Book Review: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Book name: Illuminae 

Authors: Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

Number of Pages: 599 pages

Goodreads Rating: 4.32/5 stars

My Rating: 5/5 stars

The Illuminae Files

My Review: 


First of all, this is a book that I believed was way overhyped. From all the booktubers to the bookstagrammers, you can’t go anywhere without seeing this book being hyped up. After reading Nevernight by Jay Kristoff last August, I started to believe that Mr. Kristoff has a great writing style, but I was still skeptical about spending my money on this book (Note: I also wasn’t a huge fan of Sci-Fi). 

One day in January, my cousin and I were in a bookstore looking for unique books and I told her about this one. She immediately bought both Illuminae and Gemina because she LOVED the format of these books. She then kept them at my house so I can read them. Little did I know that I’ll be a huge Illuminae fan later.

This book is written in different styles and from multiple perspectives. You have the perspective of Kady, Ezra, and and an intelligence defense system called AIDAN. It is a fast paced, cliff-hanger filled, highly addicting story about a chase between two space fleets where one of them is trying to get to safety while a dangerous disease spreads on board one of the ships  (but will they make it?).

“You have me. Until every last star in the galaxy dies. 

You have me.” 
― Amie Kaufman, Illuminae

I enjoyed reading this book immensely since it was written in a unique format including hacked emails, document, video files, and schematics. The amount of time it took for the authors must have been A LOT! Because the way the story is structured just blows away your mind. And, I found out that they used real people’s names while writing this series. How cool is that?

A sample of the book’s uniqueness

In the end, this book (and Gemina) has gotten me though a really tough time in my life when I read them in February. I still think they deserve a lot of love because they are great, quick reads which are beautifully written (and structured). After reading this book, I am now encouraged to read more of Amie’s books. And I am glad to say that I became a huge Sci-Fi fan.

Great job Amie and Jay.
Here is my favorite Aidan quote:

“Am I not merciful?” – JK & AK

And now I will leave you with a synopsis of Illuminae.

synopsis from Goodreads: “This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.”

Book Review: Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Book Title: Furthermore 

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Number of Pages: 401

Goodreads Average Rating: 4.02/5

My Rating: 4/5

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Synopsis from Goodreads: “A captivating and colorful adventure that reads like a modern day fairy tale, from the bestselling author of the Shatter Me series.

Inspired by her childhood love of books like The Secret Garden and The Chronicles of Narnia, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi crafts a spellbinding new world where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.

There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.”


I have been introduced to Tahereh Mafi’s writing earlier this year with the Shatter Me series. That series is one of the best series I have read this year. However, I cannot say the same thing about Furthermore. 

I mean I do like the book and the writing. But it felt too juvenile to my liking. And by juvenile I meant that I didn’t like the use of Mother and Father instead of their actual names. I just thought it would be nicer to know the names of important characters in the book. (Or, it’s just maybe that I am getting too old to read this kind of book.) In addition, I kind of thought that the beginning of this book was a bit slow.

Other than that, Tahereh’s writing is phenomenal. She knows how to describe everything in the book. I felt like this book was an Alice in wonderland retelling mainly because of the vivid description of the crazy world of Furthermore, and that the main character is called Alice. 

Even though some people were bothered by the rules of this world and didn’t fully understand them. I felt like they were fully explained (for example knocking the door etc..). I think it’s what made the world so interesting.

My favorite quote from this book is: 

“The best bookshop in town had new books on display in the windows, and Alice was thrown off course. She stopped so suddenly she nearly fell over and, despite her better judgement, she snuck closer to press her nose against the glass.” – Tahereh Mafi – Furthermore 

It kind of explains what happens to every book lover out there when they see a bookshop in town ^_^

There were some very important life lessons within this book that would be perfect for the younger audience. It would help them greatly in accepting who they are early on in life.

I am giving this book four stars mainly because I loved the writing and the description of this color filled crazy world. I think these descriptions would help make a great magical movie for children. I know I imagined the scenes as vividly as I was watching a movie in front of me.


Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Book Title: A Monster Calls

Author: Patrick Ness

Number of Pages: 237

Goodreads Average Rating: 4.33/5

My Rating: 5/5

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Synopsis from Goodreads: “The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.
But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…
This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.”

Review: To tell you the truth, I have read a book written by Patrick Ness earlier this year “The Rest Of Us Just Live Here” and it was OK. However, this book really destroyed me. I was crying by the end of the book and felt really glad that I read it. 
This book talks about loss and how people should deal with it by accepting the truth. I have lost my cousin a couple of months ago and I felt like this book brought back all the raw emotions again; yet I somewhat felt like it helped me so much. This book is haunting and sad and it is the kind of book that stays with you forever. I think I will definitely try to give Patrick Ness another try because this book exceeded all of my expectations.