I can't rave about this book enough. I don't want to summarize the book as many reviewers have done so perfectly, but I had to gush over any book that...moreI can't rave about this book enough. I don't want to summarize the book as many reviewers have done so perfectly, but I had to gush over any book that I am able to enjoy as much as I enjoyed The Hunger Games. I couldn't put it down! Katniss had my attention from the very first page. I felt myself relating to her and sympathizing with her plight from the very beginning. And who didn't fall in love with Peeta? He possessed such a warm heart and noble soul and somehow was able to not only hold on to both of these things but exudes them despite being right in the middle of hell. The story is absolutely enthralling with its quick wit, fast pace, and captivating story line. I'm amazed at Suzanne Collins's ability to mix humor, terror and romance all within the same volume. Somehow my heart would gush for Peeta and awe at his love of Katniss while instantaneously being petrified that either would die at any moment. This is such an entertaining and stimulating read. I would recommend it to anyone. I can't wait for the sequel!(less)
It's not often that I am able to read a fantastic book with a perfectly imperfect ending, well, until now. How I Live now is the story of Daisy, a you...moreIt's not often that I am able to read a fantastic book with a perfectly imperfect ending, well, until now. How I Live now is the story of Daisy, a young 15 year old girl, struggling to find herself. Out of frustration over Daisy's obvious eating disorder, Daisy's father ships her off to live with her aunt and cousins in the English countryside. The results are life changing as Daisy finds acceptance and love amongst her new family. But all too soon it falls apart, as unknown forces declare war on her new country, and her family is torn apart. This story not only presents a journey of girl trying to put together the pieces of her family, but also pieces of herself. How I Live Now will break your heart and mend it back, and is a definite must read. (less)
Pretties’ contains an intriguing plot, creative style and interesting characters. The tapestry of this story is woven in such a way that my view of th...morePretties’ contains an intriguing plot, creative style and interesting characters. The tapestry of this story is woven in such a way that my view of the story and its characters changes with the characters themselves. Typically I prefer the characters I read to develop and then mature, which Tally does, but she is constantly shifting, and I find that my wants for the series shift with her. At the conclusion of Uglies, I was devastated that Tally was leaving David and the Smoke in order to turn pretty and test the cure. I wanted nothing more than to have Tally take the cure and go back to him. But as Tally fights her Pretty-headedness, she falls in love with Zane, and so did I. Now I find myself wanting nothing more than for Tally and Zane to end up with one another. Never have I encountered an author who can change their characters so drastically and yet so seamlessly. Even more compelling is the intricacy of the plot. In a world filled with Pretties, no one is, and in an effort to fight the pretty haze, individuals are starving and cutting themselves in order to feel something real. Not very pretty like, but intriguing none the less.(less)
I suppose the series ended the way it should, but Zane died so I'm annoyed. I knew it would happen, there was such a sense of forboding, but I was sti...moreI suppose the series ended the way it should, but Zane died so I'm annoyed. I knew it would happen, there was such a sense of forboding, but I was still hoping that I would be wrong. Cudos to Westerfeld for writing so well that I didn't even noticed I was getting played :). My hopes for Tally were forever evolving, the only thing I insisted upon was that Tally keep her feelings for Zane and she did. (less)
Catching Fire was one of my most anticipated books of 2009. I loved it's predecessor, The Hunger Games and was so hopeful for this intstallment. I was...moreCatching Fire was one of my most anticipated books of 2009. I loved it's predecessor, The Hunger Games and was so hopeful for this intstallment. I wasn't disappointed per se, but it did fail to meet my expectations. Here's a few reasons why...
I don't know what it is with authors and their recent need to load up their books with a hundred or so pages of filler, but I really wish they would cut it out. There is lieterally about a hundred and some odd pages of this book that should have died on the editing room floor. The 9 months that Katniss spends in District 12 only serves to let us know that uprisings are occuring and she has been targeted by The Captial, all of which could have been summed up in a chapter or two.
Second, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that about 90% of those of us who read and loved Hunger Games were team Peeta all the way. Though we knew Gale would be an issue, we were hoping Katniss would "wake up" and realize what a worthy, fine specimen she has in Peeta, well, it doesn't happen that way, and to say I'm bummed is an understatement. I'm kinda pissed.
Katniss doesn't grow in this book at all. She is still a brash reacter, instead of a logicl thinker. I didn't mind it so much in the first book, because who wouldn't be, but the Hunger Games taught her nothing it seems, in either the way she responds to situations or in reference to how she really feels about the people in her life.
Next, I get that Peeta was never much of a badass, but was it really necessary to injure him 10 seconds into the games? That irked me like nothing else. In hindsight, Peeta is one of the strongest characters, menatlly, if nothing else, and yet Collins reduced him to an invalid so that Katniss could rise up to the challenge. Please. It only made me roll my eyes and steam over the fact that I was going to have to read Hunger Games part duex, which wouldn't have been bad except for the fact that I was expecting something more.
Which leads me to my last complaint, the games. Though I could see everything in this book coming, I thought it was rather brilliant to send them back to the games. What wasn't brilliant however, was the games themselves. They started out well enough, but after the crazy fog and freaky monkeys, Collins sort of lost me. Who cares if there is death traps all over the place if you know how to predict it and can avoid it? Not scary.
Basically, this booked lacked the magic of the first, and failed to wow with new material as nothing new really happens. Yeah we learn a little more, and the last few pages shake things up a bit, but I shouldn't have to wait until I've read to the end to finally learn something interesting. There were moments where I would catch a glimpse of what made me love Hunger Games, and for that I give this book three stars. But I can't in good conscious give it more for it lacked character development and basically just served as a pit stop between books one and three. Hopefully the third will be better. (less)
It was difficult to appreciate Forest at the start, in fact, it wasn't until the end that I was finally able to truly relate to or sympathize with Mar...moreIt was difficult to appreciate Forest at the start, in fact, it wasn't until the end that I was finally able to truly relate to or sympathize with Mary, but in the end, I respected her if nothing else. She was raised in a bleak world that might as well have been a prison and I admire her for not only dreaming despite her surroundings but pursuing her dreams when it was obviously not the easiest or most popular choice. Mary's triumph at the end was bittersweet and I believe that in spite of the fact that readers do not live in Mary's world; they can still understand her reality.(less)
Gone is a mix between Lord of the Flies and Stephen King's Dark Tower series, with a bit of XMen thrown in for good measure. If that sounds strange, i...moreGone is a mix between Lord of the Flies and Stephen King's Dark Tower series, with a bit of XMen thrown in for good measure. If that sounds strange, it’s because it is. I was laughing my way through the first 50 pages, but something urged me on in my reading and five hours later, I had completed Gone. Gone involves a world where Darkness resides in a mine shaft, coyotes talk, snakes have wings and several kids possess super powers. As if that weren’t worrisome enough, every person over the age of 15 has disappeared. Chaos ensues, and a fantastical literary journey commences. Readers will be immersed in non-stop twists and turns, witness numerous battles of good vs. evil, and experience actions of extreme courage and unforgivable cowardice. Despite its bizarreness, Gone is brilliantly plotted and is filled with well-developed characters, some of which you will love, others you will hate. So if you are looking for a fantastical journey, read Gone, and after your done, buy Hunger. (less)
Hunger surpasses it's predecessor. The non-stop action continues, and new chaos ensues. Gone are the days of chomping down on sugary treats, in fact,...moreHunger surpasses it's predecessor. The non-stop action continues, and new chaos ensues. Gone are the days of chomping down on sugary treats, in fact, gone are the days of chomping down on anything. Food is scarce and fields are infested man eating worms. Hunger turns to desperation, desperation turns to violence. The FAYZ is no longer simply Coates vs. Perdidio Beach; it's now Freaks vs. Normals vs. Coates. As Sam struggles to keep it all together, the Darkness strengthens its snares. What follows is a story of noble actions, paranoia induced madness, vengeance, and forgiveness. Hunger will get your heart pumping, and leave you hungry for more.(less)
At first I was a bit put out with this book. I don’t know what it is about male authors, but they can be down right infuriating. Men truly do think on...moreAt first I was a bit put out with this book. I don’t know what it is about male authors, but they can be down right infuriating. Men truly do think on a different wave length and speak another language than women. I was becoming rather frustrated with the lack of information being given, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to endure that sort of aggravation for 300 plus pages. Luckily around page 60 or so, Dashner hit his stride and I became enthralled with this story.
It’s so difficult to write a review that divulges information about the plot without simultaneously giving the plot away. Dashner mastered the art of dolling out need to know information in spades while maintaining an air of mystery that keeps you immersed in the story, craving for more.
The Maze Runner begins with Thomas finding himself memory-less, surrounded by teenage boys of varying ages, in a strange place called the Glade. Thomas immediately begins asking questions, attempting to get his bearings, though answers aren’t forth coming, and the Gladers are none to helpful. Nonetheless, life doesn’t seem too shabby in the Glade. There is a homestead, crops, barns filled with livestock, the sun always shines, and various supplies appear in “the box” each week upon request. There even appears to be order within the Glade, though it is filled with nothing but testosterone fueled teenage boys. There appears to be only a handful of rules, 1. Never threaten your fellow Gladers, 2. Everyone must pull their weight, 3. No one is allowed in the Maze aside from runners, 4. No one is allowed in the Maze after dark. Though the rules are rather self-explanatory, their necessity becomes all to clear once Thomas is allowed to know what lurks behind the stone walls protecting the Glade. While no one knows how they came to arrive in the Glade, why they were sent, or who sent them, they all strive towards a common goal, solving the Maze and leaving the Glade. But once the first ever girl arrives into the Glade, a trigger is pulled, and the stakes for survival are raised.
Despite the fact that I didn’t have an emotional reaction (crying when it was clear that I was meant to), I couldn’t set this book down. I wasn’t scared for any of the characters, my heart didn’t race, but I desperately wanted to solve the freakin mystery. Luckily, there is a conclusion of sorts; however, this is clearly a series as you gain new information that tickles your intrigue before coming to a major halt. Grr. So like all the other suckers, I’m sure I’ll be reading the sequel. (less)
The Knife of Never Letting Go demonstrates my qualms with male authors perfectly. The story as a whole was a good one, and rather suspenseful to boot,...moreThe Knife of Never Letting Go demonstrates my qualms with male authors perfectly. The story as a whole was a good one, and rather suspenseful to boot, but as is usually is the case with books written by male authors, the characters never became alive for me.
The story is narrated by Todd who is Twelve years and thirteen months old. On the cusp of being a man, and yet still spurned as he is technically a boy, Todd is forced to spend time with his only companion, his dog, Manchee. What would seem slightly isolating is made less so by an odd quirk in this alternate universe called Noise. The Noise allows men and animals alike to hear and share their thoughts, voluntarily, and more often than not, involuntarily. One day, while playing in the swamp, Todd hears and odd thing, or rather, he doesn’t hear a thing. Suddenly, life as Todd knows it is about to change and everything he thought was true proves to be false.
While I’ll admit to finding this plot intriguing, I was incredibly annoyed throughout much of the story. First of all, Todd would often be given bits of information, while we, the readers are left in the dark. That is very very grating and a major writing no no. If the writer is unwilling to inform their readers at that time, they should not inform their narrator. Second, both Todd and Viola caused me a great deal of frustration throughout various points of the story. At first, I loathed Viola, her silence, and her condescending nature. Once I finally managed to tolerate her, I began to detest Todd. Seriously, it felt like the author couldn’t move his story along without making his characters stupid or completely unbelievable, which brings me to Aaron. Aaron is a beast that I can’t exactly tackle in this review as it is very spoilerish, so I’ll just say that throughout the story, I was expecting Aaron to have some sort deep dark secret identity that he does not have. Not only was this a major let down, it made the events surrounding his character entirely unbelievable. Lastly, Ness killed the only decent character in the story. I can’t even begin to tell you how miffed I was to be reduced to tears by this writer. Normally I am a huge fan of having a good cry, but I felt as though Ness was playing with my emotions because his book was otherwise crap and needed a sympathy vote.
Overall, I’ll give the book 3 stars for inventiveness and for the fact that the author is clearly willing to sucker punch his characters and his readers. (less)
How do I begin to convey my disappointment? I suppose it all comes down to expectations and as mine were not met, I feel vastly underwhelmed, and a li...moreHow do I begin to convey my disappointment? I suppose it all comes down to expectations and as mine were not met, I feel vastly underwhelmed, and a little bit devastated. When I read HungerGames, I was enthralled. I thought Katniss was intelligent, resourceful, and displayed tremendous strength in character. Moreover, Katniss’s arc appeared to parallel with the overall arc of the story/series. As Katniss grew more bold, so did the remaining characters and the uprising initiative. I expected this to continue in Catching Fire. However, Katniss appeared to stagnate, whereas the remaining characters and overall story arc continued on without her. By the end of book 2, Katniss was still in “survivor” mode, and failed to deliver anything beyond demonstration of those already proven survival instincts that we readers discovered in book 1. Nonetheless, my love for HungerGames left me with hope that Katniss would finally step into her role as not only a symbol of hope and rebellion against tyranny, but as a leader in an uprising that opposes oppression, and emboldens freedom of choice and will. Much to my dismay, it never occurs.
Perhaps I am mistaken, but I was under the impression that this series was meant to be about revolting against a corrupt, freedom suppressing government and replacing it with a new government that not only condones freedom in all its forms, but fosters it, allowing it to thrive. For this to be an achievable story arc, Katniss has to develop into something more than a resourceful hunter, shooter of arrows, and unpredictable pawn. She has to embolden herself, as the districts have had to embolden themselves, grab her title as MockingJay by the balls, and make her own choices, cut her own path, and shoot down those who stand in her way literally and figuratively. Otherwise what is the point of revolution if the very person who made it possible doesn’t follow through?
But in MockingJay we don’t get an emboldened Katniss, we simply get more of the same, actually, we get less than the same. When Katniss isn’t hiding in closets, passed out from injuries, strung out on morphine, or walking around the compound in a near catatonic state, Katniss will exert herself in her typical yet unpredictable brash reactor form, always manipulated by those around her. She still lacks control over her life. She isn’t a warrior in the rebellion, she is a weapon, a tool, a pawn. Other times she is completely useless all-together. She is dictated to and she may or may not deliver. Where did the potential leader go I ask you?
This late in the game, Katniss needed to grow as a character, to complete the story arc, if not her own character’s journey, properly. Katniss has been used to spur the other districts into revolution because she is supposed to possess strength in character as seen in the Hunger Games. She is now the face of the revolution, whether she meant to be or not. The districts have become inspired by the ball busting Katniss they perceive her to be, and it’s a lie. Turns out she isn’t opposed to being used as long as it’s people she knows calling the shots (District 13). I would have been fine with this course of events had they appeared in CatchingFire. But by the final installment, Katniss needed to be in charge of her own fate, to understand her role, to be a role model. Instead I felt as though I was reading the POV of a mentally unstable drug addict.
Then there is the rebellion itself. I was expecting carnage, war, suffering, and terror seen through the eyes of our previous heroine (Katniss) and hero (Peeta). Instead we suffer through ad campaigns and one unnecessary adventure that doesn’t occur until the last portion of the book, and even that is unsatisfying with all its useless deaths (Finnick and Primm). Frankly, Finnick was the best part of MockingJay and I couldn’t even mourn him properly as his face time was so minimal and his death so swift. But back on point, what was the purpose for Katniss’s man killing mission? Is she really so daft that she can’t see the bigger picture? Can’t she rise above baser human emotions, and the events that pertain only to her? Can’t she at least attempt to be worthy of the responsibility that has befallen her? Can’t she at least strive to earn it? And what’s most pathetic is that the revenge attempt that cost the lives of Finnick and Primm was all for nothing. Snow lives, until TB takes him. At least that’s what I assume happens, it never is very clear on how he died.
But my biggest question is, why does Collins hate Peeta? When she wasn’t making him an invalid in books 1 and 2, he shined. Now in book 3 he has forgotten his love for Katniss and has been programmed by the Capital to kill her. What the hell? Why? Why not let him finally prove his worth, achieve his greatness? Why did she have to make him someone’s bitch?
This book is a sham. A cop out. And it destroys the integrity of the previous books in the series. The characters fail to develop and even digress into wretched states. The ending is a crap shoot, and that epilogue was bullshit. I’m Team Peeta through and through, but I feel ripped off. Katniss didn’t choose him, she resigned herself to him because he was the one who came back for her. There was no declaration on her part, no acceptance or confession of her feelings. Peeta deserved better. We readers earned better.
To those of you reviewers who will scoff at my review, claiming that this book was perfect because it was "realistic", I say give me a break. This series was never meant to be a war documentary. It is a Young Adult Sceince Fiction book. This book contains mutant animals and insects for Christ's sake. In what reality other than "make believe" does a teenager fuel a rebellion? Millions of girls adore Justin Beiber but he isn't going to become the next president. We didn't wait on pins and needles for realism. That's not why readers devoured The Hunger Games. We fell in love because the plot grabbed a hold of our minds with an enthralling story filled with worthy engaging characters. Sadly, somewhere along the way, Collins lost track of the story she was telling and got off course by deciding to get preachy. I didn't want a victim for a heroine, I wanted a victor.
After two rather epic books, I expected more, these characters were worthy of more. It’s terrible what was done to them and to us for having to read it. While reading MockingJayI felt like Katniss, a pawn. (less)
The Dead and Gone had two strikes against it before I even began reading. Strike one, I had already read about the events in this book in Life as We K...moreThe Dead and Gone had two strikes against it before I even began reading. Strike one, I had already read about the events in this book in Life as We Knew It, which focuses on the same astrological events and how they effected those living in the Upper Mid-Eastern part of the country. Strike two was the fact that this book is narrated by a teenage boy, which as a 24 year old female, is hard to relate to. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this book immensely.
Alex Morales is 17, living in NYC and on the track to certain success. He is intelligent, honest and hard working. Alex’s life is filled with potential and a loving family until one asteroid to the moon knocks it closer to the earth and irrevocably changes life as he knows it. His father, mother, and older brother are gone, and it is up to Alex to find a way for him and his two younger sisters to survive.
It was my initial thought that I would be unaffected by Alex’s plight as I had read it all before from Miranda’s perspective; however, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Turns out surviving famine, disease, weather shifts and an absence of sun is significantly different in NYC than in the Mid-Eastern states. I also think that Alex’s tale is significantly more interesting, perhaps due to his significant amount of losses. This book made cry, cringe and appreciate the wonderful gifts my life has presented to me and I am sure others who read this book will feel the same. (less)
Ugh, I just can't do it. This book is contrived and ridiculous. The characters of Todd and Viola have reached a level of stupidity that I didn’t think...moreUgh, I just can't do it. This book is contrived and ridiculous. The characters of Todd and Viola have reached a level of stupidity that I didn’t think was possible. I was put off by the first chapter, but continued to read for another 50 pages before I finally chucked it. Enough is enough. I had already ignored my instincts by picking this book up in the first place. Having read and been let down by book one, I was hoping that Ness would redeem himself. But alas, no such luck. Not only has Ness failed to create likable characters, he has massacred any redeeming quality in Todd or Viola in order to create a plot for his series. He should have left well enough alone, and ended this story in The Knife of Letting Go. I detest authors who rely on character idiocy to move their plot forward almost as much as I loath this book. If you aren't looking for any type of rhyme or reason, just itching for someone to get beat or killed, then by all means, read on, otherwise, read at your own peril.
*Addendum* Upon reading the Wiki summary, this book does in fact get much much worse. Where is Ness going with this mess of a story? What is special about Todd aside from his lack of I.Q.? And is it just me, or does anyone else hope the Spackle find a way to destroy all the humans in this story? (less)
Ship Breaker is a fascinating concept. It’s written well and tackles concerning current world affairs such as class segregation and unlawful labor pra...moreShip Breaker is a fascinating concept. It’s written well and tackles concerning current world affairs such as class segregation and unlawful labor practices with ease and without appearing heavy handed. The world Bacigalupi has created is fantastical, multi-faceted and yet could be entirely plausible. His characters are well crafted and represent all the beauty and atrociousness that we humans possess. With that said, Ship Breaker was not without its flaws.
I can’t help but feel as though Bacigalupi lost his way about three fourths of the way through this story. The pacing fell through, and the ending was rushed, but more to the point, I’m lost as to what he wanted to accomplish with this story. If it was simply to shed light on issues that often go overlooked, then I say well done. But if he wrote this story to show readers how to initiate change, I say he failed. None of the characters in Ship Breaker change. They may have newly created outlets to express traits which they already possessed, but not one character grew. Nailer was a hard working, loyal, and moral character start to finish, as was Pima, her mother, and Tool. Nita was a spoiled, privileged, and judgmental girl start to finish. Moreover, change was not reflected on the beach in which Nailer lived. Nailer may have been graced with a lucky strike by books end, but what of the others? And truly, can we call Nailer’s fate lucky? He was nothing short of a slave, entirely at the mercy of ship yard bosses, commanded by the elite, at the start of the book, and though he escapes the ship yard in the end, it is only to serve on the ship of a rich girl to whom Nailer devoted his life. That is trading one master for another, imo, albeit a kinder one.
All in all, Ship Breaker is a worthy read, filled with creativity and will certainly provide much food for thought in addition to a world you can loose yourself in, but in no way would I compare it to Hunger Games, as many have done. Apples and oranges as they say. (less)
Simply put, Zombies vs. Unicorns is made of awesome. Personally, I never gave much thought to who would win such a contest. I have however, spent many...moreSimply put, Zombies vs. Unicorns is made of awesome. Personally, I never gave much thought to who would win such a contest. I have however, spent many hours debating who would win Smurfs vs. Gnomes. For start, Smurfs are blue, 10 pts. right there. But on the other side, Gnomes have that magical cotton ball that cures anything from starvation to maiming by animal trap. I think that earns at least 10 pts. as well. I suppose I could designate a winner based on who was the best dressed, but again, how do you choose? The Smurfs are very aesthetically pleasing; after all, they match their hat to their pants. [image error]
But the Gnomes have those fantastic cone hats… [image error]
But I digress. You want to know about who would win in the show down between Zombies vs. Unicorns. Personally, I’m Team Zombie.
Team Zombie had a weak story or two, but even the weakest of the zombie stories smite Team Unicorn. I guess age is against me, as my “My Little Pony” stages have long since past me by, so I may have begun a wee bit biased. But corniness aside, Team Unicorn simply didn’t bring anything new to the table, bestiality aside, whereas most, if not all, of Team Zombie added a fresh new twist on Zombie lore. Nevertheless the Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier managed a feat I have yet to see in the reading realm…they compiled an anthology that didn’t suck. (less)
Blood Red Road is reminiscent of stories such as Graceling, Fire and Finnickin of the Rock with a bit of dystopian intrigue added for good measure. Co...moreBlood Red Road is reminiscent of stories such as Graceling, Fire and Finnickin of the Rock with a bit of dystopian intrigue added for good measure. Coming from me, that’s high praise. In fact the only reason I gave it four stars as opposed to five is because I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had read the story before, just with a different host of characters and extenuating circumstances. Nonetheless, Blood Red Road contained all my favorite things: brilliant writing, quick pacing, well developed characters, a flawed yet commendable heroine and engrossing plot.
Blood Red Road tells the story of Saba, who is in search of her kidnapped twin brother Lugh. Her journey is a perilous one, with constant obstacles and mishaps to over come, obstacles that don’t disappoint for action enthusiasts. It is on this quest that Saba discovers not only that which she has lost, but all that she was meant to find, including a renegade gang of fearsome female warriors, a sexy outlaw named Jack, and a kind hearted bear of a man named Ike. These fascinating characters, along with Saba’s annoying, albeit intuitive sister, Emmi, and her brilliantly trained pet crow rally together to seek Lugh, changing the world along the way. (less)
The blurb on the back of Across the Universe implies that this book is a thriller, while the cover, which boasts a boy and a girl a breath away from k...moreThe blurb on the back of Across the Universe implies that this book is a thriller, while the cover, which boasts a boy and a girl a breath away from kissing, suggests the it’s YA romance. In truth, this book is neither. It’s more of a sci-fi dystopian read than anything else.
Apparently the world as we readers know it is ending, or will end at some point. Economy is failing, people are jobless, sickness and destruction of the world’s resources is inevitable. As a result, the U.S. creates the largest spaceship ever invented, Godspeed, with the intent of sending it into space to find another planet in which we humans can inhabit and destroy.
As this will all occur in space time (I know, I even impress myself with my general lack of space know how) Godspeed will not land until 300 years in the future. A selection of sods (scientist and military experts) are to be preserved in a frozen state and stored on Godspeed only to be later awakened in the future, once Godspeed has landed on that previously mentioned, newly discovered planet. In the interim, Godspeed will be manned by those whose life on earth must be entirely hopeless as many generations of these fools will never see land, breathe air, or feel the wind and the generation that will finally be afforded these things have been involuntarily signed up to be the new planet’s working class, if that.
Anywho, Across the Universe is told in alternating points of view. We have Elder, who is the next in line to rule Godspeed and then we have Amy, who was non-essential individual frozen along with her parents and is to be reawakened upon landing. However, things get a wee bit complicated when Amy is awakened fifty years ahead of schedule.
Though the themes hand a tendency to become a tad heavy handed, I thought the overall theme of this story was presented well. It was fascinating to ponder how societies and belief systems could form, or how one lie presented as truth, could flourish and thus alternate reality. Furthermore, Reis did an excellent job with her setting. I was constantly at odds with the description. One minute I’m marveling at the sheer size of Godspeed, which boasted small cities, farmland, and many other nooks and crannies that contained hidden secrets and yet could instantly feel claustrophobic and oppressed when the story called for such feelings. Overall, I thought Across the Universe was a well done debut, but to those of you who are only seeking this book due to the potential romance, I suggest you look elsewhere. (less)
I loved every second I spent reading Divergent. Its quick, fluid pacing, combined with edge of your seat plotting and heart rending characters, lent i...moreI loved every second I spent reading Divergent. Its quick, fluid pacing, combined with edge of your seat plotting and heart rending characters, lent itself well to this dystopian debut.
Divergent takes place in a Dystopian Chicago. It has long been discovered that the cause for the worlds’ strife and political unrest wasn’t due to race or religion but rather the personality traits of human beings. Thus a new government was formed and divided into factions that were created according to those virtues that leaders found to be the most prudent. Those of Dauntless value bravery and live a life dedicated to service through valor. Erudite values knowledge and are a faction devoted to studies. Amity values love and happiness, Candor – Honesty and Abnegation values selflessness above all else, thus making them best suited for leadership roles in government as they are uncorrupt able.
At the eve of the choosing ceremony, the event in which young adults choose the faction in which they will live, we meet Tris Prior. Tris is a 16 year old girl that has grown up in Abnegation, but has found the factions ideals difficult to live by. She often feels out of step and ponders what it would be like to live a life afforded by other factions. However doing so would mean betraying her family. While her upcoming aptitude test could support what she has always known, that she doesn’t belong in Abnegation, she also fears what the results with say. But when her results come back inconclusive, Tris must make her choice without a guide.
Tris’s choice and the consequences that follow kept me turning the pages into the wee hours of the night. I simply couldn’t find a stopping point! Tris was a character that I could root for and the world that Roth has created is intricate and entrancing. I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel.
Side note: I’m normally peeved to read books that are the start of a trilogy, but at nearly 500 pages, Roth gives plenty of meat to her story to keep readers satisfied. (less)
It is entirely possible that the only reason I was able to enjoy this installment fearing the worst. I’ve been burned by too many series to get too te...moreIt is entirely possible that the only reason I was able to enjoy this installment fearing the worst. I’ve been burned by too many series to get too terribly invested in them. And let’s face it, even if the first few books make it out unscathed, the ending will probably take a nose dive into crazy town. So I walked into this expecting middle book syndrome and discovered a second installment that I actually really enjoyed. I’ll be honest, there are a lot of things contained in Insurgent that should have killed my reading experience. I wanted to Tris around more than a few times for her angsting and often suicidal tendencies. She is nothing like the kick ass heroine we see in Divergent. However, I cut her some slack. She did just kill one of best friends, and her parents did die right before her eyes. The world she believed in is forever changed and she has no home to speak of. I’d probably be a bit gun shy as well, and I’d certainly be lost/depressed. After all, I get weepy over a bad haircut! Tris isn’t the only character who has done an about face either. Four, now going by his real name, Tobias, is a bit more aggressive, less collected, and a bit snippy. But again, I’d made an allowance. His character did has his mind tampered with (something he thought impossible) and nearly destroyed the world. His girlfriend, and only person he has ever loved and been loved by in return, is on one suicide mission after another, and for the first time in his life, he isn’t sure of his purpose. I’d be pissy too. So I am actually going to give Roth props. She could have continued to pulse pounding action contained in Divergent. She could have written Tris in a way that was entirely un-evolving yet thoroughly entertaining, and Tobias could have continued being our flawless, thoughtful night and shining armor. I for one am glad she didn’t. I would have called foul on that. It isn’t realistic. And even though the world Roth has created is a bit wonky, she is still writing about human beings, and human beings are never truly consistent from start to finish. For those of you expecting more of the same with a few added twists, you’ll be disappointed. Action and suspense hooked me in Divergent, political intrigue and problem solving kept me engaged in Insurgent. And the passages found within Divergent that demonstrated coming of age, love and friendship, have been replaced by mistrust and blame and self- doubt. I was still entertained, but in an entirely different way. (less)
I don’t know whether or not I should be delighted or dejected at having read what I consider to be a 5 star worthy book. I’m overjoyed at having inves...moreI don’t know whether or not I should be delighted or dejected at having read what I consider to be a 5 star worthy book. I’m overjoyed at having invested my time and money so wisely, as Legend is filled with so much win that it’s very pages practically bleed awesomeness. And yet I’m left with this nagging suspicion that none of the predecessors will live up to this installments glory. I hope that I am wrong, as I am already wringing my hands together in anticipation of what will happen next.
So what’s so glorious about this book?
The story, which is told in present tense. Oh how I heart present tense when used in dystopias. It fosters that break neck pace that I so love to dwell in whilst reading this genre. Even better, Legend offers alternating points of view, eliminating that unreliable narration crap that makes me want to grit my teeth. The characters may be left in the dark, but the readers are not.
The characters. I couldn’t find a single thing that I didn’t like about either Day, or June. Not one thing. Never happens. Ever. June is a brilliant, capable military genius and Day is a hot, futuristic Robin Hood out to protect his family while striking down the evil Republic. What’s not to like? A worthy heroine and hunk. Yes please. Added bonus, we get not one, but two and possibly three characters that we all will love to hate.
The world. It actually made sense without overwhelming my reading experience with un-necessary detail that I could do nothing with until the very end. I knew everything I needed to know as I needed to know it. Sure, I have questions, but they aren’t being asked because I don’t understand the world in which this story is set, rather I ask because this book is a conspiracy theorists dream, and as such, we readers, along with the characters, have to unlock the mystery.
The writing. It’s precise and perfectly sparse. Not a word is wasted and not a sentence over done. The editor deserves a gold star.
The only thing I would change about this jewel is the fact that it is a first installment of a series. I’ve only met one series that hasn’t let me down, and that’s because I stopped reading it after I felt it was concluded. So please, please, Marie Lu. Worthy writer that you are. Please do not destroy your perfect story. Allow Day and June to retain their hero status. Bring a feasible, realistic resolution to this series, while letting them save the day. I beg you.