Book Review: Replica by Jenna Black

replica

Replica by Jenna Black

Genre: YA Sci-fi

Publisher: Tor Teen

Pages: 368

Published: July 16th, 2013

Links: Amazon |  Goodreads  |  Barnes & Noble

Author Links:  Goodreads  |  Website  |  Twitter

Breathtaking new YA SF from the author of the Faeriewalker series

Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake comes from a high-class Executive family in the Corporate States. Her marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in her state, which means she lives a life of privilege but also of public scrutiny, followed everywhere by photographers, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image — no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.

Nathan Hayes is the heir of Paxco — controller of the former state of New York, and creator of human replication technology, science that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Though Nadia and Nate aren’t in love, they’ve grown up close, and they (and the world) are happy enough with their match.

Until Nate turns up dead, and as far as everyone knows, Nadia was the last person to see him alive.

When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn’t know what killed him. Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.

REPLICA tries to break the YA mold by adding a twist to the relationship between the main female and male characters.  Nadia and Nathan are engaged, but one of them (very minor spoiler – find out in first chapter) is gay and in love with someone else.  In order to maintain her social status, Nadia pretends like she is in love with Nathan.  Their superficial relationship is tested when Nathan is killed, supposedly by the third wheel in their love affair.

The most obvious (for me) person behind the killing ended up being the person to do the deed, which is the main reason I scored this book so low.  I don’t like books that I can predict the end within the first chapter or two.

The other shortfall for this novel is the lack of scientific terms and technology.  The only evidence that this book takes place in the future is the cover and the concept of human cloning.  There is very minimal world building.  There is no science involved, which makes me very wary to even call this a science-fiction novel.   I don’t think of it as a dystopian novel either, though it’s class system could allude to the genre.

Nadia’s motivations in this book appear to be one-dimensional.  I was hoping that she’d develop more over the course of the story, but it didn’t happen.  The story was linear, like in a MG novel.  The entire book felt flat and in my mind I was looking too much into the little things that happened and hoping that there would be something beyond the obvious.  I had hope that there would be some kind of unexpected twist at the end.

But no.   I think tween readers might appreciate the simplistic story, but this book fails in comparison to other books on the YA level.

D rating minus rating  

(I received a copy of this book from the ARCycling in exchange for my honest review.)

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Book Review: The Guardians by T. M. Franklin

the guardians

 

The Guardians (More #2) by T. M. Franklin

Read my 5 star review of More (book #1)

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Self Published –  The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House

Pages: 255

Published: November 7th, 2013

Links: Amazon |  Goodreads  |  Barnes & Noble

Author Links:  Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

It’s not every day a girl discovers she’s not entirely human and unlocks hidden powers strong enough to make even the First Race take notice. Then again, Ava Michaels is no ordinary girl.

Now, the Race’s Ruling Council wants her under their control, and that’s just the beginning of her problems. Her boyfriend, Caleb Foster, has disappeared—accused of betraying the Race—and Ava herself is implicated in a crime she didn’t commit.

Clearing their names will mean uncovering a web of deceit and intrigue with Ava woven right in the center. To unravel the strands, she joins forces with some unlikely allies; a Protector who once haunted her nightmares, a young girl with secrets as unexpected as Ava’s, and a group of rebel Guardians who have their own fight against the Council.

Together they stand in a battle to find the truth, bring Caleb home, and secure Ava’s freedom—not to mention save her life.

THE GUARDIANS felt like a gutted version of the first book.  The beginning is extremely confusing unless you’ve recently read MORE.  There’s not even enough clues scattered in the novel to piece together the basic plot of the first book.  Bottom line, if you want to read THE GUARDIANS, read MORE first.  If you read MORE awhile ago, then reread it.  Otherwise, don’t bother trying to figure out what’s going on.

It’s an easy read that focuses on the plot.  The characters, setting, and everything else just seems less than what was in the first book.  It was okay, but there wasn’t a single time that I loved what was said or what happened.  The book didn’t spark any emotions.  It wasn’t boring though.

Caleb goes through a personality adjustment for plot reasons and I was sad to see the shift.  The chemistry between them is missing and there’s no sizzle between Ava and the other characters, even in friendship.

By the end, Ava’s abilities do get stupidly ridiculous.  The twists border on predictable.  I also thought that Tiernan was too easily swayed by Ava, especially considering the consequences of his actions.

THE GUARDIANS is a good self-published book.  It’s a good sequel for fans of MORE.  But, it won’t attract any new readers.  It felt too ‘safe’.  I won’t be continuing the series.

D rating plus rating  

(I received a copy of this book from the publisher/Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.)

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Book Review: Waterfell by Amalie Howard

waterfell

 

Waterfell by Amalie Howard

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Pages: 360

Published: October 29th, 2013

Links: Amazon |  Goodreads  |  Barnes & Noble

Author Links:  Goodreads  |  Website  |  Twitter

THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE QUEEN

Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father’s betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa’s upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age.

Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa’s mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?

As soon as I met the main character, Nerissa, WATERFELL had no chance of becoming a favorite book.  She’s as unlikeable as humanly possible.  She’s downright nasty to her ex-friend Cara and doesn’t bother to tell us why until the end of the book.  In my opinion, it’s not a worthy enough excuse to treat someone as poorly as Nerissa does.

Nerissa is apparently a mermaid princess and her ‘family’ members are actually her servants.  Problem is that she actually treats them like servants and it’s unnerving to witness.  They’re compelled by the laws of their land to obey her every command.  Because Nerissa only thinks about herself, she doesn’t concern herself with the fact that Spelio physically aches with love for her because he’s not yet bond to a female.  I was hoping for a moment of redemption and when it came it was anti-climatic.

The villains started out as promising, but the twist at the end made the situation almost comical.

When I started reading WATERFELL, I was hoping to experience an underwater kingdom.  Most of the book takes place on land and what little is in the water is bland.  Overall, I think that the best part of this book is listed on the blurb.

D rating   

(I received a copy of this book from the publisher/Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.)

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Book Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowen

countdown

 

Countdown by Michelle Rowen

Genre: YA Thriller

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Pages: 336

Published: October 1st, 2013

Links: Amazon |  Goodreads  |  Barnes & Noble

Author Links:  Goodreads  |  Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

3 seconds left to live. Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped.

2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game.

Kira Jordan survived her family’s murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis.

1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it.

Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira’s psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan’s secrets prove evermore deadly, Kira’s only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can’t escape.

GAME OVER

COUNTDOWN begins as a fast-pace race against time but soon takes a well-traveled path.  It’s a matchup between the plot of THE RUNNING MAN and the ‘search for a loophole’ from THE HUNGER GAMES.  It’s lack of originality is hurt further by the fact that there’s very little world-building.  It would have worked if the characters remained in the game for the full duration of the novel, but it’s hard to believe that they can enter and leave normal society while still on a game level.

The only thing consistent about Kira is her will to survive.  She often backtracks on decisions she’s made whether physically or mentally (about others).    I’m not sure that her final decision was the right one for her, and I hope that this spontaneous decision doesn’t bite her in the ass in the next book (if there is one).

I was entertained by Logan, as it’s clear from the beginning that he knows way more than Kira can pry out of him.  He has dark secrets that won’t be revealed until it’s almost too late.  Truthfully, he should have been honest with her from the beginning and saved me a few hundred pages of reading.

I am a sucker for gaming, so I was entertained while reading the book.  The individual scenes are entertaining, but when I reflect on what I’ve read, it’s lacking.

Both the beginning and the end of this book worked for me.  It’s a shame that the meat of the novel felt as generic as Wal-Mart.

rating C

(I received a copy of this book from the publisher/Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.)

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Reviews via Parajunkee #1

It’s been two weeks since I posted my first review on Parajunkee.  I decided to give you guys and gals links to those reviews in case you’d like to check them out.  You can always use the dropdown menu on the main page to find just my reviews or you can click HERE.  I’ll be updating my sidebar with that link for easy access.  If you’re also subscribed to Parajunkee, then keep an eye out for my banner (shown below) or uber sig.  Whether here or there, I just love that you enjoy reading my reviews.

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No Surrender Soldier by Christine Kohler – YA Historical Fiction

The Troop by Nick Cutter – YA Horror

Delia’s Shadow by Jamie Lee Moyer — Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Mystery

The Genesis by K. L. Kerr — Paranormal, Vampires

no surrender soldierthe troopdelias shadowthe genesis

 

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