I read the following four forthcoming books recently and wanted to share a few impressions of them. Full reviews closer to pub date!
MATCHED by Ally Condie
Cassia lives in a society that decides everything for its citizens for the greatest good of them all – even who you marry. When Cassia is matched with her best friend Xander, she is thrilled. But when viewing her matching card, another face flashes on the screen – that of mysterious classmate Ky. This seeming glitch awakens an awareness of forbidden desires within Cassia, and for the first time she begins to question a society where the individual has no right to choose.
MATCHED is without a doubt a well constructed novel, hitting all the expected beats of a YA dystopian novel. And while there may be few surprises for avid readers of the genre, there are some genuine discussion-worthy developments. I enjoyed this installment, but hope that the emotional impact quotient is raised in book two.
Come by my dystopian theme month in August for a full review of this title due to release in November 2010.
DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver (no official cover yet)
Lena can’t wait to get the surgery, that at 18, will cure her of the disease that took her mother – the highly contagious delirium nervosa (or in layman’s terms: falling in love). Lena’s main concern is passing the exam that will determine her future status in society. But then she meets Alex and soon becomes “infected”.
While certain aspects of this dystopian society’s set-up seemed a bit implausible (i.e. why would a society that abhors love allow the family unit to remain intact, putting its most vulnerable citizens – those uncureds under 18 – at unnecessary risk?), the world-building suited the main plot brilliantly. Lena’s relationship with her best friend is heart-breakingly real, and her burgeoning feelings for Alex make the novel soar to dizzying heights of emotion. And that ending...whoa! What are you doing to me Lauren?!
Visit my dystopian theme month in August for a full review of this title due to release in February 2011.
MONSTERS OF MEN, Book 3 of the Chaos Walking Triology, by Patrick Ness
Full scale war is on the horizon for the citizens of New Prentisstown. Will Todd and Viola be able to barter a lasting peace for those already on the planet and those on the way?
This last book in a fantastic series exceeded even my highest expectations. A third POV, from a spackle no less, adds even more to our understanding of the world’s politics. Todd and Viola are amazing protagonists – noble yet conflicted, but it is with the antagonists, Mayor Prentiss especially, that Ness really excels. I don’t think I have ever encountered such a layered villain. He’s someone you hate and wish dead – and yet – Ness makes you hope for his redemption. It is really an amazing achievement.
Visit my dystopian theme month in August for a full review of this title due to release in the US at the end of September (already available in the UK).
THE EXTRAORDINARY SECRETS OF APRIL, MAY AND JUNE by Robin Benway
April, May and June are sisters who suddenly gain superpowers. April can see the future, May can become invisible and June can read minds.
There are a lot of clever ideas at play here, but overall, this novel was kind of a downer. The only one who has any fun at all with her power is June (I love how she used her mind-reading ability to try to get in with the popular crowd) while April and May just generally mope around. Despite the consistently witty/snarky dialogue, I got a bit exasperated with the sisters constant drawn-out squabbles. Group hug already, girls!
This one releases at the beginning of August.
Have you read any of these yet? If not, which ones are you excited to get to? If so, what did YOU think of them?
This article was originally published by Lenore for Presenting Lenore. It cannot be republished without express written permisson. If you are reading this elsewhere, it has been stolen.