Hiiii, I'm Patricia, I'm 18 and I like to read books. I also love music and writing so there's that, too. Nice to meet you! :D
To be quite honest, this book came off as a surprise because I didn't expect it to be good. I didn't expect it to have a rich world-building that makes sense, well-researched facts and information, have a heroine that is so kick-ass that she could probably beat KatnissEverdeen, have mostly women leaders, writing that's decent and captivating in some ways and a romance left mostly on the side, while dealing with much heavier subjects. So to say that I had no idea what I was getting myself into would be an understatment of the year.
I have a problem now where I don't exactly know what to say. I'm having a hard time trying to actually structure this in some kind of way and write a review at least half decent.
This book could've gone wrong. After all, it's dystopia and there are so many of them today that I don't even bother to read them. And unfortunately, most of them aren't even worth mentioning because they have zero research, zero accuracy and stupid main characters that think they are smart. Well, let me tell you something, this book has none of it. It's also not a happy book - not even close. There are rare glimpses of humour but they are so rare that they're almost unnoticeable.
The main character, Jansin, isn't quirky, nor sarcastic, nor witty, but she's smart, she's serious, she doesn't complain, and cares more about the others than herself. She doesn't try to make herself pass as average. She doesn't go around complaining about the way she looks. Actually, she even likes herself. She's strong-minded and knows what she wants. She's not afraid to stand up for herself and do what she thinks it's right. She's not afraid to shot a man down or fight with a guy thrice her size only with her hands. She knows when she does something wrong. She knows when she does something stupid. And you know what? I liked her a lot. She may not be all of the things I said above (a little bit more above), but I wouldn't expect her to be like that when she's training to go to a fucking military and was learning her whole life to act a certain way. Still, her beliefs change throughout the book, she becomes more observant to the world she lives in and freer that she's been before. It's amazing, watching her change and take a hold of her life. The only problem that I may had with her is that sometimes she sounded almost too wise for her age. I definitely didn't sound like that when I was 16 (which really isn't that far away) but then again, I didn't grow up in her world so I can't exactly be the judge of her. I really liked that the main focus was on her and her only and even though there is romance, it's done smoothly and without over exaggeration. There's no instalove(lust), no 'I love you's shouted from the rooftops and horny teenagers thinking more about how they want to shag each other than possibly saving the world. Instead, we get two strong-minded people who will do everything to escape the horrible world they've been thrown in. It's simple, without them being all over each other (not counting the end. Like literally, *spoiler alert* they had their first kiss at the end of the book, when they were safe, which was like me going: Hell yeah!!!!")
Those two characters, Jansin and Will, aren't afraid to kill, to break into the buildings, to risk their lives, to threat the others and I liked it. I liked their self-dependence, I liked their determination and I liked their simple love, crush, whatever. They didn't get me all worked up and almost throwing my tablet across the room. Instead, I enjoyed them. Simple as that.
One more thing that make this book even better, is how women were handled. They are leaders here, bad or good, it doesn't matter. We have a female Captain, a female that is the head of the Academy in which Jansin is training in, a female that is one of the most important people in the research program/science lab/for the love of god I can't remember exactly what, and a female, in this case our heroine, that kicks butts of the men twice or thrice her size and stands up to them without a fear. Females. Females rule this book and the feminist in me loved it in every way possible. That doesn't mean that the men aren't involved, because they sure as hell are, but when we're talking about positions in society, females are mostly on the top. It was fucking great and I applaud the author for it.
Moreover, the thing that is, sadly, rarely found in dystopian novels, is the technology development. Fortunately, we have it here! I couldn't believe it, honestly! It doesn't matter that we went underground, and even though some stuff stayed the same, we have things that are different, better and upgraded, something that will definitely happen in future. Also, the way people live underground was believable. The author here actually thought about oxygen, water, food, fire, rain, weather altogether, to make us see that people there aren't living there by some freaky miracle, when we all know it wouldn't be so easy to live underground. Like I said, this book is well researched and that could've been seen from every angle. The global warming thing wasn't laughable and the way things turned out weren't unrealistic as such. A masochistic part in me wanted to give this book 3.5 stars only because the ending wasn't burtal (I'm merciless, I'd just kill everybody off, don't hate me), but I decided that that's me being unrealistic and dumb so I rounded it up to 4 because there wasn't much that I didn't like.
I don't know if there is a sequel prepared for this or not, but there is definitely space left for it. Even though things wrapped up nicely, I still think there would be some things to develop even more, even some of the characters. All in all, a great, dystopian read that I really enjoyed. I'll make sure to follow this author in the future.
This book... What do I say about this book? I've felt like I was reading a bad book remake of Mean Girls, only far less enjoyable and fun. This book tries really hard. It tries really hard to show real life morals, what's right and what's wrong, the right to follow your dreams, importance of a family and acceptance... and it fails in almost every aspect. Instead of topics mentioned above being a main focus of a book, we get our main characters Lily pining half of a time over her hot new neighbour and thinking about how hot he is and how she reaaaaaally wants him to kiss her, and the other half of the time reminding us how her ex-best friend Melanie is a bitch and a slut for wearing tops and shorts and... yeah, no. Look, Mean Girls makes it fun and funny and mate, I laughed every time I watched that movie but I'd never taken it seriously and was always looking at it as a hilarious (but even a true) way of portraying high school. But this book doesn't even try to make it hilarious. Okay, yes, I know Lily's dealing with family issues, her career issues (um yeah) and a hot boy, but maaaaaaaate, you don't have to slut-shame right and left and make sure to point out how you are better than every other girl and how much of a bitch Melanie isssssss. This book didn't want to be funny, I get it, but you shouldn't have thrown Mean Girls vibe into the mix then.
I don't even know what writing here was, to be honest. It was, at the same time, overly repetitive, and was lacking some much-needed descriptions. Reading a "he said this, she said that" and "I did this, he did that" over and over again gets boring. It's always telling, no showing. I couldn't connect with characters in any possible way because there was no emotion whatsoever behind any of it.
Another major issue I've had with writing particularly, was dialogue. It was so awkward and out of the place 99% of a time and every other sentence, characters seemed to drop the bombshells on each other (and on us, readers), that I'd stop reading and ask myself "Where the hell did that come from?" For example:
Dr. Cohen gestured to some chairs by Jack's desk. "Let's all have a seat." His serene demeanor was soothing, and I started to calm a bit. We all sat, but I couldn't keep my eyes off Dad.
"Lily, I screwed up. I've hit rock bottom. I'm going to rehab."
The hell? Where the fuck did that come from? Give me some intro, some guiding in this bombshell you're dropping. But better yet, Lily isn't even surprised! She's just happy! Like she had expected it all along, even though her dad never seemed to want to recover or whatever.
Then we have this fucked up, confusing writing that seems to go on in almost every YA novel. Like, using words that make no sense, or making impossible things possible.
His jaw muscles twitched and his eyes looked stormy.
How the fuck did his eyes look stormy?Somebody, please, explain, because I've never seen the storm in anyone's eyes. Not even my mother's, and she can be an angry, angry woman.
My heart still hurt like hell.
Um, I think you should get that checked because, you know, I would get worried if my heart hurt like hell for so long. Maybe your heartache isn't a heartache because, um, heart isn't really broken and it can't really hurt from it. I mean, seriously?
The amount of unrealistic situations in this book also worries me. From the way Lily gets to the singing school, to the way her family issues get easily solved, from loving/unloving mother, from probably-cheating-somehow-boyfriend-but-you-won't-find-that-out-until-the-book-two crisis, to girls' war. Look, I get it, this book was going for an inspirational card, but let's be honest, if you want your dreams come true, it won't always be easy, it won't always go smooth. And maybe some would argue that this book shows that because Lily doesn't make her dreams come true from the first try, but the bumps that she meets along the road are barely there, and she dwells on them from about half a second before going back to thinking about Aiden. And after all, she gets everything done just like that and it pisses me off to no end. I'm quite sure that my family wouldn't be all "Yes! Yes! Go, go! Follow your dreams! Sing, just sing!" if I asked them to study in private school made for singing or whatever, just after I've done my share of "Please, please, pweasseeee! I'll pay for everything!!" To make things even better, Lily unbashfully shames all the singing competitions even though they make half of a music industry, doesn't own a phone, or has any of the social sites, and doesn't know that "that TV show with that high school choir" is called Glee even after actually watching it. It makes me wonder how the hell she would even make it in music industry with being as asocial and, well, as oblivious to the today's music industry as she is.
Then there are also her issues with apparently, shorts-wearing, top-wearing girls, and basically every fucking girl she comes in touch with. Because, you know, she's better than anyone and she's going to be a singer one day so who the fuck cares, right? And every girl who even looks at her Aiden is a slut, and Lily has every right to get jealous when he kisses another girl, even though they're not dating. She gets to act like an idiot, and Aiden always has to apologise no matter that they are not dating, that they're just friends. I don't even know why Aiden puts up with her. Of course, I could not know that when all I know is that he's hot and has daddy issues. Oh, he also has dimples (mentioned at least 34829423 times). Basically, none of the characters were built in any way. Mean girl is a mean girl, love interest is a love interest, and MC is perfect. Side characters are barely there. They're mentioned here and there, when the author remembers them, and they're just there to have some plotline.
This book lacks depth and actual emotions. We are always told how the character feels but I never got to feel whatever emotion the character was feeling. It was annoying, unrealistic, and unpalatable read. I won't pick up the next book in the series, no matter that there are one million cliffhangers at the end because I'm just not interested.
Now, excuse me while I do my I'm-sick dance along with Ed Sheeran's "Sing". I need fun in my life.
When I've first started reading this book, I thought it was trying to be funny. I thought that maybe the thing it was doing is that it put all these ridiculous events and bunch of stereotypes and made fun of it all. But as I read on, I realized that... actually no, this book was trying to be serious. Shocking, I know, because this is such an unrealistic, ridiculous book full of stereotypes it made me cringe so bad I thought my face was going to fall off.
Don't let the premise fool you, this is not a love/hate book, this is not a book dealing with coming out, struggling with it and such and it is in no way tragical. It's just a lot of dumb girls acting smart and destroying things and acting like they know everything there is to know.
First off, I'd like to start with Clarissa's... coming out. If you could even call it that. You know, as an actual person who clarifies herself as bi, I found it extremely offensive and just plain dumb. Not one queer person looks herself in a mirror one day and says "Oh hey, I'm going to be bi!!! Girls and boys are pretty!!! Oh yeah!!!" That's why I was thinking that maybe author was trying to make it funny because conservative straight people make it out to be this way, but no! That was actually motherfucking serious coming out!! Just... what the fuck? You don't look at a girl one day and go all "I'm bi, hihihihi." She just decides that she's bi. There's literally a quote in a book that says that but I'm too tired to try to find it now. I've known my whole life I was attracted to girls and boys both and okay, of course that one day it just became more obvious and accepted it with a bit of a freak out, but I certainly didn't smile and laugh while saying "I'm bi!!!!!" and announcing it to everyone I do and don't know just right after I decided that I'm bi. I'm actually baffled because this is not a joke. I seriously am.
And when we're with Clarissa already... how is she supposed to be smart? I don't get it. She's actually the stupidest person on the planet most of the time (or all the time really). She actually starts doubting that she's bi the next day she comes out because she has never kissed a girl, so she goes to the girl she sees on the street and kisses her. I mean, what? And then she's all "Oh yesss, that's the best kiss ever I'm totally bi!!!!" Do you see now why I thought this was some kind of a joke? Do you?
She's all pouty and pretty and she laughs a lot and she didn't know there are actual money problems until her family's house is put for foreclosure (she doesn't know what that and mortgage is before that happens.... I mean, come on now!). But somehow, she's praised by the fucking lawyer of her knowledge and is offered a job just because her lovely girlfriend knows some shit. I did whole facepalm thing after that. The whole novel through, Clarissa is this stupid girl who knows nothing about the world and then suddenly, we're told she's smart enough to work for a lawyer? Give me a fucking break.
Then we have Lexie. She'd be a somehow decent character if it weren't for all the stereotypes surrounding her. She's a vegan, she's all tomboyish, she's a punk, she's a smartass and she doesn't like people. What a shocker. She doesn' believe Clarissa's really bi (I don't too, but Lexie, you're just a softie) and she thinks Clarissa's stupid and all of that. I wished that has lasted throughout the whole book. I'd maybe even like Lexie if that remained. But of course, we don't actually get any sort of hate because they become quick besties and then girlfriends for half an hour (and Lexie gives Clarissa a ring for it????????????) and then.... *drum roll* ANGSTTTTTTT!!!!!!
It gets so fucking angsty over such dumb things that I couldn't believe what I was actually reading. One more proof that Clarissa is the dumbest girl ever and that Lexie is becoming stupider and stupider as the novel goes on. Both of them just become slowly more and more unlikable through the novel until you actually can't stand any of them and you want to throw your copy (or tablet, in my case) across the room.
You know, I was thinking of giving this book 2 stars just because the writing wasn't so bad and I gave many bad books higher rating just because of it, but then that one thing happen that I just couldn't turn a blind eye to, and I couldn't make myself give it any more than this.
Did you know that the actual thing that happens in this novel is that these two girls destroy Clarissa's former home with a fucking bulldozer?? That they have no idea how to use except that they've watched some movie that showed how to do it?? And that says it's not easy?? But they're so great at it they destroy it all! Oh and then there's a police chasing them and they leave their ski masks in the bushes! Are you kidding me? How fucking dumb are you? I don't know if police finds them because of course it's nowhere written but if you're going to commit a crime, then do it properly!
And then, guess what, they don't get busted by the police! Because good ol' Lexie's daddy is a rich man who will lie for his daughter and her girlfriend and then will punish his daughter real, real bad (and he doesn't even tell Clarissa's parents. They know nothing. Really. No joking here). If this were the real life, they'd be in jail in no time. Of course, they don't regret a thing and Clarissa would do it again. *facepalm*
Also, another thing what I didn't like what how poorly the money subject was done. It draws throughout the whole book just to be all fine and dandy in the end. Just like that.
Other characters in the book were just - there. Even Desi, Clarissa's sister with a Down syndrome, was just there so this novel would get sympathetic looks. Every character was emotionless through the whole book, and when the author was trying to write emotions, it felt so forced and so out-of-place I couldn't believe it.
Overall, the whole book was too unrealistic for a "realistic fiction" and too ridiculous to be believable. I'm sorry, but I didn't enjoy it one bit.
Goodreads... u okay????
The awkward moment when you feel no remorse while killing off a character, even though you probably should. My 12-year-old self didn't feel any when she killed off two main characters though, so I guess that didn't change over the course of the years. Well...
DNF at 62%.
I wouldn't be fucked to finish this even if you came to me and gave me all the money I need to live and study in London. And if you know me (which you probably don't but that's definitely not the point right now), you'd know that I'd give and do everything for that. So, to say this book pissed me off is an understatement of the fucking year. Look, I'm not British. I'm probably as far from British as it goes (though I believe I was born at the wrong place and at the wrong time), but for fuck's sake even I found this book offensive in some way. American writer writing British character? Please don't. Please don't if only thing you know about British people are stereotypes of the fucking stereotypes and BRITISH (British!!!) accent and the word 'love'. Are you fucking with me?? Seriously? This was supposed to be cute, funny, amazing, life changing or whatever? No. Just no. I don't even know why I bothered with this because NA genre is so fucked up and it always follows the same pattern and it really shouldn't be worth my precious time.
Okay, this wasn't as bad as Bully (nothing can be bad as that. Using such a serious subject like bullying to create sexual tension between two characters? What? Now I am supposed to believe that ever other guy who bullies me everyday is just in love with me? Good job, book, really. Okay, getting out of subject here), but it was annoying, frustrating to no end, with annoying main character and stereotypical British love interest. And I could not finish it no matter how hard I've tried.
Okay, let's do this by numbers because I'll forget something and then I'll be a sad sad human being.
1) Bliss - Bliss? Are you kidding me? I know most NA authors have ridiculous names for their characters but really? You couldn't come up with something... I don't know, prettier and less crazier? It's just... Bliss(ful). And the character herself? Well, if I am too mature for my age, according to my therapist and people around me, than she's a pre-mature little whiney girl who belongs in high school along with my dear, dear classmates. They'd probably get along really well. She's supposed to be 22 years old but she squeals like crazy over the hot guy's British accent every few minutes (I should've really counted how many times there was his accent mention until 62%. I'm starting to regret my decision not to), whines over not having sex and giggles over a guy with her best friend like teenage girls giggle and squeal and whine over some (boy) band (I sooooooooo not do that. Pffffff). Also, she's 22 and a virgin? Well... I hope I'm not her in her age. I'd feel downright pathetic. I mean, okay if you're waiting for marriage or something, but to want sex and not having it? Are you okay? Do you need me to check your temperature? Oh of course, she doesn't know she's pretty enough. Ah, blame my stupid brain.
2) Garrick - If you want tips on how to write a stereotypical British male character, this is a book for you. If you want a predictable male NA character, go for it! But I really, really didn't want that so I got really fucking annoyed and I wanted to hit the author in her face. He could've been written so much better. I wanted to enjoy this. I wanted this to be different. But it just didn't and I just couldn't go through it anymore.
3) Cats - Okay, really? That's your excuse? Seriously? I get it that the author was trying to be funny, and I did giggle at first, but just... why? She couldn't come up with something better? Because that was lame. And then Bliss goes on and buys a cat. For a guy. Just to prove him wrong. I mean... the stupidity of a character is on the whole other level here.
4) Clichés - I know I shouldn't have expected anything better but there are so many annoying clichés I almost gagged and threw my tablet across the room. Just... this book follows every single NA cliché and it really annoyed me and the writing was just nowhere nearly as good as it should've been. But that was expected.
5) Overall - I should've stayed away but I was too stupid to listen to my brain (or reviews, for that matter). It happens even to the smartest (not to say that I am, like really, I'm just trying to sound like a smartass. Okay, enough of explaining, I'm killing the mood). Annoying, annoying and just fucking annoying. Hopefully, I find another NA like Unteachable. It's seriously sad that this genre has so many bad novels. I want to cry (not really).
Now I'm going to read Days of Blood and Starlight because I need something I'll enjoy. Goodbye, peeps!