Legend by Marie Lu

Title: Legend

Author: Marie Lu

Summary From Goodreads:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Personal Review:

Oh my goodness! I loved it. And for once, I did not hate the female lead. This is a pretty rare occurrence for me since I usually find that female leads are ridiculously stupid in the authors attempt to make them the perfect feminist character.

I liked the world that Marie Lu created for this series. It isn’t uncommon to have a dystopian novel set in the former United States, so that was nothing new. But to have parts of the former United States fighting with other parts of the former United States was rather interesting. Like when they mentioned a rebel colony in Madison, North Dakota, whereas this novel was taking place in Los Angeles, California. To not have the names changed to weird things was rather nice. Plus it helped me to mentally picture where everything was suppose to be taking place.

The characters were also likable. They were nice, yet still edgy. They had their flaws, but they weren’t too annoying. They tried to always do the right thing, even when that was difficult. June made some mistakes along the way, but when she realized what she had done, she tried to correct her ways while she could. She didn’t close her eyes to everything happening around her just because the reality was too difficult to deal with. And then there was John. I love John. Being an oldest sibling, I understand the powerful desire and drive to do everything in your power to protect your younger siblings. I have three younger sisters and I can tell you, there isn’t a line I wouldn’t cross in order to keep them safe. This is something that I sometimes thinking about when I watch them (sometimes even creeper style while they are sleeping). “How far would I go to protect you?” And as I watching them sleeping or chatting or laughing or fighting, I know the answer. I would do anything. So I get John. And I love him for being him.

Anyway, back on track. This novel isn’t so different than many other dystopians in that it is good vs evil. The poor and oppressed vs the government. But I still like watching the battle between the two sides take place. And maybe in the next book, we will find out more about the colonies. Are they good or are they evil? I cannot wait to start Prodigy!

Rating: 4.5

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

Title: Someone Like You

Author: Sarah Dessen

Summary From Goodreads:

Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she’s carrying his baby, she’s devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it’ll never break–because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever.

Personal Review:

There is something about Sarah Dessen… she is a magical enchantress. She weaves a spell over her reader and just tugs you deeper and deeper into her story until you aren’t quiet sure what is reality and what is the world she created and choose to share with you.

Someone Like You was probably the first Sarah Dessen book I ever read. I read it sometime when I was still in college… so like five or six years ago. And that is when my love affair with Dessen books began. I haven’t read them all, but every single one I have read, I have loved. It was so nice to re-read this book and rediscover all the things I loved about it in the first place.

Someone Like You isn’t a love story. It would be easy to think that, because there is love and romance in it. But more than that, this is a story about life. It is about all the things that make up life. Love and friendships and heartbreaks. Realizing that someone isn’t who you thought they were and someone else is even better than you thought they were. It is about falling down and then getting back up again. Making mistakes and living with the consequences. It is about finding out who you are and what is important to you. It is about drawing lines in the sand and standing by them, even when it hurts.

This is a novel that can’t help but touch you to the heart. As you read it, you come to see a part of yourself in the characters. Maybe your life isn’t exactly like Scarlet and Halley’s. But the fight for self-discovery is universal and it is real and it is powerful.

Honestly, I cannot say enough positive things about this book. I recommend that everyone read it!

Rating: 5

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Title: Crank

Author: Ellen Hopkins

Summary From Goodreads:

In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.” Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne’er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: “there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree.” Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won’t, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank

Personal Review:

I love Ellen Hopkins. She isn’t afraid to address the hard topics. And drug addiction is a hard topic. This book made me glad that I have never experimented with drugs. Or ever had a boyfriend who pressured me to do something I didn’t want to do… or made me feel like I should be doing something that I shouldn’t be.

Ellen Hopkins really knows how to pull on your heartstrings. The choices and decisions that Kristina (or Bree) make are all ones that I would never want to make. It was hard to watch her make those decisions and not be able to stop her. It was hard to understand why she made the decisions she made, but it was all very realistically portrayed.

Ellen Hopkins is a master at using verse to paint a story before your eyes. I normally hate verse, but I will read anything by Ellen Hopkins! Her books don’t leave anyone feeling happy and like all is right in the world. But instead, in the end, you are left thinking. And that is just as important as feeling happy and like all is right in the world.

Rating: 5

The Host

Title: The Host

Author: Stephanie Meyer

Summary From Goodreads:

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring one of the most unusual love triangles in literature, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human.

Personal Review:

Story Universe: I have never read a body snatcher book, so this was a first… and I don’t think I have really read an alien book either (maybe one or two but I really don’t remember). So to me, this was all new. And I liked it. I liked the idea of these aliens that took over the human bodies… kinda like leeches… and the humans that resisted them. It was all very interesting. I look forward to reading the next two books in this series.

Characters: Wanderer – She is great. Really? How can she be so good? How is that possible? But she is and I loved it! So selfless. So self-sacrificing. So everything good! Melanie – She was perhaps a little too aggressive for my personal taste, but she grew on me. And I love the relationship that Wanda and Melanie develop. The genuine love and friendship that they develop between the two of them. I also liked watching it grow. It was completely natural. Jared – I did not like Jared. Not a fan at all. And I could not understand why both girls were so gaga over him. And I guess that when Melanie fell in love with him, she thought that he was the only other human left on the face of the earth. But aside from that, I found nothing likable about him. Blah. Ian – Oh Ian. Completely swoon-worthy. I loved him. He was so loyal and faithful and everything wonderful. I am glad that it all worked out like it should in the end. Jamie – Oh Jamie… I wish I had a little brother like Jamie. As it is, I have no brothers so I guess I am out of luck. I loved how loving he is. I think he truly is someone that you couldn’t help but love. Kyle – You spent forever hating him. Like the whole book. And then in the end, he redeems himself. And that is perhaps the most beautiful part of the story. In the end, this is a book about redemption.

Romance: To tell you the truth, the depth of love in this book is too much for me. I don’t believe in love that strong. So strong that a body, not occupied by that body, cries out for that one true love. I don’t accept that. Like if someone woke up from a coma and had no memories, their body would still call for that one person… I don’t accept that. In addition, I don’t like when love is put above all other family. And I felt that many times, the love that Melanie and Wanda directed towards Jared was stronger than the love that they had for Jamie. I didn’t like that at all. I liked the love that was shared between Ian and Wanda because it seemed more reasonable and more logical.

Conclusion: I liked it. Except for the extremity of the romance. I recommend it. It is much better than the Twilight series.

Rating: 4

And Then There Were None

Title: And Then There Were None

Author: Agatha Christie

Summary From Goodreads:

Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a lonely mansion on Indian Island by a host who fails to appear but leaves a recording accusing all of undetected murder. Cut off by his orders, one by one each die according to a nursery rhyme Ten Little Indians. A confession in a bottle solves how nobody remains alive.

Personal Review:

This was my very first Agatha Christie novel and I have to say that I loved it. It certainly won’t be my last novel. The mystery was very brilliantly thought out and I spent most of the book trying to figure out exactly “who dunnit”. I debated quiet a few theories and I was half right on one of my theories, but as it was not my final theory, I guess I can’t really count myself as correct.

The main problem I had with this book is that I had trouble keeping track of who was who. So many characters to make a sudden appearance that it was difficult to keep track of who was accused of commiting which crime and for what reason they did it. And then which committed crime the murdered person had committed. By the time it was down to only 3-4 left, I had it down, but it took me a while to put it all together.

I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery and will definitely look forward to reading more from Agatha Chrisite. I might even take a look at this one again

Rating: 5