Tag Archives: Post-Apocalyptic

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) – Rick Yancey

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) – Rick YanceyTitle: The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) by Rick Yancey
Publishing Info: September 16, 2014 by Penguin
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 5, 2014
Related Posts: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1), The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3)

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.
    Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.
    Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

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Last year when THE 5TH WAVE came out, I actually had no interest in an alien story but once I heard the buzz, I ran out to the store, picked up the book, and when I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I finished THE 5TH WAVE in one sitting and absolutely loved the book. I’ve been waiting a while for THE INFINITE SEA to come out and once again, Rick Yancey totally hooked me straight away. If I hadn’t had to stop for food and sleep and work, I could have easily tore through this book cover to cover like its predecessor!

What really hits me the most about these books are the characters and the action. In THE 5TH WAVE, the readers are introduced to the core set of characters and they make a sincere connection, all the while just as unsure as the characters what’s going on with this wave of invaders and how they can possibly survive. THE INFINITE SEA starts off with just a big of a bang and right away I was anxious how the opening scene would no doubt affect the entire rest of the book. The action kicks off in high gear right from the start and I really felt like it carried me through the book. I couldn’t stop turning pages and I was totally riveted.

Whereas we spent a lot of time with Cassie and Zombie in THE 5TH WAVE, THE INFINITE SEA opens up to a larger range of POVs from some of the secondary characters, now in the spotlight. Cassie, Zombie, Evan, and Sam are still very much main characters, but Rick Yancey allows us into the minds of people like Ringer (who is known to be antagonistic — and I always love being able to see inside of the mind of an opposing force) and even characters like Poundcake. I feel like there was a mixed reaction to the slight shift from Cassie and Evan’s perspectives but I really enjoyed how the new perspectives really added another layer to the overall story. The characters who were once secondary step forward and really show how much they have to offer and how much they might change the entire plot of the series so I thought it was really interesting to see how the focus started to spread further than just the initial core main characters. There are still the same POV shifts from section to section which I’ve seen some readers still struggle with a bit, but I didn’t feel like they jumped around too much. Sometimes it does take a few sentences before you’re able to pin down whose POV you’re reading , but that really wasn’t something that bothered me, personally!

Keeping true to book one, THE INFINITE SEA also has no shortages of twists, one particularly shocking one which of course, I will not divulge! I’m always impressed with the way everything sort of loops back around and all comes together. I absolutely love twists so some of the big bombs that were dropped in THE INFINTE SEA totally caught me by surprise! They really made me think and I almost feel like I need to go back to book one to see how these things are even possible! (Are they?) But there’s always book three to figure that out too, right?

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“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Ringer // Character Obsessions: Loyalty, independence, determination. I barely even remembered Ringer from the previous book. I’m not sure why since it seemed so many people were up in arms about her being such an antagonistic character to start focusing on… Maybe I was just too focused on Cassie/Evan/Zombie. Anyway! I actually really enjoyed her POV. She’s one tough cookie but also in a different way than Cassie. So much of Cassie’s fight to survive is also for her brother and Ringer has her people she fights for but she is also very much self-reliant. Cassie’s protection feels more caring and Ringer’s protection seems a lot more straight-forward and intense. I just really liked the new mix of POVs and really ended up enjoying hers!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Science-Fiction. I am very choosy about my science fiction and never would have picked up a series based on aliens without the glowing reviews from others but I still have tons of praise for this series from Rick Yancey! It makes me want to branch out and try some more straight-up sci-fi!
Left Me Wanting More: Memory of the first book? I read the Recaptains review before I started but even still, I feel like I wasn’t remembering a whole lot. I think maybe reading in one day sort of muddled my memory because the whole book melted together. The only thing I felt a little in the dark about was the secondary characters but they characters did their job of quickly catching me up anyway!

