I just finished this book and now I finally know what all of the hoopla surrounding this series was all about!! It was So. Bloody. Good!! Lena was fasI just finished this book and now I finally know what all of the hoopla surrounding this series was all about!! It was So. Bloody. Good!! Lena was fascinating to watch as she grew into herself and learned to really think for herself, and Alex was every girl's dream boyfriend! Awesome!! Now I have to beg, borrow and/or steal to get my hands on a copy of the next book ASAP!...more
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
From Goodreads: "Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be sepI received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
From Goodreads: "Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. GENs are gestated in a tank and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen."
I really, really enjoyed this dystopian book! Set in a new world, there is a caste system set up so that the highborns can enjoy their lives fully, being the richest and most powerful of all of the trueborns. The lowest of the low are the tankborns. They GENs, and as they are a combination of human DNA spliced with animal DNA, they are considered nonhuman, and are the slaves to all of the other classes.
Kayla and Mishalla are best friends, but something is different about them. Even though they are only tankborn, they question things that other tankborns wouldn't even think of questioning. They are both approached separately to transport illegal data, for reasons that will become clear in the book.
I really loved the world building in this book! It always amazes me how a writer can take an idea of a world and then describe it in a way that you feel you are there, walking around with the characters, seeing all of the different things that they are seeing! Karen Sandler has a real gift for this, let me tell you! The character growth also impressed me a great deal. Kayla begins as a naive, sheltered girl, nervous about getting her Assignment. Through the book she learns that things are not always as they seem and this changes and matures her. The same is true of Mishalla. They both fall for trueborns and this also impacts their growth.
I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to find out what is going to happen next :D...more
Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. SheFrom Goodreads: "HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER
Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . ."
My thoughts: I've read some mixed reviews on this book, but I was intrigued enough by the synopsis that I requested it from NetGalley anyway. I have to admit that I wasn't very drawn to the cover, but again, the book's description was interesting, so I was looking forward to reading it. I must say that I wasn't disappointed! I thought it was a great dystopian, with enough creepiness to keep me interested from start to finish.
In the world that Lissa Price has invented, there has been a "Spore War", chemical warfare, that wiped out all the people who had not been inoculated. Since only the young and the old had received their inoculations when the war started, that means that all of the people between approximately 20 and 60 were gone now. Because of advancements in medicine, the Enders, as the older generation is called, can easily live to be 200 now. The only problem is, their bodies continue to age and they can't do the things that they used to be able to do. Enter the Starters, or the younger generation, who have the youthful bodies the Enders crave. A new technology has been invented wherein the Starters can rent out their bodies to the Enlders for weeks at a time, which enables the Enders to be young again, and the Starters to earn the money they need to live. Laws are in place that prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from working so the jobs can go to the longer living Enders. Unfortunately for kids like Callie, and her little brother Tyler, with no one to take care of them they are forced to live in abandoned buildings, trying to stay one step ahead of the law, who capture unclaimed kids and put them in institutions where they are forced to work at basically hard labor until they are 18. Tyler is also sick, so that puts even more strain on Callie to try to find someplace where they can live, and money to get medical attention for Tyler. She is helped by her friend, Michael, but there's only so much he can do either.
Callie hears about the program at Prime Destinations where kids who are attractive and physically fit can rent out their bodies to Enders for large sums of money, and although she finds the idea repulsive, she can't deny that the money would enable her to pay for a nice apartment or house for her and Tyler, and she would finally be able to buy the medicine that Tyler so desperately needs. She goes ahead and rents out her body for what she thinks is only going to be a week (but turns out to be a month) and that's when things go horribly wrong. She finds out that the Ender who wanted her body has other plans than just enjoying a youthful body for a little bit of fun. She's up to something much more dangerous, and it's up to Callie to somehow find a way to stop her, without losing her paycheck, or worse - her life.
I really enjoyed the world building in this book. No matter how far fetched the idea that seniors would be able to "rent" a body whenever they wanted, Lissa Price finds a way to make it all believable! The characters are well written, too. Callie is a very brave and likable heroine, and you can feel her love for her little brother in everything she does. Every decision she makes is based on how it will affect Tyler, which is completely understandable in light of the fact that they are all alone, with only each other to depend on. The story is told from Callie's POV and I think that works very well here. There are also flashbacks from the years leading up to the Spore Wars that help you understand what happened, how this made Callie into the girl she is, and where she gets her strength. I will tell you that the book ends with one heck of a cliffhanger - one that I definitely did not see coming - and I totally loved it!
I highly recommend this to fans of dystopian fiction, and I can't WAIT for the next installment of this series to come out! :D
Disclosure: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. ...more
**spoiler alert** OMG! OMG! OMG! This book was as awesome as they get! I just this minute finished it and I had to get on here and say OMG! And just i**spoiler alert** OMG! OMG! OMG! This book was as awesome as they get! I just this minute finished it and I had to get on here and say OMG! And just in case I need to spell out how I feel about it, I LOVED it! I figured I would because I love Gena Showalter's books in general, but I literally read it every second I could because it was just THAT good! I started it yesterday at about noon, and I finished it today at about noon, which is pretty good for me!
Alice has led a totally sheltered life due to the fact that her dad sees monsters where no one else does, and to keep his family safe he keeps them pretty much on lock down 24/7. On Alice's 16th birthday she guilts her parents into taking her to her little sister Emma's ballet recital, which means being out after dark, and because of this she loses her entire family at once. She moves in with her Nana and Pops, changes her name to Ali, and vows to fight the evil that killed her family. Add to this the fact that she has to switch schools and ends up with a new best friend and a weird relationship with the hottest, baddest ass at the school, and her new life is off to a roaring start!
I loved the characters in this book. Ali is such an innocent at the beginning of the book, but when she decides to take her head out of her .... umm, I mean out of the sand, she isn't fooling around! And Kat is the best friend that all of us want to have: she's funny, snarky, full of herself in the best way, and totally loyal to a fault. Then there's Cole, the bad boy that we were all attracted to in high school, but who scared the heck out of us! Ali and Cole have a totally unique start, and that's all I'm going to say about that because I don't want to ruin any surprises for you! Suffice it to say, they are meant to be together, if they can just get out of their own way to get there!
Seeing as how this is one of Gena's books, I probably don't have to say that the pacing is perfect and the action is awesome, but I will! The main characters were great, but even better are the secondary characters! Each one has their own unique voice and there's tons of growth from start to finish. I think two of my favorites were Nana and Pops. When they take Ali in, they go out of their way to make her feel comfortable, going so far as learning the slang that all the kids use nowadays, usually with hilarious results! One of my favorite examples is when they're talking to Ali before she goes to a party at her new friend Reeve's house:
"Reeve." Pops pursed his lips. "That sounds like a made-up name to me. What exactly will be crackalackin at this party? Will her parents be there?"
Again with the horrible slang, the adorable man. "We'll swim, talk, probably play video games and Ping-Pong," I said, sidestepping the parents portion of his interrogation. I hadn't heard one way or the other, but I suspected a big fat no.
Pops gave me the evil eye. "You're not going to get chewed, are you?"
I...had no idea how to respond to that. "Chewed?"
"Don't pretend to misunderstand, young lady," Nana said. "Chewed. Cranked. Trashed."
"You mean drunk?" Please, let them mean drunk. This discussion had already taken too many horrendous turns.
They are SO cute!! Overall, I loved everything about this book and can't believe I have to wait until October 2013 to read Book 2 of The White Rabbit Chronicles, Through the Zombie Glass!! Here's to hoping the time flies by :D...more
This was such an exciting dystopian story! Great characters, action packed writing, and a very unique plot. I loved the fact that everybody getting thThis was such an exciting dystopian story! Great characters, action packed writing, and a very unique plot. I loved the fact that everybody getting the "Mark" was used because it really made me pay attention to the story, being a Christian and all :D I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Sneak, which I get to start right away since I was approved for it through NetGalley!!...more
My Opinion: I just finished this book and all I can think is: Holy freaking cliffhanger, Batman!!! I kid you not! I haven't been this excited to start the third book in a trilogy in a long time because I HAVE to find out what happens next! I'll try to calm down a little bit and give you my thoughts on this most awesome book.
Lena has made it over the fence and into the Wilds, but unfortunately Alex didn't, and now Lena has to try to find her own way in an unknown and terrifying new world. Near death, she is found by a homesteader, Raven, one of a group of people who live and work together just to survive. There she begins to slowly rebuild her life and find a new purpose.
The chapters switch off between "then" (when she first got to the Wilds and the months following) and "now" (approximately six months after that). Both time periods are interesting and the "then" chapters help us to understand how the "now" chapters came about.
When you're reading a really good book, a story that you enter completely while reading it, and things are going well for the characters, you just know something bad has to happen to them to shake things up. You feel the dread building up inside of you, knowing it will happen but hoping it doesn't, but at the same time anticipation is building because you know when it does it will catapult the story into whole new exciting places, so that when it does happens you just have to cry out loud "Oh my God!" THAT's the moment when you know if the author is a good one or a great one. If you can't turn the pages fast enough at that point to find out where the story is taking you now, then it's a great author, and I can unequivocally state that Lauren Oliver is definitely one of the best!!
If you can't tell yet, I devoured this story in less than 24 hours because I didn't care what was going on around me (yeah, I have to apologize to my kids who kept annoyingly requesting things like food and drink, only to be told "Just 5 more minutes!" Of course, they are kind of used to that by now since this happens a lot with me when I find a really good book :D) and would give it 10 stars if I could! I highly recommend it to lovers of dystopian stories since this is one of the best I've read to date. Since I can't give it 10 stars, I give it a very, very enthusiastic 5 stars!! Now, I have to go bug everyone I know for a copy of Requiem so I can read it right away :D...more
My Opinion: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
This is the second book in the Tankborn trilogy and sinceMy Opinion: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
This is the second book in the Tankborn trilogy and since I enjoyed the first book so much, I was really happy when NetGalley approved me for this installment. Where the first book really set the stage for this very unique and interesting dystopian world, this one was primarily about Kayla and what she's going through as she tries to navigate the ins and outs of being a Kinship spy. I think one of the things I enjoyed the most about the first Tankborn book was the romance between Devak and Kayla and I really missed that in Awakening. I understand that they are star crossed lovers since Devak is trueborn and Kayla is tankborn and there should be some conflict there to keep it interesting, but there was so little interaction between then in this book that they might as well not even know each other! With this being a YA book, there should have been something going on with them and I really did miss that. I liked that Kayla began to realize that the Kinship wasn't all good like they wanted her to think they were and the fact that she began to really stand up for herself showed huge personal growth from the beginning of the series. I realize that the "second book syndrome" is hard to fight, and while I recognized it in Awakening, I was still able to read the book very quickly and enjoyed it very much. I'm really looking forward to the third book and hope that it answers the questions that were raised in Awakening, but judging from how much I enjoyed books 1 and 2, I'm fairly certain that I will not be disappointed! :D...more
My Opinion: I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.
I didn't think this book (the dreaded second book in a serMy Opinion: I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.
I didn't think this book (the dreaded second book in a series) would be able to live up to the first one (Swipe), but not only did it live up to it, I honestly think it surpassed it! We got to know the individual characters a lot better as they traveled in groups to Beacon to find a prison that nobody talks about or even knows about (Archeron) and free Logan's sister, Lily. Along the way they meet up with hardship and danger, but not even this will shake them from their goal. They become a family who trust each other and who have each other's backs, even if they don't agree with some of the actions taken by their "leaders", Peck and Logan. Logan is betrayed by one of his own, but this just strengthens his resolve to find his sister.
Along the way to Beacon, the groups meet up with people who help them get where they are going, and who offer them food and rest when it is most needed. Some of these people are Marked and some are Markless, but they all agree that something has to change in their Union's leadership. They have a secret network that helps the Markless find their way to safety called the River, and they call themselves "fishers of man," which anyone who has read the Bible will recognize as the words of Jesus himself. It is in essence set up like the Underground Railroad, which I thought was incorporated into the story very well. They call the path the "Unmarked River" and the kids have to look for certain symbols carved into trees and such along the way so they don't get lost and end up in the desert with no food or water. They also have to be very careful to look for any symbol that means the place they are heading is a trap set to catch the Markless, not help them, but they don't always see it, which results in chaos and occasionally violence, but even this does not stop them.
There is no religion allowed in their time but Logan is given a (banned) book by a Markless and really enjoys reading the stories in it. Only after his group meets up with the rest of the Dust and they find a huge Markless community that has an underground church in it does he find out that the book he was given was the Bible and the stories in it are true. Yes, this is Christian fiction, but I don't feel like Mr. Angler beats us over the head with it; he weaves the religion seamlessly into the story line and brings it up only when it furthers the story. To a Christian such as myself, this book is a lot more mainstream than straight up Christian fiction, but that is only my opinion. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed how religion was used to stir the pot so to speak, and not just added willy nilly so that it could be called "Christian fiction!"
I was also happy with the ending and felt like it set the scene for the beginning of the third book perfectly, and I really don't say that very often! All in all, I felt like this was an excellent second book in what has so far been a very interesting and unique look at Revelations and the Mark of the Beast, showing how anybody who thought independently was ostracized from society and had to try to make it on their own, which was nearly impossible unless you joined a group of Markless to have your back. I thought the world building was excellent and the explanations for how the Earth got to the point that it was were believable and well written. The descriptions were spot on and made me very thirsty when the kids were traveling in the heat with no water! There was definite character growth in this book, which is really what a second book should have - the world building was done in the first book, so I expect the characters in the second book to be at the forefront so we can get to know them and relate to them, and even feel like we are suffering alongside them.
In summary, I am giving this book a very enthusiastic 5 stars! I can definitely recommend this series to fans of YA, dystopian worlds, and Christian fiction. ...more
My Opinion: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.
Clover is a high functioning autistic 16 yeMy Opinion: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.
Clover is a high functioning autistic 16 year old girl living in a very difficult world. After a virus wipes out most of the world's population, the remaining citizens live in walled cities and make do with little food and really, little everything. Her brother, West, takes care of her and is her world since their father is buried in his work ever since their mother died of the virus right before the cure became available. Clover has always dreamed of going to the Waverly-Stead Academy but is forced to turn down her acceptance when they won't let her keep her service dog, who is her closest friend and companion and who keeps her from losing it when the outside world becomes too much for her to handle. She is then recruited to join the Time Mariners, a team of operatives who work for the Company, the agency who engineered and distributed the vaccine to the deadly virus and who now control all of the provisions including food, jobs, etc., and who now also control all of the rules the people must live with. The Time Marines time travel to gather news about the future, including crimes that will be committed. Whenever someone is found to have committed a crime in the future, they are killed in the present to prevent the crime from happening at all. When Clover's brother, West, is one of the people sentenced to death for a murder that he supposedly will commit in the future, Clover and he go on the run, along with a "band of fellow misfits and outsiders" to find out what is really going on with the Company. (I don't know if my description does it justice, but trust me, as you read the story, this all makes sense!)
First off, I absolutely loved Clover! It's pretty rare that a person with developmental disabilities is featured as a main character in a book, but she is very much the driving force behind the hunt for the truth. Even though she would prefer to be by herself, with just her dog and brother for company, she goes way outside of her comfort zone in terms of working with people she doesn't really know or trust, and fighting against authority, neither of which come easy or naturally to her. I also admired that the author never used Clover's autism as a way to manipulate the story line or as a way to garner sympathy for her - she was never depicted in any way but as a very strong 16 year old girl who happened to be autistic, and although I've read some reviews that have said it was difficult to like Clover because of her off putting personality, I didn't find this to be true at all. If you want to talk about personal growth, I can tell you that Clover grew immensely from the beginning of the book to the end, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series because I'm excited to see her continue this growth.
Now for the world building and plot: The post-apocalyptic/dystopian world in which the characters live is described in such a way that you feel yourself becoming immersed in it as you read, which is always what you hope for when reading a fictional account of a world that has gone to hell in a hand basket. You feel the desperation of the people and the hopelessness. I would give this book an A+ for world building! The plot is well written, evenly paced, and very exciting to read. I was drawn into the book immediately and stayed in it well after I'd finished reading it. Because of the characters and the plot line, and the excellent writing, this book sticks with you and makes you continue to think about it even after you've put it down for the last time. All of these things combined made it an exciting read for me and the reason that I would recommend it to lovers of YA dystopian/post-apoc fiction.
I give this book a very enthusiastic 5 stars and look forward to continuing the series :D
P.S.: I love the cover and give bonus points for that!!...more