Monday, February 29, 2016

Book Review: The Shadowsurfers by Hubert Wiest

The ShadowsurfersCHA belongs to all humans. All humans are CHA.

Set in a dystopian future where technology and humanity have united to create society’s collective consciousness, Computerized Human Accomplishment, CHA is mankind’s most meaningful invention. Through CHA all of humanity’s thoughts and secrets are recorded and saved for the betterment of society.

Fourteen year old Sansibar is preparing for her final exam to become a part of society – a part of CHA. The only thing standing between her and her the Crystal Exam is a whisper of a memory almost forgotten… and a boy with blue-ink eyes named Luan.

Luan is a gifted programmer living as an orphan until a petty theft drives him from his only home. Without a place in society, Luan escapes to the forbidden city of shadows to live as a fugitive… with the help of a girl with purple hair named Sansibar.

Together they find they’re not the only ones with secrets.

*My thanks to Bree at The Book Octopus for sending a PDF copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own.*

Have you ever seen "2001: A Space Odyssey?" This book made me think of that movie, which is awesome because a book has never made me think of that movie before.

In this book we follow Luan, an amazing hacker who ran away from his orphanage to code rides for a theme park; and Sansibar, a girl just trying to figure out if she wants to become a true part of society. They live in a futuristic world where everyone gives up their thoughts to CHA. When teenagers take this test called the crystal exam, they wear a crystal on their head so that CHA can take their thoughts to "improve humanity." So, humans basically rely on CHA.  Remind you of anyone? That's right! There's a HAL in this book, and Luan and Sansibar fight it in different ways. 

I think that Luan and Sansibar are fine characters, I just didn't end up caring about them as much as I wanted. Maybe it was because I had little to nothing in common with them, but I sometimes found myself annoyed with them. They were fine characters to read about though, I have defiantly read about worse.

I also found that there would be these long stretches in the story, that wouldn't really make big developments for the storyline. In my opinion, the book could have been a lot shorter. Instead of page long segments, Hubert Wiest could have written a paragraph and still have gotten to the same endpoint.  

I really liked reading about Luan's inventions. It was so fun to read about how he and his team would sit around coding for hours, making new things. It was my favorite part of the book to read about how Luan made and rode his hover board/skateboard. That was really fun and really enjoyable.

Overall, I liked this book! With okay characters, a setting that I have never read about before, and and fun inventions, I recommend this book.           

 3.5 Points
I liked this book, but didn't quite love it.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Weekly Recap (Week of 2/21/16)

I link to Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews, and The Sunday Post by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

---My life---
Hello everybody! It’s been a week. You want an update on my reading progress? Well, I have read zero. THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM THAT I NEED TO FIX!!! I think that it is because of technology. Yep, I’m going to be that person. I have just had most of my reading attention and time sucked up by NCIS. Yes, I am obsessed. Don’t judge me. Back to the point, I am officially calling my life right now, I don’t even want to say it. Fine, I’m in a reading slump. If you guys have any ideas on how to get out of a reading slump, definitely let me know in the comments.

Also, I am now six books behind on my Goodreads reading challenge. Hey, could be worse. I could be seven books behind!

I haven’t been posting this past week, and it was actually nice. I thought that it was really nice to take a break, and not have to worry about getting posts up. While I do plan on posting constantly again, maybe I will take another break again.

---Currently reading---  

The Shadowsurfers 
I actually have not been updating my Goodreads, so it says that I am reading a book that I am not actually reading right now. I fix that later though.

---Question of the week---
Jumping right to the question of the week; do you have any tips for getting out of a reading slump? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Book Review: Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu & Anne Greenwood Brown

Girl Last SeenKadence Mulligan's star was rising. She and her best friend, Lauren DeSanto, watched their songs go viral on YouTube, then she launched a solo career when a nasty throat infection paralyzed Lauren's vocal chords. Everyone knows Lauren and Kadence had a major falling-out over Kady's boyfriend. But Lauren knows how deceptive Kadence could be sometimes. And nobody believes Lauren when she claims she had nothing to do with the disappearance. Or the blood evidence As the town and local media condemns Lauren, she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the truth herself. Lauren slowly unravels the twisted life of Kadence Mulligan and sees that there was more to her than she ever knew. But will she realize she's unknowingly playing a part in an elaborate game to cover up a crime before it's too late?

*My thanks to Albert Whitman & Company for providing me an ebook copy of this book via NetGalley. All opinions in the this review are my own.*

Wow. Just, wow. I honestly don’t want to write a big review for this book because I think that it is a good book to go into blind with. I’m sitting here typing this, and I’m trying to think of how I am going to write this review without spoiling it. Well, ready or not here it goes.

In this book we follow different teenagers through, probably the most stressful and scary weeks of their lives. We follow, Lauren, one half of a YouTube singing group, and who can’t sing anymore; Jude, a mad teenager on a mission; Mason, Kadence’s boyfriend and star hockey player at their high school. That’s when things get crazy. What I didn’t tell you guys was that you also read about videos of Kadence, who has just gone missing. The thing is, Lauren, Jude, and Mason are connected to Kadence in different ways. In this book, we get to see the process from before Kadence went missing, all the way to the end.

Let’s talk about the characters. I really liked Lauren. We had quite a few things in common! We were both book nerds at heart, both liked music, and both didn’t like people. I was really able to connect with her, and it made the story that much better for me. For Jude *types madly then erases everything due to spoilers*. Without spoilers, I really liked him. That’s all I got without spoilers. I didn’t really like Mason. Don’t get me wrong! He wasn’t bad, there just wasn’t enough development in his character to really like him like Lauren and Jude. I’m just not even going to talk about Kadence because I’m not sure how to fully write a sentence about her without spoiling something.

The thing that I liked most about this book was that I was able to guess what was going to happen. Now you may be saying to yourself right now, “Anna! Why did you like the story so much if you could tell what was going to happen?” Well, I’m going to tell you that right now person who is reading my review! It’s because I didn’t see it coming. Really confusing but let me explain. Yes, I was able to see what the main twist would be, but I got surprised by all of the tiny twists. You see, while you read about the characters and the main plot line, there are other mysteries and problems that pop up. So while I may not have been take surprise by the main mystery, all of the tiny ones that go along with it made me sit in my chair with my mouth hanging open.

I kind of want to briefly talk about the romance. Yes, there was romance. The thing about it through was that it didn’t over power the story. I actually though that it went very nicely with the story. It was logical (in most cases), and it was very sweet.     

Overall, I loved this book! I was really able to connect with Lauren which was really nice. It was filled with suspense, mystery, some scary, and even sad moments in some places. I highly recommend this book.

5/5 Points
I LOVED this book!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Book Review: Relentless by Karen Lynch

Relentless (Relentless, #1)Sara Grey’s world shattered ten years ago when her father was brutally murdered. Now at seventeen, she is still haunted by memories of that day and driven by the need to understand why it happened. She lives a life full of secrets and her family and friends have no idea of the supernatural world she is immersed in or of Sara’s own very powerful gift.

In her quest for answers about her father’s death, Sara takes risks that expose her and her friends to danger and puts herself into the sights of a sadistic vampire. On the same fateful night she meets Nikolas, a warrior who turns Sara’s world upside down and is determined to protect her even if it’s the last thing she wants.

Sara’s life starts to spin out of control as she is hunted by an obsessed vampire, learns that her friends have secrets of their own and reels from the truth about her own ancestry. Sara has always been fiercely independent but in order to survive now she must open herself to others, to reveal her deepest secrets. And she must learn to trust the one person capable of breaking down the walls around her.

Let me just start off by saying that I am in a reading slump. Now, let me tell you that after reading this book, I don’t think that I am in a reading slump anymore. I don’t know if that effects my opinion, but I’m going with it.

In this book we follow Sara, and a bunch of other things, as a bunch of things go on. It sounds really confusing, I promise that it isn’t! It’s just hard to say what goes on in the book without spoiling everything. I’ll just tell you a summary of one thing. So, Sarah has this friend named Remy, and Remy is a troll. Trolls are very powerful in this book, and their bile (vomit) is like the fountain of youth. It heals wounds and bodies. Sara sells rare items on the black market (for supernatural beings), and in return uses the things that she gets during the trades to help other beings. Then, she gets attacked by a vampire who starts stalking her. Don’t worry though! There are a TON of other supernatural beings looking out for her.

It may seem like there is a lot going on in this book, and there is; the author wrote everything so that it wasn’t confusing (unlike this review). There were a lot of supernatural beings though. There were vampires, werewolves, trolls, Mohiri, and Fae. Those are what I remember, I believe that there were more though. From what I heard about this book, I thought that the trolls were going to play a big part in the storyline. While they do play an important part, the story mostly focuses around the vampire, the Mohiri, and the werewolves. Also, while you may be able to compare this book to others, it is still very original.

One thing that I liked about this book was that there was no real romance. Yes, there were hints of it here and there, but no big romance. Sara didn’t fall head over heels for Nikolas, which was very refreshing. While I do think that they will have a relationship in the next few books, I was very glad that they didn’t have one in this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It could be scary, fun, and exciting all at the same time. While it did get me out of my reading slump, it just didn’t have enough to make it a five star read for me. In the end though, I would recommend this book.

4/5 Points
I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this book.