BOOK REVIEW: Gemina (Illuminae Files 2) by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Hi everyone!

I just finished Gemina and I wanted to write up my review. This has not been a very productive reading year for me so far, but I plan to change that!

*This will be a spoiler free review, BUT if you haven’t read Illuminae yet, I highly advise reading that before reading this review, just in case I unintentionally spoil something from the first book.*

The Illuminae Files #2
659 pages
Published: October 18, 2016
Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.


So, I’m normally a bit pessimistic when it comes to second books in triologies when the first book blows my fricken mind (Illuminae blew me away, read my review here.) I feel like, sometimes second books fall pray to being bridge books for the first and last, and never really have a strong plot or likable characters. This isn’t the case with Gemina.

The layout of this book is similar to Illuminae. It’s written as a collection of emails, chat logs, security footage, etc. It’s so unique and visually appealing, and it provides a really interesting reading experience on its own. I listened to the audiobook while reading along, and I really recommend you do too. The audiobooks for Illuminae and Gemina were so well done – sound effects, unique voices for each character, and so much more. I was really immersed while reading, and it was easy to feel like I was there.

Gemina has two new main characters, Hanna and Nik. At first, it was a bit difficult to warm up to them because I loved Kady and Ezra from Illuminae so much. Once I gave them a shot, I loved Hanna and Nik. Their relationship was much different than Kady and Ezra’s and I loved their dynamic together. Hanna and Nik are both very wity and smart, and I love when two people start off annoyed with each other and build their relationship up to something so meaningful.

Without spoil anything, Aiden is my favorite character so far.

The dialogue in this book is really interesting and it feels real. The characters use a lot of abriveations and “text speech” because they are normally communicating through chat systems. It’s not difficult to understand, it’s just really awesome world building.

I loved the concept and science behind this plot because it seemed to make sense. While some of the lingo seemed over my head, in the end, I understood exactly what was going on and it seemed plausible. Sometimes, sci-fi can feel a bit stretched, but this just didn’t.

This book is full of twists and turns, and just when you think you have it figured out, Gemina blows your mind again.


I love Gemina as much, if not more than, Illuminae. I can’t believe I let it sit on my shelf as long as I did. The third book, Obsidio, is already out and I’m probably starting that as soon as I post this blog. 😊



Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.

What did you think of Gemina? Let me know in the comments.




5 Ways I Deal With Anxiety

Hi everyone!

Happy Friday!! I’m so glad the week is over and the weekend is finally here. I’m sharing with you 5 things I do to deal when I’m anxious.

1. Pray

This is something I’ve really started doing more of lately and it helps me – especially if I’m feeling anxious about work or some other event. I’m not always thrilled with leaving the house, and sometimes praying before I go at least gets me through the door.

2. Write

I’ve mentioned I used to write poetry a lot, and I intend to get back into it because it really helped me get my feelings out. But, any time I’m writing, my anxiety is not an issue. I could be writing a blog post, working on Alter Reach or journaling and it all helps the same.

3. Family

Sometimes just talking with my husband or my Dad really helps keep the anxiety at bay. I don’t even have to talk about whatever is making me anxious, just talking to them helps.

4. Music

I’m sure many people find music helpful. Lately, I’ve been leaning toward Christian music, but I also listen to Lindsey Stirling and other things. It all helps as a distraction.

5. Read

Reading is another form of distraction that helps take my mind off whatever is bugging me. I can get sucked into another world for a while, and just feel good.

Those are 5 things I do to deal with Anxiety. Dob you do anything to help when you’re feeling anxious or stressed? Let me know.

We are watching our niece tonight and tomorrow. The rest of the weekend is mostly relaxing. Are you doing anything fun?

Have a great Friday!



Jessica’s Early Writing (5)

Hi everyone!

Happy Tuesday. I have another early writing post with a fun picture to share too! Enjoy 🙂

I’m going to Disney World. I am going on the King King earthquake.

I’m not sure what the King Kong earthquake was, but I did go to Disney World in 1997. I was about 8 years old.

Sorry this is a bit blurry, but you all know my phone situation, haha. I got this blog post idea when I visited my Dad last weekend. He was cleaning out some stuff and found these – I’m guessing the first card was like a ticket to get into the park and the first visit card was something you were supposed to wear.

And here’s little me with Mickey! 😁

I hope you enjoyed this fun look back into my life. Have you ever visited Disney World?



MOVIE REVIEW: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Hi everyone!

Happy Saturday. Hubby and I watched the new Jumanji movie a few days ago and I wanted to review it!

*This will be a spoiler free review*

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
119 minutes
Director: Jake Kasden
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan
Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game.


Reboots and sequels don’t always turn out quite right. Many times, they just don’t have the magic that the original movie had. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a reboot of the original 1995 Jumanji, and it is surprisingly fun. I still think the first movie had a magic that wasn’t quite captured in the reboot, but it was very close.

Dwayne Johnson plays the video game version of Spencer, a geeky kid who is afraid of his own shadow. When he’s sucked into Jumanji, he ends up in Dwayne Johnson’s body and hillariety ensues as he attempts to get use to being strong and heroic. Dwayne Johnson nailed this part. I was a little worried it would be too cheesy, because I’m so used to seeing him in action movies, but he is really funny in this role.

It’s a lot easier to be brave when you’ve got lives to spare

Kevin Hart plays the video game version of Fridge. In real life, Fridge is the big, muscular football player and he has a very hard time dealing with his small, fragile video game body. Of course, Kevin Hart is used to funny roles, so I had know doubt he would be hilarious in this, but I think he went above and beyond. His overall ability to show his character’s growth was great to watch.

I got a backpack on! You don’t get in water with a backpack, everybody knows that.

I’m not the biggest fan of Jack Black, in general. His movies are not typically high on my “to-watch” list, however he is awesome in this movie. He plays Bethany, and I was in tears from laughter during certain parts that I won’t spoil for you.

NOO! I’m an over-weight middle-aged man!

Karen Jillian plays Martha so well. In real life, Martha is a shy, geeky girl and when she is sucked into Jumanji, she is in the body of Karen Jillian. Watching her transform through out the movie is very funny.

Why am I wearing half a shirt and short shorts in the JUNGLE?

The plot felt very “video game” like, and I really enjoyed the reference of levels and lives to make it really feel like a video game. Some of the special effects were a little silly, but it fit pretty well with the video game theme.


While it isn’t the most jaw-dropping reboot, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is surprisingly good. The cast is perfect in the roles they play, and it makes for a funny, enjoyable film.



What did you think of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle? Let me know in the comments.

Have a great weekend.



Chris Tomlin: Worship Night In America

Hi everyone!

Happy Friday. Hubby and I had a chance to see Chris Tomlin’s Worship Night In America concert. If you’re into Christian music, and you’re unsure who Chris Tomlin is, you’ll know immediately when you hear one of his songs. They are played A LOT on Christian radio (and we even sing some of them in our church).

This was different than any other concert I’ve ever attended. There were no opening acts; Chris Tomlin was joined by Kim Walker-Smith, Matt Maher, Christine D’Clario, Tauren Wells and Pat Barrett. They all sang on the stage st once, each singer taking lead for different songs.

It was a really incredible and powerful night. If you’re interested, I definitely recommend seeing one of these shows.

Again, my phone takes horrible pictures, but you can get an idea. The arena was jam packed. I wish I could go again!

That’s all I have for you today. Do you like Chris Tomlin’s music? What’s your favorite song?



The Superlatives Book Tag

Hi everyone!

Happy Thursday. Today is my Friday because hubby and I took the day off tomorrow. We are going to see Chris Tomlin (Christian singer for those of you who aren’t familiar with him, he is fantastic). I’m super excited, and will probably have pictures to share tomorrow.

Today, I’m doing another book tag because I feel like it. Enjoy 🙂

Most Likely To Be In The Movies: The book that would make the best movie.

I think Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Lani Taylor would be a really cool movie (if done right, of course.)

Biggest drama Queen/King: The most (overly) dramatic book or character.

I’m really trying to be original here, but I’m just going to go with Bella from Twilight to continue to prove my distaste for the book.

Best Dressed: The book with the best cover.

I’m just going to gush over The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci some more. It’s beautiful, and works SO well with the story.

Most Creative: The book with the most unique plot, characters & structure.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. The structure of the book alone makes it super unique, and then the story and characters are like icing on the cake.

Most Popular: The book with the most ratings on GoodReads

I’m going to go ahead and guess that Harry Potter is probably high on the list, if not the highest.

Most Improved: The book that started off slow, but really picked up.

The 5th Wave. I know this book isn’t for everyone, but I really liked it. The reason I picked it as a book that starts off slow is because it starts off kind of difficult to understand with the multiple points of view.

Cutest Couple: Cutest couple in a book.

Avah & Jasik from the Blood War trilogy by Danielle Rose. They are swoon worthy.

Biggest Heartbreaker: The book that broke your heart.

Back in high school, I read this book called The Butterfly Revolution. It had me so upset and infuriated that I remember throwing the book across the room, haha. It is a really great book, but it was upsetting for me then. I’d like to re-read it now and see if it bothers me as much.

I tag you if you want to participate, just let me know if you do. Enjoy your day! 🙂