Update: Dec. 2014 - I FORGOT HOW HARD I CRY WHILE READING THIS BOOK.
Finn has Escaped from Incarceron, but is now living in another prison. The gaudy cUpdate: Dec. 2014 - I FORGOT HOW HARD I CRY WHILE READING THIS BOOK.
Finn has Escaped from Incarceron, but is now living in another prison. The gaudy clothes, the lights, the fake people who don’t really believe he’s Giles… Even Claudia seems to be doubting him. While he wants her to believe in his identity, he doesn’t even believe it himself. The fits still come, and he rants and rages about the smallest things. Jared is dying; the medication only helps for a while, and then the pain comes back - worse. The Queen is just as vicioius as before; even more so now. She has tricks and schemes up her sleeves – Finn knows it, even if no one else does.
On the other side of reality, Attia and Keiro are still in the prison, fighting for their lives. But now there’s Rix involved, an insane man who believes he’s the Dark Enchanter. He is said to have possession of the Glove, Sapphique’s Glove, the Prison’s Glove. The Glove that can get them out of here. But how long can they follow Rix without being killed? And the Prison itself… It’s acting strangely. It seems to be pulling away, focusing hard…
How can these two worlds connect? Will there be a new way to travel between the worlds, now that the keys have disappeared with the Warden? Can Finn remember his supposed past, and prove to everyone he is Giles? And will Attia and Keiro find the Door that freed Sapphique from the Prison?
Oh. My goodness. Where to begin…
I loved everything about this book. Literally, everything. I can’t think of one thing that I would even say was remotely uninteresting or slow or bad or confusing. Everything was perfect, set into place. That’s my one word description: perfect. Ridiculously so.
Let me start with Jared. Oh, how I love him. I loved him in Incarceron, and my love grew in Sapphique. He is my favorite in every way: who he is, his part in the story, everything he says and does and the way he thinks about things. The way he feels for everyone around him, especially Claudia. Gosh.
Claudia and Finn are another matter – both are feisty in their own manner, and yet both have the same vision against protocol for the kingdom. The way they interacted together was just wonderful. Their characters are absolutely complimentary for the purpose of the story. Even if you can’t picture them getting along well, Fisher makes it work in a way that is undeniably genius. You know that if they live through this war with the Queen, they will be great rulers together.
One thing that I noticed in Sapphique that wasn’t very prominent in Incarceron was Caspar’s character: Idiot. Dunce. Total follower and complainer. Weak. Vulnerable. Pitiful. (All of these in a slightly…humorous manner.) While I knew he was some of these, his character was much more developed and delved into in Sapphique. And I liked what I saw. I laughed out loud at some of the things he said and did, and his character added so much more to the story. He was a useful tool, one that added depth and life to the story.
And the writing… I mean – who writes like Catherine Fisher? She has the right phrases, the right dialogue, the right word choices. It’s all perfect, and it fits in a glorious, powerful pattern that creates an story that would, to anyone else, be hard to write. A lot of other reviewers talk about how hard it was to write a review for Incarceron…can you imagine how hard it would be to write the actual book? But Fisher has it down.
Combine the writing with the story line, and you get something that you don’t see every day. These books are full of raw, penetrating power. Every sentence reflects this; and the story is real. When I read it, it came alive. I felt as though I lived there, that the Realm was real – that Incarceron really was alive. That it existed somewhere, and I was a part of it. The characters became my friends, and my enemies. Their struggles became mine. I fought alongside them. And on top of that…. (Yes, there’s even more!) Catherine Fisher is the QUEEN of twists and cliff-hangers. Wanna know how many I counted? Ok, nevermind, I lost count… But, if I’m being hoenst, there was at least one cliffhanger every chapter, and usually there was a twist, too. Fisher manages to build up a whole world in only a few pages, where what you believe about it is so certain and firm and you think it can never be changed – and then with one sentence, one word, you discover that you were completely and utterly wrong.
Sound fascinating? I think yes.
After this rollercoaster of a story, what did I think? What did I feel? What did I do? When it was over, I felt whole. It was incredibly perfect, how she finished off these powerful books. The climax surpassed even my highest expectations (which, because of my love for Incarceron, were really high). I had NO idea what she had planned for the end. I actually cried during the last 20 pages. I couldn’t believe what had happened, and it was so emotional (for me, as I was totally attached to the characters) and just wonderful. (And let’s just say…….Jared.) The last few pages just make your heart melt. I was very pleased. And I know I’ll read it again – I’ll probably read it many times. It’s one of those that you’ll never get enough of. At least, I know I won’t.
Highly recommended, ages 15 to 100.
(“B**ch” is repeated twice. Other than that, it’s only intense action and some violence that is something to look out for for younger readers.)...more
Now that I’ve read it twice, my positive feelings for this book have only grown stronger. Something that’s a big deal for me in the literature world iNow that I’ve read it twice, my positive feelings for this book have only grown stronger. Something that’s a big deal for me in the literature world is reading a book twice in one year. Due to the amount of books that I read and the time I spend on them, plus blogging and writing, I don’t have a whole lot of time to read and re-read and re-re-read. Plus, if I’ve just read a book six months before, I usually still remember the story well enough to not need a reminder.
So I know a book is really really, really good if I can read it twice in one year without second thought. Scarmouche (Rafael Sabatini, a favorite classic and author) was one, and now Incarceron. Incarceron has officially flown up the scale of favorite books, placing itself in my favorite books of all time. Original and one of my favrorite writing styles, it takes you out of the world you feel is “normal”, and gives you a good, long, and thought provoking look at two lives that must endure the strangest kinds of struggles - all in a world that anyone would long to live in while looking from the outside. But on the inside, coming from the people who made it what it is, it is foul and unruly, and those ruling it are only thirsty for power.
Also, Catherine Fisher knows her story. She knows her characters, the worlds they live in, and she’s confident about it. When I’m reading it I can almost smell the air, touch the characters, sense danger and feel comfort and safety. Because Catherine Fisher knows her world. She knows her story. And because of this bold confidence, so can we, in the deepest ways.
It is the story of a boy who is struggling for freedom in a hopeless, wicked world. And it is the story of a girl who is struggling for freedom in a completely different hopeless, wicked world.
It is powerful.
It is alive.
It is Incarceron.
(Oh, and just for the record… Jared is still my favorite character. While last time he was only my favorite character, and that I would want to meet him, now he’s my favorite character and I’d want to marry him. Haha! I’ve definitely fallen in love the second time around… As for the other characters, they were all even more lively than before, especially Finn. Finn took on a greater, more prominent role this time around, for some reason. He was more real to me than ever before. I could picture him perfectly, as though he was standing before me.)
Ninety-five days, and all will be well. Lena will have had her procedure, and any trace of the disease, amor deliria nervosa, will be in the past. She will have a new life with whatever man she is matched with, and she will be free of pain, of agony, of loss, of sorrow. She will be free of love, a terrible word that drags people into the depths of their own sickness.
She will be free.
Then, Alex. The boy from the labs. He has the mark of the procedure, but he's different, somehow. And he knows Lena...has seen her before and wants to be friends.
She doesn't know why she says yes to his invitation to meet him. But she does.
After, nothing is the same. ________________________________________________
My thoughts - Delirium shook me to the core. No, really, my hands were shaking and my breathing was coming fast.
But first, I must rewind to the beginning. At the beginning, within the first ten pages, my jaw dropped. This is quality literature, I told myself, sucking in those pages without delay. The writing. The characters. The atmosphere. Picture yourself sitting, surrounded by the white halls of a hospital. Everything smells clean, sterile, and you can't help but notice the faint echo, as though life, real life, is outside the walls that surround you. Everything looks shiny. Everything is bright. You have a headache. You've had tests done, and now you are waiting. Waiting for the verdict. Waiting for someone, someone in draped in more white, to come and tell you your future. Will you live, or will you die? Your fate rests in his hands. The verdict that will change your life forever is about to be revealed to you.
