Book Review | Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

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Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi

Publishers: Simon and Schuster

Publication Date: 29th March, 2012 (originally published 8th February, 2005)

My Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

 

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Tally can’t wait to turn sixteen and become pretty. Sixteen is the magic number that brings a transformation from repellent Ugly into a stunningly attractive Pretty, and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks, Tally will be there.

But Tally’s new friend, Shay, isn’t sure she wants to be Pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the Pretty world – and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn Pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

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This book! Talk about conflicting feelings.

Uglies is a great dystopia novel. Our author has created an epic world, with the plot this interesting concept all about friendship and the misconceptions of beauty. It had the makings of a five star book…but something went wrong.
 “Your personality – the real you inside – was the price of beauty.”

For the most part, this book exceeded my expectations by a mile, and I was genuinely surprised that I was enjoying it so much. Our main characters were intriguing, and they all had unique personalities. I liked Tally and Shay, as flawed with their views as they seemingly were.

The adventure aspects were great, but my favourite part has to be the world Westerfeld set up. Sure, I’ve read books with this futuristic, dystopia feel before, but it just really worked for this novel. Something clicked, and I was swept into this world where what beauty really was had been morphed into something ugly.

Over half way into the novel, and I was loving it. But then everything went down hill at the speed of light. Okay, I’ll be honest: I saw the plot twist coming a mile off, so it wasn’t a big surprise to me when the action kicked in. And the action itself was okay – it’s the chapters after it that weren’t.

I understand that it’s hard for there not to be a lull after the action (and there sometimes even needs to be a lull, for the reader to have a break), but this is where the novel shows its flaws.

Mini Spoiler Alert: I thought this book was supposed to be about friendship, and it was up until this point. There was a small romance building up between a couple of our characters, which is absolutely fine (it seems YA books have this false view that there can’t not be romance in a book and it still be good, though I don’t think that’s what’s happening here) because it added another element for us readers to think about. But after the big action scene, this romance took a front-seat, instead of staying in the backseat where it was happy and comfortable. I feel like the romance was just a plot device to add a few extra chapters to the book, and it sort of annoyed me. End of Spoiler.

But something else that was sort of strange was that the final chapters were really confusing, and the rest of the novel hadn’t been. It’s really hard to say why without giving away any spoilers, so I’ll just go with these examples: there was talk about characters that I couldn’t remember being mentioned in the book before, and a character (who was a hostage) completely disappeared.

However, this confusion could be down to me, and not the book itself. I stopped reading it when I got to the part I didn’t like, but forced myself to power through it a few days later (and I realised the key to powering through a not-so-great section is to listen to some awesome tunes whilst reading it).

Overall, I did enjoy this novel. The actual ending itself was good, it was just the few chapters leading up to it that let it down. Up until that point, I had been really liking it. Nevertheless, it’s still a good read, so if you like dystopian novels, you should definitely read this book.

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

 

A Rereading Mission!

We YA lovers have one awesome month ahead of us! May is bringing us releases from two stunning authors – Cassandra Clare and Sarah J. Maas!

Yes, the long awaited follow-up to both of these Queen’s latest series’ are finally being published, all in a matter of weeks.

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I can’t really describe how much it’s taking to keep my inner fangirl in check right now!!

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Lord of Shadows is the second novel in Cassandra Clare’s new series, The Dark Artifices. Ever since I picked up my first Cassie Clare book, I have been completely enamored with the Shadowhunter world. From the way it’s written to the world itself (and, of course, the bad-ass characters), it’s just perfect. Well, to me, anyway.

So I obviously adored Lady Midnight when it came out last year (you can read my gushing review by clicking the link!), and after that ending, there has been no stopping the speculations and theories going through my head! I’m desperate to know what happens next, and can’t wait for its release day on the 23rd.

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Oh, A Court of Mist and Fury, how do I begin to describe your beauty? My initial thoughts on Goodreads only start:

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The A Court of Thorns and Roses series is stunning, and it’s made me feel all of the emotions. Sarah J. Maas is a brilliant author, and how she came up with this world is truly amazing. I love this series, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to cope with all of the feels I know it’s going to give me when it comes out on the 1st (that’s only nine days away!).

Now, to the point of this post (I really dragged this out, sorry guys)! I’m going to be rereading Lady Midnight and ACOMAF over the next few weeks. If you are too, you can probably find me fangirling over on these places:

Twitter: @thebookcrunch

Instagram: @thebookcrunch

Goodreads: Emma Jane

Are you excited for the release of these novels?!

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Bookish Update | Mid April

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As I’m sure most of you bookworms know, life just loves getting in the way of us reading.

And that’s exactly what’s been happening since I started college last September. For months now, I’ve been struggling to find the time to pick up a book and read it, and it doesn’t help how hectic my schedule has become in these past few weeks, either.

But it’s not just time that’s been an issue – it’s also the fact I’ve sort of been on the border of reading slump territory for a while now.

(For those reading this who have never entered reading slump territory: it is the bane of a bookworms existence.)

The number of books I’ve picked up in the last few months to read, and only ended up putting down again a page and a few days later is quite amazing, really (in the worst possible way, that is).

But I have good news: I’m currently reading!

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Sure, was the last time I picked the book up a couple of days ago? Yes, but I’m using the excuse of taking my time, and not letting myself believe this slump is trying to win. And I’m so close to the end, I’m determined to finish it!

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

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Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Tally can’t wait to turn sixteen and become pretty. Sixteen is the magic number that brings a transformation from repellent Ugly into a stunningly attractive Pretty, and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks, Tally will be there.

But Tally’s new friend, Shay, isn’t sure she wants to be Pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the Pretty world – and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn Pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

I’ve really been enjoying this novel! It was the read I never knew I needed…but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m sort of in a lull-area right now. I’m not particularly loving this section of the novel, but I’m going to try and power through it, and you’ll hopefully see my review up later this week!

What are you currently reading?

Thanks!

 – Emma

Read On!

 

Trigger Warnings In Books: Why Are They Such A Big Deal?

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If you’ve been keeping up with the bookish community on Twitter, you’ve probably seen the debate that’s been going on in regards to books having trigger warnings (also referred to as content warnings). I’ve only recently heard of this seemingly on-going debate, and I’m quite shocked at the uproar it seems to be causing.

(A trigger warning can resemble something like this:

Warning: this book contains *insert sensitive subject* .)

Trigger warnings are important. They warn people who have gone through traumatising situations of scenes that may cause them distress. But it’s not just for trauma victims that these warnings are necessary – it’s for people with anxiety, and other types of mental health issues. These warnings may be the difference between someone having a panic attack because they were unaware of a books contents, or avoiding something they were warned could upset them.

Many authors (and even some readers) are completely against having trigger warnings in books, convinced the warnings are the same as spoilers. But that’s not what a trigger warning is. If you want the book to be a complete surprise, that’s okay (and I assume you probably don’t read a books synopsis because of that same mindset).

But have some compassion for others if you think this way – there are so many readers in the world struggling everyday with things they have gone through (or are still going through). And if a trigger warning could help someone avoid a book that may potentially harm their mental state, are there really any downsides?

If you don’t have any need for trigger warnings, or you find that they don’t benefit you, that’s great. I’m glad that you haven’t faced something in your life that has left you vulnerable to certain things (or even if you have, but reminders of those experiences don’t send you in a downward spiral). But lots of others do.

I honestly don’t see a problem with trigger warnings being in a book. I can see why many don’t want them on the contents page, but the answer is simple: publish them on a separate page. People who need trigger warnings have access to them, and other people have the option whether to look at them or not.

It’s really not a crazy notion, especially when you put it into perspective: movies and TV shows have these warnings – they also have ratings so appropriate audiences are viewing them.

Why can’t books be the same?

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Anticipated Releases | Late Spring Edition

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It seems 2017 is the year of awesome book releases! With debuts such as Caraval by Stephanie Garber* publishing in January and taking the bookish world by storm, high standards have been set right from the get-go for any other YA book released this year.

*Link leads to my review on Goodreads, where I sort of low-key fangirl over the awesomeness of this novel!

So, with awesome books in mind, here are some books being published in the next few months that I can’t wait for:

 

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare

Release Date: 23rd May, 2017

I love Cassandra Clare and everything that she writes! I was lucky enough to meet her last year (which was beyond amazing!), and have been waiting for the follow up to Lady Midnight for what feels like years (though it’s actually only just over one year since LM released on the 8th March).

You can be sure I’ll be going straight to a book store the morning this releases to pick it up!

 

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: 2nd May, 2017

This series. Can words really express the feels these novels evoke? I waited a while after its release to read A Court of Thorns and Roses, as I was struggling to get on with the first couple of chapters. But once I got past the ‘intro’ section, I was hooked. So hooked that, as soon as I finished it, I rushed out the next day to buy A Court of Mist and Fury and let myself be immersed into Maas’s creation for a few days. I can easily say these books are at the top of my favourites of 2016, and I’m sure ACOWAR will be for 2017.

 

Perfect (Flawed, #2)

Perfect (Flawed #2) by Cecelia Ahern

Release Date: 4th April, 2017

Okay, so this book sort of doesn’t count for this post since it was published two weeks ago. But, it’s a spring release that I really want to read but still haven’t, so I’m including it!

I really liked Flawed when I read it last year, and couldn’t wait for the sequel to release. I’m intrigued to see where our author is going to take the story in this second novel, and hope I can get round to reading this one soon!

And that’s it for this post! Which books have you loved this spring?

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Book Crunch Time!

Since posting my Big News post last July, which explained that I was sort of, well, abandoning my blog for a little while (which turned out to be a while longer than I was expecting), a lot of things have happened. But so as not to bore you with the little details of my life, here are just a few:

  1. I started college – woo-hoo! I’m officially a music tech student and no longer a home-schooled fiend.
  2. I moved house (which, if I’m honest, was rather stressful), but I have more bookcases, meaning more books!
  3. I started multiple different blogs (The Book Crunch over on Blogger, Lost Amongst the Chapters, and Punk Peach. Oh, and more recently Stars, Stuff and Dust.), but couldn’t find the motivation or inspiration to really work on any of them.

I realised why I couldn’t settle with my other blogs, a couple of days ago. It turns out my heart belongs to another blog.

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(I know, it’s such a scandal.)

 

I miss my WordPress blog, and the move over to Blogger was never supposed to be permanent (though I did consider it for a little while), so I’ve decided I’m going to be running The Book Crunch again!

With college work and personal things, I won’t be posting a lot at the moment, but you’ll hopefully see a new bookish post every week from me! In the meantime, you may see some subtle changes on the blog, but nothing major!

I’m so happy to be back! (And happy Easter!)

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Big News!

Hey guys!

So, I’ve got some big news to share: I’m moving – in both the virtual and real world!!

Virtually, I’ve decided that my blog needs a change of scenery for a little while! I love WordPress, and it looks so beautiful and professional, but I’m really struggling to find the inspiration to blog nowadays. And so, I hope that by moving platforms I’ll be able to get back into gear!

I’ve moved my blog over to Blogger, which is powered by Google. I’m really excited to try this out, and it would mean the world to me if you’d check out the new version of The Book Crunch (which looks quite a lot like the current one)! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

What does this mean for my WordPress site? 

I’m not closing down this site! The move over to blogger will probably be temporary – I just want to get a feel for how this other platform works, and see if it fits me better! This just means that I won’t be blogging on this site for a little while, as I try and get back into the swing of blogging full-time!

Now onto the real-life move!

Because of some recent events, my family and I have decided we’re going to be moving as soon as we can – we’re currently looking at available houses! The process is really daunting but also very exciting, too! It means I can have more book cases, which also means more books, so what’s there not to be happy about?!

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you all for being so supportive of my blog!!

There’s a chance I’ll come crawling back to WordPress in a weeks time, and even if I don’t, I’ll be posting again to say where I’m officially going to run my blog, so this isn’t the last post!

Thanks for everything!

– Emma

Read On!