain is no stranger here. You can immediately see why our two main characters are the way they are, and you instantly feel for both. Sides are hard to choose and lines are blurred…as becomes evident the farther into the story we get.

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And here comes the good stuff, the stuff that makes this beautiful love story possible. Forbidden love…isn’t it the best thing ever, when done correctly? Yeah. I think so, too. Cyra’s currentgift is pain, Akos’s is to diffuse people’s gift. Both very valuable currentgifts…and both susceptible to manipulation and vulnerable to almost everyone. When paired together without a say in the matter, they realize they can be an asset to one another. Neither is willing to put all their trust in the other, but they also don’t fight what seems to be a tentative alliance. After all, it’s nice having someone who understands you (to a degree), someone who is there to take some of the burden away, who wants to help (again, to a degree-they do have differing conclusions to what they believe to be their story).

“Honor,” I said with a snort. “Honor has no place in survival.”

But, as they get closer, what was once clear begins to become a convoluted cloud of emotions and hope-could they possibly want the same thing?? Is she truly a monster, or can she still be someone who helps make the world a better place? Does she want to help Akos…even at the expense of going against her only brother?

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Akos’s kindness was something that resonated deeply within me right away-but, even more than that, his gradual fierceness. He’s not perfect, nor is he indestructible, but his silent fury mixed with an unrelenting kindness made him an instant book boyfriend that I was absolutely obsessed with. And then Cyra-one of my favorite female leads of all time. Some might say I even have a girl crush. Yeah-serious stuff, right?

“Next time, when something that sounds remarkably like war drums is going to wake me at dawn, could you maybe warn me?”

Cyra deals with pain 24/7. Literally-all day, all night-no matter what. Until she dispenses that pain into an unwilling victim, causing them pain so severe they would reveal their deepest, darkest secrets. She is numb to the power now, her brother’s little torture device. Cunning, witty, and skilled in combat like nobody’s business, she is not to be trifled with-seriously, she’s so badass. But-and probably why my girl crush (on top of my book boyfriend crush (so much win)) is shining so bright-she wasn’t so strong she didn’t have vulnerability or weakness. She lost sometimes. She didn’t always make the right choices. And, if I’m comparing here, I kept thinking of a female book character I really didn’t like…she kind of made up the anatomy of Cyra, here.

It was not hope; it did not soar; it slithered, clawed, and dragged, and it would not let me stop.

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I saw a lot Adelina from Marie Lu’s most recent trilogy. Dark, corrupted, and willing to do what she had to for those she loved-and herself. She had to relieve the pain sometimes, you know? It’s not all about choice. But, see, I hated Adelina. She was okay, I guess, but I found her pathetic and whiny-not here. Cyra took the BEST PARTS of Adelina and made her someone I adored. Okay, I didn’t really read the second or third books of that trilogy, nor is there a direct line that connected these characters in any way-I just got the vibe, that feeling, and I dug it.

“I like to move.”
“I’ve noticed.”

She is a tool of destruction, of torture, she is a key to be used in war-she can bring any one person to their knees with her amazing power-but she is vulnerable to the pain, and to herself-she is resigned to be the monster she was fated to be. But not ONCE does she whine about it-it’s her life and she lives with it daily…And I found that so amazing. She just goes about her life in suffering, trying to (at Akos’s influence) be the best she can be. And, again, she doesn’t always succeed. Did I mention I love her? And Akos? And I ship them? Hm. Well. I’ll say it again: they are everything to me.

He offered touch to me so freely, without realizing how rare it was. How rare he was, to a person like me.

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So, as you can see, I’m hooked. I was hooked from the first part that was in his POV, and I was sunk-line and sinker-when I met Cyra. These two were made for one another, but born enemies. They don’t want to like each other, and they don’t always understand, but…things happen. And isn’t slow burn romance the best kind of romance (especially paired with forbidden romance-HA thought you caught me there, didn’t you)?? Roth’s writing was, as promised, better than ever and even a bit more mature, if that’s even possible. She writes in a way you don’t once get confused about, no matter the content, and makes you physically ache for more. It’s been a long time since I was so stressed out I couldn’t breathe, but more than once I found myself gasping for breath and clutching my heart-stopping and staring at the page with wide eyes as I tried to calm my breathing (maybe this partially has to do with being pregnant, but I say no, I was just super excitable because…excellence at work, people) and get myself under control. I smiled so big without even realizing it that it bordered on embarrassing. I tried, and failed, repeatedly to find errors with the book and why my best of friends wouldn’t like the story (or anyone, for that matter, if I’m being honest), but never once could think of anything. And, if there was something, it was nit-picky and I completely missed it. I don’t know if this book is for everybody, or even what everyone else will think-All I can do is go with my heart and my gut, and they both say this is a winner. I know, without a doubt, that when this releases it will be my (late) Christmas gift to all friends and family that read. I know it’s a certainty I will be rushing to Barnes and Noble on release day to buy myself a hardback of this new absolute favorite. I have found three favorite books this year, all by amazing authors almost everyone loves…and this book tops them all. So, my hope is, with this long-winded review, that I’ve convinced or intrigued almost everyone to give this book a shot. And, for those who are not so easily swayed (or manipulated), honestly, its their loss.

 

*I was sponsored by HarperCollins to share my review, but all opinions are my own!*

**Quotes taken from an uncorrected galley and are subject to change upon release of the finished book**

 

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BOOK REVIEW – The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace #1) by Erin Bow

BOOK REVIEW – The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace #1) by Erin BowThe Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The children of world leaders are held hostage in an attempt to keep the peace in this “slyly humorous, starkly thought-provoking” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) novel.

Greta is a Duchess and a Crown Princess. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Start a war and your hostage dies.

The system has worked for centuries. Parents don’t want to see their children murdered.

Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He’s a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives—and is severely punished for it. His rebellion opens Greta’s eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. And Greta discovers her own quiet power.

Then Elian’s country declares war on Greta’s and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to deliver punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed...unless Greta can think of a way to break all the rules.

Welcome to my Unpopular Opinion Review of the month! (alright, I’m writing “unpopular opinion” reviews more often than that, BUT let’s be honest, usually it’s the other way around). What this means is : if you hated The Scorpion Rules, you might find me too lenient. Hello you! If you loved The Scorpion Rules, you might be happy to hear that no, you’re not alone. Hello you! If you haven’t read The Scorpion Rules, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and come back to tell me which category you fall into!

“Borders straines, checkpoints broke, and of course people started shooting, because that what passes for problem-solving among humans. See, guys, this is why you can’t have nice things.”

This is part of the prologue and I already knew that I would love it at this point.

So. Guys. I’ve read a lot that there wasn’t any plot… and I’m going to politely disagree. Nothing happens is such a subjective thing, when you think about it. For me there’s a difference between a lack of big events and a lack of progression. There IS a progression and nothing was irrelevant in my opinion. Of course, most of the first half deals with the Children of Peace’s everyday life and that life is weird. I mean, there are goats and harvests and a lot of zucchini? (you might be worried at this point – DON’T)

The truth is, I can see why people would complain about this but I thought that it was incredibly well done. What annoys me in dystopian is : they’re unrealistic (random couple saves the world for some reason), more often than not they’re devoid of any world building (if you don’t count “standard tyrant took over the world because he’s evil” and… I don’t, sorry but it’s not a WORLD-BUILDING, it’s A SIMPLISTIC SUMMARY OF WHAT HAPPENS EVERY DAY)

In The Scorpion Rules, it makes sense. THIS IS LIFE. THEIR LIFE. Of course it’s relevant! Not to mention that it made for the BEST built-up. This book was crazy and NASTY (There’s TORTURE) and also super weird BUT I loved every second of it. It took my breath away – and I didn’t need big explosions to do so (even if they were fun hehe). It may have gone forward quietly, but it never lost its tension.

(this is the moment when my dear friends who hated it shake their head while murmuring “but the goats!”)

(and it will probably be the only time I’ll get to write this in a review but in my opinion, the goats were necessary to get the sense of what their world became. Oh my God, I love goats.)

1) I loved Elian almost instantly, and I’m not even ashamed. Because you know what? Even though I know that he’s supposed to incarnate The Bad Boy New To School ™, by no means can he be restricted to this stereotype. HE IS MORE : fleshed out and brave and a coward and he doesn’t know when to shut the fuck up even when mechanical spiders are scrawling all over him and electrocuting him (ow!). He’s also loyal and charming and LOST. POOR BABY.

2) TALIS!!!! Give me a book in which I can LOVE the villain and you’ll get a win almost every time. Think Deadpool on crack (I know, it’s mind-blowing)(except, Talis actually, I don’t know, win sometimes?) Seriously guys, I was cracking up at the prologue without even knowing that the narrator would be a character (and at this point, my understanding of the world was nearly inexistent). The ruler of the world, who thinks that blowing up cities is fair game, whom we should hate, shows such a likeable personality, so damn sarcastic and funny, that we CANNOT hate him. Not for one second we cannot. Give him some slack! He’s only acting for the greater good… I think?

3) Sure, Greta wasn’t the most interesting character to read about, given that she was brainwashed into being a dull, nerd princess, BUT I completely bought her character, and that’s saying something. Dull she was at first, yet I loved seeing her opening her fucking eyes and standing up for her friends. YOU GO GIRL.

Oh, how that (mostly unimportant aspect) was hated! First thing first : you need to know that the romance didn’t affect most of 15 pages out of the whole book. I’d say that it’s not enough to spoil the entire book if you don’t like it, BUT sometimes one sentence can make me rage SO I won’t be this person and disrespect that.

This said, here’s what I think : Well, I think that our knowledge of the tropes make us reject anything that comes close to a love triangle and in my opinion it’s pretty… frightening to see that we’re so damn used to them that we analyze novels through their lens without even realizing it.

Look : There’s this boy whose arrival is disruptive for the plot, so of course we expect him to be a love interest. What I mean is that in our head, we tick the love interest box. Is there something in the book, at this point, that actually implies it? Fuck no, but we don’t need it, we just know it. Then when he’s not a love interest – or, rather, when the situation reveals to be more complicated than that – we yell love triangle because really what else could it be?! Well it’s not. No, in my opinion it’s not. Yes, the MC kisses two different characters, but I don’t have in me to restrain this situation to a love triangle as we generally understand it, that is to say some dumb girl who’s hesitating through 3 books between Love Interest #1 (the Golden Boy) and Love Interest #2 (the Bad Boy), and whose whole behavior and decisions revolve around that fucking choice.

Try complex relationships instead. Friendship. Empathy.

See, I was talking to my dear Chelsea about it, and I told her this : since WHEN do I need for a character to be a love interest to love him? SINCE WHEN? Well, since every fucking character in every fucking YA book taught me that their personality would be ruined if they weren’t love interest because THEY WOULD NOT MATTER. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of characters I love in YA who aren’t any kind of love interest, and for me it shows that there is a problem with YA. I used to ADORE characters who aren’t romancey at all. Thank you Erin Bow for reminding me that.

My friend Laura said that she didn’t so much see a love triangle but a fullness of love. I’m stealing that line. What love indeed. Who needs labels? I don’t.

Can I just say something? I didn’t feel an ounce of romantic chemistry between Greta and Xie. Sorry, OKAY? I just didn’t. I wish I had, but what you gonna do. Oh, well. There’s barely even romance anyway. FRIENDSHIP is what matters, NOT BEING BLOWED-UP is what matters, so I’d say that it’s not a really important flaw in my book.

► Honestly? Such a good surprise, I cannot wait to see where the story goes.

BOOK REVIEW – Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi

BOOK REVIEW – Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica RossiInto the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)
by Veronica Rossi
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The race for survival comes to a thrilling close in the earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi's New York Times bestselling Under the Never Sky trilogy.

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to find the fabled Still Blue and bring balance to their world.

