Review: Slated by Teri Terry

Title: Slated
Author: Teri Terry
Publisher: January 24th 2013 by Nancy Paulsen Books
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Book Divas
Series: Slated | Fractured
5 owl rating

Summary

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost forever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

My thoughts

In the U.K. in the near future, teens who have been convicted of crimes can be slated, or have their brains wiped. They forget everything about their past: who they were, their personalities, their families, everything. They literally become blank slates. They are then placed with new families who raise them as their own. The slated are like toddlers, just learning about the world and their place in it. To help with the transition, those who have been slated wear bracelets that monitor their brain activity. If they get too sad, angry or aggressive, their bracelets alert the wearer so the offending behavior can be fixed.

This book turned out so differently than I was expecting from the start. At first, the writing bothered me a bit; there was a serious lack of contractions. It was weird, a conversation would be going along fine, then someone would say something like “It is obvious” or “It is fine.” It was kind of jarring and I just knew it would ruin the story for me. But then I really got into it and soon I didn’t even see those little annoyances anymore. Let me assure you, this is a fantastic book.

When I started the book, I wondered why Kyla was so compliant about the slating situation. Where were her parents and why didn’t she wonder the same thing? How could she just go to a new family and act like it was no big deal? What happened if she didn’t fit in? Though these questions were answered eventually, they were slow in coming. There was no big info-dump in the beginning, I just had to read along and wait for the information to be revealed.

I really enjoyed all the characters. It’s hard for me to describe them, though, without revealing some secrets. One of the best things about the book is how I never knew who was trustworthy and who wasn’t. Someone who was a stereotypical bad guy could be secretly good and someone who appeared so good you knew they must be evil, may actually be good. Truly, I never knew what to think about them, and I absolutely loved that.

There wasn’t a lot of action, as far as fight scenes or chases, but there were a ton of tense moments, and Teri Terry really knows how to write them. They were subtle and gripping and I literally held my breath many times throughout the story. Sometimes it was as simple as 2 people having a conversation, but it was written in such a way that you could literally feel the uneasiness between them, even if one of them didn’t.

Finally, the ending frustrated me because it didn’t feel like an ending. It wasn’t that it was a cliffhanger, it just… ended. Almost like Teri Terry had to edit the book down in size, so she just opened a page, pointed and said “Here. Here’s where it will end.” Of course, that just makes me anxious for the next one, so maybe she did it on purpose!

The sum up

I loved every bit of it and can’t wait for the next one.

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Other opinions

The Book Rat
Booked Up!
The Diary of a Bookworm

This book review originally appeared on BookDivas.com

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A Teen’s Review: Every Day by David Levithan

every dayTitle: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Publisher: August 28th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: His mom!

Summary

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.

My (son’s) thoughts

After I finished Every Day and sighed my contented sigh, I handed it to my 14 year old son and told him he had to read it. He did and loved it, so I asked him to share his thoughts. I’ve polished up the wording and sentence structure, but these thoughts are all his:

MAY CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERS

I thought this was a unique and well written story. It was sweet, what A was willing to do for Rhiannon.

A was my favorite character because he tried so hard to get the girl. If I were in the same situation (a new life every day), I wouldn’t be as well-adjusted as A, I would be antisocial and unhappy. I would be too afraid to make a mistake in another person’s body and I wouldn’t be able to adapt quickly, like A did.

Rhiannon was nice, but I didn’t like how stand-offish she was to A, after she first learned the truth. She eventually warmed up to him, which I liked.

I liked the extra plot about the body who remembered being possessed, it was interesting. The man only wanted answers about what had happened to him. View Spoiler »

The book left a lot of questions, and I wish there were a sequel so we could get the answers.

The sum up

Overall, I would suggest this book to everyone, it was a very good book and I would give it 5 owls.

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Review: Every Day by David Levithan

every dayTitle: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Publisher: August 28th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Summary

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.

My thoughts

What an incredibly unique and interesting story. The main character, A, is just a soul with no body. A (who is neither male or female) just wakes up every day in a different body, always the same age as A would be, and always in the same area where it went to sleep the night before. A accepted that fate a long time ago and just goes with the flow, until it meets Rhiannon, the girlfriend of A’s latest body. Something clicks and A doesn’t want to do anything else but stay with Rhiannon.

The characterization was one of the high points for me. A, though a sexless, bodiless being, was kind, honest and had a fun sense of humor. A was always conscious of the host it was in and tried hard to keep things the same, never doing anything stupid or unexplainable. While reading the book, I kept wondering how I would feel to be in such a position: no home, no family, no stability, nothing ever the same. I can’t even tell you how miserable that would make me. But A learned a long time ago that’s just the way it was and didn’t see the point in being mad or sad about it.

