Parallel universes, family bonds and saving worlds | A Million Worlds With You

A million words would not be enough to express how much I want to visit the millions of worlds in these books. 

Hahaha I’m so good with words, guys. Probably best in all the worlds. 😉 Right?

Okay, I’ll stop now.

Hi everyone! I hope you guys are enjoying your Saturday! (I know I am, my god, this week has been so long.)

Okay, it’s been SO long since a review, partially because I haven’t read many books over March, and partially because I just haven’t gotten around to writing any for the books I *did* read haha. It’s April now though, and I’m trying to get out of the slump I’d been in for March, and so far it’s going well! I FINALLY READ A BOOK GUYS. *cue celebration* (Hence I am now dying trying to figure out what one book out of the 145678 books I should read next. Even though I already have a tentative list of books I need to read asap?? #nologic)

*NO SPOILERS for this book! I wouldn’t say there were many major spoilers for the other two books, either to be honest, but skim if you’re really worried about that haha*


A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray

Publication Date: November 6th 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre(s): Sci-fi, Young-Adult
Series Status: Firebird #3
Page Count: 419
Source & Format: Owned, hardcover

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.

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Dimensional travelling and all the wanderlust (!!!)

Four words: Travelling. Through. Parallel. Universes. IS THAT NOT AWESOME?? (An enthusiastic yes is the right and only answer by the way.) An infinite amount of parallel universes where even one alternate choice/outcome leads to a whole different future. Above the characters or the plot, the concept of this series is what drew me in first and foremost, and definitely what I loved the most.Would it be greedy of me to say I wish the worlds had been developped even more though?? LET ME TRAVEL TO ALL THE PLACES please, thanks. Bye, Marguerite, it’s my turn now.  In the previous books, I loved exploring this concept, and the third book was no exception, I just loved the idea and world Claudia Gray created. I feel like the scientific aspect of it was explored more as well, which was great! (but maybe that’s just me holding on to anything that could make this parallel universe come true.) Now I just need people like Marguerite’s parents to create a Firebird for me?? NOW HIRING, people!!

“Every single world we’ve visited isn’t just random—it’s the result of countless choices, all of them combining to create a new reality.”

Basically: this world is fabulous. 

Snackable-themes of family and dark sides.

(Snackable is totally a word, hush children and auto correct.) Pause on the squealing-about-parallel-world-travelling things! My memory is terrible and so I don’t remember in detail what I loved about the previous books*, but in this one, I certainly appreciated the focus on familial bonds, among other things. Marguerite’s parents’ love for their children had so much depth, I feel, explored in the different worlds we visit, shown through different lives, different aspects of the characters. I really loved how this book explored family; how they were practically always present (could it be we have a normal family???!), and the way it showed how much family can impact your character and your choices.

*No, of course I am not too lazy at the moment to open my review on the previous books…

As for the DARK SIDES. *cue music* It’s not as sinister as it sounds, I promise. I think what was really interesting to read in this book was the exploration of a person’s true character. I’m going to say straight up; I didn’t like Marguerite that much. But, what this book did a great job of is making us think about–made Marguerite think about–is the potential anyone has to be, well, evil, or a bad person. Through these alternate worlds, we meet different versions of the same character; multiple Marguerites, multiple parents, Pauls, and so on. Apart from making for a thrilling story, the main Marguerite (and Paul, Theo, etc) is really forced in this one to confront that despite how different she may be from those Marguerites, they are still a part of her. And I think it was really important for Marguerite to see that.

Okay, deep thoughts almost over! Can I mention Paul though??! I don’t particularly care about him and Marguerite as a ship anymore, though I used to, I’m much more interested in Paul as an individual character! Poor Paul. He, too, was forced to confront the reality of his different versions. But for him, unlike Meg, acceptance came a lot harder, and a lot differently. Paul was a whole lot more broken emotionally, causing him to question everything that he used to believe in and it was heartbreaking–but also very necessary to see that.

“But just because something’s been damaged doesn’t mean it’s ruined.”

DEEP THOUGHTS OVER GUYS. But, next, what I was not a fan of…

Where is Theo? (Also, byeeee love triangle)

We have Marguerite (sadly), Paul (poor broken soul), and sure, we had Theo… but I totally would’ve loved more page time with him. Theo is such a precious cinnamon roll!! In previous books there was also Theo and Paul’s bromance that I loved, but this book was lacking that as well, which is SO SAD. Plus side, there is less of a love triangle in this one! Down side, I am disgruntled that Theo is still pining for Marguerite… (I won’t consider that a spoiler because it’s very very obvious who Marguerite ends up with since the first book.) He deserves so much better, and honestly is overlooked so much. #moretheoplease

“Because I want you to be happy. With or without me, whatever it takes.” Theo sighs. “That’s the difference between wanting someone and loving them.”

Special Snowflake syndrome

I think this aspect has been from the very start of the series, but I definitely think I was more aware and less accepting of it this book haha. Maybe my slump has made me too critical? A year since reading the second book has made me less emotionally invested? We may never know. But Marguerite was SUCH a special snowflake, and I think that definitely had a part in me not liking Marguerite as much. Her attitude, the way everyone makes her seem so much better than she really is? Got on my nerves, won’t lie. BUT. What really took the cake was how little repercussions she faced from her decisions. There were things she did in previous books that were not right at all, and I really wished there were more consequences rather than it being glorified. Ugh.

“But this role doesn’t need an adventurer as much as it needs someone who can… look at each world with fresh eyes. Who can perceive things deeply. Not an adventurer—an artist. You were the one we needed all along.”

Lackluster ending…

It was perfectly acceptable, to be sure, and I was definitely invested till the very end, but, at the end, I think I still wanted more than what I got. After all the tension, the excitement, it just seemed all too quick and just… lackluster. I was warned of this in advance though… So there’s that? It made the disappointment less hard to take, I think, and allowed me to still appreciate the other aspects of the finale. It was still perfectly fine though! I know a lot of people who loved it, and if you like definite endings as well, this one is perfect. Open endings can be torturous for me sometimes haha, so I did love how everything was tied up. My heart went through so much though, the book overall was definitely a thrilling read. But, the ending still left me wanting more. The classic case of “it’s me, not you?” perhaps…

Overall… (3.5 stars)

Things I loved:

  • The world (PARALLEL UNIVERSES YES PLEASE)
  • Parents and characters being evil beans
  • Paul being a broken little ball
  • THAT COVER IS SO BEAUTIFUL I COULD CRY. (Seriously, the whole series is so beautiful all I want to do is sit and look at them all day)

Things that could’ve been better:

  • Marguerite. Marguerite. Over and over, MARGUERITE. Even if she was more bearable in this one.
  • More Theo time?!
  • The ending

Verdict: An enjoyable read! I really did like it, problems aside. It was a solid finale, despite leaving me wanting more in terms of the ending and some of the characters. If you like sci-fi, action and romance, I definitely recommend picking this series up! And if you’ve already started the series, I think, unless you *really* hate Marguerite, reading this finale has the potential to be a good one for you.


GOSH THIS REVIEW. I literally worked on this for so long, I know it’s lengthy, sorry about that! But what do you think? Have you read this series, do you plan on it…? (Anyone else want to go on a world-travelling journey with me??) Let me know in the comments! Hope you have a lovely day! ❤

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray | Book Review

Ten Thousand Skies Above YouTen Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

4 stars

Publication Date: November 3rd 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre(s): Sci-fi, Romance, Young-Adult
Series Status: Firebird #2
Page Count: 424
Source & Format: Owned, Paperback

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

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Hello bookworms! It’s been such a long time since I posted any reviews here on my blog—I guess I just can’t keep up in writing reviews when I have a huge snowball of them! But that’s not the point here. Today I’m here to share my thoughts on Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray! Apart from the fact that the cover for this is absolutely gorgeous (!!!), I had been really looking forward to reading this one ever since I finished A Thousand Pieces of You last year.

So, I finally read it—and I have to say, I really enjoyed this one! I’d go so far as to say that I liked it even more than the first one. There’s a lot that I really enjoyed in this one, but there were also a few little things where I was a bit more frowny. I’ve decided to deviate from my usual reviewing style to make my thoughts more clear. 😉 (I’d love to know what you think!) SO LET’S DO THIS. For all of you who haven’t read the first book, don’t worry ’cause this review is completely spoiler-free!

Ten Thousand Skies Above You Design

Design credit goes to Freepik; edits were done by me.

Why there was lots of devouring and happiness

  • DIMENSION TRAVELLING! It was one of my favourite parts of the first book, and I think I loved it even more in this one. Not only is simply THE IDEA of it so cool, it made for such an entertaining story and was executed very well.
  • It made me THINK. And I know some of you may be groaning right now, but I praise Claudia Gray for including interesting themes and bringing forth conflicting questions throughout the story. Things like the more negative side to dimensional travels and the ethical issues it brings forth are an added plus for the story’s value and complexity. Three-cheers for thought-provoking books!
  • This book had such an amazing bromance going on. Seriously. I loved Theo and Paul’s brotherly relationship so much! The love Theo had for Paul, and Paul for Theo, was so sweet. We really need more bromances around like this!
  • I didn’t want to put it down. (Then again, I almost never want to put any book down, but shhhh.) Seriously though, it was addictive. Hardly a boring moment—as far as I remember, at least. And seeing how I read this not-too-long-ago, I’m pretty sure I remember correctly. LOL.
  • Two words; Plot. Twists. They were everywhere! (Or maybe it just felt like they were everywhere, but SHHHH.) In some cases plot twists can become annoying and predictable, but this was not one of those cases.
  • This book is not as much romance-focused as the previous book. There is still plenty of romance, but unlike the first book where a lot of it was focused on only the romance, now there is additional focus on other things too, which was appreciated! (Although, you have been warned; there is a love triangle.)
  • THE COVER. I’d read any book with that cover. Just kidding! Mostly. Kind of. #Judgeabookbyitscover But seriously though, the cover is beautiful—and the story inside was just as good!

Where Frowns and Raised Eyebrows Emerged

  • I was lost for quite some time when starting the book, especially when it talked about events that happened in the previous book—although that’s more of my fault. I definitely recommend skimming or re-reading A Thousand Pieces of You and jog your memory of what happened in it, (if you don’t remember much of it) before reading the sequel!
  • While Marguerite’s character could’ve been worse, she still wasn’t such a great one—but that’s just my opinion. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy the book any less because of it, but certain times, I just couldn’t take her seriously and would have to fight the urge to roll my eyes. Other times, she was just so repetitive, that it became quite bothersome. Thankfully I still ended up enjoying the book despite these parts!
  • Maybe it’s because of the main character’s lack of advanced scientific understanding (she’s more of an artsy person), but it felt like a lot of things surrounding the scientific aspect of the novel were left unanswered. Or things that weren’t explained that well or didn’t make sense. I don’t know. I just hope these are all cleared up in the last book!

Overall…

An entertaining novel! I was hooked from start to finish (even if I was lost for some parts) and there were lots of aspects to it that I enjoyed. I really loved reading about Theo and Paul’s bromance, as well as the dimension travelling aspect. (IT’S MAGIC. But not.) Would I recommend it? For people who are uncertain about continuing the series, well, it depends on what exactly was your problem with the first book, but generally, I’d say the second one was better than the first, so… it’s up to you now. For all of you who haven’t read it yet, I recommend you to do so! Unless you’re REALLY against romance in sci-fi or something, this series is a pretty good one.


SO. Now it’s your turn to talk! (Because this can’t just be a one-sided conversation!) Tell me, what are your thoughts on this book and/or series? And tell me which book cover do you like better, in this series?! Because #important. ALSO. Let me know what your thoughts are on not-so-likeable characters! Do you condemn the book if they annoy you? LET US TALK. 🙂

Until the Next Meal, Analee

We Are Watching by M. Stephen Stewart | Blog Tour Review + Giveaway

(Mindshare #1)

Published: December 16th 2014

Synopsis:

Henry Malone’s childhood was shattered by the unexplained suicide of his father. Now a teenager, his days are spent studying to become a Neural Implant Technician for Planetary Link Corporation, helping them maintain an iron grip over his walled country and every iota of knowledge contained within—but he leads a double life. Henry’s nights are spent helping his mother wage a cyber war against them in her quest to find the truth behind his father’s death.

He’s managed to keep his two lives separate, a delicate balance that’s endangered after he repairs the neural implant of a stranger. He finds she’s in possession of illegal memories from the outside world, unauthorized knowledge of his father, and a message: speak to me later and tell no one. Henry has a choice to make—ignore the message and maintain his double-life, or answer and risk everything to uncover secrets Planetary Link would kill to keep buried.


We Are Watching_bookcover

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My Rating: 3.5 stars 3.5/5 (Liked it)

Book Information

Publisher: Primrose Publishing

Genre(s): Dystopia, Young-adult

Page Count: 286

Format: e-book

Purchase: Amazon


WeAreWatchingTourBanner2

Check out the rest of the tour schedule!

Welcome to my review tour stop of We Are Watching by M. Stephen Stewart, a dystopian and sci-fi young-adult novel!

Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for review purposes. This does not affect my review.

This book was intriguing, to say the least! It had an interesting, new world, with advanced technology that all took some time to get used to, but overall I really liked it.

Quick Summary

Henry Malone has always been in the spotlight since his famous father, Scott Malone died. His mother has been continuously attached to her NEX, (basically like our smartphones these days except implanted in the brain). Now Henry’s works for Planetary Link (Plink) as a technician in Neural Implants. One day, when he comes across a girl who has strange memories of the world outside, and of himself and his father, Henry’s world turns completely upside down. Instead of continuing to work for Plink, Henry suddenly finds new revelations, revelations that change everything he’s ever known. Continue reading

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray | Book Review

(Firebird #1)

Published: October 7th 2014

Synopsis:

Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.


A Thousand Pieces of You_bookcover

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My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genre(s): Young-adult fiction, sci-fi

Page Count: 360

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 0062357697


Used for the Popsugar challenge: A book based on its cover

Hi there! I finished this book a while back, and was supposed to have finished and posted this review long before now. But, I haven’t, and as I absolutely loved this book, I’m excited to finally post my review on A Thousand Pieces of You!

Quick Summary

So basically, the main character, Marguerite, and her friend Theo, goes off in a search of vengeance for a friend of the family, Paul, who she believes to have killed her father and stolen her parents’ most important creation, the Firebird (which allows the wearer to travel to different dimensions). In those different dimensions she encounters obstacles that prevent her from leaving the dimensions, and faces even more obstacles, while getting nowhere with the whole revenge thing. When she starts to question everything she knew, she finds that the mystery surrounding her father’s death was even more malevolent than she thought. Continue reading

Flash Point by Nancy Kress | Book Review

Stand-Alone

Published: November 8th 2012

Synopsis:

Reality TV meets a chillingly realistic version of America—and the fame game is on!

Amy had dreams of going to college, until the Collapse destroyed the economy and her future. Now she is desperate for any job that will help support her terminally ill grandmother and rebellious younger sister. When she finds herself in the running for a slot on a new reality TV show, she signs on the dotted line, despite her misgivings. And she’s right to have them. TLN’s Who Knows People, Baby—You? has an irresistible premise: correctly predict what the teenage cast will do in a crisis and win millions. But the network has pulled strings to make it work, using everything from 24/7 hidden cameras to life-threatening technology to flat-out rigging. Worse, every time the ratings slip, TLN ups the ante. Soon Amy is fighting for her life—on and off camera.


Flash Point_bookcover

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Rating: 2.5 stars2.5 (Okay)

Book Information

Publisher: Viking

Genre(s): Young-adult Dystopia

Page Count: 502

Format: Hardcover

ISBN: 0670012475


Used for the Popsugar challenge: A book set in the future

Hey there! Glad I’m finally reviewing this. I finished this sooner, but hadn’t gotten the chance to review it yet, but I got some time now so here I go!

I had this on my TBR list and started reading it a bit before I officially started the Popsugar Challenge. I finished it after a few days of my challenge, and let me just say this: It was a disappointment. A flop. As you can see from my rating, this wasn’t the best book I’ve read. I had such high hopes for this one, but it just didn’t click for me.

The only reason it does not have a 2 star or even 1.5 star rating was because I was able to finish the book without hating it, as well as the writing style helped make the book more enjoyable. It was only afterwards where my opinions changed.

Quick Summary

Our protagonist, Amy, would’ve had a comfortable life if it wasn’t for the Collapse. Now she’s desperate to keep up with financial problems while taking care of her younger sister and sickly grandmother. When she gets the chance for good pay with medical benefits by being in the running for the new TV show Who Knows People, Baby–You?, Amy is quick to audition, ignoring her misgivings. When Amy ends up being one of the people starring in the show, she realizes the show isn’t as fun and simple as it seems when her life (and the lives of the people with her) is put in jeopardy.

Plot

So starting with the plot. The concept itself was really interesting, however Nancy Kress made it fall flat. I mean, it was a super cool story line, with the whole TV show risking lives, and the Hunger Games-ish idea, but Nancy Kress just wasn’t able to pull it off.

The main point of the story is about how the TV producers are risking the lives of Amy and the other stars on the show for the sake of having good ratings from viewers. The problem however is that while there were a few scenes where it was interesting, the actual ‘flash point’ or, climax kind of flopped. It reminded me a bit of The Maze Runner, except done worse.

Another thing that added to that problem is that although in the synopsis it is said that every time the ratings slipped, the TV producers ‘up the ante’ of the scenes the stars go through, really, the scenes weren’t all that great, to be honest. There were maybe a few select scenarios that were decent and mostly interesting, but not that many.

And finally, the last problem I had with the plot is the unnecessary and confusing ‘phantoms.’ Apparently Amy is some kind of clairvoyant, and gets these ‘phantoms’ that lets her see through the scenarios set up by the producers?For something so crucial (or so Kress makes it seem) to the story, you’d expect an explanation. The true story of what was happening to Amy in those moments was not explained at all throughout the entire book, and that really annoyed and frustrated me.

Overall, there were some parts I enjoyed, such as a couple of plot twists, but the plot definitely did not live up to its full potential.

Characters

To be honest, most of the characters were pretty predictable, save for a couple which goes back to the plot twist I mentioned above. Most of the people I thought were kind of useless and bothersome. Amy herself I found annoying, someone who I couldn’t relate with at all. She came off as a bit whiny at times, easily falls for a pretty face, and although she’s supposed to be all smart and everything, the very first couple of decisions she made sucked. Overall, I didn’t find Amy that enjoyable, and she definitely wasn’t a strong female lead like I was hoping for. I don’t specifically hate her, but I’m not her biggest fan, that’s for sure.

There is some romance in here, or at least a love triangle. I’m usually fine with love triangles as long as they’re done well. Sadly, this was not done all that well. I honestly did not care for either of the interests much, especially not for the one Amy first thought herself to be in love with (the pretty face). It was so obvious who actually likes her and who has more common interest with her, that I literally felt like shaking Amy to tell her to wake up.

Writing Style

The writing style wasn’t phenomenal, however it was quite enjoyable. The writing style is one of the main things that made me decide on a 2.5 stars rating instead of something lower. It flowed nicely, and was descriptive enough when need be. Note: there is swearing multiple times. That bothered me, as it was unnecessary to use such language, however I did my best to simply ignore it.

Overall, I don’t particularly recommend this book. If you’ve read Nancy Kress’s other works and are interested in this, then by all means try it out. I actually would love to hear your opinions on it! Perhaps it will shape my perspective into a more favorable opinion.

Not that hungry? I understand, this review isn’t increasing you appetite, is it? But if you are hungry, go eat it! I’d love to hear what you think of its taste.

-A