Review of books one and two in “The Unwanteds Quests” series, by Lisa McMann

The Unwanteds Quests

This is the sequel series to “The Unwanteds,” and I found the first two books to be disappointing.

***THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR “THE UNWANTEDS” SERIES.***

Books one and two of “The Unwanteds Quests” are in the perspective of Alex and Aaron’s younger twin sisters, Fifer and Thisbe.

Fifer and Thisbe are desperate to learn magic, as they are easily the most powerful mages in Artimé, having killed Captain Baldhead in Artimé’s final battle and destroying the silence spell on Warbler Island.

But Alex forbids them to learn, because it’s “dangerous.” They get into all sorts of trouble performing spells they shouldn’t know and sneaking out of the mansion.

Then one day, bad news arrives. Hux, the ice-blue dragon, returns to Artimé, requesting new wings for him and his siblings. The problem is, he needs them because they are enslaved and need them to do work.

Is this Fifer and Thisbe’s chance to finally use the magic they’ve been dreaming of? Find out by reading “The Unwanteds Quests.”

Rating: 2.5/5 stars. These books were depressing, with poor Alex and his unusable dominant arm. I think this was the main reason the series focused more on Thisbe and Fifer, and not Alex, because Alex can’t even do magic anymore. Some people die in the series (sorry for the slight spoiler there), so overall, not the happiest books. If you’re looking for a book or two that’ll cheer you up, this is not the place to go. Also, I found that the series was very slow, and does not speed up until halfway through the second book. I found myself zoning out many times, having to backtrack a page or so every time. (And that rarely happens with me!) There were a couple other issues I found with the series, but I couldn’t tell you without ruining the books!

Ages: 11-14

***THE SPOILERS END HERE.***

I do not recommend the first two books in “The Unwanteds Quests” series unless you read “The Unwanteds” series first. (I tried once and I only got a couple chapters in!) Also, if you dislike sad books, do not read them. However, if you can’t wait to know what happens next, go ahead!

Divergent by Veronica Roth

image of book cover of Divergent

The book series called Divergent is an interesting one. It is the first book in a three-part series (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant). This was a book recommended by a friend who has a similar taste in books. Overall, I enjoyed this book, though some parts were questionable.
Divergent is about a future Chicago where everybody is split into factions. There are 5 factions with different attributes associated with it. There is Abnegation (Selflessness), Amity (Peaceful), Candor (Truthful), Dauntless (Brave), and Erudite (Smart). When you turn 16 you go through a test in which you are given a faction that is mostly likely one that you would be placed in based on what you pick in the test. There is then a ceremony where you must pick where you live, work, and do everything for the rest of your life. There are tests to get into the faction and if you don’t pass you could become factionless. However, there are people called the Divergent. These people can do things like manipulate the tests and be aware that they are in a simulation (whereas normal people can’t).
Beatrice Prior (Now known as Tris) was born and raised in Abnegation where everything they do has to be selfless, whether it means eating the simplest food or letting other people get on the bus before you. When she takes her aptitude test to see which faction she is fit for, the person administering it stops and says she is Divergent. She says this is dangerous, not to tell anyone, and then manually logs the data saying Tris is Abnegation. When the ceremony comes around Tris must make a hard decision. She picks Dauntless, where they are all about being brave. She has a large amount of experiences, losses, and rivalry along the way. She also meets a person named Four (Tobias Eaton). They start to have a romantic relationship but must keep it a secret. They then discover a plot against the Abnegation, started by the Erudite who want power, and powered by the Dauntless because they have skills in combat. They are being controlled by a serum that had been injected unknowingly. Since Tris is Divergent she is not affected. She needs to save her friends and stop the Erudite from killing all the Abnegation.
I overall enjoyed this book a lot. The only parts I didn’t like were when she was talking with Four. The way that it was described and, the way that they communicated seemed inappropriate for 16-year-olds. Besides that, and the fact that some parts are sad. It was a very good book and I would recommend it, especially if you are into books such as The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, or Harry Potter.
I would rate this book a 9/10.

 

Review of “The Unwanteds” series, by Lisa McMann

two children fleeing from a winged giant cat

 

“The Unwanteds” was a very entertaining series, and I had a fun time reading the books.

Alex lives in Quill, a land that hates and fears creativity of any kind. On a specific day every year, Quillens celebrate the Purge. The Purge is a holiday that separates out the thirteen-year olds of their country, picking out the Wanteds (the people designated to be the future leaders of Quill and who have some life in them), the Necessaries (the people to keep the population of Quill alive and are drab and lifeless), and the Unwanteds (the creative people who will be sent to their death. I know, morbid, right?).

Alex, unfortunately, is deemed Unwanted, whereas his identical twin brother, Aaron, is a Wanted. Alex is sent away to be killed, to the place where they end the Unwanteds, the Death Farm, but miraculously, he doesn’t die! He is sent to a magical world called Artimé by the Death Farmer, a mage named Marcus Today.

Alex befriends other Unwanteds named Lani, Samheed, and Meghan, and together they make dicoveries, learn magic, and go on adventures.

Rating: 4/5 stars. The issues I found with this series were that 1) it was too romantic (at least for me, but if you like romance you’d love it), 2) the battle scenes (especially the one in the last book) were way too long, and 3) I found that the plot line got a little bit repetitive in the final books. Other than that, it was good. This series was great, but I’m hard to please when it comes to books.

Ages: 12-15

Lunar Chronicles Cress book review

 

This is the 3rd book in the Lunar Chronicles Series.  This book revolves around a girl named Cress who is trapped in a satellite.  Cress is related to the story of Rapunzel. As Cinder, Throne,  Wolf, and Scarlet join together in their journey, they find out the girl who warned Cinder about Queen Leanna in the first book. While communicating with the Rampion spaceship, Cress asks Cinder’s crew to rescue her from the satellite where she was imprisoned by Thaumaturge Sybil Mira. However, this rescue mission takes a dangerous turn when Thaumaturge Sybil Mira finds out that Cinder’s crew is going to rescue Cress. Another new character is introduced known as Jacin Clay, the pilot who flew Thaumaturge Sybil Mira to Cress’ spaceship in order for her to lay out the trap for the crew but, Jacin Clay joins Cinder’s side and plays an important role throughout the rest of the series.

THE TRAP THAT SEPARATES THE CREW…

The trap results in Throne and Cress close to death with Wolf so injured that he is unconscious, and Scarlet captured by Sybil Mira. Cinder is the only one left who thinks Throne and Cress are certainly dead.  So she decides to go to Africa to meet with Dr. Erland. On the other hand, Throne and Cress land on the Sahara Desert but, soon rescued by a group of people who turn out to be Lunar traffickers that kidnap Cress and take her to Dr. Erland. What they don’t know is Dr. Erland and Cress are related… and Throne goes after Cress and the group is reunited again except for Scarlet.

KIDNAPPING THE KING…

The crew together hatches a plan to kidnap Emperor Kai who fell in love with Cinder in the first book, but is marrying Queen Levena to prevent war with Lunars.  Later on, the crew decides to go to Luna and declare Cinder as the missing princess Selene, and have a plot to overthrow the queen. Many dangers takes place in this plan, causing some to die.

NEW LOVE!

A new love story is created between Throne and Cress! This brings them even closer as they get stuck together in the Sahara Desert.

RATING

I would rate the book a 9 out of 10 because of its surprises, twists, and turns. It really makes you  think what will happen to the crew when they reach Luna as Cinder is back to her home planet,  and will Wolf meet his parents after many years. This also makes you want to read the next book to find out what happens to the crew and will they succeed?…..and what is Queen Levena plotting?  This is a great book! Definitely read this book but, first read the first two books in the series if you haven’t yet.

Otherworld (Book Review)


Stars — 4/5
Summary — The company says Otherworld is amazing — like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive — that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.
Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.
And it’s about to change humanity forever.
Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.

Thoughts — I loved Otherworld. It was funny and somewhat serious at the same time. It almost felt like reading about a possible future for our world, just because in reality, technology is so advanced now that it’s kind of scary. The characters in Otherworld all had their own attributes that made them, them. Like, Simon had his nose, or Kishka as he called it.
Simon was my favorite character. He was hilarious even though his parents didn’t seemed like they cared at all. His childhood wasn’t full of loving memories and his parents were rich and constantly gone. That just made me love him more. I’ve also found that characters with the name Simon have gone through so much, but they have a great sense of humor.
Another thing that was great about this book was that I got to meet Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller at Yallfest a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing. They were hilarious and I stood in line for twenty minutes to get the book signed. Their panel was awesome!

Age — 13+

Rengades (Book Review)

Renegades

Stars- 5/5

Summary – The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone … except the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.(Goodreads)

Thoughts – I absolutely loved Renegades! It took me less than a day to read it. I couldn’t put it down, just like I couldn’t put down any of The Lunar Chronicles books or how Heartless was impossible to stop reading. That’s what I love about Marissa Meyer’s books — they pull you in and they won’t let you out until you’ve devoured the entire story.
This month, I was lucky enough to meet Marissa Meyer and see her in a panel with Cassandra Clare which was amazing! She was super nice and I got Cinder and Heartless signed. I wrote a review on YALLfest so go check that out!
My favorite character in Renegades would have to be Nova. She was strong and though her abilities weren’t showy, they were silent and powerful. On the other hand, my least favorite character was Ingrid, she was just horrible to the other Anarchists.
I highly suggest this to anyone that likes superheroes or anyone that enjoyed Marissa Meyer’s other books.

Age – 12+

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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“Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
                                                                                                                                                          The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: be a weapon. Or be a warrior.”

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