Friday, August 9, 2013

The Elite

The Elite
Selection #2
by Kiera Cass
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by HarperTeen 
 
From Goodreads:
Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.
America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.
Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.
 
 
What I think:
This was not even close to as entertaining as the first one was. America's dilemma between the two guys is getting old to the point of ridiculous. There were a few good moments. I actually liked what happened with her friend Marlee but I feel it should have made her a little more cautious in some of her behaviors. A definite bridge book. I certainly hope the next one concludes a lot of stuff and is better than this one.

The Selection


The Selection
by Kiera Cass

Hardcover, 327 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen

What a fun read! Pride and Prejudice, The Hunger Games and The Bachelor all rolled-into one entertaining and engrossing read! What a creative spin on the trendy dystopian genre! I can't wait for the next book - I know who I am rooting for.

The Pride and Prejudice because all the girls spend their time dressing up, hanging out in a parlor and talking about each other and The Prince. The Hunger Games because there is a process by which girls are chosen to go to the castle and the caste system is reminiscent of the districts in The Hunger Games. Also, the royal family airs a news show every week and they have an entertainment host that reminds me of the guy on The Hunger Games, whose name I can't remember now for the life of me. And finally, the easiest comparison, The Bachelor - 35 young and beautiful women are chosen to move into the castle to interact with the prince in the hopes that he will find one of them worthy to marry.

If you are expecting more violence and edginess based on other people comparing this to the Hunger Games, you will be disappointed. If you are expecting a fun version of the Bachelor, you will probably enjoy it more. I had absolutely no expectations when I opened this book and was pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Shatter Me


Shatter Me
by Tahereh Mafi

Hardcover, 338 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Harper 
 
Juliette has a terrible curse - or gift, depending on who you ask. She can suck the life right out of a person just by the merest touch of her skin to theirs. Of course, she doesn't want to hurt people. Juliette just wants to be loved by her parents, a friend would be nice. Instead, she ends up locked away in an insane asylum as the world she once knew falls apart. The new government, The Reestablishment, now has her in its sights. To one of their leaders she is the ultimate weapon. However, Juliette does not want to be a weapon. Adam is the bright spot in her life, a boy she once knew from afar at school. They are now thrown together with unexpected results as a war rages around them.
This books is just barely a three for me. I am really really torn about it. I absolutely loved the idea - it reminds me of The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance by Dakin - though I was sure this would be better as I liked the dystopian setting. Yet I really disliked the writing style. Juliette's "voice" was quite annoying and how it was written with no punctuation, too many strikeouts and an excessive amount of repetition was almost too much for me. Adam is the reason I kept reading and ultimately finished the book. Adam and James, and even Warner - just a little but. I really don't see myself seeking out the sequel that this one was building towards.

Oh yeah, I really disliked this cover. It just didn't fit the character or the story. I saw this cover on goodreads.com and like it much better.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Entangled





Entangled
by Amy Rose Capetta

Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: October 1st 2013 by HMH Books for Young Readers 
 
From Goodreads:
  Seventeen-year-old Cade is a fierce survivor, solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar. Or so she thought. Her world shakes apart when a hologram named Mr. Niven tells her she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan.
Cade’s quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws—her first friends—on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there’s no turning back.
 
I gave this 3-31/2 stars on goodreads.com, it is definitely not a four.  I liked a lot of the ideas, but I wish there was more to the back story. I got a little tired of hearing her constantly going on about what was in her head, The Noise or Xan. The best part of the book was her collection of friends that were willing to go to the end of deep space for her. I am not entirely sure Cade did anything to deserve their loyalty and affection. The ending was fabulous, but I don't know that I want to read any more of this series. Though I might, just to see what happens to Rennik. :)

I received a free ARC from the publisher.

Monday, August 5, 2013

After: Ninteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia

After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia
Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 384 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Hyperion Book CH 
 
Here is a variety of post-apocalyptic short stories. Some were fabulous, some were not-so-great (almost terrible even) and others were just mediocre. So basically there is probably something for everyone in this collection. However, since I am a life-long fan of dystopian literature, this was right up my alley. Though be prepared for several references to same-gender relations as that is apparently going to be the norm in the future according to several of these authors. Love the mini-bios at the end so I can check out more works by those authors whom I enjoyed.

The Body at the Tower

The Body at the Tower
by Y. S. Lee
The Agency #2

Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2010.
337 p. Hardcover
 
From goodreads.com:
  This is another colourful, action-packed Victorian detective novel about the exploits of agent Mary Quinn. At a young age, Mary Quinn is rescued from the gallows and taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. The school turns out to be a front for a private detective agency. At age 17, Mary takes on her first case (A Spy in the House). In this, the second book of the series, Mary Quinn sets out to uncover the truth behind a suspicious death at St. Stephen's Tower, better known as the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. The accident occurred after hours in a highly public part of town and despite the presence of night watchmen. Mary, disguised as Mark Quinn, becomes a builder's assistant to find out the truth about the body at the tower.
 
This is a fabulous historical mystery series! I listened to the audio version and it was wonderfully done.
Now I just to get #3 for more Mary Quinn adventure and excitement!

Insomnia

Insomnia
by J. R. Johansson
The Night Walkers #1
Paperback, 351 pages
Published June 8th 2013 by Flux

Parker hasn't had a proper night's sleep in over four years. He has the power - curse might be a better word- to see the dreams of the person he last make's eye contact with before going to bed. Whether he witnesses memory dreams or outright fantasies, they are exhausting as he feels he is physically there. His body does get some rest whereas his mind as it is always active in these other dreams, gets no rest. Parker fears he is dying though he can't talk to anyone. He is sure no one will believe him, they will just stick him in his own padded cell. He figures he will just wait it out, the body tremors he can deal with. Then he starts having hallucinations, at least he hopes they are just products of his weary mind. A new girl, Mia, comes to his school and suddenly Parker has found dreams where he can lie down and sleep. The first time in years he has found someone who has peaceful calming dreams. Too bad he has to act like a psychotic stalker to make sure she is the last person he looks in the eye before he goes to bed.
There seem to be several YA books out there about people doing things in their sleep or being able to see into dreams. I found Insomnia to be slightly different in a good way. It was kind of intense at times, and of course somewhat ridiculous at moments as well. Overall it was a good, creepy teen novel. I will definitely read the next one, even though I have to wait a year.