Book Review: Firstlife

Firstlife by Gena Showalter

Rating5 Nerd Girl RatingPlus Mustache

Author:  Gena Showalter
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Series: Everlife
Genre: YA fiction/Fantasy/Dystopia
Pages: 480
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Buy it : Amazon

First Line: I’ve been locked inside the Prynne Asulum-where happiness comes to die-for three hundred and seventy-eight days.

Blurb from Goodreads:
Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

Cover: This cover is so amazing. I love the hourglass as the thought of time running out. And then the two worlds Myriad and Troika. It’s so simple but it is everything you need to know what the story is going to be about. I love a cover that tells the story itself.

Review The beginning was a little slow going, but being the first novel in a series, there is world building to be done. So, we learn a lot about Tenly and the world that she lives in. We dive into the torture that she has undergone and are prepared for what is to come.

When things start to pick up, I felt like I was Ten, and torn between the two afterlife realms. I mean, Myriad sounds great at first, offering Ten the world. Troika is just offering fairness. But to be honest, I think Ten knew from the beginning what realm she would choose.

Then we learn of Many Ends. The place of the unsigned. A place that no one is certain if it exist or just another scare tactic.

The ending now, was amazing. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book while I was reading, but the ending was almost unbearable to break away from. There was so much happening and so much heartbreak in such a short amount of time. I may have actually shed a tear or two..for real…I cried.

The only real complaint I have is that I should have waited a year to read this book, because now I have to wait a year to find out what happens next.

My favorite character was probably Archer. He was just so chill through the whole book, but it’s part of the Troika mentality. They value life and they don’t take revenge. Archer was the true definition of Troika.

One thing that I loved about this book is that there was no love triangle between Tenly, Archer, and Killian. Ten never struggled between loving two boys, she struggled with choosing her future and that is something that I can completely relate to.

I have always struggled with what I wanted to do in my life, always being pulled several different ways and I guess, that is how I can relate to Ten. She has two choices set in front of her and she fears picking the wrong one. While I feel like her heart has always called her to Troika, her mind and her family have always pushed her to Myriad. And being a teenager, maybe she fears that picking Troika would just be part of her teenage rebellion faze and she will regret it as she gets older. But she feels like choosing Myriad isn’t her choice, but the choice of her family.

I have seen several people complain about Ten not making a decision, and I agree that it can get annoying, but having the time to sit back and really think about the book, we have all had this moment in our own lives. We have all struggled over a decision, we have struggled over the battle of heart and mind. Ten’s situation does not allow for her to properly weigh her choices, she isn’t give the freedom to debate over her choices, which is why we have this book and Ten’s struggle to choose what she wants in her future.

Book Review: The Eye of Minds

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Rating5 Nerd Girl Rating

Author: James Dashner

Release Date: October 8th 2013

Series: The Mortality Doctrine

Genre: YA/SciFi/Dystopian/Fiction

Pages: 308

Publisher: Delacorte Books For Young Readers

Buy it : Amazon

 

First Line: Michael Spoke against the wind, to a girl named Tanya

Blurb from Goodreads: An all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure from James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series,The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.
Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.
And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.
But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

 

Review:

I went into this hoping for something as good as the first book in the Maze Runner series. I was very surprised to find that I enjoyed this book. Throughout the book you can tell there is something that Michael is completely missing but his mind is so focused on keep his friends safe as they track down Kaine, he doesn’t see what is right in front of him.

Don’t worry; I won’t ruin the surprise for you.

I loved the relationship between Michael and his friends, Sarah, and Bryson. Even though it was never said, it was obvious that these three friends were closer than most. It was obvious that they knew everything about each other. I love friendships like that and I so wish I had one like that myself.

The only complaint I do have about the story itself is that there are moments where Dashner seems to drag out a scene and since I was listening to this book, I would zone out and stop listening. Of course this resulted in me having to rewind the book so I could find out what I had just missed.

I have another complaint but it is more about the narrator than the story itself. It was narrated by Erick Davies, and while his voice is soothing, I felt like it was just too boring for the book that I was trying to listen to. I just didn’t care for the narrator. It looks like I need to get used to his voice though, because he narrates the second and probably the third books too. It’s not so bad that I want to stop listening; it just gets a little aggravating at times.

Book Review: The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds is a book by Alexandra Bracken.  Click here to see her website.

