Tag Archives: Dystopian

Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) – Emmy Laybourne

Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) – Emmy LaybourneTitle: Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) by Emmy Laybourne
Publishing Info: May 6, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 12, 2014
Related Posts: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1), Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2), Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14 #0.5), Sweet

    It's over. Dean, Alex, and the other survivors of the Monument 14 have escaped the disaster zone and made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Some of the kids have been reunited with their families, and everyone is making tentative plans for the future. And then, Niko learns that his lost love, Josie, has survived!Or is it? For Josie, separated from the group and presumed dead, life has gone from bad to worse. Trapped in a terrible prison camp with other exposed O’s and traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue. Meanwhile, scared by the government’s unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid—along with her two protectors, Dean and Jake—joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with Josie. In Monument 14: Savage Drift, the stunningly fierce conclusion to the Monument 14 trilogy, author Emmy Laybourne ups the stakes even higher for a group of kids who have continually survived the unthinkable. Can they do so one last time?

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I’m so excited to finish the MONUMENT 14 trilogy! The Fierce Reads event where Emmy Laybourne was promoting the very first book was my first book event/author appearance ever and MONUMENT 14: SKY ON FIRE was my book of choice on my way back from BEA last year, so the trilogy holds a bit of a special place in my heart!

One thing I’ve always loved in the series was how Emmy doesn’t shy away from writing the really action-packed, in-your-face scenes. She does tone down on the swearing (hey, we have to keep it PG-13 somehow, right?) but the action, the gore, the reality of what is happening in the book is never really glossed over. Things don’t get TOO violent, but the reader really gets to experiences things as the characters are – right there in the thick of it.

I really appreciated the dual POVs! We saw dual POVs between Dean and Alex in SKY ON FIRE but MONUMENT 14: SAVAGE DRIFT features Dean as the male lead still and Josie as the other view point. The last we knew of her, she had sacrificed herself to protect the lives of the other kids and presumed dead so it was really interesting to not only get a female POV but also one that’s taking place on the complete opposite side of the country and so distant from the main group of kids.

The one thing I think I was missing throughout the trilogy was maybe a bit more character development and relationship development. I really enjoyed reading about each of the characters but there were so many and there was so much going on that I really would have liked to see them interact a bit more so I could get to know a bit more about them. I was just lacking a little bit of connection to each one and I actually ended up connecting to Josie the most in this book, I think because her character was so far removed from everyone else that we knew that I really got to see how she handled herself on her own.

The ending was just what I always wanted it to be. Everything wrapped up so nicely and there were even little bonuses I didn’t see coming. It was a great apocalyptic and action-packed trilogy that I think many different ages could enjoy, male or female. I’m so glad I invested my time in this series and I feel a little twinge of satisfaction having finished it! I really enjoyed Emmy’s books and plan on picking up more of her works in the future!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

Monument 14: Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne

HOW INTERESTING. Haha, sorry guys! Read it pretty much from cover to cover on a plane so I didn’t get to update this one!

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Dean // Character Obsessions: Survival, Astrid, reuniting the group, the farm. 
I liked Dean but I still don’t feel like I KNOW him. He was still fairly quiet in the final book although he really starts coming into his own and making his voice heard. I think he was just kind of a middle person for me… Not really a leader but not really a follower. He sort of blended in. By the end of the trilogy, I just really wanted him to stand out more to me.
Josie // Character Obsessions: Control, survival, Niko, trust.
I loved her POV in this book! She actually did stand out to me which was great. She is one tough cookie! I can’t imagine ever being in that situation and she really held her own, even fighting many times for what she wanted and what she needed. I also loved that she had a great mix of strong and then more tender moments. Definitely a nice, well-rounded character in this book.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Disaster scenarios. I’m not always into the disaster situation scene but I really loved how this one wasn’t a natural disaster! I caused some, sure, but this was something that went way deeper than that. The greed of man.
Left Me Wanting More: Character connection. They were some really great characters but I was juuust missing that personal connection to them and really getting to know their histories.

Addiction Rating
Read it

I think this trilogy is a bit underrated. Although I wish I had gotten to know the characters a bit more, I really enjoyed it overall and I think it was solid as far as momentum, plot, and action go!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SAVAGE DRIFT

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       The Rule of Three   Unremembered

Independent Study (The Testing #2) – Joelle Charbonneau

Independent Study (The Testing #2) – Joelle CharbonneauTitle: Independent Study (The Testing #2) by Joelle Charbonneau
Publishing Info: January 7, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: BEA 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 25, 2013
Related Posts: The Testing (The Testing #1), NEED

    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.  

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I guess I shouldn’t start off a review by saying that I almost didn’t read this book but… I feel like I must disclose that! After reading THE TESTING last year and feeling like it too-closely resembled THE HUNGER GAMES (not just because it’s a dystopian but really in so many ways), I almost didn’t pick up INDEPENDENT STUDY. I was just so torn on whether I would really enjoy it or if I would still see those parallels and feel unable to separate myself from that idea. What I can say is that I decided to read it thanks to encouragement from Nicole at The Quiet Concert (thanks for the encouragement!!!!)  and although I wasn’t stuck on THE HUNGER GAMES parallels, it still didn’t quite knock me off my feet.

I liked INDEPENDENT STUDY… But I almost didn’t. The beginning was very slow to me. It wasn’t that nothing was happening but I just was still very unsure in what direction the book — and the series, actually — was taking me. THE TESTING ended with quite the epic finale, including a shocking cliffhanger and INDEPENDENT STUDY kind of did where we left off… So maybe that’s actually the reason it was slow for me. I almost feel like it would have benefitted from some time in between the two books and backtracking through the story to fill in what we’ve missed. It sounds crazy, right? Isn’t that the kind of stuff that normally confuses me and I get frustrated with? Yes. It is. But for this book, I feel like that would have worked because I wanted both me as the reader and Cia as the main POV to be more… in the dark. I can’t really say any more because of book one spoilers and honestly going in, I had no expectations or an idea that that’s what I wanted so it wasn’t even a let down of expectations. I was just… restless.

