Month: January 2015

TCWT January: So veeeerrrryyyy late.

First off, major apologies for this being so late.

I forgot to pre-write and schedule this post last week since I was going to be out of town the actual day.

This month’s prompt is a fun one in which we can praise writers for what they do best, and condemn all else… Mwahahahaha…

The prompt was “What do you think is commonly done well in literature? Done poorly?”

Done Well

To start off, I will list what i think is done fairly well in literature.

First person: There is a complete first person rage going around these days. You can pick up almost any YA book and, oh look, another first person. However, it is done well by most writers who choose to use it. The only books I couldn’t get into when that were first person are Kidnapped (Sorry Erin! It’s just not as gripping as Treasure Island), Robinson Crusoe, Perelandra, To Kill a Mockingbird (not to be confused with Catching Fire or Mockingjay), and Code Name Verity (I don’t know if this was because of how the first person was, or the over all story, but it was one I managed to finish, but I don’t think i’ll read it again).

Good First Person Books I’d recommend

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

and I’ll end with If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Female MCs/Heroines: Sometimes they are cheesy, sometimes dramatic damsels, but over all I find a lot of very good female heroes in literature.

Annabeth in Percy Jackson, Tris and Christina (I personally like Christina more then Tris, she seems more real) from Divergent, Attolia and Eddis in The Queen’s Thief Series  by Magen Whalen Turner, and Hazel Grace from The Fault in Our Stars.

All those heroines share at least one trait with myself, or people I know. This makes them seem very real to me, and so I like them and deem them well written.

What is Not Done Well OR Needs To Be Done More Often

Yeah, okay, i’m expanding that question a bit.

First Person Character Descriptions: Mirrors. Stop with the FMC looking in a mirror. I didn’t realize how often it was done until i read Matched. Figure out some other way to introduce the appearance of you MC if you are writing in first person.

More Boy MCs: I’m sorry, but for the past two years nearly every book I’ve read is in first person from the POV of an FMC. I ahve not found any good books since Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, and The Queen’s Thief series that revolves around a boy. Even the male authors are writing stories about an FMC! I recently read Looking for Alaska, which is a romance written from the boy’s POV, but I don’t count romance. I want another good adventure novel that has a boy riding off into battle, or a quest of some kind.

And no, this is not because I like day dreaming about a prince in shining armor, or think i need more fictional characters to fall in love with. It is simply because A) boys need books to! Not all of them read scifi or comic books. I want my little brother to grow up and have a smorgasbord of YA Boy novels to choose from. B) It’s almost as sexist as having no girl MCs to have over a thousand FMCs and very few boys. And C) I honestly like boy adventures and characters more.

Sword Fights: C.S. Lewis skipped over that in most of the Chronicles of Narnia, Tolkien knocked out Bilbo in the Hobbit, I can’t remember the battles in LOTR very well because they were so long and I wanted to get to Frodo and Sam…  and I haven’t been able to find a good fantasy novel in a while that had a nice classic sword fight.

Third person: More and better done third person. It seems to be a dying art these days, and the few I’ve found are rarely catching, especially the fantasy. There are some good ones, yes, but I feel those are mostly in juvenile fiction. It is incredibly humiliating to have to go across the library to where all the middle school kids are and get strange looks just to find a good Third Person fantasy book

The Only Book Series That Does Everything (minus the First person thing, these are Third Person) I’ve Listed As Done Poorly/nonexistent is Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan. A must read!

And that’s all I’ve got.

So let me know in the comments below what you like or don’t like in books.

And if you know of a good YA fantasy novel with a boy MC, and an epic adventure, and lots of sword fights, please let me know what it is called and where I can find such magnificence!

Oh and, check out the other posts for this prompt!

5thhttp://whileishouldbedoingprecal.weebly.com/

6thhttp://jasperlindell.blogspot.com/

7thhttps://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/ and http://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/ 

8thhttp://miriamjoywrites.com/

9thhttps://ramblingsofaravis.wordpress.com/

10thhttp://semilegacy.blogspot.com/

11thhttp://kirabudge.weebly.com/

12thhttp://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/

13thhttp://maralaurey.wordpress.com/

14thhttp://dynamicramblings.wordpress.com/

15thhttp://theedfiles.blogspot.com/

16thhttps://horsfeathersblog.wordpress.com/  

17thhttp://www.juliathewritergirl.com/

18thhttp://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/

19thhttps://gallopingfree.wordpress.com/

20thhttp://www.alwaysopinionatedgirl.wordpress.com/

21sthttps://deborahrocheleau.wordpress.com/

22ndhttps://irisbloomsblog.wordpress.com/ (you are here… and I am late. Sorry) 

23rdhttps://clockworkdesires.wordpress.com/

24thhttps://introspectioncreative.wordpress.com/

25thhttp://wanderinginablur.blogspot.com/

26thhttps://anotefromthenerd.wordpress.com/

27thhttp://randommorbidinsanity.blogspot.com

28thhttp://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

29th – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)

Advertisements

Faithful Friday: I March

I march so that I know,

No one will ever be alone.

God has a plan for every soul,

Even those not fully grown.

Every heart has a right to beat,

And every child has a right to be.

So why do you fight Nature’s law,

You know the truth as well as I.

An unborn child is human as they come,

This is a truth nobody can deny.

Every heart has  a right to beat,

And every child has a right to be.

A person’s a person,

No matter how small,

Even before we can walk,

Or before we can crawl.

Every heart has  aright to beat,

Every child has a right to be.

Fear is no excuse,

To throw away a life,

To prevent God’s grace from coming,

To destroy it with a knife.

Every heart has a right to beat,

Every child has a right to be.

I march to give voice for the voiceless,

I march to reveal God’s light.

I March because I love children,

and I March to defend babies’ right.

I March for their Right to Life.

********

Sorry this is late. I was kind of in DC defending the unborn for the past three days. 🙂

I am the pro-Life Generation!

I Got an Award!

Wahoo! I’ve been nominated by proverbs31teen for the Liebster Award!

The Rules are as follows.

  1. Post the award on your blog.
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog.
  3. Write 11 facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and have less than 200 followers.
  5. Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

Thanks proverbs31teen!

11 Facts

  1. “I hate pears,” is my favorite Doctor Who line.
  2. I love pears, so note the irony.
  3. I love running.
  4. Do not approach me about chores or work or jobs until I have eaten my breakfast.
  5. I love the number 5 and its multiples.
  6. I learned basic arithmetic by turning addition and multiplication into a drama story. I learned subtraction and division by learning addition and multiplication as quickly as possible.
  7. I have no money.
  8. I am a cadet in Civil Air Patrol.
  9. I am happiest at my CAP meetings/events.
  10. Never tell me I can’t do something.
  11. If you tell me I can’t do something, I will take it as a challenge.

And now the questions!

1.Do you wanna build a snowman? Yes please! 🙂

2. What is the craziest thing you’ve done during a game of hide-and-seek? Umm… lately i played a game of hide-and-seek-in-the-dark, and i hid behind an exersise bike. No one found me. 🙂

3. How many books do you have? 405. I counted. Okay, so technically i counted each shelf/pile and then used my calculater.

4. Writers, what’s the most useful piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten? Skip to what ever part you are really psyched for and feel like writing at that moment.

5. Favorite type of fanfiction? Any that involves something awesome/tragic/romantic happening to my fav characters. I’ll read crossover sometimes, and am a big fan of AU. I only approve of certain pairings though, and avoid any stories that have conflicting pairs.

6. Which Avenger are you most like? (From the movie, not comic books) ooohhh.. tricky… i think I’m most like Stark in that i can be arrogant and sarcastic in the extreme, and I also perfer matter over mind and action over waiting. But I’m also like Natasha in that people underestimate me, and I have somethings I’d rather forget.

7. Favorite Stan Lee cameo? Oh! Either Thor or Avengers.

8. Favorite writing resource? The classics.

9. Do you have trouble staying organized? nope. well… except for my clothes… my clothes refuse to stay organized.

10. Favorite school subject? Mathmatics. Especially algebra and all that math people complain has no use in real life.

11. Favorite food/food combination others don’t like? Applesauce and bacon. You dip the bacon in warm applesauce, especially strawberry appplesauce… yummm… 🙂

Now my questions for the nominees.

1. Who is you favorite pop singer, if you have one?

2. blue or pink?

3. Are you excited for Sherlock Christmas Special?

4. bananas or pears?

5. Grammar nazi are you?

6. Are you a bond fan?

7. Are you sick of Christmas Carols yet?

8. Short stories or novels?

9. What is your favorite alien launguage (elvish, dwarvish and black speech does not count!)?

10. Are you more  a dancer or a singer?

11. Will J.J. Abrams ruin Star Wars?

Ummm I can only think of two people to nominate, because proverbs31teen nominated everyone else I wanted too, and I try to avoid re-awarding people when ic an, as well tagging back.

Anyoen who i didn’t nominate, feel free to answer the questions anyway!

Erinkenobi 

Robyn Hoode

Have fun. 😉

Faithful Friday: Faith = Work

Belief.

Inner faith.

Motivation.

What do all these things have in common?

Well, they require work. Not anything physical, but focused mental determination.

Yes, this is supposed to be a Faithful Friday post.

Unfortunately for me, I can’t figure out what to say… while I’ve tried to keep god at least in my thoughts through the week, I haven’t come across any deep meditation  to share.

In fact, the number one thing on my mind at the moment is passing a fitness test tomorrow, and completing college application, and scheduling campus visits.

But there is one thing I can share.

Mental determination.

So many things people try to accomplish end up failing because they lack the willpower, the faith, to succeed.

That’s why I failed my last PT test.

That’s why I have to all but tie myself to a share to do math and science during the winter.

I know the school work and test are important, and I feel good when I do them.

But even though I know it makes me feel bad and unproductive when I skip my daily workout, or my school work, I can’t seem to summon enough strength to get them done.

All week I have tried and tried to do any kind of school work.

Even Shakespeare could not grab my focus.

I just felt tense like I had to much energy to burn off so that I couldn’t concentrate.

This lack of willpower also applies to faith.

How often do you say, “oh, I talk to God,  we’re real close,” but still dread sitting in Church for an hour each week, or can’t bear to get up that extra five minutes early so you can say Good Morning to the Lord?

I know I especially struggle with finding time to say Hi to God each week.

I’ll know I should, and I’ll have nothing of any importance to do at a particular moment, but then I find something to waste my tiem on, such as the wii or TV.

Just this afternoon, I had a whole 45 minutes between the end of one show, and the start of another that I had nothing good to watch or do. So I sat in front of the TV and watched a Star Trek episode I’d already missed most of until something came along to do.

I could have spent that time praying a rosary, or reading the bible.

I could even have been typing this post up so that I could spend these last minutes before bed saying good night to God, or reading one of the several religious books I have yet to finish.

This all boils down to self motivation.

Self motivation is the key to the universe.

You can make all the schedules and use all the time management tricks in the world, but you need self motivation to actually stick to any of them.

And where does our ultimate motivation come from? or should come from?

God.

His inspiration is the light of all things good, and even though we struggle to follow it some weeks,  he will ultimately help us.

So summary?

Don’t let frustration cloud your mind, even when you can’t find the strength to do what ever needs to be done.

Ask God to help you.

Then just do it.

Sometimes you may not enjoy it, but you just have to do it.

I love math, but there are days it seems slow, or unengaging to me.

Those are the days I need to do it all the more.

Some Sundays we may loath giving up our morning to go sit in a church, but those are the Sundays we must at all costs give up.

If there’s one thing I trust God to do, it’s to take something I have been absolutely dreading, or believe with every fiber of my being I will despise being at or participating in, and give me just one small thing that I can say I enjoyed about it.

Faith does not come easy to anyone.

It takes constant work.

But the rewards are always worth it.

Question of the Day

Is it better to make one new friend in a room full of people you don’t know, and rely on them to introduce you to their friends, or should you strut through the door all I’M HERE AT LAST!!! like and just randomly walk up to people?

If you previously knew any one in the room, but weren’t (and still aren’t) exactly friends with them, how would that impact your introduction style?

‘Cause let me tell you, I’ve stuck with one style most of my life, and it never seems to work, especially if I have any previous acquaintances in the room (I used to be all I’M HERE, then Pitch slipped into my room one night several years ago and tried to make me some kind of accomplice/sidekick and sucked away all my bravado).

*groans to self* Why of all people in the world who’s fathers have similar jobs am I the only one who has to move back and forth between the SAME TWO PLACES rather then to a new and exotic location every time?

It makes making friends so much easier if you don’t have to worry about any past impressions, and can just be a brand new stranger every time, totally in charge of your own image.

Agree or Disagree?

Movies Lines Answers!!!!

Here are the answers for the Movie Lines quiz from yesterday!

I hope you all played fair, and didn’t look them up early… 😉

1. Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride, said to Westley shortly after leaving Miracle Max

2. Brody, Jaws, during the Shark hunt.

3. Mike Wazowski, Monsters Inc. In regard to Mr. Waternoose confessing about kidnapping children.

4. Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

5. Luke Skywalker, Star Wars a New Hope. In regard to the bridge controls he just shot.

6. Kevin McCallister, Home Alone.

7. Kristoff, Frozen

8. Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story.

9. Sherlock, Sherlock A Study in Pink.

10. Eleventh Doctor, Doctor Who.

Hope you had fun!

Is this something I should do again?

Movie Lines!!!

Most Underrated Movie (and TV) Line Quiz!

Let me tell you, I had a bit of trouble coming up with these, but it was fun. 🙂

Can you name the movies and TV shows from whence I pull these ten epic, but most likely over looked, lines?

1.  “Let me explain. No, there is to much, let me sum up.”

2. “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”

3. “I don’t know about you guys, but I spotted several big mistakes. ”

4. “Where’s the monkey, I need to shoot something!”

5. “… I think I just blasted it.”

6. “I made my family disappear.”

7. “All men do it.”

8. “Sheriff, this is no time to panic.”

9. “That’s clever. Is it clever? Why is it clever?”

10. “Come on Rory, it isn’t Rocket Science, just Quantum Physics!”

Now be, fair, and don’t google the answers please!

Have fun!

The name of the movies/shows and the characters who said the liens will be posted tomorrow afternoon, or there abouts. 🙂

Faithful Fridays: Epiphany

Late for my first FF post… not an auspicious start.

This week we celebrated Epiphany, when the three kings visited baby Jesus.

One of that things in the story of the three kings that struck me most, and in fact strikes me in almost every other childhood story of Jesus, is this line.

“And she [Mary] kept all these things in her heart.”

It always makes me think about why she kept them.

Did she know someday she would look back on this occasion, and need to remember? Why did it touch her deeply enough that she kept it in her heart?

Rather then come up with any answers, most of the time my answer turns out to be a question about my own heart.

What things do I keep in my heart?

Now, I am a very private person. I can be loud and wild, just ask my close friends, but any deep emotion or private thoughts and feelings I rarely let anyone see.

But that isn’t it.

It’s not just the emotions Mary keeps, I think, but the very coming of the wisemen.

What occasions do I keep in my heart?

Mostly good things.

My first youth group meeting, my Aunt’s wedding, my visits to the School Sister’s of Christ the King.

Key moments in my life, especially ones in which I felt God’s presence.

For example, the last big turning point in my life where I felt at peace with myself, and with God, and more importantly with the future, was at a NET retreat at my new church that happened about a month ago.

NET, or National Evangelization Team, ministries is a volunteer organization hat organizes day long retreats across the country, run by college students.

The morning of this particular retreat I had had a pretty bad start. I got mad at my Dad, and we fought, and it was all a mess. The last thing I wanted to do was go anywhere and hear happy people talk about God and the faith.

God certainly has a way of knowing exactly how to arrange things just for you.

I showed up with my younger sister and pretty much felt like a total outcast. we didn’t know anybody, we’d only been going to this church for about a month, and no one felt inclined to talk to us, instead giving us side glances like “who are they?”

I met a few new people, but being the oldest girl there, no real friends.

But that’s not what I want to share.

That afternoon, when we went to the church for a special prayer session.

They started with a skit.

This wasn’t like the funny cute skits they’d done through out the day.

This one was about one girl, and God.

The girl is thinking about how imperfect she is, how she doesn’t look pretty or thin. And God tells her how beautiful she is. Then, I forget how the transition is made, but God starts chiseling at the girl, forming her into the person he wants her to be. She stops him several times, sometimes making a request, sometimes saying, “can we finish this later?” and sometimes just begging him to stop, that it hurts. And God replies each time, with a calm voice, “don’t you trust me?”

Bit by bit he chisels away her pride, her doubt, everything that kept her from him.

Everything that keeps me from him, even now.

I felt the chisel on me and God asking me sadly, “don’t you trust me?”

It hurt.

Then when we were dismissed for private prayer, we were told that our team leaders would be coming around to join us for a minute and pray for our special intentions with us.

I grab a bible to pray with as I head to my pew, and when I get there, I open it… right to the Book of Jeremiah, the book they’d recommended before we came into church. I forget what I read now, but it hit me hard.

By the time my team leaders showed up I was pretty much a wreck.

When they asked me what my biggest prayer intention was I told them the selfish truth.

My vocation.

For years I have agonized over what God wants me to do. The past year and a half, I’ve gotten fairly clear signs, which relieve me for about a nanosecond.

How is that selfish you ask?

Well, I guess I’m not really sure but I always feel guilty asking other people about vocations, and to pray for me and mine.

Anyway, I bowed my head with them, and my primary team leader who’d been leading or private little prayer group earlier, lead the prayer. She said something along the lines of this…

“Dear Lord, help [Iris] to discover and follow your will in all things. She has so much potential, and… something, something something I can’t remember… and leadership.”

Then it was my turn to either say something aloud or privately and then finish with , “Amen.”

But whatever it was my team leader had said, it knocked me out. That was it. That was what I had needed to hear.

I laughed, realized there was nothing more I could add.

“You heard her Lord,” I thought to myself. “I can’t say it any better. Amen.”

Sometimes the  Lord sends us small signs that we have to be on the watch for, or miss risking entirely. Other times he’ll give us a fog horn in the face, practically shouting “This way!!!”

Those words were my fog horn, and I will keep them in my heart, even if I don’t remember all of them.

When I was little, I used to think Mary kept those things in her heart to tell baby Jesus when he grew up.

Now I wonder if she kept them as a reminder that God was watching her, that he had a plan for her.

Maybe she kept them for herself, to help her through the dark days ahead.

Maybe someday I’ll get to ask her. 🙂

An Introducton to a New Series

 

Okay, so I know I have failed at these in the past… but this time, this is something different, and I am going to try and see this one through at least 6 months.

I am starting a new blog series… thing..

First, a little story.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who went to visit her grandma’s house for New Years.

While she was there, she went to church with her Grandma, and found a book.

This book was called Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic.

She was intrigued, and took the book home.

This past Sunday she suggested to her Mom that the family start religious reading on the twenty minute ride to mass.

Her Mom happened to have a copy of the same book with her, and started reading.

Now, this book, coupled with a certain sermon about living Christian lives and showing people through our actions what makes us Catholics given by her parish priest that day, made this girl determined to do something she hadn’t previously done much of before.

Sharing her faith.

She’d been bouncing around the idea of starting another blog series, this time something to help her in her own life as well, not just spout off information.

Thanks to a new book, and a priest’s sermon, she found her topic.

Therefore, readers, I unveil to you today the title of a new blog series I shall be starting as of this Friday.

Faithful Fridays

As part of the new year, I am going to work on establishing a deeper relationship with my Creator.

And you all get to come along for the ride!

Allow me to describe my goals, and what this chain will be about, by quoting Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly. I shall endeavor not to post the whole prologue, as that would be tedious to do, and take ages to type.

  • Transforming people one at a time is at the heart of God’s plan for the world.
  • Continuous improvement is a long-term approach that seeks to achieve small, incremental changes. Each change can be so small and simple that, at the time, it seems insignificant, but as you add these changes together over time they become enormous.
  • Highly engaged Catholics have four things in common, the four signs of a Dynamic Catholic.

1. Prayer: Dynamic Catholics have a daily commitment to prayer.

2. Study: Dynamic Catholics are continuous learners.

3. Generosity: Dynamic Catholics are generous.

4. Evangelization: Dynamic Catholics invite others to grow spiritually by sharing the love of God with them.

  • You don’t stumble into great things, or even worthy things. They have to be sought out with intentionality.

 

So what does all that mean exactly?

Well, the first bullet point up there *points with digital laser pointer* essentially means that we are not born perfect. God’s plan for us involves us transforming into the Christians we are called to be.

The second point is that long term goals are best achieved with small steps, mini goals, if you will. tiny points of change that when added to over time becomes a complete transformation.

The third is the “four signs” the most engaged and inspired Catholics display; Prayer, study, generosity, and evangelization.

The last one states that you can’t just stumble around blind and hope to wake up one morning the model Catholic. You have to work for it, and set a goal for yourself. Make a flight plan.

That is what I hope to accomplish with this blog series.

I’m not going to dive right in and set some big goal like making it to daily mass, or praying a rosary once or twice a day… I’m not spiritually strong enough for something like that.

So, what am I doing?

Well, this book suggests a plan that I think sounds pretty good.

1. Spend ten minutes in prayer with God every day.

2. Read five pages of a Catholic book each day.

3. Now, for generosity, they suggest giving 1 percent more of your income to the church then you did the previous year. Clearly, this was not meant for unemployed 18 year olds who haven’t even graduated High School yet.

So instead, for generosity I plan to be more generous with my time. Do one big time sacrifice a week for someone else. Like, fold laundry even if it’s not my laundry day. Just something that helps someone else, but may not be the most convenient thing for me, or is just something I don’t want to do.

4. Do one thing each week to share the genius of Catholicism with someone else.

For prayer I hope to start doing the Lectio Divina again. This is prayer that’s centered around bible readings, especially the gospels. I enjoy it, but never seem to find the time to sit down and do it.

For reading I have plenty of catechism and saint books I meant to read last year.

And lastly, for evangelization, this blog series. It hit me when my Mom first read about doing just one thing a week. Blog post. Not only will it give me a reason to post each week, it will keep me accountable… and help spread God’s love to all you lovely people of course. 🙂

So there you have it. Faithful Fridays will hopefully kick off this Friday, the 9th of January.

And who knows, maybe if I can keep this going for the next couple weeks, I’ll be inspired to start a regular Monday post as well. 🙂

In the mean time, to quote the ever seasonal Tiny Tim, “God bless us, every one!”

Oh!

And let me know in the comments below if you would like to join in the 4 Signs challenge, and join me in following the above plan to help not only yourself grow spiritually, but help those around you as well!

And even if you aren’t Catholic, have no interest in Catholicism so much so you won’t even let yourself learn about it, you can absolutely still do these things. The important part of this challenge (for lack of a better name) is imitating Christ. You can still pray, study Christ’s life, and be generous. there’s no rule that you HAVE to be Catholic to do those.

So take a chance, and see what God will do for you this year if you make an effort to give him your attention, and spread his love!

 

 

Book Review: Matched Trilogy

So, it’s been a while since I’ve done a review for anything.

This is mostly because A) I find them tedious to write and B) I haven’t really watched/read anything new to review (or even worth reviewing) in a while. But, in the last two months of 2014 I did read and see some really cool stuff that I shall endeavor to describe.

First up, a romance trilogy I took a chance on.

untitled

The Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie

Where to start…

Let’s do it this way.

Summary/Book Blurb

Matched: Cassia has always trusted the society’s choices. And when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia is certain he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now she is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one dares to follow… between perfection and passion.

Crossed: Cassia flees to the Outer Provinces in search of Ky only to discover he has escaped into the canyons. But even as she risks everything to reunite with Ky, a few surprises from her former life may haunt her… or change the game once again.

Reached: One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most – family, love, and choice. Now Cassia’s quiet revolution is about to explode into full scale rebellion. The wait is over.

Writing:

I almost put this book down before the end of chapter one. It was dry and clique through the first four or so chapters of Book One. I am so glad I stuck with it though. The writing, though it begins rather dry, picks up pace and by the end of Book Three draws the reader fully into this captivating story. It, like anything else nowadays, is written in first person. The one plus side is you get to see how the characters progress in their mind and character better in first person, when they are telling their story.

The first book has only one POV, Cassia, but in Book Two we are introduced into Ky’s mind, and in Book Three all three main characters have a part in the story telling. It’s not like Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus that go every couple chapters with out changing. It is well balanced with POVs going in a round, and each character getting one chapter, then the next, etc…

It’s also fairly easy to tell who is narrating because of each of the characters have individual personalities and thought processes that it’s hard to confuse them.

Characters:

Cassia: The story starts with Cassia, a teenage girl who has lived all her life in a society that chooses everything for her. It chooses what people eat, what they learn, and even when they die. It also chooses who they will marry, their Match.  Cassia is not a very individual girl, like Triss or Katniss. She is the perfect society daughter. Except, when a mistake is made, she becomes intrigued with the idea of choosing her own path. She begins to question what the Society really wants, and why it must have such complete control.

Cassia does not start out brave, or strong, but she grows to be that and so much more through the trilogy.

Xander: Xander is Cassia’s best friend. He’s a very sweet person at the beginning of the book, and at the end, but he to grows in different ways. He learns how to think for himself, and to be his own hero.

Ky: Ky is the mystery boy who lives in the neighborhood with his aunt and uncle, after his parents died in the Outer Provinces. Ky perhaps has the least character development, but that doesn’t mean he is a rock who doesn’t progress at all. In the beginning all he believes in is Cassia. He learns how to let go, and how to fight for others.

World:

This book takes place in a mysterious Society. They determine what should be done for optimal results in every part of a person’s life. They determine how much food they need, what work they should do, and how long they live. They have eliminated almost all illness, unhappiness, and suffering. They also determined that there was to much art for the human race to appreciate fully, and limited all books, artwork, everything to One Hundred of its kind. One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Songs, One Hundred Paintings…I won’t spoil all of the Society’s secrets, but it is certainly an intriguing group.

Thoughts:

Though the story started out slow, it picked up speed. This is not your typical romance or dystopian, though it starts out as one and kind of turns into the other. It is a unique story, especially at the end. The end of this trilogy is like nothing you read anymore.

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars (one star deducted for slow/clique beginning)

Age/Gender group:

Content and plot wise, girls 14 and up should be fine, it is VERY clean but very much a girl’s book. Of course, I personally think no one under 16 would find a dystopian romance about a couple of 17 year olds very interesting.