All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai: ARC Review

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Synopsis from Goodreads: You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn’t necessary.

Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.

All Our Wrong Todays is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into over time. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.

Publisher: Dutton Books

Date of Publication: February 7, 2017

Date Read: February 2017

No. of Pages: 384 pages

Setting: Toronto, Canada

Source: The publisher provided me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

REVIEW

Alternate universe can’t get any better than this!

I would just like to thank the heavens for the existence of this book. This book is just ridiculously good, I wonder if it is even legal. Elan Mastai sure knows how to tickle his readers’ minds through his elaborate and eloquent play on words. His writing style is something I could not get enough of. I was always in awe how he constructs a sentence. Pure genius if you ask me. And the storyline, it was original and a breath of fresh air. It wasn’t forcing its readers to like it. It was like second nature, you will inevitably and irrevocably fall in love with it. It wasn’t over doing stuff, it was as smooth as it can be. It was as awesome and entertaining without trying hard. I mean, it is true, beautiful things never seek attention. It was just brilliant and it didn’t even have to try so hard.

As an established fact, I am not a huge SciFi fan. I was kind of hesitant to accept this one for review since I don’t think I could give it any justice much less fully grasp what the story was about. I find it hard to read through SciFi and I wouldn’t deny it, but this book right here is a pure delight. Made me want to reconsider my stance on science fiction, I mean if all scifi books will be as good as this then I will make it my life’s mission to read every one of it.

Elan Mastai built a world so utterly amazing. You have to give it to him for thinking outside the box with this one. What’s even cooler is, parallel universe has always been a fascination of mine. I always wonder what if we do have a parallel world where everything is right and perfect. This book fulfilled my fascination, even exceeded it. Only a pure genius could come up with something so complex yet so enjoyable to read. Jonathan Tropper blurbed it like this: “A Novel about time travel has no right to be this engaging. A novel this engaging has no right to be this smart. A novel this smart has no right to be this funny, or insightful, or immersive. This novel has no right to exist.” And that my friends is the most accurate thing to say about this book. I agree 100% with Jonathan Tropper.

Tom Barren’s voice sounded familiar and somewhat comforting, maybe because its readers can somehow see themselves in him. Not in its full sense though, but at least remotely. It wasn’t trying to impress, if for anything it wasn’t trying at all, it was that effective. The narration was witty yet you couldn’t miss the underlying tone to it. The words used were deliberately chosen, it was consistent and enjoyable to read. Imagine being in a Jesse Eisenberg movie. He was definitely the only person I pictured as Tom Barren. Now go back to thinking about his movies, notice that he has this way of narrating things, almost sounding bored yet effective. I couldn’t quite explain it, but I do hope you get the idea.  This book is just begging to be made into a movie, and I will be the first in line to watch it! The mixture of time-travel, post apocalypse, love story, self discovery along with technical terms and all that jazz, completely won me over. Hats off. Did I mention this book was pure genius?

I highly, highly, highly, and I mean HIGHLY recommend this book. It was well though-out, thought provoking, funny, witty, writing style was flawless and I tell you, reading it will give you a different sense of adventure. It wasn’t just a book made to entertain, but it was written to show a reflection of one’s self. A perfect depiction of how it feels to be trapped in your own body when it feels like you should be living a different life. This book was a metaphor at best and it would be such shame if you won’t give yourself the satisfaction of knowing this book.

Rating: rating_5stars

“You love someone for fifty years and then they die. People talk about grief as emptiness, but it’s not empty. It’s full. Heavy. Not an absence to fill. A weight to pull. Your skin caught on hooks chained to rough boulders made of all the futures you thought you would have.”
Elan Mastai, All Our Wrong Todays

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The Cure by J.R. Knight: Book Review

Synopsis from Goodreads

Welcome to Metravā.
The year is 3433.
Here are some things you need to know:
Run by the governmental body, Peār, Metravā is inhabited by U-mans, a genetically modified race of humans who do not sleep, who work fifteen hours a daāy, and who are fused with their U-chip at birth.
Everyone is the same, everyone blends in, and no one stands out.
That is until Knijä Taū is born.

Date Published: August 14, 2016

Date Read: August 8, 2016

Number of Pages: 130

Setting: Metrava

Source: Author provided me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Review

A book that packed a punch!

J.R. Knight contacted me if I wanted to review his book, upon reading what it was about, I jumped at the opportunity and agreed. I’m not the biggest sci-fi fan to be completely honest, but this book sounded so intriguing and amazing, I just couldn’t pass up. It was the perfect mixture of uniqueness and cleverness. J.R. Knight is a genius for coming up with such novella. I was instantly transported to the world he built. I thought I would have a hard time to get into it since it is a scifi book, but J.R. Knight made it so engaging I forgot how uncomfortable I used to be when reading a scifi book.