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

I’m still really enjoying this series and I also definitely want to take a look at Rick Yancey’s other books. There’s just something about his writing that TOTALLY hooks me.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE INFINITE SEA

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        unremembered           the adoration of jenna fox

Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) – Emmy Laybourne

Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) – Emmy LaybourneTitle: Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) by Emmy Laybourne
Publishing Info: May 6, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 12, 2014
Related Posts: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1), Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2), Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14 #0.5), Sweet

    It's over. Dean, Alex, and the other survivors of the Monument 14 have escaped the disaster zone and made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Some of the kids have been reunited with their families, and everyone is making tentative plans for the future. And then, Niko learns that his lost love, Josie, has survived!Or is it? For Josie, separated from the group and presumed dead, life has gone from bad to worse. Trapped in a terrible prison camp with other exposed O’s and traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue. Meanwhile, scared by the government’s unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid—along with her two protectors, Dean and Jake—joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with Josie. In Monument 14: Savage Drift, the stunningly fierce conclusion to the Monument 14 trilogy, author Emmy Laybourne ups the stakes even higher for a group of kids who have continually survived the unthinkable. Can they do so one last time?

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I’m so excited to finish the MONUMENT 14 trilogy! The Fierce Reads event where Emmy Laybourne was promoting the very first book was my first book event/author appearance ever and MONUMENT 14: SKY ON FIRE was my book of choice on my way back from BEA last year, so the trilogy holds a bit of a special place in my heart!

One thing I’ve always loved in the series was how Emmy doesn’t shy away from writing the really action-packed, in-your-face scenes. She does tone down on the swearing (hey, we have to keep it PG-13 somehow, right?) but the action, the gore, the reality of what is happening in the book is never really glossed over. Things don’t get TOO violent, but the reader really gets to experiences things as the characters are – right there in the thick of it.

I really appreciated the dual POVs! We saw dual POVs between Dean and Alex in SKY ON FIRE but MONUMENT 14: SAVAGE DRIFT features Dean as the male lead still and Josie as the other view point. The last we knew of her, she had sacrificed herself to protect the lives of the other kids and presumed dead so it was really interesting to not only get a female POV but also one that’s taking place on the complete opposite side of the country and so distant from the main group of kids.

The one thing I think I was missing throughout the trilogy was maybe a bit more character development and relationship development. I really enjoyed reading about each of the characters but there were so many and there was so much going on that I really would have liked to see them interact a bit more so I could get to know a bit more about them. I was just lacking a little bit of connection to each one and I actually ended up connecting to Josie the most in this book, I think because her character was so far removed from everyone else that we knew that I really got to see how she handled herself on her own.

The ending was just what I always wanted it to be. Everything wrapped up so nicely and there were even little bonuses I didn’t see coming. It was a great apocalyptic and action-packed trilogy that I think many different ages could enjoy, male or female. I’m so glad I invested my time in this series and I feel a little twinge of satisfaction having finished it! I really enjoyed Emmy’s books and plan on picking up more of her works in the future!

view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

Monument 14: Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne

HOW INTERESTING. Haha, sorry guys! Read it pretty much from cover to cover on a plane so I didn’t get to update this one!

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Dean // Character Obsessions: Survival, Astrid, reuniting the group, the farm. 
I liked Dean but I still don’t feel like I KNOW him. He was still fairly quiet in the final book although he really starts coming into his own and making his voice heard. I think he was just kind of a middle person for me… Not really a leader but not really a follower. He sort of blended in. By the end of the trilogy, I just really wanted him to stand out more to me.
Josie // Character Obsessions: Control, survival, Niko, trust.
I loved her POV in this book! She actually did stand out to me which was great. She is one tough cookie! I can’t imagine ever being in that situation and she really held her own, even fighting many times for what she wanted and what she needed. I also loved that she had a great mix of strong and then more tender moments. Definitely a nice, well-rounded character in this book.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Disaster scenarios. I’m not always into the disaster situation scene but I really loved how this one wasn’t a natural disaster! I caused some, sure, but this was something that went way deeper than that. The greed of man.
Left Me Wanting More: Character connection. They were some really great characters but I was juuust missing that personal connection to them and really getting to know their histories.

Addiction Rating
Read it

I think this trilogy is a bit underrated. Although I wish I had gotten to know the characters a bit more, I really enjoyed it overall and I think it was solid as far as momentum, plot, and action go!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SAVAGE DRIFT

(Click the cover to see my review!)

       The Rule of Three   Unremembered

Monument 14: Savage Drift Blog Tour: Emmy Reviews the Fierce Reads Titles!

Monutment14 BlogTourBanner[1]

Welcome to the blog tour for
MONUMENT 14: SAVAGE DRIFT by EMMY LAYBOURNE

I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for Emmy Laybourne’s final book in the Monument 14 trilogy, Savage Drift! I’ve been a pretty big fan of the series ever since I first saw Emmy on the Fierce Reads tour back in 2012 (my first author event ever!) so the series definitely holds a special place in my heart. I owe a really big thanks to Macmillan and team Fierce Reads for having me be a part of the tour!

Now if you’re not familiar with the books, here’s a bit more about them! I had so much fun with them so if you’re not as familiar with the series yet, hopefully you will be after this!

Title: Monument 14
Author:
Emmy Laybourne
Publication Info: 
June 5th 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
Links: Amazon // B&N // Goodreads 
My Review: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) – Emmy Laybourne 

   “Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.
    Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
    But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

    In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.
” — From Goodreads

Title: Monument 14: Sky On Fire
Author:
Emmy Laybourne
Publication Info: 
May 28th 2013 by Feiwel & Friends
Links: Amazon // B&N // Goodreads
My Review: Monument 14: Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) – Emmy Laybourne

  “Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.
Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .
Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . . .
” — From Goodreads

Without further ado, let’s get into the SUPER fun part of the blog tour! Emmy Laybourne herself has complied a vlog for the tour and she’s reviewing some of the Fierce Reads titles! Check out what she has to say below!

Emmy Discusses the new Fierce Reads titles

A big, big, BIG thanks to Emmy for that awesome video and for being on my blog today and another big thank you to Macmillan for having me on the blog tour!

Want to learn more about MONUMENT 14 and author EMMY LAYBOURNE?
Connect with Emmy below!

Emmy’s Website // Twitter // Facebook

GIVEAWAY!

Because Macmillan and the Fierce Reads team is so awesome, I am able to host this giveaway for the ENTIRE Monument 14 trilogy! I really, REALLY enjoy Emmy’s books and I feel like this series is entirely too underrated so I’m so excited to give all three books away to one lucky winner so they can start the series as well! The giveaway will be open for one week and one lucky US/Canada resident will be able to win all three books! Good luck and enter via Rafflecopter below!!! (And don’t forget to thank Macmillan + Fierce Reads for this awesome giveaway! They’re seriously amazing.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enclave (Razorland #1) – Ann Aguirre

Enclave (Razorland #1) – Ann AguirreTitle: Enclave (Razorland #1) by Ann Aguirre
Publishing Info: April 12, 2011 by Macmillan
Source: Won
Genres: Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 20, 2013
Related Posts: Mortal Danger (Immortal Game #1)

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.
  As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.
  Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.
  As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known

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I had been meaning to read ENCLAVE for a loooong time. I won the ebook a while back but I am TERRIBLE at staying on top of my ebooks because I don’t see them sitting on my shelf everyday (shame, shame. I know) but I wanted to read it before I met Ann Aguirre at the Fierce Reads Tour on November 4th. Perfect timing!

We first meet Deuce as Girl15, ready to receive her name at her naming ceremony and become an official part of the Hunters and Huntresses who provide food for the enclave and also protect it. While I must admit that Deuce is my least favorite character name of all time, I really did like her character! She was ready to take on the world, learn new skills, and protect her friends and the people who had become like her family. Another awesome kickass female protagonist done well!

I don’t know why, but one of my favorite parts about any dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel is learning how the world and/or government collapsed and what grew up in its absence. What was difficult for me in ENCLAVE was that we didn’t get to see “Topside” until halfway through the book so it was just a little bit slow for me in the first half. I really got into the book once we got to see the world that once was: figuring out how it collapsed, trying to survive the elements as well as the Freaks and the gangs, and also trying to find a safe place in a world that was totally foreign. I love re-discovering the world that we know now from the characters’ perspective!

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Deuce and Fade and how their characters ended up not only growing closer, but really depending on each other to survive. I really liked Fade a lot (he sort of reminded me of Four from the Divergent series at times!) and his secret past absolutely intrigued me! We got a little taste of what his life was like growing up and how that knowledge would be valuable to Deuce as well. As far as the romance goes… I liked it at first, but I felt like it escalated a little quickly considering the main focus of the Hunters is, well, hunting and they grew up mostly not touching others affectionately, even just as a sign of friendship. That sort of thing was left to the Breeders. I didn’t feel like it was insta-love or anything, but I felt like it happened quickly considering their history.

I actually really liked the supporting characters, especially the ones that Deuce and Fade encounter later in the story. Stalker was actually probably one of my favorite in the sense that he felt really dynamic and I liked what Ann Aguirre did with his character! I think all of the characters really brought the story to life and it was interesting to see them thrown into such a hostile environment and how they handled it.

