[Audiobook] Review: The Fifth Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) by Rick Yancey

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the fifth waveTitle: The Fifth Wave
Series: The Fifth Wave, #1
Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: Dystopian
Source: Purchased (Audiobook)

Length: 12 hours 41 minutes (Unabridged)
Narrated by: Brandon Espinoza, Phoebe Strole
Published by: Recorded Books

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The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

my thoughts-01

The Fifth Wave is one of those books that I hummed and hawed over getting. EVERYONE was talking about it, it was getting rave reviews, and that can usually mean one of two things — I’ll either really hate it, or I’ll really love it. But it could go EITHER way. Just because everyone else loves a book doesn’t mean (actually, it usually means) I’ll like it, too.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by this story when I started listening to it. I loved the dystopian aspect of it and the fact that it was about aliens. Maybe it’s just me, but there aren’t enough books about aliens these days! And the great thing about this one is that the aliens aren’t out there, front and center, but it’s almost like Courtney Summers’s This Is Not A Test and its zombies, where they’re mentioned a lot, we know they’re bad, and they add a super eerie feeling to the story. It also has elements of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, with the aliens of the story being inserted into their host bodies. That part didn’t seem all that original to me.

The characters were strong and determined and it was great to see a range of characters, from the bad guy to the possible romance to the siblings — everyone was quite different and I had a hard time picking a favourite character. I’m not entirely too sure about the romance in the story — it really didn’t seem necessary to have it and it almost made the story lag a bit, taking the focus away from what the story really was about. I was a little hesitant about the story being told from numerous points of view, especially since a lot of these characters’ stories take over great amounts of the book — I found myself wondering what was going on with the other characters as I listened to the story, but it was nice that everything started to tie together as the story reached the halfway point or so.

Another downfall I found with this story was that there were aspects that did seem quite predictable, from one certain relationship made early in the story, to an event later in the story, to the usual trusting of the people in charge — and that predictability really took away from the story. There was still plenty of suspense going on, enough so that I listened to the story within two days, but I wish there was more surprise. The other problem with the story is that it really doesn’t pick up until about halfway or so into the story. By the time I had about four hours left of listening, I didn’t want to stop, but a lot of the story in the beginning is more telling than showing.

I really liked the narration of the story and feel like the narrators are what really held my interest for most of the story. Both narrators had excellent pacing and suited the characters well. I wouldn’t say that this story stood out as much to me as it did for other people — I’m not entirely sure if I’m eager to listen to the next story in the series or not. The story is resolved in a way, which is nice, but there is plenty of potential for it to grow into quite the series. All I can recommend is to not go into it with too high of expectations.

rating-4-01

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Review: The Elite (The Selection, #2) by Kiera Cass

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the eliteTitle: The Elite
Series: The Selection, #2
Author:
Kiera Cass
Genre:
YA dystopian
Source:
Purchased (Hardcover)

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The Selection began with thirty-five girls. Now, with the group narrowed down to the Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s heart is fiercer than ever–and America is still struggling to decide where her own heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen, who she always thought was the one?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want–and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away.

my thoughts-01

I have to admit — I never was going to read this book.

I had full intentions to just leave this series at book one, even though it ended without the resolution I was looking for. But then … the cover came out and I fell in love. Kiera Cass’s books seriously get the most GORGEOUS covers. I waited for months and then finally gave in. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the series — I really, really did! I remember watching The Bachelor with my mom and it was always so much fun. This book, just like the first one, still has that hint of The Bachelor. It also reminds me of something like The Hunger Games (because of the competition) by Suzanne Collins, as well as Wither (because of the dynamics between the girls) by Lauren DeStefano.

Almost instantly, I was back in the world of the competition and I loooooved it. I still really loved America, though she kind of irked me here and there since of COURSE there’s a love triangle and she was always back and forth, back and forth. Heck, by the end of the story I was still back and forth, though I still have my preference of how I want things to go. The funny thing is that I read my review for The Selection, the first book in the series, and I mentioned something about how the series better go the way I want it to go — since it was so long ago, I now have no idea what that way was! Maybe I had been on one side of the fence then? Or maybe the same side as now? Who knows. At any rate, I cannot wait to get my copy of The One so I can finally see how this all ends!

I know I just posted a discussion on Quality vs. Quantity and this one might seem more like a “quantity” book, but it really is fun. I thought I was completely over dystopians, but this one is a lot different from the other ones. Where other dystopians focus on a world in tatters and rebels and whatnot, this one focuses a little less on that. I think the next book might bring in more of the world outside of the competition — or at least, I kind of hope it does. I’m so nervous for it all, but I will say that no matter how the series ends, I know that the cover will make up for anything that doesn’t go the way I want it to.

Such a fun series and one that I’m very happy to have picked up! I’m a little mad that the bookstores in the city didn’t have the third one in hardcover, since I wanted to read it this weekend, but I guess I’ll keep living the high of this book and then I’ll really look forward to more of America, Maxon, and Aspen — not to mention the rest of the girls in the competition, the maids, the rebels … it’s going to be so good!

rating-5-01

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Review: Allegiant (Divergent, #3) by Veronica Roth

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allegiantTitle: Allegiant
Series: Divergent, #3
Author:
Veronica Roth
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Purchased (Hardcover)

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The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

my thoughts-01

As I’m about to write this review, I’m reminding myself that the slot meant for this review is MONTHS away, like the later part of 2014. Currently, it’s mid-November 2013 and I decided to pick up Allegiant to read because I am expecting my first child to come ANY MINUTE and I wanted to make sure I finished this series before that happened. It’s a big book — I had to get it done. Hard to balance baby and a big book at the same time (thank goodness for ereaders, amirite?).

Anyway, I was extremely — EXTREMELY — worried about reading this book. I mean, a love a good trilogy, but I felt that some authors were just taking the safe way out, or just writing nonsense, or just not ending their series how I wanted them to. In fact, I didn’t even want to read Allegiant because it seemed like the day it came out, everyone and their dog was reading it and getting all spoilery and linking to spoilery articles and talking about HUGE THINGS that happened in the book. With my track record when it comes to the ends of series, I thought, “Nah. I’m not going to read this one. I think I’ll just end with Insurgent.”

And a lot of that was based on the fact that while I thought the second book in this series was good, it didn’t totally knock my socks off. In fact, I had to push myself to get through the last quarter of it.

Luckily, this book was COMPLETELY different from that one, which was awesome. OK, I still wasn’t a huge Tris fan (I feel like she totally changed from the Divergent days) and I still felt like whenever her and Four were together, they’d get all kissy and it just started to feel totally repetitive, BUT this book completely held my attention from page one and I had to make sure I finished it while dinner slowly burned a slow death on the stove.

(OK, not really, but ALMOST.)

Actually, I was quite impressed by being able to go into this one without really remembering a lot of what happened in Insurgent, but still being able to follow and really get into the story. Yes, lots of crazy things happen, but I think they all NEEDED to happen. Every single bit of action, I was totally for. It had me on the edge of my seat. I’m TELLING you.

One of the things I really wasn’t impressed with (and I don’t think I’m the only one) was the dual narrative. Now, I’m all for a dual narrative, but I thought this one was confusing. Considering I do a lot of my reading before bed, it’s kind of a pain in the butt to get halfway through a chapter in a big ol’ hardcover (seriously, this thing is over 500 pages!) only to realize that I have no idea who’s speaking. I’m not sure if it’s just me not being able to really hear the difference between Tris and Four, or maybe they just really did sound the same throughout the book. I mean, obviously, there were times where they’d mention something and I’d clue in, but it took a good 3/4 of the way through until I didn’t have to flip back and check anymore.

That being said, I thought this was an excellent end to the series. No, I didn’t do any book throwing, but instead I finished it feeling completely satisfied, knowing that I could now put the book on my shelf without having any grumbles afterwards. I can only hope now that they do the movies justice because based on the material Veronica Roth has given the moviemakers, it could be a really good series of films! And, of course, I’m also extremely eager to see what Veronica comes up with next — I’m hoping it’s just as good, if not better.

rating-4-01

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