Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

IMG_20190411_081207_253

5stars

Your past doesn’t make calls on your future. It doesn’t matter who you were. Only who you are.

Title: Lifel1k3
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: Lifelike #1
Number of pages: 402 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The twists and the robots!
Bad things about this book: Eve isn’t the most likable character.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Dear, girl. You’re just a tad melodramatic, aren’t you? Everything could’ve been solved by just by, I don’t know, thinking before making rushed decisions.

I loved the world building. At first I thought they were on another planet, I don’t know why. The stories about past wars and why the world was the way it was, could’ve been more detailed but I liked them.

The Lifelikes were really interesting with their abilities; the backstory had some flaws, but then again, I could why those choices were made. I didn’t like Eve’s character much. She was just ready to jump to conclusions every single time! Every single time!! I was tired of her by the end of the book.

The romance was super cheesy, like a lot. A cheese fest! I’m always torn about romances when they are super cheesy. This time? I had mixed feelings about them!

Those last pages were a rollercoaster. For all the theories I had, that were a lot, I didn’t come out with how the book ended! Took me by surprised. It sure did.

Lemon was my fav character. Eve was a 50/50. Cricket wins everything, though!

firmablog

Advertisements

Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett

41940477

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.

firmablog

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

20180806_205752

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!

firmablog

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

20180603_140527

5stars

“We can’t just sit on our asses and not live our lives while we’re trying to expose a corrupt government.”

Title: Not Your Sidekick
Author: C.B. Lee
Series: Sidekick Squad #1

Number of pages: 283 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved the superheroes and villains reality.
Bad things about this book: Too short? No, it was fine as it was.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I love superheroes. I think I have watched every single superhero movie at least once and I remember to have loved almost every one of them. I’m more a movie/show kind of girl, but I have enjoyed a few comic books in the past.

I loved the idea of solar flares messing up the planet and activating the meta gene creating meta humans with all types of superpowers. The solar flares reminded me of the fantastic four with a dystopian twist; the flares hitting the Earth changed life as we know it and chaos and death was upon humanity. A lot of years later, cities are full of diversity due to migration caused by radiation and the search for habitable cities.

Cities have also their own superheroes, each of them with secret identities, heroes names and sidejobs. Everyone waiting for powers to manifest so that they can apply to heroes accademy and be part of a group of people with abilities to save citizens in danger.

Jess has two superheroes parents and a superhero big sister but her powers hasn’t manifested and they say that after you turn seventeen, there’s almost zero possibility of the gene activating. Of course she is bummed, who wouldn’t be? So when the opportunity presents to start an internship in the secret lair of her city’s villains, the Mischiefs, she accepts kind like an act of rebellion. Her crush, Abby, also works there, so it’s also an opportunity to get to know her better and maybe ask her out.

But there’s more to the heroes and villains situation that the government doesn’t want the people to see. Villains are disappearing and nobody seems to care. Jess will find herself involved in something more than a simple internship: fights, hidden truths, conspiracy, thrilling mysteries to solve. I needed to know more.

What is going to happen? Are Jess, Abby, Bells, and Emma going to be okay? I hope so! I have so many questions and I’m curious about a lot of things.

I loved the world building and the writing captivated me. I read it as fast as I could. It was seriously unputdownable. Highly recommended if you’re into superheroes like myself!

firmablog

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

20170727_191955

5stars

We are not the same being we once were.
So then, if we are no longer human, what are we?

Title: Scythe
Author: Neal Shusterman
Good things about this book: It is well written and it has a very original (and scary) plot.
Bad things about this book: When I bought it I thought it was a stand alone but it turns out it isn’t and I have to wait a lot for the sequel.
Do I recommend it? Yes yes yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This scared the hell out of me. Second book by Shusterman and second win for me, that’s for sure. He writes and takes you to an adventure, gets you hooked up into the story with amazing descriptions of a world, so vivid, you believe it exists yet you don’t want to live in it. It was scary because of its realness. This was such a compelling story and it had this depth in it that made me realize that no matter what will happen, our future won’t be nice. How is it that we are forever destined to ruin every good thing the world offers us?

People prophesized doom at the hands of a soulless machine. But apparently the machine had a purer soul than any human.

The Earth in this book has defeated diseases and death, and its society is run by the Thunderhead, an AI pure and just who helps everyone. Long story short, the world is great. But there’s only one problem: if people don’t die, there won’t be enough space for all of them to live, eat, to work. People in it “survives”: they take jobs that aren’t really necessary, go to school when they don’t really need it, have lots of children they don’t want to take care of. They are not truly living because when you are not afraid of mortality, poverty and hunger, then what really is your purpose?

Immortality has turned us all into cartoons.

