Author: S.J. Kincaid
Series: The Diabolic #1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.
When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia — a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.
As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life — and the empire.
First Sentence: Everyone believed Diabolics were fearless, but in my earliest years, all I knew was fear.
I’ve never heard of The Diabolic until it landed on my doorstep along with a pack of three colorful lollipops. Glancing at the cover, I wasn’t interested in reading The Diabolic at all – there was just nothing eye-catching about the cover that screamed YOU NEED TO READ ME! – until I saw the reviews come pouring in, saying that The Diabolic was “gruesome” and “brutal.” Well, in that case, sign me up! (You can obviously see what kind of books I’m attracted to here.)
The Diabolic started off having a strong grip on me – I could literally not put the book down. I wanted to learn more about the world, how Nemesis came to be, and how society acted around her. I didn’t even mind that the main plot the summary of the book mentioned – about how Nemesis was sent to take Sidonia’s spot to save her – was taking awhile to start. I was just enjoying learning about everything and understanding the world S.J. Kincaid created.
As I read on, I found myself growing more and more detached with the story. I didn’t know exactly what I was waiting for – maybe I was waiting for the “gruesome” and “brutal” parts others promised but I never got. Sure, others might find some parts of the book gruesome – I can easily bring up two or three examples from The Diabolic – but I have a high built in tolerance for “gruesome” and “brutal” due to all the crime shows I watch so what constitutes as “gruesome” and “brutal” is just “eh” for me.
Overall, I can see why people love and enjoyed reading The Diabolic, but it was not what I personally hoped for.
Author: Jenn Bennett
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: April 4, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.
Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life — or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.
And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.
First Sentence: He could be any one of these people.
Alex, Approximately is one of the cutest books I’ve ever read recently. It had me grinning like a fool, squealing out of happiness, and casually wiping my tears away, hoping my sister didn’t see me crying. As soon as I was done with the book, I quickly watched You’ve Got Mail because I didn’t want the feeling to end.
What I enjoyed the most was seeing how Bailey and Porter’s relationship developed, from straight-up animosity to a rocky friendship to love. Their relationship was so honest and so real; I love how they could be themselves with one another and talk out their problems (although a part of that is shaky at the end, but thankfully resolved in the cutest way possible).
My one and only issue with Alex, Approximately was how the summary gave away the ending. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO US?! I feel like the ending would make a bigger impact on readers if we readers didn’t know in advance that Porter was Alex. The summary took away the big “oh my god, no wonder!” moment from the book that I wished was there. But then again, if they didn’t include that information in the book, I wouldn’t have picked up Alex, Approximately the first place and just brushed it off as just another book, so there’s that.