Review: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

Lizzie     Jul 16th, 2013     Reviews, Science Fiction, Things You Should Check Out     0 Replies

Reading level: 12 and up
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 17, 2012)
Language: English
Source: Purchased
ISBN-10: 0316182885
ISBN-13: 978-0316182881

It’s been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. Now three ordinary teenagers, the winners of NASA’s unprecedented, worldwide lottery, are about to become the first young people in space—and change their lives forever.

Mia, from Norway, hopes this will be her punk band’s ticket to fame and fortune.

Midori believes it’s her way out of her restrained life in Japan.

Antoine, from France, just wants to get as far away from his ex-girlfriend as possible.

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, but little do the teenagers know that something sinister is waiting for them on the desolate surface of the moon. And in the black vacuum of space… no one is coming to save them.

In this chilling adventure set in the most brutal landscape known to man, highly acclaimed Norwegian novelist Johan Harstad creates a vivid and frightening world of possibilities we can only hope never come true.

More space books! Yes!

When I first found out about 172 Hours on the Moon, I hadn’t heard much of anything about it. At the time, I was quite out of the loop on the book world so I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what this was all about. I was really out of the loop. I picked it up in the bookstore, my eyes caught on that original hardback cover. Anything involving space travel will be on my to-read list.

I didn’t know what to expect when I cracked this open. But it certainly wasn’t what I got at all.

This book has freaking haunted me since I finished it. I can’t say anything about why without completely spoiling it but let me just say, whoa. The ending scared the crap out of me, like legitimately freaked me the eff out. I may have slept with the lights on but what does that matter…

In other points, the translation (this was first published in Norway!) was spot on and not awkward, as some translations can be. I loved the homage to Houston’s NASA Johnson Space Center, which I spent four or so months out the last year living near. It made me feel a little proud! =D Fun fact: JSC is actually in Webster, Texas but once you enter the grounds, it is officially considered Houston city limits!

Weird, huh?

Anyway! Back to the review…

Most of the characters were pretty likeable but I wish there could’ve been more focus on Mr. Himmelfarb, a retired NASA worker. It felt like there could’ve been a lot more of him without losing the sense of mystery but alas, that did not happen. I really particularly liked Mia. She was pretty badass and her at the ending… geesh!

I closed 172 Hours on the Moon with shaking hands and a racing mind. It, to this day, haunts me like no other book I’ve read. I want to scream when people talk about revisiting the moon because of this book. I never expected this, of all novels, to scare me as bad as it did. Read it with all the lights on and don’t look at the moon. This, along with that damn Apollo 18 movie, have absolutely shattered my dreams of visiting the moon. And if you’re up for being freaked out of your mind, you will love 172 Hours on the Moon.


Review: Reached by Ally Condie

Lizzie     Jul 8th, 2013     Dystopian, Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction     0 Replies

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Source: Purchased
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0525423664
ISBN-13: 978-0525423669

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

I can never say enough about how much I adore Ally’s writing. It’s fluid, gorgeous, and makes me remember why I love words.

That said, this was probably my least favorite book in the Matched Trilogy. It was the longest, topping out at just over 500 pages, but it didn’t quite live up to the other two books. I expected a stronger plot but for various reasons, it fell a bit short.

The idea of the Rising was so awesome to me, and when I picked up Reached, I hoped to learn more about it and its goals and leaders. Instead, there was just a lot of confusion. I felt like Ally didn’t really have answers for the questions she brought to light in the previous books. You only saw things from Cassia, Ky, and Xander’s points of view and they knew almost nothing. It was quite irritating.

You would think this book, as the conclusion, would have been fast-paced and reached a climax for the series. Yet again, but, that did not happen. I felt there was no real conclusion for this series and as a reader, that is more than disappointing. It makes me hesitate to recommend the books when it ends as this did.

As a whole, the Matched Trilogy is fun and exciting. The writing is stunning and I will read any future books Ally puts out. But Reached was a huge disappointment for me. I wanted to love it, and I almost did, but in the end, it fell unfortunately short.


Review: Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Lizzie     Jun 26th, 2013     Dystopian, Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction     0 Replies

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Purchased
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595143998
ISBN-13: 978-1595143990

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They’re ready to start life afresh–to build a home–on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn’t the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed’s former passengers aren’t alone on this planet. And if they’re going to stay, they’ll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who–or what–else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed–friends, family, life on Earth–will have been for nothing.

FUELED BY LIES.
RULED BY CHAOS.
ALMOST HOME.

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

That bit up there ^ is literally all I had in my first draft of this review. I can’t even…

It’s taken me two months to write this review. How the frick do I even describe how much I love this series? Hands down, Beth is one of my favorite writers; in my opinion, she is perhaps one of the best YA writers out there right now. She is fearless and cool and a Whovian. Stop with the perfection, Beth!

