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Book Review: Shatter Me

Title: Shatter Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

 

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It’s been 264 days since Juliette touched anybody.

The last time she did, it led to something terrifying. But nobody believed her that it was an accident. The Reestablishment charged her with murder and locked her up. They don’t care to find out, why Juliette’s touch is fatal. Nobody cares for her because they’re all too busy with the outside world, which is completely different now.

Until someone else joins Juliette in her cell. Someone, who’s really familiar to Juliette.


This book was really hyped a few years ago but, I’m slow sometimes, so I only had a chance to pick it up this year. Maybe I made mistake and should read it a while ago when I was younger and not so tired of all YA dystopian novels. Right now, I really feel like I’m not a target audience for this genre anymore. I’m just too old.

The beginning itself was extremely boring and I struggled through the first pages (a lot of them). I was compelled to read on, not because the story simply would draw me in, but I was wondering how did Juliette become like this and what’s with her fatal touch. This is probably the only reason I read the book to the end. And let me tell you, the mystery around everything really got on my nerves.

Juliette is one of those characters I didn’t like from beginning and it was that way until the end. She is indecisive, distrustful when there’s no need for that and she’s complicating all the time and can’t make her mind. It’s good that she’s immense beauty that every guy in the book falls for her and that saves her life many times (that is, according to the book). In general, I did not like the characters very much.

Sadly, we don’t get to know much about the dystopian world. For those few information that comes to the reader, we can be sure that they are there to mislead us. This predictability slowly destroys all the stories, and here it was not different (still, there are chances that I’m wrong). There are two types of people in this “new” world, first are “bad” and the others are “good” and they want to resist the bad guys. We get to know some things about both, but we know that we can not trust anyone because everything can mislead us. I would love to get some more concrete information which would surely make the story more interesting.

As already mentioned, the idea is not bad, in fact, it seemed quite interesting to me but it was just not written in the way that would entertain me. Especially after some exceptions began to appear (don’t worry, no spoilers). I understand why this happened, but, at least to me, it completely destroyed the pleasure of reading, and also the idea the author wanted to present.

Yes, there are some chapters that keep a reader in tension, but they don’t outweigh the rest. Too much romance, too much mysteries, too much focus on relationships. And still, it was not enough for me.

Rating: 1/5 stars

Did you read Shatter Me? What did you think about it? Did you read the rest of the books in series?

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Book Review: Feed

Title: Feed

Author: Mira Grant

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In the near future, people live a different life than we used to. After the outbreak of the virus in the year 2014, which turned a majority of the population into zombies, people have to get used to a new life and always present fear. Because of the fear of infection, people keep to themselves and they’re more active on the Internet.

Georgia and Shaun Mason are sister and brother, who wish to break among the best of the press on Internet. Finally, they’re lucky enough to get a story that will profoundly change their lives.


I had this book on my tbr for years and when I saw it in a library, I couldn’t believe my own luck! Because a good book about zombies is what I always like to read, and the cover promised me just that. What a mistake!

So, if you want an exciting story about zombies and fighting them, this is definitely not a book for you. Because there are no zombies. Well, they are, but not as one would expect when you pick up a book about zombies like that.

The story itself is well written, full of details which are well explained and while reading, you can really see that author put a lot of effort in the story itself. We learn everything about the background of a virus outbreak, what happened during and after the outbreak and how life changed after that. Full details are included on the technical things that people are using for the identification and detection of the virus, the author even included the moral and religious issues raised by the virus. Which is amazing. However, there are no zombies. They are just a backdrop for the story, which is actually taking place. And the main story is just about politic.

Georgia and Shaun become part of the escort team, which covers the presidential elections. They accompany a candidate who might become the President and the story is actually only about this. What dirty intrigues are taking place behind the scenes, how people would do anything for a campaign and how the public opinion is formed through press coverage. All was interesting to read, but for my taste, it was too many details, and of course, I expected something entirely else when I picked up this book.

I also couldn’t connect with main characters, Georgia, and Shaun. There was something strange in their relationship and being completely honest, I expected and incest act until the end of the book (there was none, no worries). Even as individuals they didn’t convince me. Georgia was such a hard-ass and Shaun couldn’t even stand out because he was never alone, always with his sister – like, he couldn’t exist without her. Other characters were nothing special. Nobody stood out.

I wanted to give up reading several times because I was just so bored. It became interesting somewhere around page 350, which is halfway through the book. The second half of the book was better and quite ok, I actually became interested in what will happen. However, this does not outweigh the misery of the first half of it, all the politics and not enough zombies. Not to mention that certain things were too often explained – for example, checking blood contamination. Every time, but really EVERY time the process has been described in details, just like the model of the appliance – and their blood was checked at least 4 times per page. Ugh!

Rating: 2/5 stars

Did you read this book or maybe also the sequels? What did you think about series? Is it worth it to continue with next book? Please, comment down below!

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Book Review: The Last One

Title: The Last One

Author: Alexandra Oliva27245997

A new reality TV show begins in the wilderness of American forest. It’s the biggest, the most expensive show and the contestants will have to show maximum strength and skills to survive. Twelve contestants are venturing into an adventure for a big prize and they’ll have to survive at least three weeks in the wild, or until all will surrender and the last one will survive.

Contestants soon get used to the presence of cameras and cameramen around them and challenges that test the limits of their endurance. They lose their sense of reality and the only thing they have in mind is winning the great reward. Just like one of the contestants, called Zoo, who is wandering alone and disoriented through the wild, even when cameras and her co-contestants are not around anymore. Even more and more bizarre challenges, desolated cities and mannequins which look just like real dead peoples can’t discourage her from continuing and the only goal she has – be the last one.


This was such an incredible book! Every page was more intense and entertaining and I couldn’t put it down.

Through the chapters, we get to know all twelve contestants and about filming a reality show and also Zoo, who is the narrator of her own chapters.

Background of shooting a show and getting to know all the contestants was such a fun! I also watch reality TV shows sometimes, I know that everything is not like they show us but still, I was surprised how things actually work. All characters (competitors) are show suitable – they are the most diverse characters that you can imagine and of course they are all completely different among each other. They soon show their nature and find out how to play this game and what “role” they were assigned to show.

Zoo is of all the most likable character, but she also stands out from average. Her devotion to a game and the fact that she’s willing to do everything to won was stunning. She just keeps hold on to the illusion of reality show, even when she starts to doubt a little bit and this was just fascinating to me. How can someone be so focused on a goal that he’s not able to realize reallity?

The idea of the plot seemed incredible, but yet completely real. It wouldn’t surprise me if something like that would really happen. And I wouldn’t be surprised if some tv show would really manipulate their contestants to believe they are in some sort of dystopian reality show.

Because after all, I really believe this is a book about media manipulation, how they affect people and our minds and are taking advantage of our naivety. Even the most spontaneous events/scenes are well thought out and nothing is left to chance. And people still don’t separate between reality and illusion.

This was really a unique dystopian novel that I would recommend to every reader.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Did you read The Last One? What did you think about it? 

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Book Review: The Passage

Title: The Passage

Author: Justin Cronin6690798

Six-year-old Amy lives with her mother. But circumstances force her mother to leave her. She leaves Amy in a convent where nuns could take care of her and disappear without a trace. Sister Lacey takes care for Amy but soon two men appear, claiming to work for Secret Service and they need to take Amy away. Special Agent Brad Wolgast and his partner had already traveled across America, with a secret project to bring twelve, to death convicted criminals, to a secret base where special government experiment is going on. Amy is their final task.

However, things go terribly wrong.  Wolgast is fascinated by little Amy and wants to do everything to protect her. But he can’t do anything against apocalyptic destruction which is a result of failed experiment.

He’s protecting Amy as he can but at the end, he’s only human who’s suffering the same fate as all the others. And then Amy remains alone. Her faith is to wander around aimlessly, while decades are passing by. The world is destroyed, full of fear and terror. But Amy has the power to restore it.


What to write about a book, which is one of best books you ever read? The Passage is a book, that I read for the third time and each time it was better. The reason is probably also, that with each new reading, I discovered new details and understood a story better.

But despite reading this book many times, it would be probably easier if I would write a review after first reading. Now, it will be probably just bragging how this book is amazing. And, I already read the second book (twice), so I know everything that happens.

As I mentioned, this book is multi-leveled and full of details that can be easily overlooked if you don’t pay enough attention to them. But precisely those details create the story, although sometimes seems as unnecessary information. There are many side characters, that Cronin devotes a lot of attention, a reader learns everything about their life and past and then they’re gone. However, this also has its charm. But despite detailed writing of characters and events, this book never becomes boring, even though is huge!

Characters are amazing! I loved main characters, Amy and Wolgast. Especially Wolgast. He’s such an amazing man, and his character develops so well through the story. I liked him even more than Amy. And believe me, it’s hard to love somebody more than her. Despite being quite and shy little girl, she has such a powerful role in this book. But still, I think, that Wolgast really stands out!

The world after the apocalypse, when a world was destroyed by the virus is creepy and horrible. Vampires are just like they should be, horrible and bloodthirsty. I usually don’t like books about vampires because they are too romanticized, but here are scary and perfect.

Reading about the world after a virus was enjoyable. Perhaps, it was little too similar to the world before, which annoyed me. After all, so many decades passed by and I would assume, some things would be different, people would act differently. But nevermind, diversity of characters is fascinating and I didn’t have any problems with connecting to them and enjoying their story.

Maybe it’s just the last part of the book, which can be confusing and I was all “what’s going on?”. But exactly this part is full of tension, action, and events.

In spite of the diversity of characters and different stories, everything connects at the end. Again and again, I was amazed, how the fates of people connect one way or another through the novel and that Cronin manages, despite detailed narration, to unite all the elements in the story.

Once again I can say, that this book is just amazing. Enjoyable characters, great background stories and gruesome vampires. Tense, emotional and frightening.

Rating: 5/5 stars

What were your thoughts about this book, if you have read it? Do you have any other vampire books recommendations? Or did you read any similar books that I would like?

 

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Book Review: Delirium

Title: Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver11614718

Delirium is a love story in a world, where love is forbidden. Scientists have discovered a medicine with wich they can cure and eradicate the love from society. Because love is dangerous and if society wants to function in a normal way, all members of the society must be immune to it. So, when people turn 18, they undergo a surgical procedure and they’re cured after it. Considering on person interests, they get a partner to marry, have children and live “happy” life without stress, worries, and problems.

Her whole life, Lena is waiting for her surgical procedure, but just before it, something unexpected happens. Just months before the procedure, she falls in love and discovers, how beautiful love and freedom are.


The story is set in (near) future where love is considered as a bad thing and where society consists of individuals who are subordinate to the system. People are living without worries, without choices, without emotions. They reconciled with total control, after all, this is the only system they know and that kind of life totally suits them. The idea about the world without love and emotions seemed strange and really unbelievable to me. I had trouble to picture that kind of world, especially because the story is told from Lena’s perspective and she’s not cured yet. This made it even more unbelievable to me.

Lena, at first, can’t wait to be “cured” – she’s pleased with a promise about peaceful life, without any concerns and that her life will be controlled by others who would also make a decisions instead of her (I agree, this sounds really pleasing – sometimes). However, things, of course, change when she meets Alex. I was surprised how quickly she fell in love with him, particularly because she didn’t know him before, didn’t know anything about him and not to mention, that falling in love is forbidden in her society. I would think that people would be more carefully with that.

None of the characters impressed me. They were ok, but that’s pretty much all that I have to say about them. I actually didn’t care much about Lena or Alex. Lena’s best friend Hana was the most interesting to me and maybe she’s the one that I wanted to know more about, but unfortunately, I didn’t. Because she was just there when Lena needed her and that’s all.

It also disturbed me, that many times it was repeated, how people are controlled and that society bases on terrorizing and controlling but still Lena had no problems walking around after curfew and doing things she shouldn’t do.

Despite the fact, that this is a love story more than anything else, I still enjoyed reading it. Normally, I don’t read love stories because I don’t enjoy them, but this book was nicely written and not cheesy at all. And it has just enough action to keep me reading. I must mention that language is rich and poetic and precisely because of this, it was such a pleasant read. I didn’t expect such a beautiful language in YA novel.

Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the ending. Somehow, I assumed that something “shocking” would happen but still, I think that this ending was totally unnecessary. I was not shocked at all and to be honest, it seems to me what may happen in next book.

This book is one of those, that wasn’t actually that good, but I still want to know what will happen next and that’s why I will read the sequel. Because I really want to find out if my theory is correct.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Did you read Delirium and other books from series? What do you think about them? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Book Review: Matched

Title: Matched

Author: Ally Condie7735333

Cassia lives in a futuristic society where everything is determined. Officials are determining what people will do, how they will behave, when will they die and who are gonna love. And so, on her seventeen birthday, Cassia gets her Match – someone who is perfect for her and she’s gonna spend her life with him.

Cassia is enraptured because she wouldn’t want to have a better Match. But something unexpected happens while viewing information about him – for a few seconds, some other face appears on the screen. Cassia is in shock because that never happened before and further because she knows who the other boy is. More and more she’s falling in love with him and in the same time she’s starting to discover all the failures and irregularities of the Society. Torn apart between two boys, she’s realizing that she wants to make her own decision who’s she gonna to choose.


I heard for this book before but I was not interested in it. But the other day, I saw it in a library, read a description and it actually sounded interesting and I liked the idea of described dystopian world. Unfortunately, I was not impressed by it because I felt like I already read about it in other dystopian novels. Still it was not bad at all since it’s a society which is easily imaginable. A restricted system where individuals can’t make decisions on their own, about themselves or their lives, because everything is dictated by others – The Officials who are qualified to choose what is best for individuals and for society.

The main characters were nothing special and for me, they were not developed well. They were dull, just like most of the dialogues and I couldn’t really identify with any of them. Cassia is a regular teenager, whose life revolves around Match Banquet and her Match. When her Match become Xander, her best friend, she’s thrilled and relieved.

Surprise follows when she sees another familiar face on a screen. It’s Ky, also her friend but they were never hanging out together. And that was the most disturbing thing in this book for me. She was never interested in Ky before. She barely knew him. But because of a few seconds of his face on a screen, she suddenly loses her mind and she becomes totally obsessed with him. Not only that, she also starts to doubt in the Society and their rules, which was really unbelievable to me. Also later, when they start hanging out more, I haven’t felt any sparks between them or any connection at all. Which made me even sadder and feeling bad for Xander. Despite the fact, we don’t get to know him well, he sounded like a nice guy and he didn’t deserve being rejected in that way.

What has saved the whole story was the ending. I have to warn you all, that this book is terrible slowly and it could be shorter. Nothing much happens, we don’t get much action until the end. However, the ending somehow outweighed that and last few pages were interesting and shocking and stirred my interest again. I will read a sequel, but I really hope it would be better (I need more action! and drama!).

Rating: 3/5 stars

Did you read Matched? What did you think? Did you liked it or not? Are sequels worth of reading (but please, don’t spoil!)?

 

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Book review: The Girl with All the Gifts

Title: The Girl with all the Gifts

Author: M. R. Carey17235026

The world of ten-years-old Melanie is limited on her cell and a classroom. Every day Sergeant Parks points a gun to her head and his other two men strap her to a wheelchair and take her to a classroom with other pupils like her. Melanie is bright and she loves school and she even has her favorite teacher, Miss Justineau.
Melanie is a part of a special group of children. And some people hope that because of them a solution to a mysterious disease would be found. There is something about those kids, that virus responded differently and Dr. Caldwell wants to discover what this could be and what makes them different.


Melanie is an intelligent and curious ten-years-old girl. Sometimes her actions and thinking didn’t show that – she sounded like an adult to me, but nonetheless I liked her. And in fact, that made her even more interesting and plays a decisive role in the story – she’s aware of her situation which helps her infiltrating between “normal” people.

The characters who are fleeing from danger together, couldn’t be more different. Scientist Dr. Caldwell, who has only one goal – find a cure and become famous because of that, teacher Justineau, naive and acting like she’s not aware of a situation, sergeant Parks, typical soldier who has seen/experienced all and from this derives its brutal power. And soldier Gallagher, who’s too gentle for a soldier and needs an authority that he can follow. And of course, Melanie, which they are all afraid of and nobody trusts her. And this diversity of characters makes a story even more enjoyable. It’s clear that everyone wants to enforce their will and their conflicts of interest lead to unpleasant situations. However, they have to accept each other because, after all, they are forced into this. Otherwise, they wouldn’t survive.
I wouldn’t say that this book was creepy, but it’s strained enough, that I couldn’t stop reading it. It’s also interesting, that even if the reader finds out what has happened and what the virus is causing almost in a first few pages, that doesn’t affect the story at all. I was still interested what will happen and it didn’t ruin the plot for me.

Despite the fact, that at first, Melanie is the main protagonist, later protagonists change and we can read the story through their eyes. And even though Melanie was my favorite, this was almost the only option to learn more about everything – Melanie just doesn’t know what’s going on, because she lived only in her cell, so this was rather a logical move. We learn about a story through different characters, and again, because of their diversity, a reader can experience different views about a situation and existing world.

Interestingly, the idea of a plot is not new but nevertheless, I felt that Carey did a great job and this is not just another zombie book. And even though I didn’t read many zombie books, I was impressed by this one. It truly was an enjoyable read.
The end was also good. However, I wouldn’t mind if there would be a sequel to this book. In spite of everything, I would love to know more about junkers, the Lighthouse, and remaining world. But as it often happens, the sequel could ruin this book and I really wouldn’t like that.

Rating: 5/5 stars

 What did you think about this book? And, do you have any other zombie book recommendations?