Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

There are a bunch of reasons that could have warranted 4 stars on this book. Oliver's writing is beautiful. It's a really interactive read with a lot of emotion and action - much more, I think than Delirium (Book 1). I think that if this story were a Book 1 or if I'd skipped right to this one I wouldn't have just "liked it." 

Unfortunately, it is a Book 2 and I didn't skip the first book.

There were a lot of things that bothered me about Pandemonium. 

I've heard a few people complain about the "now" and "then" of the book. This, if I'm being honest, did really bug me at first. I wanted to shoot through all of the thens to get back to the nows. I found myself scanning the pages at one point to get the gist of what was going on and continue with the story. However, it must have been a more seamless transition than I'd thought reading it, because I can't recall when it stopped. For those of you just picking this one up, it does stop. 

While the new characters introduced in Pandemonium added some richness to the story, I REALLY missed Hana and Alex. I felt as though I had invested too much of my time in Delirium to them for them to be removed from the story line for this ENTIRE book. 

Also, since I was so obsessed with Alex, I had a really difficult time connecting with Julian in this book. He came off as sort of bratty and helpless in so much of it. The connection built between he and Lena felt similar to that of Katniss and Peeta (terrible things happen to them that bring them together). However, unlike Peeta (total love of my life) it isn't until the end of the book that I feel like Julian is swoonworthy in the least - definitely not when the last guy you kissed was a major winner. 

Like Delirium, Pandemonium ends with this crazy cliffhanger. I hope that Book 3 can put some of my crazy disapointment at ease! 

While this review is a total emotional rant about all of the things that make me want to throw things while reading it, the book was very well-written. It's (almost)always a good sign when an author can make you want to damage your own property in a fit of rage. I'll definitely be counting down the days to see what comes next!

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

What I loved:

I thought that the character development was really outstanding. There was something I loved about every character in the book, even the ones I hated. Oliver did a really amazing job helping us to explore the depth in each of her characters, while really reminding us of the depth in all people.

The story was beautifully written. If you loved her style in Delirium and Pandemonium, this certainly doesn't disappoint. For someone with no imaginative bones of her own, I was able to picture every expression and encounter between characters vividly.

I loved that she decided to keep the story a little unconventional. While this disappointed some, it isn't like she didn't TELL us what the deal was at the VERY BEGINNING of the story. There weren't a whole lot of surprises in the plot - It was really about uncovering the characters.

Harlot Sam was my favorite Sam of all.

What I didn't love: 

It took a LONG time to get to through seven days of the same(ish) story. Day 2 and 6 were a little painful for me. I would have preferred maybe a little less of the conversations that were repeated day after day. I get it. It's the same day over and over.

I didn't really understand why . . . SPOILER!!!!

Sam had to die to save Juliet . If Sam was in the car in the first place and the reason that she dies is because Juliet darts in front of the car, how can still-alive Sam die in Juliet's place by darting in front of a different car instead? Why does Juliet get a second shot at living, but not Sam? Does ANYONE ELSE GET THIS? I'd really love some insight. Lauren Oliver?

I think that the story was so beautiful, and it was a really interesting read. I liked it. I didn't love it. I don't have to have it. I'm not tweaking over it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Find out all of the details of this book here.

What I loved:
  • Sibling love! Cate totally reminded me of myself when it came to her two sisters -though, for me, its one sister that is a hybrid between Maura and Tess.
  • Cate (the protagonist) doesn't simply care about getting the guy (or guys). She's got her own mind and priorities and boys aren't at the top of the list 
  • BOYS! Though they aren't at the top of the list, they're definitely on the list. (Team Finn, anyone?)
  • The setting- New England in the late 1800's? Yes, please. It's a world that Spotswood definitely nails. I can totally see myself going to formal teas in my corseted dress alongside the Cahill sisters. 
  • LOTS of characters that you're still trying to figure out at the end of the book - there's still a lot to be uncovered. So, there's a ton of potential for book 2. 
What I didn't love:
  • While Spotswood certainly surprised me at parts, a lot of the big discoveries in the book I had guessed well-ahead of time
  • The relationship between Paul and Cate was developed very clearly, but with Finn (though, I am a total Finn fan) it really wasn't. Insta-love? A little bit.
  • Book 2 isn't out for at least another year! 
There was very little I didn't like about this book. It took me a little while to get into it -as it typically does when I am coming straight out of another book I absolutely loved (Daughter of Smoke and Bone <3 <3 ) -but once I did I couldn't set it down. It was definitely one of those carry-it-around-with-you-in-the-off-chance-you-get-a-spare-second-to-read-at-work-or-on-lunch books. I'd give it a 4.5/5. Excellent debut with a killer cliffhanger that I will be slowly dying over until book 2 hits.