The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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4stars

“The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.”

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Good things about this book: Superpowers!!
Bad things about this book: Unnecessary solutions to easy problems, in my opinion.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It took me some time to get into the story and start really caring about the characters. It took me most than half of the book to see the light. But then I read the last chapters and was “wth did just happen?”. I also read the synopsis of the sequel and WHAAAT!! What is going on? I don’t understand. I feel that there is so much that was left untold but needed to be told. I expected more but I’m still giving it 4 stars instead of 3 because I admired the potential.

Ruby is a likeable character, not as clueless as I thought she would be about the outside life since she’s been living in a camp since she was 10. I remember being 10; I wouldn’t have recalled the name of songs, singers, movies, etc, 6 years since I last heard them. Surely not if I’ve been tortured at exploited in a camp. That left me puzzled, but my experiences aren’t universal so, what do I really know about what a 10-year-old might know and remember about the world? I’m giving Ruby the benefit of the doubt about that.

The details of this dystopian world (more like only the US, more likely) are enough to give us a panorama of what the hell went down when kids started dying and the ones not dying started developing superpowers. It was only too obvious that, instead of helping them understand and maybe use their powers for the better, the grownups were instantly drawn to the most violent solution: death or/and internment camps. I can’t say I was surprised. So obvious I just rolled my eyes and kept reading.

The other kids Ruby travels with have all deep history and detailed background. I loved how they weren’t just left there to assist the main character. They were part of the story as much as Ruby was. Liam, the heartthrob with a heart of gold, blue eyes and a smile that melts you. A rebel with a sense of guilt as big as a mansion. Chubs and his bad attitude and rudeness that were only the protective shield he “activated” because he cares about his friends. And little and sweet Zu; a tiny human being that has already being through things a kid should never endure in all their lives. Because nobody explained her about her powers and teach her how to control them. Things could’ve been so much easier, otherwise. I blame the adults, as usual.

As much as I read it almost without pausing because I was curious about how things were going to work out in the end, I didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would have. But I definitely liked it and, after that hell of a rollercoaster of a last chapter, I need to know what it’s going to happen next. But the second book will have to wait. I have so many other books to read!

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The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

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3stars

But the past is much less scary than the future, I know what’s already happened; I know how bad it was. I don’t know what’s coming, though.

Title: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Author: Lauren James
Good things about this book: It’s set in space, there’s fanfic, fangirling and, I repeat, SPACE.
Bad things about this book: The last chapters felt a little bit random.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

When I stumbled upon this title, I was intrigued by the blurb and by the gorgeous cover. It was a sci-fi story set in space. Mysteries and space just make a great combo. I don’t exactly know nor remember what I was expecting to find, I just feel like I didn’t. It was enjoyable, and I read it fast and easily. Some stories aren’t for you, I guess.

I don’t know if I liked the way this book went down. I don’t dislike twists, surprises and sudden changes, but here something just felt off. I liked the pace of the book until I didn’t, not as I used to at the beginning. It was a calm book, with Romy being all by herself on The Infinity being its commander years after the death of her parents. There were things unsaid about the circumstances or their deaths; I liked waiting for the reveal, but the reveal? Wasn’t worth all the trepidation.

The mysterious J, commander of The Eternity, a ship sent to join her in the mission to inhabit Earth II, seemed like an alright guy but the fact that you didn’t know who he was, automatically made him sketchy. Sketchy until proven otherwise. Sometimes too much info is not good, but other times not enough info is also not good. I feel like knowing more about Romy, about the years she spent by herself, would’ve helped me connecting more with her. She did seem like a lonely girl, I just needed to empathize with her situation; I didn’t, I found her sometimes annoying. And her situation didn’t excuse her for how she sometimes behaved.

It was a solid 3.5 stars read (3 here because there are still no half stars). I don’t regret picking up this book and I will recommend it. I want to hear someone else’s pov and see if I missed something. I won’t give up on this author because the writing was very nice. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t love it either. And I thought I was going to love it.

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[ARC] Under the Midnight Sun by Lore Graham

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3stars

Title: Under the Midnight Sun
Author: Lore Graham
Release date: August 15th 2018
Good things about this book: It has a lot of potential and a very nice main character.
Bad things about this book: It’s too shorts everything is rushed and forced.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I’ll give it a chance if I were you.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

As much as I enjoyed it with all the myths and likeable characters, it felt rushed. Too many things unexplained. Too many things just happened, just like that. The steamy scenes were a bit weird to read; there aren’t many penises synonymous and the ones used sounded funny in that explicit context. They made me laugh, breaking the atmosphere of a promising naughty scene.

The book was too short. I think that with some adjustments and some more chapter between some scenes, this could be a great book. A solid 4-star, maybe even 5! It has a lot of potential but I feel it was left unfulfilled.