The setting was laid out perfectly, it was the mixture of scifi and dystopian world that I appreciate a lot. Knija was different, she was trying her best to fit in a world where you shouldn’t be extraordinary. In this novel we follow her journey and struggles of hiding her true identity to the world. I thought it was well executed, I loved its ingenuity, the way each chapters are narrated and how it all came together. The only issue I had was it was too short, I wanted to read so much more, I wanted to see more depth and be able to live in the world JR Knight made just a little longer. I wanted the ending to be elaborated more. This book definitely has potential, and I wouldn’t be surprised if JR Knight will be a household name under the scifi genre in the years to come.

I loved the details in this book, it was especially crafted and well thought-out. A book that definitely packed a punch! The characters played various role and are all important to the development of the story. The narration made it vivid, my imagination worked really well, it’s like watching a movie, and to be honest that doesn’t happen often.

The story was about standing out in a world that has been pulling you down. It is about embracing your uniqueness and “flaws” and using it to your advantage. It is about finding your real self amidst everything mediocre, it is about going against the current of what society has been dictating. I did not miss the message this book was trying to send across. Embracing everything that makes you different. I loved that JR Knight was able to conjure up such kind of story and incorporating it with scifi elements. Definitely a must read for readers who just started venturing out to scifi.

 

Ratings: 4-star-rating

 

”Keep everything about you that is whole and unique and different—sacred; wear every ounce of dissimilarity with privilege like a badge of honour. Never conform and never give in.”

 

 

 

 

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner: Book Review

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Synopsis: Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Date Published: December 10, 2013

Publisher: Hyperion

No. of Pages: 378 pages

Date Read: December 2015

Source: Bought it.

 

REVIEW

One word: Weird. The good kind of weird. But I tell you the story is as beautiful as the cover!

Sci-fi being an uncharted genre for me, it really took me a whole while to start reading this book, I’ve had it with me for more than a year now and never get the urge to finally crack its spine. Plus the hype when I bought it was so intense then, and as most of you know I tend to veer away from hyped books so I waited a whole year to finally read this one. And this moment has never been sweeter. 🙂 It’s true what they say, the perfect book will come to you at the perfect time.

At first I thought this ain’t my kind-of-book, definitely not right up my alley. But because I wanted to widen my reading experience, I bought it. I could not also discount the fact that the beautiful cover really drew me in. Tell me who could resist that?

The only extent of SciFi genre I have encountered is Cinder and it is not even super scifi. See my palpable lack of knowledge about SciFi books. So I have always put this at the bottom of my to-be-read pile. I was avoiding it, so to speak. I was easily lost in the terminologies and space stuff, and was having a hard time picturing a scene. But boy, I really tried hard. I wanted to understand the hype surrounding this book, I want to love it too. I was past 50 pages when I stopped reading for almost two weeks. I just lost interest, I could not exactly point my finger as to why, I blame the holiday season though, but still not enough reason to abandon a book right? Maybe I just couldn’t wrap my head around the terminologies and my evident lack of interest contributed to it too. I was distracted with other books, the ones I could see myself really enjoying (*insert* Game of Thrones). But then one evening, I was staring at my bookshelf, forcing myself to go back and read Game of Thrones, but perpetually failing. I looked at the cover of These Broken Stars and thought to myself, I ought to finish it before the year ends, so I picked it up, hoping to all odds the story will be more interesting than I have expected. And yes, before I know it, it is past 2 am and just couldn’t put the book down! What a turn of events! And the next days were spent huddled in a corner with this book in hand over-eager to know what’s about to go down.

 The book leaves every chapter with somehow a cliffhanger, that you just couldn’t stop reading until you know what the hell was going on. And even then you are still left baffled with too many questions you are so dying to know the answers to. And yes up until the end I was predicting what was about to happen, and none of my predictions came close to what was really happening. The authors made it so engaging that you could not miss the tension, the build-up of the story, the whole being at the edge of your seat situation. Boy! I loved every bit of it.

Lilac and Tarver’s story of survival is really unique and weird if I may add. The whole novel was a good kind of weird, and to be honest I got creeped out at some parts. (Especially that one in the forest, okay I’ll stop there I don’t want to spoil anyone).

Lilac’s and Tarver’s character were consistent. I loved how the romance did not happen in an instant, there was the development as the whole story progresses. I also cannot discount the cuteness of their banter and how they seem to hate each other so much at the beginning. I loved how badass Lilac can be and how caring Tarver is. Although everything was not answered and explained thoroughly in its ending, I am satisfied with how the story ended. I could not wait to read This Shattered World.

I also commend the authors for giving such a great story, it was not mediocre at all. It was a different taste to what I normally read, and for that I am thankful. This book made me want to read and explore SciFi genre. And oh yes, I’ve found favorite new authors! 🙂

So for those having a hard time getting into SciFi genre, this book is definitely a good start.

Enjoy the rest of your vacation and Happy New Year!

Rating: rating_4stars

“I know a thousand different smiles, each with its own nuanced shade of meaning, but I don’t know how to reach the few feet away to touch this person next to me. I don’t know how to talk to him. Not when it’s real.” 
― Amie KaufmanThese Broken Stars

Unwind by Neal Shusterman : Book Review

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Synopsis: Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives. The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

“Characters live and breathe; they are fully realized and complex, sometimes making wrenching difficult decisions. This is a thought-provoking, well-paced read that will appeal widely.” School Library Journal, starred review

“[A] gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller…could hardly be more engrossing or better aimed to teens.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[A] nail-biting, character-driven thriller.” Horn Book magazine

No. of Pages:335  ]

Publisher:\Simon & Schuster

Date Published: June 2, 2009

Date Read:December 2014

Source:I bought it

REVIEW

Holy Smokes! This book is really good! Caps-lock GOOD!

When I first saw this on booktube I got really intrigued by the plot, as you may know, I am not really accustomed to reading sci-fi and dystopian novels, it is the genre I felt was not my cup of tea or to put it mildly it is a genre I only was able to scratch the surface, to cut the long story short, I was hesitant starting this one. I wanted to end my year with something out of my comfort zone, and so I picked this one up and let it take me to yet another reading experience.

Shusterman built a world so utterly terrifying, a world a reader needs some getting used to. It is a plot so different yet so captivating, it is the kind of plot that will constantly send you at the edge of your seat. It was twisted at it was dark, it was fucked-up as it was engaging, it was gripping as it was suspenseful. And i wouldn’t have it any other way. It is the kind of book that will leave you uncomfortable most of the time and will leave you saying “what the hell” “oh no” “that’s nuts” among other things. It was action packed since page one up to the end! I love how everything progresses and how everything is necessary, not one bit of the book wasted. Each chapter is connected making a unison of different point of views. I love the writing style too. The whole story was well thought out. I also would like to point out the difference of the characters and how they gradually develop, everything they do adds up to the beauty of the whole book. The fact that the characters can toy the readers emotions, is a huge deal for me. For an instance Lev, I was so sure the first few chapters that I am going to hate the boy, but towards the end I found myself cheering for him. I love the fact that the characters were not who you think they are, solid example is the Admiral. The fact that each chapter posits yet another twist and yet another surprise was the icing on top of this wicked cake. I also love that there was tiny romance going on, which made the book even more exciting than it already is.

There was this one chapter that made me squirm, it was so unsettling, I cannot for the life of me take it off of my head. It is as if I was the one experiencing it, pretty sure I will be having nightmares about it, It was sad and terrifying all at the same time. I had to stop reading right after that chapter. Just, ugh, it was insane!

And yes, Humphrey Dunfee’s story seriously creeped the hell out of me!

Oh Neal Shusterman, you are one hell of a wicked man, I loved how fearless the whole book was, totally out of the box, refusing to be caged into one definite thing, and it was nothing short of amazing!

Now I understand all the rave about it ,the hype was so real. It is definitely not one to miss. To say it was disturbing would then be an understatement. I hope every dystopian novel I come across with will be at least be paralleled to this or even greater, because I could not think of a better plot than this.I don’t want to say much because I wanted to leave you with enough curiosity to make you want to buy it and read it. I highly recommend it to anyone, even the adult ones.

Rating:5 stars

“Stupid dreams. Even the good ones are bad, because they remind you how poorly reality measures up.”

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Synopsis: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Date Published: January 3, 2012

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Date Read: November 2, 2014

REVIEW

Wondrously unique and addictive.

Oh Stars in heaven, I need Scarlet right at this very moment. I am surprised that I loved this book more than I allow myself to. To be honest I didn’t set my expectations too high, the least I wanted to happen was to end up disappointed. But boy, this book is anything but disappointment. It was a real page-turner. It has everything I wanted in a book: romance, great world-building, badass heroine and some fantasy. I specifically loved that the things that have yet to unfold were foreshadowed beautifully, like the mention of Cress and Winter.

Everything was coherent and connected to one another, not leaving anything unnecessary. It was more than what I have bargained for and definitely more than what I gave it credit for. Well it was indeed great that I didn’t set the bar too high, that when it turned out to be awesome, I was floored! And now I’m excited, I heard the series gets better.

To say I loved it would be an understatement because If I did not, I wouldn’t have stayed awake at this ungodly hour writing a review about it. I just don’t want to miss out on things I wanted to say. Can’t wait to get my hands on Scarlet!

And oh, what I liked more about Cinder is it reminded me in some bizarre way of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I love to no end. So I guess I’ll be raving about this series for a while, better get used to it.\

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

“He was the fantasy of every girl in the country. He was so far out of realm, her world, that she should have stopped thinking about him the second the door had closed. Should stop thinking about him immediately. Should never think about him again, except maybe as a client – and her prince.
And yet, the memory of his fingers against her skin refused to fade.”