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Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

07th December 2012

This was a fun book, perfect for young fans of  “Harry Potter” style stories. It’s a blend of dystopia survival with magical elements and intrigue. While it’s action packed and suspenseful, it’s not frightening or gruesome, and would be an excellent read-aloud or independent read for grades 4-7.

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

29th November 2011

Alex is on a solo camping trip in the UP, mourning her dead parents and trying to come to peace with a deadly brain tumor of her own, when a shower of EMP’s are detonated. Alex begins a journey to find some answers and some survivors, with orphaned Ellie under her wing. The girls soon discover that the EMP not only destroyed all computers, but it killed many people, and changed the survivors in sometimes horrifying ways. When Tom, a soldier with secrets of his own, joins their little band, the three friends struggle to stay together and to survive in their new, horrifying world.

Suspenseful and tense. A bit too gruesome in parts for me; I had to skim over some sections. But overall, I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen, and the cliffhanger ending will stay with me for some time.

Matched by Ally Condie

19th March 2011

A great dystopian young adult book.  Definitely one of my favorites.

I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

01st September 2010

I won’t spend a lot of time reviewing a book that has been reviewed thousands of times already.  But here are a few thoughts:

  • I’m sad that this series is done.  Start to finish, I absolutely loved it.  I even held onto this book for a day before I started reading it–how silly is that?  But part of me didn’t want to start it, because I didn’t want it to be done.
  • This final book felt more rushed to me than the previous two.  Collins did a lot of filling in the gaps, especially in the first half of the book.  While it was all necessary information, the book had fewer action sequences, less suspense and more history.
  • Collins still managed to surprise me at the end.
  • I think Katniss ended up with the wrong guy.
  • I love Katniss’ character–she’s strong, she’s smart, she thinks through her actions, she accepts the consequences for her actions, she loves her family, she fights for what’s important.
  • And overall?  One of my favorite series ever.

Genesis by Bernard Beckett

11th April 2010

Anaximander is undergoing her final entrance exam for the elite Academy, a small group of thinkers who guide her isolated island community. For the subject of her exam, Anax has chosen to extensively research a hero from the past, Adam Forde. But as Anax dives deeper into Adam’s past, the questions become more difficult, and soon she is questioning everything she ever thought to be true about humanity.

I almost set this book aside, but I’m so glad I didn’t. I have to admit that during the middle section, I did some skimming. The conversation between characters seemed to drag on, and I felt like the book wasn’t really moving forward. But I stuck with it, all the way to the end, which completely took me by surprise, and had me re-thinking the book in a whole new light.

This is definitely a good addition to any dystopic reading collection. Also, it would be a good read for an intro philosophy class, as it contains many illusions to Plato, and covers basic debates about what it means to be human, be conscious and have a soul.

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