Join

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Steve Toutonghi

What if you could live multiple lives simultaneously, have constant, perfect companionship, and never die? That’s the promise of Join, a revolutionary technology that allows small groups of minds to unite, forming a single consciousness that experiences the world through multiple bodies. But as two best friends discover, the light of that miracle may be blinding the world to its horrors.

Chance and Leap are jolted out of their professional routines by a terrifying stranger—a remorseless killer who freely manipulates the networks that regulate life in the post-Join world. Their quest for answers—and survival—brings them from the networks and spire communities they’ve known to the scarred heart of an environmentally ravaged North American continent and an underground community of the “ferals” left behind by the rush of technology.

In the storytelling tradition of classic speculative fiction from writers like David Mitchell and Michael Chabon, Join offers a pulse-pounding story that poses the largest possible questions: How long can human life be sustained on our planet in the face of environmental catastrophe? What does it mean to be human, and what happens when humanity takes the next step in its evolution? If the individual mind becomes obsolete, what have we lost and gained, and what is still worth fighting for?

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All the Birds in the Sky

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Charlie Jane Anders

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.

But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s ever-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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Douglas Adams

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

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Golden Son

(Red Rising #2)

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By Pierce Brown

With shades of The Hunger GamesEnder’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation.

Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

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The Young Elites

The Young Elites

(The Young Elites #1)

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Marie Lu

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

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The 100

The 100

(The Hundred #1)

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By Kass Morgan

In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth’s toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland… before it’s too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they’ve only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they’re haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust – and even love – again.

 

Eliana’s Opinion :

1 Star

I picked up this book in spite of the bad reviews because I recently finished the TV show based off the book. While CW’s TV adaptation was actually highly entertaining and thrilling to watch. The novel leaves much to be desired. Had I read the book before submerging myself into the television adaption it is doubtful I would have tuned in for an episode.

The novel is split between four protagonists, Bellamy, Clarke, Wells and Glass. Each chapter is a different protagonist’s point of view. However, the many different point of views felt somewhat unnecessary and none of the characters really appealed to me.

First we have Clarke. She proved useful because of her medical skills but did not secure herself an important position in the group besides that. Her emotions were sometimes volatile and she frequently struggled with her relationship with Wells. Secondly, Bellamy was very full of himself, moody and unpredictable. He was single minded in his attempts to protect his sister, even at the costs of others. Then there was Wells, he was entirely consumed with his feelings for Clarke. And while he was placed in a position of leadership he proved to be the most reckless of them all.

“He could make her love him again.”

“To save the girl he loved, he’d have to endanger the entire human race.”

These lines say the most about Wells’ character.

I really hope Kass Morgan has some big plans for Glass in her sequel. Frankly, she was completely irrelevant to the plot (what little of it there was) and she shows no interest in anything other than her boyfriend. In simple terms, Glass is shallow, superficial and selfish. So concerned with her love life, she spared no second thought to the hundred delinquents possibly suffering on earth, including her supposedly best friend. On another note, she also convicted someone to death and had no qualms lying about it.

The characters were unimpressive and so was the writing. Leaning towards bland, the writing style lacked description, and was neither captivating nor entertaining. This led to poor world building and several unanswered questions.

On a final note, romantic relationships played a surprisingly big role in this novel. So much so, that there was little time to explore other possibly interesting dynamics. In a Lord of the Flies setting there was so much possibility to explore group dynamics, power struggles and leadership roles. Sadly, the author opted for pointless analyses of the characters and budding or fizzling romantic relationships.

To conclude, though I still remain an avid fan of the show it seems doubtful that I will be reading the 100’s sequel.

The Giver

The Giver (#1 The Giver Quartet)

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By Lois Lowry

Jonas’ world is perfect.

Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices.

Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

 

Eliana’s Opinion:

2 Stars

I was a little worried about flipping through the less than two hundred pages of the The Giver and not fully grasping or analyzing the novel with the kind of concentration a piece of well established literature deserves. In spite of this, as much as I found the novel equal parts alluring and intriguing, I was surprisingly disappointed. Regardless the premise seemed promising.

The book starts with a fairly detailed introduction to the world of Sameness. Bland, structured and boring seemed like adequate words to describe this strange dystopian reality upon learning about it’s customs and harsh rules. Then unexpectedly (well, not to us as readers) Jonah finds himself in a position to learn about things outside of this world’s strict confines. The other characters contentment with the uncomplicated life they live isolates Jonah from the rest of the community and sets him apart. I greatly appreciated Jonah’s anger, loneliness and the other characters inability to comprehend emotions and specifically Jonah’s emotions.

However the book was so short. There was very little time for us to establish connections with any of the characters. While there is strong world building in this novel, that is where it ends. Where in most dystopian novels we get to see the system crumble and burn in the wake of the protagonist’s epiphany The Giver does not deliver on that front. I found myself continuously frustrated with the lack of action and development of characters or plot. The author did not explore any possibilities or confrontations with Jonah’s family and friends.

Additionally, the ending was abrupt and stilted. My understanding was that the author wanted the ending to remain ambiguous and open for interpretation, as such I do not begrudge her the strange compromise the Giver and Jonah come to. Furthermore, there were several plot holes I felt were not sufficiently resolved. So while I plunged into this novel starry eyed, I found myself emerging from Jonah’s adventure bleary eyed and thoroughly confused. However, I urge you to read the novel and come to your own conclusions on a book that has become a modern classic of epic proportions.

 

Lydia’s Opinion:

2 stars

When I took this book of the shelf I was remembering the raving and attention the book had received and thought to myself that it would simply be an amazing novel as everyone had be raving about it. I had no idea how wrong I was. I really really really disliked the book although you could argue that this is simply because the novel was built up so much that it was really a given that I would dislike it.

“The Giver” is really very similar to most novels that are written now a days. The novel is about a flawed utopian society where one boy learns the truth behind everything he thought was real. I found the writing to be rather confusing at times, I was lost at some points of the novel and did not comprehend the true meaning behind certain moments and ideas. It is my belief that this is a novel meant for a deep and thoughtful analysis to accompany the reading. Although I found the plot to be lacking i did find the novel to be a riveting and thoughtful novel but the true question “Would i read it again?” and the answer to that would be no. Although not for one instance do I regret reading it.

I would most definitely recommend everyone to read the novel but to be wary that in my opinion the novel is not all it’s made up to be.