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Reading Frenzy!
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HAPPY FRIDAY! I hope you’re all excited for the weekend, I certainly am because I have NOTHING planned! Don’t you love those weekends? Open to anything, especially relaxing. I may or may be doing to school work… but we’ll just ignore that for now.

While I was on Spring Break I did… NOTHING for school and it was fantastic. I took the week as an opportunity to throw myself into reading for fun and guess how many books I both started and finished by the end of the week?

FIVE.

  
What
Where


Yep. I read five books over spring break. Two are for book clubs coming up soon (see bottom of this post if you want to participate in the Chicago book club), and the other three I am reviewing here in this post!

I reviewed Wither, the first book in Lauren DeStefano’s triology, this past summer, but just now got my hands on the second and third book! I had put my name on the waiting list over the summer, but it took 3 months and by the time I got the email saying I could pick up Fever, I was already out of town for a week and a half and wouldn’t be able to get it in time.

After searching countless used book stores, I finally bit the bullet and just bought it. photo 2 (1)

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The third book, Sever, was also in the store, but they only had it in hard cover. When I realized it was only $6.99 on my phone (iBooks) I bought it immediately after finishing the second!

photo 1



The books are basically teen dystopias, meaning that the stories take place in “our world” but not… In this case it’s the near future but the whole world is different – scientists tried to genetically change the human species so that they’d be immune to diseases, anything from common illnesses to cancer. Unfortunately, this somehow caused all “new generations” to die at the age of 25 (if a male) or 20 (if a female). Obviously this led to serious turmoil, changing all of society and how it functioned.

The story follows a girl named Rhine, who is “gathered” (aka stolen off the streets) and sold to be a wife of a rich man living in Florida. Did I mention polygamy is allowed in this new society? Anyway, Rhine is desperate to escape the confines of the mansion and her suspiciously dangerous father-in-law and return to her twin brother in Manhattan.

I really enjoyed the first book and was dying to see how the story unfolded in the next two parts of the trilogy. Just like in the first book, I fell in love with several characters in the second. The author has a great way of making even the villains in a story somewhat understandable and likeable. The third book, however, I felt like was more of a means to an end. It was basically there to explain everything that was really happening the whole time – it was the answer to many of my “why” questions throughout the first two.

I do have to say that I did not like the ending. I mean yes, it was generally a (almost) everyone is happy kind of ending, but I was disappointed by what happened to one of the characters (you’ll know what I mean if you read it). I understand that the way the story unfolded everyone couldn’t be happy, but I was shocked by how the author chose to handle the love triangle in the story.

Along with making characters likeable, another thing I loved about these books was the way the author was able to let you see the issues from both sides. It showed that life is not black and white, much of it is a grey area and it’s hard to take a stand against something when both sides have reasonable viewpoints.

If you’re a fan of teen dystopias, these are definitely worth picking up.

 

On a VERY different note, I also read The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott.

photo 3

The Dressmaker follows two young women – Tess, who is a maid in England aspiring to be a fashion designer, and Pinky, an American writer for the New York Times. The book is mostly written from Tess’s point of view, but it switches back and forth between what is happening in Tess’s story, as she makes her way onto the Titanic, working for a famous fashion designer, and all the drama that evolves from there, and Pinky’s story, covering the sinking of the Titanic. Although, Pinky’s story becomes much more personal as the novel continues, showing the real person behind the reporter.

I have to say that I had a really hard time getting into this book. It took at least half of the book for me to want to keep picking it up to read, and if I wasn’t so stubborn I probably would have set it down and not picked it up again. I do have to say though, that I’m glad I finished.

I did like the characters, much like in the other books I’ve reviewed here today, the author had a great ability to make you understand the characters, whether they were supposed to be a “villain” or not. I also felt like this book did a great job of demonstrating that there is no black and white, no right and wrong.

I really enjoyed the parts of the book containing the testimony of what happened during the sinking of the Titanic. Much of what was discussed was human nature – what people wish they would do when put in a situation of danger and what they actually do out of fear and self-preservation.

The story itself, however, felt very slow. If you’re looking for a book that you can pick up each night and read a little bit without getting dragged in, then this is a good book. I enjoyed it once I got further into the story, but I can’t say it was a page-turner.

 

Have you read any of these books?

Are you a fan of historical novels? Of dystopias?

What are you reading right now?



 

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