Sooo, I've been reading a lot lately. I haven't posted in forever, but I finished a book today that I had to write about. I picked up a book Friday at NCTE called Red Queen. It was in an awesome package, check it out:
I picked up an ARC of this book at a conference and finished it in a day. It is FABULOUS! It is a little similar to a few books I have read (Red Rising and The Selection come to mind), but so much different that it is definitely in its own category.
The story is fast-paced and engrossing. The world is similar to our own but also in disrepair. The chasm between the poor and the rich is great and seemingly insurmountable, but isn't that what makes for a great story? The characters are likable and relatable. And the ending? I should have seen it coming but I didn't.
This is a world where blood distinguishes the haves from the have nots. Until one day...it doesn't. What happens when everything everyone has believed is proven to be otherwise?
Loved this book, and I am dying to know what happens next. Unfortunately, I will probably have to wait a while to find out.
SO Great! When it comes out in February, READ IT!!
In other news, I have also recently finished The Program & The Treatment, a two-part series about a world where suicide has become a teenage epidemic. Also, it is contagious. To solve this problem, the government develops THE PROGRAM. Basically, a "treatment" program that removes selected "painful" memories and turns teenagers into "happier, calmer" versions of themselves. Basically, they sort of become stepfords. But the question turns into this: Can you really change a person's nature? What happens when the program doesn't exactly "work"? And is the program a major cause of this "epidemic" itself. This is a great little series that follows some lovely rebels as they explore these questions and try to work things out for themselves. I picked it up last year at NCTE and I was not disappointed.
I also recently read Belzhar, which was a really neat book. This is a story about troubled teens who have experienced hard things in their life that more or less set them on edge. Since they have had problems coping with what happened, they are sent to a special school known as "The Wooden Barn." This is story about new friendships and letting go, all centered around a Special Topics English class. Because what could be more therapeutic, right? :) It might also include a reference to Plath's Bell Jar, which is where the title is derived from. Either way, I found it engrossing and enjoyable, if not a little sad and unexpected in the end.
A while back, I read Gaiman's Ocean At the End of the Lane. In a day. Yeah, it was good. Weird and slightly disturbing, but good. I have to say, there are some images from that book that I will never be able to get out of my brain, specifically, the worm. If you read this book, get back to me on that. I will never be able to shake that one. *shudder* Anyway, it is a delightful book, as is always the case with Gaiman. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and you should, too.
So I have just returned form this year's NCTE with another load of books that I am eager to read. At some point. :) For now, I am trying to finish up the Heroes of Olympus series and have started House of Hades. Soon to finish (hopefully) so I can get Blood of Olympus and put that series to rest as well.
Also, best news I have heard lately? Kiera Cass has another installment in the Selection series in the works. I talked to the publishing company rep and SHE was stoked about it, too, but no ARCs yet as the book is not quite there. BUT I can't WAIT to read it. Like, now.
OH, and another highlight of my NCTE? Meeting Ally Condie and telling her how much I frickin loved Matched (although I kept mum on the fact that I did NOT care for Crossed) and saying hello to James Dashner and getting Kill Order signed. Woot! He has signed at almost every NCTE I have been to, but his lines were OUTRAGEOUS this year. I guess that's what happens when you have a mega-hit that's turned into a movie. Can you imagine the clamor if Suzanne Collins showed up? Or if they brought Veronica Roth back now that Divergent has hit theatres? Oh my.
Anyway, hope you have some ideas for more books to read and that you find some inspiration over the holiday weekend.
Until then, Happy Reading!