Tag «Dystopian»

Fresh Fridays: For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund | For the Darkness Shows the Stars Series


Other books in the series:

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Reads of 2013
Series: For the Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
# of Books: 2 (For the Darkness Shows the Stars, Across a Star-Swept Sea)

There are also 2 novellas: #0.5 Among the Nameless Stars and #1.5 The First Star to Fall

Complete?: No, Across a Star-Swept Sea will be published October 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Romance, Dystopian
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

This novel is a retelling/adaption of Persuasion by Jane Austen. I have never read Persuasion though it has been on my to-read list forever and after reading this book, I really want to read it even more so.

There is something about this book that just sucks you in. I started it and then quickly realized I was 50 pages in before I knew it. I think it is because I enjoyed Elliot’s character. She is like every Jane Austen heroine–that woman could write GREAT heroines that all girls can respect and admire, even decades after their publication–in that she is independent, tough and cares for her family. She was great to read about and a refreshing heroine when you look at some of the other offerings out right now in the young adult world (ie. whiny, spoiled, “I need a man to complete me” heroines).

I also really liked the jumps/flashbacks to the past using the letters written between Elliot and Kai. It helps to build up context about the world itself (which is a cool spin on the regular dystopian worlds often seen but still true to the era of Jane Austen’s novels) and the relationship between Elliot and Kai.

The relationship between Elliot and Kai is adorable. You fall in love with them as you read (and the other characters as well). I think it is fair to warn potential readers that this isn’t a book where there are stolen kisses behind the barn or late night rendezvous so if you are looking for that you won’t find it here–and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The romance is very Jane Austen–mostly talking and meeting at events but I found it very refreshing to read a book where there isn’t PDA around every corner and instead you see why they once loved each other.

The prequel eNovella, Among the Nameless Stars (ANS)–which is free on Kobo and Amazon–I recommend you read AFTER you read For the Darkness Shows the Stars (FTDSTS). I liked that when I read FTDSTS that Kai was a bit of a mystery and I didn’t know his feelings towards Elliot. Also, some things that were revealed as you read FTDSTS were mentioned in ANS and I think it takes away from the mystery of FTDSTS when you read it first. Overall though, the book is really interesting and it helps shape the world–and when it’s FREE, it doesn’t get any better than that 😉

Conclusion:

For the Darkness Shows the Stars is easily one of my favourite reads of this year. The book is beautifully written and manages to be unique all while capturing the atmosphere of Jane Austen’s work. I loved Elliot and Kai and while the next book may not deal directly with them I am excited to see more from this author in this fabulous world she has created! However, it probably isn’t for everyone; especially those who like more exciting romances and faster moving plots as this is a little slower and it isn’t a steaming romance.

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky, #1)

Synopsis for For the Darkness Shows the Stars (from Goodreads):
It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it

Series Review: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence | Mystic City Series

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breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite read of 2012 (Mystic City)
Series: Mystic City
Author: Theo Lawrence
# of Books: 3 (Mystic City, Toxic Heart, Body Electric)
Complete?: No, Body Electric will be published TBA
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian, Romance, Action
Heat Rating: cool

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

I won’t lie, the only reason I picked this book up or at least considered reading it was because of the “fans of X-men” line–I can’t help but be a little curious about a book when a publisher uses that line. So I went in with weary expectations, only to come out of it all with my mind blown and me counting down the endless number of days until the sequel.

This book was FANTASTIC! One of my favourite reads this year for sure!

It just had everything I want in a book: A rich, twisting plot full of drama that wasn’t very predictable (there are clues along that way that you pick up on but there were some things that I happened that surprised me!); a dash of romance; a strong female lead; mystery and a whole lot of suspense and action. I had a very hard time putting this down at the end!

It can be worrisome when a book is compared or suggested to fans of another series. I often find the new books are carbon copies of the “fans of BLANK” books so it can be disheartening when you actually read it and it doesn’t meet your high expectations. I can happily say that this book was unlike anything I have read–sure it takes similar plot concepts from other stories but the way that they are weaved all together makes this book totally original and a joy to read.

UPDATED (July 24/14): I finally was able to get my hands on a copy of Toxic Heart after a very length wait (only know I will have to wait for the third book :P). While the plot isn’t as intricately woven as it was Mystic City, I found it managed to keep my attention right from the get go. It does suffer a bit from the “book-two-of-a-trilogy-slump” but there were still some mystery elements and good plot developments. Aria started to irritate me just a smidgen at the start of the novel but I quickly got over that once I was a few chapters in. Overall, it was a good followup to its predecessor and sets the stage for some awesome plotlines in the next installment!

Conclusion:

I know that this book gets mixed reviews on Goodreads but I think for those who want to try something a little different, this one is worth a shot! It is hard to say anything else without giving too much away but fans of dystopian who love a good mystery plot will LOVE this! If you get a chance pick it up so you can join me in the misery that is waiting for the sequel 😛

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Black City Trilogy, #1)

Synopsis for Mystic City (from Goodreads):
For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City’s two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents’ sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn’t remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can’t conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

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Series Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #6
Series: The Hunger Games Trilogy
Author: Suzanne Collins
# of Books: 3 (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre:
Young Adult, Dystopian, Action, Romance, Competition
Heat Rating:
cold
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the Hunger Games movie here! Read my thoughts about the Catching Fire movie here! As well as the Mockingjay Part 1!

Thoughts:

I jumped on the Hunger Games bandwagon just before it got really big (ie. summer 2011) and read all the books within a week. They were super addicting, especially book 1 The Hunger Games. It was hard to put them down and I got sucked into the world Collins created.

One thing that I really liked about this series was Katniss. It had been a long time since I read a book with a strong heroine that I didn’t find annoying and actually liked. She is tough, intelligent, brave and perhaps her best characteristic is that she is independent. Unlike some heroines she didn’t need a boy to complete her and while she does have some romance in her life, it isn’t the focus and she doesn’t let it truly define her.

Book 1, The Hunger Games is by far the best book of the series. It has suspense, action and drama which made the book hard to put down. Book 2 and 3 aren’t as fast-paced as book 1 in my opinion, but they are very good reads in their own right. It’s hard for me to decide which book is better Catching Fire or Mockingjay. Immediately after I had finished reading the series, I would have said Mockingjay just because I was a little let down in Catching Fire. I thought it would be a direct reproduction of The Hunger Games but it had its own little spin that I have learned to appreciate after reading them all. So now, I’d say it’s a toss-up between the two for second place.

Another thing I really love about Collin’s writing is her descriptions of things. You really felt like you were in the Games with Katniss dealing with the heat and water and everything else that is thrown at her. She is descriptive enough to create the world (so you literally read the book and it plays out like a movie in your head) but not so descriptive that you are skipping sentences to get on with the plot. And although Scholastic publishes the books, the writing isn’t juvenile (ahem, *coughcough* Twilight) in any way. Although tweens will have no problem reading the books, adults won’t be turned off by her writing and will also enjoy the story.

I know some people will say, why bother reading the books when the movies are coming out (see my thoughts on the movie here) but if I could just say one thing it would be this: read the books! If you were expecting the movie to be darker, then you will love the books! And while the movies contain a majority of the storyline from the novels, there are something that’s they have changed that make the books a little different (so you aren’t reading a carbon copy of the movie script).

Conclusion:

I really enjoyed this series–so much so that I actually bought the box set after I had finished them (I had borrowed them all from the library) just so I could own them 😛 I also can’t remember how many times I have lent those books out to people (who have all enjoyed them!) so that they could read them. You can’t go wrong with this series in my opinion!

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent Trilogy, #1) and Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium Trilogy, #1)

See my movie review here!

Synopsis for The Hunger Games (from Goodreads):
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 steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender.

If she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.(

Movie Mondays: The Hunger Games

Movie Mondays: On Mondays, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this week’s offering:

Book: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins | Movie: The Hunger Games (2012)

Which did I read/see first? BOOK

Book Cover | Movie Poster

The Book:

Series: The Hunger Games Trilogy
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Competition, Romance, Action

Thoughts:

You can see my review of the series here but I will briefly review the first book, The Hunger Games here.

I read this book in a day. It was very hard to put down and it was (and still is) unlike anything I had ever read. I loved the characters, I loved the world and I loved the story. I like nitty-gritty (often violent) action movies and novels so I really went in with high expectations and I was not disappointed.

I’m not sure what else I can say without spoiling it, but it was a great book and one that I will definitely reread in the future.

Conclusion:

A great start to a series and one of the best dystopian novels I have read.

Series Review: Full series review here!.
Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent Trilogy, #1) and Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium Trilogy, #1)

The Movie:

I followed this movie’s progress as soon as I finished the novels. I read everything about casting, filming locations, etc. I think it’s a given that I had a lot of expectations going into this movie.

First, the casting. It was perfect in my opinion. Jennifer Lawrence (who has become one of my favourite actresses) does a fantastic job as Katniss. I say this because the trailer scene where Katniss volunteers as tribute made me cry in the theatre despite the fact that I had seen it a million times in the trailer (I also credit Willow Shields as Primrose for that as well). I liked Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and Liam Hemsworth as Gale. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch and Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket were exactly as I pictured them in appearance and in acting. Lenny Kravitz rocked my socks and I adore Stanley Tucci so overall it was perfection.

The director and co. did a fantastic job of bringing the world to life. Suzanne Collins has a very thorough description of the settings in her novels so I had the world set up in my mind and the movie was pretty spot-on. The costumes were great and the Capitol was everything I thought and hoped it would be.

My only complaint about this movie was the camera work. I get that they were going for that grittier, realistic feel with the shaky camera (and to get the rating they want) but it made me a little sick to my stomach at the start. It definitely got better as the movie went on though.

Overall, a solid movie adaption that follows pretty close to the story (just a few tiny details here and there were missing or changed), has great acting and a solid set.

So, which is better: the book or the movie?

In this case, the winner is a tie . This one is a tough one for me. The book was fantastic and definitely should be read but the movie did a great job capturing the characters and the story. Fans of the book will not be disappointed in this movie adaption 🙂

Do you agree? Leave a comment below!

Synopsis for The Hunger Games (from Goodreads):
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 steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender.

If she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.(

Trailer:

Series Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

book3 book book5

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #2 Annoying Heroine of all time (America)
Series: The Selection

The Selection, The Elite and The One are all America’s story. The Heir and The Crown are Eadlyn’s.

Author: Kiera Cass
# of Books: 5 (The Selection, The Elite, The One, The Heir, The Crown)

There is also a prequel novella, The Prince and another called The Queen. There are also two novellas that takes place after book 2 called The Guard and The Favourite.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Drama, Dystopian,
Heat Rating: warm
POV: First Person, Single
Source: Borrowed–Paperback (The Selection); Public Library

thoughts

When I read The Selection, two of my friends who have similar reading tastes to me, had just finished reading it. My one friend really enjoyed it while the other didn’t care too much for it. This left me with mixed expectations so I tried to read the book as objectively as possible.

After reading the first book, I could understand why the views were so mixed. This book is clearly marketed for a younger teen audience. The writing is nothing fabulous (it’s like Twilight where it is not the best writing in the world) but as my friend who liked the story said to me, it’s the story’s concept that makes it interesting and enjoyable. It’s very Hunger Games meets The Bachelor which is cool in my opinion. (More emphasis on The Bachelor aspect though) I liked the idea of the competition and I feel like the concept is well conceived mostly because it is so simple.

America isn’t my favourite book heroine ever. I don’t understand her logic sometimes and I find that she is very strong in some convictions but not others (which seems contradictory to me). Everyone claims she is funny but I fail to see her comedic skills in either of the two books. While I was reading The Elite I reached the conclusion that she is very immature in her thoughts and actions.

Be warned, there is a love triangle in this series and it is a full blown “Who I love today isn’t who I love tomorrow or who I loved yesterday”. She flops like a fish in both books and then she gets angry when the prince spends time with other girls who he might have feelings for. I definitely have a “team” when it comes to the love triangle but to be honest, I’m not really “sold” on any of the choices yet either. The guy I was rooting for kind-of pissed me off in The Elite with his immaturity and actions but I’m hoping he can win me back in The One.

Besides the love triangle and the immature heroine, I feel like this book is missing that little something that makes it noteworthy. I wish more was done with the rebel attacks but so far they are just little blurbs here and there. The series in the first two books really only focuses on the Selection and America’s struggles with the competition and the possibility that she may be princess one day and not on the conflict against the monarchy.

updates

–July 19/14– Book Three: The One

My wish for my rebel fighting was finally granted with The One. The focus definitely shifts more to the rebellion but not enough for my tastes. There are a few unexpected twists that I felt were added to keep up with some of the “darker” young adult dystopian novels but it really has nothing on the Hunger Games in terms of grittiness. America is still a brat to me and I had to roll my eyes a few times at her. However, I felt like all the characters had a decent amount of growth to them. Bonus points for how everything at the end unfolded–I really had no clue what was going to happen which made me happy. Overall, The One was a good conclusion for the series.

On another note, I’m really excited to read The Queen novella. Queen Amberly is one of my favourite characters and I can’t wait to read her story!

–December 13/14– Novella: The Queen

 The Queen was finally published and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I almost wish we got a full story with Queen Amberly because she is a much more fascinating and tolerable heroine than America ever was. It is a nice tie in to the series and I was very happy with it. I’m not sure if I would read it before I read the series; I think it is almost best to read it after The One because it justifies some of the events you see.

I was shocked to discover that there are going to be at least two more books in this series! These books seem to be about the next generation so that boosts my spirits a bit. If I had to endure another two books of America as the lead I think I would pass for sure. But, my curiosity is peaked and I will probably pick up The Heir to see what is next in this world. Hopefully, it will improve upon its predecessor.

–June 21/15– Book Four: The Heir

I found The Heir to be surprisingly addicting! I got really absorbed into the story. I think it’s because Eadlyn is the one picking the boys this time around and not a competitor herself. There’s just an unpredictability to it that makes it exciting.

As for Eadlyn, I didn’t find her as annoying as America but she was definitely just as bratty if not worse sometimes. It was frustrating because I liked her desire to be independent and to be Queen without a man beside her; I just didn’t like how she treated people. She was rude, abrupt and just plain mean sometimes. Worst part was, when people called her out on it she would get upset and defensive and basically be all of the things she was called out on to that person while claiming she wasn’t. Hypocritical to say the least. She does have some self awareness near the end and I hope that continues in the sequel (the final novel).

–June 10/16– Book Five: The Heir

My rating might have more to do with the end result of who gets “selected” than anything else. I really didn’t like how everything wrapped up and that really disappointed me.

Eadlyn was all over the place in terms of her character. She seemed to grow a bit but man, she wasn’t winning me over in her attempts to win over her people. She comes across as selfish and conceited. Even when her mind was made up about the guys, she’d be upset that they weren’t in love with her and that just irritated me.

The romance was zilch for me. Perhaps if I had read [book:The Heir|22918050] closer to this one, I might have seen more or appreciated it more but this did nothing for me. I didn’t like how the relationships progressed at all and when it became apparent to me how this was all going to end, I really didn’t like it. That dampened my entire experience.

I did like the political aspect but it felt rushed at the end and a little too late for me to truly appreciate it.

Overall, a disappointing end to a series I considered to be a guilty pleasure read. Sigh.

My Rating: 3.5/5

The Selection 4/5 | The Elite 3.5/5 | The One 3/5 | The Heir 3.5/5 | The Crown 2.5/5

overall

Definitely recommended for a younger reader crowd (14+). It’s not the greatest dystopian young adult read and so far it mostly focuses on the romance: so if you want a romance story with a minimal dystopian background, check it out! This series is a guilty pleasure for me but I know that lots of people wouldn’t enjoy it.

Read if You Like: mostly romance novel, enjoy The Bachelor/Bachelorette
Avoid if You: don’t like love triangles, don’t like bratty heroines, want more dystiopian elements

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Synopsis for The Selection (from Goodreads):

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

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Series Review: Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver

  

Series: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
# of Books: 3 (Delirium, Pandemonium, Requiem)

There are also eBook novellas, for the complete reading order of the series click here

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

This was one of those series I had a lot of hope for but didn’t quite meet the bar.

I love dystopian fiction and at the time that the first novel, Delirium, had come out, dystopian fiction was just starting to get big. The whole idea that love was a disease that needed to be eradicated seemed very refreshing to me (most dystopian novels I had read all focused on political or personality types as a way to segregate society) so I was definitely interested in. I think that Lauren Oliver excels at creating the setting as a world without love. I like that she transforms Bible passages and other notable works of literature to support the story. There is definite logic to everything and I really appreciate that.

What really killed this series for me was the characters. I found that as each book went on, I lost some of my love for them (no pun intended). Lena never really did anything for me. She was alright in the first book and I liked the character development in the second (Pandemonium) but it was a chore to read about her in book 3, Requiem. I think Hana’s character was a lot more interesting to me and I would have liked to have read more about her at the start (eventually we get more about her later).

Delirium, book 1, was a good book. It hit all the requirements for an enjoyable read despite my lack of love for Lena. I think I enjoyed it more for the world it created than the actual plot (though it definitely picked up at the end of the book).

I was really excited to read book 2, Pandemonium and I would say that this is my favourite book out of the series. Oliver in the 2nd book changes how the POV of the book is written so that took me a bit to get into it (though I can respect the approach) but once I got over that, I really got into the plot twists. While I didn’t appreciate some of the directions the book went into, it set up a lot of awesome storylines that I was eagerly awaiting to see concluded in Requiem.

Unfortunately, Requiem was a complete let down for me. Despite being super excited to read it, it took two solid attempts to actually finish it. I was so disappointed in this book. I just felt like there was a lot of opportunity given what happened in Pandemonium and it was truly wasted. The story was dull and I pretty much skimmed the last few pages just so I could see how it ended. I don’t want to continue ranting, but this book was an unsatisfactory ending to a series that was building itself up for a spectacular ending.

When I finished reading book 3, Requiem, it was just around the time that FOX had announced they were making the book series into a TV show. I seriously doubt that the author ended the book the way she did because of the TV show (I think she was trying to get another point across with how she ended it), but I am hoping that the TV series has a bit more closure to it than the novels did. Turns out FOX is not moving forward with their TV plans for this series and I think that is wise. Check out a few minutes from the unaired show here.

Conclusion:

This series is a prime example of why I created this blog: to save people from devoting their time to a series that they will more than likely be disappointed in how it ends. This series might be worth it for some people, but I would recommend other dystopian reads before this one.

Rating: 3/5

Similar ReadsThe Pledge by Kimberly Derting (The Pledge Trilogy #1) and Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Delirium (from Goodreads):
They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever.

And I’ve always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed.

Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

Single Sundays: Alternity by Mari Mancusi

Single Sundays: On Sundays, I review a stand-alone book that is not a part of a series. Here is this week’s offering:
Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
Imagine waking up in a post-apocalyptic, nightmare world–and being told your whole life is but a dream. Skye Brown thought she was your typical teen–good grades, hot boyfriend, and an afterschool job that pays her to play videogames. But then she started having the dreams.

In her dreams, there is no Earth. Only Terra, a bleak, underground wasteland where people live in squalor and oppression. In her dreams, there is no Skye–only Mariah, a rebel leader fighting against a vile, dystopian regime. And then there’s Dawn, a handsome, but haunted solider who sees her as but an empty shell of the girl he once love–a betrayer he vows to hate forever, despite what she sees deep in his eyes.

Now, ripped between Dark Siders and club kids, the mundane and the mystic, Skye finds herself in a fight against time–to learn who she really is, where she belongs.. .and why. The shocking truth will have her questioning her own reality…and her heart.

Review:

I’m not too sure how I feel about this book. I feel bad giving it a 2 (I would stretch to say my rating is a 2.5) but I didn’t really enjoy the first half of the book.

The whole concept of the book was what intrigued me to read it. After reading the description I was reminded of the anime .hack//sign and how similar the plots were. That should have been my first clue that I was in for a confusing and odd book because that anime still puzzles me to this very day and I’ve seen every episode twice.

The book jumps right into the action with no work-up to the main plot. Normally, I would be fine with this (I hate reading long and tedious events before the true plot of the story emerges) but with this it just confused me. I can appreciate a little bit of mystery to keep the reader interested but with this it felt like I should already know what was being discussed.

Usually, I can predict how a book will end before the halfway point but with this, I really had no idea what was going on–let alone how it would end. It wasn’t until I was 1/3 of the way through that pieces started to fall into place but I still didn’t predict what was really going on until it was revealed (so thumbs up for an original twist).

Skye annoyed me to no end at the beginning. She was so wish-washy in her thoughts and convictions that it started to get on my nerves. After learning more about her character later in the book, I could somewhat understand why her character was presented that way but there were still a few things that I felt she should have reacted differently.

The whole concept presented is very interesting and I can respect where Mari Mancusi was going with this. I just feel like it didn’t deliver enough to make me fully appreciate the story.

 

Conclusion:

Do I regret reading this book? No, it definitely got better near the end but the ending seemed too abrupt for me to truly appreciate the story. I’m just glad it’s not the start to a series that I would now feel compelled to read. There are better reads out there but if you want to take a chance on a different type of story, (and have the time to do so) then it might be worth the couple of hours it will take you to read this.

Rating: 2.5/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Young Adult; Science Fiction, Dystopian 
Recommended for: 16+
Similar Books: Not a similar book, but a similar TV show is .hack//sign