I loved this book almost as much as all of the others, but it's not a 5 star read for me because I felt like too much of the book focused on other chaI loved this book almost as much as all of the others, but it's not a 5 star read for me because I felt like too much of the book focused on other characters. Jamie and Claire didn't really even have much of a plot of their own, and while I like keeping up with John, Hal, and William, I don't think their sections should dominate the book. Bree and Roger had an interesting twist but they were barely represented as well, and I would have enjoyed a bit more information about their situation. ...more
I will collect my thoughts and write an actual review soon, but for now I loved it. It was original, interesting and a complete story (none of that seI will collect my thoughts and write an actual review soon, but for now I loved it. It was original, interesting and a complete story (none of that series cliffie ending nonsense)....more
From the cover, I assumed this was only barely classed in the Young Adult category oSo this book wasn't at all what I expected.
It was so much better.
From the cover, I assumed this was only barely classed in the Young Adult category on the edge of Middle Grade. I'm not sure why exactly, but the cover just looked sort of childish — like the something I'd see in a kids magazine.
I'm so glad I was wrong.
The major things I loved about this book were pretty straight-forward. I loved the male main character, the super-strong female interest, the lack of paranormal, the apocalyptic setting. The reason these elements worked so well is that Mullin's writing was strong — solid imagery, energetic pacing, and just enough emotion to empathize with the characters.
The apocalyptic event that changes everything for our main character Alex is natural and seemingly well-researched enough by Mullin to make it believable. I never felt myself questioning the changing world Mullin wove around Alex. I also think the other characters in the book behave in very realistic ways, considering the situation they are in.
I've seen some complaints in reviews about Alex's obsession with Tae Kwon Do, but in my experience it just makes him more realistic. Most slightly nerdy 15 year olds are a little obsessed with something and talk about it too much or relate it to every situation. The only failing I found regarding the Tae Kwon Do talk is sometimes it didn't sound like it was coming from Alex's voice. Often it felt like the author taking the opportunity to "teach" the reader, which I found increasingly annoying. Eventually you have to trust that the reader will get the connection or will know how to use google. You can only give me full definitions on different punching and kicking styles for so long before I'm exhausted by it. Also, in first person, it's normal for the character to relate to a skill he has but it's unlikely he'd continue the over-explaining.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I've recommended this to everyone I usually recommend my favorite YA novels to, but more importantly to a lot of people with whom I normally wouldn't talk about my little reading obsession.
(This e-copy was provided by the publisher through netgalley.)...more
The beginning of this book sucked me in immediately with a very different sort of beginning compared to the average YA novel. Bick seems to create a wThe beginning of this book sucked me in immediately with a very different sort of beginning compared to the average YA novel. Bick seems to create a well fleshed out character in Alex effortlessly. She is vulnerable for reasons I don't want to spoil, yet capable and independent. Like Alex, Tom quickly comes across as a real person, a genuinely good, real person. And Ellie. Ellie is a kid with issues. (I actually pictured Chloe Moretz as Hit-Girl from the movie Kickass--attitude, not violence--when I read Ellie.)
Not only are the characters intriguing and unique, but the plot! The plot is so different from what I've come to expect in the YA genre. It is gritty and suspenseful and plausible enough to willingly suspend my disbelief. It basically starts right before an apocalyptic event that changes most of the population in a catastrophic way and takes us beyond it into the very new post-apocalyptic landscape.
The problem with this book (why I didn't give it 5 stars) comes in just past the middle. I'm not exaggerating one bit when I say it reads like Bick had two VERY different versions of this manuscript and just spliced them together. Midway through everything about the focus of the book shifts. All of the existing plot threads and characters (with the exception of Alex) are basically cut and all new ones manifest the way they should in the beginning of a book.
For me this was a huge let down for the plot. Because the initial story arc basically gets severed, the resolution at the end of the book only addresses the new arc, challenges, and characters introduced halfway through the book. Another problem, that may just be personal preference, is that the first half was far superior to the second, so the drastic shift was even more disappointing. Also the strength I loved in Alex through the first half seemed conspicuously absent in the second half.
It's hard for me to discuss the details of this book without giving too much away, and half of the enjoyment for me with this story was the discovery. It's part sci-fi, part post-apocalypse, part zombie, part wilderness survival, and the telling was extremely visual and well-paced.
This is the strangest 3 stars I've ever given a book. What it really breaks down to is 5 stars for the first half of the book and 2 stars for the second half. I am very optimistic for the next book, hoping Bick can get the story back on track, and personally hoping she returns to some of the characters and plot threads she ditched halfway through.
This series is fun and a fast paced read. I had to give the last book 4 stars because the resolution just made me so damn happy. It's not perfectly wrThis series is fun and a fast paced read. I had to give the last book 4 stars because the resolution just made me so damn happy. It's not perfectly written, nor is it high art, but it *is* really entertaining and absorbing.
I would do anything I can imagine right now for my very own Jericho Barrons, and that sure doesn't hurt either.
Another thing I loved is that, while I did think the way it ended was a possibility before I reached the conclusion, I wasn't sure. I'm usually cursed with figuring out the major plot points early in a story, and this was well-conceived enough that the plot was surprising and refreshing, yet plausible enough within the universe Moning created so as not to seem like a sucker punch of crap.
My only complaint with the series as a whole was that there was a lot more telling than showing. Sometimes it felt too entrenched in Mac's (the narrator) head. That was especially annoying in this last book where she seemed to worry over the same issues/concerns at length A LOT. I liked Mac's voice but at times I felt too removed from the actual plot because of the excessive explication....more
This story was so refreshing. This is in the YA genre, and it classifies as paranormal. I'm not going to say my expectations were low going into thisThis story was so refreshing. This is in the YA genre, and it classifies as paranormal. I'm not going to say my expectations were low going into this book, but I was ready for the same ideas interpreted in a different way.
I was so wrong.
As a main character, Alison was what I love. She wasn't whiny or helpless. She had a strong voice while still being a vulnerable enough character for me to sympathize with and root for. This is the kind of female main character I think a lot of YA novels are lacking. Not only did she seem like a normal girl in her behavior and thought processes, but there was a genuine character arc! She encountered obstacles and worked through them, made bad decisions and owned up to them, she grew. People, there was actual character growth--not just a reduction/increase/modification in whining.
For the paranormal aspects of this novel I could kiss R.J. Anderson. Alison's special abilities (view spoiler)[(she is a synesthete and a tetrachromat and google is your friend if that looks like a foreign language) (hide spoiler)] are based in ACTUAL SCIENCE. I'll wait a moment for that to register...
AND! Not only is it paranormal but it has a major sci-fi element too.
Another thing I really enjoyed was that this is a book with romantic feelings and some sexual tension where romance isn't the focus by a long shot, and as far as the ending is concerned (view spoiler)[not everything wraps up in a perfect bow yet it is still very satisfying. (hide spoiler)]
Anyone who likes paranormal YA should enjoy this book, and anyone who is tired of all the paranormal details seeming so ridiculous will most likely find this to be a breath of fresh air.
(This novel was graciously provided by the publisher for my consumption.) ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I loved this storyline and really empathized with the main character Jacinda. Jordan's style is beautifully descriptive and she painted a lovely pictuI loved this storyline and really empathized with the main character Jacinda. Jordan's style is beautifully descriptive and she painted a lovely picture of the whole story.
I am having a hard time empathizing with Jacinda's mom and sister in any way. What they expect from her is so much bigger than they make it seem, and they really deny her any form of *unconditional* love.
My love for the story aside, I'm a bit put out with the to-be-continued nature of the ending. I get that it's a series, but I feel strongly that every separate book in a series should leave the reader with some sense of completion. I did not get that with this book. Normally I handle waiting for sequels with grace, but because of how this ends, I would have waited until they were all out to read.
I feel like this book ends as we are just reaching the pinnacle of the climactic arc which is why it's a 4 instead of 5 stars for me....more
*after considering, I've upped my rating to 5 stars (rounding up from 4.5 instead of down).*
I loved this book! It was a creative idea and an interesti*after considering, I've upped my rating to 5 stars (rounding up from 4.5 instead of down).*
I loved this book! It was a creative idea and an interesting plot. I would actually give this 4.5 stars if I could. The only reason I would not give it a full 5 is because it is the first of a series and while the plot technically wrapped up enough, most of the mysteries are still unanswered.
The main character Clara is a teen girl without seeming too old or too vapid. The love triangle is one of the first I've read where I don't want to rip my hair out with annoyance/frustration. Tucker is likable, sexy and adorable in a genuine way. Christian is jusssst brooding enough without his character becoming a ridiculous caricature.
Overall, I love the concept, especially that it is rooted in religious theory but isn't excessive or preachy. It is original and interesting.
I truly enjoyed this from start to finish with a smile on my face--even through parts that made my hands flail a bit. The only complaint I have at allI truly enjoyed this from start to finish with a smile on my face--even through parts that made my hands flail a bit. The only complaint I have at all is that we don't get to see much of them actually together....more
I was so much more invested in this story than I thought I'd be. For one thing it actually read like an intelligent novel AND a YA novel at the same tI was so much more invested in this story than I thought I'd be. For one thing it actually read like an intelligent novel AND a YA novel at the same time which is harder than it sounds. I loved the details about the French Revolution, and that I didn't feel like I was reading a history text.
All of the main characters so easy to empathize and associate with even though they all have serious character flaws. They seem so real, so human. I want to, at once, be despondent with Andi's mom, avoid the misery with her father, and wallow in the pain with Andi. I want to hug Alexandrine and Amade.
Even her supporting characters are strong and well-rounded; I see them so clearly.
If I had a teenage daughter, this is the sort of novel I would hope she would fall in love with....more