Solstice is this crazy combination of world-ending dystopia and crazy Greek mythology. Right off the bat, Piper’s world is introduced as this3.5 stars
Solstice is this crazy combination of world-ending dystopia and crazy Greek mythology. Right off the bat, Piper’s world is introduced as this barren, desert-like landscape with scorching heat and endless, deathly summer. A good chunk of the book focuses solely on Piper and her world – her friendship with Chloe, her relationship with her mother, and the sudden attraction to not one, but two guys she’s never taken notice of before. The book feels almost like two entirely separate stories: one a dystopian and one about Greek mythology. The connection between the two takes quite a while to form, but once it does, it’s fascinating.
The mythology aspect sort of comes out of left field, but it is slowly weaved in perfectly with everything that’s happened to Piper in the past. Getting there is a bit slow going, but worth it in the end. P.J. Hoover's take on the Underworld and the gods is different from every other story I’ve read and while I found the big twist to be predictable, it didn’t detract from the story.
Some of the more sexy scenes took me by surprise because, up until a certain point, the book isn’t explicit at all, then, BAM body parts. Normally, I’m perfectly fine with sex scenes and nudity in books, but it felt almost out of place in Solstice, like it could have been there but told in a different way.
Regardless, Solstice is a one of a kind mesh of dystopian/mythology with an intelligent lead character who has more than a few life-altering realizations coming her way. P.J. Harvey’s debut is far from what I expected, but an absorbing read that tackles morality, mortality, and all of the things in between. ...more
The Pledge combines the best aspects of future dystopian societies and presents it in almost a fantastical way. This future society has very distin3.5
The Pledge combines the best aspects of future dystopian societies and presents it in almost a fantastical way. This future society has very distinct classes that must adhere to certain rules, including only understanding Englaise and the language of their class. Derting’s world-building is excellent, if not very detailed. The first half of the book is quite information heavy and drags a bit, but once you hit the halfway mark, it takes off.
Charlie is a family-oriented girl and her adoration for her sister is one of her greatest qualities. I can’t help but love a character who adores his/her younger siblings. Angelina, Charlie’s four year old sister, isn’t around all that much, but she’s infinitely fascinating. Each scene she’s in made me want to know more about her.
Derting weaves history into her storytelling in such delectable ways that the reader yearns for more. I’m not much for history – in any form – but Derting’s way of dropping history into her character’s everyday conversations flowed perfectly and never felt like too much at once. I wanted to know more about Charlie’s world, about the queendom and the class system, about the soldiers, and those prepared to fight against their society. I wanted to know about all of it.
With an immensely interesting world and plot, I thought I’d be hooked. And I was, to a degree. Charlie’s constant preoccupation with Max – the mysterious guy she meets – in the midst of everything, grated on me though. I never saw him as anything other than a little too confident and never felt that connection that Charlie does. With everything going on with Charlie and around Charlie, I couldn’t see how this guy was dominating her thoughts. So the love interest aspect fell short for me, but the rest, the queen and the queendom, the class system, and the languages, all intriguing and well done.
The Pledge isn’t quite the dystopian I had hoped it would be, but it is still very much worth the read. Many people are going to wholeheartedly disagree with me about the love interest, and I get that; but I felt like the love interest aspect dominated too much of the story when there were much greater things to focus on. One thing I do love is – as far as I know – this is a standalone and it ends as a very complete story, with, maybe, the possibility of a companion novel somewhere in the future....more
Cassia has always stuck by the rules, has always lived by the standards of her Society. So when her Matching Banquet arrives and she’s matched with heCassia has always stuck by the rules, has always lived by the standards of her Society. So when her Matching Banquet arrives and she’s matched with her best friend Xander, she couldn’t be happier. But when Xander’s face disappears and another boy’s flickers on the screen, Cassia’s world is thrown into a tilt. Soon she’s questioning everything she knows and falling in love with a boy who isn’t her match. She’s defying the Society that she once trusted…all for love.
Matched has a really great premise and an interesting society, but I think the execution falls flat at times. The book starts off well enough with an eager Cassia and a super sweet Xander, but then it gets kind of boring. For a good chunk of the beginning/middle of the book, I had no clue where the story was going. Even after Cassia starts hanging out with Ky (the other boy on the screen), the plot seems directionless.
Once Cassia and Ky begin to grow close and Ky’s history slowly gets revealed, the book picks up and the purpose becomes more and more clear. Learning Ky’s history and how he is so different from all the other people in Cassia’s world is one of the things that kept me reading. That, and Cassia’s grandfather and how he really starts to peel back the blindfold that she seemingly wears. Discovering just how far this Society will go to ‘protect’ its people is a bit terrifying.
Ally Condie’s writing is almost languid and dreamy throughout the book, which is so contrasting to all the things she isn’t saying. Condie’s writing is beautiful, but this Society isn’t. All this makes Matched very much a thinking book. Condie’s inclusion of poetry works so well in the story too. She places the perfect poems, the perfect lines, and the perfect emotions at just the right spot, so the reader understands and feels the weight of Cassia’s circumstances. Dylan Thomas is the underlying soundtrack to the book and his words, along with Grandfather, emanate the unease that lingers below Society’s surface.
While Matched was not my favorite book, it is a good opener in a series. The way the book ended isn’t really a cliffhanger, but it promises a really interesting future. Crossed comes out later this year and I will be picking it up because I’m more than curious to see where things go from here.
Opening line: Now that I’ve found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night? ~ pg. 3
Favorite lines: And when she asks me what I’m doing, I’ll tell her and everyone else that I know: they are giving us pieces of a real life instead of the whole thing. And I’ll tell her that I don’t want my life to be samples and scraps. A taste of everything but a meal of nothing. ~ pg. 249...more