I managed to fit in quite a few books over the past few weeks, which I hope has set me back on the regular reading bandwagon. I thought I would do a quick summary of each in case you get stuck.
All these are books I have borrowed from the library.
The Special Ones
By Em Bailey
This book is about four young people who are kept on a farm, brainwashed, to live out the lives of four characters that appear in a photograph from 100 years ago. They are controlled by Him and are also made to interact with their fans via controlled internet chat sessions. When one character has to 'leave', another is found and taught the ways of the Special Ones.
This book was fantastic. Very tense, quite heart-wrenching at times and gives a view inside the head of a psychopath. Written from the perspective of Esther, one of the Special Ones, you are drawn into the life on the farm and almost forget about the outside world. There are plenty of twists and lots of suspense as Esther tries to maintain her previous memories from before.
An edge-of-your-seat read, a little disturbing but well written and entertaining.
By Sarah Alderson
Ren takes a summer nannying job in Nantucket, a long way from her home in England. Fresh from a break-up she wants to relax and blog about music but instead gets involved with a group of rich kids who love to party. Torn between one boy in particular and the local bad-boy who fixes bikes, Ren gets swept up in a not-so-quiet summer. Add to this some dark secrets and a potential serial-killer on the loose and you get one crazy story.
Now I must admit-this is pretty far past my teen-angst/lust threshold but for some reason it made it onto my nightstand. There were things I liked and disliked about this book. I disliked the flippant take on nannying/child minding. Maybe it's from a mothers perspective but her summer 'job' seemed to be way too easy and gave her way too much free time. The rich kids seemed very Mean Girls-y, even the guys bar one. The murder/mystery plot seemed secondary to the love triangle which was a bit tedious.
I liked the character development of the bad boy, Jesse. I also liked that although it was very predictable, the plot twist still managed to fool me until the last second.
Overall, not a bad book. Not a great book, but I didn't struggle through it and (mostly) enjoyed the read.
By Jessica Khoury
It is quite tricky to summarize this book, a lot happens but I don't want to ruin the plot. This book was quite slow to start but then once the pace quickened, it didn't stop until the end. Sophie is a believable character, the product of a divorced family who desperately wants to be like her mother, or the ideal of her mother. The scientists on the island are (mostly) portrayed as cold and heartless. The narrative is told by Lux some of the time which is very insightful and interesting. Jim, the childhood friend/love interest is also a strong character who proves to be fiercely loyal. There is a lot of action and multiple sinister characters which lead the book into some dark places. The genetic engineering side of the book is almost at the nearly-plausible stage so it doesn't take much imagination to turn this into a potential reality.
Overall a really good read. Well-rounded, definitely not chick-lit.
By Ally Condie
In the Society, officials decide. Who you love, where you work, when you die.
When Cassia turns 17 she attends a matching banquet where it is revealed who she will be matched with for the rest of her life. When a screen reveals that she is matched with Xander, her best friend since childhood, she is happy. But when an image mistakenly flashes up of another boy, Ky, Cassia is drawn to the thought of a different reality. One that challenges the very rules of the so-called perfect Society.
This book is a dystopian novel in a world where the best parts of the past have been preserved but everything else has been erased. Meals, matches, jobs are all decided for you so that you have the longest possible life and contribute to Society. It draws threads from Hunger Games with it's different districts, especially the outer ones serving the more affluent, and Divergent with the rising rebellion against a manufactured society. This is the first in a trilogy, I haven't read the last two books but I plan to.
This book was another quick read, easier than the rest. There was a lot of weight on the love triangle side of the plot which tended to overwhelm a bit but the underlying rebellion was enough to keep me interested. I wouldn't put it quite in the ranks of the aforementioned series, but I still enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading the next two.
I hope you enjoyed my little reviews that became a lot more involved than I was intending. I plan to document the majority of my recreational reading so expect more of the same as I am a literary creature of habit. I would love some recommendations of books along similar lines or any others that you have loved. Rest assured that there will also be more crafty exploits to come too, especially as our house renovations have kicked up a gear in the last month!