DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff

DEV1AT3 (LIFEL1K3 #2) by Jay Kristoff
Genre:
 Young Adult SciFi
40177770Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers
Publication Date: 
June 25th, 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis:After the climactic battle in Babel, she finds herself separated from Ezekiel and Cricket in the wastelands. Lemon’s abilities to manipulate electricity mark her as a deviate, and deadly corporate operatives are hunting her to use as a weapon in the war between BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelus Technologies. Instead, Lemon finds herself falling in with a group of fellow deviates—a band of teenagers with astonishing abilities, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Major, who may hold the secrets to Lemon’s past.

Meanwhile, Cricket finds himself in possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for a head-on collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel finds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a plot that may see him reunited with his beloved Ana.

And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world.


**REVIEW**
Disclaimer: First and foremost I would like to thank Jay Kristoff, Random House Childrens, and NetGalley for providing me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way sways my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.

THIS BOOK IS ACTION PACKED!

It’s really hard not to say anything spoilery as this is a second installment and I don’t want to ruin anything in the first book! I really enjoyed LIFEL1K3, so when I was offered the chance to read DEV1AT3, I jumped at the opportunity! This book was filled with everything that I love; action, a little romance, scifi elements, and so much banter! It reminded me of the game Borderlands. The post apocalyptic feel, the advanced technology with weapons/AI, and just the overall survival of the population was exciting to read! We get multiple points of view during this book, which helps expand on the world building as we follow each character to new places. I love that Kristoff chose to write this series as a YA because teenage conversations can be so hilarious! Especially in regards to their inner thoughts and feelings! The majority of the book focuses on Lemon, introducing us to some of the most interesting and cool characters!

The only real critique I have is that the timeline feels SO short! I can’t imagining everything happening to these characters within such a short time span but then again, that ramps up the intensity!

Overall, this book was amazing and FUN! I enjoyed seeing the direction the characters went. This second installment did not disappoint! Jay Kristoff is a master at twists and turns and leaving us going WTF at the end! I am devastated and cannot wait for #3!

You can pre-order pre-order this book at Amazon, or search any retailer online or book store closest to you! Available June 25th, 2019!

~Rachael
IG: @rqdavis_

 

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan
Genre:
 Young Adult Fantasy
36118682Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: 
April 2nd, 2019
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Synopsis: A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself. A prince in danger must decide who to trust. A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..


**REVIEW**
Disclaimer: First and foremost I would like to thank Emily A. Duncan, Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for providing me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way sways my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.

I was obsessed with this book from the very first chapter!

This dark, and entrancing story revolves around three central characters, Nadya, Malachaisz, and Serefin, all with different motivations for stopping the centuries long war.

It took me a little longer to read than usual because I wasn’t really able to speed read! Each word held my interested and I was so captivated by the central characters and the plot that I just wanted it to last forever! When I was reading, each chapter packed a punch. I love writing that grips you and leaves you wanting more. I absolutely loved the world building, the religious aspects were handled with care, and the star crossed lovers theme had my heart pounding!

I have heard conflicting reviews about the names and how difficult they were to pronounce but this didn’t bother me because I read difficult names more like a picture. Even if I can’t pronounce it well, I see the name as a snapshot and knew who was talking/what was going on. You can find a handy pronunciation guide here!

With all of that being said, the last few chapters of the book were exciting but fell flat/confused me a little bit. I felt like the first 3/4 of the book the questions I had would slowly reveal themselves and then the last 1/4 left me desperately needing answers. Character backgrounds and certain locations were constantly hinted at but never explored. The ending had many twists that happened at all once. I have so many questions!

Things that worked for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):

  • I felt as though this read like more of an Adult Fantasy vs YA but that could be just my feelings! It did not affect my rating at all, especially since I am loving adult fantasy right now. I would recommend this to YA readers older than 16!
  • I am obsessed with Ostyia and want more. She is a strong, queer, amazing character and Emily can go to amazing places with this character!
  • About halfway through the book I started getting so many feelings for both POV. At first I was so invested in Nadya’s storyline and was irritated with Serefin but by halfway I was loving Serefin and wanted him to succeed just as much!
  • The excerpts told at the beginning of each chapter, oh my gosh! I usually skim stuff like this but I was so intrigued, especially the writing about who people prayed to and what magic they provided!
  • The star crossed lovers! Wahhhh!

Things that didn’t work for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):

  • Some of the magic system is still needing to be thoroughly explored. I  had a lot of questions as to how Nadya’s powers worked but I think as we go along more will be anwered!
  • Why was Serefin such a feared and powerful blood mage but didn’t do much to prevent himself from almost being killed multiple times? I never really saw his badassery.
  • What happened to Kostya? He isn’t really mentioned at all unless maybe he is the Konstantin mentioned in the excerpt of chapter 30! What was the purpose for Kacper, Parijahan, and Rashid? Where did her beads go?
  • Malachaisz total 180. He was a character that was unsure of himself, sweet, questioning his life and wondering if he could be loved by his enemy, to the plot twist of being cruel, selfish, power hungry. It just didn’t feel organic. It was almost TOO much.

Overall, I LOVED this book! I think that the world building and the character development are going in such unique places. It was deliciously dark and I am invested in these characters and what is going to happen. I will most definitely be reading any sequels as I HAVE TO KNOW what happens! I think anyone who loves dark magical worlds will adore this book and it’s characters!

You can pre-order pre-order this book at Amazon, or search any retailer online or book store closest to you! Available April 2nd, 2019!

~Rachael
IG: @rqdavis_

 

Tell Me How You Really Feel -Aminah Mae Safi

Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi
Genre:
YA Contemporary/LGBT+
41150474Publisher: Feiwel Friends
Publication Date: 
June 11th, 2019
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis: Sana Khan is a cheerleader and a straight A student. She’s the classic (somewhat obnoxious) overachiever determined to win. Rachel Recht is a wannabe director who’s obsesssed with movies and ready to make her own masterpiece. As she’s casting her senior film project, she knows she’s found the perfect lead – Sana. There’s only one problem. Rachel hates Sana. Rachel was the first girl Sana ever asked out, but Rachel thought it was a cruel prank and has detested Sana ever since. 

Told in alternative viewpoints and inspired by classic romantic comedies, this engaging and edgy YA novel follows two strongwilled young women falling for each other despite themselves.


**REVIEW**
Disclaimer: First and foremost I would like to thank Aminah Mae Safi and Feiwel Friends for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way sways my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.

THIS. BOOK. OMG.

I would like to start this review by stating that I do not read contemporary. Like, ever. It just isn’t my thing. What is my thing you ask? Queer, diverse woman as main characters! When my friend asked me if I wanted to join this book tour, I absolutely had to. I started the book and finished the book the next day because I could not put it down. The story is endearing, it’s funny, it’s everything I love in a ROMCOM. When I was reading this book, I felt like I was watching it inside my head!

Sana is this perfect cheerleader who never seems to do wrong and Rachel is this outcast who just wants to be successful… and they HATE each other, or so they think! Neither of them realize the other’s motivations when they are suddenly forced to work together on Rachel’s last film project in order to secure funding towards college. I had ideas about what the characters were like inside my head when I started but was so surprised to see their true personalities shine!

This book is YA and you can tell firstly by the setting and secondly in the way the characters handle conflict. However, It didn’t bother me when Sana would argue with her mom, or when Rachel lashed out because that’s what teens do! It felt realistic and similar to things I went through in high school!

Things that worked for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):

  • Queer, diverse women as the MCs. It did not feel like the author was just trying to tick boxes. It felt organic and natural!
  • The usage of appropriate language for each household.
  • The descriptions of food. Oh my gosh. There were times where I was googling what some of the food was because I wanted to make it!
  • The banter! It’s not often where I actually laugh out loud during a book!
  • This book playing out in my head like a movie!

Things that didn’t work for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):

  • The ending! Only because I WANTED MORE! I never wanted it to end! I truly hope we get some sort of second book or novella! I want to know what Sana does with her internship and I want to know how successful Rachel is at directing! GIVE ME MORE AMINAH! Hah!

Overall, I LOVED this book! If you like contemporary, pick this up, if you don’t like contemporary but you want to read about queer romance with diversity, pick this up, if you want to read something light after a heavy read, pick this up!!

You can pre-order your copy from her favorite local retailer The Ripped Bodice and get it personalized and signed by her! You can also pre-order this book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or search for it online closest to you! Available June 11th!

~Rachael
IG: @rqdavis_