Archive for November 15th, 2011

The Always War

The Always War by Margaret Peterson Haddix

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) In a war-torn future United States, fifteen-year-old Tessa, her childhood friend Gideon, now a traumatized military hero, and Dek, a streetwise orphan, enter enemy territory and discover the shocking truth about a war that began more than seventy-five years earlier.

Tessa is barely surviving. She goes to school, where everyone doesn’t like her, then cleans at a hospital to get by. Her parents have given up a long time ago and barely leave their bedroom. She attends the award ceremony of Gideon, a childhood friend. But things don’t go as planned when Gideon panics about not being a hero and runs.

Gideon was sent to the military school and is a pilot that dropped a bomb on the enemy. But he hacked into the system and learned that he killed innocent women and children. Now he is living with the guilt and decides to right his wrong. He steals a plane and flies out to where he dropped the bomb. Tessa sees someone following him and tries to warn Gideon but ends up in the plane with him. But when Gideon and Tessa see the war zone, something is missing. They can’t understand where they are and what is going on.

I liked this book. It has great potential. It has people that are too afraid to change or the willingness to look further into their situation. I did feel that the story felt a little flat. It felt like the ending was just tossed on without really working with the idea. Beyond that I do feel that if you like dystopian stories, that you will like this one.

I received this book for free from the Simon & Schuster Galley Grab in exchange for an honest review.

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The Pledge

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It’s there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she’s never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

Charlie is a Vendor, a class designed strictly to serving people. She is only supposed to know her language. If she hears someone speaking in another language, she is supposed to avert her eyes and be passive. Unfortunately, Charlie has the ability to understand all languages spoken and written. She has hidden this from people, with the help of her parents, for several years. But when she is at a club with her friend Brooklyn, she hears a language never spoken before and almost gets caught.

Then we learn that the Queen of Ludania is dieing. But she has magical powers that let her transfer here Essence from her body to a female heir. The problem is she has no female heirs and is on the look out for the last surviving family from the time when all royalty was killed. She has sent her grandson Max out to look for the girl. Max stumbles upon Charlie at a club and has the feeling that there is something special about her and vows to protect her.

All this happens as Ludania is about to erupt into war. Rival monarchies and rebels are tired of the Queens rule. Xander is the leader of the rebels. After a chance meeting with Charlie, he has thinks that he has found the key to getting the Queen off the throne.

I really liked this book. I hate to say it, but I liked Charlie’s friend Aron better than Max or Xander. I will admit that I might have been a little slow in the beginning but the ending came with a bang. After reading this, I’m really excited to read The Body Finder series.

I received this book for free from the Simon & Schuster Galley Grab in exchange for an honest opinion.

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