Review: False Idols by Alexis Grove

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Synopsis:

When Sarah Fenton is recruited out of her orphanage into a mysterious government program, she doesn’t realize she’s becoming a central figure in a three-way civil war.

When Nick Lal receives a powerful brain implant for his birthday, he doesn’t realize it will make him a social outcast and enemy of the state.

The world Sarah and Nick grew up in is transforming at catastrophic speed as neurally enhanced youths called Aeons rise to become global oligarchs. The Aeons quickly use their superior intellects and technology to dominate the world economy.Soon Sarah and Nick find their lives revolving around Laura Mayer, the charismatic and brilliant leader of the Aeons. But is Laura working to save humanity from self-assured destruction, as she maintains to Nick? Or is she a manipulative psychopath, as Sarah’s military handlers insist?

The United States is torn three ways by a power struggle between the decrepit political institutions in Washington, the destabilizing technology of the Aeons, and a religious revolution in Texas. Soon, Nick and Sarah find themselves serving opposing factions. Will they be able to bridge the chasms of distrust that separate them and save the country from collapse?

False Idols is the first novel in the Aeon science fiction trilogy by Alexis Grove.

Rating: 4/5

Review:

*I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

False Idols by Alexis Grove is a novel that originated on Wattpad before being published. I’m usually a bit weary of reading Wattpad novels, as many of them are written by young teens who have yet to perfect their writing skills, but sometimes their are hidden gems just waiting to be plucked up by a publisher. False Idols is one such novel.

I found myself flipping pages all night (digitally, of course, as I read it on my Kindle) desperate to find out what event would next befall our heros. There’s plenty of action, both physical and digital, as the characters deal with the two worlds they must traverse. In addition to the action and scifi elements, there’s also a bit of romance, religion, economics, and politics thrown into the blend, which helps to create a more realistic story. Every action has consequences, and Grove managed to explore the different facets of the topics without getting too preachy or condescending. The characters are easy to fall in love with, even the villains, some of whom are more anti-heroes in my eyes. I can’t wait to find out what happens to them next!

Fans of the science fiction genre will love this, as well as people who’d love a bit of drama-tinged action in a novel. You’ll find yourself flipping pages until the end, and then you’ll be longing for the sequel, which is available on amazon HERE. I know that I’ll be reading it soon, and I highly encourage you to read False Idols, and then the second book.

Buy it on Amazon

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Review: So Close to You by Rachel Carter

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Synopsis: Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the strange things that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and people who’ve disappeared over the years. Stories about people like her own great-grandfather.When Lydia stumbles into a portal that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, she discovers that all the stories she’s heard about the Montauk Project are true, and that she’s in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.Alongside a darkly mysterious boy she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the Project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to questions all her choices – and if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them… and herself.

Date Finished: 11/14/15

Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: 

I haven’t read a good time travel book in a long time. The last one I read was about a year ago, and it was so bad that I had to take a break from the genre for a long time. I simply had to end that break when I picked up So Close to You, which is a time travel novel that sends the protagonist back to 1944, during World War II.

Now, let me say that I’m big on Historical Fiction. This wasn’t exactly a historical fiction novel, but it was close enough. That being said, I still enjoyed the novel. It actually has some good insights on what life was like during the war, and provides an awesome background for the events of this novel.

The romance between “the mysterious boy” named Wes and Lydia was a bit… strange. Wes is obviously a dark, (literally) tortured individual with an awful past and conflicted motives, and Lydia is just our determined and somewhat stubborn heroine. Lydia stated a few times that she didn’t know him and didn’t know why she should trust him…and yet after a few meetings, they were all “insta-love!” and confessing all of their secrets. What? There was a bit more going on than just that, but that’s the gist of it. Apprehension, A bit of trust, and then INSTA-LOVE.

Aside from that, I really enjoyed this novel. I really loved how Lydia got to know her great-aunt and her friends, and also played matchmaker to ensure that the future would play out as it should. There were a lot of characters, but they all had a purpose, and because this is the first of a trilogy, they might even come back in a future novel. I’m really excited to see where this series will go in the next two books.

All-in-all, I’d recommend this to fans of both Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, and anyone who loves time Travel. There’s something in this book for everyone to love!

Review: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

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Synopsis: Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn’t: live past graduation.Jaycee is dealing with her brother’s death the only way she can- by re-creating Jake’s daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She’s not crazy,okay? She just doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for staying alive.Jaycee doesn’t expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she’s joined by a group of unlikely friends- all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend; the heartbroken poet; the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome; and…Mik. He doesn’t talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable-reveal parts of herself that she buried with her brother. Cori McCarthy’s gripping narrative defies expectation moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panes and word art poetry. From the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum to the skeletal remains of the world’s largest amusement park, You Were Here takes you on an unforgettable journey of friendship, heartbreak, and inevitable change.

Date Finished: 10/28/15

Rating: 5/5

Review:

*I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Before I even get into this review, let me just say that the cover designer for this book did something absolutely amazing in the design of it, something that you’ll understand completely if you read the book and then look back at the cover again. That being said, let’s get into the actual content of the book itself.

You Were Here is a book that grips you from the first emotionally charged page and holds you throughout. It takes a few chapters to get used to the way the author presents our characters: Jaycee’s chapters are told from a 1st person POV, Natalie and Zach’s are told from from the 3rd person POV, Bishop’s are told through his art, and Mikivikious’s are told with graphic novel style art. However, once you get used to the characters and their methods of story telling, it’s really a fantastic read, especially when you realize that while Jaycee is the character mentioned in the synopsis, she isn’t our only protagonist, nor is she the only one with problems. Cori McCarthy has done a phenomenal job of weaving together the storylines and making it so that all of the characters are equally developed and important. This might be Jaycee’s journey, but Zach, Natalie, Bishop, and Mik are all along for the ride with meaningful things to contribute.

Throughout the novel we see themes of grief, friendship, guilt, and recovery. We see friendships fall apart and come back together, and it’s a beautiful exploration of grief and the way it affects both the individual and the people all around them. Again, Cori McCarthy has crafted a beautiful coming of age novel that many young people need to read. While grief is a main theme in this novel, seen mainly in Jaycee’s actions to preserve the memory of her brother, there are so many other themes and motifs that young adults, especially those going off to college soon. The fear of the unknown, the end of relationships, and the consequences of our actions all come up in this emotionally packed novel.

I would definitely recommend this to fans of young adult contemporaries. Fans of Jessi Kirby’s Golden or John Green’s Looking for Alaska will fall in love with Cori McCarthy’s newest novel, available on 3/1/16. You should definitely add this one of your TBR list, as this might just be one of the most talked about novels of 2016. And when you get your hands on it, make sure to check out the beautiful and significant cover when you’re done reading it!