This title seemed like something on a totally different level than the novel, so I don't know that it's the perfect fit to put in the hands of a teen(This title seemed like something on a totally different level than the novel, so I don't know that it's the perfect fit to put in the hands of a teen(or adult), who has read the novel series, but it was a pretty intense and interesting title on its own. Benny Imura and a small group of friends are embarking on a journey through The Ruin, the world as it is 15 years after the undead roam. A short while ago, they saw what seemed to be an impossibility, a plane in the sky, and they decided to leave their homes behind the walls of the town of Mountainside to hunt it down. While on their journey, the crew will encounter horrors and struggles, but none so intense as what they will learn about the other humans who may be living among The Ruin.
I didn't dislike this title, but again, I was expecting something different. Mayberry being a comic author, he tended to over-tell in the novels, and I yearned for a graphic adaptation of what I'd already read, but I can see that in the comics, Mayberry will be attempting to reveal the story of the novels over the course of the next few issues rather than re-telling the books.
This is a perfect title to put in the hands of a teen who loves The Walking Dead, but wants to see the zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a young adult....more
I didn't dislike it, but if you were looking for something shocking that you never knew about Tobias Eaton...this isn't where you'll find it. Most ofI didn't dislike it, but if you were looking for something shocking that you never knew about Tobias Eaton...this isn't where you'll find it. Most of these little gems about Tobias becoming Four, were alluded to or flat-out described in the main Divergent books. This was more of an appeal to those fans who have a difficult time with a series coming to a close, and wanting just one more bite, no matter how small. Thanks Veronica Roth, for a very Rowling-esque treat for the fans! ...more
You know, when you really think about it, Dorothy Gail is kind of a hellion. Her dog BITES someone and she throws a tantrum when consequences come dowYou know, when you really think about it, Dorothy Gail is kind of a hellion. Her dog BITES someone and she throws a tantrum when consequences come down. She is in the middle of her selfish tantrum when the storm comes, leaving poor Auntie Em to almost be swallowed up as she waits as long as she can to get her into the cellar. HER first moves in OZ, were murder and theft, and she kind of blazes a trail of destruction in her wake. And then they gave us a sticky sweet movie to make us feel like all of that was okay, because, well because her dog was adorable, and so was she, with her pretty gingham dress! So it's no surprise that someone has finally taken that theory and turned it completely upside down. And it's wickedly fun. (yes, puns for everyone).
I've seen mixed reviews on this one, and I have to say, I'm surprised that other people didn't like it as much as I did, but I had to stay true to my own feelings, and give it the full five stars.
So, Amy Gumm or "Salvation Amy" as she's called by the snobs at school, spends her days braving her way through the bullies who make fun of her trailer-park life, and then her nights pushing through life with her pill and booze addicted mother.
One day, when she finally lashes back at her main adversary at school, she gets suspended, and comes home to find her mother getting ready to go out and live it up. In passing, and with no concern for Amy's safety, her mother mentions the fact that a tornado is coming before heading out. Frustrated, depressed, lonely, and angry, Amy has a pity party just long enough for it to be too late to get away, and before you know it, she and her trailer are airborne and in the eye of the storm.
When she finally lands, she finds herself in a gloomy and dark place...Oz. And this is NOT the OZ that we know.
The gifts of The Wizard, have become the obsessions and corruptions of The Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion. Glinda "The Good", is everything but. The remaining "Wicked Witches" of Oz are actually working together to restore the land. And at the helm of the destruction is everyone's favorite farmgirl, Dorothy herself.
This book was exciting for me. Of all the fairy-tale re-tellings I've been reading, nobody seemed to really flip the land of Oz as viciously as this. Amy is such an anti-Dorothy with her pink hair and her pet rat. The Tin Man commands a sinister tin army, mostly developed in the horrific Dr. Moreau-esque lab of an evil Scarecrow. The Lion is a relentless and corrupt enforcer who feeds on the fears of others. There is a LOT of evil in OZ, and it's awesome.
Meh. I didn't dislike it. But I'm not writhing in pain from it ending either.
In the year 2083, chocolate is the new contraband. As we all know, or shoulMeh. I didn't dislike it. But I'm not writhing in pain from it ending either.
In the year 2083, chocolate is the new contraband. As we all know, or should, if we've paid any attention to history at all, whatever is illegal, will soon open a door to black markets and organized crime families. For 16 year old Anya Ballenchine, that organized crime family just happens to be her family.
The Ballenchine's have had their fair share of cliche'd issues: Leonyd Ballenchine, her father, was murdered by unnamed assassins years ago, her mother and brother were tragic casualties of a botched hit years prior, leaving her mother dead and her brother severely mentally depreciated, and she receives guidance from an ever-dying swarthy ancient grandmother (who was born in 1995, which made me cringe in my heart).
When her best friend Scarlet decides that the boy she's crushing on, a new student by the name of Goodwin Dellacroix, would be better suited for Anya, Anya tries hard to NOT like him. She's just gotten through a pretty bitter break-up with her boyfriend Gable Arsley, a caffiene addict who wouldn't take no for an answer, and with her family structure leaving her to be the clear head, she'd rather not jump into another relationship. But wouldn't you know it, their chemistry is too real for her to deny.
So of course, we find out that Win's father is none other than the next in line for District Attorney of New York City. Of course he would be.
I didn't dislike this book. I did however, feel as though it's engine never fully turned over for me. Anya was a smart, quick-thinking, and introspective character, (if not a control-freak), and very interesting to listen to, but because she was so very introspective, the author gives us a lot of what Anya feels about everything, and how everything affects Anya, while we lose sight of what is really important to the contributing characters.
Win, for example, is likeable enough, but one can't really get into just WHY he's so smitten with the daughter of the city's biggest name in crime.
The nods to Prohibition were not necessarily subtle, even including an appearance of a flapper dress and a speakeasy, but I still believe the author could have gone even farther with them. The same goes for a rather interesting chocolate poisoning plot, and a pretty interesting crime syndicate. Don't tap dance around the theme, jump in! So I guess my only complaint was that it didn't go AS cliche and crazy as it really could have.
All that said, for fans of 1920's era historical-futuristic fiction, star-crossed lovers, and even corrupt correctional facilities, this is a nice summer read....more
**spoiler alert** Not "bad", just not interesting. Shame. I'd gotten so used to interesting and strong heroines in ya dystopias. Cassia was absolutely**spoiler alert** Not "bad", just not interesting. Shame. I'd gotten so used to interesting and strong heroines in ya dystopias. Cassia was absolutely boring here. I could care less about her great "love", which from the very beginning has always come across to me as merely curiosity. She journeyed, and plotted, and schemed, all while sacrificing the hearts of EVERY PERSON SHE CLAIMED TO LOVE.
Grandfather gives you something precious? Burn it. Boyfriend gives you something priceless? Trade it. Best new friend tells you something serious and life saving? Ignore her. Oh, and dash the hopes of your worried parents. All for a boy you ignored for years. Ugh. She has been a pain in the ass. And the audio narration of Kate Simses does not help. Her voice for Ky is lifeless and bland, her voice for Cassia, uber sweet and immature.
As stories come, this felt like a looooong mid season filler episode of a tv show you hate to love. Lots of predictable plot points drug out over endless chapters.
Knowing me, I'll still finish the trilogy, but begrudgingly. ...more
For fans of "The Last of Us" video game, or In the After by Demetria Lunetta, Not a Drop to Drink is a welcome addition to the shelf. Lynn has grown uFor fans of "The Last of Us" video game, or In the After by Demetria Lunetta, Not a Drop to Drink is a welcome addition to the shelf. Lynn has grown up with Mother, learning to protect their land from those who would dare come close enough to attempt to drink from their pond. After a massive global water shortage, people who have access to clean, fresh water, are among the luckiest. Keeping that water safe from those who would kill for it, however, diminishes that luck.
I didn't dislike this story at all, but there were a couple of things that rubbed me wrong. A slow and steady start almost lost me, but it could have been because of the narrator for the audio version. I was not a fan of some of her voice choices, particularly when speaking for male characters, as they all kind of had a pervy rasp. I was also a bit bummed by the unnecessary (in my opinion) romance element that came bounding into the story just as I was starting to like the main character, Lynn. Not that I couldn't see it happening, but more because I thought we didn't really need it. A YA heroine can be wonderful and complex without us having to see her stretch romantically as well. I was just fine with seeing her become more human and less of the killing/survival machine Mother had trained her to be, without the "butterflies" of teen romance rearing their heads.
Other than all that, and the many similarities I saw between this and "In The After", I thought it was a great story of survival having the self-awareness to know that you can't do everything alone. ...more
To quote the great Pete of "Muppets Take Manhattan", ..."Peoples... is peoples.".
And that, is what we learn in this finale. Faction, city, family, geTo quote the great Pete of "Muppets Take Manhattan", ..."Peoples... is peoples.".
And that, is what we learn in this finale. Faction, city, family, genes, whatever.... people will always behave as irrationally, courageously, ridiculously, and predictably impulsively as people....more
Benson Fisher has had enough of the Philadelphia foster care system. He's tired of his life being tossed around by an uncaring system, and selfish aduBenson Fisher has had enough of the Philadelphia foster care system. He's tired of his life being tossed around by an uncaring system, and selfish adults. So he's relieved and excited when he sees the ad to apply for a scholarship to New Mexico's Maxfield Academy. Getting the scholarship would pay his tuition, room and board, and most importantly, get him started on the path of taking his life into his own hands. He applies quickly, and almost just as quickly, learns he is accepted!
From the very first day that he steps onto the school property, though, something isn't quite right. For starters, the woman who drops him off refuses to escort him into the building. Then there's the two students who literally run out after her car as she speeds away. By the time he's told that the 16 year old girl who opens the school doors will be his orientation leader, he's fed up already, having had enough games in his life, and demands to see the principal. But there is no Principal at Maxfield. In fact, there are no adults whatsoever. Just the cameras, and the gangs formed by students trying to survive.
Ummm...I'm not quite sure what I thought about this one.
Benson is an okay character, but I couldn't believe him. Half the time his inner alarm bells would be ringing wildly, and then another page would go by and he'd be a gullible newcomer. His fear and naivete made it hard to buy into his sudden militancy when he realizes the school is a prison.
There was a great twist in this book, which was extremely welcomed after having the author flat-out SAY "Hey, so this is basically The Lord of The Flies" right in the first few pages. It was very refreshing to have something new to focus on other than the mundane and repetively "hunger games-ish" paintball battles and gang commentary.
Robinson Wells definitely has some serious thoughts and ideas about our society, and hid them rather haphazardly in this story, but I forgive that because it was an interesting and at times mildly exciting one. However, there were times where it seemed that he was so taken by his grand ideas or vivid scenes that a few pages down, we'd get them AGAIN, as if he was saying, "Did you not see how awesome that twist was back there?! You didn't get excited, so here it is once more". That bugged me.
I don't believe this should have been a series, as it really could have progressed farther had it not dragged out so many minor plot elements. That being said, I'll probably glance at the sequel in the hopes that things improve, because the premise was actually pretty good. I really hope it does....more
I wanted to come up with a fancy review for this title that matched how much I wanted to like it,...but alas, I cannot. So here's the gist. Gemma andI wanted to come up with a fancy review for this title that matched how much I wanted to like it,...but alas, I cannot. So here's the gist. Gemma and Harper are two sisters who live with their dad, after a tragic car accident has caused their mother to lose much f her grasp on reality. Gemma, the younger sister, is beautiful and loves the water. She swims daily and is hoping to make it to the Olympics. Harper, is eighteen and trying desperately to make sure her father and sister are taken care of before she goes away to school in the fall. She's sweet, but overprotective and skeptical, much to Gemma's dismay. Recently, Gemma has struck up an unexpected flirtation with Harper's friend and literal boy next door, Alex. Oh, and there's Daniel, the boy who Harper hates, but seriously protests too much about.
It's tourist season, and three beautiful and flirty girls, Penn, Thea, and Lexi, have been turning heads all around town. Harper and Gemma can't quite put their fingers on it, but something seems a little "off" about them. Not to mention there has been a rash of missing teen boys lately to get everyone on edge, and the fact that everyone is sure there was once a fourth girl.
Pretty soon, it's clear to see that the girls have taken a liking to Gemma, and they will stop at nothing to show her how much.
So... I liked to story, but...
I felt like maybe the author had a really great love of Greek mythology and mermaids/sirens, etc., and really wanted to nerd out about it, but didn't know how to properly do so. The story was better than the actual book, if that makes sense. I felt that there also may have been a desperation to compact the story into a YA genre, with mentions of someone having a Kathleen Turner voice in one chapter, but then talking about a Ke$ha song in another. Most teens have no idea who Kathleen Turner is.
There were also parts of the story that had no relevance, or could have been sacrificed for a more gruesome and exciting story. The girls' visits to their mother, for instance, could have been left off. I would have much rather seen more of the sirens themselves, rather than the author keep trying to lead us into great reveal moments.
All in all, it was a nice story, and the brief explanation of where sirens come from was honestly the best written and most engaging part of the book. :/
I get it Sarah, and I too want teens to love the "real" fairy-tales. However, force-feeding them snippets of historical tales inside a Twilight and GoI get it Sarah, and I too want teens to love the "real" fairy-tales. However, force-feeding them snippets of historical tales inside a Twilight and Gossip Girl-esque plotline, is just not the way to get it done.
