Saturday, August 25, 2012

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe
photo from Goodreads
Amy joins her parents on Godspeed, a ship headed for a new planet where her parents and ninety seven people like them will colonize a new planet. They are cryogenically frozen and will sleep for three hundred years while the ship travels to this new planet. However, she is awoken fifty years earlier than anticipated due to someone who is trying to kill her. She then meets Elder, and together they work to unravel the secrets of the ship.

I am not a massive sci-fi fan. That title belongs to my mother. But this book was awesome.

What the plot summary doesn't tell you is that the point of view is divided between two characters- Amy, the girl who is cryogenically frozen and Elder, the boy who will inherit the leadership of the ship. This is good because there's a couple chapters where Amy frozen and there really isn't a lot going on on her end. However, because of this we get the best of both worlds- a familiarity with the world with Elder and the awe of seeing it for the first time with Amy.

This a very plot-driven book. Though may lag towards the beginning, especially with Amy still frozen and we really don't get why we're reading through Elder's point of view. And the plot is complicated. Like, I finished the book and I have no idea where this trilogy is going to go. There are a couple "Surprise!" moments, which are good. I'm excited to see how this story arc expands.

My only concern is that I felt the characters were a little- uninteresting. Which was okay, because the amazing plot more than makes up for it. I really couldn't connect with either of the narrators, though they were both written excellently. I liked them both all right, but I don't have any I adored. While there was some character development, I'm hoping that there will be a little more in the next book.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han Review

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)
Photo also from Goodreads
Plot Summary from Goodreads:
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

So I originally picked up this book simply because I had seen a lot about last summer and I have been reading a lot of contemporary recently so I decided to pick it up. And I read it in one day.

This book was really not what I was expecting. I was expecting a light contemporary with the two brothers kinda bickering over Belly and shenanigans. However, this book was darker and had a lot of secrets that come to light. Overall, the plot is pretty simple. It's the summer before she turns sixteen and her relationships with all the people at the beach house, especially Conrad and Jeremiah. It's also about her first love and a new love.

I liked Belly. She reminded me a lot of one of my friends and I could identify with her easily. Both the brothers were interesting too. I definitely had a preference for Jeremiah, but I could see Conrad was hurting and that was why he annoyed me sometimes. I liked how it explored Belly's relationship with her parents.

One things this book did is it flashed back to previous summers they had spent at the beach house, which I think helped us to understand what the characters are going through present day. I especially liked the story arc with her best friend Taylor.  Also, I really loved how it took place at the beach, but because it was kinda a darker beach read, I cannot imagine the beach as a hot, sunshiny place. When I think about it, I can only imagine it as overcast. 

My main issue with this book is actually the title. I don't really like the title. It just sounds silly, like it's some seriously light chick lit. And while it does kinda fall into the chick lit genre, it's a little more complex than the title would lead you to believe.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you like summer reads that take place at the beach, but am looking for some depth.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Brief Update Post

Hey guys! I realize it has been awhile. I went to a conference for my co-ed honors fraternity and then went on vacation with my mom. And now I leave for school and a new job tomorrow. So posts will be less frequent but I will still try to update on a weekly basis.