That's not a surprising thing to say with the plethora of YA dystopian material out there, choking bookshelves with societal opinions and theories...moreEh.
That's not a surprising thing to say with the plethora of YA dystopian material out there, choking bookshelves with societal opinions and theories. However, it isn't something I often say, as a person who loved dystopian novels and actually wants to write one herself.
(Yeah, yeah. I know. One more for the pile.)
The Maze Runner was maddening in its first-person perception. How one can relate with someone who only remembers bits and pieces and ends up being a two-dimensional character is beyond me, but I tried to give it a shot. (Hint: it didn't work.) When Thomas reflects, it doesn't carry the emotional punch it should if I actually knew anything about him other than his desire to run and his vague memory of things in the outside world. When Thomas tries to piece things together and goes in circles trying to remember, it drives me insane. Seriously, 20 pages into it I was about ready to throw the book against the wall unless I got some pertinent information.
(Yes, I'm serious.)
(Don't yell at me if you read below this and don't want spoilers.)
Why are all the youth coming up with a different language that is reminiscent of Lord of the Flies? There's a disconnect between the language they've magically come up with after two years even though they have a recollection of the language they've used on the outside and are supposed to all be geniuses (or genius hopefuls.) Yeah, that seems about right to me -- except it doesn't, because there's no need for it.
Did anyone else think you were reading a weird mash-up of Ender's Game, Lord of the Flies, and War of the Worlds? Just curious.
I, quite frankly, was irritated when they uncovered the reason for the world's downfall was sun flares. Really? REALLY? Sorry, Dashner. I was willing to give a pass to all the other weird sci-fi things (the weird portal in the maze was just begging for some sort of space-time continuum discussion) but I was irritated when I realized this was going all out as a post-apocalyptic zombie dystopian novel. BRAIIIIIINS...I guess it was a little funny, though, that the kids were so smart. Does it make the brains taste better?
I'm irritated because I want to know what happens in the rest of the series, which means I'm going to have to read the remainder of the books. I just like my dystopian a little less filled with sticky metallic Jabba the Hutt minions. (less)
Full disclosure: I read this because I got it as a Klout Perk. I had no knowledge of the Beautiful Disasters series prior to this, or any of the Maddo...moreFull disclosure: I read this because I got it as a Klout Perk. I had no knowledge of the Beautiful Disasters series prior to this, or any of the Maddox brothers the Internet seems to love more than bacon in the morning.
Extended full disclosure: I generally dislike romance novels, unless it's Twilight or any of the accompanying fanfiction. Hey, when I want to read trash, I go straight to the bottom for the good stuff.
All that being said...
Beautiful Oblivion started out strong. I define "strong" in this sense to mean "surprisingly enjoyable and not eyeball gouge inducing." It was amusing, and I was all set to be amused. How can you not be when the main character says things like, "I have a bad case of awkward as fk"?
I also enjoyed the lack of rampant sex. If I want to read that, I'll go to saucy fanfics or erotica. I don't want it in my beach reads. I also hate the word "loins" and some of the ridiculous things women write into romance novels (do we really want things like that? Do we? Bueller?)
I started to get annoyed by Trent's serious case of caveman syndrome. "You, woman. Me, pee on territory." Apparently having a man get so enraged by any male attention that veins stand out in his forehead is also attractive to women. Yeah, that's cool, and not even close to leaning into emotionally abusive.
But hey, it was all good, because around chapter 15 Cami started to unravel faster than a cheap rug at Walmart. I was lead to believe she had some issues going into it (who wouldn't, with a family like that?) but I was slightly confused by the unraveling that was brought on by...nothing?...and came on...without any preempting or lead-in. Suddenly I felt like I was in another story, and although an hour prior I was just enjoying the flirtations of two people enjoying tattoos and Chicken Joe's I now was in the middle of angst of the worst variety. Thanks for the slap in my face, beach read.
And then, near the ending point, the BIG SECRET comes out about T.J. Only it doesn't. It's just mentioned about 24283523 times in the last few chapters, as Cami is barreling towards her psychosis faster than a hillbilly over Niagara Falls. I think at what point I said, "what the actual hell" as I tried to figure out this BIG SECRET. And then the moment of truth came on the last page. I won't reveal the BIG SECRET, but what I will tell you is that the BIG SECRET was one of the bigger letdowns I've had. And this is coming from a woman who has been friendzoned several times.
All the clever lines, enjoyable reading, and for once, a somewhat strong female character in a beach read was all thrown aside in favor of some emotional pandering 3/4 of the way through the book. However, I will say this: it has better grammar than the fanfics, and it wasn't 50 Shades of Grey. I'll take it, but only because it was free. (less)
The entire Divergent series was a thought-provoking look into our ideals as a society and the issues we face.
Thought it was too sad? It's a dystopian...moreThe entire Divergent series was a thought-provoking look into our ideals as a society and the issues we face.
Thought it was too sad? It's a dystopian novel. Thought it was too preachy? Again, it's a dystopian novel. Not that either of those opinions are invalid, but one should be forewarned going into these things.
It seems like everyone and their dog (who magically became literate enough to have an opinion on this) is upset that Tris dies. I feel that, although it is a horrendously sad thing that happens, there is some poetic beauty within her sacrifice, in her coming to terms with things and choosing for herself rather than rashly doing it, in Four's grieving and then healing process. As a person who has suffered loss, I found it quite cathartic. (less)