I'm so confused at how this book has gotten such high reviews. For the outstanding description, I was expecting something much more engaging and sinister. The story was full of promise, but the tale left much to be desired.
After losing her parents in a fire as an infant, Mirabelle has been raised for 15 years with her godmothers. Loving but extremely overprotective, Mira hasn't been able to do much. No riding in cars with boys, no returning to her hometown of Beau Rivage, and no touching sharp objects. Whoa, guess you'll never figure out which fairytale character she is now.
Well 15 years is a long time to not know much about where you really come from, and Mira has had quite enough. She decides to run away home, to see what is so bad about Beau Rivage, and discover where her parents are buried. To throw her godmothers off, she pulls together an elaborate false trail of emails with a fake boyfriend, and heads off.
Upon reaching Beau Rivage, we find that Mira didn't really think to plan beyond actually arriving in the town. She hasn't pulled together any plans on food, lodging, or connecting with people who could possibly help her find her parents. Instead, after a few hours in, she finds herself to be hungry and hopeless, and sitting inside of The Dream casino where there is apparently no security to escort underage people from the premises.
While sitting there, she has a gruff introduction to a blue-haired boy named, surprise, Blue, who tells her to get out before she runs into his dangerous brother. She's instantly offended, (not worried or cautious), and while fuming about it in the rose garden outside, she meets, you guessed it, his brother Felix. A handsome, charming 21 year old casino owner, who just happens to be on a date with another girl but is so intrigued by sad Mira, that he gives her a SUITE in the hotel.
Pretty soon, Mira is not only back in the hotel where Blue told her not to be, but sleeping in Felix's room. Because it's totally plausible and uncreepy that a 15 year old girl would sleep in the room of a strange 22 year old she just met AFTER being warned about him by his OWN family. Makes perfect sense.
The rest of the book is all about how Beau Rivage inhabitants are actually cursed fairy tale characters (Once Upon A Time, anyone), who are destined to meet the curses of their tales no matter what they do. A town full of angry, depressed, and self-damaging young people who face their futures with about as much zeal as can be expected when you know you're one day going to become a beast, or choke on an apple. Meanwhile, the only characters we don't learn fully about are Blue and Felix, although anyone who has read more than the usual fairytales, will quickly figure out who they are supposed to be.
I was extremely underwhelmed with this book. Mira was the Bella Swan of the new year with her whiny, "I want what I want and that's all I want" attitude when it came to Felix. Warnings from all over the town, and she was still "in love" with this older man she just met. Not to mention, she's just gallivanting all around this strange town without once actually asking people for information about her PARENTS, without a care in the world because her food, clothes and shelter have been provided by Felix and Blue.
I also found it hard to care about the characters. They were miserable, boring, and unresolved. They were SO uncareaboutable, that at some points, I forgot which character was which. That's bad.
By the end of the book, I found myself trying to force my way through the final pages because I honestly couldn't care less about what was going to happen with Mira, her love dilemmas, or any of the rest of them. Things just didn't make enough sense. You're smart enough to come up with a plan to run away, but not enough to do anything else? Your godmothers are actually your "fairy" godmothers but they don't find you immediately? It was annoying.
For those who are really interested in some great fairy tale retellings, I'd recommend Cinder by Marissa Meyer, A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz, or Cinderella, Vol. 1: From Fabletown With Love by Chris Roberson. These stories, for three separate age groups, speak to a number of familiar characters in new ways. Each prseented a fascinating and mature reimagining of classics without trying too hard, which was the unfortunate downfall of Kill Me Softly. ...more
It is 4am. I am sure that sometime during my work day this afternoon, I will regret staying up to finish this book...but whatever. LOL
This was epic. ThIt is 4am. I am sure that sometime during my work day this afternoon, I will regret staying up to finish this book...but whatever. LOL
This was epic. There were parts that made me so angry that I wanted to fling it across my living room and some parts that punched me right in the chest, but it was those very feelings that made me realize how awesome the book actually was.
We find Amy and Elder three months after the events of Across the Universe. The inhabitants of the Godspeed are no longer being drugged into submission. They are free to explore the different levels of the ship, to explore the information which was once reserved for only the Elders/Eldests. Their lives are in their hands.
And we find quickly that they don't know what to do with that.
Those of us who read Across the Universe and felt super excited about Amy and Elder's valiant push to awaken the people of Godspeed get an instant twinge of regret when we see how quickly the ship has deteriorated. Without Phydus, the people are fully aware of their feelings, and that includes the bad ones. Depression, Rage, and just plain evil are now the undercurrents of civilization.
