Saturday, May 21, 2016

Review: Company Town

20447745Title: Company Town
Author: Madeline Ashby
Genre: Science fiction, mystery

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:Meet Hwa. One of the few in her community to forego bio-engineered enhancements, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig. But she’s an expert in the arts of self-defence, and she’s been charged with training the Family’s youngest, who has been receiving death threats – seemingly from another timeline.
Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city’s stability – serial killer? Or something much, much worse...?

I loved everything about this book! The main character reminded me of one of my best friends and I loved how complex and gritty the worldbuilding was and I ADORED how much this book features empowered women and women helping each other out. AMAZING. Plus the story was full of twists and turns and impossible to put down.

Company Town is set in a future version of the earth that's a bit of a toxic wasteland, where a lot of people live on the streets but there are still corporations that have tons of money and technology beyond our wildest dreams. Almost everyone in this world has some kind of genetic or cybernetic modification; even the prostitutes, who are one of the lowest members of society, have had countless surgeries and mods. But Hwa-jeon is completely "organic", and that means she can't be hacked or manipulated like everyone else: the perfect bodyguard. Hwa gets hired by a sinister technology mogul to protect his son. Hwa has to balance her relationships with her family and friends with her loyalty to her new employers, which is a lot more complicated than it sounds.

I absolutely loved Hwa. She's not quite snarky but she has a dry sense of humor and she takes no shit from anyone. She's badass and capable, but she's also very vulnerable. When people she cares about are harmed, she is shattered and broken. My favorite thing about this book was the relationships between all the characters. All the characters are complex and unique, but together they weave a tangled web of complicated relationships. Hwa cares about her mother, but she also keeps her distance: Sun is abusive and makes it quite clear who her favorite child is. Daniel is an amazing friend who is always there for Hwa and affirming her value despite where she comes from, but what makes him so interesting is he has no idea who he really is or where he comes from. I adored Joel and Hwa's camraderie as well.

There were a lot of intense moments in this book where I was really close to tears, but there were also a lot of moments where I was straight up laughing. I didn't expect to be so emotionally invested in this book, but the characters made it so easy to be completely sold on the story. I also just really enjoyed Madeline Ashby's writing style. It's pretty sparse, but every word is there for a reason. Bonus points for all the witty banter :)

The climax was so intense but it made so much sense. I loved how the scope of the world expanded so much with one big revelation. I'm pretty sure this is a standalone novel but I'm excited to read other stories set in this world!

I definitely would recommend this book for sci-fi fans, especially if you like the grittier side of things. This book doesn't shy away from torture and gore, but it's not too depressing or disturbing. If you enjoy character-driven science fiction, this is definitely the book for you!

A free e-ARC was provided by Tor books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I picked up on a whim

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's theme: Top Ten Books I picked up on a whim

I don't often pick up books on a whim, but sometimes I'll be at the library and a random book will catch my attention. I've found some pretty awesome books this way!


Believe it or not, I grabbed this one on a whim for my birthday. The book I actually wanted was out of stock, and this one seemed cool. I'd heard nothing about it because it was before it blew up into a phenomenon, and I really enjoyed it!

My first Terry Pratchett book was The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, which I read in 5th grade and promptly forgot who the author was. I randomly grabbed this at the library years later and rediscovered how awesome Terry Pratchett is!

Somehow I lived under a rock and didn't hear anything about how awesome this book was before I picked it up. I read it a year before I started blogging, and I didn't have too many reader friends so I just picked it up at the library because it sounded cool. I adore this series now :D

I requested this on Netgalley last year because it sounded cool and had a pretty cover. It was one of my favorite sci-fi books from last year, and I'm glad to see it gaining poplarity. This book is awesome, go read it!

I don't even remember how I found this book, but it was adorable, terrifying, funny, and so much fun!

This was one of my first UF books so I didn't know what to expect, and I didn't realize how many of my blogger friends adored this series until after I finished it lol

I randomly picked this up at the library, and I knew nothing about it, but it ended up being a pretty fun con story!

One of my favorite Peter Pan retellings, and I found it by randomly browsing on Netgalley :)
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Monday, May 16, 2016

Hello, I'm still alive!

Hello blogosphere,

It's been a crazy couple of weeks (as usual), but things are finally getting back to normal and I'll have time to actually write more than one blog post per week!

I just got my first real job, which is really exciting. I'm working part time until I graduate next month, and then I'll be full time and a real adult and I'll get to do real adult sitting at home with a mug of tea and an excellent book. Or maybe a glass of wine and a really good book? Who knows? :) One thing I'm really going to miss about being a student is reading on campus...these benches were an awesome spot to relax between classes or get lost in another world.

To commemorate my favorite reading spot, me pretending my graduation sash is a book :)

The tricky thing has been adjusting to the additional 10-15 hours of work on top of being a student still, which is why I've been so bad about writing my blog posts. Also when I do have downtime I've been binge-watching TV shows instead of writing blog posts because they require less mental energy. Fingers crossed that I'll finally get the energy to consistently start blogging again. I've been really flaky all year...

I think having a full time job will take some getting used to, but I think I'll enjoy coming home and reading and writing blog posts. Blogging and the twitter book blogger community have kept me from being lonely at many times in my life, so I definitely think once I'm working and all my friends are spread out across the country instead of a ten minute's walk away, I'll be relying on the blogger community a lot more.

This is the most personal post I've ever you can see there's absolutely nothing about what I've been reading or reviewing lately! More posts to follow later on this week, I promise!

Looking forward to becoming an active blogger again :D
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Childhood Characters to Revisit

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's theme: Top Ten Childhood Characters to revisit as adults

To be fair, some of these characters have been revisited as adults but I just want to share more of their lives :)


Liesel Meminger and Max from the Book Thief. (And Rudy...*cries*)

Cinder, Kai, Cress, Thorne, Scarlet, Wolfe, Winter, Jacyn, and of course, IKO. I want to hear all of their stories :)

I loved this series as a kid - magical cats, evil great aunts, a magical school, and friends that last a lifetime. I'd love to see Charlie, Tancred, Lysander, Olivia, Emma, and the rest all grown up.

It's entirely possible that by book 7 (or 8?) Artemis Fowl is already an adult and I just haven't caught up, but Artemis Fowl captured my 4th grade self's imagination and I'd love to see what adventures he finds himself in as an adult. With Holly Short, of course.

Jack and Annie! The magic tree house books were my first chapter books when I was 6 years old, and I loved them. I imagine an older Jack and Annie would find more sinister adventures as they moved across space and time, but I'd still love to read them :)

Matilda is awesome. I think an adult Matilda would be so fun to read about, just imagine how badass she'd be!

Neal Shusterman books were my childhood. I guess I'd never really get to see "adult" Nick, Ally, Mary, and the rest, but I'd like to see them 10 years later :)

The Famous Five books were some of my favorites when I was really little. My mom read them when she was little so I guess there's that nostalgia factor too :) I'm curious to see how all the characters turn out when they're all grown up!

Coraline terrified me as a third grader, and probably would terrify me still. I'm kind of morbidly curious about how these terrifying childhood experiences might have taken a toll on adult Coraline...

Okay, this book isn't about a child or a book from my childhood, but definitely one I want to revisit with everyone 10 years older.
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