Book Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

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Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Published: 2013 by Simon Pulse
Pages: 405
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
IBSN: 9781442445802
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.
Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading the Program by Suzanne Young. I thought it was original and at the same time dealt with some tough topics.

The Program is a dystopian book, but it’s very different from most dystopians in my idea. The plot is very original, I’ve never come across a book that has a similar plot. It was also very well executed in my idea. It was a fast-paced novel that kept me hooked from the first few pages.

The book is about a society where teenagers are committing suicide, according to the book every 1 in 3 teenagers dies from suicide. For this reason, the government started the Program which should apparently cure depressed teenagers and stop them from committing suicide. Sloane is our main character and the people around her are dropping like flies, so to speak. She does her best to keep herself and her boyfriend, James, out of the Program.

I really liked the characters in the book. I found Sloane to be very relatable, she had a lot of issues but I cannot imagine going through the things she had to go through and still putting on a brave face.  James I thought was sometimes hard to understand and he was a bit hot and cold. But I liked his character more and more throughout the book because I felt like I understood him more. Reign was my favorite character. Even though I am team James all the way, I loved Reign’s character. He was nice and warm and he cared for Sloane. But he also had a bit of a mysterious side.

I am very excited to start the second book, the Treatment soon. I want to see where the series goes, though I am a bit afraid it may take the conventional dystopian road. I hope there are some unexpected plot twists to shake it up a bit.

I gave the Program 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed the book and will be continuing on with the series. However it wasn’t the most surprising books I’ve ever read.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Crown’s Game

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Title: The Crown’s Game
Author: Evelyn Skye
Published: May 17th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Pages: 416
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
IBSN: 9780062422583

 

 

 

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself.
As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose. (Goodreads)

I know I already talked about this book in my May TBR & exciting releases, but I am just soooooo excited for this one. I feel this is going to be an awesome book so it deserves all the attention it’s getting! I pre-ordered this book a month ago and I just cannot wait to get my hands on it and devour it!

TTT: Childhood Characters

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is childhood characters you’d like to revisit. Or characters you’d love to revisit ten years from now.

The characters I would love to read about 10 years down the line. I usually long for more at the end of a good book or series. I always want to witness the ‘happy ending’ for myself in a new book so that I am assured things don’t go horribly wrong after the end of the book. I know this isn’t possible and we’ll just have to trust the authors that everything ends happily, but sometimes I just need that little bit more. These are the books for which I need to witness that happy ending:

I would love to see a book written about Prince Maxon and America Singer after the selection. Maybe before they had their children. I loved the Selection series I was just a bit upset with the ending. I felt like the whole series led up to them finally being in love with each other and admitting it but we never got to see much of their happy time together, only in the Heir and then there wasn’t much attention fixed on them.

Same goes for the Harry Potter series. I would have loved to see a full-length novel on the gang’s children and their time at Hogwarts. I know I’m not alone on this one but that would have been awesome!

The Hunger Games, I would dieee for a follow up book about Katniss and Peeta. I would love to see what happens after the revolution and how the country builds itself back up. I want to see Katniss and Peeta live happily ever after and experience their love for each other when there are no restrictions or anything holding them back. I think it would make for an amazing book.

Now to answer the actual Top Ten Tuesday question of what childhood characters I’d like to revist as an adult. These are my seven picks:

Magic Tree House. I know these weren’t the best books ever, but I seriously loved them as a kid. It would be pretty cool if there was a more adult version of the series I think.

Charlotte’s Web. This book was awesome as a kid, even though I remember having to read it for school, I loved it.

Narnia, I think there are a lot of things in these books that I may not have picked up as a child. I think if we could see the characters a few years down the road that would be pretty awesome. Just thinking about this book really makes me want to watch the movie tonight 🙂

The Ramona series. I used to love reading these books, though I don’t really remember much of them now, I guess it would be pretty entertaining to read about Ramona and Beezus a few years down the road.

Bridge to Terabithia, I cried so hard for this book. I really would love to know how things are 10 years down the line. This book really opened me up to reading. I have such amazing memories of reading Bridge to Terabithia.

Matilda from Matilda of course. Who didn’t love Roald Dahl’s books growing up? I would love to see a snippet of Mathilda’s life after growing up.

Lastly, I’d love to see Max from Where the Wild Things Are as a grown up. I think this could make for a cool book and I would definitely read it.

What characters would you love to revisit in 10 years and what childhood characters would you love to see as grown ups?

May TBR and Exciting Releases

This month I have a lot of books that I really want to read. A lot of them are continuations or finale’s to a series and I just really want to know how it ends! I also have a few re-reads. These are the books I definitely want to get to this month. If I have time left over I will also try to get to some other books.

  • the Heir and the Crown by Kiera Cass
  • the Winner’s Crime and the Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
  • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

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As most of you know May is going to have so many exciting releases coming out! Here are a few I am especially looking forward to and most of them I have pre-ordered.

So these were all the books I definitely want to get to this month and the exciting new releases coming out in May. I cannot wait to get my hands on all of these gorgeous books!

What books are you hoping to read this month and which new releases are most exciting for you?

I really need to get a lot of books in this month because I am kind of behind on my reading challenge!

April Wrap Up

So this was my first full blogging month, and I loved it! I have totally fallen in love with blogging and posting my thoughts and feelings about books. I love it even more when I am able to talk to people about these books.

But because it was my first official blogging month I also read a whole lot of books! When I looked at my read pile for April on Goodreads I was shocked and so proud! Here I will just post the books I read this month and the rating I gave them (if I haven’t reviewed the book yet I will not post the rating)

So I read 11 books this month! Which is amazing! Of those 11, three were 5 star ratings. Now that I look at it I may upgrade the Jewel to a 3.5 out of 5 stars because I did enjoy that book more than the Selection books. I think I was too brutal because besides the instalove, I enjoyed most of the story and it was quite original.

I also dnf’ed (did not finish) two books, which I really don’t mind. I know a lot of people don’t like stopping books but I honestly believe that life it too short to read bad books.

Furthermore, I  haven’t reviewed the Program yet but it will probably end up pretty high on the list because I really enjoyed that book.

These were all the books I read this month. I think I can say I had a pretty great reading month! Let me know what books you read this month and if you read any of the books I read what you thought of them!

I will be posting my May TBR soon!

Book Review: the Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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Title: 
the Winner’s Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published: 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Pages: 355
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
IBSN: 9780374384685
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love…
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.
But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Wow, this is definitely my new favorite series. No doubt. I am actually kicking myself that I hadn’t found this book sooner. But on the other hand, I’m glad because I don’t have to wait for the next book to come out. I only have to wait two weeks until the second and third book get to me by mail, which is also waaay too long. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep away from spoilers for that long. I neeeeed to know what happens next!

I absolutely flew through this novel. It hooked me after two pages, after that I just couldn’t put it down. To start, the world-building in this novel was excellent. I understood and was intrigued by the whole concept. In this world, there are two communities, the Valorians and the Herrani’s. The Valorians took over the Herrani country ten years ago and have since then made the Herrani’s their slaves. The book follows our two main characters, Kestrel, a Valorian and Arin, a Herrani. Kestrel buys Arin at a slave auction and is then confronted with a developing friendship and the consequences thereof.

The romance in this novel was built up to very well, there is in no way instalove, which if perfect. The way Kestrel and Arin communicate with each other feels very real. The rise of the Herrani people in the novel also completely flipped the dynamics of the relationship which gave the book a whole other dimension. This is not a simple fantasy romance novel, it has so many political and social aspects which really intrigued me.

I love Kestrel’s character. In most novels the lead protagonist is a badass fighting machine and can kick any man’s butt. But I loved that in this novel Kestrel was a smartass. It felt very realistic and comforting to me that a woman can also beat many men by using her wits instead of violence.

Finally, this novel has one of the best plot twists that I have ever read. I just did not see that coming in any way and after I had put the book down I was just flabbergasted. I loved what Rutkoski did and I am so curious as to how this is going to play out in the second novel. But I am of course so routing for Kestrel and Arin. Anyway, I hope the books come in the mail super soon and I can marathon the rest of this series. I just really want to know what happens and how the story ends.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and I honestly believe it deserves 6 out of 5 stars. I loved it and I cannot wait to read the next books in the Winner’s trilogy.

TTT: Top 10 Bookworm Delights

This is a weekly feature hosted on The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is top 10 bookworm delights.

