You've been warned. Sorry. I simply had too much to say.
Yes, I ended this with a smile on my face. But for all the wrong reason...moreMy rating: 1 of 5 stars
You've been warned. Sorry. I simply had too much to say.
Yes, I ended this with a smile on my face. But for all the wrong reasons. I was smiling because I would no longer have to subject myself to reading more of these books in hopes that they’ll finally start being worth the time and in hopes it’ll start giving me the answers I’ve yearned for. The end did not give me all of those answers but whatever, I’m done with it.
Let’s talk about Adam. I touched on this in my review of Fracture Me but I’m feeling the need to discuss it further because I clearly missed the part where Adam got hit in the head with a semi and all his brain pieces got jiggled around causing him to transform into a completely different person. That happened, right? Because that’s the only excuse I’m willing to accept. I can’t for one second buy that this has been Adam’s ‘true self’ this whole series because he did a complete 180 from anything I’ve come to expect from him. Ohhhhhh… maybe he was abducted by aliens? I might be willing to accept that too. But seriously, he’s supposed to care about Juliette. I could understand some animosity between the two since they did break up but he still claims to care about her. Something tells me you’re confused.
“[...] Adam-I’m not stupid-” “Are you sure?” “What?” I can’t believe he just insulted me. “I asked you if you were sure,” he snaps. “Because you’re acting pretty damn stupid right now [...]“
“No-you don’t understand anything,” he snaps. “You don’t understand me, you don’t understand yourself and you don’t understand that you’re acting like a stupid child [...]“
“I was happier,” Adam says, “when I thought she was dead.” [...] He finally looks at me. “Thinking you were dead,” he says to me, “was so much better. It hurt so much less than this.”
You get the picture. What made it even worse was there were people standing around while all this is going on. Listening to him verbally abuse her again and again. Kenji KIND OF sticks up for her but for the most part they let him rant and rave and treat her like she’s a piece of trash. Hello? You just going to let that happen? I kept reading in hopes that either someone (or Juliette) would finally stand up to the prick and say:
Now onto Warner. Let’s talk about the fact that every time he called Juliette ‘love’ he only succeeded in making himself sound like a pretentious blowhard. I mean seriously, unless you’re British I don’t think you can really get away with calling anyone ‘love’ and since there was no reference to his British-ness then pretentious blowhard it is. Warner becomes Mr. Perfect in Ignite Me because the love triangle problem needed to be solved suddenly every issue is revealed to have been one giant misunderstanding this entire time!
“…do not presume to understand my actions. [...] Because if you do, I can assure you you’ll only be met with disappointment. And if you insist on continuing to make assumptions about my character, I’ll advise you only this: assume you will always be wrong.”
Yes, so basically he was maintaining pretenses this entire time. Naturally. But it was pretty ridiculous that he managed to be as shocked as he was that Juliette thought so little of him. Because really what did he expect? Oh, he just shot his soldier in the head. It was seemingly done for no legit reason. Oh, he just almost made me kill a baby. No explanation given. She was really supposed to surmise that it was all a simulation? Add to that there were so many other things that Warner did do wrong yet because all of his larger misdeeds were explained and forgiven everything else was brushed under the rug? No bueno.
And as a side note, how come we’re ignoring the fact that the only reason he even knows Juliette is because he stole her extremely personal diary? It’s not like they spent quality time together having conversations and getting to know one another. He literally knows nothing about this girl that he claims to love other than what was written in the pages of her diary. And what a terrible invasion of privacy! Even when she tries to take it back from him he claims he’s not done reading and promptly takes it from her again.
I’ve never been Team Adam or Team Warner because I don’t do teams, sorry. But I didn’t expect Adam to start acting completely out of character for no legitimate reason and I didn’t expect a nice, neat resolution to redeem Warner for all his wrong doing. It just felt like a quick resolution and was the ultimate of cop-outs.
Fairly exciting stuff finally starts happening in the last like, 75 pages. They’re going to battle and Juliette is acting like a total badass and I’m loving it. I understand Juliette needed to develop in order to become this newly empowered individual but the last 75 pages of the last book in the trilogy?? Too. Freaking. Late. And that’s what upset me the most and what caused my rock bottom rating: those final pages afforded me a glimpse of what could have been. It was exciting and thrilling with characters I really enjoyed. It made me dislike the other 1,000 or so pages of this series even more than I already did. It could have been an awesome ending to a trilogy and while it was admittedly the best part of the entire series for me, it was still incredibly rushed. If the ending wasn’t quite so rush, if Adam’s character hadn’t been completely razed, if there was more focus on the craziness of the world and not the craziness of Juliette’s ridiculous love-life this could have been an impressive series. If, if, if. I know. But those last pages did showcase the potential that Mafi has and regardless of my opinion of this book or the overall series as a whole I would not be against giving her future novels a shot. I can only hope and pray that the exciting bits happen much, much sooner.(less)
I usually skip on writing reviews for short stories because I tend to think of them as nothing more than filler to tide us readers over till the next...moreI usually skip on writing reviews for short stories because I tend to think of them as nothing more than filler to tide us readers over till the next installment. But I’m making an exception. Because this short story pissed me off.
Fracture Me is told from the POV of Adam and tells his part of the story that we don’t see at the end of Unravel Me. Adam is still upset about losing Juliette, he’s concerned about what happened to Kenji and he’s worried about leaving his little brother James. All understandable things to be concerned about.
My issue with this short story is it presented Adam in a completely different light than what we’ve come to expect. Adam was crazy with feelings for Juliette. Remember?
"It’s been me and you against the world forever,” he says.”It’s always been that way. It’s my fault I took so long to do something about it."
There’s even the tagline on the cover! “I WILL NOT LOSE HER.” But in Fracture Me, he’s completely changed his tune. And he’s become a bit of a dick. The scene where Adam, Juliette and Kenji are on the battlefield is when his supposed true colors towards Juliette show.
‘The smart thing to do would be to hide her somewhere. Keep her safe. Out of danger. A weak link can bring everything down with it, and I don’t think this is the time to be taking chances.’
‘Kenji and Castle are always blowing smoke up her ass when they shouldn’t, and honestly? It’s dangerous. It’s not good to make her think she can do this kind of thing when really, it’ll probably get her killed.’
And this is where I get pissed because this is not how his character has been written in the previous two novels and is not what I think anyone would have expected from him at this point. Sure, I get it, this is the first we’re truly seeing things from his POV so there’s always the possibility that we read him wrong. But that’s not it. The issue here is, it all feels like one giant cop-out to solidify the ongoing issue the love triangle caused because clearly she’s gotta pick one. So let’s solve that by turning one of the guys into a total prick who thinks so highly of Juliette. Problem solved. We now have a clear winner.
‘I don’t understand what’s happening or why he seems so uncertain about me and us and him and me and he and I and all of those...moreMy rating: 2 of 5 stars
‘I don’t understand what’s happening or why he seems so uncertain about me and us and him and me and he and I and all of those pronouns put together.’
What. The. Fuck. Just stop talking.
Yeah, I don’t understand why I’m still reading this series either. I’m clearly the black sheep. Baa.
Unravel Me picks up where Shatter Me left off with Juliette trying desperately to get along with the rebel resistance that saved her life. Despite being surrounded by people just like her, she’s never felt like more of an outcast. Her powers are far more dangerous than any of the others and it’s easy for them to fear the unknown. Adam is also acting differently towards her and Juliette fears that the tests he’s been undergoing to determine why he’s able to touch her means their relationship will never be the same.
So my biggest issue with this book is lack of overall development in each and every part of this story. The storyline itself, the characters, etc. Nothing made progress. I think Juliette actually did some backtracking back to the weakling she was when she was alone in her cell. Not having the connection with Adam caused her to become this whiny, sniveling character that drove me absolutely batty. She spent a tremendous amount of time keeping secrets from everyone that obviously would have helped the situation the resistance found themselves in. It was ridiculous.
The love triangle continued, of course, and that was of course the sole focus of Unravel Me even when there were far greater concerns that could have been delved into. I’m sure if you’re into a more romance focused story then this will be your thing but if you’re going to slap a dystopian genre tag on a book I’m going to expect some detailed exploration into the world-building. The drama and angst was great and Juliette was so beyond ridiculous that she stopped caring completely for her future because she was determined to ‘live in the moment’.
‘His right hand slides up my spine and tugs on the zipper holding my suit together until its halfway down my back and I don’t care. I have 17 years to make up for and I want to feel everything. I’m not interested in waiting around and risking the who-knows and the what-ifs and the huge regrets.’
hahaha Just remember to wear a condom!
So by this point I’m obviously in for the long haul so I will be picking up Ignite Me. I don’t have much hope for Juliette making a noble sacrifice and putting her out of my misery but I do retain hope that the dystopian society will be explored in more detail considering this is the final installment. My hopes are not high though.(less)
I enjoyed this one a lot better than Shatter Me, mostly because of the lack of excessively pretty writing, but this doesn't add too much to the series...moreI enjoyed this one a lot better than Shatter Me, mostly because of the lack of excessively pretty writing, but this doesn't add too much to the series as a whole and was more filler than anything. Still gives me hope for the rest of the series though. (less)
June and Day lead two completely different lives. June is a Republic soldier and Day is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. Af...moreMy rating: 3 of 5 stars
June and Day lead two completely different lives. June is a Republic soldier and Day is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. After the death of Metias, June’s brother, their lives cross when Day becomes the prime suspect. Finding Day also leads to the exposure of government secrets that cause June to question everything.
Legend is told from the alternating POVs of June and Day. Naturally, they fall for each but unexpectedly I wasn’t too bothered by this predictable turn as Lu somehow manages to make this work. My only issue with the characterization was the lack of differentiation between their two voices. I caught on around halfway through that the sections in bold were Day’s, but based on the writing style alone it often took me several lines to understand who was who in each section.
Big boo in regards to worldbuilding since it was fairly non-existent. What we are given: based in a location known as the Republic, the enemy is another location known as The Colonies, both The Republic and The Colonies used to make up The United States, the poor/slums are dying from the plague and kids are sent to something known as the Trials in order to determine their futures in The Republic. All interesting pieces of the puzzle but lacked too many vital pieces in order to get the full picture. I have high hopes that this will be solved in subsequent books.
I didn’t find anything extremely original about Legend but it was a fairly thrilling and exciting read that I finished in a single day. The bits we do learn about this world do intrigue me and I look forward to finding out more. June is a strong and engaging character and I especially loved the parts of the story told from her POV. I will definitely be continuing this series since I’m forever a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories.(less)
Six weeks have passed since Evelyn has left Elysium yet she remembers nothing of her previous life. Gavin is the only one that knew her but she can ba...moreSix weeks have passed since Evelyn has left Elysium yet she remembers nothing of her previous life. Gavin is the only one that knew her but she can barely remember him. When she begins having nightmarish flashbacks that seem to be continuously triggered by something she can’t understand, the village doctor fears she needs to get more help than he’ll be able to give her. With the assistance of an old friend of Gavins, Asher, the three travel through the Outlands to the City in hopes that Evelyn can find the answers she’s searching for.
The truth is I never intended on reading this. I finished Renegade and enjoyed it but was expecting so much more and was left mildly disappointed. But I recently recommended this book to my ‘I have better things to do than read’ 13-year-old step-daughter and holy crap she loved it and immediately wanted me to pick up Revelations. And then she demanded I read it with her so she could talk to me about it. So, I succumbed to the pressure. :)
Revelations suffered from middle-book-syndrome and possessed a lot of filler. For almost the entire first half of the book was spent detailing Evelyn’s flashbacks and the expedition to the City. There were some moments of intrigue but for the most part it was incredibly uneventful in comparison to the thrilling nature of Renegade. When I think back on the book as a whole there was a lot that could have been condensed or eliminated (such as the romance drama) and a lot that could have been expanded on in more detail (like the science and origination of Elysium).
The romance was a huge issue for me in Renegade and continued to be an issue in this book. There are even hints of a love triangle but I’m pleased to announce it fizzles out by the end for hilarious reasons. The romance between Gavin and Evelyn grows quickly and I love you’s are being dished out. Gavin becomes excessively possessive in regards to Evelyn’s safety and it’s understandable to an extent. When Gavin decides to not inform her of issues regarding her own personal health and other issues that she should be deciding for herself is when I developed an issue with him. His treatment towards her felt extremely condescending and I realize Evelyn didn’t have any memories so he thought he was only helping but that doesn’t mean she lost her common sense as well.
After the unfortunate cliffhanger ending there’s no doubt I’ll be reading the final installment even without my kid bullying me into it. I can only hope that the drama is all out of the way, that Gavin can allow Evelyn to make her own decisions and that we can get more concrete details on the interesting world of Elysium.(less)
My rating: 1 of 5 stars I received this book free from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or th...moreMy rating: 1 of 5 stars I received this book free from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In the world introduced in ‘The Circle’, individuals become completely transparent and are stripped of their anonymity even when performing menial tasks. Mae Holland has just secured a position with The Circle thanks to her friend Annie, a high-ranking employee at The Circle. Mae’s involvement in the company slowly begins overtaking everything and without stopping to consider, her entire life ends up being put on display for anyone willing to see.
‘TruYou changed the internet, in toto, within a year. Though some sites were resistant at first, and free-internet advocates shouted about the right to be anonymous online, the TruYou wave was tidal and crushed all meaninful opposition. It started with the commerce sites. Why would any non-porn site want anonymous users when they could know exactly who had come through the door? Overnight, all comment boards became civil, all posters held accountable. The trolls, who had more or less overtaken the internet, were driven back into the darkness.'
So essentially the only people that truly care about privacy in this world are trolls and people who view porn online. Everybody else is fully willing to give up their privacy. Right. Because that’s totally legit. And comment boards became civil overnight all because people’s real names were disclosed thus insinuating that the only thing encouraging people to state their opinions on the Internet was their anonymity? And I loved how the creation of the Unified Operating System, also known as TruYou, which basically took all user accounts and passwords and made them into one all encompassing login, revolutionized the Internet and prevented identity theft. You’d think if you only had one single password it’d be easier rather than more difficult to hack someones information but maybe we’re not supposed to think too hard on these technological creations of Eggers, especially considering his supposed lack of research on the subject. (“There were a handful of times when I looked something up, or asked the opinion of someone more tech-savvy than I am, but for the most part this was just a process of pure speculative fiction.” -Source) His lack of research is abundantly clear with the naming of his main invention, Unified Operating System, which isn’t even an Operating System at all. Windows? OS X? Linux? Android? Those are Operating Systems. Computer software that manages the computers hardware. For someone that decided to write a 504 page book dedicated to technology I would have expected him to know that at the very least.
It’s obvious that Eggers himself harbors a deep dislike of technology and the way the Internet is growing and expanding in society as that’s the way it was written, in a smug and dismissive manner. Each time Mae’s ex-boyfriend Mercer makes an appearance the opportunity is taken to preach his opinions about her job and what companies like ‘The Circle’ are doing to this world. It’s clear Eggers is the embodiment of Mercer and he used that character to push his agenda which is completely fine by me, but the opinions of technological advances were written as black and white where people are either completely for or completely against those advances. Personally, I found myself in a grey area and I’m doubtfully the only like-minded individual.
Setting all that aside I really have to mention the worst thing about this book: the sex scenes. Not only was there a completely unnecessary romance, but the embarrassingly graphic sex scenes told from the point of view of a female were awful (not to mention the scene where Mae walked in on her parents? Served absolutely no purpose to the advancement of the storyline.) Maybe it would’ve been better if the main character was a male and Eggers could have made it sound like he has a modicum of sense in regards to what goes on in the bedroom. The bothersome descriptive words makes me hope someone will steal that man’s thesaurus. Here a few cringe-worthy examples:
‘Then his eyes closed, and he went into paroxysms, emitting a brief squeal before grunting his arrival.’ Squeal? Grunting? ARRIVAL? No, no, no.
“Sometimes,” he said, and breathed fire into her ear. My. That sounds painful.
‘She could think only of a campfire, one small log, all of it doused in milk.’ Okay, maybe this is a little out of context and hard to understand but there had just been an embarrassing sexual situation where the man was a bit too… quick with it. And Eggers uses a ‘small log’ and ‘milk’ as the descriptive terms. Good grief, NO.
The Circle is at times a bit of a satiric story on the technological advances in this day and age but does manage to bring up some points that would be worth discussing. If it was a non-biased written interpretation on the future possibilities of technology it could have been well received (by me) but as it stands it was written too much like The Circle was ‘Big Brother’ and everything associated with technology is inherently bad. The laughable ending which involves robot drones directed by social media hordes that essentially cause a murder only solidified my displeasure.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Source: Purchased via Audible.com
MaddAddam is the long-awaited conclusion to the trilogy which began with Oryx and Crake. It'...moreMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Source: Purchased via Audible.com
MaddAddam is the long-awaited conclusion to the trilogy which began with Oryx and Crake. It's the story of Crake, a man who played God and developed a plague to wipe out the human race in order to usher forth a new, more advanced species called the Crakers. The MaddAddam introduction shows the few surviving humans converging with the Crakers in hopes that their combined efforts can ensure their survival in the harsh and ravaged world they are left with after the plague. In MaddAddam, it's slow going but the Earth is on point to regenerate itself with an increase in thunderstorms and the growth of plants to help sustain their diets. Animals are even adapting to life among their genetically modified cousins, the rakunks, liobams, wolvogs and pigoons. The surviving humans are a combination of geneticists and environmentalists and we're given several, separate stories that end up all integrating and explaining their roles from the beginning of the plague.
"There's the story, then there's the real story, then there's the story of how the story came to be told. Then there's what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too."
MaddAddam is primarily told from the point of view of Toby, as it was in The Year of the Flood, however we receive much back-story about Zeb. Toby spends much time telling the story of Zeb to the Crakers, who have developed a strange fascination with Zeb. Much is left out and is transformed into a myth of sorts for them, just like the stories that Jimmy used to tell them.
Considering this is the final installment in a trilogy, I was personally expecting more of an engaging ending. It's a slow-build of an ending and doesn't exactly amount to much, but I believe that to be due to the way it was written. Most of the current happenings are told after the fact or retold in the form of a story rather than a step-by-step accounting of occurrences. We finally get all of our lingering questions answered regarding what led up to the plague being released on the world and how each character came to be where they are now in the story. While this managed to make it slightly less satisfying it was no less compelling. The MaddAddam trilogy is a unique interpretation of a dystopian world that is not only brilliantly imaginative but is shockingly possible. (less)
Shatter Me was one of those books that I put on my mental shelf titled ‘Nope nope nope’. I had been warned about the bad metaphors and the strange pas...moreShatter Me was one of those books that I put on my mental shelf titled ‘Nope nope nope’. I had been warned about the bad metaphors and the strange passages with strikethroughs. But eh, sometimes you just need to experience it for yourself and form your own opinion.
The listed genre for Shatter Me is dystopian, but that’s a big joke. The dystopian aspects of this novel were used solely as a backdrop for what is truly a romance novel. The romance completely overpowers this story and is not only insta-lovey but there’s a love triangle to boot. Juliette and Adam. Juliette and Warner. One big happy freaking family. Adam and Warner both are total stereotypes with their good guy bad guy routine, their tragic pasts and of course the fact that they are in love with the same girl. Oh and they’re completely freaking gorgeous. As is Juliette. Because gorgeous people run rampant in dystopian societies, of course. I’m hoping the complete lack of characterization for these two is expounded on more in future installments (although it’s pretty inane that this isn’t done right off the bat in the introductions to them but whatever). The lack of characterization makes Juliette’s complete infatuation with Adam pretty nonsensical. Infatuation is putting it mildly though. Juliette acted like she was rabid around Adam, because of his total gorgeous-ness.
‘Everything is on fire. My cheeks my hands the pit of my stomach and I’m drowning in waves of emotion and a storm of fresh rain and all I feel is the strength of his silhouette against mine and I never ever ever ever want to forget this moment. I want to stamp him into my skin and save him forever.’
‘His lips are so close to my ear I’m water and nothing and everything and melting into a wanting so desperate it burns as I swallow it down.’
‘He leaves less than a foot of space between us and I’m 10 inches away from spontaneous combustion.’
What made Shatter Me positively dreadful was the writing. Those metaphors you all warned me about? You were not freaking joking. Holy metaphors, batman. They truly did not make any sort of sense, they were excessive and made for a very awkward reading experience. The most entertaining were the metaphors, if taken literally, which had Juliette falling the fuck apart.. Obviously not literally. Maybe. I think.
‘Every organ in my body falls to the floor.’ ‘His lips soften into a smile that cracks apart my spine.’ 'He shifts and my eyes shatter into thousands of pieces …’ ‘My jaw falls off.’ ‘My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps.’ ‘My jaw is dangling from my shoelace.’
I can appreciate the authors attempt at conveying things in a creative manner but it simply came across as confusing. Confusing and far too grandiose. Thankfully they seemed to ease up towards the end of the story, mainly I think because dialogue became more frequent and we weren't ‘in’ Juliette’s head as much.
I don’t often continue a series after giving the very first installment a 2 star rating. But I’ll definitely be continuing the Shatter Me series. Why? Well, that’s a bit of a spoiler. I went into this novel knowing next to nothing about it, only the dreadful writing. I didn’t know there was insta-love, didn't know there was a love triangle and wasn't aware of the comparisons to other novels that had been made View Spoiler ». WELL. Being the huge nerd that I am if I had known that I would've jumped on this immediately. The hint of what’s to come that we’re given at the very end of Shatter Me is enough to pique my interest and give me hope for future installments. So fingers crossed.(less)