In this dystopian world, a deadly heat wave followed by devastating superstorms called hypercanes, and flooding, forced humanity to live underground t In this dystopian world, a deadly heat wave followed by devastating superstorms called hypercanes, and flooding, forced humanity to live underground to survive. Not all was given the opportunity to evacuate and many were left to die on the surface. The surface of the Earth became a hostile place where hypercanes can ravaged at any moment and toads—lethal, human-like amphibians—are a threat. No one should have survived. But they were proven wrong when a trip outside the surface went wrong. Jansin Nordqvist, our protagonist, was left stranded and captured by a clan. Not only was she to withstand the harshness of nature, but she also needed to survive living with people on the surface.
Dystopian novels are sprouting like mushrooms these days and while some barely clings to existence by their genre alone, Some Fine Day is a stand-out—wildly kicking, and boasting a story that will enthrall even the most jaded dystopian reader.
I could tell that a lot of research has gone into creating this dystopian world, and I tip my hats off to Ross for handling deftly the story's plot. As a picky reader, I appreciated all the minute details that went into making this world as believable as possible. As mentioned, the plot has a lot going for it. It's so deliciously jam-packed and while I was reading, it was exciting to think about all the different possibilities Some Fine Day could explore.
But without doubt, Some Fine Day brought to life some of the best characters I've ever read in the dystopian genre. I felt such a strong bond with Jansin. She's strong, brave, resourceful and intelligent. She also proved time and again that she could kick-ass and I have witness this so many times. Will is this character that I thought I could disregard but he grew on me like every other character we met on the surface. I'm tempted to describe him as Jansin's love interest, but that would do him a great disservice because he's clearly more than that. Jansin and Will together makes my heart sing. And as enemies became friends, it just fills me with so much affection for every people on the surface. I was so heartbroken to know what had happened to some of them and I'm scared to know what might have happened to the others.
The one thing that threw me off was the ending. I really wish it didn't end that way, so I could at least hope that Jansin and Will are in a better place for a while, as I wait to (hopefully) get my hands on the (still non-existing) next installment. It leaves the reader in a cliffhangerish ending, but I think it could also pass as a stand-alone ending. I am not sure what it is. I felt slightly cheated. I am so lost right now.
Some Fine Day is a remarkable debut. It has all I want from a dystopian novel: substantial world-building, compelling characters, a pacing with a good build-up that leads into a thrilling, nonstop action. I implore you to read this outstanding novel as soon as you can. Some Fine Day deserves to be read, loved and devoured.
'We're linked,' she said. 'We could lose each other a thousand times and the uniThis review is also posted at Smitten over Books. Actual rating: 4.5.
'We're linked,' she said. 'We could lose each other a thousand times and the universe would still bring us back together. Will you wait for me?'
I was entirely captivated by The Glimpse.
It's the year 2041 and many catastrophes had happened. There have been the 2018 Collapse, the Global Depression and Petrol Wars that lead Britain to close its borders. The Mental Health Care system has so much power over the society and people are now being classified into two, the Pures and the Crazies. The Pures live in the Community with comfort and luxury while the Crazies has to live with the disarray of the City.
Ana is the daughter of Ashber Barber, the man behind the invention of the Pure test. She is a Pure or so she thought. When her father was accused of manipulating her test results, she was branded as a Big3 Sleeper. Only a binding could save her from being thrown out to the City. But Jasper the man she's being bound to has troubles. He knew something big, something that could shatter the credibility of the Pure test and weaken the hold of the entire Board of Psychiatric Testing and Evaluation. That's why Jasper was kidnapped and Ana has only 4 weeks to figure out how to find Jasper or they will never be bound and she will be shunned from the Community.
That's how it all started. Ana was intent on getting Jasper back because she knows he is in trouble. So she sneaked outside of the Community and her adventure started.
The Glimpse reminded me of previous dystopian books I've read. It reminded me of Matched by Ally Condie because of the Binding Ceremony. It also reminded me of Starters by Lissa Price because of its technicality. But in my humble opinion, The Glimpse is superior. Mostly because The Glimpse plays to my love for psychology.
