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Category Archives: Dystopian

The Testing

Title:The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Series: Testing #1
Recommended for: 
Pages: 339 pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION CHARBONNEAU, J.

Synopsis: It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.

Thoughts:  I am enjoying this series.  I started reading these since the author will be visiting later this year.  I think that the story is well written and pacing is great.  Malencia (Cia) is a thinker, I love how you see her thought process in her decision making.  I really like that Cia’s never loses her humanity throughout the testing. This first book is the testing process, so you learn about the process, the next two books talk more about University and political agendas. This is a great series and look forward to reading more by Joelle Charbonneau.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2017 in Dystopian, Teen

 

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A Thousand Pieces of You

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Series: Firebird
Recommended for: Grades 9-12
Pages: 384 pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION GRAY, C.

Synopsis: Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

Thoughts:  The book was ok.  I really didn’t care what happened for most of the book.  They talked about dimension and the main characters were a little different in the different dimensions.  I am not sure that I care enough to will finish the series. Marguerite and friend Theo use firebirds (device used to jump dimensions) to chase after Paul, who they think betrayed them. They jump five times in the book, each time they jump they have to figure out their surroundings, and the role they play in this dimension.  A lot of time is spent on the dimensions, which is interesting. I guess my biggest thing is I didn’t feel like I connected with any of the characters.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Teen

 

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Maze Runner

Title: Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Series: Maze Runner
Recommended for: 6th Grade and up
Pages: 375 Pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION DASHNER, J.

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.

I enjoyed the book, it has a similar feel to the dystopians that came out at the same time.  This book has adventure, danger, and a mystery to solve. Right from the beginning Thomas is trying to figure out what is going on and he has to draw stuff out of the Gladers to pieces together the situation. At first I thought they weren’t saying what was going on, because they were secretive, but it really comes down to most of them had no clue.  At times it could be slow, but I feel that the author was giving you more insight to what some of these boys felt having been in the glade for years. I have already started the next book so I can figure out what happened to the world.  This is part of three book series with two prequel books.

 

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2017 in Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Teen

 

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Series:
Recommended for: 9th grade and up
Pages:  317
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION NESS

Synopsis:  In this highly satiric exploration of the “chosen one” genre, an incredibly normal group of friends are approaching the end of high school and their parting of ways. Mikey is just trying to get through the year and hopefully ask his longtime crush to the prom. Similarly, each person in Mikey’s close-knit circle of friends is battling a myriad of highly relatable issues: jealousy, various insecurities, and dysfunctional family relationships. The beginning of each chapter also contains an update in the concurrent story line centering on the “indie kids.” These are Mikey and his pals’ extraordinary peers, those from exceptional families who are exclusively chosen whenever there is a supernatural occurrence. They’ve fought off zombies and fallen in love with vampires, and now they’re being targeted by the Immortals, a mysterious group looking for a permanent Vessel. In the end, Mikey and his friends come to grips with the ways in which they are both ordinary and extraordinary. 

I picked this book because I really liked the premise.  What DO the ordinary kids do while the chosen ones battle monsters?  Unfortunately the story fell flat for me.  Maybe it was because I listened to it as an audio book, but I found it very hard to enter the story and really care about the characters.  It’s written in kind of a stream of consciousness style that really didn’t work for me.  Each chapter starts with a brief description of what’s happening with the ‘indie’ kids followed by a chapter about the ordinary kids.  It all felt disjointed and disconnected and I got to the point where I really didn’t care what happened to the characters.  Kids who are fans of this kind of narrative (like ‘Going Bovine’) might like this and it’s gotten lots of praise from reviewers, but not from me.  Sorry.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2017 in Dystopian, Fantasy, self-esteem

 

5 to 1

18588998Title: 5 to 1
Author: Holly Bodger
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 8th Grade and Up
Pages: 244
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Bodger, H

Synopsis: In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.

Sudasa doesn’t want to be a wife, and Contestant Five, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa’s family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable—and caged. Five’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Five thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

Review: This is a great one to give to reluctant readers who are looking for something dystopian. While it is almost 250, most of the book is in verse. It definitely an interesting concept of how gender selection can harm a country. It touches both on both genders being valued and how eventually both ways will screw up the system. And while everything seemed to be fair/even/just, there were still ways to work the system. Bribery was still in play and a “good girl” followed the rules and picked the “wealthy/better” contestant. I do like how Sudasa, and even her family, kind of helped her thwart the system in the end.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Dystopian, Teen

 

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Matched

matched

 

Title: Matched

Author: Allyson Braithwaite Condie

Series: Matched Trilogy

Recommended for: Grades Middle & High School

Pages: 512

Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION CONDIE

 

 

Synopsis:

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.

Thoughts: I really love this book I think as one reviewer said that this is very similar to the giver but more beautiful people.  I would also compare it to The Selection series as well.  The fans of both these books would love this trilogy.  It is fast paced and I just whizzed through the books since there are so many twists. They are available as an eBook, audio book and book form.  I started reading as paper copy then I finished listening to the eBook since I could not obtain a paper copy.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2016 in Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance, Teen

 

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MARTians

MArtians

Title:  MARTians

Author:  Blythe Woolston
Series:
Recommended for: 8th grade and up
Pages:  216
Call Number/Link: MARTians

Synopsis:  Last girl Zoë Zindleman, numerical ID 009-99-9999, is starting work at AllMART, where “your smile is the AllMART welcome mat.” Her living arrangements are equally bleak: she can wait for her home to be foreclosed and stripped of anything valuable now that AnnaMom has moved away, leaving Zoë behind, or move to the Warren, an abandoned strip-mall-turned-refuge for other left-behinds. With a handful of other disaffected, forgotten kids, Zoë must find her place in a world that has consumed itself beyond redemption. She may be a last girl, but her name means “life,” and Zoë isn’t ready to disappear into the AllMART abyss. Zoë wants to live.

Imagine a world run by WalMart.  Schools, government, everything is run by the corporation.  It’s a future made even eerier by it’s familiarity.  Woolston has taken consumerism to it’s logical conclusion and it leads to a world where everyone works for one of the ‘Marts).  If you have ‘potential’ you work in the store.  If you don’t (or if you question the system) you could end up on a ship harvesting plastic in and ocean garbage patch, or something worse.  The bits and pieces of details about this world that Woolston doles out are fascinating and thought provoking.  This isn’t an action packed dystopian like Divergent.  For teens who like interesting and thoughtful books with a dash of snark.  Similar to ‘Feed’ by M. T. Anderson, ‘Unwind’ by Neal Schusterman, and ‘Material Girls’ by Elaine Dimpoulos.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2016 in Dystopian, Sci-Fi

 

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Spinning Starlight

SpinningStarlight-678x1024Title: Spinning Starlight
Author: R.C. Lewis
Recommended for: Middle and High School
Pages: 327 
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION LEWIS, R 

 

 

Synopsis:  Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen must save her brothers in this outer-space retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans.

Review:  I picked this up because I loved the cover, but I wasn’t quite sure I would like something about an “heiress and paparazzi darling.”  Thankfully, I am a sucker for fairy tale retellings, especially if there is something special about them.  This is a futuristic (and other-planetary) sci-fi that addresses the issues of genius, the supernatural, the meaning of life, the value of the written word, and specialization vs. generalization.  Mostly, however, it is a story about a girl who loves her brothers so deeply that she is willing to risk everything to save them.  The connections to The Wild Swan were well done, but did not interfere with the world building.  There is romance,  but I let my 8 year old read the book.  I don’t know if she will like it, but there is nothing objectionable in it.  Recommended for fans of Cinder.

 

Material Girls

material girls

Title: Material Girls
Author: Elaine Dimopoulos
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Grades 4-8
Pages: 239
Call Number/Link: TEEN FICTION DIMOPOULOS
Synopsis: In Marla Klein and Ivy Wilde’s world, teens are the gatekeepers of culture. A top fashion label employs sixteen-year-old Marla to dictate hot new clothing trends, while Ivy, a teen pop star, popularizes the garments that Marla approves. Both girls are pawns in a calculated but seductive system of corporate control, and both begin to question their world’s aggressive levels of consumption. Will their new “eco-chic” trend subversively resist and overturn the industry that controls every part of their lives?
Smart, provocative, and entertaining, this thrilling page-turner for teens questions the cult like mentality of fame and fashion. Are you in or are you out?

I enjoyed ‘Material Girls’, it’s a different take on they dystopian genre.  There’s no meteor strikes, rising oceans, or police state.  Society is controlled through social media and consumerism, especially clothing.  As a trend setter, Marla must scan the bar codes of everything she puts on in the morning to make sure it hasn’t gone out of style overnight.  She begins have trouble at work because she stops recommending the strange and impractical clothing the company wants to promote. Both she and Ivy, the other main character, start to see how they’re being used to keep people buying impractical fashions that they don’t need.  The ending let me down a little.  How can getting people to buy even more clothing, even if it is ‘eco-chic’ stop rampant consumerism?

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2016 in Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Teen

 

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The White Rose

white rose

 

Title: The White Rose

Author: Amy Ewing

Series: Lone City Trilogy

Recommended for: Ages 14-17 

Pages: 358

Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION EWING, A.

 

 

SynopsisThe compelling and gripping sequel to Amy Ewing’s debut, The Jewel, which BCCB said “Will have fans of Oliver’s Delirium, Cass’s The Selection, and DeStefano’s Wither breathless.”

Violet is on the run—away from the Jewel, away from a lifetime of servitude, away from the Duchess of the Lake, who bought her at auction. With Ash and Raven traveling with her, Violet will need all of her powers to get her friends, and herself, out of the Jewel alive.

But no matter how far Violet runs, she can’t escape the rebellion brewing just beneath the Jewel’s glittering surface, and her role in it. Violet must decide if she is strong enough to rise against the Jewel and everything she has ever known.

My thoughts:  I loved this book so much after I read the first book that I read it in one day.  It is very entertaining and for The selection fans this is a must.  Girls, injustice, a higher ruling class with a bit of ancient mysterious magic.  The cliffhanger is too die for.  Can’t wait until the last book of this trilogy comes out next fall.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2015 in Adventure, Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance, Teen

 

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