The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers

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“The truth is, Rosemary, that you are capable of anything. Good or bad. You always have been, and you always will be. Given the right push, you, too, could do horrible things. That darkness exists within all of us.”

This is the kind of book that makes you remember why you fell in love with reading. This is the kind of book that feels so powerful you can’t believe it exists. This is the kind of book that sets your very soul on fire and makes you want to do better. This is the kind of book that instills a hope so great that you feel like you could make a difference. This is the kind of book that you won’t be the same after finishing.

I recommend this book to every single person in this entire galaxy and to whatever else is out there and still unknown.

Also, please know that there is no semblance of a review that I could write that would do this book even a percent of justice or let you know even an ounce of how much it impacted me. But I’m going to try my best, because this book deserves nothing less.

I suppose the easy thing to say is that this book is about a crew, traveling through space on the Wayfarer, exploring the galaxy and taking on new adventures. And a new crewmember has just arrived, not knowing what to expect.

“They were reminders of what a fragile thing it was to be alive.”

(Beautiful fanart of the crew by SebasP!) 💗

Rosemary – A human who has just left her home planet to join the crew on the Wayfarer.

Sissix – An Aandrisk and pilot of the Wayfarer. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read in my entire life was seeing Rosemary learn about Sissix’s hatch family, feather family, and house family. Seriously, it’s so beautiful that I don’t even have words. Sissix not only beautifully gave me a polyamorous story line, but also the f/f romance of my dreams.

Ashby – The captain of the Wayfarer. My soft and strong boy. Nothing but all the love and respect in the entire world for my captain.

Jenks – A technician on the Wayfarer. I will say I think the moment I fell in love with this book was when Jenks asked Lovey, “What kind of body do you want to have?” One of my biggest pet peeves in all of literature is when authors give AIs genders. And seeing Lovey decide what she wanted to be… friends, I don’t have words for how beautiful it is. You all know that I’m pansexual, so maybe I’m stretching here, but I think Jenks is my new pansexual hero, by the way.

Lovey – The AI of the Wayfarer. My heart, my soul, my everything. Becky Chambers is seriously an expert word weaver to make me feel all the things that I feel for Lovey.

Dr. Chef – A Grum and the most amazing doctor and chef upon the Wayfarer. A highlight in this perfect book was seeing Dr. Chef become Dr. Chef and everything that had to do with Grums. Again, so beautiful and I would happily trade lessons for his soup, too.

“You Humans really do cripple yourselves with your belief that you all think in unique ways.”

Corbin – Human and algaeist on the Wayfarer. Likes to be alone, and that’s okay.

Ohan – Sianat Pair and the navigator of the Wayfarer. They help Sissix and keep to themselves for the most part. But the end of this story really blew me away involving them.

Kizzy – A technician on the Wayfarer. Never, have I ever, read a character that I felt I was personally more like than Kizzy Shao. From her being so talkative, to always trying to be cheerful and positive, to her playing dating sims and loving all food, especially all things spicy, to her loving so unconditionally. I will never answer another bookish question of “what character are you most like” with bits and pieces from other books, because I truly see all of myself in Kizzy. Oh, and her being Asian warms my damn heart, too.

Friends, I have never fallen in love with fictional character the way that I fell in love with all the members on the Wayfarer.

“Time could crawl, it could fly, it could amble. Time was a slippery thing.”

(Beautiful fanart of Rosemary, Kizzy, and Jenks by Izzi Ward!) 💗

One of my favorite things in all of literature is reading about found families and having that be a pivotal aspect to a story. Friends, I feel bad praising any other book before this one, because this is the found family of my soul. I have never read a book with a better found family in my entire life, and I don’t think I ever will.

This book also emphasizes the importance of respect; respecting peoples’ pronouns, peoples’ bodies, and peoples’ feelings. And the representation in this book is honestly unparalleled. From different species, to different races, to different genders, to different sexualities, to different mental health issues, to different bodies types, to different upbringings, to different cultures, to different traditions, to different religions, to different social settings, to so much more.

