Tag Archives: scott westerfeld

Afterworlds – Scott Westerfeld

Summary:
Believing is dangerous. Darcy Patel is afraid to believe all the hype. But it’s really happening-her teen novel is getting published. Instead of heading to college, she’s living in New York City, where she’s welcomed into the dazzling world of YA publishing. That means books tours, parties with her favorite authors, and finding a place to live that won’t leave her penniless. It means sleepless nights rewriting her first draft and struggling to find the perfect ending…all while dealing with the intoxicating, terrifying experience of falling in love-with another writer.
Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, the thrilling story of Lizzie, who wills her way into the afterworld to survive a deadly terrorist attack. With survival comes the responsibility to guide the restless spirits that walk our world, including one ghost with whom she shares a surprising personal connection. But Lizzie’s not alone in her new calling-she has counsel from a fellow spirit guide, a very desirable one, who is torn between wanting Lizzie and warning her that…believing is dangerous.

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Review:
So yesterday I made my first trip to my new local library since I moved her three months ago. I’ve been reading all the new books I’ve bought and rereading all the books I brought with me and I finally finished everything on my book shelf. So it was the perfect time for an adventure to the library. I’m glad I did because I picked up three new books which will all be reviewed here in the near future.
The first book I got was Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld. He’s an author I’ve read quite a bit of and I’ve liked everything I’ve read by him. When I read the description I was very intrigued. A book about a teenage girl successfully writing and publishing a book, who wouldn’t love that? And when I learned that we would get to read about our main character while also reading the story she wrote, I knew I had to read it.
I loved following Darcy as she came up into the publishing world. As someone who would love to be a successful published author one day, she was really awesome to read about. I loved learning more about the publishing world. Reading about Darcy’s struggle to make her editor happy by changing different parts of her story was really interesting to me because I know what the struggle of writing and not being happy with parts and rewriting. I liked Darcy. She was very unsure of herself for a lot of this book, while she knew what she wanted, she didn’t seem to have much confidence in herself. She was always second guessing herself, always wondering if her book was really that good, if she’s made the right choices. While I understand being eighteen and unsure of what to do with my life, I feel like she should have had more faith in herself, after all, she’s in the process of getting a book published at the age of eighteen. That’s pretty impressive. I loved all of the friends Darcy made once she moved to New York City. Imogen was definitely my favorite. I loved their blossoming relationship, but again, if Darcy would have been a little more confident the couple would have avoided more than one major blowout. But to be fair, every relationship has ups and downs, it wouldn’t be realistic if they didn’t fight a little bit. The rest of Darcy’s friends were awesome, they added a bit of hilarity to the story. I loved them all. I think I loved Darcy’s younger sister the most. At fourteen she’s a firecracker. She always has something witty to say and she’s Darcy’s biggest supporter. I loved how close these two were. Their love for one another was very clear and I really enjoyed their relationship.
Now, Darcy’s story was told in alternating chapters and I can’t decide which story I liked better. I loved being able to read the finished story as Darcy learned what she needed to change and how she was going to do that. Her story about Lizzie was fascinating, and very unique. I don’t know where to start. The story was gripping, every chapter change I almost just skipped to the next one to find out what happened next in Lizzie’s life. I’m not going to go into too much detail because I don’t want to give anything away. But I loved Lizzie’s story just as much as Darcy’s.
I really enjoyed this book. It took me less than a day to finish it because I just couldn’t put it down. Scott Westerfeld has outdone himself yet again. I recommend this book to anyone that likes to read. So go buy it, or get it from the library like I did.
Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

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WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

WWWWWhat are you currently reading?

Amanda- Technically I’m not currently reading anything. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m going to start Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith tomorrow. It’s the third in the Cormoran Strike series. I loved the first two, so I have high hopes for the third.

Antonia- I’m currently in the middle of two books. Beastly by Alex Flinn is one of my all time favorites. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read it and I never get sick of it. It’s an amazing modern adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. You can read my review of it here. The other book I’m reading is Soundless by Richelle Mead. Mead is one of my favorite authors and her newest book is unlike any of her others. I fully expect this one to be a new favorite of mine.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently read Zeroes co written by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti. You can read my review HERE. I really enjoyed this book. I’m still very upset I have to wait until September for the next to be released.

Antonia- I just finished reading A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn for the second or third time. As you can tell, she’s one of my favorite authors. This one is an adorable, unique retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Amanda- Honestly, I haven’t thought that far ahead. I keep looking at my shelf trying to decide. Im torn between a few different choices; The newest Stephanie Plum, Tricky Twenty Two, by Janet Evanovich, The Heir by Kiera Cass, or rereading one of my favorites, The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks.

Antonia- I’m not sure yet because I never really decide until I pick one up and start reading it. But I recently read the first book in J.D. Robb’s In Death series and I can’t wait to find out what happens to the characters next.

What are your answers?


Zeroes – Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, & Deborah Biancotti

Summary:

Don’t call them heroes. But these six California teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t-like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery and lands him in deep. The only people who can help are the Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader.” After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals across the city. And at the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.

Filled with high-stakes action and drama Zeroes unites three powerhouse authors for the opening installment of a thrilling new series.

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Review:

So I have to admit that I haven’t been reading as much as I usually do. It’s been two months since I’ve actually finished a book. This book has been sitting on my shelf since Christmas, just staring at me, waiting for me to pick it up. Zeroes got me back into my constant need to read. I just wish the sequel, Swarm, would be out before September! Once I started this book I just could not put it down. I bought it because I’ve liked everything I’ve ever read by Scott Westerfeld. I actually didn’t realize it was co-written until about halfway through it when a coworker asked what I was reading. I will definitely be looking into other books by Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti.

Zeroes was beyond good. I was hooked from the first chapter. Who wouldn’t be hooked when it comes to books about superpowers? The story starts following a boy who has two voices. His every day voice and one that when used is always unpredictable. Ethan is one of six we meet in this story. His power is the most unique of the six. The more you read the more you see how Ethan feels alone, like nobody understands his lack of control over his power. There were many self realizations with the characters, but I think Ethan’s was the most profound. He went through so much craziness and chaos all caused by his voice. I really enjoyed seeing Ethan learn when not to use his power even though he very well could have. Part of this lesson comes from Kelsie and his determination to help her.

Kelsie is the newest Zero on the team. She, like Ethan, feels very alone through most of the book. Her dad, Jerry, keeps getting into trouble and that trouble has found its way to Kelsie, partly because of her father and partially because of her determination to rescue her father from his latest antics. Kelsie is a take no shit kind of girl. Someone I would definitely get along with in real life. She does what she needs to for the people she cares about. She goes through the biggest struggles compared to her newfound friends. Her dad robbed a bank and went to jail. Then got out of jail and got hooked on the drugs he was supposed to sell for a very dangerous family. And while all of this is happening his daughter is trying to figure out how to help him, which is how she meets the rest of the Zeroes. They show her that she isn’t alone with her powers and that they will always be there by her side when she needs them.

That was another one of my favorite parts of this book, the protectiveness the Zeroes felt for one another. Even though most of them hadn’t spoken in over a year when Ethan’s voice said some things Ethan couldn’t take back, they still come to his rescue when he calls for help. Nate or Bellwether or Glorious Leader, the ring leader of the Zeroes always has a plan. He always knows exactly what to say to motivate the team. His ability to lead large groups, to give them a focus, is his superpower. Its way too complicated to fully explain (you’ll just have to read it!) Nate is the one that keeps this odd group together, always getting everyone together, always the one with the plan for what to do next. I’m excited to see more of him in the next book.

Thibault or Anonymous is without a doubt my favorite character. He has the power of forgetfulness.  He is a very forgetful person. So much so that for the first half of the book all five of the other characters continuously forgot he was in the room, and struggle to remember his name or what he looks like after he leaves the room. His power would be the most difficult to deal with in my opinion. To be completely forgotten by anyone and everyone as soon as you left the room. Thibault was the most hurt by Ethan’s voice a year ago. So when he was the only one that could hide Ethan from the trouble he got himself into it was very interesting to follow his thoughts while he decided whether or not to forgive Ethan and the relationship that the two developed after he did.

Thibault also very slowly developed a relationship with Riley or Flicker as she likes to be called. Flicker is blind, but her superpower is to see through the eyes of others. She can flit from one pair of eyes to another to another to see what they see. Flicker always wants to help. She likes being a part of the Zeroes, a part of something that can do good. She decides that she needs to know this Anonymous character so she has her sister make up stories laced with facts so that she will not forget him. She goes so far as to figure out where he lives, which ends up saving him and Ethan. Flicker, after Nate, is the most confident of the group. She is just so enthusiastic and adorable and all around loveable.

The last of the six is Crash. I think she grows the most after Ethan. She struggles as much as him, if not more, with her power. She was raised to ‘do no harm.’ Her power of crashing technology doesn’t always help with that. As we read we see her try to give up on the Zeroes more than once, but in the end realizes that she is a part of them whether she likes it or not.  Her power changes a bit at one point and she realizes it’s not all bad. She struggles more than anyone with her power, controlling what she can do and the effects of what she has done after she loses control. She’s very hard on herself and her mistakes. And that drives her to be better, to learn more control over her ability. Crash realizes, like Kelsie, that the Zeroes are here for her whether she wants them or not.

Zeroes was such a good read. It was fast paced. The authors left you wanting more on each page, only giving bits and pieces of the story at a time. I finished this book in less than a day. The story is out of the box. Maybe not the superhero part, but their powers are all very different and unique. The story of these six kids is a crazy one, but definitely worth the read. There are many relatable thoughts and feelings from each character and we get to see them overcome their fears and worries. This book was super motivational. It’s a great young adult novel. There are always others that feel the same as you, and there is always a way to overcome it. I really enjoyed reading Zeroes, so go to the book store or library or wherever you get your books and read this!

 

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.


Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras – Scott Westerfeld

Summary:
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license-for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’s rather risk her life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world-and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Review:
I’m going to review the four book series, Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras, by Scott Westerfeld. But I’m going to review all four in one post. I got super caught up in the series and didn’t post them individually.
Anywho, so as soon as I picked up Uglies I was hooked. I read all four books in three days. This series was exciting, fast paced, unique, and interesting. There were somethings I didn’t like about it, but they’re mostly with the characters. The story line of these books is pretty unique. They take place in the future, with a very interesting system of government. The details of places, and people are explained really well, as well as staying interesting. For those of you that like dystopian type books, you should give this series a try.
Now, onto my favorite part, the characters. I’ll mention them in order of importance as well as when they appear. First off, there’s Tally Youngblood. This book is about mostly her. She’s a very brave, smart, determined, compliant, courageous, stupid girl. She tries really hard to do what shes told so that her life goes the way she thinks it’s supposed to. As you follow her along she starts trying to do the right thing and protect the people she’s come to care about. In the second book, Tally starts off as a different person but finds her way back to the person she really is. One thing I notice with Tally is that she always seems to need a guy to be the center of her world. In the first book it’s David, in the second it’s Zane and in the third it’s both of them. Don’t get me wrong, I love the romance of it all, but the way she bounces back and forth between them is annoying. The third book things get boring at some points, but it’s was still exciting overall. Once again Tally starts off as a different person and finds her way back again. Tally continues to do the right thing. Tally loses someone very important to her toward the end of this book. It definitely took a toll on her, but overall made her stronger. She was very mysterious in the ending of the third book. Tally Youngblood’s part in the fourth book was brief but still heroic. She saved the day and ended the series as a hero. As a whole, I grew to love Tally’s character so matter how bad some of her choices were or her boy craziness.

The next important character we meet is Shay. She starts off as an adventurous ugly. She shows Tally all the cool spots and teaches her how to hoverboard. In the first book Shay acts like a bratty teenager for the second half of the book. The second book Shay is a follower in the beginning then kind of fades away for a while, but she attempts to stay independent. Shay is definitely a strong character. She grows up more and more through out the books. I think she’s my least favorite character. Honestly, she’s just a brat. She makes stupid choices and puts her loved ones in terrible situations. I just don’t like her. However, I am able to admit that she grows up toward the end of the series.
Dr. Cable, fucking crazy bitch. She’s unstable, irrational, irresponsible, and has no regard for anyone but herself. She’s obsessed with finding the Smokies and because of that she’s crazy. Dr. Cable causes nothing but trouble for all of the characters in the series.
Next I think if David, the first love interest. David is this mysterious guy who’s going to take you away to a better place where you can be free of the city. He’s smart, funny, kind, loving. Everything you could ever dream of. Oh, and he’s special. I’m not going to spoil the secret, but knowing that hes special adds an appeal. David’s part in the second book is minor for the most part, towards the end he becomes a friend to Tally. His part in the third is also small and non existent in the fourth. He’s an all around good guy. He has the best of intentions and he tries his best.
Boy number two is Zane, who we meet in the second book. Zane is a really good guy. He helps Tally get back to her right mind. Along with trying to help the efforts in any way he could. Zane was brave, almost stupidly so. He would do some things before actually thinking them through. He was also usually right. He kept everyone motivated and he never stopped fighting for the cause. Zane was my favorite character in this series. He would be a guy I would definitely be interested in.

Alright, onto the fourth book. Extras is kind of a different story line that at some points involve past characters. the story line is similar and still equally exciting. The main character Aya Fuse is a hopeful fifteen year old. All she wants is to be famous. When she gets her wish, it might not be a good thing. Aya stays relatively level headed through all of this. She does the right thing and listens to instructions. Aya had some hard decisions in her story, she was made a better person because of them. I liked Aya well enough. She was interesting. I could keep up with her, but I also was left guessing a few times.
Frizz Mizuno was my favorite character of the entire series. His brain literally wouldn’t let him lie. So, he was obviously honest, but he was also smart, and clever, along with brave. He manages to get himself into some situations he probably shouldn’t, but so does everyone else in this series too.
There are a couple other characters in Extras that I liked but didn’t really play a huge part, but I do want to acknowledge them because they were funny, and energetic, and definitely added to the story.

Overall I really enjoyed the Uglies series. It was exciting, suspenseful, funny, all at the same time. I suggest this book to any younger young adult reader definitely.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.