Rook by J.C. Andrijeski

Like most humans Allie’s spent her life distancing herself from Seers, a race of human-like beings discovered on Earth in the early 1900s. That changes after catching her boyfriend in the arms of a hot band groupie, and Allie goes from San Francisco artist slacker to the girl wearing the GPS anklet in about sixteen seconds. That’s the least of her problems, though, compared to the shock of discovering who—and what—she really is.

Yanked out of her life by the mysterious Revik, Allie finds out that her blood may not be as indisputably human as she always thought. Through Revik she learns the truth: that Seers are nothing like she thought, that the world is nothing like it appears to be…and that she has far more in common with Seers than she ever wanted to believe.

Now on the run from a group of anti-human, terrorist Seers called Rooks and her own human government, Allie must learn to navigate a secret shadow world behind her own, a world filled with superhuman Seers with their own battles raging…and their own agendas around the fate of humanity. When Allie’s family and friends get dragged into that war, things suddenly get a lot more personal, and Allie learns she may be the only one who can stop it.

My grandmother warned me once that nothing in life is ever secure. No matter how stable, boring or predictable the different components may seem…everything can be gone with a single bad decision.

This is the type of book that people will absolutely love. The world building was absolutely amazing! I have never read a book like this where there is so much detail put into the world building. Considering the author had to show the differences between humans and seers this was no easy task. The seers have their own myths, history, world, and language that is completely beyond humans and what they can comprehend and the author pulled it off magnificently. Andrijeski has taken aspects of different religions and cultures and created a unique ideology for this world. The interwoven lives of these two species is revealed and showcased in amazing plot twists! The concept is so original there is no other book I have read that can be compared to this one. The character development was also off the charts. Each character was  important to the story. For example Revik has such a complex history that he could easily have a story of his own. The dynamics and relationships of the Seers like Vash, Terian, and Gailath is something all together amazing by itself. As for bad guys Terian has to be the creepiest one I have ever read in a story like this. His ability to split himself into different bodies is exciting and crazy at the same time. Allie is one of the most likeable females characters I’ve come across is some time. She is such a smart ass and so clueless about who is she is that her behavior is laugh out loud funny and yet you empathize with her as well. She has been thrown into a world where even though she is a Seer she is still something different. Even within their world. She is trying to navigate being the Bridge and what that means while dealing with Revik and their relationship and lack thereof.

I give this story 3/5 rating. While the world building is great, it is also very confusing. Added with the fact that the point of view switches and it takes a while to get used to it. I was a little more than halfway through the story before I was really able to understand what was going on. There were times in the book where things went on for too long for me and big questions where addressed but never fully explained. Such as the marriage of Allie and Revik. I don’t understand why it happened, how it happened, or why it was a big secret from Allie. Or why it was they got nauseas around each other.

Overall it really was an good story. I will be reading the rest of the series to find out how everything turns out and I would recommend this book.

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Archetype by M.D. Waters

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Available at Amazon.com

Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.

Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .

“No,” I moan, and my chest shudders with another sob. ” This is not happening.” Foster glances between the other two. “What’s going on?” I shake my head sharply from side to side, trying to stabilize my thoughts. “You tried to kill me here,” I whisper hoarsely to Noah. I point straight ahead. ” the tank used to be there. You turned off the life support and Sonya stopped you.” Foster glares at Noah. “Is that true?” He jerks his head up to Sonya for confirmation. “Is it?” “Yes,” Sonya says. Noah drops hard to the floor. He stares at me with wide eyes. “They were only nightmares at first,” I say to no one in particular. “Not once did I think they were real. Over time I believed them to be a bad memory.” Another sob breaks through. ” I still have these dreams almost every night.” I stand and then to face Her. I came here for answers, only to come away with more questions. I have been seeing this place through Her eyes.

Archetype was an OK read for me. I wanted to really love this book but just couldn’t connect with the story. I thought the plot was amazing and original but the delivery fell short for me. The main issue I had was that Emma didn’t know herself or anything for such a long time it became a chore to read through it. I think the problem in this sense was the excellent writing. The author was so amazing at setting the tone and the voice of Emma that it didn’t come across well with me. It also bothered me that she never used contractions. It made sense in the beginning of the book when she was learning everything but as time went on she could’ve spoken like everyone else. Especially when she regains her memory. I was also disappointed with the love interest in the story. I didn’t like either one of the guys all that much. However, between the two choices she had I felt she picked the wrong one. As far as the science goes I felt like by the end of the story the author was reaching. It wasn’t that it’s a bad book it just wasn’t for me personally.

