Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell | ARC Review

GARDEN OF THORNS BY AMBER MITCHELL

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Entangled Teen in return for an honest review

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Synopsis:
After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.

Goodreads| Amazon

*I would like to thank Entangled Teen for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

From the very beginning this book dives right in and takes off with thrilling intensity. The concept of the Garden and all that these captured girls go through in this traveling burlesque troupe was so captivating and made me want to continue from the very start. There are secrets, intrigue and kingdoms at war.

I thought Mitchell did a wonderful job with the opening of the book. I was so drawn in from the first page. She was able to maintain my attention and keep me on the edge of my seat until the end, although I did think it faltered a little in the middle. The character development of the main character Rose was so well executed. She had issues and unlike so many YA novels she actually had to work through her issues and face her own demons which was refreshing. I find that in so many novels the issues are presented and then quickly are dissolved. Rose was a strong female heroine and definitely makes the whole female independence a strong motto.

The other characters were really well developed and so well described that I could picture them perfectly. The thing with such great character development is I feel like Mitchell fell a little short on the world building. There was so much room for great world development being a fantasy novel and even more about the Garden. I was really intrigued by the concept of the Garden and wanted more from it.

I had just a few other issues with this book and without giving too much away, I thought the romance at times was too much. I really liked the way it ended but at the beginning it came on too strong and didn’t follow Roses beliefs but Mitchell managed to straighten it out and actually make me really happy that it was in the story and added a great component. The last problem I found was with how quickly they threw Rose out on missions and how she was trusted with little to no training.

Overall, I found this story to be very unique and nothing I have read before. It did not shy away from the gruesome details and wasn’t afraid to not let a strong female overcome obstacles and shine. Garden of Thorns was a fast read and kept me on the edge of my seat, never knowing what was going to happen the whole time. It made me experience a wide range of emotions and actually had an ending I cannot complain about. I really recommend YA fantasy readers who enjoy strong female leads and times of war and unrest to pick this book up!

You might also like:

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Alanna by Tamora Pierce

After Alice by Gregory Maguire | Book Review

24331115AFTER ALICE BY GREGORY MAGUIRE

Genre: Adult Fiction

“All of life hinges on what one does next, until finally one makes the wrong choice.”
― Gregory Maguire, After Alice

Synopsis:
When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?

In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings — and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is After Alice.

Goodreads | Amazon

review

I was extremely disappointed in this book. It was almost a DNF book. I finished this book over a month ago and even as I sit here and try to write this review I am struggling to bring myself to do it. Writing this review is like reading the book. If you did not know I absolutely adore Alice in Wonderland so I was so excited and was anticipating reading this book for so long. It was the hugest let down I have ever read.

The story was suppose to follow Ada, Alice’s friend after Alice wandered down the rabbit hole. It was based in the same setting just following different characters including Alice’s sister (family). The idea seemed like it would make for a great story, but I feel like Maguire failed me.

The language at the beginning of the book made it really hard for me to understand and follow. Just getting past the first 20 pages was a struggle. As the book went on it got easier to understand, but I felt like it was taking a lot of the original story when it was talking about Wonderland. It lacked originality and really did not reach the full potential that I think this story could have.

My other main issue with this story was that it was extremely disturbing and a little offensive. I have no problem with darker books but this took a strange turn and was offensive to people with disabilities and or color. I just did not agree with a lot of how Maguire was saying things and handled certain situations.

Overall I do think the concept of tell the story of Alice through her friend was a interesting twist. It was showing the story of what happened After Alice went down the rabbit hole.  How it affected everyone else around her. It used a lot of the same imagery and nonsensical whimsy that was found in the original story. I think Maguire was trying to do too much by not only attempting a retelling, but trying to make a statement about Victorian Oxford as well. It was a mess and just not what I wanted or expected it to be. There was just a lot that I was not comfortable with and found it boring and a drag to read.