The appeal for me of The Glimpse can be pointed out to its concept. I love the idea behind it all. That because the world is in shambles, the pyschologists and intellectuals will step forward and try to control the crimes and the escalating turmoil by controlling people's action. By mapping out every mental health disorders, they could now classify people into who's harmful and who's not. They could now control people because they believe they fully understand how the brain functions. They give psychotic medications to children and even neonates as a form of prophylaxis or preventive treatment without regard to the debilitating side-effects. At a young age, they become dependent to it and without it, withdrawal symptoms occur to the point of depression and suicidal tendencies. Isn't that positively chilling?
The characters are also part of the charm of The Glimpse. I just like Ana so much. She is intelligent, brave, and compassionate. She had to endure a lot of things. She had to live with her cold, calculating father and has been brought up to lies and deceptions. She had even forgotten what lead to her mother suicide because of the layers of lies her father coached her to tell.
In times where emotions has to be estimated and always reigned in for fear of being taken away by the Psych Watch, being in the City is like freedom to Ana. Yes, she was scared and wary but you could really see that her role was to shake things and to start changing the system.
The only thing that slightly bothered me was the "Glimpse" thing. I just felt that it was the carrots in the soup. Just floating around but I guess we will have more explanation about this in the next installment.
I could go on and on but this review would then be very long. The Glimpse is definitely something. It had me take down notes like I'm on cracked. It made me think so much and even though it's highly improbable for now to have a society like that, it's possible that in the future this could happen. It all really boils down to power and how this power could be very corrupting.
The Glimpse is definitely something. Oh wait, I've said that already. Just reiterating. This is definitely a must-buy and a must-read, people....more
Excerpt: "I wasn't prey. I was a corpse, a creature whose heart didn't race, who didn't breatheThis review is originally posted at Smitten over Books.
Excerpt: "I wasn't prey. I was a corpse, a creature whose heart didn't race, who didn't breathe or sweat or smell of fear. I was dead."
I swear to myself that I would never read a vampire novel (except for the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward) again because of my disastrous history with the bloodsuckers. I haven't read the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa before as well, so this was my first encounter with Kagawa's writing. Fortunately, I might just have to read the Iron Fey series because The Immortal Rules kinda rocked.
There's only so much you can do in the genre of paranormal especially if they are about vampires. They're like sell-out creatures that once were feared but have been turned into a glam-up version that either watches you in your sleep or whore around. *snorts* And hallelujah to Kagawa because she did not used the sexiness and lure of the vampires to create yet another romance.
What she did was very wise in her part, because she did not entirely focus on the love aspect but into the world-building. Allison lives in a world where vampire rules. Humans are pets and rabids are abound. Registereds have to bloodlet for the vampires and Unregistereds have to scavenge for food to survive. Allie hated the vampires because her mother died due to them but when faced with a situation between life and death, she chose death, at least technically. She became a vampire.
Divided into 3 chapters, it provided a lot of direction for the book. It gave Kagawa a leisure time and space to establish her world. If you are into detailed worldbuilding, then The Immortal Rules will seriously blew you away. However, as I come to realize, I'm not that kind of reader. I love solid world-building but I love things to move a little bit while the author engages us with the plot and characters. Pacing is what I think lacked in The Immortal Rules.
Everything else was splendid. The characters were fine. Allie is a predator and even rabids and forest alphas were minding to stay out of her path. I've never seen such a kick-ass heroine in such a long time. Her fight for humanity even if its against what she is showcases her strength and capability. The concept was inviting and interesting. The love when it appeared was a welcome distraction. I was like into the first-third of the book, and I was thinking about the seriousness of it all. I kept thinking is there a love story in this?
And voila, here comes Mr. Lover Boy, whom I think has the most interesting name of all, Ezekiel Crosse. But fret not, he was not just there to keep Allie company. He was an important part of The Immortal Rules. And him being around ignited the rest of the story to its completion.
