Rhiannon Frater's Reviews > Closed Hearts

Closed Hearts by Susan Kaye Quinn
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it was amazing
bookshelves: looking-forward-to-the-next-one
Recommended for: EVERYONE

The second book in a trilogy has to bridge the first and last book while keeping the readers interested in the evolving story line. It can be a real challenge. The plot and the characters must continue to develope in a dynamic way while not robbing the third book of its big ending. The sophomore entry is always a little under-appreciated. Even in film, second movies in trilogy are not often given a lot of love. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is one example. Of course, there is always The Empire Strikes Back that completely upends the sophomore outing curse.

I have to say Closed Hearts follows in the vein of The Empire Strikes back in many ways, but doesn't quite overcome Open Minds. This is 4.5 stars in my mind. I more than really like it, but I don't love it as much as the first

THE PLOT
First off, the plot was quite different from what I had anticipated, but this works for and against the book. The author had already surprised me quite a lot in the first book by doing the unexpected. There were genuinely shocking moments in Open Minds that had me literally gasping. I also couldn't stop reading the first book because it was so fresh, exciting and surprising.

Those moments in the second book came more toward the end of the story. And when they happened, I was happily shocked. The author really delivers a brutal blow that was so perfectly terribly I wanted to stand up and applaud.
Susan Kaye Quinn is very brave in her writing and I love her for it.

Where the second book kind of slips for me is the plot. In some ways it's a little similar in parts to the first book, so the fresh factor diminished a bit. The basic plot is not anything really new, but it was definitely necessary because of our lead character's actions.

Which brings me to the lead character...

CHARACTERS
I loved how Kira developed as a character in Open Minds. She grew stronger as the book continued and I was cheering her on throughout the story. In the sequel, Kira is a little bit of a disappointment because she seems to have stagnated in her development. She clings desperately to her old life, family, and friends even though she knows that her actions from the first book has put them all in danger. In many ways she is being very selfish. Yet, it makes sense. She's a teenager, she wants a normal life, and she has no desire to be a action hero/revolutionary. This is even pointed out by one of the newer characters in the book. She's a disappointment to him as well when he realizes she's not the rebel he anticipated.

Julian is an interesting new character, but he doesn't have quite the mystique that Simon had in the first book. He has a major impact on Kira, which was a good thing, and his motley crew of jackers was interesting. It was VERY neat to realize that Kira is not a special snowflake per se. There are other jackers that can still make her life a living hell.

The villains in the piece were quite chilling and very well-done. At one point I was swearing to myself as Kira struggled with one of them. It's good to hate the bad guys, and boy did I hate them.

FINAL THOUGHTS
This is really a great followup to Open Minds. It's exciting, it advances the plot, it's heartbreaking, it perfectly sets up the next book, and it pushes Kira into the position of heroine once again...whether she wants to be, or not. There are some truly heart-wrenching scenes in this book and plenty of exciting ones as well. Again, Susan Kaye Quinn knocks my socks off in so many ways, she leaves me breathless. The end of the book was PERFECTION.

Frankly, I can't wait until the next one!
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Reading Progress

May 1, 2012 – Started Reading
May 1, 2012 – Shelved
May 10, 2012 –
51.0% "Loving this!"
May 12, 2012 – Finished Reading
February 2, 2013 – Shelved as: looking-forward-to-the-next-one

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