Showing posts with label alexandra bracken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alexandra bracken. Show all posts

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Popular Book Series I Started but will NEVER Finish feat Cinder, Talon, Zodiac & more




I'm generally hardly a person that sticks with a series unless it absolutely knocked my socks off. Therefore I simply got a lot of unfinished series on my shelves. Some of them well-known. Here are they:





THE DARKEST MINDS  - Alexandra Bracken
I think this is simply a case of being too late to the party. I'm not sure whether this book inspired lots of similar dystopian books that read exactly the same, or it was inspired by them. I felt like I've read 78 books like this already, mabye I would've liked this more had I read it after the release. 

BEAUTIFUL CREATURES - Kami García & Margaret Stohl
I think I will maybe give other books by them a chance, but I really wasn't a fan. I found the Southern theme too over the top, despite this being undoubtedly a very skillfully written book that's surely innovative in the right places. I felt like the story of the two protagonists wasn't really interesting enough (to me), to want to read a sequel.

THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER - Michelle Hodkin
I think the hype simply ruined this for me. I was expecting something completely different. A thriller, a horror story, just something fast-paced and exciting. I found the novel not really exciting at all and too romance-centric for my taste. 




ZODIAC - Romina Russell
I don't know what happened here, I love astrology and sci-fi, yet this just didn't hit the right spot for me. Maybe it's because the majority of the characters are human, I would have loved some more aliens. I mean it's space, come on!

TALON  - Julie Kagawa
Again one of those books that I'm positive I would've liked had I read it earlier. Maybe this would have been something for 14 year old me. Again, the tropes and the entire world feels so recycled! I love paranormal romance usually but this lacked any ounce of originality in my opinion.

HOURGLASS - Myra McEntire
I love this book. But she decided to switch protagonists in the sequel and I'm not really a fan of that.




CINDER - Marissa Meyer
I really didn't like anything about this. The hype really had me super curious especially because I love fairytale retellings and sci-fi. This one has it both! I found the diversity/Chinese aesthetic super forced and lowkey pretty racist. It really ruined everything for me to be honest!

SHATTER ME - Tahereh Mafi
I think this is just an overall case of "not for me". The writing, the characters, the plot - I'm surprised I even managed to finish this in the first place.

RED QUEEN - Victoria Aveyard
This book is simply hit or miss if you look at everyone's reviews. For me it was a miss, for reasons you've probably heard about.


Which book series will you never finish?

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

[Review] The Darkest Minds (#1) - Alexandra Bracken: Dystopian Concentration Camps and Road Trips





In THE DARKEST MINDS an illness epidemic is causing children to either die or develop supernatural abilities. The government's reaction to that is to stick all survivors into correctional facilities. After five years, Ruby Daly manages to escape.
What intrigued me: Recommended by a friend. I had no idea what this is about.

Concentration camps in dystopian YA? Yikes.

THE DARKEST MINDS starts off with pages and pages of backstory from the protagonist Ruby's childhood to establish the world. 
The concept is nothing that I haven't seen before (similar to SHATTER ME or THE PROGRAM), and it just didn't knock my socks off. Thurmond, the facility that Ruby is imprisoned in for the first 100 or so pages, is a very sloppy and uncanny version of this world's concentration camps. It's there for nothing but shock value and it doesn't even do a great job at that. 

I was simply bored and contemplated quitting multiple times because there was just nothing interesting about this because Bracken does her best to withhold as much information as she can get away with. Ruby's experiences at Thurmond are nothing but a plot device, and this book would do so much better if it had just started right at Ruby's escape instead of torturing the reader with a whopping 80 pages of info dump world building backstory that's absolutely unnecessary to understand what's going on.

Your average road trip story

I didn't find the world of THE DARKEST MINDS extensive enough to really get to me - superhero-like abilities in dystopia are very difficult to pull off and require a lot of world building to get me really into it. I crave explanations, especially in dystopian novels and the lack thereof didn't really make this more enjoyable for me. 

Essentially this is a "rebels on the road" kind of story. It really reads like an elongated road trip, and as charming as the characters are, the weak premise just can't carry this. It reminds me a lot of UNDER THE NEVER SKY, which in my opinion had the same problem - too much pointless running around instead of actual story. I found it really boring and not really living up to the promising start at Thurmond. 

Rating:

★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

You aren't really missing out if you skip this one. I did like the characters, but found the whole concept not groundbreaking enough to want to read the sequels.



Additional Info

Published: December 18th 2012
Pages: 488
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA / Dystopia
ISBN: 9781423157373

Synopsis:
"When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.' to
 "(Source: Goodreads)


What's your favorite Dystopian read?

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