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It Stands Out: Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Hiya!

I hope your week is going well bookish friends! Today we’re going to talk about Gated by Amy Christine Parker, a book I read back in September. I’m doing a little bit of catch up (not with all of the books I’ve read, but a few that stand out to me).

Overview

In the Community, life seems perfect. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pioneer invited Lyla’s family to join Gated by Amy Christine Parkerhis group and escape the evil in the world. They were happy to be chosen, happy to move away from New York and start over in such an idyllic gated community. Now seventeen, Lyla knows that Pioneer is more than just their charismatic leader, he is their prophet . . . but his visions have grown dark.
Lyla is a loyal member of the Community, but a chance encounter with an outsider boy has her questioning Pioneer, the Community—everything. And if there’s one thing not allowed in the Community, it’s doubt. Her family and friends are certain in their belief. Lyla wishes she could feel the same. As Pioneer begins to manipulate his flock toward disaster, the question remains: Will Lyla follow them over the edge? From the outside looking in, it’s hard to understand why anyone would join a cult. But Gated tells the story of the Community from the inside looking out, and from behind the gates things are not quite so simple.

My Thoughts

Let’s be honest here. What other dystopian novel out there today deals with the idea of religious cults? Not too many! Gated, although not most well written book out there is pretty unique and stands out amid the multitude of YA dystopian titles out there.

As I said, the writing had flaws. Lyla, our main character, was a little confusing at times. We see her struggling with and questioning the world she knows but don’t really understand why she is different from her friends in this. Our villain is pretty obvious from the beginning, so no real surprises there, although I am interested in knowing more about this character and the motivation behind it all. There is some major instalove and the plot doesn’t stray much from what we assume will happen.

Despite all of this I was riveted to Gated – completely unable to put it down! Most popular dystopian fiction worlds are very different to what we know in our real world today, but Parker places her story in the decade following 9/11 allowing us to imagine this sub culture within our contemporary world. Plus, cults and why people join/stay in them are inherently fascinating topics! Overall, the story moves quickly forcing you to keep reading “just one more chapter!”, and I’m pretty sure I read it in about two days.

Recommended For

Despite its flaws, those interested in a unique take to the dystopian fiction genre will enjoy Gated. I believe that it works for a wide range of readers because of its distinct plot, fast pace, and psychological thriller ambiance (so go ahead middle grades, high school and older readers!).

Details

Author: Amy Christine Parker
Publisher: Random House Book for Young Readers (August 6, 2013)
Format: Hardcover
Length: 352 pages
Series: First in a series
YA/MG: Both

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Completely Underwhelmed: Icons by Margaret Stohl

Well hello there!

I hope everyone had a fun-filled Fourth of July!

After celebrating my Husband’s birthday on the 3rd with a shin-dig at our house, we spent the holiday hanging out with friends and basically just relaxing. That’s what summer is made for!

Now, on to more bookish things. Sometimes I disappoint myself. There are way too many awesome books out there for me to stick with one I’m just not that into. Do I follow my own advice though? Nope! I tend to stick it out until the end because I hate putting down a book. Well, recently I stuck with Icons by Margaret Stohl until the bitter end…there very bitter end.

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Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol’s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn’t know it was fighting. Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside — safe from Icons by Margaret Stohlthe shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can’t avoid. She’s different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador’s privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn’t a coincidence. It’s a conspiracy.

Within the Icon’s reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions — which they’ve always thought to be their greatest weaknesses — may actually be their greatest strengths.

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The idea behind Icons is kinda cool. One day alien ships visited earth, everyone but a small few died, leaving those behind to fight for humanity. Sounds cool right? Well, I think what we have here is a classic case of poor execution. This interesting premise was not matched with strong writing or characters. As a reader, I just felt completely underwhelmed.

Honestly, it took me a while to figure out that I just wasn’t into this book so when I finally did I felt like I was too far along to quit. The dystopian setting Stohl has created is not bad, especially with the insertion of poems, government documents and letters which give the reader more insight and context for the type of world this story takes place in. But that was pretty much it. I just didn’t care enough that these alien creatures were oppressing humanity at large.

This lack of connection also carried into the characters as well. The characters and their relationships were so flat and predictable that there was nothing that made me like, hate, or relate to them. I just didn’t care and on top of that I really didn’t understand why these characters were doing the things they did. They fight, love, follow, trust and betray each other all too easily. I get the feeling the characters are supposed to group together like the the kids in Captain Planet to save the world “with their powers combined”, but in the end I actually am still not completely sure what exactly the four main characters can do.

It really is a shame because there was a lot of potential in Icons, (and I really liked Beautiful Creatures) but for me, it just fell flat. I’ve read other reviews where the readers absolutely loved it though, so don’t ignore Icons on my account if it sounds like something you’d really enjoy. I just think there are much better dystopian, sci-fi titles out there for you to sink your teeth into.

Author: Margaret Stohl

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (May 7, 2013)

Format: Audiobook (AudioGO)

Length: 9 hours and 30 minutes

Narrator(s): Therese Plummer

Series: First in the Icons series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book:

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Nothing to Write Home About: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Hi there!

I’m so behind in reviews! But that’s okay. I’m going to “shrink the change”. I’m going to write one review tonight instead of focusing on the 20 I want to write, so I won’t feel overwhelmed.

A while ago, I read Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive. If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

Honestly, I was surprised that I actually enjoyed this book in the end. It is such a different take on the dystopian genre that I wasn’t sure if I liked it at first. I didn’t love it, but it was entertaining.

First, I have to comment on the names. Ughhhh. Aria? Peregrine? Lumina? Paisley? Soren? Echo? I found myself rolling my eyes at times because I just can’t handle the names. I feel like books set in futuristic settings throw in these overly strange names to make up for a lack of world building. “Oh it’s the future! I know! Let’s give them weird names because it’s the future!”  Sorry. Sometimes a weird name is just a weird name.

The plot as a whole was really interesting. The whole idea of Reverie and the Realms is plausible as our society gets more and more lethargic because we’re interacting more digitally instead of physically. It reminded me of the society in WALL-E that just floats around in their little lazy-boy chairs with everything handed to them. It’s far out there, but plausible. In addition, I liked how the world outside of Reverie is so tribal. It seems like the two worlds have both reverted to the far ends of the spectrum. You have Reverie where society is so advanced that reality is virtual and in contrast you have Blood Lords and cannibals running around in the woods being chased by wolves. There was just so much potential!

Aria as a character fell flat, as did most of the other characters, with the exception of Peregrine in my opinion. I actually enjoyed learning more about Peregrine’s tribe and his back-story and I really liked the relationship with his friend Echo; the way they played off of each others strengths to do what needed to be done.

All in all, this one was simply entertaining and nothing to write home about. I think fans of dystopian YA will probably enjoy it, but I’d recommend other titles in this genre before Under the Never Sky for sure.

Author: Veronica Rossi

Publisher: Listening Library (February 14, 2012)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 9 hours and 39 minutes

Narrator(s): Bernadette Dunne Flagler

Series: First in the “Under the Never Sky” series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Under the Never Sky

 

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Movie Alert: The Giver Movie Trailer

Hi guys!

Well,  a lot has been happening in the world of YA books turned to films! We have Divergent releasing on Friday (I’m going to try to go see it on Sunday afternoon!) and The Maze Runner trailer dropped two nights ago! I have to say that I’m a little nervous about Divergent but have high expectations for The Maze Runner movie!

Well, I was on Twitter tonight and was reminded about the film adaptation of The Giver by Lois Lowry. I had forgotten all about it! It wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally read The Giver, but when I finally did it was clear why it is considered such a classic. So, here’s the trailer!


I was surprised to see Katie Holmes so that’s interesting. Also, it’s not in black and white….I feel like it should be, but there is still hope…hopefully?! I just wonder how they’re going to get across all the…”giving”…I don’t want to be a spoiler! I must say that as a school librarian, I’m just excited whenever a YA book to film happens because my circulation goes up, which just means that more students are reading! YAY!

So, what do you think about the trailer?!

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Decision Paralysis: The Elite by Kiera Cass

I’m always excited when there is even a spark of romance in a book I’m reading, so it’s no wonder why I am such a fan of Kiera Cass’ Selection series-romance! I recently finished the second book, The Elite and I’m craving book three!

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea. America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream The Elite by Kiera Cassof being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

I really enjoy reality type shows like “The Bachelor” (although I rarely watch it) or “House Hunters” where the characters have to choose between multiple options by the end of the show. There is something deeply interesting about observing someone else make a decision. I’m always intrigued by what factors they consider as the options are weighed and, in the end seeing what they considered to be the most important. I think this is where the main interest is for me with this series; I want to know what choice will ultimately win for each character.  Also, there is some big time romance!

The Elite picks ups exactly where The Selection (see my review) left off. America Singer is one of six contestants left in the competition to win Maxon’s affection and become Princess of Illea. America is struggling to make a choice- is her heart in the competition (with Maxon) or does it still belong to her first love (Aspen)? As someone who has a difficult time making even insignificant decisions I totally understand where America is coming from. She is enjoying herself more than she thought she would in the palace, but sometimes wonders if she is really the right girl for the job. I get this and I do love America, however I found myself very frustrated with America’s waffling throughout the story. She wants Maxon’s attention is surprised by her jealousy over the other girls, but continually sneaks off with Aspen when no one is looking. She’s hot and she’s cold. It really does just make a reader want to throw something at her! But, when I really sit down and think of it, America is smack dab in the middle of a highly stressful situation and who wouldn’t get decision paralysis if your choices had so much riding on them?!

So, America is a little annoying, but I really got into the way Cass added a little more depth to the story with all of the politics, rebellions, and dark family secrets. The story is obviously still focused on the competition of the Selection, but now there are other factors to consider which clearly add more stress to the situation. This made it much more than a YA version of “The Bachelor”. Plus we get to know a little bit more about Maxon’s backstory and his relationship with his parents, which I want to know more about. But don’t be alarmed by the addition of darker things, there is still a lot of romance going on, thanks to that love triangle America can’t seem to wriggle herself out of!

If you’re like me and you enjoy romance and a good reality-show-like vibe, then you need to get your hands on this series. The Elite is just plain romantic fun and I seriously don’t know how I’m going to wait until May to read the final book!

Author: Kiera Cass

Publisher: Harper Teen (April 23, 2013)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 323 pages

Series: Second in The Selection trilogy

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: The Elite (Selection)

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My Husband Likes YA: Legend and Prodigy by Marie Lu

Hi!

Every once in a while I suggest that my husband and I listen to a YA audiobook together. We’ve done the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games trilogy and The Maze Runner series before and we both had fun listening to them together. He usually enjoys the titles I’ve picked, but I do have to choose the right book to get him interested, which is why I was excited when I read the summary for Legend by Marie Lu.

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with iLegend by Marie Luts neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

In October, the Husband and I were driving back to Florida for my brother’s wedding.  It was a six hour drive so we knew we needed an audiobook. We chose Legend and loved it! When we got back to South Carolina we snagged the second book, Prodigy from the library too.

One thing that was special about this audiobook is that there are two narrators; one for Day and one for June.  It makes sense because the chapters alternate between Day and June’s point of view. I think I Prodigy by Marie Luprefer listening to books with multiple points of view on audio rather than reading them because the voices help me remember who is speaking. Even when the two characters’ voices are very different from each other, I still end up getting a bit confused so it helps having literally two different voices!

Speaking of June and Day I liked the combination of the two personalities and backgrounds coming together to help each other. June is very much a tom-boy, incredibly analytical, and often doesn’t realize how much her sheltered and privileged background shapes her world view.  This, mixed with the chip Day has on his shoulder from having been born to a life that is the complete and total opposite of June’s. The two don’t trust one another at first and it’s interesting to see just how they learn to do so.

The dystopian world Day and June live in is hinted at in Legend and the reader (or in our case, listeners) get even more of it in book two, Prodigy. We learn more and more about this futuristic version of the United States as June does. There are characteristics about this dystopian US that are believable (natural disasters taking a toll), but other aspects that seem a fall a little short (where is the rest of the world while the US is dealing with this stuff?!).  I was incredibly intrigued by the whole skills testing teens undergo to get placed (or tracked) into specific careers or…other things. As an educator I see creepy similarities to our focus on testing.

Although both books are incredibly fast paced with pretty much non stop action the entire time, I preferred Prodigy to Legend. It’s not uncommon for me to prefer the second book in a series to the first though, because I tend to get really excited when the characters’ world opens up and we learn about deeper layers of the story and new characters are introduced.

This series is pretty fun and totally accessible to middle grade readers, older young adult readers and up and the audiobooks are highly recommend by me and the Husband (we’re currently trying to get our hands on book three, Champion!) So, if you’re a fan of dystopian YA, or are simply trying to lure your significant other in the world of YA,  Legend and Prodigy are good additions to your TBR stack!

