Awwwwesommmmmme!!!! Crickey fuck! there was just so. Much. AWESOME!!!!
It feels like a very different book to Cinder, but still recognisable as being...moreAwwwwesommmmmme!!!! Crickey fuck! there was just so. Much. AWESOME!!!!
It feels like a very different book to Cinder, but still recognisable as being part of the same series. It comes from the new characters and settings. At first you're unsure, a little disappointed that's it's not quite the same, that the dynamic had changed. That something just doesn't feel right, but as the story deepens, you start to see that the new bits just add to that already heady flavour of brilliance!!! Oh how the plot thickens!!!
Once again, I guessed the 'twist' quite early on, but I don't think it's one of those ones that supposed to keep you guessing and actually, you're happy when you're proved right!! And that doesn't happen very often with me.
The only problem and warning I would give is that, if you start reading these books now, you are going to be ripping your hair out while waiting for the next one to appear. It's absolute fucking torture!!! So I would suggest holding off until all four have been released, sage yourself a lot of pain and frustration(less)
At last, something I could get into. I can't honestly say exactly what it was that drew me into this as much as it did. It may just have been a simple...moreAt last, something I could get into. I can't honestly say exactly what it was that drew me into this as much as it did. It may just have been a simple case of a higher quality of writing compared to some of my other literary experiences of late. There was a simple charm to the narrative, a lulling undercurrent that carried you along with very little effort, and kept you there.
It may also have been in the complexity and depth of the characters, the fact that I felt more than a mild disinterest in them, like I have so many characters whose tales I have endured recently. Much more. I found Elliot to be a thoroughly fleshed out and rounded individual, possessing the right balances that make a character leap off the page, strength, fear, determination, compassion, humility and many more. She had a backbone, and she didn't act simply in the hopes of receiving praise for her efforts, a pat on the head for all her hard work. Elliot made sacrifices, and though she allowed herself moments for self pity, they were private. She didn't want people to see her weak, and I believed her and was a character that I could easily empathise with. The entire cast was full of individuals, each one with their own stories, each brilliantly different and separate from the other and more importantly, alive.
And even though once again we have a plot that is more than a little built on a relationship, it was one that was worth reading, that grew and developed in ways that where wonderfully intricate and readable. It also helped that the other part of the story, the tale of how the world was changed, how humans had thought to raise themselves above their God, only to be punished in ways no-one would have believed, wasn't relegated to the stands. It was always there, ever present, a part of it hanging between our love-torn leads, dividing them, throwing obstacles in their path. With subtle hints and startling revelations, we learn the truths of what shaped their world and the mistakes that were made, each serving to deepen and enhance a plot that is both topical and relevant.
So perhaps it was easier to figure out what I like about this book than I thought. I have not read Persuasion upon which this book is based, but it is a good enough story in it's own right.(less)
I do so like being surprised. I have been buried under an abundance of sub par literature and books that can be summed up by one simple sound...meh!!!...moreI do so like being surprised. I have been buried under an abundance of sub par literature and books that can be summed up by one simple sound...meh!!! So imagine when my joy when I began reading this, when slowly and steadily it began drawing me in. It took a little while, but soon the well formed, fleshed out characters and intriguing story had me hooked.
I will admit, I wondered at the idea of this being a mix of both Fantasy and Dystopia. In all honesty this is more of the latter, the only hint of fantasy coming from a few brief displays of magic, and an antiquated culture missing the gleam, polish and advancement of many books boasting to be Dystopia. It was really rather refreshing. No futuristic pomp, just good old fashioned story telling.
The romance got dangerously close to tumbling off the edge and plunging into the realms of cheesiness, but thankfully kept it's balance and remained the right side of classy. There were characters you could believe in and get behind, with an all important strong female lead that carried the plot well.
For some reason it seems like ages since I've read a good book, which isn't true at all, but still, Article 5 was a fantastic read and pretty much tic...moreFor some reason it seems like ages since I've read a good book, which isn't true at all, but still, Article 5 was a fantastic read and pretty much ticked all the boxes for me. There was an engaging and brilliantly delivered plot, world building that made you feel all the desperation, injustice and fear of the system the characters were up against. And speaking of characters, they were believable, perfectly flawed (that makes sense right?! >.<) and just looking to escape the corrupt and savage world they had been forced to endure.
The tumultuous and fragile relationship between Ember and Chase felt real and natural. Nothing seemed forced and all the emotions that riddled them through the course of the book were well portrayed and relatable. Whenever they came upon a new obstacle, whether it was physical or emotional, you could understand their actions, even if you didn't agree with them, all because the author was able to skilfully capture the mood of the moment.
The author's storytelling abilities also deserve a mention. She was able to create a compelling narrative without being either to clinical and literal or too over-sentimental and flowery. Every part of her story was perfectly balanced.
I am eagerly (and impatiently) awaiting the next instalment.
