I loved this book when I first read it in 2009, but it's not holding my attention as well as I thought it would. Maybe because the events in the book...more I loved this book when I first read it in 2009, but it's not holding my attention as well as I thought it would. Maybe because the events in the book are still too fresh in my mind. Or maybe it's because Fever keeps calling my name. Or maybe I just have the attention span of a gnat. Possible. Either way, I'm getting bored so it's time to move on.
However, I think you should check out both Archer's and Lissa's reviews if you haven't already because I'm pretty sure I would have shared many of the excellent points they brought up.
Well now the caretaker's the undertaker Now I'm gonna go out and get the peacemaker This is the neo St. Valentines Massacre Well call up the Gaza hey hey hey hey hey hey hey Death to the ones at the end of the serenade(less)
Oh, man. Did I fall asleep again? It's not my fault. Really, it isn't. If only Crossed had just a little bit mor...more Psst...Stephanie. Wake up, it's over.
Oh, man. Did I fall asleep again? It's not my fault. Really, it isn't. If only Crossed had just a little bit more action and a lot less poetry, it would have been able to keep my attention focused on reading the book instead of hitting my REM cycle. That's not to say I didn't entirely enjoy Crossed, but it also didn't live up to my expectations.
Crossed picks up where Matched left off. Ky had been sent away to the Outer Provinces and Cassia is currently residing in a girl's work camp. In this installment she travels to the Outer Provinces to find Ky, while he somehow escapes the Outer Provinces to be reunited with Cassia back in the Society. A few new discoveries are made regarding the Society and an apparent rebellion called the Rising. Along the way, enough poetry to give Maya Angelou a headache is recited and flashbacks to Ky's past are also included.
I had high hopes for this book mostly because I did enjoy Matched. I enjoyed the "Do not go gently" theme and Condie's poetic writing style. But for some reason it just didn't work out too well for me in Crossed. I liked how the PoVs switched back and forth between Ky and Cassia. In fact, I am a fan of that particular style, when done correctly. However, in this case I found it difficult to tell who was who. Cassia and Ky's voice sounded exactly alike to me. I found myself flipping back to the beginning of the chapters to confirm who was narrating. Because of this I slowly felt myself becoming disconnected from the characters even with learning further details about Ky's past.
The Characters: One thing I did enjoy about the book were the introduction of the minor characters. While traveling to the Outer Provinces to find Ky, Cassia teams up with a girl named Indie. At first I really liked Indie because she was brave, sharp, and determined. But around 77% of the book she seemed too sneaky to me and I didn't appreciate her lying to Cassia about the Rising. At one point she even (view spoiler)[asks Ky to travel with her to the Rising and leave Cassia! (hide spoiler)] She also steals from Cassia and Cassia has the nerve to ask, "What else has she been hiding? Does she even think we are friends?" Umm...Cassia? Someone who steals and lies is not a friend. I do think she created an interesting dynamic to the story, but I'm not entirely sure I liked her as a character.
Ky also travels with two other companions: a boy named Eli who reminds him of Bram (Cassia's younger brother) and Vick. I actually liked both of those new characters very much. In fact, they were my saving grace for this book. To me they seemed to be the only two characters that actually expressed realistic reactions to things. Eli asks questions that should be asked and Vick gets angry when everyone else is maintaining unrealistic calmed facade. I didn't like how Condie (view spoiler)[killed off Vick. His death was the reason why Ky and Eli decided to stay put long enough for Cassia to catch up to Ky (hide spoiler)]. I felt she did that to attempt a realistic reunion for Cassia and Ky. I didn't buy that for one minute because it seemed very deliberate on Condie's part and forced.
Cassia and Ky irritated me to no end, especially Ky. He knew about the Rising since Matched and never told Cassia. I was willing to accept that until he continued to try and hide his knowledge after their reunion. He was extremely selfish in this book. Not only that, but his explanation as to why he didn't want to join the Rising didn't make much sense to me and it ultimately almost breaks them up. After they have traveled all that time endangering their lives, they almost throw it completely away. Unbelievable. Cassia is no better because she waits until the last possible moment to confront Indie and Ky. Great. Just great. Another complacent heroine.
Condie does manage to keep Xander in the picture despite his small page time. Both Cassia and Ky think of him often and have flashbacks involving him. And it also appears that a love-square may be forming. Yes, feel free to >insert eye rolling here<.
The Prose: There are a few quotes that I really loved in Crossed. Like this one:
Everyone has something of beauty about them. In the beginning for me, it was Ky’s eyes I noticed, and I love them still. But loving lets you look, and look, and look again. You notice the back of a hand, the turn of a head, the way of a walk. When you first love, you look blind and you see it all as the glorious, beloved whole, or a beautiful sum of beautiful parts. But when you see the one you love as pieces, as whys—why he walks like this, why he closes his eyes like that—you can love those parts, too, and it’s a love at once more complicated and more complete.
I think Condie is gifted with writing some truly beautiful passages. However, when the entire book is filled with your characters sitting on rocks reciting poetry every few pages, my patience tends to fly out the window. One minute I'm reading Crossed and the next minute I'm:
A) Falling asleep
B) Getting distracted by squirrels
I'm not even sure where the climax was because I was just that bored with the plot, characters, everything. It was like watching the Peanut gang's parents go, "Blah, blah, blah, blah." LOL. Maybe I fell asleep at that part. It really wouldn't surprise me if that were the case.
The World Building: I was hoping to see more world building in this installment, but I was once again left with many unanswered questions. Who runs the Society? How are these rebels slipping in and out of the Society if the Society has such a strict eye on things? Who put Ky's name into the Matching pool? Where are all the Provinces located? Several are mentioned in the book, but I have no idea where they are located. I feel this series could really use a world map. Speaking of the world, is the Society located over the entire world? The way it is described seems like it's only in one part of the world. What in the world is the Warming? It's mentioned in Crossed, but it's not really explained well. Are there no gay society members? So many questions, so little time, and so little fucks of mine to give. I hope these questions will be answered in final book, but at this point I won't hold my breath.
I'd recommend this book to strong supporters and fans of Matched. If you felt Matched was just an "ok" read for you, chances are you will be disappointed with its sequel Crossed.
Poetry inspired by Crossed!
Roses are red Violets are blue This book may bore you And put your ass to sleep too!
More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog. ["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"]>["br"]>(less)
I really wanted to love this book, but sadly I did not. I felt that it just dragged on and was a bit anti-climatic for me. I tried to connect with the...more I really wanted to love this book, but sadly I did not. I felt that it just dragged on and was a bit anti-climatic for me. I tried to connect with the characters and I just couldn't. Another reviewer mentioned the characters seemed more like rough sketches and I have to agree. In the end, I had to force myself to finish the book.
It seems like there will be a sequel and I'll think I'll give it another shot. But for now it's pretty far down on my list. :((less)
I really wanted to love this book. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, but it just didn't add up to the hype I thought it would. I would say I give it...more I really wanted to love this book. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, but it just didn't add up to the hype I thought it would. I would say I give it more of 3 1/2 stars.
Delirium is about a girl name Lena who lives in a future where love is considered a disease. At 18 everyone under goes surgery to remove the ability to love. However, a few months before her surgery and birthday, she meets Alex and falls in love. Obviously, this complicates things.
To be honest, it was difficult to place myself in Lena's world. It just seemed so...far fetched. Maybe it's because every time I think if a dystopian society, I think of Katniss and The Hunger Games. If you are looking for something like The Hunger Games, this is is not it. Delirium focuses more on Lena and Alex's relationship than the actual world. Maybe that's why I felt it hard to believe. I don't know.
I feel that the first half of the book was rather bland to me. It didn't really start getting interesting until after the climax. And that is an awful lot of pages to keep me waiting.
I really did enjoy the book tho. It was beautifully written, especially the prose in the beginning of each chapter.
While I don't think it it is as good as Before I Fall, I will read the sequel because c'mon Lauren Oliver, that ending was just harsh! Lol.
I have read a few YA dystopian society books and I have to say, I really enjoyed this one. It would have gotten 4 stars, but I...more Actual rating: 3.5 stars
I have read a few YA dystopian society books and I have to say, I really enjoyed this one. It would have gotten 4 stars, but I found the ending to be a bit predictable. There were also a few things I didn't like. There will probably be spoilers in this review, but I'll indicate where I'm about to reveal something.
Across the Universe is a really cool story about a girl named Amy who is frozen in time for 250 years aboard the space ship Godspeed. However, she is violently awaken 50 years before the ship reaches it's destination. She struggles to adapt with the strange life on the space ship, while she attempts to solve the mystery and unravel the lies surrounding it.
One thing I really liked about the book was the changes in POV from Amy to Elder. Often times when I'm reading YA novels, I'm constantly wondering, "What the hell is he *really* thinking?" I also really liked Amy. She was a strong female character. That is a breath of fresh air considering so many female characters to are not strong and are damsels in distress. That irks me.
I really enjoyed the premise behind the plot. Frozen people aboard a huge ship in space, traveling to a new planet to colonize. There were no supernatural creatures, just a mystery that Amy and Elder are determined to solve. I really enjoy sci-fi, so naturally I thought this book was perfect for me.
Now on to the flaws: *This part of the review will probably have spoilers*
Let's take a look a the characters in-depth, shall we?
Amy: As I said before I really did like her. However, every time she referred to her father as "Daddy" drove me up a wall. Do 17 year-olds really do that? I tried to choke it up at first to the fact that she missed her parents. But then she kept calling him "Daddy" to the other characters and each time I felt mildly embarrassed for her. It was just odd. And what about her mother? She didn't give a rats ass about her. She was mostly concerned for "Daddy" not "mom." But the biggest problem I have with her was her willingness to just go against what Eldest said. Yes, I know you want to protect your family. I get it. But this dude just told you he will eject you into space if you become a disturbance, and you have the balls, excuse me, "chutz" to back talk him to his face? Really? Do you want to die? Can we at least be sneaky? Do you have no sense of self-preservation?
Elder: Where do I begin? He was a little wimp most of the book. One minute he is a toddler whining to Eldest about not be taught everything and the next he is a dog with his tail between his legs. He can't decide if he wants to still trust Eldest or not even though he constantly verbally abused Elder. The whole time I was just waiting to Eldest to bitch slap him. I kinda understand why he unplugged Amy. He was pretty much obsessed with her. A stalker. Dude was staring at her naked, fantasizing about "what they could do together." How creepy does he sound?! What wasn't clear was when he actually unplugged her. He seemed really shocked when he saw her drowning in her ice box. In fact, he was in the garden when the alarm sounded. So by the end of the book, I'm wondering, "When did he actually do it and why did he just leave her out and leave?" That doesn't make sense to me.
Harley: I really liked him. He was my favorite character. I was sad he was killed off. I also think he would have developed a stronger relationship with Amy. He just seemed better for her.
Doc: He kinda reminded me of a mad scientist in a way. I think he was just as responsible for the crap that was happening on that ship as much as Eldest. I hope he gets some just desserts in the next book.
Eldest: He believed Hitler was a great leader. I was glad when he died. 'Nuf said.
Orian: A true crazy amongst them. But I found it terribly obvious who he was from the beginning. When Revis told us about his scar in the beginning, I knew exactly what that meant. And that made me angry, because it made Elder look like a total idiot that he didn't know.
The people, the plot, the ship: Wow, the people in this book through me for a loop. When the Season hit they just ran around naked having sex wherever they pleased. This made me extremely uncomfortable. I guess this was the intent. Mission complete Revis. The ship and the science was totally believable. I could follow it and see it a possibility. The biggest con in this book would have to be it being a bit predictable. But, it did keep me very interested in the story once Amy awakens. I read it in one sitting from that point on. So it's defiantly not boring by any means.
So all in all, it's a decent read and I look forward the other sequels.
I sort of went back and forth on the rating for this book. I couldn't decide to give it 3 or 4 stars. In the end I decided on 4 because this book did...moreI sort of went back and forth on the rating for this book. I couldn't decide to give it 3 or 4 stars. In the end I decided on 4 because this book did keep me up till around 2am. So, for a book to do that to me when I know full well I have to wake up super early with my kids, it pretty much earned those 4 stars.
Let me start by saying I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. In fact, I was kind of ignoring it as it sat on my shelf collecting dust. I wasn't sure how I felt about the whole polygamy with young girls. I can't imagine sharing my husband. Honestly, I think I would feel like 3rd wheel.
However, I really came to appreciate the relationship between Rhine and her sister wives. They looked out for one another. And even though Rhine wants to escape, she worries about leaving them behind. I absolutely LOVED the premise for this book.
DeStefano explains the reason for this dystopian society is because of childhood vaccines received by the 1st generation. Now before I continue, I think it's important for me to touch on a few points about childhood vaccines so you can see where I'm coming from. Wait-- let me grab my soap box.
In the US our babies are given so many vaccines within the first year of life. Sometimes as many as 5 or 6 different vaccines in just ONE visit. That is a lot of medicine to pump in a baby, whose immune system is not even considered mature until around age 6. However, the CDC and FDA tells us these drugs are completely safe. Rarely will the pediatrician go over the side effects with you (which can range from a low-grade fever to brain swelling or seizures). Hell, most won't even ASK you if it's ok to give the shots. The nurse just walks it to administer the meds and you, the dutiful parent, don't question it. After all, why should you? The government says they are safe and anyway they have been rigorously tested. They wouldn't give it to our precious newborns if it wasn't safe.
And my question to you would be: What testing? There are no long-term studies to show what effects these vaccines have on our bodies long-term. They literally don't exist. Why? Because they are too new. Half of the vaccines they give out today wasn't even around when I was a kid. And I'm only 23! So if you really think about it, we and our offspring are the study. Experiments, if you will. One thing is for sure, we aren't passing on natural immunity anymore, because we don't have it. So, who knows. Maybe we are destroying our bodies and we don't even know it.
While that sinks in, I'll move on to the rest of the review.
Can you only imagine living till age 20 (female) or 25 (male)? Can you imagine a world of human trafficking girls as young as 13 to become child brides and mothers, only to have their babies experimented on, desperately searching for a cure? Sounds horrifying, right? That is the world 16 year-old Rhine lives in. She is kidnapped by the gatherers and sold off to Governor Linden Ashby along with Jenna (18) and Cecily (13).
I loved Rhine. I truly felt her pain throughout the book and understood the overwhelming urge to escape her luxury prison and return to her twin brother Rowen. However, she doesn't expect to develop a true sister relationship with her sister wives.
I wasn't sure how I felt about Linden in the beginning. He seemed like a weak character to me. I just couldn't understand why he never apologized to the girls about taking them from their homes. Then I realized he did not know. In reality, his father, Housemaster Vaughn kept him a prisoner as much as he did the girls. This allowed me to actually have sympathy for him. I found myself secretly wanting Rhine to tell him his father's dark secrets. I felt a bit sad when she would lie to him because he truly did care for her. But can I really blame her? No, I suppose not.
Jenna and Cicely viewed life at the mansion drastically different from Rhine. Jenna looks at it as living her final two years in style before the virus takes her life. As a result, she is a little reckless with her actions because she feels she has nothing to lose. Cicely, on the other hand, envisions it as a privilege to live in the mansion where she can be waited on. For most of the novel she is oblivious to the severity of their situation.
Housemaster Vaughn is the villain. I'd liken him to that of a mad scientist. It seems he is willing to risk any and everyone to find the cure. He truly disturbed me with his methods and sinister plans.
I really liked Gabriel, but unfortunately I still don't feel I know him that well. I'll be interested to see him develop further in the next book.
Even though Rhine's brother, Rowen, doesn't formally make an appearance I feel like I still got a good idea of him as a character. Something tells me we may see him in the next book.
I loved DeStefano's writing style. It pulled me in quickly and I found myself irritated whenever I had to put the book down. Lol. The ending, IMO, was a little rushed, but I am still really looking forward to the next book.
This.Was.Good. It seems like every dystopian book that comes out now is being compared to The Hunger Games. Well, i...more Whoa.
Breathe, Stephanie. Breathe.
This.Was.Good. It seems like every dystopian book that comes out now is being compared to The Hunger Games. Well, if there was ever a book that might come close to that comparison it would be Enclave and now Divergent.
Veronica Roth's debut novel Divergent is getting some major hype and you know what? I think it deserves it. It's no secret that I have a dystopian society book addiction right now, but Divergent is just what I love in a book. It had loads of action, strong heorine, slow building romance, extremely flawed society, ect. I mean I could go on and on here.
Now, I know what you are thinking, "B-b-b-but what about your status updates complaining about the world building?!" Yes, kiddies it's true, I did complain. When I first started reading Divergent I thought the world builing left much to be desired. And even still, the faction Dauntless just doesn't sit right with me (which is why this is a 4 star review and not a 5 star review. Don't worry, I'll address that later.). But, even with these world flaws, I still really loved this book!
Divergent thrusts you into a world where society is divided into five factions each representing a particular virtue. You have Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent) and Abnegation (the selfless), which our heroine 16-year-old Beatrice is from. In her world when you reach the age of 16 you must choose which faction you want to join. Will you remain with your family in your current faction or risk it for the biscuit learning a whole new way of life? Thankfully, the government graciously provides an aptitude test to help determine which faction you would most likely belong in. But, you always have a choice (or so they say) to pick whichever pre-determined life you want you want regardless of the results. Awesome! High fives all around for free will!
So, what does Beatrice choose? Well Dauntless, of course! This would be a rather boring book if it had been any other faction. If I had to describe Dauntless I would say they are a cross between xtreme sports thrill seekers and a blood thirsty gang. Everytime I turned around the Dauntless were trying to hurl themselves off another building, moving object, or beat the crap out of each other for the sake of being called brave. None of that is brave. It is stupidity at it's best.
This was a constant pet peeve of mine. And the worst part is: beatrice just.accepted.it. Not only that, but she joined in the craziness! And that brings us to the big old negative of the book. There were a few big holes in the world building. Such as, how did the world get to where it is? What is beyond the walls of Beatrice's society? What's the point of having the factionless? They kinda felt like page fillers to me, and most importantly: WHO RUNS THE TRAIN?! I need to know! It's bothering me! Now if you know anything about me, you will know I can not stand when an author builds a world and tells me, "This is how it is. Just accpet it." No. Just no. Seriously, it makes my eye twitch.
But, once you get past the sketchy world building the book is good. I think the second half was definately noticably better than the first half. The first half was a bit slow, but once the book got going it hooked me and never let me go. I stayed up until 2 am to finish it and that it epic for me. LOL. Like Power Rangers meeting the Ninja Turtles epic.
The plot and characters and pretty solid to me. I did like Beatrice and her character development. I also felt like the love intrest between her and (view spoiler)[Four (hide spoiler)] was slow developing and not rushed. It provided a nice build up. For a YA book to do that nowadays, you get bonus points.
And I really loved the ending. It left me frazzeld and wanting more.
And best of all there was no cliffhanger! I'm growing to hate clifhangers in YA novels. You don't need to leave me hanging to keep me reading your series. If your writing/story is good enough, I will continue regardless. So I really appreciated things being tied up nicely in this book even though I can tell things are not over.
So, if you are digging dystopians right now, do yourself a favor and check out Divergent. It's definately one of the best out right now.
More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.["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)
I don't even know how to begin reviewing this book. I fear that anything I describe about the book has the potential to ruin it for anyone reading thi...more I don't even know how to begin reviewing this book. I fear that anything I describe about the book has the potential to ruin it for anyone reading this reviews. And to do that would be a huge disservice to this book. Because believe me when I say it was truly remarkable.
There are three things I believe I am safe to say. (1) The main character's name is Anax. (2) The book is basically her interview with a panel for acceptance into The Academy. (3) It is a dystopian type book. (4) It's not a long book, but the story grabs you.
I had no expectations going into the story. I had no idea what it was about. And it is my belief that that is the best way to get the full experience of the story. This book will make you think. Oh, ya, it makes you *think*. It's one of those books you might have to read a second time, even with how short it is. I had no clue where the author was going with this book until the very end. It just sneaks up on you.
If it seems like my review is a bit scatterbrained, I apologize. That is just that state in which this novel has left me.
Enclave was a breath a fresh air. If you are looking for a book with lots of action, a strong, ass-kicking heroine, and romance that take...moreUmmm....WOW.
Enclave was a breath a fresh air. If you are looking for a book with lots of action, a strong, ass-kicking heroine, and romance that takes a back seat, Enclave is your book.
