By Suzanne Young
Genre: YA, Science Fiction- Dystopian, Romance
The plot is really captivating. At times when I might have gotten a little bored, the prospect of finding out the ending kept me reading this, almost finishing it all in one sitting (I have no life). I’m not really sure if this is a good or a bad thing, but so much time passes in the novel. No joke, six weeks goes by in one sentence. I thought at first that I wouldn’t like it, since Sloane’s boyfriend James and her met before the book began, but their relationship still sweet. Another character named Realm was great, but for no fault of his own, I started to not like him as much toward the middle to end.
Sloane cries a lot. I know that sounds really stupid, yet every other page, the main character is shedding tears. I understand that she’s in a horrific situation, but still. It was a little frustrating knowing more than the narrator (Sloane) does, but I guess it adds to the plot. The beginning is slow and it didn’t hook me that much, still, the romance between James and Sloane kept me reading. It becomes boring in the middle and picks up again a few times.
The book didn’t live up to its description. Based on the kinds of novels I like to read, and how this fit that category quite well, it wasn’t as great as I had hoped. I was so excited when I read the inside flap, convinced that I would fall in love with it. I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, the book is good, it’s just not that good. I would recommend this book, but not as one of my favorites. The ending was slightly disappointing, and I don’t know if I want to read the rest of the series. There aren’t really any cliffhangers for the next books. As you can probably already tell, my feelings about this were conflicting. Some of the things that were pros could be cons too, and vice versa.
“I cannot slip. Not now, not ever. I’m one of them. I’m special. I’m an accident. I’m a lie. And my life depends on maintaining the illusion.”
–Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
*SPOILER WARNING: IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK AND PLAN TO, TURN BACK NOW THERE WILL BE SPOILERS*
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
RANT WARNING: Okay, so I finished this book in a few hours, and I’m honestly a changed person. In 180 pages this book captivated me. This won’t be like one of our normal reviews since I need to rant. About what you may ask? THE BUCHANANS. MORE SPECIFICALLY DAISY. First of all, everyone says how much they hate Tom, and while he is a bad person, namely for being a royal asshat, cheating on his wife with a woman whom he hits, and being the biggest hypocrite ever, he CARES… at least a little. Not much, actually, BUT IT’S THERE. Nick said about Tom and Daisy “they were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together and let other people clean up the mess they had made “[…]. (9.136-145). They are notoriously careless people, disregarding the feelings of others and using their money to hide behind.
Before you argue against my opinion of Daisy being worse than Tom, let me say this: When Tom found out that Myrtle died, he cried for her. She was his mistress, and as far as we knew, they had a purely physical relationship. When we see this however, we realize that at least a little bit, Tom cared for Myrtle. After Gatsby dies, Nick doesn’t hear from Daisy. We’re shown that Gatsby and Daisy have a very emotional relationship, having never explicitly been told that they had sex or were intimate in any form beyond kissing. But she doesn’t even come to his funeral and lets him take the fall for her mistake. While both husband and wife are extremely careless, selfish, and greedy people, Tom cared for Myrtle, his mistress, and Daisy, who explicitly said she loved Gatsby all of those years, didn’t even show up to his funeral. Long story short: I hate Daisy Buchanan. But overall this is actually one of my favorite books. It made me feel something, and as you may know, feeling something is one of the best parts of reading a book.
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: YA, Fantasy,
The main character was someone I would like to be, humble, powerful, and a complete badass, but I’m not, which is why I read. Honestly, having two princes fawn over you seems pretty great. The ships are amazing, and I even love Evangeline, the bitchy side character, whose sole purpose is to make Mare’s life hell. Cal, the crown prince, is actually life though, I ship them so much, but Clare’s (my fellow blogger’s) shipping status for this book is still on the fence. The ending has an epic plot twist that I would have never guessed, and the entire book keeps you on your toes. I would want to live in this book if I could, even though that world has its problems, and you know, an oppressive and dictatorial government. But whatever.
All the silver bloods seem like complete jerks (except Maven and Cal), and there is a large separation between reds and silvers, being the two classes. In the beginning, it’s hard to tell if Mare and Kilorn are in a stadium or just watching it on a screen. There is a love triangle, but it’s not too annoying (*coughs* Twilight). The ending feels a little rushed, and I was disappointed with a choice that Cal makes, but I guess it turned out amazing anyways. Nothing too wrong with this book, I have to say.
It was a great book. I’m waiting on Clare to finish the second one, Glass Sword so I can borrow it. It took a little longer than I had hoped to get into the first real action of the book and the middle was slightly slower with romance than I had hoped (ships are everything), but I expect there to be lots more in the next one. Some of the moments with Cal and Mare though- be still my beating heart- are what I was reading for. I guess if you ship Mare with Maven your experience with it could be a bit different. [Clare’s thoughts: I actually despise Mare Barrow’s name. Like her first name? Fine. Last name? Fine. But together? No thanks. It bothers me how they rhyme in the beginning. I don’t know, it just annoys me. Great book though! Rant over.]
These are some of our favorite books of all time. Of course these are only a few, because honestly, how can one just pick 10. These are also in no particular order, since picking a favorite child is apparently frowned upon.
(Links take you to goodreads pages of the books listed in a new tab)
– C & K
(with little to no shame)
It’s no secret that books are supposed to make us feel something, but some make us feel more than others. Which leads to tears. And rage. And angry letters to the author. Totally kidding about that last part… maybe. Anyway, these are the books that have made us cry, varying from a few silent tears (1) to intense sobbing in the fetal position (5). Enjoy!
The Fault in Our Stars (5)
Clockwork Princess (4)
The Book Thief (5)
Harry Potter (1)
The One (2)
Looking for Alaska (4)
My Sister’s Keeper (3)
– C & K
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
The book is written beautifully, and there are so many quote-worthy phrases. The cover of the book is stunning as well. Hodkin’s characterization and development is one of the best I’ve seen, and there are some superb secondary characters like Jamie and Daniel that make this story that much better. It takes you on a roller coaster of emotions, ranging from intense happiness, in which I can be found shrilly screaming, to intense sadness, where I can be found on the verge of tears. (Okay, actual tears may or may not have been shed.) The romance is TOP-NOTCH, I mean, Noah Shaw… come on. He’s British, he’s chivalrous, he loves dogs, what more can you ask for? I will forever be in love with Noah. DAMN YOU, MARA FOR BEING SO CUTE WITH HIM!!!
The only real problem I have with this book is the beginning. It was a little confusing, and there were too many names given all at once. It’s also a little cliché, with the typical “mean girl” in high school picking on the new girl etc. The beginning just didn’t really capture me the way I thought it would based on the plot, and didn’t do the book justice. Sure, Mara was hallcinating her dead ex-boyfriend and friends, which is creepy and paranormal in and of itself, but since Mara is the definition of an unreliable character, you don’t know what’s real or not, and whether this is a paranormal or psychological thriller. This can seem as tasteful ambiguity on the author’s part, but can also be very confusing. Once you get to about page 100 or so, it really grabs you and the paranormal aspects really take off, carrying you through said roller coaster ride.
This is one of my favorite books ever. The next two books in the series are way better, if that’s even possible. Also the Ebola joke was just gold, since when I first read this, that was the big “sensation” and it made me instantly fall in love with Jamie and his incredibly cynical humor. Despite the beginning being a tad slow and cliche, it really made up for it and wowed me. This is a book I wouldn’t mind rereading (and actually have many times); The way Michelle Hodkin weaved the paranormal theme with the romance and inner conflict of Mara and Noah made this book a definite favorite.
-C & K