Thursday, 8 March 2012

Dystopia on the rise?

Is this really what we want? A dystopian future?
Ok, don't know about you guys, but I've noticed that dystopian books have been getting really popular. It seems like most movie companies want to make dystopian books into movies (i.e. I am number four, Hunger Games, Chaos Walking). I was wondering, what do you guys think it is about these war filled futures that really intrigue us? Is it that we know life on earth isn't getting any better, so we make up dystopian worlds just to see what our futures are going to be like? I mean, think about it. Gas prices are really starting to rise, and for all we know, one day we might not even have any to fuel cars and such. The book by , talks about how in the 'near future' (there is the word 'future' again) fossil fuels are running out, and soon we have no oil to run cars, no heat, supermarkets are empty, malls are closed. In a way, the story is hinting at how vulnerable we humans could become if we lost even one thing like fuel. Like there is some sort of chain reaction where everything is connected, and you take one thing away, you lose the whole puzzle. The there are books such as by
, that deal with subjects such as clones. The story is about children who are kept hidden inside a school that has dark secrets. Apparently, the children are clones, and as they grow older, they must become donors. This one hints at how desperate we might become in the future for organs, that secret organisations might start cloning. Of course, these are just some ideas, nothing we need to worry about in the next five, or ten years, but you never know. In the Hunger Games, the dystopian theme is focused on how the government is taking over, and that is another possibility in real life. To sum things up, it seems that we are all fascinated by the touchy topic of, how bad will the future be? Because it obviously doesn't seem to be getting better what with all the global warming, discrimination, racism, precious pure water, oil, etc.. I'm sure you guys all know about the sudden rise in library fines, and Toronto has sold its zoo for money... Lots of people have gone on strikes, lately. And then you must know about how in Egypt, there were conflicts with the president, and the citizens threw him down. In fact, there was also news on how Russia was planning on drilling in the arctic for oil! You guys see now where I'm coming from? Is this why the dystopian genre is so popular? Do we really want a dystopian future? Let me know what you guys think!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Monsters of Men By Patrick Ness (review/spoilers)

Third Book in the award winning Chaos Walking Trilogy.

"War," says the Mayor. "At last." Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they're so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge - the electrifying finale to the award-winning "Chaos Walking" trilogy, Monsters of Men is a heart-stopping novel about power, survival, and the devastating realities of war.
Trust me when I say, that Patrick Ness is a brilliant genius. He is a master mind story teller, and if anything, I aspire to write like him some day. The Chaos Walking trilogy has left me in a chaotic mess, even though it's been a few years since I last read Monsters of Men. I recall it was a mid August, Friday morning-last work day for shipping-and I was sure it would come that day (because it had already been to many weeks since I pre-ordered). Sure enough, it had come, though I was still sleeping at the time. Just to fast forward, I finished the 600 pages in maybe a day and a half, or two. The urge to finish it the day it arrived was almost unbearable, but I managed. On the second day, though, I couldn't help it- I stayed up most of the night after failed attempts at closing the lamp, and then turning it back up. 
Aside from my own little experience, let us move on to the commentary.
The plot. It all starts in The Knife of Never letting go (killer title). In the third book, we see Todd, the protagonist, grow from a young boy living his young, innocent life, to a young man, learning to use his thoughts and emotions as power weapons. By the time we get to Monsters of Men, the plot has thickened, and more and more roots start to grow. So much is going on at one time, but Ness pulls it all off. Within the plot, many emotions are intertwined. Certain events will literally make you sit up straighter and read like it's the end of the world. Others will make you close the book, take a deep breath, and open again.
There are many twists in the plot, and that keeps the overall book very interesting. Patrick Ness does not make anything seem predictable, even if you think a conclusion has been reached, something else happens. And guys, you'll never be able to predict the actual ending. Or you might-just not how it happens. 
Another thing I absolutely adored about this last book (more like the whole trilogy) was the style and voice of the story. I have to say, these two things are the ones that have helped bring the whole trilogy to life. The dialogue and sentences are written so they fit the voices of the characters. For example, Todd might say something like:  "It's a ruddy great idea". It really gives you the sense of a farmer boy who just never learned to read. The way Todd narrates the story as well, flows naturally, and it makes us love him more. And the way Patrick Ness organises the sentences just enhances the voice. Another example:
I ride after him, gun up, not shooting, just watching and feeling-
Feeling  the thrill of it-
Cuz that's it-
That's the nasty, nasty secret of war-
When yer winning-
When yer winning, it's ruddy thrilling.
The way it's written really gives you the feeling that as Todd is thinking this, he's thinking it in quick, short thoughts, like the information is so important, and he's really feeling it all.
The characters were all beautifully characterised (as I like to say).

Character: The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
The above is a definition of what character really means, and when people speak of different characters in a story, they are talking about their qualities-distinctive qualities. Something that makes those characters original, and Patrick Ness gives us just this. Todd is a bit on the arrogant, tough, yet innocent side. Viola is ambitious, and bold, yet kind. The mayor is the big bad guy, but he's still human, and still has a history.

There's also a lot about this book that a person can take out of. I think it was the whole information overload thing. Information is everywhere, like a constant noise you can never escape, and the idea in itself is so beautastic, it makes me wish I'd gotten to it first! Anyway, another thing I liked was the transformation of characters as they develop friendships, and relations, and what these connections can mean to someone. Here, it was the relation between Todd and Viola-not your typical romance. It was nice, slow, and very developed.

All in all, many things happen in this third instalment of the Chaos Walking trilogy that just left me euphoric. The ending especially, so go read it, and then read it again!
Oh, and yeah, the title 'Monsters of Men' really fits the story.
Now I just want to get a few spoilers off my should, won't take long. Don't read ahead if you haven't read the book yet!
-The Mayor gave Davy an empty GUN!!! He dares?!
-Oh my goodness, Todd, don't become like the mayor!
- :O Ben is back...
- Todd and Viola sitting in a tent *finally*
-Todd... dead.... might come back to life *me collapses*



      A Monster Calls By Patrick Ness

      A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
      5/5 Stars

            The monster came at seven minutes past midnight- as they always do. 13 year old Connor wakes up to find the monster outside his window, but it's not the monster he's been expecting. He's been expecting the one that came in his nightmares ever since his mother fell ill. This monster is ancient, and it wants the worst thing of all from Conner, it wants the truth. The monster tells Connor three stories, and in return, he expects a fourth from Connor.
            What can I say? Patrick Ness has left me broken once again with this powerful book. It's really funny, I expected myself to cry when I came to the end, but instead I found myself really taking in what the monster had told Connor- the main character. Yet at the same time, I couldn't stop my heart from breaking. This is one thing I LOVE about his books! The heavy emotion that drops on you in the end. The way Patrick Ness wrote the story, really made me feel like I was sitting on a prairie under grey clouds, lying back against a big oak tree. Yeah, and lets not forget the soft summer breeze. For once in my life, I felt like I was reading a book. It really gave me that feeling that only a true book could give. If only all narrations where written as well as this one. Let us not forget the illustrations. There weren't a lot, but every time one showed up, I paused for a whole minute to feel that page and take in the marvellous piece of art Jim Kay has created. The other thing I couldn't help feeling was that somehow, in all the books Patrick Ness has written, I always get attached to the 'bullies'. In The Chaos Walking, it was Davy, and in this one, Harry. In a way, both seem like the innocent people who have been driven to act a certain way, even though it's not who they truly are. I believe Harry was not the bad guy... This book ended like most of Patrick Ness's books do. It ended with hope.
      I can assure you all that I am definitely getting my hands on my own copy.

      Check out the trailer for 'A monster calls' It is one you cannot miss!

      Sunday, 4 March 2012

      The Hunger Games hit high!

      Hey, guys!
      The Hunger Games are what everyone has been talking about lately! Why? Because it seems the movie is to be released in March 23, 2012. The trilogy itself has been getting really popular, and though the theme of the book is just amazing, and well written, the reason for this fame seems to be coming from the whole love triangle thing between Katniss, the protagonist, and a tribute of the annual Hunger Games. Peeta, another Tribute, and Gale. I, personally, am on team Gale's side, because Katniss and Gale have been through so much more! Nonetheless, I was a little disappointed at the final book, it seemed very rushed. The books, by Suzanne Collins, revolve around something called the annual Hunger games, where 12 tributes are chosen from the 12 different districts to take part in the hunger games. The 12 tributes are to compete with each other until only one is left standing. In other words, only one contestant gets out alive.

      Left: Gale played by  Liam Hemsworth
      Right: Peeta played by Josh Hutcherson
      Middle: Katniss played byJennifer Lawrence

      I am a total Gale fan, but love Josh Hutcherson's acting from the Vampires Assistant. As for Katniss, Jennifer Lawrence seems to fit the description perfectly!

      Best Trilogy ever

      Hey, I'm back, and this time I've come to introduce you all to the trilogy that no others can beat. Of course, these are just my opinions. The award winning author, Patrick Ness, has gained a lot of appraisal for is overly fantastic  'Chaos Walking' trilogy, and his new book, A monster calls.
      The Costa Prize Judges appraised the whole Chaos Walking Trilogy by saying that they were “convinced that this is a major achievement in the making."
      The Guardian said that “I would press Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy urgently on anyone, anyone at all. It is extraordinary.”

      Here the three books in the trilogy, and if you have not already read these, then go NOW! I heard there was going to be a movie:

      The books revolves around a boy Named Todd Hewitt who, on his thirteenth birthday, will become a man. He is really looking forward to becoming a man, but there are things that he doesn't know about the town he lives in. Prentisstown- a town cut off from the rest of the settlers. It is ruled by Mayor Prentiss, and the town consists of only men, because all the woman were killed by something known as the 'noise' germ. You see, this all takes place in an earth-like planet known as the 'New World' were settlers came to start over and live a simpler life. Things didn't turn out that way, though, because as the settlers landed, they found that they were not alone. There was already a species called the 'Spackle' residing on New World, and the Spackle released a noise germ that killed all the woman, and did something to the men so that the men's thoughts could be heard. Everything they thought, could be heard and seen by the other men. Now, you'd think that there would be no secrets in a town where everyone can hear each other, but you'd be wrong- because men can cover up their noise with false thoughts, and sometimes true thoughts, but in all the jumble of thoughts, you never know what is real or not. There is a reason why Prentisstown is cut off from everyone else... and Todd finds out the hard way.

      Saturday, 3 March 2012

      Top 10 MUST read books (part 2)

      OK, here's the other half of my must read books of the year, like promised!

       6) Legend by Marie Lu

      This book was introduced to me by a classmate of mine, and she somehow convinced me that it was worth giving a try. I read the back and knew, that I had to get my hands on my own copy! And of course, it is a dystopian, so I couldn't resist. The blurb mentions that the story takes place in what was once the western United States. It is now known as The Republic, a nation that is perpetually at war with its neighbours. Fifteen-year-old June is being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles, while fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal, with motives that might not be as malicious as everyone thinks. June and Day have no reasons to cross, but when June's mother is murdered, all fingers point to Day. Sounds interesting right?
      Genres: YA, dystopia, Romance

      7) Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
      Here we go, another dystopian. This one is a 2012 fiction nominee for White Pine, and I was enthralled by the cover design and the genres. A dystopian romance. Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realises she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.
      Genres: YA, dystopia, Romance
      8) Illusions by Aprilynn Pike
      The reason I want to read this book is simply because it is the third in a series I have already started. So if you guys haven't checked out the first book, Wings, then go now!
      Genres: fantasy, Romance, YA

      9) My Side of the Story by Will Davis
      The thing that intrigued me about this one was the whole idea of the protagonist being 'Gay'. I remember I've always had a small field when it comes to books, but lately, I'm learning to expand that field and try lots of different things, this being one of them. Jarold, also known as 'Jaz' is going through the 'typical' life of a troubled teen. His parents hate each other and want Jaz to have therapy. He is the main target of the school tyrant and his goons, and his friend has just left his side. Jaz doesn't plan on loosing sleep over such dramas, but everything changes when he meets the guy of his dreams. That is when things get complicated.
      Genres: YA, LGBT

      10) Twisted by Gena Showalter

      This is the third book in the Intertwined series, and since I loved the former books, I had to pick this one up.

      Genres: Paranormal Romance

      Once I finish reading these books, I'll post a review, and let you all know what I thought.

      Top ten MUST read books (Part one)

        Hey, Everyone! It's me again. I have decided it wouldn't hurt to make a list of ten books that I've been dying to read! I will obviously read more then ten books, but here are the ones that I'm definitely hoping to get to this year. I will state my reasons as I go on to list the books. By the way, these are in no particular order! P.S. I'll put up five in this post and five later (it makes my job easier).
      1) Ash by Malinda Lo
          The reason I want to read this book is because the cover looks absolutely wonderful! If I'm correct, the author herself illustrated the cover. The little blurb on the back sounds interesting as well. It is about a girl who's father has died, leaving her in her abusive stepmother's hands. She dreams that fairies will take her away from her terrible life, and who knows, maybe they will. It is a fantasy, romance, and YA novel.

      2) Going To Far By Jennifer Echois
      Every once in a while, I need to get away from sci-fi and fantasy, and pick up a normal chick lit. The thing that attracted me to this book was the blurb on the back. It sounded very reasonable unlike most chick-lits nowadays. It's about a girl named Meg who wants to get away from everything she's ever known, and one crazy day thanks to a dare and railroad tracks, she goes to far, and almost doesn't make it back. Then there is John. He is the total opposite of Meg. Instead of wanting to get away, he wants to stay, serve and protect. How will two completely different people get along?
      This is a YA, chick-lit, and romance.

      3) Starters By Lissa Price
      Ok, being the sci-fi crazy nerd that I am, I couldn't possibly resist the urge to want to read this one. The cover is practically shouting DYSTOPIAN NOVEL HERE! This one is about a girl who has lost her parents thanks to the 'Spore Wars', who wiped out everyone from the age of 20 to 60. So she and her brother go on the run and find someone known as the 'Old man'. This old man hires teens to RENT their bodies to old people known as Enders who want to be young again. Callie, the runaway girl, is in need of money and decides to become a donor.
      This is a Sci-fi/dystopian, and post apocalyptic novel.

      4) The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
      I'm sure most of you probably know Maggie Stiefvater for her famous 'The wolves of mercy falls' Series, consisting of Shiver, Linger, and Forever. I want to read this books because I've read her other books and I liked them, but I also want this book because the blurb sounds interesting. It's about a girl who has no choice but to enter the annual 'Scorpio Races'. She is the first female to participate in the races where the riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
      This is a YA, fantasy, and romance novel.

      5) Divergent by Veronica Roth
      This particular book was recommended to me by some stranger online. The reason I want to read it is because It sounds surprisingly like The hunger games, and I just have to find out what kind of book this might actually be. In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
      This is a YA and dystopian novel.