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I Read: Maze Runner Trilogy

My original plan was to review these books as I went along, I wanted to have a distinct post written on each of the 3 books… however, I got rather behind with blogging about things, and if I only post one book review a week I’ll have them written until January… so it’s time to clump things together so I don’t get behind. This is a catching up exercise!

There are just too many things I want to talk about!

maze runner

Yet another YA book trilogy is to be made into a film, so in real Claire tradition I wanted to read the whole series before I went to see the film. I was pleasantly surprised by this trilogy… I’ve read a tonne of young adult novels lately, and some of them feel so similar. This one had some elements that made it very similar… i.e. teenagers, and there being some big bad that they had to deal with. What made this series feel different for me was the not knowing what was really happening, as the kids in the maze didn’t really have any clue why they were there in the first place.

I can see why people have compared these books to The Hunger Games, there is an element of kids against the world. The reasons they are in the maze is different to the games though, which makes it work a little better for me.

The reveals in the first book are quite slow, so it was frustrating at times, but the lack of knowledge amongst the characters made me want to read further to find out what on earth was going on in the maze.

maze runner2

The second book in the trilogy has far more twists and turns. I found it very hard to work out which characters I was supposed to be rooting for, and who I was meant to hate. Like Brenda… I just could not trust that girl, then just as I was starting to accept her, she disappears. The paranoia is palpable.

WICKED broke the rules in this one, which was interesting, as they had let so many other subjects die in various ways, but because there was a variable they weren’t planning for… they interefered. Which is odd, surely that could have been useful data for them, but I guess it’s bad form to kill of your main character!

We still don’t really know what is going on, the vague memories and flashbacks we see don’t explain anything. We don’t know what the variables are, and how they will use the patterns once they have found them.

As soon as I picked this one up from the library, I had the next one reserved so that I could continue straight on.

maze runner3

This is the last installment in the trilogy, so I went into this hoping that some more things were tied up, so we could get some closure.

Throughout the book I still wasn’t sure if the trials were over or not yet, there were certain things that happened that made me think that they were still being tested – like the presence of beetle blades in WICKED HQ, or the fact that getting to the arms locker and helipad felt just too damn easy and  then conveniently went wrong at a key time to make Thomas make a decision about whether to leave someone behind. After thinking about it at the end of the book, I think all of these events take place outside of the trials… maybe.

It was noticeable that Theresa didn’t feature as heavily in this book after she had been such an important part of the books previously. This wasn’t too jarring for me, as I was seriously still cross with her after what she has done.

The ‘happily ever after’ ending felt a little bit of a cop out, but at least we know that there is hope now, even if Brenda lied to Thomas… that was rude. They’re all safe now, which is good. They don’t deserve more drama after all that they have been through.

I’ve seen the movie to this too… and I’m still mulling over the rage at the differences… we’ll just have to watch this space to see if there is a movie review post!

– girlinthenerdshop

I Read – Extras by Scott Westerfield

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Extras by Scott Westerfield

Extras by Scott Westerfield

I am not normally one for reading books in sequence, as I tend to find I lose myself in the setting and then adjusting to a new book becomes more and more difficult the more invested I become. I read this series in a row more for convenience, as I borrowed them from the library all in one go. So it made sense to put the reviews out in order.

This is the fourth book in this trilogy. It’s set three years after the events in Specials, these events now known as the ‘mind rain’. To make up for the stagnation in technology, this book has made leaps and bounds in what the citizens call progress. It also helps to drive the plot that there is so much going on, and such a great need for expanding cities. For a third of the book we are following a new cast, in a different town, and the strangeness of that town was new and exciting enough to carry me for the most part. Then the other two-thirds happen.

There is no Ugly / Pretty distinction anymore. People can change their appearance in any way that they want to. The new system is based around fame. The higher your face rating, the more things you can buy, the better places you can live. Aya starts out as a nobody, until she finds a story that she thinks will help her break into the big time. Chasing the story is all she wants, no matter what the costs to herself or her friends. The story she is chasing leads her to find something much bigger. She pushes the story and her fame sky rockets. Making her nearly as famous as Tally [our favourite protagonist from the preceeding trilogy].

Tally comes to the rescue, as now Aya is in danger because of what she knows, and what she has revealed to the world. However, she did make some serious Goldblum leaps of logic to get from secret base built inside a mountain to world destroying missile launch base. She had no real proof of anything she posted.

The rest of the book is a large series of Tally being Tally and over reacting to a lot of things… and they do eventually get to the bottom of thing. Not without some drama though. We have some fire in this one… and also a whole bunch of weird surgical enhancements for better adaptation to zero-gravity.

I have to say I was disappointed that we had to bring Tally back to solve all of the problems. It was irritating, as she is a far weaker character than Aya and her brother are. I wanted to know more about the world now that they have found their freedom.

All that said, I did enjoy it more than the other books in the trilogy. And I feel a certain amount of acomplishment for having finished the series. Sometimes I wish that we could be given achievement points for things like this… I should be working towards a master level YA Fiction reader badge at the very least.

I shouldn’t be so critical, it was an easy read that I finished in a short amount of time. It had enough drama to keep me wanting to find a resolution. And the clever ‘extras’ play was good. Like… extras in a TV show are the nobodies that fill in the background, and extras like extraterrestrials. Very clever Mr Westerfield, I approve.

I couldn’t recommend reading it, I wouldn’t want to inflict that on anyone, but it satisfied me. And it helped me along the road to book challenge completion!

I wonder what I should read next. Do you have any suggestions?


I Read – Specials by Scott Westerfield

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Specials by Scott Westerfield

Specials by Scott Westerfield

Yes, I did it. I finished the trilogy. I feel so accomplished.

We have more operations, Tally has now been chopped up and super reinforced… I think at this point that there is very little of her left. Anything that was actually Tally as she was born, has all be erased – made to be perfect. The operation to Special level, changed her skeleton entirely, so now she is made of Superman and Wolverine. Rock hard and self-healing. Which is pretty cool, apart from the fact that she has been super tampered with to get her to that stage.

The feelings of superiority have increased ten-fold. The divide between Uglies and Pretties is just a childish squabble in comparison to how the Specials feel about everybody else. The Pretties are vapid and weak, and the Uglies are worse than dirt on their shoes. At least Tally has emotions now right?

Nope… she still can’t think for herself. Instead of a boy being the one leading her through this book. Shay is boss, and does all the thinking for the entire group. It gives the impression that Shay has been altered slightly more, as she had more tricks up her sleeve and knew exactly how to manipulate the others to do what she wanted them to. Like destroying the armoury entirely whilst trying to make it look like a casual breaking and entering. This causes bad things, like a war to start. Even though War is a Rusty concept and the Bubble operation was meant to stamp that out of people. Apparently that only works on the stupid, inferior types and the head of Special Circumstances can do whatever the hell she likes.

The plot in this one is identical to the last one. Which was pretty disappointing really. Tally gets dragged along, tried to do her own thing but ultimately it doesn’t go her way. She injures herself badly, acts recklessly and still needs to be rescued by somebody.

The epic quest for this portion of the Uglies Saga takes us to ANOTHER CITY! Can you believe it? No, neither can I. We do a whole bunch of riding on hover boards and tracking the Crims and all kinds of slow moving stuff. Which is incredibly frustrating considering the special abilties that we could’ve had put into play. Mostly we had to wait for lover boy though, we needed to protect him [oh how the tables had turned!]

The Smokies have help from city, and they are in the process of taking over. This city seems so different to the one Tally originated in, the borders between each age group are much more relaxed. Even the committee in charge of how the Pretties look seems much more relaxed, as they let all kind of body modifications happen that wouldn’t have been allowed in Tally’s town. Blah blah, Tally is the only one who can fix things and save the day. Actually she has a little help from her first true love. Again.

The ending was the weird part for me. After all the time she spent in this trilogy fighting to escape the city, and the indoctrination that came alongside with that. Her decision to monitor the new cities after the all the trouble ends. So she wants to enforce boundaries now that they can all do whatever they hell they want. Seems legit, I thought she’d go and have her ‘special’ taken away so she could live happily in the woods, burning trees to her hearts content. However, she did have a change of heart and decide that David wasn’t actually as repulsive and ugly as she first thought, so she’ll stay with him in the wild if that’s all ok with you.

I don’t see why he forgave her, after she betrayed him multiple times, and said some really mean and low things to make him escape without her. It would take more than a grand gesture to turn my feelings around if someone had tried to ruin everything that you stood for. Again, it was convenient.

I’m told there is a fourth book in this trilogy. And I have it on reservation from the library. I don’t know why I do this to myself… although, this one is set in the same universe, it doesn’t have the same cast of characters. This idea intrigues me, and I hope that it works better for me than this book did.

– girlinthenerdshop

I Read – Pretties by Scott Westerfield

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Pretties by Scott Westerfield

Pretties by Scott Westerfield

I’ve done a fair bit of reading of late, and I finished off this trilogy this week.

This is the second book in this trilogy, and it starts shortly after the events of Uglies. Tally has had the operation and she now lives in New PrettyTown with all the other teenagers. She seems happy for the most part, but a little bit distant from her friends whilst they go about their decadent, party all night lifestyles. At a party she sees something that triggers a memory… this sets of a chain of events that lead to her trying to escape the city again.

The writing style keeps in character for the whole of the book, so you see how shallow the pretties are. All they care about is things being bubbly, not bogus and their biggest concerns are making sure that they aren’t fashion-missing and they’re keeping up with the latest trends, be that tattoos that flash with your heartbeat or clock gems that run backwards in your eyes. It really helps to build a stronger sense of what they think is important. Tally was always talking about being one in the previous book, so it’s quite curious to see how she integrates with the other Pretties. It was pretty jarring at times, as Tally thinks these words aswell between her speech, no matter how much it shows about her a person.

All the concerns that the Pretties have are very relatable, the majority of people will have had concerns about fitting in with other people and not wanting to look stupid because they didn’t keep up to date with fashion. It’s all part of being a teenager, trying to follow a crowd so you aren’t alone, but also trying to exert some kind of independance and indivituality.

Plotwise… not a lot happens. We spend most of the book trying to become alert enough to escape with our friends. After the escape Special Circumstances are right back in there, just like last time. They catch up quickly because the love interest didn’t know about the tracker he was carrying in his mouth. Tally has to make a decision, stay with the boy she loves now, or run away and stay in the New Smoke with love interest from the previous book. She stays with Pretty boy and gets dragged back to town by Shay.

I think Shay was the more interesting character here, and maybe we should have seen more of her in this book. She manages to achieve all the same things that Tally and Zane do – but without the medication, or the ‘strong guy’ to lead her there. She climbs up the tower like Tally did, and she said it didn’t have such a profound affect on her like it did Tally… so you can see that Shay is always thinking about this, and her jealously has much more depth than anything that Tally has written about her.

After finishing this book, I really wasn’t sure that I wanted to carry on reading, the world just seems to have the perfect technology to conveniently move the story along. Adrenaline helps the Crims to clear their heads and plot the escape… so lets have a floating ice rink as a convenient vehicle. It needed a little more depth for my liking.

We both know that I’m going to read the last book in the trilogy right? I’m a sucker for completing things like that.





I Read – Lorien Legacies

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This isn’t just going to be about one book, oh no, it’s a series! The Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore are probably my favourite Alien / Otherworld / Supernatural books ever. I read the first book when the film came out, and the second book shortly after it’s release a year later. They are lost in the background of my mind for their exact content, I just remember really liking the way that the legacies appeared uncontrolably and when the kids needed them the most.

This series starts with I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four

You may remember that this one was made into a film, I really enjoyed it. The general population, did not. So plans to continue the series in a film format got put on hold. I don’t think this is fair… not everything can be as successful as Harry Potter.

Some background for you now, in this setting there were 9 children sent to Earth from the planet Lorien. These children were sent with protectors to hide out on Earth whilst a massive battle raged on and destroyed their homeworld. This is a pretty terrible thing to have to face as a child.

They are protected by a charm that means they can only be killed in their numbered order… this book starts with the death of Number 3. And John Smith, or Four wakes up in pain as a new scar sears into his ankle. This means they have to go on the run again. Very challenging for a surly teenager that just wants to be normal.

As this series progresses we meet more of the Loric children as they develop their legacies [super powers essentially]. Bad things happen as is custom and handy for plot development. The aim is to gather the remaining numbers together so they can face the Big Bad Evil Man Setrakus Ra and then head home on their space ship to bring new life to the planet.

