Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: Unidentified Suburban Object by Mike Jung

Title: Unidentified Suburban Object
Author: Mike Jung
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction

The next person who compares Chloe Cho with famous violinist Abigail Yang is going to HEAR it. Chloe has just about had it with people not knowing the difference between someone who's Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. She's had it with people thinking that everything she does well -- getting good grades, winning first chair in the orchestra, etCETera -- are because she's ASIAN.
Of course, her own parents don't want to have anything to DO with their Korean background. Any time Chloe asks them a question they change the subject. They seem perfectly happy to be the only Asian family in town. It's only when Chloe's with her best friend, Shelly, that she doesn't feel like a total alien. 
Then a new teacher comes to town: Ms. Lee. She's Korean American, and for the first time Chloe has a person to talk to who seems to understand completely. For Ms. Lee's class, Chloe finally gets to explore her family history. But what she unearths is light-years away from what she expected.

This book was assigned for class, and normally it is hard for me to enjoy a book or finish one when it is assigned but this book was different. I don't know if it was because the book was set for a younger crowd, but I am going to go with the fact that I liked the book. 

The story follows a young girl, Chloe Cho, who has had it with all the Asian stereotypes. A strong academic, a fantastic violinist, but knows nothing at all about her Korean background. However, when an assignment comes back with a grade Chloe is not used to receiving, she demands answers from her parents but the answers she receives is not what she was expecting at all. Her world is now flipped upside down and her whole identity is thrown for a loop. 

Chole was a very interesting character.  I am still not too sure whether I fully liked her, and I can imagine how frustrating it must be to always be compared to someone or something that is not you. However, I felt that there were moments where her frustration went over the top and it got a little annoying. Yes there is an understanding for frustration but sometimes too much frustration can turn the tables on you. 

I want you to read the book for yourself, so I will not give away the major plot twist. However, another thing I noticed is when the secret regarding Chloe's past is revealed it seemed that every other issue that was occurring was either forgotten about completely or moved to the side temporarily. But it was not just issues but also some characters. 

The book does bring up some known social issues that relevant to children's literature and society. Mike Jung does a nice job in dropping some of these subtly but there are moments where it comes like a slap to the face...but in a good way. 

I am curious to see if the author is possibly thinking of writing a sequel to this book or if this will just be a stand alone. Although this book does not have me jumping out of my seat I still found myself to be hooked. If given the chance, check this book out for yourself and see if Jung will hook you like he did me. 

I give this book 4 souls!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

Title: The Lovely Reckless
Author: Kami Garcia
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Imprint
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: Publisher for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Romance

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?

I feel that the more books you read, especially by the same author, you are able to pick up on their writing style or which genre they lean more to when writing. That was how it was for Kami Garcia and I. When I heard her name, I thought of paranormal, dark, and magical. That was my train of thought until this book came into my life and there are only two words...HOLY SNAPCHAT! 

The story follows two people, Frankie and Marco. Both have their own stories, their own pasts, and their own secrets. When Frankie is forced to leave her privileged school and transfer to a school, her life is suddenly changed. Making new friends, creating a new lifestyle, but most importantly keeping her dad's job as an undercover cop proves to be more crucial as it comes to the safety of them both. However, when her world collides with that of Marcos, their lives are changed and they must figure out if their love is just pure reckless fun or something more. 

Frankie is this girl who comes from a privileged background with fancy school, the fancy cars, and an allowance that I have to work double shifts to get. Her life is turned upside down when she goes to the other side of town where everything is not...fancy. However, even though I felt she needed a little bit of a reality check, she found her place in the new school lingo and I wonder if that is from her dad being an undercover cop...hmmmm. 

Marco on the other hand. Can I just say hello! This guy is the perfect, perfect dark, mysterious, broody bad boy that you cannot help but fall in love with. At least I know I did. What I loved most about him and almost every character like him, there is humble side that is buried under a dark past and it just takes that one person to let it blossom. I know I am talking about a sexy guy and I go ahead and I say the word "blossom." Whatever, my point is sometimes you really have to dig deep to find that diamond, and that diamond is Marco. 

Kami Garcia took a different route in wiring. Coming out with the feel good contemporary romance that will string you along and tug at your emotions. Should she write more contemporary...HELL YEAH! The Lovely Reckless is a novel that will get you out of any reading slump, it will make you fall in love, and most importantly it will leave a lasting mark. If you thought Kami Garcia was just all supernatural, think again. Be lovely and reckless and check this novel out! 

I give this book 5 souls!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Review: The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

The Midnight Star (The Young Elites, #3)Title: The Midnight Star 
Series: The Young Elites #3
Author: Marie Lu
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: Publisher for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy

The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from “hit factory” Marie Lu. There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen. Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved. Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger. Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina's story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series.  

The final installment of The Young Elites installment is in my hands people.  You have no idea how long I have been waiting for this book. Marie Lu stole my heart with her first trilogy Legend and now she has struck home again with her Elites.

In the final installment, we are still getting the different point of views, which for me brings so much more to the story, With Adelina growing more powerful with every conquest, the darkness that forms not only inside of her but the world grows and soon she must resist her past and put all differences aside and work with the people who turned her away. Not only is her life on the line, the Elites, but the whole world in which they live in.

