Insurgent – Veronica Roth

Insurgent

“Fighting for survival in a shattered world… the truth is her only hope.

I have done bad things. I can’t take them back, and they are part of who I am.

Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.

Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever… because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.”

I just had to buy this book after reading and very much enjoying Divergent, I couldn’t wait to find out what was next for Tris in this crazy futuristic world.

I loved how it jumped straight into the action and I found myself instantly transported back to where Divergent had left off – amidst danger, fear and confusion.  Tris was struggling to come to terms with recent events and her uncertain future, she had faced so many difficult things and I think some of it had finally started to catch up with her.  Luckily for me there was lots more action to come!

Tris and Tobias’ relationship was tested many times throughout the book, I just couldn’t predict the outcome of their disagreements and I liked this because it kept me on my toes.  I was just as surprised as Tris when an interesting fact about Tobias’ life was revealed and I couldn’t wait to see how it would affect the storyline.

I learned more about the other factions this time and that was something I enjoyed, there was also more information about the Divergent and even the factionless so I felt like I got a better view of the city as a whole.

Tris had to make some big decisions and once again I admired how well she dealt with everything that was thrown at her, I had to keep reminding myself that she was only sixteen!  Whilst she was in a particularly sticky situation I found that I couldn’t figure out if events were real, a simulation or just a dream – my mind was racing with all the possibilities.

There was a big secret that had been mentioned in Divergent and the mystery ran throughout this book too, by the end I was desperate to know exactly what the secret was so when it came to the end and all was revealed I felt a mixture of relief and shock!  The ending was truly amazing, leaving me wanting to read the next book straight away but unfortunately I have to wait for its release in October 2013.

This was another fantastic read with an unpredictable, intense atmosphere and many heart-pounding twists and turns.

Insurgent can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Veronica Roth click on the following links:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Divergent – Veronica Roth

Divergent

“She turns to face the future in a world that’s falling apart.

For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs.

Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead….”

I was lucky enough to win this book from a giveaway on Gothic Angel Book Reviews.  I had heard so much about this book so I was looking forward to finally checking it out for myself.

During the first few pages I felt like there was a lot of information thrown at me all at once, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because it was things I needed to know, I just felt a little overwhelmed by it.

The author had created a future world where the city was divided up into factions and each faction had its own set of duties/rules depending on the character traits of each faction: Abnegation – selflessness, Dauntless – bravery, Erudite – intelligence, Candor – honesty, and Amity – peacefulness.  The aptitude test determined which faction each sixteen year old would be most suitable for and I found this fascinating especially when I realised that they didn’t have to choose the faction that their responses favoured!  It was around this time that the word Divergent came up but it didn’t give much information about it so throughout the book I tried to find out what it was all about.

After Tris chose her faction and began the initiation process I got the feeling she felt a bit out of her depth, that all changed though as her character developed in strength and knowledge.  She actually seemed to grow before my eyes, fighting her way through her new life and facing her fears head-on. She was a character that I took to my heart so when she showed an interest in Four I was keen to see where it would lead her.  There was an electric energy between the two of them even when he wasn’t being nice to her, this made their time together very exciting for me as the reader – it was definitely one of my favourite parts and something I look forward to more of in the next book Insurgent.  So many dramatic things happened towards the end that when I closed the book I had to take a breath and let my mind replay everything – it certainly hints at the next book being even more exciting and full of action!

I couldn’t get enough of this book and didn’t want it to end, it was so visual for me – almost like watching a movie which is handy seeing as the movie is already planned for 2014!

Divergent was a dark, exciting and action-packed read, with a dash of romance thrown in to make it a perfect all-rounder.

Divergent can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Veronica Roth click on the following links:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook

The Glimpse – Claire Merle

The Glimpse

“In the not so distant future, society has been divided into Pures and Crazies, according to the results of a DNA test.

When Ana finds out there was a mistake with her test, her whole world crumbles.  Now, Pure-boy Jasper is her only hope of salvation.

