Holdout by Jeffrey Kluger

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Since most recently reading and loving “Project Hail Mary”, I’ve been going for all the space-themed books!

Thank you Dutton for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Walli Beckwith is a model astronaut. She graduated at the top of her class from the Naval Academy, had a successful career flying fighter jets, and has spent more than three hundred days in space. So when she refuses to leave her post aboard the International Space Station following an accident that forces her fellow astronauts to evacuate, her American and Russian colleagues are mystified. For Walli, the matter at hand feels all too clear and terrifying for her to be worried about ruining her career. She is stuck in a race against time to save a part of the world that seems to have been forgotten, and also the life of the person she loves the most. She will go to any length necessary, using the only tool she has, to accomplish what she knows is right.

This was a mix of mystery, contemporary, and a touch of science fiction. There is a good amount of science in it, but not nearly as much as Project Hail Mary and not nearly enough to steer non-science lovers away from this. The one thing that shocked me the most was how political it was. A little too much for my liking, especially for having it advertised as a science fiction novel. Not a bad read, but not something I would pick up again.

3/5 Stars

A Touch of Jen by Beth Morgan

Sometimes, a good title and even better cover art is all that a girl needs to pick her next read. Especially when the title has the same name as you do.

Thank you Little Brown and Company for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Remy and Alicia, a couple of insecure  service workers, are not particularly happy together. But they are bound by a shared obsession with Jen, a beautiful former co-worker of Remy’s who now seems to be following her bliss as a globe-trotting jewelry designer. In and outside the bedroom, Remy and Alicia’s entire relationship revolves around fantasies of Jen, whose every Instagram caption, outfit, and new age mantra they know by heart. Imagine their confused excitement when they run into Jen, in the flesh, and she invites them on a surfing trip to the Hamptons with her wealthy boyfriend and their group. Once there, Remy and Alicia try (a little too hard) to fit into Jen’s exalted social circle, but violent desire and class resentment bubble beneath the surface of this beachside paradise, threatening to erupt. As small disturbances escalate into outright horror, we find ourselves tumbling with Remy and Alicia into an uncanny alternate reality, one shaped by their most unspeakable, deviant, and intoxicating fantasies.  Is this what “self-actualization” looks like?

A toxic Instagram crush creates one heck of a monster in this wild ride! Is this a romance? Is this fantasy? How about science fiction? Is it comical? I don’t know how, but it’s all of the above and Beth did a great job at that! This book is so unique and makes it a must-read! There truly is no other story like it. It’s addicting!

4.5/5 Stars

How To Mars by David Ebenbach


After recently reading Project Hail Mary and absolutely falling in love with space books all over again, I wanted to try my hand at reading some more.

Thank you Tachyon Publishing for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: For the six lucky scientists selected by the Destination Mars! corporation, a one-way ticket to Mars—in exchange for a lifetime of research—was an absolute no-brainer. The incredible opportunity was clearly worth even the most absurdly tedious screening process. Perhaps worth following the strange protocols in a nonsensical handbook written by an eccentric billionaire. Possibly even worth their constant surveillance, the video of which is carefully edited into a ratings-bonanza back on Earth. But it turns out that after a while even scientists can get bored of science. Tempers begin to fray; unsanctioned affairs blossom. When perfectly good equipment begins to fail, the Marsonauts are faced with a possibility that their training just cannot explain.

Woops – this was nothing like I thought it would be. It’s drama-filled and focuses way more on that than anything else. If you like reality TV shows and want to dabble in the world of science fiction, then maybe this book is for you. The cover art is pretty awesome though!

2/5 Stars

Version Zero by David Yoon

David is just one of those auto-buy authors for me. I was beyond thrilled to spend a weekend on the water reading his newest adult debut coming out this week! 

Thank you GP Putnam’s Sons for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Max, a data whiz at the Facebook-like social media company Wren, has gotten a firsthand glimpse of the dark side of big tech. When he starts asking questions about what his company is doing with the data they collect, he finds himself fired…and then blackballed across all of Silicon Valley. With time on his hands and inside knowledge about the biggest tech companies, Max and his longtime friend—and sometime crush—Akiko, decide to get even by…essentially, rebooting the internet. After all, in order to fix things, sometimes you have to break them. But when Max and Akiko join forces with a reclusive tech baron, they learn that breaking things can have unintended—and disastrous—consequences. And those consequences will ripple across the world, effecting every level of society in ways no one could have imagined. 

If you have read and loved his young adult novels, this may set you back a bit. It was definitely very different than his other novels, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. This fits the adult fiction genre well, but was a bit hard for me to get into. I’m not sure if it’s the style it was written (the chapters are written as versions of software systems), or if it’s how the novel started (we are introduced to a lot of characters at once), but I wasn’t as hooked as I have been in David’s previous novels. The silicon valley style satire throughout the novel was entertaining for sure. It really is the middle of the line for me. It reads a little like a roller coaster, fast paced in some parts and slow around the corners in others. It really makes you think twice about all the things you’ve given to social media without really knowing. Not a bad read, I think this will be talked about a lot this summer. A great book club book!

3/5 Stars

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Did you like Andy’s previous novel The Martian? Maybe you’re a fan of the movie? If so, you do NOT want to miss out on this book!

Thank you Crown Publishing for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission–and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company. His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

YOU GUYS. This is probably one of my top favorite books every. I haven’t felt this way about a book in a long time! I could not stop reading this and it has not left my brain ever since it was over. I will preface this and say that I am a science teacher by trade, so my emotions about this book may way heavier than others. I’ve had a lot of people ask me if the science in this goes over your head – and with that I say no! While there is a lot of science in the novel, Andy does a great job at explaining it for someone who may not understand it as much. Honestly, go into this book blind. Don’t read a lot about it. I did just that, and was blown away at 30% in the book and continued to be on the edge of my seat. This one is already in the works to become a movie too, so you will most definitely want to read it beforehand. All the stars! Check out my rant I shared on Instagram below!

5/5 Stars

In The Quick by Kate Hope Day

Contemporary Fiction meets a touch of Sci-fi? Let’s see how this one turns out!

Thank you Random House for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: June is a brilliant but difficult girl with a gift for mechanical invention, who leaves home to begin a grueling astronaut training program. Six years later, she has gained a coveted post as an engineer on a space station, but is haunted by the mystery of Inquiry, a revolutionary spacecraft powered by her beloved late uncle’s fuel cells. The spacecraft went missing when June was twelve years old, and while the rest of the world has forgotten them, June alone has evidence that makes her believe the crew is still alive. She seeks out James, her uncle’s former protégée, also brilliant, also difficult, who has been trying to discover why Inquiry’s fuel cells failed. James and June forge an intense intellectual bond that becomes an electric attraction. But the love that develops between them as they work to solve the fuel cell’s fatal flaw threatens to destroy everything they’ve worked so hard to create–and any chance of bringing the Inquiry crew home alive.

Can we just talk about how gorgeous the cover is? I give mad props to the design team because this cover is so gorgeous, I want to hang it up on my wall! The premise of this book was also stellar. The execution was just okay for me. I think it was way too far fetched to have the scientific smarts that June had when she was twelve years old. It just didn’t sit right with me for most of the book thinking back on it. The book had been advertised as similar to The Martian, and I feel like it was far from it. I think if you enjoy contemporary coming of age stories and want to dabble in the world of science fiction, this book is for you.

2.5/5 Stars

The Future is Yours by Dan Frey

Have you ever read a book that is written in a different format? If you haven’t, let this book be your first experience!

Thank you Del Rey for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: If you had the chance to look one year into the future, would you? For Ben Boyce and Adhi Chaudry, the answer is unequivocally yes. And they’re betting everything that you’ll say yes, too. Welcome to The Future: a computer that connects to the internet one year from now, so you can see who you’ll be dating, where you’ll be working, even whether or not you’ll be alive in the year to come. By forming a startup to deliver this revolutionary technology to the world, Ben and Adhi have made their wildest, most impossible dream a reality. Once Silicon Valley outsiders, they’re now its hottest commodity. The device can predict everything perfectly—from stock market spikes and sports scores to political scandals and corporate takeovers—allowing them to chase down success and fame while staying one step ahead of the competition. But the future their device foretells is not the bright one they imagined. Ambition. Greed. Jealousy. And, perhaps, an apocalypse. The question is . . . can they stop it?

This book is written entirely in mixed media: text messages, blog posts, emails, you name it! Albeit the execution of this novel is super cool, it had a hard time keeping my attention. I absolutely loved the concept and felt like it really fit the genre well, but it fell short in a lot of areas for me. I’m glad I finished it in the end, but wouldn’t pick this one up again.

2.5/5 Stars

We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen

I absolutely LOVED Mike’s last novel, Here and Now and Then! Cheers to his newest book coming out this Tuesday!

Thank you Harlequin books for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Jamie woke up in an empty apartment with no memory and only a few clues to his identity, but with the ability to read and erase other people’s memories—a power he uses to hold up banks to buy coffee, cat food and books. Zoe is also searching for her past, and using her abilities of speed and strength…to deliver fast food. And she’ll occasionally put on a cool suit and beat up bad guys, if she feels like it. When the archrivals meet in a memory-loss support group, they realize the only way to reveal their hidden pasts might be through each other. As they uncover an ongoing threat, suddenly much more is at stake than their fragile friendship. With countless people at risk, Zoe and Jamie will have to recognize that sometimes being a hero starts with trusting someone else—and yourself. 

Okay, so I didn’t love it as much as his other book I read, but what an awesome plot! I absolutely love how well he writes his characters. This book has a little bit of everything – action, adventure, science fiction, and superheroes. The platonic relationship between the two characters was also really refreshing! It gets a tad slow in the middle of the book, but picked up towards the end which made me so glad I read this in the first place.

4/5 Stars

The God Game by Danny Tobey

If we’re stuck at home playing video games, why not read a science fiction novel based around the idea of one?!

Thank you St Martin’s Press for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!
With those words, Charlie and his friends enter the G.O.D. Game, a video game run by underground hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI that believes it’s God. Through their phone-screens and high-tech glasses, the teens’ realities blur with a virtual world of creeping vines, smoldering torches, runes, glyphs, gods, and mythical creatures. When they accomplish a mission, the game rewards them with expensive tech, revenge on high-school tormentors, and cash flowing from ATMs. Slaying a hydra and drawing a bloody pentagram as payment to a Greek god seem harmless at first. Fun even. But then the threatening messages start. Worship me. Obey me. Complete a mission, however cruel, or the game reveals their secrets and crushes their dreams. Tasks that seemed harmless at first take on deadly consequences. Mysterious packages show up at their homes. Shadowy figures start following them, appearing around corners, attacking them in parking garages. Who else is playing this game, and how far will they go to win? And what of the game’s first promise: win, win big, lose, you die? Dying in a virtual world doesn’t really mean death in real life—does it? As Charlie and his friends try to find a way out of the game, they realize they’ve been manipulated into a bigger web they can’t escape: an AI that learned its cruelty from watching us. God is always watching, and He says when the game is done.

What a captivating read! Very twilight-zone-esque if I do say so myself! It’s an addictive read that is also jaw-dropping. It makes you squirm. It’s an inside look at what artificial intelligence can do to us. I feel like this is more real than we may think possible, which makes it the slightest bit terrifying. It’s a great read for something out of your comfort zone. As a christian, I think I would’ve enjoyed it way more if there weren’t so many God or bible references…I get the idea but it just left me a bit uncomfortable.

4/5 Stars

Vessel by Lisa A Nichols

As a Star Trek Fan, I feel it is my duty to expand my science fiction reading experience. This one sounded way too good to pass up. In fact, I stayed up all night reading it!

Thank you Atria Books for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: After Catherine Wells’s ship experiences a deadly incident in deep space and loses contact with NASA, the entire world believes her dead. Miraculously—and mysteriously—she survived, but with little memory of what happened. Her reentry after a decade away is a turbulent one: her husband has moved on with another woman and the young daughter she left behind has grown into a teenager she barely recognizes. Catherine, too, is different. The long years alone changed her, and as she readjusts to being home, sometimes she feels disconnected and even, at times, deep rage toward her family and colleagues. There are periods of time she can’t account for, too, and she begins waking up in increasingly strange and worrisome locations, like restricted areas of NASA. Suddenly she’s questioning everything that happened up in space: how her crewmates died, how she survived, and now, what’s happening to her back on Earth. Smart, gripping, and compelling, this page-turning sci-fi thriller will leave you breathless.

This read just like a Twilight Zone episode – another show of which I am a huge fan of (the original of course). This even reminded me of an episode from an old radio show called “Suspense”. Basically, this was so suspenseful that it kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time. It read like a dream! If you enjoyed “The Martian”, then you will love this book even more. The character development was perfect and the mystery really did leave me breathless. I’m just anxiously awaiting to hear that this will become a movie one day because I’m here for it!

5/5 Stars