Saturday, October 24, 2015

Review: Prodigy

Prodigy (Legend, #2)Prodigy (Legend #2)
Marie Lu

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector. It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. 
But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

You can read my review of Legend here. 

After Legend's promising start, I had high hopes for Prodigy. I'll say I really enjoyed reading it- I was totally sucked in. However, it didn't totally blow my mind with it's originality like the first installment. 

The whole joining-the-rebellion-only-to-find-out-the-rebellion-is-corrupt-too is a staple in the genre. (By corrupt I just mean not the utopia the heroes imagined) The best-friend-and-constant-companion-turned-love-interest is also something we see in every other YA read. Also, I-didn't-tell-you-so-as-not-to-hurt-you. Also, trust issues. You know the drill.

So yeah, all our favorite overdone cliches were there. Despite all that, there were lots of twist and surprises that kept me hooked. Tess experiences growing up, and she gets some well-deserved attention in Prodigy. June, I learned, IS ACTUALLY 15 despite sounding 30 in her head. Day and June both utilize their smarts and strengths in this novel, making it a fun read. Anden being profoundly different from what everyone expects serves as a nice little moral hidden here, too. 

I also liked the problem solving skills that our MCs show off. Instead of the typical 100 pages of everyone being mad at each other and doing stupid things because of a misunderstanding, Day and June talk things out after they fight and take leaps of faith for each other. They both earned my respect and saved the pages of the book for the real interesting stuff. If in the previous book I wasn't all over the relationship, I'm totally rooting for it now.

As for the ending - I rolled my eyes and grunted in annoyance but I am salivating for Champion. Rating: 5 stars

Happy reading!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post

Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post are weekly memes hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Honestly, it's so long in between these posts that I think I miss stuff! Behold, my haul since June: (Links to the reviews!)

Unravel Me and Ignite Me (Shatter Me #2 and #3) by Tahareh Mafi

Legend and Prodigy (Legend #1 and #2) by Marie Lu

Image result for percy jackson's greek heroesThe Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2) by Robert Gailbraith

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J Maas

In other news, expect some new, beautiful changes here at Boarding with Books. Stay tuned!

What have you recieved of late?? 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Review: Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes

Percy Jackson's Greek HeroesPercy Jackson's Greek Heroes
Rick Riordan
Companion to Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Percy Jackson's Greek Gods

Who cut off Medusa's head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, ( I've had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I'm going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .) and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan's legions of devoted fans--and for anyone who needs a hero. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you've got arrows in your quiver. We're going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we'll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let's do this.

I don't need to tell you about Percy Jackson. All I need to say is that if you love him, if you love Greek myths, and EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW THEM, this is your book.

Right after I finished Percy Jackson's Greek Gods (link to my review), the other gorgeous, coffee table-sized companion, I immediately started salivating for a book about the heroes. Imagine my delight when it's release was announced right away... a year before. Basically, was so psyched to receive my preorder after 12 months of agonizing wait.

AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. Back are the chapter titles, and Percy's unique sarcasm on everything. And this time, he brings up his own experience with everyone quite a lot! I loved the little reminders of all the fun times we had as kids with him. (No spoilers, don't worry)

Also, HOORAY FEMINISM! Rick Riordan really made an effort for the ladies and it shows. He includes the stories of Otrera, Atalanta, and Cyrene, all lesser known. He also makes a point of explaining how sucky life was for women back in ancient times, and of course how stupid Percy thinks that is. 

And of course, John Rocco's ever-amazing illustration. Truly, just a feast for the eyes. And did I mention this book is HUMONGOUS? Well, it's HUMONGOUS. 416 super-sized pages of glorious Greek fun. Rating: 


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: Reached

Reached (Matched, #3)Reached (Matched #3)
Ally Condie

Cassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter.

The wait is over.

One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion. With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international–bestselling Matched trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long, the power to choose.

You can read my review of Crossed (Matched #2) here.

*Spoilers for Reached*

Let's be honest. The Matched trilogy was marketed as a hit, but pretty much flopped for everyone at some point. For most people it was Crossed. For me, the whole series had huge potential but all installments were overall letdowns. However, I do think that if I had studied this book/series in school, it could be a lot more intellectually interesting. There are a lot of big issues that could lead to good debates, lots of little details that didn't affect the overall plot arc but might have been fun to discuss.

My mine point of criticism is how PASSIVE our characters are, and you get that especially in Reached. Cassia, Ky and even Xander (though less than the other two) just go wherever they're taken and do what they're told. They all seem to be interested in saving their own skins and families and leaving all the drama behind. The problem with that is that it leaves the story with no big motive, no inspiration or hopes and emotional involvment from the reader. Honestly, how am I supposed to care about what's going on if none of them do? 

The saving grace when it comes to the characters is Xander. He toils day and night saving people no matter what the personal cost to him. He follows orders when he needs to but takes initiative many times, too. Naturally he is taken for granted by Cassia and ultimately does not get the girl.

Which brings me to my next problem. Lei was introduced basically just so Xander could have someone to be with in the end. Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE WHEN WRITERS DO THAT. Why couldn't Ally Condie have spared us Indie's (UTTERLY POINTLESS) death and have her be with one of the boys? She liked both and both liked her at points in the trilogy. And she had a role to play always- adding some much-needed spunk to the story. 

Ally Condie's lyrical prose was nice as usual, but this 550 page VERY quiet rebellion could have been condensed into many fewer pages and would save many people the struggle to finish. Overall, not original enough, not character-based enough, and too much build-up for little to no climax. Rating:

Happy reading!