This audio book was so fun! The narrator was SO GOOD. I was not invested at the beginning, but the 2nd half was really interesting, and then that niceThis audio book was so fun! The narrator was SO GOOD. I was not invested at the beginning, but the 2nd half was really interesting, and then that nice, little twist that made me gasp! I'm glad to see the focus of the next book is on Mae. And we get more Nick, of course.
Interest in the book: Ashley at The Bookish Brunette and I talked about reading Blood Red Road for the next Dark Ash's review. I laughed my friggin tuckus off when I started reading it because there is an absence of quotes. I wrote in my book review notes "Ohnoes! Another non-quoter!" You see, when Ashley and I reviewed The Reapers are the Angels, she made it quite clear that she was not feeling the missing quotes. Hence my roaring laughter. I immediately told Ashley and she said Hells to the No. Actually, she used more mature language. Anyway, I decided to continue reading, seeing as how I was already hooked. The absence of quotes is weird but I caught on quickly. This is the 3rd story with a dystopian setting that I've come across that does not use quotes. If anyone can explain the purpose of this, please speak up!
World-building: This world is wicked, and not in a good way. As the cover suggests, the landscape is bleak, dry, dusty, desert. Barren. Saba and her twin brother, Lugh, younger sister, Emi and their pa live in a shack that can barely withstand the dust storms that blow over the landscape. Food is scarce and their future is looking grim. The description of the landscape and the horrid society is absolutely fascinating and equally disgusting. Oh, and there are hellworms, which instantly sent my mind to Tremors. This is pleasingly hilarious, though the hellworms were anything but!
As the story progresses, Saba is forced to leave the comfort of her shack and traipse through the dangerous terrain in search of her brother, who was taken by the King's soldiers. Society has become a shell of its former glory, and people are struggling to survive, which you know turns people into ugly, twisted bastards. The King is introduced and you are not happy to meet him. Not one bit. It seems as though he is using drugs to keep people civilized, so to speak, but you always have your outlaws!
Characters: Saba does. not. play. I hold this chic in high ranks with people like Katsa and Katniss. Her ferocity and will to live are so admirable, though through much of the book you want to knock her on her ass because she is about as stubborn as they get. But if you look closely, you can see some rich growth from start to finish. You have to admire her loyalty and love for her brother, Lugh, but you also want scream at her insensitive and prideful attitude towards everyone else.
Jack. *sigh* From his very first scene, I imagined him as Sawyer from Lost, mainly because of his attitude and hair. It just fits and I'm sticking with it. That being said, I adored him hardcore. He challenged Saba's stubborness, especially when it came to caring for Emi. He reminded Saba that Emi was also her family when all Saba could think of was her brother. Jack also showed vulnerability at the right moments and thus, epic swooning ensued.
NERO! Wow. Who would've thought I would love a nasty ole crow as much as I loved this bird. He was an epic pet who served as so much more for Saba. He was an incredible piece of the story, for me. I am always drawn to animal friends in stories, and the use of a crow as a companion is so unique!
Lasting Impressions: I was really impressed with all of the action, loyalty, passion and terror that was thrown into this story. You are presented with a barren terrain, a foul, cruel society, a chic who don't quit and some serious ass-kicking! Not to mention a ton of girl-power and some damn good romantic tension. All in all, this story was engrossing and terrifying. I am ridiculously excited to see where the author takes the story. We haven't seen the last of Saba. And I cannot wait for some more Jack time! ♥...more
This was NO DOUBT my favorite book in the series so far. It was exciting and entertaining from start to finish. The villain was the best one yet and really gave Gin a run for her money. Plus, lots of characterization and relationship building that turned my heart to mush. Other readers have mentioned that the author's use of recapping events in past books is a turn-off, and this is the first time it actually bored me. I skipped over a few of them. However, I like that the author does this, because for those who had to wait a year between books or who don't read them back-to-back, this can be really helpful.
World-Building: Woooooo, baby! The world keeps on expanding as we are given little details into the history of Gin's family. I really love the insight that we are continuously granted as we learn things right along with Gin, wondering how the details have played a role in her entire existence up to this point. The details about Fletcher in this book were surprising, to me, but I just loved the connections. He harbors secrets at every turn, it seems.
Gin is still hell-bent on bringing down Mab and her empire. Being the mastermind assassin that she is, Gin has remained anonymous, even though she has met Mab face-to-face a few times. We are presented with an entirely new elemental in this book, and she packed a friggin punch! Gin might be a BAMF, but this villain spiced up the action! I admit that having electricity/lightning for an elemental power is awe-inducing, not to mention difficult as hell to beat. But not impossible...
Characters: Gin was on high alert throughout this entire book. She was faced with tasks and enemies she has never had to deal with, and while her repertoire is packed full of kick ass, Gin nearly lost the fight a time or two. She still dishes out her deadliest, and her smart-ass mouth makes me swoon.
"Actually, I think you know all about Jonah’s little bitch, I said. ‘After all, you’re the one fucking him, not me. Tell me, do you just bend over and take it? Or do you have to do all the work? Because McAllister strikes me as being a lazy bastard in bed."
Gin really grew in this book. Her heart is opening to the idea of love, both romantic and otherwise. She has kept her emotions on lock down...
But I'd much rather face a dozen assassins like LaFleur any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings.
...but some sneaky feelings have nestled in and made themselves at home. I truly loved seeing the softer side of her, and I'm so happy that she is experiencing something every person deserves to experience. Owen is continuing to open up his heart to Gin, and there is yet another hot (protected!) sex scene. Yum. Other readers have mentioned that they are unsure about Owen, wondering how trustworthy he really is. I haven't had those thoughts ever, maybe because I'm way too scared of that scenario for Gin. I hope it never comes to fruition.
There are some fun moments with Finn in this book and I am so stoked that he is getting some action! Not that he lacks in that department, but hopefully something more real is in his future. Favorite Quote
"That's why you look so tired, isn't it?" I murmured. "You used up all your magic to find me last night."
Owen shrugged as though it was nothing. But it wasn't nothing to me. Besides Finn and the Deveraux sisters, I couldn't even remember the last time someone had cared enough to come looking for me when I was in trouble. I was so used to being on my own for so long, always being the tough, strong, capable one, that I'd forgotten how nice it felt to have someone else look out for me.
To have someone else care about me.
And just like that, the fragile strings of my feelings for Owen joined together, all the tangled threads wrapping around and weaving their way through my heart. Scary and painful in some ways, but necessary in others too.
Holy smokes! This book was a wild ride of awesome. I knew from the very start that this book would deliver because the very opening chapter sucks you in with a very gripping, horrifying scene. Let me preface by saying that this book is not for the faint of heart, and this very first scene may be extremely disturbing to some. But for me, a twisted, gore-lovin’, sicko – this scene spoke volumes for the disturbing story ahead. I was pleased to read a post-apocalyptic zombie book that was character-driven. This book reminds me a lot of The Walking Dead, with the heavy emphasis on survival and character relationships, and a healthy dose of zombie terror.
I enjoyed examining the two leading ladies, Katie and Jenni. It was interesting to experience how each lady dealt with Hell on earth, and more importantly, how their situation changes them. Jenni goes through the biggest transformation, and while it might seem confusing and irritating to some, all I could think of was the serious psychological symptomology. She starts out in severe shock over the demise of her family and ends up a gun-wielding, back-up-so-I-can-have-a-clear-shot-of-that-zombie-kid wack-a-doo. It was easy to laugh at Jenni, but for me, I just wanted to give her a big hug. She was obviously maladapting to her environment but she was in survival mode, and honestly, who knows how someone would act in this situation! I think we’d all be a bit nuts.
While this book is pretty serious throughout, the author threw us some laughs at just the right moments. Later in the story, you meet Juan, who really shines with his funny personality. My favorite scenes involve Juan and his light-hearted, inappropriate comments.
“Katie is a lesbian, but I don’t think---“
“No, no, dude, they’re together. Everyone knows it.” Juan grinned and nudged him with his elbow. “Too bad they don’t like guys. Maybe they’d invite one of us to have fun, you know, if they liked the ol’ man meat.”
Travis gave Juan a long look. “Man meat? Really?”
Juan is known as the local zombie expert because he’s read The Zombie Survival Guide a few dozen times. Juan soon realizes, in humorous ways, that maybe he doesn’t know as much as he thought.
“They’re breaking all the fucking zombie rules!”
All the secondary characters were glorious and each played an important role in the progression of the story. Jack the German Sheppard made my heart sing with joy. I really loved that the author made him a prominent fixture in the lives of her characters, as his companionship was much needed. Of course there is romance, and while I could have done without it, it didn’t take away from my love of this insane journey of survival and rebuilding....more
Interest in Book: I won this book during ArmchairBEA. I had not even heard of it, but the title and book cover interesteCourtesy of Smash Attack Reads
Interest in Book: I won this book during ArmchairBEA. I had not even heard of it, but the title and book cover interested me so much that I didn't even need to read the synopsis. I'm not sure that I ever did. "And girl created boy..." was surely going to provide some thought-provoking content, and I was right.
World-Building: This book appears to be set in present day, though I thought it was futuristic due to the apparent advances in technology. Terra Spiker owns Spiker Biopharmaceuticals, a multi-billion dollar biotech company. Her scientific teams have cured diseases and are held in high esteem around the scientific community. She is pretty much Queen Bee in the scientific/medical communities and will refuse anything short of that title and respect.
The book opens up with a grisly scene that catapults Evening, Terra's daughter, into a whole lot of reality, and propels the reader right into the story. I LOVE when books open with HOLY SHIT! scenes. When you can grip a reader like that from the beginning, you also have to keep us interested. For the most part, the book did just that. I enjoyed the scientific aspects greatly, especially when science and creationism clash in epic ways. The ramifications and WTFs of this world keep you turning the page! I think my only issue was with the ending, which did not go in a direction I was expecting, and it was all a bit dull for me.
Characters: Being the teenage daughter of "Terror" Spiker has its pros and cons. I'm not sure if Eve would be able to identify any pros at this point in her life, but her mother sure would! She uses her power and influence to remove Eve from the ICU immediately after a horrendous injury. Terra claims her company's technological advances are far better for her daughter's prognosis, and whisks her away to her own hospital in the Spiker Biopharmaceuticals complex. This makes sense if your mom has such resources, but the way Terra reacted during that scene was so cold and scientific. Not at all like a mother would be acting in such a scenario! My antennae went up and I wondered about this woman's real motives from there on out.
Accompanying Eve in the ambulance, since her mother could not fathom being enclosed in a space laden with micro beasties, is Solo, a Spiker employee. Solo is a bit too young to be fully employed by her mother. He's a lackey, given the crap jobs and no one really pays much attention to him. He also lives at the complex, which immediately makes you wonder about his family. He slowly reveals himself to Eve throughout the story and helps her puzzle together some serious reality checks.SERIOUS. It's pretty easy to adore Solo, even though he comes off as less appealing at first. Being who I am, I immediately thought about the causal factors for his actions and words, and by the end of it all, I was cheering for him.
While Eve is recovering in the SB complex, her mother puts her to work: create the perfect man. Of course, she provides Eve with a very advanced technological program in which to carry out this interesting, and entertaining task. Eve names her creation Adam and feels proud of what she has created. She pays great attention to the details - personality traits, intelligence, appearance, biological components like metabolism, prone to acne, diabetes. It was a fascinating look into genetics and really makes you think about what represents perfection to you.
Of course, Eve has absolutely no clue just how important Adam will become in her future...
Lasting Impressions: I enjoy multiple POVs when they are done well, and this book made me happy. It also made me think. Lots of questions about genetic modification, survival of the fittest, creating the perfect human and playing God come to mind. As a society, we are hell bent on perfection, when the sad fact of the matter is, perfection is unattainable because what is perfect to one person is not perfect to another. As a whole, society will never, ever reach perfection because of the vast differences each person embodies.What we should focus more of our energies on is happiness and acceptance. I will never be a size 6. I will never have thin legs. I will never have big eyes. I will never have the IQ of my husband. I will never be as spontaneous as he is, either. I have a bit of a controlling side, think I'm right more than I am, and can be a bit of a firecracker with a sharp tongue. I am ok with this because I have a lot of other things that I am happy with, both physical, mental and emotional. We have to stop searching for the perfect this or that, and start focusing on what we have and how it adds to our lives.
SMASHTASTIC IMPRESSIONS: If you don't know by now that I LOVE THIS SERIES HARDCORE, well, you just haven't been paying aCourtesy of Smash Attack Reads
SMASHTASTIC IMPRESSIONS: If you don't know by now that I LOVE THIS SERIES HARDCORE, well, you just haven't been paying attention! I was wicked excited to see that Thea revisited the numero uno couple of the series, Dragos and Pia, and was freaking out about what they might endure! As always, I am seriously impressed with the writing, imagination and character development in this series. Thea Harrison is a powerhouse in the paranormal romance genre and I really cannot say enough good about her or these books. *flails*
WORLD-BUILDING: Thea Harrison brings us back full circle to issues that were created in the first book of the series. Dragos and the Elves have never been on good terms, and he screwed up whatever hope there was to civility between the two in Dragon Bound. Now, Pia is setting off to make peace with the Elves and try to salvage a sliver of hope. I will be honest in stating that the Elven story line was not as interesting to me as some of the other stories. That is OK because I was in no way giving up on the book, not even close. I enjoyed the last half better than the first half because we had action and characterization was more prominent. While I was a tiny bit confused on the lore and background on the villain in this book, I do love that it is connected to gods and that there seems to be a lot more story line to tell. It definitely got better as the book progressed.
Elsewhere in this world, Dragos is hosting the Sentinel Games to replace lost Sentinels Tiago and Rune, who in previous books, found their HEA and have moved on to be with their mates. Dragos and Rune are not on good terms, due to hot tempers and poor communication, yet Rune and his mate, Carling, really come through for their people in this book. Hot tempers may be prominent among these Alpha men, but they are nothing, if not loyal.
CHARACTERS: It was great being in Pia and Dragos' company again. These two are ridiculously head-over-heels in love with one another, and that is the sole thing that carries them on through the course of the book. Pia and Dragos are tested and push limits with themselves, each other, friends and foes. They may butt heads and fly off the handle, but they never lose focus over what's important, even if that means checking their overwhelming emotions at the door. Having a mate hasn't quite quelled Dragos' hot temper, though not for lack of trying. I love this quote that Pia uses to describe his reaction over an event. Hilarious!
She knew just exactly how Dragos would spell ballistic. It began with a capital I'm going to kill somebody so fucking dead for this, and well, after that point, it didn't matter if you spelled the rest of the word right.
These two really bring the epic into epic romance. They got through a lot in this book. Internal and external struggles that challenge their perspectives and ways of thinking. No matter how hot the fire gets, literally, this couple is there to extinguish the flames. This quote from Dragos just about ripped my heart to itty bitty bits. It's one of the most beautiful passages I've read in a romance novel.
I never stop thinking about you. You're with me everywhere I go, but I miss you when we're apart.
I've already shown you that I will kill for you. I would also die for you.
You make me laugh. You make me happy. You're my miracle and my home. If you as much as twitch, I get a hard-on.
I will always come for you, always want you and always need you.
I can't finish this review without mentioning Eva, Pia's new head guard. These two did not start out on the right foot, but circumstance and alpha bitch attitudes led them down a better path. I frakin LOVED Eva by the end of the book. She has such spunk.
"Beside the point. Being an alpha is much more than kicking someone's ass." Eva grinned. "I watched you order the Lord of the Wyr -The Old Man himself- out of the room, and he went. You don't get more top dog than that. Shit, girl, I damn near genuflected, and I'm not even sure what that word means."
Dragos stretched out on the top of their bed, hands laced behind his head. He was dressed in one of his casual outfits, simple jeans, boots, and a T-shirt. One long leg draped over the side of the bed, his foot planted on the floor as if he had just lain down. His bronze skin looked dark against the white bedspread, and his gold eyes glowed, brilliant and witchy.
Mmmmmm. That is a such an awesome description. Nom....more
Interest in the book: It's Dystopian. Need I say more? Ok, I will. Just for you. The first line of the synopsis - "HumanCourtesy of Smash Attack Reads
Interest in the book: It's Dystopian. Need I say more? Ok, I will. Just for you. The first line of the synopsis - "Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the world’s population." - sucked me in. Engineered organic beings? Oh hells yea! Bring on the science and research and babies that live only days due to a virus that has wiped out most of humanity and creations that turn on their creators. I eat that shit up. And we are questioning what makes us human, what is humanity? Where do I sign up? That, my friends, is WHY I love this genre so damn much.
First Impressions: The year is 2076. Kira, our protagonist, appears confused and saddened and angry. She is a medical intern in the maternity ward, and her emotional output has reached its max. After each baby is ravaged by the RM virus and dies a painful death, Kira slowly loses confidence in saving humanity altogether. If that can't grip you by the lady balls and urge you on the harrowing journey Kira will soon face...well, I guess you just don't have lady balls then. :)
Characters: Kira Walker, 16-year-old medical intern, is what the older generations refer to as "plague babies." In other words, she was too young to remember the Isolation War, a war that brought humanity to its knees. She barely remembers her biological parents, and has been living with an older woman and other teenage girls for some time. Kira is part of the East Meadow community, a small pocket of humans near Manhattan that are trying to survive. Older generations state that plague babies don't remember the horror and terror that came with the Partial uprising, and discount many of their flippant opinions and nonsensical ideas. Kira, however, will not go unheard. She is the catalyst to what becomes an epic fight to save humanity, and the enemies are not always so easily identified.
Marcus, Kira's long-term boyfriend, was a great addition to the story. I really enjoyed his witty remarks and his dedication to Kira. I may have teared up a time or two during their serious talks and more serious decisions. I really enjoyed the realistic feel to their relationship. Xochi, one of Kira's housemates, is a gung-ho chic with enough fire to light a forest ablaze. Jayden, Isolde, Madison, Haru, Nandita and the rest of the characters all left an impression on me.
And then we have Samm. And Samm, my friends, I will leave you to discover.
World-Building: The Partials are bioengineered sentient beings that are part human (with our DNA) and part machine. They look human, can think, feel, reason. They were created in order to win the Isolation War, and eventually, turned on humanity. The Partials created the RM virus that wiped out 99% of the world's population. No baby in the past 11 years has survived the RM virus, and thus, the extinction of humanity is imminent.
The political WTFckery in this book is disturbing and keeps the tensions high and the blood flowing. Not to mention the band of humans, aka The Voice, who disapprove strongly with the new government's laws. Like, for instance, the Hope Act, which is looking to drop the mandatory pregnancy age down to 16. Since, you know, the best way to save humanity is to turn all the women into baby-making factories their entire reproductive lives, no? I mean, looking for a new way to save humanity is stupid and unreasonable and why should we study something different since the last 11 years of doing the same damn thing has turned up nothing useful? Why, Siri, WHY!?
Lasting Impressions: I enjoyed the scientific/medical parts of this book greatly, but I can understand that they may not be exciting for others. They do not overload the story and are extremely important to the plot. All in all, this book is exactly what I look for in this genre. The tons of questions that come tumbling our of Kira's mind into ours are questions that I would also ask myself, should I find myself in this bleak, desolate, hopeless environment. I was backhanded by the action, gasping at the treachery and discoveries and yes, my jaw made nice with the floor near the end. And I swooned. Not for any one person romantically, but for their PASSION. And their spirit, courage and HUMANITY. And lastly, this book ends with a seriously good entry into the next book. We now know Kira's next move and I cannot wait for Fragments!
"Well, thanks for not shooting anyone, I guess," said Marcus. "My contribution was to somehow refrain from peeing myself. You can thank me later."
Interest in Book: I read Jeff Hirsch's The Eleventh Plague and found it to be entertaining, but I had issues really connecting to the characters. That being said, I loved the world-building and themes in the book, and enjoyed the writing. Once I read the synopsis for Magisterium, I knew I wanted to read it and hoped for more in terms of character connections. Plus, I really had to find out what was on the other side of that fence, and I desperately wanted to know who the creepy Charlize-Theron-Evil-Queen character was on the cover. The cover is just incredible!
World-Building: Holy Awesome, Batman! I was immersed in this world when the characters finally take a trip across the invisible divide. The two worlds, or realities, are extremely different in every sense of the imagination. The modern-day world is the one Glenn has been growing up in, but on the other side of the Rift, reality is far different. Once she crosses the fence, Glenn is presented with magic and mystery and creatures and mayhem. I ate it up! I loved how starkly different both realities are, and how instantaneous the change was once you crossed the barrier. And this obviously caused issues for the characters. You see, Affinity, or magic, does not work once you cross the Rift. The same goes for technology. Problematic, or life-saving, when you are being chased down by power-hungry loons!
Characters: It was very hard to not like the characters in this book, and for that, I am grateful. Glenn was easy to like. She had hardship but her resiliency has led her towards a bright future. She is very studious, intelligent, and curious. She possess morals and seeks proof in her world, as any scientist would. Her father, a brilliant scientist, has lost himself in his work since her mother's disappearance many years ago. Due to her father's influence, Glenn relies on technology and proof to shape her world. None of this magic hocus pocus stuff appeals to her, though her geeky best-friend, Kevin, teases her about the possibility of such things. Kevin was a good, loyal friend, and as you can easily guess, there are some romantic tension between the two.
I was quickly interested in the creature Aamon, who we meet once Glenn crosses the Rift. He appeared very protective and interested in Glenn's well-being, but I always wondered where his loyalties lie. I think his character was the biggest surprise of all, one I was not expecting! Opal Whitley was another interesting character that really grabbed my attention. The reader's first encounter with her is eerie, but she soon morphs into a very useful character. And then, of course, we have the Magistra, the evil entity that is the driving force of this story. The scene where the reader first meets her will blow you away. Just think of that book cover in real-time. It was like out of a movie. I re-read it a few times because it was truly magnificent and eerie to experience.
Lasting Impressions: Bravo, Mr. Hirsch. This was a home run for me. I was engrossed in the story and a few scenes on the magical side of the rift were truly breathtaking to experience. The pacing was great and the descriptions were fantastic. The idea of having two realities side-by-side, so very different from one another but also so dependent on and threatened by the other, was a fantastic idea and all the intricate pieces were woven together well.
If you love magic, alternate realities, great world-building, eerie and intriguing characters, give Magisterium a go!...more
I requested this book from Scholastic because I loved the premise. I have a soft spot for refugees. Sprinkle in some fanCourtesy of Smash Attack Reads
I requested this book from Scholastic because I loved the premise. I have a soft spot for refugees. Sprinkle in some fantasy and you’ve got my interest. I clearly remember reading the first few pages and scratching my head. I struggled with the language and writing, and after books like Blood Red Road and The Reapers are the Angels, I figure I'm pretty adaptable to weird ass language and writing styles. I read about 50 pages and put it down for a few weeks. I picked it up again and started to become more interested in the story, but again, the writing was hindering my enjoyment. Also, I started to realize that I was not connecting to the characters because of this jumbled writing. That is why I chose not to pick the book up for a 3rd time.
Now, I have to mention something great about the book that makes me sad for not continuing it. I was really enjoying the world-building, though it was hard to figure it all out. Above is above ground, the city, and these refugees are all “different” physically or otherwise, and live below in Safe. Something tragic occurs that leads to a swift evacuation from Safe to Above, where is very unsafe for these unique individuals. The villain that is so briefly introduced was scarier than hell, too, but once the story moves to Above, I started to become bored. I wish I could continue the story to see this world expand and more of the villain, but alas, I’ve chosen to DNF this book because the connection is nonexistent and the language of the characters is just too irritating to follow....more
I have busted my John Green...I have broken John Green ground, finally! Thank you to everyone who voted for this book during my April book poll. As diI have busted my John Green...I have broken John Green ground, finally! Thank you to everyone who voted for this book during my April book poll. As difficult as this book was, I thank you all for giving me the push to finally dive in. I am happy to have finally experienced John Green's brilliance. He certainly knows how to tell a story, and more importantly, how to write characters.
