Aerin Renning and Dane Madousin are both seventeen-year-old freshmen at the universe’s most exclusive school, Academy 7. But aside from that, they cou...moreAerin Renning and Dane Madousin are both seventeen-year-old freshmen at the universe’s most exclusive school, Academy 7. But aside from that, they couldn’t be more different. Aerin has had a very hard life. She has never known her mother, and her father died when she was just eleven, after which Aerin was captured and forced into slavery for six long years, until she finally was able to escape. Dane Madousin was born to privilege, the son of an esteemed general. But the only thing he really wanted was his father’s love, which no matter how hard he tried, he never seemed to be able to earn.
When Dane, in an attempt to rebel against his father, plays a prank at school, he gets Aerin in trouble as well. Resenting him for his easy life and for causing her to be punished as well, at first she resolves that she will have nothing to do with him. But against her better judgment, they become close friends, and she shares the secrets of her past with him. And soon Aerin and Dane begin to suspect that an even bigger secret is being hidden at the school.
Academy 7 is one of my favorite teen fiction reads so far this year. Aerin and Dane, although they live in a futuristic world, are easy to relate to and have many of the same problems teens today face - Aerin struggles to blend in at school as she struggles emotionally with her past, while Dane longs for acceptance from his father and acts out rebelliously as a result of never gaining it. Throughout the novel they grow both as individuals and in their growing relationship with each other. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy teen fiction. It honestly has something in it for everyone - science fiction, fantasy, adventure, and a story of friendship and romance. (less)
Seventeen-year-old Amy gives up her life on Earth to join her parents, who are being cryogenically frozen to travel on a spaceship called Godspeed as...moreSeventeen-year-old Amy gives up her life on Earth to join her parents, who are being cryogenically frozen to travel on a spaceship called Godspeed as part of a mission to colonize a new planet. The journey will take 300 years. But then, fifty years before the ship was due to land, Amy is woken up early - and it does not appear to be a computer malfunction. Rather, it seems she is the victim of an attempted murder. And since Amy cannot be refrozen without risking her life and so she must spend the next fifty years on the ship, without her parents, who cannot be woken up to join her because they are essential to the mission of colonizing the new planet. To make matters worse, it seems that she was not the only victim, and now other frozen people are dying, too. Amy is terrified that her parents will be next.
Life on board the Godspeed is very different from the life Amy left behind on Earth, and it is a struggle for her to adapt. Almost everyone on the ship behaves completely abnormally. The only people who act human at all are the “mental” patients at the hospital. The ship is ruled over by Eldest, a tyrant who hates anything that could disrupt the order and conformity on the ship. There is also Elder, the teenager he is training to be the future leader of the ship. Although he will be the next leader, Elder often feels Eldest is hiding many things from him. And from the start he is fascinated by Amy, and very attracted to her, and doesn’t believe she is bad like Eldest does. Together Amy and Elder, as they grow closer to each other, must solve the mystery of who wants to kill the frozen people and discover the terrible hidden secrets of Godspeed.
This book is told from the alternating points of view of Elder and Amy, which I think worked really well for the story. Amy is a pretty typical teenager from Earth. Elder, meanwhile, was born and raised on the ship and it isn’t until he meets Amy that he begins to question many things about his world and whether things there are really as “normal” as he always believed. There’s a little bit of romance but it doesn’t overwhelm the plot, which was a nice change, it’s mostly a science fiction/mystery story set aboard a very dystopian spaceship, with lots of twists and turns in the plot that I didn‘t see coming. The story is truly very different from anything I’ve read recently from the young adult fiction genre, so if you like dystopian fiction and are looking to read something different, I would highly recommend this book. (less)
This is going to be a difficult book to review... I am going to try not to give too many spoilers since it is a sequel and the release date is so far...moreThis is going to be a difficult book to review... I am going to try not to give too many spoilers since it is a sequel and the release date is so far off. So I will probably come back and modify this review later, closer to the release date.
I don't want to say too much about the plot, but this book continues Lena's story after her escape at the end of Delirium. She has made it to the Wilds but is heartbroken by the loss of Alex. However she becomes stronger and joins the resistance, eventually traveling to New York. The story alternates between the present time with Lena in the resistance and flashback chapters about how she came to join them after she first escaped into the Wilds. I loved the first 95% of this book and then.... well, I'm trying not to spoil this, but I'm kind of concerned after the ending because it seems like it's being set up for a very common YA cliche story in the final book. Gah. I hope that turns out not to be the case, but the ending caused me to take away one star because I was really that annoyed.
But anyway, despite that, if you loved Delirium you will want to read Pandemonium. I will still definitely read book three, I just hope it turns out differently than I am expecting after reading this book.(less)
In the near future, life in the United States has changed as a result of a series of natural disasters as well as a war that has gone on for as long a...moreIn the near future, life in the United States has changed as a result of a series of natural disasters as well as a war that has gone on for as long as thirteen-year-old Louisa can remember. Many wealthy parents are sending their children to boarding schools in the wilderness in hopes of keeping them safe. Louisa's parents are wealthy doctors, and they have arranged for her to attend a boarding school named Country Manner School with her best friend, Maddie, by giving Maddie a new identity as Louisa's twin sister.
At CMS, Louisa and Maddie are roommates with two other girls, Rosie and Evelyn. Louisa and Rosie both love being at CMS, enjoying the fresh air and survival skills classes after growing up in a polluted city. But Maddie is unhappy. She misses her real family and hates the rules of the school. Evelyn doesn't like CMS, but for a different reason. She is suspicious about CMS and doesn't believe the adults there who tell them all the rules are for their own safety.
I think younger readers interested in the dystopian genre but not quite ready for older young adult books will enjoy this book. However, I think that the background of the story is underdeveloped. There's pretty much nothing in the book at all about what is going on out there besides the fact that there were some really bad natural disasters and now the United States is involved in a war against "the Alliance," but there's never any explanation of what exactly the Alliance is, or why there is a war. There are going to be three more books in the series so hopefully there will be some answers in the other books. (less)
Rosie, Evelyn, Louisa, and Maddie are four young teenage girls who were sent to a remote boarding school to keep them safe from the war. But the girls...moreRosie, Evelyn, Louisa, and Maddie are four young teenage girls who were sent to a remote boarding school to keep them safe from the war. But the girls discovered a terrible secret - their boarding school was run by the enemy, the Alliance, who tricked parents into sending their children there to be used as hostages - and decided to escape.
This book picks up right where book one, Behind the Gates, left off, as the girls decide to try and find their way to Chicago to reunite with their parents and expose the truth about the school. Shortly after, they run into three boys from the nearby boys' boarding school, who are away from the school on a camping trip and who decide to join them after learning the truth about their schools. This time the narrator is Rosie, who has a secret - she knows all about being on the run, because her wealthy parents arranged for their illegal immigration to the United States after their home in Mexico was destroyed. She takes on the job of leading the group, but can she bring them to safety, especially when they find themselves trapped in Alliance-occupied Canada?
While I enjoyed the continuing story of the four girls, and will definitely read the final two books to find out how the story concludes, I had the same problem with this book as I did with book one. There's no information at all about who the Alliance is and what caused the war, just that it happened after life had already changed in the United States due to climate change and natural disasters. I'm still hoping the other books in the series will have an explanation, despite this being a middle grade book I think there should be something more than just "There's a war with bad people on the other side." I think this series would still be a good choice for younger readers who are interested in the popular dystopian genre but not ready for young adult books, and even for older readers who want a quick read. I just wish the background of the story had been a bit more detailed. (less)
With the Enemy is book three in the Tomorrow Girls series, and begins right where book two, Run for Cover, ended. This series is about four young girl...moreWith the Enemy is book three in the Tomorrow Girls series, and begins right where book two, Run for Cover, ended. This series is about four young girls, Louisa, Evelyn, Maddie, and Rosie, who were sent to a boarding school to keep them safe during a war between the United States and the Alliance, which happened after natural disasters destroyed part of the United States. However the girls soon learned that the school was secretly run by the Alliance and successfully escaped, joining up with three boys from the nearby boys' school. However, just when they were almost home, Maddie was kidnapped, and the other kids think she was taken by agents of the Alliance.
Each book is narrated by a different girl, and this time the narrator is Evelyn, who has always loved conspiracy theories and was suspicious of their school from the start. So now that Maddie has been kidnapped, Evelyn must take the lead in searching for her. When she learns Maddie is being held in an Alliance facility, the kids must come up with a plan to free up.
The books in this series are fun, quick reads that are a good choice for younger readers not yet ready to read young adult dystopian novels. There is less background information than in books for older readers - I'm still a bit frustrated that there are no explanations for what caused the war and who the Alliance is. But I have enjoyed reading about the chararacters and am looking forward to reading the final book in the series, Set Me Free, which will be published in November 2011. (less)