Genevieve Angelique

Love, Books, & More

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TBT Book Review: The Giver


Author: Lois Lowry

Genre (& Award): YA, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Newbery Award

In a Snapshot: Jonas lives in a community where all his decisions are made for him. When assigned to The Giver, Jonas receives his mentor’s memories–full of pain and joy.

Why I picked it up and why I couldn’t put it down:

I read this first in high school, then in college. Both times it was an assigned read. And both times, I loved it! So much in fact, I went to a book reading by Ms. Lowry and got a signed copy of this novel!!!! It was my most prized possession–which is why I am still so sad at having lost it when I lent it to a chef while working as a waitress. A librarian at heart, even before getting my masters, I’ve always loved sharing book recommendations with others. And sometimes my recommendations come in the form of my own personal copies. It’s a practice I still do today (and still get burned by from time to time).

Who will like this?

Like the man depicted on the cover, this book is the grandfather of all dystopian books today: The Hunger Games, Insurgent, Maze Runner–they all sort of hail from Lowry’s groundbreaking work. Hence the gold stamp of approval, the Newbery Award. So, naturally, if you’re a dystopian lover, you need to read this book. This is as classic as it gets. And seriously, read the book before you watch the movie. I haven’t yet seen the adaptation, but the book is always better than the movie.

Some Favorite Quotes:

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

“It’s the choosing that’s important, isn’t it?”

“We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.”

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Book Review: Across the Universe

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Author: Beth Revis

Genre: YA, NA, Science Fiction, Dystopian

In a Snapshot: Amy, a frozen teen on her way to a new planet 300 years into the future, is awakened 50 years too early. With the help of Elder (the boy destined to someday be the ship’s leader), she uncovers a terrible truth about the ship—and the people on board.

Why I picked it up and why I couldn’t put it down:

As always, I was in the mood for a romance, and I could tell this was going to be a love story based on the cover. I was also in the mood for a soft science fiction, so this fit the bill.

I read 2/3 of Across the Universe in audio format, but I finished with a hard copy from my library. I needed to get through the story faster. The pace of the audio book was too slow for my impatient reading ways. And no offense to the actors who voiced the dual perspectives of this book, but I don’t like to hear impersonated girl voices from male actors. The inflection and emotion seems off–especially when you have the female counterpart voice/actress to compare it to.

Who will like this? This book has a similar vibe to The Giver by Lois Lowry or City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau–but with an explicit sexual spin to itReaders who like dual boy/girl perspectives will like this (think Marie Lu’s Legend).

Note: some of the sexual scenes are just gross & dark (for a reason), so this book is for more mature readers.

A Favorite Quote: 

“I never thought about how important the sky was until I didn’t have one.”

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Book Review: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: YA, SciFi, Fairytale, Fantasy

In a Snapshot: In this futuristic Cinderella tale, a cyborg mechanic named Cinder uncovers her second-class status in New Bejing is not her true destiny when she falls for the prince of the Eastern Commonwealth and becomes the fatal target of the evil lunar queen. 

Why I picked it up and why I couldn’t put it down: I’ve always enjoyed fairytale retellings, and I kept hearing positive reviews about this book. Plus, well, the cover is crazy awesome. I loved the SF spin on Cinderella and am very excited to see how Meyer will introduce and intertwine the futuristic versions of Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White in this Lunar Chronicles series.

Who will like this? YA readers of all ages. Fairy tale lovers. Star Wars fans.

A Favorite Quote:

“But if there was one thing she knew from years as a mechanic, it was that some stains never came out.”

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Book Review: The Uglies (series)


AuthorScott Westerfield

Genre: YA (Science fiction)

In a Snapshot: In this futuristic fiction, adolescents are surgically altered to fit a beautiful mold. With the goal of eliminating hate, jealousy, and prejudice–this societal compliance instead eliminates differences, creativity, and potential.

Why I picked it up and why I couldn’t put it down: It was a book many of my students were reading. Especially powerful is the message of true beauty. 

Who will like this? A must for girls growing up bombarded with unrealistic media persuasion on what being female is or should be...

A Favorite Quote:

Nature, at least, didn’t need an operation to be beautiful. It just was.

Guest Book Reviewer: Gina Jones, Middle School Teacher