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: Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

I wish I’d paid more attention to the Goodreads page before diving head first into the story, because that would have a) cleared up the genre and b) told me that this was the first in a series. Nemesis starts off as an unassuming contemporary with a mystery twist where Min finds herself being murdered every other year and waking up in the forest the next day like nothing happened. There’s also a thread about a potential apocalypse with asteroids threatening to wipe out the planet. Then things get a little crazy when Min starts to get the feeling that this is all a government conspiracy. (Hm, I wonder how she worked that out? Was it the psychiatric evaluations every other year or…?) Suddenly, Nemesis turns fill-on Lord of the Flies and logic is thrown out the window.

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Review: Defy the Stars by Claudia Grey

33154647Defy The Stars by Claudia Grey
Genre: Sci-fi
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 420
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★

I feel the same way about Defy the Stars as I do the Star Wars franchiseI thought it was a fun romp through space but I wasn’t invested much more than that. I will say that Defy the Stars is probably the best sci-fi YA I’ve read, and it’s not normally my genre, so to even say I enjoyed it means a lot.

I’m also not a fan of ‘love is the ultimate rebellion’ as the tag line, because I don’t think this story is primarily a romance, and thank goodness! That being said, let’s get onto the review.

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Review: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

31244354The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
Genre: 
Sci-fi
Published by: HarperCollins
Pages: 437
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★
Note: We received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Seeing as this book is blurbed by Cecily von Ziegesar and the model on the front looks like she belongs in Gossip Girl, I went in thinking I already knew the characters The Thousandth Floor was going to use. While there were a few surprises, this book definitely fit the initial stereotypes I had. A few months ago I managed to read four of the Gossip Girl novels before realising that was as much as I could take of spoilt rich girls. But, the intriguing opening, promising a thrilling ending, was enough to keep me turning the pages. Continue reading “Review: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee”

Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

11366397The Program by Suzanne Young
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-fi, Romance
Published by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 403
Format: e-book
Rating: ★★
Series: The Treatment (#2)

I started to read this book because I’d recently finished the currently available 2 seasons of iZombie on Netflix. I LOVE iZombie, it’s just incredible and I couldn’t recommend it enough. After all the medical sci-fi, I decided it was finally time to read The Program which has been on my TBR for ages. In short, it definitely reminds me of YA from 2013. It’s a little too romance heavy and insta-love is a real issue. I was really intrigued by the first 50 or so pages, but after procrastinating from continuing for almost two months (due to BTAT2016 and university reading) I was losing hope. I finished it…eventually, though! Here are my thoughts:

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Series Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the UniverseA Million Suns, Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
Genre: Sci-fi, Romance. Published by: Razorbill
Pages: 398, 404, 369 respectively. Format: e-book
Rating: ★★.5

The Across the Universe series seemed to be one of the staples of everyone’s shelves on the booktube community when we first joined almost three years ago. And I’m sure the majority of you will have heard of this series, if not for it’s content, then for the widely contested cover change. DUN DUN DUN. Not many people are talking about this series anymore, but we decided to give it ago anyway, because if it was popular once, then maybe it could be again. Unfortunately, I don’t think this will be the case. The whole series is very typical of what the YA market was like a a few years ago. Full of adventure, insta-love, and poorly explained enemies. Had we read it when it was first popular maybe we would’ve enjoyed the series, but instead we found ourselves slogging through for the sake of this review.

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Review: Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum

13667361Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenbaum
Genre: Sci-fi, Dystopia
Published by: HarperTeen
Pages: 265
Format: Paperback
Rating:

I picked up this book on a whim. I thought I’d heard someone talk about in on booktube maybe a year and a half ago. Now, I realise why there probably hasn’t been any discussions about it since. The main premise is robot apocalypse, right? Sounding pretty awesome so far? What it’s missing is character depth, an non circular plot, characters who learn from their mistakes and – not to mention – actual world building. So, welcome everyone to, what I believe to be, my first one star review of 2016.

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