The Here And Now by Ann Brashares, 4 stars

TheHereAndNow_front-cover-mediumI’m probably one of the few people who didn’t read the traveling pants books, so at first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this one. I’m glad I did. All time travel books suffer from the unavoidable confusion that comes from time travel, and this is no exception so it may not be for everyone but I really liked it.

Prenna is an average girl, except she’s not. She’s a time traveler from a future where things are really not going well. In her time a huge portion of the population has fallen victim to a blood plague. Now, this may make the book sound dystopian, but that future is only referenced, never seen. The bulk of this book is about Prenna figuring out her place in our time and how cute boy Ethan fits into her world.

This book managed to blend Prenna and Ethan’s budding romance perfectly with the adventure going on. A lot of the time romance overwhelms a book like this but I never felt that here. The adventure and mystery they are involved in is revealed with perfect timing so that just when you’re starting to figure something out it is revealed to the characters and you experience the ‘ah ha!’ moment together.

For most of the book they don’t dive too deep into time travel and the consequences of it, aside from the rules Prenna and the other travelers are forced to remember and abide by. However, in the last few chapters the consequences of time travel (multiple time lines, different immunities, different germs) come hard and fast and you really have to pay attention in order to understand it all.

Overall a book that was exciting and hard to put down and pulled me through the gambit of emotions. Would recommend to anyone with an interest in time travel and light romance.


Zombies, Zombies, Zombies

ZOMBIES-zombies-32590100-580-380It occurred to me last night that I am being overrun by zombies right now. I mean that in the good way, not the bad flesh tearing, being eaten alive kind of way. I’ve been catching up on The Walking Dead, reading Zombie Youth by H.E. Goodhue, listening to Horde by Ann Aguirre, and next up is Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick. I mean, phew! That’s a lot of zombies. Am I tired of them? Heck no, especially since there is still so much life left in them! (Ha ha) One of the best things about zombies right now is that everyone is taking the basic gist of them, and giving it their own twist.

Walking Dead- You got your basic shamblers, slow moving dead whose main power is numbers. One on one, this is pretty much no contest, but you’ll be hard pressed to run into just one.

Zombie Youth- You got shamblers here too, a ton of them, but you also have stalkers. In this world (which I’m only about halfway through) some people have reacted to the virus that caused this by turning into fast, vicious, snarling, almost animal- like creatures. These zombies tend to move on all fours and one can easily take you down.

Horde- You got smart, fast moving zombies here. These guys are evolving, they are starting to live in family units complete with kids because these zombies are actually mutants, so they can procreate and pass those mutated genes along. So now you have smart-ish monsters bent on eating you, good luck there.

Monsters- You got fast, smart zombies. In this series no one quite knows what the hell happened. There were e-bombs, electromagnetic pulses, and nuclear reactors, some combination of all that and who knows what else killed almost everyone, left a ton of teenagers as zombies and gave a few survivors extrasensory powers. Again, these are smart zombies you would not want to run into.

See? In four zombie scenarios you have so much variety in the zombies alone, forget about everything else going on in the story. You have different zombies, with different causes for the change and different weaknesses. Sure, the last two aren’t strictly zombies because they aren’t actually dead, but to me if it moves like a zombie and wants to eat human flesh, it’s a zombie.

So why do all of these stories continue to appeal? To me it’s the humanity of it all. Something like a zombie outbreak happens and people band together. They put aside every petty difference they had before and they stand unified against a new enemy. But then there is the bad side of humanity too. In my mind if this happens, obviously the more people who work together the better, but no. People always have to disagree and fight over resources and be the same crapheads they always are. But those aren’t the stars of these stories, the stars are the good guys and I love reading their journeys through the dead wastelands.

So why aren’t you tired of zombies yet?

Looking for a new zombie read? Check out the first two chapters of by book Prime here


Crewel by Gennifer Albin, 4 Stars

11556960Ahhh, I love when I finally read a book that I’ve been putting off and it turns out to be awesome. I don’t know why, but I was kind of scared of this book. I was sure it would end up to be super lame. Nope, it was super awesome.

Albin builds a great dystopian world that feels kind of like home, but isn’t. Right away you know things are bad and they’re just going to get worse. The MC is taken off to become a spinster, which sounds lame but is actually the women who keep this world twirling, but turns out there is a lot of corruption in this world. I was surprised, were you surprised?

It had moments of The Selection, moments of The Hunger Games, and moments of most other books in that vein, but it brought it all together in a new fun way that wasn’t too heavy on the love triangle. I’ll give an automatic five star review to the next dystopian book I read WITHOUT the mandatory love triangle.

Really looking forward to seeing where the next one goes!


Beneath Angel’s Wings, 5 stars

angelsWow, this book was so much more than I expected. I snatched it up from a free to review list because it was the best sounding of the lot, but honestly I wasn’t completely excited. But then?

I read it in three days.

I took a short day at work so I could come home and finish it before my plans that night. Yup, that happened.

As another reviewer said, this is written very simply. There is no flowing prose, no ‘snow falling like gentle kisses’ or anything like that. There is some telling instead of showing and you know what? That’s all fine with me because I felt more for these characters than I felt during my recent read of Boy meets Boy by a much bigger author.

This story felt very real. The simple style made it feel more real because it was like a few dudes telling you their story. They aren’t trying to come out in a perfect world and they are met by people who accept it, people who hate it, and people who need some time to come around to the idea. A very real portrayal of coming out, at least in my experience.

Simply written as the descriptions may be, the characters themselves are wonderful. I quickly was drawn into Adam’s struggles, I championed his champion, Angel, and even the characters with smaller parts came through as completely three dimensional.

Overall an easy read that will make your heart soar for young love and all the trials that come along with it.