Thursday, October 15, 2015

Review: Nirvana (Nirvana Series #1) by J.R. Stewart

When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?

Larissa Kenders lives in a world where the real and the virtual intermingle daily. After the supposed death of her soulmate, Andrew, Larissa is able to find solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world where anything is possible – even visits with Andrew. Although Larissa is told that these meetings are not real, she cannot shake her suspicion that Andrew is indeed alive. When she begins an investigation of Hexagon, the very institution that she has been taught to trust, Larissa uncovers much more than she ever expected and places herself in serious danger. Her biggest challenge, however, remains determining what is real – and what is virtual.

Nirvana is the first instalment in the three-part “Nirvana” series, a fast-paced, page-turning young adult trilogy that combines elements of the romance, mystery, and science fiction genres. This first novel introduces readers to a heroine who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking on an entire government to do so.


I had such high hopes when I picked this one up. I thought that maybe I would be able to get hooked on a new dystopian YA series since I haven't found one that I've fallen in love with in a very long time. Not since The Hunger Games and Divergent. Unfortunately, this was just not one for me. I tried and tried and tried to get into it and I just couldn't. It was an uphill battle that I ended up losing. I had a lot of issues with pretty much everything in this novel.

Right off the bat, I despised the main character, Larissa Kenders. I thought that she was rude as shit and she was super sensitive. Those two traits work for some characters. The author can make a character that way and then prove why they are behaving the way that they do. I'm okay with an asshole character but it needs to be justified. I just didn't think that it was justified in any way. And to be honest, I just really didn't like her. Again, not liking a character can be a great thing. It can make you think or it will put a new spin on what is going on in the book but I just didn't like her because she was a horrible character. 

From the very beginning, this book is a bit hard to follow. You don't really know what the hell is going on until more than halfway through the book. It was super confusing with the reality and virtual stuff. I had a hard time telling what was real and what wasn't. At one point, I was even wondering if this is what the author wanted ... to keep the reader on their toes and wondering what was going on but then I tossed that away as quickly as I thought it because the book itself just didn't read like it was made for a reader. I know, that probably doesn't make any sense ... maybe I can explain. It always seemed like there was some secret code that I wasn't privy to that would help me understand what was going on. For such an in depth book, explanations just weren't there. Creating a dystopian world is probably very difficult but when things aren't explained, it makes it so very frustrating for the reader. And then when the past and present stuff started coming into play ... that was a whole new level of confusion. So you've got past, present, virtual and reality. It was just too damn much. ESPECIALLY, when there wasn't any indication you would be switching and swapping, it would just change from one sentence to the next. 

I think the most frustrating thing is that there are three characters with names that start with K. No big deal, right? Absolutely. It shouldn't have been a big deal but when the book isn't very clear on anything that is going on, having three names that are so similar just adds yet another layer to the confusing, spaghetti bowl of a mess that is going on in this book. 

I won't be picking up the next book in the series and I'll forget this one as soon as I'm done with this review. It's unfortunate when this happens because there was so much potential. It's just too bad.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: November 10th, 2015

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