Celestine North has always played by the rules. Perhaps that was why she never really thought too hard about the consequences for people who broke them. I mean, just follow the rules and you don’t have to worry about facing any punishments, right? In her society, people who break the rules are branded Flawed. As in actually branded, with a branding iron! And once they are branded, they are literally second-class citizens who have a different set of rules to live by. While riding the bus one morning, Celestine finally comes face-to-face with a situation that makes her question everything she’s ever known. A woman with an injured leg takes one of the Flawed seats on the bus because it affords her more leg room, and then her friend takes the only other Flawed seat to make it easier to converse. Then an elderly Flawed man gets on the bus, and he is forced to stand. As he nears collapse from a coughing fit, Celestine tries to help him… and all hell breaks loose. She ends up on trial for aiding a Flawed person, which could lead to her own Flawed classification. But how could showing a little human decency ruin her whole life?
Though we don’t actually brand people Flawed in America, I think there are definitely plenty of situations in which Americans turn a blind eye to suffering and persecution under the mistaken impression that those people somehow deserve or earned their lot in life. I think this would be a fantastic book to read to start a discussion about empathy and the ways people can change their views of “other” people.
I really enjoyed the fact that book didn’t fit neatly into a single category. I could probably book talk this a few different ways, depending on the reader seeking a recommendation! Readers who enjoyed the fantastic, blood-thirsty mermaids in Lies Beneath will likely be enthralled by the different races of the Alphas and their various body types, weapons, and powers. Fans of The Hunger Games are sure to appreciate the various layers of societal resistance, government involvement, and fighting for survival. And, of course, readers who prefer their dystopias with a side of angsty/forbidden love, like in the Delirium series, will not be disappointed! Continue reading
Sorry I never posted a review last week. I had every intention of finding a few minutes to post a review but… well… I was on vacation and I was just having too much fun with my family! ;-) We spent the week in NYC and did a variety of cultural, educational, and just plain fun stuff. Every day was exhausting, but my son insisted that we still make time to read at least a chapter every night before we crashed at the hotel. As much as I enjoy reading with my kid, it was a little creepy — because we were reading the dead & the gone, which is all about post-apocalyptic NYC! And because we were reading that book, it reminded me that I had to finish the Monument 14 series (another post-apocalyptic story) when I got home. So, I decided that would be the subject of my first post back.
If you’re looking to scare yourself into being more environmentally conscientious, this is a book you should probably read! Not only does it provide an entirely plausible scenario for how individuals will be effected when oil starts to run out — including but not limited to gasoline shortages and electricity blackouts — but it also goes into more global ramifications, like the potential for war. Continue reading
So, as I did with Divergent, I waited until the third book of this trilogy was about to be released before I started to read the first book. I didn’t want to be stuck waiting [most likely impatiently] for the release of final book of the series like I am with the Lunar Chronicles. But, lo and behold, it seems all my planning was for naught… because there’s now a FOURTH book! Even though the audiobook for The Selection Stories: The Prince & The Guard had a sneak peek of The One — which it touted as the “thrilling conclusion” to the trilogy — I now have to wait until MAY 2015 to get my hands on The Heir… And I have a sneaking suspicion things won’t even end there since GoodReads lists a 5th (currently unnamed) book. /sigh Continue reading
If you’re a sucker for dystopias, like I am, you’re definitely going to want to check out this trilogy — especially since the third book just came out and you won’t get stuck waiting for more books to be published! In this world, most people are born with the power of an Element — earth, water, wind, or fire. They can both sense and control their Element. Someone who was a wind elemental, for example, could sense exactly how quickly a storm was blowing in and/or use the wind to fight off an enemy. This book reminded me of Avatar the Last Airbender, which means I’ll need to pass it along to my son when he gets just a little bit older!
I think I’ve mentioned on my blog that I no longer review all of the subsequent books in trilogies and series that I read because it’s often hard to summarize without spoiling the earlier books in the trilogy/series for people who haven’t read them yet. (If not, I have now!) Plus — let’s be honest — it also helps me not to fall behind so badly on my reviews if I don’t include every book I read on this blog. But, I just can’t let this book go without comment! Neal Shusterman has completely BLOWN. MY. MIND! If his story is not enough, in and of itself, to show you the insane path that humanity is blazing into the future, the included hyperlinks for stories which make the case for a future in which “unwinding” actually happens will scare the hell out of you. The thing I am most grateful about with UnDivided, nonetheless, is that the story is actually done. I have spent far too long wondering what happened to Connor, Risa, Lev, and the rest of the gang, so THANK YOU Neal for finally giving me closure!