RATING-7

Built by Jay Crownover | Book Review

25197119BUILT BY JAY CROWNOVER 

Genre: New Adult, Romance

“After everything the past has tried to bury us under, we owe it to ourselves to be brave, to do more than float.”
― Jay Crownover, Built

Series: Saints of Denver
Leveled (#0.5 Saints of Denver)

Synopsis:
Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel.

Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn’t matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn’t return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, hot-as-hell Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior.

But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored.Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller are as different as two people can be. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and kill it and grill it. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk while he’s denim and flannel.
The differences between the two of them don’t stop Zeb from dropping every hint he can think of that he would like to get to know her on a more personal level, but Sayer seems oblivious to his interest or is just too nice to tell him to take a hike. To Sayer, a guy like Zeb could never be interested in someone as reserved and boring as she is. She’s never been with anyone that was hot enough to melt the icy exterior she’s had wrapped around hera since her awful childhood. But what if Zeb is the one who might finally thaw her out…?

Goodreads| Amazon

review

I was a little nervous starting this book because I have yet to finish the Marked Men Series, but the Saints of Denver series can be read completely separate of the other although it does mention people from the other series. I highly recommend reading the novella Leveled before starting Built.

I found Built a little harder to get into then the start of the Marked Men series, Rule. Zeb is trying to work on making up for a dark past and making a better life for himself. Sayer is dealing with the knowledge of a new found brother, Rowdy and picking up her life to move to Denver for him. She is also dealing with ghosts from the past by putting up the icy walls.

I thought that the romance was a little weird at the beginning. It is hard for my to explain, but I just found it to be insta-y and forced. Eventually  the romance caught me and I feel in love with Sayer and Zeb, it just took a majority of the book until I got there and the relationship felt real and natural. I definitely think that the relationship that stole the show was Hyde and Zeb! I was completely gushing over the two of them together and feel so in love with the little guy! I had a harder time falling in love with Sayer and I think that is the point. She is the “ice queen” and won’t let anyone in or get to close. I found her to be slightly relatable, but there were times her decisions made me so mad. I absolutely feel head over heels for Zeb! I think he is making his way to the top of my fictional crush list. He had served some time in jail, but the reason he did was admirable (at least in my eyes). Also all the things he is doing know to put his life right is amazing. He is filled with passion and is so caring. He had me swoonying every time he talked about second chances.

I love how although this is a story focused on Zeb and Sayer, you still get to see the other characters and how their lives are going. The secondary characters in this book were amazing and even with all their problems they added great complexity and issues to the story. I did find a lot of the story to be repetitive and it dragged. There were some issues that got brought up multiple times and I just did not think it was necessary because we already were told what was happening.

Overall I found this to be a heart warming, swoony and steamy novel. Crownover does a great job writing characters that contain all different problems and personalities. Her stories are filled with emotions and definitely sexy bad boys! I couldn’t help but fall for the boys in this book. I loved seeing the development of Sayer. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys bad boys and great new adult novels!

RATING

1

Make sure to also check out Samantha’s review of Built by Jay Crownover!

Leveled by Jay Crownover | Novella Review

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LEVELED
BY JAY CROWNOVER 

Genre: New Adult, Romance, LGBTQIA

“Most things that are easy aren’t worth much. It’s the things you have to work for that matter the most.”
― Jay Crownover, Leveled

Series: Saints of Denver
Built (#1 Saints of Denver)

Synopsis:
Orlando Frederick knows what it is to be leveled by pain. Instead of focusing on his own, he’s made it his mission to help others: sports stars, wounded war vets, survivors of all kinds. But when Dom, a rugged, damaged, sinfully attractive cop, makes his way into Lando’s physical therapy practice, he might be the biggest challenge yet. Lando loved one stubborn man before and barely survived the fallout. He’s not sure he can do it again.

Dominic Voss is a protector. The police badge he wears is not only his job, it’s his identity, so when he’s sidelined because of an injury, the only thing he cares about is getting back on the force. He expects Lando to mend his body, he just doesn’t realize the trainer will also have him working toward a hell of a lot more. As attraction simmers and flares, Dom sees that Lando needs repair of his own…if only the man will let him close enough to mend what’s broken.

