Disruption Review

disruptionTitle: Disruption

Author: Jessica Shirvington

Genre: YA/Sci-Fi

Publication Date: 1st April 2014

Publisher: Harper Collins Australia

Reminds me of: a tinge of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey but it’s pretty original

What if a microchip could identify your perfect match?
What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?

Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation’s M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loves most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it.

Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer – heir to the M-Corp empire – has become key to Maggie’s plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin’s involvement destroy everything she’s fought for?

In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking. Goodreads Continue reading

The Giver Review

thegiverTitle: The Giver

Author: Lois Lowry

Genre: Children’s

Publication Date: 1993 by Harper Collins in Australia

Reminds me of: Just because it’s a dystopian novel I want to rattle off the usuals, but I just can’t! Maybe Uglies… I’m gonna go with Uglies here.

I think I’ll begin by arguing: is it dystopian or utopian? Dystopia we think The Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium. There’s been an absolute boom in YA dystopian fiction but The Giver has been hanging around since long before.

A common theme with all dystopian novels is that they begin as a utopia (except The Hunger Games. I wasn’t tempted to live there at any point in time). The societies are built on the foundation that the founders have created the ideal and perfect state. In reality they’re masking a painful truth. The Giver isn’t like that. It’s a nice place to live, and the civilians accept society for what it is and not what they’re missing out on.

What is expected of Jonas is a huge burden for anyone to carry – let alone a twelve year old kid. In his mind he’s expected to carry the weight of the world. Everyone’s suffering and misery, every war and every loss. I don’t imagine any sane person being able to cope with that. With the bad, however, comes the good. The picturesque visions of sailing, of Christmas, of love – he’s blessed with the beauty too.

Ultimately, Jonas has the ability to defy every foundation his society has built. He has the freedom of choice. The newfound ability to let his consciousness speak and welcome the experience of decision making.

The concepts are written and discussed on a very basic level which is fine considering it’s a children’s book – Lowry has written extremely effectively for her target audience, I don’t know what more you can want of her. It’s filled with ambiguity but at the same time you learn appreciate everything for face value.

The lack of any emotion in this book emphasises the importance of pain (physical or emotional) and every other shitty feeling under the sun. Although Jonas’ society believes ignorance is bliss we, as the reader, have the capacity to judge their construction of harmony.  Without the bad we can’t appreciate the good for its full value. There is no good without bad – it’s as simple as that.

Rating:

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I really liked it! It was though provoking and I found myself daydreaming about its concepts while I was trying to study. As for my initial question – I’ll leave it up to you: dystopia or utopia guys?

The Infinite Sea Review

infinite seaTitle: The Infinite Sea

Author: Rick Yancey

Genre: YA/Speculative Fiction

Publication Date: September 16th 2014 (by Penguin)

Pages: 300

Reminds me of: The Host by Stephenie Meyer

I was hunting through the bookshops the day The Infinite Sea came out. Eventually I found a copy at Dycmocks and even squealed aloud (much to my boyfriend’s horror). But I had every reason to be that excited, because as far as sequels go Yancey did a really impressive job.

Synopsis: How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate. Source

The Infinite Sea is the second book in the trilogy. While it’s definitely quieter than the first novel I wouldn’t say it suffers from middle book syndrome (I don’t have the last instalment to compare it to, but I think it’s a fair assumption). Although not a criticism, I found myself backtracking frequently as I got too swept up in the plot to stay focused on the way things were worded (focus is a necessity). Yancey’s managed to construct a linguistically stunning piece of work in a YA novel, and keep us mesmerised simultaneously in the fast paced plot. He explores what exactly it means to be human and what makes up humanity – a central theme of the novel.  I’ll give you a hint: pay extra close attention to the mention of Vincit Qui Patitur and you’ll appreciate the novel for its full worth. Continue reading

Paper Towns Review

papertownsTitle: Paper Towns

Author: John Green

Genre: YA

Publication Date: 16 October 2008 (published by Penguin)

Pages: 305

Reminds me of: LOOKING FOR ALASKA. OH MY GOD.

Yes this is my second John Green review in only a couple of weeks. When I heard there was a John Green book that didn’t involve someone dying on me I was like YEP GIMME. Just because death wasn’t an occurrence, however, it doesn’t mean feelings of the frustration and heartbreak variety weren’t experienced.

Our main character Quentin Jacobsen is in his final year of high school and his graduation is impending. His unrequited love for the girl next door, Margo Roth Spiegelman, only fuels his pessimism about his last days at school – she has a boyfriend you see. The book opens with Margo appearing at Quentin’s window late one night and urges him to be her partner in crime in what will be a rather elaborate vendetta against her now cheating boyfriend and backstabbing friends. Margo gets Quentin’s adrenaline rushing – the night is full of risks and danger, yet he tags along in hope of impressing the unattainable Margo.

When school comes round the next day Margo is absent. She’s apparently run away and left speculative clues lying around that only Quentin believes he can decipher. He does… eventually. And then he tracks her down with the aid of his friends and…   Continue reading

The Cuckoo’s Calling Review

CuckoosCallingCoverTitle: The Cuckoo’s Calling

Author: Robert Galbraith 

Genre: Crime

Publication Date: 4th April 2013 (published by sphere, imprint of Little, Brown – Hachette AUS)

Pages: 550

Reminds me of: an episode of Law and Order, The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

I received a copy of the sequel (The Silkworm) from the company I’m interning at, so I felt it only right to go out and buy the first before I dived into the second. I was so excited to read The Cuckoo’s Calling because I’m a Harry Potter nut, but was well aware it has zero link to Hogwarts: genre wise or plot wise. I did feel kind of guilty only going into the book because I knew who the author actually was, because that was obviously Rowling’s reasoning for writing it under a pen name. So, to make up for it, I vow to review the novel purely on the contents of the book and not any preconceived Harry Potter fangirl emotions.

Galbraith’s protagonist is your textbook detective. Cormoran Strike is a private detective and war veteran. His private life is falling to pieces: his gorgeous girlfriend has just left him, he’s broke, essentially homeless and being forced to sleep in his office. But when John Bristow seeks Strike’s detective capabilities out to investigate his late sister’s death, things get interesting. Lula Landry was one of England’s most famous models and died from a supposed suicide. Early on we begin to doubt she took her own life so the investigation puts all the glitz and glamour under the spotlight. Continue reading

We Were Liars Review

we were liarsTitle: We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart

Genre: YA, Drama, Experimental, Mystery

Publication Date: 13th May 2014 (published by Penguin Random House)

Pages: 240

Reminds me of: Just a tad bit of Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, Goodreads suggests Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

 

 

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth. Taken from Goodreads

Continue reading

How I Live Now Review

How_I_Live_Now_coverTitle: How I Live Now

Author: Meg Rossoff

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, War

Publication Date: 5th August 2004 (publisher Penguin)

Pages: 211

Reminds me of: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (minus the supernatural), The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (minus the arena of death)

There are three books on my bookshelf I’ve read about ten times each. The covers are just about ready to fall off and the spine is so heavily creased the title is barely legible. They are my absolute favourite novels of all time and I still get the same thrill from each of them.

I first read How I Live Now when I was fourteen and it was just haunting. I honestly could not stop thinking about it long after I’d finished the last page. So I read it again. And then again. It’s witty and intriguing. Gripping and beautiful. And finally, just a little bit of a tear jerker.

How I Live Now follows the story of our protagonist, fifteen year old Daisy. She’s shipped off from Manhattan to England after her father and step-mother decide her eating disorder has gotten out of hand. Daisy resides with her four cousins, who she’s never met up until now, on their farm property. Her aunt leaves the country for business soon after her arrival, and the farm becomes an idyllic haven where no adults have any presence.

When London is bombed, war breaks out. Initially this has very limited impact on the farm apart from the loss of all power. The cousins relationships delve into new spaces and reckonable bonds are formed. But eventually their haven is invaded and the unnamed enemy tramples over everything they’ve built together. Very quickly the story transforms to one about survival as this dystopia consumes their world. Continue reading