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Book Review: MIla 2.0 by Debra Driza

mila 2.0

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Mila was just trying to settle in to her new life in rural Montana. Living with her overly protective mother, the new caretaker of horse ranch, fitting in at the local high school was a challenge.

Especially after discovering she wasn’t just a normal seventeen-year-old girl. Oh no, Mila is actually a robot. She’s not the first either, but version 2.0.

In a span of hours Mila and her mother are thrust from their calm existence to on the run from her creators, the government. What starts as a normal get together with a girlfriend bursts forth with a new sight on truly who and what she is. As secrets tumble, Mila is going to have to choose which she is more of, human or machine if she and mother are going to escape for a future of freedom.

So how do I feel about this book? I did like it but…Long, just way, way too long. The Matched series can get away with 500 pages, but for this premise I felt like it dragged. The focus is primarily on Mila, which as a character is interesting. The story is slow in the beginning, the reader is almost tricked into thinking it’s a clichéd YA book. Then BAM – the story hits sixty and it’s running, running, running and more running until the explosive end.

I wish I could have liked the story more but the length wavered my attention. However, I think it has great potential for a movie or TV series. It just has that feel when you’re reading the story. The author has done a great job of describing the picture and placing the reader right there to witness all the excitement and danger.

Mila 2.0 is great if one wants a break from the soppy, unrealistic romance, but they shouldn’t be afraid to devote time.

The amazing publisher, in exchange for an honest review, provided this book. Many thanks to the publisher and author Debra Driza for letting me review Mila 2.0! I am curious as to what is coming next!

Mila 2.0 was Freshly Publishing in March 2013 – so get your copy now and tell me what you think!

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Book Review: Death by Chocolate by Johanna Pitcairn

Death Cover

Death by Cho info

Valentines Day is supposed to be filled with adoration, love and chocolates from a boyfriend. For Julie, she discovers that her boyfriend of three months is cheating on her with blonde haired Melissa. Spoiled, rich and totally dependant on the superficial California lifestyle, Julie makes a rash decision to run away to Vegas. With her checking accounts and credit cards cut off she struggles to feed herself. When a Gypsy comes along promising a warm meal and a free fortune reading, Julie figures to go along since she doesn’t have anything else better to do.

She’s handed a box of normal looking chocolates that taste out of this world. After one bite Julie awakens in a field, with a handsome shirtless man moving toward her shouting ‘Run!’. Thus begins her adventure in a mysterious world where people speak in riddles and Julie is suddenly faced with memories of forgotten best friend Kara. The chocolates are more than just sweets and Julie is going to have to discover the root of her black heart if she’s going to return to her normal life once more.

This was an interesting read! I was looking for something short and this book fit the bill beautifully. It’s extremely fast paced and feels like something I might have studied in one of my literature classes. I loved that it didn’t have the focus of romance but instead slowly gave the reader insight into Julie’s horrible past. My main critic is that there are too many ‘modern day’ references that date the book. Many of the references won’t be relevant in five years time.

For the most part I really enjoyed Julie as a character. She’s not instantly likable and I enjoyed learning why she is the way she’s become. She doesn’t fit the mould of a traditional YA character and it was thrilling to try to figure out what was going on. The ending has left me scratching my head but for good reasons. I don’t think this book is a first of a series and I hope it stays that way. I like a book that leaves me hanging but gives me enough information for my imagination to make educated guesses. If you’re looking for a discussion worthy short book, give Death by Chocolate a shot. You’ll finish it in two hours and will have plenty to talk about!

The wonderful Publisher Curiosity Quills Press provided this book in exchange for an honest review.  Many thanks to them and the author Johanna Pitcairn for giving me just what I was looking for!

Death by Chocolate is out now! Get your copy today and tell me what you think!

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

There is a house that rests nearby an ancient graveyard. One night the man named Jack enters the house and murders the family living there, all except for a little baby that unintentionally escaped to the graves. Too young to know his own name, the ghosts of the graveyard adopt him and christen him ‘Nobody Owens’ or Bod for short. Shielding the baby from danger, the ghosts become his family, his friends and teachers.

With a guardian to provide food and teachings of the world, Bod grows from a baby to a boy then teenager. But the graveyard isn’t what it seems and there are dangers that Bod can’t understand that coexist with the friendly haunts. As the years pass and Bod grow restless for knowledge about himself and the world, he’ll have to rely on his wit and ghostly friends as the man named Jack is still on the hunt for him…

Beautifully illustrated and decorated with in depth characters, alive or not, Gaiman is the master at creating environments that readers just accept. The ghosts are hauntingly intriguing and the setting of the graveyard with its secret nooks and creatures is beautifully crafted to lure the reader in.

Although a bit long for my taste, The Graveyard Book is still a wonderful adventure to behold. Gaiman is a talented writer and nothing is lost throughout this book. What Gaiman excels at is providing settings and characters that don’t need a full explanation, but are better left up to the discretion of the reader. The beginning is shrouded in mysterious, the middle full of complex lessons and adventures, but the ending is exciting and before you know it the book has ended. Like Stephen King, Gaiman is able to create constantly new material each book, nothing repeats and it’s never boring. The Graveyard Book is a great YA novel for those looking for something with a bit more depth and mystery.

Day 19 – 30 Day Book Challenge

Unicorns were my favourite thing as a child. I started watching this movie from age four and watched it over and over and over again. My mom refused to buy the actual film so whenever it was rented as soon as the film finished I asked for it to be started again. Is it appropriate for a young child? No. Did my parents care? No. I don’t think they’ve ever watched it. But I loved it. It’s still my favourite movie even though it doesn’t give me the ending I want. Thank you Peter S. Beagle! (Although I wish he got all the royalties he deserves)

Day 10 – 30 Day Book Challenge

Maybe it’s because I’ve never seen any visual adaptations of Frankenstein that I adored this classic. Can’t say the same about Bram Stoker. I had no idea what was going to happen and was heavily intrigued by the humanity that develops within the monster. I was totally on the monster’s side and loved this gothic horror of skill.

Broken by A.E. Rought

Simply stunning cover, gorgeous!

What would one give to have the love of their life returned to them? In West Michigan Emma Gentry pines for her boyfriend Daniel who died over the summer from a tragic accident. Once inseparable there’s nothing that can fill Emma’s hollow heart. She hides in his sweatshirt wandering the cemetery after school, wishing for a place to mourn. With her best friend Bree standing by her side Emma tries to adjust. Then the mysterious Alex Franks appears and finally Emma sees through her heartbroken haze.

However, Alex’s dad isn’t favourable about the match and the harder he restricts him from seeing Emma, the more the two are drawn to each other. Guilty over cheating on Daniel’s memory, Emma can’t resist the power Alex has over her. He’s strong like Daniel, opens her locker just like Daniel, and he even winks just like Daniel. The similarities turn eerie as Alex’s father pulls him out of school-leaving Emma no choice but to visit his house, only to discover the truth of what really happened to Daniel…

I adored Broken by A.E. Rought. The language was beautifully spooky for it’s setting making it a perfect autumn read. Throw in a paranormal retelling of one of my favourite classics and it was difficult to put down, this is YA romance at it’s best. Life is hard in high school and it’s unthinkable how one could go on after the death of a boyfriend. Emma is easy to relate too even through her grief and she stands as a good example of trying to move on from tragedy.

The beginning moves smoothly to a fantastic and exciting finish. I’ve always loved Halloween and I wish the book was being released in October instead of January. I’d recommend this book for the real YA audience as well as for adults. It’s a YA crossover of 50 Shades of Grey level (for the heat only!), but cleverly written and wonderfully executed. Read for the romance, stay for the passion and enjoy the gothic language as it transports you to a time when all that mattered in life is love.

Broken will be released on January 8th, 2013. Pre-order your copy from Barnes & Noble in the US or directly from the publisher in the UK.

This book was provided as an ARC from Angry Robot from their imprint Strange Chemistry for an honest review. I’m thrilled to receive the galley because I thought Angry Robot is one of the coolest names for a publisher. Many thanks Angry Robot and Strange Chemistry!