Those who don't want to work, have stopped working. Those who are afraid of the ship running out of food have begun to hoard it. Old friends have begun to feel that Elder's eagerness to expose the ship to the truth, is only a true example of his inability to lead.
And at the heart of it all, Orion is not done telling secrets.
Are the people from Sol-Earth really dangerous? Is there hope for the ship's original mission to reach Centauri Earth? We get all these answers fairly quickly in this installment, and with them come some serious decisions for both Elder in his new role as Eldest, and Amy. They are not easy decisions, and they are not always good decisions. And this is why I thought the book was so great.
With both books, Beth Revis has found a way to examine some of the most expansive thoughts on sociology and humanity, while providing a great mystery, a gentle romance, and a beautiful entry into the YA genre. She has developed the perfect world for thoughts about how dictators become dictators, and whether control is better than true leadership to be explored.
I loved all the literary references, and the way that a library (the Recorder Hall) was the house of true freedom. I can't wait for the third book, (minus that god-awful cover), and what I know will be a satisfying end to this great series. This series would be a great pairing with the Bioshock video game....more
**spoiler alert** An adequate ending to a phenomenal series.
We return to the Evans home in Connecticut, where Miranda, her mother, and two brothers a**spoiler alert** An adequate ending to a phenomenal series.
We return to the Evans home in Connecticut, where Miranda, her mother, and two brothers are still fending for themselves in their suburban home. The flu has passed, there is some normalcy in food deliveries, and they've adjusted to living in one room of their four-bedroom home.
As they near the 1-year anniversary of the moon's fall, family members return. What would have been happy reunions a while ago, are now chalked up as new mouths to feed. But two of those mouths, Alex and Julie (The Dead & The Gone), are reluctant to stay. Enter a few cases of hormones, and the desperate attempt to love before it's too late, and you have a whole new situation.
It was nice to hear Miranda again. Being back in her head (journal) made my feelings for Alex (The Dead & The Gone) waiver a little. She is a stronger character, or so it seemed. As I neared the ending, I realized that while that was partly true, she had the luxury of being that stronger character. Alex, having encountered this horrible crisis in a major city, had been exposed to true horrors and decision-making pressures far sooner than Miranda had. Miranda had the luxury of two parents, relatively healthy siblings, and the comfort of her own home. Alex had been fighting for those things since the moment the moon fell. Once I focused on that...it was harder to be as strongly #TeamMiranda.
I didn't necessarily like the rushed love situations, though I tried to look at them in terms of how intense a feeling attraction must be in an apocalyptic world. When you've decided that you'll die alone and miserable, the idea of love must be worth going a little crazy over. Yet, it felt forced and awkward between these two.
I wasn't as horribly terrified of how plausible this scenario could be as I was when I first read Life As We Knew It, but I was still intrigued by Miranda's voice, her mother's personality, and even the cat. LOL All in all, it was an enjoyable read, (I finished in a few hours), and one I would recommend. I don't think, however, that I am happy about it being the conclusion to the series. I'd love to see where this family ends up. ...more
Where is the safest place you can think to be during a calamity? Right! Super Walmart! Well, in the not-so-distant future, a calamity does in fact hitWhere is the safest place you can think to be during a calamity? Right! Super Walmart! Well, in the not-so-distant future, a calamity does in fact hit Colorado, and a couple of school buses full of elementary and high school kids are pummeled by giant hail, flipped over, and devastated just outside of a Greenway(Super Walmart stand-in). In a heralding effort to save the kids on her bus, Miss Wooly drives straight into the store, and gets the kids safely off the bus. The high school students, escape the other bus and find their way into the Greenway also.
After getting everyone calm, Miss Wooly decides that she has to go for help, and she tells the high-schoolers to hold down the fort while she's away.
And just like that, we're in The Lord of the Flies.
But not really.
The internal battles between the kids never quite escalates in the cliche manner I kept expecting it to, and the personality traits were evenly spread among all of the kids, no one person was the bad or good guy. Our narrator, Dean is our companion through this 21 day adventure in Greenway, complete with political clashes, culinary greatness, bio-chemical warfare, and even love triangles. The kids and teens work to keep outside predators at bay, identify the predators who may be developing inside, and think of how they can find out what is going on with their families.
I didn't dislike this book, though there were times when it was clear that our male narrator was written by a woman. His infatuation with being trapped in this disaster with his crush, and his battle to maintain his footing with his younger brother are all underlying currents that come up throughout the story.
I appreciated the author's approach to the traditional "Lord of the Flies"-esque tale, and I am intrigued with what happens next for these young people....more