ARC Review: Defender – G.X. Todd

Synopsis:defender-cover

In a world where long drinks are in short supply, a stranger listens to the
voice in his head telling him to buy a lemonade from the girl sitting on a dusty road.

The moment locks them together.

Here and now it’s dangerous to listen to your inner voice. Those who do, keep it quiet.

These voices have purpose.

And when Pilgrim meets Lacey, there is a reason. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Defender pulls you on a wild ride to a place where the voices in your head will save or slaughter you.


I received a free eARC edition of this novel courtesy of Headline Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did, the premise itself intrigued me but I was unsure of what to expect.

What I received was a poignant story, absorbing and with a definite kick of thrill throughout. I was shocked to find how bloody and gruesome some of the scenes within it got (with violent deaths ), slightly forgetting that  I had strayed away from my usual YA genres. But those scenes definitely worked within the idea of the novel. One would not expect the semi-post-apocalyptic (??) world to be full of sunshine and rainbows.

The writing had me turning pages like a madwoman, it was honestly probably the book’s greatest asset, especially when things started to fall apart slightly plot wise towards the middle of the book. I have to admit I did skim-read quite a few pages, and yet I didn’t feel like I was lost after returning to my normal reading manner. But that issue seemed to be resolved towards the end of the book, and  I can definitely say that I thoroughly enjoyed the beginning and the end of the novel.

 I liked the concept of the voice and grew rather fond of it as the story progressed and it turned out that it wasn’t a totally awful thing. However, I feel like this book had very little explanation as to how these voices came to be and even less on how the human race had lost the ability to think in the first place. But I guess there will be future books, and I hope that these questions will be addressed within those.

Lacey was a pleasant protagonist, albeit slightly naive at times – but that could be explained by the fact that she was so isolated from all the problems that she later encountered and so took a while to adjust to everything. The addition of Pilgrim to the story definitely helped to develop her character, and I loved the wit and jokes that they shared throughout.

The lack of romance didn’t stop me from shipping Pilgrim and Lacey (and  Lacey with Alex), although simultaneously I was really glad that there were no canon relationships because it meant that the plot had no reason to stray away into realms of silly romantic drama in the midst of the whole world wanting them dead.

There were definitely a few things I didn’t expect throughout. The cat is an incident that Todd will NOT  be forgiven for, not until my last dying breath. There was also a plot twist that I really didn’t see coming, which was commendable; it left my mind reeling a little.

I will definitely be looking to read the subsequent books when they release, and would definitely recommend this novel to fans of dystopian fiction which doesn’t even try to sugarcoat the morbid reality.

My Rating: 3.75 / 5 Stars

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ARC Review: Sanctuary Bay – Laura J. Burns, Melinda Metz

Synopsis:sanctuary bay cover.jpg

When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn’t sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate’s dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay’s glossy reputation.


I received an eARC edition of this novel courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I – I need a sequel. That cliffhanger ending, well; that well-developed “cliffhanger” ending was just too much for my brain to handle. If this turns out to be a standalone novel I am going to be greatly disgruntled because I just need to know where the story went after the words ran out in a very Hazel Grace Lancasteresque way.

It took  me a while to warm up to the idea of the story however, I’m not particularly fond of the tropes which it held within itself . The whole poor girl in school full of rich people thing didn’t bode well with my dislike of similar stories and I found that the sliight love triangle sort of thing that I smelled very early on in the story didn’t help at all.

BUT, these rich kids weren’t the usual arseholes that we usually meet in these sorts of novels – they were actually quite nice to the MC which I found rather surprising.

I also really liked how dark the story got at times, it was captivating and mildly terrifying but the odd combination of feelings actually worked in favour of the book .

The mystery part of the novel actually worked; there were countless plot twists which managed to catch me off guard. And if that isn’t a sign of a successful book of this genre, I don’t know what is. The suspense definitely built up during the course

The suspense definitely built up during the course of the novels thanks to the MC’s unawareness to what was going on around her. I actually really liked her voice, Burns and Metz had a pleasant to read writing styles which weaved flawlessly together to make a story I enjoyed.

I’m not going to lie, this book was really trippy at times, it was largely a case of having to figure out things along with the protagonist, which was difficult as things weren’t always what they seemed and even when she was sure of something, something else proved to be true/ messed up what she thought and it was just so incredibly suspenseful in a really cleverly crafted way, the story was honestly full of so many dark and unexpected secrets!

I can safely say that I enjoyed this book and would definitely be willing to read its sequels if any were to arise (which would put my bookish needs to rest).

My Rating: 4/5 Stars