Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cover Reveal of Red Dawn

Check out the cover of Red Dawn.  It's gorgeous and I can't wait to read the novel.  You can see the cover here:

What do you think?  Do you love it too?

The Immortal Rules

The Immortal Rules caught my attention because of the intriguing cover art.  
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden)
I was expecting the usual vampire/supernatural romance, but the novel is so much more.  This is a story about choices, loyalty, family, and judgment.  The book made me think about my beliefs - why I believe what I do and how that impacts the way I see the world.  What would I do if I found out everything I believed was wrong?  How would that change my life?
The main character in the story is an Asian teenage girl named Allison.  She lives on the fringes of New Covington - a Vampire owned city.  The novel is set after the Red Lung Virus kills many humans.  The planet is now inhabited by humans, Vampires, Rabids (mutations caused by the Red Lung Virus that are vampire/zombie/monster hybrids), and other mutated animal monsters.  Some cities are Vampire owned and some are not.  Allison survives as an unregistered (one that does not serve the Vampires) by stealing food and foraging in the dangerous ruins outside the Wall.  The Wall protects all those inside from the Rabids who will kill anything with a pulse.  Allison is in a gang of three other unregistereds that live and work together to survive.  She risks her life by venturing into the Ruins to find food for herself and the gang.  Her life changes dramatically when she takes her gang out to the Ruins to help gather food.  How Allison deals with those changes, the adventures, trials, and people she meets afterwards make up the rest of the novel.
The story unfolds in four parts - human, vampire, monster, and wanderer.  Since the novel is told from Allison's point of view, we see her struggle to survive, struggle with her choices, struggle to understand choices, and then learn to understand and accept her choices.  Allison is not perfect, but she does what she thinks is best.  She cares for others and shows love, loyalty, and forgiveness even when she is not shown the same in return.   
This book is not what I expected and I like that.  The secondary characters are well developed and interesting.  At 342 pages, the book does have complexity and depth, but there are areas where the action and plot seem to drag.  During a few of the side adventures, I found myself wondering why we were on the adventure and what it added to the plot.  
I would recommend the book to my high school students.  Allison is a character many will relate to and enjoy watching her struggle with and learn about her new life.
Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa receives 3 of 5 stars.

Monday, August 6, 2012

LOVE Divergent!

Divergent (Divergent, #1)  I may be the last person in the world to read Divergent, but I finally did!  And, I LOVED it!  I was so enthralled by it that I read it in one day and now I can't wait to read the next book.  Veronica Roth has created a believable, entertaining, intriguing world with characters that I like and hate as needed.  For those of you that might have missed the fanfare of Divergent, here is the summary from Amazon:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the YA scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Seriously, you need to read this book.  I am going to recommend it to all of my friends, family, and students.  I liked that Tris is a strong, independent character with intelligence, humor, and a few misgivings.  She isn't perfect, but she is very likable.  Four (the male protagonist) is great and I can't wait to learn more about him and understand his quirks.  Since there are a bazillion raving reviews for Divergent, I will keep mine short.  This is a great book and you need to read it TODAY.

I give Divergent 5 out of 5 stars.  Cover from Goodreads.