If wide spread readership of Grasshopper Jungle reflects that of my reading group, this book will have a polarizing effect. It's frequent talk of hornIf wide spread readership of Grasshopper Jungle reflects that of my reading group, this book will have a polarizing effect. It's frequent talk of horniness, sperm, and repetitive nature annoyed a lot of folks. But I for one found this book to be extremely amusing and oddly thought provoking.
*Kudos to Andrew Smith for allowing his narrator to be horrendously flawed. So many YA books shy away from writing their characters in a way that may make them unlikeable, but not Andrew Smith. The end result was a relatable character, even to those who were never "horny" 16 year old boys....more
TheInfiniteSea clearly suffers from middle book syndrome. I struggled thru it, and cast it aside several times. I both loved and hated the multiple poTheInfiniteSea clearly suffers from middle book syndrome. I struggled thru it, and cast it aside several times. I both loved and hated the multiple points of view. However, I don't much care for the character of Ringer, and given that her POV is the most substantial, I found myself skimming thru a majority of the book. Those who enjoyed her character are bound to have an entirely different reading experience.
For those of you who haven't yet read this sequel, I feel confident in saying you could easily skip it as everything and nothing transpires over the course of the book. You could wiki the spoilers and be fully prepared to jump into book 3. What should have been a major reveal was mostly underwhelming, which is a shame, because the concept is fabulous and right in my reading wheelhouse. Ultimately, I fear this trilogy will not end well. And by well, I mean in a manner that will justify the reading of the series. Figners crossed I am proven wrong....more
To say I was hesitant to read a book written by a YA writing duo would be an understatement, Garcia and Stohl anyone? But I must say that These BrokenTo say I was hesitant to read a book written by a YA writing duo would be an understatement, Garcia and Stohl anyone? But I must say that These Broken Stars was certainly one of the stronger YA debuts I’ve read of late. No glaring plot holes, solid writing, fun plot, etc.
Told from duel point of views, These Broken Stars tells the story of Tarver, a poor but highly honored, soldier and Lilac, the sole heiress and only child to the richest man in the Galaxy. The story begins with these characters meeting each other for the first time during a party hosted on space liner, the Icarus. Their meeting is short, but sweet. However Tarver and Lilac are quickly thrust together when the fastest and largest liner in the galaxy falls to its impending doom and they are stranded upon an unknown planet. It doesn’t take long for us readers to presume that Tarver and Lilac are sole survivors (pretty sure it says as much on the dust jacket) and so the story truly unfolds. We read as Tarver and Lilac fight, traverse foreign land, encounter unknown species, fight for their survival and ultimately, fall in love. Think Titanic, only imagine it was set in space and Jack doesn’t die and is significantly less animated. At its heart, These Broken Stars is a romance with a survival tale woven in to prevent it from appearing too sappy. ...more
It’s a rare thing to read the conclusion of a trilogy and consider it in keeping with the series. Into the Still Blue accomplished this feat. Thanks bIt’s a rare thing to read the conclusion of a trilogy and consider it in keeping with the series. Into the Still Blue accomplished this feat. Thanks be!
Into the Still Blue picks up where Through the Ever Night left off. Aria shot, the Tides and Dwellers seeking momentary asylum in a system of caves, and Hess and Sable heading towards the Still Blue with a kidnapped Cinder in tow. Rossi does not waste precious words summarizing events previously presented in the first two books, and this fact is one of several that enabled me to love this conclusion.
What really sold me on this installment was the fact that Rossi provided conclusions to each of the story threads she began in book one. From the moment Aria and Perry solidified their relationship in Under the Never Sky, it was apparent that the next step would be to build rapport between dwellers and savages as they sought out the Still Blue. But there were other, less prominent questions that would need to be addressed on this quest such as the identity of Aria’s father, whether Soren would redeem himself, how Dwellers and Savages would govern themselves and co-exist, would Sable be destroyed, and if so, who would be the one do it, etc. Each of these questions receive answers…and they are satisfying answers.
I can’t say more without revealing major spoilers, but for those who have enjoyed the series thus far, I’m confident you will find peace in this conclusion. Under the Never Sky is still my favorite in the series, but initial installments usually are. ...more
There was once a time when I would devour each book of series immediately upon release. I couldn’t manage the anticipation of expected greatness. ButThere was once a time when I would devour each book of series immediately upon release. I couldn’t manage the anticipation of expected greatness. But over the years, series that I initially adored, and authors I thoroughly trusted would let me down with their final installments. I say that so that fans of this series know that I went into my reading of Allegiant with a weary heart. I wasn’t expecting greatness. I simply wanted it to not suck, or somehow taint my view of the series as a whole. All I wanted was a three star book. Queue disappointment.
I really and truly loved books 1 and 2. Tris got on my nerves a bit with her self-defeating suicidal tendencies in book 2, but overall, both were great reading experiences. I felt as though Roth had set a good tone for book 3 and expected things to wrap up in a way that was in keeping with the first 2 books of the series. Wrong. I may be the only one in thinking this, but Allegiant read like an entirely new series. The world was the same, all the characters we had come to know where there, but rather than wrap up her story, Roth somehow made it entirely more complicated. I like the conclusion of trilogies to tie up loose ends, answer my questions, and provide character resolution. Instead the world was expanded tenfold, I was introduced to brand new characters I cared nothing about, because frankly, I resented meeting them so late in the game, and the ending was hurried.
I could continue to rant, but it hardly seems worth it. The book itself is fine; it would be kind of awesome really had it been the start of a series and not the end of one. If I was rating and reviewing Allegiant solely based on this book’s ability to stand on its own, I’d give it 4 stars. But Allegiant isn’t a stand-alone title, it’s the conclusion of a series, and as far as conclusions go, it widely missed the mark. ...more
The 5th Wave is the epitomy of awesome for 75% of its 456 pages. It’s exciting, suspenseful and very well written. The narrator’s are wonderfully flawThe 5th Wave is the epitomy of awesome for 75% of its 456 pages. It’s exciting, suspenseful and very well written. The narrator’s are wonderfully flawed, distinctly nuanced and likeable. Even the secondary characters are well developed and void of grating stereotypes. The dialog and inner monaloges were just right and always on point. I laughed, I bristled in anger and indignation, and was geared up to rain down hell more than once. I was having an extraordinary reading experience right up to page 365-ish. That’s when Yancy got all Stephanie Meyer on me.
I’m not going to trash The 5th Wave because I pretty much adored everything about it until I hit those last 80 some odd pages. I was 100% convinced about 20 pages in that this was going to be a 5 star book. Unfortuneatly, I didn’t much care for Meyer’s The Host so naturally I did not enjoy the fact that Yancy’s alien beings are an exact copy of her alien lore. And I mean exact. I’m surprised he isn’t being sued. But I digress. My feeling towards The 5th Wave went from appreciation and wonderful , suspense filled anticipation to wariness and overwhelming disappointment. I almost wanted to stop reading. But I decided I had come too far to simply stop, Yancy had done so well and I wanted to believe, as Cassie has to believe, that things could get better. That the disappointment I was feeling wouldn’t last. I read that last page, stewed on it, googled the book, and realized they are making a sequel.
Now I am irritated AND disappointed. Well played literary gods. I am consistently being taught not to believe in a book or series until I have read the last page of the last book. You all almost always win. And I while I’m pretty put out with Yancy at the moment and really really want to eschew this series with a firm hand, I can’t deny the fact that Yancy wrote a mostly amazing book that has me grudgingly curious. I blame Evan Walker. I’ll read the sequel, because I can’t not read it. I lack will power when it comes to chocolate and boys that are bad decisions, but I’m not at all happy about it....more
It's taken me nearly a year, but I have FINALLY finished reading Prodigy. The unexplainable thing is, I actually really enjoyed reading it once I finaIt's taken me nearly a year, but I have FINALLY finished reading Prodigy. The unexplainable thing is, I actually really enjoyed reading it once I finally resigned myself to it. It would seem that even books can become victim to the female mood swing.
Prodigy picks up where Legend left off. Day and June are on the run. As fuguitives, they are in desperate need of allies and quickly recieve refuge from a group of vigilantes known as the Patriots. In a world where nothing is free, the Patriots barter their aid in exchange for Day and June's assistance on their plot to over throw the Republic. More specifically, Day and June are to become key instruments inorchestrating an assination attempt on the new supreme/president or whatever the hell the top dog of the republic is called in this series. What transpires is an action filled and emotionally charged adventure.
If you're craving a dystopian adventure, where heroines are intelligent, and a majority of the characters are down for kicking a little ass, Prodigy won't disappoint.
I doubt I will be able to produce an adequate review of this one. It’s been nearly 18 months since I read Rebel Heart’s prequel, Blood Red Road. I havI doubt I will be able to produce an adequate review of this one. It’s been nearly 18 months since I read Rebel Heart’s prequel, Blood Red Road. I have a feeling this fact may hold camp in Rebel Heart’s favor. I’m foggy on some of the details of book one and as such, I don’t dislike some of the characters in a way that I feel I probably should (DeMalo), and I didn’t miss those main characters who were decidedly absent (Jack).
Rebel Heartbegins several months (or weeks?) after Blood Red Road ends. We find Saba wandering in the desert with Lugh, Emmi and Tommo(who would name someone this?) while searching for the great valley, or whatever it is they call it in this book. The trip isn’t going well. They are lost, Saba is seeing dead people and Lugh is acting like an ass (which he does throughout the entire book, btw). Meanwhile, Jack has set out to find Ike’s long lost love, Molly, to deliver the news of his death in person. This creates what I assume will be an extremely aggrivating plot device for most dedicated readers of this series as it prevents Jack’s presence throughout 95% of the story. As I mentioned, I can’t recall being particularly swayed by his charm to the point of his character being burned into my brain (which most swoon worthy hero’s are) so I wasn’t perturbed by this. When Saba receives a message that indicates Jack might be in danger, she sets out to save him. Of course this message is delivered after some witchy voodoo transpires (don’t ask, I don’t entirely understand it) and naturally, Saba’s irritating family and surprisingly possessive Tommo come along.
What transpires on this adventure was entertaining, and just a wee bit confusing . Without being too spoilery, Saba acts extremely out of character when faced with what I believe was once a sworn enemy (DeMalo), but I for one am intrigued. Unlike Jack, DeMalo has my attention. He sort of creeps me out, but I think I may like him.
At any rate, if you were particularly attached/invested in this series, I think you are going to be mad at this one. However, if you are like me and only remember that you really enjoyed book one and have to dive into book two to recall the details of Blood Red Road , you might like Rebel Heart as I did. Maybe. But I think you have to like bad guys....more
I was a bit weary of This Is Not a Test after having read and disliked Summer’s previous works. However, I am hard pressed to pass up a zombie thrilleI was a bit weary of This Is Not a Test after having read and disliked Summer’s previous works. However, I am hard pressed to pass up a zombie thriller, especially within the YA genre. All in all, this teen zombie adventure flick was a fairly entertaining reading experience, a solid 3 stars from me.
Like most books, there were flaws. Readers will be dropped into this story with no introduction to the zombie mania. Worse, we are given this story through the eyes of a most annoying, and unreliable narrator, which, is about par for the course with this author. Much like her previous works, This Is Not a Test is a bit angsty and filled with characters who have a significant amount of melodrama. But the setting lends itself well to the personal struggles of these characters and prevents it from falling victim to their less redeeming qualities in addition to ensuring the pace doesn’t become too sluggish. If you are looking for an entertaining YA book that is neither supernatural or non-descript, this would be a decent pick, but if you are looking to assuage an action packed dystopian read craving with zombie flavor, you would be better off reading Allison Hewitt is Trapped. It was a much more pulse pounding book, imo, and the heroine was awesome. ...more
As a Poe enthusiast, I was a bit diffident about reading Masque of the Red Death. After all, I had read Nevermore which proved to be sham of book, imoAs a Poe enthusiast, I was a bit diffident about reading Masque of the Red Death. After all, I had read Nevermore which proved to be sham of book, imo. Never the less that lovely cover called to me, and in spite of the fact that pretty covers have often proven to possess ugly innards, this book at least proved to be the exception to the rule.
Masque of the Red Death tells the story of Araby Worth, who lives in a world plagued by contagion and death. Bodies fill the streets as cities slowly disintegrate along with humanity. Death is emanate, except for those lucky few who own ceramic, air filtering masks. But even those who have been lucky enough to survive thus far have few things to live for. As a result, many individuals, including Araby Worth, spend their days seeking oblivion in night clubs, chasing highs to escape their lows. It is in such a club, known as Debauchery, that Araby meets two individuals who will change the course of her life.
While I’m sure that the summary may sound trite, rest assured that Masque of the Red Death didn’t befall to the typical YA pitfalls. There is so much to soak in while reading this story. It is gloriously atmospheric. I was wholly entrenched in this plague ridden universe. I had a clear mental image of dress and those coveted, life saving ceramic masks. And there were many times I wanted to jump into the shower as I read of plague and puss. Moreover, I loved each of the characters. They were such a refreshing change of pace with their drug habits, manipulative cunning, and most importantly, desperation. Even the love triangle, which would typically create an impulse to bang my head against the wall, was exceptionally well done. It wasn’t forced, and made perfect since for each of the characters. My only regret is that I read this via an ARC. Now I have to wait even longer to begin the next installment. ...more
I gave serious thought to not reviewing this book given it's ability to so consistently evoke my anger while reading it. Ranting about it just seemedI gave serious thought to not reviewing this book given it's ability to so consistently evoke my anger while reading it. Ranting about it just seemed like a waste of my time. But when I couldn't let the irritation go nearly a week after having finished it, I couldn't not say something. However, before I say anymore, I want to note for posterity, that I'm certain many readers will read this book and love it. To which I say, good for them. I just wasn't among them. Here's why.
The implausibility of the human intelligence. I'm not referring to the patials when I say human intelligence either. I can completely buy that human beings could create a super race that consisted of the best genes and was void of the worst. After all, we can already select the gender of babies, along with eye and hair color as well as identify genetic markers for illnesses of all kinds. Creating super beings could be a very real possibility. But what isn't a possibility is a human's ability to learn information and practice it the way Kira (the Mary Sue) heroine of Partials does, at least not without some genetic modification of her own. Perhaps my inability to digest her supreme intelligence was hindered by the fact that I have grown up in a family filled with healthcare practitioners and I myself work with them on a daily basis. But I think even if I hadn't, common sense would still have caused me to call bullshit on Kira. For those of you who haven't yet read Partials, Kira is a 16 year old girl that posses the following skill sets: a Ph.d level knowledge in microbiology, the ability to perform and understand an o.b ultrasound and currently works as a nurse in a labor and delivery unit. Best part, she learned all these skills in a 2 year standard medic program. This pisses me off because it shows that while the author has a somewhat sound knowledge of biology, he didn't do a lick of research. Frankly, I don't think an author has any business writing science fiction if he or she doesn't do research. To obtain a Ph.d knowledge, you actually have to put in years of study. Not because it takes fools that long to learn about such things but because the science is so complex and unknown that it actually takes that long to start making educated guesses. 2 years in a medic program is wholly insufficient, even with super machines. And having a Ph.d in microbiology doesn't make someone qualified to be a nurse in a L and D unit, or a nurse period for that matter. Being a nurse in a labor and delivery unit requires an RN certification that at best can be achieved in 2 years, but that has to be expanded upon by working at least a year rotating in a variety of other units in order to be able to provide total care and even then a RN couldn't work with a patient in labor and delivery unsupervised for at least another 6 months to a year. As for the ultrasonography, that requires two years of training as well, but those two years focuses only on that skill, and even after two years, I still wouldn't want someone right out of school performing my o.b ultrasound as it is one of the most complex and requires a certification all on it's own. The fact that Mr.Wells wrote a 16 year old girl in possession of the skills that even trump experts within this story made me want to scream at his rudeness, and ignorance.
But as much as the crap research irritated the piss out of me, what really chapped my ass was the inclusion of the "Hope Act". This is a fictional act created for the purpose of this story, that mandates that any woman aged 18 or older is required by law to become and remain pregnant throughout her life. Now, I'm aware that this theme has appeared several times in books, especially of this genre. And while it is an annoying topic for me personally to read, I appreciate it's merit, when done properly. It was not done properly here, IMO. Perhaps this is unfair of me, but I don't think men have any right to weigh in on this topic regardless of what side they fall on. Last I checked, men don't have a uterus and they can't carry a baby. They can't experience all the physical, mental, emotional or economical effects of pregnancy, thus their opinion on whether or not to become pregnant is moot. Yet Wells presumes to write about how a woman would feel to be required by law to become pregnant. To say he does it poorly is a understatement. When a man can experience what it's like to have his moods go haywire because there is a baby in his womb, when he has to purchase an entire wardrobe because his clothes don't fit because of the baby in his womb, when he can experience swollen ankles, stretch marks, widening noses and hips, lower back pain, a baby kicking the crap out his internal organs, sleeplessness, labor pains, recovery from having birthed a baby, craziness induced from erratic hormones caused by there no longer being a baby in his womb, boss prejudice because you now have a baby, etc. then, men can weigh in on how it would feel to actually be forced to have a baby. Until then, I think they should shut it.
