Any Sign of Life by Rae Carson

Summary:
When a teenage girl thinks she may be the only person left alive in her town—maybe in the whole world—she must rely on hope, trust, and her own resilience.
Paige Miller is determined to take her basketball team to the state championship, maybe even beyond. But as March Madness heats up, Paige falls deathly ill. Days later, she wakes up attached to an IV and learns that the whole world has perished. Everyone she loves, and all of her dreams for the future—they’re gone.
But Paige is a warrior, so she pushes through her fear and her grief. And as she gets through each day—scrounging for food, for shelter, for safety—Paige encounters a few more young survivors. Together, they might stand a chance. But as they struggle to endure their new reality, they learn that the apocalypse did not happen by accident. And that there are worse things than being alone.

Book Cover

Review:
Any Sign of Life follows Paige after she wakes up to a whole new world. She remembers feeling a bit sick when she went to sleep, but she soon realizes that she was essentially in a coma for a week and that everyone she’s ever known is now dead. She leaves her home to see if she can find other survivors and the few people she does find have theories that the plague was introduced to humanity via aliens. This sounds totally weird but it was fun. This was my first time in many months reading a plague/quickly spreading illness story. I thought I would be totally fine and it wouldn’t bother me at all since I don’t usually have issues reading about things like that. But I found that I had to take a few breaks in the first 150 pages to so just to take a breath from the darkness of the story.
Despite that, once the alien twist came into the story, I really flew through it. It’s a sort about the end of the world, so it’s a bit dark. But Paige and Trey, and eventually Tanq and the others they meet were a fun group. I really liked the way things went when Paige and Trey met for the first time. It had me tearing up a little, honestly. I think the characters were all interesting and well developed. We had a pretty diverse cast too. Trey is black. Tanq is asexual. Wyatt has asthma. I would say sarcastically that all the diversity boxes were checked off, but they all were likable characters that had a purpose in the story. To me, it didn’t feel like these things were just thrown in there to claim the diversity card.
My one complaint about the story was that it was trying to do too much. I was totally on board with the world-ending flu that we later find out is caused by aliens. And even when we found out the reasoning why Trey, Tanq, and Wyatt survived, I bought it. But the twist with Paige felt like it was pushing things a little too far. I think there were so many more things that could have been explored in the story and there just wasn’t enough time to do it all. I believe this is a standalone too, so it’s not like those details we find out in the final third of the story will be explored later in the series because it isn’t one.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It’s not a new favorite or anything, but I had a good time reading it. It was fast paced and thrilling. It was compelling and had characters that I was easily invested in. Oh! There’s also a dog that’s super well-trained, adorable, and survives the whole book. I would definitely recommend this book to readers that enjoy YA science fiction.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

GoodReads Summary:
The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times–bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America. Walk on Earth a Stranger begins an epic saga from one of the finest writers of young adult literature.
Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety?
Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns series, dazzles with the first book in the Gold Seer Trilogy, introducing a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance, as only she can.
Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1)Review:
I have to start by saying that I thought this was a totally different book. I was rereading this because I thought it was a book about something else. Despite going into this expecting a different story, I still liked it. I’m not big on historical fiction but this one was good.
Lee is going west to meet her best friend after her parents were murdered. Her journey was full of action and adventure, loss and love. I thought her ability to sense gold was really interesting.
This cast of characters had so many secrets that were revealed in time. I thought the writing was really well done. I also thought despite the book being kind of slow, it was still interesting.
It’s not my usual genre, but I still enjoyed this book. The characters were complex and interesting. The plot was a bit slow, but there was enough action that it wasn’t boring. Lovers of historical fiction will probably love this book. It talked about some complex topics with the inclusion of slaves and Native Americans. I thought those topics were discussed very well.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

ABC Book Challenge |G|

Hello, Bookworms! This week we will be talking about books with the letter G.

For those of you that are new here – here’s the deal, each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A and ending once we’ve gone all the way to Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were super memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

Read last week’s post here.

This week’s letter is – G

Most Memorable Books 

Amanda

(The) Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – I absolutely loved this book. It actually also is on my TBR list for a reread because the third and final book just came out. Check out my review here.

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow – This was a recent read for me but I’m still thinking about it. It was a powerful story about substance abuse, addiction, and self-harm. You can read my review HERE.

Antonia

(The) Golden Compass by Philip Pullman – One of my all-time favorite series since I was a child. I love everything about it, even if the third book makes me bawl my eyes out.

(The) Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson – I didn’t love this book. So why is it on this list? Because I pushed through to finish the trilogy anyway and ended up LOVING the second and third books. This book always reminds me to give the whole series a shot even if I wasn’t in love with the beginning.

 

Books Still on our TBR List

Amanda

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – I finished reading Red Queen at the beginning of August. This is on my TBR list for the month as I slowly reread the whole series now that the final book has been released.

Girls Made of Glass and Snow by Melissa Bashardoust – This was a BookOutlet buy for me. The cover is pretty and I really enjoy fairytale retellings.

Antonia

(The) Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith – I’ve been wanting to catch up on her books for awhile and this one sounds particularly interesting. Since I’ve been in long-distance relationships (before we were married, my husband was stationed in Japan for two years while I stayed home in Massachusetts), I’m curious to see how Smith portrays it in her book.

(The) Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg – I recently started the first book, The Paper Magician, on audiobook. I’m barely a half hour into it. Unfortunately, I’m not enjoying the narrator much so I might just switch to kindle for the rest of it. It’s so interesting though that I’m already excited for the second book.

 

 

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Books I disliked/hated but am Glad I read

TTTTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish (feel free to put your own spin on it). This week’s prompt is “Books I Disliked/Hated but Am Really Glad I Read (maybe just for bragging rights)”. This one was really hard for me so I only have five this week. I had a few problems with it: 1. I’m not afraid to DNF a book when I don’t like it. 2. Because of that, I don’t often hate books that I’ve read all the way through. 3. I’ve never really considered bragging rights to be a thing when it comes to books. Brag about reading in general, but I don’t think it matters what you’re reading as long as you’re reading. To me no book is more important than any other just because it’s trending or because some scholars said it is.
With that being said, my list is going to be skewed more towards books I disliked but finished reading anyway since that’s something of a feat for me in and of itself.

1. Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest- This one actually fits into the original prompt for me. I read the first three books in the series but stopped during the fourth. While it’s another YA vampire series, I found it actually had a lot of unique ideas. I think my main problem was that a lot of the characters seemed really immature to me- not just the teenagers. I don’t think I’ll ever get back to this series (sorry Amanda) but am still interested in reading some of her other books. However I am glad I read them because I’d been in a serious reading lull for awhile and they got me back into using my Kindle.

2. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson- I just found this one a little annoying and hard to get through but the other two books in the trilogy were really good and I loved where she ended up taking the story so I’m glad I pushed through the first book despite my reluctance.

3. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger- I’ve never understood why this one is so popular. Holden is an immature, big, dumb jerk (we’re trying not to swear anymore) and I absolutely despised this book. But I actually finished it which I didn’t often do with the assigned reading from school.

4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald- This one was just so irritating. Nothing much happened until the end and the MC was SO DULL.

5. Fallen by Lauren Kate- You can read my somewhat angry review here. Amanda was a little annoyed that I didn’t finish this series but I’m just proud I managed to get through the first book. This is one of only a handful of books that I can honestly say I hated.

Well there’s my top five for this week. Let me know what you agree/disagree with. I love hearing your thoughts. As always, thanks for visiting our blog.
-Antonia