They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

 

They Both Die at the End… Is it contemporary or is it sci-fi? This is the question that plagued me throughout the story. Obviously, it doesn’t matter. The story certainly emanates the intended message of seizing the day and I think that’s the most important thing. But… I found myself constantly distracted by the futuristic approach and this affected my enjoyment of the story.

Death-Cast is calling with the warning of a lifetime – I’m going to die today.

I also battled to connect with the characters whose lives on paper lacked depth, so I didn’t feel the emotional impact of their fate. This is crazy for me as I am probably one of the most sensitive readers, frequently sobbing over characters and ruining the pages of my books.

I turn around to tell Mateo everything but he’s gone.

The Decker element is also repetitive, explained over and over, and detracts from the characters personal stories. I liked the interaction of Mateo and Rufus’s friends throughout the story, but the periphery characters and the way they interweave through their last day seems contrived and, unlike their friends, ultimately didn’t add anything to the story.

And just like that, my last hope is obliterated.

This is my first Adam Silvera read and I am underwhelmed.  I gather from the outpouring of love on Social Media that mine is not a popular opinion *ducks*, and I am glad the book is well-loved by most even if it didn’t work out for me. I will definitely try another one of his books. Any recommendations?

It sucks that was the last time I’ll ever dream.

On a positive note; I love the personal note from Adam Silvera preceding the story giving perspective to the book – I wish more authors did this.

…I’m going to die today, and I am more alive now than I was then.2 Star

 

 

Title: They Both Die at the EndThey Both Die at the End

Author: Adam Silvera

Publication Date: 5 September 2017

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: Review copy

 

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On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Gilded Cage by Vic James

Gilded Cage 

Gilded Cage by Vic James

 

Gilded Cage is a dark fantasy full of political intrigue, espionage, rebellion and powerful magic. The exceedingly rich, deeply layered world building sets the stage for the intricate dance of the many characters.

Have a quick ten years. . . 

Before you start reading, buckle yourself in for the ride. You’ll need it, there are more twists, shocking discoveries, and spins than any roller coaster can boast.

Trust was what made everything possible.

As I got to know the characters my own allegiances twisted and turned again and again. No one is who they seem and everyone has an agenda… or do they?

There’s no magic more powerful than the human spirit.

There are two shortfalls:

The first is really more of an omission:
A key guide to the multiple characters is desperately needed. I found myself turning back and forth trying to work out which character belonged to which family.

Someone’s been doing housekeeping inside your head without your permission?

The second is that I struggled to connect with the characters. They were interesting but remote. I felt we really didn’t get to know them enough to form any connections. Perhaps because there are so many? Of all the characters Silyen is the one I am looking forward to reading more about. He is so very clever, sly, calculating, evil, all-powerful. A true dark warlord… I think?3 Star

 

 

Title: Gilded Cage Gilded Cage 

Series: Dark Gifts #1

Author: Vic James

Publication Date: 26 January 2017

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Source: Giveaway

 

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In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.

This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit. — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I won a copy of this book from the author in a giveaway does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Gilded Cage

 

 

A huge thank you to Vic Jones for my prize of a paperback copy of Gilded Cage, a themed scented candle and a personally signed postcard.

 

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield + Cover Poll

Paper Butterflies

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

 

There are too many years of things left unsaid…

Paper Butterflies is a richly compelling, emotional read which took me on a rollercoaster of feelings leaving me exhausted, wrung out and broken.

Friends I broke the dog

Because a butterfly with a broken wing can still fly.

I missed all the subtle clues and didn’t even stop to consider what the more direct prompt, the labeling of the chapters ‘before’ or ‘after’, might indicate so the twist hit me hard. Right in the gut. I don’t think I have felt a reaction this strong to a book ever.

And my heart breaks into a million tiny pieces.

I read a book recently that tried to sucker punch the reader into a strong reaction. It is a very popular book that fell flat for me, but I can’t give more details without a spoiler alert.

Spoiler Alert!

Spoiler

The book I am referring to is They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera which failed to give me the emotional punch I suspect it was trying to. If, like me, you have the crazy idea that crying in books is a good thing then Paper Butterflies is the book you should read ASAP

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I’ll keep them safe and they can beat their wings and no one will know that they’re there.

