I was excited to star this one, because of how much the setting intrigued me. How many books take place in Russia? However, that was probably the only thing going for this one because I put it down after reading 50%. For one, nothing happened at all. After Yulia was introduced to the place where she would be staying, nothing happened except for them talking about their powers and attempting to do some training exercises for it. I felt like the plot moved at a snail’s pace and I had no desire to continue reading. Maybe it was the blandness of the writing or the inactivity of our characters, but I was not motivated to read this book.
Secondly, the world building was a huge issue. I wanted background information for the powers that Yulia and her friends had, and why they were considered dangerous. They had powers that were coveted by others and ones that seemed to be unknown to the general public. However, before Yulia was brought to the thing with the people with powers (I honestly have no idea what to call it because I have no idea what it even WAS), she referred to herself as a fugitive. And because it was also made clear that her family didn’t know about her powers, it wouldn’t be because people knew she had powers. Then why? Why was her entire family hiding from the government? I don’t know if I just missed that part or if it truly wasn’t made clear.
My last problem that finally caused me to put it down was the biggest issue. Paired with the lack of world building, there was also no indication of the time period Sekret was taking place. At first, I assumed a little after the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s to 1900s from Yulia’s reference to romantic pieces like the Overture of 1812 which transpired during the Industrial Revolution in Russia. There was the mention of Marxist communist theories from the same time period, which led me to think that it took place during that time, but then they mentioned the Holocaust and the Cuban missile crisis. Those, I’m pretty sure, took place fairly recently, forcing me to draw my conclusions a little closer to the 1900s. But then Yulia mentioned discord between Russia and the United States, which obviously is an issue in the present day. Maybe it takes place in the future then, but the setting was completely unclear for me. The entire reading experience would have been a better one if I knew when this book was taking place, and while it’s only a small aspect, it was the one that bugged me the most.(less)
Veronica Rossi has come a long way from when she first came out with Under the Never Sky. I've grown to love this series very dearly, and Into the Still Blue exemplifies all that this trilogy had to offer.
For those interested in dystopian story lines with a romantic subplot, the Under the Never Sky series is what I would recommend first. The relationship found between Aria and Perry has the ability to warm anybody's heart. These characters would go to the ends of the earth for each other. While those more interested in action than romance may be slightly disappointed with the route Into the Still Blue takes, those who are fans of love and tests to force and strengthen that relationship will find satisfaction in Veronica's story. With Aria and Perry, they aren't a couple because it's a common trend in young adult fiction, but because it ties into the significance of the story. They receive relief and happiness from each other, which ultimately pilots these characters forward into something more.
Aria and Perry's development has always been outstanding, but now it's even more so. Getting to read their story from two different points of view is already a privilege, but with characters that are worth reading, it’s priceless. I loved how Aria started off as a clueless Dweller from inside the Pod, and she transformed into this strong, independent woman who could fend for herself without having to rely on Perry. She always was a strong person, but the strength and confidence she exuded was absolutely beautiful. Perry seems to have also learned from Aria’s personality. Where Aria is soft and compassionate, Perry is quiet and stoic. He’s always given off a quiet, cold air, but when he was near Aria he seemed to be livelier than usual. Their effect on each other and how they assisted each other in their growth was something that redeemed the fact that the romance was overbearing at times.
An aspect of this trilogy that I have treasured from the very beginning is the platonic relationship between Aria and Roar. Their friendship is irreplaceable, and where Veronica could have taken their friendship into a love triangle, she enforced the bond between the two individuals. Personally, it’s all the better because I have a huge crush on Roar. He was by far my favorite character in this series. He has a wit unlike any other that gives the book a lighter tone and alleviates it from its usual seriousness. Even with supporting characters, Veronica knows how to build her characters. Roar had a puzzle of a personality that we got to piece together through the aspects of his character shown. All of Veronica Rossi's characters are well-developed, relatable, and animated, no matter their significance.
With an ending that was wholly satisfying, Into the Still Blue is a spectacular end to the Under the Never Sky trilogy that you must get your hands on as soon as possible.(less)
To be honest, I didn't think I would love Frozen very much, given how little I'd heard of it until I got it at BEA. Turns out, I couldn't stand anything and found myself skipping most of the last half in my utter and complete boredom.
My first issue was how flat the characters were. Every possible character cliché was implemented into our two main characters Nat and Wes. There was the girl with a secret and the cocky guy. I can't go too far into their personalities for fear of giving something away, but I just thought they were so flat and it was impossible to connect to either of them. The thing is, I didn't particularly hate them, but I didn't like them. I thought that they were just there. Normally, with side characters, I wouldn't be too bothered by the fact that I couldn't form a solid relationship with them, but with main characters, I was troubled that my connection to them was watery at best. Ironic, since Frozen's premise involved a frozen solid world.
Speaking of the world, I have to admit I was mildly interested in it, but then my interest quickly fizzled out when I realized there was absolutely no world-building. Random terms were thrown in left and right without abandon, and I just wanted to slap them. There was no explanation behind it, or how they came to be, they were just there. Additionally, since it was a dystopian, there had to be world-building explaining how the world became frozen. There were hints at how the world came to be, but it was never fully explained, leaving everything to our imaginations. While some could suggest that it was similar to an Ice Age-like epidemic, but it was impossible to tell. I wish there was more elaboration on each and every one of the new terms introduced, like a thriller, the Dreamworks, etc.
Frozen's biggest flaw, however, was the complete lack of plot. Nothing really happened in the first half, and by then I had started skimming and skipping parts I didn't like, which was pretty much all of the last half. The pacing was totally off, and since there was no world building, I couldn't get into Frozen. The only major plot point that I could take note of was the romance, which was flimsy at best. The plot was meant to be thrilling and bring you on a roller coaster, but in reality there were so many conveniences that magically solved Nat and Wes's problems for them. Most of their issues were solved by some random event that was never developed well enough to be considered plausible.
As much as I tried, I couldn't get into Frozen at all. With the constant plot holes and conveniences, lack of world-building, and characters, I found myself losing more and more interest until I was reduced to skipping around.(less)
Twinmaker, unfortunately, was another DNF review for me for a few reasons that I could not excuse above the rest. I wanted it so badly to be a good dystopian that would convince me that the genre wasn't actually fizzling out. I saw the potential it had; I recognized what other people loved in it, but I did not share their feelings.
For one, the world-building was absolutely nonexistent. There were mentions of the Air, lenses, and a network on the Air. The Air could have been the internet (my guess), the actual atmosphere (literal guess), or a penguin riding an alpaca. I'm not quite sure, but there was absolutely no indication. The only true world-building that took place was the explanation of crashlanders, who threw notorious parties and had their own little forum on this network that everyone seemed to use. I imagined something kind of like Twitter, only really bulky and bright orange. This network was definitely something that I would've liked further development on, because it seems like an important part of life five hundred and pancake years from now. (I say this because I have no idea what the setting is at this point.) And what were the contact lenses? I think that it's a kind of tech where they project everything onto your eyes and you mouth a command and the lens picks it up and transmits it over the penguin riding an alpaca.
My next complaint focuses solely on Clair. I had a little, teeny tiny issue with this Clair girl: she was so utterly stupid that I had no idea what I was supposed to do with myself. One second she was blindly following Q around, who, might I add, was a voice that was fed into Clair's ears who claimed not to have a body. Not only that, but other times she questioned what Q said in dangerous situations. If she was running from somebody who could potentially kill him, then she would stop and question Q's motives and whether or not he would lead her astray. Logically speaking, it should've been more than easy to follow Q if she had done so for the last few days of her life. That aside, I had many hesitations when it came to Q. It felt absolutely idiotic for Clair to rely so completely on Q and not even try to rely on herself. Was she really that weak that she couldn't even think for herself?
Twinmaker, while certainly crippled by the world-building and the main character, was fatally wounded by my disinterest in the plot. I certainly did not find myself immersed in any particular part of the book, nor did I have reason to. The extent of its contents was Clair running around the world and panicking over the emotional state of her best friend who only made an appearance once. I'm assuming Jesse was a future love interest, but at the time he just followed Clair around for no apparent reason, not one that I could make out, anyway.
I found potential in Twinmaker. I was hopeful for the premise and the possibility of a high-stakes thriller. However, it was my boredom that truly caused me to finally put this book down.(less)
As much as I wanted to love Josin L. McQuein's dystopian society and Arclight, the result was a pretty big mess because I found a lot of things wrong that prevented me from continuing. After a break and returning to this one, my feelings didn't one-eighty like I was hoping.
Arclight centered around Marina, who had absolutely no idea of her life before three months ago, and we watched her go down this road of self-discovery. She was a particularly unremarkable girl, excluding the fact that she was considered all of the Arclight's "salvation" because she was the only known survivor of the Dark, but she did have a few curve balls thrown her way. I didn't quite understand her logic or her at times, and I certainly didn't understand her actions and thoughts when it came to the Dark, Gray, or Arclight. Obviously, Marina's world comprised of three sections: the Arclight where humans lived, the Gray, and the Dark, where these Fade who hated light lived.
Arclight was definitely lacking in the romance department. We're introduced to our love interest fairly early on, but there was never any sign of their relationship developing. They start out ignoring each other, having "a moment," and then ignoring each other. Again. And the cycle repeats. Then, when they weren't in this vicious circle of doom, they were excruciatingly impartial to each other. When they finally had that "spark" moment, I couldn't buy it at all. There was no build-up to that point, and there certainly wasn't any of those feels that everybody looks for when it comes to a strong romance.
The plot was kind of predictable, and it almost bordered on slow during the first who knows how many pages, and that was mainly because there was no real threat ever posed. We have our beginning, with this intense scene, and then we settle into a monotonous crime-solving case. I really liked what Marina went through, and her story arc, which had so much potential. We could've had this daring and wild story while she went on this self-discovery trip, but instead everything kind of flowed like syrup, and I started dragging myself through, waiting for something more exciting to happen. Everything was very placated and calm, which is a great choice for any dystopian fan who likes a simple kind of plot without the blood and gore.
Overall, Arclight proved to be a very underwhelming read for me. I found many points that could've been developed to perfection, but everything stayed put like a vegetable in a bowl of Jello. However, I would strongly recommend this one to people who want a decidedly tamer book.(less)
Completely original, The Ward by Jordana Frankel is a water-based dystopian setting stricken with disease, action, and one girl's desperate attempt to save everything she's ever known.
Our main character Ren is an extremely imposing figure, being the only girl racer that usually comes to her mobile racing events. She wasn't just extremely persistent and tough-as-nails, she also had really awesome morals in place. Ren was, for lack of a better phrase, perfectly imperfect, as big an oxymoron that is. She was multifaceted, sometimes a fearless racer and others a vulnerable girl, which made her seem so realistic and relatable. I loved her inner fire, and she could do anything for the ones she loved. Ren was cunning, smart, and so determined. She was, by far, the best part of all of The Ward because of who she was. We didn't need an insane plot, or a beautiful setting to make this story good. We just needed Ren and her loyalty. She wasn't one to give up and she could really get to you. I don't know how Jordana did it, but I couldn't help not loving Ren. You can't quite explain her golden personality until you go through the entire story and experience it through her point of view.
However, where there was an ingenious point, there was also a moot point. I felt that the world building was lacking. Apparently, The Ward takes place in Manhattan, New York, but everything at Ground Zero is basically all water, and you need special water-traveling vehicles for transportation. This idea has so much potential for an ingenious story, but I couldn't even visualize this broken Manhattan setting most of the time. Additionally, there was a huge sickness called the Blight that was plaguing the entire area, but it was really fuzzy how that Blight got started and spread all over the world. If there was more information added in, I'd love it so much more, and The Ward could've been so much more compelling and moving.
Additionally, the romance was really adorable. It didn't take over the entire story, but it kind of was like the ray of hope in every single dark point in Ren's life. While we're on the bright spots in Ren's life, there were also the supporting characters that were a huge part of her. Even though she had no blood-relations, she had a huge family of people who loved her, and truly cared for her. It was so heart-warming to see someone be able to form such strong bonds with people that weren't blood-family, but you loved them in the same way that you could love your closest sibling.
With characters that will completely blow you away, The Ward by Jordana Frankel will capture anybody who loves reading about compelling and imposing figures in their books!(less)
The Breathe duology has come a long way, starting tentatively with our three main characters Bea, Alina, and Quinn. By the end, we had a group of warriors and leaders.
What I loved in Breathe and continued in Resist was how beautifully the atmosphere was sculpted. Sarah had no delusions when it came to developing the oxygen-deprived world, capturing the desperation of its inhabitants exactly as how I would imagine them. They were starved people, doing anything to survive, grasping at the one thing that is so easily taken for granted: air. All of those aspects made it imperative for the Resistance members to learn how to breathe air without their face masks. To be honest, while reading, sometimes I would find myself trying to take shallower breaths, testing my own will to survive off of little to no oxygen at a time. Long story short, doing so proved to heighten my respect for this small band of misfits, brought together by the same cause.
As I mentioned above, I must point out the characters, some of the best I've read in a dystopian book. I was a little worried in the beginning in regards to how the characters would develop, but no matter what, I couldn't find myself getting annoyed with any character (okay maybe the supporting characters that were meant to be irksome). Each one of them were layered and real, each containing their own personality. I loved their character arcs and the tough issues posed on each of them. They had to make their own decisions, each one shaping themselves forever, and I loved seeing the positive and negative effects that their decisions had on them.
We also got a new character in Resist, one that I won't divulge, but with him there were four points of views. Sometimes it got overwhelming, trying to tell who was who, and in all honesty I would have not known whose brain we were currently in if it weren't for context clues such as their surroundings. I did enjoy getting to see the different points of views, though. Each of the characters were developed a lot better with this choice, although sometimes it also suffered, with the consequence of splitting so many people in one story. However, most of Resist was plot-driven, and I hadn't understood the term, "my heart was pounding" quite so well until I had the privilege of reading the final scenes.
Resist is compelling and its characters speak louder than even the brutal atmosphere. No matter the age, the gender, the reader, Sarah Crossan will capture and enchant those who decide to start this magnificent duology, and she will rip and tug at your heart by the satisfying end.(less)
JA Souders has done it again and has given me a fantastic to the Elysium chronicles. I loved every second of it.
Initially, there were feelings of doubt that perhaps the plot wouldn't deliver now that Evie and Gavin were on the Surface. What could compare to the thrilling, mysterious realm of Elysium? JA has a quality to her writing style where it's not ever boring, even when the setting remains the same. With the constant pace of action, nothing ever felt boring or redundant. When Evie went up to the Surface, her memories were completely erased from her mind, and she began experiencing hallucinations and black-outs that were reminiscent of her actions in Elysium. At the same time, she felt homesick and knew there was something wrong with her presence on the Surface, even if she had no recollection of where she came from. This set a promising scene for the later development of our story, which only got more scientific and interesting.
As we were introduced in Renegade, Evie’s Elysium is technical, dangerous, and undoubtedly spine-tingling. Now, in Revelations, we get a taste of the Surface, Gavin’s home. To compare, Elysium was like a metropolis and the Surface was more of a calm area in the prairie. Witnessing those two contrasts was an interesting way to approach the two worlds, because the distinct gap between them aided in the comprehension of what the Surface was all about. Similarly, the world-building that was reintroduced was phenomenal. JA Souders always has a way of properly building up her setting so it’s clear to the reader what’s going on, but it’s not overwhelming. Revelations expanded on the Surface and the kind of epidemic Evie was experiencing with her amnesia. JA’s interpretation and creativity stood out above the rest; the world-building and explanation of what was causing Evie’s amnesia is unspeakably creative and powerful.
There also is a new character introduced named Asher, who had me worried that there would be a love triangle aspect to the book, but ultimately, there was nothing to worry about. JA handled that aspect fairly well and it was satisfying to know that in the final book, this platonic relationship will be developing further alongside the romance of Evie and Gavin. My only complaint was how Evie and Gavin were so stubborn when it came to doing things. They had an insistence to refuse to do things, and only when they realized that they could be putting the other person in danger, did they change. At first, their stubbornness was taken in stride, but after a while, enough was enough and I didn’t want to have to deal with their problems anymore. Evie and Gavin’s points of views also read exactly the same, but it wasn’t as big of an issue given that I didn’t feel Gavin’s point of view dominated. Revelations was still solely Evie’s story.
Revelations is elaborate, detailed, and exactly what I was hoping for in this sequel. It’s got the heart-pounding drama of a soap opera but the refined structure is of a well-oiled machine that works perfectly.(less)
Stung is definitely one of those books that you love, but at the same time you can't help but notice something w...more***Singing and Reading in the Rain***!
Stung is definitely one of those books that you love, but at the same time you can't help but notice something wrong with it. If I could do half-stars, I'd be utilizing that rating so hard right now. This is one of the novels that I truly struggled in giving a rating.
Upon beginning Stung, I will honestly say that Fiona annoyed the poop out of me. She was needy and whiny and so petty, and I was about to strangle her for it. But, she ended up redeeming herself in some really great character development, which was admirable. She started out kind of scared and naïve, and she grew into one of our classic heroines, who are self-sacrificial and self-assured. Of course, with a character like Fiona, we need a love interest in the story, who was Bowen. Unfortunately, their relationship did border on insta-love at times, given how quickly their relationship developed. They knew each other for like a week, and then all of a sudden they were confessing their undying love for each other. While Fiona and Bowen knew each other from previous times, there was no indication that they ever talkedabout anything particularly meaningful.
The last third or so was most definitely the highlighting point. Those of you who might start reading Stung and be a little reluctant and plan on finishing it, the ending scenes will most definitely blow you away. Bethany incorporated your fair share of action, back-stabbing, and revelation, where every corner turned led to a sinkhole of devastation and misfortune. All in the last part. It wasn't that hard to accept that everything was out of your hands, and the best thing would be to go along for the ride. If I had any doubts of how Stung would go before, all of them were demolished when we hit that 70% mark.
I also really didn't like the fact that there was such a HEA-like ending. I didn't feel that Fiona really worked for the ending she got, and she didn't exactly sacrifice anything. Everything she had at the beginning of Stung she had again at the end, plus a few other things. Fiona herself did nothing to help reach our solution; rather, it was by everyone else's effort that we even got to our HEA. I would have liked her to be a little more involved, or perhaps a bigger effort in resolving the sickness epidemic. Everything just felt so convenient and somewhat predictable that I wasn't surprised when I saw certain things conspiring. However, one thing that I couldn't get over was how exquisitely the world was built. There wasn't a giant info-dump, but rather everything was slowly revealed in a series of memories and excerpts. It was simply refreshing.
A truly fantastic dystopian novel, Stung is a perfect read for those who love strong character development and world-building. Combining a sweet pairing and a unique premise, Bethany Wiggins has truly outdone herself. It's perfect for any dystopian fan!(less)
Possession was one of those books that made your head spin painfully because of many different things. Possession was one of those books where I loved it and hated it at the same time. Possession was one of those books that was like a guilty pleasure.
This first thing I noticed about Possession was Vi's strong-willed personality. She's got a fire and a passion in her that really makes me want to read more just to see more of her and how she would handle things. She was actually a pretty fun heroine because of her refusal to give up in certain situations and how defiant she was to the Thinkers. Of course, when it came to choosing her two love interests she was a little more conflicted, but that's definitely understandable, considering her situation.
Speaking of which, the romance between Jag and Vi was...how do I say this?...rocky. Every other second Jag and Vi were leaving each other and then coming back to each other and I just wanted to (calmly) tell them, "Please either break up or stop ditching each other because of your pride." Not to mention, if Jag called Vi "babe" one more time, I was about to tear my eyes out of my sockets. I really hate excessive pet names more than anything in the world. While to someone who might not mind it, when you completely rename the person you're dating, that is basically where I go, "No. *slams book down*"
Another thing I had to pick about Possession was the lack of world-building. What were Goodies and Baddies? Other than the obvious explanation, where did they come from and why were they classified like that? Why did the Thinkers need to be in charge? What's with all the excessive rules? When I was reading Possession, as long as I didn't concentrate and try to understand it like the reviewer I've come to be when I read my books, I enjoyed Possession a LOT. I would've given this a solid 4 or 5 if I didn't read too much into the lines. When you read Possession, if you're reading it for recreational purposes, focus on enjoying it. Sit down, grab a mug of hot chocolate, and just love the story.
The best thing about Possession was without a doubt the plot and pacing. I kept wanting to turn the page in an attempt to read more. I read this book at night while I was cold and without power, because the iPad gave off a glow so I could read the pages. Thus, I had to save my battery as much as possible, but I still found myself wanting to continue reading even though I had 2% of my battery left and couldn't get into my mom's office the next day to charge anything. (I know, abusing the electricity and heat. But it was so worth it) If you're looking for a book with a lot of twists and turns, definitely read Possession because it will not let you go!
Unpredictable, action-packed, and with determined characters, Possession will not fail to make sure you stay up into the wee hours of the morning frantically turning the pages. Although I had a few things to pick with it, it was still a very memorable read and I really want to read Surrender.(less)
Dualed by Elise Chapman was, as much as I wanted to love it, a disappointment. While the writing was so pretty, the mechanics of Dualed fell short of my expectations.
Pitched as The Hunger Games meets Matched, you expect something really thrilling from Dualed, because The Hunger Games was mentioned. If you adored Matched as well, then it seems like you're going to love it. As a fan of The Hunger Games and a semi-fan of Matched, I was so confident of my decision to read Dualed. Along with the flowing, smooth writing, another positive feature of Dualed was the premise. The idea that you had to kill your Alt (or twin) in exactly a month or you would both die was ingenious and intriguing. I was hooked as soon as I read the summary, and I was captivated by the idea of West, and the promise of her story. Then I got past the first few chapters.
The first thing that went wrong was West's character. At first, she came off as a stubborn, strong-headed girl. By the time the last page rolled around, the only thought rolling through my head was, "What a hypocrite." For example, West would insist that she joined one of her friends when the time came to kill their Alt. Then, when the time came for her to kill her Alt, she would refuse help, even though she practically forced herself onto her friend earlier. She was sometimes a strong person, sometimes weak, and she ran away from all of her problems, which strongly annoyed me because I just wanted her to get it over with instead of freezing and ditching her issues, which caused other people pain. Ironically, West constantly laments that pain is the last thing she wants to cause people.
Another problem I had with Dualed was, very specifically, the last third of the book. During that period, West became very...philosophical. Directly quoting the material:
Time plays with you, toys with your mind. Sometimes it flows slow and languid, sometimes so quickly that if you dare to blink you'll miss it all.
And it can hurt...if I let it. I can decide to think about the sharp crick of my neck that's starting to jab, the pounding ache in my skull that threatens to drum out everything else. I can wallow in the spasms in my hand from clenching the gun too hard, the raw, still-healing heat in my shoulder. Replay the memories of that first stakeout, too, crouched beneath the bushes of that house in Jethro, waiting and waiting even as my body wanted to do anything but.
But I've learned now. I've made myself eat so hunger would become meaningless. I tell myself the aches of muscle, bone, and limb are phantom pains of a body not really mine.
*Direct quote taken from an electronic advanced copy. Quotes may differ in final copy*
Obviously, the writing here is beautiful, but when you find paragraphs of that all throughout the book, you start to skip things. When you start to skip things, you may miss a sentence of important information, and then miss more information later on because you're confused. It's an endless cycle that never stops.
A fantastic premise that fell flat, Dualed will appeal to dystopian fans who enjoy inspiration in their stories. It has beautiful writing and a beautiful concept.(less)
I'm giving this away on January 18th on the blog if anybody's interested! :D
At a first glance, Nobody seems insanely awesome and really amazing right? Nobody is definitely perfect for any kind of science fiction fan, and if you're a previous fan of Jennifer's writing, then I would definitely recommend this immediately to anybody who asked.
The first thing I was worried about was the issue of the insta-love. From the summary, I got the feeling of a romance that moved too fast, and I really wanted to be proven wrong. Sadly, that was not the case. From the very first moment Nix laid eyes on Claire, there was this intense attraction between them. But, by the second time they saw each other, they were kissing. The romance positively ran through the plot, and one minute they were kissing, the next they were trying to avoid each other, and then we went back to the making out. It got insanely overwhelming at times, although I did see what Jennifer was going for.
Nix and Claire themselves were my favorite aspects of all of Nobody. Their characters were compelling and broken and just simply beautiful. I loved each of their inner strength, and how they found themselves in each other, but at the same time, I wasn't convinced that they really meant their actions, because their motives all lay within their love for each other. Aside from that, I easily fell in love with Claire and Nix, although Claire is a name that really annoys me. Not that Claire's name deducted from my final rating. I just thought you all needed to know that.
My last problem was the lack of world-building concerning the Nobodies and The Society that Nix worked for, that had Nulls and Sensors and all that. What exactly were all these things? I was so intrigued when it came to the concept of what they were; as soon as I started questioning the logic behind the concept, then that's when things went slightly awry.
Nobody is a compelling science fiction read that will most definitely capture your inner emotional snob, and if you can overlook a few errors, it can definitely make you ooh and ahh all day.(less)
Yes, you saw that right. I am re-reviewing this. My first review was really horrible (please don't go back and read it) and after reading it again, I totally had different feelings about this one. At first, I loved it. Now, I just was really annoyed with the execution of Incarnate.
Incarnate's concept is fairly simple yet built in a way that makes you perceive it as intricate. This is not a bad thing; far from it. I liked the reincarnation theme running through the novel, although it lacked world-building. I was left with a lot of questions, such as, "Why are there sylphs and dragons?" "Why do these creatures hate humans so much?" "What did the reincarnated humans ever do to them?" It was way too convenient, in my mind, that a whole civilization of people could stumble upon a perfectly made city, that was completely uninhabited. Also, this entire race of incarnates just thought it was a blessing that they found a completely empty city, and then promptly claimed it was a god who had caused all of it. Janan? Personally, it felt a little too planned out, as if all of this was an easy way to avoid having to explain the world that Ana lived in.
Something I do have to give props to is Jodi's writing ability. I wasn't over the moon about the concept and the execution of the story, but the writing kept me engaged throughout a lot of Incarnate. It was lyrical, and if I had been presented with a much more stable story, then I would've enjoyed the reading experience a lot more. However, Jodi does have talent when it comes to writing. Hopefully, when she wraps up this trilogy, she'll move onto something that could really do her writing skill justice.
Another thing I had to pick was the fact that the characters were a little dull and lifeless, kind of like that bug I found sandwiched between the pages of my copy of Incarnate. If you can imagine, I turned the page, and it just stared at me in the face. I think it still may be in my house somewhere. But, that aside, Sam and Ana didn't have any depth. They went through the motions, but I didn't really get any emotions from them. I wanted them to leap off the page, to really strike a chord, but they kind of limped their way around Incarnate.
Once a really hard-hitting novel that completely captured my attention, Incarnate fell under par the second time around. The characters were flat, and although the writing compensated for it, unfortunately I will not be recommending this any time soon.
Mystic City by Theo Lawrence doesn't seem like a novel pertaining government oppression and segregation does it? When you first see the cover, you thi...moreMystic City by Theo Lawrence doesn't seem like a novel pertaining government oppression and segregation does it? When you first see the cover, you think of something more...mystical. Yeah, I completely was NOT expecting that one... However, I was really surprised and pleased by the results I got after reading Mystic City. It was romantic and touching and really engaging. Mystic City by far did exceed my expectations and I would recommend this book to any dystopian fan.
When we first are introduced to Aria, she's a little weak. She's just trying to keep herself and the people she loves safe, but at the same time, she wants to know what her life was like before she got amnesia. Aria isn't a strong character, but she isn't annoying. It's actually pretty endearing how clueless she is. When Aria meets Hunter, a mystic rebel whom she has feelings for, she begins to remember the life she led before she lost her memory. Also, Hunter was a silent guard throughout Mystic City, guiding Aria towards recollection and showing Aria the beauty of being a mystic.
It's so funny to see Aria introduced to these foreign concepts I would find I was actually smiling during portions of the book. However, one turn-off about Aria was her hypocrisy. When Thomas does something bad to her, Aria continually calls Thomas wretched and horrid, even though a day ago she did the exact same thing, only she wasn't caught. I can't tell you what it is, because of how much it would spoil the book, but it's like calling someone a horrid criminal for robbing a bank when you did the same thing yesterday.
I think the connection between them (Aria and Hunter) is so sweet and extremely real. Hunter and Aria meet at first, but Aria quickly develops this undeniable attraction for him. This would feel like insta-love if there wasn't this one part of the plot that strengthens their love and makes it feel genuine from square one. Plus, it was kind of predictable what the outcome of the book would be, especially with the heavy hints that Aria was dropping left and right. The forbidden love concept is pretty overdone, but I loved Hunter enough to overlook it. He was so loyal and so patient with Aria, and he really grew on me, because he was vulnerable at times but at the same time so strong.
Something I noticed about Mystic City was its writing. It was lyrical and smooth and I put off buying school supplies to finish this. And come on, who doesn't want to go to Staples and pick out binder colors and colorful highlighters and pens and pencils? Okay, well it's not for everybody but if you know me I am head over heels for this kind of stuff. But my mom offered over five times to take me shopping while I was reading this and every time my reaction was "*hugs iPad* NEVER! I have to finish this book!"
A stunning beginning to the first book in a new series, Mystic City will sweep you off your feet with endearing characters, a strong concept, and a budding war between two very different groups of people.(less)
After going an extremely long time without reading a dystopian, which is one of my favorite genre types, I was majorly excited to crack down on Inside! Inside is made up of two books, Inside Out and Outside In, in a special edition.
On Inside's world, something that completely captivated me was the premise of the story. Despite the fact that the world building lacked a little bit, using pipes throughout the entire complex of Inside to move around was absolutely genius and totally creative. I really wish I could've learned more about the world of Inside though, but plot-wise, Inside's structure totally enraptured me. Everything about it had this way of making me want to read more in the hopes of learning more about Inside.
Speaking of Inside's world-building, as soon as I started, I noticed one thing: the world-building was nonexistent. I wanted to know so much about the world that Trella lived in. Why was society divided up into a lower class and upper class of workers and people who had it made? Why were the pipes the mode of transportation for the scrubs? Why were the Pop Cops (Inside's police force) always on scrubs' case? I didn't feel much of how the world came to be the way it was in Inside to be explained. Even a murky history would have temporarily sufficed, because by the end of Inside Out, I understood slightly why so much was concealed, and I hoped that by the end of Outside In, more would be explained. Unfortunately that didn't happen, so that was my first very large complaint.
The next thing that irked me about Inside was Trella's personality at times. At the end of Inside Out, she had to step up to this role as an authority figure, and she wasn't doing well, which of course is what is supposed to happen. In Inside Out, I loved Trella's character and strength and pure will to stay loyal to her friends. In Outside In, the strength and determination and will was still there, but something else added into the mix that soured my appetite for Trella. The decisions she made were so annoying and idiotic at times that I felt like I was about to fall over the edge of the world.
Inside is a recommended read for someone just breaking into the science fiction and dystopian world. The world in itself will not fail to have you wondering how Snyder could think up such a creative concept. Definitely try this one out if you're just discovering dystopian and want to ease yourself in!(less)
I'm rereading this for the Authors ARE Rockstars tour since I have the wonderful Veronica Rossi and she'll be guest posting on my blog :)
***UPDATE: So...moreI'm rereading this for the Authors ARE Rockstars tour since I have the wonderful Veronica Rossi and she'll be guest posting on my blog :)
***UPDATE: So I finished this now, and I absolutely LOVED it all over again! I mean seriously, I think I love Perry the most. Le sigh. So dreamy. And I can't wait to see what happens in Through the Ever Night! *sets up calendar so I can cross the days off*
But frankly, it's kind of awkward HE knew that SHE was on her period...I mean, it's awkward enough when you DO get it, but do you have to have your future love interest point that out and go "Hey, Aria, you're not dying, you're just on your period like a normal person is and now people can impregnate you. Fun, right?" Yeah, not really.(less)
Renegade by JA Souders, her debut novel, isn't just addicting; it's romantic and heart-pounding. As a fresh take on our classic dystopian, Renegade takes place underwater, and it's insanely creepy!
Evelyn Winters, who has been taught that her world is "just about perfect", is our protagonist, and from the synopsis, you can tell she learns that who she is, what she's known, is completely false and she kind of goes through a transition from a complacent model-daughter to a fierce, defiant fighter who's ready to turn her back on everything that she's learned before. Since she's always had a curiosity for the Surface before, getting the chance to become immersed in a new world is kind of something that Evelyn wants to take head-on.
What's interesting about Evelyn is that when she starts to break free from her metaphorical prison cell, she is kept under control via a drug that Mother feeds her. As a third party, we see what's happening to Evelyn, and we also see what this drug is doing to her. It sounds like it would become repetitive and highly boring after a while, but that is anything if not the completely opposite. The more times it happened, the more I wanted to see Evelyn heal and break free. JA made this whole ordeal seem enticing and very much addictive.
Another thing I loved about Renegade was the plot. It always kept you guessing, and it never let you have a break. It's like sprinting for ten miles without stopping. Of course, it's much more intense! (Reading Renegade: the new exercise craze! Only ten times more fun!) The pacing was done perfectly, and poor Evelyn and Gavin never got a break. Mother was constantly on the hunt for them (can you say TOTALLY EVIL for me?) and halfway through I was thinking, "Jeez, JA you're going to kill your characters before they go anywhere!" It's that intense. And Gavin, our love interest, was so sweet and amazing and hot that I wanted to steal him from Evelyn, but that would be mean and wrong. Especially since I love you Evie!
Creepy, romantic, and so heart-pounding all your neighbors will hear you, Renegade will sink its fingers deep into your soul and keep shaking you around.(less)
Defiance was a book that I didn't expect at all to completely blow my mind. At first, I was sort of reluctant to read it because while this cover is so beautiful and I love how there's an image of a village in her cloak, the first few words didn't really grab me. But right after a few pages, I was completely hooked and I couldn't put down Defiance. I really enjoyed the two perspectives, one in Logan's and one in Rachel's, because I felt like they added something special to the story and without them, I would never had enjoyed the book that much and I felt that Logan's perspective provided something crucial to the story.
The romance that budded between Romance and Logan was so sweet because when Rachel admitted that she loved Logan when she was fifteen and he was seventeen, Logan had turned her down, but after Rachel being assigned to Logan, they started to fall for each other again. Rachel's been wary about what he said around Logan, and Logan's been self-conscious, but he finds himself falling for Rachel's fiery character and how bright and strong Rachel is. And while Logan was falling for Rachel, Rachel was remembering the old feelings she felt for him, but it was becoming something deeper. I definitely found the romance to be sweet and something extremely crucial to the story.
Rachel was the aspect of the story that both was Defiance's undoing and something that built it up. Rachel was kick-butt. She was a Katniss, let me tell you. Rachel was loyal and fiercely devoted to those she loved, and she would do anything in the world to protect them. Rachel was willing to risk her life to save those that she held dear to her heart, and she knew how to fight for herself. Rachel was independent, capable, and most certainly not a damsel that ran away from danger. However, when she was feeling loss, she got practically suicidal and extremely angry and just...exploded. Rachel became this vicious fighter that I knew wasn't like her and I didn't really like it. Her change of attitude really distracted from the overall appeal of Rachel's character to me.
Every part of Defiance was full of twists and turns. I didn't expect any of which happened, and CJ Redwine is not afraid to put her readers through turmoil. She can write excruciating tales that will leave you breathless and heart-broken, and you feel like you're inside the characters and a part of their soul. It's not one of those instances where you stand on the outside of a glass bowl looking at the fish inside, it's almost like you're swimming with those said fish and you know just exactly what they're going through. The action was absolutely enthralling and I could not get over how real it felt and how vivid the imagery was.
The Hunger Games has some serious competition with Defiance. I am so ready to read book two in the Defiance trilogy, I believe, and I would definitely recommend Defiance to anybody who enjoys reading high-action books with romance and dystopian edges in their novels. The romance will melt you, the action will excite you, and the writing will bring you into the story. Defiance ended on a very foreboding note, where you really wanted to know more about what would happen next and it opened new questions, but it also solved the main problem in the first book.
Breathe was...how do I give it justice? It was amazing. It was epic. It was one of my favorite books this year. After hearing some mixed things—it seems like everybody either loves this novel or hates it—I was a little reluctant to start it. But, soon, I fell in love with this book and I could NOT put it down. When I first found out I won this my immediate reaction was:
And then I was to Sarah Crossan:
Then I found out we lived in the same state. That's always awesome. And then I started reading the book. The idea of it is just amazing. I immediately fell in love with the idea of having a limited air supply. Because, it could happen one day to us. I loved how Sarah took something so possible in our future and crafted a gripping story from it. The story was so compelling and it just emphasized the idea of progress on the earth. Also, there was a background to back it up. Along with the idea, there was a strong foundation in which to support it.
I also loved her characters. They were relatable and unbelievably strong. I mean, if I were put into Bea's situation or Quinn's situation, my reaction would first be:
And then I would realize that I was taking up even more air than I was supposed to so then I would:
Her characters were fantastic. I loved how the point of views alternated from Bea, to Quinn, to Alina. Each character's voice was believable and so compelling. Alina was fiery and independent, Bea was strong and compassionate, and Quinn was...well, he was Quinn. But I still loved him. Each character had insecurities and flaws, but they wanted to make sure they fixed their mistakes and remedied them. Sarah's characters were each so original that I could easily distinguish the difference between the characters as they switched point of views. And as soon as I met Quinn, my first thought was:
Filled with lyrical writing and prose, Sarah brings you through the story flawlessly and effortlessly. I was glued to every page and soon, one page became ten, which became a hundred, which soon became the entire book. The plot moved quickly and there was action in every page. I ate up Breathe and at the end was left desperately wanting more. As soon as I flipped the last page and saw I was at the end, I got out of my bed and...
After calming down enough to form a coherent thought...
It was so emotional and touching! It did hit me right in the feels. I felt so sympathetic to every character! And the villain, who might I add, wasn't the "pure evil mwahahaha" villain, but he still managed to make me hate him, yet at the same time want to give him a huge bear hug.
So yeah. That was my reading experience of Breathe. Chronicled in gif-form.
Refreshing, original, and gripping, Breathe will leave you craving more and absolutely breathless. (Pun intended) It was most definitely worth the read.
Unfortunately this book wasn't for me. I hit the middle and was immediately bored. I've tried to continue multiple times but I just can't find the wil...moreUnfortunately this book wasn't for me. I hit the middle and was immediately bored. I've tried to continue multiple times but I just can't find the will to do so. The premise was so intriguing, but the dryness and how Addie (Eva's alter ego) was so selfish just made the deal for me and I couldn't finish it.(less)
Crewel was mesmerizing and enchanting all in one. It had the adventure, it had the thrill, it was so ingenious you'd be absolutely crazy to not admire...moreCrewel was mesmerizing and enchanting all in one. It had the adventure, it had the thrill, it was so ingenious you'd be absolutely crazy to not admire the premise of Crewel even a small hair. You all know you do.
Speaking of which, Crewel's premise was equal parts intriguing and equal parts really creative and unique. To think that girls are taken away from their home and into this facility because they can weave time using the fabric of the universe (taken quite literally in this sense) is absolutely perfect. It takes a lot to understand this novel, and you really have to pay attention. If you don't, you could easily get lost in this complicated world. Trust me on this, I spent a little extra time reading and concentrating on this so I could understand the society Adelice lived in, and it made reading Crewel a ton of fun and I enjoyed the story immensely.
In the beginning, it was evident that Gennifer was setting you up for the roller coaster of emotional thrills and pains. I loved the fact that Adelice and all the other characters were extremely rough around the edges, which gave them a really realistic feel. I liked how Adelice started off as a really scared heroine who had no idea what was really going on, other than obeying her parents, and by the end of Crewel, she became an extremely sacrificial person who wasn't afraid of being a rebellion and standing out from the crowd.
Something that immediately stood out to me was the society that Adelice lived in. We're introduced to a structure very similar to a classic dystopian society, but there's a twist. It's a society that we don't really understand; it's a society where the people who have to live with the rules of this society are okay with it. The girls who are gifted with the ability to weave time go willingly. The townspeople bless the girls when they leave. Not only is the premise so intriguing, the building of this dystopian world was so articulate and specific.
Adventurous, dangerous, and romantic, Crewel is a gripping read and a unique twist on dystopian books. Fans of the dystopian genre and Divergent will love this novel.
Black City, Elizabeth Richards' electrifying debut, combines segregation and a faulty government into one fantastic novel.
One of Black City's strong points was the plot and the concept. Easily enough, you could say that it was a a cross between a vampire story an a dystopian story. The fact that Elizabeth manipulated the usually overdone vampire tale into a totally different topic concerning Darklings who came across as ruthless, vicious creatures that should never be reckoned with. Add that in with a killer, creative plot and you get an exciting debut novel.
Black City is a young adult dystopian novel told in the two points of views of Natalie and Ash, our two polar opposites, our two protagonists. Not only does Elizabeth tell both of their stories flawlessly and each one with a distinct voice, she also manages to infuse a great plot in with these character's growth. Our characters are very much the main story here, where Natalie and Ash meet each other and discover their supposed "enemies" aren't as bad as they've made each other out to be, which is a touching aspect that really gets to you. I loved watching Natalie and Ash grow as a couple and as individuals; they're both determined and have this fire to them.
Something that I didn't like about Natalie and Ash was how quickly their relationship grew. As quickly as they met each other they were all of a sudden having sparks near each other. It seemed like their attraction stemmed from the fact that they acted different around each other, and they felt tingles when they touched. It felt extremely insta-lovey, and, honestly, it really turned me off. Because of this, whenever Natalie and Ash sacrificed themselves for each other, I couldn't bring myself to believe their actions were legitimate.
With a romance that was romantic to a certain extent, characters that were strong and were gradually molded into better people, and a fresh setting, Black City will capture you with everything about it.(less)
With badass characters (and yes, I just said badass. But I didn't say it out loud! My parents would kill me. SHH THAT DIDN'T JUST HAPPEN) and a tough heroine, Gravity will definitely appeal to one's sense of survival and if you're die-hard fans of dystopian who love to read about rebellions and wars, but without the gory details.
Gravity's synopsis is a little disorienting, to be a little honest. I would've liked a little background information in the beginning to keep myself from completely losing my state of mind, which, let's be honest, is very minimal at this point. The world-building of Gravity completely was lost on me. We're introduced to this society where Ancients, a race of aliens—for lack of a better word—live on Earth with humans in an uneasy truce. What are Ancients exactly? How did they get onto Earth? Why do they have a truce? Why are humans uneasy towards Ancients? How did the world become like this? There's no background story at all, and I was totally confused. I would've liked a more thorough explanation as to why the world had turned into that kind of society.
One thing I loved about Gravity was Ari's character. She was tough; she didn't take criticism lying down; and she knew how to work a gun. She can defend herself at a moment's notice, especially since she's specially trained in combat. She is definitely one of those kick-butt heroines that you want to read about. She completely lit up the novel for me. I loved Ari's will, determination, and constant curiosity to learn more.
Something else that grated me the wrong way was Jackson. He seemed like the perfect love interest. He was handsome, built, sweet, and also a great fighter. It made his whole persona seem extremely cookie-cutter and simple. There wasn't one flaw I could find within Jackson, and it annoyed me to some extent because of everything that was going on around Gravity in addition to Jackson.
Even with its flaws, Gravity is most certainly worth the read and any fan of a light dystopian read will enjoy this one. Gravity's amazing main character Ari made this a perfect novel.
Through the Ever Night was an intensely anticipated sequel for me, and after reading it, all I could think about was how much Veronica Rossi has matured as a writer and how I was blown away yet again by this series.
Since Under the Never Sky, a lot has changed in the world of Aether. Perry has taken the role of Blood Lord of the Tides, Aria is looking for Still Blue, and Roar is still the charismatic guy who's always there to charm the pants off of us and to light up any situation. The conditions our trio live in are still very much the same, and dare I say, getting worse, and almost everything rests on the success of Aria and Perry. Their characters are as resilient as always, and just as independent by themselves as they are vulnerable when they are near each other.
Through the Ever alight started to explain this world Aria and Perry lived in as lot better, explaining what the Aether was and how the Pods came to be. The world building was much more significant, and many people's intense hunger was satisfied as Through the Ever Night progressed. It was almost like we were nearsighted (or farsighted, whichever suits you better) and trying to see the concept clearly and fully. In Through the Ever Night, Veronica Rossi acted as our eye doctor and gave us a pair of reading glasses, and we could see much clearly again. However, I felt like our "prescription" wasn't strong enough and hopefully by the last book, I will know everything about the world that Aria, Perry, and Roar live in.
My favorite part about Through the Ever Night was probably Roar. We explore Roar's character and personality beneath the surface and it made Through the Ever Night its own and made it stand out from its predecessor, Under the Never Sky. Roar was funny, protective, and stripped open through the course of the plot. Roar got his own adventure and story this time around, and it was sad, beautiful, and tragic. (We had a beautiful, magical love affair. We had a sad, beautiful, tragic love affair. --Sad, Beautiful, Tragic by Taylor Swift) Something about Roar's journey not only touched my heart but also broke it at the same time.
