Tag Archives: Dystopian

Brooke (Under the Never Sky #2.5) – Veronica Rossi

Brooke (Under the Never Sky #2.5) – Veronica RossiTitle: Brooke (Under the Never Sky #2.5) by Veronica Rossi
Publishing Info: November 26, 2013 by HarperCollins
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 17, 2013
Related Posts: Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1), Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2), Roar and Liv (Under the Never Sky #0.5), Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)

    Set just before the events of Into the Still Blue, the conclusion to Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky trilogy, this breathtaking novella is a satisfying stand-alone for new readers as well as an exciting glimpse at favorite characters from the trilogy. Pulsing with romance and danger, Brooke will leave readers desperate for the conclusion to this epic and unforgettable saga.
    The only fight she can't win is the one for Perry's heart. Following the stunning climax in Through the Ever Night, the Tides have been forced to seek shelter from the Aether storms in a dismal, secluded cave. But Brooke's memories of the cave go back much further, to when she and Perry used to come here together. That was before Perry fell in love with Aria and before Vale's dealings with the Dwellers altered the course of the Tides forever.
    Now, with her sister back from a haunting year in captivity and Aria lying unconscious in the sick bay, Brooke struggles to put the pieces of her life back together. Without Perry, who is she? And what is her role in this frightening new world? As these questions swirl about her, an old threat to the Tides resurfaces, and Brooke is forced to put the lives of her people before her own. But in taking this step outside of herself, Brooke may finally discover what she truly wants.

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I feel like a lot of people were really disappointed that this novella was from Brooke’s POV simply because Brooke was a sort of antagonist for Aria and Perry’s relationship. Because of her history with Perry, she adopted a somewhat sour disposition and she wasn’t very amiable towards Aria and struggled to be around Perry. I was actually really looking forward to reading Brooke’s POV.

I feel like I’ve been been in Brooke’s position before, albeit in a less intense way. It’s not easy to be in a situation like that — post-break-up AND a new person creeping in on your territory… Thrown in conflict with a sister who’s essentially been kidnapped and a threat to your home and it’s easy to feel exactly like Brooke does. She’s a very strong person but she’s had so much thrown at her that it’s hard to keep it all together. I actually really liked reading from her perspective because we got to see a different side of her and hear things from inside her stream of consciousness. Brooke is a hard creature to tame so she’s less likely to filter her thoughts and her actions. It was interesting to see compared to Aria and Perry who make very calculated decisions.

Reading Brooke’s story also showed her growth throughout the series as well. It’s hard to see how developed her character really is when we only get Aria and Perry’s story in UNDER THE NEVER SKY and THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT and Veronica Rossi is an expert at character development. She’s definitely come a long way since we first met her and even though this is only a novella, she really shows the most progress in this book. We also get some, erm… swoony action here! Since Brooke doesn’t get any more involvement with Perry, we actually get a taste of two new boys in this story and I really loved learning more about both of them!

BROOKE is a novella that takes place between THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT and INTO THE STILL BLUE, but having already read INTO THE STILL BLUE, I’m actually glad I read BROOKE after. You can absolutely read BROOKE before the last book in the series (it does come sequentially before!) but I really liked reading the last book, seeing how everything plays out through the end, and going back to just before INTO THE STILL BLUE starts. Just my personal preference (like I think there are going to be spoilers or something haha. There aren’t, but I’m just weird like that) but I really liked reading the novella after!

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Brooke // Character Obsessions: Protecting Clara, finding the Still Blue, getting over Perry.
Brooke really grew a lot in this novella alone which was so impressive to do over the span of a short story. I really admired her bravery, determination, and I respected her journey throughout this story. I really appreciated hearing her point of view and I’m once again impressed by Veronica Rossi’s character development!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Veronica Rossi. How does she do this?!? We had an understanding of Brooke before but I got to know so much more about her and I saw so much of a change in this short story. I was so impressed!
Left Me Wanting More: Brooke. I wish we got to see more of Brooke in the meat of this series! She does play a bigger role in INTO THE STILL BLUE but even still… I really started to love and appreciate her character a lot and this being the last part of the series I read, I really wanted to see more of her!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

I hope that people who aren’t Brooke fans will appreciated this short story from her perspective! I think she really showed a lot of maturity — or at least on her way to growing — in this story and I think it’s a great addition to this series.

book_recommendations1(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Altered         Cinder

Altered Blog Tour: Guest Post from Gennifer Albin

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Welcome to the ALTERED blog tour, hosted by Macmillan and Fierce Reads! I’m so excited to be a tour host today with author Gennifer Albin stopping by for a guest post! Before I start with the tour stop, here’s a little more info about ALTERED and the Crewel World series to get yourself acquainted with the book:

AlteredTitle: Altered (Crewel World #2)
Author: Gennifer Albin
Publishing Info: October 29th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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.
In this 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.” — From Goodreads

Become a fan of The Crewel World Trilogy on Facebook || Become a fan of Gennifer Albin on Facebook || Follow Gennifer Albin on Twitter || Check out Gennifer’s author website || Find out more about the #JoinTheAgenda project

Today, Gennifer Albin is sharing a second deleted scene from ALTERED with us and I’m so excited that I’m not even going to make you wait for it. Here we go!

ALTERED DELETED SCENE #2

Note from Gennifer Albin: In the original draft of Altered things went down a bit differently. Cutting some of the scenes and plot lines was hard, but I’m sharing three of them during this blog tour. Don’t forget to follow the tour so you can catch all three. In this scene, Adelice and Erik have been separated from Jost and captured by an evil Sunrunner, something that doesn’t happen in the published version. Adelice convinces Erik to play a game with her while she surreptitiously checks out the other captives at dinner time. The idea for the game from a guy I used to work with at a video store. He always noted every girl who came in and whether or not he would date her. This usually ended in me debating his choices.

“Want to play a game?” I ask.  I’m not ready to bring Erik into this.  Not until I understand what I’m seeing. “Sure,” he says, a note of suspicion in his voice. “Pick someone out to repopulate the planet with.” Erik’s eyes snap to mine and he looks away hurriedly. “Somebody else,” I groan. “In all fairness, you caught me off-guard,” he says. “It’ll be fun,” I promise him, silently adding, and it will give me a reason to be staring at everyone around us. There’s at least seventy other people creeping toward the line, and eventually I get caught up in the surge of the crowd.  I throw a reassuring smile in the direction of Erik, and turn my attention to the food.  If it can be called that. “Picked one out yet?” I ask, sliding onto the bench next to him. “She’s alright,” he says, nodding in the direction of a petite blonde at the table next to ours. “Okay,” I say.  The girl is slender and trim, but from here I can’t see any scars. “You don’t approve,” he says.  “I think she is well-groomed.” “What about her?” I ask, throwing my head toward a dark-skinned girl at the table across from us.  Erik turns to check her out, and I take time to study her arms and her face.  After a moment it dawns on me that her skin, which had looked caramel before is actually washed out, as though someone had drained her of color – stolen the very vibrancy from her. “Her?” He says with a laugh, and I turn to see a woman of at least eighty.  “Your standards are getting a little low, aren’t they?” I tease, trying to keep my voice light despite the shocking stripes of black, marring her ancient skin. “Maybe next time.  There’s something strange about them, isn’t there?” he asks. “You give up too easily.  You’re not even trying to convince me,” I say, ignoring his reference to the scars and marks most of the slaves carry.  I don’t want anyone around to hear us discussing it. “I don’t like this game,” Erik admits. “You seemed to enjoy it.” “Yes, but now it feels so…” “Sexist?” I offer.

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Whew! Hope you enjoyed the deleted scene from ALTERED! I’ve already finished and personally, I’m enjoying all of the new scenes with Adelice and Erik so this was super exciting to see!  The ALTERED blog tour is started on 10/21 and is running through the end of this week, 11/1! If you’ve missed a stop or want to keep following the tour, be sure to check out the ALTERED blog tour page on Macmillan’s website for all of the tour hosts! The Cypress Project is a prequel short story written by Gennifer Albin, being excerpted exclusively on Wattpad. Start reading now and be sure to check back on the following dates to read more of the story!

      • Monday, October 14: Part 1

 

  • Wednesday, October 16: Part 2

 

 

  • Friday, October 18: Part 3

 

 

  • Monday, October 21: Part 4

 

 

  • Wednesday, October 23: Part 5

 

 

  • Friday, October 25: Part 6

 

 

  • Monday, October 28: Part 7

 

 

And lastly, Gennifer Albin will also be on the FIERCE READS TOUR this fall with Leigh Bardugo, Jessica Brody, and Ann Aguirre! You can check out the full tour schedule at the link above but especially let me know if you will be at the stop at Anderson’s Bookshop on November 4th because I will be there!! If you aren’t in the Chicagoland area or able to make it to Anderson’s, I will be live tweeting the event so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that! Also check back at The Book Addict’s Guide because I will have an exclusive interview with the authors, and event recap, and a giveaway for books from ALL FOUR of the Fierce Reads authors on tour!

