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Movers — Meagan MacIsaac

17 Nov

movers

 

Publisher: Tundra
Released: February 2nd, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, dystopia
Source: Review copy from publisher

 

The world is dying, overcrowded and polluted. Storms rage over the immensely tall tower blocks, attracted to Movers.

Movers are connected to people in the future, their Shadows. And moving your Shadow is highly illegal.

Patrick knows all too well what happens if you break the law: his father has been in the Shelves ever since he moved his Shadow. And now Patrick and his family are in danger again.

Following a catastrophic event at their school, Patrick must go on the run. Through filthy, teeming markets, forebrawler matches, a labyrinth of underground tunnels and beyond, he’ll need his wits and courage to escape the forces that want to take everything he loves.

From Goodreads

What an action-packed exciting read! The premise of Movers grabbed me instantly and was very different from any other dystopian YA novel I’ve read. I pretty much flew through the book, eager to find out what the heck was going on.

I have to chat a bit about Movers and their Shadows. What a cool/creepy concept. And I love the fact that not all was as it seemed and that Patrick is never quite sure wha’s going on. He’s really feeling off balanced and that was so well written that as a reader I feel off balanced also.

I also think it’s interesting that Movers are looked down on and in some cases ostracized.

I really like that Patrick was thrown into the situation and has to form alliances with people that he isn’t 100% sure he could trust. I’m all about the group dynamics and love when different personalities are thrown together and have to deal with crap.

The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

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Strike — Delilah S. Dawson

17 Oct

strikePublisher: Simon Pulse
Released: April 12th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Review copy from publisher

The hit list was just the beginning.

Time to strike back.

After faking her own death to escape her term as an indentured assassin for Valor Savings Bank, Patsy is on the run with her boyfriend, Wyatt. All she wants to do is go home, but that’s never going to happen—not as long as Valor’s out to get her and the people she loves.

Left with no good choices, Patsy’s only option is to meet with a mysterious group that calls itself the Citizens for Freedom.

Led by the charismatic Leon Crane, the CFF seem like just what Patsy has been looking for. Leon promises that if she joins, she’ll finally get revenge on Valor for everything they’ve done to her—and for everything they’ve made her do.

But Patsy knows the CFF has a few secrets of their own. One thing is certain: they’ll do absolutely anything to complete their mission, no matter who’s standing in their way. Even if it’s Patsy herself.

From Goodreads

 

I liked Strike soooo much better than Hit and I liked Hit so that’s saying a lot.

There are more characters in Strike, and the element that I liked the most was the different group dynamics. Everyone has been through their own version of hell and it was fascinating to watch how they all interacted with each other. I always gravitate towards dystopia and post-apocalyptic literature and shows where the setting and what’s going on isn’t always the focus, but rather, how people interact with each other in these settings. Sometimes it’s done in a realistic manner and others not so much. For me Dawson nailed it.

I also enjoyed the relationship between Patsy and Wyatt way more than I did in Hit. I just felt that their connection made more sense in this book and was more believable to me.

While I enjoyed the over plot of the book (I don’t want to talk about it and give anything away) there were some elements that felt a bit convenient to me. But that’s okay. Even in a shitty world coincidences do happen. 🙂

I think fans of Hit are really going to enjoy Strike. And if you weren’t a huge fan of Hit? I think there’s a good chance that you’ll still enjoy this book.

Blog Tour — Transferral — Kate Blair

21 Nov

transferral

Publisher: Dancing Cat Books
Released: October 24th, 2015
Genre: YA dystopian
Source: Review copy from publisher

 

 

London, England, present day. This is the world as we know it, but with one key difference: medical science has found a way to remove diseases from the sick. The catch? They can only transfer the diseases into other living humans. The government now uses the technology to cure the innocent by infecting criminals.
It is into this world that Talia Hale is born. Now sixteen and the daughter of a prime ministerial candidate, she discovers that the effort to ensure that bad things happen only to bad people has turned a once-thriving community into a slum, and has made life perilous for two new friends.

When Talia’s father makes an election promise to send in the police to crack down on this community, Talia can only think of how much worse things will be for her friends. Will she defy her father to protect them, even if it means costing him the election?

Transferral , the debut from Kate Blair, is a chilling look at a world gone wrong because of its efforts to do right.

From Goodreads.

 

Giving our illnesses to criminals as punishment? Kinda brilliant and creepy and evil all at the same time. Which make the basic premise of this book so fascinating to read about. I mean, there are clear advantages and disadvantages to this kind of criminal justice, and Blair tackles all of the issues while weaving a story about one girl trying to undo the harm she did.

This is my favourite kind of dystopia: the kind that makes the reader think about our current society. The parallels between between how this society treats its poor and criminals isn’t too far off from how we tend to deal with them. The stigma attached to having been arrested, the tendency for the poor to be arrested and given stiffer sentences than the rich and the privileged wanting to keep the “criminal element” in its place are all things that our current justice system and society have in common with the world that Blair paints so vividly.

The main character, Talia, is an interesting character. I never fell in love with her but I didn’t despise her either. She’s a poor little rich girl who genuinely wants to make things better and I enjoyed watching her thoughts on just what “better” means changing throughout the book. She definitely isn’t a static character.

The only issue I had was that to me the ending felt a little rushed. I would have liked to have seen a bit more after the climax.

This was a quick read for me and I devoured most of the book in one sitting. The story and the writing style kept me turning pages until the end.

Hit — Delilah S. Dawson

10 Nov

hitPublisher: Simon & Schuster
Released: April 14th, 2015
Genre: YA dystopian
Source: Review copy from publisher

 

NO ONE READS THE FINE PRINT.

The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that we were bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy’s list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own.

Since yarn bombing is the only rebellion in Patsy’s past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren’t strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy’s list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

Delilah S. Dawson offers an absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality just steps away from ours—a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.

From Goodreads.

This book had a really really cool and a really really scary premise. It was something I could actually see happening in the future. So I didn’t have to suspend my sense of belief for the plot. I did a bit, though, for the relationship between Wyatt and Patsy.

I know in the blurb their “intense chemistry” is mentioned but for me, the attraction was a bit too quick and deep, especially given the circumstance they were in. I would think given the fact that Patsy had to kill Wyatt’s brother that there would be a bit more tension and push and pull between them. They seemed to fall in love (or lust?) rather quickly and formed an instant bond. It just didn’t ring 100% true to me. Of course, I am also very picky about my romance in books and this could totally just be a me thing.

With that being said, I did enjoy the book and the writing. The fact that she had to kill these people in order to keep her mother and herself alive was horrifying. And I really felt the struggle that Pasty had with what she wanted to do versus what she she had to do. And the total feeling of having no control over her life.

There were also some big surprises that I didn’t see coming and true moments of “OMG I can’t believe that just  happened” which far outweighed my unease with the swiftness of the romantic relationship.

This was a fast-paced read that had some truly horrifying moments in it that only added to the suspense and tension in the story. It was well written and well plotted and very enjoyable.

Some Fine Day — Kat Ross

27 Oct

fineday

 

Publisher:Strange Chemistry
Released: July 1st, 2014
Genre: YA dystopia
Source:  Review copy from author

 

A generation ago, continent-sized storms called hypercanes caused the Earth to flood. The survivors were forced to retreat deep underground and build a new society.

This is the story that sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist has heard all of her life.

Jansin grew up in a civilization far below the Earth’s surface. She’s spent the last eight years in military intelligence training. So when her parents surprise her with a coveted yet treacherous trip above ground, she’s prepared for anything. She’s especially thrilled to feel the fresh air, see the sun, and view the wide-open skies and the ocean for herself.

But when raiders attack Jansin’s camp and take her prisoner, she is forced to question everything she’s been taught. What do her captors want? How will she get back underground? And if she ever does, will she want to stay after learning the truth?

From Goodreads

 

What a freaking captivating book! From the opening line I was hooked. Ross wrote a beautiful book with universal themes that are so important. She weaves them together seamlessly for a story that seems like it could be taken from a page in our very near future.

Jansin is such a cool character. I loved watching her grow throughout the book and really come into her own. Her coming of age story is a huge part of the main story line and never once did it come off as cliche or boring.

Sometimes in dystopian novels, the things that have changed the world are pretty unbelievable. In Some Fine Day, the weather has gone all wonky, creating the hypercanes. Holy freaking believable!  Given the drastic changes we’ve had with the weather the last couple of years, some of the descriptions of what’s going on in the book, weather-wise, gave me goosebumps.

