I added Enclave to my list of books to read because Ann Aguirre is a debut author and it’s dystopian. It’s a quick read that’s dark and enjoyable. On...moreI added Enclave to my list of books to read because Ann Aguirre is a debut author and it’s dystopian. It’s a quick read that’s dark and enjoyable. On the cover it says it’s a good choice for fans of The Hunger Games, but I honestly didn’t feel the connection between both books. Enclave reminds me more of Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth and parts also reminded me of Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go. I’m not a fan of Carrie Ryan’s book, so I guess it’s odd that I liked this book as much as I did.
The characters are developed well, which I always appreciate in a book that’s beginning a trilogy or series. Deuce has lived a sheltered life underground, with the desire to become a Huntress. She’s paired up with Fade, who was an outsider, but welcomed to the enclave because he was able to survive outside it. I enjoyed their interactions because Deuce is able to learn more about the world outside the enclave, which in turn uncovers some truths about her life inside the enclave. Fade is able to provide this knowledge. Fade’s definitely a leader, but he doesn’t dominate over Deuce which would have made her appear weak and fragile. This is a book with a tough female protagonist that knows how to protect herself and survive. I’m not the biggest fan of Stalker, although I am curious about his role in book two.
The Freaks are an interesting part of the book. I thought of them more like zombies than anything else. I’m not a fan of zombies (Team Unicorn all the way!), so again, I’m surprised that addition of Freaks didn’t change my feelings towards the book. Thinking about it now, this book would pair well with the movie I Am Legend. Thankfully, Ann Aguirre didn’t make the story revolve around the Freaks. Enclave is more about survival in a “new” world and self-discovery.
There’s a great balance of action and character/world building. The ending wraps up nicely and thankfully isn’t a cliffhanger. If you’re looking for a different kind of dystopian (this is apocolyptic) and connecting with strong characters, definitely pick this up. My book club chose this book and we’re discussing it on Friday. I’m looking forward to what they have to say! (less)
Audio Review: I’ve never listened to an audiobook narrated by Christine Lakin but I will again. Her voice is easy t...moreReview originally posted at YA Love
Audio Review: I’ve never listened to an audiobook narrated by Christine Lakin but I will again. Her voice is easy to listen to and I love how she so easily changes her accent to fit characters like Gavriel. I chose to listen to the audio because I really didn’t know if I’d like the book. I’ve found that it’s easier to try reading books I’m hesitant to read by listening to the audio. One of my seniors mentioned a love of vampire books on her interests survey which is what drove me to give The Coldest Girl in Coldtown a try. Anyway, this audiobook is on the longer side but it’s definitely worth a listen. At certain points throughout the audio–often at pivotal moments–different types of music play, which I didn’t think was really necessary, but I did appreciate it. This audiobook made cleaning, cooking, and driving much easier to get through. One quirk I need to mention is that I wasn’t expecting the switch in time periods/place. That threw me as I was listening, but I know it wouldn’t have been an issue had I been reading the book traditionally.
Book Review: I’m so happy to have finally found a Holly Black novel that I enjoyed! I was doubly hesitant to read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown because I didn’t liked Holly Black’s Doll Bones or White Cat and I’m over vampire books. Tana’s story is addicting, creepy, and bloody. I’m not into horror, either, but I was engrossed in this book!
I just ordered a copy of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown because I know many of my students will want to read this once I tell them about it. I have quite a few horror and mystery fans, although not as many vampire fans, but regardless I know they’ll enjoy it. I’m going to recommend this to my Anna Dressed in Blood fans because even though there isn’t as much humor in Tana’s story, there’s plenty of gore and action to keep them interested.
When it comes to characters, I really enjoyed Tana and Gavriel. Gavriel is the perfect mix of mysterious and alluring. Tana is independent and strong-willed. I loved the interactions between the two characters and honestly couldn’t decide if I wanted them to be together or not. I wasn’t sure if I wanted Tana to go cold and/or become a vampire or continue on as an unaffected human. I kept wondering what would happen to her because it seemed like she would need to go one way or another to make her story work. I’ll let you find out what happens to Tana and if anything develops between her and Gavriel :)
Coldtown’s setting reminds me of a post-apocalyptic world. It’s run down, dismal, and dangerous. Holly Black did a great job describing and developing it. If there’s a second book I’ll be happy to read it and learn more about Coldtown, but the ending as it is now is satisfying.
If you’re looking for a vampire story without sparkly vampires then I recommend picking up The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.(less)
I really like the premise for this, but the writing is often awkward and the alternating points of view aren't always smooth. And I have no idea why i...moreI really like the premise for this, but the writing is often awkward and the alternating points of view aren't always smooth. And I have no idea why it needs to be so long. Despite this not living up to the hype for me, I know it will be a huge hit with my students.(less)
I honestly had mixed reactions when I started reading The Farm. The concept is cool which is why I d...moreReview & Giveaway originally posted at YA Love
I honestly had mixed reactions when I started reading The Farm. The concept is cool which is why I decided to try it and join the blog tour. I’m not really big on vampires, but I like post-apocalyptic books. My students still like reading paranormal vampire novels and the post-apocalyptic genre is a big hit with them as well. Emily McKay’s debut is another book that I need to break down into what worked and what didn’t work.
What Worked For Me:
*The multiple points of view–The Farm is told from Lily, Mel, and Carter’s points of view told in alternating chapters. My favorite chapters are Mel’s because she’s autistic and has a really unique perspective and understanding of the world around her. The story works with this format because there’s so much going on and the characters are so involved. I learned more about Carter and his history during his chapters than in any of the other chapters, and I really don’t know how we could have learned as much about him without this format. Overall it added more layers to the story and really defined the characters. *Lily–I like what a strong heroine she is. She’s quick on her feet and stands up for herself and her sister. Her sense of humor, despite how horrible her life is, is witty and snarky. I really think teens with siblings who they’re close to or protective of, will connect with Lily and enjoy her character. *The pacing & action–The Farm is full of suspense, twists, and action. Emily McKay did a nice job balancing The Farm’s character development and plot development; it doesn’t feel like one more than the other (character driven or plot driven). I enjoyed the suspense and wondering how new developments were going to come to light. The pacing it great and will keep my students interested as they read.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
*Vampires–I’m over vampires. I don’t have much else to say on that topic. *I tried to keep an open mind on the vampire front, but some of the background storyline didn’t work for me. I don’t want to ruin anything because much of that isn’t revealed until 100+ pages in, but when I came to that story I sort of cringed. I had to start thinking of the book as more of a book for my students than for me at that point. And sometimes that’s what I really need to do when I read a book outside my comfort zone; I need to think about the students in class who will like it more than me. *I really liked Lily, Mel, and Carter, but I didn’t find myself connecting to them and their story until 75 or more pages in. I needed more earlier than that. (less)