Adventurous, emotional, and full of depth, Through the Ever Night will blow you away. Veronica Rossi has taken her hit dystopian series to the next level, and you do not want to miss it!(less)
I’ve never been an avid fan of this series, big enough so that I was stalking this book waiting for its release. But I still fell victim to the hype, and I bought this book. Several months, after seeing many reviews and reading more than enough spoilers for me to tolerate, I finally finished.
For one, I thoroughly enjoyed Tris's character. In Divergent, she went through fantastic character development; in Insurgent, she went kind of bonkers; and finally, in Allegiant, she returned to her normally sane and stubborn self. She was strong, and I've always admired her for her guts. Tris is an unmovable statue, ready to fight and totally badass. The consensus of people on Tris is that she went downhill after Divergent, but I personally felt that she redeemed herself. During the first half, there were more than a few doubts concerning if Tris would endear herself to me, but by the second half I grew significantly more fond of her character. She had a hardcore quality to her, but at the same time she managed to be vulnerable and human.
As most know by now, this book is told in the dual perspectives of Tris and Tobias. My response to this aspect is the same as everyone else's, it may seem. Tobias sounded exactly like Tris. The only thing that distinguished them was whenever they referred or talked to the other one. Veronica's writing style is simple, comprised of few compound sentences and varying structure. The minimalism is a blessing and a curse, making it practically impossible to vary her writing in any was to reflect Tobias. Sometimes with each narrative, there are barely any thoughts in between the relaying of action, furthering the similarities between the two voices. Furthermore, Tobias's thoughts made him seem like a complete wimp. Where was the badass character from Divergent? He was so passive, even as I saw him through Tris's voice.
Allegiant's plot, unfortunately, did not satisfy me for most of it. All Tris and Tobias did was walk around the compound, talking to people and planning instead of doing. In total, there was a possibility of two scenes that succeeded in gaining my attention. The plot was by no means slow, but it had a boring undertone that reduced the overall impact. Regarding the ending, I believe that it was the best outcome for this book, given the circumstances. It was a little unnecessary, but Veronica earned my forgiveness by implying a reason behind it. The placement of it served as a final plot twist in a way, compensating for the earlier lackluster quality.(less)
After reading The Curse Girl by Kate Avery Ellison, I was hooked on her novels. As soon as I saw this one was an option to be reviewed, I pounced on t...moreAfter reading The Curse Girl by Kate Avery Ellison, I was hooked on her novels. As soon as I saw this one was an option to be reviewed, I pounced on the opportunity. I was expecting a strong romance, action, and a plot that would most likely ensnare me, and I got every one of those things. I got a romance that I was swooning over, fantastic writing as usual, everything I expected from Kate. I will definitely be on the lookout for the next book in the trilogy, Thorns, as soon as possible. I can't wait to see the cover of Thorns, either, given how pretty this one was and how excited I am to see the next one.
Lia Weaver lives at the edge of the Frost, the forest, far away from the main village, and very close to the monsters—the Watchers—guarding and watching the Frost. I felt the beginning was a little slow and monotonous, since Kate was obviously trying to build up the characters so we felt comfortable with them and had a little bit of a sense about the atmosphere and environment we were reading about, but I felt like there could have been something to grab me closer in the beginning, because I was really worried I may not have liked it, and if I didn't already know what Kate was capable of and if it weren't mandatory for my Read and Review, I might have not finished it.
However, as soon as the love interest, Gabe, was introduced, I could swear I sat a little straighter and concentrated a little harder on Frost. Gabe's a Farther, which means he comes from beyond the Frost, and Lia's always learned that Farthers are ruthless and vicious. She never thought she would save Gabe's live when he was bleeding to death in the forest. And she didn't think she'd fall in love with him. But Lia did do those things. And she discovered many secrets that the leaders of her village were keeping under lock and key.
Frost was suspenseful and dramatic. I loved the plot, and after the slow part in the beginning, I was hooked and I was literally hanging onto every word that Kate had written in Frost. While Lia was figuring out what the Elders are hiding, and she's trying to send Gabe to the place he was looking for before he was shot. It was full of adventure, which kept me engaged and ready for more. Every part was a new twist and turn, which kept me guessing and wondering what would happen next.
I'd definitely recommend Frost to anybody looking for a gripping dystopian novel, or if you've read any other of Kate's novels and really enjoyed them. You will not be disappointed in Frost and you will eat it up if you're a fan of any type of dystopian genre novel. It was engaging, suspenseful, dramatic, full of adventure, and the ending was so sweet and braced me for what would happen in Thorns, which I really want to read now.
Starters has such a creepy cover that you just know from the beginning it will be a very ominous book. In person, the background of the cover is a blinding silver color, which makes the pale white girl that much more stark-looking. But don't let the cover intimidate you from reading Starters. It's a young adult dystopian novel with a lot of edge. There was the presence of mystery in Starters but there was also that dystopian quality. The Spore Wars was almost like a disease that wiped out literally everybody between the ages of twenty and sixty, and anybody left who don't have legal guardians are left out on the streets, and this is what's left.
As soon as Starters started (very bad pun not intended), I admit I felt a little disoriented, but that was because I was provided with next to no explanation as to what the Spore Wars were, what Starters were, what Enders were, what friendlies were. They were pretty self-explanatory after a while, but I was still hopelessly confused at times because I had no idea what they were and I was looking at what Callie was going through at the moment, and there wasn't a back story provided with explanation as to how the world had gotten that way. There wasn't any recap of what had happened before the story, just what was happening in the story.
As soon as I met Callie, I pretty much just fell in love with her. She was so willing to save her brother, because he was the last thing she had left, and she was always looking for what was right and she almost never resorted to violence unless she absolutely had to. I also liked the other supporting characters in Starters–especially Blake. He was such a nice, sweet guy who really seemed to care for Callie, although that plot twist at the end was extremely brutal and totally unlike anything I was expecting. Michael was also a really tough guy and seemed to have a soft spot for Callie and Tyler, and that's when I started seeing the love triangle begin to brew.
Lissa didn't just write the book because she like the idea of Starters and Enders, but she developed a really sound story line. There was a moment in the first few chapters of Starters where you grew accustomed to the nature of this vivid world, and then you were plunged into the action. Lissa didn't skimp on the world building. I felt like I could really sense the setting and all the different aspects and elements of it.
An appropriate analogy for Starters would be a puzzle. It slowly pieced itself together like a puzzle, and when you finished the puzzle and stepped back from it, you had an amazing picture that you kind of had to take a minute to marvel at. I'm kind of a dystopian kick right now, and although some of the dystopian novels I've read ended up disappointing me, Starters is one of those dystopian novels that I went in with high expectations and got exactly what I wanted to see in the story.