Review: NIL Unlocked (NIL #2) by Lynne Matson

Book Title: NIL Unlocked
Author: Lynne Matson
Published Date: May 12th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Genre: YA/Science Fiction
Series: Book 2 in NIL trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die. Rives is now the undisputed Leader of Nil City, but keeping the City united is tougher than ever.

Raiders have grown bolder, supplies are dwindling, and non-human inhabitants have taken a turn toward the deadly. New arrivals cause rifts within the City, putting the Search system at risk, and calling everything Rives knows into question. Desperate for answers, he teams up with the only other person searching for them: Skye, a new arrival with a mysterious past of her own. Soon the duo find themselves locked in a desperate race to save all the residents of Nil—and possibly destroy the island forever. But at what cost? And who will pay the price?

Disclaimer: I won this book in a giveaway.

Review:
Holy crap, I didn’t expect NIL Unlocked to be better than NIL, but it was!
I didn’t mention this in my review of NIL, but my only criticism was that we didn’t get any information on the history of NIL and how it came to be or any other kind of backstory on NIL. Thankfully, in NIL Unlocked, I got some answers. I got answers about NIL and how it worked. In some ways, this was my favorite part of the book.
We wouldn’t have known anything about NIL if it weren’t for Skye. NIL wasn’t a mystery to Skye and although I’d love to say more on that front, I can’t because of how spoilery it would end up being and I really want to avoid spoilers as much as I can. Skye was awesome though and as much as I loved Charley in book one, I loved Skye equally.
As fascinating as Skye was, I was very curious about Rives. I had loved him in NIL and was excited to see what was in store for him. I had loved Thad, but I think I actually loved Rives more. I’m not sure exactly why, but Rives was awesome and he was a leader and he had a whole lot of strength.
Unlike with Charley & Thad, Skye and Rives’ romance didn’t start until the book was nearly over and I think I liked that better. I love slow burn romances and Skye & Rives fit that to a T. Truthfully though, I do wonder if Skye’s NIL knowledge was really what attracted Rives to her. Yeah maybe that’s a bit cynical, but I wonder if Rives would have fallen for her if she didn’t have this “insider information”
The secondary characters were once again, awesome. I loved Jillian and Dex especially and it was because of them, that the ending of this book had me pretty much sobbing into the pages. I wasn’t expecting the feels to be quite as intense in the second book, but in many ways, the feels were more intense. I don’t know how Lynne Matson does it.
I loved this book even more than I loved book one and I will be ordering a finished copy of this book soon. Needless to say, I’m giving it 5 stars and I cannot wait to see where the story leads in the final book.

Review: The Replaced (The Taking #2) by Kimberly Derting

Book Title: The Replaced
Author: Kimberly Derting
Published Date: April 28th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Series: Book Two in The Taking trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Romantic and action-packed, The Replaced is the gripping second installment in the Taking trilogy.

Kyra hasn’t been the same since she returned from her mysterious five-year disappearance. Now, on the run from the NSA, Kyra is forced to hide out with others who, like her, have been Returned. Yet she is determined to find Tyler, the boy she loves who was also abducted—all because of her. When her group intercepts a message that Tyler might still be alive but is in the hands of a shadowy government organization that experiments on the Returned, Kyra knows it’s a risk to go after him. What if it’s a trap? And worse, what if the returned Tyler isn’t the same boy she lost? 

Perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and the Body Finder series, The Replaced is both chilling and explosive, with creepy, otherworldly elements and twisty, psychological thrills that will have you questioning what exactly it means to be human.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
Can I just leave this review at “holy crap, it was awesome. Read it!”

No, probably not. Holy moly this book was so freaking awesome. I initially couldn’t remember some of these people and events from The Taking and was kicking myself for not doing a reread of book one, but The Replaced does a good job of reminding us all what happened in The Taking. 

Kyra has now lost her father and the boy she loves. They were both taken right at the end of the Taking and The Replaced picks up not too long afterwords. We end up meeting several new people throughout the course of this book. Some of these people end up being very important and some end up simply being extras.

There were secrets galore in this entire book. Every 20% or so I’d be freaking out and having to put the book down & calm down before I continued reading. There is one character that you start feeling one way about and then later on your feelings on this character change completely. I was never sure how I felt about this character.

There starts to be a love triangle in this one, and honestly, I kinda liked it. I liked the 2nd guy who was involved in this triangle and I kept hoping it would go the way I wanted it to. They seemed like a great match.

