Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken.

Title – The Darkest Minds
Series – The Darkest Minds #1
Author – Alexandra Bracken
How I Got It – From the publishers
Pages – 576 pages
Publication Date – April 23rd 2018 by HarperCollins
ISBN – 9781460755594
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

On Ruby’s tenth birthday, she woke up changed. Something happened that made her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to a brutal government “rehabilitation camp” called Thurmond. Ruby may have survived this mysterious disease that killed most of America’s children but the survivors have abilities they can’t control.

Ruby is now sixteen and one of the dangerous ones. When the truth about Ruby’s abilities comes out, she barely gets out of Thurmond alive. While on the run, she joins some other kids – Zu, Chubs and Liam – as they travel to find the last safe haven for kids with abilities. They’ll need to outrun the people tracking them. But before Ruby has a chance to live a life she’s only dreamed of, she’ll be faced with a horrible choice.

I received a copy of The Darkest Minds from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. This is the third book I’ve read by Alexandra Bracken.Β DdSrC65VMAAOUEZ

I’ve seen The Darkest Minds trilogy a lot online and I’ve been meaning to read it for a while. And I really wanted to pick it up before the movie comes out.

I want to say that this book started out kind of slow for me. I did end up liking the story but it took me a while to get into. I’m hoping the next two books will have more action or hook me faster.

I thought the story was really interesting and I’m hoping that there will be an explanation about the abilities – like why most kids don’t live past their tenth birthday and where they even came from. I also have some questions about Chubbs but won’t put them here because spoilers. I have so many questions.

I really liked Ruby, Zu and Liam. Chubbs took a while for me to like but I did by the end of the book. He was kind of annoying in the beginning. I could not stand Clancy.

I thought it was obvious what was happening between Ruby and Clancy right from the start and the longer it dragged on with out Ruby figuring it out the more she frustrated me. I was so glad when it eventually came out.

What Ruby did at the end of the book was kind of unfair but I can see why she did it. I’m looking forward to reading the next book, Never Fade, soon. I really want to know what’s next for Ruby.

*Thank you HarperCollins New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.


Go Girl by Barbara Else.

Title – Go Girl
Author – Barbara Else
How I Got It – From the publishers
Pages – 210 pages
Publication Date – April 1st 2018 by Puffin
ISBN – 9780143771609
RRP – $45.00
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

“Go Girl is a collection of true stories about New Zealand women who have done extraordinary things.Β 

They strove for their goals. They weren’t afraid to step up or speak out. They blazed a trail for others to follow.”Β DdCmobMVwAA20b5

I received a copy of Go Girl from Penguin Random House New Zealand to review.

I loved that Go Girl was all about New Zealand women. I had heard of a few of them but there were so many women in this book that I’d never heard of before. I’m so glad I was about to read about them in this amazing book.

I also loved the illustrations and the fact that they were done by New Zealand artists/illustrators. They were all amazing and I loved looking at them just as much as reading the stories.

I know the title is Go Girl but I think this book can be read to or by boys too. Especially if they’re from New Zealand too.

I really enjoyed Go Girl and would definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone!

*Thank you Penguin Random House for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: The Radical Element by Jessica Spotswood.

Title – The Radical Element
Series – A Tyranny of Petticoats #2
Author – Jessica Spotswood
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 320 pages
Publication Date – March 13th 2018 by Candlewick Press
ISBN – 9780763694258
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

“Twelve of the most talented writers working in YA literature today have created a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections, young women of all colours and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs. They are ignoring their mother’s well-meant advice and forging their own paths – whether secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston.”

I received a copy of The Radical Element from Walker Books Australia to review. This is the second book in a series I guess. I haven’t read the first book, A Tyranny of Petticoats but I don’t really think you need to as they’re both anthologies so it’s not like the stories continue from the first book to the second. I will read the first book eventually though.

I know I’ve said this before. Probably more than once actually. But I have had problems with anthologies before. I either don’t like any of the stories or only a handful at most. I did enjoy every story in this book though. Which hardly ever happens.Β IMG_20180404_105943_177

A friend of mine recommended the first book a few years ago and I did buy a copy but I still haven’t read it. I will hopefully pick it up soon. I really want to read it after how much I enjoyed this.

The Radical Element was full of strong and amazing young women and diversity too. I always love reading about different cultures and countries. I don’t think I’ve read a lot of books set during these times so I did find this really interesting.

A lot of the stories were based on the years they were set in but there were two, that I can remember off the top of my head, that had magic in them. I think they’re called magical realism? I’m not really sure. I can’t remember having ever read a magical realism story before but I think I have two sitting on my shelves.

Anyway, I do wish some of the stories were longer and I wanted to know what happened to the characters after their stories were over. But that’s always the problem with short stories if you like them. I’d definitely recommend this to people who love reading about strong, independent women who dare to follow their dreams and hearts!

*Thank you Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review – Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend.

Title – Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Series – Nevermoor #1
Author – Jessica Townsend
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 480 pages
Publication Date – October 31st 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN – 9780316439954
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

Morrigan was born on Eventide – the unluckiest day for any child to be born – and has been blamed for every local misfortune all her life. But even worse than that, the curse means Morrigan will die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

As Morrigan waits for midnight, a strange man called Jupiter appears. Hoping to outrun the shadows that are trying to kill her, Jupiter takes Morrigan to a magical and secret city called Nevermoor.Β Β Untitled

Soon, Morrigan discovers that Jupiter chose her to compete for a place in the Wundrous Society. For Morrigan to be accepted in the Society, she much complete four trials against other children. If she fails she’ll have to leave the city and face whatever’s waiting for her back home.

I received a copy of Nevermoor from Hachette New Zealand to review. I’d heard a lot of good things about this book but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Especially with it being compared to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. I love those books and I really didn’t want to compare them. But I really enjoyed it!

I did find it a bit cheesy in places but it is a middle grade book so I guess it was kind of DceEPAJVMAAFqMPexpected. I mean, it’s not cheesy in a bad way.

I liked Morrigan and her friend. I think his name was Hawthorne? But I’m not 100% sure. I found Morrigan’s story really interesting and I was totally rooting for her to get into the Wondrous Society. But there were other, very unique, characters in the book and all of them lived in Jupiter’s hotel. Even the hotel seem to have its own personality.

Nevermoor was full of adventure with all the trials Morrigan had to do and it added to the fun and magic of the book. It was dark in places, especially with the curse and Morrigan’s family (except her grandmother) But I really enjoyed this and will definitely be picking up a copy of the sequel when it comes out.

*Thank you Hachette New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman.

Title – Scythe
Series – Arc of a Scythe #1
Author – Neal Shusterman
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 448 pages
Publication Date – February 1st 2018 by Walker Book
ISBN – 781406379242
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

“In a world where disease, war and crime have been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional scythes. Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythes’ apprentices, and despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation, they must learn the art of killing and understand the necessity of what they do.

Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice and as Citra and Rowan come up against a terrifyingly corrupt Scythedom, it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser.”

I received a copy of Scythe from Walker Books Australia to review. This is the first book in the Arc of a Scythe series.Β DY7hJyvU8AA0rED

I’d heard really good things about Scythe so I was excited to finally pick it up. It did take me a while to get into but once I did I couldn’t put it down. I think the idea of a world without war, illness or crime was what took me so long it get into the book because it was so hard to accept. It’s just not something I find very likely but this is a work of fiction so anything is possible.

I really liked Citra and Rowan and I felt bad for what they were going through. Not only did they not want to be apprentices but then they found out that one of them would have to glean, or kill, the other.

I enjoyed Citra’s POV all the way through the book, especially with some of the twists that happened towards the end. But there was a point in Scythe when I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what was happening with Rowan. Even though I was sure he wasn’t like the other Scythes he was with.

I was actually kind of surprised that the corruption in the Scythedom wasn’t all that shocking to me. I kept thinking a quote I’d heard a few years ago – “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Not every Scythe had an agenda or wasn’t exactly Scythe material. But I think that quote fits really well for all the others.

This book had a lot of great twists, most of them I wasn’t expecting at all. And the ending!! Especially Rowan’s POV leading up to the end… I cannot wait to pick up Thuderhead and find out what happens next.

*Thank you Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty.

Title – The City of Brass
Series – TheΒ Daevabad trilogy #1
Author –  S.A. Chakraborty
How I Got It – From the pubblishers
Pages – 544 pages
Publication Date – January 22nd 2018 by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN – 9780008239404
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

Eighteenth century Cairo. The cities outcasts make a living swindling the rich Ottoman nobles and foreign invaders.

Their old stories still linger – tales of spirits and djinn, of cities hidden somewhere in the desert full of riches and magic.

Some people wish their lives could be filled with wonder. But not Nahri, she’s aware the things she can do are just tricks and sleight of hand – there’s no such thing as magic. All Nahri wants is to leave Cairo and study medicine.Β DXO3EIuUMAAbZey

I received a copy of The City of Brass from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. I’d heard good things about this book before I started it but it took me longer to get through than I expected. Not only because it’s kind of a big book but because I found one of the character’s POV annoying.

I put off writing this review so I could give myself time to think. But now I’m not really sure why Ali’s chapters annoyed me so much. I mean, I can’t even figure out who was worse, the djinn or the daeva? There were a lot of different tribes that were treated horribly and all because they were haf-human? But Ali wanted better for these people – or shafit I think they were called? So why did I find him annoying for wanted the place he lived to be better? To treat everyone equally? I don’t even know.

Maybe it was all the stuff Dara said to Nahri at the beginning about the djinn? But he was predictable and very annoying looking back on it. So was Nahri. I get she was put in a position she wasn’t expecting or even wanted and she was just expected to be what her mother was. But all the complaining just drove me a little crazy and by the end of the book I didn’t really care what happened to her or Dara.

Speaking of the ending… That was I think the best part. There was a great twist. It was just a pity that it took over 500 pages to get there and it really felt like it just dragged. Like there was too much information and not enough action for me. A lot of things felt unnecessary and just fillers to make the book longer which meant the story just dragged on and on. I’m not sure that I’ll be picking up the sequel. I kind of want to know what happens with the twist but I’m just not invested in any of the characters.

I did love that it was set in a country I’ve never been to, well until they went toΒ Daevabad anyway. I think the only other books I’ve read that were also kind of set in Egypt are The Kane Chronicles. I do love reading about other countries and cultures.

I really wish I had liked this more but I guess it just wasn’t for me. I liked the magic and the fact there were djinn but again, I don’t think I’ll continue with the other two books.

*Thank you HarperCollins New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Moonrise by Sarah Crossan.

Title – Moonrise
Author – Sarah Crossan
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 400 pages
Publication Date – September 7th 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens
ISBN – 9781408867808
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

“They think I hurt someone.
But I didn’t. You hear?
Cos people are gonna be telling you
All kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.”

Joe hasn’t seen his older brother, Ed, in ten years and its for the worst reason. Ed is sitting on death row and his execution date has been set. This might be the last summer Joe has with his brother.

I received a copy of Moonrise from Bloomsbury Australia to review. This is the second book I’ve read by Crossan. I read One a few years ago and loved it. When I received Moonrise in the mail to review I was excited to read it.Β DIWdvtbUQAAlVIo

I’m just going to get this out of the way now. Not a lot of books have made me cry but I’ll admit that I was actually crying at the end of this book. Actual tears! Which for me means it was a really good book and one of the reasons I gave it five stars. I just got so attached to Joe and Ed and I wanted them to have a happy ending.

In Moonrise, Ed is on death row for a crime he says he didn’t commit. I’m going to admit that I was a little skeptical at first. I know it’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty but Ed was in prison. No one wants to think the justice system screws up and that innocent people are, right now, sitting in prison for something they didn’t do. And especially not on death row. But the justice system isn’t perfect and mistakes are made. Innocent people have been executed and are imprisoned. This isn’t related to the book but, for example, Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. I believe they’re both innocent. If you haven’t seen Making a Murderer then I highly recommend it. Although it made me very angry. This book shows what happens when the justice system fails.

But it also shows what one family is willing to do for someone they love. Even if they’re aren’t sure what to believe. Ed’s family wants to be there for him at the end, when he needs them the most. Especially if it might be the last time they see each other.

Moonrise is told in verse. I’ve only read one other book told this way and it was also by Crossan and I loved that too. Even though it was sad. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to connect with the story or characters with the book being written this way but both Moonrise and One was amazing and so, so sad.

I think I might have to pick up more of Crossan’s books. This isn’t the kind of book I usually read but I could not put it down.

*Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.