July 23, 2018

Abbreviations #61 | Contagion, The Loneliest Girl in the Universe + Beginner's Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions

I’m not a very big science fiction reader (or watcher), but the premise of Contagion was impossible for me to resist. Contagion is about a skeleton crew of skilled individuals who respond to an urgent SOS from a work crew stationed on a distant planet and arrive only to discover the site deserted, the supplies ransacked or rotten and a mountain of dead bodies. It’s up to them to figure out what’s happened… before it’s too late. *insert ominous sounds here* It reminded me of a Doctor Who episode overall, part science fiction, part thriller, part mystery - and this is praise on my part considering how much I love that show! I thought the plot was really strong, particularly with the direction Erin chooses to go in. And I really liked that it kept me turning the pages as I tried to work it all out for myself! There were only two things that prevented me from loving this one even more - the pacing prior to them showing up on the planet (it felt a bit clunky, but then again, it was set-up time so I suppose it makes sense) and the fact that I didn’t particularly connect to any of the point of view characters. I’m still intrigued by the story and how it resolves in this one to pick up the sequel and find out what happens next though! If you’re looking to try a new sci-fi read, or if you’re a fan of Doctor Who or movies like Alien, well, then you might want to give this one a shot.

Contagion by Erin Bowman | Series: Contagion #1 | Publisher: Harper Teen | Publication Date: July 24, 2018 | Source: e-galley downloaded from Edelweiss (Thanks!)

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. I’m fond of space science fiction (which is something I just realized), so that was the primary reason I was interested in checking this one out. Romy Silvers, our main character, was born in space, is in command of the spacecraft she is the sole occupant of and is piloting it on its journey to find a habitable planet. She’s been all alone for years, up until recently when it was announced that a second ship with another human being- a boy - was going to be sent to join her. The story chronicles Romy’s solo journey, as well as the relationship that develops between her and this boy who is on his way across space to join her. The premise really intrigued me, and it played out in a way that was unexpected but satisfying! I liked Romy a lot, which is crucial since majority of this novel is focused on her day-to-day experiences in her spacecraft. (She writes fan fic, which immediately endeared her to me.) It was a story that hooked me right from the start, and while I don’t think it’s the type of story I can reread (since I know what happens), I think it’s definitely worth checking out if you want a YA space sci-fi read.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James | Publisher: Harper Teen | Publication Date: July 3, 2018 | Source: e-galley downloaded from Edelweiss (Thanks!)

If you're in the market for a cute contemporary romance, Beginner's Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions would be a great option! It's about scientist Kaya Rubio, who decides to spearhead "The Boyfriend Experiment" in an attempt to change her single since birth status. While she's certainly decided on the factors and steps, she doesn't quite count on Nero Sison, the owner of the cafe she's frequently at, to get involved and potentially turn her methodology upside down... Honestly, it took me a little while to really get into this one, and a lot of that had to do with the narrative voice. But I was really intrigued by the story set-up, and eventually, I was suckered into it by the characters. I liked Kaya well enough, but honestly, a lot of the secondary characters ended up stealing the show (especially Nero, who I love very much). It was nice to read about a STEM cell heroine; it was even more fun to see all the elements of Filipino culture that were a part of the story too. (Honestly, those family get-togethers? Totally exactly what my own personal experiences are like.) Plus, I was very much invested in the main ship, which is always a good sign for a romance read! I'm glad I finally got the chance to read this one after having it on my TBR for so long, and even happier to be able to say I liked it.

Beginner's Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions by Six de los Reyes | Series: Talking Nerdy #1 | Publisher: Self-published | Publication Date: April 17, 2016 | Source: Owned the Kindle book


  1. Eee, great reviews Alexa :D Yay for enjoying these books. <3 And ahhh. Contagion. I really really liked that one :D I also felt like the beginning was a bit slow, ack, which is why it was a four star for me. But I loved everything on the planet, eee :D Such Aliens feelings. <3

  2. Staying at the Ritz-Carlton cookout menu in Paris was pure luxury.


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