Wednesday
Mar262014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Breaking the Spine and serves to showcase those books we’re not so patiently waiting to arrive!

The Infinite Sea
Rick Yancey

Putnam Juvenile
Releases September 16, 2014
480 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Preorder from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

The riveting follow-up to the New York Times bestselling The 5th Wave, hailed by Justin Cronin as “wildly entertaining.”

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.

My book club is actually reading The 5th Wave this month and it's just reminded me how much I loved that book. It was surprising, caused me to beat up my couch and made my pulse pound a time or two. I'm really excited to see where Yancey takes his cast of characters after the explosive conclusion to The 5th Wave.

Tuesday
Mar252014

Random Tuesday: Divergent the Movie Review

Divergent (2014)
Summit Entertainment
Dystopian / SciFi

This past weekend, I did what most other book bloggers did – I went to the movies and saw Divergent. This is my randomly written little review.

SPOILERS AHOY (FOR BOOK AND FILM)

 

Seriously I spoil the ending, so don't read any further if you don't want to know.

I liked it. I liked that they took out the eye-gouging scene, but left in the attempt at throwing Tris over the edge scene. I’m not too keen on eye-gouging. It was very fast-paced, and though you can see all the influences of other dystopian worlds on the plot and the environment, by the end it came into its own. The story jumps from plot point to plot point without developing any of the characters other than Tris, but it’s her show from beginning to end and there’s not much time for the side characters to have too many lines, much less personalities.

Everyone and their mom is going to make the comparison, so let’s get this over with. Shailene Woodley was a great Tris and had none of the flat out-of-place presence that Jennifer Lawrence did in the first Hunger Games movie. She embodied Tris with the same sense of conflict and bravery shown by the character in the book while still having this underlying sense of vulnerability. She truly portrayed Tris as embodying all the characteristics from the different factions.

I’m not going to pretend that it’s a perfect movie. If I think about it too much, I can find all sorts of issues, but it was still a fun film. The fact that Divergents are considered dangerous to the makeup of society was hammered in a little much and Kate Winslet’s Janine was a bit mustache twirly, but a decent foil to Tris. The change to the ending made no sense within the constructs set up within the story itself (if the computers are controlling everyone who thinks they’re in a simulation and can’t comprehend the orders from those not under mind control, how could Tris inject Janine and then command her to do something?).

Though I have to admit my biggest issue is the chemistry between the two leads. Personally I never felt it and was generally weirded out by the entire situation. The ages of Four and Tris are never divulged, but seeing nearly 30-year-old Theo James making out with a girl who is meant to be 16 or 18 squicked me out. Yes, Shailene Woodley is 20-something, but she can easily still pass as a teenage girl, where the scruffy face of Theo James cannot. It left me with a disconcerting icky feeling watching the romantic scenes. It was like the movie wanted me to root for a young high school teacher making out with his student in the teacher lounge. Even without the book’s background, the age difference between the two on top of Four being an authority figure for Tris just felt manipulative rather than the naturally built romance in the book.

And yet I still enjoyed it. It was a satisfying little Sunday afternoon adventure with a good female protag and several very exciting moments. It’s not a film that I need to own, but I’d rewatch it if I stumbled upon it on cable while doing chores or something.

Monday
Mar242014

Review: Nil by Lynne Matson

Nil
Lynne Matson

Henry Holt
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Released March 4, 2014
384 pages
YA / Adventure / SciFI

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days--to escape, or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with dangers, their greatest threat is time.

If Lost and Survivor had a baby populated with teenagers, Nil would be it. There may not be any polar bears, but there are other strange, wild and dangerous beasties and no one is holding challenges for nice prizes. It’s an adventure story from beginning to end with just enough science fiction to set up the plot. It’s like if the Bermuda Triangle had an island smack dab in the middle of it that nobody could see that sucked teenagers from all around the world to deposit them on its shores. It’s no quite like anything I’ve read before.

Nil starts out in Georgia where Charley is inconveniently sucked up by some shimmery burning portal thing and dropped naked on a beach of lava rocks. That is really going to mess with your day. She’s stuck in survival mode for nearly two weeks before Thad comes across her. As an island expert, having been there for over 200 days, he brings her into his city of teenage refugees and gives her the rundown of the rules: the shimmery gates bring you here, the shimmery gates take you back, and you only have 365 days to find an exit or you die.

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Friday
Mar212014

Trailer Park Friday: The Maze Runner, The Giver, The Boxtrolls & More

This week has been crazy in real life, so it's nice to escape to the interwebs where tons of movie trailers have come out. This week had several highlights including the first footage from The Maze Runner and The Giver, some pretty crazy new footage for Maleficent, Martin Freeman pretending to be from Minnesota in Fargo and more.

First up is The Giver because if they screw this movie up, my 8-year-old self might figure out a way to travel into the future/now and kick some people in the shins. The Giver comes out August 15.

I wasn't the biggest fan of Fargo, but I'm not a huge fan of the Coen brothers. I will take a chance on the new television version because there is a hobbit in it pretending to be from the midwest. It starts on FX on April 15.

I knew Maleficent was a faerie, but I didn't expect her to have crazy bat wings. I haven't come to a conclusion on whether this movie looks potentially pretty cool or just bad. Maleficent comes out May 30.

Earth to Echo is a Relativity sci-fi film I hadn't heard of until yesterday. It looks like it could be an interesting smaller film in the middle of all the blockbusters. It comes out July 2.

I have a confession - I still haven't read The Maze Runner. I've long since lost count of how many times it's been recommended to me, so I must get to it before the movie comes out September 19.

In my opinion Laika has never done wrong. Coraline is one of those movies I'm dying to share with my niece and nephew when they get older. Their next film is called The Boxtrolls and it looks like it will be awesome as well. It comes out September 26 and has a great voicecast.

 

I think that may be the max of potential greatness I can cram into a Trailer Park Friday. What trailers am I missing? What movies are you most excited about for this summer?

Thursday
Mar202014

Review: The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

The Bitter Kingdom
Rae Carson

Greenwillow Books
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Released August 27, 2013
448 pages
YA / Fantasy

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

The epic conclusion to Rae Carson's Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny. 

Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most.

I’ve had an up and down relationship with Rae Carson’s Fire and Thorns trilogy. The first book was a middle of the road fantasy adventure novel with a ridiculous ending that almost made me quit the entire series. The second book swept me away and refused to put me back down. So how was the third book going to fit into the mix? Would it revert back to the moderately entertaining first book or grab me by the shirt collar and take me on a crazy ride?

It landed in the middle. It’s a satisfying conclusion to the series and all the ends get tied up in interesting ways. I didn’t call all the twists and turns, and the cliff hanger of the second book was resolved much more quickly than I expected. It did have that same lagging feeling at times from the first book where the characters are walking and walking and walking and Elisa is having the same sort of thoughts over and over again, but overall I really enjoyed this final book.

SPOILERS FOR GIRL OF FIRE & THORNS AND CROWN OF EMBERS

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