The ending was really exciting and although ENCLAVE started a bit slow for me, it finished strong and it got me excited for the next book in the series! I’m definitely interested to see where the story goes from here.

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Deuce // Character Obsessions: Being a Huntress, surviving, battling Freaks.
I liked Deuce! Did not like her name, but hey. It wasn’t her choice either, right? I think at times she was a bit too stubborn but I think she just had a real need to prove herself which she actually did many, many times over. I liked her determination and she really kept the story moving. I also really appreciated that she was badass tough chick and then we got to see a much softer side of her as the story went on. Very nicely done!
Fade // Character Obsessions: Being a Hunter, surviving, battling Freaks, holding his tongue.
Fade is definitely a complex fellow. He was found and brought to the Enclave so he has a whole childhood that his community doesn’t even know about. I was definitely drawn to him because of the mystery and his strength!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Post-Apocalyptic novels. I love destroying the world. I love reading about how authors crumble our modern world and create a new one in its place! Fascinating!!
Left Me Wanting More: Topside in the beginning. I’m obsessed with finding out how the world ended and what it’s like now (well, “now” in the book) so I felt like it took just a little too long for that to happen in ENCLAVE, for my personal tastes.

Addiction Rating
Borrow it!

Borrow it from a friend who’s loved it and wants to share it with you! It’s a good read but not one of my all-time favorites. The series looks like it has some really good potential so start with book one and hopefully things will get even better as we go!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE ENCLAVE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Divergent     Monument 14

Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) – Emmy Laybourne

Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) – Emmy LaybourneTitle: Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) by Emmy Laybourne
Publishing Info: May 28, 2013 by Macmillan
Genres: Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 2, 2014
Related Posts: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1), Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14 #0.5), Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3), Sweet

    Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope. Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once... Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected... Monument 14: Sky on Fire is the second installment Emmy Laybourne's thrilling series.

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I’ve been anxious to read SKY ON FIRE pretty much since I finished MONUMENT 14. I enjoyed MONUMENT 14 so much, but I won’t hesitate to say that I wasn’t 100% happy with the way it had ended. At first, I actually thought M14 was a stand alone so I was surprised to find out it was a series and the ending was not resolved BUT I was happy that when I started SKY ON FIRE, it totally kicked off in the right direction.

Firstly, we get two different point of views: One from our original main character Dean, who is still back at the store and then we get a second POV from his brother Alex who is out in world which is currently in chaos around him. Thinking on it, I don’t know who the second POV would be BUT Alex, but I’m glad both narrators were kept as male voices instead of alternating between male and female. I’m honestly starting to believe that switching back and forth between male & female voices within the same book is not one of my favorite things, but this was the first time I’d really seen two male voices in YA since I don’t read as many… “boy” books or even YA books with any male as the protagonist. It’s just so often female that the whole MONUMENT 14 series is kind of refreshing in that way. This may be me putting this stereotypically, but I liked that it was sort of a step back from the extreme emotional side of what I usually pick up on with female narrators and instead was more action-based and to-the-point versus lyrical or beautiful prose. These guys are not trying to impress anyone, but their point is made all the same!

So SKY ON FIRE is only 212 pages. It’s a quick read, but it’s jam-packed with action so I was constantly engrossed in one occurrence or another. That’s not to say that there are zero emotional moments. We see kids trying to get back to their families, touching moments when they help out one another, and of course the fear and sadness that goes along with the disasters and consequently panicking of others around them. Things get intense many, many times over. I actually really liked that the book was short and to the point, just like these two brothers are. I think the action was well done in just over 200 pages and things weren’t drawn out just to get a higher word count. It’s refreshing to read a shorter book every once in a while and SKY ON FIRE fits perfectly just the way it is.

