Review: Shatter Me

264 days. That’s how long Juliette has been in isolation. No one knows what to do with her or even what she is capable of. After accidentally killing a little boy, just by trying to help him to his feet, she’s been locked away until someone can figure out what to do with her. That is, until the day she wakes up to find Adam Kent in her cell with her. Then things begin to get interesting.

IMG_0901In Shatter Me, society has fallen. What’s left of civilization has been broken up into sectors. Food is scarce and families are broken apart. A young man named Warner has taken a special interest in Juliette and her power. She is taken to his home and introduced to the world that she’s been away from for so long. It’s nothing like what she remembered. And it’s made even worse by the fact that Warner now wants to use her as a weapon for his own personal gain.

Shatter Me was a pleasure to read! I loved every minute of it. I’ve been on a dystopian/post-apocalyptic kick lately and this fit right in with my mood. Mafi creates characters that make you want to read and her prose is beautiful. I can’t tell you how many times I had to pause in my reading just to admire the wordsmithing. Beautiful! Uniquely written and kept on the edge of my seat, this book was a page-turner that I couldn’t put down. While I felt that the romantic relationship seemed to move a little quickly in Shatter Me, I still appreciated the connections made between characters.

Overall, an excellent read and I can’t wait to pick up the second book in the series!

Review: The Girl With All The Gifts

Is there anything better than reading in the mountains? I’m out in Colorado (heading home today) for my real job but I still found some time to cozy up with a book and get some major reading done.

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The Girl With All The Gifts is a post-apocalyptic tale focusing on a young girl named Melanie at the center of a chilling science experiment. The world has ended. People have been infected and are turning into “hungries”. Except the children. The children still seem to hold a sense of self-awareness and no one can explain why. But Dr. Caroline Caldwell is determined to find the answers, no matter what’s at stake. Meanwhile, Miss Justineau, a teacher for the children, has become attached to Melanie which causes issues in itself. When the base they are inhabiting is attacked, the three of them along with two soldiers must find their way back to civilization (or what’s left of it) without falling victim to the infection that has killed most of the population.

img_0841I’ll be honest, I was not expecting a zombie novel when I first picked this book up. I did what they always say not to do and I judged the book by its cover. Still, I’m glad I picked it up. M.R. Carey managed to write a not-so-typical zombie novel which kept my interest and had me on the edge of my seat through some of the situations these characters had to go through. Each character was easy to get attached to (or despise with a fiery passion) and I felt fully involved in each of their separate stories. I did, however, get a little lost in the scientific talk throughout the book but could understand enough to get the basic gist of it.

All in all, I highly recommend picking up The Girl With All The Gifts if you’re looking for a newer take on the zombie story, or if you enjoy reading post-apocalyptic novels.

#FictionFriday: Seveneves

Hey book lovers! I’m still working on getting back into the swing of regular reading after taking a break. And hoping to get a habit going before my actual job kicks into high gear for the next couple of months.

Today’s #FictionFriday, I’d like to introduce you to Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. I’m not usually big on Neal Stephenson’s books. They’re usually very dry. Imagine if Anne Rice wrote a science novel. It’s almost boring just to think about, right? But trust me, Seveneves is an exception.

SevenevesThe moon is shattering. The fragments are colliding into each other and falling to Earth. It won’t be long before the human race will cease to exist. The government decides it would be best to evacuate as many people as possible onto a “Cloud Ark” in orbit and they need to survive for five thousand years. But as usual, things go wrong and it is up to seven women to save the human race.

It’s incredibly difficult to explain this novel without giving too much away. But I promise you it’s worth a read. Be prepared though, it’s a long book (880 pages) and sometimes Stephenson’s technical writing slips through but it’s not nearly as dry as his previous books. If you’re a love of The Martian or other space sci-fi books, pick this one up!

The Beauty

“We move, we surge, we dash and we flow, and we think that our furious beating upon the far shores of the universe means we are powerful. But we are only the crest of an uncontrollable surge in the tide.”

