This book is so...gross. That's it, this book is gross. And frightening. It's everything Anna D...moreWow. I don't even...
I mean, there's just so much to...
This book is so...gross. That's it, this book is gross. And frightening. It's everything Anna Dressed in Blood wishes it was—disgusting and terrifying. I mean, homicidal ghosts? Pshh. That's child's play. But post-apocalyptic life with all the food shortages, diseases, no order, no normalcy, mutants—like really nasty looking mutant-y mutants—and horrible ways to die around every corner? Now that's what I call pants-peeing, nightmare-inducing, huddle-in-corner-crying-out-for-your-momma scary. As far as I'm concerned that's not a bad thing.
Funny thing is, this cover did not in any way prepare me for the demented, never-ending county fair Fun House I entered. I mean, it looks so innocent, doesn't it? All pretty-like with a sophisticated font and gorgeous sapphire-blue butterfly. It looks like a fairly tame book about something fresh and...pure, am I right? Probably something about Soul Mates and rainbows and unicorns. You know, the sort of cutesy idealized thing that typically makes me want to chuck a book across a room.
But it's not.
I figured out there is a reason for that, by the way, the whole innocent-looking-on-the-outside-but-jacked-up-on-the-inside thing this book has going for it, but that's not something I'm going to discuss right now.
I want to give Pure more stars because, story-wise, it is pretty enjoyable, for the most part. And the gross-out factor is off the charts a-mazing, same goes for the scare factor. But did Julianna Baggott write a five-star worthy read? Not so much. I mean, sure, when it comes to recent YA genre dystopias/post-apocalyptic books Pure is sort of up there with The Hunger Games and Ship Breaker, beating out all of the other competition.
But...truthfully? I wasn't so wholly invested that I was able to overlook all the sciencefail! and believabilityfail! And it's not like I'm one of those people who find it difficult to suspend disbelief. I read plenty of books with ridiculous and often impossible story lines and I'm able to believe those just fine. It's just, for whatever reason, there was much that didn't work for me because the author didn't sell it right or whatever.
For example there is this one character that somehow knows everything about everything, even taught himself how to read Japanese. Keep in mind said character raised himself in a post-apocalyptic hell hole from the time he was nine years old. I mean, come on! The world as we know it has ended, death and destruction and scary mutants are everywhere. And you want me to believe some little kid, who is taking care of himself is like "Gee, I sure miss everything. I think I'll teach myself how to read Japanese because it might actually come in handy some day. You know, since Japanese above all other languages is the one I'm most-likely going to need to know how to read." No! I don't buy it. Orphan be learning how to fend for himself in a cruel every-mutant-for-himself world, not teaching himself how to read Japanese OR study nanotechnology in-depth.
And at no point during this book does the reader learn how our world got from how things are today to some crazy-go-nuts uber-religous society that shuns modern feminism in favor of some brand of not-feminist feminism that eventually blows itself to high hell. This bugs me.
If I were to be completely honest, for whatever reason I couldn't stop thinking about one of my favorite children's books of all time while I was reading Pure. It's called Everyone is Different written by Strong Bad. If you don't know what I'm talking about go read it, I'll wait right here.
Are you done? Great book, right?
Pure is pretty much the same as Everyone is Different. I mean, you know, basically. Maybe there isn't any squirrel-handedness going on in Pure but there sure is a lot of doll-head-handedness and bird-backedness going on. Instead of characters being fangoriously devoured by a gelatinous beast there's a lot of characters being fangoriously devoured by dust-beasts and other such mutants. There are weird names, like Partridge and Pressia and El Capitan. Some characters are tall and merciless. Some characters are about to be hit by cars and other characters who have rigged the "enemy base" with explosives. There may even be a point in which no two characters are not on fire.
I wish I could give this book four or five stars, but I can't. That said, I still do like it and I'm going to recommend it to anyone looking for a post-apocalyptic read. Three stars.
I am so glad I gave this series a second look! This series is actually a lot smarter than I remember it being. Although, yeah, it's this book, Fragmen...moreI am so glad I gave this series a second look! This series is actually a lot smarter than I remember it being. Although, yeah, it's this book, Fragments, that really brings something new to the Oh-noes-we-can't-make-babiez-cuz-there-is-a-cray-cray-disease-and-now-civilization-rests-on-the-shoulders-of-a-group-of-scrappy-teenagers-with-a-can-do-attitude table.
There are a lot of dystopian books about the subject of forced procreation, and I could never force myself to read any of them. But the premise of Partials, book #1, is just different enough, smart enough, that it caught my attention. I remember that while it wasn't my favorite, not even close, I did seem to like it well enough that I planned on reading the next book in the series.
Fast-forward to this past week: I was in the middle of forcing myself to finish reading Fused (Pure, book #2), thinking that YA dystopia/post-apacalyptic books are probably the soul-sucking worst. I needed something else to read so I switched to reading...another post-apocalyptic book: Fragments. Don't get me wrong, I was mentally kicking myself, thinking Dan Wells probably was going to take the few truly likable and original aspects in the first book and ruin them, because that's what writers of this genre tend to do.
All that said, I have to admit Dan Wells proved me wrong.
Not only did he keep all the good bits from the first book but he somehow improved them.
The characters? I liked them so much more this time around. The premise? So much more believable and interesting. And I absolutely love how Wells poses some very interesting, not necessarily easy to answer questions. I love when authors challenge their readers to think in-depth about important subjects.
And sure, I've got a few issues with Fragments, like the story is suddenly being told by multiple points of view instead of just the one, as it is in the first book. Though, admittedly, all of my gripes are so minor that I really cannot remember any of them now, except for the POV thing and the overuse of the word 'kudzu'.
Overall Fragments is a very satisfying read. Highly recommend. 4-stars. (less)
*sigh* Who is this book written for? It can't be for the female population, at least, not the vast majority of females. I mean, sure, I like violence...more*sigh* Who is this book written for? It can't be for the female population, at least, not the vast majority of females. I mean, sure, I like violence and gore but I'm an exception. Most women will cringe away from the blood and guts violence-pa-looza within the pages of this book. And because the first book in this series does pander to the female population, albeit in a bloody valentine type way, it is clearly more for teh ladies. This second book? I can't say. And honestly I don't want to know. 2 stars. (less)
This book gets four stars because of it's entertainment factor and originality. Oh, and because of the fact that I quite liked it.
Until picking up Fe...moreThis book gets four stars because of it's entertainment factor and originality. Oh, and because of the fact that I quite liked it.
Until picking up Fever Crumb I'd never read a book by Philip Reeve. In fact, until I came across Fever Crumb I'd never even heard of him. So it goes without saying I was entirely unaware he had a bevy of published works, Fever Crumb being a prequel to his popular Hungry City series. Because Fever Crumb a prequel, I never felt lost while reading it. Philip Reeve did a great job world-building for me, a person who was completely in the dark about the Hungry City universe.
Review to be continued at a later time (when my kids aren't driving me insane)...
I had a difficult time rating this book. It's good. I like it.
...BUT it's lacking.
What is it lacking? More. It's lacking more. This story could be t...moreI had a difficult time rating this book. It's good. I like it.
...BUT it's lacking.
What is it lacking? More. It's lacking more. This story could be the beginning of an epic sci-fi series--for all I know it actually is--but from what I can gather it is a standalone. A frakking standalone! I find this frustrating because there is so much here, so much meaty goodness. There's enough here for a series and a couple different spinoff series, at least.
I want to know more! I want more!
One thing. I'm a little disappointed in some of the characterization and—okay make that a couple things—some of the convienient events that took place in order for the author to wrap things up sooner rather than later. I was fully expecting for this book to end with some sort of cliffhanger, something to indicate this story would definitely be continuing. But, no, that did not happen.
Also, not that I mind it, this book has no romance of any sort. Again, this doesn't bother me because I'm not a fan of romantic plot lines, especially when a romance overshadows everything else. But I know the lack of romance will cause many a reader to pass up on this little piece of awesomeness.
It's unfortunate because there is an amazing universe laying within the pages of this book. It has a lot going for it. 3 stars.
A e-galley of this book was provided by Netgalley. My views are my own.
Update: since writing this review I have learned from Goodreader, Amanda, that this is the first book in a trilogy. I am so excited to read the next book, Katya's War.
I feel like I should be immensely ashamed for admitting this, but even after all these years, after my book tastes have evolved so much, I still don't...moreI feel like I should be immensely ashamed for admitting this, but even after all these years, after my book tastes have evolved so much, I still don't hate this book. Sure, I can no longer say this book deserves 4 stars, and sure, I have issues with with this book, but I can give it no less than 3 stars.
That's right, slags, 3 stars.
I like this book.
Sure, I get it: you no longer respect me. That's fine, I'd feel the same were I in your shoes because, honestly? I'm just as surprised as you. I thought that during this re-read of The Host I'd be doing a whole lot of:
But, alas, I didn't do much of that, and it's completely weirding me out.
You may not know this about me: I spent the last 4+ years hating everything Stephenie Meyer. My incoherent "review" of Breaking Dawn is proof of how much I loathe the woman and everything she stands for. (It's also proof that, much like the rest of the world, I had been drinking the Twilight flavored kool-aid at one point).
But yeah, Breaking Dawn sucked. I noticed and got furious, and--HUZZAH!--the evil witch's curse was broken and I moved on. That's right, I never looked back (except for all the times I had to let everyone know how much I detested Stephenie Meyer), never picked up another SMeyer book, and I discovered that there are much better books to read and I pretty much lived Happily Ever After.
So, why did I pick this book up again? Honestly, I was doing some spring cleaning, getting rid of books, and I was just about to throw this book in my donation box, but then I thought: maybe I shouldn't. I did like it, didn't I? I couldn't remember, so I ran to GoodReads and read my original review, and I thought it would be hilarious to re-read this book and write a snarky review to commemorate the upcoming release of the movie.
But, yeah...not feeling the snark right now.
Don't get me wrong: this book isn't that good. It definitely has it's issues--I swear to Iesha, I will hunt SMeyer down and slap her if she doesn't stop using the following words: 'angelic', 'growl', 'brooding', 'snarl', 'irrevocably'... I could go on...
And yeah, I really don't care for how weak yet simultaneously long-suffering her protagonists are.
Don't even get me started on how much I don't like how she likes to pair young girls with older men. Or that, in this book in particular, a 20-something guy ends up with a (barely) 17-year-old girl who, by the way, is described as looking more like a 13-year-old. It's weird. It's creepy. I think we can all agree SMeyer has major issues in this area. Good thing she has all that Twilight money to pay for all the therapy she needs.
The amount of beatings a particular character receives is disturbing and also pretty ridiculous. She gets slapped, punched, kicked, drowned, strangled, and has her face slammed into walls and floors on numerous occasions. It's like she's Rhianna because she still loves two of the guy(s) who abuse her--although, yeah, they both apologize and that sort of behavior does stop.
Holy crap! I seem to have a lot more issues with this novel than I thought I did. Strangely enough, I still like it. I'll explain myself later when I have time and when I don't have a headache.
Original review, written 05/14/2008 (I originally gave it 4 stars): This is probably one of the more unique novels I have ever read. It's about a Soul named Wanderer and her new host body, which just so happens to (still) contain it's previous owner, Melanie Stryder. In the beginning, Wanderer struggles to rid her new body of the previous occupant's consciousness. Needless to say, Melanie and Wanderer don't like each other.
After months of dreaming about Melanie's past, Wanderer decides to try and find Melanie's loved ones. She is curious and is driven by something she's never really felt before: romantic love--because of Melanie's memories Wanderer discovers that she has feelings for Jared, Melanie's boyfriend. Wanderer is also yearning to know Melanie's little brother, Jamie. Wanda has protective, mother-like, feelings for Jamie.
Anyway, quite a bit more happens but I really don't have time to go into it all. Let me sum it up:
-crazy love quadrangle (not sure if 'quadrangle' is even a word but I don't really care). -Hike through the desert -Death threats -attempted murder -repeated beatings -romantic make out sessions -not so romantic make out sessions -awkwardness -abduction -Love -Hate -theft -gardening -soccer games -amateur surgery
Okay, so I am kind of being silly now. Seriously though, whether or not you like Sci-Fi, you should give this book a try.
This is the first Scott Westerfeld book I ever picked up. I read Uglies over two years ago, and I remember being pretty impressed with it. I loved the...moreThis is the first Scott Westerfeld book I ever picked up. I read Uglies over two years ago, and I remember being pretty impressed with it. I loved the messages in this book, particularly about how true beauty comes from within.
Scott Westerfeld is a pretty good author, as evidenced by the start of all his standalone novels, or the first books in all his series. His stories are creative and original. He's pretty good at world-building too. But then once I'm invested in one of his stories something happens. It's like he loses control of his characters and the plot goes completely off track, and all the worthwhile messages one could take away from the book/series are contradicted/totally not there anymore. And all of a sudden I'm reading a completely different book/series, thinking WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!
Basically, what I'm trying to say is, the rest of this series is pretty heinous (or should I say, angry-making). I really think Scott Westerfeld should have stopped while he was ahead, or, you know, not taken this series in the direction he chose to take it.
So. I highly recommend this book but I don't endorse the rest of the series. So if you choose to pick up Pretties, Specials and even *shudder* Extras, don't say I didn't warn you.
P.S. I'm currently reading Leviathan, another one of Scott Westerfeld's novels, but I've been told it's really good. Here's to hoping that's true.