Dystopian

Book Review: The Last Cuentista

Author
Higuera, Barba Donna,
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Donna Barba Higuera takes on a futuristic dystopian space adventure in her story The Last Cuentista. A young, curious girl named Petra lives in a distant timeline on Earth, where scientists are helplessly searching for a way to avoid certain doom. While in the face of death, Preta leans on her abuelita’s stories, which are rich and full of life. Yet, as the clock starts ticking and Petra is forced to leave it all behind, the one thing she keeps with her is the power of tales. The Last Cuentista is a brilliantly written novel depicting a world in space, where the connection and true heart of human-kind is severed. Petra shows the reader what true perseverance is, and reminds us all of what it means to truly be human.
(Reviewer Grade: 12)

Reviewer's Name
Hanna

Book Review: Matched

Author
Condie, Allie
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

This is a wonderful, amazing, trilling book! I love the descriptive language and the way its laid out, you never want to stop reading it. it makes you want more. if you read this book, which you should, you need to read the other books as well. It’s a thought-provoking, engaging dystopian novel with the stereotypical love triangle at the center. Condie does a good job setting the scene and the overall vibe. However, I was very disappointed when Cassia burned her grandfather's poems. If she doesn't have the courage to keep a piece of paper, that has been in her family for generations, how will she have the strength to do anything? This is a great book, the characters are developed well and the story is intriguing. (Spoiler) The only thing I would change is Xander at the end, where he lets Cassia go. I know that he is understanding and all, but I think it would be more appropriate for him to want Cassia to stay with him forever, and ever since the pill incident with Ky, he'd like to follow the rules. I really like the storyline and the fact that Cassia is different and doesn’t fit into what people expect of her. Also, I think she used too much show not tell as I don’t see why Cassia likes Ky or how on earth Xander would be a perfect match. I feel like she left the important bits out and kept what wasn’t interesting Other than the few complaints I have, Matched is a book that I would recommend to any Romance or Dystopian fans.
Reviewer's Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name
Anushka

Book Review: Unwind

Author
Shusterman, Neal
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

Unwind has a fresh, fascinating, and frankly genius premise: after a war is fought on abortion, the U.S. government passes legislature allowing parents to sign an order to "unwind" their teenagers. The teen is then taken apart, and each body part is used for transplants. Like any good dystopia, the concept poses a number of thought-provoking questions that the book tries to address, like "do we have souls?" or "what makes a person themself?" or "how scary is it to be unwound, really?", and it answers them with varying degrees of success. Unwind is an excellent conversation starter; it is riddled with nuanced philosophical ideas which are, at times, uniquely terrifying. However, that's where the problems with Unwind lie: the intrigue doesn't stretch much farther than the initial concepts. Shusterman is talented at worldbuilding, and every new detail of Unwind's dystopia is interesting, inspired, absurd, and simultaneously realistic. Unfortunately, the story fails to make use of this inherent intrigue. Much of the reader's time is spent spectating characters as they shuttle from one location to another. They have minimal development, or, when they do have development, it is sudden and drastic. Shusterman builds a vivid universe only to guide readers through the dullest corners. Unwind is worth a read for the conversation, not the story. If a reader expects the average teenage dystopia, they should pick another book; but if they want fresh perspectives, creative horror, and possibly a hint of existential dread, Unwind is the perfect read.

Reviewer's Name
Samah

Book Review: The Girl Who Dared To Think

Author
Forrest, Bella
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

The first book in this dystopian series, The Girl Who Dared To Think takes readers on an adventure to a post apocalyptic world where one girl struggles to fit in. Liana Castell has never fit in with her parents or instructors expectations. Living in the Tower, a large glass home for all those left, requires citizens to wear a band displaying a ranking. The most loyal to the tower receive number close to a 10, while those at 3 or lower receive treatment and many disappear. When Liana meets a man who has a ranking of a ten, though obviously is not deserving of it, she fights to find him and uncover the deep secrets of the Tower.
The book will keep you guessing the whole way through and leave you wanting to read the next.

Reviewer's Name
McKenna

Book Review: Tender is the Flesh

Author
Bazterrica, Agustina
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

The book is about a world where a virus made all animals poisonous of people so the world turns to cannibalism to survive. The main character is Marcos who works in a meat processing plant to ensure his family is taken care off. It describes this daily work, slowly building how the world adapted. He's given a gift of live meat. Marcos seemed to look down and seemed to be the only one who saw something wrong with this. However a the end of the book the last few pages changed everything you know about Marcos, you see him in a different light. It feels like it came out of nowhere but, slowly looking through you see it building up.
The book is hard to put down and it explores the darker side of humans abilities to adapt. It makes you think and leaves you wondering about the world that Marcos built for himself afterwards.

Reviewer's Name
Hana

Book Review: Animal Farm

Author
Orwell, George
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

An attempt to create an independent sovereign state, liquidate domestic and foreign enemies and get rid of vestiges of the past, made by… animals. The only fact of animals ruling and managing their own lives sounds absurd enough, but what if under the masks of pigs, horses and dogs real historical figures are hiding?
George Orwell showed brightly the allegorical reality of totalitarianism and communism in his novel Animal Farm. A fairy tale for grown up readers, the book offers an opportunity to observe the story of animals who tried to get independence from their owner and build a society where everyone’s needs and desires would be equally satisfied (sounds a little utopical, doesn’t it?)
Inspired by the Old Major, two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, supported by all the residents of the farm, carry out a coup d’etat and banish the farmer Mr. Jones. They take the lead and create the laws of the newly created state, the most important of which is “All animals are equal”. However, as the time flows, it turns out that ruling a society is not as easy as it seems to be, especially if at the same time you are trying to benefit from the power that you possess. The animals have to go through propaganda, repressions, socialist competition, ideological pressure and several other social and political changes. Most of them believe their government blindly, and only a few trust their own eyes more than the media. Napoleon, now the only ruler of Animal Farm, discovers that fear and lies are not the worst tools to use, if you want to keep a state in order, especially when the majority of the population consists of sheeps. He goes father and father from where he began and, like many leaders before and after him, becomes a tyrant trying to keep his position and privileges. At the end, he brings the animals back to what they tried to destroy: a totalitarian system where one stands above everyone else. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”, the new Commandment says.

The book is written in a simple language and the allegory and similes make the story easy to understand even for the younger readers. All the processes and events mentioned in the novel repeat one of the darkest and most tangled periods of history. But, shown on the example of animals, they make the readers wonder how people, who faced them in real life, could not notice that they were being trapped and fooled.
Compared to some other novels by George Orwell, Animal Farm is pretty easy to read. It would be a perfect choice for those who want to get a better understanding of political and historical processes and enjoy a fictional story at the same time.
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name
Oleksandra

Divergent

Image
Divergent
Author
Roth, Veronica
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

War and Hatred flood the world, leaving the USA broken, but through the ashes hope arises when a group of scientist forge a city experiment that will one day restore humanity. They re-build Chicago: however, they change the way the new civilization will see the world. The citizens of Chicago are divided into five different groups: Erudite (The intelligent), Amity (the peaceful), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), and Candor (the honest). At the age of 16, teens take an aptitude test to determine which faction they belong in. Two decades after this city is born, the story begins with the life of Tris Prior. When taking the aptitude test, Tris discovers that she is divergent. A divergent individual is someone who is aware during simulations because of their genes. The story follows her life as she discovers love, sacrifice, and heartbreak.
This is a great story for anyone who loves romance and is fine with some gore. I chose to read this book because it was one of my mom's favorites and she thought that I would enjoy it.
Divergent teaches the reader that in order to see clearly one must not only focus on one singular flaw in a community, they must look at the body as a whole not just looking at one arm or one leg. Event though this is a great story, most problems are solved with violence, and this may affect some readers in a negative manner.

Reviewer's Name
Joella

Divergent

Image
Divergent
Author
Roth, Veronica
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Divergent takes place in a dystopian world where the characters are restricted to a small "city" and are divided into factions. This story follows a girl who does not particularly fit in any faction and has to make a decision what group she wants to be a part of. When she makes this decision she learns that people like her are not accepted and she must work hard to hide her identity.
This story is very engaging and always had suspense to keep my on the edge of my seat. The more casual writing style that Veronica Roth uses makes me more engrossed in the story and engaged with the characters. It's also very interesting how the plot line excels and how the author can describe each faction and character with such detail.
This is the book that made me interested in dystopian fiction. It is filled with suspense, comedy, and phenomenal character development that had me crying.

Reviewer's Name
Julianna

The Hunger Games

Image
The Hunger Games
Author
Collins, Suzanne
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

The Hunger Games follows the gripping story of Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old that is the main provider for her younger sister and her mother after her father's passing. However, Katniss lives in Panem, built on the ruins of North America. In Panem, every year there is a deadly brawl in which 24 teens, 1 male and 1 female, from each of the 12 districts in Panem, face off in a fight to the death. Only 1 victor emerges alive. When Katniss's younger sister, Prim, is chosen to compete for the Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers herself to take Prim's place. What will happen in the arena? Will Katniss make it out alive?

Collins' creation will have you gripping the edges of your seat in suspense, shrieking with fear, and experience huge floods of relief! The Hunger Games truly grips the reader with all the emotions Katniss experiences and will leave you impatient to read the next books in the series.

Reviewer's Name
August L.

Book Review: The Maze Runner

Author
Dashner, James
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

I started reading this book in 2012, just a few years before the movie was released. This book is a personal favorite of mine that I have read over and over again. This dystopian story follows a boy who was placed in the center of a maze with several other boys and follows his journey as he uncovers dark truths and attempts to escape the maze. Personally, I love the attention to detail in this book and how it keeps you on your seat throughout the story all the way to the end. In no way was this book predictable. When I first read this book I wasn't aware that it was of a series, so I was delighted to find out there were more books because of how great of a story it was. I would recommend this book to tweens and up since there is some mature material such as fighting and dying (it doesn't go into gory detail). Overall, this is a great read that I would personally highly recommend!

Reviewer's Name
Ashley