Tuesday, April 29, 2014

book review: young adult style

I haven't slowed down on my reading. I love reading. It's one of my fave hobbies, and I'm an editor/writer so it's what I do.

I've been reading some young adult books lately: Allegiant, the Matched series, and Ender's Game.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth 

This book was not good. Sorry if you liked it. I think the concept of genes wrongfully defining society, which is littered pretty much everywhere in history, was interesting but not all that unique. I also thought that the plot wasn't grand enough--why didn't Veronica think to go to the source of the conflict instead of one of the random experiments? She also didn't spend enough time on creating the Fringe, which was one of the most interesting parts of the novel. The plot was too slow-moving and Tobias and Tris fought the whole time and then Trish dies. I don't feel like I knew enough about David, Tris's killer. He has such an important role in the book--he murders the main character--so I feel like he should have at least been introduced in the second book. But, maybe I'm saying all of this out of jealousy. I mean, this is her first book series and they are wildly popular and she's only two years older than me; I kind of want to be her. And I know I can't write better.

Matched series by Ally Condie

This book series was okay. The first book got me hooked. I really like the idea of a society pairing you up with someone who you are supposed to marry. I like Ally's ideas of suffocating a society in the name of health and prosperity and order. She created an utopian form of communism. I loved Kai and Cassia together in the first book and I like that she included poetry in their relationship; any book lover swoons over some good classic poetry. Yet, the second book was the definition of a drag. I don't feel like the second book progressed the plot very much at all. And Cassia started to really bother me. And Kai too. I loved Xander. I would have picked him over melodramatic, melancholy, self-interested Kai any day. Anyway, I promise I don't hate all books. I liked the inclusion of flowers and beautiful, differing landscapes and I liked the thought of this nebulous entity as the society rather than a pinpointed group of people. So that's that.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game is Brett's favorite book. I was really excited to read it on my Kindle (thanks Papa Candland). It's a lot more thought-provoking than I anticipated. Orson Scott Card can be quite philosophical when he wants to be. I liked how Ender is terrified of becoming his manipulative, evil older brother Peter, but never will be simply because he has that desire. I also liked the thought of him having enough innate, and even strategic, empathy that he can completely understand a person or, in this case, alien to the point where he loves them. And in the moment he loves them, he can destroy them. The concept of humans being the bad guys, going out and destroying an entire species in the false name of self-defense, was very intriguing to me. I like that Ender has enough empathy for the aliens that he is willing to rebuild their species, maybe only the empathy a child has. There were some parts of the book that were weird--the psychedelic computer games and being naked all the time, for example--but overall, I recommend it. 

Right now I'm reading The Book Thief and it is poetic and heartfelt and unique. After I'm done, I've got my eye on Gone Girl. I saw the preview for the movie and it looks super creepy and good. But, I don't believe in watching movies unless I've read the book first. I like to form my own opinions before they're thrust upon me by Hollywood.

Anyway, happy reading! 

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