YA Dystopian Binge

stack of dystopian ya books
Picture taken by me.

When I was little, I would walk around my neighborhood with a notebook “solving crimes.” I would write down my suspect list, interrogate the neighbors, and use ground up pencil lead to “fingerprint” the neighbors’ dogs and cats. I thought I wanted to be a detective, but what I was really doing was writing stories and doing research. It took me about 28 years and a Forensic Degree later to realize that I wanted to be a writer.

I’ve been recently trying my hand at writing. My work in progress is potentially a YA/Dystopian book, so I decided to read this stack of highly recommended books in this genre for research and inspiration purposes. I probably won’t ever end up publishing it, but the idea popped into my head and I just had to write it. Any other YA/Dystopian books you would recommend? Which one of these should I read first? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

unwind book one by neil shusterman
Buy on Amazon

Unwind (Unwind, #1) by Neal Shusterman

Goodreads Rating: 4.18/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

the maze runner book by james dashner
Buy on Amazon

The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner, #1) by James Dashner

Goodreads rating: 4.02/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

under the never sky book one by veronica rossi
Buy on Amazon

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1) by Veronica Rossi

Goodreads rating: 4.00/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

enclave book by ann aguirre razorland book one
Buy on Amazon

Enclave (Razorland, #1) by Ann Aguirre

Goodreads Rating: 3.92/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters–or Freaks–who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight–guided by Fade’s long-ago memories–in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.

Ann Aguirre’s thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world–facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

the fifth wave by rick yancey
Buy on Amazon

The Fifth Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) by Rick Yancey

Goodreads rating: 4.05/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

the house of the scorpion by nancy
Buy on Amazon

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Goodreads rating: 4.10/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

With undertones of vampires, Frankenstein, dragons’ hoards, and killing fields, Matt’s story turns out to be an inspiring tale of friendship, survival, hope, and transcendence. A must-read for teenage fantasy fans.

At his coming-of-age party, Matteo Alacrán asks El Patrón’s bodyguard, “How old am I?…I know I don’t have a birthday like humans, but I was born.”

“You were harvested,” Tam Lin reminds him. “You were grown in that poor cow for nine months and then you were cut out of her.”

To most people around him, Matt is not a boy, but a beast. A room full of chicken litter with roaches for friends and old chicken bones for toys is considered good enough for him. But for El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium—a strip of poppy fields lying between the U.S. and what was once called Mexico—Matt is a guarantee of eternal life. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself for Matt is himself. They share identical DNA.

the program book one by suzanne young
Buy on Amazon

The Program (The Program, #1) by Suzanne Young

Goodreads Rating: 4.05/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Buy on Amazon

Steelheart (The Reckoners, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads rating: 4.15/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

booktag image

The Hopeful Book Tag

We need a bit of hope in the world, especially during these uncertain times. I’m sure this year is kicking all our butts, and reading has been a nice escape for me. This book tag was a lot of fun to write. Thanks to Soulful Thoughts for tagging everyone. Everyone who reads this can consider themselves tagged. Remember to tag me back and I can’t wait to read all your answers!

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone by j.k. rowling
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

1. A book world you would like to escape to: Hogwarts

I will forever be waiting for my Hogwarts letter. Always. This is the series I turn to for comfort, and I love rereading it when I’m in a reading slump. I also like to re-watch the movies when I need a reminder.

beach read by emily henry
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

2. A romance that left you all mushy inside: Beach Read by Emily Henry

This was a much heavier romance book than I expected, both from the cover and from the synopsis. It was all very misleading, but in a good way. I thought about this book a lot as I was reading it, and for some time after. You can read my review here.

the existence of amy by lana grace riva
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

3. A friendship we should all aspire to have: Nate and Amy in The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

We would all be lucky to have a friend like Nate. Nate did things for Amy that I wondered if I would ever do for someone I work with. I think I would only go so far to help my husband and kids, and maybe my sister. Honestly, there is maybe only one work friend who I might go that far for. Am I a terrible person? Maybe. Go read my review for this book here.

my siberian husky names leah
Picture taken by me.

4. Intermission! Insert the cutest picture of your pet or the cutest animal you can find.

Meet Leah, my nine year old husky 🙂 She was named during my Twilight phase after the only female wolf in the pack. Don’t judge me!

the boyfriend project by farrah rochon
Picture taken by me. Buy the book on Amazon.

5. A character in a leadership role that inspires you.

Even though this wasn’t an amazing read for me, I still consider Samiah to be a great role model for little girls and grown women alike. Samiah taught the girls she mentored that the color of their skin did not determine the career they should follow, and that they should work hard and do what they were passionate about. I was also inspired by the fact that Samiah went back to school as an adult to obtain another degree in the field she loved, as opposed to the degree she first got in order to please her parents. You can read my review here.

The house in the cerulean sea
Picture taken by me. Buy this book on Amazon.

6. Recommend three books that fill you with hope.

1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune -read my review here

This book filled me with hope for humanity. If more people like Linus exist, then perhaps there is still hope for this world.

2. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes -read my review here

These women were heroines in their own right, and as a bookworm this story about a traveling library made my heart happy.

3. Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa -read my review here

This story spoke of resurrection, and this is something that I’ve always wanted to believe in so badly. It gave me hope that maybe those who love us never really leave us, and their souls will always find us again.

7. (Optional) Tag People.

If you are reading this consider yourself tagged, and remember to tag me back. I want to see all your answers!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

Of Rioters and Royals

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Picture taken by me. Buy on Amazon.

Author: M.L. Greye

Published: January 18, 2019

Pages: 421

Goodreads Rating: 4.16/5

For fans of: The Hunger Games, Ash Princess, The Selection, rebellion trope, competition trope

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Emry is a Royal – a princess of Enlennd. As is tradition, she must have a knight at her side as her protector. The only way to appoint one is through The Trials. Her Challengers from the five regions of Enlennd must compete for the infamous title of Princess’s Knight. The problem, though, is that the people of Enlennd are split into two categories: Rioters and Royals. Finding the perfect knight may be the last of her worries. War is coming to Enlennd.

Declan is a Rioter. An upriser. An anarchist. He mistrusts the Jewels – the sovereign family of Enlennd. Yet, he is offering himself up as a Challenger in The Trials. The Mistress, leader of the Rioters, has a mission for him. The first step is for him to become the Princess’s Knight. He is ready for the task, until he actually meets Emry and discovers that betraying her would be much more difficult than he’d thought.

My Review:

Those who were covered in filth tended to be frowned upon by those who could afford to never get dirty”

I really enjoyed the unique magic system in this book, my favorite part being the fact that the person’s eye color determined what powers they had. Emry, the main female character, had gray eyes and the coolest powers in my opinion. I did feel like the story needed a bit more scene setting and descriptions of the characters’ surroundings as we switched from one scene to another.

I loved how fierce and brave Emry was, and how she loved her sister and her kingdom. Declan was smart and cunning, and he complemented Emry’s personality well, they made a great pair. I enjoyed the romance between them, but I was glad it did not completely take over the plot. The plot was very character driven, which I liked. I also enjoyed how the story was told through different characters’ points of views.

The history lesson in the beginning of the book was very useful, and it helped to keep the amount of info dumping minimal throughout the rest of the story. The book was fast paced and action packed after that, and I really enjoyed the tournament, since the competition based trope is one of my favorites. There were some unexpected plots twists, which kept me on my toes. I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed, but other than that this was a great YA/Fantasy story. I highly recommend it, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

Disclaimer: A signed copy of this book was provided to me for free by the author in an Instagram Giveaway. I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

All My Favorite Series

All Pictures from Goodreads

Even though I do read a variety of genres, my favorite series are all in the Fantasy/ Paranormal/ Sci-Fi range. Maybe it’s because other genres tend to only include stand-alone books? Most of these are YA/Fantasy, with the exception of Illuminae which is considered YA/Sci-Fi and The Night Prowler series which is Adult Paranormal Romance. A Court of Thorns and Roses and the Throne of Glass series are considered High Fantasy, and they are not YA. There are other series I did not include here (Aurora Rising and Six of Crows to name a few) and this is because they are not completed yet; I’m still waiting on a few books to be released from those.

It would be very hard for me to pick a certain favorite out of all of these or to number them in most favorite to least, so I decided to talk about them in no particular order. Also, I cannot summarize any of these series accurately without giving away a whole lot of spoilers, so I’m posting a synopsis of the first book for each of them, and giving you a mini review for each. These are the books that I proudly display on my shelves and own in several formats. Their quotes fill the walls of my home, my journals, and my phone. If you haven’t read these I hope you give some of them a try and then let me know what your thoughts were. If you have read them, let me know your opinions in the comments!

P.S. I’ve talked enough about the Harry Potter series so I didn’t include it here. We all know Harry Potter is life. (click on the link to read my Harry Potter Booktag post)

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures or links.

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

throne of glass series by sarah j maas
Picture taken by me. Buy these books on Amazon

For fans of: Game of Thrones, Assassin’s Creed, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Cruel Prince

Rating: 4.21/5 on Goodreads

This series is comprised of seven amazing books. Empire of Storms (#5) is my favorite out of all of them, as it’s the one where Celaena (the main character) has the most character growth and there is also a lot of action. I did hate the cliff-hanger ending since I had to wait more than a year for the last book, Kingdom of Ash, to be released. The book I did not care much for in this series was Tower of Dawn (#6) because it was about my least favorite character, Chaol. Maas did do a great job with the series finale, giving every character and side story the necessary closure. I enjoyed the different character points of views, the playful banter and dialogue, and the complex plot. Be warned that even though this series seems to be advertised as YA, it’s NOT, as it includes very explicit sex scenes.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas

a court of thorns and roses series by sarah j maas
Picture taken by me. Get this series on Amazon

For fans of: Fairy Tale retellings, Beauty and the Beast, Game of Thrones, High Fantasy

Rating: 4.24/5 on Goodreads

Since we are already on the topic of Sarah J. Maas books here is another one of her series which has become one of my favorites of all time. The series includes three books and a short novella. My favorite book of the series is A Court of Mist and Fury (#2) since this is the one where the main character Feyre has the most character development and revelations. There is also a major plot twist in this one, and we are introduced to a group of amazing characters who improved the story tremendously. I enjoyed the entertaining dialogue in between the characters, the romantic aspect, and how each character was unique and could probably star in their own story. Maas is actually releasing a spin-off of this series in the near future, which will star some of these side characters that I fell in love with. Be warned that even though this series seems to be advertised as YA, it’s NOT, as it includes very explicit sex scenes.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jeweled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Picture taken by me. Get this series on Amazon.

For fans of: Fairy Tale retellings, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Snow White, Star Wars

Rating: 4.15/5 on Goodreads

This series is comprised of four amazing books and three novellas. My favorite book in the series was Cress (#3) because Cress is such a sweet endearing character and I just wanted to root for her. Also, my favorite male character was Thorne, or Captain Thorne, as he liked to be called. I really enjoyed the group dynamics between the eight main characters, how the stories were all interconnected, and the different points of views.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

The Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black

the queen of nothing book three in the folk of the air series by holly black
Picture taken by me. Get this series on Amazon.

For fans of: Dark fairy tales, Game of Thrones, court scheming tropes, enemies to lovers trope

Rating: 4.14/5 on Goodreads

I wrote a review of the second book in this series, The Wicked King, and of the last book (my favorite of the series) The Queen of Nothing. The Wicked King was a terrible cliff-hanger. I remember writing “I need therapy” on a sticky note when I was done, and it took me a while to type up my review into coherent sentences and thoughts. I really loved how dark these books were, how strong the human main character Jude was, and I am a big fan of the enemies to lovers trope.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.


Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

The Night Prowler Series by J.T. Geissinger

Picture from Goodreads. Get series on Amazon. Also available for free on Kindle Unlimited.

For fans of: Dark Paranormal Romance, shape shifters, super powers, ancient tribes, alphas and mates trope

Rating: 3.82/5 on Goodreads

This is one of those underrated series that I never hear anything about, but I was completely captivated by it. It includes six books, but they are on average 300 pages each. Be warned it does contain explicit sex scenes. I enjoyed the different points of views, the fact that they shape shifted into panthers (which was very unique), the romance aspect, and the non-stop action. I’m really upset that after writing this series J.T. Geissinger switched to writing Romance and never wrote anything resembling this again.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

2013 winner Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal’s Prism Award for Published Authors—Best First Book

Deep within the primeval forests of southern England, a race of beautiful, savage shape-shifters lives hidden from the everyday world. Bound together by ancient bloodlines and a ruthless code of secrecy that punishes traitors with death, the Ikati send their leader Leander on a mission to capture one raised outside the tribe before she can expose their secret. When Leander tracks the unsuspecting outsider to Southern California, the hardened warrior is prepared for a fight—but not for the effect the sensual young beauty has on his heart.

Jenna spent her childhood in hiding, on the run from someone—or something—her parents refused to discuss. She trusts no one, not since her father’s mysterious disappearance, not since her mother’s sudden death, and definitely not since she began exhibiting strange, superhuman abilities. When handsome, enigmatic Leander appears, promising answers to the mysteries that shroud her past, she knows she shouldn’t trust him either. But their connection is undeniable, and as powerful as the enemy hell-bent on destroying every one of their kind…

Nevernight Series by Jay Kristoff

nevernight series third book darkdawn by jay kristoff
Picture taken by me. Buy series on Amazon.

For fans of: School/training tropes, competition tropes, Harry Potter, Throne of Glass, Assassins Creed, dark fantasy, revenge trope

Rating: 4.28/5 on Goodreads

I thought I loved the books Jay Kristoff co-authored with Amie Kaufman, but this series written by him alone is absolutely amazing. The series includes three great books in which we get to witness the evolution of the main character, Mia. I really enjoyed how dark this series was, the animal companions, the witty dialogue, the sarcastic narrator, and the little history lesson footnotes along the way. Also, check out the audio books if you have the chance, they are narrated by my all time favorite narrator: Holter Graham. Here are the links to my reviews of Nevernight, Godsgrave, and Darkdawn.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Illuminae Series by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

illuminae series book one by jay kristoff and amie kaufman
Picture taken by me. Buy series on Amazon.

For fans of: Star wars, space settings, YA/Sci-Fi, virus/contagion tropes, artificial intelligence

Ratings: 4.3/5 on Goodreads

This was such a unique series and the one that introduced me to the world of Sci-Fi, I had never read anything like it before. It is comprised of three books, and each book is made up of video transcripts, messages, emails, and various other files. I can’t really pick a favorite book in this one, but my favorite character was definitely AIDEN, the artificial intelligence in charge of the ships. Honestly, if these authors can give an A.I. a personality you can fall in love with then you know they can do anything. The format is really different, so I suggest the audio books if you have trouble adjusting. I enjoyed the unique formatting, the witty dialogue, the group dynamics, and the non-stop action.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she’d ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But the warship could be the least of their problems. 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 biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.
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.

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

the infernal devices series by cassandra clare
Pictures from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

For fans of: YA/Fantasy, Shadowhunters, love triangle tropes, books set in London and the late 1800’s

Rating: 4.33/5 on Goodreads

I love all the Shadowhunter books by Cassandra Clare, but this series has always stayed with me. I have quotes from these books all over my house, notebooks, and my phone. This series is comprised of three amazing books, and I cannot pick a favorite. I also cannot pick between Will and James, and admit Tessa had a very tough choice to make. I enjoyed the poetic language, the slow burn romance, and the friendships.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor

daughter of smoke and bone series by laini taylor
Picture taken by me. Buy on Amazon

For fans of: Angels and Demons, enemies to lovers trope, Fantasy

Rating: 4.02/5 on Goodreads

This series is comprised of three wonderful books. I can’t really pick a favorite book or favorite character. I loved ALL of it and I cannot recommend it enough. I enjoyed the friendships between the main characters and side characters, the romance, and the unique world building.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Strange the Dreamer series by Laini Taylor

strange the dreamer series by laini taylor
Picture taken by me. Buy on Amazon.

For fans of: Hercules, Gods and humans trope, nightmares and dreamscapes, Fantasy

Rating: 4.32/5 from Goodreads

Laini Taylor’s writing is so hypnotic and poetic that it has made me fall in love with all her series. This story is a duology. Both books were perfect, but my favorite was the first one. It was fun being introduced to this stange world and trying to piece the story together as I went. I enjoyed the mystery, the quoteable writing, and the romance.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

Aurora Burning

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

aurora burning by amie kaufman and jay kristoff
Picture from Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads: (**Don’t read if you haven’t read the first book in the series**)

Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

My Mini Review:

Son of a biscuit! I love Squad 312. I don’t believe I’ve ever loved a band of misfits so much. If you haven’t listened to these books in audio form you are missing out! I couldn’t stop listening. The book is read by a full cast of characters along with sound effects and it is absolutely amazing. It sounds like listening to a very descriptive movie.

Speaking of characters, I love them ALL. Which I believe is so hard to pull off as an author. Each character is unique, but they are all likeable for their uniqueness and eccentricities. I did have favorites though. Tyler and Finian stole my heart. Tyler with his stubbornness and leadership, and Finian with his sense of humor. Also, Aurora’s uniglass Magellan was super hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud at many points in this story, and close to tears in others.

The story begins in the middle of the action, and the action doesn’t stop all the way until the end. The characters are on the run from… well EVERYONE, and it’s best if they don’t stay in one place too long. Their team chemistry was great. I was so sad when this book ended, and I cant believe I’ll have to wait another year for the next one. If you are a fan of YA/Fantasy, I highly recommend this series.

I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂

Call It What You Want

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer is a Contemporary/ YA novel involving two teenagers Rob and Meagan. Rob is living with the consequences of his dad’s actions, while Meagan is dealing with the repercussions of her own mistakes and those of her sister Sam.

People love finding the weak link that makes them feel superior.”

Sam

I usually try to avoid Contemporary, because good Contemporary fiction always ends up making me cry. But Kemmerer wrote this one so I just had to read it. Kemmerer paints such a vivid picture of what it’s like to a be a High Schooler that it brought back all my horrible High School memories. I hated High School. Emotions are so real in this story, and by real I mean not described in flowery detail, but in basic and deeply relatable terms.

My life has collapsed to the point where a ninety-nine-cent cup of coffee with a stranger is meaningful”

Rob

Another thing I liked about this story was Kemmerer’s inclusion of other books I love, like An Ember in the Ashes and Harry Potter. Call It What You Want is the only book that has ever made me add another book to my “to be read” list. She kept mentioning all these books I love, so when she mentioned Winner’s Curse I had to add it.

One choice doesn’t determine your whole future.”

Sam

I appreciate authors who can branch out into other genres and still write amazing stories. I loved A Curse so Dark and Lonely by her, which was Fantasy/ YA, and Call It What You Want definitely lived up to all my expectations as well. I would recommend this book to all Contemporary/ YA fans. This book delves into hard topics such as suicide, underage drinking, and abortion, amongst others. Overall, the main lesson I took from this story was that everyone is fighting their own battles and not everything is black and white. Real people live in the gray areas.

Sometimes when we’re trying to protect the people closest to us, doing the right thing doesn’t always look so clear.”

Maegan’s dad

This book released today June 25th. I hope you guys have time to check it out.

Many thanks to Bloomsburry and Netgalley for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Soul of the Sword

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Picture from Goodreads

Synopsis:

Yumeko is a kitsune shapeshifter who has been entrusted with a sacred scroll. Her mission is to take this scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the great Kami Dragon from being summoned. The dragon is the Harbinger of change, and it will grant one wish to whomever summons it. Hakaimono is a demon that has just been released from a sword called Kamigoroshi after being trapped in it for hundreds of years. He is still wearing the human body of Tatsumi, the Kage demon slayer who had been escorting Yumeko to the temple before the demon broke free. Hakaimono wants to destroy the sword so he can never be put back in it. He has teamed up with he Master of Demons and has promised to get him the scrolls in exchange for destroying the sword. The story ensues as the paths of Yumeko and Hakaimono cross once again, and the fate of the empire hangs in the balance.

True beauty is rare, hidden and often overlooked by others. And it can appear at the strangest times.”

Daisuke

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa transported me to a warm campfire under a starry night, while a bearded old man told this mythical tale in between puffs of smoke from his old wooden pipe. Suddenly, I was in a world in which emotions like grief and despair had smells, and everything from the scenery to the food was described in poetic detail. I particularly found the Forest of a Thousand Eyes terrifying, even when described from Hakaimono’s demon perspective, who tried to make everything sound amusing.

Around them, the shadowy forest stood frozen, tall shaggy pines drooping under the weight of snow and ice. It was an oppressive weight…cold and domineering, as if the snow was a cruel master, demanding silence and respect from everything it touched.”

SUKI

I liked the different points of views in each Chapter, and the fact we had a glimpse into the mind of the demon Hakaimono. We got to see what the human condition is like from a demon’s perspective, and how living inside humans for hundreds of years has changed him. The demon catches himself missing his “home” in Jigoku (a version of the underworld or hell), and wondering if his fellow demons have missed him as well.

I had spent too much time in the heads of these weak-willed humans.”

Hakaimono

I really enjoyed Yumeko’s humor and wit, but I especially loved her determination to complete her quest and to offer a helping hand to all who needed it along the way. As always, Yumeko’s point of view was full of mischief, true to her fox or “kitsune” nature. The dialogue between Yumeko and the band of misfits she has acquired in her journey was very entertaining. One of my favorite side characters continues to be Okame, who despite being a ronin, or disgraced samurai, has shown to be a very honest and loyal companion to Yumeko on her journey.

A small group who stand against insurmountable odds, who give their lives for the glory of the empire? It is what Bushido is built on.”

Daisuke

The story had a nice feeling of adventure, as our group of unlikely heroes, each with their own special skills, are taken from one predicament into the next. The plot was action packed, and the characters were all spurred into action by a single unifying quest to save the empire from certain doom. I adored the first book in this series, Shadow of the Fox, and this second installment was no exception. I recommend this story to all YA/Fantasy fans, and to all those who enjoy adventure and quest driven tales.

‪Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to review this title in exchange for my honest opinion‬

Have you guys read Soul of the Sword? What did you think?

Bookish Bucket List

I have a regular bucket list which includes things like “learn to drive stick-shift” and “help baby sea turtles reach the ocean.” Today, I realized there are many book related things I want to accomplish, and what better way keep track of them than with a Book Bucket List?

So without further rambling or reminiscing here are three things I’m adding:

Read Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Now I know what some of you are thinking. Half of you are saying: “What do you mean you haven’t read them? The other half are saying: “Why would you put yourself through that?” Because I can that’s why! Also, I have owned those two books forever and I feel that it’s time. I was just out of College when I got them, I attempted to read them and never really finished them. I had an English Lit professor who talked so passionately about them that I had to go and get them. I was probably not in the right frame of mind, but I will try again before I kick the bucket.

Go to London

Both Harry Potter and The Infernal Devices series were set there. I’ve always felt a connection to the gloomy gray streets of London, even if I have never physically been there. I’ve been there in mind and spirit, and I feel like I should come full circle and experience it in person. Also, I think a picture of me inside one of those red phone booths from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix would be fantastic.

Own the rest of the Throne of Glass series

Okay, so for some obscure reason I ended up with only the first book and last book of this series. Once again I know what you’re thinking: Just buy them! No really, please tell me to just buy them so I can justify it to my bank account, and my husband. There are many other series that I need to complete or own, but this one really bothers me. First, because the covers are so gorgeous. And second, I have a big girl crush on Celaena (used this name on purpose not to ruin for others), and how awesome would it be to stare at her on my bookshelf ALL day on six different book covers?!.

Please drop me a comment and let me know what’s on your book bucket list? I would love to hear form you!

My favorite series (after Harry Potter of course)

The Infernal Devices -by Cassandra Clare

Let me start by saying that these book covers are absolutely gorgeous. Each cover has one of the main characters, therefore it is easy to picture them in your mind’s eye as you read. Not that they’re not perfectly described and jump off the page, but it always helps when the covers enhance the reading experience.

Life was an uncertain thing, and there were some moments one wished to remember, to imprint upon one’s mind that the memory might be taken out later, like a flower pressed between the pages of a book…” -Sophie

This series is a prequel to the Mortal Instruments series, also by Cassandra Clare, and even though I really liked Mortal Instruments; this prequel stole my heart. The books are set in the year 1878. Tessa Gray arrives in London after being summoned by her brother and soon finds herself caught up in dark supernatural events involving warlocks, vampires, and demons. Shadowhunters take Tessa under their protection, and she befriends Will and Jem. Together they fight against the Pandemonium Club and its horrible clockwork creatures.

Life is a book, and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read. I would read them together with you…” -Will

Clare’s rendering of London was very real to me. I can picture the dirty cobbled streets under near constant smog and rain, and I can almost smell the smoke and pollution emitted by the nearby factories. I can imagine the beautiful dresses and horse drawn carriages.

One must always be careful of books…and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” -Tessa

The characters were so real, even the minor character like Sophie, and I of course can relate to Tess the most, since she is a book lover and avid reader. Both Will and Jem are swoon-worthy, and like me, you will surely find your heart split in two directions when it comes to these guys. Will is the broody bad boy who puts up walls to keep people away, except his parabatai Jem.

When two souls are as one, they stay together on the wheel. I was born on this world to love you, and I will love you in the next life, and the one after that.” -Jem

Jem is kind and sweet, and he plays the violin which makes him even more endearing in my eyes. Even though the characters are all sixteen through seventeen, they are all very mature, and their dialogue is memorable and insightful. As you can see here, some of my favorite quotes came from this series. I always highly recommend this whole series to all my young adult fiction and fantasy fan friends.

You want this?” His voice was hoarse.

“Yes,” she said. “Do you?”

His finger traced the outline of her mouth. “For this I would have been damned forever. For this I would have given up everything.”

-Will and Tessa

Leave me a comment and let me know what your all time favorite series was!

Wicked -by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Wicked #1)

⭐️⭐️⭐️


When I started reading this book, I was really in the mood for something light, fun and entertaining, and this did not disappoint. The cover is gorgeous, and I was instantly drawn to it. Once I began, it was impossible to put down. This book is about twenty-two-year-old Ivy Morgan who is juggling college classes during the day and killing faeries for an organization called the Order at night. When Ren Owens joins the Order, Ivy finds herself paired up with him. Ivy, who is still hurting after the loss of her parents and her long-term boyfriend Shaun, struggles to resist her obvious attraction to Ren, while they both attempt to investigate the recent appearance of dangerous faeries called Ancients in the city of New Orleans.

Armentrout has a quirky way to describe her characters which makes it easy to immediately picture them in your mind. One of my favorite passages is when Ren calls Ivy “Merida” from Disney’s “Brave,” due to her unruly red hair and “kick ass hotness,” a statement which just makes her threaten to stab him. Another character who I found absolutely hilarious was “Tink,” a very dramatic brownie (tiny ken doll sized faerie with wings) who Ivy rescued and keeps as a “roommate” in her flat. I found myself laughing like a lunatic at work, earning me weird looks from my co-workers, and then there were further questions upon my sanity when I attempted to explain what I was laughing at. I’m going to go ahead and confess now that I might be a little biased when it comes to Ren Owens because I have a thing for green eyed guys, (my husband has green eyes), that said, Ren did not disappoint. I found his straight forward, no non-sense attitude very alluring. The playful banter between him and Ivy was also very entertaining to read. On a side note, this is not a book for those who are averse to foul language or explicit sex scenes, as demonstrated by my quote above.

There are some cons to this book. If you are looking for something deep and insightful then this is not the book for you. Having just gotten through “Flowers for Algernon -by Daniel Keyes” and “A Cure for Suicide -by Jesse Ball,” I needed some light reading in my life, and this is exactly that. Also, if you have read enough Fantasy books like I have, then you will find this plot predictable. I will not go into details about the plot because I don’t do spoilers. Let’s just say everything from the big secret reveal to the ending I was already expecting, but once again this is what I wanted from this book. I picked it up while in search for an entertaining story, some hot romance, and the fun dialogue I’ve come to love in Armentrout’s books, and it left me so satisfied that I’ve been putting off reading book two. The characters and their interactions were enough to keep me engaged until the bitter cliffhanger end.