Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi was interesting. I have never read a book anything like it and it was a new concept, so it deserves some credit for that. First, the setting:
     Shatter Me takes place in a post-apocalytic world run by the Reestablishment. They want to make the world a better place. Or at least that's what they tell the people. What the people don't know is that this new government is corrupt. The environment is also corrupt. The weather is volatile, the animals are dying, the plants withering away to nothing. People are starving to death and the government is regulating their every move. But what happens when the people who are supposed to be your shining beacon of light are actually dark pits of corruption and evil?
Now, a summary of the story:
     Juliette has been locked up for 264 days. She was thrown into an insane asylum after she killed someone. But she didn't do it on purpose. If she touched anyone with her bare skin, she would suck the life out of the person she was touching and he would die if she kept contact for too long. Then, one day, she gets a cellmate. Adam. He used to go her school and was the closest thing that she ever had to a friend. He was the only one that stood up for her and it seems that he does not remember her at all. He doesn't even seem crazy, so she wonders why he's there. Two weeks later, she is forcefully taken out of confinement and brought to a government building owned by The Reestablishment. Warner wants to use her as a weapon to torture the rebels, but Juliette never wanted to hurt anyone. Not on purpose. Then she finds out that Adam is actually part of the Reestablishment army, the soldier that has been assigned to watch her every move. As luck would have it, he is also one of the few that can actually touch Juliette. What kind of trouble will this crazy couple get into, eh?

Random stuff about the book:
        I have never read a book quite like this one before. I have never read a book with strikethroughs through some of the words and I thought the effect of this was really different. It showed how Juliette was suppressing some of her thoughts and I thought it provided background information in an interesting way. However, they did become a bit annoying at times, but that was something that I was willing to overlook. 
      The idea for Shatter Me was also quite intriguing. The fact that Juliette could kill someone with her touch alone, as well as do some other impossible acts, such as breaking through concrete walls, was different, but in some ways the same. It has the same theme of not being able to control one's self, as the vampire books and such do, but it was presented in a cool way.
      There was also the matter of insta-love in this book. Adam and Juliette love each other very quickly, but at the same time they had gone to school together for a long time, so it wasn't exactly insta-love. I just think that their love would not be as intense as it was, at least at first.
      Something that I loved about this book was the heroine, Juliette. She never let anyone step all over her and she always stood up to those who tried to oppress her, such as Warner. She was also funny while she was at it, so she was basically awesome. She was also given horrible circumstances in her life, but she still tried to make the best of it and was still nice to others even though they tortured her. She didn't want revenge on those who made her an outsider or who rejected her. She also didn't whine about every little thing in her life because her entire life was crap, but she tried to make the best of it. Juliette is like an anti-MarySue because no one likes her unless they actually get a chance to know her, which is kind of refreshing in a YA book.
      One of the most outstanding parts of this book was its figurative language. At some points, it became a tad excessive, but the similes, metaphors, alliteration, everything was so good. One of my favorite uses, and I'm not sure why, was when it said, "1432 seconds walked into the room before he did." (P.S. I made up that number. I didn't feel like finding that page, but I know the rest of it is right.) It is writing like that that I loved about this book and it was perhaps my favorite thing about the book.
       Overall, this story was a really good one. Perhaps not as earth-shattering as some, but it is easy to be absorbed by the story line and, by the end, you will want to keep reading the series. I certainly do.

This book was one that I could hardly put down. 4 Smileys!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Twisted (Intertwined #3) by Gena Showalter

Twisted, the third installment of the Intertwined series by Gena Showalter, begins with Victoria and Aden alone in a cave and they are going crazy. I won't explain the setting or the characters like I normally do because if you're reading this review, you've probably read the series. If not, read the series and then come back. Or don't read the other books. I don't really care. Anyway, the first... one hundred?.... pages of the book is incredibly boring and confusing. I didn't really know what was going on, but I just went with the flow and didn't really question it, as most people would have. It was just a jumble of confusing thoughts and actions. I think that it was supposed to be this way to show that they were going crazy, but one must do it a certain way to really achieve the right effect and I don't think that Showalter has quite mastered that yet.
       Besides the first one hundred pages, this book was okay. Once Aden returns to his kind-of-normal self, the story gets better, but I never really liked Aden or Victoria to begin with. My favorite character by far is Mary Ann and close behind her is Riley. Neither one of them is mentioned enough in this book for me to really enjoy it. There are a couple parts where they are the main focus, but Victoria and Aden are shown a lot more. And of course Mary Ann and Riley grow farther apart, while Aden and Victoria grew closer. Figures. And two of my other favorite characters die. I'm not going to tell which ones, but just know that I am not happy about it.
       The story line was predictable in most spots, but there were a couple surprises thrown in there. I didn't really notice anything particularly good or bad about the actual writing except in the first one hundred pages, which actually isn't that much of the book. It is nearly 600 pages. If you love the series, read this one, too. If you don't particularly love the series, I would say not to. The choice is yours.

Overall, this book was okay, so I give it 3 smileys. 

P.S. This also proves that I don't give a 5 to every book I read. Only the really good ones ;)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I am not sure how to describe this book, but I will try as hard as I can. It is hard because of this book's awesomeness and.....well, awesomeness. The world is as follows:
     Dwellers live in big buildings called Pods. They never leave them. Farms, food, everything is located in these Pods and there are many all around the world, each run by powerful men called Consuls. So many people staying in one building for their entire lives must go crazy, right? Wrong. Well, sort of wrong. Everyone has a small computer-type thing that goes over their left eyes, called a Smarteye. From these Smarteyes the Dwellers can enter the Realms, virtual places where everything feels real. One minute someone can be on the beach soaking up the virtual sun and then with just a thought, he can be transported to the top of a mountain. Everything feels real in these Realms and the Dwellers spend all their time there. 
     Outside of the Pods live the Outsiders. The Savages. The Cannibals. These are people who live outside and the Dwellers do not know anything about them except for the myths and the legends that they have been told. What they hadn't been told was that some of the Outsiders had special powers, called Senses. Some had a dominant sense, such as super-good hearing or sight or smell. There are also Aether storms on the outside. Aether is a type of blue fire that constantly churns in the sky, always threatening to wipe out everyone and everything in its path. Recently, the Aether storms have grown more powerful, are becoming more violent, and destroying more than ever. This is a threat to not only the Outsiders, but to the Dwellers, as well. What would they do if their Pods were broken and had to live in the real world rather that the virtual one? And can so much virtualization be good for anyone?

     I really can't introduce them separately. Aria and Perry. So different, yet I love them both. Aria is a Dweller. Perry is a Savage. He also has two Senses: smell and sight. He can see long distances, as well as being able to see at night, and he can also smell tempers. How someone feels. Aria isn't so comfortable with that, but he is the only chance she has to survive since she was banished from her Pod because she knew too much. They couldn't be more different and Perry couldn't want to love her less, and vice versa. But he does. She does. He loves a Dweller, but he knows that he can't be with her. She needs to get back to her Pod and her mother. She loves a Savage, but she knows that he has to keep his blood line pure. He needs to be with girl who has powerful smell. A Scire, as they're called. But true love always conquers, right? Right?

Random stuff about this book being AMAZING:
    The love between Aria and Perry was precious. There's really no other way to describe it. They were just so cute and it was so real and raw that I just loved their love. There's that nameless something about this book that struck me to the core and made me devour this book in one sitting. It was entertaining, funny at parts, sad at parts, and lovely at others. There was also another character that made this book awesome: Roar, Perry's best friend. He was so funny and he was the comic of the book. He made a joke of nearly everything, but he could be serious when he had to be. He was also sweet and awesome. I'm saying awesome a lot, but that's what this book is. READ THIS BOOK, READ IT NOW!! Actually, maybe you shouldn't read it just yet. Wait until about December or something because the sequel, Through the Ever Night is not expected to come out until 2013. You will NEED the second book the second you finish Under the Never Sky. You will want it so badly that you will feel physically sick. I know I did.


Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I could describe Cinder in a few short words. However, I think that I will bore you all to death by telling you in a longer way and explaining what I thought of it in more words. Don't worry, I'll try to make this fun, okay? As always, I will start off with a brief explanation of the setting:
      It's 126 years after WW IV and Asia has been pretty much banded together as the Eastern Commonwealth and is ruled by an emperor. There is also a plague spreading and there is no cure. Every person who contracts it dies and millions of people are dying. The current emperor just happens to have this plague, so much of the palace's funds are going towards research for a cure. There is also another threat to humanity, too. They're called the Lunar. They came from humans who lived on the moon, but they evolved so much so that they are far from human. They can manipulate others' brains into making them see, hear, and feel whatever they want them to feel. It is a very powerful weapon and the Queen of the Lunar is threatening to start a war with Earth, one that they are positive that they would win. Earth has certainly gotten itself into a pickle, now hasn't it?

Now, my favorite characters:
     CINDER!! Cinder is a cyborg, a human so injured during an accident that she needed new parts of her body. New mechanical parts. She is 36.28% not-human. Cyborgs are disrespected in society and that does not exclude Cinder, even though she is the most renowned mechanic in New Beijing. She has a step-mother, Adri, one evil step-sister, Pearl, and one not-so-evil step-sister, Peony. Cinder is really funny and she uses sarcasm excellently (which I fully appreciate). She never lets anyone step all over her and she's not some stupid love-struck girl with no brain. She thinks and she's fully capable to do anything she wants.
    Now for Kai. He's the prince of the Eastern Commonwealth and his father is sick with the plague, so he knows that he will be emperor some day soon and he dreads that day. Kai doesn't want to have his childhood wrenched away from him and there is pressure on him to get married. To Queen Levana, the Queen of the Lunar, but Kai wants to marry for love, not for power or money. Actually, he doesn't really want to get married at all. At least, not yet...

Now why I loved Cinder:
   Both of the characters were hilarious and I love it when books are funny :) Also, I felt really connected with the characters and the characters' emotions flowed through me as I read this. I can't really explain to you why I particularly loved this book. There's just something about it that I absolutely loved and I CANNOT WAIT for the next book. READ THIS BOOK AND LOVE IT!