Set in a future dystopia, Memento Nora by Angie Smibert is a short, action packed page-turner. Everything seems fine in Nora’s society until she took her first trip to the Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. In Nora’s world, these clinics exist to help people forget traumatic experiences by taking a pill at the TFC.
While waiting with her mother, Nora notices Mitch, a boy from her school, in the waiting room; a simple message (memento) and a spur of the moment decision, as well as her mother’s best kept secret, urges her to hid the pill, leaving her with the memory of the explosion she witnessed and her mother’s pain.
Memento Nora was extraordinary right from the beginning. As Nora becomes exposed to the inner workings of her society and witnesses things that she would rather forget, the reader is taken on a whirlwind adventure, ending in an unexpected little twist. The only flaw I noticed when finishing this story was the length. I think that Smibert could have developed the relationships and the society a bit more, she engaged the reader the reader from the beginning and I don’t think a bit more on either of those things would have taken away from the story. If anything, it would have added to the richness of the plot.
Memento Nora is a book that fans of dystopia would want to read.
Publisher: Amazon Publishing || Details →
A great supplementary read to Uglies
Uglies: Shay’s Story is just that – Shay’s point of view of the events that happened in Uglies. Because it’s a graphic novel and because Uglies is out there in the world, we don’t really see a retelling of what happened in Uglies as much as we see what’s happening to Shay when Tally isn’t with her.
For those unfamiliar with the Uglies series, Tally and Shay live in a society where all citizens undergo a surgery to turn pretty at the age of sixteen. When Tally and Shay first met, Tally was excited to be made a Pretty while Shay was less enthusiastic. In Shay’s Story we find out more about Shay before Tally and we also find out how she knew about The Smoke and David.
Uglies: Shay’s Story isn’t a prequel, but more a parallel story to Uglies. Since it’s in manga form, the story is told quickly through illustrations, and dialogue. Having read the Uglies series, I think that readers who read this will be spoilt for the ending of the Uglies book, However, I see this as a good thing, because enough was omitted to allow the reader enjoyment if they choose to read it after this one.
If you’re not sure about the Uglies series, Shay’s story is a good place to start. I’d also recommend it for manga lovers.
Publisher: Del Rey || Details →
The winner of the best vampire series award
The Immortal Rules is in the minority when it comes to vampires in Young Adult novels; the vampires here are scary, not overgrown emo kittens. Julie Kagawa’s story is like bright sunshine on a rather dismal genre, it stands tall among some of the newer paranormal books out there, and it keeps the reader engaged without the use of a manipulative and sappy love triangle*!
We are introduced to Allie at a hanging. Allie is an unregistered, a street rat living in a vampire ruled city who is under the radar, so she has to scavenger for food. Allie is good at scavenging, she knows how to take care of herself, she is a strong character and remains thus throughout the entire book. Allie also has a caring heart - even though life as an unregistered has taught her to be wary of who she trusts.
Allie lives in a post-apocalyptic world**, where a virus breakout has killed most of the human population. Vampires (who never mingled in human society before) have set up cities and offered sanctuary to humans if they would register to provide blood for the Vampire masters. The humans live within the wall, under vampire protection and away from rabids***. Allie hates the vampires, and as an unregistered, she must find creative ways to survive. On one such adventure, she’s faced with the choice of death or being turned and she makes a choice she never thought she would make.
The rest of the story is nothing short of spectacular.
Julie’s writing style has definitely matured. We are introduced to a world with a rich political system and history but there was no time in the storytelling that it felt as though the reader was getting an info dump; everything we needed to know was seamlessly woven into the plot. The story was perfectly paced, nothing seemed to drag and I found myself swept away into the narrative.
Then, we run into a band of wandering humans and I became apprehensive.
It always seems that paranormal stories take a turn for the worse when the heroine meets the boy. So I was a little worried when we ran into the wandering humans, but, that was unnecessary. Allie stayed in character and did not become that whiny, angst-ridden character that some female protagonist seem to become when they meet the male counterpart. For this I gave Julie Kagawa a standing ovation. Well done. Applause. Also, no love triangle. Cheers!
I think that The Immortal Rules was brilliant; the characters were well developed and the conflicts were organic. I cared about what happened, even to the characters I did not like. This is hands down, Julie Kagawa’s best work to date and I’m looking forward to the rest of the story.
* If you are a reader of this blog, you’ll know how much I dislike sappy love triangles that just make you want to bang your head against the closest hard object.****
** I see a few reviews call it dystopia, but I think it’s more post-apocalyptic than dystopia: see this handy dandy flowchart.
*** At first I was a little excited, would it be Vampires vs. Zombies? But, it’s not quite Zombies, you’ll have to read the book to see what I mean.
**** Like a desk, or the chiseled chest of most YA vampires. Especially the sparkly kind.
Releasing: 24th April, 2012 || Publisher: Harlequin Teen || Details →
A curious beginning
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started, The Selection. I was more interested in the pretty cover than the story and I expected something light and ﬂuffy. Mostly, my expectations were met but there was a little surprise layer to the plot that left me wanting more and in a way caused some disappointments in how the story ended. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
The Selection is much like, The Bachelor, in a post-war society. A prince, holds a contest called “The Selection” where one girl from each province is chosen to live in the palace. Once there, the Prince interacts with the girls, narrowing his choices until he makes one his wife.
The society has a numbered caste system- one being royalty and eight the homeless beggars. America Singer, the protagonist, is a ﬁve whose especially gifted in music. Even though I felt the writing was very simplistic, I appreciated the way Kiera Cass handled the world building. We are given a bit of history in a way that was relevant to the stony. We were gradually introduced to the system and not given info dumps that can sometimes be boring.
She did a great job in the handling of the love triangle - yes, there is one - a feat that I rarely see; so I applaud the realistic handling of the relationships. I didn’t expect the political conﬂict, but once it was presented I wanted more and was disappointed with the little focus that it had.
I’m curious to see where the second book will take us as I expected the prince to have chosen a winner by the end, and The Selection to be over - this was not the case. I suppose I should have expected this as the trilogy is called The Selection, but I’m afraid that the future books might turn out to be melodramatic if this is the case.
On its own, the Selection was a fun read and the story has great potential, so I’m looking forward to where the next book will take us.¤
[review of ARC via Aroundtheworldarctours]
Publisher: HarperTeen || Details →