Monday, December 22, 2014

Review: This Shattered World (Kaufman/Spooner)

AUTHOR: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
SERIES: Starbound, book 2
PUBLISHER: Disney-Hyperion
PUBLICATION DATE: December 23, 2014
ISBN: 9781423171034
PAGES: 390
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: science fiction; action
SETTING: planet of Avon
GIVE IT TO: MS, HS
SUMMARY: Jubilee Chase is a soldier, trained to keep order on the newly-colonized and developing planet of Avon. Flynn Cormac is a rebel, a boy who fights against LaRoux Industries, a corrupt corporation that hasn't kept its promises to terraform Avon and keep it peaceful. When Flynn kidnaps Jubilee at a bar one night, he thinks he has the key to making the corporation listen to the rebels' demands. But Jubilee is nothing like what Flynn expected. As enemies become allies, Flynn and Jubilee must confront mysteries about Avon and learn what LaRoux Industries is hiding.

REVIEW: For me, this book would be more aptly titled These Shattered Expectations. Oh, I wish I could say I loved this book. Its predecessor, These Broken Stars was one of my very favorite books of 2013. I'd even say that it probably ranks in my top 10 favorite YA books of all time. But this one? Most definitely not.

A big problem for me is my lack of connection to the characters. I didn't feel anything for Jubilee or Flynn. I didn't feel the connection between them, and I didn't understand why they even liked each other. Okay, they are both hot. Yep, both smart. So what? What makes them connect? Nothing that I could see.

I also felt like I had missed something important throughout the book. The green-eyed ghost dream things were confusing, and after a while, I just skimmed over them altogether. They added nothing for me. And there was all this running and fighting, but for what? Everyone is fighting for power, and there is something "other" on the planet as well. And then there is the Fury, which at one point had me ready to toss the book across the room. And a commander who just acts weird, like she is being controlled, but I never really decided if she was being controlled? And the Fury did WHAT to Jubilee? But not really? Huh? The whole thing was just a big ol' head-scratcher, and not in a good way. I just didn't get it.

It took way too long to get anywhere. Even 100 pages from the end, I debated abandoning the book. Ultimately, I just skimmed the last 100 pages to see if it got any better. I didn't care what happened, but I just can't bring myself to abandon a book 100 pages from the end. I just can't.

The early reviews I've seen for This Shattered World are mostly very positive, but I really do not understand all the hullabaloo. I'm not the only Debbie Downer on Goodreads, but at this point, I'm in sparse company.

THE BOTTOM LINE: My high expectations were soundly shattered. I am so sad to say that I didn't even like this book. I am so sad.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: I've already ordered it. In retrospect, I should have just ordered another copy of These Broken Stars. I will have a very hard time recommending this.

READALIKES: These Broken Stars (Starbound) (Kaufman/Spooner)--a must-read!

RATING BREAKDOWN:
  • Overall: 1/5--I just didn't get it.
  • Creativity: 2/5--A good effort, but it falls flat.
  • Characters: 1/5--I didn't connect with either of them or understand why they fell in love.
  • Engrossing: 1/5--I almost abandoned! Ended up skimming last 100 pages.
  • Writing: 3/5--Writing is good.
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5--They will want to read the sequel to TBS
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 1/5--Again, I almost abandoned!

CONTENT:
  • Language: mild-medium; one unnecessary F-bomb; a couple of damns
  • Sexuality: mild; some kissing
  • Violence: medium-high--several murders, including children; blood and gore; terrorist bombing
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild--several scenes inside a bar; teen characters are considered adults and drink beer

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