Four or five? FOUR OR FIVE? FOUR OR FIVE? Let's see how I'm feeling by the end of the review.
Okay, this book kinda takes place where the last one lef...moreFour or five? FOUR OR FIVE? FOUR OR FIVE? Let's see how I'm feeling by the end of the review.
Okay, this book kinda takes place where the last one left off. Give or take twenty to thirty years. Instead of the lovely Mary, the narrator this time is Mary's daughter, Gabry. Now, I understand most of you are like "OMG, who's the father?" I know I was. But I can't say for threat of being flagged as a spoiler.
Anyway, Gabry has a very different upbringing from her mother. She lives in a lighthouse on the outskirts of a little town called Vista. She has a best friend and a crush on her best friend's brother. But most of all, she grows up safe and secure, without all that moaning in the background. But then, of course, it all goes wrong......dun dun DUN. Gabry and her friends take a little midnight hike over the Barrier and zombie hell breaks loose. The night ends with death, betrayals, and with half of her generation gone or imprisoned, life will never be the same for poor, sweet Gabry.
I have to say, this was a hell of a sequel. I thought it was actually much better than The Forest of Hands and Teeth aaaaaand all my questions were answered (well, about 88%). There were even some guest appearances and moments when I felt smarter than the narrator because I knew what something was and she didn't. What more can I gall ask for?
The writing was very much the same. It was beautiful in places, mostly sad, but hope shined through. I managed to read this in a period of 24 hours, which is no small feat when you have school and homework and yada yada yada. My point is that it's compelling and unputdownable (which is officially a word).
The world that Ryan sets up is just incredible, honestly. I find it completely convincing. It's mysterious and dark and scary. Just normal life with fewer good parts....and it has zombies.
I found Gabry more likable than her predecessor, but I don't feel fair comparing the two because they have totally different personalities.
Once again, the weakest part for me was the love triangle. I'm sick of those things. I always choose the wrong guy, then have a grudge against the author for having different taste in men. But this time I think I routing for the right guy.....I think. I have to wait and see if he dies first. Even though Gabry bounced back and forth between the two contestants, she never seemed ho-ish. Just confused.
But once again I could never tell if the couple was kissing. Does that make me weird, or does anyone else have that problem with these books? I don't know, there would be pages of getting close and comfy with one of her man-friends then they would get pissed or something, storm off, and Gabry would try to relive their "almost-kiss". And I would be like "Man, I though for SURE they were lipsmacking that time!"
Overall, I really liked this book. And if you want this book to be a stand-alone, go ahead. This book could do well without it's predecessor, although it's cliffhanger ending may be too much for someone with poor will power (aka me). I recommend this book to everyone, except those who like fairy-tale endings, "perfect" narrators, or can't handle flesh-eating corpses.
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.
I'm just kidding. When there is a zombie apocalypse (no, not if), I'm about 98% sure I would not survive. I would be like those...more
I am. I so am. BRING IT
I'm just kidding. When there is a zombie apocalypse (no, not if), I'm about 98% sure I would not survive. I would be like those chicks in horror movies who get killed off in the opening credits. But there is the 2% I do survive initially, and then after that, I have a plan.
I am skilled in no way shape or form. I hate the wilderness and physical activity. I am not a quick thinker and I panic under pressure. So basically, I am screwed unless I find Tom Imura. Tom Imura was one of the main reasons I enjoyed this book. He is basically a calm, sexy zombie-slaying Samurai. My plan is to marry him. I know, I know. How Mary-Suish of me. Well STFU, in retrospect this is for the good of America. This way we can have lots of half-Japanese zombie-killing offspring, and God knows the world needs more of those.
Benny, the MC, is not as good as Tom. He is like a non-sexy, less-Asian bratty version of him. In the beginning of the novel, he was close to insufferable and I wanted to stab him with a katana (This book taught me Japanese!). Think of him as Harry Potter a la Book 5. But he did show growth and development and yada yada yada and by the end of the book he actually resembled a likable human being. But still not as awesome as Tom.
I liked this book, but it was nothing close to fantastic for me. Despite the heavy themes, I was never emotionally invested in it. I disliked the writing, and even though the characters are developed, I never felt an attachment to them. This is entirely personal, however, and thats why I won't make too big of a stink about it.
It was a good zombie book. Not all about the braaaaaiiiiinzzzz. Zombies are people too. Albeit, dead ones.
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.
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)
17 yr old Maddie lives in the year 2060, where everything, from dating, schooling, and going to the movies, is done online. Ever since her disastrous...more17 yr old Maddie lives in the year 2060, where everything, from dating, schooling, and going to the movies, is done online. Ever since her disastrous rebellion two years before nearly caused her and her father to go to jail, Maddie has lived compliantly with this life, never complaining or yearning for actual physical contact. One day Maddie meets a boy online in school chatroom, and he invites her to actual go to a real tutor session. Maddie agrees and that is how Justin enters her life. Justin is wild and unpredictable, being here for one minute and leaving the next. He hates everything about society nowadays, and embraces actual social interactions. Justin shows Maddie that the best things in life aren't behind the computer screen. Maddie can feel herself falling in love with Justin, even though her father, the founder of Digital School, forbids it. Maddie is torn between doing what is right for her family, and doing what might be right for the world.
This was a good piece of YA dystopian fiction. The world-building was excellent, probably because it is not too hard to imagine a world like Maddie's, seeing as society seems to be heading there anyways. I know I am lazy. I know I depend too much on my cell phone and my laptop. I know that's bad for me. But unfortunately, one of things I disliked about this book is it preachiness. I felt I was getting beamed on the head with my Mac. COMPUTERS BAD. PHYSICAL EXPERIENCES GOOD. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. At least I've seen fire and live music and I have real trees unlike Maddie SO THERE. It's kind of ironic though, because I was reading this book online.....
Maddie was a good narrator. She actually had some hutzpah and wasn't some passive, dependent troll. She actually proved she was intelligent instead of just reading Wuthering Heights for the four billionth time, like that means anything. I liked Maddie. Justin.....eh. Yeah, he was hot, I guess, but most of the preachiness came from him. If he goes on a rant one more time....I also didn't like that he had "I will be aloof to the woman I love because I am not good enough for her" syndrome. Dude, come one. Have some respect. I don't like it when protag love interests think that they know what is better for the protagonist more than the protagonist does.
I really liked the first half of the book, but something threw me off about the second half. It's like someone poured cold water on the book and yelled WAAAIIITTT. I think the sexual tension between Maddie and Justin was drawn out too long. Every time they walked away kiss-less from each other, I let out a frustrated sigh. The second half of the book was mostly on Justin/Maddie romance, and that was Maddie pining for Justin most of the time. The final action scene also felt really contrived.
And guess what! There was a character named Clare that I didn't hate! I'm improving!
Overall, a decent YA dystopian fiction. I wanna know what happens next realz bad.