Tag Archive | Dystopian

Review: Defy Me

Title: Defy Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Date of Publication: April 2nd, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Juliette Ferrars isn’t who she thinks she is.

Nothing in her world is what it seemed. She thought she’d finally defeated the Reestablishment. She thought she’d finally taken control of her life, her power, and her pain. But Juliette has only just begun to unravel a lifetime of lies, and she finds herself faced with a familiar choice:

Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

This time, she’s not alone. Stronger, braver, and more resilient than ever, Juliette will fight for life and love with her friends by her side—but first, she has to survive the war being waged against her mind:

She has to remember who she was.

My Review:

After the last book I was so scared to read this one, seriously! Juliette and Warner had gone through such a mess in the first three books, and then the last book was like, nooooooooooo! And then this, tear my freaking heart apart with the back flash scenes, already. I was balling like a baby!

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I loved Juliette in this, loved Warner in this, really loved Kenji in this! Those are my three little children! Nazeera was awesome too, and her character ARC really opened up and shined here!

There are a lot of twists here, a lot of shocking moments, a lot of me with heart eyes and teary eyes and all kinds of emotional eyes! And that freaking ending was perfect, which only makes me scared for this last book! But I need it now!!!!!

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Review: Shadow Me

Title: Shadow Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Date of Publication: March 5th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Juliette is still reeling from Warner’s betrayal, and Kenji is trying to balance his friendship with her with his responsibilities as a leader of the resistance against the Reestablishment. Things get even more interesting when an unexpected person from Omega Point’s past surfaces.

My Review:

Oh, yes, it’s Kenji’s turn for a novella! And being inside his head was even better than expected! He’s funny, he’s emotional, he’s giving while being perfectly flawed!

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The novella pretty much goes along with book four, but seeing things from Kenji’s perspective puts a whole new spin on things. And after reading this, I want a whole book just being inside his head!

Tahereh can write such amazing characters, and this only makes me want the fifth book even more. The world has become a mess, and I want to see what these characters do to help stitch it back together!

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Review: Rebel

Title: Rebel

Author: Amy Tintera

Date of Publication: May 13th, 2014

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Goodreads Summary:

Wren Connolly thought she’d left her human side behind when she dies five years ago and came back 178 minutes later as a Reboot. With her new abilities of strength, speed, and healing—along with a lack of emotions—Wren 178 became the perfect soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Then Callum 22 came along and changed everything.

Now that they’ve both escaped, they’re ready to start a new life in peace on the Reboot reservation. But Micah 163, the Reboot running the reservation, has darker plans in mind: to wipe out the humans. All of them. Micah has been building a Reboot army for years and is now ready to launch his attack on the cities. Callum wants to stick around and protect the humans. Wren wants nothing more than to leave all the fighting behind them.

With Micah on one side, HARC on the other, and Wren and Callum at odds in the middle, there’s only one option left…

It’s time for Reboots to become rebels.

My Review:

This was an excellent ending to this fun series. There is a certain character named Riley who Wren meets up with, who was the one who originally trained her. He was awesome! Also, what I love is no love triangle!

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Wren and Callum were both so awesome! What I appreciate from Tintera is how she writes her characters. I tend to get annoyed with main characters easily, and I never felt that way with either of these two. Plus, Tintera knows how to write in humor well, even in books that have dark aspects. It rocks!

Besides the romance being swoony, the book was action packed! There was some interesting things we find out when Wren and Callum hit up the Reboot camp. I don’t want to give anything away! All I want to say is this series was great! I also can’t wait to read the conclusion to her other series (Ruined) later this year!

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Review: Reboot

Title: Reboot

Author: Amy Tintera

Date of Publication: May 7th, 2013

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Goodreads Summary:

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

My Review:

This book was pretty awesome, so some of these people once they die, they reboot and come back to life. It’s sort of like zombies, but they aren’t really zombies.

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Now, if you are under a #60 (60 minutes or less of being dead), HARC gives these reboots a shot to up their aggression, so they aren’t as human. The problem is that they are becoming too much zombie-like, because HARC is trying to get the dose right.

Wren was an awesome character, she was ruthless at first, reminding me of Nemesis in the Diabolic. Callum was sweet and wanted to hold on to his humanity as long as possible. The romance in this was excellent!

“With the way the guy was shaking, I could take his gun, break his neck, and dance on the body in two seconds flat.”

The action was great, and there were tons of bloody scenes that kept me saying “heck yeah!” I can’t wait to read the next book!

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Review: Gunslinger Girl

Title: Gunslinger Girl

Author: Lyndsay Ely

Date of Publication: January 2nd, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Serendipity “Pity” Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. She’s been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great….
In this extraordinary debut from Lyndsay Ely, the West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity’s struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot.

My Review:

When I received this in the mail from the publisher, I was like heck yeah! I was hoping for a little Quick and the Dead mixed with something new. Instead, I ended up thoroughly confused.

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I’m not sure why the cover, title, description, and first chapters make it seem like a western set in the future. The only western stuff was the beginning, then we got to stuff outside Pity’s town, section or whatever it was and there were motorcycles, etc.

So I’m not sure if this was supposed to be a western, Hunger Games, or Caraval, but it was a mixture of all of that—too much in fact. The romance stuff was weird. I really liked Max, but he felt like a baby at times instead of just speak up to the girl! Pity made some dumb choices. Also, the name Pity really really bugged me for some reason. Since, it’s told in third person the name just came up too often, and it would have read better with her full name, Serendipity.

The writing was fine, but this story just wasn’t for me sadly, but I’m sure a lot of people will find it pretty cool and interesting.

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The Divinity Bureau: Author Interview + Excerpt

Title: The Divinity Bureau

Author: Tessa Clare

Date of Publication: September 21st, 2017

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Summary:

The Hunger Games meets Romeo and Juliet in a stunning debut about a forbidden romance between a young activist and a government employee for a corrupt bureau that controls the population by deciding who lives and who dies.

Roman Irvine is a disgruntled IT Technician for the Divinity Bureau, a government agency that uses random selection to decide who lives and who dies. In a world where overpopulation has lead to pollution, a crippled economy, and a world in crisis, he’s accepted the bureau’s activities as a necessity… until he meets April McIntyre.

April has every reason to be suspicious of Roman. He works for the Divinity Bureau, which sent her father to an early grave. But he’s also sweet and loyal, and unbeknownst to her, he saved her life. As Roman and April fall deeper in love, the deeper they’re thrust into the politics of deciding who lives and who dies. Someone wants April dead. And the bureau’s process of random selection may not be so random after all…

 

THE DIVINITY BUREAU – Excerpt

I take the elevator to the third floor, where April’s bedroom is. There are only two rooms on that floor, and April’s room is the one with a door that’s been slammed shut. I give it a knock. “April?”

No answer. I try again.

“April, it’s Roman.”

My only response is silence.

“Listen, I know you’re upset. I know you probably don’t want to talk about it right now…” I pause, listening for a sound from the other side of the door. “But I was hoping that I could change your mind. Or at least get you to talk to me.”

I wait for a response, but none comes.

“Could you at least open the door?”

The door doesn’t bulge. I sigh and slide to the floor. I’m ready to give up when I hear a voice from the other side of the door: “Can you answer one question for me?”

I press my ears against the door, afraid that I might miss something if I stop paying attention for a split second. “Of course,” I answer softly.

April’s voice is so soft that it sounds like a whisper. “Why didn’t you do anything to stop it?”

My mouth falls open. “What?”

“You heard me,” April says, her voice growing louder with newfound determination. “Why didn’t you stop my mother from being elected?”

I press my forehead against the door, wincing at her words.

“You work for The Divinity Bureau,” April continues on. “You have a part in deciding who lives and who dies.”

“April, there wasn’t anything that I could do to stop it.”

“You could have tried,” she hisses.

