This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
Here’s my official review I posted a while back:
This book. What can I say that hasn’t already been said in other reviews? I mean, this blew my mind. I went into this completely blind, other than knowing it was a sci-fi ‘space opera’ as many called it. I didn’t know the premise and I was glad. I think if I’d known, I might have been scared off. Illuminae is full of wonder, tragedy, hope, fear, creepy artificial intelligent ready to destroy everyone onboard a spaceship. Yes. That’s basically it. You won’t want to read anything else after because nothing can come close to satisfying your needs like this can. I just…mindblown. I can’t wait for book 2!
Usually I’d do a video for this, but iMovie has been acting up and I don’t have the patience to keep trying. Sigh. So here we go, a list of the books I got throughout November.
13 DAYS OF MIDNIGHT by Leo Hunt
I liked the look of this, mostly because, yes, it was in the buy one get one half price offer at Waterstones. I have tried it already, but it reads a bit…basic? I don’t know. That’s not always a bad thing, but I guess I need to be in the right mood for it. The cover is interesting, though.
FIRECRACKER by David Iserson
I don’t know what pulled me to this. Was it the cover? Probably. The premise? Yeah, of course. I mean, both things are attractive. Mostly the cover, though. Sigh. David Iserson is one of the writers for New Girl. You’d think this would mean it’d be hilarious. I really hope so. I have read mixed reviews, but who knows.
A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY by Libba Bray
I’ve been following Libba on twitter for a while and I’ve heard such good things about her work, I felt I needed to try and read some. The cover drew me in, and then the premise sounds like…The Infernal Devices in terms of setting. I like the sound of it. 🙂
ALL WRAPPED UP (Geek Girl 1.5) by Holly Smale
I have loved the other Geek Girl books and so when I found out this was going to be published, I mean PRINTED published, I was all over it. It’s not often a novella gets PRINTED! And in HARDBACK! DUDE! I needed more Christmassy books and this is great! I will read this nearer Christmas time. Definitely. (Though I objected to being charged £10 when everywhere else was £5. -.- Damn you Waterstones! lol though at least I got a stamp. ^_^ )
And last but not least, I got a couple of adult colouring books. Not that it really matters, I mean, why call them adult ones? You’re still colouring in…like a child. lol. In any case, the ones I got are BEAUTIFUL!
Don’t these look gorgeous? The pictures inside are even better. Personally my favourite is the Alice in Wonderland one, because OH MY GOD, I just can’t handle the beauty of those illustrations. Now, if I did a video, I’d be showing you the inside, but since that would involve taking pictures now, I just can’t be bothered. Sorry. I’m such a bad blogger. lol.
So that’s it for the BOUGHT section, I’ll now tell you about what I got from the library.
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant
Unforgiven by Lauren Kate
Soundless by Richelle Mead
and two that I’ve had out multiple times and still haven’t been able to get into them but am reluctant to give up:
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare/Sarah Rees Brennan/Maureen Johnson -It’s the cover of this that always puts me off. WHY PUT THE ACTOR WHO PLAYED MAGNUS IN THE MOVIE ON THE COVER WHEN UGHHHHHHHH NO HE WASN’T ONE I LIKED AND IT’S SO OFF PUTTING! But I’ll keep trying.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer. – This one has been driving me CRAZY! I have tried this like…5 times. I just can’t get into it, and the idea of androids, not to mention she’s in some part of Asia…I know that sounds weird, but we all have our preferences. And this isn’t one of mine. BUT, because so MANY of you keep going on about how good Winter (the final in the series) and how big it is and (i have a fondness for big books) it’s just making me want to read it, but I can’t read Winter (apparently) unless I’ve read the others. Sigh. So here I go again. I gave away the free copy I got at SDCC this year. Typical. Maybe I’ll skip chapter one this time. Some books start off in the middle of a scene and that’s something that often hinders me.
So there ya have it. My very bulky collection of books that I don’t know WHERE I’m going to find the time to read them.
Oh, currently reading:
The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1) by Rick Riordan
and trying for the second (maybe third?) time, Snow like Ashes by Sara Raasch, this time by audiobook. Which is actually a lot better than I expected. I dug around for a good narrator, which helps.
I hope you’ve liked my vast array of choices and let me know if there’s anything on this list that you’ve read (and if you did or didn’t like it) or that you’d like to read.
As for my NaNo progress: I’m 27k in and 2 days left. I’m just hoping I’ll reach 30k by end of Monday (tomorrow!) and call it quits (hahah no!) mostly I’ll keep going until December 24th and HOPEFULLY I’ll have found an ending. 🙂
Edit: I also got on audible: Yes Please by Amy Poehler, From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion, and The Diviners by Libba Bray,
Catching Falling Stars
A Blitz tale full of charm and laughter? YES! Karen brings her hallmark lightness to this war tale of evacuees, secrets and friendship. We’re loving the beautiful cover. (Reminds us of firework displays.) It’s 1940. Like millions of kids, Gloria and her little brother are new evacuees in the country. It’s a safe haven from the London Blitz. But their new home isn’t as cosy as they hoped. Their guardian, Miss Saunders, is strict and severe. The local children are rude and mocking. Yet things aren’t quite as they first appear. Before long, friends turn into enemies – and sworn enemies become lifelong friends…
Buy Links: Amazon (UK)
I had the awesome opportunity to interview Karen about books and how she came to become the successful writer she is now. See below for her answers!
Hi Karen, thanks so much for taking part in the UKMG blog tour. I have a few fun questions. First off, as a writer myself (though unpublished) I’m always interested to hear other writers tales of how they got to where they are now: At what point did you decide you wanted to write as a career? Was it instantaneous or a gradual thing?
I absolutely loved writing short stories when I was at school. But then I left, life got in the way, and I didn’t think about fiction for a long while. Years later, a couple of things got me back into the fiction writing groove. First, I worked at ‘Just Seventeen’ magazine, and often flicked through teen and pre-teen books coming in for review. Some were so good, they got my creative side all in a stir, and some were so bad that it was equally inspiring; “I could do better than that!” was pretty galvanising. Soon after, I was freelancing at ‘Sugar’ magazine, and the editor asked if I fancied writing some short stories for the mag. I jumped at the chance, and those published short stories, plus a teen novel outline, were enough to convince a publisher – Scholastic – to give me my very first commission. (BTW I still have a stash of rejections filed away from other publishers!)
Were/are there any authors that inspired/still inspire you to write middle grade or in general?
I began writing teen books, but it was actually my lovely editor (and now friend) Kirsten Stansfield who suggested I write a middle grade series, which was a wise move. I found that this was definitely my voice, and the series – ‘Ally’s World’ – became a best-seller.
How did you come to decide on writing children’s books, as opposed to say, adults or young adult? Was it a conscious decision?
I had a bit of a false start at school; I had undiagnosed hearing problems and struggled with everything in class, especially reading and writing. Once the deafness was spotted and treated, my school and parents worked hard to get me reading more to catch up. I didn’t just catch up; I sped on and fell madly in love with books and stories. Also, I remember my pre-teen and teen years vividly, mainly because I kept diaries all through those years. Combine these two factors together and I think that’s the reason I write what I write.
You’re stranded on a desert island and you can have only 2 books with you. What are they?
1. ‘Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger (I love it so much I have a framed poster of a first edition cover in my living room)
2. The ‘Little House on the Prairie’ series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (I’m cheating with a series, I know, but I won’t tell if you don’t)
Hardbacks or Paperbacks?
Paperbacks. Hardbacks are too heavy to read in the bath. And don’t talk to me about Kindles; all that swipe, swipe drives me mad. Specially if I’ve been eating crisps and the swipe won’t work.
I agree. Do you have a favourite genre to read (as opposed to write)?
There are exceptions (like Phillip Reeves’ gobsmackingly good ‘Fever Crumb’) but fantasy doesn’t do it for me. I’m no good on dystopian stuff either (makes me gloomy). I think I just enjoy peeking into the lives of ordinary people, because behind every ordinary person is an extraordinary story.
If you weren’t a writer, what do you think you’d be doing?
A cat stroker. That’s a job, right?
Haha, it really should be. And lastly but certainly not least: Do you have a favourite book at the moment?
‘May B’ by Caroline Starr Rose is really special. It’s the sparsely told story of a girl in pioneering days, and it’s stunning. I stumbled upon it (it’s a US import) when I was researching Laura Ingalls Wilder’s biography ‘Pioneer Girl’. By the wonders of Twitter, I contacted Caroline Starr Rose, and of course she’s as much of a Laura Ingalls Wilder nut as I am.
If you want to know more about Karen you can find her at these places:
And don’t forget to add her latest book (and others!) on your TO- READ list.
Release Date: 10/2015
Sky Pony Press
Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She’ll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?
But with each changing moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. She begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. Too quickly, RJ finds herself back in limbo, her time on Earth once again up for debate.
RJ is a snarky, unapologetic, almost unredeemable, very real girl. Her story is funny and moving, and teens will easily connect with her plight. Prepare to meet the Grim Reaper, who’s cuter than you’d expect; Hawaiian shirt–wearing Death Himself; Saint Peter (who likes to play Cornhole); and Al, the handler for the three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hell. This cast of characters accompanies RJ through her time in the afterlife and will do their best to gently shove her in the right direction.
I received this book for free from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t sway my opinion of the book.
I am averse to death. Anything related to dying, not being alive, anything…I tend to try and avoid it. If people die, I go to that place called De Nile. No, really. I do. But what attracted me to It’s A Wonderful Death? If I’m honest, the cover. I started with the cover, and then I read the synopsis. I thought it was going to be funny, and in some aspects it was. Okay, I’ll break it down for you.
What I liked:
I thought RJ was a tough character and she knew what she wanted. Stubbornness was her strength but also her wit was never-ending. She refused to let someone take what was rightfully hers away without a fight, and I admired that. She didn’t take things too seriously and that made the story read that much easier. I liked her voice and I could get into the story. The reapers, the Angels, the people in charge of helping RJ on her first visit to ‘Limbo’, were all interesting and I found I could have read about them for far longer than I did. I particularly liked ‘Death Himself’ and imagining him wearing Bermuda shorts…lol. He was completely at odds to what I’m used to seeing/reading in other stories.
The pacing was well, and writing style made it flow and considering I’m not a big ebook reader, I felt relaxed. There was a lot of philosophical jargon within this and I did find myself rolling my eyes a lot, but that just added to the non seriousness of it.
Okay, Now onto what I didn’t like.
Well, not so much didn’t like, but what kind took me out of the story and had me rating this 3 and a half stars overall.
Number one, though I liked RJ, I also found her, at times, highly annoying and dare I say it? Two dimensional. (Whatever that means.) There wasn’t much to her, besides snark and the points I made above..
There were a few points where consistency ran a little thin, and I found myself muttering things like “wait, what? *scrolls back pages* That didn’t happen…” or “That makes no sense.” and mistakes like mentioning ‘he said this’ when I would look back and it would be a she. I know, silly things, but there were enough that it bugged me. The biggest disappointment to me was the ending, however, and I had really hoped everything would work out in my favour. But it didn’t, and more than anything, it was annoying. I felt for sure that pretty much half the story was working towards something far better than what we got. That’s not to say it didn’t end on a somewhat happy note, because it did, and I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit when familiar characters reappeared.
There was a point when it got a little too…religious? I guess, for me. I’m not, at all, and I went into this thinking it was going to be lighthearted, full of humour and just…fun. And mostly it was, but there was one scene where it got…I don’t wanna say it…overly pretentious. Maybe because I’m not like these people, that’s probably it. But I’m pretty sure others love it, and that’s great. Go you! I didn’t NOT like this book and I’d recommend it because it is in fact a fun read, but like with some books, there are things that nag you and make it not as great as you wanted, and that’s, sadly, what happened here. Still, damn, I’m impressed I got the ebook read in plenty time to write this review. Haha. That, in itself, says a lot. 🙂
Sarah J. Schmitt is a K-8 school librarian and Youth Service Professional for Teens at a public library who, in addition to planning a variety of events, enjoys opening up the world of books to reluctant readers. She runs a teen writing program that combines Skype visits from well-known authors and screenwriters and critique group style feedback.
Prior to immersing herself in the world of the written word, Sarah earned her Masters of Science in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from Indiana University where she worked with first year college students as they acclimated to college life. Sarah lives outside of Indianapolis with her husband, two kidlets and a cat who might actually be a secret agent. She is an active member of SCBWI, ALA and the Indiana Library Federation and is a regular participant at the Midwest Writer’s Workshop. Her debut novel, IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH, comes out Fall 2015 from Sky Pony Press.
Book Tour Organized by:
I don’t know if you know, but a few months ago I started a BookTube account (properly). I’ve got a few videos up now, mostly tags, and I thought that I’d embed them in a post so you can see, and also, so I can have something to post. Haha. The point of my booktube was so I could integrate it with this site, so why not. Okay, in no particular order:
BookTube Newbie Tag
Rip it or Ship it Tag
Book Courtship Tag
Nintendo Book Tag
I decided not to embed a couple of other videos because…well….they’re silly. 🙂 Hope you enjoyed.
Many others have done this, but none such as I! Okay, that’s a lie. I’m getting ahead of myself. So let’s begin, shall we?
I can’t really remember any book that has kept me up all night. I like my sleep. But I do remember one of the last Harry Potter books keeping me up until 3am or later. It was a long time ago…my memory hates me.
I don’t read many horror books, so I just had to pick one at random. Finding one that stopped me from sleeping was hard, but finding one that creeped me out…well, not so hard.
I wouldn’t say this sent me to sleep…but it did bore me! Oh my god, so many people loved this book but I got half way in and was like…wtf is this shit?!
It’s hard to pick just one! There are so many books I’ve anticipated. But the Shatter Me series is definitely one of them. I was so sad when it was over. Dammit!
WILL HERONDALE! He is my babe. I love him. SO MUCH. Okay so he’s not exactly a ‘dream’ boyfriend in the correct sense, but I have so many feelings for him that he is my number one!
Shudders! I mean, this world is awful. Granted, I wouldn’t count as an under 16, so that’s okay. I’d disappear with the adults. PHEW! But the monsters…the mutants…..no thank you.
It’s all in the name. 😛
Not that I remember, but going by my review on goodreads, It had one hell of a cliff hanger. I hate cliffhangers. I do. I just…I get so emotionally invested and then BAM the author goes and tears my heart out into little pieces and then makes me WAIT to have it put back together….LIKE WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!
I remember this one dream with Katniss and Peeta. I can’t remember DETAILS, but I know, as most dreams are, that it was complex and fantastically weird. haha.
Not so much UNDER my bed, but in general…I would NOT want to be around these people. *shudders* I mean, people being upgraded like robots, it kind of reminds me of the Cybermen in Doctor Who. (which apparently are ‘scary’ but not to me, just creepy) lol.
So that’s my book tag and I dare anyone that reads this to have a go….if you have a blog, that is. I dunno. Go on. It’s fun. 🙂
Thanks for reading.
xx Kat xx
It’s that time again where I give you stuff for free in exchange for your love. Uh. Wait. What? No!
As a summer treat, and because I have WAY too many books from my trip abroad, I’m doing my shelves a favour and giving them to the world.
You want to know what the giveaway is, don’t you?
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
Sound interesting? Well a copy could be yours! (Wow, I sound like a game show host. lol)
Edit: Won’t be doing as many giveaways. Probably a couple more depending on how popular the next one is. Not many people entering the giveaway.
Sorry, this is UK only. I really can’t afford to ship it overseas. But you can spread the word if you want to help. I’d really appreciate it.
If you want an idea of what books I’ll be giving away, my recent book haul video has them all and I even mention the giveaway in there. So take a look (if you can handle it! 😛 ) and be ready.