Michelle’s Tantalizing Treats

Because I have no time to read anything outside of the textbooks I need for class, I have decided to write about all the books that I want to read, but can’t because school is evil.

These books aren’t in any particular order. I looked around my room and picked the first four books I saw. Also note that these are not the only books that I own, but have yet to read. I have about thirty others, but that would make one hell of a long list and nobody likes long lists.

Firstly, there is Sever by Lauren DeStefano.

Though the second book was not fantastic, I have to finish the series. The last book ended on a cliffhanger, so I need to find out what happens next.

Then, there’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is my favourite author and everything he touches is magical, so why wouldn’t I want to read it. I am just waiting for the price to go down a little bit. It’s less than 200 pages and yet it’s nearly $30.

On the same note, The Graveyard Book also by Neil Gaiman.

Again, everything he makes is magical.

Lastly, I really need to read John Dies at the End by David Wong.

A friend of mine recommended this book to me during the summer, but I haven’t had time to dive into this one. I got through the first few pages and I was immediately hooked. It was a bit of a shame when I had to put it down, but Game of Thrones was calling me. This one is first on my reading list, though last in this list.

Michelle’s Paper Garden: Fever By Lauren DeStefano Review


Title: Fever (The Chemical Garden #2)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Year: Published 2012
Type: Hardcover
Number of pages: 341 pages
Genre: Dystopia, young adult, romance, post apocalyptic

Summary: Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ring mistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago – surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.
The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous – and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion…by any means necessary.
In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price – now that she has more to lose than ever.

[Summary taken from: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11112619-fever%5D

Review:
Okay so I will start with the negatives. This book was a little predictable. I won’t spoil anything, but some of the twists, and calling them twists is definitely generous on my part, were so obvious that I actually rolled my eyes when I turned out to be right. Also, I was annoyed with the characters. Gabriel is completely useless throughout the entire books for reasons that I shan’t divulge. Now, you might think that in 341 pages, the relationship between Rhine and Gabriel to flourish and deepen, but it remains more or less stagnant because Gabriel is a deadweight for the majority of the book and Rhine was too busy thinking about either her brother or about how things weren’t that bad with Linden. I hated when she would get all nostalgic about her sisters and her time with Linden. She wanted nothing more than to escape him, but then she spends the whole next book thinking about how it wasn’t so bad after all. It just didn’t sit right with me.

Now the positives! It was darker, creepier, and generally, more post apocalyptic than the first book. There is some great world building in this book that the first was lacking. You really get to see just how terrible the world is now. There were some interesting new characters who were introduced, though some did not last long. Also, Rhine is a little feistier in this book. She finally grew a backbone. Thank goodness, because I can’t stand a weak female lead.

So my final thoughts are that the first book was better and I hope the that third and final book will be a mix of the positives from book one and two.

3/5

If you like trippy dystopian societies, you will like this series. If you don’t enjoy such a read, then don’t even bother.

Meli’s Tangy Marvels: Wither by Lauren DeStefano Review

Wither (The Chemical Garden #1)
Lauren DeStefano
Simon & Shuster Books For Young Readers – March 2011
Hardcover
Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Dystopian/Romance
358 Pages
Borrowed

Okay so where do I start? Kudos for cover-intrigue qualities are a given so that would be one of the reasons I went for it. Our main character Rhine (whose name took some getting used to) is living in a crumpling world where girls don’t live pass 20 and men 25. Unfortunately for her she gets taken away to start this new life in keeping the human race alive. Throughout the story we come to know her beloved sister-wives who were as good as they were questionable, they weren’t the wicked step-sister in Cinderella, but they lacked the same fight Rhine did despite having been placed in the same predicament, as we dig more into their own personal lives you come to understand why they are how they are and irritation fades into pity and perhaps mutual understanding. Also we mustn’t forget the lucky groom to these ladies (god knows I tried), whom I constantly had to remind myself is at least 22 or so of age (I believe it’s mentioned but I’m blanking) and not some 50-something year old man. His character was oozy sweet, meaning that if he was this tyrant of a man doing what he wills I could deem him as the bad guy but once more learning about our dear Linden you see that he too is in a similar situation as Rhine (although his strings are being pulled by someone else and he is oblivious to that fact). And yes there is a bad guy, and he is this sickening-slimy beast of a being whom I would gladly end his life (but isn’t that how it always is with the bad guy?

I realize I haven’t said too much about our little heroine, except that never wanted to allow myself to get sucked into a book so badly only to shake and perhaps slap the MC. Its only because she starts off so strong, quick-on-her-feet and independent alongside her brother whom she would die for (and he likewise) that as soon as she gets kidnapped that she converts into this vulnerable and hopeless lamb whose way or thinking is “well this isn’t so bad I should try and make the best of things”. Through her emotional roller-coaster of “should I leave or should I stay” I must say (to keep myself from going off in some flamboyant rage) I had to find some empathy. However, we learn that the house (pshh more like mansion) she lives in holds dark disturbing secrets and once she discovers them Rhine is quickly revived with a more determined and dare I say more cunning (snake image imprinted) girl. Also if you are a romance-dweller like me, this book dose provides that pinch of fluff for Rhine and her loyal servant Gabriel. (Insert Rhianna’s song “We Found Love”).

Next since this is a trilogy the adventure is far from over. Naturally our paring do plot to escape but as to what awaits them beyond the ‘safe’ confinements of the mansion’s wall is not going to be daisies and waterfalls. It is slow pace at the beginning but only because there are crucial information and shouldn’t be tossed aside to only be introduced in the final book (yes I have seen that happened and it leaves me with a huge WTF) but once Rhine realizes that she is better off in the real world rather than a fake one…the suspense of how she gets out keeps the page turning. At times it can get depressive but what do you expect from a world with a virus killing everyone and with no cure being found? Now with the second released my hands are already itching to get on it.

:)

Grading: 3.5/5

Meli