Exo Review

361961

Earth has been collaborating with powerful aliens and living with them for a century (after the war). Donovan’s father is the Prime Liason with the combined alien-human government, and Donovan himself is an Exo, a human that has erze cells implanted in him since he was 5 years old. This process is called the “Hardening” because it gives him an alien exoskeleton that he can retract, and allows for him to self-regenerate if injured. His mother left when he was five years old, so it has just been him, his dad, his alien advisor, and his teammates for most of his upbringing.

Donovan and his best friend Jet found a young boy on a playground, and after making small talk with him and gaining his trust he reveals that his uncle has stacks of papers from Max. Max is a writer of many pamphlets for the insurgent group that the SecPac army must control. They hate the idea of aliens controlling any part of Earth, think that the Exos are disgusting hybrids, and are trying to get the humans in the regular society to rise up and take back Earth for humans. Donovan and Jet have to confront the man alone as the reinforcements are across town, but they think that they can handle it. However, they were set up, shooters are places on the roof of the houses on the street, and Donovan and Jet are attacked as they try to escape and wait for the reinforceemnts. Jet escapes, but Donovan is taken as a hostage for the insurgent group.

This book is made interesting by having a 17 year old main character that is a part of the army. He is told by the people he is surrounded by that he is to be on the side of the aliens and that the insurgents are only trying to destroy their society. However, the more time he spends with the insurgents, the more he reconsiders some thoughts about his society. In his time alone, he also thinks about how painful the Hardening process was, and how many people simply brushed off the fact that it was basically torture to a five year old and that some did not even survive the ordeal.

He also comes to terms with what actually determines if a person is human or not. The people who belong to the Sapience insurgent group think that he isn’t fully human because of his alien DNA, but he believes that the exoskeleton does not affect his brain, only his body. It brings up an amazing argument that continues throughout the book, and in the reader’s minds as well.

I truly enjoyed this amazing ride of a book. Although it was a bit slow in the beginning, it definitely picked up speed until I felt as if I flew through the middle and the end.  It had some romance but nothing over the top and nothing that interfered with the plot. It was unique, showing a world with humans divided on whether or not to accept aliens, and human alien hybrids being accepted in most society but rejected by the “insurgents”. I hope to read more by this author soon.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

The Inquisition Review (Slight Spoilers)

25689056-_uy400_ss400_

For those wondering about the slight spoilers, this is because the first 80-100 pages focus on something that is NOT the main plot line, but if I tell the outcome of it I will technically be spoiling part of the book. However, if I don’t tell the outcome and leave it there, I am not even delving into the main conflict of the story. I will give a warning before I say anything past that point, but there will be none of my opinion there and the review will be short.

Ignatius and Fletcher have been in prison ever since he was arrested for attempted murder of Didric in the previous book. He has been reading the summoner’s old book in his prison and practicing his spells with Ignatius but he hasn’t been able to do much else from his cell. He doesn’t even know how or where his father was. Didric is revealed to have gained summoner powers from the time that Ignatius burnt him trying to protect Fletcher, however his face has become extremely scarred and will never look normal again. Arcturus helps him by tearing down the false witness of Didric and his friends in front of the court, and Fletcher is declared innocent. However, as he prepares himself to go free after a year in prison, Othello is taken into custody and Fletcher is accused of treason for the attack on the soldiers that ambushed the dwarf meeting the year before.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

 

 

 

King Harold is revealed to not be in control of his own kingdom, but instead the face for the real person in control, his father whom the civilians hated until he “gave the throne” to his son. King Harold begs Fletcher to plead guilty so that a race war doesn’t start when the execute Othello, so he does so. Then, the man who worked for the Raleighs when they were attacked by orcs says that he hid the fact that he saw an owl flying away with some type of baby basket in its talons during the attack. The attack happened on the same day that Fletcher’s father found him outside the town hall. He is tested whether or not he is a Raleigh by being injected with Manticore Poison, which the elves save him from after he suffers for a few hours proving himself to be a Raleigh. Finally, the main story begins!

Fletcher and his friends from the academy are put on a multi-racial mission to save a long lost Lady, Rufus’ mother, who has been proven by a spy have been kept alive in the orc caves. There are scrying stones that have been sent to the villages so the common villagers can watch the teams. This means that if the teammates are racist to each other it could cause fighting in the villages. Fletcher has the team with the elf, and two of the dwarves, but is worried about the other teams not playing fair and trying to incriminate his friends.

This  series is always amazing, yet difficult to review. It very action packed and almost always has a main story and a mini story, the mini that lasts quite a few pages but MUST be spoiled in order to review the main. Every singe time you read a chapter, something new is revealed and/or begins. New and even more creative monsters are shown on both the good and evil/orc side of the story, and also information is revealed about the inner workings of the hidden orc world.

Fletcher grows a lot in this book as he is forced to protect the integrity of himself and his friends as basically their whole world watches them try to save this woman. His relationship with the elf girl Sylva grows slowly, but it is not the annoying focus of the entire book. Everyone knew that the racism of their world had deep roots, but it wasn’t until this book showed how bad it was. They were all working towards a common cause, and were on tape, but the teams still didn’t stop bickering with each other. Fletcher’s team rose above their immaturity however and helped to lead this mission onwards.

This book ended on a pretty big cliffhanger, so I am impatiently waiting for the next book/end to the trilogy to come out in the next few days.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

50th Post!!!

50th-birthday-cake8

I honestly never thought that I would ever be able to juggle school, an active blog, and all of my many afterschool activities. In January, I thought “New Year, new me, why not start a blog to fill up the little free time I have!” I plodded along, writing posts just to be writing them, all the while the little negative voice in the back of my head nagged “the blog won’t last past March.”

January growth was kinda slow, but in February things began to pick up, it was a short month for school, I was relaxed and happy. Then March came, The time that I had expected myself to not be trying on this anymore. I had been reading constantly and been happy for a few weeks. Then I crashed. All my schoolwork that I had either procrastinated on or had been recently assigned just piled up until I was up late every night just trying to get something finished. I wanted to throw myself back into my safe haven of reading but I was so tired. Views plummeted as I only managed about 5 poorly written posts.

April came and my self-confidence was low because of my poor blog performance. For the first 2 weeks we tested at my school so I only had 3 actual periods a day instead of 6 and my teachers did not assign work. I read in the morning, before testing, after testing, during lunch, in class, and afterschool. I was inspired by bloggers that I had found on the discover page, and after I subbed them many of them came to show their love to my own blog. In just this month I reached over 60 followers, get daily comments where I can interact with you amazing people, and I have destressed almost completely. Now that May approaches as I write my 50th post, I feel successful as I proved myself wrong by not giving up and finding something that I really enjoy and can be passionate about. Thanks for everything.

With that, here are my future plans.

Video Games

I will probably be only doing app reviews as I simply don’t have the time to finish a long game. If I reviewed long games, I would not have the time to read. I may do a “currently playing” review for a game that I borrowed from a friend soon, but other than that I will be leaving console game reviews for the summer.

Tv Shows/Movies

This has me in about the same situation as the games, I simply just don’t have the time for it. I will review the 2 shows I watch during the week on a weekly basis (Supergirl, Riverdale) but Shadowhunters/13 Reasons Why reviews will be only weekly if that. I only have time to watch these when I do deep hair cleanse weekly (I have a lot of curly hair so this takes 3-4 hours out of my weekend to do). I will post movie reviews if I see them in theaters or after I am done watching the aforementioned series.

Books 

I plan to start doing book hauls and weekly reading updates in order to keep on track with what I am supposed to be finishing and not just leaving a bunch of books to lie around, like I am doing now. I also post my reading updates on Goodreads.

Crafts

I love to knit and crochet, but I have not done either in a few years. Should I create a book-related crafts section (possibly selling stuff on Etsy)? I have the materials but I just want to know if you will be interested.

Contact Me!

I love when people chat with me but since there is no PM system on here, if you want to chat contact me in the ways listed below.

Email: Thelighteninggirl@gmail.com (Yes the misspelling is supposed to be there)

Goodreads: Briennai

Thanks again for being so awesome and I cannot wait for the 100 post celebration!

Totally Should Have Book Tag

Thanks @meltingpotsandothercalamities for tagging me to do this!

Totally Should Have Gotten A Sequel

Out of My Mind should have gotten a sequel. In the book, Melody’s life is only told up to the point where she reaches 11 years old and in 5th grade. This is before any of the problems that could happen to her in middle school/high school. She would be smart enough to get into college but it would be a matter of whether a college would accept her or not. Once her body reaches puberty this could cause more problems when she would reveal what she has to go through to fix her already malfunctioning body that is now going through drastic changes. I would have loved to see her in her later years and how she dealt with teen problems in her own special way.

Totally Should Have Gotten A Spin-off Series

This is hard because I mostly read are series that aren’t finished yet. I would enjoy a Kane Chronicles spin-off by Rick Riordan, because Percy Jackson got a continuation and I enjoyed the Kane Chronicles so much more than that. I don’t know why I was more attracted to it, but I just loved it so much but it was only a trilogy and has only gotten some simple cross-overs with Percy Jackson ever since.

An Author That Should Totally Write More Books

Patricia McCormick should definitely write more books. When I was 13, I read Sold, a book about a 13 year old girl who was sold into sex slavery. It really opened my eyes to the horror happening to girls my age every day. Her books are so riveting and I hope that she continues to write more books so that more people can get the same experience that I got from her.

A Character That Totally Should’ve Ended Up With Someone Else

I honestly have no idea. Usually I get mad when I see someone end up with someone I didn’t want them with, but then something happens to make me see that “oh this was better because the other girl was crazy” or something.

Totally Should Have Ended Differently

Divergent. For those who have read the series, y’all know exactly what I am talking about. If you are planning on reading the series, don’t expect great things from Allegiant. I feel like the series was on a descending stairwell that just dropped off and the end and I felt so…disappointed.

Totally Should’ve Had a Movie Franchise

Okay this is going to be a few. The Madman’s Daughter trilogy, Gregor the Overlander Series, Red Queen series, and the Lunar Chronicles.

Totally Should’ve Had Only One Point of View

I have nothing for this because I haven’t had any books recently that simply butchered the multiple POV thing.

Totally Should’ve Had A Cover Change

Gregor the Overlander Series had some nice covers but I feel like if they were updated to be a bit more vibrant that more people would be attracted to the series.

Totally Should’ve Kept The Original Covers

Percy Jackson series. I get that they were trying to update them to make them look newer, but I just don’t like the new ones as much as the old ones. I feel like they went too, cartoony on the new covers.

Totally Should’ve Stopped At Book One

The Finisher series was bad from the start so I don’t know why there are more books written to add onto the already poor series.

I tag: Anyone who hasn’t done it yet!

Everything, Everything Review

18692431

I have no idea why I took so long to find this. I read this book way too fast, checking it out at my school library at around 8 am and finishing it during breakfast and intermittently during class until I finished it around 12 PM. Albeit a meal that I gulped down, this book was completely unforgettable, and I cannot wait for the movie to be released.

Madeline is a “bubble child”. For the first 6 months or so of her life she was fine but then she got severely sick, which damaged her immune system. She was tested for SCID or being “allergic to the world” and since she was positive she has not been allowed outside since. She has become used to the airlock on the door, the air filtration system in the house, the nurse she has had for almost all of her life, Carla, and the little things that she enjoys like the new books that she has to receive in shrink-wrap. She is coming to terms with the fact that she will never be able to go outside and that even though it is her 18th birthday that she will never be independent. She was never fully happy, but she was used to it and satisfied. However, a boy her age named Olly moved in next door. He notices her, smiles and sees Madeline through the window. She sees his broken family with an abusive father, teen smoker sister, and abused/beaten down mother.

Eventually, he writes his email address on the window, and they start emailing and messaging each other. When Carla finds out about the messages, after getting over her initial disapproval she helps Madeline have Olly over to hang out. After a few short meetings and one mind-blowing kiss, Madeline is no longer satisfied with her house. She wants to go outside.

Between intermittent drawings and cute book reviews from bookworm Madeline, this is a beautiful story where the characters walk straight off the page and into your heart. I cannot believe that this book was written by a first time author, it was so alive. It was such a unique story, with unique character such as the girl trapped inside her own home and the boy who is trapped by his abusive father and broken family. I loved every second of reading it and seeing the romance grow, and I cannot wait to read more written by this author.

Overall Rating: 6/5

Rumors (Luxe Series Book 2) Review

rumors-wallpaper-the-luxe-book-series-8894972-1920-1200

The story continues between the 5 teens from rich Manhattan during the year of 1899 in this continuation of “The Luxe”. Penelope wants to get Henry back since Elizabeth is “dead”. Diana wants her chance to marry Henry since she has Elizabeth’s blessing, loves him, and believes that he loves her. Elizabeth has reached the West where Will had been happily waiting for her, and she starts to build a happy life with him their, albeit with less money than she was used to having. Lina is struggling to keep up her facade of Carolina, the rich orphaned girl. Henry is trying to decide whether to propose to Diana, the girl he loves, and Penelope, a girl that is older and not the sister of his “dead” fiancee. He blames himself partially for Elizabeth’s death as well, thinking that she killed herself after finding out about his illicit relationship with Diana.

Throughout this book, these 5 characters grow exponentially. Penelope becomes more cunning as she feels hurt by Henry trying to marry her best friend and then loving the younger girl Diana rather than her, the woman he was with originally. Lina wants to find Will and win him back, but she is running low on funds after wasting some money on keeping up her costume and the expensive hotel room she lives in. She wonders if Will is simply a childhood fantasy, or someone that she can truly consider creating a permanent life with. Tristan, a worker at Lord and Taylor, decides to help Lina in trying to win over an older man in order to continue paying for her expensive lifestyle. Elizabeth struggles with not having people to do things for her, as she wants to be a good wife to Will and not incapable of something as small as cooking dinner for him. However, she is happy with the natural and free West. Diana chases after Henry as people in Henry’s life block him from seeing her, trying to keep him in good terms with the media.

I disliked the lack of enthusiasm that Henry had for his relationship with Diana. Elizabeth ran off to the West to be with Will and no one recognized her there. If Henry and Diana had escaped on a train to either the west or even the south, they could have started over as a couple. They may not have been financially well off for the first few months to the first few years, but they would have been together and happy.

Elizabeth adapted as well as she could to the west. I worried that she would end up pushing Will away and hurting him by complaining about not having the things that she was used to, like a large house with servants to cook and clean. However their love and Elizabeth’s character was strong enough for her to put her best food forward into teaching herself how to do some basic household tasks.

I thought that Lina would be exposed to the world of prostitution as she was accompanying older men in order to be given gifts of money, but the story stayed on the more innocent side of things with her just befriending a few men. Nevertheless, the character of Tristan was more shady than he had seemed.

This book was more addictive to me than the first book of the series. By the time I got to the end, I could not put it down until I reached the last page. I still recommend this series for anyone interested in a royalty-like historical fiction story.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Inkheart Review

inkheart-inkheart-series-11062666-1280-1024

Mo and Meggie are a father-daughter bookworm team. Mo runs a business where he binds collector’s books, and Meggie goes with him on his jobs throughout the world as she reads her way through her own mini collection of books. Everything seems to be normal until one night a strange visitor named Dustfinger arrives. He takes her father into a private room, and as Meggie spies on the conversation she overhears that a man named Capricorn wants a book that Mo has. The next day Mo takes Meggie and Dustfinger to the south, to Meggie’s aunt Elinor and her book collection. Dustfinger is an interesting person to Meggie, and he has a horned ferret-like pet and is a fire-eater.

While spending time with her book-addicted Aunt Elinor, Meggie sees Mo give a strange book called Inkheart to the aunt. That night, men come and take Mo and the book away, but it is revealed that Elinor secretly switched the books against Mo’s wishes so she could secretly read it. They must all go to Capricorn’s village with the real Inkheart and hope that Mo is alive and well so they can all go home. This sets them on an adventure filled with a host of interesting characters and magical book-reading.

This book took me longer than average to finish, because it is a 500 page book! Some parts of the story took me awhile to finish simply because they weren’t as action-packed as others, but if you can get past a few dry spells the book is definitely worth your time. It is all about the magic that books can bring, and I can easily see this becoming a classic in the future. It has all the things that make a great adventure story, unique characters, unique story, and a lot of description and action. I will be reading the rest of the Inkheart series, and I recommend this to anyone who has the time/patience to read through a 500 page amazing story.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo Review

214856

This book opens with an old man being chased and leaving his servant/monster/Dobby to find Leven and take care of him. Old man dies.

Two babies are born, one a girl and one a boy. The boy’s mother dies so he has to be taken in by his horrible Aunt. Clover, the servant/monster/Dobby, sneaks into the swaddling of Leven, and is also taken home with him. One girl was born to an awful mother, but then a strange nurse switches her with another baby on purpose, and when the nurses wonders aloud about the baby having such a mean mother the new baby says that she will be fine.

Fast forward 14 years. Leven sleeps outside due to his caregivers not wanting him to bother them. Weird shadows try to come through the outside netting, but when he knocks on the door to be let inside they go away so his aunt forces him to stay outside. Clover reveals himself, he has apparently been with Leven since he was born, and says that it is time for Leven to save Foo. He also reminds Leven of the strange girl he keeps dreaming about, and says that she might be important to their journey. The next day, Leven is attacked in a field by two of the town bullies, and he shows that he has powers of electricity. Then he saves Clover from being eaten by having a vision of a hawk before  it showed up, revealing that he is an offing (can see the future.

Winter belongs to a horrible mother. She is given six peas and a crust of bread for dinner every day, and on the day that is her 13th birthday she has had enough. She accidentally reveals her freezing powers, soaking some of her mom’s dinner and effectively scaring her. She then goes over to her friendly neighbor’s house for cake, and leaves to go find the strange boy that she sees in her dreams the next day.

When the three meet up, Clover tells them that they need to find Geth in order to close the Gate before the evil person that has been sending the shadows, Sabine, escapes Foo.

The premise of the story was interesting. A world that people can enter accidentally, but cannot escape because it is needed for the balance of the human and dream world. However, the story seemed to have a lot of good ideas in the beginning that were given up in the end. Winter seemed to be the only one who really had useful powers by the end. That whole “offing” thing was rarely useful in the right ways. It was used to manipulate the future so that they could get money from random people. But it was not useful when it took them half the dang book to find Geth when he should have been able to simply locate him using his powers. I got bored by the middle of the book, and it was a struggle to finish the entire thing. To me, it seemed like they were trying to do the typical “orphans get powers and get told that they are really a part of a magical world and that’s why their life has sucked up to that point” but it just seemed weird and uninteresting. Not to mention the villain seemed evil, but we don’t really know why he’s evil, and by being stuck in Foo besides the gate he doesn’t seem that dangerous. Foo is being put as a really nice place to live, so why would he want to control it and be evil anyways? I might finish this series to see if it improves any, however this was quite an underwhelming first book.

Overall Rating: 1.75/5

Sedna Review (Webtoon)

0013-cave-420x280-1485444652

Sedna is a Japanese girl who is in love with space and everything to do with it. She teaches her best friend Dini-san about the things that she is learning about space. The artist who creates this, Thomas L McDonell, always makes sure that when he draws the stars that he is drawing the actual constellations and not simply dots in the sky. Little details such as this are what makes the comic so unique. In certain chapters, it could simply be an imaginary space battle using glue and scissors, but in quite a few chapters Sedna will tell an actual educational lesson about space and the stories of different constellations. Since this comic is very clean, I would say that this could even be read by a middle or upper elementary schooler as a short lesson on astronomy.

The comic has 87 episodes so far, is updated every Tuesday and Saturday, and can be read either on Webtoons here or the creator’s website. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to be able to brush up on some simple astronomy through a cute story.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Cinder Book Review

cinder

Okay, this is my second time reading this book. The first time, I hated it. I thought it was boring. I stumbled through it. I finished it and never wanted to return to it, and only read the first chapter of the book Scarlet. Fast forward about a year, my book club with different members wants to read this book AGAIN. I put it off to the last minute, but before reading it I pick up Heartless. Not really looking at the author, I SPEED through Heartless, loving every second of it. Then after I am finished coming off of that high, I remember this book. This SERIES. I decide, why not stumble through the first few books if the writing improves to Heartless levels. This time, knowing what the author is capable of, I read the book with entirely new eyes.

Cinder is a girl who has some robotic parts and some human parts. Due to this, she is discriminated against by people in society, and her stepmother has made her into a glorified worker bot. When the prince comes to her mechanic’s shop and tells her that he needs her to fix an old bot because it was his childhood helper, she knows that she is lying because of her sensors. Soon after, there is an outbreak of the fever at the market, and she rushes home.

Her sister Peony and Pearl are getting ready for the prince’s ball where he may just be finding a wife. When Cinder and Peony go to the junkyard to look for an old magbelt, you can see how close the two are truly, and Cinder tells her about the Prince coming to the market. Peony breaks out in the rash of the fever, and so Cinder has to send away the one person in the house that actually liked her. Blaming Cinder for Peony’s death sentence, the stepmother volunteers Cinder for plague testing. This sets Cinder on an adventure that she could have never expected, as the testers find out some interesting things about her.

The second time around, after reading Heartless, I could see more of Meyer’s true style come through. I understood her description, and was able to follow the story better. Her writing has definitely improved from 2012-2016, but I can understand the book better now. I loved Cinder, being such a strong girl under the face of so much criticism. All the people in the book had a unique story, especially the prince. I would recommend this book to people, simply because this is the stepping stone to further in the series when when everything is sure to be smoothed out and even more enjoyable.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5