Friday, 23 January 2015

These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

3.5 stars

After reading the blurb of this book I didn't want to read it because I thought I'd read a couple books like this before but then I saw a couple different rave reviews of it and I decided to give it a try and I ended up being pleasantly surprised.

This book is told from alternating perspectives of  Tarver and Lilac, the two main characters of this book, with the start of each chapter having a snippet of an interrogation with Tarver that must be from when he is rescued. Although I found the first half of this book to be nothing special, once the whispers came into the plot I thought it improved greatly and although I found the end very weird and I still don't fully understand what happened, I was really interested in the story at the end and am now pretty excited to read the next book. When thinking back on it I'm pretty sure a lot of this book was the two of them just travelling across the planet, which says a lot about the authors that I could read probably over 200 pages of that and not give up on the book. My favourite character was Tarver, though I didn't really have a lot of choice as there were only really two characters in this book and I really did like them both, the tipover point was really that he came up with the my girl/my Lilac nickname. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the show or book The 100, but probably not if you've read many more books like this one like Across the Universe or Glow.

Lilac La Roux is the daughter of Roderick La Roux, the most powerful guy in the galaxy and Tarver Merendsen is a decorated war hero. After Lilac blows Tarver off because of her father she is rescued by him when the ship they're on starts having extreme technical difficulties. Tarver and Lilac end up in a pod together and Lilac manages to get it released from the ship and they land on a planet with no people on it but has clearly been discovered and terraformed for human life. They soon see the Icarus, the ship they were on, crash onto the planet and when they make it to the ruins they find no survivors. Lilac starts having strange visions that when she tells Tarver about he thinks she's crazy but soon he starts having them as well and they start to think that there is some form of life on this planet helping them. The visions lead them to an abandoned communications station that they are unable to get into until Lilac rigs up an explosion that not only opens the station but also kills her. Tarver is distraught until the lifeforms create Lilac again after a few days who can remember all the time she spent dead. Tarver is determined to make her last permanently because everything else the whispers have created has been temporary, but Lilac only wants to get Tarver rescued. They learn that both the lifeforms and the communications array are in the basement with a password protected lock, they soon learn the password is Lilac and when they get in Lilac sets up a rescue signal but the lifeforms are also the source of the power for the base. Lilac becomes incredibly weak and Tarver realizes it's because the whispers are spread too thin, he grabs Lilac and jumps into the archway that is holding the whispers which both destroys them and the base and somehow makes Lilac permanent. La Roux industries then comes to pick them both up and when her father threatens Tarver because Lilac says she loves him she says that if anything ever happens to him she'll tell the galaxy about how he enslaved the first intelligent life that wasn't human in the galaxy.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A Thousand Pieces of You - Claudia Gray (2014)

4.5 stars

My sister got me this book for christmas after I put it on my list because it was on my recommendations page on goodreads and I thought it sounded alright and had the coolest cover ever, it turns out it was much better than I expected.

The concept of this book is basically travelling through the multiverse which is so cool and interesting that whenever I was getting a bit bored of the story Marguerite would think about the ramifications or the ethics of all the dimensional travel she was doing and I would immediately be drawn back in. My only real problem with this book was that it was a little predicatable with the switch of Marguerite's feelings between Theo and Paul, and I found it really annoying that she only spent two or three weeks with Lieutenant Markov but then thought she had fallen in love with just that version of him. I really appreciate the fact that with some of the dimensions she travelled to it was only for a couple chapters, but the author was so good at giving them all distinguishing features that I can remember them all and what their differences were. My favourite character was probably Paul, surprise surprise I like the love interest, but I thought he was just super adorable and considering how few characters are in this book I thought his character was definitely the most interesting. But also I feel for Josie because everyone's in love with her sister, how annoying. I would recommend this book to anyone who like YA fiction, or who don't mind a bit of teen romance with their interdimensional travel stories.

The book starts as soon as Marguerite has jumped dimensions for the first time, explaining that her parents invented interdimensional travel between owrlds because they theorize that the multiverse is real,meaing every possible choice you could make creates a new dimension. You also discover that she jumped dimensions to try to avenge her father, who her family believes to have been murdered by Paul, one of her parents graduate students. The other graduate student Theo is the one who brought Marguerite the firebird (the device that allows interdimensional travel) so she could chase Paul across dimensions with him because Paul jumped dimensions after the murder and the police believe he did it. The first dimension they come to is more technologically advanced than their own, but Marguerite's whole family is dead. There she confronts Paul and learns that he didn't kill her father, but he has to keep jumping through dimensions to try to get to Wyatt Conley, head of the Triad corporation. The next dimension her and Paul jump to together except she falls when she jumps in and breaks her firebird, it is a 1900s technology type age where Marguerite is royalty and Paul is her guard, but before he can fix her firebird his is confiscated and without it he can't remember his true self. They are stuck in that dimension for a few weeks while Marguerite both falls in love with Lieutenant Markov and gets her father to rebuild her firebird for her. Lieutenant Markov dies in battle and Marguerite assumes that Paul also died, but he managed to retrieve his firebird and jump dimensions beforehand. She follows him into a dimension very similar to their own where Paul explains that they had already made interdimensional travel work and this Wyatt Conley wants to start a war. He has done this by making Marguerite the only person from her dimension to be able to travel into others and remember herself without needing a reminder, he then wants to use her against her family and Paul and Theo. They manage to evade him but Paul tells Marguerite that he must travel to another dimension but he won't tell her why, when they get there Marguerite works out that her father is actually alive and has been put in this dimension's body so Wyatt could use him as leverage. Marguerite tells Theo that he and Paul can build him a new firebird so he can come home, but then Theo convinces her to go in a submarine with him where she learns that he has been a spy Theo from Wyatt Conley's dimension for the past three months so she steals his firebird and gives it to her dad so they can return to their dimension together. The book ends with her and Paul tentatively together, Theo upset that the other Theo ruined his chances with Marguerite, and her parents happily reunited.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Neil Patrick Harris Choose Your Own Autobiography - Neil Patrick Harris (2014)

5 stars

My mum got me this book for christmas after I told her it was probably the one off my list that I wanted most, and I was certainly not disappointed.

Although this book is a "choose your own adventure" book I just read it straight through, which at times was a bit confusing but I just didn't want to miss anything and I would definitely recommend reading it that way if you're a massive fan. This book is so hilarious that even if all you know Neil Patrick Harris from is How I Met Your Mother then I would tell you give it a read if you're looking for a fun book to read. I actually found the footnotes giving you options of where to turn to next often the funniest part of the book, so even if you read it straight through definitely don't skip over the options just because you're not using them. Considering this is an autobiography which is obviously about real people I can't pick a favourite character (although the two sentences where Lena Hall was mentioned I almost cried) so I'll instead give a favourite chapter/moment. It's so hard to pick just one chapter because they were all so entertaining, but being the broadway nerd I am my favourites were definitely the one about planning "bigger" and the one about his process as Hedwig, as well as the chapter where he meets David because that was so adorable with all the annotations I was constantly either laughing or crying. I would recommend this book if you like Neil Patrick Harris and you're looking for a light funny book to read.

This book chronicles all the major events, as well as some minor, in Neil Patrick Harris' life. It starts with his childhood and moves onto how he got his first gig in a movie with Whoopi Goldberg, his work on Doogie Howser, MD, his first foray into theatre, his coming out process, how he met David Burtka, how they had their kids, his work on How I Met Your Mother, his work on Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, all the shows he hosted, some of his celebrity friendship stories, his work on Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and his fortieth birthday surprise scavenger hunt among many others.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Dreams of Gods and Monsters - Laini Taylor (2014)

4 stars

I started this as soon as I finished Days of Blood and Starlight because I was so ready for a book full of Akiva and Karou togetherness, and I was very disappointed on that front.

It was actually quite hard for me to give this book such a high rating because I found the end, which I did not enjoy, really took over my memory of the book even though I did enjoy the rest of it quite a lot. I found the ending was like something the author thought of at the last moment and just decided to put it in this book to give it another twist ad storyline, I'm pretty sure that isn't the case, but a bit more weaving in or foreshadowing in the earlier books could've helped a lot when reading through it and finding it incredibly both boring and unneccessary. I really enjoyed the rest of the book, even if it was a bit slow for the resistance to get to Eretz I liked all the intricacies of the two armies joining together and all the betrayal and effort that took. My favourite character in this book was once again Zuzana, but in this book Liraz was also a beautiful charcater to watch develop and by the end I found her and Ziri's story was much more enjoyable to watch unfold than Karou's and Akiva's which quickly became very repetitive. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes intricate fantasy worlds and romance because it has plenty of both.

This book starts with Akiva and Liraz guiding the chimaera to the Kirin caves after they agreed to a treaty. Once there Karou and Akiva reconcile after she explains that Ziri is in the wolf's body and then she has an idea that can remove Jael and the angels from earth without harming anyone. The rebel army set off to the portal to send Karou and Liraz through to retrieve Jael and his army, but the Dominion is there in full force and in the fray Liraz manages to push Akiva through with Karou and seal the portal because she wants him to have a chance at living. Once through Akiva and Karou encounter Eliza, a descendant from one of the fallen angels like Razgut who cannot stop chanting in seraphic who they leave with Zuzana and Mik and Esther, one of Brimstone's old contacts. Esther had formed an alliance with Jael however and warned him of Akiva and Karou's approach, but they still get the upper hand as they brought Haxaya who had remained glamoured the entire time. Akiva burns a handprint onto Jael's chest, which he can alight any time which is how they convince him and his army to return to Eretz without any weapons or technology. Once returned Akiva is shown by the Stelians that he has been detroying the world by using Sirithar as it is drawing energy from the veil between worlds, which is keeping them from the beasts that almost destroyed all the angels millions of years ago, which was caused by Razgut and Eliza among others. The Stelians have been holding the veil together for years and they now require Akiva's help so he must go with them to the other side of Eretz. Eliza shows them that they are all godstars, the ones who will defeat the beasts one day when they break through the veil and the book ends with Karou going over to the Stelian islands to be with Akiva for a month before she can start resurrecting bodies in better weather for crops and survival.