Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license - for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there. But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever… (goodreads)
Yea: "Uglies" is a quick read. I remember when it came out; I was 15, bought it, and never read it. If memory serves me, this was one of the first dystopian society books that I took the chance on buying (but Harry Potter was still going strong, so it was quickly discarded). I enjoyed how this book focuses on such a pressing topic in our world: Does the way we look trump all? What are we willing to give up to be pretty? I would have loved to have actually read this when I was fifteen, the same age as the heroine, and feeling like a big awkward mess.
Nay: This sounds like a weird hang-up, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the dialogue between the teenagers. I felt a lot of the “Okays,” “Uh-ohs,” and “Whatevers” were implied, and didn’t necessarily need to be printed on the page. Then again, the target audience for the book, being quite a bit younger than I, probably connect better with it.
I give it: 3/5
It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing. But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army. Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives. The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut. (goodreads.com)
Yea: This is not your typical dystopian-society-collecting-sacrificial-young-people-for-the-greater-good type of book. I very much enjoyed the re-imagined history, the culture of clairvoyance, the politics and the thought-out classification and order of the “voyants.” The details of this world round out the story and give it a unique depth. Also, the author is twenty years old. TWENTY. Respect.
Nay: The narrative jumped right in with the slang and colloquials of the time/place/people/supernatural-ness, which left me confused for three or four chapters.
I Give It: 4/5
"When Henry Tudor picks up the crown of England from the mud of Bosworth field, he knows he must marry the princess of the enemy house—Elizabeth of York—to unify a country divided by war for nearly two decades. But his bride is still in love with his slain enemy, Richard III—and her mother and half of England dream of a missing heir, sent into the unknown by the White Queen. While the new monarchy can win power, it cannot win hearts in an England that plots for the triumphant return of the House of York. Henry’s greatest fear is that somewhere a prince is waiting to invade and reclaim the throne. When a young man who would be king leads his army and invades England, Elizabeth has to choose between the new husband she is coming to love and the boy who claims to be her beloved lost brother: the rose of York come home at last.” (goodreads.com)
Yea: I always enjoy Phillipa Gregory. She is an incredibly talented author, and her way of blending fact and fiction is always riveting (did that really happen? It’s just so plausible…?!). This particular princess is one we don’t hear about too often, being the wife of the man who defeated Richard III and the mother of Henry VIII, her story is typically centered around the men in her life. It was a nice peek into what her life might have been like.
Nay: Though the struggles that Henry VII experienced with the many young lads claiming to be one of the lost Princes of York and vying for the throne were a very real part of history, it became wearisome to read about it over and over again in the book, much like it would have been wearisome for Elizabeth to relive each pretender’s threats over and over. I understand why it was necessary to the story, but it got a little repetitive.
I Give It: 4/5
First of all — howdy-do! It’s been quite some time since I’ve updated this page; I’ve since graduated college, gotten two new jobs, became a princess (true story) and read a great many books, though I did not review them on my blog. Now that it’s the new year, I plan to be more diligent about reading and updating. So yay!
Okay, onto the books…
“The whole series is comprised of one epic story that is still being written. It is intended to be complete in seven volumes,but the author has stated it could go on for longer.” - goodreads.com
I’ve finally completed what is available in the Song of Ice and Fire series. At long last! I wish there was a better synopsis that the one featured above, but this is a pretty epic and drawn out series, so summarizing the entire unfinished series would be difficult; forgive me, friends.
Yea: This has been one of the most gripping series I’ve ever read. I get completely lost in the world whenever I read these books. The characters are fascinating, the twists and turns are breathtaking; Martin weaves the hundreds of threads of this story together seamlessly.
Nay: Those gripping twists and turns just make you want to punch a baby in the face. I’ve never been so upset over books before. I just..I can’t…RRRR (in the best way, though).
I Give It: 5/5
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
Because I enjoyed The Hunger Games Trilogy and Divergent so much, I was recommended to give this YA series a go. Matched is the first of a trilogy that centers around (you guessed it) a dystopian society that’s hell-bent on keeping their citizens in the dark. Despite their best efforts to keep everyone perfectly in line, a forbidden romance blooms, etc, etc.
Though I passed through the book with ease and genuine interest, I must say that this little book didn’t quite catch me in the way I hoped it would. I’m not sure why; perhaps it was the measured tone, perhaps it was that, beyond the loouuurrrvvve, nothing really happened in this book. I realize it is only the beginning of story, and therefore has a lot of exposition, but it was one of those books where I’m having a hard the picking out the climax of the story. It was pretty stagnant, a slow climb. Any major actions that did occur were shrouded in so much mystery, I didn’t really care about them.
I’m not saying I didn’t have a good time reading it, nor am I saying I won’t continue the series. I’ll just say that it’s a light read, and the going is a bit slow as far as the action goes.
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical. Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both of them legions of faithful fans.
Though it’s been a great while, here I am, updating once again. I’ve graduated college, and with the summer and unemployment comes ample time to read. Now, onto the review…
Truth: I had never read a book written by John Green. I know. I’m a young adult (and on top of it all, a Tumblr user) who had not read anything by John Green. I was slowly falling away from society. Luckily, my local library had “Will Grayson-Will Grayson” on hand. I had read David Levithan before, so there I went.
Let me tell you something: I was completely impressed by the dual authors. The first Will we meet had his chapters penned by Green, and the other Will by Levithan (if my assumptions are correct). I completely forgot that two separate people wrote them while reading; seamless transitions, a writing style that was similar enough to not jar the reader between chapters, but subtly different enough to feature each author’s strengths. Well done indeed.
Plot-wise, I think I’ll just let you read it. Explaining it as a sort of “coming-of-age-about-two-young-men-with-the-same-name-who-inadvertently-get-involved-in-each-others-lives-but-not-really-yet-are-somehow-connected” doesn’t sound right, nor does it do the book justice. I also read a snippet about how it was “a book about being a gay teenager,” which I also think cheapens the experience (that sounds horrid, let me explain:) It’s not a book about being gay, it’s a book about…being.
Just read it. It’s lovely. So lovely in fact, that I when I started it this afternoon, I only intended to read a few pages, and just ended up reading the whole thing.
"Beatrice Lacey, as strong-minded as she is beautiful, refuses to conform to the social customs of her time. Destined to lose her family name and beloved Wideacre estate once she is wed, Beatrice will use any means necessary to protect her ancestral heritage. Seduction, betrayal, even murder — Beatrice’s passion is without apology or conscience. "She is a Lacey of Wideacre," her father warns, "and whatever she does, however she behaves, will always be fitting." Yet even as Beatrice’s scheming seems about to yield her dream, she is haunted by the one living person who knows the extent of her plans…and her capacity for evil. Sumptuously set in Georgian England, Wideacre is intensely gripping, rich in texture, and full of color and authenticity. It is a saga as irresistible in its singular magic as its heroine"
Let me preface this review by saying that Philippa Gregory is one of my very favorite authors, and she can do no wrong in my eyes.
That being said, this book was really difficult to get through, and I was relieved to have finished. I know that sounds super insulting, but given the nature of the novel, that feeling of “It’s over. Heavens above, thank God it’s over,” is the mark of how amazing a writer Gregory is. She wanted to evoke this sense of release, and whammy! You’re feeling it.
Another thing that was tough for me is that by the end of the book, I hated all the characters (once again…this was probably done on purpose by the author). I was no longer rooting for the heroine, and I didn’t like a single person surrounding her. I was so head over heels for the main character at first; a strong willed girl who refuses to let her beloved land slide from her grasp, who becomes a Squire in her own right, who gets her hands dirty and breaks the conventions of young ladies of the time? Hell yes, I could really get behind this. But as she makes choices to better her chance of wiggling her way into owning the land in her own right, she becomes less and less honorable, fierce and likable. Willing to do pretty sick things to get her way.
…and I mean pretty sick. I don’t want to ruin it or anything, but just as a warning…it’s got some twisted adult themes.
And the hell of it all is, I couldn’t stop reading because of how exceptionally well it was written.