My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s May 2016 Wrap Up

May 2016 Wrap Up

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (★★★★☆)

After a brief struggle with the first 100 pages of Sleeping Giants, I found myself fully committed to Neuvel’s plot involving ancient aliens and a giant robot. Told through a series of interviews and journal entries, the first book in the Themis Files is an exciting tale full of science, mysteries, mythology and a touch of humor, all collected by the enigmatic man at the center of it all. [READ FULL REVIEW]

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (★★★★★)

Sarah J. Maas has really stepped up her game with the second book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. A Hades and Persephone retelling, ACOMAF has tons more world building, even more amazing characters and a beautiful slow burn romance that will have you experiencing every possible emotion. I didn’t think I was going to survive the ending, and I don’t know how I’m going to wait a year to find out what happens next. [WATCH BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION] [READ FULL REVIEW]

Happily Ever After: A Companion to the Selection Series by Kiera Cass (★★★½)

Even though reading every short story tied to a young adult series seems like a chore, I keep torturing myself anyway out of some weird sense of obligation. As with most short story/novella bind-ups, I liked some of the tales in Happily Ever After and suffered through others. I did however appreciate the illustrations that went along with each story — even the ones I loathed.

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I’m Not Saying It’s Aliens: Cassie-la Makes Contact With ‘Sleeping Giants’ by Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants Book CoverSleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Format: Galley provided by Ballantine Books through NetGalley
Release Date: April 26, 2016
: Fiction, science fiction, robots, I’m not saying it’s aliens … but it’s definitely aliens
Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars

Summary: Seventeen years after 11-year-old Rose falls into the earth and is found cupped inside a giant metal hand, she heads up a top secret team to try and figure out the secrets of this mysterious artifact, whose carbon dating places it at 3,000 years old. In the vein of Illuminae — with less space stuff — Sleeping Giants is told through a collection of interviews, journal entries and other sources which finally answer the question: are we alone in the universe?

Not gonna lie, I almost gave up on Sleeping Giants. I’m not sure if I just wasn’t in the mood for science fiction or the format of the story threw me off, but after reading the first 100 pages, I almost DNFed this … But I’m really glad I didn’t.

So what got me to keep going aside from already spending time reading 1/3rd of the book? It was the origin story of how Neuvel went from self-publishing his novel to getting a movie deal with Sony in a mere month.

Also people really seem to love the story. And how could you not get engrossed in a tale involving ancient aliens and giant robots?

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My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s April 2016 Wrap Up

April 2016 Book Wrap Up

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine (★★★☆☆)

Loosely inspired by Snow White, The Shadow Queen follows power-infused mardushka Lorelai and dragon-shifting king Kol, who has been sent by the pretender queen to hunt her down. Full of characters I could care less about, too much action and dialogue that tried a little too hard, this is one fractured fairy tale a had a lot of problems with. [WATCH BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION]

The Winner’s Crime (★★★★and The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski (★★★★½)

I’m so happy I finished the beautifully written Winner’s Trilogy this month! While The Winner’s Crime is filled with horribly exciting twists at every turn, The Winner’s Kiss is the perfect conclusion to Kestrel and Arin’s epic star-crossed love story. Although the final book had a little too much action for my taste, the last 100 pages were absolute perfection.

The Moth and the Flame: A Wrath and Dawn Short Story (★★★★½) and The Mirror and the Maze: A Wrath and Dawn Short Story by Renee Ahdieh (★★★★)

Two more shorts stories meant to tide us over until The Rose and The Dagger, Renee Ahdieh’s second prequel follows sassy handmaiden Despina as she falls into a dangerous love affair with the charismatic Captain of the Guard, Jalal al-Khoury. While this is a more fun and lighthearted story, the final short is meant to bridge the gap between the two books in the duology and is told from Khalid’s point of view.

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My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s September 2015 Wrap Up

September 2015 Wrap Up

Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

I love love loved the first two books in the Throne of Glass series about a bad ass lady assassin living in a semi-medieval world. It has everything: romance, magic, monsters, and the complete ability to rip your beating heart out of your chest. I’ve heard it only gets worse from here.

Spider-Gwen Vol. 0: Most Wanted? by Jason Latour

While I’m not the biggest fan of Spider-man Peter Parker, I really do enjoy his alternate universe counter-part Spider-Gwen (AKA Spider-Woman) who made her first web-slinging appearance in Dan Slott’s Spider-Verse. She will return this month in Marvel’s All-New, All-Different comics.

Jem and the Holograms: Showtime by Kelly Thompson

Kelly Thompson, the author who caught our attention with her kick-ass story The Girl Who Would Be King writes this remake of 80’s animated series Jem. The artwork is adorable and I love the diversity, but the plots are definitely aimed at much younger readers.

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The Scorpion and the Goat: Cassie-la Pricks ‘The Scorpion Rules’ by Erin Bow

The Scorpion RulesThe Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (Galley)
Release Date
: September 22, 2015
: Fiction, young adult, science fiction, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, we could have had it all
Rating: 3.2 out of 5 stars

Summary: To prevent war following a catastrophic change in the climate, an AI working for the UN instituted an ancient peace-keeping measure: all world leaders must submit a child to be held hostage. If war is declared, their children’s lives are forfeit. One such hostage is Greta, the Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy, whose world is turned upside down by the arrival of Elián, a hostage from the Cumberland Alliance. Will Greta and the other Children of Peace keep war at bay or will their parents sacrifice their own for the greater good. And what do goats have to do with it?

Before I begin I have to say that I really wanted to like The Scorpion Rules — and sometimes I even did — but as with a lot of concept novels that deal with dystopian worlds and child murder (see also Dualed and its sequel Divided), it just didn’t live up to its premise.

The book begins as most dystopias do with an apocalypse, starting with the melting of the polar ice caps because yes Virginia, global warming is real. This rise in sea levels leads to a decrease in land, a loss of water and food, new diseases and plagues and a series of disputes calls the War Storms.

As readers we are not shown but rather told these events by a former human now a Class II artificial intelligence named Talis, a sassy entity and lover of the Terminator films who saved humankind from the War Storms, holding all of humanity hostage with their own mortality.

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I See What You Did There: Cassie-la Falls for ‘Cress’ by Marissa Meyer

latestCress: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, science-fiction, fractured fairy tale, robots, young adult, but I need to know how this ends now! ::sobs quietly::
Rating: 4.78 out of 5 stars

Summary: Cinder is still on the run from the nefarious Queen Levana, but now she has several allies, including the charismatic Captain Thorne, the genetically engineered Lunar soldier Wolf, Scarlet, the granddaughter of the revolutionary and Iko, the cutest little robot that ever was. With help from Lunar hacker Cress who has switched alliances after being trapped on a satellite for the past seven years, Cinder and company have a plan to stop New Beijing Emperor Kai  from marrying the Lunar Queen Levana who has plans to destroy humanity once she has claimed her throne.

Set after the events in Cinder (inspired by Cinderella), and the second book in the series Scarlet (centered on Red Riding Hood), Cress (the third book in The Lunar Chronicles) is inspired by the fairy tale of Rapunzel, the beautiful girl with long hair who gets pregnant because she doesn’t know how babies are made and ends up wandering the desert after her beloved prince is blinded by the evil witch. A witch who only locked Rapunzel in a tower in the first place because her mother needed to eat plants from the garden of a witch super bad.

I may be paraphrasing.

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