Aaru by David Meredith // Book Review!

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Aaru by David Meredith

Publication Date: July 9th, 2017

Page Number: 305 pages

Format Read: E-book/PDF (Review Copy)


Goodreads synopsis:

Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear. 

She is sixteen years old. 

Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model. 

Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale. 
What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed. 

My Thoughts:

I really liked how interesting the concept of the aaru system was. This could easily be imagined as a reality for us in the future and I liked how there were characters who opposed the system so we saw both sides.

The main antagonist in the book was so creepy and his point of view was also so frustrating because we could never warn the main characters what was about to happen.

I couldn’t believe how well Koren dealt with everyone that happened to her at only 13! I’m older than her and would have a mental breakdown from just half of the things she went through.

Rose and Koren were such great main characters and I loved each of their chapters. Their parents I felt were a little distant and not as much in the book except for one or two scenes.

When I finished the book I wondered whether if I had the chance to be a part of aaru if I would take it. I think maybe not? Like yes of course it’s amazing that it saves young children who died from sickness or murder but to live forever in basically paradise? I feel like I would get bored.

Rose seemed to like it though so maybe it’s just me.

Verdict:

An interesting story and concept; the Aaru system has many moral and religious objections/ questions that are handled nicely throughout the book. I loved following Koren and Rose throughout the book.

My Rating:

4 out of 5 stars


Have you read this book? Would you want to live forever? Let’s discuss!

-Calliope

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon // Book Review!

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication Date: May 30th, 2017

Page Number: 380 pages

Format Read: E-book (Live-brary borrowed)


Synopsis:

This book is a contemporary about Dimple Shah who has just graduated from high school and has gotten into Stanford. Her parents are Indian and Dimple thinks that all they care about is find her the “ideal Indian husband”. When Dimple goes to a summer program called Insomnia Con she meets Rishi Patel, who is there because his parents and Dimple’s parents have set him up with her, but Dimple doesn’t know yet. The book follows Dimple and Rishi during their time at Insomnia Con and navigating through their parents matchmaking schemes.

My Thoughts:

I gave this book a 3.5 star rating because I didn’t find anything majorly wrong with it. I enjoyed it a lot but it didn’t particularly make me FEEL anything which is usually why I give books 5 stars. I just didn’t feel much emotion or extreme feelings or anything like that.

Some of the things I liked:

I liked how the book focused on Dimple and Rishi’s Indian background, and it was interesting learning about a different culture. I also liked the feminism and how independent and strong Dimple was.

It confused me so much that Rishi would go to Insomnia Con just for Dimple, he’s such a romantic, it was actually adorable. Rishi and Dimple were so cute together and though I wasn’t screaming for them to get together I did like their romance.

Insomnia Con also reminded me of a summer journalism program I did last summer with the bonding and dorms and friends made so it made me nostalgic.

Some of the things I didn’t like:

There were a lot of stereotypes with the other characters at Insomnia Con and I was surprised that there wasn’t closure at the end. I was expecting one of the girls who was part of the group that basically cheated to win to come forward and confess what the boys did, but that never happened. We also never learned the results of what happened from Dimple talking to her idol who said she’d talk to the board about the winners and their possible cheating.

Finals thoughts?

I don’t have much else to say about this book, it was good, but kind of plain. If it didn’t have the cool Indian culture aspect it could honestly be a flop of a Kasie West book, no offense. I liked the cute romance but I didn’t feel strongly about any of the characters in particular.

Verdict:

I liked it! It was cute but not exactly wow factorish which is how I like my YA contemporaries. There needs to be some kind of gasp worthy or extreme cuteness for me to give a YA contemporary a 5 star rating. I am excited to see what else Sandhya Menon writes though!

I will definitely read whatever she writes next!

My Rating:

3.5 stars (4 stars on Goodreads)


Have you read this book? What did you think? Let’s chat!

-Calliope

Mirror Me by Tara St. Pierre // Release Day Review!

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Mirror Me by Tara St. Pierre

Publication Date: July 25th, 2017

Page Number: 223

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review


Hello everyone! Tara St. Pierre was kind enough to send me an ARC of her newest book, Mirror Me! I also have a review of Tara’s other book, Just a Few Inches, you can click here to read it!

Today is also the day that Mirror Me is being released, so go order your copy!

Synopsis:

So this book is about a senior in high school named Hannah who moved schools and houses for her senior year. Her mother is very strict and keeps Hannah on lock-down practically over something that happened the year before with Hannah’s best friend Nikki. Hannah starts seeing things wrong with her reflection and can’t stand to look at herself in a mirror. When strange things start to happen and Hannah is blamed, Hannah needs to figure out what’s happening, if it’s all in her head or there’s someone out to get her. 

My Thoughts:

I really liked this book! At first I wasn’t sure what the angle was going to be, if Hannah was going to have multiple personality disorder or some mental problem and the book would be about that, but I was very happy with the ending and how the story turned out.

I really understood where Hannah’s mom was coming from in the book and being very overprotective, but still I just wanted them to hug it out and resolve their issues!

I loved Hannah’s best friends and how despite the few problems at first, they eventually did stick by Hannah and believe her.

While I understood why the strange events that Hannah was blamed for happened to help create the story and plot, I did feel that some of the things done were a little extreme, even if it was just to push Hannah to forgive herself. I was so genuinely angry when poor Hannah had to take the blame for things she didn’t do, I was like NO it’s not her fault!!!

And then when her friends, Cole and her mom were affected I felt so bad for Hannah. I also had a lot of fun guessing what was wrong with Hannah’s reflection and why it was bothering Hannah.

I can’t say much about Nikki because that would spoil what the big event was that caused Hannah to move, but I did like the resolution at the end and the patching up the tears that were created with Hannah’s friends, Cole and mom.

I was also fascinated with the whole mirror concept and what the mirrors lighting up meant and what it meant when they were dark.

Verdict:

Overall a strange and mysterious plot line that is satisfying in the end and keeps you guessing as to what’s happening, why it’s happening, and how things will ever be resolved.

My Rating:

4 out of 5 stars!


Thanks for reading!

Have you read this book?! Do you want to? Let’s chat!

-Calliope

Heartless by Marissa Meyer Book Review

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Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Page Number: 453

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Publication Date: November 8th, 2016

Format Read: Hardcover (Bought)


Goodreads Synopsis:

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

My Thoughts:

Wow I haven’t done a book review in a while, and also I read this one so late, I’ve had it since November…and I still haven’t finished my September birthday bookhaul…yikes

Anyway, I was so excited to read this book because it’s by Marissa Meyer, one of my favorite fantasy writers, and also because the cover and the naked book are both gorgeous. I had so much fun taking pictures of Heartless for my bookstagram!

I love fairy tale retellings especially ones about evil queens before they became evil! I must say the story went in a different direction than I thought!

For one, Catherine was such a sweet girl I could not see her as the Queen we know from the other stories until the end really and even then it wasn’t that convincing.

Another thing was the king of Hearts. He was such an idiot I was so surprised that his people let him rule. I was so sure Catherine was going to marry him and then poison him basically. How Hearts managed to survive with such an idiot as their King I don’t know.

I also think that Catherine’s rage at the end wasn’t as convincing. I don’t know, Marissa Meyer is a great writer, but I feel like something was missing at the end of this book.

I don’t know if it will be a series or not, but I would be open to reading more!

So now time for the gushing! I was so compelled by this book that I ditched midterm studying! Jkjk. Well not really…anyway, I just wanted to not sleep or study and just keep reading because I wanted to know what happened next so badly!

I loved Cath and Jest they were so cute I wished there were more moments with them together! Also Cath’s baking fantasy was so nice, though I wonder how she got into that considering she’s part of the nobility.

Also her rage at Mary Ann, oh my, that was necessary.

I really want a hat from Hatta that will make me smart and good at school and doing well in physics to be honest…

Verdict:

A very fun and addicting retelling! Marissa Meyer is just so great at them fairy tale retellings!

My Rating:

4 out of 5 stars


Have you read this book? What did you think? 

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser