Author: Dan Wells
Recommend: Great dystopian fiction of a different variety..
I’ve been trying to write this review for about twenty minutes now but my husband is scrolling through tons of cat memes and I can’t focus for the life of me. I picked this up a few weeks ago but other books kept jumping in front of it for various reasons. Finally, tonight I should have been doing homework but I ignored it completely in order to read and I’m so glad I did. The book was so good that I immediately ordered the next one in the series simply because I couldn’t put it down.
Kira is a one of the few thousand left of the human race who have somehow survived the deadly RM virus that has killed everyone else alive – well everyone else completely human. For some reason the Partials hadn’t come after them to finish them off, however they were still out there – lurking, waiting for the last of the human race to die out or attack, whichever comes first. When Kira thinks she might know a way to find a cure, she will risk everything to give the human race hope.
Great story, wonderful plot, interesting characters, and good pacing – makes for a great read. There are enough character to keep it interesting while not so many that you get lost. The main character is complex and driven by more than her heart which is nice to see the romance in a dystopian novel not take center stage. There are enough twists and turns in this book to keep you guessing and the ending sets the reader up for the next book, going into enough detail to get the reader interested without giving too much away.
Definitely worth reading and will keep you guessing all the way through!
I was just looking at my post count and I can’t believe this is my 300th post!!
Need more than one copy!!
Author: Anna Carey
Recommend: Definitely, but only if you’ve read the first two books in the series.
I had less than an hour to read this one. I saw it on the shelves while wondering Barnes and Noble on a long lunch hour. I picked it up, plopped down at a table and began to race through the book, eagerly devouring the conclusion to one of my favorite trilogies lately.
Eve is a mess after the shooting of Caleb and she is definitely showing it at the beginning of this book. Her hatred of her father and everything he stands for has only grown since she lost Caleb but she goes through the motions – all while secretly planning his assassination all while dealing with her sham of a marriage to Charles. When she find out that she has one last piece of Caleb left, everything changes and she puts her life on the line to stop her father forever.
This one was a complete roller coaster ride to the end and when you think it’s all over, the author throws you for a welcome tailspin. I think the only thing I would say could be a negative about this book is that the author takes Eve away from the action one too many times. I know why she does it but it almost seems like a cop-out to keep her alive. I would have rather seen her in the middle of the action, continuing to fight and somehow escaping the inevitable. I think it would have made for a more exciting storyline. However, I really liked the fact that she brought back some of the issues from the first book to show that they weren’t forgotten. I also love the fact that she doesn’t make things too easy on Eve. The major complication in this book is almost funny in a way but also very bittersweet for the character, not to mention dangerous. I love the transformation of the character from a girl scared of her own shadow to a leader who seems to be able to overcome almost anything when necessary. A very large change but without losing the heart of the character.
My biggest frustration with this book was the ending. While I loved how she concluded the story, she needed to write about five more pages. It was just plain mean to leave us where she did. I wanted to see the moment she walked into that room! UGH! A few more paragraphs wouldn’t have killed her. Of course I’m among the group who loved the prolonged ending to Return of the King and I wanted just a bit more this book too. When you cut the story just short of a huge payoff for the readers, it’s just frustrating for them. It really didn’t need to be long or dragged out, but it needed to be!
Great end to such a fun series. I’m rather sad that there isn’t another Eve book to wait for.
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Author: Lauren Oliver
Recommend: If you’ve read the first book in the series you will be thrilled with the second one…
Okay, honestly I rather enjoyed Delirium but it wasn’t anything that really stuck with me. A society where feelings are not allowed and there is a drug to get rid of them. Seems a lot like the plot from the movie Equilibrium starting Christian Bale. I picked up the next book in the series because one of the blogs I follow and trust simply raved about how much better the second book was. She was completely right. The second book is by far an improvement over the first.
The author takes up through the next part of the story by alternating between two points in Lena’s life, right after she leaves the city and a much later point, where she is helping to spy on the society. The timelines gradually get closer until they meet at the end of the book just in time for the climax scene. I think the pacing is so much better in this book and you really get a feel for who Lena is. The new kid, Julian has his own issues and you are almost happy for them when they fall for each other, even though apart of you is still sad about Alex but that’s okay because Lena is too.
Then the author changes everything in the last two pages and Lena’s life is spun completely out of control again in preparation for book number three, Requiem, which I immediately requested the second I finished reading this one.
