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: 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.
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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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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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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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Author: Robison Wells
Recommend: Oh yes… I’m going to get book two tomorrow.
After my disappointment with the last book I read, I wasn’t holding my breath on this one. I typically shy away from anything set in a school. It usually screams trite and repetitive. The quickest way to get me to not read something it to set it at a boarding school. They make it seem like schools of this type are a dime a dozen when the only reason they do it is to get the pesky adult characters out-of-the-way so the teens have more freedom to act. Something though, made me pick this book up. I’m really glad that I did.
Benson gets selected to go to a special school in New Mexico. After the roulette wheel of ever-changing foster homes, he is looking forward to something more stable – at least for a foster kid like him. However, when he arrives and discovers that there are no adults to be found it the first sign that something about this school is not right. He knows that he needs to get out somehow but when escape might mean death how far will he go to gain freedom?
This book is fast-paced and drags the reader into a crazy scenario where everything is not what it seems. With an unimaginable twist, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat. I can’t wait to read the next one! I’ve already got it in my library hold list and I hope I can wait that long.
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Book: Girl in the Arena
Author: Lise Haines
Ever pick up a book on the off chance that it might be good and be very very wrong? Yep. That’s this book. I had heard a lot of hype about this one being a great read. I was a bit skeptical due the the fact that it was about modern day gladiators. However, I decided to give it a chance since it was a library book and so I figured, why not? I wish I hadn’t. I really wish I hadn’t.
Let me start by saying the writing isn’t so bad. It’s about what we’ve come to expect from teen fiction. The premise behind the story isn’t bad either but that’s about all the positive feedback I can give. Great concept but the plot drove me NUTS.
First of all, the world was not well formed. I know that this happens often in teen fiction but this one needed some kind of explanation of all the rules instead of just throwing them at the reader when it was convenient for the plot. In addition to that, there needed to be more scope to this story. It needed to be about more than it was. There needed to be more logic behind why the decisions would be made in such a way but such a powerful corporation. The massive plot hole about the corporation bullying a young girl made no sense. If she had gone to the media with proof (which she had) of what was really happening, it would have been over and so would this horrible book. Oh and did I mention that there are no quotation marks in this book? While it didn’t bother me from a readability point of view, my inner perfectionist wanted to scream. However, none of these things were my biggest issue with this book.
My biggest issue with the book was the fact that it was so gory I thought I was going to lose whatever was in my stomach. There is a line. You can get up to that line, brush the line, but once you cross it you will lose your reader. I’ve read the Hannibal Lecter series and had less issues than I did with this book. Gore and violence don’t normally bother me. I can read that stuff without flinching. This book bothered me. The fact that a teen book was able to turn my stomach is not a good sign. I expected violence but I didn’t expect the extremes this author went to. The worst scene in the book forced me to put it down for a while and skim until that scene was over.
I wouldn’t recommend this one for any adult, let alone any teen who might pick it up. Not worth your time.
Book: Beautiful Redemption
Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Recommend: Not really. I only read it because I figured since I’d read the first three I might as well finish out the series.
I find nothing more annoying than when they take a fantasy book too far. How do you know if a book has gone too far? When you follow a character into the afterlife. This plot line should never be – ever, unless for some reason you are one the greats and I’m not talking about the characters in the book.
I really felt like there were so many issues with the magic system in this book. Limits that shouldn’t have been there and places where the use of magic should have happened but no one seemed to think of it. I liked the main characters but I felt like the world development was so weak that it became extremely annoying. I also would say that the reunion scene that everyone knows is coming from the beginning of the book was rather anti-climatic.
While there were some strong points, the flaws got in the way.
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Book: The Always War
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Recommend: Eh. It was alright and not a long-term commitment…
I found the concept interesting even though I think I’ve read everything dystopian that is possible lately. I am addicted, hoping to find something outstanding. This wasn’t it. Now mind you, this wasn’t bad. It was fast, interesting and had decent characters but it just lacked that pizzazz to make it really good. I wouldn’t be upset if I had bought this but I don’t think I’ll be purchasing this one anytime soon. If there was another book, I would read it but it would be another library pick up.
The basic idea is a war that seems to have gone on for forever. No one can remember a time before the war and it seems that there will be no time after it. When a war hero runs away and finds out that things are not what they seem, how will the world handle a sudden change in reality?