Goodreads| Amazon

review

WOW! I absolutely adored this novella and I am not sure I will be able to review it without gushing completely. I was a little nervous about picking this up because I haven’t finished the Marked Men series and did not want to ruin anything. Besides the characters appearing in this and finding out who ends up with who nothing is really mentioned. I also thought it was wonderful that this was a M/M story. I think the book community needs more LGBTQIA!

Dom and Lando are such amazing and complex characters! I absolutely loved the relationship between Dom and Royal. It reminds me of my own friendships. And the family ties and relationship that Lando had was so nice to see. The boys each had amazing qualities that you couldn’t but to swoon over. Dom is so protective and has some wild stubbornness, whereas Lando is so compassionate and a little wounded. The chemistry between the two was full of lust and was super steamy! I enjoyed that they were each dealing with fear and overcoming lose in order to deal with fighting for their love of each other.

They had to work on their relationship and we were able to see that development form. We see them trying to figure out how to fit into each other’s life while still remaining true to themselves. Beyond the blooming relationship we get to see other amazing characters. I absolutely lover the Archer’s and think the relationship they have with Lando is beautiful. I also enjoyed hearing more about Remy and how much he has affected all of those around him.

Overall I thought this was a beautiful, steamy and heart warming story. The relationships were intense and complex, but so worth fighting for. The main characters were struggling and finding the help from each other lead to a great romance. Their banter really had me and made me fall in love with each of them. The family and friendship support was absolutely fantastic! It is always nice to see things like that happen when people are going through such struggles in life. My only problem with this novella is that I wanted more. I wanted more of the playfulness the boys had and the love and compassion that exuded from this story!

5s

All Played Out by Cora Carmack | Book Review

22249707
ALL PLAYED OUT 
BY CORA CARMACK 

Genre: New Adult, Romance

“And when that day comes, it won’t matter so much whether every step was in the right direction because life is not a straight line. It will only matter that you took them. That you never let yourself stand still.”
― Cora Carmack, All Played Out

Series: Rusk University Series
All Lined Up (#1 Rusk University)
All Broke Down (#2 Rusk University)

Synopsis:
First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay… Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience).

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt… again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she’s never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he’s willing to take the chance when it’s more than just a game.

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.

Goodreads| Amazon

review
*Warning this may contain spoilers for the first books in the series*

I was so excited to pick up this book because I love Mateo! (Almost as much as I love Brooks!) I was also interested to see and learn more about Dylan’s quiet bookworm roommate Antonella. So far in the series this has been my favorite book! I found the MC’s to be much more relatable and the relationship to be more intense and interesting. (Which is saying a lot because I really enjoyed Silas and Dylan’s relationship).

Nell is planning for the future and is trying as hard as she can to make a successful future for herself and because of this she has put her social life on the back burner. It was so fun and adorably cute watching Nell open up and find herself and want she wants in life. The fact that she has to make a college bucket list added an intriguing element to the book and made it loads of fun! Nell is nerdy and awkward but you can’t help but to love her. She is definitely my favorite female in this series (besides Stella, I cant wait for her book!)The way Torres falls so hard for her and is so protective and devoted was so cute. The relationship was intense and sweet. I fell in love with these characters and loved how even though completely different end goals both are striving for the same things. I also loved how fun, flirty and filled with banter this book was. The interactions and conversations between Nell and Mateo had me grinning and unable to swipe the smile from my face. He adds a sense of fun into her life and she is able to reign him in. That is the perfect kind of relationship were they make each other better! I also enjoyed the appearances and development of the other characters throughout this story. The interwoven stories and continuation of the other books MC stories are perfect. 

Overall this book continues to build on an amazing foundation that Carmack has written in the previous books in this series. It is flirty, cute and filled with swoony men you just cant help but to love. Carmack really drives home the importance of following your dreams and finding yourself. This book does not fall short on fun characters full of personality and adorable moments. It has real life struggles and beautiful relationships that tie up to make a perfectly fun read!

RATING-4

 

All Broke Down by Cora Carmack | Book Review

20525621
ALL BROKE DOWN 
BY CORA CARMACK 

Genre: New Adult, Romance

“I will never be able to turn this girl down. Whatever she wants from me, it’s hers. No matter what she asks for, I’ll find a way to give it to her. She may not be mine, but somewhere along the way, I ended up hers.”
― Cora Carmack, All Broke Down

Series: Rusk University Series
All Lined Up (#1Rusk University)
All Played Out (#3 Rusk University)

Synopsis:
Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

Goodreads| Amazon

review

*Warning this may contain spoilers for the first book in the series*

I was not sure how I was going to feel about this book because Silas was not a character I thought I could like due to what takes place in the first book. Somehow Carmack made me fall in love with this handsome football player. You learn so much about him in this book and feel for him with all that is going on. I was surprisingly really happy with how Silas was handled in this book and felt like Dylan was a good match for this hard to handle hot head!

I enjoyed that each character had things in their life they needed to face and work on and were able to help to make each other better. I also loved that you get to see the characters from the first book and learn about their relationship as well as the other characters. I still love that this series is focused on college football because it is something I absolutely adore! I appreciate that Carmack really focuses on the struggles that real college kids have and especially those struggles that appear in relationships. The relationship takes work and isn’t easy, which makes it real and worth fighting for. I found it easier to fall in love with Silas and Dylan’s story. There wasn’t as much angst and it was full of chemistry and overall was just a fun read.

Overall I thought this was a great continuation and a fantastic pairing. It was filled with self-discovery, adorable romance, feisty characters and real life conflict. Although layer with dark pasts, the book took a light approach to the story and was just a cute and easy read!

RATING

 

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack | Book Review

18505845ALL LINED UP BY CORA CARMACK 

Genre: New Adult, Romance

“Because sometimes in life, you just have to stand there and do nothing. Overwhelmed by all the versions of ourselves that exist in our minds—who we want to be, who we should be, who we’re not, and who we are—it’s a jungle that can ensnare your feet and confuse your eyes. But sometimes if you stand still, all those things will snap back into place like a rubber band. And if you can get past the sting, you can keep moving, not quite whole, but held together for the moment.”
― Cora Carmack, All Lined Up

Series: Rusk University Series
All Broke Down (#2 Rusk University)
All Played Out (#3 Rusk University)
Synopsis:
In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That’s what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn’t always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It’s obliterated.

Dallas doesn’t know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn’t know that Dallas is his new coach’s daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

GoodreadsAmazon

review

This book intrigued me when I saw it was a new adult including football! There is nothing I love more than swoony men and football! I was interested in starting to read more new adult and have found Carmack’s writing to be easy to get into making for fun, cute and fast reads! This book was no exception. Dallas has been raised all her life around football and wants nothing to do with it, but is thrust back into that life when she goes off to Rusk University where her dad coaches the football team.

Dallas fell a little short for me as a character. Although she was strong and determined in following her dreams as a dancer, I felt like she was boring and was over shadowed by her best friend Stella. I loved the relationship that developed between Dallas and her father and of course thought Dallas and Carson were adorable and loved their banter. Carson on the other hand was the perfect country boy gentleman. He has struggles he has to overcome and work really hard towards those as well as just be absolutely adorable! I loved how many characters you are introduced to and the relationships/friendships that are developed. I absolutely adore Stella and Dallas friendship and love that is was an area of focus.

Overall I thought this was an adorable and fun read. There was nothing that made me fall madly in love with it, but it was a good read. It had romance, struggles and heartwarming relationships. It hit on important topics of new adult from forming and fixing relationships to going after your dreams and finding yourself.It was full of personality from all of the characters and set up perfectly for the series. I totally recommend this book to those who love a cutesy romance full of chemistry, attraction and football!

RATING

 

Beautiful Broken Rules by Kimberly Lauren| Audiobook Review

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BEAUTIFUL BROKEN RULES BY KIMBERLY LAUREN

Genre: NA, Romance, Contemporary 

“Just because someone you loved dies, doesn’t mean that your world ends as well.”
― Kimberly Lauren, Beautiful Broken Rules

Series: Broken Trilogy
Beautiful Broken Mess (#2 Broken Trilogy)

Synopsis:
The most valuable lesson Emerson Moore ever learned was from her parents: Never get too attached to someone else. That’s why this hard-partying college student plays by her own code of bedroom conduct, refusing to stay with the same guy for too long. She gets all the pleasure of having a good time without the messiness of a relationship.. So what if frat house–hopping has earned her a certain reputation around campus? At least no one gets hurt this way—especially her.

When ridiculously gorgeous Jaxon Riley moves in next door, Emerson’s not sure how long her vow against emotional intimacy can last. Jaxon’s tattoo, muscles, and sexy voice make him tempting, but he also seems to really understand her…until his jealous ex-girlfriend and Emerson’s life-changing discovery about her parents get thrown into the mix. After everything she’s been through, can Emerson handle a real relationship? Or will breaking her rules just lead to a broken heart?

Goodreads | Amazon 

review

Kimberly Lauren sure knows how to write some amazingly swoon worthy men! Another thing that this book is not short on is wonderfully heart warming friendships. Although being a new adult novel this book is jam packed with romance it also puts a huge focus on other relationships (friendships/siblings). There was also more than one romance in this book that really made the book gripping as you follow the lives of more than one character.

Emerson known as the school slut meets her match when Jaxon moves in next door. She has her guards up and is dealing with a lot in her personal life. Although Em is feisty, likes to have a good time and goes after what she wants, she really doubts herself and at times is a extremely annoying character. She makes a lot of stupid mistakes and there were so many times I was so angry with what she was doing. That is one of the things I hate most in books when the female acts like the whole world is against her and makes more problems with all the situations. That is part of the reason I had a hard time with this books. I was just so frustrated and wanted to hit Emerson. The boys were amazing and so swoon worthy! They play football and care so much about those two girls that it just melts your heart. Cole is that best friend that every girl hopes for and when he finally gets his love interest it was so incredibly adorable. Jax and Jace are the most amazing brothers every and I love them so much! The brothers are absolute adorable together and are so playful and deeply care for each other. Jaxon, what can I say. He is such a southern gentlemen!

Overal Lauren wrote a beautiful story with tons of awesome relationships that really won me over. It had me rooting for Emerson the whole time and really wanting things to work out for her. It had an awesome college setting with football and parties! It also had the struggle of classes, life, new relationships and death. It was a solid new adult book and had its fair share of steamy moments as well!

 RATING-2

Lights Out by Ted Koppel | Book Review

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LIGHTS OUT: A CYBERATTACK, A NATION UNPREPARED, SURVIVING THE AFTERMATH BY TED KOPPEL

Genre: Non-Fiction, Science, Politics

Source: Blogging For Books in return for an honest review

“To be dependent is to be vulnerable.”
-Ted Koppel, Lights Out

Synopsis:
Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before.

It isn’t just a scenario. A well-designed attack on just one of the nation’s three electric power grids could cripple much of our infrastructure—and in the age of cyberwarfare, a laptop has become the only necessary weapon. Several nations hostile to the United States could launch such an assault at any time. In fact, as a former chief scientist of the NSA reveals, China and Russia have already penetrated the grid. And a cybersecurity advisor to President Obama believes that independent actors—from “hacktivists” to terrorists—have the capability as well. “It’s not a question of if,” says Centcom Commander General Lloyd Austin, “it’s a question of when.”

And yet, as Koppel makes clear, the federal government, while well prepared for natural disasters, has no plan for the aftermath of an attack on the power grid. The current Secretary of Homeland Security suggests keeping a battery-powered radio.

In the absence of a government plan, some individuals and communities have taken matters into their own hands. Among the nation’s estimated three million “preppers,” we meet one whose doomsday retreat includes a newly excavated three-acre lake, stocked with fish, and a Wyoming homesteader so self-sufficient that he crafted the thousands of adobe bricks in his house by hand. We also see the unrivaled disaster preparedness of the Mormon church, with its enormous storehouses, high-tech dairies, orchards, and proprietary trucking company – the fruits of a long tradition of anticipating the worst. But how, Koppel asks, will ordinary civilians survive?

