Gemina

GeminaTitle: Gemina
Author: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date: October 18, 2016
Pages: 659
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
4 Stars

SYNOPSIS

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The saga that began with Illuminae continues on board the space station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of BeiTech’s assault. Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter, Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum may be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival. The fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.


Gemina was great! While I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Illuminae, it was a very strong sequel. We’re introduced to a new cast of characters (notably Hanna and Nik) and at first it’s not clear how the story relates to Illuminae. Once we get into the action though, the connection is obvious.

My favorite part of Gemina is the suspense and the overarching storyline. I literally freak out reading these books! I’m on the edge of my seat, frantically turning pages and trying to devour every word. It’s great! On top of that, the writing is really awesome. It feels like I’m reading a movie. The personalities jump off the page and the scenes are so detailed, it’s like you’re watching them.

As soon as I closed the book, I wanted more. I can’t wait to see where the story wraps up and I’m seriously hoping this gets optioned as a movie. Have you started this series yet?

Illuminae

IlluminaeTitle: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date: October 20, 2015
Pages: 599
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
4.5 Stars

SYNOPSIS

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.


I. Loved. This. Book.

I really did. It was so unique and awesome. We get to read a dossier about a horrific planetary attack in the future. So not my “thing,” but the way the story is told is just so creative that I ended up devouring it.

The redactions and strike outs in various interviews and surveillance footage were awesome. Even though the documents are redacted, they are presented so that the reader can see what was left out. Most of the things that were taken out are really funny. Despite the entire book being about a tragedy, it was hysterical! I loved that element and it really helped alleviate some of the gravity of the situation.

The romance is great as well. Not because I believe Ezra and Kady are meant to be or that they’re super fabulous together. I like it because it feels like a teen romance. And that’s what it is. I’d love to say a bit more on the topic, but for fear of spoilers let’s move on . . .

As much as I adored this novel, there were a few tiny things that knocked it from a 5-star novel to a 4.5. The ending wasn’t mind blowing. Perhaps my expectations were too high — I’d heard quite a few people say that Illuminae gave them a book hangover — so I was expecting something really epic. I didn’t get that though! The ending made sense to me. I had a feeling things would work out the way they did, so after all of the suspense and creativity of the novel the perfectly logical ending was a bit of a let down. I am excited to see how the rest of the series turns out though!

Now this next thing didn’t affect my rating at all, and is really more of an observation. I loved that this was a PDF. The way they designed the page numbers at the bottom made that very clear. However, the book takes place in 2575 and I highly doubt PDFs will still exist then. Obviously as humans in 2015, we can’t even fathom what might take the place of PDFs and I do agree that the way they chose to present the information works really well for today’s reader. Just a thought I wanted to share 🙂

So overall, I loved Illuminae. This is the type of book I will shove into my husband’s hands and beg that he reads too. It was unique, creative, and seriously awesome. Just wish the ending had more of a surprise to it!

Every Day

Every DayTitle: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date: August28, 2012
Pages: 322
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
4 Stars

SYNOPSIS

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.


***

 

Every Day was nothing if not unique. A wakes up in a different body every day, but he is still in love with the same girl. David Levithan beautifully explored what it would like to live a life that was never truly your own.

I was actually bored by the first chapter, and almost didn’t finish reading. The second chapter, however, drew me in and I was just captivated by the story. A and Rhiannon’s love story was really well done–sweet, but a little heart-breaking.

While I enjoyed the romance, what really interested me in Every Day was how A became what he was and the mysteries surrounding the priest (I can’t delve into this without giving away spoilers).

Every Day is a love story at heart with a bit of mystery woven in. I was really intrigued by the mystery and wish that it was explored more. However, it felt more like a passing plot point at the end of the novel. This is an enjoyable romantic story that is perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks and similar authors.

 

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