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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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

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Readdicted Review: The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

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Title: The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

Genre: YA Mystery Thriller

Goodreads Summary:

Penelope (Lo) Marin has always loved to collect beautiful things. Her dad’s consulting job means she’s grown up moving from one rundown city to the next, and she’s learned to cope by collecting (sometimes even stealing) quirky trinkets and souvenirs in each new place—possessions that allow her to feel at least some semblance of home.

But in the year since her brother Oren’s death, Lo’s hoarding has blossomed into a full-blown, potentially dangerous obsession. She discovers a beautiful, antique butterfly pendant during a routine scour at a weekend flea market, and recognizes it as having been stolen from the home of a recently murdered girl known only as “Sapphire”—a girl just a few years older than Lo. As usual when Lo begins to obsess over something, she can’t get the murder out of her mind.

As she attempts to piece together the mysterious “butterfly clues,” with the unlikely help of a street artist named Flynt, Lo quickly finds herself caught up in a seedy, violent underworld much closer to home than she ever imagined—a world, she’ll ultimately discover, that could hold the key to her brother’s tragic death.

Rating: 3 Stars

This mystery who-done-it story was the first novel written by author Kate Ellison. Before my review, I must say that Kate’s writing is unique, beautiful, and perfectly descriptive.  Each setting within each scene came alive without her overdoing it.  Many authors go on and on for paragraphs about what things look like and so on, and tend to lose me.  I love being absorbed into the settings of the books I read, but it is a very hard balance to achieve.  Too much and it seems like the author is droning on and on and seems fake.  Too little and the reader can’t feel like they are living within the story.  Kate, to me, has mastered the act of saying just enough.  In just a few sentences I feel as if I am there myself.  She also knows how to show and not tell!  Another problem I have with authors is when they are always saying: “She felt sad”   “I am so angry”  “She had never been so happy”.  I mean, yeah that’s great, but it is so much better to show that feeling.  Kate has seemed to be able to use your first person POV of the main character “Lo” along with the setting surrounding her to show what she is feeling.  Kate’s great writing starts at the very beginning of the book, and is honestly the main reason why I picked it up at the library.  Even though I didn’t love-love this story, I will probably always pick up anything written by this author.  Now, on to the review!

Who were the Characters? 

I must say that I have NEVER read characters like these.  It is SO refreshing to read a YA female protagonist that isn’t all dramatic and weepy.  The main character you follow is a girl named Penelope or “Lo”.  What made this character so different was that Lo had OCD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  When I started reading I thought that her OCD would be what the story would be about.  But to my surprise, although her problem is a constant throughout and interwoven in the story, the plot didn’t surround her Disorder.  It was written artistically as a character trait that influenced many aspects of the main characters life.  The murder mystery and other events that occurred during the story illustrated the disorder well without this seeming like a self-help book.  Even though it was Lo’s OCD that influenced her pursuit of the murder mystery, this book was written not as a book about OCD, but as a murder mystery that sheds some light on living with OCD.  The first would be easy to write, strictly upfront with dramatic and emotional scenes.  The second, involving OCD within a bigger story takes much more ability of showing and not telling, as discussed before.  The author wrote Lo’s compulsions perfectly so each time Lo had to perform one of these it felt real and honest.  You could feel the main characters need beyond all else to perform these compulsions.  I can see how exhausting and frustrating it must be to have to live with this disorder.

The only other real character in the story is Flynt, the homeless artist love interest.  As a reader, I want to not only see the main character fall for the boy, but I want to fall for him also!  And I just didn’t like Flynt that much.  Yeah, he was kind and sweet, but he was also guarded and had too many mood swings.  You do learn a little about how and why he became homeless, but I still feel lost as to who he was.  He never felt like more than a caring stranger to me.  It always felt a little odd that Lo spent so much time with him.  He is not the most honest and to me just feels sort of spotty.  Honestly, if it were me I wouldn’t trust him.  Not because he is homeless, but because I just thought he was a little creepy acting.  Yes, he was drastically different from any other male love interest in YA, but he just wasn’t my thing.  I can’t really say more without revealing some of the plot, so that’s all I will say.

The third, sort of character is Sapphire, the murdered stripper.  The murder mystery surrounding her just wasn’t enough.  I saw everything coming, which was why the story got only three stars.  I also feel as if the author could have led us to get to know Sapphire and who she was much more.  It was almost there, but just not quite.  I feel the parallel between the main character and Sapphire could have been used so much more.  I would have loved to feel like I not only know Lo by the end, but also Sapphire.

What was similar?

The murder mystery plot was quite similar to other stories of this type.  I hate to say it, but I saw every turn coming even from the beginning of the story.  The limited number of characters left really no options as to who could have done it.  It was quite obvious to me throughout the book.  For me, the similarity and predictability of the plot is where this book was lacking.  Which is so frustrating to me, because the author could write so beautifully!  I tried so hard to not predict what was going to happen, but I found myself getting so bored and sleepy because of it!

What was different?

The characters and the writing discussed above were the main differences in the story.  Both were so refreshing and creative.

Where was the setting?

The story takes place in Cleveland.  The author shows the realistic differences between the good parts of Cleveland, where the main character lives, to the bad parts of Cleveland, where the main character visits.

When did this story take place?

Contemporary.  The whole plot seems to happen very fast and in not along period of time.

Why did I like/dislike it?

Obviously, I loved the artistic writing of the author, but was very bored with the plot.  I wanted to like this story more so badly, but just couldn’t give it more than three stars.  The author’s  beautiful writing was the redeeming quality, but I just wanted more.  To me, this book is definitely one that I am glad I didn’t buy and just got from the library.  The cover is awesome, but I would probably never reread this.  Although I didn’t love this book, I can’t wait to read something else by Kate Ellison.

Review by Connie

Readdicted Review: A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

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Title: A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Summary:

Whitley Johnson’s dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She’s just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée’s son? Whitley’s one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin’ great.

Worse, she totally doesn’t fit in with her dad’s perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn’t even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she’s ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn’t “do” friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn’t her stepbrother…at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.

Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger’s most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.

Rating: 3 Stars

I went into this read thinking I was going to love it, as I have read The DUFF (review to come), and absolutely loved it.  The writing was not beautiful and well-expressed like other novels such as, Wither, but instead was cute, bubbly, and refreshing.  I usually read a contemp book every couple reads, just to get my mind back on track from reading the more serious, complex dystopian and paranormal.  There isn’t much that could make me not love a contemporary romance such as this, but Keplinger seemed to manage it this time.  My problem?  I did not fall in love with the characters.  I felt no real connection even when the deeper scenes happened.  It wasn’t horrible to read, just isn’t a book I will reread or buy.

Who were the Characters? 

The main character was a cynical, rude, sharp-witted girl named Whitley.  My issue with this character is that there really wasn’t any redeeming qualities about her.  She was slutty, always angry, and snotty.  She did become friends with the other main characters in the story:  her goody-goody (with a history) future step brother, and tag-a-long future step sister Bailey, as well as the gay best friend Harrison.  Whitley is a character I would probably never be friends with or approach in real life, as she was UNAPPROACHABLE.  I don’t see why I would want to read a character like this.  The typical “there’s a reason she’s the way she is” happened in this story, and although her situation did suck, I couldn’t help but think “Oh, boo hoo” and not care that much. 

Another issue I had was that the other characters who I actually liked and wanted to know more about – Nathan and Harrison – the readers don’t get to know much about.  The author  just skimmed the surface of these characters.  Everything in this book just seemed superficial.

What was different?

Honestly, not much.  It was the typical YA “I’m a bad girl with an issue” contemporary.  It was basic and plain, with no extra frills.  I don’t necessarily hate the idea of an author writing a basic story, but if it is done I need to love something else about the story – the characters, the setting, the relationships.  But none of these were significant enough to make me more than just shrug when someone asks if I liked this book.

The only difference from other stories was the fact that the love interest was the step-brother.  This could have been heavily played upon to create a more “forbidden love” aspect to the story, but yet again it was not used to the author’s advantage.

What was similar?

Everything. The setting, the characters, the plot.  Although unoriginal and uneventful, I still didn’t absolutely hate the read though. 

Where was the setting?

Same place as the DUFF I believe, wherever that is.  I can’t remember.

When did this story take place?

Again, contemporary story.  Takes place during the summer before the main characters goes off to college.

Why did I like/dislike it?

