Jo’s Book Review- Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 


Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles

Followed by: Scarlet

Page count: 550

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

 

Omigosh! I loved Cinder. It was cute, romantic and so SO interesting. It lived up to all the hype bookstagram and my friends made.

Cinder, as a character is amazing. All throughout the story, I loved her. Unlike the majority of YA female protagonist, I didn’t see her take any decision which didn’t make sense and was totally uncalled for. She felt very real, which is huge compliment coming from me. Other character, Kai was another of my favourite character. He was cute and charming and was everything an ideal character should have. Actually I liked every character, even the villians from the book.

Cinder has one of the best romance. They were so sweet together!! I absolutely adore them. My shipper heart ships them so hard.

The story is very original, inspite of the fact that it is a retelling of Cinderella. It’s totally fresh and innovative. It is fast paced. I loved it so MUCH.

However I wasn’t much impressed by the ‘plot twists’. Maybe they weren’t even supposed to be twists. Me and everyone predicted them so easily.
Cinder is definitely one of the best reads of 2017.

Rating- 4.6/5

Jo’s Book Review ~ An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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Originally published: 28 April 2015
Genres: Young adult fiction, Fantasy Fiction

For me a good book is the one that makes my heart pound, makes me scream when any difficult situation is going on and makes me jump on my bed(I read on bed) in anticipation. An Ember in the ashes succeed in all the things mentioned above.

Blurb

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

From the Hardcover edition.

An ember in the ashes is an even paced, emotionally charged and a well done story about destiny, friendship and romance with lots of nice elements in it. Although,  I found it to be a tad bit slow initially but soon I got invested in the characters and the story and the mystery and the suspense and found myself liking it.

One thing I specifically liked about the book was that it wasn’t what I thought it would be. The feel I got from the blurb was wrong as the story progressed and many unexpected elements got introduced in it. Jo likes that.

Both the characters were equally important and interesting, unlike majority of YA where guy is just the love interest and the girl is everything in the plot. Elias got me a crush on him.

Overall, An Ember in the Ashes is a fantastic read. It sure as heck is going to be one of my favourite reads of 2017.

Rating – 4.5/5

Jo’S Book Review – Becoming Assiya by Simran Keshwani 

Becoming Assiya is the story of a misplaced Syrian refugee and her trial with a past of Blood, wounds, War, Doubt and Hatred and the troublesome Hope of a better tomorrow. The woman’s journey encompasses through the landscape of Wartime Syria, through her mother’s journal and the rebuilding of a Post War identity for a land washed with blood, and what it meant to be alive, stuck in the middle with No Identity. Identity and Struggle, two complex concepts intermingle in this book and intersect at a common point, that of finding yourself.

 


Becoming Assiya is a gorgeous yet heart wrenching story about war and it’s ravages and how everyone especially women suffer through it. It talks about a young girl and her story, woven into the Syrian war.

Although I found the book a little hard to read initially, because of its style of writing, but soon I was engrossed into it and developed a deep bond with Assiya.

Assiya is someone with a voice. Her struggles and ordeals felt real. However I hoped the character was a little more defined and developed.

Overall, Becoming Assiya is a fantastic debut and I hope Simran Keshwani writes a lot in future.

Rating – 4.4/5

Jo’s Book Review- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard 

Originally published: February 2015

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young adult fiction

Followed by: Glass Sword

Page count: 388

Publisher: HarperCollins

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

I finished Red Queen in 3 days. I loved it a lot,Initially, as it was fast paced and thrilling. However as soon as Mare entered the royal palace, the story became predictive and boring with a very few parts as interesting. But it picked  up in the last few chapters and things started happening and I enjoyed that. Over all it was good-ish book.

Character wise, the story didn’t impress me too much. Mare, the female protagonist (not a horse) was a selfish, brat version of Katniss Everdeen. She only cared about herself. In some situations I wished for her to show a little more emotions. The male protagonist, Cal was interesting .However I would have preferred a little bit more depth in his character. (I am hoping for it in the sequel).

One thing I’ve a huge complain for (reason for cutting out point) is the revolution. It was like children were pretending to be heroes. It was unintelligent and kiddish. I wish Aveyard had given us more about the revolution. It would have made it lot more ‘real’ and interesting.

Romance wise, there was a love square-ish triangle something. I’m not a huge fan of love stories with more than two people. BUT it was not an insta love so yah!

Red Queen was a good read with a few issues. The author herself said that she wrote it because she was under student debt. And I got this unpolished felling from her book. I’m sincerely hoping better from the sequel.

Rating- 3.4/5

Jo’s Book Review- Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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Three Black Witches are born in a glen,
sweet little triplets
will never be friends.

Three Black Witches, all fair to be seen
two to devour
and one to be queen

It took me almost a month to finish TDC(mostly because of college) but it was worth it. I loved it. It wasn’t as dark as I was expecting(which is too much, I guess) but it was pretty dark. Jo likes that.

Initially I felt a tad bit confused with three narratives and tons of characters in every one, but I soon picked up. It had alternative POVs, something I hate(reason why I didn’t like 5th wave) but maybe because I was busy in college and read small portions every day or something, I adapted well to it.(sorry 5th wave).

I liked all the queens. All of them had a distinctive personalities and I could clearly differentiate them. Only character I hated with passion was Joseph. Go and jump off some cliff.

Writing wise, it was ok. A bit dry in my opinion, but otherwise interesting and engaging.

AND the last 3/4th of book was bloody marvellous. It was so full of twists and surprises and betrayal. And the end was so soul satisfying. I’m getting my copy of ‘One dark throne’ as soon as it comes out!

I want revenge.” She whispers, and her fingers trail bloody streaks down Natalia’s arms.
“And then I want my crown.

Rating- 3.8/5

Jo’s TBR list

My TBR list is growing stronger and longer everyday. Recently I purchased a couple of books from Amazon and the ones I’m most excited about are

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Blurb

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

I got this book because of bookstagram.(lately i have been buying books because of Instagram) People were going crazy about this book. I’d to buy this for sure. Plot wise, I think it is interesting. That’s it.

2. An member in the ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Blurb

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

I got this book because of two reasons. First, bookstagram. Second, I found the summary to be super cool. It’s set in ancient Rome and I love anything and everything historic. And the Romance sounds cool. And the characters. And everything. I was fangirling hard when I read the summary. When I clicked on that ‘Buy Now’ button. And when I received it, I lost my marbles. And the cover looks so gorgeous. I’m so so EXCITED for it!

3. Carve the mark by Veronica Roth

Blurb

In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.
The Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?
Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth’s stunning portrayal of the power of friendship — and love — in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.

I got this book because of the author. Although I didn’t read the books after Divergent, I liked Veronica Roth and her writing style. I pre ordered it a month before and got it a few days after the release. I’m so excited for it, especially after the controversy. I want to read it and decide for myself if it’s true instead of taking someone else’s words for it.

4. Three dark crowns by Kendare Blake

Blurb

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.


Another Instagram buy. Seeing it on so many accounts, I decided to check it. The fact that the summary suggests plotting and evilness and sisters totally made me click on ‘Buy Now’ button. I’m so looking forward to some dark themes.


Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me 

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Originally published: 15 November 2011

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Genre: Young adult fiction

My own copy

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Blurb

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
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My view

I didn’t like the book. I read so much about it on bookstagram and it disappointed me. Lesson learnt. No more blind trusting bookstagram.

I liked the whole ‘cutting the lines’ and using metaphors concept. I like unusual. But the metaphors were too many and sometimes even senseless.

The character Juliette is your typical YA girl. She was interesting for the first few chapters. Then they introduced the anti protagonist and all of sudden, the girl who was too scared to even tell her name, becomes brave and heroic and rebellious. The ‘character development’ was just too sudden and made me uncomfortable.

Adam, the male protagonist was again a typical character. He met the girl when they were kids, saw her acts of kindness and fell for her. He loves her so much that he is ready to do anything for her. Really! This is the lousiest love story ever. I like my romance to be more original and realistic. This was plain boring. I didn’t ship them at all. Heck I don’t give a shit about them.

Character I liked would be the anti protagonist, Warner. He is a bit crazy, inconsistent and has an unhealthy obsession with the girl. Finally someone interesting, not someone one dimensional and boring. Yah!

The story itself was nothing interesting. It was your typical book with typical characters and typical storyline. Some portions of the book were fast paced and interesting. Otherwise it was a pain in the neck. I finished it just because I spent money on the book.

Rating- 1.7/5
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Book Review. Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

 

Originally published: 6 September 2011
Not a paid review.

For me, this book can be divided into two parts. First, which (inspite of lots of ‘hard to digest things) I enjoyed reading. And second, where things went really crazy. I had to force myself to finish it.

Plot summary ✨✨

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling post-apocalyptic novel about a world that could become ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

✨✨✨

Our protagonist Alex, is a 17 year old who can light fire in a forest,out of almost no supplies. Which I believe is too much to digest. Not only this, she is like a female bear grills who knows all about survival in wilderness. Reason provided by the author- she was taught by her father who was a cop(and the father died when she was 14ish).

The guy protagonist, Tom felt like a one dimensional character. He is 20 and has been to Afghanistan. Knows how to diffuse bombs. But Does not have the common sense to not tent outside of truck WHEN there are zombie kids and Normal humans out for you. And also to not let 6 year olds go out for walk in such situations. Smart decision.

Romance is just too cliché and boring. They met, went through shit and voilà, love and rose and hearts shooting out of their eyes.

However, despite everything, the concept was kind of interesting. Zombie apocalypse in wilderness? Not something I’ve heard of. There were some parts I really enjoyed. The pace was fast enough. Action was nice and power-packed. However, after a certain chapter, story went downhill. New characters got introduced and new stuff started happening. Dear author the story was going fine. There was no need for all that.

The ending was a super huge cliffhanger (hate them so much) which I won’t be sharing, but I’m curious to read the next part.

Rating – 2.6/5

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