Tag: Dystopian (page 1 of 28)

BOOK REVIEW: Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW: Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara HollandEvermore (Everless #2)
by Sara Holland
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: not only are the stories true, but she herself is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Jules must delve into the stories that she now recognizes are accounts of her own past. For it is only by piecing together the mysteries of her lives that Jules will be able to save the person who has captured her own heart in this one.

Thank you Edelweiss, Sara Holland and HarperTeen for my ARC! Evermore will be available on December 31, 2018.

When I was a child, Papa told me my dreams could never hurt me – but he lied. Two weeks ago, the girl tore out of my nightmares and stepped into the world.

Evermore was an excellent bookend to its companion, Everless. I remember flying through Everless, but not 100% loving it. I definitely didn’t have the same feeling this time around, as I absolutely loved this book!

Evermore picks up right after the events of Everless. If you thought life was get any easier and less tragic for Jules, think again. This poor girl keeps losing those she loves to Caro’s (the Sorcerer) desire for revenge on Jules (the Alchemist), which has spanned many lifetimes.

However, Jules is not alone. Liam (who is so definitely not evil) is right by her side, as well as two excellent new excellent characters, Elias and Stef.

Elias’s teeth flash again in that smile. “Don’t you know, Jules? Everything worth doing is dangerous.”

Throughout the book, Jules struggles to what it means to be the Alchemist, and rightfully so. For so many years of her, albeit, short life, she has only known her father and friends and her life as Jules Ember. And then to find out she is so much more, that she is the latest reincarnation of the Alchemist and has flashbacks of her past life, is something she deals with almost the whole book. While I did feel some of the flashbacks slowed down the pacing of the book, it did provide context for the past relationship between Jules and Caro.

If the Alchemist stays sunken in me forever, revealing herself in shards of broken memories, never whole – who am I then? Not Jules Ember. Not anyone.

But as much as I loved the friendships and other relationships, I really loved Jules’ growing love towards Liam. I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel strongly toward him in Everless. But my mind was completely changed in this book. He was sweet and strong and stubborn and smart and a little rash sometimes. But at the end of the day, he cared for Jules and wanted her to succeed and be her own person. I loved Holland making him a big book nerd and getting very excited about research and history. It was a small touch but went a long way in making him his own character.

In this moment, I’m not the Alchemist. I’m only Jules, alone and frightened and hoping and wanting, and Liam Gerling is reaching out to me, a hand across the dark.

I honestly wish this wasn’t a duology. I know there’s a lot of three and four book series, and not so many duologies, but I wanted more time with Jules and Liam and Ina and Stef and Elias. Holland also set up some interesting world-building that there just wasn’t time to explore. But most importantly, I really grew to enjoy these characters and want to know what they will do next. And also more romance, because, again, I am so here for Liam Gerling.

“Nothing is unstoppable, not really,” I say quietly, slipping the dagger into my belt. “You only need to find something stronger.”

BOOK REVIEW: In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra Bracken

BOOK REVIEW: In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra BrackenIn the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3)
by Alexandra Bracken
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

“Are you sure this isn’t a nightmare?” he asked quietly. “And that we won’t just wake up?” I stared ahead at the road, the way the dust blowing in from the desert covered it with a faint golden sheen even as gray clouds began to gather over us.
“Yes,” I said after some time. “Because dreamers always wake up and leave their monsters behind.”

Do you guys ever just start reading a book and get so swept up that it consumes you until you’ve gobbled up every last word? Well that’s what happened to me these past few days as I’ve reread Never Fade and In the Afterlight. There’s something about certain YA books that really affects me. It’s not that I haven’t found other books that I’ve loved or have made me feel things, it’s just that none of them have reached in and grabbed my very heart and soul like those special YA ones I’ve found. This series and these characters will always be a prime example of this.

I read these for the first time a while ago, probably shortly after they came out, and the first time around I really wasn’t sure how to feel about this book. I mean, the ending was intense but when I started it this time, my expectations were a little lower because I remembered the problems that I had with it earlier. I don’t know what it was about this time around but it had me clinging to every word like I depended upon them to breathe fully. Like I started even looking forward to when I would have to feed my daughter in the middle of the night because it meant that since I was already awake, I might as well get some reading in.

This whole time, from the moment we met, he’d been waiting for me to realize he’d known me all along, and he had never once wanted me to change.

Mind you, I still recognized those same problems I had the first time around—not much at all happened for the first, oh 75% of the book, Ruby was being a pain in the ass, Liam was being a pain the in ass, COLE was being a pain in the ass…that list kind of goes on and on, lol. I can see how some people didn’t like this because of those reasons…but. But. The ending. The ending that had my heart pounding and had me crying—again—even though this time around I knew exactly what was going to happen.

It might be because this, to me, is a dystopian plot that is the most realistic of any that I have read. I mean come on..it starts out with the threat of chemical warfare and spirals when our government tries combating that by adding a substance to the water that ended up causing a mutation in kids. And to top it off, the very government that made the decision to put said substance in the water without telling ANYONE is the same one that builds the camps, keeps the kids there for “rehabilitation,” say that the outside world hasn’t send aid because they gave up on the people of the United States (even though they have sent rations, medicine, etc.), and whatever other shitty thing they did to cause the wreck the country became. Like that just doesn’t even seen close to out of the realm of possibility.

Another reason these books are so addicting is that the characters are so real. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it for about a day now and I think that Ruby might seriously be my favorite female (or at least top five) character of all time. Her character arc in this series is INCREDIBLE. She starts off as a meek, timid girl and winds up being the person responsible for shutting the camps down. Yes she had help but let’s face it, it wouldn’t have happened without her. She makes mistakes and I got so pissed at her time and time again in this book for thinking she wasn’t good enough or not confiding in Liam because she thought he couldn’t handle it but…that’s so human. She’s SEVENTEEN and has never actually been able to be a teen but she is still allowed to act like one from time to time.

I could go on and one for several more pages about everyone else but I’ll just say that Liam is a sweet cinnamon roll who is literally too good for this earth (he’s also hands down in my top five BBFs), I was heartbroken over (view spoiler), elated at Zu’s first words, and cracking up over Vida and Chubs’ banter/relationship, and felt so wildly giddy when Ruby was reunited with Sam and got the hell out of that camp. It honestly gave me the goosebumps when she was begging Liam, Harry, and Vida to help her walk out because after all she’d been through, she needed to walk out on her own two legs. And she did.

It rained the day they brought us to Thurmond.
And it rained the day I walked out.

BOOK REVIEW: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken

BOOK REVIEW: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra BrackenThe Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1)
by Alexandra Bracken
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

It rained the day they brought us to Thurmond, and it went on to rain straight through the week, and the week after that.

A few weeks ago I picked up the fourth book in this series, The Darkest Legacy. After reading it and remembering how good Bracken’s writing was, I decided I needed to reread the original trilogy. I had missed a world with Ruby, Liam, Chubs, Vida, and Zu.

That girl was gone forever, and all that was left was a product of the place that had taught her to fear the bright things inside of her heart.

The thing that I love about this series so much is how unique of a premise it is. In an America that we are familiar with geographically and historically, a new virus spreads. It affects younger kids; leaving them dead or with certain powers. Once the government realizes how dangerous the ones who have been left alive could be, they build camps. Horrible, horrible camps for these children to live in. The general public think that their children are being “reformed”—that they will someday comeback to them normal. If only they knew. Because such a huge chunk of the population was affected by this virus, the country is essentially in chaos and on the brink of collapsing entirely.

“Time to carpe the hell out of this diem.” 

Ruby is the first main character that the reader is acquainted with. We are with her as she is taken to the camp, broken out of the camp, and as she meets up with Liam, Zu, and Chubs. While I have seen a lot of people on this site who dislike Ruby, I couldn’t disagree more. She starts out as a weak character, yes, but she grows. I think part of the reason that I love her so much is that I can relate to her. Growing up, I was always a follower—not a leader. I had a strong willed best friend that I kind of hid behind, just as Ruby had Sam in the camp. I kept my head down and let her do all the talking. However, once Ruby got out of the camp and came to be with the Black Betty gang, she gained a purpose and started to become brave. Now I am a wimp…for the most part. If you stuck me in a dystopian world, I would most likely die pretty quickly. However, me being the eldest in my family, if I was in said dystopian world with my siblings, I would leave the follower attitude behind and do whatever the fuck I needed to to keep my family alive. And I think this is Ruby. This is how she operates and it is why I understand her and empathize with her character.

