There was a little too much crying for me to enjoy this one as much as the first, but still something in them (definitely not the romance, plot, or seThere was a little too much crying for me to enjoy this one as much as the first, but still something in them (definitely not the romance, plot, or setting) makes me keep reading.
I think it's...
Well it could be...
Screw it, I have no clue.
All I know is I have book 3, 4 and the novellas on reserve at the library for me....more
Don't judge me. I've been hearing too many good things for me not to be piqued.
I was in a pageant once (DON'T JUDGE. IT'S ENOUGH THAT MY BOYFRIEND REMDon't judge me. I've been hearing too many good things for me not to be piqued.
I was in a pageant once (DON'T JUDGE. IT'S ENOUGH THAT MY BOYFRIEND REMEMBERS THIS WAYYYY TOO WELL). A very small one where we really did stick by one another. So this book kind got me in ways I didn't expect.
Yeah the world building was kind of unsteady in a lot of ways (though there were definitely hints of larger things to come-rewriting history 1984 style please) and it was like living in a teenager's head for two days.
But...it was fun. It was flaky and silly and overdramatic, but it was strangely fun. I'm not really in love with this series or anything, but just like our MC, my feelings are growing.
Evidence? I've already put book two on hold at the library....more
When I read Wither oh so many years ago, three things stuck out fPerfect Ruin reminded me a lot of Wither.
Yes, I am aware they are by the same author.
When I read Wither oh so many years ago, three things stuck out for me:
1-The writing was gorgeous.
2-The characters, particularly pretty much only the female ones, were compelling.
3-There was a definite weak dystopian/scifi element to the world.
I felt similar finishing Perfect Ruin.
The writing was nice-I think I may have actually felt it weaker in comparison, however.
The, again, female characters were mostly compelling (view spoiler)[Didn't give a shit about Pen or the princess tbh or even Amy near the end. And Morgan was kind of bratty and whiny and DEPRESSING (which I get but yeah). Maybe I didn't like any of them? (hide spoiler)]
And the world felt, well, weak again in terms of its supposed dystopian/utopian setting.
Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way. When I read Perfect Ruin I felt like the world was almost tacked on-like the dystopian elements were only there to be a plotpoint instead of a greater theme.
I had a similar thought when reading Delirium by Oliver too. Maybe we should just qualify this as dystopian light? I dunno.
In the end, this book was, well, kind of boring for me. I wasn't concerned with the plot, the characters, even the love story (however well it was done) didn't make turn the pages faster. I just wanted to finish it before the weekend so I could get started on something else. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Have you ever eaten popcorn. What am I freaking saying.You know how popcorn is delicious and nice and you could keep snacking all day on it?
Have you ever eaten popcorn. What am I freaking saying.You know how popcorn is delicious and nice and you could keep snacking all day on it?
And you know how it get under your nails, fingers, and makes your mouth taste weird for like ever?
This book was popcorn. I really did like a lot of it: slightly bitchy female lead, good (though predictable) plot twists, nice pacing and easy reading. But there were a lot of things: lackluster romance, Gale-ish BFF (please die), repetitive lines (view spoiler)[anyone can betray anyone-no shit (hide spoiler)] that kind of just got on my nerves.
***A big thank you to Jena from Shortie Says for this copy!***
There's something about a good action film or, in this case, novel. The plot, the fast p***A big thank you to Jena from Shortie Says for this copy!***
There's something about a good action film or, in this case, novel. The plot, the fast pace, and, when it's a really good action film, the smart twists and turns that keep you on your toes. Legend truly has it all, with the added benefit of having a world, story, and characters that (if Lu continues to kick ass writing-wise) definitely have crazy amounts of potential to bring about some awesome sequels.
I can honestly say I haven't read a dystopian novel I've had as much fun with since loving/devouring Divergent as I did with Legend. (Granted I probably haven't read many dystopians since Divergent but that's besides the point). And Legend truly is a fun, action packed adventure that has a dual POV I didn't have any problems with and even *gaps* had a romance I actually enjoyed for once. Even if it was slightly insta-lovey.
The plot of Legend was where I really got sucked in as it features basically a dystopian version of the United States, but one that plays around with the variety of ideals and names used during the War of Independence. The use of 'The Colonies' as well as 'Patriots' were two things I really enjoyed, as were the usage of both a class-based society and the dependence and emphasis on the military as the only viable profession. The use of media, propaganda, corruption, genetic experimentation, bio-warfare, and other nasty lovely things were icing on the metaphorical cake, and I loved the way Lu was able to interweave so many staples of the dystopian genre not only seamlessly into her world building, but also was able to distinguish her work in a way that was different, in one way or another, from all the rest.
The use of two POVs, Day's and June's, was probably another one of my favorite parts about this novel, mostly because their different voices were easily distinguishable (to me at any rate), and I liked the different perspectives each presented. Their relationship, in general really, was one I really liked, because of the development between them both in relation to their friendship and their more romantic partnership. Even though I felt it was a bit insta-lovey, the fact that Lu emphasized their physical attraction to one another, developed their feelings and trust for one another, and did NOT ever use the word love, (at least as far as I can remember), easily got me rooting for the couple.
Lu's writing as a whole was very engaging, and I never noticed snags or even a formulaic feel to it. The fast pace keep me going, and I was never bored or thought of the novel as being too unrealistic. Though I did feel parts of it were predictable to me, it wasn't something that even hindered my liking of the novel. It was more like guessing and being thrilled at getting it right, than knowing what was going to happen to be honest.
In spite of my praise, however, I did find the novel a bit too black and white at some parts. Day is righteous, the government is baaaaddd, etc... It wasn't something that bothered me a whole lot. There were some grey areas as well, the Patriots for instance, but Day and June were a bit too innocent (in terms of the whole killing people, evil choices) sometimes. As this is the first novel in a series, however, there is always potential for Lu to expand more on their characters, etc...
All in all, Legend was definitely fun, exciting, and fascinating. While I found a few problems with it, the book and the world building were things I found to be pretty flawless, while still leaving room for so much more to be discovered. Day and June were equally fascinating, and I loved the little details Lu put into their characters throughout the novel. *Sigh* Now if only January and Prodigy could get here sooner. 4/5...more
Reading Dearly, Departed was like reading your typical YA novel, but with all these hints, huge hints, that so much of it could've been better. So mucReading Dearly, Departed was like reading your typical YA novel, but with all these hints, huge hints, that so much of it could've been better. So much of it is original, and so much of it is exciting and new to the YA and paranormal field, that I couldn't help loving part of the novel, while still simultaneously hating the parts that were too YAish for me.
The world building in Dearly, Departed was probably one of my favorite aspects of the novel as a whole. As a setting Dearly, Departed's world is pretty phenomenal. A Victorian society in a post-apocalyptic, but tech savy world that includes zombies? Really, what's not the love? The explanation for a how such a society came to be was well done in my opinion, and I liked the continual incorporation of technology among more traditional aspects; it brought about an interesting version of steampunk at the very least.
One problem I did have with the world was the language used. Yes, I know it's like 2100 something in the novel, and yes obviously modern language is going to survive in such a society. But part of me did feel that if you're going to do any kind of Victorian setting, you should at least attempt to incorporate more of the language that time is known for. Otherwise, it does feel like you're just using the idea of a Victorian society, but not actually incorporating it.
Plot-wise, this novel does a good job of balancing romance with conspiracy and crazy action fun times. The conspiracy was, sadly, nothing I didn't see coming or had any reason to be shocked by, but was interesting enough to keep me reading. I liked the racist angle the author went for regarding zombies, but it wasn't anything new or enlightening in my opinion. The action was what it should be: filled with daring scenes and near misses.
The romance was one of the better aspects to this novel, and, as a whole, I actually did enjoy the developing romantic relationship between Nora and Bram. It was standard YA fare for the most part, but thankfully lacked the usual insta-love quality I've seen too much of. They won't be making it in my 100-couples-I-want-to-cuddle-awkwardly list, but they weren't mind-numbingly awful.
The characters were also very well done in my opinion, for the most part, though I definitely wasn't a fan of the author's use of multiple POVs. 5 1st person POVs is just too much for me to really enjoy. I was never confused by them, but I really didn't care for any besides Nora's, Bram's, and on occasion Pam's, and slogging through the rest really turned me off to reading more than a few times.
All in all, Dearly, Departed was an okay read that, in my opinion, had the capacity to be so much more, but was slogged down by too much YAish, and a much too confusing narrative style. 3-3.5/5 ...more
The ending was better than the beginning, even with the fact I cried throughout a good portion of it.
The writing felt a little shakier than the previThe ending was better than the beginning, even with the fact I cried throughout a good portion of it.
The writing felt a little shakier than the previous two, but maybe it was meant to be that way. So much was tackled in this one, not just the themes of bravery and being a better person, but also themes of racism, even if cleverly hidden behind the idea of genetic manipulation and purity. Eugenics anyone?
For its faults, and there are a few in here, however, Allegiant does have a beautiful message at its core, even if you'll cry throughout it. A more experienced writer might've done better with the ideas Roth is showing, but I don't think they'd have the same amount of passion that she brings.
And even if I expected it, I still cried. At work. Stopping to talk to people like nothing was wrong. But I wasn't, and I don't think I will be for a while. And while it could've been different, I'm glad it wasn't. This wasn't a shock ending. This was a well done narrative that needed to end, even if we all wish for something different.
Happy endings aren't always what you need. Sometimes the sadder ones teach you more. I know the endings like this one have stayed with me longer, made me think deeper, and made me feel more than I can express.
Wither is the story of Rhine, a sixteen year old girl in a world where women die at twenty, and men at twenty-five; a world where the rich take as manWither is the story of Rhine, a sixteen year old girl in a world where women die at twenty, and men at twenty-five; a world where the rich take as many wives as they can get in order to reproduce as many children as possible. Rhine is one of those girls. Taken from her home, she is chosen along with two others to be a wife to twenty year old Linden, a man sheltered from the world by his scientist father who believes he can develop a cure for the disease. While Rhine discovers not only friendship, but love as well among the life she lives at Linden's mansion, she will have to confront the fact that she can never truly be free, to live as well as to love as she wills.
Wither is one of those romantically written novels, with poetic prose, and beautiful imagery. It reminded me a lot of Delirium when I was reading it, not only because of the prose, but because both novels are dystopian love stories. Wither also made me think of polygamous marriages (for obvious reasons), in the way Rhine felt and acted towards her sister wives, though I don't think the polygamous marriages we have today are quite exactly the way DeStefano shows hers to be.
One of the best things about Wither, I felt, was the characters. Rhine, her two sister wives, Jenna and Cecily, Gabriel the love interest, even Linden were just phenomenally done. Realistic, interesting, DeStefano spends lots of time developing these characters throughout the novel, and making them absolutely wonderful to read about. I personally loved the way these characters were made, so much so that I (view spoiler)[nearly cried when Jenna died (hide spoiler)]
In relation to the time devoted to character development, however, plot seemed to suffer more than its usual share. I think maybe I've fallen in love too much with the Hunger Games dystopian style, when others such as Delirium and Matched are pushing the genre into more of a romantic feel; because I felt the same thing when reading Wither that I did during Delirium and Matched: Nothing really happens outside of the love story (and in Wither's case, the character development as well). It's not that I don't like when authors take the time to really develop a good love story, that's something I'm always happy to read, I just like when there's that interweave of love and plot that doesn't solely include Rhine staring out the window for like the FIFTEENTH TIME AND TALKING ABOUT THE DAMN TREES.
I get it. It's beautiful poetic prose. It's supposed to show you how Rhine's feeling cooped up in that big mansion. It's reflecting the inner turmoil within her soul. Whatever hippy crap you want to add to that, go ahead. And you know what? Wither has absolutely amazing prose. It's like reading Oliver's stuff all over again, it makes me sigh, and linger over beautiful passages. But I really can't take too much of Rhine moaning about freedom every five minutes. Or about the trees. Those damn trees.
The world building in this book was fair enough for the most part. There's some good, if vague, information given to us through Rhine about the state of the world as well as the societal problems going on. And for the most part, I liked it. It reminded me a lot of the polygamous marriage system we have here in North America, and how in a sense Wither is an extreme extension of that system; in that the system becomes less of a religious choice, and much more of a survival tool for the world Wither is set in. There was a good amount of violence in addition to that to fully show that sense of extremism as well as show you the brutal clinging to survival outlook Rhine's world has. The only time I did feel the world building was a bit off was in relation to Linden's actions (and by this I mean sexually) towards Rhine. While I do think a lot of his actions towards her in that were went well with his character, I was surprised he didn't push her like he did a lot more with the other two.
Then again this is YA.
The romance between Rhine and Gabriel was both sweet enough to be realistic, and didn't move too fast for me to disbelieve any part of their relationship. DeStefano shows a lovely development of their feelings for one another, without having any of that OMGIGOTTABEWITHYOU crazyness, and allowing Rhine to consider her feelings for Linden as a possible love.
One of the things I really loved about Wither, perhaps in relation to the above paragraph, is the themes DeStefano places throughout her novel. The biggest one, as you've probably guessed, is freedom; something Rhine debates quite a bit throughout the book, but in various ways. She obviously thinks of it in terms of escaping her prison, but also thinks of it in relation to just accepting the very luxurious and comfy life she can live with Linden and her sister wives, instead of going back to a world where she's hungry, cold and poor. And I think that was one of the best things Wither got me to think about, because it made me wonder what I would chose in that situation, as well as making me respect Rhine a lot more for sticking to her idea of freedom in spite of the hardships she would face in the real world. She didn't want the illusion.
Wither is stunning. Make no mistake about it. It has a good dystopian background, absolutely well written characters, and prose that's 100% beautiful. In the end, though, I couldn't love it, hence 4.5/5.
Beatrice lives in a city divided on factions based on their individual ideals: the Brave Dauntless, the Honest Candor, the Peaceful Amity, the KnowledBeatrice lives in a city divided on factions based on their individual ideals: the Brave Dauntless, the Honest Candor, the Peaceful Amity, the Knowledgeable Erudite, and her own faction the Selfless Abnegation. Her faction, that is, until she is forced to choose, the year she turns 16, what faction she will continue to live in for the rest of her life. When she does, she will have to learn to be strong, to be brave, and to fight the evils of her world, inside and out.
If you haven't heard of Divergent yet, you've obviously haven't been around the internet and its many ads for YA novels much. It's been hailed as the next Hunger Games, and one of the best dystopian novels of the year. For that reason, and because it is so popular and there are like 5 billion reviews out on it, I won't be delving too much into explaining this book, its world, yada yada. There are other reviews, most likely much more entertaining than mine, that can do that for you. But this review is solely going to focus on what I liked, loved and adored.
In terms of weak points, Divergent's dystopian aspect is definitely not one of my top ten most influential/made me think/etc... dystopian novels. Instead it's what I lovingly call 'fun dystopia.' And by that I mean that the world Roth is showing us isn't really that dystopian or original. Most of it actually is pretty typical for an corruption type plot, and there really isn't anything super obvious about the dystopia that'll make you think about flaws in our own society 1984 style. Other than divided we fall, corruption sucks, and bravery is cool. Hence fun dystopia.
But, in spite of that and in spite of the fact that I've ragged on dystopian novels in the past who weren't very dystopian, Divergent is still a effing addicting piece to read.
Most of the dystopian elements to the story seem to actually be there as settings for the crazy fun action scenes Divergent is just riddled with. Which make me happy, because as you've probably figured out I like action. A freaking lot.
And probably why Divergent just calls to me. It's addicting, all this actions, and it's just really engaging and fun to read. I especially love the military, training aspect of it, because it's so fascinating to read and watch as your character grows and becomes a strong, faster, and more kick-ass person. I did feel there was a lack of that training in the novel at some points, and thought there could've been more scenes to show that development, but overall the book does do a good job of showing you the evolution of Tris' fighting abilities in addition to her courage and control; the latter elements being a greater focus of the novel is perhaps why there is so little viewed on the physical fighting aspects, now that I think of it.
The growth of Tris' mental facilities, as mentioned above, is probably another reason why I enjoyed this book so much. As a character, Tris is absolutely fascinating. She's very human, with hundreds of flaws, and can be almost cold at times. She has a cruel side to her that while makes her very strong and freaking kick-ass, also makes her a character you would dislike in real life. But I can't help to be drawn to her obvious humanity, and realism, and I like, scratch that, love to read her voice because she is so terribly full of flaws and problems, and doesn't have it all together. She struggles throughout the book, and can be so utterly pigheaded and just stubborn, but she's interesting to read in spite of all that, because Roth writes her so honestly, and doesn't make amends for her character.
All Roth's characters, actually, have an honesty to them, and are just so human that make them so different from the typical bad guy good guy characterization you see a lot of times. Four, (yes that's a name-his real name is even more terrible in my opinion), is probably the best example of this because he's an absolute ass, and half the time he pissed me off, but he's still written so wonderfully that you cannot help but like him, and cheer for the romance between him and Tris.
Even though he's a jerk.
The romance is another reason why I love this book, and has made me feel hope for the YA genre as a whole. BECAUSE IT'S BEAUTIFULLY REALISTIC. And you know how much I love my realism. Especially in the romance department. Roth doesn't do what so many YAers do now and write a infatuation love story, but instead shows development between the two that leads to a romance-yes, there's attraction, but they get to know one another, and then, finally after so much friendship and flirting, we get the sexy kissing scenes. They have problems with one another, they don't always get along, but they work on these things, and progressively become a better couple because of it. Development, now that's how you do romance.
Now, in spite of all my praise, there are a few sort-of-negative things I have to mention about Divergent. One of which is the predictability of the overall plot/corruption twist. I'm not going to lie I saw a lot of the twists in this novel coming from a mile off, though there were places where I was surprised. The predictability, however, surprisingly ended up not being a turn off for me, and made me enjoy the book better for some reason. I really don't know why, but I have a feeling it has to do with the overall funness aspect to Divergent that made me love it in the first place. Which, and I"m moving away from my original point, is kind of odd since Divergent really is a very serious novel with dark themes, events and characters, yet I continue to think of it as just plain fun. If I were to take the novel seriously, I think I really couldn't care for it as much as I do now where I just ENJOY the book for what it is.
Anyway, so back to the original point, while Divergent is pretty predictable, it's a fun kind of predictability that let's you feel good about your smarts in figuring out stuff before your main character does, while still being surprised by a few twists and turns you don't see coming. It's a good balance that works really well for Divergent as a whole.
Another sort-of-negative point about Divergent is that it's prose has nothing going for it in terms of beauty and just lovely proseness. It's not a Libba Bray novel with haunting prose and metaphors that force you to savor every sentence. Instead Roth writes a plain, yet addicting and exciting prose meant to keep you on your toes, and fling yourself through the pages at high speeds. You don't savor any of her passages, apart from the kissing scenes and quick comebacks, but it's good, and just plain fun to read.
All in all, Divergent is one of those novels that can be qualified as guilty pleasure. It isn't one that'll have you thinking philosophy style several days later, but like any good action film, you'll be counting down the days till you can re-watch/read it and experience the thrill all over again. 4.5-5/5 ...more
Set in a dystopian world where love, emotion, is considered a disease, Delirium is the story of the effects love has on a person as well as the effortSet in a dystopian world where love, emotion, is considered a disease, Delirium is the story of the effects love has on a person as well as the efforts one does to keep it. Lena, a nervous girl, has always been tainted by the effects of the disease, first with her mother's suicide, then when her relatives are found to be sympathizers, rebelling against the rules of Lena's society. Straining to be normal, Lena has always tried to fit in until the day she meets Alex. Cured, but full of mystery, he will change Lena's world in this beautiful romantic tale.
I really did enjoy Delirium. Lauren Oliver writes with exquisitely lovely prose, and has a cast of characters that are wonderfully formed.
But. And I don't like saying this. But Delirium isn't much of a dystopia.
Yes, it does contain an imperfect society that attempts to control and mold their populace in a way that denies some part of humanity. Yes, there is decent world building, and tons of explanations that Oliver cleverly puts in without being too infodumpy, and lovely little tidbits of songs and books at the beginning of every chapter that give the world depth.
BUT. BUT. BUT. I still can't help labeling Delirium as 'light dystopia.' To me, there's 2 main reasons why Delirium doesn't live up to the dystopian name.
The first is, perhaps sadly, a lack of originality. In Lena's world, love is considered and disease and cures are given in the form of an operation when a person turns 18. Sounds familiar? When I first started reading Delirium, I instantly thought of the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. In that series, teenagers turn pretty when they turn 16 through an operation as well.
And believe me both Westerfeld's and Oliver's teenagers are equally crazy with anticipation at the thought of this cure that will in their eyes make them PERFECT.
But, in spite of their apparent similarities in the form of drooling teenagers crazy about operating tables, there a difference between the two. Westerfeld's has action that compliments his dystopia, while Oliver's (as I'll talk about later) lacks the expected (or at least I expected it) action and focuses more on the developing relationship between Lena and Alex.
Another reason I find Delirium a bit too unoriginal is it's main message: Suppression of emotions, particularly love, is BAD! Now, let me first say that there is nothing wrong with unoriginality in any way or form. Every high fantasy has its roots in LOTR, as does romance remain incredibly influenced by the plot structure laid down by Austen. Stories aren't about originality, but about how you feel, whether you become affected by the characters, plot or writing. In the end books are your own personal therapists asking you "Now, how does that make you feel?"
But. And it's terrible of me to say, but this whole suppress your emotions thing has been done. And it's been done better. A good example of this is the Giver, which falls into the suppress emotions through medication category, and is a staple of YA dystopia as well as school curriculums. Seriously, if you didn't read the Giver in school, you haven't graduated yet :P
A better example of a dystopia that's even closer to Delirium (in my opinion at least) and deals with love as well is the movie Equilibrium with Christian Bale. In it, we get the familiar feel of emotion suppressant drugs, with the added benefit of GUNS! And some serious consequences and dark moments that make the movie an awesome dystopian story.
Delirium though, (and this leads into my second point), didn't do what Equilibrium did so well. And maybe this is purely my opinion, but I felt Delirium didn't have enough darkness to it. There were no sudden executions of emotion-filled people, no mutant animals and insects nearly destroying our heroine a la Hunger Games, and there was no fear. Yes, Lena had her paranoid moments, but in all honesty she seemed to be the only one, since not only did everyone (and by this I mean the other two MAIN characters: Alex and Hana) pish pish at her fears, but Oliver let her hero basically tramp all over the securities measures that Lena is so freaked out about to the point where authority in this novel seems to be basically nonexistent. Except, perhaps, for the end where there is actual action, and not more of this jumble of love-centered episodes between Lena and Alex.
What I'm getting at, I think, is that Delirium had potential. There was so much Oliver could've done, we see examples of this throughout the book where it does get dark. Again near the end. But she let it go, she made her love story into a dystopia instead of the other way around. Which to me, is what it's supposed to be. Hunger Games wasn't about Katniss' love triangle, it was about war. 1984 is about media control. Dystopia has an end to it. It's meant to reflect a flaw in our society through the creation of a fictional society that takes that trait and pushes it to the extreme. And while Delirium is about emotional control, there isn't enough exploration of that concept. Delirium is first and foremost a love story, and because of that focus the dystopian edge to it falls to the wayside.
Is it terrible of me to think that she jumped on the dystopian bandwagon?
The one thing that saved me from condemning Delirium too much, however, is the fact that this is the first novel in a planned trilogy. Which means that Oliver still has the opportunity to explore the darker side to the world she's created. And for that, I cannot entirely hate the dystopian aspect of this novel.
So, in spite of that rant, there were things about Delirium that I DID really LIKE.
One of these is the prose. Oliver writes beautifully. She reminds me a lot of Sarah Dessen in that artful inner thoughts and emotions style. I see why she writes novels with full blossoming characters, though that worries me if she turns her pen to more than just a few action scenes.
The Characters. Oliver has wonderful characters. All of them, especially the three main ones: Hana, Lena and Alex, are fully fleshed out with flaws and backgrounds. They're emotional, and utterly human. Lena, in particular, deals with some heavy issues. Her mother's suicide is the big one for this novel, and while I ADORE, I SIMPLY ADORE the way Oliver writes Lena, part of me keeps thinking this could easily just be a love story and not a dystopia. But then again, it makes her relatable, so my point's pretty moot.
The plot in general doesn't really go anywhere till the end as it focuses mostly on the developing romance between Lena and Alex. Which was something I both liked and disliked. There were times I got annoyed with whatever emotion Lena was feeling and the angsty childish ways the couple would get into fights, but overall I felt the romance was pretty believable, and didn't move at too fast of a pace unlike a few novels I COULD name.
All in all, Delirium was a beautifully written love story that just happened to be a dystopia. Wonderful characters, and lovely prose couldn't save the mediocre plot, or the lack of seriousness a dystopia really needs, but in the end I remained enthralled in the world Oliver created. Definitely will consider reading the rest of the trilogy. 4/5...more
Matched is the story of Cassie, a perfectly satisfied member of the dystopian society she lives in who's just found out that she is to be paired in maMatched is the story of Cassie, a perfectly satisfied member of the dystopian society she lives in who's just found out that she is to be paired in marriage (hence the title) with her best friend Xander. That is until she sees the flash of another face, the mysterious Ky, who will get her to question her role and everyone surrounding her in this dystopian love story.
Matched is another one of the many dystopian novels revolving around love, and society control. It reminded me a lot of Delirium when I read it, because of the obvious similarities (love story between two people who are not supposed to be together, yada yada yada), but in some ways done a whole lot better, and in others was quite disappointing.
One of the things I felt Matched did excellently was the portrayal of the evil, controlling authority present within the society. There weren't any easy cop-outs for our heroine throughout the novel, and the fear that continued to be expressed in connection to the authorities was not only really well done, but useful in creating a good amount of suspense for the reader. There was some obvious in-depth planning, and I have to applaud Condie for creating some very well done villains that were not only believable, but were able to make me fear for the life of the characters within her story.
The love story, itself, was for the most part well done. It had a slow, realistic development that fitted well with the society we are lead to believe is so very controlling, and therefore wouldn't allow the usual amount of YA kissing scenes. :) It also brought up an interesting point near the end of the novel (don't worry no spoilers) about the love we are witnessing between Ky and Cassie. For those of you who've read it: (view spoiler)[The question if Cassie would've been interested in Ky if she hadn't seen his face (hide spoiler)] For me, it was an aspect of the book I hadn't considered, and I enjoyed that Condie slid that in there along with her larger themes.
One thing about the love story I really couldn't stand was the constant whining Cassie did over Ky, and for some parts, Xander. I know teenagers are supposed to be crazy, angsty people, and maybe I'm turning into an old grandma who can't stand all this DRAMA!, but I really can't stand it when heroines get whiny sometimes. Especially about boys.
This is what I get for reading Tamora Pierce all those years ago, when the current trend in YA is hopelessly romantic heroines. Now I want all my heroines to be just like Alanna. Should've guessed.
Matched's overall plot was another thing I really enjoyed in this novel. Yes, there were a lot of lovy-dovy-development scenes, but there remained quite a few action ones, especially near the end that got my heart pounding for what the society was going to do to Cassie and Ky.
Sorry Xander. You're really just a figurehead at this point so this novel can be considered to have a love triangle.
The other characters, for the most part, were pretty well done, I thought, as well. And I liked how Condie didn't complete focus her story on the love triangle, but left room for Cassie's relationships with her family, and how the society was affecting them as well.
The one thing I have to 'condemn' Matched for, however, is the writing.
I know certain writing styles can be liked/disliked based on preference, but, and I'm being totally honest, Matched had one of the most bland writing styles I've ever read. I think I could've licked paper, and tasted more life in it than Condie's prose. And I mean, to be fair, she did put effort into putting poetry (beautiful poetry) into her story, and there were moments where I felt her sort of floating her way to the poetic prose that I cannot help but crave, but no. It was bland.
In spite of that bland prose, though, I still remained intrigued by the story, and am definitely curious to the unanswered questions Condie has left for us. A well done dystopia. 3.5/5 ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
So I started off reading Incarceron thinking it was going to blow. Pleasantly enough, it didn't and was an enjoyable read. Set in a world where 'time'So I started off reading Incarceron thinking it was going to blow. Pleasantly enough, it didn't and was an enjoyable read. Set in a world where 'time' stands still and a prison that's actually alive, Incarceron is mixed of scifi and fantastical elements that abound with their creativity. It's slow pace and general lack of 'spark' however kept me from loving the book. Characters? For the most part, I really liked all the characters in here. Attia, even though she wasn't there for most of the story, was definitely my favorite and stood out with her sarcasm and honesty. She's also very herself and doesn't act like anything else, so I liked her on the spot. Claudia was pretty cool too but she had a tendency to over-dramatize the situation that made me like her less toward the end of the novel. Finn, the other main character, I liked a lot but felt he was a little too nice. I tend to enjoy my characters to be bad-ass and true to themselves so it's not surprising to me that he didn't stand out. I enjoyed the relationships between them all but felt it was mostly build up to the next book and because of that I didn't feel like anything was really happening between any of them. Plot? I'm not going to lie, I saw ALOT of things coming with this one. I figured out a huge spoiler right in the first chapter and didn't enjoy having all this information and waiting for the characters to realize it too and do something about it. I don't like my books to give everything away, I get bored. However, I did not see one particular twist coming and that I felt made up for the rest of the stuff I did. I was quite shocked about it too, but there were clues now that I look back on it. I even noticed one but didn't figure out in time! GAH! But the plot for the most part was very good, a lot of action, a lot of magical places, items, people, etc... that kept me wondering what was going to happen next. The ending really was the only thing I had a problem with since I felt it left you there, waiting for the next book. I also felt that if this book had been longer, a lot more things could've been solved. The second book really doesn't feel necessary almost in a weird kind of way. Writing? Fisher writes in kind of a slow moving way. I wasn't terribly filled with suspense or excitement and didn't have many thoughts of OMG GOTTA FINISH IT. More like...this is due on Friday, should finish it now. I really think it was the writing that killed it for me since the story and the creativity certainly were entertaining. While there are good slow moving books (Dreamhunter for example) this one didn't cut it for me. All in all, Incarceron is a decent read with an amazingly creative world and a good cast of characters. It's guaranteed to make you marvel at the ideas Fisher has brought forth and to wonder about the world she has created. 4/5...more
I started this collection about a year ago (for my scifi class naturally) and didn't get around the rest of the 26 (!) stories in here till now. ThisI started this collection about a year ago (for my scifi class naturally) and didn't get around the rest of the 26 (!) stories in here till now. This collection of short stories have their ups and downs like most collections. Many of them were absolutely amazing, some of them I didn't care for and others were just plain weird. Over all, however, this is definitely some of the most interesting, original pieces of early science fiction writing from some of the best writers out there. Its diversity throughout the pieces makes it a great collection and is a good introduction to the genre as all of the stories in here are so different from each other and are a good representation of the different kinds of science fiction that exist. Just don't do what I do and read them all one right after another. This is a collection meant to be savored and read slowly. 5/5...more
Outside In is the sequel to Maria V. Snyder's first YA novel Inside Out, as well as (sadly) being the end of this short-lived series. :( The sequel piOutside In is the sequel to Maria V. Snyder's first YA novel Inside Out, as well as (sadly) being the end of this short-lived series. :( The sequel picks up a few months after the events at the end of the first one, and our favorite gal Trella is back dealing with more action, conspiracy, and the biggest problem in her life: trust. In this trilling sequel, Trella will have figure out the secrets behind Inside, unite her people, and save them all from the greatest danger of all: Outside. I tend to devour Maria V. Snyder's books, and Outside In was no exception. The pacing, the description, the action, everything, as always, was very well done and utterly engrossing. The conflict between the characters was very well done, and I loved the way the author was able to keep you guessing and wondering the motivations behind everyone. Beautiful, wonderful suspense! Trella as a character really grew and I was really happy with the focus Snyder was able to put on her development while still keeping the suspense, in the 200-300 pages she had to work with. I really enjoyed her relationship with Riley as well as the Doctor, and I felt their development was really fleshed out in this novel. The only thing I really didn't like about this novel was the fact that's way way too short, and thus events happen and develop much too quickly. If only Snyder could have had another 100-200 pages to really flesh the story out that much more, then I think it would've been perfect. All in all, however, it was fabulous and a great ending to the 'duet.' 4/5...more
as always with this series all I can say is brilliant. Characters: You know they be rockin'. Plot: twists, turns and so so much suspense. I couldn'tas always with this series all I can say is brilliant. Characters: You know they be rockin'. ♥ Plot: twists, turns and so so much suspense. I couldn't stop reading because I JUST HAD TO KNOW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!! Writing: Awesome. Beautiful and perfect, Collins knows how to keep you hooked :P 5/5...more
Beautiful, destructive and so very very sad. Characters: Considering this is the third and last book, you should know by now that the characters be roBeautiful, destructive and so very very sad. Characters: Considering this is the third and last book, you should know by now that the characters be rockin' ♥ Plot: Twists, turns and so much turmoil. I tried my hardest not to cry in this one, but it really got to me. Collins really shows the hardships and destructive powers war can take on a person as well as a nation. Much like the last Harry Potter book, this one was different from the other two in that the focus and the message here was less about Katniss and more about the cruelty of war and the death and fear that comes with it. Writing: Collins is superb, without question. She knows how to set up a story and keep the suspense going without making the reader bored. I look forward to reading her next work. While I wouldn't say this is my favorite of the Hunger Games Trilogy, it is the one that made the most impact and really brought the message home that the first two didn't. 4.5/5...more
This was...interesting, but much like The Day of the Triffids there was an obvious "what if I make a society [something]" at the expense of characterThis was...interesting, but much like The Day of the Triffids there was an obvious "what if I make a society [something]" at the expense of character development and story. Everyone in this novel just felt very plain, cut-outs who were increasingly cut out of the narrative when they'd served their purpose (view spoiler)[Bernard especially. His character (not to mention dialogue) is essentially given to John after they return to 'civilization' and he gets the sexytimes he (now?) wants when before he was looking for more... (hide spoiler)].
This just made the book very frustrating for me. Like bravo for you for creating this immensely imaginative world, but could you have actually done something with it instead of just preying on the fears of a early 1900s society concerning drugs, sex, and atheism?
Maybe I'm just a wee bit modern for this piece. Modern dystopians, at least in my limited experience, are often narratives on rebellion and breaking down the system. Classic ones seem to be warnings of where our society is going without giving us answers on how to change things. Is this a reflection of our society? Are we more hopeful for peace than previous generations? I'm still not sure.
What I am sure is that this book and I are not friends, though.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more