Rhiannon was a wonderfully flawed character. She was in a not-so-great relationship and just too scared to get out of it. She was too nice to her boyfriend, who didn’t deserve her. I thought her struggle with accepting A’s life was realistic. Though having no identity was normal for A, Rhiannon struggled to see the same person in many different bodies. We met a few other random characters (the families of A’s bodies, Rhiannon’s friends), but the story was all about A and Rhiannon, which was fine; the two of them carried the novel well.

There was a bit of suspense in the story, when one of A’s bodies suspected something, which I thought was a very nice addition. I couldn’t wait to find out how that plotline would end. There was a wonderful message threaded throughout the story: love is blind. It doesn’t matter someone’s sex, color, religion, height, weight or hair color. All that matters is what’s underneath. But for A and Rhiannon, there were complications that made it not so black and white.

The cover is perfect. I love the feeling it evokes, it’s very appropriate for the story.

The sum up

Another home run for David Levithan. It was sad and sweet and just… wonderful. Read this book. Trust me.

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Review: Die For Me by Amy Plum

die for me by amy plumTitle: Die for Me
Author: Amy Plum
Publisher: May 10th 2011 by HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover, 341 pages
Series: Book 1 in the Revenants Trilogy
Source: purchased

Summary

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

My thoughts

To be honest, I had no idea what the book was about, but I heard all of the fanfare for the second book in the series, and I wanted to give it a try. The plot wasn’t especially unique in young adult literature today (girl destined to be with boy, obstacles abound), but I liked how this one was handled.

I liked all of the characters, especially Kate. She was a strong person who’d recently lost her parents. She was still struggling with being an orphan, but she had her sister to commiserate with. I thought it was interesting to see how the sisters dealt with their grief so differently: Georgia went out and distracted herself with boys and parties, while Kate’s solution was to occupy her mind with school and art. But they were there for, and supported, each other. I especially liked Kate’s decision to not have a relationship with Vincent, once she realized how his being a revenant might bother her so soon after the death of her parents. It was a wise and atypical teenage thing to do.

Their grandparents, whom they lived with in Paris, weren’t around very much, so we didn’t learn a lot about them. They seemed nice enough, just showing up every once in a while for an understanding pep talk or an encouraging suggestion. Clearly, they were taking the lax approach to parenting. Vincent was a very sweet guy. We learned about his background and how he ended up where he was. He was a classic swoon-worthy hero. At first, I kind of rolled me eyes and chuckled at the swooniness of it, but finally, I just accepted it for what it was, and I really ended up enjoying the romance aspect of the story. These were two people who had a connection and wanted to make it work. There was no insta-love (though there was insta-attraction!). Just good old-fashioned interest and talking and getting to know each other.

This was my first introduction to revenants and I was quite pleased. I’ve seen some compare them to zombies, but I didn’t see that at all. The revenants died sometime in the past, and for reasons unknown, they came back to life. Now, compulsion drives them to sacrifice themselves to save strangers. Even if they don’t die during these rescues, they still have a 3 day period every month (kind of like PMS from hell) where they appear dead, though they can “haunt” other revenants with their spirit. There are also evil revenants who like to kill people. Basically, Kate has to decide if she can fall in love with Vincent and watch him die over and over, or if that would be too hard for her, given that her own parents had recently died.

The dialogue was peppered with the occasional French phrase but it wasn’t hard to understand what they were saying. Otherwise, everyone was very straight-shooting and I liked that. I enjoyed the way one of the other revenants flirted with Katie, the innocently sweet way he did it and always managed to make her blush.

There were plenty of swoon-worthy moments. Vincent was basically every girl’s dream boyfriend. He was kind and sweet and hot and once his revenant occupation became a problem, he did what he could to make it easier on Katie. When they were apart, he was just as torn up as she was. He said all the right things and was protective of her. No wonder she fell for him!

I’m a big fan of this cover. Of course, it doesn’t have anything to do with the story (though it does feature a Parisian landmark), but it’s very pretty.

The sum up

A classic young adult love story with a few twists.

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Check out my review of Book 2, Until I Die.

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The Host by Stephenie Meyer {Review}

The Host by Stephenie Meyer {Review}Title: The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company on May 6th, 2008
Format: Hardcover, 619 pages
Source: Purchased
5 Stars
The sum up

The Host is an amazing, un-put-downable story. The writing is vivid and the characters are real and full. It’s a long one, but I found myself hurrying to find out how it ends and wishing it would go on and on.

[Read more...]

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