Extras took me by surprise, because I thought it would center around Tally and her new fight to protect/save the world. Instead, we foc...moreRating: 3.5-ish
Extras took me by surprise, because I thought it would center around Tally and her new fight to protect/save the world. Instead, we focus on a new character: Aya.
Aya lives in a city that thrives on reputation that is given through how many people read someones kicks (stories). Aya is determined to be famous, no matter who she may have to scramble over in the end. So what happens when Aya is sworn to secrecy about a clique who discovers something that may change the world forever? And how much is Aya willing to risk in order to achieve her fame?
So no, this story does not center on Tally, although Tally and the old gang is in it. Although that disappointed me, it was still overall a good book, but I think this series may have been stronger with a little more of an epilogue after book 3 and no book 4 (but that also might just because I'm not a huge fan of Aya).(less)
Okay, so I suppose I can admit now that I'm slightly addicted to this series...
I didn't mean for it to happen, and I'm not even sure how it happened....moreOkay, so I suppose I can admit now that I'm slightly addicted to this series...
I didn't mean for it to happen, and I'm not even sure how it happened. There isn't any solid foundation that is pulling me towards the characters like for a lot of other books I love, but Tally just keeps finding herself getting re-wired over and over and over again and I just HAVE to know what happens. And what about David!? He's been my favorite since the beginning of the series...I need to know that he ends up right where I want him. So? Alas...three out of the four books in less than twenty-four hours and now I need to sleep...but, book four will be accomplished tomorrow.
Yes. Tally is now a Pretty. She is popular and completely adopting to the superficial hype of the pretties. But, she's met a new friend, Zane...moreBook TWO!
Yes. Tally is now a Pretty. She is popular and completely adopting to the superficial hype of the pretties. But, she's met a new friend, Zane (who you will LOVE). What becomes amazing is that Zane isn't like the other pretties; in fact, he has a secret. He is a Crim, but he is a Crim who has actually managed to evade the superficial vibe that takes over in New Pretty Time and find ways to stay bubbly all the time, and as such, stay much more alert and like himself. Once he manages to break through to Tally, they begin the fight from the inside that Tally had undertaken before.
Loved book two - so excited for book three. So much in this book in terms of plot and development, and a lot of cleverness. Fantastic. :)(less)
Two very strong thoughts passed through my head when I started this book. 1) Really? Pretties and uglies? Can you get anymore stereotypi...moreRating: 3.5 - 4
Two very strong thoughts passed through my head when I started this book. 1) Really? Pretties and uglies? Can you get anymore stereotypical? 2) What? Attraction? Psychology? This is evolutionary psychology! Scott Westerfeld is a nerd like me! This is what I have been studying the past four years of my life!
So alas, the fact this whole series is based on ideas from evolutionary psychology made me VERY excited in my combined geekdom of psychology and YA books.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book; I always admire stories, especially that take real facts and knowledge that we know, and show the extreme of what would happen if we completely focus on those ideas because yes people, this is possible. (As terrifying as it is).
This is definitely a series I see myself getting really into; the reason I didn't give it a higher rating is because: a) I really got into it but I didn't fall in love with it; b) I'm trying to be a more critical rater/review because I give out way too many high starrages (my new word pronounced "star-id-giz"), and c) Tally was really starting to bog me down with how much she lied; her teenage hormone-y things I could handle just fine, because they made sense, but the lying just really got to me by the end.
Really though, it is a great futuristic world where everyone is considered ugly in their natural state (I know, very depressing). When you turn sixteen, you get to be turned into a pretty; an operation that essentially transforms you into what evolution and psychology demonstrate we are attracted to (symmetrical face, small nose, pouty lips, arched eyebrows, etc). What we consider beautiful in this day and age, may be a not quite so terrible ugly in this world. But, as Tally approaches her birthday, things start to go a little off plan and she finds her long-time dream of becoming pretty threatened, and becoming pretty is all she has ever wanted in life.
This is the vanity of humanity multiplied; great book about beauty and what it means to be beautiful, and how our motivations towards appearance may destroy us.(less)
The City of Ember is a Middle Grade installment of the dystopian buzz that is overtaking YA. The City of Ember was a refuge for civilization that was...moreThe City of Ember is a Middle Grade installment of the dystopian buzz that is overtaking YA. The City of Ember was a refuge for civilization that was supposed to last 200 years. But now, the lights are starting to go out and panic is threatening to overtake the Major. Lina and Doon begin to catch on that something is going wrong, and think they can find a way to fix it; this story is their adventure to save their city and see what lays beyond the light that keeps their city alive.
Great story for middle readers; it reminds me a little of The Giver (except post-apocalyptic instead of Utopian) and Boxcar Children (adventure!).(less)
Those of you who know me or have read my previous reviews know that one thing I can't stand in YA lit is a love triangle - I don't unde...moreRating: 2.5 - 3
Those of you who know me or have read my previous reviews know that one thing I can't stand in YA lit is a love triangle - I don't understand why they have become the more common go-to symbol of drama. Now, what drove me a little nuts about this book was that not only did it have one, but it started with the first few pages. Now, normally, there is at least a little time, at least 1/3 of a book before boy B enters, but this one just started it right off the bat.
Because of this, I started off not attached to the characters; eventually, I became attached to Kieren and began to really like his part of the story. Waverly gave me trouble not just because of her immediate move to the who-do-I-like-more/I'm-betraying-him thing but also because her character's waving personality - I felt like her values and her characteristics weren't stable throughout the book. Seth's character, also gave me that questionable vibe and so by the end of the book I was completely confused on if I was supposed to like them or not, and if I actually did like them at all; they both seemed to be a collection of multiple types of people.
However critical I sound about the characters, I really did like the plot. Two large space ships are on their way to New Earth. When suddenly they come into contact despite the years that took place in the span of their launches, a civil war breaks out between the passengers of both ships. At first, fertility became a problem on the journey; nobody was able to reproduce which would have been a problem upon landing at New Earth. But somehow, Empyrean sovled the problem aboard their ship, and New Horizon didn't. It became a war of which ship would survive the next generation.
Although it may sound a little odd, the plot really does pick up and there is some interesting developments within the story. I'd describe it as Gone meets Across the Universe.(less)
It took me three trips to three different bookstores and a lot of wandering to find one that has this in stock. But I did! And it was very exciting, e...moreIt took me three trips to three different bookstores and a lot of wandering to find one that has this in stock. But I did! And it was very exciting, especially since I got the last one.
Dust & Decay begins about 6 months after Rot & Ruin ends, and the majority of the story focuses on a span of about 4 days. I liked Dust & Decay the same amount as Rot & Ruin but for different reasons.
The first book did a great job of setting up the characters, the world, and the moral dilemma regarding the elimination of the zoms. From the beginning of Rot & Ruin, we slip straight back into this world (although there is some summarizing, so if its been a while or you missed a few things, no worries). There are some new characters introduced in this book, but most of them are those we already know. Almost all of the new characters are bounty hunters, and their personalities range from ex-surfers who invented their on language full of "dude"s and "kahuna," and a "loner" who dresses like the nature around him and walks so quietly you'd think he was a tree. I absolutely loved these new characters and I think this was a big strength of this book.
Another note on characters, Benny's character grows a lot from the beginning of book one to the end of this book. His transformation is quite incredible and smooth flowing, and I think it was very well written.
Where the first book was more dialogue and a lot of laying-out-the-land, this book was much more action. Part five, in particular, called "Fun and Games" was absolutely amazing. This section reminded me somewhat of Blood Red Road by Moira Young, with a little tweak of a Hunger Games feel.
The plot in this book also picked up a lot. It still focuses on the socialization of the people in this post-apocalyptic world, but in a different way then the first. A large part of the first book was the specific relationship between the Imura brothers, but now we look at the wider interpersonal relationships between the bounty hunters (both good and bad) and the people that follow them. Very interesting.
And to one of the many unsung heroes, Laurent Linn, the book design is amazing. I kind of can't stop staring at the covers of this series even though I think they are very creepy (I especially like the book spine - great styling).(less)
Upon finishing Burn Bright, I took the time to look at the authors page and realized "She's Australian!" So, I ran into a little trouble getting my ha...moreUpon finishing Burn Bright, I took the time to look at the authors page and realized "She's Australian!" So, I ran into a little trouble getting my hands on this book because Amazon did not seem to like my location. But, the internet rewards those who read, in the end.
Although I think I liked the first novel in the series a little better, I still loved Angel Arias. I think Marianne de Pierres has a gift of combining the action, mystery, and YA appeal, while still keeping all the characters sane, involved, and full of integrity.
Three things I loved about this book:
1) Despite Retra's new predicament, Lenoir is still involved in this novel (who I disturbingly adore). All the characters are engaged and evolving, even as new ones come in and the story highlights some more than others. Very well done.
2) The plot thickens. Some questions are answered, but more arise, layering deceit upon corruption upon betrayal. Oh yes, it gets good.
3) I absolutely love love love Marianne de Pierres's approach to writing in terms of how her stories are organized near the end. Most authors use the traditional approach of mending a story after the climax. This is important for stand alone books especially, but also for series books. However, in a series, if you are so well concluded at the end and the climax was 100 pages before, then its not quite as excited. What Marianne does is she takes the climax up to the last page; you will still be on the highest point of adventure up to the very last word when you realize "Bullocks, the next page is About the Author". As much as I don't want to wait for the next book, I admit I'm hooked.(less)
There were fourteen kids on the bus that survived with Mrs. Wooly when the hailstorm ended, leaving the bus crashed by...moreRating: 2.5 - 3 (still debating)
There were fourteen kids on the bus that survived with Mrs. Wooly when the hailstorm ended, leaving the bus crashed by a superstore. When their teacher, leaves to get help, the kids, from kindergarten to twelfth grade, hold up in the store waiting for something to happen. When an earth quake hits and a major chemical weapons spill causes endless destruction, the kids are forced to seal themselves off from the world, and the world out from them. Now, they need to figure out how to survive on their own and deal with the reality that maybe nobody is coming to help them.
If you are a fan of Michael Grant's Gone series, you may very well enjoy this. Its got a little less action and violence, but the same struggle of kids trying to pull together to create their own, safe society. Monument 14 is a smaller scale version of Michael Grant's series (and also has a main character named Astrid), and follows the story of Dean, who is a silent (and very quirky) leader trying to hold the kids together. He has is strengths, as well as many weaknesses, and is in love with a girl who is not so interested.
I liked the story; there were some really well done scenes, but overall I wasn't as engaged in it as I was thinking I would be. The first 50(ish) pages of the story are upbeat and intense; a lot happens, including a crash, the hailstorm, the earthquake, and the chemical spill. After that, and for the large majority of the remaining pages, the story moves quite a bit slower. The kids argue, and some rebel, as leaders are chosen, duties are assigned, and some kids go AWOL. The middle of the book consists of chapters called "Rum," "I meet Pain Killers," and "We Get High;" I think the titles are pretty self-explanatory.
I was a little disapointed that so much of the story was spent on the main character tasting beer, taking drugs, and watching the jock of the group get naked with Astrid. There was a jerk, a jock, a nerd, a 13 year old seductress, etc... In short, they were the stereotypical motley crew of teenagers (with a couple of cute elementary school kids) that sort of tried to resemble The Breakfast Club but with less success.
The plot isn't very complex and so in some ways I feel that its catered more to the younger side of the YA readers. HOWEVER I do not think this is an appropriate read for younger readers because there are a few scenes/concepts that are a little more racy (even though they seem a little out of the blue, considering the tone of the rest of the story); the main two of these being: (view spoiler)[There is an "almost" sex scene where Astrid takes off her clothes, Jake names/talks to her breasts, and they almost have sex but he is unable to keep his erection (meanwhile, Dean is watching all of this happen). Later there is a scene that implies one of the adults who comes is having sex with Sasha, who is 13, as she is found on top of him and they are almost completely naked. (hide spoiler)] The implications of these two scenes seemed to be trying to give this generally younger-teen story a young adult "sexy" twist, but I think the two extremes were a little much, and, as another review pointed out, it wasn't as pleasant or "attractive" as some other young adult romance scenes, but rather a little strange and even awkward.
The ending was kind of out of nowhere, and I'm not sure where its going to go in the rest of the series; it left off in a way that I think some of its potential was deteriorated. If the next book is from a different perspective, I think it could be more interesting, but if it follows the same character, it may also be somewhat slow paced again.
This being said, I did buy the book, and I plan on going to see the author to hear her speak; I liked the book, it just wasn't particularly great. I realize the review sounds overly negative because of the things I ended up pointing out, but my feelings towards this book are mostly neutral.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Sword fights, cannons, teleportation devices, Vishnu, walking on walls...what more can you ask for?
Suffice to say, this book has a lot of action, and...moreSword fights, cannons, teleportation devices, Vishnu, walking on walls...what more can you ask for?
Suffice to say, this book has a lot of action, and I loved it. It was much more addicting than book two, and I'm not sure how I feel about it in comparison with book one.
This book switches for the perspectives of Four, Six, and Seven. At first I wasn't sure why, but by the time you get to the end, you will understand and be amazed (oh yes, it is quite awesome). And yes, huge cliff hanger for the ending.
So...what should you be excited for?
1. Number eight. He's kind of awesome. Be excited.
2. Several battles.
3. More legacies. Because honesty, super powers? Yes.
4. Several revealings as to the overall plot.
5. Some underlying love stories. Yes I said some. And yes, I acknowledge that is plural. Excited yet?(less)
Oh Warner. Yes, he is supposed to be the bad guy - he is the one who restricted Juliette, who was incredibly creepy, and who seemed to have no ounce o...moreOh Warner. Yes, he is supposed to be the bad guy - he is the one who restricted Juliette, who was incredibly creepy, and who seemed to have no ounce of humanity.
Now, Warner is much more. Destroy Me is Warner's perspective after Juliette has escaped, and begins just after Warner is shot. This is the story of the repercussions he has to deal with, and his own demands who are driving him to madness. He might be psychotic, but he's still quite love-able.
Definitely recommended to fans of the first book - it might be able to tie us over to February when book two comes out.(less)