Science Fiction, Thriller

Recursion by Blake Crouch

RecursionRecursion by Blake Crouch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Out June 11th. Pre-order from Amazon here!

I am convinced that Blake Crouch is a genius!

After reading Dark Matter last year, I was worried that whatever he came out with next wouldn’t compare. I was straight up mind blown by Dark Matter and in awe of the brain power it took to develop such a complex story with so many different outcomes and scenarios. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Recursion is one of the top 5 books I’ve been dying to read this year, but I was slightly terrified that it was going to let me down. Well, let me tell you, it lived up to my expectations and definitely did not disappoint. In my opinion, it was just as amazing as Dark Matter.

Recursion is a total mind f*ck! When people start coming down with a mysterious illness deemed FMS (False Memory Syndrome), nobody is quite sure what is happening. Those inflicted with FMS suddenly have memories from a life they never lived, driving many of them to madness. NYC Barry Sutton finds himself investigating the suicide of an FMS victim which leads him to Helena Smith, a scientist working to preserve the memories of Alzheimer’s patients. What follows will literally blow your mind.

I could not love this book more. It had all of the elements I love in a sci fi thriller. It had a unique concept, kept me on the edge of my seat, had me guessing from start to finish, and had a satisfying conclusion. Blake Crouch did a fantastic job thinking through all the potential pitfalls or holes in the story. I wish I could see a storyboard of his thought process while developing the various story lines in an attempt to make the pieces fit together perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. So impressive!

I cannot recommend this book enough! If you’re even remotely interested in science fiction or just want to be taken on a wild ride that bends your brain over and over, this is the book for you! I hope he continues to write original stories that restore my belief in uniquely constructed thrillers!

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Blake Crouch, and Crown Publishing for the opportunity to review.-

View all my reviews

Mystery, Science Fiction

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

The Psychology of Time TravelThe Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Somebody on social media posted about this book and said it was one of the most underrated books they had read this year. And she’s right. I haven’t seen this cover blasted all over Instragram or Goodreads, but I had run across it a couple times. I added it to my list at the library and after several weeks of waiting, it was mine.

I’m not going to give you a synopsis of the story because that ruins half the fun. The Psychology of Time Travel is a tangled web of stories across different time periods that all mesh together one way or another. There is romance. There is a murder mystery. And prepare to have your brain hurt just thinking about all the time travel involved.

Things I really loved about this book:
1. Strong Women. The book oozed lady power. In fact, there were barely any men in the book at all. It was all about strong women making discoveries and overcoming adversity. I always love a good, strong female lead, and this book had several of them.
2. Time Travel. Really any book about time travel usually peaks my interest. Talk about a mind f*ck. I can’t ever seem to wrap my brain around all the nuances and intricacies of time travel and am always impressed by authors who even attempt it. There are so many ways in which it can go wrong because it requires so much forethought.
3. The Appendices. Okay, what kind of weirdo writes about how much they liked the appendices? Me… Right here. Kate Mascarenhas wrote an entire glossary of time traveler terms, further perpetuating the world she created. And she gave the reader a little something fun to do at the end of the book. Take a quiz to assess the reader’s readiness for time travel. I scored 19 points which scored me in the middle of the pack, stating, “You have some of the traits needed for time travel, and might do well at the Conclave if you make an extra effort to fit in.” I thought it was fun and interesting for her to add that little tidbit at the end.

A couple things I struggled with or would suggest to future readers:
1. Because this is a book about time travel, it was (at times) difficult for me to wrap my brain around. I did feel like there were perhaps some plot holes that some readers may find difficult to ignore. I personally don’t take fiction too seriously and read it for entertainment, so despite some of the plot holes, I still enjoyed it.
2. I would highly suggest reading this book in a couple of sittings (or all at once if you’re a die hard). There is a lot going on in this story. There are a lot of different timelines, people who are present in multiple timelines at different ages in their lives, clues to the murder mystery along the way…. and it just ends up being a lot of information to digest. Don’t get me wrong. It was fantastic. But I could not put this book down for a week and pick it back up without having to backtrack and remind myself what was going on.

Overall, very strong work for a debut novel. It’s definitely been underrated in my opinion but that shouldn’t discredit the content because it’s fabulous.

View all my reviews

Science Fiction, Young Adult

Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

Girls with Sharp SticksGirls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

What do I say about this book other than that I loved it? Well here’s my best shot!

Girls with Sharp Sticks is a young adult book focused on the lives of several girls living in an elite boarding school. They are taught to uphold the highest standards of behavior and grace, striving for perfection in all things. But things aren’t what they seem to be at Innovations Academy. And the girls must band together to discover the truth.

I truly don’t want to give anything away with this book because it’s a great journey of discovery from start to finish as the story unravels. I adored the girls at Innovations Academy. Despite the pressure to be perfect, they all exhibited their own human elements that made them likable and relatable.

The only reason it didn’t receive 5 stars from me is that it seemed just a tad too long. There were a few points in the middle where I felt like there was a lull or I felt like the story was dragged out just a littleeeeee too much. Just a tiny bit of editing would have gone a long way for me here.

I had no idea when I started this book that it would be the first in a series. And now I cannot wait to read the sequel. The last 100 pages really hooked me, and the book ended on a wonderful cliffhanger that will keep any reader coming back to find out what happens next. I also adored the way Suzanne Young announced the name of the sequel at the end of the book (super clever touch!).

Girls with Sharp Sticks reminded me of a cross between Vox and The Hunger Games/The Maze Runner. It had that same young adult feel with a mistreated group organizing an uprising against their oppressors. After I was done reading Girls with Sharp Sticks, I could see the way in which the author used this first book in the series to set up future books. It was definitely more of a background set up type of book so I cannot wait to see what the second book holds as I think it may be more action packed now that the groundwork has been laid.

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Suzanne Young, and Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for the opportunity to review.-

View all my reviews

General Fiction (Adult), Science Fiction

If, Then by Kate Hope Day

If, ThenIf, Then by Kate Hope Day

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Expected publication: March 12th!

Congrats to Kate Hope Day on a successful first novel. I simply adored the concept as well as the telling of If, Then.

Do you ever think about how your life would have turned out if you made a different decision somewhere along the way? This book challenges the reader to stretch their imagination and consider their own alternate realities while experiencing the journeys of several characters in a sleepy mountain town. Each of the various characters in this book have a story to tell and each of them struggles with inner demons. But, when they begin experiencing some paranormal activity in the form of what they think are hallucinations, they wonder if they’re catching a glimpse into what could have been or if they’re just going crazy.

I really enjoyed this entire book from start to finish. It is relatively short so makes for a quick read. And I felt that the characters were all distinct and relatable. It was easy to envision each person trekking their way through life, overcoming their daily struggles, discovering themselves. And the way each of their stories interconnected was done wonderfully.

I would characterize this more as a “slow burn” as it wasn’t terribly fast moving. But while it was on the slower side in terms of movement, I never found myself bored. Kate Hope Day was able to strike a good balance.

Overall, this was a very solid novel with some interesting philosophical content. I would recommend to anybody who tends to like books that make you think on a deeper level.

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Kate Hope Day, and Random House Publishing for the opportunity to review.-

View all my reviews

Audiobook Review, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller

The One by John Marrs

The OneThe One by John Marrs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You guys! I absolutely adored this book! And this isn’t one I’ve seen blasted across the internet on various social media platforms. I just kind of stumbled upon it through recommendations of friends.

The premise of the book was super interesting. What if you could take 23&Me and match.com and put them together into one mega dating app? Submit your DNA and be matched with your one and only soulmate. Would you do it? Follow the stories of four people who took the plunge. Experience the good, the bad, and the ugly.

As a woman who met her husband on match.com seven years ago, the content of this book really tickled my fancy. I thought the concept was such an interesting idea and enjoyed the variety of plots that evolved from it. Each story had an original spin and each had a super exciting twist or two.

This was a great audiobook with a lot of excitement that held my attention. I couldn’t get enough and found myself walking around the house with headphones on waiting to see what happened next (not the first time…).

If you haven’t checked this one out, I would highly recommend it. It is certainly unique and entertaining.

View all my reviews