“Did you know…you make me so happy that sometimes I actually forget to breathe? I’ll be looking at your, and my chest will get so tight…and it’s like the only thought in my head is how much I want to reach over and kiss you.” 

Besides Ruby, I think that her supporting cast is just as amazing. Zu is adorable and I was so glad that I finally got to read her novella. Finding out what happened while she left End River was…hard. Chubs of course Chubs. He’s an old soul who is pretty cranky all of the time but will protect those he loves ferociously. I just felt so bad, knowing the kind of potential he had but the fact that he couldn’t go to school. I just feel for all of them. Completely robbed of their childhoods…This would be a horrifying world to behold.

“Cause, frankly, the way I see it, you and me? Inevitable.” 

Oh. Liam. Don’t worry, I could never forget about sweet Liam. He’s probably in my top five of BBFs EVER. He’s the only boy whose Southern accent I find charming, let me tell you. I think the romance he had with Ruby was perfect. It may have come on faster than what could be realistic, but in a world like that…I’ll let it slide. And anyway, the romance itself was such a sweet one. Liam helps Ruby feel wanted…feel grounded…feel like she has a home. It’s never overdone, never too much. He’s not a bad boy, there isn’t some sort of horrible misunderstanding between them. He is genuinely good and I found that, in this book and with Ruby, to be perfect.♥

Be cunning and full of tricks, and your people shall never be destroyed. 

Overall, this will always be one of my favorite series. From the plot, to the writing, to the characters, this book has always managed to sink its claws into me. Recommended to anyone who loves Sci-fi, dystopian esque YA.

BOOK REVIEW: The Darkest Legacy (The Darkest Minds #4) by Alexandra Bracken

BOOK REVIEW: The Darkest Legacy (The Darkest Minds #4) by Alexandra BrackenThe Darkest Legacy (The Darkest Minds #4)
by Alexandra Bracken
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


Five years after the destruction of the so-called rehabilitation camps that imprisoned her and countless other Psi kids, seventeen-year-old Suzume "Zu" Kimura has assumed the role of spokesperson for the interim government, fighting for the rights of Psi kids against a growing tide of misinformation and prejudice. But when she is accused of committing a horrifying act, she is forced to go on the run once more in order to stay alive.

Determined to clear her name, Zu finds herself in an uncomfortable alliance with Roman and Priyanka, two mysterious Psi who could either help her prove her innocence or betray her before she gets the chance. But as they travel in search of safety and answers, and Zu grows closer to the people she knows she shouldn't trust, they uncover even darker things roiling beneath the veneer of the country's recovery. With her future-and the future of all Psi-on the line, Zu must use her powerful voice to fight back against forces that seek to drive the Psi into the shadows and save the friends who were once her protectors.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a harrowing story of resilience, resistance, and reckoning that will thrill loyal fans and new readers alike.

You can get up.
You have to get back up.

I could get back up. I could do it myself. Again, and again, and again. As long as there was breath in my body, I could get back up.

WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT?!?!?!?!? Alright, people. It had been a LONG time since a book has made me ~feel~ this way so you better believe this review is going to be a jumbled mess of thoughts and feelings. First off, this was obviously SO GOOD. Like, a billion stars to Alexandra Bracken for this entire series. I’m angry with myself, though, because I was reading this on an app that didn’t allow highlights and I was only smart enough to actually write one measly quote down so I’ll have to add more the next time around—just know there were so many great ones. SO MANY. (This review might also be half in caps too, we’ll see, I’m just really pumped up about how good it was.)

I started reading this a few days but didn’t actually get into it until I had some time to myself yesterday morning. Once I started, I was COMPLETELY hooked. See, that’s the thing about these books and Bracken’s writing. I become so immersed that I have to drag my eyes away from the writing and when I do, it takes me a few seconds to come back to the real world. That’s when you know you’re reading something amazing. This book gave me the butterflies, it made me shake with rage, and it made me buzz with anticipation. It left me out of breath and has me hoping that even though it wasn’t ended on a cliffhanger, that we will get more from this world—especially Zu’s perspective.

She was always a character that I loved in The Darkest Minds series but getting this entire book from her perspective was amazing. We may not have actually heard her speak until Into the Afterlight but you can tell that once she started, there was no going back. I LOVED when she was in Moore’s facility and was basically having PTSD flashbacks to her time in Caledonia that she finally came to the conclusion that she was not alright and that that was okay. She wasn’t alright because horrible things had been done to her, and were still being done but she could do whatever it took to help turn things around for the Psi kids. She has grown SO much since we were first introduced to her that it gives me the shivers thinking about it. I am so proud of her.

In this book we are introduced to a few new characters, mainly Roman and Priyanka. I LOVED THEM SO MUCHHHH. They became so much more than what I first thought they would when I started the book. Roman is so serious and so caring—he would literally take a bullet for you. Priya was hilarious. She has so much sass and so many good one liners she reminded me a lot of Vida but without the potty mouth lol. Speaking of Vida though—I was so glad that we still were able to see all of our old favorites. Ugh I love them all so much I think I need to drop the other books that I’m reading and go re-read all of those books next.

I don’t really feel like getting into the plot much because I fully enjoyed going into the book and not quite knowing what to expect. All you really need to know is that things are not all fine and dandy in America. Yes the camps had been shut down and Cruz had been trying to get more rights for the Psi kids, but that doesn’t mean that things turned into rainbows and puppies overnight. Not in the slightest. In fact, some parts were still so horrible that it made me sick to my stomach, thinking as if those things were happening in real life (and in some aspects of this world and this government I think that they are). This is why I need more out of this story. I need to know what happens with Zu and the gang. I need to know how she continues to fight for their rights. And most importantly, I need to know what happens with the stupid, slimy, manipulative prick that is Clancy Grey…

BOOK REVIEW: War Storm (Red Queen #4) by Victoria Aveyard

BOOK REVIEW: War Storm (Red Queen #4) by Victoria AveyardWar Storm (Red Queen #4)
by Victoria Aveyard
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


Victory comes at a price.

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.


A soldier with orders to answer to. Fitting. That’s who he thinks he is. Just another person under his father’s command, obeying the will of someone dead. Again we lock eyes, and something in both of us burns.
Despite everything, his presence feels like safety. No matter what, he chases away any fear I have for myself.
Of course, that only leaves fear for the people I love.
For Farley, for my family.
And still, always, for him.

I think it’s safe to say that, even though it breaks my heart, this series just was 50/50 for me. Whereas most people would say book one and two were horrendous while three and four flourished, I’d laugh in their face and claim the opposite. See, to me, a book isn’t about bragging rights. It isn’t about doing things for the sake of doing them, nor is it about only making a statement. And, somewhere along the line, this series became about making a statement rather than just being a good book.

I feel cut in two, torn in different directions. An obvious question hangs in my mind. Another choice that I might need to make. His life or our victory? I don’t know which side I might choose, if I ever have to. Which side I might betray. The knife of that knowledge cuts deep, and I bleed where no one else can see.

I’m all about the excitement. The romance. The Peril. I don’t need the MC to stomp on everyone at the expense of keeping things interesting. And, while I’m at it, I don’t need a series or book to be wholly original. If you take a tired, but true, concept and add even a little twist to it, I’m happy. I obviously like what I like, so if you master it and make new characters and a fun storyline seem fresh and new, I’m all for it. I just need to fall for the characters, enough to care what happens to them, in the end, and I am so so happy. But making me fall for a character I’d die for, then making him a shell of a man….Nah. I’m so not here for that, and that’s exactly what happened here.

I don’t care about Iris, still out in the harbor, making her escape. I can only look at him, even though I never want to see him like this. Each passing second is a ruin. I’ve been shot; I’ve been stabbed; I’ve been hollowed out. This is a thousand times worse.

And, to be fair, I’d say that happened more in KC than in WS. In WS we saw my man really do his thing…but, yet, he also seemed like a pussy. Sorry, but I feel like the author totally emasculated him-and I stand by that. Do you know how disheartening it is to fall in love with a character, to really, truly fall head over heels for him for two whole books where he’s protective, loyal, strong-seeing them fall in love slowly, then all at once, even though it’s forbidden-would do anything for the MC, would die for her, to then be demoted to a lovesick puppy dog in book three with his tail behind his legs (and really in book 4, as well) and every POV that isn’t his all of sudden talks crap about him 24/7? DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY THIS MIGHT RIP APART SOMEONE’S SOUL?!

