Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard | Review

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Thank you to MacMillian Australia for sending me an ARC in exchange for honest review. 


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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Release Date: February 8th, 2018

Trigger Warnings: abuse, neglect, parental abuse (off page but implied), dead parents

Pages: 384

Publisher: Macmillian Children’s Books

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

When I was wild, you were steady . . . 
Now you are wild – what am I? 

Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with the boyfriend Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. Especially when the police arrive on her doorstep and Eden finds out that the boyfriend is actually their music teacher, Mr Cohn.

Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts.

As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.

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Meet Cute by Various | Review


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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

Pages: 320

Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers

Goodreads blurb:

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real. 

The Meet Cute anthology was an interesting one. There were so many authors and so many stories. Some I couldn’t wait to end and others I wanted to be extended to fill the pages of a novel. For this review, I’ve tried to review each story featured in this anthology. They’re quite short but I find it difficult to rate an anthology as a whole (3 is what I just figured was the average among these).

This collection definitely was super cute and I do love meet-cute stories. Some definitely stood out. I would recommend this collection though if you’re looking for a short read to fill a rainy day.



I’m not sure this was the best start to the novel. I feel there were so many other ‘meet cute’ stories throughout the novel which were better suited for the first story – ones that would have had a better impact. I enjoyed the writing style and I did gush, but there was cheating and abuse which wasn’t dealt with and only very briefly mentioned that made me feel slightly uncomfortable about the whole thing.

I also hate people who are self proclaimed popular so I had that issue with the main character, since she knows she’s popular. I feel like there were just little facts in the story that, ultimately, didn’t add to the overall story and actually took away from me being able to enjoy it. I felt for her backstory, but she really did ruin it by being a self righteous bitch.



This was the first f/f romance in the book and I loved it. It wasn’t as if it was anything special but the writing itself and the characters the author created in those few short pages were incredible. It shows just how talented the author writing it was.

I was so engaged it the idea of the print shop (especially since it was a queer business). The author didn’t rush a single moment. It all felt super organic and very well written to me. I was completely involved with the main character as she did her best to help the client in need. Print Shop was just super feel good and fluffy, if the idea had been extended into a full novel I would be so happy!



This was when the lack of conclusions in this anthology really started to get to me. I also had a problem with every character but the main one in this particular story.

Our POC MC just wants to escape her small town despite all the waitlists she’s been placed on, her best friend ended up backstabbing her and she’s 6’5 (a queen). Her meet cute doesn’t really start until the end. Quite literally the last two pages or so it happens. So, it felt like a lot of build up which ultimately had a good ending. I just wanted a bit more interaction so I could root for the two characters some more!



Click was one of my favourites in the anthology. The author creates such authentic and deep characters so quickly that had my heart racing. I loved the concept of online dating – it’s hard to meet people and online dating shouldn’t be shamed. I absolutely adored the twist as well.

I’m not even sure what to say, I loved how the MC was a smart girl and the love interest was a good guy. It just made me feel happy and mushy and the overall message was super sweet.



The Intern was flat as heck for me. There was no climax. There was no moment I rooted for the two characters. Nothing. I felt for the main characters as much I felt for the cast of the new Jumajii movie (nothing).

I’m not too interested in ‘celebrity falls for normal girl and she makes him remember his passion’ trope either, which this fell into it. It really did have that classic love cures all vibe too which I am not down for in the slightest. There was also just no connection between the characters, they didn’t know each other long enough for what concluded.



This particular story featured a transgender (male to female) character. Nia is in quite an accepting environment, with her dad accepting her and her friends. The problem is the church and the schools won’t acknowledge her gender in order for her to use the correct bathrooms. A part of this reason is that a girl in her grade has spoken out against Nia on the news on behalf of her church.

To rectify her choices this girl decides to out herself to her peers, recording it so her conservative parents will 110% see it.

My problem with this particular meet-cute was the fact one girl had to out herself. I just didn’t think she was ready to do so from her inner monologue. Maybe I’m wrong, and I completely understand I may be, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.



Now, this was an interesting concept. I’m not even sure if I can really find the words to accurately describe this story or even give my views. This isn’t a contemporary story like the others, this one is straight up urban fantasy with the inclusion of a thing called a love bond. I’m not even sure if I truly understand the concept to explain it either.
The writing style, however, was beautiful. I loved the characters the author was able to create in the few available pages she had. The story was so engaging and one of the few in the anthology that I didn’t pause while reading. I was simply so involved in what was happening on the page. This was yet another concept I wanted to be extended into a novel so I could truly get a feel for it.



This was one of my favourites in the anthology. It was another f/f romance that left me feeling mushy and wanting to scream. The girls pretend to be CIA and FBI agents in an airport while they wait to board their separate flights. It was honestly nothing too original or too out of the ordinary but the authors writing left me desperately grasping for more once I finished the story. It was such a romantic read that I was shocked it wasn’t extended into a full novel.



This particular story was my favourite. It featured a library-based romance that left my heart racing at the sheer adorableness of it all. I know this story had its flaws, obviously, but from the first page I was grinning ear-to-ear and desperately yearning for more. This was yet another story that could have been a novel, the idea definitely could have extended more than just a few pages and I would not be mad.



I don’t have much to say about this particular excerpt in the anthology apart from boring. The whole story was so analytical that I was left confused at all the jargon. I also just didn’t care as soon as math was mentioned. I am terrible at math and as soon as it’s mentioned in fiction or real life I instantly check out.

I also was not feeling the love connection either. This would have been to the quick changes of scenes. We’d get a few paragraphs about something and then a quick change. It made the whole story feel disconnected and the flow felt extremely off.



I was so excited by this story, we were finally getting a male perspective after all this time. I’m not sure why but I expected more male perspectives. I absolutely loved the concept of having to go to Mars to create new life. However, the conclusion of this story left me feeling unhappy since it wasn’t a happy ending. Who allowed this? I was not okay.

Basically, fuck everyone. This story made me feel things and then ruined me.



This did not go where I thought it was going. Honestly. A celebrity dating show where two girls compete in order to score a date with the celebrity on national TV. How nice. Sounds like my worst nightmare. The two girls competing couldn’t be more different on paper either. However, literally everything goes wrong and the end had me definitely like ‘what?’ It was cute though.



Now, this was the definition of mediocre for me. It read the exact same way as the author’s full-length novels and didn’t exactly vary from the plot line either. It was a very forbidden love like with the twist (if you can call it that) thrown in.

I don’t really have much to say. At one point I got some The Greatest Showman vibes but not really. It was just super mediocre and nothing to brag about.



I think Nicola Yoon works much better for me in a short story format than her novels. I really do enjoy her short stories in the two anthologies I’ve read that feature her. It was super engaging, super messy and just overall reminded me of the concept of More Happy Than Not.

It was just a very interesting story and a pretty fun concept of meeting someone who realises you are over your previous partner.

Happy reading everyone!

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The “Me in Book Characters” tag

I was so excited to be tagged in this original tag! I love the girls over @ Windowsill Books so here I am with the ‘me in book characters‘ tag. Thank you so much for tagging me in this Ash and Lo! I hope you enjoy my answers.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the creators of the tag (Us! Ash & Lo @ Windowsill Books)
  2. Thank whoever tagged you!
  3. List 5 book characters who you are most like and explain why.
  4. Tag your friends!

So, let’s jump into this! I was going to include fanart for each character but some of these characters don’t have any, unfortunately. I highly recommend all these books as well (obviously).

  • Ginny Weasley / Harry Potter

I absolutely adore Ginny Weasley. She is straight up my favourite character in the book universe. Hell, my mum even got me her wand for my 20th birthday. She is such a strong individual who never gives up. I see myself in her because she stayed resilient despite every struggle in her life, whether it be her or family. She never gives up and is not afraid to kick ass. My family say I’m more like Hermione, but I see so much of myself in Ginny that I can’t agree with them.

