I have always been drawn to the cover of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, but although the idea of a girlReview originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
I have always been drawn to the cover of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, but although the idea of a girl who's touch was deadly was really intriguing, I'd kind of reached a point where I just didn't want to read any more dystopian. Thankfully, though, I bought it for the Ramadan Readathon, though a little warily, and it turns out I should have bought it much sooner. It's so bloody good!
Juliette has been locked up in an asylum for almost a year for the safety of others. She hasn't been touched, because her touch can kill. On top of this, she lives in a world that is slowly dying, due to climate change and humans' abuse of the world, among other things. The Reestablishment is in control. They promised they would make things better, but instead they make things worse, limiting what people can have, while they want for nothing. Warner, a leader of a section of the Reestablishment sees an advantage in Juliette's touch, and wants her on his side as the Reestablishment wipe out those who stand against them. But Juliette will not be forced to hurt, to kill. She will not become a monster.
There isn't a huge amount I can say about this book without spoiling the story. Not a huge amount happens, this is very much a first book in a series, setting things up for future books, but that doesn't stop it from being absolutely gripping. The writing is beautiful, and that's partly down to the way Juliette thinks. There's very little that's good in her life, so she find the beauty in the smallest of things. Her life is just so heartbreaking. But Mafi definitely has an extraordinary way with words, and her descriptions are just gorgeous.
The romance in the book is also beautiful. It's intense, but also slow burning, because of the situation Juliette is in. But there is so much passion, so much, and it's not all down to desire. It's a passion that comes from love, not from lust. There's a bit of lust there, too, sure, but it's a love that burns so brightly. It's magnetic and hypnotic, and so much wow. And it's different, because I've rarely read anything that is so intense unless it's an adult book that culminates in a sex scene. But this is mostly feeling, and but it's so strong it sparks in the air. It's just so, so wonderful.
The ending of this book is brilliant. It's just so exciting! It almost had me bouncing in my seat with excitement over where things will lead. There are discoveries, and there is a world Juliette never dreamed of. Although, in the great scheme of things, not much happens in this book, I have a really strong feeling that this trilogy is going to be one of the most exciting dystopians I've read. It's addictive and beautiful, and so, so gorgeous! I can't wait for the sequel, Unravel Me....more
I was so excited to hear that Annabel was having a short story of her own, that we would get to meet this woOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
I was so excited to hear that Annabel was having a short story of her own, that we would get to meet this woman, this mother that was so full of love in a world that forbids it. And now I've read it, I got a lot more from the story than I expected.
Because it's Lauren Oliver, and because it's set in the Delirium world, I didn't bother reading the synopsis before I bought it. I bought it on the trust that I would love it - and I did, so much! But I didn't expect the alternating chapters of Then and Now, like with Pandemonium. I didn't expect to see both Annabel as a young girl, and Annabel in prison day after day. It was brilliant to see who this woman was, the spirit she had, the enormous love she felt for her children and her husband. And, in contrast, to see what 11 years in the Crypts had made her. A woman who was kept going by the love she felt and the hope that she would see her family again.
Annabel was around when the cure first became mandatory, and it was such an eye-opener. How quickly things change; Annabel is Lena's mother, and to think of how Lena's world is, to know that when Annabel was a child, her world was much like ours, if only starting to make the scientific and political changes that led to love being defined as a disease. That's two generations, and the whole world - or at least America - was turned upside down.
'But that's the problem with love--it acts on you, works through you, resists your attempts to control. That's what made it so frightening to the lawmakers: Love obeys no laws other than it's own. That's what has always made it frightening.' From Chapter 4.
We got to see Annabel fall in love with the man she would marry, the father of her children, and it's just as beautiful as when Lena fell for Alex, but without the fear. It was complete and utter joy. Despite the fact he had already been cured. She reveled in the fact that her own cure failed, which she is completely certain of the moment she know that one of her matches is the man she has loved for so long. This all encompassing love she feels has to be kept secret, and you can't help but feel sorry for her, yet inspired.
'But from the beginning , I knew that in a world where destiny was dead, I was destined, forever, to love him. Even though he didn't--though he could't--ever love me back.' From Chapter 10.
Finding out what life was like inside the Crypts was also awesome, in such a depressing way. Again you are in awe of her, this woman who's life has been taken away from her, yet who's fire has yet to be quashed, who has determination, and hope, and fight. Brave, courageous and fearless, Annabel is a woman to admire.
Annabel is a perfect addition to the Delirium series, and a brilliant, beautiful story of the strength of a woman who loves....more
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safeAgainst all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge... The thrilling final instalment of this ground-breaking trilogy promises to be one of the most talked-about books of the year. From Amazon UK
After being reminded how amazing this series is when I finished Catching Fire, I immediately picked up Mockingjay and got stuck in, and all I can say is wow!
I really don't know where to start. I cannot believe how much happened in this novel. I would be reading at later points in the book, and realise what Katniss was talking about happened earlier in Mockingjay, not in another book. Seriously, so much goes on, and it spans quite a period of time, I'm amazed it all fit in one book. And as you would hope for the finale in such a spectacular series, there is action and suspense like you wouldn't believe! And there is no way I can really talk about any of it without spoiling the story, because it starts right from the beginning.
Katniss' journey in Mockingjay is probably a lot more chaotic than in previous ones. The range of emotions she goes through, the thing she has to witness and experience, the choices she has to make, the goals she achieves - it's just phenomenal, especially when you think that she is just 17 and has been forced into this life. She might just be one of my favourite protagonists, I love her!
As the book is the finale, things are resolved. We find out if Katniss chooses Peeta or Gale. We find out whether the Capitol is beaten or not. Did Mockingjay end how I wanted it to? I'm not sure, simply because I couldn't think of an ending I wanted. This series is just so complicated and so real, I couldn't picture an ending. But my god, what an end to the series! I really don't know what to say. I absolutely loved it, and I think Suzanne Collins is just a genius. This has got to be one of the best series ever written.
On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her Match. Society dictates he is her perfect partner for life. Except he’s not. In Cassia’s society, OfficiOn her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her Match. Society dictates he is her perfect partner for life. Except he’s not. In Cassia’s society, Officials decide who people love. How many children they have. Where they work. When they die. But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own. And that’s when her whole world begins to unravel... From Amazon UK
When I first heard about this book, I was so intrigued! A book where the government chooses who you spend the rest of your life with?! This has got to be worth reading! Now I'm finished, I have to say, I was pretty disappointed.
The plot is pretty fascinating; a world set way in the future, where everyone is governed by probability and statistics. They live a way an "optimal" life as worked out by Society. They are Matched with the optimal partner, to produce optimal, healthy offspring. They eat what Society has found to give them the optimal nutrients to keep them healthy - regardless of taste. They are given the job they will do best at - the possibility of them may not liking it doesn't come into it. They die when Society states they've lived an optimal life, and it's probable that they will deteriorate and have a less than optimal life from that time onwards. The perfect life, right? Where everyone has what's best for them, live the best life they can? No!
There is no free will. It seems like there is, but there isn't. How they spend their free recreation hours on a Saturday evening is up to them - as long as it's either games, a showing, or going to the music hall. They get to have a free summer activity which they can choose - but involves them doing work. Society declared their culture was too cluttered, so everything was sorted, so there are now the Hundred Songs, the Hundred Paintings, the Hundred Poems, etc. Everything is controlled. Everything is worked out. Society considers all possible factors, and predicts the probability of even everyone's reactions to different events, their behaviour, and the type of person they will be. It's Big Brother gone mad.
This book is all about fighting, striving for change, for the right to choice and free will. What I liked most was the power that words held for Cassia. During his Death Banquet, Cassias grandfather gives her paper with two poems on them. Grandfather's own Grandmother was one of the people who were called to sort out the poetry and narrow it down to just the Hundred Poems. She stole some, and handed them down. These poems hold such importance for Cassia; not just because they are forbidden, but because of what they tell you - to fight. Society has also forbidden writing, so no-one ever learns how to write. They have their Scribes, where they can type, but they can't write with their hands. Ky, one of the guys who lives in her borough, can. And he teaches her. First, Cassia learns to write her name, and it's such a powerful moment, of almost ownership - she can write her own name. All these acts of rebellion - forbidden writing, forbidden poems, rebellion actually in the poem, and eventually, forbidden love - spark something inside Cassia. It's great to see her change from someone who believes in the Society, and that it keeps them safe, that they all live good lives, to someone who questions everything she knows.
However, apart from Ky, I didn't find the characters believable. They were two dimensional as opposed to three dimensional. I didn't feel anything for them, because there wasn't enough to make me feel. I was indifferent to everyone except Ky. I think this was also because of the pace. It's not fast or slow, it's average. And there's no real suspense. It all seems to be chugging along on on flat level. No rollercoaster in this book. At the beginning, I was intrigued, but then, until things started to develop with Ky, and we learned more about him, and the importance of words, I just wasn't interested, and, to be frank, bored. I read on because I can't start a book and not finish it. I just can't do it. But if I did, I would have stopped reading. I also think I've discovered that dystopian novels aren't really my thing. There may be a few dystopian novels that I like, but as a genre, I don't think it's my cup of tea.
I must say, it is the kind of book I think will make an amazing movie, so I'm really glad there will be a chance to see it on the big screen!
However, there is a lot about this novel that fans of dystopian will love. The way people are governed, the technology, the sheer wrongness of it all that makes a dystopian. I'm sure there are a lot of people who will - and who have - loved this book. I suggest you check out some other reviews of Matched (see below) before you decide just by my review. Matched could have turned out to be such an amazing boook, it had a lot of promise, it just unfortunately fell flat for me.
There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it.There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.
Then, at last, they found the cure.
Now, everything is different. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But then, with only ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable. From Amazon UK
After reading and falling in love with Before I Fall last year, I was extremely excited to read Delirium - except for one thing; dystopian novels and I don't really get on. There are the odd dystopias I come across that work, but more often than not, I don't enjoy them. I spend too long being angry and annoyed at the world the people live in, and although that's the whole point, I don't like feeling like that for a whole book. But Delirium is by Lauren Oliver. Lauren Oliver! There was no way I couldn't at leat give it a go, and so I warily opened it's pages, and became infected; I fell in love.
For the first few chapters, I was a little worried I wouldn't like it because it was typically dystopian. I was quite shocked. From the blurb, I just thought taking the cure was an option you could take, but you find out pretty soon it's compulsory. In the world our main character Lena lives in, no-one is allowed to love, it's illegal and punishable, in the worst case scenario, by death. Once you reach 18, you take the cure. Students about to graduate are Evaluated so they can find a match for them, and once they have graduated from college, they marry the person they chose from the small selection they were given. Free from love. People are not allowed to speak the word "love", they're not allowed to overly show affection - that means no hugs for friends, or children when they have fallen over. Oh yes, this is not just romantic love that is cured, but all love - familal love and love for friends included. Students are segregated from members of the opposite sex and have to be home before curfew, so there is no intermingling outside of school hours. And when you've had the cure, you're detached, and cold almost. Think Sheldon or Leonard's Mum in The Big Bang Theory, without being extremely intelligent or arrogant - everyone over the age of 18 is like that! It's the type of world I hate and makes me extremely angry.
But then Alex arrived, and the whole tone of the story changed. Lena's world is turned upside down when she starts doubting everything she's believed, everything she knows, and falls in love. And my heart lifted. I can't even begin to tell you just how beautiful this story is. It's probably the most powerful teen romance I have ever read simply because they fall in love against a background which has an extreme lack of love. In most other books, love is normal; it might not be happening for the main character at the beginning, but they live in a world where people have boyfriends and girlfriends, they're allowed to show effection, there is nothing life-threatening about love. But there is in Lena's world, so her falling in love is scary, dangerous, and wrong, but just so right, and beautiful and amazing. This is one forbidden love story (quite literally) that shines a hundred times brighter than all the rest, and it's just gorgeous! I really can't do this book any justice when it comes to the love in it, there just aren't words. It's just... wow, and totally blew me away.
What I also loved about this book was how genius it is. The idea that love could be a disease is quite a logical one when you look at the "symptoms" of falling in love; difficulty focussing, reduced mental awareness, periods of euphoria, changes in appetite, loss of other interests, and so on (p133). All things that people actually experience in real life when they fall in love. To take something like the effects of love, and build a whole story on that... it's just brilliant! I am in awe of Oliver's imagination!
