Timothy Mean and the Time Machine by William Ford – MG ARC Review

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

This was such a fun and whimsical read! I’ve been wanting to try MG for a while now and as my first foray in to the genre, this book did not disappoint. Ford’s lyrical narrative features adventure, time travel and historical events that captured my attention and had me wishing I could time travel too! What really made this an exceptional read were the graphics. They would fit right in with a Pixar movie and quite frankly, I would adore watching this!

Pros:

  • This story was so adorable! It was full of the curious wonder associated with childhood and brought me back to a simpler time when learning was the purpose of our day.
  • The imagination of Timothy was endearing. His excitement at historical marvels and events was captivating and I found myself eager to see where he would travel to next.
  • The really enjoyed reading the couplet rhyming in this story. It’s exactly what I remember reading about these books when I was younger.
  • I absolutely adored the graphics in this story! They really painted a beautiful picture of the time period Timothy had travelled to. The bold colours completely captured my attention and at times I had to remind myself to read the story first before just staring at them!

Cons:

The writing in this story was occasionally hard to read with the bold colours in the background. I think the story would have had more balance had there been a blank page with black writing on it. It would be simple, easier to follow (especially for the targeted age group) and would create a better balance of white space to the corresponding image.

Arc provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

WINNER OF READERS FAVOURITE SCI-Fi FANTASY CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD 2019.

// do you enjoy MG sci-fi fantasy stories? have you read this story? //

Jen

WWW Wednesday – #5

Hello lovelies!

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This meme was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm but was revived by Sam from Taking on a World of WordsIt’s a place to talk about the books you’ve been reading, plan to read and have read. I don’t usually keep track of my reading, except for my Goodreads Challenge, but I’ve found this meme to be really helpful with keeping me on track.

To take part all you have to do is answer the following questions:

What are you currently reading?

What have you recently finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading

I’ve SOMEHOW managed to over-commit myself to ARCs and my goal this week is to get through as many of them as possible! I’m currently reading three great books right now. I enjoy changing it up every couple of chapters and these ones pair so well together!

I’m in a bit of a historical mood so Realm of Knights and Hunting for a Highlander satisfy this perfectly. I requested these ARCs because they sounded so good but I have to admit I’m genuinely surprised by HOW GOOD they’re actually turning out to be. To be Taught, If Fortunate is a delightful reprieve for when I’m feeling like something more futuristic.

Recently Finished

This was a pretty packed week of reading for me! Two of these are graphic novels and were super quick reads though… so it looks more efficient than it was haha. I ADORED HeartStopper, Nimona and A Lie for a Lie. I enjoyed reading A Curse so Dark and Lonely (mostly) and am still (slowly) working my way through the Chronicles of Nick series. I was quite disappointed with Everything, Everything though so that was probably my low point of the week.

HeartStopper Review
Nimona Review
A Lie for a Lie Review
Everything, Everything Review
A Curse so Dark and Lonely Review

Reading Next

Coming up, I’ve got another ARC with The Earl’s Christmas Pearl and then a Buddy Read with Ngoc from Nish and Ngoc’s Book Nook for These Broken Stars. Lastly, I’m keen to give These Rebel Waves a try. The cover is what initially caught my attention but I’ve also read reviews on its world building being phenomenal so I’m excited for that!

// what are you currently reading? have you read any of the books on my list? //

Jen

Top 5 Saturday: Over 500 Pages

Hi all!

Welcome to another Top 5 Saturday Reads meme. It was created by the lovely Mandy over at Devouring Books as a way to share books that we would love to read. Since my TBR is a bottomless pit, I didn’t have any issue trying to think of 5 books… but it was hard to pick ONLY FIVE books. There are just so many I want to read! If only I had the time…

This week’s topic is: Over 500 Pages. I love long books, provided their action is paced well, and can’t wait to share with you some of the ones I’m mostly looking forward to!

Here they are:

I’m currently on a fantasy/SF kick (usually I’m romance all the way) so these three books are near the top of my TBR. I managed to snag them all in a recent library haul so that was some good luck!

I’ve been wanting to try Armentrout’s fantasy books for a few years now. I really enjoyed her romance books Wait For You and Frigid, so I’m hoping Storm and Fury matches up to my enjoyment of her previous writing.

I’ve been a fan of Kristin Cashore for a VERY LONG time and Graceling is one of my all-time favourite books EVER. I never got around to reading Bitterblue but after reading about her beginning I’m so excited to see where she ends up!

If you don’t know how much I loved Illuminae then you should read my post here that basically states why I think it’s 5-star material. I’m VERY EXCITED to continue on with the Illuminae Files journey as a recently converted Kristoff and Kaufman fan!

As a part of my fantasy kick, The Priory of the Orange Tree caught my attention when it made waves with (most often) positive reviews. I’m keen to give it a try but have been a bit apprehensive up until now because at 848 pages this thing is a FRIGGING TOMB. But I mean… that cover though. It’s STUNNING. There’s no way I’m gonna miss out on that!

Lastly, I’ve chosen The Poppy War. This is a book that I’ve considered reading a few times now. I was leaning towards the ‘give it a miss’ pile as I’ve heard it has some quite dark tones. That is, until I read a review by Idil from A Bookworm’s Chapters. Honestly, it’s one of the most detailed and well-written reviews I’ve ever read. You should seriously check it out. Even if you have already read this book. I’m sure you’d learn something anyway as Idil goes in to the historical influences behind the story and what it’s message really suggests.

// have you read any of the books on my list? what were your thoughts on them? //

Jen

Saturday Top 5: Set in Space

Hi all!

Welcome to another Top 5 Saturday Reads meme. It was created by the lovely Mandy over at Devouring Books as a way to share books that we would love to read. Since my TBR is a bottomless pit, I didn’t have any issue trying to think of 5 books… but it was hard to pick ONLY FIVE books. There are just so many I want to read! If only I had the time…

This week’s topic is: Set in Space. I’ve only very recently gotten back in to reading the sci-fi genre so this is a list I’m really excited for.

Here they are:

You were expecting the first one, weren’t you? I honestly didn’t even have to contemplate which book would be first on the list. After the dramatic and eventful start to the Illuminae Files I’m all geared up to continue my journey in the series.

I managed to snatch a copy of These Broken Stars while doing my recent library haul. I’m interested to see Kaufman’s writing in another duo, this time with Meagan Spooner. Plus… that cover!

This is How You Lose the Time War came recommended to me by a dear friend and I’m excited to hopefully get to it in October’s TBR list. The notion of space spies, LYRICAL PROSE and sapphic love has me highly anticipating this book!

I’ve been wanting to read The Martian since I saw the movie. I know, usually I prefer things the other way around but I couldn’t resist watching it. I may have TEENSY TINY crush on Matt Damon.

To Be Taught, If Fortunate is one of those books that I’d never heard of and then all of sudden KEPT hearing about. I saw it sitting on the recent released shelf at the library and decided to give it a try. It’s a short one, so I’m keen to just pick a good day and smash it out in one sitting. Fingers crossed it’s as good as the premise sounds!

// have you read any of these books? which set in space books are on your TBR? //

Jen

Aurora Rising – misfits, space and a whole lot of drama

Buy it on: AMAZON

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ FOUR STARS

I have to admit, the cover of this book is what initially drew my attention. If you don’t know by now (… you should haha) that I’m a MASSIVE cover judge and something as stunning as this cover was bound to catch my attention and end up on my TBR. That said, this book more than made up for my initially biased reason for reading it. What I ended up with was a decently paced, StarWars-esque story that featured misfits, imperfect characters and a plight to save the universe from those who wish to destroy/control it.

Although the similarities annoyed me at first, they became less detrimental to my enjoyment of the book when I finally started connecting with the characters. Their unconventional nature, diversity and quick wit soon drew me in and I was hooked! Plus, I’m sure there are only so many ways in which you can write a space drama and have it seem plausibly real, without having similarities to other well-known sci-fi stories. While the title and main character of this book seemed to be Aurora, I found myself preferring other characters in the story and frankly, that’s what kept me reading.

While there was definitely some drama (a whole bucket-load of drama) this story still managed to surprise me at almost every turn. The ending overall was predictable (I mean… you’re going to keep trying to save everyone right?) but the journey to get there had some very surprising turns that kept me pleasantly surprised.

What really sold this book for me though, and I believe it will be the same with others, is the combination of rag-tag characters full of hierarchal disillusionment, blind loyalty, humour, cynicism and unrequited love. It’s a match made in sci-fi heaven and enough to keep me interested in reading the next book.

I’ll be honest, if the characters weren’t so damn likeable in this book, I probably wouldn’t be giving it the rating that I am. I also probably wouldn’t be eager to read the sequel. This was my first book by this duo and while I enjoyed the writing due to it’s ease of reading, I normally like a little bit more complexity in my world-building and descriptive phrases. I did however, really enjoy the alternative narration. That’s just me being picky though!

The Characters

Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley – Mimicked ‘The Girl Out of Time’ in the book, Aurora’s once peaceful life had suddenly been thrust in to chaos of which she was certainly out of her depth. While I enjoyed reading about Aurora, she didn’t capture my attention like the other characters. Perhaps it’s because she was constantly shrouded in mystery.

Tyler Jones – The Alpha, leader and total GoldenBoy. Tyler was the intrinsic do-gooder of the group. He was your quintessential hero and perfect tactician. He was a really likeable character and I enjoyed the way he upheld such high resolve despite the danger they constantly seemed to be in.

Scarlett Jones – The Face, AKA a diplomat, she was quite the contradiction and I loved it. Loyal to the core, sarcastic as hell but capable of winning almost anyone over, she was fun to read and one of my favs!

Zila – The Brain, or your neighbourhood sociopath. She was a hard character to like – mainly because there wasn’t much to like. We barely got to know her and what little we did get to see was shrouded in a trigger-happy gal who barely spoke or interacted with others. There was the hint toward a darker past but nothing more than that. She was pretty much uninteresting.

Kal – The Tank – also known as the guy to bring the pain. He’s their combat guy with anger-management issues. He’s also kind of a defect from the enemy. I really enjoyed reading about him and his heritage/ cultural norms. My second fav character!

Fin – the Gearhead. Innovative and tech-savvy, he was their go-to guy for any glitches. I absolutely ADORED him. He was snarky, secretly vulnerable and just all round funny. I loved the way he lightened the heavier moments of the book. Plus, his family heritage was great to read about. Easily my fav character of the book!

Cat – the Ace and their resident pilot. She was a total tomboy, cynical and totally not crushing on GoldenBoy Tyler. While she seemed okay in the book, I mostly didn’t like her. The constant pessimism got on my nerves, to be honest.

So there you have it! The full cast. While this is a longer review than I normally write it didn’t feel right (nice pun… right??) summing up my thoughts on the book without including them. Quite frankly, they were the book for me and were pretty much the only reason I enjoyed it.

// what is your opinion on this book? do you enjoy reading books from this author duo? //

Jen

Throwback Thursday Read – Scythe

Buy it on: AMAZON

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ FIVE STARS

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme that was originally created by It’s Book Talk as a way to share reviews on old favourites as well as books that we FINALLY got around to reading. Our endless TBR list continues to grow, so this is a great opportunity for us to get around to all of those books we’ve been wanting to read! 

This week’s read is: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

It’s been a week since I’ve read this book yet I keep finding myself thinking about it at random times. It’s safe to say this is a book that has really resonated with me. The story follows two young teens on their unexpected journey into life as a Scythe’s apprentice. Pulled out of their lives for seemingly unapparent reasons, Citra and Rowan are forced to come to terms with the expectations thrust upon them – an honourable life of killing.

As a fan of YA fantasy I’ve read my fair share of assassin-in-training tropes, but this one really stood out. I was captivated by the confronting nature of being a Scythe. The moral and emotional effect it had on Citra and Rowan really caught my attention and sympathy. Their story was not one I would have liked to join. And yet, I couldn’t put this book down. If not for the bothersome tasks of eating, sleeping and studying I would have read this in one sitting. If you haven’t tried this book yet… what are you waiting for? You won’t get a higher recommendation from me.

Characters:

Citra and Rowan were complex, well-developed characters. My favourite characters in the book though, were Faraday and Curie. Their commitment to maintaining the honour of being a Scythe, despite the negative impact it still had on their lives after years in service, gained my respect.

While I enjoyed the characters in this book immensely, what really made it a 5-star read was the idea behind it and its execution. This was a very well written book that featured a unique take on the future. In a world where artificial intelligence, the Thunderhead, has removed the need to want (to want for eternal life, medicine, food, wealth etc.) and humans have conquered death, there are Scythe’s chosen for the task of gleaning; a form of methodical killing. Gleaning is essential to prevent the Earth from over-populating in a time when death and mortality have been erased. Along with its demise are the loss of aspects of humanity that relate to the concept of want and survival, such as those seen in art.

I loved the unique concept of artificial intelligence in this book as being an ally in a dark, dystopian story. Usually this is the other way around in sci-fi reads. The only remaining humans without intervention from the Thunderhead were the Scythe. Despite the honour bestowed upon them, the Scythe’s feature as both the heroes and villains in this story. Bereft of humanity, the Scythedom faces an era of corruption as a new order of scythes, keen for the kill and eager for cruel methods of gleaning, begin to gain power.

Overall this story was utterly gripping and sought to question the roles of heroes and villains by show-casing a cast of imperfect characters each capable of generous and despicable acts. I would highly recommend this book!

// have you read this book? what were your thoughts on it? //

Jen