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* * This contains spoilers in brackets and white text * * 

Oh my god, you guys! This is an amazing sequel. Really everything I want in a good sequel. The characters are great, the story is interesting, and the writing is wonderful!

Allow me to explain.

In Prodigy we are back with June and Day, on the run from the Republic and looking for the Patriots, where they think they’ll find safety. The Patriots are happy to help June and Day, as long as the pair is willing to do a job for them in return. The job: assassinating the new Elector. They agree, but emotions are high, and there are things that the Patriots and the Republic are keeping from the pair. Will the assassination go off without a hitch? Or, will it all fall apart?

So, the first thing I want to say about this book is that it’s written wonderfully (yeah, I said that already but whatever). June and Day’s voices are both distinct, with June’s years of military making all of her descriptions detailed down to the number of tiles, feet of a room, to the types and styles of clothing. While Day’s is…well, I’m not too sure how to explain it. It’s definitely more…ground level. He’s not technical, more…informal (not necessarily written informally but he speaks like a “normal” person). It’s great. I do like the blue of Day’s text much more than the yellow he had in Legend which was much harder to read. (I do wonder how the red text he’ll most likely have in Champion will look). On a related note I do like how Day has colored text. It’s like…he’s got all this life in him, you know? He’s got all the color and round lettering while June, who is more technical and analytical, only get’s neat black and sharp text. It’s…it’s nice.

The characters also take a step up in this book. June and Day are in top form here. Their relationship is really connected to everything they do in this book, even though they spend much of it apart. [One thing I really like towards the beginning is that Day confesses his love to June and she doesn’t say it back to him, unsure if she does, shocked that he said it to her. And at different points in the story different characters ask do either June or Day love each other, some even pointing out the fact that they’ve known each other for such a short amount of time they’ve known each other or all of the things that happened in the first book]. I also do enjoy the continuing of Day looking for his brother and the different dreams he would have about his family. June’s dreams about her brother Metias were always heart breaking to read. [The reveal about Metias being gay and in love with Thomas did bring a level of tragedy to the fact that Thomas stabbed him, but it does exist in that whole “dead queers”/“bury your queers” trope which can upset people, so there is that].

The relationship between Day and Tess was also soul-crushing. Day’s description of Tess and how she’s changed from that little girl he met on the streets to the young woman and medic. Her feelings about Day are made obvious and the friction between them over Day’s relationship with June was thick. The way that ended made me put the book down for a few minutes, so I could think about it. Kaede really got the time to shine in this book, giving her a bit of depth that she didn’t have in the first book. The new characters, Razor, Anden (the new Elector), and a handful of named Patriots were all great, even the ones we weren’t supposed to like. 

[Though Anden is supposed to be like…twenty years old and is also clearly romantically into June who is only fifteen! That is just too creepy for me and I hate it. Like, Anden was a good character but that just really upset me. I hate it each time it comes up in fiction because it never really…feel natural. Not like two people falling in love (or in like) while dealing with the fact that there’s a huge age gap between them. I think the story could be done well, but I didn’t like it here].

The plot, oh, the plot. The twist towards the end was well set up, but I totally didn’t see it coming. The end was also nice. Sometimes I do get tired of stories where once the hero(es) win the old government is completely torn down and a new better one rises up. It’s nice seeing that all of that takes time and can’t be done over night.

MAJOR SPOILER FOR THE ENDING:

[WHY THE HELL DIDN’T DAY TELL JUNE THAT HE WAS DYING? Seriously, while most of the book was good but that fucking ending really pissed me off and changed to rating from a 4 star to a 3.5 star. Like, seriously. Why, why did he break up with her? Sure, there are hints, from June’s side anyways, that with the fact that June led to the death of Day’s family and the capturing of Eden, and that that wasn’t something he could get passed, but still! Why the hell didn’t he tell her and explain? What the fuck is with that! Jeez man.]

All and all, this is a great follow up to Legend and if you enjoyed that book then I highly recommend this one.

My rating 3.5/5
 
[ As seen on my goodreads: link ]
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* * This contains very minor spoiler * *
 
So I finished Jala's Mask and came away liking it well enough. The writing is, overall, good. One problem I think fantasy (and science fiction) can fall into is being too descriptive. Yes, I know, details help flesh out the world, but I do think there can be something as too much detail that can slow down the story. Jala's Mask, fortunately for me, doesn't fall into that trap. But, there were times where I actually wished for more details. Mostly in the later half of the book where the plot really kicks in.
 
Honestly, I think this book would have benefited from being at least two books. I know, I know, with so many series out there have a stand alone book is a nice break. But I think that another book would have really helped some of the problems I found with the writings. Especially in the later half of the book! (view spoiler) And we could have learned more about the Five-and-One Island's culture and customs.
 
Though I did really enjoy the fact that LGBT+ people were treated as normal as everybody else. And none of the LGBT+ characters we met/got a name in the book were killed off which is nice change from other things I've read. There was another little thing I like about how a person's gender didn't really matter for one's profession. Like there are men and women sailors. Like after Jala becomes Queen and a married couple comes up ask for her blessing and gifts. And the wife is a sailor who ask for something practical while the husband ask for something decorative so that he could look pretty/nice for his wife on their wedding day. It was a small moment but it made me smile.

All and all I really liked this book and am glad I brought it. Would recommend to people who like fantasy but are also looking for something different from the medieval European based fantasy.

My Rating: 3.5/5

[ As seen on my goodreads: link ]
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Wrote this awhile ago actually.

So I just finished reading Marie Lu's Legend and wow. I really enjoyed this book an it was an incredibly quick read.
 
The story is about a young woman’s, June Iparis, searching for her brother’s killer, believed to be a young man named Day. Along the way she discovers damning information about the people around her as their paths crossed and lived intertwined.
 
I’m not too sure how my description of the plot does the book justice but I assure you the it was very entertaining. I think one thing this book really has going for it was the world building. It’s detailed enough to give us a good idea of everything and how it looks– it also helps that the setting is Los Angeles in the Republic of America but still. You just get such a good sense of the setting and the broken system. I could gush for a while on about the world building but there are other things that I like about this book. That would be the characters!
 
Well, the two main characters and a few of the side characters.
 
June and Day are two sides of the same coin. They’re both very smart and have a wide variety of talents. Reading in the characters’ voices was really great to see how they think and operate within their respective worlds; high society and a street rat. They both have such distinctive and funny voices that I couldn’t put the book down.
 
My favorite secondary character is a man named Thomas. There’s just so much to his character. His disdain for people in the poor sectors is so real and I enjoyed any time he came up in the book.
 
But this book not perfect.
 
The thing I find that doesn’t work so well in the book and made me giggle the whole way through was the “romance” between June and Day.
 
Now, I’m not opposed to romance in YA books. But I think there’s a time and a place and a speed for things like that and I’m not sure there was time for it here. It all felt too fast; they acknowledged each other as attractive and then…BAM! There’s mention of meeting parents!
 
That was all just way too fast for my taste.
 
But I do recommend this book to fans of YA dystopic novels. It’s an awesome read.
 
My Rating: 4/5

[ As seen on my tumblr: link ]

[ As seen on my goodreads: link
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I read Unwind awhile ago and re-read it not too long ago to write a review on it. Around the first time I read that book I fell in love with it and didn’t know about any sequels. So imagine my surprise and glee when I discovered UnWholly.
 
A summary:
 
“Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.
 
Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.
 
Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live.” (taken from Goodreads)
 
This book is wonderful. Out of the sequels I’ve read lately (The Scorch Trials and Crossed) it is the best. There’s development of the characters, the new characters were interesting and added to the story rather than made me roll my eyes, and the things I learned about unwinding were interesting and make me want to know more! It’s everything I want in a sequel.
 
I’m not too sure how long after the first book this takes place but we start off with a brand new character named Starkey, who I love to hate. I’ve seen him described as a charming sociopath and while I don’t know to categorize a sociopath I can definitely say that he is smart, but only out for himself in the end, really to trample all under foot if it’d help him in some way.
 
Connor, my dear, sweet Connor is dealing with a lot in this book. He’s in charge of the entire Graveyard, working hard to keep all the kids safe and alive until they’re past the legal age of unwinding I like that Connor’s much more focused on planning thinking before he acts. Makes sense with the events of the last book and with the fact that he’s in charge of a ton of kids. But the weight of the world is on his shoulders, at least he thinks so. He’s simply thinking too much and has very little confidence in himself as a leader. But he works so hard and I really just wanted him to succeed! One thing I really liked was the relationship between Connor and Risa. It never over powered the overall story but it still effected these two leaders and it was so real, their concerns and frustrations rang very true for those characters.
 
Lev and Miracolina were also the best. Watching his relationship with her and how it grew in the short weeks (I think it’s weeks). The end of that relationship was perfect in my opinion. Couldn’t have done better.
 
Then there’s Cam, the rewound modern Frankenstein monster. A lot of stuff with him centers around whether or not he’s human or has a soul. I’m not going to talk too much about it because I think it’s best experienced first hand while you’re reading it.
 
Some plot reveals in this book kind of step away from pro-choice and pro-life stuff, moving in a new direction. I’m interested but I kind of wish Shusterman explored that a bit more. Anyways, onward to the third book!
 
My Rating 5/5

[ As seen on my tumblr: link ]

[ As seen on my goodreads: link ]
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I’ve read Unwind a couple different times now and I absolutely love it each time I read it. Neal Shusterman did such a good job creating this whole world with it’s broken system and…just, everything! I think it did such a god job.
 
The book starts sometime after the second Civil War. The war was over reproduction rights and the compromise was Unwinding– where the parents have to keep the child until they turn thirteen. Then between thirteen and eighteen they can be taken a part, their parts being donated to other people, that way they’re not ‘dead’. We meet our first main character, Conner, and he’s being sent off to be Unwound for being unruly. Our second main character, Risa, was “Stroked”– left on the door step of a family, like some kind of adoption– as a baby and was living in a Orphanage. She’s being sent off because she can’t continue in her profession and the last main character Lev is a Tithe (I believe that’s what it’s called) who was basically born to be Unwound. And they are all on the run.
 
I want to say that I really like the characters in this book, even the asshole characters. That’s never really happened before, there would be characters I didn’t care about or something of that nature but here, I love them all. Watching the main characters grow and change; going from being reckless to a leader, naive to someone who’s more street smart. The writing is also pretty good, it flows well and even all of the future stuff is well explain and explained simply, which I really like. It makes things easy to understand.
 
But one of the best things about this book I think is the world building. It’s detailed but not too detailed. I mean that, the story wasn’t bogged down with explanation,  it was natural within the text. You barely notice it. Which I think is a good thing, to not call attention to it.
 
I hope that makes sense.
 
But really, I love this book and I suggest that you all read it. Now, I’ve seen people talk about whether this book is Pro-life or Pro-choice and I’m not going to give my opinion on this matter. Pick up the book and decide for yourself!
 
Rating: 5/5

[ As seen on my tumblr: link ]

[ As see on my goodreads: link ]

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