Read Like Kayla

My names Kayla "Kayley" Guyette. I'm one of the co-founders/editors of TheSoundAlarm.com. I'm a Suffolk University graduate with a degree in Journalism. I'm and avid reader and writer.

I'm using this blog to review all of the books I read, so then if you like my reviews you can read like me.

All of my reviews are spoiler free, unless noted at the top! Reviews are done on a scale of 10 (10 being the best).

You can also find my reviews as well as what I'm currently reading on my GoodReads page (http://bit.ly/uhZI6Q)

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

One thing is for certain is that this book and the previous book have come a long way from where the series started. No longer are the Gallagher Girls crushing on boys and using their spy skills to get dates, now they are in a life or death battle to save the US. The series took on a much darker tone which is fitting considering since many of the first readers of the series are now older.

In the final book a lot of things come full circle. We see characters we learned to love and hate throughout the series come back to life. We also see the Gallagher Girls really grow up and see first-hand what it means to be a spy. A huge twist with the Circle of Cavan also ties things into the past.

Overall, this was a very fitting end to the series. I wish the very ending had been a bit longer, but other than that I was left with no lingering thoughts of what could have been better. I’m said to see the Gallagher Girls go, but they did receive a great send off.

Rating: 9.5/10

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

The Forever Song has made its way onto my All-Time Favorite Books list. After reading the series so close together, I went into reading The Forever Song sad that it would be the end. However, I was not disappointed.

We see the characters change, some physically, some mentally and some both. The Master Vampire, the new Vampire and the Raider King are all humanity’s last hope against Sarren – which makes for some good laughs along the way. This book is a good bit darker than the other ones, mostly because we see more of Sarren’s crazy side.

The ending is wrapped up rather nicely, but does leave the door open for another one or a spinoff. Can I start the petition for a Jackal spinoff? That would be an epic read. Overall, I really enjoyed this series and will miss the new adventures of the group.

Rating: 10/10

Alenna escaped. It was expected that she would die on the wheel, the island where would-be criminals are sent as directed by the UNA—the totalitarian supercountry that was once the United States, Mexico, and Canada. But Alenna and her boyfriend, Liam, made it to safety. Except safety, they will soon learn, is relative.

In order to bring down the UNA, they must first gain control of the wheel. If the mission succeeds, the wheel will become a base of revolution. But between betrayals, a new Monk leading a more organized army of Drones, and the discovery of a previously unknown contingent, Alenna, Liam, and their allies might be in over their heads. One thing Alenna knows for sure: There will be a reckoning. And not everyone she loves will make it out alive.

The Uprising moves much quicker than the previous book. In fact, so much happens in the book it feels like two separate books. Alenna left behind the chaos of the wheel only to find herself facing more chaos and a return.

New characters are introduced in the book and others get a new twist (like the Monk). Old friends thought to be lost reappear. We also need more new technology, some of it rather cool. But we do fail to see why the UNA is the way it is. At times the construction of Destiny Station seems nearly impossible for something put together with scrap material and limited resources.

Overall, The Uprising was a very enjoyable read that left me anxiously turning pages on an often basis. I definitely enjoyed it more than the first book and am looking forward to reading the third. I’m hoping in the third we see more of how the UNA came to be formed and how it came to be corrupt.

In Allison Sekemoto’s world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood 

She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie’s birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever—and possibly end human and vampire existence. 

There’s a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago—and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time. 

Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.

Julie Kagawa does not fall trap to the sophomore slump with the second book in the Blood of Eden series, The Eternity Cure. I will admit to enjoying this book even more than the first one. Once again this review is short to avoid spoilers.

Unlikely partnerships are formed and faces we didn’t think we’d see again we do. The pressure is on in this book for Allison to find Kanin before it is too late. The stakes are high with a new strain of the Red Lung virus affecting her home city. There’s one massively heartbreaking scene in the book, described in such detail, I could vividly picture the whole thing in my head.

The ending left me wanting to know what will happen next. Much to my dismay the next book doesn’t come out for a few more days. I did hit pre-order as fast as I could on my Nook and look forward to reading it!

Rating: 10/10

I greatly enjoyed listening to the audio version of the first book and jumped at the opportunity to review the second. This time around I had a physical copy to read. The beautiful cover drew me in and I found beautiful illustrations throughout the book.

Once again I found myself greatly enjoying the plot line. Even though I’m not the target audience for the book it was able to draw in my attention and keep me reading. Just like the first book, this one carries good morals to it and is a fun story to read.

Overall, it’s an imagination sparking book.The text in the physical copy was a little smaller than you normally see in books geared towards younger audiences, making it more of a book to read to your kids than for them to read on their own if they are early readers.

Rating: 9.5/10

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To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness


Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of 
them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for
again.

Enter Julie Kagawa’s dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

Note: Short review, don’t want to spoil anything!

A quote post on Instagram lead me to discover the series and boy am I glad I did! At first I was unsure if I’d like it but found myself quickly turning the pages wanting to know more. The story offers a bit of a fresh take on vampires via the rabids. The world created is rather interesting and at first I couldn’t figure out if it was set in post plague USA or elsewhere.

Allison quickly became a narrator I routed for. Her struggle to not become the monsters she’s feared for years is believable and well written. I enjoyed her branching off and teaming up with the group that she does. The visual descriptions, especially in one of the final places they visit were great for I could easily picture the area.

Overall, this was a great read and I am going to move onto the sequel next. I am especially intrigued after reading a snippet at the end of this book for it.

Rating: 9/10

A RE-READ

In preparation of the Vampire Academy movie coming out I decided to re-read the book. This was my first time re-visiting the book since I first read it in 2007. After becoming a massive fan of the Bloodlines series, I realized I forgot just how amazing the Vampire Academy series is. Overall, I loved re-reading this book and now have an itch to re-read the entire series. This itch might just be scratched sooner rather than later!

Rating: 10/10

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As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.

After reading a free sample of The Forsaken by Lisa M .Stasse, I found myself wanting to know more about the world of the U.N.A and The Wheel. So I quickly bought a copy and got reading.

I found myself wanting more of a glimpse of life in the U.N.A but the story moves quickly to life on The Wheel. I found at times the descriptions of The Wheel it be a bit vague and I found myself wondering how they got certain supplies or how certain things worked.However,the story moves with a pretty quick pace and has a bit of action.

I felt as though many characters were under developed and at times a bit cliche. Also it did seem as though too many characters were introduced at once and I struggled to keep my facts straight on who is who.The last few chapters really make for an interesting read. Breadcrumbs dropped though out the book all lead up to some big reveals in the final chapters as well.

The ending left me with a lot more questions that answers and of course the want to read the next book. Though this want isn’t as strong as some books, I’ll be moving onto it next. I wouldn’t call this a new favorite, but after thinking back to all the breadcrumbs Stasse dropped though out to the book to some of the bigger reveals, I’m impressed. I’m hoping the second book will come with more character development and a look deep into the world of the UNA.

Rating: 6.5/10

She’s died twice while protecting her city…and she’d do it again to save the people she loves.

After a deadly, artificial infection forces the vampire Families into a self-imposed isolation, the city’s protective Watchtower forces are depleted by one third, leaving humans and shifters to shoulder the burden. Human enforcer Evangeline Stone is determined to find a way to help her vampire allies, but she already has her hands full—investigating an escalating series of goblin attacks, dealing with her half-werewolf lover, locating three missing werewolf teenagers, and learning to trust her non-human coworkers.

When a potential cure for the vampires’ infection is given to her by an unlikely source, it’s just as quickly stolen—collateral damage in a power play within the were-cat Clan that leaves one human ally dead and another horribly injured. With Wyatt Truman still adjusting to his new life as a half-werewolf, Phineas missing in action, and her shifter allies crippled by internal anarchy, Evy has to rely on her own strength and instincts to steal back the cure, stop a murderer, and to save the Watchtow

Words cannot describe my excitement when I stumbled upon Requiem For The Dead. My heart broke a bit when I heard Kelly Meding’s publisher was dropping the series. From the first book I had been completely drawn into the world Meding created. Plus a world without more of Evy Stone’s quick wit just seems cruel.  I am beyond thrilled Kelly decided to go the self-publishing route.

Picking up shortly after where the previous book left off, I was worried I’d forget what happened in Evy’s world. However, Kelly did a great job dropping bread crumb reminders of what has happened in the previous books. Watchtower still has problems to deal with and many new ones arise throughout the story.

This book gives a little more humanity to Evy. We see how the events of all of the past books have affected her. Sure, when it comes to goblins she’s out for revenge, but now she’s a bit more emotional and has a lot more experience under her belt. We also see hers and Wyatt’s relationship grow more and more while they deal with all of their struggles.

Many familiar faces return throughout the book which had me thinking it was the end. But once again Kelly surprises me with an ‘ending’ that is on the ending of a book not a series. We also get a look at more of the inner workings of the clans, which I found rather fascinating. Secondary characters get a chance to shine a bit more than in the other books as well.

Overall, this book is fantastic. This series definitely is going onto my ‘all time favorites’ list. I find myself now imagining characters in the Dreg City world. I really hope a sixth book happens, at the very least letting it be the final book. That and I just need more!

Rating: 10/10

With the Prime Destinations body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn’t want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save Callie’s life - but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena’s memories, too …and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body? This is the thrilling sequel to “Starters”.

I went into Enders with high hopes after being a fan of Starters, sadly these hopes weren’t meant. With it being a year or so since I read the first book I found myself struggling to remember what happened, who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. Very little refresher background information was put into the story.

Overall, the pace of this book was very fast. Issues were brought up and resolved within a chapter or two. Very little time went into introducing new characters as well as diving into older ones. This time around, Callie, seems very foolish and becomes hard for anyone to relate to. Reading Enders became more of something I –had- to do only because I paid for it, not because I wanted to. It doesn’t match up to the enjoyment of Starters in my opinion.

Rating: 4/10

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

I was drawn into the Fifth Wave after reading a sample of it. I found the whole idea fascinating and really enjoyed Cassie as a narrator. The shifts in POV were hard to get use to at first and I found myself struggling to figure out who was narrating at times. Overall, Cassie was my favorite narrator, so I missed getting her view on the world. However, the different point of views does allow the reader to get a full view of the invasion from all sides which I found very interesting.

It was a very enjoying read and hardly felt like the four hundred and something pages it was for me. While I enjoyed the characters I feel as though the story was better as a one shot than a series. I will be checking the second book out though.

Rating: 8/10

In New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine’s latest Revivalist novel, Bryn Davis’s problems quickly turn from dead to worse…

Already addicted to the pharmaceutical drug that keeps her body from decomposing, Bryn has to stop a secretive group of rich and powerful investors from eliminating the existing Returné addicts altogether. To ensure their plan to launch a new, military-grade strain of nanotech, the investors’ undead assassin—who just happens to be the ex-wife of Bryn’s lover Patrick—is on the hunt for anyone that stands in their way.

And while Bryn’s allies aren’t about to go down without a fight, the secret she’s been keeping threatens to put those closest to her in even more danger. Poised to become a monster that her own side—and her own lover—will have to trap and kill, Bryn needs to find the cure to have any hope of preserving the lives of her friends, and her own dwindling humanity…

The conclusion of the Revivalist series brought mixed feelings for me. I knew there wasn’t much else left to do with the series other than to have Bryn stop the distribution of Returne, both the normal and the upgraded. At the same time, I’ve grown to love all of the characters in the book and didn’t want to say goodbye.

I had a rather hard time getting to Terminated. It felt as though too much was happening too quick. While I can appreciate cutting out the fluff and getting to the action, this book just kept going and going. I did find myself not wanting to read it some nights or opting to listen to music instead on the bus in the morning. The last few chapters were rapid page turners but that was about it for me.

Some storylines got very little attention, like Bryn and Patrick’s relationship or Annie’s confession towards the end. I did like that Bryn realizing all of the times she’s come within inches of death (or basically dead) and revived due to her “upgrades” came at a price – PTSD and losing her humanity. It showed the miracle of cheating death has a cost.

Overall, this book was a bit of a flop. I will miss the characters but am happy it came to an end and wasn’t dragged out any further. I’ll miss paranoid Manny and Joe the most.

Rating: 6/10