IMG-1956I had no idea what to expect when I started reading The Beauty. Honestly, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Aliya Whiteley has written an intriguing tale. The women are all dead, killed off by a strange disease, and men are all that is left. The age of humanity is coming to an end. But a young storyteller in a group of men, Nathan, has found what he believes to be their saving grace.

What follows is a story that is reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft’s works. After finishing The Beauty, I felt as if my brain and been taken out and played with. While I thoroughly enjoyed Whiteley’s writing style and poetic prose, I was left wanting. I wanted more details on the downfall of humanity, a more complete ending, just more. That being said, I was kept on the edge of my seat. The Beauty is indeed a unique story, unlike anything I’ve ever read. It will keep you thinking and you won’t be able to put it down.

#FictionFriday: The Age of Miracles

Welcome book lovers to the second installment of #FictionFriday!!!!

Coming-of-age novels have never really been my thing but I always manage to read at least one each year. I’m always surprised by how much they stick with me. But this one in particular really stuck with me. Perhaps it’s because there’s a bit of sci-fi mixed in.

age-of-miraclesThe Age of Miracles follows young Julia and her family as they face catastrophe, survival, and growth. One Saturday morning, Julia wakes to find that the world has suddenly stopped its rotation. Days and nights become longer, gravity is affected, everything is in disarray. In true coming-of-age style, Julia deals with distance between her parents and herself, first loves, betrayal, friends acting strangely. All of this on top of the changes happening in the world.

Karen Thompson Walker creates a beautiful story of a young girl facing the truth of life goes on even when the world has literally stopped.

I highly encourage you to add this to your reading list. I was blown away by Walker’s writing style with beautiful prose. This is a book that will stick with you long after you’ve read it. I find myself wanting to pick it up again and again.

Futura: a novella

21jVaTxwrHL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Paris. The future. Things have changed. Technology has advanced. Nature has receded. Except in Paris, where they have managed to integrate both nature and technology to create a haven for all.

In Jordan Phillips’ fiction novella, we explore Paris as it could be in the future. There middle class is now successful and known as Basics. You are not required to work. In fact, cooking has even become a hobby as AI units known as the Invisibles take care of pretty much everything humans may need.

In the midst of all this technology, Ruby yearns for a baby. But after a failed relationship, how is she to get what she wants? Sure, the Invisibles can help but she prefers a bit of nostalgia in this. As Ruby wrestles with being happy in her life and wanting a little one to love, we see her day-to-day interactions in this new Paris.

While I enjoyed Phillips’ story, I was left disappointed. I wanted more. I wanted to see more of Paris in the new era, more of how things had changed. I feel Phillips simply skimmed the surface of this world she has created. I hope she one day decides to flesh this story out so we can go deeper into Futura.

Eleanor

Bookshot_Spine_MedHave you ever read H.P. Lovecraft? You know how his books like to toy with your mind? I always find I get “brain cringes” when I read his books because I feel like someone has taken my mind and played with it. I love that feeling, but at the same time I don’t.

Jason Gurley’s Eleanor reminds me quite a bit of Lovecraft’s work, however, less creepy. In Eleanor, we’re introduced to a multitude of characters, all deeply connected in one way or another. Eleanor is a young mother who abandons her daughter and husband on a stormy night. Years later, her daughter, Agnes, has a family of her own. On another stormy day, tragedy strikes and tears the family apart. Now her daughter, Eleanor, must find a way to put her family back together if they’re ever to have a chance at happiness.

Gurley manages to take a tale and twist it into something completely different. Eleanor is unlike anything you’ve read before. Simultaneously dealing with teenagedom, family tragedy, depression, and fantasy, Eleanor is a book you won’t want to put down. With hints of mystery and saving a family, Eleanor begs the question: what if you could push a reset button? What lengths would you go to in order to bring happiness back to your family?

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.