Oh, hey neglected blog. I didn't do a What I Read Wednesday week because I had the stressful week from hell last week. Seriously, I had to go back to the school twice in the evening, strep throat hit our house AND I was in an out-of-town wedding. In short, it was a whirlwind and I only read one book. But don't worry, in the meantime, I've read A LOT of books.
The 5th Wave
This book is a YA book about an alien invasion that slowly begins killing humanity off in waves. With each wave, humanity is left wondering how to survive to the next and if it's even worth surviving. The main character is a strong female, but the author doesn't skimp on strong secondary males, which I like. It was a really compelling read and I definitely didn't want it to end. Like many sci-fi novels, you're left wondering what's scarier: the attacking force or humanity itself.
I discovered John Sandford's Lucas Davenport novels last summer and read my way through the whole series, so I was excited earlier this year when I saw a new one was coming out. This one focuses on dirty politics, computer hacking and murder and is engaging as the rest. The good thing about the Davenport novels is that although most of the main characters overlap, you don't really have to read them in any particular order.
The City of Ember (Books of Ember)
My students just finished an essay on the book Matched and one of the topic choices was to compare and contrast Matched to another dystopian YA lit novel. When I gave them the prompts and listed off several YA dystopian novels, someone asked about this book. Although I'd heard of it, I hadn't read it and wanted to so I could grade any essays on it. The book is about a group of people living in the City of Ember, an underground city that is running out of food and light. Two young kids are searching for a way out and a reason for why they're in Ember in the first place. I really enjoyed this book and although it's YA lit, I could definitely see an elementary school student who is a good reader being able to handle this one easily.
The Secret Keeper: A Novel
A teenage girl witnesses her mother commit a shocking crime. Years later, as her mother is on her death bed, she tries to piece together exactly what happened. The book flashes back through various decades as it weaves the mystery of what led up to the mother's crime. This was an ending that caught me unaware and left me reading the last few pages of the novel again to make sure that I understood. It was brilliantly written and woven together. This story captured me.
Red Moon: A Novel
When I first started reading this book, I thought it was a werewolf book. Or lycans, as they're referred to throughout the novel, but then as I read on, I realized it was so much more than that. I started to think it was dystopian, but then it became dystopian as the novel progressed, but it was also kind of a parable. Regardless of what genre it is, it was incredibly engaging. In the society created by Benjamin Percy, there are two classes of people: lycans and non-lycans. Lycans can transform into wolves. It's a disease that can be transmitted via blood or sex, like AIDs, and those who are lycans live amongst normal society. Yet, they're treated somewhat as second-class citizens. They're forced to take medicine to suppress their urge to transform and there are universities just for lycans. Without giving too much away, the novel was fascinating in the overall themes and messages that the author managed to weave in beneath the surface. This is a must-read.
Extinction: A Thriller
One of my co-workers was reading this novel and told me I would enjoy it. The main character is a main who makes prosthetic arms that respond to the neurons in the brain on their own, as well as have weapons concealed in them. His daughter is a computer hacker, who becomes to target of a sub-sect of the Chinese government who has created a computer that is run via the brains of lobotomized humans. What can go wrong there? Except... everything. This was a great sci-fi thriller!