Friday, 27 September 2013

Review - The Giver by Lois Lowry

Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

 The biggest part of the book is about establishing the society Jonas lives in. There are an incredible amount of rules and people even get punnished for simple things like leaving their homes at night or using an incorrect word. The idea of so little freedom sounds very oppresive, but Lowry does an incredible job of making the society actually sound like a nice place to live. The people seem pleasant and everything seems neatly organized. I loved reading about the society and finding out how it worked. The first half of the book or so, it seems like everything about Jonas' life is good, but later that changes. From the very beginning it is clear what kind of society it is, but somehow I too, like the adults in the book, ignored that fact.

The pace of the book is great and slowly the tension is rising, but the ending seems a bit rushed. The Giver has found a solution to the problem that no one experiences true feelings but it doesn't receive a very extensive explanation. The ending of the book was also very open and personally I found that a bit dissatisfying. Those were the only shortcomings I could find. I found it a very entertaining book with a lot of beautiful descriptions of things that Jonas experiences through memories.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Review - Inside out by Maria v. Snyder

I picked this book up at a local thrift store. I wasn't expecting much of it, but it got a pretty good rating on Goodreads, so i gave it a chance.

Keep Your Head Down.
Don't Get Noticed.
Or Else.

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

I liked it a lot better than I had expected. Although the story was a little predictable I was eager to read on. The characters were all pretty likeable and well balanced, which I found good for a change. The main character Trella is pretty smart, but not a know-it-all, which often seems to be the case with main characters. She is stubborn and bold which I like about her, but she doesn't have many friends or particular interests. Because Trella doesn't have many friends the book is more about action than the interaction between different people. Trella has one friend Cogan, but during the book he gets locked up so she doens't see him very often. She meets Riley, one of the Uppers, and that is one of the very few people she genuinely likes. Riley is sweet and also stubborn and I liked him as well, although he could have been fleshed out more. Hopefully the next book will make sure of that.

The other characters is the book were all pretty flat, but considering they didn't show up that much it was acceptable. What I found a little bit confusing was that Riley said that he had never seen a Scrub before, when he met Trella, eventhough later in the book the mentions what kind of clothing scrubs working on the upper two levels wear. He couldn't have known that if he had never seen a scrub before. The fact that Doctor Lamont turned out to be Kiana, Trella's mother, I found a little predictable. I do like the fact that Trella wasn't that eager to confront her mother with that, and Snyder did a good job not letting her tell it yet, because I'm a little curious to see how that is going to play out. I'll probably get to read that in the next book. This is not a book that I will read over and over again, but I am probably going to read the sequel.

Have you read Inside out? What did you think of it?