MandaBerry's Books

One person's thoughts on a whole lot of books

Tag Archives: YA sci-fi

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking #1)


Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Bookshelf: Yes

How I got it: Traded at a local used book store

Full review when you click me


Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

from the back of the book

Everything is different.

Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma – so she’s been told – and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She’s been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won’t anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might find out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions.

What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she, really?

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Bookshelf: Yes

How I got it: Bought

I really enjoyed this. It’s so hard to find really excellent YA sci-fi, and this is definitely a good example. I’m so tired of the main story in YA sci-fi focusing on the relationship angle. I understand it’s geared towards teens, and for a lot of them, relationships are a big deal, but you have to give them some credit. Some of them want more from their books, surely? I see Twilight still flying off the shelves, so maybe not…..anyway. I loved this. Really. The plot kept me guessing, and I wasn’t able to figure things out in advance of the pacing, which is always a good thing. I haven’t really read much sci-fi that focuses on medical advancements and the human body, and this definitely was a good introduction to those types of books. I guess I could more accurately describe this book as dystopian sci-fi that focuses on medicine, technology, and the parent/child relationship. If you enjoyed Unwind by Neal Shusterman, or maybe even the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, you may enjoy this.

Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

From the back of the book

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights.  The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen.  Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end.   Connor is too difficult for his parents to control.  Risa, a ward of the the state, is not talented enough to be kept alive.  And Lev is a tithe, a child conceive and raised to be unwound.  Together, they may have a chance to escape – and to survive.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Bookshelf: Definitely

How I got it: Bought

I absolutely loved this book. I’m always impressed by good YA sci-fi.  This is a great example of how YA sci-fi can overcome the limits of the YA designation.  While the characters are teenagers, the story is significant enough to keep the attention of adults.  I enjoyed the development of the characters, and I thought the author did an excellent job of using a controversial topic as the main inspiration for the plot.  The only small issue that I had was the lack of background information.  The information you have about how this society reached their current state is pretty much what is stated on the back of the book.  You don’t really get much more information than that.  It was just a little confusing, but that lack of info didn’t keep me from thoroughly enjoying this book.

I can’t really think of anything comparable so I can say “if you liked that, you’ll like this,” but if you like science fiction that concentrates more on society than science, then you may like this.  I guess a really broad if/then comparison would be if you like books like Brave New World, 1984, or Fahrenheit 451, then you may like this.  For those worried about age appropriateness, I would suggest older teen, maybe 16/17+, not so much for graphic scenes, but for the subject matter discussed. It’ll definitely depend on how sensitive you are to the plot being based on the topic of abortion.

Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld  (Uglies Series #1)

From the back of the book

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait.  In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty.  And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.  But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty.  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 a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.  Tally’s choice will change her world forever…

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Bookshelf: Yes, at least for now Not Anymore

How I got it: Bought

I thought this was just ok.  The plot sounded really interesting, and I really wanted to like this more than I actually did.  There are a few issues that I have with this book.  The main problem is that I feel like this is written specifically for the teen audience.  I know it’s a YA/teen book, but I was expecting more.  There are some books that blur the age boundaries (Harry Potter, for example), and there are some that fit nicely into the prearranged classification. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just not what I’m interested in.  I also didn’t really care for the main character.  She was just a little too whiny for my personal preference. There were a few instances where the character surprised me and rose to the challenge, but more often than not she whined.

I try to keep up with what our customers are reading, and I can see the appeal this would have for the teen reader.  The appeal, though, is pretty much specifically for teens. As far as age appropriateness, I would say this is suitable for those as young as 13/14.  There’s not really much violence, the romantic subplots are very tame, and the only thing that may be noteworthy to some parents is the discussion of who should be considered beautiful.  While I consider this to be ok, I won’t be reading the rest of the series.