Sentence: I sentence Rachel Hartman to have the ability to solve many sexy equations and...moreKeywords: Dragons, half-breeds, love, philosophers.
Sentence: I sentence Rachel Hartman to have the ability to solve many sexy equations and also a crime-free life in Vancouver. That shit be scary.
Review: I'll try to make this review pretty short, since I had barely a complaint. Actually, if I had a complaint I cannot recall it anymore because I am baffled by Hartman. I should say this is an extremely rare occurrence. I never give out five stars.
This novel started at a relatively slow pace, but with good reason. The characters and world building painted an entirely different world from what I've read before and did an extremely good job at it. I had complex questions about the history of some character or saint or weapon or even family with no doubts to there actually being a story. It's like the world has existed for so long and this story is just a minor occurrence in the history of it. A minor story I rather enjoyed, but only minor in the sense of looking at the broader picture of everything.
This is one of those rare reads where you find the two main love interests arguing about philosophers to be some sort of sexy, chemistry-filled conversation. I was practically salivating for more about Archiboros and his pompous ass. Maybe even more about Pontheus, the jurisprudence philosopher; later said to be either genius or mad.
But seriously, how is this turning me on? It must be all that intelligent talk and whatnot.
I also thoroughly enjoyed Seraphina storming about and trying to be pricklier than she is. She's brave, but shy and intrepid. She contradicts herself by loving others, despite their grotesqueness, and having trouble loving her own self.
The characters throughout this entire novel are so well built that it's only too easy to find their imperfections rather than the things that make them flat. Even the "soulless" saarantras and quigutl had me amused, laughing, and possibly crying a little. Even the Ardmagar Cormonot was confusing with his Cybermen-like reactions to emotion.
Okay, but srsly, this spoke to my heart (don't laugh): "do not underestimate the seductive power of math."
Basically, I have nothing else to say except GIMME MORE. And also:
Yeah, come at me dragons. I'm looking pretty sexy now, aren't I?(less)
Sentence: I sentence Melina Marchetta to swapping stories over drinks (and possibly cookies).
Review: I know I normally spoil books to no end, but ther...moreSentence: I sentence Melina Marchetta to swapping stories over drinks (and possibly cookies).
Review: I know I normally spoil books to no end, but there really is nothing to spoil in this book. In fact, from the very beginning I could see things falling into place, even before it had been confirmed by the narrator. But it didn’t matter because suddenly I realized I was already invested in the outcome of my beloved protagonists.
It doesn’t even matter that there is something special about Jessa or that Taylor is more connected to Jellicoe School than she realizes. I found myself pushing past the sorrow of Taylor’s abandonment to console her with the love of her friends (even when they seem like they’re in a war) and Hannah.
I don’t believe in god (or ghosts), but the eerie coincidences and ghosts of the past (especially the boy in the tree, haunting her dreams) make me want to believe in some sort of higher power helping Taylor find herself. I can’t help but love her even when she’s pathetically moody; avoiding mentions of her and Jonah (swoon) in the same sentence; and wheezing or fainting at every TMI moment (I’m currently listening to Coward of the Country courtesy of Kenny Rogers, haha).
I cannot do Jellicoe Road any justice in this review because I am nowhere near as eloquent as Marchetta. Taylor’s story and its intricately branching history is worth the gamble(less)
So basically my opinion of this book is more biased than it would usually be for any other book I've read and liked. I can highly relate to this book...moreSo basically my opinion of this book is more biased than it would usually be for any other book I've read and liked. I can highly relate to this book and its main character, so naturally I was drawn to her entire attitude. Or lack thereof.
I want to begin by saying Nenner is not created by her father. She's not molded by his literal hands nor with the mechanics of a genius like Geppetto. She is a real girl living in the middle east somewhere, with her highly dysfunctional family (whose isn't?). When she describes being created by her father, she means the idea of the perfect daughter. And some parents are actually like this. If not this fully, then some parents have an idea of what they want their children to do or how successful and educated they want them to be. This basically takes that to the extreme with a mix of the humility and patriarchal honour systems, common to the middle east and South Asia.
