WOW! Just wow and amazing and thought-provoking and I simply adore More Than This and its profound message! The story and endearing characters will st...moreWOW! Just wow and amazing and thought-provoking and I simply adore More Than This and its profound message! The story and endearing characters will stay with me for quite some time. What else is left to say other than I can't recommend this book enough. Seriously, I can't. (less)
At the end of the day, I wasn't a fan of book one but figured, after all the atta-boys and glowing reviews, I'd give this series another go. After 40-...moreAt the end of the day, I wasn't a fan of book one but figured, after all the atta-boys and glowing reviews, I'd give this series another go. After 40-something pages, I realized me and this series just weren't meant to be, we failed to vibe well together. (less)
Unputdownable, gritty, depressingly dystopic, bleak, fast-paced, action-y, the story revolves around a highly popular televised game show, The Running...moreUnputdownable, gritty, depressingly dystopic, bleak, fast-paced, action-y, the story revolves around a highly popular televised game show, The Running Man. Its vast viewership is comprised of desensitized sheeple, their eyes glued nightly to this reality show of sorts. The Running Man premise involves a man running for his very life, with the ephemeral hope of survival, Hunters hot on his heels. If he happens to win, a substantial cash prize his reward, he and his family can live like royalty for the rest of their lives, which most likely wouldn’t be long in the grand scheme of things, for their lungs are moments from collapsing due to the hazardous environmental conditions, i.e., dangerously polluted air, and the breathing masks to curb the toxins are too pricey for the penniless general public.
And the powerful network conglomerate behind this heinous TV show? FreeVee. As in free to view for the poor-as-dirt society. The FreeVee executives draw in gargantuan ratings nightly by allowing audience participation. How can these drooling drones possibly help this TV monopoly run by powerful, money-hungry, maniacal executives? They, the sheeple, turn into tattle-tales and report any possible Running-Man sightings, which in turn gets relayed directly back to the Hunters, who are always suspiciously moments from apprehending these desperate individuals. Individuals who only signed up for the The Running Man in order to receive monetary compensation for their direly destitute and malnourished families.
The society populated within this tome is bleak - in case I didn’t portray that well enough above - and brutal and are surely governed by a New World Order. Though there wasn't politicking going on or discussed whatsoever, I couldn't help but ponder that the dystopic world us readers were introduced to was in fact the byproduct of a fascist government that prods its denizens to horrifically and callously turn on their neighbors. And by prods, I mean merely suggests. And like good little mindless sheeple they obey with nary a second thought to pinpoint the Man’s/contestant’s whereabouts. Just so these sadistic malcontents can watch the Running Man apprehended on national TV, and at the end of the day, they come away with nothing more than compensation and bragging rights that they helped bring down a Running Man. A man that they are told to viciously hate. A man whom they’ve never met. A man that they applaud getting gunned down in cold blood all for the sake of ratings. Scary notion indeed. Which is why this book was a highly entertaining read. And one I would highly recommend. And surprisingly left me with much food for thought. (less)
Crewel was highly addicting as evidenced by my devouring it within a few days time. Unputdownable to say the least. And I applaud this book...more4.5 stars.
Crewel was highly addicting as evidenced by my devouring it within a few days time. Unputdownable to say the least. And I applaud this book for its uniqueness, refreshingly so. There was a fun mystery woven throughout. Intrigue peppered about. Fabulous characters all wrapped in dystopia.
Ever watch the movie Wanted and yenned to know more about the Loom of Fate? Me too and is this the book for YOU. Per Wikipedia re Wanted: “a loom that gives the names of the targets through binary code hidden in weaving errors of the fabric.” Huh? Needless to say, I craved for more about the topic after viewing said movie, tell me more about this Loom of Fate . . . but then trains were exploding and people were dying, and well, that desire never came to fruition. Enter Crewel, a behind the scenes, an exposé if you will, of this Loom of Fate.
You know, I bet those who have a hard time suspending their disbelief might have an issue with Crewel. Not a problem whatsoever for moi. Nevertheless, the only reason why Crewel didn’t garner 5 stars was for one simple reason: I was not fully convinced of this world. I adore the idea of weaving time, but still, even after three hundred-sixty something pages, I could not for the life of me get a clear enough picture, clear enough for my tastes, of what the author was trying to convey with crewelwork. Or the world of Arras. What it is exactly Spinsters do, or I should say how they weave. But I did care enough to learn because I would re-re-read passages in an attempt to understand. Yet at the end of the day I still didn’t have a firm enough grasp. Or maybe it was too bizarre to wrap my head around, i.e., within a strand (are we talking actual fabric here, like wool, or what?), a Spinster could eye a town, then zoom in further and eye a street and even further to glimpse a close up of people walking about. Even go inside a residence. Say what? My brain hurts.
Notwithstanding, I adored every single character within. MC, Adelice, was spunky and feisty. Thankfully, aiding in my adoration for this novel, there was nary a whiny female to be found, who only waxed romantic about boys and other inane matter while death and destruction occurred around her. Anyhow, back on point, I can’t wait to continue on with this fabulous, ingenious series, for I yen to learn more about this crafted world of Spinsters and Crewelers. And the ending? Wow, talk about a perfect setup for book two. In case I wasn’t clear, I highly recommend Crewel. (less)
Well, I'm a sobbing mess. What an awesomely epic ending to an equally epic series! Grant didn't disappoint. Not at all. From start to finish this seri...moreWell, I'm a sobbing mess. What an awesomely epic ending to an equally epic series! Grant didn't disappoint. Not at all. From start to finish this series has captivated my attention, shocked me, saddened me, I've cheered for certain characters, wished others would meet their maker sooner rather than later, mourned for many, and vowed to curse Grant if he killed two in particular, (view spoiler)[Petey & Patrick (hide spoiler)]. Truth be told, I'm cursing him right about now, but it's all good. I couldn't've asked for a better ending to this epically awesome and riveting series. A series that I wasn't quite ready to see come to an end. Not quite ready yet to leave the FAYZ. (less)
I have yet to write any reviews/thoughts on any of the novels in the Gone series. Probably because I read them in quicksilver fashion. I believe in th...moreI have yet to write any reviews/thoughts on any of the novels in the Gone series. Probably because I read them in quicksilver fashion. I believe in the span of a month or so. That should be a testament to how awesome I find this series.
As a whole one word pops into my noggin that perfectly sums up how I feel: Wow! And here's another thought: What a fantastic series. And another and another: So much going on, perfect for those of us who are bored easily, those of us with reading ADHD. Great characters. Great story lines. Suspense. Action. Thrills. Characterization. Pain. Sadness. Kids forced to grow up. Evil. And the sci-fi elements are delicious. Each book grows better and better. Also, these novels have plots. Plots that thicken.
Fear didn't disappoint. Not. At. All. Only problem: I now have to wait an entire year for Light. Pure torture, I tell ya.(less)
I was left utterly confuzzled with the world inside The Darkest Minds.
Novel deconstructed- All American kids were stricken with X-men power...more2.5 stars
I was left utterly confuzzled with the world inside The Darkest Minds.
Novel deconstructed- All American kids were stricken with X-men powers out of the blue. A virus of the kick-ass variety, methinks. All kids were shipped away to concentration-esque camps and/or killed depending on what ability emerged. Scientists even named said virus a nifty science-y name (the name has escaped me), but then didn't do likewise for the kids' abilities themselves. Instead scientists cataloged kids into colors corresponding to their respective abilities. How very artsy of them. Reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, from powerful to not so much. (Might have blue and green mixed up.)
The story started out exciting and adventure-y, and then along the way, I began noticing a pattern. Took me long enough, roughly 300 pages in, but still. Pattern explained: This book is basically a road trip. Kids who found each other then banded together make a pit stop for supplies and whatnot. Bad guys show up. Kids nearly escape, hightail it away, then make another pit stop. Rinse, repeat. And to be honest, I didn't feel any sense of urgency with the overall tale. More like directionless. So that's basically the gist. Powers weren't really used, they were more in the background. Talked about incessantly but not utilized, for the most part.
Also, by page 300, the MC, Ruby, got on my last nerve. Her constant whining that she was a freak of nature. Her rescuers should just leave her behind and woe is me and even more martydom that drove me batshit crazy. If I were one of her rescuers, I would've slid open the van door and booted her ass out. Ask and ye shall receive. Just sayin'. And her freak of nature status? She wielded The Force all Obi-Wan Kenobi-like. How is that freak of nature-y? So in other words, shut up, Moaning Myrtle!
And yet the story itself had me hooked for 300 pages. Not too shabby. But when the world building still wasn't, well, built, not even sturdy enough scaffolding for my tastes, that's when the waning of enjoyment began and annoyance waxed. Wax on annoyance. And at annoyance's apex - Why parents as a whole would turn their backs on their own flesh and blood?
A side story: While the Casey Anthony trial was going on, in full swing, I heard hide nor hair from my mom - we talk at least three times a day - because she was glued to the TV screen and her computer screen. She was obsessed and overcome with unadulterated hatred at not only Casey Anthony but Casey's parents. Casey's parents because "how could they lie and protect their baby-killing, murderous, homicidal, sociopath daughter? What about their granddaughter who was killed in cold blood?" my mom would repeat over and over again when we would reunite. And then I'd ask my mom what she would do in that situation. Would she protect her child? No matter what? My mom answered with an unequivocal YES. And then would continue on with her Casey-hating rants. Which brings me to the parents in The Darkest Minds.
I'm supposed to believe that every single parent gave up on their X-men children? Allowed Big Brother to whisk them away to camps? Just like that? Allowed strangers to take away their babies? Say what? Every single parent? Bullshit! Not buying it. Implausible. Now I get what happened with Ruby. But that's just her story.
What spawned this kick-ass X-Men virus? Now seeing as us Americans get plenty of food from Canada, corn to be exact, corn that's even in soft drinks that just about everyone imbibes, also high fructose corn syrup anyone? Anyhow, back on point, Why were American kids the only ones affected out of all the kids in all the lands? Our neighbors - Canadians remained virus-free. Mexicans as well. They even closed off their borders to us Americans. And every other country. Again, why? They don't want superhuman powers? Why not? Even that is a strange notion for me to wrap my head around. Who wouldn't want to have superhuman abilities? But I digress. Now, it was never explained where this X-men virus came about, and certainly food wasn't mentioned, but it always goes back to food, am I right? And why only American kids? Really not understanding, in the least.
Another problem I had with the world building. Big Brother - Why would the United States government kill powerful kids and not wield them as super-weapons? I mean, Stargate Project anyone? I'm not buying it. Such wasted potential. Didn't mean for that to sound callous, just thinking like Big Brother here.
Also kids are public enemy number one, yet these kids stopped at a Waffle House populated by adults to nosh. What? Why? I don't understand.
And there were more issues I had, like the story skipping out of nowhere to the past and then bam! we were back in the present. The past, present, someone else's past, Ruby's past, Ruby's present, no that's someone else's present, or is it? It was all so jarring.
Well, I'll end this rather confuzzling review that's not so much a review as unanswered question after question. So, if world building isn't important to you, then you and The Darkest Minds will get along swimmingly. (less)
I'm gonna keep this review short and sweet, reflecting the book itself. Masque of the Red Death moved along swimmingly, for the most part. The imagery...moreI'm gonna keep this review short and sweet, reflecting the book itself. Masque of the Red Death moved along swimmingly, for the most part. The imagery, atmospheric, haunting and surreal. But honestly, I would've liked more meat to the story. I feel as if the characters and the plot skimmed along the surface, not ever delving deeper than that. But, then again, I was looking for an escape read and this fit the bill. I wasn't bored until near the end. Which means this book fits into that category of novels where the beginning is strong, hooking, reels you right in, but eventually peters out usually 2/3 of the way through. Unfortunately, I failed to connect with any of the characters and as a result, the love relationships fell short on me.
All in all, this book is somewhat different and disturbing. Super quick read. Also, I admire the author for taking a short story written by Poe that clocks in around 15 pages (that goes by the same name, by the by) and expounding upon it, exploring her abounding questions. (less)
I must say, I'm very disappointed. I hoped Crossed would've been better than Matched, seeing how Cassia left the cookie-cutter world to . . . Well, I...moreI must say, I'm very disappointed. I hoped Crossed would've been better than Matched, seeing how Cassia left the cookie-cutter world to . . . Well, I forget why, but figured there'd be action galore, fighting against The Man, in other words, a real page turner. Yeah, I built up a completely different novel in my noggin. I read around 70 pages and at the end of the day, Crossed and I didn't mesh, gel, vibe. And to be perfectly honest, I think the straw that broke the camel's back was when around chapter 5, I believe, I discovered that the POVs switched between Ky and Cassia. How did I discover this? Well, thinking I was reading Cassia's POV, I found it rather odd that dear old Cassia was referring to herself in 3rd person. I reread the sentence a few times and when that didn't clear things up, I flipped back to the chapter and lo and behold, the word Ky under the chapter number was staring me in the face. Here's the kicker, these two characters, a boy and a girl I might add, sound identical. So much so that it took me almost fifty pages to realize what was going on. *scratches head in befuddlement*
So this is where this series and I part ways. (less)
Holy shiznit!, this book is epic. And then some. *bows down to Ernest Cline* Not to be all theatrical, but I completely felt like Bastian in The Never...moreHoly shiznit!, this book is epic. And then some. *bows down to Ernest Cline* Not to be all theatrical, but I completely felt like Bastian in The NeverEnding Story movie while he read The Neverending Story up in his school's attic - all caught up, feeling one with the characters, talking to them, laughing, heart pounding & tearing up during the big battle, in other words wholly immersed. Wow!
Um, I think I've officially reached Ernest Cline fangirl status. Let the cyber-stalking begin. Just jokin' about the cyber-stalking. I'll have to really think of what to say for a proper review, because as of now, I'm struck speechless. But I will say this. I do love the occasional geeking out, so this novel totally appealed to my geeky side. Totally appealed to my obsession with pop culture. The 80's rock!(less)
There was a disconnect between myself and this book, a far cry from how I felt with Unwind. I feel disappointed and underwhelmed. I'm not even sure wh...moreThere was a disconnect between myself and this book, a far cry from how I felt with Unwind. I feel disappointed and underwhelmed. I'm not even sure what the story was about to be honest, or the point I should say. Nor was there a sense of urgency. Not at all like its predecessor. Once I compile my thoughts I'll write more. At least that's the plan. (less)
Hm, I'm really not sure how I feel about this book. If I were to pluck the first word to flitter across my mind it would be bland. So why three stars?...moreHm, I'm really not sure how I feel about this book. If I were to pluck the first word to flitter across my mind it would be bland. So why three stars? I read the book for one. It didn't wow me (4-5 stars) and it didn't bore me as all get out (1 star). Seeing that I didn't skim over certain sections (2 stars), 3 stars it is - a la bland, middle of the road, kind of plain-vanilla feeling.
I guess at the end of the day I wanted more. More description. More feeling. More something. I still can't put my finger on it. I have an inkling that the next book in the series will be a whole lot more interesting, because Cassia refuses to go gentle into the night, refuses to take the green/blue/red pill. She is determined to find Ky, even if it means going against Society. MIxing the aforementioned together is bound to be an interesting read. I will definitely continue on with this series. (less)
Words cannot explain how detached I felt from the characters in this novel, from even the story itself. The Forest of Hands and Teeth has received rav...moreWords cannot explain how detached I felt from the characters in this novel, from even the story itself. The Forest of Hands and Teeth has received rave reviews, plenty o'5 stars, so when I flipped open this baby, I was expecting to be wowed like there's no tomorrow. Um, that's not exactly what happened. More like confusion, more like flashbacks to a certain movie. It started with the "love affair" - I use this phrase loosely. It completely came out of nowhere. I didn't get it. I didn't understand it. And you better believe I didn't feel it. Throughout my reading experience, I felt like I was reading M. NIght Shamalan's "The Village". Obviously this book wasn't for me. I didn't even understand the overall plot. Zombies? Again, I'm surprised the main character wasn't blind. Just saying. (less)
I was really disappointed with Uglies. Talk about expecting something completely different. First of all, would it have killed Mr. Westerfeld to maybe...moreI was really disappointed with Uglies. Talk about expecting something completely different. First of all, would it have killed Mr. Westerfeld to maybe, possibly, gee, I don't know, add in some background/setting description, i.e. What the hell did Uglyville look like? Or is it too ugly for us readers to be able to handle? Yet, for some strange reason the author thought he'd describe David's parents's house slash cave. Why that particular background, having nothing to do with the overall story, was described is beyond me. Now that I think about it, I don't even remember what Tally looked like, other than the fact that she was - wait for it . . . ugly.
I found myself skimming over many sections of the book -just like the characters hover around on Back to the Future type skateboards, skimming over the mineral rich environment (now this activity was excruciatingly described down to the quantum level of detail, how it's possible to hover, why it's not possible in some areas, history with mining . . . go figure. )
The overall concept is interesting (one of which society is fast approaching, what with all the plastic surgery) and the ending is set-up nicely for future books. Give it a try. You might not be able to put it down.(less)
I immediately loved the protagonists - Connor and Risa. Connor was a burden to his “parents”. To me, he was the typical...moreUnwind had me from the get-go.
I immediately loved the protagonists - Connor and Risa. Connor was a burden to his “parents”. To me, he was the typical, precocious teenager. But once he displayed true grit, which occurred soon after his introduction, he morphed into a leader, surpassing the typical teenager role. I loved how he refused to accept his so-called fate.
Then we have Lev, a tithe. I immensely disliked him. Yet, he was as he was - a product of his parents in all their ignorant-lemming glory. However, my love for him blossomed over the course of his journey. (view spoiler)[He showcased that change is possible, once he separated - albeit forced in his case - from ignorant role-models and stood on his own two feet. (hide spoiler)]
And then we have Risa - merely a ward of the state, a nothing in “their” eyes, an extra mouth to feed. It didn’t matter that she was a piano-playing virtuoso. It didn’t matter that she was a good girl, kept her chin up and did what she was told. Her fate was sealed all because an extra bed was needed in the orphanage, so as a result, her Unwinding papers were signed and off she went to Unwind camp.
What is Unwind camp/Chop Shop or officially titled: Happy Jack Harvest Camp? It’s where children’s body parts are harvested. It’s situated in the idyllic setting of northern Arizona, surrounded by majestic trees and mountains as far as the eye can see. So typical, right? Let’s take something so unethical, cruel, unconstitutional, anti-spiritual, and as long as it’s placed in bucolic surroundings smattered with happy, soothing paints colors - all the aforementioned totally disguises the hell that lies beyond its gates. NOT! Only if you’re a sheople, maybe!
And finally, we have Roland. Before I get to him. Throughout the heart-wrenching reading experience that was Unwind, a quote from one of my favorite movies Ever After kept flittering through my mind. The quote was recited by Drew Barrymore’s character, and it pertained to her favorite tome Utopia. So here goes: “A servant is not a thief, Your Highness . . . and those who are cannot help themselves. If you suffer your people to be ill-educated and their manners corrupted from infancy . . . then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them what else is to be concluded, Sire . . . but that you first make thieves and then punish them?”
This brilliantly sums up my thoughts/feelings for Roland. This particular character, though not one of the protagonists, stole my heart. Maybe this places me in the minority, but my guess is it doesn’t. As stated before, although I grew fond of all the protagonists, my tears, and there were many, were shed for Roland. He, like so many, are misunderstood, thusly treated as misfits where society prejudges them and he pays the price. This innocent child was made to be viewed as a cold-blooded killer. And I had moments of guilt for buying into the belief. Guilty as charged. (view spoiler)[I know, I know, the almost, possible sexual assault scene. Who knows what would have happened had Connor not have intervened? The fact that he didn't kill Connor and had the chance really showed his nature. And the fact that he killed his step-father to help his battered mother who then signed his death certificate via Unwinding, tore me up inside. (hide spoiler)]
Unwind shines a light on the this kind of judgement/behavior. It shines a light on the putrefaction of ethics, morality, compassion, spirituality, human decency, being one with the Universe and all of God’s creatures, and parenting within society. (No, I don’t have an opinion whatsoever!). I felt that it was a brilliant move and incredibly fitting to include an Einstein quote towards the end of the book. This move only endeared Shusterman to me even more. I adore Einstein and everything about him. When asked the question who I would most like to have a confab with from history, Einstein has and always will be my choice.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t touch upon the controversial, infamous scene where readers are taken into the Unwinding room and thus are privy to the horrific, heart-wrenching process of let’s just call it murder. I understand why the author included this, but at the same time I hated it. I want happy endings. Why? Because life is overflowing with cruelty, pain, injustice, and crippling sadness, especially as of late. Just turn on the news and you're inundated with terror, death, and destruction. So I turn to movies and books to read about happily-ever-afters that are seriously lacking in life. I certainly didn’t exactly receive that wish with Unwind, but nonetheless, it was an amazing book. At times a tearjerker and hard to read, yes, but, in my eyes, amazing and thought-provoking. My impassioned response and the resultant tears highlight how much this book impacted me, how involved I was with the characters and story, and how awesome a writer Neal Shusterman is.
It is my recommendation for everyone to read this novel. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)