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Review of Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

 

The blurb says that Never Let Me Go meets The Giver in Jennie Melamed’s dystopian debut drama (nice little bit of alliteration lol) about a cult that lives on an isolated island. But, I haven’t read Never Let Me Go…yet, so I don’t know if that’s an apt comparison but, to me it’s a good pairing of the book The Giver mixed with aspects off Running Out of Time (the book the movie The Village is based on and my newest **MUST READ**) mixed with aspects of The Handmaid’s Tale. Years ago, before the entire country was incinerated, ten men and their families managed to escape and settled on an island off the coast. They formed an uncompromising society based on worship of their ancestors, controlled breeding, and the strict rationing of knowledge and history. Only the Wanderers, ten male descendants of the original families, are allowed to leave the island and cross over to the wasteland, where they’ll scavenge for useful remnants and scraps among the still-smoldering fires. The Daughters on the island are “wives-in-training”, which is every bit as ominous as it sounds. At the first sign of puberty, they know that the next summer will be their Summer of Fruition, a ritualistic season that takes them from being young girls to being wives. They’ll have children who will have children, and when they’re no longer useful to their community and family, they take their final draught and die alongside their husbands. But, in the summer, the children who aren’t experiencing their Summer of Fruition are having the time of their lives. It’s a tradition that the children have free reign in the summer, with all of the adults living indoors and the children living wildly outside: fighting over food that the adults leave outside for them and building (and fighting over) shelters. At the end of one of their carefree summers, Caitlin Jacob sees something so horrific, something so completely contradictory to the laws that they’re supposed to live by that she knows that she has no other choice but to tell the others. Born leader, Janey Solomon, steps up, determined to find out the truth. If anyone can find the truth, it will be Janey. At seventeen years old, she’s the oldest of the children, because she’s so averse to becoming a woman that she’s slowly starving herself to death. After hearing what Caitlin saw, Janey tried urgently to untangle the knot of lies that they’ve been told their entire lives, and get to the truth about the island and what lies beyond, before she dies. She and her sister, Mary, try to lead the other girls in an insurgence against the adults that very well may be their undoing.

Honestly, this book was a bit difficult to review. It’s so incredibly well written so, if this is Jennie Melamed ‘s first attempt, we need to keep an eye out for future books because they’re bound to be epically amazing! This book was heartbreaking and exhilarating, joyous and infuriating, and an immeasurable amount of emotions, all combined through various periods in the story. Melamed has an incredible talent for description and for plot development. She can make you feel as if you’ve been dropped right into the middle of the action (invisibly, of course, so as to keep anyone from knowing you’re there, hehe). I definitely had a picture of the island in my mind as it changed from sum, with its groups of wild children running everywhere like they’re the Lost Boys in Peter Pan and in fall with the same children, now scrubbed clean and back home, walking back and forth to school. And as good as the author was at desciptions and story telling, she was even better at character development. There were no flat , single dimensional characters here, no way, no how. Every single character all the way to the youngest child that was mentioned had a dynamic personality. Every single one of them learned and adapted, and the ones who were too stubborn to understand why change was necessary really argued their case, it wasn’t just so they could be contemptuous. The reason that this book was so difficult for me to review is some of the themes it covers. It really makes you think and I’m not saying it’s intense. I dearly hope that Melamed has plans to continue writing because she’s incredibly talented and I really hope that you have plans to read this book because you’re going to be glad that you did. I, also really hope that there will be a sequel because I NEED to know what happens to them next!!!

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Seer by Ashley Maker

FTC DISCLAIMER: I RECEIVED AN E-ARC FROM THE AUTHOR THROUGH A GOODREADS GIVEAWAY. RECEIPT OF THIS BOOK IN THIS MANNER DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION OF THE BOOK OR THE CONTENT OF MY REVIEW!

Clare Palmer accepts the scholarship to attend Evergreen because she thinks it’ll get her away from her insane, estranged father and because it’s the same school that her late mother graduated from. But, when she gets there, she learns that her entire life has been a lie and she’s a part of this scientifically modified, combat obsessed society called the Corasha, some of whom view her as a potentially dangerous outsider because of her mother keeping her away. The purpose of Evergreen is to train Clare and the other children in combat and using their skills.

Seer is the first book in Ashley Maker’s Seer series, and the first book by this author that I’ve ever read. When I was offered the opportunity to read it, I found the concept interesting and really looked forward to getting to read it. Ashley definitely didn’t let me down! The main character was easy to identify with and the rest of the characters were well written, as well. I liked that there wasn’t anyone that was just good or just bad, they all had their own unique personalities and strengths and flaws to go along with them. I’m definitely looking forward to the second book so I can see what happens next and so I can, hopefully, get some answers to some lingering questions.

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Oracle’s Hunt by A. Claire Everward

A security-critical facility is destroyed to get to Oracle and that’s all USFID investigator Donovan Pierce knows. While he’s told that he needs to find the perpetrators of this deadly attack, and find them quickly, he’s also warned not to make any attempts to find Oracle itself or any information pertaining to it. Simply put Oracle is far above his security clearance. Lara Holsworth never even considered it possible for Oracle to be in danger and wants nothing more than to keep it a secret and to keep Donovan away from it…and her. But with some very real enemies determined to destroy it, hiding is no longer an option. Will Lara and Donovan be able to keep Oracle safe?

Really, I enjoyed every aspect of this fast paced novel. This author definitely has a knack for character development. She even made me feel sympathy for the hacker that Elijahn used. He was a bad guy so I didn’t want to see him get away completely, but I found myself feeling sorry for him, a little, and not wanting him to be killed. I absolutely adored Lara and found myself in awe of her intelligence and how much she cared about bringing everyone home. Donovan was amazing and so very good st his job. Really, all of the characters were incredibly well written, even the villains. They all had such dynamic personalities. There’s so much more I could say about this wonderful novel, but I worry about giving spoilers so I’m just going to say, y’all need to hurry up and read it!! You’re going to be glad that you did.

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Review of Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis

One day, Persephone is just a normal teenager, working in her mother’s flower shop. The next, she’s off fighting Boreas, the brutal god of Winter, and learning that she’s an actual goddess, the rare daughter of the now dead god, Zeus. Hades whisks her off to the Underworld to save her from Boreas’s attack and she’s going to have to stay there for the winter! She’s also automatically married to the wickedly handsome god as that’s the only way he can truly protect her. Older, wiser, and more powerful than she is, Hades has no intention of being anything other than a protector to Persephone. But, every time he rescues her, they fall a little more in love. Can she escape her father’s minions? The Underworld is a cool place but she’s not sure that she’s willing to give up her life on the surface to live there. She’s developing her goddess powers and she plans to use them to overcome her enemies.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Greek mythology so this book intrigued me from the beginning. Kaitlin Revis did such an amazing job on this retelling of the Persephone myth. You can really tell that she did her research. The characters are all well written, with dynamic personalities. And the descriptive details made me able to picture the Underworld and all of the characters vividly. I am so glad I found this series!

Sorry…

Due to some health issues, I haven’t been  posting for awhile. I’m going to post my reviews here in an effort to catch up. So, there are going to be multiple posts until I get everything caught back up. Thank  you for your patience.  I hope you are all doing well.

Deputy by Merle Temple (Once Upon a Time in Mississippi Series, Prequel)

Abraham Lincoln once said “My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.” Merle Temple gave me 3, so y’all need to step it up, just sayin’ *grins*. I was fortunate enough to be given a copy of Deputy in exchange for an honest review and I honestly loved it. Merle has a talent for weaving a story line that hooks you from the first sentence and refuses to let go. His descriptions are incredible and I fell in love with his characters, well most of them. Some of them I hated. And James Streeter broke my heart!! Seriously, if you haven’t read Deputy, you really need to. I genuinely don’t understand how this book hasn’t received more attention than it has because it was an adventure all the way through and I can’t wait to read book 2

The Gaia Effect by Claire Buss

In City 42, Corporation takes care of everything for you. They protect you from the radiation outside of the wall. They also control the food, water, technology, and most importantly, who is privileged enough to be able to have children! Jed and his wife, Kira, are lucky enough to win collection and are given a beautiful baby girl. But, then, some of their friends become pregnant naturally. How long has Corporation been lying to them? Is it really toxic outside the walls or would it be safe for people to begin to live outside again? As the small group of friends begins to start looking for answers they find more questions but they also that there are powerful forces at work that are more powerful and ancient than the ones that are trying to keep them under control.
I was fortunate enough to be given a copy of The Gaia effect in exchange for an honest review and I really found the concept to be interesting. I particularly enjoyed the characters and their relationships with each other. I found it interesting that most of the group wanted to experience motherhood as naturally as possible, even Kira, who was got her baby through collection, instead of using all of the technological advances that could make things easier for them. My favorite character was definitely Martha and Kira and my favorite relationship was the one between Ingrid and Pete. He definitely knew how to draw Ingrid out of her shell. I hope there’s going to be a sequel that shows what happens next to this little group of friends and the rest of City 42. There’s so much potential here!