Oh Beth. Beth Beth Beth. I have been biting at the bit for this last installment of the Across the Universe trilogy. I have been roped in since book on...moreOh Beth. Beth Beth Beth. I have been biting at the bit for this last installment of the Across the Universe trilogy. I have been roped in since book one, more than loved book two, and couldnt wait to see where the final book would take me.
I was not disappointed.
(Note: If you havent read the previous two novels in this series, the following might be a slight spoiler!)
While book one and two take place aboard Godspeed, the huge lifer ship that has been lost in the stars on its way to settle a new planet, book three explores (quite literally) new terrain. The people of Godspeed have landed on the planet. Only to find things are far from what they expected.
For one: They wake up the frozens, the people who have been in cryo since leaving Earth. While Amy is finally reunited with her mom and dad, this seems to awaken more problems than good. The military believe it is their job to lead and control. And harbor little respect for the shipborns who outnumber them.
Oh, I loved this. Watching the dynamic of the two groups as they attempted to merge. As they judged, separated, tried again, and failed. It was so... human. I could see and believe everything that happened, and was constantly mad at certain people for their sheer stupidity. This book is more than just Shades of Earth in the sense that they are settling a new planet. The people are shades of mankind, and they harbor everything that makes us tick.
For two: There are monsters on the planet. Beasts that fly and kill. Instantly from the start you can tell there is more to these beasts than their Pterodactyl relations. What could that be? They aren't the only "beasts" on the planet. The ones Amy and Elder discover hide much bigger secrets, and danger, than any flying beast.
Which goes to show once again: The people who sent them into space truly weren't honest. Oh, the twists.
And for three: The relationship between Amy and Elder is about to get shaken up! That's right. Everything is far from sunshine and daisies for these two. While I have loved their love from the beginning (they might be in the stars, but they at least don't have their heads in the clouds), Shades of Earth adds one more wrench in their plans. Watching these two grow, learn, and fight through it all was a great experience.
I was never bored with this read. I never skimmed, and I never wanted it to end. What I would give to live in Beth Revis' head just for one day... Revis' writing is more than believable, and pulls you along with every breath. This series is now securely one of my favorite YA series, and I highly recommend it to everyone looking for an amazing read. (less)
What a book. Yes, that is how I am going to begin this review. I didn't know what to expect from this book. To be honest, I am still very new to the w...moreWhat a book. Yes, that is how I am going to begin this review. I didn't know what to expect from this book. To be honest, I am still very new to the whole Zombie genre. Only a few seconds into Warm Bodies... and I was more than hooked.
R is a zombie. Yes, a zombie. He shuffles, he groans, he can't remember who he is. He goes into the city with his buddy M and other fellow zombies and eats humans. Yes, eats. As in brains and all.
And that is where the story really gets going. R always seemed a bit different than the other zombies. Then one day on a hunting trip, while snacking on a man's brains, he experiences the man's memories. Now he is intent on protecting the dead man's girlfriend, Julie. R is changing. For good or bad, he will stop at nothing to keep Julie safe.
First... I love this idea. The thought that something of the human survives. Second... I LOVED the writing. Marion has a poetic justice with his words, and I wanted more. Third... Zombie in love? Heck yes. Zombie changing? Even more heck yes.
I didn't know what to expect with this book. I had no idea where each chapter was going to take me. And I honestly enjoyed every step of the way. Though it did have its weaker moments, its patchy spots, I barely noticed. The characters were full of personality, even the ones who barely spoke because they were too busy being... well... zombies.
Note: Julie has a very strong love for the F-word. It appears much more than once in this book.
This zombie book is a fresh new take on a very old tale. Do not expect the typical "mindless zombie take over and doomsday is here" book. Marion twisted and reformed zombies and I have to say: I want more. I highly look forward to what he has up his sleeve next. Looking for a new zombie novel full of action, humor, love and guts? Give Warm Bodies a read!
