The Bones Beneath My Skin by TJ Klune

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5stars

You make yourselves a home out of nothing. You carry each other until your knees give out and you stumble. It’s almost impossible to understand. None of us could get that. Not until they felt a heart beating in a chest like I have. Not until I felt the bones beneath my skin.

Title: The Bones Beneath My Skin
Author: TJ Klune
Number of pages: 385 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Art’s view of people really got to me.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Another win for TJ Klune! This was such a lovely journey inside us as human beings with our flaws, hopes and loss. Everything that makes us. And meeting someone that society says you should fear and fight, but you will find that they will give you more than you’ve ever thought possible, when everything else was just hopeless. It was heartbreaking to see them so fragile, fighting ghosts inside them, trying to have a future full of hope.

I just loved the dynamics among the characters. Funny but not in the usual Klune’s comedy writing style, the over the top comedy I love so freaking much; the right amount of fun to fill a story full of emotions and self-discover. I found the characters full of life, trying to get to the other side of the tunnel after life tried to block their paths. So many hard lessons, so many sweet scenes, stolen moments in the middle of dangerous situations.

“Even if you think you have no faith left, I promise you, you do. All of you do. It’s easier, I think, to stay lost. But when you’re found, when you open your eyes, you can finally see the truth for what it is.”

While I usually read books with younger characters, I’m finding more and more books with older characters (as old as me or older) that I’m loving a lot. It has never happened before. Usually books with older characters all talk about the same thematic, and I can’t relate, and they often bore me. This is not the case here; I haven’t experienced what they had and I’m surely not like Artemis Darth Vader, but I have seen how the world can bring us down, how the void pulls stronger sometimes and it takes all of our strength to win the fight. Their journey softened my heart.

This is definitely a book to read without stopping. Get it all in, get the feelings, the truths, the raw love that grows slowly in time, and the one that grows all at once. You will love Alex, Nate and Art, you will love them so much it’ll be so hard to let them go.

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Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

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5stars

Maybe we are broken. But we put ourselves back together. We survived. That’s what makes us so powerful. And as for family—well, blood is always family, but family doesn’t always have to be blood.

Title: Vengeful
Author: V.E. Schwab
Series: Villains #2
Number of pages: 575 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s just perfect.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, always yes to a Schwab book.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
I have to admit that I didn’t remember in detail everything that happened in Vicious because I didn’t manage to read the book again before Vengeful came out. The first couple of chapters were a bit confusing but then everything fell in place and I remembered everything! The plot of this book, with its back and forward chapters in different points of views built perfectly what was going to be the climax, the chapter that was in development from page one. And I loved every page of it!

You do what you can. You fight, and you win, until you don’t.

CHARACTERS —
Victor Vale is my boy, all in black, emo af, hard outside but a little soft on the inside, and all kinds of brooding. As much as I didn’t like seeing him suffering, I loved seeing him being almost my age: I’m also a 30 something person with questionable life choices. I relate. Eli’s point of view chapters came later in the book and they were fire! Backstory and a sane dose of bromance (more like brohate), exactly what I expected from our Eli boy! Sydney was a little bit annoying for me in this book, too whiney, didn’t see reasons behind choices that were made. I get it, teenager years on the run are not nice but, come on, see the bigger picture, make good decisions! Our big boy Mitch never disappoints, I don’t have anything more to add.
New characters were introduced, and I have to say that, besides a few annoying traits, they were both fantastic additions to the already fantastic crew. Won’t tell anything about them, I went in ignorant and enjoyed the experience more than ever imagined!

Perhaps she was glass. But glass is only brittle until it breaks. Then it’s sharp.

THOUGHTS —
I’m usually in a love or hate relationship with narrations that are told during a very long period of time, but not in this case. While I had to adjust my perception of how I saw the characters, at least the ones that actually grew old, I loved how the story of the book happened during 5 years. The characters not only grew old in aspect, the ones that could, but they were also very different persons inside. Five years on the run, five years imprisoned, can do that to a person, and the way Victoria told the story really conveyed all the aspects of the time passing.

Men look at anyone with power and see only a threat, an obstacle in their path. They never have the sense to see power for what it really is. Potential.

CONCLUSION —
Another perfect book from a perfect and gorgeous woman. That’s why she is an instabuy author for me, she can’t do no wrong in my opinion. Different books, for different audiences, and all of them hit the mark. Amazing job! If there’s going to be a third book, I’m going to be both ready and not ready at all, but I’m going to be there to read it!

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Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

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5stars

From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we live. By the stars, we hope.

Title: Record of a Spaceborn Few
Author: Becky Chambers
Series: Wayfarers #3
Number of pages: 358 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s just beautiful, perfect, I loved it.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, 500% yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
The story is simple, but at the same time very complex, because humans are complicated creatures. We have met different kind of aliens in the last two books, and we’ve met the humans living and working on alien planets; but this time we are seeing humans, focusing on a few, living in an all human community on the Fleet. The Exodus Fleet, the ship the humans built when they knew the Earth didn’t have much longer left to live, is a world unto itself with a very particular way of living that set them apart from the rest of the communities. It was very interesting seeing how they share resources, worked different jobs to maintain the balance in society and economy, all without using money.

CHARACTERS —
There are five main characters, each with a story to tell, each with chapters in their point of view: Tessa, Kip, Sawyer, Eyas, and Isabel. I liked all of them with their different lives and dreams. Loved the diversity, so natural. I won’t explain each character because I think it’ll spoil the story a little bit. They were all so authentic, with their everyday lives; some with a future still to be chosen, some thinking something is missing from their lives, others with a live well lived and with so much history to tell, and some willing to take a leap of faith to change their present to have a better future.

Perhaps none of us can truly explain death. Perhaps none of us should.

THOUGHTS —
As it was always described, these books are a spaceopera. A tale of lives lived in different environments, surrounded by different people, facing different challenges. Each one of these books has given me a sense of tranquility, without taking away a sense of surprise and awe when something didn’t go as planned. This story, with the sole alien character seeing things from her perspective, is meant to show you human beings evolved to an almost perfect and uncorrupted society. But things can’t be perfect all time, it’s just not possible. I loved how things were portrayed, I loved how easy I found myself cheering for the characters!

CONCLUSION —
Simply fantastic. There’s nothing more to add. Superb writing and storytelling. These books have been worth every second I spent reading them and thinking about them when they were over. I will carry them in my heart for eternity.

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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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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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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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