Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Ready Player One


Author: Ernest Cline

Length: 374 pages

Synopsis: The year is 2045 and Earth has been completely messed up by climate change and bad humanitarian issues (wars, famine, poverty, etc.). That’s why people seek sanctuary in the OASIS. Created by James Halliday, the OASIS is a completely realistic virtual world which is an entire new creation one can explore and live in. With thousands upon thousands of planets which feature regular everyday planets like Earth and everyday jobs and activities to supernatural places where one can be a magician and destroy monsters with magic, the OASIS is an escape from the troubles in the real world. After Halliday dies, he leaves his inheritance (billions of dollars) as well as the entire OASIS to the person who finds the Easter Egg he has planted within the OASIS. In order to find this Easter Egg, one has to solve clues and find three keys throughout this gigantic universe. Wade Watts is our main protagonist and he is one of the “gunters” who is on the hunt for this Easter Egg. 

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ stars
Oh my goodness this book was fan-fricking-TASTIC!!! I swear, I still have a book hangover from reading this. I cannot remember the last time I read a page turner like this. I just absolutely could not for the life of me put this book down, that’s how good it was! 

This entire universe was just so perfectly constructed and the concept of the OASIS was just incredibly compelling and fascinating, I simply had to devour every piece of information I was given about it. I absolutely loved the way that Cline was able to write about the OASIS in a way that really made you forget about the “real world”, just like Wade did. The author managed to keep a perfect balance between the immense materialistic wealth, success and power that the OASIS was able to offer up to its occupants and the urgency of the current crisis happening in the non-OASIS world, including IOI.

I found both the plot as well as the dynamics between the main characters incredibly strong. Aech, Art3mis, Shoto, Daito, etc. were all great and individual characters. And strangely enough, while I didn’t get most of the 80s pop culture references, I still found each aspect of the Hunt to be interesting and none of it was off-putting at all (unlike apparently some other readers who found the constant reference to tv shows, video games and movies to be overkill – uhm hello? this is MEANT to be about 80s pop culture and video games galore? go read a different book…sheesh). 

Spoilers ahead! 

I also really loved how the plot always kept me on my toes when reading. I honestly thought that Wade would be the first one to pass all gates until the very end, but I loved how there was that one part in the book when Wade kind of goes off the deep end (after Art3mis “breaking up” with him) and actually misses out on the second key, the second gate AND the third key. It really did set the pressure high and made you realize that even the best heroes all have their downfalls for short periods of time. It made Wade very relatable and more human, which I appreciated.

Art3mis and Wade were just too adorable together. I love what a badass, intelligent, kick-ass girl she was. The fact that Wade had a massive internet crush on her was just incredibly sweet (and quite relatable haha) and made me ship them very much. Despite his “obsession” over her, I liked how the book never made Wade’s longing over her to be problematic or predatory. Sure, he pines over her when she calls it quits, but who wouldn’t? She handled herself very well and he ended up respecting the distance she wanted to put between the two of them, which I found admirable. What I also really loved was how Wade explained how he was falling in love with her mind rather than what she might have looked like in real life. 

I also really apprecaited the way that Aech was revealed (although unfortunately I was spoiled for that while I was looking up the cast for the movie). What I appreciated most about it was how Wade and Aech were able to connect and still recognize one another intimately from the OASIS even though Aech turned out to look completely differently in real life than in the game. I loved how Wade spoke about making a deep connection with a friend because of who they are inside and not how they look. 

Overall, this book was just unputdownable. It was so good and I would absolutely recommend anyone (especially those who love video games) to go pick it up! This book has definitely been added to one of my favorite books of all time. 

Non-Spoiler review of Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles #1) – L. Penelope

Song of Blood & Stone

Author: L. Penelope

Length: 384 pages

Publication Date: May 1st 2018

Synopsis: In this world, everything was brought to life by the Earthsingers, whose Songs produce magic and life. The nation has been split into two regions, Lagrimara (home to the powerful dark-skinned Earthsingers) and Elsira (a world dominated by xenophobic Elsirans who shun the Earthsingers and call them evil). Both of these regions are at war with one another, the tyrannical True King of the Lagrimari trying to conquer the Elsiran region, with many Lagrimari on the run from this evil king. Our main protagonist, Jasminda, is half Lagrimari and half Elsiran, and is also a third-generation Earthsinger. Shunned by the people in her region, she tries to live a quiet life by herself on her farm. However, one day she meets a man named Jack and her life is forever changed. 

