Review: Gamers (Thomas Carpenter)

Gamers
Thomas Carpenter


Product Details: 
Genre: YA (Sci-Fi)
Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (June 13, 2011)
ISBN: 1461174716
Source: An ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

GamersTwo points for brushing your teeth. Ten points for keeping your room tidy. Seventy-two points for the Bioeconomic Game Design pop quiz on the ride to school in your personal FunCar. Another thirty for making every hurdle in gym class. Life is a game, unless you're not the one winning. When Gabby DeCorte, top student and reality-hacker extraordinaire, learns the truth about LifeGame, she must choose between winning and what she believes in.

This synopsis from Amazon does NOTHING for the book. Nothing. About 30 pages in to the book I realized I was reading something that reminded me of Scott Westerfield's Pretties series. I don't mean the story sounded familiar (because it didn't), but the creepy "Big-Brother-is-out-to-get-you" aspect felt similar-- which is a good thing.

The idea of LifeGame is like a job placement test for aspiring University students. The highest scorers get the best jobs, while the others get lesser jobs. Except that's a complete lie. The winners do get top jobs, but the losers disappear forever. It's not certain whether or not they get killed or moved to some top secret facility, but they definitely disappear for good. Gabby didn't realize any of this was occurring until she meets a group of refugees/outcasts called Frags. This odd group of misfits teach her the truth about her altered reality, and the truth is haunting.

The majority of this book is fast paced action. It starts off with a nice world building aspect so you can understand LifeGame and Gabby, but then it quickly gets to the heart of the plot. I was engrossed with the story line. The characters felt a little flat, with the exception of Gabby. You could tell she was conflicted about her choices and current situation. But since so much of the book was built around this team aspect, I would have liked to have known the others more. Especially Mouse and the Frags. Of course, I have a feeling that I will get that opportunity in the next book.

One of my complaints with the book (and sci-fi in general) is some of the invented terminology. I still have no idea what "debuff" means. When I thought I had it figured out, I would see the word used in a different context that threw me for a loop. Of course, that's pretty minor in the grand scheme of a novel. There was also one scene with one of Gabby's dreams that seemed to pop out of nowhere. Again, this was probably just me. I read this book pretty late at night when my eyes wanted to close, but I refused to cooperate because I wanted to finish the book.

If you're a fan of science fiction, you'll love this book. Especially if you like Scott Westerfield's Pretties series. If you're like me, and not a big fan of sci-fi (but you liked the Pretties), then you will also like this book. The action keeps the story alive and makes it hard to put down. Plus, the concept behind life being a live or die game is highly original, which makes the book all that much better. 

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Blog Hop and Follow Friday (23)

Book Blogger Hop




The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted over at Crazy for Books. This week's question is: What’s the ONE GENRE that you wish you could get into, but just can’t?

Science Fiction! I have tried and tried to "get into" this genre, but I can't. I've even read some awesome books that give me hope, but the genre as a whole still falls short for me. I thinks it's my aversion to science related things that presents such a  problem. I am more of a fantasy person. 






Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop meme hosted by Parajunkee's View. This week's feature is Alison Can Read, and the question is: Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?


To only list three is so hard! I'm thinking off all my favorite authors over the years, so I'm going to throw them out there. 
1. Laurie Halse Anderson
2. Toni Morrison
3. The Bronte sisters


It seems I have a thing for female writers... hmm... I swear that was totally unintentional. If you asked me about favorite poets, I had a ton of males to add to the list! =)


Mini-Review: Cloudy with a Chance of Boys (Megan McDonald)

Cloudy with a Chance of Boys
Megan McDonald

Product Details:
Reading Level: Middle Grades (9-12)
Pages: 272
Publisher: Candlewick (March 8, 2011)
ISBN: 1763646156
Source: ARC from publisher in exchange for an honest review


The Sisters Club: Cloudy with a Chance of BoysAs the middle sister in a family with three girls, Stevie Reel doesn’t know much about boys, and that’s always been just fine with her. But lately, things have been changing: kids at school are starting to pair up, and Owen, the new boy in her Earth Science class, seems to have his sights set on Stevie. The trouble is, Stevie doesn’t want a boyfriend- she’s not even sure she’s ready to have a boy friend. And her sisters, who know exactly where they stand on the issue of boys, are no help: drama queen Alex is busy trying to orchestrate a perfect, Romeo-and-Juliet-style first kiss from her heartthrob, Scott Towel (er, Howell), while Joey can’t understand why anyone would like a boy better than a frog anyway. If only figuring out boys were as easy as predicting the weather!