Aside from my above qualms, there wasn't anything about Partials that held my attention. The characters and the world were poorly developed and many creative minds have done this better....more
After I emerged from the reading fog induced by Angelfall, I was a bit befuddeled. I had hunkered down with my kindle, and my friends and family wouldAfter I emerged from the reading fog induced by Angelfall, I was a bit befuddeled. I had hunkered down with my kindle, and my friends and family would have had to pry it out of my cold, dead fingers in order to get me to set it aside. The writing and premise were that good. But….
(Don’t you just hate seeing a “but” in a review when you are invested in a great story???)
The ending, I think, may have been cheap. As in garbage cheap. For much of the story, I felt as though I was reading The Walking Dead, only with Angels rather than Zombies and one kick ass heroine that had my fist pumping the air saying “Hell yes!”. I was loving every minute of my reading experience. It had me on the edge of my chair. My palms were clammy, and I’m sure I looked a little pasty, as being un-nerved has a way of making me look like death warmed over. But that ending… I just can’t shake the feeling that Ee lacked enough confidence in her story to omit the Hostel-like elements. And they were Hostel-like. Nothing but gore and shock value. It added nothing to her story. She could have furthered it without the perversity. So…I took away a star. But you better believe that I’m going to be wringing my hands in anticipation for the next installment. Because in spite of the cheaply added element, I still love the adventure Ee has created, and am excited to continue on, I just hope she doesn’t ruin it. ...more
I’ve been wracking my brain all morning trying to write an apt summarySome books leave awesomeness in their wake. Under the Never Sky is one of them.
I’ve been wracking my brain all morning trying to write an apt summary to describe what transpires within this book. The one provided by goodreads is just as chaotic as Under the Never Sky’s first chapter. Filled with names of characters we don’t know, discussing a world we don’t understand. Yet I’m going to try anyway. I don’t want readers to give up on this book two chapters in as I thought of doing.
Under the Never Sky takes place in the distant future. Our world has been ravaged by atmospheric storms, forcing individuals to live in self sustaining nuclear proofed structures called pods. These individuals, referred to as dwellers, are not accustomed to life outside the pods and do not leave their premises. To ensure quality of life, and attempt to strive off insanity that coincides with self-imposed confinement, the dwellers have created virtual worlds, known as realms in which they can enjoy entertainment, adventure, mundane activity and even sex. Naturally, if a dweller were to leave the safety of the pods, death would seem immanent given their lack of survival know how. Yet pod living is not the only lifestyle that exists in the world of Under the Never Sky. Others have managed to survive the storms, and have chosen to live outside the pods, as nature intended. These others are known as savages. Unlike the dwellers, their access to technology is limited, but they aren’t exactly void of perks…
Under the Never Sky tells the story of Aria, a dweller girl, and Peregrine (aka Perry), a savage boy, who meet under coincidental circumstances, and are bound together by a chain of events resulting from their first encounter. Filled with action, friendship, love and adventure, Under the Never Sky makes for an enchanting reading experience. Just stick it out through those first few chapters. I promise goodies lie within, including a horrendously embarrassing period lesson and some sexy time. Kudos to Rossi for adding both elements into her story. She is a literary badass. ...more
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 invesI 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.
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 teIt 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. ...more
I loved every second I spent reading Divergent. Its quick, fluid pacing, combined with edge of your seat plotting and heart rending characters, lent iI 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. ...more
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 kThe 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. ...more
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. CoBlood 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. ...more
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 manySimply 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.
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. ...more
Ship Breaker is a fascinating concept. It’s written well and tackles concerning current world affairs such as class segregation and unlawful labor praShip 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. ...more
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 thinkUgh, 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? ...more
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 KThe 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. ...more