Top Ten Highly Anticipated Books of 2014

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And by highly anticipated, we mean the biting our nails, unable to sit still kind..  So any ARCs you want to swing our way will be immediately devoured and reviewed honestly and fairly and quite happily.  MMMk?

10.

jodi meadowsInfinite (Newsoul #3) by Jodi Meadows

9.

amy plum

After The End (After The End #1) by Amy Plum

8.

everneath ya fiction series

Evertrue (Everneath #3) by Brodi Ashton

7.

anna and the french kiss stephanie perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna And The French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins

6.

leigh bardugo the grisha seriesRuin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo

5.

lauren oliver ya author

Panic by Lauren Oliver

4.

shatter me ya series

3.

NO COVER YET!

The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

2.

under the never sky

Into The Still Blue (Under The Never Sky #3) Veronica Rossi

1.

marissa meyer young adult fiction

Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

Apparently 2014 is the year of the threes….so many exciting books coming out.  Also some really great starts, we’re hoping we are swept away by another great year of excellent writing and stories that take us to new worlds, into memories, and outside of ourselves.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth >> Readdicted Review

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young adult book review

Title: Allegiant (Divergent #3)

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Goodreads Book Summary:  

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Rating: 3 Stars

MY REVIEW:

Oh my lands ho this book took me on a roller coaster ride.  Even though I wasn’t entirely pleased with Insurgent, I couldn’t help but dive right into Allegiant.  I wanted to know what was going to happen, and how on earth the whole series could end with one book.

I was sorely disappointed.

It seems my biggest problem with Insurgent (spoiler-ish: a disproportional number of Tris’s friends and acquaintances die horrible deaths) continues throughout Allegiant, even though there aren’t many people left.  Okay, definitely not as many people die, but if you talk percentages…it all seems quite pointless.  Maybe that’s the point.  But it’s just not that kind of book.

I felt a little like Ms. Roth wanted to one-up the ending of Mockingjay by Ms. Collins.  Well, if that’s her goal, then success.  She definitely took it a step farther.  Except…

Except no feelings were invoked.  Instead of being full of wrath or sadness or even joy, I had already become numb to the book.  I was reading quickly because I wanted to know how it would end, but I was already left disconnected by the setting changes and the point-of-view switching.

Speaking of…

The first two books are from Tris’s point of view, first person.  So when Four is suddenly thrown into the mix, but they are still interacting, I found myself confused often when reading from Four’s perspective.  I’d be halfway through a chapter of his before realizing it had switched.  It disrupted my reading experience, it did not enhance it.  But it is imperative that she does this in order to end the book in the way that she chose….and I will say no more.

So.  While the writing is engaging and well-done and the characters are interesting, I found myself very disappointed that the series went in this direction.  If you have read the first two, of course you will want to read this book to finish the series.  It’s not that bad.  But.

I would not recommend this series to a friend.  I’d tell them to pass it by.  There are enough interesting YA books out there to pass this one up.  And the movie will just be a movie to them.  They won’t have to get mad at the details left out.  Instead they can just enjoy it for what it is, and leave it at that.  Invest your time and love elsewhere.

Prodigy by Marie Lu >> Readdicted Review

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Readdicted Review of Prodigy by Marie Lu

Title:  Prodigy (Legend #2)

Author: Marie Lu

Genre: YA Dystopian

Goodreads Book Summary:

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

Rating: 5 Stars

REVIEW

When I read Legend, I fell in love with it.  I rated it 5 stars.  Everything was so well thought out and the world Marie Lu creates is vivid and realistic.  I just wanted to know more!  Well, this book gave me more.  So much more.  The map at the beginning is awesome.  I want to see world maps, know more about the world and the flooding.  It’s all so fascinating.  The action kept me moving, wanting the book to come to the conclusion I could see coming.

Then something strange happened.  The climax was not the end.  The book continued, building toward another ending.  I didn’t know what was coming, or how to react.  I am used to most books following a similar pattern.  I was thrown off course.  My characters continued down a new path, and then that path concluded.  And I was still left in mystery, because it again kept going.  The ending was long, and I was afraid to finish, not knowing why there were still letters to read and pages to turn.

However different this book is, it’s not bad.  Different is good!  How many times have I lamented because I wanted a book to keep going and give me more of the story?  Pretty much every book I’ve ever loved.  This book gave me what I long for.

And all in all, this book was fantastic.  It was so much more than Legend, and better for it.  And while the ending had me weeping and sure there would be no more books because it just ended so much like a good novel can, it felt like it couldn’t be over.  What’s a two part book series?  If that was the case, Prodigy could have been split into two books and expanded on.  I felt like there must be more to the story.  It seems that the third installment, Champion, will be released next year.  I am glad it ended like it did.  I’m glad that I have hope for the next book, but I’m also not going crazy with anticipation, hating that I read it right when it was published.  This book ended, this part of the story concluded.  It didn’t leave me hanging, but there are definitely some things that I want to know and I will read Champion as soon as it is released next year.

I highly recommend this book and this series.  It is dystopian fiction at its best.

COVER

This cover fits the book perfectly.  It’s functional, and reminds me a lot of what it might look like if June designed it.  Simple and gets the point across.  But it’s also gorgeous in it’s minimalist way.  I like this cover so much better than Legend.  Legend was too metallic for me, I didn’t like the sheen.  I know.  Pick pick pick.  This is great though!  I can’t wait to move and unpack and put all my books on my shelves!

THE FUN STUFF

This is one of the best book trailers I’ve ever seen….even though I don’t picture June like that and I wanted to see Day’s hair.  If you are still wavering at all about this book or this series, watch it here.
There’s also a game based on Legend….cool!  Click here to check out the fb page.  I have been around the page, but I haven’t played it, so if you have, leave a comment!

TBR >> Katie’s February Reads

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Here is a list of what I’m reading this month.  A bit long, for such a short month, but I’m already flying through them.  Look for reviews soon.  But we’ve been a tad busy lately working on a new look.  You might have noticed the blog change.  We are looking forward to releasing something much bigger soon!  Look for a preview soon!

In the meantime, if you’ve read any of these, leave a comment below!

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) Book Review

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer YA book review

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Across The Universe Book Review

Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1) by Beth Revis

A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis

A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) book review

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis

Readdicted Review of Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu

Readdicted Reviewers Fuse book review Julianna Baggott

Fuse (Pure #2) by Julianna Baggott

Readdicted book review of Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Sever (The Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano

Readdicted book review of Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

Breaking Point (Article 5 #2) by Kristen Simmons

Across The Universe by Beth Revis >> Readdicted Review

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Across The Universe Book Review

Title:  Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1)

Author: Beth Revis

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Space/Adventure

Goodreads Book Summary: 

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

REVIEW

I thought this book was intriguing.  The complex world Beth Revis creates is so futuristic, and yet it contrasts with the agrarian lifestyle the people have to have to keep their culture as well as survive on their mammoth ship floating in space.  Amy’s story is unique.  She’s a great female character, possibly a bit mainstream and not really unique in many ways, but that’s not a bad thing.  Most people are mostly normal.  Ya know?  Ender’s character goes through a great amount of transformation as he learns more and more truth.  This book, as with the whole trilogy, is centered around lies and the problems keeping deep secrets can create.  While at first I thought I wasn’t completely thrilled with this book, I couldn’t put it down.  I don’t think I loved Amy as much as some other characters in other books I have read, but she is a strong female lead, and she thinks for herself and has a strong desire to survive and uncover the truth.  I love the development of the relationship between Amy and Elder, and how they aren’t always with each other.  The other characters in the book were very eccentric and gave the story great depth.

My biggest issue is the POV.  The author writes in first person, and each chapter is either Amy or Elder.  It switches like clockwork, Amy, Elder, Amy, Elder…..but sometimes I found myself wondering which head I was in, and I would have to check or look for clues.  Overall, it wasn’t a big problem, just an annoyance.  There are some parts that are stark, raw, and a little shocking.  Things I wasn’t expecting and made me react.  Things like that may not be enjoyable, but getting a reaction like that (and not just for fun, but for a reason) is a sign that the author isn’t afraid of censoring herself, but sees the world she has created as though it is real, and she is telling it like it is.  Probably not appropriate for under 13, at least.  But it’s not too bad…don’t let that be the only thing that stops you from reading it.  If you are wondering about this series for your teens, just read it first.  Across the Universe is a great read and I definitely want this beautiful hardcover on my shelf!

COVER

I love love love this cover.  This might be one of my top 5 favorite covers of all time.  Simply gorgeous.  Stars, colors, profiles, the haunting words that leave you wondering what it could mean…so so good.  I would rate this cover an elusive 6 on our 5 star scale….yeah, I love it that much!

THE FUN STUFF

Here’s a link to the book trailer by PenguinBooks.  It’s nothing too exciting, but the excerpt from the book they chose as the narration is haunting.  One of the first reasons I couldn’t put this book down was this part.  Well-written, raw, and emotional, and interesting…raised questions that no one had answers too.  Anyway, check it out if you’d like, there are no spoilers and it well-made and visually very nice.

Book Haul >> Katie’s January Reads

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I read nothing.  Literally nothing.

There is nothing in my January book haul.  For someone who reads an average of, oh about 9 or 10 books a month, while writing her own YA books AND being a full-time mom, well…this is a shocking thing folks!

I had no inspiration.  I struggled all of December to finish Beautiful Chaos and The Scorpio Races, which I know are definitely NOT horrible books.  But I just couldn’t!  I felt like I didn’t enjoy reading anymore.  And that there was something wrong within my brain.  So when things change and feel differently like that, when a part of you changes, it feels like it will always be that way.  A new way of life, where all of the things have changed, and nothing will change back again.

Okay…I may have been a little melodramatic, but I really couldn’t finish anything I started.  I couldn’t force myself to do it.  And I had other books lined up after, but my OCD would not let me move on without finishing.  Finally, in order to save my sanity and my literary loving soul, I took a break.

And I read nothing.

For the entire month of January.

I got caught up on HIMYM and discovered Dr. Who……but read nothing.

Turns out, that was just what I needed.  Because now, I’m reading up a storm and will have a plethora of reviews to post very soon.  A plethora, people!

Hooray!  I have it back!

So here’s to a new season of Readdicted Reviewers.  The time between my mental constipation and Connie’s graduation (when she can finally be free to read and write to her heart’s content)…so here’s to a fun and crazy time!  Until then, I raise my ereader, and say huzzah!

 

And, of course, Allons-y!

Readdicted Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

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Title: Article 5

Author: Kristen Simmons

Genre: YA Dystopian Fiction

Goodreads Book Summary:

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don’t come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Rating:  4 Stars

REVIEW

This is yet another dystopian fiction young adult book, destined to be a series.  Probably a trilogy.  But you know what?  I am TOTALLY okay with that.  The world the author creates is not the same, despite definitely following the rules for a dystopian society.  Ember and Chase are the two main characters.  The story is told from Ember’s point of view.  The story gets going right away, without giving the reader a chance to get to know the characters.  Because of this, I didn’t feel like I understood what was going on with Chase in this opening scene, and why it was important.  There were other characters that seemed like they might come up again, but too many to keep track of because I still didn’t know my main characters yet.  However, I loved how the author unfolded the love story between the two, going between their past and the present.  She started the series right in the middle of their story.

The layout of the book is different, both in how and when action occurs, and how often.  What happens is a surprise and you end up having no idea what will happen next because of this.  Also, the author jumps right in to the story, as though she is skipping a lot of boring stuff that she can detail later throughout the book.  I liked that a lot.  It takes place all over the eastern part of a future U.S. right after a World War III.

Mostly I really liked this book.  But I never became emotionally connected with it, unlike Connie (read her review here), and so for me the book was just okay.  I’m not sure how much I love the characters or what happens.  It all just seemed to go by in a blur.  It is a quick paced book, which is really good.  The setting changed so much that the reader doesn’t really get that stability.  Which is ok, because they characters are traveling.  While the backstory is wonderful and the characters did seem real to me, I still felt like they could have used more work and that the dialogue could have drawn me in better.  All in all, this is a great read and I definitely recommend it.  Especially for lovers of: The Matched Trilogy; The Hunger Games Trilogy; and Delirium and Pandemonium.

COVER

I really like this cover.  Totally head over heals in like with it.  It’s not pretty, but it’s not supposed to be.  So it works.  And HELLO FLANNEL!  I love flannel.  That’s seriously the first thing that drew me to this book.  And at least 72% of why I read it.  The other 28% was Connie not leaving me alone until I read it because she loved it oh so much.

FUN STUFF

Book #2, Breaking Point, will be released on Feb. 2, 2013.  Check out the synopsis on Goodreads here, and make sure you check out Connie’s review which links to the Moral Statutes from the book.  And of course, here’s a link to a book trailer.  Gotta love those!