February 23, 2020

The Life Below Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


The Life Below (The Final Six #2)
Author: Alexandra Monir 
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Release Date: February 18, 2020

Publisher: HarperTeen
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As Naomi lifts off into space and away from a rapidly deteriorating Earth, she watches the world fade away, and along with it Leo, a Final Six contestant she grew close to during training. Leaving Earth behind is hard, but what’s ahead, on Europa, could be worse. The International Space Training Camp continues to hide the truth about what happened to the last group of astronauts who attempted a similar colonization but failed mysteriously. With one shot—at this mission and to Europa—Naomi is determined to find out if there is alien life on Europa before she and her crew get there.

Leo, back on Earth, has been working with renegade scientist Dr. Greta Wagner, who promises to fly him to space where he can essentially latch on to Naomi’s ship. And if Wagner’s hypothesis is right, it isn’t a possibility of coming in contact with extraterrestrial life on Europa—it’s a definite. With Naomi unaware of what awaits, it’s up to Leo to find and warn her and the others.

With all the pieces of their journey finally clicking into place, everything else starts to fall apart. A storm threatens to interfere with Leo’s takeoff, a deadly entity makes itself known to the Final Six, and the questions the ISTC has been avoiding about the previous failed mission get answered in the worst way possible. If the dream was to establish a habitable domain on Europa… the Final Six are about to enter a nightmare.
The Life Below is the fantastic second book in a great young adult science fiction series that will suck readers in from the beginning until the very end. I personally like the genre, and have read other books by the author - which I also liked - but for some reason I was blown away by how much I loved this book. It was as described, but it ended up being so much more. I know that doesn't make much sense, but it's the best way I can describe it. I started reading it not quite expecting to be blown away, but I was immediately drawn into the story line and ended up reading the entire novel in one sitting without stopping. The plot might not have been wholly original, but the author put a lot of personalized touches to make it fresh and different than others I've read. The story line had something for everyone - science fiction, action, mystery, suspense, adventure, and romance.

Two main things about the book really stood out for me. First were the characters. The main characters - Leo and Naomi - were well rounded and complex. They both had intricate personalities, histories, and were incredibly realistic. I connected with each of them almost immediately. Being the two main characters, there's bound to be a romantic aspect to the story, which is what happened here. I normally don't like when that happens because it feels like the romance overshadows the actual plot. I didn't feel that way with these two. I loved watching them meet for the first time and then watching their feelings grow throughout the story. It was sweet and actually made the novel better for me instead of detracting from it. 

The second huge positive was the author choice of writing style. She used the first person point of view, but alternated between Leo and Naomi as narrators. This way, the reader gets to see the story unravel from both perspectives and we get to really know each character on a personal level. That is always a huge bonus for me and this was no exception. I loved learning each of their hopes, dreams, fears, memories, and everything in between. It made them feel all the more realistic to me, which also turns their romance into something more alive and true. Overall, this book went way above any hopes or expectations I had for it and was an explosive second novel in the series. I definitely recommend it for fans of YA, science fiction, contemporary, romance, action/adventure, and space travel.
Alexandra Monir, Iranian-American author and recording artist, has published five novels for young adults, including her popular debut, Timeless. A Barnes & Noble best-seller and one of Amazon’s “Best Books of the Month,” Timeless and its sequel, Timekeeper, have been featured in numerous media outlets and been published in different countries around the world. She followed the duology with Suspicion and The Girl in the Picture, both standalone YA thrillers. Her upcoming science fiction novel, THE FINAL SIX (March 6, 2018) was acquired by HarperCollins and Sony Pictures during the same week, in two major pre-emptive deals.

Alexandra is also a singer/songwriter who often integrates music into her books’ pages. She wrote and recorded three original songs to accompany Timeless and Timekeeper, which were released as the album “The Timeless EP” and distributed by Jimmy Buffett’s record label, Mailboat Records. She also recorded a song that was released with the publication of Suspicion, and is composing a stage musical geared toward Broadway. Her musical roots are deep, as she is the granddaughter of the late Monir Vakili, the foremost Iranian opera singer.

Alexandra Monir is a frequent speaker at middle schools and high schools across the country, and at major events including fan conventions, women’s leadership conferences, and book festivals. She is a member of the Iranian American Women Foundation, an organization near to her heart. Alexandra currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and newborn son. To learn more about Alexandra, visit her online at www.alexandramonir.com.
Win a copy of THE LIFE BELOW by Alexandra Monir (US Only)
Starts: February 18, 2020
Ends: March 3, 2020

a Rafflecopter giveaway 


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