This book touches upon gun control, and how no amount of weapons will ever make a person feel safe. How filling a home with devices meant to kill will never make a person feel more safe. I live in the United States, so I see people constantly going back and forth about gun control every single day, but I will never put more value on a soulless piece of metal over a piece of an actual person. And that’s the hill I’ll maybe die on because firearm assaults kill about 13,000 Americans each year.

This book also tackles colonialism, xenophobia, and racism at the forefront of this story. And how just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t mean that way is wrong or less. And how taking over and forcing your ways and your beliefs on anyone else will never be the right way.

“People can do terrible things when they feel safe and powerful.”

Yet, again, this book also leaves you feeling so much hope. And it reiterates how we are not to be blamed for the mistakes and wars that our parents started. How each one of us can make a difference, and truly lead a better and kinder future for the next generation.

Overall, I think it’s pretty obvious that I loved this with my heart, my soul, and the sum of my being. I will say that this is a very character driven story, and I know that’s not for everyone, but if you connect with these characters even a fraction of the amount that I did, you are going to love this book, too. Becky Chambers has created something so unique, so special, and so thought provoking. This is a very quiet book, but it speaks so loudly. This crew, these words, this book, they all mean more to me than I can express. Never have I closed a book and felt such an extreme feeling of hope before.

“…All any of us can do – is work to be something positive instead. That is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. The universe is what we make of it. It’s up to you to decide what part you will play.”

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Content and trigger warnings for murder, death, loss of a loved one, PTSD depiction, grief depiction, blood depiction, and general war themes.

Buddy read with Imi at Imi Reviews Books! ❤

Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2) by Scott Reintgen

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1.) Nyxia ★★★★★

“As the descent begins, I hold on to one truth: I am more than what they would make of me.”

This is such an amazing YA Sci-Fi series that is so beautifully inclusive with some very important themes and discussions. The writing is amazing, I pulled around thirty quotes for this review alone. The characters have completely stolen my heart and soul, and they are a tier above most in all of literature. This series is amazing, and this second installment was everything that I wanted and more.

Nyxia Unleashed follows a crew of kids from all over the world that have been tested extensively during their journey to another planet. A company named Babel gave contracts to kids from needy homes, whether that be love, money, or even health care. Babel picked kids that they believed they could mold and shape into whatever they wanted, but Nyxia Unleashed shows that Babel might have completely underestimated the power of teens. And this book picks right back up after the final events in Nyxia, where they have landed on a brand new planet, Magnia.

“They made us into weapons. It will be their downfall.”

This series also has the best main protagonist in YA, I swear it. Emmett is a black boy from Detroit, who joined this space program because it was the only way his mother could get the medical treatment she needed. He constantly is filing stuff away mentally with a system his grandma taught him, and he is never embarrassed or shamed for showing emotion. Music also plays a big role in Emmett’s life, and it’s displayed so very beautifully. Emmett is just an amazing main character, and one that I’ve been searching for

Morning is my new favorite character of all-time, I swear. She is so strong, so powerful, so amazing of a leader. She’s a Latinx girl from Cali who has completely stolen my heart. She (and her doors) blew me away. Like, the fight scenes with Morning are legit some of the best fight scenes I’ve ever read in YA. And seeing her be so hard, and so soft, and so everything in between, is something I don’t even have words for.

And the romance in this book? Lord, I can’t. So perfect, so pure, so everything. It makes me want to scream “OTP forever” at the top of my lungs, off the rooftops. And the moments that these two share, whether its fighting back to back, comforting each other over past pain, or just cuddling and being there for one another. I love it all, and I ship Emmett and Morning so hard, it’s unreal.

Magnia is a planet that has two moons and, depending on the years, the planet changes not only names (Magnia and Glacius) but natural disasters and weather. The kids that landed are supposed to be mining Nyxia, a new super resource and is a substance that can create anything, and Babel has created a treaty with the indigenous people on Magnia, the Imago. Basically, their planet is slowly dying from lack of females, so they promise to allow these kids to mine so that they can instill hope back to a planet that no longer has children. Well, at least that’s what Babel is saying, and Magnia is agreeing to.

