Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Hunger Games, Bleeding Violet, and Wake

The three YA books I've read in the past week or so. Here are my thoughts (warning, there are some spoilers!):

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. One word. A-maz-ing. I literally could not put it down. I've heard a lot about this book for the past few months, but it didn't really appeal to me. Futuristic, dystopian - so not my taste. But I finally gave in because I just had to know what all the fuss was about. And also read something different from what I normally pick up. And I am so glad I did. This book lived up to all the hype and more. It was fast-paced, action packed, and so well written. I loved the descriptions. I felt like I was watching a movie. But she didn't go overboard, like so many authors do, where you end up getting completely bogged down in useless descriptions. She created this world so concisely I had no trouble picturing it whatsoever, yet she didn't tell me every last detail so that I couldn't make my own picture in my head. And the characters, who I thought I wasn't going to like at first, grew on me so much throughout the story and became so unique, even the minor ones. And of course the plot is completely intriguing. I can't wait to read the sequel, which for some reason isn't on Kindle yet. :(

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves. Also a book that I heard a lot of buzz about. At first it was all rave reviews, but when I read reader reviews on Amazon I was surprised to see a lot of mixed reviews, some of which were downright angry and cruel. And I have to say, I was slightly disappointed with the book. No doubt it's an interesting concept, girl runs away to a town plagued by monsters, but I never got a good sense of Hanna, the MC, or really any of the characters. Hanna has all these things that you think would make her interesting; bi-racial, manic depressive, etc. but she fell flat for me. I never understood why she was so promiscuous, or why that was even necessary for her character. I have no problem with sex in YA books, when it's done right and has some sort of meaning in the story.

In Bleeding Violet, Hanna admits to being slutty and sleeps with the hero, Wyatt, seemingly for no real reason at all other than that she could. It didn't seem to move the story forward or have any impact at all, Hanna doesn't even take it seriously, so what was the point?

I felt like there were some inconsistencies in the story, the plot got confusing at times. I also felt like I didn't get a clear picture of what the characters looked like, what the monsters looked like, etc.

Finally, Wake by Lisa McMann (and also Fade by Lisa McMann). At first I thought that the third person present tense in which the books are written was very distracting. Janie walks to the kitchen. Janie drinks orange juice..., etc. But the more I got into the story, the less I noticed it. I didn't like Janie at first, but she so grew on me. The premise, about a girl who gets sucked into other dreams and has the ability to change the dream, is so different and interesting. It's hard not to want to see what happens. The hero, Cabel, I totally fell in love with. You don't really notice him to begin with, but when he finally starts showing up you realize what a totally great guy he is. He and Janie make a great pair and I loved the interaction between them, it was so genuine. They are pretty mature for teenagers, but it's believable because of their pasts.

I also read the sequel, Fade, which I enjoyed even more than Wake. Now I'm just waiting for the third book, Gone, to be available on Kindle :)