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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Shatter Me Wrap-Up & February Voting! | #WednesdayYA Book Club

Alright, we're at the end of the first month's #WednesdayYA book club, and before I get into final thoughts, I just want to say that I love that so many of you like this idea and want to be involved! You guys rock, and I love chatting book with you. ^_^

Now, on to my final thoughts on Shatter Me. I talked a bit in my Instagrammin' post about how polarizing this book can be - not because of any controversial subject matter, or any of the things that would normally make people have very strong reactions for or against a book.  This one will win fans and haters in droves purely because of the writing, which (weirdly) isn't something we tend to talk too much about with most books.
 I think this is mostly because to many readers, "good" writing draws you along and makes you flip pages in a way that's unobtrusive - we know it's good because nothing sticks out as bad. Occasionally, a book will come along where people do talk about the writing as much as the plot, and that's generally when the style is strongly poetic (example: Laini Taylor); Mafi's style is also a very strong, bold statement of style, but its quasi-emo stream-of-consciousness prose is the type to either lure people in or make them absolutely loathe it, and for me, the book vacillates between these two extremes. There were times I both loved and hated the style within the same sentence. After this month's twitter chat, I know I'm not alone in this. There are people who love it, eat up every single word. And then there are people that hate it, find it the purplest thing to ever purple.
But for all the extreme reactions out there, I think there, who find themselves somewhere in the middle - thinking Shatter Me is sometimes really poetic and lovely, and sometimes overwritten to the point of being eyeroll-worthy - but it is always, always memorable. And I think that was the goal, honestly. The dystopian aspects of this book are really second fiddle, not just to the romance, but to the story itself  - to the writing, to the style. The novelty is in the telling, and not in some freshly told dystopian knockout, or unique stand-out characters.

Other thoughts?
  • Everyone in the twitter chat wanted a bit more...moreness? In general, we liked it enough to want to read book 2 (even in cases where we found ourselves not liking this all that much), but we all felt there was just something missing, at least a little bit. But that wasn't enough to keep us from being curious about the rest of the series, and all the things we've heard...
  • Liz wanted the purple jumpsuit and she pictured Warner as Dr. Horrible, so I'm not sure her opinions can be trusted...
  • Speaking of Warner, we were...intrigued by him and his potential as a character, even if we didn't really get the Team nonsense yet. I've always liked a good antihero, and Warner has the potential to both be a really good one and bring out some antihero qualities in Juliette, which I find interesting. For now, I remain on the fence about both Warner and Adam, and vaguely eye-rolly about the fact that, well... spoilers, I guess, but I'm curious to see how the dynamics between the three of them unfold.
    Also, I've heard it gets quite smexy.
  • Where are all the ladehs? I know that for all intents, there are really only 3 characters in 98% of this book. But a few of us during the chat questioned where the women are in this world...
  • One last point, about the character of Juliette: I want to see her a little more insanse, honestly. She's been in isolation for nearly a year, which is itself enough to make a person go literally crazy, but on top of that, she's never had any affection. She's never gotten to know human touch. I feel like this should manifest itself more in the present. And though I like how eager for touch and sex she is, I also feel like there should be some hesitancy, even some contradiction. She should hunger for it, for human connection, but also be a bit freaked out by it, I think. Eh, I dunno, just thoughts I had while reading...
And that was Shatter Me. If you've read it or ended up reading it for WYA, please let me know what you think in the comments! I feel like this one provides a lot of opportunities for discussion, so I'm curious to know what you guys felt while reading this, and/or after you'd processed a bit. 

And now that shiny Shatter Me is a thing of WYA past, it's up to YOU to decide what we read for February's #WednesdayYA! 

Liz and I were feeling some fantasy, so here are 3 fantastical picks (and we've heard good things about every last one!); check 'em out and then cast your vote for February's book club pick!

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In the good old days, magic was indispensable. But now magic is fading: Drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam—and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic.

SISTERS RED by Jackson Pearce
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Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

UNSPOKEN by Sarah Rees Brennan
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Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

Poll is closed, winner will be announced in the February #WednesdayYA intro post

Cast your vote and then make sure to come back next week when the winner is announced and we begin another month of #WednesdayYA!

1 comment:

Tell me all your thoughts.
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