This has to be one of the most talked about and highly anticipated YA book of the year. Normally the hype and e...moreFor this review and more visit my blog
This has to be one of the most talked about and highly anticipated YA book of the year. Normally the hype and excitement leads to disappointment, well, not this time. This book packs an almighty punch and is the best book of 2013 I have read so far. It is not for everyone and there are some that will hate it but for me it was great. I do not know where to start this review; I honestly don’t know how I can convey to you just how awesome I thought this book was. I just loved everything about it.
This storyline is awesome, it was different, it was creative, it was epic and amazingly exciting. It is jam packed full of action but also has a lot of heart. It is smart and managed to keep me guessing right up to the last amazing page. The story revolves around two sisters and asks how far would you be willing to go to protect someone you love. Would you lie? Would you steal? Would you kill?
Annie and Fia could not be any more different from one another, the love they have for each other and the lengths they are prepared to go for one another is consuming but personality wise they are nothing alike. Annie is calm and gentle. She is the elder but her blindness has meant that her younger sister has always had to look out for her. I liked Annie she provided the slower and more tranquil moments and a lot of the emotional ones too.
Fia was not calm or gentle at all. She was an incredible character and was by far my favourite. Her POV is disjointed, her voice frantic and manic. At first I thought this was going to be the writing style throughout the whole book but it soon became clear that Fia’s voice was not like anyone else’s. She is broken and scarred by the things she has had to do in order to keep her sister from harm. She is a loose cannon, not someone you should trust but I found myself loving her. She is smart, full of courage and personality.
Fia has a tempestuous relationship with a guy called James, he is also a bit of a mess but in a different way. You never really know his motives but he is hard to dislike regardless. The chemistry between Fia and James sizzles and I adored them together.
The writing is also well executed. The chapters swap between sisters and between the past and present, both of these worked really well and I never once found it confusing or disorientating.
I have to take my hat off to Kiersten White for writing a book that I cannot say anything negative about. This is, without a doubt, one of the best books I have read and will read this year. Believe the hype, this book is amazing and I urge you to run to your local books store and buy this when it is released.
The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for and honest review(less)
It is very rare to come across a book that is completely new, especially in YA and the paranormal/fantasy genre but I can honestly say I have never read anything like Another Little Piece before. It was explosively original and completely impossible it put down.
This book had me hooked from the first page until the last. It was complex, difficult and twisty. Half the time I had no idea what was going on and when I finally figured something out another twist appeared to grip me. It was gory, sexy and dark and I absolutely revelled in it. There were themes that some will find disturbing I think I was probably disturbed for most of the book but in the best possible way. Did everything make sense in the end? No, and maybe things could have been explained in a little bit more detail (it was a little rushed at the end) but I liked the mystery this book retains at the finish.
The writing was absolutely beautiful. I loved Quinn’s tone and her world building was superb, I lost myself in this book and didn’t come up for air until I had finished. Every single character, including the parents was full of character and personality. Kate Karyus Quinn clearly has an amazing imaginations and an ability to get all that creativity on paper, without going over the top.
I really liked Annaliese/Anna. She was morbid, morose and dark but I liked it. She was so obviously lost and confused and that endeared her to me. Her relationship with the parents was beautiful, so often I moan about the atrocious parenting in YA but in Another Little Piece they were amazing, especially the mum. I often found myself getting emotional over the strength of the mothers love and affection for a daughter she barely recognised she loved her without question and fiercely tried to protect her.
Annaliese is not the only complex character the nerdy and disturbed Dex also has issues, I was never quite sure what Dex was but I really loved him. He was the perfect love interest for me. His vulnerability was at times heart breaking and although he knew exactly who he was and where he came from he was as lost as Anna.
The romance was great, it was not the main storyline so wasn’t overdone yet it still managed to get my heart racing. They were perfectly suited and I really liked them together.
I could talk about all the other aspects of this book, like the flashbacks, or other characters like the evil Eric and the mysterious Physician but I do not want to give anything away.
If I had to compare this book to something I would say it was Jennifer’s Body meets The Craft with a dash of Dexter but really Another Little Piece is in a world of its own. It is smart and compelling, it is one of the best YA thrillers I have ever read and in my opinion it is an absolute must read.
The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review(less)
Sequels are a hard thing to master, middle books in a trilogy even more so. I cannot count the amount of times I have been burned reading a sequel to a book I really loved. The Eternity Cure made me nervous. It made me nervous because I thought The Immortal Rules (book 1) was one of the best YA books I have ever read, it made me nervous because I wanted it to be amazing and I was terrified I wouldn’t be. I really shouldn’t have worried, Julie Kagawa has never let me down in the past and she didn’t start now. The Eternity Cure was not like The Immortal Rules, it was different and I loved it because of those differences.
It is quite hard to pin point what Kagawa does right with these books. What is it that makes me love them so much? I think it is a combination of everything the story, world building and writing but I think it is probably the characters that make this series one of the best.
If I thought about an alter ego for myself and what I would like her to be like someone like Allie would come to mind. I often find female YA characters a little annoying even if I adore them but not Alison. She is loyal, loving and fierce.
She grows up a lot in this book and becomes even more likeable. I love everything about her, I love her honestly with herself, her desperation to remain human whilst trying to feed and contain the monster within. She is willing to sacrifice, willing to die for those she loves and what she believes in and she does so quietly. She isn’t throwing a massive pity party about how cruel life has been to her, she is sulking or moaning, she just accepts it because it cannot be changed. She is strong and heroic and I absolutely love her.
The men in this series are just as likable and to be honest Julie Kagawa really needs to stop creating male characters that I want to procreate with. I am only human and these men are slowly killing me.
Zeke was a bit of a revelation to me in this. I really did like him in The Immortal Rules and I think he is a perfect love interest for Allie but I was not interested in him myself, that changed in this. It appears that Zeke is growing up, in The Immortal Rules he was still a boy in The Eternity Cure he is turning into a man and I like the adult he is becoming. He spends most of his time in this book around vampires and it takes a lot of courage to do the things he does but he does them for Allie because he truly loves her. It is one of those situations where you don’t need to hear him say it, you just know it and can see it in everything he does.
Next up is Jackal who came straight out of left field. In The Immortal Rules he was a villain and he was awful. There was nothing to like about him but in this things changed…at least I think they did. I found myself surprisingly and disturbingly attracted to Jackal and I liked him…a lot. For a guy who professed not to care about anyone or anything he sure did a lot of caring. I suspect that under the cold and sarcastic exterior there is a heart of gold. I am not really sure if adoring Jackal was the author’s intention or if it is just my twisted mind but I loved him regardless.