  1. Receiving new books in the mail, of course I think everyone loves receiving packages in the mail. But bookworms become especially excited when these are new books!
  2. That new book feel, we all know very well that a new book, just feels different. It almost hurts to have to start reading the book, but we just have to know the story. But as long as we don’t break the spine!
  3. New book smell.  I mean come on, what booknerd does not love a new book smell? I just can’t help it sometimes, the smell just reminds me of all the amazing experiences I’ve had while reading these books. I even found out this week that I love new (just built) bookshelf smell..
  4. Book discussions. I just love to be able to talk about awesome books with other awesome book people. Being able to share your feels and theorize what sequels might be like is amazing.
  5. BOOKMAILLL. Getting new books in the mail just rocks!tumblr_o232bpQyhf1u95rdno1_400
  6. Library books.  There is something magical about library books. For some reason it’s just so awesome to be able to borrow a book and then read it and be able to return it for someone else to read. Sharing is caring.
  7. Buying new books your wanted, on sale. For me this really isn’t different from when I’m buying clothes, either way it just feels awesome to find something you wanted in the sales section and paying much less than you would have paid for it anyway.
  8. Reading in bed on a rainy day. I love being able to snuggle up with a good book on a rainy day. And luckily for me, since I live in the Netherlands it’s usually terrible weather, so I get to enjoy this pretty often.
  9. Finding underhyped books, and being able to recommend them to people. This is just awesome being able to find an amazing book that people just aren’t talking about.
  10. Everything else book related.  To be honest, for me almost everything about books is a delight. Besides maybe papercuts. So anything related to books and stories really can make me  a very happy camper.

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Book Review: This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

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Title: This is Where it Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Published: 2016 by Sourcebooks, Inc
Pages: 282
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
IBSN: 9781492622468
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

 

 

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.
10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.
Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I was very excited about this book when I first bought it. I heard it was written by a dutch author and so as a fellow Dutchie I really hoped it would be a great book. But I was kind of let down.

The book deals with a very important issue in the United States, that being school shootings. Therefore, I was expecting a very heavy and accurate portrayal of these events and what effect that would have on the survivors. But instead, I got a cheesy kind of romance with a very fluffy description of a school shooting.

I found the book to be extremely superficial, this important and heavy issue wasn’t at all explored in depth and that for me was the biggest let down of the book. The description of the deaths that these characters witnessed was very very little and at most it described what the victims looked like, and not at all what kind of effect this had on the characters themselves.

Another thing that annoyed me about this book was that it was written in multiple points of view. That is something that if you use it, it needs to be well executed. Which, in this case, it wasn’t. I felt as though every character had the same voice so to speak.

Lastly, I was very disappointed in Nijkamp’s portrayal of the shooter. He was put away as the bad guy very quickly and there was no in-depth look into how he came to this decision. The shooter was extremely one dimensional. All the victims and survivors had extremely sad stories that connected them to the shooter and the shooter was simply the shooter. After finishing this book I had more questions than answers. I wondered how the shooter came to his decision, why he decided that this was the nessesary outcome of passed events, and what was the final straw that made him snap?

This book could have been great, amazing and influential. But in the end it was a fluffy sad story, with a black and white portrayal of shool shootings and an easy ending. It had no depth into important issues and was a let down. Considering this I gave the book 2 out of 5 stars, mostly because I really liked the book cover.

Book Review: the 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

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Title: the 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Published: 2013 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 457
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
IBSN: 9780399162411
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

First of all, I loved this book! I know most people saw it as an average book, I just don’t understand why? I found that even though this is an “overused” idea of an alien invasion, Rick Yancey gave it a unique twist.

I did find the book a bit slow in the beginning, but in the end I appreciated all the explanation that is given at the beginning of the book. This makes for a more fast-paced story at the end. I just could not put the book down the last 100 pages.

I usually shy away for books with more than one point of view, but in this case it really worked because it just gave different sides of the story. I also found that all the point’s of view had a different voice, which I imagine is very hard to do. I liked the way we could see the story coming together through these points of view.

I liked the character development in this book, it wasn’t too much but it also gave the characters dimension. At some points I almost felt like I was Cassie, I could sense why she made her choices and that is something I enjoyed. I also really enjoyed Zombie’s POV, it gave a nice insight into what the different outcomes for different people in the invasion were and it added an extra dimension to the story.

I would definitely recommend this book to people who love science fiction and books about aliens. If that’s not your thing then maybe this book isn’t for you. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it and gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Waiting on Wednesday: the Star-Touched Queen

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Title: the Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Choski
Publishing Date: April 26, 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
IBSN: 9781250085474

 

 

 

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget. (Goodreads)

I have heard so many good things about this book recently! A fantasy romance novel is always something I’m up for but in this case I’m super excited. It sounds like such a fast-paced novel with hopefully some political intrigue. I can’t wait until this book is out and I can get my hands on it!