Tag Archives: Dystopia

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

20 Jun

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Book One in the Newsoul Series

Rating: Four out of Five Stars

This will be an interesting review to write…

I am going to make this simple as I can: I liked this book but it confused the shit out of me. It was an interesting concept that was totally in it’s own world of weirdness. It was an intriguing storyline and that cover??? TO. DIE. FOR.

Now, there are pros and cons to being such a different story. It was it’s own completely unique concept and like nothing I’ve ever read before, therefore the book had some hurdles to jump through to compensate that my WSOD was confronted with this scenario for the first time. As bad as this may sound, once you’ve read a dystopia novel or fantasy novel, you kind of “get” how they play out. For dystopias, there’s always a cause for the apocalypse or downfall of democracy, there are people that took over, there are people that are trying to fight them, and then there’s the on going battle of survival or take down of the new government. Details vary in each dystopia but they have the same basic gist and premise in every book. Fantasy books always have a unique world, usually forresty and flowery with some kind of ancient magic attached to it, a pro-tag with some kind of connection to said land magic, and a evil doer trying to exploit that magic.

This book however, had none of these elements.

It WAS a fantasy book, but also with a science fiction flavor in it. But the science was based off the fantasy world so it wouldn’t actually count for “sci fi”. Also, you never really learn if this world is OUR world, just years before/after our time, or a completely new planet. Because it has the same properties as our world, plants, animals, gravity, ECT. but it also has slyphs (black shadow things that attack and burn you), dragons, trolls, and centaurs. Oh and then  there’s that thing where only one million souls are ever born and they keep being reincarnated.

So besides being confused on where the hell and when the hell this whole story takes place, I liked it. Which is strange because I was VERY confused at times. Ana, our pro-tag, is all over the place with rapid fire decision making skills and emotional changes I could hardly keep up with. Most of the time I had no idea what was going on… and the “love story”? Pooh. And yet for some strange reason… I still liked it?

Ah well… *shurgs* Read it for me and then maybe we can all get together and discuss it, yeah?

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To Read Tuesday – The Program

23 Apr

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The Program by Suzanne Young

Series: The Program

Previous Rating: None! Brand new series!

Release Date: April 30, 2013

Why I Am Excited: I’ve never heard of Suzanne Young before but I’m drawn to her because she currently lives in Tempe, AZ which is about 10 mins from me. And I really enjoy reading works from people I can actually visualize when they are writing it… maybe the fact that she lives so close to me makes me drawn to her? Perhaps. But the basis of this book is intrguing. It seems very UnWind meets Beta and Delirium.  You’ve got the dystopian aspect of The UnWind Series in the government’s association with raising children and the Beta/Delirium pull with the brainwashing and memory pulling. Young’s basically using all the ingredients that have worked in the recent past to make a book popular. Whether or not that plan pans out remains to be seen.

What I Hope To See: I kind of feel bad but I am caught up in what I hope I DON’T see in this series. First, no love triangle or InstaLove. Second, no overly dramatic self pitying and depreciating protag. Third, no uhealthy relationship between Sloane and James. If she can pull that off, I think my rating will already be a three based on the concept. I also hope this book doesn’t swing too young, too “let me force this idea down your throat”. I feel like it could get a little naive if she lets it just based on the summary provided but then it also deals with a very serious subject of suicide. *exasperated sigh* I don’t know what I am trying to say here.. basically, if it’s handled delicately, it could be awesome. I also hope she can create a world completely unique. Since Young’s pulling ideas and concepts from a lot of popular well known books, I hope she can can capture a different world within her pages.

My Predictions: As always, it’s difficult to predict anything with a new series but I’ll give it a shot.

  1. Obviously, Sloane has parents that love her and want to protect her. Now this could sway positive or negative. Does she want to keep them happy because they are so devastated by their loss of her brother and she would feel guilty if she messed up too? Or does she genuinely adore her parents and their relationship? This relationship will really define the basics of the book. My thoughts? Option One.
  2. We already have a leading male in the protag’s life: James. It’ll be interesting to see how Young initially describes their relationship. Passionate? Friendly? Adoring? Do they build each other up or beak each other down? I think they will have a positive relationship so we can really sympathize with Sloan throughout the book.
  3. Now we know Sloan will have a “Stick it to the Man” moment at some point in the series. Just like all dystopia’s with government over-lording, our character’s always somehow find themselves in a position to fight back. Now this book is about suicide,  which leads me to believe it’s going to have the more dramatic vibe like UnWind did, or even the uncomfortable discussions like  XVI did. So I am hoping that Young eases us into the plot, really giving us raw character emotion so that we can fly and root alongside Sloan when she undoubtedly will make her stand in the end. Basically, I want to be gripped hard and fast.

Eve by Anna Carey

14 Dec

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Book One in the Eve Series

Rating: Two out of Five Stars (really more like 1.5 but I like to round up)

It has taken me awhile to actually write this review, mainly because I have such a hate-hate relationship with this book. But even though it made me want to stab myself in the eyeball, my addiction to reading and need to give second chances will most likely end up with me reading the rest of the series. Painful, but probable.

In short, I am not a fan. It was half formed ideas smeared together with mediocre writing. It makes me sad to give bad reviews because I hate/loathe/want-to-punch book bashers who write nasty reviews but I cannot say I would recommended this book to anyone. I am going to speak my peace, which is MY opinion, and then suggest things I wish I would have seen.

Here are a few of my main concerns:

1.) I disliked the main character, Eve, which is a recipe for disaster. Especially near the end when she showed how utterly weak and thoughtless she is, I was about to throw my poor baby Kindle through the wall. Eve is inconsistent, selfish, and fickle.I kept hoping for Eve to become self sufficient, I wanted Carey to make us hate Eve for her naivete and then journey with her through self discovery and we would come to love her because we understood the growth she went through, but it never happened. It fell completely flat.

2.) Insta-love has never been so extreme. Eve is TERRIFIED of men and three chapters later she’s hiding and cuddling with tons of dudes? And then BAM! “Omg I love you ever so much random boy! You give me a feeling no one ever has before and I cannot live without you!” Well, considering that you are not a lesbian, no shit the first boy you meet gives you the butterflies you dumb twat! Carey made the progression between the extremes so sudden which equals 100% unbelievable. The good ole quote “If you stand for nothing you’ll fall for everything” works well here. If you refuse to give your character morals and ideas, she becomes sloppy and unrelatable which leads to poorly written plots. It seems as though Carey didn’t spend enough time building her heroine so she needed to toss in a boy to stir things up.

3.) The post-apocalyptic theme was stretched. A lot. Like Stretch Armstrong craziness. I couldn’t grasp the dramatic plague concept. It wasn’t developed enough at the beginning and although it gets cleared up more toward the middle of the book, by then I had already made up my mind about it being too far fetched. Once again, I think Carey had good bones of the world, but didn’t spend enough time creating the world that we could live in. It felt more like a 5th grade clay diagram displayed in a shoe box.

I refuse to give this book One Star purely based on the fact that I can see potential in the next books. Because while I disliked almost everything about this book, I have strange desire to read the second one. And reading other reviews about Eve, most people feel the same way. Crazy huh? I hope Eve stops being a self-centered hoe-face and gets royally slapped by reality. If Carey can build more on her foundation, create a more realistic world and characters, she won’t have to rely on the YA Writing 101 basics. Because if you have a great character and a real world, you won’t need insane love stories to make your book awesome.

Outpost by Ann Aguirre

13 Dec

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Book Two in the Razorland Series

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

Oh Ann, why do you have to leave off on such cliffhangers?! And now we have to wait and wait and wait until Book 3 comes out. In the words of Stephanie Tanner “How Rude!”

Alright, not really rude. I would much rather be aching for more than have a bad ending and not caring when the next book is released. My feelings about this book are muddled. I truly love the story and characters but the first half was so slow for me. It wasn’t BANG BANG outta the gate like Enclave. I understand the transition needed to be made but there was a lot of thinking and not as much action as I wanted in the beginning. That being said, the second half of Outpost gave me everything I enjoyed about Enclave. It was action packed with the right amount of emotions sprinkled in so you weren’t overwhelmed. And the dynamics between the characters flourished which brought me deeper into the story.

About the characters…I like Deuce, but sometimes I get a titch bit frustrated with her. Give me a badass heroine who is not afraid to be herself and I am in! Unfortunately, Deuce’s guilt annoyed me at times. Part of me wanted to be like “Oh well, get over Stalker already!” But I did reign in some of my antics because Aguirre does a nice job of explaining how Deuce just doesn’t understand emotions the way we do today. As for Stalker and Fade, I plainly don’t understand Fade’s appeal. I am the type of person who usually crushes on the protag’s love interest but I can’t get into Fade. Perhaps because Aguirre makes him a little TOO emotionally distant at times and then a little TOO emotional at others? It could be. Hopefully book three will explain it more.

Overall it was an excellent follow up to Enclave. Nicely done not changing Deuce into a frilly-pants but not keeping her uncivilized either. The internal conflict was amazing to read.

BTW… please please please include Stone and Thimble and Robin in Hoarde! While the first bridge story was very mediocre, Endurance (Razorland 1.5) still makes me want to see them in the next book. The writing was meh but the bonus to the story was bomb! K thanks!

Oh and I am super stoked to read the second bridge book Foundation (Razorland o.5)!

To-Read Tuesday – Requiem by Lauren Oliver

11 Dec

Yesterday I posted my review of the second book in this series, Pandemonium. I thought it was only right to post my To-Read Tuesday blog about the third book!

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Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Series: Delirium Book Three

Previous Rating: Book One: Delirium Three out of Five and Book Two: Pandemonium (see review here)  Four out of Five Stars

Release Date: March 5, 2013

Why I am Excited: I read the first two books in this series over the summer, they are quick reads with a very different concept. Right now, I am reading all of Lauren Oliver’s short stories and bridge books. She has about a DOZEN of them and I am really liking the extra info I am getting about the different characters in that are sprinkled into book. I am super excited because since she’s done all of these extra short stories, she has about a bagillion different way she can go with plot. And the pure unpredictability makes  my excited meter ramp up about 20 notches. WOOT WOOT!

What I Hope To See: *Contains Spoliers* If you haven’t read the previous books, LOOK AWAY! Oliver left Pandemonium on a HUGE CLIFF HANGER! Alex is alive? He’s found Lena? WTF!?!?!? And then BAM is ends! Holy crapola. I about chucked the damn book across the room after I finished.  I really hope she brings in all the characters she’s written shorts about. Having spent “personal” time with them in their own stories, I do not want them to be left out! I really want Lena to get her head on straight about Alex. Does she still love him? How about boy number two? Where are her feelings at? I want her to go back to Alex. I mean the kid DIED for her and she ran away for him. They are meant for each other. I also am kinda hoping that this isn’t the last book in the series. It kinda of makes me wonder because the synopsis on Goodreads doesn’t say anything about the “conclusion” of the series. Hmm…

My Predictions: I’ve already told you I have no freaking idea what will happen. But here a a few things I have thought about:

  1. Alex shuns Lena. This is pretty obvious since he’s pretty pissed at her at the end of book two. But will he come around? Or will they understand that the past is over and they are both different people now?
  2. Hana is going to be a main character in this book since it’s told from Lena and Hana’s viewpoint. I am right smack dab in the middle of Hana right now, so I will have to update this tomorrow when I finish this 77 pager. UPDATED! Hana’s a bia and I do NOT like her one bit. Boo on you!
  3. Hana and Lena are going to meet up in some way. I have a feeling there is going to be a major girl fight thrown down. It’s gunna be good!
  4. OMG HER MOM IS BACK! This is going to be sooo freaking awesome. About to go start Annabel right meow!

“It’s amazing how words can do that, just shred your insides apart. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me – such bullshit.” – Lauren Oliver, Delirium

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

10 Dec

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Book Two of Delirium Series

Rating: Four out of Five Stars

First thought: I enjoyed this much more than Delirium.

Second thought: WICKED ENDING! I love the bitch slap life gives Lena at the end of the book. It’s amazing. Lauren Oliver sure does know how to leave her readers on a cliff hanger. Damn you!

Overall thoughts: This was a fun read for me. I was hooked on the ending of Delirium and could not wait to see what happened. Did he really die? Is she going to go back? WHAT WILL HAPPEN! DUN DUN DUN!!!!!! It was a mediocre book with a bombass ending so I didn’t know what to expect with Pandemonium. Survey says? Your high note kept playing through this book Lauren.

The reason why I loved this book so much is because we get to see a different character. Lena is a typical naive sap of a girl in Delirium but now that she is out in the real world she truly becomes a hardcore woman. I loooove that she went through waves of emotions trying to settle on an outlook that she could cope with. She has a grip of shit to deal with and *sigh* I was so emotionally involved with her this time. Oliver didn’t bring too much of one feeling in but let it linger just enough. Bravo!

The past and future shifts in narration really add a unique twist to the story that is just beautiful and artistically done. As soon as I was fully engulfed in the past, it would switch to the present and suck me in, then switch again! It kept me on my toes.

And the ending, AH.MAZE.ING. I cannot WAIT to read the third book of this series!

To Read Tuesday – up and coming reads!

4 Dec

I want to give a huge thank you to everyone out there who read my first two chapters last week. I received some GREAT feedback and look forward to going back and editing a few things. I was super nervous about going “public” with it but I couldn’t ask for better readers than you guys or more support! Keep emailing me at smcampbell07@hotmail.com!

Ok on to the real post!

As I assume you’ve realized by now, I am a geek. There is a glaring neon arrow that points to me and says “BOOK NERD”. I spend more money on books than I do on clothes and booze, and as a 23 year old I feel that is quite the accomplishment! I am so into all things books I actually have a list of book releases pinned onto my calendar at work. 12

Overkill? HECK NO! I am a proud book nerd and I wear my geekdom like it’s a badge on honor. My work bestie and book soul mate Amy gave me the suggestion to write a once a week blog about those book that are coming out soon that I am super duper stoked for!

Thus, To-Read Tuesdays have commenced! Chea!

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Prodigy by Marie Lu

Series: Legend Book Two

Previous Rating: Legend (book one in the series) 5 out of 5 stars.

Release Date: January 29, 2013

Why I am Excited: I adored Legend. It was a fast paced and thrilling book. I connected with both characters and enjoyed reading the story through both of their preservatives. Lu got dinged on having her characters be to similar by reviewers but I praise her for it. While no, there is not as much diversity between narrations, it did give the readers a better sense of how different life is in this world based on birthrights. The world was created thoroughly and because we experienced two different view points with June and Day, we really got a chance to see and know the dystopian society. Legend left on such a twist in the plot I have been aching for almost a year to read this book.

What I Hope To See: *CONTAINS SPOILERS* If you haven’t read book one, LOOK AWAY! Now that both June and Day are fully developed as characters, I hope Lu starts to create obvious separation between them. June = female Day =male.  You can still have a strong heroine without making her all pigtails and prom dresses! With that being said, I hope June doesn’t become TOO much a girly lovesick teenager. She can have emotions, but they need to rule her the same way they ruled her in Legend. I hope that now that they have busted out of the Republic, they don’t automatically get pampered and pushed into a leadership role with the Patriots purely because they have insider information. Yes, they are both insanely badass, but I would like to see some kind of development where they have to prove themselves worthy to lead type of a thing.

My Predictions: it’s been almost a year since I have read Legend but based purely on what the summary says about book two, here are my thoughts:

  1. June and Day’s relationship: I think it’s going to be one of those awkward relationships where neither one of them fully trust the other and they don’t know exactly how to interact with each other. Issues? Complication? Oh yes please.
  2. June is going to have a thing for the new Elector. If memory serves, June met him in Book One and he wasn’t half bad. I think this will cause a lot of friction between June and Day.
  3. Someone needs to die. Either Day’s brother or someone else important to the main characters but someone needs to die in order for a vengeful attack to be made.

“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.” Marie Lu, Legend

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