Posts Tagged ‘book’

Allegiant- Veronica Roth

You know all those jokes about divergent and insurgent and how funny it would be if the third book was called detergent.
I kind of wish it was called detergent. It would have been quite funny.
So I was a little disappointed when the actual title came out and it wasn’t detergent.
It was foreshadowing the rest of the book I guess.

Summary
Allegiant (Divergent, #3)From goodreads

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Cons
Tobias
For someone who’s supposed to be strong and buff and stuff he’s surprisingly weak.

Spoiler alert.
He was almost willing to forget his girlfriend and who actually does that? It was just a little pointless how in the trilogy he was always made out to be some strong guy who was always there for everyone, but as soon as one person isn’t there for him he almost chooses the easy option and forget everything that happened. It just ruins the entire character, and undermines his love for Tris

Tris
For some reason I just found her really annoying. She just seemed too perfect and she was that type of girl in class who whenever they get anything right over you spends the next year gloating.

Tobias and Tris’ relationship
It seems like when they’re together they either fight or make out, it doesn’t make it that interesting for the reader and sticking their tongues down each others throats isn’t something that I like to imagine and picture when reading a book…

Death serum (spoiler alert)
This is just something that I don’t really understand.
Why are the divergent immune to the death serum? This is supposedly set in the future, so wouldn’t the death serum just be poisonous gas or something? And if the divergent, who have “healed genes” are supposedly immune, does that mean we would be? Because I’m not willing to bet my life that I’ll survive after being exposed to poisonous gas.

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)The twist about the outside world
It came out of nowhere. I would have never predicted it.

Pros
It takes guts to make an ending like that
Not much I can really say here without giving away some major spoilers.

Memory
It’s a little scary and makes you think, what if someone erased my memory- I would never know- it could have happened at anytime- from 30 seconds ago to a few years ago but I would never know, and never be able to know.

Favourite quotes

  • “I suppose a fire that burns that bright is not meant to last”
  • “I wonder if fears ever really go away, or if they just lose their power over us”
  • “Knowledge is power. Power to do evil…or power to do good. Power itself is not evil. So knowledge itself is not evil”
  • “But when I do feel all the strength go out of me, and I fall to my knees beside the table and I think I cry, then, or at least I want to, and everything inside me screams for just one more kiss, one more word, one more glance, one more”
  • “I didn’t know that idiocy caused people to just start spontaneously bleeding from the nose”
  • “Yeah, sometimes life really sucks,” she says. “But you know what I’m holding on for?”
    I raise my eyebrows.
    She raises hers, too, mimicking me.
    “The moments that don’t suck,” she says. “The trick is to notice them when they come around.”

Overall
I loved the first book. I loved the cover of the second book and the plot, partly. Looking back and editing my review, I’m not sure what I actually really liked about this book. In my mind all I seem to remember are the negative aspects. Originally I was going to give this book four stars, but I think I’m going to bump it down because I seem to be in a harsh mood today. So two stars. I mainly read this book because I wanted to finish the series and to see where it would go and I expect that’s also why most people would read it. However that’s exactly how I would recommend this book- just as a end to a series, not really for the thrill or the excitement of a book.

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Champion- Marie Lu

Summary (from goodreads to avoid spoilers! 🙂 though there may be some spoilers to follow after the summary…

He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

Champion (Legend, #3)Cons

The weird ghost things, and religion connotations
It just didn’t fit really with book since the book is all about war and politics and dystopia and stuff. It just seemed a little washy to be honest with the ghosts. I did think it was kinda cute though but I personally just didn’t really like it that much because I don’t really believe in the afterlife.

The last part- the 20 years later thing
I loved what June did for Day at the end before the 20 years after. I thought it was so smart and cute and it made me truly feel how much she loved him. But the 20 years after part, while it gave hope and stuff, it made Junes sacrifice for nothing.

Pros

The ending
It was bittersweet. I loved it. But at the same time I hated it. I felt like the characters deserved a better ending, but as a book it couldn’t have ended better (though I didn’t really like the last last part of it with the 20 yrs later).

