Awakening (Absence of Song series) by C.B. Stone



Price: Free!

Official Rating: 1.5/5


Though music is forbidden and could get me in big trouble with the Ministry, I nevertheless often find myself singing softly in spite of the danger. Little do I know just how much hot water my strange compulsion to sing will actually land me in.
What is happening in the world around me? How is it happening? How does the stranger Noah fit into things? And most importantly… why me? I’m no more special than the next person.
So many questions and so many dangers. All I can do is trust that whatever is happening, it is good. I can see that it’s good, and I refuse to let anyone convince me otherwise.

My Review:

This was a weird experience and not in a good way I’m afraid. A world where singing, humming, and music in general is banned is difficult to imagine. It is undoubtedly a horrifying thought. Yet, this is the world that Jaelynn lives in.
I think that maybe Awakening was some sort of a “pre-book,” but there is no excuse for the rather poor quality. It was not engaging, it was not descriptive, it was emotionless, severely under-developed, and drab. Now here’s why.

Jaelynn Rose is the heroine. Why? I have a strong guess, but for now, I don’t know and neither do you. Since neither you nor I know why she’s the heroine, I would assume that Stone would give hints. Maybe try to make it less obscure as to why she decided Jaelynn is the heroine I want to spend some of my limited time on earth reading about. Instead, all I am given is that when she sleeps, she hears songs. Phenomenal. Not to mention, at one point, Jaelynn isn’t sure what her own name is. She introduces herself as Jaelynn and her parents call her Jaelynn, but then she called herself Jaclyn when she was thinking. It happened once, but it was there. I for one would be terrified if I relied on a heroine who forgot what her name was.

I felt that Jaelynn was pretty naive. A few sentences here and there did their best to make her seem intuitive and always questioning things, but it didn’t happen. If anyone’s ever experienced a really long winter with a ton of snow, they know that there are huge potholes in the road and they easily fill up with water. Now, anyone with common sense wouldn’t look at a pothole filled with water and think “Haha! I’m going to jump in, it can’t be that deep.” because that’s just not a good idea. Sadly, that was mostly what Jaelynn did. She had no self-control whatsoever for example: “Whoa! A strange man is approaching? I’m totally safe if this fence is between us. Let’s exchange names! I want to tell you my secret that could get me and my family killed.” or even “I barely know you, but let’s cramp ourselves in this very small room all alone and hope nothing bad happens.” Really? Are you kidding? That is very dangerous, please don’t do that. Her inability to lie to her parents was eye-roll worthy. Of course she can’t lie to her parents, what does she have to lie about? She doesn’t do anything at all, besides a mundane routine and then hears some songs in her dreams. I’m sure this is just a tool to make sure in later books it seems like her “innocence” is being taken away because of the government. I didn’t see a leader in Jaelynn and while it could be a way to show character development throughout the later books, this wasn’t the way to do it. Instead of making me interested in seeing Jaelynn develop, it made me write her off the “Could Be a Heroine” list.

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Bloom (Bloom Series) by A.P. Kensey



My Review: 1/5



Both are at your fingertips.

Chosen individuals have been gifted with extraordinary abilities in order to restore balance to the world—a balance that suffers amidst endless chaos.

HAVEN KINCAID is almost eighteen. After moving away from her friends before the start of her senior year, she struggles to fit in at her new school. When the boy of her dreams shows interest, she finally has a chance to be normal—but Haven is more different than she realizes. After a tragic loss and a deep betrayal, she is kidnapped by a sinister group that will do anything to extract a deadly ability she can barely control—even if they kill her in the process.

COLTON ROSS is fresh out of high school. Driven by a desire to escape his abusive father and haunted by the memory of an absent mother, he moves to New York City to start over. When a favor for his friend backfires and he ends up in jail, Colton is bailed out by a mysterious businessman who offers him the chance to strengthen his new-found power and discover the truth about his past—a truth that will set him on a quest for insatiable vengeance.

BLOOM is an action-packed fantasy adventure that tells the story of two young adults surviving in a dangerous world. As their journeys unfold and collide, they must risk their lives to defeat an evil that threatens to destroy everything they hold dear.”

My Review:

The amount of absolute disappointment I have for this book is astounding.The cover was what brought me in after I noticed the price (free) and I was a bit excited to start it. It seemed like it would be an interesting read. I was completely and totally wrong.

First thought after finishing the book: “That was ridiculously boring, I’m glad I survived.”
(I have a personal policy not to write a review about a book unless I finish it. I was too far in, to just give up.)

The characters were underdeveloped with a cliché story-line and cliché situations, terrible plot-pushing characters, and a villain that seemed about as threatening as a baby with a rattler.

Haven Kincaid, is a teenager in high-school with a fairly good life even though she’s just moved away from the home she loves. She has two adoring parents, a lovable brother, a loyal best friend, and a crush that just might turn into something more. At first, Haven has a bit of a bad streak. She’s upset over the move and therefore punishing “everyone else” by being disruptive at school. For some reason, her parents let this slide and instead of getting angry, they’re just worried. I don’t know about other people’s parents, but if I decided the best method of action to express myself was to get a bad reputation at school, I would be the one worried, not my parents. Haven comes off completely selfish by doing this, considering her Mom has to take off work and get Noah (Haven’s little brother) from daycare just to talk to the principal about Haven’s behavior. I didn’t see any amazing qualities in Haven nor did she act like she was capable of having any actual emotions. She was either over-reacting or under-reacting. But, I don’t think that that’s totally her fault. Everything that Haven felt was told to me, whether it was her screaming in anguish (spoiler) over her parents being killed in a random fire or trying to act tough when she confronts someone. If I was a villain, I would’ve fired a couple of energy bolts at her and laughed as she does a jig trying to avoid them. She was completely childish.

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Perception (The Perception series) by Lee Strauss



Official Review: 1/5


“Eternal Life is To Die For.

Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along-side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.

Her brother Liam is missing.

Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.
Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.
PERCEPTION is a (SF/mystery/romance) Young Adult novel that takes place in the not-too-distant future in a world changed by climate extremes, natural disasters and impending wars, and where scientific breakthroughs cause class divisions—both financially and philosophically. It explores the clash between faith and science and how differences can separate us as enemies or ally us together. And in some cases, even in the midst of betrayal and personal crisis, there’s room to fall in love.

This is the first book in a series.”
My Review:

This book was irritating and forgettable. The heroine, Zoe Vanderveen, was shallow and naive to the point of stupidity, the parents and Zoe’s boyfriend were emotionless drones (spoiler) who didn’t seem to care that their son or friend respectively just disappeared and may be dead. Like the synopsis says, Zoe is a GAP, genetically altered person (so original!) and so is her family, boyfriend, friends, etc. And then her brother goes missing. That’s an interesting plot. The only non-realistic issue with this? No one seems to care besides Zoe. Zoe is the only one that reacts like an actual human being towards her brother vanishing. Which is fine. The issue was: Zoe is just short of a full-blown idiot and has the depth of an empty kiddy pool. Everyone is obviously keeping secrets from her, especially her boyfriend. Yet, Zoe continuously thinks something along the lines of: “If my boyfriend says he knows nothing then he doesn’t. He wouldn’t lie to me. I trust him so much.” The whole time I was screaming at her. It makes no sense to think that way when someone is blatantly lying to you. Then, when she meets Noah Brody (why do so many male characters in books have a name that ends in ‘y’?) she thinks something along the lines of: “How can someone be as gorgeous as Noah when he doesn’t even have blue eyes and blonde hair? (When she’s undercover) How can anyone find me attractive when I have brown eyes and brown hair? ” Excuse me? Have you not gone anywhere your whole life? Are you that sheltered? How insulting. And yes, this is another one of those stories where the girl is in a relationship but starts to love another man because of his looks.

Zoe is a spoiled rich girl who knows little to nothing about being undercover and is disrespectful towards people who don’t look like her or have the same cultures. If there was character development where Zoe goes from her original self to someone down to earth and actually attempts to understand the lives of other people, maybe I would have been able to bear it. But she didn’t. She stayed the same throughout the whole book and I was in pain.

I didn’t understand the romance. How could you (Noah) love someone who disregards the fact that your mother is dying and you want to be there for her because she (Zoe) needs you to help her? How can you love someone who doesn’t want to understand your culture or your situation with not being a GAP? How can you love someone so shallow? I don’t understand. Also, if my brother is missing, there is no room for romance whatsoever. Help me find my brother and after he’s home safe and sound maybe I can start thinking about romance. There was no connection between the two and it was a ridiculous romance.

While GAPs aren’t a new concept, this book could have been great if the characters weren’t lifeless and shallow. I’m thankful this book was free because I would have been disappointed if I had spent money on it.