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* * This contains spoilers in brackets and white text * * 

Oh my god, you guys! This is an amazing sequel. Really everything I want in a good sequel. The characters are great, the story is interesting, and the writing is wonderful!

Allow me to explain.

In Prodigy we are back with June and Day, on the run from the Republic and looking for the Patriots, where they think they’ll find safety. The Patriots are happy to help June and Day, as long as the pair is willing to do a job for them in return. The job: assassinating the new Elector. They agree, but emotions are high, and there are things that the Patriots and the Republic are keeping from the pair. Will the assassination go off without a hitch? Or, will it all fall apart?

So, the first thing I want to say about this book is that it’s written wonderfully (yeah, I said that already but whatever). June and Day’s voices are both distinct, with June’s years of military making all of her descriptions detailed down to the number of tiles, feet of a room, to the types and styles of clothing. While Day’s is…well, I’m not too sure how to explain it. It’s definitely more…ground level. He’s not technical, more…informal (not necessarily written informally but he speaks like a “normal” person). It’s great. I do like the blue of Day’s text much more than the yellow he had in Legend which was much harder to read. (I do wonder how the red text he’ll most likely have in Champion will look). On a related note I do like how Day has colored text. It’s like…he’s got all this life in him, you know? He’s got all the color and round lettering while June, who is more technical and analytical, only get’s neat black and sharp text. It’s…it’s nice.

The characters also take a step up in this book. June and Day are in top form here. Their relationship is really connected to everything they do in this book, even though they spend much of it apart. [One thing I really like towards the beginning is that Day confesses his love to June and she doesn’t say it back to him, unsure if she does, shocked that he said it to her. And at different points in the story different characters ask do either June or Day love each other, some even pointing out the fact that they’ve known each other for such a short amount of time they’ve known each other or all of the things that happened in the first book]. I also do enjoy the continuing of Day looking for his brother and the different dreams he would have about his family. June’s dreams about her brother Metias were always heart breaking to read. [The reveal about Metias being gay and in love with Thomas did bring a level of tragedy to the fact that Thomas stabbed him, but it does exist in that whole “dead queers”/“bury your queers” trope which can upset people, so there is that].

The relationship between Day and Tess was also soul-crushing. Day’s description of Tess and how she’s changed from that little girl he met on the streets to the young woman and medic. Her feelings about Day are made obvious and the friction between them over Day’s relationship with June was thick. The way that ended made me put the book down for a few minutes, so I could think about it. Kaede really got the time to shine in this book, giving her a bit of depth that she didn’t have in the first book. The new characters, Razor, Anden (the new Elector), and a handful of named Patriots were all great, even the ones we weren’t supposed to like. 

[Though Anden is supposed to be like…twenty years old and is also clearly romantically into June who is only fifteen! That is just too creepy for me and I hate it. Like, Anden was a good character but that just really upset me. I hate it each time it comes up in fiction because it never really…feel natural. Not like two people falling in love (or in like) while dealing with the fact that there’s a huge age gap between them. I think the story could be done well, but I didn’t like it here].

The plot, oh, the plot. The twist towards the end was well set up, but I totally didn’t see it coming. The end was also nice. Sometimes I do get tired of stories where once the hero(es) win the old government is completely torn down and a new better one rises up. It’s nice seeing that all of that takes time and can’t be done over night.

MAJOR SPOILER FOR THE ENDING:

[WHY THE HELL DIDN’T DAY TELL JUNE THAT HE WAS DYING? Seriously, while most of the book was good but that fucking ending really pissed me off and changed to rating from a 4 star to a 3.5 star. Like, seriously. Why, why did he break up with her? Sure, there are hints, from June’s side anyways, that with the fact that June led to the death of Day’s family and the capturing of Eden, and that that wasn’t something he could get passed, but still! Why the hell didn’t he tell her and explain? What the fuck is with that! Jeez man.]

All and all, this is a great follow up to Legend and if you enjoyed that book then I highly recommend this one.

My rating 3.5/5
 
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* * Old, old review * *

Recently I watched Divergent. I had planned on watching this way back when it came out in March, but I wanted to read the book first. It’s something I try to do as often as I can.
 
