Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mirror X

Mirror X (The Van Winkle Project, #1)Mirror X By Karri Thompson 3.5 STARS 

Synopsis--I was born more than a thousand years ago.
Put into a cryogenic tube at age seventeen, forgotten during a holocaust that decimated the world, I've finally been awakened to a more serene and peaceful future.
But things at the hospital are new and strange. And it’s starting to scare me.
Everyone is young. Everyone is banded and tracked. And everyone is keeping secrets.
The cute geneticist Michael Bennett might be the only good thing in this crazy new world where “life is precious” but no one seems free to live it. The problem is, I don’t think he’s being totally honest with me, either.
When I’m told only I can save the human race from extinction, it’s clear my freeze didn’t avoid a dreadful fate. It only delayed the horror…

*Received a copy from net galley for an honest review. 
Overall: Interesting young adult adventure, futuristic dystopian 
Characters: Michael, Cassie
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? Yes
Book Boyfriend: Michael
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Sex Scenes: Nope
Setting The future...
recommend if you like...the twenty, aberrant, across the universe 

This book started right out of the gate intensely. Cassie wakes up from a coma after a helicopter crash 1000 years into the future! Holy Moly! I was unsure of how far the author would be taking this story line, and was pleasantly surprised that she wasn't afraid to make certain events occur. Anytime a book has previously dealt with fertility, nothing ever got anywhere or gained ground with the main character, but here its completely different. The entire story line, so very different than anything I was expecting based on my other reads. This was more about a girl who is thrown into a new world and faces off all kind of strange, and at times innovative technology,  nothing is as it seems and no one seems to be trustworthy. 

Even I had trouble deciding who I liked. It was easy to know who to hate, but who to trust...I can't imagine being in her situation, any single part of it. With technology as it is now, imagine waking up 1000 years in the future, nothing is as it was nor as it seems, you're alone in a world full of other people who know nothing about the world you came from or about the people you lived with. Its terrifying. Even if you woke up alone in a hospital here, with no memory or family, you're better off, because you likely recognize your surroundings, or are familiar with the way the world is. Thats why this is so crazy. 

This book stands out from all the others in more than one way, first it deals with issues that many of us today worry about, privacy, fertility, concerns about the government, upcoming medical fears. Bringing all our worst fears to the forefront. The moral dilemma and the timing throughout this book, make it all that more interesting.  I admit, that even though I enjoyed this new take on the issues, but it was not a perfect. I was frustrated with the doctors and the government and found some of their actions to be a little too ridiculous. But in the end the book was truly interesting and a great new reader for futuristic dystopian lovers. 

Characters -
Cassie--The author did a great job of making Cassie realistic. Sure the plot line may be a little, out there, but then again what book isn't these days. Nonetheless, Cassie is very real. She is not fearless, she is not stupid, but she is overwhelmed, confused, honest, yet reluctant. She has trouble believing the truth and reality yet, she describes the reasons for why so well that it is easy to feel for her and feel as though you are with her, as a fly on the wall. 

Considering the government is consistently hiding something, from her and society she has every right to distrust them. But her relationship with Michael is certainly curious. I couldn't decide whether to trust him or not. But Cassie consistently surprised me with her behavior, she was diligent and careful, she was honest and understanding but tried to figure things out, smartly. I liked her fierceness and her determination, her strong will. 

 I thought her relationship with Travel was curious as well. More so than Michael. In all honesty this is part of the reason for a lower rating. I felt like the relationship with Travel was not built enough. She just seemed to take the relationship without thought or care, she didnt contemplate it that much, and even though she was upset with the end result, I struggled to understand the strong connection. I do thing that the government plan that went with Travel, before and after, was REALLY intriguing, but wish a relationship had been better built and his character more defined, rather than seeming like a stepping stone. 

