11.06.2018

Select by Marit Weisenberg

{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of Select free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

Plan to Happy Rating:


Plan to Happy Review:

Select by Marit Weisenberg is a solid addition to the world of YA Sci Fi. In this first installment of the series, we meet Julia Jaynes, an unbelievably wealthy young woman who has been pushed out by her family and left to find her own way.

Throw in quite a few supernatural powers from Julia and you have quite a mystery forming in the first few chapters. Who is Julia's family? Where are they from and where are they escaping to? What is the source of their differences from all the rest of us? Why has she been ousted from her group?

It takes awhile to get there, and maybe the reveal isn't as exciting as I hoped, but the ride was a fun one. I'll definitely be picking up the second novel in this series to see what happens next.

11.04.2018

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen {Book Review}

{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of Nyxia free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

Plan to Happy Rating:


Plan to Happy Review:

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen is a YA Sci-Fi Thriller comprised of nonstop action from front to back. Ten kids, down on their luck and looking for a way to help their families, are thrown together on a spaceship by the mysterious Babel Corporation in a competition for vast wealth.

I loved so much of this novel - the premise, the setting, the diverse cast of characters, and even the somewhat generic evil corporation. What I did not love was the treacle. I can handle a cheesy line here and there, but this novel was chock full of them. 

When I find myself rolling my eyes, I can't but be jolted out of the story. I have to admit to being interested in reading the next novel because I am dying to know what happens next, but I'll just be better prepared this time for the sentimentality.

10.27.2018

The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones {Book Review}

Hey fans of post-apocalyptic fiction, this one's for you! I am constantly amazed by the ability of authors to think of new ways that the world will end and Holly Goddard Jones' The Salt Line is no exception.
{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of The Salt Line free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

PTH Rating:


Review:

Hey fans of post-apocalyptic fiction, this one's for you! I am constantly amazed by the ability of authors to think of new ways that the world will end and Holly Goddard Jones' The Salt Line is no exception. 

This time, humans have organized themselves into zones that are surrounded by vast areas of desolation (a "salt line"). This new societal structure was necessitated by a tick that burrows into your skin and ... well, let's leave that one to the description in the book.

As usual, I wanted to know more about the breakdown that forced everyone into the zones. This novel mostly takes place outside the zones and amounts to a hybrid of a thriller and a sci-fi novel. There were enough plot twists to keep me turning the pages, but there were some slow parts that felt like a slog.

The characters in The Salt Line aren't wholly good or wholly bad, which makes it an interesting read and renders its characters very realistic. They certainly didn't always make the same choices I would have, but I don't live in a world with killer ticks!

10.07.2018

Sourdough by Robin Sloane

Gosh darn it, I love a quirky book. Sourdough by Robin Sloan is just that. The San Francisco references abound, I could almost taste the bread, and I feel like I want to take up baking again. In sum, I loved this book.
{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of Sourdough free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

Gosh darn it, I love a quirky book. Sourdough by Robin Sloan is just that. The San Francisco references abound, I could almost taste the bread, and I feel like I want to take up baking again. In sum, I loved this book.

Sourdough tells the story of a young tech worker, Lois Clary, who is gifted with the starter for her favorite restaurant's sourdough bread. From there, things just get crazy.

Lois is a lovable character, riddled with self-doubt and looking for a path forward. While the story has an undercurrent of sadness, it is also filled with wonder and hope. I never knew what would happen next, but I was just happy to be along for the ride.

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella {Book Review}

In Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella, we meet Sylvie and Dan, a married couple who know each other backwards and forwards. After a routine doctor's visit, they learn that, based on their longevity, they could be married for another 60 years. Both are freaked out; hijinks ensue.
{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of Surprise Me free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

Before we begin, I should admit that I'll read anything Sophie Kinsella writes. Forever. She had me at Undomestic Goddess.

In Surprise Me, we meet Sylvie and Dan, a married couple who know each other backwards and forwards. After a routine doctor's visit, they learn that, based on their longevity, they could be married for another 60 years. Both are freaked out; hijinks ensue.

Reading the first few chapters, I thought Surprise Me was going to be a story of Sylvie and Dan's marriage. But as the story progressed, it took a turn. The result was that this almost felt like two different novels - the first half had one plot and the second half had an entirely different plot.

While this was not my favorite novel by Kinsella, it was still a bit of escapist fun. 

9.14.2018

The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter {Book Review}

The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter is not a feel good story. It is an estate-approved sequel to H.G. Wells' classic The War of the Worlds, telling the story of what happened after Earth repelled the martians.

{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of The Massacre of Mankind free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

PTH Rating:

Abandoned

As you can tell by the title, The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter is not a feel good story. It is an estate-approved sequel to H.G. Wells' classic The War of the Worlds, telling the story of what happened after Earth repelled the martians.

I'm not giving anything away that the cover doesn't tell you when I say that the Martians are back. I felt at a serious disadvantage because I am not British - so many references, place names, and turns of phrase went completely over my head.

Those references felt a whole lot like filler, along with detailed descriptions of people traveling from one location to another, but so so little about the actual Martians. By around the 30 percent mark, I threw in the towel. If you are a huge fan of The War of the Worlds, this would be perfect for you. It wasn't perfect for me.

9.01.2018

The List by Patricia Forde {Book Review}

The List by Patricia Forde has quite the premise - in a post-apocalyptic world, the leader of one of the only remaining communities on an earth decimated by melting ice caps has decreed that people will use only 500 words.
{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of The List free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

PTH Rating:




PTH Review:

The List by Patricia Forde has quite the premise - in a post-apocalyptic world, the leader of one of the only remaining communities on an earth decimated by melting ice caps has decreed that people will use only 500 words. Maintaining the list of words (The List) requires the services of a Wordsmith. Letta takes over the job and quickly learns that things are not what they seem.

I struggled with what rating to give this novel because I thought it was really good but not enough for four stars. Maybe 3.5 would be a better fit. I think I just felt disconnected from the characters because they were not fully developed. 

This novel is aimed for kids aged 10-14 and falls easily into the thriller genre, with a fun post-apocalyptic bent. I'd lean towards the higher end of that range because of some violence that could unsettle a sensitive reader.