Sunday, November 20, 2011

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 1st 2011
Pages: 441 pages (Hardback)

I really don’t understand the hype.
This was just your typical YA dystopian novel: girl likes boy at first glance and of course the guy likes the girl too, and they fall in love despite the world around them being against it. Ick. This was just too slow and boring for me. The idea behind love being a disease that the government needs to “cure” you for is just so bizarre. I read this thinking it could be either awesome and unique or just a big boring mess. About 100 pages in I realized it was the latter. It was just extremely slow and dragged on forever; it was like trudging through a big muddy hole. You would think that with how slow it was there would be some kind of slow but sweet development in their romance, but of course there wasn’t. I just couldn’t understand the attraction.

I had a hard time reading this one, I found myself taking frequent breaks and getting frustrated at the pace and lack of character development. It was predictable and did I mention boring? The first half of the book built you up on understanding Lena. I get that she’s afraid to fall in love because of what happened to her mom, but the whole idea of having an operation to remove love is just a bit too farfetched for me. Lena was boring and I had a hard time connecting to her. I felt like most of the characters in this book were never really developed and were mostly just flat. I really like Oliver’s writing style but the pacing was awful, and I never really understood the love interest. I got tired of the constant make-out and lovey dovey scenes with them and just wanted to skip the romance and go back to some butt kicking action. Lena and Alex spend most of the book making out, and lying to their families. I just couldn’t really see the interest in Alex. The characters were just a bit to angsty and flat for me.
Despite all of the negative, there were a few good aspects to the book as well. Lauren Oliver is a master of description. I really loved the openers at the beginning of each chapter. Oliver quotes books, songs, and essays that she made up to give you an understanding of the way the people in her world thought. I felt like that really added to the story and loved that she did that.

Overall I didn’t hate this book but I didn’t like it either. It just didn’t hit it for me. If you like your dystopia with a whole lot of romance and only a teeny bit of action then this is the book for you. It just wasn’t really my cup of tea. I rate this book 1 star!

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperCollins/HarperTeen
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Pages: 435 pages (Hardback)


All I can say is wow!

This was a beautiful surprise; I could not put it down. A friend of mine lent it to me for the weekend and told me to read it. I have to say that when it comes to angel books, I am a bit weary. I have had bad luck with angel books and was not sure I could handle another one. After much nagging, my friend finally convinced me to read it, and my God, am I glad she did.

The story starts of at a very slow pace with Clara explaining the whole angel thing, thankfully without info dumping, and allowing the readers to get to know her and her family. The story is written in present tense, which threw me off a bit because I prefer past, but I adjusted after a few chapters and really grew to like Clara’s “voice.” Although it was a fairly slow book, I felt that Cynthia Hand did such an amazing job with her descriptions and characterization. I was able to really connect with Clara and her family on a personal level. Lately, most heroines are whiny and can’t take care of themselves, but they are also perfect and receive the attention of every boy around them, Clara was quite the opposite. She was strong and independent, and life sucked a lot of the time for her (thus the orange hair.) She was believable and I really liked her character.

The romance in this novel was extremely complicated and interesting. I had a feeling there would be a love triangle, but I soon realized it was much bigger than teen indecisiveness and all around stupidity that usually comes from teen novels with love triangles and supernatural beings. The friendships and romances were highly believable and had me wanting to meet a few of these characters in real life. I also really liked Clara’s friends. They were not just your run-of-the-mill vanilla characters used as plot devices; they were interesting and had purpose. I was surprised at how the romance was handled. In most books the girl protagonist meets a hot guy whom she is destined to be with, then they fall in love for no reason, and some insanely awesome other guy gets screwed. This book was the opposite. She never really leads anyone on, and I was rooting for Tucker the whole time.



Wendy was sweet and reminded me a lot of my friends. She actually cared about the well being of her best friend, and wasn’t annoying or whiny. Angela was my favorite. People seemed to fear but respect her at the same time. As far as Tucker and Christian, I am torn. I loved Tucker’s whole country boy look, and sarcastic attitude towards Clara. You want to hate him at the beginning, but then I found myself just begging for scenes with him to come up. As far a Christian goes, I feel like I barely know him. I was appreciative that although she felt herself instantly attracted to him (bleh), she had good reason. The characters in this book were awesome, and I felt like I really knew them by the book’s finish.

Unearthly is one of those rare books that has a beautiful cover, angsty blurb, and major hype but is still surprisingly amazing. I was shocked, and that doesn’t happen very often to me anymore. I loved this book and definitely plan on getting my own copy and reading the rest of the series! I give this book 4 stars!

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