The Read & Chill-A-Thon is hosted by Rebecca @ Bookishly Rebecca and Malanie @ Malanie Loves Fiction. This readathon consists of four prompts and runs throughout the month of November. The goal is to take it easy and read as much or as little as you want.
PROMPT TWO: Read a book someone has recommended.
Since Mandy and I both decided to tackle this super fun read-a-thon, we chose to combo our reviews (while still reading different books) to avoid spamming our followers with posts. In this one, find out our thoughts on a book someone else recommended to us!
Also, because we are hot messes, we are doing the prompts out of order. Shame on us!
I’ll go with the last recommendation I received. Shannon @ Shelfish for Books recommended All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis after she read one of my posts on a book with similar themes. (from November TBR list).
Title: All Rights Reserved (Word$ #1)
Author: Gregory Scott Katsoulis
Released: August 29 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Goodreads Rating: 3.71 (of 2,432 ratings)
Review: I promise I have no desire for the world to become a hot dystopian mess where dictators throw us in pits to fight for scraps of food, and we all have to wear potato sacks so no one becomes envious of wealth. BUT I LIVE FOR BOOKS LIKE All Rights Reserved. Kind of like how I sometimes go into my basement and purposefully think, “Maybe there’s a murderer in here” just to absolutely terrify myself, I pick up dystopian fics to imagine a world gone wrong to give myself a kick in the butt so I know THIS IS NOT WHAT WE WANT PEOPLE.
Speth lives several years in our future, where every single word is copyrighted, restricted, or trademarked. Individuals may speak freely until their fifteenth birthday, upon which they receive a cuff on their wrist that will monitor and charge them for every spoken word, voluntary laugh, and select gestures. Speth sparks a revolution when she chooses not to speak after witnessing her friend Beecher commit suicide because of his mounting word debts.
For a dystopian hero, Speth stands out as a more passive leader. Indeed, she never chose her fight (but what hero does anymore?) and her “superpower” is her decision to not speak. The initial two-thirds of the book happened as a result of Speth, not because of Speth, and her inability to speak meant she observed, played along, and suffered in silence a lot. Through Speth’s perspective, I grew to love her younger brother Sam. I gained a lot of information broken up by character introductions and OMG I did meet some of the best characters. But after a bit, Speth’s silence grew frustrating. Preventable (upsetting) events happened and she did nothing so she could maintain her silence.
Once the major plot line started up, I was ready. There had been too much should I but shouldn’t I? inaction until that point! The book ended with a few loose threads, but apparently there is a sequel, which I didn’t realize going in. As much as I disliked how loooong the center of this book was, though, I absolutely adore the worldbuilding that I gleaned. 4 crowns.
Wildcard by Marie Lu. Rendz from Reading With Rendz’s love of Marie Lu was one of the first reasons that I picked up this book in the first place, and she definitely recommended me picking up this book ASAP,
Author: Marie Lu
Released: September 18, 2018
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Goodreads Rating: 4.07 (of 6,899 ratings)
Review: This story wasn’t close to being as great as Warcross, but it certainly brought its A game, kept me on my toes, and made me actually consider the gaming life for 1/4th of a second. These two books are one of the most visually descriptive books that I read, and if someone doesn’t hear the pleas for this to become a movie, then there are no book gods and goddesses in this world.
Also, I feel like there is no in between being liking and being Severely Disappointed by this book in reviews. I did a quick scroll through on Goodreads, and it seems like it’s either 4/5 stars or 2 stars. So, um, WHAT IS THIS LIFE WHERE I HAVE ACTUALLY GONE ON THE TOP SIDE OF THINGS INSTEAD OF THE BOTTOM? AM I IN THE UPSIDE DOWN? WHERE IS THE Demogorgon?? I gotta run, since I probably need to go talk to Sha with some Christmas lights.
One of the shining points of this duology is Lu’s writing. I’m not into gaming at all, and I still can’t believe this duology has gotten 5 and 4 crowns from me – that’s just how good it is. Lu’s writing makes me feel as if there is a movie going on in my head. I devour them all because I am captivated and intrigued by what she brings and describes. It’s incredibly done, and I just want all the Lu books now. You will feel immersed in this colorful and fast paced world.
I also really enjoyed the characters. Emika is still a fabulous narrator. I love reading her voice and her story. She comes off the page, and I love diving into her head. She’s strong and messy and captivating. Her team is great as well. I will admit that I didn’t remember them at all from the first novel, but I absolutely loved Tremaine and Roshan. Omg, can they have a spinoff book? I loved learning more about their backstory, and even though their relationship was a side one, I still shipped them so hard because the depth behind it. Asher and Hammie were great as well.
The new plotline was super unexpected. I didn’t get fully behind it because it did seem super out of the blue, but it was still captivating and the pace was fast enough that I wanted to whip through it all. It did feel quite random, and the new characters were a bit messy. It wasn’t bad, but I thought it could be a bit better? Maybe because it felt like it was so out of the blue? But it was still super intriguing and took some surprising twists and turns that I was down for.
The ending was the biggest thing that really messed with me. I felt like…I felt conflicted. I don’t agree with it so much, but also, it did work out in certain points. I don’t want to say much because spoilers but I didn’t agree with it. However, I feel like it didn’t away from all the good that there was in the story. 4 crowns and an Ariel rating.
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Have you read either of these books? Do you agree/disagree with our thoughts? What is your favourite bookish trope? Let’s discuss!