Tag Archives: Post-apocalyptic

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

15 Apr

testingTitle: The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: dystopia/post-apocalyptic
Page Count: 325

Graduation Day. I can hardly stand still as my mother straightens my celebratory red tunic and tucks a strand of light brown hair behind my ear.

The setting is kind of sort of Chicago (as per usual) and it’s the future and everything is terrible. Sound familiar? Anyways, in this particular vision of the immediate future after an apocalypse, only a select, chosen few get to go to University once they have graduated from…regular school. The chosen few go to the big city, take some tests, and then are sent to work rehabilitating the planet for the Commonwealth. This is all Cia has ever wanted to do, so when she is chosen for the testing, she’s thrilled. Until her father tells her about some night terrors that have been plaguing him since his own testing, only he can’t remember exactly what happened because of some pesky erased memories. His main advice is to trust no one, which is pretty good advice becuase Cia’s fellow testing candidates are the worst kind of academic brats, and the tests themselves are designed to kill you if you fail, so basically they are like the SAT but SO MUCH WORSE. Naturally, Cia starts to question everything she ever believed while making out with the dimpled dreamboat from home. It’s shocking, I know.

So, why the hell did I read this book? Well, I run a book club for my seventh and eighth graders. It’s an open book club so any old Tom, Dick, or Harry can join, but I usually get the same tween girls. I’m not complaining – they are LOVELY – but I immediately regretted my decision to hand over the book choosing power to them when they chose this as our next book to read together. And yes, it was horribly derivative – kind of like The Hunger Games, only…academic? Until the field test, and then it’s totally Hunger Games. I could spend a lot of time listing all the different minute details that the two share, but I won’t, because that’s boring. Just suffice to say there are a lot.

HOWEVER. All that aside, I actually kind of enjoyed this book. I mean, I loved The Hunger Games, and this was really, really similar and wasn’t terribly written so sure, I ripped through it. Did I ever actually truly care about any of the characters? Not particularly. They had about as much dimension and flavor as a piece of cardboard, so even though I was interested in the events that were unfolding, I was never actually concerned about anyone’s well-being. The writing was, likewise, pretty bland. However, the story is fun, and that was enough for me to actually finish the book.

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The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

23 Nov

The-Coldest-Girl-in-ColdtownTitle: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Horror
Page count: 432

Tana woke lying in a bathtub.

Tana is a human girl living in a world just like our own, except for the fact that it is infested with vampires forced to live in ghettos called Coldtowns. One morning she wakes up disoriented in a bathtub, and when she emerges from her hangover coccoon she finds that everyone else in the party has had their throats ripped out and blood drained by vampires. Everyone, that is, except for her ex-boyfriend (Aidan), tied to a bed and infected (bitten but not drained), and a half-crazed vampire (Gavriel) chained on the floor next to him. In a moment of impetuous decisiveness (a character trait that continues throughout the book), Tana decides to rescue both before the culprits of the killing spree, nesting in the basement til nightfall, wake up and finish the job. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is the story of Tana, Aidan, and Gavriel’s adrenaline-charged flight to the dangerous safe haven of the nearest Coldtown, a race against the clock as Aidan descends into vampirism and Tana waits to see if she, also, has been infected. And what a ride it is.

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Rebel Heart by Moira Young

27 Dec

13042154I’m going to try my best to do a decent review of this book even though I’ve read 2.25 since I finished it. Why? Because, for me, it was one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year. That’s right, I FINALLY got my hands on Moira Young‘s Rebel Heartsequel to Blood Red Road in the Dust Lands trilogy.

It’s late afternoon. Since morning, the trail’s been following a line of light towers. That is, the iron remains of what used to be light towers, way back in Wrecker days, time out of mind. 

After going through hell to defeat the Tonton and rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, Saba is haunted by the memories of murders she had to commit along the way and tormented by the absence of Jack. When she gets news that Jack has betrayed her by going over to the Tonton, Saba abandons her brother’s quest to find the ocean and start a new life to find him. But finding Jack and making sense of his betrayal means going right into the belly of the beast; the territory of the reformed Tonton, headed by a foe from her past who has put a price on her head. But once Saba sets her mind on something, nothing can stop her, even if it means dragging everyone else down with her.

First of all, I want to start by saying that this cover is fucking terrible. Who is that dude even supposed to be? What is this, some trashy romance novel? Where did that dude (I honestly have NO IDEA who he is) even get all those clean clothes? Moira Young’s Dustlands books are about as bleak and gritty a (teen) vision of post-apocalyptic future as you can get, and the brutality of this world is a total mismatch for this weird cover.

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