aidenfire: Jocelyn knows what's up (akt: jocelyn knows what's up)
[personal profile] aidenfire
But first, a meme! I had to post this one once I saw the result:

Pick up the nearest book to you.
Turn to page 45.
The first sentence describes your sex life in 2012.


"I should cut back on my work anyway, and--we should make an effort to eat together"

The Demon's Covenant, by Sarah Rees Brennan.

ahahahahaha ded from lolz.
*****

In other book news, I have a few more recs to make.



Legend, by Marie Lu. Dystopian/futuristic YA. ♥♥♥♥♥; highly recommended.


Legend is set in aprox. 2050 in the United States, now called the Republic. World building is always a really fascinating part of this genre for me, and this story did an excellent job. I was very interested in the details of their society, and the slowly revealed things-are-not-as-they-seem suspense about the government, a la Hunger Games. The society uses a testing system to place children in their future careers by essentially determining their worth to the government. The story pits an upperclass teenage girl--who scored perfectly on the test, and so is quickly working her way up the ladder of the military police running the Republic--against a streetwise homeless teenage boy. He is Suspect Number One in the death of her brother, and despite his age is one of the Republic's Most Wanted for a long list of anti-gov crimes. And so begins a thrilling, exciting, cat-and-mouse plotline. I love the tension in this book -- it caught my attention and I could not put it down.

However, while the plot was exciting and very well done, and the setting was intriguing, it was really the characters that sold it to me. The book is told in alternating first person POV from each character. It's pretty unusual to have a book where the two main protagonists are each other's enemies. You're rooting for both of them, but they're diametrically opposed and you know the shit's about to hit the fan for one or both of them. Watching both of them slowly figuring out that hey, something's not right here--from both sides of the fence, so to speak--was enthralling. Their characters are multifaceted, and seeing the story through their eyes gave what could have been a kind of bleak story humor, romance, and humanity. Additionally, it kept the story from delving into hero-worship. Both of them have accomplished pretty incredible things, and having them recounted from their own perspective in a matter of fact way lent credibility to the story and to their characters. I can't recommend this one enough, and I can't wait for the sequel!


Matched, by Ally Condie. Dystopian/futuristic YA. ♥♥♥♥; recommended.


Matched is in the same genre of dystopian novel, so it shares some common features with Legend and other novels of the same ilk: the overly controlling government, lack of personal choices, slowly revealed corruption, etc. However, this one is lighter than some of the others, with more of a romance focus. It's set in a The Giver style society where everything is chosen for you, down to who you will marry and what your career will be. There were also some Fahrenheit 451 notes to the story that were pretty chilling: they had a list of the 100 Poems, 100 Works of Art, etc. -- and those were the only preserved pieces. They don't teach anyone how to write, just to rearrange words on their futuristic iPads or whatever. (I don't mean "how to write well", by the way, I literally mean how to form letters and words.)

The protagonist, Cassia, is all set to follow along the plan set for her and marry her best friend, who was her governmentally approved match. However, for a brief second, she sees another boy's face flash on the screen, and thus begins a series of events slowly opening her eyes to at first the faults, and then the horrors, of the government she trusted with so much. As you might expect of a more romantic novel, a lot of focus is on the characters. I really enjoyed watching Cassia start to realize all that is being denied to her in the name of security and peace. She and the male protagonists (both her friend and the other boy) were very likable and sympathetic, to the point that I felt really bad for the friend who despite the match gets friend-zoned in favor of the other boy. With a strong supporting cast as well, particularly Cassia's family, I would confidently recommend this, especially to those of us who like a little more romance in our dystopias. *g*


Crown of Stars series, by Kate Elliott. Adult fantasy. ♥♥♥; ambivalently recommended (ie I didn't like it but you might).


I was so disappointed in these books, because they could have been so good. The plots were fascinating and multi-layerd, the characters were complex, I was truly invested in the outcome of a number of different plot threads -- but I couldn't make it through the series. One of the reasons I like YA fantasy a lot is that the authors pare down the unnecessary parts. Not so in this series. I just couldn't handle the pages-long summaries of the history of the country, or of their religion, or lineages, or whatever. I read very quickly, and I usually devour epic fantasy novels like this. It had taken me more than six weeks to read just the first two and a half, out of a series of seven, and I just couldn't do it any more. The pacing was poor; just when I wanted some action to spice things up, we'd get a lecture on religion instead. Also, by the third book, when an entirely new plot line was introduced rather than fleshing out any of the (many) pre-existing plots, I got frustrated. It wasn't that they weren't interesting, because they were -- and that's the most disappointing part.

Caveat; these books are very well reviewed by others, so your mileage may vary. I couldn't finish Wheel of Time either for much the same reasons (although don't get me wrong, these books are definitely better!). I think a quote from a review on Amazon sums it up: "Elliott has developed an intricate, compelling storyline that rewards the attentive reader." If you like spending more time with your books working out complex plotlines that take several books to start to develop, this might be up your alley. I might give them another try at some point -- I generally read while I'm at work so I have to have have an eye on the girls rather than devoting myself fully to the novel. There was so much potential here, but if I'm reading for pleasure, I'd like it to not feel like work. I practically found myself taking notes, trying to remember who had done what when and if it was still relevant.


Please note, I give Amazon links purely for the amount of information/other reviews, not out of an endorsement of Amazon. Consider supporting your local bookstores!

Date: 2012-01-12 02:15 pm (UTC)
fleurlb: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fleurlb
Have you read Divergent by Veronica Roth? Seems like it would be right up your future dystopian YA street :)

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aidenfire

May 2012

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