Characters- development
Anden: When he was like his dad he was terrifying. So that put me in a strange place as a reader, as he seemed to be both the hero and a villain. But that’s what good books should kinda do 🙂
June: In legend, while I did like her, I didn’t love her. I grew to love her more in prodigy. By champion, its like “whoa, when did you get so awesome?” I loved her and how much she actually understood everything, especially at the end. Words can’t actually express how much I love her now.
Day: I loved how far he would go to save his family and how he would even go so far to give up his own life but at the same time, that was his flaw; that he only really considers his own life that he is giving up, not all the other people who would be affected if they lost him.
Eden: he is such a cool kid: “Daniel thinks you’re really hot” is what he says to June on their first meeting. Such an awesome kid 🙂

Writing Style
There’s not much to say on this point, only that it was awesome. It explored the views of loads of characters so I felt as if I was with them at almost every moment of the journey.

Plot
There’s also not much to say on this point: the title and it being in the “pros” section is kinda self explanatory.

Romantic stuff didn’t get in the way
Usually for dystopia books either the romance or the love triangle gets in the way but as you can tell from the title of my sub-paragraph in this book it didn’t! There was still a little romance to make it interesting, but not enough that it took over the book and just made it soppy.

Favourite Quotes (warning could be spoiler hints below!)

  • “Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don’t last forever, you know. But I’ll fight as hard as I can. I can promise you that.”
  • “You drive me insane June. You’re the scariest, most clever, bravest person I know, and sometimes I can’t catch my breath because I’m trying so hard to keep up. There will never be another like you. You realize that, don’t you? Billions of people will come and go in this world, but there will never be another like you” (the cutest quote of the whole series)”
  • “I can feel his presence here in every stone he has touched, every person he has lifted up, every street and alley and city that he has changed in the few years of his life, because he is the Republic, he is our light, and I love you, I love you, until the day we meet again I will hold you in my heart and protect you there, grieving what we never had, cherishing what we did. I wish you were here.”
  • “Day, the champion of the people, the one who can’t bear to see those around him suffer on his behalf, who would gladly give his life for those he loves.”
  • “I hear about you a lot too,” Eden replies in a rush, “mostly from Daniel. He thinks you’re really hot.”

Overall
Some books end their series with a sizzle or a pop, but not this. It ended like the New Year’s Eve fireworks with explosions of light and sound. 5 stars obviously.

More than this- Patrick Ness

Well… It’s a book by Patrick Ness, what else is there to say? 🙂

More Than ThisSummary
The main character Seth, dies and somehow comes back to life, but in a totally different place- in fact the worst place for him on earth. The first part of the book is him alone somehow learning to live alone and struggle with what place it actually is- hell?, the afterworld? Etc…. Then he hears a noise, the noise of a car, in a seemless empty place, and while running towards it he kinda gets half kidnapped for his own safety. He then makes some new friends and together they begin to piece together where they are. We also get his backstory of when he was alive, and how he died in the book.

Cons

Comparison to his other books
The Knife of Never Letting Go is my favourite book of all time and all books, and even after reading this book I’m still happy to say that. The problem is that after Patrick Ness has written such an awesome series, it really does set the bar up high for his other books. While I’m happy to say that this book met “the bar” what is hard to say is that it is better than the Chaos Walking trilogy. So, this isn’t really a con, but more of a comment that I didn’t think it was as good as Chaos Walking, but to be honest I didn’t quite want it to be either because I didn’t want something to replace Manchee, Todd, Viola, Davy, and all the other deep and wonderful characters of Chaos Walking.

Pros

It was terrifying
It took me a while to read- much longer than it should have been because after reading some of it I had to stop because I was scaring myself loads. The thing is the book isn’t even that scary, it was more the way it was written and how it made me think about how I would cope if I was in a world with no one else around.

What if I’m living in a dream world
Because I would never know unless I die in a particular way, and what if its like inception, where both worlds die and it ends up being a dream world within a dream world.

The connections to Chaos Walking
It’s easy to tell that they are by the same author. I loved how in More that this there were talks about being a “man” just like how Todd was always looking to his birthday because it marks the day he officially becomes a man.

Tackling modern day issues
It seemed to have a hint of almost everything; global warming, murder, rape (hinted at but never really said), abuse, sexuality. But it still held itself together, unlike other books which have thrown all sorts of issues into it to try to make it seem less empty.

All the other obvious points
Writing Style
Character Development
Characters

Favourite Quotes

  • “You said we all want there to be more than this! Well, there’s always more than this. There’s always something you don’t know”
  • “Real life is only ever just real life. Messy. What it means depends on how you look at it. The only thing you’ve got to do is find a way to live there”
  • “Go in swinging”
  • “We have to lie to ourselves to live. Otherwise, we’d go crazy”
  • “A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while”

Overall
Well, as I said before its a Patrick Ness book, and therefore without any hesitation I give it 5 stars.

Alice in Deadland- Mainak Dhar

Before reading this book I looked up some review of the book just to see what I should be expecting. I found lots of review saying that it was written badly, the writer was home-published (or something like that), the plot wasn’t original or interesting, etc. But to be honest when I was reading it I didn’t find any of those faults annoying enough to make me put down the book in a fury of anger.

Alice in Deadland (Alice in Deadland, #1)Summary
So as you may have guessed from the title its like a book mashup of Alice in Wonderland and the Zombie Apocalypse. It follows the basic plot of Alice in Wonderland- ish- maybe- not really sure- ie I read it ages and ages ago as a kid and the only recent memories I have of it is when the new movie came out.

Cons
Writing style
I know in my little rant above I said the writing style didn’t bother me that much and it’s true. The reason why its in the cons section is that while it didn’t bother me that much I know it could have been so much better. When bad stuff happened to Alice she felt sad and cried and stuff, but I didn’t feel as sad as I should have felt. There are those situations where the writer can just write a little to make the reader feel sad because they can relate to the situation, but to be honest the thing that happened to Alice the majority of the readers won’t be able to relate to it and so he has to make  the reader relate and feel her pain. I just feel it didn’t happen. I felt sorry for her and a little sad because I imagined it happening to myself and how I would react, but it could have been so much better. (So if you are dying to know what happened to Alice: *spoiler alert*: her family all died)

Pros
The idea
I love modern day (ish) retelling of farie tales, old classics, etc. I also love zombie books. So of course I loved the idea of this book.

Zombie twist
Technically they can’t really be zombies because they are half intelligent

Favourite Quotes

  • “You take anything you fear and cannot understand and make it an object of hate. So much easier to hate and destroy than to seek to understand”
  • “Man had proven to be the most jealous of lovers, preferring to destroy the Earth rather than give her up”
  • “Better dead than undead”

Overall
So yeah, while I did enjoy the book, I didn’t love it. It was a quick read that kept me entertained and didn’t require too much emotional content. Its a good book if you’re looking for something that easy and doesn’t sap the life out of you, but if you are looking for a deep book with loads to back-story and stuff that makes you want to curl into a ball and cry, this isn’t one of them. 3.5 stars.

Ship Breaker- Paolo Bacigalupi

In short, this wasn’t as good as I thought it would be.
I first heard of this book while looking on goodreads on the side bar of “readers also enjoyed similar books” with the similar book being The Knife of Never Letting Go (aka the best book to ever exist). So of course I had high expectations of this book- through no fault of its own, only because “it was in the wrong place, at the wrong time” 😛

Summary (from goodreads because I’m lazy…) 😛

Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker, #1)In America’s Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota–and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it’s worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life…

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in a vivid and raw, uncertain future.

*my little edit because goodreads hasn’t included some details*
The main character Nailer meets a girl and of course he rescues her. They then try to run off together but of course things get in the way- e.g. Nailer’s creepy messed up dad who has serious anger issues.

Cons

Circles
I felt that it was going in circles. The plot started and ended in the same place. The ending was almost too happy because all the bad people basically disappear or die and most of the good people survive

Characters
I felt like I couldn’t connect to any of the characters. They seemed kinda one-dimensional and I just couldn’t connect. So whenever something sad or happy happened to them, I just couldn’t feel the same.

Plot
I hate to be mean and harsh but it felt like a wild goose chase. Nailer and the girl were just running around like headless chickens trying to run away from the bad guys, and it just kept going in circles. To give an example of this, when I read I often lose my bookmark and therefore have to find my original page. When reading this I found that I would always be rereading parts or skipping some parts and then having to reread the entire thing because I just couldn’t get the plot into my head.

Pros

Possible future
I love the name of the next book “The drowned cities”. It seems to mystical and beautiful. I felt that this book didn’t live up to what it could potentially have been, but it has potential to improve. The world was pretty awesome

Final showdown
There’s the saying that you never really know who you truly are unless you are under pressure e.g. a life death situation, or at least from my memory it goes something like that. In the last fight scene (not proper fight- just the “good guys” against the “bad guys (aka Nailer’s crazy dad”, I felt like this situation was kinda replicated. *spoiler hint alert* Such as when Nailer’s dad was trapped he became a little puppy with the cute wide eyes, and we realise that even though he is such a horrible person he didn’t used to be and underneath he still has some nice parts.

Favourite Quotes

  • “Killing isn’t free. It takes something out of you every time you do it. You get their life; they get a piece of your soul. It’s always a trade”
  • “I’m a chess piece. A pawn,’ she said. ‘I can be sacrificed, but I cannot be captured. To be captured would be the end of the game”
  • “It’s human nature to tear one another apart. Be glad you come from such a successful line of killers”

Overall
It was just a so-so book. There weren’t specially any bad things about it but at the same time there weren’t many specially good things about it too. 3 shuriken stars

Partials- Dan Wells

Partials (Partials, #1)

Summary

It’s a post apocalypse world and the rest of humanity has ended up on this island while the rest of the world is overwhelmed with Partials- robots who were genetically engineered to help end this war a while ago- and they look exactly like humans and from what we know they don’t age. And the rest of humanity is doomed because there is this illness called RM that causes babies to die.

So we follow the main character called Kira who decides that she needs to capture a Partial to cure RM ans save her best friend, Madison’s,  child. So then she goes to the mainland captures a Partial, goes back, escapes with the partial, goes back to the mainland, is the experiment, then finds the cure and goes back to her home and saves her best friends baby daughter.

Cons

Slow Beginning
I found it hard to get into partly because the entire first part of the book is what it says on the blurb and I kinda wanted the proper plot to actually get started.

Couldn’t get into it
Usually when I get a book out from the library I finish it before I had to renew it, but this time it took me 3 renews to finally finish it! By the time I was properly into it I think I must have been at least 2/3 through with it- mainly to do with the awesome plot twist!

Possible Love Triangle
There wasn’t one in this book, but I wasn’t sure which other section to display my concerns… At the end of the book Kira decides to go off with Samm (the partial)

Pros

Romance
As I said before there was a love triangle, but the good thing about it was that it didn’t overwhelm the book. It didn’t become one of those books that was so heavily focused on the romance that the plot suddenly dissipates and dies. It was good how Kira kept to her boyfriend even though she was travelling with others for weeks. But

Plot Twist
Unlike many recent “plot twists” that I have read lately, this plot twist was actually half good! It was something that I would have never expected and to be honest it will probably be the reason why I will read the next book. The only sorta flaw I have about it is that I don’t understand how it works because it completely goes against the information that we know, However I like this because it will hopefully mean an interesting plot and character development in the next book.

Characters
Not all the “good characters” were “good”. And when I say that, I don’t mean there was a traitor among them. I just mean that Haru who is Madison’s husband, is a complete idiot. It just gives some diversity to the book which makes it pretty awesome.

Favourite Quotes

  • “Well, thanks for not shooting anyone, I guess”, said Marcus. “My contribution was to somehow refrain from peeing myself. You can thank me later”
  • “I’ve never been this wet in my life, ” said Kira. “Even immersed in a bathtub I swear I was dryer than I am now. ”
    “Look on the bright side, ” said Marcus.
    Kira waited.
    “This is the point at which you would traditionally suggest a bright side. ”
    “I’ve never been a real traditional guy,” said Marcus. “Besides, I’m not saying I know a bright side, I just think this would be a great time to look at one.”
  • “If you can’t know the truth, said Isolde, live the most awesome lie you can think off”
  • “I need a sample of your blood,’ said Kira.
    Marcus raised an eyebrow. ‘I didn’t know we’d reached that stage of our relationship”
  • “Was that the girl who went to Manhattan with you?” Asked Marcus. “I think we owe her a cookie” “I think we owe her a whole damn bakery” said Xochi”

Overall
This book wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be just because usually I have high expectations. As to recommending it- if you feel like you could cope with my list of cons as well as others that you will probably discover, then read it. Overall though, I would give 3 shuriken stars: the “average” rating of dystopian books that I have been reading lately.

Insignia- S.J. Kincaid

So picking up this book my first thought was that it sounded a little like Ender’s Game.

It is nothing like Ender’s Game.

Aside from the space war thing, but they aren’t even really in space, and the war isn’t against aliens.

So nothing like Ender’s Game.

