Beatrice, Now called Tris, Made a big change Playing on the trains, She became a Dauntless one day She's got mud on her face A parental disgrace Now she'll be kickin your ass all over the place
Singin' We are, we are DIVERGENT We are, we are DIVERGENT
Tobias is a Dauntless, Divergent Shoutin' to them all, We can take on the world today Erudite got blood on their face We'll put them in their place Into the past, out of our Fear Landscapes
Singin' We are, we are INSURGENT We are, we are INSURGENT
We are, we are INSURGENT We are, we are INSURGENT
Okay, I'm sorry but I am NOT going to give you a summary of this book. I knew nothing going in and I loved it that way. Everything was a surprise and I think maybe that's how it should be. Plus, you know you want to read it anyway.
And if you haven't read Divergent yet... WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Shoo! Go read it NOW.
The Plot and World-Building
This world in Insurgent is darker and even more exciting than Divergent. Each chapter raises the stakes until you're all in. The characters in this book are so much more alive than in any other book I've read recently. They have such fascinating layers and depth that I feel I could never uncover all he secrets they hold. Luckily, Veronica Roth is amazing at helping us do just that. The characters are masterfully unraveled before our very eyes. Insights unlocked that I'd have never seen coming.
The same goes for the storyline. There are things happening in this book that I wouldn't have once guessed. And I consider myself pretty adept at figuring out storylines. Every new plot twist is a welcome surprise. Every new bit of info is an exciting reveal.
I was very pleasantly surprised that the romance storyline DID NOT overwhelm the majority of the plot. This was a book about society and about war and about dealing with everything that comes with both of those. That's what dystopian fiction is supposed to be about.
The plot expands greatly upon what we know about the society and it's background, which in the first was mostly nil. I was thrilled with the way the information was revealed and what it means for the future of the series.
Tris really FEELS the emotions brought on by the deaths that she believes herself to be responsible for, even when she had no other choice. In fact, she feels her feelings almost too much. A lot like the way people really do in even less dire real life situations. She's just an ordinary girl in an extraordinary situation. At least, that's how she sees herself. She doesn't at all realize how strong and extraordinary she really is.
As much as I love Katniss from The Hunger Games, I never really felt her inner turmoil the way I do with Tris. My stomach clenches when I think of what she's gone through so far. If I think about it too much, I'll get nauseous.
On another note, I have a tiny gripe about the passages involving Four's looks, like this one: "Some girls might focus on the way his ears stick out, or the way his nose hooks at the end." Plus, many other little ones about his spindly long fingers and gaunt face.
Wow, move over Fabio! Lemme at him!! GOOD LORD, this woman really does not want us to find Ol' Toby attractive, does she? I appreciate that he isn't your typical "hero" type, because let's face it - not every guy has long blonde waves and gleaming teeth. But not every girl finds that kind of guy attractive either. It doesn't have to be one or the other. I would like a bit sexier description of him from time to time. You know, something that doesn't make it sound as though he looks like Beetlejuice.
For example, most people wouldn't call Edward Scissorhands himself a classically handsome man. If you tried to, you could make some of Johnny Depp's characters sound pretty hideous in a text description, but he somehow manages to transcend the gloomy and unique nature of those characters and bring them to life in a way that makes them sexy and intriguing. I just would like a little something like that in the description of Four in the future.
First off, yes, I still call him Four. Tris switches off between calling him Four and Tobias in the book. Lately, I've found myself calling him Tobias in my head but when I write it, it usually ends up being Four. I mean, that's what he was called throughout almost the entire first novel... but the name Tobias is starting to grow on me.
To be honest, I was afraid that Tris and Four's relationship would go down the cookie cutter route. I couldn't be more thrilled with the direction their romance has taken. They have real issues that they work through. There is no angst purely for the sake angst. It's all based on their present and past situations. If you're looking for a lovey dovey, pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows kind of relationship, then sorry but you won't find that here. Sorry to burst your cotton candy bubble gum bubble. And yes, I know I'm evil. *sly grin*
There's angst and arguing but NO love triangle with the main character. At least not one that was discernible to me. If there was one, it was a ninja assassin love triangle.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this series. Insurgent was an incredibly delicious, exciting, and emotional read! But mostly, it just flat out made an impact on me.
The other night I was watching Merlin, which has newly been added to my list of all-time favorite TV shows, and there was one particular moment where a character shows a redonkulous amount of bravery in a certain heartbreaking scene which cannot be named, and I literally thought to myself "That's so Dauntless." That's the power of the world that Veronica Roth has created. When a story becomes part of pop culture, when it is so unique and recognizable that it can be spoofed or merchandised, and when it's terminology works its way into your everyday life - that's when you see the true power of literature. I believe that this is one of those stories.
Oh and by the way, I want a T-Shirt with the Dauntless faction symbol, so... someone get started on that ASAP. *snap, snap*
The winner of the Divergent and Insurgent PRIZE PACK has been announced on STRANGEMORE.COM. Check the Rafflecopter Widget to see the name of the winner!(less)
Well, kind of. No plot spoilers, just image spoilers.
Don't read on if you do not want to see images of the actors cast in t...moreWarning!! SPOILERS AHEAD...
Well, kind of. No plot spoilers, just image spoilers.
Don't read on if you do not want to see images of the actors cast in the upcoming Hunger Games movies.
I am officially designating this review as my update central for casting on the Hunger Games. As new characters are cast, I will post the actor's pictures here along with the images I find that imitate how they might look as the character they will be playing.
LATEST UPDATES ON CASTING
The best photoshopped pic I have seen of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss:
So we officially have our Peeta:
Okay, I just want to say that, while Josh is not what I had pictured, I trust those in charge. And Suzanne Collins gave her approval, so that in itself speaks volumes. Bottom-line is: Josh is workable. As long as they work with him to LOOK the part, and give him the eyes and most importantly the hair, I think he could be good.
And our Gale:
A little too pretty for my image of Gale. I also didn't picture Gale so beefy but instead trim and slim. Although for me, I was never too concerned with this role anyway. Gale never stood out to me as much as Peeta did in these books, so I would have been fine with nearly any choice. Once again, as long as they work their studio magic on his looks, he should do just fine.
Willow Shields as PRIMROSE EVERDEEN
Paula Malcomson (of SyFy's Caprica) as Mrs. Everdeen!
Elizabeth Banks will be playing Effie Trinket
Woody Harrelson is officially our HAYMITCH!!!
The guy is awesome. I think he will pull it off without effort.
Wes Bentley is Seneca Crane. Ummmmmm, yeah.
If you ask me - this guy is way hotter than I ever thought Crane would be. Gah. He's frikkin hotter than the guy playing Peeta!
Ceasar Flickerman will be played by Stanley Tucci.
Meet Rue and Thresh!!
Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi. They are perfect, and I am already getting emotional thinking about that infamous scene with Rue... *sigh*
We also have our District 1 tributes!! Leven Rambin as Glimmer and Jack Quaid as Marvel.
The unnamed District 3 Tributes have been cast: Ian Nelson and Kalia Prescott.
As far as the other characters, the news isn't out quite yet. It seems they will be looking for Prim and Haymitch soon. So I will post more info here once the news is out.
Let me know what you think of the re-imaginings of these actors in their new character roles!(less)
This book blew me away with... a Masquerade Ball, reincarnation, slyph, dragons, music, souls, butterfly, slow burn romance, tension, laser pistols, massive library, war stories, dragon battles. Need I go on? I mean - Wow.
I read this in a flurry of addiction. I just couldn't get enough of the world and it's goings-ons. Completely entrancing.
Ana was born into a society of a million souls. A million souls who have known each other in various forms for thousands of years. They reincarnate into a new body every time they die. Except for when Ana was born. When Ana was born, they were expecting one of their own, someone named Ciana, who was now lost forever. Ana's mother hates her for taking the place of Ciana and is ashamed, so she moves her new baby outside the city and locks her away from all the others. Now, Ana is eighteen and on a quest to the city of Heart to find out about her birth and Ciana's disappearance. Will she find the answers she seeks?
The author's prose has a very subtle lyricism, and the underlying message of this book seemed to be one of peace and hope for the future, which is a happy change from bleak and desolate outcomes of some recent dystopian fiction.
The main character, Ana, gets things done. The questions Ana posed to herself in her head were realistic and it was refreshing to have a character who asks questions and goes against the grain instead of settling for everyone-else-knows-best. The love interest, Sam, was complex, intriguing and a hottie!
The romance developed at a (GASP!) realistic pace, more so than most paranormal YA. It wasn't all "You looked at me like you LIKE me, so LETSBETOGETHERFOREVER!" I was afraid that it would feel cardboard or manufactured like some recent YA romances have. But it didn't. It felt natural and ended up being higher tension and surprisingly steamier than I had imagined for such a PG book.
Although few and far between, there were some unobtrusive religious, or possibly even anti-religious, undertones. The thing was that I couldn't tell. I couldn't see an agenda hidden behind the words and I appreciate that. These undertones were woven in delicately and did not overwhelm the world or the characters. It seemed to be more about raising the questions, instead of forcing an answer on you.
Should you believe in something you can't see? That's one of the questions it raises. Novels should be able to raise questions without imposing the author's answers onto on unsuspecting readers. Books should make you think and learn and discover the answers for yourselves. I felt this one did that pitch perfectly.
One complaint I do have, however, is the lack of dialog tags; oftentimes, it was necessary to reread passages over and over to figure out who was saying what. But that might just be my ADD talking. *sings* It's the FINAL COUNTDOWN. Doodoodoo. Wait, what was I saying...
A fresh and unique twist on the mythology of reincarnation. Finally! It is handled beautifully and seems intensely creative. But I want more! I'm so excited to learn more from the next books in the series.
In actuality, there are SO many interesting things you could do with this society. What if the same couple had been together for ten lifetimes but in the next, one just isn't attracted at ALL to the other. Oh, the scandal!
Even though I love the reincarnation concept used by Jodi Meadows, it still weirds me out a bit. Statistically someone who had been your lover in a past life could end up being your parent in the next....or vice versa. *shudder*
In general, I still have so many questions about the world-building. It was exciting and unique, but I wanted more details. More answers.
But I guess we don't know everything about even our favorite mythologies. Like what the hell are midichlorians (besides "bacteria") and how do they work? And WHY can't Darth Vader teleport? I mean, if the Weasley Twins can do it, why can't the original Dark Lord do it?
Regardless, I LOVED Incarnate. I inhaled it. This is definitely more of a 4.5, but it could have been a 5 if the ending had been more dynamic.
I was expecting something more emotionally heart-wrenching. Break my heart into pieces and then put them back together just in time for the last sentence. Give us a huge reveal, more answers, something epic, something shocking, something weep-worthy! However, it just didn't quite do that for me, but I'm hoping that the next books in the series will.
Keep in mind that this is a series. The story comes off at times as a mish mash of genres and ideas. So if you are for streamlined world-building and definitive answers, you might wait on this one. I'm hoping all is explained in the upcoming books but even I still have MANY questions.
I CANNOT WAIT to read the sequels.
Just look at this word cloud. How can a book with this word cloud NOT be awesome?
There's only one thing it needs: NINJAS! Because if I had lived for over 5000 years already, I would definitely have learned to be a ninja by now.
YOU. ARE. THE. DEAD. Oh my God. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high...moreYOU. ARE. THE. DEAD. Oh my God. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high expectations AND be nothing at all like I expected. Or in Newspeak "Double Plus Good."
Let me preface this with an apology. If I sound stunningly inarticulate at times in this review, I can't help it. My mind is completely fried.
This book is like the dystopian Lord of the Rings, with its richly developed culture and economics, not to mention a fully developed language called Newspeak, or rather more of the anti-language, whose purpose is to limit speech and understanding instead of to enhance and expand it. The world-building is so fully fleshed out and spine-tinglingly terrifying that it's almost as if George travelled to such a place, escaped from it, and then just wrote it all down.
I read Fahrenheit 451 over ten years ago in my early teens. At the time, I remember really wanting to read 1984, although I never managed to get my hands on it. I'm almost glad I didn't. Though I would not have admitted it at the time, it would have gone over my head. Or at the very least, I wouldn't have been able to appreciate it fully.
From the start, the author manages to articulate so many of the things I have thought about but have never been able to find a way to put into words. Even in the first few chapters I found myself having to stop just to quietly consider the words of Mr Orwell.
For instance, he talks about how the act of writing itself is a type of time travel. It is communicating with the future. I write these words now, but others may not discover them for hours, weeks, or even years. For me, it is one time. For you the reader, it is an entirely different one.
Just the thought that reading and writing could one day be outlawed just shivers my timbers. I related to Winston so much in that way. I would have found a way to read or write.
The politics and psychology of this novel run deep. The society in the book has no written laws, but many acts are punishable by death. The slogan of the Party (War is Peace...) is entirely convoluted. Individuality is frowned upon and could lead to being labeled a traitor to the Party.
I also remember always wondering why the title was 1984. I was familiar with the concept of Big Brother and wondered why that wasn't the name of the book. In the story, they don't actually know what year it is because so much of the past has been erased by the Ministry of Truth. It could very easily have been 1981. I think that makes the title more powerful. Something as simple as the year or date is unknown to these people. They have to believe it is whatever day that they are told it is. They don't have the right to keep track. Knowledge is powerful. Knowledge is necessary. But according to Big Brother. Ignorance is strength.
1984 is written in past tense and has long paragraphs of exposition, recounting events, and explaining the society. These are usually things that distance me from a book and from the characters, but Orwell managed to keep me fully enthralled. He frequently talks in circles and ideas are often repeated but it is still intriguing, none the less. I must admit that I zoned out a bit while Winston was reading from The Book, but I was very fascinated by the culture.
Sometimes it seems as though the only way to really experience a characters emotions is through first person. This is not the case with this book, as it is written in third person; yet, I never failed to be encompassed in Winston's feelings. George manages to ensure that the reader never feels disconnected from the events that are unfolding around them, with the exception of the beginning when Winston is just starting to become awakened. I developed a strong attachment to Winston and thrived on living inside his mind. I became a member of the Thought Police, hearing everything, feeling everything and last but not least, (what the Thought Police are not allowed to do) questioning everything.
I wasn't expecting a love story in this book, but the relationship between Julia and Winston was truly profound. I enjoyed it even more than I would have expected and thought the moments between them were beautiful. I wasn't sure whether he was going to eventually betray Julia to the Party or not, but I certainly teared up often when it came to their relationship.
George has an uncanny ability to get to the base of the human psyche, at times suggesting that we need to be at war for many different reasons, whether it's at war with ourselves or with others. That is one thing I have never understood: why humans feel the need to destroy and control each other.
It seems that the main and recurring message in this book is about censorship and brainwashing. One, censorship, is limited and little exposure to ideas of the world; the other, brainwashing, is forced and too much exposure to a certain ideas. Both can be extremely dangerous.
Inside the ministry of Truth, he demonstrates the dangers of censorship by showing how the Party has completely rewritten the past by forging and abolishing documents and physical evidence. We also spend quite a bit of time with Winston in the Ministry of Love, where the brainwashing takes place. Those who commit thoughtcrime are tortured until they grow to love and obey Big Brother and serve only the interests of the Party.
A common theme occurred to me throughout the book, although it wasn't necessarily referenced consistently. The good of the many is more important than the good of the one. There are so many variables when it comes to this statement and for the most part it seems natural to say, "Of course, the many is more important than the one", but when inside Winston's head, all that I began to care about was his well-being and not if he was able to help disband or conquer the Party and Big Brother. I just wanted him to be at peace.
Whether or not the good of all is more important than that of the one, I can't answer. I think most people feel their own happiness is more important than the rest of the world's, and maybe that's part of the problem but it's also human nature. I only wish we could all accept one other regardless of belief and culture and not try to force ways of life onto other people. Maybe I'm naive for thinking that way, but so be it.
I almost don't know what to think about this book. I'm not even sure my brain still works, or if it ever worked right at all. This book has a way of making you think you know exactly what you believe about everything and then turning you completely upside down and making you question whether or not you believe anything at all about anything. It's the strangest thing. Hmmm. Doublethink? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
Everything about this book is captivating. It's groundbreaking yet at the same time, purely classic. Ahead of its time, yet timeless. From Big Brother to the Thought Police, I was hooked and wanted to know more about it all.
Basically, I think everyone should read 1984 at some point. You really have to be in the mood to work at reading it, though. But it's all worth it in the end. It's absolutely incredible and I loved it. I don't re-read many books but this will definitely be one of them. It is a hard read, but more importantly, it is a MUST read.(less)
I had this big stupid flow chart all planned out for this review, but it seems there are like a hundred reasons why it won't work. Well, more like two. Images aren't working correctly on Goodreads at the moment AND I can't find a free site to host such a large image on AND it looks like crap small. Damn. That's four reasons. I so can't count tonight.
Girl15 lives underground in the Enclave after an as-of-yet-unknown apocalypse of some sort. Having just finished training to become a Huntress, she is given a name, Deuce (don't even start), and a parnter, so she can begin exploring the underground. Also falling to her are the jobs of hunting and trapping food and fighting off "Freaks", creatures who were formerly regular people now equipped with claws, razor sharp teeth, and cannibalistic tendencies.
Deuce has the strength of Katniss, the intuition of Buffy, AND she eats zombies for dinner. Well, not really. But wouldn't that be an intriguing twist?
I have very high requirements for kick-ass female characters. When you grow up with characters like Buffy and Princess Leia, it can set the bar pretty high to begin with and can result in a difficulty being satisfied with Bella-ish whiny girls. Then when more awesome iconic characters like River Tam and Katniss Everdeen come along, that raises the bar even higher.
Now Duece is a pretty freaking badass character on her own. The problem is that Ann Aguirre set the bar just out of reach with her first kickass chick, Sirantha Jax of Grimspace, and Duece just isn't quite tall enough to walk in her predecessor's tiny flats and still measure up. She would need 6 inch platforms to reach the level set by Jax.
Well, she got the shoes. You know what kind they are? Zombie killing shoes. I guess, technically "Freak" killing shoes, but they help her measure up to Jax. With them, she kicks a hella ton of ass.
She sure reminds me of Katniss a lot. She is dry and detached, but she is a MACHINE. Killing machine, that is. I would have liked to see a bit of the spunk and snark that Jax is so blessed with, but they are two very different young women.
The society in the Enclave was infinitely interesting, and I would have enjoyed spending more time there and learning more about it. I have sooooo damn many unanswered questions. For example: They aren't supposed to have sex unless they are "Breeders". Does that mean an underpants pillowfight is out of the question? Come on, we need to know important stuff like this.
I would have liked more inner enclave espionage. Maybe to see Deuce and her partner, Fade, sneaking around a bit, being tensiony and sexual-ish and inciting rebellion. Then concentrate more on Topside in the sequel. This book is called Enclave after all.
And yes, Deuce is a strange name for a girl, or for any person for that matter, especially since I have the tact and giggle reflex of a nine year old boy. However, the name is only giggleworthy for the first few pages and a good unique name is a necessity. My dog still hasn't forgiven me for naming her after a science fiction technological masterpiece. Which one? I'll never tell. They are all good names, anyway. ;-) The Death Star... Flux Capacitor... Number Six.
Overall, I loved this! The last half is slow and arguably not as good as the first, but regardless, I'm still excited for the sequel!!(less)
You may not find yourself inside the world like in an "escapism...moreKindle edition is on sale for about $5 HERE!!
This is what I call an "experience" book.
You may not find yourself inside the world like in an "escapism" story, instead you feel as if your viewing it from the outside. It's intent is to help you reflect upon and experience your own life, not necessarily that of the characters. Another more well-known example of this type of book would be 1984.
You breath on your own instead of with the characters. You are able to see the story more objectively, without having unhealthy attachments to the characters. You don't think "If something happens to the this character, I will never forgive the author." You are still invested, but not so much so that it clouds your judgement.
An experience novel asks you to logically consider the story and it's implications. It asks you to experience. It asks you to think.
Genesis is truly incredible! You will probably either be completely put off by it or you will be blown away by it. I was one of the latter. Either way, it WILL make you think about why we exist and the implications of that existence.
Here is a partial synopsis from the publishers:
Set on a remote island in a post-apocalyptic, plague-ridden world, this electrifying novel is destined to become a modern classic.
Anax thinks she knows her history. She’d better. She’s now facing three Examiners, and her grueling all-day Examination has just begun. If she passes, she’ll be admitted into the Academy—the elite governing institution of her utopian society.
But Anax is about to discover that for all her learning, the history she’s been taught isn’t the whole story. And that the Academy isn’t what she believes it to be.
I usually go for longer books or series books, but this is a unlikely exception. It makes me wish that there were more of these well thought-out, groundbreaking novellas. If anyone has a recommendation of something similar, well plotted short books, I would love to hear about it.
I really think everyone should read it, especially considering it's a meager 150 pages and manages to raise philosophical arguments and tell a complete dystopian story in those few pages. You'll either love it or hate it, but either way, it will make your brain melt.
I wouldn't exactly call this book fast-paced, but that is why it's short length is perfect! The overall experience of a book is sometimes what makes or breaks it's rating. And a lot of times the ending can make all the difference.
I just want to make perfectly clear that the ending of this book is, without a doubt, the most impactful ending I have EVER read in any book. I am not exaggerating.
Ever since finishing it, I have been aching for a book to send my mind spinning as much as this one did. I so want to experience another read like this or go back in time and experience this one again.
Edit: It has been well over a year since I read this book and I still think about it constantly. It's so so memorable and it should only take a couple hours at most to read.
If you are discouraged by the state of so-called dystopian books lately, I beg you to read this book. I don't care if you buy it, borrow it from the library, or sit down in the store and read it (which is totally fine, right?) - just READ it. Add it to your "must read now" bookshelf. If you don't have a bookshelf called that, create it now. :-) You know you want too.
This book is only 150 pages long, but well worth those few pages. If you think that you'll like Genesis, it may be a great investment for you.
I cannot say enough about this book and give it my highest possible recommendation. Yes, I know that I'm really pimping this book hard, but I can't help it. It is incredibly profound and really captured my attention and hasn't let go. But now, it's up to you...
And please, please, please. If you are even a tad interested in this book, don't read anything else about it. Just go read it. It is so much better if you have no idea what to expect.(less)
Be warned. Spoilers abound. As well as Major Ramblings. *salute*
Odd tidbit of information: Recently, I had a teeny, tiny silverfish (I almost typed c...moreBe warned. Spoilers abound. As well as Major Ramblings. *salute*
Odd tidbit of information: Recently, I had a teeny, tiny silverfish (I almost typed catfish, which would have made this story much more interesting) that just chilled on my bathroom floor for days, in the same spot. It had to have been at least three or four days.
I know it was alive because it would half heartedly scurry out of the way of much-too-close feet, a stark contrast to the usual lively and feisty personality of the creature. Other than those few movements, it would just lie there. Like it had given up. I found myself being careful not to step on it. The poor thing just seemed so pathetic and zoned-out.
So, I started referring to it lovingly as Katniss. The similar sound might explain why I nearly typed catfish, though a catfish lying on the bathroom floor would be very odd indeed. Come to think of it, it would be even stranger if the actual Katniss had been lying on the floor in my bathroom. Although, it wouldn't be unusual behavior for her, based upon this book.
The little silverfish eerily reminded me of how Katniss acted in Mockingjay. Defeated.
Well, I tried to allow her to live out her short life in peace and let her continue stumbling incoherently out of the way only when imminent danger reared it's ugly head, but danger's head turned out to be the not-so-ugly face of my dog, who gobbled up poor little Katniss and her six nearly defective legs.
So the moral of the story is? Uh.... Don't give up or you could be killed by an adorable fluffy giant monster? Anyway, onto more of my ramblings...
Do not read this review if you have not yet read Mockingjay. Pretty much any spoiler you could imagine will be here.
I pre ordered this book and got it the day of release. I started it right away but halfway through the book, I put it down and didn't pick up back up for a couple months. I do this sometimes, but I have NEVER done it with a series that I love so much, never even considered it. I just found myself so uninterested. I almost wish I hadn't picked it back up. My imaginings of what happened were so much better and more entertaining, more emotional.
I love this series and the world so much. I love the main characters and the side characters, especially Finnick. But literally 8 of them die over a matter of pages. And I knew they would, but I wanted more. I wanted flowers and a song for them, like what she did for Rue. Oftentimes, I would be like "Wait. What happened to so-and-so?" Then, I would flip back through and try to figure out when they died or disappeared.
There were a few tear jerker moments though. They were mainly towards the beginning of the book and most of them had to do with memories of the past, like reliving the greatest hits of Katniss.
One thing that really bothered me: What's with all the passing out? It seemed like every few chapters, Katniss was waking up in medical or having long fits of mindlessness. It just didn't seem like she was there for a majority of important plot lines. She would just have a conversation with someone like "Oh, I'm confused. What happened?" And then they would narrate it to her. Even the biggest battle at the end. Oh yeah, by the way. President Snow is in custody. Oh, you're cleared of all charges. It's all over. Go home.
And the biggest "What the hell?" moment for me was when Katniss actually voted in favor of having another Hunger Games? I'm sorry, what? We are supposed to believe that this girl who has fought in and despised the Hunger Games twice, would do this? The girl who had almost everything taken from her because of the them. The girl who volunteered to go to die in place of her little sister would willingly condemn more little girls to death within the Games, and do it in honor of her sister? Have more Hunger Games- for Prim? Huh? Did I miss something?
I've heard people say that it was to trick Coin, so that she could kill her later, but that doesn't make much sense either. If Coin sees that now she's willing to kill children when she never would have before, wouldn't that make her more suspicious?
And most of all - if that was her big plan, we needed to see her mind reeling and see the wheels turning like we usually do. Hear the plan unravel inside her head. I, personally, desperately needed that moment of pure clarity, where Katniss figures out what her purpose in all of this was. But no, all we got was: kill all those kids, for Prim.
That leads me to another point. I wanted to know more at the end. I wanted some kind of showdown between Katniss and Coin where Coin admits her guilt. How was she proven guilty? Who else was involved? How was Katniss cleared? What were Coin's real motives? Did Peeta know about Coin somehow? Is that why he told her not to trust them and to "find out what was going on"? Did Coin stage any of the other attacks? And did Katniss even care to ask any of these questions?
I kept expecting Katniss to have some revealing AHA moment where she gives an inspired speech at the end before or after she executes Coin, or Snow, or whoever the hell she wanted to execute. As long as she did it with flare. I wanted true conviction. I expected her to be courageous and say "Hold me accountable if you want, but they did this." Or just do something brave. Not run away and try to commit suicide.
I wanted the ending to feel the way it felt when she yelled, "If we burn. You burn with us."
Then there's the issue of the so called love triangle, that falls completely on it's face and gets laughed at by all the rebels. Well maybe not laughed at, but the rebels are always bringing up and commenting on this love triangle that, at least in this book, we don't see much evidence even exists. Katniss never chooses Peeta. Gale just stops showing up, even after Katniss had the most traumatic experience of her life. He doesn't call. He doesn't write. And the confession of love for either one of them pretty much never happens, except for in a passing remark at the end. I do think she should have ended up with Peeta.
I love Peeta and I found the tortured Peeta infinitely interesting. There is so much that could have been done with that. I wanted so much for her to uncuff Peeta and for him to just go crazy, like he was about to hurt her but instead kiss her with a frenzied passion, as if there was nothing he wanted or needed more in the world than to be close to her. Nothing like that ever happened. That's what I wanted but didn't get from this book. Passion. It wasn't there; Katniss didn't have it for Peeta or Gale. It just wasn't in Katniss this time around.
The passion wasn't there for me either. I wanted to care. I wanted so badly to care. The only person I really didn't want to die was Peeta. But even that faded after all the talk about killing him, which Katniss was completely fine with? At the end, I couldn't care less who died. I didn't really even care that Prim died and I should have cared. I almost think it would have been more poetic for Katniss to die for Prim at the end.
At least give us some real raw intensity, but all we got was indifference. Katniss was indifferent to who she ended up with, what happened with the Capital or the Games, and even to her own children. I wanted some emotion.
She could have at least said, "Her life ended when they spoke her name, but now a new life begins with that name. Primrose." With Peeta and Katniss standing over their new little bundle of joy daughter that they named for her sister. Or some gushing love story about how Katniss and Peeta finally got together. Always.
Or for her to be by herself, leading a life of meaning. I find it hard to believe she would just give up and not want to be involved in her own life or other people lives and just fade away. Or even Katniss and Gale, if the love was really there. But No. He just fades into the background. Just gone. No poetic or heroic ending. Yes, life can be like that. But this is fiction! Fiction should make you feel powerful, like you can rise against all in your path. Like anything is possible. I did feel like anything could happen, but unfortunately I just didn't care what that particular "anything" might be.
My biggest gripe is not necessarily with the events that happened but with the lack of conviction that they happened with, in addition to the fact that I didn't feel any of the closure I was hoping for. Not with Peeta or Gale, or President Snow, or Prim or Katniss's Mom, or the Capital and worst of all not with the Hunger Games.
I think that the only closure I felt was with the cat, Buttercup.
I definitely would have liked a happily ever after, but I can't say I was expecting one. But whatever happened I wanted to see the ever after. Watch it unfold. Feel the emotions, whether good or bad. Live it all with Katniss. But I didn't. I'm sure some people did but not me, unfortunately. I felt as detached as she did.
Out of tremendous respect for the series and characters, I couldn't bring myself to give less than four stars. Even though this was more of a three for me. I just loved the first two sooo much. I just can't stand to admit that this book was pretty much a disaster for me. Not when I think about Peeta. Ahhhh. Peeta.
I also feel like I gained a lot from reading this. Even though I don't agree with some of what Collins did with the characters, I still feel like this was a valuable read. Learning from what you read is one the most important aspects of the reading experience. I certainly learned a lot from this book, even if it was moreso about myself than about the characters in the book. That's what I strive for with reading. Sure, I want to be entertained, but that isn't always my only corcern. Sometimes, I want to be changed and this book and the entire series changed me.
And it did actually gave me a lot to think about, which is usually how I judge books. Sometimes, I'm satisfied in the dissatisfaction. I like having things to ponder. However, I would have liked a little more closure. So despite my issues with this particular book, I still love the Hunger Games and Suzanne Collins.
Just in a little bit of a jaded kind of way.(less)
Space is awesome! I say that like I've been there. For all you know, I have. I could be a certified astronaut in the U.S. Space Program who took time...moreSpace is awesome! I say that like I've been there. For all you know, I have. I could be a certified astronaut in the U.S. Space Program who took time off from being in space to write fiction about being in space and that's why I've been on Goodreads so much. I could be.... You don't know.
Okay, so I'm not. I haven't nor probably never will go to outer space, but that doesn't stop me from thinking it's the coolest and most awesomest thing in the universe. Which as a matter of fact it actually is the "coolest" natural thing in all the 'verse; that is presuming you can call it a thing. Really space is the absence of things. As the absolute absence of anything, is it really a thing? Should it even have a name? Maybe we should just call it ________. That might be a more accurate description. (view spoiler)[Shhhh, no one is supposed to know this. Space isn't actually completely "void." There are still particles up there somewhere, which is why even space never reaches Absolute Zero. But no one needs to know that we actually know so much about The Void, mmmkay? (hide spoiler)]
Where was I? Oh yeah, space is cool. It can be approximately as low as negative 454.765 degrees Fahrenheit if you want to be specific. Which, unfortunately, is about as cold as the characters and the "romance" in this book. This book doesn't make space cool; it makes it ridiculous.
Let me break it down, now.
-Huge society lives in and operates spaceship, with cryogenically frozen peeps in tow, destined to start a colony on a new planet. -Everyone awake on the ship is dark-olive skinned with brown hair and brown eyes. -The society doesn't have any sort of religion or superstitious beliefs. -Their appearance seems to be of Asian decent, but they speak and act distinctly American. -They are supposedly all descendants from the original earth-based crew of many different ethnicities.
Even with the backstory we get later on in the book, I just don't see a set of circumstances unfolding logically that would follow these lines, leading to that sort of society, especially since no useful background information is given as to how or why it might have happened. After 300 years, they only have a couple new words (brilly and frex)?! Everything else is the same? And after 300 years, no religions or superstitions were passed down or even created? And how did they all become mono-ethnic? They weren't originally.
They have the technology to use cryogenics and build a humongous space ship, larger than the entire island of Iwo Jima, capable of flying across the galaxy, but they still use pencils and paper? They don't even have tablet computers.
And mostly, why WHY would you need an entire society to keep an eye on the ship. Wouldn't it make more sense to have shifts of people woken from cryogenics to keep an eye on the star charts, instead of an entire society that needs to be fed, watered, and continuously breeding just to keep the ship running? Wouldn't the engines have been more efficient if they didn't have to support an entire city and farmland and a ginourmous artificial sun?
But even though they have this huge society, they still tons of people in cryogenics.
And now, some of the cryogenically frozen are being murdered. So, all this technology an all these essential people and they don't have ANY better security? No cameras? No A.I.? And all you have to do is unplug those in cryo to kill them?!
Oh, and also, they only breed every once in a great while and when it happens, they do IT everywhere. (view spoiler)[ Because of hormones in the water. Seriously. They'd have to be some pretty strong hormones to make people strip down and get it on in the stairwell of a mental facility/hospital. And why does it only effect twenty-somethings? If it's in the water supply, wouldn't it effect those who aren't in their twenties too? And why are there even people who are younger than 20? And supposedly there are twenty-somethings and forty-somethings, so do they only have a Season every twenty years? If that's the case, then there shouldn't be anyone under 20 until after this season and then they would all be newborns, not young like the girl who Amy talks to about rabbits or a teen like Elder. I guess there are exceptions to the Seasons? But how? If birth control is distributed in the water supply? Did I miss an explanation somewhere? (hide spoiler)]
Space kids playing CSI. That's all this was. Aaaaand the plot line made about as much sense as David Caruso's lines.
*husky voice* "I think it's about to get real cold in....." *puts on sunglasses with dramatic pause* "SPACE"
Some books I like to take my time with. I revel in the beautiful language or study the composition of the sentences. Some I reread passages just for the heck of it. Then, some books I inhale because I can think of nothing else. I can't stop reading as fast I can, because I just can't get enough.
This was none of the above. Across The Universe was easy to put down and not feel compelled to pick back up. I didn't take my time with it either though because I just wasn't that intrigued by the details or descriptions and didn't feel invested in the mystery. So I got through it quickly, but not because I was consumed by it. Rather the opposite. What is the opposite of consumed? Ummm, vomited? Expelled!! Expelled sounds better. This book expelled me from it. It said "read me and be done with it already."
The person who we are, I think, supposed to see as a bad guy, doesn't seem as bad as the main characters seem to see him. The murderer was so obvious that it makes me laugh.
Also, the cover is VERY misleading. It looks like a romance, does it not? Yeah, there is pretty much ZERO romance in this book, which I actually might have appreciated if I hadn't already been expecting romance. But I almost didn't notice the lack of lovey-dovey, because I was so distracted with questions and vehement disagreement with the ridiculous world-building.
What happened to the books that surprise and astound me with the answers to the questions they raise? I want a book that SHOCKS me with a capital Lightning Bolt.
Am I so jaded of a reader that nothing shocks me anymore? Or is it the books that are jaded from an over-sold and over-saturated YA market?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Welcome to Ixion. A place of constant darkness, the Ever Dark. It is a bazaar of the bizarre. On this strange island, everything is a party. Modesty is a sin.
Ixion is like Party Zion. You know that scene in Matrix Reloaded with the rave where everyone is going crazy and dancing up on each other. That is how Ixion is ALL the time. But instead of Machines lurking outside the walls, there are the Night Creatures.
After her brother runs away to Ixion, a distraught and lonely Retra follows him there in the hopes of bringing him back home. She gets way more than she bargained for in this bizarre land and discovers a world full of things unknown to her. A place of gratification and self-absorption with a war brewing in the dark. A place that can change her. She will become someone else and she will call herself: Naif.
The island of Ixion exists purely for pleasure and purely for young. Anyone considered an "over-ager" mysteriously disappears, unless they are first taken by Ruzalia the pirate. Rumor has it that she uses the over-agers as slaves or pets. Since no one knows what happens to those that disappear, some would rather risk slavery to Ruzalia than the possibility of disappearing off the island into oblivion or death. In her case, Retra would rather risk the unknown than live without her brother. She would possibly even risk death, because she can't bear the thought of life without him.
This book got me thinking a lot about human motivation. Why we do a lot of the things we do. Because don't many of the things we do come down to what we feel is the "better case scenario". There's even a game we invented called "would you rather." Who ever picks the option that sounds the worst to them?
Is that why war exists? Some feel the better option is to attack others, rather than risk being attacked themselves. Things may be said like: "Get them before they get us." "Their sinful ways will be the death of us." "It's you or me, buddy." We see this kind of reasoning a lot. In movies, books, and even in reality. Defending yourself isn't wrong but there is a thin line between defense and offensive defense. In adventure or sci-fi fiction particulary, it isn't often that a true line of communication is opened. War just seems to break out. It makes me wonder how often "talking it out" is overlooked in the real world.
In this world that we live in, ruled by information and communication, where no one is left unspoken for, where open mindedness is encouraged - why does war still exist?
I think true dystopia raises questions about human nature.
Dystopia should have a life all it's own. A life that thrives on our our fears, skitters away from our comforts, draws questions from our concerns. Burn Bright does just that. A few examples:
"Is it the rules and restrainsts in your life that have made you self-sacrificing? Is guilt the foundation of your kindness?"
"They're passionate in their beliefs" "They are misled - as passion most often is. Beware it, baby bat. Beware the foolishness of passion."
This book is unlike the new wave of artificial dystopias that plague the YA shelves. This is infused with passion for the story and the author seems to have a great love for the characters. The prose is vague and haunting, with scant background information.
The beginning requires a difficult adjustment period from the reader. I feel like we are so used to "instant gratification" that we struggle when things aren't easy to understand. This is not a book to be read lightly. You can't skim this. Bits of information are worked in so scarcely that you will feel lost if you try to read it quickly.
Burn Bright contains unusual dialogue and things are often mentioned without being fully explained. You are left somewhat to your own devices a lot of the time, but I find myself okay with that. Sometimes, it's a necessity for me because I find myself to easily bored if I understand and know everything right away.
Marianne's imagery was so different from what I'm used to with YA and strangely vivid for such a dark world. The descriptions are not all too well defined and the reader is required to make their own assumptions about the details of the world and their surroundings, but I actually enjoyed that part of it and found it to be very Hitchcockian. Sometimes, less is more. More exciting, at least.
This world is fully immersive, but not for everyone. It's eerie and untraditional. You are required to see things in different shades of darkness, multiple shades of gray. I tend to like things that are a bit off the edge, those things that lie in the dark of the deep end.
If you have a similar craving for something different, then you just might love this the way I did.(less)
Arrrrrg. This one thing was really getting on my nerves and I just couldn't enjoy the book the way I should have.
When certain characters are speaking,...moreArrrrrg. This one thing was really getting on my nerves and I just couldn't enjoy the book the way I should have.
When certain characters are speaking, their accents are demonstrated in the most frustrating way. For example: Dinna ye ev'n think 'bout gon' roun' thar an' all.
Uh, What? Exactly what I was thinking. It's not so much the visual indicator of their speech pattern that bothered me; as it definitely helped me to "hear" their accent, but it was the frequency with which it was used that was infuriating. I kept looking down and seeing a hundred damn apostrophes in a paragraph. Really?
I know it's a nit picky thing, but I think I'm entitled to not getting an apostrophe headache every time I turn the page. It was so bad in parts that I was tempted to not finish the book, but I really did want to know what happened next. I settled for putting the book down for a while so I could reboot my brain.
Then eventually I got sucked back into the storyline. Dang you intriguing misfits and your mad skills!
Other than that gripe, I really liked it. Great storyline which works well as a standalone, even though I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
I don't know why, as they are completely different, but it sort of reminded me of the Dumbledore's Army part of Harry Potter. Just reminiscent of it and not as good, though it did get exciting toward the end. Overall, a great start to the series. (less)
Almost every single paragraph in this book seemed to introduce some strange new intriguing information. It was somewhat predictable but also felt like...moreAlmost every single paragraph in this book seemed to introduce some strange new intriguing information. It was somewhat predictable but also felt like anything could happened, especially when it came to the father in the story. It really seemed like he was capable of unspeakable horrors.
The story was very original. It actually made me think of the underground vaults in the game Fallout. And there is a scene in the book with a hatch and someone banging on it and yelling Nooooo. That made me laugh even though it was supposed to be serious. I only laughed because of the whole John Locke hatch thing in Lost. You either know exactly what I'm talking about or you have no clue, but it was great. I wondered then if that scene in Lost was what caused the author to come up with the concept for this book. That would be amazing. Hey, it could happen.
I also love how when talking about his dog, Eli describes being able to feel her warmth at his feet even though he knows she's gone, and proceeds to call her his phantom limb. I don't know why but I thought that was so beautiful. I guess because I'm a dog owner and I can completely relate.
I'm not really sure what classification this book would fall under. Could it really be considered dystopia or post-apocalyptic? The compound itself if a sort of dystopia, but is that enough for it to qualify? I don't think it really matters but it was just something I was pondering. Hmmmmm. Whenever I say the word pondering, it makes me go "Hmmmmm". Strange.
I listened to this one on audio book and I have to say that the reader did an amazing job after the first few chapters (where he sounded a little monotone), but then he really got going and made the story come to life. Each character really sounded like their own person with a unique voice and mannerisms. His portrayal of the father was at times terrifying. I'm not sure if I would have felt differently about this book had I read it, because the audio was just so well done. I found myself wanting to drive around more just so I could listen longer. I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend the audio book.(less)
I started this a while ago but haven't finished it, yet. It was very interesting albeit far-fetched. But then again, it IS young adult fantasy. This book is the first in a very popular series and a new book is coming out soon. That is usually motivation for me to get caught up.(less)
The Sky Inside reminded me a little bit of the Giver, but with more technology and not as much finesse. The majority of the story takes place in a cit...moreThe Sky Inside reminded me a little bit of the Giver, but with more technology and not as much finesse. The majority of the story takes place in a city built under a large metal dome and all the mysteries that come with such a location.
I felt that there was a bit too much time spent on half hearted attempts at world-building (that didn't quite do it for me) and not enough time spent actually answering the questions about the world. There is a big spiel at the end explaining the world, but I would have liked to see more of that worked into the plot somehow. It ended up feeling like a recap for the kid main character who wasn't exactly getting it.
I also wonder why this is considered young adult. I guess because of the age of the main character, who is a teen, but it just felt like it should have been geared toward a younger audience. Anything this teenager did in the book could have, in context, been pulled off by a ten year old. To me, it just seemed like something I might have read around that age.
The reason I say this is because there was no romantic storyline, which is extremely prominent in most young adult, and there wasn't really violence, gore, or other intense scenes that are usually aimed at the teen market. There was no suspense to speak of either.
Overall, I'd give an A for concept. But a D for the execution of it. Great premise, just not very exciting or enthralling.(less)