Okay, this is supposed to be a review about Shades of Earth, not its [amazing] author. So here goes…

This series is one of those that just gets better with every book. Upon reading AtU back at the end of 2010, I just knew I was in it for a long haul. I waited on edge for the covers, for news, synopsises, those epic giveaways that Beth always does. And I made 100% sure that my bestest friend Megan read it (and she did! Hoorah!) I have lived and loved it all over the last two and a half years.

I preordered Shades of Earth and the moment it arrived, I just stared at its beauty. Well, sort of. Personally, I’m not a *huge* fan of the redesigned covers and it made me sad to not have a whole matching set of hardcovers on my shelf. Still, I often picked up the book, opened it to the first page, and then put it back down.

I was, in no way, prepared to finish the Across the Universe trilogy. I was not ready to know Shades of Earth’s secrets.

But then, one day, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I ate up this book like there was no tomorrow.

It was such a ride. I was completely enthralled from the second they landed on Centauri Earth. Beth’s writing has always kept me reading and in SoE, that was no different. I couldn’t help but sort of wishing I was on that planet too… just because, I mean, it’s another freaking WORLD! But then came that sickening feeling again. I had it when I read AtU and AMS, and I had it again reading this book. With the first two, it was the claustrophobia of Godspeed; with Shades of Earth, it was exactly that, but in a different way: Elder, Amy, and the other citizens were cut off from contacting Earth on a planet hundreds of light years away from any civilization. It was, in a very different way, claustrophobic.

When an entire book series can make me feel that way, I know it’s damn good.

Overall, I think I did expect a little more from this book in terms of planet exploration but I wasn’t disappointed. I just want MORE! Give me more, ugh! Can I say, please read this series? Read it everyday of your life and you’ll thank me. And if you don’t, you’re just wrong. ;P

And that’s all she wrote.


Win The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Lizzie     Mar 28th, 2013     Awesome Things, Giveaways     0 Replies

I keep forgetting to post this awesome bit… but my fansite Access Saoirse is giving away two prize packs from Open Road’s The Host, which is in cinemas tomorrow! The giveaway will be going on until April 1st, this coming Monday. And nothing except a quick minute of your time is required to enter! The giveaway, sponsored by Mammoth PR, is really quite awesome, and if you’re scared of The Host being like Twilight because they’re from the same author… do not fret! I assure you, the book is much better. Plus, the official movie companion is pretty damn cool! ;) Follow the image below to learn how you can enter…


‘A Touch Menacing’ Book Blast!

Lizzie     Feb 12th, 2013     Awesome Things     0 Replies

 

It’s nearly time to say good bye to Eden and her friends with the conclusion of the A Touch Trilogy from author Leah Clifford.

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Whether you’ve been there from the beginning when Eden first met Az in A TOUCH MORTAL. Spent countless hours contemplating with other A Touch Trilogy fans over the fate of the kitten, from A TOUCH MORBID. Or are just joining us now, the conclusion to Leah Clifford’s A Touch Trilogy promises to be heart stopping and well worth the wait!

Pick up whichever novel you need to catch up before MENACING’S March 5th release date. You don’t want to be the only one not talking about this book!

 

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A TOUCH MENACING

A Touch Trilogy #3
Author: Leah Clifford
Release Date: March 5th

Eden is dying. For real, this time.

She is crumbling to ash, and an unnatural plague is ravaging mortals and immortals alike. With both Heaven and Hell out to destroy her, Eden can no longer tell the difference between good and evil.

Friends become enemies. And enemies are everywhere.

But don’t underestimate Eden. She’ll fight for her life, for the lives of those she loves, and for every life she has ever touched.

She’ll fight for revenge. For redemption. For—just maybe—the chance to be mortal again.

Everything began with forbidden love.

What will be sacrificed at the bitter end?

The dramatic conclusion to Leah Clifford’s dark, alluring trilogy of life, death, and epic love.

PRE-ORDER A TOUCH MENACING NOW FOR ONLY $11.98

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBEL

Pick Up The Whole Series!

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A TOUCH MORTAL (A Touch Trilogy #1) AMAZON | B&N

A TOUCH MORBID (A Touch Trilogy #2) AMAZON | B&N


GIVEAWAY

Help us spread the word about the final installment of the A Touch Trilogy, and you could win one of these amazing prizes!

Grand Prize 
30 Minute Skype Chat with Leah Clifford. Talk about writing, talk about THE KITTEN, talk about her books! Talk about almost anything!

2nd Place 
Get’s to name a character in Leah’s next published book

2 Lucky Bonus Winners

Will get 1 Paperback of A TOUCH MORTAL and 1 Hardcover of A TOUCH MORBID signed to the winner!

THE RULES

- Open Internationally for the Skype Chat and Character Name

- Books Will Only be mailed in the US.

- Pre Order for A Touch Menacing can be from any date

- Order for Mortal or Morbid MUST be dated between 2/1 and 2/22

*we reserve the right to deny any receipt for entry if it appears to be altered or manipulated in anyway.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

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Leah Clifford currently lives in Ohio, but frequently dreams of finding an abandoned mansion in the south that she can restore. In her spare time she loves to travel and has been known to drive over two hours to get kickass quesadillas. So far for jobs she’s sold corn at a roadside stand, been a pizza delivery girl, a camp counselor, an extreme cave tour guide, a flight attendant, a waitress (x3), a grocery store clerk and a writer. Out of all of them, writing has been the most fun. She’s pretty sure she’s gonna stick with it.

STALK LEAH CLIFFORD

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS | TUMBLR | WEBSITE | BLOG

Love Leah’s A TOUCH TRILOGY?

Check out the CafePress store dedicated to the series.

THE MORTAL PORTAL 

Just click to visit The Mortal Porta!

A Touch Menacing items coming soon!

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Review: The Loved and the Lost by Lory S. Kaufman

Lizzie     Jan 23rd, 2013     Dystopian, Fantasy, Reviews, Science Fiction     0 Replies

Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Paperback: 332 pages
Publisher: Fiction Std
Source: Received from publicist
Language: English
ISBN-10: 193655853X
ISBN-13: 978-1936558537

A QUEST FOR LOST LOVE.

AN ADVENTURE OF MANY LIFETIMES.

They are three 24th-century time travelers desperate to return to 14th-century Verona and reclaim their medieval family’s shattered lives. It is a mission fraught with danger and the risk of unexpected consequences for themselves and their worlds. For all three, it is a matter of the heart. For one, though, it is truly the only thing that matters, as the fate of his eternal love and the life of their unborn child is the prize to be won – or lost forever.

In this, the final book of The Verona Trilogy, Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln go on the boldest adventure of their lives. They will face hardship, tragedy, and threats from sources they couldn’t have imagined – all in an effort to wrestle a future from the steely grip of an unforgiving past.

Today, I am reviewing the final book in the Verona Trilogy, as a part of Lory’s blog tour!

Read my review of The Lens and the Looker here and my review of The Bronze and the Brimstone here.

First off, let me say, I’m a little sad to see the covers redesigned! I loved the original covers for the first two books and how they had a sort of classic look to them. However, I think these new ones are great and will definitely appeal to more readers. Which is a good thing, of course. ;)

Now, on the story…

I’m so glad I agreed to review these titles. Time travel is a concept that I’m so fascinated by, and have been for years. And this series reflects the complications and wonderful things that could arise from it. That’s one of things I loved about this particular series: it shows, ultimately, that time is a very sensitive thing.

All of the characters evolved in The Loved and the Lost; the change I noticed the most was in Hansum, and it was a far, yet great evolution from the beginning of the first book. As the 14th century characters came back into play throughout the story, I felt quite a bit nostalgic for Hansum, Lincoln, and Shamira and the times they had in the beginning of their adventures.

The story got even better with this book! If you have read my other reviews, you know I’m more of the action kind of girl than a romance-y one, and Lory delivers on the action front twofold. I don’t think I can say there was a dull moment. Plenty of heart-wrenching ones? Oh, most certainly. I never felt bored while reading it though. Without a doubt, this book was the best of the series.

It’s hard for me to say that I liked the ending of a series because, well, who likes endings? I certainly don’t! But I did think this one had a truly great end. I’ve read (and I’m sure we all have) series endings that were lackluster and made me feel disappointed in having invested so much time in it. I didn’t feel that way with The Loved and the Lost and the Verona Trilogy. You really should give this series a chance. I don’t believe you’ll regret it for a second. 0=)


Review: Professor Gargoyle by Charles Gilman

Lizzie     Jan 21st, 2013     Fantasy, Middle Grade, Reviews     0 Replies

Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books
Source: Received from publisher
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1594745919
ISBN-13: 978-1594745911

In Professor Gargoyle, we’re introduced to 11-year-old Robert Arthur and the strange world of Lovecraft Middle School. It’s a brand-new state-of-the-art facility—so why do so many creepy things keep happening? Why is the science teacher acting so strangely? And where are all the rats coming from?

As Robert explores with his new friends Glenn and Carina, he discovers that the school may be a portal to another world.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Middle Grade novel. I have mainly focused my reading on YA for the last few years so I’d forgotten how refreshing an MG novel can be.

I had a little trouble getting in Professor Gargoyle at first, mainly because there wasn’t really any character development. Getting past that and unraveling the story with Robert, I found myself done with the book quickly—I read it in less than a day while on a road trip from Texas to Ohio.

The main objective of the book was to get to the main plot in as few pages as possible (which I did like) so that’s why there is little character development. It doesn’t waste time with tons of back stories or narrative which could bore a younger reader. The actual plot fascinated me and kept me reading. The monster are awesome ;D

This is sort of like an American Horror Story for the younger crowd. It can be creepy and I adored that there was an homage to Poltergeist in its pages! I look forward to starting The Slither Sisters, the sequel to this book, which just came out in bookstores in the US. If you have a younger brother or sister, or a child who enjoys fantasy books, I definitely recommend this book for them.


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