Waitin’ on Wednesday: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Each week Breaking The Spine hosts an event where you post a summary of a book you’re really looking forward to reading in the future. I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of Scythe by Neal Shusterman which will be released by Simon & Schuster on November 22nd, 2016.

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SUMMARY (from goodreads):

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation—they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do.

Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives.

MY THOUGHTS:

Although Neal Shusterman has many hit novels, such as Bruiser and the Skinjacker series, I have only read Unwind. I was completely blown away with Shusterman’s horrifying portrayal of a dystopian earth. The premise was basically that life does not exist until the age of thirteen and parents can “unwind” their children, thereby donating the child’s organs, so technically life doesn’t “end” and the child is recycled. It sounds like a simple and maybe even a stupid premise, but the book was thought-provoking and extremely well-written that evoked empathy and shock (everyone who has read it will remember the shocking scene I am referring to). There are parts of the novel that I still think about even though I read it over a year ago.

When I learned that he is releasing a new dystopian series and read the summary on goodreads I was very intrigued. I can guarantee that this won’t be another cookie-cutter dystopian novel. I am also intrigued by the possibility of maybe a romance between Citra and Rowan? I really love both the names and I also love romances that start as enemies or a ‘tough-love’ approach and then evolve into something more.

What do you guys think? Intriguing plot or are you sick of all of these YA dystopian novels?

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See more of my reviews on goodreads!

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Book Review – Ender’s Game (The Ender Quintet #1)

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TITLE: Ender’s Game
AUTHOR: Orson Scott Card
PAGES: 324
PUBLISHED: July 15th 1994 (first published 1977)
PUBLISHER: Tor Science Fiction
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure and Dystopia

MY RATING:

Rating - 5 Bird

SUMMARY:

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

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MY REVIEW:

I liked this novel a lot more than I thought I would! I was worried it may be over-hyped and it does have some pretty bad reviews on goodreads but I just clicked with it in every way. I loved Ender and all his crazy emotions. He felt real to me…maybe not the age he was suppose to be but a young kid nevertheless. The worldbuilding was spot on, even though I had some trouble picturing the battle stations when Ender first arrived. It wasn’t hard picturing a bunch of kids floating around in zero-gravity but the actual image of the battle rooms themselves was a bit hard to understand. But the game world that Ender played with the giant and wolf/children was awesome. That was probably my favourite part of the whole book which was made even better at the end of the novel (which took me by surprise! and who doesn’t love a good ending?). And yes I admit it is strange how a bunch of six years old are suddenly mega genius’ with no explanation other than that the government ‘made’ them but that never really bothered me until I read other reviews that pointed it out after I was finished reading.

This might not be for everyone but I think it is a classic that everyone should at least try out (especially if you like sci-fi). Now lets see how well the movie does…

Book Review – Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between #1)

TITLE: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
AUTHOR: April Genevieve Tucholke
PAGES: 360
PUBLISHED: August 15th 2013
PUBLISHER: Dial
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Gothic, Paranormal, and Horror.

MY RATING:

Rating - 5 Bird

SUMMARY:

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery… who makes you want to kiss back.

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

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MY REVIEW:

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

I LOVED this! It was beyond creepy! The characters were all so amazing and well-written. If you like gothic novels this is definitely for you. The build up with Freddie and her stories about the devil completely had me. Violet is one of the best characters I have read in a while. I actually enjoyed that she was a recluse instead of it being a typical cliche “oh woe is me I have no friends” – but with Violet that description made sense to me. Her old Victorian house did too, everything just fit.

I also enjoyed the romance – well if you could call it that. Basically I am not sure if Violet even likes River, and visa versa. Was it just the glow? Is River capable of loving someone? He was completely untrustworthy the whole novel and a breathe of fresh air from reading novels with perfect boyfriends who never do anything wrong (or if they do it is for a stupid reason, like they love the main character too much or something). It was a bit frustrating when Violet would touch him even though he was manipulating her – and she knew it. but oh well, she is a teenager. stuff happens.

I am verrry curious what happens with (SPOILER) Neely! I feel like Violet and him are destine to fall in love while River is away hunting down his devil-brother and what not. He is like the nice, perfect version of River…we’ll see what happens!!

Book Review – The Taming

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TITLE: The Taming
AUTHOR: Eric Walkers & Teresa Toten
PAGES: 240
PUBLISHED: January 24th 2012
PUBLISHER: DoubleDay Canada
GENRE: Young Adult, and Contemporary.
MY RATING:

Rating - 1 Bird

SUMMARY:

Katie likes to believe she’s invisible. It seems much safer than being exposed as she is–shy, poor, awkward. So getting up on stage in the school production of The Taming of the Shrew should be complete torture. But as Katie tells it, something totally unexpected happened when she stepped on stage: “My head exploded. I loved it. Acting hit me like a sucker punch and I loved, loved, loved it! . . . Invisible Katie became visible Katharina.”