And I couldn’t get past the first 200 pages. So I didn’t see the movie.
 
But I decided to watch the movie, spoiling the book (that I still plan on reading) for myself, trying to see if it would be better or at least entertaining.
 
It wasn’t, I will try to explain.
 
I will talk about the good first.
 
I think this movie looks nice. The living areas for each faction were unique and distinct. The gray, simple houses of Abnegation couples with the fact that they all looked the same really drove home their individuality. The Erudite building was all white, bringing to mind modern and futuristic. It was all very nice.
 
The music and costumes were simply okay. Nothing special or anything like that but nothing that I felt was wildly out of place. So good job there.
 
Now for the bad.
 
I’ve never seen Shailene Woodley or Theo James in anything other than this movie, and based on their performances here…they seem pretty boring. I mean, they weren't bad, they did their parts just fine, but they were boring. But to be fair, everyone seemed a little bored during the movie.
 
I also think the plot is ridiculous, but I also felt that it was ridiculous in the book. One thing I was sad about as I watched the movie was the lack of characterization Tris’ friends got. They were barely characters and I didn’t feel any emotions between the any of them. This was especially true for Al. That really bothered me because while I was struggling to read the book I did enjoy Tris’ relationship with her friends; her relationship with Al was my favorite. And it was completely missing in the movie. Boo.
 
Also, the movie completely dropped the ball on the romance between Tris and Four. I haven’t read it in the book but in the film it came out of nowhere and was pretty weak. I didn’t believe it at all and rolled my eyes at all the ‘I love yous’, they didn’t feel earned.
 
I won’t comment on the last third (?) of the film because I’ll be here all day. Just know that I was thinking, “This is ridiculous and stupid” the whole time.
 
I don’t know who this movie would please, people who haven’t read the book probably won’t be too entertained and fans of the boo will probably be disappointed since this movie is so mediocre. Oh well, just another lame YA adaptation. Hopefully The Maze Runner will be better.
 
My Rating: 2/5

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Wrote this awhile ago actually.

So I just finished reading Marie Lu's Legend and wow. I really enjoyed this book an it was an incredibly quick read.
 
The story is about a young woman’s, June Iparis, searching for her brother’s killer, believed to be a young man named Day. Along the way she discovers damning information about the people around her as their paths crossed and lived intertwined.
 
I’m not too sure how my description of the plot does the book justice but I assure you the it was very entertaining. I think one thing this book really has going for it was the world building. It’s detailed enough to give us a good idea of everything and how it looks– it also helps that the setting is Los Angeles in the Republic of America but still. You just get such a good sense of the setting and the broken system. I could gush for a while on about the world building but there are other things that I like about this book. That would be the characters!
 
Well, the two main characters and a few of the side characters.
 
June and Day are two sides of the same coin. They’re both very smart and have a wide variety of talents. Reading in the characters’ voices was really great to see how they think and operate within their respective worlds; high society and a street rat. They both have such distinctive and funny voices that I couldn’t put the book down.
 
My favorite secondary character is a man named Thomas. There’s just so much to his character. His disdain for people in the poor sectors is so real and I enjoyed any time he came up in the book.
 
But this book not perfect.
 
The thing I find that doesn’t work so well in the book and made me giggle the whole way through was the “romance” between June and Day.
 
Now, I’m not opposed to romance in YA books. But I think there’s a time and a place and a speed for things like that and I’m not sure there was time for it here. It all felt too fast; they acknowledged each other as attractive and then…BAM! There’s mention of meeting parents!
 
That was all just way too fast for my taste.
 
But I do recommend this book to fans of YA dystopic novels. It’s an awesome read.
 
My Rating: 4/5

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I read Unwind awhile ago and re-read it not too long ago to write a review on it. Around the first time I read that book I fell in love with it and didn’t know about any sequels. So imagine my surprise and glee when I discovered UnWholly.
 
A summary:
 
“Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.
 
Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.
 
Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live.” (taken from Goodreads)
 
This book is wonderful. Out of the sequels I’ve read lately (The Scorch Trials and Crossed) it is the best. There’s development of the characters, the new characters were interesting and added to the story rather than made me roll my eyes, and the things I learned about unwinding were interesting and make me want to know more! It’s everything I want in a sequel.
 
