Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. She never sees them herself, not until this year whenEvery year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. She never sees them herself, not until this year when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue discovers he's one of the rich students at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from the Raven Boys, she knows that coming across them can only mean trouble, but she's drawn to Gansey in a way she can't entirely explain. He's on a quest that includes three other Raven Boys, intelligent Adam, fierce Ronan, and watchful Noah. Now, for as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought it would be a problem. But now, as she gets caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys and the dangerous journey Gansey pulled them into, she's not so sure anymore.
The Raven Boys is ghostly and eerie, steeped in psychics and ley lines, filled with whispers of a time past and forgotten and visions of a time still to come. It was what I've come to expect from a novel written by Maggie Stiefvater, a novel with a wary and mysterious girl at odds with a compelling, eye-catching, and equally mysterious boy, but I was unprepared for the journey and could only follow the path set out before me on the page.
The inevitability of death and the nature of love. We are all meant to die, that much is clear, but are we meant to love, meant to have it in our lives? Where does love come from? Why is it there? What happens when we don't want it, when we know the consequences it will bring? Do we stand strong, let it pass, or are we brave enough to give in knowing it's not meant to last? I imagine these will be questions I'll be asking throughout the series.
Stiefvater never makes it easy for her characters, and Blue certainly has it rough, being told constantly as she grew up that if she ever kissed her true love he would die. Then she sees a non-spirit on St. Mark's Eve, which means he's her true love or she killed him. She's already spent her life, her precious teenage years that should be full of crushes and boys and kisses, avoiding boys as much as possible. And she knows to steer clear of the rich and privileged students of Aglionby, the Raven Boys of Henrietta, Virginia. But she can't help getting caught up in them and part of their world when she meets Gansey. Her non-spirit from the church on St. Mark's eve.
Gansey is all about the things all over the world that can't be seen, and how those things that do exists that aren't seen by all are meant to be found. So he searches for the ley lines in hopes of discovering their secrets, researches ancient kings and long forgotten stories and legends and promises. He's working to prove himself worthy to the secrets and the mysteries to learn what's kept hidden.
At first, with what the reader knows of Blue's fate regarding romantic entanglements, more romance is expected between her and Gansey, and while sparks do fly between them, the story shifts towards its core, a darkly dangerous and mysterious tale of ley lines, ancient kings, and the quest to find what he's been looking for.
The other three Raven Boys have their own challenges and issues, it's not just Gansey that Blue has to deal with. There's Adam with his sadness and almost frailty, his intelligence and not wanting things to change if they're going to hurt, his desire to find his own place in the world that won't be tucked back into Gansey's shadow. There's Ronan with his wild eyes, his wild fists, his own secrets about his father's death and himself and a particular raven, his strength and his scaldingly hot temper. There's Noah with a smaller role but no less important than the others, his quiet ways and quiet steps, his icy cold hands, his eyes always watching what's happening.
On the other side of the book, away from the characters and their complications and motives, is the dark mystery at the heart of the story, the one that's born from ley lines and spirits and psychics, the world we can't see, the world of energy where ancient kings live on, the world that contains things that are beyond the comprehension of most. It's elusive like mist, like a memory just out of reach, this spirit world lost in history that Blue and her Raven Boys, because no matter how much she knows to avoid them they are her boys, are trying to discover.
The story turns Stiefvater's prose lyrical, makes the novel as a whole even more magical and so visual. There's so much packed in, but it all just makes the novel a story rich in details that, odds are, will be important in the future, certain character habits and items and places that will come into play in the rest of the series.
Written in third person, the book moves around, circling the characters on their journeys, from Blue to Gansey to Adam to others. It's all pieces of a story, the pieces we're meant to read not, the moments we're meant to see, Blue and her aunt in the churchyard in the middle of the night, Gansey on the side of the road next to his car as Ronan and Adam drive up. In the future, in the books to come, there will be different moments and different secrets, and the readers will get to see more of what happens along the ley lines. But will everything, and I mean everything, be revealed and solved and discovered at the end of the series? That's up to the author.
A book has power over a reader, even more so when the reader, after turning the last page and reaching the end, wants to dive right back into the world they just left, and that's what happened to me and The Raven Boys. I felt bereft once I turned the final page, felt lost and hollow, and it took nothing for me to turn back to the first page and start over again. I adore this world, this darkly magical world, this world along an unseen path where seasons change in an instant, where the trees talk to you, where the raven cries out, where a dead king waits far from the place of his birth. It's unfortunate that I can't live in this world, but I will relish every moment I can spent between the pages with Blue and her Raven Boys as my guides....more
Absolutely amazing. :) Fun, smart, romantic. An excellent debut.
Another contemporary YA book of Fall/Winter 2010/11. It's very interesting, how readinAbsolutely amazing. :) Fun, smart, romantic. An excellent debut.
Another contemporary YA book of Fall/Winter 2010/11. It's very interesting, how reading tastes change over time. In high school, I read a lot of romance novels (some paranormal, some contemporary, some trashy, some Harlequin). In the past 2 years, I've slowly moved into reading more YA. I still read paranormal YA, but the contemporary YA books are slowly creeping their way into my book pile.
Mostly because of how awesome the story is. :)
Anna is no different. Anna Oliphant is shipped off by her divorced parents to spend her senior year in Paris, away from her family, friends, and potential crush in Atlanta. She doesn't want to go to Paris, mostly because her father's a jerk and she doesn't speak a word of French. Well, maybe she knows oui and merci, but that's pretty much it. But, and there is a but, what (or who) changes her mind about the City of Lights: a breathtakingly handsome French (with a British accent & born in America) classmate, Étienne St. Clair, who comes complete with a girlfriend who goes to a different school.
Okay, so, you might think it sounds cheesy and predictable, but the book is full of first times (for Anna learning all about how Paris doesn't suck and is actually a blast), of almost and near-misses, of laughter and new friends, and of course, romance and kissing. Who doesn't like kissing, especially when the guy has a British accent?? *swoon* ;)
I really liked Anna. She was emotional but not overwhelming. She was funny and smart, she enjoyed films and reviewed them instead of just watching them like lots of teens (and she liked older films, too). She made it her job to be friends with St. Clair and to focus on a possible crush back home, which is very mature of her. Sure, she could've spent the year drooling all over him like every other girl in the school, but that's not Anna.
Until she realized she was in love with him. Crap. And so she had to figure out what to do next, and determine if he was still with his girlfriend, considering how much time St. Clair spent with her (and sometimes their friends).
This book is like a rollercoaster, it goes up and down, loops around, dips and confuses you, and ends with a bang. A nice bang, mind you. The characters were funny and smart, Paris comes off as a glorious adventure full of architecture and history and magic, and the romance was sweet without being obvious or overwhelming. Sure, it's a YA book that's obviously got a bunch of romance in it, but Anna and St. Clair only account for about two-thirds of it. The rest is all Paris. *sigh* I'd love to go to Paris one day.
In short, even if you don't like contemporary chick lit YA romance, at least give it a try. It's a wonderful and fun debut by Stephanie Perkins. I'm not sure if I can stand to wait for her next books Lola and the Boy Next Door (Sept. 29, 2011) and Isla and the Happily Ever After (Fall 2012), companion books to Anna....more
There's no other way I can describe this book without using the word adorable. Evie's cute, fun, bubbly, says what she's thinking, knows that she wantThere's no other way I can describe this book without using the word adorable. Evie's cute, fun, bubbly, says what she's thinking, knows that she wants, yells when you piss her off (Reth is such a jerk), but she just wants to be normal. Sort of. She wants the normal that is TV teen dramas like her wonderful Easton Heights. It was one of the funny parts. I remember watching TV shows like that and imagining that's what high school was like. *sigh* Good times.
Kiersten White's created a weird world where paranormal creatures (vampires, werewolves, faeries, mermaids, hags, trolls, other spirits and the like) are all hunted to keep track of. It's an authoritarian deal that teens are bound to rebel against, as well as people who aren't big fans of enforced authority, imprisonment, and the like. Plus it was like chick lit mixed with paranormal stuff, which is pretty good. Sure, there was kissing (yay) but it was fun and not all dark and sad and dangerous. Well, maybe some danger. ;)
I really liked Evie. She's fun, cute, and carries a pink taser. How can you not like her? How many of us wouldn't want their own taser? She was different than other paranormal YA characters, a little lost in terms of the real world, but she'd been kept locked away from the world. It had a way of making you pissed off and just a little rebellious once you get glimpses of what's really going on. And Lish. My favourite bleeping mermaid.
And of course Evie has guys to fight over her, even if one's nice and one's an obsessed nutbar. I'm pro-Lend and anti-Reth. Reth just seemed a bit too creepy, like a stalker ex-boyfriend. Lend was new and different and interesting, and the fact that he lives in the real world and goes to real high school and has a real locker. An actual real locker. Oh, bleep. ;)
I wondered how the little twists and cliffhangers were going to be pulled off. Sometimes I wasn't sure what would happen next, what was really going on, what Evie really was with her ability to see through glamours, why Lend looked all watery, why Reth was acting so strange. White pulled it off, I never really saw some parts coming, like what Evie really was.
And so I'm waiting for book 2, Supernaturally, and I can only hope that it's just as good as the first one. :) I bleeping loved it. :) ...more
In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces to find Ky - takeIn search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces to find Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he had escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future, a rebellion, a betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of the Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.
Crossed was everything I expected, made me feel all the emotions I wanted to feel.
When Matched first came out last November, I read it and loved it, oddly relishing the sad and emotional way I felt after I turned the last page. But I didn't review it. I couldn't. I had no words that could adequately express how I felt after reading it. It made me think about how we look at the world, how we are sorted, and how I would feel if somehow my life because that compartmentalized, that controlled, that closed off from spontaneous events and utterly pointless things like flowers and books and chocolate that only serve to make people happy.
With this book, I have somehow found the words I couldn't a year ago. This book, like Matched, is one I can't talk about in terms of plot and character, even though I enjoyed them. I can only think of this book in terms of the message it gives you as you read it.
In a dystopian society, there will always be a rebellion, an uprising, a group fighting to free the majority of society from the controlling hands of its leaders. There will also be those caught in the middle, somehow wrapped up in a rising, who must decide whether or not they'll continue to be a part of the society. Look at Awaken or Delirium or Nightshade (this last one isn't dystopian but it has a similar situation). Every main character in those books learned some truth about the society they lived in, learned some horrors, and with their new-found understanding made a very difficult choice. In Crossed, we have Cassia, somehow involved with her rose-coloured glasses stripped away from her eyes, and we have Ky, always just on the edge without an actual purpose just looking for an escape, a place where he doesn't have to lie about what he is.
I think the reason Ally Condie's series, like other dystopian novels written for a young adult audience, is because the tough decision of following blindly without question or opening your eyes to discover the truth so you can make your own decisions about the world is what teenagers deal with all the time. Do they want the kind of life their parents have? Will they discover they really want to be an artist or woodworker or a guitarist instead of an accountant or a chemist or a doctor?
I don't know what I would do if I were Cassia or Ky, if I would go back to the Society and be taken care of or go off and join the Rising. I'm having a hard enough time figuring out what I'm supposed to do with my own life, but I'm eager to read the next book next year to discover what Cassia and Ky, and yes, Xander, have decided to do with theirs.
Thought-provoking, honest, and surprisingly believable, Ally Condie's Crossed continues Cassia's journey into the truth behind the Society and gives us new insight into Ky, the guy who finally makes Cassia think outside the box. This is their journey away from the Society, away from work camps and battles against the Enemy, their journey towards the Rising. Their journey to find themselves and each other....more
Before reading this, I reread the first three books in the series. Partially to remind myself what had happened, but mostly because they're freaking aBefore reading this, I reread the first three books in the series. Partially to remind myself what had happened, but mostly because they're freaking awesome. :)
Oh, and there are spoilers for Strange Angels, Betrayals, especially Jealousy, and maybe Defiance. If you want to read the other books first, you might not want to read this.
Dru's always been a good listener. She listened to her dad, but she did have to gun him down when he showed up at their house as a zombie. Then she listened to the Order when they popped into her life, but they kept lying to her. She even listened to Christophe, but still lost the only friend she had left.
Now, Dru's done listening. She's doing things on her own extremely pissed off terms, and she'll fight Sergej, king of the evil vampires, if she bloody well wants to. If the Order has a problem with that, they can kiss their sweet little svetocha goodbye.
I spent the last three days (May 3, 4, & 5) reading this series. I got through Betrayals and Jealousy both in one day. I felt like a junkie just after midnight on the 5th, wanting to read Defiance because Jealousy has a brutal ending but needing to get some sleep.
This book was just as mind-blowing and just as powerful as the others in the series. It took almost nothing for me to get swept back into Dru's deadly and extremely mixed-up world, a world she's somehow survived sort of on her own ever since she had to kill her brand new zombie dad. Nothing happens slowly, even though Dru's continually anxious about how long things are taking. The pacing is quick but smooth, no rough edges to get caught up on or stumble over. Four books in, St. Crow still has the ability to pull me straight into Dru's world until it feels like I'm smack in her head watching everything twist and move and crumble around her.
And once again, nothing's easy for Dru. She really has pulled the shortest straw possible for easiness of life. And thank God that she's still the same Dru I love reading about. She's armed, she's gritty, she's not girly but has that girly part of her brain that worries about zits and looking like a rumpled slob in front of Graves and Christophe, and she's forever ready to beat the crap out of whoever she has to to find out the truth.
Jealousy ended like a punch in the stomach with Anna shooting Dru, Christophe making Dru drink his blood, and Sergej leaving a note saying he's going to Break Graves the way he Broke Ash. It doesn't take long for Defiance to get right back into the action, it doesn't take long for Dru to continue killing nosferatu or learn how to fight with Christophe or ask over and over again if the Order has found Graves.
I don't want to give away spoilers, but the places this book went and where it ended in preparation for the last book in the series was so good and so satisfying. Because it's Dru, nothing was even close to perfect, and at the end it's clear there's a giant mess left to be fixed, but I so know I'm going to get what I want in the last book.
Dru kicking some ass. ;)
Powered by a strong heroine who's not afraid to get a little dirty, Defiance is what readers of Lili St. Crow's Strange Angels series have been waiting for after the huge action-packed mess of Jealousy. Dru's learned, she's grown, she's on the edge of blooming into a full-fledged svetocha, and she'll do anything and everything and whatever it takes to get her Goth Boy back.
When Reckoning hits shelves in November, it'll feel like the end of an era. No more Dru, or Graves, or Christophe. It's almost enough to make me want to hug these books to bed. ;)...more
Nothing in Silla's life has felt right since her parents' deaths. She's willing to do anything to uncover the truth, even try a few spells from a mystNothing in Silla's life has felt right since her parents' deaths. She's willing to do anything to uncover the truth, even try a few spells from a mysterious book that arrived at her door... and spill some blood.
There's also Nick, the new guy in town, who might've seen Silla cast a spell. She doesn't know if he saw everything. The more time they spend together, the more she realizes this might not be his first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by both chemistry and fate, Silla and Nick can't deny their attraction, and they can't ignore the dark presence lurking around, waiting to reclaim the book and all the power it holds.
Tessa Gratton's debut novel is dark and mysterious, haunting and haunted, gorgeous and magical. The blood pulsed in my fingers as I turned each page, waiting for something to pop out of the shadows and rain down on Silla and Nick, ready to scream at the right moment. An outstanding mix of teen angst, young love, and the possibilities of what could be lurking right under our skin, flowing through our veins.
So spooky. So much spooky. So much blood, I was surprised to not find it dripping from the pages. So much weighs down on Silla's shoulders: the surprising death of her parents, the sudden isolation and accusations of insanity, the loneliness, the crows flying around. The magic, such surprising and dangerous and powerful magic. Such power. She seems trapped in a sea of depression and blood, with Nick trying to help her keep her head above water.
There's so much sorrow in this book. The weight of Silla's parents' deaths hangs over her. It feels like it's only a matter of time until she crumbles.
And Nick. Nick seems lost, aimless, without purpose. He needs grounding, something to care about. And here's this lost girl, thin as a rail, bursting with questions, full of powerful blood. The connection between him and Silla can't be denied, but neither can the danger that follows them.
The metaphor for cutting wasn't lost on me, intentional or not on the part of Tessa Gratton. Adults and teenagers alike cut themselves as a painful form of self-administered therapy, watching the pain build and flow away the second a blade slices into their skin. Yes, the magic comes from the blood, but you can only cut yourself so much.
Blood Magic is not for the faint of heart, but to experience it properly, read it late at night with the wind rushing past your window and a crow crying out from a nearby tree. Darkness wrapped in secret magic locked in blood, finding love in a cemetery, hidden pain buried deep inside that threatens to choke you. The forbidden, the seemingly impossible, the dark and dangerous, thrive in this book. With any luck, readers will be intrigued by the magic and sucked in with the lyrical, powerful prose. Don't be surprised if this book weaves its way under your skin.
Don't be surprised if you look at blood differently....more
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. Civilization has crumbled and only the landfills areSaba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. Civilization has crumbled and only the landfills are left to scavenge through. That's fine by Saba, as long as she has her twin brother Lugh is with her. But when a massive sandstorm appears and brings four cloaked horsemen who kidnap Lugh, Saba's world is shattered and her epic quest to get him back starts.
She's suddenly thrown into a lawless world, the ugly side of reality, and has no Lugh to guide her through it. The most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And, surprisingly enough, she has the ability to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a daredevil named Jack and a group of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of civilization.
This book has no chapters, just sections and glimpses into Saba's life. I'd love to go section by section, but that would lead to spoilers. Also, the book is written in dialect. No quotations, some phonetic word spellings. It takes a little getting used to, but reading this book in that dialect fashion just pulls you right smack into Saba's head, right into her situation, right into her dry and abandoned world.
The bleakness in this book is so palpable, almost overwhelming. The world is dry, nothing can grow, there's barely enough food. I can't imagine living in such a place where rain never comes. Never ever. But there's still life, even when the world is at its least hospitable and dry and cracked and ruined. There's still people living, struggling, raising families and trying as hard as they can to survive. The on-going struggle that Saba and her family went through before the start of the book is shocking when you think about it.
And there's Saba and the connection she has with her brother, Lugh. The closeness they have transcends the dust and the dirt and the dried up lake. Even after Lugh is taken away from Saba, she still needs him, still needs to rescue him.
The devotion is powerful, but Saba has to learn to live without her twin. She needs a life of her own, not a shared one with Lugh, especially when he starts to pull away. This is her chance to live without him and see if she can survive.
It takes a strong spirit to keep on going after everything Saba's been through. Her world sucks, and it continues to suck page after page after page, but you need those little bright spots in order to keep going.
