This book was utterly amazing. I don't even know what to say about it that won't completely give the plot away. I read this book because of Caren's re...moreThis book was utterly amazing. I don't even know what to say about it that won't completely give the plot away. I read this book because of Caren's review, so if you haven't seen that, check it out.
What's my take on it, though? Veronica Roth paints an intense picture of a dystopian society that had me gripping the edge of my seat. I laughed, I cried, I gasped...I literally ached for more. There are amazing twists and things that happen that I absolutely did not see coming.
The environment and physical struggles that main character Beatrice (Tris) goes through are secondhand to the emotional transformation that she makes. I totally fell in love with her and was rooting for her the whole way through. Like most everyone else, I loved Four, too. Dude--he's swoonworthy. In a hot, tatted-up, pierced, steal-my-heart sort of way. All of the quotes I want to give are too spoilery, and that's killing me. But everytime he put his hands on her, I died. and Flailed.
One of the things that I love the most about this book is that I'm so invested in the other characters of the story. From Beatrice's parents to the new "friends" she makes, I felt like I knew them. Peter can DIAF. And that's all I can say without giving away too much lol.
I'm almost mad with myself that I read this now, because I want more. A lot more. Right now. I can't wait for the next book, but in the meantime, I'm sure that I'll be rereading this one. If you don't read this one, you're seriously missing out.(less)
So. I really wanted to like this book. I wanted to like the idea of this book soooo bad. But, I didn't. I found that I had to for...moreThis is spoilerish...
So. I really wanted to like this book. I wanted to like the idea of this book soooo bad. But, I didn't. I found that I had to force myself to keep reading during some parts.
I have to admit I thought the premise for this was a good one. I think the world that Ally Condie created has potential to be amazing. I can see where there could be lots of little intricate plot twists and turns. Sadly, it all turns up short for me.
I think if you are faced with losing your family, your community, your home, and potentially your life because you choose not to follow the rules society is placing on you, you better have a damned good reason. You should be so totally and completely in love, you can't breathe without that person. You'd rather be dead without them. That is NOT what I got from any of the characters in Matched. I didn't feel any passion with Ky and Cassia at all.
And seriously, I thought I would gouge my eyes out if I had to keep reading about the stupid cursive handwriting. OMG it's not like she had never seen it before. It's not like she was freaking illiterate.
I liked some of the other characters. I kind of loved her "Official" and her little brother, Bram. The little we saw of Ky's parents was pretty okay, and I kind of liked Xander, as long as I was overlooking that whole wimpy lay-down-and-take-it personality he had going on.
Will I read the next book? Yes. I want to know if Xander grows a pair. I want to know what happens in general, but will I be expecting some big love affair between Cassia and Ky to sweep me off my feet and make me swoon? Uh, no. Maybe that's not what this book was supposed to be about, though. *shrugs*
Katniss still totally kicks ass, Peeta is still totally swoonworthy, and everything is still totally intens...moreI think this is my favorite of the series.
Katniss still totally kicks ass, Peeta is still totally swoonworthy, and everything is still totally intense. We meet and fall in love with some new characters (Finnick!), and have a newfound appreciation for our beloved characters from the first book. If you are like me and wondering "how could there be more Hunger Games?" after reading THG, I will say that it totally makes sense when you're reading.
I had a hard time rating this book, because it really was amazing, but that didn't mean that I really liked it.
Of course, the historical parallels mak...moreI had a hard time rating this book, because it really was amazing, but that didn't mean that I really liked it.
Of course, the historical parallels make this a must-read for practically everyone. I remember being in school and bursting out in tears when the horses...yeah. I don't want to talk about that. Reading this with my son has been a totally different experience. He's a boy, and he definitely thinks of things differently.
I will say that regardless of how much I "liked" this book, I can't argue with the fact that it's one that has and will stay with me for a long, long time. It's so easy to forget that rules that were once absolute are now bendable. Ideals that made total sense can be changed. And the next generation won't even know the difference. For the sheer brilliance of this story, I have to give it five stars. Even though it made me cry.(less)
You don't need me to review this book since I am apparently the last person to read it. But just in case you're like me and are on the fence, I figure...moreYou don't need me to review this book since I am apparently the last person to read it. But just in case you're like me and are on the fence, I figured I better but my two cents in.
This. book. is. brilliant.
I'll take a little step back and say if you are looking for a grand romance to sweep you off your feet, then keep right on looking. BUT if you want a fast-paced, can't-put-it-down dystopian thriller, then this is the book for you.
If you already know what it's about and don't want my spiel on that, skip this part: What was once North America is divided up into twelve districts (there used to be 13), and each district has a male and female, ages 12-and-up, who is drawn to compete in the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games take place every year, and it's a fight to the death. To win, you must be the last one standing, not only defeating the other districts' competitors (called Tributes), but the one from yours as well. Katniss and Peeta are from the poorest, least-respected district (District 12). When Katniss' little sister's name is drawn to represent her district, she volunteers to take her place. Although Peeta's financial situation is slightly better than Katniss', they both are in rough shape when they are taken to the Capitol to get ready for the Games. They are prepped and interviewed and trained before being set out in the arena to fight. It's beyond brutal, and it's all televised for the entire country to see.
Throughout the competition, alliances are formed and broken, lots of people die, Katniss grows closer to Peeta, and...I don't even know what else to say. This isn't for the faint of heart. What I do want to mention is how realistic this society seems to me.
One of the problems that I often find myself having with dystopian societies is that I don't find them to be realistic at all. I don't usually think that the citizens would go along with the crazy rules government has made for them. In Panem, it makes sense. This isn't a society that's blindly following their government--they're disillusioned, but thanks to swift action by officials and relentless propaganda, they feel there is no choice but to obey. Though I think the way this government operates is atrocious, I understand how it got to the point that it got to, and that makes a huge difference to me in dystopias.
I didn't find any of the characters without necessity. I liked Katniss, and even though she flip-flopped on her feelings about practically everyone, her thought process was relatable and realistic for someone in her predicament. I would have liked to have gotten more from Peeta, and in spite of the fact that he's no Four, I really did love him and felt that his feelings and motivations were authentic all the way through. There were other characters that I loved, including Cinna and Haymitch and Rue (sigh).
If you were putting this off before the movie, now's the time to grab it. It's a quick read with a lot of power, and I if you like this kind of book, you'll love it.(less)
I find that books with lots of hype rarely live up to the expectations I have for them, which is the main reason why this book has been sitting on my shelf since I went to ALA a few months ago. I tend to not love the books that have all the hype. But, I knew the release date was fast approaching AND I had a copy to give away on the Fictionators, so I grabbed this on the way out the door on Sunday morning.
And now, I can't decide whether to slap myself or pat myself on the back. Slap myself because it's so damned good, I can't believe that I went so long with this treasure gathering dust on my shelf. Congratulate myself because I got to go all that time without wanting to hop on a plane to go stalk Marie Lu and beg her to give me more of this story rtfn. Seriously.
There are lots of reasons that I love this book. I love the genre. I love the swoon. I love the romance. Ya'll--I love Day and June. I love that all of the characters are well-developed. I might have REALLY loved Metias.
If I could, I'd give this book 4-1/2 stars because it really is awesome. But here's what I didn't love. There are some numbers throughout the book that didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I'm guessing that there will be more about that in the future book(s), but I would have liked a little more explanation now. There's also mention of a website, that I wanted to to be able to go to and find out more. It's pretty significant in the book, and I wanted to "live" it for myself as well. haha Trust me, Day makes up for these things.
One of the other things that I want to say that I love about this book isn't really at all about the content--it's about the aesthetics of the book itself. This story is told from both June's and Day's POVs. Day's POV is shown in a beautiful gold typeface. Normally, I wouldn't even mention it, but I was so impressed, I had to. The book that I have is an ARC, so I can only imagine how pretty the actual book is. I want a signed copy bad lol
I know that you're going to love this one. With its hot romance, kick ass plot, and a mystery woven throughout, this dystopian thriller lives up to the hype--and then some!(less)
Eve has a very interesting storyline, and I think that Anna Carey is a good writer. She's descriptive enough and she's obviously put a lot of thought...moreEve has a very interesting storyline, and I think that Anna Carey is a good writer. She's descriptive enough and she's obviously put a lot of thought into the world that she has created in this series.
As characters go, Eve was pretty wishy-washy and self-centered at times, though I suppose her age and life circumstances could explain that. Overall I liked the characters, though I didn't feel that we got "enough" from them. I didn't care too much for the ending and felt that it wasn't true to their personalities (or maybe it was and that makes me kind of want to slap Eve), but I definitely care enough about what happens to them to read the next book in the series.(less)
MJ and I read this book together and lots of these words are hers ♥
Twelve contemporary authors disassembled and reimagine aspects of twelve timeless stories, ranging from fantasy and science fiction to literary classics. Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt contributed to and edited this compilation of works by such respected and loved authors as Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Carrie Ryan. Even though we each had things we liked (and didn't like), there is truly something here for everyone.
We thought we'd tell you about each of the stories included in Rags & Bones:
That the Machine May Progress Eternally by Carrie Ryan This is a stiflingly claustrophobic other side of The Machine Stops with terrifyingly vivid imagery and a depressing second half. We’re actually a little claustrophobic and couldn’t breathe for the first half of this tale, then were basically nauseated by the utterly depressive state of the character ultimately submitting to The Machine. The line “the weight of the dirt resting between him and the surface” is sort of the moment of transition, when he succumbs to the supposed comfort of The Machine. We can’t say we liked it, but it certainly affected us.
Losing Her Divinity by Garth Nix This story was written as a dramatic monologue with the writer character telling the story of the wayward goddesses in the past as well as what is happening to him in the present. It’s humorous. We found ourselves giggling out loud more than once.
The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman We don’t have a lot to say about this other than it’s what you’d expect from a storyteller such as Gaiman on an idea such as this. It’s unique and engaging and almost unrecognizable from the original source--Sleeping Beauty. You can tell he’s held this story inside his head with care until just the right time to tell it.
The Cold Corner by Tim Pratt
“This road trip was supposed to help me settle the question of who I was and what I wanted, but it wasn’t working so far.”
This tale is told in a familiar and contemporary style and timeframe. The tone is sardonic if not blase, but the landscape is lush and lulling, and semi-dreamlike. Also, we felt like we were sitting right next to the main character, Terry, throughout, experiencing it as he was. The conversational narrative made it feel like we were friends having coffee. This is one of our favorites of what we read, simply for what we’ve told you about it so far, but it’s also an interesting angle on the examination of “what might have been.”
Millcara by Holly Black Kind of pretentious and tedious. We love vampire tales, Carmilla included, so we were disappointed by the telling of this side of the tale. Maybe it’s just the tone, but it kind of made our skin crawl.
When First We Were Gods by Rick Yancey This is a future where the elite population of humankind is granted immortality based on a piece of technology called Transfers, which is super freaking creepy body jumping type of stuff. We liked the prose and the cultural references (laughed out loud the Gingrich Memorial Gardens on Moon Base Alpha), though. And it’s a love story!
Sirocco by Margaret Stohl This tale takes place on a modern-day film production set and follows the story of The Castle of Otranto, which is considered to be the first Gothic novel. We liked the life imitating art aspect and really liked Theo. The end was a little unexpected, but we liked this one--it made us laugh and swoon a little bit, too.
Awakened by Melissa Marr A truly refreshing tale, we loved Marr's retelling of Kate Chopin's The Awakening. Even though she completely changed the characters and their motivations, the feelings were all there.
I want passion, true love with a man some day in the distant future who is so overcome with love that he'll accept me for who and what I am. I want a man who did not trap me, who will not keep me in a cage. There is no happiness inside a cage, no matter how gilded.
The subject matter is definitely not for everyone--the main character, Eden, is literally held captive, but we really loved the way this one turned out.
New Chicago by Kelley Armstrong Set in futuresque New Chicago, this retelling of The Monkey's Paw has a dystopian, post-apocalyptic spin on it. It stays pretty true to the story, but we found ourselves empathizing a little more with the main characters this time around.
The Soul Collector by Kami Garcia This was an interesting twist on Rumpelstiltskin told in a modern-day drug-and-prostitution-fueled setting. We liked the exchanges the Soul Collector made with the main character, Petra, but ultimately didn't like how far it deviated from the true story in the end.
Without Faith, Without Law, Without Joy by Saladin Ahmed This retelling of The Faerie Queen was almost lyrical and quite poetic. The ending was perfect, but we didn't particularly like this one.
Uncaged by Gene Wolfe We weren't familiar with the story that inspired this retelling, The Caged White Werewolf of the Saraban. This story was okay. We didn't empathize or feel a connection with any of the characters.
Twelve tales, ranging from fantasy to sci-fi to just plain out there, Rags & Bones has something that will appeal to every reader whether they love retellings, creepy tales, or just good story-telling in general.(less)
Not sure how to rate this one yet. I want to give it 5 stars because of how much I love Peeta. And I want to give it 1 star because of how much I love...moreNot sure how to rate this one yet. I want to give it 5 stars because of how much I love Peeta. And I want to give it 1 star because of how much I love Peeta. Review to come. Not that you're waiting on my opinion or anything.
That right up there^^^^^^^ is what I said after I read Mockingjay back in March (2012). Now, months later, I still don't know what to say. If you've read the previous two books, you know Collins is utterly brilliant. This book proves it further.
So why the three stars? Honestly, because it's between 1 and 5. There were parts that the depth of my love for can never be explained. There were also parts that made me question whether the same person had written it. I was perplexed. And livid. But overall, I am grateful that Suzanne Collins wrote such a beautiful series and shared it with all of us. (less)
1-1/2 stars. It was almost okay. But I didn't like it.
You know how it is when you read a book that you love. You want more of those characters: their...more1-1/2 stars. It was almost okay. But I didn't like it.
You know how it is when you read a book that you love. You want more of those characters: their thoughts, their lives, any snippet of their histories or futures that you can get your hands on. That's how I always feel--I want more.
Sometimes, though, more comes at a cost that I'm not willing to pay. I loved Legend so much. I loved June and Day and almost everything about it. So when I saw that there was going to be more about their lives beforeLegend, I was excited about it.
Then I saw the price.
And the number of pages that you get for that price.
Now, I know that I have been having issues with all of these novellas that have been popping up. I wrote all about it on my blog. But, I'm not trying to be on a soapbox here--I am genuinely concerned that we are going to continue to get charged for stuff that used to be free. I know publishers (and authors) have to make money, but this is exactly the kind of stuff that used to be offered up as outtakes and extra scenes on authors' websites. Stephenie Meyer did it. Cynthia Hand did it. Kristen Simmons is stilldoing it. All for free. /rant
Marie Lu is an awesome writer and her characters display great depth of emotion in Legend. That fell flat for me here. First we have a chapter in Day's point of view. It's his first kiss. He is only 12 years old and kisses a girl that is described as mid-to late teens. It's kinda...icky to me, tbh.
A grin spreads on her face as she notices the way I'm checking her out.
This boy was hungrystarving and facing big trouble. idk, it was kind of unrealistic to me for him to even notice that in the predicament he was in.
The other chapter is June, preparing for her first day at Drake. She gets in to some trouble and vows to make a change. Her brother is as sweet as ever.
"Behind that brain of yours is a good heart, Junebug. I see it every day."
This novella did not provide any insight to these characters. The very brief history that it did provide was totally unnecessary. And of course, no part of this could be considered stand-alone.
Definitely not worth $3. (in case it goes on sale, it's not worth that price, either--unless it's free)
I think I'd really give this 3-1/2 stars, but I'm rounding up :)
I should probably start off by saying that I'm totally Team Warner. I know this will m...moreI think I'd really give this 3-1/2 stars, but I'm rounding up :)
I should probably start off by saying that I'm totally Team Warner. I know this will make some of you *cough*Meg*cough* hate me a little, but I can't help it. He's so hot. And he's swoony.
"I'll be so good to you," he whispers. "I'll be so good to you, Juliette. I promise."
Don't get me wrong, Adam Kent is totally swoonworthy too. And the things that boy says could make even my mother melt into a pile of goo. But there's just something about Warner...
Anyway, about the story. You already know all about that, but in case you want my take on it: Juliette is a 17 girl with a power an ability to kill people with her touch. She's basically been imprisoned for almost the last year, and for a few years before that, she had been tested and observed to find out what's wrong with her. I'm not going to tell you how Adam (or Warner) fit into her life because that would be too spoilery, but they do, and over the course of the story, Juliette learns more about her powers and more about what the world wants from her.
The prose that Mafi writes is amazing. No one would ever say that the girl can't turn a phrase. The main problem that I had with this book was that it was too much. Like this:
Heat rushes up my neck and I fall off a ladder holding a paintbrush dipped in red.
There were too many strike-throughs, too much repetition, too much extra stuff. I felt like it went on a little too much.
Also, I felt like the end was a little too wrapped up in a neat little bow. Like other reviewers have said, a little X-men-esque for me. Oh and the cover: she's not in a pageant. I much prefer the plainness of the arc that I have. *shrugs*
The story is compelling and I definitely want to read the next one, but I didn't love it, and I borderline don't like Juliette.
Fortunately for me, Adam and Warner make up for all of that.
Asunder picks up right after Incarnate ends, and we find Ana questioning her existence:
My life was a mistake.
As long as I'd been alive, I'd wanted to know why I'd been born. Why, after five thousand years of the same souls being reincarnated, my soul had slipped through the cracks of existence and burdened the people of Heart with such newness.
No one could tell me how I happened, not until the night I'd found my way into the temple with no door, trapping myself with the entity called Janan.
"Mistake," he'd said. "You are a mistake of no consequence."
I knew, as I'd always known, I was a soul asunder.
This book follows Ana and Sam as they try to figure out how to stop Janan with his evil plan while navigating through being together in spite of the scorn of most of their society. They enlist the help of friends, some new and some old, to discern what the clues she took from the Temple mean. When more newsouls are born, Ana feels like she has a real purpose.
"But it's not enough. You saw what happened in there. People were anxious to welcome back a friend, and then it was terrible. Within minutes, people were talking about killing him. If that's any indication of the rest of the city's reaction to his birth, when other newsouls start coming, there won't be anywhere safe. Not in the city. I need to make it safe. Somehow."
I wish that I could tell you more about what happens in Asunder, but I feel like I can't without being too spoilery. You know how it often is with second books--they feel like they're so transitory. That's how I felt about this book. A lot of stuff happens, but at the same time, it feels to me like the overall storyline didn't move forward.
I really loved Incarnate, especially how swoony Sam was and how much I loved him. I didn't get that in this book, and I didn't like this one as much. Fear not, Fictionees! There is some swoon:
I lost myself in the brush of his lips, the thrill of his fingers against my cheek and neck and shoulder, and thump of his heartbeat under my palm. So engaged in the way his mouth fit with mine, I almost missed the purr of my coat being unzipped. When he paused his kissing, I stepped back, and he slipped my coat off my shoulders; I dropped my arms and the cloth fell with a soft whump.
You know how I am about boys that unzip jackets. lol Something else that I liked was Ana's vulnerability when thinking about Sam being with other people in all of his other lifetimes.
I pressed my hands over my mouth as though I could smother the stab of hurt. Why couldn't Sam really be a boy my age, with no more experience than I had? No past lives, past loves.
Why couldn't he be only for me?
There are some things that I didn't like. I didn't like that I barely remembered what was going on. That's my fault, and I think if I had read Incarnate and Asunder back to back, I wouldn't feel that way. As it is, I know I'm going to have to read them both before the last book in the trilogy is released. There's something else, but it's majorly spoilery, so you'll have to highlight it to see it (I think):
(view spoiler)[Even after Sam tells Ana that he loves her, she cannot tell him that she feels the same way. She questions her ability to love throughout the entire book. To me, this doesn't work because Ana has always felt like she is more than just being a newsoul. Ana would know without question that she loved Sam, even if she was worried that he wouldn't think her feelings could be real. It was backwards to me, and really dampened my love for the book, the series, and especially Ana. (hide spoiler)]
The world is still amazing, and I can't wait to read what happens in the conclusion.
I didn't realize that I've been sitting on writing this review since November, and part of the reason is that I just don't know what to say. I don't k...moreI didn't realize that I've been sitting on writing this review since November, and part of the reason is that I just don't know what to say. I don't know how to describe how awesome I thought this book was and how much I loved it. Tonya said everything way better than I can articulate, so I hope you'll check out her review. I'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible, but if you haven't read Delirium yet, definitely don't read this.
I loved the idea of Delirium, but I wasn't convinced by the romance--I didn't feel the all-consuming love that should have swept them away. I felt like there should have been more--more devotion to Alex, more determination to be with him no matter what the cost, more devastation at the prospect of not being with him forever. I didn't feel that in Delirium.
I sure as hell got it in Pandemonium. We flip back and forth between the struggles Lena has to endure as she acclimates to being in the Wilds--without Alex--and a few months later, where she's on the forefront of the revolution. I don't want to give away anything else, but I will say that she finds herself in an unexpected situation, with someone she'd never expect to cross paths with, much less consider an ally.
The depth of emotion that I felt from Lena as a character is so much more than we got in Delirium. I understood her motivations throughout most of the book, and I found myself rooting for her. I loved lots of the other characters, though I won't ever waver on who I love the most lol
I can't even tell you how much my friends and I have talked about this book. I honestly have no idea what's going to happen, or how Oliver is going to wrap up this series in just one more. I will tell you this: If you thought Delirium had an evil cliffie, you ain't seen nothin' yet. I will advise you NOT to look at the end before you get there, though. It will ruin everything, and trust me--you want to enjoy this journey. ♥(less)
I've been struggling with exactly what I want to say about this book. I don't want to be spoilery, and I'll try really hard not to, but you know...it...moreI've been struggling with exactly what I want to say about this book. I don't want to be spoilery, and I'll try really hard not to, but you know...it will probably be slightly spoilerish...
Lauren Oliver's beautiful words are almost poetic as she constructs this intensely rich dystopian world for us. This is my first time reading anything by Oliver, and I think she's utterly amazing. The rules of the society and histories of the characters are well thought out and the general concept for this story are simply brilliant. The idea of love being forbidden holds so many possibilities, and I think that it's great.
Some of the characters fell short for me, though, and it seemed like the author got caught up in making her words pretty more than she wanted us to be swept up the true love part of the story. I felt like Lena, though likable enough, wasn't someone that I identified with. Constantly flip-flopping between allegiance to the "cure" and the quest for the truth, she didn't want it enough for me. I loved Alex--he's totally hot and I get their relationship from his perspective. I didn't feel that they were overwhelmingly in love though, and kinda thought that was essential to this story's plot. I needed to feel more passion between them. I wanted Lena to be consumed. *shrugs* Maybe I just don't get it.
By now, you've read other people's reviews and know that this book ends with an evil cliffie. I wasn't incredibly shocked by the cliffie, tbh. It made me sad, for sure, but I wouldn't say it was unexpected. I felt like there was all of this heart-racing clutching-your-chest action, action, action then...stop.
Don't get me wrong. I thought it was good. It just didn't own me. The idea is amazing, and I really want to know what happens next. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book!(less)
I really liked this book and can't wait for more. That's the first thing I need to tell you. The second: It's only 99 cents!!! How is this...more3-1/2 stars.
I really liked this book and can't wait for more. That's the first thing I need to tell you. The second: It's only 99 cents!!! How is this possible? If you're reading this review after the price is 99 cents, buy it anyway because it's that good.
The story starts off right in the middle of the action. Lexi Hamilton is running, knowing the consequences of what will happen if she gets caught. Citizens accused of crimes are labeled Sinners and imprisoned without trial and without being able to defend themselves at all. Their prison, the Hole, is like a small city/slum, surrounded completely by 20-ft cement walls rife with crime and corruption and squalor. After being caught, Lexi is immediately transported to the Hole, where she is branded with a band of color around her neck according to her sin: Blue for Lust.
I don't even know what I can tell you about this story without giving anything away, so I will just say that it is unlike anything I've ever read. It was authentic and had what a good dystopian book should have--consequences that show why the society functions the way it does. Citizens are constantly reminded of what will happen to those who don't follow the rules, whether it's a public execution or beating or seeing them dragged off to the Hole.
One of the things that I liked the most about this book was the characters. I really liked Lexi and her spirit. There were times that I thought she was a little unrealistic in her expectations of what was going on around her, but it definitely made sense for her character. She was young and privileged before being imprisoned, so her occasional naivete totally was perfect for her character. I loved Cole, who was the guard assigned to her protection. He's strong and manly and was pretty swoony, too.
"Tell me this is real. Please tell me you really want me because..."
He brings me back down, unties my ponytail, and runs his hands through my hair, rolling me back over and pressing his pelvis into mine. I open my eyes and he's staring at me with so much passion. A tear runs down my face and he wipes it away with his thumb.
"Babe, let's take it slow. I don't want to move too fast... I don't just want to make love. I want to make our love last."
There were parts of it that were downright gross--maggots and blood and just ewww. There are also some really graphic issues, like attempted rape and child molestation and prostitution, so if those are sensitive topics for you, you might not want to read this story.
There were a few problems for me, like insta-relationships and how the characters didn't hold true throughout. I think a good editor would have caught these inconsistencies. With that being said, the entire storyline made sense and was exciting, and I can't wait to read more.
I've been trying to think of what I want to say about this book for two days, and I still don't know how to phrase the way I feel. I liked it. It was...moreI've been trying to think of what I want to say about this book for two days, and I still don't know how to phrase the way I feel. I liked it. It was okay. I feel underwhelmed.
Gabrielle Zevin has combined two of the best things in the entire world (coffee and chocolate) and made them forbidden. Throw in a sweet boy who's in a non-band and is totally off-limits, and you've got a winning plot, right?
In theory, yes.
This book centers around a young teenage girl thrust in the middle of adolescence and adulthood too soon. She has to deal with more than anyone her age should have to go through, and yet I just don't feel it with her. She's too controlled, except when she should be. Then she makes rash, mostly unexplained decisions, leaving us wondering what she was thinking.
The futuristic society that Zevin paints has such potential but isn't elaborated on enough to reach it. There are mafia ties and mysteries woven throughout, but it's almost like the characters don't want to make the effort to make us believe the strife they are going through. The "star-crossed" romance between Anya and Win seems forced to me, and I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up with her sister in the future. That's not a spoiler, by the way--it's a sign of how much I didn't feel their chemistry.
NGL, though, I kindof really really liked when he kissed her tattoo. There just wasn't enough of that.
This is the first in a series, and I wonder if that is what has me feeling so...meh about it. I don't know what happened to authors planning to tell a story in one book, but this one felt like it dragged on a bit and reached no real climax. Kind of like this review.
I'll get to my point. This book had potential that in my opinion, it didn't live up to. I'm hoping for more in the sequel, but I wish I didn't have to wait for a sequel to get that. *nods* (less)
I have roughly eleven thousand notes for Black City, but I will try to keep this review concise and to the point. Here it is:
I love Ash Fisher.
Right away, this story (and Ash) pulled me in.
"You paid Beetle?" I interrupt.
The girl nods.
"Terms and conditions," I say. "No refunds. You don't enjoy it, you puke, you freak--not my problem, okay?"
She nods again.
"You pregnant?" She blushes furiously. "I'll take that as a no. It may cause drowsiness, so don't drive or operate any heavy machinery." She smiles at this, and I grin. They always like that. "And no repeats for at least two weeks, all right? I mean it."
"No kissing. Strictly business, okay?"
The moment I read that, I thought to myself what the hell kind of book have I gotten myself into?
Black City is one of nine megastates in the United Sentry States. It is inhabited by humans, Darklings (otherwise known as vampires), and one twin-blood that's a mixture of both: Ash Fisher.
Several years ago, there was a war, and most of the Darklings were driven out by the government. Many of them were shipped off to concentration camps in the Barren Lands beyond the city. Now, the only Darklings that are allowed to live inside the city are owned by humans as slaves servants; all of the others are forced to live in the ghetto behind a giant wall that separates them from the basic necessities of life, like proper shelter, food, and clothing. Relationships between humans and Darklings is punishable by death, but that isn't enough to keep Natalie Buchanan and Ash Fisher apart.
Natalie arrived in Black City with her sister and mother, who is a government Emissary. She and Ash have a brief run-in at the very beginning of the book before seeing each other at school. Because she's the daughter of the government set on keeping his people in oppression and he's "an animal", they couldn't be any more different. Though they seem to hate each other, something happens when they touch: they bump heads and his once dormant heart starts to beat. And when their connection intensifies:
Desire and guilt wage a war inside me, and I'm torn between wanting her and my loyalty to my species. She's a Sentry. This is so wrong! And yet I'm unable to control myself. My fingers brush over her smooth skin, running past the dimple on her left cheek before finding the soft fullness of her lips.
"Ash," she sighs, tilting her head up.
Her lips touch mine. They barely make contact, but a force like a lightning bolt shoots through them and straight into my heart. An explosion of pain erupts inside my chest. Natalie stumbles back, and I know she's as stunned as I am because that's when I feel it:
A second heartbeat pounding inside my chest.
Turns out that Darklings have Blood Mates (which are like humans' Soul Mates), and when they recognize them, their second heart triggers. Before meeting Natalie, Ash had no heartbeat.
So Ash and Natalie went from practically hating each other to instantly being in love. Of course, things are always more complicated than they seem, and one such complication comes in the form of a beautiful twin-blood named Evangeline:
A girl walks out of the shadows into the red light, her midnight-blue hair flowing down to her waist. Evangeline. Something stirs inside me at the sight of her, and I quickly force the feeling aside.
I'm not going to give you the entire rest of the story, but rest assured that Evangeline throws a wrench into this star-crossed love affair. This story was intense, with so much world-building, and the intent behind everything is amazing. Unfortunately, some of this falls flat for me and I was left wanting...more.
I absolutely believe in love at first sight, and I definitely would be okay with insta-love, even if it doesn't make sense before they fall in love. Typically when that happens, the other characters question how they could be together, but the couple in love should know absolutely that they have to be together. What would have happened if Romeo questioned his love for Juliet? We wouldn't have believed that he was willing to give up everything or felt that he would be nothing without her, right? We're supposed to believe that Ash and Natalie have this epic romance that defies class and even species and yet both of them question their connection. They way they felt about each other was explained, but I didn't see the evidence of those feelings. I wanted more than word and actions that were constantly being taken back or trampled on. #fail
There were a few other things that I didn't like, including how careless they were with their safety and how unrealistic I feel the adults were. I also didn't like some of their word choices, or that they were repeated so. many. times.
One thing that I did truly enjoy (besides how much I loved Ash) is how well the actual world worked. I love dystopian societies, and I love this one. One thing that really, really works here is that the peoples' oppression really makes sense, for both the humans and the Darklings. There should be constant reminders for what will happen if they don't follow the rules, and Black City does that perfectly. There are bodies hanging from the wall, warning Darklings and humans alike not to try to cross to the other side as well as a public execution of people who commit a "crime" and the person who harbored them as fugitives. It's gruesome, but very effective.
Harry Potter fans won't be able to miss the several references sprinkled throughout this book. From Blood Traitors to Bastet (Basilisk) Venom, to a statue of their leader standing on a pile of dead Darklings, there are many similarities. And when Natalie befriends a girl from the working-class at school, a boy tells her that he can "set her up with the right type of people know," reminding me so much of this boy:
In spite of the things that happened that I didn't like, I can't wait to read Phoenix and find out what happens next.(less)
I started this book and could not get through the first couple of chapters. Maybe it was me. Maybe it was the colloquialisms and lingo that seemed for...moreI started this book and could not get through the first couple of chapters. Maybe it was me. Maybe it was the colloquialisms and lingo that seemed forced. Maybe I had just read something amazing and couldn't stomach reading something less than mediocre. Whatever.
Regardless, I read very little and what I did read--DNW. I think a book (especially one that is the beginning of a series should immediately draw me in and make me want to know more. I found myself wondering how many pages I had to endure to be finished, so I did something I usually never do--I flounced. (less)
I don't really know what to say about this book. If I could give half-stars, I'd give it 2.5 but I'm rounding up. I liked it, but there were some thin...moreI don't really know what to say about this book. If I could give half-stars, I'd give it 2.5 but I'm rounding up. I liked it, but there were some things I didn't like about it, too.
First of all, what I liked. This story is fast-paced and compelling. I like the way the story is told, and the attention to detail is amazing. The characters feel real and their reactions and emotions are authentic, which I love.
Okay what I didn't like: I hardly knew what was going on. I'm kidding. It was hard to tell who to trust. I didn't like the seemingly forced love triangle. (view spoiler)[Waverly's actions at the end did not make sense to me at all. Not that she questioned Kieran, but that she trusted Seth--ugh (hide spoiler)]
I don't know what else to say--I can't say anything else and not give it away. I did like it and definitely will be reading the next one.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This book drew me in with its insanely beautiful cover. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to read it. Lately, though, I've been reading books with amazing...moreThis book drew me in with its insanely beautiful cover. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to read it. Lately, though, I've been reading books with amazing covers that didn't live up the expectations that I had for them, so I didn't anticipate liking this book as much as I did. I really like it.
Meet America Singer, a young girl in Illéa, the country that used to be the United States. In this society, there is a caste system, starting with the Ones, who are royals, down to the Eights, who are basically the dregs of society. It's generally frowned upon (and that might be an understatement) for you to marry into a caste below you. That doesn't stop America--she's a Five who is totally in love with a Six, and she doesn't care what people will think as long as she gets to be with him. So, where's the conflict, and what exactly is The Selection?
Whenever there is a prince who comes "of age," there is a competition between girls from throughout the country. They apply through a lottery and are selected to move into the palace for as long as it takes for the prince to choose who will become his wife. It's like The Bachelor.
The girl who "wins" will become a princess, and eventually queen. The others are elevated in status and receive monetary compensation--which means a lot to America's practically starving family. Regardless, America doesn't even want to enter the drawing. She wants to be with Aspen, but he insists that she apply. You know what happens. She enters and gets chosen. She moves to the Palace and meets the handsome prince.
I really like America's personality. She's strong and vulnerable and doesn't take any crap from anyone. Right from the beginning of her relationship with Prince Maxon, she shows her true spirit. I also really like how, even though at times America is irrational, she's totally justified in those feelings. There are some swoony moments, too, with Maxon and with Aspen. js
You'd think this story would be totally cliché, but it isn't. There are totally predictable parts that bugged me a little, but I definitely liked the way that Cass allowed us to root for the Prince without feeling like we are betraying Aspen. And I found myself in an almost unprecedented situation: I'm not on a team. I love Maxon and Aspen and don't know who I want her to be with. I'm leaning slightly more toward Maxon, but come on, he's a prince!
So what didn't I like? Besides knowing what was going to happen, wayyyy before it happened, I didn't like the ending. Not that exactly--I was proud of America, but I didn't like where it ended. I don't know if it's because I'm kinda tired of reading all these series, but I didn't like that the story wasn't complete in one book. Thank rob she didn't leave it at an evil cliffie. It's still safe to read; I just wish we didn't have to wait however long to find out what will happen.
The Selection has got some drama, but overall it's a fun, quick read. I think you'll like this story. (less)
4-1/2 stars. But I'm rounding up because of Sam. And the dancing.
I've been sitting on this review a long time, in part, because I just didn't know wha...more4-1/2 stars. But I'm rounding up because of Sam. And the dancing.
I've been sitting on this review a long time, in part, because I just didn't know what to say. I've had a really hard time expressing how much I want you to read this; how swoony Sam is; how I flailed with every word he said to her.
Then I really thought about it and realized that that is why I love this book. The swoon. Sam is so swoony--he gets all the stars. Not Ana, though I liked her, and not the incomplete feeling I got when I finished reading.
So what's this book about? For the past 5,000 years, there have been exactly one million people in Range, and they have been reincarnated over and over again. The cool thing about that is when they are reborn, they remember their pasts (as soon as they are mentally mature enough), including who they are (or were) and any skills they acquired.
Something happens when Ana is born, though. When they touch the newborn baby's palm to the scanner that identifies who she's coming back as, there's nothing in the system to match her to a past soul. She's a newsoul, and most of the people in their community feel an immediate loss for the girl that she should have come back as. Her father takes off, and her mother moves them into the woods, ostracized and mad.
Ana lives cut off from most of society until she's old enough to strike out on her own, bound for the city of Heart to look for information about other people like her. On her way there, she encounters horrors in the woods. She also encounters Sam. And he's nothing short of awesome.
They form a relationship, and he helps her get to the city. He helps her search for her past. He stands up to her evil mother for her. There's so much mystery here--and that's where I don't love the book. I love all of the potential--there are just SO many things that can happen. And I realize that this is a trilogy, so the story has to be drawn out some, but I felt like this book was pretty much about Ana coming to terms with who she is and the way that Sam feels about her. We didn't really learn anything that she set out to discover, and actually I felt like I had more questions at the beginning than at the end.
With that being said, the story is wonderful. It's so imaginative. And the words Meadows uses--wow. For me, the swoon makes up for the lack of answers. Sam is enough. I definitely can't wait to see what happens with the rest of the series, and I hope you'll check this one out.(less)
(view spoiler)[Right from the very beginning of Spark, Amy Kathleen Ryan continues the heart-pounding action found in Glow. Basically no time has passed--Seth is in the brig, Waverly's back on the Empyrean, and Kieran's still in charge. The story picks up with an unexplained rumbling sound and Seth being freed from the brig by an unknown (even to him) accomplice. No one knows how he escaped, but one thing is clear--it wasn't without someone's help.
Thus begins the adventure and attempt at solving the mysteries aboard the ship. There are new problems, which I don't want to spoil, and they are still in pursuit of the New Horizon in order to rescue their parents. I didn't see what happens with them coming, and I loved the unpredictability of it.
I don't know what else to say about what happens without giving too much (or everything) away. I liked this book more than Glow and found myself understanding everyone's motives more than before. I especially felt more sympathetic toward Seth, who I came to like, respect, and even root for.
What I liked: I enjoyed the story and the way the plot progressed. It was fast-paced and realistic. Kieran's transformation into the person he seems to have become makes total sense to me, even if I don't love what's going on with him. The way the other children regarded Waverly was authentic, too, and I am impressed with Ryan for not giving her the easy way out.
Even if sci-fi isn't your thing, I think you'll like this. I also really appreciated that the romantic aspect was so secondary. Sure, the characters are led by their hearts to an extent, but they didn't let that rule every decision that they made. This time around, I felt like I understood Waverly's attraction to Seth, and without a doubt I got his reluctance to be with her. Not gonna lie, I totally *fistpumped* close to the end.
What I didn't like: Though the story presented in this book played out well and came to a natural arc, I don't feel like we got very far in the entire Sky Chasers series. I might feel differently when the final book comes out, but I don't see how it's going to wrap up in just one more book. I would have liked to have found out more about the histories of the ships and their missions.
I didn't love how much of a jerk Kieran has turned out to be, but that's not really a complaint. It totally makes sense for his character, and I completely understand that he thinks he's doing the best he can. I just...pretty much hate him.
Also, I think the text in the hardcover edition is kinda small. But that could be because I'm practically blind lol (hide spoiler)]
Overall, I really liked this story. Whether you loved Glow or not, give Spark a chance. Though it's complicated, it was a quick read, and I can't wait to read the next one! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Destroy Me explains some of Warner's reactions and the way he thinks about certain things, namely Juliette and his father. He's come to the realization that what Juliette seemed to feel for him was not what he thought. Despite knowing her relationship with Adam, and the fact that she shot him to escape, Warner still wants her.
We learn some other things in this novella, like how Warner's relationship with his father has evolved, and how he came to find out about Juliette. I appreciated this insight to Warner's character, and you guise know that I have been #teamWarner from the very beginning.
I can't help but feel like this was all a ploy to get us to root for Warner. If we didn't have this story, would there be any way that we would think there was a chance in hell that Juliette should choose Warner? I don't think so. Adam is pretty close to being perfect and has been willing to sacrifice everything for her, including his freedom, his career, his family, and his very life. Destroy Me turns our empathy to Warner, but that doesn't really excuse what he's done, or the fact that Juliette has lied to Adam about her relationship with Warner.
This story could not be a stand-alone. You need to read Shatter Me to understand what's going on here, and I would venture a guess that you need to read this story in order to make the leap to what's going to happen in the rest of the series. I don't like that at all. Until I read Book Three, I don't know how necessary this is, so for now, I'm going to give this three stars because I did like it. But I do not like that we have to read it so that future events might feel authentic.(less)