Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

All I’ve ever heard about this book is how cool the format is, with all the mixed media and unusual-ness. Theory: Due to the format, no one sees how DULL the plot is. Seriously, this was a slog of a read. It used every science fiction cliche in the book. I was just waiting for the ‘We’re running out of oxygen!’ trope, but no dice. (There are still two books to go, so can someone else tell me if this happens? I’m sure as heck not continuing on with the series.)

Kady and Ezra were so 2-D. I’ve seen both of their characters before, in similar scenarios but executed so much better (see ‘Soldier Girls’ by Michael Grant). Oh, and Kady has pink hair, by the way. Just in case you didn’t get that she was a badass and could star in her own anime. *rolls eyes*

The romance was a limp slice of cheese. I couldn’t buy into it at all, as most of the romance happened before the novel began and what did they really connect to each other over? Just saying ‘I love you’ over and over again isn’t enough to convince me. And then we get the most contrived ‘sike, we got you’ ending that destroyed any speck of emotional resonance all for the sake of a sequel.

Let me run through some MORE of the worst moments:
1. Over 500 years into the future and people still use ‘:P’ instead of emojis? C’mon.
2. why why why would anything EVER be justified to the centre?? It’s hard to read and should be preserved for middle grade poetry ONLY.
3. The boys use the phrase ‘chum’ to refer to each other in the beginning and then this is quickly dropped and everyone acts like they didn’t just try and make chum a thing. It’s not a thing.
4. People are still amazed by keyboard art. Well, just wait until they realise if you type in 01134 into a calculator and turn it upside down it spells ‘hello’
5. The AI has a poetic voice? I think this just made the centre justification even worse and I know this is supposed to be quirky and different – wow, a none robotic AI – but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t odd.
6. Kady’s humour was one note.
7. Ezra’s humour was one note.
8. I know they’d been in a relationship before but why is no one screaming ‘insta-love’?
9. Is it just me that finds white writing on a black background kind of difficult to read?
10. Unipedia pages? REALLY? This is the most obvious info dump I’ve ever seen! And it’s not even disguised!

This has just solidified that sci-fi is not for me. At least not like this.

Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

33393824Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling
Publisher: Titan
Pages: 508
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★
Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

So, I buddy read this with my girl Lea, and I would highly recommend reading her review because she picks apart issues with consent, and being German she has A+ critique on the use of language. I will also mention now that had I not been reading his with her then I would’ve DNF around page 70. Her sass was literally the only thing keeping me going. (Example: one of the best things Lea said in our discussion was that this is more ‘Fifty Shades of Goblin’ than a Labyrinth retelling. (Go an commend her on that pun because I died.))

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Spoiler Review: Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

25431123Nerve by Jeanne Ryan
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 298
Format: Paperback (library edition)
Rating:

I missed this movie when it was in the cinema, so when I saw it in the library I thought I would pick it up to read before I eventually saw the film! I hauled it in a Library book haul and someone commented that the book was quite different to the movie, I can only agree from what I see in the trailer, but I can definitely say that I was completely underwhelmed by Nerve and can see how a movie would ramp this up 100% The premise in general sounded really exciting but there was so much to dislike about the books, I can’t bring myself to give it any more that 1 star. 

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Review: A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston

21524446A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston
Genre: Retelling
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 336
Format: ARC E-book
Rating:
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

First things first, this cover is absolutely gorgeous, if I could rate it for cover alone then A Thousand Nights would no doubt get 5 stars, but realistically, I just didn’t enjoy the story at all. Apparently, The Wrath and the Dawn is a better retelling of the 1001 nights story, so I’ll be sure to read that one soon!

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Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green

lookingforalaskaUK.inddLooking For Alaska by John Green
Genre: Contemporary
Published by: Harper Collins
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Rating:
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

Somehow I have to come up with something good to say about this book, despite irrevocably disliking it. I didn’t find any of the characters personable, and felt as if I was missing something when I wasn’t upset by the ending. I think it’s always a little risky to read books that have had so much hype, because I knew the majority of the plot already. What I wasn’t expecting however, was to dislike Looking For Alaska as much as I actually did. Stacks of Sarah reviewed this book at the beginning of the year, and when it comes to contemporaries I usually trust her reviews wholeheartedly. So, when I saw she’d given it only one star, I was prepared for the worst.

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Review: The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan

24393880The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Published by: Usbourne
Pages: 410
Format: Paperback
Rating:
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

Oh gosh. How do I describe this book? It’s basically an alternate universe Beautiful Creatures where Emily Asher and Savannah Snow have the powers. Do not give materialistic girls powers. It’s not a good mix. Just no. I was so disappointed with this book! The beginning was so intriguing, and I was really hyped to get sucked into this world. But then it took a completely different turn! Basically, the insta-love was unbearable, the characters unlikeable and the plot totally predictable.

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Review: Made For You by Melissa Marr

24261482Made for You by Melissa Marr
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller, Romance
Published by: Harper Collins
Pages: 336
Format: ARC E-Book
Rating:
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

The premise made this book sound super duper interesting. Girl can see the deaths of others? Bring it on. Crazy murderer on the loose? I’ll give it a go. Completely cliched romance that pops out of nowhere and characters with little personality or development? Eh, maybe not. I was so ready for this book to be exciting and thrilling, but it turned out that the only original part of this book was the chapters from the killer’s perspective – which were gross and creepy, and kind of uncomfortable to read. I was looking forward to read something by this author as I’ve been meaning to look into the Wicked Lovely series. Now I’m not so sure.

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