Now I just wish I had my copy of this book when I met Marion....
Wow. If I Stay pulled me in and didn't let me go. The reader discovered the story with the main character Mia, as the bits and pieces were put together...moreWow. If I Stay pulled me in and didn't let me go. The reader discovered the story with the main character Mia, as the bits and pieces were put together, memories were remembered, and decisions hid around the corner. I couldn't put it down. I finished this book in a day. I could have finished it in a sitting, if life would just stop getting in the way.
I am not typically a fan of ghost/out of body experience stories. I don't know. Maybe because I read too many bad ones when I was younger. Forman redeemed this for me. In If I Stay, Mia and her family have been in a car accident, but she can't remember it. First she is driving along the Oregon road with her family, next she is standing next to her body, the car torn apart.
As the story unfolds, Mia's memories intermix with her present as she watches the doctors rushing to save her life. Her parents are gone. She has no idea if her brother survived. And now she must decide: Go, or stay?
I will admit it: I cried. More than once. Even typing this now and remembering some of the scenes, I am getting choked up. It felt so real, so innocent. Mia's relationship with her boyfriend was simple and real. Nothing amazing or crazy, but so much like my own past relationships I couldn't help but relate. Her relationship with her family was refreshing: She loved them. There was no teenage angst. No mean or crazy or missing parent. Just a family.
And, might I add, Forman got Oregon just right. I couldn't help but chuckle at the cracks on weather.
At times the writing wasn't the most amazing in the world. Sometimes the memories might have dragged, or slowed. Sometimes I wondered why she was even remembering that piece to begin with. Regardless of all that, I couldn't not love this book. It touched my heart and left an imprint in my memory.
And then I ran to hug my kids, and to tell my husband to drive home safe. I highly recommend this read. Especially to those who love to tear up. (less)
A Million Suns is book two in Beth Revis' exciting Young Adult sci-fi series Across the Universe. It takes pl...moreOh Beth Revis... Can I live in your head?
A Million Suns is book two in Beth Revis' exciting Young Adult sci-fi series Across the Universe. It takes place pretty much directly where book one ends, and doesn't pause a moment in momentum or story.
Note: If you haven't read Across the Universe yet, this review may spoil some things for you. Just saying.
Eldest is gone. Elder is now in charge of the ship and everyone is off of the mind-controlling drug Phydus. The problem? Now that they can think for themselves, they aren't so sure they want a teen to be in control of their lives. Not to mention they still don't trust Amy, the strange Earth born girl who just doesn't fit in.
There are revolts. There is betrayel. There is love, and fighting, and humor, and broken hearts. Honestly, this book goes everywhere. It dives into the core of who people are, with their need to ever be in control yet yearn for someone to lead them. And the utter drive of humanity to deny anything true, just because it is a scary thought.
I found myself so mad at the inhabitants of Godspeed that I was fuming and sputtering to myself. I love it.
My only issues with A Million Suns was, at least for me, the predictability. From the get-go I guessed the bad guy of book two and was almost sad that I was right. Revis did save it though with some twists to his 'reasons why' that I did not expect.
Oh, and Amy. Needless to say, I prefer Elder over Amy any day. There is just something about her... maybe the fact that she keeps pushing this guy away even though in the same breath she says she wants him. Come on girl!
As with book one, this book is written from two different POV's: Elder and Amy. I don't know if maybe I have just read more than I did with book one... if Revis has just gotten better... or something else out there. But this time around I found it much easier to stay in the story and enjoy it.
As for the ending... where is book three??
Needless to say: I loved this read. Revis is by far securing herself in my list of favorite authors, and I cannot wait to read more. If you enjoyed Across the Universe, make sure you pick this book up quick and see where the adventure goes next.(less)
Between Shades of Gray takes place during the second World War. Unlike most survival stories from this time that tell the...moreTalk about a heart-wrencher.
