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November Wrap-Up

Wow, how is it December already? Where has the year gone? And how did November sneak by like it did!?

I started November with the challenge of Reading THESE 5 books, I got through some of them, didn’t finish others and also read a few that weren’t on my list… because you know, impulse reads… Anywho, lets begin! Here are the books I read this month.

 

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Published December 11th 2012 by HarperCollins Australia

The link to my GoodReads review is here

This book as been on my TBR for what feels like forever, and I think leaving it so long, to start reading is what made me enjoy it so much? I found it completely different to any Dystopian Young Adult novels that I have read recently. Bracken’s writing style is free-flowing, engaging and gives you the chance to imagine things for yourself. Even if those things are absolutely horrific.

I enjoy the premise of this story, segregating people, well children, because of colour. Indirectly this feels like it is a big middle finger to racism within the wider world. I can’t wait to read more of this series, I want to know more about the colours and what they can do, how they worked out who was which colour and more information on the ‘sickness’ that made the children this way!

 

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Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

Published October 2nd 2018 by HarperCollins

The link to my full GoodReads review is HERE

I wanted to read this book as soon as I knew it was being published. I love Lauren Oliver as an Author. Her writing style draws me in and doesn’t let me go until I finish the last page. This book was no exception.

It is  a little slow to start, it really gets going at the halfway mark, so if you have put it down because of its slow pacing, pick it back up, you won’t regret it. I also found it to have a lot of Pretty Little Liars cross overs. I won’t elaborate here, because spoilers, but if you want to hear more about those cross overs, pop to my review and ramblings post about it HERE

 

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Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen

Published July 17th 2018 by Crown Books for Young Readers

Link to my full GoodReads review is HERE

I fell in love with the Nyxia triad from the second I read the first book in this trilogy (Nyxia). This trilogy looks at teenage exploitation, inter-stellar space travel, manipulations by multimillion dollar companies, loyalties, love and loss. And that list doesn’t even scrape the surface.

The thing that constantly hits me, while reading this book is that these people we are reading about are children, they are 16 and 17 and dealing with things that I, at 26 couldn’t even think about. Let alone face and complete. But that is due to their conditioning and attempted brainwashing. My spoiler filled review and ramblings can be found here!

 

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WildCard By Marie Lu

Published September 18th 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Link to my full and spoiler free GoodReads review is HERE

When I started this book, I honestly couldn’t remember all that happened in its prequel, WarCross, but that didn’t matter. From the first page you are thrown back into Emika’s world and there is plenty of time to catch up. This book was much darker than Warcross, it sees Emika much more isolated and interacting with new people. It also sees the coming of the end of the world as she knows it. As always, Marie Lu has written a masterpiece, something easy to read and something easy to see may happen, as technological advances in our current world begin to go crazy! My spoiler filled review and ramblings post can be seen HERE – Read if you dare!

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And that brings my November Wrap-Up to an end. I managed to read 4 books this month, still not as many as I would like, but hey, at least I read 4! And to be honest, I really enjoyed these 4 books that I completed!

Keep an eye out for my next post, Books That Let Me Down This Month. This post will fill you in on books  that I started and didn’t finish and my view on DNFing books.

How many books did you read this month?

As always, thanks for reading,

Julie.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review & Ramblings. WildCard by Marie Lu

Okay before I start, as always with my review and ramblings posts, this will be riddled with spoilers so if you haven’t read Warcross or Wildcard, look away, get out before everything is ruined!

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Wildcard – Marie Lu

Published September 18th 2018 by Penguin Teen

My GoodReads review is HERE for any of you who want to read a condensed version of this post, or if you want a spoiler free review!

Also please note, there is some mild coarse language in this review.

 

To be completely honest with you, I hardly remembered what happened in Warcross… other than it was awesome… So here I am, starting WildCard and woah is it amazing.

