Oh look! I have another post this week. Another book review because this is a pretty short one. Anyway, I have a spoiler free review for Olivia Decoded, the sequel for the Olivia Twisted series. I don’t have many thoughts so let’s get straight into it!
Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes
Series: Olivia Twisted (#2) Genre: Mystery Publication: September 6th 2016 by Entangled: Teen Pages: 320 Source: Borrowed
This isn’t my Jack, who once looked at me like I was his world. The guy who’s occupied the better part of my mind for eight months.
This is Z, criminal hacker with a twisted agenda and an arsenal full of anger.
I’ve spent the past year trying to get my life on track. New school. New friends. New attitude. But old flames die hard, and one look at Jack—the hacker who enlisted me into his life and his hacking ring, stole my heart, and then left me—and every memory, every moment, every feeling comes rushing back. But Jack’s not the only one who’s resurfaced in my life. And if I can’t break through Z’s defenses and reach the old Jack, someone will get hurt…or worse.
I’m really conflicted about this book because although I found myself engaged to the mystery, I was annoyed at the plot and the characters. I missed the hacking in the first book. It wasn’t great in my opinion but hacking is hardly explored in YA so it was different. The storyline in this book is creepy but it wasn’t as unnerving as I would have liked.
I have FINALLY finished the Embassy Row series by Ally Carter. So, today I have a review for the finale of the series. It’s spoiler free so if you haven’t read this book yet and want to know my thoughts first, read ahead! If you haven’t read book #1 or 2, I recommend reading them first before reading this review. Just as a precaution because I don’t want to accidentally spoil you. But there aren’t any major spoilers from the previous books if you’re worried. Let’s begin!
Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter
Series: Embassy Row (#3) Genres: Mystery, Thriller Publication: December 27th 2016 by Scholastic Press Pages: 327 Source: Borrowed
The princess is dead. Long live the princess.
Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed…or so everyone thought.
Now Grace Blakely knows the truth: There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution—which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.
There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.
If she wins, she will inherit a throne.
And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.
I found the concept of this series real great with the conspiracies, lost princesses and secret societies. However, the overall execution didn’t impress me even and I was disappointed after each book in the series. I believe this novel was much too short to deal with all the conflicts and ideas explored so there wasn’t enough depth and development. Perhaps I’m rating this book a bit higher than my actual feelings. I feel like it’s more of a 2.75 but I’m feeling generous. Plenty of angst, plenty of drama. Let’s get into it.
I have another review for you today on book #2 of the Zeroes series. This is a spoiler free review for THIS novel but it might spoil the overall outcomes from the FIRST book of the series (Zeroes). This is the first review I’ve done on this blog for a book did not finish (DNF) which was surprisingly longer than I expected. I’m not here to bash the book. I was just bored and disappointed in my reading experience. If you don’t mind negative reviews, proceed!
Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti
Series: Zeroes (#2) Genre: Science fiction Publication: September 27th 2016 by Simon Pulse Pages: 448 Source: Borrowed
DNF @ 60%
They thought they’d already faced their toughest fight. But there’s no relaxing for the reunited Zeroes.
These six teens with unique abilities have taken on bank robbers, drug dealers and mobsters. Now they’re trying to lay low so they can get their new illegal nightclub off the ground.
But the quiet doesn’t last long when two strangers come to town, bringing with them a whole different kind of crowd-based chaos. And hot on their tails is a crowd-power even more dangerous and sinister.
Up against these new enemies, every Zero is under threat. Mob is crippled by the killing-crowd buzz—is she really evil at her core? Flicker is forced to watch the worst things a crowd can do. Crash’s conscience—and her heart—get a workout. Anon and Scam must both put family loyalties on the line for the sake of survival. And Bellwether’s glorious-leader mojo deserts him.
Who’s left to lead the Zeroes into battle against a new, murderous army?
