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

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

Atlas Alone by Emma Newman

As a huge Star Trek fan, I am on board with anything taking place in Outer Space!

Thank you Ace Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Six months after she left Earth, Dee is struggling to manage her rage toward the people who ordered the nuclear strike that destroyed the world. She’s trying to find those responsible, and to understand why the ship is keeping everyone divided into small groups, but she’s not getting very far alone. A dedicated gamer, she throws herself into mersives to escape and is approached by a designer who asks her to play test his new game. It isn’t like any game she’s played before. Then a character she kills in the climax of the game turns out to bear a striking resemblance to a man who dies suddenly in the real world at exactly the same time. A man she discovers was one of those responsible for the death of millions on Earth. Disturbed, but thinking it must be a coincidence, Dee pulls back from gaming and continues the hunt for information. But when she finds out the true plans for the future colony, she realizes that to save what is left of humanity, she may have to do something that risks losing her own.

Sci-fi, gamers, and star fans alike, this one is for you. This is the latest novel in the Planetfall series, one of which I’m sad to be just learning about. I will say I feel like I would’ve benefited from reading the previous books before this one, but it did not ruin the reading experience for me. Stuck in a virtual reality, Dee is caught having committed a crime and has the most unusual co-conspirator. Just wait until you find out who it really is! This was a really cool and wonderfully adventurous read! Now I’m rushing to go start from the beginning!

4/5 Stars

Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

After reading The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain earlier this year, I’ve been on a mission to read more time-travel books. This one caught my eye!

Thank you to Harlequin and Mira Books for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Kin works for a secret agency from the year 2142 where he is assigned missions to get rid of criminals who would alter the course of history. His latest mission lands him in the year 1996 where things start to go wrong. His method of being able to travel back to 2142 is shot and now he’s stuck, waiting for someone from his present time to come rescue him. 18 years later, that help comes. Although, it’s a little too late. He’s married, has a kid, and a new IT job. He’s completely forgotten what his past life was like. But now, he and his family is in trouble. He has to go back to 2142 and his family is in danger because they were never supposed to be married, and his daughter should have never existed. Will he be able to save his family from the year 2142? Will he be able to travel back to his family?

THIS BOOK! I LOVED IT! As soon as I saw the Star Trek references in the beginning, I knew I was in for a grand time. This is the perfect blend of a science fiction and contemporary fiction novel. I read this book in one night! The author did a wonderful job expressing the appropriate emotions between his family from 2142 and his family from 2014. There were a few events that happened that were sad and left me wanting to throw the book, but it was the best way the story could have gone. The ending was just perfect. It wrapped every cliff hanger up. This would be a wonderful movie, by the way!

4.5/5 Stars


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Today I am celebrating because I have hit over 500 followers on my instagram account! SO EXCITED! Head over to @livereadandprosper on instagram to enter the giveaway! Ends Sunday, June 24, 2018. Not affliated with wordpress, instagram, the author, or publisher. Open to US only (sorry interantional followers, I will have one soon enough for you guys!)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne


I traveled to the beach this weekend with my family. It’s about a 4+ hour car drive, so we always pick an audiobook to listen to. Since we were in the aquatic mood, we chose Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.

A french scientist is on an expedition to find a sea monster who is known to cause chaos to ships. He runs into troubles and ends up finding himself as a “prisoner” on the Nautilus submarine. The thing is, the submarine is extremely lavish, filled with technology that hasn’t yet been used anywhere else. Together, Captain Nemo of the Nautilus submarine and french scientist Dr. Aronnax emabrk on underwater journeys galore.

What a magical book. I had read this when I was in elementary school, but I don’t think I understood the amazement that this book is. It was published in the 1870s and the scientific predictions are impecable. It amazes me how accurate Verne predicted certain things to come about. I’m a science geek, so this book was just perfect for me. He is a little wordy when he doesn’t need to be, but that is pretty standard for writing during this era. Listening to it as an audiobook was super enjoyable as I felt like we were right there with them. Highly recommend this classic if you haven’t read it already, especially if you enjoy sci-fi novels.

4.5/5 Stars