Hazel and Augustus. I am not even sure what to say about these two characters that would prove the magnitude of their presence and spirit in this book. Both are afflicted with different types of cancers, in different stages and with different outcomes. Both have been through utter hell and continue to experience the physical and emotional pain and suffering of terminal illness. However, there are times where I would not have even remembered they were sick, had it not been for Hazel's need for oxygen and Augustus' limp. When they found one another, they both started to truly live again. And live they did. They had big moments and small moments and glorious moments and devastating moments. But they experienced them all together, basking in the glow of their new found love and respect. That "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health" marriage vow was never more apparent in any story than it was with Hazel and Augustus. And they were teenagers who were not married, nor thinking about it. There was just so much truth and honesty inside them both that it burst out to envelop the other. Not to mention, they were like two peas in a pod. It's definitely hard to put into words the perfect imperfection these two characters were together.
And I just have to talk about Augustus all by his onesies. This young man was AH-mazing. He was full of lust for life, and despite his illness, lived life to the absolute fullest. Never once did I see negativity or pessimism cross this young man's thoughts. He was romantic and nerdy and fun. He was also very compassionate and humble. This guy had it all, and I will never forget what a beautiful character he is, and how much he made my heart smile in this book.
This book was much more than a book about kids with cancer. It was about living life and taking risks and being in love and exploring the world and enjoying beauty and the inner strength people can muster when life hands them a basket full of lemons. Believe it or not, I did not ugly cry. My eyes teared up, and I put the book down numerous times to gather myself, but I did not sob myself to sleep. I held on tightly to the beauty of the character's life-altering experiences, and it got me through the book. I am really happy that I've been digging my heels into YA contemporary books more than I ever have. There are some incredible gems out there and I look forward to reading all of John Green's work. Favorite Scene
“May I see you again?" he asked. There was an endearing nervousness in his voice.
I smiled. "Sure."
"Tomorrow?" he asked.
"Patience, grasshopper," I counseled. "You don't want to seem overeager.
"Right, that's why I said tomorrow," he said. "I want to see you again tonight. But I'm willing to wait all night and much of tomorrow." I rolled my eyes. "I'm serious," he said.
"You don't even know me," I said. I grabbed the book from the center console. "How about I call you when I finish this?"
"But you don't even have my phone number," he said.
"I strongly suspect you wrote it in this book."
He broke out into that goofy smile. "And you say we don't know each other."
I FINALLY finished this book. Babies sure can put a damper on your reading time!
This book was great. It kept me interested and engaged. I LOVED the wrI FINALLY finished this book. Babies sure can put a damper on your reading time!
This book was great. It kept me interested and engaged. I LOVED the writing style and how we get the perspective of both characters. It was exciting until the very end, which I thought was kinda lame. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to read into the ending more and I just didn't get it, but it fell flat for me. Regardless, the book was quite entertaining....more
Smashtastic Entertainment Quickie:Another great installment into the fun, mysterious, spooky world of Clarity Fern!
Interest in the book: I adored Clarity. I love the simple, snarky, to-the-point voice Kim Harrington has given Clarity. It is a lot fun to experience the world through Clare's eyes.
Characters: Kim Harrington keeps Clare firmly nestled in her touristy Cape Cod town (though her mother comes quite close to changing this), but Clarity is anything but comfortable. Clare's world was turned upside down in Clarity, so she seems a bit more apprehensive and tentative in this book. However, her need to help others is as strong as ever, and she puts herself out there. Being that her natural talents turned her into a town hero in book one, Clarity is experiencing some newly unwanted popularity. I think Clarity would rather stick pins in her eyes then be thrust into the limelight, but she handles it with outward grace, even though internally, she is a tsunami.
Clare's relationship with her brother, Perry, is just beautiful. Perry has difficulty acclimating to life after his negative experiences in Clarity, and Clare is quite observant, catches on and wants to help him in any way she can. Perry isn't the easiest person to love during this tumultuous time in his life, but Clare puts on her big-girl panties and remains a solid foundation for her brother. ♥
GABRIEL! OMG! I forgot how much I adore this guy. Clare is in quite the pickle trying to figure out if she wants to rekindle the relationship with her first love, Justin, or embark on new experiences with Gabriel. Gabriel always came across as more mature and invested, and it was easy to see that Justin and Clare definitely have some differences in who they are and what they want in this installment. Not to say that Justin is wrong for Clare. They have history, and certain events are brought to light that once tarnished their relationship. I have to say, I was impressed with the time and thought Clare put into her decision. She is definitely more mature and level-headed than your typical teenager.
Lasting Impressions: The mystery in this book brought the spook factor, but it seemed a bit easier to piece together. I enjoyed Clare's internal struggles when she was dealing with the popular girls who once ridiculed her, and are now inviting her to parties and lunch gatherings. I also enjoyed Clare's compassionate attitude towards an outcast in school. She befriends this person with ease, though she constantly questions her friendly motives. All in all, a fine installment in the series.
I enjoy this series because they are easy and quick to read, with likable, real characters and a fun, mysterious plots.
"Welcome to Lorelei's." A saleslady glided up to us. She had white foundation pancaked skin, and went heavy on the eyeliner and red lipstick. She wore a corset that barely contained...I'm gonna say it...her swelling bosom. If she had to sneeze, I was covering my eyes because even a slight cough could pop one of those suckers free.
Interest in the book: Any time the new Scholastic catalog is released, I jump at the chance to read any of their titles that have a dystopian or post-apocalyptic setting. I especially loved the idea of Empty, as it poses some really good questions on how the heck life would go on without fossil fuels. Society relies so much on these nonrenewable resources, and it’s downright scary to think about what life would be like if we run out. The author gives us a bleak yet inspiring look into a possible future.
Characters: Most of the characters in this book were fairly simple in terms of characterization. There are multiple points of view in this story, and I appreciated that all the kids remained optimistic, as kids tend to do. I will say that I loved Tom the most. He surprised me a few times and I enjoyed being in side of his head. Connection to the characters was minimal, and while that is highly important in most stories, the world building was the true gem of this story.
Worldbuilding: As usual, this was my favorite part of this book. The author has presented us with a world the likes of which we hope to never see. Oil is quickly drying up, countries are fighting over the last drops. One gallon of gas is nearing $100. Businesses of all types and sizes are closing down because they cannot afford to remain open. I was horrified by how much we really do rely on oil. It is used in the production of just about everything. We all have read or witnessed what occurs when people panic, and the “every man for himself” mentality is clearly at play in this book. Seeing people in this light is seriously depressing and scary.
Lasting Impressions: What I love most about this book and what it represents is knowledge. I really adore the author for bringing such serious issues to the attention of the younger generations, who tend to be a little to comfortable inside their technology bubbles these days. Most of the children and adolescents I work with are completely clueless on world issues. A lot of this falls on the parents, who are also content inside their bubbles, but hopefully books like these will offer some insight. My entire life’s purpose was drastically changed because of a movie (based on a true even), and we all know books are way more inspiring. :)
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale: Enjoyable and Important...more
SMASHTASTIC ENTERTAINMENT QUICKIE: A very interesting story about a young man that wants to share his story and feel connected.
INTEREST IN THE BOOK:It sounded interesting so I requested it from Scholastic.
WORLD-BUILDING:The world-building is not extreme, as it is set in a typical present-day American city. The real world-building is what occurs inside Mal himself. The alien piece is the driving force of the story, but it is in the background throughout.
CHARACTERS:Mal’s a teen boy who is pretty reflective of his environment and irritated through most of this 150-page story, but never comes off as a jerk, in my opinion. My social worker side came out and I felt for him, big time. His mother is not able to cope with the reality that her bastard ex-husband is no longer in the picture, so she spends most of her waking hours drunk. We see a softer side of Mal as he ensures she is safe and fed.
Mal feels completely out of place in his community, yearning for acceptance and being able to relate to others but realizing he will never achieve that feeling. He appears years older than he is, as his environment and depression have led him to become jaded and desensitized to life. Due to being abducted, of which the reader is never really quite sure of through most of the story, he does not feel any connection to people in his community. He remains at a distance, feeling disconnected and uncomfortable on Earth.
LASTING IMPRESSIONS: I really enjoyed the author’s writing style and layout of the chapters. I thought the disjointedness worked well in a story about a boy he also feels disconnected. All in all, it was a quick read and while I’m not interested in stories about abduction, this book is more about an adolescent boy yearning for acceptance and meaning in life.
Experiments. It seems unbelievable to me that school teaches us to be the experimenters. The observers. The prodders. The measurers. The destroyers.
We are never taught what it would be like if the tables were turned.
We are never taught what it would be like if we were the rat in the maze.