I received this book for free from Publisher, Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

REVIEW: scythe, by neal shustermanScythe by Neal Shusterman
Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Published by Simon & Schuster, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon and Schuster on November 22nd, 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher, Simon and Schuster
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

THIS BOOK IS PHENOMENAL.

when i received this title in the mail – having known nothing about the story or read anything by the author – i wasn’t sure if i’d like it. i sworn off dystopian novels after reading one too many but this one sounded so interesting. so i decided to read the first page and i knew, right off the bat, i would love this novel.

i love everything about this book – the writing, the plot, the characters, everything. my love for this book came in quiet waves. i started off being really intrigued, but that soon became something more. the plot began to build (love all the twists and turns it all has – nothing i was expecting!) and soon enough i was flipping through pages and rooting for characters and screaming at situations. i also love how there was a romance in the story, but it was very slow-burn and wasn’t the main point of the storyline. it was so small that i almost thought there was no romance at all! but the chemistry builds and it becomes more obvious as the story progresses.

the main reason why i love this novel is due to its recurring themes. i find it hard to see meaning/a purpose in some dystopian novels aside from an entertaining story, but SCYTHE was different. when you’re forced to kill people as your job (or you’re learning to kill people), your humanity becomes questionable. when you live in a world where there is no pain and your life is immortal, you see how detached we can become. nothing is at risk. is that really a perfect world? it made me really think about what it means to be alive and what it means to be human. it made me question the meaning of life and death.

the one thing i will say is it was a bit hard to reaaaaaaally connect with characters at first because the book is written in an omniscient POV. the story would jump around from person to person, making it easy for me to stop reading and do something in my daily life. also because of this, i didn’t feel the need to continuously read. BUT, this is my first time reading a book with this type of writing and it didn’t bother me too much. the writing itself was beautiful and i often found myself wanting to annotate.

all in all, this book is amazing. i wasn’t expecting much from it and now it’s one of my favorite reads of 2016. not only is the story well thought out, but i also gained a lot of perspective on what it means to be alive. and that, i think, is something really special.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.6

review - the rose society

REVIEW + DISCUSSION: the rose society, by marie luThe Rose Society by Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites #2
Published by Penguin on October 13th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Action & Adventure, General
Pages: 416
Source: Purchased
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

From New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu comes the second book in the exhilarating Young Elites series
Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.
Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.
But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?
Bestselling author Marie Lu delivers another heart-pounding adventure in this exhilarating sequel to The Young Elites.
From the Hardcover edition.

the rose society marie lu

read my review for THE YOUNG ELITES, the first novel of this series, here!

THE YOUNG ELITES is mild compared the THE ROSE SOCIETY. in terms of plot, TYE is much faster paced and has more twists; in terms of characters and conflict, TRS is definitely more complex.

“We are drawn to stories and every scar carries one.”

– pg. 213

the characters in this novel are… indescribable. they’re so distant and dark that it’s hard to see what they’re truly thinking and who they truly are – even when it’s from their perspective. it makes you wary and suspicious of everything, building the suspense for the plot. however because of this, i had a hard time feeling emotionally attached anyone. although they were really really complex, i found it all a bit mediocre because i couldn’t bother caring for them.

“Fear motivates, more than love or ambition or joy. Fear is more powerful than anything else in the world.”

– pg. 374

although the plot in TYE was murky and confusing, TRS had a clear goal from the start. we know what is going to happen before it happens. it’s reassuring but also less gripping than the first book. THE ROSE SOCIETY is more character driven, dealing with adelina being an antagonist and extremely unreliable, but i couldn’t connect with her so… *shrugs*

“True leaders are not born. We are made.”

– pg. 375

overall, THE ROSE SOCIETY was a fairly good read. the plot is interesting and perfect for the fall/halloween season. however, i didn’t connect with the characters (except for maybe one or two) and adelina is a bit too extreme for my taste. although i have to say their powers were very cool! but the romance also frustrated me. I’M MOSTLY FEELING CONFUSED. i liked it, but i was also a bit disappointed? i dunno.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4

spoiler-filled discussion beginning! please do not read until you’ve finished the book.


read more >>

the darkest minds never fade in the afterlight alexandra bracken

REVIEW + DISCUSSION: in the afterlight; alexandra brackenIn the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds Series #3
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 28th 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 544
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. Only Ruby can keep their highly dangerous prisoner in check. But with Clancy Gray, there's no guarantee you're fully in control, and everything comes with a price. When the Children's League disbands, Ruby rises up as a leader and forms an unlikely allegiance with Liam's brother, Cole, who has a volatile secret of his own. There are still thousands of other Psi kids suffering in government "rehabilitation camps" all over the country. Freeing them--revealing the governments unspeakable abuses in the process--is the mission Ruby has claimed since her own escape from Thurmond, the worst camp in the country. But not everyone is supportive of the plan Ruby and Cole craft to free the camps. As tensions rise, competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IANN, the disease that killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others with powers the government will kill to keep contained. With the fate of a generation in their hands, there is no room for error. One wrong move could be the spark that sets the world on fire.

in the afterlight

this is, without a doubt, my favorite trilogy to ever exist. this is the highest rating i’ve ever given, and i don’t think there’ll be a book to surpass it. (i’ll explain later why i took 0.15 points off. may or may not be a spoiler for some people.) i felt like this series was one giant book split into three giant chapters. it’s hard to say how i felt about this one specific novel in the trilogy because they all contributed in some sort of way. like, i wouldn’t be as satisfied with the beginning if it weren’t for the ending, and so on and so forth.

if you haven’t read anything by alexandra bracken… what are you doing with your life? this is the first book/series she’s ever written and it’s so so so good. the darkest minds centers around a captivating dystopian world: a dangerous plague has swept the united states, affecting children around the ages eight to eighteen. the citizens live in fear, but not for those who die; no, they fear those who survived. the children who survived the plague, referred to as the psi, have special powers. some have the ability to control electricity; some are telekinetic; some have the power to create flames out of nothing; some have the ability to remember everything; some have the power to control your mind. the government has decided to “help” these children by forcing them into rehabilitation camps. this is where our story begins and that’s basically the premise of the first book. i do not recommend reading the summary of in the afterlight for obvious reasons: 1) spoilers and 2) spOILERS. (but if you really want to, here it is.)

alex has an extremely remarkable way of creating in-depth characters. honestly, my favorite part of these books are the characters. our main protagonist, ruby, is not a “strong female hero,” but something much more. the amount of character development is crazy good. it’s not only our main character – it’s all the characters. (yes, i mean all of them.) the plot is also extremely interesting and fits together perfectly. alex makes me attached and feel for everything, even a car. her metaphors and descriptions are on point. please please please leave and read this series. like now. i mean, now… right nOW. *whispers* gooooooo.

“what they don’t tell you about forgiveness is this – you don’t give it for the other person’s sake, but your own.”

– cole, page 177

if you’ve read the darkest minds and never fade i’m going to assume you haven’t started this book because 1) you don’t have it yet or 2) you’re afraid. it’s alright, you can admit it. in all honesty, i would be too. do not fear! pick up the book and start it. now. i can (almost) guarantee you won’t be disappointed with how this turned out. p.s. i would recommend reading in time and sparks rise before you begin. not required, but definitely recommended. there will be references to both novellas and things will make more sense (you will also feel more feels). i would love to stay and ramble some more, but spoilers (the reason for all of life’s problems). please finish the book and come back! the discussion will be beginning soon..

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 5

*WARNING: in-depth review and discussion will be beginning! please DO NOT continue reading unless you’ve finished all the books in this series! i really don’t want to spoil you because these books are definitely worth reading. please come back when you’re done with all the books.*


read more >>