This book was given to me in .pdf format by the author in exchange for a fair review.
This is a quick read which takes up right where Until the End en...moreThis book was given to me in .pdf format by the author in exchange for a fair review.
This is a quick read which takes up right where Until the End ended. Like the first one, teens, young adults, and people who are totally into the zombie apocalypse will probably get a lot more enjoyment out of it than I did. I'm just not that into zombies.
What I really liked: I enjoyed the addition of Syd. He was believable in his overprotectiveness and surliness. The tension of three people in such close quarters was palpable.
What I liked: A couple of the new characters filled out the cast well and added to the growth of the primary characters.
What I didn't care for: I said this in the review for the first book, but it still applies. The zombies were basically exactly what anyone who watched Zombieland or read The Zombie Survival Guide would expect. In other words, all the ninnies who actually have 'Zombie Apocalypse Survival Teams' will have no surprises. At times this made it seem like I was reading a 'how to' manual and pulled me out of the story.
What annoyed me lots: Again there were inconsistencies that kept pulling me out of the story. Also, I find it completely implausible that an older man who lives in the valley and is the least bit outdoorsy would not have heard of places referenced in the book. It's a tiny detail that won't matter to people who aren't from here, but it pulled me out of the story.
Overall, I liked this book better than the first. It felt more like a complete book than the first one. (less)
This book was given to me in .pdf format by the author in exchange for a fair review.
This is a decent, quick read. While I liked it well enough, teen...moreThis book was given to me in .pdf format by the author in exchange for a fair review.
This is a decent, quick read. While I liked it well enough, teens and young adults will probably get a lot more enjoyment out of it than I did... and people who are totally into the zombie apocalypse, of course. I'm not. I love me a good 'end of the world is nigh' book, but zombies don't do it for me.
What I really liked: The two main characters were believable. They both had strength with vulnerability, fear with courage, grief with determination to push forward. They were plausible, well-rounded characters. The was their relationship developed felt reasonably organic. I hate it when books that feature teens or young adults portray them as being SO in LOVE right away that they just CAN'T live without each other and every thought that the reader is subjected to is about that love and the fear of loss. There was none of that here. They were companions of convenience who each thought they'd probably be okay without the other but being together was easier. Then their friendship and reliance on each other developed. DEVELOPED, meaning they didn't just jump into bed with each other... and they weren't all angsty about their lack of play!
What I liked: The fear of judgement and playing feelings close to the vest displayed by both main characters. Whether it's a mental illness or having abandoned a love one, nobody wants the person they are trying to rely on know how screwed up they are. This felt real.
What I didn't care for: The zombies were basically exactly what anyone who watched Zombieland or read The Zombie Survival Guide would expect. In other words, all the ninnies who actually have 'Zombie Apocalypse Survival Teams' would have no surprises. At times this made it seem like I was reading a 'how to' manual and pulled me out of the story.
What annoyed me lots:There were inconsistencies that kept pulling me out of the story. The zombies follow where humans went more or less mindlessly, yet they are climbing all over catwalks that haven't had humans on them in decades. The grocery store has booze and prescription drugs, but not antibiotics, peroxide, neosporin, or other first aid supplies that can help with injuries and infection. Even if the place was looted, that doesn't make logical sense to me. Also, I kept feeling like pieces of the river were missing. There were absent bridges, lack of current in places that should be difficult to row, etc. I'm willing to let that stuff go since most of the people who read this won't be as familiar with the area as I am so it won't bug them. But it had me questioning my memory, looking at the river a lot on my drive to work, and checking maps... which for me distracted from the plot. Missing bits aren't usually an issue for me. After all, I don't need to know every single detail of a journey. But from my point of view the parts that were missing added to the overall inconsistency in zombie behavior.
Overall, I liked this book well enough. If I had a hard copy I'd donate it to the school and the teens would like it even more than I and I would feel comfortable letting them read it.
Side note: The cover art was kind of chitzy. Would it have been that hard to find a stock picture of the Portland skyline to have in front of the girl? It would add to the whole, "Hey! This is set in my area! I think I'll read it!" feeling that prompts people to buy local authors. (less)
I really need to be less of a completest. You are not required to read a whole series just because you re...moreAll I can say is, "At least it's over with."
I really need to be less of a completest. You are not required to read a whole series just because you read the first book.
There are so many plot holes in this story. And while everybody conveniently lives happily ever after, how they got there is either unexplained or implausible. Please don't mistake omission of information for subtlety.
When I'm done with the current pile of teen schlock I have checked out I'm going back to grown-up books for awhile. Maybe in a few years YA authors will figure out that teens care about more than romance and descriptions of pretty clothes. (less)
I liked this book a tiny bit better than Matched, but not enough to give it another star. Since this story is told from Ky's point of view as much as...moreI liked this book a tiny bit better than Matched, but not enough to give it another star. Since this story is told from Ky's point of view as much as Cassia's, it isn't a complete yawn-fest of waiting for Cassia to stop whining about how much she misses Ky. Ky actually occasionally focuses on other things, like helping others, putting together his past, and... you know... trying to LIVE. He wants to find her, but doesn't immediately go for everything she suggests/insists upon/wants.
Crossed follows Cassia and Ky in their search for The Rebellion. It opens with Cassia's parents somehow being totally fine with her going to a slave camp in order to be closer to where she thinks Ky has been sent, even though they've seen first-hand how their government treats people in those outlying towns and camps. They set out from different places with no way of communicating with each other but somehow end up crossing paths. Of course they pick up a couple of loyal-ish sidekicks along the way-- characters introduced to allow Condie to avoid spending much time developing the ones already present.
An acquaintance asked, "But Clack! You loved The Hunger Games, and IT was a love triangle in a dystopic world too. HOW can you hate Matched so much?!?" Here's the difference: Katniss had two boys interested in her. She didn't really care. That's not a love triangle. She thought about other stuff and rarely focused on the boys at all. Hunger Games is Dystopic Fiction with teen primary characters. On the other hand, Cassia has two boys interested in her but
OMG! She just LOVES them both SO MUCH and it's SO hard to decide and OMG now that she's decided she just can't POSSIBLY live without him and if she doesn't find him and live happily ever after she'll just DIE!
Matched is a teen love triangle against a dystopic backdrop. There's a difference folks. (less)
This book was okay. I'd rate it maybe 3.5 stars but something makes me want to round down where I'd normally round up.
Some of these kids acted in bel...moreThis book was okay. I'd rate it maybe 3.5 stars but something makes me want to round down where I'd normally round up.
Some of these kids acted in believable ways and the relationships and interactions rang true and elicited a bit of emotion from me. But most felt too similar to each other, or they were stereotypes. The jock was a jock. His buddy the d*ck stayed a d*ck. The pre-teen who wanted to be one of the cool kids was never anything else. And of course the boy scout was always a boy scout. There wasn't really any dimension or development in most of the characters.
Here's my number one issue: This book was told from the perspective of a teen boy, a junior in high school, who is painted as this great writer. That should have led to some interesting prose. Instead, his voice was closer to a middle schooler-- not even a particularly bright middle schooler. It was frustrating to me. I had to keep reminding myself of everyone's ages.
My other issue is that EVERYTHING went wrong on the outside. Really, Did we need a super-tsunami, giant hailstorm, mega-quake, AND chemical warfare test spill at NORAD down the street? And all of this stuff happened the first day. It didn't take any time at all for the tsunami to cause weather changes, or for the weather to cause the earthquake. And somehow this shopping center is more structurally sound than the NORAD facility... it's just all too much.
But I didn't hate it. If I treated the book like the main character and his brother were closer in age and neither was older than a freshman I could get into it and suspend disbelief enough to care a little about the two main characters at least. I think the 11-13 age group might like this book, except that some of the content might not be too appropriate. But maybe I'm just overprotective.
Oh! The other weird thing was that near the end of the book two new characters are introduced and the author keeps using their names interchangeably. I seriously flipped back and forth four or five times before I figured out that the character names were wrong. (view spoiler)[A character got shot and another was sick but the author kept going back and forth on which one was dead (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
1.5 rounded up to 2 because I liked the fact that the Dystopia was due to a State religion. A lot of the complaints about this book are that the autho...more1.5 rounded up to 2 because I liked the fact that the Dystopia was due to a State religion. A lot of the complaints about this book are that the author doesn't tell us how the world got to that point. That was the one thing that I didn't have an issue with. I can look at how little separation of church and state matters to many of our current politicians... how legislative decisions are made based on supposed Christian morality (except the whole 'love your neighbor' and 'care for the meek and the widow' bit... that part of Christianity is conveniently forgotten in the writing of laws) and I can absolutely see how we could get to the point the government is at in this novel. I liked that premise well enough to finish this book and generously round up to two stars.
But man oh man I loathed the main character. Seriously, how did such a whiny little snot survive to be part of the novel to begin with? I would have expected her to die during the war that is alluded to, or to have been arrested long before the opening of the book. I can't imagine she was EVER the kind of person to inspire the kind of devotion the male love interest has for her. Why do YA authors keep writing these weak, miserable, whiny heroines? I'm sure Kristen Stewart will play her if they make a movie.
Mom had me out of wedlock so I'm put in reform school. I screw a few people over in my escape attempt. I'm rescued by my childhood sweetheart who 'sold out' by being DRAFTED (because that is so much within his control). I treat him like crap. I put us in a dangerous situation, he rescues me, I treat him like crap. Wash. Repeat. Wash. Repeat 5-6 more times. Wait! Maybe my government is the problem, not the guy who keeps rescuing me. The end. (less)
I disliked the first 75 pages of this book intensely and would not have bothered to finish it if I didn't have the sick drive to read every book in th...moreI disliked the first 75 pages of this book intensely and would not have bothered to finish it if I didn't have the sick drive to read every book in the post-apocalyptic genre. I didn't see how or why this book even belonged in the genre until about half-way through. And then toward the end the book got very Matrix-ian, with who-done-it angle.
But the parts between... there was good stuff here. The question of what it means to be alive was presented several different ways, with lots of speculation but no clear answers. There were passages that made me think.
Overall, Idlewild wasn't a waste of time and I'm glad I read it, but I'm certain I'll never open it again and am unlikely to remember much about it by year's end.(less)
Eh. This was just okay. There were a couple of things that I liked but mostly it felt tired.... like I'd read it all before. Maybe I HAD read it befor...moreEh. This was just okay. There were a couple of things that I liked but mostly it felt tired.... like I'd read it all before. Maybe I HAD read it before but it just wasn't memorable.
Blah blah blah ... There's an acknowledged caste system and the pleebs are set on ending it but the city-folk know that would be the end of them. Oh, but the pleebs don't believe in violence so you can imagine how well rebellion works out for them.Both castes have infighting between the older and younger generations that causes problems.
Don't get me wrong; this book wasn't awful. It just didn't give me anything I hadn't already seen. It's probably best for a younger audience who haven't already read a thousand books with similar premises.(less)
Like any anthology, this one had some hits and some misses. Also like any anthology, that isn't as important as the logic behind which stories were in...moreLike any anthology, this one had some hits and some misses. Also like any anthology, that isn't as important as the logic behind which stories were included. This is a very good overview of the genre, from pre-Cold War stories to modern stuff. Some have been seen in other anthologies but some were completely new to me.
The ordering of these stories made sense. I liked that the editor separated the book into sections like "The Last Man", "Life After the End", and "Dark, Distant Futures".
This anthology definitely deserves a place on anyone's "End of the World is Nigh" shelf. Pay particular attention to the short story, "The Wheel". I told this story to my son while we were driving to the store today and it inspired him to read the book. It's the kind of simple "after the end" look that first interested me in the genre... reminiscent of "The Lottery".(less)
Should I judge free Nook Books using the same standards that I judge edited publishing house books? I think to use a different standard would be insul...moreShould I judge free Nook Books using the same standards that I judge edited publishing house books? I think to use a different standard would be insulting to the authors. But using the same standard means that they may be rated lower than they would have been if they'd had the benefit of a good editor. I'm using the same scale for content and ignoring copy-editing entirely.
This book contains a lot of good material. It has interesting characters and well-thought-out action. So why didn't it get more stars? Maybe it was too busy? I generally enjoy stories that follow several groups of people. But normally those groups are connected much earlier in the book. This felt like four different books that were mashed together, rather than four interconnected stories, woven together. Do you understand the difference?
Okay, so why did I like it? I was very interested in the setting. The idea of building upward, leaving the castoffs of society below, and the problems set in motion by this decision are intriguing. Sadly, the setting wasn't explored very much, nor were the reasons that society chose this structure. I kept wondering why the cast-offs chose to try to fight their way upward instead of moving out of the cities entirely.
There was a lot of potential here. Most of it is currently unrealized, but if this author keeps writing, I believe he'll figure it out. (less)
I am re-reading this trilogy to get ready for the movie next weekend.
I THINK, since the story is really fairly simple, that Hollywood shouldn't have a...moreI am re-reading this trilogy to get ready for the movie next weekend.
I THINK, since the story is really fairly simple, that Hollywood shouldn't have any trouble doing a good job on this movie. There isn't anything too fantastic that they would have to use cheesy special effects... I'm a little concerned about the lead actors since so much of this story has to do with how people (and the readers) come to care about them. (less)
This is a solid addition to the YA post-apocalyptic fiction genre. The concept is good. The writing is interesting. There were plot elements that I ha...moreThis is a solid addition to the YA post-apocalyptic fiction genre. The concept is good. The writing is interesting. There were plot elements that I hadn't seen before. The main character annoyed me at times and I rooted for him at others, just like a real spoiled brat who doesn't know any better would. If you're into the genre, you should read it.
That said, I don't understand why this book was selected for the Grades 9-12 Battle of the Books. There are certainly better books in the genre which don't have the glaring plot holes and don't need the ridiculous suspension of logic in order to buy the story.
I can believe Eli's sudden change in personality because adolescence can be like that. I can believe that a wealthy man with a family could decide to build a compound to save his family. I can even believe that some of his later decisions could come about because many people would become mentally unstable if they were the last people on the planet. What I can't believe is that people who are described as super intelligent, gifted, and creative would for one moment believe that dad's solution to possible food shortages makes sense. Taboos aside, it is akin to realizing that you don't have enough grain to feed your family, so you buy a calf to raise and eat instead... even though it will take far more grain to support then the family did to begin with. No logical person who has been preparing for their whole life for the possibility of having to live underground would believe that. (less)
Slow, barely plausible start, but it got better. I actually rate this one 3.5 stars because the story is regularly interrupted by fake news stories an...moreSlow, barely plausible start, but it got better. I actually rate this one 3.5 stars because the story is regularly interrupted by fake news stories and pages of fake "recovered" data about climate change. At about the half-way point I started skipping that stuff and just reading the meat of the story. The meat deserves a 5, but that other stuff is super distracting so I compromised on the 4 star rating.
Our protagonists are trying to create a computer program that replicates the consciousness of the leader if the Depopulation Movement so that people can understand his true motives. He presents himself as wanting to randomly kill 1/3 of the world so that the rest can go on... a move that seems sensible to many. He's hiding the fact that this move will NOT be random and that it will result in the extinction of the species. Our protagonists and the subject of their conviction play a cat and mouse game throughout the book that results in a discovery that may save mankind .... and a backup plan in case it doesn't.
As a novel, glossing over the fake stats and bad science, this is an interesting thriller. As a "prophetic view of the future of mankind" as others have called it, it's bunk. As a representative of the pseudo-scientific end-of-the-world-is-neigh genre, it's good. It is an important read for completists of the genre like me.(less)
While on the surface this book is basically a survival story, at heart it is so much more.
This book explores how people react to fear, and what they...moreWhile on the surface this book is basically a survival story, at heart it is so much more.
This book explores how people react to fear, and what they will do to ease their loneliness. How much will people compromise themselves yo avoid being alone? And faced with the possibility of a life truly alone, how far will you go to ensure that it doesn't happen. Will it drive you mad, or will it inspire strength you didn't know you had?(less)
Kristen Stewart has too much personality to play Mary, the lead in Forest of Hands and Teeth.
Selfish girl lives in a village surrounded by zombies, w...moreKristen Stewart has too much personality to play Mary, the lead in Forest of Hands and Teeth.
Selfish girl lives in a village surrounded by zombies, which are kept out by a CHAIN LINK FENCE. Girl really wants to see the beach and doesn't care if pursuing her dream endangers or kills everyone else, even those she says she loves. This "love" she speaks of? We never see evidence of it.
I would have liked to know more about the Sisterhood, the other villages, the "fast ones", and the village designers. I would have liked to know less about Mary (like, way less... like, she could have been left out... instead of her, we could have just let a narrator tell us what he sees looking in on the situation from the sky) and her love interests (yes interestS... it wouldn't be written for teens without a love triangle.)
***March 1, 2012: I see that I am going to have to finish this because having a book on my 2012 shelf that isn't being counted toward my reading goal...more***March 1, 2012: I see that I am going to have to finish this because having a book on my 2012 shelf that isn't being counted toward my reading goal (because I haven't rated it, and won't without completing it) it too emotionally difficult for me. =o) I'll finish it this weekend.
***February 1, 2012: Stopped on about page 150.
I can't rate it because I'm just not interested... it is several different groups of people dealing with a catastrophe. I'm interested in some but completely disinterested in the others... it's hard to keep myself from skipping the chapters dealing with the groups I don't care for. Unfortunately, it looks like everyone will end up with them in the end. I'm giving up for now. I'll pick it up again at a later date. (less)