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.




The Intimidating TBR Tag

Hi everyone!

Happy weekend. It’s been a crazy week, but hubby and I took Monday off, so I’m excited to have a three day weekend.

I haven’t done a tag in a while, and thought this would be fun. I found this one here. As usual, if you’d like to do the tag, go for it! Let me know so I can read your answers. 😊

1. A book on your TBR pile that you haven’t finished.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. I’m about half way through, but I recently agreed to read and review a couple of books, so I put this one on the back burner so I could focus. I have one more to read and review, and then I’ll be back to this one.

2. A book you just haven’t had the time to read for.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. I’m so mad I haven’t finished this one. I loved the first two, and I can’t wait to find out the end, but I just haven’t had time.

3. A book you haven’t read because it’s a sequel.

I will choose Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo for this one. I’m definitely getting there. I need to write my Six of Crows review.

4. A book you haven’t read because it’s brand new.

I’m going to say Origin by Dan Brown. It’s the newest book on my shelf, so I’m going with it.

5. A book by and author you read previously but didn’t really like.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I’m not really a fan of Divergent, so I’m not sure how much time I really want to dedicate to the other books.

6. A book on your TBR pile that you’re just not in the mood to read.

I guess for this I will go with Gone by Michael Grant. I bought it at a used bookstore, and now I’m just not that excited to read it. I’ll probably read it someday.

7. A book on your TBR pile that you haven’t read because it’s enormous.

I’m really disappointed to say Gemina by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. However, I’ve been listening to the audio book to and from work, and on lunch break, so I’m making time. It’s so good, but it’s also big. Haha.

8. A book on your TBR you bought because of the cover.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I really didn’t need to read the blurb, I just wanted the pretty cover. Haha.

9. The book on your TBR you find the most intimidating.

Creation Basics & Beyond by Various authors at ICR. This one is a science book, and while I’m not really great at science, I really want to dig into it. It’s just intimidating. I’ve read a bit of it, but it takes time for my brain to process in the info.

That’s all I have for you today. What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you enjoy your weekend!



BOOK REVIEW: The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci

Hi everyone!

I was chosen to be an ARC reviewer of Jenna Moreci’s newest novel, The Savior’s Champion (releasing April 24th). I’m super pumped to finally review this one. Enjoy! 😊

*This will be a spoiler free review*

Title: The Savior’sChampion
Author: Jenna Moreci
Release Date: 4/24/18
Genre: Romantic Fantasy Adventure
Catagory: Adult


Tobias Kaya doesn’t care about The Savior. He doesn’t care that She’s the Ruler of the realm or that She purified the land, and he certainly doesn’t care that She’s of age to be married. But when competing for Her hand proves to be his last chance to save his family, he’s forced to make The Savior his priority.

Now Tobias is thrown into the Sovereign’s Tournament with nineteen other men, and each of them is fighting–and killing–for the chance to rule at The Savior’s side. Instantly his world is plagued with violence, treachery, and manipulation, revealing the hidden ugliness of his proud realm. And when his circumstances seem especially dire, he stumbles into an unexpected romance, one that opens him up to unimaginable dangers and darkness.


I was really blown away when I finished reading The Savior’s Champion. It has just enough of everything you’d want in a Romantic Fantasy Adventure. There is this tension that grips you from the first sentence and holds you through the entire novel, only breaking for moments of the tender and beautiful romance, interlaced through the book. I read the majority of this 500 something page book in one day. I could not put it down.

TSC opens with a prologue that left my heart racing and my mind spinning. I know people have mixed feelings about prologues, but this is one that doesn’t info dump, and is still able to set the story up and introduce us to the world. We learn quite a bit about how the world works.

The world building of TSC is incredible. It is interwoven throughout the chapters, mixed in with dialogue, and never slows the plot down. Jenna is able to paint a vivid picture of the world without ever info dumping. It’s such a refreshing thing to read, because sometimes fantasy novels fall prey to this.

Speaking of characters and dialogue, TSC is filled with amazing characters who are all distinct. While this story is told in deep, 3rd person, we are still able to learn so much about all of the other characters in the novel (and there are a lot!). Jenna is a master at developing sound, distinct characters that never feel cookie cutter. The dialogue really helps give us a clear picture of the characters, along with helping build the world of TSC.

The tournament itself was crafter amazingly and kept me guessing the entire time. Jenna has an insane ability to write very intense, thrilling – and sometimes super bloody scenes. The tournament is not for the faint of heart, and Jenna wastes no time revealing that. I felt myself holding my breath during some scenes because they were just so vivid and intense. I loved everything about it.

