I can't even begin to explain all of the feelings that I experienced while reading Unw...moreMore of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration
I can't even begin to explain all of the feelings that I experienced while reading Unwind. The reality of this desolate world grabbed hold of my heart and wouldn't let go. Neal Shusterman has created an intense story about the horrors of humanity and the lengths people go to in order to survive. I'm still amazed by how real Shusterman's world was to me; I felt as if I was the one being sentenced to unwinding. The idea of unwinding is something I can't even fathom. That someone would sign their child's life away just for causing a bit of trouble astounds me. Unwind approaches the ideas od pro-life and pro-choice with a refreshing and horrifying outlook that will most assuredly have you laughing, crying, and cringing.
The characters were all incredibly real, and they immediately appealed to my emotions. Connor is a leader who has never been given the chance to lead and is sentenced to being unwound by a family who never truly loved him. Risa is a ward of the state who's talented and brilliant, but never had anyone to love her. And Lev has known he was going to be unwound from birth as a sacred sacrifice to God. Even if no one shared their love with these kids, I grew to love all of them. Despite their flaws they were born to be great. We all know what it feels like to have our parents disappointed in us, but to have someone believe so little in you that they choose to let you die is just unnerving. All children in Shusterman's world have to carry the weight of being perfect, or else.
Shusterman's writing is just perfection. I found myself bookmarking several quotes that just tore at my emotions. He understands how to weave the elegance of poetry into prose in order to pull emotions out of the reader. I could barely put this book down because there was always something happening that held my attention until I could barely keep my eyes open. It's no surprise that UnWholly has been so many years in the making, especially when it has to follow something as gorgeous as this. Even the most gruesome parts were beautifully executed. By the end I was left completely satisfied and blubbering like a baby. Even in a world so overly dominated by dystopian novels, Unwind is still refreshing and original.
If you're like me and you still haven't picked up a copy of Unwind after all these years, make sure you get on it. Unwind will have your pulse racing and your heart breaking, but you won't be able to put it down. Even after all these years it still remains original and utterly brilliant. Shusterman's ability to pull you into a story so completely is amazing. Fans of Uglies and The Hunger Games won't be able to resist Unwind. (less)
I just can't get enough of Hartley Grace Featherstone! That girl has me in stitches! G...moreMore of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration
I just can't get enough of Hartley Grace Featherstone! That girl has me in stitches! Gemma Halliday's novels are so fantastically written and her ability to understand the complicated minds of teenagers is just a thrill! Also, it doesn't hurt that Hartley allegedly lives in Lost Gatos, which is about 10 minutes away from my home town. I love that I can personally connect with this story! Social Suicide is a laugh a minute investigation into the Twittercide of one of Hartley's classmates and I loved every page of it!
As always, I loved the characters in Halliday's story! Hartley is such a smart and go-get-it kind of girl! She doesn't let anyone tell her "no" and she works so hard to do the right thing. If I was back in high school I would definitely want a friend like her around! Chase, as always, is totally swoon-worthy. I always go for the bad boys and he is SUCH a bad boy, I was drooling all over him the entire time I was reading Social Suicide! Seriously, could that boy BE any hotter? And him and Hartley are just so great together, and I love how slow and realistic the romance is. All of the characters are really well written, and I can definitely imagine myself hanging out with all of them in high school.
The writing is just fantastic, as always. Gemma Halliday's writing tends to be witty, sarcastic, and hilarious which are three things that I love most. I tend to forget that I'm reading a book written by an adult, because Hartley's actions and thoughts are just so genuinely teenage. The fact that the story is set in the Bay Area also makes things so wonderful for me to read about. At one point, Hartley was even standing in my old work place! When she talks about Oak Meadow park and the little train station that's there? Yeah, I worked there. MADE MY LIFE. I just absolutely adore Gemma Halliday and I can't WAIT to see what she's coming out with next.
When I first read Deadly Cool I knew that Social Suicide was going to be a new favorite! I adore Gemma Halliday's writing style, and her ability to draw me into a story, if only for a short time, is wonderful. Social Suicide was hilarious, thrilling, and exciting all in one! Although, the ending was a bit predictable, I enjoyed the story and I was definitely guessing about who the killer was going to be multiple times. I can't wait to see what Gemma Halliday comes up with next! Fans of Clarity will definitely enjoy this one!(less)
Scorch Trials picks up, literally, where The Maze Runner leaves off and there is no lack of...moreMore reviews can be found on my blog, Literary Exploration
Scorch Trials picks up, literally, where The Maze Runner leaves off and there is no lack of excitement!!! I've been staring at my computer screen for about an hour now, contemplating what I want to say about Scorch Trials and I still don't have any idea. This book absolutely blew me away! Typically, I don't expect much from sequels. They're usually a little boring and the only purpose they serve is to build a bridge between the first and last books. However, Scorch Trials was like a completely different book!! Also, there was just enough romance to keep my attention on that situation.
The same group of Gladers is on yet another trial in The Scorch, a wasteland completely burned by the sun flares, and there is no lack of adventure!! I honestly felt like I was reading a completely different book! Thomas is his same old self, always jumping in to save his friends and quick on his feet whenever the Gladers are threatened. Minho and Newt provide the same tension and comic relief as can be expected. We also meet some new characters who were a lot of fun to read about as well! Teresa isn't as involved in this story, and I'm honestly still confused by that relationship; I don't really know how I feel about her anymore!
The whole story is incredibly fast-paced and so much happens that I was never bored or even wanted to put the book down! It isn't often that I completely immerse myself in a book so much that I forget everything else around me, but with Scorch Trials I found myself so into the story that hours went by without me even realizing! Everything that happens is just such a "WTF" moment, that I ended up annoying a lot of people with my constant gasping about the situations that occur. I'm still not sure what to think about everything that happened, or what to believe even!!
Dashner continues to amaze me with his fantastic writing style and completely relatable characters. Reading Scorch Trials was another goose bump filled experience, and I'm still thinking about all of the crazy things that happened! I can't wait to get my hands on Death Cure, I need to know what's going to happen to Thomas and the Gladers!!! If you haven't read The Maze Runner yet, you definitely need to. This series is amazing, definitely one of the best dystopian series around!! (If you couldn't tell by the massive amount of exclamation marks, I really loved this book!!!!)(less)
I finished Mara Dyer the other day and I'm still reeling over what happened! That book is...moreMy original review is posted on my blog, Literary Exploration
I finished Mara Dyer the other day and I'm still reeling over what happened! That book is a total mind bender! For one, the first page literally says "Mara isn't my real name" WHAT?! WHAT IS YOUR REAL NAME?! This first page sets the tone for the rest of the book. Hodkin did a fabulous job of keeping me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book, having me rethink what was going on and questioning everything. I'm having a hard time finding words to describe just how awesome this book really was. I can honestly say I've never read anything like it, and I'm amazed by the way Hodkin grabbed me right from the beginning.
Mara is really a crazy character. Not because she actually is crazy, although she might be? I just don't know. She just has so much depth to her, there's a lot of character building that goes into Mara which made me connect with her really well. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is from Mara's point of view, so when she's seeing things, all the reader gets is her reaction to these "hallucinations" so you can never really tell what's real and what's not. It's amazing. And then there's Noah Shaw... *sigh*. He's really the best kind of male character I've ever read. His dreaminess far surpasses that of Patch or even Damon. I wanted to jump into the book and have him all to myself! Not only is he the mysterious bad boy, but he's also such a sweetie.
The writing in Mara Dyer is superb. Hodkin does a fantastic job, it's hard to tell this is her first novel. Everything flows really well, the characters are excellently built, there's so much going on but nothing is too confusing. Although things do get confusing, but in a good way. I haven't read a book that's made me scream out loud in a LONG time (if ever). I had a hard time putting Mara Dyer down for long periods of time, because the book moves so fast and I always had to know what was going to happen next.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is one of those rare gems that doesn't really compare to anything else. I always like to compare the books I read to those that I've already read, in order to give people a better understanding of what the book will be like, but Mara Dyer seems to be like nothing I've ever read before. Maybe there's something out there to compare it to, but I felt like it was incredibly original. If you haven't read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer yet, you really should. It's probably the best book I've read all year, and I've read some of the greats. Go read this RIGHT NOW.(less)
As a lover of both Margaret Atwood and dystopian fiction, The Year of the Flood is one of my most favorite books of all time. This is really a true im...moreAs a lover of both Margaret Atwood and dystopian fiction, The Year of the Flood is one of my most favorite books of all time. This is really a true imagining of what our future holds and it's both horrifying and breath-taking. Love it!(less)
I definitely liked Extras, but I'm not sure if I liked it as much as the others, or if I liked it as sort of a separate story. The lack of Tally sort...moreI definitely liked Extras, but I'm not sure if I liked it as much as the others, or if I liked it as sort of a separate story. The lack of Tally sort of annoys me, she is, after all, the character that makes you fall in love with Uglies in the first place. Aya, however, is a pretty strong character, although a little confused about where her place in society should be. She's so obsessed with fame, she loses focus of the more important things in life. The romance is cute, the story is exciting, but the ending is sort of weird.
I'm not sure Extras was really necessary as part of the Uglies series, but was sort of an add on or an afterthought. Overall, I liked it, but it wasn't my favorite.(less)
While I loved the first two books in the trilogy, Specials didn't excite me as much as. There were definitely some twists and turns and I read it pret...moreWhile I loved the first two books in the trilogy, Specials didn't excite me as much as. There were definitely some twists and turns and I read it pretty quickly, but there wasn't the same sense of excitement and conspiracy as the first book held. Overall I really enjoyed them as a whole.(less)
UGH. Want to finish this series NOW. Seriously the character development going on is totally bubbly-making. Tally's growth is so wonderful to watch, a...moreUGH. Want to finish this series NOW. Seriously the character development going on is totally bubbly-making. Tally's growth is so wonderful to watch, and the ending... :O!(less)
I have to admit, I've never been a big fan of zombie books, but Dearly, Departed has definitely changed my mind! At first I was a little weirded out by the idea of a romance between a human and a zombie, but Habel did a great job conveying the relationship between Bram and Nora, and after a while I forgot about Bram being a zombie at all! Habel's writing is elegant and descriptive, and the images she paints are just horrifying! I loved it!!! One of the larger issues I have is the fact that it's written between 5 alternating perspectives, which just seems like overkill to me. I would have liked to have only 2 or 3.
I absolutely loved Nora, she's such a strong female character, and she's always ready to jump into the thick of things. She's a total bad ass, and I love how accepting she is of all the zombies after she gets to know them. Her relationship with Bram is kind of strange, I mean... he's dead.. but they're just so cute I ended up forgetting about the weirdness. Nora's friend Pamela was incredibly annoying at first; all she seemed to care about was boys, status, and her wardrobe. I figured she was the typical, shallow and selfish YA bff, but once the zombies started attacking the city she completely changed! She was fighting and destroying the zombies as well as Nora would have!
The story itself is really original. The idea of zombies reanimating, only to be completely normal and not bloodthirsty monsters is incredible! The descriptions of some of the "nice" zombies were still pretty brutal. Missing limbs, torn jaws, burnt skin - it was pretty gruesome! I even remember reading some parts out to my friends at work, the images were so descriptive I could actually see them in my mind! Habel's writing is definitely amazing, and I would love to read anything by her!
Overall, this book was a kick-ass-romantic-zombie-horror story... yes, all of those things rolled into one! I definitely enjoyed the story, although the multiple perspectives got a little old, I think it would have been better if the story was just written between Nora and Bram, but I got over it. I recommend this one to anyone who loves a good romance, an apocalyptic zombie story, or an action packed adventure! Dearly, Departed did not disappoint!
* I received an e-copy of this book for review purposes. All ideas and opinions are my own and I did not receive any compensation for my review.(less)
Wow! Wither was just so amazing I read it in two days. It was original, interesting, exciting, creepy, heartbreaking and exhilarating all at the same...moreWow! Wither was just so amazing I read it in two days. It was original, interesting, exciting, creepy, heartbreaking and exhilarating all at the same time! The characters are beautifully crafted, especially Rhine and her sister wives. I fell in love with all three girls at once, relishing in their bond. Linden is someone you just feel sorry for and I think I fell for Gabriel within minutes. Overall this story is something I could read over and over again, never getting bored of the dystopian world created by Lauren DeStefano. I loved it!(less)
I really really liked Bumped. The first 50 pages or so were sort of confusing because a lot of abbreviations and such were used to explain certain thi...moreI really really liked Bumped. The first 50 pages or so were sort of confusing because a lot of abbreviations and such were used to explain certain things (i.e. RePro [Reproductive Professional]) but they explain everything later once Harmony starts asking questions. The love stories are really great, and it's exciting to see the sisters (Melody and Harmony) grow as women. This story is somewhat similar to Matched with the ideas of teen pregnancy and overzealous Christians thrown in. I definitely found myself getting emotional during the ending :) Can't wait for the next one!(less)
Amazing story from an amazing point of view. Lovers of "The Giver" and "The Hunger Games" will love "Matched". The story is very similar to a modern d...moreAmazing story from an amazing point of view. Lovers of "The Giver" and "The Hunger Games" will love "Matched". The story is very similar to a modern day "Giver" while including Cassia's rebellious nature and coming of age, much like Katniss. A great story of the importance of individuality and the importance of choice. Wonderful. I finished it in one day!(less)
Well I absolutely loved Matched and this is a great sequel to it. Some parts are kind...moreThis review was first published on my blog, Literary Exploration
Well I absolutely loved Matched and this is a great sequel to it. Some parts are kind of slow, and there are a lot of flashbacks, but overall I'm really happy with it. I've been awaiting this addition to the Matched trilogy for so long, I just about died when I finally got my hands on it! I love that it's written in alternating POVs (one of my faves if you know me!!) between Cassia and Ky. It really gave me great insight into Ky and who he is and what drives him.
Cassia is definitely a different character from Matched, she's a lot more mature and a stronger woman in general. She always knows what she wants and what she needs to to do survive and eventually find her way to Ky. I really admired her, although she makes a couple decisions that were pretty stupid. Ky is Ky. It was nice to learn more about him, and what makes him tick, but I felt like he wasn't as exciting as I needed him to be. I have an insane love for bad boys, but that just isn't Ky. I wish we had more face time with Xander because I think I've switched teams.
The writing seems more elegant and mature in Crossed, which I felt was appropriate because the mood definitely changes into one that's a lot more mature. There's a lot of death and destruction in the novel, and some more mature themes are introduced. Plus the way Cassia's grown is sort of displayed through the writing.
I'm still a little confused about some things though. Like, who is the enemy? Who is the Society? Who is involved in The Rising? Hopefully some of these questions will be answered in the final book, but I'm a bit confused right now. Also, I'm still wondering what an Aberration is? And an Anomaly? I don't really understand those terms very well, maybe I just missed something? Oh well..
Overall, I really enjoyed Crossed but I feel like it was a bridge novel between Matched and the final one in the trilogy. I felt like I didn't get much information out of it, but it set up the last novel really well. If you loved Matched you're definitely going to enjoy Crossed and if you haven't read either, then you better get your hands on them!!(less)
Can someone tell me why it took so long to read this book??? Seriously, I have been missing out!!! The Maze Runner was seriously amazing, and I'm really disappointed in myself for wasting so much time NOT reading it!! The end of every chapter is like a mini-cliff hanger that had me up way too late at night reading so I could find out what was happening!
The characters are all pretty hilarious. Thomas, the protagonist, is definitely a go-getter. Although he doesn't know what's going on, he won't take no for an answer. He breaks all the right rules and doesn't waste time thinking, he just does. Minho and Newt are great characters as well. They're both really sarcastic and pretty funny, but they definitely realize what they have in Thomas.
The story is AWESOME. Seriously, I don't have a single negative thing to say about it!! I couldn't stop reading, and although I was constantly thinking, "WTF is going on here?!" I had permanent goosebumps while I was reading! There are so many things going on, and Dashner is always throwing in different twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat! I'm really impressed with the way he writes, and although it took a little bit to get used to the weird language the Gladers use, like shuck-face and shank, I actually started using the words with my friend who has also read the books!
I definitely recommend The Maze Runner to anyone and everyone!! I think anyone who likes action, adventure, dystopian, mysteries, hell anything! If you like ANYTHING you will like this book!! I have to admit though, I was bawling like a baby by the end! Some seriously sad stuff happens, but I'll leave you with that... I recommend EVERYONE should read this book, literally everyone. Even boys who don't like to read much will love this one!! And yes, I say boys because most of the boys I know don't read. So go pick up a copy of this one NOW!(less)
Great read! I couldn't put this book down, I read it in 2 days. Awesome story line and packed with action! Perfect if you like action, fantasy and rom...moreGreat read! I couldn't put this book down, I read it in 2 days. Awesome story line and packed with action! Perfect if you like action, fantasy and romance. I would recommend this to all my friends!(less)
WOW. I was hooked with this one right from the beginning. I love Beatrice's character so much, and everything she did just made me want to be more lik...moreWOW. I was hooked with this one right from the beginning. I love Beatrice's character so much, and everything she did just made me want to be more like her. She's such a wonderful female role model and I love that she makes her own choices and doesn't just do what other people tell her to. The story itself is fantastic, somewhat reminiscent of The Hunger Games and The Uglies which are definitely in my top favorites, so I was drawn to everything in this story right away. It's an interesting take on a dystopian North America, and everything about it just sucks you in. I laughed, I cried, I couldn't put it down. If you don't read anything else this summer, read Divergent.
Oh, and the romance is just tear-jerking but not disgustingly sappy which I loved!(less)