Review

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. 

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I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman are the king and queen of sci-fi. After their amazing Illuminae Files, I really could not have imagined they could outdo themselves. Yet, here we are.

Aurora Rising is everything I could ever have asked for in a sci-fi novel. It’s like Star Wars and Stargate meets The Breakfast Club, with a healthy dose of epic fantasy thrown in for good measure. From the moment I got my hands on my copy I was barely able to put it down. Non stop action, excitement, and FEELS.

 

Tyler Jones is the star pupil of the Aurora Academy. He’s a straight laced golden child who works hard and is dutiful, respectful, and passionate about his duty. When graduation day comes and Tyler is ready to choose from the best of the best for his own squad, he instead finds himself missing the ceremony in favor of saving a mysterious girl lost in space.

Now Tyler has been left with the bottom of the barrel as his crew. The absolute last group of individuals he would have chosen for himself.

There’s Tyler’s twin sister Scarlett, a snarky beauty who can talk herself out of any situation. Tyler’s best friend Cat, a badass pilot with a big heart. Awkward genius Zila who struggles to understand people and also has a habit of shooting her crewmates. Adorable mechanic Finian, an alien boy who flirts with anything that walks (I love him). And space elf warrior Kal, who comes across condescending (he is a little) and aloof (also true) but who really is a giant sweetheart. Then there’s the big reason they were all thrown together, the girl Tyler risked his life to save: Aurora O’Malley.

Aurora has no idea what’s happening to her. All she knows is there’s something mysterious and terrifying happening to her and Tyler and his crew are the only ones who can help her figure it all out. Even if that means they have to put themselves in danger for a girl they barely know against an evil they never could have imagined possible.

These characters really make the story. Each one of these little misfits is so unique and more than they seem. I love every one of them. There’s just so much heart and growth in this story.

I’ve always had a lot of love for the idea of found families, and Aurora Rising really drives that concept home. It takes a gaggle of misfits who don’t seem to fit together and throws them into situation after situation that would test anyone. And instead of falling apart, those trials push these misfits closer together. It’s truly beautiful.

As far as the sci-fi aspects themselves go, I couldn’t have asked for more. There’s an incredible and cohesive mix of tech and cultures and a natural progression of humanity through their years of space exploration. The whole thing is just so well done.

Even if you’re not a fan of sci-fi literature in general, the sheer amount of heart and struggle and character growth in this book makes it the kind of story anyone can be swept away in.

star-ratings

(Why can’t I give a book infinite stars???)

Aurora Rising will be released on May 7, 2019 ❤️

P.S. I tried really hard to pick a favorite character and I just couldn’t. I would seriously die for any of them.

XO Kerry

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: 7 Books That Did NOT Need a Sequel and 3 That Did

tttHello, lovelies and happy Tuesday!

This week’s theme was standalones that should have had sequels, but I’ve come to realize that I haven’t read many standalones. So I thought I’d switch it up and list books that had disappointing sequels instead. Then I realized I couldn’t think of 10 books that fit that bill, so I switched it up again. Because why not.

Here are 7 books I feel didn’t need their sequels, followed by 3 standalones that I’d love to read more of.

Let’s get started!


7 Books That Did NOT Need a Sequel


1. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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I loved Vicious so much but Vengeful was so disappointing. The plot was great, but the way certain characters were handled was awful and left a bad taste in my mouth. I really think Vicious would have been best as a standalone.


2. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

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Okay, I was a little underwhelmed by this one, but it wasn’t terrible. The second book, however, was awful. I got barely a third of the way through before DNFing.


3. The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse

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This is a bit different. I don’t necessarily think this book shouldn’t have a sequel, just not the sequel it has. This trilogy could have been so much better.


4. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

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Okay, I love this whole series, and pretty much everything Cassandra Clare has written, BUT I can’t help but think The Mortal Instruments was perfect as it was when it was just a trilogy.


5. Lead by Kylie Scott

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Here comes a huge helping of salt, y’all. I love this series, I really do. But the last book, Deep, was so massively upsetting and disappointing that it’s only rare times like this that I even acknowledge its existence. Seriously, I hate that book.


6. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

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Shiver wasn’t bad; I enjoyed it for the most part. I just don’t think it needed a sequel.


7. The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

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I’m gonna try to write this without getting too worked up. I loved The Mara Dyer trilogy. Like, a lot. Noah Shaw in particular has been one of my favorite book boyfriends for a long time. So, when I heard that Michelle Hodkin was writing a sequel series revolving around him I was so excited. And the first book, The Becoming of Noah Shaw, was pretty good. Then I was given the chance to read an ARC of the second Noah Shaw book, and I swear a part of soul died, y’all. I was so disappointed in that book. It was just awful. As much as it hurts me to admit, I genuinely think she should have just stopped after The Mara Dyer trilogy.


3 Standalones That Deserve a Sequel


1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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This was one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read. I loved Ari and Dante so so much and getting to see their lives after the end of this book would be so great.


2. Under the Cat’s Eye by Gillian Rubinstein

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This is one of my favorite books from my youth, and I’ve always thought the world of this story was too fantastical and amazing to be confined to just one book.


3. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

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Okay, I know this isn’t really a standalone anymore, but the “sequel” doesn’t directly follow the story of Sky in the Deep. I’d give my left hand for more adventures with Eelyn.


Wow, this took forever to compile. I really did have a tough time finding the right books for this list.

Do you agree with my choices? What books would you most want a sequel to?

Thanks for reading and see you next Tuesday!

XO Kerry

Review

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

“How do you kill a god?

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“As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.” – Summary from Goodreads

 

Y’all, I love this book. This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 and, no surprise, the moment I got my copy I devoured it in about a day and a half.

This story hit me personally in a few different ways. Rasmira has been hurt, badly, betrayed by nearly everyone she cared about and sent out into the wild to die. Even upon meeting two other people banished from their own villages, she is relentless in her decision to never trust anyone again. Her journey of discovering her inner strength and confidence and learning how to take the bad things that happened to her and refuse to let them hold her back or define her is so inspirational. I teared up a few times as Rasmira grew and healed.

Her relationships with her fellow banished warriors is beautifully written. There’s a natural progression from wariness and distrust to strong bonds and even love. Not only does she learn to trust again and to accept help, she learns how to be a leader. I can’t tell you how much I loved her development and growth; it was just wonderful to read.

There’s an ultimate message in this book that I feel is the most important. No one should be forced to forgive those who have hurt them, even if they’re family. And no one should ever feel like they can’t cut out toxic family members from their life. Honestly, this is something I myself still have a lot of trouble with, but reading it is inspiring, and I hope that other people reading it will gain the strength to rid themselves of anyone who brings negativity to their lives.

“Each scar marks me as a survivor.  A Warrior of the Wild.” 

Rasmira’s quest is to kill the oppressive god who’s been terrorizing their people for centuries. While her personal growth takes a precedence in the narrative, her journey to  learn more about this god so she can eventually face him brings an interesting level to the story. There’s an underlying theme of systemic oppression and a flawed penal system that’s both unique to this world and still relevant to reality.

It’s been a couple days since I finished reading and I already want to reread it.

star-ratings

 

Uncategorized

Personal Update

Hi, guys!

I just wanted to make a quick little post regarding my recent lack of posts on here. I’ve been having a few off weeks again. Lots of sickness in the house (I myself have strep throat right now), and with my son’s schooling I’ve just been swamped and overwhelmed.

I want to promise that I’ll be more active soon, but I really can’t make that guarantee right now. All I can really say at this moment is that I’m doing my best, I’m regaining some regularity with my Instagram posts, and I’ll be doing my hardest to get back to where I want to be on here as well.

Until then, I love you all and I’ll still be around.

XO Kerry

tbr

March 2019 TBR

Hello, lovelies! I can’t believe it’s already a few days into March! I’ve been very busy and not feeling so well, which is why this post is a bit late. But, better late than never, right?

This is going to be a laid back month for me. I hope to read at least 3 books, more if I can manage.


In the order I hope to read the, here are the 3 books I aim to read, plus 1 more if I have time.

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro


Have you read any of these? Come tell me what you thought of them if you have!

XO Kerry

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Places I’d Like to Visit

tttHello, lovelies! And Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

It seems like every book lover’s dream to visit at least one of the amazing locales we read about. Especially when those locales are not in our own world. I myself used to daydream about discovering I was a long lost princess with hidden magic powers that some powerful being would come whisk away to a fantasy world straight out of one of my favorite books. And I know I’m not the only one who had this daydream.

Some days I wanted my letter to Hogwarts, other days I hoped to find a doorway to Narnia in my closet. The most recurring of all these was the dream that Peter Pan would show up at my window. I would have flown off to Neverland with him in a heartbeat. A part of me feels like I still would.

All of this is my way of saying that today’s TTT theme is a great one and it was incredibly hard to pick only 10 locations from books that I’d like to visit. Nevertheless, here they are, and for once I put them in a specific descending order.


10. The Oasis

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I’ve been a little obsessed with idea of full dive VR since I first started watching Sword Art Online, so it was a no brainer for me to be fascinated by the idea of an endless virtual universe.


9. Ravka

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Number 1 reason I want to be in Ravka: Grisha powers.


8. Wonderland

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Okay, so I love Alice in Wonderland and every incarnation and retelling, but to be perfectly honest, I would definitely not want to visit the classic Wonderland. Now, the Wonderland of Frank Beddor’s Looking Glass Wars trilogy? That’s more my kind of Wonderland. Still whimsical, but a bit darker, and a little more fantasy than psychedelia.