Another aspect of the book that really amazed me, was the concept of faith and how it was handled by Kagawa in The Immortal Rules. I tell myself all the time that I don't read books to look for underlying messages but it always awe me if underlying message or not, the book touches me enough to think and ponder upon it. The incorporation of faith and belief into something or someone even though there is only pure devastation around you and you feel like you were abandoned in a living hell, is something that is really believable in the story. I remember a teacher of mine telling us that when all is lost, faith is the only thing that a person can hold on to.
The Immortal Rules indeed take the vampire lore into the next level and redeemed some of the existing taboo about them. Vampires were supposed to be feared, you are supposed to pee in your pants if you ever see them, you have to plea for your life if you unluckily met one. Despite my slight reservations with The Immortal Rules, the other good aspects outweighed it enormously. So go read and indulge yourself with a well-written dystopian/paranormal novel. On second thought, run, it's out already.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley....more
In all honesty, I was so much looking forward to reading Crewel. I read so many favorable reviews about it aIt wasUnder the Never Sky all over again.
In all honesty, I was so much looking forward to reading Crewel. I read so many favorable reviews about it and the premise really got my attention that not shortly thereafter I began pining for it. I was expecting a lot of squealing with the likes of "OMG" / "HOLY SHIDOODLES" / "FRAKING FANTASTIC" / "SQUEEEEE!" / "BESTBOOKEVUH!" / "AMAZINGBALLS". But unfortunately, I didn't get what I was expecting.
Sometimes when you read a book and no matter how insanely unlikeable it is when you take into consideration your reading standards, you will still like it or even love it. But there are also times when a book that you should supposed to like or love just fails to capture you. That "thing" that will make or break a book could be a single element or the entirety of the book but when that "thing" is present, everything will surely work out.
Just like what happened with Under the Never SkyI can't seem to pinpoint just when did Crewel start to lose me. It started really well. It was unputdownable, I immediately fell in love with the protagonist, Adelice, I felt a connection with her family, the concept was interesting and the pacing was just right.
However, when it did start to take off, I really had trouble keeping much of the enthusiasm I had when it started. Probably because I didn't think it would turn out the way it did. What am I talking about? Well, Adelice's perpective of the Spinster's coventry was it's not as glamorous as they painted it out to be. I second that. The moment Adelice started living the life of Spinster, I just lost her.
The bad guys were unbelievably weak. I don't believe she would get away with so much if they weren't so pathetic. Also, I don't care at all with the love triangle. For me, it was unnecessary and it did nothing to help gripped me with the story.
It was highly technical, too. While the concept is intriguing and interesting, I had problems grasping how the weaving and time works. I had a hard time feeling the story because I wasn't able to understand how it works in the first place. In some books, I could get passed that but in Crewel, it seems like I keep being jolted out of its world because I have to stop and think about what I read at times.
However, Albin's delivery of the story is highly commendable. She had in mind a fantastic story and if not for her writing, I would've have liked it much less. Although, I had problems understanding the concept of weaving itself, I love that she didn't bombard the readers with details regarding the world she created in just one blow. She did it piece by piece and I appreciated it. I especially love that it wasn't until the last chapters of the book, that we knew what year the setting was in.
Crewel had a lot of potential. I wouldn't go far as to say it didn't live up to it because in a way it did stand up to its premise. And despite my reservations and quite lukewarm feelings with Crewel, I'm still looking forward to its sequel.
Excerpt: "Did Cinderella ever consider fessing up to the prince, that night she was enjoying heThis review is originally posted at Smitten over Books.
Excerpt: "Did Cinderella ever consider fessing up to the prince, that night she was enjoying herself in the fancy ball gown? Did she even think of telling him, oh, by the way, Prince, the coach isn’t mine, I’m really a filthy little barefoot servant on borrowed time? No. She took her moment. And then went quietly away after midnight."
I think it's important to note my previous reading history before I landed myself into the world of Starters. I read How To Kill A Rock Star by Tiffany DeBartolo which totally rocked my socks off and Partials by Dan Wells which was now enlisted as one of the best dystopians I've read this year. The thing is, although those two books are from different genres (the former is contemporary BTW), they are both masters in the art of plot twist.
Definitely, I'm on my reading high and I was expecting a lot from Starters. Unfortunately, it was in a lack of a better word, just OK. And yes, I need to explain that but I think I'd let this out of the bag first.
