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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: Gemina

Title: Gemina

Authors: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff29236299

A sequel to Illuminae offers new characters and a new story. In the foreground, there’s a story about space station Heimdall, whose people are not aware of what happened on Kerenza and on other space shifts.

Hanna is station captain’s daughter, dating a nice guy who’s working for her father. She also likes to draw, she loves her dad but yet, she’s often bored because there’s not much going on on a space station. Sometimes she hangs out with Nik, who is a member of a crime family. When the elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik join forces against them and their evil plan. They just want to survive and save the people on the station.


In some way, this book is a continuation of the first book, despite the fact, that there are new characters and a different place with a new story. I really liked the first book. I gave it 5 stars and I couldn’t wait for a sequel. The story was interesting but especially attractive was a format of the book – documents, e-mail correspondence, … That really was some different and interesting look, but above all, completely unique reading experience. Therefore, I was eagerly waiting for Gemina to be published.

I liked that there were new characters in this book. It seemed exciting and daring move. I liked Nik, his sense of humor and how he kept his cheerful nature even in difficult situations. I enjoyed his jokes and really thought he was funny. I couldn’t say same for Hanna. I didn’t like her at first. I thought she is spoiled daddy’s girl who always gets what she wants. Still, I think her character improved through the story and she showed her toughness by the end of the book which was great. But still, she was that kind of character that I don’t care much about. Most of all, I liked Ella, Nik’s little cousin. Smart, funny, realistic and sarcastic – I loved her! There were not many other characters, except the bad guys. Overall, I was not impressed by characters at all.

The story itself was ok. I did have problems at moments where I was confused about what’s going on and it was hard for me to follow the story line. Not to mention, that I was also bored between reading. I still can’t figure out why because there’s a lot of going on, there were many plot twists and everything.

Nevertheless, the format makes this book entertaining, just like in the first book. But it’s much more “narrative” as the first book was. So it was easier to read it but I still missed it. It’s so much more fun to read documents, files, and other stuff than just an ordinary texts. After all, this is what makes this books so special. And I was disappointed about that.

Yes, the story is full of action, unexpected twists, some were better, some worse. I really missed old AIDAN *sigh*. And that other, unexpected enemies that appear in the middle of the book…. really?

Yes, the book was ok. It was an interesting read and also funny and sad. But I really think that Illuminae was the book where every single page was well thought and developed to the last detail. But Gemina doesn’t have this. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the third book, where I hope, all together will join forces in the battle against BeiTech.

Rating: 3/5 stars

You can also check my Illuminae review here.

What do you think about Illuminae Files? Did you like Gemina? What are your thoughts about this book? 

 

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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: Ender’s game

Title: Ender’s Game

Author: Orson Scott Card375802

Far in the future, mankind still can’t get over the devastating war with Buggers, alien enemies. Buggers almost destroyed humankind but despite the war that was almost 100 years ago, the threat is not over yet. That’s why the earth leaders decided to create an elite military school in space, which accepts only the best and most gifted children from Earth. Children are playing computer simulated war games and in that way are trained for the next war.

In this elite military school is accepted Andrew “Ender” Wiggin. He has older brother and sister but they were not suitable for military purposes – Peter was too violent and Valentine too tender. But Ender was perfect for military and proved himself on a test so well, that he was accepted right away, although he was not old enough. Being only six, he is the smallest and the weakest of other children but he’s standing out with his intelligence. Soon, the teachers notice that and are pressuring on him in every possible way. But Ender’s starts to play his own game.


I really thought this book would draw me in and I wouldn’t be able to put it down. But it was not like that at all. It was enjoyable but I expected more from it. Especially, because Ender’s game is considered to be a classic of science fiction genre and I was expecting something truly amazing.

It bothered me, that I didn’t have a feeling that all the major characters in this book were children. I was truly surprised every single time when this was mentioned in a book. The characters were too grown up and too mature. I agree that they had to grow up very fast because of the situation but yet, they could keep some children playfulness and joyfulness.

Ender as a character was always the same. When he started with his schooling, he was 6 years old and (if I’m not mistaken) finish it when eleven but I couldn’t detect any character development. He acted the same when he was just a kid and later when he was almost a teenager. His iron willpower terrified me and the things he was willing to do for winning in every situation, repelled me. As well, that he was never able to ask for help, even when in the moments, when he almost broke. It was the same with other characters in this book and everything we learn about them is, that they are above average intelligent children and Ender is a genius.

Ender’s brother and sister who are also exceptionally intelligent and are living with their parents are not acting like normal children but are thinking about changing the world and they start with this mission on forums. Why was this part of the story included in a book, is still unclear to me. I didn’t felt that it was important in any way and it just made me confused.

I was also wondering, where were adults? Beside three characters from military school, there was nobody who would be in charge or who would supervise all children. They could do whatever they want and it was like nobody cared much about them.

At first, I enjoyed in battle descriptions which Ender had fought. However, the chapters began to repeat. Ender defeated some group, he advanced into another group where he came up against a new challenge but eventually he found a solution and won again. Every single chapter was composed in that way and eventually I got bored. Besides, the descriptions of battles were really confusing to me and I had a hard time to understand what’s happening. But I really liked how great friendships were born in this battles.

Halfway through the book, I started to miss a tension. I knew, that Ender can’t lose and I only wanted to know, what kind of tactic he will use to defeat another army.

As you can see, I was disappointed between reading and after finishing it. It was not bad but it was certainly not surplus as I expected it to be. I’m happy that I read it but I will not continue with reading another book from this series because I lost all interest in this story.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Did you read Ender’s game? What did you think about it?