** This is where the spoilers come in if you haven’t read book one yet! If you want to avoid spoilers for book one, skip on down to the Character section! **

So let’s talk about plot. This is where I dock some points. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not docking any major points here, but I’ve never really been a fan of the way the Dean/Astrid romance develops. I just think the fact that Astrid is pregnant is just kind of unnecessary considering everyone may die from toxins or people who have turned psycho from toxins. I also wasn’t a fan of it because I feel like these books can easily extend down to a lower age to include some middle grade readers, but the relationship and occasional sexual content (although mostly mild) in the books just doesn’t seem to fit. To me, it chops the story up into a totally different frame of mind and it just doesn’t seem to go with the overall plot and feel of the story. I would have MUCH preferred if it was Dean just getting to know the “girl of his dreams” a little better because of the disaster and then they end up together. The development of their “relationship” in the first two books just seemed like it happened really quickly for them as a couple and it just never felt on pace with the rest of the book. Maybe it’s because this series includes a number of younger kids as well? I think those “little kids” are bringing the age feel down for me so that content in the book just didn’t seem like it belonged.
On the flip side, I think Alex’s story was totally the way to go. Okay, so Alex is only thirteen whereas Dean is… I want to say seventeen? So Alex having a major romance in the books doesn’t quite fit. That’s why I liked that his scenes with girls in the story is just a hint of flirting here, a kind gesture there, and nothing diving into kissing and sex and love when there is just SO many other things going on in their lives right now. Meh. Just my opinion!
I DO like all of the action as far as survival scenes, fight scenes, and general destruction of Colorado. (Sorry, CO. I actually really do like you as a state!) It’s more of just the romantic aspect that kind of bothered me…

I really enjoyed SKY ON FIRE and was actually happy that this was a short book — Not because I wasn’t enjoying it (I totally did) but because everything was nice and concise. I still had a few hang ups, but nothing that took away from the book overall TOO majorly. I did feel like SKY ON FIRE was just a bit more intense with both the romance and the violence. It’s definitely turned up a notch! Another good book in the series and I’m anxious to see where we go from here!

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Dean: Hmmmm. What do I feel about Dean. I actually didn’t feel like he had a ton of depth. Whether that was a male character thing or just a character development thing, I’m not sure. He’s not supposed to be some deep, emotional guy but at the same time, I wanted to connect with him just a bit more. Despite the fact that half of this book is directly happening to him, I still felt like he was a bit removed from the story somehow.
Alex: I feel like Alex actually comes off as a lot more sensitive. Is the the age? Is is because he is more sensitive? Is it because his chapters are in the form of letters back to Dean? I’m really not sure. I just felt a distinct difference between the two brothers, but I’m not sure if that came off how it was intended.
Sahalia: Confession. I almost entirely forgot everything about Sahalia’s character after the first book and then struggled for just a little bit to remember who she was in SKY ON FIRE. That memory came back pretty quickly, but that also made me think… She was actually one of the characters who really stood out for me in this book. I feel like she went through a lot (obviously), did a lot of growing up, and was one character who really started to make some changes and grow up. She kind of became one of my favorites!

addiction_factor1

Read it!

I think I liked book one more, but I really enjoyed that SKY ON FIRE was actually short and to the point. I zipped through and also really enjoyed the split POVs!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SKY ON FIRE

     The Scorch Trials      Struck

The Other Life (or The Weepers) – Susanne Winnacker

The Other Life (or The Weepers) – Susanne WinnackerTitle: The Other Life (The Other Life #1) by Susanne Winnacker
Publishing Info: February 1, 2012 by Skyscape
Source: Netgalley
Genres: Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Zombies
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 4, 2012

    Sherry has lived with her family in a sealed bunker since things went wrong up above. But when they run out of food, Sherry and her dad must venture outside. There they find a world of devastation, desolation...and the Weepers: savage, mutant killers.
    When Sherry's dad is snatched, she joins forces with gorgeous but troubled Joshua - an Avenger, determined to destroy the Weepers.
    But can Sherry keep her family and Joshua safe, when his desire for vengeance threatens them all?

Breaking It Down Further: After a vicious virus spreads throughout California, Sherry and her family have spent the last few years in a bunker, tucked safely away. When Sherry’s family runs out of food, she and her father venture out into the danger zone, where the Weepers roam. Weepers, the creatures that have become of the virus – former humans turned animalistic and vicious killers. Now out of the bunker, Sherry feels responsible for the safety of her family.

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Well, I actually felt like I’ve read this story before… in the sense that  it felt like several other zombie/post-apocalyptic stories. I felt like the plot wasn’t that original, but even still I enjoyed reading it.

I really liked the relationship between Sherry and her younger siblings. I liked her younger brother Bobby who seemed to look up to Sherry even though he likes acting tough. I adored little Mia, Sherry’s youngest sister, and how protective Sherry was of her.

Unfortunately I think too much of the things I didn’t like stand out more than the ones I did. The whole counting the days thing really bothered me. Sherry kept counting, “It’s been this many days since…” (I had chicken, I ate chocolate, I felt rain) — But really? Does she really know the exact last day she had chocolate? Did she really start keeping track of the last time she laughed without feeling guilt? That’s way too many things to keep track of.

I also didn’t really like the concept of the Weepers. I understand some regular zombie plots, but for a virus to change a person’s physically appearance so drastically? I’m not sure I bought it.

I didn’t really feel the romantic connection between Sherry and Joshua either. It felt a bit like the typical bad-boy plot, and just a little bit of insta-love. I can see how you might connect with someone so quickly when there are so few people left, but still.

addiction_factor1

Skip it

Just okay. It was worth finishing the book but it’s not my favorite!

book_recommendations1Tomorrow, When the War Began       Monument 14

Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) – Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) – Emmy LaybourneTitle: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) by Emmy Laybourne
Publishing Info: June 5, 2012 by Macmillan
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 23, 2014
Related Posts: Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2), Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14 #0.5), Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3), Sweet

     Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner. Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

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What an exciting book! MONUMENT 14 was jam packed full of adventure as these 14 brave kids battle one obstacle right after the other. I thought I was going to be overwhelmed with the fact that there were fourteen main characters, but I think I sorted them out pretty well. Once you really go to know the characters and their individual personalities, it was pretty easy to keep them all straight. I think the only problem I had was with the little kids every once in a while, but in way,  I kind of feel like that’s how the older kids would see them. I know personally when I’m thrown together with a lot of people anywhere (in the real world as well as a book), it takes me some time to sort people out until I really get to know them, so I actually feel like that was right on par. As the book progresses, you really start to see each personality shine and even through flaws and annoying habits, I really started to like each character individually.

Despite the fact that most YA novels that are increasingly popular are from the girl’s perspective, I thought it was really well written by Emmy Laybourne to tell his from Dean’s point of view. I know she mentioned on the Fierce Reads tour in our Q&A session that she really wanted the social status and pecking order in the boys’ group to really be a prominent part of the book, and I definitely saw that. I really does play a big part as to how the guys interact with each other and you can really see who the noble ones are and even though they seem to be getting pegged lower, how much more mature they are than the “popular” boys.

I actually think my favorite character was Niko (he’s the natural leader and Boy Scout). Even though Dean’s the narrator and we really get to delve into his personality and inner monologue, I liked Niko’s quiet side and how little by little we get to know more about him. Finally the popular kids come around from making fun of him for being a Boy Scout (and hey, I’ve know some Eagle Scouts and they are not dorky at all!), but then turns out his skills and knowledge are way more useful than anybody really anticipated.

I don’t think I was really too into the romance of Dean and Astrid, but in all fairness, they really were kept apart most of the story. Even when they were together, there were still other popular guys that Dean had to sort of fight off (or avoid conflict from) before he’d even be able to talk to Astrid (who is also a year his senior, so double intimidating). I do like how it developed though and it looks like we’ll get to know more about them in future books!

There was one thing that kind of threw me off the whole book which I know is a sensitive subject in the YA world: swearing. Since these books are for young adults, where do you draw the line at swearing? Many of the swears were shortened or self-sensored, which as an adult reading it, I would have preferred they just been used. Even teens swear (I actually swore a lot in high school… Oops) so I guess it’s a finding a good balance of how much to really put in there since all ages of young adults will be reading the book. For some reason it was a bit distracting for me because even at that age, talking to another teen, I’d definitely just come out and swear. Also, there were a few sexual references/sexual activity as well as drug use and drinking which hey, that happens too, but I figured if you could refer to that, why hold back on curse words? Just my opinion, and like I said, always a sensitive topic, so it really is up to the author and how they feel about the subjects and who they want to gear the book to.

It was really fun to see Emmy on the Fierce Reads tour and hear more about the book straight from her as well! I liked the idea of how she came up with the concept and she was really fun to listen to. Definitely glad I picked up her book! It was a thrill to read and I can’t wait to read more.

addiction_factor1READ IT!

I had so much fun reading this! I really enjoyed the character development and we all know I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories. I can’t wait to read what happens next!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE MONUMENT 14

Tomorrow, When the War Began    Tomorrow, When the War Began