Saturday, June 18, 2011


This may be my first intelligent post in a very long time.
Omiholywhatthegosh that was an epicgoodscarygoreycrazyomygod book.
This might be my favorite futuristic dystopia to date. What stands out about this one is that it feels so real. Possible. Like this could actually happen. That's why it's so hard-hitting. This was one of those books where the characters were on one side displaying that sense of detatchment that I hate, where they're not really characters but empty stereotypes to make the story move. These characters can be compared to those of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies because although there are some aspects of them that are completely vague, the emotions and connections between the characters go so far beyond the plot that I do feel like they are real people. I'm looking forward to Ann Aguirre's next book, Outpost, which is apparently going to come out fall 2012 and will be the sequel to Enclave. Yes! Except I'll have to wait more than a year. Darn it.
I've decided that this isn't like the Mortal Instruments Series (Cassandra Clare) which I literally would (and do) recommend to anyone over the age of twelve and under the age of thirty with no strict values or religious views that suggests that a gay romance would offend them. See, in MI, there is something for everyone--romance, action, fantasy, badassery--the list goes on. Enclave takes a certain kind of person to enjoy: someone who can read about the blood and the pain and the gore and take it, that knows that we need these warnings and wants to see them, to imagine the worst and work toward the best. The people that see history as a warning, whether it be the real Holocaust of WWII or fictional events such as the "second" one mentioned on the first page of Enclave. Some people want to know what's next. Some people want to influence it.
This is going to go a bit off topic, but I see it fitting considering that this is what this story makes me think about and I think it also relates to what Aguirre wanted to say when she wrote the book. I cannot stand it when people tell me they hate history, that they do not see the point in learning about people and governments and wars that existed a long time ago when they could just "learn about now" or "learn about the future" or some other dumb excuse for laziness and ignorance. Sure, history class can be boring and it's true that we don;t necessarily have to know the exact ways that every single republic liberated itself from the Soviet Union. But we do need to know that the Soviet Union existed, and that it failed, and why it failed, because it was a bad time and we need to make sure it does not happen again. You want to leave history to the nerds and the historians? All right. You go play Angry Birds on your iPhone and I'll go decide how the world will be run, and then you can let me dictate your life and indoctrinate your children and strip you of your rights. Without the education to know why this is bad or what could come of it, you are a helpless victim of my power. We cannot predict the future, so only knowledge of the past can help us ensure that it will be bright. We're lucky that we live in a time and place of relative peace and prosperity. If we don't think about our future, it might not be so bright, and your descendants will have no one but you to blame for it. If you think that all that matters is now, and because you are lucky enough to be a human in America in the twenty-first century, you're selfish. Your ancestors and your descendants are slapping you right now.
I may sound like a hypocrite--yes, I love history, but what am I doing to help the future other than talk? I'm speaking to myself as well when I write this.

What would make me really happy right now:
-An alternative universe generator
-More books

Next book: I'm going to take a look around my library for that now, actually.

BTW: I almost tagged this Love Triangle of Doom because there are two guys and both kiss the heroine, but really, it doesn't apply. The romance in this book was beautifully subtle and did not ever get in the way of the plot; in fact, it worked really well to strengthen the bonds between the characters and make slow action parts more interesting. Not that there are a lot of slow parts. I can honestly say that the romantic situation is actually fairly original, maybe due to its low profile, but it is well written and is probably the first good aberration from the Love Triangle of Doom that I have ever seen in a fantasy, sci-fi or dystopian novel. Congratulations, Ann Aguirre, you have somehow managed not to disappoint the Manon.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Woman Who Rides Like A Man

Dang that title is an innuendo.
I think I need to do another letter to the character. She didn't answer my last one, and as I am on Facebook, I believe the correct way to deal with this situation is to KEEP BUGGING HER TILL SHE DOES. (for the record, that is a joke, because I know if anyone reads that they'll ask.)
Not like anyone reads this anyway.

Dear Alanna,
You did not completely disappoint me this time around. Only somewhat. See, what I love about you is that even though you get sluttier and less adorable (did you know google chrome recognizes "sluttier" as a word? Wait, you don't know what that is. You're from the middle ages. Also, you're NOT REAL.) by the minute, you also got more badass. You don't go all OMG I LOVE YOU SO IM GONNA JUST BETRAY LITTLE ADORABLE PAGE ALANNA AND EVERYTHING SHE WORKED FOR FOR LIKE FIVE YEARS AND JUST SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE BEING ALL ILOVEYOU! WITH JON. Instead, well, you've asserted yourself as a total BA to that jerk prince of yours, who is now flirting with some DUMB BLONDE CHICK WHO'S HOTTER THAN YOU AND SLUTTIER BUT HEY YOU'RE BETTER THAN THEM SO WHO EVEN CARES because you have George who is way better anyway. I always preferred him.
I like your performance regarding the little shaman girls. And Ishak deserved to die. Do not cross a girl who rides horses, does magic, wields epic swords of awesome, and has a pet cat that may in fact be a god. Basically, is someone that cool tells you not to do something, for god's sake don't do it.
That is all.
-your least-favorite person in the world besides Duke Roger,

What would make me really happy right now:
-more books
-more reading time
-to not be so tired

Next book: either Lioness Rampant or Enclave

PS this book is one of the few examples of the love triangle of doom (see Matched for an explanation of this, I might even start making posts on this sort of thing) that I actually like. I'm making a new tag: Love Triangle Of Doom.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Matched is the first book I've encountered by Ally Condie. (Wanna get the author's name in there early cuz I've heard this isn't the only "Matched" in popular YA literature.)
Okay, so I found this book on Amazon while hunting for more good YA dystopians (Yay futuristic hell holes!) and I read this first chapter anditwasgood. So I bought it.
I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, but I'm still going to be Critical in this one.
THIS IS WHAT WAS GOOD ABOUT THIS BOOK. (I had English finals today so I'm not even gonna try to be smart. Be prepared for poor grammar and random capitalization.) I like the writing style. It's not like the Goddess Of Writing Jodi Piccoult, but it's pretty. Most dystopians, like say, the Hunger Games, begin with a main character that already knows that the government is evil and Man This Place Sucks and all that because they're already a victim and have been their whole lives. However, this is the first one I've read so far where the character actually believed due to her lifetime of indoctrination that the Futuristic Conspiracy To Control Our Minds! was actually the way to go. Gradually she's been submerged into the idea of These Dudes Are Whacked and People Are Dying Man, mostly through Ky, who is in fact the character who knows how Man This Place Sucks. The dystopia itself was also well-developed. I think I'm going to come up with a set of guidelines for well-developed alternative universes/dystopias:
Each one needs to establish:
-the standard mode of transportation (for instance, we have cars and sometimes planes. The Hunger Games has trains. Uglies has hoverboards and hovercars. Matched has a hovertrain or airtrain or something.)
-the way they get their food (we buy it at a store and cook it ourselves, or go to a restaurant. We generally dispense it through a refrigerator. Uglies get fed through a hole in the wall where Magical Objects of Awesome! come out. Hunger Games people hunt (but only if they're badass) or buy it from the black market (if they're semi-badass) or get it from the government if they're chicken.
-propaganda--what makes them obey (uglies: YOU MUST BE PRETTY OMG. Hunger Games: well, the hunger games themselves. Matched: everything is better here because we use probability and our people livelongerandarehappierandcrap.)
-main source of entertainment--what the people do for fun. (Hunger games: watch the hunger games on TV [we're talking capitol idiots here] uglies: go to parties and get creepy surgeries. Matched: game center, music hall, movie showings, leisure activities)
-Clothing: there must be a fashion scheme. (matched: uniforms denoting students, workers and officials; Uglies: crazy fashioncostumethingies for pretties, and didn't the uglies have like a uniform or something? Hunger Games: lots of raggy old cloth stuff. They're madpooryo.)
-Government Creepers: like the gestapo. Publicly known; usually feared. (Hunger games: peacekeepers. Matched: Officials. Uglies: wardens. Also Special Circumstances, but less public.)
-Fancy Board Of Government Jerks Who Decide Stuff (Uglies: the Pretty Committee. HG: the Gamemakers. Matched: I think we find out in the next volume xDD )[I just realized that was my first emote all post.]
-I think they're all communists. (actually, that's not a principle. But i think it's true. I might make a post entirely devoted to the fact that I think that Matched, The Hunger Games, and Uglies are all set in communist "futures" and it's all 1984alloveragain.)

Ok, now for my Critiques:
I read all fourhundredsomeodd pages and I still don't feel like I'm BFFs with Cassia, Ky, Em and Xander. They're not the most developed characters, and they're still kind of in that stage of development like the book just started and I don't know them yet. I think the most developed characters were Bram and the granfather, and since Grandpa died in like chapter four, that's saying something.
AND THE LOVE TRIANGLE OMG. It's less creative than Twilight. It pretty much IS twilight. I am going to outline a situation, and you try to think of every YA novel with this basic scenario or one very similar:
Boy1 likes girl. Girl likes boy but doesn't know it yet. Girl meets boy2 and falls in OMGlove! but girl and boy2 can't be together. girl finds out about boy1 but since she can have him he's unappealing even though he's better for her and everyone around her. He's just not as hot. So girl makes out with both of them and eventually either ends up with boy2 or realizes that boy1 was better all along, often following the death or destruction, if not betrayal, of boy2.
How many books did you come up with? Like, every YA novel ever? See? they're all the same. WillsomeonepleasewritemeagooddystopiannovelwithaNEWromanticsituationthankyou?
Ok. That is all.

What would make me really happy right now:
-for someone to write me a novel according to the guidelines above.
-no more tests please school ok?
-more time to read at school

next book: The Woman Who Rides Like A Man

CHALLENGE: outline a romance taking place in a dystopia that is ORIGINAL.