Bleak and hopeless is the world in Moira Young's Blood Red Road, but it's also powerful and thought-provoking. What are the limits of the human spirit? How far will you go? What will it take? Who will you meet? How will you survive? Saba joins a cast of rough, stubborn, prickly YA heroines and stands her ground, willing to do whatever it takes to find her brother. Whatever it takes to find a home....more
Grace just moved to San Francisco, but she didn't expect the minotaur to show up, or the girl who looks exactly like her who fights monsters. GretchenGrace just moved to San Francisco, but she didn't expect the minotaur to show up, or the girl who looks exactly like her who fights monsters. Gretchen is tired of fighting monsters in the middle of the night and was shocked to discover a girl who could be her double. Greer has a normal life, but not when two girls show up at her door claiming they're triplets.
That they're descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful Gorgon of Greek mythology. That they're destined to spend their lives fighting hideous monsters.
A new modern-day twist on a Greek myth (think Aimée Carter's The Goddess Test), Tera Lynn Childs gives us three unique points of view, even if it takes between half and two-thirds of the book to get us to the first chapter in Greer's point of view. Gretchen is the muscle, determined, headstrong and physically strong. Grace is the brain, sweet and kind but intelligent. Greer is, to be honest, stuck-up and annoying, as cold as ice. She will be the toughest nut to crack.
And boy trouble. There just has to be boy trouble. But it's awesome boy trouble. Boy trouble that doesn't take up the whole book mixed with mythical monsters trying to kill the girls. Because, unfortunately for some readers, it's not all about the boy trouble. It's about the girls and the monsters.
This isn't just a book about Greek mythology and monsters of legend and mystical powers. It's also a book about sisters, about family and the connections its members have, about discovering who you are at such a crucial point in a teenager's life. Grace, Gretchen, and Greer were separated as infants but the threads that bound them together in the womb still exist, even after sixteen years of separation. There are times when they think the same, talk the same, act the same. That's not a fault of the author's but more the traits and connections that triplets would have, even if they were separated at birth. People are influenced by the environment they grow up in, but also by genetics. Nature and nurture both play an important role.
This book is like a mixture Xena: Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Greek mythology, fighting to stay alive, and high school. Snappy, quick, intriguing and fun, Sweet Venom gave me what I expected from a Tera Lynn Childs novel and more. Like an action-comedy-drama movie. Monster butt-kicking, weird situations, and three girls discovering that being triplets isn't always easy....more
This is another book in a string of YA dystopian romances that's gotten tons and tons of positive hype as well as knowledge that there will be a bookThis is another book in a string of YA dystopian romances that's gotten tons and tons of positive hype as well as knowledge that there will be a book two and three in the series to follow, to be released in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Lauren Oliver's debut Before I Fall came out in March 2010, but Delirium is my first time reading a book by the author.
In Lena's world, love is a disease that is cured once you turn eighteen. Afterward, you don't have to worry about catching it and are able to lead a healthy and productive life. Ever since she was young, Lena has counted down the days until her procedure. It will be a life without pain, a life carefully measured out, a life that's safe and predictable. A happy life.
But, with ninety-five days to go before she turns eighteen, Lena falls in love.
I found it to be an amazing concept, the idea of love being a horrible and deadly disease that everyone must be cured of. If you think about it, love is a disease. It can distract us, make us feel strange, pull us away from tasks. The idea of being cured does feel strange, through.
While being a dystopian YA where the controlling government reminded me of Ally Condie's Matched, I didn't have a problem with it. Teens rebel against authority, it's probably coded into their genetic makeup, and it's so likely that teens will rebel against an authoritarian government with spies and codes and rules upon rules and restrictions on music and literature and certain types of relationships. This government was so cold, so controlling, so heartless. The fact that the book is set in Portland, Maine, a recognizable city in a currently big and important country, made reading it just a little creepy.
Lena seems like such a reluctant heroine. Constantly running, running from her past, her memories, running towards her birthday and the procedure. There's no escaping any of it, but she still runs, hoping to reach the day when her pain will end and she can be happy again. Then there's Alex, friendly and mysterious Alex, who gives Lena a new reason to keep running.