I would say the big flaw of this book is that while the two timelines bit worked, in a few areas it was a bit too perfectly planned. When you can see the writing device working for the author, it is no longer working.
Overall, this is a great read and I can’t wait to get my hands on number 3.
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Book: Fragile Things
Author: Neil Gaiman
Recommend: Great in small doses…
Have you ever had an author that you truly enjoy but only when you are in the right mood? Neil Gaiman is one of those authors for me. I love the stories he creates and the way he writes, but I also find myself relieved when I finish one of his books. I think I am easily burnt out on his stuff for some reason. This book is no exception.
I really like how unique his stories are and the characters he comes up with. Sometimes they get a bit too bizarre, even for me, but I still find them enjoyable. I think in this collection, the one about Susan from the Narnia series hit me rather hard. I thought he was going somewhere completely different than where he went. I’ve always wondered about her and why she had walked away completely. I just wasn’t expecting the author to blame God instead of Susan.
Interesting reads if you are fan of short stories and have enjoyed one of his full length works.
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Book: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Recommend: It was a fun fast read…
I picked this one up recently and was looking through my library pile for something on the shorter side. I wasn’t feeling well and but didn’t quite want to go to bed yet. So I started in on this book and finished it in a couple of hours.
The best thing about this book was that it didn’t read just like every other teen dystopian novel out there. First of all, we see the disaster. We aren’t looking at society many years later. Second, there is nothing paranormal about this one. Hurray. Don’t get me wrong, I love my paranormal fiction but it was nice to read something without it. I also found the plot refreshing in some ways. These teens were far from perfect and it confronted issues like drinking, drug abuse and teen pregnancy.
I will say that some of this book was rather predictable because well, this was a zombie apocalypse without the zombies. This author seemed to want to write a zombie book minus zombies which she did, rather effectively but some of the plot points were painfully obvious. That being said, there were somethings that I didn’t see coming – at all, which kept me reading despite some of the issues. There is one twist in the story as well that simply made me want to crawl through the covers and kill one of the characters. If the characters in the book hadn’t done it for me I would have been furious. I would definitely say that this is TRULY a teen book and not one to be read by someone who is not yet a teenager. Some of the plot points are intended for a more mature audience.
Overall it was a fun read. Not one I’ll be adding to my collection but one that I wouldn’t mind reading the sequel to if I get the chance.
Get it used…
Author: Caragh M. O’Brien
Recommend: It was a decent read.. if you could ignore some things.
I read the first chapter of this at the library and was intrigued so I brought it home. The story was great and the characters were intense. I found the main character intriguing but I think the author had some issues and the more I read, the more I noticed the plot point problems.
First of all, the main character seems to live a life out of the history books but the society beyond the wall was supposed to be somewhat advanced. How would none of the technology on one side of the wall have bled over to the other? It should have in older, more basic forms and yet, for some reason, the author doesn’t mention it until much later in the book. There is a problem with what the author allows technology wise and what isn’t there. For example, there are movies but not sign of computers. I also found the plot points at the end kind of improbable. The whole idea that a city was surrounded by outlying areas and then they were somehow able to figure out the births from the whole community and who was who from a book without having to figure out which books belonged to their area first made no sense.
While I think this book had a ton of potential, the plot issues were rather distracting.
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Book: The Fault in our Stars
Author: John Green
Recommend: Most definitely… a must read book.
I’ve heard a lot about this book. Those of you who read my blog often know that I tend to avoid books with tons of hype until much later. This is another example of this but I finally picked this one up. I wish I would have picked this one up sooner. I read this book in one sitting simply because I couldn’t put it down.
First of all, this book comes from Hazel’s point of view and is written by a male author. Often, this doesn’t go well. However this guy somehow seemed to figure out how to write a teenage girl in a way that was believable. She is a wonderful character and learns so much through the course of this book. Augustus is also wonderful and flawed. Then there is the whole thing with the author of her favorite book. The symbolism that the author uses with the author character is wonderful.
The only somewhat negative piece of this book is that while some of the plot lines are necessary, in some places the plot line feels a bit cheesy. There I said it. I know this won’t necessarily be the popular view on this book but I pretty much knew how it was going to end long before we got there. I think the author of her favorite book, Peter Van Houten was the most original part of the storyline. The whole way things turned out, while sad was extremely predictable. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved it, I just wish the author had done something a bit more interesting with the ending.
Overall a wonderful read and not one to be missed. This is not your typical teen fiction.
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Book: The Age of Miracles
Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Recommend: Not at all what I expected but definitely interesting…
This book was exactly the last thing I expected it to be. First of all, even though this is adult fiction, the narrator is a twelve year old girl. This book is actually feels like it’s coming from a twelve year old kid. It includes the kinds of conflicts and issues a pre-teen would be dealing with. Only a few times did I find the author slipping out of the voice a bit and they were brief and mostly due to the seriousness of the situation they were dealing with. While I knew it dealt with the slowing of the rotation of the earth, I didn’t expect it to be as fatalistic as it was. While the story was interesting and I felt compelled to finish it, this book wasn’t exactly the kind of book you couldn’t put down. In fact I did put it down, often. If you’ve been wanting to read something thought provoking but that can be read in small pieces, this is that kind of book.
Umm… yep, can’t believe this but that’s pretty much all I have to say about this one.
Get it used…
Author: Rachel Cohn
Recommend: Interesting read..
I have a routine when I go to the library. If I can’t bring myself just to go grab my book(s) on the hold shelf, I walk through and collect books I think I might be interested in based on the synopsis and cover and pop them into my Disney Villains bag. When I’ve got somewhere between 7 and 12 books, I find a seat, hopefully in the back of the library where there aren’t a lot of people around and pull the books out one by one. If they are book I placed a hold on, they stay in the bag but the rest come out and are placed in a stack in front of me. Then I pull the top one and start to read a bit to see if I think the book is worth taking home with me. When I get a substantial way into a book without realizing it, like I did with this one, it usually means it will be the first one I read when I get home. Went to the library today. I’m already done with the book.
Beta tells the story of one of the first teenage clones on an island paradise. The story follows Elysia as she tries to cope with life as a test clone, sold into a life of futuristic slavery. While some of the book is frankly completely unbelievable, this beauty of this book is the obvious parallel to slavery before the civil war. It would be a great book study to introduce this concept in a high school classroom (not that teachers have time for that kind of thing).
I really liked the fact that the author maintains the same view about the sanctity of human life throughout the book. It would have been so easy to simply parrot the popular ideas of today but this author follows her idea to its logical conclusion. I also like that while she doesn’t shy away from some of the more difficult aspects of the life of a slave, she does handle them delicately.
However, this book had one HUGE flaw. The ending. Everything was great until the bizarre ending the author gave her book. I was fine until the very last couple of pages. Then I felt like the author completely phoned it in to set up for the next book in an obvious series. She was fine without her little revelation on the last page. She really could have left things where they were and given us that in more detail at the beginning of book two.
Overall, this was an enjoyable and memorable read minus a couple of flaws. Worth picking up.
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Author: Marie Lu
Recommend: Yes but be prepared for the pain-fest that is this book…
Note: This review was written while on cold medicine….
I loved Legend. It was amazing. Then to find out that she based it on one of my favorite stories of all time and yet it was so subtle that I didn’t catch it at first – amazing. I may have done a bit of a happy dance when I saw the email to tell me that this was available and waiting for me at the library last week. It didn’t matter that I was staying across town for the week. I drove and picked it up.
When I finally had time to get into it, I thought it would be one of those devour it in one sitting kind of books. I was wrong. So very wrong. I had to put this one down – often – in order to get through it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good read and I applaud the author for going a completely different direction than any of her readers would ever have imagined – period. However, this book was painful. It was more realistic than most but still an extremely painful read.
I honestly wanted to reach through the pages a few times and slap some sense into the two main characters all while understanding why they were making the infuriating choices they did. Yep. Not one to read unprepared.
Not much more I can without spoiling the whole plot so, yah – in the words of Scar from the Lion King, “Be Prepared!”
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Author: Jessica Khoury
Recommend: Meh. Nothing amazing but not bad either…
I picked this one up hoping for a unique YA read. I needed something that wasn’t dystopian or love triangle business. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of those but, sometimes you need something new and different. New and different is definitely waht I got with this book.
I honestly think that the plot line is the best part about this book. It is a fresh idea with a different spin. Girl hidden from the world because she is immortal. Raised by scientists, what is she going to do when she is given a chance to taste life in the outside world? When you finally figure out what is going on, you get angry at the other characters.