Falling in Love by Stephan Bradlee

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Available at Amazon.com

Sherry Johnson is young, beautiful, bright and athletic. She has everything going for her, except for one thing. 
She is addicted to love. 
Her life is a vicious circle of nightly trysts and morning regrets. 

Her addiction got her kicked out of college, cost her the love of her life and has left her in complete despair.   
But still Sherry keeps falling in love.  

And falling. And falling.  

Finally, as Sherry struggles to pull herself up from a bottomless pit, she realizes that she will have to learn to love the one person she has loathed for most of her life.  

Herself.

Based on the True Story of a 
Young Woman’s Battle with Sex Addiction

“For all my life, no one ever wanted to tell me! My aunt always said “You’re better off not knowing.” Everyone but me seemed to know some deep dark secret. Now I knew part of it, about my mother and Elaine. But there had to be more. I was more determined than ever, to one day, find my mother and ask her every question I’d ever had and not stop asking until she gave me the answers. I suddenly loathed Elaine for not telling me. Sharing? Right! She was just like everyone else.
Gregory had to leave. “Will we see you again next week?”
I shook my head. “I don’t think this group thing is for me.”
He paused then asked, “is your life unmanageable?”
“I’ve got a few problems,” I admitted. “But I’m managing OK.”
He looked at me for a long moment then answered, “Then maybe it isn’t for you.”
Suddenly, I burst out crying as I realized why Elaine’s words had hit me so hard. Her feelings of worthlessness and shame was how I felt since I was eight-years-old. She had been describing me life! And I knew that if I passed up this chance to get help, I truly was going to die, one way or another.

There have been a few time in my life where a book had connected with me so deeply I felt it changed my life on some level. When I was 9 it was One Child by Tori L. Hayden. When I was in middle school it was The Neverending Story. Now at 23 Falling in Love is also one of those books. You are taken on the journey to sobriety with Sherry who is addicted to sex. When she prevails you feel her joy and when she slips you feel her shame. Although she is trying to live with a sex addiction this not a book about sex. It’s about the journey of this young woman and the strength it took to avoid bad habits. You will cry with her and applaud her. It’s beautifully written in a way that will instantly connect with you. This is really a story of hope and triumph made better by the fact that it’s a true story. If you have never read an autobiography, biography, or based on a true story book this is the one that you should you. I give this book 5/5 and would definitely recommend this.

Contributor by Nicole Ciacchella

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Available at Amazon.com

When the Great Famine threatened the existence of mankind, the Creators saved humanity. Humanity has been their loyal subject ever since.

This history has been ingrained in seventeen-year-old Dara Morrow since her first day of Creator-sponsored school. Grateful for the life-giving necessities her Creator provides, Dara is thrilled to be one of three students chosen for an elite, year-long apprenticeship program. Now is her chance to prove herself a devoted Contributor.

But Dara’s competition is ruthless and will stop at nothing to win the competition. Worse yet, her exacting master has little patience for her.

Then Dara’s mother is seriously injured, and Dara realizes the price of being a Contributor: once you’ve outlived your usefulness, you’re discarded. Can Dara learn to manipulate the system to save not only herself, but everyone she loves?

“Are you still stewing?” Jonathan’s voice broke into her thoughts. “Seriously, Dara, you have nothing to worry about. You’re the best there is, and you know it.”
“I’m not sure that enough anymore, Jon. Things are so, so different from how they were in school,” She said slowly.
“You have to have faith in the system,” he told her firmly. “Remember, the system provides for those that provide for the system.”
“Right,” she said her voice faint. A chill ran down her spine and she shivered, hoping he wouldn’t notice.