I hate being so secretive and vague about this book, but so much of this book was a big giant spoiler that I really can’t talk about, and it’s driving me batty. It was going to take a lot for me to enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed The Taking and actually I think I enjoyed this one MORE than I enjoyed The Taking. I never expected to say that.

Honestly it was the ending that sealed it for me. So shocking, so mind boggling and it left me wondering how I am going to wait for the third and final book in the series. I am giving this book 5 stars, and if you haven’t read these books yet, you need to rectify that immediately.

Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin

Book Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Published Date: October 23rd, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Mystery
Series: Book Two in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.
She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.
They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Holy crap, what an opening for this book. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what was going on at the end of the last book, but this one opened with a bang. We learned some things about Mara’s grandmother that we weren’t expecting and that Mara, herself never knew about.

We also delve into the differences between Mara’s family and Noah’s dysfunctional family. Noah’s father is cold and distant and his stepmother tries to be there for him, but it doesn’t really work out like that. Noah is very loyal to his sister, Katie, she’s the only one to not let him down. He’s clearly envious of the fact that Mara’s family loves her and supports her throughout this messed up time in her life.

Mara starts to have issues with sleepwalking, all the way to the point where she doesn’t remember throwing things away. She’ll wake up the next morning and have no memory of the things she did the night before.

The concept of genetic memory is broached which I loved hearing about. I found that idea to be so fascinating. I loved that Noah brought it up. It was supposed to be a connection between Mara and her grandmother, and given how it unfolded, I liked it a lot.

Noah pushes her to put down her defenses and actually wanting him first, instead of having him always being the aggressor. She struggles with the fear that she’ll hurt him, but he wants her to trust him, he wants her to fight against her fear. He is in love with her and she is in love with him. There is a lot of fear and distrust between them, but not in the way most people would think.
“This was the boy I loved. A little bit messy. A little bit ruined. A beautiful disaster. Just like me.”

Near the end, we start to get some of our questions answered. Questions about Jude, Stella, Jamie and Phoebe, among others. The ending was absolutely bat-crap crazy. Even crazier than the first book. I loooooved this book, it was an improvement over the first book, although I was crazy about the first book too, but this book was a crazy-awesome roller coaster ride. 5 stars to this book. ALL THE STARS!!

Review: Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion #2) by Aimee Carter

Book Title: Captive
Author: Aimee Carter
Published Date: November 25th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Book 2 in The Blackcoat Rebellion trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads:
For the past two months, Kitty Doe’s life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister’s niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever. 

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she’s accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape. 

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she’ll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Harlequin Teen via NetGalley in change for my honest review.

Review:
Holy crap, Captive was so freaking good!

I had a lot of concerns about Captive, mostly surrounding the infamous “Second book syndrome” I had enjoyed Pawn so much that I was honestly afraid to read Captive. I really didn’t want to be disappointed. Thankfully, not only was I not disappointed but Captive surpassed my expectations in a really big way.

Kitty is still fiercely loyal to her Benjy, the boy she loves, everything she does, she does with him in mind. I still liked them together as a couple, but this book didn’t focus as much on the romance as Pawn had, which actually made the book better, I think. It focused on the relationships and friendships rather than the romances.

There were so many surprises that left me screaming “Holy shit” at the top of my lungs. So many twists that I didn’t see coming. A few times I was confused, but confused in the best way. I love when books keep me guessing like this one did. It adds an element to it that not very many books have.

The only person Kitty seems to trust is Benjy, and I totally understand that. It makes sense to me that Kitty doesn’t trust that many people. I know some people were pissed that she didn’t trust Knox, and while I do like him, I also understand why Kitty doesn’t trust Knox.

There are so many new characters in this book, but they are woven in nicely, and they didn’t add to my confusion. Several of them are really, really important to the story as well. So keep your eye on these characters, as you never know when or even if they’ll be important.

The world building was even better this time around. It was good in Pawn, but it was really good in Captive, so kudos to Carter for taking time to build the world that Kitty and everyone else lives in. A well developed world can really help a book be awesome, and in this case it definitely helped.

I hate that I’m being so vague about stuff, but I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone. This entire book is filled with spoilers so I really can’t say much else about the book. What I can say though, is that I loved it and cannot wait for book 3, the final book in the trilogy. I can also let you know that this book was utterly fantastic and I’ll be giving it 5 stars. Go read it now.

Book Blitz: Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2) by Michelle Madow

Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2)
Release Date: 10/28/14
Harlequin Teen
448 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
All-access doesn’t mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah’s YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don’t keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters’ archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow’s riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters.

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Courtney is sixteen years old, and is the middle Diamond sister. She’s the responsible one—she studies hard, does well in school, is a student tutor, and works after school and on weekends to help out her family. Her main goal is to keep up her grades and do well on her SATs so she can get into Stanford, her dream school. She wants to major in English and someday get a career in publishing. She’s competitive with herself and always strives to do her best.
Courtney’s closest friends are her sisters—with all the time she spends on school and work, she doesn’t have time for anyone else. She’s never had a boyfriend and is fine with waiting to date until college. (She doesn’t need any distractions right now!) She’s not into the high school party scene, and whenever she has time in her busy schedule, her favorite thing to do is read novels. She also loves listening to Broadway music (Phantom of the Opera and Wicked are her favorites) and would love to see a live show someday.
She’s a natural early bird, and is always awake before her sisters. She could happily wear jeans, t-shirts, and flip-flops every day, and always goes natural with her makeup. Her favorite drink is chai tea. She’s quiet and reserved while first meeting someone, but she will do anything for the people she loves. She would love to travel the world to see historic sites and well-known museums, but it’s always felt more like a dream than a possible reality.

At seventeen years old, Peyton is the oldest Diamond sister. She’s been hurt in the past, but because of it, has developed a thick skin. She will do anything for her sisters, going as far as protecting them from their mom’s outbursts and getting home first from school to make sure everything in the house (including their mom) is ready for them. She’s tough, doesn’t trust easily, and while she has many people she hangs out with, the only people who she feels truly know her are her sisters. She doesn’t like school (she gets restless sitting in classrooms!) and can’t wait until graduation so she’ll be done forever.
Peyton’s a natural night owl, and waking up in the morning is a constant struggle. (Her sisters usually resort to throwing things at her to wake her up, and often yell at her to hurry up showering so they can have time for their morning routines, too.) She needs at least three cups of coffee to get going. She loves rock music, and can usually be found with an earbud attached to her ear, even during her classes. She loves partying and dancing and getting lost in the music. She also enjoys an occasional chill night of movies and television shows, as long as it’s not a rom-com chick flick.
She wears mostly black clothing—why bother with colors when black always looks hot on her? Her nails are usually painted black as well. She’s not afraid to speak up for what she believes in and she will always stand up for her sisters. She tries to not let anyone in to avoid getting hurt—but really she just wants to find that one person who cares enough to break down her walls. 

At fifteen years old, Savannah is the youngest Diamond sister. Her older sisters have sheltered her for her entire life. Despite her rough upbringing, she’s optimistic and wants to think the best of people, although this can sometimes lead to her coming off as naïve. She wants to fit in at school, but has always felt like an outsider. She tends to feel overshadowed by the people around her. She trusts easily, and it sometimes leads to her getting hurt, but she’s always there for her sisters and friends when they need her!
Savannah loves singing, and has a fantastic voice, so it’s her ultimate dream to be a famous pop star. She’s been stage fright since a talent show disaster in middle school, but wants to record cover songs and post them on YouTube to try to get a following, like the YouTube stars she idolizes. She also plays guitar, but is self-taught, so she’s still learning how to improve. She mainly plays to accompany herself while singing. She’s athletic, and played on the JV volleyball team in her school in her hometown. She hopes to make Varsity as a sophomore.
She loves shopping and wearing anything that sparkles—dresses, nail polish, shoes, eye shadow, you name it! She loves reading fashion magazines and trying to duplicate the high-end styles worn by the models. Her favorite meal of the day is breakfast, and her favorite food is pancakes. Savannah has never had a serious boyfriend, and wants more than anything to believe that true love is possible! 
About the Author
Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters, she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga. A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida … but she loves going to Vegas.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow’s Street Team on Facebook!
Author Links:
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Review: Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn #2) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Book Title: Fire with Fire
Authors: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Published Date: August 13th, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book 2 in Burn for Burn trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
When sweet revenge turns sour… Book two of a trilogy fromNew York Times bestselling author Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian.

Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn…

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Holy mother of God.

Usually in a series, the 2nd book is not as good as the first book. It’s normally referred to as a “sophomore slump” and I was worried that Fire with Fire would find itself in that sophomore slump, especially given how awesome Burn for Burn was. Thankfully, I didn’t need to worry too much about it. Fire with Fire was even better than Burn for Burn.

This time around, it was less about the sweet revenge and more about trying to figure out where each of these girls belonged in their own lives, on Jar Island. Mary is still living with her aunt, but things are getting weirder in the home. Her parents are seemingly refusing to come visit her. It doesn’t make sense to me for Mary’s parents to not visit her. Especially knowing that her family was pretty close to each other before she moved back to Jar Island to live with her aunt.

Kat’s going through her own problems. She wants to get away and go to the college that her mom never got a chance to go to. Despite having a rough childhood, she’s a smart young lady. She doesn’t want to use her mother’s death as the “pity me” statement for college applications. She doesn’t want to be known as “the student whose mom died” She wants to reinvent herself. She doesn’t want anything to do with her former best friend, Rennie.

Lillia still values her family, but she’s realizing that maybe she needs to think for herself. Maybe she doesn’t want to go to Wellesley like her parents seem to want her to do. She wants to show her parents that she has a plan for her life and she doesn’t want her parents to interfere as much as they currently do.

This book had a lot of stuff with Mary in it. A lot of other reviewers have said that this book was mostly about Mary, but it wasn’t. It also involved Lillia falling for Reeve, which I didn’t get it at first. But things changed as the book continues on. Reeve slowly endears himself to me. I ended up actually liking him, despite him being a total douche at first. It also included Kat putting a lot of pressure on herself. She wants more than anything to get that early decision acceptance to college and to get the hell out of Jar Island.

The ending was absolutely freaking amazing. I never in a million years would have guessed the twist. It was so amazing and unexpected. The hints were there but I never guessed how it would turn it out. The last 25-50 pages were absolutely unexpected and I absolutely loved it. This book was so, so, SO much better than the first book and I never thought that would happen.

This book gets an easy 5 stars from me. I am so excited to see what happens in the final book. I’m excited to pick up the third book in the trilogy at the library this week. Siobhan Vivian & Jenny Han are a dynamic duo and I love their collaboration.

Cover Reveal: All Broke Down by Cora Cormack

We are so excited to get to share the cover for Cora Carmack’s ALL BROKE DOWN today! A New Adult Contemporary Romance, and published by William Morrow-an imprint of HarperCollins, this is the second book in her Rusk University Series, and it is set to be released on October 28, 2014! But you can pre-order it NOW! Check out what it’s about and then fall in love with this gorgeous cover!

ABOUT ALL BROKE DOWN:
 In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in . . . sometimes you have to fight for what you love Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one. Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause. Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help. Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.
 

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And don’t forget to grab your copy of ALL LINED UP Today!

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About Cora Carmack: Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

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Review: The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

Book Title: The Elite (The Selection #2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Published Date: April 23rd, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Romance
Series: Book 2 in The Selection trilogy (My review of The Selection is here)
Book Link: Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selection.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Disclaimer: This was a personal purchase.

Review:
If Maxon isn’t the one at the very end I think America needs to be committed. I’m not even kidding. He was my favorite part of this entire book. He made it clear to America that she was the one and if she wanted him to, he’d stop everything immediately and propose to her. Yet America isn’t as forthcoming with her feelings. I blame that on a little complication I’d like to call Aspen. How exactly is Aspen still even a possibility. I don’t even know at this point. 

I sympathized with America because I’ve been in that triangle and it was so hard for me to choose between the familiar boy I had loved for so long and the new boy who promised me the world and had the means to give it to me. It’s very hard because when I was with each boy and it was just the two of us, the answer seemed simple. So when America was able to steal time with Maxon and Aspen individually, she could see herself married to them so easily. I was able to connect with America because of this.

Aspen seemed more interested in making sure that Maxon didn’t choose America, than making her see why she needed to pick him. Selfish if you ask me. He also seemed to care more about his job as the guard, than he did in the first book. I didn’t warm up to him at all, which was a disappointment, as I was really hoping to like him much more in the second book.

I really enjoyed seeing more of how the world was run and the politics behind it. Thankfully, it wasn’t too heavy on the politics. If it had been, I would have been bored as I really try to avoid reading books that are heavy on the politics.

The connection that Maxon builds with Kriss was not something I was expecting. I can tell he’s interested in her, but I’ve watched enough of The Bachelor to know that she would be his default pick if America left. After finishing this book, I am positive that Maxon’s father would not allow him to not pick anyone.

