Book Review: ASHES by Ilsa J. Bick

Rating: 5 stars

Over the weekend I read Ilsa J. Bick’s post apocalyptic/thriller/horror mash-up, ASHES. I’m normally not the HUGEST fan of third person narratives, finding it hard to really get into the main character’s head, but Bick did it right. Her writing is the perfect balance of giving the reader a clear picture of setting/emotion/ without slamming them over the head with weighty details. It’s easy to get sucked into the story. REALLY EASY. I enjoyed the action/suspense and overall creep factor A LOT, A LOT.

I loves me some creepy things. LOVES LOVES LOVES. Ahem. Sorry.

The middle of the book did take a turn. I’m NOT saying for the worse, I’m just saying shiz gets weird. But still, as a reader, you can’t stop reading – if only for the simple fact of NEEDING to know where Bick is taking you. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, BAM! You’re wrong. The ending is not at all what I expected, which isn’t a bad thing, but it definitely left me unsatisfied…at first.

When I closed the book I sort of sat there all huh, WTF. While I’m never a huge fan of ending a book on a cliffhanger, in this instance (after throwing things and drinking things and smashing things..okay, not REALLY but I thought about doing those things) it worked. ASHES is book one in a trilogy and the second installment (currently called SHADOWS) is due out in the fall of 2012.

Overall I have to say the more I think about it, the more I REALLY enjoyed this crazy ride of a read. Will I be in line for the second book? YOU BET. I can’t wait to see what Bick has in store for the kick-butt heroine or any of the other characters you’ll come to know and love. If you enjoy stories that keep you guessing, make you swear like a sailor, cower under your sheets, sleep with the lights on, and keep turning the page, then this book is SO for you.

Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite:

“IT COULD HAPPEN TOMORROW….

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushed her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom–a young soldier–and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.”

Go out and buy a copy IMMEDIATELY so we can gush together. Then we can break things and smash things and scream together about how far away fall of 2012 feels. BRING ON SHADOWS!!! Ahem. *puts patience cap on*

Read any good books lately? I’m open to some good suggestions. <3333

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Click image for Author's website

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

OKAY OKAY OKAY OKAY. I have no excuses, so I’ll just flat out admit it. I’m seriously late to the Divergent party, but I have one thing to say:  DAUNTLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, fine, maybe two things: FOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I promise to not yell anymore (Actually, I’m not sure I can keep that promise, and it’s more of a SQUEEE if we’re getting technical). But…if you haven’t picked up Veronica Roth’s AWESOME debut, stop everything you’re doing and go get it.

I’m. Not. Kidding. It’s THAT good. Holy cow, it’s so good I read it TWICE in one day. (Please note I’m a ninja when it comes to reading.) Each time I found new things I loved about it even more. *cough, Four, cough*

Here’s the blurb:

“In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves…or it might destroy her.”

There’s so much I want to say, but if you haven’t read it yet I don’t want to give too much away. I’ll just say this: it’s filled with page turning action scenes, and Roth has a really smooth writer’s voice that makes for a super easy read. Which, as Nathaniel Hawthorne has pointed out, is “damn hard writing.”

Go get a copy, then read it so we can gush together. <33333

Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Book Review: Catching Fire

Author: Suzanne Collins

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Press Photo

Back of book blurb: Sparks are igniting. Flames are spreading. And the Capitol wants revenge. Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol — a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel victory tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

Review: I might have come to the Hunger Games party fashionably late, but this book sealed the deal for me. After reading book one, I couldn’t wait to run out and grab my copy to see what would become of the star-crossed lovers in the much anticipated sequel. Would the Capitol kill them? Would Katniss finally fall for Peeta? And what about Gale? So much drama, so expertly crafted. So worth reading. Collins was able to pull off a fantastic continuation of Katniss Everdeen’s story. Dare I say, flawless even?

Collins masterfully combines suspense and science fiction with a touch of romance that leaves you wanting for more. I had doubts as to whether I’d be disappointed with the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, but was pleasantly surprised with how it played out. It kept me up, turning the pages all night. In fact, I went ahead and bought book three, Mockingjay. Guess what? I loved that book too.

QOTD: So what do you think about the casting choices for Peeta & Katniss? Feel free to weigh in in the comments, or @reply me (@ScribeQuotes for any blog newbies). #thehungergames

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