Then there is my one true love Kanin. I loved Kanin from the first page he appeared in The Immortal Rules and I still love him now. He is one of my all-time favourite characters ever and is in my top 5 book boyfriends of all time. If something ever happens to him I will never forgive Kagawa, if something happens to any of them I will have a hard time but Kanin more than most.
It wasn’t only the characters that had changed. The Eternity Rules is a lot darker than its predecessor, with a lot more peril and danger thrown in. It was about relationships, trust and sacrifice. The ending was harsh and I think I sat in my bed with my mouth wide open in shock for at least twenty minutes after I finished. I actually don’t know how I will wait for the last book in the series but I am scared of getting to that point as well because the thought of this ending is pretty scary because I like it so much.
The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review(less)
The Assassin’s Curse was one of the surprise hits of last year. I loved it, it was imaginative, full of characters I loved and delightfully original. I couldn’t wait to get my hands of the follow up, The Pirate’s Wish. I needed to know if Ananna and Naji managed to break the curse and was desperate to find out if romance finally bloomed between the two. Anticipation was high and I was nervous that this would disappoint. Thankfully it didn’t and I got all the answers I wanted.
The Pirate’s Wish picks up where The Assassin’s Curse left off. Ananna and Naji are trapped on an island with three impossible tasks ahead of them. The tasks will break the curse that was placed upon Naji when Ananna saved his life when he was sent to kill her.
Within pages of opening this book I was absorbed and back in the amazing world Cassandra Rose Clarke has created. I love her writing and world building and it is easy to get lost in this magical world. It is vibrant and full of character and charm. There is a ton of action and some lovely mellow moments as well. This is a well-paced book that knows when to speed up of slow down.
The Pirate’s Wish takes a more adult feeling through this and I was surprised how much the romance was central to the whole story. In the previous book the romance was just a faint whisper in the background, in this it is central. I knew it was going to be bigger in this book given the nature of one of the impossible tasks but I wasn’t expecting it to start so quickly.
The relationship between Ananna and Naji is a strained one and it has always been bizarre. They are tied reluctantly together in the beginning and things get more awkward when Ananna develops feelings that are not returned. There is pain here and misunderstanding and it shapes the story as a whole. I think that will disappoint some readers who enjoyed the lack of romance in the first book but I think it was inevitable. Ananna and Naji are together in so many aspects and in order for them to achieve anything they need each other and they always have. It was fate that bought them together and they will only achieve the impossible together.
Characters are key in this book. Ananna was just as awesome as she was in The Assassin’s Curse but I also think she grew up a lot in this one. What I love about Ananna is her refusal to be anything she wasn’t. She had her own ideas, her own views and she stuck to them. She loves Naji but will not let him control her and she does not let her gender stand in her way at all. I loved her strength and wish there were more characters like her in YA fiction.
Naji (who is one of my 5 book boyfriends) was just as perfect. There was a vulnerability to him in this that was not present in the first book. He was more human and his feelings were a lot more pronounced. He is a pretty special guy and I loved the respect he had for Ananna. He was adorable in the romance when it finally got going but despite his feelings and his own wishes he didn’t even try and hold Ananna back, he wanted her to be herself and be happy even if that meant she wasn’t with him. He was the lead in the romance which was a pleasant surprise and it was easy to see how much he cared for Ananna, even the more sexual scenes (swoon) were full of tenderness from him.
I will really miss these two characters. Cassandra Rose Clarke is a brilliant writer who has created an amazing world but Ananna and Naji are the heart of it all. The ending was perfect, a bitter sweet finish to a series that has never played by the rules of an at times repetitive YA genre. It was a real treat to read these books and they will be favourites of mine for the rest of my life.
The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review(less)
This book turned me into a bit of a mess, I have not cried this much since I first saw Atonement, which is sayi...moreFor this review and more visit my blog
This book turned me into a bit of a mess, I have not cried this much since I first saw Atonement, which is saying a lot because that movie made me literally sob for about an hour. For a few days after reading this book (and if I am honest as I am writing this review) just thinking about it made me misty eyed.
It feels almost wrong to say that I loved this book given what it is about, but I did, I loved it. It is a beautiful book that has been stunningly written. It is instantly gripping, utterly heart-breaking and extremely powerful.
It is easy to go overboard with books about this subject and go too far, it is also easy to tread too lightly and not write what really happened for fear of offending and upsetting people. Sepetys gets it just right for her target audience in this, she has treated this subject with the respect it deserves whilst managing to write characters that make me laugh and cry and who you hate and love.
I loved Lina, I loved how she grew, how she found her strength and resolve. She was not always likable, she was not perfect, she sometimes said and did the wrong thing, but in her situation who wouldn’t.
All of the characters were wonderfully developed with individual personalities and ticks, but none really compared to Lina’s mother, who was a triumph. I adored her and have no idea how she handled herself with such dignity, courage and grace during this book. Her compassion and care not just for her children but for all those around her was inspiring and genuinely touching. She is the best YA parent I think I have ever come across.
Even now I have tears in my eyes, why? I think it is because I am angry. I am a 27 year old Englishwoman, who had to sit through hour after hour of history classes as I was growing up, and not once in all those hours was this subject bought up. Hundreds and hundreds of not only Lithuanians but other former soviet citizens died and suffered for years at the hands of Stalin and I never knew, and my mother never new, or my father, my best friend or my boss. Somehow these people’s stories have gone missing from the pages of history, so please, please read this book and make your mother read it, and your father, your best friend and your boss.
Between Shades of Gray is a book I will never forget, it was deeply moving and majestically written. It wasn’t perfect I didn’t like the ending and felt it was rushed, but it doesn’t matter to me. Anything that can have this kind of effect on me deserves 5 stars. (less)
I feel it is only fair to warn you all that this review is going to be extremely gushy. Before reading this...moreFor this review and more check out my blog
I feel it is only fair to warn you all that this review is going to be extremely gushy. Before reading this I had a lot of expectations which normally leads to me being disappointed, well not this time because this book blew me away. I utterly adored it. Defiance is one of those books that just seem to get everything right. I loved the plot, the characters and the writing. Redwine took a risk mixing dystopian with fantasy but it worked extremely well, and she managed to take the best of both genres and mould it into something new.
Another thing I loved about this book, and what made it stand out from the rest of the pack was its ability to constantly surprise me. I don't mean that it was a mystery novel that did its best to keep its truths hidden, what I mean is that the characters would do the unexpected when challenged instead of traveling down the well-used, and overly dramatic YA route that we are all used to seeing. It made such a pleasant change and managed to keep me on my toes.
I really have to applaud Redwine for managing to write in a beautifully descriptive way whilst keeping the excitement of the action scenes. It was extremely well done. I love to see beautiful writing in YA and there are beautiful moments in this book. Redwine also proves that she is not scared to take her writing to some dark places. There are moments of brutality, violence and death. Also The Commander is probably one of the most shockingly brutal and menacing villains I have seen in YA fiction.
The Commander is not the only character that stands out. Rachel is a great female lead. She is tough, head strong and smart without being arrogant. Other characters like Oliver and Melkin are also worth mentioning but it is Logan who really stands out. I really liked this guy. He is strong, caring, gorgeous and smart. He is all the things you expect a male YA character to be, yet despite his strength as a warrior and stealth he is actually really socially awkward and embarrasses easily, he often had me laughing out loud. He is also a nerd and, well, I love nerds. His slowly deepening feelings for Rachel were adorable. The peril they are and his natural awkwardness made for some pretty funny and at times intense scenes. The chemistry between them was electric and I swallowed up every bit of it.
Are there negative things about this book? Of course. There are maybe a few to many characters and a couple of moments that weren't needed but these are little things and they didn't bother me at all.
Defiance is a beautifully written and thought out book. It is action packed, humorous and at times touching. This book dares to be a little bit different and asks some big questions about the consequences of your actions, revenge and morally what is right and wrong and how you distinguish between the two.
Believe the hype, this book is brilliant and is one of my books of 2012. (less)
What makes a book special? Is to the writing, the storyline or characters? Or is it something else, a feeli...moreFor this review and more check out my blog
What makes a book special? Is to the writing, the storyline or characters? Or is it something else, a feeling you get when reading it? Whatever it is The Assassin’s Curse has it. This book is pure magic and is in the top 5 books of this year for me. I LOVED it.
The storyline is awesome full of adventure and magic. It takes you from the ocean to the desert and through towns and forests. It introduces you to a world full of mystery and a host of amazing characters.
Annana is my kind of girl. She is brave, she knows her own mind and is not afraid to fight for what she loves or what she feels is right. She can be funny and sarcastic but also vulnerable and naïve. Then there is Naji (sigh) whom I am in love with. There are three male characters I have loved this year. Kanin (TheImmortal Rules), Orma (Seraphina) and now Naji (what can I say I like oddballs.) He can be surly, moody and at times a little naughty but he is also heroic and sweet.
The friendship between these two is what really made this novel go from good to great. They went dislike to friendship and it was amazing to read. Will it end up in romance? Maybe, maybe not, romance is not really what this book is about. Although there is the undercurrent of it there.
I cannot say a bad word about this book. I loved it and I hope if you read it you will to. I cannot wait for the next book.
*The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*(less)
I adored this book, I thought it was amazing and I connected with it on so many levels. This book is not just ab...moreFor this review and more visit my blog
I adored this book, I thought it was amazing and I connected with it on so many levels. This book is not just about romance despite the name, blurb and cover this book is more about families, and how you cope with the fall out if one of your parents moves on.
I was a few years younger than Hadley when my dad left mum and me for another woman. He moved across the country and left my mum and me alone. I was devastated, I cried for days and it hurt so much. I wondered why I wasn’t good enough, wondered if he loved this woman more than me. My mum was a mess she was angry and bitter and I didn’t know how to react. It was a shitty thing for him to do and for a few years I thought I hated him. I was horrible to him, refused to communicate on any level with his girlfriend and was generally a bit of a bitch. Now in my twenties everything is fine. I love my dad and I forgive him, I think him leaving was probably for the best and we have a great relationship now but for a while, in my teens things were tense.
I feel like this book reached into me and put all my thoughts and feelings on a page. At times it was like reading a auto biography of my 15 year old self. Hadley takes a journey through this book, a journey I think a lot of us have to take at that age and I related to it a lot. This book was handled with such care, it was no overdone, and the drama was not too much. It was just right.
The writing in this is exquisite, the descriptions and dialogue is top notch and I read the whole thing in a night. It was engaging and entertaining throughout.
I loved the characters. Hadley was a lovely and mostly sweet girl who I connected with instantly. Oliver was charming, funny and adorable. The chemistry and dialogue between them was effortless and I fell in love with them as a couple and as individuals. In parts it was hopelessly romantic and it made me smile with its cuteness all through the book.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is the most adorable and sweet book I have read in a long time. I loved every second of it and it is beyond doubt the best contemporary book I have read in 2012.
Win one of 3 UK paperback editions on my blog (Open internationally)
I do not know what I was expecting when I bought this book. It had a pretty cover...more
Win one of 3 UK paperback editions on my blog (Open internationally)
I do not know what I was expecting when I bought this book. It had a pretty cover and was going cheap so I thought I would give it ago. I had heard good things about it, I thought I might like it but I wasn’t expecting to be blown away…but I was. Consider me officially blown.
I could talk about what this book does wrong. There are wrong things in it. It is not a writing masterpiece; it is not going to win any major awards but to be quite blunt I simply do not care.
A good book is not only entertaining but it finds a way to get inside you, you feel it in your chest, that urgency to keep reading, the shock and disbelief about something that happens. It plants a seed inside you and refuses to go away. I could not put this book down. I started reading it the night before starting a new job but I still stayed up until 2am to finish it because the thought of not knowing what happens next was unbearable.
Another thing a good book has is the ability to stay with you after you have finished it and stay this book did. I thought about it often in the days after I had finished.
The characters are amazing. The relationship between Pen and Raffe is a slow burner that gets under your skin without being too romantic. The story itself is compelling. And it has you within the first few pages, as soon as that feather falls from the sky you are in and there is no way of getting back out again.
It was brutal and violent and pushed the boundaries of how brutal, gory and violent a YA should be. In my mind it was all justified and was there for the benefit of the story but those with a weaker stomach might find parts of this book disturbing and sickening. This is no walk in the park this is a world full of tragedy and darkness. It holds nothing back and shows you a place that is ripped apart and dyeing.
