- Tallahassee, FL, USA
- member since December 7, 2009
Benjamin Drake plans to read a book.
Angel K. rated a book.
“Though marketed as a middle grade novel, do not let the age of the protagonists scare you away if you're an older reader. Krokos' sophomore novel is well-written and does not speak down to the audience. I loved Krokos' debut, False Memory, and he's hit it out of the park once again. The Planet...”
“Though marketed as a middle grade novel, do not let the age of the protagonists scare you away if you're an older reader. Krokos' sophomore novel is well-written and does not speak down to the audience. I loved Krokos' debut, False Memory, and he's hit it out of the park once again. The Planet Thieves is funny, full of adventure, and packed with delightful characters.
Novels for children and teens are full of absent parents and authority figures. This construct allows for young people to feel empowered, the weight of the world on their shoulders. Only these kids can save the day and all that. Well, Krokos does use this basic plot structure. At the beginning of The Planet Thieves, the SS Egypt is attacked by humanity's enemy, the Tremist. All of the adults on the ship but one are captured or killed, leaving the cadets, thirteen and under to save the day.
Krokos does a great job making this believable. Though the cadets are young, they are by no means out of their element entirely. They've already been in training for years, and have the skill sets they need to perform the tasks they need to, though they may not be as good as the adults yet. Also, they don't come by anything too easily. They suffer injuries, frequently consider giving up and waiting for adults to handle everything, and are stressed rather than excited by the roles they find themselves in.
That said, the cadets really rise to the occasion. The one remaining adult on the Egypt is injured, so he names Mason captain, which ends up being a great choice. Mason isn't the most talented or brilliant of the trainees, but he's creative, something he'd ill-advisedly shown in his pranks. Rather than ever giving up, his mind is always churning for solutions, and most of his ideas turn out to be good ones, though some do go awry.
The characters are likable and exhibit complexities. For example, the friendships between these cadets are tentative, so they also have to work to trust one another implicitly while facing odds they never should have been left alone to face. The villains too are much more complex than in most books for younger readers. They're not left as monsters out to destroy for the fun of it, and I love when authors take the time to establish motivations and shades of grey in the actions of the antagonists.
Another aspect that makes this book a delight are all of the references. Science fiction nerds will likely pick out even more than I did, as I'm not nearly as well read as I would like to be. Most overt perhaps are references to Star Wars and Star Trek. However, though there are cute allusions, the overall story was fresh and original.
The ending leaves space open for more books in this world, and I, for one, would be excited to read more. I'd love to find out more about Mason and Merrin, especially. Dan Krokos' The Planet Thieves is a novel that lovers of science fiction will not want to miss, whatever their age!”
Kelley B rated a book.
Cullengirl l reviewed a book.
“Review coming soon to: www.booksinthespotlight.blogspot.com”
“Reviews for Reboot have been all over the place, which basically meant I had to try it and see for myself. Ultimately, I'm sort of in the middle. Reboot's a lot of fun, especially in the first half, but also still fairly old hat for dystopian scenarios. I'm definitely glad to have read it, but I...”
“Reviews for Reboot have been all over the place, which basically meant I had to try it and see for myself. Ultimately, I'm sort of in the middle. Reboot's a lot of fun, especially in the first half, but also still fairly old hat for dystopian scenarios. I'm definitely glad to have read it, but I didn't love it either.
Why Did I Read This Book?
As I mentioned, curiosity. Sometimes, I'm more tempted to read books that get 1 star ratings from some and 4 from others than those that get a consistent 3 stars. I just have to know for myself what book has generated such disparate responses. Seriously, I was reading reviews and adding, removing, adding, removing, adding this book on Goodreads. It was ridiculous. The audio seemed like a good choice, because action books from first perspective often translate pretty well.
What's the Story Here?
In a post-apocalyptic world where all that remains of the US is Texas, a dystopian government has arisen in the form of HARC, a corporation that controls all of the things. Freaking corporations. Currently, if I had to guess a company that would become the dystopian overlord of us all, I would say Amazon, but maybe that's just because they keep buying up the book world. *side-eyes* As with so many dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels, there's a disease, which causes people to reboot. Basically, they're zombies, only they're hot (like vampires, they're themselves but with perfect skin and hair and bright eyes) and super strong and don't eat people. The reboots are known by their numbers, which are how long they were dead before they rose, with the larger numbers being the strongest and least human. Wren is 178, and she does everything by the book until a 22 disrupts her regimented life.
How are the Characters?
Okay, so I really liked the first part where Wren was all queen of the reboots and stuff. Unlike some ya assassins, Wren really does kill people and she even does so in front of the reader. On top of that, she likes killing, and doesn't even feel guilty about it. People are worthless to her, and she'd rather kill a human than look at it. Callum, the 22, is the only other well-developed character, and he's basically the opposite of Wren. Where she's the perfect soldier and very serious, he's happy and doesn't want to hurt a fly. In fact, even eating meat makes him sort of uncomfortable. I liked Callum consistently, but I loved Wren the bitchy reboot from the beginning of the book most of all.
And the Romance?