The romance in this novel is also something I’d like to touch on. There is nothing “instant” or cheap about this romance. It is developed through the entire book, and it is such a healthy and exciting romance to read about. Tobias and his love interest develop feelings over time, and it feels real. There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t shipping them.

The last aspect I’d like to touch on is the main character, Tobias. What an incredible lead. He is intelligent and strong, and he was a refreshing character to read. Of course, he’s clearly a hottie, but he has depth that many MCs lack in books I’ve been reading. I truly enjoyed reading his story and I’m a fan!


I could go on and on about this book, but I’d have to head into spoiler territory and I promised I wouldn’t do that. You will just have to trust me, this book is amazing. From the writing to the characters, TSC has everything I was hoping it would and more.



**Presale Giveaway!!**

Everyone who pre-orders a copy of The Savior’s Champion can enter the giveaway! Each participant will receive the first five chapters. There are a ton of other prizes to be had. Pre-order TSC and enter the give away here!

Buy TSC! (Available in Ebook and Hardback):

Amazon|Amazon UK|Amazon CA|Nook|Kobo

Learn More About Jenna Moreci:

Jenna Moreci is a Silicon Valley native and YouTube sensation, dominating the authortube communities with her straightforward and hilarous writing channel. A lifelong storyteller, Jenna specializes in crafting thrilling adventures with heaping doses of bloodshed and romance.

When she’s not writing or ‘tubing, Jenna enjoys angry music, potent wine, and laughing until her face hurts with her goofball fiance.

Follow Jenna:


I really hope you’ll consider pre-ordering this one, it is definitely worth the money. Can’t wait to hold the hardcover in my hands in April!



BOOK REVIEW: In My Dreams by Cameo Renae

Hi everyone!

Today, I’m reviewing In My Dreams by Cameo Renae! I’m super new to her novels, but when she mentioned on her Facebook page that she was looking for reviewers, I jumped at the chance. I’m really glad I did.

*This will be a spoiler free review.*

In My Dreams:

206 pages
Published: March 15, 2015

The dreams were happening again.
It was something seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Hayes thought she’d outgrown. She didn’t want them anymore; detailed premonitions of how people would die.
One night, Lizzy’s worst nightmare occurs. She dreams of her boyfriend, Michael Young, and soon discovers his car was found in a river, along with his lifeless body.
Confusion settles deep within when Michael appears alive in her dreams. He warns her, attempting to keep her safe from the very person who murdered him.
Awake, Lizzy must pull on her inner strength, not only to save herself, but also her friends whose lives are in danger.
In My Dreams is a story of trust, friendship, courage, and true love that lives beyond the grave.


I went in blind with this one. As mentioned before, this was my first Cameo Renae read, so it was new author territory for me. I am so happy I was able to read this one! It’s a fast paced, intriguing and unique story that I had a hard time putting down.

World-building: The novel is set in Alaska, and while it’s set in a familiar area, the dream sequences are awesome. Cameo Renae has a real talent in describing the dream settings. Michael takes Lizzy to some beautiful places in her dreams, and it’s really great to picture.

Characters: I love when a story makes me care about the characters. It could be a terrible plot (this is not!), but if the characters are relatable, different, and make me feel emotions while reading there story, then I’m so much more invested. I was invested from the beginning. I love Lizzy. She falls a bit prey to the “average girl,” trope, but she made me happy. The story is written in first person, and she spoke like and acted like a 17 year old who had to grow up too fast. She is the most in-depth character in the story, but I think that is due to the first person narrative. We see everyone else through her eyes and don’t get to know them as much. That being said, Michael is a great character and the love he has for Lizzy is beautiful. I shed a few tears reading some of the scenes. Supporting characters like best friend Emily, Tyler, and Lucy were great. They each had a role to play, and were necessary to move the plot forward.

Plot: This is a super unique story, to me. I don’t think I’ve read anything like it, and it was refreshing. It was fast paced, thrilling and heart-wrenching at times. I had a hard time putting this one down.

Negatives: I don’t have much to say that is negative. I think, maybe the lack of depth to characters like Tyler and Emily were a little disappointing, but you got to know them well enough to care about them, and that’s really all a reader can ask for, from supporting characters.

Wrap Up:

This is a great read that I highly recommend! If you enjoy a fast paced, twist and turn, romance, this is your book. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!



Author Links:

Facebook Page

Facebook Group




Buy In My Dreams

If you’ve read In My Dreams, let me know what you thought in the comments.

Have a great Thursday!


Twitter: @jessica_rachow
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The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt

Hi everyone!