I could not recommend this book more highly. It is one of the best books I have read this year and is in my top three YA books of all time. I loved it, loved it, loved it and I literally cannot wait for the next book in the series, if it is anything like this then I know I am in for one hell of a ride. (less)
I put off reading this book for a really long time. I found the hype about it off putting and the constant comparisons to Battle Royale (which I am a...moreI put off reading this book for a really long time. I found the hype about it off putting and the constant comparisons to Battle Royale (which I am a huge fan of) made me even more reluctant. In the end I decided that I needed to see what all the fuss was about so I gave it ago and boy am I glad I did.
The Hunger Games is emotional, heartbreaking, thrilling, nerve wracking and strangely beautiful. Is it perfect? No. There are mistakes, just little things here and there but they don't detract from the story as a whole. There are times where I want to smack the the main character, Katniss, round the head with a wooden plank. Then I remember that she is only 16 and she has been thrown into a situation that I cannot begin to imagine myself in.
This book is deeply effecting and I genuinely felt sadness, nerves and fear along with the characters. It is political, it is frightening and at times impossibly cute and funny. It is also nice to come across a YA book that does not center around a romance. Is there romance in it? Sure, but I would of been happy if it wasn't there and would of loved this book just the same.
Is it similar to Battle Royale? Yes, in the same way that all books are similar to something else. It started with running man, to Battle Royale and then onto the Hunger Games. I don't see this as a problem, I think most will struggle to name a book or movie that is truly original, that doesn't share some ideas with other things. The difference between them is the way the story is told and taking that into account I would say that the Hunger Games and Battle Royale could not be further apart.
I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I think any gender and any age range can really enjoy it. Don't be put of by the fact that this book is YA. It is probably one of the most grown up books I have read.
And please, please don't judge this book before you read it, like I did. Give it ago, you won't all like it but you might be pleasantly surprised.
I stand corrected the hype about this book is deserves the negative comparisons to Battle Royale and Twilight are not.(less)
It takes a lot to make me cry and I mean a lot. Some people might say I am cold hearted, this is not true, I fee...more For this review and more visit my blog
It takes a lot to make me cry and I mean a lot. Some people might say I am cold hearted, this is not true, I feel a great deal about a great many things but I don’t often cry. I have read books that people have sobbed over but not even suffered a lip wobble. For an author to make me cry they have to do a great number of things right, it’s not just about the storyline but the characters and the writing. It has to be super good because I have to lose myself in it so much that it hurts enough to make me feel that amount of emotion.
Maybe One Day made me cry and not just a little bit, a lot. I sniffled most of the way through it and at the end when I put this book down I sat on my sofa and I had a good old cry. Even now as I am writing this review a week after reading this book I have tears in my eyes.
I found Maybe One Day to be deeply moving, profoundly effecting and in parts extremely beautiful. It is not just the subject matter, there are plenty of books out there that are like this one and have affected me less. It is Melissa Kantor’s writing and the way she chose to tell this story that made this book so emotional.
I have to seriously commend her for the way she approached this novel. It all felt so real and that is probably why I found it so deeply touching. The characters are not black and white and sometimes they do stupid things but you understand why.
What I think was great about this book was that it wasn’t told from the point of view of the character with cancer but her best friend. You got to see up close the emotions she went though, how she was not only dealing with school and hormones but the illness of someone she loved. It was at times a painful read but also a beautiful one.
Another reason this book worked was the friendship between Zoe and Olivia. It was really beautiful and written so well. They loved each other so much and it was amazing to see the strength they managed to build up not for themselves but for each other. Zoe is an amazing character, I felt like she was on the edge of losing it throughout this book but she managed to keep it together. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for Olivia, nothing and that was why I liked her so much. Her best friend having cancer scared her but she didn’t let it show and she was a constant pillar of support not just for Olivia but for her family as well.
Maybe One Day is an amazing coming of age story that was realistic and beautifully written. It made me laugh and cry and it was seriously moving it parts. I highly recommend that you go out and get this book when it becomes available in the New Year. (less)
*The publisher provided me with this book for review, via Netgalley*
Sometimes being fan of YA fiction is not easy. There are a lot of love triangles, bad writing, weak female characters and just bad storylines to sort through before you get to the good stuff. Then every now and then a book like Seraphina comes along and it makes all the effort worth it.
I was a little bit sceptical when I started it but by the end I was a like this:
That’s right I was wowing. Because Seraphina is not just an amazing YA book; it is an amazing book period. Everything about it is just glorious from its title and cover (which is utterly beautiful) to the pages of writing hidden within. Seraphina is a work of art. This book is so different from most Young Adult books. There is none of the predictably, no annoying characters and no clichés at all. It was so refreshing and such a relief. Seraphina is proof that there is still some originality out there.
From the writing to the plot there is a lot to admire here. Rachel Hartman has created a world so real and vibrant that I could almost smell the bustling city, could almost feel the dragon scales beneath my fingertips. The writing is brilliantly descriptive and it is easy to get lost within the pages.
The actual story line is marvellous. It was interesting from beginning to end and imaginative without being overdone. I found it touching and at times funny, it could make me giggle in one moment then reduce me to tears the next. It had a little bit of everything and I wanted nothing more. The plot flowed along nicely, I was never bored and the action never felt rushed.
The most important thing in all fiction is characters and it is the characters in Seraphina that take it from a good book to an outstanding one.
Seraphina is a great lead character I literally cannot think of a time where she irritated me or I thought she was being an idiot (such a rarity in YA.) She is smart, loyal, funny and brave. She is also extremely realistic. She loves openly, not just romantic love but love for her family and friends. She truly cares and is willing to give everyone an equal chance no matter whom or what they are. Despite this she is still tough. She does not have an easy life and things do not always go her way but she shows courage not only when facing danger but when facing a society that she knows will shun her if they knew what she was. She is also far from perfect. She lies, she cheats and occasionally she sulks and you love her anyway. She gets under your skin and is impossible to dislike.
Next is Kiggs. He is dashing, charming, smart and loyal. He was never dominating, never brooding and not once possessive or irritating. He is a great love interest because he is not overpowering. You do not need to hear him wax lyrical about his feels every five pages to know how he feels. He shows it in the way he is, in the things he does. He does represent the touch of romance that is present in this book but he is much more than that and the romance is not overplayed at all.
Then there is Orma. He is the second YA secondary character I have utterly and obsessively fallen in love with this year. First it was Kanin in The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa now it is Orma in Serephina. I do not know where these characters are coming from but I hope authors continue writing them. I loved Kiggs, he was totally worthy of falling in love with but he was no Orma. Orma is a little standoffish, exceedingly smart and beautifully brave. He is a bit of a nerd, wears a fake beard and is a dragon still I was not perturbed. I adored him…probably too much.
