Every day I wake A new body I am in Never my own space
Aiight. Check out this crazy plot. (And before I begin, a quick *squee* fangirl cry because it's D
Every day I wake A new body I am in Never my own space
Aiight. Check out this crazy plot. (And before I begin, a quick *squee* fangirl cry because it's David-freakin'-Leviathan and I love him and feel even more warmth and fuzz and fangirl giddiness because I met him a couple of years ago and he is SUCH an amazing down to earth author which is awesome!)
Now. The plot. "A" wakes up every morning into a different body and "A" exists there for that day, making the decisions of that person for that day. Immediately, you might want to associate it with Meyer's Host, but it's not like that. Not really. Because "A" doesn't get a choice, this is just the normal existence. Also, "A" doesn't interact with the person's body that has been kidnapped. This isn't an ideal existence, obviously, and "A" tries to live by the ideal do no harm, meaning, DON'T MESS UP THAT PERSON'S LIFE THROUGH SOME RASH DECISION.
*whew* Let me tell you, trying to write that paragraph without using a gender was tres difficile. Because, you now, "A" doesn't HAVE a gender. One day "A"'s a girl, the next a boy. (Also, "A" is a self given name).
Interestingly enough, this idea behind gender associations as well as sexual and racial identity is one of the reasons why David (I'm pretending here that David and I are on first name basis terms) wrote the book. That reason alone is one of the reasons why he is such an amazing young adult writer. He gets these notions and then writes books based on these notions for teens who need to spend time thinking about these things. Fantastic!
I have to admit that this would be hands down a five-star book EXCEPT the ending sorta irked me. I mean, sure, I get that this is an incredibly tough premise to wrap it up argh! It bothered me something fierce. (So please, if WHEN you read this find me on twitter @ReadingThruNite so we can chaaattt!)
Bottom line, loved the concept, loved the author, REALLY liked the book.
EVERYONE has been talking about this book for, like, A YEAR now right? 80's driven, game-lovin, science-fiction readin' geeks unite. Essentially. I'mEVERYONE has been talking about this book for, like, A YEAR now right? 80's driven, game-lovin, science-fiction readin' geeks unite. Essentially. I'm seriously one of the few people left to have read/listened/reviewed this book. Aaaand, I remember reading about it publishing week in Entertainment Weekly fully expecting to love it.
Which is probably why loving it failed miserably for me. It's like getting super excited for that fat free frozen yogurt only to realize that yeah, it's GOOD, but it's NOT gourmet ice cream. (What?! I'm hungry okay...) Ready Player One is the froyo of my 2012. It was yum but not delish.
Briefly, because as I said before, if you haven't read it have you been living under a rock?! Wade is our endearing gaming hero in a dysfic world of devastating poverty and virtual reality. When a prominent man in the VR world dies and leaves complete control of the unreal-reality to the winner of a bunch of games, the world goes wild. Imagine, if you will, if Walt Disney died and hid a key to all of the magic in the magical kingdom.
Wade, amongst his best friend and eventual love interest (and remember EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD) seeks out this treasure. Swiftly on their tails is the conglomerate evil corporate entities who salivate power and control.
It's a race again time, oneself, and corporate greed. Adventuresome, yes? Crazy cool 80's reference? Yuppers. Fun times? Mostly.
This was an uphill battle for me. Like a work out really. I even thought that I would quit the book about one third of the way into it and if I wasn't in a position of not having an audio back up for my car trips, I might have.
Ultimately I'm glad that I stayed with it because the end - the whole process - was worth it. I'm not on fandom level with it like so many others, but yeah, it was a fun ride.
The Audio Aspect
I truly don't think that there would have been a better narrator chosen for this book other than Wil Wheaton. How many of you guys remember reading his blog when blogging first became a thing? If there's a cool gadgety geek out there, then Wheaton is the guy. There was nothing distracting about his reading and any lack of personal captivation was not because of him. ...more
Ahhhhhh! I lurrved me this book fiercely. It has been a LONG time since I've found a book that once I started I could literary NOT PUT IT DOWN. A LongAhhhhhh! I lurrved me this book fiercely. It has been a LONG time since I've found a book that once I started I could literary NOT PUT IT DOWN. A Long Long Sleep was that book for me. Seriously. Like, I was even reading it on my IPhone which I never do because it's teeny and I have an IPad to read on but I just had to be able to take this book with me wherever I go.
Do you get it? I mean truly get how hard I loved this book?
Rose is woken up by a kiss (sound like a familiar fairy tale?) and is quite startled. Normally when she's stassing she wakes up to her mom's caress not a strange boy. Startled she begins asking for her mom and her long time best friend and boyfriend Xavier. But because she's been in stasis for so long, her body is weak and she can't run away. Bren, the kissy-boy realizes almost immediately what he's done and who he's kissed. After HIS shock he goes and grabs his grandad to figure out the situation.
Rose has been in stass for decades. Everyone that she once knew has died, and even though her birth certificate would say she's nearly one hundred, her actually life is maybe a junior in high school. Oh yeah, she's also the heir to the world's all-controlling corporation. Bren knows this because his grandad is the second in command.
