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review 2016-07-15 04:54
A great zombie series.
Bits & Pieces (Rot & Ruin) - Jonathan Maberry

So, I love the Rot & Ruin series by Jonathan Maberry. The writing is excellent, clever, suspenseful and fun. I just read this one and loved it as much as the others. It includes short stories from before and during the rest of the series. 

 

If you haven't read it yet, and you like zombie stories. Try this one. 

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text 2016-04-01 23:00
Femme Friday - Your Next Favorite YA Series
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Cinder - Marissa Meyer
Shatter Me Complete Collection: Shatter Me, Destroy Me, Unravel Me, Fracture Me, Ignite Me - Tahereh Mafi
Etiquette and Espionage: Number 1 in series (Finishing School) by Gail Carriger (2013-02-05) - Gail Carriger;
Beautiful Creatures - Margaret Stohl,Kami Garcia
Atlantis Rising - Gloria Craw
Divergent - Veronica Roth
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré

I don't know what your next favorite YA series may be, but it stands to reason that it could be written by a woman. I'm not saying that it will be, but the "Big 3" of YA are all written by women (and are featured in this post). We definitely can't be ruled out or sidelined anymore in this area. That being said, there are some great series out there, here are some contenders: 

 

That I've read: 

  1. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins   - I mean, it is one of the Big 3 mentioned above and really doesn't need an introduction or explanation anymore. If you haven't read it or seen the movies yet and are reading this post, you've probably already been told to do so. 
  2. Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles - Marissa Meyer - This is a one of my new favorites! I love a good fairy tale reimagining, it's my kryptonite. The whole series was fun and left me with an awful book hangover. I've been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get ahold of the next book set in this world, Stars Above and the first of Meyer's new series, Heartless
  3. Shatter Me Complete Collection - Tahereh Mafi - Okay, I had it bad after the Lunar Chronicles, but this one was the actual worst book hangover of my life. I reread some of it way too many times. It played with my emotions, it was written with a whole new style that was mesmerizing, it broke my heart too many times. I'm a sucker for broken characters and this series let me wallow in them until my fingers were all pruney. 
  4. Etiquette and Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger - my first steampunk! I didn't quite know what to expect, but I was intrigued by the concept. This turned out to be a great introduction because it does have some of my favorite elements of fiction. I can't always get behind historical fiction but this combined it with science fiction and paranormal creatures and seriously, what's not to love when you do all that! I'm waiting on the last book to finish off the series and so looking forward to it! 
  5. Beautiful Creatures - Margaret Stohl,Kami Garcia - I had read the first book well before I heard of the movie but hadn't finished the series yet. I was pleased with the movie, though. It brought all the visual parts in and didn't really lose much. I had a great time reading this series. The magical world that it takes place in was new and a lot of fun. Sometimes books in the same subgenre feel like they blur together, but this definitely stands out among the books about magical beings and worlds. 
  6. Atlantis Rising - Gloria Craw - I read this one last year before I knew that more would be coming out. It felt like there could be more but the first one ended on such a note that I wasn't sure if it was just wishful thinking. I can't wait to get my hands on the next one

 

 

Heard good things about: 

  1. Divergent - Veronica Roth - I only saw the movie. I'm not a fan of the way people say that if you love "this" then you'll love "that" so this one struck me wrong. Everyone says that if you loved The Hunger Games, you'll love this series. To me, it sounded like they were far too similar to make it worth reading. But I did watch the movies and they are dissimilar enough that I understood what people were talking about. All the same, I never made my way to that series. I do plan on reading it, but I'm not in rush. Everyone that I know who's read it, loved it! And I remember once reading a blog post from someone who applauded the way Tris is specifically not pretty, that it's mentioned in a way that reminds you that it shouldn't be important for a revolutionary to be pretty. 
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling - I know, it's a problem. It's a Big 3 YA and I haven't read it, but I did crack it open once or twice.... I was just a little too old when these books came out to be interested in them, and then too busy and now I might as well wait to read them with my son. He's very close to the right age to start the first one. I have seen all the movies and completely understand how wonderful the books are, I just haven't read them yet. 

 

 

Problematic - this is a blog about feminism in books, so while these are huge, they do present some problems in this department that need addressing

Twilight - Stephanie Meyer - it's been said, at length, that this series presents problems in the abusive relationship department. The main love interest is controlling and that is definitely a problem. What makes the problem worse is the HUGE following that came after this series that made everyone sound like they want to be in an abusive relationship such as this. No hitting takes places, but there is a lot of controlling behaviors that no one should tolerate. I get that Edward wasn't a bad guy, but he was a bad boyfriend. Bella wasn't exactly a role model either. At the same time she wasn't much worse than Matt Donovan in the next series I'm going to talk about. It's hard to be the only human among supernaturals, I'm sure, but she never once got to make a decision that he didn't have to approve and she was always usurped when he didn't approve. 

The Vampire Diaries - LJ Smith - just skip the books and binge watch the CW series on Netflix. The show is one of my favorites and cleans up a lot of the problems in the books. Elena is very similar to Bella in her passionate love for her love interest. It made me gag a lot. Her friends are easily duped into doing whatever vapid thing she is interested in. Okay, so that sounds harsh and I'm not trying to shame the characters. The problem is that they were hollow characters. What should have been intersections in their problems never seemed to bother them, so we mostly gloss over the fact that Elena is an orphan in the books. The show makes up for this by allowing her to be melancholy and react to this life-changing event as if her life has changed. I've said before that maybe it's my own problem for having watched the show first. The characters in the show have depth and complexity. No one is a perpetual damsel in distress or rescuer. Even the villains are layered. These books features lots of characters and it would be great if they didn't fit so well into those old, worn stereotypes. Also, the show may still be on television, but the books are from the 1990's. I don't remember if these stereotypes had quite hit trope level, but it's just a pass. Don't even bother, not in this day and age. You'll just be disappointed. 

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review 2016-02-24 21:26
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse -- YA Style!
Riders - Veronica Rossi

Riders is a YA fantasy novel from Tor Teen which is set in our present world. The story revolving around mysterious creatures who might be angels or might be demons. The problem is that our protagonist Gideon Blake, eighteen year old U.S. Army Ranger, doesn’t know which is which. Actually, he doesn’t really know what is going on most of the time, because he discovers he might have died and been resurrected as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!

Wait, wait. I’m getting ahead of myself, because, as the book opens, we don’t know any of that. In fact, the beginning of the book is actually the end. Yeah, you read that right. Ridersstarts at the end. Gideon Blake waking up in an interrogation chamber, tied to a chair, gagged with his head covered and no idea where the hell he is at. And it is only through his conversations with his interrogator that the story begins to come into focus.

First, we discover that young Gideon has had a rough few years: his dad dying unexpectedly; the lose sending him into a downward spiral of trouble; and ultimately it causing him to join the military to straighten out his life. And it does. Or, at least, it had until a horrible training accident occurs. An accident which should have killed Gideon . . . but didn’t. Or did it? Gideon isn’t quite so sure.

After finding his way back home to California (ostensibly to stay with his mom while he recovers), the nagging belief that he actually died spurs Gideon into action. Well, that and a feeling that something mysterious is going on around him. And once a group of strange people show up at a party, speaking cryptic and exhibiting some bizarre powers, Gideon finds himself thrown together with a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl who wants him to help her save humanity from an ancient evil which she herself barely understands.

From this setup the fun begins. Gideon and his companion journeying around to find others like him. The truth about his situation slowly coming into focus (though much of it is still in doubt even at the end); his fellow horsemen knowing more – and less – than himself; and the conclusion to this episode demanding a sequel as soon as possible.

One of the main things I found interesting about Riders was the structure of the narrative. Veronica Rossi doing a wonderful job using the “ending” as a jumping off point that immediately built tension and excitement from the first line. That coupled with Gideon himself telling the story through his first person responses to his “interrogator” was a clever and refreshing way to tell this sort of tale.

Another thing which set this book apart from other YA faire was the great characters, specifically how they actually speak and act like young adults. I mean, we can all agree there are YA books out there where the characters resemble thirty year olds rather than teenagers, right? Not that those books are bad, but it is really refreshing to read about people who fit their age. Gideon, in particular, was a fun narrator; his insecurities, his emotions, and his flaws amazingly realistic and entertaining.

Even though Gideon was the star of this show, I have to just go ahead and admit that the coolest thing about Riders was the horses. The four horsemen of the apocalypse have to have cool horses, right, and Veronica Rossi definitely gives them some. Each horse distinctly original, exhibiting their own individual badass powers, and gifted with a unique personality which slowly shines through.

After saying all those great things about the book, I’m sure many of you wonder why I only gave it three stars. Simply put, the reason is that too much of the time I kept wondering why Gideon was doing what he was doing. I mean, his acceptance of his “mysterious” fate seemed a little too easy and too quick, and his instantaneous decision to travel around with a complete stranger (No matter how attracted he is to her.) was a bit of a head-scratcher. Plus, it seemed a bit silly that he never really understands what the hell is going on – even when he begins training to fight “demons.” All of these things really detracted from my enjoyment of the story.

Overall, Riders was a fun YA fantasy book. It definitely isn’t your typical angels versus demons story, and Gideon is a really entertaining protagonist. While I can’t say it reinvented the YA wheel, Veronica Rossi entertained me enough that I will be picking up book two to see where she goes from here.

I received this novel from Tor Teen in return for a honest and unbiased review. The opinion you have read is mine and was not influenced by anyone else.

Source: bookwraiths.com/2016/02/24/riders
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review 2015-11-16 19:14
Legend Audible by Marie Lu
Legend - Marie Lu

Author: Marie Lu

Narrator: Mariel Stern (as June) , Steven Kaplan (as Day)

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Edition: Audio CD, Unabridged Retail Edition

Published: November 29th 2011

 

 

OMG, why am I always late to these fandoms ??!!

 

« Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.»

 

WHY HAVEN’T I READ THIS BOOK EARLIER??!! (Listening to this, is waay much better)

Day’s voice while flirting or having that devil may care attitude is…. Gaah No appropriate words (looked up the narrator, and he’s about 50-60 yrs old O.o better not describing it) *blush*

 

Anyway this book is amazing, like it had such an epic concept, oh my I’m still on withdrawal I need to listen to the next now (already started it).

 

This is a dystopian trilogy set on this futuristic world where America is divided into two the Republic of America (supposedly the good guys) and the colonies (which are the rebellious guys and supposedly bad). And it’s told from a dual point of view : Day the most wanted criminal in America and June the prodigy, she is being groomed for success in the Republic's highest circles. 

 

Now, when I started listening to this book I didn’t read the synopsis, I just knew the general idea above.

And I guess I should have, so I wouldn’t be affected on Matias's death. OMG that killed me.

I wasn’t even 10% in the book and I already started aching and crying like a baby.

 

The narration and writing was soo good that I couldn’t help but get unvested in the story.

This book would make such an incredible movie; it’s perfect, not too long and visually exciting.

 

The none stop action; break out scenes, leaps, stunts, the whole book is exciting.

And not only that, but it had the most strong, intelligent, logical main characters. I’m looking forward to prodigy, and what it has in store for me. *EXCITED*

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text 2015-09-14 03:18
The Testing Series - Review
Independent Study: The Testing, Book 2 - Joelle Charbonneau
Graduation Day - Joelle Charbonneau

The larger a population, the less our leaders feel personally accountable to each citizen under their care. It makes it easier to sacrifice a few for the good of others.

- Independent Study, Chapter 9

 

I might not be able to stop what is to come, but I cannot leave without trying.

- Graduation Day, Chapter 4

 

Where my beliefs were once black and white, I now see shades of gray.

- Graduation Day, Chapter 5

 

 

Okay, so I don't want to give anything away. I loved the first book in this series, The Testing. (see review here The Testing - Review ). It was fast paced and exciting with twists and turns and surprises. The rest of the series basically flows in the same vein.

 

I found the second two books just as enjoyable as the first. They were fast paced and exciting and even when I thought I knew what was happening, the story still managed to surprise me. I didn't know who to trust any more than Cia did.

 

The ending was enjoyable and I was on the edge of my seat for the last few chapters. It didn't resolve all the issues completely. As Cia says, there was no real black and white, the lines between good and bad were left blurry.

 

Recommended to:

Fans of YA and dystopian stories. 

 

 

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