I loved the idea of these books. They were all really original, with fresh ideas that got me thinking about them and the concepts they present. The voice of the writer who wrote them I wasn’t as in touch with. There was just something I thought was…I dunno, missing. In a way. Either I started out loving it and then the book went through a few small rough spots and then would get great again or the beginning would be rough and then I’d end up loving the book. So here are six books I loved the idea of, but I felt some parts could have been better. Most of them are still four stars, I just wish that they didn’t have those rough spots to the story.
I know that other people really love these stories, so if the synopsis appeals to you, go for it. No excuses. Just go for it. These are all great books, they weren’t quite my style.
1) Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I applaud you, Marissa Meyer, for thinking this one up. I’ve read a lot of books and seen a lot of different ideas come and go, but I will never cease to be amazed by the creativity of a single mind. Cinderella as a cyborg? Genius. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t all for the way Marissa Meyer wrote the book. I wanted to like it, believe me, but there was just something about it I didn’t appreciate as much. I read Scarlet, the second book in this series, and it was better, but my heart just wasn’t into the Lunar Chronicles. I’m holding out hope for the third and fourth book though, and I have faith in Marissa Meyer.
Synopsis: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
pg count for the hardback: 387
series: Lunar Chronicles
2) The Shadow Project by Herbie Brennan
This is the latest book I’ve read on this list. I thought that the title, concept and synopsis were completely amazing, by the way. I’m actually forming an idea about a book, weighing the odds to see if I want to write it after I’m done with the ones I’m writing now. It’s about shadows as well, so the Shadow Project really appealed to me. This was a great book, actually. I really enjoyed it. I just felt that it kind of went through slumps in the beginning. It would get really interesting for a while, then it would get boring, then it would get really interesting, then boring, than the rest of the book ran pretty smoothly. Looking forward to the others in the series.
Synopsis: Danny Lipman is a thief . . . until one night he robs the wrong house. He inadvertently breaks into the headquarters of the Shadow Project, a secret government organization where teenage spies are trained to leave their bodies, using astral projection to travel around the world on deadly missions.
Danny is captured, but the Project leaders quickly realize he has a special gift. And when a key operative—the director’s daughter, Opal—goes missing, he is offered a choice: Join the Shadow Project or go to jail.
Danny joins and is quickly sent to investigate the Project’s current target: a worldwide terrorist organization known as the Sword of Wrath. But as he gets deeper in, he discovers both the Project and the Sword of Wrath are far more than they seem. Danny and his fellow operatives are caught up in an ancient supernatural conflict and will have to learn how to survive in a world without boundaries of space or time, where the wrong choice could be their last.
pg count for the hardback: 355
series: The Shadow Project
3) Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
For those of you who have seen my Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2013 page, you know that this was one of the books I brought with me to Oregon to read. Mannnnn. When I first picked this up at the library, I thought, The Green Mile. For those of you who are more interested in this topic, then you might want to watch that movie. If you want another book like Bruiser, you might want to try the book form of the Green Mile by Stephen King.
Even by itself, this book is brutal. Not in a bad way, certainly not in a bad way. It’s just got a shivery, weird, beautiful, intense, creepy feeling to it. If you know what I mean. If you loved Unwind, then chances are you know what I’m talking about. This book was awesome, but the beginning was a little complicated for me.
“There’s a reason why Brewster can’t have friends – why he can’t care about too many people. Because when he cares about you, things start to happen. Impossible things that can’t be explained. I know, because they’re happening to me.”
When Brontë starts dating Brewster “Bruiser” Rawlins – the guy voted “Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty” her twin brother, Tennyson, isn’t surprised. But then strange things begin to occur. Tennyson and Brontë’s scrapes heal unnaturally fast, and cuts disappear before their eyes. What at first seems like their good fortune turns out to be more than they bargained for…much more.
pg count for the paperback: 328
4) Glitch by Heather Anatasiu
I love the idea of this book, but at the same time I wasn’t all for the way Heather Anatasiu writes third person. I just couldn’t fall into Zoe’s world like I felt I could’ve. Normally, third person doesn’t bother me this much but occasionally it happens. Overall, it was a great story, but I wish it could’ve been formatted differently. I also wasn’t all for Zoe as a character.
In a lot of ways, this book reminded me of Feed by M.T. Anderson, and M.T. Anderson is holding his place as reining champion for best technological change in a dystopia so far.
Synopsis: In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.
When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.
As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.
pg count for the paperback: 308
5) Awaken by Katie Katvinsky
I thought this book was great, but I thought it spent too much time describing things as they were. The main character would do something, explain the entire scenario and how it got to be that way, do something, explain, repeat. I think this was a way for Katie Katvinsky to lay everything down, but I felt it could’ve been a lot smoother. Later on, the story gets really good, but the beginning was rough for me.
Synopsis: Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.
Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.
In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.
pg count for the hardback: 309
6) Reboot by Amy Tintera
I picked this one off the shelf at the library. The name and the cover really appealed to me, and the synopsis was equally appealing. I loved the change in Wren that is displayed in this story, and the concepts that Amy Tintera presents in this story. A very nice beginning to this series, with very few rough parts, that I really, really liked. I can’t wait to see what Amy Tintera has in store for 178 and 22.
Synopsis: Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).
Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.
The perfect soldier is done taking orders.
pg count for the hardback: 365
7) Steel by Carrie Vaugn
I was one of the many people who thought this book was average. 35% of the people who voted on this book voted it three stars, and a total of 55% of the people who voted, voted three stars and below. Still, I thought this book was really interesting. So I read it. I have to admit, I can kind of see it’s a three star book, but I think Carrie Vaugn’s ideas were pretty cool. There was a good introduction into the story and throughout the life on deck. It sort of has a Narnia-Pirate’s of the Caribbean feel to the story. There were rough spots though in the story that hurt the story, so I can see why all the three star rep.
Synopsis: “It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.
This was the tip of a rapier.”
Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.
The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate’s life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.
pg count for the hardback: 291
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