Bite-Sized Reviews: Gemina and Our Chemical Hearts

October 12, 2016 Reviews 12 ★★★★★

Once again, there are so many releases this time of year that I’m resorting to bite-sized reviews for some of them. Hopefully these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction!


geminaGemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on 10/18/16
Genres: Young AdultScience Fiction
Pages: 608
Source: BEA
My content rating: YA (Violence, Drug use, Swears are “censored”)
My rating:
5 Stars

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Timesbestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.”
 
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

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My Take copy3

This book was amazing! Even better than the first book, in my opinion. It focused on Hanna and Nik, who are on the Jump Station Heimdall, where the Hypatia is headed. Bei Tech is still trying to cover its tracks—the easiest way to do that is to get rid of everyone who knows anything. Which includes everyone on the Hypatia—people on Heimdall are mostly collateral damage. Add in some deadly, four-headed alien space snakes and you have quite a sticky situation for our heroes!! If you loved Illuminae, you won’t be disappointed.

I actually connected to the characters a bit more in this one—even though it was told in the same style, I feel like Kaufman and Kristoff managed to convey these characters’ emotions more somehow. Hanna starts out seeming like a spoiled rich girl, but as the book goes on she shows her true colors. Nik is the boy from “the wrong side of the space station.” A true bad boy with a heart of gold. (I’m a sucker for those.) I especially loved Ella, Nik’s tech genius cousin who’s in a wheelchair.

Every minute of this book was exciting, and of course, the format was incredible! Can’t wait to get my hands on a finished copy! I easily give it 5/5 Stars. This series remains an all-time Favorite!

All -Time Favorite

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via #BEA16 in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***



Our Chemical Hearts
 by Krystal Sutherlandour-chemical-hearts
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on 10/4/16
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Source: BEA
My content rating:  YA (Some sexual situations, talk of drug use, etc)
My rating:
4 Stars

John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again.

Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change.

Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.

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My Take copy3

This book was amazing in so many ways! I didn’t absolutely agree with every message in the book, but I loved that it got me thinking so much about life and love and loss. This book is sort of bittersweet … just like life!

Henry idolizes Grace and falls for her, even though he realizes he’s really falling for a mystery, for the idea of Grace. But the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her mysteries are darker than he imagined and that he just might not be able to “save” her after all. I love that this book gives us a realistic look at teen romance and doesn’t sugarcoat the experience—after all, it’s often filled with heartbreak. And I loved the ending and most of the final messages in the book. (View Spoiler »). I wasn’t a huge fan of Sadie, the stereotypical “cool” older sister who spent her youth doing (and selling) drugs, getting arrested, and otherwise causing trouble. Everyone in the book seemed to look up to her, which is a message that frustrates me to no end. Still, overall, I really enjoyed this book. I give it 4/5 Stars.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via #BEA16 in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

12 Responses to “Bite-Sized Reviews: Gemina and Our Chemical Hearts”

  1. Joy // Joyousreads

    Just preordered a copy of Gemina. I haven’t read Illuminae but your excitement for Gemina convinced me that i must read these books soon. I’m glad you enjoyed Our Chemical Hearts but I’m bummed you didn’t quite enjoy Lovely Reckless. I was looking forward to reading that one but now it sounds like the bad decisions might annoy me.

    Thanks for sharing, Nicole!

  2. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    So. I cannot WAIT to read Gemina. Less than a week, yayy! And looking forward to Our Chemical Hearts too! Now I am glad I passed on The Lovely Reckless- I really didn’t think it would be a “me” book, and then some great reviews had me reconsidering… but now yours makes me feel confident that I made the right choice in giving it away! As for Spindle, I didn’t really know WHAT it was all about. And I must say, the historical aspect makes me more interested than I was initially. BUt… a three star rating and some boring parts isn’t really enough to make me run out and buy it I don’t think. But maybe if I see it on sale one day, I can add it to my hoarding collection 😉 Great reviews!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: The Daemoniac by Kat Ross: Review & Giveaway
  3. Karen Blue

    Will the AWESOME reviews of Gemina never stop? I can’t wait to read it! 4 days til I get my copy. All the reviews say it is even better than Illuminae and I absolutely LOVED Illuminae. Great reviews, but of course I was mostly just interested in the one.

    Karen Blue recently posted: October New Release #Giveaway Hop
  4. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Booksa

    All the reviews of Gemina that I have seen have said the same as you: that it’s even better than the first one. I find that hard to believe, but I will trust you. 🙂 I usually get all my books on my Kindle, but like Illuminae, I will be getting the physical copy of this one. It’s just so pretty! Great reviews.

    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Booksa recently posted: Back From My Much Needed Break

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