Read this in one sitting, it's after midnight now and I really must go to bed so I can't really write a proper review...moreWhen does the next one come out?!
Read this in one sitting, it's after midnight now and I really must go to bed so I can't really write a proper review but...omg...loved it, was exhilarated, terrified, infuriated, saddened, overjoyed, and lovestruck as I read. Need to process all the new revelations! Am worried about the next book and what will happen to the characters, especially their relationships, but in a thrilling way. This whole series is going to be one I read and re-read, I know it. My copy of Crossed has about 20 post-its marking quotes I loved, and that was just a first reading.(less)
This is definitely one that I will re-read, several times, just like I did with the first one in the series, Divergent. I love this world and these ch...moreThis is definitely one that I will re-read, several times, just like I did with the first one in the series, Divergent. I love this world and these characters, particularly Four. Although, I think both Four and Tris were a bit less likeable in parts of this book. That's probably good, characters can't be likeable all the time or they'd be flat. I'm really looking forward to analyzing this book more--there were a lot of questions answered (and some things I was able to accurately predict from having read the first one,) but of course there were many more questions raised than answered. Also, a LOT of people died. One of the things I really liked was that there was no stereotypical young-adult love triangle, and that Tris and Four's relationship is pretty strong. I mean it's of course not perfect, not without difficulties, but the difficulties are more adult or more we're-in-a-super-serious-deadly-situation, not petty misunderstandings or I-don't-realize-he-really-likes-me-or-admit-I-like-him crap that I find so annoying in other YA books (*cough*Twilight/Hunger Games*cough*) The reason I only gave it four stars and not five was that I felt all the talk about mind-control and conspiracy theories was tedious at times, and this book felt very much like a 2nd in a series, where it was sort of setting a lot of things up for the finale at the expense of having the same consistently urgent tone that the first book had. Also, I would have loved to see less time spent on figuring out what was going on, and more time on character and relationship development. Or, fit in more character and relationship development with the figuring-out-which-conspiracy-theory-is-right parts. I felt like Four and Tris had a lot of good growth moments, but other characters(like Christina)weren't featured enough to make their actions of allegiance or betrayal understandable and natural. But maybe that's just part of the first-person narrative limitation. Tris's voice is very to-the-point, with very little description sometimes where I wish there was more. But I also love the way she phrases things, (one of my favorites being "I don't stare back, I REFUSE to stare back. I stare back." Haha!)
Off to add my favorite quotes to goodreads, and then later blog a spolier-y analysis in detail at my pagelady.com blog! (less)
Fans of the tv series Avatar: The Last Airbender will appreciate this collection of supplemental short stories. People unfamiliar with the series will...moreFans of the tv series Avatar: The Last Airbender will appreciate this collection of supplemental short stories. People unfamiliar with the series will not get much out of it, since there are no major story arcs or character development. The book is divided into three sections (Water, Earth, Fire) to correspond to the three seasons ("books") of the show. If you're familiar with the series it's easy to contextualize between which episodes these mini-escapades take place. Like the show, some are light-hearted and a bit silly, while others are surprisingly complex and poignant for a children's series. I would say my favorites were Relics, Going Home Again, and No Benders Allowed.(less)
I was totally hooked within paragraphs. I loved R's morbid, brooding monologues. But I think it starts of much stronger than it finishes. I think the...moreI was totally hooked within paragraphs. I loved R's morbid, brooding monologues. But I think it starts of much stronger than it finishes. I think the love bits are a bit too convenient and unconvincing. Where it really lost me was with the whole Romeo and Juliet balcony scene homage. I mean, really? Did it need to be that blatant? It was annoying and felt forced, and I don't think this story gained anything by being compared to that one. I mean I don't think they're related. Obviously the author thought so. Oh, fine, I get it, the girl and boy from two feuding factions fall in love and bring everyone together, kind of. Anyway, it was a quick and fun read, my favorite zombie story so far, and I would recommend it but I wouldn't say "ZOMG you must read this right now!!!!!!"(less)
What I liked most about Bumped was the way religion was part of the dystopia. I could relate to Harmony's quoting verses and referring to the explanat...moreWhat I liked most about Bumped was the way religion was part of the dystopia. I could relate to Harmony's quoting verses and referring to the explanations the Elders of Goodside gave for circumstances and proper behaviors, because they were familiar to me and were believable as a way that a segment of society would react to the Virus. I felt like the first book did a good job of making the situations, ethics, and what the "right" or "godly" thing to do was complicated. But in this sequel, there really wasn't much of that questioning going on. There was a great quote, where Harmony, referring to the church leaders who are about to shun her, says "For such black-and-white thinkers, I am too much gray." But nothing philosophical, theological, or social was really explored in this book. The plot twists became a little ridiculous and everything was too predictable and easily resolved. I basically predicted all the major 'twists' early on. It was a fast read, but not because it was compelling, just because it was short and by the time I was halfway through I knew I wanted to finish it so as to be able to get on to something better next. A disappointing installment to a series that I thought started off with more potential. But, I will probably read the next one, and it is a lot better than Wither.(less)
I should preface this review by saying I am a Whedonite and I always like Joss Whedon's creations. So of course I liked this. It's a great continuatio...moreI should preface this review by saying I am a Whedonite and I always like Joss Whedon's creations. So of course I liked this. It's a great continuation of the television show, and it was fun to revisit the characters and see what they had been up to. At this point I've only read the first two volumes of season 8 because I'm having to wait for them to become available at my local library but I am liking it so far. I love how scenes start in the middle of conversations and the narrative skips between groups or locations or in and out of dream sequences just like a movie or show. And the dialogue is very much like it is on the show, full of puns and pop culture references. I thought the illustrations captured the images of the actors, too. (less)
This was a pretty good vampire family story, except that some of the storylines wrapped up in a very cliche manner. I liked the way it was written, it...moreThis was a pretty good vampire family story, except that some of the storylines wrapped up in a very cliche manner. I liked the way it was written, it is broken up almost like a movie script with different scenes instead of chapters, some of them very small, so it's easy to breeze through a good chunk of pages without realizing it. The idea of the Abstainer's Handbook and the excerpts we got to see from it were very interesting, and I wish there was more of that instead of just a little glossary at the end. I did really enjoy reading this book, but I'm only giving it three stars because, like I said, a lot of the things that happened towards the end were cliche and I didn't think the characters had been properly motivated to take such drastic actions.(less)
this book was recommended to me by several friends, so i hope they won't be hurt by the low rating i'm giving it or the fact that i likely won't finis...morethis book was recommended to me by several friends, so i hope they won't be hurt by the low rating i'm giving it or the fact that i likely won't finish the series, but i just really didn't like it. the fantasy/magic elements were interesting and it's not that i didn't/don't care what happens to the characters, but the writing style was distractingly bad and i was extremely frustrated by things like the fantasy world-building heavily relying on an over-abundance of unexplained references to proper nouns, (people groups, names, mythologies, languages--including untranslated phrases, sometimes entire conversations, in one or more constructed languages that we're never given enough clues to decipher!) and the cardboard stereotypical representation of almost all the female characters. I mean, I want to give the author credit for including female characters, but none of them are very realistic or likeable (the best are Devi and Auri, the worst is Fela with Denna close behind) and the way Kvothe narrates his admiration for the women is SO awkward and annoying that I frequently wanted to punch him. I would include specific eye-roll-worthy quotes here but I think I might write a proper blog-rant or two over this book (one about the female characters, one about the crappy conlang) so I'll save them for that. Oh but the other annoying thing about this book is it doesn't deliver a complete story, and I realize it's set up as the first in a trilogy but it's really irritating to suffer through all those chapters just for a deliberate "haha, the flashbacks haven't even caught up to the present yet! you still don't know anything about who/what the monsters at the beginning were, or who half the characters actually are, or how to understand any of the other languages or even what the languages/people groups/regions in this story are because we never made it clear and didn't include any index, table, or map! HAHAHA!" so, yeah, i was hate-reading for more than half of this book and i don't think i have the energy to hate-read the second installment when it likely has a similarly unsatisfying "ending" and the third one isn't even out yet. *insert cleverly bitchy Siaru phrase that i would know how to construct if they gave us more examples of the speech translated*(less)
This was a strange read. I liked it, I liked the fantasy elements and the way it gave a new perspective on an old and familiar story. But I was also c...moreThis was a strange read. I liked it, I liked the fantasy elements and the way it gave a new perspective on an old and familiar story. But I was also confused and frustrated by it; I felt that a lot of plot events were too vague and what actually happened was often unclear, and that it didn't make any statements about or really explore the nature of evil, (as the introduction purported that it would), but rather spewed contradictory views all over the pages. I'm sure this is supposed to make the reader think, and I don't mind thinking, but I think I would have preferred for everything to be a little more clear. The plot and the philosophy are both as muddy as the Quadling countryside.
There were a lot of great lines, though, and some wonderful imagery.(less)
I. LOVED. READING. THIS. BOOK! The mythology and world-building was so incredibly rich! I love the way the chapters alternate between several characte...moreI. LOVED. READING. THIS. BOOK! The mythology and world-building was so incredibly rich! I love the way the chapters alternate between several characters point-of-view, because it really gets the reader emotionally invested in the tangled storylines of the people of Westeros. And the plot takes so many unexpected twists and turns! It was a thrilling adventure to uncover new discoveries, backstories, treachery, sympathetic motivations, terrible tragedies and heartbreaking loyalties with each new page. I am so glad that I managed to remain relatively spoiler-free until I finished, and I hope I can keep it that way while I devour the rest of the series! I can't believe it has taken me this long to start reading these books either, but this first one was published while I was still in early high school and they may not have been appropriate for me at that age. It's definitely an adult story, but it really doesn't get terribly graphic. I'm grateful for several narrative choices that shielded the reader from witnessing the goriest battle scenes first-hand. And the whole world is just so rich and detailed! There's even a housecat with a backstory, at least I think so! I'm continually making new theories as each chapter reveals more of the intricate world that George R. R. Martin created. It's a world that has joined the ranks of Narnia, Middle-Earth, and Hogwarts for me--places I'll only ever visit through the pages of books and in my dreams, fictional lands that are as real to me as all the actual foreign countries that I've never visited. (less)
I read this book thinking it might be better than the movie (with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman), that it might be more satisfyingly complex and fu...moreI read this book thinking it might be better than the movie (with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman), that it might be more satisfyingly complex and full. Well, it wasn't. In some ways it was more developed, because there were more characters that were given more of the spotlight, but then on the other hand it was harder to pick out who was supposed to have been the main character. The entire Owens family, I suppose? Or maybe the main character was magic/love? Whatever, I was disappointed, parts of it were interesting but then certain things happened very quickly and the story never stayed with one character long enough for me to feel like I knew her or appreciated her growth. The whole thing felt pretty ambiguous, even the magical parts, like it wasn't clear how much was real and how much was just herbs and spices or intuition, and I don't think the word "'magic" was ever used anyway. It was just undefined mysticism, plants growing unnaturally fast, Kylie sensing things and empathizing with people's emotions. Oh, and it was one of those books where all the women (the Owens women, anyway), are so unbelievably beautiful that countless men/boys are crazily devoted to them, but the women never pay them any attention. I find that incredibly annoying. How am I suppose to sympathize or relate to characters like that? How am I supposed to take a story like that seriously? (less)
the "left behind" books were all kind of awful; i started reading them one summer and kept going because a.) they were all in the church library and t...morethe "left behind" books were all kind of awful; i started reading them one summer and kept going because a.) they were all in the church library and there was little else for me to read at the time, living at home, and b.) i was curious to see how the authors were going to wrap it up. i read this final installment as an assignment in a Bible college course on Revelation. these books all espouse a premillinial dispensationlist theology, which i fundamentally disagree with, and i think they've done much more harm than good. mainly glad i read 'em just so i can accurately discuss all the things i disagree with about their interpretations. but this last one was really...just...bad.
Jesus literally appears on a white horse in the sky, he literally splits the guts of all the armies and literally walks around getting his white robe bloodied in the gore. Everything he says is quoting scripture, and while I can understand the author's hesitance to put words in their Lord and savior's mouth, it just makes him sound stilted, stiff, robotic, strange...not at all how I think the person who hung out with prostitutes, fishermen, tax collectors and peasants would talk. I mean even as part of this series this book falls the flatest because it's the finale, there is nothing left for them to imagine or interpret, they just have to literally describe everything like michael the archangel wrestling with the devil and literally chaining him in a big pit, I mean...at least they are consistent with their interpretive view, I guess.(less)