Author: Marie Lu

Publisher: Penguin Audio (Nov. 29, 2011) & (Jan. 29, 2013)

Format: Audiobooks

Length: Legend (7 hours and 48 minutes), Prodigy (10 hours and 10 minutes)

Narrator(s): Steven Kaplan, Mariel Stern

Series: Books 1 & 2 in the Legend series

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: Legend    Prodigy: A Legend Novel

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: Landry Park

Happy Hump Day!

As usual, it’s time for Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine).  Each week this event gives bloggers the opportunity to talk about an upcoming new release that is on our radar.

When a book is touted as “Downton Abbey meets The Selection”, I’m all in. According to the blurb on Goodreads.com Landry Park by Bethany Hagen is the love child of Downton Abbey and The Selection.

In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline LLandry Park by Bethany Hagenandry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won’t allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty – her family and the estate she loves dearly – and desire.

Ohhh I so hope this one turns out to be as fun of a read as it sounds! I get simultaneously nervous and excited when a book is compared to another favorite of mine. So fingers crossed that Landry Park, which is scheduled for release on February 4, doesn’t let me down!

 

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The Big Finish: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Welcome back friends!

I hope everyone has been having a fun weekend. It’s been pretty rainy all weekend here in South Carolina, but it’s been nice to have an excuse to stay in and work on the blog a little!

This book was so highly anticipated by me and pretty much everyone else out there! After I finished reading it however, I had to take a break before even considering this review. I wasn’t sure how to write a review of Allegiant by Veronica Roth so I decided to just go for it!

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles Allegiant by Veronica Rothand 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 meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

If you’ve read this book, I know what you’re probably thinking. It’s a mixture of disappointment, surprise, betrayal, excitement, and meh. It’s like all those feelings were thrown into the little bowl of your heart and someone turned on the KitchenAid and just started going to town. A lot of people finished this book and just weren’t happy. I understand that. When all is said and done I was entertained by Allegiant. Was it an amazing finale to the trilogy? No. Did I hate it? No. For me, Allegiant just could have been stronger.

Initially, I really liked the relationship between Tris and Tobias but then somewhere in the middle of book two, they stop talking to each other and this silent trend continues into book three. Both characters are making big decisions and keeping them secret from one another. There is talk about how much they love each other and want their relationship to work, but how is that possible if you don’t talk to that person about anything? This silence kind of ruins the relationship between Tris and Tobias for me, which is sad because I want to love them so much!

My favorite thing about Allegiant was probably getting some questions about the society and factions answered, and I feel like there was so much potential to really delve into the history of the factions. When it finally got to the answers, I felt like so much of this part of the storyline was rushed. We only scratched the surface level of the “why” behind the factions. I wanted to know more about how the factions came to be and more about Tris’ mom who had all these crazy secrets.

Let’s talk the ending without giving anything away. I just knew something  big was going to happen. I knew it and then I read it. At this point I was so surprised that Veronica Roth had the guts to do what she did that I had to go back and read this specific “part that shall not be named” again. I read it about four times before I finally comprehended that what I thought had happened had, in fact, happened! And you know what? I wasn’t mad. I didn’t love it either. I rarely get angry at how an author chooses to end a book or series because it’s their creation. How they chose to end it all, is how it was meant to end, in my opinion.

I don’t question Veronica Roth’s choice of ending, but I do question the quality of the final storyline leading up to the big finish. All in all, I felt like Allegiant could have been a stronger story, I kind of wish it had been. However, if you are a fan of this series than I recommend reading Allegiant because it was entertaining and it does wrap up the trilogy in an interesting way. Just know that you’ve been warned. Get ready to be surprised and have all your feelings will be mixed up!

Author: Veronica Roth

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (Oct. 22, 2013)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 526 pages

Series: Third book in the Divergent trilogy

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: Allegiant (Divergent Series)

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2013 YA Audiobook Challenge Wrap-Up

Hi again friends!

As it turns out I’m a huge fan of audiobooks! Haha That is the understatement of the year! I LOVE audiobooks and pretty much everyone I know is fully aware of it! I may have mentioned it one or two times.

2013 was my second year of participation in the YA Audiobook Challenge, which is hosted by Jen at Book and a Latte and was, I’m pretty sure, created solely for me alone. For the most part, I listen to audiobooks while I’m running, which I do a lot of. I’ll also have one playing while doing those chores that drive me crazy, like washing dishes and folding laundry. So, over the course of the year I listened to 35 YA audiobooks (1 short of my original goal of 36) which qualified me for the “Rockn’ Out” level of the challenge!

Let’s go ahead and re-cap all the awesome audiobooks I read this past year.

Everlost by Neal Shusterman Entwined by Heather Dixon The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterPaper Towns by John Green

1. Everlost by Neal Shusterman
2. Paper Towns by John Green
3. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
4. Entwined by Heather Dixon

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger If I Stay by Gayle Forman A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

5. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
6. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
8. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare Switched by Amanda Hocking Torn by Amanda HockingAscend by Amanda Hocking

9. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
10. Switched by Amanda Hocking
11. Torn by Amanda Hocking
12. Ascend by Amanda Hocking

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta Between Shades of Gray by Ruta SepetysScarlet by Marissa Meyer
13. Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
14. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
15. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
16. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
The Kill Order by James DashnerEnder's Game by Orson Scott Card The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

17. The Kill Order by James Dashner
18. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
19. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
20. Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers Delirium by Lauren Oliver The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson The False Prince by Jennifer A Nielsen
21. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
22. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
23. The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
24. The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

Chime by Franny Billingsley Legend by Marie Lu The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
25. Chime by Franny Billingsley
26. Legend by Marie Lu
27. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
28. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Requiem by Lauren Oliver BitterKingdom The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
29. Requiem by Lauren Oliver
30. The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
31.The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
32. Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby

Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger Days of Blood and Starlight by Lani Turner Prodigy by Marie Lu

33. Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
34. Prodigy by Marie Lu
35. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

I know I should have linked to my reviews, but I’m too lazy to do all that…haha

So, there you go! Yay for audiobooks!!

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Love and the Letdown: The Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver

Howdy!

Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy had been on my TBR list for quite some time, but it wasn’t until I had about fifteen students, all in one week’s time, command that I finally read these books. So, I just do what my students tell me, mostly because these girls were a little rabid and I was honestly a bit scared Delirium by Lauren Oliverof them! haha

So, I finally read Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem by Lauren Oliver in early fall. I was on a bit of a necessarily review writing hiatus (life was crazy yo) so I decided to consider these books as a whole.

Overall, I thought the whole premise behind these books was really inventive. The idea of love as a disease that future governments would strive to eradicate is pretty interesting. I mean when you think about it, it does makes sense that love would be seen as the root of all the world’s problems. So I was impressed with the first book, Delirium and how Oliver portrayed this dystopian world where love was a thing to be feared. Overall, Oliver’s world building was pretty strong. I loved the excerpts from the Book of Shhh (Lena’s society’s holy book) and the legends and myths that were retold to fit the society’s needs. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

The way society was set-up in Lena’s, the main character, world reminded me a bit of the society in Westerfeld’s Uglies series. When teens turn a specific age they are to undergo massive surgery to “fix” them. In the Uglies books it is to make them “pretty”, whereas in Oliver’s books the surgery is intended to cure one’s brain of the disease of love. When we meet Lena she is prepping for her soon-to-be-scheduled “cure” when someone comes into her life forcing her to rethink everything she has been told.

I really liked the first two books, Delirium and Pandemonium. In these first two books, Lena’s world slowly unfurls until the world she knew becomes a totally different creature altogether. The momentum was building just like the rebellion….and then we got to Requiem. Really, I was enjoying the book, not as much as the first two but enjoying it, and then we got to the ending. I’m not going to give anything away here, but talk about a let down! I felt like Oliver just left us with nothing and I was Requiem by Lauren Oliversuper disappointed.

All in all, this was a fun series. In the end however, I just wanted so much more than what Oliver was willing to give, I guess. I did enjoy the books however as a whole, and would recommend them to 7th grade readers and up who are fans of the dystopian genre.

Author: Lauren Oliver

Publisher: Harper Collins

Format: Audiobook

Length: Delirium (11 hours and 47 minutes), Pandemonium (10 hours and 37 minutes), Requiem (10 hours and 13 minutes)

Narrator(s): Sarah Drew

Series: The Delirium trilogy

YA/MG: MG or YA

Buy the Book: Delirium Pandemonium (Delirium) Requiem (Delirium)