LIFEL1K3 (LIFEL1K3, #1) – Jay Kristoff




On an island junkyard beneath a sky that glows with radiation, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap. Seventeen-year-old Eve isn’t looking for trouble–she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she spent months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, she’s on the local gangster’s wanted list, and the only thing keeping her grandpa alive is the money she just lost to the bookies. Worst of all, she’s discovered she can somehow destroy machines with the power of her mind, and a bunch of puritanical fanatics are building a coffin her size because of it. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it. The problem is, Eve has had a worse day–one that lingers in her nightmares and the cybernetic implant where her memories used to be. Her discovery of a handsome android named Ezekiel–called a “Lifelike” because they resemble humans–will bring her world crashing down and make her question whether her entire life is a lie. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic sidekick Cricket in tow, Eve will trek across deserts of glass, battle unkillable bots, and infiltrate towering megacities to save the ones she loves…and learn the truth about the bloody secrets of her past.


Well that was a rollercoaster ride! LIFEL1K3 is my second venture into reading Jay Kristoff’s books and I. AM. HOOKED. He is becoming one of my favorite authors!

LIFEL1K3 is an epic sci-fi dystopian adventure story full of action and mystery. LIFEL1K3 takes place in a post apocalyptic USA or the Grande Ol’ Yousay as our lead, Eve, refers to it. This future world is a vivid wasteland that is dreary and gritty. It is the perfect setting for this fast paced story. The world is full of robots, scientists, and technology. A large part of the story focuses on the dynamic and power struggle between between robots and humans.

Before I move on, I have to take a moment to point out how stunning Jay’s writing is. It is so incredibly descriptive and imaginative. One perfect example is the scene inside the sea monster. Jay’s writing was so descriptive and vivid that I felt like I was there. I was totally grossed out!! This truly is a testament to Jay’s genius writing.

LIFEL1K3 focuses on Eve Carpenter, a skilled mechanic living in the Dregs. Eve and her bestest, Lemon Fresh, stumble upon a the damaged remains of a Lifelike. Lifelikes are androids that were created by a giant tech company. These androids were created in the image of humans, hence the name lifelike. The story follows Eve, Lemon, their bots, Cricket and Kaiser, and the Lifelike through an action packed journey full of crazy battles, twists, and epic reveals. LIFEL1K3 was so exciting and I truly didn’t know where the story was going to go next!

My favorite part of LIFEL1K3 is the characters. Every single one of our leads is absolutely delightful. I love each of their unique personalities. I love the way Jay incorporates humor into his stories through the characters. However, my absolute favorite part is the friendship between Eve and Lemon. They are each others “bestest” and it is the most beautiful relationship. The only thing I love more than strong female protagonists is strong and supportive female friendships! Their love and support for one another is so pure and I loved every minute. This quote from Eve illustrates their relationship perfectly. . .

  • “She couldn’t help but smile. The ache eased off, just a breath. No matter how bleak it got, how dark the places in her head grew, she’d always have Lemon. She was a rock. Always ready to dole out the sass. It meant more to her than her bestest would ever know.”

LIFEL1K3 is full of twists and turns and the ending is no different. LIFEL1K3 ends with a huge reveal and major cliffhanger! I am so curious where Jay will take the story next! I can’t wait to find out in DEV1AT3!

I wanted to include a couple of beautiful quotes from LIFEL1K3 . . .

  • “Most of them already exist in our computer archives, but there’s nothing quite the same as sitting with a real book in your hands. Breathing in the ink and feeling all those wonderful lives beneath your fingertips. In between the pages, I’m an emperor. An adventurer. A warrior and wanderer. In between the pages I’m not myself — and more myself than in any other place on earth.”
  • “Maybe it was time to acknowledge who she’d been yesterday, and decide who she wanted to be tomorrow.”
  • “Your scars tell who you are. Your skin is the page, and your scars are the ink, telling the story of your life.

I don’t know if this officially counts as a spoiler because in retrospect it was super obvious.

BUT just in case I decided to put it at the end.


It took me WAY too long to realize that the Monrova family was inspired by the Romanovs. Once I realized it I was like COME ON LISA! Ha! I still can’t believe it took me so long to put it together! 😂

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1) – Hafsah Faizal (Advanced Reader Copy)


Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, Hafsah Faizal’s We Hunt the Flame–first in the Sands of Arawiya series–is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya―but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds―and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.


I was super fortunate to receive an advanced reader copy of We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal from Fierce Reads at C2E2! HUGE thank you to Fierce Reads for this amazing arc!


First I have to mention the absolutely gorgeous arc cover of We Hunt the Flame. I love the official release cover, but look at how stunning the arc edition is! I love it so much!

Much like the cover, We Hunt the Flame is a gorgeous masterpiece! We Hunt the Flame is an incredible debut from Hafsah Faizal. I loved everything about this story and I can’t wait to read more from her.

We Hunt the Flame is an epic fantasy adventure full of political intrigue, mystery, a slow-burn romance, and bad ass feminism. It is set in a beautifully created world and narrated by two main characters, Zafira “The Huntress” and Nasir “The Prince of Death.” Both leads are written so well — they each have a history and backstory that shows the reader how they have become the Huntress and the Prince of Death. Faizal was able to do this without information dumping! Zafira and Nasir both experience huge growth and development throughout their journey. They both must confront their emotions, past traumas, and inner demons. The journey changes both for the better which brings them closer. I liked that the change wasn’t immediate or easy. Zafira and Nasir truly had to go on a journey – both physically and emotionally. Side note – the cast of side characters was also so good! Each character was very well done and added to the story.

The story takes place in the world of Arawiya. There is a ton of history and culture in this world, but as I said earlier, it felt natural and not like information dumping. Arawiya is a nation made up of five caliphates (or states). Magic has disappeared from Arawiya and left a curse throughout the land, including the forest of darkness known as the Arz and the island of Sharr. Although it is a place, Sharr was a character on its own. It was all encompassing and had its own personality and desires. I haven’t read a lot of books where the setting/world is an actual character. It really elevated the story and showed how talented Faizal’s writing is.

I can’t get over the writing of We Hunt the Flame. Hafsah Faizal is able to create lyrical, poetic, and enchanting words that flow perfectly together to craft a wholly original story. Faizal’s beautiful writing is incredibly lush and descriptive. This world and setting is super detailed and intricate, but still completely captivating. The intense detail didn’t seem overwhelming and actually added to the beautiful setting. I truly saw the world that Faizal created. I was on the journey with Zafira and Nasir.

My ONLY complaint/suggestion is that a glossary would be nice. I did need to pause to look up some of the Arabic words in order to better understand some scenes.

I can’t say enough good things about We Hunt the Flame. I feel like a lot of YA fantasy blends together lately, but not Hafsah Faizal’s masterpiece. We Hunt the Flame starts off a bit slower, but kept me pulled in the entire time. The ending is full of reveals, twists, and cliffhangers. I cannot wait for the rest of the series!

We Hunt the Flame will be released on May 14th. Fun fact – that’s my birthday! You should all preorder We Hunt the Flame as a birthday present to me 🥳😝

PS: Did you submit your preorder receipt for We Hunt the Flame?! You can receive 5 gorgeous limited edition character cards if you submit your receipt. Here’s the link if you are interested: