A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Oh my god. This book was fantastic. I was left almost speechless after finishing. I say almost because I was still able to go “oh my god” repeatedly.

Both Elder and Amy grow up quite a bit in this book. Elder is faced with having to lead the ship and all its people when they don’t really think he’s fit to lead. Amy has to deal with being the outsider and being viewed as the distraction keeping Elder from being a true leader.

Elder’s desire to be a different kind of leader than Eldest before him means he lets the people think for themselves. They start to think and learn about the choices they can have and they start to rebel. Life becomes difficult for everyone on board the Godspeed and people are divided on Elder’s decision to stop using phydus to control the ship. On top of that, he’s still in love with Amy and will do anything to make her happy. He’s a wonderfully realistic character and I love him. He faces the challenges set before him and tries to find a way to solve them based on what looks to be for the good of the whole, even if that means it’s not easy on him. He grew up in this book and I loved reading that.

Amy spends most of the book following clues left for her by Orion because she’s the only person he trusts with the decision that will impact everyone on the Godspeed. She’s the only person that has seen both Earth and the ship and he believes that makes her to only person that can make the best decision for everyone. She spends the other parts of the book trying to figure out if it’s really her choice to fall in love with Elder, or if it’s happening because there’s no one else. She wants to decide, not have the decision taken away from her.

I absolutely adored this book and the way it made me think. It’s not only a sci-fi story; it’s not only a romance story. It’s a story that gives you something to think about. A Million Suns made me think about choice and just how important that is to life. With the power to think, comes the power to choose and A Million Suns really shows the two sides of that. People can chose to do good or bad, but even then, the lines get fuzzy. Is doing bad for good reasons as bad as just choosing the wrong thing? Is doing good for the wrong reasons still as good as doing good for the right reasons?

A Million Suns was an amazing book and I can’t wait for the conclusion to this series. I need to know what happens next.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

WARNING: This review contains slightly spoilery statements. Read at your own discretion.

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Allegiance by Cayla Kluver

I rarely like the second book in trilogies. They generally feel like a bridge to get from the end of book one to the beginning of book three without anything happening. It usually feels like a waste of a full book when simply making books one and three just a little longer would have worked just fine.

Allegiance is nothing like that.

There is not one part of this book that felt like that. I could not stop reading. The only times I was forced to put the book down were driving home from the coffee shop and when I grabbed the bag of pepperonis that classified as my dinner. The rest of the past 10 hours has been spent reading this book.

Allegiance picked up right where Legacy left off and while it would have been easy for Kluver to follow the recent novel trends and make this the book that introduces the typical love triangle, she doesn’t. Instead, she builds the characters and makes you like people you couldn’t stand in the first book. Kluver was able to take characters and make them people. They have flaws and you’re still rooting for them in some capacity or another.

Alera grows up in this book and it’s easy to see from start to finish. She becomes the person she needs to be rather than the person she wants to be. The wonderful thing is that in the process, the two becomes the same. Even Steldor grew on me and I find myself wanting even more from his character.

There’s a nice mix between the romance aspect of the story and the action. It never gets overloaded with the love story, but it’s never too action heavy. There’s enough of both to keep the hopeless romantic in me happy, and the fight scene lover engaged. It’s amazingly mixed and only adds to the story.

I can’t wait for November to get my hands on the last book. I’m incredibly impressed with how Kluver has written the story thus far and will be anxiously waiting to see how she concludes this fantastic series.

The Face Thief: A Novel by Eli Gottlieb

I really enjoyed this book. It was a great look into the minds of people and how one person can use knowledge to completely manipulate others and become the perfect criminal.

It was hard in the beginning to see how each story would tie together. The lives of John Potash and Lawrence Billings are very different, separated by the country and seemingly not connected at all. But as the story unravels, you can see just how Billings’s actions, through Margot, directly affect the life of Potash.

And then you have the story of Margot, told as she recovers from a horrible “accident.” She can’t remember who she is, but slowly, her life comes back to her. You see what led to her being the person she is and you see that she was good at one point, but life happens and you see through her slowly recovered memories what made her the perfect criminal she is throughout the rest of the novel.

