The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

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Every twelve years, Nadia’s world forgets. They lose the memories of their past, their families — even of who they are. To remember, members of Nadia’s society must write down their lives in books. Whatever is written in their books is true. But Nadia knows that some things written down are lies. And she knows because Nadia doesn’t forget. When the rest of her world scrambles to rebuild their fractured lives, Nadia remembers everything that happened before the Forgetting. She knows that her real father altered his book to start a new family. And she knows that her mother is losing her mind because of his betrayal. Somehow, Nadia must discover the truth behind the Forgetting, before her remaining family is ripped apart forever.

If you’re a fan of DivergentThe TestingHunger Games, or any other YA Dystopia, this one is a solid pick for you. Personally, I found it to be slower-paced than I usually like my novels, but its premise is a good one. The author does a good job of examining human nature and posing questions about it. What would you do, if you knew everyone was just going to forget? It’s an interesting thought that could lead to a heavy discussion. If you can get through the parts that drag, the ending is a good one.

Rating: 3/5

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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In a future in which humanity has conquered death, population control is of the utmost importance. A Scythe’s duty is to glean humans, killing them, and thus maintaining the population balance. A Scythe can live forever, but, tasked with the most gruesome of responsibilities, would they want to? Citra and Rowan are chosen to be apprentices to the esteemed Scythe Faraday. Though neither truly wants the job, the possible benefits of the position are too good to pass up. However, throughout the course of their training, the two apprentices find that there is more lurking within the shadows of scythedom than they realized. Citra and Rowan must solve a life or death mystery, or risk losing their own lives in the aftermath.

This is the best book I’ve read in SO LONG. The premise itself is incredible. I could truly see a world in which humanity conquers disease/death, so population control might actually be an issue. Shusterman brings his typical creative writing to weave a complex mystery, complete a variety of twists and turns. If you’re looking for your next sci-fi addiction, this is it!

*YALSA Best Books For Young Adults, 2017

Rating: 5/5

 

 

Matched by Ally Condie

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Finally seventeen, Cassia is able to find out who her match is — the person the Society has decided is the perfect person for her. Surprisingly (perhaps relievingly so), Cassia is matched with her longtime friend, Xander. Cassia is overjoyed that her match is someone she already knows so well. But, when Cassia looks at the data the Society officials gave her about her match, another face appears before her eyes — Ky Markham, an outsider new to the Society. Cassia knows that it’s impossible to have two matches, and she’s told that the match with Ky is a horrible joke. But, now that the seed is planted, Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, the mistake, and whether the Society’s rules are truly the right way to live.

Aside from this book basically being The Giver, it’s a decent read. If you’re a fan of dystopian/evil society books, Matched is a solid choice (and I heard it gets better as the series progresses). While there’s not a lot of action, there is a good amount of personal drama/suspense, romantic tension, and the book ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger. If you’re looking for a new sci-fi series, give Matched a try — if only to wonder how Condie didn’t get sued.

Rating: 3/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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In the second book of the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder finds herself trapped in prison and scheduled for execution at the hands of Lunar queen, Levana. What’s more, she was recently told that, not only is she Lunar, but she is (allegedly) the lost Lunar princess, Celene. In another part of the world, Scarlet Benoit is searching for her grandmother. She finds a mysterious stranger, Wolf, who claims he wants to help, but the more involved he becomes, the more complicated Scarlet’s path gets. Scarlet finds that her grandmother has secret ties to the Lunars, a discovery that only confuses her more. As Scarlet attempts to connect the threads of her grandmother’s past, Cinder struggles to break out of prison and find the truth in her identity. Unbeknownst to each girl, their paths will soon cross in most unexpected ways.

Can’t lie — this was NOT my favorite book in this series. I LOVE Cinder, but Scarlet was just so boring to me.  I really needed less of her chapters. Once their paths start to intertwine, things start to pick up and get much better, but it takes a while to get there. However, as much as I was bored with Scarlet, I loved reading the parts with Levana. She’s just so evil! I’m very excited to see what happens with her in the next books. It will be quite satisfying to see Cinder bring her down. So, while I wasn’t impressed with this one, I care about the characters enough to keep going.

Rating: 3.5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy

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Earth has been invaded by aliens. No one knows why they’ve come, but it’s obvious that they want to wipe out the human race completely. First, they cut off all electronics. Next, they send devastating explosions. Then, they sweep the world with an incurable virus. The ones who survive may seem lucky, but Cassie doesn’t feel that way. Having lost her mother to the virus, her father to an attack, and now separated from her brother, Cassie is alone. Alone, but determined to find the last person she loves. She must do everything she can to get to him, or die trying.

This book has a lot of hype (the movie will be coming out soon), but I didn’t love it. Alien invasions aren’t my thing, so I’m not surprised this wasn’t my favorite — but still. It just wasn’t super exciting, though the way the ending came together was pretty cool. If you love aliens/zombies/dystopian fiction, give it a shot — you might love it!

Rating: 3/5 

*YALSA Teen’s Top Ten, 2014

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here. 

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

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When Cia finishes her basic schooling, all she wants to do is be chosen for The Testing, a series of trials designed to determine those students able enough to go to University. Cia’s father went to University and is now a leading agricultural scientist in the society. But, though Cia’s dreams are of University, she has little idea of what the Testing actually entails. When Cia gets her wish and is chosen for the Testing, she is elated. But warnings from her father make her question her joy. Though her father doesn’t remember much of the process, he is haunted by nightmares relating to the Testing, and wants nothing more than to shield his children from the process. His one piece of advice before Cia leaves forever: trust no one.

If you loved Hunger Games and/or Divergent, The Testing might be a good next pick for you. Though I would argue that this book is a bit too similar to the other series, it’s still enjoyable if you’re a dystopian fan. As usual, the romantic relationship between the two main characters annoyed me, but that’s because I felt Cia incredibly foolish to trust anyone during the Testing process. I also felt that Cia was a hard character to connect to, and it wasn’t as enjoyable a read as other dystopian picks. Don’t take my word for it, though. Just because it’s not my favorite book doesn’t mean it won’t be yours!

Rating: 3/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here. 

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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Thomas wakes up in a steel box, knowing only his name. Everything else — who he is, where he’s from, what he’s doing — is forgotten. He soon finds himself surrounded by teenage boys in a similar situation, all living in an area called “The Glade”. Beyond the Glade lies the Maze — a dangerous, shifting puzzle inhabited by monsters. The boys are sure of only one thing: if they want to go home, they have to solve the maze. Thomas must work with his new companions as they struggle to survive and to find something, anything that will give a clue as to how to beat the maze. But, despite his desire to help, Thomas is met with suspicion by the others, for, as soon as he arrives, life in the Glade changes forever.

This book was … pretty much like every other dystopian novel I’ve read. Maybe if I’d read it before I read Hunger Games, I would have liked it more. But it was just meh to me. I honestly read it because the movie came in my Netflix, and I decided to read the book first. The movie was terrible though! It took unnecessary departures from the book, and was generally just not as enjoyable. The book, though it wasn’t the best book I’ve read, was much better. My only real complaint is that the slang used in the book super annoyed me — I felt like the author was trying too hard to avoid using strong language. But, there was a ton of action and the ending actually surprised me. If you liked Hunger Games or other post-apocalyptic novels, definitely give this one a shot. You may like it more than I did. Also, it’s a movie!

This one also has a pretty good book trailer too!

Rating: 3/5 

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.