Friday, January 30, 2015

Be Present in the Moment: Still Point by Katie Kacvinsky

Just the Facts

Overall Rating:  3 Stars
Addiction Level:  I read it when I had spare time.
Believe-ability:  The setting is believable.
Dystopia Factor:  It is intended to be a dystopia, but it describes our current times.


I am a huge fan of Awaken; it captured my interest immediately.  In fact I immediately reread it once I finished it.  The concept of waking up to the real world is addictive…not to mention the intense romance happening.  Middle Ground was frustrating for me because the pace was much slower.  If one is looking for passive civil disobedience, Middle Ground is your book.  Still Point was the end of the series.

What I disliked:
  • The slow start:  Kacvinsky did not capture my attention.  I had to make a conscious effort to pick up the book, so I could finish reading it.
  • The water metaphor:  I understand poetic license and using extended metaphors.  The metaphor was lost on me, an English teacher.  Kacvinsky was trying use the metaphor incorporate the title Still Point.  This book felt more like Maddie had reached a middle ground.
  • Wrapping up the end:  It felt like Kacvinsky knew where she wanted the story to end up, so the ending seemed jumbled with awkward twists and turns.

What I liked:
  • The overall message:  As a society we need to pull ourselves away from electronic distraction and engage in face to face activities.  A typical society should not be one where a family sits down to dinner and everyone is on their electronic device ignoring everyone else.  It should be that everyone at dinner is talking with each other.  Be mindful of the time we have with one another.
  • The resolution of the love triangle:  It is frustrating to have another love interest introduced in the third book of the series.  However, I like the resolution of the love triangle.  Maddie chose the person she was best suited for.

Favorite Quotes:
  • “You need to put love into something in order for it to grow.  Maybe that’s why this house felt so sad to me.”
  • “Those little computers we hold—do we control them, or do they control us?”
  • “‘Life is about mindfulness.  It’s about being in the moment, being aware.  And ever since I was little, I was confused about living through a computer so much of the time.  I never felt like I was missing the moment.  I was elsewhere.  I was missing the moment.  That has become a problem.  We are always elsewhere.  Our minds are never in this moment, in this now.  I guess I’m becoming more acutely aware of the nows, these moments we’re missing because we are always distracted.  Can we somehow plug back in to the now?’ he asked the crowd.”

I am glad the series is over and all the loose ends are tied up.  Now off to the next series!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nothing to Write Home About: Atlantia by Ally Condie

Just the facts:

Overall:  2 1/2 Stars

Addiction Level: I read it when I had spare time. 

Believe-ability: It was believable. 

Dystopia Factor: The world is starting to disintegrate. 


       I was able to read a preview of Atlantia a couple of months ago. Although I wasn't completely sold on the concept and story, I was looking forward to borrowing the book to see what Condie had up her sleeve this time. Atlantia takes place in a future world where society has been separated into two colonies, one that lives above ground in a polluted atmosphere and one that lives below the sea. The two colonies depend upon one another for survival but as the story begins we start to learn that all is not what it seems. There is an overly familiar feel to the book as one of the very first scenes is that of the young adults choosing whether they would like to stay in Atlantia or go above ground. The story centers on sisters Rio and Bay, and the mystery of why one chooses to leave the other.

       I wouldn't say that the book was disappointing, but rather that it just fell flat. There were times when my only thoughts about what was happening were "this has been done before". The characters were nothing special. I didn't develop a connection to any of them and if you asked me to describe them or their appearance I don't think I would be able to. (I also didn't care for their names.) The relationship between Rio and True was lackluster and I never even felt the development of their love. At one point it wasn't there and then it was, but it didn't read as insta-love either. It was almost an odd afterthought that had nothing to support it. 

       I did appreciate that Condie attempted a book with sisters at the center. It was nice to read something where family connections were important, even if the concept overall missed the mark. If another book comes out I will likely read it, but it certainly won't be a book that will be high on my TBR list.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Most Anticipated Books of 2015

Things have been quiet at Apocalypse Reads.  Though our writing has lacked, our must-read list continues to grow.  Read with us!

Esso’s list includes:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
   I can't wait to find out what this book has to offer! I love that Bardugo created such an awesome story world in the Grisha Series and is now carrying it forward. And I'm holding out that we might just hear from Nikolai again. :)

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
   I know this book has already been released, but needless to say I haven't gotten to it yet. It will be interesting to see where Annith's story will lead. I will be sad when this series is over though. 

Invaded by Melissa Landers
   After I enjoyed Alienated so much (and laughed so hard!) it's a no-brainer why this is on my list. I just hope it keeps up with the awesomeness of the first book. 

Rebecca’s list includes:

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
            I devoured the first two books.  Now, I am excited to finish the series!  I wonder where Annith’s story will take us!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass
            Who doesn’t want to read about assassins?  Are assassins the new thing?  I enjoyed the His Fair Assassin series, so hopefully this will be just as good.  For better or worse this one is a long series with six books projected.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu
            I enjoyed the Legend series and are curious to see if I like Lu’s next series.  I am intrigued by a darker series.

What are you looking forward to reading this year?  Let us know in the comments.