Review: Time for the Stars – By Robert A. Heinlein

TftS
Cover image and summary from Goodreads.com

Title: Time for the Stars

Author: Robert A. Heinlein

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 of 5)

Genre / Pages: Sci-Fi / 256 pages

Summary: Travel to other planets is a reality, and with overpopulation stretching the resources of Earth, the necessity to find habitable worlds is growing ever more urgent. With no time to wait years for communication between slower-than-light spaceships and home, the Long Range Foundation explores an unlikely solution–human telepathy.
Identical twins Tom and Pat are enlisted to be the human radios that will keep the ships in contact with Earth. The only problem is that one of them has to stay behind, and that one will grow old while the other explores the depths of space.Always a master of insight into the human consequences of future technologies, this is one of Heinlein’s triumphs.

My Review: Man, this was a weird book. Yeah, I know, Heinlein practically specializes in weird, so I shouldn’t be surprised. But Time for the Stars was it’s whole own category of strange… But I liked it. Also, this book was published in 1950. That’s crazy to think about! Over 60 years since it’s publication, and this unusual book still fascinates sci-fi readers today. Myself, most certainly included. Heinlein’s

Hero/Heroine: Our two leads here, identical twins Tom and Pat are fascinating, and a refreshing change from the cliche way that twins are often portrayed in novels. Tom and Pat aren’t just in constant competition – frankly, they don’t even like each other very much when our story begins. They are fun characters to read about, and their morals are deep and complex.

Plot: It’s hard to explain the allure of a Heinlein book to someone who has never read one before. His writing is masterful, and his plots are slower paced than what you will see from 21st century writers. But the slow pace is to their benefit, and you never lose interest in the story at hand. They’re nearly impossible to put down, and frankly I find it charming. We follow our young heroes as they begin to experience the consequences of FTL travel, and what that means to them and those they left behind. At the same time, you are experiencing the daily monotony of life on a spaceship that only sees one major battle. The story is not monotonous, though, and you become truly invested in the character’s lives and interactions. Just like with Star Trek. Except there are near constant battles in Star Trek… So, probably not by best comparison, but, whatever.

And, for reals, y’all: THAT ENDING THOUGH. I was in shock for hours! It was crazy.

Content Advisory: An intense battle scene involving significant loss of life. This is a story featuring teenage boys, so there is also romance and some kissing.

To Sum it Up: Heinlein’s storytelling is timeless, charming, and reminiscent of a different age of literature. Time for the Stars is a fun, thought provoking sci-fi adventure that explores FTL travel, telepathy, and what life on a spaceship really means. I recommend this book to readers ages 10+.

Review: Tournament at Gorlan – By John Flanagan

23846048
Cover image and summary from goodreads.com.

TitleTournament at Gorlan  (Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years, #1)

Author: John Flanagan

Rating:  ★★★★★ (6 of 5)

Genre/Pages: High Fantasy / 364

SummaryWhen Halt and Crowley discover that the ambitious Morgarath has been infiltrating the Rangers in order to corrupt the Corps, the young Rangers travel north to find Prince Duncan, seeking a royal warrant to stop Morgarath before it is too late. By weakening the Rangers, the most powerful force in support of the King, Morgarath plans to steal the throne.

Yet when Halt and Crowley arrive in Gorlan, they discover just how close Morgarath’s scheme is to success. Morgarath has a plan to discredit the Prince and alienate him from his father. At the same time, the Baron of Gorlan has been conspiring to win the trust and admiration of the Council of Barons to further his plan. If the young Rangers are to prevent the coup from succeeding, they will have to tread a dangerous path, which leads them to a thrilling climax at the annual tournament at Gorlan, where a series of bitter duels must be fought and won.

This origin story brings readers to a time before Will was an apprentice, and lays the groundwork for the epic battles that will culminate with The Ruins of Gorlan and The Burning Bridge—Books 1 and 2 of the Ranger’s Apprentice series.

My Review: It’s John Flanagan. It’s Ranger’s Apprentice. IT’S HALT O’CARRICK. Need I say more? Of course I adored this book!!! Also, I went to a release party for this book. Check it out, me as Alyss, with the creator himself (He personally apologized to me for what he did to Alyss):

Screenshot 2016-02-04 at 10.41.11 PM

Hero/Heroine: Halt and Crowley. HALT. AND. CROWLEY. They are the dream team! Partners in Sass and Coffee and Crime. They are perfect in every way. The banter and team work is wonderful. And getting to better understand the characters and their back stories was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.