Well, this is what the beginning of this book reminded me of. The waiting, the endless waiting, as though your whole life is just a waiting game. What else is there but what's in front of you?
While reading the first fifty pages or so, I was, in fact, reminded of the color of this book's cover. That light turqoise, like a piece of the ocean. But flat and sterile, like in a hospital. And then, as the story progressed (while I continued to drop my jaw in amazement at the beauty of it), I realized that every scene is defined by a color. The party was black, with bright neon of blues, pinks, and oranges. The picnic was golden, like a piece of sunshine. The star scene was navy blue. And throughout every scene, the color turqoise was laced, as though reminding me of the impending danger of the procedure.
When I had forty pages left, I sat down and finished the story. My hands shook and I could barely turn the page. I was amazed, pained, scared for what would happen... And then - the end. Oh....I cried. Actually, I sobbed. And I don't throw that word around lightly. There are some books that cause me to shed a few tears, but only a few, a rare few (Sapphique, Inkspell, Jane Eyre, Uncle Tom's Cabin, the three books of the Circle Trilogy, and The Silent Boy, to be specific), cause me to lose it completely. This, my friends, joins that list, my crying list, my epic list.
And, mind you, this is coming from the perspective of someone who didn't want to read this book. I wasn't sure about it. I'd heard a lot of good and some bad, and I still didn't have a good feeling about it. Well, I was wrong. Like, really really really wrong...
Character notes - Immediately, I cared for Lena. I felt the pain she felt, and I wanted to help her, or at least see her happy. To see her free of the lies of her society. I wanted to comfort her about her mother and be the best friend she needs. She seemed strong to me, despite the sadness she felt. All she needed to do was realize it was all a lie. Only then could she break free.
And she needed someone special to help her with that. Someone who would pull her out of her own troubles and show her the world around her for what it truly is - a beautiful world, full of deceived and deceiving people. That person took shape in Alex. Alex seemed...different. Right from the start. Not only does he stand out in that strange world, but he stands out in literature, too. He's not your typical boyfriend, either. When Lena needs someone strong, he is strong. When she needs someone kind, he is kind. He always protects her. He loves her genuinely and selflessly, always thinking of her first, what she loves and wants to do. When Lena begins to fall into a self-pity craze, he's tough with her, but only because he wants her to see the truth - because he loves her. I cannot tell you how stinking impressed I am with his character. The amount of selflessness and care and respect and beauty put into the love he has for Lena surprised me. I was not prepared for this quality of a love story. I have a feeling that my opinion of many love stories I read in the future will be colored by this one, just because it was so incredibly amazing to me. I also love that Alex is the color of autumn. At least, that's what he reminds Lena of, and it's stuck in my brain now, too. His hair is the color of autumn leaves. His eyes are the color of amber. He's just warm and...wonderful. Like, really truly wonderful. Quality.
Story notes - This is something else that surprised me: the perfect smoothness of the story. Like, it was incredibly smooth. There were times when I felt the pace could have gone out of whack - but nope!! It went smooth, like Lauren Oliver has never done anything else in her life except write smooth stories. And the story itself... Twists and turns and creepy Crypts and love. Lots of love. It's powerful. NOT your easy, light read that you can put down and say, "Yay that was happy, now let's move on!" When I finished it (during my good, long cry), I had to think. In fact, I don't exactly want to pick up a book right now because I just want to let this one rest a bit on my mind before I dive into another story.