This book is marketed towards, "Fans of The Hunger Games." Ummm...why? The only similarities I can possibly see is the strength of the main characters. Katniss and Deuce (how awesome is her name?!) are both hunters and get into a lot of fights. And both books do feature dystopian societies.
Enclave is very fast paced in the beginning. The book begins right before Girl15's naming ceremony. She finds out her name is Deuce and she officially owns the title of "Huntress." As a Huntress, it is her job to brave the dark tunnels and bring food back to the enclave. It is a very dangerous job. Why? Because there are Zombies Freaks! The zombies in this world are rather interesting. They do not seem to infect anyone, they just want to eat you.
Deuce lives in her enclave which is underground. She has never seen the sun and no one in her enclave lives very long. They are lucky to live to be 25. (view spoiler)[lack of vitamin D, perhaps? (hide spoiler)] No one seems to know how they ended up there and where the freaks came from. The enclave has strict rules that she firmly believes are there to protect everyone. However, after she is paired up with Fade, a boy who grew up Topside, she slowly begins to question everything she is taught. One day Deuce and Fade are exiled from their enclave and forced to live Topside where vicious gangs battle it out over territory. Add in the zombies and you have one hell of an adventure!
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE strong heroines. I can not stand a damsel in distress. Thankfully, Deuce can hold her own and then some. Seriously, the girl was a badass. She had me sooo happy at parts, I found myself saying, "Oh Hells yes!" during the battle scenes.
One thing I really appreciated about this book was the question of, "What is strength or weakness?" In the beginning of the book Deuce measures that with how well a person can defend themselves. As a huntress, she was always taught showing emotion was a weakness. However, she later learns that strength can be measured with ones ability to endure. This proves especially true for the character Tegan. She is viewed as a very weak character, but IMO was the strongest of all. Deuce realizes she doesn't possess the physical strength of most fighters, but Tegan has a mental strength that keeps her pressing forward. Deuce later acknowledges that those emotions are not a weakness, and that causes her to reassess her own character.
I really liked how this book moved fast. It is a quick read, but the way Ann Aguirre writes it, it feels longer. There were a lot of unanswered questions about the world they live in and I expect it will be answered in the next book based on how this one ended. I can't wait!
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I've been really eager to read A Million Suns for a while now. I'm a Sci-Fi geek and I'm not afraid to admit that. (Hear that,...moreActual rating: 3.5 stars
I've been really eager to read A Million Suns for a while now. I'm a Sci-Fi geek and I'm not afraid to admit that. (Hear that, Kennedy?! I'm owning that!) So I think, in a way, I am prone to getting swept away with this series. And just as with Across the Universe, I was immediately sucked into the story, walking around my house with my face glued to the book, sitting on the edge of my seat trying to figure out the mysteries surrounding Godspeed. Because if there is one thing Revis does right, it's anticipation.
I struggled with deciding what to rate this book. On one hand I really liked it much better than Across the Universe, but on the other hand the ending let me down a bit. I suppose I should back track a bit and actually talk about the things I loved first. Be warned: the second half of the review will have spoilers.
The best part of the book was the plot and pacing. Elder is trying to maintain peace, but the people are making that very difficult. After being enslaved to Phydus for years, some are depressed, rebellious and paranoid. A few citizens prey on those emotions and cause doubt of Elder's ability to lead the people. The result? Chaos and not the beautiful kind. This puts Amy in a very precarious situation because the people blame her for their downward spiral. But Amy and Elder have another issue to handle after Amy discovers Orion has left clues to the Godspeed's biggest secret. I really liked how it felt like the reader's job to help Amy and Elder solve the mystery because this book is very fast paced. The sense of urgency is definitely there throughout the entire novel, never letting the reader catch his/her breath!
I also really liked the character growth from Elder. In Across the Universe he was very unsure of himself and for a moment he is that way in the beginning of A Million Suns, but you get to see him grow a back bone along with a matching pair of gonads. This made me really happy because let's be honest, it was about freakin' time! We also get a chance to see Amy work her way through the personal issue on how she feels about Elder. She struggles with this at first because she isn't sure she is in love with him since they are the only two teenagers. She questions whether it is really love when you don't have any other choices. I would have liked to see more development from Amy besides whether she wanted to be with Elder or not.
And that leads us into the bad.*spoilers ahead*
What really ticked me off with this book was the ending. Everything was going perfectly well until the villain and the ship's secret were revealed. Orion has left Amy a series of video recordings of this huge secret he is sitting on and he tells her only she can make this choice and how it is such a huge decision...yada, yada, yada. That's great. Really. I can totally get down with that. What I can't get down with is the actual secret. (view spoiler)[We find out that Godspeed has actually been at the new planet since the "plague" popped up generations ago. But they haven't landed because planet scans reveal that whatever lives on the planet isn't friendly and they will probably have to go to war once they land. So the Elder system and Phydus were created to keep the people in check and prevent anyone from finding out the truth. So for all those years, Godspeed has just been orbiting around the new planet. All the while the food supply is quickly dwindling and the ship is falling apart. But what I don't understand is why they didn't communicate with Earth and GO HOME? Whose brilliant idea was it to stay on the ship that is falling apart FOREVER? (hide spoiler)] *smacks forehead*
Then we had a few plot inconsistencies. At one point in the novel people are rioting over the lack of food. They even go so far as to burn down the Food Distro building, but suddenly at the end we are fed this BS: (view spoiler)["The scientists agree that the internal functions of the ship could last for at least a generation, maybe indefinitely if the biosphere is maintained and energy conserved." Then a few pages later Elder tells Amy they have enough food for a few more generations. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? (hide spoiler)] You can't tell us one thing and then completely say, "Oops, my bad, guys. My bad." at the end of the book. You do not get to change your book canon just to take an easy way out when it comes to ending your story.
