The 5th Wave

“I don’t care what the stars say about how small we are. One, even the smallest, weakest, most insignificant one, matters.”

Title: The 5th Wave

Author: Rick Yancey

Series: The 5th Wave # 1

Publication: May 7th 2013 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Pages: 457

Source: Christmas bookhaul

 

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

My Thoughts:

Well, that just happened and I really don’t know how I feel about it. I loved it, I really really loved it. But… the ending has left so many questions in my head that I honestly can’t think straight. The 5th Wave hits theaters in the US this Friday, so, I had to make sure I read the book before I went in to see it this weekend (shhh… don’t judge).  I have to say, The 5th Wave surprised me for a variety of reasons. One: how much I loved Cassie as a narrator. Two: The depth of Cassie’s devotion to Sam. Three: How much I really didn’t care about anything other than Cassie and Sam’s story. and Four: The complete and utter absurdity that was the entire book. But, like I said, I still loved it.

“Cruelty isn’t a personality trait. Cruelty is a habit.”

Cassie is a special sort of narrator. I honestly think she is unreliable, especially in the middle of the book when she is seemingly delirious. When reading, I had no idea what was actually happening versus what were simply the thoughts in her head. I have no idea if it was the writing style or what, but it was interesting and unique – so ten points to Gryffindor. I think my favorite part about her, though, was the fact that she has a clear purpose and she sticks to it – even if that purpose is only to get through the day or simply to cross over the next street. She attacks her objectives with an admirable ferocity, and I loved that. The other characters weren’t as striking as her – not in the least. I really didn’t care for any of the other point of views or story lines – except for maybe Sam in the beginning. The instant we get a Birdseye view of Camp Haven it sort of went down hill from there. I started off with Cassie in the lead, and I really wanted it to stay that way.

“How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.”

One of the hardest parts to get through in this book was reading Cassie’s retelling of the waves. Well, that and the fact that I figured out what was going on before any of the characters did and the entire time I was internally screaming for them to all tuck tail and run. The aliens, The Others, whatever they are called, are cruel and sadistic bastards that I hate immensely and I literally want to see them wiped off the face of the earth. Who does that sort of crap! Ugh, brutally smart they are – and it sucks. The humans are losing so badly it makes the college football games from the other week look like all star football. The humans don’t know who is who or what is what. Everything is an enemy and nothing is an enemy all at the same time. It’s a total clusterfuck and it was actually painful to read because it seemed so real.

“That’s what you do when the curtain is falling–you give the line that the audience wants to hear.”

I do have to give props where props are do. Some things about this book might not have sat well with me, but the world building was undeniably fantastic. I actually believed what I was reading, no matter how bizarre it started to get. This dystopia was so set in our world, I mean it was solid, that you can’t not believe it could actually happen. It’s not far fetched, it isn’t crazy… it just is, and that’s terrifying.

“God doesn’t call the equipped, son. God equips the called. And you have been called.”

The 5th Wave surprised so much that I, despite the flaws I have found, have fallen utterly in love with the chaos. This book is a roller coaster I will not soon forget and I cannot wait to get back in the saddle with The Infinity Sea when I go home next. The wait is going to kill me.

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Sanctuary Bay Review and Guest Post from Laura Burns

Title: Sanctuary Bay

Authors: Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz

Series: Unnamed series (I think)

Publication: January 19th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 320

Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review

 

Summary from Goodreads:

In this genre-bending YA thriller, will Sarah Merson’s shiny new prep school change her life forever or bring it to a dark and sinister end?

When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn’t sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate’s dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay’s glossy reputation.

In this genre-bending YA thriller, Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz, Sarah’s new school may seem like an idyllic temple of learning, but as she unearths years of terrifying history and manipulation, she discovers this “school” is something much more sinister.

 

My Thoughts:

After this slightly incoherent and rambly review, please stay tuned for a special guest post by the wonderful author Laura Burns to find out what her dream cast for a Sanctuary Bay movie or television show would be.

 

Alrighty then, well, that was one hell of a whirlwind that I enjoyed immensely. Sanctuary Bay is a unique sort of read where you don’t know what is going to happen until it actually happens and catches you completely by surprise. This book had none of the usual tropes that tend to piss me off in Young Adult thrillers and mysteries – instead, it was brilliantly crafted. Sanctuary Bay was completely different than what I expected it to be, and because of that it became a serious thrill ride.

Sanctuary Bay is the story of foster child, Sarah Merson – who witnessed the murder of her parents at a very young age. Talk about traumatizing. She is thrown from house to house as most foster children are, but now – she has received a pretty sketchy invitation to a mysterious elite prep-school called Sanctuary Bay Academy. All I can say without spoiling the amazingness – which isn’t much – is that once she goes to Sanctuary Bay everything hits the fan. The less you know about this, sort of like I did, the more it will make you fall in love.

The characters of this book… ugh… they are amazing and complex. They are multi-dimensional and they develop and grow over the course of this book – it was beautiful. I think I love Sarah so much because of the fact that she wasn’t perfect and some of the choices she made, things she did, etc. pissed me off to no end. But, it was that same anger I had towards her for certain things she did that proved she was a real and very fleshed out character. I do have to say, the rest of the characters were just as refreshing – and diverse! Holy crap were they diverse, my precious babies.

Sanctuary Bay is a wonderful thriller with a heart pounding plot and believable characters. If you enjoy any type of thriller or mystery, I highly recommend this for a quick read. Filled with twists and turns, an open ending, and secrets – this book will keep you on your toes.

 

What would your dream cast be like if Sanctuary Bay was ever turned into a movie or television show and why?

Ooh! This one is fun!

Whenever we get to the end of an outline—when all our plot points are plotted and our twists are twisty—we get ready to write. For us, that means deciding who will write the first half and who will write the second half. We don’t take turns; we write at the same time. (Which is why it’s so important that we have a detailed outline, so the person writing the second half knows exactly what’s already happened.) Once we’ve split up the work, there’s only one more thing we need to decide before we start writing: what do the characters sound like? Even though two different people are writing them, the characters need to sound like themselves throughout.

The way we do it is this: we decide together who would play this character in a movie or a TV show, and then we both write as if we’re writing for that person. It works pretty well!

So here is our cast for Sanctuary Bay:

Sarah: Zendaya Coleman. Sarah’s complex, and Zendaya seems to have a mix of smart, funny, tough, and sensitive. She made us think of our girl.

Nate: Tyler Posey. He can give a smile like the one Sarah calls “The Grin.”

Ethan: Ansel Elgort. Ethan’s a sexy bad boy who’ll come through for you in the end. We think Ansel could do all that and then some.

Izzy: Nicola Peltz. We think she has Izzy’s looks—and could bring the cool Izzy attitude.

Karina: Alia Bhatt. We’d love to see this acclaimed Bollywood star’s take on Karina.

Dr. Diaz: Adam Rodriguez. Because we love Adam and Dr. Diaz is a juicy part.

 

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The Grisha Trilogy: Ruin and Rising

“Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what’s inside you? That’s steel. It’s brave and unbreakable. And it doesn’t need fixing.”

Title: Ruin and Rising

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series: The Grisha Trilogy # 3

Publication: June 17th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co.

Pages: 422

Source: Christmas bookhaul

 

Summary from Goodreads:

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

My Thoughts:

Ruin and Rising in one word: painful. This book was brilliant. It was a flawless example of the perfect ending to an amazing series – no matter how much it tore my heart out in the process. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Leigh Bardugo is a goddess and a master at crafting breathtakingly beautiful tales that transport you to a whole new universe. Just wow… truly. I cannot find the words to accurately express just how in love with this series I have become.

“I will strip away all that you know, all that you love, until you have no shelter but mine.”

Because I can, here is a quick play by play of my reactions to this book.

At the beginning (AKA time with The Apparat):

Reappearance of Nikolai:

Genya vs. The King:

Firebird discovery:

THAT scene with Mal when at the orchard:

Certain point in the battle against The Darkling:

 

By the end:

“Na razrusha’ya. I am not ruined. E’ya razrushost. I am ruination.”

In all honesty, that about covers it. But, in this case a picture is not worth a thousand words. Ruin and Rising is so much more than I could ever hope to convey to you guys – it was a gem, a diamond in the rough as it were (especially when compared to other series conclusions). This book was a no-nonesense, nitty-gritty final show down between light and darkness illustrated through the lives of a cast of characters I have come to love. There is no sugar coating, no “atta boy” or congratulations. It is dark, dirty, and raw. It gives and it takes. Despite the optimism at the end, this is in no way a happy ending.

“Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay.”

Ruin and Rising tackles the difficult battle of balancing the intimate exploration of relationships with the hardships and trials of war. There is a delicate beauty in the way things are handled and taken care of throughout the plot – relationships are shattered and new ones forged, people face their fears head on and others tuck tail and run. It was an amazing balancing act, and Bardugo tackled it with awe inspiring ease.

“It’s a vow that if I can’t be anything else to you, at least I can be a weapon in your hand.”

There is never a dull moment in this book – even at the beginning. There might be a lull in the obvious action, but just like with Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising waged a battle of wits as well as showcased a brutal fight to the death. There are ups and downs, happiness and grief – it’s all there.

Ruin and Rising was a beautifully bittersweet conclusion to a fabulous trilogy that will forever be on my recommended list. The Grisha Trilogy is all things – it is everything I ever wanted in a series and more. My love for these books is infinite and I will never forget them. If you haven’t read these yet, I suggest you do because they are just that awesome. Leigh Bardugo, thank you for creating something so beautiful and sharing it with the world.

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Waiting on Wednesday # 16

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released.

This weeks Waiting On Wednesday is Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan!

Publication: January 19th 2016 by HarperTeen

Summary from Goodreads:

Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.

This sounds like Red Queen and An Ember in the Ashes‘ love child. Where do I sign up?

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Teaser Tuesday # 16

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

This weeks Teaser Tuesday is for Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo!

“I will strip away all that you know, all that you love, until you have no shelter but mine.”

“Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what’s inside you? That’s steel. It’s brave and unbreakable. And it doesn’t need fixing.”

“Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay.”

Goodreads

Amazon

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