Book-cation Location: Abandoned Undergrounds Book: The Initiation by Chris Babu Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Dystopian, Sci-Fi Print Date: February 2018 Goodreads Score: 4 stars Giveaway: Print Copy of The Initiation Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads Short Review: If you… More
Book-cation Location: New York, NY
Book: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Romance
Print Date: November 2016
Goodreads Score: 5 stars
Short Review: My slightly cynic heart was filled with love!
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
Long Review: I have found an author that I will forever pick up each of her new books. Nicola Yoon does a spectacular job with this story. It’s a story that has such a heavy topic overall yet it was still a light and fun read! I wasn’t kidding when I said I have a slightly cynic heart. I’m a bit like Natasha in that regard. I could totally relate to her feelings on the whole love at first sight, fate, and destiny ideas. I will say this tho, if a guy like Daniel ever comes along I think I will become a believer!
The characters were all amazing. Even the small ones that at first I found myself wondering why they even had a chapter in this story! Every single character mattered and I loved seeing how it all pieced together in the end. It was very interesting getting to see the thoughts/story from so many different points of view. While I related more to most of Natasha’s views, Daniel was my favorite. I spent the majority of this book smiling and laughing and 90% of that was due to him. Trust me, you are going to fall in love with him before the book is over.
I’m big on not having an spoilers in my reviews so there isn’t much else that I can say other than grab this book as soon as you can and read it!
As I mentioned above the Book-cation location for The Sun is Also a Star is New York City! While there are so many things that you can do in New York here is a list of a few places that you absolutely have to see to feel as if you have stepped within the pages of this amazing book!
- Museum of Natural History. https://www.amnh.org/ While you are there I challenge you to find the Ahnighito within the Hall of Meteorites. This is a location that you will find yourself relating to Natasha in!
- Korea Town. Enjoy some authentic Korean food and follow it up with some Karaoke, or as Daniel says norebang!
- Central Park. Need I say more.
- The Subway. You can’t properly experience New York without taking the subway! Daniel and Natasha both spent quite a bit of time on the Subway too!
- Ellis Island. https://www.nps.gov/elis/index.htm While Daniel and Natasha did not visit this destination in the books, I feel I would be doing them a disservice by not recommending it. How can you visit these spots in honor of a book that talks about immigrants without experiencing all the history that Ellis Island has to offer on just that!
“There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.”
~Daniel, The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
To kick of 2018 myself and a few friends decided to take a drive up I-70 to Dillon, CO to an Ice Castle. While we found no kights, white walkers, or Ice Dragons on our adventure we did feel as if we had stumbled upon Elsa’s frozen fortress, stepped through the closet into Narnia, or had found ourselves North of the Wall. While we were there it was hard not to get lost in the magic of all the places your mind could take you.
This particular Ice Castle was built by Ice Castles, LLC based out of Utah. Based on information from their website and the news, these are hand crafted masterpieces that are constructed over time using about 10,000 icicles per day to create, they have 10′ thick walls and can weigh around 25,000,000 pounds! All of these fun facts aside, it is just beautiful in general.
Upon your entry you will receive a map of the different rooms in the Castle. I’m not going to lie tho, I glanced at the map, tucked it into my pocket and just wandered through the castle. I climbed into crevices that opened up into rooms like an igloo, stood in line with all the other grown kids to take my turn on the slide, and marveled at the artistic quality of the icicles throughout each room. We were there during the day time so we unfortunately did not get to see the light show, but it was still worth the drive into the mountains for this fun afternoon adventure.
This is something I would for sure recommend you do for fun. It’s fun for the kids and the kids at heart!
To order tickets to the Ice Castle and for more information go to http://icecastles.com/dillon/
“The ice pressed close around them, and he could feel the cold seeping into his bones, the weight of the Wall above his head. It felt like walking down the gullet of an ice dragon.”
~ Jon Snow, A Storm Of Swords, George R. R. Martin
Book: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Print Date: June 2013
Goodreads Score: 5 stars
Short Review: So good! I could not put it down!
Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
Long Review: First things first, to everyone that is already a fan of the Grishaverse I apologize for taking so long to join you! I have had this one and the third in the series on my to read list for awhile now. I finally found the time to dive into the series again and I enjoyed this book even more than the first one. I also liked that it didn’t follow the traditional path of a story (slow start for character building, starts getting exciting with more going on in the middle, and ends with a huge finale and a giant cliffhanger), this one jumped right in with some very interesting revelations that keep you wanting more the entire book. This was a page turner for me because I think I wanted to know more about the firebird just as much as Alina did! I read this in an evening because I just couldn’t put it down!
I both loved and hated the new love triangle that gets introduced. I wont tell you who all is involved in this new development, but I promise it’s good! I know which person Alina should probably end up with, but I am so rooting for someone else! I also could not get enough of the new characters that were introduced, the twins Tamar and Tolya and Stormhund. They quickly became my favorites and I later found out that there was more to them than I even realized at first. Huge spoilers if I expand on this so I will just wait for you to read and find out yourself exactly what I mean.
The only thing that I honestly felt was lacking was the Darkling. I wanted more of his evil self in the story this time around. I mean who doesn’t love to hate a good villain!
“The Darkling had told her he was destined to rule. He had claimed his throne, and a part of her too. He was welcome to it. For the living and the dead, she would make herself a reckoning. She would rise.”
~Leigh Bardugo, Siege and Storm
Book: The Culling by Ramona Finn
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Sci-Fi
Print Date: November 2017
Goodreads Score: 3 stars
Giveaway: $50 Amazon gift card
Short Review: An interesting twist on a dystopian story.
In a solar system where The Authority decides who lives and who dies, only one of their own assassins can stop them.
Glade Io is a trained killer. Marked at a young age as an individual with violent tendencies, she was taken from her family and groomed to be a Datapoint, a biotech-enabled analyst who carries out the Culling. She is meant to identify and destroy any potential threats to the human colonies. But when she’s kidnapped by rogue colonists known as the Ferrymen, everything Glade thinks she knows about the colonies, and The Authority that runs them, collapses into doubt.
Pulled between two opposing sides, and with her family’s lives hanging in the balance, Glade is unsure of who to trust—and time is running out.
Long Review: This was, in my opinion, your typical dystopian story that made things somewhat predictable. I did however enjoy the added sci-fi twist to the story. The thought that technology has advanced so far that you can literally sync your brain with a computer is kind of creepy. What was even creepier is that these same people that are synced with the computer then have the ability to kill anyone through the act of culling. I couldn’t help but wonder how terrifying life must be in this world that the author has created. To know that at any moment the Authority could decide you are a threat and BAM, you can’t even defend yourself!
The characters are each interesting in their own way. My favorite is Kupier. From the moment he is introduced you immediately like him. He is very driven, a great leader, and loves his family. Glade is a tough nut to crack. One minute you think she really is like a robot and then the next you find she is capable of emotion and you are able to peel back a layer to her. One of my favorite parts was getting to see how Glade unraveled all of the knew knowledge that she was given about the Authority by Kupier. She has gone her entire life thinking one way and is know basically being told its all been a lie. From the moment that Jan Ernst Haven gets introduced I am immediately suspicious…but I will let you be the judge.
This was not by any means my favorite book, but it is a quick and fun read that I think you will enjoy!
About the Author
Ramona Finn writes about courageous characters who fight to live in broken, dystopian worlds. She believes a person’s true characters is often revealed in times of crisis, and there is no greater crisis than the worlds that she drops her characters into!
She grew up sitting cross-legged on her town’s library floor–completely engrossed in science fiction books. It was always the futuristic world or the universe-on-the-brink-of-extinction plotlines that drew her in, but it was the brave characters who chose to fight back that kept her turning the pages.
Her books create deep, intricate worlds with bold characters determined to fight for their survival in their dystopian worlds–with a little help from their friends. And, of course, romance is never out of the question 😉 Website│Goodreads│Facebook
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