Tag Archives: Arts

Book Review: Under the Never Sky (plus a mini rant about dystopian novels)

Book: Under the Never Sky

Author: Veronica Rossi

Recommend: Great dystopia! Getting a bit burned out on them though…

I love dystopian fiction. Love it. I’ve loved it since before we had a word for it. The Giver was one of favorite books as a kid. Need I say more? When I was kid though, stumbling across a book like this was a rare find. Now you can’t seem to pick up a YA book without it being about 1)vampires 2) werewolves or 3) futuristic dystopian societies. Occasionally they’ll throw something else in like zombies but mostly, these seem to be the big three. I’m getting sick of something I love. It’s sad. So very sad. Please write something else for teens. It’s time for some serious high fantasy or real science fiction. I love dystopias but for the love of all things book, please stop flooding the market with them!

When I picked this one up, the last thing I wanted to do was read another dystopia right after having finished The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (my review can be found here). I did it anyway because I’m trying to get the library books out of my house already. I have a stack that is definitely in danger of hitting the maximum limit of times they can be renewed (the lack of reading time due to my master’s and work is to blame). So I forged ahead, prepared to be annoyed but not let you know it if I could help it (unless the book was bad). I was pleasantly surprised to find that I wasn’t annoyed. I was completely engrossed and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Aria has lived in the pod Reverie all of her life. An existence only partially in the pod, most of her life spent in the Realms, a place that was better than real. One poor choice caused her to lose everything and be stuck in the Death Shop, their nickname for the outside world. A place where there was a thousand ways to die, each more horrific than the last.

I think the best thing about this book was that even the elements weren’t original, they came across as something new and fresh. Both Aria and Perry are complex expressive characters with unique voices that compliment each other well. I want to meet this author in person and shake her hand to thank her for NOT creating a love triangle. Finally!

My biggest issue with this book was the Realms. The idea wasn’t clear enough in the beginning to make enough sense. Once you do understand them, it still feels incomplete. The author really needed to spend some time on exactly what being in one was like. I get why she didn’t but I wish she had. I think the beginning of the book would have been a lot more engaging.

Really good read. Definitely worth picking up. In fact I just did for my nook πŸ™‚

Final Rating:

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Book Review: Son

Book: Son

Author: Lois Lowry

Recommend: If you’ve read the rest of the series. This one ties in more than the others.

The release of this book is actually what made me go through and read the whole series. Until I heard about this book, I had no idea that the author had continued the series. I picked this one up from the library along with the rest of the books in the series.

This story centers around Claire, Gabe’s Birthmother. Something goes wrong with Gabe’s birth and she is sent out to work after only being Vessel to one Product instead of the customary three that she was supposed to carry. She leaves her society when Jonas does and for a long time has no idea who she is. Once she remembers, she goes in search of her son. Is there any price too high to pay to get back to someone you love?

This book really does an excellent job of bringing the books together and tying a nice bow around it all. However, I can’t get past the fact that The Giver was in essence science fiction and every other book in this series has had a fantasy feel to it. They just don’t seem to belong together. Lowry’s lack of explanations for things which made the first book more powerful, actually hinders the rest of the quartet. Without explanation for what is happening the whole thing comes off magical instead of a product of time and genetics.

I’m glad I read the series and while The Giver will always be one of my favorites, the rest of the series just doesn’t measure up.

Final Rating:

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Book Review: Messenger

Book: Messenger (Giver #3)

Author: Lois Lowry

Recommend: Definitely worth reading if you are a fan of this series.

I was all excited about this book. For extremely lame reasons as well as some good ones. My lame reason was that it was short and would get me one book closer to my 150 books for the year goal and my good reasons had to do with the fact that we were finally going to hear what happened to the half-starved boy at the end of the first book.

While this was a good read, it definitely did not have the feel of the first two books. The author is blurring the lines between speculative fiction and fantasy too far for the world to be completely cohesive. I think that without this sense of the same world really being there, the whole thing loses some integrity for me. Not that the book is bad on its own but as a sequel to the Giver, it just doesn’t completely hold up. I was rather surprised to find this kind of inconsistency from such a celebrated and well-known author.

Not to say that this book was bad because it wasn’t. It was actually very good. I just feel like it needed some more though and a lot less of a mystical feel to it. This time her lack of explanation hindered the story, rather than helped.

Final rating:

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Book Review: The Rise of Nine

https://i0.wp.com/img1.imagesbn.com/images/178890000/178895097.JPGBook: The Rise of Nine

Author: Pittacus Lore

Recommend: If you’ve read the rest of the series.

I have been looking forward to this book for a while after reading the second book in the series. I was hoping that the books would just keep getting better as they went along since the second book was so much better than the first. However, I felt like this book didn’t have the energy and interest that the second book contained. It really felt like the two authors who are Pittacus Lore took turns writing, each one taking one part of the story and intentionally doing the chapter switches at the most annoying points in the plot possible. Also after waiting so long between books, a refresher on who all the kids are would have been helpful instead of diving right in.

The story moved along but in some places I felt like saying get on with it already. The plot devices were a bit took obvious and predictable. While this was a good read, I definitely wouldn’t put it on a best of… list anytime soon.

Final Rating:

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Book Review: Delirium

Book: Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver

Recommend: Definitely worth the read!

Imagine a society where love is considered a disease. Imagine waiting until you are eighteen to be cured terrified of catching the horrible love disease hoping that you wouldn’t be infected and could be happy. For Lena, after her mother’s death, she more than anyone wanted to simply get the cure and move on with her life. A simple stable existence where family and work consume her life and she is happy. Then she meets Alex and everything changes. Then when everything she thought she knew turns out to be a lie, Lena might not want the cure after all. Unfortunately she doesn’t have a much a choice.

This book was a great read! The pacing was perfect and the story unfolded well for YA. I would have liked to keep her mother’s fate a mystery for a little bit longer but I know why the author revealed it so quickly. Alex could have been a little stronger in my opinion but he was well done over all. I thought the way Lena was written was great her fear and they way she overpowered it was so normal and familiar and seemed so real. It’s the same mental conversation I’ve had with myself so many times when I’m about to do something I shouldn’t.

I definitely think I’ll be reading the next books in this series!

Final Rating:

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Book Review: Rebecca

Book: Rebecca

Author: Daphne Du Maurier

Recommend: If you are a fan of the Bronte sisters and like a good mystery.

Have you ever had a book that you were just plain curious about? I’ve heard about this one. Had it in my hands more than once and never got around to picking it up and reading it. I wished I had found this one sooner.

This book tells the story of a young woman who has her first job out of school, working as a companion to a wealthy older woman. She meets a man of society and falls in love with him but she is sure that he does not return her feelings. As she is ready to leave for New York, she meets him to say goodbye and he proposes to her. She accepts his proposal but as soon as the honeymoon is over she finds herself in the shadow of the first Mrs. de Winter, Rebecca.

I don’t want to ruin the plot for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but it has one of the best plot twists I have ever read! I can see how many have tried to imitate this writer in one way or another in modern material and none of it quite does this justice. Definitely worth the time and something I have a feeling I’ll be downloading onto my nook soon.

Final Rating:

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