The Midnight Star – Marie Lu

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“None of us are saints. We can all do better”

The final installment in Marie Lu’s Young Elites novels. This one I liked better than the second. It was full of action, drama, and it was beautifully written.

I am again assuming that if you are reading this, you have read the first two. While I will try not to give anything away, there is always that a chance.

In this conclusion we find the Elites struggling with their powers. Some have become ill, some have gone mad, while others seem to be fairing okay. One of the Elites, Raffaele is aligned with the other elites powers and senses a deterioration. He concludes that they must give their powers back to the gods or have their powers kill  not only them, but their entire planet. In order to do this, they must make alliances with their enemies. A hard thing to ask to give up your powers, but harder still to travel with people you don’t think you can trust.

This book was a gripping, non stop conclusion to a great series. I can’t wait to see what else Marie comes up with next.

The Rose Society -A Young Elites Novel – Marie Lu

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I am going to base this review on the assumption that anyone reading it has read the first novel. It is hard to do review for a series of books if you can’t actually say anything for fear of giving too much away.

In the second installment of the Young Elites novels, we meet up with some familiar characters and meet some new ones. Adelina’s power grows stronger and her quest for revenge fuels her through out the entire book. She often loses herself and goes to a much darker side. I believe we see her more a villain than a hero in this book. The book jacket even mentions that briefly so I don’t feel I am giving too much away. She starts her own group, the Rose Society in an effort to overthrow the Queen and become ruler of the land.

The other group of Elites – the Daggers are here as well, all trying to stop the current Queen and her lead inquisitor from enslaving malfettos. (The queen is not loved at all)

The story has many twists and turns, it has some interesting dialog and gets into the power that lives in the elites minds. It moves the story line along and the introduction of new characters is great. However, I had a hard time with this one. I didn’t devour it as I did the first. I am not sure if it was a state of mind or just the book. I hope the third one is better and isn’t as slow going as I thought this one was.

So far, the first book is my favorite. I am looking forward to seeing what the author plans on doing with the characters and how she plans on ending the story.

 

The Young Elites – Marie Lu

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I love a good series, and this one promises to be one. I read her other series, Legends  and really enjoyed, so I already knew I would like her writing style.

The Young Elites takes place after a horrible sickness has taken over the land and killed or disfigured many people. Some people were lucky enough to live without being marked. Those that weren’t so lucky are called malfetto and are seen as something to be embarrassed by. Fathers have a hard time marrying off their malfetto daughters.  Adelina Amouteru is more than just a survivor and a malfetto she is also one of the children that is now in possession of a special gift. She meets up with others like her and they have a plan, put a stop to rein of the King and put the rightful King in his place.

The story takes place in a world like ours, but slightly different and it a time much like our 1400’s…which takes a bit getting used to if you aren’t used to reading fantasy novels. I liked this book (and will of course be finishing the series) because of the strong female lead, the rich descriptions and the character development. I feel like it was well done and keeps the reader engaged. I didn’t feel like it dragged in any parts.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing how things turn out for Adelina and her friends.

You will know me – Megan Abbott

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This book sucks you in an doesn’t let you go until you turn the last page. Even then, it is one of those books that you keep thinking about it.

How far would you go if your child was destined for greatness? How far would your family go? Your community?  Most of us would never have to answer that question. Most of us have children with ordinary talents who will maybe get a scholarship. The rare few that actually make it to the Olympics – how did they get there? What did they sacrifice? This book takes you into that world where everything is riding on one person, the hopes and dreams of a coach, the inspiration for younger gymnast, the pride and joy of the families, the jealously and bitterness of the parents with ordinary children. It also brings with it a secret, a horrid and life changing secret, that threatens the entire community.

If the book was just about the life of a gymnast it would have a been a good book, but it also weaves a tale of a mystery, a who done it and why. When the whole story unravels, you find yourself asking: would I do the same for my child?

The only complaint I have about his book is that the conversations were choppy. I am sure it lead to the mystery and intrigue of the story, but I found it hard to read at some points. No one asks a questions to their husband only to have them turn away without answering…at least not without a fight. There was a lot of conversations that never went anywhere, and again, I am sure that it helped with the mysteriousness of the story, but as I said, it was hard to digest a few times.

Over all – I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to picking up her other books.

The Chemist – Stephenie Meyer

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I had a hard time writing this review. I liked this book; and subsequently read through it in just a few short days. However, I can’t seem to tell you why I like it. I would definitely describe it as a fluff book, and similar writing style to her book The Host. (Which I also liked)It is a very quick read, with likable enough characters, and decent plot line. I guess the problem for me, is when reading a mystery, I never trust anyone, so I spend the whole time thinking, “It was her! She is behind it all.” Then I will switch once someone does something shady like go to the bathroom, “Oh my gosh! He is a double agent!” That kind of thing… So, I have hard time warming up to the characters when I think they are all evil. That may just be a personal issue. But, I did feel like I wouldn’t have cared so much had anyone turned out evil. It wasn’t like I would have been devastated. So that in of itself might be telling of the character development.

The story is about a girl who used to work for a special secret part of the government. She handles…getting information out of people, using a variety of interesting chemical compounds. And of course, she is very good at her job. When the government decides they no longer need her they set out to kill her, forcing her to go on the run and keep running and hiding for the rest of her life. She is contacted by a former colleague and offered a way to stop running. Do one more job.

The job isn’t so clear cut as she is lead to believe and now she is in even more danger than before.

The book is half romance/half mystery, I guess and although I am doing a poor job reviewing it, it is a decent book.  Unfortunately, no lines stood out to me on this one. I think this would be a good book to read when you are between intense books, or on vacation. Definitely not something I would bring up to your book club.

Doing Harm – Kelly Parsons

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Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons was a  very quick read. It was a wonderful told medical/murder mystery. The main character, Dr. Steve Mitchell is on set to be one of the greatest surgeons at the hospital he works for. He went to all the right schools, he works hard, is smart and cool under pressure.. He also has a little family that he loves more than anything. It all changes when someone murders one of his patients and warns him that if he doesn’t play in their sick game, more will die.

In a story that could play out like any other story, Mr. Parsons manages to weave an engaging and unique tale that keeps you reading way past your bedtime. I think what I liked most about it was the medical terminology. In his bio, it says that he is a board certified urologist – so the detail involved, from the medical rooms to the instruments, from the femoral artery to the effects of potassium overload…every detail is thought out and feels authentic. That is a good if not critical part to a good medical drama.

As always, lines stick out to me and one at the very beginning almost had me discard the book all together: “No more than your typical locker room talk.” In reference to a new hot medical student that had just started with team. After our current…president…decided to defend rape culture by saying that locker room talk is innocent, well it just hit a little close to our current issues. However, I have never shied away from a book just because the subject matter, choice of language, or context has made me uncomfortable. So I continued reading and I am glad I did.

I think people who enjoy murder mysteries, fiction, mystery or medical dramas will enjoy this book.

You don’t have to take my word for it though! From that master himseslf: “Best damn medical thriller I’ve read in 25 years. Terrifying OR scenes, characters with real texture.” ―Stephen King

You can’t get a higher honor than that!

Sister – Rosamund Lupton

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How can I even begin to explain the soul-shattering beauty of this book? This is a story of an older sister who finds out her younger sister has gone missing. She immediately hops on a flight and heads home to London to assist in the search for her. The story that unfolds tells of such love and devotion shared only by sisters. She goes through so many emotions in this book, all of which I read as I would, if I ever had to go through a similar thing. There were two lines that stuck out to me in this book that I think sum the story up more than I ever could. “I had not understood before why anyone would think a family whose child had been shot would want a teddy. But now I did; against the sound of gunshots, a thousand compassionate soft toys muffled a little their reverberating horror: ”  This stuck with me for two reasons: 1) it sums up Rosamund’s writing style beautiful. 2) I too had often wondered why people would leave teddy bears at crime scenes, it seemed so pointless. This made it a beautiful thing and I will forever look at them differently. The second quote: “For a moment I felt excluded from the threads of friendship that bind women together and which I’ve never felt I needed because, I’d always had you. ” That one hit me right in the soul. I feel exactly the same way about my sister. Best friends, sisters, soul mates, companions. You can’t properly express it in words because there are no words for a sisters love.

This book was beautiful written, heartbreaking, and another book that will live with me for quite some time. I would recommend it. After reading – go hug your sister.