With urgency and authority, one of our most renowned journalists examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways to prepare for a catastrophe that is all but inevitable.

GoodreadsAmazon

review
*I would like to thank Blogging For Books for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

Koppel paints a vivid, intense and incredibly scary picture of a possible reality. In this day and age our society relies so heavily on electricity and the internet. Everything is digitalized and you never see anyone without an electronic device in front of their face 24/7. Even my three year old niece owns a tablet. Internet dependency of the current generation paves the way for new and unknown terrors. Koppel opens up this book setting the scene of what our lives and world would  look like if a cyber attack on the power grid took place. In our day with terrorist attacks happening all over the world it is just a matter of time until they start attacking other means of our living. It was not until I picked up this book that I realized the real possibility of such an attack happening.

Koppel has done his research and has tons of information from very high up and knowledgable people. He does a really good job of trying to get information from all sides and present a well thought out and unbiased picture of the near future possibilities of a cyber attack and what that would mean for the United States. There is a lot of science talk in this book and at times it gets dense and hard to follow along with. It is understandable with a book such as this, but at times the book was hard to get into and I had to read it in small chunks. Koppel does his best to try and evade this from happening by using real life metaphors. For example he was explaining the cyberspace world and how it works by comparing it to ebola and the way it spreads.

Overall this book was very eye opening to a extremely possible threat. It does seem like a plausible event that could take place and with the dependency that our society has on the internet it seems like such a smart move for someone who wants to attack and hinder the U.S. Whether it is totally possible anytime soon is the debate but I believe it is something to watch out for and to spread more money and time investigating. One of the more chilling parts of the book for me was the dedication written by Koppel:

“To our grandchildren: Jake and Dylan, Aidan, Alice and Annabelle, Cole and Grace Ann(e). Here’s hoping that Opi got it wrong.”

– Ted Koppel, Lights Out

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys non-fiction and thought provoking topics. Also if you enjoy dystopian or apocalyptic worlds and want to try some non-fiction this would be a good one to pick up!  Also Koppel recommends a fiction book One Second After by William Forstchen which is a similar story of what would happen if there was an attack on the power grid!

RATING

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | Book Review

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FANGIRL BY RAINBOW ROWELL

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

“Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,” Wren said. “It’s the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.”
― Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

Synopsis:
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Goodreads| Amazon

review

I am not even sure where to start with this review. I feel like I am one of the last people in the book community to read this book and I so very much wish I would have had this book my freshman year of college. Even though I am no longer a freshman in college or even in college anymore, this story was so relatable to my life. Even down to the atmosphere and feel of the midwest agricultural college that I experienced. I think the fact that Fangirl took place at at a college much like the one I went to made me fall in love with the book even more. This book was layered with moments that brought back the nostalgia and memories for me. I was also in a sorority and loved the mention of greek life as well!

This book took me back to my time in college and I am so thankful to Rowell for that. She made me remember what it is like trying to find your own way and meeting new people. I could understand Cath and her need to lock herself away in her room and get lost in the fictional world instead of the real one. I believe there is a little bit of fangirl in each of us and for that reason Cath is so relatable and real. Cath was a complex character who had to learn about life as she was going and experiences the good and bad. Cath also goes through a wide array of real life experiences and situations that I appreciated while reading this book. Although I do not consider Levi a fictional crush, I did love his character. Rowell did a fantastic job creating a well rounding loving character, in Levi whom was a perfect complement to Cath. Levi was not flawless, but had a huge heart and I loved that.

Overall I loved the fact that Rowell took such a huge and relatable concept of being a fangirl and fan-fiction and turned it into a brilliant, heart warming and beautiful story. She does not hide any of the real life issues and situations that arise while in college and depicts the agricultural school and life so well! I thought it was fantastic that Rowell also created her own version of Harry Potter and made it her own!

 

5s