That’s how the Scythedom was born. Scythes have the power to glean people, killing them definitely, taking them off a world where they are immortal and they can reset their age whenever they like. Scythes are human beings that are given a license to kill (and to grant 1 year immunity if they want to) without consequences, without laws forbidding it, with the world scared of them but at the same time charmed by them. Charmed by these people in colorful robes who can randomly select you to remove you from the world, adding your death to their annual quota of people that need to be killed in order to maintain balance in population.

Power comes infected with the only disease left to us: the virus called human nature.

Scythes’ actions are not ruled by the Thunderhead, who is always just and never makes mistakes, so they are flawed: they’re humans after all. There is corruption, favoritism, unnecessary cruelty, and people are unaware of all that. They just keep on living until one of those Scythes decides you can no longer keep doing that. Maybe the decision was truly random or maybe just maybe that scythe didn’t like you because you were too rich, too ugly or too fat. Are they punished for being biased and unjust? Not really.

To put oneself above all other laws is a fundamental recipe for disaster.

It was obvious that in a society with no more death or diseases and only one self governed institution that proclaims itself above all laws there’d be corruption. It makes me sick thinking how inevitable it was because, of course, they are humans and humans with power are dangerous. Give a group of people too much power over humanity and you’ll see how everything the Thunderhead worked so hard for crumbles, one little piece at a time.

This book is about two scythe apprentices, Citra and Rowan, and the different paths they take and are forced to take in the year of training before the last test that will proclaim them fit or unfit for the role. Following their mentor around, the lovely Honorable Scythe Faraday, will show them what lies behind the scenes of gleaning. Will they like what they see? Can they see themselves wearing the scythe robe and killing people? Will they ever lose their humanity and start enjoying it?

There’s so much to say about this book but none of the things I can say about it will make it justice. I wrote vaguely about what is the reality of the book and what is it about but, trust me, it is so much more than that. This book has lots of layers and without reading it you wouldn’t unravel it the right way, in the right order. I will end up spoiling the journey and this is a journey I took and recommend everyone to take.

My greatest wish for humanity is not for peace or comfort or joy. It is that we all still die a little inside every time we witness the death of another. For only the pain of empathy will keep us human.

Experience their journey first hand. Fall in love with characters, and hate other characters. Cheer for them. Have your heart broken and wish you had nanites inside of you like them that’ll make you heal and calm yourself in no time. Be mad at the injustice. Be frustrated at how ugly humans can really be when they think only about themselves and their wellbeing. Be moved. Learn. Be ready for all of this can seem improbable but maybe it is not after all.

firmablog

More Than This by Patrick Ness ☆

20170716_143103

5starsplus

“I wanted so badly for there to be more. I ached for there to be more than my crappy little life.” He shakes his head. “And there was more. I just couldn’t see it.”

Title: More Than This
Author: Patrick Ness
Good things about this book: I loved everything!
Bad things about this book: Not sure it was the right choice for this book but I would have loved an epilogue.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

There’s this peculiarity in Patrick Ness’ books that I genuinely love and cherish and no matter what I’m experiencing, they resonate with me, with my soul, and I end up thinking about them almost every single day, carrying them deep within my heart. I just love them so much it hurts.

It’s now been two days since I finished the book and more than often I have found myself staring into nothing, thinking about the truth about what I read, the deepness of what’s been told, the fear I got realizing that that future might not be so unlikely. It scared the hell out of me.

Seth drowns, we read his inner monologue while drowning, how he feels, what is happening to his body. We know he drowns but then he wakes up in a deserted city, wearing nothing but bandages, he is disoriented; yet he is alive. How? Why?

“He’s died, and woken up in his own, personal hell.”

I had many theories about where Seth was. Theories I was proud of thinking, theories worth of being turned into TV shows or even movies. Sadly I wasn’t right but the different outcome surprised me for the better. I would have never thought of that and that was kind of perfect. I love being surprised. I also love predicable outcomes so it’s pretty easy to please me.

I loved Seth and I liked Regine and Tomasz a lot. Main character and sidekicks on point, together in this weird environment they are trying to figure out and survive into. The questions Seth asked himself were questions I was asking, the doubts he was having were the same I was having; I was one with the book, a part of it. There was no end to the guessing, to what the hell was that place and what were they supposed to do. It was fun how at the beginning Seth just thought he was in hell and that was it, he was just going to go with it and be okay with it. Then everything happens and nothing is as before.

“We take random events and we put them together in a pattern so we can comfort ourselves with a story, no matter how much of it obviously isn’t true.”

This was my fourth book by Patrick Ness and I can say without doubt that, for me, he is a genius. His stories are contemporary mixed with fantasy or sci-fi. He is an excellent writer and the way he incorporates everyday issues with fantasy elements it’s flawless. The themes he writes about are hard yet he presents them in a way it’s easy for everyone to understand, to relate to the characters; I know I want to fight more, I want to let my voice be heard, I want to change the world even if I do it starting from my little environments.