I actually appreciated the content of this book more than the first, I think. While THE TESTING set up necessary elements, characters, and world building, INDEPENDENT STUDY really started to explore those elements and how Cia would ultimately fit in and how she could change things. I know, I know, you’re saying, “Well duh, that’s what a book two should do!” But trust me — it doesn’t always. That being said, INDEPENDENT STUDY also felt like a totally different book in many ways. I think it matured a lot from its predecessor and the content went much deeper than Cia’s experience in the Testing. Things got much more political and the stakes were higher when it came time for Cia to decide who to trust and who to fear.

There were a few twists involved in the second half of the book but I was torn whether I liked them or not. The one big twist I’m thinking of I’m still very hesitant about because it hasn’t been developed yet but I guess that’s something for me to find out in book three! In all honesty, I was almost surely not picking up book three — which is called GRADUATION DAY, coming in June — and I almost didn’t even pick up book two! I’m actually glad that I did because I enjoyed it and it was a quick, fun read once the ball got rolling. I’ll be looking forward to book three to finish off the series but admittedly, I won’t be running to the shelves to get it.

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Cia // Character Obsessions: Surviving in the real world, spending time with Tomas when she can, fulfilling her role as a good student, subterfuge.
Subterfuge. How much did I just want to use that word? (It’s true, either way.) Cia doesn’t have it easy. She’s torn between what she knew and what she knows now and all of the things she used to know and doesn’t anymore. She doesn’t know who to trust and I really appreciated seeing things from her POV because I was pretty wary of MOST people myself. She gets betrayed a few times and finds unlikely allies in other places and I think she does a pretty dang good job of holding it together! Are we BFFs? Not quite, but I admire her courage and determination! Oh, and her keen intellect because she’s a lot smarter than I am!
Michal // Character Obsessions: Hidden agendas, helping Cia, more subterfuge.
More subterfuge. Yes. Hmm, Michal. I was always wary of him, never quite sure if he was on the side of good or corrupt. I had a hard time trusting him and wasn’t sure if Cia should too which made his role in this book all the more interesting! I was actually really happy to see more involvement from him!
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Kept Me Hooked On: The Testing Series. I almost didn’t even pick this book up because I didn’t have a driving force to push me to continue with the series, but I’m glad I did. (And thanks to Nicole for the push!) I’ll be finishing the series now because I’m curious to see how it all wraps up!
Left Me Wanting More: Mind games. Dare I say I wanted more politics in this book? Okay. I wanted more politics. The university students in this book go through more training and challenges that were similar to the Testing so while that added another aspect of how they worked together and figuring out who was smart and who was not to be trusted, I wanted even MORE of a political aspect and MORE of the rebellion. INDEPENDENT STUDY really started to explore that aspect but I wish it had been more of a primary focus instead of more game-type deals.

Addiction Rating
Read it

If you’re already invested in The Testing trilogy and you’re thinking about picking this one up, it’s still a good read! I had a few reservations while reading but the ending really picked up and I ended up enjoying it over all.

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BOOKS LIKE INDEPENDENT STUDY

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          Catching Fire            Insurgent

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) – Marissa Meyer

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) – Marissa MeyerTitle: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
Publishing Info: February 4, 2014 by Macmillan
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 14, 2013
Related Posts: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2), , Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5), The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5), Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky (Lunar Chronicles #3.1), Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2), Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3), Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), Stars Above (A Lunar Chronicles Collection), Heartless, Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1), Renegades (Renegades #1)

In this third book in Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

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How in the WORLD do I make it through this review without just straight up fangirling all over the place? Deep breaths… I will try to remain calm. Except for the fact that LEGITIMATELY CRESS may be the best book I have ever read. No exaggeration. Okay, okay, where do I start…

Let’s start off with Cress herself. I really loved her as a new addition to this cast of characters, which was all ready pretty amazing. Whereas Cinder and Scarlet are tough and take-charge, Cress has been kept naïve and obedient all of her life… Except for when she finally decides to take action and disobey her guardian Sybil Mira in order to help Cinder and her own personal idol and heartthrob, Carswell Thorne. I really appreciated how well done Cress’s character was! I think often times when characters are portrayed as naïve and innocent, it’s overplayed and the character becomes a caricature of themself, but Cress felt incredibly real and had a lovely range of emotions that made me really connect with her. She has an adorable crush on Thorne and that also really added to the depth of her character. She slowly begins to find out things about Thorne, about the Lunars, and even things about herself that really helps her grow as a person and come out of her shell. (No pun intended since she herself is a shell.)

Speaking of Thorne — I cannot even wait to talk about him. Normally I save my gushing over the romances for later it the review but nope. Can’t do it. Thorne absolutely stole my heart in CRESS and I’m so glad we got to see more of him! I had suspected in SCARLET that since he was partnering with Cinder, there was going to be a romantic development between the two of them, but I’m so glad we get to see that romantic side of him develop with Cress. I love the balance between the two characters and how well they work together. They both really learn a lot from each other and grow immensely since we’ve first seen them in the series. There are some SUPER SWOONY MOMENTS and my heart absolutely melted so many times. Eeee, just thinking about those super swoony moments sets my heart all a-flutter again!

Another thing I really enjoyed about CRESS was getting deeper into the history of the Lunars and seeing more Lunar characters. They absolutely fascinate me and I love learning more about their culture and history so that was definitely a big plus for this book! We’ve been learning more little by little as our heroes find out but CRESS featured them much more prominently and I was absolutely enthralled with their story lines. Their history and their characters provide some AMAZING twists and the way the histories of the characters are weaved… I’m absolutely floored when these twists are revealed. The plot of this series is genius and I love how each character adds a new layer to the story without leaving the other characters behind. Instead of battling for the spotlight, these characters fit together perfectly and create one fantastic series.

The action and adventure in this series is phenomenal. I don’t know why, but I often feel lost reading action scenes… Either they’re over explained or not detailed enough and I just end up getting a little lost in the melee, but Marissa Meyer does not have those issues at all. I felt like I was watching a movie the entire time I was reading CRESS and the action scenes did not let me down! Really, the whole book felt like a movie and I may be jumping the gun WAY too much, but this is a series I NEED to see as a movie or TV show. (I’m hoping for movie!) I would absolutely die to see this series on the big screen because dare I say it, but I agree with Stormy when she left a comment on my Top Ten Tuesday a while back — This is a series of Harry Potter proportions. I don’t think I’ve loved any series as much as this since Harry Potter and I would love to see it all come life off of the pages as well!

Okay, okay, time to talk about the rest of the romances. I love that we get to see more of Scarlet and Wolf’s relationship. They have something really special and you know what… I love that each romantic relationship in this book is so incredibly different. The characters are unique and yet they fit together perfectly. I know everyone was swooning over Prince Kai in CINDER and yes, I liked him, but I didn’t quite swoon until CRESS. There’s a big moment which obviously I won’t spoil but one thing that really bridged the gap between liking and loving Kai in CRESS and I went absolutely nuts for it!

CRESS is by far the best book I have read in a long time in the best series I have read in a long time. Marissa Meyer has gold with The Lunar Chronicles and CRESS just made me fall in love with the series that much more. Each new story we get just adds to my love more and more and as much as I had already loved the series, CRESS has solidified it as one of my favorite series of all time. The Lunar Chronicles definitely has a special place in my heart and you bet I will be HIGHLY anticipating the release of WINTER… Oh, the agony the waiting will be…

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Cress // Character Obsessions: Technology, Carswell Thorne, helping Cinder.
Cress is adorable. She’s sweet, innocent, naïve, and completely lovable. She is a fantastic addition to this character ensemble and I totally fell in love with her story. She brings so much to this team and I’m so glad we get to see her story and how it fits in with the rest of the crew!
Carswell Thorne // Character Obsessions: Humor, flying, being a general outlaw, sarcasm.
DON’T EVEN LET ME START ON THORNE. I positively love him. I. swooned. HARD in CRESS. Thorne was witty, supportive, sly, romantic, adorable, smart… Oh lordy. He was just fantastic and I’m so so so glad he became even more of a main character in CRESS.  

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Kept Me Hooked On: EVERYTHING. The Lunar Chronicles. Sci-Fi, dystopian, fantasy, retellings, fairy tales. Action, adventure, romance, suspense, twists. I can’t even tell you how much I am in love with this series and CRESS just brought everything to the next level. This is serious business, folks.
Left Me Wanting More: EVERYTHING. CRESS was not lacking anything that I can possibly think of but it left me aching for of The Lunar Chronicles. I’m easily a Marissa Meyer fan for life and I very well may pass out when WINTER comes out. Just saying.

Addiction Rating
BUY IT! BUY THEM ALLLL

If you haven’t read any of The Lunar Chronicles yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?! This is one of two series (*The Grisha Trilogy*ahem*) that I will book push at you until the end of time! Trust me, I was skeptical about a cyborg Cinderella too, but it is sooooo much more than that. TRY IT. YOU’LL LIKE IT. No, you’ll LOVE IT.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE CRESS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Siege and Storm - Leigh Bardugo      Catchine Fire

Pawn (Blackcoat Rebellion #1) – Aimee Carter

Pawn (Blackcoat Rebellion #1) – Aimee CarterTitle: Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter
Publishing Info: November 26, 2013 by Harlequin
Source: Netgalley
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: November 30, 2013

   For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.
    If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
    There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

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When I first heard about PAWN, I was super excited. It sound liked a mega-thrilling dystopian that I could totally get swept away with. In the end, it was definitely really enjoyable but maybe not as mega-thrilling as I had hoped it to be!

I was definitely interested right off the bat. I really enjoyed the new caste system that Aimee Carter came up with — With the Harts in charge of the country, each member receives an assigned number representing their rank. All Harts are VIIs simply because they are the leading family. From there, you can earn a rank as high as a VI — meaning you have a high intelligence rating, can give back to society, and are entitled to a higher standard of living — and the lower ranks of Is and IIs are usually sent Elsewhere, removed from Society. When Kitty receives a III after her testing and is offered an opportunity to earn a higher rank, she accepts, not truly know what she’s in for. Sounds good, right!?! I know I was hooked!

I really admired Kitty’s spunk as soon as I met her. She may have received a III but she’s not unintelligent. She has a lot of common sense and she’s very clever, but she can’t read and I actually really liked that Aimee Carter incorporated a learning disability (as much as I really hate the term “learning disability) in the book. It was especially something that I appreciated seeing because I know a few people who are dyslexic and while I don’t experience first hand how hard that may be, I can definitely appreciate it and how people who don’t understand perceive them as unintelligent when it’s not their fault. I really connected with Kitty on that level so it made the book a bit more personal for me. My heart went out to her and made me think of the people I know who struggle like that (although not to the extent that Kitty does) and how frustrating and really life-changing that is.

PAWN also had some really good plot twists that I really enjoyed! There were quite a few things I didn’t see coming so I really appreciated that it was not only action-packed but really surprising! I feel like a dystopian can carry a reader through with creative world-building and terrific suspense and action but PAWN also has quite a few surprises packed in for the reader and after the first one, I was so excited to see where Aimee Carter would take us next!

I really loved a lot of the characters in PAWN as well! I have to say Knox was my favorite. I was curious and tempted. I felt like Kitty was exposed and yet safe. He was quite the interesting character and there were times I wasn’t sure whether he was friend or foe! The entire Hart family was quite the conundrum while reading and I was really never sure what to expect from them! I love the way I was kept guessing the whole time.

I really don’t have any complaints about the book but I do have to say that it never quite took me to WOW level. I really loved the twists and they really kept me hooked but overall, I had an impression of “really good” but not quite “fantastic”. If you’re feeling worn out on the dystopian trend and looking for a light mix of futuristic technology, I’d highly recommend you add PAWN to your reading list!

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Kitty // Character Obsessions: Being more than a III, finding Benjy again, protecting the ones she loves, surviving the Harts.
I really liked Kitty! I thought she was a really great heroine with a lot of motive and desire to get herself both in and out of trouble. She was really dedicated to her family, friends, and boyfriend that she ended up “leaving behind” when she went to go work with the Harts and I really felt her commitment to them. I also loved the new relationships that she formed as well. I really appreciated her situation as far as her “judgeable intelligence”. (Yes, I totally made that up.) She was definitely smart, but not always traditionally book smart so she really got put in a class she may not have belonged.
Knox // Character Obsessions: Maintaining a status quo, protecting Kitty/Lila… or is he?
Knox was another stand-out character for me. I really, really liked him. He was mysterious and yet I trusted him all at the same time. He felt trustworthy but especially with all of the twists thrown in there, I was just never sure of him. A very exciting character!
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Kept Me Hooked On: Caste system dystopians. I don’t know why, but I really enjoy learning about different levels of society in dystopians and how they’re categorized. For some reason this world-building aspect really just fascinates me! Not like I really approve of it in real life… Just for fiction, people! Just for fiction! But that kind of world building is really interesting. I always wonder how the authors decide what falls into which category and who gets put into what class.
Left Me Wanting More: …Something. I’m not sure what was holding me back but I wasn’t fully WOWED. It was definitely really good and looking back on it, I still feel really confident with how much I enjoyed it but it didn’t quite skyrocket to a favorite.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

I think a lot of people would enjoy this one! It follows a certain pattern and will feel familiar but still keep you on your toes!

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE PAWN

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Altered   Tandem

Legend (Legend #1) – Marie Lu

Legend (Legend #1) – Marie LuTitle: Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu
Publishing Info: November 29, 2011 by Penguin
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: November 16, 2013
Related Posts: Warcross (Warcross #1), Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)

    What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
    From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

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I am SO glad I finally read LEGEND because it’s the best dystopian I’ve read in a long time. Even better than Divergent — Yes, I said it. I knew people really loved this series and I didn’t mean to push it off for so long but ya know… So many books…

I was totally “wowed” by LEGEND and I’m so thankful for that because I’ve been trying to be a bit pickier on the books I pick up.  I’ve been craving that really good paranormal or dystopian-type book so LEGEND hit the spot! Right off the bat, I could tell this book was special and the publishers sure know how to make you remember it and enhance Marie Lu’s writing! Each main character (Day and June) gets their own font for their chapters. Day’s chapter kicks off the book with a pretty gold font which totally caught me off guard, but obviously in a good way! I also really loved that each chapter had its own font because it really helped me differentiate between the two. I didn’t get confused between the two voices, but if you’re one that isn’t a huge fan of alternating POVs, the different fonts might help!

In the new Republic, every child has to go through a series of tests (“the Trial”) when they’re eleven which determines their intelligence, general ranking, and if they will get into school or if they’re… banished. LEGEND surrounds our main characters June — all-around all-star with a perfect score on the Trial and a bit of a penchant for being just a bit mischevious — and Day, her polar opposite or so it seems. Day received the lowest score on the Trial that anyone has ever received but something seems fishy. He’s pretty dang intelligent himself and even if he bombed a couple sections, he doesn’t feel his score should have ever been that low…
I was interested from chapter one, but as the book slowly starts to dig deeper into the plot, I was hooked. Marie Lu has some great world building with the new dystopian America. Usually there are times when the new world is being described and I feel a bit of a world-building-drag, but there is really never a dull moment in this book. The reader gets a feel for the new country, the new government, the new leaders and rebels all woven into the plot. Sometimes I have a tendency to get lost in a new world if I can’t picture it, but I really felt like I was watching the whole book unfold on the big screen. I could picture each situation that Day and June encountered. It was fantastic! There was a combination of the destruction and disease that a dystopian brings to the table, but since it is set in the future, we also have glimpses of some awesome technology — both gadgets as well as things used city-wide like the jumbotron-type screens used to portray news and announcements.

The thing I loved the most about LEGEND was all of the twisty-turny surprises! With dystopian being the genre that pulled me into YA, I’ve read quite a few and you start to sense or sort of pattern or repeated idea that most dystopians will have — it’s just inescapable when writing in the genre. I was so, so pleased with the amount of plot twists in LEGEND to keep me on the edge of my seat and the story feeling fresh. (Now, now, I know LEGEND was actually one the earlier ones, but it’s new to me so really no matter when it was written, there will always be someone catching up and those surprises are always important!) There were some that I was able to predict a tiny bit and others that totally shocked me! Honestly, at once point in time I was reading on the couch and Shane was upstairs and I shouted, “WHAT!?!” so loud that he called down to make sure I was okay haha. There were THOSE kind of moments and I loved being kept on the edge of my seat!

I also really loved the characters. I felt for both June and Day and I looooved the scenes with them together! It was so interesting to read their alternating POVs until the moment when they come together… And then things get even more interesting! Their voices felt much more mature than fifteen (in my head they were 18 or 19, but that’s just something that I do haha) so really the book can appeal a wide range of audiences. (Although for some violent content, I’d say 14 and up?) Then again, they were both incredibly smart (something else that I also loved) so it does make sense that they’d sound more mature than their actual ages.

The good news is, the entire series is out so I can go read some more as quickly as I want to because my immediate though upon finishing was, “I need to inhale the rest of this series.”