I liked Michael from the start.. He seemed to be charming, but also intelligent and considerate.  I liked that his character was built up throughout the book, and had me guessing consistently, I couldn't decide if he was good or bad. Though finally in the end I was able to decide! I like his role to Cassie which was more than just her doctor, or potential donor, he was someone that she wanted to trust and he really wanted to get to know her, become close with her, though the reason isn't really known until the end. His purpose throughout the book is pretty clear, but its interesting and I look forward to seeing where he goes from here. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Possibility of Us

The Possibility of Us by Lisa Burnstein 3.5 STARS

The Possibility of UsSynopsisOne weekend together could change everything…
When her friend called to tell her about the funeral, Cassie wanted to say no. She had enough to handle with her own hollow existence. But she knew she should pay her respects to her old camp counselor…as long as her ex, Ben, wouldn’t be there.
Except Ben is there. Still gorgeous, still angry, and still able to penetrate her defenses with one intense stare. All the reasons they left each other in a flurry of heartache start to fall away over one long, snowy weekend.
But tough Cassie can’t truly open up to Ben when she knows confessing her secrets will leave her raw, defenseless. And the possibility of forever might not be enough to gamble on all the impossibilities of now.

*Provided by Netgalley for an honest review. 

Overall: Intense romance 
Characters: Cassie and Ben
Page Turner: At times
Series Cont.? Kind of
Book Boyfriend: Ben
Genre: New Adult Romance
Sex Scenes: Not really...

While I didnt read the original "Dear Cassie" book, I found that it was truly necessary, there was enough background within this story to be able to read it without reading Dear Cassie. This book is a novella extension of Dear Cassie While I was able to read this in one afternoon, and enjoyed the book generally, I didnt find myself loving it. Cassie and Ben are both interesting characters, with their own problems, and past, trying to figure out if a relationship with worth trying again for. A hard decision. I was drawn to this book because I feel a connection to the characters and a plot from my own experiences. Which in the end may add some bias to my take on this book. The main characters all come together due to a funeral of a common friend, pulling old flames and friends together for a weekend. While together, the main characters, told in alternating perspectives, try to figure out the relationship and feelings for one another. What I enjoyed about this book is that it really touches on the issues that most people face in life, if you have been hurt before, how do you move on, how do you trust and how do you accept forgiveness, of yourself and others? While there is a lot of cursing in this book, and chain smoking which were annoying at times,  this book really forces the characters, and readers to think about how love life and loss really affect us, and that moving on is not easy, whether thats in love, or in life. 

Cassie really struggles with this concept and her internal fears eat away at her happiness. Cassie is strong willed, determined and feisty but she has her own problems within all those qualities. She lets fear rule her mind, and holds on to the negativity of the past. Not that I or anyone blames her, but it is what it is. Her burdens weigh her down and trouble her, keeping her from love, but then there are her friends, and Ben. I liked Cassie a lot, even with her foul mouth because she speaks her mind. She doesn't hold back. Even though she gives into fear and lives a lonely life, she has a facade that many people put up in their life. Her character is general was really fun to read. I wish that she would have grown a little bit more, she had quite of depth but it did not feel like she was changing all that much overall. In the end though, I feel that she mad a great decision and began moving forward which is truly the point of the story. 

Ben- Ben was an interesting character to read about. It was nice for a change to see the roles reversed. Ben was more reserved than Cassie, and straight laced. But they both have their problems. Ben and Cassie dealt with their issues differently, and it was interesting to see the different perspectives, each person dealing with their issues and dealing with the same at times.  (their feelings for one another) Ben seems like someone who keeps things close to the vest and works hard to keep his distance from people. (or maybe not that hard ;) ) I enjoyed reading his point of view a lot, because it seemed like he was really trying to work things out and move forward with Cassie. In the end, while Im not sure that really dealt with things enough they made a decision, and I think it worked out really well. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Silver Tower

The Silver TowerThe Silver Tower by Colee Firman 4 STARS

At eighteen-years-old, Sophie Hayden’s entire life has already been planned out for her. Just like her parents, she’s on the fast track to becoming a Guide for The Silver Tower. In three weeks, she’ll graduate from Slatemore Academy and move away from home—away from her controlling father and spoiled siblings. 
When Sophie heads out to do fieldwork required for graduation, she hardly expects to cross paths with students from her school—much less witness them using an ancient relic that’s not supposed to leave the grounds of Slatemore. 
Sophie’s decision to find out exactly what they’re up to nearly costs her everything. It seems like a miracle when Leo Emerik swoops in and saves her from disaster. Sophie’s ready to thank him and move on. He has other plans for her. 
The minute Leo set his sights on Sophie she knew she was in trouble. Just being in the same room as him has her perfect world ready to spin off its axis. Getting mixed up with Leo is the last thing she needs, and suddenly the only thing she wants.
A catastrophe with Sophie’s name on it seems to be waiting around every corner since meeting Leo. Somehow, he’s always there to bail her out. Everyone else can see the one thing she can’t—her bad fortune may all lead back to him.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Overall: New exciting adventure from Colee Firman!
Characters: Sophie, Leo
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? Yes
Recommend if You Like…The Program. 
Book Boyfriend: Not sure yet about Leo...could be!
Genre: Young Adult/ Sci-Fi   
Sex Scenes: No 


When I was contacted by the author to review her new book, I was stoked. I have loved her books so far and she did not disappoint this time! While I admit that I was not drawn in right away, given my experience with the author, I knew it must be me, I needed to get invested. I needed to give the book a little more time to build up. And I was right.  As usual I am impressed with the authors ability to draw me in and keep me completely fixated on the characters, the plot and the movement.  Much like the Unbinding fate series The Silver Tower starts off slowly, with a naive young woman who strives for more in life, and the reader is along for the journey that woman goes through as the protagonist, with plenty of mystery, possible romance and complete chaos at times.

What I love about the authors books is that I never know what to expect. There is a realness to her paranormal type stories, where I can easily get absorbed and wrapped up into the world and the characters. The author is able to make me feel as if Im a fly on the wall of the story, and I desperately wish I could fast forward sometimes because Im dying to know what happens. Im intrigued, and while thankful for the opportunity to read another amazing book, Im mad because I want the next book!!! :-)

Plot--Even though the beginning is a bit confusing, (the first 2%), I found myself intrigued throughout this book. Sophie, who is strong willed, determined, and quite brave, is also a bit naive, (okay a lot naive) as she her parents keep her on a short leash. Her family dynamic is interesting, it is more than than just a simple family life. The author added layers to the family showing that the family is struggling to find their own place amongst each other, parents, siblings, children alike which  I found to add a layer of depth to the character of Sophie. Sophies struggles continue throughout the book.  I found the way real life and the paranormal life intertwined to be really great, the author did a great job of making sure both elements were in the book.

There were some really great moments throughout this book, that really propelled the novel, moving forward the plot and the characters. It was easy to see the character growth, from the beginning and then at the end. And even though I was disappointed in Sophie at times, her decisions reflected her personality very well. Each moment in time felt on point and in furtherance of the purpose. I really look forward to where the series is taking me next.


Sophie- Our naive protagonist is, somewhat annoying at first, but over the course of the book,  she comes into her own, realizing that she doesn't want to be controlled by her father and wants to live her life on her own terms. While Sophie is book smart, she struggles with her street skills. She doesn't have friends because she studies so much, and she lacks some social skills, but she is generally a good person. And I don't just mean nice, she isn't just polite and proper, she is compassionate, caring, loving and loyal. Over time she becomes more emblazoned. She definitely makes mistakes, failing to see the bigger picture in situations. But she enerally tends to see the good in people, ignoring her gut feelings sometimes to her detriment, but the reader really gets to see Sophie as she grows and matures. Her romance with Leo is interesting, its a tug of war, when onces heart and head have different opinions, or when around the guy, its hard to know whats real versus whats lust and emotion, that first love is always difficult to understand, which I think the author nailed.

Leo- Leo is the guy who "rescues" Sophie, and as a result he becomes part of her life, and the chaos that ensues in a number of ways. I liked Leo, but I feel there is something more to him that we don't yet know. Im intrigued as to who he might really be (if anyone) in this story line. He seems like a good person, who cares deeply for Sophie, but I feel like there is something holding him back. The issue with Jolene Haymarket is odd and adds another dimension to his character. But I want to know more, I want more of him.

Other Side Characters --There are number of other minor roles in the book, too many to go through, which is typical of the authors books. (this isn't a bad thing) I think each character added a level of dimension to Sophie. Her siblings and parents really provided background to who Sophie is, why she acts the way she does. Her history is really important, and basically explains away the first half of the book and provides the why for many of her future actions. I found each character to have a specific purpose, which the author didnt just "provide", they didnt just serve some purpose and then disappear every person's role had a deeper meaning, and the author built the character up, providing history, and development based on that character, moving Sophie through her story.