It doesn’t matter how little you can do, if you fight for what you believe, if you want to see change, if you want the world to be a great place to live for everyone, then don’t give up before starting because “what difference my voice can make?”.

“There’s always beauty,” Seth murmurs. “If you know where to look.”

Reading books by Patrick Ness makes me want to be a better person for me and for whoever doesn’t have it easy in life. Because everyone deserves to be free to be who they are without being afraid to be harmed, physically or emotionally, because of it. Because you shouldn’t be afraid to seek help if you have mental illness and you feel the world slipping through your fingers. Because you shouldn’t feel the obligation to be strong by yourself and that it’s okay to be weak and ask for a hand. Because we shouldn’t allow anyone to deny us the happiness we know we deserve. There is more than struggle out there; there is more than fear; there is more than what we think it’s unchangeable.

There is more than this and we need to fight to find it.

firmablog

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

20170518_143459

4stars

Title: The Love Interest
Author: Cale Dietrich
Good things about this book: Its potential and it can be funny.
Bad things about this book: It lose itself and it’s quite random.
Do I recommend it? Yes, give it a try.
Rate: 4/5 (I have to be honest, it’s more like a 3 but the first part made me laugh and it was a nice feeling)

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

There’s an Italian song called “Triangolo” that always comes to mind when I read about two boys fighting over the heart of a frail damsel. These boys are usually perfection, carved from marble, dreamy beyond compare. If there is something I like less than the dreaded miscommunication, it is the dreaded love triangle.

Watch the video of “Triangolo”. Enjoy!

If I was going to judge this book by its cover and by the first part of the summary, then this was obviously a capital n No; but then I read “What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training” and, well well well, color me interested. Now that’s a book I want to read. So I read it and, even it wasn’t exactly the way I pictured it, it was thoroughly cute and funny with a pinch (more like half a cup) of action.

There’s an agency that recruits Love Interests to plant in the lives of important people to spy on them and steal their secrets. Sounds plausible, nice idea. They train people since they’re very young until they are needed; they are then given a new identity and a new appearance in order to be ready to woo the Chosen they’ve been assigned to. There is so much potential here and for more or less 70% of the book it was up to it.

A Chosen is, well, chosen, her name is Juliet and two boys are sent to win her heart. A Nice and a Bad like they always do. They have a coach to guide them, teach them how to act in front of Juliet and create scenarios that she will certainly fall for. Looks like a nice and healthy completion but it’s not: the one that’s not chosen gets killed. So now you may understand how I started panicking and trying to figure out a HEA ending with these new premises.

You’re lucky we made you hot, Caden. If she wasn’t attracted to you she would’ve barfed.

Caden is the Nice. Is he nice? No, he’s not but he can act and after spending so much time in that prison-like place, he’ll do anything to get out. Caden is funny and plays the nice and super cheesy flirt boy perfectly. Oh my, some of the things he said made me giggle: they were THAT cheesy. Come on, who says that? He is playing all his Nice Guy cards but in his mind he can’t stop thinking about Dylan and his thoughts are hilarious, I just loved them!

Dylan is the Bad. Is he bad? Not at all. He has a kind heart and child-like honesty that was so nice to see. Not being afraid to feel and express emotions is a quality I want to be shown in books more often. Dylan plays the sexy, bad, tormented soul kind of part and he plays it greatly. Who wouldn’t double check a certified bad boy leaning against a tree reading a poetry book with a pained look on his face? He’s in it to win it!

“Apparently it’ll make me seem like a tortured soul who is lashing out, because I can’t handle all the epic, sexy pain within me.”

Caden and Dylan are both “enhanced” with plastic surgery: new jaw, new hair color, new eye color, and perfect tan. They are built to be the guys any girl would want. They can’t go unnoticed and with the changes they are like supermodels and they have all eyes on them. Put yourself in Juliet’s pants: you suddenly have two gorgeous boys flirting with you so of course you have doubts, you have every right to like them both. Come on, they are put there to please and she is pleased. Oh, she is pleased indeed!

The story is in Caden’s POV so we see how he understands what he feels about Dylan is more than simple friendship and he starts to put pieces together of his life in the facility, realizing he has always been attracted to guys. He is of course troubled, but not much and I liked seeing how he starts reacting to Dylan’s presence and how he knows these feelings can change the game they are playing. Yet he doesn’t once deny he likes him and it means a lot to the story he does that.

I didn’t think I was a chest-hair type of guy, but judging by the erratic things my heart is doing at the moment, I totally am.

As I said, this book was funny, cute, cheesy, YA trope extraordinaire, more or less until 70% of the book. Then it went wild, kind of off rails and got a little weird, a little over the top. Things happened, many things, and one thing in particular I felt was really unnecessary. The ending was pretty rushed and lots of things were left unexplained. I expected a more detailed epilogue.

Nevertheless this was quite an enjoyable book and, like I gave it a chance and liked it, I think everyone who likes the genre should, too.

firmablog