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Day // Character Obsessions: Caring for his family, protecting Tess, maintaining a secret identity, resisting the Republic.
I really loved Day’s character. He feels he’s been wronged in his testing since all of his friends and family know he’s much smarter than his results show. He was the “smart” one in the family and his brother received a higher score than him. Day lives on the fringes of society, surviving on his own all the while eluding the Republic (which obviously doesn’t make them too happy). He’s strong, caring, and extremely skilled. I love his dedication to his family — both blood and adopted (Tess) and his ability to forge ahead when everything is stacked against him. He still maintains some lovely snark and a sense of humor. I absolutely loved reading about him in LEGEND!
June // Character Obsessions: Her brother Metias, training for the Republic, catching Day.
June was also incredibly smart and so interesting to read about as well! She’s the golden child — the only person to score perfectly on her Trial — and with that kind of an incredible mind… She gets bored a bit easily. Her boredom pushes her to act out a bit and at times show off and we get to see a little less serious side of June! I loved seeing her intelligence really shine in LEGEND and not only in the traditional sense but also her ability to problem solve and think for herself.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Really, really, REALLY good reads. I went through a minor reading slump — it wasn’t bad, but I just needed to read something REALLY good. I had a craving to absolutely fall in love witha book and LEGEND was it. It kept me reading dystopians and maintained my love for them and totally wowed me!
Left Me Wanting More: EVERYTHING. I just want more and more and more of this series. I can’t wait to pick up the next book!

Addiction Rating
BUY IT!

I loved LEGEND. This is definitely a series I want to devour and now I understand what all the fuss is about! Definitely one for your shelves!

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE LEGEND

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Divergent       Crewel

Enclave (Razorland #1) – Ann Aguirre

Enclave (Razorland #1) – Ann AguirreTitle: Enclave (Razorland #1) by Ann Aguirre
Publishing Info: April 12, 2011 by Macmillan
Source: Won
Genres: Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 20, 2013
Related Posts: Mortal Danger (Immortal Game #1)

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.
  As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.
  Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.
  As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known

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I had been meaning to read ENCLAVE for a loooong time. I won the ebook a while back but I am TERRIBLE at staying on top of my ebooks because I don’t see them sitting on my shelf everyday (shame, shame. I know) but I wanted to read it before I met Ann Aguirre at the Fierce Reads Tour on November 4th. Perfect timing!

We first meet Deuce as Girl15, ready to receive her name at her naming ceremony and become an official part of the Hunters and Huntresses who provide food for the enclave and also protect it. While I must admit that Deuce is my least favorite character name of all time, I really did like her character! She was ready to take on the world, learn new skills, and protect her friends and the people who had become like her family. Another awesome kickass female protagonist done well!

I don’t know why, but one of my favorite parts about any dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel is learning how the world and/or government collapsed and what grew up in its absence. What was difficult for me in ENCLAVE was that we didn’t get to see “Topside” until halfway through the book so it was just a little bit slow for me in the first half. I really got into the book once we got to see the world that once was: figuring out how it collapsed, trying to survive the elements as well as the Freaks and the gangs, and also trying to find a safe place in a world that was totally foreign. I love re-discovering the world that we know now from the characters’ perspective!

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Deuce and Fade and how their characters ended up not only growing closer, but really depending on each other to survive. I really liked Fade a lot (he sort of reminded me of Four from the Divergent series at times!) and his secret past absolutely intrigued me! We got a little taste of what his life was like growing up and how that knowledge would be valuable to Deuce as well. As far as the romance goes… I liked it at first, but I felt like it escalated a little quickly considering the main focus of the Hunters is, well, hunting and they grew up mostly not touching others affectionately, even just as a sign of friendship. That sort of thing was left to the Breeders. I didn’t feel like it was insta-love or anything, but I felt like it happened quickly considering their history.

I actually really liked the supporting characters, especially the ones that Deuce and Fade encounter later in the story. Stalker was actually probably one of my favorite in the sense that he felt really dynamic and I liked what Ann Aguirre did with his character! I think all of the characters really brought the story to life and it was interesting to see them thrown into such a hostile environment and how they handled it.

The ending was really exciting and although ENCLAVE started a bit slow for me, it finished strong and it got me excited for the next book in the series! I’m definitely interested to see where the story goes from here.

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Deuce // Character Obsessions: Being a Huntress, surviving, battling Freaks.
I liked Deuce! Did not like her name, but hey. It wasn’t her choice either, right? I think at times she was a bit too stubborn but I think she just had a real need to prove herself which she actually did many, many times over. I liked her determination and she really kept the story moving. I also really appreciated that she was badass tough chick and then we got to see a much softer side of her as the story went on. Very nicely done!
Fade // Character Obsessions: Being a Hunter, surviving, battling Freaks, holding his tongue.
Fade is definitely a complex fellow. He was found and brought to the Enclave so he has a whole childhood that his community doesn’t even know about. I was definitely drawn to him because of the mystery and his strength!

 addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Post-Apocalyptic novels. I love destroying the world. I love reading about how authors crumble our modern world and create a new one in its place! Fascinating!!
Left Me Wanting More: Topside in the beginning. I’m obsessed with finding out how the world ended and what it’s like now (well, “now” in the book) so I felt like it took just a little too long for that to happen in ENCLAVE, for my personal tastes.

Addiction Rating
Borrow it!

Borrow it from a friend who’s loved it and wants to share it with you! It’s a good read but not one of my all-time favorites. The series looks like it has some really good potential so start with book one and hopefully things will get even better as we go!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE ENCLAVE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Divergent     Monument 14

Altered (Crewel World #2) – Gennifer Albin

Altered (Crewel World #2) – Gennifer AlbinTitle: Altered (Crewel #2) by Gennifer Albin
Publishing Info: October 29, 2013 by Macmillan
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 13, 2013
Related Posts: Crewel (Crewel World #1), Unraveled (Crewel World #3)

    Life. Possibility. Choice. All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.
    But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.
    Altered is Gennifer Albin's thrilling sequel to Crewel. Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.

