Thursday, October 30, 2014

On The Fence by Kasie West Review

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.
To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Published July 2014. Stand alone. Check it out on goodreads!
4 stars

I've enjoyed a lot of Kasie West's other books and this one was no different. It was a unique story, even if the baseline of the plot sounds familiar. I really liked Charlie. I liked her personality and I even identified with some of her doubts and insecurities. I liked her relationship with her dad and brothers and with Braden too, even if it changes throughout the book. Charlie's character goes through a lot of changes through the book and it's interesting how she deals with them, funny in some cases, more serious in others. In fact, the book had a deeper twist towards the end than I had expected.

This was a fun, sweet book and digs through all of the emotions that can come of being the only girl among a house full of boys. Is it all right to wear makeup? Would boys ever think of you as more than just a "pal"? These are all things that she has to go through as she begins to have girls as friends and expand her horizons a little. The romance was cute and tentative and I enjoyed it.

Overall, I thought this was a lovely book and it was one I enjoyed reading. Although I'm very different from Charlie a lot of what she was going through I was able to relate with, every girl has her insecurities, and I liked the way the author handled things. The writing was good, the plot was surprising (even if for the most part it was a calm plot) and it was a great book :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner Review

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series comes The Rule of Thoughts, the exciting sequel to The Eye of Minds. Fans of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth and The Hunger Games will love the new Mortality Doctrine series. 
Michael completed the Path. What he found at the end turned everything he’d ever known about his life—and the world—completely upside down.
He barely survived. But it was the only way VirtNet Security knew to find the cyber-terrorist Kaine—and to make the Sleep safe for gamers once again. And, the truth Michael discovered about Kaine is more complex than they anticipated, and more terrifying than even the worst of their fears.
Kaine is a tangent, a computer program that has become sentient. And Michael’s completing the Path was the first stage in turning Kaine’s master plan, the Mortality Doctrine, into a reality.
The Mortality Doctrine will populate Earth entirely with human bodies harboring tangent minds. Any gamer who sinks into the VirtNet risks coming out with a tangent intelligence in control of their body. 
And the takeover has already begun.

Published August 2014. The second book in The Mortality Doctrine. Check it out on Goodreads!
4 stars

James Dashner is an author I've been reading for several years, I enjoyed the Maze Runner series and I was excited for his newest series. I enjoyed the first book, The Eye of Minds and thought it was a great world he was beginning to build. That world is continued in this book, picking up from the cliffhanger that the first book left us with.

What I liked: I feel like, in some ways, this series is better than the Maze Runner series. So far it's been much more consistent, I felt like both books were on about the same level and as a sequel this one book was great and didn't disappoint me. The world-building is basically the same, still brilliant, although it is extended to the real world in this book, which is a change from the first book. There's the VirtNet and everything inside the VirtNet, all the games and places you can go, the programming you can learn. It's great. The characters are the same, there aren't really any new additions, and Michael and his friends, Sarah and Bryson, are lovely. They're incredibly talented and intelligent, they make great main characters. And it wasn't that they were superhumanly smart and etc. they had moments of weakness and through that they remained brave and continued to press on. I also found the plot to be quite gripping, it took a chapter or two and from then on my interest held and my reading pace picked up, especially at the end of the book. I also liked the writing style for this series at least I'm pretty sure that it wasn't in the Maze Runner series to where there would be several section in the chapter? I don't know how to explain it, he would have like mini-chapters within the chapters. I liked it. 

What I didn't like so much: There were a few scenes that were slightly confusing, but the basic idea of what happened was explained in the next chapter or scene. Other than that I can't really think of anything.

