Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cover Crazy (42)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. Ok I stumbled across this book a couple days ago, it had no cover.  Happened to stumble across it again while I was posting a review for another book, BAM! Cover! And boy do I LOVE it! It's totally eerie! I love how the cover looks like it's being ripped open, revealing the color beneath.  I can't wait to read this, it sounds absolutely amazing.  Gritty and terrifying and the cover reflects it.  Can't wait!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cover Crazy (41)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about.  So I'm a huge fan of Cinda Williams Chima.  I love all her books, they're just utterly fantastic.  I still haven't managed to read the 3rd book in her Seven Realms books (stupid college) but that makes me no less excited for the 4th book.  I freakin love this cover.  Really, I love all the covers for these books but I have to say this one is the most striking.  I love the red, and the smoke and flames from the city.  And the pendant! Super cool! And the nontraditional format for the title and author just add to the epicness. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Review: Partials

Synopsis: The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them--connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

My Review: When I first read the synopsis for Partials I thought it sounded pretty interesting.  I also couldn't help but feel like it would be difficult to pull off well.  Going into it I didn't really have that high of expectations.  I was completely blown away.  It was wonderful.  Definitely up with Pure and Legend  for amazing dystopian fic. 

Long Island is the gathering place for any human left alive after the Partials released the RM virus eleven years ago.  The last of humanity is held together by the Senate, who are desperately trying to make sure they all have a future.  Though the survivors are all immune to the disease that ravaged the planet, none of the children born after the virus hit have survived.  Humanity is fighting a losing battle to procreate.  The Hope Act was enacted in hope of taking a brute force attack to the problem of immunity.  Every woman at the age of 18 is legally obligated to become pregnant as frequently as possible. 

Kira had joined the maternity ward in the hospital in hopes of getting closer to finding a cure.  What she finds though is that no matter how hard they try, no matter how many precautions they take, the child always dies.  RM is still destroying them years later.  As if humanities position isn't in a precarious enough state, a rebel faction on the island is terrorizing the city in hopes of repealing the Hope Act. Kira is determined to try and keep the island from tearing itself apart.  She starts studying the virus, but to her horror they have already exhausted every single viable option for a cure.  The only hope humanity has is to find those who released the virus in the first place, Partials. 

I was completely blown away by just how much medical research was in this story.  I was anticipating vague explanations, but the author went really in-depth.  At least from my plain general knowledge of virology, it seemed well researched and accurate.  I was pretty skeptical that a 16 year old would be able to find a cure when the rest of humanity couldn't, but I have to say that Kira was very resourceful.  She dared to go where no one has gone before and her bravery and gall paid off. 

I really just loved the whole entire story.  The military structure was very well done.  I felt like I was in the middle of a warzone while reading.  Wells did an amazing job of putting you right into the middle of the action.  What I really loved was the conflict between survival and morality.  What's more important? Maintaining personal freedoms, or compromising those freedoms for the sake of survival? When it comes down to it, what's more important? When a select group of people determines what they shall do, worse always comes to worse.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the Senate needs to be stopped.  It turns from protecting humanity, to protecting their seats of power and control over Long Island. 

And the romance! Pure perfection! I could not have asked for a more perfect relationship in this story.  Kira already has an established boyfriend at the start of the novel.  I was terrified that when he became too protective that things were going to disintegrate.  But it was just so well handled and non-dramatic.  Kira understood that he was just trying to look out for her, that he was scared, and ultimately loved her no matter how stubborn she was.  Also, there was the opportunity to introduce a love triangle.  Did. Not. Happen.  I could scream from pure joy.  First. Time. EVER! I was pleased to say the least.  Plus I just loved the guy (his name is not coming to me for some reason).  He was utterly hysterical and sweet and just pure awesome.  He's not the bravest or most daring, but he loves Kira and will do whatever it takes to make sure she's safe.  More guys in YA need to be like him in my opinion. 

And last but not least, I loved the whole concept of the Partials.  It was a genius idea.  They were super mysterious throughout most of the story.  I really adored Samm.  He defied expectations and I never lost faith in him.  He's genuinely a good guy and he and Kira's fates become entangled. (in a very non-romantic way thank god) If I'm being vague, it's on purpose.  I cannot ruin anything about this story.  The plot twist was just great, amazingly well done.  Did not see it coming at all.  I was beyond impressed by this book.  It was a monster.  Took me roughly 10 hours to read.  I kid you not.  But it was soooo worth it.  I'm thrilled for the sequel and can't wait to see where the story goes. 

And to conclude this review, for your viewing pleasure he is an epic trailer for the book.  Honestly, if you haven't read Partials then it's kind of hard to pick up on the relevance, but it's a cool look at Partials and the  company that made them, ParaGen. 


Friday, February 10, 2012

Cover Crazy (40.5)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. Ok so I know I already did a cover crazy post for today.  Who cares. The more the merrier, right? I came across another cover while I was on tumblr today and I am sooo friggin excited I had to share.  Again... So yes here is Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey! Just omg.  Amazing.  I. Love. It. It is sooo freaking eerie and ominous.  I want to re-read Witch Eyes all over again now.  Waaaannnnttttt.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cover Crazy (40)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. This week it's Blind Spot by Laura Ellen.  I really like this cover.  Simple but very stark and in your face.  I love how the script bends around the curve of the eye too.  Definitely gritty.  Can't wait to read this one.  : )

Review: Struck

Synopsis: Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

My Review: Going into this I was really excited.  It was really something that had never been done before.  Well, the whole lightning thing anyway.  I thought it sounded like a really cool concept.  And my intuition was right.  Bosworth did a wonderful job of bringing something new and unique into the realm of YA. 

