I read mixed reviews before I picked this book up: It's the best thing! It's disappointing! I also read that it was the next best thing since The HungI read mixed reviews before I picked this book up: It's the best thing! It's disappointing! I also read that it was the next best thing since The Hunger Games; that's quite a boast! Matched has its own world reminiscent of The Giver but better. It's a young adult dystopic novel that combines The Giver, Fahrenheit 451, and The Hunger Games (just a hint). Condie kept me reading and I want to read more. My only disappointment is that I have to wait until November to read book 2. I highly recommend it!...more
Lyn, the daughter of seven gladiators, must now marry the gladiator who killed her father! Tune it to see how she resolves this problem. It reminded mLyn, the daughter of seven gladiators, must now marry the gladiator who killed her father! Tune it to see how she resolves this problem. It reminded me a lot of Rome and little bit of The Hunger Games as I read it. I liked the book, but the ending left me a little aggravated. I look forward to what else Lise Haines will write....more
I really enjoyed this book. I found myself on a ship, Godspeed, as it makes it way to the new planet Earth. (Yes, it's somewhat like Wall-E.) People cI really enjoyed this book. I found myself on a ship, Godspeed, as it makes it way to the new planet Earth. (Yes, it's somewhat like Wall-E.) People considered essential to rebuilding society are frozen and stored upon Godspeed. Meanwhile, another group of people run and maintain the ship. They are ruled by a man named Eldest. Is he a good leader or a bad one? Hmm... My only disappointment is Across the Universe is the first book in a trilogy and it was just published last month....more
Oh my goodness!!! I read this as part of my book club, but I discovered it was amazing. This is a nice coming of age, hero's journey book.
Settlers lanOh my goodness!!! I read this as part of my book club, but I discovered it was amazing. This is a nice coming of age, hero's journey book.
Settlers lands on the New World, and men catch the Noise germ, a germ that allows everyone to hear their thoughts. Animals catch it too. Oh my. It would really change our world today if we could hear what others were thinking.
Todd and Viola are endearing. The bad guys are scary. Manchee, Todd's faithful dog, is absolutely adorable!
The good and bad news is there are two more books in the series!!!...more
**spoiler alert** This kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. Todd and Viola make it to Haven and learn to survive as enemies.**spoiler alert** This kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. Todd and Viola make it to Haven and learn to survive as enemies. The whole time I was reading I was hoping they would reunite permanently. However, there are always complications. Todd works alongside Davy, the Mayor's vile son, doing horrible jobs and eventually becomes friends with Davy. Viola is healed and joins the opposition, the Answer. Though they are separated for most of the book, Todd and Viola continue to hold out hope for one another.
This book makes one question one's identity, loyalty, and the cost of being right.
I enjoyed reading it, but I am too stressed out to read the third one yet!
While this series is excellent, the stress of reading it in one sitting is unbearable. The nonstop action kept my heart racing as I devoured the pages. The unpredictable kept happening. Ness is a master of plot twist.
Mayor/President Prentiss is an evil man. I did not like him in book one, and I like him even less in book three. His relationship with Todd worried me the whole time. Like Todd I did not trust him, but he showed some elements of goodness. Yet, he was always controlling multiple people. He is a master of manipulation. I kept wondering if/when he is going to die. (He became worse than Aaron the preacher.)
Ness throws in a big curve ball, because he adds a third narrator 100 pages in! I wanted to throw the book across the room! The third narrator adds depth to the story. I am impressed with Ness' ability to distinguish between multiple points of view, make each believable, and create a well-rounded story.
When Manchee died in book one, I could not stop sobbing. How could he kill off the most loyal character? Aaron's death redeemed Manchee's life…a little. In Monsters of Men I was sad when another animal dies, but I was sobbing when a favorite character was killed. Ness put my heart through the ringer. Again.
I highly recommended this series to anyone who loves a good story of survival, coming of age, and being active in one's choices/life. ...more
Overall Rating: 3 stars Addiction Level: I read it every waking moment. Believe-ability: The setting was believable. Dystopia Factor: The world has been turned upside down, and all hope is lost.
I have waited over a year to finally read Crossed, and I find myself somewhat disappointed with it. I am having a hard time pinpointing my disappointment.
Matched ends with Cassia choosing Ky over Xander, her Match, and she is sent to a work camp to correct her behavior. She is determined to escape from Society and find Ky. This means giving up her “perfect life” in favor of pursuing her true love.
Crossed opens with Cassia waiting for her new work camp assignment, while Ky is on the front line of the war against the Enemy watching the young boys around him die. Both Cassia and Ky escape from their situations with companions in tow hoping to find freedom, life, and each other.
Crossed is told in alternating points of view between Cassia and Ky. I am not a huge fan of alternating points of view, because it can create either a greater understanding of the story or confuse the heck out of readers. Before Cassia and Ky find each other, the alternating perspectives mostly work giving the reader additional insight. Once they find it each other, it becomes a frantic juggle to keep track of who’s telling the story and what their M.O. is. Personally I do not think enough character or plot development is gained by the two perspectives in this story to warrant it. Condie had me reading greedily with just Cassia’s point of view in Matched and confused with both Cassia and Ky’s points of view in Crossed.
I enjoyed Cassia’s search for Ky, because it seemed so pure. Her mission was simple: Find Ky. Yet, she does not know who she was really searching for. She was searching for the idea of her true love and found answers to several nagging questions.
I do not like Ky; I do not think he is worthy of Cassia’s love. Perhaps it is because I feel like he is holding out. Cassia, nor Ky, can see Ky. Indie, a new character in Crossed, on the other hand can see through his façade. At the end I know who he is somewhat, but I do not like him.
As Matched ended with the hint of The Hunger Games, I was eager to see the direction the rebellion would take. After reading Crossed I am not sure the Rising is any better than the Society itself. Both are very structured and regulated. In The Hunger Games I had higher hopes for District 13 than they lived up to. I am not sure what to expect of the Rising or the Society in book three.
My hopes and predictions are: • Cassia chooses Xander or to be single. • The Rising successfully infiltrates the Society and abolishes the totalitarian government. • Condie chooses to tell the story in one point of view. • Redeemed should be considered as the title. ...more
Awaken is one of those books you pick up, are instantly drawn in, and want to live in that world. Awaken was so good, I’m still considering rereadingAwaken is one of those books you pick up, are instantly drawn in, and want to live in that world. Awaken was so good, I’m still considering rereading it immediately, now, when I’m done with my review.
Awaken is both futuristic and present. Kacvinsky illustrates how people in 2060 (and today) choose to be almost solely connected to the digital world. Everywhere people are plugged in. Face to face interaction is almost nonexistent. Madeleine, heiress of the digital school empire, lives in her room and through her computer. Her experiences are limited and monitored by her authoritarian dad. Life is mundane to say the least until she meets Justin, a mysterious, friendly, sexy guy. I enjoyed Madeleine’s journey to find herself as she experiences life and her first love. This is a must read for dystopia fans and romantics.
There is one thing that keeps bugging me. One of Justin's actions changes the course of Maddie's life forever. Not only does he not apologize for it, but Maddie doesn't seem to mind. Blame is never placed. I wonder if Katie Kacvinsky will reconcile the event or let it slip into the night unnoticed. ...more
I picked this up because a friend recommended it, and I had just finished another breathless read, Awaken. I did not expect to be left breathless, sleepless, or suffering from a book hangover...again! Needless to say, reading Divergent has left me breathless. It is not just a dystopia. It is a work that questions values, choices, and ideals. What is right? What is true? Whom can one believe?
Beatrice, like other 16 year olds, must choose which faction of society to belong to forever. Her choices are Candor (honesty), Erudite (intelligence), Amity (peace), Abnegation (selflessness), and Dauntless (brave). Her choice is both surprising and not. What would you choose? Regardless of what you choose, I dare you to pick up this book!
Update: On my second read, I found Divergent just as intriguing, breathless, and amazing. It left me wondering and satisfied.
Children become adults at the age of 16. I know this works for England and other European countries. Could this work for America? As I think about some of my students, I wonder if real responsibility would be a wake-up call. I wonder if they would enter the real world, make mistakes, and revisit education when they were ready. On the other hand I know my students are on the verge of adulthood and still need guidance. Do many students grow up parentless or virtually parentless? Is that why so many novels have limited or no parent involvement?
Is it fair to make people choose one path at the age of 16? I am not even sure that today at 33 I would be satisfied being made to choose one path. Divergent’s society disguises slavery as choice. They want everyone to fit into a mold, desiring robotic citizens.
One of my favorite aspects of Divergent was the romance. I am not a big fan of romance unrealistic romance. The author has to make it believable. Otherwise it is “insta!love” and gag worthy. Roth convinced me of the honesty of the characters' love. For me the best part is their love is ongoing and codependent (Thanks Kara!).
In conclusion, you should pick of Divergent, because it is a wonderful story of the importance of choice. ...more
After waiting for two and half years, the wait is over. Perhaps the wait was too long, but I expected more.
The inevitable happens: Maddie ends up inAfter waiting for two and half years, the wait is over. Perhaps the wait was too long, but I expected more.
The inevitable happens: Maddie ends up in a detention center. Kacvinsky’s version of torture is interesting. You’ll have to read to find out how terrifying it is. As expected Maddie is tortured rehabilitated. I found the rehabilitation process too slow.
In Awaken much of my anxiety came from Maddie and Justin’s relationship. Will they get together? Are they perfect for each other? Should they go their separate ways? Kacvinsky answers this question, so I’m left wondering what is next.
I am hoping she incorporates Gabe, a worker Maddie meets in the rehab center. I found him fascinating and want to know more. Will she give us more?
I feel satisfied but a little annoyed with Middle Ground. I hope the wait is not too long for book number three. ...more
It’s confession time. As a member of the Candor faction, I must speak honestly to you. I hope you won’t hate me for this or think poorly of me. It is It’s confession time. As a member of the Candor faction, I must speak honestly to you. I hope you won’t hate me for this or think poorly of me. It is not easy for me to admit, but I think the time has come. I’m pretty sure I have a new favorite author and book series. Blasphemous I know! Two years ago I discovered The Hunger Games. (Thanks Esso!) It changed the course of my history. Finally a great story of sacrifice and triumph with a kick-butt heroine is published. The obsession has grown: book club, blog, t-shirts, tattoos (fake), L.A.R.P., etc. The Hunger Games holds a special place in my heart, but now it is time to move on. Divergent and I first met casually last summer. A friend (Cat) recommended it, and I said sure. Why not? Mockingjay and Matched were published, consumed, and digested. I wasn’t really expecting much, and then wham! Divergent hit me! So many questions and possibilities. I am betraying my faction. On to the review of Insurgent…
What I LOVED: • The heart-pounding, stomach-wrenching, adrenaline-filled, nonstop action o It was difficult to put the book down, because I was afraid the action would continue without me. It did not; in fact it followed me into my dreams where I fought and ran all night. • The stress and strain on Tris and Tobias’ relationship o It was agonizing to watch their relationship teeter and stretch. However, I know that to truly participate in a relationship that one must know and understand oneself. I enjoyed getting to know other aspects of Tris and Tobias. • The search for truth o We know at the end of Divergent that Tris, Tobias, Caleb, and Marcus were on their way to the Amity compound to seek refuge and discover the truth of why the Erudite were controlling the Dauntless. o The search continues, and it brings about unlikely alliances and betrayals.
What I HATED: • The stress and strain on Tris and Tobias’ relationship o The wait to see if they would figure themselves and the situation out was agonizing. I worried about them. Briefly I thought about counseling and realized they needed to struggle first. • The ending o I was devouring the book, knowing the end was pages away, and it ended. Granted that Roth ended in a very logical place does not satisfy my unquenchable desire for more. I NEED more…NOW! • The wait o I do not want to cannot wait another year! Agony! Defeat!
Why Divergent is my new favorite series: • I am ready for a new adventure. o They search for truth and understanding. • Self-Awareness o Characters in Divergent make very deliberate and conscious choices. They are not victims of the system. They own the system. It makes me aware of my choices and non-choices and the effects of both. • Writer Presence & Writing o Veronica Roth is very present and active in the online community. I feel like we might be friends if circumstances were right. o Her novels are very powerful. I lose myself in them every time I read.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to combine all your favorite movies into one? Yeah…me neither. Young unsuccessfully combines Mad Max, Gl Have you ever wondered what it would be like to combine all your favorite movies into one? Yeah…me neither. Young unsuccessfully combines Mad Max, Gladiator, and Tremors to create a far-fetched splicing nightmare. The problem begins when she jumps from Mad Max to Gladiator. I was just beginning to adjust to a hell-bent 18 year old (Saba) and her 9 year old sister (Emmi) and their quest to rescue their kidnapped brother when both girls are duped, drugged, and enslaved. The dialect, made-up language, and lack of quotation marks make this a challenging read. Add that to an unbelievable protagonist and wa-la = disaster! I do not like Saba, nor do I buy her character. For someone so sheltered and isolated, I find it hard to believe that she is a survivor who can fight her way out of a corner, be a horse whisperer, and charm dashingly handsome men. At least Katniss’ survival in The Hunger Games is believable, because she uses those same skills at home. Saba’s lack of growth frustrates me and turns my attention to the minor, more relatable characters. I feel more invested in them than I do the protagonist. What the heck?!?!?!? Additionally why do so many characters like Saba? The only thing I like/can stand is the role Fate plays in the story. Young does not beat the reader over the head with it; she seasons the story nicely with it. Perhaps this strikes a cord with me, because I believe God ordains everything for our good. In conclusion Blood Red Road epically fails for me, because too many overused ideas are crammed into one story. Not enough cohesion exists to bring the story or characters close to my heart. I expected more from this disappointing read. ...more
As our world becomes more technologically advanced, more dystopian novels are published. I like dystopian novels, because they focus on what is importAs our world becomes more technologically advanced, more dystopian novels are published. I like dystopian novels, because they focus on what is important: survival and relationships. Under the Never Sky is no different.
The story takes place in a world where being outside is dangerous and deadly. The sky is filled with aether, which strikes and wreaks havoc at will. As a result society split into two groups: those living in indestructible pods above and below ground and those living out in the dangerous landscape.
Perry and Aria’s worlds are very different. Perry is a “Savage,” and his world is all about survival. Every action is meant to help one another survive. Aria is a “Mole,” and her world is full of virtual video games, fun, and relaxation. The story begins when their worlds collide. For those action lovers Under the Never Sky is for you. Immediately the story starts with nonstop action and soon survival is questioned. The action never stops. Rossi fills in the gaps about her created world as the story progress; there is never an information dump.
My favorite part of the book is the main characters: Perry and Aria; they kept me reading. Their stories are told in alternating points of view. As they get to know each other, we get to know them. I kept reading to know what happened. Will they survive? Will they complete their mission? Can they save the current world?
What would happen to us as a society and individuals if our technology suddenly failed or were yanked away? Perhaps mass chaos would erupt. It almost makes me want to become a doomsday prepper…almost. My husband thinks we should become doomsday prepper stocking up on frozen carrots. I think carrots would serve us well in a Zombie Apocalypse. Make sure to read Under the Never Sky to find out if they survive and the status of their mission. ...more
As a child I would spend a lot of my time with my neighbors doing really cool family-like-type things. One of those activities was creating Pysanky eggs. It is a cooler way to color Easter eggs than the traditional dying. It is a tedious process of applying color and wax to create designs and artwork. The final step is poking a small hole to release the egg innards and sealing it up with an ornament hanger. Once you are done you have a beautiful, delicate masterpiece.
The Pledge reminds me of Pysanky eggs. It is obvious that Derting took great care to construct her novel and the world it exists in. Her world consists of female tyrants, and she plays around with the strong/weak female stereotype. It leaves you wondering who is in control: the female or her circumstances.
I am not sure if a love triangle romance is a requirement for dystopian novels with female protagonists, but The Pledge did not leave it out. There are times when I suspended disbelief. Many more times than I am willing to admit. Heck, I spent three days reading it. Will they get together? Can they make it work? Will true love triumph over evil? Of course you’ll have to read to figure out which characters I am talking about.
There is something else I must remind you about Pysanky eggs. They are very fragile and should be handled with care. If someone had carelessly dropped my egg, no matter how flawed, when I was a kid, I would have been crushed. For me it would have been worse than dropping the last piece of Grandma’s precious china. It would have been the end of the world!
Derting did this with The Pledge. In an effort to tie up all the loose ends to have a happy ending, she did just that. The first book in a series should have a resolution but not a conclusion. She left one loose thread, but it is not enough to convince me to read book two. She took my egg and did the Mexican hat dance on it twice.
However, we do have options. 1) We can try to glue our Pysanky egg back together. 2) Fan fiction people can reconstruct the ending. 3) Walk away…far, far away....more