Overall, I thought this was a great sequel and I loved the adventure and world-building. The plot was fast paced and interesting, it was a fantastical book with a lot of programming and technical terms brought together to form a great adventure testing the characters. I would recommend this book if you enjoy fantasy books and science fiction. Though it didn't have a completely science fiction feel, not the space-vibe anyway.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Split Second by Kasie West Review

Life can change in a split second.
Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.
When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.
Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.
As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

Published February 2014. Second book in the Pivot Point series. Check it out Goodreads! 
4 stars

I really enjoy Kasie West's contemporary books and was definitely interested in the first book in this series because it's a bit fiction or fantasy themed. The first book was quite good, and this one was no different! I really enjoyed the plot and it kept me very interested. I was working on something, some spanish tests I think and I stopped to take a little break, to just read one chapter. Before I knew it I was getting to the last chapters, it really drew me in! I think that the author has done a great job creating this Para vs. Norm world where the Norms are well, normal, and the Paras have interesting generally mind-themed powers. It's very fun and she has created a great Para world that's hiding from the rest of us.

This book was a little different then the first, the first was done in one of Addie's searches. When she reaches a decision, where she has two choices she can look into the future to see where the two paths will lead. It made for a great writing style (going from one path in one chapter to the other in the next) in the first book and I really liked it. In this book however the POV is split between Addie and her friend, Laila. I admit, there were a few times when they were together that was difficult to tell whose POV it was, otherwise it was very nice but not quite as fun and unique then the first book. The romance was pretty sweet, I definitely preferred Addie and Trevor's as it continues (sort of) from the first book. There were some great twists that involved him too.

Overall, I thought the world building was great, the plot was fun and exciting and definitely kept me wanting to keep reading, I liked the characters (although there were times Laila got on my nerves a little), and this was a great sequel! It kept up a lot of the things I liked from the first book and while it did disappoint in a few areas, I was very happy with it overall. I can't wait for the next book!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Slanted Worlds by Catherine Fisher Review

Part Dr. Who, part Blade Runner, and part A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this genre-busting fantasy from the author of Incarceron asks: If you had the chance to change the past, would you do it?

In book two of the critically acclaimed Obsidian Mirror series, New York Times bestselling author Catherine Fisher, called “the first lady of British fantasy” by the London Times, once again shows us that she is a master of world-building and surprising plot-twists. Jake, Sarah, and Oberon Venn continue their fight for control of the Obsidian Mirror, and whoever wins will either save a life, change the past, or rescue the future.
But the Mirror has plans of its own.

Check it out on Goodreads! 3 stars

I have read a few of Catherine Fisher's books before, including the first book in the Chronoptika series. I also find her books to be interesting. And I always like reading them. It can just take a while to get into them I think...

What I liked: I found Oberon Venn to be very interesting. It may partly be because I don't remember a whole lot of what was in the first book, but I wanted to figure him out. I thought his character was very complex. As was Sarah's, they both have clear missions that are very different and go against one another. Yet they're related and must get along for the time being. They're both desperate and grasping at straws and taking dangerous risks. And then there's Jake and his father...lost in time, time and time again. Which brings me to time traveling...the mirror is a device that let's the owner go back in time...if he has a bracelet to direct his path so he won't get lost in time and understands how to work the mirror. It's a bit confusing, but not as confusing as some time traveling books are. It was pretty well done I think, and there were some really cool spots where he's in the past and he meets someone and yea...there are some cool little time traveling tricks. To add to it, there are also the Shee which are like fey. They're after Venn and who knows what else...they're violent and inhuman. So there are lots of different aspects to this story and it comes together into a fantastical book of adventure and time traveling. And the ending was very very good. The last third was the best and I definitely think it is definitely worth waiting for. (if the first part was a little slow for you like it was for me)

What I didn't like as much: Even if I can start reading an have a chapter done in 5 minutes or less, it didn't mean that I was unable to put the book down. Fisher's writing flows well but it took me until maybe 150 pages in to really start getting into the story. The first part was good, it was just a mix of not remembering much of the first book and the plot not being quite fast enough. I also sometimes felt that things were a little stiff, it might have just been me though.

Overall, the characters are well done and interesting and once I got into the story it got extremely interesting and I didn't want to put the book down. It took a little while to get into the story but even then the writing flowed well and I think that goes to show that Catherine Fisher is a good author. I look forward to the next book :)