Thursday, 25 July 2013

Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Book: Reboot (Reboot #1)
Author: Amy Tintera
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 365 Pages
Format: Hardcover

I really liked the concept of this book. It was a dystopian with a little syfy, set in the not to distant future with a romance. It was like Amy Tintera took everything I loved and pushed it into one book that was awesome.

Goodreads Summary
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).
Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.
The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

The story of Wren and Callum was actioned packed and there was never a dull moment. The suspense was well written and I was interested the entire time, but that's where it really ends. The writing was great and the pacing was on key but nothing else really stuck out about this one. But let me just say that the action was great!

The character of Wren was a little bland and I can understand that. Shes a reboot, she's supposed to have no to minimal emotions, but if that's so, why write it from first person? Yeah, we get to see her grow, but what is there to grow from? I didn't get to connect with her on an emotional level and it bother the crap out of me.

Another thing that really bothered me was the instalove between Wren and Callum. It was sickly sweet at times and it just really got on my nerves. If the love was postponed to book 2, I would have been a lot happier with the story but alas, you can't always get what you want.

Overall, I was slightly disappointed with this book and am only giving it a 2.5/5 star rating. The characters were a bit of a let down and it just wasn't for me.


Monday, 15 July 2013

Review: Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan

Book: Crash and Burn

Author: Michael Hassan

Publisher: Balzer and Bray

Pages: 532 Pages

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads Summary

On April 21, 2008, Steven "Crash" Crashinsky saved more than a thousand people when he stopped his classmate David Burnett from taking their high school hostage armed with assault weapons and high-powered explosives. You likely already know what came after for Crash: the nationwide notoriety, the college recruitment, and, of course, the book deal. What you might not know is what came before: a story of two teens whose lives have been inextricably linked since grade school, who were destined, some say, to meet that day in the teachers' lounge of Meadows High. And what you definitely don't know are the words that Burn whispered to Crash right as the siege was ending, a secret that Crash has never revealed.

Until now.

Michael Hassan's shattering novel is a tale of first love and first hate, the story of two high school seniors and the morning that changed their lives forever. It's a portrait of the modern American teenage male, in all his brash, disillusioned, oversexed, schizophrenic, drunk, nihilistic, hopeful, ADHD-diagnosed glory. And it's a powerful meditation on how normal it is to be screwed up, and how screwed up it is to be normal.

I first saw this book on Tea Time with Team Epicreads and the cover was practically burned into my mind - pun intended. When it came in at the library, I picked it up, not knowing a thing about what it was about, and I was surprised.

Crash and Burn, or Stephen Crashinsky and David Burnett were two extremely different characters that will stay in my mind for a while. Stephen was reckless and he didn't really care about the consequences. David on the other hand, was detail oriented, and everything he did was perfectly planned out. He had an answer for everything and took shit from no one. My favourite character, though, was Roxanne. I can't really say much about her without spoiling the book, but just know that she was the pinnacle of character development.

The writing was, if anything, realistic. The author didn't hide behind metaphors and instead wrote the same way a teenager would think. He didn't censor anything and no topic was taboo. It was very interesting. At the beginning, it was hard to really get into, but as the story progressed, you got used to it. 

The story had weird pacing, as well. And I don't mean bad weird, or good weird, but just...weird. It wasn't fast, but by no nature was it slow. It moved fast enough to get you through the book easily, but slow enough that you were kept in suspense. And that was important. When we get down to it, the real plot, what we had been waiting for, was in the last 50 pages of the book. He (Stephen) actually warns you that you won't want to put it down till you finish it, and to get a snack! XD

I don't know if I really liked this book. I appreciated the themes and the way it was written, but I don't know if I actually liked it. It wasn't my cup of tea, but it did leave an imprint on my mind, but it was hard to get through.

3.5 out of 5 stars. I will recommend this to everyone though. But beware the language.


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Book: Neverwhere

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publisher: Avon

Pages: 370 Pages

Format: Massmarket Paperback

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads Summary
Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart - and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed - a dark subculture flourishing in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city - a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known...
I was very disappointed by Stardust by Neil Gaiman and I was somewhat reluctant to pick up another one of his books, but after one of my best friends practically shoved this into my hands, I knew I had to read it because as she put it once, 'I only read good books'.

I don't really have that much to say about this one. Out of everything in this book, I liked the characters and the humour. Neil Gaiman is funny without trying to be. I think it's because he's British, but who really knows. The subtly of his writing when it comes to jokes makes everything seems funnier than it actually is.

And the characters just fit so well together. The way that they all played off one another's emotions and fears made then seem real. Door was my favourite. She was so driven and the way that she could manipulate everyone around her in the simplest ways made me applaud her and also wish I could be her.

Neil Gaiman is best read in one sitting because of the subtly in his writing, and I didn't do that with Neverwhere or Stardust. The small details with characters, themes, and symbols are so easily glossed over if it's read in pieces. I think i've learned my lesson. His plots and themes are so intricately woven into his stories and I really needed to sit down and pay closer attention to this detail.

3.5/ 5 stars.



Monday, 8 July 2013

Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Book: Defiance (Defiance #1)
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Pages: 403
Format: International Paperback Edition

At my local grocery store, there's a book section and I had always seen this one on display and I finally took a chance and ordered it. Holy. Crap. I am in love. CJ Redwine, just take my money and give me book 2, like, yesterday. I want to know what happens to badly!

Goodreads Summary

While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making

So first off, the relationship between Rachel and Logan was perfectly executed. Seriously. I didn't get a sense of instalove and that was what made it. There was enough explanation of both of their backstories to justify their actions and their feelings towards each other. This made every single action-reaction and choice rational, which made their relationship all the better.

I also, really loved the switching point of views. I loved seeing both sides of the story and how they each saw each other. It brought a lot of clarity to the story, understanding what each one of them went through before they came together. Each character had such a voice and I really admired that. Logan was kind and selfless, while Rachel was fiery and headstrong and the sheer contrast between the two characters was beautiful.

C.J. Redwine seamlessly creates a world and characters that had me turning the pages faster than I thought was possible. I let 8 hours, 4 cups of tea, and 6 phone calls pass me by while I was sucked into this story. I am trying my hardest to be patient for book 2, Deception, to come out, but it seems like I'll end up preordering it anyway. Also, Deception comes out on my birthday! What a great gift :)

I give this one a 5/5 stars. It deserved it.