Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched (Matched, #1)Matched
Author: Ally Condie
From: Purchased
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cassia knows exactly how her life is going to play out...she'll be matched on her birthday to her future husband, she'll be placed in an occupation for life, and she will only live to be 80 no matter what. The Society has kept track of her data from before the she was born and can even tell you the probabilities on the decision(s) she'll make next! In Cassia's world, The Society controls absolutely everything!

Meals are delivered to you 3 times a day and are designed only for their necessary caloric needs, a person may have only 1 "artifact" from the "past", plants and trees must serve an actual positive purpose or they will be removed and replaced. All things in life have been simplified so as not to "overwhelm" anyone and so there are only 100 Poems, 100 Songs, etc. All others have been destroyed if they do not meet The Society's standards. Everything is as it should be until Cassia has 2 images of 2 different boys on her Match microcard! Why has this happened? Which one is correct? How is it possible that The Society has made a mistake?

This was an interesting read and I am looking forward to her already announced 2nd in this series, Crossed, to be published! As an educator, this dystopian look into a society who values data over everything else is a very interesting thing to read about! We have become so obsessed with data in our own society lately, especially in public schools. Everyone in our country wants the proof of progress, growth, and most importantly, money well spent! This book really made me look at how ridiculous the extreme of this looks and of course how dangerous it can become when you hand over your own ability to make your own decisions and replace them with data.

The only reason this got a 4 and not a 5 is that it was sooo very predictable. I still can't wait to see what happens next though! There's always hope for a new idea, or a new path not taken...

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Review: The Dark & Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3)The Dark and Hollow Places
Author: Carrie Ryan
From: won a signed ARC from Carrie Ryan through Goodread! She even threw in a postcard of her book with a note! SO COOL!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Annah has been waiting for Elias for 3 years to return from the Recruiters. A life alone for a young woman in the Dark City is never an easy one. Elias said he'd come for her and she's still waiting. Will he ever return? Now that the rebellion has put the Recruiters in charge without the Protectorate. To keep them in check the city has become more dangerous then ever. Annah is faced with a terrible decision ...stay & wait? Or leave?

This last book in the Forest of Hands & Teeth trilogy was amazing! I mean, ZOMBIES! I can't believe it! Carrie Ryan is amazing at being incredibly real about characters and plot. I felt throughout that these are real decisions people would have to make AND real deterioration that would happen in a society, city, family & relationship.

What gets to me most is the incredible survival characteristic traits in Ryan's main characters! They refused to give up hope when hope was the most dangerous and scary thing they could have. Wow! I can't wait to see what comes next from Carrie Ryan!

If you haven't read these 3 books...do it! I promise it's worth it! They'll make your heart feel alive with living.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: Wonderland by Tommy Kavoc

WonderlandWonderland
Author: Tommy Kovac
From: Library
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mary Ann? Oh Mary Ann?

Mary Ann, the White Rabbit's housemaid, wants things to be neat and tidy even if it takes 2 or 3 times of cleaning it thoroughly to get the job done. Travel through Wonderland with her and find out what happens after the beast Alice has wreaked havoc...

This was an interesting read. The story is a bit bizarre; I mean it is Wonderland after all! I had a hard time following it, but it was ok. The drawings were lovely; I LOVED them! If not for the pictures I would have given it a 2. Try it and see what you think!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Author: Stieg Larsson
From: Library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How deep do the secrets go? Who is involved? How far up the chain in the government? Who is breaking into their homes? These are just a very few of the mysteries Blomkvist is hunting down now. Will he be able to answer them all? Will he be done in time? Only you can find out by reading now...

WOW! The amazingness that is Stieg Larsson's mind to be able to keep track of all of the story threads he has running is just plain amazing! I'm incredibly bummed that he's dead! I want more from this author! :(

OK, the book...it was perfect! The perfect ending for me for this trilogy. I was hooked from the very moment it began just where it ended with the 2nd book. I was instantly yanked back into this world of crime, conspiracy and sassy, kick-butt girl Salander! I love this character so much! Everything about her!

What I loved...
-Lisbeth Salander, apparently I'm addicted to sassy, butt kicking gals! Who knew!?
-The trial at the end! Perfect!
-Meeting Blomkvist's sister, the lawyer.
-The Dr.Jonnason! What a great guy!
-The hackers! I love this little, elite community of international hackers. They show how wonderful the web can be by connecting people of all backgrounds and creating a community of unlimited support.

I keep wondering if Larsson had planned to continue with a series with Millenium, Salander & Blomkvist? I would have been a huge fan! Oh well, c'est la vie! Now I can finally watch the 3rd movie on Netflix! I think they did a great job with these so far! I'm rather worried that the Americans will ruin them now that they're producing them, but I'll cross my fingers anyway. We'll see!

Read it! It's a completely different read from anything else I've ever read. Warning: definitely NOT a series for anyone under 15!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
From: won a SIGNED copy through Twitter from @HarperTEEN
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lena lives in a possible future world of exactly zero love. The entire nation has already done away with the disease of amor deliria nervosa a generation before and now the cure is the standard at 18. An entire existence of people without emotions and in exactly 95 days Lena  will be safe from the infection; she can't wait! "The most dangerous sicknesses are those that make us believe we are well.-Proverbs 42, The Book of Shhh."

How can a book be so blah and then EXPLODE into action? What the hay may?

I couldn't believe it! I had a very hard time getting into the main character, she's just NOT someone I could connect with in any way apparently. So I trudged along and once things started to move I was very impressed! This reminds me of Forrest of Hands and Teeth where I felt exactly the same about the 1st book and then LOVED the 2nd one. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE! So please hurry up Lauren Oliver! :D

P.S. That ending = I literally threw my book = brilliance!

Things I liked:
-The quotes from the books of her time which were completely altered from ours to fit their society's beliefs and agendas. EVEN the BIBLE! I LOVED this!
-Her running w/her bff
-Little Gracie, I am truly hoping to see more of that one!
-SOOOO many amazing one-liners throughout the book that I wanted to write down to save for another time! Here's one for you "...if you hear the past speaking to you, feel it tugging at your back and running its fingers up your spine, the best thing to do--the only thing--is run."

**UPDATE: This is one of those books where you read it and think it's ok, and then you think about it ALL the time, and then you talk about it ALL the time, and on and on and on!!! When this happened I reread it again and now it has become one of my all time favorites! How does this happen people? Does this ever happen to you? It's under my skin now and I can't seem to ever get it out!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review: The Dead-tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2)The Dead-Tossed Waves
Author: Carrie Ryan
From: Purchased
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gabrielle is a rule follower 1st & foremost! She doesn't dream of anything outside the barrier & only hopes to live a normal life like the other kids her age in town. Her mother, with her claims of coming from the forest, her epic love of the ocean & most of all her sailing, does NOT encourage the ideals of normalcy in the minds of the townsfolk Gabry so desperately wants to blend in with. All her dreams are shattered one perfect evening with one bad decision to cross the barrier when a Breaker appears. Everything they've ever known comes crashing down around them with one bite! Will they be able to ignore this evening even happened? Will their be consequences?

I am SO glad I read the 2nd book in this series! Wow! After the 1st one I wasn't sure I was going to be able to talk myself into another one of these. The first was ok, but certainly not my cup of tea. I just couldn't connect with the characters or their world. That was not the case with this one! I LOVE Gabry & cannot wait to find out what Carrie Ryan has in store for us in her 3rd book in The Forest of Hands & Teeth Series! The Dark & Hollow Places here I come! Ready? Set? Go!!

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