Monday, December 30, 2013

Taken

Taken by Erin Bowman
Publication Date: April 16, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 360
Keywords: dystopia, rebellion, science
Format Read: library book

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone. They call it the Heist. Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive. Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

The book is split up into parts, and that's done really well. It wouldn't make sense if there weren't distinct divides at different points in the story. And naturally, it would make sense for the parts to pick up as you went further into the book, but that's where my disappointment fell. There was so much world-building done in part one, the part that introduced the characters and the town and the Heist and basically what everything was, that it made me much more concerned with this world than what happened in parts two and on. And there was so much detail about the society itself and how it worked, and how they stayed populated and had a government and how food worked, but it didn't bog me down with too much information all at once. By the end of part one, I was super intrigued and settled into this world, and then everything changed.

Jumping from part to part was good, but it confused and disoriented me at the same time. I got tired at learning about each new thing that was happening, and I got tired of all the information dumps and expository chunks that were needed to keep the reader in the know about what was going on.

The whole premise itself is really interesting, that the idea of a society that has no idea where its citizens are going to. It also reminded me a lot of Divergent, which makes much more sense if you've read both, but I won't go into any more detail for fear of spoiling it.

The big issue that surrounds this book is, yep, the main character. So, after getting about midway through the book, I started to hear some backlash against Gray, saying he was an irritating main character, people didn't like him, he was selfish and immature, etc. Here's my problem with that — do all MCs have to be likable? NO. They are human! I loved that Gray struggled with behaving like an "adult" because really, he is 17, and trying to be a teenager in the middle of a society where he might be gone the next day and doesn't know what's going to happen to him. That's difficult! I would not want to be in that situation.
So yes, I did like Gray, and even if I didn't, that wouldn't make the book any less likable, I had other issues with it besides him.

What do you all think about likable main characters?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bookish Secret Santa

I decided to participate this year in The Broke and the Bookish's holiday Secret Santa exchange!
 If you don't know what that is, basically it was just a massive Secret Santa with bloggers, so I was given a random blogger to send books and little gifts to, and someone drew my name.

I received my package this week, and it was the best ever!
Here's a few photos:



What I got was:
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Just One Year by Gayle Forman
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
and some really cool things like a Powell's book tote! (eep!) and a postcard and bookmark from Oregon!

So you should all go follow Angie @Disquietus because she is super awesome and sent all these wonderful things to me! (also her blog is super cute)

Thanks again and happy Christmas!

Monday, December 2, 2013

We Were Liars

For those of you that follow this regularly, this review is going to be a little different.
I'm not going to give you a summary.
I'm not going to tell you about the book.

I'm just going to tell you to READ IT.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 240


I've always loved E. Lockhart. I'm talking, when The Boyfriend List came out, I ate it up. Loved every word. And I've been hooked ever since.

So I got an email asking me if I would be willing to review her new book, We Were Liars. I flipped out. Like, lost my mind because I didn't know she had a new one coming out and because I was sent a copy.

Guys.

This book.

The first few pages were entrancing. Then as I read more, I was hooked to the characters.

And by the end, I was an emotional wreck. This book tore me up. I'm talking full-blown sobbing for hours. This is so difficult to write because I loved this book so much, but I don't want to tell you anything.

Go in it with no knowledge. Seriously. ZERO. If you read any reviews that mention a plot line, STOP READING. You do not want to be prepared for this book. It's much better knowing what I know — absolutely nothing.

I don't say this often, but this book will be on my shelf forever, and you need to pre-order it immediately. You can't wait for a library or to borrow it. Read it literally as soon as you absolutely can.