Cover Image: Merged


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Interesting read!

I always love diving into sci-fi books that have a more unique twist to things. Although this is YA it doesn't read super young. The plot does move a little slower than I prefer, but the mystery and whole world was intriguing enough not to annoy me too much.

I recommend this for those that love YA sci-fi.
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This book has a fascinating idea. What happens when you put the mind of a dying genius into a smart sixteen-year-old? I loved how the Nobel prizes were used in this book as subjects; I've never seen another book use them before.

The setting reminded me of The Maze Runner -- teens put into a scientific experiment that might not be what it seemed. It was obvious that the main characters were oblivious and that something was going wrong, but I liked how the book slowly dropped hints rather than reveal it all at once. It kept me guessing.

I felt like there could have been more backstory to the whole Nobel program. Orfyn has a bit, but Lake is just kind of thrown in there. I assume the Nobel program isn't well-known so like, how is it pitched to regular families? Is there a pamphlet explaining the scientific procedure?

The pacing was a bit slow at times, and I did have to take a few breaks to get back into the mindset of reading. The rotating Lake/Orfyn POVs were a bit annoying at first since I could basically always read between the lines of what they were experiencing while they themselves didn't know. Example: As soon as Lake started having memory lapses, I knew she was getting Alzheimer's. HOWEVER, as the mental state of the characters changed, the first person POVs became much more interesting. It was really well-done; there was a clear difference to how the characters were perceiving their situation. Lake especially. The first-person really brought out how Sophie was merging into her.

Although I liked all the characters, Stryker was my favorite. He's a noble leader who knows how to get things done. I'm glad he got a few POVs because he seems like a genuinely ingenious dude. However, we still don't know his real name. Not an important detail but it would've been nice. 

Honestly, the ending alone made me bump this from a 3-star to a 3.5-star. I loved how our main characters' situation was handled. I really like how their meeting was left up to our imagination. Just enough clues were left to piece together how it might go. I didn't really understand the epilogue significance though.

Overall, an interesting stand-alone read. Definitely underrated too; I look forward to future Kroepfl work!
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Merged explores the ethical conundrums of transplanting human consciousness. Teenagers are selected to merge with brilliant, RICH minds after those minds have reached a near end to their natural lives. Their conscious is then merged with the teenager's conscious. It raises the question of how far science can go, and how far science should go. It also raises the concern about the influence of wealth and power. Should the wealthy be able to buy their immortality at the expense of others?

I loved this book and really enjoyed the realistic application of science. It can be a dense read if you don't have a working knowledge of various scientists and artists, but it's an enlightening look into how far science can go.
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I enjoyed parts of this, but at times I was really confused as to what was going on. Also, I feel like the ending was too abrupt. I really enjoyed Lake as a character though. 
The plot was also interesting, but like I said before a little confusing at times.
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Nice and easy to read young adult novel that deals with thought provoking topics such as the Soul, what makes us who we are as a person and what it is to be a good person. Plus a tasty love triangle, some villany and intrigue! 
Good read.
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Merged was a very creative and intriguing book. The concept had me hooked from the start, and all the characters were enjoyable. From slight mystery to creative endeavors, this book was one of my favorites. 

A must read for anyone interested in science, young adult fiction, and unique story lines. 

A special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Merged: a unique novel I couldn't put down

Merged by Jim Kroepfl and Stephanie Kroepfl  ★★★★½

"To be great, you have to follow your own dreams, not someone else's."

I received this e-book from Netgalley. This does not affect my review or opinion. All thoughts are my own and I'm being 100 per cent honest.

I absolutely loved this book. I started reading and was sucked into the world the authors created. Merged kept my attention from the very first page until the last. Not one second did I think the story was getting dull. This is such a unique novel with an absorbing plot. 

The plot was very captivating and unique. I haven't read anything like it before. It was definitely an easy read. I couldn't bring myself to put down the book. While reading Merged, I would get annoyed if someone started talking to me because I just wanted to keep reading. And this is a good thing. The story was action-packed and never once did it get boring. It was fast-paced without becoming confusing. There wasn't a moment where I felt like the story was going too fast and I missed something. The authors Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl made sure they didn't stick too long to one scene, which made the reading go smoothly. They did an amazing job in keeping Merged easy enough to read, which wasn't an easy job since the book involves some scientific talk.

I really enjoyed reading about these sevens characters. They were each their individual self and had great distinctive personalities. What I particularly appreciated was the fact that the main characters Lake and Ofryn weren't assigned to typical gender roles. I love to read a good book about strong women, especially if they're in STEM. Lake is the Nobel for Chemistry and Ofryn is the Nobel for Art. It was nice to see that the main character Lake was so smart. I think this book could set a good example for a lot of girls and boys. This cast also felt very real to me. They all had a lot of personal issues and they weren't perfect. I could relate to a lot of these personas. 

Also another positive thing to note is that there are people of color in Merged. This was a very pleasant surprise. I think a lot of YA books lack important characters who are POC. 

The one thing I didn't like was the love triangle. I didn't care for that element. That's why this book didn't get five stars. I did enjoy a love triangle when I was younger, but now it just makes me roll my eyes a bit. Although I wan't very fond of that aspect, I did like the fact that the authors didn't focus too much on it. The story still was about the Nobels and all the problems they encounter.

I requested this book on Netgalley because of the cover. I mean, look at that. It's truly stunning. I keep staring at it and still can't get enough. 

I know I've read a good book when after finishing it, I'm sad. And I am. I want a sequel to Merged. I want to read more about these characters. The story didn't have a dull moment and was very unique. I really enjoyed reading about these characters and liked the fact that some of them are POC.

Would I recommend it? Yes! I would definitely recommend Merged. I finished the book a couple of days ago and still can't stop thinking about it. That's how much it impacted me. If you love a good YA sci-fi book, you should totally read this one.
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I honestly had my doubts when I picked this up but I surprisingly enjoyed it... a lot.

I must admit, the blurb did confuse me with words such as "Nobels" and "Mentors" and "Merging" but I went in, read the story and came out feeling:

1. Very happy because I genuinely enjoyed the story
2. Sad that the book ended
3. Sad because there's no sequel
4. Genuinely concerned for where humanity (and technology and mad scientists) is going

...and I mean seriously concerned. I would HATE it if the science in this book was our reality today. Just imagine if someone else's consciousness was uploaded into your brain so you can "progress" society. Yikes. In the novel, these people are called Nobels. They are young and talented at a certain skill e.g., chemistry, art, peace, physiology etc. They have been chosen by a group of scientists "The Darwinians" to "merge" with a professional in their area of talent (a Mentor). This unsurprisingly has serious repercussions to all those involved.

We follow the narratives of Lake, the Nobel of Chemistry, Orfyn the Nobel for Art and Stryker the Nobel of Peace as they navigate their merge. All of these kids are looking at ways that they can influence society. Lake is working with her mentor to reverse Alzheimers, Stryker is working with his mentor to stop gun violence and Orfyn is working on a project to make art engage more than with the sense of sight. While they are working on their projects, they discover that their merge isn't quite what it seems...

I found that all of the narratives really worked well together, they all had a different voice which made it easier to differentiate each character's narration. I think I had a special place in my heart for each of the three characters. They all were unique and so clever. I loved getting to know them and I was missing them way before I turned the last page. I would love to see where they all ended up after an ending like that as well as what plans The Darwinians have in the future.

The only issues that I really had was to do with Stryker and the future of Merging. That was kind of skimmed over especially the part where they said they couldn't do a certain procedure yet a week or so later it turned out successfully? I might've been missing something there, I was extremely puzzled at how it could've been accomplished under the circumstances however I do think there are so many threads that the authors could tie up in a sequel. Hopefully it's coming!

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I received an ARC of this from NetGallery to read and review.

	Lake, Orfyn, Stryker, and 4 others are given an unusual option: due to their strength in a specific discipline, they have the chance to merge their consciousness with another person's, a great in that discipline that will be their Mentor. With the help of the Mentor, it's hoped these kids will be able to solve some of the world's biggest problems, like Alzheimer's or gun violence. 

Things get off to a bumpy start, but soon, all 7 Nobels (the gifted kids) are working with their mentors. Lake notices some people spend more time sleeping, to work with their Mentors, and her own Mentor seems a little... off. From there, the kids start to realize that maybe what they signed up for wasn't as great an idea as it seemed.

