Coda by Emma Trevayne: review

Coda (Coda #1)Coda by Emma Trevayne
Series: Coda #1
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Release Date: May 7th 2013
Synopsis: Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem—the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the Corp holds control over all citizens, particularly conduits like Anthem, whose life energy feeds the main power in the Grid.

Anthem finds hope and comfort in the twin siblings he cares for, even as he watches the life drain slowly and painfully from his father. Escape is found in his underground rock band, where music sounds free, clear, and unencoded deep in an abandoned basement. But when a band member dies suspiciously from a tracking overdose, Anthem knows that his time has suddenly become limited. Revolution all but sings in the air, and Anthem cannot help but answer the call with the chords of choice and free will. But will the girl he loves help or hinder him?

My Thoughts:

Beware: Major gushing ahead!

I would say that I loved Coda with all my heart and soul. But that isn’t true. I loved this book with all my heart and soul and ears. I swear that when I was holding and reading this wonderful book, I heard music coming off the pages. I am not kidding you.

You see, I have an exclusive obsession with music. Even as I type this review, I am listening to a song playing. Sure, my taste in music is vastly different from many other people who I interact with in life, but still. Maybe that is why I felt such a connection to Coda, a book that is about the need for real music. The need for real music that will wrap around you and gift you not with corrupt addiction but with pure emotion.

In the world that has been taken over by the Corp, the people aren’t allowed to have real music. Instead, they are forced to listen to encoded music that is literally an addicting drug. The Corp doesn’t care that the ‘music’ is shortening and destroying the people’s lives. The Corp doesn’t care that the people feel suffocated by the addiction that constantly urges them to go to a console and listen to a track that will cause them to slip into a corrupted but blissful high. The Corp just wants to control.

But Anthem is secretly going against the Corp. He is in a illegal underground band that plays the real music that he craves so much. It is this real music, along with the existence of his little brother and sister, that helps him get through the days, even though his life is slowly being damaged and shortened.

It is only until the Corp’s musical tracks kill off one of Anthem’s dear friends that he realizes that he needs to take a stand and not just play music awhile being unknown.

Obviously, Coda has a very, very unique story that mixes up the genres of cyberpunk, dystopia, and science fiction. But there is also the question on whether the execution is good or bad. I will answer that question by saying this: the execution is superb. Trevayne created a story that is captivating, addictive, and raw.

The pacing is at a perfect speed. The plot twists are often times jawdropping and painful. And the writing conveys so much emotion and beauty, even with all the ugly addiction and bright neon lights. And the way the author describes music is really gorgeous.

“This is music. Scope starts, an eerie drone into which Pheonix rains clear, metallic mist. Long, languid notes slide from Johnny’s guitar, and Mage hits a drum note once. Just once. Stale, ordinary air transforms to song in my lungs, a cloud of warmth that spreads out from my chest and sets my limbs buzzing. Johnny’s heavy, darkly sensuous song surrounds me and imbues me with secret energy, like kissing at night.” –Page 28

Anthem was such of a fantastic protagonist. He isn’t perfect and constantly doubts himself and makes mistakes. But he is a determined soul that will go to great lengths to protect the people he loves… even if it means that he must go against everything he believes in. The way that Trevayne writes this character is flawless. I felt his addiction, suffocation, doubt, sadness, anger, and hope. I felt his character with such clarity that it hurt sometimes.

And the rest of the gang: Haven, Scope, Mage, Pheonix, Yellow Guy, and Pixel were characters that I attached to rather quickly. I invested a lot of love and trust in them. And even though that trust was ripped apart multiple times, I still loved them. Well, most of them, anyway. There is one certain character that I will never forgive.

I believe I should also mention that the ending chapters turned my heart to glass and shattered it into a trillion and one pieces. I can’t say why because of how much I will reveal by doing so, but really, it was harsh. But after I read the last page, I felt a glimmer of hope. Even though Coda is the symbol of an ending, there is always a new beginning. Which is why I am eagerly awaiting the sequel.

The passion that was poured into this story left me literally speechless. The music element, and integral part of the story, glowed with passion. The characters were finely written with passion. Everything. I don’t think I have read a dystopian novel that had such obvious passion put into it.

To put it plainly, this book absolutely floored me. So much so that I am sure that this review is kind of useless.

Bonus:

I also just loved the fact that awhile Anthem is bisexual, that trait didn’t define him as a person. We need more of those LGBTQ+ characters in YA.

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Karnevel Vol.1 by Touya Mikanagi: review

Karneval, Vol. 1 (Karneval, #1)Karnevel Vol.1 by Touya Mikanagi
Series: Karneval #1
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Shounen, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Synopsis: When innocent country boy Nai sets foot into the sordid cutthroat realm of the city, he might as well have painted a target on his own back. Kidnappers, murderers and desperados abound, waiting to take advantage of a boy guileless enough to believe blood is merely “red water”. When he is framed for a murder, it is the bandit Gareki who bails him out. Being a shrewd and sharp-eyed thief, however, Gareki’s motives are less than pure. Nai is looking for a friend who has disappeared and left behind something particularly intriguing – an I.D bracelet from the organisation named “Circus”, the country’s supreme defense agency. While Gareki has his sights set firmly on the bracelet, “Circus” in turn, has shifted its eye onto the duo as well…

My Thoughts:

For a first volume, this volume was pretty great. Yes, it was a bit hard to follow, but it promises that the it’s the beginning of a series that has much potential. And to be honest, I am kind of in love with the title.

Right from the start the reader is thrown into the story. Information is shown little by little. This can cause some confusion–heck, even I had some question marks floating over my head at times– but I thought it was well done for the most part. The volume is pretty fast paced with tons of action, so I was never bored and stuck in my seat!

I have always loved stories in which powerful organizations play a important rule. This is pretty apparent in my obvious love for Pandora Hearts. But instead of the organization Pandora, we have Circus, an organization that keeps control of crime and sets up circus carnivals as an apology for disrupting the daily life of citizens. So yeah, I am sort of attracted to this manga because of Circus.

The characters are quite interesting… Nai gives a whole new meaning to the word naive (he consistently calls blood ‘red water’). This naivete might grate on the nerves of some readers but I actually think that this trait makes him adorable. Normally I am very irritated by extreme naivete, but I feel different about it this time. And Gareki is very mysterious at the moment but right now he seems like the type of character that is outwardly cold but kind in the inside. I think there is a developing friendship between the two!

Some other noteable characters are Yogi and Tsukumo. Yogi is pretty silly which makes him very entertaining to read and Tsukumo is very quiet right now, but she does seem very tough.

To be honest, I wish there was more ‘Circus stuff’ in this volume. Sure, we get some scenes with the organization, but I want to see the conflict within the organization of Circus and really see the personalities of all the people working for it. It’s only the first volume so hopefully we get some of that in the future.

The art, awhile rough, is beautiful. There is a lot of close attention payed to small details like the creases in clothing and strands of hair. If you are a sucker for pretty art like I am, then this manga might just be for you. The art is to die for.

Overall, this was a pretty neat first volume. It wasn’t perfect but it was a great beginning to a probably great series (I have heard nothing but good things about it). Thank you, Delaney for wildly recommending this!

For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund: review

For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #1

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Age Group: Young Adult

Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Romance, Retelling

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: June 12th 2012

Synopsis: It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PersuasionFor Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

My Thoughts:

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope…I have loved none but you.”

Jane Austen (Persuasion)

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a beautiful book. It really is. I imagine that if Jane Austen was going to be proud of any Young Adult retelling of one of her books, it would be this one. Peterfreund has managed to perfectly handle romance, sadness, love, and the charm that always seem to radiate off of Jane Austen’s works.

The story can be described as a sci-fi Persuasion. Please don’t let the major change in the original story’s genetic makeup make you run away from this book. Peterfreund makes a fascinating dystopian world and also creates a serious, developed romance that will make one’s heart flutter at times.

The dystopian world plays a big part in the stories framework so I believe I should focus on that first, in this review. I have already said that Peterfreund’s unique world is fascinating. But I could also describe it as smart, wonderfully created, and even believable. The theory of what caused the Reduction is based on the Christian religion, but trust me when I say the story is never what could be called preachy, and I even took something from it.