I’m not too sure how long after the first book this takes place but we start off with a brand new character named Starkey, who I love to hate. I’ve seen him described as a charming sociopath and while I don’t know to categorize a sociopath I can definitely say that he is smart, but only out for himself in the end, really to trample all under foot if it’d help him in some way.
 
Connor, my dear, sweet Connor is dealing with a lot in this book. He’s in charge of the entire Graveyard, working hard to keep all the kids safe and alive until they’re past the legal age of unwinding I like that Connor’s much more focused on planning thinking before he acts. Makes sense with the events of the last book and with the fact that he’s in charge of a ton of kids. But the weight of the world is on his shoulders, at least he thinks so. He’s simply thinking too much and has very little confidence in himself as a leader. But he works so hard and I really just wanted him to succeed! One thing I really liked was the relationship between Connor and Risa. It never over powered the overall story but it still effected these two leaders and it was so real, their concerns and frustrations rang very true for those characters.
 
Lev and Miracolina were also the best. Watching his relationship with her and how it grew in the short weeks (I think it’s weeks). The end of that relationship was perfect in my opinion. Couldn’t have done better.
 
Then there’s Cam, the rewound modern Frankenstein monster. A lot of stuff with him centers around whether or not he’s human or has a soul. I’m not going to talk too much about it because I think it’s best experienced first hand while you’re reading it.
 
Some plot reveals in this book kind of step away from pro-choice and pro-life stuff, moving in a new direction. I’m interested but I kind of wish Shusterman explored that a bit more. Anyways, onward to the third book!
 
My Rating 5/5

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I’ve read Unwind a couple different times now and I absolutely love it each time I read it. Neal Shusterman did such a good job creating this whole world with it’s broken system and…just, everything! I think it did such a god job.
 
The book starts sometime after the second Civil War. The war was over reproduction rights and the compromise was Unwinding– where the parents have to keep the child until they turn thirteen. Then between thirteen and eighteen they can be taken a part, their parts being donated to other people, that way they’re not ‘dead’. We meet our first main character, Conner, and he’s being sent off to be Unwound for being unruly. Our second main character, Risa, was “Stroked”– left on the door step of a family, like some kind of adoption– as a baby and was living in a Orphanage. She’s being sent off because she can’t continue in her profession and the last main character Lev is a Tithe (I believe that’s what it’s called) who was basically born to be Unwound. And they are all on the run.
 
I want to say that I really like the characters in this book, even the asshole characters. That’s never really happened before, there would be characters I didn’t care about or something of that nature but here, I love them all. Watching the main characters grow and change; going from being reckless to a leader, naive to someone who’s more street smart. The writing is also pretty good, it flows well and even all of the future stuff is well explain and explained simply, which I really like. It makes things easy to understand.
 
But one of the best things about this book I think is the world building. It’s detailed but not too detailed. I mean that, the story wasn’t bogged down with explanation,  it was natural within the text. You barely notice it. Which I think is a good thing, to not call attention to it.
 
I hope that makes sense.
 
But really, I love this book and I suggest that you all read it. Now, I’ve seen people talk about whether this book is Pro-life or Pro-choice and I’m not going to give my opinion on this matter. Pick up the book and decide for yourself!
 
Rating: 5/5

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So I finally finished the Matched Trilogy with the final book Reached and I have to say that I found this to be a satisfying ending to the series.
 
At this point in the story Cassia, Ky and Indie have joined The Rising and along with Xander they have infiltrated the Society ( along with other members of The Rising). With the introduction of The Plague in the Society, The Rising has taken over and everything seems to be going smoothly.
 
That is of course, until the discovery of a mutated Plague that rocks the public’s faith in The Rising. With people dying in drives it is up to Cassia, Ky and Xander to find a cure and save the day before everything they worked so hard for will fall apart.
 
Doesn’t that sound interesting? Of course it does.
 
The best part about this book, as with the previous books, is the character relationships and writing. Unlike Crossed I felt like Xander, Cassia and Ky all had different and unique voices– this could be because each of them have very different feeling about The Rising.
 
