Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

official blurb
Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end. Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.

my blurb!
A page turner told from multiple perspectives about life after your life as you know it ends.

5 out of 5

How did I not know about this book??? I’ve never heard of the author at all, and until Whitney from @theunreadshelf had me borrow this book- it had never come on my radar.  She was trying to help me get out of my awful February book slump and recommended this book to me.  I knew it was post apocalyptic, and…well that was about it- and wow was I in for a surprise.  Let me start out by saying that this book is in NO way nightmare inducing.  It’s not that type of post-apocalyptic vibe – no graphic rape or descriptive violence. It was totally believable- no zombies (sorry Walking Dead fans), or super heros

what i liked
I loved the characters! There are multiple main characters in this novel- which in the beginning is always hard to catch onto. Trust me, it’s worth remembering the characters- they are written beautifully and I dare you not to like the mains.
There are also multiple time jumps throughout each section in the book. I must say, I am almost NEVER a fan of the time jump… but alas apparently I’ve never been a fan of the writing of a time jump! Mandel’s writing of the time jumps never left me discombobulated (you’re welcome for using that word), but I was on the adventure with the characters!
I also liked the semi mystery of the plot.  What will happen? Who is the Prophet? (Though I figured that out before the reveal- NO spoilers!- I credit that to my BBC mystery series training) Who is living and dead?

what i didn't like
There is not a lot I didn’t like. If anything, I would say I could use a second book. I want to know even more- it could’ve been longer!

while reading you should
Listen to: Clair de Lune
Eat: an orange

when to read
The BEST time to read this is snowy weather WINTER. BUT this is required reading if you like this genre- so enjoy it all year round!

if you would like to buy
click here.

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Replica by Lauren Oliver

The official blurb :
Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.

My blurb- the story of two girls, in a world of clones and humans. Filled with twists and turns that are…exactly what you would guess them to be.

2.5 out of 5

This book is first in a series of two novels.  Both are currently out so I thought I would give them a try.  I am trying not to read a series that is incomplete- because by the time the next book comes out I’ve partly forgotten characters or story lines.   I’ve read a a few of Lauren Oliver’s other books- and for the life of me I couldn’t remember if I loved them or hated them.  But I was curious enough to give her another go at least.

So lets get to the star rating.  I can’t recommend this book- and I can’t decide if I will read the second one or not.  I didn’t have to force myself to finish this or anything- but the writing was awful.  There was a lot of speed reading involved. The setup was really …interesting.  I read this in an ebook version- and author setup the book to read in a way that suits the reader.  You can alternate chapters with the two characters POVs or you can read through entirely with one character and then read through with the other.  The two girls in the novel interact quite a bit- so you end up rereading a lot of the same story but through the other girl’s POV.  I didn’t really like that, it was repetitive (and redundant! …Gilmore Girls line).   Anyways, I started out alternating the POVs but found one character more likable than the other (Gemma), so I stuck with her and then went back to read Lyra’s.

The concept of the novel is intriguing. But what really sucked…other than the writing… was the total predictability of the book! Were we supposed to be shocked that Gemma was replica?  It was too much for me- not enjoyable to read when you see every twist coming and are just like…”yupp.”  Also, the supporting cast could have been SO good!  I liked Pete, I liked Jake, I liked 72, and April- but I didn’t like them enough.  I don’t really care what happens to them. I won’t cry if they die in the second book, and I wouldn’t ask anyone to bring me a condolence casserole. (I am, however, still accepting condolence casseroles for the loss of my dear Augustus Waters).   Overall this book was a dud for me.  So… I really shouldn’t read the second one.  But I still might. haha.  Also, the story just ended. Like not a cliff hanger and not a conclusion, just like- “oh hey, her story is over.” What was up with that?

I don’t recommend this book. However if you read The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield and enjoyed it- then you would probably like this one too!