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All reviews - Books (4)

The Predicteds review

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 21 September 2012 02:14 (A review of The Predicteds)

I didn't have a lot of expectations when I started reading this book. I had heard neither good nor bad things about it and I bought it a few months ago more on a whim than anything else. I found it interesting that this book is on-set dystopian. You get to see how a dystopian society comes to be, not how it is once everything went down.

The book starts with Daphne's first day of school - right after she throws up in chemistry class. As if that isn't bad enough, they soon hear gunshots. A shooting. After that, things pretty much gradually go downhill for almost everyone in the little town Quiet.

I really tore through this one, I have to say. The writing is really nice and easy to get into. The book is downright laughing out loud funny at times, but then really sad at others. It was a nice and well executed mix. I liked all the characters, weirdly enough even characters I usually would have thought extremely annoying; like Dizzy for example.

In The Predicteds, Daphne joins the popular kids even though she doesn't really belong. I think it's refreshing to read something that is not from the perspective of the total outcast. I think there are enough good books with that kind of point of view. As long as the heroine is likable and relatable, I don't think it matters much to which social circle she belongs.

Now, about PROFILE. I didn't quite understand it at first. The blurb on the back of my book (it starts with: "Who will it be? Will the head cheerleader get pregnant? Is the student council president a secret drug addict?") is a little misleading, because PROFILE doesn't actually tell you all that. It just tells you whether someone has the potential to be(come) either extremely violent, or have anti-social tendencies. It doesn't say, Girl A will become a teenage mother and Guy A will be addicted to alcohol all his life. While that may make this book a little less dramatic it also renders the story much more believable. I can believe (and I think I actually read an article about it) that the brain of very violent people looks different from normal brains. So why shouldn't those tendencies be revealed by neurological and psychological tests?

So, 5 stars for this book! I loved it, and I really hope for a sequel. I haven't heard anything about a possible series for the Predicteds but the story has room for one more I think!

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A Storm of Swords: 1 Steel and Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3 Part 1) review

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 21 September 2012 02:13 (A review of A Storm of Swords: 1 Steel and Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3 Part 1))

First things first: This book was missing an ending. Obviously that's because A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow is merely the first part of the third book in the series. As far as I can tell right now, though, the cut was done at a very appropriate point, dramatic enough it certainly was.

It's no secret that I don't like the chapters about Jon and the Night's Watch. I find them boring, honestly. And in retrospect, I think there were quite a few chapters like that. So much so, that halfway through I quit the book for a few weeks. This is not a book that can always be read lightly. At a lot of points during the course of the novel, I had to raise my eyes, blink a few times and just go: "What?" because I was honestly startled/shocked/disgusted (sometimes at the same time) at what was currently happening in the book.

A few times I was gaping at some character's strength, blushed at embarrassments or felt true heartbreak at a funeral. Even the minor characters got a lot of love from me, because I think Martin has a real gift for creating characters that seem so real you feel like you can almost touch them. As it happens, you have to bury them quite often as well ...

A few things that are specific to this book only and not the entire series:
- I was not expecting what happened to Sansa. I mean ... it was hinted at, but I thought something or other would prevent it. But it really happened, and I'm still shocked. It did show a lot of goodness in another character, though.
- The Lannisters are still my favorite House in the series. Even though most of them are truly evil. My support for Jamie is growing! Poor, poor thing!
- Am I the only one thoroughly enjoying every scene Brienne is in? I don't know why, but I think the scene where Jamie and she (or is it "Jamie and her"? Foreigner here, please bear with my English!) are naked in the same bathtub was downright hilarious, no matter the serious conversation. I just had this picture in my head!
In conclusion: If you have not yet started this series, you definitely should. You do need patience and a lot of time. A lot of time, a lot lot lot of time. Because for whatever reason it always takes me a long time to finish a book in this series. But it's just sooo good!

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XVI (XVI #1) review

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 21 September 2012 02:11 (A review of XVI (XVI #1) )

I had a hard time finishing XVI. I'm not quite sure what I expected exactly. Some icky scenes - given the premise that guys were pretty much able to do what they wanted to girls. Sixteen year old rape victims never stood a chance in court, the father of a baby decided whether it was going to be born, etc. I don't know what made it so hard for me to finish this book. Maybe it's the somewhat shady world building, but I guess it is because I couldn't connect with the characters. I just didn't care whether Ed got to Nina or what "the brutal strike" does to her.

Everything is confusing; the media seems to "rule" the world and there are colonies on Mars and the Moon and so on. But there are rebels on Earth called Non-Cons. For whatever reason people decided men were in charge of everything, especially who they had sex with (against the woman's will more often than not) but they could also take guardianship of their illegitimate kids (especially girls) and turn them into what is called a Cinderella girl - basically a servant.

So there are a lot of very interesting concepts. I don't think I have ever read a YA book with such a controversial topic - sex is barely a side plot if it's mentioned at all - but here it is quite important. However, all the plot elements and world building don't really go well together. I think a little more cohesion or explanation would have done a great deal here.

XVI might also suffer from a slight case of Insta-Love: Sal (the boy from the blurb) is rescued by Nina when people are beating him up. Call me uncaring but I would bet money on the fact that if I were walking somewhere and saw grown men beating up a homeless guy I would most likely call the police and not rush in to save the day. Scaring them away was in itself pretty illogical. If those guys had no qualms beating up a homeless guy, why would they shy away from a girl they could potentially rape as well?

I guess I'm going to check out Truth, the sequel to XVI but I'm not sure when that will be. My to read-list is swamped as it is but should there be a few slow months sometime, Truth will be read then - just to see if Karr can take the premise of this book further and make me understand her world better.

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Alice in Wonderland review

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 21 September 2012 02:10 (A review of Alice in Wonderland)

This is such a classic, that rating "Alice in Wonderland" was extremely difficult. Unlike most people, I never read this in school. It was a very new experience for me and the only things I knew about the book came from the Disney adaption, sadly enough.

However, I must say that I really liked the quirky logic and all the lovable characters! I especially liked the caterpillar and the Cheshire cat as well as the Mad Hatter. I could not get a real feel for either the Duchess or the Queen and since this is such a short novel, especially the ending felt slightly rushed.

Also I believe, had I read this without knowing there was a sequel, I would have been tremendously disappointed because of the reveal that Alice seems to have dreamt everything. Even if it ends up not being true, this seems like a poor plot device for getting Alice back to our normal world. I never liked the "It was all a dream!"-explanation.

Still, one has to have read this book. There are many, many sentences that are so brilliant they will force you to read them again and again. Especially if you use a Kindle and have "Popular Hightlights" activated you will be even more aware of the genius Carroll poured into this novel.

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