Friday, January 20, 2012
Wow - my first book review of the new year, and so excited about this one. I have to just say, my first reaction when I finished and closed the book was to hug it tightly to my chest and say "Where have you been all my life?". While my husband thought I was crazy for proposing love to a book, I soon relaxed and realized it may have been a tad over-dramatic.
I wasn't too sure what to expect when I picked up the book: the cover was a definite draw in (who can resist that luscious green silk dress, and the simplicity of the glass bubble - it still makes my skin tingle) but I'm also not a big one for hype, because I find it too often doesn't deliver. And this book has hype. A lot of it.
However, I was not disappointed. I was instantly sucked into Cassia, Ky and Xander's dystopian world in which an all powerful government makes all the decisions for you - what you own, where you work, who you marry, when you die and how you feel about all of that.
I've read a few reviews on Amazon and Goodreads that seem to believe this book is just a rip-off of Lois Lowry's The Giver. While I can see where they are coming from, I don't agree in the least. Is it a similar concept to Lowry's award winning book? Yes. But how many versions of the Cinderella story are there? Or Pride and Prejudice, for that matter? Nobody gives those authors a hard time for plagiarizing Austen and Anderson, and I don't think it's justified in this case either. The stories may be based on the same concept, but they are totally different stories with vastly different characters.
This book was also quite widely correlated with The Hunger Games series as far as quality goes. I say Yes to Condie's ability to pull you in to the story and keep you hungering for more. However, it doesn't have the same depth of plot as Hunger Games. The pacing, writing, characterization, plotting, hooks are all stronger, but it is pretty much a singular, linear plot. At least that's the way I see it.
So all in all, what do I say?
Well, I'm still trying to sort out my book rating system for this site, so when I do, I will come back and update my thoughts on this particular book. In the meantime, I gave it a 5/5 on Goodreads, I will definitely be purchasing this book for my book shelf (I don't do that often, as space is very rare on my shelf - I have to love it that much to buy it hard copy instead of e-book), and I've already put in a request for the sequel, Crossed, which was released in Nov. 2011. According to the library site, I'm hold number 94 on 36 copies. That says something, doesn't it?
In summary: Don't miss this one!