Tag Archives: Dystopian

Ignite Me (Shatter Me/The Juliette Chronicles #3)

Read from 1st-3rd June, 2015

Author: Tahareh Mafi

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5 Stars

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The fate of Omega Point is unknown.

Everyone Juliette cares about may be dead. Now Juliette I’d the only one standing in The Reestablishment’s way. But to take them down, as well as Anderson, the man that nearly killed her, Juliette needs the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew – about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam – was wrong.

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Ignite Me is the thrilling conclusion to an absolutely spectacular series. The writing, the characters and the plot are all phenomenal and I can’t wait to discuss it with you!

Part of what has made this series one of my all-time favourites is that I was able to discuss it and fangirl over it with three or four of my friends no matter what part I was at – I could vent and squeal and it was amazing. The only downside was that they all called dibs on Warner long before I did… But he’s still mine, okay?! A girl can dream.

Tahereh’s writing is absolutely phenomenal, beautiful, poetic and unique. Juliette undergoes massive character development throughout this series and the writing actually corresponds with that. It wasn’t until I was about a quarter into Ignite Me that I realised that it read like a “normal” novel. As in, there were no strike throughs and the like, which is fitting of her character – it is a physical representation that Juliette has transformed from a scared, isolated child to a confident, powerful woman.

Warner. Warner. I absolutely adore this man with every ounce of my being. Not only is he extremely attractive, but his love for Juliette is open, honest, deep and raw. It is so beautiful to witness and, more than that, there are never ending depths to his character. I love him so much that it hurts. To put it into perspective, Warner and Juliette are my real OTP – you know how you always have as gazillion of them? Well, this is my actual answer. (For those of you who are curious, Will, Jem and Tessa from TID are my OT3).

Kenji is amazing. Funny and sarcastic, yet serious when need be, he is a brilliant friend to Juliette and my second (maybe third) favourite character in this series. There is still so much that we don’t know about him, but Kenji’s character was really fleshed out in this installment, which I appreciated. I would love to have Kenji as my best friend boyfriend (because, let’s face it, as much as I love Warner, I ship him and Juliette too much to break them up – not that I would even have the guts to try). He is such a brilliant character and we would have such great times together. I also love how much he cares about James and their dynamic together.

Speaking of, James is absolutely adorable. He is such an enjoyment to read about and his relationship with Warner especially drew upon my heart strings. He is also such a smart kid and I just love him so much. (Are you starting to sense a pattern here?)

I don’t have time to go through all of the side characters, but overwhelmingly they are all fantastic, developed characters that I would love to hang out with.

I’m not going to talk much about Adam aside from mentioning that he was a complete jerk who kind of redeemed himself in the end. I still maintain that he was important in getting Juliette to where she is now, but he is certainly not the one for her. Juliette phrases this perfectly in a conversation with Kenji, which is another thing that I love about her.
There are so many brilliant moments in this series, but particularly in Ignite Me. If you have read this story, please comment your favourite parts so that we can fangirl together.

For those of you who have not yet picked up this series – I’m sorry, but what are you doing with your life? If you’re not sure whether to read this or not, just do it. I highly, highly recommend these books.

You can find my reviews for Shatter Me, Unravel Me, Destroy Me and Fracture Me here, here, here and here.

Side note: Aren’t these covers stunning? And they tie in with the story so well…

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Fracture Me (Shatter Me/The Juliette Chronicles #2.5)

Finished on 31st May, 2015

Author: Tahareh Mafi

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3.75 Stars

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Discover the fate of the Omega Point rebels as they go up against The Reestablishment. Set during and soon after the final moments of Unravel MeFracture Me is told from Adam’s perspective.

As Omega Point prepares to launch an all-out assault on The Reestablishment soldiers stationed in Sector 45, Adam’s focus couldn’t be further from the upcoming battle. He’s reeling from his breakup with Juliette, scared for his best friend’s life, and as concerned as ever for his brother James’s safety. And just as Adam begins to wonder if this life is really for him, the alarms sound. It’s time for war.

On the battlefield, it seems like the odds are in their favor—but taking down Warner, Adam’s newly discovered half brother, won’t be that easy. The Reestablishment can’t tolerate a rebellion, and they’ll do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam has ever cared about.

Fracture Me sets the stage for Ignite Me, the explosive finale in Tahereh Mafi’s epic dystopian series. It’s a novella not to be missed by fans who crave action-packed stories with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu.

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I honestly have no idea how to rate this book. As usual, Tahareh’s writing is amazing, but on the other hand we have Adam – which is where the dilemma hits.

Fracture Me cemented my hate for Adam and my love for Kenji and James. I applaud Tahereh for creating a character that we fall in love with in Shatter Me, but becomes absolutely horrible and just a real jerk.

I despise Adam with a passion. Why, you ask? Well, not only is he revealed to be incredibly stupid and impulsive, but he is horrible to the people he loves. In the beginning, we see that although he loves James, Adam is a complete jerk to James. I mean, he isn’t entirely horrible, but he does and says some questionable things. Most of all, Adam’s perception of Juliette is cringe-worthy and I feel like tearing him to pieces. Adam sees Juliette – the girl he claims to have loved for over a decade – as weak, pathetic and incapable of doing anything. To him, she is fragile and to be protected. And when she goes out of that convenient little box that he’s put her in and starts acting like a bad-ass? It scares him. It scares him. I just – I can’t.

If I could punch any fictional character in the face – with a brick – I would choose Adam over Umbridge. Umbridge, people! Surely that should give you some perspective. Adam is a coward and does not deserve Juliette in the least – if they get together in Ignite Me, then I will be seriously vexed.

In spite of all this, I do believe that Fracture Me is a good addition to the trilogy. Aside from solidifying how much of a jerk Adam is, from chapter seven onwards we see what happens to the other characters during the final section of Unravel Me, which I believe is not included in the original trilogy.

I recommend Fracture Me to fans of the series that still like Adam – for they will see how much of a moron he truly is. (I’m so cruel, I know.) But in all seriousness, I would recommend reading this novella if you’re curious as to what happened to the other characters after the battle at the end of Unravel Me.

Destroy Me (Shatter Me/The Juliette Chronicles #1.5)

Read on 29th May, 2015

Author: Tahereh Mafi

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5 Stars

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In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me, Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

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This book… This book.

Warner is just so amazing and complex and ohmygoodnessIcan’teven.

I absolutely loved seeing inside of Warner’s mind, what his childhood was like, why he acts the way he does, as well as his reaction to reading Juliette’s journal. There were a few instances where I shed some tears. Chapter sixteen broke my heart.

There’s nothing much else that I can say about Destroy Me without spoiling people, but if you like the series at all, if you love Warner, then read this book. I don’t care if you have something against novellas – just read it.

Even though Destroy Me is listed as #1.5 in the series, I would recommend doing as I did and reading it after Unravel Me. I found that it was better to get to know Warner as Juliette did, and then switch to his perspective on everything that happened – let’s just say that you will come to understand that certain were not as they appeared and if you didn’t love Warner already, you will after reading this novella.

You can find my reviews for Shatter Me and Unravel Me here and here.

Please comment your thoughts so I can fangirl with you about the brilliance that is Warner!

Unravel Me (Shatter Me/The Juliette Chronicles #2)

Finished 28th May, 2015

Author: Tahereh Mafi

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5 Stars

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Our lips touch and I know I’m going to split at the seams. He kisses me softly then strongly like he’s lost me and he’s found me and I’m slipping away and he’s never going to let me go.

Juliette has escaped from The Reestablishment. Now she’s free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch. Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible. Haunted by her past and terrified of her future, Juliette knows that she will have to make some life-changing choices. Choices that may involve choosing between her heart – and Adam’s life.

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Shatter Me was fantastic, but Unravel Me is ten times better – which was something that I didn’t think was possible.

The characters, the writing, the plot, the setting… I couldn’t get enough. Unravel Me is a simply phenomenal read and I can’t wait to dive into the next installments.

Warner’s potential was revealed in Shatter Me, but in Unravel Me he simply blew me away. I love him so much! I just- wow. I love how his character, personality and past was revealed. I cannot adequately express my feelings for him – he is such a beautiful and well put together character and I could not – can not – get enough of him. To put it into perspective: my love for him is currently more than that of which I have for William Herondale. Yes, he’s that amazing. Did I mention that he also loves to read?

I really liked how the character arc with Adam turned out. I still think that he was important – crucial even – in getting Juliette where she is now and I did love them together for that. But for where she is at the moment (and for the future), Warner is perfect. Adam was the first love, and Warner is endgame.

While she did irritate me at times (namely the scene about three quarters in when everything is amazing but then she says that one word which screws it all up), I really liked Juliette and seeing her character develop. I love the realizations that she came to in herself and where she ended up when the novel left off. I am really excited to see where her character goes and what she will do. She has the potential to be an absolutely amazing, kick-ass character – made even more so by how far she’s come.

Honourable mention to Kenji (you are the bestest friend ever), Sonya and Sarah, Brendan, James and Winston. You guys are amazing.

I don’t know how she does it, but Tahareh’s writing is not only unconventional, but beautiful, poetic and entirely quotable.

I recommend the Shatter Me trilogy to anyone, really. I feel that it has a lot of different elements that could appeal to a wide variety of readers.

To hear more of my thoughts, be sure to check out my review of Shatter Me here.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me/The Juliette Chronicles #1)

Finished on 22nd May, 2015

Author: Tahereh Mafi

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5 Stars

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I have a curse.
I have a gift.

I’m a monster.
I’m more than human.

My touch is lethal.
My touch is power.

I am their weapon.
I will fight back.

No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the first time – and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a riveting dystopian world, a thrilling superhero story, and an unforgettable heroine.

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Shatter Me is a beautifully written novel set in a dystopian society that hits alarmingly close to home, yet also touches on the paranormal. It certainly lives up to the hype.

The writing in Shatter Me is extremely unique. Some may (and have) found it hard to get into, but I absolutely loved it. The novel is written almost as a stream of consciousness – complete with crossed out words and phrases. It’s rather hard to describe, but I found that through it I really connected to Juliette – perhaps even more so than I would have if it was written traditionally.

On that note, I really liked Juliette as a character. Despite being isolated, discriminated against and hurt by the world since she was small, she is so innocent, so pure, so good. I loved seeing her experience love for the first time and look forward to seeing her continual growth and character development.

Now, the big question: Adam or Warner?

I really liked Warner, but at this point in time I don’t like the idea of Juliette and him in a relationship – while it may be interesting, it would not fit into Juliette’s character or moral values (at this point in time). However, I have been told that he gets a lot better as the series progresses and he does have a lot of potential, so I’ll see how it goes – I really want to find out why people ship them together so much.

I wasn’t expecting to love Adam, but I did. Warner must turn out to absolutely brilliant if so many people ship them over these two. Adam is fantastic, loving, compassionate, protective, and exactly what Juliette needs while still being a great person in his own right. I am really interested to discover the story behind the white bird (and if Warner dreams about it too).

The world building is so well done that it isn’t hard to believe that the destruction of their world could easily happen to us. In short: the ozone layer is decimated and because of that the environment is all but screwed, the animals have all been killed off or have been genetically mutated and the human population is starving under the rule The Reestablishment – a military organisation that took advantage of people’s desperation and lured the world into complete submission through empty promises. Now The Reestablishment are a dictatorship bent on destroying books, culture, language and anything that makes the human populace unique.

A brilliant read, I highly recommend Shatter Me to people looking for a unique, beautifully written dystopian with a touch of paranormal – or just someone looking for a good read. Shatter Me is a story of a girl who has been abused, tossed out and abandoned by the world, yet is still able to find light and hope and goodness. It is a journey of self discovery and fighting back. I look forward to continuing on with this series.

Insurgent (Divergent #2)

Finished 29th March, 2015

Author: Veronica Roth

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4 Stars

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One choice can transform you – or it can destroy you. Tris Prior’s initiation day should have been marked by victorious celebrations with her chosen faction; instead it ended with unspeakable horrors. Now unrest surges in the factions around her as conflict between their ideologies grows.

In times of war sides must be chosen and secrets will emerge. Tris has already paid a terrible price for survival and is wracked by haunting grief and guilt. But radical new discoveries and shifting relationships mean that she must fully embrace her Divergence – even though she stands to lose everything…

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“Insurgent… Noun. A person who acts in opposition to the established authority, who is not necessarily regarded as belligerent.”

Insurgent is a very well put together, easy, intriguing read. I found the world really easy to slip back into and, as this is my second time reading it, I picked up on several things that have only now come to light as I have read Allegiant. On that note, the foreshadowing just about killed me. And I am not just talking about the end of Insurgent – no, it is clear as day that Veronica Roth had the ending of the trilogy planned out long before she actually started writing it. Throughout the whole book there is definitive clues to that end, which seriously messed with my emotions.

“‘My dear girl,'” she says. ‘I am his family. I am permanent. You are only temporary.'”

Do you see? Do you? Do you? Seriously, it was quite destressing…

Veronica’s characters are complicated, layered and realistic. There is always more to someone than meets the eye – you can never know all that there is to know about them. This is a really important message to broadcast and Veronica does this beautifully.
Uriah is amusing, sassy, sarcastic, fun and a brilliant character to read about. He is a great friend – especially to Tris – and has brought her out of a slump several times.

