REVIEW: Twilight

Twilight (Twilight, #1)Book Title: Twilight
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Series: Twilight, Book 1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: Paperback

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Synopsis

About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

In the first book of the Twilight Saga, internationally bestselling author Stephenie Meyer introduces Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, a pair of star-crossed lovers whose forbidden relationship ripens against the backdrop of small-town suspicion and a mysterious coven of vampires. This is a love story with bite.


Firstly, I am not a literary snob. I am fine with pulp. I am fine with slushy romance. I am fine with cheesy young adult cringe fests. But I felt dirty reading these books.

While there was something familiar and addictive about the teen angst presented in this book, there were at least occasions where I had to re-read a page because I couldn’t follow the point Stephanie Myer was trying to make.

This sums up my Twilight experience.

I read this book during my ‘read what the kids are reading ready for your teacher training interview’ phase. My intention was to just read the first book, but within a few hours I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I knew I needed to read them all. I honestly cannot tell you why. Was there some kind of addictive substance on the page? I really don’t think it was writing.

Please Note: This review has been copied over from Goodreads

2 Stars
Some adequate moments. Wouldn’t recommend.

REVIEW: Matched (Matched #1)

Matched (Matched, #1)Book Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched, Book 1
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian Fiction, Romance
Format: Paperback

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Synopsis

In the Society, officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.


Dystopia – CHECK
Teenagers having choice taken away from them – CHECK
One girl out to change everything – CHECK
Some teen angst – CHECK
A little romance – CHECK

I should of loved this book, but sadly the troupes that are staples of my reading list just didn’t seem to come together. The characters lacked the depth that they have in similar stories. I just couldn’t make myself care about Cass and I never really believed in her feelings for Ky. Their relationship still felt pre-determined in the way that it unfolded, rather that it being based on something real (like a burnt loaf of bread*).

Unfortunately this book wasn’t the start of a trilogy for me, or even a one hit wonder. The ending didn’t leave me wanting more, rather it left me with the need to go and re-read ‘The Hunger Games’.

*Said without a hint of sarcasm. I honestly believe that.

Please Note: This review has been copied over from Goodreads

2 Stars
Some adequate moments. Wouldn’t recommend.

REVIEW: How I Live Now

How I Live NowBook Title: How I Live Now
Author: Meg Rosoff
Series: N/A
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian Fiction, Science Fiction, Romance
Format: Paperback

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Synopsis

Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary.

But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

 


This book is an odd one. There are certain elements of it that just don’t seem to sit right with me but then I just couldn’t put the book down.

The idea that the country could so easily fall into the state portrayed in the story is a powerful one for a reader to think about. The impact that it has on the characters, particularly those characters that started the book on a less than secure mental footing, is intriguing. Perhaps that is the reason that I was so hooked?

I question whether the sexual content adds anything to what the story is trying to achieve. It seemed to be more about obsession than love. I don’t know. Did I get a sense that the characters were desperate for some security in an attempt to survive? Maybe. Sometimes. Sometimes it just seemed to be about sex.

I’m torn. I recommend it to those people who like to be challenged by what they read (although with the caveat that this is y-a fiction). If 3.5 was something that my rating system offered then that is where I would put it.

Please Note: This review has been copied over from Goodreads

4

 

REVIEW: Heat Wave

Book Title: Heat Wave
Author: Richard Castle
Series: Nikki Heat, Book 1
Genres: Crime Fiction, Pulp
Format: Kindle

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Synopsis

NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat feels sparks from ride-along, journalist Jameson Rook. A real estate tycoon plunges to his death. A trophy wife with a past survives a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with motives all have alibis. Dirty little secrets of the wealthy hide until Nikki shines a light.


‘Heat Wave’ is not a timeless piece of literary genius and that is exactly why I love it. It reads like a fabulous piece of fan fiction. As an avid (obsessive?) fan of the television show ‘Castle’, it is a thrill to see moments in the book that were clearly inspired by what happens in the show. It is pulpy and easy to read. It is perfect for by the pool, or just before bed. It is perfect for escaping into excitement and fun without needing to put in the effort of inferring (which as an English teacher I do for a living!).

Please Note: This review has been copied over from Goodreads

4
Guilty pleasure read. Pulpy, flawed goodness. Would recommend with that caveat.

REVIEW: Allegiant


Book Title: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent, Book 3
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian Fiction, Science Fiction
Format: Audible Audiobook

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Synopsis

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningliess. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend to complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.


**ORIGINAL REVIEW** Perhaps three stars is too many? There were moments in this book that I really enjoyed but my goodness there were HUGE chunks of it that I just couldn’t cope with. It was slow and dull and with such simple language it really needed more of a plot to compensate. During the plane ride for example, what should have been an earth shattering moment of revelation, was just meh!

Oh and the ending? What an anti-climax!

Plus side? The voice actor who played four was delicious to listen to!

**AFTER THOUGHT** Since watching the end of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ I have changed how I view this book. Perhaps the story was not really want I thought it was about after all? Maybe the story was about what happens next?

**THIRD REVISION** I wish I hadn’t read this book. I have decided I would rather not know their fate than have this be the ending. The first book meant this story was so full of promise and yet this is where things ended.

Does this book deserve more stars because of how much it has affected me? Nope. You don’t reward bad behaviour.

Please Note: This review has been copied over from Goodreads

2 Stars
Some adequate moments. Wouldn’t recommend.