Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
Genre: YA Dystopia
Expected Publication: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 384

The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

I really, truly did not know what to expect once I jumped into this novel. I've never read any works by Sophie Jordan and the idea itself for this book was pretty original. Like, really? A killer gene? Sign me up for that! So, yeah. As you can probably tell, I was super excited to read this book. Plus, that cover is pretty sweet looking. And look at her hair! They make little DNA strands!

To begin with, while she had an awesome name, Davy didn't evoke much of an emotional response from me. Now thinking on the book, nothing unique stood out from her in my opinion. But, she wasn't intolerable, and I did like her. She goes from riches and spoils to mistreatment and constant fear and her adaptation to her new situation was interesting to watch.

I always get fired up over mistreatment of others and inequality, and while reading this novel, I was going crazy. It's so sad--and fascinating--to see how people react to something they don't know and ultimately see it as a danger. Those tested positive of having HTS are discriminated, segregated, stripped of their rights, publicly ridiculed, and much more. It was just crazy and scary to read about, to see human nature at its worst. I was angry! How could people do this to one another? Just completely despicable! And because of this, and an interesting plot, I tore through this book.

There's a lot of dynamic to the characters in this book and it kind of makes you wonder: Who are the real monsters? Those with a killer gene (or an excuse for why people are homicidal, in my opinion) or those who dictate who the monsters are? And a great example of one of those dynamic characters would be Sean, who in reality would scare the ever-living bejesus out of me. Like, was he good, was he bad? I don't know but he sure had a nice bod.

Uninvited was a nice surprise. I think I'll read more from this author because I certainly enjoyed this one. Also, she'll be going on the Dark Days tour and I definitely plan on being there! For fans of dystopia or tales of the oppressed, I think this will make a great read.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Avalon by Mindee Arnett
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Expected Publication: January 17th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 432

A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.

 *A review copy was provided from the publisher*

So this book just so happened to appear when I needed it most. I absolutely love everything sci-fi. I harbor so much love for anything that involves space. And I've been thinking lately to myself "Where's a new and different sci-fi novel out there?" And then this one was like "Heeeeyyy". So, yes, this novel came at a very convenient time.

I didn't absolutely love Jeb, but he was a pretty cool guy. Even though he was technically some delinquent and thief and stuff, he was a good guy that would do anything for his family, friends, and his ship, Avalon. But still, I didn't connect with him on any level. I also didn't find him to be that much of a dynamic character, but he wasn't intolerable. He was just kind of there as the story was told and I can't help but think that the disconnection was caused by the novel being written in third person.

Another little bone to pick was the insta-romance. Okay, it wasn't more of an instant romance than it was instant random crush. I don't know about you, but I don't randomly start crushing on a person whom I barely know about. I just didn't buy it, especially in the situation that they were all in. Every time said crush feels would be mentioned, I'd just groan internally because I found it to be a wee bit on the rushed side.

But I did enjoy the book a lot! If you don't focus on the characters but stay into the plot and all the shit that's going down, this novel was pretty darn cool! Like, unexplainable things are happening and plots are getting twisty before you even know it and none of it was in the least (in my opinion) that predictable and once you got into that, the book's pages flew by. It is very original, from the repertoire of books I've read, and I was a content reader.

Avalon was the perfect mix of Firefly and total coolness and I recommend that everyone pick up this book sometime. The pace was quick and those four hundred or so pages flew by. I cannot wait to read the next installment! There's so much I want to know about this world still!

4 Splashes

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Unhinged by A. G Howard

Unhinged by A. G Howard
Genre: YA Fairytale Spinoff
Expected Publication: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: Amulet
Page Count: 384

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.

Hosting a Splintered read-along was probably one of the best decisions I've made this year. I'd been lusting for it, what with the beautiful cover, and I just couldn't wait to read it. And now, after a few months, I've been given the opportunity to be apart of Krazy Book Lady's ARC tour of Unhinged and I am a happy book blogger.

Soooo, Alyssa bothers in the aspect that she's always doubting her childhood friend Morpheus. This also could be due to the fact that I'm Team Morpheus all the way, but Al's manner in the way that she treats Morpheus has always bothered me. However, she is such a dynamic character. Being in her position, I wouldn't know what world I belonged to either. Save a bunch of crazies in this unfamiliar land or save the lives of those you know and consider normal? So, I mean, I have to give her some credit and having half the mind for doubting an inhabitant of Wonderland, but I still think she acted a little poorly.

WOAH. I have to say that this was a great sequel to Splintered. I have to admit that I had no idea where the author could have brought the next book. All I knew was that I wanted another. The plot thickens when Alyssa has to decide which world to save and be a part of. Troubles definitely get more troublesome when some certain characters *ahem* Red *ahem* just won't go away.

So I loved the growing relationships between Alyssa and her mom and Alyssa and Morpheus. We really didn't get to know Alyssa's mom very well in the first book and, in this one, readers get an inside look at the not-crazy mother. And I cannot tell you how much I was swooning over Morpheus in this book. You're perfect, moth boy!

One thing that really distinguishes A. G Howard from other authors out there in the world is her writing. Beautifully vivid and dark. Her original spin on a favorite fairytale of mine and her incredible writing made the perfect recipe for me. I always feel like I'm being transported into Alyssa's story once I open her books. Sometimes I feel like I'm missing that originality in pieces nowadays, sadly.

Unhinged was a great addition to the Splintered series and I absolutely cannot wait for the next one. I am totally flipping out over that ending! And if you've not read Splintered yet, I highly suggest you do. With gorgeously descriptive writing, a dark mood, a fast pace, a twisty plot, and Morpheus, it'll make a great read for anyone. 

5 Splashes

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (6)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews where bloggers get to share what pretties they've acquired recently.

So, yeah. I definitely haven't done one of these in a while. And what with me at Comic Con in October, I procured many books. And then I also went on a requesting spree over at Edelweiss, so thanks to them, I'll be kept busy with these many beautiful titles!

For Review:

[All links lead to Goodreads]

*procured from Comic Con

And that's all! Whew. So, what pretties has everyone else gotten? Link me up!
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