May 3, 2014

Plus One, by Elizabeth Fama

Release Date: April 8th, 2014
Age Group: Young Adult

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Interest: Sci-Fi
Categories: Sci-Fi, Romance

Read on December 2013


Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.
Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.
Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.

My Opinion:
What started as a book I thought would go one way ended up being something entirely different, filled with action round every corner and tons of romance! 

What a fantastic way to use a historical fact, as it was using the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, and turn it into a What If scenario. 
What if we had really been forced to divide our days and separate our population into Day and Night? 

Elizabeth tells a magnificent tale of lies and love through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Sol (short for Soleil), a Night dweller, or as they call each other, a Smudge. 
Sol's lived her life believing the death of her parents was a mere accident; her only relief was drawing on the desk at school with a partner she never knew, him being a Day student, a Ray. 

In their drawings and writings they told each other everything, becoming best friends across a bridge that seemed unsurmountable. 

Each chapter begins with the name of that particular day of the week, and the specific time of day. What seems to be a random naming system (to me at first!), turns out to be significantly important in the layout of the book: being a Smudge, Sol's bound by the Night schedule and she can only be outside after dark and before sunrise. 
The book opens with a "Wednesday, 4:30 a.m.", a pretty crazy hour to be up and working. But for her, it's the end of her day, moments away from the rise of the sun and the beginning of the Ray day. 
I say that I was a little confused by this system because entwined with these chapters were others titled, "Little Doe" and things as meaningful as that. Those chapters offered a glimpse into Sol's previous life, and through them we got to know her story with her desk partner all the better. 

Sol's been abandoned by her brother, Ciel. Or at least, it's how she feels it. She's all but crossed him off her list, until, on her grandfather's final moments -the only parent she's ever known-, he asks her a dying wish: to see Ciel's newborn daughter. 

Sol's life changes dramatically thanks to that one final wish; she's ready to do everything to make it happen, even if it means throwing her own life to the drain. 

It's in that situation that she finds herself in the middle of a wage between Rays and Smudges, criminal Noma (neither Day nor Night felons), her own brother Ciel and a very powerful Night Minister. What Sol thought was a "simple" baby-napping escalates into something much more significant. 

It was one heck of a ride, and I loved every second of it! D'Arcy I loved more. He brought his own personal Sun into the story and I can't wait to read him more. 

Mar 4, 2014

Release Day: PANIC by Lauren Oliver

PANIC is finally here! Hooray! I've been waiting for a new Oliver book for months. Torturous months. But the wait is over at last and I have a new book to add to my pile. 

If there's one author who is a constant source of inspiration to me, that's Lauren. I just adore her beautiful prose, her way with words. Every time I finish her books, I want more, and it's like a friend has abandoned me. So you can imagine how happy I am about PANIC. 

Here's what Goodreads says it's about:
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

As always, I'll be buying the Kindle edition, 'cause I don't want to wait three months to get the book shipped to me in Argentina. I need to read this nau

Run along, Little Olives, and strip the shelves clean of this awesome book!

Jan 3, 2014

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1), by Aimée Carter

Release Date: November 26th, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Interest: Dystopia
Dystopia, Series, Rebellions
Books in the Series: Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2) (Comes out this year)
Read on December 2013

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. 
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter. 
There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

My Opinion:

This has to be the most original dystopia published this year. 

To have someone Masked (her body fully transfigured to look like someone else) so she'd take the place of the country's sweetheart and bring down a rebellion from the inside? Genius. I don't think I've come across this idea in the YA genre. 

Like many main characters in dystopias right now (just read Legend by Marie Lu, and the same happens there), Kitty comes from the poorest class. When she faces the choice to go up in life, meaning a radical change that's never happened but one that'll keep her in the city with the boy she loves, it's a no brainer. 

There's a catch and she knows it, but there's little she can do when she's being dragged off to who knows where. This is one of the aspects I loved about PAWN, the villain really knows his stuff! Even before I met him, I already hated him. 

I also loved Benjy, Kitty's boyfriend. I almost never come across a book where the MC already has a love interest, and one she actually loves and wants to keep. Benjy's the sweetest boyfriend and just what Kitty needs. But then, along comes Knox. Mysterious boy I loved -loved- reading about!  

And Elsewhere! The place where they send you off to when you fail your exam or are too old to be able to contribute to society. WHAT A REVEAL! Man, it was extraordinary! Let me tell you, you'll think Elsewhere is one thing, but bam! Aimée will shock you once more. 

As the book progresses, Kitty will have to be very careful (she is, after all, the exact lookalike of the most known face in the country), she'll have to rely on the most unexpected characters to stay alive, all while playing a power game that could cost not only her life, but the life of those she's come to trust. 

Aimée, those last chapters were simply amazing and I cannot wait for CAPTIVE!
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