Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood - 4 stars (finished 4/4)
BOOK 1 IN THE INHERIT THE STARS SERIES
I love how this book combined monoarchy type "kingdoms" and space. Kingdoms include multiple planets, not just some land on one planet. Asa is a daughter of House Fane, a house that is infected by Blight, running out of food and fuel. Whilest Asa's eldest sister, Wren, is in a coma, her other older sister, Emmie, is promised to the heir of House Westlet in a treaty between the two houses. Asa basically screws that whole thing up - drugs Emmie and marries Eagle, the Westlet heir in an attempt to right her wrongs...but she ends up wronging more wrongs.
Asa is not the sharpest tool in the shed...she makes a lot of mistakes because of her impulsiveness, but I didn't hate her for it. No different for me to read it than watch The Walking Dead and scream at the characters for doing stupid stuff. She's a teenager though. Teenagers don't always think things through...so I think that it's understandable. There wasn't instalove. Eagle is very standoffish because he was injured in a meteor storm (if I am remembering correctly) - and is visibly scarred by it. I think the timeline of them learning to trust one another (which she was told not to do and I did wait for him to betray her) was good. No instalove. No love triangle.
And although I did enjoy the book, I did dock a star because it was missing something. Not sure exactly what, but it was missing something.
I received an ecopy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Ariel Rising by AJ and CS Sparber - 3 stars (finished 4/8)
BOOK 1 IN THE ARIEL BETWEEN TWO WORLDS SERIES
I'm not sure where to start on this review at all. When I read the synopsis, I expected a little bit of the cliched YA stuff and that typically doesn't bug me too much. What I think was problematic for me in this particular story wasn't the cliches, but was the main character combined with the dialogue. There is so much about this story that I like, but when you can't stand the main character and roll your eyes at half the dialogue, it's hard to give it 4 or 5 stars, which for the rest of the story I easily would have done. It's definitely odd to feel so confused about how I feel about a book. Did I love it? Did I hate it? I still really don't know. I think that my distaste for Ari(el) made me not connect as much with the story and get invested in what happens next.
So the premise is that Ari, a 17 year old - 3 months shy of 18, is on a run when her ex-boyfriend basically tries to sexually assault her. However, Ari ends up physically overpowering him and then running at superhuman speeds away from the situation. She meets a guy, Davin, who witnessed the incident and "took care of" her ex after she ran off. Davin clues her into the fact that she is more than human. She is like him - an angel.
From there, the story goes through training and filling Ari in on everything Angel. I really liked those parts of the books. The history and training were interesting and I love all the details that were put into those parts. What I didn't like was, as I've said before, the dialogue. At times it was awkward and it contained a boatload of cheesy innuendos. There were a lot of pet names throughout the book, too. It was more forced and inconsistent of the characters, I feel. The other part was that I really think the plot had too many arcs. But that may just be me.
So I am honestly left not knowing exactly how I feel. If I hated the book, I would've had no problem setting it down for a DNF. I think that it also was more NA and would be better suited being classified as such because of sexual content and it isn't far into the book where the main character turns 18.
I received this book for free via We Heart YA Books' Read to Review program in exchange for my honest review.
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin - 4 stars (finished 4/25)
BOOK 1 IN BIRTHRIGHT TRILOGY
All These Things I've Done was an excellent read. It follows the life of a orphaned 16 year old mob daughter, Anya, who is trying to take care of her dying grandmother, special needs older brother, and little sister. It is set in 2082/2083, I believe, and chocolate and coffee have been outlawed. Really, many of the laws change constantly, so they never really know what is legal/illegal and when it'll change once again. Plus the family business [that got her father murdered] is chocolate.
I really enjoyed this read, although I gave it four stars because there was just something about it that held me back from being completely obsessed. Not quite sure what it was...just had that feeling that I wasn't completely in love with it. I think when I initially picked it up, I was under the impression that it was a standalone, so the ending through me off because it was sort of resolved, but left me wanting some more closure. Thankfully, it turns out that it IS a series. WOO! :)
I really really like Anya and connected with her easily. Win was amazing, incredible, awesome, and more YA love interests need to be like him. I am not big on Scarlet and really don't like that she is with Anya's ex who tried to sexually assault Anya twice - before the accident and then after. I am curious to see that play out. Anya's sister, Natty, was adorable and I look forward to her character development in the next books.
I think really the thing I would like most is to hear more about how chocolate, coffee, paper, and water became such "rare commodities". I do love a good world building and usually book two is a filler with that sort of thing. *fingers crossed*