Review: Defy the Worlds

worldsTitle: Defy the Worlds

Author: Claudia Gray

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, War

Number of pages: 469

Time it took me to read:  2 Days

Book Trailer by Orena Floyd

Synopsis: An outcast from her home — Shunned after a trip through the galaxy with Abel, the most advanced cybernetic man ever created, Noemi Vidal dreams of traveling through the stars one more time. And when a deadly plague arrives on Genesis, Noemi gets her chance. As the only soldier to have ever left the planet, it will be up to her to save its people…if only she wasn’t flying straight into a trap.

A fugitive from his fate — On the run to avoid his depraved creator’s clutches, Abel believes he’s said good-bye to Noemi for the last time. After all, the entire universe stands between them…or so he thinks. When word reaches him of Noemi’s capture by the very person he’s trying to escape, Abel knows he must go to her, no matter the cost.

But capturing Noemi was only part of Burton Mansfield’s master plan. In a race against time, Abel and Noemi will come together once more to discover a secret that could save the known worlds, or destroy them all.

In this thrilling and romantic sequel to Defy the Stars, bestselling author Claudia Gray asks us all to consider where–and with whom–we truly belong.

Novel Review:

Have you ever read a series where as soon as you finished the first book you dove right into the second book and then suddenly find that you read both in less than two days? You know the kind of series that has you dead to the world, hiding in your closet so no one could disturb this perfect reading trace you are in? Well, this is how my day went for book one and two in this series. You may not believe me because the reviews are weeks apart and I had some hang-ups about the first book, but it is so true!

Defy the Worlds was much more than I was expecting. Noemi has grown so much by the end of the book that I am completely in love with her as a character. And that ending! Why does Gray have to play with my heart like that? This book has definitely added so much to the series so far and Claudia Gray knows how to take her readers on one hell of a journey.

I am so excited for the next book in this series and can’t wait to five into it… well after it’s written that is. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good multi-world story or just a well rounded Sci-Fi read.

My rating:

5

Find out more about the book and Claudia Gray here

Follow Claudia Gray on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

Review: Defy the Stars

b50fe84a526ceea10b1bfeeac8af1ed6Title: Defy the Stars

Author: Claudia Gray

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, War

Number of pages: 503

Time it took me to read:  2 Days

Book Trailer by Orena Floyd

Synopsis: She’s a soldier – Noemi Vidal is willing to risk anything to protect her planet, Genesis, including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine – Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel’s advanced programming has begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

Novel Review:

While browsing through my local library’s stacks I came across Defy the Stars, which I have read before, and Defy the Worlds. Even after reading the synopsis of Defy the Stars I couldn’t remember the plot, which says little about the book because I have a terrible memory.  So picking up both books I decided to revisit the universe of Gray’s Constellation Series.

Gray’s writing is so captivating that it felt like I was reuniting with old friends (once I remembered them) as I began that first chapter. When first reading this novel I was a little taken aback by the dialogue of Able but it quickly becomes apparent that we are meant to feel this way because he is a machine. Reading on it was interesting to see how the reader becomes attached to Abel and begins rooting for him.

Noemi and I have a love-hate relationship at this point in the book. In the beginning, she seems to have a spilt personality. On one hand, she is this ready soldier that is ready to sacrifice herself for her planet and on the other hand she has this woe is me complex. Yes, she does deserve to be pitied. I mean she lost her both her parents and sibling when she was young and grows up with not so loving adopted parents but still. She still tends to be whiny but in her own head. It is definitely interesting to see how she develops as a character.

Now to the story itself. Gray took me on such a fun ride across this universe she has created with a thrilling cast of characters both human and machine. When a story jumps from planet to planet it can sometimes be hard to capture the essence of each planet without bogging down the story or creating a massive book. This was not the case with Ms. Gray’s writing. The pace was constant throughout the book and one of the main reasons why I finished this read in a little under two days. Each planet had its own unique challenge and kept the reader on the edge of their seat and needed to read on to see what happens next.

Overall, the first book in the Constellation Series was a fun read. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good multi-world story or just a well rounded Sci-Fi read.

My rating:

5

Find out more about the book and Claudia Gray here

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Review: Refugee

91-RSZD+XmLTitle: Refugee

Author: Alan Gratz

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, War

Number of pages: 352

Time it took me to read:  5 Days

Book Trailer

Synopsis: Three different kids.

One mission in common: ESCAPE.

Josef is a Jewish boy in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world…

Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety and freedom in America…

Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe…

All three young people will go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers–from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But for each of them, there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, surprising connections will tie their stories together in the end.

Novel Review:

My heart.

This was an emotional read and I am still reeling from it. Yet, this is a must read for everyone! Forget about it being a middle school or young adult book, it’s an EVERYONE book.

I have seen this novel pop up on list after list. From Twitter to school reading lists, it has been a constant reminder for the past few months. So, I’ve picked it up and I am so glad I did. With the current political climate, this is an important story to share with everyone.

Joseph’s story is focused on the escape of one Jewish family from Nazi Germany just before the party picks up steam and full-blown war breaks out. I have read several holocaust survival and escape stories, and this one belongs up there with the greats.

Isabel’s is a story of how two families come together to leave Cuba and ask for asylum in the USA. The struggles out in the open sea on a small, barely holding together raft ripped my heart in two. Grab a tissue box as you continue reading through all three plots.

Mahmoud’s story broke my heart time after time and I am still trying to put it back together. I am not sure if it is because it is about events so close to our time period (even happening now) but this plotline really hit me in the gut. Without spoiling anything, I just have to say that as a mother, I do not know how anyone could cope with events as they unfold in the story; especially, knowing that they are still unfolding today.

Gratz’s characters, their plight, and emotions really came out on the page and left me shouting out for joy but also sobbing through the hard times. As a teacher, I see the value of this book in the classroom for both English and Social Science teachers. I borrowed this book from the library but quickly realized that this is a must own and bought a few copies for myself and to share with some friends.

Do yourself a favor and read this book! Yes, you are going to cry but it is something you need to experience. Seriously, click on this link –> Refugee and order yourself a copy today!

My rating:

5

Find out more about the book and Alan Gratz here

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