Genre: Sci-Fi


Monday, July 15, 2019

Cute But The Science is Lacking: Blastaway by Melissa Landers

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Cute But The Science is Lacking: Blastaway by Melissa Landers
Blastaway
Melissa Landers
Genre: Adventure, Middle Grade, Sci-Fi
Publication date: July 9th, 2019
by Disney Hyperion

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Kyler Centaurus isn't your typical runaway. All he wanted was a quick trip to the legendary Fasti Sun Festival. Who wouldn't want to see new stars being born? Um, try Kyler's entire family. They couldn't care less about mind-blowing wonders of science.

When an accidental launch sequence ends with Kyler hurtling through space on the family cruiser, the thrill of freedom is cut short by two space pirates determined to steal his ship. Not happening!

Luckily, Kyler bumps into Fig, a savvy young Wanderer who makes a living by blowing up asteroids. She could really use a ride to Earth and Kyler could really use a hand with the pirates.

But when Kyler learns the truth about Fig's mission, the two must put aside their differences long enough to stop the threat of astronomical proportions racing towards Earth?
-A copy was provided by Disney-Hyperion for review-

While I never got the chance to read Alienated, I have read Lander’s romance novels so when I heard about Blastaway, I was immediately onboard. I expected something akin to Alienated (even though I hadn’t read it) and in my excitement, missed that Blastaway wasn’t YA. It is middle grade. I read middle grade so that didn’t really turn me off but this book wouldn’t really hit the mark for adult middle grade readers the way it would for middle grade middle grade readers – aka the intended demographic of the book.

Blastaway is incredibly cute and I love that it uses its sci-fic setting to draw attention to very real world issues in an accessible manner to younger readers. My biggest issue – keeping in mind that I was not the intended audience – was that a lot of the science was lax? There were many things that weren’t really thought out evolution-wise when it came to wanderers. This wouldn’t even have been a particularly difficult problem to fix, the book could have been set way way way into the future rather than just 500 years.

It also heavily relied on pop culture references from this century even though the book is set 500 years in the future. This is definitely me being nit-picky because I realize that having those references makes this futuristic world more accessible to younger readers but for me, it took away from the sci-fic experience. I wish that instead of trying to tone down this world, Landers explored it a bit more and tried to ground readers in it in other ways. 

The plot is also riddled with lucky coincidences that propels it forward without having to work around the struggles of being two runaway children on a ship on their own, trying to stop an evil plan to take over the universe and potentially harm both humans and wanderers. 

So, Blastaway is not a particularly dense book but I do love that it also explores familial relationships as well as friendships. Kyler struggles a lot with finding a place within his family. He constantly feels like an outcast and pre-teen hormones probably don’t make navigating those relationships easy. It’s definitely clear to the reader that his family loves him just the way he is but I loved watching him come to terms with that. I also loved his and Fig’s blooming friendship. They are both very stubborn people and I loved that even though they were quick to become friends, they also had their ups and downs. 

Overall, I feel like this book would be more appropriate for elementary school readers rather than middle school ones because this book feels younger than the ages of its characters. The kids who love adventures sans adults, love the running away from home stories (as I did at those ages) will gobble this book up.

2.5 Stars
2.5 Hot Espressos

An Emotional Rollercoaster: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

An Emotional Rollercoaster: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Posted by on 03/22/2019 • 0 Comments

Rick Riordan Presents is probably the only imprint I can say I want to read EVERY SINGLE BOOK FROM. I saw the synopsis mentioned a raw chicken inside a locker and was immediately sold. I WANTED IT and I READ IT and YEAH. I am not really sure if Sal and Gabi Break the Universe has mythology vibes??? But what I can say is that it is truly a work of art.

There is a good chance I’ve said that about another book or two before but I don’t know how else to describe how truly well written this book is. Carlos Hernandez knows how to pace a book, he knows how to pull at your emotions and he knows just how to crack and build tension. There were so many…

An Avalanche: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

An Avalanche: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Posted by on 01/19/2018 • 4 Comments

I am behind on the times because this is my first time reading a book by this dynamic duo. To be fair, These Broken Stars has been on my tbr since 2012 and we’re just going to ignore the fact that 5 years later (or 4 years since it came out,) I still haven’t read it. BUT, I WASN’T GOING TO LET THAT HAPPEN WITH Unearthed. If I remember correctly, at some point it was pitched as Indiana Jones in space. I also got serious National Treasure vibes from the synopsis and I  am garbage for anything that involves a treasure hunt and secrets.

For those wondering, yes Unearthed 110% lives up to those comparisons. Unearthed is a fantastically written book that you WILL gobble up because it is…

E.K. Johnston’s Favorite Victorian Woman

E.K. Johnston’s Favorite Victorian Woman

Posted by on 10/13/2017 • 2 Comments

Hey everyone! Welcome to Xpresso Reads’ blog tour stop for The Inevitable Victorian Thing! E.K. Johnston won my heart over last year with Exit, Pursued by a Bear and I’ve been a fan ever since! While I haven’t had the chance to read The Inevitable Victorian Thing yet, I am sure it will be amazing and I am sure I will be a FAN. Anyway! Today! We have the lovely E.K. Johnston over on the blog talking about her favorite victorian woman.

E.K. Johnston’s Favorite Victorian Woman

Okay, so my serious answer to this question is Ada Lovelace for a bunch of reasons that you can look up on tumblr.

But my actual answer is a little different.

The year is 1886. At Oxford, four students and one woman (who is a student in…

An Exhilarating Journey: Warcross by Marie Lu

An Exhilarating Journey: Warcross by Marie Lu

Posted by on 09/07/2017 • 1 Comment

*exhales loudly*

Listen, this book is going to change everything. Are you a non-gamer and kinda wondering if this will really be your thing? The answer is YES. To be fair, I do play occasionally play multi-player Nintendo games with friends but, I am not a gamer and usually don’t have a long enough attention span to actually play anything on my own aside from Mario Kart. Warcross is amazing and has the ability to appeal to almost everyone (so it might not appeal to people who live under rocks and don’t know what books are *shrugs*)

The hype behind this book is INTENSE and honestly, that kind of hype is usually terrfiying to me and might even be terrifying to you but I read Legend by Marie Lu 6 years ago…

#PlayWarcross: My Dream Warcross Team

#PlayWarcross: My Dream Warcross Team

Posted by on 09/04/2017 • 0 Comments

Hello, hello friends. I’ve been sitting on this post for a while because life is hard but also because coming up with the perfect Warcross team is also hard. There are so many good characters to choose from for the individual roles but I really wanted to get together a team that would complement each other in terms of their personalities and help each other make up for their faults. SO. I PRESENT TO YOU:

THE RED HOT LONES

Team Captain: The captain has the most difficult task of leading a group of rag-tags so finding the person fit for the job requires a lot of thought and care. While there are many great people out there capable of being a leader, I went with Yelena from Poison Study because even…

Giveaway: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Giveaway: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Posted by on 04/19/2017 • 15 Comments

Today we are partnering with the lovely people over at Little, Brown to bring you a fabulous giveaway for Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray. Alert: THIS BOOK IS SET IN SPACE. <– important fact because all books set in space are always on my tbr since I’ve kind of been obsessed with space since I was a bb8 and wanted to do that astronaut as a career thing (now I am a lit major so that didn’t technically work out.)

About the Book About the Author

Claudia Gray is the author of the bestselling Evernight series, Fateful, the Spellcaster trilogy, and the Firebird trilogy. She is also the author of the young adult Star Wars novels Lost Stars and the forthcoming Bloodline. She has worked as a lawyer, a journalist, a…

READ THIS BOOK!!!: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

READ THIS BOOK!!!: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Posted by on 02/28/2017 • 5 Comments

I don’t know how to start this review, guysssssss. Empress of a Thousand Skies WAS AMAZING. LIKE I ACTUALLY CANNOT even formulate words even though its been almost a week since I read it. ITS GOT EVERYTHING. People on the run, royalty, secrets, betrayal and hints of romances. YES, MULTIPLE ROMANCES I THINK. I could be wrong.

Did you really like Illuminae? Read this fucking book and love it even more. Seriously. ITS THAT GOOD.

Reasons to Read Empress of a Thousand Skies

1. The world building. I love the complexity of the world. I love that the racial struggles IRL are addressed through racial struggles within the novel and I love the commentary that is made through these struggles. Empress of a Thousand Skies is and tries to reflect on our society…