 ★ 1/2 stars

Trigger warning: There is one scene where an attempted rape happens. 

I absolutely adored the world in this book. The Earthsingers and their history were probably the most fascinating and well-written part of Song of Blood & Stone. The short excerpts from the native folklore tales in front of each chapters also succeeded at adding additional depth to the history and world that L. Penelope has created and I found them to be incredibly witty and interesting. For example:

“Never give a gift with your eyes closed, said the Master of Sharks to the rich man. For you may part with more than you intend.” 

Jasminda was a really admirable protagonist. I loved how intelligent she was, especially at the beginning of the book when she had to outsmart a handful of men who showed up unannounced at her house (e.g. mixing herbs into their tea to prevent rape). I was also very proud of what a strong woman she was with all of the tough ordeals she had to push through, including a horrible dose of xenophobia. She never backed down from standing up for herself, and also what she believed to be right. Jack was also a very interesting character, but I felt like I wasn’t able to connect with his person as much as I was with Jasminda. 

Unfortunately, I’m taking off a star and a half off this rating for a number of reasons. The first one being that some of the plot was overly predictable and cliche. For example, those “tests” that Jasminda had to go through as well as the identity of the True King. At the beginning of the book, parts of the story left me a tad confused, having to backtrack a couple of pages in order to clear up certain things that weren’t clearly explained. The plot itself also seemed to drag on a little bit at the beginning of the novel. Then, when the midpoint of the book was reached, the plot sped up waaay too fast. By the end of the book, I felt like the author had crammed a whole novel’s worth of information into that last fifty percent of the story. The entire ending felt incredibly rushed and it almost felt like the book was trying to reach a happy ending as soon as possible rather than produce great quality writing.

What I did really appreciate though, was how accurately this book seemed to mirror specific issues that our society is facing today. The Lagrimari, as well as Jasminda, being naturally dark-skinned, faced a lot of hatred, racism and xenophobia. The refugees in Elsira were treated absolutely horrifically and it broke my heart when I had to read through those specific passages. I think it’s great that books like these are raising awareness to these problems and will hopefully spread a positive message which will inspire many to fight for love and peace for all. Not only that, but I loved the representation in this book, including a biracial main character (Jasminda), many other people of color as well as an adorable lesbian couple. 

I did enjoy my read of this book, but overall I felt like this novel did fall short of being the amazing story which the world and the overall plot definitely could have attained. I still think this is a great read and would recommend anyone who enjoys fantastic world-building, wants to see a strong female lead and doesn’t mind certain book tropes playing out. I will definitely pick up the next book though!

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Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradburry

Fahrenheit 451


Ray Bradburry


159 pages


Synopsis: Guy Montag lives in a futuristic society where banned books are burned. He himself is a fireman, a person who is responsible for doing just that. However one day, he meets a girl named Clarisse who challenges him to question things and changes his life forever. 


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★ ★ stars

I had really high hopes for this book. Like, really high hopes. And while the premise, and general idea of this novel was incredibly interesting and full of potential, unfortunately I didn’t like this book at all. 

First off, I absolutely didn’t like Guy at all. He was an incredibly boring protagonist and I just personally couldn’t relate to anything he did. I do understand that Montag lives in a society where basically everyone is discouraged from having any original thoughts whatsoever, and that his personality and thoughts would have been incredibly influenced by that, I would have expected this to change once Montag started being a “Rebel”. 

On top of that, the writing was incredibly confusing and also just generally not very well written. Some words and quotes were absolutely amazing and absolutely quotable, and I did really appreciate and savor those moments. However, the general sentence structures used in this book felt incredibly choppy, and for a good part of reading it, I actually thought that Fahrenheit 451 was actually originally written in a foreign language and then translated into English. 

Spoilers ahead.


The concept of the book was really interesting though. So much could have been done with it, but I felt incredibly disappointed and let down with the plot. The characters were also extremely one-dimensional, even the ones at the end who were technically supposed to be the “thinkers” and “readers” or whatever. 

I did really like Clarisse though. She was the most interesting character by far, and I was incredibly disappointed when I found out that she had been killed. For a good part of the book, I hoped that maybe she had escaped as well, and had gone to live with the other rebels as well, but nope. 

Faking Normal – Courtney C. Stevens

Faking Normal

Courtney C. Stevens

336 pages


Synopsis: Alexi is your average high school girl. Or so all of her friends and her family think. Behind her nonchalant facade and supposedly normal life, she is struggling to deal with something very bad that happened over the summer. She can’t stop scratching the back of her neck until she bleeds, trying to make her physical body hurt more than she does on the inside. 

On top of that, she is sending messages to a mysterious guy in the school and she has no idea who he is. This book is about Lex’s struggles, her healing, her recovery and standing up for her own rights. 

★ ★ ★ ★ stars

SPOILERS




Likes:

  • Really gripping from the middle onwards to the end
  • The culprit’s identity was kept a secret even though I kept thinking I knew who it was
  • Bodee and Alexi were literally the cutest

Dislikes:
  • Strange dialogue at times (confusing)
  • Kaylee was annoying af
  • Slow to get into at first
  • Not a perfect resolution at the end

First off, I would like to point out that I don’t personally consider this a mental health book. When I first heard about Faking Normal, it was presented as a mental illness book, and I guess it is to a very very small extent (Alexi having PTSD about her abuse) but on the whole, I would more just consider this a YA contemporary with abuse and PTSD as the underlying theme. 

What I really appreciated about this book was just how well the author managed to confuse me about who exactly the culprit was. At first, I thought that it was so obviously Collie. But I was actually pretty shocked when I found out it was Craig. Actually, it had already become a bit more obvious to me towards the end, but in general Courtney just did an amazing job at keeping it a mystery and keeping me on my toes.

This was also extremely noticeable when it came to the Desk Guy (or Captain Lyric guy or whatever he’s named). At first I thought it was definitely Bodee but then I did have a period of time when I did actually believe it was Hayden (even though I was still rooting for it being Bodee). So then, when I came to the end of the book, it made it all the sweeter to find that yes, it was actually Bodee (yippee!)

What I also really appreciated about this book was that it touched up on a very touchy yet important subject in rape culture – which is that even if a girl doesn’t explicitly says “no”, RAPE IS STILL RAPE. I cannot stress how important it is for people to know this. There are way too many people out there, who consider “not saying ‘no'” an explicit sign of consent. No. Just no. You wanna know what consent is? It’s exactly what went on between Alexi and Bodee. The two of them together were just absolutely adorable and a great example of what giving and receiving consent is all about. 

Now while we’re on the topic, since I thankfully haven’t experienced rape of any kind, I don’t really know whether the way Alexi and her feelings and thoughts were represented are an accurate or a good representation of rape survivors. I do know and appreciate that at the end of the book, Courtney seems to say that she has put her research into Alexi’s background as well as her appendix where she mentions how to get help and more. However, I am open to hearing disagreements about her representation, and I can only base my opinion of this book on the limited knowledge and experience that I have. 

It took a while for me to get into the writing style and the book in general. It was only after I reached about the midway point where I really got into reading it, and I couldn’t put it down. I think that at the beginning, the plot was just a tiny bit repetitive and the writing just took a while for me to get into. It just didn’t flow as nicely, as for example in Otherworld which was the previous book that I had read, which is also one of the reasons I took off 1 star off this book. 

But oh boy, this book made me feel things. I was literally in tears by the end of it. I felt sadness for Alexi, anger over how annoying Kaylee was and how much I hated what Craig did and I felt such a love for Bodee. 

Let me know what your thoughts were on this book if you already read it. I would love to discuss!!

~ Leandra


Otherworld #1: Otherworld – Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller | REVIEW

Otherworld

Goodreads Link

Authors: Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

Length: 355 pages

“The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.

Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.

And it’s about to change humanity forever.
Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.”


★ ★ ★ ★ stars

This was my first read for the Winter Biannual Bibliothon. If you would like to check out my TBR and general updates to follow (as well as the reviews I will be posting on the books I am reading during the Bibliothon, please take a quick peek at my Channel). 