Plot: Halt and Crowley. Rogue Rangers. Prince Duncan. Araluen. Archery. Humor. Battle. Heroism. Laughter. Tears. THIS BOOK IS PERFECTION. Seriously. One would think that after having read 17ish of John’s books, his plots would get repetitive, predictable, or boring. But they haven’t! And they don’t! Not many prequels live up to the original series, but this one certainly did. Getting to better understand the characters and world that I already know and love was an incredible experience.

Content Advisory: Death, violence. Not graphic. 

To Sum It Up: If you’re wondering: Who’s Alyss? What’s with that weird dress? What is a Halt? Then don’t start with this book. The first in the series is called The Ruins Of Gorlan, and it’s phenomenal. Now, if you HAVE read the RA books, then you have GOT to read this one, because it is worth every single moment you will spend on it. I recommend it for ages 10+.

ARC Review: The Break-Up Artist – by Philip Siegel

 

Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to goodreads book page.
Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to goodreads book page.

Title: The Break-Up Artist

The Break-Up Artist will be released May 1st. It will be available for purchase via Amazon HERE in one month! Make sure to buy it! :)

Author: Philip Siegel

Summary: Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples. 



After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via paypal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.

One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she’ll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.

No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy.

Genre/Pages: Fiction/319

Rating: ★★ (4.5 of 5)

My Review:  

First Paragraph: Couples are made to be broken. That’s what my sister, Diane, told em when I started my business, and she knows better than anyone. “Don’t get duped like I did, Becca,” she said almost a year ago, as she shoved her wedding dress into a garbage bag. She’d had it designed to look like Kate Middleton’s, lace sleeves and everything. It’s a shame nobody saw her wear it.

I’ll be honest. Going into this book, I thought I’d hate it. Obviously, I didn’t. I mean, really? That cover’s not very good, and the synopsis sounded like every book I’ve ever hated. Your typical “Never-had-a-boyfriend-strong-independent-woman-who-don’t-need-no-man-hates-everyone-with-a-significant-other-thinks-all-men-are-evil” female lead who’s whiny and a jerk to her friends because she has a serious victim complex. Then girl meets boy, hates boy, but gradually falls in love with boy, forbidden love deal, they live happily ever after, boring teenage romance novel. 

But I was wrong. That’s not what it was at all. Even though it felt that way to start, it gets better, I promise. So much better.

I received an ARC via the amazing Literary Lushes in for an honest review.

Hero/Heroine: As I previously stated, you just roll your eyes at every idiotic statement Becca makes in the beginning of the book (and don’t even get me STARTED on her sister!!!), SO cliche. SO boring. SO predictable. Or so I thought. Boy, was I wrong. Becca (and even her sister!) really grows on you. She is a flawed heroine, and at first you assume you know everything about her and her motives. But as the book goes on, you learn that you can’t judge someone based on your immediate assumptions. Becca grows a lot, and learns the consequences of actions. And the “Hero”. I’m not gonna name names, but let’s just say, once more, you can’t judge someone on your immediate assumptions. There’s a lot more to him than meets the eye. Die-hard romantics may not like this book, because it defies all cliches, and flat-out makes fun of your stereotypical YA romance novels.

Plot: This was the best part! It’s what you’d expect of a Gallagher Girl in a public high school. Becca makes a living breaking up couples – secretly. She has to be inconspicious, and unexpected. Her twisted methods of discovering what a person most fears in their significant other, and then making it come to pass our pure GENIUS. Becca is a master of sabotage and slander. Waiting to see what she came up with next was probably my favorite part. But the main romance? Let’s just say (as I’ve said a million times already) this book is NOT your average YA romance. Everything that’s never happened in one of those, happens here. It’s all about girl-empowerment, how you don’t NEED a boyfriend to complete you – but sometimes, just sometimes, true love is possible.  The plot is complex, and completely unexpected, but in the end? Absolute perfection. You are on the edge of your seat, as the plot slowly unravels around you, and everything begins to fit into place…

Content Advisory: Maybe 10 or 15 minor cuss words. BS, the B-word, the S-word, the H-word. Some sexual innuendos. Mention of a condom. Mention of rumored sex. A fair amount of under-age drinking, getting drunk, etc. A lot of kissing, though nothing graphic. Frat party, not very graphic.

To Sum it Up: So far, this review has probably made about zero sense, so here goes: NO CLICHES, everything is unexpected, and yet amazing! Girl empowerment, but you can still have a boyfriend! It teaches real morals for real girls. The plot and character development are amazing! Really? I LOVED THIS BOOK. First YA Fiction Romance I have honestly enjoyed. I highly recommend this book to 13+.

Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it? 

Top Ten Books On My Fall 2013 TBR List

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this meme is all about making book-ish lists of your "Top Ten"s!
Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this meme is all about making book-ish lists of your “Top Ten”s!

Top Ten Books On My Fall 2013 TBR List

(Not Necessarily in the Following Order)

Okay, let’s be honest. When I say “Top Ten Books on My Fall 2013 TBR List”, y’all know what I really mean: “Top 10 Fall Releases That I Will absolutely DIE if I do Not Read ASAP!!!” Well. Now that we’ve got THAT sorted out, with no further ado, my TOP TEN for SEPTEMEBER 17th (AKA, my Birthday! Hello.)

 

What? That was eleven? Psh…

What’s your Top Ten for this week?

Top Ten Things That Make Your Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this meme is all about making book-ish lists of your "Top Ten"s!
Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this meme is all about making book-ish lists of your “Top Ten”s!

Top Ten Things That Make Your Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier

(Not Necessarily in the Following Order)

Goodreads. Definitely. I keep a log of the books I’ve read starting from 2011, and have currently logged 567 read books.

Other Bloggers. Particularly Deb at Debz Bookshelf and Aneeqah at My Not So Real Life. They helped me a lot when I was first getting started!

WordPress. I’ve tried using other sites. Blogspot, and my personal least favorite, Wix. But WordPress is just amazing.

Libraries. Okay, seriously? I’d be broke if I tried to run a book review blog AND buy all the books I read. (The fact that I have about 300 books in my room, and a whole other room floor to ceiling bookshelves? Not relevant here.)

Amazing Authors. Having great books to review makes for easy reviewing!

Well… That’s all I can come up with, but they are LIFESAVERS. I know I’m not a perfect blogger yet, but I’m getting there, I hope. Keep your eyes out for a giveaway! Hopefully one’ll be coming soon! :)

Top Ten Turnoffs.

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this meme is all about making book-ish lists of your "Top Ten"s!
Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this meme is all about making book-ish lists of your “Top Ten”s!

Top Ten Words/Topics That Will Make Me NOT Pick up a Book

(Not Necessarily in the Following Order)

Zombies. BIG turnoff for me. It’s been way overdone, and is typically VERY un-original.

Forbidden Love. Sorry, but no. Not happening. Definitely not happening. Forbidden love gets old, really fast. And It’s really quite predictable. Innocent, socially-awkward girl meets creepy dark stalker dude, but falls in love with him anyway. And runs off with him. And lots of other stuff.

Love Triangles. Sorry, but not happening. I have read WAY to many love triangles. Maybe the first few I read  were good, but after that? Puh-lease!

Anything with “Bones” in the title. Okay, so I admit, this one’s pretty stupid, and I don’t even do it consciously. But it definitely takes me quite some time to get around to reading a book with ‘bones’ in the title. Something I really am trying to fix.

Apocalyptic. Okay, so this one isn’t a sure turnoff for me, but it is starting to be way over-done… so if we could pull back a little on the end-of-world jazz, that’d be great.

Really Long Series’. *Cough, Wheel of Time, cough* Maybe I’m not the best one to talk about this (Ranger’s Apprentice, 12 (short-ish) books. Work and the Glory, 9 HUGE books) but, at this point and time, if I’m at the library, and I see this book that looks interesting, but there are 10 other HUGE books next to it. Sorry, but no. I’m really in the mood for some good ol’ stand alone books. (Margaret Peterson Haddix!). But no one writes stand-alones anymore. *sigh*

“Fans of Twilight and The Hunger Games Will Love This Book!” Now, I’m not saying anything against either series. I liked Twilight (#1) and I LOVED Hunger Games (#1 & 2), but combing the two? You get an over-done, apocalyptic love triangle. BUT, not every book compared to either series is like that. I’ve read some great, completely original novels that are frequently compared to HG (Divergent).

Religious Bashing. I’m fine with reading religious novels, and a lot of times, I love them! But any book, that puts down or bashes or lies about ANY religion (even if it’s not mine) is a book I will NOT be reading, thank you very much.

Journal-Entry Format. No, just no. A book that starts at the climax, and does the whole “let me tell you how I got here” thing. I hate them so much. And far worse, are the ones done in journal-entry format. I’m sorry, but my suspension of disbelief stops there. No one, I repeat, no one can or even wants to write that much in their daily journal. Some books in journal-format, I have read  and thoroughly enjoyed (Book of a Thousand Days) but most? Not happening.

Well… That’s really all I can think of. On average I am a very open-minded person, to pretty much any genre out there. Biography, Non-Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy, High Adventure, even Mystery. Very few things will actually turn my away from a book.

What’s your Top Ten for this week?

Gallagher Girl 6 Countdown!

W ell… I tried to post the fancy Countdown widget Ally Carter’s site made, buuut… it didn’t work. Obviously.

You CAN check it out HERE, though!

Cover image and summary from Ally Carter.com Image links to goodreads book page.
Cover image and summary from Ally Carter.com Image links to goodreads book page.

Who won’t live to see graduation? The epic conclusion to Gallagher Girls. United We Spy. In stores in 68 days, 9 hours, 52 minutes, and 39 seconds.

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie-and her country-forever.

Get ready for the Gallagher Girls’ most astounding adventure yet as Ally Carter’s New York Times best-selling series comes to breathtaking conclusion that will have readers racing to the last page.

I can’t wait!

Review: 52 Reasons to Hate my Father – By Jessica Brody

9791906
Cover image and summary from goodreads.com, image links to goodreads book page.

 

Title: 52 Reasons to Hate my Father

Author: Jessica Brody

Summary: Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.

Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteen birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

Genre/Pages: Fiction/340

Rating: ★★★ (5 of 5)

My Review: Okay, I’ll admit it, when I first saw this book, I was not sure what to expect. And whatever I did expect, was nothing like what I got. What I got was 340 pages of full-on FUN.

When spoiled-brat heiress Lexington Larabee’s father tells her she has to work to get access to her trust fund – 52 jobs, nonetheless! – she is shocked and furious. Lexington Larabee made for quite a fantastic protagonist, she was really (dare I say it?) relatable, in a way. Yeah, she was spoiled rotten, but you could understand her, and root for her.

Content Advisory: Quite a bit of clubbing and getting drunk – always shown with negative consequences – and one drunk scene of very passionate kissing, stopped before anything more could happen, and shown in a negative light 

To Sum it Up: The plot was fun and quite enjoyable, and all in all, I loved it. It was pretty much a ‘fluff’ book. I mean, sure, it had great morals and laughs, but overall? It was just a lot of fun. 52 Reasons to Hate my Father is definitely a Young Adult book, and I highly recommend it to 13+.

Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it? 

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

3

Hey guys! I’ve got to apologize for the recent lack of posting – I’ve been crazy busy lately, and things have just gotten on top of me. I’m working on signing up for my college classes in the fall, and just trying to get my summer schedule figured out. I’ve got a lot planned for this summer, not the least of which is READING! Lots and lots of books. Anyway, I promise to post reviews soon. I’m going to be at camp for the next week, so they won’t be up until next week, but, until then, a little update:

Just Read & About to Review:

Currently Reading:

About to Read:

AND! If that’s not enough, I just hit 100 Followers, which I think is cause for… celebration! There will definitely be a fantastic party/giveaway when I get back! :)

That’s it for now! I’ll be back in a week I promise.

~Lynette♥

Throwback Thursday – The Uglies Series

throwback_thursday

This is hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books. This is an amazing weekly meme dedicated to showcasing older titles that we miss and deserve to be put on others’ TBR piles.

My Pick of the Week:

Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to goodreads book page.
Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to goodreads book page.

Title: The Uglies (#1-4)

Author: Scott Westerfield

Book One Synopsis:

Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to “the Smoke” and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The “Special Circumstances” authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 1596

Published: Feb. 8th, 2005 – Oct. 2nd, 2007

I read in: April, 2011

This is one of those books that I picked up as a new YA reader, and was absolutely hooked! I LOVE Sci-Fi books that are futuristic science, but not outer-space-type (I love that too, but not always as much). The ideas and morals behind this book are incredible, and the writing style and characters? Just “bubbly!”. Oh, gosh. I can’t believe I just said (typed?) that. Anyway, if you haven’t yet read Uglies, I highly recommend that you do. It’s amazing. So much fun. I loved them a lot.

Join in on the fun! What’s your Throwback Thursday book of the week?