Reviews, YA Dystopian

Book Review: Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

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Goodreads Summary:

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.

My Initial Thoughts:

Oh Dear Lord, I was hesitant. Why? Because I was afraid of what might happen. I was also super excited at the same time because Four. We are having his POV. Made my day really.

Review:

I have no clue how to start this except with a GIF.

IMHAVINGANEMOTION

 

I seriously don’t understand why people are bashing this book. Yes, it is super hard to read. Yes, it has a lot of politics. Yes, it is full of feels. When I read Divergent, or for that matter any dystopian book, I know politics will be involved. Why? Because it is a story about a dystopia, “An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.” (Source: Oxford Dictionary) That to me screams FAILED GOVERNMENT. The government will take precedence a good amount of the time. The Divergent Trilogy isn’t about Tris & Four, it’s about the world they live in, and we are experiencing everything through them. Yes, it is also about them, but in a dystopian novel, the world and the characters both have equal importance.

I think Allegiant was perfectly written. I cannot see another ending that will have the same impact as the ending it has had on us. Roth did a brilliant job bringing us full circle, tying everything neatly with a bow. In Divergent and Insurgent, she set the stage and left us confused as heck. She made a story that was big to begin with, even bigger. That is why we were all gasping for air at the end of Insurgent. We did not see that coming. At least I didn’t.

Allegiant had such a big job to do. It had to not only wrap up the initial world we were given, but also the new one we were pushed into at the end of Insurgent. It had to not only intensify Tris & Four’s relationship, but also every other characters as well. Allegiant had such an enormous task, and I am happy to say it did it all.

I am blown away by this book. I can only consider it Grade A literature. This right here is some good stuff. I personally may not be happy with how some characters were killed off, but the impact it had on me and the message it came with it balanced out my negative feelings.

I know everyone is spoiling Allegiant, and I will be one of the few that won’t. All I can say is, take Allegiant for what it is and what it is accomplishing. Don’t let your ship get in the way of the message and the well-crafted story.

Rating: 5/5

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Special Review, YA Dystopian

ARC Book Review: Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott

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I was given an ebook copy of this book by Scholastic through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can’t determine what’s wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She’s lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she’s helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It’s an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother’s illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there’s no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can’t trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

My Initial Thoughts:

I originally requested this book because Kayla over at The Thousand Lives was really excited. She was like REQUEST IT, and I did. I’d also heard it was the NEXT dystopian book and you guys know how much I love me some dystopian novels so I was like this sounds good. But then… Kayla didn’t like it and I was bummed. I started reading it with very low expectations.

Review:

Let’s just dive into this review. The first half of the book, I would give it a 3. The second half of the book I would give it a 4. At the beginning, Tella was really whiny and I could not believe she was the main character or a contender. I kept thinking to myself do I really have to put up with her for the rest of the novel? I thought about DNF’ing the book right then and there, but I decided to persevere, and I was happy I did.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Guy’s and Tella’s relationship is a complicated one. Some see their relationship as insta-love, but when you think about it. People in such crazy circumstances need some normalcy, and finding a partner or maybe a love interest is a very good way to find comfort, normality, and companionship in such dire situations. The thing about Guy that I loved is that he isn’t completely sold on this “attraction” or whatever you want to call it at first and she doesn’t really exactly know what to do about it either. They both know there can only be one winner.

I also found the whole idea of each contender having an animal with them to protect them was a pretty good unique thing to add to the “let’s throw people in the arena and kill each other for the prize” dystopian trope. It added a twist I didn’t know I had been wanting until I read it.

*SPOILERS OVER*

In conclusion, I like the concept and plot of this book. I like where it is going. If you want to check it out, go ahead! You’ll just have to get past the first 20% of the book, which is where I almost stopped reading it and gave it a DNF. After that it gets better and the plot thickens.

Rating: 3.5/5

Reviews, YA Dystopian

Book Review: Independent Study (The Testing #2) by Joelle Charbonneau

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Goodreads Summary:

In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization.

In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas—and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.

My Initial Thoughts:

Honestly? I was freaking out. The Testing left off with a  HUGE cliffhanger that I didn’t know where this was going. I didn’t bring my hopes up just in case it wasn’t as good as The Testing. Sometimes sequels can be disappointing.

Review:

Oh Boy. Oh Boy. Oh Boy. I’m so giddy because this book surpassed my expectations. I’m internally jumping up and down right now. I’m really starting to like Cia. The development of her character was awesome and we also got to finally know what happened to Zendra and Tomas. Dun Dun Duuuuuun!  I’m not going to tell you guys, so go read the book if you haven’t.

Independent Study did not fall into the sequel slump category (or is it the sophomore category? I forget). It felt as an equal to the first book. Great sequel. The action, The politics, The Action (yes, I had to say that again) and The never ending tests. It was all brilliant! I started reading around 9 or 10 pm and finished it at 1am. I couldn’t even fall asleep because it had my blood pumping and the adrenaline rushing through my body.

I know a lot of people don’t like The Testing Trilogy because it has a few similar qualities to THG. I think being compared to THG is an honor and shouldn’t be a turn off if you’re planning on reading the book. Marketing is a tricky business and sometimes the marketing team of the publishing companies take risks and say stuff like “The Next Hunger Games” because they are trying to say, “Guys this is good and has some of the same traits as THG so if you liked THG you might just like this one too!” Sometimes slogans like these do get overused (I’m looking at Twilight and how it gave vampires a VERY negative light.)

Overall, read this book and read this series. It’s amazing!

Rating: 5/5

Reviews, YA Dystopian

Book Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

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Goodreads Summary:

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies–trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.

My Initial Thoughts:

I went into this book blindly. It was on the Kindle Daily Deals and I decided… why not? So I bought it for a couple bucks and decided to read it. I love it when blind purchases turn out great!

Review:

Oh My Gosh. This book was absolutely amazing. Some people hate that it is marketed as the next Hunger Games, but honestly, I don’t care. In my head it’s the love child of Divergent and The Hunger Games. Just think Dauntless, Erudite, and the actual Hunger Games. Crazy right?

We start of with Cia on her graduation day where she goes from being labeled a child into actual adulthood and she can be a candidate for The Testing. The government chooses the candidates for The Testing, and only the brightest are chosen. The Testing is a test which determines if you are able to go to University and therefore become a future leader of the United Commonwealth.

After Cia’s graduation everything unravels and her world is turned upside down. The Testing is not what she thought it was. Her father who is a alumnus of the University advices her not to trust anyone and to try to survive the tests.

The rest of the book has you on the edge of your seat. Who is a friend and who is a foe? Who can be trusted and who is a Judas? The author did a very good job at weaving the story and creating it in a way that we aren’t bored. It may be dystopian and we may have seen some of the plot before but the way it was written, she made the plot look fresh, new, and that is what good writing is all about.

I recommend this book and advice you to read it!

The sequel, Independent Study, comes out today, January 7, 2013. Go to your local bookstore and grab the first two books. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Rating: 5/5

Special Review, YA Dystopian, YA Paranormal

Blog Book Review Tour: Sanctuary by Pauline Creeden

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Blurb

In a heart-racing thriller described as Falling Skies meets The Walking Dead, Jennie struggles to find a safe place for what’s left of her family. But it seems as though there is no place sacred, no place secure. First the aliens attacked the sun, making it dimmer, weaker, and half what it used to be. Then they attacked the water supply, killing one-third of Earth’s population with a bitter contaminate. And when they unleash a new terror on humankind, the victims will wish for death, but will not find it…When the world shatters to pieces around her, will Jennie find the strength she needs to keep going?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18684843-sanctuary?ac=1

http://www.amazon.com/Sanctuary-Pauline-Creeden/dp/1491072067/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385951078&sr=8-1&keywords=Sanctuary+creeden

Pauline Creeden

In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.

Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been a #1 Bestseller in Christian Fantasy and been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. Her debut novel, Sanctuary is scheduled for release September 30, 2013, and has already been nominated for two awards in YA Science Fiction.

One of Pauline’s short stories has won the CCW Short Story contest. Other short stories have been published in Fear & Trembling Magazine, Obsidian River and Avenir Eclectia. An urban fantasy short will appear in The Book of Sylvari: An Anthology of Elves from Port Yonder Press, and a vampire short will appear in Monsters! from Diminished Media Group.

https://twitter.com/P_Creeden

https://www.facebook.com/PaulineCreeden

http://paulinecreeden.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5284782.Pauline_Creeden

Review

First of all, if you like scary books about alien invasions, this is your type of book! I was so scared when I was reading it that I opted to read it in the morning and not at night. It took me a while to sleep the first night I read a few chapters. I kept imagining the aliens described in the book and trust me my imagination did a wonderful job at creating them.

Sanctuary is written in several POV’s which helps the reader understand what is going on through different parts of the country. It also helps us see how all the characters came together and were able to find temporary safety. At first I thought Jennie was cowardly, but as I read on the story, I noticed how brave she really was and coming out strong after everything that she experienced is awe-inspiring. I also enjoyed Hugh’s POV.

The attacks of the aliens, the science behind the alien animals, and the bible passages made it real in the sense that as you’re reading the story, you feel as if you’re in that world experiencing the attack, fearing for your own life. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of alien invasions and The Walking Dead. This is one sic fi thrill you won’t want to miss.

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Reviews, YA Dystopian

Book Review: The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

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Goodreads Summary:

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selection.

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 Like:

I read this book in one sitting. ONE SITTING. I absolutely loved it. Prince Maxon was such a sweetheart, except for this one time where I was really mad at him. Hormones, Ugh. I really liked Maxon’s mother, the Queen. She brought stability and hope. I really think the Queen is a symbol of what the kingdom would be like if given the opportunity, or more better said, the right to have the ability to rise, to better themselves. Your caste number does not define you, it is the type of person you are that ultimately defines you. We can see this with Celeste. She may be of the second highest caste, but inside, she is a horrible human being. On the other hand, America, who does have her fair share of imperfections and moments of horrible judgement of character, is a better person overall and cares for others. She is always trying to help others, even at the cost of it affecting her in a negative way.

What I Dislike:

I was annoyed with America many times in the book. Like I said earlier, she can be a horrible judge of character. I also really disliked Aspen and the way he was trying to weasel into America’s heart by making Prince Maxon look bad at all costs. I do feel like the selection is dragging a little long. I hope we get to see more of the rebels in The One.

Overall:

In conclusion, the good of the book overpowers the bad. The “bad” parts of the book are not poor writing, or a boring plot, the “bad” parts of the book are the decisions the characters make and the consequences that they have to face for making said decisions. Kiera’s writing is so easy and effortless to read and very, very enjoyable that one only notices how long the book is until one is done. In my opinion, the books are not long enough.

Rating: 5/5

Reviews, YA Dystopian

Book Review: Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver

9593911Goodreads Summary:

I’m pushing aside
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana
and my old school,
push,
push,
push,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

What I Liked:

I wasn’t that big of a fan of the first book in the series, Delirium. It was hard for me to get into, but there were some parts that I did enjoy. Pandemonium though, pleasantly surprised me. I loved the character development Lena went through in this book, and the alternating time chapters really worked out well and enhanced the importance of everything we read. The addition of Julian to the story was something I welcomed with open arms. It gave Lena an opportunity to get out of her numb shell and feel again. It showed her that someone can love more than one person.

Something else I liked was how Lauren Oliver portrayed The Resistance and its leaders in this book. The leader I’m thinking of is Raven. The Resistance is supposed to represent the good side of the dystopian society, but even they make mistakes and hurt others for their cause. Raven knew what was going to happen to Lena, but she still put Lena in the life or death circumstances even though there was a good chance Lena would end up dead.

What I Disliked:

A few times the description of the places slightly contradicted itself and it confused me, but apart from that I have nothing negative to say.

Overall:

I enjoyed Pandemonium immensely. It is important that we never stop to love because without love, society cannot survive.

Rating: 5/5