My Top 5 Dystopian Books

Dystopia is actually one of my favorite genre and I realize that I’ve never done a Dystopain recommendations. So here are my top 5 favorite Dystopian books. Mind you, I’m not going to include Hunger Games. As much as I did enjoy the books, its too commercialized now and its better if I recommend other books that the majority hasn’t heard of. I’m also going to try to exclude books that are dystopian/fantasy novels, such as the Lunar Chronicle or The Winner’s Trilogy.

So when I think of the Dystopian genre, I think of apocalyptic stories. It could be post apocalyptic or set in the distant future, where earth has been ruined by an unforeseen catastrophe and we are witnessing the aftermath. This could be set on earth or an earth-like planet but not literally stated in the book.

Anyways, lets get on with the recommendations.

1. Rot & Ruin Series by Jonathan Maberry

Goodreads Synopsis: In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

It’s been awhile since I read this series and its definitely time I re-read them. I really love the way Maberry writes his stories and the gore that he includes. It’s not as extreme as I’ve read before, but still gets the message across. I love his characters as well, he puts a lot of thought in them and in turn they come out realistic with all the perfection and flaws that humans have.

2. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

bird box

Goodreads Synopsis: Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

I picked this book up because a lot of people have been raving about it last year, especially Lala from BooksandLala and since I enjoy her rec’s I decided to read it. I’m pleasantly surprised that something so simple could terrify me so abundantly. I wasn’t really drawn to the story until at least half way through the book. When it eventually picked up, I was totally hooked.

3. Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

Goodreads Synopsis: Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

I read the first book in this trilogy a few years back and totally loved it. It did take awhile for me to get into the story, but once you pass the 100 page mark, then you’re pretty much set. Finally, last year I picked up the third book and finished the trilogy. Greatest reading accomplishment of last year for me. Of course I love it. I realize that this trilogy is not for everyone because it is set in a slower pace than most dystopian novels, but I think it’s still worth trying.

4. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

warm bodies

Goodreads Synopsis: R is having a no-life crisis—he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he is a little different from his fellow Dead. He may occasionally eat people, but he’d rather be riding abandoned airport escalators, listening to Sinatra in the cozy 747 he calls home, or collecting souvenirs from the ruins of civilization. And then he meets a girl.

First as his captive, then his reluctant guest, Julie is a blast of living color in R’s gray landscape, and something inside him begins to bloom. He doesn’t want to eat this girl—although she looks delicious—he wants to protect her. But their unlikely bond will cause ripples they can’t imagine, and their hopeless world won’t change without a fight.

I actually read this book because of the movie. I wanted to get to the book before watching it and I’m glad that I did because, as usual, there are many things the movie didn’t include or was unable to convey. I know that this novel is now going to be a trilogy, but when I read it, it was only a stand alone, so for the sake of this list it’s a standalone for now. Its a great read and a totally different take on zombies, which is actually fascinating.

5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

ready player one

Goodreads Synopsis: In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. 

This is another book that I actually need to re-read again. The first time I read it, it was such a great read. I love all the different references that me makes of the 80’s very well put together.


I’m including these books because I think they too are great reads but I still have not finished reading all the books in the series.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Penryn & The end of Days by Susan Ee
Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman


Library of Souls (Book 3) by Ransom Riggs

library of souls

Author: Ransom Riggs
Rating: 3.5/5
Protagonist: Jacob
Other Character(s): Emma Bloom, Addison MaccHenry,

Synopsis: The third and final book of Rigg’s popular Home for Peculiar Children bring us back to Jacob, Emma and all the other children. This time they must rush to find the Library of Souls before Caul.

Review: In this last installment of Ransom Rigg’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, we are taken to the scene of where Hollow City ended. From beginnin to the end we are taken from on adventure to the next and the details that Rigg’s incorporate in this last book is amazing. As I’ve said before, I really have no qualms over the author’s writing. I believe him to be a great writer and would welcome more books from him. However, I’m still very much stuck on the same problems I had in book one and two. Truth be told I really won’t enjoy this trilogy as much as other readers because of the main point that I have previously complained about, but to be fair, this conclusion was wonderfully done and enjoyed the ending.

