DNF Review: Placebo Junkies by J.C. Carleson

Placebo JunkiesAuthor:  J.C. Carleson

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: October 27, 2015

304 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers for letting me read this!

Unfortunately, I had to DNF Placebo Junkies. After a few days of not reading it, I had no desire to pick it back up. It’s not that the book isn’t good, because the concept is super interesting, but I didn’t care about any of the characters. I don’t think pitching the book as being similar to Trainspotting was a good idea either – possibly because that’s such a classic or because it just didn’t feel like that book to me. Placebo Junkies was confusing. I do think there will be some people who like this one, but I’m just not one of them. The book felt like it tried too hard in parts, and I didn’t relate to Audie nor any of her other lab rat friends. A lot of what I read also felt really unrealistic.

The bottom line: Not for me at all, but I wouldn’t rule it out if it sounds interesting to you.

Waiting on Wednesday: Denton Little’s Birthdate by Lance Rubin

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Denton Little's Birthdate by Lance RubinPublisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Author: Lance Rubin

Release date: April 12, 2016


You only live once—unless you’re Denton Little!

The good news: Denton Little has lived through his deathdate. Yay! The bad news: He’s being chased by the DIA (Death Investigation Agency), he can never see his family again, and he may now die any time. Huh. Cheating death isn’t quite as awesome as Denton would have thought…

Lance Rubin’s debut novel, Denton Little’s Deathdate, showed readers just how funny and poignant imminent death could be. Now in this sequel, he takes on the big questions about life. How do we cope, knowing we could die at any time? Would you save someone from dying even if they were a horrible person? Is it wrong to kiss the girl your best friend is crushing on if she’s really into you instead? What if she’s wearing bacon lip gloss?

Why I’m excited: I know this is REALLY far in advance of this book’s release date, but I wanted to talk to you guys about it. I really enjoyed Lance Rubin’s debut Denton Little’s Deathdate, the book that comes before this one. When I found out Lance was writing a sequel, I was SO PUMPED. And I still am. I can’t wait for more hilarious, ridiculous, wonderful shenanigans with Denton and his friends. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to Denton next.

ARC Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffAuthor:  Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
608 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTEI was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers for letting me read this!
ALSO, shout out to the lovely Vania who gave me her physical ARC because it’s BEAUTIFUL.

After the illegal Kerenza colony is attacked by the BeiTech corporation, two teens, Kady and Ezra, find themselves racing through space for their lives along with thousands of other survivors. They are attempting to outrun the Lincoln, a BeiTech ship dead set on their destruction in order to ensure there are no living survivors of the attack on Kerenza. But not only do they have to survive this deadly race, they also have to survive the fleet’s AI system, which was damaged in the attack and has gone a little…crazy. As if all of that wasn’t enough to completely stress these survivors out, there’s also a horrible plague making its way through the fleet.

HOLY ████, you guys. This book is ███████ awesome. All I could say on Goodreads when I was done was “WOW.” I’m still struggling to find words to describe this book because it’s seriously awesome. I was pretty wary of this book before starting it for two reasons. 1. I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I don’t read or review a lot of sci-fi on this blog. It’s rare I find sci-fi that I like, but this? THIS I could read over and over. I can’t wait for the next book to be out! 2. The ███████ hype. It was pretty intense. I don’t know if I saw a single bad review of Illuminae before I started reason and it felt like EVERYONE walking talking about how much they loved this book. Let me just tell you: they hype is seriously well-deserved.

I mean, if that absolutely incredible summary doesn’t hook you, I’m not sure what else will. But let’s see. This book is told through an awesome series of “hacked” documents (like emails, IMs, medical reports, interviews, ship schematics, military docs, and more) put together in a dossier by the mysterious Illuminae group. Then on top of the alternate story-telling methods, which you know I LOVE, the formatting is so ████ beautiful! I kept showing other people how pretty the setup was. It’s ███████ fascinating, and I read its 600 pages in only TWO days.

The bottom line: Illuminae is fast-paced, emotional, and brilliant. It will make you rage, laugh, cry, and clutch the book to your chest. There’s some swoony moments, some holy-████-what-is-happening moments, some rage-y moments, and a lot of this-book-is-incredible moments. I am not even a big fan of sci-fi, but I devoured this one. Can we have the next book, please?! I ordered this book for the library, and I can’t wait for it to come in so I can push recommend it to everyone!

Rating: 9.5 – practically ███████ perfect

Waiting on Wednesday: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Author:  Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Release date: October 13, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Why I’m excited: I’ve said it like a million times, but I LOVE books that use different types of media to tell stories and this one has EVERYTHING. Also, the only way you haven’t heard about this book is if you’ve been living under a rock. It seems like everyone is obsessed with it. I try to avoid the hype monster, but I mean, read the description. How can you NOT get excited about this one? It sounds seriously interesting and exciting. And I hardly ever pre-order books, but I pre-ordered this one two months ago. Can’t wait for it to come in!

ARC Review: Denton Little’s Death Date by Lance Rubin

Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance RubinAuthor:  Lance Rubin
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Science Fiction
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers for letting me read this!

Denton Little wakes up in his best friend’s sister’s bed on the morning of his funeral. But this isn’t one of those “the reader knows he’ll die but he doesn’t” books. Denton Little knows he’s going to die tomorrow, and he’s on his way to his own funeral. Because of AstroThanatoGenetics, practically everyone in Denton Little’s world knows the precise day they’re going to die.

Sounds morbid, right? Think again. Denton Little’s Deathdate is a hilarious, whimsical (that word is stupid most of the time but it really works here), thoughtful, wonderful whirlwind of a book. Could you imagine what your life would be like if you knew you were going to die the day of your senior prom? Will Denton die before or after his prom? Would you get super drunk and/or high or would you allow your parents to make you stay all day at your Sitting (a day long wait for your death)?

This book is so great because it is so obviously for teenagers. These characters are teenagers, as in, you could go to your local high school and meet them. They feel so realistic, in the way they talk, in the way they interact with each other. The plot of this book is just so unusual and absurd and silly (in the best way) that it needed these real characters to balance it out. Rubin has found the perfect balance. Plus, there were so many unexpected occurrences that I never once felt like I had everything figured out.

You guys know how much I love a good friendship in a book. Well, I might’ve found the absolute perfect fictional friendship in Denton Little’s Deathdate. Like, if I die before I have a friend like Denton’s best friend Paolo, I’ll feel cheated. They are perfect for each other – witty, punny, caring, loyal.

I love the message in this book too. Life is happening all the time. We always have these little, seemingly insignificant moments and conversations that we take for granted. We should appreciate life and those minutes. If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do?

The bottom line: If you’re one of those people (like me) with a somewhat weird, morbid sense of humor, Denton Little’s Deathdate is right up your alley. Denton is charming, funny, reckless, dying, and his story is wonderful. Check it out.

Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic

Waiting on Wednesday: The Prom Goer’s Interstellar Excursion

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

The Prom Goer's Interstellar ExcursionPublisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Author: Chris McCoy

Release date: April 15, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads: It’s Superbad meets Spaceballs in this hilarious extraterrestrial road trip!
Just a few days before prom, Bennett pulls off something he never imagined possible: his dream girl, Sophie, agrees to be his date. Moments afterward, however, he watches Sophie get abducted by aliens in the middle of the New Mexico desert.
Faced with a dateless prom (and likely kidnapping charges), Bennett does the only thing he can think of: he catches a ride into outer space with a band of extraterrestrial musicians to bring her back.
Can he navigate alien concert venues, an extraterrestrial reality show, and the band’s outlandish egos to rescue his date in time for the big dance? Fans of King Dork and Winger won’t want to miss this!

Why I’m excited: Dude, what? That synopsis. Yes, please! This sounds hilarious and fun and silly and exactly like something I need to be reading. Sounds a little bit like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – at least the silly, fun, imaginative, creative, and space-opera-y craziness that’s going on in that synopsis. I definitely think this is something I’ll like.