I'm not quite sure how I felt about this book. It was intersting certainly, but also very, very odd. I can see why it is what I deem a "smart person b...moreI'm not quite sure how I felt about this book. It was intersting certainly, but also very, very odd. I can see why it is what I deem a "smart person book."(less)
This was an intense, thought-provoking novel. It was not hard to make the leap between the occurances in this book and our real government. This book...moreThis was an intense, thought-provoking novel. It was not hard to make the leap between the occurances in this book and our real government. This book was exciting, but I kept getting lost in the technical terms. The narrator was careful to explain what was going on as to not confuse the reader, but when he slowed down to explain things, the momentum of the novel was lost. Going into this novel, I was expecting something much different. I was expecting more action and thrills, but I got more questions. This novel was challenging to be sure, but I definitely recommend it.
I was really excited to read this book initially because the concept seemed interesting and complex. As I started reading the book, I realized I would...moreI was really excited to read this book initially because the concept seemed interesting and complex. As I started reading the book, I realized I would most likely be disappointed. The novel approached its plot very artistically and it was very brief. I was hoping for something a little meatier and more thrilling. This novel had the opportunity to be great, but I'm afraid it fell short. (less)
I've been waiting to read The Adoration of Jenna Fox for four years, ever since I happened upon it while browsing in B&N. I bypassed it, but every...moreI've been waiting to read The Adoration of Jenna Fox for four years, ever since I happened upon it while browsing in B&N. I bypassed it, but every time I saw that novel from then on I would say to myself "I'm going to read you one day" (I said it in a Southern accent too, but thats irrelevant). Well, I finally did. All that hype, four years worth, and I am not disappointed in the least, as a matter of fact.
Jenna Fox is a 17-year old girl who has just woken up after an 18 month coma. She doesn't remember anything, not her parents, herself, even some simple words are completely foreign to her. It's not long before Jenna starts putting together the pieces of what happened to her doing her lost year and a half, and what she reassembles makes her question if she really is Jenna Fox at all.
I loved this book. It's speculative and self-reflective, and although the "mystery" of the story isn't too difficult to piece together, the book focuses more on the questions that arise from the conclusion. Don't let the presence of scientific elements discourage you from reading it, the technicality of it is soft, and serves only as backgrounds for the moral questions of the story.
Jenna is good protagonist. Never stereotypical, never one-dimensional, she is actually curious, intelligent, and emotional. I could both relate to and understand her emotions, even though her situation was so far from anything in my own life. Some times she understands more than the reader, and sometimes the reader understands more than her. It's a nice balance, and the writing, lyrical and circular, complements her voice perfectly. I loved Jenna and I loved the writing. Although I didn't quite feel for them as completely, Jenna's parents and grandmother also had a spark that made them breathe off the page. They weren't perfect beings, but they were human beings.
This novel truly made me think. It provided not with blind entertainment but with earnest questions. My favorite line from the book: "These thoughts are mine alone and no one else's. They exist no where else in the universe but within me." How do you go about thinking about that? I'll be considering that for days...
The reasons why this novel did not receive five stars? Well, there were a few. The weakest parts for me is when I felt Pearson was trying to hard to conventionalize the novel. Like the romance between Jenna and Ethan. The book would have been better without it, but Pearson probably added it in an attempt to draw in readers who are all about the "hawt guys" and "twu luv". Another unnecessary addition was Dane. He was added just to provide an antagonist and a definite bad guy. The novel didn't need an antagonist. The doubt alone in Jenna's mind was conflict enough. Also, the epilogue was sucky and I felt it undermined the message of the story. I turned what I thought was the last page all content and dazed, but then I noticed the 260 years later.....grrrr. So that's it? Every thing is happy? They get to live forever with no consequences? Isn't the whole point of the book is that there ARE CONSEQUENCES???
Anyway, this was a great book, somewhere in between Unwind and Never Let Me Go in terms of bio-ethical speculative fiction. It doesn't have the action-y, more commercialized vibe of Unwind, yet it isn't quite as introspective and thoughtful as Never Let Me go. It's somewhere in the middle.
This was a thrilling, thought-provoking novel. It had many layers, and many characters. I did enjoy the characters, but wish Shusterman would have foc...moreThis was a thrilling, thought-provoking novel. It had many layers, and many characters. I did enjoy the characters, but wish Shusterman would have focused on them more, since I did not find a great connection. The whole concept of "unwinding" was pretty hard to relate to. I personally don't know anyone who would chose that fate for their children. But it did make me consider the concept though. I liked how the author gave little hints what was going to happen beforehand, without giving it away. It was just an entertaining novel in the end, and I recommend it.
Thomas wakes up in a lift with no other memory besides his first name. The lift deposits him in the Glade, a large courtyard surrounded by impossibly...moreThomas wakes up in a lift with no other memory besides his first name. The lift deposits him in the Glade, a large courtyard surrounded by impossibly high stone walls. The Glade is populated by teenage boys in the same situation as him, they also have no memory. But they have made a life for themselves in this place, their only hope is trying to solve the maze that surrounds the walls. The Maze is a dangerous place, filled with terrifying half-machine/half-slug monsters that exist solely to sting the boys, thereby poisoning them with a deadly toxin. The day after Thomas arrives in the Glade, something unexpected happens. A comatose girl is delivered into the maze, and she has a message: She's the last one. Ever.. The boys know everything is going to change, and Thomas just might have some answers.
I am a little disappointed. With all the raving reviews and awesome premise, I expected it to be much better. It just wasn't that thrilling for me, and the plot wore thin. Most of the book was based of off someone conveniently remembering stuff. And the action wasn't tense enough. I always knew Thomas was going to end up all right. I was especially disappointed in Thomas's first night in the maze. It had the opportunity to be absolutely terrifying, but by then all the terror of the Grievers had vanished, and the whole scene seemed to make up two hours at the most, and not an entire night.
The ending was very good though, and very suspenseful. I was completely absorbed in those last few chapters, and even turned down ice cream in order to finish.
The writing and characters were simple. The writing was typical actiony fare. Thomas was a bit of a Gary Stu, with no real faults. Chuck was great though.....I'm sad now.
So anyway, it was good. Not great, but good. I am anxiously waiting for the sequel, and hope the books get better. (less)
I was really excited to read this book when it first came out. But being short on money (like always), I had to wait an entire year for it to come out...moreI was really excited to read this book when it first came out. But being short on money (like always), I had to wait an entire year for it to come out in paperback. You should have seen my face when I spotted it's cover at Borders. It immediately went to the enormous pile I was lugging around (sadly, I had to put half the books back, because it would be called stealing otherwise).
This book is told from the perspective of Mary, a young woman growing up in a small, isolated village surrounded by a fence that keeps the unrelenting zombies out. But they are not called zombies in this book (in fact the word zombie never mentioned), but rather the Unconsecrated. Trust me, they are true zombies. They eat flesh and babies and everything. Anyway, Mary grows up believing that her village, run by the dubious Sisterhood that claims that their little pocket of humanity amidst the formidible forest is the last of mankind. Mary, of course, questions this and is not content with her future as a member of the Sisterhood or married to man she doesn't love. Instead, she dreams of the ocean and the other stories her mother used to tell her of generations long gone.
From the first chapter, Mary's life is turned upside down. Her father walks among the dead, and her mother goes to join him. She is turned away by her brother and is sent to live in the Cathedral with the Sisterhood, which has well-kept secrets in every room.
This book is very well-written. Fluid and suspenseful, I had a hard time putting it down. While it did have some zombie-slaying action, it wasn't the focus of the book. Instead what kept me going was the sense of mystery and doom. Nothing good ever happens to Mary and the questions just kept coming with little-to-none answers. Mary was an unreliable narrator and a little crazy. All what the reader sees is first filtered through her eyes. She selfishly clung on to her dream of the ocean and refused to settle for anything less, even when it cost her the people she cared about. But hey, she is still one of the few chracters alive at the end, and the only one with a chance at a life, so she must have been doing something right. The rest of the characters wouldv'e gotten eaten long ago if Mary wasn't there to drive them.
This book is severely creepy, what with zombies relentlessly moaning in the background. I got skeeved out in a couple scenes (zombie baby). Like I said earlier, nothing good really happens at all. This book isn't for the faint at heart as it can be somewhat depressing. But I still found it intelligent and refreshing. It's so nice to read a young adult novel without a saintly narrator and a perfectly happy ending.
My least favorite part of it though was the love triangle? rectangle? I don't know what to call it. But the gist of it is Mary is in love with Travis. Travis is in love with Mary, but is engaged to Mary's best friend, Cass. Cass is in love with Harry, but Harry is engaged to Mary. Harry likes Mary, but I wouldn't call it love. I think he just wants a wife. Oh, and Travis and Harry are brothers. It's just a mess of duty and love. No one wants to marry who they are supposed to, but feel like they have a duty to do so. So, its complicated without ever being really interesting. I never really saw what was so great about Travis. Mary nursed him and her previous crush on him turned into full out love (or so she says). This might sound weird, but I could never tell when they were kissing or not. The scenes between them were written oddly, and I kept thinking they were kissing, but later on in the page I was proved wrong. Their lips were just really close together and they were almost kissing. My bad.
Anyway, despite some personal preferences and little annoyances, this book was really good. Not for everyone, but I recommend everyone try it. I'm sooo looking forward to The Dead-Tossed Waves, where some questions might finally be answered. (less)
I wasn't exactly looking forward to reading this book. I read Life As We Knew It and had so-so feelings about it. But I saw it in the library and was...moreI wasn't exactly looking forward to reading this book. I read Life As We Knew It and had so-so feelings about it. But I saw it in the library and was looking for something to read, so I really had no excuse not to read it.
This book was more a companion novel than an actual sequel, and it was based around the same catastrophic event: moon craziness. This time the main character was a 17 yr old Puerto Rican from NYC, named Alex. This book follows his story as he and his two younger sisters struggle to survive.
The main problem for me was the main character. He is a Puerto Rican from NYC, so why didn't the author make him Puerto Rican? I mean this boy is very pious, being the Vice President of his class at a Catholic school. And the only thing that the author attempted to do to portray his latina heritage was having him say random words in Spanish. Not quite. Hey, I can say random words in Spanish too! Mama mia! Wait--that's Italian......
And besides that, the plot was just kind of boring. We get it, you're starving. Point made. Although, I did think the book progressively got better. By the end, I was actually interested.
I also didn't think there was much difference between The Dead and the Gone and Life As We Knew It. They both were about starving families stuck in their situation, one way or another. Except one was a rural setting and was an urban setting. But the main characters had very similar voices.
The only way I shall be reading the third one was if it comes to my local library.