Review: Aberrant (Aberrant #1) by Ruth Silver

Book Title: Aberrant (Aberrant #1)
Author: Ruth Silver
Publish Date: September 23rd, 2013
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Series: Book 1 in Aberrant series
Book Link: Goodreads 
Purchase Link: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the future dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government’s match in marriage and “The Day of the Chosen”, a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn’t existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she’s arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from “The Day of the Chosen.” The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system. 

With Joshua’s help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.

Disclaimer: I received this e-book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
I absolutely adore the dystopian genre so I was really hoping that I would love this one as well. Thankfully I was not disappointed at all. Overall the characters were interesting and likable which is definitely a plus in my book.

The idea of picking a mate for your younger inhabitants is not all that different than the arranged marriage idea that is still rampant in many cultures. However, very rarely do people get matched up who are already attracted to each other. That’s what happened to Olivia when she is matched up with Joshua. Things are all set to take off between the two of them when Olivia is whisked off to jail.

With the help of his mother, Joshua springs Olivia from jail and then they are on the run. They arrive at Haven, a promised rebel town and before they can blink, they must adapt to different rules and regulations. They meet new people and they must figure out if these people are to be trusted or if their guard should remain up.

I loved this book. It was interesting and the idea of Olivia being the last woman on the planet able to conceive a child naturally was really interesting.That’s not a concept I have seen before so I was very interested in it. This book really didn’t give me the feels that I was looking for but I enjoyed it and thought it was well written with good character development and pretty decent world building. So this book gets four stars from me.

Review: The Program (The Program #1) by Suzanne Young

Book Title: The Program 
Author: Suzanne Young
Published Date: April 30th, 2013 
Published By: Simon and Schuster
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Series: Book 1 in The Program series
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads: 
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by me.

Review:
I really wasn’t sure about this one initially. It had gotten a few not so good reviews from people I trust so I was a little iffy. Thank goodness I took a chance on this one. Oh my goodness it was amazing and heartbreaking at the same time.

One would think that a program to help the suicidal would be a good thing right? Well it’s not. The program essentially wipes your memory under the guise of removing the infected memories.When the Program releases the participants of the program,the returners are shells of who they used to be. They don’t remember their connections to anyone around them.

My heart ached for Sloane. She had gone through so much in such a short time,her brother committed suicide,her best friend doesn’t remember her and then her other best friend commits suicide. She had every right to feel depressed. The one thing that seemed to help her was her relationship with James. James had this ability to pull her out of whatever she was feeling, even if it only lasted a moment.I adored James. His sole purpose seemed to be, keeping Sloane safe.

No matter how much they love each other,they can’t hide from the program.I just couldn’t believe this.It felt like a never-ending circle of sadness and that was so heartbreaking. The idea of being forced to forget everything and everyone who you love was completely uncomphrensible to me.
The second part of the book wasn’t as heartbreaking as it focused more on the idea that even if you had your whole life essentially erased, would you still end up in the same place,around the same people. Now you have to rely on what people tell you which is hard as the families and friends who do remember the “old” you cannot tell you the truth about some things. Now you aren’t even sure that you can trust the very people you once trusted wholeheartedly.
I know that there were some mixed feelings on Realm. I liked him but he does have an air of mystery around him that I find very compelling. I have a feeling we’ll learn more about him as the series goes on.
This series is definitely my new favorite Dystopian series. It’s new and fresh. It doesn’t recycle the same old formula.I zipped through this book at lightening speed and I cannot wait to find out what happens next in this series. It was a perfect start to what I’m sure is going to be an amazing series. Five stars to this book with its amazing characters and unique plot.

Excerpt: Steel Lily by Megan Curd

Title: Steel Lily
Author: Megan Curd
Genre: Dystopian

Synopsis:
AVERY PIKE is a commodity. No, more than a commodity. Her existence is guarded at all costs.

She’s a water Elementalist, the strongest of her dwindling kind. She creates steam to provide energy to fuel Dome Three: the only thing standing between humanity and an earth ravaged by World War III. No steam, no Dome. No Dome, no life.

Or so she thinks.

That is, until a mysterious man offers her a way out of having to donate steam. A way to escape the corrupt government of Dome Three. While the offer seems too good to be true, Avery is intrigued.

But when she arrives to her new home, she realizes the grass isn’t any less dead on this side of the fence. Instead, the lies are just hidden better.

Which means digging deeper.

When Avery enlists the help of her friends to uncover the truth, it may make her wonder if she was better off being a government tool than searching for freedom.

Some secrets are better left concealed, but humankind was never meant to live in a cage. And when you can control the most sought after resource, you can learn to control anything…including the fate of your world.

EXCERPTS:

#1:
The Polatzi woman’s broad body blocked the view of my intended hallway. Her hands were on her hips, and her piercing gaze felt as if it might actually impale me.
Do they teach that death stare to every Polatzi, or is this woman particularly nasty?
“Avery Pike?”
I jutted my chin in the air. “Who’s asking?”
“You were off the grid last night.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I pushed past her before she could say more and felt the smooth fabric of her cape slap my legs as I passed. Fiery anger consumed me, but I kept my expression neutral. Damn Polatzi. They gave me nothing but unanswered questions and a lice-ridden bed at an overcapacity orphanage, yet expected me to revere them. Providing steam–being an asset they couldn’t get rid of–gave me immunity to the Polatzi as long as I didn’t do anything stupid.
Like skipping class and going to see Alice during a night of sweeps.
Yeah, that would fall under the category of life-threateningly stupid, which was a couple notches above incredibly stupid.


#2:
I’d never seen anyone like him in Dome Four. His jawbone was strong, his cheekbones set high. His nose was regal and straight and when my gaze reached his eyes, my breath caught. Stormy blue-grey eyes that reminded me of shale returned my gaze with seemingly genuine curiosity, if not a bit of humor. Strips of colored fabric were woven into his dreadlocked hair, giving it a wildly unique appearance that suited him. His smug expression made me realize he was enjoying this.
“Are you finished checking me out? If you’re not, that’s okay; I allow every new woman I meet a free five-minute gawking period. After that, it’ll cost you.”
Blood rushed to my face. I tore my eyes from his magnetic gaze and watched as he took a worn leather strap off his wrist. He pulled back his dreadlocks–deep brown streaked with blonde–into the strap. His devilish grin pulled his eyes tight at the corners. He was trouble incarnate. Trouble I may very well want to get into, given the right circumstances.
“You’re at five minutes and thirty seconds now,” he said in a purr as he leaned in toward me. I felt his breath against my cheek, and my heart raced. “I’m going to start taking payment, and I choose how that payment is issued.”
Before I could respond, Alice stirred groggily beside me. She rubbed her eyes as she sat up. “Where are we?”
“Good question,” piped Jaxon. “One that your friend here failed to ask, but it could have been because I rendered her speechless with my good looks.”
Alice moved to get a better look at him, but he emphatically covered his face, as though he were a vampire trying to block the sun. “Don’t look at me!” he cried, then grinned as he winked at me. “I don’t want to make two ladies swoon in such a short period of time. How would I entertain myself tonight?”
“You’re not that handsome,” I argued mulishly.
“There’s drool on your chin. Either you’re physically unable to keep your mouth shut, or I caused you to forget how. Since when I found you, you were drool free, I’m going with the assumption that it was me.” He fished in his pocket and offered me a piece of white silk. “Here, a handkerchief for your trouble.”



#3:
I was moving double time to keep up with his long strides. He seemed so sure of himself, so in control of his destiny, even in this place, where he claimed we were imprisoned. I didn’t have a shred of doubt that what Jaxon wanted, Jaxon got. He owned his life. I so desperately wanted to own mine as well. Could he help me take control of it, or would he cause it to crash around my feet? For some reason, it felt like either option would be exhilarating if he were involved.
Exhilarating and dangerous.
The back of his shirt was soaked. The small “v” of muscles at the base of his spine flexed as he craned his neck to make sure I was still behind him. Why did that give me butterflies?
He turned and smiled. “Are you even listening to me? You’re way past your ogling allotment.”
“I’m not ogling you.”
“Trust me, I’ve experienced enough ogling to know it when I see it. If you’d prefer to ogle in peace, I’ll turn around again. There have been contests where my ass took first place in squeezability.”
“You must have been the only person in the running.”
He grinned mischievously. “And the only one to vote, but a win is still a win, right?”


#4:
Out of nowhere, his breath ran like warm water over the back of my neck. I closed my eyes for a moment, then forced them back open. No. Not Jaxon. Nothing for Jaxon.
“Now it’s Mr. Pierce, eh?” He put one of his large hands at the small of my back to lead me toward Xander’s office. “I think I’m going backwards.”
“You are backwards, Jaxon.”
He laughed and muscled around me, sliding far too much of his toned body against me as he moved past. His chiseled chest pressed against mine as he leaned in, inches from my mouth. I sucked in a breath to avoid his scent. No dice. It still overpowered me. His smile was evident even in the low light, and I bit my lip to keep from sighing. His hand brushed my cheek, and he ran a finger down the side of my neck, sending shivers through me. “If I were backwards, I’d be Noxaj,” he whispered huskily. “What kind of name is that? It’s not sexy at all.”
“I never said you were sexy,” I whispered as his hands roved through my hair at the base of my neck.
“No, no you didn’t…” His lips were on my neck. His hands worked down my back.
I stood there like a wet noodle, incapable of responding.
Do something! Touch him back! my brain screamed, but my body felt detached. Do something, or he’s going to think you’re on the relationship short bus.
He pulled away to search my eyes, but for what, I didn’t know.
I willed myself to give him something. Anything. An awkward grin, accompanied by a cough was all I could muster. Really, Avery? Seriously?I knew later replays of this moment in my mind, no matter how awful, wouldn’t compare to the actual event.

Book Links:
Goodreads

Author Bio:

Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college.


When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves to snowboard and travel to new places, and doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.

Megan currently resides in Stanton, Kentucky with her husband, son, and Great Dane named Dozer.

Connect With The Author:

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Amazon-Author Page

Review: Replica (Replica #1) by Jenna Black

Book: Replica (Replica #1)
Author: Jenna Black
Published: July 16th, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: YA/Dystopian/SciFi/Murder Mystery
Series: Book 1
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis:
Sixteen year old Nadia Lake’s marriage has been arranged since she was a child.Her betrothed was born in a family with the highest power in the corporate states.Nadia lives a very privileged life but that comes with paparazzi scrutinizing her every move,using every detail of her personal life as gossip fodder.Her future is assured as long as she can keep up with her flawless image.That is not easy when her betrothed is a notorious playboy.
Nathaniel Hayes is heir to the company that begin the process of human replication.Yet Nathaniel is more interested in staying in what is now the underbelly of the state that used to be New York.He’d rather be there than courting his bride-to-be. Especially when she is not really his type.
When Nathaniel turns up dead,all bets are off.
When the new Nathaniel wakes up in the replication room,he has no memory of how he ended up here. He has no idea who would end his life and he is terrified to think that the person he loves most of all,may have had a hand in it.Now Nathaniel and Nadia must find out the truth without spilling the secrets of those in their life.
Disclaimer: I got this ARC as a gift from Christina at A Reader of Fictions. Thanks Christina!

