To intro a bit, these are the new version of “Books I’m Never Reviewing”. I kept feeling like the connotation was that I wasn’t fond of said books, when often, quite the opposite was true. Also, the name was clunky. The bottom line is this: These are considered legitimate reviews by absolutely no one. Why? I don’t feel like it, nor do I have to. But apparently, my ego dictates that I still think you care whether I liked them and/or I feel like shouting about them. And so, I shall.

And wow guys, I have been getting really good at picking books for myself! I really enjoyed all of these, wooooo! Now if I just read more than a handful of non-review books a year, I’d be set!

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James
Published by Walker Books on March 7, 2019
Pages: 352

How far would you go to save those you love?

Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.

Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .

I have read two Lauren James books so far and they were both incredibly awesome. The conclusion, therefore, is that I must read all the Lauren James books. Obviously. Also, what would you do if you were some of the last people on Earth? So thought provoking! So eerie! So delightfully twisty! Really I enjoyed everything about it.

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Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake
Published by Hodder Children's Books on January 8, 2019
Pages: 352

It starts with a plane crash.

There are survivors: a teenage girl and her little brother. They are running from something. But what?

Then the men arrive. They are hunting the girl and boy. And-

And that's all we can tell you ...

This was one of the weirdest books I have ever read in my life. And also somehow one of the best? Like the synopsis says, I can’t tell you much about it, but the entire premise has the potential to be utterly ridiculous but it’s somehow not at all? This book got me right in the feels, and it also features some cool survival stuff and an amazing setting deep in the Alaskan wild. And family bonds! Just read it, yeah?

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Hiro Loves Kite by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Series: Paper Stars #2
Published by Clean Teen Publishing on March 4, 2019
Pages: 300

We offer our wounds and scars. Understanding that’s part of what makes us beautiful.

Nora finally has her beloved sister Frankie back but that’s just the beginning of their struggles. She must now become Kite. A stronger, more independent version of herself. A King. A guardian.

And Kettle has Kite’s heart. She gives it freely. But as he holds it, dear and close like a lost treasure, something holds him back: A feeling that he doesn’t deserve good things. A looming shadow that threatens to separate them. Kettle must accept that he is also Hiro: A Japanese American with every right to happiness and freedom.

Because Hiro loves Kite. And Kite won’t wait forever for him to tell her.

But they’re standing on icy ground. As the leverage they had on Kite’s abusive father wavers and life on the street affects Frankie’s health, the challenges threaten to break their bond.

Snow is gathering at the station doors and doubts are piling high. They must rely on each other. Believe in the magic that got them this far. If they don’t, it’s not just their future in jeopardy but the fates of all the street kids in their care. All the Kings.

Lauren Nicolle Taylor is such an absolute fave of mine. When I heard she had a new book set in the Paper Stars universe, I was stoked. I loved Nora & Kettle with all my heart, and was so glad to revisit these characters! This was really good- maybe not quite as fab as the first, but close. The writing is beautiful, the family connections, friendships, and romance are all amazing. Like if you read N&K, your heart will be really grateful if you pick up the conclusion to their story. Mine sure was!

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The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on February 5, 2019
Pages: 400

“I promise you have never read a story like this.” —Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter

Inception meets True Detective in this science fiction thriller of spellbinding tension and staggering scope that follows a special agent into a savage murder case with grave implications for the fate of mankind...

Shannon Moss is part of a clandestine division within the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. In western Pennsylvania, 1997, she is assigned to solve the murder of a Navy SEAL's family--and to locate his vanished teenage daughter. Though she can't share the information with conventional law enforcement, Moss discovers that the missing SEAL was an astronaut aboard the spaceship U.S.S. Libra—a ship assumed lost to the currents of Deep Time. Moss knows first-hand the mental trauma of time-travel and believes the SEAL's experience with the future has triggered this violence.

Determined to find the missing girl and driven by a troubling connection from her own past, Moss travels ahead in time to explore possible versions of the future, seeking evidence to crack the present-day case. To her horror, the future reveals that it's not only the fate of a family that hinges on her work, for what she witnesses rising over time's horizon and hurtling toward the present is the Terminus: the terrifying and cataclysmic end of humanity itself.

Luminous and unsettling, The Gone World bristles with world-shattering ideas yet remains at its heart an intensely human story.

This book is freaking bananas in the best way possible! It’s trippy, and dark, and messed up, and fine it has a MC named Shannon and it’s set in Pennsylvania so it’s basically my life AU. It blew my mind in the best way possible, though I was a bit disappointed by the end? Like just don’t read the epilogue and you’re golden. I pretty much could not put this book down and I need more like it in my life.

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After the Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson
Published by Allen & Unwin on August 1, 2018
Pages: 330

What happens when the lights go off after what might truly be an end-of-the-world event? How do you stay alive? Who do you trust? How much do you have to sacrifice?'After the Lights Go Out is a terrifying yet hope-filled story of disaster, deceit, love, sacrifice and survival.' - Fleur Ferris

Seventeen-year-old Pru Palmer lives with her twin sisters, Grace and Blythe, and their father, Rick, on the outskirts of an isolated mining community. The Palmers are doomsday preppers. They have a bunker filled with non-perishable food and a year's worth of water. Each of the girls has a 'bug out bag', packed with water purification tablets, protein bars, paracord bracelets and epipens for Pru's anaphylaxis.

One day while Rick is at the mine, the power goes out. At the Palmers' house, and in the town. No one knows why. All communication is cut. It doesn't take long for everything to unravel. In town, supplies run out and people get desperate. The sisters decide to keep their bunker a secret. The world is different; the rules are different. Survival is everything, and family comes first.

This is an interesting one! On one hand, I love post-apocalyptic books, and one set in rural as hell Australia  has me aflutter from the start. The premise itself is fabulous, but a few of the character decisions/developments were a little… questionable, for lack of a better word. While it makes sense that the main character was kind of messed up from having a dad who was a mess of a person and kind of abusive, it didn’t really explain all of the decisions they made- not by a long shot. But, I really thought that it was a great look into how people would/could react at the End of Days, so all in all, I am glad I read it!

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Have you read any of these? Want to? Do you have trouble reading non-review books too? Let’s chat! 

Posted July 18, 2019 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Quasi-Review, Review / 12 Comments

12 responses to “Inarticulate Book Musings: The Few Times I’ve Read Non-Review Books in 2019

  1. I have read ZERO of these, but it’s awesome you had so many highly rated books. Sometimes I really enjoy a quick and to the point review. These are the kind of reviews I write for my non-review books as well. Combined with your rating, they definitely communicate the whole picture for me, and nice use of Clueless gifts.

  2. I have two by Lauren James on my TBR and haven’t read them yet. And after reading your thoughts on The Quiet at the End of the World make that THREE on my TBR. And I am so, so intrigued by Nowhere on Earth. I’m such a fan of short and sweet and totally to the point reviews (says the person who just posted a novel-length review today… ahem).

  3. The Gone World was such a trip. 🙂 It’s like Blake Crouch on acid, if that’s even possible. And After The Lights Went Out- argh! I was so flabbergasted at some of the decisions made in that book haha. although I did love the outback setting. I mean what’s more perfect than the outback for a post apoc?

  4. Argh. Being told “that’s all we can tell you” is like catnip to me. If I were a cat. Which I’m not. So…it’s like chocolate? AND I CAN’T FIND IT. Granted, all I did was click away from this to check my local library and Scribd, so I won’t give up yet.

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