[Blog Tour: Review] Revolution by Jenna Black

Revolution (Replica, #3)Title: Revolution (Replica #3)
Author: Jenna Black
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Goodreads | Tour Stops
Dorothy Hayes claims to be the secret daughter of the recently assassinated Chairman. She also claims that Nate Hayes, the true heir and her supposed brother, was the one who murdered their father.

Nate and his best friend, Nadia Lake, are the only ones who know the truth about what really happened to the Chairman, and more importantly, the truth about Dorothy.

But with Dorothy in power, Nate and Nadia know their days are numbered. They have nowhere to run except the Basement, Paxco's perilous and lawless slums. But Dorothy is far from content with drivine her enemies into hiding.

She wants them dead.

I know that the Replica series is science fiction for the most part, but so many aspects of it fall under the dystopian genre as well. That's why for the most part, I've considered this series as a science fiction - dystopian hybrid. With that being said, I've read (and disliked) a lot of dystopian series over the years, and my main gripe with them is that they never seem to have endings that are both realistic and can provide even a semblance of closure for the characters we've come to know and love. I know that writing 'happy endings' isn't always possible with dystopian series usually focus on wars and revolts, but I just want to know that these characters who've suffered so much - these characters that I've been with every step of the way - are at least on the path to happiness. Not a lot of dystopian novels have been able to pull this off, and truth be told, this is the biggest reason as to why I didn't have that highest of expectations for Revolution. I just wanted a 'good' ending - an ending that wouldn't make me want to scream in frustration, and and ending that would make me glad that I picked up this series.

Well... let me tell you - Revolution wasn't just a book with a good enough ending. It was a book that shattered all my expectations of it, and it had an enrichingly satisfying (albeit incredibly heartbreaking) finish. It was everything I wanted and more.

From the first to the last page, Revolution was just an intense read. It picks up right where Resistance left off - Nadia and Nate, and along with them Kurt, Dante, and Agnes, are now wanted by the government headed by Dorothy, and they have nowhere else to hide but the Basement. From the get go, living in a less than ideal situation - with dirty surroundings and barely enough food to survive is incredibly tough for everyone, but all the more so for Nate, Nadia, and Agnes, all of whom who grew up in affluent lifestyles. Despite their desperation to bring down Dorothy, and for Nate to claim his position as the rightful executive Paxco, everyone has no choice but to hide. After a few choice encounters, and with their meager supplies running out, Kurt decided that they have no choice but to hide out with the Red Death, one of the most powerful gangs in the Basement. Things slow down for a while, but that all changes when Dorothy decides to withhold all resources from the Basement to flush Nate and Nadia out. When this doesn't work, Dorothy ups her game... and decides to bomb the Basement.

Something I really like about Revolution is how Nate, Nadia, Agnes, Kurt, and Dante had to rely on their own wits, their strengths, their plans, and their ideas from beginning to end. This was their battle, and they intended to finish it no matter what. I also appreciated that the book was realistic in the sense that the group never had it easy - there wasn't any political group backing them or anything like that. They weren't the faces of any revolution. Simply put, they knew the truth, and they wanted the world to know it not just so their lives can go back to the normal, but because they want Paxco to be a better place. That was the aim from day one. I also like how our main characters learned to rely on each other. There was never any love lost between Nate and Dante, Nadia and Kurt, and even Nate and Agnes, but they all knew that there was no way that they were going to win this war if they didn't put aside their differences and stand together.

What I like the most about Revolution, and the Replica series as a whole is how thorough the character development is, and with that, how meticulously developed all the relationships are. We were introduced to Nate who was obnoxious and thought the world of himself, and as someone who never took other people into consideration. By Revolution, Nate shows just how able of an Executive he can be - thoughtful and caring. Nadia, at the beginning, thought too much of what other people thought of her, but now, she can let loose and actually do the things not because they are what are expected of her, but because she actually wants to. Agnes is not as sheltered as she was - she's grown into her own skin, she is much more confident, and she's not afraid to say what she thinks. Dante and Kurt even, initially stoic and seemingly cold, learn to rely on other people as well.

I can go on and on about how much I love Nadia (which I'm pretty sure I did in my reviews of Replica and Resistance), but right now, let me take the time to talk about Agnes. I adore Agnes and everything she's brought to the group - she sees things with a different perspective, and there's even a number of times wherein it was her quick-thinking and bravery that saved the others. I love how Agnes slowly and surely blossoms into a confident woman who is not afraid to fight for what's right. Initially, I had no idea why the author would introduce another main character in the middle of the series, but now, I feel so stupid for even questioning her! Agnes has brought so much to the series - she grows so much in such a short span of time, and I admire just how strong of a character she is!

As I've mentioned earlier, the action doesn't let up in Revolution. From the beginning, I was on the edge of my seat, desperate to find out if there's a chance that all the main characters will survive, and whether they can take down Dorothy. There's no moment wherein Black stops peeling back the layers of her characters either - I don't know how she did it, but other than several instances of character growth, we also have action-packed scenes, a properly-paced overall plot, and just the right amount of twists and turns in this book! Believe me when I say that there's nothing missing!

Oh god, and now, let's talk about the ending. I'm not going to lie and say that it's one of those endings that would make you grin non-stop - rather, it's a bittersweet ending... but ultimately, it's still a wonderful ending. A part of you will simply close your eyes at the unfairness of it all, but at the end of the day, the way everything ended seemed inevitable. All important loose ends are tied up, and we get a peek of Paxco post-chaos. We also get a glimpse of the current fates of our main characters. Just writing these words is enough to get me teary-eyed (and it's pretty much known that I bawled big time after finishing Revolution - apparently I'm not done crying yet!) - and while a part of me is sad that the ending wasn't all rainbows and unicorns, I'm glad that is still satisfied me as a reader for the most part. All in all, I can't recommend the Replica series enough.

Rating: 5 Stars

[Guest Post] Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards

Today, I have Natalie D. Richards, author of the just-released Gone Too Far, for a quick guest post. Gone Too Far is one of my most anticipated reads of 2015 (come on - don't tell me that the blurb doesn't pique your interest even just a tiny bit!), and I'm so excited that I have the chance to host Natalie on the blog and help her spread the word about her book!

Gone Too Far

Title: Gone Too Far
Author: Natalie D. Richards
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Goodreads | Natalie's Twitter
Amazon | Apple | BAM | B&N | Chapters | Indiebound

Piper Woods can't wait for the purgatory of senior year to end. She skirts the fringes of high school like a pro until the morning she finds a notebook with mutilated photographs and a list of student sins. She's sure the book is too gruesome to be true, until pretty, popular Stella dies after a sex-tape goes viral. Everyone's sure it's suicide, but Piper remembers Stella's name from the book and begins to suspect something much worse.

Drowning in secrets she doesn't want to keep, Piper's fears are confirmed when she receives an anonymous text message daring her to make things right. All she needs to do is choose a name, the name of someone who deserves to be punished..

Okay, I’m going to be honest, this was the hardest interview I’ve ever had and it was So. Much. Fun. I thought about copping out and going with a bunch of super popular apps, but then I decided I wanted to really think about the stuff she’d love.
And surprise, surprise, I found some incredible apps along the way! My whole family is addicted to the Pottery one! J
So, without further ado, here are the apps that I think would get the most play on Piper’s phone.

1. Instagram
Piper’s a photographer, so I strongly suspect her primary social media outlet is Instagram, because she often sees the world through a lens. Sharing her world through a lens just makes sense to me.
2. Let’s Create! Pottery HD
This game is soooooo relaxing. You make pottery pieces and sell pottery pieces and buy new designs to put on your pottery pieces. Sound boring? Well, explain Minecraft!  ;-) Really, though, it’s super fun and addictive. It’s a different take on an “art” game and a super easy, mindless way to pass time when you’re waiting in line or bored out of your skull. I definitely see her playing this one.
3. Pro Camera 7
Sound boring? Well, if you’re a photographer who wants a better app for your iPhone camera, it isn’t. Piper’s pretty persnickety about her photography gear, so I doubt she’d be happy with the stock camera options on her phone. This isn’t her trusty Nikon, but it’s a step up. 
4.  Global Emergency Overview
Piper’s pretty desperate to move into her future as a photojournalist who documents humanitarian crises around the world. This is an app that provides a comprehensive list of this information. Piper isn’t able to take her camera overseas just yet, but she wants to be informed and aware of what’s happening in the world.
5.  PledgeMusic
Piper tends to avoid all things mainstream, which definitely causes a bit of friction with Nick. It would also steer her toward apps like PledgeMusic where she can discover, follow, and champion new indie musicians. This app is a really cool way to break down those barriers between fans and musicians and I bet Piper and Manny both love it!