Re-reading: The Giver

The Giver is a book I have loved since elementary school. Something about it’s message has stuck with me since that first reading and since then this has been my all time favorite book.

The Giver by Lois Lowry is a dystopian classic that centers around the idea of living in a world where your environment is completely controlled and your freedom of choice is completely taken away from you. In this world there is no color, you cannot lie, and you must have precision of language. It is the ultimate show of how order can be taken to an extreme and how meaningless life would be if you couldn’t choose a path of your own.

Most of all what resonates inside me when I read this novel is how important our emotion is. We need emotion, all emotion. We need to feel in order have compassion. We need to celebrate and we need to mourn. We need connection and happiness. Without emotion and free choice life quite literally would be colorless and mostly pointless. To live a life in coldness is to turn away from what makes us human and The Giver was the catalyst to teach me these things as a young kid.

Every year I reread this book to remind myself of the values that I find important. To remember the beauty of compassion. However, most importantly, to relive the innocence of my thoughts when I first read this story. Young me was appalled at memories of war and pain. However, young me also understood that understanding and empathy for how others feel when they loose someone is important and necessary. Reading this book always made me want to be a little bit kinder everyday.

I love The Giver and I hope to read this book once a year for the rest of my days.

Thanks for reading! What book do you reread often?

-Till next time!

The Denounced: Book 1 A Grey Sun: A Review

The Denounced: Book 1 A Grey Sun by SJ Sherwood

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Publisher: Cameron Publicity & Marketing LTD

Publish Date: November 16th, 2017

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

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

A convicted Denounced, sentenced to Death.

When sixteen-year-old Ned is wrongly convicted and kidnapped to a secret location, he meets ninety ‘Denounced’, and a terrifying truth begins to unfold – one that will change the world forever.

Forced to lead a Pod of five, Ned begins to realise thousands of lives could depend upon him. A survivor by nature, he now has to face his past, confront his destiny, and fight a System that has never lost.

A Grey Sun is the first in a three-part series following six Denounced teenagers as they struggle to live in a world where a simple mistake will cost you your life…

A must read for fans of The Maze Runner, Hunger Games and The Testing

Opening Sentence: “In less than an hour my life will end.

Musings:

Denounced: A Grey Sun was a really fun read full of action and intensity following a boy who will do everything he can to survive. Ned and his pod of five get into a lot of sticky situations that strain their relationship and wills to survive.

What I loved most about this book was how everyone’s personalities were a huge part of how well they worked together (which wasn’t very well in Ned’s case). It was interesting to see not only outsiders trying to bring their pod down, but also their own emotions causing rifts between them. Seeing their dynamics and how they change throughout the novel was really cool and unique.

A lot of the content in this novel was very training intensive, but at the same time it added to the suspense of what is going to happen later that they all need so much training for. That mixed in with injuries and doubt adds to the wonder of if they are going to be able to pull together or if they are going to be torn apart.

The Denounced is an action packed story sure to make you question what is going on and how they will ever escape. Read on for a wild ride you do not want to miss!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

-Till next time!

The Dark Intercept: A Review 

The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller 

My Rating: 4 Stars!


Publisher: Tor Forge


Publish Date: October 31st, 2017


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


Synopsis: 

The Dark Intercept is the first novel in a “riveting” (Emmy Laybourne) science fiction series for teens by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Julia Keller that challenges the voluntary surrender of liberties for the perception of safety.
When the state controls your emotions, how hard will you fight to feel free?


In a radiant world of endless summer, the Intercept keeps the peace. Violet Crowley, the sixteen-year-old daughter of New Earth’s Founding Father, has spent her life in comfort and safety. Her days are easy thanks to the Intercept, a crime-prevention device that monitors and provokes emotion. But when her long-time crush, Danny Mayhew, gets into a dangerous altercation on Old Earth, Violet launches a secret investigation to find out what he’s hiding. An investigation that will lead her to question everything she’s ever known about Danny, her father, and the power of the Intercept.


Much like the device itself, The Dark Intercept might get under your skin.

Opening Lines: “Far away, but close enough. The people of Earth are divided.”


Musings: 

This book is the kind of book I like to read curled up with a cup of coffee in my hand ready for some excitement in my brain while in the comfort of my home. Being of one of my all time favorite genres dystopian I really and truly loved this novel!

The concepts of how humans destroy and rebuild themselves in different situations and always find a way to have hope is what I love about dystopians. Humans are emotional and hugely flawed and it’s so cool to think about how someone would act in any given situation. Or even how I would act.

Imagining Old Earth being this desolate, dirty, and destructive place where death is an every minute occurrence and people are at each other’s throats for any grain of food is an awful, but not too unimaginable reality. There are places on earth today where people are starving and doing anything they can for a few pennies here or there to get enough food to feed their families. It’s why I find books like this to be so good and so necessary because they show not only what could be but also what is in a very real way.

What I also loved about this book was the Intercept itself. A machine that takes every single emotion you have and the moment that caused it in order to be used against you in an intervention should you commit a crime. The second I learned about what the Intercept was I knew I had to read this book and I am so glad I did. It is truly a fun ride.

However, it wasn’t just the dystopian elements that I loved about the book, but the characters themselves. They were all flawed and had so many different emotions and motives for their actions. While I wish I got more of the rebels side of the story it was interesting to see the choice of Violet as the main character and how her choices affected the outcome of the story. Plus, I did enjoy the romance in the story. It kept me on my toes that’s for sure.

The Dark Intercept is a riveting dystopian novel that will make you fill with wonder. It’s a novel that has me dutifully awaiting its sequel.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below. What is your favorite dystopian?

-Till next time!


Sienna McKnight: A Review

Sienna McKnight by R.K. Syrus

My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Publisher: Yuan Kun Publishing

Publish Date: September 1st, 2017

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

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

In the near future, soldier Sienna McKnight seeks revenge on her terrorist cousin. They both gain extraordinary powers during the series and engage in an epic battle over the fate of humanity and a unique orphan girl.

Sienna McKnight’s odyssey began 23 years ago. She was born a nameless half breed on an overseas military base. With her first breaths she tenaciously clung to life on the edge of the Wandering Desert in a land now called Khorasan.

Adopted by a military family and raised in America, she never forgot her origins. How could she? Her fate is spelled out in a rough pattern of runes cut across her body in a language of unearthly hate.  Her destiny threatens to consume her. Through it all, Sienna must find a way to protect what is most precious.

Opening Sentence: “That sunny morning near her hometown she battled a ravenous beast with the help of a monster, the one that abides in her still.”

Musings:

Sienna McKnight was a novel whose premise was enough to interest me, but a storyline that I just could not connect with. To tell the truth all the way at the end I was still confused about what was going on and the whole thing left me pretty unsatisfied.

I came into this novel expecting a sort of superhero action type story with a strong heroine that I could really connect to, and while the heroine was truly strong I never connected with her and the action while there was a little lack-luster for me. This novel being the first of many in a series, I was hoping that I would really love it so that I could enjoy the next books when they came out, but I didn’t really enjoy this all that much and I felt like there was a lot missing to the story.

Most of all I think that the writing was too jammed with seemingly random sayings and unnecessary words that it was almost impossible for me to see what the actual story was about and what the purpose of any of it was. There were still parts and sections that were really cool to read. These parts appearing making me have bursts of interest in the story, but they were so few and far in between that I just felt so lost while reading.

Sienna McKnight was a book that I really wanted to enjoy, but it didn’t quite make its mark.

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Amber Sky: A Review

Amber Sky by Claire Warner

My Rating: 4 Stars

Publisher: Raven Press

Publish Date: October 8th, 2017

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

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

““You thought I did this out of the goodness of my heart?” He gave a short mirthless laugh. “Not a bit of it, this is going to be dangerous for me. What are you offering for my help?”

Beneath the Amber Sky, the nobility control the food, education, and the mysterious C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass. To Tay, struggling to keep her siblings alive, the ideas of rebellion and freedom are distant and unreachable.

