Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Most people know I'm an avid reader, so I'm often asked to share what I'm reading. Since  I read all genres, I can usually think of one or two books that friends might like.  (Most recently, I've been recommending 'What Alice Forgot' by Liane Moriarty.)

My mom paid me a compliment at Thanksgiving.  She told me my aunt read 'What Alice Forgot' upon my recommendation and described it as "a book she'll never forget."   Mom added that my book recommendations are usually spot on ("except for those vampire books or teen books. I just ignore those.")

I've decided to launch this new feature on my blog so I can share more about my latest book finds.  I love nothing more than discovering an exciting new author or book  and then telling everyone I see about it.  This section will cover lots of genres - even those vampire/teen books.  Young adult fiction has come a long way from Sweet Valley High!


I'm on page 189 of 323

I am obsessed with dystopian fiction right now.  It's thought-provoking but not as petrifying as post-apocalyptic fiction, which usually leaves me curled in a fetal position making plans to collect canned goods and bottled water.

The Plot

This is a young adult book and it's set in a world where people are defined by the language they speak.  There are three classes (Serving, Vendor, and Counsel) and each class has it's own language, plus the country has a shared language. The plot is a bit convoluted, but it's an easier read than it sounds.  It kind of reminds me of The Tower of Babel.  

The rules are really strict.  You're only allowed to know the language assigned to your class.  If someone from a "higher" class speaks to you in their language, you aren't even allowed to look at them. If you do, you will be hanged.  I will tell you right now, I would last maybe two days in this society. I don't take kindly to being told what to do.  

The heroine, Charlaina (Charlie for short) is living with a secret - she can understand every language.  If she's discovered, she'll be put to death.  And Charlie seems to be in a love triangle with Max, a mysterious man she met at a nightclub, and Xander, another mysterious man she met at a nightclub.  Let's not talk about how a teen girl is able to get into nightclubs.  Let alone why she's attracted to creepers.

My Thoughts

For the most part, Charlie is a respectable heroine.  She's very sweet to her young sister Angelina and fiercely loyal to her friends, Aron and Brooklyn.  She thankfully spends very little time obsessing about the boys, mainly because she has bigger problems to worry about.  Like, avoiding death. My only complaint is she's a little wishy-washy, runs from her problems instead of addressing them head-on.

I'm enjoying the book - it's a quick read.  However, every so often the author tosses in a chapter from another character's perspective.  I find it a little jarring because it happens without warning and I don't see how it adds to the story.

With that aside, I'm still enjoying this one.  However, if you're new to dystopia, I would start with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I also enjoyed Divergent by Veronica Roth, Delirium by Lauren Oliver and my most recent read, Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien.

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