This novel features a tough protagonist, called Elliot. She did seem a bit flat to me in the beginning, but halfway through her characterization was amazing and almost flawless! I was greatly invested in her story and I enthusiastically cheered her on–sometimes out loud. I felt conflicted when she did, I felt joy when she did, I felt harrowing sadness when she did. I was completely in-tune with her character.

Kai, the male lead of this tale, doesn’t leave a good impression when first introduced. In fact, I was quite angry with him. But as the pages turned and I started to get farther into the story, I began to understand Kai, his anger, confusion, and heartbreak.

And the romance between these two characters is magnificently written. Peterfreund writes the star-crossed lovers scenario with flourish. There was never a moment between Kai and Elliot that made me roll my eyes or smirk to myself. No, the romance in this story is enrapturing, as any romance inspired by a Jane Austen novel should be.

The ending is tied up very neatly and beautifully–I admit to swooning a little bit to much. But I can tell that there are many great adventures coming Elliot and Kai’s way so I am very excited for the upcoming sequel, Across a Star-Swept Sea, which is apparently inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, a classic I haven’t even heard of!

As you can see, I am in awe of this book. For Darkness Shows the Stars is an fantastic novel–with an amazing title– that resonated with my very soul. And I thank Teepee, for gifting me with this wonderful book and letting me know of its existence. I am giving you all my hugs and kisses ♥

Otherborn by Anna Silver: review + giveaway of a Kindle Fire HD

Otherborn (Otherborn, #1)Otherborn by Anna Silver

Series: Otherborn #1

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Age Group: Young Adult

Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction

Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing

Release Date: April 4th 2013

Synopsis: London and her teenage friends live in a reprocessed world.

Confined within Capital City’s concrete walls, London has done the impossible and the illegal. She’s created something New- a song. But her mentor, club owner Pauly, is not impressed. Since the historic Energy Crisis forced everyone behind walls generations ago, the Tycoons have ensured there is truly nothing new allowed under the sun. Pauly warns London to keep her song to herself, if she knows what’s good for her.

What he doesn’t know is that London is keeping an even bigger secret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. London’s band-mates and friends have begun dreaming as well, seeing themselves in “night pictures” as beings from another world. As Otherborn, they must piece together the story of their astral avatars, the Others, in order to save their world from a dreamless, hopeless future.

When Pauly is murdered and an Otherborn goes missing, London realizes someone is hunting them down. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselands with only their dreams to guide them. Can they find their friend before the assassin finds them? Will being Otherborn save their lives, or destroy them?

My Thoughts: 

What a book! I have fallen in love with Otherborn. This isn’t a perfect dystopian novel. But there is just something that makes my adrenaline pump, but also makes me want to fall in a deep sleep and dream whenever I read a page of this book about a terrible world and strange dreams.

The originality that Otherborn contains quite obvious. I will bet you any amount of money that you will be amazed by the premise. The creativity that author’s have always put me in a state of awe and Anna Silver’s creativity is no different from many other great authors.

The atmosphere in Otherborn is fantastic. Sometimes I could have sworn that the smell of blood was wafting into my room. Or that tendrils of darkness were creeping under my door. If what I just described doesn’t seem like a well made atmosphere to you then I don’t know what is. Otherborn isn’t horror, but it was certainly able to send shivers down my spine.

The word prickly describes London well, I think. She was a bit hard to like at first. But prickly isn’t the only word that describes her. London is a capable, tough, hardened protagonist who will etch herself into your mind and never leave.

The side characters were also well written. They are impossible to categorize. Their personalities don’t shine as bright as London’s, but they would still be forces to be reckoned if they were to be compared to side characters in other stories.

Silver is a master story teller, I believe. And like all great story tellers she has a way with handling words. She writes a first-person narration in a way that flows wonderfully well. And the way she builds a world is skillful and fascinating.

A person who is a fan of dystopian will want to know if the dystopian world is explained in a believable way, yes? To answer that question I will say that there is a little bit of explaining, but there are a more detailed needed, I believe. I thought that the backstory was a little bit lacking. Hopefully this teensy flaw is fixed in the later installments.

The ending is the type of ending that will have you craving for more. I am in desperate want for the next book and I am sure that you will, too if you ever read this amazing book.

Otherborn is not one of the better dystopian novels I have read. It is one of the best dystopian novels I have read. Now that statement may make you raise an eyebrow, but I assure you that this really is the best kind of dystopian for me. Creepy and unsettling are my favorite kind of vibes to get from a book after all!

A free copy of this book was provided in return for a honest review for this tour.

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*This post is part of the Otherborn Blog Tour: 

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson: review

The Summer PrinceThe Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Stand Alone

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Age Group: Young Adult

Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Romance

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine

Release Date: March 1st 2013

Synopsis: A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil.

The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that’s sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June’s best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government’s strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson.

My Thoughts:

Wow. This book was goodThe Summer Prince is an absolutely stunning and terribly unique novel. It is simply breathtaking. I wholeheartedly enjoyed reading this book, and I will definitely set my sights out for more of Johnson’s works. With The Summer Prince this woman has proved that she has ideas. Great ones.

The Summer Prince is about many things. The fate of the person chosen as the Summer Prince. A girl who has a passion for art and a want for fame. A rebellion. A love triangle. And it is all woven together quite well.

One of the first things that made me love this book was the setting. Johnson chose a futuristic Brazil as her setting. Now what can get better than that? Nothing that’s what. The world building is done very well for the most part. The reader is pushed into world suddenly which can cause some confusion, but Johnson does develop her world. She describes the world of Palmares Tres exquisitely. And the way Johnson combines many different cultures is amazing. There should have been more information added about how the years worked in my opinion but that is a minor flaw. Overall, Johnson has created a gorgeous, lush world.

The Summer Prince should be shelved in the mature section of the YA genre. Sexuality plays a big part of this novel. There is even an instance where it is implied that a character is masturbating. (I thought that this element of the book was dealt with well.) The fact that this novel has a world that crumbled to the ground because of men and is only thriving again because of woman might even make it controversial. So think about that if you are planning to read this.

The pacing of The Summer Prince is never slow. I thought it was perfect. I do think that the transitioning between scenes can be a bit rough so that definitely needs work. The prose… well, the prose is quite lovely. I loved the way the words flowed together. Johnson is able to write the image of the lush city of Palmares Tres vividly and beautifully.

I feel that June’s character was hard to connect to. I loved that she had a strong passion for art (she even embeds a light-tree into her arm) and her own desires. I really did. But sometimes she let her desires consume her and she did some really selfish things. I know this is a character flaw, but it made June hard to spend time with. She really got on my nerves sometimes. She does start to grow as a person and that was when I was able to connect with her, but I believe that I should have been able to connect with her earlier in the book than later.

Enki is a complex character, I believe. And a incredibly sad one. His love for art was so strong that it became an obsession that started to destroy him. I just felt so sorry for him. I willed him to start putting art after himself but he doesn’t. Enki also had an unpredictable quality to him that always made me wonder what in the world was he going to do next.

Gil isn’t given as much development as June or Enki as a character but I still found him pleasant to read about. He is probably the most level-headed character in the book.

The love triangle between Enki, June, and Gil has a big role in the story. It was good and bad. The good is that it was done sensitively and without any bias. You could also tell that the characters all loved each other greatly. It wasn’t developed in a rush, and June and Gil are understandably unsure of what their relationship is with Enki. The bad is that it sometimes annoyed me. I wanted there to be more focus on the world and events happening.

The Summer Prince is definitely one of my favorite dystopian novels thus far. It is a unique novel that should be recognized. I highly recommend it!

*An advanced copy was provided for review by the publisher via Netgalley

The Crimson Hunt by Victoria H. Smith: review

The Crimson Hunt (Eldaen Light Chronicles, #1)The Crimson Hunt by Victoria H. Smith

Series: Eldaen Light Chronicles #1

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Age Group: New Adult

Genre: Romance, Science Fiction

Publisher: Self Published

Release Date: November 8th 2012

Synopsis: College junior Ariel Richmond is working on year three of Project Normalcy.

Her house reeks of keggers past and her bestie is just a slight bit vulgar. But the thing is—they both aid in making life refreshingly uneventful.

So much for hard-earned mediocrity when Luca Grinaldi appears on the scene.

Luca’s sudden presence on campus is hard to ignore. Those bright eyes act like a beacon to unsuspecting females, and with features like his, he’s got to be moonlighting for GQ. Luca hopelessly captivates Ariel with his confidence and charisma, but the mysteries surrounding him make him nearly untouchable. And just when Ariel grows close enough to unlock his secrets, a tragic event sends her life in a downward spiral.

That steady life is no longer an option and allies quickly become scarce. The mysterious Luca seems to be the only one willing to help her—but with that trust comes the burden of his secrets. He has a dark mission of otherworldly proportions, and is willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes to see it completed.

Gone are the days of simply maintaining normalcy, and if Ariel isn’t cautious with her trust, so soon may be her future.

My Thoughts

Warning: this review is kind of rambly

Victoria H. Smith’s The Crimson Hunt is a good solid start to a series that has great potential. This book does have its flaws but Smith has written some very, very good things in this story. Let us get more into detail.

I will say that The Crimson Hunt has a slow beginning. Not a boring beginning but it is slow. It had the feel of a contemporary novel. But after getting through the slow beginning, things start to take off, and the reader is treated with a delicious read. The story becomes more dark and sinister and exciting and mysterious. It becomes something that I couldn’t stop reading.

When I said Smith’s story has great potential I meant it. She has a great idea and I can’t wait to see how she develops it. I can’t tell you what that great idea is since it would be a big, fat spoilery spoiler but I will say that it seemed like a interesting take on the science fiction genre to me. Though I am not the most avid reader is the genre so that is up to you.

It is when we start talking about the characters when I start pointing out the flaws of this book. There are some characters I really loved like the main character Ariel and her best friend Piper. Ariel was a subdued protagonist and she fitted well into the story. She is kind and tries her best. She can also be very brave when she wanted. Piper was loud and wild, and I loved her for that. She can talk a bit vulgar at times but I found her to be quite admirable.

But then there are some characters that aren’t remarkable at all. I felt that Luca is a bit bland and not very easy to feel for. The side characters were likeable but only that. There was one side character that truly stood out to me and that was Bailey, the girl with the red hair. I felt an unexpected kinship with her.

I also thought that the beginning stages of Ariel and Luca’s relationship to be a bit silly. This is mostly because of Ariel’s constant rambles about how hot Luca was and how he made her legs turn to jelly. Ariel does get better in the middle of the book so keep that in mind 🙂

Overall, The Crimson Hunt is worth reading and is a good start to a series. I can not wait to see what Smith will do next. I believe this series to be promising and that it can only get better!

*This post is part of The Crimson Hunt Blog Tour. An advanced copy was provided in exchange for a honest review.

Stitch by Samantha Durante: review + giveaway

Stitch (Stitch Trilogy, #1)Stitch by Samantha Durante

Series: Stitch Trilogy #1

My rating: 4 Stars

Age Group: Young Adult

Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction

Publisher: Samantha Durante(self-published)

Release Date: August 1st 2012

Synopsis: Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa’s body screams at her to run… but yet she’s powerless to move.

Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees – and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell – Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.

Because what Alessa hasn’t figured out yet is that she’s not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university’s idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface…

The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.

My thoughts: I was really surprised with Stitch. At first, I really couldn’t get into it. I found it to be slow. But at some point something clicked. Reading Stitch started to get more enjoyable. The book started to get more exciting. There was suspense. I was getting pulled in and after a while I was glued to my seat. I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

The story flowed through different genres. It went from being a paranormal story to a science fiction story to a dystopian story. So, I guess, you could say that the changing of genres made the story a little more than unpredictable. I am not saying that the constant changing of genres was a bad thing. In fact, Durante was able to pull it off well. She was able to make the different genres flow together very nicely.

I loved how Durante was able to make the world she created not what it seemed. Behind the peaceful college life Alessa has been living is something really frightening and sinister. I couldn’t get enough of the world the author created. It was very different from many things I have read before.

The characters were all likeable. The interactions they had with each other felt real. The same goes for the relationships. Whether it be love, friendship, or admiration, the dynamics between the characters were interesting to read about.

The writing in Stitch was easy to read. Durante’s prose was well in control. Not to flowery but still able to help the reader visualize the characters and their surroundings. The narrative was also good as well.

Do I have any quibbles? Of course I do. As I have said in the beginning of this review, I thought that the beginning was a bit slow. There are also some time jumps throughout the book that confused me at first. And then there was one scene that just annoyed me.

Have you ever read a book in which a couple was being chased down and they just decide to kiss, wasting crucial seconds that could have made a difference in their survival? Well, this is what happens in Stitch. I was internally screaming at the two characters to stop kissing and start running. It was only one brief scene but it annoyed me, nonetheless.

Despite the flaws that Stitch has I would recommend this book. It is exciting and very readable. There is a lot to love about this book and I have no doubt that this will appeal to lovers of sci-fi and dystopia. The book ends with a cliffhanger and I can not wait to get my hands on the next book 🙂

*An advanced copy was given to me by the publisher in order to review it for this blog tour.

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And All The Stars by Andrea K. Höst: review

And All the StarsAnd All The Stars by Andrea K. Höst

Standalone

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Age Group: Young Adult

Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Dystopian

Publisher: Andrea K. Höst (Self-published)

Release Date: September 30th 2012

Synopsis: Come for the apocalypse.
Stay for cupcakes.
Die for love.

Madeleine Cost is working to become the youngest person ever to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. Her elusive cousin Tyler is the perfect subject: androgynous, beautiful, and famous. All she needs to do is pin him down for the sittings.

None of her plans factored in the Spires: featureless, impossible, spearing into the hearts of cities across the world – and spraying clouds of sparkling dust into the wind.

Is it an alien invasion? Germ warfare? They are questions everyone on Earth would like answered, but Madeleine has a more immediate problem. At Ground Zero of the Sydney Spire, beneath the collapsed ruin of St James Station, she must make it to the surface before she can hope to find out if the world is ending.

My thoughts: With the promise of cupcakes I began reading this book without really knowing what to expect. In the end, though, And All The Stars exceeded my expectations. Höst was able to keep me turning the pages, wanting more. I would say that And All Stars has a dose of almost everything. Science fiction, romance, action, superpowers, great characters, and emotional scenes. And there are cupcakes.

Cupcakes…The universe couldn’t live without them.

I am serious. This book has a lot of baking in it. Lots and lots of baking. It made me hungry just reading this book.

Madeleine Cost is a skilled artist, aspiring to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. She plans to paint the portrait of her cousin, Tyler, the handsome, famous actor. However, Madeleine’s plans quickly change when the world is suddenly covered in glittering dust.

What surprised me the most is that this story was set in present time. Most science fiction novels I read are set far into the future. This allowed me to focus more on the actual apocalypse instead of trying to learn more about the world. This book is also set in Australia! The place that I dream of going to! So yay!

The author has a talent for creating loveable, relateable, and humorous characters. I couldn’t get enough of the Blue Musketeers. Madeleine, Noi, Pan, Fisher, Nash, Emily, and Min were easy characters to read about. I really loved how they were able to support each other and work together. The friendship between the Musketeers is quite refreshing.

Now. If you want a fast paced story filled with action than you might want to stay away from this book. And All The Stars is about survival and trying to take down your enemies. It is slow and it takes a lot of time for the excitement to build up. Did this take away from my enjoyment of the book? No. I liked how this story didn’t rush itself to be exciting. This story had substance. Besides, even with its slow pacing And All The Stars is still a very entertaining novel. The characters make sure of that.

I was also surprised how emotional this book made me. This book made me cry! Some scenes made me so emotional that I had to set down my kindle and take a break. And even when I wasn’t reading this book I felt really sad.

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The romance in this book is the kind of romance that takes it time to build up. Madeleine and Fisher’s relationship went from just being attracted to each other to love in a realistic amount of time.

And All The Stars is not just an alien book. It is a book with substance. I highly recommend it.

An advanced copy was provided in exchange for a honest review via Netgalley.