Reboot by Amy Tintera

Now here’s an interesting premise for you –

reboot-amy-tintera

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders

Sounds right up my street! Tell me more…

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Confession time: I read this book at the start of January (during a 5-hour layover at Istanbul airport) so my impressions are not the freshest. Let’s see if I can dispel some cobwebs now.

Unearthly-by-cynthia-hand

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

I don’t read many angel books and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I appreciated that it began with Clara already knowing what she is so that we could get right along with figuring out her ‘purpose.’ Obviously this is quite a metaphorical story as many of us, perhaps beginning around the age that this book is aimed at, will wonder ourselves just what our own purpose is. Well for Clara there is a specific answer and ignoring it is not an option.

Don’t leave me hanging!→

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

2014 is shaping up nicely! I’ve read 7 books this January with Cinder by Marissa Meyer stealing the show.

cinder-by-marissa-meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future

If I were a zombie then Marissa Meyer’s brain would be my Michelin-starred meal of choice. I love fairy-tale retellings and this is easily one of the most original takes on a childhood classic that I have ever read. Cinder is a futuristic, dystopian spin on our beloved Cinderella that renders it at once new and yet reassuringly familiar. Playing Spot The Prop with the ‘glass slipper’ and ‘pumpkin coach’ was very entertaining and it shows how deeply ingrained fairy tales are in our psyche that, even in their new guises, these ingredients are so recognizable.

Now that’s what I’m talking about! Gimme gimme.→

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Alongside Shatter Me and Unravel Me, The Selection by Kiera Cass is another book that makes me long for a hard copy. I’m not sure even a colour eReader would do the cover justice let alone my Paperwhite.

selection-by-kiera-cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

You had me at the bit about marrying a prince.→

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Of all the books I wish I could read in hard copy, Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi is way up there. The cover is just stunning – even more so than Shatter Me which I read a few weeks agoIn fact, even though I’m not meant to be buying books until I settle down, I may have to buy this if I see it. Particularly the hardback with deckled edges. I just wish Shatter Me came in something other than that hideous silver foil monstrosity. *sigh*

unravel-me-tahereh-mafi

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.

Don’t tease me!→

Legend by Marie Lu

Since I moved to Japan in 2007 and The Hunger Games was first published in 2008, Dystopian YA is a phenomenon born largely in my absence from consistent reading.  For me Sci-Fi has always filled the role of undesirable fictional habitat and I’ve never liked it so I didn’t care about seeking out this new YA ‘phase.’ Now I know it’s here to stay, I’ve been getting acquainted with novels like Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and Legend by Marie Lu which I’m happy to say lack the sterility that puts me off of Science Fiction.

legend-marie-lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors.

Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles.

Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect.

Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

I love a kickass female!→

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Some books are cover buys. Some are BookTube Made Me! buys. And some are blurb buys. This one was definitely the latter!

Starcrossed-Josephine-AngeliniWhen shy, awkward Helen Hamilton sees Lucas Delos for the first time she thinks two things: the first, that he is the most ridiculously beautiful boy she has seen in her life; the second, that she wants to kill him with her bare hands. With an ancient curse making them loathe one another, Lucas and Helen have to keep their distance. But sometimes love is stronger than hate, and not even the gods themselves can prevent what will happen . . .

Wait a second. Insta-HATE??? →

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Living in Japan, I don’t get the chance to wonder through a forest of English language books and discover hidden gems the way I used to. Looking for new reads online means I run the risk of being spoiled, a la Allegiant by Veronica Roth, so usually I begin a book now without a complete idea of what its going to be about. Case and point: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

daughter-of-smoke-bone

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn’t whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

What’s this about buying teeth?→