BOOK REVIEW: Karen Thompson Walker “The Dreamers”

81-ovSFCcPLTitle: The Dreamers

Author: Karen Thompson Walker

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

What a strange read with such strange writing. I’m still on the fence on whether I enjoyed this writing style or not, but it felt very dream-like (for lack of a better word). I suppose considering what the book is about, this isn’t a bad thing, but it could absolutely potentially turn off readers.

The story is multi-perspective, following several different characters from a town that is struck with a sudden sleeping sickness. It’s not a scary or tense read, but it’s very interesting and there’s an air of mystery as mass amounts of people begin to fall asleep. The town is put under quarantine while scientists and doctors alike try to keep the growing number of sleeping patients alive while also trying to understand the cause. While observing these patients, doctors are beginning to notice that every one of them is dreaming, and their brain activity while in this state is off the charts.

It’s hard to get into this review without getting spoiler-y, as some of the biggest things that happen are towards the end of the book. Because I don’t want to discuss these things, let me just say that the actions of one of the characters pissed me off so much. Also, the end was not at all satisfying. I still have loads of questions, but the author chose to leave readers in the dark. I understand this was intentional but it still makes me livid because I don’t like unanswered questions.

Yet while these things angered me, I still think about this book. I read The Dreamers in the middle of February and the events are still fresh in my mind. It’s thought-provoking and fascinating, and I could actually see myself rereading this.

This read left me with so many mixed feelings, but I can see this being a great book club read because it could bring about so many awesome discussions. If the premise interests you at all, I recommend at least trying this out simply so you can form your own opinion, and then discuss it with me because I’m furious.

BOOK REVIEW: Hank Green “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing”

An-Absolutely-Remarkable-ThingTitle: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Author: Hank Green

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

If you’re familiar with John Green’s work and expect this to be similar, you’re going to need to undergo a complete mind-wipe before digging into this masterpiece of a book. Not that John isn’t fabulous in his own way, but Hank’s style is so distinctly his.

Plus all of John’s books are about angsty teenagers who talk like hipsters in their mid-thirties. And Hank’s debut novel is science fiction with an extremely complicated adult main character.

So that’s one thing that needs to be cleared up right away: Hank’s novel is marketed to adults, although it can be a great bridge from YA to adult. The content isn’t necessarily too adult, but all of the main characters are grown-ups well out of college.

This story follows April May, who happens across a sculpture on her way home from work late one night. She’s captivated by it and on a whim, she calls up a friend of hers to come take a look. April tells him to bring his filming equipment, and the decide to make a video featuring their new friend, who they lovingly name Carl.

The next day, April wakes to find that their video has gone viral. Not only that, but their’s isn’t the only Carl; there are 63 others circling the globe, and nobody knows how they got there.

So this starts out as a look at sudden fame and how different people deal with it. April and her friend are immediately thrust into this world of interviews and social media, and they both have to learn how to adapt. It’s interesting to see how April reacts, regardless of how little she cared for media and the news before her newfound celebrity status. She makes some poor decisions throughout her journey, and while it sometimes makes her unlikable, it makes her feel very real.

However, some new information comes to light and the world slowly begins to realize that the Carls are not of their world.

So, aliens.

This makes April’s position, right smack in the middle of it, suddenly all the more interesting because not only was she one of the first to discover the existence of the Carls, she also may have been the first to make contact. The story shifts from being a human examination to an almost Ready Player One-like mystery, where the entire world has to work together to discover what the Carls want and why they’re there.

It’s absolutely fascinating, and I adored this book. I had doubts going into it, and the beginning was a little rough. I also wasn’t a fan of some of Hank’s style choices: unnecessary exclamation points and some ALL CAPS that made the writing seem more juvenile. However, once I got into the meat of the story, I forgave those things immediately in favor of an absolutely remarkable journey.

The characters were all relatable and likable (although as previously mentioned, not all the time). Hank seems to know humans very well because the events of the story unfold in such a way that I believed it could all actually happen. The pacing of this story was excellent and I was never once bored; in fact I read it cover to cover in less than 24 hours because I was so engrossed.

I laughed, I cried, I was on the edge of my seat. Those last 50 pages had me losing my mind. The ending was fantastic and it was the perfect bridge between this and the sequel. Yes, a sequel! I thought this might be a standalone but once you get to the end, you’ll agree that if Hank doesn’t give us a second book fast, we’re going to have to go to his house and force his hand.

Not really, Hank! I would never do that!*

This was a wonderful book and it’s the kind of story that stays with you after and makes you think about it for days. So naturally I’ve been bugging my husband about it ever since and he’s about done with me. Sorry honey, it’s what you signed up for when you married me!

 

*Seriously though, I will riot if I don’t get that sequel.

BOOK REVIEW: Neal Shusterman “Thunderhead”

thunderhead-9781442472457_hrTitle: Thunderhead

Author: Neal Shusterman

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: 2/5 stars

 

Never would I have thought I would be saying anything but good things about Thunderhead. You can read my positively glowing review of Scythe here to see just how much I adored the first book in this series, and then you’ll understand why I feel so betrayed.

I was so pumped for this book! In all honesty, the only reason I had left it unread for so long was because I knew I was going to love it, so I was saving it for a time when I knew I’d need a pick-me-up title. You know, something to pull me out of a slump or something.

Oh, no no. Thunderhead put me in a deep, deep slump, and quite possibly a depressive state. Neal Shusterman, what happened? What went wrong? How is it possible that the same human who wrote the amazing Scythe also penned this, quite frankly, ridiculous book?

Let’s start with the things I liked: going into more depth with unsavories was very interesting. Since this series is set in a future, Utopian world where they’ve all but eliminated crime, it was interesting to hear about how the few troublemakers are dealt with. There’s no true punishment, as unsavories aren’t sent to prison or anything. Still, their profiles are stamped with a big ole “U” so everyone knows that they’re unsavory. They have to meet regularly with a probation officer. They have to repay any damages or hospital bills they may have caused. But really, unsavories can continue living their lives and doing whatever they want.

There are also some interesting locations where only unsavories are allowed, and they are special places where the sole purpose is for individuals to let out their pent-up aggression. You want to beat someone up? Go to this special malt shop for unsavories where the staff is there to get yelled at and beat up if they get your order wrong. You feel like breaking something? There’s an unsavory “prison” where you’re meant to be put in a cell just so you can break out.

It was all very interesting and I could definitely almost see the appeal to being an unsavory: no real consequences for your actions since no one really dies and since any trouble you do cause never warrants any sort of punishment.

I also enjoyed reading about Scythe Anastasia, or Citra, and her new ways of gleaning and what she brought to the scythedom. Rowan is also always an interesting character to read.

But that’s it. Everything else was painful and ridiculous.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the newest character that was introduced, Greyson. Not enough was offered about him to make me care about him at all. He was raised by the Thunderhead and ends up saving Citra and Scythe Curie’s lives, but gets in trouble for it. This ends up completely ruining his life. It’s a really frustrating story arc to read.

Then you have Tyger, who is so completely stupid that I can’t even feel sorry for him. He’s just utterly ridiculous. “Yeah, I got hired for this shady but high-paying gig in Texas and this shady lady is going to train me to be a scythe! Nothing shady going on here!” When Rowan shows up and is obviously not at all okay with what’s going on, Tyger doesn’t sit back and reevaluate his super shady situation. No, Rowan’s just a wet blanket. It’s not like Rowan was an Scythe’s apprentice for any length of time. It’s not like he probably knows what he’s talking about.

It was so hard to ignore this childish subplot.

Then let’s talk about Texas. Apparently it’s a region all on it’s own. The Thunderhead has no cameras there and people in Texas all wear big hats, boots and belt buckles. Of course, they’re all gun-toting hicks who have bears as pets.

I’m sorry, but am I the only person who reads that and thinks that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read? Yes, let’s take every modern Texan stereotype and that’s probably exactly how everyone in Texas acts in the future. Come on, that’s not even how all of Texas is today. I’m literally just mind-blown that this all made it past publishers and editors and nobody else thought it was ridiculous? Because to be frank, that’s how I have to describe this book.

Confession time, I DNF’d this at 50% because I couldn’t handle it anymore. This review is to show why I despised it so much that I couldn’t finish it, even though I know it’s frowned upon. I just can’t begin to convey my disappointment in what a terrible book I thought this was. And I seem to be in the minority, because I read reviews and they’re all 4-5 star ratings. Did we read the same book? Did you somehow receive a copy that wasn’t ridiculous? If so, I’d like to borrow yours and then burn mine.

BOOK REVIEW: Carolyn Gross “Domani”

9780692979419Title: Domani

Author: Carolyn Gross

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

 

Lulu knew the people of Dalia deserved to live in darkness. The knowledge existed in her bones as surely as she knew that the flames were coming to end their existence.

She stood hidden in the crowd gathered before the steps of the Sanctuary as she did every day to hear the doyen speak. The doyen spoke of hope in a world shrouded in darkness by the enormous gas planet spinning above it. That planet protected Dalia from the raging fires of a sun positioned too close to sustain life. But their protector planet was shifting away from them and the shadow that once sheltered them was disappearing.

The doyen normally told calming sermons to a beleaguered and frightened people, but this time was different. He would tell them that their destruction was assured. Before he could, he would have to survive an assassination attempt.

Lulu was the only one who could see it.

The strength and power Lulu discovers about herself will place her at the head of a massive uprising that will span across an entire galaxy. Will she become the catalyst needed to destroy the empire that created her?

My thoughts:

I struggle sometimes with reading science fiction because it can be so bizarre that it’s difficult to picture the world being described. There are a few that have managed to grab me and suck me in, but generally I find myself lost and confused.

Sadly, this was the same with Domani. Carolyn Gross had an intriguing idea, and I was definitely interested in the story she was trying to tell. Yet from the very first pages, with brows furrowed and brain jumbled, I felt like I was thrown into the story with very little explanation or background. I had so many questions and it was hard to follow, especially since there’s immediate action… and the book just moved on without me.

Gross is a promising author and I would be very interested to see her try either another genre or a more fleshed out science fiction world. However, Domani fell flat for me.

Special thanks to the author and Smith Publicity for sending me a copy for review!

 

Carolyn Gross: Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Ernest Cline “Ready Player One”

ready-player-one-book-GalleyCatTitle: Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

 

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

*Summary provided by Goodreads.

My Thoughts:

This book was amazing. This was a treasure trove of geeky, 80’s awesomeness and I adored it from start to finish. This was National Treasure inside a vast, limitless virtual world with references to a wide range of classic games, film, music, etc. This was absolutely perfect.

I can’t say enough good things about Ready Player One. The pacing was surprisingly flawless considering the length of the book and the time range/information that this covers. It’s a rags-to-riches story about dedication, quick thinking, clue-solving, etc.

The story starts with the death of James Halliday, creator of the OASIS, a vast and ever-growing virtual world, and lover of all things from the 80’s. He describes in a video made before his passing, a competition: whoever can find the Easter egg that he’s hidden in the OASIS will win his inheritance, which is sizable to say the least. Halliday leaves for the world one clue, and for 5 years, no progress is made in the search for the egg.

Wade Watts, our main character and total underdog, has no real chance of coming out on top. He doesn’t have the money to pay transportation fees to travel through the OASIS, which means he can’t do two things: actively search for the egg or level-up his character. The only world he’s allowed on is the planet where he attends school virtually; sadly, there are no monsters there to kill for experience, and there is nothing to search. All he can do is study everything there is to learn about Halliday, his thousands of obsessions, and master all of the video games he can get his hands on.

Then, by crazy chance, Wade solves the first clue.

What follows is a wild ride through the endless OASIS in a search for the egg. Puzzles must be solved, clues must be cracked, games must be won, and now there’s competition as other players begin to catch up. After 5 years, the game has finally begun, and Wade can now put to use all the facts and knowledge that he has gathered.

It’s impressive how dedicated Wade was to this game. He spent 5 years watching all of Halliday’s favorite movies and TV shows, playing all of his favorite games, listening to all his favorite music, reading all of his favorite books, hoping to find some clue as to the location of the egg. Wade doesn’t just watch/read/play/listen to once; he’s got most of Halliday’s obsessions practically memorized to the point of concern. Like I’m worried that this may have not been super healthy.

I can’t stress enough how incredible this book was. It was interesting and engaging and I didn’t get bored once. I was hooked from beginning to end, and never once did my enjoyment of the story waver.

So a minor complaint: it seemed that Wade had a way of solving clues at, like, the perfect time. He would always be conveniently listening to something or watching something that would jog his memory just the right way to make the answer become clear to him. It seemed a little too perfect, but dang I loved the story so much that I don’t even care.

Another slightly bigger complaint: Ernest Cline was such a tease with that ending! I was not satisfied by it at all; I felt like I needed so much more. I wanted him to give us a “6 months later” bit or something, but instead I felt it was abrupt. I wanted to know what happened after, so I felt let down.

Otherwise, this book is a crazy, wild ride. I’d recommend this to anyone and I think people of all ages can enjoy this, even if you’re not big into gaming or the 80’s. It’s a timeless story with some really awesome features, characters you can root for, and a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.

 

Ernest Cline: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Marie Lu “Batman: Nightwalker”

untitledTitle: Batman: Nightwalker

Author: Marie Lu

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

Bruce Wayne has just turned 18, just given access to his trust fund, and is ready to carry on his parent’s legacy. Sadly, on the eve his birthday and a very important fundraising dinner, Bruce crashes while chasing down a fugitive and gets into trouble for interfering for police business. His punishment: community service work at Arkham Asylum.

During his time mopping floors in the prison, Wayne encounters an inmate, Madeleine, who takes a special interest in him. When the police find out, all talk of punishment is dismissed in favor of using him to get closer to this prisoner.

Soon Bruce finds himself close to the case and even closer to the person of interest. But is he really getting closer to Madeleine, or has he been manipulated the entire time?

My thoughts:

Batman: Nightwalker is the second in the DC: Icons series. The first was Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, but you don’t have to read it to enjoy Batman or any of the book released after this. If you read my review for Wonder Woman, you’d know that sadly, I didn’t enjoy it very much.

All that to say that this installment was a welcome surprise. I’ve always loved Batman, and seeing this origin story was super awesome. We’ve never really seen an adolescent Bruce Wayne before and it made him seem fresh and new. We also got to see a young Harvey Dent and even caught a glimpse at future James Gordon.

I really enjoyed seeing Bruce’s relationship with Madeleine develop, and I also enjoyed Madeleine’s mysterious nature and the intrigue surrounding her possible crimes. Arkham Asylum was properly creepy and Wayne’s reactions to everything thrown at him were believable and understandable.

This story was action-packed, gasp-filled, and everything that a Batman story should be. I found it very entertaining and I absolutely can’t wait for Catwoman in a few months, written by Sarah J Maas.

 

Marie Lu: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Neal Shusterman “Scythe”

28954189Title: Scythe

Author: Neal Shusterman

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

Humans have attained complete immortality. They have defeated all manner of diseases and natural disasters through artificial intelligence called the Thunderhead. The Thunderhead knows all and sees all, and has done away with all political authority, crime, corruption. The Thunderhead is the governing body of the entire world. The only thing that the Thunderhead cannot interfere with is the Scythes.

Because humans can now essentially live forever, there has to be some way to manage the growing population. People still have to die. This is what the Scythes are for.

There’s no real rhyme of reason to how they glean. Some glean based on statistics, some glean based on the look in the person’s eyes, and some do it randomly. However they do it, the Scythes maintain a quota of 250 gleans per year; no more, no less.

Our two main characters, Rowan and Citra, get taken on as Scythe apprentices, and this is the story of their journey, change, and development through their now upside-down world.

My thoughts:

Holy crap. This book was absolutely amazing. I cannot say enough good things about Scythe and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it or talking about it since I finished. I immediately ordered Thunderhead (the next book) upon finishing this because I need to know what happens right now.

I’ve been hearing people talk about this for some time, but it took me too long to jump on the bandwagon. And I am ashamed. Scythe is not talked about enough. It is not hyped enough, not enough people are talking about it, and I am going to recommend this to everyone I meet for the next forever.

First of all, the world building in this is perfect. Absolutely spot on, so interesting and detailed and intricately done. I was so pleased reading this perfect, utopian world and was so intrigued by it. I could imagine it vividly, but not only that: it all makes sense. Everything just clicks.

The book poses so many difficult questions about mortality, right and wrong, the intents of the heart. I truly feel like it’s such an important book that people should be forced to read and evaluate. Analyze. People should be writing papers about Scythe, about what it means to them and how they interpret it. It makes you think about what you may do as a Scythe and how you may choose the people that you glean. It also makes you think about how you may live your life if you didn’t have to worry about death (aside from the possibility that you may be gleaned, which isn’t super probable to be frank).

The characters are relatable and the struggles they face make the reader feel for them. You can see the changes our apprentices undergo and why they turn out the way they do. You see the way they face corruption within the Scythedom and how the handle it. It’s all just so complex and amazing and really, I just want everyone in the entire world to read this book.

Scythe is fascinating, entertaining, engaging, relatable, thought-provoking, and a true gem. I cannot recommend this book enough. I’ve already been bothering my friends and family to read it so please, do yourself a favor and read this wonderful book.

 

Neal Shusterman: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Janet McNulty “Solaris Seethes”

51CdjRZBt6LTitle: Solaris Seethes

Author: Janet McNulty

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

Solaris Seethes is the story of a space ship with a personality, a Lanyran named Rynah with a revenge complex, and 4 unsuspecting humans from different eras of Earth’s history forced to unite and save the day. After Rynah’s planet is destroyed and she takes refuge in Solaris, her grandfather’s old ship, the ship’s AI explains to her that the only way to save her planet is to retrieve the crystal that was stolen. Unfortunately, the same villain who stole Lanyr’s crystal is now attempting to steal others, hoping to use it as a weapon. Solaris explains to Rynah that according to prophecy, the only ones that can stop him are 4 humans from the Terra Sector, each with specific and unique gifts. So begins a crazy, out of this world adventure with six crazy, out of this world characters.

These characters were so much fun. Solaris, the ship herself, was snarky, quick, and often more compassionate than most soul-baring beings. Rynah was strong, yet unfortunately quick-tempered, which caused her to snap at the four humans she had little patience for. Still, forced to work together, the humans become fast friends.

Despite coming from different times periods of Earth’s history, they found they had much in common and quickly became fierce and loyal friends. There was Solon, a scribe and philosopher from ancient Greece; Alfric, a warrior and Viking with a taste for blood and a heart of gold; Brie, a teenager from modern time, and Tom, an ambitious inventor from the late 2000s.

These characters and their interactions were absolutely precious. Alfric the Viking immediately took a liking to Brie, and he became her teacher and protector. Their banter was quick and silly, something to lighten the mood in case their mission became heavy. Even stone-hearted Rynah began to warm up to her crewmates toward the end of the story, their friendship heartwarming and sweet.

There’s something about the story that put off Guardians of the Galaxy vibes for me, which I loved. Characters from different places and backgrounds coming together for one common goal: it’s the ultimate origin story.

I was worried in the beginning that I wasn’t going to enjoy this. In the opening chapters, I was put off by how quickly the author dove into the story and how little build-up there was to the massive attack on Rynah’s planet, Lanyr. I figured from then on that everything was going to move quickly and was concerned about the pacing of the story; however, there were no issues after that.

Had the beginning eased me into the story a little better, this would have been much more enjoyable. However, I enjoyed it nonetheless and I’m happy to have read this sweet, colorful story. Mythology, science, and adventure come together in this book of betrayal, humor, family, friendship and sacrifice, a book anyone could enjoy.

Janet McNulty: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

The Best Books I Read in 2017

This year was full of many duds when it came to new releases or even old releases that I finally got around to, but there were a few stand-outs that really caught my attention and became new favorites of mine, the first of which was Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham.

CpH4ANsVUAE5OwOGilmore Girls is one of my favorite TV shows, and Lorelai is one of my favorite characters. She’s sassy, spunky, quirky, and hilarious, and I hoped that reading Graham’s memoir would make me love the actor who played her. (PS – it did.)

This reading experience was so much fun; Graham’s voice was so clear through her writing, and I can only imagine how wonderful this audiobook must have been. I loved reading about her life and some behind the scenes tidbits from Gilmore Girls, Parenthood, and A Year in the Life. This was my first 5 star read of 2017 and really just made my heart so happy.

29772863Next up was a graphic novel by none other than Marissa Meyer, a personal favorite of mine and a staple in the YA book community. That book would be Wires and Nerve, which is a sort of spin-off of the Lunar Chronicles following the adventures of Iko the android. Seeing as Iko was never a favorite character of mine, I was surprised by how much fun I had reading this and how much I now anticipate book two! This was my second experience reading a graphic novel and it has also given me a thirst for more. (PS – if anyone has any recommendations for other good graphic novels, comment below because seriously, I need more.)

DocumentAnother surprise was Caraval by Stephanie Garber. You can read my full review for this book here, but basically this book was incredible. It had everything I ever wanted and checked all of my boxes and was absolutely amazing. There was magic and mystery and action and romance and twists and family drama, and truly I cannot recommend this book enough. I want to buy copies for everyone I know and force them to read this except I don’t have that kind of money, so all I can say is: do whatever you can to get your hands on a copy of Caraval.

9781250050748Another book that I loved was This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. For some reason, this received a 4 star rating according to my Goodreads, but that may change upon further inspection because really, this book was so incredibly moving. Not only did I relate to the main character, I felt that it was a beautiful story of redemption and growth and moving past the pain of your past. I wrote a full review for this book here, so feel free to check out my complete thoughts on it and then hopefully pick up the book for yourself.

34538054The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones is another book that snuck up on me and became a quick favorite. The story was very unique and sucked me in fairly easily, but ended up really tugging on my heart-strings as well. I didn’t expect this to be such an emotional read, although I should have based on other people’s reactions. This was such a special book with such a heart-wrenching ending, but I can see myself rereading this for sure. Definitely check this pick out, and also my original review for it.

29385546Marie Lu’s most recent release definitely made it on the list; Warcross exceeded my expectations. I didn’t want to get too caught up in the hype lest it let me down, but this book is well-deserving of the praise. It was cool and modern, with interesting characters, a steamy love interest, and an awesome concept. This book made me want to get sucked into video game culture and participate in this world of virtual reality and technology. Check out my full review for Warcross here.

81uGB-QT1hLGeekerella by Ashley Poston was not a surprise favorite for me. I went into this book 100% certain that I was going to love it, and I was not disappointed in the slightest. This fairytale retelling of a fangirl Cinderella was adorable, funny, fresh, and such good fun. I wrote a review for Geekerella here, but you can just take my word for it: this retelling is so worth it. You may think that this story has been wrung dry, but I think there are still so many new and special ways to tell this classic tale.

Xpress-YA-Bardugo-TheLanguageofThornsThe last favorite of 2017 was The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. Sometimes I have issues with short story collections because typically, there are a few in the batch that aren’t as good as the others. This was not the case with this compilation. Every single story included in The Language of Thorns was exceptional, and I was so pleased with the entire reading experience. The illustrations on every page were stunning, and the stories were all beautiful and unique. Check out my review for this book here, and then buy it for yourself because you know you want to.

This was such an incredible batch of books and I’m so excited for the new stories I’ll be introduced to in the coming year! What are some of your most anticipated 2018 releases?

BOOK REVIEW: Beth Revis “Across the Universe”

8235178.jpgTitle: Across the Universe

Author: Beth Revis

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: 1/5 stars

 

Across the Universe has a very Disney’s “Wall-E” vibe to it: a space ship on it’s way to another world in order to start over. The trip is supposed to take about 300 years, so several generations will live and die before the space ship will arrive at it’s destination. However, there is a section of the ship dedicated to more “essential” personnel, people who will be needed on the new world and have been cryogenically frozen until the 300 year mark.

Amy’s parents are essential personnel, and they were able to pull some very important strings in order to get her on the ship and frozen along with them. Unfortunately, she seems to have been intentionally unplugged about 50 years too soon, by someone who may have wanted to hurt her. Amy wakes up to a completely different environment and world than there was on Earth.

The passengers on the spaceship are monoethnic, without political or religious beliefs; basically to eliminate any reason for dispute on board the ship. There are exactly 20 years between every generation because reproduction is regulated, and everyone either acts like robots or animals, depending on the circumstances.

Elder is being trained by Eldest to eventually be in charge of the inhabitants of the space ship, but Elder is now distracted by Amy who is so different from anyone else on board. She has tales from Earth about how things used to be, which threaten the sameness lifestyle the Eldest is trying to cultivate.

My thoughts:

I’m not going to lie: I bought this book strictly because of the cover. You may find this petty, or silly, or frivolous. Yet I have been just lusting after this cover ever since I first joined Goodreads and discovered it. I recently purchased the book just so I could bask in the beauty of that cover in person, but obviously intended to read it as well.

This book was a shipwreck.

Amy wakes up from her cryogenic sleep, understandably terrified and asking for her parents. She wakes to a new world and a new way of life, intimidating people and scary circumstances… and she’s sassing everyone. Literally anyone she comes into contact with, she’s talking crap, bad-mouthing, insulting, being an all-around unpleasant person, and it is not at all how you would expect a young girl to react in a situation like this. Some people may think this makes her strong or fearless, but I think it makes her stupid and annoying.

Elder just wants to have sex. He sees Amy and his hormones are on the fritz. He can’t possibly be attracted to her character since she has the personality of a troll. It doesn’t help that this story takes place during the time of the “season”, which is when everyone is allowed to reproduce. However, in this world, the “season” is when people are allowed to pounce on each other and have animal-like sex in public, which is creepy and weird.

So Amy gets unplugged, and it’s clear to at least two other characters that the act was intentional and it’s vocalized that the possibility of this happening again is high. “Oh no, whatever shall we do? Oh well, let’s leave.” So they leave and then some alarms go off and, “Oh no, someone else has been unplugged! How unfortunate! Why don’t we have some type of security? Oh well, time to go.” Then someone else gets unplugged. It’s freaking ridiculous, you guys, do these people have no brain cells?

Honestly, I couldn’t handle the stupidity of the book and these characters. I hated every moment of this book. I’ll keep it because it’s pretty, but I won’t be buying the rest of the series and I certainly won’t be reading it.

 

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