I don’t know what to say.‘She’s hurting,’ I tell myself. People say awful things when they’re upset. Still, my reasoning doesn’t heal the sting from her words.

“Trust me,” I say, pressing my brows together. “I never wanted this to happen. The last thing I ever wanted was for you – or your family – to get hurt.”

“It’s not just about my family.”

“Then what is this about?” I ask, my voice growing desperate. “Please – tell me, what do I need to do to make this better?”

“How many people have died since you started working for the bureau?”

I’m taken aback by her question. “I…”

I don’t know what to say.

Unfortunately, my silence is the only answer that April needs. “I knew it.”

“Knew what?”

“You sit behind a computer all day,” April says bitterly. “You see a name on your screen – not realizing that this is a person with a life, a family, hopes, and dreams. Then you destroy that life by electing them to die!”

Her words hurt. I wish she’d open the damn door so that she could see.

“I get it,” she continues. “There’s only so much you can do. But once the day is over, you go home, collect a paycheck, and forget about it. That’s what I can’t seem to understand.”

I slam a fist against the door. “It’s not like that! Trust me, April, there is so much that you don’t know – things that I want to tell you…”

I want to tell her everything: the election report, seeing her name on the list, coming to her work, the ruined hack job on her father’s computer, and the research that I had done on her family. I let out a breath. “I’ll tell you everything if you’ll please open the door.”

I press an ear against the door, not caring if I fall over. But I never do.

The last thing I hear from April is a solid, “No.”

 

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Author Interview:

What inspired you to write The Divinity Bureau?

It’s a crazy story! When I was nineteen years old, I was in an unfortunate situation where I was homeless and living in my car. I remember thinking, “There’s no room for me in this world” and just blaming everything I could for my situation, including overpopulation.

During that time, I was also spending a lot of time in the library. The place was the perfect place to be during that period in my life. It was open late, it had heat, but most importantly, it had books to keep me entertained. I was reading a lot of dystopian books. I had also just watched An Inconvenient Truth. On top of that, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. All of those elements came together to form The Divinity Bureau.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

My favorite character is April. Interestingly enough, I had a tough time connecting with her at first. When I started writing The Divinity Bureau, I would skim over writing her parts. She’s the daughter of a wealthy politician, so she’s a brat at times. I also couldn’t relate to some of the problems that she faces throughout the novel.

To make her more relatable to me, I created the storyline of her being cut off from her trust fund. I also gave her a job as a barista, because that’s the job that I was working at the time. And as I started writing more of her scenes, I began to see more of myself in her – from her stubbornness to her innate desire to make an impact on the world. So far, the feedback I’ve gotten is that people like Roman more; but April will always have a special spot in my heart.

What made you want to become a writer?

I started writing when I was seven. I think it’s just something that I was born with. I even attempted to write my first chapter book when I was nine! (I made it to three chapters)

I think I was just born with an expressive personality, and writing is my way of making sense of the world.

What book are you currently reading?

Your book, actually! Just started reading The Bride of Glass!

How many books do you plan to have in this series?

Roman and April’s story is going to be a trilogy, but I’ve had a couple of ideas swirling around for prequels. The world of The Divinity Bureau has so much history, and I’d love to explore the stories behind them.

Do you have a favorite scene in the book?

My favorite scene is Roman and April’s first fight as a couple. I don’t want to spoil it by giving away the reason for it, but April asks Roman how many people have died since he started working for the bureau. At first, he’s flabbergasted. He doesn’t know because he’s never thought about it. To him, it’s a job. He does his work and collects a paycheck at the end of the day, not thinking about the implications of his work. But people die under his watch. And you can see his mindset shift in that moment and throughout the rest of the story.

What challenges do you face while writing?

I think the biggest challenge is not letting life get in the way of my dreams. I mentioned earlier that I was living in my car when I started writing this story, but I soon began to move up in my career. By the time I was 23, I was promoted to a corporate manager. But I always came back to writing – it was my dream since I was a kid to write a novel, and I didn’t want to leave that behind.

