History Is All You Left Me | Review

history is all you left me

GENRE: YA

PAGE COUNT: 320 PAGES

“People are complicated puzzles, always trying to piece together a complete picture, but sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’re left unfinished. Sometimes that’s for the best. Some pieces can’t be forced into a puzzle, or at least they shouldn’t be, because they won’t make sense.”

Synopsis:

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.
If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

“Time doesn’t heal all wounds. We both know that’s bullshit; it comes from people who have nothing comforting or original to say.”

I’m not sure what I expected when I started this book, whatever it was I was wrong. History Is All You Left Me is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring and filled to the brim with quotable prose. I was really giving my posts it a work out through this book. Silvera’s writing is somehow both beyond beautifully poetic and completely relatable.

Griffin

“I’ll never understand how time can make a moment feel as close as yesterday and as far as years.”

Griffin is a character who you meet in the middle of one of the hardest events life can through at us, the death of a loved one. Not only that, but he is suffering from OCD which is getting progressively worse from the moment we are introduced to him. I was very impressed by the way Silvera portrays Griffins character throughout the novel. He goes through a range of emotions and is at times, selfish and hard to empathise with. Around the middle of the book I honestly hated the character, and felt more for other characters in the story. I’m pleased to say I changed my tune and was both surprised and proud of the character by the end of the story.

“There’s nothing wrong with someone saving my life, I’ve realized, especially when I can’t trust myself to get the job done right. People need people. That’s that.”

Theo

“History is nothing. It can be recycled or thrown away completely. It isn’t this sacred treasure chest I mistook it to be. We were something, but history isn’t enough to keep something alive forever.”

Theo is interesting to read about because we only get a sense of him through other characters memories of him. I found it a very interesting way to get to know a character. Reading the book you go from knowing this idealised version of a person to understanding that he was just a boy, who was loved by a great many people.

“I was in love and love died and the pain you’ve left isn’t pain I can see myself having the strength to face again”

I’m not going to talk to much about the other characters as I want to keep this a spoiler free review. So I’ll just say this. History Is All You Left Me is a book that will have you on a rollercoaster of emotions. I kept expecting one thing to happen and continued to be beyond surprised, and I mean it. I was literally gasping out loud at multiple points throughout the book. For this reason, and for all the lessons you will take away from the book. I strongly recommend it.

“I was right about not being able to control my own surprises, but I was wrong about how good these surprises could actually be for me. Every time a new old song comes on, I’m being resurrected. This is the true power of history. Old memories and feelings are being revived, and I’m not complaining. It’s like I still have the fatigue that got me to quit the song in the first place, but I don’t mind being woken up to it for a little bit.”

RATING:

★★★★☆

Oh and have tissues on hand, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

“I’m sorry, but please don’t be mad at me for reliving all of it. History is all you left me.”

The Lightning Thief | Book Review 

The Lightning Thief
GENRE: FATASY/YA
PAGE COUNT: 375 PAGES

“My name is Percy Jackson. 

I’m twelve years old. Until a few months ago, I was a boarding student at Yancy Academy, a private school for troubled kids in upstate New York.

Am I a troubled kid?

Yeah. You could say that.” 

BOOK SYNOPSIS:

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. 

“Right,” she said, “We’re going to the Land of the Dead and I shouldn’t think negative.”

Another one bites the dust! I have just finished The Lighting Thief and I am beyond impressed. I admit I thought the book may be to young for me and I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as if I had read it when I was younger. I’m glad to report I was completely wrong! Rick Riordan writes much like J.K.Rowling, with both children and adults in mind. While I was reading I didn’t once feel like I couldn’t relate to the story or characters, which was a wonderful surprise. 

“How did you die?”

“We er….drowned in a bathtub.”

“All three of you?”

“It was a big bathtub.” 

Throughout the book I laughed, got teary eyed and cheered Percy on from where I sat on my bed. Having a much less interesting adventure then Jackson. Percy is a very mature twelve year old, and while reading I had to keep reminding myself he wasn’t an adult. His moments of humour and bitting sarcasm aided in reminding me of his youth as well. Percy  is a brave, loyal, and hilarious character whose growth throughout the book was a joy to behold. I can only imagine what is in store for him in the next book! 

“If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself.” 

“Even strength must bow to wisdom sometimes.” 

Annabeth is the wise, kickass female character I always pray is within the pages of whatever book I’m reading. She is an excellent counterpart to Percy’s character and is another character of whom clearly grows throughout the book and reveals herself to be an equally loyal friend to Percy. Though I spy a romance in the future I’m glad the first book isn’t about that, and sets the foundation of friendship. Making Annabeth more then just a love interest, but an essential support in his quest. 

“The real world is where the monsters are.” 

The Mythology is the element of the book that I can see keeping me hooked for many novels to come. I have been a fan of Greek, Roman and Norse Mythology since I was in primary school and have a large collection of books on the subject to prove it. The way Riordan weaves the myths into the story is exciting and clearly well researched. I found myself getting giddy with each reference to Nymphs, Olympus and of course the Gods themselves. 

“It’s funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality.” 

The invention of Camp Half-Blood is ingenious and I adored reading each moment spent there. Being completely enthralled by the imagery Riordan so expertly creates in the readers mind. Naturally I found myself wondering which cabin I would want to stay in myself, and obsessively reading the pages for more information about all aspects of the camp.

“The real world is where the monsters are.” 

“Hades raised an eyebrow. When he sat forward in his throne, shadowy faces appeared in the folds of his black robes, faces of torment, as if the garment was stitched of trapped souls from the Fields of Punishment, trying to get out. The ADHD part of me wondered, off-task, whether the rest of his clothes were made the same way. What horrible things would you have to do in your life to get woven into Hades’ underwear?” 

This book flew through my fingertips as a clamoured to read each page to find out the fate of our heroes in this journey. I can honestly say it’s a journey with a brilliant finish and I cannot wait to pick up the next book. The hints of whats to come has set of an excitement that will not be quenched till I have that hot little book in my hands! Please don’t follow my lead and let the fear of this book being to young for you stop you from reading it any longer. It’s one of my favourite books I’ve read this year!

“Names have power.” 

RATING:
★★★★★

Gemina By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | Book Review 

Gemina book review

GENRE: SCI FI/YA
PAGE COUNT: 659 PAGES
“Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.” 

Book Synopsis

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home.

Oft! My Emotions! Kaufman and Kristoff have done it again. A sequel that is just as enthralling, poetic and gut wrenching as the first! I’m so shook after finishing this book. It’s very rare these days that a sequel can hold a candle to the first book in a series, let alone have it be just as brilliant. 

It is clear to me that both of these authors excel in creating unique and compelling characters that the reader will find impossible not to fall in love with.

“And now, born from the ashes, she’s a warrior in bloodied black.” 

Hanna Donnelly is nothing short of completely badass. She is intelligent, charming and could absolutely kick your ass. Hanna is easily just as endearing a character as her counterpart from the first book, Kady. However the authors have managed to make her, her own individual so you don’t feel like you are reading book with the same female lead. Though this one is as equally kickass as the first. 

“You might get only one shot. So shoot. You know who said that?”

The rifle clatters to the bloody floor.

“Hanna FUCKING Donnelly. That’s who.”

Gemina owes it’s brilliance to the fact that it keeps all the elements that people loved from the previous book, the witty characters, brutality of events juxtaposed with poetic prose, the rare format the story is told in (classified documents, censored emails, interviews, and others) and adds new elements which makes it stand out as it’s own story. I also particularly enjoyed finding references to the characters of the first book throughout Gemina.

“This tiny moment. In between the time you decide to pull a trigger and the time death arrives. There’s just you and it and everything you’re about to take away. It’s too big. It goes forever.”

Nik Malikov is another character you’d be hard pressed not to enjoy. He certainly hasn’t had an easy life, yet he is completely charming, cheeky and entirely resourceful. His character stands out for me as he’s very different to anyone we have seen in the series so far. The House of Knives storyline is another great part of the story. It demonstrates one of my favourite things about this series, the multiple interlocking stories and surprises that could have entire books of their own. 

“It’s not about what I say, right? It’s what I do that matters here.” 

Kaufman and Kristoff  have done a wonderful job of creating the stereotypical sweet-as-pie heartthrob character Jackson Merrick. Think Stefan Salvatore, Edward Cullen. For this reason I’m not that drawn to his character.. I’m never team the cookie cutter good guy. Maybe that says something about me. For this reason, in this particular love triangle, I’m defiantly team Malikov. 

I can’t say too much about the plot as I don’t want this review to have any spoilers, so I’ll just say If you haven’t started your journey into the Illuminae Files you need to start now. Seriously, what are you doing right now? Run to your nearest bookstore now!

 

 

“Her eyes shining with the light of it. 

Beneath, between, beyond.

Along the endless circle.

Down the ceaseless spiral.

And waiting for her on the other side? 

Just like he promised.

“A whole sky of different stars.”

RATING:

★★★★★

Illuminae By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Review

Illuminae By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Review

GENRE: Science Fiction/YA

PAGE COUNT: 599 PAGES

“You have me. Until every last star in the galaxy dies. 

You have me.

Book Synopsis

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations 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, exes Kady and Ezra – who are barely even talking to each other – are forced to fight their way onto the evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit. 

But the warship is the least of their problems. 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 the hell is 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. 

I have been hearing about this book for a while now, people are very, very passionate about this series and after reading it last night I completely understand. Illuminae is Starwars meets The Walking Dead meets 2001: A Space Odyssey.  It’s also a super fun read, which is impressive, considering the complete emotional shitstorm you endure over the course of its 599 pages.

The book is told via various interviews, recovered documents, IM Chats and more. The style makes the book a stand out for me as I’ve never read anything like it before. It’s visually stunning as well- the artwork is truly transformative in this novel. The formatting makes the book an absolute page-turner, that makes me feel like a space detective. Always a plus.

 

While reading you question all of the details present and are aware that some may be missing. More importantly, have things been left out intentionally? The book is like a puzzle the reader can interpret as they wish. I will be rereading this in the future to pick up on whatever I missed. I believe a great book should be readable multiple times with the reader still discovering points they missed the first read. Illuminae nails this perfectly.

Aside from the writing style the story is completely heart breaking and enthralling, and superbly character driven.

“I am frequently underestimated, I think it’s because I’m short”

-Kady Grant

Our main character is a classic everyman hero, completely relatable, bitingly sarcastic and charmingly youthful. In what can only be described as the literal worst day a person can have, she remains strong, and fights till the very end. If you are looking for a seriously kick ass female empowering character, you have found her. Kady has empowerment in spades.  She also happens to be an amazing hacker, you could say it’s her superpower. This talent sets her out as a unique kind of hero and I found her very relatable and was cheering her on from my reading nook throughout her journey.

“Let’s try really, really hard not to die”

“He presses the triggers. And like roses in his hands, death blooms.”

Ezra Mason is the modern day Patrick Verona (10 Things I hate about you), seriously, he gave me major Health Ledger vibes throughout the book. He brought a lot of the comedy and lighthearted moments in the novel and is another character who is very easy to love. He’s certainly not perfect, which makes him all the more endearing. He’s an extremely loyal character that complements Kady’s character well.

“Its like a beautiful painting of a totally empty room”

Illuminae will take you on an intense emotional journey. Laughter, loss, conspiracy, twists, tears, friendship, space, death, love – it has it all, and more.

Overall this book is a definite favourite for me and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the series! I was very emotionally invested and finished this book in a day as I simply refused to put it down. The lost sleep was well worth it, I cannot recommend this book enough! If this has been on your TBR for a while, do yourself a favour and pick it up. I can guarantee you wont regret it.

“I hear her whisper their names as seventeen depleted uranium rounds punter her full tanks and scatter her across the void”

Sidenote… The Authors are Aussie’s! I don’t seem to have a lot of Australian authors on my bookshelf currently which is definitely something I need to remedy!

Some quotes that have stuck with me and give me all of the feels;

“Endless darkness shot through with tiny spears of sunlight older than you and your entire species” 

“Lines like poetry, she doesn’t move in space, she dances in it”

“All of it happening in perfect, absolute silence”

“Promises are just words, they don’t mean a thing”

“All this in the time it takes god to blink”

“Glittering fragments spinning out into forever”

RATING:

★★★★★