Tag Archives: dystopian society

Rise by Anna Carey

In the third and final installment of Anna Carey’s intense Eve Trilogy, we catch up with our heroine as she is plotting to escape the City of Sand (and her father’s control) for good. The rebels are uprising and she wants to be right in the middle, especially after her honey-poo’s untimely demise.

Unfortunately, this much-anticipated number three was more like a Taco Bell number two. I enjoyed the story while it was happening but when I got to the end I was kind of like, “Hm… Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.”  rise

Honestly, I think Carey could’ve just added an extra 50-75 pages each to Eve and Once and just completely skipped this weak last book. I get that the first two were tough acts to follow, cause let’s face it, they were fucking awesome. But, the couple particular plot twists that Carey used were pretty predictable, and frankly kind of annoying.

Also, I didn’t like the fact that her and Charles’ relationship was never resolved AT ALL. I mean, she spent the better part of two books being a total douche-nozzle to him and for what? Nothing! He did nothing but help her and she didn’t even try to get along with him or to at least appreciate him as a friend or a confidant. I didn’t like that.

I also didn’t like that the last page left me feeling SO unfulfilled. It should’ve been the end of one of the final chapters, not the end of the entire trilogy. Like seriously, what the fuck? Are you trying to give me a case of literary blue balls, because you have succeeded, my friend!

3 sore uteruses of 5

Eve and Once by Anna Carey


Well, well, well… Color me pleasantly surprised. The first two books in Anna Carey’s Eve Trilogy don’t absolutely suck! In fact, they’re actually pretty awesome! I love it when someone gets dystopian fiction right!

Eve exists in a world that has been struck by a deadly plague–in fact, sixteen years ago her own mother succumbed to the virus and as a result she was sent off to an all-girls school/orphanage. Eve excelled at the school and is one day away from giving her graduating class’ valedictorian speech. Of course, this would be the time she learns the truth behind the school’s purpose. Her and her fellow classmate’s are not destined to become the next shining citizens of the City of Sand… Their fate is much more sinister. 

So Eve must escape and, for the first time since childhood, face the devastation that is the outside world. Luckily, a former classmate and a rebellious (and handsome) boy come to her aid. Imagine their collective shock when they learn that Eve’s parentage is not all that it seems. 

This is one of the better page-turner’s I’ve read this year, and you’ll be groaning in disgust along with Eve when you find out what the government has planned for the graduates. It really is weird and gross. 

I also really liked the relationship that formed between her and Caleb–it seemed less like the typical “love at first sight” BS that YA fiction tends to spew, and more like something real that grew over time. The complications that arise in Once are even more entertaining. 

I’ll definitely be following up with this series!

4 vitamins of 5 


Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi


At the urging of my friend (and former boss) Monica, I picked up Under the Never Sky from the local library. It follows our main character Aria as she gets unceremoniously exiled from her futuristic dome/home Reverie. She’s in fear for her life, as she’s been taught that only cannibals and ether storms exist in the barren wasteland that is the “Death Shop.”

But when she meets Perry, a Savage, and learns that the politicians may not have been straightforward with the population of Reverie, she sets out on a quest to find her missing mother and learn the truth about herself.

It reminded me very much of an extremely watered-down version of Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee. Similar futuristic setting, similar scary desert, similar unexpected results.

I honestly can’t say I was very thrilled by UTNS, simply because it seemed too generically dystopian teen. I didn’t glean anything new from it and I had a hard time staying focused on the plot. None of the characters really came alive for me and I still haven’t decided if I’ll be continuing with the series… Beautiful cover art, generic story.

I think I’m just sick of everyone trying to crank out the next Hunger Games and SERIOUSLY falling short…

2.5 stars of 5

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Pure Ok, I’m just gonna jump straight to the point. Pure by Julianna Baggott has all the makings of a great dystopian novel. Futuristic, yet devastated civilization. Haughty “better” class. Something terrible that sets the lower class apart from the higher. Missing family members. Love interest.