  • Nesta Archeron / A Court of Thorns and Roses

I’ve been told by countless of my friends that I am similar to Nesta from ACOTAR. At first, I was offended because of how she treats Feyre, but as we got to get to know her over the series I understood. She is fierce and loyal. You don’t mess with her family or her friends or she will come after you. I’m similar. If you do my friends or family wrong they may forgive you but I never will. I will be your worst nightmare. I also see Nesta as someone who doesn’t care for herself as much as she cares for whom she loves, and I believe I’m the same way. I’ve been told more than once that I ‘put my life on hold’ to take care of my mum but I disagree.

  • Julian Blackthorn / The Dark Artifices

Again, another fiercely loyal character. Is there a theme here? I seem to see myself as very loyal. Julian is a character I saw myself in with his struggles. He doesn’t want to ask for help despite the fact he knows he needs it. He knows that he will die under the stress he places on himself but he doesn’t care if he can keep his family innocent. For years my sister and I kept what was happening with our mum a secret. We didn’t want to worry our family or have them on our doorstep taking us away. I just love Julian so much. I am definitely not artistic like him though.

  • Grace Glasser / How To Make A Wish

Grace was basically me in a book. Her struggles with her mum, her personality, her determination. It was difficult to read because I related too much. The only varying factor of the book was our sexualities, this being one of the first f/f books I read. I still find myself reflecting on this book and just how powerful it was for me. The parallels I found between my life and Grace’s have me itching to re-read this.

  • Monty / The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice & Virtue

Yet another character who is fiercely loyal. There is one part of Monty I relate to intensely. That being his reaction when he finds out his best friend has epilepsy. It is incredibly ableist and not the best response, but it was raw and it was real. I finally got to read something I had gone through five years ago and that was so powerful for me.


Honestly, I don’t have anyone to tag for this but please feel free to do it! Tag me in your answers too, I would love to read them and what characters you find yourself present in!

Happy reading everyone!

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Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu | Review

Thank you so much to Penguin Random House Australia for kindly sending me a copy in exchange for honest review. All thoughts are my own. 29749090.jpg

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

Trigger Warnings: abuse, parental abuse (off page but applied), dead parents

Pages: 250

Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.


I read Batman: Nightwalker in one sitting. I went to my mums work to wait for her to finish so I could drive home (I’m a terrible driver so at almost 20 I’m still learning). I pulled out this book and within the two hours I had to sit there I was done. I was done before the two hours were even up. It was so good. I’m not even sure I can tell you how good this book was. I just need you to go click those links below the cover and preorder this now.

You may have either loved or hated Wonder Woman: Warbringer which is okay. If you loved it, you’ll love this addition. If you hated it, you’ll love this edition. Either way, I promise you’ll love this version of Batman. Marie Lu is such a fantastic writer that it is impossible to say otherwise.

But, why did I only give it four stars? Well, I felt the story went by too fast. I really felt it could have done with an extra 50 pages to really help the story across. Don’t get me wrong, I loved how fast this was. But, I was really hoping for more oomph in the ending. I did like the open ending though (wow something I never say). I just really need more. I don’t know if I mean more Bruce Wayne or Marie Lu. Maybe a mixture of both.


Now, my friends, don’t go into this expecting Batman straight up. I did, for some reason. I don’t know why. I really need to read blurbs. Anyway, this is an origin story. It is Marie Lu’s take on how Batman became Batman. Not that that is in the text, but it’s heavily implied.

Most things remain the same as the comics, I guess, with Bruce Wayne’s parents being murdered and him coming into a large sum of money when he turns 18. Which is where this story begins and we really get brought into the impulsive and rash decisions of Bruce Wayne.

Sice this book is really short like seriously 250 pages really weren’t enough, the plot doesn’t stop. It is fast and you aren’t bored for a moment. I found myself so easily sucked into the world that is Bruce Wayne and his friends (though I wish they had gotten more development).

I just really enjoyed this plot. It was in no way what I was expecting but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy myself completely. Marie Lu could write toilet humour and it could be a work of art though.


#B R U C E    W A Y N E 

Bruce Wayne has faced a lot of tragedy in his life for an 18-year-old. With his parents being murdered and having his butler raise him in his parents expensive home you can’t expect him to really be a normal guy. Especially when he comes into his inheritance on his 18th birthday, inheriting a company and his parent’s fortune. Honestly, a problem I wouldn’t mind.

I find Batman in the films to be quite bland. I never quite find him to be relatable or just really that great. Marie Lu’s version of Batman brought me in and made me fall in love. I really can’t put it any other way. She changed my perspective so much and gave her version of the hero. Truly the best version of the hero. A friend of mine screamed at me the whole time I read it in envy, and I’m more so jealous of everyone who gets to read this for the first time.

I’m about to get off tangent, but only Marie Lu could create such an incredible character in 250 pages. I have to keep mentioning that because this book is so short and it both feels it and longer. I don’t even know how to explain it. I was so absorbed in Bruce’s story and his personality. He is caring and compassionate. Only wanting to do his best.


Overall, Batman: Nightwalker has hit my favourites in 2017. I highly recommend picking it up after its release in early 2018. You will not be disappointed. Trust me.

Marie Lu manages to create a character of Batman that follows his typical origin story with her own twist on it. I will be passing this book along to my sister ASAP since she’s a Batman fan. But, even if you’re not like I’m not, you will enjoy this book for the writing and creativity.

Happy reading everyone!

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Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau | Review


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Rating: ★★★★☆

Trigger Warnings: panic attacks, relapse (alcohol), anxiety, parental abuse, alcoholism, and abuse.

Release Date: June 6th, 2017

Pages: 336

Publisher: HarperTeen

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?


Dividing Eden wasn’t really a book I was excited to read. That’s strange to write considering I really enjoyed it. But, I started it at the beginning of the year and put it down. My best friend pushed through and loved it but at that time the concept was lost on me. Now, I fell in love with it.

I was a tad turned off by some of the concepts throughout, but that was purely because of my own life experiences. This is mainly the alcoholism that one of the main characters suffer with. Considering the close perspective we get of both twins through their POV’s it was difficult to read at times.

The concept of this book is what really encaptures me though. A pair of siblings fighting for a throne and neither will win at the end? Since this is a series I figure that last part of that will be made further in the series, for now, I am entrapped with it completely. This book really brings forth familial ties, friendship ties and how your choices can lead to your failure.

It’s a bit difficult to talk about this book in my ramble section because I feel saying too much will give away too many things that happen in this book. I was just completely unable to put this book down despite the fact it did take me a few days to read.


A challenge between siblings for a throne with strange relationships woven into the story is what Dividing Eden is ultimately about. Carys and Andreus are happy to live their lives with their struggles and let their older brother take over the thrown. That is until their older brother and father are murdered leaving the pair to compete in trials to achieve succession to make sure a rival does not gain the throne. However, at the end of these trials, one of the twins will die.

Interwoven into this is the fact that upon the birth of the twins they were informed that Andreus was cursed, his struggles to breathe through his youth highlighted this. It was decided that this would be hidden in order to protect him. So, who really wants a cursed king on the throne?

Honestly, it was really interesting. My only problem was that it took a while to really work into the plot. We get to know the characters until around 40% where this challenge takes off. It also is as if we’re not exactly meant to root for either of the twins. In their own right, they both felt like some kind of anti-hero who would bring doom to Eden.

I’m very excited to see how Joelle Charbonneau continues the plot in the upcoming books. The ending of this particular one leaves many possibilities to come.


#C A R Y S 

Carys really isn’t the ‘typical’ kind of princess either. She isn’t happy to sit around but instead took it upon herself to learn the art of weaponry in order to protect her brother and her kingdom. This gets her in a tad of trouble throughout the course when people wonder why a princess who is meant to have more skill in embroidery has the ability to perfectly kill an assassin.

Carys had to be my favourite of the twins if I had to pick one. I found her struggles and panic to be written well into the narrative. I really enjoyed her perspective and typically groaned when I had to read an Andreus chapter.

Her dedication to her brother was admirable. I have never read a sister who cares more for her siblings than Carys did for Andreus, a character who in my belief really didn’t deserve that dedication.

#A N D R E U S 

Andreus is the definition of a pampered prince. Until the death of his brother, he isn’t really expected to do much. When he is, his sister takes the fall and the beating for him. He is happy to run around the court sleeping his way through the women, including brother’s fiancee.

