Category Archives: Dystopian

*Review* The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave Cover The 5th Wave

Rick Yancey

457 pages

Read 1-11-14

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

I had read plenty of reviews talking about how great this book is and how it isn’t what you expect from an alien book, so I decided to find out for myself how great it actually was and I am happy to report that these claims of greatness are true.  I wasn’t completely sure of what to expect with this story since I’ve never read a book that involved aliens before aside from The Host, but I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would.

The world depicted in this book is a scary place.  Imagine waves of awful things occurring, not knowing who to trust, and fighting everyday to survive, not knowing what is truth or lie.  It’s ugly, no matter who you are.  I also like the cover and how it goes with the story (can you see the giant bird?).  The characters are also really great.  Cassie is a very strong and determined female MC, and even after all of the crap she goes through, she is still willing to do whatever it takes without being whiny.  I like Evan a lot, he is unusual, but I really like him, even though he has some flaws.  And with Zombie, I enjoyed seeing the military aspect of it and what they have to go through on that end.

I read this mostly in audio format, up until the last 30 minutes when my audiobook files became corrupted and stopped working, then I finished it out in a borrowed hardcover.  Both narrators did really well reading it and had nice voices.  The action scenes were great, both in print and on audio and not at all confusing like some can be.  The book also switches points of view from  female and male characters, and I think the author did a really good job of rotating between two different genders’ mindsets.

Though there is some love interest stuff in the story, there is no real gushy mushy romance.  I didn’t expect there to be either, considering aliens are trying to wipe out the human population.  It also isn’t easy at all, which makes it more real than if they had had some sort of crazy romantic love story in the middle of an extraterrestrial takeover.  This one is definitely a book for guys or girls, and even for those who might not care for alien books much because it really isn’t the kind of aliens you think.

Scary world, great characters, good readers, not what you expect.

4.5 bookmark

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Action, Audiobook, Dystopian, Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Review, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Requiem – Lauren Oliver

Requiem Cover Requiem (Delirium #3)

Lauren Oliver

391 pages

ISBN: 9780062014535

Read 8-14-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

Well….this was the last book of the Delirium trilogy and, well….hmm….

Unfortunately, I have to say that this is my least favorite of the three books (the second was my favorite), and well…I feel like there should have been more.  There probably could have been a fourth book and now I  am left feeling incomplete with this series.  It was left so open and unfinished.  I want to know what happens with everything, and I didn’t get that, no resolution.

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This is how I felt…and I was like “Where’s the rest??”

Wanna know?  Here is the SPOILER: By the end of the book, nothing has been solved between the invalids and the cured, Lena tells Alex she wants to be with him, but hasn’t told Julian, and everybody is still fighting when it ends.  Nothing is solved!!  It just really bothers me when a book ends this way.

As for the writing, it was great of course.  I really like Lauren’s writing style and her characters are really good.  I liked the change in Lena and how she grew to be the strong person she had become.  I also liked the alternating point of view between Lena and Hana, you get to see an inside and outside view of what is going on.

I really enjoyed the book up until the end.  I liked seeing it from both sides and everything that was happening with the uprising.  We got to be in on a bunch of secrets, but we didn’t get to find out more!  So yeah, the score definitely got a lowered because of it feeling so incomplete and wide open.  It might not bother a lot of people, but it definitely bothers me.

Good characters, good POVs, a lot going on, felt incomplete.

3.5 bookmark

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Action, Audiobook, Dystopian, Fiction, Review, Young Adult

*Review* Asunder – Jodi Meadows

Asunder Cover Asunder (Newsoul #2)

Jodi Meadows

406 pages

ISBN: 9780062060785

Read 4-30-13

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

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DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

SHADOWS
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

LOVE
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

Jodi Meadows writes some of my favorite book scenes and she writes some of the best musical scenes!  I can almost hear the music swirling around me when I read those passages.  Her descriptions are really wonderful and magical; love it.  The first book was mostly very beautiful, but this book takes quite a different turn and is full of angry people and scenes that make me really angry, but it does show how ugly people really can be just because someone is different.

I really like Ana.  She is very strong and fights for whatever she believes in.  She has a good heart and wants the best for everyone, even after everything the people of Heart put her through.  Much of this book left me feeling very angry because how Ana is treated and it really made my blood boil.  I don’t like when people discriminate the way they do.  Sam is great also, I still love him and he is still one of my top book boyfriends.  He is just so amazingly sweet and loyal to Ana.  Dear Council, I hate you.

There were some interesting story twists along the way and I really can’t wait until the third book, which is sometime next year, and see how everything works out.  Religion is not something I seek out in a book, but I like how this book has a religious aspect without it being overkill.  This book is definitely easy to get yourself lost in and I didn’t want to put it down; it just really sucks you in.

Beautiful descriptions, bubbles emotion, great characters, didn’t want to put it down!

4.5 bookmark

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*Review* Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay Cover Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)

Suzanne Collins

390 pages

ISBN: 9780439023511

Read 4-1-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Kat, her family, friends, and entire District 12.

This was a very exciting ending to The Hunger Games trilogy!  This book had the most action in it of all three and several ups and downs.  There are things I liked and things I definitely think should have been different.  Katniss is as strong as ever and we can see at several points how hurt and traumatized she is from everything the Capitol has put her through.  President Snow is a disgusting man and I imagine him as a horrible snake that was transformed human since he has that kind of personality.

Peeta’s change is quite surprising and it really hurt my heart that he was so different, but with what happened to him, yeah I would be different, too.  There is just so much going on in this book!  Things getting blown up, people dying, more things getting blown up, disturbing Capitol bred creatures showing up, explosions and more dying.  There are not many slow points during this book.  My biggest complaint, though, would have to be the way the uprising ended.  It was a bit anticlimactic for me the way everything went down.  I was hoping it was going to build for this huge blow out, but it didn’t have the bang I wanted it to.

I know this book is going to be hard to watch on the big screen.  For those of you who have already read this book, you guys know what I’m talking about.  I’m glad they will be splitting Mockingjay into two movies, so hopefully they will get everything the way it should be.  I’m very excited for the movies and I really enjoyed this trilogy!

Action, hurt my heart, strong heroine, anticlimactic uprising.

4 bookmark

 

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*Review* Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire Cover Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)

Suzanne Collins

391 pages

ISBN: 9780439023498

Read 2-19-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn.

I loved the first book, and the second book was great, too.  There was a lot of action in the second half of the book and we get to see more of the menacing, evil President Snow in this one as well.

In the first book, I wasn’t crazy about Peeta and Katniss’ relationship since it was so forced and had no build, but they made up for it in Catching Fire and I am definitely Team Peeta.  Peeta is so protective of Katniss, and those of you who know how I am, know I am a sucker for protectors and he is definitely one of my book boyfriends.  For Katniss, we get to see how she has been affected by the trauma of being the arena.  She is plagued by terrifying nightmares and constant worry about President Snow and his threats.

The year’s Hunger Games is the third Quell and to mark the milestone, there is a horrible surprise in store.  It hurt my heart and made me so mad when I found out what it was and President Snow is a despicable person.  I really liked all the new faces when I met the past Hunger Games champions.  There were several intense moments during the second half of the book and I am so glad that I didn’t have to wait long to read the final book because of the way it ended.

Great new characters, evil President, loved Katniss and Peeta’s relationship, can’t wait for the movie!

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*Review* Pandemonium – Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium CoverLauren Oliver

375 pages

ISBN: 9780061978067

Read 12-27-12

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Lena joins the resistance effort against the oppressive government and fights for freedom.
After escaping from Portland, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community. Weak and grieving for Alex, Lena fights to survive. And then she fights her oppressors.
As the viewpoint shifts between Lena’s time in the Wilds and the present day, which is set in Brooklyn, Lena transforms into a warrior for the resistance. In New York City, the grass-roots movement for a Deliria-Free America (the DFA) is gathering strength, and its leader, Thomas Fineman, recruits more supporters by the day. His son Julian–as-yet uncured–heads up the DFA’s youth organization. Lena is tasked with blending into the DFA’s rallies; she seems to be a supporter yet she is really a spy.

I still find the concept of love being a disease a very interesting concept and  love how the author pulls it off!  I enjoyed the first book, but I think I actually enjoyed this one more because it had more action in it, where Delirium was more of a slow build.  Pandemonium jumps back and forth from what is happening now to when Lena was first out in the wilds.  I like how things connect and weave into each other from past and present.

I really liked the new relationships and characters that came in for this story.  I liked Julian better than Alex and Raven is an interesting character who I liked sometimes and wanted to blow up at other times.  There are some very heart breaking points in the book and few very slow points.  I enjoyed the ending (even if it was a cliffhanger) and I can’t wait to see what happens in Requiem (only 2 more months!).

Great characters, great writing, more action, a must read!

4.5 bookmark

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*Review* Renegade – J.A. Souders

 Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles #1)

J. A. Souders

364 pages

ISBN: 9780765332455

Read 11-24-12

Format: Paperback

Source: DAC ARC Tours

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Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb… and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

This book turned out to be quite a fast read and different than what I expected, though I am not sure exactly what it was that I expected.  Right in the first chapter I was dragged in and quite surprised by the way that first chapter ended.  The world of Elysium seems like it would be beautiful, serene and perfect.  The descriptions of Elysium were quite lovely and the action scenes were well written.

Evelyn was an interesting character and she went through quite a transformation from the start of the book to the end.  She had a strange fascination in the Surface and everything that came from there, and that is probably why there was an instant attraction to Gavin.  I think there relationship was sweet with the way Gavin cared about her and made sure she was okay and wanted to take care of her, but “I love you” shouldn’t be said within 2 or 3 days in my opinion, do it felt a bit rushed to me.

I liked Gavin and he looked out for Evelyn once she gained his trust, and there were a few funny and embarrassing scenes for him, which were quite fun to read.  And Mother is the one you love to hate; she is a horrible, horrible person.

I can’t wait to find out more secrets about Elysium and learn the truth.  There were a couple of things, like the nanobots, that I felt weren’t fully explained, but hopefully they will be in the next book.  I really like the way the book ended and I look forward to seeing how the latest issue is resolved.  Great debut, can’t wait for the next installment!

