Tag: Dystopian

Sunday Series VIDEO Review: Arc of a Scythe

Today Kim is bringing you a Sunday Series VIDEO review of the Arc of a Scythe series by Neal Shusterman. Both Jessica and Kim have loved this series, which the final book just came out and Kim has already read it! Once Jessica can get her hands on it (and time to read it) we will bring her her thoughts on it!

Books in the Series:
Scythe
Thunderhead
The Toll


Scythe
Published: November 22, 2016
449 Pages

Two teens must learn the “art of killing” in this Printz Honor–winning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

Kim’s 5 star review is here.
Jessica’s 5 star review is here.

Thunderhead
Published:
November 21, 2017
504 pages

Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the chilling sequel to the Printz Honor Book Scythe from New York Times bestseller Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology. The Thunderhead cannot interfere in the affairs of the Scythedom. All it can do is observe—it does not like what it sees.

A year has passed since Rowan had gone off grid. Since then, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. His story is told in whispers across the continent. As Scythe Anastasia, Citra gleans with compassion and openly challenges the ideals of the “new order.” But when her life is threatened and her methods questioned, it becomes clear that not everyone is open to the change. Will the Thunderhead intervene? Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?

Kim’s 5 star review is here.
Jessica’s 5 star review is here.

The Toll
Published: November 5, 2019
627 Pages

In the highly anticipated finale to the New York Times bestselling trilogy, dictators, prophets, and tensions rise. In a world that’s conquered death, will humanity finally be torn asunder by the immortal beings it created?

Citra and Rowan have disappeared. Endura is gone. It seems like nothing stands between Scythe Goddard and absolute dominion over the world scythedom. With the silence of the Thunderhead and the reverberations of the Great Resonance still shaking the earth to its core, the question remains: Is there anyone left who can stop him?

The answer lies in the Tone, the Toll, and the Thunder.

Kim’s Ratings of the Series:
Scythe: 5 Stars
Thunderhead: 5 Stars
The Toll: 4 Stars

Kim’s Thoughts on the Arc of a Scythe Series:

Purchase Links:
These are links to the boxset of all three books:

Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

The Grace Year

Author:  Kim Liggett
To Be Published:
US: October 8, 2019
UK: October 10, 2019
416 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 16-24, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Survive the year.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

Jessica’s Review:

Like with Fight Club, I am going to break the rule: You do not speak of the grace year…. Well I won’t be giving specifics on the grace year…. To find out everything, you must read this book!

In this dystopian world we can say goodbye to “Sweet Sixteen” and hello to “The Grace Year”.  When all girls turn sixteen, they are sent away to fend for themselves for a year….Wait! I mean the girls are sequestered together to cleanse themselves of the magic they possess that will drive men crazy with lust and women crazy in anger and jealousy.  Once the girls are cleansed they are then ready to become wives, if they have been previously chosen.  This is also if they survive their grace year, which not everyone does.

Our protagonist is Tierney and it is time for her grace year to begin.  We go on her journey of preparing for her grace year.  She knows what she wants her future to hold and knows it will be that way despite the grace year; but will it be as she wants?  Tierney is a tomboy in a world where women are the ‘weaker’ gender, so she isn’t your typical female. I liked Tierney and was rooting for her to pull through and survive her grace year despite the odds against her.

The Grace Year is a mix of The Handmaid’s Tale and Lord of the Flies with a dash of The Hunger Games. This is a world that today’s woman would not want to live in. It is a dark, disturbing, and violent novel that also pulls you in and you don’t want stop reading.  While reading it you will feel a variety of emotions and it also leaves you thinking about so many things. Then we have that ending which leaves you open mouthed and hoping that Liggett writes a sequel. Movie rights have been optioned and I hope they treat the novel right.

I would suggest this novel for ages 15 and up given the violence that occurs.

Many thanks to the publisher for granting me an arc copy via Netgalley. It was an honor to read and review The Grace Year.

Pre-Order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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The Farm by Joanne Ramos

Author: Joanne Ramos
Published: May 7, 2019
336 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 23- May 5, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big money—more than you’ve ever dreamed of—to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your überwealthy clients.

Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on delivery—or worse.

Heartbreaking, suspenseful, provocative, The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit to the extremes, and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.

Jessica’s Review:

The thriller lover in me wanted a novel where Golden Oaks, aka ‘The Farm’ was ‘the big bad evil’ with ulterior motive and missing surrogates, etc. The Farm is Joanne Ramos’ debut novel and instead of thriller we get a novel about class and privilege and extreme differences.  The differences in race, immigration status, lack of freedom, morality and greed, and many more topics are also explored. 

‘The Farm’ seems like a resort for surrogates, and in some ways it is.  The surrogates are given most everything they could need, but not want.  They are subject to rules and regulations but they are also paid significantly as the pregnancy progresses.  There are both positive and negative consequences to ‘The Farm’.  In reality, the women are numbered like cattle carrying commodities, and it is all about the health of the fetus and the end result of a healthy baby delivered for ‘the client’.  Most of the ‘hosts’ are immigrants who need a job and see a high payout with working at ‘The Farm’ and most of the clients are white.  The ‘clients’ of Golden Oaks are not necessarily people who cannot have children: They are the rich who may not want to ruin their ‘perfect bodies’ with pregnancy or don’t want to deal with the time involved with doctor’s appointments and possible complications. 

We get four points of view in The Farm:

Jane- an immigrant and our main protagonist
Reagan- another Host/Surrogate
Mae- Golden Oaks’ Director of Operations
Ate- Jane’s cousin

Each character makes decisions based on what works best for them and their given situation. I liked Jane and was on her side the whole novel. When she made bad decisions I just wanted to knock some sense into her!  I felt for her when she missed her baby girl that she left with her cousin to ‘work’ at ‘The Farm’ for 9 months.  Nine months can be a short amount of time to earn a huge payout, but at what cost? Jane begins to realize this as time passes and she misses her daughter’s milestones.

This is yet another novel that will leave you thinking. How far away is our society from having real life ‘farms’ for the wealthy that are made up of ‘hosts’ who are the poor and want or need that paycheck?

Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for my copy.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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