“It doesn’t surprise me that Babel’s out here playing the role of colonizer, slapping labels on the originals and pretending they created it all in the first place. It’s pretty standard procedure for folks like them.”

This book heavily talks about colonization, and how disgusting people can be, while also taking everything from natives of the land they are about to steal. Babel even made up a name to call the Imago people, which the crew doesn’t even realize until they get to know the indigenous people. And these kids all see, first hand, what this new planet and its inhabitants are like, and it’s not so much different than any of them. And the crew also see how Babel has something much larger than anyone else expect in store.

This story also puts a heavy emphasis on social hierarchy and systemic oppression and what that means for the individuals that the world will deem as lesser. How some people are just born into the right last name, with the right money, with the right looks, and with all the privileges that these things give.

“Is this how people talked about me when I lived in Detroit? Am I like the beggars? Don’t give me too much of a handout or I’ll be encouraged, I think darkly.”

But Nyxia is just such a gift of a series to the literary world. That crew I kept talking about above? I already said that Emmett is black, and Morning is Latinx, but the rest of the crew? So much beautiful diversity. This crew has queer (gay and/or bi) side characters, side characters wearing hijabs, a pregnant teen crew member, Asian crew members, and so much of the characters talking about their experiences outside of The United States. So many of these characters are all dealing with grief, trauma, PTSD, and abandonment. This book is on another level, I’m telling you all.

Trigger and content warnings for murder, death, gore, blood, violence, depiction of PTSD, abandonment, kidnapping, torture, animal death, talk of past outing, talk of past homophobia, genocide, colonization, loss of a loved one, loss of a friend, and war themes.

My favorite aspect of this book was the constant spotlight on found family and unconditional love, trust, and support. These kids, from all different backgrounds, upbringings, ethnicities, religions, come together and create this bond that is so believable and so amazing to read. Like, this book just feels so real, that I’m wondering if there is an organization like Babel out there and if these kids came together and (hopefully) really saved a world!

“I sit there long after she falls asleep, thinking about the family we’ve forged, not through blood, but through steel and chaos. I never asked for any of this. At the beginning, I fought hard against it. But now that they’re mine, now that I’m theirs, I’d do anything to keep them from being taken.”

Overall, I loved this. The wait for the third book is going to be so hard, but this second installment was everything I wanted and more. I mean, Scott Reintgen still ripped out my heart, but in the best way possible. This is easily my favorite YA Sci-Fi out there, and I hope you all give this series a try, because it’s so worth it.

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Buddy read with Lilly, Cierra, Scrill, Solly, & Lori! ❤

You guys, I never win anything, but I actually won an ARC of this on a Twitter giveaway from Scott Reintgen himself!

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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1.) Illuminae ★★★★
2.) Gemina ★★★

“Every story needs its hero.
And its villain.
And its monster.”

Hi, my name is Melanie, and I’m the only person in the book world that doesn’t love this series the same way everyone else does. Seriously, take this entire review with a grain of salt, because I am very much in the minority with my feelings. There is just always something stopping me from loving and being completely invested in this series.

Illuminae is easily my favorite in the series, and even though every part of me wants to say that’s because it is where Ezra and AIDAN have the biggest roles, the realistic part of me knows it is probably because it was the first time experiencing the unique formatting. This series is told in case files, hidden documents, and messaging programs. But maybe the newness wore off after the first book?

“There’s a billion different versions of you out there, in a trillion different universes. And I still can’t get over how lucky I am that, out of all those versions, you’re the one that’s mine.”

Obsidio picks right back up after the events of Gemina, and all the characters are together and trying to save what there is left to save. This series surrounds teens in space, that after way too many betrayals, have learned that they are the only ones they can trust. This is the third and final novel, but the enemies this time are the worst type of monsters: humans.

This is the most amazing artwork from MeganJeongArt!

The story did keep me invested, and these books always feel so easy and fun to read. But, I do feel like my second biggest complaint with Obsidio was all the camera surveillance. It completely takes away from the strongest aspect of the book. And if I’m being honest, it reads like a not as good book.

