Review: Replica – Lauren Oliver

Review: Replica – Lauren OliverReplica by Lauren Oliver
Series: Replica #1
Published by HarperCollins
Published: October 4th 2016
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three-half-stars

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. 'A sickly child', her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father's connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she's always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father's name seems inextricably linked to it.

Amidst the frenzy outside the institute's walls, Lyra - or number 24 as she is known as at Haven - and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven's purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever...

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

As a massive Lauren Oliver fan I was really excited to see she had a new book coming out. Delirium will forever be one of my favorite books and Vanishing Girls still blows me away. So when I heard about Replica and its unique concept I was immediately sold. Two books in one with different ways of reading an option? Yes please! And in the end…I really enjoyed the story. I didn’t love it as much as I did past Oliver books but I was enthralled and captivated by Lyra and Gemma’s stories.

When started Replica I had two options reading; I could read alternate chapters of each girl’s story or I could read one girl and then the other. I started reading alt chapters but made it 3 before changing my mind. Instead I read Lyra and then Gemma. I can’t really say how you decide to read it will change your reading experience but I can tell you that the way I read it I liked Gemma more than Lyra.

Lyra – 3.5 stars
Lyra was an interesting character to get into. Truthfully I had some trouble with her story. I felt like there were parts missing and I couldn’t really get to know her. I mean I liked her enough, but she was hard to get into and to really sympathize with. I don’t know if this was because of her not having much human interaction or what, but she was a big struggle for me, especially her bluntness. I also wanted more background. Instead the book just jumped into it. In the end though I did find her interesting and I want to know exactly where her story will lead and how everything that happened to her will affect her in the future.

Gemma – 4 stars
Gemma on the other hand I immediately liked. I liked her story and the sort of mystery that she found herself involved in. Basically I found Gemma to be more likable and her story more interesting. There was something just so basically real about her and I couldn’t help but root for her to be the brave, beautiful girl she was. Her story unfolding really was interesting and 100% kept me invested.

Together I loved how these two girls’ stories intersected and how they entwined. They made for an interesting story when combined and all the pieces were put together. I may not have loved it as much as Delirium and other Oliver books, but I am interested in knowing more and maybe rereading it with alternating chapters instead of reading one girl and then the other.

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On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)

As book bloggers and readers we have a ton of books. At any given time I have about 100 books I want to read at once which we all know isn’t possible. But with those 100 books I usually have a few in mind that I want to read (unless I’m in a mood reading phase). Currently I have 6 books that I have my eye on to read next, and one that I am desperate to show up on Edelweiss so I can download it and the read the crap out of it.

On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Published by Delacorte Press
Published: April 5th 2016
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Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

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On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)Wait for Me by Caroline Leech
Published by HarperTeen
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Set on a Scottish farm in the spring of 1945, Wait for Me begins as Paul, a severely burned German prisoner-of-war, is sent to the farm to work. Lorna, the farmer’s teenage daughter, soon discovers that in wartime, your family and your allies might not actually be your friends, and your enemy might turn out to be the love of your life. Lorna’s friendship with Paul, and their developing love for each other, is challenged by Lorna’s own prejudices and by the intolerance of her soldier brother and her friends in the village. Ultimately, the events which bring peace to Europe will tear Lorna and Paul apart. What will Lorna have to give up in order to find Paul again?

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On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)Caraval (Untitled, #1) by Stephanie Garber
Published by Flatiron Books
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Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

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On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Harlequin Teen
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For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

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On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)For This Life Only by Stacey Kade
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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A young man struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother in this gripping, coming-of-age tale about loss, redemption, love, and the moment you begin to see the world differently.

Three minutes.

Jacob Palmer died for three life-changing minutes.

And when he woke up, nothing was the same. Elijah, his twin brother, is dead, and his family is broken. Jace’s planned future is crushed, along with his pitching arm. Everyone keeps telling him that Eli’s in a better place, but Jace isn’t so sure. Because in those three minutes, there was nothing.

Overwhelmed by guilt and doubt, Jace struggles to adjust to this new version of the world, one without his brother, one without the certainties he once relied on. And then Thera comes into his life.
She’s the last girl he should be turning to for help.

But she’s also the first person to truly see him.

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On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)Wrecked by Maria Padian
Published by Algonquin Young Readers
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Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school’s investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible--especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.

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This is the book I am desperate to show up on Edelweiss. I’m about half way through the first and I need more!

On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)Corruption (Disruption, #2) by Jessica Shirvington
Published by HarperCollins
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The thrilling finale to bestselling author Jessica Shirvington's Disruption series.

How do you live with yourself when you've deceived the one you love?
How do you move on when the person you've been fighting to save betrays you?
Two years ago, Maggie Stevens began the hunt.
Four weeks ago, Maggie's world fell apart, when she finally found what she'd been looking for. And when Quentin, who had blindly trusted her, unravelled her web of lies.
Now, Maggie lives in the dark. But she's not about to stay there. Not when she still has to bring M-Corp down. Not when there is still a chance she could win him back.
In the exhilarating conclusion to Disruption, Maggie must do whatever it takes to show the world the truth. And the price for her quest?
Everything.
But for who?

What are the books on your radar?

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Review: The Distance from A to Z – Natalie Blitt

Review: The Distance from A to Z – Natalie BlittThe Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
Published by HarperCollins
Published: January 12th 2016
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five-stars

This full-length novel by debut author Natalie Blitt is a pitch-perfect blend of Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally that proves the age-old adage: opposites attract.

Seventeen-year-old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to wear baseball caps and jerseys every day.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between who she is and who he is is worth the risk.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I have been waiting a really really long time for The Distance from A to Z to come out. I’m a huge sucker for cute contemporary romances and I was told that this was a mere book by someone that read an early copy. But as excited I was for reading it I was weary when I saw it billed as a book for Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally lovers. To me those are hard shoes to fill. Stephanie and Miranda are two of my favorite YA contemporary authors and people so I did take pause. I knew I was going to read it but I did so with lower expectations. Now I can tell you I was wrong to do that because if you love Perkins and Kenneally you really will love The Distance from A to Z. So fun and fantastic.

I will admit if I was going to mark this book down for anything it was the French. There was a lot but the translations were always there so I couldn’t even fault the story for that. I mean French was a huge ‘character’ in the book so it made sense it was in there. Now the baseball thing in the other hand…give me all the baseball. I’m a huge huge fan on baseball so I loved that that was the thread through the story.

I loved the setting being on a college campus in New Hampshire. There is something about putting high school kids in a setting with less supervision that helps to make stories like The Distance from A to Z work for me. These kids were good and didn’t get into too much trouble so it made it make more sense that they had the amount of freedom they had. Plus I loved the trip that was thrown in. That really added to the story. It all was just written really well and just worked.

Zeke and Abby. Abby and Zeke. I flipping loved these two. They had that kind of friendship/relationship that I love reading about and watching in TV and movies. There was a natural chemistry and push pull. They had things in common but were so different in so many ways.  Because of those differences I fell in love with them. I constantly found myself wanting more of them and when I finished I wanted to know more of their story.

And then there was Alice and Abby’s brothers. They were all parts of the story but in the sidelines. We got to know a lot about them through Abby but I wanted more of all of them. Abby’s family sounded like so much fun (especially as the baseball fan I am) and Alice has a story that needs to be told. I loved her relationship with Abby. As people say soul mates don’t have to be romantic and Abby and Alice proved that.

This book was just what I needed. Actually I have said more than once that I feel like it was written for me. It had everything I love in a book and it left me wanting more. After 300ish pages, which I read 97% in a sitting, I ended just wanting more words. It was fun and emotional and just really well written. I had high hopes when I heard about this one and Natalie Blitt did not let me down. Don’t miss this really great book.

Currently Natalie has a promotion going on for us readers to get #MoreAtoZ. Check out this post to find out how to get an epilogue and a bonus scene!

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The Distance from A to Z – #MoreAtoZ

 The Distance from A to Z – #MoreAtoZThe Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
Published by HarperCollins
Published: January 12th 2016
Buy on Amazon
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This full-length novel by debut author Natalie Blitt is a pitch-perfect blend of Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally that proves the age-old adage: opposites attract.

Seventeen-year-old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to wear baseball caps and jerseys every day.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between who she is and who he is is worth the risk.

distancefrom

We want more A to Z!

Natalie Blitt’s debut book, The Distance from A to Z, has hit the shelves and the reviews are in. The consensus? Readers want more! They want more of the two main characters they fell in love with. Well fans you are in luck.

Natalie Blitt is going to give us all exactly what we want but we have to give her something in return. What is that something? A review on Amazon (you are welcome to review anywhere else as well, but for the number to count towards the goal it much be posted on Amazon).

Here’s the extras options:

If The Distance from A to Z gets 30 reviews on Amazon Natalie will release a deleted scene on her website

If The Distance from A to Z gets 50 reviews on Amazon Natalie will write a short scene that takes place within six months of the last scene of A to Z and post it on her website.

If The Distance from A to Z gets 100 reviews on Amazon Natalie will write a real epilogue that… doesn’t take place in the United States.

I don’t know about you, but seems really doable to get more of this fantastic story.Help us spread the word and share this on social media with the hashtag #MoreAtoZ! And post those reviews!

*level 1 has already been reached! You can read a deleted scene HERE
*level 2 has been reached! You can read a short “after the end” scene HERE

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Blog Tour: The ABCs with Emmy from Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway and Robin too!(Giveaway)

Today we have a special edition of The ABCs brought by a character in Robin Benway’s newest book Emmy & Oliver. The book is out in stores now and is fantastic! (My review is HERE). You can find out more on the book and enter the giveaway below. But now let’s welcome Emmy and Robin to the ABCs!

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Emmy:

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Accessories: Gold surfboard necklace
In EMMY & OLIVER, Emmy is a great surfer who’s been keeping it a secret from her overprotective parents. I feel like not only would she absolutely love this necklace, but she could wear it without her parents discovering her secret. Plus, it’s really cute. Her best friend Caro would probably ask to borrow it sometimes.

Books: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Emmy gets a lot of books from Caro’s big sister Jessica, and I could see Jessica giving Emmy this book because not only does it have a cool cover, but one of the main characters, Jude, is a surfer like Emmy. Emmy would totally forget to give it back to Jessica because she ends up liking it so much.

Clothes: Beach cover-up
Not only does this shirt list all of Emmy’s favorite beaches, including the ones where she surfs, but it’s also a great cover-up after being in the water all day. It’d probably end up wadded up in the back of her minivan (the only car big enough to hold her surfboard)​ because she loves it and keeps with her all the time. She definitely does NOT let Caro borrow it, either.

Robin:

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Accessories: Caffeine Molecule necklace
I don’t wear much jewelry except for necklaces, and right now, I’m in love with this one. I could have caffeine near me 24/7! Living the dream!

Books: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
I’ve been dying to read this book for over a year, so I’m thrilled that it’s out now! It’s at the very top of my summer reads list.

Clothes: Book Tour Belle dress
Whenever I do book events, I love wearing dresses. They make me feel professional and pretty, and they’re also a nice change from wearing yoga pants all day while I work from home. (Not that I ever do that. Ahem. Moving on.) But I love the flower pattern on this dress, and I might get it for the EMMY & OLIVER launch party at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena on June 24th. Plus, the name of the dress says it all!

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Blog Tour: The ABCs with  Emmy from Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway and Robin too!(Giveaway)Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Published by HarperCollins
Published: June 23rd 2015
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Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy's soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life. . . . She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents' relentless worrying. But Emmy's parents can't seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart. . . . He'd thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who had kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing, and his thoughts swirling.Readers who love Sarah Dessen will devour these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver's father's crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

About Robin Benway

I'm the author of "Audrey, Wait!", "The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June", and the AKA series. My new book "Emmy & Oliver" will be released on June 23, 2015. I live in Los Angeles with my extremely stubborn shih tzu, Hudson. I've gotten a lot better at cooking. I still love coffee. We should be friends.

Also, I never use this Goodreads account, so if you'd like to contact me, feel free to find more info at my website!

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Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
6/23 – Mundie Moms
6/24 – Reading Teen
6/26 – Andi’s ABC’s
 
Week 2:
6/29 – Stuck In Books
7/3 – Fiction Fare

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