Then, in a small act of rebellion and innocent preservation of life, Nenner saves a stray cat from certain death. Turns out this cat is actually a shapeshifting free-person. Not necessarily a boy though, which I loved. Because at times when you feel the chemistry you can't help but wonder if this counts as bestiality.
This is entirely a story about a girl realizing who she actually is, even through the emotional and psychological abuse her parents are able to get away with. This story is more about what it takes to wake up and realize that she is alive, rather than two people falling in love.
My only complaint, really, is that the story does not flow/it feels rather choppy when scenes are changing or months pass by. You really can't tell time until the MC mentions it. It feels like they've only traveled the world for a week, when really it's been maybe 3 months.
The romance is pretty cheesy as well, but actually kind of adorable. Do not expect any love triangles or pointless drama. Also it may be kinda hard for people to get where she's coming from, so the analogy she uses in the book, near the end, is fairly simple and accurate. A simple story, with aspects of fantasy/escapism, but well done.(less)
Sentence: I sentence John Green to write a non-teen fiction book. Seriously, I think he should give it a try and (likely) excel. :)
Review: There are s...moreSentence: I sentence John Green to write a non-teen fiction book. Seriously, I think he should give it a try and (likely) excel. :)
Review: There are so many things I don’t know how to say about this story (so I won’t). However, let me just admit my one criticism: kids, in real life, aren’t this great, mature and hilarious. As much as I think cancer forces a teen to grow up early, there were just some ideas (including leaving “your mark” on the world; and little infinities) that I felt, normally, could not be understood and appreciated by a Hazel-aged person. That being said, I really wish I knew people like Hazel and Augustus.
This story is beautifully narrated and not just a “Cancer Book”; cancer is just a side effect of life. It contemplates things that I did not even realize I thought about, such as attempting to leave your mark on the world, but also acknowledging that the larger the mark the bigger the scar. And should we, selfishly, be trying to strive for that?
I fell in love with Hazel, Gus, Hazel’s parents, Isaac, and even Sisyphus the hamster (view spoiler)[(for his brief two years post-Anna) (hide spoiler)].
Spoiler Alert: You will not be without some grief and tears. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Sentence: I sentence Julianna Baggott to her choices, their consequences and nothing but that.
Review: This is a really, really rare rating for me, bu...moreSentence: I sentence Julianna Baggott to her choices, their consequences and nothing but that.
Review: This is a really, really rare rating for me, but I didn't just enjoy this book. It was one of those special reads where I lost track of time and forgot where I was. I literally couldn't even put down the book to eat and such. It was as if I were from Pressia's world after the Detonations, fused to this book.
I was curious about this book due to its similarities to much of the dystopian teen that has been released post-Hunger Games, except that apparently this does not constitute as teen (in my book store, anyway).
The first thing that struck me about Baggott's work was how un-pure everything seemed. It was like the world had become a filthy and grotesque place, filled with monsters and warped humans (I wouldn't go as far as calling them sub-humans). It was ugly. And I adored her story for this. After all, ugliness is everywhere and beauty can only exist in the absence of it and because of it.
There were aspects of this book that reminded me of Battle Royale; perhaps it is the utter brutality and recruitment of the OSR, or even the violence and no nonsense attitude of the people of this earth. Kill or be killed. Even when Pressia questions whether or not she could kill someone ("is it wrong to kill someone who wants to kill you?"), (view spoiler)[she is finally able to kill out of mercy. (hide spoiler)]
The hardened and bleak outlooks of these teenagers and adults alike are a reminder of what has been done in the past and what could happen in the future.
I admit that Baggott's version seems a little fantastical (with nothing terribly fantastic about it) with the fusing, genetic horrors and even Death Sprees, but some of it rings true. Biological warfare has always been a concern for those studying nuclear proliferation and different forms of weaponry. Why not something that could alter human genetics? It's a horrific thought and part of me hopes what Partridge's father did would never be able to be sanctioned, but even though the past is never fully explained in this book, it made me start to doubt our own government's capabilities.
Baggott does not falter in letting her dark humour slip in through this entire mess, nor the little snippets from the past that the characters may not fully understand, but readers silently nod to, discerning.
There is not much I can criticize about this story yet, as this is "just the beginning". Instead, I will list what I appreciated most:
(view spoiler)[1. The romance between two main characters is not the central theme. There is something bigger than them, that they are working towards. Pressia and Bradwell are clearly an item, but even Pressia is not blinded by her feelings for him. She recognizes that even this may be limited. Partridge and Lyda may also be a future item, but from Lyda's perspective it is learned that she is not head-over-heels in love with him. I respect that.
2. Everything seems to flow and nothing is perfect. Whether it is Partridge's (and Pressia's) mothers botched up trail to her burrow; or Bradwell's knowledge of conspiracies about the Detonations; even Lyda's unasked for duties as the messenger; these characters all collide together almost beautifully. They need each other. Even El Capitan (whom I completely understand and respect for both his "burden" and his hope for something more...maybe even his awesome name) who, at first, appears to hate all of the Pure, but is also compassionate. Much of these instances are chance and Partridge's mother admits she had to leave many trails behind, out of desperation and a last-minute attempt to keep in touch with him. Aribelle's unexpected death flowed nicely with the story, as tragic, sudden and imperfect as it was. Unlike many stories, and much like reality, Partridge didn't get to tell her everything he wanted to. Pressia didn't get to share her few memories of Before or even of now. It's not that their story is devoid of happiness, it's just imperfect.
3. It is like steampunk, but in a category of its own. This sort of reminded me of a modern steampunk story, with less of the steam power and more of the stranger technologies in a time of base modes of survival and what appears to be anarchy. Even these genetically altered hybrids and what the Dome calls "wretches" are man-made or caused by human intervention. For those who have read Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld, may understand why this may be an aspect of a steampunk-influenced society. It is not quite steampunk due to little things like the "black boxes" that homed in on the Dome; a lack of Victorian culture (or even old Western, though the Dust somehow reminds me of it); and the fact that they are in the future and they remember things of the past, including the technology. They are not without their technological beginnings.
4. Clever little truths here and there, whether we notice/understand them or not. Like how the tune for the ABC's is the same as Twinkle, Twinkle. Or the nod to suicide, the stigma associated with it and how that is different in the Dome. Maybe we cannot understand this, but it's a brave new world, and things are not at all pleasant and exciting as one would expect, in the future (even under the protection of the Dome). Both Pressia and Partridge think about their differences in culture, due to their adapted living and surviving habits. Pressia also uses little guilt trips and psychological tricks to make Partridge feel like he owes her. Fused with a doll's head or not, this is something so faultily human about Pressia. Aribelle admits that the fusing cannot be undone. Humanity must live with its past and mistakes.
5. The uncensored thoughts are honest despite the different perspectives, and as scattered as they are. Pressia likes the OSR uniform and the power. She feels a hunger and knows that she can kill. El Capitan is tired and sometimes thinking about killing his brother. He hates how he can tell people look past him and at his burden, fused to his back. He also had hopes and dreams about becoming a pilot. It is something he knows can never happen now. Partridge can't help feeling bothered and defensive when others refer to his father in a negative light. A really good example is when Bradwell talks about how his parents were not able to be sweet-talked through Red Lobster and whatever else they were offered, but apparently Partridge's father was. He hates his father, but he can't help loving him too, despite his faults. Lyda never blames Partridge in her mind once, not even when she feels her most miserable, because she knows she made a choice. She does think he used her, but she feels like she let him. And continues to help him, for that matter. (hide spoiler)]
There was much more that I liked or loved about this book, but I'll just leave it at that. Baggott left off on a pretty mellow note, so I won't be anxious for the sequel, though I suspect I will enjoy it just as much.["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)
Alright, so I was going to do a proper review, but I just can't. I'm punned out, folks.
Besides I fear I love this book too much to be silly about it....moreAlright, so I was going to do a proper review, but I just can't. I'm punned out, folks.
