Monday, August 21, 2017

Article Three (Systemet #1) by Anna Jakobsson Lund

 Article Three by Anna Jakobson Lund
Trust will get you killed - and trust will keep you alive.
In a world where the System governs everything, Ava's a rebel - one who can control other people's thoughts with her mind. As part of a resistance movement preparing for war, this is a useful skill.
Levi stopped believing in the struggle for freedom when it snatched his parents from him. Now he's just trying to live a quiet life and control the voices that threaten his sanity. 
One night Levi's sister is arrested. To free her, he has to break old promises and get involved with people he swore he'd never associate with. Ava's ordered to help him, and together, they leave on a rescue mission. She says he has to trust the rebels. But should they?

About the Author:

I've always been a daydreamer. As a kid, I wasn't that interested in other children. I wanted to be left alone with my mind and let it tell me stories. Distant worlds and time travel were frequently reoccurring topics. I was usually the hero, with the occasional side-kick. Writing came naturally to me, as a way to try to catch the stories, and later on, to share those with the friends I did manage to get, despite being somewhat strange.

Adulthood didn't stop the daydreaming, but it made me use less of it in my writing. Instead, I wrote poetry and more conventional stories. Boring stories.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I'd enough of them. I'd self-published one novel; a neat piece of relationship drama where nothing happened. I loved the characters, but the plot was too slow. Writing, publishing and marketing were hard work, and if I was going to do it again, it would not be with a boring story.

My brain rescued me by playing me a scene I'd first come up with as a teen. I knew that the street depicted was from the future, and that the boy getting beat up was on a quest to save his sister. I also had the idea that the girl saving him (who had been me in the original story, of course) was part of a resistance movement.

I ran with that, started writing and discovered the kind of writer's high I hadn't experienced since I was a kid. As I finished that first book (Article Three), more ideas kept entering my daydreams. Not just about the other two parts of what would be The System trilogy, but ideas that could be turned into short stories and new novels. My mind is as creative now that it has ever been, which is no small blessing for a mum of small children.

The wonderful thing about sci-fi and fantasy is that you don't have to be tied down by norms and rules of the ordinary world. You're still able to address modern day issues, though. I try to use this in my writing by exploring themes that make the reader question his or her own views as well as society's. I use characters that are not often depicted in main-stream literature. People I find interesting, who stretch our notion about what parts people usually play in literature. In my writing, there's no alpha-dogs and no damsels in distress. I've even declared my books love-triangle free. It sounds like a joke, but I want other things for my readers that the questions about which hot guy the main character is going to choose at the end.

I'm an indie-publisher, which is equal part funny and exhausting, and I have four novels published in Swedish. The idea to get my novels translated professionally and try to reach a larger audience is more than a little crazy, but as I started discussing it with fellow writers, I couldn't quite shake it. As I grow older, I get increasingly less afraid, and also crazier, and I feel like I would be stupid not to follow my dreams while I have the chance.

Social Media Links from the Author:

Instagram: @anna_jakobsson_Lund
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/articlethreedystopian/

Review

Let me first say, that I immediately fell in love with the author about reading her About the Author section! I cannot recall how many books I've read that the story is awesome, but the author takes away the focus from the awesome story by inserting a cookie-cutter love triangle and trying to make the focus more about which guy the main character will choose. I am definitely interested in reading books by any author devoted to abstaining from that practice!

Also, I would much rather read about super strong, badass female main characters than damsels in distress. So, before I even started this book, I was already into it.

These were the only expectations I had when I started reading the book. Truthfully, I couldn't really remember what the book was about. All I knew is that it sounded interesting enough for me to request a copy to read and review. I like doing it that way! It makes it easier to choose which book to read next... I just pick a bunch of books that sound interesting, then read them in the order they are due or due back to the library. 

This book was AWESOME! The author stuck to her word, and there was no cookie cutter love triangle stuck in the middle of the story. The focus remained on the characters and their story, and she did an excellent job with both!

I zoomed through this book! The author did an amazing job at world building and depicting such complex characters. 

I am also super impressed that the author wrote this book in Swedish and had it translated to English. I wouldn't have known if I didn't read the author's comment about it in her bio. The translation is excellent, and it seems like it was written in English originally. 

This book takes a lot of aspects that I've seen in different YA fantasy book, then the author makes them her own and combines them in such a unique way. 

I love the main characters! Levi is stubborn but brave and completely devoted to his sister. Ava is a badass, struggling with the past, and Leymah... goodness, I love Leymah! She is more of a free spirit, with a thirst for knowledge, in a world where both of those things are pretty much dead.

If you couldn't tell from this review, I immediately became a fan of Anna Jakobsson Lund before even starting this book! I hope all of her stories are translated into English! I plan to read all of them! 

Most of all, I hope the sequel to this book is in the works for an English translation! I want to be one of the first to read it!

I am so excited to see what happens next with Levi and Ava and Leymah! The only negative thing I have to say about this book is how sad I am that the sequel isn't out yet, and I can't pick it up right now and keep reading!

Besides my impatience, I have nothing negative to say about this book. It's AWESOME, and I definitely recommend it!

I received a copy of this book from the author, via The Review Chain, in exchange for an honest review. 



Monday, August 14, 2017

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the Night
From the bestselling author of All is Not Forgotten comes a thriller about two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back...
One night, three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family, Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated, and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister's return might just be the beginning of the crime.

Review

When I first heard about this book, it reminded me a little of Room or Baby Doll, or something along those lines, but this book goes a completely different direction.

Yes, it tells the story of two sisters who were kidnapped, but it also tells their family's story and focuses on what was going on that made the girls leave in the first place.

Me, with my psych degree and working on my masters in mental health counseling, of course that aspect was right up my alley! I loved Room and Baby Doll, and this book added another aspect that I loved!

This book had me hooked almost immediately! I started trying to diagnose the mother before the psychologist even came into the story.

Holy crap! I knew that this book would have surprises, but I definitely did not see this ending coming! Maybe that's because my training is in counseling, not forensic psych, or maybe the author is just that awesome... probably a combination of both!

This book sucks you in and has you hanging on every word, trying to figure out exactly what happened and what led up to it, throughout the whole book. I thought I had an idea, but I never could have guessed everything that is uncovered at the end.

This book was AWESOME! If you like books like Room or Baby Doll, or psychological thrillers, I definitely recommend this book! Even if none of this sounds good to you, this book has such a surprising, touching ending that even made me cry, which is no easy task.

I absolutely ♥ ♥ ♥ this book! From the beginning to the end, I was HOOKED! The characters were so complex. The author did an excellent job of giving a complete background, followup and analysis of a story which seems like it would be ripped from the news headlines or an ABC 20/20 special. She developed such complex characters, with complex psychological profiles and put them in even more complex situations. Yet, she put all this together in a way that anyone without any knowledge of psychology could not only understand, but enjoy.

I also ♥ed Dr. Winter. She was always one step ahead of everyone else. I won't say anything else, because I don't want to give away any spoilers. All I have to say is READ THIS BOOK! It is awesome!

I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Walking Barefoot by Grace Coleman

Walking Barefoot
Set in a futuristic London, in a world ravaged by war, Walking Barefoot explores the life of Will, past and present. The cocksure eighteen year old who, in a bid to find himself, goes travelling and the city-living adult, who despite his well paid job, upper quadrant apartment and sexy girlfriend, struggles to be happy. When nightmares begin to haunt his sleeping and waking life, Will is unsure whether he is suffering from the illness that killed his father or being led by unseen forces to uncover a city-wide conspiracy. As his paranoia heightens, he must ask himself - is he willing to lose himself to find the truth?

About the Author:

Born in South Africa. Made in Sussex. After an uneventful upbringing, I've found myself in London, trying to make it in the unglamorous world of Television. Writing has always been a part of my life, but discipline and distraction are an issue. My favourite authors are Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Douglas Adams, although I don't pretend to possess any of their wit, genius or heart. When not pretending to be an author or TV hotshot, I like country walks, visiting the zoo and sitting in pubs. 

Social Media Links for the Author:

Review:

I went into this book totally blind. I know that I must have been interested in reading it, after reading the description, since I requested a copy. I don't remember what it was about, though, and I didn't read the book description again before starting it. Sometimes I love going into books like that though!

I really liked this book, but some things about it bugged me. 

The author did a good job with world building, and it was a very unique premise for a story. Some aspects of it almost reminded me of 1984. It sucked me in, but I would have loved for there to be more about Will's travels. I also think it ended very abruptly. I would love for the author to write a sequel and address many of the questions that this book left unanswered. 

I really did enjoy reading this book, the end just left me asking questions and wanting more. That could have been the author's intent, but I like getting my questions answered.#1stWorldProblems

Overall, it was a really good book, and I raced through it! I had class during the day all weekend and homework at night, and I still finished it in 3 days. 

I will definitely be looking for more books by Grace Coleman, and I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian books.

I received a copy of this book for free, in exchange for an honest review.


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Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose

The Readymade Thief

From  August Rose's website
An addictive literary puzzle that introduces an unforgettable young heroine, plunged into the twisted world of a secret society with a dark agenda.
 Lee Cuddy is seventeen years old and on the run, alone on the streets of Philadelphia.  
After taking the fall for a rich friend, Lee reluctantly accepts refuge in the Crystal Castle - a cooperative of homeless kids squatting in an austere, derelict building. But homeless kids are disappearing from the streets in suspicious numbers, and Lee quickly discovers that the secret society's charitable fa├žade is too good to be true. She finds an unexpected ally in Tomi, a young artist and hacker whose knowledge of the internet's black market is rivaled only by his ability to break into and out of buildings. From abandoned aquariums, to highly patrolled museums, to the homes of vacationing Philadelphians. Tomi and Lee can always chart a way to the next, perfect hideout. 
But the harder Lee tries to escape into the unmapped corners of the city, the closer she unwittingly gets to uncovering the disturbing agenda of the very men who pull the strings of the secret society she's hoped to elude, a group of fanatics obsessed with the secrets encoded in the work of early-twentieth-century artist Marcel Duchamp. What these men want is more twisted than anything Lee could've imagined. and they believe Lee holds the key to it all.
The Readymade Thief heralds the arrival of an astoundingly imaginative and propulsive new voice in fiction for fans of Marisha Pessl and Ernest Cline. 

Review

I don't know what exactly I expected from this book, but it definitely wasn't this. For some reason, I thought this book was a memoir. The first part of it reads like one. I thought it was going to be a memoir about an angsty teen, with a crappy home life, but then it takes a crazy turn, and then another even crazier one, then another, and another, each crazier than the last... So, it is written as kind of a memoir, but a fictional one.

The first line of the book explains that Lee was 6 when she first stole something. The first few pages explains her parents not getting along, her mom always being angry, her dad being a charming singer/songwriter that everyone was drawn to and could have made it big "if things had been different." She loved hearing him sitting with his friends, laughing and telling stories, but he sometimes disappeared for a few days at a time, and at 7 years old, he left for good, disappearing without a word. She noticed that he took mote than he usually did, but she expected him to return any day. After a week, she asked her mom. "Her mom looked down at her dispassionately. 'He might come back tomorrow, or he might never come back. I can't tell you which, I think you better just get used to it.'"

Again, I don't know what I expected when I started this book. The beginning was about what I expected, but then, it took a bunch of crazy turns, and ended up being a story I never would have anticipated from the title.

Lee's father is gone. He disappeared. Her mother is a shell of who she once was, and her new crazy boyfriend moves with without Lee even noticing. Then, she gains a friend who wants to "save" her, and that goes horribly wrong.

However, while the first chapter might have given me some background, the next chapters is what the book is really about. This book starts out with an introverted teenager, who started stealing at an early age, and takes such drastic turns, that the beginning of this story could be a separate book than the second half of the story.

Actually, the further I got into the book, the beginning chapters could have been several different books. The authors takes what starts out reading like a memoir and turns it into an AMAZING work of fiction that entertains, shocks, surprises, and makes readers laugh, cry, and feel a whole range of emotions in between that I know I didn't expect to feel, going into a book with a tie like The Readymade Thief. The book just goes in so many different directions that no one would ever expect.

I didn't quite get most of the art references, but I did get some of the scientific & physics references. That didn't really matter too much in the end, though. Even if you know nothing about art and don't understand the references or explanations, I guarantee you will understand the rest of the book, especially the ending.

I was in total shock of this book before I finished it.

The author did an excellent job of including little details that at first may seem unsubstantial, but later end up making a huge impact in the story.

Anyone who likes conspiracy theories or has ever found themselves wrapped up in learning about one will love this book, but even those who have never believed in or been fascinated by a conspiracy theory will like it, because in the end, its not about the conspiracy theory, its about a young girl and the relationships she makes trying to figure out where to go and what to do after being betrayed by her family and friends.

This book had me hooked almost immediately, even when I thought it was a completely different story! I read this book in two nights, and I would have read it in one, if I didn't absolutely have to do to bed at 2am the first night or could have started reading earlier, instead of doing homework that night...

This book really just baffled and delighted me! It was smart, suspenseful, well written, funny at moments, and just an all-around gripping story! I definitely recommend it to anyone!

I received a copy of this book for free from the publishers, via First to Read, in exchange for an honest review.

Image result for readymade thief