July Wrap-Up Post for 2012 TBR Reading Challenge

Books Read: 21 books out of 20-30 books
Goal: 20 - 30 books - a sweet kiss
GOAL REACHED IN 2.5 MONTHS!

Click here for the previous wrap-up post for June.

Hello, everyone! Today marks the ending of the wrap-up for the 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge month of July! I've reviewed a whole ton of books this month, so below are those applicable to the challenge because they were written in 2011 or earlier.
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles


~*~Challenge~*~

*Take any two international covers and compare them. Chose your favorite out of the two.
*For a bonus tell me what Olympics event is your favorite.
 
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

I can't wait to read this book, so I chose it for the challenge. Here are the covers!

US Cover                     International Cover

I like the US cover more. This is a book about dragons, it's fun and full of fantasy. The US cover screams fantasy and is really cool looking. The international cover isn't as visually appealing as the US cover. While the dragon eye is cool, the girl on the cover seems very bland and can't measure up to the awesomeness that is the US cover.

Bonus: My favorite Olympic event would have to be any swimming or diving event! I so easily get into the swimming events and the diving events are so awesome, especially the synchronized diving.



Series Review: Wings

 Wings Series by Aprilynne Pike


Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful - too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.






"I can't just storm in and proclaim my intentions. I can't 'steal' you away. I just have to wait and hope that, someday, you'll ask," Tamani said.

"And if I don't?" Laurel said, her voice barely above a whisper.

"Then I guess I'll be waiting forever."

Although Laurel has come to accept her true identity as a faerie, she refuses to turn her back on her human life - and especially her boyfriend, David - to return to the faerie world.

But when she is summoned to Avalon, Laurel's feelings for the charismatic faerie sentry Tamani are undeniable. She is forced to make a choice - a choice that could break her heart




"I don't do patrols, I don't go hunting, I just stick close to you. You live your life. I'll keep you safe," Tamani said, sweeping a lock of hair from her face. "Or die trying."


Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.

But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.






Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear.

He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn't kiss her, just held her face close to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.

She hated how much it felt like good-bye.



Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful - and deadly - of all, and Klea plans to use her to help conquer and destroy Avalon. But Klea's reach extends far beyond one wild Winter faerie. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares to face what may be Avalon's final days, in the stunning conclusion to the Wings series.



~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

 I don't think anyone can go wrong with this series. It's certainly a unique twist on the faeries. All faeries belong to a season and that season dedicates what their specific powers are.


Laurel is special. She's a fairy planted in the human world to save the sacred land that her fellow faeries live on. She grew up without knowledge of what she was. She was gorgeous, but was unaware to the way people viewed her beauty. She's a vegetarian that only drinks sprite because it helps her hair keep its light blond hue. She's never gotten sick, nor does she bleed, and she was home-schooled for most of her life. That is... until now...

Throughout the series, Laurel slowly discovers her identity, her purpose in life, and takes her destiny into her own hands so she can decide what to do with her future. Constantly battling different forms of evils, like an unlikable Fairy Queen, trolls, and double-sided people with evil intentions, Laurel learns to be confident in herself and to hold the people that mean the most to her close to her heart.



This series has a continuous love triangle that I, surprisingly, couldn't get enough of. The two love interests? Tamani and David. David is a human boy that loves science. He may have run a few experiments on Laurel to discover what she truly is--a super advanced type of plant--but he loves her and is intrigued by her heritage and the fact that in his eyes she is one of a kind. Tamani has known Laurel since before she was placed in the human world. He, too, is a fairy, though his season is of lesser rank than Laurel's. He is simply there to create other faeries, his hands giving off pollen whenever he is near a fairy in blossom, and to defend the gates. But he considers himself Laurel's personal protector because she holds such an important place in his heart. He will literally jump in front of a bullet for her. Like any love triangle, Laurel's thoughts are slightly frustrating, but I was happy with who she picked in the end.


The final book in this series, Destined, is full of action. It'll have you flipping pages as loose ends begin to get tied up and people's true colors are revealed. The faeries are fighting to survive against a combined evil force that may just win. With death's that will make your heart stop and a love that'll make your heart beat faster, I couldn't imagine a better end to the series. The epilogue literally killed me and Pike did succeed in drawing a few tears from me with it. While I hated to see this series go, I couldn't imagine writing it any better myself.


While some parts are rocky, I definitely recommend checking it out. This is a solid 4 star series. It has a unique twist on faeries and is full of fairy lore. This is a cute read full of action and characters that you can easily relate to. If you ever have the time to pick it up, I highly recommend doing so.

~*~Covers~*~

 I absolutely love the covers in this series. They're visually appealing and all-around beautiful. Years ago, it is what made me first pull Wings off of the shelf to read. Now, years later, I'm still loving the covers and the series, despite being extremely sad to see it go. I mean, just look at them! Who can hate those beautiful covers?! Amazing choices.


4 star series

~*~Links~*~

Weekly Wrap-Up

~*~Stacking The Shelves~*~




For Review:

Otherkin by Nina Berry
The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris 

Library:

Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jone
Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

~*~Reviews Posted This Week~*~

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry #2)
Chain Reactiom by Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry #3)
 

Review: Chain Reaction

Author: Simone Elkeles
  • Series: Perfect Chemistry #3
  • Published: August 16, 2011
  • Publisher: Walker Books
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 308 pages
  • Source: Bought
  •  
~*~Summary~*~

Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he's scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is always looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by certain rules -, don't trust a boy who says "I love you", boys lie to get their own way and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Then she meets Luis at his brother Alex's wedding and suddenly she's tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to give him a chance is Luis's biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers' lives. Will Luis's feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk?


~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Simone Elkeles did it again! I can never find it in me to dislike this wonderful series. The youngest of the Fuentes brothers is easy to love because he is literally a combination of both of his older brothers: Alex and Carlos. Will this is an awesome combination, it didn't make the book as enjoyable as the other books in the series because there was nothing totally unique about Luis the way that Alex and Carlos was unique.

Luis meets Nikki at Alex's wedding. Nikki just had a miscarriage with Luis's ex-best-friend from his childhood. When Luis moves back to Fairfield, he inadvertently pushes Nikki away by befriending her ex and his friend again. Together, they will embark on a rocky journey that leads to a memorable relationship and an awesome win the in Fuentes family annual panty discus tournament.

I have to say that I did struggle with Luis and Nikki's romance a little. It seemed very fake at times. They were both "using" each other at one point, so I found myself rolling my eyes at the cheesiness of it all half of the time. Then again, isn't that one of the things that make us love Elkeles's books so much? In all honesty, I struggled more with Nikki than I did Luis. I can't ever find it in me to hate a Fuentes boy.

I don't really have anything to say about this book. You can see how much I love this series from all my other reviews! I would definitely recommend this series to anyone that is in need for a nice, cheesy, yet unique contemporary romance series. I have to say that the first book in the series will forever and always be my favorite. Big brother Alex set a bar that Carlos and Luis are completely incapable of reaching. But that doesn't mean that they don't come close. ;)

4 stars to this cheesy conclusion. I have to say that the epilogue may have a little too much cheese in it, but it makes me curious as to whether or not this trilogy may turn into a four book series! 

~*~Cover~*~

This cover happens to be a bit cliche, too, but I also have to say it's probably the hottest in the series. While I wouldn't be tempted to take it off the shelf, it goes with the rest of the series, so I do enjoy that aspect of it.


4 stars

 

Giveaways Galore!

Hey, everyone. Bringing you my weekly giveaways post during the Olympic opening ceremony! Is everyone enjoying it? Here are a few awesome giveaways to participate in during the commercial breaks!





Fiction Freak


Leave any links to giveaways you would like me to add to this list or include in next week's list!

Review: Sweet Venom

Author: Tera Lynn Childs
  • Series: Medusa Girls #1
  • Published: September 6, 2011
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 345 pages (Hardcover)
  • Source: Library
  •  
~*~Summary~*~

Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

  
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I was not blown away by Childs' Oh. My. Gods. series, so I didn't know what to expect with this book, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. While this seems like it was written to appeal to the younger group of young adult readers, it was incredibly light and entertaining and easily kept me turning pages. Every now and then, I even found myself smiling at the funny jokes littered throughout the book.