My reviews usually include two parts. The first, are about the things I dislike about the book and the second, are the things I liked about the book. Yea, I write my reviews as if I’m writing a grade five book report, but it works for me. Anyways, this review will be a bit different because like I said my problems with this book is pretty much the same complaints as the first and second. Not wanting to be redundant I won’t go into details about them. Cut to the chase, I hate the relationship between Jacob and Emma, it still weird me out and I’m still not able to accept it. I especially hated it in this book because I feel that Library of Souls focused a lot on the romance between the two compared to the previous books. Also, I’m still not a fan of our protagonists. I know the book is written in his POV, but Jacob really irritates me. I enjoy heroes who possess a backbone and the strong silent type, Jacob on the other hand, I find melodramatic and couldn’t stand his mood swings. I wasn’t a fan on how sudden he was able to harness his powers, I felt that Riggs rushed that part of the book when from book one to two he was unable to fully use it. Although these are really my main concerns for the book, I think that these are two major points that really did deteriorate my reading experience. Fortunately, Riggs did a great job on conveying the action packed scenes, which left me on the edge of my seat.

Besides my dislike for Jacob, the other minor characters in this book are all beautifully written. I love all the children and their powers. Some creep me out, in a good way, and some made me tear up, like Fiona. I enjoy how Riggs created each children unique and yet they all make each other whole. I wish that we saw more loops in this novel, but I guess with all the things already happening the novel will be too long. Either way, I’m content with how everything ended. I really am happy with how Riggs finished the trilogy. It might have been too ‘clean’, but I’m a sucker for happy endings so I don’t really care. Also, the folklore that Riggs included in this novel was nicely done. Not only did it give us an idea of what the Library of souls is, but it was also able to tie up loose end, like how the hollowgast came to be. I’ve said this many times, Riggs is able to create a world that you can fully immerse yourself in. His words allow you to be along side the characters and you tend to feel the world surrounding you with his written words.

Even if I had my ups and downs with this trilogy I’m really glad that I stuck through with the series. If I’m able to look past all my complaints about it, then I would have truly enjoyed the book. Unfortunately, I’m a sucker for romance and it just aggravated me to no end. That being said, Rigg’s had me at his world building. I will definitely read more of his book if, and when, he releases more of them, which, keeping my fingers crossed, I hope he does.

***********************SPOILER ALERT!!*********************

Ending: There are actually two ending to this series.

The First – Jacob and the Peculiars were able to defeat Caul. The Library of Souls is destroyed, the ymbrenes are free and as the loop collapses they were all able to escape.

Throughout the book Jacob had a hard decision to make, stay with the peculiars or go home to his parents. He chose to return to his home and parents because he did not want to bring anymore grief to his family.

Which brings us to the second ending.

The Second – Upon his return, his parents thought that he ran away. As much as he tried to act normal, he still had communication with Emma. Unfortunately his parents found out about the letters. Thinking he was back to his crazy self they were going to ship to a psychiatric ward. Fortunately, Miss Peregrine and the Peculiars comes to the rescue.

Upon the destruction of the Library of Souls Loop, all the ages of the children has been reset and therefore they are now able to live outside of their loop.

They rescue Jacob and introduce themselves to his parents.


My Review for the second book: Hollow City


The Revolution of Ivy (Book 2) by Amy Engel

The revolution of ivy

Author: Amy Engel
Rating: 3.5/5
Protagonist: Ivy Westfall
Other Character(s): Bishop Lattimer, President Lattimer, Justin Lattimer, Ash, Caleb, Cally Westfall, Mark Laird

***This will reveal some spoilers from Book 1 The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel***
Review for Book 1: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Synopsis: The second and last installment of Engel’s The Book of Ivy takes us to the life outside of Westfall. This begins with the end of the first book and Ivy is left to learn to live on her own in this harsh war-ridden world. Will she be able to find herself and overcome her exile to survive or succumb to the harsh environment?

Review: For a series that I never meant to pick up, I’m actually surprised that I finished and enjoyed the duology. Not my new favorite, but they are good enough for entertainment purposes. This second and final book of ‘The Book of Ivy’ is just as good as the first and if truth be told I enjoyed it a lot more than the first. I still have some problems with some things, like decisions Ivy make and the background story of Westfall, but overall the book is a great conclusion to the story of Ivy and Bishop.

I always like to get the grittier part of the review out of the way first. So lets start with the things I didn’t like about the book. There really aren’t that many, but I feel that they are important enough that I took away 2 stars from my rating. The number one thing I really was not happy about, in this book and even the first, is the lack of world building. As much as I enjoy hearing about Westfall over and over again, I do wish that Engel spent a little more time in creating her world outside of the small town. In this book we get to visit three different locations and yet our author failed to create a detailed description of the towns she mentions and even the community Caleb and Ash. Just like in the first, we are left to use our own imagination on how the whole world came into this post-apocalyptic era. I understand that she is trying to create a sense of isolation, but if she mentions the whole world being decrepit and in the same dire situation as Westfall, she could have at least given more thought on conveying information to the readers regarding the reasons. The lack of this, made me ask a lot of questions that are unfortunately left unanswered. I feel that she took the easy way out and created her characters to be a recluse in order to not mention the fall of other societies. Also, the way she describes the world, in the first book, just over the fence seemed a lot more…intense. Unfortunately I really didn’t get this feeling. Except for one instance, I really wasn’t scared for Ivy’s life. Yes, she did get saved, but Engel could have added more risk in our heroine’s journey. Like I said, she describes this future world in a more sinister way, and yet when she has the chance to give us more details, she backs down from it.

Now in this book we see a different Ivy. At first, she is this lost and scared girl unable to know if she can live without her family or husband, but then she turns into a character worth enjoying. She is now more sure of herself and is able to defend herself in time of a crisis, not just physically, but also emotionally. I feel that her character has grown up to be someone who is more certain of herself and her decisions in life. Although, this does not mean I agree with some of her actions, especially regarding her sister and Mark. I am little bit more forgiving on her actions towards Bishop, I know its uncalled for, but considering her situation its very understandable. As much as Engle wanted her protagonist to look noble in terms of her relationship towards her family, I feel that it just made her look naive. I hoped that Ivy used more sense in this particular part of the book and even if she let her heart overrule her brain, it would have been more realistic if she had a backup plan. This though is just my personal opinion and I feel that I’m a minority in this.

Now that my rant is over, I actually did enjoy the rest of the book. I love that the author added Caleb and Ash to the list of characters. They added a different type of relationship and meaning to the world family. They gave a sense of belonging to Ivy, one that she never felt with her own people. I’m even happier that Engel didn’t include a love triangle. Seriously, most authors would have grabbed a chance to make this into another Twilight, and I’m so glad that she set herself apart from this trope. The relationship between these four shows that a family doesn’t necessary have to be biological, but rather those who are willing to stand by you no matter how difficult or good the situation is. Even if I’m not a big fan of sad endings, I’m actually okay with this. In fact I really can’t picture a more fitting ending than what the author has chosen. It’s exactly what the protagonist needs to start out anew.

Even if this duology is laced with political intrigue and dystopian setting, I feel that this is more centered on the romantic part of the story. I’m not saying its all lovey-dovey between Bishop and Ivy, but its mainly about the different relationships that all the characters present. The rest is all a backdrop of the main point: love can either be good or bad depending on how you want to use it. I’m not much for romance, but Engel does a great job of keeping it simple and heart-warming with a touch of action. This conclusion is sufficient and fitting enough to make the readers happy.

***********************SPOILER ALERT!!*********************

Ending: For me, this story is similar to Rome and Juliet but with a different ending. Instead of the couples suffering the idiocy of their fathers, it was the latter who answered to the consequences of their actions. Which would have been a fitting end to Romeo and Juliet, and I’m happy that Engel took this way in her book. As I said before, I usually prefer endings that are more ‘happily ever after’ but this is a good end to the feud between the Westfalls and the Lattimers. It will enable Bishop and Ivy to live their lives outside of their town and away from the shadow of their families.

I’m also really glad that Cally died in the end. I feel that she is the actual villain in the book, since her reasons for her revolution is a lot more selfish. I really do think that she wanted the Lattimers to step down so that Westfall will be in power, meaning she could be next in line as President. At one point President Lattimer tells Justin Westfall that his revolution has nothing to do with political injustice, but rather the root of it all is the death of his wife. Justin’s reasons are from the heart, where as Cally was for her own gain.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

the 5th wave

Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Rating: 3/5
Protagonist: Cassie, Ben
Other Character(s): Ringer, Poundcake, Nugget(Sammy), Evan Walker, etc.

Synopsis: When aliens invaded earth, they released 4 waves that destroyed billions of lives. The last remaining humans have gathered waiting for the 5th wave. Will they survive together or fight those who are significantly more advanced?

Review: The first book that I picked of Rick Yancey’s was the Monstrumologist and it was instant love. I have to admit this love is a bit on the edge by the third book, but nevertheless I still enjoy his writing. So when I heard he released this new series, of course I was all over it. Especially since it’s a post apocalyptic, invasion novel, who wouldn’t be intrigued by that? The problem was, I already had a lot of books on my TBR so this was pushed further on the list. Until, the movie was announced and I had to move it towards the top to be able to read the book before watching it. Unfortunately, the 5th Wave didn’t emanate  the same feelings as the Monstrumologists did, but I’m hoping that the other two books will change that around. I’m not saying I hate it altogether, but there were just factors in the books that I had issues with.

The reasons I picked up this book was one it’s written by Rick Yancey and the other is, it’s a post-apocalyptic novel, which I adore! I’m not much of a sci-fi reader, but I really enjoyed the whole alien invasion concept of the book. I haven’t read a lot of novels similar to this, so I have no comparison, but I did enjoy how Yancey wrote it. For me, it was something different and  unique, which is such a fresh of breath air to all the vampire and zombie books I’ve been seeing recently. I wouldn’t mind reading more books like these. As far as protagonists go, I actually didn’t mind Cassie. She acted the way any teenager would have in her situation, scared and uncertain. Actually, she’s handling herself way better than some adults would have. I enjoyed her character because I feel that she was written realistically. She’s not the perfect protagonist who is an expert marksman, or achieved perfect girl scout badges that allowed her to survive on her own. She’s a typical teen that was thrust in a world where she had to learn to survive. Which I enjoyed reading.

Now on to the things that I wasn’t at all happy about. For one, the pacing of the book! I enjoyed the fast story line, but there were times when the book was just too tedious. I understand that Yancey is trying to portray a dire and dangerous new world, I could have done with less description though. Comparing this to his Monstrumologist book, this one didn’t compare to it. Which I hated!!! I really wanted to love this book, but I didn’t! I don’t hate it. I just could have done with more page-turner moments. Another thing that I didn’t enjoy about the book was the LOVE TRIANGLE! Yes, I hate love triangles or even the potential of it. I would enjoy this series a lot more if there wasn’t that over-looming burden or pressure of not knowing who she picks in the end. ARGH! This is like Hunger Games all over again. I know that this is such a small detail and it shouldn’t affect me this much, but I hate these types of tropes!

There were highs and lows to this book. It’s not perfect, but it was interesting. Although I can’t stand the tropes that are present in it. I really do want to see what happens to Cassies, Ringer, Evan, Ben and Sammie. So off to get The Infinite Sea.

***********************SPOILER ALERT!!*********************

Ending: No spoiler! Except EVAN = Silencer 0_0

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

book of ivy
Author: Amy Engel
Genre: Dystopia
Rating: 3/5
Protagonist(s): Ivy Westfall
Other Characters: Bishop Lattimer, Erin Lattimer, President Lattimer,
***Warning: Book includes physical abuse***

Synopsis: Ivy has one job as a Westfall, to kill the president’s son. Coincidentally enough, he is also her soon-to-be-husband. As she start to get to know him, she no longer know who to believe, her father with his talk of a revolution, or Bishop who wants only to see the ocean.

