Eve Anna Carey The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her. Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.
Original Language: English Publisher: HarperTeen Country: USA Publication Date: October 4, 2011 ISBN: 978-0062048509 Page Count: 320
I've been looking forward to getting my hands on Anna Carey's new YA dystopian, Eve, novel for months. Probably since I first saw it on Goodreads at the start of the year. Since my experience with The Hunger Games last year, I've been craving dystopian fiction. The teaser for Eve got me excited and I bought it as soon as it came out.
Unfortunately, I finished the book a little disappointed. I'm not ready to say I didn't like it, or that it was bad - but for a first novel in a trilogy, it was quite weak. I wanted more from it: more history, more explanation, more characterisation.
To begin with, Eve is a fickle heroine. Coming from an all girls school, who secretly spend twelve years preparing them to become breeding machines (more on that later) while simultaneously teaching them to hate men, she should want to be more self-sufficient and independent. Eve is afraid of men from the get go, but a few friendly smiles and a moment of solitude, changes her mind. Her naivety and fears are justified in a world where she is being hunted and her friends are being murdered, but she's just so inconsistent!
The most interesting characters are the ones that are barely touched on while the ones we focus on - Eve, Lief and Caleb - are quite two dimensional. I want to know more about Arden, about Pip and Ruby, and Margaret and Otis. Who is this politician become King who is the shady antagonist? Tell me more about this plague - and vaccine - that culled the population.
I found a lot of things confusing - something a second read might help. The code, the Trail, Califia and the Schools are all vague concepts that, at this point, fail to create a realistic backdrop for narrative. Why educate these girls - and so thoroughly - for twelve years and waste so many precious breeding years? They may want to encourage voluntary breeding but aren't they making promises they can't keep by talking about the trades Graduates will learn? Haunting as the breeding factories are, they seem a poorly thought out.
Of course, Eve has an interesting idea. The plague is a great way to explain away a dwindling dystopian society, and the idea of young girl being used as sows is terrifying. I just need more - I need to understand the how and why of New America's history. I need to hope that further books in the trilogy will explain things further.
Raiding Bookshelves Rating ***
Judging by the cover: I'm happy to admit that it was the cover of Eve that caught my attention. I love the blues and greens of the background; they create a striking contrast again the rich reds and browns of the girl....more
Original Language: English Publisher: Simon & Schuster Country: USA Publication Date: March 22, 2011 ISBN: 9781442409057 Page Count: 358
Wither is Lauren DeStefano's debut novel and the first in a YA dystopian trilogy. It was published in March this year and I've been waiting for months to get my hands on it. It was everything as wonderful as I had hoped, and much to short for my tastes.
In terms of fitting into the field of YA dystopian novels, Wither definitely makes the cut and sits with the cool kids. The characters are engaging and the plot, though the story stays in the one house, keeps moving. Best of all is the idea that drives the story - in a future where genetic engineering has significantly shortened the human life span.
The characters were interesting. Rhine and Linden were the most developed, obviously, but other characters like Gabriel and Jenna are developed enough to keep the story progressing neatly. Cecily is both annoying and adorable while Rowan will hopefully receive enough development in future books to make him interesting. Meanwhile, Housemaster Vaughn is a fascinating villain - he seemingly wants the best for his son but there is a second and more sinister motive behind his actions.
The plot moves quickly - at times almost too quickly - and creates a sweeping story that easily engages the reader. The interaction between characters, especially the camaraderie between the Sister Wives, and of course between Rhine and Gabriel. Linden can sometimes be a weak link but mostly DeStephano has created a solid world that beguiles the senses.
Wither's sequel, Fever is due for publication in February next year. I look forward to getting my hands on it.
Raiding Bookshelves Rating: Four Stars
Judging by the cover: This cover is so elegant. I love that the model can look so calm and elegant while she's so ragged and on edge....more
Original Language: English Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books Country: USA Publication Date: May 3, 2011 ISBN: 9780062024022 Page Count: 496
Veronica Roth's debut is a fantastic and thrilling new addition to the genre of YA dystopian novels. Divergent could rival The Hunger Games for my new favourite in the genre. I'll wait for the series to end before I make the decision though.
Roth has created a charming and unique heroine in Beatrice 'Tris' Prior. She is honest, courageous, intrepid and curious. Her insecurities make her real, and easy to relate to while her determination to be strong and overcome her previous identity as an Abnegation, or a 'Stiff' as her new Dauntless faction family call her.
Tris is different from most new sixteen year old initiates - when she undergoes her test to find out which faction is most suited to her, she finds out she is Divergent. Candor (the honest), Erudite (the knowledgeable) and Amity (the kind) are immediately ruled out, but Tris could belong equally to her family faction Abnegation (the selfless) and Dauntless (the fearless). Her decision to leave Abnegation for Dauntless is enough to keep all eyes on her, but her Divergent identity will make her life very dangerous.
The romantic interest isn't forced, but develops slowly though the book. Four is daring, and almost emotionless at times. His dedication to the Dauntless initiates, and disgust with the current Dauntless leadership (and their aggressive tactics) make him super attractive. The way he tries to protect Tris and shows such an obvious weakness for her makes him twice as sexy.
The setting of a dystopian Chicago is a perfect background to Tris' adventure, while the growing dissension between the five factions makes for a fascinating plot. While Divergent acts mostly as a whole lot of background information for the next books, it manages to stand up on its own as a fantastic debut novel.
Divergent will stand out in my mind as one of 2011's best YA reads. The sequel Insurgent is due out in May 2012.
Raiding Bookshelves Rating: *****
Judging by the cover: I quite like the cover - it isn't as gorgeous as some other 2011 YA releases but it suits itself. As an Abnegation Tris was used to being selfless and bland, and as a Dauntless she began to understand how to use what she was given. I like the simplicity of the cover but the fiery symbol shows there is more to it than meets the eye....more
I didn't enjoy Ash's POW as much as Meaghan's and I definitely didn't like a 'lost' character returning. It felt too forced, which, ironically, it wasI didn't enjoy Ash's POW as much as Meaghan's and I definitely didn't like a 'lost' character returning. It felt too forced, which, ironically, it was kind of meant to....more
Wuthering Heights is an incredible novel for its time for various reasons. Firstly, it was written by a woman in a tiRead more: raidingbookshelves.com
Wuthering Heights is an incredible novel for its time for various reasons. Firstly, it was written by a woman in a time when the publishing world was dominated by men. It was originally published under the name Ellis Bell after her sister had successfully published her novel Jane Eyre under the name Currer Bell. Secondly, Bronte took supernatural literature in a new direction with the ghost of Catherine Earnshaw, one that was completely different to other supernatural novels of its time.
What I Liked: Wuthering Heights is deliciously creepy. The supernatural aspects are subtle and keep you on your toes. You never know when Catherine's ghost will wander the moors or when something will scratch at your window. It's never overdone, and it almost becomes more creepy because those moments are unexpected. Heathcliff is one of my favourite characters of all time. He is sensitive, cruel, hard working, ambitious and selfish. He has no scruples when it comes to crushing the emotions of others and yet he is completely devoted Catherine. Many believe him beyond redemption, and yet I believe that his very actions, provoked by his love for Catherine, redeems him at least a very little. The narrator, Nelly the housekeeper at Wuthering Heights, is one of my favourite characters in the novel. She shows a sense of humour and strong feelings towards the characters within her books. She leaves you wondering whether you can trust her as a narrator.
What I Didn't Like: I've learnt to deal with books with lots of characters, but some people would have difficulty dealing with all the different names within Wuthering Heights. Set in two parts there are many characters with similar names: Catherine Earnshaw who marries Edgar and becomes Catherine Linton, and Catherine Linton (Cathy) who is the daughter of Catherine Earnshaw, Linton Heathcliff son of Heathcliff and Isabel Linton, Hindley Earnshaw and Hareton Earnshaw (son of Hindley). It can make your head turn in circles....more
Publication Date: November 8th, 2011 Publisher: Roaring Book Press Country: United States ISBN: 1596435704 Original Language: English Age Group: Young Adult Genre: Romance, Dystopian, Source: Library Buy the Book: Amazon Lootability: Grab it and go!
Prized is the sequel to Caragh M. O'Briens dystopian novel Birthmarked about a society where children are taken from the poor who live outside the wall, to aid in the repopulate the poisoned genetic pool of the rich city dwellers. In Prized Gaia has escaped with her newborn sister and found the village in the Dead Forest; only in finding safety in the matriarchal society Gaia must give up her new sister and Leon.
What I Liked: Gaia is as sweet as ever and is faced with a whole new set of challenges. Instead of having to fear a patriarchal Government where the poor are forced to give up their children, she now belongs to a matriarchal where women are not only in charge, they are expected to live with strict rules - including one requiring them to have ten children to save their dwindling population. Leon is could be one of my new favourite literary men (along with Four - Divergent, Valek - Poison Study, and Bran - Son of the Shadows). He was so passionate - angry but passionate; his feelings for Gaia are so obvious, you can feel his hurt and his betrayal. They also have one of the best and most realistic fights I've ever read. Instead of sounding forced and monologuing, it comes out natural. You can feel their frustration, their hurt and their determination.
What I Didn't Like: Mostly, my only issue was with some of the science behind the story. I know thats a common complaint from me, but how much do you know about genetics and computers and other technical jibber jabber? I can follow the general gist of things, but sometimes I have trouble grasping the details.
Grab it and go! The final instalment Promised is due out in fall (U.S), or Spring here in Australia. I look forward to seeing what happens to Gaia, Leon and her little sister Maya....more