Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Broken City by D.D. Chant

Valerie is going to do this review in third person. She doesn't exactly have a legitimate reason for doing so, but her excuse is that Broken City is too awesome to do a regular review for. Not that Valerie ever did regular reviews....
 3.5 out of 5 stars
Broken City by D.D. Chant
3.5 out of 5 stars
Out. Happiness!
Summary from Goodreads: Deeta Richards has never seen the outside world. Before she was born a banking crisis brought civilization to an end and now no one leaves the safety of the compounds unless they need to, but Deeta still dreams of seeing more than the building she was born in. Tom is in the guard, this group are the only people that the tribal elders allow to leave the compound and Tom knows only too well that Deeta could never survive the harshness that exists outside. Then tragedy strikes and Deeta and her sister Jan find themselves captured by a hostile tribe. Why does Tom know so much about these people? And why do they know so much about him? As this mystery draws to a climax, they discover that their friend Tom is not quite what he seems...

Valerie really enjoys the character Tom. In her opinion, he is smart, complicated, calm and definitely a hero. He was always there for Deeta, no matter what the circumstances were. Valerie loves how hard it was to figure him out; she loves characters with that characteristic. Not only that, but she also loves Tom's story. He has a whole back story that is surprising and unexpected, but it also explains his character and his reason for being in the same building with Deeta. Valerie greatly favors Tom; according to her he is probably her favorite character in the book.

That's not to detract from Deeta, of course. Valerie liked reading from Deeta's point of view. She liked reading about her life and all of her moments with Tom (obviously!). Valerie enjoys the fact that Deeta is a curious, strong heroine, even considering her sheltered background. Valerie thinks that Deeta is pretty epic! Valerie also thinks that Deeta is realistic character; she's believable and likable as well. Deeta is just plain cool.

The supporting characters, in Valerie's opinion, are well-developed. All of the actions made by them are believable. Valerie was not dumbfounded at any point at how absurd a character ended up being or how odd they were acting. Why? Well, they didn't break character, so they weren't absurd. Valerie loved the variety in ages in the supporting characters. There were children, but there were also older characters as well. Yay!

Valerie loves the plot. She loves how unpredictable it is. She loves how she did not see the ending coming. She's obsessed with the fact that the twists, however unseen, also made sense. Valerie likes how it's unique from most dystopian novels. She likes how there are tribes, which makes it seem a bit more realistic and less unbelievable. As you can see, Valerie really likes this plot. She can tell you might be tired of reading about it, so she will now move on.

The only problem that Valerie has with the story is the amount of typos. It was sometimes hard for Valerie to focus on the story when the missing punctuation marks and spelling errors made it hard to understand the writing. She just wishes that they wouldn't detract from the story. However, at times the typos really annoyed Valerie. At times Valerie got really....

There's a lot of Valerie's in this review... don't you think?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

I just wanted to say that Cracked Up to Be is perfectly sad and sadly perfect. (Although I'm not sure why being perfect would be sad. Parker Fadley knows though.) 5 out of 5 stars.
Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
5 out of 5 stars
Out. Buy it. Change your life.
Summary from Goodreads: When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace? Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her conselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all. Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth. Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

Cracked Up To Be was the exact opposite of what I expected. It's about a girl with issues, and the girl is just trying push everyone away. She's trying to remember this huge mistake she made, even when everyone else has forgotten about it or gotten over it. She's sinking into herself, into this huge hole that replays that one night over and over again. This girl, Parker, just wants to be alone, but no one will let her be.

I didn't hate Parker like some people did. In the beginning, I just couldn't understand why she acted the way she did. I was a little confused by why she was so cold, but as the story kept on going, I started to understand. Parker Fadley is not easy to like, but you can't help loving her. I wanted to scream at her at times, but I couldn't. It was like she was this fragile thing underneath her facade. I felt like she was far away and I couldn't reach her, just like everyone else she knew did.

When I finally figured out why Parker is so broken, I started crying. I normally don't cry when I read books, but I couldn't help it. Parker's mermory is so horrible; I can't imagine having to live through it. Parker gives you the memory in bits and pieces, but that doesn't stop the force of it. I couldn't believe how terrible it was. Well, actually, I could, but it was still really shocking. I mean, from the way Parker acted after, it wasn't hard to believe the truth.

I really hated the ending. I hated how unhappy it was. I guess that's the way it was supposed to be. Parker made this huge mistake. She kept on pushing people away. She has to pay the consequences after. I hated how it ended up that way, with all the happiness a little too far away from her grasp. It made me sad how a sad book ended in a sad ending. But it makes you cry. I haven't written a review in a long time, but Cracked Up to Be made me start writing one. It also made me want to be a little nicer and a little better. It changes you. That's the true beauty of Cracked Up to Be. No matter how much you want to stop thinking about it and just try to stay the same, you can't. You have to change.

I guess that's the way Courtney Summers meant it to be.

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