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The ONE regret I have about my read of ALTERED…? That I didn’t re-read or at least skim CREWEL first! So many things happened in CREWEL, especially the end, that I needed a really spoilery review or… ya know… my own copy of the book (I had borrowed it from Alyssa when I read it so I didn’t have one on hand!) so if you’re planning on reading ALTERED (which is a good idea!!!), I suggest you brush up on CREWEL first!

I really, REALLY enjoyed ALTERED! I had been left just hoping for a tiny bit more of the time/space manipulation aspect and a better visual of it when I read CREWEL and that had really affected my overall opinion. I definitely did not have the same issue with ALTERED! Gennifer Albin stuffed this book full of a whole ton of new abilities, new characters with different abilities, and more science-fictiony things!! I loved all of the new things, PLUS going further into the structure and the nature of Arras, PLUS seeing more of Adelice TOTALLY OWN IT.

Adelice totally grew on me in ALTERED. I got a feeling from her in the beginning of CREWEL that she was a bit timid — which I guess really made sense because that’s how the girls in Arras are brought up — but the more she finds out about herself, her family, Arras, and the rebellion, the more she comes into her own and really starts to take charge. I loved her new attitude and I think it really carried the book along as well! She’s faced with a lot of tough choices and there’s no doubt that they take a toll on her, but she’s really starting to grow up and fall into the role of this great Creweler that she is perceived to be.

So normally, I don’t like switches in love triangles. Usually when the focus switches to another guy, I tend to get upset because obviously I was made to fall in love with guy #1 first. In CREWEL, we do meet both Jost and Erik and honestly, they felt really similar to me. I finally started to see them breaking apart from each other in ALTERED and… let’s just say that I picked a favorite! I didn’t really expect to end up liking this sort of love triangle, but I totally did. I loved how the story went and bravo to Gennifer Albin for totally convincing me!

I think one of my favorite things in ALTERED was the collection of new characters. I loved Dante (and his complicated history), Jax, Kincaid… Ooooh, Kincaid. He is so complex and I LOVE it. Do you trust him? Do you fear him? So good! The ending was so interesting and I won’t give anything away on WHO and WHAT but — never thought I would say this — I’m hoping for a split POV in book three. I would LOVE to see a second POV from Character B along side Adelice but I guess time will only tell and I will have to wait patiently!

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Adelice Lewys // Character Obsessions: Weaving, rebelling, learning.
Adelice has got a LOT on her plate but she totally owns it in ALTERED! I feel like we got past that awkward stage and she is totally in a kick-ass mindset with no one to hold her back. Loved her in this book.
Erik Bell // Character Obsessions: Rebelling, protecting, secret-keeping.
Erik is one of my new favorites and I totally didn’t see that coming! I liked him well enough in CREWEL but his character was definitely featured more in ALTERED and I really got to like him a whole lot more! His character also received a lot more depth and we find out some SECRETS that make it so much more exciting too! You’ll just have to read it to find out!
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Kept Me Hooked On: Dystopians! I feel like I haven’t really been enjoying dystopians as much as I used to… Maybe I was just burned out — But Altered totally rekindled that love with some sci-fi elements and kickass characters and KISSING. Okay, well kissing is always there. But it always helps too!
Left Me Wanting More: Of my memory…  I may have the worst memory and reading retention in the blogging world. I did read CREWEL over a year ago so I can understand losing some, but I felt so out of the loop when I started ALTERED (and still loved it — so shows you how awesome it was)! I learned my lesson and will always go over book one before I start book two from now on!!

Addiction Rating
Buy It!

ALTERED was pretty fabulous! I think I may have even liked it more than CREWEL and thank GOODNESS I didn’t suffer from Second in a Series Slump! This is a kickass world and HELLOOOOO. Time manipulation! Could it be more me?

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE ALTERED

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Mockingjay      Reboot

Defiance (Defiance #1) – C.J. Redwine

Defiance (Defiance #1) – C.J. RedwineTitle: Defiance (Defiance #1) by C.J. Redwine
Publishing Info: August 28, 2012 by HarperCollins
Source: Won
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 1, 2013

While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.
    When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.
    As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

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Oh, blogger friends…

I Trusted You
I trusted you on this one! Your ratings are all four and five stars! (Except one.) I bought the second book! *shakes head* Why did I do that? I should know better than to buy a sequel (and have it personalized) before I finish the first book.

DEFIANCE. I’ve heard so many good things and I’ve been wanting to start this one for a long time, so I finally did before I went to the CJ Redwine & Rae Carson event at Anderson’s. I hadn’t been able to read that much before the actual event, but it was interesting to hear both of these ladies talk about their books even though I hadn’t read them yet. I knew lots of my blogger friends really loved this one so I was so excited to meet CJ! She was really nice and the event was a lot of fun, as a whole!

But then I started getting further into the book. I was hoping that my initial qualms with Rachel would resolve themselves as I got deeper into the plot AND the romance, but instead of getting better… They got worse. Rachel is one tough chick. But she’s stubborn. That’s not always a bad thing, but I got a bit of a martyr complex from Rachel, having to do everything herself. Always. Her father is gone so she had no parents to rely on like she used to and things are uneasy with Logan, her new guardian. So naturally, Rachel takes it upon herself to take care of business. That could have been all well and good but for some reason I just got these really bad vibes from the way her character was written. She felt angry. She felt negative. She felt stubborn and immature and defensive. Sure, I’ve seen this in lots of YA characters, but just the way it was written for Rachel did not work for me. She acted without thinking (Logan was the thinker in the book) and I actually got mad at her for a few specific incidences.

I was actually okay with Logan in the beginning, but soon he became too much of a character and didn’t quite feel like a real person to me. He was more logical and techy as a polar opposite to Rachel’s physical strength and quick decisions — I actually really liked that he was more of a “brains guy” than “braun guy”, but then… Things started to go downhill. Everything became SO thought out and overcalculated… I started rolling my eyes at his Best/Worst Case Scenarios. If you guys know me, you KNOW how much I hate hearing things repeated over and over and over again in books and this was one thing that just pushed my buttons.

The romance in DEFIANCE between Rachel and Logan just never came together for me either. I guess it’s kind of hard if I’m really not into either character to get into their romance, but I never felt the chemistry there, even from the beginning when I was still trying to root for them to get together. I actually really liked the forbidden romance kind of aspect and that Rachel and Logan knew each other and had a big history and hadn’t just met for the first time. I guess I was hoping to feel that connection from their past but I just never got that either.

Most of all, I was confusing by the world building. It reads like fantasy and HI, there’s a dragon who lives underground, which AWESOME! Dragons! But wait… I thought this was this is speculative/dystopian? It’s that too! Then were did this random dragon come from? How many years in the future are we? CJ Redwine clearly stated at the author event that Baalboden is in a post-apocalyptic Tennessee and the characters make the journey all the way to former-Louisiana. (Remember that one giant sign aka billboard that referred to “the king”…? Tennessee…? Get the reference?) How did SO MUCH destruction happen over such a vast expanse of land? If the Cursed One was really what destroyed everything, where did it even come from? Why didn’t we bomb the ones that were out there with the technology we had before the Cursed Ones started appearing? How are things still so bad? I just had so many questions and it felt like a mash up of too many genres. I can appreciate genre mash-ups but these just didn’t seem to mix well.

Basically, this one just didn’t work for me on really any level. I tried really hard to make it work and finish with at least a somewhat positive outcome but it came to a point where I skimmed a good portion of the end because the chapters were dragging on. I really, really wanted to like this one but after trying to force it for over 400 pages, there comes a time where you just have to say, “It wasn’t for me.” To top it off, I wasn’t smart about my book buying and I guess I now have a personalized book two that I don’t plan to read. Bummer.

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Rachel // Character Obsessions: Weapons, saving her father, avoiding Logan.
Sadly, I just didn’t connect with Rachel. I love kickass females, but she was a bit too stubborn and too defensive for me. She was rash to act and didn’t think about a lot of her actions, some which caused major destruction. Since I was struggling with her character, those moments made me like her less instead of feeling sympathy for her.
Logan // Character Obsessions: Gadgets, technology, protecting Rachel, planning.
Logan was much more calculated than Rachel was, but even that started to go overboard for me. He didn’t feel like a nice mix of head and heart… More like SO many thoughts/plans and SO many emotions and he went overboard with both. I liked his techy side and that his gadgets were helpful to his and Rachel’s plans, but it was weird part of the plot because I couldn’t get over how high fantasy it felt, which always reminds me of medieval times, and it just didn’t seem to fit. I know it’s also a speculative fiction novel, but everything just jumbled together for me and Logan’s character didn’t seem to fit the times in my head.
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Kept Me Hooked On: Dragons. Okay. So it’s called The Cursed One and not actually a dragon. But it’s a dragon. I may or may not have been rooting for it sometimes.


Left Me Wanting More: World Building Answers. I love a book with awesome world building and I just had SO many unanswered questions in DEFIANCE. I know I won’t be able to get ALL of the answers, but I feel like I got so many at the signing but… None of those answers were in the book. The fantasy feel of the book and the knowledge that it was supposed to be speculative fiction/dystopian just didn’t compute in my head. I needed SO much more information to figure out why the world ended up like it did.

Addiction Rating
Try with caution

LOTS of bloggers liked and even LOVED this book. This one just was not for me. Since there are so many positive opinions, I’d say give it a try, but maybe be a little wary of the issues that I had with it. Or check your trusted bloggers and see what they thought! Hopefully you’ll find a review that you trust to guide you!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE DEFIANCE

        Prophecy          Eve

Eve (Eve #1) – Anna Carey

Eve (Eve #1) – Anna CareyTitle: Eve (Eve #1) by Anna Carey
Publishing Info: October 4, 2011 by HarperCollins
Source: Library
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 14, 2013

    Where do you go when nowhere is safe?
    Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth's population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school's real purpose and the horrifying fate that awaits her.
    Fleeing the only home she's ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust... and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.
    In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying.

bookreview1

I’ll admit it. I originally made it 80% through this audio book and THEN gave up, marking it DNF. That just didn’t sit well with me, though. I had come so far! I really didn’t want to give up… So I finished honestly for the sake of finishing the book. I wasn’t enjoying it but I made it that far…. Might as well!

Firstly. I did not like Eve. Even before the narrator of the audiobook bothered me more. I found Eve to be weak-minded, wishy-washy, and an overall victim. She made a few bold decisions but mostly out of necessity than bravery. She was very naïve, didn’t think for herself, and seemed to latch onto whatever people told her. How did she go from being raised her WHOLE LIFE to not trust men/that they’re evil and then she “falls in love” soooo easily, depending entirely on Caleb and barely flinching when they join forces. I felt like she always played the victim, even when she had the opportunity to stop and think.

Secondly. The narrator was actually very good at telling the story, using different voices, putting in emotion, etc. But it felt like everything that she was doing with Eve’s character only enhanced the things I was hating about her. I just couldn’t take the whines, the exasperation, the shrillness… I was done.

Lastly. I wasn’t a fan of this dystopian world. I guess it was supposed to be 2030-something? Which I either missed or just plain didn’t know, but I felt SO pulled out of the story will all of the present-day (for us) or even past references (“I Love Rock and Roll”, the movie Ghost, several classic literature references). I felt like the world ended in the 80s, not the future. Those things just really pulled me out of the story and sort of… cheesed it up a bit for my personal tastes. I guess it depends on how those things of the past connect to the dystopian’s present. In this case, it just wasn’t working for me.