We first meet Number Six at the end of the first book, but we see a lot more of her in The Power of Six. She is a bad ass and a trained fighter who has had to rely on herself since her guardian wasn’t there to do it for her. She adds a much needed strong heroine to plot.

power of 6

I had left off reading these books at this point, so their details are a bit fuzzy. I wanted there to be a whole chunk of this series for me to read in one go so I could fully engage with the universe and finish it. Not the case, as I picked the 3rd and 4th book up from the library recently, and they follow:

The next book The Rise of Nine gives us more time to play with the ever so cheeky Nine [what, more out of order numbers, what could this mean!?] We also spend a lot of time with Marina [Seven, but she prefers Marina] who was emancipated from an orphange by Six when the Evil Men [Mogadorians] attack. This one is split into several different characters telling the story, so we get a lot of different perspectives. It is a good way to keep track of many different people and the two groups as they are split in this book. This one we hunt for Eight, and find him. He’s cool, and living in the mountains pretending to be Vishnu… which is a little bit naughty, but it does mean that people will do anything they can to protect him.

rise of 9

Finally having so many of these characters together really makes me want to carry on reading, they all have different strengths and are very distinct characters [which has been one of my complaints before, that identical main characters are no fun to read].

Nine has a super cool bachelor pad in Chicago that is hella cool, and I kinda wish that I had a penthouse floor apartment [apart from the fact I like my little end-terrace by the seaside. Stop looking at me like that]. It shows a big difference in how the pairs of Loric were living, with so many of them being constantly afraid and on the run. And Nine and his guardian were living it up with all mod-cons in the middle of a massive city and they were never detected. Having all the tech around helps to advance the plot whilst they go and find things and people and train in the super training centre.

Book number four in this series, The Fall of Five, is currently the most recently published of this sequence [barring the bonus novellas obviously]. This title should have been a massive hammer to the head, and I was very surprised with the sequence of events here.

fall of 5

Hurrah this novel brings together Numbers Four, Five, Six, Marina, Eight and Nine, and a bonus in Ella, the 10th but not really 10th. And a happy return of the humans that we loved from book one aswell. Happy occasions.

Five is portrayed as a very weird kid, who doesn’t interact very well with others. This is explained away by him having been on his own and living on tiny islands since they arrived on Earth. Everyone involved believes him, and why not. He’s been through traumatic things too. His character is very jarring, he always seems to play the devil’s advocate, and puts people on edge a lot. He also shows some reckless behaviours that should also have been a massive give away, but I still didn’t see it coming until Sam suspected his father was the traitor.

What! Holy guacamole Batman. Five was picked up by Mogs and [essentially] brainwashed into believing that the Mogs were the true heirs to their planet. It literally took a giant 3 headed winged alligator for this to sink into my brain. How evil!

I am super looking forward to the next book, Revenge of Seven to be printed. She deserves to get her revenge after what happened to Eight. [Spoilers – scars]. And her ice legacy was scary and beautiful.

I really want to see the development in Marina, she was the unsure one before this… she didn’t know how she fit in and her other legacy was a healing one so she felt helpless in fights. Now there are no guardians left, I wonder how they will figure it all out and make sense of the items they have from their home planet.

I really think you need to read this to get the full feel of the struggles of extra-terrestrials stuck on earth and the trials they have to go through to restore order and life to Lorien. Want to go to the perfect place.

I want to talk more about Legacies, but I will roll that over to another post as this one is getting kind of long. Look forward to that.

– girlinthenerdshop

I Read: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

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In the backlog of books that you need to hear about is a cute book by Maureen Johnson by the name of 13 Little Blue Envelopes. After this point there may be spoilers, so you’ve been warned.

13 lbeFirstly; just look at that cover, it’s pretty damn cute looking. Just the kind of thing you want to see on an easy read to get you ready for the summer.

Secondly, I felt the need to suspend the belief that any teenager actually needs to have parents around, and that they are all super capable of functioning on their own on another continent. And that the parents would be totally fine with a 17 year old girl going off to Europe with no means of contacting her family and no money to speak of.

This story makes a good coming of age, travel kind of story. Ginny really develops as a person as we go through the events of this story. She starts out as a timid girl, who feels lost after the death of her Aunt.

Her love interest was adorkable, it added a nice extra dollop of good feels for me. I remember boys being awkward and not having a clue what to say to them, so for me that was the most believable part of the book.

I found it hard to believe that she was able to fly across the world, and trusted that the place she was supposed to go would have the right answers. She followed her letters just like she was told to, and she barely questioned the contents. Maybe it’s just me, but I know that I couldn’t have done that when I was in my teens, I bet I could hardly even manage to do that now.

If we put that aside, it was a really good summer read, that ended happily enough with Ginny finding the paintings and Richard. Losing the rucksack with the last letter in it was a real bummer, but I’m told that there is a second book, so there is hope for further closure in that regard. I want to know what happens after that romp around Europe.

It makes for a pretty good, summery, girl adventure romp. Quick and easy to read.


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Divergent on the Big Screen

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So, Divergent appeared on the big screen in April, and it took me until the end of the month to fit in seeing it, it was dangerously close to being cut from my local cinema, and down to one showing a day by the time I saw it… only 2 weeks after release. This doesn’t bode well for any film… but there are so many teenage-angst-dystopian films coming out at the moment that the odd one will slip under the radar.

When I came out of the screen it was the first time in a long time that I did a break down of what exactly the film did ‘wrong’ in comparison to the book. This isn’t normally a problem for me, as I read Hunger Games before I saw the movie and I didn’t have the same issues.

So… the majority of my initial thoughts were based on the movie as a comparison to the book… which is totally unfair as for me a book will [for the most part] win hands down as reading is my favourite. I have since tried to limit what I’m going to include to be mostly about what I actually saw on the screen. *fingers crossed*

The actors that played Four and Tris didn’t appear to have any chemistry between them at all, this is the biggest let down for me. The on screen moments were awkward and made me cringe a little bit.

The world building was very pretty, and I really liked all of the sets that we saw used for the Dauntless’ home. In my imagination the Pit was a lot more rocky, like it was actually a cave not some enormous concrete structure, but that worked for me. It probably made sense for a dilapidated Chicago.

The pacing in the movie was so much better than in the book, the start is nippy and we get straight into the action very quickly. The peril that Tris feels in her simulations came across really well, it was all very scary looking, in a mild peril sort of way.

I’m pretty sure they pronounced Erudite as err-you-dite the whole way through the film, which really bugged me for some reason. The Erudite as  a whole were a bit naff, they seemed too obvious to be the bad guys… I half expected to see them pouring toxic waste into the water supply and kicking puppies for good measure. That needed to be a bit more clever in my opinion.

I’m not sure that this film will get a sequal, which is a shame, as the second book has some far better ideas in it… and I’m still to read the last installment of this trilogy, but I’m really hoping it answers some of the final questions I have about the setting.

If you want to read my book review you can find it here.

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Cress by Marissa Meyer

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Such pretty cover!

Such pretty cover!

Can I just start with the cover, look how pretty that is!

I have to admit that I am a bit of a fangirl when it comes to this series of books, I absolutely adore them. This series started with Cinder over 3 years ago, I was hooked as soon as I stumbled upon them. I didn’t expect it to happen, I was reluctant to read it as I didn’t want all the sci-fi elements to ruin a perfectly good fairy tale. It took a story that I knew and loved and made it new, and exciting, with androids and a threat from the moon!

Cress is the third book in this saga, a sci-fi retelling of Rapunzel. I mean that in it’s loosest sense. The main character in this story is Cress, who is locked inside a satellite isolated in orbit, she gets visited sporadically by one of the Queen’s thaumaturges who never brings anything sharp with them, so her hair has been left to grow and grow.

I really like the fact that she was set into orbit to observe the Earth for the Lunar Queen and ended up falling in love with what she surveyed, at heart she was a romantic, and saved from a terrible fate to be put into a worse position. She made the most of what she had.

Everything written about her hair was fantastic, how she ended up tangled in it when she was working and moving around. It really reminded me of the film Tangled… when you see her singing and dancing around the tower and she leaves a trail of hair everywhere.

Cress is my favourite character so far in this series, and her infatuation / growing love for Captain Thorne just made my heart melt. Thorne, normally so charming and able really comes to rely on the awkward space girl, and slowly their relationship grows and changes. He’s a charmer, but you can see the shifts in him. I ship them… so hard.

Cinder’s inner conflict is really well developed here, she doesn’t want to be like the Queen, or like the Lunars she was taught to despise, but she is one, and she uses her gifts sporadically, and only when she really has to. Everytime she does, you can feel what she does, a terrible situation to have to be in, but she ultimately has to do the right thing to save the Earth that she loves, and savee Luna from tyranny.

I loved the introduction of Princess Winter for the final book [why do I have to wait nearly a year?!]. She seems like such an odd contrast to her step mother, but however weird she seems, it’s because she too wants to be good and help the people and not manipulate them in the Lunar tradition. It’s all to her own detriment, not using her ‘gifts’ is sending her a little loopy, and Scarlet is locked in a cage as a pet – another element of drama. We need her Wolf to come and save her, the sooner the better!

Just stop what you are doing right now, and go find a copy of Cinder and Scarlet and Cress. You will thank me later, I’m hoping.

Do it for me?