I was so caught up in the story that I forgot to take notes and postmark possible quotes so this morning before writing this review I paged through the book again. Suffice to say the quotes here were paid for in tears. Yes again.

There’s no point in me saying anything more.

There was one small thing that has been niggling at the back of my mind. A detail that I couldn’t quite believe was true. I did some research online and found out that although fairly unlikely the detail is very possible. It is a huge spoiler though, so tread carefully and be very sure before opening the spoiler alert below.

Spoiler Alert!

The spoilery detail ...

was the death sentence given to a 16yr old character. From online research, I discovered that it is possible (although extremely rare) in some US states. Book blogger jassyfizzle interviewed Lisa Heathfield on this topic. The post ‘Spoilery Paper Butterflies Q&A with Lisa Heathfield’ is available at: https://jassyfizzle.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/spoilery-paper-butterflies-qa-with-lisa-heathfield/

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I let his words hold me. They fold around me and I try to let them keep me safe.

There is one character that needs special mention: Blister is the best friend I never knew I needed.

And then I remember.

My review copy is the new 2017 edition, published by Carolrhoda Books but Paper Butterflies was first published in 2016 by Electric Monkey with a different cover. Now I really like the older 2016 cover, but I would love to know what you think. Survey at the bottom of the post.

Holding on to it will only poison you.
5 Star

 

 

Title: Paper Butterflies 

Author: Lisa HeathfieldPaper Butterflies

Publication Date:
First published: 30 June 2016
New edition: 1 October 2017

Publisher:
2016 Edition: Electric Monkey
2017 Edition: Carolrhoda Books

Source: Review copy

 

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June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one—and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net. 

But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him, she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom… But at what price?   — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary review copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

 

Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

Girl in Snow

Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

 

If there was ever a book that I disliked from the start, pushed through for no real reason and ended up happy I did, its Girl in Snow. In my notes, taken while just over halfway through the story, I have written This is an odd little book and I am battling to get into it. In hindsight, I think it is the oddness that kept me turning the pages.

I slide my hand over the gun.

Although I didn’t like the stilted, distant writing style which makes it difficult to engage with the characters and their story, it does stand out as being original thus saving the story from obscurity.

… masks of sorrow placed expertly over their relief.

There are a couple of quirky elements in author’s choice of writing style. Most of the characters are deliberately unlikeable from the start, either with an unflattering appearance (most are covered in acne)or jarring personality. But further distance is created by the occasional use of third person narrative. Together these elements serve as a veil through which the reader is shown events preceding and subsequent to the murder.

… he hated himself for it, but he couldn’t stop. He didn’t want to.

It is the secrets which are slowly, reluctantly dragged out of the characters over the course of the book, and the unexpected twists these bring to the story, that ultimately grabbed my attention.

… a woman not forgotten, only folded and stored away.

I loved the personal note from the editor serving as a prelude to the story. It added a touch that I didn’t know I have missed out on my reading journey.

We’ll always feel the shape of the people we’ve touched. But still, we spin away.

3 Star

 

 

 

Title: Girl in SnowGirl in Snow

Author: Danya Kukafka

Publication Date: 1 August 2017

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Source: Review copy

 

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When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

 

What I liked 

Interspersed throughout the book is an original and creative screenplay by Grace which describes her feelings brilliantly. These scenes are the highlights of the book and the story would be lost without them.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with the wings.


What I didn’t like

The story is slow and the protagonists self-indulgent – while this is common in YA (young adult) characters – for an inexplicable reason it doesn’t work here.

And I don’t like who I am becoming.

Actually, none of the characters really work together, the best friends seem superficial and without chemistry, and any real substance I don’t buy the romance.

What took you so long? I have been waiting forever.

2 Star

 

 

 

Title: If Birds Fly BackIf Birds Fly Back

Author: Carlie Sorosiak

Publication Date: 27 June 2017

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: Review copy

 

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Linny has been fascinated by disappearances, ever since her sister Grace ran away in the middle of the night without saying goodbye.

Sebastian can tell you how many galaxies there are, and knows how much plutonium weighs. But the one thing he can’t figure out is the identity of his birth father. 

They’ve never met, but Linny and Sebastian have one thing in common: an obsession with famous novelist and filmmaker Alvaro Herrera, who went missing three years ago and has just reappeared. As they learn more about the mystery of Alvaro, Linny and Sebastian uncover the answers they’ve been searching for.   — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

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