Firstly, just like Divergent, I had to revise this review as I had preemptively decided it’s fate. But this was, of course, post-Shusterman so I was dFirstly, just like Divergent, I had to revise this review as I had preemptively decided it’s fate. But this was, of course, post-Shusterman so I was dissatisfied with the world. This is my review after I had mulled the book over and re-read some parts.
Genre: Teen, dystopian, plague, Les Miserables, caste, class system, military, war, biological warfare, romance, rebellion, media.
Sentence: I sentence Marie Lu to an Avatar: The Last Airbender marathon with me. x’D
Review: So basically my previous review said NOTHING useful. I suspect I was in lala land and didn’t really think about what I had to say. But this book deserves so much better, because, hey, it was fucking good.
June, the heroine is bad ass and clever, but a little spoiled (with the ability to see things from other perspectives) and Day is just…well, Day.
(view spoiler)[This story has so much potential because a) things DO happen. I know I said they talk about “things” happening, but they actually follow through. Not only does June (wo)man up; she also manages to break Day out of his executioning.
And b) like I said before, the author does not hide the gory reality from the reader. People die-young, old, cripple, girls and guys. She introduces us to another form of mass genocide, through genetic and disease testing (see Eugenics and improving the human race).
So much of Legend parallels the realities of yesterday, today and tomorrow (but with more extremes in poverty within the region and such, as well as military) that I feel transported into Marie Lu’s world.
But here are my points of issue:
1. Everyone around June and Day seem to be dying. I’m not sure if this is a convenience thing for the story and plot or if it’s actually a hindrance to them.
2. Clearly Metias was killed by his buddy, insane-sociopath-that’s-into-younger-girls. He shows no remorse for killing and following orders blindly (if it means he gets to hurt someone). For being clever, June catches on a little late and isn’t careful of him when it matters the most. Also, it’s just weird that he’s into her when he’s her brother’s age. Seriously. As for her…is it not just a little crush? Oh god, now that goddamn Jennifer Paige song is stuck in my head.
3. Where the hell are they going again? To some rebel alliance thing (yay, Star Wars)? Oh wait, the colonies, right? I got caught up in Day’s brother being fucking killed, what!? Sorry.
You know that’s (seeking allegiance) not going to work out the way they plan. They’ll probably be split up. And then I’ll be worrying the entire second book whether they’ll be reunited. Jesus, I’m still pissed about Crossed by Ally Condie, haha.
4. I need me some more history. Please. The Republic and the Colonies. It probably makes for a great fucking story. Tell it.
But I love the alternate POVs and hope to see more of that later (perhaps with other characters as well). Also, I’m glad it didn’t end in the most ridiculous sort of cliffhanger ever. For that, Marie, you have my utter, heartfelt adoration. I hate when books use cliffhangers to keep people hooked to the series. They can keep us hooked by writing well. (hide spoiler)]
BUT SRSLY, AVATAR NAO? And then we can eventually watch Korra (the new Avatar spin-off) later.
I highly recommend this book. ‘Nuff said. I’ve also sold a shit-ton of copies (or tried to). LOL....more
I highly recommend reading the Acknowledgements. I really love what Pierce Brown comes to the realization in the book. I love how takes (view spoiler)I highly recommend reading the Acknowledgements. I really love what Pierce Brown comes to the realization in the book. I love how takes (view spoiler)[control and sole focus away from Darrow and makes it about everyone else. There were not nearly as many surprises (I knew Brown's game this time), but it was good. The very question that always bothers me at the end of a good revolution series or rebellion story is "what happens after?" Brown doesn't bog us down in an epilogue of "20 years later" or some shit. He gives a sample of happiness. Of freedom. Of rebuilding. (hide spoiler)] And maybe that's all we can hope for, for now. Well done, Brown....more
First of all, I'm going to say that this book is not my usual cup of tea. I really do like reading some true crime and I also really love teen fictionFirst of all, I'm going to say that this book is not my usual cup of tea. I really do like reading some true crime and I also really love teen fiction; so the combo of the two appealed to me. It was written, much as I had expected, with the detail of a true crime novel. Little facts here or details of a certain nail polish colour that makes everything feel so eerily real, like it could happen to you.
The story revolves around the apparent suicide of one Katelyn Berkeley, who was (possibly) cyber-bullied to her fate of electrocution via espresso machine.
Now, twin-teen fiction seems to be getting more and more popular, which is fascinating and everything, but in this case I found that reading about Hay-Tay's perspectives was a little boring. Sure, they're psychic or something like that and can somewhat "feel" the dead's messages, but it's not like I haven't read about that before. Albeit, it usually involves finding a dead body or using a dead body to touch on the person's last thoughts before death or something...
(view spoiler)[There is also just too much going on in this story. I understand that people can be somewhat complicated and that this is also an intro to the series, but seriously, can we focus on one thing please?! With talk of the ten year anniversary for the bus-accident-incident that the twins happened to be involved with, as well as Katelyn; and the alleged suicide of Katelyn; we as readers already have much to cope with. I thought this was supposed to be a small town where practically nothing happened.
And then you're smacked, in the face, with the fact that something terrible happened to Colton's mother, Shania; and she had some secret pact with the twins' mother so she killed the reporter, Moira, to protect them. And of course there was a serial killer like Ted Bundy who murdered Savannah's sister, Serena. Not to mention there is something really dark and creepy going on with all this psychic crap surrounding the twins.
The twins' parents are lying; Shania's been hiding things; Colton is oddly calm about all this; Starla gets away with being a cold, hard bitch; and there is still someone super creepy, dark and evil in the town (at Katelyn's funeral and thought she deserved what she got) who was lurking/watching the proceedings of some of the happenings in this book. (hide spoiler)]
I am so confused I want to curl up in a ball and forget everything. Did I mention that the little sneak-peak for the second book, Betrayal, is not helping my mind's state of serious unrest?
Gregg Olsen, I sentence you to a life of colour-blindness in a store packed with OPI nailpolish. Only then will you understand my confusion.
Nevertheless, I will still continue with the Empty Coffin series....more
I think I should be honest that I am partial to werewolf stories, especially if "real" politics are involved. Also, the spoilers are bound to be endleI think I should be honest that I am partial to werewolf stories, especially if "real" politics are involved. Also, the spoilers are bound to be endless.
Keywords: Werewolves, shapeshifting, murder, best friends, love triangles, dead parents, teen, depressing, ghosts, dreams, typical young adult.
Sentence: I sentence Kathleen Peacock to a prophetic, teenage dream every morning, where everyone she knows turns into a werewolf and is in love with her.
Review: Basically I liked this enough to stay up all night reading it, but it was more of a resigned "let's get this over with" read. There was nothing really wrong with this book. Like I said in my recommendations, this book will appeal to people that are big on teenage drama, junk supernatural, with that twist of not-really-clever mystery. And, to be honest, I fall under all those categories (when I'm really bored). For that, I gave Hemlock three solid stars.
Besides, Peacock is one of the better YA authors I have read in awhile. Her articulation is spot on and she doesn't get attached to words she does not know how to correctly use.
That being said, the inconsistencies are way too noticeable. Here's a small example:
"Tess slid out of the boot and dropped a couple of bills on the table, even though she'd barely touched her food." (p.14)
And then, on the same frakking page:
"I glanced down at the empty salad bowl and scooped up the crumpled bills." (p.14)
Light editing is all it takes, my friend. I started to over-think the missing salad situation, wondering if it would make a come back later in the book and be explained. Like maybe Ben was secretly eating people's leftovers because he's really poor or something. I convinced myself it was too simple of an inconsistency to be made on the same goddamn page. It had to be a salad-stealing werewolf, right? Or the ghost of Amy--maybe Amy really was a ghost and little clues like this would be left behind. (view spoiler)[She is not a ghost. Just a dream or figment of Mac's nightmares. (hide spoiler)]
But do not be fooled as easily as I was, by my over-active imagination. A mistake is just a mistake sometimes.
There was one particular inconsistency that made me literally rip a bit of my hair out. I would like to think it was actually Mac's stubbornness and disability in recognizing her deteriorating emotional state.
"I hated crying in front of other people." (p.5) She says this, but that doesn't mean she does not cry at all (which I noted down). But it's like the people she knows don't see when she's in distress, even if she walks away, shaking and trying not to cry (p.57).
"It's like you don't care she's dead..." (p.78) How dumb is this Jason kid?
"Tears blurred my vision..." (p.79)
"Tears and snot ran down my face." (p.93) Attractive, but awesome since she's legit in danger.
"Tears streamed down my face." (p.97)
"My vision blurred and I closed my eyes. I would not cry in front of him." (p.121)
"My eyes filled with tears...it wasn't fair to cry...sight of crying girl was scarier than anything that had happened" (p.138-9).
"I cried like my heart was breaking." (p.151)
"A tear slid down my cheek..." (p.172)
"My vision blurred." (p.182)
"Tears filled my eyes and spilled over...For once I wanted someone to see me cry." (p.223)
"I wiped my eyes with the sleeve of my jacket." (p.253)
"You're still crying," (p.267)
"I realized I was crying." (p.290)
"Tears filled my eyes..." (p.300)
"My eyes with tears so hot they burned." (p.302)
"I closed my eyes and tears leaked out from under my lids." (p.303)
"And then I was crying--so hard and so fast that it hurt." (p.305)
"My eyes filled with tears." (p.323-4)
"I swallowed and blinked away tears." (p.363)
"I bit my lip and blinked away tears." (p.393)
"I didn't want to explain to ess why I was crying." (p.396)
"The tears coursing down my cheeks..." (p.396)
I think it's fair to say that Mac cries a lot. Not sure about pre-Amy's death, but post-Amy's death all she can talk about is crying and trying not to cry, which makes you really notice when she's crying.
(view spoiler)[It also turns out that almost everyone in Hemlock is a frakking werewolf. I wouldn't be surprised, if by the end, Mac and Jason end up being werewolves too. Or Tess. At this rate, the whole world will be infested with werewolves faster than herpes at this shady club on my favourite street. (hide spoiler)]
You know what I love about this author? She doesn't pretend she has never read a book in her life. She acknowledges that ideas and images come from somewhere, especially popular literature. She mentions Harry Potter, references Judy Blume and doesn't shy away from using an Outsiders-like geographical standard of living and separation (different sides of the river instead, p.17).
Hemlock is a combination of all the things you could love and hate about young adult stuff. It starts off with that typical, life-endangering dream. Hemlock, turns into what appears to be a combination of Bon Temps (Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris) and Morganville (Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine); little town dealing with worldwide, supernatural problems. Much of the politics and bills being passed reminded me more of the show True Blood. The Trackers, on the other hand, felt like an exact replica of the Hunters from Teen Wolf or I suppose from one of those L. J. Smith series', except they all seem to be bad guys or in over their heads. There appear to be no Buffy-like slayers/hunters. Where's a bad-ass girl when you need one?
Anyway, so our weak little Mac has her dead best friend trying to help her solve mysteries (this is, of course, Mac's subconscious trying to "help" her), which is reminiscent of early Veronica Mars and Lilly (Amanda Seyfried) prancing around keeping dangerous secrets that need to be pried from her cold, dead fingers.
It had just about as much romantic (and otherwise) drama as Veronica Mars. One second it's all about the platonic-ness of everyone and then suddenly (view spoiler)[Kyle is glued to her lips, then tosses her aside and then picks her up again and tells Mackenzie (not Mac anymore) he loves her. Jason finally admits to loving her "ever since Christmas last year" and Mac is all like "OMG, everything is my fault. Amy probs hated me before she died, because the world revolves around what people think of me, even though I can't seem to figure it all out on my own and have to be spoon-fed emotions I should understand." (hide spoiler)]
And then I was like:
Basically this book could only illicit one emotion from me: mild amusement. It was like trying to watch this ginger kid eat ice cream.