– girlinthenerdshop

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

I have read a whole ton of books lately. It’s pretty good to be catching up with my iggle book club choices, and getting through the massive backlog of paperbacks I have scattered about the house. I’m at 18 out of 31 in my GoodReads challenge so far. And it’s only March!


In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


This one was another quick read for me, it only took a couple of days. YA fiction has that effect on me, big font and simple, easy to devour story.

As is custom, I will start with the issues I had, I really didn’t like that the factionless were made out to be crazy homeless people, and that the evil lady wanted to get rid of them… they are a perfectly good workforce that she could utilise for cheap labour, and they already make parts of the city run by building and driving things. It just didn’t make that much sense to eradicate them.

I’m not entirely convinced by the learning to fight like a badass in just over a week. Muscles and co-ordination take a bit longer to develop than that. Especially if you come from a background without much physical activity and no previous experience in jumping on and off trains and the like. There also seemed to be a whole lot of violence for the sake of violence, the eye stab felt a bit over the top aswell. I know that Roth was just trying to show how hard it is in there, and how ruthless they all are.

My biggest issue was that of divergence. So our main character Tris is Divergent. So her brain can function in several ways, or she’s got a more open mind or whatever it is we’re told. If they don’t like this trait as a society, then why are the teenagers allowed to choose what faction they join… if they leave one and go to another faction, then  surely that leaves them open to learning a new way of thinking. As all the transfer initiates we come across still show many tendencies from their old factions. I imagine that we get more details on that as the story develops in the next couple of books. I’m looking forward to reading more.

Let’s skip to the good bit. I liked the different faction thing [even if I had issues with it too]. It was cool to see sides to the city, and how the different groups were founded because of the different responses to war and what caused it. Each faction had a different purpose which was cool, but how many super clever people does one person need?

Tris was a really well written character, she is a teenager, and as a rule teenagers are selfish and they don’t know what they want. Tris has a whole bunch of issues to get over, like leaving her family and being special and what not, and hiding the truth. She is also very cruel, which is an interesting streak to see in a leading role.

I think the highlight for me in this book was the developing romance between Four and Tris. It was awkward, and confusing for both of them. It built up so slowly so it made it feel more realistic to me. Especially having them both be nervous around each other when they were alone together, and in public not being able to do anything about it. I enjoyed it, and I was glad that they both made it to the end of the book. I hope nothing happens to Four in the next book, I’d like to keep him whole if I can.

What can I say, I really enjoyed it. I give it 4 stars, and I will most likely be carrying on with the series [and dragging Alex to see the movie when it comes out later this year!]

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

For the most part I enjoyed this book. I did have some issues with the book as a whole. The main thing was the photographs interspersed throughout the book. The photos that were relevant to the story did add something, as its always nice to have a visual to support what you are reading. Several of the pictures didn’t add anything at all to the plot though… like the creepy picture of the twins in masks. They were not actually mentioned in the book as characters, like some of the other characters are, but just mentioned as photos found in the orphanage. I found the book hard to really get into, the pictures were a little off putting for me, and interrupted the flow of novel.

It felt like the genre changed part way through. It started off with a really strong horror / creepy storyline going on. About a third of the way through it took a step away from this and slipped into a sort of action thing.

The last main thing that annoyed me was the Emma / Jacob love interest. It felt forced to me, and I’m not sure the book needed it. Especially because of the technical age difference and Emma’s former love interest. Nope… not a fan.

I loved the time loop thing, the idea of having a safe refuge within a day isolated from the rest of time passing. The Peculiars needed to be protected, and hiding out of time is the perfect refuge for them. They experience time passing, whilst the day they live in resets and none of the normal inhabitants are any the wiser.

My favourite character Millard spent years [of his time] documenting the events of September 3rd from the points of view of each inhabitant of the island, including the pigs! What else would an invisible boy do.

Jacob was mostly believable as a modern day kid trying to find his place in the world. He doesn’t know what to believe, and after being told that he is crazy and seeing a psychiatrist he still doesn’t know what he should believe. The stories that his grandfather told him seemed so real to him as a boy, and then less believable as he grew up. He spends a lot of this book trying to reconcile the truth with his reality, and it takes him a long time to feel that he fits in somewhere.

It had its flaws, but once this book got going it was quite pleasant and easy to read. It only took a couple of days to get through. I’m having trouble deciding if I will read the next instalment in this series. I do want to know how several things get resolved, but at the same time, if it is a novel interspersed with pictures then I’m not sure I want to.

3 stars


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