Insignia (Insignia, #1)Summary
You know the idea that WW3 will end humanity as we know it? This is a book about WW3. But it’s not going to end humanity because instead of the war being fought on Earth and with Nuclear weapons, the war is happening in space and with space fighter ships. But for this to be possible there must be super smart teenagers who are willing to have a computer put into their head and to work their way up the ranks to control ships.
So we follow this guy called Tom who before being selected was living on gambling money. So then he gets selected and then tries to progress up the ranks but by doing so he has to undergo surgery to put a computer in his head.

Cons

Other parts of the plot
Some areas of the plot could have easily been cut down as they weren’t really part of the main plot line. But while I am saying this, at the same time I did love those parts. A virus war is epic. And the “viruses” that Tom and Vik made were awesome: pretending you are sheep, farting mania, Nigal Harrison (face spazm), etc.

Tom
Some aspects of his personality were just weird. Like his sense of humour. Or when he starts feeling himself up when Elliot sets him up as a girl.
Even though it could be a realistic “approach” it still feels weird to be reading stuff like that even when it’s supposed to be humourous, because it just felt as if the book was too much of a branded “book for boys” even though I don’t really believe in those sort of gender segregation for books.

Pros

Changing Perspectives on characters
We developed as Tom developed on our perspectives on the other characters. It was creepy and cool at the same time how easy it was for the author to mutate our feelings towards them.
For example at the beginning I disliked Elliot loads, but by the end of it I actually decided he was one of my favourite characters. Heather too, I liked her at the beginning, then half way I just hated her.

Medusa
I can’t be bothered to dance around the borders this time hinting at one thing while trying to making it seem like another reason. So yeah. Spoilers to follow. I loved how he was “in love with” Medusa. Also creepy though because he’s never actually met her, only just stalked her in all her battles. However I loved how he was actually almost in love with her, or at least was good enough a friend to her to not care about her looks (she is a Medusa- so ugly that people “die” (not really) when people look at her) because there are just so many ya novels out there which just focus on the looks rather than the personality. So this time when I finally discovered a book where the characters don’t fall in love with each other based on looks, but because of their personalities and how they smash and kill each other in video games.

Romance
It was good that it was there, but at the same time didn’t overwhelm the book. Also at times it became quite comedic. Like when Wyatt was being asked out by Yuri and Tom was like “if some girl was interested in me I would be automatically in love with her” with Wyatt standing right next to him 😛

Dream come trueDie Weltenspieler (Insignia, #1)
Everyone has had that dream. As a kid. As an adult. (NB not talking about the american dream) the dream to be like a computer. To take in everything thrown at you and remember it all. To know all the answers in a test because you can just download the information and retain it. Or to access internet (not true in this instance) when you’re in this remote place in the middle of nowhere. But while we fantisize about this reality we only really see the good side.
How creepy would it be to have a computer in your head. To be just as robotic and unfeeling. Would it influence you? Does it make you somehow less human? And being part computer also has its weaknesses. What if people infiltrate your head with viruses or make you their blind obedient robot?- e.g. turning you into thinking you are sheep? (as I so learnt from this book)
It’s just a wonderful (and creepy) idea that has the potential to go far; beyond our world even. (note the reference 😛 )

And then some other ones which I don’t have to explain:
Comedy
Characters
Nerdy idea

Favourite Quotes

  • “Come on, Beamer! I beheaded you for your own good.”
  • “What’s being crazy like?” Wyatt blurted.
    “That depends, Enslow. What’s being tactless and completely inappropriate like?”
  • “Those are some of the most powerful people in the world, and you swamped them in sewage! If you had real friends, they’d have told you that you’re an idiot for even thinking about doing that!”
    Tom bristled, indignant. “My friends do tell me I’m an idiot. All the time!”
  • “There’s a dead guy on our floor,” Tom pointed out.
    “Yeah, that’s Beamer, our neighbor.” Vik stepped over Tom’s bed, and kicked open a drawer beneath the mattress. He swept down and yanked out a bundle of fabric. “Here’s your uniform.”
    “There’s a dead Beamer on our floor,” Tom said again.”

Overall
I loved the book. The concept, the plot, the comedy. But having said that, I still can’t give it 5 stars, or even 4.5. Why you ask? Because, however much I hate to say it, but it is missing the extra zang that a 5 or 4.5 star has to have.
It would be a book that I would be reading to cheer myself up, or as an easy read to make me happy that I’m progressing on my goodreads reading challenge, but it wouldn’t be a book that will change my perception on the world or change me personally. So yeah. 4 shuriken stars.