Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Body Electric by Beth Revis

Title: The Body Electric
Author: Beth Revis
Publication Date: October 6, 2014
Rating: 3 Stars
The future world is at peace.
Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.
But not all is at it seems.
Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…
Someone’s altered her memory.
Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.
So who can she trust?
-Summary from Goodreads

I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Body Electric. When I started reading it I didn’t remembered what the summary was and I hadn't read any reviews for it. All I knew was that it was a Beth Revis sci-fi book and that I wanted to read it. It starts out pretty slow, but once things get going it is really an action packed book. There is one chase scene in particular that was just awesome and the climax of the story is just… EPIC! 

The world building in this was pretty interesting. The story takes place in a futuristic version of Malta that survived a war and becomes a flooded city like Venice. Actually, the city the book is set in is called New Venice. This takes place in the same world as Revis’ other series, Across the Universe, but besides a brief mention of Godspeed there is no other connection. AtU is set in space, this is set on earth.

Ella Shepherd’s parents are scientists who made some pretty interesting discoveries. Her mother invented the technology where people can relieve their happiest memories. Her purpose for it is simple and innocent, but science has a way of getting out of hand. The government wants to use Ella’s knowledge of the tech to break into a suspected terrorist’s Reverie and into his mind. I always love books that explore the mysteries of the mind. There are a lot of scenes in here that don’t take place in reality but in the Reverie and sometimes things are not as they seem. There were a lot of things presented in the Reverie as just strange things in the mind that turned out to be important to the plot.

I had a couple of problems with the book, one of which was the graphically disturbing scenes peppered throughout the book… some of them involved bees. If you have a fear of bees (or bugs in general) you might have a problem with this book. Besides that, my main issue with the book was a huge contradiction in plot. I can’t say what without spoiling the book, but there is something that is supposed to be the key to everything and then you begin to wonder why they need the key because there’s actually nothing wrong to begin with. Normally I don’t pick out things like this, but it was confusing enough to me that even I noticed. There was also another small contradiction in one scene where the beds are pushed apart and then in the next scene the two characters wake up beside each other with no explanation. Even though there are these contradictions I think it is possible to still enjoy the book for what it is: a sci-fi political thriller.

One of the things I really liked was the romance, partly because it is not a huge part of the book. The love story is another step in Ella’s character development and her journey, it takes a backseat to the main plot. I was worried that it would be instalove, but it’s not. It’s slow burn. It takes it’s time to develop and in the end when Ella decides she does care for Jack, you believe her because she doesn’t say it lightly. It takes Ella a long time to trust anyone because when her world is in chaos she stops thinking in terms of good guys and bad guys and starts looking for the truth by herself. Ella is a smart and strong character and I couldn’t help but root for her.

The Body Electric has its issues, but it is overall an enjoyable sci-fi political thriller set in an interesting world with an amazing lead character.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Top Ten Heroines from Books & TV

  Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Sarah's Top Five Favorite Book Heroines
Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
 I have always been a fan of Katniss. She is very protective of her family and loyal to her friends. She does what she feels needs to be done even if it kills her and she's very smart... except when it comes to boys. I think this makes a great heroine!

Saba (Blood Red Road)
Saba took me a while to warm up to but now I just love her character! She has her faults but she's strong and loyal. She tries so hard and and sometimes fall short but still gets right back up to fight.

Lia (The Kiss of Deception)
 Lia is amazing! She grows so much though this first book and though she's faced with hardships, assassins and betrayals she is still kicking and refuses to break.

Rosaline (Still Star-Crossed)
Rosaline is one tough lady and is determined to escape the war between the Montague's and Capulet's that has cost her so much. She's incredibly awesome and has quite the attitude!

Annabeth Chase (The Mark of Athena)
Annabeth's a warrior, a strategist, loyal friend and all around bad-ass character! Enough said.

Christina's Top Five Favorite TV Heroines
 Faith Lehane (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Faith has been one of my all-time favorite characters since I first started watching Buffy. She's such an awesome character but at the same time she is seriously messed up in the head. Even when she's homicidal I always feel sorry for her.

Adele Dewitt (Dollhouse)
She is such a complex and interesting character. One of my favorite things about her (besides the fact that she's a cold-blooded bitch) is that she truely believes in the Dollhouse, it isn't a line. She believes that what they do helps people and she will do whatever she can to protect those under her care.

Kaylee Fry (Firefly)
Finally! A character who isn't a psychopath! Seriously, who doesn't love Kaylee? She is one of those characters that every time she's on screen she makes you smile. She is so incredibly sweet and I love how she contrasts all the hardened criminals on Serenity.

Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars)
The best thing about V Mars is her attitude. Even when dealing with dark subjects in the show she never fails to make you laugh AT LEAST once and episode just because of her awesomeness... and her taser.
Clarke Griffin (The 100)  
The thing that makes Clarke awesome is that she is intelligent. She knows what needs to be done and she makes sure it gets done. Another great thing about her is that she doesn't get caught up in teenage drama. Clarke is what pulled me into The 100 in the first place. She's a character that you can't help respecting, even if you don't agree with her.

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Title: Splintered (Splintered #1)

Author: A.G. Howard

Page #: 371

My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own. -Summary from Goodreads

            Splintered is an intoxicating world of Wonderland whimsy. We see that Lewis Carroll’s innocent yet maddening world is a lot darker and more terrifying than we’d been led to believe… and full of a lot more bugs. Normally that would wig me out too much to read this book, but the dark, seductiveness of the story kept me entranced and made the whole bug thing less creepy.


            Alyssa is an artist/skateboarder who has a secret: she can hear bugs and plants talk. It is an ability that all the women in her family have shared. One that has gotten them locked up in the loony bin generations upon generations, leading back to her great-great-great-grandmother Alice (who was Lewis Carroll’s inspiration). One day she discovers that her family is not insane but cursed. From the prompting of a mysterious moth, and reemerging memories, she follows the clues that lead her to the rabbit hole and down into the real Wonderland.

I liked Alyssa well enough, but I felt that she was over shadowed a bit too much by her best friend Jeb, who can be an over-protective control freak. When she wanted to take a chance, he pulled her back. When she was brave and selfless he admonished her for it saying that she was reckless. It got downright irritating and I was so rooting for her to slap some sense into him. Alas, while she did get mad at him on occasion she forgave him way to easily for my taste and still fell into his arms whenever he justified himself enough. Okay, I think my rant is over… maybe.

With all that said I suppose I’m team Morpheus though perhaps not in the way others are. I don’t ship either of the guys in this story with Alyssa, however Morpheus is “Mysterious. Rebellious. Troubled” and very hot. I can’t say I fully trusted him but he was encouraging and knew that Alyssa had a strength about her and could accomplish anything she set out to do and he would help her if she needed it. That endeared him into my good graces and, along with everything else, made him one of my favorite characters in the book. (Though my dislike of Jeb may have something to do with it as well.)


            I definitely didn’t expect that ending and what an ending it was! It was a mixture of bittersweet and adorableness. I will certainly continue this series but I’m hoping that Jeb backs off a little because he was the reason my ratings dropped a star and I don’t want that because I absolutely love this world.