What I Read This Year

Standard

I read a lot of books this year, and I didn’t feel like trying to rank them. Instead I’m splitting them up into books I liked and books I didn’t like. First, the books I liked:

Insurgent, sequel to Divergent by Veronica Roth

Ms. Roth is amazing. I loved Insurgent just as much Divergent but for different reasons. I love the idea of a society built on factions devoted to specific virtues. Insurgent delves deeper into the factions that were only mentioned in Divergent.

The ending reminded me of a movie (can’t say which without spoiling things for you). I cannot wait to read Detergent.

 

 

 

Gravity by Melissa West

I got this book as an early Christmas gift and devoured it in two days. This is a science fiction novel where aliens use humans to gain the antibodies they need to survive on Earth. It’s a nonviolent method agreed to by a truce between the species, but “the Taking” thoroughly creeped me out. Melissa West is an excellent writer, and I’m very curious to see what the next book has in store.

 

 

Erebos by Ursula Poznanski (translated from German by Judith Pattinson)

I avoid massively-multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) because I am easily addicted to video games in general. Main character Nick notices many of his friends at school are playing a mysterious game called Erebos. When he finally gets a copy of the game himself, it is frighteningly realistic and addictive. It seems almost alive. And then the game begins making demands that spill into the real world.

I could not put the book down. I could see myself getting in trouble with a video game just like Nick, and that made this book just as addictive as the game it described.

 

Illusion by Frank Peretti

I have always loved Frank Peretti’s books, and Illusion is his best so far. Peretti tends to have a specific issue he is addressing in each of his novels, such abortion in Prophet or evolution in Monster. Illusion doesn’t have an issue (or at least not one I noticed). It is simply a love story with a science-fantasy twist. I never thought I would be so absorbed in a story about magicians!

This book also has the distinction of being one of three books that has ever made me cry. Mr. Peretti should consider that a great compliment.

 

Sapphique, sequel to Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

It’s rare that I like a sequel more than the first book. I was unimpressed by Incarceron. I enjoyed the scenes in the sentient prison filled with bizarre landscapes, half-metal animals, and millions of cameras watching its inhabitants. But outside the prison is a world where everything is made to look medieval and technology is illegal except to improve that illusion, a premise I found completely ridiculous. I picked up the sequel at the library because I was curious about the sentient prison. Sapphique surprised me by being much better than its predecessor. I actually started to believe that someone could be crazy enough to make the world a gigantic Renaissance Fair.

 

 

A Million Suns, sequel to Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I did not adore Across the Universe. I enjoyed it and even rated it as one of my top five of 2011, but I wasn’t dying to read the sequel. A Million Suns hooked me. I had problems with the story, but I still cannot wait to see what happens to Amy and Elder in Shades of Earth. The characters were stronger, the writing was cleaner, and the mystery was even more intriguing.

 

 

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

This one comes with a disclaimer. The language was awful. I cringed through many pages and will probably not pick up another book by this author. There was also some sexuality that I skipped over. However, the premise and execution were spectacular. The main character Christine suffers a traumatic brain injury. As a result her memories of each day are wiped clean when she sleeps, and the only way she can keep track of what has happened to her since her accident is writing in a journal. This concept could have been horrible (isn’t there an Adam Sandler movie based on this idea?), but Watson made it impossible to put down.

 

 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinderella is a cyborg! I loved this book. I devoured it. I sang its praises to family and friends. And the sequel involves Red Riding Hood. I know, right? How will this work? Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood in one book?

All I know is Meyer is a genius, and I can’t wait to read  more.

 

 

 

Partials by Dan Wells
Read my review here. It was good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Aria has lived in a domed city all her life, protected from the aether storms and dangerous beasts outside. Then she ends up outside the dome with a man named Perry who has supernatural abilities and discovers the dome may not be the safest place for her.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite my aversion to romance novels. The post-apocalyptic world Aria lives in kept my interest through the romance. I want to know what happens to Perry’s nephew Talon (can you tell I’m a mom?) and whether there really is a safe haven with a still blue sky.