In this instance, the decimation to society was caused by a global nuclear bombing. No one is clear on how or why, just that billions of people are now dead. Our story takes place in the remains of the United States, near Baltimore. Inside a biosphere-like “Dome” are the Pures. These are the people unaffected by the blasts–no scars, no fusings, no missing limbs. They were “lucky” enough to be in the Dome before the Denotations. Outside are the Wretches. These are the people who survived the bombings and the resulting radiation, but who are deformed because of it. We’re talking people fused together (Groupies), people fused to inanimate objects (whatever they were standing next to/holding at the time of Detonation), and people with terrible mutations.

Pressia is a Wretch–left with no parents and scant memories of the Before–she has scars on her face and a doll’s head fused to her hand. For some reason she can’t yet fathom, she is special to the people inside the Dome. Partridge, on the other hand, is a Pure. Not just any Pure. The only living son of the Pure’s leader. When his father slips and says something that leads Partridge to believe his mother may still be alive somewhere outside the Dome, he can’t take action fast enough.

When these two teenagers from VERY different places meet, it will change everything they thought they knew about themselves and their places in the world.

Is being Pure really everything?

Baggott did a GREAT job illustrating her ruined earth. You can really see the bomb-riddled world in your mind’s eye, and she created a number of interesting beasts to go along with the atmosphere. I like the social commentary about how looks set us apart from others, and how they’ve always been used to classify someone ugly as “less” than someone attractive. Not to mention a nod to the terror a nuclear war would present–not only the bombing but also the aftermath.

I felt this story was very cinematic. It held a very fast pace throughout, and switched between character perspectives frequently. There’s no room to get bored here. I LOVED the descriptions of the Wretches, and how their various mutations and deformities began to define or symbolize them as a person. How they learned to adapt was incredible.

I HIGHLY recommend this book. A new favorite for sure. Watch out, Hunger Games.

5 birds in your back of 5 7304563548_f9a5656a24_z

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Since I tore through Divergent and my wonderful lover man bought me a kickass Kindle Fire HD last month, Insurgent was the next obvious choice on my reading list.

And I was not disappointed. 11735983

Roth has managed to create a dystopian Chicago that is very believable, and in Insurgent she has definitely upped the political ante. With Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews at the helm of a anarchist movement, it’s up to Tris, Four, and the others to stop her. With Amity refusing to fight and Candor backed into a corner, who will come to the loyal Dauntless’ aid?

Four’s new alliance with the Factionless seems like the answer to their prayers, until a new piece of information is dangled in front of them. When Tris comes to the realization that the Factionless’ move against Jeanine might not be the right choice, she must choose between siding with Four or Four’s worst nightmare–his father.  But will their love last with this betrayal?

Or will they even survive?

Tris must battle the gut-wrenching sadness and guilt that are threatening to overwhelm her. She must embrace her Divergence and her newly found Divergent counterparts if they are to have any hope for a better tomorrow. And she must cheat death and disaster countless times.

I was really entertained by Insurgent. I don’t think it was better than Divergent–which held more of the new-world-building wonder and romantic intrigue. But it definitely set the ball rolling for some major things in the third book, and I am interested to see where it ends up. I just got a little tired of Erudite totally raping the other factions and their “wudda we do? wudda we do?” attitudes. None of them seemed very willing to stand up for themselves, which was weird.

And Tris and Four’s relationship irritated me a lot. It seems like they are both so harsh and unrelenting that it’s difficult for them to be together. You can’t have two “my way or the highway” people and expect it to work. Both of them kept too many secrets from the other, and it only ultimately lead to disaster. If it was real love he wouldn’t question her motives so often. But… maybe things will turn out for the best.

Divergence is a deviation from the norm and the ability to adapt to multiple situations/change according to what works best. And that’s what the new world order is going to need if Tris and her friends are to make it out alive.

There was a definite cliff-hanger at the end of the book, so I’m eagerly awaiting the third (final?) installment.

4 simulation serums of 5




Divergent by Veronica Roth

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if people of opposing viewpoints, attitudes, and opinions just completely split away from each other? Well, Veronica Roth introduces us to that idea in Divergent. Her dystopian society is split into five factions:

  • Dauntless– Those who value bravery and fearlessness more than anything else.
  • Erudite– People devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and new technology.
  • Amity– Citizens who seek happiness as their number one priority.
  • Candor– Those that are honest no matter how painful the truth can be.
  • Abnegation– People that view selflessness and sacrifice as the only way to achieve a greater good.

Which one would you belong to?

Which moral is your top priority?

Now what if I told you that you’d be raised in one faction, but on your 16th year you had the choice to change factions. You take a test to help determine your aptitude. But the caveat is, if you change factions–to become who you truly are–you must forsake your family from then on and give up the only life you’ve ever known. Pretty tough choice.

For Beatrice, her time is up. She soon must make the decision that will change her life forever. Will she give up Abnegation and her family? Or will her test results reveal something different?

I absolutely devoured Divergent. Not only do I love a good dystopian society novel, but I like the idea of the different factions. It was easy for me to see where I’d end up. Candor. With the rest of the brutally honest people. Haha. My family would be there too, I’m sure. I know for a fact I’m too chicken shit for Dauntless. There’s no way I’m jumping on and off and moving train every day!

Roth created an interesting world, and Beatrice was an interesting main character. I felt that there were some discrepancies in her character that couldn’t be explained away. How does one raised to be so meek and timid so easily become a fighter? She got to be pretty tough pretty quickly, and although she may have had some innate qualities that would’ve eventually come forward–it all seemed like it happened pretty fast. I just couldn’t quite picture this little mousy blonde girl having this other kick ass side.

But maybe that’s just a flaw on my part.

That being said, I will definitely be continuing the series. I can’t wait to see what happens next, and Divergent was over much too quickly. The fear simulations were really interesting–and totally terrifying to imagine. (Like I said, I’m not Dauntless material…) The bad guys were totally bad and the love interest was… interesting. It’s definitely a new favorite.

For those of you who’ve also read it, how did you feel?

5 ravening dogs of 5

Oh, and if you’d like to take the test to find out which faction you’d be in, click here. 

Let me know your results 😉

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I have been meaning to do a Hunger Games post for a long long long time. I read the book earlier this year at the urging of my 13 year old sister. What the heck does she know? I had my doubts, but The Hunger Games series definitely goes down as one of my all time favorites. Action, adventure, a tyrannical government, a battle royale, a love triangle, mutant animals, a dystopian society… This book has it all.

Now it’s getting all this buzz and blowing up because of the new moving coming out next year–just like when the Twilight movie was made. However, before you watch the movie, you’ve got to read the books! It’s the cardinal rule. Deal with it.

Read them.

All of them.


(And you have no excuse not to. We’re talking about a book written for teenagers, not Tolstoy’s War and Peace. And you’re smarter than a teenager, right? … Right??)

THG takes place in North America after the world has been destroyed by a series of devastating wars. Only 13 colonies or “districts” are left and all are ruled over by a central, tyrannical government. Each district is responsible for the production of a certain good: electronics, textiles, coal, etc… The “Capital” controls the distribution of all these goods, and all but the richest in society are starving to death.

Enter: the Hunger Games.

Each year, there is a drawing of names and two contestants–a boy and a girl–are chosen for a battle royale-style reality show that pits children and teens against each other until only one is left standing. The winner is awarded fame and fortune, and most importantly, food for their family.

Katniss Everdeen, of District 12, has been the sole supporter of her mother and little sister since her father died in a mining accident. Her superior (and illegal) hunting skills, along with her best friend Gale, have helped keep them alive for years.

So it’s just natural instinct for Katniss when her sister’s name is drawn for the  Games, to step in and take her place. Saving her life, yet risking her own. Will she make it out alive?

Enough of the plot synopsis, let’s get to the juicy stuff. I just want you to know that if you don’t read this book soon, you will be making a grave mistake. This is the stuff that all authors hope to produce. THG is a edge-of-your-seat, up-all-night-biting-your-nails page-turner. Guys read it, girls read it, moms, and boyfriends. Everyone. Collins achieves the perfect mix of action and storyline, leaving frustrating cliff-hangers at the end of every chapter to keep you reading more.

I really can’t critique this series to tell you the truth. I was sad to see some of the characters get killed off, but that’s the way of The Games, I suppose. I dare you to not get attached.

Thankfully, I read these on the Kindle and once I finished I was able to order Catching Fire while in bed, during the middle of the night. This books makes you wonder what you would do in a situation like Katniss’ and whether you’d survive. Would you be willing to kill others to save yourself?

The saga continues in Catching Fire and Mockingjay–both of which are also a must-read. THG is my favorite of the three, but you won’t be able to stop there, I guarantee it. This is THE book of the year.

5 of 5 stars

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I was able to get my hands on an advance reader’s edition of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and I read it in a few days. The premise was good: dystopian world, teenage girl with the Rogue-like ability to kill with her touch, hot guy, bad guy, new tyrannical form of government, lots of action. So why did I hate it?

*takes deep breath*

First off, it was compared to The Hunger Games because of its suspense and action. Pahah, yeah right. That’s like The Wizards of Waverly Place claiming to be better than Harry Potter. Or an American Idol hopeful claiming to be the next Whitney, Britney, or Mariah. 

Not likely.

Secondly, we already have Rogue from X-Men, and I’m not sure how Mafi got around pretty much plagiarizing the whole idea of the main character, Juliette, having the exact same super powers. The exact same super powers. I mean, yes, it’s an awesome concept, but it’s been done. At least expound upon it or change it in some way–kill with a kiss, can only non-lethally touch members of her own sex, withers plants and food–SOMETHING.

But the language, oh the language. That’s what absolutely destroyed it for me. It was the most overly-done, laughablely dramatic inner monologue that I have literally ever read. Some of the sentences were actually painful, they were so bad. Cringe-worthy is the only way to describe it. I don’t know what Mafi’s editor was thinking, but creating meaningful metaphors and similes clearly slipped their mind. Here’s a gem. She talking about a teenage mother at the grocery store:

“Her legs were standing crossed at the ankles, her child was on a leash she thought he thought was a backpack. She thought he was too dumb/too young/too immature to understand that the rope tying him to her wrist was a device designed to trap him in her uninterested circle of self-sympathy. She’s too young to have a kid, to have these responsibilities, to be buried by a child who has needs that don’t accomodate her own. Her life is so incredibly unbearable so immensely multifaceted too glamorous for the leashed legacy of her loins to understand.

Did you catch that last sentence? The leashed legacy of her loins. It just makes me shudder every time. This is an example of trying way way way too hard at it’s finest. It’s a kid on a leash for crissakes. And no, that’s not a typo. There are about a hundred commas missing from that paragraph. It kills me a little inside, it really does.

And that’s not all. Painfully over-extended sentences like this spatter every single page like gravel in a scraped knee. Murdering minutes = spending time. Breaking knee caps = feeling weak. Deep blue pools I’m drowning in = eyes. Every fist in the world has decided to punch me in the stomach = I am upset. My heart is an exploding water balloon in my chest = my heart is racing.

The list goes on. And on. And on.

I was literally just flipped through random pages to find those.

The first half is excruciating, and the second half is bearable. Bearable, not great. Not good. Bearable. And it clearly leaves an opening for sequel, which I will be glad to pass on.

If only this book sucked the life out of me while I was reading it, I would have been spared the unendurable agony of 340 pages of my time wasted.