Between Shades of Gray takes place during the second World War. Unlike most survival stories from this time that tell the struggles of the Jewish people during the Holocaust, this book instead tells the story of a young girl from Lithuania, who is arrested with her family and sent to a prison camp under Stalin's rule. The events, stories, and tragedies that unfold break your heart, pull at tears, then leave you with the hope that no matter what, you can survive.
Lina's character, to me, felt very well formed. She was a young girl, vaguely aware of the world around her. Full of her dreams to create art and fall in love. When the unthinkable happened and her world was destroyed around her, she used her passions to pull her through. This young girl was forced to grow up much faster than life normally demands, and she fought for every second.
I do have to add: This is a fictional piece. Based on true events, with some of the atrocities most likely too close to the true story, the overall plot is fictional.
I myself have always been one to devour books from this time of mankind. The events that happened, the pain and loss, life and lessons, I feel are some of the most powerful and intense out there. Every person should learn these stories. And remember them.
While Between Shades of Gray was a fictional piece, the story feels real. Every moment feels as if it did happen. The love story was just enough to exist, but not to overpower. The family ties were astounding. It was real life, in all of its horrible splendor.
It may be hard for some to read. Though not as explicit as other survival stories, there are instances that may be too much for some one not used to this genre.
The only negative I can think of is that I would have liked it if the ending didn't so abruptly. While it was true to life, it would have been nice to see more of a wrap-up.
Between Shades of Gray reminds you that no matter hardships you have in your life, there is always hope. You must always keep fighting. I commend Sepetys for writing this novel for all of us to read. It was beautiful, with all of its non-beauty.(less)
Cinder is a cyborg. She is looked down upon for not being fully human. Her own stepmother and sisters use her pret...moreLong story short: I loved this book.
Cinder is a cyborg. She is looked down upon for not being fully human. Her own stepmother and sisters use her pretty much as slave labor. This is just her life. Working at her repair booth, keeping the family afloat, and digging around for replacement feet once she outgrows her old ones. Then one day she gets a new client. A handsome young man who needs his android repaired, fast. The man just so happens to be Prince Kai, and the android has important information that could potentially save his father's life.
The story takes place in China after World War 4, after a plague has started to rampage the earth. While scientists scramble to find a cure for this seemingly incurable disease, life struggles to go on. People who have cyborg parts are looked down on. The upper class rules, even though the world is seemingly united in peace.
Oh, and there are aliens. Did I mention that?
Yup. Lunars. People who moved to the moon long ago, and evolved. Now separate from the human race, and barely accepted, they live on their own. Except that isn't good enough. They want Earth back, and Queen Levana has plans to take control.
Cinder is an awesome character. She is tough. Smart. And always dreaming that she could just be a normal girl. I instantly bonded with her and couldn't wait to see what step she took next. Her bond to her younger stepsister and her personal android helps to pull the story along. Including heart-breaking moments that almost make you hate Meyer for creating them. (Which is a good thing, I promise!)
Prince Kai had me swooning at times, pining at others, and a few times had me wondering what it was that made me swoon and pine in the first place. His love for his family, and his dedication to the throne pulls him through the story as a guy I wouldn't mind going to the Ball to meet. Though I still am not sure I would fight for the crown.
Then there is Queen Levana. Man, that is one creepy Queen. Everything about her oozes "woman from the moon who I would never want to cross paths with" and I loved every moment of having her as the antagonist.
Yes, some aspects of the plot were guessed from early on. Honestly though, I didn't mind. It was fun watching the characters discover what I already knew. And yes, the ending is a cliff-hanger. There, I said it. But we all know this is book one of a series. (If you didn't, now you do!) Knowing that, I accepted the complete hanger. Even if I did grumble. A little.
I loved the overall package. It had science fiction. It had sickness and death. It had love, fighting, and true family. In the end, it was a fairy tale, twisted for our modern day reading and filled with so much more.
Meyer does a great job of creating this new world, full of history, struggles, and life while still weaving in aspects of the classic fairy tale. If this was just a debut novel, I cannot wait to see what Meyer has up her sleeve next.(less)
Hourglass went from being that book at the bookstore that I wanted to read but passed up every time, to the book I finally gave a chance and couldn't...moreHourglass went from being that book at the bookstore that I wanted to read but passed up every time, to the book I finally gave a chance and couldn't put down. Myra McEntire spins a story that not only intrigues you and tugs at your heart strings... but it makes you wonder: What if?
I have to admit: I thought this was a ghost story. That was the main reason I kept putting this book aside. While I do not hate ghost stories... I don't dive for them either. Boy, was I wrong as soon as I gave Hourglass the chance.
Emerson started seeing apparitions of people, strange people, just before her parent's death. The apparitions wouldn't leave her alone. Though she found touching them caused them to "pop" and leave for the time being, they always returned. Emerson lost it. After being committed to a mental institute for while, she was sent off to a private school until her funding ran out.
Now home, she moves in with her brother and his wife. And starts seeing the "people" more than ever before. Only Michael seems able to help, a man her brother hired in his attempt to save his sister. And with Michael, comes more secrets and knowledge of a world she never knew existed.
Okay, see? Sounds like a ghost story. Minus the popping part. That right there is what started to draw me in. Popping? Ghosts? That's not right.
Wormholes. Time travel. People with strange mysterious powers and an organization running out of control. NOW you have my attention!
It was like... X-Men powers meets Stargate wormhole theory with some Twilight romance thrown in. Loved it.
Here were my few hiccups: - I don't know why, but repeatedly pointing out that the MC is short always bugs me. - There was a slight love triangle. Very slight. As in Emerson never even had to decide. And though it wasn't horrible, it felt forced. As if it wasn't planned to be there originally. Whenever the triangle moment started to happen, I groaned inside. Luckily, it never lasted long. - Emerson was tough. While seeing a tough woman is always nice, having her almost be a black belt and pretty much fearless felt too convenient, at times.
Everything else? I pretty much loved. The literal electrical touch between Emerson and Michael. The plot twists I never saw coming. The playing and toying with the entire Time continuum.
The effort to right a wrong in the past, to save the Hourglass foundation. And the battle of what is right to change, and what memories should be left just that: memories.
McEntire has me pulled in and left me wanting the next book in the series, now. I was very delighted to have my doubts proved wrong. This is a book I love showing off on my shelf, and plan to share it with many friends and readers. Such as you.(less)
Divergent is action packed and thought provoking. It is almost hard to believe that Veronica Roth is a debut author with this piece. She managed to cr...moreDivergent is action packed and thought provoking. It is almost hard to believe that Veronica Roth is a debut author with this piece. She managed to create a world, make it her own, and drag me in willingly to experience every page of it.
I loved her take on this dystopian world. Splitting the population by virtues. It seems so simple. Yet, at the same time, frightening. Because once you choose your faction, you stay there. No moving to another. If you made the wrong decision, well, too bad for you. You can choose to go Factionless, which everyone seems to see as worst than death. I love it.
Beatrice/Tris was a great character. Growing up in Abnegation (imagine futuristic passive Amish folk), she turns sixteen and must declare her Faction choice. Normally, children choose the faction they were born and raised in. Oh, but Tris chooses the Dauntless. They are nuts. They jump of trains, off buildings, beat the living daylights out of each other. And that is just the beginning.
Divergent had a slightly slow start, but I was pulled in easily and wanted to turn each page. My only complaints would be the slightly loose ends left about certain topics. I know this is book one in a trilogy, so of course everything couldn't be settled in one bound copy. Still, I felt a bit more could have been touched on to leave me slightly happier with the total package. That is just me nitpicking though.
Roth does a fantastic job of world building. So much is happening, so many characters are alive and breathing with their own sub-stories, that I felt I was actually there. And Four. Yeah. I think I have a character crush on Four. *Blush*
And might I just add. Fear landscapes. Scaaaarrry. I really don't think I could ever have the guts to face all my fears, face on, in a simulation as real as reality.
All in all, I don't know what else I can say about Divergent. It is full of a little of everything: Action (ok, alot of that), love (and not too much, thank goodness), betrayal, loyalty, humor... Roth, if this is your debut novel, I cannot wait to read what else you have to come.(less)
* NOTE: May have spoilers for those of you who haven't read The Maze Runner yet *
The Scorch Trials is a great continuation to The Maze Runner. From th...more* NOTE: May have spoilers for those of you who haven't read The Maze Runner yet *
The Scorch Trials is a great continuation to The Maze Runner. From the get-go, you as the reader know that things are about to get funky all over again for the Glader boys.
Here they are, thinking they are finally safe and free... They have escaped the Maze. Rescued by some mysterious renegade group. Given pizza and a place to sleep.
When WHAM, zombie-like people who call themselves Cranks are pounding on the windows, the people who saved them are dead, and Theresa is missing. She has been replaced by a boy named Aris, and the group is told they must reach the safe haven before the disease they have been infected with takes them over.
Welcome to The Scorch Trials.
I feel Dashner did a great job on extending Thomas and the Glader's story. New characters are thrown in, new plots developed. New crazy, horrorific actions take place. (Metal goo that covers your head then chops it off into a nice solid metal ball? I still can't get the image out of my mind!) Not to mention Group B, a group of all girl Gladers, who has to get to the safe haven before the boy Gladers. Race to the finish. Oh yes.
Oh, did I mention the zombies? Ok, they are called Cranks in this book. But they are zombies non-the-less. People infected with the Flare, who have gone mad. Really mad. Eating noses and rotting limbs mad. No wonder the boys are all so desperate to get the cure before the Flare takes them over.
Theresa goes through quite a change as well. I am not fully sure how I feel about her. She has been labeled as the Betrayer, and man, she seems to live up to that. Even by the end, I didn't have a feel on her anymore, and didn't fully trust her. Hey Dashner, I guess you got me to feel betrayed as well. Kudos.
Though some parts did drag a bit more than I would have liked (wandering through the scorching hot desert... what do you expect?) and I was still left in the dark about reasons and plots... (I guess this is all a ploy of WICKED's to find a cure for the Flare.) Things have been hinted at, a few things explained. Still in the dark on many...
Oh, and the ending. Let's just say it's one of those endings that leaves you dangling off of a cliff edge, wondering "what the heck just happened?" while trying to hang on even though there is a man above you with a chainsaw who is creeping it towards your fingers... Really. That's how I felt. Then it just ends. Still...
I honestly could not stop reading. I loved it. I wanted more. I hated when I got to the last page and had to shut the book. Dashner has pulled me into this world of his, and I am just as committed to the Trials as the Gladers and WICKED are. I want more.
And lucky me... book three, The Death Cure, comes out in October.
Overall, The Scorch Trials was amazing. I cannot wait to see where Dashner takes us next. I am dying to see how this story all ties together, and plan on getting book three as soon as I can get my hands on it. Simply: I am a fan.
Do I think you should read this? Uh, yeah. Though I still prefer The Maze Runner more, I feel this was a perfect continuation to an already amazing story. Not as strong of a 5 star, but a 5 star all the same. (less)
I don't even know what just happened. I swear I picked up a book to read. But it is already over and barely any time has passed. Did I really just dev...moreI don't even know what just happened. I swear I picked up a book to read. But it is already over and barely any time has passed. Did I really just devour that thing? Yes, yes I did.
That was my original thought when finishing Legend. This book pulled me in and I literally couldn't stop reading until it was over. And over all too soon. Did it really just get released? Do I really have to wait around for book two to come out?
