This is one of my favorite books, and its one of those that remains open-ended and debatable, which I like if done well. A great read for anyone who f...moreThis is one of my favorite books, and its one of those that remains open-ended and debatable, which I like if done well. A great read for anyone who finds religion, gender roles, current affairs, the state of the world and alternate realities interesting.(less)
I read this book as the first in what I intended to be a "best of sci-fi summer," and though I don't know if I will stick to that, this was a good fir...moreI read this book as the first in what I intended to be a "best of sci-fi summer," and though I don't know if I will stick to that, this was a good first book. It is interesting in its use of language, which is not dumbed-down per se, but is simplified to the logical conclusion, full of all those trendy little shortenings of words that keep bastardizing language until it conveys nothing (there is a quote in there somewhere, I think from Jane Austen or Margaret Atwood -- I know, how different could they be -- about the point of language being to obfuscate, not convey, but that is beside the point). This book is all about consumerism taken to extremes, and the lives that creates. The book lulls you with the language and the fast pace, and then Anderson drops these little gems in your lap that make you stop and really think, which is admirable in any book let alone a YA. Really well done and accessible once you get the language down, and worth it if only for the conversations it will provoke. And because I am a quote-freak, here is one of the shorter ones I loved from this book:
"The only thing worse than the thought it may all come tumbling down is the thought that we may go on like this forever."(less)
I am a Margaret Atwood fan, and I am trying to do a "best of sci-fi summer" and I wanted to read this book for the simple fact that she wrote it, but...moreI am a Margaret Atwood fan, and I am trying to do a "best of sci-fi summer" and I wanted to read this book for the simple fact that she wrote it, but didn't think it fit the bill. Fortunately it did (I would have read it anyway), and I liked it more than I expected to. In true Atwood fashion, there is no resolution, no happy -- or unhappy -- ending [Edit: there's a 2nd book, so there is a resolution. Ish.], but there is a lot of thought-provoking material and all-around great writing that just sucks you in. The story is of a man who seems to be the last authentic homo sapiens on Earth, and it switches back and forth between the present and the past events that have gotten him to where he is now. Really interesting ethically and scientifically. (less)
I have read this twice now (once for bookclub), and even though I was more critical this time, and even though I have friends that want to hate on Mey...moreI have read this twice now (once for bookclub), and even though I was more critical this time, and even though I have friends that want to hate on Meyers, I still feel this deserves 5 stars. She really showed insight into human nature in this one, and she raises a lot of questions that go far beyond the book, but she does so smoothly, not beating the reader over the head (too much).(less)
Okay. Let's begin with the fact that I got a digital copy of this early, which -- no, no, no, let's go back farther. Let's begin with the fact that I...moreOkay. Let's begin with the fact that I got a digital copy of this early, which -- no, no, no, let's go back farther. Let's begin with the fact that I met MVS back in November (and I never posted pictures or notes of the rollicking good time that was had by all), and at dinner, she told us about the book she was working on that was due to come out in, oh, 1/2 a year (the tease). It was a YA dystopian novel she says, and then I drifted out a bit, because could she have said anything more up my alley? Maria V. Snyder, she of the series' and the characters that make my book club get really loud and inappropriate and, dare I say, fangirlish, was writing a YA. DYSTOPIAN. NOVEL. She somehow read my dreams.
But I didn't want to get my hopes up. Too 'up', anyway, because that's not fair, and there were all kinds of what ifs. YA dystopia is not her norm -- what if she can't write YA? What if she can't write dystopia? What if I *gulp* hate it.
What if I drive myself crazy with worry slash ineeditnow, when I know damn well that it's going to have her talent and character-driven goodness behind it. Back to the "getting the digital copy" bit, I found it on NetGalley and snagged it for review, and what was I worried about?
All of the things I loved about Snyder's adult books are her in Inside Out. I care about the characters, I see a budding romance, but on a YA level, the writing is super fast paced and catching, and it flows wonderfully. Trella is definitely rootforable, and ya love her even when you want to shake her. There was great tension and edge-of-your-seatness, and the world is fully realized and intriguing, just as her worlds always are. All of this I've come to expect from Snyder. AND there are 2 more good things, which I wasn't expecting. 1 - the beginning had me right from the start. Now, this isn't to say that her beginnings don't generally grab me, because that would be a lie, but they sometimes feel like beginnings to me -- they feel clunkyish or awkward. This was a "plunge right in, sink or swim" beginning, and it worked beautifully. #2 - she shocked me. ME. I'm never surprised by anything that happens in a book. I always see it coming, at least in part, and it's generally a question of how well it's done. But even though I perhaps should have known -- clues were dropped, I'm not an idiot -- she shocked me. I didn't think it could be done. Hats off, Maria.
So I think that's all I can say. I don't want to give anything away, I just want you teased enough that you'll go out and grab this, because trust me, it is well worth it. And then you can sit and wait anxiously with me for the sequel, Outside In. [laughs diabolically:](less)