Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mini Reviews # 8

Christian or Tucker. Adam or Warner. Alex or Julian. You see the pattern? The three books I'm reviewing today have been released in January (BOUNDLESS) , February (UNRAVEL ME) and March 2013 (REQUIEM) and are all about the widely discussed and often unwelcome love triangle!

Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand

BOUNDLESS, the last book in the UNEARTHLY trilogy, takes us to California. To protect the boy she loves, Clara has to leave her old life behind and leave town to attend a college thousands of miles away from Tucker. The best about going away is that Clara's friends Christian and Angela will be joining her as Stanford students. Most of the story is set on campus, which was a really welcome change of scene. Our favourite angel-bloods start thinking about their future, even though it seems heaven has already made that decision for them.
Christian or Tucker? In BOUNDLESS the question, that has been dragged through UNEARTHLY and HALLOWED, will be finally answered. And Cynthia Hand surely takes her time to let Clara and the reader know who's best for Clara in the end. Whereas Christian is a very prominent part of Clara's life, a small complaint has to be uttered concerning the frequency of Tucker's appearances. We don't see Tucker as often as I would have liked to and some of their original bickering felt just missing from the story. So romantically this book wasn't a highlight.
Angela's and Jeffrey's fates are of high interest, too since Clara is constantly concerned about their wellbeing as Angela is distancing herself from her former life and Jeffrey is living his own life out of Clara's reach. 
In BOUNDLESS the story didn't flow as easily as in the previous two books. And the ending battle against the evil souls that threaten to enslave all angel-bloods, could have been a lot more like a final battle between the forces of heaven and hell in their true forms. It wasn't as pugnacious as I'd imagined it to be. However the ending of the story itself was very surprising and made me hold my breath for a few pages.

4/5 **** BOUNDLESS – The conclusion to a noteworthy and angelic trilogy!

The last book in the UNEARTHLY series might not have been as explosive and eventful as I would have liked to see it. Nevertheless this angel series is one I would always recommend to any reader meaning to explore the angelic side of YA books.

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: January 22nd 2013
Length: 438 pages
Keywords: YA, fantasy, romance, friendship, family, angels, hell, love triangle
Source: Bought for Kindle

After being blown away by SHATTER ME, UNRAVEL ME had to live up to the very unique and excellent reading experience Tahereh's debut offered. I'm afraid this sequel didn't overwhelm me quite like the first book. For instance UNRAVEL ME didn't hold the original appeal Tahereh Mafi conjured by making Juliette untouchable in the first place. She isn't entirely inapproachable anymore, so some of this forbidden allure relationships between Juliette and Adam as Juliette and Warner held simply evaporated in the second book. Where things felt almost one hundred percent unpredictable in the first book, they appeared more pre-determined now, Juliette has an idea of what's happening around her and knows what's ahead of her, at least for a few days. In SHATTER ME Juliette was captured, in a prison cell, not knowing what her near feature would hold. Now she's living with a group of specially gifted people who are like her. Much of UNRAVEL ME is about explaining who they and what their talents are, what they are doing as an organization of resistance and exploring their group dynamics. 
New as old characters were all really great in their own ways and their capacity to infuriate or fascinate you.
Adam and Warner continue to compete for Juliette's heart and all Warner fans will get their money's worth, because we learn a lot more about his past and what's on his mind. I admit, he grew a lot on me and I felt acutal sympathy for him - quite a sensation remembering what a monster he acted like in SHATTER ME.
What really bothered me were Adam and Juliette distancing themselves from each other, because it could be too dangerous for them to be together.Yawn! I thought we'd already overcome that hurdle. No more of this old game in book three, please! 

4,5/5 ****/* UNRAVEL ME - A satisfactory second book in a series with minor romantic deficiencies!

Tahereh's language is as beautiful and poetical as always,  still Juliette lost a little bit of her sometimes strange and always unique voice that was only hers. Yet there's sure enough action and love to make every reader happy. And the evolvement of Warner's character is a definite and strong plus!

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: February 5th 2013
Length: 461 pages
Keywords: YA, dystopia, fantasy, love, resistance, special talent, love triangle
Source: Bought

Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver

I went into reading REQUIEM with the apprehension that it would be really really difficult to bring the DELIRIUM series to an ending that contented every reader (I know no book can't achieve that). There are Team Alex and Team Julian readers who want to see Lena with their favourite DELIRIUM boy.
REQUIEM gives us the chance to follow Lena, Alex, Julian and the resistance on their way to gaining more power. The resistance is growing, but so is the tension leading to a major confrontation between the leaders and revolutionists. Sadly you have to be prepared to say Goodbye to a few characters before the book's ended.  It's obvious we can't witness every single move of the resistance all across the country, so we have to be content with an excerpt of the resistance's life by following Lena and her group. I would have loved to learn more about Lena, Alex and Julian's feelings in certain situations and throughout the whole time they have to stick together during their journey. The idea of the introduced love triangle is ever-present, sadly further explorations and discussions of the three's perspective feelings had to take a back seat to the greater good of solving the politicial conflict.
Surprisingly, REQUIEM is told from Lena's and Hannah's perspective and where the two girls had been best friends in DELIRIUM, they couldn't be more different in REQUIEM with no apparant common thread to be found in their ways of thinking about present events. In the start it looked like Hannah's chapters would slow down the action too much. I preferred to read about Lena and her much more eventful days as well as her interactions with Julian and Alex. But Hannah's scenes grew to become just as interesting and crucial to the story as Lena's.
Lauren Oliver created a world so instable and shaken - politically, culturally and socially - that I didn't think it possible to rebuild it in 'only' three books. Speaking technically, Lauren didn't reinvent or renew the government or structures of thinking as a whole, but she found a way to let Lena's story end in a way that fit the overall story, Lauren's style and would be the best way to leave this world to itself and in the readers' imagination to go on and thrive on its own.

4,5/5 ****/* REQUIEM - Revolutionary and too good not to be loved!

When I turned the last page, I wasn't sure how I felt about the story's ending. I had to think a lot about this series and the ending and it took some time to let it be and be content with the way things ended. In some way Lauren Oliver left the story to itself, not determining what happened after the final scene. And that's Lauren's strongest skill. Leaving a story to itself and giving it the strength to develop its own dynamics and future. There might be a few minor flaws to the story, but I can honestly say that the DELIRIUM series is one of my favourites, DELIRIUM being the best part.

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: March 5th 2013
Length: 391 pages
Keywords: YA,dystopia, love, cure, resistance, love triangle
Source: Bought


  1. I actually haven't even begun any of these series! The one I'm most interested in starting among them though is Unearthly just because I love angel novels and have heard nothing but praise for it.

  2. I sulked over Clara's choice in Boundless for days (maybe even weeks!) Loved Requiem - it's my fave of the books in that series. :)