What I enjoyed most about this book is I was less interested in figuring out the “who” of the crime, and more invested in the “why.” I wanted to know more about the people and their actions instead of trying to figure out what happened.

I greatly enjoyed the look into human action and what can lead a person to make the choices they do. It was a wonderful read and I plan on picking up Gottlieb’s other books soon.

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Jay Asher absolutely moved me when I read “Thirteen Reasons Why” and if I’m remembering correctly, I didn’t get out of bed for a couple days after so I could recoup from that experience. So when I saw his name attached to this book, I knew I had to give it a read.

It’s certainly not as deep as 13 Reasons, but it still has an important message to convey. I felt that in making Emma the vain, worrisome character they did, Asher and Mackler got the point across. Don’t worry so much about the future that you forget to enjoy today. I spent much of the novel being annoyed with Emma. She was way too worried about not getting her perfect future when Josh gets his. It was a competition with her and it was difficult for me to like her much. But by the end of the novel, I understood why she was like that and I don’t think the novel would have been as good had she been the perfect person.

And Josh! I loved him. He was sweet and nice and wonderful. He was curious about the future, but he didn’t want to make huge changes to it when it was uncertain what those changes would be. He realized that they might be able to change the future, but once changed, they can’t undo it. He <i>got</i> it and I loved that. He was happy in his present and happy in his future and that was enough for him.

I do wish some of the plotlines had been tied up a little better, but I can understand that the book had reached its end and those little plots weren’t as necessary to the overall story.

This was a great book and I devoured it. I’ll definitely be recommending it to my friends, not only for the great story, but the nice little trip down 90’s memory lane.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

I don’t really know what the statistical probability of love at first sight is, but I fell in love with this book at first read.

It was sweet with a touch of bitter reality and a happy ending. It’s a quick read, but a good one. The entire book takes place in the span of a day and I was incredibly impressed with how Smith was able to pace the book and make it flow easily. It never felt rushed or drawn out, but everything seemed to happen right when it should. I never once thought, “How is she going to make this day last an entire book?” or “there’s no way she’ll be able to wrap this up the right way in the time left.” I’m in love with how Smith told this story.

And the characters! Hadley was the perfect teen. She wasn’t too old for her 17 years, but she wasn’t too young. She was what I’d expect of a 17 year old being forced to go to her father’s wedding to a woman she partially blames for her parent’s divorce. She felt the anger towards her dad I’d expect, but she was also mature enough to have a life realization moment and grow from it. Oliver was a delightful British boy with just enough quirky to keep me smiling. He was sweet and funny and wonderful.

I loved this book and I’ll definitely be reading it again whenever I need a fast, sweet pick me up read. It’s the perfect book to read when you just need a little love story.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I’m biased when it comes to stories like this. I don’t have cancer, but I do have an illness that will one day kill me. I can understand the emotions Green wrote about better than a lot of people.

However, I just couldn’t connect with this book. The two main characters seemed like two halves of the same coin. Yes, teens can have deep, thoughtful discussions about life and death and what it all means. But they don’t always use big words and extreme metaphors to do it. They don’t sound like 30 year old trapped in teen bodies. I get that these are Green’s characters and he can write them how he wants. But I think I would have liked reading these teen’s words if they spoke like teens. You can have the same meaningful talks without coming across as slightly pretentious.

I’ll admit to not crying once during this book. I didn’t even tear up. Maybe that makes me heartless, but there was just something missing and I think it goes back to how the characters thought and talked. They weren’t teens in my head. It wasn’t a teen romance centered on teens with cancer facing death. Facing a terminal illness makes you grow up a lot faster than anyone else, it’s true. But it still doesn’t make you an adult. It makes you a teen with some of the worst cards life can deal.

The whole plot around Van Houten just felt unrealistic and forced. This book could have been just as thought provoking without the trip to Amsterdam. You don’t need a huge trip to someplace special to have the same impact on readers.

For all the hype that surrounded this book, I felt extremely let down. It wasn’t what I thought it would be and left me feeling a little more annoyed than sad.