Category Archives: 04 DYSTOPIAN

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

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4 Stars

I’ve been on a reader’s block for quite a while, and I didn’t know if I still had it in me to be able to read at the same pace like I used to—but it turns out I only needed one good book to wake me up from my reading slumber. I’ve had Legend for a long time now but never really bothered to start it. This afternoon I had an insane attack of boredom so I decided to flip a few pages—only, I wasn’t able to stop. I literally couldn’t stop reading from the moment I started (I was even scolded by my dad to put down the book because I was reading during dinner). It’s been a while since I’ve read a good dystopian book. I mean, there are just so many out there nowadays. The last series that I really liked were Chaos Walking and Partials and both of those have been ages ago. I picked up this trilogy because of the hype, and hype comes with expectations. Fortunately, Legend delivered.

“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time. You try to walk in the light.”

Like most books of this genre, Legend has the dystopian staples: A perfect society that’s not so perfect, rebel groups, secrets, and teenage protagonists who are too capable for their age (seriously). The story flows through the POVs of two characters: June and Day. One’s from the system, the other is the rebel—and of course (no-brainer here) they fall in love. What I liked about this book is that even though it follows some YA cliches, it managed to have its own voice and it didn’t feel like I was just reading a rehashed version of Lord of the Flies or 1984. The characters were well-written and likable. The pacing was neither too fast nor too slow and it gave just enough information each chapter to keep you reading. Although, I was able to guess who the “killer” was way too early—blame my history with mystery and thriller novels. Legend uses a “plague” plot device, similar to Matched trilogy—the only difference is that Matched had no direction whatsoever, Legend does. At least, I hope so. I’ve only read the first book but so far so good. I’m looking forward to reading Prodigy and if it’s anything as good as this then I think my reading appetite will be happily satisfied.

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Calling all schmucks and cranks, the new Maze Runner trailer is out!

When I first finished the series back then, I said to myself, “Man this would make an awesome movie.” So when I heard about 20th Century Fox making one, I was ecstatic! I didn’t even care about the casting. I knew it would take a lot of effort to make a bad movie out of this series and I was thrilled! When the first trailer came out, it looked very promising… and now this! Ahhh, I’m so excited to see this movie!

Calling my fellow schmucks and cranks, the maze is open… get ready to run.

 

WICKED IS GOOD.

Still Point by Katie Kacvinsky (Awaken #3)

4 Stars

I’ve been staring at my screen for a while now, tears still damp on my cheeks, trying to figure out how to write this review.  I haven’t cried over a book and haven’t been in this state of both bittersweet heartache and contentment since  Please Ignore Vera Dietz. In this trilogy ender, Maddie’s story has finally come to a Still Point.

First of all I would like to thank the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book. I’ve always loved the Awaken series and it is truly an honor. Still Point, how do I even start? I read this book in three hours, no breaks, no standing, nothing—and the emotional aftermath is still with me as I write this.

“Life is supposed to be a risk. It’s written everywhere around us. We are meant to take chances. We are meant to explode and shatter and spiral. Even if we break, we’ll come back to a still point.”

Still Point is a very satisfying ending to a series that has captured me from book one, although I must admit the closing chapters felt a bit abrupt and too rushed in terms of how the events played out. In this final installment, Maddie and Justin face the final battle against Digital School. I think, the core of this book is about making decisions and realizations about ourselves that we never even knew about. Things happen, people change, and we learn that choices we once thought we made aren’t always our final ones. This book left me heartbroken, contented, satisfied and sad all at the same time. I am pretty sure fans will end up feeling the same way as well once they finish this.

I don’t want to say anything that might spoil the story but I think the final words of the book summed it up perfectly, justifying it in a way that I cannot argue with. Not all people will like how this story ends but how can you hate something if it ended right? As for me, I accepted it for what it was and relished the end of a good series. Let’s just put it this way—life happens the least way we expect it, in ways that shape us into who we are, into who we will be, and sometimes we end up somewhere we never expected to be in but that’s how life is. If this series has taught us anything, it’s that life is meant to be experienced. Never settle for anything less.

“Our fingers have spaces between them, just like life, and things fall through. Part of my life was ending so a new part could begin. But first you have to let go. You have to open your fingers and let slip.”

EXPECTED RELEASE DATE: September 2, 2014

Continue reading Still Point by Katie Kacvinsky (Awaken #3)

Paradigm by Ceri Lowe (Paradigm #1)

3 Stars

“There’s surviving and then there’s living.”

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. First thing’s first, I’m sure many young readers will notice the eerie resemblance between the covers of Divergent and Paradigm, and I really wish they chose a different cover for this one because the two are totally different in theme and in story.

I really liked the idea behind this book. For a young adult dystopian novel, it has a very realistic and mature backbone. For a brief backstory: a devastating Storm hit the Earth around 2015 that nearly submerged everything to nonexistence. Thankfully, Paradigm Industries saw something like this would happen and built a massive underground complex made to withstand years of isolation to ensure survival. The story happens through the eyes of two characters: Alice and Carter. Alice’s story revolves around the beginning of the Storm, right after the world ended, and the new one began. Carter’s, on the other hand, happens generations later—a time wherein the new society has long been established.

“We must want to work together, to live together, to survive together. Or we all die together.”

I must admit, Paradigm hit something close to home. I live in the Philippines and I don’t know if you guys are aware but my country experiences devastating typhoons almost yearly. In fact, it was raining while I was reading this book. And here, when it rains—it pours. Some might think the Storm in the book can’t really happen, but you’re wrong. I’ve seen it happen, although perhaps not as cataclysmic as in the novel. The city I live in has been flooded to more than 10 feet high, submerging houses and buildings, more than once, and not long ago, a part of my country has been massacred by typhoon Haiyan—so yes, I am fully aware of how destructive water can be, which made it so easy for me to visualize Paradigm’s world. It was interesting that the main cause of the apocalypse in this story was the climate. It’s a relevant and more mature theme when compared to its peers. One thing I was not fully satisfied with the Storm was its origin. There wasn’t enough information given to how it came to be. Was it global warming? Was it a government experiment gone awry? I suppose, and hope, more explanation will come from the following books being that this is the first of a trilogy.

Another thing I’m disappointed with was the lack of character development. I liked Alice’s character, but Carter seemed to pale in comparison. I couldn’t connect with him at all. It greatly bothered me how weak his character was—I mean, all his life he was preparing for this one thing, then one day he meets some strangers and a girl who he hasn’t seen in fifteen years, who tell him things and he suddenly bends his beliefs just like that? I believe in the power of curiosity but it was shown from the early chapters how solid his views were. It was as if in a snap he decided to tread another path. It felt so out of character that I couldn’t find a way to root for him afterwards.

Overall, despite some of those misses, this is a promising debut novel. Readers might find some themes of the book in resonance with The Kill Order, Matched, City of Ember, and A Brave New World, but it still offers a fresh story.Will I read the next book? Yes. However, I do hope there will be more backstory and better world-building in the following installments. And I hope Carter finally finds his backbone along the way. After all, he’s the one carrying this story to its future.

Enders by Lissa Price (Starters #2)

1 star

By the length of interval between the release of the first book and this one, I expected a more riveting story than this huge jumbled chaos. “Enders” was a huge, huge disappointment. I actually liked “Starters” and the idea of the story being confined to just a duology, but after finishing this I felt like I might as well have waited for nothing.

Where do I even begin? I felt like this entire book was rushed and cramped into the few pages it had. Was the author being chased by a train while writing this? Because it sure felt that way. It seemed like I was reading a long summary of an actual novel instead of reading one.

One arc came after the other without any smooth transitions. It lacked fluidity, lacked character development and world-building. I felt like some characters were thrown away to the side due to laziness for development and for convenience (Yes, I’m looking at you Tyler and Michael). The new character Hyden seemed promising but I never really got to know him either. As a reader, I want to feel invested in the characters I’m reading about, but Enders failed to do that. To me they were just names in the story. I felt no connection at all, and that is a one big failure in character development. The ending offered a so-so resolution but it really didn’t feel satisfying. There wasn’t enough explanation or back story given to explain the past further. Like, the Spore Wars, the Middles, what really happened to the world. I was confined to Callie’s world and hers alone. Everything was boxed in. And speaking of Callie, she seemed like she got lost in translation while this novel was being written. She just wasn’t strong enough a character for me to really root for. I mean, Katniss was flawed and can be really annoying but you could understand where she was coming from and you’d still root for her even if you don’t like her. For Callie, she’s not exactly someone you’d hate but she’s not someone you’d love either, and that’s not a good thing.

The twists were good but were not enough to compensate for the lack of everything else. This was truly a disappointing book and I’m sad to say it wasn’t worth the wait.

Starters by Lissa Price (Starters #1)

3 Stars

“I’d started with a lie, and now it was just about impossible to untangle it without breaking something.”

NOTE: This is an old review, I just edited and added some things to it

I grabbed this book because the cover was interesting and when I read the jacket summary, I was intrigued, so I bought it. To give you a glimpse of how the book feels like: It’s like Hunger Games meets Surrogates slash Gamer. If you’re familiar with those three, then I guess you’ll have a vague idea on how the theme of the story plays out.
Continue reading Starters by Lissa Price (Starters #1)