Cover via Goodreads.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars.
Blood Red Road takes place in a post-apocalyptic time period where the world is covered in deserts ravaged by dust storms. Eighteen-year-old Saba has spent her entire life in Silverlake, a secluded wasteland with only three other inhabitants: her twin brother Lugh, her annoying nine-year-old sister Emmi, and her insane father Pa. She’s relatively content until four horsemen arrive and abduct Lugh, leaving her without the light of her life. Now she must venture outside of Silverlake into a dangerous world in order to bring back Lugh at any cost.
Ah, brain candy at its finest. Blood Red Road doesn’t aim to inspire or change the way you think, rather, it’s pure adventure. And what an adventure it is. Cage fighting, human sacrifice, and killer worms three times the size of humans – what else could you ask for?
I re-read the first page of this book a couple of times, thinking “wow, two typos already? that’s surprising…” It took a little time for me to adjust to the writing style, but after the first hundred pages I didn’t even notice the lack of grammar. I applaud Moira Young for keeping the tone consistent throughout the novel. Can you imagine the difficulty of writing a 400+ page novel without proper grammar? That almost scares me as much as the hellwurms.
Does this book live up to what its book jacket offers? “Searing pace”, check. “Poetically minimal writing style”, check. “Relentless action”, check. “Epic love story”… I wouldn’t use the word “epic”, but it was passable. So somewhat check.
If you’re like me and about to begin school, I’d set this one aside for when you have some free time. It’ll be near-impossible to put it down.
Cover via Goodreads.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars.
You know how it’s easier to discuss a topic you’re passionate about rather than one you really don’t care about? I feel that way when I write book reviews. It’s not difficult to express my thoughts on five-star books I love or even two-star books I didn’t like so much, but certain books that fall in the middle trouble me. Enclave is one of those books. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t really care..
The idea of an underground enclave working to survive against monsters/zombies (referred to as “freaks”) is interesting, but not mind-blowing when compared to the inundation of young-adult dystopian novels released recently. In fact, the world-building in Enclave is one of its weakest points. Just like the enclave does to Deuce, Ann Aguirre keeps readers in the dark regarding the details of the setting, so everything feels strangely distant. There was no explanation, no elucidation, and I expected more from such an intriguing premise.
I also couldn’t connect to the characters. I hate to reiterate, but I really didn’t care about them. The only character that showed some depth was Deuce, the reserved, strong-willed protagonist. The rest were too one-dimensional and fit into common character caricatures: the reformed bad boy, the weak girl in need of rescue, etc.
If after reading the book jacket of Enclave you find yourself interested in the story, I would recommend giving it a try. Perhaps borrow it from the library first, though.
You cannot imagine the suspicion caused by this cover... Cover via Goodreads.
Rating: 5/5 stars.
I wish I had enough money to buy every girl attending my high school a copy of Beauty Queens. Actually, I wish I had enough money to buy every girl from the age of 15 to 21 a copy of this book. I bow down to Libba Bray for pulling off such a crazy concept – a plane of beauty pageant contestants crash on an island – when it could have gone horribly wrong in the hands of a less competent author.
On the outside, Beauty Queens is about an ensemble of shallow, teenaged girls surviving on an island. But, just like the girls themselves, it offers much more. Bray tackles a wide array of tough subjects like male vs. female double standards and GLBT tolerance with skillful satire and impressive honesty.
Some books you read in silence. Beauty Queens isn’t one of those books. Libba Bray holds nothing back in her upbraiding of the superficial nature of society, yet it never gets overwhelming – the humor in this book is wonderfully witty and refreshing. I laughed out loud so many times I regret not buying a copy so I could note when the funniest moments took place. Almost every other page contained a joke or wisecrack that made me smile, like when one contestant states the importance of aiding non-Americans after being asked her favorite color.
I probably haven’t done this book justice, so I’ll just tell you to go out and get a copy to read. ASAP. I had my doubts after reading and disliking Going Bovine by Bray, but Beauty Queens has placed her on my list of authors to watch out for. Definitely recommended.
Cover via Goodreads.
Rating: 5/5 stars.
My thought process while reading this book:
“oh my god, oh my god, OH MY GOD! that was amazing, wow… oh my god I can’t believe she just did that! OH SNAP FIGHTING OH SNAP BLOOD OH MAN that was sick… man this book is awesome. OH SNAP SHE DID NOT JUST-”
You get the point. My Latin teacher would be very unhappy with me for saying (er, thinking) “oh my god” so many times. But Divergent by Veronica Roth is one of those books that causes mind bombs to explode inside your head constantly, creating a void that can only be filled by reading more of the amazing novel.
I’m not going to bother with a synopsis of the story as you can find one here or by reading other reviews, but in a nutshell Divergent contains action, romance, dystopia, and essentially brain-blowing perfection. I dare compare it to – yes, you guessed it- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Though the books are very different, I’m pretty sure if you enjoyed one you will enjoy the other.
And though my crazy little introduction to this
fanboying mess review may make it seem like this book is pure nonstop action, the parts that weren’t action-packed still shined superbly. The action was pretty intense though. Very intense indeed.
One of the best young-adult releases this year, Divergent will leave readers craving for the second book of this soon to be super popular series.