Well, on the third try I finally made it all the way through Prodigy. I'm not sure why it didn't really connect with me. There's nothing wrong with th...moreWell, on the third try I finally made it all the way through Prodigy. I'm not sure why it didn't really connect with me. There's nothing wrong with this book exactly, I just didn't really care about the characters. Despite the action and the fast-pacing, I could have put this book down at any time and just walked away, no problem. In fact, I did that twice. I'm not sure if I'll read the third one.(less)
To start, I couldn't stand the whiny, gravely voice that the reader used for August. It drove me nuts. It was a relief when another character section...moreTo start, I couldn't stand the whiny, gravely voice that the reader used for August. It drove me nuts. It was a relief when another character section would start. I mean, from a directing standpoint, I think if you're trying to show how, other than his facial deformity, Auggie is just like other kids, why make him have such a baby voice? I was expecting a lot more from this audiobook.
The story itself was okay. Engaging, but a bit heavy-handed. I understand that the book was aiming for the message "choose kind" (especially since I have a button that says this from the publisher), but it really just seemed to be just to suggest that if you wait out cruelty and bullying, people will start to you think you are really amazing instead. I was kind of disgusted at the end to find out that the principal knew the extent of the bullying (a lot of which was just skimmed over in the narrative, actually, like the hateful notes) and didn't do anything about it. Well, of course, later he used it to make a speech at a 5th/6th grade commencement ceremony (???? Sidenote: What kind of school has a big commencement for every single kid who moves up a grade? This ridiculousness is only explained by the author's need to have a grande finale, an big preachy speech, and a standing ovation for Auggie). It also really bothered me how August's mother CONSTANTLY commented to him about how other kids looked. "Is she pretty?" "She's pretty." It seemed pretty contrary to the message of the book.
The best parts of the book were August's relationships with Daisy, his dog, and his father.(less)
And that's all you have to say for me to read your book. From What I Remember... has some terrible lines so cringe-in...moreIt's the last day of high school.
And that's all you have to say for me to read your book. From What I Remember... has some terrible lines so cringe-inducing it's like a real teenager said them. So, plus one for authenticity. But also minus one for terrible lines.
This book is pretty standard last of high school fare. Valedictorian is an uptight scholarship student who always wears her hair back. A series of unbelievable events put her in Ensenada with the star rich jock of their posh private school when they should be home partying and/or taking care of their responsibilities. The girl lets her hair down, the guy proves he's not a complete idiot, and the two fall in love. Also, there is a funny queer bff and a mean girl who isn't so bad after all. It's kind of a less-smart version of Nick and Norah, and anyway it's silly and I liked it.(less)
I'm wavering between three and four stars with this one. I liked it, but I'm not sure it's going to match all the hype because it's not mind-blowing i...moreI'm wavering between three and four stars with this one. I liked it, but I'm not sure it's going to match all the hype because it's not mind-blowing in any way. It doesn't really stand out in the still-growing market of post-apocalyptic YA fiction. It's, dare I say, a bit predictable.
The apocalypse has come by way of alien invasion. But not the alien invasion we have all envisioned (except we HAVE envisioned it in many sci-fi novels and movies, just not the ones alluded to in the book. (view spoiler)[It has, for example, obvious elements of The Host and The Body Snatchers and Ender's Game (hide spoiler)]). First comes the first wave - a electromagnetic pulse and all electricity is out. Second is an enormous pole dropped from our upper atmosphere into a fault line, causing massive destruction on the coasts. Third is a plague spread by birds that is so terrible and gross I will describe it as Yancey-esque. Fourth is the drones, the alien snipers that search and take out the last survivors. What is the 5th Wave? And where are the aliens?
Cassie, short for Cassiopeia, is the star of the 5th Wave, although it does have some notable secondary characters who carry scenes in either first or third person. The book unfolds as you read it, and can be described as twisty, though I don't think many of the twists are surprising. IN FACT, I was waiting for one big twist that never came ((view spoiler)[I was kind of hoping that the twist of the book would be an "it was Earth all along"/"the carousel is a lie" kind of scenario where there were no aliens and that it was some kind of human baddies carrying out the apocalypse, but looks like the aliens are real or I'm being duped by Evan's character (hide spoiler)]) Anyway, the twists that come, the character reveals, the romance, and etc. are easily spotted by fans of the genre, and despite marketing efforts to convince me otherwise, the storyline is just not all that original.
But the layout and writing were well done. I like how the story is told and that we are kept at the same pace as the characters. There is a lot of action, but also time for relationship-building and a romance. (I've read other reviews say the romance isn't a big part of the book, but they're wrong. It's a big, major, honking part of the book; there's not much swooning, but it's there, like well, like most post-apocalyptic YA novels.)I like how the book ends. I believe there are sequels to come, but it would be interesting to end it just there, with kind of a play on what Cassie wants pre-apocalypse and what she gets post-apocalypse. Of course, I do want to know what happens next. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Dreams of Significant Girls manages to touch on all the "issues" of issue books - depression, divorce, sexual assault, slut-shaming, statutory rape, a...moreDreams of Significant Girls manages to touch on all the "issues" of issue books - depression, divorce, sexual assault, slut-shaming, statutory rape, absent parents, suicide, abortion, homosexuality, revolution, war, genocide, you name it! - without actually saying much about any of those experiences. To do this, Garcia uses three rich girls, one American (of Cuban and Jewish descent), one Canadian (of German descent) and one Iranian Princess. Vivien, Ingrid, and Shirin are thrown together as roommates for a summer at a posh Swiss boarding school (and then for two more summers to follow). Set in the early 1970s, before the Iranian Revolution but after the Cuban one and close enough to WWII to incorporate Nazi Germany as well, this book attempts to cover all the bases in just 238 pages. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work out. The characters never grow beyond whatever problem they are having at the time and end up being rather one dimensional and, honestly, boring.(less)
I'm not really sure the two perspectives worked for me. I much preferred the contemporary perspective and started to just march through the historical...moreI'm not really sure the two perspectives worked for me. I much preferred the contemporary perspective and started to just march through the historical. (less)
I think I'd like to read the original edition with all the Australian slang that has been so carefully edited out for us Americans - and for whom the...moreI think I'd like to read the original edition with all the Australian slang that has been so carefully edited out for us Americans - and for whom the word "Australian" has been added (probably) into the text several, noticeable, times.
This is a wonderful novel. It is so beautifully honest and I really felt it for both Amelia and Chris.(less)
I was so excited to get an ARC of this, but am a bit disappointed. I liked the addition of Hana's perspective because to be honest Lena's parts weren'...moreI was so excited to get an ARC of this, but am a bit disappointed. I liked the addition of Hana's perspective because to be honest Lena's parts weren't that interesting. I didn't feel any resolution to Lena's story or to her love triangle. Honestly, the romance is what drove this series and it wasn't happening in Requiem. Maybe I would have liked it better if I had re-read the other two leading in to this one. I dunno.(less)
For the first half of the book I was like, "I don't think I like this book very much," but then it redeemed itself with a good ending. I still wasn't...moreFor the first half of the book I was like, "I don't think I like this book very much," but then it redeemed itself with a good ending. I still wasn't pleased with all the narrators; I don't think Condie did a good enough job distinguishing them. I'd start a new chapter and it'd take two pages before I realized it was Xander talking, not Cassie. Matched is definitely the best of the series.(less)
This book took me almost a week to get through, which is a long time for me. It started off very slow, but got easier to read after the first narrator...moreThis book took me almost a week to get through, which is a long time for me. It started off very slow, but got easier to read after the first narrator, Yael, gets to Masada. The whole thing was well-written, the characters are sympathetic - to an extent - and it was, uh, interesting. But here's the thing: all I think about was how stupid it all was. I don't usually feel this way about religion; I'm skeptical, but not, like, cynical, but all I could think was how stupid their religion was. All of the women are so frustrating; every dumb mistake they make or bad decision is "how it was written," like they have no control over their minds or bodies. There is no concept of individuality. And usually I like magic and the style of magical-realism, but usually authors don't use it to get their characters out of every tight fix. I mean, as long as it was written that magic would work in that instance. And finally, I don't know anything about the Sicarii and very little about Jewish mythology, so I don't know how accurate a representation this novel is of those things and who to blame for my disgust, but here goes. It killed me how the Jews at Masada, instead of making allies or attempting to build an army or resistance against the Romans, or even just not killing a bunch of people, killed all of the other Jews - men, women, and children - for their goats and oil and stuff. I couldn't suspend disbelief long enough to understand their views on slavery, how they thought of both themselves and other as slaves. And I can't, for the life of me, understand how this story - one of (spoiler?) mass murder/suicide - can be an inspiring story for an ethnic people or religious group, as by the end of the book, it is clearly meant to be.(less)
This is the most buzzed about YA book of the year, and it really is fantastic. I was a bit torn between four and five stars, because I wasn't as engag...moreThis is the most buzzed about YA book of the year, and it really is fantastic. I was a bit torn between four and five stars, because I wasn't as engaged in it as I could have been. There is so much of the novel that is heavy in details about planes, flying, and etc. that probably isn't very engaging to a lot of readers. But it's all to a purpose, part of which, I think, is to show how much Verity loves Maddie, to have learned so much about what her friend loves. There's not much to say about this book without getting a bit spoilery, but there's a lot to talk about. I hope to choose it as a book club pick by the end of the year, and it will definitely be going on our mock Printz list. From the very start of the second part of the novel I had to keep flipping back to the first part to connect the two. It is well worth a re-read, and I hope to listen to the audiobook soon.
I also think this book would make an excellent movie - and I don't often think that. It reminded me a bit of Atonement (both because of the time period and something else) and I'm thinking in the vein of that movie adaptation, which was both faithful and good. (less)
Phwoar. I couldn't put this down. I mean, I could have, but I didn't have to, so I just stayed up all night reading it. Under the Never Sky is what wo...morePhwoar. I couldn't put this down. I mean, I could have, but I didn't have to, so I just stayed up all night reading it. Under the Never Sky is what would happen if Graceling and Blood Red Road and WALL-E had a baby. A really awesome baby. This first book in a series (I think?) is full on post-apocalyptic and not-so-much dystopic (and I wish reviewers would just realize it's not dystopic instead of getting mad that there was not enough dystopic world building) but I think the series has the potential to become more of the latter if we find out more about what's going on inside the pods in further installments. Veronica Rossi, I am watching you.(less)
I thought that this book would be funny and provide more of a commentary on Facebook and how we use it, and it wasn't either of those things. About ha...moreI thought that this book would be funny and provide more of a commentary on Facebook and how we use it, and it wasn't either of those things. About half-way through I thought there would be a big moment with Emma where she would come to some major realization about herself and then have a dramatic scene with Josh, but that doesn't happen. The kind of story it turned out to be was more a butterfly effect "what-if" like "Gimme a Call," which actually I think Sarah Mylnowski did better. (less)