Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Young World by Chris Weitz

Title:  The Young World
Author:  Chris Weitz
Genre:  Young Adult / Dystopia / Post Apocalyptic
Publisher:  Atom / Hachette
Publication Date:  29th July 2014
ISBN:  9780349001937
Stand Alone/Series:  The Young World Trilogy #1
Pages:  352 pages
First Lines:  It's another gorgeous spring day after the fall of civilization.  I'm doing the rounds, following the path that winds through Washington Square Park like a warped infinity sign.

Synopsis:   Welcome to New York, a city ruled by teens. After a mysterious Sickness wipes out the rest of the population, the young survivors assemble into tightly run tribes. Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square tribe, and Donna, the girl he's secretly in love with, have carved out a precarious existence among the chaos. But when another tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure to the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip to save humankind. The tribe exchanges gunfire with enemy gangs, escapes cults and militias, braves the wilds of the subway and Central Park ...and discovers truths they could never have imagined. 

My Thoughts:  I was pretty stoked.  I arrive home from work one afternoon with a couple of packages sitting on my desk.  I had requested a book from Hachette a little while ago and was lucky enough to be given a few different books to read.  This was one of them.

I must admit, I did read the back of the synopsis and think, "Damn, no zombies in this." I've read similar post apocalyptic story lines like this before too but you know what?  I love the post apocalyptic/dystopian genre and have not yet reached my threshold of "I've had enough of this".. yet.

I must admit, I wasn't completely hooked the first few pages in, but like alot of other books that turn out to be awesome, I kept going.  And I'm glad I did.

The two viewpoints in the book are Jefferson, reluctant leader/Generalissimo and Donna, his long time friend. Both POV's are in first person present but unlike Jefferson's, Donna seems to talk to the reader a little more.

I liked Chris Weitz's writing style and his characters were true to form of typical teenagers (without hopefully stereotyping teens), eg. declarations of love, the constant use of "like", everything is so amplified when your a teen.  It almost as if teens feel more than any other age group.  Hopefully that makes sense.  I got that feeling throughout the book.  Maybe not as up front and in your face obvious but it was there.

There were parts of the book which were less enjoyable than others, but I had to look at it this way.  If you were to take any adult and child away from a scenario leaving teens, how would things be.  I can totally understand the grouping.  Maybe not so much the emphasis on the "b&*%es" and the whole sexual objectification, but this is really only targeting one small group in the whole story and not all characters agreed with that attitude.  On the other hand I did laugh at the group from the library.  A little bit scary but at the same time a bit amusing and a little gross.  Sorry if there are a few spoilers here, I'm trying to keep some things as vague as possible so as not to ruin it for others.

I can see other readers saying this type of story has been done before, but really which ones haven't?  I'd love to see where the next two books takes the story and its characters!  Maybe in the second and third book it will set this trilogy apart from other books in this genre.

I've also read that this book has been optioned for movie rights already by Warner Bros so keep your eyes open.  It would sure make a great movie.  Especially since the author happens to have had a hand in The Twilight Saga: New Moon, A Better Life, About a Boy, The Golden Compass and American Pie.  Yep.  I reckon the movie should be good :)

Fave Lines:  "..You and Jefferson will have ten Eurasion babies.  Me and Theo will adopt half of them.  I'll host a TV show called Apocalypse Wow." Page 327
Book received from:  Hachette Australia



Monday, July 7, 2014

As Stars Fall by Christie Nieman

Title:  As Stars Fall
Author:  Christie Nieman
Genre:  Young Adult / Contemporary
Publisher:  Pan Macmillan Australia
Publication Date:  1st July 2014
ISBN:  9781743517697
Stand Alone/Series:  Stand Alone
Pages:  320 Pages
First Lines:  The light was strange.  The darkness was a deep red, and there was a thickness between the stars.  And the air was strange too.  It had a bitter tang.

Synopsis:  In north-eastern Victoria, bush-covered hills erupt into flames. A Bush Stone-curlew escapes the fire but a woman studying the endangered bird does not.
When Robin's parents split up after the fire, her mother drags her from the country to a new life in the ugly city. Robin misses her dog, her best-friend, the cows, trees, creek, bushland and, especially, the birds. Robin is a self-confessed, signed-up, card-carrying bird-nerd. Just like her dad.
On the first day at her new school, Robin meets Delia. She's freaky, a bit of a workaholic, and definitely not good for Robin's image. Delia's older brother Seth has given up school to prowl the city streets. He is angry at everything, but mostly at the fire that killed his mother.
 When the Bush Stone-curlew turns up in the city parklands next to Seth and Delia's house the three teenagers become inextricably linked. Soon their lives are circling tighter and tighter around each other, and the curlew.

My Thoughts:  As Stars Fall was one of those books that I really enjoyed, most of the time.  I hate to say it but there was a part in the middle in the section named "States and Transitions" where it was, well for me, a bit slow and I kept putting the book down, because I just wasn't interested.

In saying that,  I really enjoyed the rest of the story.  The beginning, "Disturbance" drew me in, and had me feeling sad for both the bird and the woman. Especially the woman as she lost her life in the fire.  We've had some serious fires in Australia, and in February 2009 was the most extreme.  The fires were so bad that they jumped roads and incinerated cars, homes, people.  "Black Saturday" was a very sad day, and the pictures that circulated, including the Koala who came up to the cyclist for water, showed how harsh and unrelenting it was.

The characters were unique, and it was easy to tell each voice apart.  It is labelled at the beginning of a narration change, but even so, to me, it didn't seem needed.  Robin is the new girl at school, a country girl, who has moved to the city with her mother.  She's strong but confused on how she fits into the new city life and is having trouble adjusting.

Delia and Seth are struggling to deal with their grief, and anger; the aftermath of losing their mother.  Living with their father who is drowning out his sorrows with alcohol rather than dealing with his grief head on.  Delia seems to be a little bit of a loner at school, but when it comes to the new girl she has no problem sticking her neck out for her and telling the other "In" girls just how it is.  I feel like she's trying to be so strong that she's just about to crumble under the surface.  Seth skips school, and is drowning out his sorrows another way.  But the thing I love the most about these characters, is how they each see the bush stone curlew.  And this is what ties them all together.

The story is narrated by all three of these characters, Robin in first person, and Delia and Seth in third person.  But occasionally throughout the book, you see the curlew narrating her story, as well as an essay here and there from Selena.  It adds to the story I think, but it also seems to slow the narration and jars it a little.

Overall I did like this book.  There are bits that I didn't like, but it picks up where it needs to towards the end and I loved the ending.  Not for everyone though.

Book received from:  Pan Macmillan Australia



Sunday, July 6, 2014

In My Mailbox (154)


In My Mailbox is a weekly post created by The Story Siren.

For Review:
Bought:

N/A

What did you get in your IMM?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

In My Mailbox (153)


In My Mailbox is a weekly post created by The Story Siren.

For Review:


N/A


Monday, June 9, 2014

Cover Reveal: Girls on Fire Boxed Set


About the GIRLS ON FIRE boxed set:
WITCH FALL – Amber Argyle
High Fantasy
Supreme in their dominion over seasons, storms, and sea, the witches have forgotten the unmatched destructiveness of mankind. And among the weapons men seek are the magical songs of the witches. Born of witches but raised among their enemies, Lilette searches for a way to heal the rift between mankind and the witches. But it may be too late to save either. For if there is one thing Lilette has come to know for certain, it’s that all things fall.

ETERNAL STARLING – Angela Corbett
Paranormal Romance
For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie Starling. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she’s not the person she thought she was, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war.

AWAKENING – Christy Dorrity
Fantasy
When an ancient curse threatens McKayla McCleery's family, she must decide what in her life is real and what is fantasy. Based in Celtic mythology, Awakening is a gripping young adult fantasy that is rife with magic, romance, and mystery.

INEVITABLE – Tamara Hart Heiner
Suspense
Visions of death plague Jayne, who thinks watching her sister die is the worst that could happen to her. But when she witnesses a murder, Jayne realizes that the next death she sees might be her own.

WATCHED – Cindy M. Hogan
Romantic Suspense
Change. She longed for it.
A murder. She will never be the same.

THE FORGOTTEN ONES – Laura Howard
Fantasy

ELEMENTAL HUNGER – Elana Johnson
Futuristic Fantasy
Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.

THE FAERIE GUARDIAN – Rachel Morgan
Fantasy
Kickbutt faerie Violet is about to graduate as the top guardian trainee of her class, but when an assignment goes wrong and the human boy she’s meant to be protecting follows her back into the fae realm, a dangerous plot is set in motion.

PERCEPTION – Lee Strauss
Dystopian/Romance
Eternal Life is to Die For.
A spoiled genetically altered girl needs the help of a jaded “natural” boy to find her missing brother.

INTRINSICAL – Lani Woodland
Paranormal
The gene that allows the women in Yara’s family to see and communicate with spirits seems to have passed her over. Until the night she rescues a local hottie from an attacking ghost. Her act of heroism attracts the attention of the evil spirit, and she finds herself entrenched in the middle of a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening her own life as well as that of her friends.
Publication date: June 16, 2014
Price: 99 cents for 10 amazing YA novels!

Links:
Buy links coming soon! We’ll send these out when the boxed set is live and you can leave your reviews. Thanks!

About the Authors:
Follow each author’s link to learn more about them and their books.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

In My Mailbox (152)


In My Mailbox is a weekly post created by The Story Siren.

For Review:


As Stars Fall by Christie Nieman
Thanks to Pan Macmillan


Bought:

N/A

What did you get in your IMM?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Title:  Dangerous Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Genre:  Young Adult/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher:  Penguin
Publication Date:  20th May 2014
ISBN:  9780141354101
Stand Alone/Series:  Dangerous Creatures #1
Pages:  Enter
First Lines:  There are only two kinds of Mortals in the backwater town of Gatlin, South Carolina - the stupid and the stuck.  At least, that's what they say.

Synopsis:  Ridley Duchannes is nobody's heroine.
She's a dark Caster, a Siren.  She can make you do anything.  She can't be trusted. By Anyone.
But that hasn't stopped her boyfriend Link from falling in love with her - or taking her with him to follow his rock-star dream.
New York City is a dangerous place for both Casters and Mortals, and soon Ridley realizes that Link's bandmates are keeping secrets.
Determined to uncover the truth, what she finds out is worse than she could have imagined.
Link has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.
With lives on the line, what's a Siren to do?

My Thoughts:  I absolutely loved the Caster Chronicles  and hadn't realized that there was going to be a spin off with Ridley and Link until Penguin sent me a package in the mail.

I was a bit skeptical to begin with because I got to about page 15 and wasn't really into this as much as I'd hoped to be.  I just wasn't really warming up to Ridley like I had with the characters of Beautiful Creatures.  I guess I was hoping to find that bit of Lena within her and I couldn't help feeling a little disappointed.

But I'm glad I kept reading because once I hit page 24 and then to 112, the tables had turned and I thought wow!  Ridley, I could get used to this. The run in with Link's mother before they leave had me thinking I could get used to Ridley's attitude, but what really did it for me was the part with Ridley in the Hair Salon.  I'd been hooked.

Ridley didn't really stand out for me in the Caster Chronicles but I'm happy that she's been given her own series with Link.  She's attitude, doesn't deal with anyone's crap and surprisingly deep, deep, down there is a soft side to her.  Paired with Link, it makes for an interesting duo.  Link isn't the brightest spark, but he's genuine, head over for heels for Ridley, and terrible band member with his lyrics.

If you've read the Caster Chronicles, you'll more than likely enjoy this spin off series!  I recommend to read the Caster Chronicles first, it will give you a better understanding of the family but it is not necessary!

Fave Lines:  When it came to relationships, the truth never set anyone free.  The Truth only set things on fire. - page 95.
Book received from:  Penguin Australia



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