There’s some romance but it fits into the main plot and doesn’t feel forced at all. It added to the story and I really enjoyed it. And we all know how picky I am about my romance in books. 🙂

I really, really enjoyed Some Fine Day. So much that I hope the author is thinking about a sequel.

 

 

America Pacifica – Anna North

27 Sep

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Released: June 12th, 2012
Genre: Dystopia
Review copy from publisher

Eighteen-year-old Darcy lives on the island of America Pacifica–one of the last places on earth that is still habitable, after North America has succumbed to a second ice age. Education, food, and basic means of survival are the province of a chosen few, while the majority of the island residents must struggle to stay alive. The rich live in “Manhattanville” mansions made from the last pieces of wood and stone, while the poor cower in the shantytown slums of “Hell City” and “Little Los Angeles,” places built out of heaped up trash that is slowly crumbling into the sea. The island is ruled by a mysterious dictator named Tyson, whose regime is plagued by charges of corruption and conspiracy.

But to Darcy, America Pacifica is simply home–the only one she’s ever known. In spite of their poverty she lives contentedly with her mother, who works as a pearl diver. It’s only when her mother doesn’t come home one night that Darcy begins to learn about her past as a former “Mainlander,” and her mother’s role in the flight from frozen California to America Pacifica. Darcy embarks on a quest to find her mother, navigating the dark underbelly of the island, learning along the way the disturbing truth of Pacifica’s early history, the far-reaching influence of its egomaniacal leader, and the possible plot to murder some of the island’s first inhabitants–including her mother.

From  publisher’s website

I LOVE dysopic stories that start right in the middle of things. We don’t get to see what happened to make things they way there are. We don’t get long explanations of what’s what. And that’s how America Pacifica starts. We’re immediately thrown into Darcy world. No preamble, no explanation. Just – splat! – there it is. It really gave the story a sense of immediacy in the beginning that continued throughout the book.

I love how the world that Darcy lives in, the poverty that she experiences day after day is the back drop for the mystery of her mother’s disappearance. There’s more than meets the eye with both the island AND Darcy’s mother and North weaves the two together wonderfully. Nothing ever feels force or fake. Every word, every phrase is believable.

I loved Darcy and the way that North wrote her. She isn’t a super hero. She isn’t a super whiny teen. She’s an average girl who has to do above average things to get what she wants. And what she wants is to know what happened to her mother.

This isn’t a happy little story with a nice, happy little ending. Bad shit goes down. But not in a sensational way. Nothing is done for shock factor although there are some shocking things in America Pacifica.

This is a very nitty gritty dystopia, but it didn’t leave me feeling depressed. I think this is a testament to the talent of the writer. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from North.

Pure – Julianna Baggott

11 Apr

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .


Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it’s his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

I have to be honest: for the first couple of chapters, I really wasn’t feeling this book. Could have been my mood, could have been the writing, could have been the characters, could have been the pull of the tides, I dunno. But I almost put it down a couple of times. But something – some nugget – kept me going. And I’m very glad that I did. Because by chapter three I was in love with this book.

It’s a bit hard to talk about what I liked about Pure without giving some of the story away, and I HATE spoiling things for other readers. So I’ll try to skirt around some of the surprises and secrets while still letting you know why you may want to give this book a go.

Okay, first Pressia’s world. The fusing that is mentioned in the book blurb? So cool and gross and disturbing and disgusting and brilliant. I want Pure to be made into a movie just so I can see the fusing come to life. But really, I don’t need to see it in a movie because Baggott describes it so well and vividly that I felt, quite often, that I COULD see it. (Which may be why it took me a couple of chapters to like the book, maybe. She’s quite graphic in her descriptions right off the bat, and I think it took me a while to feel comfortable with it).

After the brokenness of Pressia’s world, when we’re first introduced to where Partridge lives, The Dome, its order and starkness are obvious. I loved how even though The Dome is supposed to be the better option of the two, it quickly becomes evident that all is not as it appears.

Pure is told from several different view points. It took me a bit to understand why some of the secondary characters were getting their own chapters. But trust me, it all fits together. And a couple of those secondary characters ended up being my favorite parts of the book.

Pure took a bit of time to grow on me, but once I warmed up to it, I warmed up to it completely. I think this is a dystopian that will appeal  to a lot of people.

Thanks bunches to the folks at Hachette Canada for the review copy.