Tag Archives: YA dystopia

Best of 2013

24 Jan

I am waaaaay late on this post… whoops! But I present to thee

*drum roll*

The Best of 2013!

Applause

Remember! Click on the covers to add these books to you Goodreads account!

 

Best Cover

perfectruinuk

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (UK Version)

Best New Series

the5wave

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Best Sequel

the bitter kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Best World Building

fallingkingdoms

Falling Kingdom by Morgan Rhodes

Best Romance

the bitter kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Hector and Elisa *swoon*

Best Come to Jesus Moment

theelite

The Elite by Kiera Cas

America’s reaction to Maxon’s reaction

Favorite Female Character

the bitter kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Elisa – I love her

Favorite Male

worldafter

World After by Susan Ee

Raffe

Most Badass Character

crown of midnight

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Cealena Sardothien – duh.

Best Science Fiction

reboot

Reboot by Amy Tintera

Best Fantasy

the bitter kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Best Dystopian

champion.indd

Champion by Marie Lu

Best Short Story/Online Series/Bridge Book

The starkillerscycle

The Starkillers Cycle by Sarah J Maas and Susan Dennard

Favorite Author of 2013

maas

Best Book of 2013

crown of midnight

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

“Life takes us to unexpected places sometimes. The future is never set in stone, remember that.”
―     Erin Morgenstern,     The Night Circus

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

10 Sep

5thwave

Book One in The 5th Wave series

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

This book is one of a kind. Its creepy as hell but incredibly funny and hits you right in the gut. This book defines the word “gripping”. Its like a current in the ocean; you can feel it slowly taking hold of you and then woooosh… You are sucked under and can’t come up for breath until it releases you. Which isn’t until the last sentence of the book.

I think I have an author crush on Rick Yancey. Anyone who can make me love to read a YA novel through the POV of a five year old is gently and lovingly placed on a pedestal in Sydneyland. (Don’t worry, it’s not ALL in Sams POV, you get to see Cassie’s and Zombie’s too.)

He’s got a knack for creating a world that is real, tangible and freaky. (Not gunna lie I had to turn on Honey Boo Boo for an episode because I live by myself and started getting creeped out in the middle of the night reading this…) And then, not only does he add the creep factor into the messed up alien-invaded humanity deprived world, he layers on a delicious frosting of subtle humor that makes this book rocket up into stardom. Let me be clear, this not a comedy, but it is hilarious. I’ve never seen a YA author write humor with such deft hand. The jokes aren’t in your face, but it’s so teen-angsty, shock-induced quips that make me love every single narrator in this book.

Now I am not one for quoting books, but The 5th Wave has some incredibly deep insights that I think everyone should read:

“Cruelty isn’t a personality trait. Cruelty is a habit.”

“When the moment comes to stop running from your past, to turn around and face the thing you thought you could not face–the moment when your life teeters between giving up and getting up–when that moment comes, and it always comes, if you can’t get up and you can’t give up either, here’s what you do: Crawl.”

“God doesn’t call the equipped, son. God equips the called. And you have been called.”

“How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the human of their humanity”

And my favorite one of all from Miss Cassiopea herself:

“I don’t move. I wait behind my log, terrified. Over the past ten minutes, it’s become such a dear friend, I consider naming it: Howard, my pet log.”

I love Cassie. I love that she’s NOT this badass superhuman pro-tag. She’s a normal girl thrust into a crazy situation and trying to deal with it. She’s not Katniss, she’s me and you and any other normal girl. That’s why I love her. And I love that she loves Bear. Their relationship makes me happy. ❤

Cover Reveal – Arbitrate by Megan Thomason

5 Sep

arbitrate-Cover-800

Release Date: October 29, 2013

Remember The Second Chance Institute (SCI). Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. They’ve stepped up their game on Earth and on Thera—infiltrating political parties, preying on the downtrodden, and planning offensive maneuvers. And they’re handing out more “second chances” than ever before. The SCI’s abuse of their charter leads to Arbiter oversight and bitter consequences.

Remember Kira Donovan. Broken, burdened, and evading those who wish her harm, Kira enlists the Arbiters’ help when forced to return to the clutches of the SCI and her angry, estranged love.

Remember Blake Sundry. Exiled, determined, and packing an agenda, Blake seeks assistance on Earth and Thera to use his newfound knowledge to bring down the SCI.

Remember Ethan Darcton. Overworked, emotional, and holding a grudge, Ethan hunts down his stolen property, but finds himself in awkward territory, stuck between the Arbiters and the SCI.

Full of action, competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, arbitrate is Megan Thomason’s third installment in the award-winning daynight series after daynight and clean slate complex (a daynight story).

Bestselling, award-winning author Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn’t typing away on her laptop, she’s reading books on her phone–over 600 in the last year–or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac.

Praise for daynight:

2012 Book of the Year Award Finalist-Young Adult Fiction, ForeWord Reviews

“Sure to win over YA readers looking for a dangerous, dystopian adventure story” —Kirkus Reviews

“Gripping young adult dystopian novel; compelling conflicts; high stakes; powerful narrative; surprises keep coming; strong writing; page-turner; engaging characters; Readers will be hungry for the sequels.”—BlueInk Review (starred review)

“Thomason’s description of Thera’s totalitarianism will make fans of Brave New World shiver… SCI, her fantasy corporation, has disturbing parallels to actual companies and regimes that claim to do good while harming people… The author deftly appeals to both romance-loving teens as well as those intrigued by young adults fighting the establishment.”—ForeWord Clarion Review, 4 stars

 
 
Also check out the new daynight cover!
 
New-daynight-Cover-800

Fragments by Dan Wells

4 Sep

fragments

Books Two in the Partials Series

Rating: Four out of Five Stars

This is a good book. A long book, but a good one nonetheless. The story is intricate and fast paced and just as fascinating as the first installment. Its plot is layered with delicately weaved suspense, action, romance and discovery which flow seamlessly between all characters. Although Kira annoyed me at times, she is still a pretty stellar heroine and has a great set of morals. Even if they are a little too uppity to be realistic.

One of the biggest differences between this book and the first was that Fragments has switching narrators. I loved viewing life through the eyes of Marcus, Ariel, Haru and briefly through Samm’s. It added an element to this installment that the original didn’t have and allowed the pace and plot to roll out magnificently. I always prepare myself for second books to be a little lame, slow paced and basically just fluff. But Wells did a great job of structuring Fragments into a very gripping book. While it was once again a hefty read, the story didn’t get bogged down with unnecessary drama that most second books do. And this lingering romance between Marcus, Samm, and Kira is so down-played it makes me happy. This love triangle is NOT in your face, and could hardly be called a love triangle at all because I think romance is mentioned by each of the three involved… maybe two or three times each? Very refreshing.

As I mentioned before, Kira kind of rubbed me the wrong way a few times but overall was a great pro-tag. The thing that bugs me is her one-purpose mind set. While I understand she wants to save everyone, I feel sometimes Wells didn’t spend enough time on her reasoning and emotions to solidify her status as the Savior of Humans and Partials. SPOILER! And the fact that Wells spent zero time on Kira’s feelings after Afa’s death really irked me. They just glazed over it like it was nbd some DIED. Someone that they drug unwillingly through a chemical wasteland and was mentally handicapped. It was much too blase for my taste. But besides that and Kira’s sometimes overwhelming self-righteousness, her decision at the end makes up for the bs I didn’t like early in the book.

Overall, a decent read.

 

To Read Tuesday – 2013’s remaining releases

25 Jun

I have been a SUPER SLACKER on my To-Reads Tuesdays lately. I wish there was some way to quit and be a full time blogger/reader… but alas, I must make money. So until some smitten publisher comes and swoops me up, I do have to work a normal job.

Instead of giving some in-depth analysis into one book, below is a list of all the 2013 releases I am looking forward to for the next 6 months!

16045008viral nationcarniepunkindelibledoon the bitter kingdom crown of midnightproject cain antigo marieendless these broken stars world after unsouledtheenchanterPerfect Ruinallegianthorde curtsies champion.indd rebel spring

Also not on here:

The King’s Guard by Rae Carson (Fire and Thorns 0.7)

Altered by Gennifer Albin (Crewel World 2)

Override by Heather Anastasiu

25 Apr

14759331

Book Two in the Glitch Series

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

I am really giddy to write this review.. and its for a very selfish and conceited reason.

I do a handful of To Read Tuesdays posts on my blog http://www.rattlethestars.com about upcoming books and I did one on Override because I really enjoyed Glitch. I talked about why I am excited, what I want to see and what I think will happen in the new book.

Well someone give me a high five because I was soooo right on my predictions. *swish*

So, copying and pasting my three predictions so I have a reference, I shall now commence my review of the book:*PLEASE NOTE THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS*

1.)I think Adrien needs to be captured at some point. Zoe needs some sort of catalyst for her becoming this “leader” he has predicted she becomes. I think he could be it.  Done and done. Adrien DOES get captured, although we don’t find out for a while later how or when, he is taken. But his torture sparks little Miss Lackluster Zoe into womanning up and taking control. And because of her stepping up to help save her “twu wuv”, she gets the general killed and slots herself into becoming a general herself.
2.) Max has to come back into the story. He’s a social climber and although he helped Zoe and Adrien escape, I think the Community will welcome him back with open arms because of his unique glitch. This could also become a crutch for Zoe, she has to battle the fact that she left him there.  Hellooo Max! Welcome back to making Zoe’s life hell! Max DOES go back to the Community and becomes second in command to evil doer #1: Under Secretary of Defense. And then, with him playing face swap with Adrien, totally manipulates everyone. Zoe also thinks she killed Max, poor her, and spends a few weeks in a mopey state mourning him.
3.) I think another boy may come into the picture. Since YAs always like that love triangle and Max is on longer in the picture, is another man going to distract Zoe from the mysterious Mr. Adrien?  We shall see.  So.. this one is kinda not perfectly on point. Because Max really does become the third point again, but he’s Adrien, but he’s NOT Adrien. Huh? Yeah. Let’s just call this one a moot point shall we?

However right I was about my predictions, I was NOT right to be so excited over the book. The first part of Override drove me bonkers. “What’s that Zoe? You hate yourself and are throwing yourself a pity party? Wow, never seen that before. Now I can relate to you” I’m sorry if that’s mean, but it’s soo hard to read. Those first chapters I was trudging through knee high mediocre writing hoping and praying there was an oasis of good action near the end. Yes, it does pick up. But the depth and the quality and the “uniqueness” of Glitch that infatuated me did not flow into book two. Override was a filler. It seems like this was a “Oh hey I got signed for a trilogy, let’s just write some stuff in until we get to the meat and potatoes in book three”. It was disappointing, to say the least.

Shutdown, me thinks, will be amazing. Now that we’ve gotten all the BS out of the way, we’ve got some awesome plot twists to play with in book three. Bring it on Anastasiu!

To Read Tuesday – The Program

23 Apr

11366397

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.

Prodigy by Marie Lu

1 Mar

13414446

Book Two in the Legend Series

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

Oh my lovely little Legend sequel… Marie Lu I just want to give you a big hug! After I punch you for that ending. -_- Not happy about that.

But I will forgive you for breaking my heart because this series completes me. I pre-ordered this book the moment I could on Amazon and I woke up early on the release date so I could read before I went to work. I must tell you, when I opened my iPad and Prodigy was sitting there waiting to be downloaded I swear I could hear the heavens singing to me.

*Halleluiah angels sign on hiiiiIIIIiiiiigh*     

EEEEeeeee trying to tamper down my fangirling so I can write a somewhat coherent review.

Obviously, I loved this book. Legend was one of my favorite books in 2012 and I was sooo excited for the sequel (I had like 3 countdown clocks going.) Day and June are a wonderful mesh of powerful, independent and fierce characters. While they have a lot of similarities in the basic construction and characterization, I feel Lu made them much more separate in Prodigy then she did in Legend, she focused on giving them each their own voice. We are able to get a sense of their differences and their unique backgrounds this time around. It was great to see that Lu didn’t skimp on continuing to develop the two pro-tags in Prodigy because that seems to happen a lot in sequels of dystopias. Authors can get so caught up on world-building and the looming catastrophe that they forget that our peeps need to grow still in the second and third books. So yay for you, Lu!

And just like in Legend, the action and tempo of the story is perfect. Lu has a fantastic balance of inner dialogue, character interaction and fast fight scenes that creates a perfectly leveled plot. While Day bugged the crap out of me for bits during this book, overall I still love these two. June is most perfect badass heroine ever. She’s such a strong female lead and her emotions always match what I would expect from someone like her. ❤ ❤ ❤

SO yes, it’s wonderful. You all should read it. Hello, good bye. The End.

Oh and that bathroom scene…. dayyyuuuuum. I think the movie rating of this book just went up to PG-13 😉

To-Read Tuesday – Override by Heather Anastasiu

12 Feb

14759331

Override by Heather Anastasui

Series: Glitch

Previous Rating: Glitch (Book One) – Four Stars

Release Date: TODAY TODAY TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why I Am Excited: Glitch didn’t exactly get the best reviews from the bloggers I like but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I did have some problems with it, which you can read all about in my review of it, but overall it left me with a positive impression and got me pretty pumped for book two. It had some awesome girl-Neo Matrix moments! Chea! What I really loved about this insta-love between Zoe and Adrien (which makes it not so gag inducing) is that they are kinda doomed to fail. I mean,  Zoe is allergic to air and so they both have to wait to be together until she gets her vaccines, which Adrien lovingly gives to her…alright, I gagged a little there. But I like that aching and that not-so-perfect of a scenario love. It makes them work more for each other which gets me much more ingrained in their lives. Also, Zoe is kinda crazy and volatile which is freaking awesome!! Heroines who actually have to WORK at being good? Yessssssss.