“‘A representative?’ Zeke says. ‘She’s not going herself?’
‘Yeah, and stand out in the open where a bunch of angry people with guns can take aim?’ Uriah smirks a little. ‘I’d like to see her try. No, really, I would.'”

Marline is sweet and slightly naive. She didn’t really leave much of am impression on me aside from the vague imprint of her bubbly personality. However, I have not read Divergent in over a year, so that may factor into my opinion.

Lynn, Shauna and Zeke were all brilliant characters as well. They, Marlene and Zeke express what it’s like to be truly Dauntless – they are fun, loud, hilarious and free.

“By the time the fight dies down, my clothes are more paint-coloured than black. I decide to keep the shirt to remind me why I chose Dauntless in the first place: not because they are perfect, but because they are alive. Because they are free.”

Both Tris and Tobias simultaneously made me love them and grow extremely frustrated. However, the main thing to take away about their characters is that they fought for what they believed in and remained strong despite the odds. They are by no means perfect, but neither are we. I loved them as a couple and feel that they compliment each other so well – especially after seeing from Tobias’ point of view in Four.

“‘Sleep,’ he says. ‘I’ll fight the bad dreams off if they come get you.’
‘With what?’
‘My bare hands, obviously.'”

Upon first reading the trilogy, I remember really disliking Christina. Now, I actually really like her character. She’s sassy, reliable and loyal. Christina was Tris’ first real friend, and their relationship really expresses that.

“‘Fine.’ [Christina] sighs. ‘I would take out the blush, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the right colour for you.”
‘Shocking, considering we’re so similar in skin tone.'”

The Erudite were just as brilliant, hilarious and awesome as I remembered. By this, I am referring to Cara, Fernando and the rest of the crew – the non-brainwashed members who display the true values of the faction. As an Erudite myself, I couldn’t be more proud to have these amazing people representing my faction and showing that not all members are corrupt.

“My father taught me to see the Erudite a particular way. He never taught me that they made no judgments about what people believed, but designed things for them within the confines of their beliefs. He never told me that they could be funny, or that they could critique their own faction from the inside… He never told me that an Erudite could offer to help me even after I killed her brother.”

For whatever reason, I kept picturing Fernando as a twelve year old… I have no idea why, because he’s actually sixteen (he was in Caleb’s initiate class).

“‘Nando?’ I say to him. ‘I thought the Erudite didn’t like nicknames?’
‘When a pretty girl calls you by a nickname,’ he says, ‘it is only logical to respond to it.'”

Yep, still twelve. (Sorry Nando!)

Johanna was another amazing characters who supported the true values of her faction – for Amity was not always about avoiding existing conflict to preserve peace. Below is a quote from the original Amity Faction Manifesto, which was later removed (as seen in World of Divergent).

Involvement
One Friend says to Another: ‘Friend, today I fought with my enemy.’
The Other Friend says: ‘Why did you fight with your enemy?’
‘Because they were about to hurt you.’
‘Friend, why did you defend me?’
‘Because I love you.’
‘Then I am grateful.'”

Veronica has subtly woven  some serious themes into her writing, making it all the more believable. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), homosexuality, abuse, prejudice, forgiveness and beauty that runs deeper than surface appearances are all examples of this.

“Colour fills her cheeks, and I think it again: that Johanna Reyes might still be beautiful. Except now I think that she isn’t just beautiful in spite of the scar, she’s somehow beautiful with it, like Lynn with buzzed hair, like Tobias with the memories of his father’s cruelty that he wears like armor, like my mother in her plain grey clothing.”

Insurgent was a fun read and while the trilogy is a YA series, it great for all ages, whether you don’t read much or read way too much (though, arguably, that is impossible). I am really looking forward to watching the movie and seeing how well it has been adapted.

Other Notable Quotes:

“‘Thank God,’ he  says, pressing his forehead to the door. ‘I was beginning to think it would never wear off and I would have to leave you here to…smell flowers, or whatever you wanted to do while you were on that stuff.'”

“There is a part of me that wants to be lost, that struggles to join my parents and Will so that I don’t have to ache for them anymore. A part of me that wants to see whatever comes next.”

“Sometimes I feel like I am collecting the lessons each faction has to teach me, and storing them in my mind like a guidebook for moving through the world. There is always something to learn, and that is important to understand.”

“I laugh, mirthless, a mad laugh. I savor the scowl on her face, the hate in her eyes. She was like a machine; she was cold and emotionless, bound by logic alone. And I broke her.
I broke her.” (In reference to Jeannine.)

“Telling me the time is a small act of betrayal – and therefore an ordinary act of bravery. It is maybe the first time I’ve seen Peter be truly Dauntless.”

“Every part of my body chants it in unison. Live, live, live. I thought that in order to give my life in exchange for Will’s, in exchange for my parents’, that I needed to die, but I was wrong; I need to live my life in the light of their deaths. I need to live.”

“Every part of his posture suggests ease… I have never seen him look so comfortable without a gun. I didn’t think it was possible.”

“‘Woah there, Tobias,’ says the man to my left. ‘Weren’t you raised a Stiff? I thought the most you people did was…graze hands or something.’
‘Then how do you explain all the Abnegation children?’ Tobias raises his eyebrows.
‘They’re brought into being by the sheer force of will,’ the woman on the arm of the chair interjects. ‘Didn’t you know that, Tobias?'” (This is by far my favourite)

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)

Finished on 27th February, 2015

Author: Rick Yancey

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5 Stars

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The 1st Wave took out half a million people.

The 2nd Wave put that number to shame.

The 3rd Wave lasted a little longer. Twelve weeks . . . Four billion dead.

In the 4th Wave you can’t trust that people are still people.

And the 5th Wave? No one knows. But it’s coming.

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs.
Runs from the beings that only look human, who have scattered Earth’s last survivors.

To stay alone is to stay alive, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope.

Now Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death.

To give up or to get up.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The 5th Wave is a brilliant novel with a great plotline and interesting, engaging characters. Personally, I found it to be a great entrance into the sci-fi genre.

I found it really interesting that aside from your regular chapters, Yancey divided up the novel into 13 sections, varying in length, which represent a different point of view. Obviously some points of views are repeated, such as Cassie and “Zombie”‘s, but I find the idea to be quite ingenious. In the midst of the apocalypse, it is great to know what’s going on simultaneously at different locations. Sammy’s POV broke my heart, especially when “Nugget” was introduced to “Zombie”.

I loved Cassie from the get-go. She is not only the first dystopian heroine to actually actually stock up on tampons (that I have read), but she loves books and comes from a family of book lovers. Also, she is totally kick-ass while remaining completely human in her flaws and mistakes.

Ringer was also kick-ass awesome, and rather intelligent. Indeed, I believe it was her (or was it Zombie?) that figured out what the 5th Wave was. Zombie’s quest to make Ringer smile was absolutely adorable…

“Don’t you get it? The minute we decide that one person doesn’t matter anymore, they’ve won.”

Evan. I loved him, but initially I was incredibly skeptical of him – particularly after we see inside the head of the Silencer. He was seemingly too good to be true, and yet… He saved Cassie and I truly believe that he loves her and is willing to die for her. As for his biology… Who cares? It’s choices that form a person, not where they come from. Evan is a brilliant character and I loved him – especially how he dealt with situations.

“It’s hopeless. And it’s stupid. It’s suicidal. But love is a weapon they have no answer for. They know how you think, but they can’t know how you feel.”

“I’ll find you Cassie. Don’t I always find you?”

I want an Evan…

I hated Vosh with a passion – still do, really. When he appeared a second time with Camp Haven I was incredibly suspicious.  Everything seemed to fall into place but then he confused me with his talk of breaking points and started to convince me that he really was for humanity. Perhaps that was merely my wishful thinking coming into play. Either way, Vosh = Bad.

As a whole, The 5th Wave was action packed and, if done correctly, would look great on screen. Which apparently is happening – IMDB has the release date as 27th January 2016, which I’m super excited about. In particular, the rescue scene was brilliant, enthralling, can’t-take-my-eyes-off-the-pages-in-fear-I’ll-miss-something awesome. Everything just came together and it was amazing.

The end (by which I mean the last page or so) was dissatisfying. I ship Ben and Cassie too much in their respective relationships to be okay with it. I can’t wait to get my hands on The Infinite Sea – I need more Evan. More than that, I need more Evan and Cassie.

I highly recommend The 5th Wave to all those interested in a brilliant dystopian, sci-fi, apocalyptic, action packed, romantic novel. I now have a very strong urge to go out and buy The Infinite Sea immediately, despite already having an extensive pile of books to be read and hardly any time to read them.