Happy Sunday. I hope your weekend is going well. I found this tag here. Once again, I apologize that the picture quality isn’t the best.

Enjoy. 🙂

• Find an author’s name or title with the letter Z in it


• Find a classic

I sadly don’t have any classics on my shelf. 😦

• Find a book with a key on it

I also failed to find a book with a key on it. 😦

• Find something on your bookshelf that’s not a book


These were on my cake for my wedding shower. 🙂

• Find the oldest book on your shelf


• Find a book with a girl on the cover


• Find a book that has an animal in it


• Find a book with a male protagonist


• Find a book with only words on it


• Find a book with illustrations in it


It has maps in it…it’s as close as I could get.

• Find a book with gold lettering


My camera sucks, but this is definitely gold.

• Find a diary (true or fictional)


Not really a diary, but it’s her story.

• Find a book written by someone with a common name (like Smith)


• Find a book that has a closeup of something on it


• Find a book on your shelf that takes place in the earliest time period


I mean, it’s about time travel, so, it kind of works.

• Find a hardcover book without a jacket


Find a teal/turquoise colored book


• Find a book with stars on it


Okay, I cheated a little.

• Find a non-YA book


That’s all I have for you today. If you participate in the tag, be sure to let me know. I’d love to see your answers.


Twitter: @jessica_rachow
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Lies We Keep – Danielle Rose *Release Day Blitz!!*

Title: Lies We Keep

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR


When your soul shatters, how will you pick up the pieces?

Jezebel Tate’s writing career has reached success few experience, but when the light of fame shines too bright, Jezebel is cast back into the shadows, where she’s forced to ask herself what happens when admiration becomes obsession.

James Blakely is running from his past. A broken man haunted by a deadly mistake, James reluctantly accepts a position as Miss Tate’s private security and finds himself a pawn in her game of seduction.

When their worlds collide, Jezebel and James must decide how far they’ll go to escape the sins of their pasts.

Danielle Rose holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. Currently residing in the Midwest, where she spends her days dreaming of warmer temperatures, when she’s not writing, she enjoys pretending she lives in California, spending an embarrassing amount of time at Hobby Lobby, and binge-watching Netflix. Visit Danielle on the Web:

Author Links:










Buy Links:


Check this one out for sure. I’ll have a review up on 12/17, so stay tuned for that.


Twitter: @jessica_rachow
Instagram: @jessica_rachow
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Alter Reach Inspiration Pinterest

How I Read – Tag

Hi Everyone! I hope you’re having a great weekend so far. I’m still not feeling great, but working on Alter Reach, regardless. Slow progress is better than no progress.

I’m doing the How I Read Tag, which I found here.  As always, I tag anyone who would like to participate. Just make sure you let me know so I can read your answers. 🙂

1. How do you find out about new books to read?

Booktube, WordPress reviews, and GoodReads.

2. How did you get into reading?

I missed the Harry Potter train when I was younger (I read them later in life). I wasn’t much of a reader as a kid, though I did always want to write. I didn’t really start reading as much as I do now, until Twilight came around. Then when Hunger Games was released, I really started filling my bookshelf.

3. How has your taste in books changed as you’ve gotten older?

I think my love of reading has increased rather than my taste in books. I’ve always loved Fantasy and Sci-fi, and that hasn’t changed. I will branch out a bit more now that I’m older and read some Contemporary and other genres.

4. How often do you buy books?

I try not to go crazy, but when a book is released or I hear about a book I’m interested in, I tend to buy it.

5. How did you get into Book blogging?

I started this blog to promote myself as an author and create a platform, so when Alter Reach is published, I’ll have some place to start. I enjoy reviewing books, and various other topics, so a blog made sense. I’ve been thinking about a YouTube channel, but that isn’t a solid plan yet.

6. How do you react when you don’t like the end of a book?

Eh. It happens. If it’s a poorly written end, then I tend to avoid that author. If it’s just not how I wanted it to end, then I move on with my life.

7. How often have you taken a sneaky look at the back page of a book to see if it’s a happy ending?

I’ve honestly never done this. I like the suprise of an ending and would be less likely to actually read the book if I knew the ending. (Unless I’m re-reading.)

That’s all I have for you today, back to writing for me. What’s on the agenda for you this weekend? Let me know in the comments.

Just a little house keeping note – I changed my Twitter and Instagram handles to @jessica_rachow. Facebook stayed the same because @jessica_rachow wasn’t available. I did this because I am trying to make my online presence more consistant. When I first started writing Alter Reach, I wasn’t even sure I’d get to the editing stage, let alone consider publishing options. @jessicainspired was just a name that came to me because I was inspired to follow my dreams. Now that I am actually doing that, and I’m thinking about my brand, this change made sense to me. 🙂


Twitter: @jessica_rachow
Instagram: @jessica_rachow
Facebook: @authorjessicarachow



Halloween Book Tag


Before we get started, I just wanted to say thank you so much for the support! You guys are great. If you haven’t already, click here to enter my 100 Followers Giveaway for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

I love this time of year. I was going to wait until tomorrow to post this, but I couldn’t, so in honor of Halloween, I wanted to do a fun tag. I found this one here.

Stay tuned to the end of this post for a photo of my Halloween costume (I didn’t get the best photos from the Halloween party I went to the other night, but you’ll get the idea.)

Favorite Horror Book? 

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I’ve loved every Stephen King book I’ve read, but something about Salem’s Lot stuck with me. 

Scariest moment in a book you’ve read?

I don’t really want to spoil, and I can’t say this is the absolute scariest moment, but there was a scene in The Call by Peadar O’Guilin that made me turn the light on.

Have you dressed up as a book character for Halloween?

No. I tried to be Lara Croft from Tomb Raider once and ended up looking like a mix of Katniss from the Hunger Games and an unknown character from the Walking Dead. Last year, I dressed up as a book nerd though. That was cool.

What do you think your favorite fictional character would dress up as for Halloween?

Good question. Damon from the Vampire Diaries would probably go out as himself, and no one would question it.

What is your favorite type of horror (gore, psychological, etc.)?

I want a good story, and I want to be scared. I’m not a huge gore fan – I find movies like Saw to be unbearable, so you won’t find me watching the new Jigsaw movie. But, as long as there isn’t ridiculous amounts of gore, I’m in.

Recommend some Halloween Reads!

Anything Stephen King. The Call by Peadar O’Guilin is pretty fun so far.

Per usual, I tag anyone who wants to do the tag. Just let me know you did it, so I can read your responses!

Here’s my costume (I might wear this to work tomorrow!):

I love orange, and if I didn’t have a day job, I might just actually do this to my hair. Haha! The rest of the costume wasn’t pictured very well, so I won’t share the photos… but it was a black shirt, orange tutu, black and orange stockings and orange shoes. 😁

Are you dressing up? What will your costume be?

Thank you again for the support. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway. 😊


Twitter: @jessica_rachow
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Hi there, Happy Thursday! I can’t believe October is almost over. It also hasn’t snowed here in NY yet, so I am pleased.

NaNoWriMo is almost here and I’m excited to be challenging myself again. I am not writing anything new, however. This time, my goal is to finish Alter Reach completely so that I can move on to editing. My goal is to have it out sometime mid-2018. *Fingers crossed*

I am very honored and excited to announce that I will be part of a Blog Tour for Watching Glass Shatter by James Cudney! The book is fantastic, definitely pick it up on Amazon. My stop is 11/14, but make sure you check out all the blogs on the tour.

Last, but not least, I am close to 100 followers on this blog. I honestly never expected to get one, so I am beyond excited about it. As soon as I hit 100 followers, I am going to run a giveaway, with a few prizes. Hopefully, the next time I hold a giveaway, the prize will be a copy of Alter Reach, but for now, I have a few fun surprises in store. Stay tuned. 😊


Twitter: @jessica_rachow
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Finally Fall Book Tag!

Hi there!

Happy Wednesday. I wanted to do this tag because I love fall. I found it here.

Quick announcement: I’m almost to 100 followers! That is my first goal of many for this blog, and as soon as I hit 100, I plan to do a giveaway. Stay tuned for that! 😊

Finally Fall Book Tag

1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting!

I’m going to go with Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. The world building in this one is fantastic, and the setting is super vivid!

2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

I’m picking My Story by Elizabeth Smart. Very heavy, written by a very strong woman.

3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

How to Make a Living as a Writing – James Scott Bell

4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

Harry, Ron & Hermione will be a popular answer for this, but I’m going with it because it’s true.

5. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.

The Call by Peadar O’Guilin. Review coming soon, but it’s a creepy one!

6. The days are getting colder: name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

I’m lame. I don’t really have a suggestion for this. Most short stories I’ve read have been creepy, haha.

7. Fall returns every year: name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.

I’ve been wanting to re-read The Hunger Games series.

8. Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favorite cozy reading “accessories”!

Blanket and warm pumpkin spice chai latte. 🙂

As usual, I tag anyone who wants to participate, just let me know so I can read your answers.


Twitter: @jessica_rachow
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