A Real Life Dystopian: Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee

28818317Publisher: Amulet Books

Publication Date: September 13th, 2016

Series: N/A

Genre: Memoir, YA

Rating: 3.5/5

This was a flawed but interesting read. North Korea, as put by the author, is a real life dystopian. Sungju Lee provides a fascinating experience as he becomes disillusionment with the North Korean society when his family moves from the nation’s capital among society’s elite. It’s a shocking tale for both reader and writer alike as he goes from assuming everyone in Korea is well-fed and taken care of to becoming homeless and starving, where every day becomes a fight to obtain even life’s most basic necessities.

This book made me want to learn more about North Korea. I didn’t realize that Kim Jong-un was basically regarded as a deity or just how badly disparaged society is there. I don’t even know if you can travel to Korea from the US or if it is embargoed like Cuba.

On the flip side though, I did find the title and initial summary a bit misleading. It led me to assumed that the story would include more details on the actual escape from North Korea to China. And the presentation at times made me question the writer’s credibility. I have no doubt that while it is an accurate depiction in general, there seemed to be an awful lot of minute detail for every aspect of the book to have actually happened. I doubt, especially when living in such destitute conditions, that the author can recall all these small events and conversations as perfectly as is presented. Those were my two issues with the book from a critical standpoint.

Overall though, a harrowing and thought-provoking read that will increase your appreciation for the blessings in your life.

Ignite the Shadows by Ingrid Seymour

25903205Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: October 22, 2015

Series: Ignite the Shadows, #1

Genre: Science Fiction, YA

Rating: 3/5

I was given a copy of Ignite the Shadows in exchange for a review in prep for the upcoming sequel. I liked it. I wouldn’t call it particularly memorable, especially within the saturated genre of science fiction. I was excited to read it though as it’s set in my hometown of Seattle. The plot strongly reminded me of the Deaths of Tao as the two contain mainly similar elements: an unsuspecting hero, aliens that live inside the brain, two opposing groups trying to control the world using humans as their vessels, the evil group infiltrating governments and positions of power.

But that being said, I would be interested in reading a sequel. There was a great twist at the end, that left me going what, no! The book can’t be ending here!

I do like endings that leave me flabbergasted.

The book is definitely action packed and fast paced, beginning with a motorcycle chase as Xave and Marci spy on Clark’s dealings with a mysterious group called IgNiTe. For me, the book was almost too fast paced. I was just plopped right in without any clue what was going on and little exposition. In fact, I’d say most of the book went from 0 to 90 in seconds.

Our narrator, Marci, is spunky but impulsive. She read like a real teenager to me: snarky, over-the-top, and a bit bratty. But I appreciated that. I get sick of YA teenage characters that don’t act like teenagers at all. I could also understand where her frustration often rooted from, which helped me empathize with her.

I’m not really into sentient alien stories, but I will say the aliens in this story were pretty darn creepy. I don’t do tentacles. Bleh!

The thing about this book that didn’t jive with me was the so-called science used to explain the abilities of the aliens and certain characters. It didn’t sound real to me at all and broke my suspension of belief. It’s a problem I often come across in science fiction that completely jars me out of the story. I wish authors felt less of a need to explain every nuance in these instances.

Overall though, if you enjoy fast paced action books with a strong heroine and a little dash of romance (perfect amount in my opinion), then this is a read for you.

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Magicians and Axe Murderers: The Chronicles of Alice by Christina Henry

Wow. I almost don’t even know where to begin. This retelling of Alice in Wonderland is one crazy, dark, wild ride. And I loved every minute of it. Even the parts that made me squirm. Continue reading “Magicians and Axe Murderers: The Chronicles of Alice by Christina Henry”

Why is Neverland Full of Hippies?: Never Ever by Sara Saedi

22840374Publisher: Viking Books

Publication Date: June 21st, 2016

Series: Never Ever, #1

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Rating: 2/5

Never Ever is a contemporary re-telling of Peter Pan. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take this book seriously, and me not liking something Peter Pan-related is just unheard of. It goes against the very core of my being. Continue reading “Why is Neverland Full of Hippies?: Never Ever by Sara Saedi”

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

If you love this book, you might not want to read ahead. A lot of unpopular opinions are about to spew from my lips…er fingers.

16034235Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Publication Date: August 7th, 2012

Series: Throne of Glass, #2

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Rating: 2/5

It all starts with the cover. At first glance, you see it, and you’re blown away. It looks so bad-ass and awesome! But then you look closer, and you realize it’s actually ridiculous. How can anyone possibly fight with all that long hair flying everywhere?

tog reviewAnd don’t even get me started on those pants. They look great…till you realize that if this was real life, her pants would be falling off her butt, they’re slung so low! I can’t even look at them.

Girl, your pants are falling off!

And this is where my eye rolling began. Continue reading “Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas”

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Mass | Part II: Discussion

17927395This post is for my rambles and for the fangirls. Beware of spoilers ahead. It you want my non-spoiler opinions, see my review and Part I of this book here.

Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. Wasn’t this sequel awesome?! In my opinion, it blew ACOTAR out of the water. I didn’t really care for the first book other than to acknowledge that Sarah J. Maas is a talented writer with a bright future ahead of her.

But there’s a lot I appreciated about this book that I’m sure many of you did as well, and I just have to gush about it to someone! Continue reading “A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Mass | Part II: Discussion”

Interview with Alexis Lampley: Author, Blogger, Entrepreneur

I’m pleased to announce our first official interview here at Fictional Fox! If you’ll look up at the menu bar, hopefully you’ll notice the new section entitled Bookpreneur. This section will not only have updates on my own entrepreneur adventures and DIY tips, but it is where I will be posting interviews with authors, bloggers, designers, and all the amazing people in the book world.

And an interview with Alexis Lampley is a fantastic way to kick this off!

28484655Alexis is the author of The Onyx Vial, book one of the Shadow of the Nine series. She is also the creator of the recently launched bookish typography and art subscription service, Nerdy Post. I first discovered Alexis and her work via her Instagram account (@dropandgivemenerdy), and I’ve basically been a fan ever since. I’m so grateful she took the time to answer a few questions, despite being not only a bookpreneur but a mom as well. Needless to say, she is a busy woman! Continue reading “Interview with Alexis Lampley: Author, Blogger, Entrepreneur”