Monday, December 31, 2012

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin...

Title- The Evolution of Mara Dyer.
Author- Michelle Hodkin.
Publish date- 2012 (US) 2013 (AU)
Publisher- Simon and Schuster.

*Review of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer*

*Review may contain spoilers to the previous book/s in the series*


What I thought:

I was not breathing during this book- it would be slightly more usual to say something like, "During the last fifty pages" or anything slightly less than the 520ish pages of this book,  but really? I only took a breath after I finished it yesterday and then I steeled myself against any sobbing that I felt was going to reasonably happen- it didn't help that I had had a terrible heartbreak at the hands of the worst christmas special ever earlier, but I was almost finished twenty pages from the end because it was so scream-worthy. In a really tense and in the end goodish way.

I loved it.

French the Llama I loved it so much. Why is the last book not published? Because it needs to be. Seriously- you thought The Unbecoming had a cliffhanger ending... think again. Just don't pick this up until a month before the finale is published, because you will almost certainly not thank yourself.

The Evolution is a lot, and I mean a lot, more creepy than The Unbecoming, and I don't go for creepy- I'm paranoid enough as it is without having to read/watch/hear of spooky happenings that will just make me really uncomfortable, but though this definitely had be on the edge of my seat for a long time (who am I kidding, it was really the entire book) but there was only a brief period in which I got a little uncomfortable and thought of just reading the last few pages to make sure the creepiness was explained before continuing. I considered it, but I didn't do it.
It's creepy and spooky and the only book of it's kind that I would read, I have little doubt, but it's excellent and though I would not recommend it for anyone under the age of 15/16, it wasn't really that scary, more unsettling and not for long.

Take all the wonderfulness from The Unbecoming, I would say, and double it once or twice. You've got The Evolution- a new book with a new plot and some new characters and a beautiful cover.

The characters...
They grow and they change and they have such brilliant dialouge and I think Mara Dyer and I should be friends, and this is because she is so awesome.
Also, Noah and Mara and still excellent. They're sailing their own ship.

(Also, the swearing in this book was about nine times less than in The Unbecoming- I think there were only five times I read major curses, and as that was something I disliked about The Unbecoming, I'm really glad.)

I gave this about a gazillion stars but had to lower it to five.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Reached by Ally Condie.

Title- Reached.
Author- Ally Condie.
Publish date- November 2012.
Publisher- Penguin.

*Review may contain spoilers to other books in the series*
Read my review of Matched.
Read my review of Crossed.



What I thought:
Ever since I first read Matched this has been one of my favourite series'- Matched was the first YA dystopian novel I ever read and, no matter what the rest of the series held, it will always be a book that I hold very close to me.

Throughout my reading of Reached, a reading that spanned 10 days, a reading time which agonises me (I was busy!), this cover really annoyed me. I love the way the covers in the series are all linked up with Cassia breaking out of the glass ball, but I have always liked the first cover the most. But there is more than just prefrence in my annoyance for this- in the cover for Crossed, Cassia has broken through the ball with her arm at the top and her foot at the bottom, and I know it's just a small thing but where, on the cover for Reached, is that foot hole? WHERE? Because I don't see it and I've had plenty of time to look. Why couldn't there just not be a foot hole if it wasn't going to be a part of the final cover? I just can't stand it! Regardless of all that, though, I do love the dimension on the cover of Reached- the way the glass has shattered and you can tell it's been thick. I like that quite a lot.

The fact that this book is a little under the size of Matched amuses me, but it shocked me when I got my copy in the post, and I am sure it could have been a hundred, a hundred and fifty pages shorter, keeping in the size range of Crossed, if not Matched. The size also made the plot drag and become downright boring at times, which is not what I wanted or expected from a series that I was so looking forward to finishing. But, none the less, it dragged- there were newfound plot twists about 200 pages before the end and things picked up again, but before that I had already spent at least a hundred pages being bored with the story and thinking that, if they just did this it would all be sorted.

I do love the writing in these books, despite wether or not I always enjoy the plot- it's so soft and I have said since the beginning that I think it is like a poem. It's a little unreal, reading these books- they seem frail and delicate and something you have to deal with tenderly, and I love the patterns in the words. For that the books will also stick with me.

(*Possible spoilers)
The romance. THE ROMANCE. It's been a major point of this series, which was also my very first love triange series.
I didn't like it. I didn't like the 'triangle' or the way the characters delt with their love.
Now, yes- I do have prefrences to who I hope the character will fall for in these triangles, even if I personally can't stand the "team" thing. But even from the beginning, before I knew it was a love triangle (to be truthful, before I knew what a love triangle was) I haven't felt like there was much competition for Cassia's affections and I didn't predict a change in them. And I just found the neatness of the ending, the tying up of this love triangle, to be far too tidy and easy for everyone.
(*End of possible spoilers*)

Finally a quick note on the characters- for so much of this book I really found all of them frustrating, Ky least of all because I felt like he had the smallest part.
 Cassia seemed so needy and I just felt like she was acting like she needed either Ky of Xander beside her at all times to go on. She thought of them both so often when they weren't with her that I could barely stand it and didn't think that was how she had previously acted. I've always thought of her as a strong character, so this was a huge let down.

I did like the book as a ending, but not much more. The poetical style of writing, some of the ideas- little things caught my attention, but they were almost always outweighed by the negatives.

I would still, despite this whole review and my problems with Crossed (because I had a few) I would still recommend people try these... or maybe not 'these'- I would recommend Matched, but probably warn them to stop before going any further.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Path of Beasts by Lian Tanner...

Title- Path of Beasts.
Author- Lian Tanner.
Publish date- October 2012.
Publisher- Allen and Unwin AU, Delacorte Press US.


*May contain spoilers to those who have not read books 1 and 2 in the series.*

Link to Q&A with Lian Tanner.
Link to review of City of Lies (#2)


What I thought:
This was the perfect ending to a series that I feel as if has trapised through the first half of my youth (as in teenage years) with me, so it's definitely sad that it's over, despite my being thrilled with this finale book- I'll miss looking forward to another book in the series, though I can certainly hope for more from Lian Tanner.

The energy in this novel, especially in the last 150 pages or so, is absolutely incredible- the characters face many hardships and choices and there is constant action and heart pumping pages to read through- I did struggle to find time to sit and read for a long time while I was reading this, because of NaNo and just not being able to find time to read, but once I did I was unable to unhook myself from the story, I was so captivated.

Goldie Roth, the heroine, has an on-going struggle with the (spoiler) spirit of a ancient warrior princess that has become a part of her- the princess is all about battle and is unforgiving, completely the opposite of Goldie's character, so it's a very interesting and thought-provoking process, seeing her fighting against the princess and trying her hardest to hold true to herself- it definitely was ne of my favourite parts about the novel because it really, and not in a big glowing letters and up front way, made me, for one, really want to fight like Goldie to stay true to myself, and I will definitely take lessons from this to the next part of my life, though I do remember thinking at one point that Goldie repeated what she was saying only a few pages before in a fairly similar way.

The ending was a touch open feeling- I feel like there could have been an afterward, explaining things from a distant perspective, though it was an interesting and not at all bad way of letting the readers think and choose how things went along with time, and there were a few happy hints that I took a lot of pleasure in reading and re-reading.

I absolutely loved this novel- from the now answered questions that have been with readers since the first book, to the new characters and, in general, revelations! It's a stunning final novel and to say that I was happy with it, as an end, would be a massive understatement. I'm thrilled with it- beyond thrilled! And I would recommend it to anyone who likes fantastic novels with powerful heroines and characters who will both make your heart swell and make you shake in your chair.


Thank you to Lian Tanner for sending me this copy!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blogspiration (8) Identity and Difference.

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author’s choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.

I think it's very hard to push past the self doubt that I think everyone has, at least in some volume, and recognise that no matter what, you are you. You can aspire to hundreds of different things, ways you want to be but can't, or aren't yet, but I don't know if happiness, all encompassing and stronger than anything else- Pure Happiness- can come until you accept that you won't ever be the person you spend time wishing you were. Because you're a better person than that- you are better because you can never be as good at being anyone else as you can at being you. Which makes sense if you don't concentrait on how confusing it is.
I think Freaky Friday taught us all a thing or two about life.

Happy new week,