The love story, as sweet as it was, felt forced when it began. I loved how Otto was starting to feel his heart longing for someone after being in mourning for three years, but then things just happened. Not many words said and they were already madly and nakedly in love. It felt weird given how grumpy and borderline rude Lukas was to Otto from the beginning.

Loved their freedom of loving whoever they wanted, and the society not having problems with who you decided to be with. It was refreshing not witnessing the usual hiding ones attraction because it’s forbidden or illegal or looked as unnatural. Felt good.

It was an enjoyable book, if short, that I didn’t want to put down even if it was somewhat predictable so it didn’t make me worry about the characters’ wellbeing. Still, I’m glad I requested this book and read it.

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Restless Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk

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4stars

Title: Restless Spirits
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Spirits #1
Number of pages: 204 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I just love how this author tells stories.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, there are ghosts.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Stayed up until 2am to know how this was going to end. I was hooked. I love ghost stories and this one was great, worth of losing a few hours of my beauty sleep! I wish I’ve found out sooner about this series by the amazing Jordan L. Hawk; I’m happy I now have started it. The characters are diverse, they come from different backgrounds and they all have their own opinions, being them frustrating or totally reasonable. Being set in the past I knew there were going to be things that’ll anger me, frustrate me to no end, and there were. Oh my, I could have punched more than a couple characters real hard!

Vincent and Lizzie are a very peculiar couple of friends, each one of them with secrets well hidden. Vincent is dealing with an exorcism gone bad and he is struggling to live his medium life, and the consequences of his “medium block” might be the end of his and Lizzie’s job and economic stability. When the opportunity to earn easy money with a haunting present itself, Vincent is forced by Lizzie to help her. They will find that the case is not at all as easy as they thought it was going to be.

Enter Henry and his cousin. Henry was scammed by a fake medium and has devoted his life to use science to get rid of ghosts and spirits. He thinks every medium is fake and will never trust any more of them. But then he meets Vincent and everything he has vowed himself not to do, is hard to follow because the temptation of this man, so beautiful and flirty, is throwing him off his science path.

I had a very hard time trying to like Henry: from the high of his white privilege, he didn’t see how his behavior could damage the people around him. Let’s see how he acts in the remaining books to see if I like him or not. If he deserves to be with handsome Vincent or not. So far, he has only angered me. He may be sweet, and I know he now cares about Vincent, not only because of his appearance but also because of the man he came to know during their days in the haunted mansion.

The second book promises to be just as good. What will happen?? I need to read it as soon as I can!

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Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

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4stars

I hate this world. People are small. They’re ignorant, and they’re happy to stay that way. They make an effort to. They’ll spend time and energy finding ways not to learn things just to feel comfortable with their beliefs.

Title: Only Human
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #3
Number of pages: 352 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The writing style is still original and it keep you reading.
Bad things about this book: I expected more than what I got.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course. This is a great sci-fi series.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

The first two books of this series were a present (free books, yeah!), but this one, the conclusion, was bought with my hard-earned money, so it needed to be a great ending, it needed to be worth it. It was, in a way; it could’ve been better, but I know that when we’re talking about human beings being stupid, I’m going to hate a little what I’m reading. It happens all the time.

So, I loved this a tiny bit less than the other two books. Maybe I wanted more. Maybe I was expecting something BIGGER to happen, a twist of sorts. It didn’t. At the end of Waking Gods, our “heroes” got themselves teleported to the alien planet of the creatures who built Themis and all the other giants that invaded the Earth and killed hundreds of millions. At the beginning of Only Human, we learn that they’ve been living there for nine years. We had some files about their lives on the planet but not as many as I expected. Eva didn’t have many files from her time over there: we learned a little bit about her from Vincent. I know that’s because she didn’t want people to know about what she was doing, but I was sad not knowing more about her friendship with Ekim, and how she learned to speak the language so fast. I wish there was more. A little more of everything.

“People are denying even the most basic scientific facts because it makes them feel better about hurting each other. Do you realize how horrifying that is? We’re talking about human beings making a conscious effort, going out of their way, to be ignorant. Willfully stupid. They’re proud of it. They take pride in idiocy. There’s not even an attempt to rationalize things anymore.”

I get it, being scared makes you do stupid things, but what happened on Earth after the robots went away was beyond ridiculous. Why did people let that happen? Why did they think it was the most reasonable solution, hate each other more, kill each other, instead of re-build what was broken together, as a big community? It doesn’t make any sense, not to me. They let themselves be controlled by their fear and the result? Complete and absolute chaos! I couldn’t believe how the world changed after the invasion. I was appalled by the ignorance of the human race and how people just stood by and let those horrible things happen! But then I realized how REAL it was, how likely it was to happen here now, how it is happening now. And I just couldn’t keep my head from shaking in disbelief at how we really deserve a do-over, an alien invasion to put us in our place, to teach us a lesson in humanity, because at every chance we get, we make the same mistakes all over again. The hope for a better future is always there but somedays it’s just so hard to see it.

Still, I loved the “files” narration. I loved the characters and I loved to hate them when they were being unreasonable. And they were, a lot!!! Great trilogy by a great author that I will keep on my radar.

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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5stars

I’m always wondering about the what-ifs, about the road not taken.

Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1
Number of pages: 422 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The story was sweet and captivating.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, it’s a very well written book.
Do I recommend it? Yes, do it before the movie comes out.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I’ve had this book for months, maybe years, but I’m only picking it now because the movie adaptation in coming out is less than a month. I love to see the movie after reading the book because I love comparing. Not really critique per se, more like understanding what they did different and why, and thinking about what I would’ve done differently. Not that it changes something, it’s just for myself. The trailers look great! Can’t wait!

This was such a cute and light book. I loved it. Just what I needed to get out of the horrible reading slump that was afflicting me. Lara Jean is adorable, she’s just like me: she likes staying at home reading books and baking. She also cares a lot about her family and has a mind that wanders and wonders. Maybe her mind wanders and wonders too much because she is in a messy situation and chose a not very unconventional way to get herself out of it. The outcome might have been predictable, but it was still sweet and not at all boring.

Lara Jean writes love letters to the guys she loved when she stops loving them or wants to stop loving them. She keeps them hidden, but somewhat she also writes the address of the boys on the envelope. I would’ve never made that mistake. No address, no possibility for the letters to be sent without me knowing about it. That was her number one mistake. The letters are out now, and 5 boys have received them: the book focuses on 2 of the boys, handsome Peter and Josh, he sister’s ex-bf and their longtime neighbor.

“If people knew you, they would love you.” He sounds so matter-of-fact.
Josh, you break my heart. And you’re a liar. Because you know me, you know me better than almost anybody, and you don’t love me.

Lara Jean chose the most chick-lit solution to her letters problem, and everything goes out of control. Maybe it’s for the best, maybe she needs to face a couple of issues that are keeping her back. I think she needed the mess to come to her and shake her life a little bit. There is nothing wrong with liking to be at home instead of going out, but she was denying herself real love because she was afraid of putting herself out there. I totally understood her fear. 100%. It’s easy to live inside our own heads instead of risking getting hurt for real.

“Life doesn’t have to be so planned. Just roll with it and let it happen.”

Long story short, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a fun read, emotional and with a very relatable and sweet character. Lara Jean makes mistakes, she is not without flaws, but she is a cinnamon roll and she tries her best. You can’t hate someone who tries her best to be better and not to hurt the people around them. I look forward to reading more about Lara Jean’s misadventures with love. That girl can’t catch a break!

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Station Zero by Philip Reeve

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5stars

He was a face behind glass again, looking out at all the passing worlds. He felt calm for the first time in months.

Title: Station Zero
Author: Philip Reeve
Series: Railhead #3
Number of pages: 288 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Loved the story, the writing, the ending, everything.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Choo Choo of course.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

When I picked up the first book of this series, I did it mainly because of its cover and the synopsis was just too intriguing to ignore. Sentient trains riding from one planet to another? When I still think about it, it was pretty obvious to me that I was going to love this series. And I did, until the very end.

In this conclusion the empire is divided in two: the Prell part which is the racist part basically, and the Threnody part. Prell hates aliens and wants to close the new gates and stop the new aliens from coming through. He wants there to only be humans. Prell sucks. Threnody is the empress of the new reality of aliens coming back and forth to the human planets. But Threnody doesn’t have real power, she’s just a puppet, the image girl of the new present, nothing more. She needs to step up. Meanwhile, Zen is once again a wanted person and he’ll be facing many obstacles to find Nova and be with her again. And Nova? Let’s just say she’s been busy!

The Guardians have always been figures of mystery in my eyes; they have this weird names and weird appearance and they hate the new gates. They want to keep the humans blind to what really happened in the past with the railmaker so that they can keep them quiet and obedient. But that can’t be possible now with the gates open. I loved their meetings’ locations and the guardians we haven’t met in the previous books were a great addition. This story is original and so easy to get into and love.

I thought the ending was just the way I would’ve written it if I was as talented as Philip Reeve. I loved the importance given to certain character you’d thought were going to be left in the background. I was just glad things ended the way they ended. I was very satisfied; it’s weird being this happy about how a book ended, not wishing for a few ulterior chapters with more explanation.

Now I want to read more books by Philip Reeve. I found he has written some that sound really interesting. I don’t want my adventure with his writing to end.

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