If I had to limit my review to one word, I would say this book is "cute." It didn't do a whole lot for me, but it was still an enjoyable read. Obviously, I am way out of the intended target group to find much in common with this book, but I can see why my students held it hostage for so long. I haven't been able to read it until now because it was constantly going missing off the book shelf.

Basically, you have three very chumming sisters who wish for something "amazing" to happen on a stormy night. Since the ages vary, the "amazing" thing also varies for each sister. I loved how the youngest sister, Joey, was disgusted by boys. Her wish was to see a rare blue tree frog. Stevie, the middle sister doesn't have a clear idea of what she wants, so she just wants something new and exciting. She doesn't count on that including a new boy that has a crush on her. Alex, the oldest, is already interested in boys and wants to get her first kiss. You can guess what her wish is.

It was pretty straight forward and predictable. I liked the little sketches added in by Joey. They were a funny addition. I also liked the fortune telling sock monkey. Those conversations were pretty funny-- perfect for a tween's sense of humor.

This book fits in well with a 10-12 year old girl's reading. I know for a fact that this particular age group loves this book. I've witnessed that first hand. It was a good, clean book. Two simple (and hilarious) kiss scenes are about as "trashy" as you'll find.


Mythological Mondays (9)


Mythological Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Bonnie at A Backwards Story. MM highlights all things myth related.


FuryFor Mythological Monday this week I decided to readdress one of my earlier posts. This week I'm going to highlight Fury by Elizabeth Miles. Originally, I speculated that this book would feature the Furies from Greek mythology. At that time I hadn't read the book, but I was dead on. There is a definite Greek myth element at play.

These Furies are a little different than the traditional Furies you may have read about. The main Fury, the one calling all the shots... that's her on the cover. Totally gorgeous, right? What happened to the hag element? It is not here, that's for sure. These girls are total babes. Which makes sense, because they tend to hunt down their prey and lead them to certain doom. Kind of hard to do that if you're crying blood and look like walking death.

The myth feature doesn't end with the Furies. There is also a brief mention of Persephone towards the end. You know, the whole swallowing pomegranate seeds and all. Except that they weren't pomegranate seeds really. And the chick that swallows the seeds never actually descends into the Underworld per se. I never read about Hades either. It really felt out of place, but the concept made sense at the time.

I featured a more in depth review last week, if you're interested.

Otherwise, if you want to read (yet another) Greek myth inspired book, check this one out. The story is original, but the Furies are a borrowed feature.

In My Mailbox (15)

 In My Mailbox is hosted each week by The Story Siren. IMM is a great way to highlight all things bookish. What did you get this week in your mailbox?


I had a great week! Check out what I got...

For Review: (from the author)


Port of Errors (Born of Tyranny)
Born of Tyranny: Port of Errors by Steve Cypert



Port of Errors is a pirate adventure of historical fiction set in the late seventeenth century in the Eastern Atlantic. Davy and Joseph grew up together in an orphanage where they became best of friends. But, when the orphanage was burnt down they were separated from one another, each following a separate course in life. Davy turned to lawlessness, becoming Black-Hearted, a ruthless pirate. Joseph pursued a life in the English Royal Navy, becoming Daniel Stirvin, a courageous captain determined to rid the waters of such pirates as Black-Hearted. Finally coming together for an epic battle, they each realize the others identity. Now committed to their separate causes and backed by their men, they are unable to back down and in the end only one man will stand. This is a bitter, yet uplifting tale of two friends, as close as brothers whose lives are followed closely to the end. You will come to love each character and discover new ones, like Scurvy Shaw, a clever and underhanded pirate; Darcy Wenham, a wealthy business man; and Isabel Shaw, a woman who captures Black-Hearted's eye. With new and exciting fictional and historical locations, this is an epic journey of adventure, love, war and betrayal.

The Probability of Miracles
The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder.
Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.


Gifted books from the amazing Amelia at Imagination in Focus
SirenzSkyship Academy: The Pearl Wars



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