Book Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Source: Borrowed

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
 

In case you didn’t see my rating up there, I’m going to say it here: I did not enjoy this book. I know it’s a well-loved book and this is probably heresy or something, but this book was just not for me, and here’s why.

The characters: Did I care about even one single character? No. They were roles, not characters. We have the Strong Female Protagonist who’s ready to save the world. We have the Charming Love Interest who… doesn’t really have much more of a function than that. We have some Fun Side Characters whose only purpose is to die for shock value.

The plot: I’m sorry, what plot? There are two ships, okay. There’s a very contagious sickness on one of them. Some lovers who’ve been separated after breaking up but they’re still in love? There’s a war, I guess, but it’s not really explained in any kind of detail. I don’t even know what the plot is, really, aside from Kady and Ezra pining over each other for no reason.

The relationship: I’m a romance lover and even I can admit that the romance in this book was entirely unnecessary. If Kady and Ezra love each other so much, why did they break up at the beginning of the book? I couldn’t take them seriously.

The plot twist: I rolled my eyes. It wasn’t one of those “oh wow, that plot twist!!” kind of situations. It was one of those “really? are you actually serious? this is what I waited for??” kind of moments. The big plot twist was some nonsense.

I had really hoped to enjoy Illuminae since so many of my Goodreads friends and fellow bloggers love it, but I just couldn’t get into it. The format is fun, but that’s about all that I can say about this one. I love Jay Kristoff, but I’m not going to be continuing with this series.


Have you read Illuminae? Do you agree with me or did you love it?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: Paper Girls, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan

Paper Girls, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: December 11, 2018
Source: Borrowed

Can anyone escape fate? That’s what Mac and her fellow newspaper delivery girls must discover as they escape the year 2000 and travel to the distant future. Plus, the truth behind the mysterious “old-timers” is finally revealed.

So, I’m officially caught up on another one of Vaughan’s series, and I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with myself now. Overall, I definitely prefer Saga over Paper Girls, but this was a really fun series to read. One thing I’ll say about it, in general, is that I felt that the quality of it was all over the place. It’s not a bad series by any means, but, to me at least, volumes 2 and 4 were far better than volumes 1, 3, and 5.

One thing I liked in this volume was the reveal about Wari and Jahpo. I was waiting to find out more about them and Vaughan definitely delivered! The cliffhanger that ended this volume, though… when exactly am I getting volume 6 and how am I supposed to wait?


Have you read Paper Girls? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: Paper Girls, Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan

Paper Girls, Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Source: Borrowed

The mind-bending, time-warping adventure from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and CLIFF CHIANG continues, as intrepid newspaper deliverer Tiffany is launched from the prehistoric past into the year 2000! In this harrowing version of our past, Y2K was even more of a cataclysm than experts feared, and the only person who can save the future is a 12-year-old girl from 1988.

Volume 4 of Paper Girls was, by far, my favorite of the series. It’s definitely the most exciting of the volumes, and despite being a little jumpy sometimes, I felt like it was really well-written.

The girls end up in 2000 amid the Y2K scare, and wow, that really took me back to elementary school! (Just saying that makes me feel old.) I remember Y2K like it was yesterday and this alternate version of history in which a bunch of crazy things actually happened was so fun to read about! (In real life, the craziest thing that happened was the computers at my school thinking it was 1900 and not 2000.)

I’m really enjoying this series so far and I’m looking forward to reading the next volume!


#ps19: a book that makes you nostalgic
#mmd19: a book in the backlist of a favorite author


Have you read Paper Girls? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: Paper Girls, Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan

Paper Girls, Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: August 8, 2017
Source: Borrowed

The multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning series from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and CLIFF CHIANG continues, as newspaper deliverers Erin, Mac and Tiffany finally reunite with their long-lost friend KJ in an unexpected new era, where the girls must uncover the secret origins of time travel… or risk never returning home to 1988. 

In volume 3 of Paper Girls, the girls find themselves in prehistoric times. Although I didn’t like this volume as much as the previous one, I thought that this time jump was interesting and I did like the addition of Wari and Jahpo. I’m really curious to see what will happen with them next!

The only other thing I really feel like mentioning about this volume was the development of a certain relationship. I’m trying to say this with no spoilers and it’s really hard, but this was a nice plot twist and I can’t wait to see where Vaughan is going to go with it!


#mmd19: three books by the same author


Have you read Paper Girls? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: Paper Girls, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

Paper Girls, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: November 30, 2016
Source: Borrowed

Brian K. Vaughan, #1 New York Times bestselling writer of SAGA, and Cliff Chiang, legendary artist of WONDER WOMAN, return with acclaimed colorist Matt Wilson and innovative letterer Jared K. Fletcher for the second volume of PAPER GIRLS, as the hit series continues with a bold new direction.

After surviving the strangest night of their lives in the Cleveland suburb of Stony Stream, intrepid young newspaper deliverers Erin, Mac, and Tiffany find themselves launched from 1988 to a distant and terrifying future… the year 2016.

What would you do if you were suddenly confronted by your 12-year-old self? 40-year-old newspaper reporter Erin Tieng is about to find out in this action-packed story about identity, mortality, and growing older in the 21st century.

Before I get into reviewing volume 2 of Paper Girls, here’s a little summary of how I felt about volume 1: It started off slowly, but picked up toward the end and left me feeling very intrigued about what would happen next. Now that I’ve said that, I want to say that volume 2 definitely kept me interested. There was enough going on that I kept flipping pages to see what would happen next, but not too much to the point where it would be difficult to follow.

One thing that I can say I really loved is the way that the characters from the future speak! I studied linguistics in college and the way language changes over the years has always fascinated me, so that part of this graphic novel made me so happy! It seems like Vaughan really did his research to make it seem natural.

I’ve really started to like these characters and I’m so interested to see what’s going to happen next!


#mmd19: three books by the same author


Have you read Paper Girls? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Source: Borrowed

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

In my sadness over Vaughan’s year-long Saga hiatus, I decided to check out some of his other work. Paper Girls sounded the most interesting to me, and luckily my library had the first four volumes available, so I didn’t even have to wait for a hold to come in.

I didn’t connect with Paper Girls as quickly as I connected with Saga. That kind of surprised me since Saga is all this crazy sci-fi stuff set in space and Paper Girls could literally be happening down the street, but it is what it is. It’s a little spooky and a little confusing at first, but everything starts to clear up toward the end. I was very happy that I already had volume 2 checked out so that I didn’t have to wait too long to read it.

I’m really interested to see if I end up liking Paper Girls as much as Saga, since, despite a slow start, it really started grabbing my interest toward the end.


#mmd19: three books by the same author


Have you read Paper Girls? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Source: Borrowed

The multiple Eisner Award-winning series returns with a spacefaring adventure about fake news and genuine terror. Get ready for the most shocking, most impactful SAGA storyline yet.

Well, I am officially caught up on Saga and I’ve joined the group of people crying over the year-long hiatus the authors are taking before releasing the next volume.

I’m not sure what I can really say about this one without getting into some serious spoilers, but let me just say that the ending killed me. I’m hoping that it won’t, um, actually be true? I don’t even know how to say this without giving away the ending. That was vague but I think you’ll know what I mean if you read it.

I don’t know what to do with myself for the next year, so I guess I’m just going to read Paper Girls while I wait.

#ps19: a book about a family


Have you read any of Saga? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!


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