Review Rendezvous: 9/9/17


Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, dystopia, science fiction
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 335
Publish date: November 6th, 2007
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

UnwindThe Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

The premise of this book is chilling to say the least. I can’t imagine parents who would willingly do this to a child, but it is still frightening. Shusterman has written quite a compelling series, as this is the debut book. I don’t believe I’ve read the last one yet, but I will have to get to it.

This book basically pits children from ages thirteen to eighteen against the world, because if they become “too much” of a troublemaker (and that line is always blurry), they can easily be shipped off and unwound into different people. ‘Technically’ the kids don’t die, so maybe that’s how they adults are okay with this. But, not everyone is, as there are the stirrings of a rebellion.

I must say, Connor is basically written to be the leadership type. His actions, decisions, and temperament all point to the fact that he’s meant to lead a group, whether it is just the three main characters or if it’s an entire group of children fighting against the wish that they be unwound.

There are so many things wrong with this society, and yet that’s what makes it compelling to read, to see the characters triumph over the circumstances. People can do this thing called “storking”, which is leaving a baby on someone’s doorstep and they are legally required to care for it since abortion is not allowed any longer. Sounds good in theory, until you realize that it brings unnecessary burden on families that many not be able to afford it or care for the child easily.

Either way, this is one of the first dystopian series I ever read, and I’m kind of surprised that it took me this long to write a review of it. But, I do plan on taking up the last book soon, so I’ve been refreshing my memory. Shusterman managed to get in on a trend at least a year or more before it began to blow up with the onset of the Hunger Games franchise, so I have to give him credit for jumping in on a previously unloved genre.

Also side note, there’s this very well done video on YouTube I stumbled across depicting and “unwinding”. It’s not graphic, but it’s still slightly frightening because of the sound effects and all. Fair warning. Feel free to check it out if you’re interested.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 8/19/17


The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
Book stats:
Genre(s): Dystopian, science fiction, fantasy
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 416
Publish date: November 1st, 2016
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

DiabolicNemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire.

This particular book has been on my to-read list for some time. I always thought that the concept was quite interesting, so I had to read it. Fortunately, I finally got the chance, and it was just as entertaining as I’d hoped.

We open the book with Nemesis in her “training” period when she’s being raised as a Diabolic. It never really does explain if they were human to start with (as I suspect), but they’re genetically engineered for rage. Yet, they are attached to one singular person, and would do anything to save that person.

The downside to this is that eventually, her kind are outlawed, but the people who own her (as diabolics are property, not people) keep her safe and hidden. Of course, the family she is employed by are not the most respectful citizens, barely threading the line between outlier and insubordinate. The emperor knows this, so he calls the daughter away to the court. Of course, the family isn’t going without a fight, so they send Nemesis instead.

Nemesis journey throughout this book is highly intriguing. We see her go from completely subservient to thinking and acting on her own. She also befriends some interesting people at court, and though there is a lot of backstabbing going on, she manages herself not terribly bad.

I will say, the very ending had me so conflicted over who was telling the truth and who wasn’t. Kincaid keeps you guessing, which I liked very much. There wasn’t a specific ending I could pick up halfway through the book, as I’ve been known to do that before. Definitely give this one a try, you’ll enjoy it.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


If you liked this book, check these ones out:

Linked

A girl discovers she has a twin, and both end up fleeing their planet’s government

cinder

It’s Cinderella, but as a cyborg in SPACE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Review Rendezvous: 12/24/16


Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, fantasy, science fiction
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 395
Publish date: January 3rd, 2012
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

cinderHumans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Holy cow was this a good book. A great opening to an even better series. This is the Cinderella retelling that I had no idea I wanted. I love the Disney classics, but there is something about throwing Cindy into a whole new world (pun very much intended) that I love!

Cinder goes through such great character growth in this book, and she has plenty of room for more. I hate when authors build their character up too far or flesh out their problems too much and then do not have anywhere to go in the coming additions to the series. But seeing how Cinder isn’t the perfect Cinderella (she’s none to quick to forgive her stepfamily, she isn’t particularly the best dancer, although there’s a logical reason for that) makes the story just that much more realistic. I don’t know how realistic you can get with a futuristic society involving moon people, androids, and old fairytales though.

The fight she has between herself, her duty, and her current situation makes for such a good read. I was afraid that she was gonna ditch everything and we were going to be left with a terrible conclusion, but that evidently did not happen. I was right there with her, feeling the anger at her terrible life circumstances. She certainly didn’t choose them, after all.

Then in the end there is also quite the revelation that completely turns the tables. Meyer has done a great job of interconnecting the fairytale but also throwing in her own twists and changes that keep everything fresh. I loved the fact that it was Cinderella, but Cinderella as you’ve never seen her: kicking butt as a half-human, half robot android.

I would one hundred percent recommend this book. I’m waiting on a hold at the library so I can read the last book in the series, and boy am I excited!

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 3/29/16


Linked by Imogen Howson

Book stats:
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Young Adult
Medium: Hardcover
Number of pages: 368
Publish date: June 11th, 2013

LinkedElissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere.

Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes.

Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed.

Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world.

It’s been a while since I read a space sci-fi that I actually finished. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not suited to the niche, but either way Howson’s portrayal of the twins and their struggle in this book is spot on. I’m always a fan of books that have a deeper meaning than just “oh, the heroine escapes death because she did something and falls in love”. The idea of the ‘spares’ being (spoiler alert) the batteries for Sekoia’s ships is terrifying, but it showcases just what humans can do if they’re pushed to the breaking point.

The conflict between the twins about Lin’s lack of humanity or regard for humanity also throws in a new component. Normally if there are two main characters, they somehow automatically trust and understand each other. But with Lissa and Lin, they don’t automatically agree on everything and the conflict shows just how human these ‘spares’ can be.

I will admit to being slightly frustrated with the random romance that seems thrown in at the last moment. I feel like Howson could’ve waited on that and made it a component in the next book, rather than establishing it now. There would be a better payoff once they finally got together, you know? But, such is life in YA. You must have a romance or no one will read it apparently.

Overall, I would definitely suggest reading this one. It was quite enjoyable, I even stopped surfing YouTube to read it haha.

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 5/31/14


Hey there! Hope you all are having a wonderful day. Finally got a day off from work tomorrow, so I’m in a pretty good mood. These reviews are quite fun to write, I’ll be honest, it’s fun to relive books I’ve read. 🙂

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Book stats:
Genre(s): Dystopian, science fiction
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 425
Publish date: February 8th, 2005

UgliesEverybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? 

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license – for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. 

The choice Tally makes changes her world forever…

If half of my reading list or more wasn’t dystopians, I’d be surprised. I never really realized how much of that genre I actually read and like until I started doing these reviews. Well, I guess I found the genre I’m digging in to with my first attempt at writing a novel 🙂

Anyways, I enjoyed this book for quite a few reasons. First of all, it’s written by a guy, but from a girl’s perspective, and honestly, I found that Tally came across at not overly masculine, and actually kinda could put myself in her place. Westerfeld did a really god job with his voice there. There is also the fact that this one takes on a different premise entirely from a lot of books I’ve read. True, every book has something unique in them, but what I mean is that who has ever heard of a story like this one, where at a certain age people become artificially gorgeous via plastic surgery, and it’s just an accepted societal norm? Pretty intriguing if you ask me.

I read through this first book really quickly, as it was a great read. The twists and turns of the plot drew me in tons, and I was totally absorbed. Probably would’ve stayed up until all hours if it had taken me that long to finish. The dynamics between Tally and all of her friends and acquaintances was refreshing as well, because there are some books that you come across where the protagonist stays with basically the same group of friends and people the whole time and doesn’t really do anything new. Well, in this case, we’ve got interactions with Tally’s old best friend who is now a pretty, her new friend who had a big rebellious streak and doesn’t want to turn, and then there’s a boy (isn’t there always?) who’s never really been a part of society in the first place and thinks completely differently from everyone else on the inside.

Like I said, I enjoyed this one very much, and would recommend it easily to anyone else.

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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