GIVEAWAY!

Macmillan is also giving away offering a giveaway!!! The winner will receive one paperback copy of CREWEL and one hardcover copy of ALTERED! US & Canada residents only. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification before the prize is forfeited to the next person.                                    a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Lunar Chronicles Novellas | Glitches (#0.5) & The Queen’s Army (#1.5)

The Lunar Chronicles Novellas | Glitches (#0.5) & The Queen’s Army (#1.5)Title: Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5) by Marissa Meyer
Publishing Info: January 18, 2012 by Tor Books
Source: Read for free on Tor.com
Genres: Dystopian
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 10, 2013
Related Posts: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2), 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, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. In Glitches, a short prequel story to Cinder, we see the results of that illness play out, and the emotional toll that takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch…

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Obviously being in love with CINDER and SCARLET, I had to read the novellas or the “in-between” stories that go with The Lunar Chronicles. GLITCHES is a quick story going back in time to before we start CINDER. It’s actually a glimpse into Cinder’s first experiences as she’s taken in by the Linh family.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Seeing the very first encounter of Cinder & the Linhs
  • Actually seeing Cinder’s step-father and witnessing exactly what happened to him and why he’s not around
  • We really got more emotion and a little more back story of Adri versus Cinder. I mean, I always understood that she didn’t like Cinder for many reasons, but seeing this prequel actually made me a little sympathetic to her. Obviously I’m still on Cinder’s side but hey. I can kind of get it.
  • Iko!!! I love little Iko and even she has a backstory in GLITCHES!
  • Peony! She’s always been such a sweet girl.

WHAT I WAS MISSING

I can’t say I was disappointed by GLITCHES but really the only reason why I don’t feel like I can give it a rating as a separate story was that because it wasn’t quite a separate story. It’s absolutely a prequel to CINDER and I loved seeing the very beginning of Cinder’s memory, really. It was short and sweet, but there really wasn’t too much as far as a separate story line or plot goes since we know most of all of this in bites & pieces from CINDER.


The Lunar Chronicles Novellas | Glitches (#0.5) & The Queen’s Army (#1.5)Title: The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5) by Marissa Meyer
Publishing Info: November 20, 2012 by Tor Books
Source: Read for free on Tor.com
Genres: Dystopian
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 19, 2013
Related Posts: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2), 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)

It is time. The boy must leave his family to serve in the Queen’s army. To be chosen is an honor. To decline is impossible. The boy is modified. He is trained for several years, and learns to fight to the death. He proves to the Queen -- and to himself -- that he is capable of evil. He is just the kind of soldier the Queen wants: the alpha of his pack.

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Okay, so THE QUEEN’S ARMY was much more exciting as a novella for me. Firstly, the story is about Z, a boy who is taken to Luna to be a part of the Queen’s army and what exactly those transformations entail. I’m basically FASCINATED with Luna and anything about it so I gobbled this one up. Also… HOLY COW, Marissa Meyer!! It’s possible to put so many interesting twists in a novella that’s actually not that long!? It was awesome. I highly recommend that fans of the series read both, but THE QUEEN’S ARMY was kind of amazing.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Luna! What can I say? I’m kind of obsessed.
  • Seeing the backstory of “new” characters. We already got a lot of backstory from Cinder in CINDER so that’s why GLITCHES didn’t appeal to me as much. THE QUEEN’S ARMY revolves around Z, and well…. It just gets better from there!
  • Details. We get to see a little about Luna here and there in CINDER & SCARLET — Some in chapters, some from the knowledge of the characters — but I felt like I didn’t get a lot of how Luna really operated. This was sort of an inside scoop and we got SO many details about the structure, the government, and the inhabitants.

WHAT I WAS MISSING

I was only missing that there wasn’t more! I could have read a full length novel about Luna, Z, and this crazy queen. Or at least a longer novella! I just wanted more story because it was that little taste of Marissa’s writing and these amazing worlds she’s created after SCARLET and before I read CRESS.

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Go read them!!!! If you’re a fan of the series, I think both are worth the read, especially THE QUEEN’S ARMY. They’re quick, fun, and FREE to read on Tor.com!

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     Cinder      Scarlet

The Testing (The Testing #1) – Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing (The Testing #1) – Joelle CharbonneauTitle: The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau
Publishing Info: May 4, 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 23, 2013
Related Posts: Independent Study (The Testing #2), NEED

    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.

