REVIEW: The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

thespacebetweenThe Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
Razorbill, 2011
[Goodreads] [Book Depository]

Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped – and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie’s whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

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The Space Between is the second book by Brenna Yovanoff that I’ve read, and while I was pretty sure I could add her to my list of favorite authors after reading Paper Valentine, I can now say with complete certainty that she’s definitely found her way onto my list. Before I really get into a review of the book itself, I just really need to praise the author’s ability to weave an engrossing story full of mood and description and gorgeous prose. I am still not completely over my reading slump that I’ve been embroiled in for far too long, but this book at least gave me that spark or desire to actually pick it up and read it, which is pretty high praise considering where my mental state has been of late. I just really loved the way this story came together and the way it was presented; if you want something that’s going to grab hold of you and make you sit up and notice, then The Space Between is definitely for you.

First off, this book tackles the not-so-unique idea of angels and demons, but it does so in a completely new way. Yes there are fallen angels, but it’s not your typical YA paranormal fare. Trust me, this is no Hush, Hush. Daphne, our main protagonist, is the daughter of Lucifer (yes, that one) and Lilith, who has lived her entire life in the city of Pandemonium, or Hell. Daphne’s only pleasure comes from her brother, Obie, and her teacher, Beezelbub. Her existence is marred by the sameness of her daily life, up until her brother tells her he’s leaving Hell and then promptly goes missing. Daphne then takes it upon herself to find him, and to do so goes to Earth to enlist the help of the only mortal she “knows”: Truman Flynn. Truman, however, has his own issues, in that he’s the child of a human and a fallen angel and has faced his own traumas and ordeals and isn’t exactly someone who’s in the best place to help Daphne do anything.

And yet, their relationship just works. Daphne really struggles to be better than her sisters, who use humans for their own needs, and Truman manages to pull himself together enough to provide her with the support she needs to continue her seemingly fruitless search for her brother. I just really loved watching the two of them come together first as friends and then as more, and found the way their interactions were written to be truly spectacular. There’s also an inherent darkness pervading this book, because Daphne’s sisters are disappearing and turning up dead at the hands (or claws) of Dark Dreadful, who’s been unleashed by Azrael to purge the world of demons. I also loved the way the mythology of Lucifer and Lilith and Azrael was weaved into the existing story of Daphne and Truman; combining everything together like that just really made for a rich, complete story that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.

The Space Between is basically everything I could want from a YA paranormal. I loved nearly every single thing about it, but most of all I loved Daphne’s strength and determination, and her slowly-growing love for Truman (and his for her). She’s not your typical YA heroine, but she’s definitely one of my favorites!

4.5stars

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Waiting on Wednesday #77

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I’m Waiting on Wednesday for Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times by Emma Trevayne (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers):

flightsandchimesTen-year-old Jack Foster has stepped through a doorway and into quite a different London.

Londinium is a smoky, dark, and dangerous place, home to mischievous metal fairies and fearsome clockwork dragons that breathe scalding steam. The people wear goggles to protect their eyes, brass grill insets in their nostrils to filter air, or mechanical limbs to replace missing ones.

Over it all rules the Lady, and the Lady has demanded a new son—a perfect flesh-and-blood child. She has chosen Jack.

Jack’s wonder at the magic and steam-powered marvels in Londinium lasts until he learns he is the pawn in a very dangerous game. The consequences are deadly, and his only hope of escape, of returning home, lies with a legendary clockwork bird.

The Gearwing grants wishes. Or it did, before it was broken. Before it was killed.

But some things don’t stay dead forever.

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Why I’m looking forward to this book:

Middle-Grade steampunk? Yes, please! Honestly, I’ve been in such a reading slump that things I usually would have loved to read have been falling flat or failing to pique my interest at all. I actually don’t usually go for steampunk, but this one sounds really good, and considering that MG books have become something of a go-to for me personally, I am hopeful that this will live up to my expectations. And that cover! How awesome is that?

Release Date: May 13, 2014

What are you waiting on this week? Please link me!

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Top Ten “Gateway” Books/Authors In My Reading Journey

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers there at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is an interesting one, mostly because I am definitely a reader who chronicles her firsts and I also definitely have those books and/or authors that have made a huge impact on my reading history. I also find it fascinating to hear about other readers’ “firsts”, if you will, so I’m looking forward to popping by everyone’s blogs to see their lists!

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hphardcovers

Harry Potter is probably going to be on a lot of lists this week. This was the first series that really reached in and grabbed hold of me; I was all about Harry and his world for a pretty good amount of time. HP was my first fannish experience: it allowed me to get to know like-minded people from all over the world via forums, websites, mailing lists, etc. I attended my first ever fan convention thanks to HP, and had an absolute blast. So I can definitely say that this series was a life-changer; even though my love for HP has waned a bit, it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

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percyjacksonbooks

I’ve already waxed poetically about my love for Percy Jackson, so I won’t do that here and now. Suffice it to say that I adore this character to pieces, and it was thanks to this series that I became fully invested in MG books.

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lunarchroniclesI really drug my heels when it came to reading Cinder. I was just really uncertain about the entire concept, because while I love fairy tale retellings, a sci-fi retelling was something totally different. But Marissa Meyer convinced me that this is indeed a genre I can enjoy. Good thing, too, because if she hadn’t I never would have read These Broken Stars, which was one of my favorites from last year!

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bloodofeden

After Twilight, I was really rather done with vampires. But then I read The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, and thought that perhaps I could go ahead and give them one more shot. I’m glad I did, because I liked The Eternity Cure even more, and am definitely looking forward to the final book, The Forever Song. I love the dark, grittiness of the world presented here, and am just really glad that she Kagawa did vampires right.

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Contemporary was never really my go-to genre (and it still isn’t, if I’m going to be honest), but Confessions of An Angry Girl really grabbed hold of me and made me realize just what I was missing out on by continuing to turn up my nose at contemporary YA. While I will always have a huge fondness for fantasy, and it will still probably always be the genre I default to when picking books, it was thanks to these two books that I’ve started to slowly add more contemporary into my reading lists.

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grishatrilogy

Upon finishing Siege and Storm last year, this series immediately shot to the top of my list whenever people asked for recommendations. I am forever touting the amazingness that is this series, and I’m sure Ruin and Rising will be no different from its predecessors. This is easily the best YA fantasy series I have ever read, and possibly the best YA series. I’m sure there aren’t too many folks out there in the blogosphere who haven’t read these books yet, but if you haven’t, you are seriously missing out!

I’m sure there are other books that I could put on this list, but these are the ones that came to mind first and have definitely had the biggest impact on my reading journey. However, I would LOVE to see which books and/or authors you chose this week, so do please link me in the comments! I will try to pop by and visit everyone over the next couple of days.

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REVIEW: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

perfectruinPerfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles #1)
by Lauren DeStefano

Simon & Schuster, 2013
[Goodreads] [Book Depository]

On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan’s older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

mythoughtsBefore I get into the actual review for this book, I want to preface it by being completely and utterly forthcoming about my mental state while reading it. I started this book back in December, after Christmas, and just finished it in mid-March. This is not a knock on Perfect Ruin at all, but more a knock on myself and the utter apathy I found myself mired in that made me just wholly uninterested in picking the book up and reading it in a more timely fashion. Because of my overall feelings toward reading in general, I’m a little worried that this review will read as a whole lot of “meh”; this book was not meh, it was just the unfortunate victim of the aforementioned apathy. So with that rather longish disclaimer out of the way, let me just remind you that you’re more than welcome to take every single thing I write here with a rather large grain of salt.

That being said, Perfect Ruin wasn’t really anything spectacular. I did like the world-building – the idea of a floating city ruled with a king’s heavy hand, where things like a birth queue and chosen betrotheds are the norm, was interesting, well-developed and unique – and the main character, Morgan, was also someone I found myself interested in and sympathizing with. However, the thing that was supposed to grip the reader and begin driving the plot forward is the murder of a girl Morgan attends school with, and honestly I never really felt that hook. The book was a bit slow to really get around to the “point” (for lack of a better word), and it was a good 3/4 of the way through that the story’s main agenda began to take shape. Again, my apathy towards reading in general most likely didn’t help matters here, but I just really found myself sort of vaguely following along as Morgan went about her days.

And maybe that was the problem. This book was quite cyclical: Morgan gets up, Morgan rides the train, Morgan goes to school. She interacts with her betrothed, her best friend, Pen, and Pen’s betrothed. Even with the murder, that monotony wasn’t really broken up. But then again, maybe that was the point. I mean, how much can really happen on a small city that’s floating in the sky? Morgan makes a point of mentioning (several times) that life is pretty much the same all the time on Internment, so if showing the sameness and, well … boringness was the point, then I guess the author did a bang-up job. But as someone who likes a tad more variety and excitement in the books she reads, it just really fell a bit flat for me personally.