I completely understood and enjoyed being introduced to Hannah, Nik, and Ella (The best person in the entire series, if we are REALLY being honest here) in Gemina, but I felt like adding two brand new characters (and their completely unnecessary romance) into Obsidio was such a poor choice. I totally get how their stories (especially Asha’s) were needed with the direction of the plot, but I truly wish it could have somehow been done some other way.

Moving on, Obsidio was able to evoke a lot of emotion from me around the half way point. I was snapping my friends, convinced that this was going to be my favorite installment in the series. And, like, I should totally care more about the humans than an AI, right? RIGHT? The lines are blurred, people. And it was hard to think with so many tears streaming down my face.

But the number one thing I disliked the most about Obsidio was the ending. I am going to keep this spoiler free, but if you’ve read it then you probably know what I’m talking about.

Overall, and again, please take this review with a grain of salt, because most of my friends have five starred all three of these books. Like, completely loved and adored and put on their favorite shelves. And, again, I don’t know why I can’t connect with these stories the way my friends do, but if you are even somewhat interested in this story, you should totally give these books a shot. I mean, murderous AI, crew of cutthroat kids willing to do anything to save each other, betrayals, twists, turns, heartbreaks, romances, the most wonderful hacker in all of literature? These all sound pretty amazing, true? Seriously, check out come of my friends’ reviews: Brandi, Em, Lilly, & Dani! TL;DR – listen to them, because I love them with my whole heart and trust them completely. Just, for some reason this series is my kryptonite.


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Buddy read with Wren! ❤

LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike #1) by Jay Kristoff

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ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

“Metal or meat. Blood or current. Everyone deserves a choice.”

Gentle friends, I loved this. This was an absolute treat to read! Jay Kristoff’s writing and storytelling is so unique, but if you love it then you will love it with the sum of your being. This book was one of the best things I’ve ever read, and I instantly knew it would make my top books of 2018.

I recommend this with my whole heart for fans of Borderlands, Mad Max, and even Fallout, because that is this book’s aesthetic. Yet, this book also is very reminiscent of one of my favorite Disney Animation movies, but to say which would be such a big spoiler, so I will refrain, but it was so amazing! I was constantly reminded of all these stories constantly, and I loved each and every moment. LIFEL1K3 is such a different book, that I can only compare it to these video games and movies, but I truly think it’s going to completely win over the YA world upon release.

The prologue to this book is one of the most heart-filled, heart-pounding, heart-breaking things I’ve ever read. I was instantly captivated and instantly immersed, and even though I was crying, a hand over my mouth, I could never stop reading. The start of every chapter tells more and more (in true Jay Kristoff style), and my heart continued to break and break, but I promise you; this story is so well crafted. I have no combination of words to even weave together to express how smart and seamlessly this is woven together.

“They used to call it Kalifornya, but now they called it Dregs.”

This story starts out in an alternate post-apocalyptic future of The United States. Robots in this world are the equivalent to slaves, and robots that look like humans (androids) are completely outlawed. Our main protagonist is battling in the WarDome, against robots, in a mech she has built herself from scavenging. She does these battles so that she can afford her grandfather’s medication, and in the opening of the book, she is in desperate need to win. So desperate that something happens to put an X on her back, and she and her friends are forced to flee, because the battles are broadcasted all over Dregs.

Eve – A seventeen-year-old girl, who has been living with her grandpa in Tire Valley for two years now. Eve also only has one eye, and I loved that representation with my whole heart. Also, Eve soon realizes that the life she has always known, might not be the only life she has ever lived. So many secrets. So many twists. So many choices.

“Two lives, colliding like stars inside her mind. The life she knew—the life of Evie Carpenter. Domefighter. Top-tier botdoc. A skinny little scavvergirl eking out a living on the island of Dregs. And someone else. Another girl entirely.”

Lemon – Eve’s best friend, who lives with her. Also, the funniest character I’ve read about in a really long time. I’m talking about full on, have to put the book down, giggles. Like, this book has the best banter I may have ever read, and all of the amazingness came from Lemon Fresh. One of my new all-time favorite characters. But I will say that Lemon does have a scene that bothered me, when she tried to take a peak at what was under a lifelike’s pants. It didn’t happen, but still, things like that are never cute, and her being a girl and him being a boy doesn’t make it okay. But besides this one thing, Lemon Fresh was truly the star of this book for me, and I want to be her when I grow up.

“I don’t care who’s after you. Where you’re from or where you’re going. It’s you, me, Crick and Kaiser. No matter what. Rule Number One in the Scrap, remember? Stronger together, together forever.”

Cricket – AI that was made to protect Eve by her grandpa. And even though they are adorable, my only complaint is about this character. Cricket is with the girls when they find a lifelike, and when they find him, he is missing an arm since it was a really bad crash. Throughout the book Cricket calls Ezekiel “Stumpy” and “Braintrauma” and it just read really bad. It also kind of makes me not like Cricket as much as I’m sure many others will.

“If he wasn’t a real person, why does this hurt so badly?”

Ezekiel – I loved Ezekiel, so much, instantly, right off the bat. He is the lifelike that Eve and Lemon find, when they are rushing home after the events that happened at the WarDome. lifelikes are outlawed everywhere, because they somehow broke the Three Laws that are hard-coded into every single robot.

“He gave us life, but he intended us to live it on our knees.”

And many of these lifelikes resided in a place called Babel. Growing up, you guys might have learned about the story of Tower of Babel as a lesson about why we speak so many different languages. Basically, after the Great Flood happened, a bunch of people came together and agreed to build a tower that would touch Heaven itself. God, realizing what they are attempting, scatters them all around the world and makes them all speak different languages, hence our world today. And the irony was not missed on how perfect of a title for a residence this is. And all the lifelike’s names are also super biblical.

The soul of this novel is about oppression, and the sick things we are willing to tell ourselves to justify it. How people will treat other living being differently, and unjustly, because they feel like they are higher on the social hierarchy. This book may be about humans vs robots, but I think it mirrors a lot of issues going on in today’s world, and I think a lot of people could take away many things from this book.

“Look outside that door, and you will see a world built on metal backs. Held together by metal hands.”

The heart of this novel is about love, and how we are always deserving of it, even if we are searching for it our entire lives. The romance in this was exceptionally done, and I was swooning so hard at so many different scenes. But this book doesn’t just focus on the romantic love between two people, but also the importance of love between friends. Eve and Lemon’s friendship is honestly goals. And this book is for sure a love letter to found families everywhere.

“It’s simple to love someone on the days that are easy. But you find out what your love is made of on the days that are hard.”

And in true Jay Kristoff fashion, he ripped my heart out at the end of this book. I honestly am not sure how I’m going to be able to cope and deal with the wait for the next book. It will easily be one of my most anticipated releases of 2019, and I am so curious what direction the story is going to go. I also believe, with my whole heart, that the second book will be even better than LIFEL1K3. Even though this was a five star read, it was setting the stage for something that’s going to be such a damn masterpiece.

Overall, I loved this. I loved seeing Eve discover who she was, who she is, and who she wants to be. I loved the beautiful, lyrical writing. I loved the important themes and discussions that were expertly woven in. I loved laughing and crying and feeling everything in-between for the characters. I loved this world and traveling it alongside these characters. I even loved all the twists and turns. Also, to say that this has a cliffhanger ending is a damn understatement. But this was such a fun read, and I think there is so much that so many will love, too! I hope you all pick this one up come May 29th!

“Your past doesn’t make calls on your future. It doesn’t matter who you were. Only who you are.”

Content/Trigger Warnings: murder, gore, violence, death, loss of a loved one, bullying, robotic animal cruelty, talk of suicide, talk of cancer, terminal illness, child abandonment, physical abuse, torture, bombings, and war themes.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Buddy read with Chelsea at The Suspense is Thrilling Me! ❤



Submit your proof of preorder HERE by May 29th, 2018 to receive a collectible print featuring an original illustration of a map of the Grande Ol’ Yousay by artist Virginia Allyn and four beautiful LIFEL1K3 bookmarks by artist Mona May! (US mailing address required. I’m sorry.)