ARC Review | WILDER GIRLS by Rory Power

Goodreads

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.


I feel like it is a big no-no when the letter from the editor in the beginning compares the book you’re about to read to Lord of the Flies by William Golding and then further states it is a more feminist take on the theme. That then not only sets up the expectation for the book to reach the standard of a staple, classic masterpiece, but then also has to make it into some sort of social movement piece.

And, while no one should really care about my opinion, I guess (or I’d be getting paid money to write these), but just because you have a 95% female cast of characters does not make it a feminist novel. Not every novel has to be contorted to fit into a social movement. And just because these characters are on an island and some of them die definitely does not make it anything close to Lord of the Flies.

I mean, the writing was spectacular. It is true that Power knows what she is doing and knows how to write strong, compelling sentences. But her writing style, in my opinion, does not fit in the YA genre. My girlfriend can attest to this next statement in that I fell asleep (yes, actually fell asleep in the middle of the day with this book in my hand) three times. The descriptions were extremely lengthy and repetitive throughout the novel, mimicking more of an adult fiction vibe. These descriptions, I feel, are going to have teens setting the book back on the shelf and moving on to something a little more action-packed.

That brings me to the next thing — there is no resolution, and basically, no point to this book. I just really felt that nothing happened in it. We had weird POV changes in the middle a few times that were promising, but, in the end, fell flat. Not to mention that you do not get any answers that you seem promised from the beginning. Having invested in a 350 page novel for no answers is beyond disappointing.

While I am still working towards my degree, I feel like I am more than adequately competent in reading deeper into literature, and I just couldn’t see this as having any feminist type themes minus the cast of characters being female (don’t even get me started on the editor comparing it to Lord of the Flies).

If somebody has the rest of this book and wants to send it to me, please email me.

tldr; this was a snooze fest with no payoff

Rating:

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Review | AURORA RISING by Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Amazon | TBD | Goodreads

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch . . .

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates 
A smart-ass tech whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger-management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s 
totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem–that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline cases, and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

NOBODY PANIC.


It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Jay Kristoff’s adult works (reference my five star reviews here + here), but I’ve never really been sold on his YA. I felt like LIF3LIKE really limited Kristoff to being his full self — this sort of raunchy and comedic, yet very, very dark and serious writer. I also read Illuminae when it first came out (long before this blog existed), I really did not enjoy it. So, when this book came out, I was nervous I wasn’t going to like it. And I’ll admit, I almost didn’t buy it. But an opportunity arose, and I really can’t pass up supporting one of my favorite authors (sorry Kaufman, I know you had a part in writing this too, but I’m not entirely as familiar with all of your works). So I was fortunate enough to purchase it.

I’m happy to say that, in the end, I came out really, really enjoying this one! I felt that all of the characters were very likable and that the plot was extremely interesting. I know that doesn’t really tell you a lot, but I don’t really have a ton to complain about here! Unlike my main complaint with LIF3LIKE, I felt like the world (outer space) was extremely diverse. I felt like I was getting new places and wasn’t trapped in this hot, steamy world like I felt in the previously mentioned.

Now, for my one critique:

The repetition of comedy. I understand that the authors are extremely limited when it comes to YA and the separation they want to represent when it comes to this and their adult fiction, but some of the comedy was just so repetitive that I found it annoying after awhile.

There is this running joke in the novel when something exciting happens about needing new pants, and I’ll say it was amusing the first time. But by the fourth or fifth time? Not so much. I found myself reminded of LIF3LIKE and the constant references to robot private “bits.” I feel like there’s a balance that has yet to be figured out, and that the charm is being so forced to the reader that it gets annoying. THE CHARM IS THERE!!! YOU DON’T NEED TO FORCE IT!!

Anyway, in the end, this was a super fun read, and I will definitely pick up the next one.

Rating:

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway! To see what we’re giving away, click here.

To immediately enter, click here: US ONLY GIVEAWAY || INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY


What’s your favorite Sci-Fi? Let’s chat in the comments!

(Closed) MASSIVE BOOKCON GIVEAWAY!!!

If you follow me anywhere on my social media, you may know that I WENT TO BOOKCON!!!

I am honestly still in disbelief. That being said, Sara @ the Bibliophagist and I have a lot of things we won’t be holding on to. So we’re having a MASSIVE giveaway!

Do to shipping costs, we will be limiting it to 1 international winner, and 15 winners in the US! And guess what?? If you have multiple entries . . . you could win multiple times!!


THE RULES

  1. You must be following both Sara and me.
  2. You must either be 18+ years of age or have a parent’s permission, as you will need to provide us with a mailing address.
  3. Opens June 4th, 2019 and closes on June 17th, 2019 at 11:59PM EST.
  4. We will draw the winner and notify them on June 18th, 2019.
  5. If you win, you will have 48 hours to respond and provide us with your mailing address.

PRIZES!!

*denotes ARC **denotes signed

  1. A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel**
  2. Misfits by Jen Calonita**
  3. Misfits by Jen Calonita**
  4. Project Duchess by Sabrina Jeffries**
  5. Slay by Brittney Morris*
  6. Hired by Zoey Castile**
  7. Hired by Zoey Castile**
  8. The Fresh New Face of Griselda by Jennifer Torres*
  9. Pavi Sharma’s Guide to Going Home by Bridget Farr*
  10. I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn*
  11. As Good as the First Time by K.M. Jackson**
  12. Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson*
  13. Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Milman*
  14. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow*
  15. Tin Badges by Lorenzo Carcaterra*
  16. Sampler Pile (8 Samplers)

THE LINKS

US ONLY GIVEAWAY || INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY


Have you read any of these ARCs? Which prize would you like most?