Review of Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta

Entangled (Entangled, #1)Entangled
By: Amy Rose Capetta
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 1st 2013
Purchase:
Amazon

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for a honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Alone was the note Cade knew best. It was the root of all her chords.

Seventeen-year-old Cade is a fierce survivor, solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar. Or so she thought. Her world shakes apart when a hologram named Mr. Niven tells her she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan.

Cade’s quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws—her first friends—on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there’s no turning back.

The Story:
Entangled is fast paced, entertaining and an overall fun science fiction book. After rereading the summary I shouldn’t have been surprised like I was with the strong undertone of music–the cherry-red guitar should have tipped me off. I enjoyed this little bit thrown in and felt it was unique to Cade and her outlook.

As I read any science fiction novel I try to suspend disbelief and buy into the author’s explanations and world. Often, there are aspects that cause me to briefly pause and question, and there were a few in Entangled. I don’t have a science background so couldn’t say how plausible any of this book was but I was able to overlook any questionable parts (mostly her treatment of black holes) and let Capetta take me on her story.

The one aspect I had trouble getting over was the use of the character’s slang/curse word. I know that slang is a great way to build on a world and show the differences between theirs and ours. I wish I was the type of person that could overlook its use knowing that in the future our language will be much different. Sadly, I just couldn’t get over phrases like “don’t slug this up” or “what the slug are you talking about?” I think if it had been anything but ‘slug’ I could have gotten over it far easier. Every time that word popped up I was wrenched from the dialog. Since I read the arc I can only pray it changes in the final version.

You might have heard/seen comparisons to Firefly. This very thing drew me to this book and put it on my TBR list. I didn’t really see the similarities but it wasn’t so off I felt betrayed. There are a gang of ‘friends’ that rely on each other (to their dismay and annoyance at times) and they travel in space on a ship in the future. These things coincide with Firefly. Where if felt off was on the epic-ness and humor, don’t get me wrong, Entangled was fun and entertaining, but never funny or clever to the level of Whedon-ness.

The Characters:
I liked the characters Capetta created. Cade had the tough façade and delicate innards common to young adult heroines. She  was spunky and I love that she lost herself in her guitar and music. It was exciting to follow her journey into discovering her past and to decipher ‘the noise’ that haunted her.

The secondary characters were well thought out and detailed in their personalities and descriptions. I felt they each had unique traits and had an interesting dynamic with one another. I think my favorite character out of the entire book was Rennik, the mysterious, seemingly unfeeling alien who pilots their ship. I hope to see a lot more of him in the next book.

Minor Spoiler:

Another great feature was that the ship was a living, breathing entity which had opinions and a real presence throughout the book.

End Spoiler

Final Thoughts:
I enjoyed reading Entangled and I will be reading the next in the series to see where Capetta takes her characters next.

Extras:

Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta Book Trailer by cosproductions

Review of Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Perfect RuinPerfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1)
By: Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Purchase:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary (via Goodreads):
On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan’s older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

The Story:
I haven’t read DeStefano’s Wither series so I can’t compare the pacing or story elements. Perfect Ruin had a slow (but not boring) pace that was easy to read. DeStefano took time to build her world and her main character, Morgan. I felt that Internment was beautifully described and I could visualize the buildings, people and feel of life on the floating island and the claustrophobia of spending your entire life in such a small space. I really enjoyed the writing and how the story flowed slowly though there was the underlining feel of intensity.

I was originally drawn to this book because of the cover but after reading about the city/island floating in the clouds I was hooked. I was intrigued with all the questions–why an island in the sky? How were the people chosen to live there? What is below? Why is looking over the edge forbidden? I will say that we aren’t given absolute clarification in Perfect Ruin. DeStefano edges around these answers only giving the reader the information that Morgan knows.

I feel like as the series progresses more of the questions will be addressed but some readers might be disappointed not to know these answers with the first installment. By the end of the book I had a greater understanding of Internment and its people though I left the book still wondering about many things. For me, this was enough. I didn’t feel disappointment at not getting clear cut answers.

The Characters:
I really enjoyed Morgan, her best friend, her brother and sister in law. I felt that all were well fleshed out and had much deeper stories that I hope to see in later books. As a main character, Morgan is typical of a young adult heroine. She is clever, loyal and curious to a fault. I did wonder why she was only seeking answers with the latest mystery and not after her brother’s experience with the edge.

I had the most difficult time really connecting with Basil. I couldn’t find much depth in his character (yet) and never felt real chemistry between him and Morgan. I liked his actions and what he stood for but I never felt anything deeper about him. He felt rather flat to me overall.

On Internment people are betrothed at a young age and are aware of their future mate. I don’t know if it was because Morgan and Basil were already accepting their futures together but I wasn’t really feeling their romance. Pen, Morgan’s best friend, was far more fun and I loved her dialog and her relationship with her betrothed. Honestly, I felt that all the secondary characters had more passionate relationships than Morgan and Basil.

Judas’ story brings about many of the mysteries and questions for Morgan. His character never felt flat to me and I was easily swept away in his life. I did fear that he would become a love interest creating the dreaded love triangle but so far it didn’t go in that direction.

Final Thoughts:
Perfect Ruin was an entertaining and easy read though many questions remained after finishing the book. I feel that the setup for the sequel will lead to a series that improves with each book.

Review for Hideous Love by Stephanie Hemphill

Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein
By: Stephanie Hemphill
Release Date: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pre-order:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review

Rating:
star

Summary (via Goodreads):
An all-consuming love affair.

A family torn apart by scandal.

A young author on the brink of greatness.

Hideous Love is the fascinating story of Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, who as a teen girl fled her restrictive home only to find herself in the shadow of a brilliant but moody boyfriend, famed poet Percy Shelley. It is the story of the mastermind behind one of the most iconic figures in all of literature: a monster constructed out of dead bodies and brought to life by the tragic Dr. Frankenstein.

Mary wrote Frankenstein at the age of nineteen, but inspiration for the monster came from her life-the atmospheric European settings she visited, the dramas swirling around her, and the stimulating philosophical discussions with the greatest minds of the period, like her close friend, Lord Byron.

This luminous verse novel from award-winning author Stephanie Hemphill reveals how Mary Shelley became one of the most celebrated authors in history.

My Thoughts:
Hideous Love is written in verse, which after hearing that, I was a tad nervous about. Honestly, that aspect didn’t bother me as much as I feared. I can in no way gage how well Hemphill accomplished verse since I have no formal education or experience in it. I will say that it wasn’t my favorite writing style only because I found the characters hard to relate to. I think that if it had been written as a traditional novel I might have connected deeper and possibly understood their motivations more.

This novel gave me insight into a literary figure I had never considered or read about, Mary Shelley. It was evident that Hemphill did extensive research on Mary, her life and those she surrounded herself with. I found her story tedious at times and her decisions lacking in common sense. Her love and devotion to a man that I felt was unworthy of her affections grated on me as I read and I was constantly frustrated in what she put up with and her lack of self worth.

I found the entire reading experience depressing and the loss of so many of her children hard to read. I could completely understand how someone that had lived through what Mary had being capable of writing the classic Frankenstein.

I was never capable of understanding or feeling the connection or affection Mary held for her poet. He seemed distant, cruel at times, and overall an arrogant man. I’m not sure if I felt the way I did because of the writing technique or not.

Final Thoughts:
Reading Hideous Love was an interesting experience though not positive for me. I found Mary’s decisions questionable and impossible to relate to. My lack of connection to the characters and their affection for each other could be due to the novel being written in verse since it was impossible to get any semblance of a well rounded character.

Waiting on Wednesday #11

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are highly anticipating. This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait to-read” selection is: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano.

Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles, #1)Summary (via Goodreads):
On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan’s older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

Why am I eagerly waiting on Perfect Ruin?
First the obvious…look at that cover! Just beautiful and the title is perfectly intriguing. I need to know why “getting close to the edge can lead to madness.” What lays beyond the edge? What happened to her brother since he was a Jumper? I have so many questions, I am crazy excited to read this hopefully sooner than later.

Look for Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano October 1st 2013 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers