I’ve read Richelle Mead’s adult series Succubus Blues and thought it was enjoyable. I wasn’t going to re**spoiler alert** Reviews and more on my blog.
I’ve read Richelle Mead’s adult series Succubus Blues and thought it was enjoyable. I wasn’t going to read her YA series Vampire Academy, because the name Vampire Academy is terrible, but I read some comments and reviews that indicated everyone loved the series and it’s really good.
I’m torn on the book, but leaning toward dislike. The protagonist is 17 year old Rose who is a 1/2 human 1/2 vampire guardian (dhampire) for her best friend and moroi (good) vampire Liss. The book starts off good, lots of action and a super close female friendship. Rose and Liss have been runaways for 2 years, so Rose could protect Liss’ secret that she can magically heal others, but are captured and taken back to their special school. Then the book sort of shifts focus and the bulk of it is just girls being catty and spreading rumors. It’s written in an action-y interesting way, but it seems so detached from the actual plot, like a book that’s 3/4ths filler. This is problematic, because their school rival is rather pitiable. Liss’ brother took advantage of her and then Liss steals her boyfriend and tells the school her parents are poor. Which is another problem with the book. There are moroi royalty, like Liss, the characters almost criticize the system, but not quite.
What actually bothered me more was the love interest aspect. Rose develops a crush on her 24 year old teacher, Demitri, who clearly returns her attraction. Now, considering this is a vampire book I suppose the age difference could be way worse, but seriously. what. the. fuck. I’m 24 and I cannot imagine developing a crush on a 17 year old high school boy. It’s weird and creepy. I think the author makes it worse by continually referencing Rose’s curves. Just because she has boobs doesn’t mean she’s mature or looks old enough in the face. I had boobs at 13…and braces and acne. So, yeah. It also just plays right into the done to death older guy, younger innocent girl and of course Rose is a virgin, despite being the “wild” one. *rolls eyes* It doesn’t help that Dimitri seems to have very little personality beyond older, tough, mentor.
This is a super minor thing, but the book starts in Portland, Or and then toward the end Rose is wearing a University of Oregon sweatshirt. U of O is in Eugene. I’m not saying her and Liss couldn’t have gone there, but it didn’t seem like it within the context of the book. Rose should have had a PSU sweater.
The best part of the book was definitely Liss and Rose’s friendship. It was nice seeing a pair of friends represented that would do anything for each other. Although, this was ruined when they got in a fight over…something. I think Rose telling the school Liss was cutting herself. So, maybe not such good friends after all.
The writing was solid. The world Mead created is interesting. She made up a lot of changes to vampire lore. It’s a fast an easy read, like most YA stuff. ...more
The biggest problem with Divergent is the premise. This might sound huge, but considering the books overall quality it'sReviews and more on my blog.
The biggest problem with Divergent is the premise. This might sound huge, but considering the books overall quality it's actually not that bad. The premise is that society has split into five factions and each faction values a different trait; Abnegation-selfless, Erudite-intelligence, Dauntless-bravery, Candor-honesty, and Amity-peace. At sixteen you are allowed to pick your faction. It's not really explained when or how factions came about. Also, if one fails initiation into a faction they become factionless, which is really brutal and seems unnecessary. For some reason the factionless don't revolt. The main character doesn't fit into any of the factions and this is apparently a big deal. Uhmmmkay. Most people aren't that simple, but moving on..
Beatrice, aka Tris, is from the Abnegation faction which values self-sacrifice. It by far sounds like the worst, least fun faction. She turns 16 and goes to Dauntless. Dauntless has an especially hard initiation period. Tris has to jump onto a train, jump off the train onto a roof, jump off the roof into a pit, and then fight her fellow initiates, all of whom are bigger than her. Tris is an okay protagonist and while Dauntless is overly brutal it's nice to see her be challenged and raise to that challenge. Through Dauntless she becomes tough, physically and mentally. This is the best part of the book. While in training Tris has a romance with her trainer. This is meh. He's okay, but mostly just fits the love interest stereotype; older and tough, but for some unknown reason completely in love with the main character.
The plot is decent. (view spoiler)[ Erudite wants control, so they turn the Dauntless into a robot-like army and attack Abnegation, who make up all of the politicians. (hide spoiler)] The writing is also decent. Overall it's an enjoyable enough read, but not the best thing ever. ...more
I enjoyed reading Incarceron and was excited to read what happened next. Sapphique was a solid sequel. The writing is deceReviews and more on my blog.
I enjoyed reading Incarceron and was excited to read what happened next. Sapphique was a solid sequel. The writing is decent and the plot was interesting. Like Incarceron it changes viewpoints, unlike Incarceron it wasn't limited to two character perspectives.
I think the shifting viewpoints was a bit of a weakness in this book as it slowed the climax and made the last part of the book less exciting. Attia has a substantial amount of the story and she wasn't one of my favorite characters. I was also hoping for more relationship development between the characters, but the focus was definitely more on escaping Incarceron.
Additionally the ending was a bit of a let down. It happened so quickly after taking a long time to get to that point and was just sort of confusing. (view spoiler)[ The glove was a total mystery and I'm not entirely clear how Jared is fused with Incarceron, but residing inside of the Sapphique statue created by the prison. (hide spoiler)]...more
I had really low expectations for Wither. I thought the whole kidnapped-child-bride thing would just make me angry and givReviews and more on my blog.
I had really low expectations for Wither. I thought the whole kidnapped-child-bride thing would just make me angry and give me a headache, but it didn't. I appreciated the writing in the book. It was solid. The main character was fairly decent, as was the bad guy. I felt like this book has a touch of the trilogy problem I've been noticing recently, where the author wants to write a trilogy, but really only has enough plot for one book. Which means I felt like this book was a little slow moving and repetitive. The main character thinks the same thoughts over and over again. (view spoiler)[ Should she run away? It's bad, but it's not SO bad. She fakes being in love with her husband so well. She's like the best actress ever. She almost believes it herself. Bah. (hide spoiler)]
The other problem I had with this book was the inconsistent/unrealistic aspects. The ages were so arbitrary. It would be nice for the author to try and explain that. Also, why make the ages different? Why should/would men get an additional 5 years? It felt like it was done to keep the age gap that's in ALL YA fiction. Why the love interest(s) always have to be at least few years older is a mystery to me. (view spoiler)[ Also, if you're going to be obsessed with breeding why would you murder a van full of women? Why wouldn't you tell your "husband" that his father is a monster who kidnapped you and killed others?
Finally, I felt like Linden's character was romanticized too much. It's okay he essentially rapes his other two wives, because he doesn't understand that they were kidnapped and in no position to object his advances? I'm sorry, but that's just not good enough. (hide spoiler)]...more
I really wanted to like this book. I think the idea is pretty great. I can envision a world where people are identified byReviews and more on my blog
I really wanted to like this book. I think the idea is pretty great. I can envision a world where people are identified by bar codes. Unfortunately something just felt off to me. I didn't connect with the main character and I felt removed from what was happening. Time seemed to pass weirdly in the book and at times it felt more like reading a summary.
What really ruined it for me though, was the ending. (view spoiler)[ I didn't like how people suddenly developed psychic abilities and trying to explain it as an adaptation felt off, like bad pseudo-science, hippie, nonsense. (hide spoiler)] ...more
I enjoyed reading Across the Universe. I liked the characters and the story. It was a solid YA dystopian novel. I'm actuReviews (and more!) on My Blog
I enjoyed reading Across the Universe. I liked the characters and the story. It was a solid YA dystopian novel. I'm actually surprised I ended up liking it as much as I did, because it did two things that can really annoy me: Having two points of view in the same location and time and a nearly painfully obvious bad guy.
Something about two view points in the same location and time drives me a little crazy. I guess I just feel like it's completely unnecessary to have essentially the same events described by two characters. It feels repetitive. Across the Universe wasn't an exception. Additionally the two characters view points read the same, which seems both unlikely and made it somewhat confusing. I was reading a chapter from Elder's perspective, but kept thinking it was Amy's perspective.
I knew Orion was the bad guy from the first or second time his character was in the book. Then when Eldest and the doctor were talking it was super obvious that Orion was the supposedly dead Elder. It didn't make any sense to me why the main characters didn't suspect him more or sooner. It would have been nice to have another suspect, so it wasn't so obvious to the reader.
One thing that was different in this book then a lot of other YA books I've read was that Amy was older then Elder. I can't remember the last time I read a book where the female was older than her love interest. It seems like it never happens, whether the male is older by a year or 100 years. Amy was a year older when frozen, and if one included years spent frozen approximately 550 years older. Another thing that was different was Amy not being a virgin and Elder presumably being a virgin. It's very common in YA for the female to be very inexperienced and the male to be very experienced. So, yay for not following those tropes! (hide spoiler)]...more
Beauty Queens is about a group of beauty pageant contestants that are in an airplane crash and end up stranded on a desertReviews and more on my blog.
Beauty Queens is about a group of beauty pageant contestants that are in an airplane crash and end up stranded on a desert island. Like that summary would lead you to believe, this books is funny. It's also feminist. Libba Bray satirizes and criticizes gender roles with a focus on beauty standards. I think doing feminism in a humorous way is difficult, but wonderful.
The books is funny and enjoyable, but the characters felt a bit flat to me, maybe just because there were so many of them. Also, for a book about breaking stereotypes, some of the characters are very stereotypical. Some of the things done for humor seem over the top more than funny, like (view spoiler)[ the reality star boy-band-ish pirates that just happen to get to the island too. It annoyed me that they ended up paired off-a boy for ever girl, how...unfeminist? (hide spoiler)]
But I did like the book. I found the footnotes, commercial breaks, and beauty pageant worksheets, especially entertaining. It's worth a read, so check it out. ...more