Los Angeles has just been struck by one of the worst earthquakes in memory.  The city is in a state of panic, left without aid.  Mia and her brother have to take care of their mother who survived a building's collapse during the quake.  It's left her scarred both physically and emotionally, and the only solace she has is in the word of Prophet, a hit Evangelical television priest.  Mia, however, isn't buying into any of the Doomsday prophecies.  She wants nothing to do with the Followers or their opposition.  She finds herself caught between two warring cults, both claiming that the other is the true enemy, but both just want to use her to their own ends.  On top of it all, Jeremy complicates matters further.  Is he there to truly protect her, or is there something sinister about his presence? As the storm of the century approaches Mia has to decide who to trust. 

I had a lot of mixed feelings on this book. There was a lot of things that I liked, but some things I just couldn't quite get over.  First of all the mixed genre kind of bothered me.  And no I'm not saying that a book can't be a mix of genre's.  It was just in this weird in between state? Half post-catastrophic in THIS universe, and then there was a somewhat magical element to it all, but only with lightning... I don't know.  I just felt like it was incomplete? There was hardly any explanation to the whole lightning thing, so maybe that's why I feel that way. 

Another thing I couldn't quite get over was the whole religious cult.  I just don't understand it.  Lately a lot of YA books are taking a new angle on religion and showing how it can be used to corrupt people.  I'm an atheist.  I should be cheering.  And yet I find myself defending religion every time.  I have no idea.  Maybe I'm just touchy on the subject, but I hate how easily people can be pulled into a horribly corrupt group of people all in the name of faith.  Maybe this book just reiterated that point for me, but it just didn't sit well.  *shrugs*

On the other hand I loved Mia.  She's really self conscious about her lightning scars, but she was made of some tough stuff.  She doesn't let anyone tell her what to do or how to live her life.  She's caught between two cults and I really admired her strength to stay out of the whole conflict. (though she inevitably gets drawn into it anyway) She looks out for her family and will do anything to protect her mom and her brother.  She had a great strength of character.  What I appreciated most though was her vulnerability.  The scars that cover her body are a huge barrier for her.  She doesn't let anybody else see them besides her own family.  As she and Jeremy grow closer I really loved the bond they built.  Jeremy thinks she's beautiful no matter what.  I just loved the two of them, especially at the end.  Just goes to show that beauty is more than skin deep. 

Overall Struck was a very unique story.  Extremely well written with great characters and an intriguing plot.  I have to admit throughout the whole book I was just waiting for Mia to pull a Storm moment.  I got my wish.  ^.^ Can't wait for any further books.  It shall be interesting to see how the lore of the "spark" plays out. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review: Fever

Synopsis: Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary. 

My Review: When I first read Wither, I fell in love.  It was such a highly original idea and was well executed.  I had high expectations for Fever.  Have to say I was disappointed.  With everything that happened, I still felt like nothing of significance  took place.

It picks right back up from Wither, with Rhine and Gabriel on the run.  Only they barely get off the beach and stumble right into a trap.  They've got themselves captured by a red zone harem run by a crazy old woman.  I swear, they didn't last 5 minutes! It almost took half of the book for them to get out.  Ya.  Exactly.  Filler much? I was just frustrated by the whole thing.  I kept thinking "Get back to the story! This is dumb!" When they finally escape it's bittersweet to say the least.  Vaughn shows up, and they end up with the daughter of one of the prostitutes that befriended them.

Rhine and Gabriel get back on the move, with the little girl in tow.  Along the way they encounter a fortune teller and a crazy ass old couple.  When they finally reach Rhine's home, guess what?! Rowan isn't there! Surprise, surprise! A few more things happen that I'm not gonna mention, but in the end, Rhine ends up back where she started, in Vaughn's clutches.  By the end of the book I was just like "did anything actually happen?" Of course it ends in a huge cliff hanger.  I don't know.  I just wasn't feeling it.  Maybe I'm being harsh, simply because sequels are always freakin filler novels.

It's not like I don't like the books anymore.  Just frustrated by the clear filler.  Still love Gabriel.  He's such a sweetheart.  I have a feeling when we finally meet Rowan he's going to be an ass.  Like a huge ass, and the image of Rhine's perfect brother is going to be shattered.  I really want the next book.  Simply because then the ACTUAL plot will continue.  Once again, if this was a bit harsh, I just couldn't help it.  I feel like so many sequels of books I LOVED have disappointed me in terms of filler and this is just the final straw.  Still eagerly awaiting the third book. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Covery Crazy (39)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. This week it's The Last Princess by Galazy Craze.  Quite a pseudonym there, but I love the cover to this.  For some reason decimated London is just an awesome thing.  It's haunting and tragic but such a pretty sky.  Will be interested to see if this one is as good as it looks.