Most of the book is Rose's process of figuring out this new life and dealing with the loss of the life she left behind. The world is SO different. And one of my all time favorite characters was this alien mix breed who cannot speak but communicates via touch and mind, Otto. He is fascinated with Rose and Rose finds comfort in their communication over the tablet. 
There was an equal amount of time spent on developing the characters and the plot. Someone is out to off Rose and figuring out who is the mystery woven in. And man oh man it was a dagger of a moment. I suspected but it was all no no it can't be.
Other plot twists occurred in the same fashion. I'd THINK something and then find I was kinda off. Best thing ever, in my opinion. A book that can out smart you.
Ooooh, and it doesn't get all romancy. Sure the ending is left open for a possible love triangle (blerg) and the development of a series, but if you just wanted to read this as a stand alone, you could.
 I think why I dug Otto so much is because their relationship was so open on the tablet and then in real life you could see how it was sorta complicated and awkward. Reminded me SO much of my early AOL times chatting it up online the end of my senior year/freshman year of college....more
David first meets Zelda in his house ‘cuz David’s dad is a Big Deal shrink and he believesThe Short of It
Alien love, the next big thing?
The Long of It
David first meets Zelda in his house ‘cuz David’s dad is a Big Deal shrink and he believes having patients in a home-like situation allows them to get a grip on things quicker. (Dr. Dad also shuns the idea of crazy). Zelda is pretty much on lock down. She might have gotten a wee bit violent in a few escape attempts. She is quite clear that she is an alien and has come to France to find her soul mate. David immediately fancies her and her weird ways, so it’s no surprise that when she makes her final escape he offers to help her find her soul mate.
The Thoughts about It
..and because I know your first question is: Is Johnny Depp REALLY a character in this book (1) I’ll answer: Kinda. I mean, not to be terribly evasive, but this was a pretty fun book and a quick read so I wanna keep a lid on certain parts that are more cleverly done and exciting. Sure, the title was what made me order it, and yeah, maybe I didn’t have that many expectations for it being a decent read; but it was, it had romance and mystery and a chase and adventure. What more could you ask for?...more
After reading the Twilight series, The Host reads as though a completely different author wrote it. (I felt this way about Breaking Dawn as well). TheAfter reading the Twilight series, The Host reads as though a completely different author wrote it. (I felt this way about Breaking Dawn as well). The novel has two voices, that of an alien life-form Wanderer, or "Wanda" and human host, Melanie. The conflict of the novel is rather philosophical. Wanderer is an alien life form whose sole purpose is to be a "soul" in the beings on various planets. After living on many planets, she finally takes home on Earth and is placed in the human host, Melanie. Melanie, of course, spends the first part of the story fighting to keep consciousness while Wanderer tries to deny it. Fortunately for Melanie, she is persistent, bombarding Wanderer with images of human emotions, primarily her love for her younger brother Jamie and Jared. Wanderer eventually "wanders" her last time, seeking out Melanie's loved ones and the other rebels who have resisted the alien invasion.
What is most unique about this novel is the difficulty in hating the antagonist. I could empathize with the struggle of both Wanderer and Melanie. Wanderer was not developed to be a heinous villain, nor were the other aliens in their species. She was just existing in the ways that she existed. It is of course, easy to empathize with Melanie. She's the human that has to struggle with this new personality that has taken over hear mind and body. I can understand her animosity and disdain for the creature that has captured her.
Rachel over at American Bibliophile is hosting monthly book discussions (which I'm thrilled about). These are her questions for The Host.
1. Would you classify The Host as a dystopian read? Why or why not? If so, how would you compare it to other dystopian novels?
I struggled with this question. In fact, I read the questions that Rachel came up with even before finishing the novel. I then completed the book on Friday and had to mull over this question again all weekend. Would I classify The Host as a dystopian? I still don't think that I've come up with a convincing answer one way or the other. Here's my struggle: In many ways, I can easily see how someone would immediately refer to the book as dystopian. After all, it is a blatant commentary on humanity. There are many obvious passages where Meyers paints humans as being selfish, violent, and unforgiving. Alternatively, the alien "souls" are the human foils - they are kind, benevolent, cringe against violence, and over all peaceful. It is also mentioned via Wanderer and others that the Souls came to Earth because they viewed it to be too violent and self-destructive. But here's where I'm a bit hesitant on declaring The Host dystopian and closing the book - the Souls were not coming to Earth with the intent of transforming themselves to make the necessary utopian qualities needed to make Earth a better place. What I mean by that is, the Souls were just being who they were. They did not craft a government or creed or create ideals on how life should be led and then follow it. They just existed on Earth as they would have existed on any other planet. Their immediate purpose in life was to find hosts to inhabit. Had we read a chapter of their life on one of the other many planets where Wanderer lived, would we have viewed that as dystopic? Probably not, (1) the other life forms that became hosts did not seem nearly as conscious and aware as humans, thus (2) the souls inhabiting those life forms might not have seen as ghastly. The novel is still a commentary on the human race and perhaps how we treat each other and what changes we need to make. It also poses the question, 'What does it mean to be human' regularly. I just don't know if I'd throw the towel in completely and mark it as dystopian.
2. What do you think Meyer is trying to say about Christianity and religion? What do you think she is trying to say about our society in general?
Maybe I need to re-read the book, maybe I missed some huge obvious symbolism about Christianity and religion. I didn't really catch that as being much of the focus, not nearly as much as Meyers questioning what is human or the ridiculousness of making general all-assuming sterotypes. The illogic of "if I am human and I feel compassion, all humans feel compassion" is no more true than "if the middle east has terrorism, all middle easterns are terrorists" I believe that Myers is fighting against that type of false logic, among other things.
3. A lot of people have speculated that those who liked the Twilight series might not like The Host. Why do you think this is?
The two are definitely on opposites of the spectrum. The Twilight saga was a quick fun read and left very little food for thought. The Host opens the doors for more discussion and internal thoughts. I don't know if all Twilight lovers are going to wrap their heart and soul around The Host as they did with Edward and Bella, but do know that even my students who have read the saga and read The Host were not disappointed. (Some even said they preferred The Host!)
4. Was the ending satisfying for you? Why or why not?
I hated the ending. I really truly was disappointed that everything wrapped itself up in a nice neat little bow. In fact, the ending is the reason why the book was given a "B".
5. Which characters did you find likeable/unlikeable and why?
Even if I didn't care for all of the characters, Meyers did a wonderful job of making me understand them. What more could you ask for as a reader?
6. What overall theme in the book did you relate to most and why? I really liked that this book had philosophical undertones. I wish that I had been reading it with a companion so that I might have stopped at some point and say "Hey, what did you think about this...".
I think that it's important to remember that just because we are human that does not mean we always behave in the most humane way. ...more
Sokay, the world is filled with fairy tale retellings, right? Right. And it seems as though there's just nowhere else authors can take us, so why even
Sokay, the world is filled with fairy tale retellings, right? Right. And it seems as though there's just nowhere else authors can take us, so why even bother. Another right? [. . . ] WRONG. Marrisa Meyer just might get the award for Most Creative Retelling.
Cinder, obvs from the title, is a retelling of Cinderella but THIS Cinderella is a CYBORG. Pretty darn fetching idea for a plot huh? And folks, I LIKED it. Moi! Missus I-don't-read-science-fiction-because-I-find-it-droll truly enjoyed Book One of the Lunar Chronicles. And against my desire to get attached to another series/trilogy, I'm hooked.
Here's the break down - Cinder is a cyborg living in this post-World War IV world where there's a disease (like bubonic plague) attacking the Commonwealth and the Earth is on constant guard against its enemy, the Lunars (from the moon).
Cinder is the town mechanic and lives with her evil step mother who has "custody" of her since her adopted father passed away. She also has two step sisters, Peony and Pearl. In many ways Cinder stays true to the tale Cinderella. There's an upcoming ball that she isn't allowed to attend and a dreamy prince, Kai, who she's quite smitten with. Oh and the lost glass slipper? You're gonna love the twist on that part of the tale.
The plot is quick. Even though it's pretty massive for a YA title, I read it in less than a weekend. I even found my heart racing during some portions of the story. Sure, there's this Big Secret that was easy to figure out right away but it didn't deter from the enjoyment or anticipation of how the other characters were going to figure it out.
The relationship between Cinder and Kai also moseys along. It's not this moment at the ball where everything slows down, their eyes meet, music hums in their ears, and so forth. Rather, they sorta become friends first. Kai slips into the market place because his trusted android needs repairs; Cinder ends up being the mechanic. Then, thru the nasty diseased plague, they come acquainted once again.
Now let me talk science fiction. In this story there's a certain pariah-vibe to cyborgs. This is portrayed in both how the stepmom treats Cinder, but also in the Commonwealth society. In attempts to find a cure for the plague, there's a cyborg draft. and a cyborg should feel honored to essentially donate their life to finding a cure for humans. Of course, my ignorance had to double check that cyborgs ARE humans, but with mechanical- or robotic-sensored parts. So, of course, there's the obvs comparison to our current society and judgments toward people that are viewed less than- (racism, sexism, homophobia - heh, I wanted to say homophobism). In fact, my brain immediately flashed to the history of the Tuskegee experiments.
BUT even more interesting...here I am thinking to myself how cool it would be to have this computer chip like thing in my head that alerts me when I have to much adrenaline going on in my system and to calm down. OR EVEN BETTER...if I needed information about ANYTHING I could just zap up an inside-my-brain-screen that answers my questions. (Sure, right now I can use my Siri on my IPhone 4S, but I can be stealth about it). I'm hoping that if this were to ever be a part of our society that we would treat it as the cool super hero strength that it is. Plug me in baby.
Now back to the story, Cinder ends on a perfect note. We get the Big Secret revealed partially and we know where book two will kinda take us. It closes in this nice partially end-all-be-all tale where sure there's going to be a continuation but I'm not going to be frustrated for the next x-amount of months to find out what happens next. I know I'm going to pick up Book Two and the plot will be a merit within its own right.
Cinder will be published in January of 2012. I highly encourage you to pre-order it or put it on your library's request list. Creative fast-paced good times to be had....more