Sixteen year old Madelyn is an over-achiever. Growing up with parents who push – rather than encourage – her to be the best is difficult and tiresome.Sixteen year old Madelyn is an over-achiever. Growing up with parents who push – rather than encourage – her to be the best is difficult and tiresome. Her parents have her life mapped out and growing up, she has strived to fulfill their wishes. As a result, Madelyn is part of a special program at her high school that allows her to attend college earlier. Being sixteen and at college is complicated enough, but when Madelyn starts to develop feelings for one of her teachers – a teacher who thinks she is at least eighteen – her life reaches a dramatic turning point.
The Truth About You & Me is written in the form of a letter from Madelyn to Bennett, the twenty-five year old teacher she has fallen in love with. From the outset, readers will be aware that the outcome of this story won’t be a good one but it is the events that lead up to this that will grip you. I didn’t really know exactly what to expect when I began reading but as the story progressed, I found myself completely immersed in Madelyn and Bennett’s relationship. I wanted to know what the consequences would be. I wanted to know how their relationship developed. I wanted a conclusion. So it should come at no surprise that I flew through the pages of The Truth About You & Me.
I think this is one of the first YA books that I have read that have approached a somewhat ‘taboo’ topic. The Truth About You & Me delves into the issues surrounding a teacher-student relationship and offers its readers an insight into the consequences of such a relationship. More so, it tells the story of Madelyn and Bennett: two individuals who are drawn to each other in ways that can only end in heartbreak.
As the story is told from the point of view of Madelyn as she writes a letter to her teacher, I felt I got to know her really well on a personal level. There was a lot of her feelings laid bare and I did feel for her in some parts. At sixteen, she is still young and naive which results in some of her actions being completely wrong and misguided. On one hand, I can’t condone some of the things she has done. On the other, I know that she is a girl who is still learning right and wrong and who is still growing. So, yes, I didn’t completely relate to her but I understood her.
Bennett was a character I surprisingly liked. Although as a reader the only perspective we get is from Madelyn, I held an admiration for Bennett. To be honest, from the synopsis, I wasn’t sure of how I’d feel about his character. Yet by the end of the book, I really liked his character. I won’t delve into why, as I don’t want to give anything away, but it was hard not to feel empathy for him.
These characters are complimented with beautiful writing. I admit that I did hold reservations initially about reading a book completely in letter form, with no chapters or breaks, but I soon got into it. The reason for this being how well the writing flowed. I don’t think I will hold the same reservations if I were to come across a similar format in future – as long as the writing is as good.
Above all else, The Truth About You & Me is a love story. While it might not have a happy ending – which is made obvious almost immediately – it is a love story that comes with an important lesson for Madelyn and Bennett. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading but I am definitely glad I picked this up. I will be definitely be reading more from this author again in the future....more
The 1st Wave only lasted a few seconds. The lights went out and half a million died.
The 2nd Wave put that number to shame. Surf’s Up. The aliens targeThe 1st Wave only lasted a few seconds. The lights went out and half a million died.
The 2nd Wave put that number to shame. Surf’s Up. The aliens targeted the coastlines resulting in 3 billion dead.
The 3rd Wave took awhile longer. There are around 300 billion birds in the world, making them the perfect carriers of the virus that only the fortunate and immune can survive.
The 4th Wave was the silencers. The Others have took upon a human appearance and their mission is to rid the Earth of the last surviving humans.
The 5th Wave is unknown. But it’s coming.
Cassie has survived the first four waves and now is alone in the woods. She believes she might be the last human left on Earth; her mother died during the third wave and Cassie’s certain her father and little brother are gone too. But Cassie made a promise to her brother and she intends to keep it. With his favourite teddy bear in tow, Cassie sets off to keep the promise she made. She doesn’t know if she will live long enough to see out her task, especially with the imminent fifth wave pressing upon her, but she won’t give up too easily. Even though the world she knew is gone and there isn’t a soul she can trust, Cassie must keep going even if there appears to be no hope left…
I must be one of the only people who didn’t hear about the hype surrounding Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave until after I’d read it. I randomly came across it in my local book shop, read the synopsis and thought it might be something I’d like. It was basically an impulse buy; I hadn’t read anything by the author before and I didn’t know an awful lot about it. Then I started reading and boy, wasn’t I pleased I’d picked it up. Reviews like this one are difficult for me to write. When I’ve really enjoyed a book, I struggle when it comes to putting those thoughts down into words.
First of all, I must point out that The 5th Wave is so much more than your typical alien invasion story. It is focused a lot more on humanity’s perspective of the invasion and as a result, readers will get to know the novel’s main characters in a lot of depth. I think that’s why I enjoyed the novel as much as I did. I felt a strong connection to its characters. I cared about them as individuals and I became invested in their lives.
So, speaking of characters, I have to point out that The 5th Wave isn’t told solely from the point of view of Cassie. Granted, her voice is perhaps the strongest but Yancey also incorporates the viewpoints of other characters. While this might sound a bit confusing, Yancey’s writing allowed the plot to flow from one character to another with ease. As a result, I was able to delve deeper into the lives of the characters and the plot overall. I developed respect and admiration for a number of the characters, as opposed to a sole protagonist. It’s my opinion that it takes an amazing writer to be able to successfully shift from character to character, past and present, and still write with such depth and clarity. Yancey – you delivered on this one!
I could list all the amazing things about The 5th Wave and trust me, there is a lot. However, I still don’t feel it would do the book justice. Yes, it has relatable, believable characters and yes, its original spin on alien invasions makes for an action-packed and exciting plot, but it’s the emotions I felt while reading that proved to me that this is a book which deserves to be read. Have you ever had that feeling while reading a book when you’ve had to stop and think, ‘WOW’? Well The 5th Wave made me do this. What am I reading? A book can’t make me feel like this surely? It did. I felt such an emotional connection to it that when it ended, I felt like screaming NO YOU CANNOT END! For this reason, I am so pleased it isn’t a standalone; I am impatiently counting down the days until the sequel is released.
I mentioned that I find reviews like this difficult to write. I guess it’s because I believe you can’t understand my thoughts unless you actually pick up the book and read it yourself. If you haven’t yet, please go out and get a copy right now. You may agree with me or you may not, but regardless The 5th Wave will take you on a journey that I feel all readers should experience....more
Delirium by Lauren Oliver is one of those books that I’d been meaning to read for awhile. I’d heard great things about it but for one reason or anotheDelirium by Lauren Oliver is one of those books that I’d been meaning to read for awhile. I’d heard great things about it but for one reason or another, I never quite got round to reading it. So, under the insistence of a fellow blogging friend, I finally decided to pick it up and see what all the hype was about…
Delirium focuses on a seventeen year old girl called Lena. Lena lives in a society where love, or amor deliria nervosa, is considered a disease. Upon the age of eighteen, everyone must undergo a procedure that will cure them from the disease. Lena, with ninety-five days left until her eighteenth birthday, cannot wait for her procedure. She longs for a normal, simple, risk-free life where she can’t catch the disease. But then she meets Alex and things begin to change. Alex is the guy who will make her question everything she has been brought up to believe and the guy who will bring out the forbidden emotions she has spent all her life so far afraid of.
The concept of Delirium was without a doubt an intriguing one. The idea of love as a disease just blew my mind and its concepts such as this one that are responsible for my love of dystopian fiction. Love is such a big part of everyone’s lives, that I couldn’t even fathom living in a world where I could be ‘cured’ of it. Perhaps this is why, for me, Delirium was an interesting read. I was gripped by the concept. I wanted to know how things turned out in the end. I wanted a happy ending. So, it should come at no surprise that I flew through its pages.
The beginning of the novel was quite slow. It took awhile for the plot to get into full swing but this is only because the author takes the time to set the scene and give readers the necessary background information. As a result, as the plot did progress, I found I was able to clearly imagine the world and really connect to the novel’s main characters.
Speaking of the characters, I loved them. I am a character fanatic, meaning the characters have to be great for me to love a book. The main protagonist, Lena, was realistic. She wasn’t perfect and she was well aware of this. Witnessing her experiencing certain emotions for the first time made me connect to her. Her story is an interesting one and I look forward to seeing her character grow even further in the subsequent instalments. Alex was sweet and I enjoyed reading about his interactions with Lena. I loved how the relationship between these two characters; it was the classic forbidden love but it was realistic and compelling.
Another character I feel I have to mention is Lena’s best friend Hana. Hana is rebellious, outgoing and makes Lena aware of another side to the world they live in. As a secondary character, she was great. I found myself happy when she appeared in certain scenes of the book.
In its entirety, Delirium is a novel I feel every fan of YA and/or dystopia should experience. It’s a deep, emotional story which is beautifully written. The ending might shock you; don’t think you have it all figured out because it’s likely you won’t. It completely broke my heart. I can’t wait to read the next instalment, Pandemonium, to find out what happens next!...more