25 March 2013

Review: Fragments by Dan Wells

Release Date: February 26th, 2013
Hardcover: 564 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins UK

Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence--it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what's left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira's journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn't even know existed.

So many things happening in so little time! That seems to be the main motto of Fragments. Kira is still searching for a way to cure both the Partials and the Humans and this goal leads her to many surprising discoveries. Meanwhile Marcus is trying to replicate the cure without success. The worst thing though is that the Partials are threatening to start a war if they can't get their hands on Kira. Fragments is the living proof that sequels CAN be as good as their prequels, or even better!

The thing that I liked the most about Fragments was the different perspectives. I liked to know about Kira and Samm but Marcus' side of the story was as interesting. And that's saying something, since I didn't like Marcus that much in the first installment. I almost devoured the 564 pages, always wanting to know more about what was going to happen. And the ending left me hungry for more. The romance takes a backseat in this action and informative sequel. While Fragments will answer many of your questions, it will also lead to more. But fear not, the tension between Samm and Kira is still entertaining enough.

Kira is a strong main character and she proves this again and again. The problem is that her persistence that she will find an answer to everything can get on your nerves; it certainly got on mine. Heron was also a bit of a pain because she was always complaining. But while I didn't like these flaws, they are what made these characters so unique in the first place. Samm is still my favorite character in this series and that's because he can be so sweet but still Partial enough at the same time.

Fragments was a fantastic sequel to Partials. It was full of surprises and interesting twists and turns. I was foremost interested in Kira's journey to the West, where she certainly found some answers, but were they the right ones? I can't wait to get my hands on the next installment, since it will certainly entail more action and the long awaited answers to the mystery around Kira and the cure.

Thanks to Harper Collins UK for providing me with a copy for review!

21 March 2013

ARC Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Release Date: March 26th, 2013
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

There are some things you can’t leave behind…A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

If You Find Me is certainly a most compelling and emotional contemporary young adult read. I don't often go to this kind of novel but If You Find Me caught my attention after I read many raving reviews and it didn't disappoint me in the least. It treats about child abuse in a most mysterious and heartbreaking way. And to know that this was only the debut novel of this author, well, it certainly promises a lot of great novels by Murdoch.

Murdoch's novel is undoubtedly intense. Child abuse is real and sad, and If You Find Me is a realistically enough written story about this current theme so that you will sympathise with all characters. The special thing about If You Find Me is that the story is told in a certain way that leaves the readers curious, even though we know something awful happened in those woods. Admittedly the novel was a bit too intense for me sometimes, I don't often read contemporary novels, least of all, the sad ones. But If You Find Me was something unique.

What really surprised me in this novel was the realism of the characters. They could have been real people and they probably are. Unfortunately I'm sure that there are many Careys out there. While reading it, you will sympathise with every single characters, most of all, with Carey. I even enjoyed reading about Carey's stepsister. Who seems a bit mean in the beginning but isn't her situation complicated as well?! I really enjoyed that the characters had many facets.

All in all, If You Find Me is a novel that everyone should read. Even if you don't like this kind of novel, you should give it a try. Honestly I found the plot a bit obvious and predictable but still enjoyable. If you are searching for a novel that will break your heart and then mend it back together, then this is certainly the novel you are looking for.

Thanks to St. Martin's Griffin for providing me with a copy for review! 

13 March 2013

ARC Review: Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Release Date: March 12th, 2013
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.
Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

With a brand-new premise about artificial intelligence, Mila 2.0 sure does keep us readers caught up in every twist and turn. Unfortunately even with those thrilling  twists and turns, I never felt like we arrived at the climax of the novel. Nevertheless Mila 2.0 was an enjoyable read just because of the freshness of the idea (at least, I hadn't read something similar in the YA genre until now) and the writing was pleasant to read.

The plot was for me the best part of this novel. It went as it usual does, with Mila finding out that she is not who she thought she was. From then on, the novel is filled with action and exciting moments, enough to make us readers eager to get to the last page. The only big problem with this novel, in my opinion, was the romance. Her relationship with Hunter was always a central theme in the novel, despite the lack of development between them. Furthermore he doesn't play a big role in the story but is always remembered as a big deal; the problem is: he isn't a remarkable character.

Mila was a more interesting character but I wasn't able to enjoy her much. But her emotions are well-described and probably I will enjoy her more in the sequel. Hunter, as mentioned, didn't thrill me as he should have but let's wait to see how things will play out in the course of the trilogy. Lucas, another possible love interest, was also a bit superfluous in the story; I expected him to become something more but somehow it felt like the author was holding out on us. He was left behind without even an afterthought.

Mila 2.0 was a great debut to a trilogy that has potential to become something awesome. Even though there were many things that bothered me in this novel, there were also many that I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm certainly awaiting the next installment, and you should too!

Thanks to Katherine Tegen Books for providing me with a copy of Mila 2.0 for review!!

01 March 2013

ARC Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Release Date: March 5th, 2013
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.But we are still here.And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.
After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.But we have chosen a different road.And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

As always, I´ve been blown away by Lauren Oliver´s writing. Her writing is flawless and the pace is so pleasant to read. I don´t know many authors that can write the way she can, somehow everything sounds so truthful and moving.With Requiem is no different. certainly a worthy conclusion to one of my favorite YA series.

So much is happening in Requiem, finally everything should come together. I liked the alternate perspective between Lena and Hana, we not only get to experience what is happening in Lena´s hometown but also what Lena and the other Invalids have to go through. Everything comes nicely together in the end, even though it is an open ending. It was such a fitting idea for this series because in the end, Oliver is giving us the chance to decide for ourselves. I have no words for this novel, it is that simple. The love triangle is so realistically-written and not only that but also anything else in this novel, the bad and the good things are relatable.

What makes this series so special is that you can identify yourself easily with any of Oliver´s characters. I like each and every one of them. Lena became a strong character, so easily discernible from the character she was in Delirium. Hana is a different character, as well, but is it that bad? Even Lena has to ask herself sometimes if the procedure is such a bad thing. Finally love can become a disease but sometimes it is just worth the risk.

All in all, Requiem is a fantastic conclusion to one of my favorite series, ever. I´m a huge fan of Lauren Oliver and all of my expectations were met in Requiem. Certainly some will be mad, sad and even desperate with this ending, but I, for one, was happy with the way things ended. It was a very satisfying conclusion and as always, you will be taken into a rollercoaster ride of different emotions. I cannot wait for Lauren Oliver to write more unbelievably unique novels, which I will most certainly read.