What I Hope to See: *Contains Spoilers* If you haven’t read the previous books, LOOK AWAY! The version of Glitch I read gave me a sneak peek into the first chapter of book two. The chapter is basically showing us Zoe and how she’s going bizzaro trying to control her telepathy. It’s consuming her and she’s suffering because no one is there to help her control or understand how she’s supposed to react to these situations. And then at the end, oh snap! Her hiding place is raided and she must escape! Dun Dun Duuuuun!! I am slightly ashamed to say I was totally hooked lined and sinkered at this. Yes, it’s cliche but it suckered me right in. I really hope that Zoe struggles with this power and doesn’t just instantly solve her problems. I want Adrien and Zoe to have issues and overcome them and I hope that Max shows up and Zoe and him have a show down. That could be legit.

My Predictions: I am floundering on my predictions because it’s only book two and I am looking towards what I want to happen in the end. So these may be a little grandiose… but work me here.

  1. I think Adrien needs to be captured at some point. Zoe needs some sort of catalyst for her becoming this “leader” he has predicted she becomes. I think he could be it.
  2. Max has to come back into the story. He’s a social climber and although he helped Zoe and Adrien escape, I think the Community will welcome him back with open arms because of his unique glitch. This could also become a crutch for Zoe, she has to battle the fact that she left him there.
  3. I think another boy may come into the picture. Since YAs always like that love triangle and Max is on longer in the picture, is another man going to distract Zoe from the mysterious Mr. Adrien?  We shall see.

“History isn’t all fact–it’s just the story the victors tell to keep themselves in power. And it’s been a slow revision. The more time passes, the easier it becomes to reinvent the past.”
Heather Anastasiu, Glitch

 

 

 

 

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

1 Feb

13450339

Book One in The Arcana Chronicles

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

*Poison Princesssssssss*

This book… oh this wonderful, mentally arousing, exquisite book.

My friend read this book first and she was soo obsessive about it *cough* AMY *cough cough* that I thought she would start sleeping with it at night. I could actually picture her curling her arms around her iPad and caressing it. That’s how stalker-ish she was about PP. And me? I laughed at her. The whole time I was thinking “WTH is wrong with you? That’s like the dumbest title known to man. Re-dic-u-lous.” So when I asked her to collaborate with me on my blog about the Best of 2012 and that book was on it and she became goggle-eyed over it AGAIN, I heaved a heavy sigh and resigned myself to read it. Purely so I could get her off my back about it and find out why she was in love with it.

Holy shit. I have never been so wrong in my life about a book.

It. Was. Fabulous.

I have been spoiled lately because a lot of really amazing books have been dropped into my lap this last month. But PP by far has the best one liners in it. They are one in a million zingers. And I am not typically one to quote books in my reviews, but just to prove my point about how witty this book is, I had to list a few:

“Hey, you’ve still got your endangered hymen. Which means you’ll make it to closing credits – I’m s.o.l.”

“Eves, on the scale from wholesome to whoresome, you’re practically Amish.”

“My mom could be really fierce. A regular Frau Badass.”

“You have two choices, grasshopper. Out-slut Clotile – or go Springer on her ass. I’m down for the assist in both scenarios.”

Oh and the romance… sexy, sultry, feisty and fierce. Man oh man. I need me some Cajun flavor in my life! And to prove my point again… I present you with another quote:

“If you touch me like that again, Evangeline,” he began in a husky tone, dropping to his seat once more, “in the space of a heartbeat, I will have you off this bike and onto the closest horizontal surface. And I woan be picky, no.”

I laughed and giggled and swooned OUT LOUD over these characters. Evie is wonderful and brilliant. Wholesome and moral and such a freaking badass at the end. And Jack… I just want to… want to…mmm…well. Let’s keep this PG and say… he’s… attractive. Yeah….

*shakes heads to remove images*

Ok. Focusing again. What really is unique about this story is the dysoptia and the Tarot cards aspect. I get so super jealous of people who are this freaking creative. WHAT CAN’T I BE THIS AWESOME?!?! It’s a whole new take on why the world blows up and how to save it and survive. When I finished reading PP, Amy and I literally spent hours on the computer looking up Arcana symbols and Tarot card meanings. It was legit. Poison Princess it the book you read over and over and over again and never get tired of it.

Soo… I guess what I am trying to do is swallow my pride and say “Touche, Amy. I shalt never doubt you again.”

…while I make sure I preorder book number two and tuck book one up nice and cozy….

 

BONUS!!! Check out Amy’s Polyvore set inspired  by Poison Princess! Love love love it!

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