Jan 30, 2010

2010 Dystopian Challenge


Get your Dystopian Fiction Reading on!

Time Constraints:
Jan 1 2010 to Aug 24 2010

Deets:
1. Open to everyone (if you do not have a blog, just
state in the comments section that you read the book and on what date)

2. Any book format

3. Books can be chosen throughout the year,
but must have been read within the timeline.

4.Sign-up
5.Post your reviews in the comments area

6.Three Levels:
•Level 1 - Experimental - 5 books
•Level 2 - Addict - 10 books
•Level 3 - Junkee - 20 books


Does anyone even need to ask what level I am joining on??
20 books by August should be a breeze. (Did I just go and jinx myself?)

1. A Wrinkle in Time (completed)
2. Lost Bullet (completed)
3. Off the Road (audio) (completed)
4. The City of Gold and Lead (2nd in Tripod series) (completed)
5. Cherry Heaven (currently reading)
6. Candor (soon to read)
7. Genesis (out from library)
8. 1984 (soon to read, out from library, book club pick, audio)
9. Fahrenheit 451
10. Parable of the Sower
11. The Iron Heel
12.

This list is subject to change but I wanted to put something tentative up there.

The Declaration by Gemma Malley

In a world where people are so obsessed with immortality new inhabitants are banned from creation. Children are not allowed to be born for fear of overpopulation.
The title comes from the piece of paper 16 year old signed when the population laws first came about. At 16 a teen much decide if they want to sign the declaration and agree never to have children. Once it is signed the declaration cannot be reversed.

Years later, people regret their decision and begin having children in secret. If they are found these children, classified as surplus, are put into a sort of orphanage or servant training camp where any sense of entitlement to life is beat out of them.

This world has a rigid class system based, in part, on the population laws. The rich are served by the children who unlawfully exist but are given the privilege of life through their submission and servitude to the rich. The are trained not to ask questions and not to think for themselves.

The lives of adults are indefinitely extended and the result is a stagnant world without youth to infuse new ideas. The underlying effectiveness of this provides the government with pure control.
This series is like a grown up version of the Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix with more violence and intense themes.

Gemma Malley has a great website about the book. I found the following question and answer there.


Lots of things inspired me to write The Declaration, but the most important one was an article I read in a newspaper, which was about how scientific breakthroughs meant that within a few years, we could all be living much longer, and about a scientist who said it was the moral duty of the scientific community to do everything it could to extend the life span of humans — perhaps indefinitely. And as I read this article, I began to think that if everyone lived forever, or even for a very long time, there wouldn't be any room on the earth for us all before too long. And then I wondered if, maybe, if everyone lived forever, people would have to stop having children. That seemed to me the most appalling and horrific idea, and as soon as I'd had it, the idea of Anna came to me. Actually, she didn't just come to me as an idea —she had soon moved into my head full time and wouldn't let me rest until the book had been written.
The Declaration is the first book in the series followed by The Resistance which I hope to read soon. Gemma Malley's writing is interesting and engaging. Her world is so well thought out. Reading this book really brought me to think about things in different ways. There is so much complexity in this world you really just need to experience it for yourself. Please let me know if you have read this book. I would love to know what you think about it.

Jan 28, 2010

Hush, Hush

So, this is how it goes. I read Hush, Hush for two reasons:

  1. Because Chelsea wanted me too.

  2. Because it was listed on the Cybils long list for science fiction and fantasy.

I am going to say up front that I liked the book. Are you listening? I LIKED THE BOOK. But....that doesn't mean I only have positive things to say about it.

Patch, we can infer, is some sort of wingless angel. We met him through the eyes of Nora Grey. She is always telling us what a bad boy he is and how dangerous he can be. But he never ACTUALLY does anything dangerous besides throw pouty looks around. Well, the books says it another way, but you get the idea.

Hush, Hush falls victim to the age old writing rule. Becca Fitzpatrick tells us Patch is a bad boy, tells us Nora's reaction to him, but doesn't show us very much in the text on the page. Just because a boy struts around, acts mysterious, wears "bad boy" clothing and smiles when he talks he is not automatically a bad boy. Also, Patch is not a macho name. Patch is Robin Williams wrapped in a fluffy quilt.

What the author does do is write and plot an engaging story and excels at moving the story forward with good and witty dialogue. This book is a crowd pleaser with a unique plot. The story unfolds in an unpredictable way. it shows a female character who can be strong, but still does fall prey to stupid decisions. the romantic elements clearly overwhelm most of the book, but it was nice to have unexpected content underneath.

Also Hush, Hush has a rocking cover.

Should you read this book? Yes.
Will you be impressed with the writing? I don't think so.

Care to prove me wrong?

Library Loot - January Week 4


Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr.Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Checked Out
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
The Waters and the Wild by Francesca Lia Block
Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction

Renewed
1984 by George Orwell
1984 by George Orwell (audio)

Returned
The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
Flight of the Pheonix by R.L. LaFevers
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

PoC Challenge

I was thrilled when this challenge was announced and it is going to be exciting to take part of.




I am joining on Level 3.

For this challenge all you need to do is grab the button from the side bar and add it to a post saying you are committed to reading POC authors and characters in this coming year. You do not have to pick your books now but you have to sign up to a level of how many you will read. Leave a comment to your post stating how many books you will read this year and tada automagically you are done.

Level 1: Read 1-3 POC books
Level 2. Read 4-6 POC books
Level 3. Read 7-9 POC books
Level 4. Read 10-15 POC books
Level 5. Read 16-25 POC books

Please consider joining this challenge!!
1. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (currently reading)

How Will We Age In The Future?

As a society we are obsessed by many things; two of them being immortality and youth. We want a legacy, a way to leave our mark on the world, so that even if our bodies can't live forever then possibly our names will. We are also obsessed with looking "ten years younger." Sorry, but appearing to be 18 doesn't really appeal to me. We firm, tighten, iron, color, and camouflage. If people assume we are younger we are flattered, if they assume we are older we're insulted. Youth are not taken seriously but our obsession with appearing youthful is a noble pursuit. Instead of being encouraged to enjoy our life at whatever age we happen to be living it, we are told to grow up or stop being an old fogie. We are given a 10-20 year span of optimal living experiences when society has accepted one as old enough to be mature yet young enough to avoid senility. Wisdom is underrated unless it is perfectly paired with beauty.

And if you are nodding your head trying to agree with me, think about all the things you do to mask your age. Whether we are trying to look older or younger everyone seems primarily interested in concealing something about themselves.

So, the question is, if you could live forever, would you?

It is easy for me to have little desire for this initially. But I start becoming seduced by a life long enough to read all the books I want and learn all the things that interest me. But, if I did in fact have more time to accomplish all this would I just squander it? When you have all the time in the world, that makes this moment count?
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