I wonder which second put this in motion. Which choice. Was it Elara, looking into my head for an opportunity to strike the Scarlet Guard? Was it Evangeline, making me fall into the arena of Queenstrial? Was it Cal, his hand closing on mine when I was just a Red thief? Or Kilorn, his master dead, his fate decided, the doom of conscription looming before him?

And I think, over anything else, I have to ask why. WHY build someone up to then just cut him down? And don’t even get me started about Mare. Weak, pathetic, and really a total moron in book one and two (even though I really didn’t ever dislike her wholly), then made to be a badass (which is a good character arc, to be honest) along with every other woman in the series, yet all the other men fade to the back? Well, okay, except Maven who, frankly, I think was leading all the Maven fans on, so why stoke the fire? I just…this author. I don’t get it. Why???

Constructions of their parents. Cal is built from his father’s dreams, and Maven from his mother’s nightmares.

And sometimes I just need time to figure out what I really feel about a book, an end of series, whatever, before I can give a real rating. As I was reading this, in May, I really thought it was a 4 star or 5 star book…but that end. Give me a break. Yeah, I liked it, it was okay. But, say if it was by Leigh Bardugo (and that’s just ONE example, I have many), for instance-I’d have been all heart eyes and emojis because, as most of the world knows, this woman can write, and a HFN for Leigh is the equivalent to 1,000 parades celebrating a royal wedding-that is to say, you know those characters will be okay and they’ll be together. But, with this author, I find I have no such assurance by that end. And, the most telling for my rating of all-as time has passed, I forgot I even read this novel. Which, as many of you know, is NOT good. It’s not good at all.

Making us wait isn’t just rude; it’s politically stupid. And a waste of my own precious time.
He’s probably off arguing with Mare again, pretending not to look at her lips while he does it. The prince is terribly predictable, and I hope the pair of them will boil over into some not-so-secret secret relationship once more. Will I be expected to guard the door?I sneer to myself.

I won’t go on and on and diss on a series that I really adore-I do and I did. The first two books are so superior to me-I could NEVER forget them. And, frankly, I plan to re-read those two books until the end of time. They still excite me. I still go crazy when I think of them and my heartbeat goes crazy and I’d just defend them to the very end. But those last two books, to me, just weren’t what my heart wanted and they were, honestly, poorly executed (At least book three was). Playing the ‘unreliable narrator’ card for Mare for books one and two so she can demolish another character for the sake of the story is deplorable, to me. And I will NOT support it. However, I will always cherish those first two books with my whole heart. I’ll admit that doesn’t happen often…so kudos to the author for that. If I don’t like a series, in the end, I normally dismiss all the books. But not here-Cal and Mare were EVERYTHING, to me, and I’ll never forget it.

Don’t think about him.
I chant it to myself as I prepare for bed, repeating the words over and over.
Cal’s face seems burned against my eyelids, while Maven haunts even my fleeting, distant dreams. Those stupid boys. They never leave me alone.

And the children. Seriously. Wtf.

And, to be fair, I am extremely hard on series ends…but I truly don’t think I’m the problem here. Just saying. I think I’m just so hurt/betrayed/upset that this wasn’t made to be more. It just could have been so. much. MORE. I cry for what it had the potential to be. And, yet, here we sit.


I have waited and waited and waited to write this review-I had read this the first week it came out…but what do you say when your heart is broken? Frankly, this series started out SO strong for me. Cal is everything. Cal is my baby. Cal is [one of many] my husband. But, after book two, this series lost the sparkle, for me. It became about female empowerment at the cost of other characters’ development, and lost my interest in the process-Just because Mare was an ‘unreliable narrator’, as the author stated at her War Storm signing, does not mean the ‘I am female, hear me roar’ idea should overpower the integrity of the rest of the novels.

Now, I know this will be an unpopular, likely trolled, opinion, but I hope everyone will accept that, while it is not popular, it is my right to say what I feel, to speak with candor, and to not be ‘hated on’.

I will come back with a full review, but, for now, that was my largest problem with this series. Not Mare, the ‘lightening girl’, the repetitive phrasing, nor Camden (who I loathed) (and is that even her name??? Cameron, maybe?). It was this series and how it was handled. And it lost me at King’s Cage. I had hoped for a better, different outcome…but here we are.

Review to come.

View all my reviews

Older posts

© 2019

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: