Sunday, October 9, 2011

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Goodreads Description: "What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. On board their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside."

My Review: Glow is a book that I waited all summer for. I was very excited to read it, because of all the hype that was being built up about it. Unfortunately, Glow falls slightly short of my expectations. Don't get me wrong---it was an okay book, even good. Unfortunately, it was very similar to Across The Universe in many ways, and where Across The Universe was amazing, Glow wasn't. The plot WAS interesting; having all the girls get kidnapped by the sister ship because they need people to have kids, and seeing the struggle left behind on the Empyrean with the boys. However, Waverly's story was far less interesting than Seth and Kieran's was. Ryan tried to make the book very suspenseful and dark, but it seemed kind of a little kid pretending to be scary. I knew that Waverly and the girls were in danger---LOGIC told me this much---but deep down, I couldn't really feel it, couldn't feel it the way people felt it when Katniss was in the Games in The Hunger Games. However, Seth and Kieran's power struggle was fascinating. At first I thought there would be a love triangle in this book just, EVERY other YA book, but no---Seth and Kieran both horrified me. Seth was a vicious dictator, bullying people and beating up people who got in his way, and resorting to cruel tactics such as starvation to weaken his opponents. And Kieran seemed like one of those leaders who has a God-complex and preaches the word of God and believes they can do horrible things, justified by the fact that it's God's will. They both seemed terrible, and in my opinion, Waverly is better off without either of them. BUT---their power struggle was fun to read. I couldn't decide who I wanted to win more. Probably Kieran, because even if he brainwashed people, at least he wasn't HITTING them. At the very end, this book was not AMAZING---but I will be reading the sequel.

Cover: The cover is GORGEOUS. It's very simple, but that's what makes it so stunning. And yes, I judge books by their covers; this cover was the first reason I actually wanted to read Glow.

Overall Grade: B+

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Goodreads Description: "Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love."

My Review: Delirium is a well-written dystopian, and because of that, I enjoyed it (because I have an obsession with dystopian books). The plot was interesting as well---I was very curious to know how love could be portrayed as a bad thing. Oliver did a pretty good job of it, as well. The book was well-paced and kept me reading and turning the pages. I'm not sure I like the main character, Lena; she seems way too much like Cassia from Matched and a whole bunch of other bland, apathetic, personality-less heroines. I understand that her world is a controlled and perfect one, but c'mon---does that mean you can't have a personality? Her best friend, Hanna, has way more of a personality than Lena does; I would honestly have preferred to read the book from Hanna's perspective. Dystopian books always feature a main character who is pleased with the way their world is---until someone changes their viewpoint. I want to see a character who's curious and rebellious from the START. Now that would be cool. But moving on... Alex, Lena's love interest, was actually pretty interesting to read about (if not a little cliched...he reminded me of the guy---whatshisname---from Ashes, Ashes). Overall, the book followed a perfect little dystopian formula...but it followed it well, which makes this a pretty good book to read.

Cover: This cover is pretty lame. I feel like they ripped it off of Beautiful Creatures (although this may have come out before that...I'm not sure). However, as far as I know, they don't sell this cover in the bookstores anymore. They sell this one: . Unfortunately, I hate this version of the cover even more. It totally takes away from the dystopian part of the book and makes it some sort of replica of Oliver's other book, Before I Fall.

Overall Grade: B+