Gretchen, Grace, and Greer are all triplets. But they're not your average set of triplets. They're descended from the warrior gorgon Medusa. They must send all of the evil creatures that break into the human world back to where they came from. The problem is, two out of the three girls are unaware of the mission that they were born to carry out. All three are adopted and only Gretchen knows the truth. When she stumbles across Grace in a local club, both of their worlds begin to turn upside-down. Once Gretchen begins to train Grace, they realize they must track down their third sister and train her too, only to be met with resistance. These three girls cannot be more different, but that's what makes this tale all the more interesting. I have a little sister of my own, so I totally understood their sisterly banter and constant need to argue with each other. Isn't that what sisters are for?

Childs did a unique thing with this book. It was narrated between three different perspectives. I applaud her for taking this risk, but I didn't really enjoy it at times. I often had to flip back to the first page of a chapter to see whose voice I was reading in until I got used to the characters and their unique voices. To add onto that, we weren't introduced to Greer until we were two thirds into the book. I feel like I barely know her because of this. I had an entire novel to discover Grace's intelligence and Gretchen's awesome skills at kicking some monster ass, but I barely knew Greer. To me, she's a materialistic rich kid. As we learned more about her, I never found myself liking her. This could be attributed to the fact that I don't even know her half as well as I know Gretchen and Grace. I felt like I could relate to Gretchen and Grace, though I definitely couldn't relate to Greer. Then again, it's hard to relate to a girl that spends her dates deciding whether her boyfriend earned a kiss or not. I'm hoping I'll warm up to her specific character in the next book in the series. 

My favorite thing about this book was the mythology. It was everywhere in this novel, so I easily fell in love with it. While most of it is legitimate mythology, Childs had to twist a few tales to keep the book going. Still, they were believable and had the basis of truth, and I found myself eating it up.

This series is perfect for any reader that enjoys mythology and light, entertaining reads. The writing is slightly juvenile and though I enjoyed the plot, nothing in the novel truly blew me away. The descendants of Medusa aspect of the novel was totally original, but I felt as if I've come across the whole "we are descended from some type of God so now we have to rid the world of evil" thing has been done before. This is one of those series that I enjoyed, but it didn't blow me away. It's the perfect book to read if we want something to make us laugh.

~*~Cover~*~

 I really like this cover. I think it's appealing to the eye. It's simple and not overly complicated in a completely unnecessary way. I believe we're looking at Gretchen's ever present braid, though she wouldn't wear a shirt that was so low cut in the back.



3.5 stars

 

Review: Rules of Attraction

Author: Simone Elkeles
  • Series: Perfect Chemistry #2
  • Published: April 13, 2010
  • Publisher: Walker Books
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 324 pages
  • Source: Bought
  •  
~*~Summary~*~

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

 
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Much like Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction takes us on a wildly entertaining and oddly romantic ride. Carlos is ten times as stubborn as Alex ever was. Kiara is a shy girl that won't stand down to Carlos and his wild ways, despite how wary she is of them. Oddly enough, they're perfect for each other.

This book begins with Carlos coming back to America. Unbeknownst to his mother, he joined a gang back in Mexico and they'll never truly leave him alone. While there, he also learned how much fun messing with women could be. His mother sent him back to America to live with his brother, Alex, whose now in college and still dating Brittany. Their mother is hoping that he'll straighten out like Alex did. Boy, was she wrong. 


Carlos truly resented Alex for leaving their family for "selfish" reasons like being with Brit and pursuing an education. So the beginning of the book is full of him rebelling against his new authority figure. Unfortunately, that makes Carlos come in contact with the wrong type of crowd. A bunch of problems later, Carlos finds himself standing in front of a judge that orders him to live with Mr. Westford, Kiara's father and Alex's professor. That's when the two of their worlds collide and they immediately begin fighting their attraction to each other.

As always, Elkeles has the chapters alternate between both Kiara and Carlos' perspectives. While I can't say that their journey lives up to Alex and Brit's, I did truly enjoy it. It's an entertaining read that'll satisfy any reader of the series. Both Carlos and Kiara are entirely different from Alex and Brit, and you'll fall in love with them instantly. Actually, I take that back, you'll fall in love with Kiara instantly. I'm sure Carlos would be happy to hear that his initial pigheadedness made me think he was a cocky jerk at first, but I loved the slow process of discovering the real him alongside Kiara.

Who would have known that there was a Fuentes who was more arrogant than Alex? This book is only earning 4.5 stars. As much as I love Elkeles and her amazing writing, I don't think any of her books can live up to the amazingness that was Perfect Chemistry. But damn, did Carlos come close to filling Alex's shoes.

~*~Cover~*~

The covers in this series seem to be beyond cliche, even though they all have something to do with each other. I have to say the concept in this one is sort of cute and adorable in an extremely cheesy way.

 


 4.5 stars

Waiting on Wednesday #10

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that spotlights upcoming releases and it is hosted by the fabulous Breaking the Spine.

My pick of the week is...
 
Auracle by Gina Rosati
 
 
Date of Publication: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Number of Pages: 304

~*~Summary~*~

 16 year old Anna Rogan has a secret she's only shared with her best friend, Rei; she can astrally project out of her body, allowing her spirit to explore the world and the far reaches of the universe.

When there's a fatal accident and her classmate Taylor takes over Anna's body, what was an exhilarating distraction from her repressive home life threatens to become a permanent state. Faced with a future trapped in another dimension, Anna turns to Rei for help. Now the two of them must find a way to get Anna back into her body and stop Taylor from accusing an innocent friend of murder. Together Anna and Rei form a plan but it doesn't take into account the deeper feelings that are beginning to grow between them.

~*~Why I'm Waiting~*~

Okay, this book just looks totally freaking AWESOME. I mean, this girl gets forced out of her own body. Who has ever heard of such a thing in YA literature before? I think it's totally unique, so I'm absolutely dying to read this book!

~*~

Link me up to your WoW's!

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous The Broke and The Bookish.
Each week we highlight a new top ten list on a variety of topics.
In no particular order...

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - I truly felt as if I was transported back in time while I read this historical fiction book.

2. Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock - I could totally feel the air of creepiness and mystery while I read. I had goose bumps for the entire read.

3. Eon Series by Alison Goodman - This book's world-building left me speechless. It takes place in Asia under an Empire that puts a heavy emphasis on dragons. It was... absolutely amazing!
 
4. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - I could picture Ravka perfectly in my mind. While I loved this book so much, I never want Ravka to become a real place.

5. Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout - The lore made this series come alive. While the first link leads to the review for the first book, you can see the review for the second book in the series here.

6. Partials by Dan Wells - This sci-fi adventure takes place in a world where most of the population is completely wiped out. Living so near to New York and sort of near Long Island, I found it incredibly eerie because I could see the supposed destruction of the world so vividly.

7. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling - I think this is a given. We all know the easiest place to lose ourselves in is the Harry Potter Series.

8. Percy Jackson and The Olympians Series by Rick Riordan - I feel like this is another given. I grew up spending entire summers fully immersed in these books because I could so see myself there.

Books that continue the list, but I refuse to reveal anything about because the reviews aren't up yet and you have to see their awesomeness purely for yourself.

9. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

10. Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Review: Immortal City

Author: Scott Speer
  • Series: Immortal City #1
  • Published: April 3, 2012
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 368 pages (Hardcover)
  • Source: Bought
  •  
~*~Summary~*~

Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them.

He's days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone's obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect - everyone except for Madison Montgomery.

Maddy's the one girl in Angel City who doesn't breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn't recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.

Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson's scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi - and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels' wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat & and this time it's up to Maddy to save Jackson.


 
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Scott Speer re-imagined Los Angeles, also known as Immortal City, in this amazing tale where angels aren't really the most angelic, despite their angelic duties. Guardian Angels have been around forever, protecting humans by performing anonymous saves and giving them a second chance at life. Then, the American Civil War happened. The angels were disgusted that brothers were killing their own brothers and they decided that they should make their presence known, refusing to help this seemingly selfish and clueless race. Now, Guardian Angels only protect those who can afford to pay them. Sure, they're carrying out their angelic duties, but doing it for obscene payments seems a bit corrupt, don't you think? Well, a lot of unprotected humans, and even some angels, think so too!

Speer gives us a taste of paparazzi in this novel thing with themes of idolizing celebrities. But in his world, the celebrities are the angels. And the most well known angel of them all is Jackson Godspeed, also known as Jacks--the world's youngest Guardian Angel. And thrown into it all is Maddy Montgomery--a girl who never really cared about the angels, but somehow found herself living alongside Jacks in the spotlight. Such a place is a place that millions of girls across the world would die to be.

Honestly, this seems like a re-imagined Cinderella story to me. Jacks is the perfect Prince Charming and Maddy is our hard-working Cinderella, a girl that lost both her parents that always takes the morning shift at her uncle Kevin's diner. Both grew up naive to the others lifestyles, so their attempts at a relationship or any type of public appearance were in vain. Jacks took Maddy into the spotlight with the hopes of showing her how beautiful he truly thought he was, but let's just say that backfired beyond belief. Their naivety made it incredibly hard for them to see eye to eye. And of course, the odds were stacked against them, but that never seemed to stop them. And just when everything couldn't get worse, their relationship began to plummet while surrounded by non-stop action that had you flipping pages like there is no tomorrow! 

Maddy is a great heroine. She's very logical, but Jacks' presence makes her illogical. Thus, her random spurts of logic when the story is moving along are almost aggravating. They come out of nowhere, though you tend to agree with them, I just wish they were brought on more smoothly. Jacks isn't the typical Hollywood "It" Boy. He broke up with Vivian Holycross, the "It" Girl because she didn't truly care for him, effectively turning her into the Evil Step-Sister. She's immediately envious of Jacks and beyond territorial, threatening both Jacks and Maddy any chance she's given.

Oddly enough, I truly adored this story. Despite me feeling the Cinderella vibes, this is definitely different from any form of re-telling that I have ever read. It's not even officially a re-telling, it just seems like one to me, as a reader. My only complaint is that, at times, I wish Speer was more descriptive. But, hey, this is his debut novel so I have to give him the props he deserves. 4.5 stars to this awesome story that kept me turning the pages because I couldn't get enough. I am most definitely anxiously awaiting its sequel!

A nice read for anyone who loves loose fairytale re-tellings, angels, mythology, and action! 


~*~Cover~*~

I actually like this cover. It's not amazing, but it's definitely better than most. I feel as if I am looking at Jacks on the cover, if only his wings looked more realistic!



 
4.5 stars
 
~*~Links~*~

|Sequel

Weekly Wrap Up!

~*~Books I Got This Week~*~ 
 For Review:

Secrets by Dawn Kirby
Angelfall by Susan Ee 
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

So, I received Secrets  because I will be participating in a blog tour for it in August. I first denied the blog tour because I thought this was an adult book and this is a young adult book only review blog. Then, I realized that this is a New Adult book under the YA genre. Meaning, the characters in this are slightly older and there may be more sexual references, but this is a young adult novel meant for older, more mature young adult readers. I wanted to introduce myself to the genre and give myself a chance with it because some people consider it YA and some don't. I joined the tour to learn about this new genre and see what I think of it. 
 
Bought:

 Immortal City by Scott Speer

Won:
 
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard


From Susan's scavenger hunt, I won a signed copy of her book, two signed bookplates, and four signed trading cards from our favorite spirit hunters! They're lining the top of the book, though the picture came out a little dark. My first ever signed and personalized book, guys! AHHHHHH!

Gifted:

 Entangled by Nikki Jefford 
Easy by Tammara Webber


A blogger that I'm following was given a code to get Entangled for free on Smashwords. She shared it with us, and I am so thankful she did because I have been dying to give this book a chance! Easy, I believe, is another New Adult contemporary that I am beyond excited to read because a lot of people love it. My Aunt randomly showed up with it as a present when I joined her at the mall to help her pick out a present for her cousins new baby!

~*~Reviews Posted This Week~*~ 

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Partials by Dan Wells

~*~The Ultimate Review Challenge~*~

I signed up to be part of the Ultimate Reviewers' Challenge for the month of August! I love challenges like these and this will sort of be my last big challenge that I can fully devote myself to before my Senior year of high school starts. Good luck to anyone else who is participating!
 





Addicted 2 Novels

Review: Partials

Author: Dan Wells
  • Series: Partials #1
  • Published: February 28, 2012
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 468 pages (Hardcover)
  • Source: Won
  •  
~*~Summary~*~

Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.

Combining the fast-paced action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Battlestar Galactica, Partials is a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our sense of humanity is both our greatest liability, and our only hope for survival
.

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Just as the summary above that was taken from Goodreads states, Partials was a pulse-pounding journey into a world unlike any other. However, I have to say that the pulse-pounding action didn't pull me in until I was about 150 pages into the book. In a sense, this book reminded me very much of Stephenie Meyer's The Host. Not that they have similar plot lines, but each book had to write a large chunk of detail to introduce us to their unique world and the other characters before the author got down to the real page-turning action. With this in mind, I struggled through the first chunk of the book and I'm happy to say I did because I couldn't put the book down once I reached the action-packed section. When Kira finally sets her mind to go on a deadly and near treasonous mission, I fell in love with both her and the amazing sci-fi adventure that Wells had in store for us.

Kira is a very strong MC. Because of her amazing mind, she's a rising star in the world of science, at least what's left of it after the Partials War. It was refreshing to have an intelligent female protagonist that was intelligent beyond her years. Her motives are always admirable as well. She never once stepped out of line to hurt anybody and risked her life, a war, and the new government to save her best friend's child. It's safe to say that I'd kill for a friend like that. She wasn't willing to conform to all of the ludicrous rules that the Senate presented, especially the continuous lowering pregnancy age that makes The Hope Act make all females bear children as often as possible in an attempt to find a baby that could survive RM and give humanity a new hope for survival.

For the most part, I really enjoyed Wells' writing style. As I said before, I had trouble getting into the book in the beginning, but once all necessary explanations and world-building was complete and the plot began to flow, I couldn't put the book down. I found myself arguing with myself whether I should stay up past one AM to finish it that night or wait until the next morning to do so. My only other problem with this novel is that, at times, the sci-fi elements took over the book. Characters would give huge speeches and I'd find my eyes glazing over because the dialogue passages were so long I had trouble focusing. Pages of paragraphs of the same character talking isn't that entertaining. And when they would talk about specific science aspects, I had trouble grasping them, despite Wells' best attempt to explain it all. I mean... I've gotten A's in environmental science, biology, chemistry, and a B+ in physics. I'm not amazing at science, but I can certainly grasp scientific concepts. This book has some words that I have never heard of before, thus some of it went completely over my head. In this sense, I feel as if Wells' background as an adult writer crosses over into his first attempt at a young adult novel and blurs the lines between the two genres.

This book is earning 4 stars because of how enjoyable I found it. I certainly haven't found a world like this in any other post-apocalyptic novels. Nor have I encountered any concepts that I feel that I have seen before. In the end, the enemy is the last thing that you would expect. And when this all comes to light, you'll be dying for the next book in this series, just as I am. I highly recommend this book to anybody who likes a nice, thick read that makes you think. Despite the fact that it doesn't feel as long as it is, you certainly need to be able to set aside a large chunk of your time to complete it.

~*~Cover~*~

I do enjoy this cover! You can see Kira looking out onto what I am assuming is the City, preparing her mission despite having no knowledge of what could be waiting for her behind those buildings. It's great and would totally compel me to pull this book off of a shelf in Barnes and Noble.
 
4 stars