I just don't get it.
If you have read the synopsis, it sounded so awesome, and I'm so optimistic that aside from delivering something new and wow-zah in the dystopian genre, Starters would be mindblowingly good. The concept was indeed original and the basic question was, "Would you in exchange of a big fat check (totally got that from **HIMYM, sorry where was I?) allow others to rent your body?"
You see, in Callie's world, unclaimed minors are scrounging for money and a place to stay. The streets are dangerous and children kill for food even for a single cookie. The Marshals are everywhere and if you're not street smart and a runner-extraordinaire you could end up in an institution. They don't have parents anymore and being an unclaimed minor is the worst thing that you could ever be. The Enders is on the complete opposite side of the scope, they are wealthy, they live luxurious life and they could buy anything, even your body. And yup, I forgot that this was all after the war, the so-called Spore Wars, wherein the only vaccinated people, the younger and the older ones lived.
Sounds tragic, right? It was. I was hooked from the first page. I think I didn't care for a character any faster than I did with Callie and Tyler. I could see the devotion of Callie to his little brother. His sick and she's the only one that's there. She's the grown-up now and she has to do the surviving for both of them. So she went to Prime Destination (in short, Prime--meh) and signed for a three rentals meaning three Enders get to use her body and she's done. However, by her third and last rental everything fishy starts to unfold.
Cue for the fun stuff to start. But you know what, I got lost. Somewhere when everything was supposed to be happening, I was confounded. I tried to be as gripped as I was but I just couldn't. So I did other things. Worst decision ever. Not only that made me more detached from everything, the world started to lose its attraction.
But let's be more objective.
There are great points to Starters. The protagonist, Callie was relatable and endearing. She always thinks of others especially her little brother, Tyler. As I said, the concept was original. The pacing was great from the start. The villain was creepy. The Old Man was really something. Starters indeed has its moments, because if Tyler and Callie's and other unclaimed minors didn't break your heart, then Sara from the Institution would.
However, its great points also somehow become it's not so great points. Callie while relatable and endearing at first, became somewhat dreary to me in the long run. She was a survivor, yes. She has his brothers best interest at heart, yes. But why, is she so invincible? Why is she holding a gun every second and lose it everytime she closes her eyes. OK, that's totally off the point, but yes, why don't she have any concussion or limp from all the bumping and falling she gets from all her escapade.
What my point really is, before you ask what's this got to do with anything, this little point along with some others just made it so unrealistic for me. I think my brows were so close to hitting the ceiling as I turn pages and pages, and I keep seeing Callie as a bad version of Angelina Jolie in Salt.
I do think this all boils down to the concept of "body renting". Who in their right minds, especially older adults in their 150s-200s wants to use another body for fun? Are old people really like that? Do they fantasize to be young again so that they could party harder and be more attractive? Then those who undergo the renting gets to have a chip in their brains, and then the Enders get to used their body? If the technology was that advanced, then why weren't they able to vaccinate everyone so that nobody would die?
And to be honest, I just don't really understand this body renting business, how it works, how the real body is in some other place sleeping, while the Enders whose using the body is in the club sipping drinks or flirting. Why can someone alter the chip but not take it out? How the hell can you alter the chip without taking it out? Why did it not explode if you somehow did manage to alter it without taking out? I have questions, so many questions.
I don't know. I still don't know what I feel about Starters even after all those griping and questioning. It wasn't really that bad. I think it just didn't work for me. Am I excited to read the sequel? Not really but I will read it, I swear. Like I said, I have so many questions and there's only one way to find out, read the sequel and hope for the best.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley.
**I was referring to How I Met Your Mother, a hit comedy TV series on CBS. ...more
I think this is old news but it's my first time to see the new batch of covers. HUH. I personally don't like the cover of the 1st book but I am one ofI think this is old news but it's my first time to see the new batch of covers. HUH. I personally don't like the cover of the 1st book but I am one of those people who like matching covers.
Can't believe I'm going to buy another copy of the first book. SIGH.
Anyway, the new covers look brilliant. The colors are so effing purrrrdy! <3...more
This review is originally posted at Smitten over Books. Actual score 4.5.
Warning: This review was done immediately after finishing the book...at 4 AM.This review is originally posted at Smitten over Books. Actual score 4.5.
Warning: This review was done immediately after finishing the book...at 4 AM. Needless to say, I'm still gathering up my brains on the floor, I think I stomped on it a few times.
So what to say? First of all, I think I really need to say that this was one of the best dystopian books I've read for a while now. I was mindblown by everything, but let's backtrack a little shall we?
In Kira's world, no newborn survives.The RM virus made it that way. In an Isolation war fought over by humans and Partials--genetically engineered superhumans, America won but the world was destroyed. The RM virus was deployed, millions died and only thousands of people survived. Now living in a world post-Isolation, The Senate does it best to strive against the slowly dwindling population by the Hope Act in which they established a certain age for females to reproduce.
It's 11 years now and it's still not working. A civil war is brewing because of the Voice and the people are getting restless due to the attacks from them. Kira is a medic and has seen enough newborns die. When one of the most important person in her life got pregnant, she vowed to find the cure for the virus to save her baby before it's too late.
Crazy plan, dangerous undertaking, one epic capturing after, and we found ourselves a one heck of a YA dystopian novel.
You know what I liked about Partials, there was no "romance-ing" that happened here. Sure, Kira has a boyfriend in the persona of Marcus, (which by the way totally has a rocking sense of humor, most of my snorts came from him) but it was almost an afterthought. The story doesn't center from it at all.
So you ask, what made this story incredible then? Well I don't know about you sister, but if the medical stuff, crazy adventure, great bunch of characters, dash of political intrigue, and kick-butt heroine, didn't make it for you, I don't know what will. Because I'm telling you, it was like the whole book was rigged with C4 explosives and every end of the chapter was the trap button.
Being on the medical professional field myself (well, I'm still studying), I was really engrossed by the whole virus thing. I could really relate and I even got a few I told you so on the first few chapters.
Partials has the aura of Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant minus the zombies. The twists and turns just keep coming left and right, you just have to hold on to keep from being overthrown into a sea of nothingness. It was packed-full of action, mystery-driven, and it will keep you up at night. I know I need to sleep but I seriously need the next installment right now.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley....more
Excerpt: "She absorbed the terror and beauty of him and his world. Of every moment over the past days.This review is also posted at Smitten over Books
Excerpt: "She absorbed the terror and beauty of him and his world. Of every moment over the past days. All of it, filling her up like the first breath she'd ever taken. And never had she loved life more."
You know what's the worst thing that could happen to me while reading? Feel disconnected. Everything is so sloooow. It did hold my interest and the writing was good but no wow-factor for me. And there's no denying the fact that it took me 20 days to finished it. Almost 3 weeks!
Why Under the Never Sky didn't work for me: 1. It was too quiet and some of the chapters dragged. I like page-turners and attention-grabbers. And Under the Never Sky just failed to do that. 2. Some of Aria and Peregrine moments just seemed off. Especially on the first few parts although it did improve on the latter part of the book. 3. Under the Never Sky gave me a reading slump. I read I am Number Four and Shatter Me before I was able to finish it. I just couldn't get into it. I came very close to not finishing this at all. 4. When the big bang came, it sounded more like a squeak. It was almost too late to pick things up and turn everything around. 5. Why does it have to end the way it did? I think Rossi enjoys giving us mixed emotions.
But let's be fair. Under the Never Sky has a great story and will be thoroughly enjoyed. But that someone is not me. I think it's just a matter of preference. So let me share to you what I think you'd like in UtNS.
Why you should read Under the Never Sky: 1. The writing was great. Rossi has a talent with words. The narrations and dialogues are skillfully woven. 2. The world-building was splendidly done. Realms, pods, Tides. Original and interesting. 3. The concept was new. There are two distinct groups of people composed of Dwellers and Outsiders. Dwellers are considered Moles and Outsiders savages. 4. No insta-love here. 5. The last part was full of twists and surprises and infinitely better than the first half. 6. Roar was made of win and he's awesome. Enough said.
