Welcome to yAdult Review, a space where two girls review novels from across the genres, from YA and MG, to fantasy and sci-fi, to historical fiction and mystery, with a sprinkling of non-fiction too. We hope you enjoy your stay here as much as we enjoy ours.

Tag Archives: genre: dystopia

22918050The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: starstarblank_starblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought. – Goodreads

Review:

I actually would have read this quickly after the original trilogy; however, the audiobook hold list often leads my fate. The Heir begins about two decades after The Selection and is the story of America’s first born, a daughter, named Eadlyn. Eadlyn is very much the opposite of America. She’s not warm, friendly, and doesn’t really have a thought outside of the box much like America did. America is very concerned about sunning outside, dress making and generally herself. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, the fact she is the next person to rule the country it’s semiproblematic when she does not worry about the fate of others.

Eadlyn is the first girl to rule her country and yet all she can do is complain about the fact that she’s older than her twin brother by seven minutes and those seven cruel minutes make her the older one that leads. Something she doesn’t want. She doesn’t care about those that live in the country. She doesn’t work. There isn’t one scene in The Heir in which she works. She’s proudly doesn’t work. While she’s not working, her father, Maxon, is proudly changing the country that America and him grew up in.

However, everyone is not so happy with the changes the King and Queen have made. There are many who are actually upset with the lack of caste system and because of this there is a bit of uproar occurring, much like the one that occurred in the original trilogy. Because of this uproar, King Maxon has begun to encourage Eadlyn to begin her own selection process.

To put it nicely Eadlyn fails at the selection process. Whatever she thinks is right, is wrong. Whatever she thinks is wrong, is right. And I get where Eadlyn is coming from. I have those own moments in my life often. It makes her human, but it also makes her seem like an ass to the public and she has no idea what they public hates her (they throw things at her on a parade).

I spent a lot of this novel wishing Cass would have focused on the true love story. I felt I called end game very early in the book and I would have preferred a story focused on them. I think The Heir could have been a better book if it would have stayed focused on them.

Will I read/listen to the next book? OF COURSE I WILL.


16248068The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Audio from library
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star (2.5)
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

The selection began with 35 girls. Now, with the group narrowed down to the Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s love is fiercer than ever. The closer America gets to the crown, the more she struggles to figure out where her heart truly lies. Each moment she spends with Maxon is like a fairy tale, filled with breathless, glittering romance. But whenever she sees her first love, Aspen, standing guard, she’s swept up in longing for the life they’d planned to share.

America is desperate for more time. But while she’s torn between her two futures, the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away – Goodreads

Review:

I feel like this could have been a solid middle book. It really had the chance to be. But America spent most of The Elite being overly wishywashy about what part of the love triangle she wants to be part of. Do we want Prince Maxon? Do we want Aspen? Do we want to be a Princess? Do we want to be with a guard? She knows from the very beginning of the book that she has to make a choice and she still doesn’t make one for the whole book.

I get it. It’s not easy to make a life choice. I respect that. But she early on decides that she’s going to choose Maxon. That’s it. Maxon has her heart. Oh wait. Not so fast, then she decides that it’s actually Aspen that she wants. It’s totally Aspen she wants. America is very insecure in the fact that Prince Maxon may love her. Because she doesn’t believe it anytime she sees him with another girl she questions why he would love her and not one of the more popular girls.

It quickly got old. What The Selection showed us was that America is a good person. From protecting her friends, to seeing her maids as people, it is made clear that America is different from the “rest” of the girls. She’s a different type of girl, which Maxon adores. What American seems to want is a completely different world and she doesn’t see how Maxon could be part of that world.

I guess my problem with The Elite is the fact that while full of action, I never once believed the love story between America and Maxon or America and Aspen. Since this series is so heavily based in the romance genre I just expected…more. The action was fairly active and the rebels were constantly threatening to tear down the walls of the palace, but I still wanted..something.

Will I be finishing this series? Of course I will be. I need to know how it ends!


16210411Extraction (Extraction #1) by Stephanie Diaz
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Source: NetGalley
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.

What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon’s lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet’s leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too.

Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don’t want her running—they want her subdued.

With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters, Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender’s Game and leave them breathless for more. – Goodreads

Review:

While I am friends with the author this did not effect my review. Mostly because she would kill me if she found out. No really. She would.

A stunning debut from Diaz that has been compared to The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game and Divergent and in its own way I believe that hype to be unfair because this book stands by itself with no hype, which probably helped me as I do not like two out of those three books I mentioned.

