These Broken Stars (minor spoiler with warning)

These broken stars book cover art
“For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space. Then it’s gone, the view swallowed by the hyperspace winds streaming past, blue-green auroras wiping the after-images away.

Until all that’s left is us”
― Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner, These Broken Stars

Title: These Broken stars
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 374
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Published: December 10th, 2013
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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

My Rating: ☆☆☆

Please allow me a moment to fangirl… I love this story and these characters even though they both have their flaws, but I promise I’ll try to be coherent!

The Writing:
To have a dual point of view, this book flows amazingly well! The writing is very elaborate as is typical for the genre, but it’s elaborate in a way that seems simple if that makes any sense at all… It pulls us as the readers into a new world and makes sure we know all the important details, but it also isn’t overly descriptive.

The Characters:
Lilac and Tarver are awesome characters! They are both very distinct, and even if the chapters weren’t clearly marked with who does the narrating, I would be able to tell them apart with no problem!

The Plot:
Uhh yeah… The plot does get a lil weird closer to the end, but let’s just… look over that and focus on the cool characters and setting! Just kidding!

What lost this book two stars?

I knocked off two stars for the plot because there are a few things that really bugged me, but these things could very easily be subject to opinion:
•Scenario: A boy and a girl have been flirting. Girl pretends to hate boy because father orders her to do so. Boy and girl get thrown onto a deserted planet. Boy and girl fall in love. Shocker…
•Minor spoiler alert pertaining to plot tropes! Skip to the next bullet point if your concerned: You know how sometimes characters die, and then they come back to life when the love interest is heartbroken and can’t seem to move on without the “dead character? I’m not saying that happened exactly, but yeah…
•The ending was a little sudden. One minute things were happening, and the next minute Lilac and Tarver were headed back to wherever their home planner was! Huh what???

What won this book three stars?

•Very distinct characters.
•Strong internal and external conflict.
•Really cool alien beings!
•Interesting use of character backstory.
•Easy to read writing style.
•Other general awesomeness!

Conclusion:

If you like SciFi at all, I think you’ll like this book! I will definitely be reading the rest of the series!

Share your thoughts?

Have you read These Broken Stars? Do you wanna read it now? Any thoughts on my rather scattered review? Let’s chat in comments!

The Islands at the End of the World (spoiler free review)

The Islands at the End of the World cover

Title: The Islands at the End of the World Author: Austin Aslan Series: Islands at the End of the World #1 Genre: Young Adult, SciFi Pages: 384 Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books Published: August 5th, 2014 Format Read: Audio Find It On:

iBooksamazonGoodreads

Synopsis From Goodreads

Right before my eyes, my beautiful islands are changing forever. And so am I …

Sixteen-year-old Leilani loves surfing and her home in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. But she’s an outsider – half white, half Hawaiian, and an epileptic.

While Lei and her father are on a visit to Oahu, a global disaster strikes. Technology and power fail, Hawaii is cut off from the world, and the islands revert to traditional ways of survival. As Lei and her dad embark on a nightmarish journey across islands to reach home and family, she learns that her epilepsy and her deep connection to Hawaii could be keys to ending the crisis before it becomes worse than anyone can imagine.

A powerful story enriched by fascinating elements of Hawaiian ecology, culture, and warfare, this captivating and dramatic debut from Austin Aslan is the first of two novels. The author has a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

My Rating: ☆☆☆

Before I get into this, I have to say that I would probably give this a two star rating had I read it and not listened to the audio book. There are a lot of long passages of Hawaiian language, and I think it would have detracted from the story had I been trying to read the text. When I see a word I don’t know in a book, I usually end up googling how to say it because it bugs me until I know. That being said, the audio book made all the Hawaiian words sound Beautiful! It pulled me into the story rather than bringing me out of it because I wasn’t struggling to read words I’d never heard before.

The Plot:

The plot was very original! We’ve seen stuff like this before: worldwide power outage, people panic, economy shuts down, government is obviously keeping a massive secret, there’s lots of fighting, and alien attacks and biblical prophecies come into play. However, The Islands at the End of the World does a really good job of putting a new spin on things. Because it’s set in Hawaii, we become amerced in a new culture that adds to the mystery. Austin Aslan does a fantastic job of pulling you into the Hawaiian world and making you believe in the culture, and then he throws a massive plot twist into the mix that creates an ending you’ll never expect.

The Characters:

Ok… Several of the characters seemed a little flat to me, (Leilani’s dad for instance), but Leilani kind of makes up for it. First of all, she has epilepsy, and it’s not one of those things where the character has a medical disorder just for the sake of having a medical disorder. It does cause a couple problems, and it is relevant to the plot. The only problem I have with it is that Leilani’s dad tends to have a… somewhat downplayed reaction when Lei has an epileptic seizure. There’s one point where she wakes up, and he’s just like, “Hi,” and I was left going “Shouldn’t you be a little more concerned that the world is in chaos and your daughter just had a horrible seizure?!” I personally have a disorder where my adrenals don’t work, and I’ve had some pretty bad seizures before, and my parents are not exactly cool, calm, and collected when I come out of it… I also question some of the language used when Lei has a seizure. It’s referred to as “fits” a few times, and I think I remember reading somewhere that that’s not accurate. Epileptics can feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m wrong!

Why is this not a five star book?

•Several flat characters. •The thing with the Hawaiian language mentioned above. •Downplayed reaction to epileptic seizures. •Some awkward dialogue. •Possible incorrect medical language concerning epilepsy.

Why is this rated three stars?

•Hawaii makes for an interesting setting. •Cool new culture. •Epileptic character that isn’t just epileptic for the sake of being epileptic! •Original spin on an old plot. •Cool Hawaiian shaman people. •Hawaiian language sounds beautiful in the audio book. •An ending you’ll never expect!

Conclusion:

I will be reading the second book as soon as I find it! I did point out a lot of flaws, but quite honestly I didn’t notice those until I started taking notes for this review. The writing pulled me in, and held my attention until the end.

Share your thoughts?

Have you read The Islands at the End of the World? Do you want to read it? What are your thoughts on the use of foreign language in books and characters with medical disorders? Let’s chat in comments!

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (warnings before all spoilers!)

HP Cursed Child Cover

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 

Author: J. K. Rolling 

Series: Harry Potter, (Book 8)

Genre: Theater 

Pages: 320 

Publisher: Pottermore 

Published: July 31, 2016 

 

Synopsis: 

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John TiffanyHarry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne. It is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is one play presented in two Parts, which are intended to be seen in order on the same day (matinee and evening) or on two consecutive evenings.

*Image from pottermore.com 
*Synopsis from: harrypottertheplay.com 



Harry Potter and the Cursed child was weird, and dark, and twisted, and sad, and terrible, and beautiful, and amazing all rolled into one, and I am giving it five stars! I was somewhat doubtful that Cursed Child would be worth reading since it was written as a script for a play, but I bought it as soon as it was released in the Kindle edition, (because who wouldn’t jump at the chance to be back in the Potterverse?), and now I understand why J. K. Rolling chose to write it in that form. There is simply too much action and switching among view point characters to cram it all into a book. The original seven Harry Potter books were also filled with action, but they could be shown through the eyes of one character, one scene at a time. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child also has a pretty… tangled timeline… (you’ll catch the underlying meaning to that when you read it), and that would have most likely made for a confusing mess were it displayed in the form of a novel like the first seven books. Rather than being confusing or hard to read as I expected, reading Cursed Child was like reading a movie. It was a very quick read because of it being written as a script, and I was able to clearly picture each scene and hear the emotion behind each character’s words.

I won’t spoil anything, but the beginning of Cursed Child almost tore my poor little “dumbledork” heart to shreds! I hated forty-year-old Harry and wished I could slap him across the face so he’d shut up and listen for once! And I spent a good chunk of the book internally screaming, “Albus Severus Potter you are a blithering idiot and you are acting even stupider than your dad at this age!” But then the end of the book redeemed Harry and Albus, and I saw a side of Draco Malfoy that I thought I’d never see. Anyone who reads Cursed Child should be prepared to cry in heartbreak and then relief multiple times, and then with joy when the last word is spoken. J. K. Rolling did it again, just like I knew she would! She wrote a wonderfully magical story that shows a lesson that isn’t even evident until the very end, and one day I hope that I can evoke as much emotion through the words of my characters as she does through the words of Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore. I honestly can’t say much more than that without terribly spoiling things, so I’ll move on and share a few quotes that I highlighted as I was reading. Be forewarned… One of the quotes is a mild spoiler, so watch out for the screaming alert! 

 

Quotes from The Cursed: 

■Albus Dumbledore: “You must see him as he is, Harry. You must look for what’s wounding him.” 

■Draco Malfoy: “Tom Riddle didn’t emerge from his dark place. And so Tom Riddle became Lord Voldemort.” 

 

SPOILER ALERT!!! 

■Severus Snape: “Sometimes costs are made to be borne.” 

END SPOILER ALERT!!! 

■Albus Potter: Oh I’m not going to be a wizard, I’m going into pigeon racing.” 

■Harry Potter: “They were great men, with huge flaws, and you know what—those flaws almost made them greater.” 

 

 

Find It ON: 

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What do you think? 

Have you read Cursed Child? are you planning to read it or see the performance? I’d love to know what you think in the comments. If you haven’t read it yet, you are nothing but a muggle! Hopefully I didn’t spoil anything, but if I did… Alas… earwax!