Adelina has come so far from being the person who the world was disgusted with to a person the world feared. Marie Lu has really taken a different, darker path with Adelina and has succumbed to her power and the darkness. This is not the girl who Violetta would call "Mi Adenine"

Violetta has to be one of my favorite characters in this trilogy. She has a kept a secret growing up and now separating herself from her sisters rage and reuniting with the daggers, her life is about to take a turn and there is only one person who has the power to change the tide. 

I was so happy at first for one character to have come back but then my judgement changed. The person I had fallen in love with was not the person I was seeing anymore. There was a darkness, a lost, and a boy that cheated fate. He had no control and even though it was hard losing him again for the second time, it was meant to be. 

The story flowed and I was waiting for the Marie Lu touch of pulling my emotion and just when I thought, that maybe, just maybe she would not do anything, the world ended for me and the tears came. 

In the end. Marie Lu delivers yet another stunning and heart wrenching end to a trilogy I have given a piece of my heart to each of the characters. If you have not read this trilogy or anything by Marie Lu please, please, please go read. And just remember..."this farewell is not forever."

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Blog Tour: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristof

Title: Gemina
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristof 
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers  
Source: ALA Annual 
Format: ARC 
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.But relax. They've totally got this. They hope. Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

This has to be one of my top anticipating reads of the year. I am so happy that I was able to snag a copy of the ARC at this past ALA Annual Conference. I was taken on an interstellar space opera journey in Illuminae and now I am back for round two. A different story. A different cast of characters. A different opportunity to fall even more in love with this galaxy of a trilogy. 

Following the audio files, emails, messaging of Heimdall the reader is instantly transported into a world that pulls you in and hold on till the very end. With new characters Hanna, daughter of the Heimdall captain, and Nik, member of a notorious crime family, their acquantiance as supplier and buyer of a drug called Dust, their lives are going to change. When a crew attacks the station, Hanna and Nik form an unlikely bond to take back the ship and save not just their lives but the universe. No big deal. 

Hanna to me is this spoiled girl who I wish would get a dose of reality and long and behold my wish comes true but not in the way I would ever want for someone. Coming from this girl who is used to getting what she wants to crawling through the vents, remembering the battle tactics her father taught her growing up, she suddenly becomes a girl willing to risk her life for others. Nik, on the other hand,   has a dark past that he wishes to keep secret but one event leads to another and now the girl he would make flirting jokes is now the girl he must work alongside to save the station but can she still trust him with his past. 

I think I wrote this when I reviewed Illuminae but the one thing I loved the most about this story is the way it is told. It is such an original, different way of bringing a story to life. Kristof and Kaufman set the bar with the first installment and raised it with Gemina. 

When hearing that there was someone working on the inside of this heist, I had a really good feeling who it might be but it was interesting to see how Jay and Amie still managed to twist it, pulling my emotions every which way and let me just tell you, tissues were present. 

Illuminae is a book that gives you a glimpse of the galaxy in which this story resides and Gemina is a book that brings the explosion. If you have not read the book that started this adventure, drop everything and read it. Gemina is must Fall read. 

I give this book 5 souls!

Monday, October 3, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey. Here is what we Finished, Currently Reading, and what is Next In line. How about you? These were some fantastic reads and we are so excited to share what we think with you! So make sure you keep your eyes out for our reviews!

Happy Reading! 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. We love getting new books and seriously can't wait to dive into them. How about you? What new books did you get?


Happy Reading!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi

Title: The Cloud Searchers 
Series: Amulet #1
Author: Kazu Kibuishi  
Publication Date: January 1, 2008
Publisher: Graphix 
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback 
Age Group: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy 

Emily, Navin, and their crew of resistance fighters charter an airship and set off in search of the lost city of Cielis. There they hope to find help from the Guardian Council's powerful Stonekeepers. It's a mission that Alledia's survival depends on, and time is running out--Emily's got to find Cielis before the Elf King finds her.

I swear I am on a role with this series. I feel that what I write is not good enough to describe the story, the world, the characters, or even why you are here reading my review and not the series if you have not read it yet. Just kidding...not really. 

We continue the adventure with Em, her family, her friends, and some new people who are on a mission to help get her to the lost city of Cielis. However, as the search becomes more and more dangerous so are enemies. The Elf King is sending his best men out to find and the clock has now begun to click and Emily's only hope to possibly defeating the Elf King might lie with the help of the guardian circle but with all light a shadow lies bidding its time to strike. 

Each book just keeps better and better. The story expands. More and more information is released, secrets are being set free, and unexpected bonds are forming. I am not sure who to trust anymore and I kind of like it. It is becoming a little harder for me to guess at what could possibly happen next. 

Emily is growing into a powerful female protagonist. However, the stone is still playing a big part in her life and her judgement changes a little here or now. There is a great burden she must deal with when it comes to the power of the stone and the darkness it contains and she be able to control it before she loses herself. 

I am eager to stop writing and continue with the series. This series is the perfect one to read when in a slump or need a day to kill with reading. I am more than positive I could read everything in one day but I am at this point where I want to savor what I read. So my advice, pick up this and see where it takes you. 

I give this book 5 souls!