I forgot how much of a bad-arse Emika is, but I think in this book, we see her a little more lonely and isolated, she still has her friends from the Phoenix Riders, but to save the world she has to hurt the one person she cares more about than life itself, only she doesn’t realise that her feelings run that deep. Emika is definitely being put between a rock and a hard place in this book, stuck between doing the right thing and breaking her heart. Stuck between two brothers who are chalk and cheese, one who is doing this for his baby brother, and the other who doesn’t remember his big brother enough to recognise the blood-tie and wants to kill him to make the world a safer place. What a horrible place to have to be, in-between Tanaka’s.

I also love the way that Marie Lu has incorporated the real world into her books and encompassed so well, the Japanese style, cities and way of life. Of course there are some fictional liberties, but I like that if you wanted to, you could go to some of the places mentioned in the book – Even if they looked nothing like the fictional ones… But hey it is still cool!

Marie Lu has done some super incredible world-building in this book. The time it must have taken to plan out the technologies alone would be immense. You go girl! The technology in this series is crazy advanced, but at the same time, how amazing would it be to see the world that way? To have a friend say, I’m here, follow the gold trail to find me, to be able to see your friends in a holographic way while calling them. Of course it has it’s downsides as well, being scored and ranked on every activity you partake in, being controlled remotely by Hideo Tanaka….

YES! Finally some Emika/Hideo time! Yaaas I love them, they complement each other so perfectly!

Also I am loving this Emika/Jax friendship, an honest to heck girl friendship is what Emika is missing, yes she has friends within the Phoenix Rider’s, but Jax has been through some shit, just like Emika has, like Emika and Hideo, Emika and Jax complement each other. Jax has spent her life being manipulated into protecting a woman who is un-ethical, cruel and will do anything in her power to get what she wants. Emika has spent her life running from a childhood that she would do anything to forget and hunting criminals for money to get by. These two crave what the other can give, Emika can give Jax a life without manipulation, one without the constant need for her to kill. Jax can give Emika stability a feeling of protection and a friend who knows what it is like to live a secret life.

Can we all say plot twist? What the actual heck!? What do you mean he died years ago and his mind has been replicated and turned into an AI capable of influencing a suit made of steel!? Can anyone else see what is wrong with this picture! Oh what about poor Hideo!? His whole life work has been for nothing! My heart is literally breaking for him!  What else could possibly happen to this man!

Holy shit. I spoke (well typed) too soon… What the hell is going on! Zero, as well as being the manifested mind of Hideo’s dead brother is also the mastermind behind all of Taylors evil-doings!? I can’t…. He literally manipulated Emika into convincing Hideo to save what little humanity Zero or Sasuke had left, then manipulated Hideo into killing Taylor and then he comes out on top with all of the power, control of the algorithm and control of Hideo and Emika. Shit is getting hectic, and there is under 90 pages left to go.. I’m almost too scared to keep reading.

The last 90 pages sort of blurred together, the pace was incredible, but some of the content, left me feeling a little unsure, like it was rushed and that what happened to the Neurolink wasn’t totally needed. I get that without its destruction and the conversion of Zero into the evil mastermind, then Emika could never redeem herself or find any direction for her future life. Nor could she begin her life with Hideo and start to help him rebuild his business. But it seemed a little fake almost?

All in all, I really enjoyed this book, not as much as Warcross, but I think that is because when you start a new book, the world building is so surreal and amazing, that in the sequel, it isn’t as awe-inspiring. Fantastic writing as always from Lu, great characters, I still love Emika and Hideo. Both of their characters are so multi-faceted, I still feel as though there is more to know about Hideo though… I would love more from his point of view, maybe another book that goes over the time of Warcross and WildCard, that over laps but shows us everything from Hideo’s point of view! I would be down for that!

I am a little disappointed that I didn’t love this as much as Warcross, but I find that happens with most sequels, all the marvel of the world building and technology we learn about in the first book, doesn’t seem as fancy and amazing in the second because we come to expect it.

A great read, definitely a set of characters I would like to see more of.

Have you read WarCross or WildCard? What are your thoughts?

 

Thanks

Julie