Monday, October 24, 2011

{ The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe }

January 24, 2012 by Disney-Hyperion

Source: NetGalley

Format: ebook ARC

From GoodReads:

It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.

And then you're dead.

When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

Because how will she go on if there isn't?

Megan Crewe crafts a powerful and gripping exploration of self-preservation, first love, and hope. Poignant and dizzying, this heart-wrenching story of one girl’s bravery and unbeatable spirit will leave readers fervently awaiting the next book in this standout new series.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book. However, I am having a hard time rating it or even really forming a clear opinion on this one. It was enjoyable and I connected with the main character, Kaelyn...most of the time. I will admit to finding her a bit inconsistent. Or maybe it was the authors writing style? The book was written in the form of letters written from Kaelyn to her childhood friend/crush, Leo. At times the book read like a Diary and others it was more of a novel. I was finding myself a little confused on the whole relationship between Kaelyn and Leo. Honestly, right up to the end. And I still am. But that aside, I enjoyed the journey and found The Way We Fall to be a real page turner.

I did not, however, like the ending at all. It ended much to abruptly for me. I re-read the last few sentences over and over. I kept thinking I missed something, or I was missing pages. I understand that there is to be 2 more books in this series. I would have been quite happy for this to be a stand alone, if it had ended better.

In the end if you are a Dystopian fan, I would recommend this one. It is definitely not one of the best Dystopian's I have read. But if you are looking for a something a little less dark, this might be a good one to start with.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Sunday, October 23, 2011

{ Variant by Robison Wells }

October 4, 2011 by HarperTeen

Source: NetGalley

Format: ebook ARC

From Goodreads:

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.

Mini Review:

I enjoyed Variant. It was definitely different. Not too sure if I would call it a Dystopian or not and if it is truly being put out there as a Dystopian? It's just okay. I found myself having a hard time deciding whether this was set in a future world or in current times.

While I did like the main character, Benson, I did not find myself overly connected with any of the characters. There were a few that stood out a bit more than others, but I never felt fully connected with anyone.

However, with all of that aside, I would be interested to read the next installment to see where these characters and story go. There are still many unanswered questions for me. If you are looking for something different and a story that keeps you guessing and you don't have a problem with a major cliffhanger... I would recommend Variant.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Sunday, October 2, 2011

{ AshFall by Mike Mullin }

Oct 11, 2011 by Tanglewood Press

Source: NetGalley

Format: e-ARC

From GoodReads:

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.

My Review:

Ashfall was one of my first books from Net Galley and I was very excited it give it a read. Dystopian/ Post-Apocalyptic are fast becoming my first choice. I know, I know. A lot of people are devouring these too. I know a lot of people out there are saying, but why? They are so dark and depressing. Okay yes, there are certainly dark moments, but you know what? There is so much good and light within these dark tales. The one thing that I love about Dystopian is that there are always those characters that rise above and show that even when times are dark, at the core of humanity we are mostly good. These characters bring to light the true testament of the human nature and our willingness to fight for what is right and our strength to survive. And this is what I loved so much about Ashfall.

At it's core, this is a book based on characters and what those characters will do in order to survive and to keep those they love alive. Yes, this is about a Super Volcano. Yes, there is a whole science aspect to this story and no it is not really dealt with in great detail, but that is not what this book was about for me. I don't know if the scientific stuff is believable. Quite frankly, I don't care. The basic premise was good enough for me. What I loved about this book was Alex. Alex's story begins with a BANG! Quite literally. And it does not stop. We see Alex grow from beginning to end and I for one enjoyed every step of the way. I connected right away to this character. He is this normal teenage boy when we first meet him...about to be left alone for the weekend while his family is off visiting other family in another state. Cool? Not! Alex's life comes crashing down on him in a matter of a few pages and so his journey to find his family begins. Right from the start, Alex is forced to grow up quickly due to the situations he is forced to be apart of and witness. Many are terrifying and heartbreaking to say the least. Along the way he meets up with many characters. Some are good but some are the true definition of evil. I don't like to put too many spoilers into my reviews, but I will say that the author, Mike Mullin, did a fantastic job of throwing enough at Alex to keep the readers wanting more and worrying constantly for Alex's wellbeing.

Halfway through Alex's journey, he meets, Darla. Darla, Darla, Darla. I love Darla. She is this amazing 18yr old girl who has grown up on a farm and learning absolutely everything from her father and then after his death, she continues to learn on her own. Darla is amazing. She is beautiful, smart, snarky and just plain cool. The relationship that develops between Alex and Darla is perfect. It is not over done and just feels natural considering everything that they go through together.

The ending of this one was also perfect - for me anyway. There is no big huge cliff hanger. Which is too often the norm in YA as of late. It ended leaving you with the knowledge that there is more to Alex and Darla's story. I for one will be anxiously waiting the next instalment, Ashen Winter.

Rating: 5 Stars!

{ Dark Eden by Patrick Carman }

Nov 1, 2011 by HarperCollins Children's Books

Source: NetGalley

Format: ebook ARC

From GoodReads:

Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night's experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?

Patrick Carman's Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and— ultimately—immortality

My Review:

Dark Eden is a unique story. I had difficulties getting into the story at first. I felt a bit confussed and quite frankly never truly felt a connection to any of the characters. That being said, I felt intriqued enough to continue reading, Dark Eden. I needed to find out the truth. The reason these teens were brought together. In the end. I found the story quite intriging. I am not too sure that I love the way in which the story unfolded and developed throughout the book, but on a whole, Dark Eden is a story unlike other YA books right now. I am not sure if there are any other books planned for this story, but I would be interested to read another book. I for one, would love to know if Will Besting goes through with his 60 year pact.

In the end. I would recommend this one if you are looking for something a little different. If you enjoy being teased and intrigued right up to the very end. However, if you need a strong character connection, this might not live up to your expectations

{ Quick Note }

Happy Sunday Everyone!

I just wanted to pop by and explain why I have not been posting lately. I started a new job at the beginning of Sept and my available reading time has been drastically slashed! I am still reading...every chance I get. But it is definitely slow going. Thus, my posting is going to be very sporadic. I am still popping in on my favorite blogs, but my own blogging is going to be suffering. I am not going to stop completely, but it may come to that...we will see.

I just wanted to let you know...if there is still anyone visiting my blog that is!! ;0)