Which reminds me, holy crap Maxon. I had no idea that his father, King Clarkson was that awful to his only son. I was glad we got that peek into Maxon’s life and it was something that came out of left field for me. I never saw it coming. Heartbreaking and so sad.
I’m thrilled that I have The One already so, by the time you read this review, I will have started (and maybe even finished The One) I am giving this book 4 stars just like I gave the first one and I cannot wait to see what awaits me in The One.

Review: Independent Study (The Testing #2) by Joelle Charbonneau

Book Title: Independent Study (The Testing #2)
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Published Date: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Series: Book 2 in The Testing trilogy (My review for The Testing is here)
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas—and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.

Disclaimer: I got this book from ARCycling.

Review:
I really enjoyed the first book of the trilogy so I was excited to get my hands on a copy of the second book in the series. The excitement didn’t last long though and I spent a good chunk of the book, bored out of my mind.

It wasn’t realistic. Cia was supposedly able to handle 9 classes plus an internship and be able to run around campus and still manage to ace her assignments and do well in her internship? Please! I wanted to see her fail only because I wanted to see how she would handle that. Yet they don’t show that. She goes through the entire book, at the top of her class and not getting caught when she sneaks around looking for answers. It was too convenient and unlike in The Testing, I really didn’t like her. She had this I’m-better-than-anyone-else attitude which made me really annoyed and pissed off.

I still don’t like Tomas and honestly I didn’t really like anyone in this book outside of Raffe. I found the characters to be very bland and definitely underdeveloped. I was hoping for more character development and I didn’t get that.The world-building was also lacking significantly and that made it very difficult for me to be able to visualize everything.The world-building was decent in the first book, but it definitely took a nosedive in the second book.

There was no action in it, which really sucks because in books in this genre, there’s got to be some action in order for it to be good and compelling. Without action, this book was nothing more than a fictional political book.

This book suffered the infamous “Sophomore Slump” It was boring, uninteresting and it was a book that I could not wait to finish so I could put it behind me and move on to a better, more interesting book. This book will be getting 2 stars. I am not sure I’ll read the final book in the trilogy.

Review: The Treatment (The Program #2) by Suzanne Young

Book Title: The Treatment (The Program #2)
Author: Suzanne Young
Release Date: April 29th, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Series: Book 2 in The Program duology
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Link: Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”


How do you stop an epidemic?

Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.

Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.

Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?


Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
How often is it that less than a week after you feature something in a WOW post, that you get access to an e-ARC of it? Well it happened to me. You may recall that I made The Treatment by Suzanne Young the featured book on my first WOW post. Imagine my joy and elation when I got the email from Edelweiss that my request was accepted.

You may remember that I loved the first book in this duology. My review of The Program is here. All I knew at the end of that book was that I needed more Sloane, James and yes, even Realm.

Well I got more of these three. I also got to meet some new characters. Dallas was a badass and I adored her to pieces.Cassanova “Cas” was a bit of a mystery throughout a lot of it. Then there was Kellan, Asa & Arthur and of course Evelyn. All of them played a part in how the book turned out.Even some returning characters such as Lacey, Kevin and Roger played a part in this sequel. 

I’m going to do my absolute best to keep spoilers out of this review but oh my goodness, I loved this book. It was emotionally taxing, but not quite as much as the first book had been. I ugly cried quite a bit while reading this one. There were connections that no one saw coming. There was one connection that I totally called, but for the most part, the bombshells came without a single hint as to what was going to happen.

I still adored James and Sloane’s relationship. At times Sloane was a bit co-dependent on James but those brief moments were just that, brief.They were stronger together than apart and I rooted for them all the way through. I cannot always say that with couples in YA books so James and Sloane were a welcome exception.
Sloane was an awesome character. She was stubborn, she was compassionate and she was loyal. I absolutely adored her. Probably even more than I adored her in the first book. James was awesome too. He seemed different somehow and I couldn’t quite put my finger on how. He seemed more hopeful (the Program creators probably thought it was because of them) He was totally loyal to Sloane, despite a girl making the moves on him.
Realm turned out to have a lot more secrets than anyone could have dreamed! The vast chunk of the bombshells connected to him in some way.By the end, I was no longer sure if he was trustworthy.
I am going to give this book five stars.The editing was great, the feels were back in full force and the characters were awesome and multi-dimensional, which always makes me really happy. It was absolutely perfect and I loved it completely. I definitely plan on pre-ordering a copy of this book.