The major flaw of this book is the main character Pia. I know that the author is trying to show how naive she is and how black and white her view of the world is but I honestly thing that for someone who is supposed to be so intelligent, she makes some very strange choices. There is also something missing with this character. She is somewhat hard to connect with. Her motivations don’t make a whole lot of sense some of the time.
Overall, I think it was an interesting read but not one I could see myself revisiting or even remembering after a while.
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Book: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Recommend: Absolutely! This book is geektastic!
I don’t often pick up books simply for the cover but I’ve had this one in my hands three or four times with different covers. When I realized it, I plopped it into my bag and decided that I had to read it. I started it a few weeks ago and loved the idea of it but reading just wasn’t something I was enjoying. I had hit a massive book slump. I started this one at the beginning of February and finished it – tonight. I simply hadn’t been able to bring myself to read at all except for school, which was required reading. Instead I found myself writing for the first time in a long time. It’s been hard for me to write because of my currently living situation. I really have to feel alone to write. Finally though, this week, I picked it back up and dived in. I haven’t been able to put it down except while I was working.
The story centers around an impossible quest in a future where everyone lives to play OASIS, a virtual world where everyone can live exactly how they like. When the creator dies with no heir, but leaves a contest for his company behind instead, a contest that everyone is trying to win. When a kid from the middle of no where figures out the first part of the quest, suddenly the world’s eyes are on him and everyone is trying to get at him in the game and the real world alike.
I loved all the wonderful geeky references and that the whole thing is set in a video game world set in the 1980s, the era of my childhood. It was definitely a fun read. I think I’m going to be adding to my own library.
Definitely a book any gamer or child of the 80s should read.
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I must admit I am in a huge reading slump right now. I’m getting closer to finishing my master’s degree and I have been bitten by the writing bug lately. I really haven’t found any time for reading lately. I’m thinking about turning in the huge stack of library books waiting for me to read them. I haven’t been really ordering an ARCs lately and just seem to be favoring the pen instead of a book this month. I’m sure that things will pick back up soon because I’ve never been known to stay away from books for long but right now I’m kind of stuck on a plot line of my own. I still plan on posting but I might be a bit review scarce for a while.
Book: The Aviator’s Wife
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Recommend: It was definitely an interesting read.
I have seen so much press on this book due to the author and subjects. When I got an ARC, I was happy to read and review it for my blog. I only knew the bare bones about the Lindberghs and hoped that it would make me want to learn more about them.
Unlike most books about the Lindberghs, this one focuses on Anne. Starting with meeting her husband and following their lives together including the horrific kidnapping of their oldest son and the Nazi sympathizer scandals, this book follows their lives through an imagining of her life based on historical information.
The writing is wonderfully lyric and powerful. The details are well balanced. The author takes some license with the work but never strays so far that it renders the book inaccurate. The more difficult parts of their history is handled well.
Definitely worth a read but not the most phenomenal thing I’ve read this year.
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Author: Robinson Wells
Recommend: It was a good sequel. Good but not amazing.
This is the sequel to Variant and was a very good read. The whole idea of such a huge experiment where there is a widespread experiment that attempts to replace people with robots is interesting to begin with but the way that the fight back and the fact that the people are stuck in the robots’ heads makes the whole thing interesting. Add in the chips that can shut down the human subjects connected to the robots and the whole thing becomes rather eerie.
While the story line was unique, I would say that writing isn’t very strong. The first book had stronger characters and their choices made more sense. In this book the characters seemed to be making choices that forwarded the plot instead of what would make the most sense for the character.
A good read but nothing to write home about.
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Author: Gennifer Albin
Recommend: Wow… what a great book!
Have you ever had a book captivate you so completely that you lost complete touch with where you are and how long you’ve been sitting still reading? That happened to me at the library today. Normally I can sit for a little bit and go through my selections a bit to make sure I actually want to take everything home that I’ve picked out. Today I got to the second book and the next thing I know, I’ve finished, it’s dark outside and the librarian is barking out that the library will be closing in fifteen minutes looking at me pointedly since I am literally the only one still sitting there, oblivious to things like people wanting to go home. So I took two more minutes, bought the book on nook and stumbled towards the self check out, knocking over some carts on the way. Hurray for being a klutz! Never have I been so glad to get out of the library…
A plot summary is going to be difficult but I’ll give it a try. I highly doubt it will do the book justice because I didn’t want to read it after reading the plot summary the first time either, so keep an open mind about this one. Adelice is almost through her testing when the unthinkable happens. She lets her gift at weaving slip. Instantly she knows what is coming. She is going to be a Spinster and there is nothing she can do to stop it. When her family tries to get her out, it just makes everything more complicated. The only reason she is allowed to live is that her gift is so much more than that of a simple weaver. She is a creweler and she might even be the next world shaper. Unfortunately for them, it is the last thing she ever wants to be.
I loved this book. It was well written, moved quickly but developed the characters nicely and explained the weaving aspect well without getting to technical and boring. The main character actually acts like a teenager some of the time. While there is a love story it is not the main focus of the book and she thinks for herself. The world is creative and the idea of everything being fabric is a refreshing and new idea.
The only issue I had with this book seems to be cropping up more often in teen fiction and that seems to be almost mandatory inclusion of a homosexual character. Please just stop trying to indoctrinate young adults that this is okay by including it in everything they read. Let them form their own opinion instead of being brainwashed by print propaganda about their plight. This type of thing is what causes parents to want to censor their child’s reading material and then they get upset because they really want to read it and it turns into a huge mess when they sneak behind their parents’ back and do it anyway. Or the parents end up having to read everything their teen is going to read with their teen or pre-teen (cause let me tell you how often I find my 10 year old students carrying around YA books) so they can discuss it with them. I will say that this author doesn’t hit you over the head with it but it is definitely there and prominent enough that I minded as an adult reader. That issue aside though, it was a great book.
I’m going to be watching for book two of this series to make its appearance with bated breath!
Need more than one copy!!
Author: Marissa Meyer
Recommend: Definitely! Check out Cinder first though…
I have been waiting for this one rather eagerly since I read the first book in this series.When I lucked out and got an ARC of the book, I was thrilled that I was going to get to read it before it came out.
I loved the futuristic retelling of a classical fairy tale with a metallic twist. The second book does a wonderful job balancing the continuation of the story from the first book while introducing more to the storyline with a retelling of Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. I love that while the fairy tales are noticeable, they have a very original spin with a storyline that echoes but is not confined by the constraints of the original material.
The only thing I could say about this series is that now that I know that this was originally a work of fan fiction, I was able to see the threads beneath the redone material and was able to see how it was originally based on something else. To be fair though, there is only one series that it is hard to find the source material underneath for me.
I really can’t wait to see what the rest of this series has in store.
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Book and Movie: The Green Mile
Author: Stephen King
A friend lent me this one because I hadn’t read it and hadn’t seen the movie. She insisted that I needed to read the book and then see the movie. I picked it up, feeling a bit of pressure because so many people I know loved it. I have a bit of a rocky history with reading King. I often love the first 80% of his books but find many of his endings leave much to be desired. However I gamely went forward and read it. While this book is not one of those books I couldn’t put down, it definitely was a great read. It had a very different feel than many of his other works.
When I sat down to watch the movie I think the thing that I was most impressed about was that the movie stayed so true to the book. I do like that they didn’t show as much of the second execution as the book described. The book was a bit too detailed even for me. I wouldn’t suggest snacking while reading this one.
Definitely not something I would have picked up on my own but glad that someone handed it to me and told me to read it.
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Author: Sharon Shinn
Recommend: Definitely – it’s a great read!
A friend of mine and I were talking books earlier this week, comparing reading lists. We discussed our love for all things Harry Potter and some of our other favorite authors. She mentioned this book and told me that I had to read it. When she told me about the plot, I was honestly a bit nervous simply because I don’t read much where the plot involves angels. I haven’t found anything that I really liked about angels. However, this friend hasn’t ever recommended anything I didn’t enjoy and so I picked it up, hoping that my friend was right and she was. I loved it.
Gabriel is all set to become the next archangel. He first must find his angelica, a moral bride to sing with him at the annual Gloria. He cannot perform it alone. However his bride is nothing like he expects.
The plot was really good. Enough of the familiar to allow the reader to connect with the story, but unique enough to be interesting. The author is really good at creating great mental pictures so it practically leaps from the page. I would say the biggest fault this book has is the cover which looks extremely dated. I don’t think very many people would pick it up simply because of the drab artwork. This really needs an update. It would get a lot more readership if they simply redesigned it for a reprint. Don’t let the cover keep you from reading this great book! In fact, I bought it for my nook as soon as I finished reading it.
One final note on this book. Some Christians might feel an aversion to reading this one. It isn’t set on earth and is very clearly fantasy. I did not have a problem with it however some might.
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