Basically Ender’s Game meets every other dystopian novel ever written. It made me want to pull out my Orson Scott Card again
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Book: Crown of Embers
Author: Rae Carson
Recommend: Read the first one, The Girl of Fire and Thorns first. This one is just as amazing as the first.
Okay, I wasn’t going to publish a review this soon but I finished this book and just HAD to share. I had read the first one in this series a couple of weeks ago and tried to force myself to wait to read this one because I knew there was nothing else after it – yet and I knew the author would leave me practically panting for more. She did and I am now very frustrated that the next book isn’t available yet.
This follows Elisa attempting to run a country on her own, holding it until such a time that Rosario could come of age and rule in his father’s place. Elisa is quickly urged to remarry for the good of the kingdom. An alliance is needed to solidify her power. Meanwhile she is in danger again from an unknown force. When she must choose between what she believes is right and what she desires, how will she balance her responsibility with what she really wants?
I love the depth of this character. I also enjoy the full high fantasy aspect of these books. This series is definitely something to check out.
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Author: Meg Cabot
Recommend: Definitely worth reading. Better than the first book!
After reading the first book in this series, I had to know what happened next and so I requested book two from the library. More often than not, the second book in a series is not a strong. There are many reasons for this including a much shorter time to write it, using something to prolong the story or the introduction of a poorly planned love triangle. This book however, suffers from none of these things and while it isn’t the strongest bit of writing I’ve ever read, this is a big step up from the creator of Princess Mia.
A modern retelling of the story of Persephone, this story follows Pierce as she tries to save her cousin from school bullies who place him in a life threatening situation. As she tries to help her cousin she learns more about her situation in the Underworld and who John really is.
I think the writing was far better in this book and the plot clipped along at a good pace. Overall, it was a much stronger read than the first book. At one point I wanted to shout at the main character like the dumb girl in every horror movie you’ve ever seen that goes into the scary house instead of calling for help and waiting outside. Yep. She has not one but two big moments where she is really that clueless. I mean does she not know the story of Persephone at all?
There were a couple of plot points in here that were a little too lame to be real and while the writing was better, I wanted more insight and detail than the author gave.
While this was a much better read than the first books, it still wasn’t among my favorites.
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Book: The Hunt
Author: Andrew Fukuda
Recommend: It was much better than I thought it was going to be.
I picked this up a while ago and have been wanting to read it but hadn’t gotten around to it. Then I heard some horrible things from a couple of other people who had read the book. That really put it on the back burner for me. Finally, this week it was at the top of my stack of books to be read and so I decided to brave it. A few pages in and I was hooked with one exception.
Imagine you were one of the few real humans left in a world full of vampires. You had to do so many thing to evade being noticed and killed by anyone and everyone around you. Every action and natural reaction had to be completely controlled so that you would fit into the mold and escape notice. For one boy, he had escaped notice his whole life until he is selected to participate in the hunt. Anyone would be thrilled to be able to hunt down the last humans known to exist, unless of course, you were human yourself.
The only thing I had a problem with in this book is the fact that the vampires just didn’t seem to notice that he wasn’t human. It had to be done to make the story work but there were too many unanswered questions for me. However, the book really clipped along. I honestly wasn’t expecting it to go quite the way that it did at the end which was nice. Definitely a fun, easy read for fans of real vampires. This is not Twilight type vampire action. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Definitely a great read if you enjoy a good horror story.
Oh and MERRY CHRISTMAS
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Book: Princess of the Midnight Ball
Author: Jessica Day George
Recommend: If you are a fan of fairy tale rewrites, this is great. If not, run the other way…
I picked this one up, being fairly certain I knew what I was in for and was pleasantly surprised how absorbed I was. I have always been a bit confused by this fairy tale honestly and found that this version made it make more sense. Instead of being really confused by the Princesses it made much more sense and I found myself wondering how in the world they were going to get out of the horrible situation they were in. Galen was a great male lead because he seems so normal. I liked the princesses as well because they weren’t obnoxious. I found the back story interesting enough to not be annoyed with it, although I wish there had been a bit more to it.
This is definitely a fluffy indulgent piece of reading which was a great change of pace after reading about vampires/zombies and tons of adult situations. This was a nice change of pace. I think I need to start throwing in teen fiction after intense reads as a habit.
Get it used…