Oh, and remember that little flop at the end of Across the Universe? You know the one where Sir Isaac Newton's laws of motion are completely ignored? Yeah, that one. That little issue is cleared up in the very first chapter, but I noticed something that was a little off. (view spoiler)[Elder is told that the shippers lied to Eldest about the engine, that he didn't know the engine had stopped working. He thought they were still moving. But later when Amy is busy discovering Orion's clues we are told Eldest knew they were right next to the new planet and like the Eldest before him, he was keeping this from the people because he didn't think it was a good idea to land. Now, wait one damn minute. If Eldest knew they were right next to the planet and didn't want to land, then how is it he didn't know about the engine not moving the ship? (hide spoiler)]
And finally Amy, who suddenly became TSTL in the final chapters. (view spoiler)[So we all know Amy was almost raped in Across the Universe and that guy continues to stalk her until she and another character extracted vengeance on him. This made me very happy because Amy actually did something for once besides running around the ship. But then when the guy is found dead she hesitates before launching his body into space. I wouldn't have been able to push that button fast enough. But, okay. Fine, Amy. Then when the villain reveals himself and has a gun pointed at Amy saying he'd kill her, she later tells Elder she couldn't kill him even though there was a chance he could have killed them. Okay, maybe I can understand that. But here is where the sense falls apart. The villain had started to reanimate Orion and you know what Amy says she wants? To let Orion drown in his cryo liquid! Now I admit, Orion wasn't the best guy in Across the Universe, but his crimes do not stack up against the rapist or the villain in A Million Suns and yet Amy has the most anger and hostility towards him. The guy who revealed to her that they had arrived at the planet. This does not compute! She even goes as far to have a tantrum about it like a 4-year-old. (hide spoiler)] I'm sorry, but that makes no sense. /end rant
Yet, despite all of my complaints, I did really enjoy this book. It had an unputdownable quality to it that can't be ignored. Fans of Across the Universe will more than likely enjoy A Million Suns. I'd even go as far to say even more so than Across the Universe. I just really wish the ending concluded on the same level of awesomeness that it began. I'll definitely check out the last book because I NEED to know how it ends!
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You know how when you are reading a book and you can sort of tell when the author lets her characters off the hook or saves them from a potentially de...more You know how when you are reading a book and you can sort of tell when the author lets her characters off the hook or saves them from a potentially devastating situation? Well, Carrie Ryan spares no sort of mercy for her characters. In fact, she leaves your soul begging for a way out for them. I found myself bargaining with Ryan to please cut them some slack! But Alas, such is not the way in any of the Forest of Hands and Teeth novels. While the POV changed from each of the three books, one constant always remained:
Or the “Unconsecrated,” “Mudo,” or “Plague Rats” depending which book you’re on.
The Dark and Hollow Places (or the series in general) is epic. I can honestly say I really, really liked it, perhaps even loved it. However, it is not an adventure I would want to read again. It is just too damn depressing. And I’ll probably have Zombie filled dreams the next night I sleep. The world Ryan creates is so grim, so full of darkness and despair. Honestly, its awesome. It feels like you are watching a horror movie.
The book picks up with Gabry’s twin sister, Annah. What a broken character! At first, I thought Annah was sure to annoy the hell out of me with her constant complaints of her scars. But she quickly grew on me. Annah is a very strong, solid, female protagonist. Is she flawed? Sure. She is so used to depending on herself for everything, that she is afraid to let anyone get close to her. Throughout the novel, she learns that if she or her loved ones are going to make it, she has to learn to trust again.
Annah can not take a break in this novel. Ryan puts her through some pretty hellish situations that left me doing something like this: Or this: I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book. Nowhere was safe, not from the Zombies or the recruiters. Many times they all just wanted to give up. But really, who could blame them? Ryan brought up a very good question in this book: What is the difference from surviving and simply existing? What do you do when you only have a short time to live? Well, you LIVE. You continuing fighting, feeling, believing.
So, if you haven’t read this book or series…what are you waiting for?! The Return?!
One of the first questions I ask myself when I'm reading a dystopian novel is, "Could I ever live in this world?" I can easily answer no for Eve. I ca...more One of the first questions I ask myself when I'm reading a dystopian novel is, "Could I ever live in this world?" I can easily answer no for Eve. I can see this book having two distinctive effects on people: horrifying them and completely turning them off or intriguing them just enough to keep them reading. I'm happy to say I fell in the latter category.
Eve lives in a world that has been devastated by a deadly Plague leaving countless children orphans. As a result, the country is in disorder and the people, desperate for a solution, allowing one man to rule as king, whose ideals for rebuilding, prey on the most innocent members of society. Girls, or sows, are sent to Schools where they are taught men are evil and manipulative only to graduate and be forced to conceive child after child to help populate the world. Boys, on the other hand, are sent to labor camps where they work long hours, their innocence stolen before it even had time to begin. Eve learns these awful truths the day before she is set to graduate and she does what anyone in her situation would do. She runs.
Things I loved
The premise of the book is a disturbing one. Connecting with the minor characters was something I didn't expect would happen. I couldn't help but think of my own children as I read it. To think society would ever slip that far and abuse our children...it bothers me. It bothered me on the same level that the Hunger Games did with children battling it out to the death for adult entertainment. So, for that Eve kept me turning page after page because as a mother my heart broke for the kids in this book. There was one scene in the book were a little boy asks Eve what love is and she tells them:
"Love is just caring for someone very deeply. Feeling like that person matters to you, like your whole world would be sadder without them in it."
That was just very heartbreaking for me. For a 6-year-old not knowing what love is. Like I said, it bothers me. But not in the bad way where I would want to stop reading. Instead, in a way that made me stop and be very thankful for what I have in life.
The writing style was pretty good, in my opinion. I could even pick out a few quotes that I thought were lovely like this one:
The stream was the only hand that touched me, the wind the only breath that blew the dust from my eyes. I learned the strange art of loneliness, the weathered yearning that swells and passes, swells and passes, when you walk a trail alone.
I also really liked the love interest, Caleb. You know how the love interest always pulls the card where his controlling over protectiveness is romanticized as loving concern? I didn't find that here. Caleb was a sweet guy. He took care of Eve and her friend, Arden when they had nowhere to go. I could feel that he really cared for Eve. There is one part of the novel that spoke volumes about his character to me. Eve was staying with Caleb and a group of other "stray" boys and they were just about to go on a raid the guard’s outpost. Caleb doesn't think it's a good idea that she goes:
"What if I still want to go?" "Then you'll go," he said. "But I wanted you to know the danger."
That quote made me so happy because YES, let's tell the heroine of the danger, but YES, let her decide if she wants to proceed or not.
Things I disliked
I think we all saw this coming from me: The world building. Unfortunately, I had trouble with the believability that America could sink so low as to do away with democracy, liberty, and basic human rights in such a short amount of time. It's only been sixteen years and Americans have reverted to enslaving their children? No, just no. Furthermore, if the goal is to reproduce as fast as humanly possible, why aren't the adults (who live comfortably in the city) charged with having children? Why only the orphan girls? Not only that, but again, and this seems to be something I'm saying a lot lately, but what in the world are the rest of the human population doing?
Besides that sketchy world building, there was one big thing that I really disliked: Eve. Eve had exactly three "modes" in this book: 1)Saw dust for brains 2)Too stupid to live 3)Selfish. She goes through the novel making the worst decisions possible that either ended up getting someone else hurt or killed. I get that she was sheltered all her life and that perception of the real world had been tampered with, but why no common sense? Petting a wild bear is suicide. It does not in any way, shape, or form resemble Winnie the Pooh. It's time for a wild life lesson:
If you saw a grizzly in the woods, would you immediately think of this guy?
Maybe I'm missing something here. Do they look related to you? No? Not even distant cousins, twice removed? Now, I'm no expert, but to me it looks like one of these bears is about to rip a clueless girl a new one, while the other is only a danger to himself of overdosing on jars of honey. How does that saying go again? Oh, yeah. Eve was a few french fries short of a happy meal. At first, I gave her the benefit of the doubt, but she didn't seem to get any smarter as the novel wore on. For example, her relationship with Caleb. You all know how the YA romance goes. You've got to have something that breaks the couple up. Eve gets into an argument with Caleb about wanting to stay with him instead of traveling to Califia (the shelter). He reasonably tells her he would like that, but since the king is after her, she would be safer at the shelter. You know what Eve does? She throws a tantrum and calls him selfish. -_- And that is the scene I lost all my respect for her. It was frustrating! I just wanted her to use her brain just once! That's not really asking too much is it?
Yet, somehow I was able to enjoy this book. Again, mostly thanks to the minor characters and Caleb. The ending leaves us with a cliffhanger you knew was coming. Let's just say it left me angry and leave it at that. Even stranger is that I really do want to check out the sequel. Huh.
This is the first book I've read this year that grabbed me. And I mean it grabbed me. In fact, it's the first book that's going right on my "...more 4.5 stars
This is the first book I've read this year that grabbed me. And I mean it grabbed me. In fact, it's the first book that's going right on my "2012 favs" shelf. You know I'm picky and you know my bar is pretty high, but I LOVED this book. Lauren DeStefano stole my heart with her lyrical prose in Wither, but she took my breath away with Fever.
But before I start gushing uncontrollably about how much I loved this book, I feel I need to talk about this cover for a minute. I'm gonna be honest here and say that when I first saw this cover, I didn't exactly like it. In fact, my exact words were, "It looks awful. And why does her hair look like that? She looked so much better on the first cover. She looks like she is strung out on drugs. Total fail on this one. Smh." *Sigh* I really should stop judging a book by its cover because unlike some books where the cover is completely misleading *cough*The Shadow Reader*cough*, Fever's is very accurate. Every detail you see on that cover has something to do with the plot from the drugged facial expression and body position, to the tarot cards, right down to the color of the dress. Yes, yes. Someone read this book before the photo shoot (or at least given notes) and it SHOWS. Good job. Please, someone give that person a Klondike bar. So, while I do still love Wither's cover better, I take back the negatives I said last July.
Now that that's off my cheast, time for the review. Let gushing commence.
Fever picks up exactly where Wither left off. Gabriel and Rhine have escaped the mansion and Housemaster Vaughn and are attempting to make their way to New York city (or what's left of it) to find Rhine's twin brother, Rowen. Obviously, that's sounds more easy that what it is because they live in a world where their youth coupled with the virus makes them a target for prostitution, weird scientific experiments, and forced servitude. If you think it couldn't get any more disturbing than Cecily’s pregnancy in Wither, you were wrong. Right from the beginning Rhine and Gabriel stumble across one of these horrors at a sick and twisted carnival where the only fun to be had is dependent upon how much the "John" is willing to pay for. However, they quickly learn escaping that deadly playground is not their only problem because Vaughn is after Rhine and he will stop at nothing to get her back.
I'm not giving away any spoilers. So, if you clicked this review hoping for some details about what's going to happen next, guess what?
Does Rhine find Rowen? Does Vaughn catch up to Rhine? What happened to Cecily? Why is it called "Fever"? All of those questions I can't answer. You'll just have to read the book. But I will tell you what I LOVED about this book.
This is one of those books where you really can't predict what's going to happen next. That's mostly due to the fact that we didn't have a good idea of what the outside world was like in Wither. Well, in Fever you get a full blown dose of Rhine's reality. It is not pretty and it's grim. Rhine and Gabriel seem to go from one horrible thing to the next. I can't even decide which of them is worse. Scientific experiment or a drugged out prostitute? Which would you pick? I mean, jumping off a cliff would start to seem like the optimal choice. But somehow due to Rhine's determination and strength, they escape. Their journey to New York is not an easy one and it had me flipping through the pages needing to know what happened next. There is one part in the book that slows on you and at first I was wondering when it would pick back up, but when it did it just made me appreciate the down time. The plot twist hits you like a freight train.
The characters (old and new):
While staying at the Carnival of Horrors, or as I like call it "Cirque de Prostitute", we meet one of the best new characters in the series, Maddie. She is a brilliant child who is slightly malformed and a mute. Her characterization was genius and while it may seem like you should feel sorry for her handicaps, she doesn't need your pity. It's easy to say she was one of the reasons why I fell in love with this book. Maddie's mother, Lilac, a nineteen year old prostitute, also was a winner and her story breaks my heart.
Rhine is just as strong as ever. She's goes throughout most of the novel worried if she made the right decision to leave the mansion behind. She's a bit unsure of herself. But unlike other indecisive heroines, Rhine's indecision is understandable. At the mansion she had food, water, and the option to live the remainder of her years relatively comfortably. She gave that all away to be free, but she learns that freedom only goes but so far in her world and she feels terrible for dragging Gabriel into it. Rhine is a very relatable character. Determined, caring, rebellious, and stubborn. I loved her in Wither and I loved her even more in Fever.
Gabriel is one of those characters that, while I like him, I'm not sure how connected I felt to him. For the most part he relies on Rhine to navigate their cruel world and you can tell he really cares for her. However, I don't know how much I cared for him. Don't get me wrong. I don't want him to die or anything, but I think that is mostly for Rhine's sake not because I would miss him. I did appreciate his fierceness to protect Rhine in a world where it's impossible to make such promises.
Beautiful. Once again DeStefano mesmerized me with her prose. I feel like I want to paste my favorite quotes in this review, but there are so many. Not only that, but I don't know if they would sound as good as they do when you read the book. Rhine's narration just flows together in this book like one huge poem. And I worry that if quote it, it won't do the passage justice. But I'm going to try anyway. :)
"I should not have loved my daughter as I did. Not in this world in which nothing lives for long. You children are flies. You are roses. You multiply and die."
Everything that happened before feels like a million years ago now. This is the freedom I craved throughout my marriage. To share a bed not because of a wedding ring or a one-sided promise that was made for me, but because of desire. Inexplicable yet undeniable. I have never craved closeness like this for anyone else.
And my personal favorite out of the entire novel:
He kissed back, all the pages spread out around us like riddles waiting to be solved. Let them wait. Let my genes unravel, my hinges come loose. If my fate rests in the hands of a madman, let death come and bring its worse. I'll take the ruined craters of laboratories, the dead trees, this city with ashes in the oxygen, if it means freedom. I'd sooner die here than live a hundred years with wires in my veins.
Gah! I could live off of bread, water and pretty prose for the rest of my days. I just love it!
Whew. WOW. Jeez, man. That last third? OMG, horribly perfect. It's one of those endings where all the shit is hitting the fan and everything's going straight to hell first class faster than you can say "in a hand basket" and you're wondering how this book is supposed to end, that Rhine can't possibly escape this one. It blew me away and left me hanging! THAT DARN CLIFFHANGER!!!
Why, Lauren? Why did you do that to me? Between you and Cynthia Hand how am I supposed to survive until 2013?! Curses, curses, curses!
Recommendation: If you loved Wither or even just liked it, you will most likely enjoy Fever. If you didn't like Wither at all, you may like Fever a little better. *shrugs* Up to you folks!
Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author. Are these my honest opinions? Pfft...I can't believe you would even doubt me.