Series Send Off: Under The Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

So I typically just review the individual books in a series and then I’m done but I had a reader email in my inbox this year asking if I did overviews of the series after I finished them. I hadn’t before but I was thinking about how maybe a little “overall thoughts on the series” when it came to the last book in a series might help some people decide to start the series if they had never heard of it before and are just catching my review of the last book. Also, my feelings on an overall series could grow or break down so maybe it’s important to see the whole picture. So let’s see how this goes? Let me know if you find it helpful. PLUS this helps me close the page on a series (which is exciting because I SUCK at finishing series). And thank you to my awesome reader Angie for sparking this!

 

Into The Still BlueInto The Still Blue
(I received this for review but this ABSOLUTELY did not sway my thoughts or feelings. Pinky promise!)

Upon finishing the series I say to all of you who haven’t started the series:

READ IT. It’s definitely one of my favorite series. It’s just all around great — the world, the characters, the relationships (friendships AND romance), action and more! Also, very satisfying ending!

 

Thoughts On Into The Still Blue (Skip below if you haven’t read the series yet!)

I was so devastated to say goodbye to this world and these characters. Through The Ever Night was so badass and ended in a way where I was sighing a sigh of relief while chewing my fingernails down to nothing KNOWING that things were going to get CAHRAZY in Into The Still Blue. And they did.

I’ve had some disappointing series finale books recently and I was just crossing my fingers and toes that I would not be disappointed. I’m happy to report it was a satisfying conclusion — it felt true to the story, there were some happily ever afters, some sad things, some crazy action and somehow even more dimensions to my favorite characters to make me love them even more. I felt fine with where it ended and I could picture life for them after — lots left to the imagination but ultimately very wrapped up!

I really, really loved watching some of these relationships and how they strengthened. Obvious Perry and Aria and it’s great because they actually get to spend more time together this time around and it’s so sweet. I LOVED Perry and Roar throughout the series (best bromance ever) and it was so hard to watch them have some tension but I felt like it just made that friendship have even more depth. And Aria and Roar. Yay platonic friendships! I love those two. There were so many swoonworthy moments. Some very tender and vulnerable moments in some combination between Aria/Perry/Roar and others. It was just really nice that these beloved characters were given even more life and didn’t fall flat in favor of action and twisty things…which there was plenty of THAT to keep your fingers in shape.

I also really loved watching the Dwellers and the Outsiders have to work together and get to know each other as they were now officially all roomies in the cave. The tension between the two sides was well written and I could feel their distrust for one another and their adversity to change but I so badly wanted them to just STOP BICKERING AND GET TO SOME SERIOUS ASS WHIPPING OF SOME MAJOR BAD GUYS. It was just really nice to see how realistically they worked together and got along.

I’m really sad it’s over but I’m so happy Veronica Rossi delivered — it wasn’t all sunshine and fa la la everyone lives happily ever after but every action and decision made sense for the story while also giving the characters what they deserve in the end. I never knew what was going to happen or what to expect and I was constantly on the edge of my seat for many reasons. I cried when I finished because I was just so damn happy and sad and feeling too many emotions.

What The Series Is About:

Okay so basically in this futuristic world things happened in the past that caused some craziness with the climate and such and these things called aether storms were becoming more and more frequent. They were obvious threats to the Outsiders but not so known to the average Dweller. The Dwellers lived in an enclosed city and they have some pretty awesome technologies and they are able to go to different realms (virtual reality). The Outsiders, well they live outside of this compound in the air that the Dwellers don’t breathe, and they rely on survival and don’t have all the luxuries that the Dwellers do in Reverie. Aria (Dweller) and Perry (Outsider) meet when they are both looking for something important to them and they begin to realize that they mutually need each other to survive/get what they want. And then there’s a whole lot of crazy and twisty stuff….but you should just read.

 

Rating Broken Down By Books (Links to individual reviews):

Under The Never Sky: LIKED IT. (3.5 stars)
Through The Ever Night: FREAKING AMAZING. I LOVED. (5 stars)
Into The Still Blue: LOVED! Such a good ending! (4.5 stars)

Recommended For People Who Love:

fantasy, dystopian/futuristic stories, awesome romance that doesn’t detract from plot, books with great friendships, survival-y stories, fantastic world building world building (I mean, she creates TWO kinds of worlds really that both were so vivid), just a damn well rounded story honestly…it’s got it all.

 

Farewell Under The Never Sky! I loved you so much and Aria/Perry/Roar will remain in the ranks of favorite characters for a long time (dare I say forever) and I can honestly declare you as one of my all time favorite series!

 

What did you think of the conclusion to this series if you’ve read it??

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi | Book Review (NO SPOILERS!!!)

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi | Book Review  (NO SPOILERS!!!)Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #3
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen- February 4, 2014
Genres: YA Dystopian, YA Science Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: Shatter Me (Book 1) & Unravel Me (Book 2)

I received this book for review, as part of the Dark Days blog tour,  in exchange for an honest review -- my feelings were not swayed in any way. Pinky swear! Also check out the blog on Thursday for an interview with Tahereh Mafi!
AmazonGoodreadsTwitter

 

 

book synopsis Ignite Me is the conclusion to the Shatter Me trilogy. I don’t want to give any more info really then what the official synopsis said on Amazon, ” With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.”

good books to readHere’s what I’m not going to tell you in this review:

1. Who she ends up with
2. How it ends.
3. Specific spoilery things

To be clear. I will however have a video with me FEELINGS at the end.

Oh, Tahereh Mafi. You made me cry. You made me laugh. You made me blush severely. You made me nervous. You also did not do what I thought you were going to do. Nope. I definitely went into Ignite Me with some pretty strong predictions for what was going to happen but neither of them happened.

So basically Ignite Me pretty much starts off where Unravel Me leaves off with Juliette getting shot and Omega Point being destroyed. She’s clued in to what has happened and now Juliette becomes even more determined to take down the Reestablishment — at whatever cost — and she needs Warner to do it. In Unravel Me, she largely is learning about her powers and trying to OWN them and is also trying to heal mentally and overcome everything that happened in Shatter Me. In Ignite Me, Juliette stops feeling sorry for herself and goes balls to the walls with wanting to really 100% understand and control her powers for the good of the people.

I loved watching Juliette start to feel this confidence and finally become her own person. I felt the fire lit under her and I was ready for her to start making things happen and stop being so passive about everything. I loved watching her become more badass by the turn of each page and mentally stronger too. Learning the extent and the ins and the outs of her powers was interesting to me. I also loved watching her really decide what SHE wanted — for so long everything had been decided for her and she pretty much was resigned to it — so it was nice to watch her continue to grow.

Obviously the other huge thing in all this is Juliette’s struggle to figure out things with Adam and confront the feeeeelings from Unravel Me’s chapter 62 with Warner. I am not going to spoil you here but I felt this struggle HARD. I was team nobody coming out of Unravel Me as a reference. And I’m just going to tell you that, this shocked the hell out of me, but early on in Ignite Me I KNEW what I wanted and I didn’t waver. I’m not going to tell you if it was the right move or not in relation to what happens in the book but my heart wanted what my heart wanted but I felt the conflict within Juliette SO INTENSELY. The more information I gathered of both Adam and Warner, as well as some important interactions with both of them mixed with past interactions, and I just knew my feelings on who Juliette should end up would never change no matter what. I’d go down with that ship if that’s what it took. I was committed!

Let’s also talk about how Tahereh Mafi made me blush harder than I ever have reading a book –especially YA. STEAMY MCSTEAMY. Holy crap. If Tahereh Mafi wrote an adult romance novel, YEP I’d be reading it.

OH ALSO. Kenji continues to be my favorite EVER.

Now, if I’m being honest, there were a few things (mostly small-ish things besides the one I’m going to talk about) that weren’t perfect for me but it was one of those reading situations where it didn’t really matter for me. The heart of the story, my feelings, and just my love for the series/characters made my brain gloss over them. I have no regrets.

But I will just tell you the one thing I feel I have to note:

I felt like the ending was pretty rushed. I never felt like Shatter Me/Unravel Me were action type novels. They had their bits of WHOA ACTION moments but a lot of what was happening was Juliette really becoming a PERSON again and finding her strength after being in her situation and then learning about her superpower and seeing it in a different way than she had. Lots of pages were in Juliette’s head. The Reestablishment and all the crazy stuff happened in Unravel Me was pretty action-y but I was waiting for the ultimate OH SHIT, explosive type action in Ignite Me since it’s the end. Much of the book was the characters putting their plan into action and also Juliette working things out with herself and with the guys but then I could feel the pages REALLY thinning and I’m like WAIT the plan still needs to happen! So I felt like the ending and a BIG scene were rather rushed for my liking. This is PURELY PURELY speculation (or just me never wanting this series to end) but the ending left me feeling like there could be another book maybe some day in the future? I know that’s probably an irrational and stupid thought but I just…I don’t know. Most things felt resolved and I was satisfied in most ways but there were ways there could be MORE.

Spoilery video: Not FULL spoilers bc it’s the end of a series and it JUST came out so I don’t want anything leaked while people are just getting their books! From my phone before bed because I AM LAAAZY so sorry for the bad quality.

 

book reviewsI’m so, so sad to let this series go. I’m in denial. I loved Juliette’s story throughout and I was pleased with Ignite Me overall. I was happy with the resolution to some of the bigger plot lines (namely the romance because I just FELT it in my hearts of hearts and made the most sense to me despite me being Team NOBODY coming out of Unravel Me). There were a few things I didn’t find to be “perfect” but I was so immersed in the story/the writing that I didn’t care. The only exception to that is my feelings on the ending being pretty rushed. It was resolved but rushed and I can’t explain it without spoilers so I’m going to just stop now.

short book review

Ignite Me Tahereh Mafi

 

Let’s Talk: PLEASE warn readers of spoilers in the comments should you talk about any! (THANKS!). What did you think of this one?? Were you pleased with the outcome? With the resolution to the love triangle? Are you sad for the series to come to an end??

 

DD_BloggerGraphic_IgniteMe_02[1] 

Come back on Thursday when Tahereh Mafi invades this blog!! I may have even asked her what the most annoying thing about Ransom is :P

The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

Review: Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (No Spoilers!)

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Book Title/Author: Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (Book #2)
Publisher/Year
: HarperTeen January 8th  2013
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Yes — Under The Never Sky was the first book in the series.
Other Books From Author: Under the Never Sky (book 1)

Amazon| Goodreads | @V_Rossibooks |

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

Since Under the Never Sky, Aria & Perry have been apart from each other with much on their minds. When they are finally reunited, these problems certainly don’t fade away but are magnified. Perry’s troubles with gaining the respect as the Tides leader is even more in jeopardy with Aria’s arrival and the ever increasing frequency and strength of the Aether storms threatening their land. Aria, with the weight of Talon’s disappearance on her shoulders, knows she has to find the Still Blue for Hess to even have a shot at reuniting Talon & Perry. Aria faces the hard decision between staying with Perry (even though she knows her presence is causing trouble) or  leaving to find information about the Still Blue.

Upon finishing Through The Ever Night, I can say without a doubt, this is one of my favorite series right now and one that I’ve found myself recommending more than anything else! If you love dystopian novels, and even if you are burnt out on them, this series is where it is at. Under the Never Sky was a great debut (so great that when I got this in the mail back in September I read this IMMEDIATELY) but this book was what sealed the deal for me! I will say that you should do yourself a solid and reread Under the Never Sky because my memory was a bit foggy on how things ended.

Through The Ever Night took the notion of “second in the series syndrome” and squashed it. My heart just longs for a re-read when I think about how wonderful this book was. The action was intense and heart-pounding but this story was also ridden with quiet, sweet moments and just top-notch character development. We get to know our favorites better (Perry, Aria, Roar, Cinder) but we are introduced to new and memorable characters and reunited with some secondary characters — some whom play bigger parts this time around. Every page was filled with heart and emotion it seemed because I would find myself tearing up or gripping the pages out of anger or feeling incredibly panicked for the characters we love.

Veronica Rossi just knows how to tell a story — that’s all I feel like I can say because I don’t want to give away ANYTHING plot-wise. There were twists and turns and important things to be learned in this book. I loved Aria & Roar’s journey and some of my favorite moments were in those chapters– albeit things that made my heart hurt. I also really enjoyed learning more about Perry & the Tides and watching Perry assert himself as worthy of being leader. I felt like I really learned so much about Perry through these chapters. There was also some crazy dramarama in these chapters too and things that made me MAD! A LOT of meaningful things happen in this book but we are still left with some lingering questions by the end that set up for some really incredibly things for Into The Still Blue (2014? Really, V, really?? How about now?). I loved how the ending wrapped up — just perfectly with some things resolved but still so many things to look forward to.

Vagrant little things:
1. ROAR!! If you loved Roar in Under the Never Sky (are there people who didn’t?) you are going to be so excited because it’s like double the Roar here! I really loved getting to know him more and he’s one of my favorite characters of recent. He breaks out of that “sidekick” kind of mold that comes with being friends with the romantical couple and becomes just as important. His friendship with Aria in this novel is one thing I loved the most and I loved watching them struggle and triumph together.

2. In Under the Never Sky my ONE little problem was that I just felt like I was SO lost about the Aether — like I missed something.  Like I KIND of thought I knew what it was but really didn’t understand it and I felt like Rossi did an amazing job explaining the Aether more in a really natural way that made me be able to SEE it and understand the destruction it was capable of — which we DEFINITELY see in this novel!

3. The romance you ask? AHHH. I’m not telling! Nope! I’m not! I’ll say they’ve got their share of struggles in this one but I think this is one of my favorite couples ever.

4. Aria’s growth has been one of my favorite’s to watch in YA series.

I’m going to pretty much officially say I liked Through The Ever Night MORE which I rarely ever say about a book 2. Prepare to get your workout in turning those pages furiously because this was one of those books that are the epitome of words like “exhilarating” or ” riveting” (and ummm HEARTBREAKING at moments). But Veronica Rossi balances all of that action with truly incredibly characters who you just really fall in love with even more, some really tender moments and making your heart pitter patter with Perry & Aria’s romance. It’s just one of those addictive books that make me shut out Real Life in favor for an imaginative, dangerous journey with characters I wish were real. I love the worldbuilding, I love the characters, I love it all. This series is a favorite that I’ll keep on recommending for lovers of dystopian worlds with fantastical elements.

You May Also Like: Legend by Marie Lu, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

 

through-the-ever-nightLet’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard of it? Did you like Under the Never Sky better or Through The Ever Night? I have to ask..do you think there is a chance that a certain character is actually not dead??

Review Of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

YA dystopian for Hunger Games fanBook Title/Author: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen 2011
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: YES!
Other Books From Author: None!

Amazon| Goodreads | Tahereh Mafi’s Website
I purchased this book with my own money!

Juliette’s been locked up in solitary confinement for 264 days. She’s been locked away for incident which resulted in murder because her very touch is deadly but nobody knows why. While she’s locked away for being a hazard to the general population, the world as she knew it is deteriorating even more than it had been before. Food is rationed, the weather is strange, birds don’t fly anymore and it seems like trouble is brewing between the Reestablishment and the rebel movements. Juliette doesn’t realize just how important she could be on the outside until she finds out that though she’s been in solitary people have taken notice of her and want her use her power for their gain.