I’ve always said that Condie had a way with words. The way things are described is lovely and I never once felt like it was overbearing or confusion.
 
Each character was really put through the ringer during this book. Hy and Cassia are apart for a fair amount of the book which frustrated me to no end. They spent most of second book apart and now they’re apart again! I was so mad. But, the relationships are still amazing. The friendship between Indie and Ky was lovely and one of my favorite parts of the book.
 
But the character who goes through the most the most is Xander. It was great to watch him go from someone who was so sure of himself, in what he knew and his role in things, and The Rising to someone who is lost, unsure and lonely all while trying to do right by everyone is just…it really made me feel for the guy. I just wanted Xander to be happy!
 
I won’t say too much more in fear of spoiling things, just know that I did enjoy this book. Less than the first but definitely more than the second.
 
I think fans of the series would enjoy this book, as I said I find it to be a satisfying ending. The whole series in emotion driven, so I feel like some parts of the plot can be silly– I giggled more than once during reading– but at the end I’d say that this series is all about the character relations and romance which it delivers on.
 
My Rating: 3.5/5

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Crossed, written by Ally Condie, is the second installment in the Matched Trilogy and continues the story of Cassia and Ky. It saddens me to say that this book did not live up to the expectations I had for it.
 
But before I talk about the problems I had with the book I’m going to talk the good things that are in the book.
 
I think that Condie is a pretty good word smith. The way she describes setting or how people are acting is vivid, though sometimes it can bog down the story. It was also nice to hear Ky’s voice in this book and learn more about his back story. The inclusion of new characters was a nice thought. I also like that the first page of this book is Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.
 
Now for some of the problems I’ve found in this book.
 
Let’s start of with the plot. Part of me wants to say that there is no plot but I know that’s not true. There is a plot; a very slow-not-that-interesting plot.
 
The plot is basically Cassia and Ky trying to find each other in the Outer Provinces and then finding this rebellion. And that’s it. That is not enough to fill a 367 page book. Ky and Cassia don’t meet up until the book is more than half over! And nothing in that book is interesting enough to really hold the reader’s attention.
 
Now on to the characters! All of the new characters seem pretty hollow and one note. Though I was starting to like Vick. But over all they were lame, Eli added nothing and I got real tired of Indie really fast.
 
Also, Cassia and Ky have the exact same voice. Literally the exact same voice. Sometimes I forgot who was narrating the chapter.
 
So overall the book was boring and disappointing and the end made me mad. It was so hard to get through too.
 
My Rating: 2.5/5
 
This is honestly a little higher than I would actually give it because of the first book and because I don’t believe in skipping books in a series.

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Okay, so this is the second time I’ve read this book and I still love it!! My heart still raced, I sighed in anticipation and the end still got me railed up.
 
This is such a good book!
 
Okay, so the plot is this: Cassia Reyes has just turned 17 and in the Society that means she has to be Matched; a process where the Society calculates her perfect mate. In the beginning she is very excited, this is a new and important step in her future, and when it turns out that she’s Matched with her childhood friend, the smart and handsome Xander she couldn’t imagine a more perfect night. But later on when another face flashes across the Matching screen Cassia is forced to rethink her place in this “perfect” Society as she chooses the perfect Xander and the mysterious Ky.
 
Doesn’t that sound awesome?
 
As I started in my review of Crossed Condie is talented with words. The way she has Cassia describe things is interesting and vivid. And the way she has written this story makes it so hard to put the book down. You’re in suspense waiting for so many things to happen; you just have to know the answers! (Fun fact: When I first read this book I finished it in seven hours).
 
Since this whole book is told from Cassia’s perspective we don’t get that much deep detail about other characters; we see them how Cassia sees them. If she doesn’t like them then the reader doesn’t really like them either. Two examples I can think of right now are Xander and how you get a sense of how smart he is because Cassia (among other people) mention it multiple times. The other example is Ky (of course). The way Cassia talks about Ky’s balance, the way he moves and speaks; the reader falls in love with Ky because Cassia does.
 
This book is beautifully written and a real page turner that gets you excited for the second book (too bad the second book doesn’t live up to expectations.)
 
My Rating: 5/5

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