Imagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.
It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.
Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.
In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.
But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself.
Nafiza: See, the cover is so misleading. I was about 100% sure that the book was about fallen angels or something. I don’t understand what the feathers and wings have to do with the story but okay. The synopsis does intrigue me but I have read something really similar to what this book sounds like (Megan Miranda’s Soulprint) and really liked it so I don’t know if I want to rehash the same premise. Then again, maybe I’ll like this one if I give it a chance. Who knows? If I see the book in the library, I’ll check it out (in more ways than one, ha).
Janet: I really like the watercolours – and birds – of the cover, and the birds on strings bring James and the Giant Peach to mind. Like Nafiza, I don’t see what the cover and the back copy have to do with each other, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, unless upon reading the connection is revealed as utterly tenuous. However, for the moment, I like the cover. The premise I’m not sold on. Childhood crush, huh? Right. Wonder what he saw in his vision. And I’m not big on stories of Fate. But I might look inside.
Steph: I like the look of the cover, but I have to agree with Nafiza that it is difficult to find the link between the cover and the actual story – again we have birds and female protagonists though. This sounds exactly like Minority Report (the movie not the story), it has potential except for the slight logic disconnect. If they can see her future and her future crimes then they know she will break out of prison… now, if this is true and she still escapes then she was allowed to fulfill this part of her destiny and there is a wonderful greater plot at play.. however, if this is simply glossed over we have an issue. I will wait for reviews.
Yash: Yeah, this cover seems to be a bit random. And rather unremarkable. I am very interested in the story itself (even if I wouldn’t have picked the book up for its cover). I like that people get visions of themselves in the future. And by “like”, I mean “totally horrified”. Despite the annoyingly obvious ship here, I think I could be persuaded to give this a go.
And sometimes the Strange came to visit Clare, and dreams walked through her waking life.
After years of living in America, Clare Macleod and her father are returning to Ireland, where they’ll inhabit the house Clare was born in—a house built into a green hillside with a tree for a wall. For Clare, the house is not only full of memories of her mother, but also of a mysterious boy with raven-dark hair and dreamlike nights filled with stars and magic. Clare soon discovers that the boy is as real as the fairy-making magic, and that they’re both in great danger from an ancient foe.
Nafiza: First the cover, I really like it. I mean, it’s not anything new or startling, just an illustrated face but it appeals to me. A lot. Plus the bare branches are somehow intriguing. I like trees, kay? The synopsis makes it sound like Clare and her dad are returning to Hobbiton? Are they hobbits maybe? MAYBE? Has Samhradhán (Sow-rawn) reawakened again? And for some reason the word “inhabit” instead of “live” strikes me wronnng for no good reason. For all my whinging though, I’m going to read this book. It’s a fairytale and I’m a sucker for those. Plus what I read of Summer and Bird, Catmull’s previous work, I liked.
Janet: Woodcut illustrative style with colour? Awesommme. Mysterious boy, not so interesting, but stars and magic are always a draw. And although the mother is dead/absent, the house full of memories gives me hope that the mother will be an actual, if not physical, presence. I’d take a look at the first page.
Steph: Great cover! I too like it, despite it being a little in your face, or her face (haha). Very interesting style. The back copy isn’t long and doesn’t give too much away to the reader, which I appreciate. I think the story sounds interesting, I love the uncanny and the importance of history and family… I too would take a look at the first page.
Yash: I really like the illustrative style! I really, really like the title! And I appreciate that the focus of the cover isn’t the girl’s torso, but her face. The colours are nice too, her face is bright and draws the eyes, and whatever little colour we can see of her surrounding is dark but whimsical, thanks to that shade of blue. I think the cover would have intrigued me enough to pick up. Funnily, I would not have pegged this cover for a faerie story. I definitely need more faerie stories in my life, but I’d wait and see what Janet thinks before I’d pick it. Just in case.
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
Nafiza: I’m not going to lie. I was not a fan of Kristoff’s debut novel but I adore Kaufman’s collaboration with Megan Spooner on their space trilogy. I do like the idea of unconventionally formatted novels which make use of a variety of media to tell the story–though I will admit that this style can make for an exhausting read. I have Dead House to read before this so we’ll see. The cover–I find the colour obnoxious and would avoid it in a bookstore cuz it honestly does hurt my eyes. But I may flip through this book when it’s out and read a few pages.
Janet: The Latin-based secret-society-type names are old, at least to me, and I don’t mean that in a cozy-reassuring-nostalgic way. I mean I’m not impressed. I don’t mind the cover; I’d like it better if it weren’t for the paper shreds, but from Nafiza’s words I understand that this accurately reflects the contents and style. So good! The synopsis doesn’t grab me except for the part about everyday heroes. Perhaps Nafiza will read and let me know?
Steph: Um aliens? Space? Despite the weirdness of the cover, I’m totally in. I only worry that the relationship between the girl and the guy will hamper the awesomeness that is alien invasion.
Yash: I don’t know. I am usually a fan of bright and shiny covers and I love that Marie Lu’s blurb is on the cover … but I’m not feeling it. I do know there are a lot of people who adore this book, so maybe it will work out for Steph. And if Steph likes it, I mayyyy give it a chance. It’s just. Aliens. Bah.
Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She’ll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?
But with each changing moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. She begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. Too quickly, RJ finds herself back in limbo, her time on Earth once again up for debate.
RJ is a snarky, unapologetic, almost unredeemable, very real girl. Her story is funny and moving, and teens will easily connect with her plight. Prepare to meet the Grim Reaper, who’s cuter than you’d expect; Hawaiian shirt–wearing Death Himself; Saint Peter (who likes to play Cornhole); and Al, the handler for the three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hell. This cast of characters accompanies RJ through her time in the afterlife and will do their best to gently shove her in the right direction.
Nafiza: This could either be really good or really bad. I love the typography of the title and I like the irreverence that requires no words to be felt. The way RJ is written will determine the success of the novel. If she is too abrasive, she’ll lose me and there’s a fine line between real and really annoying. I’m just saying. I’ll probably wait for reviews before I make any decisions.
Janet: The title… nah. The cover doesn’t say much, and I disliked RJ immediately in the synopsis. But. The third sentence of the first paragraph of the synopsis sets up a tiny seed of empathy and consequently, interest. I agree with Nafiza that this could be very good or very mediocre. If I come across this I’ll take a look at the first page to decide. This is probably not for me, but you never know.
Steph: I’m with my fellow warriors. Not to cop-out or anything but, the cover is meh, the back copy is fraught with trying to get my interest and creating a character I may not like to read…
Yash: The thing is, the cover is kind of boring. As is the title. And the font is just … I mean, could they have chosen a more obvious route? Anyway! I do like the premise! I like unrepentant girls! I like neither-here-nor-there type adventures! Actually, this kind of reminds me of stuff by Terry Pratchett and also “Wish List” by Eoin Colfer. I think I’ll give this a shot. Um, when my TBR is at least a teensy bit smaller?
When the lights dimmed and the familiar red lips and white teeth glowed on the screen, the audience erupted into cheers, and Leta felt that surge of excitement in her belly, the thrill of sitting in the dark with strangers sharing an experience that made them all seem like friends.
Best friends Agnes and Leta have a Friday night ritual. They spend an hour trying on different lipsticks, experimenting with eyeliner, and torturing their hair before they head off to the Cineplex for the midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That was always the routine, until Agnes started dating Roger, and left Leta behind. But between Leta’s awkward first kiss; her crush on Tom, the cute guy at the movie theater; and her absentee dad, everything feels so out of control–she could really use her best friend right now. Can Agnes and Leta find their way to a new and better friendship?
Nafiza: It’s Libba Bray. The cover could be hideous and I’d read still read the book. This one is a short story available exclusively as an ebook.
Janet: I get that the cover is a reference to The Rocky Horror Picture Show but it still repulses me. The synopsis is perhaps a trifle obvious, particularly that last question. Still, if the writing quality is anything near The Diviners, I’d read this.
Steph: Haha again, I’m with my fellow reviewers. The cover is great, and, for a short story that revolves around Rocky Horror could you get any clearer? I too would read anything by Ms. Bray, and this promises to be probably creepy, a little uncanny, hilarious in Bray fashion and interesting to read. I’m in.
Yash: Nafiza said it all. Libba Bray? I’m in.