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Search tags: Lauren-Oliver
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review 2018-07-03 09:44
‘Broken Things’, a YA thriller, comes off as a bit....broken
Broken Things - Lauren Oliver

I’ve read a lot of great thrillers lately, and despite the fact that this has a great premise (young girls accused of murdering their best friend five years ago, reunite back in the small town that still calls them the ‘Monsters Of Brickhouse Lane’), it just falls short. Putting it another way, this was a thriller that really did end up feeling broken.

 

Five years ago, the case against Mia and Brynn is dropped, and Owen was acquitted in court, after they were accused of brutally killing their friend Summer in what looked like a ritualistic murder. Now that a memorial has brought them back together, the three of them (along with their new tag-along friend, and so-called YouTube fashion sensation Abby), plus Brynn’s second cousin Wade, are now going to solve the murder. 

 

This plot reads immediately like it has been done before and only recently (I do not like comparing to specific books so I won’t). 

I will however, point out how the girls’ obsession with the book ‘The Way Into Lovelorn’ (‘fan fic’ made me do it!), and the similarity of this obsession we see in the real life ‘Slender Man’ killings came off as all too familiar, and so it didn’t seem original or clever for me very early on. I also found myself wanting more from these passages from ‘Lovelorn’ as they gave me few answers as to why I should believe any behaviors should come from this book. As the crux of ‘Broken Things’, these passages needed to be way stronger for me to be convinced that it had anything to do with the killing, the girls’ obsession, and their friendships. 

 

Lauren Oliver is an established and fluid writer; conversations flow well, nothing really seems ‘wrong’ in terms of how the story ‘works’, but I had a hard time getting myself through this, and at times the story seemed to be meandering. Aside from the fact that Summer, the murdered ‘best friend’, seemed to be a nasty piece of work anyway, so I didn’t really care that the others may well have bumped her off, the twist and subsequent Scooby-Doo ‘unmasking’ gave me zero payoff. I felt badly that the characters hadn’t been given more action, especially with how long the book is. 

 

Many will enjoy this thriller but sadly I have to say it’s too long, and has too much jumping around between the two main characters, Brynn (who I just can’t believe would get away with ‘living’ in rehab like she did), and Mia, and the two timelines. The relationships are half way there, and the general ambiance is generally right, but this is a very full genre right now, so I had much higher expectations for this one.

 

*Plus a cat was killed. 

 

 

 

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review 2018-06-26 02:44
Before I Fall
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver,Sarah Drew

Samantha Kingston reveals a stunning thing at the start of her first-person narrative:  she has died.  Sam is a popular high-school senior in suburban Connecticut, who dies a sudden, accidental death--and then finds herself reliving her last day, February 12 (aka "Cupid Day" at her school), again and again.  She soon finds that she can live that day in any number of different ways, changing various outcomes and learning new things about classmates and teachers; her friends and even herself.  She is not sure if she can somehow undo her death, or perhaps at least discover a sequence of actions that removes her from the loop and allows her to move on to what's next (in the event that reliving that day is not her "next").  

 

I found this book addictive, listening to it any time I could (and also borrowing the Kindle version to read big chunks of it in text form).  Recommended, especially for readers who have enjoyed other books by Lauren Oliver.

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review 2018-06-01 20:07
#34 Replica by Lauren Oliver
Replica - Lauren Oliver

I’ve had mixed feelings about Lauren Oliver’s books in the past but I really liked the Delirium series and Replica intrigued me by its concept. If you have not heard about it, this is actually the story of two girls, Lyra and Gemma who do not know each other but who are going to meet at some point. The book is divided into two parts, you can start with Gemma’s or start with Lyra’s story, or read one chapter of each.

 

The story was a bit intriguing but I was not that much into it. I started with Gemma’s story and had difficulties staying focused; it was a bit slow and not particularly interesting at the beginning. However, I was way more into Lyra’s story and wanted to know more about the Replicas and Haven. In the end, I enjoyed the concept of the book and the plot was great, but it did not blow my mind. Still, it was a good concept and the story was cool.

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text 2018-05-11 16:06
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver

This book was very interesting and thought-provoking.  I did not feel much of an attachment to any characters, but their stories fascinated me.  I was a bit disappointed by the ending because it was very inconclusive.

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review 2018-03-30 19:01
Ringer
Ringer - Lauren Oliver

This is the final book in the Replica duology and once again, Oliver created a unique reading experience. Two girls, two stories. I had such success with Replica that I decided to read Ringer the exact same way, start off with Lyra's story and flip the book over every few chapters to alternate between Gemma's story. This time, however, things didn't work out quite as pleasant for me because Oliver decided to switch things up a bit.

 

Instead of the girl's stories being very much intertwined, Lyra and Caelum are on the run while Gemma and Pete are mistaken as replicas and captured. I wasn't reading two different view points of the same story, I was reading two separate stories, which equally held my attention to the point where I would have to force myself to stop reading one side so that I wouldn't finish Lyra or Gemma's story too quickly. I didn't want to get too far ahead in either story and that was such a challenge for me.

 

Originally I was more drawn to Lyra's story and her character, this time around Gemma really captured my interest. There was enough action and suspense on her side to keep me up until 4am finishing this book. I really enjoyed how Oliver explored the controversial world of cloning and showed various view points.

 

"If it isn't the owning that makes humans, and it isn't the making, either, then maybe it's the unmaking?"

 

There were some incredibly tense and creepy scenes that had me on the edge of my seat. I am so glad that I have finally been able to get back to reading after the year I've had, and this book was the perfect start.

 

-Shey

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