Besides I fear I love this book too much to be silly about it. And I have to say, when I first started I wasn't sure if I loved it or hated it. I was struck by how Briony was so annoyingly self-loathing. But then there was the pity and how she pathetically claimed she felt nothing because of witchery.
I found myself appreciating her character much more when she and Eldric created this secret society of awesome swamp-friend-creatures (the lion and the wolf). It was like freaking Adventure Time, but for realsies.
But srsly, this book reminded me much of my favourite Scottish ballad Tam Lin. It was probably influenced by such work, in fact, without the focus on a faerie queen or any of that.
People who loved this book will want to read Diana Wynne Jones' Fire and Hemlock. You will find that Jones' book is what teen was like in the 70s to early 90s: goddamn literature.
The characters were not one-sided and were much more complicated than the usual young adult novels out there. Eldric and Briony form a friendship first and romance later. They can verbally volley and Eldric certainly challenges Briony at every opportunity. And not challenging like a slap to the face and making her agree with his overt manliness. In fact he doesn't try to be overtly "manly", which in turn makes him seem more of a man than others.
Yeah wrap your head around that one, boys. :D(less)
I think it'd be difficult to understand what I exactly loved about this teen book. Firstly, I guess I should say, it's not an average te...moreSpoilers Ahead
I think it'd be difficult to understand what I exactly loved about this teen book. Firstly, I guess I should say, it's not an average teen book. I mean, sure there's a new post-apocalyptic and dystopian teen book every week, but they all usually start and end with angst and the most annoyingly dominant love story ever.
Blood Red Road threw me off first because of the prose. Not only does it demonstrate an existence of dialects, but also the lack of education and a loss of something we all hold dear: knowledge through books.
Young starts us off near the end of a drought by the dried up land once known as Silverlake. We see a glimpse into of the lives of our narrator, Saba, her twin brother Lugh ("Lug"; named after the Irish deity) and their younger sister Emmi. It becomes clear, right off the bat, that Saba is not perfect. In fact, she's just as selfish and sometimes just as childish as Emmi. And just like every other family, even this one comes with it's inner turmoil and tension.
(view spoiler)[When Lugh is kidnapped by Tonton and their father killed, after a sandstorm, Saba is determined to get her twin brother back.
While her adventure reminded me of Westerns and True Grit, this is not a mission of revenge. This is not an angry 18 year old going after the world, determined to kill all obstacles. In fact, the most human thing about this entire story is Saba's dislike for killing and her guilt, especially when she is forced to cage fight; after her sister and she are captured by a nasty couple on their way to Hopetown.
While her relationship with Jack, who she met while in captivity, is very Beatrice and Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing), it is also a source of much needed humour.
Finally, the idea that drugs have power and society is unorganized is a nice change. (hide spoiler)]
I really do think this series or trilogy or whatever it may be, has much potential. Although sometimes I say that more often than not about teen trilogies, I will be anticipating this one the most.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
**spoiler alert** I have to admit that I was hesitant to pick this book up, because I was under the impression it was another one of those lame, depre...more**spoiler alert** I have to admit that I was hesitant to pick this book up, because I was under the impression it was another one of those lame, depressing YA reads about a girl pining after a boy when there were things much more important going on.
This was definitely NOT true. In fact, the injustice of Mary's situation, and Henry's attempted claim on her, drove me up walls. I wanted to physically jump into the book and shake everyone by their collars. How could she not be given more options?
Mary felt so real, as a person, that I was surprised by how connected I felt to her. She had all the aspects of a normal teenager (including being totally obnoxiously selfish, like I was at that age) that I instantly respected her.
Being with Travis was not enough for her, and to me, that rang truest of all. Especially because she knew she loved him. Mary's determination to survive, not as a caged animal, and see the ocean is an aspect of her I fell in love with.
To be honest, the fact that it wasn't a happy ending and all her friends were able to make it out unscathed was a nice change. I'm sick of "close calls" in serious danger. What are the chances four out of four would make it to a safe haven by the ocean alive? Frakking low, is what the chances are; that's why they're taking a chance.
Carrie Ryan really knows how to describe all the gore details. And I'm into that. :)(less)