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Genre: Time Travel

Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: Twist by Karen Akins

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Twist by Karen AkinsTwist by Karen Akins
Series: Loop, Book 2
Also in this series: Loop
Published by St Martin's Griffin on 07 April 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Time Travel
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Also by this author: Loop

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England (1666) // Washington, DC (23rd Century) // Chinocteague, North Carolina (2016)

First Line(s): There are forty-seven rules every Shifter must obey. I’d broken all but two of them.

Twist by Karen Akins is the sequel to last year’s Loop (my review) and the conclusion of the duology started in that book. Twist was a book that I was really excited to read beause I loved Loop so very much and I was really looking forward to more Finn and Brie snarky goodness. Only what I was hoping for and what Twist actually was never really meshed in my head. Twist quickly falls into the ‘lets separate the happy couple’ trope and I, for one, hated that. So much of what I loved in Loop was missing in Twist because there wasn’t a whole lot of time with Brie and Finn in the same place. Instead Brie was almost always with Wyck who she was pretending to date and then getting the occasional clue from future Brie just as now Brie was about to end things.

*pauses for a big sigh*

Future Brie.

Oh my stars did this annoy me more in this book than in the first one. So much crypticness that lead to so many misunderstandings when everything could have more easily been resolved if the characters just TALKED TO EACH OTHER. Regular readers on my blog know that lack of communication as a plot point is one of my biggest pet peeves. Head banging against the wall inducing even. And since much of Twist relies on this trope, well, lets just say that it wasn’t a quick read for me. I wasn’t as engaged in this book and kept putting it aside in favor of other books.

Twist Quote

Despite my annoyances I still got invested in the story…just not as much as I would have liked. My heart still broke but it wasn’t until around the 80% mark that I felt things really take off in the story. Up until then I may have been fine just putting this one aside forever and never reading it until the end. I still liked Brie and her snark but I wasn’t a huge fan on where Akins took her characters in this one. Which is always a danger, I suppose, when characters in a series find their happily for now at the end of the first book. But with all the other things going on in Brie’s world, what with the changing timelines and all, why did we need the added drama of a separation as well. For me, Twist would have been stronger if Finn and Brie spent the book working together and becoming stronger as a couple. Not spending most of it apart and having to deal with bad characters from the fist book getting a redemption story.

Then you have the ending. An ending that I’m still trying to decide on if I like it or not. I mean I get it, I think it fits with the story. But at the same time its a little unsatisfying to me as a reader. I just wanted ALL THE THE THINGS and I didn’t get them. At least, not in the way that I wanted them to be. I still think that Karen Akins is a strong writer and I loved her world building. I will still eagerly pick up her next book but while I will re-read Loop I don’t think that Twist  is a book that I will pick up again. It was hard enough to finish the first time and I don’t think I want to put myself through that again.



IR - Twist

Add Pivot Point by Kasie West to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: Loop by Karen Akins

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Loop by Karen AkinsLoop by Karen Akins
Series: Loop,
Also in this series: Twist
Published by St Martin's Griffin on 21 October 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Futuristic Romance, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Politics & Intrigue, Sci-Fi, Survival Stories, Suspense, Time Travel, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Also by this author: Twist

Places Traveled To: Williamsburg, Virginia (21st Century) // Chinocoteague Island (21st Century) // Washington DC (23rd Century)

First Line(s): Hitting the ground in the hardest part.

It’s no secret that I am a fan of all things time travel and one of my favorite shows deals with this topic so you can imagine my excitement when I first head of Loop by Karen Akins. I was also a bit wary as I’d been burned a few times on time travel books that I thought would be good, but then didn’t live up to my expectations. I can be a harsh critic sometimes with books, I can admit it. So I decided to wade in slowly, like a swimmer on the shores of the north east coast. But as any swimmer up north knows, wading in slowly doesn’t take the sting out of the chilly water and the only method is to dive right in and I did that with Loop. Once I jumped in with both feet I found that I couldn’t put this one down and didn’t stop reading until I hit the end.

Loop is filled with snark and crazy moments that you wouldn’t think would work but they do. There is tension and chemistry between the two main characters, Bree and Finn. I like how Akins dealt with their romance on top of the mystery that Bree was working to solve. I liked the futuristic world that she created and no matter what Bree says I totally want a Pegamoo. This book had my heart go through a roller coaster road of emotions and left me a bit breathless when it hit the final page and so very eager for the next book in the series, Twist. Loop isn’t a perfect book though and there were several bits and pieces that were just a bit too convenient to be plausible but I loved the book enough that I was able to overlook some of these flaws. Even if I did roll my eyes a time or two.

