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review 2016-07-31 07:04
The Last Letdown...
The Last Star (The Fifth Wave #3) - Rick Yancey

Uhh I've been sitting on this review, thinking that if I ponder over this book a little longer I'll have a better grip on my feelings but that hasn't happened. I still have mixed feelings about this book and the whole series actually. It had so much potential but I feel like Yancey is his own worst enemy. Sometimes he can write so beautifully, then other times he gets on these tangents and the storyline and dialogue gets so convoluted you don't know what the hell he is going on about. I kept thinking well maybe I'll like it more if I can see it as a movie where I can actually see the story come to life but seeing as The 5th Wave movie didn't do a whole lot for me and The Infinite Sea isn't even greenlit yet I don't have much faith in that happening.

 

Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either.  I just felt more of an indifference really. Honestly my last thought when I finished reading this was-

   

     I'm glad I don't have to hear about that damn bear anymore!!

 

So if that tells you anything.... Don't have too high expectations and you won't be disappointed...

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text 2016-07-15 04:07
Reading progress update: I've read 338 out of 338 pages.
The Last Star (The Fifth Wave #3) - Rick Yancey

Gathering my thoughts-

 

Review to come...

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-12-05 00:53
The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey

I saw the preview for this movie while watching Mockingjay 2. So I had to get the book just so I knew if seeing the movie was worth it.. and I dunno. The first person narrative from every character's point of view was confusing. It must be a thing to do this because I've seen it done often. I had problems figuring out who was speaking at the beginning of the chapters because the titles didn't help with that. At least George R.R. Martin put the character's names at the beginning of his chapters. 

 

The bouncing around to tell the story was also a bit much for me to grasp but once I got used to all that, it moved fast. We all know the story.. aliens come to take over the world but this time the weapon used to finish off humanity is macabre and frankly scary. The intended audience is young adults and that's frightening. Our main characters are all children ranged from age 5 to 17, so it makes sense but what they do is definitely not young adult material unless of course I'm just not ready to believe young adults can go through what this author put them through

 

I liked the story and I am reading part two. I may also go see the movie just so I can figure out how they do it. I think my rating is 3 stars just because I can't believe what happened. 

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url 2015-09-03 00:55
What I Read in August + September TBR

In three weeks I managed to read 11 books. I thought that my August TBR goals of 8-10 books in three weeks (afterbooktubeathon) were stretching it and then I beat my own goals!

Well, I’ve also been experiencing a lack of motivation with a lot of things, including blogging, and that has to do with August marking the one year anniversary of a close friend’s suicide. So, in periods of little motivation, sometimes I end up reading a lot without people knowing.

And today I’m here to discuss the 11 books I read and the several books that I want to read in September. Don’t forget to tell me what’s on your September TBR and what you’ve read in August.

 

AUGUST BOOK TALK: 

 

** The Fifth Wave – Rick Yancey || Goodreads

Hey, hey! You might be interested in reading this one soon too. The trailer was recently released for the movie adaptation (or at least a sneak peek trailer).

Anyway, everyone was raving about this book years ago, and I pre-ordered the book but then never got around to reading it (#StoryOfABookHoarder). I recently saw that the audiobook was available on Overdrive, so I decided to try it out, knock a book off the TBR (even if it wasn't the TBR I'd made for August). Y'all, if you're going to read this book, I HIGHLY recommend the audiobook. The narrator does a fantastic job of capturing Cassie's emotions and the atmosphere as she recounts the different waves of the Other's invasion. There's also a narrator for the male characters (the guy who narrated Linger by Maggie Stiefvater), and he's good, but for me Cassie's narrator totally stole the show and made the audiobook worthwhile.

I really liked where Yancey took the story. I have to admit: alien invasion stories are not my thing. Too often I feel icky; aliens vs. humans, and this Othering, makes me think about xenophobia, and anyway, Yancey avoided that. There are obviously some parts that I enjoyed less than others, but it was entertaining enough that it stayed with me, made me curious enough to check out the sequel. Also, I'll probably check out the movie on January 29?, 2016.

** The Infinite Sea – Rick Yancey || Goodreads

This one is a lot more action-packed than The Fifth Wave and the main point of view isn't actually Cassie's. it's another side character from book one, and I've got to say - I liked that character a lot, so I enjoyed the perspective shift. I liked this less than The Fifth Wave, but I am still curious about what Yancey has planned for The Last Star. There were definitely plot twists in The Infinite Sea with huuuuge repercussions for TLS.

** Alanna: The First Adventure – Tamora Pierce || Goodreads

My reaction is pretty similar to what it was in my August TBR post. Which is to say, I'm super impressed thinking about how this was Tamora Pierce's debut novel and how she hadn't had the legions of YA novels before her, and yet she set such a trend! A trend and a legacy that's easily traced in other YA fantasies. I really wish that I'd read this in high school. I enjoyed it now, but I know that I would've enjoyed it even more then (aka when I was less jaded and picky about books).

** Bone Gap – Laura Ruby || Goodreads

This book takes a while to get started, but I almost didn't care because of its fantastic characters. Laura Ruby really does a wonderful job developing the setting and making the people of Bone Gap feel unique to Bone Gap (but also familiar to us). (Side note: magical realism may become one of my favorite genres, especially as it is here, with a character-oriented plot and emphasis on characterization first.)
Most often the complaint about magical realism novels is that they're slow-paced. My reasoning is that readers might be entering with bad expectations if they think a MR novel is supposed to go fast. A friend once said that the good horror novel first establishes the daily reality of the characters for you before adding in the horror elements. That's what makes the horror and creepiness feel real - the sense of it seeping into your daily reality. I'd say the same of magical realism. A MR novel that's fast-paced might not have the time to set up the proper atmosphere and setting. You gotta get the contemporary element in, and then inject the magic slowly but surely....

Anyway. I really did love Bone Gap, and Finn is one of my favorite male protagonists. Loved the way it played with perception, beauty, being lost and getting found.

** The Accident Season – Moira Fowley-Doyle || Goodreads

Wow. What a remarkable debut novel.

We Were Liars is probably a fair comparison, but it also doesn't quite capture the beautiful atmospheric tension of this novel. WWL's prose was more focused on emphasizing Cady's brokenness, I think, whereas the prose in The Accident Season seems more akin to Nova Ren Suma's. Here's a better explanation: WWL is described as a modern day suspense novel, but The Accident Season is described as a sexy magically realistic YA. If you're a fan of Nova Ren Suma's or Maggie Stiefvater's writing, this could be right up your alley.

I'm definitely coming back for more from this author.

 
The Accident Season is much more plot-oriented than Bone Gap. My favorite element of Bone Gap was the characterization. My favorite part of The Accident Season was the writing style. Ohhhhhhh, wow, the climax was stretched on and Fowley-Doyle captured the atmosphere and setting and this dreamy, what-is-going-on feeling for all of it. I could picture the entire book as a movie. Same with Bone Gap. Which is why I thought that magical realism might become one of my favorite genres.

** Court of Fives – Kate Elliott || Goodreads

No wonder Kate Elliott was a World Fantasy Award Finalist. The world-building is SO extensive, and the plotting does well to highlight different aspects beyond the core "Fives" game concept.
"Court of Fives is inspired by Little Women, by epic fantasy which I’ve written for years, by my wanting to write a story that’s also a love letter to female athletes, by the history of Hawaii, and by my husband’s work at an archaeological site in Egypt dating from the Greco-Roman period, a period when first Macedonians/Greeks and after them the Romans ruled over the Egyptian population." 
-Kate Elliott in her Book Smugglers post, which is well worth reading if you have the time.
That's also a good summary of this book. A love letter to Little Women, female athletes, and epic fantasy set in a Greco-Roman inspired world rife with colonial class warfare. If you wanted more focus on the world-building in The Winner's Curse, Court of Fives is your novel (though in general, definitely expect an overlap of fanbases here).

(P.S. Bonus points for Jessamy. She's going on my favorite heroines list.)

** George – Alex Gino || Goodreads

I'm really glad this is being published. It's wonderful to think that discussions will start across the country because of George. I was trying to think of when someone had ever really discussed gender identity with me when I was growing up, and I couldn't think of a single time. In fact, the first time I had ever even heard of the concept of personal gender pronouns was my first day at college. I should've done better, and we can all do better, and this is a really important book.

Something I also really appreciated about this book were the cringe-worthy comments from different characters that might seem innocent except that we're in Melissa's PoV (i.e. things like "you'll turn into a fine young man"). A nice reminder of how important our word choice is. And how the casting of the play went! I remember the parents and the people in charge of my elementary school plays specifically making up *girl* characters (e.g. Janet, Jim's twin sister in Huckleberry Finn) or changing boy characters to have "girl" names (i.e. probably ending in a vowel; e.g. "Quincey" instead of "Quince" in A Midsummer Night's Dream) - what is the deal with girls playing boys or boys playing girls?

Anyway, it's a good starter point for discussing gender identity with your kids. Some moments reminded me of this NYT article. Read that against this novel, or read the novel on its own -- whatever you decide, you should have some discussion at hand. Plus, the way the novel is written makes it really easy to sympathize with Melissa (see above).

** Sunshine – Robin McKinley || Goodreads

I was at the Strand the other day and found this one in the YA section. Remembered how much I'd enjoyed The Hero and the Crown and decided to give this book a shot.

Haha, this book was originally published as adult UF and republished as YA. That made me think that YA is really just at the publisher's discretion. Because there were definitely explicit terms you don't normally see in a YA novel: labia, the feeling of a hard-on going soft in your body, etc. But explicit terms aside, there aren't many explicit scenes, so it also makes sense that the book got published as a YA novel.

Anyway, it's a vampire faery tale, and I have some unanswered questions, and I may or may not go hunting on the author's website. I'd definitely read more from her in the future. Definitely one of the master story-tellers...

And the romance novels that I read when I fall into that lack of motivation mode...

** Slave to Sensation – Nalini Singh || Goodreads

Sarah J. Maas mentioned this book when she came to my college to give a SFF world-building workshop (before the publication of Crown of Midnight - aka when such things were still possible without costing too much money). She highly recommended it despite the old cover.

And ever since then, I've seen it on so so so many different UF and romance readers' radars. It seems to be a really popular series, the Psy-Changeling series, so I decided to try it out for myself. I enjoyed it well enough. Maybe will try her other books in the future?

**Luck Be a Lady – Meredith Duran || Goodreads

Meredith Duran is my go-to historical romance author. Especially when I'm in a funk.

** When Beauty Tamed the Beast – Eloisa James || Goodreads

I think a popular Goodreads reviewer might have tipped me off to this, but I was in the mood for a Beauty and the Beast retelling... I liked this. Probably just as much as Slave to Sensation, both good, and maybe I'll try more from those authors in the future.

Currently Reading:

** Slasher Girls and Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke || Goodreads

I've only read the first story by Nova Ren Suma, but I enjoyed that so much! Her writing style seems particularly suited to short stories, and the magical realism elements fit well with an anthology comprised of horror and thriller stories.

September TBR:

All the books from my August TBR that I didn’t read including:

  • Shadowshaper – Daniel Jose Older || Goodreads
  • More Happy Than Not – Adam Silvera || Goodreads
  • The Golden Specific – S.E. Grove || Goodreads
  • The Wild Ones – C. Alexander London || Goodreads
  • A Curious Tale of the In-Between – Lauren DeStefano || Goodreads

All of these books have actually been released by now, so if you're interested in them, you can grab a copy too. And hopefully I'll be able to read them soon, and catch up so I don't continue to fall behind on my TBR and push books back... back... back... Hah.

Also, books releasing in September and/or purchased:

** The Killing Moon – N.K. Jemisin || Goodreads
  • I don't read enough adult fantasy, and I've heard such good things about Jemisin's work, so I'm really looking forward to diving into this book. (Though I think her other series won the Hugo and Nebula awards? Not this one? But still.). I also read a small excerpt about Jemisin's characterization skills on io9 and I loved them.

 

** Zeroes – Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti || Goodreads
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • Superheroes! Scott Westerfeld! I haven't read anything by the others, but this seems highly anticipated. What have you heard on your end about it?

** Vengeance Road – Erin Bowman || Goodreads
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
  • YA Western! I've heard about the dialogue and I don't do super well with dialogue, but maybe that'll just enhance the atmosphere. I've also wanted to try out an Erin Bowman book for a while.

** Wolf by Wolf – Ryan Graudin || Goodreads
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
  • This one releases in October, but my book club chose it for our September book. Laini Taylor blurbed and/or recommended this one, and it sounds really different from most other YA, so I'm also looking forward to this.

** The Curiosity House – Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester || Goodreads
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • MG adventure in the 1930s and related to a relics collector? And Lauren Oliver as the writer? Yes!

** The Thing about Jellyfish – Ali Benjamin || Goodreads
Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
  • I read an excerpt of this in the BEA buzz books and loved the writing style. Then the Little Brown publicist said that she thought this one had the potential to be like The Bridge to Terabithia, which I LOVED growing up.

** The Doldrums – Nicholas Gannon || Goodreads
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • The illustrations, 3 kids getting up to an adventure, stirring up mischief.... I have a thing for MG adventure, especially if you can add some sort of extra magic (not even a fantastical element - but gosh, his illustrations!).

Those were the books I read in August and what I plan to read in September. What's on your September TBR? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?
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review 2015-01-24 00:36
The 5th Wave Review
The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey

Release Date: May 7th, 2013 from the Penguin Group

Series: The Fifth Wave #1

Summary from cover:

 

"After the 1st Wave, only darkness remains. 

 

After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th Wave. just one rule applies: trust no one. 

 

Now its the dawn of the 5th Wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earths' last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up."

 

Let me just say that this is the first book that I've read that has had something to do with Aliens. Overall, I think that Yancey has a beautiful way of writing descriptive text; it can be seen throughout every section in The 5th Wave. I had high hopes for this because I've heard so many great things about it (and many not so great things), and I wanted to experience the book that is being made into a movie before its debut. (Release date for that is January of 2016)

 

I will say this: I did not like this at first. I just didn't. I felt that the beginning was just slow and uneventful. That was it's biggest flaw. As the story progressed and there were the other narratives, I couldn't bring myself to think, "Man, I can see this happening". I understand that this is a work of science fiction, but even with that the selling point for me is being able to see whatever is happening in the book...happening. It wasn't until the last two hundred pages or so that I really got into the action packed scenes and the fast paced story line. Having the ending of the book be the only point of interest is highly disappointing. 

 

As for protagonists, I absolutely adored Cassie and her little brother. Cassie reminded me of myself in certain situations where she used her sass. She felt real. She wasn't perfect. She fought with her parents, lied to her little brother (with good intentions), and had a hard time trusting people. Most importantly...there was evidence that she was a teenager before this tragic event happened! I have read many books where the author makes it seem that the protagonist (who is a teenager) is a full-blown adult at 16-17 years old. Now, I don't mean that they have responsibilities or needed to "grown up fast", but those characters just seem too mature for their own age to the point where they would suit being adults better than teens. With The 5th Wave, I loved that Yancey actually made Cassie a teenager who has made mistakes and learns lessons throughout her hardship to make her life better...or in this case to make sure she lives to see another day.

 

The love interest really got to me too. I didn't really detect instalove, the one thing that I notice in many books, and what happened wouldn't even be considered love in my opinion. Nothing was really rushed, and what seemed rushed was just a subtle hint to something greater. The romance was just a crush that slowly developed due to the constant interaction between the two characters. In honest, I found the whole thing really cute until everything got a little creepy out of nowhere. (You'll know when/if you read it.)

 

Sadly, the book was extremely predictable. Despite this, I was still able to enjoy what I could and had a wonderful time experiencing this book as my first Science Fiction work.  I can't wait to read the second book in this trilogy when I get the chance to so I can see how the story progresses.

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