I am also in awe of Oliver's way with words. The language in this book is just beautiful! Oliver is the queen of metaphors, and the language is almost poetic. It really is just beautiful.
"Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: it kills you both when you have it and when you don't. But that isn't it, exactly. The condemner and the condemned. The executioner; the blade; the last-minute reprieve; the gasping breath and the rolling sky above you and the thank you, thank you, thank you, God. Love: it will kill you and save you, both." (p352)
Isn't that just wonderful?
The ending is just cruel yet phenomenal! I can't even begin to describe it, but I finished the book wanting to pick the second book up straight away! I need Pandemonium, the sequel, now! However, it isn't released until next year. I have to wait a whole year in this agony of not knowing what happens! I love it, though! I really cannot wait. I cannot recommend this book enough, you need to read it. It might just be top of my list of favourite books.
I LOVED Divergent! In my review of Under the Never Sky, I said it was missing something that stoppedReview originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
I LOVED Divergent! In my review of Under the Never Sky, I said it was missing something that stopped it from blowing me away. Divergent has that thing! Which is really odd, because considering it's a dystopia, most of the book doesn't cover the dystopian society at large, but on Tris and her life as she changes Factions.
In Divergent, there are five factions; Abnegnation (the selfless), Erudite (the intelligent), Candor (the honest), Amity (the peaceful), and Dauntless (the brave). At sixteen, teenagers undertake an Aptitude Test to work out which Faction they would be best suited, and the day after, at the Choosing Ceremony, they choose which Faction they wish to join. Tris has spent her whole life in Abnegation, with her perfect, selfless family who don't even bat an eyelid when it comes to doing things for others. Tris, on the otherhand, sometimes has selfish thoughts about what she would like. She's not sure that Abnegation is right for her, but leaving would mean leaving her whole family behind - and possibly never see them again. When she takes her Aptitude Test and her results come back inconclusive, not giving her one Faction she suits best, but several possibilities, which is so rare Tris has never heard of it, she doesn't know where she belongs or what to do. Going with her gut instinct, she takes the huge decision to leave Abnegation and move to Dauntless, where she finds her selfless, quiet life is nothing compared to what she's just signed up for.
Loooove! As I said earlier, this book focusses on the most part on Tris' new life in Dauntless and the training that is a part of her initiation. It was just so fascinating to see her reactions to the brutal life that is the norm for the brave, a life of fighting and facing your fears, but also her relationships with people. Tris hadn't had friends before Dauntless, so growing to trust those from over Factions other than Abnegation, who behave and think so differently, is strange and sometimes difficult for her. There are characters in this book you immediately warm too, and there are those that you loathe.
There are some events in this book that I found difficult to read. This wasn't just because those events were beyond what anyone should ever have to go through, but also because Veronica Roth has written a story so unlike anything else out there, I had no idea what I was going to be round the corner! I literally had no clue how things were going to pan out at any stage of this book, and it was amazing and gripping! Yet, as I said, some parts are disturbing and absolutely sickening.
Then there's the love interest! Oh, I do love Four! He is just the coolest guy, and the relationship etween him and Tris throughout the novel feels like something that could happen in our own world, it was just so real and believable, despite the dystopian society. This was another of the things I was never sure of. We're all used to the "Will they? Won't they?", but I actually wasn't sure at all. Divergent isn't a romance, it is a dystopia, and the romance in it isn't certain, which just adds to the excitement of the book!
My heart was in my mouth more times in this book than I can count, during training, during Tris' moments with Four, and during the wait for danger to pounce. Because things do take a turn for the worst, and change everything for every important character in this book. Roth doesn't shy away from putting her characters - and her readers - through hell. No-one we love or hate is left unscathed. It's just brilliant!
In case you hadn't guessed, I absolutely loved this book! There really aren't any words for me to express just how much this book blew me away. I am so, so happy that I have Insurgent I can pick up straight away. I don't know how anyone else was able to wait! An incredible, incredible book. If you haven't read this book yet, what the hell are you waiting for?!...more
As I write this review, I have literally just finished reading Pandemonium and I am completely reeling! It's incredible!
When I received my ARC for reAs I write this review, I have literally just finished reading Pandemonium and I am completely reeling! It's incredible!
When I received my ARC for review, I didn't start reading immediately. I loved Delirium so much, I was worried about Pandemonium; what if it didn't match up? What if I didn't like it? Eventually, the other part of me demanding to know what happened next got too loud to ignore, so I picked it up, and... I don't really know what to say other than wow!
There isn't a huge amount I can say about the story of Pandemonium without spoiling it, because so much happens, but I'll do what I can. Pandemonium is written in alternating chapters of Now and Then; Then being what happened after Lena crossed the border into the Wilds, and Now being, well, several months after. It's almost like reading two stories. What's brilliant is that both stories are so exciting, that at various points in the book, you're desperate to read more Then rather than Now, and at other times the other way round. Sometimes, because there is Now, you worry less about Then as you know that whatever happens in the Then chapters, Lena gets to the point that starts as Now at the very beginning of the book. Yet at other times, it's almost like you forget that and need more Then. However, the story progressions of both are almost identical, so when you get to high emotional and dangerous points in one, you can be almost certain you'll be coming up to one in the other story. And it's fantastic!
The action has stepped up quite a bit in Pandemonium. It almost feels like Delirium, although absolutely incredible, was a set up book. Now we know pretty much everything about amor deliria nervosa and the cure, how Lena finds out it's actually amazing, realises her how life has been just so wrong, Pandemonium picks up with rebellion, because obviously, the cure can't be continually administered. But it's all baby steps. Then things start going badly wrong. Hence so much action it's incredible! Action-wise, I loved how although Lena thinks her way through things, uses what she's learnt and tries to plan, she hasn't suddenly become a soldier or warrior type. She's terrified, and still very much the Lena we know. She has doubts, she loses faith that things will work out at times, and feels powerless. She's a kick-ass heroine, but in a completely real way.
Despite all this, there are some beautiful, sweet moments, where Lena remembers what it is she's fighting for, and it's just wonderful. However, with all the action and danger and general crappyness of those who are in charge, there are the lows too. We discover more about what those in charge do that the general public doesn't know about, undercover and out of sight. There are some terribly sad moments that will bring tears to your eyes, and some terribly appalling moments that will leave you disgusted. But it will also make you think, as some of these things happen even in our own world, and shock you into realising just how awful we, the human race, can be.
As with any book written by Oliver, Pandemonium is written so beautifully! I have to say that I was so caught up in the actual story, that I'm sure I missed a fair amount of the beautiful writing as I didn't notice much. It will take me a second read to actually catch the almost poetic lines I missed, but those I did notice completely wowed me. As silly as it may sound, I came close to tears at some of Oliver's descriptions, they were so beautiful! The way this lady writes leaves me in complete awe!
There is a killer, killer cliffhanger, one that rivals that of Delirium, and I cannot believe Oliver has done it to us again! I am absolutely dying for Requiem! Oooh, it's going to be good, but I can't believe it will be the final book. It makes me so sad!
However, I have to mention the cover. I don't like it. I can't quite say why, it might be the colour, or the fact it doesn't seem to say anything about the book - though running is important for Lena in the book. It just doesn't do it for me. Just not a fan, really.
Overall, a fantastic book that asks the question, what would you give, what would you sacrifice, how much would you fight to be free to love?
After hearing all the hype over Under the Never Sky, I decided it was about time I gave it a goOriginally reviewed on my YA blog Once Upon a Bookcase.
After hearing all the hype over Under the Never Sky, I decided it was about time I gave it a go. Surely something that is being raved about left, right and center has got to be amazing! As it turns out, I really enjoyed it!
Yes, I really enjoyed it, but I wasn't blown away by it. There was something missing for me to make it a wow-some book. What this missing thing is, I don't know, it just wasn't there. But as I said, I did really enjoy it!
What I loved about this book is, once Aria is no longer in Reverie, it feels very much like a high fantasy! If you take out the futuristic techy side of life in the Pods, and the items that can crop up from way back that we will recognise, it feels completely made up, and I loved it! Especially as, as he story goes on, a few other people are picked up along the way to join the quest - see, doesn't "quest" make it sound all high fantasy-esque (though that word is never used in the book). I loooved it! It was almost like coming home, as high fantasy is the genre that made me a reader.
But it is a dystopia. Life is not how it used to be, and I can't exactly tell you why, because I'm not sure myself. I don't know if I missed something vital along the way or if it's simply not explained. All I know is something called Unity happened, there is now something similar to the Northern Light in the sky that's called Aether, except Aether can rain down and set things on fire, and certain people are now physically incapable of living outside the domes. But why this all is, I don't know. And as with most dystopias, we do find out a few things that turn out people are being lied to; the way they live that seems so safe and right is actually not right at all.
I loved all the characters in this book. Aria and Perry's reaction to each other when they first meet seems very right and believable. They hate each other, even fear each other. There is no insta-love here. The romance is a very slow burner, but one that works because it's so believable. They were jut so cute! I loved it! Perry is super awesome, but I think I prefer Roar, Perry's best friend. Yes, his name is Roar. And he is smooth, and flirty, and just damn cool! He is so funny, I cracked many a smile when he was around. Then there's Cinder, a 12-year-old boy who is just so intriguing! I want to adopt him. Yes, I do. Despite him bein a little bit of a pain at time. I think the boy is in need of love and cuddles.
Overall, a really great story! I am so looking forward to the sequel and seeing where Aria and Perry's story takes them next!...more
I am a huge fan of Lauren Oliver's Delirium series, so when I heard this short story eBook was being rReview originaly posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
I am a huge fan of Lauren Oliver's Delirium series, so when I heard this short story eBook was being released just before Christmas last year, I had to get it. Anything set in this world - hell, anything written by this author is something I need to read. And wow! Complete shocker.
Hana is Lena's best friend, and this short story runs alongside the events of Delirium, telling certain events from Hana's point of view. In Delirium, Lena and Hana fall out when Hana is being too risky, going to underground illegal parties, and Lena worries about getting caught. This story takes place during that period where they are no longer talking, and shows us what Hana got up to while apart from Lena.
I found it fascinating! Hana is going to these illegal parties and experiencing attraction to boys for the first time. And there is a boy. But Hana is so unsure, it's hard to shake off what you have been taught your whole life, and no matter how good things feel, she is constantly questioning what is happening and what she feels, and worrying about what will eventually happen. And she is seriously missing Lena, and desperately wants to talk about everything she's feeling, but Lena seems to not want to know anymore.
I found it interesting to see how in this dystopian society lust and love can still be separate (as well as one, I suppose) before the cure. Teens are experimenting at these parties, and it was strangely surprising to see that these parties mostly fueled lust more than love. I just assumed there would be a lot more love appearing when it was so wrong.
Also, I loved how the question of how the people of this society thought/felt about gay people. It's just scary to think that the cure can remove so much, that you can go from being gay to feeling completely indifferent to the fact you will end up in a heterosexual relationship, when that is just not who you are. It's just wrong. It's sickening. It's like the cure isn't just stopping people from loving, it's also "fixing" them. It disgusts me that in this society, where love of any kind is wrong - familial love or romantic love - those who are gay are "Unnatural". Oh my gosh, it makes my blood boil. You would have thought that in a world where love is despised, everyone who loves, no matter what their sexuality is, is bad, but no, there are levels, and to love your own sex is even worse. That is wrong. I also want to point out that it's quite clear, through Hana's opinions, that these aren't the views of Oliver, it's the views of the awful society that these characters live in, and it's treated well. It's a very small section of this story, but my reaction was overwhelming, and I'm sure many people would react the same - the way Oliver intended.
The ending of Hana's story almost killed me! This story covers Hana and Lena's friendship getting back on track, and stops before the end of Delirium. But the end of this story is almost as shocking as the ending of Delirium! I literally gasped out loud! I would never have guessed what was to come. I cannot BELIEVE what I read. It has changed my entire view on Hana! It's just... wow. I seriously hope we see Hana in Requiem, the third book in the series, because it would be incredible! It's going to be anyway, but with Hana back in the picture, it would be unbelievable! Oh, I am so excited for the third book! Fans of this series, you definitely have to read this story, because the twist... you need to read it! Brilliant story! Highly recommended to fans!...more
I'm a little late to coming to this series. I was put off quite a bit by the kinapping and being forced intoOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
I'm a little late to coming to this series. I was put off quite a bit by the kinapping and being forced into a marriage. I was imagining all kinds of horrors I just didn't want to have to face, but after reading a few raving reviews, I knew I had to give Wither a go. Now I wish I had picked it up much sooner!