I found this sequel to be so boring. I didn’t find the plot interesting and I really tried to get through. It’s a pretty big book and I made it just over the halfway mark so I think I gave it a fair go. I skimmed the rest of the book but I’m still confused about the ending. I’m not saying that I hated the book, I was just in complete boredom reading it. The first book had so great ideas and I saw the potential, but the execution wasn’t quite there. I wasn’t especially impressed with the first book, but I was intrigued enough to continue to see how it would go. I found both books to be disappointing. The entertainment value I found in the first book isn’t there for me anymore. I think it’s one of those cases of it’s me not you so go forth and give it a chance if you’re into unlikely superheroes and unique powers – I admit the concept of the series is interesting. Usually, I find it difficult to not finish novels, but I’ve heard that the ending is very open ended and super frustrating. I don’t think I regret not finishing it.
I’ve got an overdue boo review for one of the best novels I have read thus far this year. This is a spoilerish review. This means that the majority of the review will be spoiler free except for a little spoiler section at the end. There will be warnings. This book is a sequel, however this review won’t spoil anything from the first book. Let’s get into it!
The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Fixer (#2) Genres: Thriller, Mystery Publication: June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens Pages: 360 Source: Borrowed
The Kendricks help make the problems of the Washington elite disappear…but some secrets won’t stay buried.
For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington, D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate’s campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.
Meanwhile, Tess’s guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can—and cannot—be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she’s about to discover firsthand that power always comes with a price.
I really enjoyed this sequel. The energy was high and the intensity stayed at that level too. I found this book to be less repetitive than its predecessor. YAY improvements! The higher stakes felt more like background for a large majority unlike the first book which was at its forefront. However, the way that the events build and layer up was done so well and this definitely showed how intricately plotted it was. It’s even more intense and action packed than the first book. It’s such a fun and smart book.
I have a spoiler free review for Ashes, book #3 of the Seeds of America trilogy. I really enjoyed the first 2 books of the series so if you want to know my thoughts on the finale, read on!
Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson
Series: Seeds of America (#3) Genre: Historical fiction Publication: October 4th 2016 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers Pages: 272 Source: Borrowed
Return to the American Revolution in this blistering conclusion to the trilogy that began with the bestselling National Book Award Finalist Chains and continued with Forge, which The New York Times called “a return not only to the colonial era but to historical accuracy.”
As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge—but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state—where bounty hunters are thick as flies.
Heroism and heartbreak pave their path, but Isabel and Curzon won’t stop until they reach Ruth, and then freedom, in this grand finale to the acclaimed Seeds of America trilogy from Laurie Halse Anderson.
I have been waiting years for this series to conclude. This book didn’t captivate me like the first two, but the research is still impressive. I wasn’t a fan of the clumsy misunderstandings that took place for a lot of the first half of the book. It felt a bit predictable. I just didn’t find this book that entertaining.
Today I’m going to be listing the YA series I want to start in 2017. I am always late to any trend and take a long time to get around to the iconic books of YA fiction, so I plan to start many this year so I don’t have to run away from all the imminent spoilers that circulate this earth. Also, then I don’t have to mumble something about not even starting the series every time someone asks of my opinion of these books.
Series: The Maze Runner (#0.6) Genre: Science fiction Publication: September 27th 2016 by Delacorte Press Pages: 347 Source: Borrowed
Once there was a world’s end.
The forests burned, the lakes and rivers dried up, and the oceans swelled.
Then came a plague, and fever spread across the globe. Families died, violence reigned, and man killed man.
Next came WICKED, who were looking for an answer. And then they found the perfect boy.
The boy’s name was Thomas, and Thomas built a maze.
Now there are secrets.
There are lies.
And there are loyalties history could never have foreseen.
This is the story of that boy, Thomas, and how he built a maze that only he could tear down.
All will be revealed.
I found this book slightly better than its prequel: The Kill Order. However, all my expectations went down the drain and none of the questions I wanted answered actually were. A lot of the novel was repetitive with information readers would have gathered from reading the original trilogy. This could just be me. A few exciting scenes here and there. Perhaps this series has just lost its appeal for me.