Autonomous: A Review

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 I usually wouldn’t give a cover like this, this high of a rating, but after reading the novel I couldn’t think up a more perfect cover. It’s simple, yet elegant. In a way, it tells you exactly what the inside story is about. If there was one image to describe what Autonomous is it is exactly what this cover is.

Publisher: Tor Books

Publish Date: September 19th, 2017

Number of Pages: 303

Received: The Tor Book of the month for a month I don’t recall.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

When anything can be owned, how can we be free

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.

Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understand.

And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?

Opening Sentence: “The student wouldn’t stop doing her homework, and it was going to kill her.”

Musings:

Autonomous is a smart novel. In every sense of the word. It’s language is very scientifically based, yet not in a way that is overly complicated. It’s well-balanced and fun to read. Yet, it’s subject matter is often serious. This is one of the first adult novels I’ve read. I was not disappointed. It’s one of the most intriguing as Sci-fi novels I’ve ever read.

What I Loved:

The relationships. The relationships in this novel are more then just interesting they are eye-opening. In a world where bots and humans co-exist some taboo relationships were bound to happen and I enjoyed reading about what that would look like. Also, I love that Jack is casually bi-sexual. I love seeing books have people represented as exactly who they are and it being accepted. No one cares about Jack’s sexuality and I feel like that’s how things should be.

It’s really well structured. I have not geeked out on the structure of a novel in a long time. It’s not something I typically even notice so much, but Autonomous has this balance of storylines past and present with so many things going on, but not too much, but all of it is interesting. Everything is important in the novel. There is no filler. In a sci-fi this is a magical thing that I have not experienced before.

No one is truly the good guy. Sure, everyone thinks they are, but no one is totally clean of doing something wrong. The whole point of Jack’s quest is to right a wrong that affected over a hundred people’s lives in a very negative way. Except she still reads off as a hero. But, in the end to those effected by what she did, their lives were ruined. It wasn’t completely her fault, but to those families I don’t think it would matter.

Talk about anthropomorphizing bots. Humans tend to want to humanize everything. I know I do it when I see my dog have emotional responses to things we do. As well as her very unique personality. It is very human. Yet you can’t fully give a human identity to an animal, but with something that looks so human-like? The lines blur. It was super interesting to read about.

The actual political system. The government system in this novel is not the biggest part of the novel, but it is very much there. There are rules and regulations that very much effect the plot. Also an indenture system that blurs the lines between what it is to be human. Where bots can be autonomous and humans can be indentured slaves. It’s incredibly interesting.

All in all:

Not much more can be said without spoiling this beauty of a novel. It’s gorgeously written. Filled with incredible characters. Very human situations. Pirates and parties and addiction and injustice. So much substance with every turn of the page. Autonomous is well worth the read.

About the Author:

Annalee Newitz writes science fiction and nonfiction. They are the author of the novels The Future of Another Timeline, and Autonomous, which won the Lambda Literary Award. As a science journalist, they are a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and have a monthly column in New Scientist. They have published in The Washington Post, Slate, Popular Science, Ars Technica, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic, among others. They are also the co-host of the Hugo Award-winning podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. Previously, they were the founder of io9, and served as the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo.

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Top 10: 5 Star Predictions

One of the best parts of being a book lover is seeing new books and imagining how good they seem. Sometimes you see a book and you just know.. much the same as when you fall in love. These are some books that I simply just know I’m going to love.

Summer Bird Blue

“Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.

Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.”

The author of my favorite novel ever, Starfish, recently released this beautiful gem and I can’t wait to one day own, read, and rate it 5 Stars. There is no doubt in my mind.. I’m going to love this book. Everything about it sounds amazing.

Perks of Being a Wallflower

“Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Also a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic.

The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

A #1 New York Times best seller for more than a year, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults (2000) and Best Book for Reluctant Readers (2000), and with millions of copies in print, this novel for teen readers (or “wallflowers” of more-advanced age) will make you laugh, cry, and perhaps feel nostalgic for those moments when you, too, tiptoed onto the dance floor of life.”

This is the love of my life’s favorite book and I have no doubt that I’m going to love it too. I’ve wanted to read it for a very long time, but I hadn’t had a real chance to read it till now. I know I’m going to pick this book up very soon!

A Line in the Dark

“The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.

Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”

A Line in the Dark is a story of love, loyalty, and murder.”

Ever since I first saw this cover I had this weird fascination with this book. I want to read it terribly. It’s a book that is very much a me kinda book and I am really hoping it’s as good as I believe it to be.

Reign of the Fallen

“Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?”

Everything about this sounds like the makings of a fantastic fantasy. It will be one of the first necromancer books I read and I just have a really good feeling about it.

The Art of Starving

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More Happy Than Not meets Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future in this gritty, contemporary YA debut about a bullied gay teen boy with an eating disorder who believes he’s developed super powers via starvation.

Matt hasn’t eaten in days.

His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal. But Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.

Matt’s hardworking mom keeps the kitchen crammed with food, but Matt can resist the siren call of casseroles and cookies because he has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see. The knack of tuning in to thoughts right out of people’s heads. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.

So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?

Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger… and he isn’t in control of all of them.

A darkly funny, moving story of body image, addiction, friendship, and love, Sam J. Miller’s debut novel will resonate with any reader who’s ever craved the power that comes with self-acceptance.”

I KNOW I’m going to love this book. From the moment I saw the cover (which is 10/10 for me) I knew I had to give it a shot and when I read the synopsis I was blown away. I can’t wait to finally read this book!

Ink

“Every action, every deed, every significant moment is tattooed on your skin for ever. When Leora’s father dies, she is determined to see her father remembered forever. She knows he deserves to have all his tattoos removed and made into a Skin Book to stand as a record of his good life. But when she discovers that his ink has been edited and his book is incomplete, she wonders whether she ever knew him at all.”

The cover.. the premise.. I feel like this book was created especially for me. I’m going to be so upset if this isn’t a 5 star read for me.

They Both Die at the End

“Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.”

I’m probably going to cry when I get to read this. I don’t really care. I just know that this story is going to be a beautiful one.

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree

“On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls. Some managed to escape. Many are still missing. A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband—these are the things that a girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. A girl who works hard in school and to help her family. A girl with a future as bright as live coals in the dark. And with a government scholarship right around the corner, everyone—her mother, her five brothers, her best friend, her teachers—can see that these dreams aren’t too far out of reach. Even if the voices on Papa’s radio tell more fearful news than tales to tell by moonlight.

But the girl’s dreams turn to nightmares when her village is attacked by Boko Haram, a terrorist group, in the middle of the night. Kidnapped, she is taken with other girls and women into the forest where she is forced to follow her captors’ radical beliefs and watch as her best friend slowly accepts everything she’s been told. Still, the girl defends her existence. As impossible as escape may seem, her life—her future—is hers to fight for.”

This is a gem I found recently and I can’t wait to one day own and read it. It sounds so impactful. I know I’m going to love it.

Jane, Unlimited

“If you could change your story, would you?

Jane has lived a mostly ordinary life, raised by her recently deceased aunt Magnolia, whom she counted on to turn life into an adventure. Without Aunt Magnolia, Jane is directionless. Then an old acquaintance, the glamorous and capricious Kiran Thrash, blows back into Jane’s life and invites her to a gala at the Thrashes’ extravagant island mansion called Tu Reviens. Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.”

What Jane doesn’t know is that at Tu Reviens her story will change; the house will offer her five choices that could ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But every choice comes with a price. She might fall in love, she might lose her life, she might come face-to-face with herself. At Tu Reviens, anything is possible.”

I ADORE Kristin Cashore. I know that whatever she writes is going to be amazing to me. Plus this is magical realism and I am so pumped for a magical realism from her!

Dealing in Dreams

“At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.

Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That roles brings with it violent throw downs and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but the sixteen-year-old grows weary of the life. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in a search for a mysterious gang the Ashé Ryders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles other crews and her own doubts, but the closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone— she cares about.

Nalah must do the unspeakable to get what she wants—a place to call home. But is a home just where you live? Or who you choose to protect?”

The day I first saw this cover revealed was a really good day. I LOVE this cover. I don’t even want to know anything else, but because I trust that this author is good and that the contents are going to be amazing this easily makes it onto this list!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post. What book on your tbr do you predict to be a 5 star read?

-Till next time!

Bad Girls With Perfect Faces: A Review

Bad Girls With Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten

My Rating: 5 twisted stars!

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Publish Date: October 31st, 2017!

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls comes a stylish thriller about the darkness that lurks inside all of us.

When I looked up, his smile was wide and real. “Ready?” he said.

I faked a smile back. I had gotten so good at faking things.

I thought: You brought this on yourself, Sasha. You will have to pretend forever now.

He squeezed my hand again. He couldn’t begin to imagine what this actually was. He had no idea what I’d done. What any of us had.

When Sasha’s best friend Xavier gets back together with his cheating ex, Ivy, Sasha knows she needs to protect him. So she poses as a guy online to lure Ivy away.

But Sasha’s plan goes sickeningly wrong. And she soon learns to be careful of who you pretend to be because you might be surprised by who you become…

Musings:

Beautifully twisted “Bad Girls With Perfect Faces” is a fun and dark look into the mind and the lengths we could go if it meant protecting the ones we love the most.

This book was so so good and I think I was so hooked by it because of how real it was. The characters in this book could have easily been people I know in the world and the decisions they made (though awful) could have logically been made if you were under similar circumstances. The characters were both likable and unlivable at the same time. They were flawed and reckless but undeniably human and that’s what made this story so good to me.

In this life, technology and social media make things so much more personal yet impersonal at once. It’s so easy to abuse it and do as you like that sometimes the line gets so blurred you don’t know what is right or what is wrong anymore. Stories of people getting catfished are all too common and you have to wonder what sorts of things cross a persons mind to the point where they think that getting to that point is ok?

I’m so drawn to this book because it makes me think of things in such a philosophical way yet I am still completely entertained. I love a good morally twisted story and this one was done amazingly well. Gosh, I can’t get over how much I absolutely loved it! The actual storyline was amazing, filled with so many WTH moments and OMG moments and Holy Cow moments that blew my mind.

Anyway, if your still here reading this post you shouldn’t be because you seriously need to be reading Bad Girls With Perfect Faces! You won’t regret reading this twisted contemporary thriller brimming with twisted grey areas of our reality.

Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to check out Bad Girls With Perfect Faces and let me know what you think down in the comments!

-Till next time!

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman: A Review

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

My Rating: All the Stars in the universe!

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Publish Date: September 26th, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc copy in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

A gorgeous and emotionally resonant debut novel about a half-Japanese teen who grapples with social anxiety and her narcissist mother in the wake of a crushing rejection from art school.

Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

From debut author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes a luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves.

Musings:

This novel means so much to me. I had heard about it on social media, but at the same time I avoided all information on what this was about somehow thinking this was a fantasy novel along the way, but when I started reading and I got this heartfelt, emotional, and personal read I was floored. This book felt like it was speaking to me. Like it was written for me to open my eyes and to start to feel just that little bit more whole. Starfish is an absolutely gorgeous novel that is now my favorite read of 2017!

Kiko is an artist with social anxiety. However she is so much more then that. Within these pages she took steps forward and then some steps back and she lived and she breathed and thought deeply about life and what she wants for herself, and how she wants to see life. Kiko was so achingly human and she was so real you almost felt like you could touch her soul.

What hit me most was Kiko’s mother. A mother like my Grandmother who had adopted me when I was a baby. It is uncanny how much the words that Kiko’s mother said mirrored the words my own grandmother has told me so many times before. It is insane to think that the author could have captured the essence of the woman who had caused me so much pain in the pages of this story without even knowing it. It made me feel this story in my bones in a way that I have never felt a story before. It filled me with anger when the mother in this book said certain things and it filled me with my own brewing of things I always wanted to say to my own grandmother that were truths never gone to light. However, I have never felt such peace at the end of a story as this one and I never felt such healing, because this is a story for those who know what it is like to live with a starfish and who know that emotional abuse can cause just as many scars though they may always go unseen.

This book is like poetry to me, especially the descriptions of paintings Kiko creates at the end of each chapter. Those descriptions often gave me goosebumps. They showed most of all how Kiko felt on the inside and I don’t know how she made every emotion good or bad turn into something beautiful.

This book is about family and it is about discovering that beauty has more then one definition. It is about dreaming and chasing those dreams and being who you are unapologetically no matter what. This book is so many amazing things and by the end as Kiko is transformed so are you.

Thanks for reading! PLEASE READ THIS BOOK! It is such an important read and there is something to take away from it for every person that reads it. Reading this book is a truly personal journey and I hope that this book is accepted into the world with open arms.

-Till next time!