**Welcome to Weekly Reads! Each Monday I’ll share reviews for my most recent reads. For more reviews, please visit my page, The Reads: From A to Z.**
Happy Wednesday, friends!
Due to unexpected technical difficulties, I’ve had to delay my weekly reviews. Warning: Windows 10 updates might cause errors with your drivers, particularly the WIFI adaptor? Oh well, it’s a bummer that I haven’t had time to fix it yet, but still, last weekend/this week has been pretty great! From Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon to the beer festival to finally watching Stranger Things… it’s been one for the books!
Even though I only read for about 10 hours during the readathon, I amazingly finished 3 books! THREE! For a total of 864 pages!
This week I’ll be finishing Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West and starting Mischling by Affinity Konar. Plus, I finally have book two of the Lunar series on audiobook!
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
This morning was already difficult when Kady broke up with her boyfriend Ezra, but now, as their illegal mining village and ENTIRE planet are being destroyed, it doesn’t look that significant. The year is 2575 and two megacorporations have just waged war, starting with the planet Karenzia. Told through a series of emails, schematics, military files, interviews, and other documents, Illuminae follows Kady and Ezra as they fight their way to an evacuating fleet with and enemy warship hot on the trail. But that’s the least of their problems. With thousands of extra hands aboard supplies are running low, a deadly plague is spreading ship to ship, and the fleet’s AI (artificial intelligence) has gone rogue! With worsening conditions and little information from the fleet’s captains, Kady hacks her way into the main database, but to find the truth she’ll need a little help from her ex, someone she swore she’d never speak to again. A thrilling ride, full of courage and hope, Illuminae is just the first installment of this jaw-dropping series.
“Ezra: And then I said it.
Interviewer: What did he say?
Kady Grant: He said, ‘You picked a hell of a day to dump me, Kades.'”
The novel opens to interviews with Kady and Ezra over their escape, but as much as the investigators want to learn about the attack, they learn much more about the teens’ relationship… in the most hilarious fashion. Kady is definitely a spit-fire, spider monkey, bad-ass human hybrid – everything she does, not only does she do it well, but with a flair entirely her own, unafraid to break the rules no matter how high the stakes. Ezra, on the other hand, toes the line. He’s not always happy with the decisions made, but he trusts the command to know what they’re doing, until Kady shows him otherwise. Together, they’re an unstoppable force. Full of angsty humor and classic teenage rebellion, Illuminae is also about love, honor and friendship, facing a world of danger to do what’s right. I can’t wait to get my hands on book two, Gemina – now available!
Rating: 5 Stars Goodreads
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
In the dark of the night, seven minutes past midnight, Conor O’Malley’s nightmares take shape as a mysterious monster calls his name. With a father comforting a new family in America, a pesky grandmother who doesn’t understand, a bully who won’t stand down, and his mom undergoing cancer treatment, it’s no wonder Connor suffers from such vivid nightmares, but what about the berries left on the floors? The root growing from under it? The ancient being must be real, but to what end? What could it possibly have to gain asking so much of a boy so small? Surrounded by darkness and screams, Conor must learn to face his fears before it’s too late, no matter the odds.
“Who am I? the monster repeated, still roaring. I am the spine that the mountains hang upon! I am the tears that the rivers cry! I am the lungs that breathe the wind! I am the wolf that kills the stag, the hawk that kills the mouse, the spider that kills the fly! I am the stag, the mouse and the fly that are eaten! I am the snake of the world devouring its tail! I am everything untamed and untamable! It brought Conor up close to its eye. I am this wild earth, come for you, Conor O’Malley.
‘You look like a tree,’ Conor said.”
This book destroyed me! Be warned, if you’re going to read it, which you absolutely should, make sure to have a box of tissues at hand. A WHOLE box, you’re going to need it! Conor is a beautifully written character, so young and innocent, but filled with rage and hurt as he struggles to understand his mother’s illness. Why her? Why him? Everyone who’s ever had a parent diagnosed with cancer, or anyone who’s known ANYONE who’s been diagnosed, will understand the overwhelming anger that comes with understanding how little control we have in life, how the biggest battles are faced at home with the ones we love most. The monster itself is a wonderful concept, a monster of our own making in the most natural form of all, a tree. But not just any tree, the yew tree, an ancient, mysterious natural wonder of healing and warning. The monster’s lessons are full of wisdom, sharing important messages not shared often enough, of life’s triumphs and disappointments, how life’s hardships are never as simple as black or white, right or wrong, how two parties may both be in the wrong, and how only in a world in understanding and truthfulness can we thrive. A Monster Calls will tear you apart, but it will also build you back up – a truly beautiful message of love and hope in the wake of life’s worst lessons.
Rating: 5 stars Goodreads
Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
Charlie’s had it rough the last few years. It’s been three years since his mother’s death, exactly how long it’s been since he’s had a decent night’s sleep. But ever since his dad remarried and they’ve moved into her creepy purple mansion, his nightmares have completely taken over, even slipping into the waking world! Is that even possible? Desperate to conquer his nightmares and save his younger brother from being eaten, he’ll have to face his worst fears before he’s trapped in his nightmares forever! A hilariously terrifying, middle grade-grade series by How I Met Your Mother star Jason Segel and illustrated by Karl Kwasny.
“That’s how fear grows. When you keep it locked inside and never let it out, it starts to eat you alive.”
I’m a sucker for a great middle-grade novel, and Segel’s series definitely hits the mark! At the novel’s start, Charlie is like any other kid: happy, looking for adventure, loves his family… But when his mom’s sudden illness takes a turn for the worse, we start to see Charlie’s happiness replaced by anger, distrust, and resentment. It’s crushing to see a kid so altered and misunderstood – I just wanted to reach through the page to give him a hug! Charlie’s nightmares are no joke though. Deeply imaginative as they are creepy, Charlie’s threatened to be caged by witch, and eaten by a cat, but just as he thinks he’s trapped forever, Medusa’s son comes to the rescue! Nightmares! is a thrilling ride, but more than just a scary story, the novel shares important messages not seen often enough in children’s fiction.
Rating: 4 Stars Goodreads
What have you read lately?