Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pushing The Limits Read-A-Long: 1st week

I am so excited to be participating in the Pushing the Limits Read-A-Long hosted by Candace's Book Blog, Dazzling Reads, Page Turners, The Book Swarm and Bewitched Bookworms. Pushing the Limits has captivated me from the very first page so I'm really looking forward to this event. It's my first time to join a read-a-long but I'm sure it's going to be a blast. If you want to participate just head here.


Questions for the week:

1. The story starts out with Echo’s thoughts on how she wants to answer her therapist’s questions (snarky and caustically truthful) which are quickly juxtaposed to how she does (milque-toasty and banal).  Who do you think she hides the truth for more, her parents or herself?

I think in both ways, yes. Truth is something Echo runs away from, in my opinion. I guess if you're living with that kind of family and has a control-freak dad, you'll resort to that just to save yourself from an argument you know you couldn't win.

2. We see Mrs. Collins, the school therapist, interact with both Echo and Noah in the first few chapters.  From those interactions, what do you think of her?  Is she a prototypical caricature of state care?  Or do you think she’s there to make an honest difference in the lives of those she’s there to help?

I find Mrs. Collins really overbearing and somewhat pushy. But this could also means that she actually cares. Those traits didn't make her any likeable than Echo's parents but at least she can stand her ground when Echo's father go into an authoritative-crappy mode.

3. Noah has two friends, Beth and Isaiah, who have his back no matter what–through thick and thin–and he has theirs. Consequently, his life is a little easier because he has two people who know about his situation. Echo only has one close friend, and Lila will barely speak to her in school. Do you think Echo would have had an easier time coping and moving on if she had friends like Noah does?

I believe so. Friends could get you through the toughest times but it's important to note that they're still young and they have this thinking that the world revolves around them. I do see Echo as a quiet, introvert person after the incident so I think a friend who'd just be there by her side no matter what is a good thing.

4 . Echo fixates on a colorful ribbon that sits on the school counselor’s desk during their one-on-one sessions. Do you think this is a case of “Oh, look at the pretty ribbon. Let me zone out while staring at it”, or could it have a deeper significance!

There's something really curious about the ribbon. I think it wouldn't be there if it's not significant. I feel it's something really important to Echo...

5 .) Noah and the jacket… Already when Noah and Echo meet for the first time, Noah got angry when Echo forgot her Jacket (pg 34). Then on Echo’s Birthday party Noah gave Echo his jacket when he saw that she forgot hers (pg 54). There is a significance behind his anger when Echo has no coat and it tells already so much about Noah!

a) Why do you think is Noah so focused on Echo and her Jacket and what does that tell you about Noah’s character?

It's the first indication that Noah isn't what he seems! It showed his soft, caring side. He just didn't know how to translate it to something that is not crude or snarky. 

6. Echo wears gloves all the time to hide her scars. Not only for her sake, but obviously also for the others. When Noah sees Echo’s scars for the first time he’s shocked.

a) Do you think this was the moment he began to see Echo in a different light?

Noah clearly branded Echo as someone who is a stuck-up rich girl who plays dress up and who cares about social statuses or who dates who. So I think when Noah saw Echo's scars, she realizes that there's more to Echo than he thinks.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday (6): Lucid

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

Book: Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz, Ron Bass
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill

What if you could dream your way into a different life? What if you could choose to live that life forever?

Sloane and Maggie have never met. Sloane is a straight-A student with a big and loving family. Maggie lives a glamorously independent life as an up-and-coming actress in New York. The two girls couldn't be more different--except for one thing. They share a secret that they can't tell a soul. At night, they dream that they're each other.

The deeper they're pulled into the promise of their own lives, the more their worlds begin to blur dangerously together. Before long, Sloane and Maggie can no longer tell which life is real and which is just a dream. They realize that eventually they will have to choose one life to wake up to, or risk spiraling into insanity. But that means giving up one world, one love, and one self, forever.

This is a dazzling debut that will steal readers' hearts. - Goodreads

I know that from the first time I saw Lucid I just have to read it. From the cover to the blurb, it just grabs your attention and screams, "Don't you dare miss me!". So yes, October can't get fast enough, in my honest opinion.

What are you waiting on?
Leave your link down below so I can check yours out.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review: The Glimpse by Claire Merle

Read from June 7, 2012
to June 8, 2012
Book: The Glimpse by Claire Merle
Publication Date: June 7, 2012
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Number of Pages: 432
Genre/s: Young Adult, Dystopia

In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.
Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.
Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society, and as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper’s abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe. - From Goodreads

'We're linked,' she said. 'We could lose each other a thousand times and the universe would still bring us back together. Will you wait for me?'

I was entirely captivated by The Glimpse.

It's the year 2041 and many catastrophes had happened. There have been the 2018 Collapse, the Global Depression, and Petrol Wars that lead Britain to close its borders. The Mental Health Care system has so much power over the society and people are now being classified into two, the Pures and the Crazies. The Pures live in the Community with comfort and luxury while the Crazies has to live with the disarray of the City.

Ana is the daughter of Ashber Barber, the man behind the invention of the Pure test. She is a Pure or so she thought. When her father was accused of manipulating her test results, she was branded as a Big3 Sleeper. Only a binding could save her from being thrown out to the City. But Jasper the man she's being bound to has troubles. He knew something big, something that could shatter the credibility of the Pure test and weaken the hold of the entire Board of Psychiatric Testing and Evaluation. That's why Jasper was kidnapped and Ana has only 4 weeks to figure out how to find Jasper or they will never be bound and she will be shunned from the Community. 

That's how it all started. Ana was intent on getting Jasper back because she knows he is in trouble. So she sneaked outside of the Community and her adventure started.

The Glimpse reminded me of previous dystopian books I've read. It reminded me of Matched by Ally Condie because of the Binding Ceremony. It also reminded me of Starters by Lissa Price because of its technicality. But in my humble opinion, The Glimpse is superior. Mostly because The Glimpse plays to my love for psychology. 

The appeal for me of The Glimpse can be pointed out to its concept. I love the idea behind it all. That because the world is in shambles, the pyschologists and intellectuals will step forward and try to control the crimes and the escalating turmoil by controlling people's action. By mapping out every mental health disorders, they could now classify people into who's harmful and who's not. They could now control people because they believe they fully understand how the brain functions. They give psychotic medications to children and even neonates as a form of prophylaxis or preventive treatment without regard to the debilitating side-effects. At a young age, they become dependent to it and without it, withdrawal symptoms occur to the point of depression and suicidal tendencies. Isn't that positively chilling?

The characters are also part of the charm of The Glimpse. I just like Ana so much. She is intelligent, brave, and compassionate. She had to endure a lot of things. She had to live with her cold, calculating father and has been brought up to lies and deceptions. She had even forgotten what lead to her mother suicide because of the layers of lies her father coached her to tell.

In times where emotions has to be estimated and always reigned in for fear of being taken away by the Psych Watch, being in the City is like freedom to Ana. Yes, she was scared and wary but you could really see that her role was to shake things and to start changing the system.

The only thing that slightly bothered me was the "Glimpse" thing. I just felt that it was the carrots in the soup. Just floating around but I guess we will have more explanation about this in the next installment.

I could go on and on but this review would then be very long. The Glimpse is definitely something. It had me take down notes like I'm on cracked. It made me think so much and even though it's highly improbable for now to have a society like that, it's possible that in the future this could happen. It all really boils down to power and how this power could be very corrupting. 

The Glimpse is definitely something. Oh wait, I've said that already. Just reiterating. This is definitely a must-buy and a must-read, people.

Cupid's Verdict:
4 1/2 Cupids

An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley
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