Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is the first book in the series. It is a mysterious paranormal fantasy, with a hint of time travel, for young adults. It was published on June 7th 2011 by Quirk and I won a hardbound copy from one of Sporadic Reads‘ giveaways. I read this from April 19 to 30, 2014, hoping I would finish it in time for the book signing. Spoiler: I didn’t. This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk. The first time my eyes laid upon the cover of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I immediately concluded that it was not a story I would like. The cover looked scary and the pictures in the book were creepy looking. I did, however, find it interesting because of how popular it became. It was in the top 10 list of local bookstores and I’ve seen it in book blogs. I received a copy of the book back in December after winning Dre’s giveaway. I honestly did not expect to win, but I did, and when asked what book I wanted, I told her she could give me any book she highly recommended. Knowing her taste and how similar our interests are, I was confident that she would make a great choice. She had it sent to a branch near me so I could pick it up anytime. I didn’t even ask what title she chose nor did she tell me what it was. Now that I finished reading it, I can say that it is one of the best surprises I received. After giving it some thought, I gave this book a Goodreads rating of 5. Initially I wanted to give it a 4, but I think it is amazing how Riggs used random photos and created a story out of it. I have tons of photos in our photo albums but I don’t think I could ever come up with something like what he did. The pictures are so creepy looking and accompanied with the story Riggs came up with, it felt so real. After reading some Goodreads review, a lot of people say that it’s a rip off of X-men. Although it may be the case, I don’t hold it against Riggs. There’s still something new and different to this world. As for the characters, Jacob is just a normal boy who loved his grandfather so much. He grew up listening to stories about the war and monsters his grandfather fought, and the children he grew up with. Jacob believed they were real because of the proof, the pictures of peculiar children his grandpa showed him. But as he grew older, the more it seemed like his grandpa was losing his mind. Maybe from PTSD or age. Everything changed when his grandpa was attacked and he saw who did it. The peculiar children are just that, peculiar. They have special abilities, like X-men, and they live in a loop. The loop is like Supernatural’s every day is Tuesday. The day repeats on the same date every Read more
The Star Dwellers by David Estes, a post-apocalyptic young adult novel with a bit of romance, is the second book in the Dwellers Saga. Self-published by the author on the 30th of September 2012, I bought an epub copy from Smashwords and read it from October 31st, 2012 to April 26, 2013. I loved The Moon Dwellers and I also liked this sequel. Although it took me a very long time to finish because I read it when I was just starting with my job and I had a pretty hectic schedule. The Star Dwellers picks up right where The Moon Dwellers left off. Adele and Tristan had to go their separate ways just when they finally got together. They each have their own task, a role to play, in order to save everyone in their world. It’s not easy and I think it’s great that they could still focus on more important things other than their love. It’s a rare thing in books these days. Like any other book, secrets are eventually revealed for progress in the story. In this case, it almost scarred a very important relationship in the story. But because they have a solid relationship, it only made their bond stronger. There are new characters introduced. Although I liked some, some were so and so, and it’s just hard to “trust” anybody in that kind of situation Adele and Tristan are in. I learned to love Tawni more. She is a true friend, to think she and Adele didn’t really know each other that much. They became friends after only a few days and yet Tawni’s loyalty to Adele was remarkable. Most YA novels may have a parent present in the story, but few are those with an important role in the story. David’s stories are one of the few. The parents are so involved in what’s happening in the world or life of the main character that it feels more real. Adele’s mother was introduced as one of the generals in the Star Realm, while her father is a leader of the revolution. I love how they’re part of the story and not just there for the sake of having parents around. They’re involved with what’s going on and not just dead. One of my favorite parts was when Adele’s parents saw each other on a video call, or whatever it’s called, it was a sweet scene. If you love dystopian/post-apocalyptic themed novels, and if you loved The Hunger Games, you should really pick up a copy of the Dwellers Saga. You won’t regret it. Highly recommended for people with hyperactive imaginations. 😉
SPOILER: If you haven’t read Delirium yet, you might read some spoilers in this review. Pandemonium picks up after Lena’s escape. The story was told in chapters with the heading ‘then’ and ‘now’. ‘Then’ told the story of Lena’s life after she crossed the wall/barrier and saw Alex shot by regulators. Thinking that he was dead, she had a hard time recovering physically, as well as adjusting to her new life in the woods without Alex. With the help of Raven and other people in the homestead, Lena struggled with her new life. The ‘now’ part tells the story after that struggle. She is now part of the resistance, lives a new life in a new city, using a different name, and telling a different story about her past. Being in this new life is tough as she still thinks of Alex and her life in Portland. She also thinks about her mom, now that she knows the truth about her death. When I read this book, I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure what to expect especially when Delirium ended with the assumption that Alex is dead. Like Lena, I don’t want him to be dead, but we rely on what she sees/experience and she saw blood on Alex after she crossed the border, when they were being chased by regulators. A part of me believed he’s still alive, another part is okay with his death so Lena can move on and fall in love again and it won’t be complicated IF Alex is alive somewhere. But of course, the whole series revolves around love, apart from the war. I wished he was still alive. I like how it was cleverly written. I would cringe every time something horrible would happen to Lena. I felt her pain, her longing, her confusion. I also couldn’t stand not knowing if Alex is still alive so before I continued reading, I read spoilers because I just had to know before I can continue. The book neared its end in what seemed to be a happy ending, until the last page where something was revealed and I was left hanging. Well, that leaves something to look forward to in the last book of the series, Requiem
I was so excited when I found out that there’s a short story on Divergent with Four’s perspective. I thought it was going to be hard to find an ebook of it but I was wrong. I found it as soon as I searched. This short story is Four’s point of view in one of the scenes that happened in Divergent. I read the reviews of other fans and they were happy with which scene Roth chose to write Four’s story on. There were a lot of scenes I would have loved to get inside his head with, but the knife scene was a great choice. It’s where he admitted to himself that he likes Tris and wanted to protect her, and it’s what stopped him from walking out on Dauntless and become factionless. I really liked hearing his reasons, his motivation for doing that to Tris. He told her that in Divergent when she got mad at him for taunting her, but it wasn’t clear to me back then. After reading this, it became clear that what he did was out of love. The downside is that this story was too short. I would love to read more about Four’s thoughts, his choices, his feelings for Tris. I’m still intrigued why he likes Tris so much, I could just assume it was love at first sight but still, I want to know.
Insurgent is the sequel to the action-packed, dystopian Divergent. War is upon them and there’s a conflict between factions. Four and Tris seek refuge in other factions in hopes of gaining allies to defeat the Dauntless. As they run for their lives, they uncover secrets and piece together information about their community’s origin. WARNING: Possible Spoilers Ahead. Right after reading Divergent, I opened Insurgent to continue from where the story left off. I was so excited to find out what happens now after the incident between the Dauntless and Abnegation. Tris starts calling/referring to Four as Tobias and I don’t know how I feel about it. I have loved him as Four and being referred to as Tobias feels weird. I liked how Roth explored all the emotions Tris was having all throughout their journey. She has lost so much but still had the will to fight back and save the people she cared for and loved. She is such a strong female character, but some of the decisions she makes are either very brave or very stupid. Regardless of how irritated I am with her “selflessness”, I still understand why she keeps making such decisions. The problem with Tris and Four’s relationship is they lack communication. Both originally from Abnegation, they are always trying to save the other and would often end up fighting because one made a decision for the other and vice versa, causing their individual plans to fail. I kept thinking if they just told or consulted each other about their plans, they could have avoided fighting. What I do love about them is even though they fight, their love just keeps on growing. I’m not sure if it’s just me or it’s really the case, but Four seems to go out of character from time to time. I can’t help but feel like he’s sometimes a lot different from the Four I got to know from the first books. Maybe because he’s Tobias now. There was a pattern in the story which I realized after reading. After escaping from one faction HQ, they would seek refuge in another. It’s one of the things that had me at the edge of my seat. The suspense of the chase and what would happen to them kept me intrigued. In the end, the factionless played an important role. They held a secret I did not expect and it caught me by surprise. While some of my questions were answered, a lot more popped up. Despite the inconsistencies, I couldn’t put this book down. I wanted to know what’s next, how it will end. I loved the suspense, the love story or lack thereof, and everything else about this series. It could have used more Four though.
In a futuristic world where society is divided into 5 virtue-based factions — Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent), Beatrice Prior must choose between her family and embracing who she is. During the competitive initiation, she has a hard time determining who her real friends are and also finds herself developing a love interest. She also discovers a secret about herself, and as the seemingly perfect society unravels, she realizes that her secret may save her loved ones and everyone else. I came across the book Divergent when I was browsing a book blog and saw its image on the sidebar. I checked it out in Goodreads and found out what it was about. Some friends have read it and gave different ratings. I was intrigued and curious that I got myself an ebook and decided to read it right after I finished reading Delirium. I was excited to find out what the fuss was about. A lot of people seemed to love this book and I wondered if I would like it too. At first I thought it was a bit lame, factions were made based on one’s character, and surely, we don’t have just one. But I shrugged it off and decided to get it over with. There was something off with the construction of this fictional world and I can’t put my finger on it. After choosing a faction, whether they choose to stay or to transfer, they would undergo initiation to show/prove they made the right decision and truly belong in their chosen faction. But if they fail or decide to quit, they would end up factionless which according to the story, is worse than death. The idea of being factionless or how one would end up factionless seems stupid. Death is also taken lightly and a murder wasn’t investigated. The lack of accountability over a life is unsettling. Another thing I noticed is some descriptions were not delivered well, I sometimes find it hard to picture a particular place or incident in my head. I don’t know if I just didn’t understand it in the first place or it was really poorly described. Maybe if I read it again I would understand it better. Four’s true identity was revealed when he showed Tris his fears. Not only do we find out who he is, but we also learn how he got his nickname. I thought it was lame at the time I was reading that part, but now that I’m writing about it, I don’t remember why I had such thought back then. What I don’t know is who the woman on his 3rd fear was, it seems random, like a filler. ** April 19, 2014 update ** In the movie, Four explained that it is his fear of hurting or killing an innocent. That’s why it seemed random. As I kept reading, the more I got invested in the story. I didn’t mind its flaws or Read more
I finished this (e)book a month ago and i forgot to write something about it. The Baudelaire children are truly unfortunate and it was painful to read their story because everything was not going well for them. Just as you think things would be better, it would go the other way. It was an easy read, with much less pages than the other books i read, i finished in just days. I couldn’t help but compare it with the movie, and i now understand why the movie had scenes that would happen in later books. It has a short plot but very well described. Another thing i like with Lemony Snicket is that he explains the meaning of words that might be hard for little children to understand. I’m not sure when i’ll be able to read the rest of the series but i surely want to finish them all and find out what fortune awaits the Baudelaire children.