But when Jasper disappears, Ana is distraught.  She sets off on his trail, determined to solve the mystery of his abduction.  In doing so she uncovers some devastating truths, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before…”

I bought this book after reading some interesting reviews about it, I was intrigued by the blurb and seeing as I like to occasionally dip my toes in the dystopian pool I went ahead and got it.

I was aware that some people had a problem with the whole Pure and Crazies idea, finding it offensive towards those with mental health issues – I honestly didn’t have any problems with this (and I do have personal experience of mental health issues so I understand the subject very well), in my eyes it was fictional and I enjoyed it for what it was.

I admit that I struggled with the first few pages purely because I couldn’t quite grasp what was going on. It was based in a future England which had been divided into the Pures and Crazies, they lived separately and very differently!  I was fascinated by the binding and joining ceremonies, I loved this alternative and creative idea of marriage.

Ana was kind of caught in the middle of being Pure and being a Crazy but as her life spiraled out of control she seemed to grow in strength and confidence – I love it when a character finds themselves in the most unexpected of places.  There were many lies and dark secrets for Ana to uncover and as she did so she became much more determined not to be dictated to.  Her time in Three Mills Psych Centre was unpleasant and difficult to read at times but it gave the storyline a gritty edge that I hadn’t expected.

The romance side of the story was simple but beautiful, it felt natural yet exciting – forbidden love is always a favourite of mine when I’m reading.  It ended on a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see what happens for Ana in the next book.

This was a refreshingly different and exciting book which had me completely caught up in its pages.

The Glimpse can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Claire Merle visit her website.

Blood Red Road and Rebel Heart – Moira Young

“In the Dustlands, you fight or you die.

There are no laws in Saba’s world.  When her twin brother is stolen, she pursues his captors through a wild, wasted land.  She must become a warrior to survive.  On this dangerous road she can trust no one. Not even the handsome thief who saves her life – and steals her heart.”

This was an impulse buy, I hadn’t heard anything about it but I liked the cover and the synopsis intrigued me so I went ahead and bought it.

Straight away I knew this book was different from anything I’ve read before, the style of writing being the main clue:

“Ain’t you figgered it out yet? It’s all in his head.  Made up.  There ain’t nuthin written in the stars.  There ain’t no great plan.  The world goes on.  Our lives jest go on an on in this gawdfersaken place.  An that’s it.  Till the day we die.  I tell you what Saba, I’ve took about all I can take.”

At the beginning I found that the style of writing made the story hard to follow because I had to concentrate on figuring out what certain words meant, I soon fell into a natural rhythm though and in no time at all I was reading the words as if nothing was out of the ordinary.

Another thing that made it difficult to begin with was the lack of speech marks, again this took a while to get used to but once I had, it was like I didn’t even notice that they weren’t there!

Told from Saba’s point of view the story starts off with some detail of where and how they are living, and how important Saba’s twin brother Lugh is to her.  This meant that when he was kidnapped it was a very emotional moment and I couldn’t wait to find out why he had been taken.  Their younger sister Emmi seemed to be a thorn in Saba’s side, she showed a clear dislike towards her but the reason for this had already been explained so I kind of understood Saba’s reaction.

Based in a tough future world I wasn’t sure if Saba could make it alone – at that point she seemed quite innocent and vulnerable, especially without Lugh, but I soon realised that she was a very resourceful, defensive and, when fuelled by her anger, incredibly tough girl.

On Saba’s quest to find and save Lugh she comes across many dangers, accompanying her on the quest was Emmi and their pet crow Nero, who turned out to be a vital part of the story.  She was like a magnet for other people as more and more joined her on her journey until they became like a gang of rebels, each with their own personal mission but working together to achieve it.

There was a lot of action throughout the book and it was so exciting to read – cage fighting, escaping from burning buildings and giant worms were just a few of the dangers the gang faced, each time my heart was pounding so hard it felt like it would beat out of my chest!

The tension between Saba and Jack was fabulous, Saba held him at arm’s length and most of the time seemed angry with him, but I was sure that was just to cover up how she really felt towards him.  Jack was a bit of a mystery to me, I felt like I couldn’t quite figure him out.  I thought he might have been hiding more than he let on, and I am hoping the next book will tell us what that is.

There were a couple of moments near the end that had my eyes filling up with both sadness and happiness.  I was very curious about DeMalo because there seemed to be some kind of spark between him and Saba whenever they were near each other, I hope the next book reveals more about that too.

Blood Red Road can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.

“There’s a price on Saba’s head.

They call her the Angel of Death.  She defeated a tyrant, but victory has come at a cost.  Haunted by the ghosts of her past, she needs Jack.  His moonlit eyes, his reckless courage, his wild heart.  But Jack has left, and a ruthless new enemy searches for Saba across the Dustlands…”

This is the second book in the series, it didn’t make as much of an impact on me as the first one did, but it was still a fantastic read!

The story is not just told from Saba’s point of view this time, I think I was a little disappointed about that because it was one of the things that really made the first book special for me.

Saba was suffering the after effects of what happened in the last book, previously she had powered through her troubles because she was concentrating so hard on saving Lugh.  Once that concentration had gone she was able to think more about her actions and she seemed haunted by the decisions she had made.  It was like her spark and strong survival instinct had gone.

“Tears start to roll down my cheeks.  He wipes ’em away, but they keep on comin.  Silent.  Never endin.  They splash in the dust at my feet.  But I ain’t cryin.”

Events soon made Saba see what she had to do and whilst trying to do this she found herself in a very precarious position with some headhunters, I wasn’t sure she would make it out in one piece!

I had mixed feelings about DeMalo and Jack in this book, one moment I hated them both and the next I thought I quite liked them – this confusion continued right to the end and I’m hoping I can decide once and for all in the next book.

I was surprised by some of the choices Saba made, after reading the last page I have a feeling that one of those choices may come back to haunt her next time – I think she underestimated someone who could potentially cause her a lot of trouble.

This is a powerful series that, I think, would make a great movie.  I have been left wanting more and can’t wait for the next book to be released.

Rebel heart can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.

All These Things I’ve Done – Gabrielle Zevin

“New York 2082.  When Anya is arrested for attempted murder, the District Attorney offers her a choice: stay away from his son or watch helplessly as he destroys her family.  It should be a straightforward decision.  Except that the DA’s son is the boy Anya loves, and her family is at the dark heart of the city’s criminal underworld.

Anya must choose between love and loyalty, knowing that whatever she decides will have shattering consequences: heartbreak or a gangland war that will tear the city apart.”

I had read some good reviews for this book so I decided to try it for myself.  This is the first book in Gabrielle Zevin’s Birthright trilogy.

The story is set in a future world that has many restrictions on basic things that we take for granted, I have to admit that I struggled to imagine chocolate ever being an illegal product!

Anya, along with her brother and sister, had been through a lot in their short lives thanks to their connection to New York’s criminal underworld.  Anya tried to take charge of any bad situations because she was fiercely protective of her family and I loved this side of her.  She seemed to switch between being a tough character who thought she could take on the world, to a sensitive catholic girl who needed as much help and guidance as she could get.

Reading about the time Anya spent in Liberty children’s facility was uncomfortable, knowing that she didn’t deserve any of it made it even more difficult to read.

I liked the relationship between Anya and Win, it didn’t happen instantly like many other books that I have read (not that don’t like that kind of instant attraction, it just wouldn’t have been right for these characters), instead their relationship progressed over a period of time.

This book was written as though Anya was talking to you, the reader, and I really enjoyed this style of writing.

Towards the end Anya had some very difficult decisions to make and I wasn’t really surprised at what she decided to do.  The end itself left so many possible scenarios for the next book rushing around in my mind.

An intriguing tale of forbidden love and family loyalty, I can’t wait to see what is in store for Anya in the next book.

All These Things I’ve Done can be purchased here with free worldwide delivery.

To find out more about Gabrielle Zevin visit her website here.

Legend – Marie Lu

“Los Angeles, California, Republic of America

He is Day, the boy who walks in the light. She is June, the girl who seeks her brother’s killer.

On the run and undercover, they meet by chance. Irresistibly drawn together, neither knows the other’s past. But Day murdered June’s brother

And she has sworn to avenge his death …”

First of all I’d like to thank Lindsey from Puffin books for sending me this paperback copy to read and review. I had heard good things about this dystopian novel so I was really excited to be offered the chance to read it.

Second of all I’d like to say wow! This is such a gripping read, I was hooked after just a few pages and from then on I struggled to put it down. I found it really easy to visualise everything that was happening, it was like I was reading a movie.

The story is set in an America of the future, no longer The United States it is a very dark and different world to the one we know today. Plagues, wars and children being forced to take trials that will affect the rest of their lives are just some of the horrors that this future world has to endure. Controlling all of this is a government full of secrets and corruption, it’s no wonder there are people who attempt to fight against them to discover the truth.

This brings me onto Day – handsome, brave and desperately seeking justice for the wrongs that have forced him away from his family. I loved his use of the word ‘goddy’, this is now one of my new favourite words! June is intelligent and also brave, you can really sense her feelings of loss and confusion as she struggles to figure out who she can and can’t trust.

The story alternates between Day’s and June’s point of view, they are both strong characters who are not afraid of danger and this made for such an exciting read. My heart was literally pounding with fear for them whenever they got into tricky situations.

When Day first meets June he has no idea who she really is and vice versa. You could tell that there was a connection between them which would obviously complicate things for them both and I couldn’t wait to see how they would react when they found out each other’s true identity. I did keep forgetting that they were only fifteen because they both seemed very mature, I think perhaps the events of their childhood are responsible for this and in my opinion this would explain their maturity.

The last few chapters were really tense and had me on the edge of my seat, there were a few shocks and some really sad moments that all added to the emotional atmosphere of the book.

This was an engaging, action-packed story that I couldn’t get enough of – I can’t wait to read the next book in the trilogy which has just had it’s title revealed as Prodigy!

Legend can be purchased here or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Marie Lu visit her website here.

Dark Parties – Sara Grant

“Neva keeps a list of The Missing – people like her grandmother who have vanished.  The people that everyone else pretends never existed.

In a world isolated by the Protectosphere – a dome which protects, but also imprisons – Neva and her friends dream of freedom.

But a forbidden party leads to complications. Suddenly, Neva’s falling for her best friend’s boyfriend, uncovering secrets and lies that threaten to destroy her world – and learning the truth about what happens to The Missing …”

I bought this book after reading a review on Book – Love – Bug, I thought the storyline sounded good and it also has a beautiful dress on the cover (one of my weaknesses when buying books) so I went ahead and got it.

I made the mistake of starting this book just before the school run and I very nearly didn’t make it because the first chapter is so gripping! I really didn’t want to put this book down, the story is well written and exciting so I ended up reading it in just one day.

Most of the people in this fake world, known as Homeland, do as they are told by the government, they are all living in fear and believe that the Protectosphere is actually protecting them from the nothingness outside.  However, Neva and her friends are rebellious and looking for answers and this results in many exciting but scary times for them.  There are plenty of dangerous moments and sexual tension throughout the book as the teenagers try to rebel against the government’s reproduction plans.

Following Neva on her adventure was nail biting and unpredictable, one minute I’d think she was well on the way to happiness and truth and the next moment disaster would strike and I’d think she would never ever get what she wanted.  It is a fab idea for a story and I suppose I found it quite believable as the world is always trying to improve life and you never know what the future holds.

The ending was good but left me feeling that I wanted more, I still want to know how things turned out for certain characters and what the future holds for all of them.  A sequel would be great and I really hope that Sara Grant decides to write one.

Overall, this is a dark, adventurous and moving story that keeps you hooked throughout.