Diaz tells the story of Clementine who’s whole life is essentially dedicated to her sixteenth birthday and the day of the Extraction.

The Developers have made me live for sixteen years–eARC 1%

The Developers have caused there to be a big brother feeling to the city. Diaz makes it clear from the beginning that this is to “help” the citizens who live on the Surface. The Surface is where no one wants to live. It’s full of hard labor, lethal acid, asshole officials who are power hungry.  Nothing good comes from being on the Surface. It’s also full of submission because submission means a better chance at living, or being Extracted and sent to the Core. Clementine is torn, she is legitametly not sure if she wants to be Extracted or not. While she would love to have a chance at a better life, there is Logan and her heart is with Logan she knows this even if love isn’t encouraged or needed in Extraction. Couples are paired and mated for the better chance of procreation and that is it. There is no true need for love.

They don’t let girls and boys pair up when they pick them to procreate; they use artificial methods. — eARC 13%

This worries Clementine for various reasons, mostly because she worries if she is Extracted that she’ll forget Logan or worse: Logan will die on the top. Of course, Clementine is extracted and she stays worried throughout the novel that she made the right choice. She isn’t as compliant as they were hoping for and she quickly begins to question the Core, the leaders and the point to this whole grand plan.

If it isn’t obvious, I adored Extraction. In the middle of romance novel spree I devoured Extraction and Diaz’s writing. I would actually like more of it because I was so immersed into this world and had a hard time leaving. What I also enjoyed is that Diaz wrote it almost to be a stand alone. The fact that there are more books is just a cherry on the top.


10616322Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Book’s
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent– Goodreads

Review:

Although neither of her previous two books have been reviewed here, Tina and I are fairly big Roth fans. Tina and I both lucked out and met her about a year ago in September of 2012 in Las Vegas and it was a blast. Of course, that being said, from my point of view the hype started to ruin Allegiant for me. It was SO hyped up and SO shoved down my throat that by the time October 22nd came around I no longer truly cared.

Did that stop me from reading? HAHA OF COURSE NOT. It also didn’t stop Tina from emailing me going “HEY YOU I READ SPOILERS. ANGST! ANGST! ANGST!” Because if we have made anything known during our time as book bloggers it is that Tina is my Queen of Angst and I am her Queen of le Fluff. Of course after reading the first two books I should have known going into this that it would be full full full of angst and oh how it was. HOPES AND DREAMS YOU WERE DAAAAASHED.

This book picks up right where the second book, Insurgent, left off but what is different is it is now told from two points of view: Tris and Four. I was a fan of this brilliant move by Roth, I feel I got to know more about both characters through this technique. That being said, a lot of this novel felt like a giant info dump for me. I personally felt like half of it could have been erased and I wouldn’t have missed a thing. Plus, by the end Tris and Four sounded exactly the same to me. I flipped back multiple times to see who’s POV I was reading because through context I truly had no idea.

Also, and I cannot believe I’m saying this (and oh Tina won’t either), I was sick of Tris and Four. They were just…blah. One wanted to talk, the other wanted to make out. There was a huge lack of communication between them to the point I wanted to slap them more than I cared to do anything else.

What Roth did have going for this novel was the twist and turns. Which Roth has gotten major flack for, (SPOILERS AHOY THERE IN THAT LINK) but by the time the twists and turns happened, I really, sadly, no longer cared. I just wanted the series to be done with at that point.

While this book, and this series, had a lot going for it, it also had a lot going against it which ultimately affected me more than what was going for it.


drinkNot a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: ALA 2013
Rating: starstarblank_starblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own– Goodreads

Review:
This is one of the It Books of 2013. I was thrilled when I snagged an ARC of it at ALA. Sadly, I could not get into this book. I did not devour it, I trudged through it. I read my friends’ reviews convinced that something would happen.

I never found that something.

Lynn’s whole life is about survival. Lynn has water. In her time water is a hot commodity. While she is supposed to fear for her life, because of the water she protects, I found it hard to care about her. I found the characters in this novel flat. While it is true, this is a story about survival, I spent most of the novel wanting to shake the characters into relatable ones. And maybe that is what McGinnis was going for, unrelateable characters in this time of warfare.

The book was a good reminder however about humanity and what one does when they are forced to. While it made me think, I continued to have problems enjoying it no matter how hard I tried. There were aspects I enjoyed. I think Lynn is a brilliant character. I think the world that McGinnis created is genius. It just fell flat for me. Maybe I’m no longer into dystopians?

Oh this book. Everyone loved and adored you. I know I should have. Really, I do. You were even published by an imprint I adore. Sadly, I did not adore you. At all. I struggled through this book when all the rest of my friends breezed through it. I felt like I was in school again. WHAT WAS I MISSING?! No really, what was I missing, will someone please tell me?


fifth The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave #1) by Rick Yancey
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Source: Library
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. – Goodreads

Review:

I feel like this was the IT book for the first half of 2013. Everyone loved and adored this book. My BFF who rarely buys books bought this book without reading it first because there was so much hype involved in it and so many rave reviews. I wish that this book lived up to its hype, but for me, it did not.

What Yancy did well was create this amazing world where essentially you trust no one. You have no idea who’s good, who’s bad. What Yancy didn’t do well was create characters I could relate to. I didn’t have any feelings for Cassie besides wanting to slap her. And Evan? Creeped me out from the get-go. One review I read stated he was the bad boy girls love to love. I love bad boys. I do not hide that. Book bad boys are my thing, yet from the beginning of being introduced to him I got this extremely weird vibe. Weird vibe + instalove = annoyed Ashley.

Even with being annoyed, this is an extremely quick read. Yancy’s writing shines when the book is discussing Zombie, Sammy and Ringer. I could have read about all three of them and their development all day long. Loved and adored these three, because through their section, they grew. I feel like Cassie and Evan never grew. Plus the aliens? Or whatever they are were never completely fleshed out to the point that they made sense to me. Maybe Yancy will focus more on them in the second book.

While this is a solid book, and I can see the potential, it continues to not be the book, or book series, for me.


cotaCurse of the Ancients (Infinity Ring #4) by Matt de la Pena
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: NetGalley
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Fix the past. Save the future.

What is the secret history connecting the SQ to the Ancient Mayans?

Review:
So. Some summary there, huh? Really makes you wonder things like, “wtf is the SQ?” or “wtf are these books even about?” I’m sure the paper book has a better summary on the back. I hope so, anyway, because the opening of this novel is awesome. It’s Sera-centeric, and it’s kind of raw and emotional. Sera not only caught a glimpse of the Cataclysm (which disturbed her so much, she repressed the memories), but she’s also affected by Remnants. Bits and pieces of the Cataclysm are starting to come back to her, and it’s not pretty or nice. Something I was reminded of in this book, though, is that Sera is a person of color. She’s Hispanic, and Dak makes reference to how she looks much like the ancient Maya. So two out of three main characters in this series are people of color. Yay, progress! Speaking of progress, why is it that Dak has a little character development every book (mostly where he learns to control his urge to run off), and then is the exact same annoying little boy in the next one? Granted, he’s upset by what he sees as Sera ignoring him for Riq and by Dak’s parents being lost in time, but Dak really thinks highly of himself and his ability to get out of trouble. He’s spiteful and more than a little delusional. I don’t like calling eleven-year-olds “delusional,” but there it is. Dak drives me absolutely bonkers. Riq is definitely experiencing some changes, but more of the hormonal variety set off by a pretty Mayan girl. I laughed only a little at Riq’s expense here. He was just super clueless and cute. The main problem in this one, though, is that Sera has seemingly transported them to the wrong century. Dak suspects they can learn something while there, and he has a few suspicions about what they are.

Unfortunately (?), Dak can’t really make do on these suspicions because he’s in a coma for the better part of the first half, so Sera and Riq run around trying to figure out the riddle for themselves. And they do, of course. In fact, this story is split into two–the ancient Maya and the age of the conquistador (which is a terribly sad and frankly genocidal period of history. Go, Europe!). But like, learning what Sera saw when she experienced the Cataclysm made me cry. It’s an emotional journey for Sera, and she’s only eleven. Even a mature eleven-year-old can only handle so much misery and horror. And Riq is experiencing a little heartbreak. AND Dak has to go and redeem himself with his amusing inner monologue and musings about Sera’s origins. I almost liked him in the later middle chapters. Riq and Sera both have immediate emotional issues in this one, while Dak’s main problem remains his parents being lost in time.

I really really liked this one. It made me excited about the series again! I was lucky enough to snag a paper ARC of the next book in the series, Cave of Wonders, at the annual ALA conference at the end of June. Thanks, Scholastic! So what I’m getting at is the next Infinity Ring review should be up and ready very soon!