Review:I actually wasn’t planning on reading this at all. I’ve heard about it from youtube and goodreads, but I never really had the urge to pick it up. The only reason I actually picked it up was because the audiobook was available in my library and I needed something to read. Since I was waiting for my other books to arrive, I decided to give this a try. I’m pleasantly surprised to say I enjoyed the book. It’s not a WOW-er, but a nice read nevertheless. My thoughts are all muddled up in one huge pile, so I think this review will be in point forms.

The Bad
– The world building wasn’t all there. The author kept stating that earth suffered a third wold war, but as to why or how, we don’t really get to understand. I understand that their ‘nation’ survived because of Ivy’s grandfather, but that’s the only information that Engel was willing to give us. I really was curious as to why this third war devastated the world, but we don’t get an answer in this book. We also don’t get to find any information about any other villages. As if this is the only town that survived. I understand that people are scared to even venture out of the fence, but someone would have stumbled onto them somehow, right? This really frustrated me because Engel made the world such a mystery.
Ivy. I’m not saying that she’s an awful character, I just couldn’t handle some of her decision making. There are just too many things that was too obvious, but I feel that she turned a blind eye to them. I do have to say that its understandable why she made those decisions in the end, but they were both frustrating and heartbreaking to read.
– I feel that almost all the characters, besides Ivy and Bishop, are grey. What I mean about this is, there were too many characters that didn’t fit the stereotype of good and bad. I know some people enjoy these sorts of mystery, but I like knowing who the villain is off the bat. Engel made it seem like its ‘us against the world’ with the two protagonists. I would have enjoyed a more clear cut of black and white. This tho, is a personal preference.

**There really isn’t much that I didn’t like about this book, to be honest, the one thing that stood out for me is the world building. The fact that it’s almost non existent is a bit frustrating. Other than that I really have no qualms on it.

The Good
– I know I complained about Ivy and the choices that she made in the end, but at the same time her faults are understandable. The decisions that she made are all believable and this made me relate to her. Her internal struggles regarding Bishop and her family are exactly things that I would question myself. I don’t know if the end result would be my decision, but it is something entirely plausible. I think Engel did such a great job in creating situations for her that made her choose her path in a realistic outcome.
– I love the relationship between Ivy and Bishop. I understand that there is arrange marriage going on in this book, but I don’t care. The development of the relationship was believable. There was no love at first sight or even an attraction, but Engel handled the progression of their feelings realistically. I’m really happy on the way Ivy and Bishop gradually evolved into their role as husband and wife. Although, I really don’t approve on any type of physical abuse I’m really glad that Engel included this scene. It shows that not all relationships are perfect and you cannot always get a ‘Happily Ever After’, even in books.
– Not an exact replica, but this book reminds me of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman. It’s not the story that is similar, just the seclusion of the couple. I understand that they aren’t totally alone, but there is that similarity that they are forced to be together and learn about each other. I really enjoy that in These Broken Stars, and this similarity made me enjoy this book as well.

Like I said before, I really enjoyed the book. There are moments when I disliked it, for obvious reasons, but in the end I’m really glad I picked it up. Hopefully, the next, and last book, will answer some of the questions I have.

Audiobook Review: The first few chapters I listened to, I felt that the voice was very monotone. Then as the book progress the narrator’s voice attained emotions as she develops into her life as a wife. I realize that this tone is evident when her life seemed meek and as she start to develop a relationship with Bishop, the voice of the narrator becomes warmer. I would actually recommend the audiobook to those who enjoys reading this type of format.

***********************SPOILER ALERT!!*********************

Ending:Since I started this review in point forms, might as well end it on the same note.
– Ivy was sent to kill Bishop in order for her father to step up against the Lattimer. Without Bishop, they will kill the rest of the Lattimers and the Westfall will create a democracy. One that they have always wanted since the end of the war
– Ivy fell in love with Bishop. When it was time for her to kill him, she decided to confess to it before actually proceeding with the plan.
– With the confession, she is to be sent out of the town, beyond the fence. Those who leave the safety of the town is usually killed.
– She finds out that her father and sister literally abandons her by telling the Lattimers that Ivy was mentally unstable. Her decision to kill Bishop is entirely her decision because she was against the law of arrange marriage.
– Bishop does not believe them, but Ivy admits to wanting to kill him in order for her family not to be incriminated for crimes.
– The end of the book is Ivy realizing that she needs to be strong to save herself in the outside world.

Review for Book 2: The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel

Lunar Chronicles: Scarlet (Book 2) by Marissa Meyer

Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Dystopia, Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
Protagonist(s): Scarlet Benoit, Lihn Cinder
Other Characters: Wolf/Ke’ev, Thorne, Prince Kai, Thaumaturge Jael, Levana

Synopsis: A different take on the beloved children’s fairy tale, The Little Red Riding Hood.

On her journey to find her missing grandmother, Scarlet stumble on a street fighter who is willing to help her. Unknown to her, this mystery helper has an agenda of his own. On the other side of the world, Cinder is still trying to get accustomed to her new parts and trying to wrap her mind with the problem she is facing.

Review: When I read Cinder, I listened to it on audio. I admit it wasn’t my favorite book of the year, in fact I wasn’t that impressed. I read it a second time, but actually reading it from a physical book. Now I don’t really know if it was just the audiobook that I disliked or maybe I was in a reading slump on my first try, because second time around I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. With Scarlet I didn’t have a problem liking it. True, I read it and not listened to it, but I feel that I love this story a lot more than its predecessor. There are legitimate reasons as to why I enjoyed this book a lot more. One, the book was a lot more fast-paced. Two, the relationship between Scalet and Wolf was very interesting. Finally, I really enjoyed the way Marissa Meyer integrated the Little Red Riding Hood story in Scarlet. Usually I don’t try to compare two books in the same series, but sometimes you just can’t help it. Hopefully, I won’t be so biased and make it seem like I’m trashing Cinder.

To get it out of the way, there are a few reasons why I found Scarlet a lot more fascinating than Cinder besides for the reasons stated above. For me, Cinder is just like every other first novel. It’s the one that establish the setting and the overall mood of the entire series. There really isn’t much that I found interesting in the book and from what I remember, the characters are enjoyable enough that I finished it. I can’t deny the importance of this book, since it did get me to understand more of the situation of the present world. Both books are equally beautifully written and both need to co-exist for you to fully appreciate the story.

Now on to Scarlet.

I highly enjoyed its fast-paced story and didn’t find any dull moments. Both the POV of Scarlet and Cinder was equally filled with action from beginning to end. There were so many information for me to process, but at the same time it wasn’t overwhelming. I really enjoyed reading the mystery of grand-mere Benoit. To be honest, I don’t remember her or Dr. Tanner being introduced in Cinder, so when the whole “looking for grandmother” phase came into the picture, I didn’t really connect the two until later on in the book. Fortunately for me, since it did give a sense of mysterious quality to it. I love the turn of events with the LSOP, but it wasn’t a major surprise, you eventually realize that it was heading that way. The author did a good job on explaining the pack thoroughly.

I’m not really the type of reader to root for a certain couple, fearing that it may end badly. Usually I’m very hesitant to get attached to a couple from the beginning, but with Scarlet, I fell in love with the coupling instantaneously. I think it’s the fiery temper of Scarlet and the timidity of Wolf that drew me in. I admit, there was a point in the book that made me hold my breath, hoping that all goes well. Then there is another point, later on in the book, that made me laugh on its cheesiness. Really, Ms. Meyer “Alpha-female”?!?!?! Even with that gagging moment, for me, I still found their relationship endearing.

I enjoy any version of The Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, original or re-make. So I think that’s another reason why I favored Scarlet compared to Cinder. I love how Meyer integrated important parts of the original story in her version. There was a scene with Scarlet and Ran that made me literally aware of where Meyer’s Scarlet originated:

“Scarlet staggered out of her seat and backed against the rail, staring at her grandmother. The familiar unkempt hair in its always crooked braid. The familiar eyes growing colder as they peered up at her. Growing wider.

She blinked rapidly against the hallucination and her grandmother’s hand grew larger.”

This, in my opinion, is what sold me. For some weird reason, I loved this book more because of this one scene. I can’t help but associate this line with “grandmother, what big hands you have!” It’s all very nostalgic.

In terms of books, Scarlet is hands down my favorite book between the two. Scarlet as a heroine was also pretty fantastic. She’s kick-ass, fiery and I feel, a total bad ass. I admit I wasn’t impressed with Cinder in her own book, but eventually she started growing on me more in this. I was really hesitant to keep reading this series, since the beginning did leave me with a bad taste. I’m so glad that I continued on and listened to all the peer-pressure. Now, I can’t wait to read Cress so I can be ready on November for the release of Winter. This second installment of the Lunar Chronicles was my saving grace, for this series!

***********************SPOILER ALERT!!*********************

If you do not want the ending to be revealed, please do not read any further.

Ending: There are only a couple of spoilers that I want to reveal since this is the second book of the series and I want everyone to at least be surprised in the end.

The one major spoiler is Prince Kai agrees to marry Queen Levana.

Here is why…

Wolf tells Scarlet that he is part of the group that kidnapped her grandmother. BUT he informed her that he is trying to move away from the group of vigilantes. In all actuality they are special forces of the Lunar Queen. When Prince Kai was unable to hand over Cinder, who escaped from prison, Queen Levana unleashed her “minions” to attack earth. These special forces act similar to real wolves with their hierarchy of Alphas and Omegas. The Thaumaturge who works for the Queen, work with these group at a young age to be able to control the alpha and most of the omegas.

The queen is unable to control them and even the Thaumaturge can only control a handful with intensive training. Cinder was able to control one of the “special operatives”.

Shatter Me

Shatter ME

Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Dystopia, Paranormal, YA
Rating: 4/5
Protagonist: Juliette Farrar
Other Characters: Adam Kent, Warner, Kenji Kishimoto, James Kent

SummaryAs long as Juliette remembers, her life has always been isolated. Her classmates hates her, the teachers are scared of her and even her parents thinks she’s a monster. Imprisoned for a crime she was unwilling to commit, her only hope is to survive the four cells that surrounds her. For almost a year, all she knew was the weather from her small window and the unnerving routine that has been keeping her sane. For almost a year, she hasn’t communicated and hasn’t touch another human being, until she was introduced to her new cellmate.  Plunged into uncertainty, Juliette must learn to open herself up to another person and to trust again. Shatter Me has a dystopian backdrop where Mafi introduce us to a different earth, where the sky is the wrong color, animals are dying, the human population is slowly diminishing and a girl, who’s life is going to be shattered by revelations.

ReviewI really enjoy reading mainstream books because I like knowing what everyone is reading and get in on the hype. I recently, meaning a year ago, started following booktubers (that’s youtubers with book related accounts, for those who doesn’t know) and this series was popping up on everyone’s reviews and *gushes*. So being a nosy book reader, I decided to eventually start the series. Unfortunately for me, it took me almost a year to buy the book and a few more months to actually read the book. I was very hesitant to buy Shatter Me because there were many instances where I bought the first book in the series/trilogy of new authors, and I ended up hatting it. Being burned so many times, it was an internal battle. I’m glad that I ended up buying it since I did enjoyed reading Juliette’s story, but there are things that irked me along the way.

Although I did enjoy the book, there were times when I just couldn’t stand it and had to put it down for a few hours. My main problem for the most part was the writing. Don’t get me wrong, Mafi is a pretty good writer and she brings life to her characters through her words, but I just couldn’t stand some of her writing style. Especially the way she uses numbers to describe Juliette’s thoughts. I wouldn’t have minded as much if it was used once or twice, in fact I even enjoyed the first few. I just don’t understand why she kept using them, especially when Juliette and Adam are together! For me, it didn’t make the sentence better, in fact it did the opposite and after a couple of times it started becoming cheesy. Since I’m already ranting about Mafi’s writing, I might as well mention the repeated words and sentences. I feel that this would have made an impact, if it was only evident when Juliette was still in the asylum and her constant acknowledgement of certain words and sentences show how she’s struggling to keep her sanity. Seriously, I could deal with the strike through all over the book, but with this, it eventually got to me. Like I said before this would have worked for the first half of the book, but I think Mafi should have kept her writing simpler. There were too many unnecessary forms in her way of writing that it really bothered me during the slow moments of the book and I eventually found myself jumping from one sentence to the next just to skip the pattern.

I know I ranted a lot about Mafi’s writing style, but I really did have a great reading experience overall and I feel that for this book the good outweigh the bad. The relationship that blossomed between Adam and Juliette was the main reason this book was a hit for me. I was skeptical about his intentions in the beginning, especially after the incident in the asylum, but I eventually got over it. His thoughtfulness, caring nature and just the way Mafi describe his gentleness towards Juliette, would make anyone’s heart melt! I’ve heard that there is going to be a love triangle in this series, but as of right now, I don’t see how Mafi can pull off the Juliette and Warner pairing. Maybe I’m just being close-minded, but Warner seems so evil, too evil. I like my share of bad boy exterior and softy interior, but Warner brings the “bad boy” image in a whole new creepy level. As for our protagonists, she was different, in a good way. Mafi weaves a tale of such sorrow and sadness that it made me cry for Juliette. Having such a horrendous childhood and being forced into a place of such awful conditions made my heart break a little. After all the tribulations she went through, Juliette was still able to stand-up and care for those who almost destroyed her. She represents a new kind of kick-ass heroine, one who doesn’t physically fight, but rather her strength lies within her and this made me like the book so much more. As much as I enjoyed our heroine, there were other characters that I enjoyed even more. One of them is Kenji. I know, very random, but I find him to be hilarious during times of such conflict and that’s what some books needs. I understand there are serious moments, but its also nice to laugh such gripping scenes. I really wish that he will be a good guy until the end of the series.

Although I found the ending to be rushed, I seriously didn’t mind. I’m glad that it ended the way it did. Cliffhangers doesn’t really bother me, but I like things to be tied together in a pretty little bow. Even if there are questions that still need to be answered, I feel content with knowing what Shatter Me reveals.

***********************SPOILER ALERT!!*********************

EndingComing into this book, I really didn’t know much about it except for Juliette’s deathly touch. Other than that, I didn’t even know it was dystopian. I actually thought this was suppose to have a similar setting as X-men. I’m glad I was wrong. I like that Mafi introduced a world different from my imagination, the desolate and grim background on Juliette’s world made her powers even more exciting. Her super strength was a total surprise, with her powers being opposite of her physical appearance is a nice touch. I do wish that Mafi made either Warner or Adam immune to her, but not both. I just think that’s too convenient, which made me a bit wary.

I’m not really sure what to think of Omega Point. I like the idea of a resistance to the Reestablishment, I just don’t want it to be a District 13 copy-cat. That being out of the way, I’m glad that Juliette found a haven for herself and Adam. Plus, its nice to have a place where she can be accepted and loved for who she is. After all her hardship, she really deserves to be happy and comfortable of herself. I want to read more of the different powers that the other 36 others like Juliette. We do get to see Winston, the doctor that heals Adam, who can stretch his body in different directions, of course there’s also Kenji, who can turn invisible and the two girls, who I think can heal people. Just meeting them, made me excited to see what everyone else can do.

By end of the book, I half expected people to just fly off like the Avengers. Especially, when Juliette wore her special skin tight clothes with gloves and ankle high boots. Seriously, the image of that leaves me in a fit of laughter. Being serious, though, the ending was acceptable, with Adam and Juliette facing the world together hand in hand.