 

Matched and Crossed by Allie Condie

These books were good fun. The Society determines everything through statistical calculations. Food, clothing, jobs, and relationships are all chosen by the all-knowing benevolent government. Because that arrangement always works out wonderfully, right?

Cassia is given her “match”, but instead of the person she expects, the screen flickers with another face for a brief moment. Suddenly this match doesn’t seem so inevitable, and she questions the Society she has grown up trusting. Shenanigans ensue. I hate love triangles, but the angst and puppy love weren’t too heavy-handed. Reached is sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read.

The next post will be the books I didn’t like. I hope this was enjoyable or gave you ideas for your next library and/or bookstore trip. I felt I needed to catch up after a long year of nothing on my blog.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Advertisements

What I’m Reading: Partials

Standard

I’m a Hunger Games freak. I love the series, and I saw the movie on opening weekend in IMAX. I’m a big fan of YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction in general, and I’m also a fan of Battlestar Galactica. Partials by Dan Wells sounds like a YA Battlestar Galactica in a lot of ways. It’s a sci-fi dystopia. There are organic robots. Humanity has been reduced to a small group of people trying to repopulate their world. It didn’t take much more than reading the description to know I’d like this book.

Partials

by Dan Wells

 

 

 

The main character Kira Walker is working as an apprentice in the hospital learning how to be a doctor. She mostly observes the deaths of newborns because a virus released years ago by the organic robots (known as Partials) kills the babies within 72 hours. This means the human race is slowly but surely dying out. Because there could be a chance that someone will have a child that is immune to the virus, the government has passed the Hope Act requiring all women over 18 to get pregnant as often as possible. Kira becomes convinced that curing the virus is tied to the Partials, but no one has seen one in years.

There are so many twists in this story, and even if I guessed many of them, I enjoyed the ride. Kara lives in a world where teenagers have all the responsibilities of adulthood but few of the advantages. One of the things that annoys me in much of YA is teenage angst, but Partials is one of the rare stories where the angst was justified. These teenagers work hard at full-time jobs, live independently, and contribute to society like adults, but they have no say in their government because the voting age remains 18. As every teenager has said at least once, “That is so unfair!” Kira is a strong and confident young woman who is determined to make a difference, and I followed her journey without blinking. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

Partials is a book you should buy, not borrow from the library. I highly recommend it.

What I’m Going to Be Reading 2012

Standard

I’m looking forward to a lot of things this year.

The Hunger Games movie. I may attend dressed as Effie Trinket. It’s mostly a question of whether I can procure a pink wig.

Completing the first draft of my novel. May 2012, people! That’s the goal, crazy though it may be.

And books. Lots and lots of books.

Insurgent

by Veronica Roth

Sequel to Divergent that I loved last year. Tris was supposed to be celebrating the day she officially joined her chosen faction, but a war is brewing. I can’t wait to see where Roth takes the story. Tris is one of my favorite heroines, right there next to Katniss Everdeen.

 

 

Cinder

by Marissa Meyer

Book One in the Lunar Chronicles. The heroine, Cinder, is a cyborg. That was enough for me, but if you need more, it’s described as a sci-fi take on Cinderella.

 

 

Partials

by Dan Wells

A sci-fi dystopian story. If you like Battlestar Galactica, the story will seem familiar. Man has created biologically-based robot super-soldiers to fight wars. Then a deadly virus started killing everyone.

 

 

Above

by Leah Bobet

This isn’t my typical fare. I’m not an urban fantasy type of girl. But this book looks really cool.  Matthew lives in Safe, a secret underground refuge for freaks with animal body parts or special powers like seeing ghosts. When someone threatens to destroy their haven, Matthew must find a way to protect those he loves.

 

If you know of something coming out this year that I didn’t mention, please let me know about it!