UNWHOLLY is a book I’ve been waiting for since 2008 when I finished UNWIND. Neal Shusterman really set the bar high with UNWIND and I was hoping he coUNWHOLLY is a book I’ve been waiting for since 2008 when I finished UNWIND. Neal Shusterman really set the bar high with UNWIND and I was hoping he could keep up the momentum with the next book in the trilogy. Well, he didn’t let me down.
UNWHOLLY picks up where UNWIND left off. Shusterman does a great job catching up the reader so you don’t feel lost. However, I still recommend reading UNWIND before diving into this book. Since it doesn’t come out until August you have time to read it now. This review is intentional vague. I don’t want to spoil anything for people who haven’t read either book.
After a terrible war between the Pro-Life people and the Pro-Choice people, an agreement was made to add The Bill of Life to the Constitution. Basically, life is protected from conception until the age of 13. Once a child reaches 13 a parent then has the right to Unwind their child. Unwinding is a process where the child officially remains alive – but in a “divided state.” Every part of the body is harvested at a Harvest Camp and preserved and later used for people that need replacement parts. For instance, if someone is suffering from heart failure – instead of have bypass surgery you just get a new heart that once belonged to a child that was Unwound. A parent or legal guardian can sign the unwinding order until the child reaches 18 (now 17 after an amendment because of developments in UNWIND). Chilling, huh? Well, just wait!!
UNWHOLLY follows the characters we connected with in the first book, Lev, Connor, and Risa. They face horrible and dangerous situations at every turn. Shusterman provides us with several new characters – some you grow to like and others you grow to hate. Together, they are forced to make ethical decisions that will determine whether they live or die (a.k.a. live in a divided state).
This book brings up questions about what it means to be alive. How far would you go to survive? Would you take a new arm, new spine, new eye knowing they came from a kid between the ages of 13 and 17? A kid that became too much trouble for the parents? A kid that didn’t want to “die” anymore than you do? It really makes you think.
Absolutely fantastic! That is all I can say. If you liked UNWIND then you’ll love UNWHOLLY. If you haven’t read UNWIND yet, get on it NOW!...more
Absolutely AMAZING! I couldn’t put this book down. This one was a one-sitting read for me.
Ember lives in a world where the Bill of Rights has been disAbsolutely AMAZING! I couldn’t put this book down. This one was a one-sitting read for me.
Ember lives in a world where the Bill of Rights has been dissolved and replaced with the Moral Statutes. Police officers have been replaced by soldiers, and what once might have resulted in a fine now means imprisonment or worse.
It hasn’t always been this way. Ember remembers when people still lived in big cities like Washington, D.C. and New York and had freedom to live without fear of punishment. Ember has learned how to get by – to fly under the radar by passing surprise home inspections and getting hand-me-down clothes – but her mother has always been a little on the wild side.
When the soldiers show up at their door and arrest Ember’s mother for violation of Article 5, Ember’s life is turned upside down. Her mother is taken away for interrogation and Ember is taken to the nightmarish Reform School for Girls and informed she will have to stay until the is 18-years-old. What makes everything worse is that Chase, the only boy she has ever loved, is one of the soldiers who arrested her mother. Lost and alone Ember’s only thought is to get out and find her mother.
With help from an unexpected ally, Ember sets off on dangerous journey to freedom. Will she be able to stay ahead of the Moral Militia? Will she get to her mother in time? Will she be able to find out what caused Chase to change so much so that she barely recognizes the boy she loved?
Kristen Simmons has written an engrossing dystopian novel. It definitely can hold its own in the war between all the dystopian novels available right now. Ember is a strong female character even though she is clearly in love with Chase. Her flashbacks to a time before Chase joined the army are sweet and full of emotion. The romantic tension between Ember and Chase is palpable. The only thing that would have made the story better is a little more explanation about what life is like for the other citizens in town dealing with the strict rules of the Moral Militia. Even without it though, this one is a winner....more
Aria lives in Reverie, an enclosed pod where the Dwellers are kept safe from crime, disease, and the dangers of the unpredictable Aether storms. BeyonAria lives in Reverie, an enclosed pod where the Dwellers are kept safe from crime, disease, and the dangers of the unpredictable Aether storms. Beyond the walls of the pod lies certain death in what the people call The Death Shop. Aria spends her time much like most of the people in Reverie – in the Realms. The Realms are virtual environments where the people can experience life in ways that aren’t possible in the current world.
Aria has been on her own in Reverie ever since her mother left for Bliss to do DNA research. They try to speak every day, but now that the connection has been lost to the other pod she is very worried. Aria can’t seem to get any information about what is going on in Bliss and is resorting to a very undesirable solution. Aria is going to hang out with the son of the head of Reverie’s security. They are going to break into Ag6 – a disabled pod. Disaster strikes and Aria is accused of a crime and forced out of the pod and left to die in The Death Shop.
Perry, an Outsider who has never known the safety and security that Aria has grown up with, is struggling with life in his tribe. As the younger brother of the Blood Lord of the Tides he is part of a very important family. The only thing that keeps him coming home is the love he feels for his nephew, Talon. Perry comes from a very powerful line of hunters who use their acute sense of smell to sense danger, food, and even emotions. He is convinced he can rule the Tide tribe, but is reluctant to challenge his brother for control because he worries about Talon’s feelings. But, when Talon is abducted by Dwellers and Vale (Perry’s brother) refuses to go after him, Perry is forced to head out on his own to bring him back.
These terrible events throw Aria and Perry together and force them to cooperate with each other in order to survive. Will Aria be able to find out what happened to her mother? Will Perry be able to rescue Talon?
On the perilous journey through the dangerous wilds and Aether storms, Aria and Perry form a strong bond. A bond stronger than either of them have ever experienced before. A bond that never should have happened. A bond that can never be. UNDER THE NEVER SKY is intoxicating. Full of mystery, adventure, romance, and betrayal it is practically impossible to put down....more
LOVED IT JUST AS MUCH THE SECOND TIME. THE AUDIO BOOK IS GREAT.
Cinder is an orphan. She lost her parents when she was eleven and she and her family weLOVED IT JUST AS MUCH THE SECOND TIME. THE AUDIO BOOK IS GREAT.
Cinder is an orphan. She lost her parents when she was eleven and she and her family were in a fatal hover accident. She survived the crash, but only just barely. In order to save Cinda, scientists had to add a metal hand and a metal leg turning her into a cyborg. Luckily, a man adopted her shortly after her surgery and took her to the Eastern Commonwealth to live with him, his wife, and two daughters. Not so luckily, the man died of the plague soon after he brought her home. Ever since she has had to live with a step-mother who never wanted her in the first place.
Cinder is the best mechanic anywhere in her region. She has a booth at the market and the money she makes goes directly to her step-mother. She has nothing to call her own. She has two bright spots in her life – her android helper and her step-sister Peony. Her life consists of nothing but work until Prince Kai shows up at her booth one day. Prince Kai is next in line to be Emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth and needs Cinder to work her magic on an old android.
Cinder tries to be professional whenever in his presence, but is always careful to cover her metal appendages. She knows she’d never have a chance with someone like the Prince, but she doesn’t want to see horror in his eyes when he sees what she really is. Life becomes very complicated for Cinder when the plague (the same one that killed her adopted father) gets too close to home.
Cinder is thrust into a world she never knew existed filled with political strategy and deadly consequences. Will she be able to rise from the ashes of a world filled with death and prejudice?
CINDER is a masterful retelling of the fairy tale, Cinderella. It has it all, the prince, the evil step-mother, the lost “slipper,” the “pumpkin coach.” I read the book in one day because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to Cinder. The sequel will be hard to wait for. Cinder is a tough girl – one that can take care of herself and doesn’t faint at the sight of the Prince. Yes, she thinks he’s handsome and dreams of him taking her in his arms, but….she doesn’t let that fantasy dictate her entire world. She has priorities and sticks to them. This is a wonderful example of a book with a strong female role model....more
READ BUMPED before you read THUMPED. You will be totally lost is you don't.
Harmony and Melody are in the spotlight. Identical twins, separated at birtREAD BUMPED before you read THUMPED. You will be totally lost is you don't.
Harmony and Melody are in the spotlight. Identical twins, separated at birth, both pregnant and due on the SAME DAY!!! Of course that is news. The cameras follow Melody everywhere as she goes about her life, sometimes even appearing in public with Jondoe (the sperm donor). Harmony is safe from most of the paparazzi because she is back home behind the guarded gates of Goodside living her life with Ram.
Even though Harmony and Melody are the most envied girls in the world, neither one of them is particularly happy. While Melody knows what she is doing is important for the world and for her sister, it is costing her more than she imagined - the one guy she really loves. Harmony always felt she was meant to live in Goodside, but after returning from her time in the outside, things have changed. She wants more out of life and doesn't feel comfortable with the people of Goodside anymore.
The girls know they are doing the right thing, but as they get closer and closer to the Double Double Due Date life get tougher and tougher. Only telling the truth will set them free, but is the world ready for what they have to say?
McCafferty gives us a nice conclusion to BUMPED, but I really missed all the world building and word play that was in the first book. Also, we didn't get enough romance. I definitely wanted more Melody and Zen, but especially Harmony and Jondoe. THUMPED really brings the topic of motherhood to the forefront instead of simply the act of getting pregnant like in BUMPED. The back of the book says this is the conclusion to BUMPED so it seems to me that this is the last one in the series.
Out of the two books, BUMPED is clearly my favorite....more
This review will be SPOILERISH if you haven’t read EVE, the first book in the series. Beware. In order to get the full appreciation for this book I woThis review will be SPOILERISH if you haven’t read EVE, the first book in the series. Beware. In order to get the full appreciation for this book I would highly recommend reading EVE first.
When thinking about writing a review for ONCE, it’s hard to come up with something that doesn’t give things away. This post will be vague for that reason. I finished the last half of the book last night and loved it. In fact, I liked this one better than EVE.
For Eve, life in Califia has been hard. Knowing Caleb is injured and alone in the wild is torture. Even though she has made some friends, does her share of the work, and has relative safety, Eve still can’t say she’s happy. It doesn’t take much thought for her to sneak away from Califia after hearing some of the other girls talk of seeing an injured boy resembling Caleb stuck on the other side of the bridge. Helping him is all she can think about.
Eve is captured.
Life for her changes completely.
Eve’s part in the resistance against the King and the City of Sand has just begun! Never would she have thought she’d play such an important role.
I can’t wait for the 3rd book. How about everyone else?...more
THE FEAR is the third book in the Enemy series. The reading order is THE ENEMY, THE DEAD, and THE FEAR. The timeline of the novels is a little out ofTHE FEAR is the third book in the Enemy series. The reading order is THE ENEMY, THE DEAD, and THE FEAR. The timeline of the novels is a little out of whack, but each novel includes a new main cast of characters so it doesn't matter too much. THE DEAD actually takes place before THE ENEMY and THE FEAR starts after THE DEAD and catches up and passes THE ENEMY.
In this horrifying world, children are battling for their lives against their mothers, fathers, and older siblings. (In THE ENEMY, the reader is introduced to the sickness that has spread through London and affected everyone 15-yrs-old and over, turning them into crazed, diseased killers that feast on the young children left behind.)
This is a frightening world where the children have to fight for survival every minute of the day. In THE FEAR we follow DogNut and Courtney as they travel across London in hopes of finding friends they were separated from a year ago. As they navigate the dangerous streets of London, DogNut and Courtney fight the Mothers and Fathers hiding around every corner.
THE FEAR is filled with death, blood, and violence. It isn't for the faint of heart. Charlie Higson writes one cringe-worthy scene after another.
This one was a tough one to read - so brutal and sad. I can't wait to read the next one, THE SACRIFICE....more
“It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.” I love how Maggie begins the book with this line and then ties it all together at t“It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.” I love how Maggie begins the book with this line and then ties it all together at the end on the day of the race nine years later. Sean Kendrick was ten-years-old when he watched his father die in The Scorpio Races, but it didn’t stop him from participating as soon as he got old enough. As an employee of Benjamin Malvern, it is his job to take care of the horses sold each year to buyers from around the world. Sean also is expected to ride in The Scorpio Races - 9/10 of the prize purse going to Malvern. Even if he wasn’t expected to ride for Malvern, he’d do it anyway. There is nowhere Sean feels more comfortable than on the back of Corr, his capall uisce (water horse). Being a four-time winner of the races, Sean knows everything there is to know about the races.
Kate (Puck) Connolly is a fiery girl that enjoys her simple life on the island of Thisby. She lives outside of town on a small piece of land with her two brothers and her best friend, Dove – a sweet-natured horse. The three Connollys have been on their own since losing their parents to the capaill uisce at sea and now, earning enough money for food and supplies is tough. After receiving two heartbreaking pieces of news, Puck decides the only way to keep what she wants is to ride and win The Scorpio Races. Never before has a girl participated in the dangerous event and the people of Thisby don’t like it that she is attempting to change the tradition. Nor do they like her choice of horse.
As Puck gets to know the ins and outs of the race, she also gets to know Sean. Normally a stand-offish person, Sean finds himself drawn to Puck even though thinking of her can be very dangerous. Without complete concentration, the races could turn out deadlier than ever.
As Sean and Puck begin training together, they form an interesting friendship – one that gives each of them something they need.
THE SCORPIO RACES is a magical story dealing with legends, superstitions, and traditions. The language is beautiful, creating a visual picture as you read. The ending is so touching it brings a tear to your eye.
THE SCORPIO RACES is Printz Honor Book and an Odyssey Honor Book (best audio recording). ...more
Jazz Dent is the son of one of the most notorious serial killers in the United States. Billy Dent proudly killed over one hundred young women and toldJazz Dent is the son of one of the most notorious serial killers in the United States. Billy Dent proudly killed over one hundred young women and told his son about each and every one of them. He made Jazz responsible for keeping the trophies from the murders in order. Jazz knows how to go about gaining the confidence of a potential victim, ways to kill and torture, and how to avoid being caught. It seems that every time he talks to someone those things keeps running through his mind. Jazz has to consciously think about acting “normal.”
Jazz relies on his best friend Howie (a hemophiliac) and his strong-willed girlfriend, Connie, to keep him grounded. They know everything about him – all the gory details about his life with Billy and how he struggles to fit in with society.
When dead bodies start turning up in town, it doesn’t take long for Jazz to realize another serial killer is at work. He does whatever he can to try and piece together the clues to prevent any other murders from taking place. When Jazz makes a startling discovery about the murders, it threatens to turn his world upside down all over again. Will he be able to catch the killer?
I HUNT KILLERS is a wonderful concept. It is definitely a book that will fly off the shelves since a lot of people crave dark, macabre, suspenseful stories. I liked it and I liked Jazz, Connie, and especially Howie. Howie provides some lightness to a very dark story. People who love Dexter will definitely see the similarities.
So, why did I only give it 3 Glasses? Well, there were several factors that led to the rating. One was the over use of the term “Dear Old Dad.” Over and over again Jazz referred to Billy in those terms. It grated on my nerves very early in the book. Another is the level of goriness. I know this is a young adult novel, but I thought it should have been more suspenseful and more gory. If the book is going to compare itself to Dexter, have an “in your face” title, and revolve around serial killers then it should scare the pants off of readers. Finally, several years ago I read another book where a teen was racing against time to save a girl from a serial killer and it was soooo suspenseful and I have that to compare it to. If you haven’t read it you should totally check it out – ACCELERATION by Graham McNamee....more
When Joey’s mother is killed he is sent to live with the father he never met – Ken Harnett. In addition to dealing with the grief of losing his motherWhen Joey’s mother is killed he is sent to live with the father he never met – Ken Harnett. In addition to dealing with the grief of losing his mother, he has to suffer through high school as the new kid where he immediately becomes the target of ridicule and pranks. No one in town likes Harnett and now, by association, Joey. To make matters even worse, Harnett doesn’t even speak to him. Joey doesn’t have food in the house, he sleeps in the corner of a dark and dirty cabin, and spends most of his time alone since his father leaves for days at a time for “work.” After a while, Joey can’t stand it any longer and decides to follow Harnett to see what he does when he leaves the house. Harnett is a grave robber. Now, Joey knows. He doesn’t know whether to turn in Harnett or ask to go with him.
Eventually, Harnett begins to train Joey in the art of grave robbing. He forces him to practice digging, learn the history of the profession, and research where the best graves will be. Soon, digging is his only relief since school is nothing but continuous torture. Joey learns the ins and outs of being a Digger and even meets others from around the United States. When one of the best Diggers suffers a mental break he begins to endanger all the Diggers. Will Joey and Harnett be able to stop him and prevent the Diggers from being revealed?
ROTTERS isn’t for the squeamish. The book is filled with death and detailed descriptions of what the body goes through during decomposition. The life Joey is forced to live is heart-breaking and I was brought to tears several times toward the end of the book. Never would I have thought I could call a book about digging up dead bodies beautiful, but ROTTERS is. Daniel Kraus does a fantastic job creating characters that you definitely feel for. Harnett is an especially surprising character and maybe even my favorite from the story.
I listened to ROTTERS on audio and it was fantastic. I have looked at this book on my shelf for a while, but finally moved it up my list when it won The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production from YALSA in January. I’m very glad I did....more
This picture book tells the story of how John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were instrumental to United States History. Beginning with their early years,This picture book tells the story of how John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were instrumental to United States History. Beginning with their early years, Barbara Kerley highlights some major events that led each man to Philadelphia that fateful day in 1775 when the Declaration of Independence was finally signed.
THOSE REBELS, JOHN & TOM focuses mostly on how opposite they were from each other. In fact, it was pretty much the pattern of the whole book.
John skipped school to fly kites and shoot marbles. He loved swimming, hunting, wrestling – and the occasional boxing match, just for kicks.
Tom didn’t skip school. He skipped recess – to study Greek grammar. He loved dancing, playing the violin, and reading all the books in his father’s library.
Barbara Kerley didn’t include any information about the terrible feud that nearly ended their friendship for good in the text of the story, but instead choose to include it, along with other information, in the Author’s Note at the back of the book. A copy of the Declaration of Independence and references for the quotations used throughout the book are also included at the end of the story.
For a better look at John and Tom’s volatile relationship check out WORST OF FRIENDS by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain....more