Tag Archives: Dystopian

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

 

 

forest

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
308 pages
Delacorte Press, 2009
Rating: 4/5

It has been awhile since I last read a YA book that sucked me in so much that I just HAD to finish reading it. Looking back, I can’t distinguish anything particular about this book that consumed me so much. Perhaps it was the world building and the creepy factor. The characters were alright, the plot was smooth with a few little bumps, and the pacing was a little weird but workable. Zombies freak me out and they were really well written in this story. I was afraid of what was beyond the fence, but knew that the characters would have to face it at some point. There were some plot holes that I glossed over, but nothing to be annoyed about.

I think it was a pretty decent book. I went into it blind which I think is probably the best idea. Apparently this book was hyped quite a bit so it unfortunately disappointed some people. I feel that it needs to be read with an open mind.

It toyed with the concept of faith and hope quite a bit. Duty vs emotional choice was another common theme. The main character was quite selfish, so that put a contrast towards the rest of the characters and made things a little more interesting. Some parts the pacing zoomed by, and other parts it dragged on. There were times when I wished more time was spent on a particular “scene in time” but if I had my way, the book would have easily been 500 pages long (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!).

So why 4 stars? I wanted to keep reading. It got to me emotionally. I thought about it before I slept and while I slept. It creeped me out.

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Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
335 pages
2007, Simon & Schuster
My Rating: 4/5

Description: (from Goodreads.com)

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive

 

My thoughts:

This was a really interesting story. It is about these kids that are deemed unworthy of a normal life, so they are due to be “unwound” – a process that is basically about donating organs in the perspective that instead of death, the person lives on forever. A war between Prolifers and Prochoicers resulted in this Bill of Life that says abortions are against the law. So everyone has to live. The story is about these kids that are scheduled to be “unwound” but refuse their fate and are on the run.

First of all, the world building was perfect. The descriptions of the war and the laws were concise, clear, and interesting. They are concepts that are relevant in today’s society.

The variety of characters was appreciated, too. Connor has a temper problem, Risa is musically gifted but is unable to be supported by governmental financial aid, and Lev is a Bible thumper. Three radically different perspectives are intersected and challenged among each other. The minor characters are also well defined enough to the point of being able to develop a strong emotion for almost everyone.

The plot was really good, but had some issues. Everyone is on the run, trying to avoid being caught and unwound. I would have liked to see more focus on the actual skills of survival instead of a few minor examples. There were some great moments that showed their intelligence, but I was hoping for more. I liked the group dynamics vs individual selfishness dichotomies, because they felt like they really reflected human nature. I will admit, I would have gone lone wolf immediately so a part of me was hoping for more individual tips.

The ideas in this book are worth thinking about like organ donation, ethics, prochoice, prolife, free will, slavery, extremists, & many more. How you define “life” is central to how you will react to this book.

Overall, I think this is a great book to read for anyone. My only issues were in the details of survival and individual thought.

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Anniversary Book Haul

I got some great books! In unrelated news: it is my 4 year anniversary with my boyfriend. Hurray!

 

Books mentioned:

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The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Book 2 in the Maze Runner Trilogy 

360 pages
Published 2010, Ember
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction 

My Rating: 3.5/5

Normally with trilogies, I find the second book to be the most difficult to get through because they generally lag. The Scorch Trials had the same fast pace as the Maze Runner and enough imagination to make it really feel like its own book (and not just part of a trilogy). The creepiness factor I found in The Maze Runner was repeated in The Scorch Trials, although to a slightly more predictable manner. We were able to learn more about WICKED and people that existed outside of the maze to begin with. I thought it was interesting how it was all set up, but I was a tad disappointed by the ending. I didn’t feel like it really gave me enough of an explanation to be satisfied. Luckily, my book contained the first couple chapters of the third book in the trilogy, The Death Cure, and that answered some of my questions. Overall, it was an enjoyable book and I recommend it along with the Maze Runner!

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February TBR Pile

 

I have four books I am planning on reading this month. The most intimidating ones are these two, as they are the biggest!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
418 pages
Published 2011,  Hatchette Book Group

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
384 pages
Published 2011, Doubleday Canada

 

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
360 pages
Published 2010, Random House

Gone by Michael Grant
558 pages
Published 2008, Harper Teen

 

Why did I chose these books?

  •  Some qualified for the Big Book Challenge (400+ pages) and I think it’ll be a huge accomplishment if I read them all!
  • I’ve heard nothing but good things about Gone, The Scorch Trials, and the Night Circus
  • I know nothing about Daughter of Smoke and Bone but it was reccommended to me by the bookstore employee and it seems like it would be an interesting book! I love not knowing anything about a book because it makes the reading experience more enjoyable.
  • Dystopian challenges! Gone & The Scorch Trials

What are you reading in the month of February? 🙂

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Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

358 pages
2011, Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

Description from GoodReads:

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive.

My Rating: 3.5/5

My Thoughts:

Going into this book, I had high hopes. The concept sounded really cool and I had heard many positive reviews. However, I would have to say it did not live up to my expectations. I found it really hard to connect with the protagonist, Rhine, and often saw alternative plot directions that I thought would have been better. I really liked the character Jenna, but she stayed mostly in the background and I felt she had a lot of potential that was wasted.

I think the book has some good points, such as how it brings awareness to topics like living within a patriarchal system, companionship, individual vs communal needs, and the possible ugly side of scientific pursuits. I personally feel the book could have been a lot better if it wasn’t specifically written for a trilogy, but rather stuck to being one book. I would have liked to see more content, but the book itself is still a decent read.

Another book along similar lines is Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which I really enjoyed.

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Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows is expected to be released January 31, 2012. 

Genres: fantasy, dystopian, sci-fi, paranormal romance
384 pages

Description from Good Reads:

NEWSOUL 
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why. 

NOSOUL 
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame? 

HEART 
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all? 

I want to read this because I am always on the hunt for a new dystopian and I think it sounds rather interesting. The way the description is set up, makes it seem like there might be different point of views, but in the very least there are a couple of sub-plots already apparent. The cover is beautiful, the genres are interesting, and the description sounds like something I would enjoy without giving too much away.

 

Optional Questions for Readers:

  1. Are you also waiting for this book?
  2. Know of any other dystopian novels to reccommend?
  3. What do you look for the most in upcoming novels? Beautiful covers? Interesting descriptions? Genre types?

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