Scientists have advanced in genetic engineering to the point where they can create babies with no health problems. These babies will never have cancer, STIs, even a cold. They are completely healthy, and will all live to a ripe old age. Well, that was the case for the First Generation of these babies. But something has gone wrong. Now their children are dying at the age of 20 for females and 25 for males. A virus is triggered once they hit that age, and they cough themselves to death in bed with a high fever. Scientists and doctors are working hard to find an antidote to this virus, but are failing. This is the world Rhine lives in - and is why she is kidnapped.
Wither reminded me slightly of a fairy tale, a woman locked up by an evil person - could be Rapunzel. But unlike Rapunzel, 16-year-old Rhine isn't alone. Linden, her husband, picked her and two other girls from a bunch to become his wives. With his current wife, Rose, on her death bed at 20, and being four years from death himself, he needs to remarry, because he is running out of time to have children. But unlike Rapunzel, Rhine can't sit around waiting to be rescued, she has to rescue herself.
You have to admire Rhine's determination to escape and get back to her twin brother, Rowan. Unlike other dystopian novels, although fast-paced, Wither is not very action packed. Where in a number of dystopian novels, the Event that makes life go from bad to worse tends to happen after a few chapters, maybe several. The Event in Wither - Rhine's marriage to Linden - happens very early on, and she's trapped. She's stuck on the wives floor of Linden's mansion with only her Sister Wives for company, and the few attendants that look after her needs. The only way out for Rhine is to gain her husband's trust, so that she becomes First Wife - the favourite, the one who's allowed a little more access of the house and - and has a little more freedom, more chance of escape. She has to play the waiting game, simper and smile, and tell her husband what he needs to hear in order for him to make her First Wife. It takes time - a lot of time. But what else can she do? Sit back and accept her fate?
The characters in this book are just fantastic! Rhine herself is so strong, but because she has to be. Life was hard, but she led a relatively normal life for a girl her age before she was kidnapped. Now, for her sanity's sake, she has to keep on believing she'll get out, keep on trying her hardest to plan, to find any way of getting Linden's favour. I loved her relationships with her Sister Wives, Cecily and Jenna. Cecily is 13-years-old, and is ecstatic to be Linden's wife. She lived in an orphanage before, and now she has a rich husband, a luxurious home, and attendants who will wait on her, hand and foot. She's a spoilt little girl, but eager to please the man who has given her this great life. 18-year-old Jenna, however, had a family. She had sisters who were with her when she was picked. Sisters who were left with the Gatherers. She hates Linden with a passion for what has happened to her, for what's happened to her sisters. She doesn't do anything to please her husband at all, but has come to accept that this is her life now. With two years left to live, there are worse places to die, right? The relationships between all three girls is just so sweet. They are just like sisters, they come to care and love each other, and try to look out for one another. It's nice to see some light in what is a horrible situation.
Linden is lovely, strangely. He's clueless, and has no idea what's really going on. He is completely in love with his current wife, and is devastated that she's going to die, but he needs to have children. Despite how he came to have his new wives, I found I couldn't hate him. He's such a nice guy, and genuinely wants his wives to be happy. But there are some things he does that are just so scarily disturbing. Part of me understand why, but the other, louder part screams at how wrong it is. It's sickening! However, it's Vaughn, Linden's father, who is so scary. He is an old man, and seems benign enough, smiley and polite, but under the surface... oh, he's just so sinister! Linden may be clueless, but Vaughn is aware of everything. Vaughn is the one who's really in charge, and it's what he's doing - what is he doing? - behind closed doors that is just so frightening. He's the one that's really keeping the girls captive, and really not a guy to mess with. But then there is sweet, sweet Gabriel! Oh, he's just so lovely! I do like him!
There's not really much else I can say about this story without spoiling it, but ooh, it's good. The revelations! The discoveries! The ending! I am so excited to read the sequel, Fever, but also so scared. But it's going to be awesome, I know it! If you've yet to try this series, go pick up a copy of Wither now!...more