I definitely hated Andreus. It has been a while since I’ve read a character who was so easily manipulated and, well, terrible. I presume he was meant to be the anti-hero of this book and make us truly try to realise how someone’s personality can change. But, I found him to be a bit daft and want him to die within the trials. The way he treated his sister, especially, pissed me off.

One scenario I need to talk about, I promise this isn’t a big spoiler but if you want to go in knowing nothing skip to my overall section. Andreus is about to screw something up (I can’t remember what) so Carys steps in to make sure she is reprimanded for his actions. She is taken up to a tower and whipped. When she finally goes back to her rooms she expects Andreus to be there to help take care of her, as he always is since it was his fault. This time? He’s not. Where is he? Screwing his dead brother’s fiancee. What a real treat.


Overall, despite my hatred for Andreus I really did enjoy this book. It really helped pull me out of the slump I have been facing since reading Zenith by Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg (review on my blog, it’s a rant). Dividing Eden wasn’t exactly the best book either, so if you do choose to pick this up have low expectations. It was simply a fun and enjoyable read.

Happy reading everyone!

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If you use my Book Depository link I will receive a 5% commission from your order at no expense to you. I would sincerely be grateful if you chose to use it.

The same goes for my Booktopia link, which is a great service for Aus and NZ residents.

Warcross by Marie Lu | ARC Review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: 12th of September 2017.

Pages: 416

Goodreads Review: here

I kindly received and ARC, which I’m beyond thankful for, but all thoughts and opinions remain my own.


I didn’t expect a lot from Warcross. I’m not a gamer. I don’t know anything about gaming or any terminology. The only game I know how to play is Mario Kart (and the Shrek 2 game on X-Box but that was years ago). I mainly wanted to read this because basically everyone on my Goodreads feed couldn’t shut up about it. It was the best thing since sliced bread, from the reviews I was reading.

So I wanted it.

Thankfully, I was given an eARC and let me tell you all, it is worth it. Despite the weird cover that looks like an 8-year-old made it on Microsoft Word, this book is worth your time.

This review will be a little sparse because you need to go into this not knowing anything. This is why for characters I will only be talking about the main character.

P L O T 

I’m not sure why, but I thought the plot was something it really wasn’t. I feel I may have mixed up the plots of another book I had heard of (maybe Ready Player One?) and just figured it was this. So, for a lot of the book, I was expecting my imaginary plot to happen.

Thankfully my imaginary plot in no way compared to this beauty. I was fully involved with this story, unable to stop reading once I had time to truly sit down.

The story follows Emika, a hacker with a criminal record who is struggling to make ends meat. She is drowning in debt, not her own, and is about to be kicked out into the streets when she goes into the virtual reality world that was created. Now, I have no idea how to explain this part but Emi basically hacks into the game and this causes a massive uproar. This is something that has never happened? Thankfully, the creator, Hideo, isn’t made. He instead needs Emi’s help.

I’ll leave it there because I truly can’t even begin to explain the complexity of this plot and how, ultimately, amazing it is.

C H A R A C T E R S 
#E M I  K A    C H E N 
Is a character you can look up to. The girl is kickass and not someone to take shit from anyone. She doesn’t even whine. Something so fucking rare in young adult fiction.
An MC who doesn’t whine? UNHEARD OF. 

SHE ALSO HAS RAINBOW HAIR TOO. Most main characters have blonde, brown or red hair but not Emika. Nope. Rainbow. I was so beyond happy. My best friend in high school used to dye her hair different colours every other month (favouring blue and purple) so it just made me think of happy memories, as dorky as that is.

Ultimately, Emi is one of the best main characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. She has quickly skyrocketed to my favourites, sitting level with Emma Carstairs in the badass category for me.

O V E R A L L 

Overall, this book is so worth your time. There are two reasons it wasn’t a full five stars for me. One was that I got a bit lost during the gaming parts. However, that is all on me and my not understanding. The other is that I guessed something, though the other thing completely blindsided me (what a great lack of information there).

Seriously though, I will be recommending this book to everyone. Gamers or not, this is the book for everyone. Marie Lu is a fantastic author and I need to finish her Legend series ASAP.