Perfect for fans of the Hunger Games and Divergent series, Veronica Rossi's trilogy has been called "inspired, offbeat, and mesmerizing" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) and "incredibly original" (Seventeen.com). Brimming with romance and danger and building to a climax that will leave you breathless, Into the Still Blue brings this "masterpiece" trilogy to an unforgettable close (Examiner.c

Review:

*Spoilers for previous books*

Into the Still Blue was an action packed, stunning conclusion!  And just like the two previous books, this story was an emotional journey.  Torture, love, sacrifice, it honestly felt like my heart would stop beating at times.  Even while they were strategizing, since the risks they were willing to take felt monumental.  This series has easily become one of my favorite dystopian series ever, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Why was it so hard to bring together the people she loved and keep them safe? Why couldn’t she just wake up and spend a day—one day—without running or fighting or losing someone?

I started out this book feeling overwhelmed.  Their situation had become dire.  The Tides and Dwellers were about to become trapped in the cave and die because of how the aether was changing.  They had to find the Still Blue!  But to do that they needed hoovers and Cinder, which were both in the custody of Hess and Sable.  And while that seemed daunting enough, their relationships with one another were all twisted.  Roar, Aria, Perry.  Nothing felt right.  Oh. My. Gosh.  I just wanted to curl into a ball and cry with how much each of them were struggling or suffering or pretending that they weren’t.  I felt suffocated from their drama, but thankfully there was an awesome distraction coming up!

“Soren,” Roar called. When Soren looked back, Roar flung his knife into the air. The blade spun end over end, heading right for Soren, who yelped and dodged aside.
It missed him by a hair, as Roar had surely intended. Roar never missed.
“Are you insane?” Soren yelled, his face turning red.
Roar jogged over and calmly picked up his knife, but he sheathed the blade with a vicious thrust. “That’s how you do a warning shot.”

They had to form a team to rescue Cinder and obtain more hoovers.  Hmm, I guess I should rephrase that, an unlikely team.  Perry, Aria, Roar, Soren, Brooke and Jupiter.  I definitely was uncertain about this, because while each of them was perfect for the mission, together they were not a good mesh.  They fought.  They didn’t always work together.  And they screwed up because of those issues.  But I will say that I found hope.  Aria played a joke on Soren, which made me laugh so hard.  And that moment led to that hope.  Hope that this mismatched team would pull together and make not only everyone else, but themselves proud too!  I mean, everyone’s survival rests on their shoulders.  No biggie right?

“If we get to the Still Blue,” Soren said, “we should look at how to make more people like you, Aria.”
She laughed. “
Make more people like me? You mean half-breeds?”
“No. I mean people who are forgiving and optimistic and things like that.”


I have to say a word about each character that affected me so strongly:

Aria & Perry – She made me so proud with the strategizing she came up with.  Her and Perry have grown immensely since their first encounter.  And Perry now felt like a true leader.  The decisions and sacrifices he made, I’m so proud of him, even if I still can’t talk about it.

Roar – I never thought I’d find two book boyfriends in a story.  But I absolutely loved Roar.  Even when he was being an emotional ass.  I will never be able to get him out of my head.

Soren – That dweller pulled me in, no matter how hard I fought it.  He completely won me over and I was hoping he got a HEA too!

Cinder – He started out as a tag along, and in the Tides he finally found what he was always searching for.  A family.  He was braver than I ever could have been at his age, and I loved his moments throughout the story.

Aria didn’t even see Perry’s face before he hugged her. “I’ll be thinking about you,” he said, lifting her off the ground. “I love you.”
She said it back, and that was it.
All that mattered. Everything there was to say.

The twists and turns kept me on my toes, but the events that unfolded and affected the characters, that’s what moved my heart so deeply.  I sobbed.  I pleaded.  I hoped they would all survive.  Even though I should have known better.  This story was perfectly destructive and uplifting at the same time.  And I won’t be able to get their world or these characters out of my head for a long time to come.

PS Can we please have a novella looking into the future?  My heart desperately needs that!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
under the never sky veronica rossi
Under the Never Sky #1
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
roar-and-live-veronica-rossi
Roar and Liv #0.1
Review:
Jen
through the ever night veronica rossi
Through the Ever Night #2
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
brooke-veronica-rossi
Brooke #2.5
Review:
Jen
into the still blue veronica rossi
Into the Still Blue #3
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
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