Here's the caveat. I just was not really feeling their romance. For me, it would have been more compelling if she hadn't been so interested in him right out of the gate. She's all like "omg, he's not afraid of me," and gets interested in him so quickly, which was necessary for the plot, but didn't really seem like Wren as established. Also, she goes from no emotions to ALL OF THE EMOTIONS. It just felt really sudden. She's this hardcore badass until she gets to know Callum and then she's blushing, gasping, and jumping at people's touches. Yes, she does have feelings, and I totally get that, but, from the glimpses showed of her past, I really doubt she's that demonstrative of a person at the best of times. I just never felt like Wren would be so lovey-dovey, even when she's in love. Basically, all of the things that happened with the romance made me roll my eyes. However, I do love the dynamics of the relationship, and how she is the strong one and he's the one who has to be saved. Then again, that would have been more powerful if the role reversal had been continued; she can love him and still be a cool, stern badass most of the time. When it came to the gushy stuff, she was all melty and blushing, and he was cocky and in control. I would have liked to see her more dominant and consistently-characterized all around. Oh, I will say, though, that Wren does continue to want to kill the humans, so that was good at least.
Am I Going to Continue with the Series?
Though the plot sort of let me unenthused, I do plan to continue. It's not that I thought the plot of trying to get away from the evil corporation was bad, but it's been done a lot, and it's not my preferred story arc for something like this. Still, I'm engaged enough with the characters and story to want to know what happens next.
How was the Narration?
For the most part, Hvam does an awesome job with Reboot. She keeps her voice pretty measured and it really fits with Wren. Hvam's voice is girlish enough to fit with Wren's sort of outward appearance of sweetness but full of mettle too. She does a nice job differentiating the characters, even though she does not go all out with the voices. The one thing I did not like is that, with audio, dialog tags really stand out. This book has "I said" and "he said" all over the place, and Hvam really emphasized them, and I groaned every time it happened again.”
Amanda plans to read a book.
Jisha rated a book.
Jisha rated a book.
“Guys, I am writing this as a zombie blogger, because I died of cute. Seriously, this book is so fun and sweet and humorous and delightful. I picked The Boyfriend App at just the right time, when I was in the mood for a lighter read, for a contemporary novel, and this hit the spot so perfectly. To...”
“Guys, I am writing this as a zombie blogger, because I died of cute. Seriously, this book is so fun and sweet and humorous and delightful. I picked The Boyfriend App at just the right time, when I was in the mood for a lighter read, for a contemporary novel, and this hit the spot so perfectly. To me, the best books are the ones that can make me feel, and The Boyfriend App delivered, making me actually laugh aloud and grin like an idiot pretty much the whole way through. As I sit here writing this, I still have the foolish grin on my face, because this book is that adorable.
For those who don't know, my day job involves working at a software company, so I hear a lot of talk about programming and apps and all of this stuff. I feel so brilliant when I understand those conversations, and that was a fun aspect of The Boyfriend App. It doesn't get super technical, but one of my best friends is super into app design and hearing all of the ideas and seeing the passion these kids have is so uplifting. Also, it's awesome that there's such a focus on technology in The Boyfriend App, because fiction tends to lag behind on the technological curve, but everything in here is very timely.
Audrey McCarthy loves hacking and programming, taught by her father, who perished in a mysterious accident, for which he was, likely, wrongfully blamed. Audrey and her mother, who is a lunch lady at her school, struggle to make ends meet. Unable to keep herself in the latest fashions, Audrey's not popular at school, but she's totally okay with that, because she has some of the best friends ever, insultingly referred to as "trogs" by her ex-best friend Blake and her cronies.
The characters in The Boyfriend App really shine. Of course, I've got a weak spot for geeky bands of misfits. I love how diverse the kids in this group and in the school as a whole are; this felt a lot more like my high school than most of the ones depicted in YA fiction. Going off on a slight tangent, Sise not only includes characters of various diversities, but she's also not hetero-normative, referencing both lesbian and gay couples.
Anyway, back to Audrey's little group. Nigit and Aidan are programmers like Audrey, and she's crushing on Aidan hard secretly. Mindy, though lovely, is teased mercilessly for her speech impediment. Lindsay, Audrey's cousin, is a fashionista who runs an enormously popular fashion blog. The dialog between all of them is so realistic and engaging. They all feel so real to me. Plus, they're so supportive of one another, and I love seeing a young adult novel with such a strong depiction of friendship, and one where it's a group and not a singular best friend is even rarer.
Okay, so the plot of The Boyfriend App is that Public, a technology company that's totally a parody of Apple runs a contest for high school students to design an app. The two winners will receive $200,000, and Audrey wants to win badly, because this is her only chance to go to a good school and not leave seriously in debt, since she and her mother have a total of $2000 dollars saved. Audrey designs this app intended to help girls find boyfriends, and hijinks totally ensue. There's this one scene in the cafeteria that just killed me, thus why I'm now a zombie. It's over the top in just the right way. Just don't take this book too seriously, because this is comedy and it is good.
At the very end, the book does go in a slightly weird direction. Yes, Sise makes it work, but the plot felt a bit more meandering once the app contest ended. Though a bit more trite of an ending, closing shortly after the announcement might have been more effective, since things got a trifle too serious for the tone thereafter. I also have a few questions about how the Boyfriend App gets information on boys, and a few other niggling questions like that about the app, but that's totally not the point, so I'm going to try to tell my nit-picky self to shut the hell up.
With a sweet romance, laugh out loud humor, and lots and lots of kissing, Katie Sise's The Boyfriend App is a must read for fans of light contemporary fiction. With such a strong debut, you can bet I'll be reading whatever Sise writes next!”
Cullengirl l reviewed a book.
“Rated 3.5 stars; Reviewed for Forbidden Reads feature at www.booksinthespotlight.blogspot.com”