Posted in Dystopia, Rated D

Sever

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Author: Lauren Destefano

Genre: Dystopia

Rating: D- Didn’t hate it; but didn’t like it either.

Synopsis:

Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: I was really disappointed in the ending of this book. Rhine started this series as such a fighter. And she grew into being more of a fighter. Then she finally finds her brother and goes back to being a wus. She fell right back into her old family role. She didn’t fight the system, she became a willing participant in feeding society’s obsession with finding a cure.

The reader does find out what a “Chemical Garden” is. It was pretty anti-climatic. Rhine’s paretns bred she and her brother because they were on a path to a cure. Liden’s father used their research plus Rhine’s DNA to essentially engineer a virus that would lead to a cure.

Honestly, the character that I ended up being most impressed with was Cecily. Her character was more of a mewing child. She was annoying in the extreme, but she had the guts to do what Rhine didn’t do- kill the father-in-law. Of the three sister wives, she changed the most.

I would recommend reading the book just so you have an ending to the tale, but don’t be expecting an ending like The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner series.

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Posted in Advanced Review, Liked It

Circle of Friends Book I: Lori

Most of you will remember this book because I used it as a teaser a few weeks ago. Remember the girl that delivered the kidney punch?

Lori Anders is an Olympic hopeful in swimming. She’s been training for it since she was three. So the story starts with a bang! Lori stands up to two boys who wanted to bother her friend and ends up being their target a couple of hours later on in the day. Who should rescue her but the attractive quarterback named Jason Phillips. The two begin dating, become inseparable, and fall madly in love. This book chronicles primarily Lori’s life through the rest of high school and college and her shot at the Olympic dream. I know that’s not telling you a lot about the book. As you recall, I don’t spoil books that have not been published.

If you hated Twilight then you will like this book. I personally think this book was much better than Twilight for several reasons. First, Lori wasn’t nearly as annoying as Bella. Second, Lori had aspirations beyond staring at an attractive guy’s face. Third, Lori is not emotionally promiscuous. Fourth L. Diane Wolfe is a decent writer. See my review of Breaking Dawn for further elucidation.

Lori has many admirable qualities. She was focused, very disciplined, and mature for her age. She was also quite caring and seemed to bring out the best in everyone. She did have some vulnerabilities though. Her parents were always away. So she spent a lot of time by herself. I think this made her a little too dependent on Jason- well too dependent for my taste anyway. I really liked the fact that she had goals for herself and worked hard to obtain them. This of course is a complete contrast to Bella who had no goals whatsoever and had luxury handed to her on a platter.

I know that my next few sentences are going to cause some teenaged girl somewhere to take a hit out on me, but I don’t think I really liked Jason. I can see how he would work for a girl like Lori, but good heavens, I think I would feel stifled. But different strokes for different folks, right? This was a recurrent them throughout the book. I think I would have liked to see more conflict for Lori and Jason. Both did spend a great deal of time away from each other, I think I would have liked to see them struggle a little bit more with being true to one another. Also, I would have liked to see them have been poor. One of the things I have observed with couples who got married this young was that they gained strength of character from having to work hard to make ends meet. I think I would have also liked to see the characters change more. College changes a lot about a person. I don’t know of any person who left college the same person they were when they entered.

I would recommend this as a good series for teens to read- especially as an alternative to Twilight. I think most parents will appreciate the fact the way sex is dealt with in this book. The main characters don’t engage in premarital sex. There is plenty of angst, but it is rationally tempered. Lori and Jason are honorable children. They don’t lie and sneak around behind their parents back the way Bella did.

This book is the first in a five book series. The other books will deal with characters introduced in this book.

Book 2 is about Lori’s friend Sarah
Book 3 is about James Sheppard
Book 4 is about Jason’s friend Mike Taylor.
Book 5 is about Lori and James’ mutual friend Heather.

Circle of Friends Book I: Lori will be available for purchase on March 31, 2009. You may purchase this book from The Bluestocking Guide via the Amazon link to the right.

Since you are here, I’ll like to remind you that the Blog Party starts on The Bluestocking Guide on March 20,2009 at midnight sharp. The party lasts a week. I’ve having 13 authors visit that week, and I believe there will be 8 book raffles, plus I will have a contest or two. Don’t forget!!!