2.5 stars

Day 21 by Kass Morgan

Day 21 by Kass MorganDay 21 by Kass Morgan
Series: The Hundred #2
Release Date: 16th September 2014
Publisher: Little Brown Young Readers
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-half-stars

It's been 21 days since the hundred landed on Earth. They're the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries...or so they thought. Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself.

In this pulse-pounding sequel to Kass Morgan's The 100, secrets are revealed, beliefs are challenged, and relationships are tested. And the hundred will struggle to survive the only way they can -- together.

 Okay, so the sequel to The Hundred was slightly better although it still suffers from the same shortcomings as the first book. Once again there’s so much potential that literally suffocates under the crushing weight of boring, boring romance. It’s twenty one days since the group landed on Earth, and that number of days is significant to Clarke for additional reasons – we know from the first book that Clarke stumbled upon her parent’s experiments. Twenty one days, to her, is the average time for the subjects to start showing symptoms. This is ~explored a bit more as events progress in the novel. New characters are introduced and it’s revealed that despite everything the space people have been taught, Earth has been inhabited since the Cataclysm by those descendants of the original survivors who weren’t important enough to be ‘saved’.

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Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer

Sacrifice by Brigid KemmererSacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental #5
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-half-stars

Earth. Fire. Air. Water.

One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick understands pressure. He's the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it in for his family, and he's all that stands in the way.

His girlfriend, Hannah, understands pressure too. She's got a child of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could put her life in danger at any moment.

But there are people who have had enough of Michael's defiance, his family's 'bad luck'. Before he knows it, Michael's enemies have turned into the Merricks' enemies, and they're armed for war.

They're not interested in surrender. But Michael isn't the white flag type anyway. Everything is set for the final showdown.

Four elements, one family. Will they hold together, or be torn apart?

Michael is my favourite of the Merrick brothers, so you can probably imagine my intense excitement when I discovered that he was getting his own book. I was flailing about all over the place, especially since his book was to be the last in the series and that is usually a bad sign because everyone dies in series finales. Unfortunately – can you see where this is going? – all of my waiting and fangirling didn’t pay off, because Sacrifice is not the book that I was expecting.

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After the End by Amy Plum

After the End by Amy PlumAfter the End by Amy Plum
Series: After the End #1
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-half-stars

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

Was anyone else expecting a post-apocalyptic survival novel with this one, or was that just me? I admit, my problem is that I don’t read blurbs before reading books, because I like to go into them surprised and knowing absolutely nothing. So it’s my fault that I went into After the End with unrealistic expectations. But I’m disappointed anyway, because whereas I was looking forward to a survival novel in the Alaskan wilderness but instead it was more of a science fiction thriller, and it was really bloody confusing to begin with.

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1984 by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell1984 by George Orwell
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: June 8, 1949
Publisher: Signet
Source: Gift
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-half-stars

While 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is more timely than ever. 1984 presents a "negative utopia", that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world — so powerful that it's completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of entire generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions — a legacy that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

1984 is another of those annoying mixed-feelings books. Don’t you just hate those? I sure do, because I never know if I’m going to change my mind later on, or if I did actually enjoy the book. For that reason, I am rating this as Hodgepodge, because I don’t even know what my thoughts are. Also, this is the first time I’m reviewing a classic on this blog. It’s not even really a review, just my thoughts. But isn’t that what reviews are?

– The whole concept of big brother. And the government in general, really. What I’m saying here is that I enjoyed the dystopian aspect of the novel. A world in which the government controls everything you do, and is always watching? That shit is creepy. And I’m not going to lie, this book may have made me a tiny bit more paranoid than I was before. As you’re reading this, I’m covering up my webcame and turning off the wifi.

– The ending was unsettling. No, I’m not going to spoil you, but I’m used to happy YA endings and this was just… hopeless.
– Newspeak. Because this is happening already! It’s like internet-speak for extremists, and I loved every second I spent reading about it. It also made me realise that I basically speak a whole other language when I’m with my closest friends. I’m pretty sure my mum or brothers wouldn’t be able to read the majority of what we say to each other.

– No connection with the main character. He was a boring guy and his narrative was completely monotonal. Intentional? Perhaps. But still, I didn’t like the guy and he kept talking about doing things before deciding against it. Just… grow some balls.
– It dragged on the middle. There was no action! Perhaps this was to be expected from a classic, I don’t know, but I was expecting more action, less talking, less monologuing, less Winston.
– Things were repeated a lot. Okay you’ve told me about this aspect of the government several times now, I think I get it.

I think I built this book up far too much. I much preferred Animal Farm. While I did like some things about this book, it definitely felt more like an essay than an actual novel. I’m glad I took the time to read it, but 1984 definitely won’t be on my list of annual re-reads.