[Book Talk] Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer

cinderBook Details:

Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Read: January 2017

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.

But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

My Thoughts

This was a fun book! I was a little hesitant about reading this one, since I had tried out Heartless, Marissa Meyer’s newest book, just this last month as well, and didn’t like it too much. I knew this one was a retelling, but I didn’t realize how much of a retelling it would be until I was about halfway through. I think the reason I enjoyed this one more is because I’m more familiar with the world of Cinderella than I am the world of Alice In Wonderland.

I loved the idea of Cinder, the main character, being a cyborg, of her living in New Beijing (since soooo many dystopian/fantasy YA books take place in America), and her step-sisters and step-mother. I loved that she was a mechanic and that Prince Kai wasn’t the knight in shining armour that Prince Charming is in the original story – he, too, led a life he didn’t want to lead.

This one had a bit of a slow start, but once I was hooked, I was hooked. And the ending was gripping enough that I am determined to read Scarlet right away! I’m so interested to keep reading this series and see what the next instalments bring!

[Book Talk] The Beginning of Everything by Robin Schneider

the-beginning-of-everythingBook Details:

Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Read: January 2017

Synopsis:

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

My Thoughts

This book has to have THE MOST unsettling and gruesome beginning of any book I’ve ever read. Tragic as it is, I liked the idea of everyone having that moment where their life begins.

Ezra was an awesome character. This could’ve been a YA book that I put in my donation box, but within the first chapter, I was completely hooked. I just loved Ezra’s voice and his humour (seriously, there were some completely hilarious lines in this book!) and I like that he had to rethink his direction and purpose after the easy life he led up until his own tragedy.

There was some fun romance in the story and some twists and turns that I might have seen coming along the way. It definitely had a predictability to it, but since Ezra was such a great character, I let that slide. It was still a fun journey getting to the kind of predictable end.

[Book Talk] All The Things We Leave Behind by Riel Nason

all-the-things-we-leave-behindBook Details:

Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Read: January 2017

Synopsis:

A novel of absence and adolescence by the author of the award-winning “The Town That Drowned.”

It’s 1977. Seventeen-year-old Violet is left behind by her parents to manage their busy roadside antique business for the summer. Her restless older brother, Bliss, has disappeared, leaving home without warning, and her parents are off searching for clues. Violet is haunted by her brother’s absence while trying to cope with her new responsibilities. Between visiting a local hermit, who makes twig furniture for the shop, and finding a way to land the contents of the coveted Vaughn estate, Violet acts out with her summer boyfriend, Dean, and wonders about the mysterious boneyard. But what really keeps her up at night are thoughts of Bliss’s departure and the white deer, which only she has seen.

“All the Things We Leave Behind” is about remembrance and attachment, about what we collect and what we leave behind. In this highly affecting novel, Nason explores the permeability of memory and the sometimes confusing bonds of human emotion.

My Thoughts

Big thank you to Goose Lane for sending me a copy of this book for review! I had seen Riel’s debut book, The Town That Drowned, on quite a few blogs and was very intrigued by her work, so when Goose Lane approached me to read her latest, I couldn’t refuse!

This was a very nice book about love and loss, sibling and parental love, finding yourself in the wake of losing someone you loved dearly, and just growing up in general. It’s really hard for me to find the words as to what I thought about this book. I loved the Canadian-ness of it, the atmosphere – I wanted to visit the Purple Barn, see the cottage, sit by the creek. The whole story was just so beautifully written that my heart broke a few times while reading, and it brought me to tears in the end. I loved all of the flashbacks to Vi’s past with her brother and I looked forward to every phone call from her father, sitting in anticipation on pins and needles.

I’m so happy that this book was written by a Canadian author – it really made me love my home country even more and long for more Canadian writers to pen books like this. All I know now is that I’ll be looking for phantom deer in the night, looking for signs in the great Canadian wilderness.