Review:
I wasn’t expecting anything from my blogger friends so when I got this in the mail I was both thrilled and shocked at the same time. This had come in a package along with Extremities:Stories of Death,Murder & Revenge.Once I read the back of this book,I just knew that this was going to be an awesome book. I waited until the next day to start it,in an attempt to finish another book first.The next day,when I finally curled up to read it,I devoured it.
I know when most people think dystopian,they think The Hunger Games trilogy or the Divergent Trilogy but this was totally different and in an AWESOME way.First of all it was set in what used to be New York so there’s some familiarity there. It wasn’t some random place that was obviously made up.
The arranged marriage thing is something that people in India still do so that wasn’t totally weird. I’ve often joked with my family that they should do an arranged marriage for me. Then again, I’m 27,way too old for the arranged marriage stuff.I think if either Nadia or Nathaniel had been lousy characters,I would have had an issue with the whole arranged marriage thing.
Nathaniel is supposedly a playboy but I never got that feeling about him. Maybe because I realized who he really was,whereas the people living there had no idea who Nathaniel Hayes was. I also knew that he was nothing like his father,which ended up being a massive relief.
Nadia was a teenager who didn’t realize what she was really capeable of. Yes she along with Nathaniel made rash decisions but that’s part of being a teenager. Most teenagers make rash decisions. But along with that,we got to see her bravery. How she handled herself during her first round of questioning and her second and so on. Especially when it came to Dirk Mosely.
Almost instantly we are thrown into a world that seems to thrive on half truths & secrets. None as damming as the one that Nathaniel has from his family. Only Kurt Bishop & Nadia know the true Nathaniel.When Nathaniel is found dead only hours after Nadia is seen having a disagreement with him,questions surface. Was Nadia tired of keeping her future husband’s secrets,was Nathaniel caught “going outside the arrangement?” The answer to those questions end up somewhere in the middle.
Dirk Mosely gave me the creeps from the beginning. I knew fairly early on that he could and would make life difficult for Nadia if she did not do as he told her to. His threats against her family,particularly her niece and nephew would likely be enough for her to give in. From the time Nadia was small,it was instilled into her how important it was to keep her family safe at all costs.
Dante may have been Nadia’s butler but he turned out to be a heck of a lot more interesting than I had ever even guessed. His connection to Kurt and to the Basement was fascinating.He was sort of living a double,even triple life.He was quite a brave guy.
I adored this book so much. It didn’t follow the typical dystopian format which was awesome. There wasn’t really a romance element although towards the end there were flickers of one between Nadia & Dante.It kept me wanting more and more.I couldn’t put down this book from about halfway to the end. The pacing was fast and totally engaging which I was thrilled about. I hate it so much when the pace is slow.That’s one of the things that make me ranty.
I cannot wait for the next book in the series. Especially the way the epilogue left it. It’s clear that this is far from over. Five stars to Book One of this awesome new series.

Review: Entanglement by Dan Rix

Author: Dan Rix
Published date: 2012
Available: Amazon.com in hard copy & Kindle versions

Synopsis:

Hot-headed Aaron Harper is scheduled to meet his half in 29 days-on his 18th birthday.Except he doesn’t buy this entanglement crap.He makes an unspoken vow to stick to brawling with the rugby team. Then a new girl arrives at school who changes everything.Amber Lillian is gorgeous yet cold and she can’t seem to get away from the growing similarities between Aaron & herself. Except for one teeny detail,she is supposedly another man’s half.As the story moves on,Amber & Aaron learn more about themselves and why they FEEL like halves. They just can’t prove it. If they can’t prove it by their 18th birthday,then Aaron is destined to live without a half and Amber must be with a man who plans to possess her in every way possible.

Review: 

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this one. It looked too good and on occasion when books look too good they usually fail in the writing department. Not Entanglement. It was beautifully written throughout the book. Dan Rix used the type of descriptive language that is really lacking in a lot of books today. He made me feel like I was in the book and that really is the best feeling.

Amber & Aaron were likable & relatable which I loved. Despite Amber’s coldness you felt empathy for her.Especially once you met Clive her supposed half.Not only that but Amber’s family holds a few dark secrets of their own as well.Secrets that could change the course of Amber’s life.Clive reminded me of some jerks I had gone to high school with so it was impossible to feel any sort of positive connection with him.

The other characters we met were hard for me to connect with. There were so many and the names so odd. Yet the one character outside of the two main ones, that I liked,was Emma Mist.Her half had died prematurely and that meant that her time was nearly up as well. Halves cannot live for very long without each other.

I really want to give this book a full five stars but I can’t. Because of the underdevelopment of some of the supporting characters.So I’ll give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was a great book and one that I will likely read again.