Legend takes place in a ravaged future. The U.S. has split in half and is at war with itself. Poverty is everywhere. Day is a wanted criminal, only 15 and already has caused enough vandalism and chaos to land him on the most wanted list. The problem? No one even knows what he looks like. He lives in the slums, only coming out when it is time to stage another protest against the ruling government.
The very government that June works for. She is the top of the top. She scored a perfect score on her trial... a test every ten year old must go through to determine what they will do with their lives. Did I mention that Day failed his? Yup, completely. Then June's brother is killed... by Day... and she will stop at nothing for revenge.
One thing I loved about this book is how Lu handled the alternating POV. When written in 1st person, two POVs can get confusing at times. Not in Legend. The font color, even the font type, differs for the two. I loved it! Bouncing back and forth between Day and June was easy and fluid, and I never complained. Day and June were very similar in personality, which does make sense as the book goes on. The differing font colors really helped to keep me in line.
Now, the overall plot was sort of predictable. It runs along the lines of a very basic, classic story: One character is the bad guy, one is the good guy. Bad guy kills good guy's someone-special. Good guy seeks revenge, only to find that more is going on than previous stated crime. Bad guy just might not be all that bad.
There were many twists and changes I completely saw coming. But honestly? I didn't bug me. At all. It was like watching a movie you have seen a million times, but love so much it feels like the first time. Lu paints an amazing picture, and I was pulled in. The world was believable, the characters just deep enough to care about but not so deep that they seem unreal. There was action and violence. Humor and kissing. Character growth and betrayal.
Yes, I do have a few complaints. A few that just might have pulled my rating down to a 4-star. But I enjoyed the story too much to give it anything less than 5. I am hoping that my few complaints (spoilers withholding) will be answered in the next book. If they are, I will be a happy reader. If not... okay, then I might start complaining.
All in all, I loved Legend. It was such a great break from the super detailed, out-there books. It was simply a dystopian, ruined world and all, with a plot line that kept me wanting more. Lu is an amazing author, and I cannot wait to read more of her work in the very, very near future. (less)
Life As We Knew It is such a realistic take on "what it" that it left me forgetting this event hadn't actually happened. Pfeffer does a great job on w...moreLife As We Knew It is such a realistic take on "what it" that it left me forgetting this event hadn't actually happened. Pfeffer does a great job on writing in journal format, getting you into the MC, Miranda's head. How the events unroll, how everything happens, isn't pumped up or magnified. It is true people, acting how they truly would.
We read many stories about the world coming to an end. Alien attacks. Nuclear war. Viruses, famine, dictatorships. Smart apes. In Life As We Knew It, all that happens is an asteroid hits the moon. No one thought it would be bad. They gathered on their lawns with sodas in hand to watch this rare event.
Then the moon grew larger.
In short, some how the asteroid managed the bump the moon out of orbit and closer to the earth. And... you know... we kinda depend on the moon. For tides. And weather. So you can only imagine what happens.
Miranda was very believable. The story starts with her as the normal teen: whining about homework, thinking about boys, complaining about her parents. Through the series of events and catastrophes that happen, you really do get to see this young woman grow up and change.
I was so in Miranda's head, that I forgot this story wasn't an actual journal of actual events. When I had to set it down to take care of my kids, eat, anything, I found myself thinking thoughts like: "Ok, but we need to conserve the granola bars. We don't know how long our rations will last." and "We still have tap water. I hope it lasts." Then I would have to shake my head and remember: In the real world, the moon is still in its rightful orbit.
The reactions of people was too right on. It was real world reactions. Real world panic. How Miranda thought her mother had gone crazy when she loaded their car to the ceiling with canned goods. How the schools and police stations and stores close down. How people turn on each other. How teenage love can truly only be a handful of journal entries long.
I don't know what else I can say. I could rant forever about characters, plots, the happenings. But honestly: I just want you to read it. Pfeffer has created a book where she destroyed the world perfectly, and pulls you along for the ride. It is believeable. It is too real. And now when I look at the moon, I am grateful for its small, distant size. (less)