Monthly Archives: January 2014

TTT – Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish.  

Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist (if you could make authors write about these things you would. Could be a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a time period, a certain plot, etc.)

River’s top five

1. Accurate foreign settings – None of this ‘I googled all my info’ shit. Or ‘I ~lived~ there for a few months’. I ABHOR books that are written with a foreign setting that are clearly half done. Most of the time the author has the street level facts correct (anyone can google and zoom on google maps) but things always go WAY too well for our MC. Especially books set in Japan. These are the ones that grate on me the most. I want to see some culture shock. I want to see the actual struggles that foreigners (usually in the case of YA, young white girls from the USA) go through when they get taken out of their comfort zone and put into a foreign setting.

2. Male POV – I really love books told from the male POV. But most of the time the ones that I’ve read feel forced. I’m not saying that female writers can’t write a convincing male voice, but most of the time it’s like a few ‘bros’ and ‘dudes’ and references to their genitalia is enough to write a convincing male voice. And it’s not.

3. Less ‘slept with a guy once, didn’t use protection, oops havin’ a baby’ more ‘I made bad choices and I accept this… it happens’ plots – Guys, I know how reproduction works. I know that it ‘only takes once’. And while I really don’t like pregnancy stories, I cannot stand the ones where the MC got pregnant after having unprotected sex just once. I know that this is done so the MC doesn’t look like a slut and can keep some of her innocence intact/ make it seem even more like an accident, but it drives. me. crazy. Maybe because it just feels too forced. I want the MC to own up to their bad choices.

4. Space pirates – HAHA! I’m totally copying Sam on this, but I love space, I love pirates. I love sexy swashbuckling men owning their space ship being all sassy and… okay I love Firefly. I don’t want copies of Firefly, but this theme is great.

5. Bff stories – Especially male/female friendships! And not always ones that lead to romantic relationships. One of the things that I adored in the Under the Never Sky trilogy was the relationship between Aria and Roar. I loved their strong friendship and how it never turned into a love triangle. I would LOVE more of this.

 

Sam’s top five

1. Cancer Stories Done Right – One of my biggest issues with a lot of books (YA and not) is that they often don’t try to strengthen their characters who have cancer or an illness. They often get written with this mentality that “omg my life is over,” which yes can be a real possibility, but why does it have to be? Why can’t we have characters who suffer from cancer and who have kick ass attitudes on how to cope with it? I mean, most cancer patients attempt to live a normal life, regardless of what stage they are, so why do we keep going back to this “woes me” characterization? I don’t like it personally, and I find as a reader who has a parent with cancer that a lot of the time it’s unrealistic for me.
2. Space Pirates / Sky Pirates – I just love the idea of sky/space pirates.Then again, I may just be a huge fan of pirates. Yar. Also space ships and air ships are always huge pluses in my books!
3. A genuinely ugly boy/girl – If there’s one YA stereotype I hate it’s the “super hot girl who doesn’t know she’s hot and tries to play it off like she’s not” card. It’s awful and unrealistic – don’t do it. When I say ugly, I mean ugly personality or even just unattractive. The reason I love Courtney Summers’ books is that she writes these ugly girls who think they are hot but totally are not – they are ugly, malicious, and just plain awful.Not every boy/girl is going to be super attractive, and I just hate that whole “I’m not pretty but omg boy has insta-love feelings for me.” I just find it frustrating.
4. More circus stories – maybe this is just more of a personal preference, but as much as I hate clowns, I LOVE the circus.I love the positive energy circus’ provide – the thrill, the daring, the exciting, the fun.I just adore it!
5. Alien stories with actual aliens, not hot boys posing as aliens – I like alien stories and I feel like they always get toned down in YA because it’s always a boy who is SUPERHOT who looks human and isn’t, instead of like, an actual alien. I wasn’t fond of <i>I Am Number Four</i> for this reason, though I understood why the author chose that method. I dunno, I just want less hot boy aliens and more Farscape style aliens.

 

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ARC Review – Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

18053047Title:  Maybe One Day

Author: Melissa Kantor

Rating: ★★ 1/2

Synopsis: Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend. Even when she isn’t sure what to say. Even when Olivia misses months of school. Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia’s crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe’s unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

Huge thank you to the publisher for letting us read an advanced copy of this. We are writing this honest review to say thank you.

River’s Review (2.5 Stars)

I feel really bad, but I did not like a lot of this. Cancer stories can only be done so many times in so many ways. And they can only end two ways… for most of this I just kept thinking ‘this seems forced/inaccurate/The F-it List did it better’.

Last year I read ‘The F-it list’ and while that book and this book ARE different, the main stories (best friends, one with cancer, dealing with best friend with cancer) are very similar. And I couldn’t help compare the two. So that might have been my own issue.

Overall though, I kept finding myself having trouble with the writing. A lot of the sentences felt a bit unnatural and I kept having to re-read stuff and try to figure out what it was trying to actually SAY. Which drove me nuts. The writing should flow and I shouldn’t have to re-read things as much as I did.

Also, the whole first half of the book bothered me because it just all seemed inaccurate. I’m not a doctor, but I have gone through cancer with all of my grandparents and a lot of the facts didn’t seem to match what I already know about cancer and treatments. I do realize that things are different for kids with cancer, and that treatments have changed over time… but I really hated how it made me feel like I should go and do my own research to see if the information in this book was true or not. In the acknowledgments the author does admit that she chose story over facts at times so maybe that was part of the problem.

I also didn’t really buy the friendship. We’re told that they are OMGBFFLIKESISTERSCLOSERTHANSISTER but I never actually FELT it. They say ‘I love you’ and kiss each other on the cheek and sleep over at each others houses and tell each other everything, but I never really FELT the bond that they had. Which led to more disappointment. I also felt like I didn’t know ANYTHING about Zoe other than she used to be a dancer and was the bitchy one of the two. For the first half of the book I didn’t even remember her NAME and she’s the one telling the story! And this is weird, because I totally don’t have any problems with swearing in books, but every time Zoe would drop the f-bomb I wanted to just tell her to shut up. She didn’t seem the type and the way she used it just seemed unnecessary. Like it was done for shock value or something. idke. It just didn’t work for me.

The romance was blah and made me angry even when it first started to develop. Honestly, I don’t even think it was really needed.

The latter half of the book was much better. I don’t want to spoil what happens, but up until we learn Olivia’s fate, I was going to give this a 2 star rating. The end picked it up to 2.5 because I actually started to feel things. I didn’t cry, but there was a moment of tearing up… which again bothered me in this book because I felt like there were supposed to be these huge tear-jerking moments and I never actually felt choked up.

So this book isn’t bad, but it wasn’t for me, especially after having read ‘The F-it List’ and loving that story and friendship WAY more.

Sam’s Review (2.5 Stars)

This isn’t going to be a long review because I really do find myself nodding with everything my co-blogger wrote about this book. My frustration with novels that deal with cancer come from the fact that as someone who lives with a cancer patient every day of their life, there were too many aspects in this story that felt so unrealistic to me that I struggled to make the connections where the author wanted me to as a reader.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of sympathy for a lot of what happens to Olivia as a character, and I actually thought she was the better of the two protagonists. Zoe, is more in the position I deal with — having to watch someone suffer and not always knowing the right ways in which to respond. Obviously, I’m not a teenage girl dealing with her best friend suffering, but there were moments where I connected with Zoe and moments where I couldn’t because my situation is so different in a way.

Really, my issue with this book is that it had tons of feelings and yet, I found myself not connecting in a lot of the situations. One of my issues with books that deal with cancer is that a lot of them focus on the negative and never on the positives. They never try to be uplifting or show a sense that people fight, and this book didn’t do much of that. I guess a part of me feels spoiled by books like The Fault in Our Stars or the The F-it List, where cancer exists, but with the right attitude it can make you stronger, a better fighter. I wanted more of that, and it’s my own fault for expecting that.

The other problem I found with this book is it went the cliche route for the subject matter, and that’s fine for most readers who want a sad, emotional read. What I wanted was a bit more on the methodical side, and about half way through I predicted the entire plot — I hate when I do that. I don’t think that is the book’s fault, I just think I may have been expecting something that ended up being far from what I was looking for.

This is not a bad book at all, but it definitely has a specific reader in mind, and clearly even after completing it, I wasn’t it. I do think there are some touching moments within the text, but for me it was too predictable and the writing just didn’t have the same strength compared to The Fault in Our Stars or the The F-it List, where you have the raw emotions up front and center. It’s kind of a pity that that was the case, and ultimately, I just wasn’t the right reader for this book.

River’s Reasons for a DNF

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I present three books that EVERYBODY AND THEIR DOG loved that I could not bring myself to finish. I know that I’m not alone, but I am in the minority (on these particular titles). Yes, I am a book quitter (sometimes).

I used to never DNF books. Like ever. I think the very fist book I ever DNFed (back before I even knew what ‘DNF’ meant) was The Host. According to my memory (and my notes on goodreads) I gave up when I got to the part Wanderer started going by Wanda. After the whole train wreck that was the end of the Twilight series (and the awful Renesumeueadsljfasd baby name) I was really upset with S. Meyer and just felt my skin crawl when she changed an AWESOME name to a rather plain name (sorry to any Wanda’s that might be reading this) FOR AN ALIEN IN A SCI-FI NOVEL. Come on. I was also just really bored with the book for the longest time and in a moment of defiance I quit the book.

I think the next time I actively quit a book (or DNFed it) WITHOUT realizing it (I know that I’ve started a bunch of books and then just lost interest and forgot about them… they’re probably all laying around my parents house back in the USA) was when I gave up on trying to read Game of Thrones for the millionth time. I wrote a whole blog post about that, so you can read if you like.

After I got into book blogging and ARC reviewing I felt a lot of pressure to FINISH allllllll the books. I was even told that it’s “not okay” (or very wrong) to DNF ARCs. Well… in my opinion, it’s not. I know that the publisher allowed me to read the book in advanced FOR FREE, buuuuuuut I’m doing that in exchange for an HONEST review. And if I force myself to read a book, a book that I really DON’T want to be reading, am I being honest? No. I feel that it is totally acceptable to take a good stab at  a book before honestly quitting it. I’ve DNFed a handful of ARCs (you can see them on my DNF shelf on goodreads) but when I submitted feedback to the publisher I was TOTALLY UPFRONT about it. I didn’t submit a review, I didn’t rate it anywhere. I simply shelved it and wrote an note thanking them and apologizing and giving the reason WHY I quit. This way I’m not contributing to negative feedback while still being honest and letting others know how I felt about it. I feel that this is totally acceptable.

So WHAT makes me stop reading a book? A lot of things. Poor writing, boring characters, confusing plot that seems to be going NOWHERE. Cliches. Subjects that I really cannot stomach. Sometimes I read a YA that is more middle grade than I feel it should be and I can’t connect with it. Other times the characters do really stupid things right away that are just totally unbelievable. If I’m not hooked by 25% I just cannot MAKE myself finish a book. I have way too many other things that I WANT to read.

What makes you DNF a book? How far do you read before you give up? Let me know in the comments!

ARC Review – Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

13634097 Title: Bright Before Sunrise

Author: Tiffany Schmidt

Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, “miserable” doesn’t even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother’s first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real… until she breaks up with him. 

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she’s really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She’s determined to change his mind, and when they’re stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance. 

Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.? 

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

River’s Review:

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher and I’m writing this honest review to say thank you.

I am SO torn about this book. I really enjoyed it, but there was also a lot that I didn’t really like. This book takes place in the span of one night, boy meets girl style. Girl is pretty, preppy, popular rich girl who’s suffering in her head and smiling on the outside. She lives to please everyone and to overachieve at all costs. Boy is new to town, a loaner, upset with his mother, his situation, his father, his step-father and his new school. Girl tries to make friends with boy and he rejects her.

Then girl and boy get stuck together for the night and over the course of like, 10 hours, they go from hating each other to infatuated with each other. There wasn’t really any instalove, but some people might see it that way. I don’t because they both did admit some very real doubts, and the ‘L’ word is never thrown around, neither are there any ‘I can’t live without you’ declarations. Boy (Jonah) DOES seem a bit too eager to ‘know’ her, and I did have some problems with that. I tried to write it off as horny-boy though.

I did like how Girl (Brighton) comes to realize some big things about herself. And how she voiced her doubts about where their relationship is going. I also like how she took chances that she normally wouldn’t have. She had a very ‘lets take this slow’ feeling to her, which was really nice. She was shy and cautious, but slowly broke out of her shell over the night.

My biggest problem was with Jonah and the amount of drama that circled him. His girlfriend breaks up with him at the start of the night and then he drags Brighton to a party with him to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. He does realize what a shitty idea it is, later, but that and the amount of drama that followed was just too much and really bothered me. I also really didn’t like Digg and the direction he was heading in. And the fact that Jonah had literally JUST gotten dumped and then he was basically over his girlfriend in five seconds and moving onto Brighton.

So yeah, not too bad, but it did fall flat for me at times. I think if Jonah would have been a little more like-able and the drama had been toned down a bit more I would have enjoyed it more.

ARC Review – Going Rogue by Robin Benway

17934520Title:  Going Rogue

Author: Robin Benway

Rating: ★★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver. Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux. Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo. Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. But when Maggie’s parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names. Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her “new team” flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.

Sam’s Review:

Huge thank you to Walker Children’s / Razorbill Canada for the advance reader’s copy of this book!

It’s official: I am a believer than Robin Benway’s books have the power to make you feel good about life. For all the insanity that Maggie Silver has in her life, I always appreciate the positive messages that Benway leaves for her readers to grab hold of and cherish.I admit to being hard on Also Known As. It hit a few of my YA pet peeves that really irked me causing it to be not be an instant favourite. Funny enough, the sequel Going Rogue has made me a fan. Perhaps its the fact that Maggie’s world feels a lot more settled and matured, or may be it was just the plot of Going Rogue worked better for me – its hard to really say why this book worked while the previous did not. While you have to have read Also Known As to enjoy Going Rogue, I felt like the plot and its characters were so much more solid here. The crisis Maggie and co. faced felt ten times more real than the previous book, and overall, Maggie’s parents were real parents in this book. That was my biggest beef with the original book, so I’m glad that in this book they came across a lot more realistic, if still just as quirky as ever.

Also Maggie and Jesse are still freakin’ adorable. They are such a wonderfully sane couple despite all the circumstances and insanity they face. When Jesse created the alphabet of Maggie, I nearly died of laughter. In fact, this book is really made of smiles and laughter. There were so many laugh-out-loud moments that it was hard to be frustrated with it. Maggie is still a terrible spy, but I love that she constantly tries. She felt much more mature and realistic in this book and her voice was still as infectious as ever.

And Roux and Angelo! I am so happy that they got the endings they did. No spoilers, but they were my favourite characters so of course I was rooting for them to find some sense of happy in their lives! I think everyone in this book has such a wonderfully positive attitude (yes, even Roux) and perhaps that’s what worked for me most of all.

Going Rogue is such a snappy, fast-paced read. It’s for those who want a little action, a little romance, and a whole lot of fun. It doesn’t expect a lot from its reader, it just expects that the reader has a charming ride from start to finish. Read Also Known As and then grab Going Rogue and I swear you’ll have a lot of fun with this series.

ARC Review – Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

13645645Title:  Uninvited

Author: Sophie Jordan

Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: When Davy Hamilton’s tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn’t feel any different, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

Huge thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for the advance copy of this book.

Sam’s Review

This is my first taste of Sophie Jordan’s work. I had heard from friends that a lot of her books have amazing ideas but are usually plagued by romances taking the forefront over whatever story she is attempting to tell. The Uninvited has a interesting premise: teens can test positive for homicidal tendencies and are sent away to be rehabilitated so that they don’t use their “killing powers.” I admit, I actually thought that was a rather fun way to base a dystopian world.

This book reminded me a bit of The Darkest Minds in that much like Ruby, Davy is marked as a potential killer and has to find ways to cope with her abilities. What makes the two different is that Davy acts more like a ticking time-bomb — she doesn’t actually know when the killing gene is going to take her, where as Ruby grows into her disaster and embraces a lot of it. The worlds are vastly, different, but this small similarity really stuck out for me as I was reading this book.

I actually like Davy a lot. I think she is someone you can easily sympathize with because she went from having everything to having nothing in the blink of an eye. Furthermore, how she is treated by her peers was just completely disgusting, and frankly I don’t know who was worse between Tori or that loser boyfriend of hers. I just wish she also didn’t find the clueless ugly-girl-who-is-actually-hot stereotype because there were instances where that really showed — especially in some of her decisions.

One interesting aspect I loved in Uninvited was Jordan’s insertions of medical data, speeches, pamphlets, etc, because they do give you a sense of what the world is about and what is slowly happening to the youth within it. But this brings me to my main issue with the story: the world-building does lack clarity. In fact, for the most part this world feels insanely normal up until the middle of the novel where suddenly it becomes more of a dystopia because of Davy being shoved into a training camp.

However, its not that dystopian if you think about it considering, yes there are murderous teens with a killing gene, but other than that the world continues to function with such normalcy that I didn’t get the sense of of dread that perhaps I was looking for. I feel like the sense of fear came more so in the second half of the book, where it was trying to build a sense of direction, but the first half of the book kinda kills that emotion because it has the high school melodrama. So I guess my biggest question is: is this a realistic dystopia or is it the beginnings of what could be a dystopia. I honestly wasn’t sure a lot of the time.

And then there’s the constant desire of a lot of the male characters in this story wanting to “rape” her which I wasn’t fond of. In fact, I get how scary it is, but was that constantly necessary? I also wish Davy wasn’t as clueless and its a trope in YA I am not fond of: the good girl who’s super attractive but doesn’t believe it and then male characters are like “what, hawt girl, penis thinking.” I’m over that. I wish this novel didn’t include a lot of that because those moments were the times I was most frustrated with the story. It’s not excessive, but it was certainly noticeable.

I think Uninvited has a lot of potential, but definitely has areas where there’s room to improve. I do think the world-building needs stronger explanations and I wish there was more characterization for certain people. That being said, the ideas are really solid, but I think I was looking for more than I got within this dystopian story. Still, I am interested to see where Jordan may go with this series.

ARC Review – Alienated by Melissa Landers

13574417Title: Alienated

Author: Melissa Landers

Rating: ★★★★ 1/2 / ★★★★

Synopsis:  Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket. Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking. But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

Huge thank you to the publisher for letting me read this advanced copy. Writing this honest review to say thank you!

River’s Review (4.5 Stars)


I really really enjoyed this! It’s a super light sci-fi, almost more of a contemporary than a full blown sci-fi novel. I loved the balance between the romance, the sci-fi elements, and the action. I also really liked ALL of the characters. Sure there were a few side characters that were stereotypical, but that didn’t really bother me so much.

So, we have Cara, your over-achieving high school student who ends up getting selected to host an alien in an intergalactic study abroad! I loved this so much because I did study abroad and lived with a host family so I could totally connect with Aelyx about that. Not being able to eat the food, not understanding how to act in a family you don’t really know, or in a culture you don’t fully understand. I think I would have liked to have seen a LITTLE more culture shock… but overall it didn’t feel too unrealistic. I also liked that Cara was there with him every step of the way.

Aelyx and Cara were both great. Cara’s a fireball and she’s not only smart but totally reasonable. She doesn’t let people walk all over her, and she stood up for what she believed in. There was a point where it all got too much for her and she broke down, but even then she didn’t wallow around in self pity, and she was able to bounce back pretty quickly.

Aelyx… swoon! I love guys like him. He started off super stand-off-ish and kind of a jerk, but he slowly came around and by the end he’d really changed and grown a lot. I loved seeing how he developed into from an emotionless void into this really caring guy who would do anything for Cara. And while I didn’t like all of his lies, I did like that he was a redeemable character.

The writing in this was SO good. It’s filled with humor and snappy one-liners (there was ONE place that I felt they were a bit too much) that had me smiling and laughing even when things were a bit grim. I also liked that this wasn’t from first person POV, and while the POVs were alternating, it wasn’t like alternating chapters or anything (which I really don’t like), so we were able to see things from both Cara and Aelyx’s POVs.

The romance really worked for me. No insta-love here! Sure he’s super hot (he IS a clone created from a selective breading program…) but Cara doesn’t let that determine her feelings for him. Things built very slowly and while there was one really dramatic point that kinda made me roll my eyes (and bumped it down half a star) Cara didn’t put up with Aelyx’s shit and I LOVED that!

Good writing, solid characters, fun world. I really loved this, and as one of my most anticipated reads of 2014 I’m really glad that I did!

Sam’s Review (4 Stars)

I wish I could say Alienated was a guilty pleasure or something, but it wasn’t. This book is just so freakin’ fun and the writing works SO WELL in its funness (not a word, I know!). It’s just a difficult book to describe because it does have it’s moments of corny and cheesy, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care because the world, the characters, and their interactions were SO FUN (yes that seems to be the word of the review, shoot me).

I loved the interaction in this books. The characters were wonderfully awkward and had to grow into their skins, particularly Cara and Aelyx, who were so snarky at each other. I actually liked how the romance actually took effort — they got to know each other, it wasn’t love at first sight, none of the stereotypes you come to expect from YA. Aelyx is a tool for most of this book, but he’s got very obvious faults that make his toolishness a bit easier to understand. I quite loved his character more than I normally would. I didn’t like Cara right away, but she really grew on me as the story went on and I like how she transforms in the end. She’s pretty damn funny too.

This book is not amazing, but it’s hard for me to pinpoint what I actually don’t like about it. The ride was exciting, fast, engaging, and fun. Alienated doesn’t feel like a sci-fi story at all, but the elements are there and when they are there they are noticeable and don’t really detract. I did at times forget that Aelyx was an alien though! This book reads so much more like a good contemporary novel than a sci-fi story.

So yeah, this book is hilarious and fun. Alienated may win my award of most fun I’ve had in awhile reading YA (which is a feat considering all the sad YA books I seem to keep reading as of late!). Read it, laugh with it, and have fun.