I read this book some time last year and sat it on my bookshelf to collect dust.  I really loved it the first time I read it, but I have just recently allowed myself the habit of re-reading a book.  I found out that the second book of the series was out, so I had to refresh my memory.  I pulled it off myself, dusted it off, and dove in head first.  The story is fantastic and I read the book in 3 days.

About the Book
The main character is Ruby and we first meet her in a camp with several other kids.  Something has happened to the kids of the U.S.  They have either died of a mysterious illness or developed supernatural powers.  There are five different types of powers.  Blues can move things with their mind, Greens are super smart and figure out puzzles in a snap, Yellows have some kind of electric power, Reds create and play with fire, and Oranges can manipulate minds of people around them.

The parents and other adults decide that these kids, the ones that lived, are a danger and ship them off to camps to be “fixed.”  The president of the U.S. tells these parents and adults that the camps will help fix their kids and the kids will be sent back home.  He even proves that there is success in the camps by parading his “reformed” son around the country.  Unfortunately, 6 years later no a single child has made it out of the camps “reformed.” Ruby was sent to the camps when she was only 10 years old.

Ruby notices that in her own camp the Reds, Yellows, and Oranges have disappeared.  She fears, like everyone, that they have been killed.  Of course, what else are you supposed to believe when the camp is such a horrible place?  The camp is full of adults (PSFs) with noise machines that only effect the kids and their rude hate for kids who did not ask for the powers they have.

Ruby is finally rescued by a kind woman who pretty much promises her the world.  All she has to do is join the League of Children.   Ruby gets an odd feeling about the woman carting her away and escapes the first moment she is able.  Once she escapes the League people she instantly bumps into a group of kids; Liam(Blue), Chubs(?? I can’t remember for some reason), and Zu(Yellow).  A small group that has escaped from their own camp thanks to Liam.

Warning, Spoilers ahead!
Ruby takes off with this new group in the search for a kid they call the Slip Kid.  Evidently this kid has evaded everyone that has tried to capture him.

We also learn at this point that Liam was once part of the League and doesn’t approve of them.  He says that they use kids to do their dirty work, they teach kids to kill.  So they are now running from PSF’s (guards from the camps), League, as well as Skip Tracers.  Skip Tracers are the people that track the run away kids, or the kids that have been in hiding all this time, and turn them in to the camps for the reward money.

Ruby is an Orange.  She can control peoples minds, but she has been hiding it for the past 6 years.  Everyone things she is Green.  Eventually, her group gets into some trouble and she has to reveal to them what she really is.  She waits for them to shun her and throw her away, but the accept her and only get a tad bit mad she lied.

They find the Slip Kid and he has set up this wonderful camp where kids are safe.  He is also the presidents son!  And one more thing, he is an Orange just like Ruby.  He takes a sudden liking to Ruby, but plays it off that he is just interested in the fact that they may be the last Orange kids.  Clancy (slip kid), pulls some act on Ruby and controls her mind.  Liam finds out and they decide to head out, but this was after Zu left to go to California with her cousin.

All heck breaks loose.  Clancy, the little prick, has informed someone of where they are and the PSF’s come in after all the kids there.  Some kids escape while most are captured.  Ruby, Liam, and Chubs being among the lucky to escape.

They set out to deliver a letter to a dead friends dad (which was their whole purpose of finding the slip kid to help find this kids dad)  The dad doesn’t like what the letter says and shoots Chubs.  In a panic to save her friend, Ruby alerts the League.  They swoop in to save the day, but no one knows if Chubs actually survived.

Ruby and Liam are taken into the League.  The League wants Ruby to stay and won’t let her leave.  To save Liam (remember he doesn’t like the League) she erases his memory and sets him free.

My Thoughts
I loved this book.  Like I said, I read it in 3 days.  I devoured every word and every page.  I was rooting for Ruby and Liam the whole way through and I hated Ruby for erasing the only happiness Liam had.  Why would you do that?  Not only did she erase herself from his memory, but she made him forget that Chubs had been shot.

I was left with so many emotions when I finished this book.  I wanted to cry, scream, and find Ruby to yell at her for what she did.

It’s crazy to think about how the world could change if all the children where feared, shipped off to camps, or died of some mysterious illness.  Could you imagine how boring life would be?  In the book, the world crumbled up under everyone without kids.  Parents were depressed not knowing how their kids where.  The government crashes because the president makes some stupid law to keep himself in office.  People start going hungry and become homeless and unemployed.  The U.S. becomes shut to the rest of the world.  The world fell apart because of all the efforts to put away the “danger.”

Overall, this book was fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone.