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Cuddlebuggery Book Blog > Dystopian

Don't You Forget About Me

Since I’ve started my little project of Reading Whatever I Wanna — AKA This Ain’t Your Job — I’ve noticed I’m reading more and, more importantly, enjoying it. Sometimes I still want to talk about these books, though, so that’s when To All the Books I Forgot to Review was born. This works out perfectly for a few reasons: (1) Sometimes I don’t have an entire post worth of words to talk about just one book. (2) Since we have so many reviewers now, we might end up reading the same books, but I don’t always review them. (3) It also let’s me read more and talk more, just in a more condensed format. Of course, the best part for my readers is that this post will always feature a giveaway of some of the books mentioned, open internationally to our readers.

Hover over the books for the synopsis and links!

Red Rising

This is the first review I’ve ever written where I’m leaving a book unrated. I both loved and hated this book equally. There were parts that really frustrated me, bored me, excited me, and completely hooked me. I’m not even sure what Red Rising is really classified as. One half of the book feels very Dystopian/sci-fi while the other half reads like an entirely different genre, perhaps High Fantasy. If I were to even attempt to describe what this book is I’d say image Gladiator and Lord of the Flies having an illicit love affair on an acid trip. Their baby would be Red Rising. How do I fit a book like that on a 1-5 star rating scale?

Darrow is a Helldriver on Mars, drilling in mines with the belief that one day his people will live on the surface once the planet is ready. He and his people live under strict rules.

Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Someone much crueller than me would describe this book as a Survivor Reality show meets YA. Giant race, one winner, only instead of a cash prize and not-so-eternal glory, the winner of the Brimstone Bleed gets a cure to save their dying relative. That’s the situation every contestant, including Tella our protagonist, is in.

With only their Pandoras to rely on, each contender has to run the game with no rules and make it to the finish line first to claim a prize. Fire & Flood covers the first two locations, half of the race, and follows Tella as she tries to survive the harsh conditions to save her brother. Clearly my first thought was to seriously consider whether I would do such a race for either of my brothers.

Should have let me play with your lego, asshole!

Honestly, I’m joking. Pretty sure I’d do this at least once for each of my brosephs, but maybe that’s because I think I could probably survive this whole experience a bit better than Tella who has exactly no survival skills.

Don't You Forget About Me

In 2013, I did something I never usually did: I didn’t review some books that I had read. It’s not that I didn’t like them because most of them were really good, some even my favorites of the entire year. But there was always something that got in the way or I got distracted or lazy or started drinking… you get the picture. So in order to feature some of these awesome books, I’ve decided to do a new mini-review feature. I’m hoping to be able to do this every few months or so depending on how much I read. This will leave me with more time to read and not stress about reviewing everything, but at the same time I get to share my thoughts with everyone. The best part? These books are already out! Yay!

Dear Books I Forgot to Review,

I totes didn’t forget about you!

(Hover over the covers for the synopsis and links!)

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Having now experienced the thing that is Noughts and Crosses, it is incredible to me that very few people in the US seem to have heard of, let alone read, this book. I’m not judging you, this was me up until Ellis decided this state of affairs was unacceptable and sent it to me for Christmas. I honestly don’t know whether I want to hug her with joy and gratitude or hug her because I need support while I weep because HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS, THIS BOOK BLEW ME AWAY.

I haven’t been this in love and simultaneously traumatized since I read the Newsflesh books. I almost don’t want to recommend this to you because it hurts. Bad. (That’s a complete lie, I am absolutely recommending it with all the enthusiasm I posses, it is magnificent.)

First, let me tell you about my feelings, of which there were many.

The story opens and I was kind of like this:

Then you meet Callum and Sephy and I was all:

Things start to go down and I found myself wondering:

And more things go down:

And more:

And more and more and more:

And then I got to the end:

And did this:

And a week later I’m still like:

It’s funny, given the premise, how little Noughts and Crosses is about race.

The Last Girl

Adams has written a total psychopath, and sometimes I’m kind of worried because he doesn’t seem to think this character is necessarily a psychopath. Or maybe he’s fooling us.  See, I interviewed him about this terrifying character and this was his response:

“I loved writing X because he doesn’t see himself as a bad guy at all. And maybe he’s not. What he has is a plan to save the world and the power to put it into action even though his means seem ruthless. But, like he tells Danby, God didn’t say to Noah, “Hey, beardy, get all the animals” – he said get two of each. X thinks it’s important to save people with skills to rebuild the world rather than try to save everyone. I think if you got access to government emergency plans, they’d have similar sort of ideas on the books. If you’re an author, sucked in.

Tumble and Fall

Tumble & Fall

Otherwise known as  Tumble & BORE (sorry, I hadn’t seen anyone use that pun yet). Tumble & Fail: the most boring apocalyptic book ever. A gentler, kinder soul might say that it’s a character-driven novel exploring the way three teens face the oncoming apocalypse. That gentler and kinder soul would be wrong. The apocalypse is treated like background radiation. It keeps getting mentioned, but it’s hard to see what the hell it’s got to do with the book. Honestly, you could remove it and most of the book would scarcely be affected which is problematic considering how much the book rides on that concept.

This book is made even more boring since, for a bunch of people about to possibly die, and have everyone they love die, these are the most disaffected people ever.  No joke, the first hundred pages or so of this novel is people standing around going:

“Hey, heard about that apocalypse thing?”

“Yeah, sucks.

Review: Horde by Ann Aguirre

Horde by Ann Aguirre

To any authors trying to figure out how to end their series, I advise you to talk to Ann Aguirre because that lady knows what she’s doing. If I had to sum up my feelings in a gif, it would be this:

I imagine Horde feels similar to a satisfying run. (As I am the kind of person that goes out of her way to avoid that sort of activity, I wouldn’t know firsthand but I’ve read about it.) Your adrenaline’s up and your blood is pumping, you’re in that magic zone where everything’s a rush and you haven’t started to feel the fatigue. It has all of the best bits of the previous Razorland books (action, danger that feels real, character growth and subtle, heartwarming feels) minus the self-righteous assholes running around saying the monsters will eat you if girls wear pants.

Deuce continues to be, hands down, one of my favorite YA Heroines.

Allegiant cover

So, this book happened.

(Nathan Fillion sums up my feelings exactly)

You know the phrase ‘be careful what you wish for?’ It should have been the tagline, but I don’t mean that in the way you might think. I imagine you have questions, so I am going to pretend I know what they are and answer them. ONWARD!

Dual POV! How could it not be awesome with dual Tris/Four* POV?
Yes, technically it was dual POV, but Four’s voice is basically identical to Tris’. Without the chapter headers, I don’t think I would’ve been able to tell them apart. As far as I can see, the only point to having dual POV is so you can see what’s going on when Tris isn’t in the room. Supposedly (according to Veronica Roth) Four’s more of a sharer but I didn’t really see it.
*I continue to think of Tobias as Four because the name Tobias makes me picture furry bald men in denim short shorts (thank you Arrested Development.) 

But you’re in Four’s head, how can that not be magically delicious?

Review: Proxy by Alex London

Proxy by Alex London

Awhile ago, Proxy briefly floated across my radar and the premise sounded promising (plus yay for gay MCs!) but I didn’t really have any grand expectations or insane drive to get it right away, more like passing curiosity. So when I had a chance to read it, I thought to myself ‘Hmm, I recall this seemed rather interesting, why not?’ What a wonderful impulse that turned out to be. Proxy was an intense, action-packed ride from the first chapter right up to the last page.

While neatly avoiding info-dumps, Alex London has created a creepy and completely plausible future dystopia with a sharp divide between social classes. Each Patron, the members of the wealthy upper class, have everything including a Proxy from the lower class to take the punishment for infraction they incur. Punishments range from enforced labor to severe beatings and the system is upheld by inescapable credit debt incurred from birth for all but those rich enough to buy their way out of it.

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