Nirvana by J.R. Stewart (Updated Version)

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When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?

Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon. In Nirvana, anyone’s deepest desires may be realized – even visits with Andrew.

Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon’s dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders’ biggest challenge is determining what is real – and what is virtual.

Thank you to the publisher, author, and the team at Digiwriting for providing an updated version of the book. My review of the ARC version can be found here. 

In my review for the ARC version of Nirvana, I expressed disappointment. I believed Nirvana to be capable of greatness with its fascinating themes and ideas, and yet it missed its mark. The updated version of Nirvana, however, is a completely different book. It has more direction, more clarity, a sense of purpose, and a more distinct narrative voice. For this review, I will be drawing from the ARC version a lot as a basis of my evidence and judgments.

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

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After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey shows a lot of promise with its intriguing premise and seemingly refreshing take on aliens invading the Earth. I read this book because everyone raved on about it, and following the release of the trailer, I became curious. I wanted to get on that hype train and ride it all the way to fandom.

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Siblinghood of the World Bloggers Award!

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Hello everyone! I am slowly powering my way through all my tags (thank you again to everyone who tagged me)! I’m unfortunately the worst when it comes to these – even though I really enjoy writing them.

I was nominated for the Siblinghood of the World Bloggers Award! What an absolute pleasure and honour. I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to Zoe at adailylifeblogAlyssa from From Beyond Infinity, and Jesse at Books at Dawn for nominating me for this award! All of three of them have splendid blogs and have kind and beautiful souls. Be sure to check out their blogs!

So, without further ado, here is the Siblinghood of the World Bloggers Award!Read More »

Wendy Darling: Stars by Colleen Oakes

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Wendy Darling has a perfectly agreeable life with her parents and brothers in wealthy London, as well as a budding romance with Booth, the neighborhood bookseller’s son. But while their parents are at a ball, the charmingly beautiful Peter Pan comes to the Darling children’s nursery and—dazzled by this flying boy with god-like powers—they follow him out of the window and straight on to morning, to Neverland, a intoxicating island of feral freedom.

As time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boy’s paradise of turquoise seas, mermaids, and pirates holds terrible secrets rooted in blood and greed. As Peter’s grasp on her heart tightens, she struggles to remember where she came from—and begins to suspect that this island of dreams, and the boy who desires her—have the potential to transform into an everlasting nightmare.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book published on October 13th 2015! (Happy Late Publication Day!)

Fairytales retellings with a twist will always have a small, special place in my heart. It is perhaps why I was immediately intrigued when I heard about Wendy Darling: Stars. Another reason: personally speaking, the idea of Neverland never appealed to me – a place where no one aged seemed like something too good to be true, and even as a young child I perceived this as a trap of sorts. (What does that say about me?) Looking at its cover, you get an inkling that something is amiss – a hint that things may not be what it seems – and such suspicions will be proven true.

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Black Iris by Leah Raeder

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It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She’s going to show them all.

Do you know that song Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics? There’s a part that goes:

Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

I feel like these lyrics are in the same vein as Black Iris. 

Black Iris challenged me as a reader. Perhaps Black Iris has challenged me more than any book has to date. It wasn’t because of the characters, or its themes, or its writing – all of them and every aspect of the book was excellent. After much contemplation on why, exactly, Black Iris was such a difficult book, my conclusion is this: This book is so wonderfully crafted, so masterfully written, so bitterly real, and just so bloody fantastic that I was thrown headfirst into a world that I did not, could not, have ever dreamed of. It’s not fantasy or supernatural – it is as realistic as it gets. And that is what pulls you in.

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