Blackout: A Novel - by Marc Elsberg

What if the power went out? What if the power went out in not only your neighborhood, or in your city but in your entire country and then the entire continent? The is the premise of Blackout. Terrorist have infiltrated the electrical grid and all across Europe the power goes out and the power suppliers can't get the electricity back online. It's amazing how much our infrastructure relies on electricity. It is scary to think about what could happen if we lost that one thing, worldwide. It's easy to get annoyed and inconvenienced when we lose power for a few hours or a day.  We get out the candles or go out to dinner and we know in a few hours the electricity will come back on, until it doesn't. This is an interesting thriller with the possibility of an impending apocalypse. One of the things I liked about this book is the main character is not some macho hero that can do impossible things to save the world. The book does jump around a lot from different locations and people and sometimes repeats some of the same themes (food shortages, medicine shortages, transportation issues, price gouging) but overall it is good read and it will leave you with some things to think about.

From the book's blurb:

This is no accident.
This is no act of God.
This is Blackout.

A terrifyingly plausible million-copy selling debut disaster thriller.

When the lights go out one night, no one panics. Not yet. The lights always come back on soon, don't they? Surely it's a glitch, a storm, a malfunction. But something seems strange about this night. Across Europe, controllers watch in disbelief as electrical grids collapse. There is no power, anywhere.
A former hacker and activist, Piero investigates a possible cause of the disaster. The authorities don't believe him, and he soon becomes a prime suspect himself. With the United States now also at risk, Piero goes on the run with Lauren Shannon, a young American CNN reporter based in Paris, desperate to uncover who is behind the attacks. After all, the power doesn't just keep the lights on—it keeps us alive.

I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


The Party - Robyn Harding

It's a sweet sixteen sleepover with the birthday girl and four friends. What could possibly go wrong? Well everything and not in a good way. Hannah's family lives in an upscale neighborhood in San Francisco where it isn't enough to keep up with the Joneses but to surpass them. Most of us have probably known people like this. These are the kind of people that you don't feel sorry for when their life comes crumbling down around them. There are some cringe worthy moments when you know they are going to say or do something they shouldn't. The ending was a little unexpected but it wasn't enough to push this story up another notch. Too many of the characters were not likable and there wasn't anyone worthy of rooting for, no heroes to come and save the day. All in all it was a fast read and enjoyable to a point. Too often the characters kept doing and saying the same things over and over which didn't really move the story along or create any suspense.


From the book's blurb:

In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.

One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.

Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming of age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?

But things do go wrong, horrifically so. After a tragic accident occurs, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah, is exposed.

Harkening to Herman Koch’s The Dinner, Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap, and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, The Party takes us behind the fa├žade of the picture-perfect family, 

exposing the lies, betrayals, and moral lapses that neighbors don’t see—and the secrets that children and parents keep from themselves and each other. 

I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Perfect - by Cecelia Ahern

This is the second and final book in the Flawed dystopian series. I call this book YA light. Like most YA books, the story deals with some kind of social issues. I call it light YA because of the ideas of what it means to be 'perfect' or 'flawed' and what it is to be human can be relatable to most teens without being preachy or overly deep. The book was a fast and easy read and finishes up the two-book series nicely. The books book starts almost where the first book left off and is also told from Celestine's point of view. One thing I would have liked to see more of (from both books) is more dialogue and interaction with other characters. So much of the book is from Celestine's thoughts and not so much from natural dialogue and interaction with other characters. It takes away from some of the build up and leaves little "action." The ending is also predictable. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you enjoy the journey getting there.

From the books blurb:

In Cecelia Ahern's thrilling sequel to Flawed, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or risk her own life to save all Flawed people.

Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine's life has completely fractured--all her freedoms gone.

Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick--the only person she can trust.

But Celestine has a secret--one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing.

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, can she prove that to be human in itself is to be Flawed?

I received an advance copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.