Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Title: Bumped
Author: Megan McCafferty
Length: 323 pages
Genre: YA; Dystopia; Science fiction
Format: Hard Cover
Why I read it: I kept seeing it at the library, so I decided to give it a shot

What it’s About: A virus has made it impossible for anyone over the age of 18 to conceive a child. In the year 2035 16 year old Melody is in a contract to get pregnant and give the baby to a couple. But before that can happen, the couple wants to find the perfect match. Meanwhile, Melody’s discovered that she has a twin sister, Harmony. One day Harmony runs away from her home in the religious community of Goodside, where she is supposed to get married. Harmony believes that she must convince Melody to come home with her and become a wife, mother, and live her life free from sin.

The Review: Where to start? The concept is interesting. In McCafferty’s world, a virus will have made it impossible to conceive a child after you turn 18. In the book, it is common place for anyone 20 and over to not only have to adopt, but they hire girls to be their surrogates. And Parents of these girls are not only okay with this, they pimp them out. Melody’s adoptive parents have spent years and who knows how much money to make her look perfect on paper so that she could get a contract to be someone’s surrogate. They’ve hired a publicist and everything. There is a couple who is interested, The Jaydens. But they don’t want just anyone “bumping” with Melody, they want their baby to come from the two most perfect parents possible. But when Melody discovers her twin, she will do whatever it takes to keep Harmony a secret. Because in this world, having a twin makes you not so special in the ultra competitive world of “Pregging”. I know I’m not explaining it very well, but honestly, I think in order to get it, you’d have to read it.
The Setting is also interesting. I mean, women only have a limited number of years to conceive as it is. But this book limits it even further with the help of a virus. Except in religious communities. Apparently Where Harmony grew up, women are still able to conceive after the age of 18. But it’s unknown why. And yet, girls are still getting married at the age of 16 to become mothers….yeah, that part confused me.

I felt, personally, that there wasn’t enough information. I know a virus caused this to happen, but where did this virus start? What kind of virus was it? Cold? Flu? STD? Why were the religous people not affected? Is it because the virus was an STD, and they don’t believe is sex before marriage? I don’t know. The there was the slang. I’m fine with how it was used. I’m fine with how often it was used. What I’d like is an explanation as to what some of these things mean. I can figure out “bumping” is sex, and “Pregging” is getting pregnant, but there were some that were just confusing as hell. And the technology was just weird. I’d love to look like I’m trying to get dirt out of my eye or have a weird eye tick every time I want to talk to someone.
I’m not going to say that this book is giving 16 year old girls permission to get pregnant. They were doing that long before this book came out, and they will continue to do so long after this generation is dead. I’m not saying I’d like it if my daughter (if I have a daughter) came home pregnant, but it happens , so why act like this book would be the cause?
As for the characters, I didn’t feel like I got to know them. The perspective jumped every chapter, which is fine, but The girls personalities didn’t shine through, and I know that they grew up separated, and the sibling bond wasn’t there, but it seemed like Melody didn’t want to try to get to know here twin, and Harmony was just using Melody as an excuse to not go home. I don’t know about you, but If I found out I had a sister, let alone a twin, I’d want to get to know her and learn everything about her life.

Did I like it? It was…different. I don’t know. I didn’t dislike it.
Would I reread it? Probably not.

Would I purchase it? No.

Would I recommend it? I have no idea.

Final rating: 2 out of 5 stars. Simply because I don’t know how I feel about it.

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Long Live the Queen by Kate Locke

Title: Long Live the Queen
Author: Kate Locke
Length: 320 Pages
Genre: Fantasy; Steampunk; Urban fantasy
Format: Hard Cover
Why I read it: I checked out the first two and loved them.

What it’s About: (Taken from goodreads) Queen Victoria wants her head, Alpha wolf Vex wants her heart, and she still doesn’t know the identity of the person who wanted her blood. What she does know is that a project from one of the ‘secret’ aristocrat labs has gotten free and she’s the only one who can stop the perfect killing machine — a sixteen year-old girl. With human zealots intent on ridding the world of anyone with plagued blood and supernatural politics taking Britain to the verge of civil war, Xandra’s finding out that being queen isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and if she doesn’t do something fast, hers will be the shortest reign in history.

The Review: This book was fast paced, just like the first two. Xandra seemed to be adapting better to being a goblin. In the second book, she seemed to still be questioning herself and where she belonged, so it was nice to see her with more confidence in that regard. I love Xandra anyway, but I loved that her relationships were complex. I know she cared deeply for her siblings, but when it came to her parents, she wasn’t sure if she could trust them and I’m glad for that. I don’t think I would like her as much if she trusted anyone too easily. The story itself was fun. I’m glad that it strayed from the “missing sibling” thing it had going on in the first two books. Like I said, the book was fast paced, but not too much. There were quiet moments, but not so quiet it became boring (I’m looking at you 7th HP book). The action was just enough to get you on the edge of your seat and not want to put the book down. This book would have been perfect if not for some of the things that bothered me. First, where was Penny? I loved her in the second book and she proved to be an important character, so why not include her in this book? Secondly, Xandra herself. Like I said, I loved her but she was stubborn. I get wanting to try to figure things out for yourself first, but I also know when to ask for help. Especially when people that I love and trust are offering that help. I loved the story, but some of the twists were either not twisty at all or not resolved. And the ending felt rushed.

Did I like it? I loved the whole trilogy. In fact, I want more. While I did feel that the story was over, I didn’t want it to be. I want to know how Xandra continues to balance her life with the Goblins and life with Vex. And I think that this will be one of those books that stays with me. It obviously won’t be a big phenomenally, greatly loved book/trilogy like Hunger games or Harry Potter, or even Lord of the Rings, but It is one that I will always think of.

Would I reread it? Eventually, I think I will. But I have so many other boks that are on my list, I don’t know when it will happen.

Would I purchase it? Already did.

Would I recommend it? Again, I already did. I put the first book up for consideration in my book club.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Queen is Dead by Kate Locke

Title: The Queen is Dead
Author: Kate Locke
Length: 337 pages
Genre: Fantasy; Steampunk; Urban fantasy
Format: Hard cover
Why I read it: Sequel to

What it’s About: (Taken from Goodreads, because if I don’t, spoilers will have to happen) When her brother Val gets in over his head in an investigation of Half-Blood disappearances and goes missing himself, it’s up to Xandra, newly crowned Goblin Queen, to get him back and bring the atrocities to light. Xandra must frequent the seediest parts of London, while also coping with what she is, the political factions vying for her favor, and the all too-close scrutiny of Queen Victoria, who wants her head. Add this to being a suspect in a murder investigation, a werewolf boyfriend with demands of his own, and a mother hell bent on destroying the monarchy, and Xandra barely knows which way is up. One thing she does know is that she’s already lost one sibling, she’s not about to lose another.

The Review: In the last book, I loved Xandra. In this book, I love Xandra. Locke has a way of letting her characters grow and learn from their mistakes and pasts without sacrificing what we already love about them. Not something a lot of authors can do. The mystery aspect of this book was very well written, and I never would have guessed half the things that Xandra and Vex discovered. I guess what I’m saying is the book wasn’t too predictable. And the secondary characters were just as delightful as I expected them to be. I hated the ones readers were supposed to hate, I loved the ones readers were supposed to love. And Locke’s world building didn’t fail either. She did a wonderful job reiterating what the information from the first book and adding more information. But as with all books, there were things I didn’t like. While I loved Penny, I think Locke’s terminology or more explanation of her would have boon nice. I think it was great to have a transgender character, but Locke’s knowledge of trans people as a whole is a bit stunted. Maybe. I could be wrong. But Locke’s grasp on Penny seemed a little…”I’ll write this character to show how accepting my AU London is, but I don’t know much about the type of people I’m trying to make her represent.” You know what I mean? And Vex seemed to give in to Xandra a little too much. They had arguments and Vex challenged Xandra on her decision of if she wanted to take the throne as Goblin queen, but he also seemed to back down on his stance with her as well.

Did I like it? Yes. I think That is putting it Mildly, but yes.
Would I reread it? Yes. I think it will be just as goos the second time around.
Would I purchase it? Already have 🙂
Would I recommend it? Yes, but only to people who like Steampunk or Alternate Universes.
Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars

God save the Queen by Kate Locke

Title: God save the Queen
Author: Kate Locke
Length: 351 pages
Genre: Fantasy; Steampunk; Urban fantasy;
Format: hard Cover
Why I read it: Random Library Find

What it’s About: Xandra Varden is a halfie (vampire/human) who is part of the royal guard. When her sister goes missing, it is up to Xandra to find her. Along the way Xandra uncovers secrets that turn her world upside down and changes everything she thought she knew about the world she’s been part of since birth.

The Review: Many people may not know this about me, but I love steampunk. And this book is no exception. Only is’s got a bit of a twist. Instead of being Victorian England with modern technology, it’s Modern day England with a taste of The Victorian era. Xandra was by far my favorite character. She was tough, but also vulnerable. And fiercely loyal to her siblings. Xandra doesn’t shy away from not only questioning authority, but making it known that her family comes before her duty to the crown. She is very knowledgeable about the society she lives in the way it works and the way she learned about it growing up, but very much in the dark about it at the same time, and I think that naiveté is what made her so relatable to me. Then there is Xandra’s love interest, Vex. I loved him. He was supportive, he was protective of Xandra while at the same time understanding that she could take care of herself. it was clear that Vex considered Xandra very much his equal, and that was refreshing. And the relationship between them feels natural, not forced, And Xandra doesn’t let it get in the way of her goals to uncover the lies she discovers while looking for answers. I loved the world building. Lock made it so that the world of Vamps, halfies, humans, werewolves, and goblins was fun. It was absolutely delightful to learn about how each species coexisted and served each other in order to survive.

Unfortunately, like all good things, the book was not perfect. The main villain, while not a complete surprise, seemed more like an after thought. There’s no sense of who he is really, except that he is someone that Xandra trusted and looked up to. That’s it. There is no really getting to know him. He seemed more a backstory to the main story. Like Locke knew she needed a bad guy, so she made him part of the story, but didn’t pt the main focus on him. Also, I didn’t like that it was slang heavy. I know it’s alternate universe and all that, and some of the slang was pretty self explanatory, but There was a glossary in the back. I don’t enjoy that. Especially when it’s a slang word or phrase that isn’t even in the glossary. That got on my nerves. And I could have done without some of the repetitiveness I don’t need to told how much Xandra loved her dagger or how much she looked like her siblings. It was like in Harry Potter, the constant reminders that Harry looked like his father, but had his mother’s eyes… We get it, genetics makes you look like your family members. Over all though, the book was one that I didn’t want to put down. I stayed up way too late and finished it within a few hours of checking it out of the library.

Did I like it? I did. It was fast paced, but had moments of calm and I never felt bogged down or overloaded with information.
Would I reread it? I think I will one day.
Would I recommend it? I would, but only to certain people who I know would enjoy it.
Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Orange is the new black by Piper Kerman

Title: Orange is the new black
Author: Piper Kerman
Length: 298 pages
Genre: Autobiography; Memoir
Format: ePUB
Why I read it: Love the netflix series, so when I found out it was a book, I had to read it.

What it’s About: (taken from because I has the dumb and cannot brain.) With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before.

But that past has caught up with her.

Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424 — one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system.

From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance.

Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.

The Review: I though that this book would be just as entertaining as the show. You know, because usually the book is better than the movie/tv adaptation. Unfortunately I was let down. Where the show is entertaining, the book is not. I felt no connection to book Piper and din’t care about her. Whereas Show Piper, while not my favorite character is at least interesting. Maybe watching the show first was my mistake. But I had no idea it was based on real life events/people (I guess I don’t pay close enough attention during the opening credits). There isn’t really any difference between book Piper and show Piper. But they do seem different. The book, as it should, was more about Piper’s time and experiences in prison, with little nods or off-the-shoulder mentions of other inmates. Some who are recognizable from the show, and other who are not. But the show, while still about Piper, is not only about Piper. You get to know the other inmates, but not so with the book, and I guess that is where it lost me. Having watched the show first I was allowed to connect with all the characters, but with the book, I got only Piper. I don’t know. The comparisons of show vs.book are many, but I don’t think it’s completely fair. The book was well written, and had it’s moments where I was laughing out loud. I’d even have to stop and read passages to my husband (let me tell you, he loves when I do that (not)), and it was a gripping, quick read. But I think that was because I was looking for someone who felt familiar. I do think that the book is doing a great service, and Piper as well with her tours and talks, by showing the truth about women’s prisons vs. men’s prisons, and how shitty the inmates can and will be treated. And I know that that was really the point of Piper telling her story.

Did I like it? Somewhat
Did I love it? Not really
Would I reread it? Probably not
Would I purchase it? I’m not 100% sure
Would I recommend it? Yes.
Final rating: 3/5

Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Title: Dear Killer
Author: Katherine Ewell
Length: 359 pages
Genre: YA
Format: Hard cover
Why I read it: A number of reasons.

What it’s About: 17 year old Kit is one of London’s most famous serial killers. She was trained by her mother from the time she was nine years old to be a killer and one day take over for her mother. She has a secret post box hidden in a restroom where she gets letters requesting her services. Kit is clever and arrogant, and very good at what she does. But when she murders a classmate, it seems like her luck is running out. To keep the suspicion off of her, she “helps” the police by giving the inspector clues and insight.

The review: This book was not without it’s flaws. Firstly, I can believe a serial killer bing young. Statistically most serial killers start between (I think) 16-30. So that’s not so far fetched. Especially when you take into account that Kit has been trained since a young age and her mother was a serial killer herself, and that Kit’s mom would let her help in the early years of her training.

Secondly, the police. Again not so far fetched that the police would get clues and what not from suspects/witnesses. I mean, it happens all the time. That’s how their job works. They interrogate/interview, the suspect/interviewee says something, bam, there is a clue for the cop right there and the cop then uses that clue to find more clues and catch the person they are looking for. That’s fine. But are we really to believe that all these anonymous people all over London know about Kit’s killing service and hire her to kill people, but the cops know nothing about it? Come on. That shit ain’t right.

Thirdly, why did the cops not suspect Kit? Or her mother for that matter? Kit’s mom retired because she almost got caught (at least that’s what I remember, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), so why not look at her or her daughter as possible suspects? It was one of Kit’s classmates that fueled the investigation after all, and cops generally look at the people closest to the victim first. And why did Alex not get fired for 1: Letting Kit in on a crime scene, and 2: Giving Kit information on a case that was so high profile.

Although, this book for all the flaws pointed out above was so freaking good. True, the writing and situations were lacking in places, but it was a highly entertaining read. I loved Kit. She was arrogant, she was over confident, she was a know-it-all, but she was a good leading character. I loved the idea of a jilted husband/wife writing a letter to have “The Perfect Killer” murder their spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend for cheating or lying or what have you, not knowing that they’ve hired a 17 year old girl. It’s a perfect stand alone book, but I wouldn’t mind if it was a series or a trilogy. And with the Author being so young herself, I can’t wait to see how her writing improves.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Almost.
Would I reread it? If I ever get through my current reading list, yes.
Would I purchase it? I’m not sure.
Would I recommend it? Already have, to many people.

The Essence by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Essence
Author: Kimberly Derting
Length: 352 pages
Genre: YA, Dystopia
Format: Hard cover
Rating: 2/5
Why I read it: Checked out of the library at the same time as the first one.

What it’s About: Charlie has been crowned Queen of Ludania, and she is trying to right the wrongs of former Queen Sabara. Unfortunately, Sarbara’s essence is living inside Charlie, trying to undermine her and raising Charlie’s self doubt. Meanwhile Charlie is going on a journey to other kingdoms to reconnect ties that Sarbara has severed. And while she does that, there is a trator in her company and an assassination attempt on her life.

The Good: I love the idea that Sarbara wasn’t so easy to defeat. Not only is she essentially still there, but the damage she caused throughout other kingdoms is a factor in her tyranny as well. I do love the fact that there is no love triangle, and the secret crush on the best friend angle comes from two secondary characters.

The Bad: The predictability. I hated it. Of course there was a traitor, why else would someone know Charlie’s every move on a secret mission? And can we just address the fact that her head of defense is an 18 year old? I’m all for young people making an impression and doing well at their jobs, but when you take someone who is so young, and has no experience leading an army and give them the authority to lead said army, there will be trouble. Especially when said eighteen year old is in the mist of forming a romance with her best friend. Thirdly, the journey to the summit was boring. And why would they choose to stop in a place that everyone, including the queen, has deemed dangerous? I know you’ve got to rest, but I think that if there was already an assassination attempt on the sole ruler of your country, you would refrain from stopping to make camp somewhere that you think is dangerous.

Final Thoughts: Unrealistic book is unrealistic. I kind of can’t wait for the underage ruler/king/queen trope to just go away.