Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver >> Readdicted Review

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delirium

Title:  Requiem (Delirium #3)

Author:  Lauren Oliver

Genre:  YA Dystopian

Goodreads Book Summary:

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.

Rating: 4 Stars

MY REVIEW:

I like to judge a book based on a wide range of factors.  Initially, it’s the cover.  I’m very judgy, very visual, and I won’t read something with a terrible cover.  Just can’t.  And then there’s the hype.  I try not to find out anything about upcoming books….I HATE spoilers (which is why my reviews are rockin’…who wants to read an extra synopsis that tells you every plot point?), but the hype that is generated gives me a level going into the book.  Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes it isn’t.  If the book can’t live up to it, then it definitely hurts my opinion.  Part of that is what people say, and part of it is the marketing stuff released before the book, especially the blurb.  Blurbs, my friends, are wonderful.

Well, I wasn’t super thrilled with book #2…….but it did leave on in a place where I was very excited to read the conclusion.

Okay, first I will going into this objectively.  The plot was well thought out and paced.  I am a big fan of Lauren Oliver’s writing, so I enjoyed every page in that respect.  The words themselves.  She has a knack for descriptive writing, but at the same time, it’s like she has a magic knife that takes out all the unnecessary so the story isn’t bogged down with details.  For me, it’s perfecto.

The dialogue was great, it felt real.  I felt more connected to the supporting characters than I had before.  The voices of the characters, because this book switches back and forth between Lena and Hana, were authentic.  Even though the other books were written this way, I loved it.  They are in such separate worlds, it gives the reader widely contrasted views of what is going on.  Yet, you can feel their worlds coming together, slowly, slowly, and then altogether quickly.  I could barely catch my breath.

Now, on to my issues.  They are small.  Let’s go from smallest to biggest.  The timeline jumped around a tiny bit.  Sometimes Hana would be ahead of Lena, then the other way around.  It became very noticeable to me at the end.  However, it worked very well, so it’s hard to criticize it.  If I was writing it, I don’t know if I could have done it…something about the perfectionist in me.  Oliver goes back and forth between Lena and Hana, every chapter alternates, so it just seemed a little weird.

Another small issue was that Julian was like a non-character.  He just seemed so passive, but then he was actually doing a lot outside of Lena’s radar….she just wasn’t noticing anything.  It drove me crazy…especially by the end, because everything just kind of gets dropped…but I can’t go more into it than that.

BIG ISSUE: the ending.  A couple of things, actually.  The story itself ended perfectly for me.  I loved the feeling of the end.  But then the author goes into a different perspective, so you feel awkward, like she is actually talking to you, and it’s a Large Truth that she is dropping on you, urging you into action.  I wasn’t sure of the point (however I like the idea).

The worst thing about it all, was that I kept thinking there was going to be more.  The ending was perfectly set up for an epilogue, but it just ended.  I was left not knowing anything.  The story was just getting started, and it ended.  There could have been another book, seriously.  It wasn’t good.  So that left me unsettled, which is a darn shame because I had just been feeling pretty good.  Good >> Awkward >> That’s it?  Not a good way to end a book that has a good ending…WHAT DID I MISS?

So a big loss of a star there.  Part of me wants to drop it more, but I liked the book, I liked the writing, and so I am torn.  Four stars seems like a good compromise.  It brought the series back up for me…not as high as the first book, but I enjoyed it more than book two.  It’s worth reading, and the series is definitely worth reading.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer >> Readdicted Review

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Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer YA book review

Title:  Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)

Author:  Marissa Meyer

Genre:  YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Futuristic

Goodreads Book Summary:

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Rating: 5 Stars

MY REVIEW:

Ah.  I loved this book.  Sometimes, I want to dive into a fairy tale.  Most of the time, that means at a cost…of believability, of depth of character, there’s usually something.  But with Meyer’s writing, I’m able to lose myself in a rich world full of possibility.  The characters are unique, and the story is wonderful.  Although Scarlet is about a different character and Cinder has a much smaller role, the story didn’t lose it’s heart, and I loved it from beginning to end.

How about Marissa Meyer just writes all the books from now on, yes?

Kidding.  Kind of.  But only because it’s impossible.

Most of the book has new characters.  The classics: Scarlet (love), Grandma (love), Wolf (drool).  And Mr. Carswell Thorne as well, who manages to luck out and cross paths with Cinder as she’s breaking out of jail.  Well he’s a hoot and a half, and they are quite the team.  Sadly, not much of Kai in this book, but that’s okay, because I know it’s coming, and the anticipation is tasty.

Meyer is crafty.  Somehow (magic, I assume), she manages to take these classic fairy tales and weave them into this full dystopian world that is both realistic and fantastic at the same time.  It all comes together.  The tales do not lose their charm, and the story is enriched because of them.  When I first heard about these books, I thought, “Oh joy…more redo’s of fairy tales.  Like that hasn’t been done before.  Bleh.”

I was DEAD WRONG.  So glad I gave them a chance!

Everything was dead on: writing style, characters, setting, plot, even the book covers are beautiful.  So I leave you with a very full 5 stars for this book, as I sit and wait, quite impatiently, for Cress.

Obviously, I highly recommend this series to anyone with both a brain and a heart.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth >> Readdicted Review

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young adult book review

Title: Allegiant (Divergent #3)

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Goodreads Book Summary:  

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Rating: 3 Stars

MY REVIEW:

Oh my lands ho this book took me on a roller coaster ride.  Even though I wasn’t entirely pleased with Insurgent, I couldn’t help but dive right into Allegiant.  I wanted to know what was going to happen, and how on earth the whole series could end with one book.

I was sorely disappointed.

It seems my biggest problem with Insurgent (spoiler-ish: a disproportional number of Tris’s friends and acquaintances die horrible deaths) continues throughout Allegiant, even though there aren’t many people left.  Okay, definitely not as many people die, but if you talk percentages…it all seems quite pointless.  Maybe that’s the point.  But it’s just not that kind of book.

I felt a little like Ms. Roth wanted to one-up the ending of Mockingjay by Ms. Collins.  Well, if that’s her goal, then success.  She definitely took it a step farther.  Except…

Except no feelings were invoked.  Instead of being full of wrath or sadness or even joy, I had already become numb to the book.  I was reading quickly because I wanted to know how it would end, but I was already left disconnected by the setting changes and the point-of-view switching.

Speaking of…

The first two books are from Tris’s point of view, first person.  So when Four is suddenly thrown into the mix, but they are still interacting, I found myself confused often when reading from Four’s perspective.  I’d be halfway through a chapter of his before realizing it had switched.  It disrupted my reading experience, it did not enhance it.  But it is imperative that she does this in order to end the book in the way that she chose….and I will say no more.

So.  While the writing is engaging and well-done and the characters are interesting, I found myself very disappointed that the series went in this direction.  If you have read the first two, of course you will want to read this book to finish the series.  It’s not that bad.  But.

I would not recommend this series to a friend.  I’d tell them to pass it by.  There are enough interesting YA books out there to pass this one up.  And the movie will just be a movie to them.  They won’t have to get mad at the details left out.  Instead they can just enjoy it for what it is, and leave it at that.  Invest your time and love elsewhere.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore >> Readdicted Review by Katie

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Graceling young adult fantasy book

Title: Graceling

(Graceling Realm #1)

Author: Kristin Cashore

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Goodreads Book Summary:  In the Seven Kingdoms, people born with an extreme skill, “Grace”, are feared and exploited. Katsa herself despises hers, killing. Her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, commands her to punish and torture his enemies. Prince Po, with combat skills, becomes her friend, and she learns terrible truths about her Grace and a secret hidden far away that could destroy the realm.

Rating: 4 Stars

MY REVIEW:

This book was quite the switch-up from the Under the Never Sky series. I have to say that Kristin Cashore is an incredibly talented writer. I was pulled into this story, despite it’s zoomed out point of view, and couldn’t put it down. The plot-line is intriguing and complex. I loved not knowing exactly what would happen. The characters are rich and well-thought out and they stay true to themselves, even in their growth.

I would recommend this book to readers ages 15+. There are a few things, violent and sexual, that is inappropriate for younger readers, and it surprises me how much this book is marketed as a children’s book because of that. Well, that and I don’t really see children enjoying it much.

Also, there’s a map, and I love maps in books! LOVE them!

Our main character is quite different from most, she isn’t relatable.  She’s hard on herself, but not emotional.  She is highly skilled, and it takes a long time for us to see her true character.  I like that she changed as the book went along, she grew and matured, but at the same time, she never broke character.  She never acted outside herself.  She was Katsa, through and through.  The adventures she goes through keep you reading from page one through the end.

Oh yeah, and I’m pretty sure you’ll love Po.  He’s the kind of male character I find myself drooling over, and then wiping the book clean.  Oops.

This book is the first in a trilogy of sorts.  It’s thrilling and the world Kristin Cashore creates is believable and real.  It kind of reminds me of a middle-earth type world, like something that could possibly be very far in our past, if you let yourself pretend.

Prodigy by Marie Lu >> Readdicted Review

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Readdicted Review of Prodigy by Marie Lu

Title:  Prodigy (Legend #2)

Author: Marie Lu

Genre: YA Dystopian

Goodreads Book Summary:

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

Rating: 5 Stars

REVIEW

When I read Legend, I fell in love with it.  I rated it 5 stars.  Everything was so well thought out and the world Marie Lu creates is vivid and realistic.  I just wanted to know more!  Well, this book gave me more.  So much more.  The map at the beginning is awesome.  I want to see world maps, know more about the world and the flooding.  It’s all so fascinating.  The action kept me moving, wanting the book to come to the conclusion I could see coming.

Then something strange happened.  The climax was not the end.  The book continued, building toward another ending.  I didn’t know what was coming, or how to react.  I am used to most books following a similar pattern.  I was thrown off course.  My characters continued down a new path, and then that path concluded.  And I was still left in mystery, because it again kept going.  The ending was long, and I was afraid to finish, not knowing why there were still letters to read and pages to turn.

However different this book is, it’s not bad.  Different is good!  How many times have I lamented because I wanted a book to keep going and give me more of the story?  Pretty much every book I’ve ever loved.  This book gave me what I long for.

And all in all, this book was fantastic.  It was so much more than Legend, and better for it.  And while the ending had me weeping and sure there would be no more books because it just ended so much like a good novel can, it felt like it couldn’t be over.  What’s a two part book series?  If that was the case, Prodigy could have been split into two books and expanded on.  I felt like there must be more to the story.  It seems that the third installment, Champion, will be released next year.  I am glad it ended like it did.  I’m glad that I have hope for the next book, but I’m also not going crazy with anticipation, hating that I read it right when it was published.  This book ended, this part of the story concluded.  It didn’t leave me hanging, but there are definitely some things that I want to know and I will read Champion as soon as it is released next year.

I highly recommend this book and this series.  It is dystopian fiction at its best.

COVER

This cover fits the book perfectly.  It’s functional, and reminds me a lot of what it might look like if June designed it.  Simple and gets the point across.  But it’s also gorgeous in it’s minimalist way.  I like this cover so much better than Legend.  Legend was too metallic for me, I didn’t like the sheen.  I know.  Pick pick pick.  This is great though!  I can’t wait to move and unpack and put all my books on my shelves!

THE FUN STUFF

This is one of the best book trailers I’ve ever seen….even though I don’t picture June like that and I wanted to see Day’s hair.  If you are still wavering at all about this book or this series, watch it here.
There’s also a game based on Legend….cool!  Click here to check out the fb page.  I have been around the page, but I haven’t played it, so if you have, leave a comment!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer >> Readdicted Review by Katie

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Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) Book Review

Title:  Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Futuristic

Goodreads Book Summary:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Rating: 5 Stars

REVIEW

Cinder is a cyborg, a girl that in the past had an accident that damaged so much of her body that much of her is robotic.  She even has wiring in her brain and can see the news in her vision.  She lives in the future.  Far in the future.  The earth has been at peace for a long time, separated into basically continental subdivisions, and thousands are dying from a deadly plague that no one can find a cure for.  And then there’s another group of people.  They live on the moon.  They have evolved on the moon.  And their queen can control minds.

I loved this story about Cinder.  Her character is unique and so believable.  Her frustrations became my own, and her admiration for Prince Kai also became my own.  I want to see this as a movie!  The pacing is awesome.  While the setting is New Beijing and considerably different than the way we know things today, Meyer describes it and moves on.  Not too much description to bog down the story, just enough that the reader can envision Cinder running through the streets with her android Iko trailing behind. There were some obvious things, the stepsisters and stepmother, the pumpkin, the prince, the ball…..but really, this story has its own life and was told beautifully.  Meyer added in cultural details that enriched the story, and the dialogue was fantastic.  I can’t recommend this book enough!

COVER

I loved the cover!  After reading it, however, I’m left questioning it a little (I don’t really want to tell you why…SPOILERS!)….and yet it is beautiful.  And it portrays the metal leg of Cinder, alluding to what she dreams it could be.  That she could be.  I wanted this book because it is completely re-readable.  Multiple times.  And I wanted it because of the cover.  Gorgeous!  It looks fantastic on a bookshelf.  Sexy.  Love it.

THE FUN STUFF

Here’s another book trailer for you!  While it isn’t the best one I’ve seen, it’s well-made and it’s cool to see a visualization of the two main characters.  If this book doesn’t get made into a movie, I’ll cry.

Across The Universe by Beth Revis >> Readdicted Review

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Across The Universe Book Review

Title:  Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1)

Author: Beth Revis

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Space/Adventure

Goodreads Book Summary: 

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

REVIEW

I thought this book was intriguing.  The complex world Beth Revis creates is so futuristic, and yet it contrasts with the agrarian lifestyle the people have to have to keep their culture as well as survive on their mammoth ship floating in space.  Amy’s story is unique.  She’s a great female character, possibly a bit mainstream and not really unique in many ways, but that’s not a bad thing.  Most people are mostly normal.  Ya know?  Ender’s character goes through a great amount of transformation as he learns more and more truth.  This book, as with the whole trilogy, is centered around lies and the problems keeping deep secrets can create.  While at first I thought I wasn’t completely thrilled with this book, I couldn’t put it down.  I don’t think I loved Amy as much as some other characters in other books I have read, but she is a strong female lead, and she thinks for herself and has a strong desire to survive and uncover the truth.  I love the development of the relationship between Amy and Elder, and how they aren’t always with each other.  The other characters in the book were very eccentric and gave the story great depth.

My biggest issue is the POV.  The author writes in first person, and each chapter is either Amy or Elder.  It switches like clockwork, Amy, Elder, Amy, Elder…..but sometimes I found myself wondering which head I was in, and I would have to check or look for clues.  Overall, it wasn’t a big problem, just an annoyance.  There are some parts that are stark, raw, and a little shocking.  Things I wasn’t expecting and made me react.  Things like that may not be enjoyable, but getting a reaction like that (and not just for fun, but for a reason) is a sign that the author isn’t afraid of censoring herself, but sees the world she has created as though it is real, and she is telling it like it is.  Probably not appropriate for under 13, at least.  But it’s not too bad…don’t let that be the only thing that stops you from reading it.  If you are wondering about this series for your teens, just read it first.  Across the Universe is a great read and I definitely want this beautiful hardcover on my shelf!

COVER

I love love love this cover.  This might be one of my top 5 favorite covers of all time.  Simply gorgeous.  Stars, colors, profiles, the haunting words that leave you wondering what it could mean…so so good.  I would rate this cover an elusive 6 on our 5 star scale….yeah, I love it that much!

THE FUN STUFF

Here’s a link to the book trailer by PenguinBooks.  It’s nothing too exciting, but the excerpt from the book they chose as the narration is haunting.  One of the first reasons I couldn’t put this book down was this part.  Well-written, raw, and emotional, and interesting…raised questions that no one had answers too.  Anyway, check it out if you’d like, there are no spoilers and it well-made and visually very nice.

Readdicted Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

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Title: Article 5

Author: Kristen Simmons

Genre: YA Dystopian Fiction

Goodreads Book Summary:

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don’t come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Rating:  4 Stars

REVIEW

This is yet another dystopian fiction young adult book, destined to be a series.  Probably a trilogy.  But you know what?  I am TOTALLY okay with that.  The world the author creates is not the same, despite definitely following the rules for a dystopian society.  Ember and Chase are the two main characters.  The story is told from Ember’s point of view.  The story gets going right away, without giving the reader a chance to get to know the characters.  Because of this, I didn’t feel like I understood what was going on with Chase in this opening scene, and why it was important.  There were other characters that seemed like they might come up again, but too many to keep track of because I still didn’t know my main characters yet.  However, I loved how the author unfolded the love story between the two, going between their past and the present.  She started the series right in the middle of their story.

The layout of the book is different, both in how and when action occurs, and how often.  What happens is a surprise and you end up having no idea what will happen next because of this.  Also, the author jumps right in to the story, as though she is skipping a lot of boring stuff that she can detail later throughout the book.  I liked that a lot.  It takes place all over the eastern part of a future U.S. right after a World War III.

Mostly I really liked this book.  But I never became emotionally connected with it, unlike Connie (read her review here), and so for me the book was just okay.  I’m not sure how much I love the characters or what happens.  It all just seemed to go by in a blur.  It is a quick paced book, which is really good.  The setting changed so much that the reader doesn’t really get that stability.  Which is ok, because they characters are traveling.  While the backstory is wonderful and the characters did seem real to me, I still felt like they could have used more work and that the dialogue could have drawn me in better.  All in all, this is a great read and I definitely recommend it.  Especially for lovers of: The Matched Trilogy; The Hunger Games Trilogy; and Delirium and Pandemonium.

COVER

I really like this cover.  Totally head over heals in like with it.  It’s not pretty, but it’s not supposed to be.  So it works.  And HELLO FLANNEL!  I love flannel.  That’s seriously the first thing that drew me to this book.  And at least 72% of why I read it.  The other 28% was Connie not leaving me alone until I read it because she loved it oh so much.

FUN STUFF

Book #2, Breaking Point, will be released on Feb. 2, 2013.  Check out the synopsis on Goodreads here, and make sure you check out Connie’s review which links to the Moral Statutes from the book.  And of course, here’s a link to a book trailer.  Gotta love those!

Readdicted Review: The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter

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Title:  The Goddess Test

Authors:  Aimée Carter

Genre: YA Fiction/Mythology

Goodreads Book Summary:

EVERY GIRL WHO HAS TAKEN THE TEST HAS DIED.

NOW IT’S KATE’S TURN.

It’s always been just Kate and her mom–and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld–and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy–until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she suceeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride and a goddess.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

REVIEW

I always find it strange when authors pick a place, such as Michigan, for the home of a god (or other larger than life type of character).  A tethered spot for the underworld.  I guess it has to be somewhere, but it just strikes me strange when that kind of thing happens.  Kate’s whole life prior to chapter one takes place in New York City and I wish we got to see more of that, since it does have a place in her dreams and in her memories.  All we really see is Central Park though.  I also love wide open country, and I wish she would have described it more, and how it made the character feel.  The house, Eden Manor, I just couldn’t picture it.  The author only really describes it in detail when Kate first goes there.  And I couldn’t get over the sense of gaudy, ornate, over-done-ness that some rich person would do to their house to make people really really KNOW that they are super rich.  I didn’t get a sense of tasteful decor, and it influenced my opinion of the other characters before I had even met them.  Kate is the main character.  She comes to find out that she has a choice to make, and it is a selfish one if you ask me, but she makes it and I’m not sure if I would’ve done differently.

I did like this book, so I gave it 3.5 stars, because I wasn’t completely neutral about it.  The problem was in the writing.  It just needed more work.  It kind of reminded me of when I write something, and then go over it once or twice.  A fantastic piece of fiction should be worked on, really thought about.  So even though the story is interesting enough, even if it is far-fetched (hey, it’s supernatural YA fiction and I love it), I had a hard time getting past the sketchy writing.  It isn’t horrible, it is cliché.  It is derivative.  It is not original, and a lot of times the author does this thing that in my mind I call a cop-out.  Where she zooms out and just tells us what happens, instead of taking us into moments.  She skips long periods of time and just gives an overview.  Maybe the book just wouldn’t have been interesting, and maybe it would have slowed it way down to give more detail, but a good author wouldn’t have had that problem.  Still, I will read the next book.  I will not read this one again, although if you like mythology, I would recommend.  If you are just a fan of YA fiction, I would say read at your own risk.  Whether or not you will like it depends on how much you pay attention to the writing and tiny annoying things that don’t really make sense but are completely ignorable.  I got hung up in the middle, but after I passed the swell of kind of boring things in the middle, I got back into it and finished the last, oh I don’t know half to third, in one sitting.

COVER

The cover is beautiful, although the expression of the model is really strange.  She is so beautiful, but it looks like she fell down, and just. can’t. get. up.  And doesn’t really care about anything.  I love the earthiness and all the green around her.  Makes me long for summer.  One thing that drove me the heck crazy was the Conflicting Ornate Things.  The embellishments on the font are beautiful.  The cover has a texture on it that is really cool, almost like Victorian wallpaper, but subtle.  The chapter headings have little designs that, by themselves, would be interesting and pretty.  My problem is that they all clash with each other.  Drove me nuts every time I picked up the book.  It would have been better if I had read this as an ebook.

FOR FUN

Here’s a link to the author’s twitter.  She’s pretty active on there, so follow her and while you’re at it, follow us too!

Readdicted Review: Matched by Ally Condie

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Readdicted Reviewers

Title:  Matched (Matched #1)

Author: Ally Condie

Genre: YA Fiction (Futuristic)

Goodreads Book Summary:

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Rating: 4 Stars

REVIEW

So it wasn’t exactly the same as Hunger Games or Delirium…etc. type of books, but there are a lot of similarities.  The world society is utopian, although somehow it reads very similar to dystopian books.  There is a parallel there.  This futuristic utopian society, in which everyone’s basic needs are cared for, is also one in which your basic rights are taken away.  Cassia is a teenage girl at the brink of adulthood and she has to make a choice between doing what is expected and breaking the cycle.  This is the same as a lot of books.  And unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot distinguishing it…not a lot in the book making it super unique.  Therefore, the book doesn’t stand out.

I love Ally Condie’s writing style.  It’s lyrical, evenly paced, and enjoyable.  The book moved at a good pace and I loved watching Ky and Cassia fall for each other in their stolen moments.  Xander was a great constant character for book one.  He was the one Cassia could always fall back on, her childhood friend.  And it seems that he is an open book and not hiding a thing.  His character is easy to understand, and he doesn’t seem to question anything.  On the other hand, Ky was a very interesting character for me, and one of the main reasons I wanted to keep reading the series was to find out more about him.  I enjoyed Cassia’s personality, I never found her annoying.  She goes through the same-old growth from point A to point B that many main characters in YA fiction do, but I liked reading it and watching it unfold.  It’s not like this book is something grand, or something mind bending.  It won’t change society, or solve world peace.  It is meant for entertainment, and I was thoroughly entertained by it.

I definitely recommend this book for people who love the writing style of Maggie Stiefvater.  I read a lot of bad reviews of this book, and I would just tell you that if this book sounds interesting to you, read it.  The pace isn’t furious, but it isn’t slow.  It is well-written, and the world is well-developed.  I gave it 4 stars, but I’m telling you it did not disappoint me at all and I definitely want to own this series.

COVER

I’d be lying if the cover isn’t what made me come back to this book time and time again.  The release of Matched coincided with me purchasing a Nook, and the ebook was a couple bucks more than all the other books on my to-read list, so I kept putting it off.  The ratings were also just a tad lower.  But this cover is pretty, and symbolic, and clean and simple.  Finally, I gave the book a try, and I’m very glad I did.

FOR FUN

Disney won the movie rights for Matched, which could be interesting if it amounts to anything.  Go here to see the official book trailer.  Go here to see an unofficial, fan-made trailer made of a bunch of clips from random movies and shows that actually works out pretty well.  (Just goes to show that music can make anything awesome)