Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The End Is Here: YA Finale Wrap-Ups

"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds."
--Gennifer Albin, Unraveled

Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux
Pages: 304
Publication Date: October 7th, 2014
Source: Borrowed from library
Previous Books in Series: Crewel & Altered
Goodreads Description

Autonomous. Independent. Dangerous. They tried to control her. Now she’ll destroy them.

Things have changed behind the walls of the Coventry and new threats lurk in its twisted corridors. When Adelice returns to Arras, she quickly learns that something rotten has taken hold of the world and Cormac Patton needs her to help him reestablish order. However, peace comes at a terrible price. As the Guild manipulates the citizens of Arras, Adelice discovers that she’s not alone, and she must let go of her past to fight for mankind’s future. She will have to choose between an unimaginable alliance and a deadly war that could destroy everyone she loves.

I have been anticipating Unraveled since I read Crewel years ago. Crewel was a top ten favorite book of that year and I still love it. The world building of Genn Albin’s sci-fi society is killer with vivid imagery. I had such high hopes for this series finale because I LOVE this series so much and I was moderately disappointed. Why? The pacing. The book spent WAY too long back at the spire with little to no plot progression and then the last third of the book was on warp speed to finish and tie up loose ends. Adelice regressed in her badass status to me in that she was back to being who she was in the first book, stuck in an ivory tower with no way to fight. I understand her impossible situation but I felt like the story would have benefited from more rebel involvement earlier on. We see very little of this crewel, crewel world outside of Adelice’s golden cage. And this is just a personal gripe, so little romance. C’mon!! The last book had a HUGE turnaround of Adelice’s feelings and we see hardly anything of the two of them together! The ending felt choppy and while the very end was a head tilter and I saw was Albin was trying to do, I feel like the significance was lost on a lot of readers because the foundation for what happens isn’t built. There is ONE line that I know can be used as a foreshadowing but that’s it. Ugh, I just felt for a world so beautifully constructed in the first book, this fell flat…no pun intended. I liked it and it was a quick read, but I wanted so much more than what I was given.
Standing in Line Outside 

"I agree with you. Now let’s put on our big-girl panties and go convince Mr. Always Right that he’s seriously wrong."
--Gena Showalter, The Queen of Zombie Hearts

Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 464
Publication Date: September 30th, 2014
Source: Borrowed from library
Previous Books in Series: Alice in Zombieland & Through The Zombie Glass
Goodreads Description

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

This is my BFF Betty’s absolute favorite series and she is not wrong when recommending it. This series is fun, sexy, snarky, and all things kickass. The finale to this series dose not disappoint. The action is intense and non-stop, the revelations are shocking, the Cole is hot, and the Ali remains kickass. What I really like is that while action is a major component of this book it never felt rushed nor did the character development lack. My biggest pet peeve with final books is the misinterpretation that it has to be a sprint to the finish line to answer all our previously unanswered questions. This book has a solid plot and works towards a conclusion without leaving us with more questions. While the action is awesome, what kept me reading was the characters. Ali, Cole, Frosty, Kat, Reeve, Bronx, and Mr Holland and Mr Ank are just my favorites. I loved seeing the relationships continue and grow and while everything concludes in a concise way, I would not be disappointed to read a book focusing on Reeve and Bronx. ESPECIALLY Bronx. That badass mother fucker who rarely speaks. Rawr. Sign me up. Keep Cole, Betty. I call Bronx. My only disappointment was the dialogue. While this would seem to be a huge detriment to the book it didn’t change my overall thoughts except I eye-rolled A LOT when Ali was talking, especially to Kat. It was over-the-top confidence about kicking ass and just didn’t feel realistic or how teenagers speak. It felt like the dialogue was written by a ‘cool’ mom trying to fit in with the in crowd. Didn’t work for me at all. But overall, fabulous conclusion to a kickass series…and I don’t do zombies.

Reserved Seating

"Insanity is the most pristine clarity…Let lunacy in. 
Let it be your guide."
--A.G. Howard, Ensnared

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Abrams
Pages: 416
Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
Source: Borrowed from library
Previous Books in Series: Splintered & Unhinged
Goodreads Description

After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She’s determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles . . . and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world—-a parallel dimension filled with mutated and sadistic netherling outcasts.

In the final installment of the Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that’s gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But even if everyone succeeds and comes out alive, can they all truly have their happily ever after?
A.G. Howard’s Wonderland is honestly a masterpiece of descriptive writing. Splintered is a fan-freaking-tastic book and while Unhinged fell a little flat for me, Ensnared brought us back down the rabbit hole. It is going to be really hard not to reveal anything of the plot so I won’t. I will tell you that we are back at home with vivid imagery and imaginative worlds. I cannot say enough about how this world come to life right before your eyes. The plot progression was consistent and I felt like the pacing was right on. We have a conflict that coincides with the previous books and all craziness of the Wonderland variety ensues. I loved how our characters stayed true to themselves and worked through their problems. And while this is definitely a positive, it turned to a negative for me on the ending. I dislike this kind of ending HOWEVER I can objectively say that how Howard sets up her characters, it makes perfect sense. A similar type of ending occurred in a different book that I so do not condone, but I will say I can see how it works for this one. The book didn’t blow me away like Splintered did but it wraps up wonderfully (see what I did there?) and fans of the series won’t be disappointed.

General Admission 

1 comment:

  1. I've only read Crewel of the novels you've included here, Kel, but you've succeeded in making me curious about the latter two series in this post! I'm not a big Alice in Wonderland girl, but I do appreciate seeing stories/films inspired by it so... may have to check them both out!


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