Review: The Hit by Melvin Burgess

The Hit | Melvin Burgess | Chicken House Publishing Stand Alone | 2.5 Stars | 303 pages | Young Adult Dystopia
Release Date: April 4th, 2013
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

“A new drug is out. Everyone is talking about it. The Hit. Take it, and you have one amazing week to live. It’s the ultimate high. At the ultimate price.

Adam is tempted. Life is rubbish, his girlfriend’s over him, his brother’s gone. So what’s he got to lose? Everything, as it turns out. It’s up to his girlfriend, Lizzie, to show him…”

Review:

I am not a huge fan of kicking off reviews on a negative point, but the fact of the matter is that this books is probably my least favourite read of 2014. This is not saying too much considering that all of my books previous to this one are not below 4 stars, but still, I had a hollow feeling of regret upon finishing.

As always, negatives out of the way first. This novel was an endless string of disappointment and missed opportunities for me. The possibilities were endless when it came down to what this could be. This book is essentially about suicide. A drug that youth are taking that is killing them after a week of the ultimate high is becoming more and more used and to be honest, I never really found out why. I think world building was non-existent. A fabulous and intriguing concept with poor execution.

The book focused on the characters journey more than the actual society. This was a huge mistake for me.

I had a certain level of empathy when it came to the characters. Again, there was not much development on their part. I basically did not want them to die, which is always a tribute to the author.

One positive element I found were the twists in the novel. I genuinely wanted to see where it went and how it finished. Although this novel was flawed, there was never a point where I didn’t want to read it.

If you want a quick read for entertainment value, this is the book for you. It was fast paced and the pacing was on point. I have heard amazing things about the rest of his books so I will definitely be checking them out.

Goodreads Average: 2.98/5 (Out of 598 ratings)

Quickie Review: Legend by Marie Lu (Legend Trilogy #1)

Legend | Marie Lu | Putnam Juvenile | Legend #1 | 305 pages | Young Adult | Dystopia | 5 Stars | Source: Bought
Release Date: November 29th 2011
ISBN13: 9780399256752
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

“What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.”

Review:

I had huge expectations when it came to this novel. I have followed its hype for over two years and Marie Lu is a sweetheart on social media. A combination of high expectations and a genuine want to enjoy Legend ended up playing out well for me!

Legend follows the story of June, a 15 year old prodigy born to one of the wealthiest families in what used to be the United States and now is the Republic.  After the death of a brother, she is reeling and with Day as suspect number one she is finding the best way to execute her revenge.

This turned out to be one of my favourite dystopias! I think the market is so saturated with them at the moment and this really is a diamond among the rough. The world building is on point. On the one hand we have June’s perspective from a privileged lifestyle and on the other hand we have Day’s who is on the receiving end of a man hunt living hour to hour.

I am not the biggest fan of a dual POV. I usually end up getting lost and having to skip back to the start of the chapter. This, however, was not the case with Legend. I found myself being able to distinguish the dual POV with ease.  June and Day are so well developed. They both have very distinct voices with absolutely no danger of confusion!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I think it is a very strong start to a trilogy and I can’t wait to get to the other books and see what is next from Marie Lu!

Goodreads Average: 4.18/5 (out of 149,043 ratings) <– A very strong one!

 

Review: Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh

Shovel Ready | Adam Sternbergh | Headline Publishing Shovel Ready #1 | Source: Review (Bookbridgr) | 256 pages | Adult | Fantasy | Dystopia 
Release Date: January 24th, 2014
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

I don’t want to know your reasons. I don’t care. Think of me as a bullet. Just point.’

Spademan used to be a garbage man. That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, before New York became a burnt-out shell. Now the wealthy escape grim reality by spending their days tapped into a virtual world; the rest of the population has to fend for itself on the streets. Now there’s nothing but garbage.

So Spademan became a hit man. He doesn’t ask questions, he works quickly, and he’s very handy with a box-cutter.

When he’s hired to kill the daughter of a high-profile evangelist, Spademan’s life is upended. To survive, he will have to navigate two worlds – the slick fantasy world of the elite and the wasteland reality of the rest of the city’s inhabitants – to finish the job, clear his conscience, and make sure he’s not the one who winds up in the ground.”

Review:

I had never seen this novel around until I picked it up on the Bookbridgr site. Set in a dystopian New York City where bombings have destroyed the city and a new society has formed, this definitely seemed the book for me. In short although I was not a huge fan of some elements, overall I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

Negatives out of the way first, the writing style was a huge case of hit and miss for me. Although it was more hit than miss in the end, I sometimes felt so lost when it came to the dialogue. There is little to no punctuation and while reading it is incredibly choppy (choppy in the best way possible). It is very snappy and to the point. This meant that world building was so on point, however, me attempting to follow some of the dialogue, not so much.

One of my favourite parts of the novel was the “Limnosphere”. A form of virtual reality, if you will. Before the bombs struck it was just a small part of some peoples everyday lives, now, the majority of who is left have retired to it full time. I found the whole logistics behind it so interesting!

Just a quick shout out to Spademan, our main character. I think he is one of the few characters who have been so well introduced that have made me empathize with an assassin. The novel is from his point of view and as I said before, the world building from him was spot on. I also loved how he had a certain levels of ethics when it came to executing his assassinations. Small bits of info that in the grand scheme of things may not have been needed but I still was more than happy to have!

Overall, this a solid start to a series and I can’t wait to see what comes next. I am truly looking forward to see where this series goes!

Goodreads Average: 3.48/5 (out of 1,683 ratings)