LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: LIFEL1K3
Jay Kristoff
Series Name: 
YA Sci-Fi
Publication Date: May 29th, 2018
Pages: 398 (Paperback)
Publishers: Allen & Unwin
3 and a half star

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On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.


If you don’t follow me on Insta or my youtube then you may not know, but I have started annotating my books. So for that reason, I can easily find quotes I remember and can easily add them to my reviews. So my reviews from now on will have quotes throughout. Well for books I read physically or eBooks anyway as I can tab & underline real books and highlight on eBooks. Audiobook however are a lot harder unless you are following along in the book at all times.

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Okay, so the writing is the main reason that this book got such a low rating. I HATED this writing. It made it so damn hard to read & this book took me nearly double the time it usually would for a book this size.

First off we have the slang. I’m okay with slang in books BUT it needs to be explained! Don’t just throw words in that we have no idea the meaning of without explaining it! It’s infuriating and you spend more time trying to guess the meaning than concentrating on enjoying the book. One of the main slang words, “Fizzy”  was explained but it wasn’t until past halfway through the book, so I spent over 200 pages have no bloody idea what that word meant.
Then there was the spelling!! So many words were deliberately spelt incorrectly. I guess the author was trying to make it seem that the characters weren’t that educated, I have no clue! But the incorrect spelling really messed with the flow of the book as it just puts you off when reading. Without meaning too I started picking out every one of them and thinking about the incorrect vs correct spelling. It just ruins the flow because you’re unintentionally concentrating on the incorrect spelling of the words than just going with the flow of the book. Books need a good flow!

Here are two examples of the spelling:

My last writing complaint was that the humour, especially Lemon’s, a lot of the time felt forced. There were some actually funny things but the rest of the time it felt like the author was just forcing her to be funny.

My only like about the writing of this book was there were a fair few good quotes thrown in this book.

“…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 a wanderer. In between the pages I’m not myself – and more myself than in any other place on earth.”

Overall the writing was just annoying, made it difficult to read & messed with the flow of the book.

Also, there is the fact that the Australian paperback edition of the book that I have has American English spelling rather than Australian English. Things like this are a pet hate for me. And before anyone makes this comment, yes I know the book is set in America, well Kalifornya, however, would you expect a book set in Japan to only be in Japenese to make it accurate to the book? No, because there would be a Japanese edition, in Japenese & then other editions in other languages. If there is a US edition of a book then it should be in American Eglish, but if there is an Australian Edition, it should be in Australian English..

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I actually really enjoyed the plot of the book. It was very action packed, so you were always on your toes. There were tonnes of twists and turns, so it kept you guessing & most of the time it was unpredictable. There were a couple smaller things I guessed but most of the big plot points were unpredictable to me.

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Firstly I didn’t love the main character, Eve. She was just annoying at times. Besides that I don’t really know why I don’t like her, I just couldn’t connect to her like I did the other characters in the book.

Lemon Fresh, I loved. Even with the forced humour, I talked about in the Writing section. Lemon is funny, sarcastic, loyal and fierce. She is just such an amazing female character and I did mostly enjoy her friendship with Eve.

“I’ve been thinking about what you said,” Lemon declared. “About whether your past makes you what you are. That’s all our memories are, right? The pieces of our yesterdays that make us who we are today?”

“So you’ve had some bad days, no doubt,” Lemon said. “But I figure, instead of letting your yesterdays bring you down, maybe you can concentrate on building some happier memories today. And that way you’ll have them for tomorrow?”

Crick was awesome too. He is sarcastic, a little aggressive at times but relentlessly protective. Well, he tried, 3/4 of the time they didn’t listen to him, but he tried to be the voice of reason.

 “My vocab software lacks the capacity to describe how disgusted I am right now.”


“You know, democracy sounds like a great idea until you spend three minutes with the average voter.”

Also, Kaiser, he doesn’t talk as he is a dog, but I cannot not mention him!! He is precious.

Then there is Ezekiel who is my least favourite of the side characters  Again I can’t really pinpoint why I don’t like him. The romance is the main thing as I simply didn’t care for it. Half the time it feels one-sided, with one person obsessively in love and the other questioning if it really is love or just lust. Also, it felt insta lovey even if it wasn’t. We see the romance in kinda flashbacks of sorts. These flashbacks are skipping through time quickly, so one moment they meet and the next they are in love. So even though I know there was time between then, because I didn’t actually see that development, it felt like insta love.

Lastly, we have Grandpa, Silas. He is a grumpy dying old man but also very caring and loveable.

“How’s the cough? You take your meds? How much you got left?”

“Fine. Yes. Plenty.” Grandpa scowled. “Although I sometimes hear this annoying voice in the back of my head, speaking at me like I was a three-year-old. Is that normal?”

“Eve leaned down and kissed her Grandpa’s cheek. “You know the whole loveable grouch thing? Really working for you.”

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There are parts I really love about this book and parts I really didn’t. Most of the side characters are amazing and the plot was spot on. But the writing just made it so hard for me to absolutely love this book and like I said I didn’t love the MC or the romance.

“Grandpa said it’s always better to be shot at for who you are than hugged for who you aren’t.”

Also Trigger Warnings: Detailed family murder, suicide & suicide attempts, detailed descriptions of someone suffering from Cancer, animal injury & animal death. 

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

There are alternate covers, as you can see below. There will be a ‘*’ next to editions with the gold cover & “+” next to the editions with the red cover.

Book Depository
Paperback   /   Paperback+

Paperback   /   Paperback+   /   Hardcover*

Angus & Robertson
Paperback   /   Paperback+   /   Hardcover*

Amazon (Aus)
Paperback   /   Hardcover*   /   eBook

Alternate Covers:

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis




Purchase any of the books mentioned from Book Depository! World Wide Free Shipping.

Aussie? Want quick shipping? Awesome prices? Want to be able to use AfterPay? Maybe try Booktopia or even Angus & Robertson!


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