Monday, May 21, 2012

Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed is the sequel to Matched, a book I really liked reading. One of my friends gave me this book to read and I picked it up over the long weekend. What I found difficult was that I couldn't really remember how Matched ended and so I had a hard time following this book. That is one of the problems with reading trilogy as they are published instead of waiting for them to all to be published. Crossed picks up where Matched left off. Cassia is working in the Outer Provinces finishing up her three month work detail. The work is hard and she isn't sure exactly what she is accomplishing. All throughout her time at these camps she is thinking about Ky, wondering where he is and if he is safe. Ky is also in the outer provinces and he is just trying to stay alive so he can find his way back to Cassia. The story is told from alternative perspectives, one chapter from Ky's point of view and the next chapter from Cassia's. It is a story of love, and deciding what is right and wrong and how to best live your life. I enjoyed reading it, but I wish that I had reread Matched before starting this book. When the final book is published I will be sure to read the first two.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Starters by Lissa Price

I had read about Starters on Twitter a few months ago, it was being promoted for fans of the Hunger Games novels so I knew I was going to have to read it. When a former student showed me this one, I asked Emily to lend it to me when she was done. After a few reminders, she finally brought it to me this week, and am I ever glad she did. Starters is the story of life after a war in which everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty are wiped out. All that is left are the 'Starters' or the younger kids and the 'Enders', those at the end of their lives. There is a bit of tension between the two groups, laws have been passed that make it illegal for Starters to work which makes survival very difficult. Callie is the main character and she is a 16 year old who has been living on the streets trying to take care of her 7 year old brother as best she can. Callie learns of a way that she can make a great deal of money and all she has to do is 'rent' out her body to an Ender who wants a chance to relive their youth for a short period of time. For Callie, this seems like an ideal solution. She sleeps for a month while someone rents her body and when she wakes up she will be able to buy a home and look after her brother. Of course things don't go as planned for Callie. As she is being rented, she wakes up living someone else's life. She is confused and doesn't know who to trust. The more information she gets, the more confused and conflicted she becomes. This book was an incredibly exciting read. It was easy to follow and hard to put down. The ending leaves me thinking that there will be a planned sequel to the story, which is great because I really want to know what will happen to Callie and her brother. Fans of dystopian novels will really like this book.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent is a book that I have been waiting for for over a year. It is also the book that many of my students from last year have asked about as well. Insurgent is the sequel to Divergent and it begins at the exact moment where Divergent ends. Luckily I had reread Divergent just the weekend before, because otherwise I would have been a bit lost. If you haven't read Divergent, Insurgent might be a bit confusing for you. Once Tris decided on her faction, she thought she would be set for life. She was happy with her ranking as one of the top Dauntless initiates and was also happy with her future with Four. However all that changed at the end of Divergent, when war between the factions broke out. Now, Tris must deal with what she had to do to save herself, Four and what is left of her family. As she is trying to deal with all of that, she also has to figure out a way to stop the other faction from destroying themselves. This leads to Tris needing to make many difficult choices as she tries to navigate through the complexity of war.
I was so excited to start Insurgent and see what would happen with Tris and Four. I did find it a bit confusing to remember who was fighting for what side as I was reading. As with most wars, it is often hard to know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. I love the strength that Tris has throughout both of these novels. While she feels remorse and guilt about decisions she makes, she always makes well thought out and planned moves. Anyone who liked Divergent should read this one. It is the second in the planned trilogy series and the ending certainly leaves you wanting to read the next book.