December 31, 2015

Sometimes you fall a little bit in love with a character, i.e., Luke is hot and I'm mad that he's fictional

The last post of 2015! Today's post includes 2 reviews, a preview, and a promise of what's to come in 2016. Here we go!

I was very kindly sent a copy of Survivors: Secrets by the author, Violet Cross, for review a little earlier this year. (Stay tuned in 2016 for more requested reviews.) The book takes place in post apocalyptic England amid a group of teens and early 20 somethings who are struggling to survive (hence the title, yes?). However, the apocalypse wasn't due to a freak catastrophe of nature...or maybe it was exactly that because it turns out that humankind had tried to augment and alter DNA in order to create something 'better'. The result of their meddling was a group of superhumans who called themselves Divines. If you wanted to survive you had to keep your head down and choose your loyalties carefully as our main character, Lacey, learns the hard way. It's not all about scraping to get by, however. There's also a dash of romance. (Luke is hot. Did I mention that?) If you're a fan of the Divergent series then you'll probably like this one as they both feature strong female leads who are thrust into a world that is less than ideal. This is the first in the series so I highly recommend you strike while the iron is hot. (I should also mention that this is probably rated PG-13 for coarse language, violence, and scenes of a sexual nature so keep that in mind if you care about those sorts of things.)

A few weeks ago I reviewed Heart of Tin and I mentioned how I thought I'd probably enjoy The Straw King more. I was absolutely right. When I watched the film for the first time all those years ago, it was the Scarecrow that stole my heart. His was the story that I found most interesting and when he received his brains I cried tears of joy. The way that Danielle Paige has written Scare (even that nickname hurts my heart), he has been made into a monster. The Straw King gives the reader a glimpse into what the 'gifts' of the Wizard mean to each of the Ozians who received them. For Tin, his heart must surely have been created so that he could do all in his power to win over Dorothy and make her happy. For Lion, he was given his courage so that he could stand up for himself and others even if that meant that blood had to be shed. And then there's Scare. His brains were given to him so that he could attain true wisdom and to him there is nothing more important than learning everything. He struggles with empathy and doing what is 'right'. Seeing his thought processes it's easy to see how these 'gifts' have corrupted these characters much as Dorothy's shoes have clearly corrupted her. There's a lesson here which Spider-Man's uncle explained quite succinctly, "With great power, comes great responsibility." The trouble here is that the Wizard gave them these powers and then they were left to their own devices to wield them as they chose without guidance. Some might argue that is what we all must do as we travel through life and that's true I guess. That's cold comfort to me, however, as I watch one of my favorite characters get warped into a villain. ;'-(

I'm currently reading After Alice by Gregory Maguire. I thought I knew what this story was going to be about but it turns out I had no clue. My mom clued me into this one and I actually picked it up thinking she might read it over Christmas...and here I am reading it on New Year's. Thus far, I can say that it's about Ada who is briefly mentioned as a friend of Alice's in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's also one of those books that makes one feel like a dullard so keep that in mind and maybe have a dictionary to hand. I'll let you know a little more in my next post. ;-D

And now the promise. In the next few days I hope to post my yearly roundup of all the books that I read in 2015...and maybe a little surprise. Today's post goes up on a Thursday but I'll be back to my regular Friday posting by next week. I hope you all had an ultra awesome year and that I'll see you again in 2016! HAPPY NEW YEAR AND HAPPY READING!

**If you're interested in buying any of these books or any books really, you can click here or here. The first will re-direct you to AbeBooks and the second will re-direct you to The Book Depository. These are great websites for purchasing books. Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following either of these links. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **

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