Under the Never Sky has a slow start. Rossi invested a lot with the world-building which I think paid off because it made the book really original and unique. She didn't forget the readers all together as well because she gave a little shocker towards the last few chapters and ended the book on a slight disgruntling note.
All in all, great concept and world-building but like I said, I think this book is not for me. I am NOT persuading you not to read this instead I'm asking you to consider the Why You Should Read UtNS section so you wouldn't miss out and here's hoping you'd enjoy Under the Never Sky.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley....more
Excerpt: "I tried so hard to fix what I'd ruined. I tried every single day to be what they wanted. I tThis review is also posted at Smitten over Books
Excerpt: "I tried so hard to fix what I'd ruined. I tried every single day to be what they wanted. I tried all the time to be better but I never really knew how.
I only know now that the scientists are wrong.
The world is flat.
I know because I was tossed right off the edge and I've been trying to hold on for 17 years. I've been trying to climb back up for 17 years but it's nearly impossible to beat gravity when no one is willing to give you a hand.
When no one wants to risk touching you."
I know it's no use writing a review after reading this fantastic book. I'm still reeling with mixed emotions that I have finished it and will have no more pages to flipped. But I'm going to try my best to at least touched (no pun intended) some of the parts that had me loved this book so much.
The setting The setting was tight. Shatter Me used only few places for the plot to unfold. And it's really commendable how everything fit perfectly with each other. The cell alone could sell the book for me.
The pacing Incredible. Fast-paced. Intense. This is exactly why I love reading dystopian. While other dystopian novels seem to bore a lot on information and details on its first parts, Shatter Me did not shy away from picking up the pace earlier in the book. And it worked splendidly to keep readers gripped from the time they opened the book and started reading it.
The writing Different. Amazing. Mafi's an incredibly talented writer. It somehow reminded me of Lisa McMann's Wake Trilogy. They both write in their own style and it really made their book stand out from the rest. The description of Mafi's, and being inside Juliette's head is one incredible treat.
The characters Incredible. Interesting. Incredible. I love seeing Juliette grow. She was insecure, sad, alone, rejected and she has all the reason to rebel against those that ridiculed her but she didn't. She's a kind, compassionate person despite what people think of her. She's strong, loyal and loving.
Adam. (fangirl mode) OMG. Adam was incredibly sumptuous. From the moment I heard of his deep blue eyes, I know I have a new literature crush. He is one hot man. (fan girl mode over) I feel for what he went through. He is a good brother and his devotion for Juliette was really touching and believable.
Warner. A pyscho-villain. He creeps me out. His undeniable attraction to Juliette is unnerving and entirely foul. He's obsessed with her and I think we all know how obsessed persons deal with their objects of intense interest. I said it already. OBJECTS.
James. Kenji. They deserved a special mention. I'll be okay with a whole lot of swooning but the laughs they got out of me was unexpected and totally welcomed.
The love story The swoon-factor of this book is outrageous. This book is extremely addictive and by that I mean you can't drop the book down and wait for a downtime to be able to read it. I read at class, at a thesis conference, at lunch. And you know what? The silly grin creeping up across my face uncontrollably and the squeals turned into a not-so successful cough and snorts is enough evidence that Juliette + Adam is unstoppable.
Their chemistry and hunger for each other is palpable. It's like I'm standing in front of them, watching the exact same thing. It would be awkward, if I'm not so mesmerized by it.
Will you please help me out? I'm running out of adjectives to describe how awesome this book is. Saying incredible again and again does not even give Shatter Me the justice it rightfully deserves.
This book is my first dystopian read this year and I am so happy I picked this up. This is one of the few books I begged to have because I heard positive things about it. So expectations were high and thankfully, it was reached if not exceeded. I find myself stalling on the last few chapters because I don't want it to end.
Tahereh Mafi is as of now sitting at my best author lists and is enjoying a cup of coffee amongst my other beloved authors. So do yourself a favor and grab a copy now. If there's one thing I regret is I only picked Shatter Me now when I should have done it months ago. And shoot me now because the next installment has no estimated release-day yet....more