Friday Reads #26: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

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Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

Goodreads | Amazon 

I started this book yesterday, and I have been having a hard time putting it down! Books about friendship are always favourites of mine and the way it is told in multiple POVs is perfect. I am looking forward to discovering what happens at the end, but I am also certain that I will need a box of tissues.

Book Beginning:

Death-Cast is calling with the warning of a lifetime—I’m going to die today. Forget that, “warning” is too strong a word since warnings suggest something can be avoided, like a car honking at someone who’s crossing the street when it isn’t their light, giving them the chance to step back; this is more of a heads-up.

Friday 56:

I go into my closet and pull out the blue-and-gray flannel shirt Lidia got me for my birthday, then put it on over my white T-shirt. I haven’t worn it outside yet. The shirt is how I get to keep Lidia close today.

ARC Review: Ringer by Lauren Oliver

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I received an e-arc from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Ringer
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Like its ambitious companion novel, Replica, this far-reaching novel by powerhouse bestselling author Lauren Oliver digs deep into questions of how to be a human being in a world where humanity cannot be taken for granted.

In the world outside the Haven Institute, Lyra and Caelum are finding it hard to be human—and neither of them knows where they belong or who they can trust. When Caelum leaves without warning to pursue the dream of a place he belongs, Lyra follows him, convinced that together they will hunt down a cure for the illness that’s slowly consuming her mind. But what they uncover is a shocking connection to their past—even as their future seems in danger of collapsing.

After discovering the uncomfortable truth about her connection to the Haven Institute, Gemma struggles to return to her normal life. But when she learns that her controlling and powerful father has new plans for Lyra and Caelum, Gemma and her boyfriend, Pete, leave in the middle of the night to warn them of the danger they face.When an untimely accident derails them, they are mistaken for the escaped replicas and seized by strangers hired to capture them. The Haven Institute wasn’t destroyed after all, and now Gemma is the one behind the walls.

Lyra’s and Gemma’s stories can be read separately—with either story first—or in alternating chapters, but no matter which way you turn the book, the two distinct stories combine into one breathtaking experience for both heroines and readers alike.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

I have been awaiting this second instalment in the Replica series for a year now, and I was not at all disappointed with the outcome. Ringer is just as eerie, and the original layout of the book is the same as the first. My favourite story was Gemma’s, but Lyra’s is still gripping. If you have yet to pick these books up, I definitely recommend that you do so this fall.

This sequel to Replica tells the story of human clones and mistaken identity. What is interesting about this story in particular is that Lyra and Gemma’s positions are now swapped. Gemma is mistaken for a Replica and imprisoned while Lyra is on the hunt for a cure for her illness. I can’t say too much because of spoilers, but I really enjoyed the scientific aspects of the book and the well-thought out plot twists. Ringer is full of intrigue and is the perfect conclusion to the Replica duology.

What is so unique about the way Ringer is written is the multitude of reading options provided. Gemma and Lyra’s stories are separate, yet they connect. Because of this, the reader can either read each perspective separately or alternate after every chapter. Because I read the ebook edition of this book, it was hard to alternate, but it is interesting how both stories are so synced. I love the setup of the Replica books, and I would definitely like to see more books with this format.

Of the two stories, I personally enjoyed Gemma’s better. I liked her more as a character, and her experiences contained more action and suspense. There are also more sci-fi aspects in her story, which I preferred to Lyra’s more contemporary story. Lyra’s story is still enjoyable, but compared to Gemma’s I just found it to be a bit lacking.

Ringer is the action-packed sequel to Replica in which Gemma and Lyra’s positions are switched. I enjoyed the originality of the plot and the creative layout of the book itself. I personally preferred Gemma’s side of the story, but both stories are still thrilling.

Wishlist Wednesday #123: Sightwitch (The Witchlands 0.5) by Susan Dennard

Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by  Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about and have yet to read.

This week’s book:

Book cover for Sightwitch
Title: 
Sightwitch (The Witchlands 0.5)
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: January 23, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads): From the New York Times bestselling author of Windwitch, an illustrated prequel novella set in the Witchlands setting up the forthcoming hotly anticipated Bloodwitch.

Set a year before Truthwitch, Sightwitch follows Ryber Fortiza, the last Sightwitch Sister as she treks deep underground to rescue her missing best friend. While there, she encounters a young Nubrevnan named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he wound up inside the mountain. As the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, and as they brave one close call after another, a tentative friendship forms between them—one that might one day grow into something more.

Sightwitch is told through Ryber’s journal entries and her sketches, as well as through supplementary materials (such as other journals, pieces of songs, clippings from history books, flashbacks, etc.). Though meant as a companion novella, this story serves as a set up to Bloodwitch as well as an expansion of the world. Continue reading

Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

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I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Genuine Fraud
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Stars: 3/5

Summary (from Goodreads): The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

I was so excited when I heard that E. Lockhart had a new book out that is inspired by The Talented Mr. Ripley. I loved We Were Liars, and The Talented Mr. Ripley is such an interesting story that I haven’t seen retold before. However, as I was reading, I noticed that there isn’t actually much difference between the two stories. If you are familiar with The Talented Mr. Ripley, I wouldn’t recommend Genuine Fraud, as the plot won’t come as much of a shock.

What is interesting about Genuine Fraud is the use of reverse chronological order. The book starts with the ending and ends with the beginning, and this could have been really cool if it didn’t take away from the story itself. Because most of the action is at the beginning, the book falls flat near the end. I found the reverse chronology to be confusing as well, since there are so many jumps backwards. By the time I reached the end of the book, I was lost, and I had forgotten most of what the ending (or the beginning in this case) was explaining.

This book was well written, and it definitely has a lot of potential, but it just wasn’t for me. If you enjoy books written with reverse chronology, you may really enjoy this one. I had such high hopes for Genuine Fraud, and I’m disappointed that it wasn’t as enjoyable as E. Lockhart’s other books.

ARC Review: Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni

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I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Things I’m Seeing Without You
Author: Peter Bognanni
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler has just dropped out of high school. She can barely function after learning of Jonah’s death. Jonah, the boy she’d traded banter with over texts and heartfelt e-mails.

Jonah, the first boy she’d told she loved and the first boy to say it back.

Jonah, the boy whose suicide she never saw coming.

Tess continues to write to Jonah, as a way of processing her grief and confusion. But for now she finds solace in perhaps the unlikeliest of ways: by helping her father with his new alternative funeral business, where his biggest client is . . . a prized racehorse?

As Tess’s involvement in her father’s business grows, both find comfort in the clients they serve and in each other. But love, loss, and life are so much more complicated than Tess ever thought. Especially after she receives a message that turns her life upside down.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

I wasn’t really sure what I was going into when I first heard about Things I’m Seeing Without You. It is about a girl who loses her boyfriend to suicide, and the main character has an entertaining personality. But what really drew me in was the alternative funeral business. It makes the story a little bit lighter and glances out the sadness of the story. I really enjoyed this one, and I found it to be a unique approach to the grieving process.

This book tells the story of a girl recovering from the suicide of her boyfriend. Their relationship was mostly online, so she logs in and writes to him even though he will never be able to respond. Through her messages, she makes some shocking discoveries about Jonah’s true identity, and even meets someone new. Tess also starts working for her father at his unique funeral business, which helps her cope with her grief. I really enjoyed reading about the business and Tess’s experiences planning unconventional funerals that are more entertaining. This book may seem depressing, but you’ll actually find yourself laughing out loud.

Tess’s character really lights the mood of this story. She is a high school dropout with a sarcastic and witty attitude. The way she acts and deals with her grief is realistic and believable for someone her age. However, you can tell that she was written by a male author. Tess is easy to sympathize with, and the fact that she loses her first boyfriend is so heartbreaking. She really transforms throughout the book as she moves on, and it is so touching to read.

This story is actually pretty funny for a book that is about grief. I really enjoyed the way topics like death are handled and balanced out with humour so that the story isn’t all sad. The funeral business provides a lot of comic relief and introduces some quirky characters. Things I’m Seeing Without You really has a unique take on the grieving process, and I would definitely recommend it to those in the mood for a heavier read.

Things I’m Seeing Without You is a heart-wrenching story about a girl moving on from the death of her first boyfriend. The main character is so real, and her sarcasm brings some humour to the book. This book really blends humour and sorrow, so it isn’t actually as depressing as I had anticipated.