BOOK REVIEW: Josh Malerman “Bird Box”

51bIN6SUb1L._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgTitle: Bird Box

Author: Josh Malerman

Genre: Thriller/Horror

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

My thoughts:

This is by far one of the greatest thrillers I have ever read in my life. I have about 1,462 questions and the end did not answer a single one; yet I’m not even disappointed. I loved it so much.

Bird Box was terrifying and thought-provoking and completely fascinating. It made me question what I would do in the situation, it made me fear for our main character Malorie, and it had me questioning every single step of the way: what was out there?

Malorie’s parenting style was questionable to say the least, yet necessary for the situation she had found herself in: alone with two children in a world where opening your eyes could literally kill you. She had to train the children to listen better than they could see, and they were forced to grow up in a world where they weren’t able to see the sun, the sky, anything outside of the house they were born in. Malorie was incredibly resourceful and smart and her survival story was so inspiring!

This book had me on the edge of my seat throughout; never was there I time I could relax. It was thrilling and terrifying and completely genius that the creatures are never described to the reader because no one had ever seen one and lived to tell. We’re forced to imagine ourselves what these creatures may look like, which is somehow even scarier. All we see is the aftermath, which always ends in violence and death.

While I was reading this, I had to talk about it to anyone who would listen. I was visiting family at the time and would rant about it to my mom or my brother who were both basically done with me, but I couldn’t help it. Everyone should honestly be talking about Bird Box. The concept is intriguing, the execution is flawless, and the story is riveting and incredible.

I highly recommend this read to anyone who enjoys thrillers and stories of survival in post-apocalyptic times (although I think everyone should read it because it’s amazing).

 

Josh Malerman: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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BOOK REVIEW: C.J. Redwine “Defiance”

11410430Title: Defiance

Author: C.J. Redwine

Genre: Dystopian

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

In this post-apocalyptic world, monsters roam due to a company drilling too far into the Earth’s surface, unleashing madness. Military is decimated, government disbanded. Their hope lies with a small group of soldiers and scientists who attempt to take down the beasts on their home turf, but their plan fails. Instead, those left set up walled city-states to protect any surviving citizens.

The “Commander” is in charge of Baalboden, where Rachel (and at one time, her father) lives. Except Rachel’s father, a courier, has been missing for over 60 days; long enough to declare him officially dead. She doesn’t believe this for a second, but in the meantime she must be given a new Protector. Unfortunately, according to her father’s will, instead of being put under the care of her surrogate grandfather, Oliver, she’s meant to stay with Logan.

Logan, her father’s apprentice, the boy Rachel declared her love for two years previous, and the one who rejected her.

My thoughts:

Is there such a thing as a “fluffy” dystopian? Because that’s exactly how I would describe Defiance.

Don’t read this if you want to have your mind blown, because Defiance will not. Don’t read this if you’re looking for a solid plot, because Defiance is riddled with holes. Don’t read this if you want to read something with intelligent dialogue, because Defiance is all about angst-ridden teenagers in love.

But boy, did I have fun.

This book is honestly ridiculous; and the more reviews that I read, the more I realize how ridiculous it is. It checks off every single item on the YA trope list: female MC who doesn’t know she’s actually a supermodel (also she can fight). Teenage boy love interest who’s super protective. Character deaths that incite rebellion. Antagonist who’s evil just for funzies. Lots and lots and lots of angst. Yet for some odd reason, I found myself glued to the pages.

I guess sometimes, everyone needs a break. Everyone needs to read a mind-numbing dystopian to make you feel grounded.

This book isn’t all bad. After all, I gave this almost 4 stars, and not just because it killed my brain cells. I truly enjoyed aspects of the story, and I really did think that Logan was precious. He’s the post-apocalyptic geek; extremely smart and good with gadgets. Also, reading from his POV was actually quite entertaining, as opposed to reading from Rachel’s POV, which was either “OMG, I can’t do life anymore” or *stab, stab, kill, kill*.

I know I’m not making this book sound very appealing; I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to rag on it a bit. To be perfectly honest, the world-building leaves much to be desired, and Rachel and Logan do some really stupid things throughout the book. That being said, I still enjoyed their relationship and the way it plays out, and I loved the pacing. It was easy for me to stay engaged to the story and keep reading.

I’ll definitely be finishing this trilogy because I’m interested to see what happens. I see a love triangle forming in the future so we’ll be able to check that off our trope list and I can die happy. Defiance doesn’t break down any barriers or push the boundaries of YA fiction, but it can certainly be a good time if you let it.

 

C.J. Redwine: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads