Shatter City by Scott Westerfeld

GoodReads Summary:
When the world sees Frey, they think they see her twin sister Rafi. Frey was raised to be Rafi’s double, and now she’s taken on the role . . . without anyone else knowing.
Her goal? To destroy the forces that created her.
But with the world watching and a rebellion rising, Frey is forced into a detour. Suddenly she is stranded on her own in Paz, a city where many of the citizens attempt to regulate their emotions through an interface on their arms. Paz is an easy place to get lost . . . and also an easy place to lose yourself.
As the city comes under a catastrophic attack, Frey must leave the shadows and enter the chaos of warfare – because there is no other way for her to find her missing sister and have her revenge against her murderous father.
Shatter City (Impostors #2)Review:
As I’ve mentioned with literally all the other books that take place in this world, this book was full of action and excitement. We’re still following Frey like we were in the first book, but when the story starts, she’s back to pretending to be her sister. This was one of the things I didn’t like about this book. There were so many instances where the twins had to or chose to pretend to be the other. I honestly felt bad for Frey because she just wanted to be herself, for once, but so many things were preventing that. I just wanted her to be herself like she wished so badly. Despite not liking this aspect, I still liked Frey. She was strong and determined. She made choices that maybe weren’t always the right ones, but she made them with her head and her heart.
We get to see so much more of the world in Shatter City as the characters travel all over. I liked seeing the familiar places, like Diego, as much as I liked getting to discover new ones. Along with seeing the world, the plot was complex and interesting. There were so many different storylines being brought together. Some were resolved in this book, which I liked, and some left for the next one.
Overall, I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first book but I still liked it. It was an exciting story with characters that I cared about. I’m eagerly awaiting book threes release. Also, I just have to add that I swear to god if we don’t get to see Tally in this series I’m going to be so mad.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Impostors by Scott Westerfeld

GoodReads Summary:
Frey and Rafi are inseparable . . . two edges of the same knife. But Frey’s very existence is a secret.
Frey is Rafi’s twin sister-and her body double. Their powerful father has many enemies, and the world has grown dangerous as the old order falls apart. So while Rafi was raised to be the perfect daughter, Frey has been taught to kill. Her only purpose is to protect her sister, to sacrifice herself for Rafi if she must.
When her father sends Frey in Rafi’s place as collateral in a precarious deal, she becomes the perfect impostor-as poised and charming as her sister. But Col, the son of a rival leader, is getting close enough to spot the killer inside her. As the deal starts to crumble, Frey must decide if she can trust him with the truth . . . and if she can risk becoming her own person.
With Impostors, master storyteller Scott Westerfeld returns with a new series set in the world of his mega-bestselling Uglies.
ImpostorsReview:
I have been waiting to read this book until I managed to reread the entire Uglies series and I’m so glad I did. Impostors takes place around fifteen years after the end of Specials. Like with Extras, I really enjoyed getting to see the aftermath of Tally’s actions and to see how the world was changed by her revolution. I also really enjoyed getting to see a different part of this world that I’ve loved for so many years. This was such a different book from Extras and I really enjoyed that.
We follow Fray as she’s sent to a neighboring city as a hostage. She’s the extra daughter. The body double for her twin sister, Rafia. The world doesn’t even know she exists. I thought she was such a complicated and interesting character. Her struggle of loving her sister but hating her father was so interesting. I loved her strength and how out of place she felt. It was fascinating to see her in a situation she wasn’t comfortable in (pretending to be Rafia full time) but then becoming herself again (after her father does some terrible things) and showing who she really is. I liked that it didn’t take very long for her to share her secret because I hate the secret keeping trope. I loved the sister relationship because I’m a sucker for siblings in books, but I have a bad feeling about Rafia for some reason.
Then there’s Col. I totally liked him from the start. I thought he was interesting despite his “boring” reputation. He loves his family and his people. He’s a natural leader and just a really good friend. I’m so excited and anxious about how this book ended with Fray and Col so I’ve borrowed book two from the library while I wait for the paperback edition to be published (to match the rest of the series).
Overall, like most of Westerfeld’s books, this was full of action and adventure. It was a fast-paced story and I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next. I’ve quickly become so invested in these characters and their storylines. I cannot wait to continue the series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Extras by Scott Westerfeld

GoodReads Summary:
A few years after rebel Tally Youngblood takes down the Specials regime, a cultural renaissance sweeps the world. “Tech-heads” flaunt their latest gadgets, “kickers” spread gossip and trends, and “surge monkeys” are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. Popularity rules, and everyone craves fame.
Fifteen-year-old Aya Fuse is no exception. But Aya’s face rank is so low, she’s a total nobody. An extra. Her only chance at stardom is to kick a wild and unexpected story.
Then she stumbles upon a big secret. Aya knows she is on the cusp of celebrity. But the information she is about to disclose will change both her fate…and that of the brave new world.
Extras (Uglies, #4)Review:
Part of me remembers not liking this book the first time I read it. I think that’s because I really loved the first three books so much that getting a fourth book that takes place in a different city with totally different characters (for the first half) was annoying to me. But rereading it years later, I actually really enjoyed it.
Extras takes place about three years after the ending of Specials. So the world is working on figuring out how to continue, but it’s been enough time to see what Aya’s city has become. There’s nothing but freedom. So, everyone looks different based on what interests them. I thought that this book taking place in a different city was wonderful. We got to see a different part of the world we knew and how it’s changed since the “mind rain.” I thought this book was really interesting in the sense that it says a lot about social media (in a form different from what we know today) and people’s desire to chase fame.
We follow Aya who is fifteen and just wants a story big enough to boost her ranking. I liked Aya, though she could be a little annoying at times with her fierce desire to be well known. Despite that, she really learned a lot about herself and grew as the book went on, which I appreciated. I liked that her brother was a big part of the story because I’m always here for good sibling relationships.
Like the other books in this series, the story was fast-paced and full of action. I also really like the suspense and mystery of what the characters were trying to uncover. It was a compelling plot.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and I’m very excited to continue in this world with the Imposters series, which I believe is set in the same world.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Specials by Scott Westerfeld

GoodReads Summary:
Tally thought they were a rumor, but now she’s one of them. A Special. A super-amped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.
But maybe being perfectly programmed with strength and focus isn’t better than anything she’s ever known. Tally still has memories of something else.
Still, it’s easy to tune that out—until she’s offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete. Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.
Specials (Uglies, #3)Review:
My issues with this book are pretty much the same as they were with the previous book. I didn’t like the group of “new” specials that Shay created. They centered around self-harm, specifically cutting, and I really didn’t like that. I did like how Tally stood up and stopped cutting because she knew it wasn’t right, despite that sometimes it made her feel good.
Tally kind of annoyed me in this book, but it wasn’t really her fault. It was more than at the beginning of each book Tally was having to go through everything she’d just succeeded in the previous book. It was a little repetitive and just annoying. All her progress was lost at the end of each book and she had to go through it all over again. Despite this, I still liked Tally. She’s been through some shit at this point. I loved her and Zane together and was sad that we didn’t really get that in this book (I’m also just mad in general about Zane’s storyline).
I did really like how Shay and Tally we’re together again in Specials. They didn’t really have a very healthy relationship because of their past betrayals. I liked how their relationship was left. I think their forgiving one another and reconciliation was satisfying.
Overall, like the first two books, Specials was action-packed, fast-paced, and exciting. I know the fourth book doesn’t really follow the same characters but I’m still excited to see what’s going on in this world next. I really liked getting to see more of the world and the other cities in it. I thought it was interesting how things were all brought together from Tally’s various adventures. I also remember being really mad about the ending of this book when I read it the first time years ago, but I actually kind of liked it. I think it was a fitting end to who Tally has shown herself to be. I also appreciated that the romance between her and David wasn’t just immediately resumed. I’m going to stop now so I can read Extras.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

GoodReads Summary:
Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.
But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.
Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.
Pretties (Uglies, #2)Review:
Sadly, I liked Pretties less than the first book. My feelings were much the same as the first. The story was action-packed with high stakes and interesting characters. But those characters that I loved so much from the first book just weren’t the same.
Tally, the main character, made similar mistakes. She kept secrets which led to damaging her relationship with Shay. Her friendship with Shay was one of my favorite things about the first book and Shay became a sort of villain in this book. I guess it’s more of collateral damage than a villain, but I really didn’t like her. Tally was the same, fearless and fighting for what she believed to be right.
The parts with Shay toward the end were hard for me. Shay and a group of friends start cutting themselves and I really didn’t like that. I think there were definitely other ways the plot could have gone.
Then there’s Zane. I wasn’t really sold on Tally and David’s romance so I was happy to see Zane. I thought his history was interesting and brought complex plot lines to the story. I totally loved his romance with Tally. They made each other better and were mostly honest with one another. There were no big secrets aside from things they’d done in the past.
Overall, I definitely preferred the first book but I still had fun reading this. We see more of this bizarre futuristic world. I’m wondering what, if any, part that will play in future books. The storyline gets more complex with higher stakes. I was engaged the whole time I was reading and definitely left with a fierce desire to immediately pick up the next book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

GoodReads Summary:
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world– and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever.
Uglies (Uglies, #1)Review:
I have been wanting to reread this series forever. I read it so many times when it first came out and in my later years of high school. I’ve always been a lover of dystopian books. So, after meeting Scott Westerfeld last year and hearing all about how the fan art for this series inspired and changed his writing, I really wanted to reread it. Also, he’s continuing the series and I want to read those too.
I genuinely enjoyed Uglies. I was worried it wouldn’t hold up, but it did. There were a few tropes that I don’t particularly care for, but overall it was action-packed and I flew through the story. There was secret-keeping (the part I don’t care for) but the characters were so well developed and I grew to love them so much that I understood the motivations for the secrets. I really loved Tally. She was a girl beyond excited to turn pretty. But her world gets turned upside down. Everything she’s grown up knowing has been shown to be a lie. She handled the challenges really well and did her best to make better choices. I also totally adored her friendship with Shay. I loved that they were fast friends. Their adventures leading up to their birthday were the best.
Shay was an interesting supporting character. She and Tally fight (over a boy, eye roll) but there’s so much more to their relationship. I’m interested to see how things will continue in book two. I liked that Shay was so sure of what she wanted and so sure about Tally that she wanted her to join.
I’m not sold on David in the romantic sense. Their romance seemed a bit fast, but I liked him as a character. He’s unique in this world of ‘uglies’ raised to believe certain things. I liked his history and his strong morals.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I’m really hoping that continues for the rest of the series. I’m currently typing this review on my phone so I can go get and start Pretties as soon as I’m done.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

GoodReads Summary:
Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….
With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.
Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink, #1)Review:
It seems that McGinnis’s books are hit or miss for me. I’ve absolutely loved some of them and really didn’t like others. This is one that I didn’t love. I didn’t dislike it, but it wasn’t what I wanted.
Lynn was kind of horrible. I understood why, and she definitely grows by the end of the book, but she was still kind of annoying. Honestly, the best part of this book was Lynn’s character growth, but it’s still not saying much.
I just wanted more from this book. I thought it was going to be more like Dry by Neal Shusterman where the characters travel and search for water. But it really wasn’t about the water at all.
Overall, I was disappointed. I’m not sure if I’m going to read the second book, but I might because the synopsis sounds more like they’ll be traveling and I think I might like that.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen

GoodReads Summary:
Six years after a global pandemic wiped out most of the planet’s population, the survivors are rebuilding the country, split between self-governing cities, hippie communes and wasteland gangs.
In postapocalyptic San Francisco, former pop star Moira has created a new identity to finally escape her past—until her domineering father launches a sweeping public search to track her down. Desperate for a fresh start herself, jaded event planner Krista navigates the world on behalf of those too traumatized to go outside, determined to help everyone move on—even if they don’t want to. Rob survived the catastrophe with his daughter, Sunny, but lost his wife. When strict government rules threaten to separate parent and child, Rob needs to prove himself worthy in the city’s eyes by connecting with people again.
Krista, Moira, Rob and Sunny are brought together by circumstance, and their lives begin to twine together. But when reports of another outbreak throw the fragile society into panic, the friends are forced to finally face everything that came before—and everything they still stand to lose.
Because sometimes having one person is enough to keep the world going.
A Beginning at the EndReview:
After reading and completely loving Mike Chen’s first book (Here and Now and Then) I had really high hopes for A Beginning at the End and it was definitely one of my anticipated releases. Sadly, I’m really glad I got it from the library so I didn’t waste money on this book. I really didn’t love it.
Chen’s writing definitely had me drawn into the story and I felt like I was enjoying it while I was reading and actually in the story. But once I finished the final pages and closed the book I felt like I had no idea what I’d just read.
We’re in a post-apocalyptic world, one that’s managed to rebuilt (or is in the process of rebuilding anyway). There are three characters that we follow and they each have a different view on the world. I did like the characters, they were pretty much what made this book because their actions were so low stakes (in an overall sense) and I loved that they were all brought together, but their goals were just not what this book should have been about. I don’t want to complain too much because there was growth and development for each character, but I just was disappointed after how much I loved Chen’s first book.
Overall, this was a miss for me. But I love this author, so I’d definitely still recommend it because not all of us have the exact same reading taste. So, feel free to give it a try!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

GoodReads Summary:
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Review:
I read the Shatter Me series years ago when it first came out but thought it was time for a reread because I don’t remember a single thing about the series and there are more books in it now that I haven’t read.
Sadly, I didn’t really like this book. The writing was flowery and I kind of liked that. It was pretty in a world that was sort of terrible. Juliette was annoying. Her relationship with Adam wasn’t very believable. Also, the things that happen with them toward the end of the book was disappointing. She loves him so much but won’t fight for him? Not believable to me.
Warner was a subpar villain. He’s annoying bad. I just didn’t really love anything about this book. I’m told the next one is way better and I’m already about halfway through it. I may continue to book three, but I might not. I guess you all shall find out in my review of book two when I finish it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Fever King by Victoria Lee

GoodReads Summary:
In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make a change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
The Fever King (Feverwake, #1)Review:
I have to be honest here, as I am with all of my reviews. I almost chose not to finish this book because for the first twenty percent or so I was just bored. Things didn’t really get interesting until after Noam and Dara finally started talking. I loved Dara immediately. He’s precious and needs to be protected at all costs. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen with him in the next book. I thought he was so complex and interesting. It was clear that there was more going on than was shown on the page and I loved learning his secrets.
Noam annoyed me a little because it was so clear who was really the villain, but also I could see things from his perspective and why he felt the way he did. I learned to love Noam and respect his choices. I’m very interested to see how things will play out with where this first book was concluded.
I really enjoyed the world-building of this futuristic America but I would have liked to see a bit more of it. We’re only told a bit about the different areas but I would have liked to actually see some of the other places.
Overall, I ended up really enjoying this book. It was a little slow in the beginning but definitely picked up as the story went along. I’m definitely excited to see what is going to happen in book two, which I will be picking up in the next few days as I’m lucky enough to get an ARC.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts

GoodReads Summary:
After the sickness known as the Doom destroyed civilization, magick has become commonplace, and Fallon Swift has spent her young years learning its ways. Fallon cannot live in peace until she frees those who have been preyed upon by the government or the fanatical Purity Warriors, endlessly hunted or locked up in laboratories, brutalized for years on end. She is determined to save even those who have been complicit with this evil out of fear or weakness—if, indeed, they can be saved.
Strengthened by the bond she shares with her fellow warrior, Duncan, Fallon has already succeeded in rescuing countless shifters and elves and ordinary humans. Now she must help them heal—and rediscover the light and faith within themselves. For although from the time of her birth, she has been The One, she is still only one. And as she faces down an old nemesis, sets her sights on the enemy’s stronghold, and pursues her destiny—to finally restore the mystical shield that once protected them all—she will need an army behind her…
The Rise of Magicks (Chronicles of The One, #3)Review:
The final book in the Chronicles of The One series is one that I was eagerly anticipating to be released and then to be delivered to me. I was so excited when it came. I wanted to start it right away, but school work had to be done first. When I did finally start it, I flew through it.
In the first book, we follow a cast of characters escaping the end of the world. We still get to see these characters in the second and third books but the story is more focus on their children in book three. Specifically, ‘The One’ also named Fallon. I didn’t love this in book two, but in this finale, I came to really enjoy it. I really adored the planning and then the action that this book had. It was full of good overcoming the evil that was plaguing the world.
These characters that we met as fetuses and then follow as they grow into the adults the are in The Rise of Magicks. I thought this was really great considering that I felt the first book lacked a bit of character development. It was certainly made up for in this aspect.
But the best part of this book was the action. There were several battle scenes as those on the side of the light fought to regain control of Washington, D.C., New York City, and then the Shield where all of this madness started. There were significant losses on both sides and Nora really tore my heart out a few times.
I also really loved the magical ideas behind the end of the world as we know it today. I thought this was compelling, the idea that the Doom that killed most of the population also somehow brought out magical abilities or attributes.
All in all, Nora did an incredible job with this series. It’s different from most of the other things she’s written and I just genuinely enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see what other kinds of fantastical stories Nora might come up with next.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts

GoodReads Summary:
They look like an everyday family living an ordinary life. But beyond the edges of this peaceful farm, unimaginable forces of light and dark have been unleashed.
Fallon Swift, approaching her thirteenth birthday, barely knows the world that existed before—the city where her parents lived, now in ruins and reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted—and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden.
In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.
Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of The One, #2)Review:
Part of me is honestly glad that I waited to read this so close to when the third book is being released. I only have to wait a few weeks for the series to conclude rather than a whole year. I found myself liking this book better than the first. While I always enjoy seeing the world end, I much preferred seeing the aftermath and years after the end of the world as we knew it.
Of Blood and Bone follows Fallon mostly, who is foretold to be The One. The descendant of someone important that I really feel like I should know where I’ve heard it before and I think it might even be from another of Nora’s series. I really liked Fallon. She starts off as a young girl and we get to see her grow and train and come to accept the responsibility that fate has bestowed upon her. She grew into this responsibility gracefully. Obviously, this wasn’t without its teenage moments and I thought that just made it all the better. Fallon was smart and determined, caring and honorable, fierce and strong. I really love her. And even more, I love the love interest that is alluded to.
We get to see the many characters we got to know in the first book and I was glad about that. I think this book gave us a bit more of the character development that was missing from Year One, but also the whole book is pretty fast-paced. It follows a time period of several years, slowing here and there. So, it felt like we didn’t get to know everyone as well as we could have. But I think this book filled in a bit that I thought was missing from the first. We also added a handful of characters, which didn’t really help this. Despite that, I still really liked getting to see the friends and found family that Lana had left behind.
I love the magic. Magical dystopias are not something I’ve read too many of. So, this one was a fun twist on the end of the world. Most I’ve read use magic to prevent the end of the world, and in this one magic came from the end of the world.
Nora leaves us in suspense, giving us only crumbs to try to piece together. I’m dying to know how this story will end. I will be waiting as patiently as I am able to for the final installment of this trilogy.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Year One by Nora Roberts

GoodReads Summary:
It began on New Year’s Eve.
The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed–and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.
Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river–or in the ones you know and love the most.
As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.
In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.
The end has come. The beginning comes next.
Year One (Chronicles of The One, #1)Review:
Year One was…different from Nora’s other books. I still enjoyed it, but it definitely wasn’t her usual mystery or romance. This book follows a cast of characters as the world as we know it ends. They struggle to find safety and truth in this new world.
I really liked all of the characters we follow. They each brought something different to the story. I’m not going to go into each of them because there are just too many. I really liked all the various abilities that surfaced after The Doom. They were creative and interesting abilities.
I thought this story brought really interesting conversations about good versus bad kinds of people. After people gain abilities, just like regular people, there turn out to be good Uncannys and bad. The characters talk about how, regardless of any supernatural abilities, some people are inherently good and some are just bad.
I liked that this was s dystopian with magic. There are tons of books out there where the world ends scientifically, so the magical twist was something I enjoyed.
I really didn’t love the direction the end of this book went in. A certain character has something happen and things just went so far into left field. I felt like it kind of invalidated everything that happened previously. Though I am interested to see where things go in the next book.
I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I was going to. I enjoyed it and will definitely be continuing the series. I’m interested to see what exactly the magic is that kick-started the end of the world.

Quotes:

“You have to think of the positive, of the light, or the dark takes over.”

“Major, monumental crises bring out the best or the worst in us—sometimes both. And sometimes those major, monumental crises have no effect on certain types. Which means, no matter what the circumstances, assholes remain assholes.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

GoodReads Summary:
It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.
In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.
The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)Review:
I honestly don’t even know where to start for this review. I loved this book so much. I was scared about two-thirds of the way through that so much was happening that the ending would be rushed, but that was not the case at all. Everything just came together for a perfect ending. What do I even say about this book?
There is so much going on in this story, so many pieces that need to come together. I’m beyond happy to be able to say that Neal brought these pieces together flawlessly. All the storylines slowly made their way toward one another and the suspense almost killed me. I was dying to know what was going on with the characters I wasn’t reading about, but I also couldn’t get enough of whoever I was currently reading about. I just couldn’t get enough period.
I loved Citra and the way her story played out. I loved seeing her fulfill the role that the Thunderhead shared with her. She was hugely influential and blew the lid off some very well-hidden information.
Then there’s Rowan, I really didn’t care about him in this book. He has captured the whole book and went from one group to another, being told what told to do and taken by someone else where they told him what to do too. I just didn’t care about any of it.
Greyson Tolliver was the second most interesting storyline. After becoming this hugely important symbol to the world, he’s realized that some things are not as important as he used to think. He’s made relationships and realized which ones he wants to keep and not. I think Greyson’s growth was the most significant and the most interesting.
My favorite parts of this book were the parts with Faraday on the islands. I was dying to get back to his parts to see what was going on in the blind spot. The suspense of only getting tiny bits of what was going on there killed me.
I am so impressed with Neal’s ability to create characters. Our villain, Goddard, was horrible and awful in every way, but I still found myself agreeing with some of his ideas. If I lived in this world, I think I could easily have been swayed to Goddard’s side of things even though he’s a horrible man.
Finally, Jerico. I think Jeri was my favorite character. They were just so casual in their gender fluidity and I loved it. I thought the way they identified was beautiful and poetic and exactly what the real world should be like. I loved the addition of Jeri to the story.
Overall, I loved this book and everything about it. They writing was incredible. The messages it sends and the conversations it invites are just such important ones. It brings up the morality of mortality. The conversation of what it means to take a life. Artificial intelligence and how much power they should have. I just loved this book and the entire series.

Quotes:

“We never know what choices will lead to defining moments in our lives.”

“It was not exactly circular logic. More like spiral. An accepted lie that spun in upon itself until truth and fiction disappeared into a singularity of who the hell cares, as long as I’m happy?”

“But the truth is, power for power’s sake is a consuming addiction. He would devour the world whole, and still be unsatisfied.”

“Important work often loses the spotlight to important people.”

“The tales we hear as children—the stories we then pass on—have happened, are happening, or will happen soon enough. If not, then the stories would not exist. They resonate in our hearts because they are true. Even the ones that begin as lies.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

GoodReads Summary:
Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the chilling sequel to the Printz Honor Book Scythe from New York Times bestseller Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.
The Thunderhead cannot interfere in the affairs of the Scythedom. All it can do is observe—it does not like what it sees.
A year has passed since Rowan had gone off grid. Since then, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. His story is told in whispers across the continent.
As Scythe Anastasia, Citra gleans with compassion and openly challenges the ideals of the “new order.” But when her life is threatened and her methods questioned, it becomes clear that not everyone is open to the change.
Will the Thunderhead intervene?
Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?
Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2)Review:
I AM SO MAD AT NEAL SHUSTERMAN FOR THE FINAL PAGES OF THIS BOOK.
Okay, now that I have that out of my system, let’s talk about Thunderhead. As I mentioned in my review for Scythe, I am rereading the first two books before picking up the final book that has recently come out, The Toll. It’s taking everything in me to actually sit and write this review before picking it up. Especially with the way Thunderhead ended.
Let’s get into the review. I really liked that we get to see so many of the different characters and all of the things they are doing. There is a certain character that I can’t name that spends a bit of time at the reconstructed Library of Alexandria and those were some of my favorite parts. The mystery they are trying to solve was fascinating. Then there’s Citra who is now Scythe Anastasia. I really enjoyed seeing her gleaning method and standing up to the other scythes when confronted. I think her journey into going from Citra to accepting herself at Scythe Anastasia was very compelling. Then there’s Rowan. I liked the first part of his storyline in this book. But then things get weird. I did not like the twist. But that’s more because this particular villain is just despicable and I hate him.
The world is still being built up and I enjoyed learning more about it. I liked that things were explained as what they used to be. Places like Washington, DC, the St. Louis Arch, are all named and how they came to be what they are now was beyond interesting to me.
Finally, the Thunderhead. In the first book, we’re given scythe journal excerpts in between chapters, but this time we head from the Thunderhead. I really liked that because it gave this AI a personality, and even some almost human qualities. Seeing it watch over the world and watching the scythes, but unable to intervene, was fascinating. But it was also mildly terrifying. When it finds out what the character I cannot name is up to, it gets almost…angry and that is really what I’m excited to see play out in the final book.
Overall, I loved this book. The various characters were well written to the point where I either really liked or respected them or absolutely hated them. There were even some that I was torn about because I could see that they were not always okay with their own actions. This story brings up so many compelling ideas. What would it mean to have an AI in control of everything outside of life and death? What would it mean for a person to be the hand of death? What would it mean for a shunned scythe to take justice into their own hands? I was absolutely fascinated with this story and I cannot wait to read the finale.

Quotes:

“The world is a flower I hold in my palm. I would end my own existence rather than crush it.”

“I know them intimately, and yet they can never truly know me. There is tragedy in that.”

“A sense of humor, no matter how dark, is always a good thing.”

“The simple pleasure of being good at what you do is very different from finding joy in the taking of life.”

“Should evil people be allowed the freedom to be evil, without any safety nets?”

“We leave justice to the universe. And what rings out always echoes back.”

“If we were judged by the things we most regret, no human being would be worthy to sweep the floor.”

“That’s exactly what the scythedom is: high school with murder.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.