Book Review: Vicious – V. E. Schwab

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Title: Vicious (2013)
Series: Vicious – Book 1
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Science Fiction
Extent: 364 pages
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Description

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

Review

Guys. Guys. I think I’m in love with V. E. Schwab. After a full month without any five-star read, it was just so good to tuck into a book that was super fun, super addictive, and super gripping from the start to the end. I didn’t put Vicious down even once and pretty much finished it in one sitting. In a way, this book kind of reminds me of X-Men (which I love) in book form.

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Book Review: Wolf by Wolf – Ryan Graudin

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Title: Wolf by Wolf (2015)
Author: Ryan Graudin
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Extent: 388 pages
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Description

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

Review

Wolf by Wolf is one of those books I would easily categorise as extremely underhyped. I picked it up as a part of the Diverse YA Book Club and probably wouldn’t have heard about it otherwise, which would have been a shame since, well, I enjoyed it immensely and am giving it five full stars. 😛

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ARC/Book Review: Seven Ways We Lie – Riley Redgate

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Title: Seven Ways We Lie (2016)
Author: Riley Redgate
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Extent: 352 pages
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Description

Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.

When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.

Review

It’s always harder to review books I like because there’s generally less to talk about, but I will try. 😛

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Book Review: The Wrath and The Dawn – Renée Ahdieh

Book Review The Wrath and The Dawn Renee Ahdieh

Title: The Wrath and The Dawn (2015)
Series: The Wrath and The Dawn – Book 1
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Extent: 388 pages
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Description

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

Review

I’m a big fan of retellings, especially when what’s being retold is something different. The Wrath and The Dawn is the re-told story of Scheherazade, the legendary Arabic queen who wedded a king who would marry a woman every day and then execute her at dawn. Now, this made me even more biased because I actually love the story of Scheherazade—it’s an exotic tale and definitely not a ‘cliché’, as far as YA literature goes.

And how I love Shahrzad (Shazi), the incarnation of Scheherazade in this book! She was incredibly snappy, incredibly intelligent, and incredibly brave. I didn’t exactly identify with her, but I certainly connected with and cared about her. I wanted her to survive. When she started falling in love with Khalid, she was so conflicted, so torn between what she came to do and what she learned about him, that I couldn’t help but to sympathise with her. Shazi is definitely the highlight of this story, and for good reason, too.

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Book Review: How to Repair a Mechanical Heart – J. C. Lillis

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Title: How to Repair A Mechanical Heart (2015)
Author: J. C. Lillis
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Extent: 296 pages
Rating: ★★★★★
Review: Brandon and Abel are co-vloggers who run the Internet’s third most popular channel dedicated to the television series Castaway Planet. This summer, they’re hitting the road in Brandon’s dad’s RV to follow the series’s traveling convention. Everything seems to be going well, at least until mysterious messages about them start popping up in the fan community… Brandon has already been struggling with coming to terms with being gay and being a Catholic, and he certainly doesn’t need more on his plate!

A confession: I used to be a ‘shipper’ in my earlier days, back when Livejournal was still the main blogging platform. I wrote fanfiction, made icons, listened to fanmixes, read tons of ship manifestos… and while I don’t have much time to do that anymore, I really enjoyed those days. How to Repair a Mechanical Heart reminded me of what it felt like to dive head-first into fandoms—to get brilliantly, carelessly and absolutely obsessed—in a really, really, REALLY good way.

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