The Deepest Red by Miriam Bell

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Kindle Price: $0.99

Official Rating: 0.5/5

Synopsis:

“In a destroyed world of abandoned towns and haunted memories, Millie Daniels lives protected behind the constrictive fences of a long forgotten prison. Her entire life she has longed for two things, to discover the truth behind her mother’s death and to understand the mysteries kept shrouded among the surrounding forest. However, she can not do either alone.

Faced with tragic circumstances in the decaying lands of the red zone, Millie must learn to fight for her survival. Along the way, her reality intertwines with cryptic dreams and dangerous obstacles threatening her life and those she loves. Only a skillful outsider, Connor, born deep within the red zone can help her unlock the buried truth and teach her how to stay alive against the oncoming threats.”

My Review:

POP QUIZ!

What is a NECESSITY to survive?

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Shelter
  4. All of the above

 

OH, I’m sorry. If you chose 4), that is incorrect. The correct answer was 5) Sex.

Do I have your attention now? Good.

The Deepest Red was awful. I’m talking if I was grading a book on how awful it was, it would get a A++.

First of all, I can’t stand Millie. What was her problem? She was always panicking about something, the word panic was used 19 times to describe how she felt. Millie was always snapping with anger, and it would somehow give her the ability to do the near impossible. If you’re thinking, Paige, adrenaline is an amazing thing! Yes, that is true, but any time it was convenient, suddenly Millie was super angry about something and she’d become some “amazing” whirlwind of power. I call bull. Her bedside manner was atrocious too. Whenever someone died, Millie would go up to another person and just go “Name is dead.” No words to soften the blow, no sympathetic smiles, literally just “Yeah. Your loved one is gone lol.” She even says it to one guy just so that he’ll do a task faster. How rude!

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Into the Dark by Brian Spangler

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

When Emily heard the first scream, she became concerned.
When she heard a second scream, she grew scared.
When she heard the third scream, she was struck with terror.
But it was what Emily could not hear that frightened her the most.

Emily wakes to find that her world has plummeted into darkness–the clouds have spilled out of the sky and taken the sun.
And there is more to the mist than just the dangers of being blind–the fog is poison, killing everything in its path. Their home is no match for the caustic fog, and her family is suddenly running for their lives.
But when she learns that the machines built to save the world could be the cause of the accident, Emily turns to her father–the original architect–with the hope that they can stop the environmental catastrophe. ”

My Review:

Meh. I don’t know how I feel about Into the Dark. This is book 3 of my #MakeMeRead It Readathon (even though it’s only supposed to be for a week). I made very few notes because it was just that kind of book. I can already feel in my reader bones that this review is going to be short, but let’s get started.

Emily Stark is our main character, our female protagonist. Now, notice that I did not say heroine, because truly, there is no “hero(ine)” in this book. I kind of liked Emily, but I wasn’t rooting for her either. I appreciated that Spangler made sure that survival was the first thing on her mind. When she sees the love interest, she questions if she’s allowed to feel infatuation, if it’s wrong given the circumstances. I liked that, because that’s realistic. I feel as if I don’t really know Emily. Sure, we’re in the middle of an apocalypse, so she wouldn’t be thinking about things that don’t really matter anymore, so it’s understandable. Even still, though she isn’t a cardboard character, I don’t really know her.

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Among Wolves by R.A. Hakok (Review)

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“It has been ten years since the Last Day, and the Juvies huddle inside the mountain, waiting for the world to thaw. But outside the storms still rage, and supplies are running low. Kane says they are the Chosen Ones, but sixteen-year-old Gabriel isn’t so sure.
Then while out scavenging Gabriel finds a bloodstained map. The blood’s not a problem, nor are the frozen remains of the person it once belonged to; there’s far worse to be found in any Walmart or Piggly Wiggly you care to wander into. Except this one he recognizes. It shouldn’t be here. Now all Gabriel can think of is how he’s going to get back to Eden and let Kane know what he’s found.
But Gabriel’s troubles are only just beginning. For things are not as they seem in Eden, and soon he will face a much larger problem: how to get Mags and the other Juvies out.”

My Review:

I don’t think I ever want to read Among Wolves again. Confused?

I know, I know. I gave Among Wolves a 5/5 star rating, so you would assume that that means I would recommend it (and you would assume right). So why, Paige, would you recommend a book to your followers if you wouldn’t ever read it again?

Because it was just that amazing and terrifying.

I was honestly expecting Among Wolves to be a bad cliche book. The synopsis tipped me off with the key phrase “Last Day.” What cliche Young Adult novel in the apocalypse genre doesn’t have something along the lines of “Last Day” to mark the final day everything was fine with the world? So, my expectations were rather low and although low expectations are easier to exceed, Hakok did not take any easy routes to impress me.

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Dare to Dream by Carys Jones

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 1/5

Synopsis:

“The world was going to end. Of that, Maggie Trafford was certain.”
Fourteen-year-old Maggie Trafford leads a normal life. Well, as normal as being crammed in a three-bedroom house with four siblings and a single parent can be, anyway. But despite being somewhat ignored at home, Maggie excels, earning top grades, a best friend who would do anything for her, and stolen looks from a boy in Maths.
It’s not until the dreams start that Maggie realizes “normal” is the least of her problems. Every night, she lives the same nightmare—red lightning, shattered glass, destruction. But nightmares are just that, right? No one believes her when she says it’s an omen. At least, not until the already mysterious pillars of Stonehenge start falling.
No longer alone in her fear, Maggie and the world watch with bated breath as one after another, the historic stones tumble, like a clock counting down. But only Maggie knows what it means: when the last stone falls, destruction will reign. And when the world ends, there’s only one option left—survive.
Horrifying and raw, Dare to Dream is equal parts tragedy and hope, detailing the aftermath of apocalyptic catastrophe, the quest for survival, and the importance of belief.

My Review:

Teenaged girl leading a “normal” life? Check. Apocalypse? Check. She’s the key to “it all”? Check. “I must survive!” mentality? Triple check.

“Horrifying and raw, Dare to Dream is equal parts tragedy and hope, detailing the aftermath of apocalyptic catastrophe, the quest for survival, and the importance of belief.” I read this (because it’s the synopsis) and I shrugged my shoulders and thought “Okay, this might be interesting.” Oh, how wrong I was. Dare to Dream wasn’t equal parts tragedy and hope, but a complete tragedy.

I need to talk about Maggie, but before that: This author dedicated this book to her father because “Maggie was always your favorite.” I am by no means making fun of the dedication, that is very sweet. I just had a little chuckle over the fact that Jones made her father’s favorite have an incredibly difficult time throughout the book. Dedication aside, Maggie was annoying.

I was in pain when I read Dare to Dream. It was a colossal waste of time and I’m horrified that it cost actual U.S. dollars to buy. I have to start with Maggie, the “heroine.” What standard was Jones following when she created Maggie? She was whiny, made ridiculous assumptions, and had the emotional capacity of a paperclip. She was barely a character, to the point where I don’t even have much to write about her. It’s the plot and writing that I had the most issue with because can you really criticize a paper clip for having no character?

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Germination (Feast of Weeds series) by Jamie Thornton

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 2/5

Synopsis:

A group of runaways. A horrifying virus.

Mary knows how to thrive on the street. She makes it her mission to keep other kids away from everyday monsters. But when she’s attacked by a crazed man clutching a bloody heart she realizes—there’s a new kind of monster in town.

A single drop of blood, and now Mary’s one of the infected. Unless she can stop the virus and save her friends, the new monster in town might just be her.

A post-apocalyptic Young Adult series where the runaways are the heroes, the zombies aren’t really zombies, and you can’t trust your memories—even if they’re all you have left.”

My Review:

If I had two words, I would describe Germination with “possibility” and “little.” Now if I had, say, a whole blog post to describe Germination, this is what I would say.

It wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t an awful novella that lowered my expectations for other novellas, but it wasn’t great. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat, despite the action that takes place on almost every page. Nonetheless, I saw a sound plot which is why Germination received a two star rating.

Mary was a different pre-heroine. She wasn’t different because she was more special than the others (she wasn’t from what I could tell) nor was she different because she was the “only” one in the world that distrusts the government. Mary was different because she was poor and homeless. In a numerous amount of stories, the heroine is usually saying “We never have a lot of food on the table, but we’re happy because we’re together as a family.” or something along those lines. What made Mary stand out is that she has a family, yet she ran away, embraces her homelessness, and made a new family/tight-knit group with a few other homeless kids on the street. There wasn’t enough of the novella to really understand much more about Mary. You are brought to an understanding about her that she is loyal to her new family and that she writes a blog giving advice to other teens who might want to run away. Besides that, there isn’t much to go on.

The plot was fascinating, or rather, hints to being fascinating. That was what Thornton lacked in Germination: Plot building. She had successfully built the characters and gave them a backstory, albeit a small piece of a backstory, but it sufficed, she had completed the world building, and her description skills are admirable. Unfortunately, Germination didn’t have a chance to develop the upcoming plot. As a reader, I was left with a large amount of action, little information, and a bit of indifference towards the characters.
Germination isn’t worth almost three dollars; the price isn’t practical, especially when you consider the fact that it’s only ninety-two pages. It wasn’t a bad novella as I said, it had a glimmer of promise in its pages, but it just didn’t strike me as a riveting read.

I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Cure by Stephanie Erickson

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Price: $3.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“One life will make the difference.” Macey Holsinger has been hearing that promise her whole life. But it hasn’t saved anyone yet, not even her little brother.
The disease has claimed countless lives in the last hundred years, and the government is working hard to find a cure through human testing. Testing that has killed nearly as many people as the disease.
At sixteen, Macey has better things to think about than saving lives and submitting to any rule other than her parents’. As a budding artist, she has her whole life ahead of her, at least until she faces her own testing.
Questions plague Macey. Questions that make everyone else nervous. How can death be justified with more death? What’s the point of all this?
Answers evade her until she’s left with only one question: How much will she sacrifice in the name of the cure?
If you liked The Hunger Games or Divergent, you’ll love The Cure!

My Review:

I’m always very skeptical about books in the free section and in the dystopian, Young Adult genre. The abundance of the less-than-riveting choices is astounding and not in a good way. But, The Cure shocked me and I loved it.

The first thing that I noticed was that this is under the dystopian genre, but if you look at the title of this review, this isn’t a series. Yes, this is a young adult dystopian book that is not a series. Everything is tied up in just one book and that is amazing.

Macey Holsinger is the heroine, and she honestly is. Macey is in tenth grade, loves art, misses her little brother, has two parents and a best friend who’s like a brother, and a whole lot of questions. Her questions and natural instinct to defy what everyone just accepts gets her in trouble in school, but lands her an opportunity she would’ve given almost anything to participate in. Macey had a well-developed personality. She went through a range of emotions: anger, sadness, fear, depression, determination, and so on. Her main objective wasn’t to take down the government nor was it to just let the government do whatever it wanted and I respect Erickson for pulling that off. Macy was real, a person who just happened to live inside of a book. She loved, cried, screamed, defied, glared, stayed in a vegetable state for a week, stood up for herself, questioned everything including herself, thought outside the box, cared, and never stopped being human.

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