Review: VAGABOND by J.D. Brewer

VagabondVagabond by J.D. Brewer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Honestly, it took me awhile to get around to reading this book. I’d had it on my TBR forever and it sounded wonderful on paper, like everything I was looking for in a dystopian series. But I just could not bring myself to pick it up. I was afraid that I wouldn’t like it just because I was so burned out on the genre. So I avoided it for awhile, not wanting to go into it with a negative mind set, especially considering I was reviewing it. Turns out it was ridiculous of me to feel this way because I devoured this book in two sittings. I loved it SO MUCH. I ended up starting it around midnight, just intending to read a chapter or two and next thing I knew it was six a.m. Luckily for me it was a Sunday and I could sleep in, then finish it when I woke up.

The story is set in the distant future where society as we know it no longer exists and the world now revolves around genetics. The Genetic Engineering Guild dictates your entire life by your genetics; where you live, who you marry, whether you can have children and how many. The colonies live by a strict set of rules. Anyone who steps outside of those rules and doesn’t live in the colonies are known as vagabonds and rebels.

We first meet Niko after she’s been dumped. Her best friend/mentor/lover Xavi has ditched her for some random chick with a nice pair of legs. Niko’s heartbroken and now traveling alone for the first time since she fled the society she grew up in. Although, she doesn’t get to be alone for long as she soon bumps into new guy fresh out of the colonies and reluctantly ends up teaching him the ways of the Tracks. We weave back and forth through the past and the present learning about Niko’s life before she came became a Vagabond, the tragedy that forced her to flee, how she met and was left by Xavi, and the present where she’s learning so much about herself and the world.

This book is smart and heartbreaking. It’s so much more than just another dystopian novel. It’s more of a coming of age novel. And it’s riddled with twists and turns. Some of the twists are a little predictable but then others just blow you away. I just kind of sat there staring at the end of the book because I was shocked by a revelation at the end. I cannot wait for book two. I am so excited to see where Brewer takes the series. I will be eagerly waiting.

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I am afraid. I am afraid of so many things… by Jessica Evans #TalkFear #MentalHealthAwareness

And here is my contribution to the #TalkFear series. Remember to follow bookishblurb to hear from everybody else!

When I first saw Louise talking about this on Twitter, I thought it was a wonderful idea. A scary, terrifyingly wonderful idea. So, of course, I immediately made a joke about sending her a crazy long post about my fear of spiders that would consist of nothing other than pictures of them with me screaming LOOK AT THIS  in the captions. I could easily do that, but it wouldn’t be real. I don’t want this to be a joke.

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I am afraid of so many things. I’m not really sure where to start or how deep into my fears I want to go or if I’ll even be capable of talking about this in a serious way that doesn’t end in me cracking jokes every other line. Humor is the easiest way to for me to deal with my fears. It makes it easier to pretend they don’t matter. If…

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Review: Intrepid by J.D. Brewer

IntrepidIntrepid by J.D. Brewer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Actual rating 4.5 stars.

Intrepid is told from the perspectives of Texi and Liam. Texi is your average teen girl growing up in a Texas town. She’s sarcastic, funny, she’s got a couple close friends, and great relationships with her family. Then of course all hell breaks loose when someone close to her tries to murder her and she discovers her life and the people in it are anything but what she thought they were. Turns out, Texi is one of a kind. She’s an experiment no one is sure will end well. She’s thrown into the Multiverse with on a mission to save it, although not everyone wants her to or sure she can. Texi faces a steep learning curve trying to find out everything she can about the Multiverse and her own abilities in it. And it’s not easy given everyone claiming to help her is a little afraid of her. Can she get over her own fear of herself and trust her abilities?

Liam is a Watcher. He’s grown up very isolated on a boat in an empty world. He’s always known his purpose in life. It’s his job to know everything about Texi. He believes he can predict her every thought and move. Until he meets her and discovers that people are more complex than you can anticipate. And that just because you know everything about someone doesn’t mean you know them. Can he get over his own fear of Texi and himself and accept his role in saving the Multiverse?

Intrepid was written beautifully. It felt like each sentence was specifically crafted to flow wonderfully and enhance the story. When I read the synopsis for the story I wanted to read it, so I was excited when the author offered me a copy for an honest review. However when I started the story, I couldn’t really get into it. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a slow start story or just one I wouldn’t like. But the sentences were crafted so beautifully that I carried on. And I am so glad I did because I ended up loving it! Intrepid is a funny, smart, interesting, brilliantly crafted story.

One of my favorite things about it was the detail that must have went into thinking up the Multiverse and all of the rules and positions in it. It was so detailed and so well thought out, it must have taken the author forever to plan it out. I would have been happy if this had just been a book explaining the Multiverse because I want to know everything about it now. I believe this book will turn out to be a series, so I can’t wait to see how the author continues to develop and inform us about the Multiverse in later books. I also loved Texi’s relationships with the people in her life. They felt real. They didn’t feel like just random side characters you forget when they’re not in the scene. They were real people with real relationships with Texi. We see why they matter to her and a little bit about their motives. I hope we continue to learn more about them as the story develops.

Now notice about how I said the actual rating was 4.5 stars. Why did I take that half a point off if I loved the book so much? Well, although I loved 99.99% of everything about this book there’s still that 0.01%. Even though this book was beautifully written, there were still a couple lines that I found cringe worthy. Just a few. One example was when Texi described a hug between two of the guys in her life as “man-tastic,” which I’ll admit made me laugh and cringe. It wasn’t awful; it was just a couple sentences that made me think “what?” Then, there were also a couple instances in the book where cleaned up cussing was used. I think it was only like two places but it still bugged me. Texi is a sarcastic, somewhat cynical teen, who’s life had just turned out to be a lie. Now I know not everyone has a mouth like a sailor, like me, but Texi seemed like the type who’d call out bullshit as necessary and not call it bullcrap. So, it just bugged me a little. But these issues were few and far in between and didn’t effect my love of the story, which is why that combined with the slow start I only took half a point off of five stars. Overall, the book is fantastic! I can’t wait for the sequel and I’d recommend it to anyone.

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