Friday, August 31, 2012

Eden's Root by Rachel Fisher

Eden's Root (Eden's Root Trilogy, #1)Eden's Root by Rachel Fisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The year is 2033 and the world hovers on the edge of explosion as unexplained crop deaths lead to severe global food shortages. In the United States, the Sickness is taking lives slowly, creeping its way into every family. Fi Kelly has already faced the Sickness in her own family, toughening her beyond her years. But a shocking confession from her dying father will push her toughness to its absolute limits. Saddled with an impossible secret and the mission of saving her little sister, Fi sets out to transform herself into the warrior that she must become to survive the coming collapse. Along the way, she will discover that evil can be accidental and that love can be intentional.

~I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review~

Well, doesnt this book just really make you think about things a little differently!?

Eden's Root is a dystopian/sci-fi (though, in the authors words, not the robots and space sort of sci-fi. But science based fiction)set around 30 years in the future. It's based on the idea that our food has been genetically modified ALOT over the past century or two. Nothing is as it was back in the 1800's- food is all crossbred and pumped full of chemicals to make things bigger, better, taste different, grow faster. In Eden's Root, all this genetic modification has caught up with us, and things are starting to go pear shaped. Crops are beginning to die before they can be harvested and Cancer of all forms (or The Sickness, as it becomes known throughout the book) is killing people at a crippling rate and some believe it is caused by the food.

13 year old, Fi Kelly's father, is one of those believers. On his deathbed, he tells Fi that the world as she knows it is coming to an end.That soon, there will not be enough food to go around. The only glimmer of hope for Fi, is Eden. A colony sealed off from the rest of the world, that her scientist father helped to create. In Eden, they are growing heirloom crops, or 'True Food" as Fi comes to call it. These True foods come from unmodified seeds, from hundreds of years before. Fi and her family can be saved from the famines and the sickness that are sure to come, but first, they have to make it to Eden.

Fi spends the first few months after her fathers death, training to become a fighter. Learning to hunt and gather. Preparing herself for the trek to Eden and this new world. Armed with her fathers journals and his dying words, she makes her plans. And when the events her father foretold start to come true, and soldiers roll into town, locking up food stores and riots begin, Fi knows its time to leave. To find Eden.

Eden's root is told mostly from Fi's point of view, though we also have chapters from Sean (Fi's best friend and side kick), and Asher (who remains in the city, whilst everyone else is fleeing). From Fi and Sean's points of view, we follow them as they travel from their home in search of Eden. Picking up others along they way, whom they deem fit to join their family. Going on raids for suplies, hunting and gathering, trying to keep an ever growing amount of people alive while food is largely unavailable and everyone is out for themselves.

My thoughts: Firstly, this hits a bit too close to home for me. It is not really a stretch of the imagination, to think that this could actually happen. We really do mess with food ALOT, under the guise of making things better, but are we really? Im not a scientist, i dont know the answer to that, but this book certainly makes you think about it. Love it when a book actually makes you think.

Fi starts out in this book at 13 years old, and is 16 by the end of it, so the book spans quite a period of time. I found it hard to like Fi. She is an extremely determined, strong willed, gutsy leader and i found that hard to swallow, being she was a 13 year old girl. She leads a large group, which includes many adults, including her mother, and they all just follow her, pretty much without question. Yes, she trained to be a warrior for a few months, and yes, this new world would make a young girl grow up quickly, but i found her "voice" to be of someone alot older than 13. Like maybe someone of 40. If she'd started out at age 18 i think i would have had an easier time accepting her. It is explained many times, why she is the way she is (and there are ALOT of reasons in her past), I just found it a bit hard to buy. But this is really my only complaint in the whole book.

Its a very easy read, the book flows well, without many slow spots.There is the occasional typo, but it wasnt enough to be distracting. Theres plenty of action, and an a little bit of a romance (even an almost love triangle). All the supporting characters are likable, and i would have loved to have seen some more from Asher's point of view when he was still in the city. I think an ebook novella from his point of view would be amazing!(hint hint Rachel!)

Overall, an enjoyable read, and a really promising debut novel from Rachel Fisher. This probably wasnt quite a 4 star read for me, but it definitely deserves more than 3 stars. So i give it 3.75, because i like to be precise :) I'd recommend this to any dystopian YA fan. The sequel is already out, so im looking forward to reading that sometime soon. Thanks Rachel, for asking me to review your book :)

View all my reviews

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium #1)Delirium by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that one love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love

My Review:
I made the mistake of picking this up at about 10.30 last night, about 60% read, and then couldnt put it down until i finished, well after midnight. The minute i finished i jumped on goodreads and updated my status with "OMFG, nooooooooooooo! you cant end a book like that! Thankgod i didnt read this book before the sequel came out". Yep. The ending was that good and that shocking.

In Delirium, we follow the story of Lena, a 17 year old girl. She lives in a world where people fear love and believe it to be a disease. A particularly deadly disease that needs to be erradicated. In an effort to prevent people falling in love, at the age of 18, you are given a procedure, where the part of your brain that processes love and emotion is removed, and you are then known as a "cured". Lena is taught all her life, that once she is cured, she will be happy, steady, content. She's spent all her life looking forward to the day she will have her procedure, but then, 2 months before the big day, Lena falls in love, and her whole world and everything shes ever believed in is turned upside down.

The story starts out somewhat slowly, with the author allowing us time to get to know Lena, and build this world that calls love "the deliria". Lauren Oliver's writing style is quite poetic. Her descriptions of colours and sights and characters is in depth and you quickly get a mental picture of what this world and its inhabitants would look like. Im not a huge fan of poetic descriptions. Im more of a dialougue sort of person, but i think Lauren Oliver does a good job at not being overly "wordy" and her descriptions, whilst detailed, are broken up into smaller, easier to manage chunks.

At the beginning of each chapter, we get a passage from some of the propaganda the government has sent out, to brainwash the residents. I really looked forward to each of these passages. Its quite amazing to see how Lauren Oliver has taken everyday things and feelings and spun them into a reason for love to be outlawed. The sweaty palms, butterflies in the tummy, not being able to concentrate - and so many more really do sound like a plausible disease.I think the whole concept for this series is amazingly creative and well executed.

I enjoyed the way the characters developed. We gradually got to know alot of Lena's backstory, and why she behaved the way she did in the beginning. Her thoughts didnt change overnight. Infact it takes a huge twist for Lena to go against everything shes been taught, which i thought was really relatable. If she'd just chucked it all in the minute she met this boy then i would have been dissapointed.

Hana, the best friend, was an extremely likable and interesting character. I think she'd make a great protagonist for a book of her own. Alex, the love interest, didnt have quite as much depth. I definitely didnt fall in love with him the way i have with other characters. I would have liked to get to know him better. Alot of him seemed to get skipped over.

For a book centred around love, the romance was simply sweet and innocent. Completely appropriate for a YA read.

I found the overall storyline a little slow for most of the book. I would have liked a little more action in the first 60%, but once the action did start, boy did it go off with a bang.Maybe it felt like such a huge, explosive ending because of the quiet lead up, i dont know, but i wasnt putting that book down for anyone. Even when i did finish, i had so much adrenaline coursing through me that it was impossible to get to sleep.

The conclusion: Definitely worth a read for YA dystopian fans. I'll be picking up the sequel very soon!