Contributor is a solid and engaging YA/Dystopian novel.  Right from the start you pick up where Dara is entering into an apprenticeship program. What I really enjoyed about this story was that the plot is conceivable. People are dedicated completely to the Creators because they are taught to from the start, disposed of if they don’t, and kept from free thinking. The social and psychological aspects of living in a world such as this was clearly thought out by the author and pulled off brilliantly. It was so refreshing to read a YA/Dystopian that didn’t focus on a sappy love story. While Dara does have a boyfriend and their relationship is tested it’s in no way the main focal point of the plot. Instead it’s used as way to show the reader just how ingrained the teachings of the Creators are and how Dara could’ve turned out totally different if it wasn’t for situations that happened to her. I also enjoyed how the author didn’t need to use blood and gore to create an exciting world. As far as characters go they were all likable to me because I was able to understand why they were the way they were and did the things they did. The low point of this book for me was that you are thrown into the plot from the first page. There is no character development in the beginning or world building. I was also hoping for more of explanation to the events that lead up to the world being the way it was. I would definitely recommend this to all those Dystopian lovers AND haters out there. Overall I would give this a 4/5 rating.

Love, Greater Than Infinity by Cora Avondale

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Teddy Mulligan is a keeper who never intended to fall in love with Gracie Harris. In a Universe in which all events are predetermined, keepers must honor the mandates of the Dimension Council and assist in the fulfillment of their assignments’ Destinies. For this reason, Teddy must suppress his forbidden feelings or else risk losing his post as Gracie’s keeper.
But when Teddy discovers that Gracie’s Destiny includes marrying Mr. Wrong, Teddy is forced to make a fateful choice: remain loyal to his keeper oath or intervene to change Gracie’s Destiny forever.

Teddy was first to set things in motion. He turned to Gracie and whispered into her defeated soul. Tell the truth Gracie.

This book was one that I unfortunately couldn’t get into. One problem I had was that everything was told through Teddy’s perspective. I would’ve liked to experience Gracie’s life through her own eyes. Maybe known a little bit more about her through her words.  I understand it’s about how Teddy feels as a Keeper but maybe interchanging viewpoints could’ve added something to the story. Another reason it fell short for me was because it reminded me of Dream Weavers by Su Williams, which I love, and this felt like a lighter version of it minus the magic and vampires. So I think the comparison to that series limited my ability to like this book. I did think the overall concept was interesting though and found myself hoping that Teddy was going to be able to show himself to Gracie. The story flow didn’t progress smoothly for me either. There were a lot of time jumps and I would’ve like to see how Teddy watched her grow up not and started developing a bond. In her adolescence we only see him be there for her when her dad dies.
I did like the twist ending and thought it put an interesting spin on the story. However, I also felt like the book should’ve continued. I just didn’t think this was the type of story to carry into a series and could’ve been a stand alone book. I’ll probably read the rest of the series just to see how it all turns out in the end but this book just wasn’t for me. Overall I would give it a 2.5/5. It was a nice easy breezy romance and time killer.

Freak of Nature by Julia Crane

The Bookworm has returned as promised with another great read.
Freak of Nature by Julia Crane.

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Donate Body to Science. Check.
When seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn checked the box, she never suspected she’d have her life–and her body–stolen from her. She awakens one day in a secret laboratory to discover that her body is now half-robot and is forced to hide her own secret: that she still has human emotions and a human mind. If the scientists who made her find out, they’ll erase what remains of who she was.

Kaitlyn finds an unlikely ally  Lucas, a handsome, brilliant scientist who can’t get over the guilt he feels knowing she was once a vibrant, beautiful young woman. He never expected a science project to affect him the way she does. As he tries to help her rediscover her past, he finds himself falling for the brave girl struggling to find her place and acceptance between the human and computer worlds.

*For mature teens due to some sexual content.

“I don’t want to be just a weapon,” Kaitlyn said firmly. “I want to be a solution.

This is one of those books that you can absolutely judge by its cover! Not only is beautiful but it’s relevant to the content of the story. I really enjoyed the characters and the roles they played in Kaitlyn’s life. She was a very strong main character and it was wonderful to see her development from a cyborg science experiment to a young woman who is trying to find who she is and what she wants. Lucas was an interesting character. He has feelings for Kaitlyn he shouldn’t have but also feels responsible for being the brains behind what she is. He is proud of his work but torn by what he has done. The story flowed really well and was easy to follow. With the amazing plot that it has I disappointed that there wasn’t more action.  There was no real antagonist in the story. The bad guys weren’t really all that bad and the writing made it easy to understand them and see their point of view. The main conflicts that took place were the internal ones of the characters. I felt that this story had so much potential but didn’t quite make it. The ending was even a little too perfect and I didn’t get a good sense of intensity until the very end. However, it is the first in a series and it seems there will be more action to come. I would give this book a 3/5 rating and I look forward to reading the next story.