	At first, I thought this would be like the Tok'Ra in Stargate, or the Trill from Star Trek. It's not like that. They only get to spend time with their Mentor in dreamtime, which was an unusual take on it. 

	While the book changed perspectives every chapter, it's not annoying. It gives a different perspective to the book, which I like. I also really enjoyed Orfyn's love of painting, and how he saw the world and wanted to give it colour. It was one of the better points of view. I think Lake's was the most dynamic, but the most seems to happen to her.

	My only complaint it is felt like the plot moved really slowly until the 80% mark, and then everything happened at once. We see the problems happen, and show up, but progress isn't made until very nearly the end. Then the ending feels kind of rushed, with a lot happening all at once. Since there's no official sequel, the ending isn't a cliffhanger, but rather open to a sequel, most of the book is tied up, but not all. Some of those parts bothered me, and I would have like to see them resolved.
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there’s an utter lack of attention to detail, the book felt as if i was reading an outline and although consequently “things” happened very fast there was no time for me to enjoy anything.

the idea is not bad, i would even say that i haven’t seen it done before and with a lot of work it can become a solid book that i would revisit.
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What drew me in to requesting Merged was the plot/premise. Having super brilliant minds combined with your own sounds cool but it also sounds... intense. It sounds cool but it could easily be a horror movie kind of thing. Merged was somewhere in the middle. 
There are other books it kind of reminded me of, Alive by Scott Sigler and The Host by Stephanie Meyer, but with less aliens. 

Thank you for the opportunity to read and review Merged.
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This is NOT the run of the mill Sci-fi --It's fantastic! The brains of Nobel winners are implanted into young adults so that the research can continue--but the road to experimenting has some big bumps.  You don't want to miss this book if you are a Sci-fi fan!
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Merged by Jim Kroepfl and Stephanie Kroepfl is such a wonderful story to read. I loved reading this story very much it has very strong characters and a wonderful story line. I can not wait to read more form this author and I highly recommend this to all.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGallery
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Seven of the most talented teenagers (16-years old) will become Nobels.  They each have an area they are considered extremely intelligent in, such as Chemistry, Mathematics, even art.  They were given the opportunity to merge their minds with a known genius in the field, who is close to death.  This consciousness is embedded in the mind of these youth, where they can continue their research within the dreamspace.  

This is uncharted territory and there is the potential for many mishaps.  When the mentors try to take control of the minds and bodies of the Nobels, something must be done!

What an interesting concept!  Love the idea of this crazy experiment.  Overall is was executed well.  I feel that it was hard to get to know the characters well, as there was so much happening and a lot of drama.  I would probably give it 4 stars for the concept, but 3 for execution.  I will say I was glad there wasn't going to be a sequel.  

Thank you NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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A well-written YA sci-fi story that is entertaining and easy to read. I would never have known that there were two authors. Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for an ARC egalley.
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Thank you netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This was a decent YA about a group of teens chosen to merge their conscious with brilliant adult minds in the hopes of winning the novel prize and changing the world. Lake and Ofrin experience difficulties connecting with their mentors and this leads to many unanswered questions. A bit stagnate in some parts but overall well written and engaging.
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An unusual concept was what drew me to this title in the first place and I was not disappointed! Fast paced with characters you root for! I think my students will adore this!
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Merged has a well executed premise and an interesting storyline. The characters are well built and may manage to change your views on people in those circumstances. The epilogue leads me to hope for a second book as I would love a second part. The only thing that I personally disliked was the romance but I am sure most readers will find it interesting. The changing of perspectives helped make the story interesting to me as it wasn’t just one character speaking from their point of view. It showed how others viewed each character. It was a good book and I would read another part.
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Merged is basically having a dream with the same people over and over again, not the same dream, just the same person. The company they are under has one too many secrets and secrets cause issues. 

I actually really enjoyed this book and the ending was well written and ended the book perfectly. I always read it on my phone right before bed so it took me a little longer to finish it then it does other books, but was a good book nonetheless.
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A fun read! I didn't know what to expect when I started this one, but I liked the cover, and the blurb sounded fun. I really enjoyed it, though, and am glad I got the chance to read it! I enjoyed the characters, and the story was well written!
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