I don’t know what else to say, I could go on and on and on about how marvellous this book is but this review is already 700 words long. So I will just say that I LOVED this book and that you should not walk but run to get it when it comes out. I am pretty sure you will love it to. (less)
I am not going to lie I was not looking forward to reading this book. I really had issues with the first book in this series and would have never picked up the second book if I wasn’t a book blogger. I thought the first book was misleading. It was about an assassin who never killed anyone, who was arrogant and nasty and more interested in dresses and boys. So it was with great reluctance that I picked up Crown of Midnight.
I didn’t expect to love this book, I didn’t even expect to like it but I did. I adored it. It was a million times better than Throne of Glass and all the niggles I had with the first book were not a problem here. It was darker, more exciting and deadlier. There were some shock twists, a ton of action and breath-taking romance.
What made this book so much better than its predecessor was Celaena. She was so much better in this book. The arrogance was completely toned down as was the fashion obsession. She was meaner but also kinder and fairer. There was only one thing that annoyed me about her which I will get to later in this review. I actually liked her in this; I got behind her and cared for her which was something I never thought I would be able to do.
The romance was also a huge plus for me. In the first book it was a more Dorian centric triangle. In this one it focused more on a normal two person relationship between Celaena and Chaol. There are no words in any language that can adequately describe my love and adoration for Chaol. He is a huge part of why I loved this book so much and I don’t think I could continue the series if he wasn’t in it and if he wasn’t the love interest. It is so rare for me to be romance focused in a book, I normally dislike the romances in YA books but this one was breath-taking. Chaol’s feelings were so prominent, pure and clear. He is such a well-balanced character with many different emotions and conflicts but his love for Celaena were perfect.
She had the same feelings for him and it was the first time in both books that you saw her really let go with someone and be at ease. I adored them together and just couldn’t have it any other way. This brings me to the one thing about Celaena that annoyed me. At one point she believes a person she barely knows over Chaol a man she loves and trust. She then flies of the handle and completely loses it. I couldn’t understand why she believed this other person over him, why she didn’t even try to listen to Chaol’s side of the story. It was such a shame.
The ending was awesome and took this series to a brand new place. I cannot wait to see where it goes from here. Despite disliking the first book in the series Crown of Midnight managed to blow me away. It was amazing and is probably one of the best books I have read so far this year.
The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review(less)
*The publisher provided me with this book for review, via Netgalley.*
I am sad because I know that whatever I put...moreFor this review and more visit my blog
*The publisher provided me with this book for review, via Netgalley.*
I am sad because I know that whatever I put in this review will not do Code Name Verity justice. I just cannot tell you in words how amazing I think this book is. It is hard for me to write about this book, if I say too much I will give stuff away and it will ruin the book for others. (Careless talk costs lives) It is that kind of book. It manages to keep surprising you and shocking you. You think you know what is happening but the truth is that you know nothing at all.
I had my doubts when I received Code Name Verity for review. I thought a World War two, YA book about spies would be boring, unbelievable and a waste of time. But I had heard so much about it that I just had to give it a go.
I started it and thought it was pretty good, better than I thought it would be then somewhere along the way I found myself falling in love with it. Because somehow this book just seemed to do everything right.
It was written beautifully and was more accomplished than a lot of Young Adult books. Every character is fleshed out and real. I think I loved every one of them, to some extent even the villains just because they were so…human. This isn’t a story of good versus evil, this is a story of life during war and it manages to show both sides of the story.
The main characters Maddy and Queenie are just so amazing. I loved their strength and their frailty, I loved their stiff upper lip and their personality, but most of all I loved their friendship. It is just the best and most beautiful friendship ever. I hope that if it ever came to it I would have the courage they showed. At the end of the day these are girls that you wish you could be like. They are funny, brave, smart and they do the right thing no matter what. Yet they never come across as perfect, or arrogant, or as Mary Sues.
The story itself was engaging and nail-biting. It twisted in directions I could have never imagined and it manages to keep you on your toes. The research that must have gone into this is mind-boggling; it was just so informative and rich with facts. It was smarter than it had any right to be.
I should warn you that you may need tissues (I certainly did).
There is not much else I can say about the book without spoiling it. So, I will just say that even if you are unsure, even if you do not read YA give this book a shot. There is no real reason why this book is for Young Adults. In fact it is incredibly adult so please, please, please do not be put off by the YA label.
I honestly just cannot tell you how wonderful this book is, and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Run and buy this book when it comes out, you will not regret it.
The Immortal Rules is the first Julie Kagawa book I have read and to be honest I wasn’t really sure who she was before reading this (I know, I know I must be living under a rock or something.) So I wasn’t quite sure why The Immortal Rules was garnering so much attention and excitement. It seems as though this book is a bona-fide hit months before its release, there is just so much hype about it.
Well, I can say with absolute clarity that all the hype and all the excitement is deserved.
This book is brilliant.
The story starts with a bang and it effortlessly introduces you to this hard and cold world. It gathers your attention and from there it is a struggle to break free.
Do not be put off by the word vampire. This is no Twilight, or TVD. This is not a teen, angst filled romp about boyfriends and soul mates. This is gritty, gory and grim. It is everything a vampire/dystopian book should be and a hell of a lot more. The vampires are not in this book to be liked or lusted over, they are dark and dangerous and most of them you would not want anywhere near you.
The story/plot is excellent. There is no doubt about it, the story is inspired and different. (I thought the YA vampire genre was dead then this came along and proved me wrong) but it is the execution that sets this book apart from a lot of YA around at the moment.
The level of description and writing here is nothing short of incredible. Kagawa brings this world to life with her excellent world building. The characters, settings and creatures (look out for the Rabids, who are the best monsters I have ever read in dystopian fiction) are all realistic and there was not one point where I felt the she had pushed it a little too far.
The dialogue and plot are fast paced. There are no cheesy moments and no cringe-worthy speeches. Despite this being a serious, compelling and at times disturbing dystopian novel the book has light-hearted moments that bring a genuine smile to your face. It is nice to not be bombared with darkness all the time.
One of the best things about this book is the characters. I loved them Especially Allison, Zeke and Kanin.
Allison is kick ass. She is the hero and I kind of love her. She is sassy and sarcastic but not thoughtless. She is strong and powerful but not heartless. She is kind and caring without being weak. Her character grows and changes in a natural way, she is easy to like and easy to root for and is the most compelling female lead I have read in a long time.
Zeke is gorgeous. He is cute, honest and funny. He is not devastating or unrealistic like so many romantic leads. He is real, he is believable and it is easy to see how anyone could fall in love with him. The romance between him and Allison is just perfect. It builds slowly, it is realistic. There is no insta-love here. No bolts of lightning when they touch. This is just two people getting to know each other and realising they have feelings for one another.
Then there is Kanin (dreamy-sigh) who is perfect in every way possible. (You might have guessed that I am just a tad obsessed with him…just a tiny little bit) I think Kanin might have destroyed me for every other male literary character. He is charming, wise, strong, and fair. He is almost a mentor to Alison and their relationship is where a lot of the light-hearted moments come in to play, but also some of the heavier moments to.
This book has so much going for it, there is so much to admire and love here. It has everything (including its fair share of heartache.) This is a book that will draw you in and will not let you go.
To me this is the standard all YA books should strive to meet. It is well thought out, well put together, well written and well-developed with a great story arc. The descriptions are quality and everything seems real. I can see this world; I can feel it and smell it. To many YA books do things half-heartedly. Well, there is none of that here.
In my opinion this genre NEEDS more books like this; hell the world needs more books like this.
There is no doubt about it this book is going to be huge. So do yourselves a favour and buy this book when it comes out. It deserves your attention.
*The publisher provided me with this book for review, via Netgalley.*
I think I should just let you all know that this review is going to be terrible. Not because the book was bad but because...moreReview also posted on my blog
I think I should just let you all know that this review is going to be terrible. Not because the book was bad but because I am struggling to find anything bad to say about it. Expect this review to be full of gushing because I absolutely LOVED this book.
I thought it was smart, compelling and brave. It dares to go into territory that many YA books will not tread. It is brutal, violent, gruesome, frightening and at times overwhelming. Another thing that separates this book from a lot of others in the genre is that you are never quite sure how this is all going to end. Normally you have an idea, you know the main character is going to be fine but in this it is not so certain. It adds a tenseness as you read because you really do care about the characters and you really do care what happens.
The story is compelling, something that I was not expecting when I read the blurb. I never thought that kids being stuck in a school together would be interesting but it was. (The kids go tribal and it is awesome). From beginning to end this book holds your attention. The first chapter is one of the best I have read; these writers definitely know how to grab your attention. The ending is fantastic and leaves you thirsting for more.
What it so utterly brilliant about this book is that it is comparable to life for teens in school today. The pressures of being popular, the fear of being a loner, of being bullied are all represented in this dystopian fiction. I am not a teen but I think a lot of the messages in this novel will reach out to modern teens in a way many YA books cannot. In its way this book is brutally realistic, which I found to be a really smart move from the writers. Also this book takes a close look at human nature, at how quickly and easy it could be for us to all fall into dangerous disarray.
It feels at times so real, people band together in groups, some stay with people who are just like them. Some join people who can protect them, but everything comes at a cost. The protectors are often bullies and control freaks, and it makes you wonder how much could you take before you tried your luck on your own. As horrible as it sounds, I can image this happening and that is what makes this book so disturbing.
The characters are amazing. For me it is all about David. I have not felt a connection to a character like this in a while. Simply put I loved him…a lot (seriously I might actually be in love with him). He was smart, brave, funny and cute. I spent so much of my time preying that nothing happened to him, I am surprised I managed to notice anything else about the book. In contrast David’s brother Will is not as likable; in fact in the beginning he is damn irritating. He acts like a spoilt brat, he is selfish and I was planning on bringing him up as a massive thing I disliked about this book… but then he goes and redeems himself, and he changed and become someone I really liked.
Their relationship is an interesting one. It is clear that they love each other unconditionally. David would do anything for Will and vise-a-versa but the relationship is strained. You see a snippet off their life before disaster struck and see how at ease they are with one another but all that changes in the dark halls of the high school. It is interesting to see the strain on them build up, yet again it felt amazingly real without ever being over the top.
All the secondary characters are top notch. Heroes and villains, all are well thought out and well put together.
Lex Thomas (this is really confusing because Lex Thomas is actually two people) really needs a round of applause for their world building. This world is dark and dirty. It is rotting and revolting. It is utterly perfect for what they were going for. It matches the grimness of the characters situation and the fast pace of the story. In this world things move quickly, it doesn’t let up for a second. Things happen in the blink of an eye but never do the writers hide what is happening. The violence and anguish is in your face, they do not shy away from it at all, not for a second.
Maybe that is where the only negative thing I have to say about this book comes in. Although I don’t have a problem with it (in fact I quite like it) this book might just prove too violent and brutal for some. It is beyond anything else I have read in YA and I know some readers are not comfortable with that. I really hope this doesn’t put anyone off because this book is well worth the read.
I have heard today that this book is being made into a movie. I honestly think this novel is perfect source material. I cannot wait for the movie and I cannot wait for the next book. I strongly recommend this book to everyone.
The Loners (Book 1 in Quarantine) is out July 10th. Give it a go, you will not regret it.
(was sent advance copy by publisher via netgalley)(less)
Before I started reviewing I always thought writing about books I hated would be harder than writing about book...moreFor this review and more visit my blog
Before I started reviewing I always thought writing about books I hated would be harder than writing about books I loved. But to my surprise I found that it was the other way round. Writing about why I disliked something turned out to be relatively easy. I can rant and rage and write down exactly why I didn’t like it. But putting into words how I feel about a book I really loved is difficult because I know that no matter what I write it will never do the book or the feelings that book invoked in me justice.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of those books; it moved me, engaged me and threw me head first into a world full of magic. I do not stand a chance of conveying to you how much I loved and adored this book, but I am going to try.
The storyline was original and interesting, it was set in the modern day but there was a dark gothicness to it that made if fell more like historical fiction then modern fiction, but that worked really well. What helps is Lani Taylors writing, which does have its faults but I found it mostly rich and creative. The atmosphere this book creates is one of its highlights and I loved that it took a darker route instead of the lightness most YA books take. The world building is impeccable and I could envision everything in perfect detail.
Taylor also managed to create characters that were diverse, interesting and individual. I was able to identify with Karou immediately. She was different and likeable. I also loved Akiva, he wears his heart on his sleeve and does the right thing even though he knows it will cause him unbearable heartache. The romance between them was spellbinding; I loved them together even if it was angsty, which normally I hate.
The only fault I have is that the last quarter is not as free flowing and interesting as the rest, with exception to the last chapter/few pages which made me want to throw the book at a wall and sob into my pillow, somehow I resisted, instead I just sat there once I was finished in awe.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is frankly one of the richest and most exciting YA books I have ever read, it was outstanding and if you have not read it yet, please do, I hope you love it as much as I did. (less)
I have been looking forward to this book for a while now, I am a fan of gothic literature and like the darker si...moreFor this review and more visit my blog
I have been looking forward to this book for a while now, I am a fan of gothic literature and like the darker side of fiction so I was pretty sure this was my kind of book, and for the most part I was not disappointed. It was far from perfect but I really enjoyed it and finished it in one evening.
I thought the storyline was strong; it was dark and at times quite chilling. It held my interest all the way through. I found some of it extremely exciting, this was a weird book because there were a couple of times where this book enraged me but there were other times were I thought it was outstanding.
The main issue is the characters, specifically Juliet. The boys are alright but Juliet was a different story all together. There were moments that I loved her, at first I thought she was amazing, she was brave and gutsy and not afraid to stand up for herself. Then she meets her estranged father and I wanted to strangle her. For some reason she turns into an idiot, she wants his love and acceptance but he has wronged her so much that I cannot understand why she would want anything to do with him, his actions caused her mother to sell herself and the same nearly happened to Juliet. Luckily she snapped out of that and for the most part I liked her again.
The romance was also a bit of an issue. I have no problems with love triangles, sometimes I quite like them, but this one was over played. You cannot go to pages without hearing about Juliet’s ‘feelings’ which change as often as the tides. It is a pity because it is the story that makes this book really good not the romance. I would have preferred the romance to compliment the story not be such a huge part of it.
Despite the issues I had, I still really, really enjoyed this. The writing was really good, there is a great twist at the end that was hard to see coming and one of the best cliff-hangers I have read in a while. I do recommend this book highly (it is one of the better 2013 releases I have read so far this year) and I cannot wait to sink my teeth into the next book in the series.
The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for and honest review(less)
I have to admit that I was uncertain about reading this book, I was unsure if it was something I really wanted to read and it took a while for me to g...moreI have to admit that I was uncertain about reading this book, I was unsure if it was something I really wanted to read and it took a while for me to get around to reading it. I am so glad I finally did pick it up because In the Shadow of Blackbirds is really quite impressive.
It takes place in America during World War 2 and is largely influenced but the Spanish Flu Epidemic that was rampant at the time. Being British my history lessons tended to revolve more around the plague where disease is concerned so this really was different and new for me. I have heard that this book is not historically correct where the Spanish Influenza is concerned but I still learnt a great deal from it, not only about the flu itself but about America during war time. What really helped with this and also with the atmosphere of the novel is the use of photos take at that time and real posters and propaganda that were fluttered throughout the book, it was a really nice touch.
The story itself is fantastic and in truth it is hard to pick up on something Winters has done wrong, she manages to weave so many emotions and feelings into this but not once did it feel overdone. The spooky bits were genuinely unsettling (as were one or two of the photos), the romance was beautiful, the relationships complex and emotional and the ending just brilliant. There was a twist at the end I didn’t see coming and I was moved to tears at points.
Winters has not only creating a wonderful story but also some brilliant characters. Mary will probably be one of my favourite YA female characters of the year. She was smart, sensible and loveable. Mary has been through so much and her story is not an easy one, and the world she is growing up in is dark and terrifying but she was so mature and well put together. I admired her courage and her strength so much and liked how it ended for her. Her relationship was her aunt was complex but there was real love there.
In the Shadow of Blackbirds is a well put together and atmospheric novel that really does deserve some attention. I doubt it was be a huge hit or that people will take much notice, the cover is odd and the blurb even more so, but to not pay this book attention would be a real shame because it most certainly deserves it. I doubt there will be more YA books this year written with this level of atmosphere, emotional depth and maturity. (less)
Too often I find that authors take a sensitive and serious subject matter and ruin its potential impact with over the top drama and unrealistic story...moreToo often I find that authors take a sensitive and serious subject matter and ruin its potential impact with over the top drama and unrealistic story lines. Luckily and rather amazingly Emily Murdoch manages to get this just right. If You Find Me was heart-breaking and touching but also hopeful. The sensitive subject matter was handled with care and consideration and I felt it was realistic instead of over the top.
There are many good aspects about this book. The writing is excellent, the characters are likeable but what I really loved about it was that it didn’t dwell on the bad. Often with this type of book the situation for the characters goes from bad to worse and the drama and angst stretches almost to the very end, where the HEA is too short and too sweet. Lots of readers really like that but I am not a fan. I don’t want to read endless heartache and pain. If You Find Me by no means ignores the bad but chooses to focus on how the characters move on and rebuild, it gave this book a feeling of hopefulness.
What really helped this book was Carey is an amazing character. I really admired her maturity and strength, what she went through is unimaginable and reading her trying to cope and adapt to a new and modern life is not always easy but she handles herself so well and I never doubted her courage. Her love for her younger sister, Jenessa, was beautiful she is caring and attentive and clearly loves her.
If You Find Me is not always an easy book to read but it is worth reading, it is a stunning debut that is beautifully delivered. (less)
This book took me completely by surprise. I wasn’t expecting much at all but I ended up really, really enjoy...moreFor this review and more check out my blog
This book took me completely by surprise. I wasn’t expecting much at all but I ended up really, really enjoying it.
The opening is gripping and lets you know straight away that you are in for one hell of a ride. This is a very different take on the angel genre and I liked the spin. This book felt fresh and new. The storyline is ace; it was never boring and never slow. It had a couple of silly moments but those were few and far between and they didn’t detract from the story at all.
The characters are awesome. Essallie is a great lead she can be tough and strong but she had weaknesses to which I like to see in my books as nobody is perfect. Kayden is brilliant I really liked him. you are never really sure what his motives are or what he is about, you know he is not a ‘good’ guy but it is impossible to dislike him. There is a touch of romance here, a very small touch yet I found myself getting all worked up over it.
Illumine is one of the surprises of the year for me. It is short, exciting and engaging. I highly recommend it. I cannot wait to get stuck into the next book in the series.(less)
Linked I thought I knew what Linked was about before I started. I have ideas about Bourne and political thrillers, I thought the two main characters wo...moreLinked I thought I knew what Linked was about before I started. I have ideas about Bourne and political thrillers, I thought the two main characters would be slumming it and trying to bring down a corrupt and mean government. I have seen it before and it is a format I like do I was looking forward to reading Linked. The moral of the story is not to assume you know what is going on before you do because this book took me somewhere I was not expecting to go. It took me to space…literally.
