All the Birds in the Sky

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Charlie Jane Anders

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.

But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s ever-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

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The Heart Goes Last

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Margaret Atwood

Living in their car, surviving on tips, Charmaine and Stan are in a desperate state. So, when they see an advertisement for Consilience, a ‘social experiment’ offering stable jobs and a home of their own, they sign up immediately. All they have to do in return for suburban paradise is give up their freedom every second month – swapping their home for a prison cell. At first, all is well. But then, unknown to each other, Stan and Charmaine develop passionate obsessions with their ‘Alternates,’ the couple that occupy their house when they are in prison. Soon the pressures of conformity, mistrust, guilt and sexual desire begin to take over.

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Unwind

(Unwind Dystology #1)

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Neal Shusterman

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

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The Young Elites

The Young Elites

(The Young Elites #1)

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Marie Lu

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

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In the Afterlight

In The Afterlight

(The Darkest Minds #3)

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Alexandra Bracken

Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the “rehabilitation camps” housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

 

Eliana’s Opinion:

2.5 Stars

In the Afterlight is the thrilling conclusion to the Darkest Minds trilogy. This dystopian trilogy set after a wide swept pandemic that left all children with strange abilities, classifying them by colour and shipping them to prison camps in an effort control them.

I feel strangely empty after having finished this novel. Sadly, I am more than a little disappointed with how the trilogy ended. It was dull and dragged on, inconsequential arguments and subplot took the majority of the book to resolve. Honestly, I was bored. After having read the second novel and enjoying a fast paced emotionally taxing ride, the third novel was bland in comparison. That is not to say that the novel did not have its bright spots. Luckily all my favourites made an appearance in this novel, Vida, Chubs, Zu and their dynamics with Ruby were always entertaining.

Liam and Ruby’s relationship was on the rocks throughout the whole novel. Leaving me on the edge of my seat, not because I was excitedly cheering them on (hardly), more because the lack of communication between the two grew tiresome. The hidden secrets and Ruby’s constant need to be in control, prove herself and take care of everyone, while understandable, was infuriating at times. Her guilt over Jude was eating away at her, and I cannot begrudge her time to mourn I just wish we had seen Nico’s or Vida’s suffering as well.

I loved Cole. He tried his best to lead their small ragged group while struggling to control his dangerous abilities and internal demons. And while a relationship between him and Ruby might have been a little volatile I cannot say I was not hoping for an Orange and Red power couple. Ruby and him just seem to understand each other better, and even though I liked Cole taking on a larger role within the novel it felt a little sudden for a finale instalment.

Overall I enjoyed the novel, I attribute this more to it being part of a well-crafted series than the book itself. I would have enjoyed a little more action but I appreciate the more realistic, as realistic as you can get when writing about teenagers with superpowers, approach the author took in bringing her uprising to a close.

 

Never Fade

Never Fade

(The Darkest Minds #2)

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Alexandra Bracken

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself.

 

Eliana’s Opinion: 

3.5 Stars

If you enjoyed the The Darkest Minds, you are in for an epic read. Never Fade never disappointed, chock full of action, drama and romance, I have very little criticism for this sequel.

Ruby came to us a frightened but strong willed girl in the first novel, but if you expect this same girl to make an appearance in the sequel you are in for a shock. Ruby’s character development was executed so flawlessly that while we see some big changes in ideology and personality, none of it seems out of character. In fact, I had no problem reconciling this tougher more resistant version of her with that of the fierce but hesitant girl in the first novel. Over the length of the novel, we also got to witness some surprising struggles, within herself or outwardly with her abilities. This only happened to further endear me to her. I do not use this term lightly, but Ruby definitely deserves the title of a badass heroine.

Along with Ruby’s involvement in the Children’s League came an interesting and diverse group of new characters. All the new characters had unique and sometimes overbearing personalities. Each of them was presented in such a way that you could not help but fall a little bit in love with them. Even the ones that vehemently went against Ruby or were downright rude, you ended up empathising with. We also get reintroduced to some old favourites.

Now, with the Children’s League also came a glimpse into the seedy underbelly of the epidemic that swept the country. Corrupt government officials, undercover research, rebellions, and cover-ups ride the waves of the aftermath of an epidemic that locked the majority of the population’s children away.

As far as plot goes, there was not one moment where I was not anxiously flipping the pages in excitement, the novel did not lag or grow tedious. There was always another obstacle, something to bring down or someone to rescue. I was gripped in the claws of excitement and adventure for the entirety of the novel. Just when you think everything has calmed down, that there safe and are going to come out of a situation relatively unscathed, Alexandra Bracken sets you up for a heartbreaking scene.

And finally, as I am sure I was not the only one who was anxiously waiting to read this sequel to discover Liam’s fate, and the fate of his relationship with Ruby. No need to worry, Liam does make an appearance. His interactions with Ruby are just as swoon worthy as they are painful. If you have not yet read The Darkest Minds I highly recommend you do so.

Pandemonium

Pandemonium (Delirium #2)

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By Lauren Oliver

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do.

The old life is dead.

But the old Lena is dead too.

I buried her.

I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame.

 

Eliana’s Opinion:

2.5 Stars

I enjoyed Delirium on many different levels so I had high hopes for Pandemonium in terms of characters and plot. In many areas my expectations were met but in others the reality fell short. Lena now in the Wilds by herself is taken in by a whole slew of new characters. Sadly, we do not get a deeper understanding of these new characters. Which is a shame because each one of these new personalities peeked my interest.

With Alex now gone there is the introduction of a new male love interest. I was not thrilled about this new development mostly because I found it unnecessary due to this novel’s ending. Just once I would like the protagonist to forge a kinship with another character with no promise of romantic attachments. I did find myself more drawn towards this new love interest. The reason being, I liked Lena better as a character when she was with him. In the first instalment of this series I did not find myself drawn to or particularly moved by Lena. However in Pandemonium we see some major character growth. She grew into her role as an Invalid, learned to defend herself and handle herself with more confidence and quickly became an expert at lying through her teeth. She proved to be resourceful and cunning and I found myself warming up to this new Lena rather quickly. She still has not discovered who she is, but this proved to be a rather promising start.

My main problem with Pandemonium was that the ending of the novel felt more like the middle of the novel. There was very little action or information pertaining to the resistance and Lena’s role in it. Frankly, hardly anything happened. Delirium’s final chapter was a cliff hanger that squeezed at my heart strings and propelled me to pick up the sequel. However, Pandemonium’s cliff hanger left me with my jaw on the floor.

 

Lydia’s Opinion:

4 stars

I greatly enjoyed this novel compared to the first in the trilogy. I love that Lena seems to have stepped up and taken an active role in her own future. With the loss of Alex, Lena has  developed into a stronger female character and discovered her opinions and who she truly is. This could be compared to being a metaphor to the struggles of a teenager. A teenager must discover for the first time who they are, who they want to be and what they stand for.

Lena has always had this decided for her by the government and then by Alex. For the first time in her life Lena is given the opportunity to create her own ideals and make her own choices, to find out the person she is going to be. I really dont have any major complaints about the novel, it was just that good. One thing i noticed was although we saw much character growth in Lena we did not see much character growth in the minor characters in the novel, which was a downside. I loved loved loved the suspenseful ending. I was cursing my self for reading the novel before the next one was released. It was a huge cliff hanger!!! I literally could not form words for at least 10 minutes after reading it! I would most definitely recommend the novel to absolutely everyone!