reganoutloud: (Default)
Diana Peterfreund - Across A Star-Swept Sea
The blurb: Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, dystopia, romance, science-fiction
Date I started this book: 03/02/2016
Date I finished this book 06/02/2016

What did I think? While I will always have a place in my heart for its companion novel For Darkness Shows the Stars, I must admit that Across A Star-Swept Sea really brought my love for Diana Peterfreund and her writing to new heights. Her characters are incredibly well-drawn, riddled with complexities and flaws that make them more human. But even more than that, her story is told fantastically, with twists and turns that will definitely blow readers away. The combination of these two elements set against a world that's lovely, lush and very different from its predecessor is really what makes this novel such a phenomenal hit.

Persis is, by far, the strongest character in this novel, particularly because she leads a double life. Her unquestionable intelligence, and her ability to slip from one character into another, make her the perfect candidate to play the role of the Wild Poppy, who comes to the aid of those in need. She's also a wonderful daughter and friend, who is loyal, kind and always willing to help those she loves. It was marvelous to see her capabilities shine in this book, even when faced with the most dire of situations. Persis Blake is most definitely kick-ass, and I absolutely adored her for it!

The story in this book is very clever, as it combines the romance, the Wild Poppy's adventures and the political ties between the neighboring islands of Galatea and Albion. Having too many plot threads could have been potentially confusing, but Peterfreund certainly handles each one skillfully. With an equal balance of swoon-worthy moments with adorably nerdy Justen Helo, tense encounters as the Wild Poppy and revelations that caught me off guard, it's no surprise that Across A Star-Swept Sea is one of my favorite reads this year.
reganoutloud: (Cherries)
Diana Peterfreund - For Darkness Shows the Stars
The blurb: Fans of Divergent will love Diana Peterfreund’s take on Jane Austen’s Persuasion set in a post-apocalyptic world.

In the dystopian future of For Darkness Shows the Stars, a genetic experiment has devastated humanity. In the aftermath, a new class system placed anti-technology Luddites in absolute power over vast estates—and any survivors living there.

Elliot North is a dutiful Luddite and a dutiful daughter who runs her father’s estate. When the boy she loved, Kai, a servant, asked her to run away with him four years ago, she refused, although it broke her heart.

Now Kai is back. And while Elliot longs for a second chance with her first love, she knows it could mean betraying everything she’s been raised to believe is right.

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking YA romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, dystopia, romance, science-fiction
Date I started this book: 31/01/2016
Date I finished this book 02/02/2016

What did I think? With this book, for some reason, I had a preconceived idea of what this book was about. Upon hearing it was a Science Fiction/Post Apocalyptic retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, I thought I was sure I knew what I was getting into. I was initially caught off guard by a mood and setting of the book I wasn't expecting to read. This at first had me reading this book much slower than it ought to have been read until I gave it a second chance. I'm glad I did! This book is a gorgeous Post Apocalyptic, yet refined retelling of a story you thought you knew.

I was initially not excited about the Austen-era propriety in the book, as I don't usually associate it with Science Fiction. By the midway point I decided that it fit tone of the story and provided a really great contrast between technology and the ways of the stingy Luddites who want nothing to do with the technology that previously destroyed the human population. The world itself was absolutely gorgeous. Diana Peterfreund just has a way of describing the setting and setting up the mood of a story!

The characters of this book were so deeply written and rather heart-wrenching at times. The relationship of Elliot and Kai was written really well. It wasn't too lovey-dovey, but rather thoughtful and powerful, crossing the boundaries of their society. The social boundaries in this book are much deeper than upper and lower class. The Reduction was an event in the book's past where humans experiments with genetic enhancement went horribly wrong and all who survived became 'Reduced' to the mental capacity of a young child. I loved this controversial subject and I think it's horrifyingly believable!

I would recommend this book to people who have a taste for unique worlds and love the artful language. It's definitely a unique but well-executed contribution to the post apocalyptic genre.
reganoutloud: (Sunflowers)
Rick Yancey - The Infinite Sea
The blurb: The riveting follow-up to the New York Times bestselling The 5th Wave, hailed by Justin Cronin as “wildly entertaining.”

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: dystopia, science-fiction, young adult
Date I started this book: 27/01/2016
Date I finished this book 29/01/2016

What did I think? This is really quite short. It feels incomplete, and not just because it's the middle book. I found it compelling and read it quickly, but I feel like it needs a lot more exposition.

The motivation of whoever it is that's done this thing to the Earth is still completely baffling. The different explanations really haven't made sense and have left more questions than answers.
I also feel that some of the characters could have been more developed, I don't feel I know them any more than at the end of the first book. There are a characters who are clearly gonners with all the classic pointers to their gonner status through the story, yet other characters are only there at the end via a couple of plot holes.

I've still given it four stars because it is compelling, and it kept me reading, if a bit frustrated. Also I think the ideas and world building are amazing. I do wish the next book was out soon as this one has left a lot of questions.
reganoutloud: (Starry-Eyed)
Rick Yancey - The 5th Wave
The blurb:After the 1st wave, only darkness remains.
After the 2nd, only the lucky escape.
And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive.
After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave.

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother and even saving herself. Now she must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. Cassie Sullivan gets up

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: dystopia, science-fiction, young adult
Date I started this book: 21/01/2016
Date I finished this book 26/01/2016

What did I think? Overall I really enjoyed The 5th Wave, even though it wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I haven't read many books that shift perspective between several main characters and so at first, I found it somewhat difficult to get into. The flow just seemed to falter for me when the point of view initially shifted from teenage heroine Cassie, since I already felt invested in her story. Given that the others were not as charismatic and endearing to me, I found myself always hoping the attention would soon return to her. When the characters began to cross paths and their stories moved closer together however, it really picked up.

I liked how he didn't gloss over the minutiae of living in the wild and the little details of the complexities of surviving by yourself, on the run with little experience was a welcome breath of fresh air (hello tampons anyone? Nice to know someone remembered!)

It's a strong, compelling work that handles a subject easily prey to the ridiculous in a capable and intelligent manner that makes you think about whether we really are alone in the universe and if not, do we even have a hope?

Regan

Female. Seventeen. June 28th. Gemini. Londoner. College student. Future Sociocultural anthropologist. Gymnast. Swimmer. Cheerleader. Knitter. Baker.
Loves reading, watching tv/movies, chelsea fc, music, animals, fashion, disney, miley cyrus, one direction, 5 seconds of summer, science fiction, fantasy, horror, football, cupcakes, tea, space, pirates, dinosaurs, mythology, the paranormal, dolphins and wordsearches

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