Beautiful descriptions, good action scenes, great characters, a bit of insta-love.

4 bookmark

 

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Filed under 4 Stars, Dystopian, Fiction, Review, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Starters – Lissa Price

 Starters

Lissa Price

352 pages

ISBN: 9780385742375

Read 9-1-12

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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 HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie’s only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie’s head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator’s grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

The plot of this book was so interesting, fresh, and creepy.  How weird would it be to sell your body, so that an old person could rent it from you and use it to do all the things they are no longer young enough to do.  Callie is a desperate Starter who very badly needs money for her sick brother and decides to go to Prime Destinations and sign herself up to rent her body. Continue reading

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Audiobook, Dystopian, Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Fever – Lauren Destefano

 Fever

 Lauren Destefano

341 pages

ISBN:  9781442409071

Read 5-29-12

Format: Hardcover

Source: Own

 

Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago – surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous – and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion…by any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price – now that she has more to lose than ever.

The second installment of the Chemical Garden trilogy picks up right where the first left off, and once it began, it truly jumps right in.  Gabriel and Rhine havea long hard road ahead of them for this book and you can’t help being riveted by their arduous journey.

First, let’s talk about the cover.  It’s amazing!  There are so many pieces that make up the cover of Feverand each piece is seen in the book, even the beautiful gold dress.  The cover of the first book is what had me wanting to read this novel in the first place.  I just can’t wait to see the cover for the final book, Sever.

There are some things I wish I could talk about, but I don’t want any massive spoilers on here, so I won’t, but there are a few characters my heart breaks for.  All of the characters of Fever are really well-written with strong personalities.  I hope things work out for many of the side characters.  This book actually has more than one character you’ll love to hate and it shows more of the ugliness a world in this kind of turmoil can gain.

There wasn’t a lot in this book for the main plot of the virus, but a lot of stuff is uncovered toward the end.  And the ending of this one?  Why must I wait so long for the next one??  And though there wasn’t much about the mainplot, it still wasn’t boring.  It kept pulling me along at a rapid pace to find out what was going to happen.  I can’t wait to see how this trilogy is going to wrap up.

I loved the imagery for all the different places we went for this book.  Everything was so detailed and each place had it’s own very different feeling.  The author did a wonderful job bringing to life the hallucinations as well.

Cliffhanger ending,fantastic descriptions,rougher places, wish it had a bit more for the main plot.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Dystopian, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

 The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

374 pages

ISBN: 9780439023481

Read 3-31-12

Source: Own

Format: Paperback

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?
     In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.

     I loved this book!  It was really good and my heart hurt for the world Katniss lives in.  It is such a horrible place if you live in the districts.  The districts are dingy, starving, and so life-draining for the most part, where as the Capitol is shiny and colorful.  Because of the rebellion from 74 years ago, the children of these districts are the ones having to pay the price for an ongoing punishment by the Capitol.  The Hunger Games are nightmarish and grueling.  This story is intense and there is few places in it that lack interest, if any.
Katniss was a great character, and you could feel her fear, but her bravery also at the different places in the book.  She is definitely a survivor!  Peeta is a very likeable character also and has a charming personality.  I loved Cinna and his calmness.  Between the movie and the book, Cinna is my favorite character transported to the screen.  Lenny Kravitz made an excellent Cinna, so cool and collected.
There is so much I can’t wait to see what happens for the next installment of this series, and also the next movie won’t get here fast enough!  The author’s writing is very straight and to the point, and the descriptions were great, especially at the hallucinations when she thought green pus was oozing everywhere (which still may or may not have happened).  This part may be weird, but did they not used the restroom the whole time they were in the arena?  I know it isn’t necessary to do a whole potty-scene, but there wasn’t even a mention of it.  If I didn’t have so many other books I needed to read this instant, Catching Fire would be the next one in my hand.

Action-packed, un-put-downable, great characters, great descriptions

The book is so full of action, and I probably would have been a lot more anxious if I hadn’t seen the movie first.  Now I am going to talk a little about the book to the big screen.

***Spoiler Alert***     If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, there are going to be spoilers here!!

I was pleased to notice there weren’t many HUGE differences.  They cut a couple characters, but luckily they were minor for this part of the story.  The thing I wanted to see the most though from the book to the movie that they didn’t have was the creatures at the end that were trying to get them and how they had been genetically altered from the tributes.  That gave me the shivers to know how far the Capitol goes and how very horrible they can be.  Not only do they make kids kills each other, but then they mess with their genes for creating creatures.
I did enjoy how they had the view point from in the arena and outside the arena during the games.  We got to see the reactions of the other districts, such as when Rue died (I gave myself a headache trying not to cry in the movie theater) and Gale’s expression when Katniss kisses Peeta.  Like I said previously, I loved Lenny Kravitz as Cinna!  The costumes in the capitol were amazing and WOW for the flaming costumes for the chariot ride.  Loved it and I can’t wait for the next one!!

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Action, Dystopian, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult