You Read What? Book Review: Bang, The Coldest Girl In Coldtown & Requiem

I’m doing quick fire reviews of books I’ve read that I didn’t have time to (or just couldn’t) review. I’ll try to keep them spoiler free…quite possibly fail. Enjoy!

UPDATE: The only review that has any form of spoilers is The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

BANG

17039870

Publisher:  Simon and Schuster. Imprint: Simon Pulse. Date Published:  October 8th 2013. Format: ARC Paperback. Source: From the Publishers for an Honest Review. Number of Days It Took to Read: 1 day. The Writing Score: 3 out of 5. Recommendation: Casual Perusal. Memorable or Forgettable: Forgettable. Rating:  3 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people’s lives and she’s finally with Sawyer, pretty much the guy of her dreams. But the nightmare’s not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer. Excellent.

Feeling responsible for what he’s going through and knowing that people’s lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. But Sawyer’s vision is so awful he can barely describe it, much less make sense of it. All he can tell her is there’s a gun, and eleven ear-splitting shots. Bang.

Jules and Sawyer have to work out the details fast, because the visions are getting worse and that means only one thing: time is running out. But every clue they see takes them down the wrong path. If they can’t prevent the vision from happening, lives will be lost. And they may be among the casualties…

Review:

I love Lisa McMann and was lucky enough to get this ARC from a Simon Teen event in NYC.

This was a nice read that I zipped through in a day. it deals with heavy issues such as mental illness and gun violence but also gives a look at the hard beginnings of a romantic relationship as well as the emphasis on family not often explored in young adult literature. I recommend this to teens and for anyone who’d love a funny, quick read in the summer or on vacation.

THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN

coldest girl

Publisher:  Hachette Book Group. Imprint: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Date Published:  September 3rd 2013 . Format: ARC Paperback. Source: From Publishers for an Honest Review. Number of Days It Took to Read: 4 days. The Writing Score: 3 out of 5. Recommendation: Casual Perusal. Memorable or Forgettable: Forgettable. Rating:  3.5 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

Review:

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was based on a short story that Holly Black wrote and I’ve heard from quite a few people how good it is. I haven’t had the chance to read it but I can say that the novel version didn’t meet my expectations. I don’t expect to relate to every character I read and most often I don’t and I also don’t need them to be “likeable” in order to enjoy the story.

What I liked about the story – and it’s probably the only thing along with Black’s writing – is the unique spin to the vampire lore especially the idea of the “reality show” element that’s found in the coldtowns where the vampires or those bitten are found. For the most part, I didn’t enjoy the characters of the story probably because their reactions and attitudes to things feel so extreme that it pulled me out of the story. This could very well be just me which is fine. I did, however, really didn’t like the pairing of Tana and Gavriel because it was obvious and made no sense given how terrible of love interest he’d be outside of the typical “but vampires are sexy and deep deep deep down good”.

If you’re a fan of vampire stories then I’d read this due to it’s unique premise.

REQUIEM

requiem

Publisher:  HarperCollins. Imprint: HarperCollins Children’s Books. Date Published:  March 5th 2013. Format: Hardcover. Source: Borrowed from the Library. Number of Days It Took to Read: 3 days. The Writing Score: 3 out of 5. Recommendation: Casual Perusal. Memorable or Forgettable: Forgettable. Rating:  2 out of 5.

Synopsis:

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

Review:

The best way to explain Requiem is this:

  • If you loved Delirium but disliked Pandemonium, then you’ll most likely enjoy Requiem.
  • If you disliked Delirium but loved Pandemonium, then you’ll most likely dislike Requiem.

I am the latter. I didn’t enjoy Requiem. Requiem makes sense if Pandemonium wasn’t set up the way it was. The momentum from Pandemonium is abruptly stopped in Requiem and decisions that were made didn’t help the book or wasn’t executed well such as the dual perspectives of Hana and Lena. The ending which many said they enjoyed due to its “openness” was not open ended but rather unfinished. I’ve read countless books with the endings left open (which I love) but this ending felt like a sentence that someone stopped in the middle of. In fact, by the end of the book I was still wondering when the story was supposed to actually start but that was more because of the expectations given to me by the second book.

I did feel like the ball was dropped when it came to Lena’s mom who was barely featured in the book or explored. Also, I felt like the other forms of love outside of romantic such as familial, friendship etc could have been explored in the series as a whole given its subject which it would have also made it stand out against other dystopian young adult novels. This wasn’t the case.

I recommend this to those who’ve enjoyed the first book in the series.

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