But when her father is arrested, she begs Darius James, the son of the Overseer, to save his life. Darius agrees, but his help costs her a favour, one he can call in at any time.

Darius’ favour will bring her to the Palace, and the perfect position to help the growing rebellion. But the court has games beyond anything she has seen before, and Darius’ secrets will add to the danger.

Tay is now able to make a difference, to join the rebellion, find the C.O.I.L.S and discover the secrets of the Amber Sky. All she has to do is survive.”

Opening Sentence: “It was November, and soot-laden fog obscured her progress as Taya strode along the busy street.”

Musings:

Every time I had a Goodreads vote on what to read next this book won. I didn’t understand why until after I finished reading when I realized that this book had one of the most intriguing concepts I have ever read and it was executed very well.

What I found to be most interesting was the unique class systems based around ratings even among the wealthy. This made for some interesting social dynamics where no matter who you are your rank is never safe and it is possible for you to loose all your status.

I also loved the imagery of the Amber Sky in this book and the fact that the sky ever having been blue was almost one thing of myths for them. It was almost difficult to grasp in my head because all my life I have thought of the sky being blue and to think of it being any other color was a bit strange. What I liked mot about the Amber sky however was that it is almost a representation of the secretive and oppressed state of the people in this story.

Our heroine in this story is also a bit of an unusual one because she does not seem to even want to be a heroine. She was mostly coerced into it because she did not want any more of her family getting hurt for the resistance cause anymore.

This book for me was a mix of political and octal intrigue, mixed with a rebel cause and a little bit of romance to make for one of the most unique storylines I have ever read. Amber Sky has a lot to offer and I am so excited to see what happens next in book two!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

The Ship by Antonia Honeywell: A Review

The Ship by Antonia Honeywell


My Rating: This Book is Wow… 5 stars!

Publisher: Orbit Books

Publish Date: April 25th, 2017

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

Purchase: Amazon 

Synopsis:

“Powerful, haunting, and beautiful,” (M. R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts) The Ship is a luminous and genre-defying debut novel that follows a young woman’s coming of age in a world where she has no future. 
London burned for three weeks. And then it got worse…
Lalla has grown up sheltered from the chaos amid the ruins of civilization. But things are getting more dangerous outside. People are killing each other for husks of bread, and the police are detaining anyone without an identification card. On her sixteenth birthday, Lalla’s father decides it’s time to use their escape route–a ship he’s built that is only big enough to save five hundred people.
But the utopia her father has created isn’t everything it appears. There’s more food than anyone can eat, but nothing grows; more clothes than anyone can wear, but no way to mend them; and no-one can tell her where they are going.

Musings: 

The Ship is the epitome of everything I could ever want in a dystopia. The descriptions vibrate in the mind and echo down into the heart and everything connects and becomes something grand at the very end. I gave myself a lot of time reading this book, reading chapters here and there and wondering all the time why I didn’t just read it all in one sitting? Well, I find the answer when I think about what this book is about, starvation, hurt, anger, relief, stagnancy, fear, and the apple. 

Have you ever thought about the privilege of eating an apple? Holding it in your hand smooth skin against you hand and turning it around for just the right place to sink in your teeth. The resistance and sweet taste as juices flow into your mouth and you take another bite and another and another until you reach the core of it. Maybe having bit in too deep ending up with a small arsenic filled black seed on your tounge. All of this and the biggest privilege of all seeing an apple tree in full bloom and weeks pass and there you have it the apple ripe for the picking. That one tree rooted in the ground just to give and give and give. 

This book is like that and it’s something I needed to savor. It is about the apple. It is about desperation, privilege, and the lack there of, even the very definition of what privilege is, but most of all it is about a girl. A girl who lives in a decaying world with a father who used his privilege to build a ship to be humanities final stand, but to quote the essence of the book to live a life of certainty is to live a life without hope and if there is no hope you can never truly live. 

I am in love with this book. I didn’t know for a long time as I was reading it where the story was going or what it would mean to me, but it is a story well-told and to say more would ruin it as you should discover what it means for yourself. The Ship is incredible. Read it as soon as you can. 

Thank you all for reading! I hope you enjoyed this review and that you will check out The Ship as soon as you can! It is a book of great impact and I know it has given me a lot to think about. Let me know what you think down in the comments. 

-Till next time!

The List by Patricia Forde: A Review

The List by Patricia Forde

My Rating: 4 stars 

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Publish Date: August 8th, 2017

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

Pre-Order: Amazon

Fahrenheit 451 meets The Giver for tweens in this gripping story about the power of words and the dangers of censorship.
In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world. 
On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.

Musings: 

When I was in elementary school, my favorite teacher Mrs. Ohonion had the class read a little book called The Giver. The first time I read it I was stunned, awed by a discussion of humanity I had never pondered prior. The List has thus impacted me further.

This novel brought back some of my fondest memories and made me feel like a child once more. It reminded me of some of the moments that shaped the way I decided to view the world,  humanity, and how we connect to one another. I loved it. The writing was beautiful. The characters thoughtfully crafted. The message, the words, were the most powerful parts of all. 

Letta is a young apprentice to The Wordsmith an older man named Benjamin. Letta in my eyes, represents humanity. Her beliefs molded by her upbringing she at first only knows what are called the Desecraters as terrorists, mauraders, and a people of destruction. Yet, like all humans she possesses an Independent mind that allowed her to see her situation in a new light, and that is the beauty of being human. 

Letta is the kind of person I aspire to be. She does not let her bias affect what she knows to be right or wrong. She does not look at people and see them as anything less then what they are, human. When she is given a place of power she does not belittle others, she does all she can to help them, to be there for them, and that is the kind of person I wish to be. It’s hard to think that I could ever choose to do so many of the things she did. Society as she lives in has deteriorated and she is one of the many voices hoping for the future. 

Inside this story, the world was destroyed by climate change a radical mind named Noa built up an eden called Arch. In this eden, the only words spoken are from the list. A minuscule amount of 500 words allowed to be spoken. The result is a society conditioned to give in and forget the beauty of words. All controlled by a man who knows their power better than anyone else. 

The most imperitive part of this novel is words. What does it mean to limit them. What happens when it becomes extinct? What would we ever do if we were wordless? I love pondering words. The way we use them tailor the way we see the world and how the world in turn sees us. Without them, we would be nothing and could aspire to nothing, we could only be. This point is the cornerstone of what this novel stands for as well as what made me come to love it so much. 

A novel not so far removed from what society could be, it is one that challenges you to think about the type of world we live in and the type of world you would want create and to give you the incentive to do something about it. The world is ours. What has happened has past, but the future is created by our design. 

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this review. The list is a novel I would highly recommend to all. Are you thinking about reading this book? What are your thoughts on The Giver style novels? If you have read this book, what did you think?

-Till next time!

December Tbr 2016

I can’t believe it is already December 1st! Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year and I am so excited to announce what I will be reading in this relaxing month of winter. 

1. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous 


This seems to be a short book that deals with a very hard-hitting topic. I hope to take my time with this book and give it the sort of attention that it deserves. 

2. Baggage by S. G. Redling 


This is a book that I started reading, but never finished. I hope to get to read through it this month!

3. Schism by Britt Holewinski 


I meant to read this last month, but I keep putting it off. This is another book that I hope to finish reading but I am not quite sure I will get through, *fingers crossed* 

4. A Northern Light by Britt Holewinski 


I love Jennifer Donnelly’s writing and I hope to read A Norther Light as a wonderfully written winter read. I have high hopes for this book! 

5. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher 


Incarceron is a book that I can’t wait to dive into. It seems like it will be a fun and engaging read that I hope will not disappoint. 

That’s all for this months tbr. I am happy and excited to get to reading these lovely books. 

What is on your tbr for December? What books have you been itching to read? What bookish plans do you have for December?

-Till next time!