Prisoner B-3087, by Alan Gratz

I have been a busy bee these past few weeks, so I might not be able to post a ton of reviews in the upcoming weeks, but I will try to post as much as I can! I have all sorts of auditions, projects, and tests that are coming up, and wrapping up this school year is definitely a hectic time of year.

DISCLAIMER: I have received a free signed copy of this book from one of my former librarians. I have also received book swag from the author. These will not affect my review.

Rating: 9.5/10 stars

Prisoner B-3087 follows Yanek Gruener, a Jewish boy who was living in Poland at the time of the Nazi invasion, and his journey through 10 different concentration camps. Facing starvation, exhaustion, and grueling conditions, Yanek tries to survive his six years as a captured Jew in the Holocaust. As he keeps his hopes up about a possible escape or liberation by the Allied Forces, he faces life and death and wonders whether he can last until he can finally taste freedom or he will die like the millions of Jews the Nazis slaughtered.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

From our family here at LILbooKlovers to yours, we all wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are so thankful and blessed for all the books we have read or were sent, all the authors we have interacted with, and all the posts and reviews we have created. We would like to thank everyone, whether you are an author, a subscriber, a viewer, etc., for all their support, and we wish that every single one of you may have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family or friends. Thank you for everything!

How I Rate and Review Books, by Kester

Hi guys! Some of you are wondering how do I rate and review books. Some of you are probably authors wondering how one book got a 7 while yours got a 9. Some of you are just readers wanting to know how my rating scale works. Well, I’m going to explain how I review books, and I will, at the end, unveil my new rating scale!

Firstly, I rate fiction books differently from nonfiction or poetry books. Here’s how I do that:

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Southern Festival of Books, part 1

Hi guys! A few weeks ago, I went to my FIRST book festival!!! (*fanboy scream*) The Southern Festival of Books, conducted by Humanities Tennessee, is held annually in Nashville, Tennessee. Hundreds of authors from around the country travel to the Home of Country Music to talk and sign their books. Readers and book enthusiasts get to listen to author sessions, talk with fellow authors and readers, look at local book companies and authors/publishers at booths, and buy and get books signed, all for FREE! The event is held in the middle of October  throughout Friday to Sunday in the middle of the month. It was an amazing experience!

What’s really cool is that I’m technically a writer according to some of these authors! I really loved and enjoyed it! And although I only came home with some swag and a booklet covered with signatures (and no signed book sadly), I had such an amazing experience! Here are just a few pictures from the event (more to come)!

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Return of the Continuums, by Jennifer Brody

Hey guys! It’s Kester. Man, the election was such a roller coaster, but I want to lighten the mood by posting up another special review!

DISCLAIMER: I received a free electronic review copy from Turner Publishing and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I have also won a free physical copy of this book in a giveaway hosted by Shelf Pleasure, and I also have received book swag from the author Jennifer Brody herself. This will not affect my review.

Rating: 10/10 stars

Return of the Continuums continues the story of Myra Jackson of the Thirteenth Continuum and Captain Aero Wright of the Second Continuum and their companions, but now a new character is introduced: Seeker, a weakling wanting to become a Strong One from the underground Seventh Continuum. As all of their adventures intertwine, the survivors face life and death facing some of their most dangerous enemies as they try to reach the First Continuum, in which their arrivals can restore their Continuums and all of humanity.

Although I kind of like the first book a little better than the second, I still loved this book nonetheless! It was an amazing book! I felt as if I was a part of the story since I felt a variety of emotions from this story, whether I was shocked, scared, or even crying. It truly felt like I was watching an actual action/adventure movie!

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Crossed by Ally Condie

This here dystopian awesomeness is one of my favorites of the dystopian genre. This being the second book to the Matched series, it contiunes with the makn character Cassia and a boy named Ky.

I rate it a 8/10.

While it has an awesome plot and has a lot of potential, it comes off as slow when moving the story along.

Here we have the Society. A government operated society where NO ONE has a choice in what they do. It’s always chosen for them. Cassia in the first book Matched is being matched to her future husband, which starts the story off when she gets two matches? Pretty weird, and this is the Society we’re talking about. The Society never makes a mistake.

In the next book Crossed we have Cassia again as she begins to find herself. She is wanting to break away from the Society. She ventures out into the Outer Provinces where the Adnormalies and Aberrations live; where the poor people, the ones who aren’t brainwashed live.

So I hope this gives you enough reason to go out and read it based on what I’ve given you. It’s an amazing book full of poetry and romance. A LOT of poetry. I honestly never appreciated poetry all that much until I read Matched and Crossed. Through this series, I’ve learned poetry can represent anything you want it be, even if it wasn’t the author’s intention.

So onto the spoiler side of this review…

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I love Ky. I really do. But why did he have to be so annoying in this book? He meant well but he was selfish and that got in the way a lot when they were trying to move on to find the Rebellion.  It convinced me one hundred percent that Ky isn’t the angel who has gone through everything and has come out to be this wonderful guy who loves poetry and nature and Cassia. He’s selfish. I mean, he burned a map that would’ve been VERY USEFUL because he didn’t want Cassia to leave him.

Cassia was okay, I guess. She had her heart set on joining the rebellion and I could understand how she felt to be the only one who has grown up in the Society. Everyone expects her be snotty and proper and full of ignorance. Cassia is ignorant about some things that happen outside the Society, but her heart is set on learning everything there is to know. Even so, people like Ky like to get all rolly eye (if that’s even a thing) and annoyed towards her. I think that Cassia is getting herself into something she hardly knows anything about. And I kind of want to yell in her face to take it a step at a time and get all the details.

And then we have Eli, Vick, and Indie. I wanted to hug Eli throughout the this book just for being him. He’s a little kid living in this dangerous part of the world, yet he smiles and hangs in there. He’s brave. He’ll get through it if he has to. I love him to death.

Vick? I loved him too. I kind of got a random blow when he suddenly died. One moment he’s telling Ky of the love of his life and the next he’s dead. Wow. Just when I felt so bad for him, he just… okay. And also with timing, I can’t get over the fact that when they found him dead and buried him, that’s the moment when Ky found Cassia. Like split second after they were through. It doesn’t really affect my opinion on the book as a whole; I just thought it was weird.

I don’t like Indie all that much. I DO NOT like that Ky gives her so much attention and I hope that it doesn’t lead anywhere. She’s mean and heartless sometimes. She does what she can do to get by, even if she leaves behind destruction. I just didn’t feel her character really connect with me in any way. Indie’s different and diverse. She isn’t all passionate about poetry like Ky is and she doesn’t ask so many questions like Cassia. She’s expressionless and doesn’t take orders from anyone but herself. I don’t have much to say other than that.

I killed me in the beginning when Cassia and Ky were looking for each other.

Ky: Let’s sneak back to the Society so I can find Cassia.

Cassia: I’m finally in the Outer Provinces so I can search for Ky!

Ky: We’ll just go through the Carving to get to the Society!

Cassia: Ky left to go find me so I better follow him!

It took FOR-EVER for them to find each other. At least to me it was pretty long. It was pretty good when they weren’t together. I learned a lot that I needed to know, but at the same time I NEEDED Ky and Cassia to be together again.

They are definitely lovestruck for one another. I’m a sucker for a good romance. I love them together. Although, I could feel the tension between them in this book. Even before the whole, “you burned down the one thing that gave me hope!” fight, Ky was a little annoyed at the fact that Cassia knew nothing about his world and here she was trying to grasp everything into one handful.

That’s all I got for right now. It’s late, and I got school tomorrow! I encouage you to try out this series, just be prepared Ky and Cassia. They are so stressful to read about.

Kester Reviews: The Dark Unwinding, by Sharon Cameron

Rating: 9/10 stars
The Dark Unwinding “unwinds” the tale of Katherine Pullman, who is sent by her mean mother to visit her supposed estranged uncle’s estate after he is revealed to have been squandering the family fortune. Katherine soon finds herself in a secluded village near her uncle’s estate full of people Uncle “Tully,” as the townspeople call him, brought off the streets and the factories. She is soon conflicted whether she should obey her mother or save the village until she uncovers a plan that risks her life and the entire country of England.

This book was so eerie! It gave me so many chills, and I found myself being creeped out at every turn and corner. I debated throughout the book whether this was going to become a paranormal book, but it will all make sense with the ending. It really does. I found myself trying to piece together the puzzle of the story, but in the end, the solution was not what you expected it to be. The characters were also suspicious in each of their own ways. Whether it be Uncle Tully’s behaviors to Lane’s secrets, you won’t trust any of these characters. I was expecting some sort of “surprise” from each of the characters. I got what I wanted.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book was that the character didn’t feel too emotionally connected with the story. It felt bland at times, not because of the action, but because of the narrator. I didn’t feel as drawn in as I was other books where I can’t stop reading. When things got sad, I didn’t get sad, even though it’s in a first person narrative.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading this book! It’s a creepy adventure that will have you on the edge of your seats at times and will captivate you.

Recommendation: Go ahead!