 7. Winding Circle

Circle of Magic by Tamora Pierce

I love everything I ever read about Winding Circle temple. Specifically I would love to live at Discipline cottage. The comfort and structure there always seemed so cozy to me. Little ADHD outcast Kerry would have benefited a lot from spending some time there.


6. Red London

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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First of all, this poster is gorgeous and I’m literally about to buy one. Anyway, the Darker Shades series is one of my favorites and I love everything about Red London/Arnes. I think I’d enjoy visiting there more than I would visiting real London.


5. Camp Half-Blood

Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan

What Percy Jackson fan hasn’t dreamed of finding out their a demigod and getting to attend the greatest camp of all time?

P.S. I’m a daughter of Athena


4. Hogwarts

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

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I’m still waiting on my letter to Hogwarts…. It’ll come eventually.


3. Corus, Tortall

The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce

So, no big secret, but little Kerry dreamed of being a knight when she grew up. Reading about Alanna and her journey to knighthood in Tortall was the most amazing experience. If I ever had a chance to train to be a knight alongside those amazing characters, I’d jump at it no matter how old I am.


2. Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Narnia was my biggest escape as a kid. The idea that I could stumble on a portal to a beautiful and magical world whenever this one started to suck helped me get through a lot of difficult things growing up. Many a daydream was spent having tea with Mr. Tumnus, riding through the forest with Aslan, and vanquishing ancient powerful foes with a magical sword.


1. Neverland

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

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Big surprise, Neverland is number 1. Peter Pan is everything to me and I really do think I’d run away to Neverland if given the chance. I mean, I’d definitely come back after a time, but I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity.


I love this list. It’s so warm and nostalgic and magical.

Which fictional location would you most like to visit? Come chat with me!

Thanks for reading ❤️

XO Kerry

Meme

Top 5 Wednesday: Love Interests I Would Have Broken Up With

TOP 5

Hello, lovelies! I’m really excited to have discovered Top 5 Wednesday via Lauren @ Narrative Paradise. Go check out her post, it’s great.

Now, let’s get started! I have a lot of feelings about a lot of characters so this is going to be fun. Warning! There may be spoilers below, so proceed with caution!


1. Matthias Helvar

Six of Crows

I wanted to like Matthias, I really did. But when you spend half the book calling the girl you supposedly love a witch and habitually insulting her people, there’s gonna come a point where you’re just not redeemable.

Nina deserved so much more. That sweet waffle loving cupcake deserved someone who would tell her every second of every day that she’s amazing. Because she is. No amount of character development could ever change the fact that Matthias was NOT good enough for her.


2. Edward Cullen

Twilight

TEAM JACOB 5EVER

For real, though, Edward always creeped me out at least a little. I mean, sneaking into a girl’s room to watch her sleep? Super creepy, bro. Not to mention he was controlling and obsessive and just overall not good for Bella.

Honestly, I’m not saying Jacob would have been better for her (I’m aware he’s not without his own flaws) but if I were Bella, I would have run screaming from Edward very early on.


3. Mal Oretsev

Shadow and Bone

Mal pissed me off so much throughout the whole trilogy. All the moping and moodiness over Alina, and all of it coming from some kind of deluded sense that she belongs with him. Especially after basically ignoring her for so long.

Alina should not have bothered with him. After he treated her like she was disposable, she should have just moved on and found someone who would treat her the way she deserved: by giving her as much love as she has to give.


4. Tamlin

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Not gonna lie, I loved Tamlin. Until I got to book two.

After Mist and Fury, I went back to Thorns and Roses and looked at Tamlin with a new perspective and I can’t believe how many red flags I missed. From the very beginning Tamlin was controlling and possessive and, frankly, abusive. He obviously got worse in book two, but he was horrible all along.

I don’t think anyone can blame Feyre for not seeing it, though. Tamlin is the kind of abusive, controlling boyfriend who makes it easy to confuse his shitty personality for just being very caring and protective.

Come to think of it, he has a lot in common with Edward Cullen.


5. Jonathan of Conte

Song of the Lioness quartet

What is it with fictional guys thinking they have some kind of claim on the heroine?

Yeah, Jonathan and Alanna had been very close since they were young and had been by each other’s sides the whole time, but that doesn’t give Jon the right to treat Alanna as if she was always meant to be his.

I don’t care that you’re a prince, get your head out of your ass and respect your best friend! She doesn’t belong to you, and the more you try to treat her like she does, the less respect she has for YOU.

I was so proud when Alanna basically told Jon all this and chose someone else. Someone who always let her know he respected her for who she is and what’s she’s capable of and that he would respect her decision, even if it wasn’t him.


This was seriously so much fun. I hope you enjoyed reading it!

I’m definitely looking forward to participating in more Top 5 Wednesdays in the future. ❤️