Pros:
  • The concept of Otherworld
  • Basically all of the scenes in Otherworld
  • The plot (like 75% of the time) – really gripping
  • Carole!!!
  • The general idea of this books
  • Funny (but see below)

Cons: 
  • Simon was a bit strange at times
  • Over the top references to sex, orgies, etc. 
  • Sometimes the humor was just trying too hard (just my opinion though)
  • A bit too predictable
  • The ending
  • The last part of the ending

The entire premise and idea that this book hinged on – the Otherworld – was probably one of the most fascinating concepts that I have ever read in a YA book. (Now, granted, I haven’t read books like Ready Player One yet, so maybe it’s just because I just generally haven’t read a lot of books about things like VR yet). And while I did really like this book, unfortunately, some of the aspects of this book ended up feeling a bit strange.

Simon was a pretty likable character at the beginning of the book. I found him pretty funny – even if his jokes were a bit crude. But after a while, I have to say that I got a bit sick of his constant uncaring, vulgar attitude. I generally thought that his personality was quite uninteresting, besides his background with his parents and all of that. I generally found the side characters a lot more interesting than Simon himself, like Carole, Busara, Kat and Gorog. But I did incredibly enjoy the story between Simon and Kat, how they met, what happened, even just generally learning about Simon’s family situation was incredibly interesting.

The entire concept of Otherworld was fascinating to me. I greedily devoured all of the chapters that set place in  the Otherworld and generally found myself reading the ones that were in the “real world” a bit faster and less focused. Furthermore, the idea of what would happen if we let the human race decide for themselves what morals to pick and choose and basically give anyone unhindered access to whatever they want (including murder, gluttony, glorified sexual objectification, cannibalism, colorful varieties of sexual immorality of any kind or just any kind of unending access to greed and power) is an entirely interesting concept. I think this book did a great job at showing the weakness that humans face when they are lured into power and pleasures offered to them without any limits. This entire premise (which obviously also inspired a lot of other books) is an incredibly thought-provoking idea to pursue in my opinion.

SPOILERS AHEAD


Sadly, I found the storyline to be a tiny bit predictable in certain areas. I’m not talking about specific scenes, like when the group was going through the different realms, but just the general overarching plot, with the Company being behind all of these alleged “locked-in syndrome” cases and the Otherworld basically being a gateway drug to evil incarnate. I wasn’t expecting Wayne to be behind the entire thing though. And while I was right in saying that Magna would turn out to be Milo (which I fucking called right at the beginning of this book…am I great at predications or what??) I didn’t expect Milo to actually be just as much of a victim as the rest of the addicted guests. There were also a lot of plot points that I totally did not see coming at first, like the comas happening in the first place. When Simon entered the Otherworld to follow Kat, certain things became quite obvious to me pretty fast, but up until that point I was pretty surprised by some of it.

And oh my sweet Lord, I did not expect them to KILL CAROLE??? I got so upset. She was by far my favorite character in the whole book. She was exactly the kind of strong, badass woman that I want from any book and they fucking killed her OFF. What. Not cool. To be fair though, thanks to them totally unfairly killing her off, I did end up taking this book a bit more seriously. Up until that point, I didn’t realize that it was going to be one of those books where the author would end up killing basically one of the main character but boy was I wrong.

Another thing that only slightly bothered me was just the amounts of times things like sex or orgies were mentioned. Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m not some sort of prude. I’m all for a sex-positive books, but it just seemed a bit too much by the end. Like, we fucking get it, the Otherworld is full of orgies. *eyeroll* And again, I am all for sexual empowerment, but some of the things said did come off as entirely objectifying. Oh and orgies are completely gross (and unsanitary) in my opinion, so no thank you.

Now, maybe this was just me, but the ending was just incredibly weird in my opinion. It might have been because I was reading through it fairly quickly, but a lot of it seemed confusing and incoherent at the time that I was reading it. It seemed hard to tell who the “bad guys” were and who exactly was on Simon’s side. An example of this would be Martin, who seemed to at first be on Simon’s team, helping him out to a certain degree, but then at the end posed a great threat, almost killing Simon and all of his friends. My brain was just way too confused at that point. And also that, the final ending (the last few pages of this book) just didn’t really keep me hooked and didn’t entirely convince me to read the next book. I definitely will though, but if we’re speaking strictly literary talent, those last few pages just really didn’t grip me and entice me with the next book. 

What I did really enjoy though was the writing. It seemed really easy to read and flowed fairly easily when I was reading it and was generally an enjoyable aspect to the book. 

What I didn’t know coming into this book though, was that this is only the first book in a series. I’m unsure how many books will still be coming out, though. I went into this book 100% believing it was gonna be a standalone and I have to say that I was fairly disappointed when I realized that there were actually going to be sequels. Which is really weird, because usually I’m super pumped for more books. I’m not entirely sure why I feel this way, but I feel like this book would have served nicely as a standalone and I fear that subsequent books will just go into that whole “anti-government, revolutionize the world and bring justice and peace” genre that we see so often in dystopian novels. (Not that I have anything against such books, but again, it’s not what I was expecting or hoping from this book). 

Anyway, let me know what y’all thought of this book if you have read it. I would love to hear your thoughts! 

The Fellowship of the Ring #2: the Ring Goes South – J.R.R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring: the Ring Goes South

Goodreads Link

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Length: 576 pages

“Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power – the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring – the ring that rules them all – which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s great work of imaginative fiction has been labelled both a heroic romance and a classic fantasy fiction. By turns comic and homely, epic and diabolic, the narrative moves through countless changes of scene and character in an imaginary world which is totally convincing in its detail.”

* * * * *

Note: I will be reviewing this book in two parts. The Fellowship of the Ring actually consists of two books, The Ring Sets Out and The Ring Goes South. Because of this, I thought it would be smarter to review each book (or part) of this book separately. Also, because Lord of the Rings, being an epic fantasy novel is quite long and rich, reviewing the parts separately will allow me to get a bit of a “breather” and hopefully maximise my reading enjoyment! 
★ ★ ★ ★ stars

Much to my dismay, I didn’t enjoy this second part of The Fellowship of the Ring more than the first part as I had hoped and expected. I was really hoping to get more “juice” out of the plot, but alas, it just seemed to drag along just as it did in the first part, even worse, in fact.

I will say this again: Tolkien has amazing writing. The book is written poetically and beautifully. Yet I do feel that because Tolkien just spends so much time describing scenery and illustrating long periods of time where there is no dialogue, no plot and no movement, it just comes off as a bit boring. 

I now have come to the conclusion that the way to go with The Lord of the Rings is to read small sections of the book and spread it out as much as possible. Ideally interspacing those sections with other books. Unfortunately, because I was trying to get the book finished relatively soon and because I ended up putting off all of the other books I was reading until I was done, I just felt like it dragged. And boy did it drag. But again, just because I can admit that parts of this book are not perfectly tailored to my reading style (short attention span, generally not much interest in learning songs…) that doesn’t mean that I can’t still see the genius and greatness of this book and it doesn’t mean that I didn’t really enjoy my time reading. 

The history, and the stories and the songs and just everything is just so rich. And I really, really, appreciate it. I do and because of that, I really did love this book. It is quite unfortunate that the dialogue seems lacking however, because whenever the characters did speak, I devoured each individual word. The way that Tolkien animates his characters (in manner and speech) is incredibly fascinating. Each character is originally and personally crafted, as if Tolkien infused each person with a small spirit of uniqueness, abundant in history, folklore, knowledge and personality. 

But again, I do have to say that unfortunately, because of my limited attention span and boredom limit, I do like the movies a lot better. They are the perfect depiction of this fantastic world and story that Tolkien has created and manages to both keep the plot going a bit faster and yet still captures this amazing book which is the genius genesis of Middle Earth. 

I will definitely be reading on, but I also think that for a couple of weeks at least, I need to go on a bit of a high fantasy reading break. 

The Beauchamp Family #1: Witches of East End – Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of East End

Goodreads Link

Author: Mellisa de la Cruz

Length: 272 pages

“The three Beauchamp women–Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid–live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret–they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there’s Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it’s time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.”