WOW, I was not expecting that and I read the rest of the book with a general air of WTF! I have to admit that I had issues with this one, issues that I will get to in a moment but overall I was pretty impressed with it. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if a book has inconsistences’ or problems not to me anyway. All I want from a book is to be entertained and to be dragged head first into another world. A book does not have to be perfect it has to engage me and that is exactly what Linked did.
So, let’s start with the stuff I liked. I thought the idea was really ambitions and I thought it worked really well. Surprising your reader is often a good thing but if the author doesn’t completely get behind her brave and bizarre plot twists then it doesn’t work, that was not the case here Howson owned her (at times) slightly unbelievable storyline and because she did it worked. Another thing that really made this book work was the developing relationship between Elissa and her twin Lin. It really goes the distance starting with disbelief and distrust and tending in respect and true sisterly love. There is a romance here and it was rather brilliantly underplayed which allowed the sister relationship to really shine through but still provided me with a smidge of romance which I am a sucker for.
The pacing was great; it didn’t hang around and linger on unneeded detail or drama. It did what it needed to do and then moved on without feeling sparse or rushed. The main bulk of the book takes place in space which was a really good move because that was where the book got really interesting.
Despite all the things I loved about this there were things I disliked just as much. I have an issue with books that are written in third person and rely on pages after pages of italic ‘thoughts’ of the main character. If we needed to know what she was thinking all the time then maybe she should have told the story from her point of view. I just found the italics really distracting and felt they always seemed to happen at the wrong time. I had to be shoved out of a book and that is what happened here. What didn’t help was that the italic ‘thoughts’ showed how horrible, selfish and mean spirited the main character, Elissa, could be. Most of the time I liked her but these little journey’s into her mind showed her not to be the sweet and selfless person to seemed to be. Frankly, she can be horrible and some of her selfish and thoughts about her sister were disgusting, especially considering all Lin (whom I much preferred even though she was a bit primal) had been through. It showed that Elissa was immature and bitchy and it made me dislike her. (less)
Before I started this book I took one look at the cover, shuddered and then got a little excited. I am a massive horror fan and I thought this was goi...moreBefore I started this book I took one look at the cover, shuddered and then got a little excited. I am a massive horror fan and I thought this was going to scare the pants out of me, but in truth it didn’t.
Actually it was not scary at all and there is no way that I would ever label this book as a horror story at all. Somehow along the way this book has been massively misunderstood. All over Goodreads people are talking about how scary it looks, how the cover freaks people out. I am not blaming them, I WAS one of those people but the problem is that this is not what this book is and I am afraid that people will dislike it because they wanted to be scared. The Murmurings is not a ghost story (although there are ‘ghosts’ in it) it is a psychological thriller and it is a pretty good one.
I thought the writing was very good this is Carly Anne West’s first novel and it is a promising start. There are a few moments where I thought it could have been richer, or more developed but for a debut novel this is pretty good. I cannot fault her for her imagination The Murmurings is different from other books of this sort and has a very interesting storyline that manages to draw me in effortlessly. There was a few times where I felt things maybe went a little too far but it did not happen often and it did not put me off.
The main character Sophie was likeable and she had to be because she was kind off on her own. There was no real parental input in this novel or her life, she had no real family apart from an aunt that was more concerned with helping her grieving mother. She had no friends apart from Evan, the love interest, and things could be awkward between them. Sophie carries this and if you don’t like her then you won’t like this. There were a few times when she did things that I felt were stupid and I wanted to scream at her to make her stop but it was never annoying enough to put me off her. She was mostly sensible and genuine.
Evan was sweet to and added some much needed lighter moments. This is a fairly dark book and his input stopped it from being too heavy. The romance was sweet and awkward like a lot of new teenage romances are. I liked the way it was played out, it was not a main part of the book and there was no relationship drama that swallowed up everything else.
The Murmurings is a good thriller that does have some spooky aspects but is far from horror. I really hope that readers will see this for what it is and not be disappointed in the lack of horror. (less)
Legend by Marie Lu really had a lot going for it. I enjoyed it immensely and just love the world Lu has created. It is ye...moreReview also posted on my blog
Legend by Marie Lu really had a lot going for it. I enjoyed it immensely and just love the world Lu has created. It is yet another Dystopian YA yet somehow this book seemed different, but I cannot quite understand why. It is similar to a lot of other YA books like The Hunger Games and Divergent but it also has touches of other things. Les Mis, Romeo and Juliet and especially Robin Hood come to mind.
The Main characters (Day and June) were awesome. The whole idea of this book and of these two characters is that they are super smart, the smartest people in what is left of America. It was nice to see two characters relying on their brain instead of luck, brawn or other people. I loved that they were multi-ethnic. Day is part Mongolian which was nice to see. Too many books focus solely on white characters.
The romance between them was nice, it was sudden but natural, not ‘I am suddenly in love with you and cannot bear to live without you’ like you see in so many other books. It wasn’t the most chemistry filled romance I have ever read, nor the most passionate, but it suited the tone of the book. Maybe there could have been a little more fizzle but for me the book wasn’t about that so I didn’t need anymore.
I loved the corrupt government in this book. They really are awful, violent and mean. Lu was spot on in creating a menacing dictatorship that is easy to hate. She doesn’t shy away from their brutality but shows it in a way that makes sure you understand how unjust this society is. She shows you not only the streets of the poor but the luxuries of the rich so you can compare the two and see how unfair things are for yourself.
The only problem with the government and the setup is that I am not sure how things ended up the way they did. There is very little history given or explanations about how America was almost destroyed or why the government is fighting a civil war.
Another problem I had was with the ages of the main characters. Both June and Day are 15 years old. I cannot think of a moment in the book where either of them do something, or say something that makes them seem any younger than 17/18.
If the Author didn’t keep reminding me that they were 15 I would have just thought of them as older. (In fact I still did, in my head they were 17/18 the whole way through.) It seemed silly to have these characters that look, act, talk and walk like 17 year olds but make them 15.
To me there is a massive difference between a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old. I just thought it would have been easier to make them older so that the Author wouldn’t have to keep reminding the reader that they were young.
I also think that maybe June and Day’s voices were a little too similar. There was not that much difference between them, they sounded the same and at times it was distracting. I think it was an effort from the Author to show that they are literally the only two people like them in the country, but it come off as to samey.
Other than that it was a quick and enjoyable read and I cannot wait for the second one to come out. (less)