Category Archives: Genre: Dystopian Lit

Extras by Scott Westerfeld

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Extras (Uglies, #4)Extras by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Slight Spoilers

If the previous books were about the world’s obsession with looks, not being invisible and the need to be something you’re not in order to feel special than this book is about the obsession with reality TV and the need to expose everything of ourselves in the effort to get some attention.

New characters abound and while Aya’s naiveté was understood I often found myself annoyed with the way in which she acted, which I suspect was the intention. She cares more about being famous, than being trusted but there is a delightful evolution from the girl she is in the beginning of the book and who she comes by the end.

This is truly an interesting novel, and shows how the world can become corrupt even when there is a perceived freedom.

I really enjoyed this novel, despite what I felt was a slow beginning and the action and pacing of it toward the middle and end was what made it for me.

I would encourage almost everyone to read this series.

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Specials by Scott Westerfeld

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Specials (Uglies, #3)Specials by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was the one I had the hardest time getting into out of the series thus far but yet the end was fantastic. The development and growth of Tally after the degradation of yet another manipulation was supremely well done.

The thought of invisibility, and being unknown to those around you had me nodding my head in a few parts.

But it was in the thought of how brutality man can be that really had me frightened about the implications of a world like this, where people push into the wild to take what they want and take no prisoners while doing so. But the almost triumphant ending had me quite content.

The slang fell away slightly in this novel to some glorious descriptive explanations of what was going on that allowed me to close my eyes and really picture the world as it burned down around them.

It’s an interesting commentary on the direction the world is currently heading in and there are few characters with whom I could not sympathize with during this book.

Anyone who likes dystopian reflected in a way that is engrained with messages of where our current “Utopia” is heading this is definitely the book for you. It shows us the direction of lives and people who have not heeded the warning messages inherent in nature.

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Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (Very Bubbly Making, short spoilers)

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Pretties (Uglies, #2)Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is totally bubbly making.

And now that I’ve gotten my one, and hopefully only use of the slang out of this book…Here are my thoughts.

I don’t know what I expected to happen in this book but this was definitely not it and I’m not complaining about that. The thought of losing ones identity so much just to be what the world wants you to be is terrifying. But then to have it all come rushing back and realizing the circumstances behind you losing yourself are even worse.

The science behind these books is fascinating and I wish that it was explained a little more in depth though I’m certain it will be within the next couple of books.

Tally is still as interesting a character to me as she was in the first book, perhaps even more so because despite being pretty she inadvertently cures herself, most likely due to a placebo effect and believing that she was cured.

David wasn’t in this book a lot but when he was he ended up being as kind of a character as he could be given the circumstances.

This was a very solid second book in a series, and with the way it ended I’m actually quite excited to move onto the third.

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Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

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Uglies (Uglies, #1)Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was not a book I looked forward to reading but one I felt I needed to have on my list. I’m not really sure why but when I opened it I did not expect what I got.

And what I got was beyond my wildest imagination.

The beauty in this book is in the details of the world around them in the beginning. The way everyone is watched, but especially it seems the “uglies” those who have unique features and faces and aren’t yet up to snuff in society.

The beauty in the continuation of the book is the realization in that there is nothing wrong with being unique, and nothing wrong with being who you are but knowing that sometimes masks have to be worn in order to survive and triumph over that pigeonhole society is trying to fit you into.

The characters in this are very human, in their concerns, in their want and need to be pretty, or their rejection of all that is considered beautiful by the mainstream.

It was a very fulfilling novel and I’m certain Pretties will be the same.

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The Death Cure by James Dashner

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The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)The Death Cure by James Dashner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Slight Spoilers
This book was the hardest out of the three to read for me, largely because I was exhausted and this book which is so detail heavy was hard for me to focus on.

The most interesting part of this for me was the evolution of the characters, or in some cases the de-evolution.

Thomas has remained relatively steady, and staunch in his beliefs and unlike some I don’t believe he needed to regain his memories in order to be the person he needed to be in the end. In fact I think he needed to remain without them, keeping his main personality characteristics and building off an almost blank slate. It was great to see him struggle though considering how stuck he’s seemed in a certain mindset as he realizes that sometimes he needs to make sacrifices and that he really can’t save everyone.

This book wasn’t perfect, but the ending was what blew me away, and when a friend told me I just needed to make it to the end suddenly it was like I was motivated by curiosity to finish. I blew through the end of the book, watching conflict unfold with a growing sense of dread.

But the ending? It made so much sense to me. In fact it made perfect sense. All in all this book left me feeling very fulfilled.

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The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (Spoilers Abound)

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The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was definitely not as encompassing for me as a reader as the first book was but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it at all. In fact I enjoyed it quite a bit, despite my needing to go back and re-read a few parts (I tended to read too fast then go back to see what I’d missed).

The detail of the world they are in is very vivid, and I found myself imagining it quite easily.

The ending was quite surprising for me yet not, because I had never been too sure of the nature of the Theresa character and now I’m certain I won’t trust her again at all. I did like how much emotion was put into Thomas’ reactions to her betrayal, and his realization shifting about what he needs to do to survive.

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The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)The Maze Runner by James Dashner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t really know what to think of this book at first. I found the language used, instead of swearing to be honestly jarring at first before I settled into the story. It pulled me in and I was intrigued, brain working to try and figure out what the maze could mean and why children? I know, logically dystopian fiction does seem to be the most popular genre in YA literature as of late, but each writer has their reason.

I grew to enjoy the characters, even though they weren’t people I would like in real life, Thomas filled with a sense of morals that he couldn’t necessarily reconcile with any sort of memory, Teresa with her mind-speak, Chuck with his good humour and in the end protective nature.

I’m quite excited to read the next book.

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Allegiant by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was written in a much different style, I felt, then the previous two. It offered POV’s from two characters, including Four/Tobias, who I had always wanted to know more about, in terms of his thoughts and feelings. This book provided a great insight to more of his fears, as well as his past which was nicely written and detailed.

The ending of this book was almost jarring, because I never suspected that this was the route these novels would take, call me naive but I really didn’t. Yet it seemed loyal and true to the character of Tris, and her general response to run into things first without taking time to think about how it would effect those left behind. It was a selfless and selfish act, all rolled into one and something I really enjoyed.

The writing style is still a little loose, and not tightly tied together enough, with a few eye rolling dialogue moments but yet there is something about the way it is written that just draws me in. It’s good story telling.

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Matched by Ally Condie. A pleasant surprise.

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Matched (Matched, #1)Matched by Ally Condie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I bought this book on Kobo after some discussion about the YA dystopian fiction trend, as a friend recommended it to me and although I initially was unimpressed my opinion quickly changed.

This is one of those novels where it’s almost hard to get a handle on the other characters because of the POV. We love Cassia’s grandfather and parents because she loves them. We love Ky because she does, but characters like Xander remain unfulfilled because we only see one point of view. I think this develops a bit of weakness in a plot that is supposed to be about a love triangle. Ky is preferred because he seems like the only choice. This is fantastic in terms of us wanting to be in the characters shoes fully, but not so good if you’re a reader who likes to pick their own path.

The character of Ky though, is simply fascinating. An aberration who is nicely flawed in his jealousy, but passionate in his maintenance of his own person, and not giving in.

The world in Matched is one that scares me, with food moderated so heavily as to manipulate a population, which in the history of the world is not unheard of and while history does repeat itself in reality, it made this plot more real. The restriction on knowledge and books however was something that terrified me, as the thirst for knowledge itself actually seemed to be taken away from these people.

All in all, I’m excited for next pay day to get my hands on the second novel.

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