Akin’s is a new voice and she’s one to watch out for. Her writing is solid and she manages to invent new language that is entirely realistic for phrases that future teenages might say. Her future world is one that I could see existing, yes….even with the time travel bits. Her time travel doesn’t need a blue box or special bracelet and it makes me wish that I had this special gene so I could visit new places as Bree does. I also really enjoyed the mystery element of Loop it kept me guessing just enough that I didn’t have it all figured out in the first chapter as happens all too often these days. I wasn’t surprised by anything and I did argue with Bree (mentally and totally one-sided) on some of her conclustions so I was totally engaged in this story. I also have several theories as to the bigger mystery at large and I am looking forward to seeing if they proof true or not.

Loop is a fun mystery and a good time travel story and its one that I highly recommend to all looking for a book in these genres. The romance is raw and beliveable and doesn’t overshadow the other elements of the story. If your reading tastes mesh with mine than I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in Loop so go forth to your nearest bookseller and pick this one up today!




.Loop Quote


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Audio Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin TerrillAll Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Narrator: Meredith Mitchell
Series: All Our Yesterdays,
Published by Tantor Audio on 03 September 2013
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Assassins, Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Suspense, Time Travel, Young Adult
Length: 9 hours 25 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository

Place(s) Traveled to: Washington, DC // Oakton, Pennsylvania // Greenwich, Connecticut (Present + 4 years in future)

First Line(s): I stare at the drain in the center of the floor.


All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill is a book that I had heard a lot about from a friend. Its a book that deals with time travel and paradoxes and seemed like it would be right up my alley. However, for me, this was one in which the premise was far better than the actual execution of the story line. Part of this I think came from my dislike of the narrator, both of the story and the actual audiobook, Meredith Mitchell. All Our Yesterdays is told in two voices, Em and Marina and while I enjoyed Em’s point of view most of the time Marina just annoyed me. She was young and naive and blind to the truth around her not to mention that she was obsessed with her friend and neighbor James, a boy who was unworthy of such affection. James was selfish and would use Marina’s affections to suit his purposes as he pushed forward with his own obsession, his scientific work. But not all the characters were bad, I really did enjoy Finn and wish that part of the book was told from his POV though I understand why Terrill chose the voices that she did.

The concept of All Our Yesterdays was a good one, a time machine has been built and the use of it became less altruistic than intended which leaves the world in a not so great spot despite its short time in existence. I can get behind the concept of time travel as being real but the results of this just seemed a bit implausible at times. I also thought that the mystery of All Our Yesterdays was a bit unnecessary as it just bogged down the story with cryptic remarks and a few red herrings. For me, there wasn’t a whole lot of guessing to be done and I had the bulk of the book figured out fairly quickly. While figuring out a story doesn’t always kill my enjoyment of it this one had the added factors of an annoying narrator. I really can’t put my finger on why Mitchell’s narration bugged me as much as it did but it made All Our Yesterdays a more difficult novel to get into than it should have. Mitchell’s English accent, used for Tamsin, was cringe worth and it was difficult to suss out the scene transitions in the story. As a result I often had to rewind and relisten to many parts of the story. This left me wishing that I had read this one in print form and wondering if I would have enjoyed it more if I had.

All Our Yesterdays was a book that could have been shorter than it was as there were so many missed opportunities. Of course without the angst and the pontificating and the failed attempts to do that one thing then there wouldn’t have been much of a story but all that wasted time just annoyed me and resulted in a few eye rolls. It also grated on my nerves when Em would do things in the past and then be baffled why future versions of people knew about them. She is affecting change and as such leaving new memories in the people she meets, this results in a new future, and as such very few surprises because for some events have already happened even if they are new to her.

The ending of All Our Yesterdays was interesting and does make me curious on where things might go in the sequel but part of me wishes that this had been a stand alone novel. I just fear that there isn’t enough of a story to tell in another book but will reserve my judgement until I see the synopsis of book 2. I will also most likely read the sequel but am fairly certain that I will not listen to the audio of it. At this point in time I am uncertain if I will listen to another book that Mitchell narrates. What I do hope for in the sequel is more from Finn as he was my favorite character. I liked who Em was with him and I liked the humor that he brought to the story. Finn my heart ache and he’s the main reason why I stuck with this one until the end. As long as there is Finn in the sequel then I will read it and getting to “meet” Finn is reason enough for you to give All Our Yesterdays a shot.









All Our Yesterdays2