Evan Cooper is, as they say, another story. He knows just what it takes to get noticed, and he uses every one of the skills he’s honed after years of being the new kid. Like tossing the keys to his father’s high-end Audi to a kid he’s never met, first day of school. “I have insurance for car theft,” he explains to a shocked Danny. “And there’s a full tank.” An abuse of the power that comes with privilege and money? Sure.

But more dangerously, is his romance with Katie another version of the same thing? Or is it the real thing?

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MY REVIEW:

I did not like this book at all. When I was a few chapters in I thought it was going to be about a girl overcoming her shyness on stage and learning more about herself through this Evan character, who I did not realize was going to turn out to be so completely evil. Like really, are people that black and white? His character was not complex at all, the author barely skimmed the surface about why he acted the way he did, other than showing his dad acting similar. He was unlikable right from the get go. I mean this guy raped another girl. This is serious stuff and I felt like the author barely touched that and chalked it up to Evan being a jerk. He seemed almost bipolar but that wasn’t discussed either.

And Katie…hoo boy. Way to stand up for yourself girl. She was really pathetic and unfortunately the way she was written I couldn’t stand her or care for her which is really too bad because generally in novels that deal with abuse you want your readers to be on the side of the victim but Katie was just TOO clueless. It was painful to read. And her character kept flip-flopping all over the place! At first she was this completely shy girl with only 2 friends in the whole world and no experience with boys, to suddenly being madly in love with Evan and constantly praising him – “like, wow you know how to cook fajitas! That is so totally amazing, I think I love you! – please gag me. And then suddenly, within one day, she suddenly became this strong, take-no-shit girl and finally told Evan off. As I was reading I was happy she was finally standing up for herself but there was seemingly no cause for it. From what I understand it is really hard to leave an abusive relationship and it took her one night and then she was seemingly fine with everything and left him.

And I don’t even want to get into her mother and Lisa…that could have been developed SO much more! And Lisa was the only real interesting character in the whole novel, I wish they had talked more about her life.

I think this novel could have been a lot better but it just fell really flat, character and plot-wise.

Waitin’ on Wednesday – Panic by Lauren Oliver

This is an event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, where each week you post a summary about a book you’re really looking forward to read in the future. Mainly I will write about books that haven’t been released yet, but I may throw in some oldies that I haven’t gotten around to read yet.

I am very excited for the release of Panic by Lauren Oliver which comes out in March 4 / 2014.

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SUMMARY:

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

MY THOUGHTS:

Lauren Oliver is the author of big YA hits such as Delirium and As I Fall so I have high hopes for this novel as well. The summary sounds really intriguing and a little bit like Divergent and the Hunger Games with the whole “legendary game” played by seniors but I really liked those two novels so it night be good thing. I find the name Panic for a place really neat as well. It may end up being another cookie-cutter dystopian novel but Lauren Oliver delivered an original idea with Delirium (even though it was a bit far fetched).

What do you guys think? Sounds interesting or just another dystopian novel?

Top Ten Tuesday – Best/Worst Movie Adaptations

Each week The Broke and Bookish  hosts a Top Ten Tuesday based on a chosen literary topic. This weeks topic is Top Ten best and worst movie adaptions! So here is my list without further ado broken up into the best 5 and the worst 5.

The Best:

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1. The Lord of the Rings series (and the Hobbit too!) – I read these books when I was 13 and I never thought it could or would ever be turned into a movie. There was a really crappy animated version that I watched when I was even younger which is just awful. Peter Jackson took a richly complex and wonderful story and really made it entertaining for the first time! I have to admit that my boyfriend and I watch TTT and RoTK a lot. Maybe too much?
And I really enjoyed the Hobbit. I was really excited when it came out but I was worried how such a short children’s book could be spread into a 3 hour, 3 part movie series but I loved how Jackson added a lot of additional information, some which came from the history of middle earth, another series finished by Tolkien’s son. I am a total nerd for all things LoTR, I can still remember being in junior high and watching the movie 5 times in the theatres! That is 15 hours happily spent 🙂

2. The Hunger Games – I was pleasantly surprised at how good the adaptation was. Sure, it wasn’t perfect and there were a few big flaws (such as missing characters and important scenes) but overall I enjoyed it and I am excited for Catching Fire to come out!

3. Pride and Prejudice – this was another surprise for me because this book is such a classic but Matthew MacFadyen plays the most perfect Darcy. Keira Knightley also seems a perfect cast for Elizabeth and I think great characters is the most important element for this adaptation to work. I even like the TV series with Colin Firth but the 2005 adaptation

4. The Harry Potter series – I think individually the movies have a lot of flaws but I think each movie got better and better and the final 2 were done extremely well. Yes, there was  a lot left out and changes made that didn’t really work but overall I found the whole movie series enjoyable and who doesn’t love Emma Watson? Hermione was played out perfectly in my eyes!

5. Fight Club This isn’t a YA book (far from it) but I thought the movie was very entertaining even though it didn’t stick too closely to the novel. Palahniuk is a hard writer to follow, I was surprised when I first found out they were making this novel into a movie but it was really well done. They couldn’t have picked a better cast with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.

The Worst:

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6. Beastly – I didn’t have high expectations for this one but it was truely awful. The whole premise was ruined because the main character wasn’t even a beast! He just had some tattoos on his face. Ooooh scary!

7. Beautiful Creatures – This is a little unfair because I barely gave this movie a chance. I did not like the book so did I expect the movie to be any better? In one word: No. No it was not better.

8. Twilight – I was one of those people who really did not enjoy the movie. But common, Edward looked like a sparkly princess and Kristen Steward had zero emotion.

I can’t think of 2 more but notice a theme here? Must stay away from all black covers when watching book adaptations!

Here are also some novels they are planning on making into movies in the next few years:
The ones with * at the end are ones I am excited for

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare *

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan *

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Vampire Academy by Rachelle Mead *

The Maze Runner by James Dashner *

Divergent by Veronica Roth *

and others that are in development (which I think means they could not be made) are Shiver, Fallen, Uglies, Before I Fall, and The Raven Boys.

Think any of the books above that are being made into movies are a mistake or are you excited?
What are your best and worst adaptations?

Top Ten Tuesday – Most Intimidating Books

Each week The Broke and Bookish  hosts a Top Ten Tuesday based on a chosen literary topic. This weeks topic is Top Ten Books that are intimidating! It can be based on size, content, or even a book that everyone else loves but you aren’t sure you will.

Most of the books on my list are due to the number of pages and size. They are mostly works of adult fiction, I find YA is much easier to dive into!

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1. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

My friend let me borrow this book last summer and I still haven’t gotten around to reading it. I think it is mostly due to the size (925 pages) and just how large the book is, but also because of the density of Murakami books. I really have to immerse myself when I start reading anything by him. I tend to read 3 books at a time (switching back and forth between them) but I can’t do that with Murakami, I need to invest the time to focus on it completely and I haven’t really found the time yet. Hopefully I’ll finish it soon so I can give it back to my friend!

2. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

This book is a whopping 1,168 pages long. That alone makes it incredibly intimidating to start but I have also heard such mixed reviews, it seems like the type of book that people either love or hate. I wouldn’t like to spend all that time reading it only to find out I am part of the latter group!

3. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

I really want to read this series because I love the TV show but something keeps holding me back. My boyfriend is on the third book and basically he doesn’t make it very appealing for me. I keep reading great reviews but he told me it is pretty boring, drags on and gets very confusing between all the characters. This doesn’t really turn me off because I felt like the Lord of the Rings was like this the first time I read it (especially the part about being confusing!)

4. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

This is another novel that hits the 1,000 page mark and I think it is the only intimidating because of the sheer size and the copy I own has really tiny printing. I have only read great reviews on it and a friend who has great taste recommended it to me. I bought it for 50 cents at my library so I really don’t have any excuse not to read it!

5. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

I own this book but it has been sitting on my shelf since it was released back in May 2012. I really, really love the first two novels in this series and I have read a bunch of reviews that say this just doesn’t measure up to those and some people were pretty disappointed. I think I have been holding off because I am worried that I won’t like it and that will somehow ruin how I feel about the first two books. Weird, I know but that is how I feel!

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6. Dune by Frank Herbert

I really love sci-fi but I find it a challenge to read only because it usually takes me a while to finish them. I have been meaning to read this book forever but the 608 pages is intimidating to me. One day I will read this classic!

7. Inferno (The Divine Comedy) by Dante

This seems to be one of those books that I keep starting to read and can never finish. It is very interesting but very difficult to read and usually I have to re-read each paragraph to try to understand what is going on. Sure, I could use SparkNotes or something similar to translate everything for me but I love inventing my own interpretations! It just takes me a lot longer, but I hope I can finally finish this book within the next year!

8. Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan by Rem Koolhaas

I have wanted to read this book for a while but I am a bit worried I might not like it as much as other readers. I have read a few reviews that say Rem is not a writer and can be very unclear. As far as architectural/urbanism books go for me I don’t think I would enjoy a writer who was difficult to understand, but I feel like I should give it a chance since everyone has their own definition of what is “bad” or “good” writing.

9. 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

I have tried twice to get into this book, it seems really intriguing but the size and topic is a bit intimidating. A lot of reviews also comment on how they only finish half of the book because it tapers off. I am not sure I want to invest time into this if it doesn’t really go anywhere but there are also a lot of great reviews!

10. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

This is another book borrowed from a friend that I have had for waaaay too long. I think it has been over a year that I have had this and I have tried to pick it up a few times but always end up getting side tracked even though I have enjoyed everything I have read so far.

 

Leave me a comment below and let me know what your most intimidating books are!