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.

My Reading Habits

I loved studying literature, but I wasn’t that fussed about reading.

Reading has always been an effort for me. It took until I was 27 to get to the bottom of why, but it was rarely something that I ever did for pleasure. I would read on holidays. Occasionally go through phases of reading on my commute to work, but I didn’t ever curl up on the sofa and read. You wouldn’t have known it though, especially considering I have a degree in Literature. And I spent three years as an English teacher. I loved studying literature, but I wasn’t that fussed about reading.

Read why I find reading such an effort here.

Read about why I believe reading for pleasure is so important here [link coming soon]

With the exception of holidays, I now read almost exclusively in bed. I try to get in at least a chapter before I go to sleep, but often this will turn into 30 minutes+ reading and multiple chapters. It has taken a while to train myself out having my phone in the bedroom. I don’t have any devices in there now, only ‘proper’ books are allowed!

As I read at the end of day, I stick with ‘beach-reads’. These pulpy, cheesy and fun reads are perfect for winding down. I don’t want to read into my reading (pardon the pun) and would much rather have a easy time of it. If I do try something more ‘challenging’ it is likely to send my mind whirring and stop me getting any sleep at all!

I don’t have any devices in there now, only ‘proper’ books are allowed!

I also listen to audiobooks (which still counts as reading as far as I am concerned) when I am on long walks and drives. They are great for when my partner are on long road trips together – saves arguing over music!

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.

How I Rate Books

While on holiday I stumbled across this adorable Reading Journal:

Ex Libris Cover.png

A review of this rare delight will come along soon. And yes, while I have applied a filter to compensate for the dodgy lighting, it is in fact lime green.

Inside it has an unusual rating system (at least to me). It asks you to rate books from 1 – 6. I googled for ideas but ultimately I went with my gut – which hopefully I will just trust more in future!

So here we go…

I have aimed for something that takes into consideration those books that you love but aren’t technically great works of literature. And while there is an argument for enjoyment being the defining characteristic in how great a work it is – my Comparative Literary Studies degree disagrees!