There were just too many things I didn’t care for about the book — Not HORRIBLE things to really turn me off, but if I don’t get along with the main character, it’s pretty much over from there. I wasn’t a fan of the way the story was done… Again, not horrible, but meh. It just wasn’t the book for me. Plus, I find as I read more and more dystopians, I get more and more picky. It’s just going to happen.

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Eve: I didn’t like Eve. There, I said it. I felt like she was naïve to the point of annoyance (on my part), whiney, weak-minded, and easily swayed. I got frustrated how easily she changed her mind based on what people told her and she was just a weak character for me. Not my cup of tea.
Caleb: Zero swoons whatsoever. I really wanted a lot more character development from him. He just seemed like a boy who was in the right place and the right time so that’s where the romance started. Eh.
Arden: I actually liked Arden! She had some fight and she was a fiery personality! Maybe the story should have been about her…
addiction_factor1

Pass.

I know some people have enjoyed this series, but personally, I wouldn’t recommend it. I felt like there are much better dystopians out there and I just was NOT a fan of the main character so that was really hard for me.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE EVE

     Crewel           Dualed

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) – Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) – Marissa MeyerTitle: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Publishing Info: February 5, 2013 by Macmillan
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 21, 2013
Related Posts: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1), , Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5), The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5), Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky (Lunar Chronicles #3.1), Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2), Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3), Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), Stars Above (A Lunar Chronicles Collection), Heartless, Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1), Renegades (Renegades #1)

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.  

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There has been some serious love for SCARLET out in the blogging world so I’ll admit that I felt a bit of pressure before I started the second installment of The Lunar Chronicles to feel that same amount of love and intensity for this book… What in the world was I worried about!? SCARLET proved to be just as amazing if not better than CINDER.

So SCARLET, as you may know, loosely follows along as a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood whereas as Cinder was obviously Cinderella… With the two girls on opposite sides of the world and seemingly unrelated stories (how exactly do Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood go together…?), I was a bit nervous as to how these two stories would come together to create amazing book harmony. Even though I was thoroughly enjoying Scarlet’s story (and Wolf. WOLF! More on him later…) AND catching up on what’s been happening with Cinder, I still had a small sliver of doubt. Well, if you haven’t read the book yet, I will tell you DO NOT FEAR. Marissa Meyer knows EXACTLY what she’s doing, friends, and she succeeds at bringing these worlds together in the most amazing ways. You know I won’t give anything away, but let’s just say that there are some “OMG” moments and some kick-ass twists and turns that totally knocked me off my feet.

These are loose retellings so it’s not like Cinder ends up as Scarlet’s grandmother or the wolf or anything. Oh, no. Marissa Meyer has her own plot entirely which is fascinating as well as grossly entertaining. I absolutely love how I never lost the feeling of the original characters and general plot from the fairy tales, but The Lunar Chronicles is also incredibly unique in the way that Marissa Meyer has these characters come to life and creates her own unique story. She does some amazing world building with really what I would call a dystopian world and maintaining a sci-fi aspect with the Lunars and the cyborgs that I think most non-sci-fi people will enjoy!

The new characters additions to this series were also incredibly enjoyable! We meet new people who fit into the Little Red Riding Hood part of the story: Scarlet, her grandmother, and Wolf. There’s also Cadet (I mean, Captain) Thorne who if you’ve read Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, I would TOTALLY liken him to a Sturmhond. He was funny, sarcastic, and a great partner in crime for many of Cinder’s misadventures. I loved him as a sort of comic relief for Cinder since she’s got SO much seriousness going on in her world.

If you loved CINDER, you’ll love SCARLET, no doubt about it. Personally, I loved SCARLET even more! Like I fear with so many sequels, adding in Scarlet’s story line really took nothing away from Cinder’s and just added so much more to it and the overall plot of the series. Marissa Meyer sure knows how to build a series by letting the big picture unravel slowly and evenly throughout the books but still keeping us wildly entertained and feeling satisfied at the end of each one. There were so many more things revealed in SCARLET that added to the overall plot that the fire for the love of this series keeps on burning and has fans of The Lunar Chronicles begging for more! CRESS is a highly anticipated read for many in 2014 and I know I will be most impatiently waiting until I can get my hands on it!

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Scarlet: Scarlet Beniot becomes a main focus and she may have even more fire than Cinder does… She’s a no-nonsense girl and I loved seeing her take charge as well as standing up for herself and her friends. She’s fiercely loyal to those she loves and it was nice to see still a strong character like Cinder is, but also strong in different ways.
Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 10.05.05 AMWolf: Wolf is another new addition to this series and my friends did not let me down when they said I would be swooning for him! I guess you could say he’s sort of a broody character because he’s got a lot of things hidden beneath the surface that you know make him emotional as well as fierce. You can tell there are so many layers to his character — what seems menacing may be innocent… What seems harmless may have a secret meaning… I think it’s definitely a little sense of mystery that had me falling under Wolf’s spell!
Thorne: Thorne is actually a new character in Cinder’s plot line before her story meets with up Scarlet. He’s actually a fellow prisoner and ends up becoming an accomplice & ally. His comic relief was perfect for the Cinder plot line because let’s face it… Cinder has a lot of STUFF going on. Thorne brought a bit of lightness back to Cinder’s world and their banter back and forth was hilarious! I actually compared him a bit to Han Solo because I know Marissa Meyer was influenced by Star Wars (and actually I couldn’t STOP seeing Star Wars parallels!) so then through a little encouragement from Alyssa, I ended up tweeting Marissa Meyer and well… Maybe I wasn’t seeing things after all! 🙂
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BUY IT!

Ugh, I just loved this book. It was SO great. Such a fantastic follow-up to CINDER and I love how it built upon the existing story and also started its own.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SCARLET

     Siege and Storm      Of Triton