★ ★ 1/2 stars

Spoilers

Pros
– The magic
– The main characters
– The buildup
– Tyler

Cons
– Romantifying cheating
– The Norse mythology which came out of nowhere (?!) 
– The ending
– Any character that was not either one of the three main witches and Tyler 

This book was quite alright, it was ok, but to be quite frank, it wasn’t anything beyond that either. I felt as though the writing was quite average, in my opinion and for some darn reason, I just could not remember the character names. Maybe it was because the characters were generally quite unremarkable (besides the main ones) or whether I get super tripped up as soon as surnames get added into the mix, but for whatever reason, it made reading this book quite difficult. 

I also think that this book took a bit of an unexpected and not so great turn in the end, when it suddenly switched from being about witches to being all about Norse mythology and its gods. Now to be fair, I do know that the Wiccan religion and culture does center a lot around religions and “gods” in general, but it just didn’t really fit the tone of the book and was quite anticlimactic. Not to mention the fact that I just did not understand what was really going on. 

And also, while I absolutely hate Bran, and while I do understand the whole “universal pull” between Freya and Killian, I do not and will never be happy with main characters cheating on someone. So, a big yes to Freya/Killian but a big no-no to how it all came about. 

I’m on the fence about whether I want to continue on with this series. The epilogue did kind of pique my interest, but not quite enough that I don’t mind putting it off for another later time. 

Legend #3: Champion – Marie Lu

Champion

Goodreads Link

Author: Marie Lu


Length: 369 pages


He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.”


★ ★ ★ 1/2 stars


Spoilers


Likes

– The ending (it managed to get me on the Day/June ship for once)

– The cool point idea that Marie Lu integrated into Antarctica  

Dislikes
– It was still super hard to differentiate between June and Day’s POV
– The plot seemed slow in the middle of the book


I’m afraid to say that Champion was in my opinion the weakest book in the series. I think the reason for that was because the plot just seemed to drag along quite a bit. I was also just a tiny bit disappointed that June didn’t end up staying with Anden. I mean, I totally get that the two of them weren’t exactly made to be soulmates (which apparently June and Day are *eyeroll* ).
The ending was utter perfection though and it did make me tear up quite a bit. And although I’m not the biggest June/Day shipper, I am glad that it left the readers with a sense of hope for their future relationship.
Other than that, I’m really afraid to say that not much else of the book ended up standing out to me. It seemed like a very typical dystopian-we-gotta-fight-back-and-stand-up-for-freedom type of a book so it didn’t leave the biggest impression on me.

I am incredibly glad though that both Eden and Tess ended up being ok in the end. I also really hope that Tess and Eden end up together (am I the only one thinking that??). 




Legend #2: Prodigy – Marie Lu

Prodigy

Goodreads Link

Author: Marie Lu

Length: 371 pages

“Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?”




4 ¼ STARS  ★ ★

Spoilers Ahead

Likes
– Plot twists
– Anden
– Kaede


Dislikes
– Day and June’s supposed “romance”, ugh
– Day and June always figuring everything out together 
– Still not really being able to tell the difference between the POVs

I really enjoyed this book, more than Legend, actually. I felt like the twists and turns really made this book, especially the bigger “reveal” about Anden and his true character. I was really rooting for him throughout the whole book, especially when June got to spend some time with him. I can also see that this is going to turn into one huge love triangle. 


I still can’t really get on board the Day and June ship though. (Dune? Jay?). I’m not entirely sure what it is, but I’m really not feeling it. I feel like they’ve got zero chemistry (maybe that’s just me though) and honestly, June would be way better off with Anden. 

What really did shock me was that the Patriots ended up being the “bad” guys. I mean, I wouldn’t have been super surprised if the Patriots (while not in league with the Republicans) would have turned out to be just as manipulative as the Republic (a la President Coin from the Hunger Games) but I really did not see that coming, so kudos. 

But…Kaede dying was something I just could not handle. My heart broke into a thousand little pieces when she sacrificed herself for the others. The bravery and selflessness of what she did was just too much – she is the true hero of the story. 

The one thing that I think was one of the things that could have been done better was the way that Day and June both found things out. It seemed that they almost always came to the same realizations (like, Razor being evil) at the same time (from their differing POVs though but still). It would have been a bit more exciting if there would have maybe been a little bit more tension between the two of them (like, Day not seeing June’s signal immediately) but other than that, this book was pretty fabulous.