Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston

Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1)Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Are smallmen leprechauns? At first, I thought they were just little people and found it kind of weird that they were presented another magical creature. Like the marked people, they are persecuted, killed, and sold into slavery because they’re small.

…as for Frozen, I actually liked most of the book even though there were a lot of issues here. The world building is horrible, so don’t expect to understand the world or creatures that the authors created. Normally, this would be annoying, especially since a lot of magical creatures get thrown around for no real purpose other than being magical. But I still liked it. The writing was smooth and since this is the first book in a series, I’m willing to forgive it for not telling me everything.

There was one thing they mentioned that I found weird. People need to go and register their names if they want to have sex with someone. To get a hotel room is a long process and everything is checked meticulously. This seems weird. I think it was the authors ways of not having sex in the book and provide a reason why this can’t happen, but I don’t think people would go through with this if they really wanted it.

It doesn’t really make sense, but a lot of things don’t so…

The characters were okay. I didn’t really have any feelings for them. They were there and that’s pretty much it. The character I was most interesting in learning about was the voice in Nat’s head, but for some reason she shows up in the beginning and then doesn’t come back. Nat does mention that the moment she went on the journey the voice stopped talking to her, but I still wanted her to show up here and there. For someone who has been bugging Nat all of her life, you can’t just stop like that.

Like the magical animals that popped out here and there, the voice did seem like a wasted plot point that was quickly discarded once it served its purpose.

As for the romance, it is insta-love, lust? Seems more like lust instead of love, but whatever. Nat and Ryan both feel like the other is different and can’t stop thinking about them. Ryan wants to protect Nat and Nat wants to jump Ryan’s bones. They flirt, they talk, and they think about the other person. Even though they think about each other a lot, the romance is played down here. In that sense I am thankful.

Overall: This should be a book that I don’t like, but I did enjoy it. I’m hoping the world is explained more in the next book though. Since this is a series, I was a lot more forgiving here because of the potential it has to be a fun story.

The writing, even with the occasional mistake here and there, was smooth and easy to get through. And even though I don’t really understand this world, I still want to know more about it.

This is definitely not a book for everyone, but I enjoyed my time reading it.

But seriously though, are smallmen leprechauns though? What other small human-like magical creature are there? Hobgoblins? Brownies?

Frozen was provided by netgalley

Other reviews!
  • Review: Frozen (Heart of Dread #1) – Quote: “It’s kind of hard to recommend this book, because I loved it and then I didn’t. I think it’s worth reading, just so you can see if you like the ending more than me.”
  • Frozen: Heart of Dread Review – Rating: 1.5 stars
  • Review: Frozen – Quote: “So, all in all, it was enjoyable. There were things I liked, and things I didn’t like, which is the way with most stories.”
  • Frozen: Heart of Dread – Quote: “Basically, I will not be continuing this series, and my overall feeling about it was…meh”

 

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Imitation by Heather Hildenbrand

Congrats to Charlee! You are the lucky winner of The Girl from the Well giveaway. Hope you enjoy the book!

ImitationImitation by Heather Hildenbrand

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When it comes to books about clones, or sci-fi stuff in general, I’m more than willing to suspend my disbelief here and there. I feel like it comes with the territory and while some may like reading about the complicated things involved, I more than happy to just go with whatever the author says and call it a day. If the author says that cloning has been going on for a long time, I’m fine with that. And in the beginning of the novel, I right there going with the flow, but then we learn about the Imitations and what they’re required to do and everything came crashing down.

Ven is an ‘Imitation’, a clone of an ‘Authentic’ person living in the outside world. Since she was created, she’s known that it was her sole mission in life to know every that there was to know about her Authentic, Raven. Everything from what she likes, to how to speaks, to the little ticks that she does when she thinks no one is watching.

For five years, Ven has known every “intimate” (but not really) detail about Raven, so that if she’s ever made to take on Raven’s duties, she’ll be more than prepared. She isn’t sure when she’ll be called up for duty, but after a few chapters she does and Ven is off to live in the outside. Naturally, she’s nervous about the mission and makes a few hiccups here and there, but soon enough she meets someone that makes her question if everything is really worth it. Is it herself? Nope, but it is a hot older guy. (Older, because he’s 21 and Ven has only been around 5 years……) Anyways, the deeper she gets, the more she realizes that she doesn’t want to be Raven, she wants to be Ven.

I generally like books about clones, especially since there’s always a morally gray aspect to them and I like reading about how the clones feel about themselves and the world that they live in. Even if it doesn’t make sense, or if someone is making clones for no real purpose, I’ll still read it just to see what happens. And even though I did read this to the end, I feel like so many plot points ruined my experience with this.

Normally, I’d talk about how the romance doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t. Ven and Linc spend maybe a day together before they’re declaring their undying love for one another. Considering Ven hasn’t had much contact with guys, it’s kind of makes sense for her to be a bit thirsty when she sees a hot guy and interacts with him for the first time.

But let’s all remember that Ven is meant to be Raven and Raven loves Daniel, a guy that Ven has never seen before her mission started.

I don’t even like love triangles, but if I was running the company making the clones you better be sure that there would have been one here. Had I worked at a clone facility and it was my purpose to make sure the clones know their Authentic the best, then I’d make sure they know who the boyfriends/girlfriends are. Not only that, but I’d make them want their Authentic’s love interest. Every desire their Authentic feels, the Imitations will feel as well.

Except here, whenever Ven is studying Raven’s life through the videos, the screen always goes dark when Daniel shows up. This is a problem, because whenever Daniel kissed Ven, she recoiled in disgust. That’s not how a trained clone is meant to behave when her sole mission in life is to be exactly like her Authentic.

This clone place clearly doesn’t do a great job with their clones. I mean, how is Ven supposed to be Raven when she’s gets snippets of her life? Also, the name Ven is horrible. If I was the clone factory, I’d make sure the clones only have the names of their Authentic people. So Ven, would only be referred to as Raven. This might seem cruel and even confusing to readers, but considering that the company that makes the clones calls them products and thinks of them as less than human, I wonder why they’d make them feel human by giving them their own name.

I mean, if I had a cat, which I would love to have because cats are adorable and amazing and fluffy and caring, but not too caring that they want you to think that you’re their only one….. if I had a cat and I didn’t care for it, I’d call him/her “cat”, or “hey you.” By giving the cat a name, I’m already establishing a connection and humanizing the animal.

In Imitation, the clones are made to feel like they have no soul, that they’re not human, and that they have no purpose in life except to be there for their Authentic when the time arises. If it doesn’t, then they’re used for organs and whatnot. Basically, the people running this company are horrible. They implant a kill switch on every clone, they make sure you know that you can and will be replaced, and that you have no happy ending if you’re an Imitation, and yet they’re very human with the names. If you don’t care about clones, why call them anything else other than the names of the people they’re meant to be, or a bar code number?

The name doesn’t really matter, but when I was reading about how Ven would watch hours of videos about Raven and yet not know how Raven’s dad or boyfriend looks like, I started to notice so many horrible protocols placed inside of this facility. Worse of all, I kept thinking about how if I was running the place, every single clone would have a burning desire to ”Single White Female” their original.

This might cause problems in the long run, but I feel like this is what would be the best course of action to take in this company.

Regardless of that, I think that’s what my main problem with the novel is the fact that certain things made no sense whatsoever. It was so bad, that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief even if I wanted to. Ven’s desire to be Ven and not Raven happened within two seconds and solidified once Linc said something nice to her. She was screwing up her job before, but this epiphany made it even worse. Her father, her friends, her boyfriend, her security, everyone could see a huge difference between Ven and Raven.

What were those five years for if she can’t completely the only job she’s meant to have?

Speaking of Raven, she’s hardly in the book and Ven hates her like you would not believe for reasons that make no sense. Raven is apparently shallow, vapid, slut, and everything in between. But we never really got to know Raven or why her life was in danger in the first place. I think it was to bring out Ven so she can be recruited by the ‘bad guys’ only the bad guys have the same horrible tactics as the clone company.

If I was a bad guy in this novel…

Overall: Imitation has all of the makings for a really great clone series. I already saw hints of the clones starting a revolution, but once we learn a bit about that the book ends. It just ends.

And yet, that isn’t my problem with the book. It’s not the sudden cliffhanger. It’s not the insta-love that makes the heroine realize her worth and feel like nothing in life matters except the hero. It’s the fact that this world makes no sense.

There are certain things in this book that other reviewers took issue with, but I was able to look past it. But a clone company that trains clones to behave like the originals is so poorly run that I couldn’t handle it. Whenever Ven messed up, I didn’t say to myself, “Stupid Ven not understanding the mission and being useless!” No, instead I said, “This is what happens when you don’t train your clones properly. Things would be so much different if I took over.”

The thing is, I don’t want to think or feel this way when reading a book. It ruins the experience; and unfortunately, that’s what happened here. The book did end on an annoying note though, so I’m probably going to read the next book to see what happens next. I’m assuming that since everything is now established, great things should happen. Hopefully we’ll learn more about this company and why they suck at their job so much.

 
Imitation was provided by netgalley

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Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

Every Ugly WordEvery Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Originally titled Breakable, Every Ugly Word is Aimee L. Salter’s revamped debut novel that is now being published under Alloy Entertainment. And if you’ve read the blurb, then you’ll know that this deals with bullying with a unique twist.

Ashley Watson is seventeen years old and has been bullied relentlessly since she was thirteen. The reason behind the bullying is kind of her fault, she even acknowledges this fact, but for it to continue over the years over a stupid lie is sad. What makes it worse is that the bullying is done by her former friends. No matter what she does or where she goes, there they are ready to make her life a living hell.

Not only does she have to deal with her tormentors at school, but her home life isn’t all that great either. Her mom, who is dealing with her own issues when her husband leaves her for a younger woman, seems to have a funny way of showing Ashley she loves her. She’s cruel and she doesn’t even realize it.

Not even her friendship with her best friend, and crush, Matt is enough to bring happiness into her life, especially when he starts dating one of Ashley’s bullies. The more he tries to bring make things right between Ashley and her former friends, the more she starts to see him as a flawed human being instead of a knight in shining armour.

There is one solace though and that is Older Ashley. Older Ashley is Ashley, only in the future. The only way they can communicate is through a mirror, but Older Ashley has become somewhat distant and her half truths and vague details keeps making Little Ashley suspicious of her true motives.

It makes sense, considering Older Ashley has already lived through the bullying. She knows what happens and is determined to make sure that her younger self doesn’t make the same bad choices that she did. There’s only one problem, Older Ashley is currently in a mental institution and everyone kind of thinks she’s crazy. (Not really a spoiler, as you find this out within the first page)

Welcome to an unreliable narrator and a story that makes you wonder what is actually happen.

Every Ugly Word is told in first person present tense when Older Ashley narrates the story, and first person past tense when the Younger Ashley tells us what happened. The writing style is smooth and even though this might seem like a weird transition to read, it never felt off or jarring. Both Ashley’s had a distinctive voice, despite being the same person. Older Ashley is jaded and seems over it, while the Younger Ashley is angry, vulnerable, and naive.

In terms of characterization, I feel like Salter did a good job displaying flawed characters that may not be relatable or all that likeable, but feel real. Ashley, being the main character, is showcased the most and so we get to see her low points and her highs. I don’t think I’ve ever read a bullying novel and not shake my fist in anger at the bullied. I know that sounds bad, because in real life I would do that, but whenever I saw Ashley make wrong choice after wrong choice, I wanted to shake her and tell her to stop and to value herself. It was frustrating, but I couldn’t stop reading. I don’t think everyone will like her, but her growth and determination was nice to see.

Matt is also shown with a flawed set of glasses as well. He wants to be a good guy, but he’s also a high school boy who wants to be friends with everyone. He does some really crappy things to Ashley, but considering what he knew and the situation, it was believable.

With regards to the bullies, they don’t really get any depth to them, but then again considering that this is told from the bullied perspective it kind of makes sense. What they did to her was horrible, so it was hard to find anything really sympathetic or relatable. And since Ashley is the one telling us what they did, it would be kind of weird if they were anything other one dimensional jerkfaces. To Ashley, that is what they were and thus this is what the readers get to see as well.

The characters, like the writing, are also done well. But I especially loved the plot surrounding Older Ashley and Young Ashley. I wasn’t sure if Ashley was crazy or if the past that we were seeing involved a different Ashley or it was simply Older Ashley reliving the past. In the end, everything is revealed, but I did like how you were never really sure what was going on.

My only complaint was that there were times when the therapist didn’t seem to behave like a real doctor. I kept wondering if he was a figment of Older Ashley’s mind and if what she was experiencing was really real. Older Ashley’s interactions with him seemed false, in some places as well, and I couldn’t stand it when she kept calling him Doc this and Doc that.

Overall: I really liked Every Ugly Word. The bullying depicted here was uncomfortable in some parts and reading how broken Ashley was due to everything was kind of depressing. There will be times when you want to shake her and tell her that what she’s doing is stupid and will only hurt her in the end, but she still does it anyways. Mainly because Ashley isn’t real and her story is already written on the pages, so nothing you can say will change anything, but still….. The feelings of wanting to do that remain.

Great debut novel by Salter and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

 

 
Every Ugly Word was provided by netgalley

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The Hit by Allen Zadoff

The Hit

The Hit, aka I Am the Weapon, aka Boy Nobody, is a fast paced action packed tale about a boy assassin whose mission in life is to befriend and kill his targets. And for the most part, it’s delivers on its promises. The first person present tense helps add to the experience, instead of hindering it, and the writing was smooth.

Ben (an alias), came home one day to find that his friend killed his family. Since then, nothing has been the same for our little hero. He’s recruited into the Program to be an assassin and now works for Mother and Father. He learns to fight, kill, and never lose focus during a mission. To think of anything else would be suicidal, in more ways than one.

His latest mission is to infiltrate a prestigious private school, where he’ll befriend Samara (Sam) and then kill her father. Normally, a mission like this takes at least a month. You need to get friend with the kid so that they trust you completely, but this time it’s different. Ben has only five days to complete the task.

What makes this case even more troubling is that Sam’s father is the Mayor. Ben isn’t like other kids, he knows how to get in and out and remain undetected, but soon memories from the past start to creep up on him making him question everything the Program stands for. And soon enough, he’s starting to wonder who he can trust, the Program, Sam, or himself.

All in all, this is actually a really fun book to read. One of my biggest pet peeves is when first person present tense isn’t done correctly. If a writer decides to use that style, then things need to happen. It doesn’t really make sense if it’s slow. Maybe it does, I don’t know, but I haven’t read a book with a first person present tense style that is slow and was good. If you know of any, let me know.

In any case, this book does this writing style justice. I zoomed through the pages and never felt like there was a dull moment. Even when there were slower moments, I still felt the same intensity so it was never boring.

The plot is also good. The idea of using child soldiers, because that’s what Ben is, to kill things with no feeling is interesting. It kind of reminded me of Gunslinger Girl, except without the overbearing handlers and prosthetics. Actually, the only thing that is common between the two is that it deals with child soldiers who are taught not to think of anything except the mission. It’s sad, but fascinating. You want the kids to have a good life, but you also want to know what happens next. It kind of makes me feel bad; but thankfully, it’s fiction.

There are great things about this The Hit, but I didn’t really believe Ben. Sure, he had some scenes where he’s a killing machine and we’re shown this, but for someone who was trained to not think but do, he seems almost too emotional for the job. I mean, the moment he meets Sam he’s smitten by her, which is fine. Really, it’s fine. But he falls hard and fast and starts to think about running away with her. When this happens, he stops thinking clearly. Like when he finds out that Sam has a crazy ex-boyfriend who sometimes gets a little stabby when Sam is involved with a guy, he just shrugs his shoulders and accepts Sam’s affection. After three days together, Sam takes off her clothes in front of him and they have sex.

Not saying this is wrong or right, but for someone who is trained to be a machine you’d think that they’d stop thinking via their nether regions and use their brain here. Something is clearly off here, but he refuses to see it. And when the Program tells him that the Mayor is no longer the target, but Sam is, he starts to question everything.

I get that he sees a bit of himself in Sam and he likes talking to her, but whenever she was around he stopped being a badass assassin.

I was a little disappointed by this.

Overall: By the end, I was happy again and will read the next book to see what happens next to our little Ben. The writing is great and the plot, thankfully, didn’t go into predictable political clichés. The political plot deals with Israel and the Mideast Conflict, so I was extremely nervous while reading this. Thankfully, it’s okay.

Ben is a bit emotional, but if you can get passed this I think you might like it.

The Hit was provided by netgalley

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Some Boys by Patty Blount

some boysPaperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: August 5th 2014

It’s been over a month since Grace was raped by her former boyfriend Zac. When Grace tries to charge him with rape, she’s not only told that she doesn’t have a case, due to their previous relationship, but the entire school turns their backs on her. Sadly, this isn’t too hard to believe when you find out that Zac is the practically the King of their school. Not only the top sports star around, but he’s a model student. The teachers love him and the girls can’t get enough of him. Unfortunately for Grace, since there is no proof, is her story vs his and everyone wants to believe him.

Not only was she raped and left bleeding and unconscious after a wood party, but she’s mercilessly bullied the moment she walks through the halls of her school. Slut and whore is constantly flung at her and guys try to grab at her breast and butt as well. Her former friends also bully her and try to make her life a living hell. Teachers also try to downplay what happened, because they can’t pick sides, but still allow students to bully her while chastising Grace when she retaliates.

To top things off, she’s also have problems with her family. Needless to say, things are not going all that great in Grace’s life. Things do start to change when she’s punished with cleaning duty during spring break, after threatens one of her former friends/tormentors.

She’s not alone in this punishment though. Her crush, Ian, is also doing this fun task after he swears at his coach about not being able to play. Ian, who is the best friend of Zac, also has a crush on Grace. Can you tell where this will go? If you said romance! You’d be right.

The book is told in Grace’s and Ian’s point of view, with each chapter changing voices. For the most part, I felt like both had their own distinctive voice and you definitely knew which POV you were reading from, even if you didn’t see the title of the chapter. Not too hard to do seeing as how Grace talked about her rape, while Ian talked about being conflicted about it. Even still, I felt like they had their own personality, which I appreciated.

I do like that the issue of rape was discussed and that Grace does tries to stand up for herself, even though she’s still suffering from panic attacks and is afraid of being alone with men. I also really liked how she was written.

When Ian mentions how she would look better without her costume on, i.e. the girl in the cover of this novel, but with more lots of black eye shadow, she ends up saying this:

“I won’t give up and I won’t run away. And I won’t change how I look even if you do think I look better this way, because I’m not the problem here! Everyone says it’s my fault because I got drunk, and you know what? That doesn’t count! Everyone was drinking that night. There’s only one thing that counts, but nobody wants to hear it.” (This is from the uncorrected arc version, which I normally try not to use for review, but I really loved this quote.)

This was scene was great, because how many times in books do we have the main hero tell the girl, “You’d look better without all of that makeup.” Or, he’ll mention how a piece of clothing that she wears doesn’t suit her and then she changes for him, instead of herself.

When her former friends come at her, she fights back. When guys try to grab her, she kicks them wear it hurts. Grace won’t allow herself to be objectified or to be a victim again and I loved this!

Some Boys also stresses that what you wear doesn’t justify guys or girls to call you disgusting words like slut or whore. This is a great message to send to young girls, so I did appreciate this as well.

However, yes there is a however, at some point in this novel things become preachy. Instead of sounding awesome, like the quote above, it started to sound more like an afternoon school special and less like real life.

This preachiness also starts to get a bit uncomfortable, when Grace decides to protest by donning a niqab. In her defense, she does think it’s a burqa……

Being a Muslim and reading this just made me shake my head and sigh heavily. Why does it seem like whenever someone wants to show that clothing shouldn’t matter, they decide to put on a religious clothing symbol and act like wearing this is demeaning to women? I don’t wear the niqab, I wear the hijab and cover my body with loose clothing, but I do have friends who wear it and love it. Sadly, a couple of them stopped wearing their it because of negative reaction and attention they got from people.

Thankfully, one of the Muslim characters in the novel does set Grace straight by saying that what she’s wearing isn’t a burqa, but a niqab. But then she also says, “The burqa is a symbol of oppression the Taliban forced on women.” Even this I have an issue with, because while some are forced to wear it, I’m sure there are also many who choose to wear it because it brings them closer to God. Some may even wear it because that’s what all the cool chicks are doing in their neighbourhood.

Despite how it may seem to others, wearing the hijab, niqab, and even the burqa isn’t meant to be a form of oppression or to help men control themselves. It’s a means to spiritually get closer to God. Men don’t really play a role here. Even in the Quran God tells guys to lower their gazes before anything is mentioned about women covering up.

Sorry, I’m getting religious here, but I do feel like I need to mention this because it does get annoying to read a book that had good points about not judging women on what they wear, to judging what women wear. Grace only stopped because a the Muslim student was around to witness this and cried. If said student wasn’t there, would Grace have stopped wearing the niqab and telling men that they’re all rapist who can’t control themselves due to her clothing? I don’t think so and I think this is what troubles me the most in this scene.

Enough about Grace though, the book is also about Ian, who reminded me of Clay from “Thirteen Reasons Why.” I liked how Ian was conflicted about being a true bro to his best friend Zac, who said that Grace didn’t say no, and wanting to be with and protect Grace, who said that Zac raped her.

He isn’t sure what to believe and this did provide for a nice narrative. He did seem like Clay though, when he started agreeing with Grace on everything she said, minus the rape, and basically became her cheerleader.

The thing is, Ian isn’t a knight in shining armour despite how much the book tells us he is. He was the one who discovered Grace, half naked, bleeding, and unconscious on the floor, and never said anything about it. He also hurts Graces and does join in with the bullying in one scene.

He also has this epiphany that girls are weird, when his sees his friends triple team a girl. The horror that he feels isn’t about how his friends are going at it with the same girl, but that she allowed them to do so. The horror! His sister explains that some girls are desperate for attention, while others are desperate for friends. The girl only allowed for the guys to have their way with her, not because she wanted to, but because she was the wing woman to her friend who wanted to get laid with the main guy.

*sigh*

Other than this and him driving under the influence, he’s a pretty decent guy. But I don’t like how he’s meant to be the beacon of what a great guy is after everything he did. If I were Grace, I’d accept his friendship but I’d never want anything to be romantic between us. Then again, I’m not a teen so maybe I’m seeing things a bit differently? I’d like to think I’d feel the same way though.

The ending, unfortunately, also doesn’t quite work for me. It was a typical happy ending where all of the loose ends are tied up in a nice pink bow. And even though I’m glad Grace found happiness, it didn’t ring true to me. This is a school that clearly idolized Zac, who is their star lacrosse player. The team was undefeated and heading into the playoffs. To lose that opportunity and have some of the other players benched due to their behaviour, would get some people angry. Grace would definitely have people coming to her once the truth is revealed and finally be on her side, but she’d also have a group that hates her because, according to them, she ruined the school’s chances at a perfect win.

To me, it doesn’t seem realistic for everyone to seek her forgiveness and be okay with the outcome, as sad as that may sound.

Also, [ spoilers : highlight the text to read them ] Zac keeping a video of the rape seemed pretty convenient. I mean, he doesn’t even have a password on his phone so anyone couldn’t have seen this piece of incriminating evidence. I just don’t understand why he would retain this video, knowing that it could ruin his life and chance to go to a top tier school.

When Ian finally realizes the truth, he starts to stop seeing Zac as a friend and instead as a symbol for female oppression. All of the hook ups, the look at girls like conquests, and how he treated his mom. For example, Zac’s mom offers to bring some food down, she starts talking to Ian only for Zac to say, “Mom, the food?” Then when she brought down the food and he didn’t say thank you to her.

….

Not saying this is right or not, but this seemed like typical teen behaviour and not a snapshot of female oppression. [/ spoilers ]

Overall: Some Boys has a great message for young girls and for the most part, Grace is a great MC. She’s tough, she’s smart, and she won’t back down when people come after her. I do kind of wish that the entire story was told from her point of view, but I guess Ian did have some good points in his chapters too.

Despite this, the book does go into preachy territory and the double standard about clothing didn’t sit well with me. The ending also felt a bit forced and unrealistic. The writing is great though and I did stay up to finish this, so there’s a balance of good and bad here.

 
Novel was provided by netgalley

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The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Scorch Trials
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 360 pages
Published October 12th 2010

 

Book Two, Woo!

I had some mixed feelings about The Maze Runner. I thought it started off horribly, but by the end I was intrigued. It still wasn’t a great book though and I was surprised by all the love that it got. With the Scorch Trials, I was hoping for two things to happen.

1. That it would be a lot better than the Maze Runner.

Like Divergent, I didn’t really like the first book. In fact, I thought it was stupid. Sorry Divergent fans. But I did think that as the series progressed it did get a bit better. I still didn’t really care for the second book, but I did like the last one, even with the shocking, but not really, twist, that was foreshadowed from the second book.

Still, I did think it got a bit better. I was hoping that this series would get better too. If it didn’t, then the next best thing would be for it to follow the Matched series which was pretty meh throughout.

2. Some of my answers, not all because this is a trilogy, would be answered.

Sometimes the second book in a series seems like filler and while it may make sense for some instances – actually no, filler books never make sense and just fill readers with rage – I still want some of my questions to be answered. Since we’re out of the Maze and into the real world, I expect to see some crazy stuff and then finding out why there is some crazy stuff.

I didn’t go into this expecting much, but expecting everything, so how was it?

The beginning is really good and starts off with a BANG! It’s almost like Dashner realized that a slow beginning wouldn’t work here and instead went all out. I was pumped reading this. The kids find out that the facility they were brought to was actually the start of another test, don’t you hate when that happens? Unlike the last test that was confined in a closed area, this one deals with the outside world. The world that was so messed up that that Alby (spoiler alert) goes on a suicide mission just to avoid seeing it.

And at first, it’s amazing. The world is completely messed up and the sun burns skin, so you have to keep yourself covered, and there’s this virus, called the Flare, that going around that makes people crazy. Kind of like zombies, only somewhat smarter and more organized in the way they kill people. The teens have to make their way to a check point across this terrain that’s filled with crazy people, in order to get a cure. Because WICKED, the organization behind these tests, kind of gave everyone the Flare while they were sleeping.

It’s a race against time, because if they don’t make it they might start killing each other and stuff and then the entire experiment would have been a giant waste of resources and tax dollars.

People start dying and we find out that there is actually another Maze group filled with teen girls that is also trying to get the cure as well.

I’m not sure what happened, but things started in awesomesauceland and then it got stupid. The more I started to think of the Flare, the more I started to question what was the entire point of all this. We know that Thomas and Teresa were at the head of WICKED and helped make sure that this Maze thing would happen. And we also know that WICKED be shady, but why was Thomas at the head of this major organization? Why was the Maze the best thing to do, when you know, building infrastructure to keep the sun’s rays at bay would be more important? Maybe figuring out a way to use the sun’s massive energy to power up these dome like homes, where they can plant, eat, and live merrily. Saving a few kids to better help mankind is a noble cause, but what land would they help if everyone is dead or infect by the virus?

It just doesn’t make sense.

And then I started to think about the teens here and the amount of times they sleep. Sleeping is great, I mean, I love it. Yay sleeping! But when you have an organization that likes injecting its subjects with a horrible virus while they sleep, I would think that these smart saviours of the human races would realize sleeping in shifts would be the best course of action. Sadly, they never figure this out and stuff still happens to them while they sleep.

I also didn’t like how Teresa was completely mishandled. Teresa is almost like the complete opposite of Thomas. He’s willing to go with the status quo, while she always looks at the big picture. Due to some events, Thomas ends up hating her and isn’t able to forgive her for what she did. The thing is this change seemed off. The book does try to make sense of it, by mentioning variable this and test that, but it still didn’t make much sense to me. It’s almost liked Dashner liked the new girl and decided to get Teresa out of the way so that there wouldn’t be an annoying love triangle. While I do appreciate the lack of triangleness, I don’t like how it ruined a good character just to prop the other one up, especially when that character seems to be lying to him too and hiding things as well.

Overall: Unlike the Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials started off with a great start, but the more the world revealed itself the less it made sense. While I could forgive the Maze Runner for some of these nonsensical ideas, I don’t think I can do it here. Plus, it seemed like in the last book there was a clear plot in place, boy enters a strange world, meets people, has to escape. Here, we don’t really have the same luxuries. In The Scorch Trials the plot is, boy enters strange world, goes on test, things happen, some other things happen, people meet him, things happen, other things happen, the end. I’m exaggerating a bit here, but it did feel like there were a bit too many plots and ideas that never really came into fruition. I almost wish it did, because I did like the beginning of the novel.

 

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