Overall, I only gave this story 3 stars as I felt it was unnecessarily over sexed.  Yes, The DUFF also is all about teen sexuality, but it is explained, fits in with the story, and understandable.  The DUFF tackled the difficult subject with humor, character progression, and reason.  This book just seemed forced, as though the author is trying to repeat the success of The DUFF.  To make it more believable, perhaps the author could have added more depth to the character of Whitley.  When the traumatic events occurred in the book, she cared, but not that much.  Her “aha!” moment was underwhelming.  Her reasoning for why she was the way she was just felt sort of blah to me.   The story was not unreadable, but it also was not without its flaws.  It was truly just “okay”.

Review by Connie

 

Readdicted Review: Incarnate (Newsoul #1) by Jodi Meadows

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Title: Incarnate (Newsoul #1) by Jodi Meadows

Genre: YA Dystopian Paranormal Romance

Goodreads Summary:

New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Heart

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

Rating: 4 Stars

Who were the Characters? 

First of all, let me just say how BEAUTIFUL that cover is.  Like O.M.G.  Love it.  Okay, so there are two main characters of this book, first the caring, heartfelt, and confident Sam and second the gutsy, brave because she has to be, and vulnerable because she’s alone protagonist Ana.

I loved the character of Ana very much.  I feel like many people could relate to her.  She feels very alone, since she is literally the only one of her kind a “newsoul”.  Her life is sort of tragic, with a mother who hates her and abuses her, which leads Ana to also have a very self-deprecating trait about her.  She is constantly putting herself down and calling herself “no soul”.  Not because she is like other YA female characters who basically normal, but are all boo-hooing, but because she was actually raised to believe all these horrible things about herself.  It was a beautifully tragic aspect of her character.  Ana is all great things that a protagonist should be – brave, outspoken, beautiful, eager for knowledge, but does have this one flaw.  In that way, I think the character was very well-developed.

Sam, is also a great character.  Honestly, with most YA male characters I rate them on whether they were swoon-worthy or not.  Sam, is not very swoon-worthy to me, but I totally like him with Ana.  I guess I just wasn’t drawn to him, which is weird.  He is musical, wise, and beyond caring.  He also has his own faults, which manifest through his fears throughout the book.  I guess I just found it a bit ircky and weird that he had been not only a he, but a she many times through the reincarnations.  The only reason this bothered me was because he seemed very masculine, strong, and confident, but not very feminine.  You’d think since he is so wise and smart due to all his past reincarnations, that the feminine traits would show strongly while he was a man, and the masculine traits would show strongly if he were a woman.  I guess, after thousands of years living as both sexes, I would think everyone in Heart would be sort of genderless.  I don’t know, I guess this is a part of the book that I just don’t think is explained enough.

What was different?

The entire world is immensely different.  It seems like it is dystopian from Ana’s view, but Utopian from all of the citizens of heart.  I found the world intriguing, but limited.  The only city we found out about was Heart.  Is it possible that in this entire world there is only one population in one city?  I just found that hard to believe.  Although the world did have this flaw, I did find it beautiful.  It was so NOT cookie cutter YA dystopian.  It was so out there, almost like an alien world.  There were fantastical creatures too, like dragon and fire creatures called Slyph.  I feel like this world has many possibilities to build on through the series, which I hope the author keeps doing.  I really hope that in the rest of the series we are not just always stuck in the city of Heart.  What is beyond its borders?  Such a mystery.

The plot was also different.  It didn’t have the normal big moments that are expected to carry a plot on like other reads.  Instead, it seemed like the character progression, relationships, and gained knowledge moved the story.  As the world opened up to you, bit by bit, like an opening flower.  I think many people could get stuck with this kind of plot, and get bored easily.  I think the reader has to be able to acknowledge good writing and appreciate this different world.

What was similar?

I can’t think of much that was similar, honestly.  This book was so different and out of the ordinary.  It was as beautiful as its cover.  If I had to say one thing that was similar, I would say the masquerade ball scene.  It was what the book was building up to, so it was slightly predictable.  This type of ball is very common in YA books and authors using it for a plot twist.  In this book, I didn’t really mind that it was predictable, because I was looking forward to it so much.  I couldn’t wait to hear about what everyone was wearing, as the fashion is quite different.  There is also a very hot scene within the whole masquerade ball scene. The ball was one of my favorite scenes of the book.

Where was the setting?

The setting was in a world were the city of Heart is where all the inhabitants live.  Those who live outside it are seen as outcasts, usually.  Outside its walls there are many deadly creatures roaming around.  The city itself as a setting is very well explained throughout the book.  I think this is one of the books strong points.  From the fashion, to the rules, to their god Janan, and to the wall’s heartbeat, it was a well-developed world.  This type of world I think could have been very cheesy, but the author avoided that very well.

When did this story take place?

I am actually not quite sure.  This is not like a post-apocalyptic world where the world used to be normal.  This is a completely different universe, but the speech is contemporary, while much of the fashion is parts of the books is a bit futuristic.  It seems like the world is a mix of old, current, and new.

Why did I like/dislike it?

Overall, I only gave this book a 4 out of 5.  I did enjoy this book and will be looking forward to the next one, as I really have no idea where the author will take this world.  There are so many mysteries to be uncovered.  The reason I did not give this book 5 stars is just because of the weirdness with reincarnation, even though I knew that was what the book was about.  The fact that Sam had been a guy and a girl hundreds of times just weirded me out.  I feel like that added fact was just too confusing and something the author could have built upon more.  I do like that it was telling the reader that love is love, no matter what.  That is a good lesson to take from this book.  I guess the only reason it weirded me out is that if I was in the world, and identified as female, it would piss me off if I was born as a guy.  Overall, I recommend this book.

Review by Connie

Connie’s Library Soap Box

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I have become a very passionate library supporter.  In the county we live in 18% of children live in poverty, while the percentile ranges from 5-37% throughout the entire state.  Looking at Nebraska, you would never guess this.  We are a very midwestern, family centered city with a low crime rate. 

And this is why I am so pro-library.  It is such an important resource for impoverished families and children, and everyone alike!  The more I support the library by checking out books, attending book sales, and buying their used books, the more books the libraries will be able to buy!

The picture to the left here is my home library!  To explain a little bit about what my library offers, I can give you a quick run down.  I can’t guarantee that your library will have the same benefits, but I am pretty sure most are alike. 

My favorite service that my library offers is the interlibrary transit.  With this, I can put any book that I want on hold and it will be brought to THIS library if no one else has it checked out.  They will put it on a clearly marked row of shelves in the front marked “holds” with a slip in it that will only allow me to check it out unless I take it off hold.  This saves me the time of not only searching for the book in the library, but from driving around town!  And it only really takes about a day, two at the most but rarely.  You can sign up for email alerts when you book comes in, which is really nifty.  Other than placing any book on hold, you can also create private and view public lists on the library website under your account.  This means that my entire to-read list from goodreads is now also under my wish list on the library website.  So awesome!   The public lists is sort of like goodreads listopia, so it’s a great resource for finding new reads.  Oh and don’t let me forget, the library also has tons of ebooks to check out, that you can do from right at home! 

So, I really never can plan exactly what I am reading each month.  I have somewhat of an idea and can usually find a theme, but what I get at the library does have to be based on any holds I must wait for due to other people reading a certain book.  This could pose a problem for some people, but I don’t really mind.  With so much to read, I usually am fine waiting.  If, perhaps for a series with an epic cliffhanger, and I can’t wait for the next book then I will buy it.  I also will buy books sometimes if I really love them and would reread them.  This not only saves me tons of money, but will save my bookshelves from carrying books I hated anyways!

So I have decided that instead of monthly book hauls, I am going to do a book haul each time I get back from the library.  This is usually once a week or once every two weeks.  When school starts in the middle of August it will probably just go down to once a month.  I did go to the library a few days ago, so I will be posting a book haul about that shortly!

Readdicted Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

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Warning:  This review may contain spoilers!  Not that big of spoilers at all, but Read at your own risk!

Title: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Genre: YA Greek Mythology Paranormal Romance

Goodreads Summary:

Set on the island of Nantucket, STARCROSSED tells the tale of Helen Hamilton, a young woman whose destiny is forever altered when she meets Lucas Delos and tries to kill him in front of her entire high school. Which is terribly inconvenient, not only because Lucas is the most beautiful boy on the island, but also because Helen is so achingly shy she suffers physical pain whenever she is given too much attention.

Making matters worse, Helen is beginning to suspect she’s going crazy. Whenever she’s near Lucas or any member of his family she sees the ghostly apparitions of three women weeping bloody tears, and suffers the burden of an intense and irrational hate. She soon learns that she and Lucas are destined to play the leading roles in a Greek tragedy that the Three Fates insist on repeating over and over again throughout history. Like her namesake, Helen of Troy, she’s destined to start a war by falling in love. But even though Lucas and Helen can see their own star-crossed destiny, they’re still powerfully attracted to each other. Will they give up their personal happiness for the greater good, or risk it all to be together?

Rating: 5 Stars

Who were the Characters? 

There are two main characters in this book: Helen Hamilton (aka Helen of Troy) and Lucas Delos (aka Paris).  Honestly I had to look up some about Greek Mythology while reading this book, just to keep my facts straight.  There were also main side characters including all of Lucas’s family and Helen’s parents.  I loved Lucas’s family as a whole.  They are the kind of family that you see in movies that cooks big meals and eats them at the table together, laughing and just enjoying eachothers company.  It also sounds like the food is pretty good, so I wouldn’t mind jumping into the book at those parts to experience the food and family.  It drew me in as a reader and made me feel more connected to Helen as she experienced it.

The main character, Helen is not the typical YA heroine.  Just like in the stories about Helen of Troy, our Helen in crazy beautiful.  The kind of beautiful that makes other girls hate her.  Most YA female characters with this trait are all “oh, I don’t think I’m beautiful” or “oh, I’m beautiful, but I don’t notice it”.  Helen seems to just not care.  She is raised by a single father who values inward beauty, so that is Helen’s focus.  She actually dislikes the attention she gets from onlookers because it gives her these stomach cramps.  She also has a few, as they say, “special powers” like being stronger and faster than other people, but doesn’t seem to care that much.  She seems to just not care about anything that makes her extraordinary.  She just wants to feel normal.  Overall, I loved her character and connected with her.  I felt nervous when she was nervous, scared when she was scared, and in love when she was in love.

Lucas, was a very swoon-worthy character.  He may be in my top ten.  At first they hate each other.  And it’s not like Twilight or other YA books where “oh, I hate you or don’t like your smell so I’m gonna stay away from you”.  No, its “I wanna kill your stupid ass”.  They literally want to rip each other apart.  You will find out why in the book.  But the fact that this happens, makes their budding romance even more powerful.  He is a strong, protective, funny character.  All I can say, is Lucas can protect me any day.

What was different?

The main difference in the book I think is the protagonist Helen.  She is an easy to get along with as a reader and is very different, as stated above, than other YA females.  Her shyness in the beginning of the book from not caring about her extraordinary beauty and abilities grows into her owning both through the book.  She goes through a great character progression to a confident person.  This was great to see.  I very much think her confidence was also drawn out beautifully by Lucas.

The romance was also different.  Although it seemed to happen quickly technically, you as a reader don’t read it that way.  The swiftness of their attraction is so real and explained, that it couldn’t be any other way.  It was refreshing to not see a forced attraction between to YA characters.  I don’t think I have liked a romance between two characters as much since I read The Mortal Instruments about Jace and Clary.

What was similar?

Many people think that this book reflects Twilight in the boy meets girl, boy hate girl, boy and girl are attracted to each other, boy and girl get together fashion.  I can see how that can be similar, but for me it wasn’t like that at all.  I read Twilight, but am not a Twilight fangirl.  I thought the books were just okay, so I don’t have a biased opinion about this.  I honestly think that Starcrossed was a much better read, even though certain things could be predictable.  As a reader you could see the romance developing in this particular fashion, but in this case, I wanted it to!  I just kept wanting more moments with those two together.  Totally not Twilight.

Where was the setting?

The setting was in beautiful Nantucket.  GOSH.  I would love to go there.  Reading this book was a delight just for the setting.  I would love to visit the coast there.  The only thing that could have made this book better is if I was able to read it there, on the beach, diet pepsi in hand.  Ok, maybe a lemonade would look better.

When did this story take place?

This story took place during the now, so it is a contemporary book.  There is a lot of historical parts in it as it explains out a lot about Greek mythology.  Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy books about Greek mythology before this book.  I actually thought it was stupid and lame, but now I am seeking more books out about it, just because of Starcrossed.

Why did I like/dislike it?

I loved this book beyond anything.  I would rank it right up there with TMI and Harry Potter.  I devoured this book with NO BREAKS.  I took a few to pee and eat and stuff, but other than that I was stuck on the couch under my blanket.  Once I finished it and read the cliffhanger I was almost going crazy.  I gave this book five stars because I adored the main characters and all the side characters, the plot kept me going and going, and the romance was amazing.  There are some parts of this book I could go back and re-read and re-read.  This is definitely a book I will buy.  The second book has already come out, and I am only a few away from it on the waiting list at the library, so I am going a bit crazy.  I totally recommend this book if you love YA paranormal romance, but are getting tired of the Twilight copycats.

Review by Connie

Readdicted Review: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

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Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Genre: YA Dystopian Science Fiction Fairy Tale Retelling

Goodreads Book Summary:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the 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

Who were the Characters?

In Cinder, there are two main characters:  Prince Kai and Cinder of course!   I think Cinder could quite possibly be one of my favorite female characters in YA fiction.  She is strong, but isn’t perfect, outspoken, but not snotty, and vulnerable, but not weak.  The cyborg parts of her make such an interesting character.  The author included little parts in the story where you could see written words that were being typed across her vision, just like a computer rebooting.   Every time this happened, I wanted more.  It made the story more real.   She feels very alone being a cyborg, but personally that is my favorite part of her.  The reader got to see the viewpoint of Prince Kai a few times, but I still feel like I did not get to learn a lot about him.  He is still a bit of a mystery to me.  I do love the relationship between him and Cinder.  He seems to be a very open, caring, down to earth person even though he has a Prince status.  It is also very attractive that he cares for the well-fare of his country and people so much.  I feel as if the relationship between Cinder and Kai is just beginning, and was not rushed like most YA fiction.   There are also many smaller characters which include the evil stepmother and two step sisters which is just like the classic Cinderella tale.  The twist to this is that one of the step sisters actually gets along with Cinder.  They have a close, endearing relationship that was great to see in the story and added many great elements to the plot.  The other three side characters are a silly, comedic android named Iko that adds cute little quips in well placed places, a scientist that helps Cinder out, and of course the EVIL VILLIAN Queen Levana.  One of my favorite things about this book is that the characters are beautifully presented.  I think my second favorite character in this story after Cinder would have to be Iko.  I want more Iko!

What was different?

The thing that was different about this story was the setting.  I have never really read a science fiction story about a cyborg-half human, let alone seen one that didn’t seem corny or stupid.   Through Marissa Meyer’s writing, this idea is a form of genius!  Even though the story was based upon the classic tale Cinderella, the setting of the story was the exact opposite.  The futuristic setting of the story was elaborate and always left me wanting more.  I am usually a reader who likes the setting to be laid out at first, but then often read over those parts in the middle and end of the story because I am so involved in the action and conversation between characters.  In Cinder I eagerly digested every little tidbit of information about the setting that is included like it was my first taste of cheesecake.  I loved it, absolutely loved it.  I have to say I have never enjoyed a setting so much!  Also, the realistic pace of the romance in this story was far different from in other teen reads.

What was similar?

What was similar was of course the basic plot of the story is much like the plot of the original Cinderella.  Going through the story I often could predict what was going to happen.  The thing is, I really didn’t care!  The setting is so well interwoven throughout the story that I didn’t even mind that I sort of knew what was going to happen.  The setting made it a brand new story.

Where was the setting?

The setting was a futuristic New Beijing after the WWIV.  Everything is very computerized with floating cars with most people owning their own android to do their dishes and such for them.  Meyer created such a great view of her world, that it felt like a movie.  Which, in fact, I would love to see.  This book would make a GREAT movie, not just because I love the plot, but because the city and world would be so fun to see created.

When did this story take place?

As I said before, this story is in the distant future.  WWIV has happened, and left many parts of the world including the original Beijing, destroyed.  The city has been rebuilt along with society.

Why did I like/dislike it?

I absolutely loved this book.  The author also gave us the information that there will be a new book in this series of four released what looks like every year.  I am so psyched about this!  I can’t wait to get into the world again.  I don’t know if I would every reread this book because of the plot, but I would definitely reread it because of the setting. As you can probably tell by now, I fell in love with it!  I guess some people may wish that the plot would be less predictable, but I didn’t really mind.  Despite the predictability, I gave this book a rating of 5, because I loved it that much.  Meyer’s writing is so beautiful, and I feel like it will only get better with each installment.  This book was a breath of fresh air to the Dystopian genre, and I can’t wait til the next one.

Review by Connie