But actually, the mild amusement led to mild enjoyment. So yeah, read it or something, while I watch this kid eat ice cream like a boss.
Also, my favourite: "Without thinking, I hurled my book at his chest." (p. 164) That's exactly what every good teen book needs. A little bit of hurling of objects and books so that you can possibly deal with the stupidity.["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"]>["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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I had to revise my rating for this book since it got super popular. Okay, so let's be honest here, people only love this book because: a) you can dividI had to revise my rating for this book since it got super popular. Okay, so let's be honest here, people only love this book because: a) you can divide yourself into Hogwarts houses factions through Sorting Hat dream-drug/cheese dreams and b) Dystopian is so in.
Sentence: I sentence Veronica Roth to a staring contest. I am telling you, I will win.
(view spoiler)[And also, this cannot be the first time something like this has happened, where someone has gone against the rules of that not-so-shit-disturbing test-dream. I mean, come on, what the frak is it supposed to mean? That you ate cheese before you went to bed or that you have an embedded and illogical fear of dogs? Forget the effing knife, give me a sledgehammer. Seriously, a dawg should know his place.
The point of the story is that people can't be categorized right (even though the faction thing has everyone wanting to make those bloody quizzes to find out what faction they're from). Why have factions when you just choose where you want to go anyway?
Is it just me, or is your first thought (if you're power-hungry): Oh HAI Abnegation, I hear you get to be in charge. Where do I sign up? How is there not a Voldemort, in monk's robes, leading the world to its doom?! How does the end of the world as we (the reader) know it make any sense? It's not really clear, at all, what happened to make things the way they are in Divergent; other than pure idiocy with a dash of alcohol.
The problem I have with this "world" in Divergent, for a lack of a better term, is that it's all in a kind of void. There aren't really places, other than Chicago, and there is no mention of places outside of Chicago. The world is Chicago, and that's a little too small for me, thank you very much. Last time I checked the world was round; not flat and so painfully two dimensional.
But of course the world is just that simple! After all, they're letting sixteen year-olds choose what faction they belong to. Um, hello? Is it not common knowledge, for all adults that remember being sixteen, that at that age you are at your most confused about your identity? But I figure, hey, this must be part of all the pressure of being a teen in Future Chicago--so I'll let it go.
And Beatrice, though raised in Abnegation, is not a pushover and just wants to be happy (I guess). Instead of, you know, choosing to be oblivious and happy (Amity) she chooses to put her life at risk every day. Nice, she's a typical angst-y, emo teen. It's a miracle she wasn't killed off by the weight of her inflated head.
And her romance with Four/Tobias/her instructor is really quite fascinating since, you know, it defines her entire personality. Not only is it entirely inappropriate to have a relationship with her instructor, but apparently her worst fear is having sex. I'm gonna call it, but if that was her worst fear, their relationship is really not going to work out.
Despite all the character-and-entire-premise-of-Divergent flaws, it was generally enjoyable (at first), with some obvious, potential villains thrown into the mix. Al, unexpectedly, was a sort of antagonist driven by fear, which I can understand and even appreciate. He recognizes that his like for Tris can only go so far when it comes to his survival.
But then rolls in the secretively deviant plot between the leader of the Dauntless and the Erudite to...I'm not sure what they're really attempting to do, actually. I just need someone to, please, explain to me how being non-divergent (even though I think everyone technically is divergent) led to everyone being zombified and mind-frakked. And it happens just when you know Tris is unaffected by such trivial things.
Despite all that, I think what REALLY bothered me the most about Divergent was how cool her parents seem and then BAM! Roth decides, oh hey, it's much more convenient if Tris' parents are dead, so that she has only strings attached to her bff and her bf, Four. You know, for later in the trilogy *hint hint*. (hide spoiler)]...more