Get Lost In “The Infinite Sea”

“The Infinite Sea” is the second book in Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave trilogy.image

Synopsis: After being reunited with her brother Sam, Cassie hides out in a rat-infested hotel with
Ben, Ringer, Teacup, Dumbo, and Poundcake. The hotel was Cassie’s and Evan’s rendezvous point. But they can’t wait there long for Evan, who may or may not be dead, forever. Ringer has been designated to go search the caves as a new hiding location, but the aliens have other things planned for her. In this wild game of chess, now mostly from Ringer’s POV, who will be the one to say “checkmate”?

My favorite narrator in the first book was Cassie, so, at first, I was a little disappointed when most of the story was told from Ringer’s POV. But I grew to like the way she thinks. Always ten steps ahead, always avoiding risk, and always paranoid. But in this new apocalyptic world, paranoia is probably a good thing. We learn more about her back story (and Poundcake’s, too). She is a force to be reckoned with and I respect and admire this character for her will to survive.

Rick is a genius. Well, a diabolical genius. He kept trying to tear me apart with sadness and cruelties. (I tried to be Ringer-strong.) One minute I think someone’s dead, next minute Rick’s like “just kidding,” then he decides to change his mind and go through with his murder of wonderfully written characters. Why, Rick?

We meet a new character– his name is Razor. First I don’t really care for him, then I do, then I don’t again, then I do, then I’m stuck in the middle. Should I still like him? Rick is some kind of Jedi-mind warrior. Beware.

Rick adds a new level to the alien master plans, involving the children, which of course breaks my heart some more. And then he makes this unbelievable plot twist. (I did not see it coming! Hit me like a truck driving full speed!) Sometimes, there are things I suspect, but this completely changed the entire ball game. Rick’s an evil genius, I’m telling you. Still, I’m a big fan of Cassie, and I missed her voice from this book. And little Sammy’s voice. So, I’d have to say that I liked the first book more.

This book earns 4.8 out of 5 stars.

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“The 5th Wave” Gets a 5-Star Review

“The 5th Wave,” by Rick Yancey is a thrilling alien-apocalypse tale told by multiple perspectives.

Here is the Goodreads summary:
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wimageave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.
Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. 

Sounds cool, right? That’s right! It is cool!

The writing was amazing. I didn’t realize that it would be written in different perspectives, so when it changed from Cassie to Ben I was like, “Wait, what?” Caught me off guard. But then when it changed to Sammy I knew right away it was him and was like, “Awwwww. I love you, Sams!” It was pretty impressive that Rick was able to be a narrator from four different points of view. Sammy’s POV was downright adorable and a little heartbreaking. (Especially the Pesky Ants.) And Ben! My has he changed from when he was high school’s popular boy. We get to see him go through the transition of boy to man. I liked the alternating perspectives even more so when I read Cassie’s parts because it felt like it was really coming from a girl’s mind. And Cassie was also wonderful to read. She’s a tough heroine trying to make it in this messed up world of hers. Her thoughts are so relatable and/or clever. Exhibit A: “It’s like a cockroach working up a plan to defeat the shoe on its way down to crush it.” I definitely smiled when she thought that. Exhibit B: “That’s one of my night thoughts. You know, the three-in-the-morning, oh-my-God-I’m-screwed thoughts. When I curl into a little ball, so scared I can’t close my eyes, drowning in fear so intense I have to remind myself to breathe, will my heart to keep beating. When my brain checks out and begins to skip like a scratched CD.” I get these “night thoughts” (though probably not as intense) creeping up on me all the time, but Rick/Cassie puts it in such great terms.

The story starts from the middle of the 4th Wave–Silencers–but readers want to know what happened during the first three waves. Well, we soon find out through some info-logue and flashbacks that are seamlessly tied in. Flashbacks of the 1st Wave give you insight into Cassie’s normal life before the aliens came. Wave 2 didn’t really affect her, but we learn of the disastrous effects of it. And Wave 3, the Pestilence, or as Sammy says, “Pesky Ants,” gets thrown at you through morbid and extremely sad flashbacks. Oh the feels.

So who is this Evan Walker? We do get a snippet of his perspective in the middle of the book. He’s definitely mysterious and had me going back and forth as to who he was. Rick had me doubting what kind of guy Evan was, but my gut instinct was right. Evan’s a pretty complex dude. I liked seeing Cassie react to him. She went from being all alone to getting the company of a very good-looking, protective guy.

If you’re into stories that encompass world apocalypse, dystopia, disasters, this book is for you. Step right up, boys and girls, and see what the world, what humanity, really becomes when the aliens strike.

Bonus: I attended Alachua County Headquarter Library’s annual Battle of the Books and Rick Yancey was the guest speaker! He gave a very funny and thoughtful speech, which I will try to transcribe soon for you. I feel very lucky that I was able to listen to him speak. And I still feel the excitement that came from meeting him to get my book signed!

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Book Giveaway!

The young adult genre is continually increasing in popularity. But once upon a time, that label didn’t even exist. Way before people started saying they were YA readers, these books were published and listed under other categories.

“Seventeenth Summer,” written by Maureen Daly, is one of these books. Daly’s book paved the way for the YA we love to read today. It entails Angie’s seventeenth summer as she starts to date Jack, right before she goes off to college in Chicago. It was first published in 1942, and you can definitely see the cultural changes. (Dating= goes with; cool=gee that’s swell) And whereas today where books go into the whole make-out scene and more, you’re lucky enough to hear about main characters’ Angie and Jack kissing. Back then, this type of writing was scandalous. What’s more, Daly wrote this when she was actually 17. She is a great motivation to aspiring writers!

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Now, you have the chance to go back to the basic building blocks of YA and experience what life was like for a teen in love in the 1940s. Enter the giveaway below to win a paperback copy of your own!(The giveaway is now open and will close July 25. Open to U.S. residents only.)

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Be Our Guest

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Special announcement: Coming soon, I will be posting a guest blog written by none other than Cara Linn. She is my not-so-little sister and a trendsetter for Paper Lantern Lit. While she’s in the middle of writing a surprise book review, you can follow her and peruse her Twitter: cara__11

Bless the Cauldron for Sarah J. Maas

I’m still licking the delicious remnants off my fingers after finishing A Court of Thorns and Roses. Sarah J. Maas is a freaking genius. I’m going to start off without spoilers, but it’s so hard keeping it all in to myself. Beware after the rose photo for the spoilers to be spewed.

Synopsis: This is the story about a teen, Feyre, who has to take on responsibility Screenshot 2015-11-09 16.40.51at a very young age. For years, she’s been the lifeline for her family and has endured neglect, disrespect, and starvation. She lives in a world split between the mortals down south and the Fae up north. She’s been haunted by legends of the cruel Fae, but this doesn’t deter her from doing everything she can to keep her family alive. And then, Feyre encounters a Fae being.

So, of course, the story takes a turn (not too soon and not too late) where Feyre gets mixed up in the Fae world. And everything that follows was written wonderfully and kept me hooked.

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SPOILER ALERT!

More on Feyre: I love her prickly nature. She’s very blunt and pretty uncensored. But even what she keeps to herself, since she’s the narrator, readers can see what she’s thinking. Like when she calls Rhysand a prick in her head. The story itself is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Feyre is Belle, except she’s more about action than reading what’s in books. In fact, she doesn’t even know how to read. As a reader, I feel like this is a major flaw in the character, which is great for the story, not so great for her though. At first she kind of dismisses it as a “shortcoming,” but then she needs it to save her life! Reading saves lives, people! You need to be literate to survive, didn’t you know that? Awesome message on the importance of words. But Feyre isn’t all brute. She has this artsy side that sees the beauty in shapes and colors around her, which makes for lovely descriptions. Even though she can’t read, she is still incredibly clever (most of the time).

Random, but since I’m on characters, a quick word about Nesta and Rhysand. In the beginning, I didn’t like her very much, and it seemed like I wasn’t supposed to. Then, when Feyre returns home from the Spring Court, Nesta reveals more of her character than Feyre has ever known. She’s accustomed to the cold sister that calls her a “half-wild beast” not the sister who said she used the money on silly things because she had faith Feyre would bring in more money and who hired a mercenary to take her to the Fae lands to retrieve her sister. As for Rhysand (whose name I keep saying wrong in my head despite the fact that I looked at the pronunciation key), he’s just selfish. Not necessarily a bad guy. He does what’s in his best interest first and foremost (like Rumplestiltskin from “Once Upon a Time”). He is the ultimate chess player, and every move he makes is all part of a larger plan.

Tamlin is the obvious beast. Seemingly awful at first, taking Feyre away from her family and telling her she can never go back home again. And just like Beast from the old tale, he lives in a massive manor because he’s royalty, not a prince but a High Lord, which is basically the equivalent in fairy terms. Even though we see his manly form, as opposed to the fur and claws, his whole form isn’t completely revealed with the curse of the mask stuck on his face. Like Belle, Feyre didn’t realize there was a curse that needed to be broken. But unlike the old story, she doesn’t break the curse in time. All she had to do was say “I love you” when she was leaving! Ugh. I wanted to rip my hair out. It could’ve been so much simpler for everyone involved. But no. Stupid, Feyre! It did make for a better story, I have to admit. Oh, and the Fire Night Rite. That’s bizarre. I liked when Tamlin came back and said he searched for Feyre… then he bites her neck. Yet, she wears the bruise proudly the next day. No shame! She didn’t do anything wrong anyway (except for leaving her room when she wasn’t supposed to I guess) but it was Tamlin who obviously really, really wanted her badly. His animal side is fun.

It just got so complicated for Feyre when she practically gave herself up to Amarantha. (I mean, come on, Feyre. Why didn’t you try and come up with a plan? Try to find ash?) She knew, we all knew, that when she completed the three trials, Amarantha wouldn’t let her go right away. She didn’t specify it in the terms of the agreement. Dumb move. That last trial was the worst (but best to read and be entertained by) and so jaw dropping. I thought the last Fae up for sacrifice would be Lucien, but when it turned out to be Tamlin…oh so not fair. I agreed wholeheartedly with Feyre. Sarah J. Maas, you’re so evil! I don’t even know how Feyre was able to think back and realize that Tamlin’s heart was stone. That was sheer luck on her part. She’s also super lucky she figured out the riddle before Amarantha killed her.

There are those who seek me a lifetime but never we meet,
And those I kiss but who trample me beneath ungrateful feet.

At times I seem to favor the clever and the fair,
But I bless all those who are brave enough to dare.

By large, my ministrations are soft-handed and sweet,
But scorned, I become a difficult beast to defeat.

For though each of my strikes lands a powerful blow,
When I kill, I do it slow…

Feyre, you’re annoying. The answer is obviously LOVE. I don’t understand why it took you so long to figure it out. I got it right away. I’m going to attribute it to the pressure of getting the answer right and the horror of being in Amarantha’s presence. Like when you take a test and you just blank. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt.

I’m just glad she eventually figured it out.

That ending though. I did not see that coming. Did you know the High Lords could turn a human into Fae? How long have they known about that ability? So weird and unexpected. Just: How? Seriously, a what-the-heck? moment to the extreme.

The entire book was phenomenal. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one! You go, Sarah!

5 out 5 stars FOR SURE.