Tag Archives: ARC

ARC Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

  • TitleUnravel Me (Shatter Me #2)
  • AuthorTahereh Mafi
  • SourceBorrowed
  • No. of Pages465
  • PublishedFebruary 05, 2013 by Harper Collins
  • Rating5/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick it's almost time for war.
Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.
She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.
Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.
In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

I am currently at a loss for words.
Unravel Me was definitely the best book to start off 2013 with a blast.

First of all, I can’t seem to get enough of Tahereh’s writing. She chooses the perfect symbolisms and writes with so much soul that I can’t help but get sucked into her fantasy world. Her lyrical prose has just the write amount of poetry in it so that it doesn’t bore and confuse readers, but it has enough to lure readers in, no matter what page they’re on.

The characters are so endearing and pleasurable to read about as well. In Unravel Me, Juliette discovers the depth of her powers, learns to control them throughout the book, and manages to develop into a strong-willed but imperfect character at the end of the day. Adam, on the other hand, was barely mentioned in the story (though sometimes I prefer it that way) and his determination to make his relationship with Juliette work just irritated me (though I may be a little bit biased on this one) since he started coming off as the sort of guy who doesn’t know when to back off. Granted, Juliette still did love him, but the sort of relationship I want for the protagonist is the sort that develops freely and sort of just shocks both of them instead of the kind wherein they ‘make it work.’ Because then, it seems like a chore instead of love.

When it comes to Warner, though, I melt into a puddle of goo every single time. In fact, I am writing this whole paragraph about him because trust me when I say everyone is going to fall for Warner in this one, if not hover between Adam and Warner. Unravel Me brings out the softer, more gentlemanly side of him without destroying his tough, harsh exterior as well. You will definitely giggle at his sweet scenes, cheer him on, and lust after him  love the mishmash of emotions you get whenever you read about him. Can I just say: Chapter 62 is heaven.
Best. Scene. Ever.

I also loved how Tahereh Mafi was able to develop her dystopian world even more in Unravel Me, but still manage to keep that paranormal twist interesting. The plot and the unforeseen twists will definitely keep you hooked in this gripping sequel to Shatter Me, and if you haven’t picked that up yet, I suggest you go do it now before Unravel Me comes out.

Thank you to Louisse@The Soul Sisters for loaning me her ARC of Unravel Me. :)

ARC Review: Taken by Erin Bowman

  • TitleTaken (Taken #1)
  • AuthorErin Bowman
  • SourceReceived from Edelweiss
  • No. of Pages352
  • PublishedApril 16, 2013 by HarperTeen
  • Rating4/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.
They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

If you take Divergent, Under the Never Sky and The Forest of Hands and Teeth and put them together, you produce one fantastic story—which, in this case, is Taken. Of course, it has its own surprises and twists hidden up its sleeve that futher enchanced the story to create an dystopian world that kept me feverently flipping the pages until I reached the last one.

The reason why I came across Taken in the first place was because its story and plot was so different from the ones I have been reading lately, which are usually paranormal reads chocked up with romance. I’m not saying that I dislike that sort of genre, but I need to take a breather. I desperately needed a change. Something fresh. Unique. So when our request to review Taken was accepted by HarperTeen, I dove right into the story.

I would be lying if I said I enjoyed it, because I loved it! I felt that the story had gotten off to a very good start, immediately providing the reader with the most crucial information, which was the Heist. That intruiged me the most, the mysterious process wherein no boy in Claysoot lived only up to his eighteeth birthday, and no more. They just disappeared. See, that is another thing I appreciated with Taken—it got me to think. And what reader doesn’t enjoy that, right? Thus, in terms of plot, it definitely receives a thumbs up from me.

Admittedly, most books that I read are always told in a girl’s point of view. I guess it’s because I’m more comfortable reading from their perspective, and I’ve always been a sucker for protagonist-falls-in-love-with-boy type of novels too. When I began reading in Gray’s point of view though, I have to say that it was really refreshing. At the beginning, I could really feel his grief from losing his brother, how he wanted to make Blaine’s last day as perfect as possible, how he ached to be the person his borther was. Gone was the tough-guy exterior that male characters always seem to have to have. Though there were times wherein I wanted to slap him silly because of how dense he was being, Gray’s character was really well developed, bringing essence to the story.

However, my favorite character by far is Bree. She’s independent, tough, and knows exactly what she’s doing in any scenario. And Bree never complains, and will never hesitate to risk her own life for the sake of others. Because I like Bree, I suppose that it’s rather self-explanatory that I felt rather irked with Emma throughout the story. I mean, come on. It’s so obvious that Bree has feelings for Gray, yet Gray pins after Emma even after she does the worst thing that she could ever do to him.

Men.

There was insta-love from the very start, which is why I ended up giving Taken four stars rather than five. It was a bit unrealistic to me, especially how the dislike between Emma and Gray so quickly evolved to love.

At the end, I would recommend Taken to any hardcore dystopian fan out there looking for a great read. Look no more for the next Hunger Games, or wait in agony for the third book of the Divergent to come out, because I assure you, you will forget about all of those once you delve into the secret societies of Taken and embark on an adventure that will surely take your breath away.

ARC Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

  • TitleProdigy (Legend #2)
  • AuthorMarie Lu
  • SourceBorrowed
  • No. of Pages366
  • PublishedJanuary 29, 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
  • Rating5/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

When I read Legend, I thought it was a great book, 5 stars and all. But when I cracked open Prodigy, I think I may just be wrong because this book was even better than its predecessor. All the elements I like to read about in a book (especially dystopian ones) were presented so perfectly, and all the characteristics in Legend were carefully polished in Prodigy.

I had no problem whatsoever with the world building in Prodigy. Trust me when I say it improved a lot. More things about the government and the state of the world were revealed in the sequel, and I think Marie Lu’s descriptions fit perfectly with the image I had of the dystopian world in both Legend and Prodigy. Secrets were divulged, especially with the way the higher-ups want to control things.

Also, I loved the character growth and development. June really grew into the character all the readers had in mind for her–badass, tough, passionate, and stubborn, but careful and wise at the same time. I think the latter trait was something she learned in Prodigy, especially since she opened her mind to all the possibilities instead of staying sheltered in the world that she once knew. Day, on the other hand, started becoming impulsive, more so than before. I always liked that about Day, since it built up his rugged and ‘boy of the streets’ look, but sometimes it came to the point that I wanted to punch him in the face and force him to listen to June. Somehow, trust came so naturally to him at some events in the book and it came back to bite him later on. As the novel progresses, though, Day improves and so does the book.

The plot strung out and divided into many branches that could literally lead to anything. Tensions built up nicely, and the action, romance, and dialogues were great. Though there was less romance in Prodigy, I liked how Marie Lu could flesh it out at little scenes in the book and somehow manage to keep it stuck in a reader’s mind until the end. (And is a slight love triangle happening here, or what)

All in all, Prodigy was a great book. I didn’t regret reading this, and I won’t regret buying this the second it comes out in stores. But just a warning: CLIFFHANGER.

And it’s the frustrating kind.