Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Hate U Give By: Angie Thomas ( Explicit Content )
When racism is disguised by fear and hidden behind rumors innocent people suffer for it. One of those being Starr Carter's best friend Khalil. Starr lives a double life going from Garden Heights Starr to Williamson Starr everyday. But, when Khalil is wrongly murdered by officer One-Fifteen in front of her eyes her two worlds collide. Smashing into each other with enough force to shake the nation. Starr must choose to speak out against the brutality she has seen or be silent and stay safe. She has to choose whether or not to fight.

Police Brutality is alive today and Angie Thomas does an incredible job in highlighting the flaws and bias in our legal system. She shows an outstanding first person story of what affect crimes like this can have on the people. This is a thrilling story made to pull at the heartstrings. In gives readers a bitter-sweet taste of reality. Although many will try to silence those fighting against oppression there will always be those ready to use their voice as a weapon, and fight back. ( 20/10 stars ) 

The Program by: Suzanne Young
Teen Suicide runs rampant. Depression is a sickness, a virus, it grows deep within its victims and spreads until there is no other choice but Quikdeath. Sloane refuses to let it take her. She's seen what it can do. After her brothers suicide Sloane refuses to follow suit. But, nobody escapes the Program.

The program is a solution, at least that's what the propaganda shoved down teen throats says. You'll come back shiny and new with no memory of your life before. You'll come back better. The program is here to fix what's broken. Sadly, most would rather be broken. The pills wipe away the bad and the good. There is no cloud or backup drive to save you. Once your memories are gone, they're gone. It's Sloane's worst fear and greatest nightmare. One terror she can't wake up from.

While the Program has a plot that would seem to thrill, it focuses more on romance then the dystopian society it has built up. The young adult novel is more focused on romantic tension and bonds rather than destroying an oppressive society. If love amongst chaos is your go to then I recommend this. But, if your priorities lie elsewhere I would not say this is an adventure you would like to partake in. ( 2/5 stars )

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Code of Honor By: Alan Gratz

2 brothers closer than you could imagine. They know everything about one and other too the smallest minute detail. At least they thought they did. Kamran thought he could trust Darius. Until the News Feed came. How could this happen? His brother, his Army Ranger brother, a terrorist. It just wasn't possible. Deep down he knew that it couldn't be true, but how can he prove it. He knew how, and it was farfetched, insane even. A code made so long ago; a code between brothers. Their code of honor. If Darius was still true, maybe just maybe, he could bring him back. Now he just has to convince the US government.

Code of Honor has the perfect blend of heartfelt family, societal issues, and military drama. The exciting twist and turns keep readers hooked. Award winning author Alan Gratz brings about a new perspective on your everyday Armed Forces adventure.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Dark Energy by: Robinson Wells
Humans have always wondered what lies beyond the dark starry sky. What else is out living and surviving in the universe? What will happen if they find us? Out in the middle of nowhere Iowa, it seems they have. A spaceship larger than a skyscraper has tore through the land killing thousands. The people are enraged, the aliens are silent. For days they stayed locked inside their beaten ship. Until finally they emerge, shocking not just the nation, but the world. When terror and lies threaten to end humanity it is up to a NASA scientist daughter to save not only our world, but theirs too. Friendships formed from the sparks of conflict will grow like wildfires. Whereas dangerous lurking in the dark may hold truths we wish not to know. Events spiral down further and further as new truths are brought to light. Who are these strangers? Why are they here? An who's going to follow?

At first glance Dark Energy may seem as your run of the mill Sci-Fi novel, but i assure you,  Robison Wells has an ace up his sleeve. A rag tag bunch of teens, aliens from amongst the stars, death far greater than ever before, it will draw you in and never let you leave. The story flies right off the page leaving readers itching for more. Hugging the edge of there seat and devouring line after line. No one can get enough of this fantastic new adventure.

Salt to the Sea by: Ruta Sepetys

A heart wrenching tale of a group of misfits daring escapades during World War 2. Fighting hunger, wounds, language barriers, and persistent russian attacks each wonderful character has his or her own motives. Only one thing brings them all together, passage aboard the Gustloff. Evacuation may be their only chance at survival. Having already braved such hardships the Wilhelm Gustloff appears to be a light shining gallantly through the darkness. Unbeknownst to them this beacon of hope will turn into one of history's greatest maritime disasters. Wills will be tested, friendships strained, alliances broken, and once again death will strike a mighty blow upon his victims.

Ruta Sepetys is a world renowned historical fiction author who is not afraid to show the true horrors of history. Time and time again she has brought the hidden past to light in gruesome yet glorious displays, Salt to the Sea lives of to her fantastic legacy in more ways then one. She wields words like an artist with a paint brush. The scenery and events play like films for all readers. It is with no doubt I can say that any who read this book will find either a lesson to be learned, a thought to be pondered, or a life to be cherished. It is with that I push you, dear reader, to find yourself lost in the pages of this magnificent novel, and simultaneously get lost in time. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Young Elites By: Marie Lu

Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy and heart-tearing-out specialist, has returned with a new story about unlikely heroes. But this time, there's magic.

A decade ago, a horrible blood fever swept the kingdom of Estenzia and its neighboring lands. Any adult infected perished, while the children the did survive were left with strange markings and scars. The marked or malfettos as they are known commonly, are shunned for their markings. However, some of the malfettos received more than scars from the blood fever; a select few, known as the Young Elites, also received terrifying abilities. Abilities that make them extremely dangerous to those that would cross them.

image from Amazon
Adelina Amouturu is a malfetto. Hear one eye and silver hair make her stand out like a sore thumb, especially next to her beautiful sister Violetta. But when an a horrible accident brings about the death of her abusive father, Adelina realizes that she may be more than a simple malfetto. And she isn't the only one to realizes this.

The main thing I liked about this book was how complex all of the characters were. No one was any given thing, they were all complicated and unique, not quite fitting into the archetypes of traditional fantasy.

The main thing I did not like about this book was that it started a little slow for my taste. However, it quickly sped up. Also, as is expected from Marie Lu, there were a few scenes of GRAPHIC VIOLENCE that could be disturbing for some readers.

Overall, I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, October 13, 2017

We Are The Ants By: Shawn David Hutchinson


image from Amazon
Henry Denton's life is less than ideal. His mom is working overtime in a job she hates, his jerk brother managed to get his girlfriend pregnant, his Grandmother is slowly loosing herself to Alzheimer's, and his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

Oh yeah, and he is frequently abducted by aliens, who just recently told him that the world will end in 144 days unless he presses a button. Unfortunately for the world, Henry is perfectly happy to sit back and watch it burn, what is there to save anyway?

A book about hope, sorrow, and love, We Are The Ants is a story that is haunting and humorous, sad and soulful, and will have you laughing through tears.

The main thing I liked about this book was the voice of the narrator. Henry has a sense of humor that is as funny as it is sad. He comes off the page as a real person, making the book that much harder to put down.

The main thing I didn't like about this book was the ending, buy hey, no spoilers.

Overall I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

(I would also like to issue a potential trigger warning for this book. It delves deep into themes of depression and suicide as they are both major plot points in the book.)