All Your Twisted Secrets
Now if you’ve read last month’s book reviews, you know I love my mystery/thrillers, so I have another one for you! Six students are invited to a scholarship dinner, the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, drug dealer, loner, and a music geek. They soon discover that it’s a trap. In the middle of the room, there is a bomb, a syringe, and a note stating that they have an hour to pick someone to kill or they all die. As they spend the hour trying to get themselves out of this mess, secrets uncover themselves and leave you wondering who will they choose. I was interested in this book because of the various similarities to One of Us Is Lying. Various high school stereotypes stuck in a room, a murder plot to uncover, and as you guessed, a mystery to solve. Before I opened the book, I was expecting to also rotate narrators, but we are stuck with Amber Prescott, the music geek, as our full-time narrator. The book follows a format, a chapter in the present, a chapter of the past that gives you context to the new issue in the present. This format was interesting and allows the author to carefully unfold the masterpiece. The story itself was good, we learn more about the characters and secrets that everyone is trying to hide eventually leading to the climax at the end. The ending left me in shock. It wasn’t as crazy as the Sixth Sense, but not your usual ending. It didn’t make sense to me. Based on what I had learned from the characters, they wouldn’t have done this no matter how desperate they were. I didn’t close the book content (I didn’t close the book at all, it was online). I recommend this book but be warned.
Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic
I had seen this book and was immediately interested in it. It is the memoir of 22-year-old stand-up comedian Michael McCreary. Yes, 22 is a bit young to be writing a memoir, but just wait. Michael was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) at the age of five years old after finding out his brother was also on the spectrum. The memoir is Michael talking about life on the spectrum. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Michael has a great sense of humor (his job depends does on it). I feel like I have a better understanding after reading this book, coming straight from Michael himself. He shows that ASD is a spectrum and that it doesn’t define anyone. He did a great job of showing some of the day-to-day differences, as well as the broad range of ways that those on the spectrum may present, and debunking some long-held myths. He makes a point to mention that if you meet someone with autism, then you have only met one person. It is a spectrum, and there are people at every end. This is important to know and understand. I thought that this was a great insightful memoir for those who want to have a better understanding of ASD. I highly recommend this book to anyone hoping to learn a little more about ASD and how the lives of people on the spectrum can be affected by it. Something I can’t personally attest to, but I have heard is that the audiobook is great. McCreary, himself narrates it, and I have heard that he does a great job. Definitely a good read. Overall, a fun lighthearted #ownvoices memoir of a serious subject.
Warcross is a virtual reality platform, but for those who log in every day, it is a way of life. It began ten years ago and has since taken over the world. To make ends meet Emika Chen is a bounty hunter. She tracks people who illegally bet on the game. However, this isn’t enough. Bounty hunting is a cutthroat, competitive sport. In an attempt to make some quick cash Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening of the International Warcross games. She accidentally glitches herself into the games, becoming an overnight sensation. Instead of getting in trouble, or getting arrested, she ends up with an irresistible offer from the game’s creator himself, Hideo Tanaka. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament to uncover a security problem. Soon enough, her investigation uncovers an interesting plot that could topple the entire Warcross empire. Let’s get to the good stuff. It’s a good book. I didn’t think it was spectacular, or mind-blowing, but it wasn’t bad. Based on Marie Lu’s previous books and this one, it’s safe to say she is an amazing world-builder. She does a great job of allowing you to understand the world that she has created. From the inside game of warcross to the outside world. Another important thing that is done amazingly well, are the characters. Emika is a sweet, funny, yet flawed character. Flaws are incredibly important in characterization, otherwise, it becomes boring and completely unrelatable. If the character isn’t very relatable, viewers have a harder time connecting and struggle to get invested in a book. It is vital that a character isn’t perfect *cough* Superman *cough*. Another note is that I had to reread this book to understand what was going. I have found when it comes to dystopian novels I struggle to understand what is going on. All that being said, I definitely, recommend this book.
A dystopian/science fiction/fairytale book. Yeah, I know it’s a lot. Yes, this one is based on Cinderella. Welcome to New Beijing. Unfortunately, you chose a terrible time to come visit. A deadly disease has been rampant in the streets of New Beijing. When Cinder’s life gets turned upside-down, everything changes. Tangled up in an interplanetary conspiracy, she is left with her wits and her cyborg self. This is a great book! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think something to note though is that yes it might feel like you already know what is going to happen. Most people already know the plot of Cinderella. Cinderella lives with her stepfamily. They are horrible people and treat her badly. When her stepfamily is invited to the ball, she gets help from her fairy godmother and goes to the ball with a catch. Then there is the whole glass slipper debacle, happily ever after, right? No, obviously. This is a dystopian novel! As I said before there is a global conspiracy at hand. This global conspiracy is a very interesting story. At the very least it is fun to read. The characters are honestly the best part though. Cinder is a resourceful, smart, and flawed character. With the exception of the cyborg part and the unreal situations she is put in, she is a very relatable character something that I like. The antagonist Queen Levana is also an amazing character. She is the Queen from Snow White. Her insecurities get the best of her. This is kind of cliche, but still good. Overall a great book, recommend it.
The 5th Wave
I first found this book when I went to the theater. It was one of the trailers that they play at the beginning. The trailer got me pretty interested and I had wanted to watch the movie afterward. This was years ago, and I still haven’t seen the movie. For as much as I watch movies, it’s pretty sad. I finally did get around to reading the book so... yay! Before we even enter the book, there is a quote from Stephen Hawking, “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans.” Let that sink in. Aliens invade our planet with the intent of extinction. The 1st wave is an EMP that takes out all power across the world. The second is several tsunamis wiping out and kill coastlines. The third is a lethal plague that wipes out 97% of the population. A piece of advice for the fourth wave. Trust no one. The book was pretty good. I did have a hard time understanding what was happening, but I eventually figured it out. It didn’t feel like an extraordinary book though. The chapters are told through alternate perspectives, which added on to the confusion. There was also a romance in the middle of the book. It wasn’t done well at all and I almost decided not to finish the book because of it. It is confusing and weird and I didn’t like it. The idea was pretty good, but the book itself was just okay. I will admit this has made me wish an alien invasion never happens.