2016 Book #18 – The Last Girl by Joe Hart

51QUznf0TsL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Last Girl
Author: Joe Hart
Date finished: 3/6/16
Genre: Fiction, dystopian fiction
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Pages in book: 386
Stand alone or series: #1 in The Dominion Trilogy
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

A mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than 1 percent. Medical science and governments around the world scramble in an effort to solve the problem, but twenty-five years later there is no cure, and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women.
Zoey and some of the surviving young women are housed in a scientific research compound dedicated to determining the cause. For two decades, she’s been isolated from her family, treated as a test subject, and locked away—told only that the virus has wiped out the rest of the world’s population.
Captivity is the only life Zoey has ever known, and escaping her heavily armed captors is no easy task, but she’s determined to leave before she is subjected to the next round of tests…a program that no other woman has ever returned from. Even if she’s successful, Zoey has no idea what she’ll encounter in the strange new world beyond the facility’s walls. Winning her freedom will take brutality she never imagined she possessed, as well as all her strength and cunning—but Zoey is ready for war.

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. Also, this book will count towards my “PopSugar 2016 Checklist” reading challenge, marking off the “a dystopian novel” box since this book is a dystopian novel. I feel like I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz about this book over the last month or so and when I saw it on NetGalley (even though I saw it the same day it was published and I’m already swamped) I requested it because the plot sounded so interesting. A dystopian novel where there are only a few women left in the world because of a virus that pretty much only lets new babies be born as boys? Sounds freaking great. And boy it was!
This book centers around Zoey. She doesn’t have a last name because she has never been told what her last name was. This was done purposefully, the staff who have raised her at the ARC are raising her to help the “greater good,” not to be her own person. Zoey is one of a handful of women left at the research facility, the rest supposedly having moved on to the “safe zone” once they graduated at 21. Zoey can feel an evil undertone to her life at the facility though and she knows that everything isn’t what it seems, and that most likely all the girls are being lied to. I don’t want to talk too much about the plot line of the book because honestly its just full of surprises and twists and suspense. I will say that Zoey ends up uncovering what’s really going on there, and she fights back to try and save herself and the other girls living at the facility.
Overall I really liked this book. The plot line was interesting and creative and suspenseful, and though there was a good amount of violence through the story it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book. Zoey is a great lead for this book, she learns how strong she is during the story and the reader really gets to see her grow into her own force. The battle scenes in this book are intense and thrilling, you’ll be on the edge of your seat. It isn’t a great comparison because the stories really aren’t that similar, but I could see this being the next Hunger Games-like craze. I am really looking forward to the next book (I’ve already pre-ordered it) which luckily comes out near my birthday!

The bottom line: I have to put a disclaimer in here that there are some pretty violent/gory scenes. In all fairness I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to that kind of stuff but still, was pretty violent for me. It definitely didn’t take away from the story line though, VERY interesting plot and just a crazy creative idea. Loved it and would definitely recommend! Can’t wait for the next one.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #60 – The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


Title: The Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Date finished: 6/20/15
Genre: Young Adult – Dystopian/Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Pages in book: 383
Stand alone or series: #1 in the Red Queen series (#2 is The Glass Sword and will be released 2/9/16!!!!!)
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood–those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.
To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard–a growing Red rebellion–even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

My rating: 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “a book with a color in the title” check box since (duh) the title has a color in it. Obviously I’ve heard a lot about this book in the past couple months. This book rocketed up the popularity scale even before it was released, and there are even talks  right now to make it into a movie (Elizabeth Banks is rumored to be looking into producing the movie). With all of the recent dystopian young adult novels, I can understand why this book really caught on. This book tells the story of Mare Barrow, a Red who is sick to death of the Silver’s power. As a slight background, the Reds are the workers, the servants, the slaves and what not. The Silvers are the royalty and the important people, and their blood is actually Silvers. Oh and Silvers have powers. Like telekinesis and making plants grow and water nymphs and stuff like that.
So it turns out that Mare has powers as well. Even though she’s a Red, she can control electricity and can create it too. When the king finds out about this, he convinces Mare to portray to the population that she is a long lost Silver princess who was raised in a Red household. There is a rebellion rising up in the streets though, the Scarlet Guard, and they have a plot to over take the government. The population of Reds of tired of spending their whole lives working so hard to never get ahead and to watch their children and their children’s children toil away their lives in the same manner.
Overall I thought this book was very good. There was enough action to keep you consistently interested and there were enough plot twists to keep you on your toes. The main character (Mare) reminds me a lot of Katniss from Hunger Games. Mare is a very strong character and sometimes overly headstrong and a little tom-boy-ish. It was a solid book but it wasn’t my favorite book ever. Good story line though, I was interested throughout and honestly I didn’t want to put it down.
The bottom line: This was a very good book and I can see why it has gained a lot of popularity since it was released. I would definitely recommend that people give this book a try. It might not be for everyone but I thought it was great.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page