This was by FAR the best book I have read this year. The story is both amazing and terrifying, and the plot is full of twists and turns that kept me gThis was by FAR the best book I have read this year. The story is both amazing and terrifying, and the plot is full of twists and turns that kept me glued to my seat. I literally could not put down this book once I picked it up. An amazing read that I would give to both teen boys and girls, especially those who think they don't like science fiction....more
Amazing book--the best I've read in a long time. I can't wait for the sequel to come out. This was refreshing after Stephanie Meyer's disappointment lAmazing book--the best I've read in a long time. I can't wait for the sequel to come out. This was refreshing after Stephanie Meyer's disappointment last month....more
If you like amazing illustrations and dystopian stories, Akira's for you! Seriously, read the graphic novels. There is so much more depth to the storyIf you like amazing illustrations and dystopian stories, Akira's for you! Seriously, read the graphic novels. There is so much more depth to the story than they show in the movie. I can't find the ones I read on here, and it's just as well, since there were 40 issues. I was lucky enough to have access to the full-color version....more
I wanted to give this book four stars...I really did. I just couldn't bring myself to do it when I got toward the end and realized that the book was tI wanted to give this book four stars...I really did. I just couldn't bring myself to do it when I got toward the end and realized that the book was the first in a series. This story was 560 pages long, and would have been oustanding as a stand-alone novel, but felt awkward as part one of a series. Somehow I have the feeling that the publisher had something to do with the decision. It feels like ever since the Harry Potter books took off, publishing companies have really pushed everyone to turn their ideas into series books instead of single novels. I'm sure they make more money that way, but seriously, you can kill a really good story by dragging it out for too long. (Stephanie Meyer, I'm talking to YOU.)
This story had a natural ending that it was progressing toward throughout the book. Sam, Astrid, and their friends are startled one day when everyone over the age of 14 disappears from their town, and a strange barrier pops up around their island. Eventually they uncover the cause of the disturbance and start trying to figure out how they can return to their normal lives. Unfortunately, the author completely forgets about this plot thread about half-way through the book and throws in some bad kids and talking coyotes instead. The book goes from being creepy and cool to stupid in one chapter.
I would definitely still recommend this book, since it's weird, fun, and definitely a page turner, but I don't think I'll be reading the sequel....more
I was actually pretty surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, especially since I remember not being particularly thrilled with a couple of the plotI was actually pretty surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, especially since I remember not being particularly thrilled with a couple of the plot twists in the first one. The events that to me seemed random or added for shock value in "Gone," were appropriately fleshed out in "Hunger." While the first in the series left me feeling cranky that I'd read 560 was going to have to wait ages to find out the ending, I'm glad now that that there is more than one book. I'm really starting to enjoy the characters and both "Gone" and "Hunger" were wonderfully suspenseful page-turners, which is my favorite kind of book to read....more
I'm a sucker for anything dystopian, so this was an obvious pick for me. (Especially since 3 friends have recommended it in the last month.) I will deI'm a sucker for anything dystopian, so this was an obvious pick for me. (Especially since 3 friends have recommended it in the last month.) I will definitely be continuing with this series....more
**spoiler alert** An intense, if somewhat rocky and incomplete finish to the series.
I felt like we spent the majority of the first half of the book ju**spoiler alert** An intense, if somewhat rocky and incomplete finish to the series.
I felt like we spent the majority of the first half of the book just hanging around inside Katniss's head. Things didn't really pick up until they were actually inside the Capitol, at which point the story rekindles the sense of urgency that propelled me so quickly through the first two novels.
I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the ending. I don't mind loose ends, but I didn't feel any sense of resolution after closing the book. I almost wish Gale had died instead of simply having been responsible for something awful and then moving away. What about Haymitch? He just goes right back to being a drunk and that's the last we ever hear about him? We get like 5 words out of Peeta at the end of the story and then there's that epilogue, but the whole thing just seemed like it was thrown together so quickly. I simply didn't feel satisfied.
In spite of these things though, I did enjoy the book. I'll be interested to see what others thought. ...more
In the not-too-distant future, wunderkind hacker Sam Wilson is recruited by Homeland Security to help protect the United States against terrorists witIn the not-too-distant future, wunderkind hacker Sam Wilson is recruited by Homeland Security to help protect the United States against terrorists with neuro-headsets, a new type of cyber-brain that allows the user to interact with digital information using their mind. When civilians start to adopt the headsets as well, sh*t gets crazy REALLY fast.
If Hackers and Ghost in the Shell had a baby, this story would be it. If you can get past how laughably silly some of the made-up hacking and cracking gobbledygook gets and just enjoy it for what it is, it's a fantastically fun book and a roller coaster of a read....more
**spoiler alert** I'd been reluctant to finish this series because I knew that ANY ending wasn't going to be completely satisfying for me, and I'd bee**spoiler alert** I'd been reluctant to finish this series because I knew that ANY ending wasn't going to be completely satisfying for me, and I'd been putting it off for months. I'm still trying to make up my mind about how I feel, but here are a few quick thoughts:
Things I disliked:
1) I was never fully satisfied with the reasoning behind the death of all the men. I just had a hard time buying the cloning explanation, and hoped that something else would come to light in this last volume.
2) Alter's whole reasoning for tracking down Yorick was because she felt the need to die at the hands of a man? That was her deal the whole time? Well that's anti-climactic. I would have been fine if she'd been killed off 5 volumes ago. This series didn't need a "villain" character--everyone was the villain to some degree.
3) Hero and Beth become lovers. That felt like cheap sensationalism. I'm starting to wonder if by the end of the story, Vaughan had more characters than he knew what to do with, and wanted to get everyone except Yorick out of the picture in as few pages as possible. That being said, I certainly don't have any bright ideas or insights as to how I would have preferred to see the supporting characters' futures unfold.
Things I liked:
1) Yorick is bitter, angry, and mentally unstable as an old man. YES. He should be. His life was insane and he lost his loved ones in horrific ways. Nothing worked out the way he wanted it to.
2) Yorick escapes. The straight jacket floating in the breeze made me feel like he was finally free of the things that had burdened him. Yay for him.
3) 355 dies. Having her shot right as she and Yorick were finally getting together and planning their future seemed a bit cliche, but it would have felt wrong if they had lived happily ever after, because it wasn't that kind of a story. It was a funny story, but a bleak one.
4) Even though I wasn't into the whole "Hero and Beth are lesbians now" thing, I'm REALLY happy that Beth and Yorick didn't end up together....more
**spoiler alert** Patrick Ness does such a fabulous job presenting the politics and psychology behind war in a way that's interesting and engaging. Th**spoiler alert** Patrick Ness does such a fabulous job presenting the politics and psychology behind war in a way that's interesting and engaging. The lesser evil strategy the mayor uses to gain the compliance of the people of Haven, the allusions to Milgram's experiment in Todd's "reeducation" and experience as a concentration camp guard, and the questions about the morality of terrorism are all prevalent in today's society and recent history. Patrick Ness, you sneaky man, you're teaching modern history and ethics to kids who would otherwise never give a crap. I think I love you...
...and don't even get me started on all the parallels to Star Wars....more
**spoiler alert** Alright friends, before I launch into this review, I want to say that I enjoyed this book. I really did. That's why I gave it four s**spoiler alert** Alright friends, before I launch into this review, I want to say that I enjoyed this book. I really did. That's why I gave it four stars, see? **Points upward and smiles** It was a page-turner, and I had trouble putting it down. It's a great read alike for kids who are into The Hunger Games, Shusterman's books, or any other dystopian cliff-hanger fiction. All-in-all, this was a pretty fun read.
Now nice Meredith is going to step down from the mike and let nit-picky judgmental Meredith have a turn.
There are a few things that really bother me with survival teen lit, and this book was guilty of all of them.
1) There's always a romantic interest, and it always reads like trashy fan fiction. I would love to see an author write YA dystopian lit without a romantic interest whatsoever. Yes, teens are interested in the opposite sex. Yes, teen girls enjoy projecting themselves onto the main character, especially when that character is trying to "fix" a brooding, emotionally-damaged hottie. You know what though? Teens also enjoy things that make them feel empowered and independent by themselves. Why do these female characters always need a hot dude around to justify their beauty and coolness? YA authors, STOP that! Teens are already freaking out about whether or not they're attractive and cool enough to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Write about someone who is just amazing and great all by themselves, and who doesn't need arm candy to validate it.
Also, if we're going to write romance into these books, let's shake it up a bit, shall we? Why are they always about a girl who wants to be super emotionally strong, except she still needs her boyfriend to continuously rescue her? Listen, I enjoy the "princess locked in the tower" stories as much as any other female, but come on--it's been done to death. How about the boyfriend dies halfway through the story, so the princess picks up a flame-thrower and goes on a murderous rampage in order to avenge his death?
2) These books give me the body image blues. Where are the stories about the kick-ass girl who just happens to be overweight? Yes, I know there's plenty of YA lit about fat girls, but that's exactly the problem--their fatness is the entire plot of those stories. I want more books about awesome heroines who just happen to be on the chunky side. You know, most teens out there are not small, lean, and muscular. They are soft, self-conscious, and a little bit awkward. Yes, I get that in these dystopian adventure books, the protagonists are often working out pretty hardcore and end up getting into amazing shape, but you know what? They never really have far to go to get there.
The worst part is that these characters are always so self-depreciating about their appearance, too. I'm sure that this is done in an effort to connect with teens, most of whom feel that way about themselves, but it's really just perpetuating the problem. Girls are going to read about Tris, with her nose that's "too long" and her boring eyes and child-like frame, and think that it's okay to feel that way about themselves. What's even more horrible is that if someone reading this book also happens to have a long nose, or a small frame, there's a good chance they're going to use the text as validation that these are things that are "wrong" with them. YA authors, stop making girls feel crappy about their bodies. We have plenty of other people doing that for us.
3) The entire societal structure in this book? Yeah, I don't buy it. Not only that, I think it's downright silly. I simply cannot imagine in my wildest dreams, that we would ever get to a point where we were determining our lives based on one or two personality traits. It just wouldn't happen. I like my dystopia best when I read about the world and think, "Ah, yes. I can see how we could get to that point." I just don't buy into a society where people are like, "Alright, ENFPs to one side, ISTJs to the other side." The reason it wouldn't work is that EVERYONE is "divergent." All of us are a mix of personality traits. I mean, I guess that maybe part of the point of the story is that anyone who reads it will think, "Cool! I'm just like the main character because I have lots of different opinions, too! I'm special!" I'm just not impressed.
The one thing that I thought was hilariously accurate about this story was how little thought those teens put into their tattoos. "Hmm, I'm standing in a tattoo parlor. Might as well get one!" At least they were getting tats of things that sort of meant something to them, and not like, "I want generic Japanese characters down my back that I don't even understand!"
Anyway, as I said, I really did enjoy the read. I'm not sure I loved it enough to pick up the sequel, but I think teens will really get into it....more