Friday, April 26, 2013

The 5th Wave

Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: Dystopia
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 8/10

Oh, my. Not so long ago, I was asking myself where were all the fabulous books this year. Well, here's one of them.
This book is described like a good read for people who liked Hunger Games. And, yeah, sure, it's dystopia, and it's dangerous, and kids fighting, but wow. Don'y scoff at it because you think 'been there done that'. No. Trust me. You haven't. There is nothing like this book out there. Nothing. It has the best characteristics of Hunger Games, and then a heap of its' own wonderful traits. Joined together to make a simply fabulous book. It literally had me on the edge of my seat throughout the book, always trying to guess what was going to happen next, or what was happening then to the other characters.
Because that's part of the book's charm: it has multiple narrators. And while the first switch might come as a bit of a shock, by the end of the book, you can guess in the first paragraph which character is narrating. The switching narrators gave the book an entirely different feeling; more embodied, more full; something that wouldn't have been possible if the story had been told only from one person's POV, so the changing really does add that extra edge to the plot.
I really liked Cassie's fresh voice. Reading her thoughts, it many times made me laugh, because what she says and what she thinks are so in tune with what we adolescents think and say now, that the contrast it creates is just... it's mind-boggling. Cassie's world is destroyed and in ashes. And yet she comes out with some snarky comments that you could hear if you went out for a stroll in the street, and that's just great, because it reminds us that even though her situation is very different from ours, she's still just a teenage girl trying to make sense of a mad world.

Definitely read it. Though, word of warning for fans of future-based dystopia: this isn't in the future. It's very much based in the present world, only their world has alines. There is no special tech, no floaty cars or anything like that. Just your average BMWs, guns and good old-fashioned punches.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Indigo Spell

Title: The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: YA
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 6/10

It gets old when I keep on yammering about how I'm surprised with Adrian in the Bloodlines books. But, well, I am. The Ivashkov we get to meet in these books is miles away from the womanising, drunk bum that we met in Vampire Academy; a bum who had no qualms on hitting on a taken girl. No, this Ivashkov is pretty much perfect. He's sincere, romantic, sweet, thoughtful and just all around a great guy. But you know, the best traits of the old Adrian are also still there: his sass and sarcasm.
I do like Sydney. I do. Really. But... she's not Rose. Again, I feel like I'm hitting on the same spots in any and every review of this spin-off. However, I do want to say that Angeline surprised me. I never expected that from her. Then again, I didn't expect it from Trey either. But I just feel very sad, because Eddie and Angeline were like Romitri 2.0, so I had pretty big expectations for them. Still, I guess it sort of makes sense, though it bothers me that Eddie just bounced right back from Angeline to Jill. Eager much?
As for Romitri themselves (come on, it's a VA-world book, we gotta talk about them!), my only happiness is that Richelle has promised that Rose will be showing up much more in the next 3 books, because their scene here was waaay to short. I was all hyped up for the wedding, ready for loads of Romitri goodness, and have to make-do with that? Very sad indeed. Also, why no Christian? He's the one Ozera I like, and I miss his snark.
As for the whole witch thing... I like it. I still don't trust Trey's reasons for dating Angeline, but I get it that Richelle wanted to steer the plot a little further from vampires because of Sydney being human. The big bad witch didn't really scare me, though, despite her killing all those girls. Not sure why, but the Strigoi put the fear of god in me. Witches? Not so much (except maybe Voldemort. But that's beside the point). I did like Syd's choice at the end, though. I love seeing her break free and start making her own decisions. The ending, though? Honestly, book #1 had a more riveting ending (I'm a Dimitri girl, as I'm sure you all know by now) than that, which is bad, cause I was mentally prepared for a classic Richelle Mead book 3 ending. Now I'm told it's going to happen in book 4. So, here I go preparing myself again...

Billy and Me

Title: Billy and Me
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Genre: YA
Rating: 4/5
Cover: 6/10

I got this book as an ARC, and would like to thank Penguin for the chance to read it.

I’ve read quite a few books about the girl who falls in love with the rich, super-hot guy, and then their struggle to make their relationship work. My favourite famous-guy will always be Kellan Kyle, but Billy was great (despite his rather unfortunate name… which grew on me as the book went on), as far as egotistically inclined super-famous and ridiculously rich men go.

I really enjoyed the book, and it was an easy read throughout. Sophie was like a breath of fresh air after so many weak-willed, simpering heroines, who, after a little sweet-talking and puppy-dog eyes, always end up doing what the love interest wants. But not Sophie. She stood her ground, and battled her way through a situation no one is ever prepared for. She never lost herself and her feisty, independent nature, and I really liked reading about a girl who isn’t badass, can’t kick everyone’s ass with her eyes closed, but is still incredibly strong and powerful in her own, natural way. Most of the strong females in books are girls who are good at fighting, and while I appreciate how they show that girls can be just as physically adept as boys, it was lovely to see a girl show strength simply by standing by her own values, and refusing to take crap from life.

The only thing I felt was missing, was this big “secret” of Sophie’s. With all the buildup, I expected something a little more explosive, not grieving. Still, a nice, easy read that is both heartwarming and refreshing.

Warning to younger readers: although the book is tame, there are a few slightly racy scenes that might make you uncomfortable if you’re not used to reading more adult books.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Elite

Title: The Elite (The Selection #2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: YA, dystopia
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

I want to cry because of Maxon, but at the same time, I just want to dance and celebrate because of Aspen. I'm not sure how forthcoming I've been about who I ship with who in the series, so hopefully that statement confuses you. 
I can't even start explaining all the emotions this book put me through, at least not without spoiling something major which you need to not know until the very end so that you can enjoy the book. I can, however, say that I read this in one day - and I had a 3-hour meeting, too. I read walking to the station, on the train, on the tube, walking to my meeting, and all that again on the trip back. It's dangerous and I nearly missed my stop on the way back, I was so engrossed in the book. It might also have something to do with the fact that I was having my heart ripped to shreds on a bloody train, and had to fight back tears.

America... I can safely say I'd forgotten how incredibly girly she is. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but usually authors seem to have a need to sow their heroines as incredibly strong physically, and less girly - they don't giggle or gossip much. But America is very much like a real girl in the sense that she does all that, she worries about what she's wearing, and how she looks; but she also has an inner strength that can be surprising, if one only focuses on those traits, and dismisses her as an airhead. She's so far from that, but appearances can be deceiving. So when she delivers her punch, let me tell you, it hits hard. I did have a very hard time with her constant switching from Aspen to Maxon every time something went wrong with Maxon, but I've seen this happen so many times now, it hardly even bothers me for the right reasons (because she's stringing them both along to a certain extent... though, you know, so is Maxon, kind of. And Aspen... well. Spoilers.), but because I've already figured out who she's going to pick, and just get mad at her for not sticking with him and saving them both heartache. If book characters heard my yelled instructions, their lives would be SO much easier. Their loss ;)

Maxon... I have my reservations towards his character, just like Mer did at times. Which is a first in a situation like the one I found myself in after finishing the book. Still, I believe that, deep down, he's a good guy, and I mean, really... a worse king than his dad, he cannot be, so there's that. My reservations come mostly from the fact that, though he professes his love for Mer, he is still essentially seeing people on the side. I know it's not really his fault, but it does add a certain feeling of, shall we say... cheating. And that's just the tip of it, but I'm keeping quiet. Spoilers and all...

Aspen. Oh god. I can't stand him. Which is weird, cause I do have very strong feelings about who he should end up with (but then, the same goes to Maxon, so don't read too much into that statement... or maybe do! haha) I'm pretty sure he explained to Mer why he broke up with her before the Selection, but it must have been a piss-poor reason, cause I've already forgotten it. So I really dislike him. But I love the idea of him being with the person I have in mind. UGH. CONTRADICTIONS!

Anyway. Read, read, read. It's wonderful, and I need someone to discuss it with ;)