EDIT: wow, a lot of people aren't liking this one, which I find hugely surprising. Stuff about too much angst and no explanation as to how the society described came to be. I can honestly say I have no idea what those people are talking about. It's a series, so I'm assuming that explanations come later when the shit hiteth the fan, as it were. And as to the angst, I am usually the first to dry heave at sappy and irritatingly over emotional characters...not once did I feel the need to purge my stomach of my dinner!!!
I really wanted to like this more, as everyone else seems to, but I just can't give it more than three stars. It just didn't grip me as much as other...moreI really wanted to like this more, as everyone else seems to, but I just can't give it more than three stars. It just didn't grip me as much as other dystopia set titles have, which is always going to be a problem when jumping on a bandwagon. And this is a category with a lot of awesomeness in it.
It's hard to pin point exactly what didn't quite click with me. There was no racing pulse or eagerness to read the next page or the next chapter. I also found the characters a little lacking. A bit too perfect in June's case, or maybe it wasn't that. Ah I don't know, for me it was difficult to empathise with her, or even really like her. The romance that blooms also felt a little forced, like it didn't quite come naturally. It could also get a bit cringe worthy at times, with all the talk of 'her lovely face', or his 'beautiful eyes'. Even the bad guy referred to the male lead as 'her beautiful boy'. It was like, ok, we get it, they're both stunningly, stupidly good looking, enough already.
That aside, there was a decent story in there, and it has piqued my interest enough that I will probably read the next one, whenever that decides to appear. There are some big changes in the future that Marie Lu has created and I would very much like to find out what happened. And who doesn't love cheering for the underdog?!!
So final thoughts. If you've not read many future-set YA novels, then I can almost guarantee that there'll be something in this that you'll love. For a seasoned vet like me though (wow, pretentious much?!!) I was looking for a bit more, excitement, emotion...? Can't say exactly what, which is frustrating, but there was just something missing for me.
There is nothing more annoying than not being able to describe why a book didn't really do anything for me. It feels plain wrong. (less)
I am going to have to give Dystopia a break. I've been saying they're getting same-y for a while now, but it's get...moreThat's technically a 3.5 out of 5!!!
I am going to have to give Dystopia a break. I've been saying they're getting same-y for a while now, but it's getting worse. I think this would have been a pretty decent read if I haven't gotten to the point where I can sniff out plot points a mile off. In a time when Dyostopia is the new 'big thing' if you can't make a story original, you have to do something else to make your story stand out. There was just about enough of that in this one for me.
Good points were the characters. The heroin started out a bit naive and irritating but luckily grew out of that pretty quickly and the male lead had just the right mix of gruffness and sensitivity to make him likeable. The problem was that you knew they were going to end up together. Which just takes all the fun out of it and is a real flaw in these teen novels, the romance very often becomes the main story. I like a bit of romance, but I want it to be an added bonus not the entire plot!!
The story was ok, but not overly adventurous. There's the people living in relative safety and comfort on the inside, in Pods and the 'savages' that inhabit the wild of the outside. Girl from inside meets boy from the outside and inevitably sparks fly as they try to right wrongs and overthrow evil. I enjoyed a couple of the details, though I won't go into them for risk of giving away spoilers.
I'm sure there were a couple of bad points but unfortunately I have forgotten as this one has already joined the large collective of dystopian fiction that is swilling around in my head. After a while they just start to become the same book. I think the bad bits were only me being fussy anyway.
Suffice it to say there was enough to keep my interest and the author writes with a fair amount of skill, but it follows the same patterns as pretty much of the future set novels that have come before it. I blame the vast amount of Dystopian fiction for this not getting 4 out of 5.(less)
I have read many attempts at retelling the classic fairytales. Some are OK, but the authors fail to make the story their own. Others are just plain aw...moreI have read many attempts at retelling the classic fairytales. Some are OK, but the authors fail to make the story their own. Others are just plain awful. But when I first came across 'Cinder' I had a feeling I had found something truly special and after the first few pages, I discovered that I was right, which is a first.
With a cyborg Cinderella with an artificial foot, Meyer has taken the centuries old folk tale and given it a completely original and wonderfully futuristic twist. She has managed to blend the old and the new together seamlessly, as if this were the true story of Cinderella as it was meant to be told. She has kept all the key elements in place, right down to the 'pumpkin' carriage and evil step-mother, yet fitted them in to her own story, made them work for her in her own brand spanking new a glorious vision of the future!!!! The world she has envisioned is a marvel to behold, her characters richly detailed and brought to life.
It really is quite marvellous, and I am completely jealous of what Marrisa Meyer has created, but am also eagerly awaiting, not to mention impatient, for the next installment, which I have a horrible feeling I am going to have to wait ages for!!!! Curses!!!!! If it as all possible, I would beseech her publishers to hurry up and release the next one asap because I CAN'T WAIT ANOTHER YEAR!!!!!! >.<(less)
The main reason why this got 3 stars instead of 4, is that I read Matched ages ago, so when I started this I really had no idea what was going on!! On...moreThe main reason why this got 3 stars instead of 4, is that I read Matched ages ago, so when I started this I really had no idea what was going on!! One thing that bugs me is when authors makes us wait a million years for the next book in a series, but then expect us to be able to recall everything from the first one. I have a terrible memory, plus I read an average of one book every week or so. That's a lot of plots to try to keep from leaking out of my tiny, tiny mind!!! So yeah, main gripe is not enough recap during the initial chapters. Events from Matched would be mentioned, and I wouldn't have a clue what they were talking about.
Otherwise it was pretty good. The relationship between Cassia and Ky is as strong and intense as ever, with of course, the ever present Xander hanging over their shoulders. There were some really intriguing characters added to the cast, which I really hope will return in the final book, due next year!!!
Sometimes the writing did teeter on the edge of the slightly cheesey and overdramatic, but that's probably down to personal preference. I often found that Ky was the main culprit of hamming it up a bit with his internal monologuing. I'm not very good with the over use of metaphors and not being a huge fan of poetry I will admit that I found the constant references a little tedious and skipped most of them, which is hilarious because that's probably one of the most important themes in the book, that the characters are striving for the freedom to be able to express themselves through words that they chose and formed themselves. But yep, those bit sailed right over my head. Maybe that's why this book didn't grip me as much as the first.
So all in all I have to say that I was a little disappointed. When I first started, I was surprised by how slow the pace was, and thinking back, Matched moved at the same speed. Nothing was rushed and all the interactions were well thought out and carefully portrayed, a real strong point in the book. Yet in Crossed, where the tone moves from more of a character study to a story focusing around a journey, I don't think the pace really suited. I didn't feel much urgency and considering what the characters where up against, it felt a little flat.
This all sounds rather negative, but believe it or not once I got back into the rhythm of the story and familiarised myself once again with Cassia and Ky and the world they inhabit, I am pleased to say that this turned into a pleasurable reading experience and I look forward to the conclusion next year. (less)
In this day and age, if a kid does something bad, like skip a lesson at school, get into a fight or maybe get into a flaming row with their parents, t...moreIn this day and age, if a kid does something bad, like skip a lesson at school, get into a fight or maybe get into a flaming row with their parents, they might get grounded, shouted at and at worst expelled from school or have their games consol taken away. In Conor's time however, you mess up, you don't get a second chance, you don't get a choice. You get Unwound. And what is that I hear you ask? It is a process where your body is taken apart bit by bit, and each and every part is given to those who need them. And nothing is wasted. Set in this rather disturbing future, is a story about three kids who find they are surplus to requirement, but rather than go quietly, they decide to go on the run and escape their rather gruesome fate.
An imaginative, if rather unnerving read that will leave you grasping your innards and limbs and hoping that this isn't a premonition of the future.(less)
As the rating says...it was Ok. It started out alright, you got a good sense of the desperation and fear the characters were in, then it just got pred...moreAs the rating says...it was Ok. It started out alright, you got a good sense of the desperation and fear the characters were in, then it just got predictable.
By writing on the front of the book 'Danger isn't the only thing that makes your heart beat faster' we know that we are in for a little romance, so when 'mysterious stranger Joshua' enters the scene there's already one part of the plot that we've guessed, so no surprises there, especially when figuring out that the moody and secretive young man will inevitably thaw out and reveal all!!!
Then there's the rest of the story. It's a set in a virus ridden future that we've read about before. There is nothing new here, nothing original. And I just got the feeling the author was trying really hard to make an epic, exciting and pulse-racingly dynamic story, but it fell miles short of the mark. None of the fights left me gasping and quite frankly I wanted to punch the main character in the nose 1. for being called Sherry and 2. for being ridiculously irritating. She starts off ok,but then as the story goes on, she tries way to hard to be the hero, but at the same time goes on and on about how hard everything is for her and how much of a struggle life is, but gosh darn it, she's a trooper, and she's going to get up, carry on and save the people she loves. It felt like she was trying to be Katniss Everdean, but Katniss never wanted to be seen as the hero, and she just got on with because she had to. I could imagine Sherry jumping up and down waving her arms about going 'oh, look at me, look at me. I'm about to do something really brave. Watch me!!!!'.
Then there's her relationship with Joshua, which is as transparent as glass and holds no surprises at all!!!
So, yeah, not the most original plot. There was a marginally interesting twist at the end which I didn't see coming, but again, it's been done before and I can't be bothered to wait until 2013 to read it. Again, this wasn't awful and if you've never read a book about a deadly virus that changes people into furry mentalists with slight canabalistic tendencies, then you might like it. If you have, I wouldn't bother, as you've read it before and done better!!