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Category Archives: Dystopian

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.

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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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Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens coverTitle:   Beauty Queens
Author:   Libba Bray
Series:   –
Recommended for:   teen girls, adults who like chick lit, people who like satires
Pages:   396 pages
Call Number/Link:   Teen Fiction Bray, L.

Rating:   ****

 

Synopsis:

What do you get when you cross America’s Next Top Model with Lost? A brilliantly funny novel by the queen of teen satire, Libba Bray.

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane crashed on a desert island, leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner. What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan or learn to run wild? And what should they do when the sexy pirates show up? Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness.

Comments:

I loved many parts of Beauty Queen.  It’s not often that I laugh out loud while reading or listening to a book, but I alarmed Natalie by laughing loudly several times while reading this book.  I would never have thought of combining a beauty pageant and “Survivor.”  Libba Bray is a genius!  However, that said, there were moments when I thought she was a bit over the top, to the point that it just wasn’t funny to me.  Overall, there were more positive moments.

Most of the beauty contestants were two-dimensional characters (or caricatures) at the beginning of the book.  By the end, the beauty contestants who were main characters were well fleshed out and I had a pretty good idea of what made the other beauty contestants tick.  (This was less true of the pirates, Corporation employees and other minor characters.)  Whereas the beauty contestants seemed like a mostly homogeneous group early on, with the exception of Idina and uber-competitor Taylor, they turned out to have definite differences – and secrets.  One character was a “wild girl.”  One presented herself as a traditional East Indian immigrant (with a vaguely British accent) but was really a valley girl.  One contestant was transgender, one was hearing impaired, one was an African-American girl whose mother wanted her to be lighter.  They also all had different talents and gifts that helped the group survive on a deserted island.  They created an irrigation system, built huts, crafted bows and arrows….

This book will be most appealing to readers who have a satirical bent and are not not too reverential of beauty pageants.  It mocks Big Business, reality t.v. (and the media), commercials, international relations, political campaigns, dictators, and many other things.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2015 in Adventure, Dystopian, Funny, Teen

 

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The Rose Society

23846013Title: The Rose Society
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Young Elite #2
Recommended for: 8th grade and up
Pages: 416
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Lu, M  

Synopsis: Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers that murdered her love, the Crown Prince Enzo Valenciano.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

Review: Man, oh man, is this one turning dark and I believe the third one will go even darker. Even though you can tell Adelina is going insane, you can’t help but still root for a bit. She’s a product of circumstances. She has rarely known anything but cruelty and you can tell how that guides her steps. There is one Elite who can reach her, beyond her sister, but she keeps pushing him away again and again. I wanted to yell out her for that, because he seems to bring out the light/good in her and it would be interesting to see how she healed when she allowed him in her life. The twist with the powers was a good one and I’m excited to see where it takes them in book three.

Read-a-likes
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Cinder Series by Marissa Meyer (reminds me a lot of Fairest)

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Dystopian, Teen

 

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The 100

9780316234498_p0_v2_s260x420Title: The 100
Author: Kass Morgan
Series: First in The 100 Trilogy (also a TV Show on CW)
Recommended for: High schoolers who liked the romance in Hunger Games
Pages: 323
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Morgan, K. 

Synopsis:
When 100 juvenile delinquents are sent on a mission to recolonize Earth, they get a second chance at freedom, friendship, and love, as they fight to survive in a dangerous new world.

Review:
I saw the first episode of the TV on Netflix, and I decided to read the book when I heard that the TV show got great reviews. I was looking for something new to offer our dystopian fans. The book itself is pretty good.  It offers different viewpoints of things happening to the kids up on the space station as well as on the ground.  It delves into moral ambiguity, and it has some truly gut-wrenching decisions that need to be made.  All those things were great.  What I found less great, surprisingly, was the amount of romance in the book.  They took a book that should have been about so much more, and they overpowered it with hormones–and I like romance books!  If the romance had taken a backseat to the rest, I would have been more impressed.  As it is, I will still be recommending it, but only to those people who are Team Peeta or Team Gale.  🙂

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Adventure, Dystopian, Romance, Sci-Fi, Teen

 

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SYLO

SYLOTitle: SYLO
Author: D. J. MacHale
Series: The SYLO Chronicles #1
Recommended for: 5th and up
Pages: 432 pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION MACHALE, D.

Synopsis: “They came from the sky parachuting out of military helicopters to invade Tucker Pierce’s idyllic hometown on Pemberwick Island, Maine. They call themselves SYLO and they are a secret branch of the U.S. Navy. SYLO‘s commander, Captain Granger, informs Pemberwick residents that the island has been hit by a lethal virus and must be quarantined. Now Pemberwick is cut off from the outside world. Tucker believes there’s more to SYLO‘s story. He was on the sidelines when the high school running back dropped dead with no warning. He saw the bizarre midnight explosion over the ocean, and the mysterious singing aircraft that travel like shadows through the night sky. He tasted the Ruby–and experienced the powers it gave him–for himself. What all this means, SYLO isn’t saying. Only Tucker holds the clues that can solve this deadly mystery. Look to the sky because Pemberwick Island is only the first stop.”

I just finished listening to the whole series on audio books it is a must read.  This series is action packed, but also gets you to think what is the moral thing to do.  I like how the different characters balance each other out.  Each book gives you a piece of the puzzle of what is going on so you don’t get the full picture till the middle of the last book.( I didn’t see it coming)  I rated it for 5th grade and up because in the last book in the series the one of the main characters keeps coming back to what is the moral thing to do.  The characters also see more death as the books go along.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2015 in Adventure, Dystopian, Teen

 

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