Oh, dystopian novels, how I love thee! Glitch by Heather Anastasiu is a dystopian YA novel in it’s most realistic form!
The Community protects us all from pain and war. The Community is the only thing that is important. The Community is our life. Zoe is perfectly content in The Community until she starts to “glitch” and form her own thoughts, opinions, and feelings. She finds herself enamoured with the feelings flowing through her and she starts to glitch more and more often. Glitching is dangerous… if The Community were to find out, they’d “fix” her instantly and she’d stop having any feelings of her own. Her glitch also comes with the power of telekinesis… she can move things in her MIND! Why would she want to give up all of these gifts she has control over while glitching? Keeping her glitch a secret might be the thing to kill Zoe, after all.
This probably sounds crazy, but I liked this novel because I felt like it could really happen. I feel like the contentedness of not having our own unique flaws and thoughts might lead the government [The Community] to controlling everything they can about it’s citizens. I really liked Zoe… her thoughts seemed very genuine. Fun story! Can’t wait to read the sequel!
Rose Under Fire is the secondary novel to Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity (reviewed here). These novels are historical YA fiction at it’s ABSOLUTE best! Rose Under Fire takes over a few years after we left the story in Code Name Verity.
This novel is about Rose Justice, an 18 year old American volunteer in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). She flies fighter planes to locations for the military forces in and around the war effort during World War II. She is captured on her way to France in 1944 and sent to Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. Ravensbruck is home to some of the worse human experimentations during the Nazi command.
Rose’s experiences in the camp are so heartbreaking and really in-depth. Wein has a way of making you feel like you were there. After reading this novel, I feel like I’ve survived through the hell of a concentration camp, the hopelessness is palpable. GREAT novel. SO MANY FEELS! Love this author!
The One is the final novel in Kiera Cass’ Selection trilogy (The Selection review here and The Elite review here). These novels have such GREAT characters. A kingdom in turmoil, a prince who needs to pick his princess, a girl from a small background in the mix, and war knocking at the door of the castle [literally].
This is almost like a realistic fairy tale. haha. A fairy tale that has real life elements. A wannabe-princess that doesn’t know what she wants for her future… could it get any better than that?! A prince whose father (the king) is less than kind and definitely not a loving man. These people are not royalty… they’re us. Well, they are us without the money problems. haha.
These novels seemed so foofy to me in the beginning… but they’re really not. The characters are multi-faceted people. America Singer is such a strong-willed main character… I love the sheer volume of novels with strong female leads nowadays! =) If you’re looking for a fairy tale set in a dystopian world, look no further.
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige was such a pleasant surprise. I’m not a die hard Wizard of Oz fan by any means, so I was skeptical about whether or not I’d dig this novel. After having read the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I found Dorothy Must Die to be a modern, fun retelling. It was similar to Cinder as a retelling of Cinderella… the main ideas are there, but it feels like an entirely different story.
Amy Gumm lives in a trailer on the outskirts of town. She could not be more of an outsider in her town. The only reason anyone, especially the school heartthrob, pays attention to her is because they want to copy her homework. After a fight with the heartthrob’s girlfriend, Amy finds herself suspended… much to the chagrine of her druggie mom. A tornado is coming and her mom leaves to head to the local bar/watering hole.
Needless to say, something odd happens and the trailer is lifted up into the tornado and dropped in none other than OZ! Only this isn’t Dorothy’s Oz… or rather, it IS Dorothy’s Oz… the Oz that Dorothy has ruined and taken complete control over. Amy is Oz’s only hope… how will she save them all from Dorothy’s tyrannical reign?
EXCELLENT story. Amy is your every-girl. She’s normal, plain, doesn’t know what she could do to possible help free Oz from Dorothy. The characters are just plain interesting. I loved the flying monkeys and their backstory… and the story of the scarecrow fits in perfectly with the original Frank Baum story and it’s wicked turns. If you like young adult ANYTHING, this novel is for you! Whimsical in the darkest of ways!
And the Mountains Echoed is another great novel by Khaled Hosseini. I think he must be my favorite new-to-me author of 2014. I can’t believe I ever hesitated to pick up his novels. Now they’re all in my favorites.
This novel is a bit different from the first two… the main character shifts between chapters. The story begins with Abdullah and Pari, a brother and sister who are torn apart when their parents can no longer afford to keep them both. Pari is sold to the wealthy and childless Wahdatis in Kabul. Abdullah is heartbroken at his loss. The story then shifts to Abdullah and Pari’s stepmother Parwana and her tale of sibling rivalry and jealousy that ultimately leads to her beautiful sister Masooma being paralyzed. Then the story shifts to the Wahdati’s and Pari and their life together in Kabul.
Another great narrative on life in Afghanistan. The characters were so well written and in-depth. They had flaws, but you couldn’t help but feel for each one of them in turn. Sometimes an author comes along who shocks me with their intuition on human behavior and morals, Hosseini is that kind of author. A Thousand Splendid Suns will always be my favorite of his novels, but I would DEFINITELY suggest you pick up And the Mountains Echoed, as well!
Gary Paulson‘s novel Hatchet is the 1987 Newberry Award Winner. It’s a young adult novel about a young man’s survival all alone in the wilderness.
When Brian’s parents got divorced and his father moved away, he never imagined what it would be like to have to travel between his parents homes. He feels like he’s being split in two. Midair on his way to his father’s new home, Brian’s plane crashes and he is the only survivor. The only thing he has with him is the hatchet his mother gave him as a birthday gift.
He has to battle starvation, the weather, and animals in the mountains he’s trapped by. Brian also has to struggle with the loneliness and his recurring memories of the home he once shared with both parents until he found his mother cheating on his father. He struggles with anger at his mother, anger at himself, and anger at the world around him and finds he must let it go in order to survive in the forest.
Definitely a good novel. I wish I had read it when I was younger. I felt like I’ve read different variations on this novel and didn’t feel supremely impressed by any of it. Regardless, I would definitely read this author again. Great novel if you’re into survival in the wilderness.
Okay, guys, I’m going to go a little crazy this December! I’m going to be having a FULL MONTH… 31 days of book reviews. I’m going to review 31 books that I’ve read this year over the entire month of December. I love the Christmas season, I love buying special gifts for the people who make my life so special. =) SO for all of my lovely blog readers, new and old, I thought I’d post a crap ton of books for you all to check out [or skip] over your Christmas time off and winter breaks. So bring your hot tea or cocoa, your favorite blanket, and be sure to bring a snuggle buddy [read: fur baby] to catch up on 31 days of novels!!
If book reviews aren’t your thang, I’ll still be posting my normal articles AND we’ll start our third year of the 12 Days of Christmas Crafting!!! Be sure to check in over the next 31 days between shopping and watching Elf on replay!