Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett

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4stars

“This was what made the beating heart of America: not a sense of civics, not a love of country or people, not respect for the Constitution – but fear. And there you had fear, you had guns.”

Title: Vigilance
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Number of pages: 208 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Raw and violent and so very likely to happen.
Bad things about this book: I would’ve loved another short chapter to explain a bit the ending, because it left me like whaaat.
Do I recommend it? I do!
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This was terrifying in the most realistic and dystopian way. I was glued to the pages until the very end. The fact that made it all the more scaring was that I could see it; I could see that reality being our reality. As much as I like visiting the US as a tourist, I’m always afraid when I go there.

What if I happen to be on the Empire State when someone decides to attack it? What if I’m taking a stroll in Central Park when a crazy person decides it’s the perfect day to shoot random walkers? What if I’ taking a picture in Times Square and a street pirate decides that’ll be perfect to just run over some tourists? It’s terrifying. Terrifying as hell! The fact that whoever can buy and carry a gun is something already dystopian in my opinion.

So this fact made it so real I could see it. In a not very far away future people are sort of trained to be ready when a threat comes around. So there are “vigilances”: surprise environment controlled shootings where criminals are introduced and people have to kill them to earn money. But people can and will die. They are trained to be scared because fear is what the government wants them to feel. Fear is how they control them.

It was a very short book but I enjoyed it. It gave me the chills. Made me want to shake some sense into someone! Shake hard. I recommend this book. Robert Jackson Bennett knows how to write a story. Check out his other books, you won’t regret it.

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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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5stars

“The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking #1
Number of pages: 512 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The story was great and so very captivating.
Bad things about this book: Todd started being whiny but then he redeemed himself.
Do I recommend it? Always trust a Ness book!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I’ve had this book since forever because I fell in love with Patrick Ness so I bought everything of his I could find. So why didn’t I read it sooner? That’s a question impossible to answer. Impossible because I really don’t know, I just let it gather dust with no reason.

I have to start saying that I wasn’t really sold at the beginning. I found Todd pretty annoying and I was having a hard time with how the words were purposely grammatically incorrect; it bothered me UNTIL I got sucked into the story.

I didn’t know what to expect but it wasn’t certainly what I got! I felt all the feelings! All of them!!! I lost hope along Todd and Viola, I found it again, then lost it, the found it again, then lost it. It was a rollercoaster of a book, let me tell you!

I can’t wait to see how the movie turns out!

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Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

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2stars

Title: Mortal Engines
Author: Philip Reeve
Series: The Hungry City Chronicles #1
Number of pages: 320 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The plot was interesting and promising.
Bad things about this book: The characters are flat and the mc is obnoxious.
Do I recommend it? Give it a chance if you want.
Rate: 2/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This book surprised me, and not in a good way. If I skipped the Tom and Hester’s parts, this book would have gotten maybe 3 stars from me. I found Tom obnoxious and annoying since page one and Hester wasn’t just likable at first. She became a bit better almost at the end of the book but it still didn’t save the book from the wreckage it was.

The characters just lacked depth; they lacked emotion. I couldn’t relate to any of them and I just wasn’t involved in their lives. I didn’t care much if they got hurt or things didn’t went their way.

A lot happened, like A LOT, and the characters went along with their lives almost as nothing happened. They just didn’t feel anything, and I was mad at them, I was like “FEEL SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING”, but nope, nothing.

At some point, I was almost giggling with how random things were. I thought things couldn’t get worse, but guess what?? They got more random and kinda worse. I sighed, relieved, when the book ended. I’ll read the sequel but not anytime soon. I just have to cleanse myself from Tom.

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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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