There's one character I have to talk about who I loved more than the others. Lena's little cousin, Grace. I love Gracie. There's totally something else going on with her. I just know there's a reason why she won't talk, and I hope she appears in the next two books.
When I reached the final page and read the words that take us out of Delirium and into Pandemonium, I thought of those who have fought, fought with everything they had, every single inch of them, fought for love. Fought for love and never gave up, using the strength and courage of their convictions. Fought for love and died. As I type this, I can feel the tears building in my eyes, hear the racing of my heart in my chest. I can't remember the last time I read a book, any book of any genre, that's had me this close to actual tears. That says so much about Lauren Oliver, about her writing, her story, her characters, and the message that's woven into every single word on every single page.
Love can hurt us, ruin us, kill us, but it can also save us. It can fill us with so much happiness and bright light we feel like we're about to burst. Pain. Isolation. Death. None of it matters when it comes face to face with love. It weakens us, but it can also make us so much stronger then we were before.
And it's not just romantic love. It's all kinds of love. The love parents have for their children, the love friends and siblings have for each other, the love of poetry and books and music and movies and art and running. The love we have for freedom, for life and hopes and dreams, for a future where we can be happy.
My heart breaks for those who cannot love as they want to, those who were in the past and are now in the present kept from loving as they want to. To be kept from love, to be told that you cannot love because it's not normal or right or correct or proper, has the ability to crush the soul. If this world Lauren Oliver writes of ever becomes reality, if amor deliria nervosa must be cured for the good of us all, I will head off into the Wilds and you are welcome to join me.
This book is amazingly powerful, amazingly haunting and beautiful and mysterious and gorgeous and thoughtful. The prose was lyrical and powerful, heartfelt and heart-wrenching, moving and passionate. Delirium will be a book that stays with me for years to come....more
Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she'll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the plaClementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she'll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel's toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be "Extracted," she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life. What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it's free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too. Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don't want her running. They want her subdued.
Extraction is tense and dangerous, very secretive and rather deceptive. Clementine thinks she's going to a better place, thinks life in the Core will be easier, but she has no idea what awaits her. Or how hard she'll have to fight back in order to survive.
Clementine grew up, if you could call it growing up, in a harsh environment. It was more like sixteen years of surviving, struggling, existing. All for a chance to be "Extracted" to what she sees as a better place. But it's not better, as she discovers. It makes her question a lot of things, like why some people are valued more than others. Why the tests push her further than she wants to be pushed. Why everyone seems rather compliant at times. I was confused by her character, though. Her willingness to to whatever it took to escape and make it down to the Core, her willingness to survive, seems to be at odds with her unwillingness to give up on Logan. Then technically she's not willing to do whatever it takes. She's willing to do anything that doesn't mean hurting or killing him.
This felt reminiscent of so many other dystopian YA novels and trilogies, like Inside Out, The Testing, The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Forsaken, and Glow. The premise sounded interesting. A poisonous moon? Acid spilling down through space towards the planet? Now that's different. But somewhere along the way it fell flat for me, it all felt too familiar. If you're a fan of dystopian novels, of any of the titles listed above, then by all means give this a read. The tension grows and I was surprised as a few secrets were revealed. It just didn't stick with me.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Macmillan through NetGalley.)...more
**spoiler alert** Before you continue reading, know that this might be a mixture of a review and me venting.
Okay, so. If you've read Beautiful Creatur**spoiler alert** Before you continue reading, know that this might be a mixture of a review and me venting.
Okay, so. If you've read Beautiful Creatures, you know how big it is. It's huge, 563 pages long, and maybe as heavy as all get out (no idea where that came from). I was happy to find this one 60 pages shorter. Takes up less room on my bookcase. ;)
After finishing this book at about 1am, I found I both really loved it and really hated it. I've got a big love/hate relationship with this book.