I will say that the ending was much more interesting and intriguing, and I am planning on reading the sequel when it’s released to see what comes next for Morgan and the others. Still, Perfect Ruin is not a book I can rave about in any way, shape or form, although I will say that if you have been at all interested in reading it, then definitely go for it. Most likely you will not have the same reading experience as I did, and I know that my mood played a definite factor in my overall feelings for it. Lots of folks have liked it, and it is a solid beginning to a new series, so. Make of all that what you will, I guess?

3stars

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Waiting on Wednesday #76

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I’m Waiting on Wednesday for The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler (Kathy Dawson Books):

forbiddenlibraryAlice always thought fairy tales had happy endings. That–along with everything else–changed the day she met her first fairy

When Alice’s father goes down in a shipwreck, she is sent to live with her uncle Geryon–an uncle she’s never heard of and knows nothing about. He lives in an enormous manor with a massive library that is off-limits to Alice. But then she meets a talking cat. And even for a rule-follower, when a talking cat sneaks you into a forbidden library and introduces you to an arrogant boy who dares you to open a book, it’s hard to resist. Especially if you’re a reader to begin with. Soon Alice finds herself INSIDE the book, and the only way out is to defeat the creature imprisoned within.

It seems her uncle is more than he says he is. But then so is Alice.

ADD TO GOODREADS

Why I’m looking forward to this book:

First of all, any book with a library featuring prominently in it is going to grab my attention, librarian that I am. Add to that the fact that this is a middle-grade novel – and I ADORE middle-grade novels – and I was instantly sold. I love that this has a fairy tale-ish feel to it, but love even more than our main character, Alice, is going to most likely be one of those stubborn, determined, strong female characters that I love so much to read about. I cannot wait for this one to be released!

Release Date: April 15, 2014

What are you waiting on this week? Please link me!

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REVIEW: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson

magicmarksthespotMagic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1)
by Caroline Carlson

HarperCollins, 2013
[Goodreads] [Book Depository]

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword.

There’s only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.

But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn’t exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.

mythoughtsOnce upon a time, I considered myself a huge fan of YA books, with a smattering of MG thrown in. However, as time has gone on, I’ve realized that I’m actually a bigger fan of MG than I am YA in some cases; I love the entertainment factor found in the books’ pages, the fact that the characters aren’t focused on romance (no love triangles here!), and the inclusion of a character who is usually completely awesome and amazing. Magic Marks the Spot is another book that pretty much accomplishes all three of those things, although there is a teeny tiny bit of romance that isn’t really central to the plot at all and therefore impossible to be irritating in any way to the reader. What I really enjoyed about this book was the adventure found throughout the story; there’s intrigue and danger and political shenanigans, and it all came together in a thrilling and extremely enjoyable way.

My main love of this book was our main character, Hilary, and her gargoyle sidekick. Hilary is full of wit and charm, and I just loved her steadfast desire to be a pirate at all costs. I also adored the fact that the pirates in this book weren’t terrible in the slightest, despite their names and swashbuckling ways. She is joined by her former governess, who is just as awesome in her own way, trying to make sure Hilary remains a lady – or at least, a sort-of-lady – and won’t let her rush off with the pirates without a chaperone. Hilary is especially strong to buck tradition and follow her heart, and I just loved her determination and strength.

While there is some danger in this book, it was heavily interspersed with moments of humor, including character interactions, letters to the VNHLP (Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates), and various correspondences between other characters. There was hardly a page that went by that didn’t warrant at least a smile from me; I didn’t want to stop reading this book simply because of how much fun I had with it and the joy it brought me. I think that’s very much a quality that MG literature has, that quirky humor with heartfelt story lines and characters, and this book just excelled at it. I just adored every single second I spent in its pages.

If you’re looking for a new MG series to try – or just want a book that will make you feel good and provide a few hours of honest enjoyment – do give this book a read. I guarantee that you will find at least one thing to love, and will most likely fall in love with all of the characters and pirate hijinks. I cannot wait to see what comes next in this series, and see what other adventures Hilary and her pirate mates get to experience!

4starsAn e-galley was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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REVIEW: Broken by CJ Lyons

brokenBroken by CJ Lyons
Sourcebooks Fire, 2013
[Goodreads] [Book Depository]

The only thing fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has ever wanted is a chance at a normal life. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, she has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. So when her parents offer her three days to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now… or never. Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But this high school is far from normal. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does.

mythoughtsOkay, so this was another book that I read ages ago and then drug my feet on writing a review for, so forgive me if this seems a bit disorganized or all over the place. The truth is, I didn’t find this book overly memorable – it was okay; a solid mystery (although I sort of had things figured out prior to finishing it) with a nice atmosphere and an overall likable main character. However, it wasn’t amazing or spectacular by any means, and not something I’ll ever re-read. Still, I had fun while reading it, which is sometimes all I’m looking for in a book, so I consider that a win if nothing else.

I do want to say that Scarlet – our main character in Broken – took a little while for me to really connect with. I’m actually not sure I ever really did completely, which probably is why this book didn’t really stick in my memory upon completing it. She is slowed down considerably by a medical condition that could actually kill her in an instant: the inability to moderate her heart rate. Scarlet, though, wants to experience life as a real high schooler and teenager, so convinces her school nurse mother to allow her to enroll in her mom’s school. Much of the first part of the book involves her meeting some other folks in a school “support” group to help the teens ensconce themselves into the school, and also developing a crush on an attractive boy in one of her classes. She also has a run-in with the requisite school bully, only this one doesn’t come in the form of a mean girl, but rather a mean boy who takes gleeful pleasure in terrorizing her and the others in the above-mentioned support group. Honestly I found him a bit over the top, particularly the staff’s inability to see how much of a goon he is and/or not punishing him appropriately for some of the things he pulls. We also have some weird back stories to some of the other kids in Scarlet’s group whose stories are kind of slowly unraveled and revealed. Again, I found one of the plot lines a bit far-fetched, but maybe that’s because I work in a school so am aware of the whole “mandatory reporter” thing regarding suspicion of child abuse and neglect; that whole scenario just did not ring true to me in the slightest.

However, this book did have a really great atmosphere and sort of spooky setting, even while taking place in a contemporary world. I liked the way the author weaved the mystery into Scarlet’s everyday existence and I also liked that Scarlet took a lead role in figuring out what was going on. I always like it when girls are strong and determined, and while I didn’t love her completely, I did like that she didn’t back down even when her mom told her to leave some things alone. I also enjoyed the relationship between Scarlet and her physics partner (whose name escapes me – sorry!), mostly because he seemed very down to earth and really helped pull her out of her sheltered life. That being said, I didn’t like the love triangle that felt very much forced upon the story, so definitely could have done without that.

All in all, I found Broken to be an okay read. I didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, but found it more of something in the middle. Would I recommend it? Sure, if you’re looking for a sort of minor-thriller with nice atmosphere. But I didn’t love the characters, and found much of the story itself to be too far-fetched to believe, particularly since this was set in a contemporary, non-fantastical world. Still, others have loved this, so don’t let my opinion be your one and only say-so!

2.5stars

An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Waiting on Wednesday #75

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I’m Waiting on Wednesday for The Lovely and the Lost (Dispossessed #2) by Page Morgan (Delacorte Press):

NOTE: Summary contains spoilers for the first book, The Beautiful and the Cursed.

lovelyandthelostIngrid and Gabby survived the Underneath. They saved their brother, Grayson, from a future of dark servitude and exposed a plot to undermine the Alliance. But danger still lurks in the streets of Paris, and the Dispossessed, perched on the city’s bridges and rooftops, might not be able to save their human wards this time.

ADD TO GOODREADS

Why I’m looking forward to this book:

I ADORED The Beautiful and the Cursed. It was one of my favorite debuts from 2013, and I cannot wait to see what happens next in the sequel. My heart is still a bit achy over the ending of the first book, so I’m looking forward to the continuation of Luc and Ingrid’s story, particularly since they so clearly care for each other and just aren’t meant to be at all. I also want to know more about danger still lurking in Paris, and what’s going to come of the Waverly’s life there. Mostly I just really want this book in my hands right now!

Release Date: May 13, 2014

What are you waiting on this week? Please link me!

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State of Merin

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Okay, how did it get to be February already? Sorry for basically falling off the blogosphere; I didn’t intend for my hiatus to go past January 6th, but then we were inundated with snow, and it caused a whole upheaval in my plans – particularly regarding work – and everything just got jumbled and out of sorts. It was also kind of hard to get back into the work swing of things – that extra week off really did me in, I think – and we’ve had a couple of snow days since, so my students are out of sorts as well, and it’s just made for quite a huge adjustment – or re-adjustment, I guess – in all aspects of my life.

Anyway, that’s just a really long-winded way of apologizing for disappearing. I very much plan on sticking around and getting back to blogging more frequently this month, and actually have two reviews scheduled that I’d initially planned on posting last month before my complete and utter failure at blogging. I will also be hosting a blog tour stop for a book I’m pretty excited to read, so be on the lookout for that as well. That post will go up on February 14th. I’m glad to have a couple of things ready to go because it will give me a bit of a cushion as I get fully back into the blogging swing of things.

Which brings me to my confession: I haven’t read ANYTHING since before Christmas. I have just been completely and utterly apathetic towards books in general and just haven’t been able to force myself to pick one up. I did read 50 pages during yesterday’s Super Bowl Game – I am not necessarily a football fan and wasn’t terribly invested in the outcome – so at least that’s a start in the right direction. I just really found myself pulling away from all things internet, with one huge exception:

I have discovered Tumblr.

Honestly I am going to blame Tumblr for my complete lack of focus. There is just so much STUFF available there, and I find myself captivated with the gif sets and fanart (from any fandom imaginable, even things I know NOTHING about) and literally fell into its depths and haven’t quite resurfaced yet. I now know why I resisted the site for so long because I have a tendency to get hyper-focused on things (with little rhyme or reason) and Tumblr makes that extremely easy. I am particularly enamored with the Lord of the Rings/Silmarillion fanart that various folks have been posting and reblogging because it’s all utterly gorgeous and just truly amazing. I am also loving all the behind the scenes/extended edition footage from the first Hobbit film, because I can’t help but love the whole LotR/Hobbit franchise and all of those little glimpses into how things were filmed and the cast’s interactions with each other. You might even throw the word “obsessed” around. It is a truly sad state of affairs!

As for work, today is the 100th day of school, which means I have been teaching first grade for 100 days. I feel like I’ve finally gotten the hang of pretty much anything, which is good because I have to be observed by my principal at some point soon and it’s always better to feel confident that you actually know what you’re doing. I am having to get my students back to where we were prior to Christmas Break, though, in terms of their behaviors. I’ve had to do a lot of re-teaching expectations and explaining and general management because many seem to have forgotten how they’re supposed to act at school!

So, anyway, that’s a little peek into my headspace at the moment. It’s quite jumbled and a bit of a mess, but I’m getting things figured out once again and just want to say thanks to those of you who have stuck around while I took my unintended time off. Here’s to a wonderful February for everyone!

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REVIEW: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

thesebrokenstarsThese Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Disney-Hyperion, 2013
[Goodreads] [Book Depository]

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

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So I sat on this review for a lot longer than I usually do, because I had all these thoughts in my head and didn’t know where to start or how to formulate them so they would make sense. Mostly I was just bombarded with thoughts of how amazing the book was, how much I loved the setting, the characters, EVERYTHING about it, which doesn’t really make for the most coherent of reviews. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with gushing reviews – I’ve written my fair share of them – but I sometimes worry that reviews that do nothing but praise a book make some readers look a bit askance at the book in question because can it REALLY be that good? But These Broken Stars really IS that good, and I am so glad I got a chance to read it.

First off, this book is set in space. The book starts out on a state of the art spaceship that hits some sort of space turbulence and is ripped out of hyperspace. Our two main characters – Tarver and Lilac – manage to get into an escape pod and make an emergency landing on a nearby planet. But they’re the only two to survive the crash, and they’re on an unfriendly and unknown planet with very few supplies and more questions than answers. Throw in the fact that Lilac did something to upset Tarver earlier on, and their relationship isn’t exactly the smoothest, either. However, it was the way their emotions and feelings for each other slowly unwound that really drew me in. I found myself thoroughly loving both characters, but especially Tarver, who was just strong and surefooted and amazing. Lilac really gets to flourish as well later on, and I especially liked when they finally worked out how they felt for each other and just let the inevitable happen. I give this book a definite two thumbs up for the romance!

What I also liked was the survivalistic feel to this book. Every little thing Tarver and Lilac deal with is fraught with its own type of danger, not the least of which is the culmination of the plot and eventual climax. I also liked that, while Tarver is strong from the get go, Lilac really came into her own. She has a lot of surprising skills and insights that she slowly lets out, and she’s extremely tough in her own way as well. I liked the way her upbringing and prior relationships shaped her into someone she didn’t really like, and I loved that Tarver sort of found a way to dig beneath her defenses. Everything about this book, from the setting to the plot to the characters was just perfect. I literally have no complaints whatsoever.

These Broken Stars was everything I’d hoped it be, and more. There is not a single thing I would change about any of it; everything was well thought out, well written and fabulously exciting. I loved the relationship between the two characters, and the way they each got to showcase their strengths but also share their weaknesses. Hands down, this is literally one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone!

5stars

An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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