Category Archives: Dystopian

Reached by Ally Condie

Reached by Ally Condie

Reached is the final book in the Matched trilogy and completes the story very nicely. There’s no specific end, nothing wrapped up in a perfect bow. Life continues and it might be a happy ending and it might not, and you are never quite sure if the Rising is good or not or if it’s just an alternative to the Society while being pretty much the Society repackaged, but it still is such a satisfying conclusion. This one is told from three alternating points of view, Cassia, Ky, and Xander, which is very effective. It spurred several very interesting conversations with my 13 and 15 year olds. I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoyed the first two in the series.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 41
Pages Read in 2022: 15,145
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Young Adult

Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed by Ally Condie

There’s a lot of running in Crossed. There’s also a lot of finding. Compared to the first and third books in the trilogy, this one moves a lot slower. The alternating Ky/Cassia points of view works very well. There are many questions, but few answers, the biggest being is Ky right? Should they go to the Rising? Is it any better than the Society? There comes a point when things start moving a lot quicker and some chapters are less than a page which is very effective particularly when combined with the alternating POVs. This book sets up the next one very well while still having a satisfactory ended. I highly recommend it (the whole trilogy) to anyone who enjoys young adult dystopian.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 31
Pages Read in 2022: 11,232
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Young Adult

Generation M by Scott Cramer

Generation M by Scott Cramer

Generation M is the third and final book in the Toucan Trilogy. Once again, the author did an excellent job of nutshelling every time something that hadn’t been mentioned since a previous book came up. The character development continued to be excellent and not just in the children. I found it fascinating how the majority of the adults were so attached to the thought that kids couldn’t possibly be creating a thriving society without the help of adults. I thought that was probably one of the most realistic things in the entire book. I highly recommend this book and the entire series to anyone who enjoys young adult dystopian.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 26
Pages Read in 2022: 9166
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie

I first read Matched a decade ago and I remembered enjoying it a lot so I decided to read it to my 13- and 15-year-olds for their bedtime story. Once again I enjoyed it very much. We had many great conversations sparked by the chapter or two we read that day. It was very interesting to discover one of my sons would be okay with being matched if it really did guarantee a successful marriage while my other son was totally against the idea. The book is dystopian, but the Society is presented as utopian. As with any utopian-appearing place it is anything but utopia. That inspired a discussion about how some people see the cracks in the perfect facade while others do not or deliberately overlook them and which type of person they’d want to be. The romance part of the book is sweet and very clean (one of my sons, who enjoys a little romance but gets annoyed if there is too much, was very much a fan of the amount in this book). I love the author’s writing style. I just find it very comforting somehow just in the way she phrases things. The use of a poem to push Cassia to act is very clever (and, back when my older daughter read the series at the same time I originally did, it kind of caused her to become a little obsessed with Dylan Thomas and especially with Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night). I’m glad I decided to reread this book and share it with my boys. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult dystopian.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 19
Pages Read in 2022: 6893
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Young Adult

Night Without End by DP Fitzsimons

Night Without End by DP Fitzsimons

I read the first book in this series a few years ago so it was a bit hard to get up to speed reading this second one. The author didn’t really go over what happened previously much at all (mostly just hints through dialogue) so until about a quarter or so through I was struggling to remember and a little bit lost. The fact the “trick” happened basically the same way twice to both ships was kind of annoying, but then I guess if it worked once they figured it would work again. There was a bit too much graphic violence for my tastes. Overall, though, I enjoyed the book (even if the cover really freaks me out). I cared deeply about the characters and wanted to keep reading to find out whether they get infected or eaten or not and whether any of them would survive to get to New Earth (I guess since there are more books in the series I assumed some would but I wanted to know which ones it would be). I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adult sci-fi or dystopian.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 16
Pages Read in 2022: 6090

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N, Science Fiction, Young Adult

The Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin

The Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin

The Obelisk Gate is the second book in the Broken Earth series and, like the first book, I spent the majority of this one completely confused about what was going on. It would seem that that would make the book not very enjoyable, but it’s actually pretty great. Hoa is continuing to tell the story to “you” (the book is written to Essun, the main character, which is a very interesting and effective writing style choice). In this book you get to know Essun’s daughter Nassun better and it turns out she’s pretty awesome (and powerful) and it is quite interesting watching her come into and start to understand what she can do. I hope I am less confused by the third book, but even if I’m not I am sure it will be a good book, too. I recommend The Obelisk Gate to people who enjoyed the first book in the series.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 8
Pages Read in 2022: 2784

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Mind Voyages, Reason: We Be Book'N, Science Fiction

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

There’s so much that annoys me about Allegiant. First, she chose to alternate which character (Tobias/Tris) narrates the chapters. She needed to do that since having it all narrated by Tris definitely wouldn’t work in the end. Normally, I quite enjoy that writing style. The problem with this book is there’s no discernable difference between Tris’s voice and Tobias’s voice. It’s very easy to forget whose chapter it is because they all sound the same which is weird because those two characters think, talk, and act very differently and so should not sound the same at all. Second, the characters often act so stupid, though this is a problem throughout the entire series. They get hung up on things they shouldn’t and it makes alllll the difference in their lives. It gets really old. Third, this book only seems slightly related to the rest of the series. It’s so incredibly different. Fourth, the whole genetically pure/genetically damaged thing is silly. So, so silly. And that’s what the entire story hinges on. Fifth, Tobias having a total meltdown about not actually being Divergent to the point he wonders if Tris will even still love him is utterly ridiculous and immature. So what if he’s not Divergent/genetically pure. He can still fight the serums which is kind of extra cool since it’s not an expected result for someone who is “genetically damaged.” Sixth, David still being all hung up on Tris’s mom and him just not being able to have her submit reports once she joined Abnegation and got married is utterly ridiculous. He’s running an entire bureau over these experiment cities. Grow up. Seventh, Tris leaving her gun in the hallway before entering the weapons lab is not within character. She’d have had that gun. Maybe she wouldn’t have used it, but she’d have had it with her. Eighth, the kissing scenes are uncomfortably awkward and seem to be shoved in there in order to make it sort of a romance. They are totally unnecessary or should’ve been written better. They were all pretty much identical. The very end, the last few chapters and the epilogue, are good, probably the best part of the whole series and definitely the best part of Allegiant. That part is raw and honest. The rest? Kind of insufferable.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 6
Pages Read in 2022: 2114

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Young Adult

Colony East by Scott Cramer

Colony East by Scott Cramer

I read the first book in The Toucan Trilogy almost five years ago and never got around to reading the second book, Colony East, until now. The author did a great job over the first few chapters nutshelling what happened in the first book so I was able to remember it easily and not feel lost at all even though it’s been so long since I read it. The characters in this trilogy are very well-rounded and their growth throughout this book is very well done. I found it fascinating (and likely accurate) that the few surviving adults don’t think the kids can pull together a new world without adult help even though they are clearly doing just that on their own. I really enjoyed this book and hopefully will get the third book read before another five years go by! I recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult dystopian novels.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 5
Pages Read in 2022: 1569

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: I Like the Series, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie

This is not your average love story. There’s love, sure, but mostly there’s revenge and anger because of that love. Like Poe, I never knew who to trust and of course the one person I barely suspected at all was the very one I should’ve suspected the whole time. The writing is fabulous. The cadence and sentence structure really appeals to me. The story unfolds at a good rate. It’s a standalone novel, but there is some connection to the Matched trilogy (absolutely no need to read the trilogy first). I truly enjoyed reading this book. I recommend it to everyone who enjoys books about totally awesome girls.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 91
Pages Read in 2021: 29,437

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N, Science Fiction

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I had forgotten just how utterly annoying and immature Tris is in Insurgent. She was kind of awesome in Divergent and then she became this sniveling lovesick annoying and completely ridiculous person in Insurgent. The whole thing about keeping how Will died a secret made no sense. Once they found out, Four and Christina were so angry, but it was clear self defense. It’s not like Tris hunted Will down while he was under a simulation in order to kill him. He would’ve killed her without hesitation. But for some reason no one in the book has any common sense and so it’s obviously reason to destroy friendships. When it comes to Tris going to Erudite headquarters to prevent further simulation deaths, she acted exactly as everyone should’ve expected her to act. Four is really kind of dumb when dealing with his mother. How he didn’t think she would want to take over I have no idea. I do more or less like the Divergent series including Insurgent, but it’s my least favorite of the three.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 87
Pages Read in 2021: 28,345

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys