Monday, 27 January 2014

Marie Lu ye Legend

 So, I've never done a written book review online before, so this is new territory for me. I promise I'll warn before any spoilers don't worry.  I thought that I'd start with a series that's getting a lot of hype at the moment and that is Marie Lu's Legend trilogy. I'll mostly review the first book, then give just like a brief summary of the second two, just to get ya 'cited for them. I was kind of scared to start them to be honest because I was afraid that they would be another version of the Hunger Games, (which I loved, but don't want repeated to me with different names) I thought it would be another predictable, obvious dystopian, but I was wrong.
  Marie Lu creates her own path within the dystopian genre, there are the classic dystopian trademark groups the Patriots being the rebel group, but our main characters don't just break the mould they make their own. Not only are the characters original, but the setting and the plot twist and turn so as your never quite sure who it is that your actually routing for. Which was a relief, as I could allow myself to enjoy the trilogy without constantly comparing it to other dystopian books that have come out recently.
  The trilogy begins in Legend, set in the Republic of America, about a hundred years into the future. Legend is told from two points of view. June, a wealthy prodigy that lives with her brother, and though her parents died when she was young she has had life easy. The second point of view is of Day, the Republics most wanted criminal. We get to know the characters very quickly and connect very well with them from early on in the book, which means the pace of the novel moves very fast bringing us along with it.
  There may be some spoilers from this point on, so if you don't wanna know then you should probably look away now.
  Are you gone?
  Okay so every one left has read at least the first book?
  Cool, ok, on with the review.
  Day's family are from a very poor region, which is quickly becoming a breeding ground for the plague. When his younger brother Eden becomes infected Day breaks into the hospital to try to steal medicine. But things go horribly wrong, and in an attempt to flee from the scene Day throws a knife at the shoulder of the soldier trying to prevent his escape. Here's where the novel takes off, Day escapes the hospital, but it was June's brother who had been the soldier, and when others come to the scene it is discovered that Metias (June's brother) was dead. June, is given the opportunity to hunt down Day and bring justice to her brothers memory.
  I won't give away too much more of the plot just for you stragglers who think you won't read it, then decide in a month or so to do so, trust me I've been there, you'll regret it.
  Any who, I thought I'd tell my favourite parts. I suppose this is the real spoiler section. I loved it when June discovered that Day was Day, and her internal conflict, to turn him in? To deny Metias Justice? I loved how she became almost shy around him, just before she turns him in.
 Another of my favourite parts was towards the end when June is interrogating Day, and manages to keep her aggressive exterior. I also loved how brilliantly Marie Lu showed how June swapped loyalties. It was perfect, just the right amount of doubt before the reality sunk in. I also loved/hated Thomas. Argh! that betrayal revealed at the end! How could you? How could you?
  The next book, Prodigy, is the one that I was most worried about. This is where the predictability usually kicks in. Now their gonna break up, Now their gonna join the rebels, Now others will realise that there is something wrong with this society. Breathe a sigh of relief because it's not quite as obvious as that. There's not as much put in there just to 'please the teens'. The action scenes had a bigger role, and some of the characters who I expected to be stereo typical really were not. Especially Anden. I was prepared to hate the spoiled brat, the younger version of his father that didn't care that the country was falling to shreds, but no, I was wrong again. I really liked the guy. I thought he was deadly. I also liked that we got to see the Colonies, and see that they weren't in the blissful state that it was believed they were in.
  I won't say too much about the last book Champion. I wasn't sure I would like this one, even though I'd been proved wrong in the other two books. Though I had read somewhere that these books were based on a retelling of Les Miserables, so I was waiting for a certain character to die. I was convinced , this character is gonna die, and then towards the end I was like, now, any second now, wait for it, wait for it..... nope. seriously. It was the saddest part in the whole of Les Mis and it was CHANGED! Let me know if you found that part a but upsetting to:(
  The actual ending to the trilogy was really devastating, I'd purposely stayed away from dystopian books for a while before I read these to make sure I wasn't sick of them by the time I'd gotten to this one, cause I really did want to enjoy it. So the end of these books for me was really, really devastating. I couldn't believe how many years had passed before certain things were resolved.
  Overall, I loved this trilogy. If you want to read dystopia, and don't just want another recreation of what you've already read, then these are definitely my recommendation. :)

Monday, 20 January 2014

The Hauling of the Books

I honestly did not expect to have enough books for a haul this soon after Christmas, but there you go, I officially have a book-buying problem... but once I tell you the circumstances you'll surely agree that I simply couldn't leave them in the shop.
  Lets begin with what tipped over the flood gates. I was in New York with my sisters, and naturally enough I found myself in a bookshop. I have been looking to read the Percy Jackson series for a while, and I found a box set, not only cheaper than it would be at home but also with the nicer American covers, because to be honest I think the British covers leave a lot to be desired. I had the set, (and many others that unfortunately did not make it to the till) in my hand when I also picked up a copy of Mind Games by Kirsten White, now, while I had not been in a massive rush to actually read this one, it's one that I would have to order online back home, how could I leave it homeless with the other orphaned books, it wouldn't be right, it wouldn't be fair. The only thing that kept me from buying more was the fact that it would have put my suitcase overweight. The woes of a book-buyer abroad.
  Now moving on to the next part of the haul, which really emphasises my lack of self control. I'd been given a book voucher for €50 from my sister, I planned on saving it for some of the new releases that I'm most excited about (Cress, City of Heavenly Fire, The One, Hallow City...) but I decided to bring it with me to the bookshop, a bookshop that has been a favourite of mine for years.. Hodges Figgis(Check it out if you're ever in Dublin). You can see where this is going right? Well I only spent €11.99 and managed to get 3 books with that, I'd found three that I was excited about in the bargain section! The first was The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, for less than a fiver, would you have put it back on the shelf? I think not. The next was one I had been tempted to buy in the full price section before I'd gone downstairs, that was the Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater, I'd been torn between buying it and not buying it for so long that when I saw it for less than half price it was like 'just go for it....books'. The last one was one that I only really wanted to get recently, because while in New York we'd gone to see the Phantom of the Opera, and while before I'd loved the movie it was nothing quite like seeing it live, after a quick google I saw it was a book, written by a french author Gaston Leroux

 (I love me my french authors) it was less than €3, how could I not get it.
  And there you have it, how I proved my lack of self control in less than a month. I'm incredibly happy with my nine new books though. Smiling just thinking of them. Hee, new books.....

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Found my People

 Up until last year I had been an avid reader, I devoured books, and if you had asked me I would have told you that I read all kinds of books in every genre. It occurred to me that this wasn't exactly true. I mostly read Young Adult fiction, or children's novels. I began to feel that what I was reading wasn't important enough, wasn't factual, wasn't worthwhile. Don't get me wrong, I didn't feel this way myself, but I felt as though when I would tell someone that I read, that I was a reader and then named books that I liked to read, I felt as though they would raise their eyebrows and be sceptical. "Is that All, I thought you were a reader!"

 Yet even with these doubts creeping in like the unwanted litter from next door, I found my collection of books growing. My tiny four shelf bookcase had piles of books on top of it that were taller than me, I swapped it for a bigger bookcase with my sister who only used hers for display. I filled that quickly, I was double stacking the shelves, I had books stuffed in the cracks between the books standing upright and the next shelf. I decided I was going to get a massive bookcase that would be a home to my sardined books, and like any modern girl one of the first things I did was look up YouTube for inspiration. This is where I came across one of the best discoveries I found in 2012, I had stumbled into the BookTubing community. I still remember the first video I watched, it was a bookshelf tour by Katytastic.  What was this? Someone else who loved fiction as much as I did. I was not alone! I soon became hooked, I found more and more channels where books I was familiar with were being discussed, and more books recommended me. I found people who loved reading and obsessed over it as much as I did. People who didn't tire of the topic of books but lived in them like I did. 

 I remember telling a friend how excited I was about this community I had found, she laughed and said, "Sounds like you found your people." Even now I can't think of a better way to describe it. I found my people.