I'll start with what I loved: no matter what happened, no matter how weird things got and how crazy characters acted, it still made me turn the page and continue reading. It was like a compulsion, or a drug. I had to know what happened next and I had to know right then before I went to bed.
The Caster world Kami and Margie have created is wicked. Different powers, Light and Dark, family feuds, Keepers (so awesome). It's world building at its finest. I can only imagine how many notebooks or Word files there are with all the Caster rules and types and powers and all the little fiddly bits we as the average reader don't know all about yet.
The relationship between Ethan and Lena is powerful, to say the least. They so can't be together, but Ethan forever tunes it out and goes after her time and time again. It's interesting, seeing what a guy will do to save the girl he loves. No book crush, I promise. Lena can keep him. ;)
And Liv. So cool, and so British. Just what Gatlin needs. ;)
Okay, what bugged me/bothered me/what I hated: the fact that Ethan and Lena had this massive break up and a huge mess of crap had to happen with them apart. Lena so needs Ethan, but Ripley and this new guy John Breed shows up and all hell breaks loose. I wanted to scream at Lena through the pages, but it wasn't meant to be. Yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, but this was outrageous. I still want to beat the crap out of this book.
But, and this goes back to what I also love about the book, the evil was so evil and so manipulative and so 'I don't give a flying &%#@^*&%^$#@@$ what these people think cause I'm evil and I'm going to rule the world and totally use everyone I can to get what I want.' Everything was necessary to move the book along in weird twisty complicated ways (holy crap, Ethan's mom *weird look*). Everything had to happen, even when I totally wanted to punch Ripley right in her lollipop (not a euphemism) and nail John Breed right between the... eyes (or somewhere else).
It was torture, reading this 500 page monster. I hated it so much.
I loved it. It's awesome.
*sigh* I'm not going to survive book 3 and then the wait for book 4. If your books give me a heart attack, Kami and Margie, you owe me a pie. A big one. ;)...more
Dru Anderson has been "strange" for as long as she can remember, traveling from town to town with her father who hunts the things that go bump in theDru Anderson has been "strange" for as long as she can remember, traveling from town to town with her father who hunts the things that go bump in the night. It's a weird life, but a good one... until it all explodes, in an icy, broken-down Dakota town when her dad disappears and a zombie busts through her kitchen door. Alone, and more than a little terrified, Dru's going to need every inch of her wit and training to stay alive. The monsters have decided to hunt back, and this time, it's Dru who's on the menu
Strange Angels is packed with tension, action, and more than one smart mouth who won't stop. What hold the book together is a strong, rather dangerous, and impossibly stubborn heroine without a hint of teenage girl sugar-coating over top. Dru's a badass, and she makes no attempt to hide that fact that she's rough and ragged at the edges. This is certainly not a typical YA paranormal novel.
Dru leads a very odd life, constantly on the road with her dad hunting the supernatural monsters that terrorize other people. It's clear that Dru's going to be a little more bizarre than most teenage girls, because what normal well-adjusted girl becomes her father's helper when he goes off killing monsters?
When the zombie shows up, everything goes downhill. Dru's on her own now, she's got to remember what her dad taught her before she forgets it all in a massive panicked rush, and she's got to remember how to survive. Because she knows what's out there in the cracks and crevices, what thrives in the shadows. Of course, what she doesn't expect comes in the form of two stubborn boys who are willing to keep her safe.
Books where the setting and the season leaks out from the page and into my hands are rare, and this one does it. Dru's surrounded by snow, winter coming down on the Dakotas, and as I read this a chill crept out and into my hands. So visual and so realistic.
As a book that features one of the more gritty, harsh, stubborn, and complicated heroines I've come across, I would certainly recommend this book to fans of Vampire Academy and the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sometimes, you need a heroine who drives a truck with an AK-47 in the back, and Dru's that kind of girl....more