Friday, April 29, 2011

CBR III Review #56: Love You More: A Novel by Lisa Gardner

CBR III Review #58: Love You More: A Novel by Lisa Gardner

This Lisa Gardner novel follows detective D.D. Warren, as her last few novels have done.   Out of her D.D. Warren/Bobby Dodge novels this is probably one of my favorite.  A lot of her novels start to feel repetitive at times.  Love You More follows Massachusetts State Trooper Tessa Leoni.  Her husband Brian is found dead in their kitchen and their 6-year old daughter Sophie is missing and Tessa other than indicating that she killed her husband in self defense  is refusing to talk.  Did a dedicated mother harm her own child? Did her husband?  Is this why she killed him?  Love You More was similar to a lot of Gardner's novels because the first 3/4 of the novel is just a bunch of questions with the last 1/4 being mostly answers and untwisting all the twist the story presented.

Love You Move can get dark at times. Spousal abuse and a missing child doesn't lead to an abundance of lighthearted plot lines.  I've been reading Gardner for a long time and this one of my favorites by her.   There is enough exposition that you wont be lost if this is the first novel you are reading by Gardner and actually I highly suggest skipping some of the other D.D. Warren novels and starting with this one, but if you are OCD like me the novels featuring D.D. Warren are as follows: Alone (2005), Hide (2007), The Neighbor (my favorite) (2009), Live to Tell (2010), Love You More (2011).



Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (March 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780553807257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553807257
  • ASIN: 0553807250
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

CBR III Review #54-55: Inside out & Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

CBR III Review #54: Inside out by Maria V. Snyder

Once you get use the world that Maria V. Snyder has created Inside out pulls you in quickly into a dystopian future full of mystery.  Trella lives in a community where no outside exist.  They live in a metal structure broken up into a series of floors.  Their community is broken into two communities: uppers and lowers.  The lowers are essentially slaves. Those who live on the lower levels work 10 hours then gets 10 hours off every single day.  Those who live on the lower levels have very little knowledge of the upper level existence except that the brutal Pop Cops live on the upper levels.  The Pop Cops are a security force that rules the lower levels with an extreme cruelty and viciousness. Trella lives on the lower level and is constantly seeking solace from her existence, but the lower levels are so crowded that even during your time off you are constantly surrounded by thousands of people. Trella to get away from everyone escapes into the pipes earning her the nickname "Queen of the Pipes" because of her extensive knowledge of the pipes and their structure.  One day a prophet who claims there is a door to the outside ask for Trella's help and she unwittingly starts to unravel some very dangerous secrets.

Inside out has several themes throughout the novel.  The novel takes place in a dictatorial society encumbered with class issues in a dystopian future.  It took me about 60 pages or so before I actually got involved in the storyline.  During those 60 pages I kept picking it up and putting back down again and switching to other books but finally the novel picked up and I become invested in Trella's story. This novel has some of the commonplace themes found in every other young adult novel like a forbidden romance and rebellion but I was impressed with the over all execution of the story.

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CBR III Review #55: Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

I wish I had just read Inside Out and left it at that.  Even though I enjoyed once again being in Trella's world this novel just wasn't as exciting to read and for some reason fell a bit flat.  It felt more like the second book was forced because the first one made enough money to warrant it other than this had always been a planned sequel.

The story picks up after the events of Inside Out and now that the dictatorial leaders have been overruled peace should have been an easy thing to achieve between the upper and lowers.  But both groups are having a hard time trusting each other and their society is finding that change is not an easy goal.  To make matters worse there appears to be someone from outside making contact with a select few that are inside and those that are on the outside do not have peace as a goal.

Outside In just feels like a rehashed Inside Out instead of a sequel.  It wasn't a horrible read, but I started it immediately after finishing Inside Out so it felt like reading a very very long epilogue instead of a unique story.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

CBR III Review #51-53: Wake Series by Lisa McMann

CBR III Review #51: Wake by Lisa McMann

Menh. That pretty much describes how I feel about the whole series. My main problem is none of the books feel whole. You  have to read the whole series for it to feel like you have read one cohesive storyline. In Wake you are introduced to Jane who has the ability to see other people's dreams.Or better put, if someone around Jane is dreaming she falls into a cationic state and experiences the other person's dream until they wake up.  This "ability" makes driving, having sleep overs, and study period a living nightmare.  Wake mostly sets up who Jane is and how this ability affects her daily routine and social life.  She has access to everybody's deepest fantasy and desires, but there are some secrets you shouldn't have access to. For example, Jane has stumbled upon someone she cares about dark secrets.  Can she hide the fact that she knows more about this person's life than she should? Unfortunately, the secret is not that deep and dark and there is really no mystery at all in the novel other than why her love interest keeps lying to her.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (December 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781416974475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416974475
  • ASIN: 1416974474
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews

CBR III Review #52: Fade by Lisa McMann

Fade picks up right where Wake left off and this novel actually seems to have an actual mystery and plot direction.   Apparently there is a sexual predator at Jane's high school and  Jane and Cabel are helping the police discover who it is.  This novel would have worked better if Jane had actually used her "power" to help solve the case but mostly she only breaks the case with a mixture of good and bad luck. Jane's ability is really interesting and has a lot of promise but unless she is within 10 feet of a suspect when he falls asleep and he just happens to dream of whatever crimes he has been committing her ability is seriously lame.  At least her ability in relations to crime fighting. The best part of the novel is Jane starts to realize that her ability has some serious consequences and her life will always be complicated and she struggles to come to terms with these consequences.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; 1 edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781416974482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416974482
  • ASIN: 1416974482
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews

CBR III Review #53: Gone by Lisa McMann

In the end of trilogy Wake, Jane finds out about her biological father and it looks like the dream catching ability may be hereditary.  Her father holed himself up and lived as a hermit to survive the complications of being a dream catcher. Jane finds her self weighing the pros and cons of her ability or living in solitude for the rest of her life.

If you have read the other two novels in this series you pretty much have to read the last one since none of the novels on their own feel like they have a complete story structure.  I'll just end these reviews with how I started it.  Menh.

Sorry the reviews are so short but the books are insanely short and I just couldn't will myself to write more on these books.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416979212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416979210
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews
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Friday, April 8, 2011

CBR III Review #50: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

CBR III Review #50:  Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium is much like Matched and The Giver.   Shockingly this novel actually made me appreciate Matched a bit more.  I'm not sure why this novel annoyed me so much. I'm guessing because it felt so much like some of the other novels I had all ready read I was just sick of the genre.

Delirium is based on the fact that their is a highly contagious and deadly disease running rampant through society. This disease is Amor Deliria Nervosa and you can only be cured from it once you turn 18.  The disease is also known as Love. The government has also altered poetry, novels, many types of literature and music to erase anything positive about love.  People are raised thinking the worst thing that can happen to individual is if they fall in love.  Apparently the symptoms of love are erratic mood swings, unpredictability, and extreme depression once the relationship ends.  This extreme depression can lead to suicide, war, and many other extremely unpleasant events.

This book has been reviewed a few times on CBR III so I don't need to go into major details.  Without even reading you can guess what happens.  Our protagonist Lena ::gasps:: falls in love and has to fight against society and its standards to regain her individuality.  I actually really enjoyed the ending of the novel and  then I found out it was a planned trilogy, which should be interesting considering the way we left Lena.  I think my biggest problem with trilogies is the first novel can feel like it takes forever before it starts to become interesting.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 583 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061726826
  • Publisher: Harper Collins, Inc. (February 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0045U9WPU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

CBR III Review #49: Run by Blake Crouch

CBR III Review #49:  Run by Blake Crouch

This books just takes off. It dumps you in the middle of the narrative and doesn't stop until you have finished the entire book.  Crouch's work really does remind me of an early Koontz.  The novel begins with the Colclough family huddled around the radio listing to names being read.  Names of people to be killed.  When Jack Colcloug's name is read the family jumps into action and tries to put as much distance between them and their home.  Five days earlier the national began experiencing an outbreak of violence, four days earlier the murders and violent acts increased exponentially. On the third day the President addressed the nation.  It appears certain parts of the population have been infected with a condition that makes them want to murder and mutilate anyone who has not been afflicted. Now those who have been infected are actively seeking out those who have not been and murdering them...hence the radio announcements.

The novel is much like Hate by David Moody which I have all ready reviewed. Crouch's novel is more concentrated on the survival aspect of an apocalyptical event. While Moody's concentrated more on the emotional and societal impact.  Run addresses what it would be like to be a father and husband whose only goal is to make sure your family survives a seemingly unsurvivable event and having no plan, other than survival, day to day.

Run also addresses what causes parts of the population to turn into rage-filled murderous animals.  The explanation is a little weak but it doesn't really take away from the story.  Out of Crouch's novels this has been my favorite so far and I highly recommend it!

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 713 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004PGNF0W
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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