Do you ever have a book that you hear everybody talk about it and rave about it and it just somehow turns you off? Is that weird? I don’t know but that’s the case with this book. I heard too much about it and wasn’t intrigued enough by the summary and I thought I’d be let down. Then a few blogger friends told me I HAD to read it so I purchased it this past April when I went to Chicago for RT Convention and a Dark Days tour stop. It’s been sitting on my shelf ever since until Jen from Makeshift Bookmark demanded recently I read it when I asked for a rec!

I was nervous that it wouldn’t blow my mind like it seemed to do to everyone else. BUT FRIENDS, mind = blown. I mean, it kind of looks like a CSI crime scene around here. Shatter Me was pretty unlike things I’ve read recently and I so enjoyed it — the worldbuilding, the characters, the writing, the romance, the fast paced page-turning nature of the story. It was a book I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish. Something I haven’t been doing lately. You would have had to pry this book from my cold dead fingers before I’d have given it up to go to bed. I mean WHAT IF I DIED IN MY SLEEP AND NEVER FINISHED IT??! Morbid, I know, but I just needed to finish it that bad.

Immediately you know this novel is going to be different from the first page by the writing style. Lots of crossed out sentences, tons of stream of consciousness type writing. It takes some time to get used to. I found that I had to reread some parts again but it was so beautiful and it totally hones in on the state of  Juliette’s mind. I felt like I was there imprisoned with her in solitary confinement. The writing just set the mood really well. You felt kind of crazy like I’m sure she did — never speaking but your brain is a lively dialogue and picture show just barreling along. I knew I was going to like this book within the first few pages. I will say that some of those elements do peter out as we get in the story but it makes sense to me as the story progresses. Juliette changes and gets out of her own head.

I found the characters (even the hateable ones — I’m looking at you WARNER) to be so intriguing and I’m excited to learn more about some of them. I’ve heard a lot of Team Warner’s being thrown around and I didn’t understand it though I’m hearing that my mind will change if I read the novella Destroy Me (which you know I have reservations about novellas) and then Unravel Me (book 2). I don’t know.

I also am incredibly drawn into this world that Mafi created — curious about how it got to the point it is, what’s up with Juliette’s special power, what Warner has planned for Juliette, where Juliette’s family is etc. etc. Everything just made me SO CURIOUS. I had a million thoughts running through my mind and I am even more anxious for Unravel Me!!

Moral of the story: When all of your blogging friends tell you to read a book, just do it. Because it might end up being one of your most memorable, favorite reads of the year! I was getting so series weary but this one is invigorating and worth getting sucked into!

 

I see why this book was SO very popular! It’s addicting and the ultimate page-turner filled with intriguing characters, a completely scary and imaginative dystopian society and a love story that didn’t feel out of place and haphazardly thrown in there like “OH HAI ROMANCE SELLS. GOTTA INCLUDE IT.”  It’s breathtakingly different and some of Mafi’s prose is just enchanting. I’ll say it does take a little bit to take to the style of writing at first but I promise you that you’ll get to a point where you just PLOW through it. Lots of feelings happened while reading this book — rage, hope, sadness, etc.

 

You May Also Like: Touch by Jus Accardo, Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Legend by Marie Lu, Eve by Anna Carey

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - teen dystopian

 

Let’s Talky Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? What did you think if you have read it? And I have to ask, did you read the novella Destroy Me? Is it worth reading?

Review: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna - new dystopian book seriesBook Title/Author: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Publisher/Year: : Balzar + Bray – August 28, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian/Science Fiction
Series: Standalone for now – though the other mentioned on her site that it could potentially be a series later on depending on how this book is received.
Other Books From Author: None! Debut author up in heeeeere!

Amazon| Goodreads | Sangu Mandanna’s website

The Story: The Lost Girl takes place in the future when scientists (the Weavers) have perfected a way to make an “echo” or copy of somebody that would take the place of the original human being, or the “other” as they are referred to, in the event that the “Other” died. The practice is not widely accepted in some countries and is against the law in many others so the echos have to be hidden. The echo’s life is devoted to studying their Others life so intently that, if something happened, they’d be able to take their place seamlessly. They are quizzed on their other’s friends, learn everything they learn at school and even have to get a tattoo or an ear piercing if their Other does it. Eva has been studying her Other, Amarra, for fifteen years and gets her chance to fulfill her duty when her Other dies in a car accident. She must say goodbye to the family & friends she has made and must travel to India to live and convince everybody that Amarra still lives. When she arrives she quickly realizes how hard it will be to BE Amarra amongst a family who has known her for her whole life & a boyfriend who knows her so intimately  — especially when Eva struggles to eliminate who SHE is and fully become Amarra.

The Review: Hands down one of my favorite reads of the summer and actually of the year! I don’t want to declare perfection but OH MY STARS THIS WAS FANTASTIC! It was fitting that THIS novel was the one that I read when I defied all odds and was able to actually read in the car without getting sick!

I don’t even know where to begin with this! My nails would have been down to stubs by the end of this had I not had on fake nails on from the wedding still. This debut by Sangu Mandanna was paced so perfectly that I just lost track of how fast I was reading. There were slow, tender moments and action packed, heart pounding moments that just complemented each other perfectly. I honestly had tears welling up quite a few times because Eva’s story is just so agonizing & poignant — having people think you are a monster or an abomination, having to say goodbye to those you love (especially a boy you are forbidden to love but do anyways), to have no freedom to be who you are, to live amongst people you don’t know and who aren’t quite sure how they accept you, to be betrayed, to have to make some hard decisions for the ones you love. AH. It all just hurt my soul and affected me deeply.

Her whole existence for being was to “start living” when somebody died. Imagine how hard that must be in the midst of all those emotions and feelings when someone passes? I had many questions and doubts to how a family, who knew that they paid for this echo to created, would ever fully believe that the echo was truly their loved one. There was just something so sad to me about the whole thing. A testament to how much we don’t want to let go of our loved ones.

I loved Eva — I feel like I haven’t connected with a character like this in a while. She wasn’t one of those OH HAI I’M SO KICKASS AND I’M GOING TO BE A FREAKING REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE. She was smart and she defied the Loom in little ways (by giving herself a name or going to the zoo with Sean) that just were mainly because she was just being HERSELF and letting her own humanity slip through the cracks of who she was supposed to be. They weren’t to BE defiant. She did them because they were part of who she was even though it was forbidden. Later on in the story, I just loved watching how strong she had become and how willing she was to fight for her life as hard as she tried to be Amarra. Some of the scenes at the end were just AWESOME. To be honest, all of the other characters were really great and added so much to the story. I just loved them all and loved to hate some of them.

The love between Eva and Sean just melted my heart. Talk about slow build and fiery tension that wouldn’t subside in my heart. Their love was so subtle at first and it just was perfect and tender but so filled with passion that had been long hidden but brimming on the surface as it is with children who have known each other a long while. AND THEN THE END page or so. OH MY GOD.  It’s a love with substance and it will set your heart on fire. At least it did mine. Loving someone despite who they are, loving someone despite the fact it would seem destined to fail from the start. It’s a  forbidden love that didn’t seem like the attraction was about the fact that it was forbidden.

I also love that The Lost Girl asks questions without being too preachy. If you like a good ethical dilemma weaved into your dystopian/sci-fi novels that simply poses the questions and writes the story in a way that just begs them to be pondered. Human life and it’s value. Is it ok that humans “play God” and can decide when human life “ends” to some extent. At what cost? It’s easy to understand why the parents wouldn’t want to lose their children and would want someone to replace their essence. Hell, I’ve even wished for having a copy of myself so one could do all the boring things and I could go out and have fun. It’s not a concept so foreign. But at what cost? Somebody always suffers and we see that through Eva’s life and her forced existence to be somebody else despite how much her own soul wars within to show through.  The Lost Girl gives you many things to think about while still being a “fun” and bulldozer-through-it type of read.

I LOVED the ending but feel like there is so much potential for another book or two. It ended but you could see how Mandanna could be leaving it open for more of her story. I can see the potential so clearly! KIND OF SPOILERY: Lots more to happen with Sean, what happens when she goes back to live with her familiars, what are the effects for what she did at The Loom, what happens know that the Weavers are starting to come apart at the seams and there are power struggles? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Some tiny areas of concern for me — 1) I did have questions about how certain things worked with the echos and that whole element but I was so sucked into this novel that it didn’t seem to matter to me by the end. I mean, I still had questions for sure but not to the point where it ruined it for me. 2) I also would have loved to experience a little more of the setting — hello, it’s INDIA and I know it’s a metropolitan area but I didn’t feel like I was immersed into this new country and new culture as Eva must have been. 3) The last little bit of the ending felt a smidge rushed for me. There was the climax at the Loom and then things were revealed and decided and then it was the ending. I think a little more of a struggle was in order considering what all had went down. But I still loooooved it.

My Final Thought

Oh Sangu Mandanna, I need you to continue on with this series. I don’t beg for that often as currently I’m feeling bombarded with too many series but this is one of those stories that I just want MORE of. The Lost Girl was truly one of my favorite dystopian novels I’ve read in a while. It stands out amongst the ever growing crowd and doesn’t just give you another interesting world and a moral dilemma but it gives you a truly piercing story full of characters you will love and a romance that shines. A truly standout novel that will not quickly fade from my memory! It had it all for me — great characters, a romance to cheer for, a familiar world yet one that has elements unknown and unthinkable,  action, tension, intrigue, excellent writing!

You May Also Like: What’s Left Of Me by Kat Zhang, Through To You by Emily Hainsworth (out in October 2012), Origin by Jessica Khoury, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (my review)

 

Let’s talky talk: Have you read this book? Is it on your radar? Do you hope there is more to the story in the future or are you happy with it being a standalone? Any thoughts on the ethical dilemmas brought up in this story? Did the last page make you DIE like it made me???

Save The Date For: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
Pre-Order It | Add to Goodreads

What It’s About: When Felicia dies, she finds herself in Level 2 — an afterlife that isn’t quite disconnected from the living but isn’t quite the “next life.”  She and the others in her chamber spend their day plugged into computers where they have access to view all their old memories or the memories of others by way of a very elaborate system of credits. When a girl in Felicia’s chamber suddenly vanishes and a very dark piece of her past enters the chamber, a chamber that nobody on the outside had ever come in, and tells her there is an uprising and rebellion happening against those running the show in Level 2. Felicia isn’t sure whether or not she can trust this mysterious guy from her past but her curiosity about what lies outside her chamber, and Julian’s promise to reunite her with somebody important, just might be the push she needs to follow him and align with the rebellion that is taking place.

Why You Should Be Saving  The Date:

1. THE WORDBUILDING. Ok, so I’m going to be honest, at first it was a little slow for me because there  was a lot of info about Felicia’s life in  Level 2 and the way things work being thrown at you in the beginning but very quickly the world just started to come together and I just couldn’t put it down. I found myself so absorbed in this intricate world and SO fascinated by all its elements that kept being revealed.

2. It’s  SO unique in a way that just keeps you reading. I just found this story to be refreshing because it didn’t feel like anything I’ve ever read before. Throughout the story things kept being revealed that blew my mind storywise and the adrenaline started kicking in as pieces start coming together. I never knew what to expect to be honest.

3. Emotionally it’s a winner  — I found myself really attune to  the emotions of this novel.  I felt such a deep sense of sadness at points, I felt anger, the pain of betrayal, longing for what was  lost, the tension, etc. It’s  easy to make me cry but it’s hard to make me feel deeply, to my core, a  ton of different emotions without feeling like I’m on a contrived, whiplashing-inducing rollercoaster.

Who Should Save The  Date: Fans of YA looking for something more science fiction  in nature, those  who like “afterlife”  sort of fiction dealing with heaven, hell, angels, etc,  those looking for phenomenal worldbuilding of a world that they’ve never ever seen, those just plain old wanting to see what this blogger-turned-author accomplished (I am  NOT disappointed in the least).

Have you read this one? Are you excited for it?? Be on the lookout for my FULL review coming closer to the release date.

To learn more about why I started doing this Save The Date feature and how it differs from my reviews — go here!

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Short But Sweet Summary: In the future, love is considered a deadly disease and must be controlled. A cure has been developed and a procedure is mandated to all upon high school graduation. Lena has been counting down the days until she can be cured…until she allows herself to become infected with this deliria and has the inability to see things the way they once were.

This was one of my most anticipated books for 2011 and I started feeling a wee bit nervous as glowing reviews started coming out. I could feel the Hype Monster breathing down my neck so I didn’t pick it up right away. I try not to let myself to be swept away too much into the hype of a book and keep myself grounded while I begin to read it. I want to allow myself to experience the book without the echos of its proclaimed greatness weighing heavily on my mind.

I’m going to be honest here — in the beginning of this book I was feeling like the Hype Monster had struck again.  I was finding myself bored with Lena and not really connecting with her. I was feeling like I didn’t want to be in her head anymore and that she was just falling real flat for me. I also was growing a little bit weary from predicting everything that was going to happen and from a whole slew of info about the world that didn’t even satisfy my curiosity.

BUT THEN…

I found myself completely and utterly immersed in Oliver’s prose and even feeling invested wholly in Lena’s life and her growth without even knowing it. It’s that feeling you get when you’ve been in the ocean for a while and you begin to walk out to return to your spot on the beach…only to realize you’ve drifted a half a mile down the beach without even realizing it…(and if you are anything like me…you end up walking aimlessly and awkwardly trying to find your towel). This is how I felt. Oliver’s flowing and beautiful prose became a current that ever so slightly tugged at my being until I found myself so swept up in the story without even realizing it…awestruck and completely enthralled by the beauty and profundity of these words.  The predictability lessened for me as Oliver delivered some twists that left my mouth gaping open wide enough to catch flies. I grew to feel fond of Lena, despite the fact that there still seemed to be nothing particularly stand-out about her.

The ending. Oh the ending. Let’s just say the waterworks were comparable to my experience reading If I Stay. What a cliffhanger of an ending and a hell of a last paragraph. Strong and haunted me all night as I contemplated Lena some more. The idea of love as a disease was chilling the more I thought about it. Love is one of those abstract ideas that you never really seem to be able to peg down but the absence and loss of it is oppressive. It’s complex, it’s beautiful, it can hurt like hell…but it is altogether a human experience. I think Oliver painted that picture so well…the characters languidly shuffling through life…deprived of the ability to really feel something. I remember rolling my eyes a little bit at the “insta-love” that seemed to be building between Lena and Alex based on nothing that I could see. But then I thought about it..and it made quite a bit of sense to me based on the fact that for the first time in her life she let herself really feel something.

My only gripe with the book that stayed put was the world-building. I wanted more. I did. I’m selfish and I wanted to really understand more of the history of HOW love suddenly was declared a disease and some of the finer details. I wasn’t always totally sold on the world based on what I had to work with but I’m hoping that perhaps more of this will be addressed in the next book.

My final thought: Delirium is one of those beautifully written books that will captivate you with its emotional intensity and leave you reeling until the final pages. I can’t say it is devoid of flaws — namely the world building and the clunky start for me– but I found myself unable to stop thinking about this book after reading it. I cannot wait to find out what lies ahead for this new and strong Lena. I can’t even begin to imagine what Oliver has up her sleeves but I know this for sure–it’s going to contain more dazzling prose…because that just seems to be how Oliver rolls.

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