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There has been so much buzz about THE TESTING so I’m excited that I was able to receive an ARC to review and share my opinion with everyone before the book comes out on June 4th! If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you probably know that the whole reason I even got into YA was because I was dying for more dystopians. I was in a huge dystopian kick with books like The Hunger Games, Matched, and Delirium so you can image how excited I was when I heard several comparisons that THE TESTING was the next Hunger Games!

I will say that I can’t deny the similarities I noticed between THE TESTING and THG. Yes, it is dystopian so, okay, there will be elements in there that the “classic dystopian” will most likely contain, but I’m not talking about those. The thing that stood out to me most was watching Cia, our main character, be taken away from her family to participate in “The Testing” which if you’re not familiar with the summary is a series of rigorous mental and physical tests/situations to determine if the United Commonwealth’s smartest teens are worthy enough to move onto the University and be groomed as the nation’s next group of leaders. Where I saw the similarity and just couldn’t shake it was seeing a sort of “first half” where Cia is figuring out secrets about The Testing and getting to know her fellow candidates and a “second half” where they are all out in the “field” so-to-speak (which I likened to the arena in THG) and the students decided whether to work together or battle against each other. I can’t really say whether it was good or bad that it reminded me of THG. On the one hand, it was a book that I truly loved (still do) and both books had great female heroines and exciting action! On the other hand, I couldn’t get that comparison out of my mind and it made me feel like the story was a tiny bit unoriginal. Hard to say since so many dystopians will seem similar just because they share genres!

I really did enjoy all of the action in this book. There were some extremely tense moments, although I wish some were drawn out longer, and some shocking twist of events. The Testing is designed to truly put these kids through the wringer so it brings out the best in some and the worst in others and at times I was truly surprised to see people’s true colors!

Honestly, my favorite aspect of the book was the mind games between the Testing officials and Cia. Cia’s intelligence level is probably the highest out of all of the kids based on her assessments of the officials as well as her fellow Testing candidates. Those little twists and turns in the plot were really the most exciting part for me! No spoilers of course, but the ending totally hooked me in and has me anxiously awaiting book two! Upon finishing, I was actually really glad it ended the way it did. The ending could have gone two different ways, and in the first, I think it would have closed the book off and made for a more wrapped-up ending. The way the book actually ended definitely kept me on the edge of my seat and in anticipation of the rest of the series! I truly have no idea what is to come!

I think dystopian fans will enjoy this one! If you’re looking for a comparison, I totally saw it as a mix of the feels from The Hunger Games and Divergent. Strong stuff, right!?

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Cia: To be brutally honest, Cia is no Katniss for me, but I loved so many things about her. One thing that really got me was her truly honest and genuinely caring personality. True, she may have been a bit naive because of it, but she stayed true to her character the whole book and it created a lot of interesting situations when your characters is trusting of her peers in situations that she maybe shouldn’t be!
Tomas: Tomas was Cia’s friend from back home in Five Lakes and is our main romance in the book. One thing I really liked about him was how his character — in Cia’s eyes — was constantly changing. Cia knew him from home, but he wasn’t a really close friend until they started up their whirlwind romance in the Testing. It’s interesting to see Tomas through Cia and try to figure out all of his little secrets!

addiction_factor1Try it

I enjoyed the book… buuuut it felt a bit TOO Hunger Games-y for me. I had fun reading it but I’m not 100% sure about the trilogy…

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE TESTING

     Catching Fire      Divergent

Dualed (Dualed #1) – Elsie Chapman

Dualed (Dualed #1) – Elsie ChapmanTitle: Dualed (Dualed #1) by Elsie Chapman
Publishing Info: February 26, 2013 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 9, 2013

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.
     Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her

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DUALED is a tough one for me to review. It was definitely one my more anticipated reads of early 2013… So where did I end up with this? I guess the answer is still excited, but confused.

There’s no doubt that DUALED is reminscient of the action-packed and somewhat gruesome battles that we all loved about The Hunger Games, but where as THG had a strong world in which it was based, I felt like DUALED needed to be challenged a little bit further before the dystopian future-world of Kersh became believable for me. Even within the first few pages (page 23 to be exact) and explanation of Kersh, I was confused. Kersh is described as a city that put up its walls to keep out the war that was going on and taking over the rest of the world. So what baffled me is, why set up a complicated system in which the children and teenagers of Kersh are destined to kill each other off in a brutal fashion? Surely there’s a better way to make your city stronger other than killing off the weak in a public and violent fashion. I didn’t see how this promoted Kersh as a peaceful place in anyway. It made them seem even more brutal – Killing off the weaker Alts just for the sake of having a stronger army IF the war ever broke through. Heidi from Bunbury in the Stacks had a great review that even opened up more questions I didn’t even know I had – I won’t go into all the details because she says it so well herself, so check out her review if you’re ready to analyze it more!

Now. If I completely overlook the confusing foundation of the plot, I actually really enjoyed reading DUALED. I thought the book was very action-packed and fast-paced to keep the reader flipping pages and racing to find out what happens between West and her Alt. At the same time, we have the conflict of West and Chord – two people who you can tell have an attraction to each other, but being constantly pushed apart as West tries to distance herself from Chord to keep him safe. It kept me guessing whether they would end up together in the end of the book or if Chord really would end up tangled in the mess of West’s epic battle with her Alt. And I’m not even going to get started on all of the “different”- sounding names in the book. We all know I struggle with that.

I’d have to say that the action carried me through the book. With the conflicting basis of the plot and the push and pull of West & Chord’s relationship getting repetitive, I still came out enjoying the book overall. The positives won over the negatives for me in this case and I actually came out the other side with a positive feeling about the book as a whole. Maybe it’s because I was always hoping it would be great? Although usually that sets me up for disappointment. I guess you’ll just have to try it to find out!

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West: You know. I never really did end up liking West. She was a tough cookie, but it got to the point where she was SO independent that she refused any and all help from everyone and that kind of bothered me. I think it really hindered a developing relationship with Chord which is something I would have liked to see more of instead of Chord stalking her every move and West batting him away.
Chord: I really wanted to like Chord, but since West was the one telling us the story, I feel like we go to see some of those great things about him, but kept getting shut down. I really wanted to know more about Chord and see his side of the story. I almost wish book two would be from his perspective instead of West… 

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Borrow it

I really, really wanted to like this one but it had some bit plot holes for me… I did like the overall feel but there were a few too many things I couldn’t connect with.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE DUALED

     How to Lead a Life of Crime      Divergent

Requiem (Delirium #3) – Lauren Oliver

Requiem (Delirium #3) – Lauren OliverTitle: Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver
Publishing Info: March 5, 2013 by HarperCollins
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 24, 2013
Related Posts: Annabel (Delirium #0.5), Before I Fall, Vanishing Girls, Panic, Broken Things

    Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has transformed. The nascent rebellion that was underway in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven. Pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels.
As Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain of the Wilds, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena and Hana's points of view. They live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

bookreview1** This is a spoiler-free review for REQUIEM but will contain spoilers if you have not read Delirium or Pandemonium **

I was SO NERVOUS to start REQUIEM!!!! I’ve heard quite a few mixed reviews from fellow bloggers and I was positively terrified to read the conclusion to one of my favorite trilogies/series, especially when quite a few people were disappointed in it. So where I my opinion shake out? I liked it more than I liked PANDEMONIUM but it still didn’t compare to when I first fell in love with DELIRIUM. So let’s talk!

One of the things I was the most apprehensive and yet curious about was the fact that REQUIEM is alternating chapters between Lena’s POV and Hana’s POV. I read the short story about Hana and was quite intrigued but I wasn’t quite sure how the book would shake out hearing her side of things. When it came down to it, I really enjoyed the alternating narrators. From Hana we get the view of Portland through the eyes of a Cured. Everything we see is much more organized and calm versus Lena’s passion and her messy, ferocious approach to life in the Wilds. The reason I loved the dual POVs so much was because we’re back in the Portland I knew from DELIRIUM again. I got really lost in PANDEMONIUM for a while because of the unfamiliar settings (something which happens to me often in book two…) and I felt like I was anchored back to the place I first met these characters and all of the emotions I had when reading the first book. It also pains me a little to say that I kind of liked Hana’s story line better than I liked Lena’s. I still felt a little lost in the Wilds and I think with Hana being anchored in Portland and unraveling a mystery of her own, I actually latched onto her story more than Lena’s more chaotic one.

Another thing I was nervous about was Lena’s affections for both Julian and Alex. I’ve been Team Alex all throughout PANDEMONIUM but guys… Julian start to grow on me and I did NOT see that coming. Lauren Oliver does a great job of making the reader like Julian; he’s a good guy who got himself tangled with a girl who loves someone else and sometimes you can’t help but feel for him. My feelings actually got a bit mixed up and turned around throughout REQUIEM. I wanted to root for both guys, but at the same time, my heart was still on Alex’s side. It’s a very interesting love triangle (FOR ONCE) and it’s one that I feel was actually done well because this may be the first time I almost had a hard time picking which guy to root for!

As far as the plot goes? All dystopians seem to reach a point nowadays where the fight vs. the “Society” gets a little too political for me. Since we’re seeing REQUIEM from the eyes of two girls who are closely related to the political side but still somewhat on the fringes of it, the whole resistance movement and constant battle made it a bit easier to stomach. We see a lot of battles that are lesser parts of the war and REQUIEM leads us to how this whole war wraps up. I won’t say anything specifically about the end, but what I WILL say is that it all ended a bit too quickly for me. Lena & Hana are obviously in their own worlds, telling their own stories, but I was constantly anticipating when they would collide and intertwine. I wanted a little more interaction between the two stories to really tie the whole book together. Once they finally do meet up, I was like, “NO WAY there’s still so much that needs to happen and there aren’t that many pages left!!!” I was loving the action that was going on and I wished we had spent a little more time there than in the Wilds, yaknowhatImean?

Anyway, overall, I liked the book — not quite to the point of adoring it like I did with the first book, but of course it’s a must-read for fans of the series. I can see where other people were disappointed but I did still enjoy it, even though there were a lot of things I was disappointed with.

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Lena: As much as I always love Lena, I will always miss the Lena of Delirium – What made that book so great was watching her transform from naive and cautious to taking a huge chance on Alex. Throughout Pandemonium and Requiem, obviously we see a hardened Lena and of course I still love her but it’s still just never quite as enjoyable as the first book. I did see a lot of REAL emotions come from her though, especially regarding her decisions between Julian and Alex so that really made Requiem great.
Hana: I loved hearing more from Hana in her own point-of-view instead of reading things as Lena sees them. Even though Hana is Cured, I really think we see a great range of feelings from her and even if they’re not feelings, they’re calculated ideas and thoughts which are carefully broken down into logic. The logic may not always be what Hana wants to hear, but that makes the story more exciting as well. I think it’s great to see a POV from a Cured and see exactly how the cure works and affects emotions. Hana may not be typical of all Cureds, but either way, I loved hearing from her. I really felt like her story was actually more interesting than Lena’s!

addiction_factor1Read it

If you’ve made it this far in the series, might as well complete the read! I’m still pretty disappointed in the ending and it wasn’t my favorite, but it’s worth the read to see how the trilogy ends!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE REQUIEM

     Sever      Through the Ever Night

The Selective Collective features DUALED: Author Q&A and Giveaway!

The Selective Collective reads DUALED by ELSIE CHAPMAN

The Selective Collective features DUALED by ELSIE CHAPMAN, sent to us by Random House for review and book club discussion. For my part in this Selective Collective post, I was honored to be able to interview author Elsie Chapman and get a few insights about DUALED! I’ve been anxious for this book for a long time so it was so much fun to have a little Q&A with Elsie!

Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:

DualedPublishing Info: Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC copy provided by Random House for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions

Book Synopsis: The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.
Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her. — From Goodreads.com

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ELSIE CHAPMAN

1. I always love to hear where an author was when they came up with the idea for their book. Do you remember where you were when the idea for Dualed popped into your head??
EC: It was actually a question my son asked that became the inspiration for DUALED. He asked me if it was possible we all had doubles out there and just didn’t know about them. I thought the idea was such an interesting one, and that’s how DUALED got its start.

2. The characters in Dualed have very unique names! Did you have any inspiration when naming them?
EC: Naming characters is something I still struggle with, actually. And I have a hard time writing a character unless they have a proper name, which doesn’t make it any easier! I visit baby name sites for ideas. Usually I’ll know right away if a name is right. So with West and Chord, both names instantly felt perfect.

3. I’m always amazed at the amount of strength that authors are able to portray in their characters and love how much I end up admiring them! I know if I were West, I wouldn’t have the courage to hunt down my Alt! How do you think you would do in her shoes?
EC: Not very well at all! I’d have to attack by pure stealth because I wouldn’t have the skills to win any direct confrontation. Though if you add pure desperation to the mix, it would probably make things very interesting.

4. Kersh is a self-sufficient city with its own set of rules put in place by the Board. Was it difficult to build an entirely new world with its own government and laws?
EC: It was definitely one of the more demanding parts of writing Dualed. Imagining a new world from scratch really pushed me to see how even little details can matter. And world-building is—for me—a much more technical process than, say, fleshing out a character arc. My editor was brilliant in helping me see everything more clearly.

5. My favorite parts of Dualed were the action scenes as West assesses and hunts down her Alt. They really got my heart racing! What was your favorite part of the book to write?
EC: Thank you so much! I’m really happy to hear that because the action scenes were my favourite parts to write. They were the ones that came easiest, as well.

6. Did you always plan on continuing Dualed as a series? What can we look forward to in book two?
EC: I actually wrote Dualed as a standalone, though I did have some ideas of where a sequel could go if one was requested. Divided will continue to be West’s personal story, about her struggles with what she’s done to survive, and what all of it can mean for her and Chord. And lots more action, of course!

Special Note: Brittany, thanks so much for having me on your blog, and thank you for the thoughtful questions! I hope you like my answers! You’ve been very supportive of Dualed from the start, so I’m really glad to be participating in your blog feature! Elsie

A big thanks to Elsie for some really great answers! I always love hearing from the author. I feel like it adds such a more personal aspect to a book!

DUALED GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of DUALED so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Dualed & Dystopian Societies
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Review: Dualed
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Casting Call: Dualed
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Round Table/Book Club type questions: Dualed

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) – Veronica Rossi

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) – Veronica RossiTitle: Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi
Publishing Info: January 8, 2013 by HarperCollins
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 29, 2012
Related Posts: Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1), Roar and Liv (Under the Never Sky #0.5), Brooke (Under the Never Sky #2.5), Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)

    It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.
    Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, can their love survive through the ever night?

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Let me start off by saying that thank GOODNESS I didn’t throw this book under the category of “Second Book Syndrome”, a phenomenon in which I read trilogies (somehow usually dystopians) and I’m just so lost in the second book. Too many times book two features the the hero and heroine after they got separated in book one and they spend all of book two on an epic quest to reunite (sound familiar?). WELL. THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT does have some of those elements but at the same time, it was so entirely different from the typical Book Two.

I’m so happy with the way that the book went. We were already familiar with the characters, with the setting, and with the conflicts at hand. In TtEN, I really got to know the characters even better, specifically Aria. She’s toughened up quite a bit and I really liked the new take-charge attitude that she has.

Of course I LOVE that we got to see more of Roar. I think he’s one of the most dynamic characters in this series and I really enjoyed hearing more about him and his past. I actually like him more than I like Perry! He’s so lively and just plain likable that I’ve found myself connecting with him as a character much more than I ever connected with Perry.

TtEN is full of action and Veronica Rossi does an amazing job of giving her readers a very realistic and visual portrayal of her characters and the struggles they face. There were definitely a couple of great twists (including one very shocking moment that I actually kind of saw coming but somehow was still surprised nonetheless) as well as a lot of questions answered which was really nice! Too many times I feel like more questions are introduced and we just get more of a mystery going on, but TtEN gives us even more history, specifically from Roar and Liv. I haven’t read the Roar and Liv novella yet either and now I’m even more curious to read it.

Another thing I could say is that since we spend so much time in the Tides and the “outside” world, I almost felt like THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT had an overall epic fantasy feel to it more so than a dystopian feel. Now that we’re past most of our time in Reverie, it’s lost a little sci-fi and gained a little more fantasy. The thought didn’t even cross my mind in book one, but if you’re not a dystopian fan, this actually might be a good series to try!

I think the only complaint I have about this book isn’t really much of a complaint at all — Only that I didn’t quite fall in love with it like I had hoped. I actually had a bit of this feeling with UNDER THE NEVER SKY come to think of it… I really enjoyed it quite a bit, but I was just waiting for that tiiiiny bit of something extra to make me fall in love with it.

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Aria: I loved Aria in this book! I felt like her character has grown so much since Under the Never Sky. She’s not only learned how to survive in the “Outside” but she’s now thriving, developing her ability as an Aud. In UtNS, Aria was very naive immediately after leaving Reverie so it was such a pleasure to see her grow so much. She matured quite a lot!
Perry: Perry was kind of the same for me. We learned a bit more about him and his relationship with his family, but I didn’t feel like I got a whole lot more from him in this book. I would say one of the things I did like seeing from him was how he fell into the role of Blood Lord and finally gained loyalty from his tribe.
Roar: Roar!!!! I love Roar. He’s definitely my favorite character of this series and the one I’ve felt that really jumps off the page and seems like a genuinely real person. He’s funny, loud, loyal, friendly, honest – Definitely a character I’ve been on board with since the beginning. I love that in TtEN we get even more of Roar’s history and he becomes much more of a main character of the story than just Perry’s sidekick.

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BUY IT!

I loved THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT. I really enjoyed UtNS but this one really stepped it up a notch! I was just wholly invested and thrilled.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT

           

Annabel (Delirium #0.5) – Lauren Oliver

Annabel (Delirium #0.5) – Lauren OliverTitle: Annabel (Delirium #0.5) by Lauren Oliver
Publishing Info: December 26, 2012 by HarperCollins
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 26, 2012
Related Posts: Requiem (Delirium #3), Before I Fall, Vanishing Girls, Panic, Broken Things

Lena's mother, Annabel, has always been a mystery—a ghost in Lena's past. Until now. Discover her secrets in Lauren Oliver's brilliant original digital story set in the world of New York Times bestsellers Delirium and Pandemonium. Lena Halloway's mother, Annabel, supposedly committed suicide when Lena was only six years old. That's the lie that Lena grew up believing, but the truth is very different. As a rebellious teenager, Annabel ran away from home and straight into the man she knew she was destined to marry. The world was different then—the regulations not as stringent, the cure only a decade old. Fast forward to the present, and Annabel is consigned to a dirty prison cell, where she nurtures her hope of escape and scratches one word over and over into the walls: Love. But Annabel, like Lena, is a fighter. Through chapters that alternate between her past and present, Annabel reveals the story behind her failed cures, her marriage, the births of her children, her imprisonment, and, ultimately, her daring escape.

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It’s a short story so I’ll just give some quick thoughts!

So far, I’ve loved these little short stories that give us more info about the characters in the Delirium trilogy. When I read HANA, I was left wanting a bit more from the story but reading ANNABEL kind of filled in some gaps and made the whole trilogy that much richer. Not only do we get to hear about Lena’s mother Annabel before Lena was even born, but we also get a little bit more background on the new set of rules and regulations surrounding the cure and how society is changing once and for all. I thought it was great to see how similar Lena and her mother are yet they’re still two very distinct characters.

As always, I love Lauren Oliver’s writing. The beauty of it just touches me and makes me dive head first into the story. It gave me a little taste of her writing again before I’m able to pick up REQUIEM, and if you’re wondering, NO I did not read the REQUIEM teaser at the end. If I start that, I’m just going to want more. I’ll wait (I’m)patiently for a copy!

character_breakdown1Annabel: Annabel is fierce and strong, making decisions for herself and not just going with the flow like the rest of the world. I loved her determination and her spirit. Lena is truly her mother’s daughter! I really think this little piece of Annabel will really help shape the rest of the series.
Conrad: YES, we even get to hear more about Lena’s dad! I actually found this to be one of the more interesting points of the novel and how Conrad and Annabel ended up being together when she was not cured and he was. Very great addition.

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Buy it!

If you like the DELIRIUM trilogy, I would recommend this novella. I really love learning more about the backgrounds of these books as well as meeting old characters to create a new story. This one was fascinating!

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The Deja Vu Review [20]: A Post-Apocalyptic/End of the World Book

DJVR

The Deja Vu Review is a new Sunday feature with mini-reviews from books I’ve read before I began my blog at The Book Addict’s Guide! Since I’ve been reading my whole life and only started my blog back in April of 2012, this is my opportunity to revisit some older books and share some mini-reviews of those that didn’t quite make it into the blog spotlight after the initial read.

This week’s topic: A Post-Apocalyptic/End of the World Book (Okay, really – Just any dystopian!)

Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow, #1)Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
My Original GR Review: I was a little let down by the book, I must admit. It was a very intersting concept, but it just didn’t take it the way I was hoping. It had some good action that I think would work well in a movie setting but for some reason as a book, it just really never took off for me. Also, even though I know it’s part of a series, the end was completely cliffhanger with no resolution at all. It felt like it just stopped in the middle of the story to pick up later. Sadly though, I probably won’t be reading the other books.
Comments: I had originally picked up this book based on a recommendation that someone on Goodreads gave me when I had actually put out a request for more dystopian books to read. I don’t know if it was the setting that I didn’t connect with or the characters, but somehow I just felt a bit disappointed. I was really hopeful since it’s got a great rating on Goodreads, but it just wasn’t the book for me! I’m still pretty solid on not reading another book, though I would see it as a movie (which apparently there is one).

Which books did you choose this week? Link up below!