Still, it was challenging when I’d watch people my age spend their weekends at the bar while I was holed up in my apartment working on this book. They’d come back and tell me these crazy stories that I missed out on, and I felt like I was missing out. When the book was done and I finally had time to come out with them, I started to realize that those nights, while fun, didn’t compare to the feeling of accomplishment after a period of hard work.

Favorite color.

Black. Half of my closet is black. If I could, I’d probably even make my book covers black!

What advice do you have for future writers?

As cliché as this might sound, the best advice is to keep writing and to follow your dreams. I listened to Gary Vaynerchuk give a talk about what it means to become an “overnight success.” When he started making it big, he would have friends email him and tell him that he got lucky and became an overnight success. But he spent every weekend from the time he was fifteen until he was thirty honing his craft. And I think writers need to do the same. We hear these stories about new authors debuting on the New York Times Bestseller list and think about how we’ll never get there – but there are two factors here: 1) you don’t need a movie deal and to be on the bestseller list to be a success. I have a friend with an email list of 10,000 subscribers who makes her living writing romance novels. And 2) “overnight success” doesn’t happen overnight. You still have to keep working on your craft, working on your marketing, and learn and grow along the way.

What do you like about dystopian books?

Honestly, the world is constantly evolving. New technology comes out every day. New trends emerge. Cultures shift. All of these things have an impact on the world. What I like about dystopian books is the way authors interpret the things happening today and the impact that they might have in the future – whether it’s the discovery of immortality (as in The Divinity Bureau) or an atomic war (such as in 1984).

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About Tessa:

Tessa Clare is the author of The Divinity Bureau. When she’s not writing, she’s an entrepreneur, an activist, a speaker, and the Managing Director of Asset Creative House.

Born in 1992, she started her early career as a concession stand attendant, a busgirl, a barista, a player’s club representative for a casino, and an administrative assistant. She also spent years working as a corporate manager, where the groundwork for Asset Creative House was inspired.

The Divinity Bureau is Tessa’s debut novel about a forbidden love between a young activist and a government employee working for a corrupt bureau, set in a dystopian world.

Link (including Buy links): www.divinitybureau.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tessaclareofficial/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tessaclareauthor/

 

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Review: Replica

Title: Replica

Author: Lauren Oliver

Date of Publication: October 4th, 2016

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Goodreads Summary:

Lyra

From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.

But when a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own. And as Lyra tries to understand Haven’s purpose, she uncovers earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls.

Gemma

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life. A sickly child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April.

But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions. As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she learnes terrible truths about herself and her family that will threaten to destroy everything she loves.

Two girls, two stories, one novel.

While the stories of Gemma and Lyra mirror each other, each contains revelations critically important to the other story. Their narratives can be read separately or in alternating chapters.

My Review:

So, me and my friend have started alternatively picking books to read, and this was our next book. I was first excited because of the cover, and because I love Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series.

The book itself can be read three ways. Lyra’s story and then Gemma’s story, Gemma’s story and then Lyra’s story, or alternate between chapters. I feel like my mistake was reading Lyra’s whole story first. I should have alternated between the two because I think it wouldn’t have felt as repetitive. The concept is pretty cool, though.

Also have you seen The Island? I love that freaking movie, and I thought that this was basically a retelling of that when I read Lyra’s story… The romance and things that happened with 72 and Lyra even reminded me of The Island.

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My main issue with this book was these girls! It made sense for Lyra to not understand the world and things, but she would give these nicknames to people that were just odd. Gemma, on the other hand, was not a skinny girl which I thought was great. BUTTTTTT we never stop hearing about it. She doesn’t want to order her a Happy Meal in front of a guy or her thinks about her non-existent waist, etc. It just would have been awesome for her not to bring it up all the time!

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The boys however were extremely likable! I loved 72 and I loved Pete! The story was fun in some places, but the twists I wasn’t surprised by. Overall, it was just okay for me!

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