One word/phrase to sum up this book (and final thoughts) - There are quite a few words that come to mind when I think of Delirium... Powerful, colorful, LOVELY, quality, coherent...flipping amazing! But I really think the best word (actually, phrase) to describe it is breath-takingly beautiful. When I reached the end of the book, I kind of did lose my breath. There's so much going on, so much to learn about these characters and experience in this deceived world. And there's so much love. So, so much, that it got me thinking about my life. My loves. How do I love those around me? How can I take advantage of this freedom? And the choices I have...it's amazing compared to the world of Delirium. This, I take advantage of too much. What better choices can I make in the future? Really, this was quite a life-changing, thought-provoking book for me. I hope everyone will give this book a shot - literature as quality as this deserves a majorly huge spotlight. :)
For the parents: Some brief strong language. (F**k, b**ch, d**n, s**t...) A short scene (less than a page long) where Alex sees Lena without a shirt on (it's implied without a bra as well), and he tells her she is beautiful. They don't have sex but they kiss a lot. Not super descriptive....more
Gooooshhhh... The hard reality, the gritty truths, the tough choices and the fervent passion: Anne Perry's trademarks that never ever ever FREAKING EVGooooshhhh... The hard reality, the gritty truths, the tough choices and the fervent passion: Anne Perry's trademarks that never ever ever FREAKING EVER get old....more
There are only a few books in the world worthy of me staying up till 3 AM to finish. This book was one if them. IM FREAKING OUT OK?! That was perfect.There are only a few books in the world worthy of me staying up till 3 AM to finish. This book was one if them. IM FREAKING OUT OK?! That was perfect. PERFECT. Every detail, every moment, was careful and planned and yet totally unexpected!! What even....more
I absolutely love love love Galen. He's by far my favorite. And in this book I love how Galen grew so much. And how Carys's inner struggles have suchI absolutely love love love Galen. He's by far my favorite. And in this book I love how Galen grew so much. And how Carys's inner struggles have such an impact on the book.
"What is it?" Harnor whispered. "I don't know. But Galen will." "Who's Galen?" he began, but then he stopped, staring over her shoulder, his face set in sudden agony of terror. She spun around. Far down the halls, up through the open trapdoor, something dark and long, endlessly long, was slithering....more
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #2) Pages: 375 Release Date: February 28th, 2012 Date Read: 2012, March 2nd-4th Received: OWN Rating: 5/5 stars RecomPandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #2) Pages: 375 Release Date: February 28th, 2012 Date Read: 2012, March 2nd-4th Received: OWN Rating: 5/5 stars Recommended to: 16+
This review contains spoilers for the first book, Delirium.
SUMMARY - Lena Holoway is old, dead, and buried. Lena Morgan Jones is new, reborn, and ready to fight at whatever the cost. The memory of Alex, of Grace and her mother, are all she has left of her life before. Her new life is with Raven and Tack, after a grueling time in the Wilds; she lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is a student, a cured, a Zombie. She has been charged with trailing Julian Fineman, son of prominent leader of the Deliria Free America. When the two are thrown into an adventure they never bargained for, they must put aside their differences - and fight a forbidden love that can never be fostered.
MY THOUGHTS - I read. I cried. I threw a fit.
This book makes me want to pull a squirt gun on the publishers, Dick Harper style , and yell, "GIVE ME YOUR ARC'S! GIVE ME YOUR ARC'S!"
I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's something that never gets old, and I don't believe it will ever change.
Lauren Oliver is Brilliant. With a capitol "B".
And because of that Brilliancy, we have Before I Fall, Delirium, and now Pandemonium. (I'm sure Liesl & Po is just as wonderful, but I have yet to read it.) If I had to pick a favorite between Delirium and Pandemonium, I'd pick the first book, but its sequel is so excellent I cannot deny my love for it. It is a Forever Favorite and will stay there for all time.
Once again - Lauren's writing is freaking GORGEOUS. It envelops you in warm, comforting arms and feeds you inspiration by the spoonful. Even after the story is over, it sticks with the reader for a long, long time.
CHARACTER NOTES - Lena Morgan Jones is my new hero. She's my role model. If I could be half as brave as this young woman, then I'd feel like a superhero. In Delirium, Alex is the one who causes her to bud into a beautiful, brave young woman. Pandemonium shows the continued growth, the building of a new Lena who strives to do right by her memory of Alex, of her mother.
Now, ahem, ALEX. No, he is not exactly in this book as a character, but his memory shines for him, real and encouraging - to the reader as well as to Lena. I loved the way Lena's thoughts of him, her motivation to make her life exactly what he'd died for her to have, practically brought him to life. Oh, how I miss him. I'm serious - I felt like I was Lena, aching for him, wishing for his strong guidance, but also pushing forward, fighting for another day, to live, breathe love. That is why I love Alex.
Julian Fineman. Can I just ask a question? HOW THE HECK DID YOU BECOME WONDERFUL AS WELL?!?!?! After gaining composure... Julian is...wow. I wasn't sure of him at first, but now I'm dead certain. What I'm certain of (besides his awesomeness) I have no idea. I just hope Lauren has something awesome in store for him. (Although, compared with Alex....he doesn't even compare. Ok, so, we're not comparing him with Alex right now. Sorry, I just can't help myself.)
Raven, Tack, Hunter, Sarah, etc. - these are the men and women and children of the wilds. They were all very clear and precise and consistent. I mean, come on, these are Lauren's characters I'm talking about here - what else would they be?!
STORY NOTES - I'm going to be honest: I missed 37 Brooks, Back Cove...Portland. I really did. But here, in Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver has built something just as real, just totally different - Brooklyn, NY. An entirely new setting, a new structure, a strong difference in her MC - and yet everything felt as though I'd experienced it my whole life. So natural, life-like.
I really liked the then and now idea - how they were different times but they still melted into each other, seamless. Lena's contrasted self was a beautiful thing to see, to be reminded of.
Wanna know what really blows me away? The love triangle. Yep, you heard me. I flipping love this love triangle. It's not giggling teenage girls with hunky men where all they want to do is make out. It's something totally different, out-of-this-world, mindboggling: it's mature. Yes, Lauren Oliver has succeeded in creating the mature and realistic love triangle I've ever read. Now, I have my biases. I'm a "first love" fan 1,000,000%. But honestly, I trust Lauren's expertise. What she says goes. I'm placing my already fragile heart in her hands. I trust she won't crush it. (Ok, just kidding. She's already crushed it and shredded it and mercilessly pounded it into the dirt a million times but...you get what I'm trying to say, right?)
On the topic of love, I must say the love story in this one was a bit less believable, because of who Lena is and what she's been through. I mean, with Delirium's slow-progressing romance, thick and delicious and wondrous, and with the world's best lit-man, nothing really compares now. Because of this, Pandemonium's romance seemed quite a bit fast. It was definitely beautiful, and still believable, but not as much as Lena and Alex's. I sure do hope this makes sense...
And then...WE ALL DIE BECAUSE OF THAT END. WHY?!?!?!! My mind seriously threatens to burst every time I even think about it because I can't even wrap my head around Lauren's brilliance!!!! She is the Queen of Cliffhangers and Heartbreakers. WHY do we have to wait till freaking NEXT YEAR to know what happens?!?!?!
It's just....pure genius. Pure. Genius.
SUMMING IT UP - You heard me - pure genius. From first page to last. Every word in between. Everything. I'm seriously freaking out right now!! Requiem: I need you desperately, but you are worth the wait!!!
For the Parents - A handful of s**t, brief strong language (2 F's, 2 GD's). Reference to "unnaturals" (two guys are apparently a couple). A male character asks to see Lena without a shirt on. She covers her breasts but he does get a peek at the rest. A passionate kiss, some description. They sleep in a bed together but nothing happens. Recommended to 16+...more
Requiem by Lauren Oliver Book 3 in a trilogy 5/5 stars Some spoilers!
Can I just cry right now???? This book was epic. (It was my Best of the Bunch choiceRequiem by Lauren Oliver Book 3 in a trilogy 5/5 stars Some spoilers!
Can I just cry right now???? This book was epic. (It was my Best of the Bunch choice for March!) I know it received a lot of questionable reviews...I saw some where the reviewer said, "5 stars for the first 3/4th, 1 star for the last 1/4th." I had NEVER seen that in all my 3 years of book blogging, so I was really nervous to start this.
Fortunately for me, I'm one of the people in this world who believes it deserves 5 stars from beginning to end. I don't really know how to describe what it did for me - my heart was broken and whole all at once. Everything made sense. If it had happened any differently, I don't know...maybe I would have liked it, but it wouldn't have had that shocking, real-life kind of feeling it gave me.
By real life, I mean this: Things happen. Our stories are played out in our lives. Once one battle is won (or lost) your life doesn't just stop. It keeps going. It's not the end. Some things are left unsaid. Some things aren't finished. Some questions you won't have the answers to. Sure, that sucks sometimes, but it's life. Requiem earned my absolute respect and all my love because of this: It doesn't "end". I feel like there is more that will happen, so much more. I also think that...it had to stop sometime. There was sooo much work to be done after the climax that it could have gone on and on and on.
Basically, I loved where she left it. It had me gasping. For those of you who have read it, highlight this: OMG I'M SO HAPPY WHO SHE ENDED UP WITH YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!! That was ALL I ever REALLY wanted for this series!! ;) (End spoiler.) And on top of that ^^ the character development left me breathless, and the gorgeous prose was like a lullaby. And Hana...a;sldfkja;slgj;askldjf!!!! I just. I mean. UGH. It was, to say the least, beautiful.
Anyways. If you loved the first two, PLEASE give this one a try. Sure, it's a daunting one to pick up, but trust me, it's WORTH IT. And I feel if you're prepared for the ending, it won't be as much of a bummer as it was to some people.
This book reminds me of... Forests Rivers Danger Sacrificial love (my favorite kind) Growth in character Searching for beauty, especially in the unexpected LOVE (because that's really what it's all about)
Summary (Spoilers for the first 2 books!) They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past. But we are still here. And there are more of us every day. Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings. Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it. But we have chosen a different road. And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose. We are even free to choose the wrong thing. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge....more
Grand Fenwick is a little known country near France, a small duchy that has flourished for centuries because of their popular wine company. Recently, however, the wine business has failed to bring in enough money to live on. There are those who wish to dilute the wine, and others who are against this notion. Both parties continue to argue over the outcome until a grand scheme is devised: small, itty bitty Grand Fenwick will declare war on the U.S. - attack, lose, and then receive all sorts of benefits for their trouble, as they had seen happen to every nation who lost a war to the U.S.
But of course, this isn't at all what happens. In fact, Grand Fenwick, the smallest nation in the world, wins this war. And becomes the most powerful nation in the world.
My thoughts - I looked forward to reading this book for nearly 9 months before I finally got to read it for school. It most definitely did not disappoint and I want to say right off the bat that everyone should give this a try! :)
For one, this book is hilarious. Everything about it - the characters, story line, and dialogue - has some sort of humorous tinge to it. I laughed and giggled through the whole thing.
Yet, at the same time, there is a strong sense of seriousness and peril, as well as great honor, throughout the entire story. I couldn't help but follow along to discover what would happen, knowing I wouldn't be disappointed.
Character notes - I loved all the characters in this book. From the Duchess of Grand Fenwick to Tully Bascomb; from the President of the U.S. to the Russian Commissar. Even if they weren't the most in-depth characters in literature (because this story wasn't exactly meant to focus on character), they were fascinating and realistic all the same. I actually think the U.S. President is my favorite, with Gloriana (the Duchess) coming in at a close second. I respected them both and loved the way they handled the sticky situations they were put in.
Story notes - This story really focuses a lot on politics - with a mixture of action, silliness, romance, and character history on the side. I was quite taken with the story line from the start of the book. I cared about Grand Fenwick and their financial struggles and wanted them to find the solution. Then, when they proposed war, the action started. Then more politics...then suspense...and so on. I loved the perfect trap the U.S. walked into, and the perfect set-up to win the war that the warriors of Grand Fenwick had. And neither side knew it. Quite a way to set up an unexpected ending to an already hilarious (and intriguing) story!
One word/phrase to sum it up (final thoughts) - Uproarious! I loved it all, even if it wasn't super deep or life-altering. A bit of silliness, romance, and war mixed in with political disagreements of all different kinds makes for a lovely story and enjoyable read!...more