Recollections: Reviews by a Book Lover


Review: Shatter Me

shatter meShatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

What it is about:  No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.  (Summary from Goodreads.com)

 

What I thought: 

Juliette hasn’t seen or talked to anyone in months that is until Adam shows up as her new roommate. Through her friendship with Adam, Juliette learns that she has the power to change her life. Her touch doesn’t have to be a curse.  As the story progresses Juliette begins to heal thus getting stronger and more confident. It is nice to see Juliette go from a weak character to a stronger character, and I look forward to seeing her grow in the next book.

Shatter Me is told from Juliette’s point of view, which is great because you get to know her and what’s going on inside her head in regards to everything.  However, Juliette has been in solitude in an asylum for years.  While she isn’t crazy (she is locked up because of her touch) solitude has messed with her head.  Juliette tends to repeat things.  Sometimes just a word, other times a sentence.  At times this can be annoying, however, it seems to lesson as time goes on because Juliette becomes more secure in who she is (that or I just got used to it and stopped noticing).  Also the crossing out of words is employed used a lot especially in the beginning.  These techniques help to give you an idea of who Juliette is. While not insane she is broken, and needs to heal.

Many of the reviews I read before reading Shatter Me complained about the number of metaphors in the book.  I did notice there are a lot more metaphors in Shatter Me than I usually see.  I will admit there were points where the number of metaphors in the text interrupted my reading flow because I had to reread the paragraph to figure out what was actually going on.

Shatter Me has romance, despite Juliette’s lethal touch.  It’s a dystopian novel in that the Earth has been polluted to the point where vegetation no longer grows with ease and animals are scarce.    The Reestablishment has taken over, promising to fix things, but instead they now control everything.  There are super powers (need I say more?)! There is a great bad guy in Warner’s character.  Also, there is the promise of a strong female character.

 

I will definitely be picking up Unravel Me to find out what happens next to Juliette.

Oh and here’s the trailer for Shatter Me:

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Review: The Diviners

The Diviners by Libba BrayDiviners

I’m going to start off this post by professing my love for Libba Bray.  Her Gemma Doyle trilogy was amazing.  If you haven’t read Beauty Queens then you need to go do that (right now!) and then come back and we will discuss the genius that is Libba Bray and her awesome humor.

But I digress…let’s get back on topic and discuss her latest book The Diviners, which is the first in a new series.

What it’s about:  Evie O’Neill has been shipped off to New York City to live with her uncle.  While her parents mean it to be a punishment for Evie’s behavior in Ohio, for Evie it means freedom and a chance at a new life.  Evie gets to NYC just as her uncle Will is helping the police with a murder investigation which seems to involve the occult.  Evie’s Uncle Will specializes in the occult, and runs the Museum of Creepy Crawlies (Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult).  Evie’s trouble in Ohio was caused by her supernatural ability to gain insight into a person simply by touching an object they own, but will her powers be enough to stop a murderer?

What I liked: 1. It’s New York City in the 1920s, and you can tell Libba Bray did a lot of research to make this time period come alive. I have a soft spot for historical fiction which takes place in the ‘20s (probably because I wish I got to live in the 1920s).  2. The murderer in this book is creeeeepy (“Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on…” (creepy, right?)).  3. Supernatural.  The supernatural abounds in this book.  And Evie isn’t the only one with powers.  There are several other characters with abilities, whose stories we learn throughout the book (which leads to reason #4 the great characters).

The Diviners is a long book (570+ pages).  It did take me a few chapters to get into the book, but it soon became a page turner for me right up to the end.  I also didn’t mind the length because Bray sets up a lot of the story line/background for the future books in the series.  While I have been eh on series lately because I feel the individual books lack their own ending, this is not the case in The Diviners.  This murder mystery has a conclusion, but the overall the series has an even bigger mystery.  We are also left with questions like: who are the Diviners?  What does Evie’s uncle know?  Is Naughty John the only evil lurking?  In the end you won’t be able to wait for the next book (I know I’m going to grab a copy as soon as it is out).

For bringing the 1920s to life, creating a villain who gave me the creeps, and for reminding me of the awesomeness of the word ‘copacetic’, The Diviners was one of the best books I read this year.


Review: Edgewood by Karen McQuestion

Edgewood by Karen McQuestion

I’m going to start off this review by letting you know I received my copy of Edgewood through a GoodReads First Reads giveaway.

 

What’s it about:  The night Russ Becker witnesses a strange astronomical event, his world changes forever. Before long Russ discovers he’s developed incredible superpowers, and he’s not the only one. Three other young people—beautiful Mallory, arrogant Jameson, and mysterious Nadia—have had the same experience and all of them now have powers of their own.  At first the four relish their newfound gifts, but things become serious when they learn they are being hunted by an organization that wants them for its own nefarious purposes. When Russ’s family is threatened, he’s forced into action. What transpires will change all of them in ways they never imagined. (Summary from goodreads.com)

 

What I Liked:  I love the idea of teens with superpowers. (I want superpowers!).   I like how they developed the powers due to an astronomical event, and I love how all their superpowers are connected to energy in some way.  This fact lends some stability to how the event affected all of them, and why it can differ but still be similar.  I also love Russ Becker’s voice.  While there were times where I didn’t necessary feel some of his lines fit a teenage boy, he did feel authentic overall.  I will mention there were times when I got really frustrated with Russ and the choices he was making.  He did not seem to understand the dangers involved in telling others about his powers in the beginning, and even after being warned he made some poor decisions.

For me Edgewood was a page turner, and I look forward to reading the sequel.  There are questions left open for the sequel, which I look forward to finding out the answers to.  Also a romance seems to be budding, so those of you who love a little romance thrown in, have no fear.  Although the romance isn’t really in the first book, I think (hope) the second will capture it more.