To follow Livy’s adventures, please stay tuned for the release of the novel Rebel on Anne Michaud’s Musing & Little Obsessions blog.
Tags: Cinco de Mayo, Michael J. Martineck
My novel, Cinco de Mayo, is one of five finalists for the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award. It’s the only science fiction novel nominated. Ever. Every vote would be greatly appreciated.
Voting ends (anyone can vote) May 31. It’s a literary award and I’m up against a lot of ’cause’ books, so, well, I could use the help. If you feel weird about lending your support, you can trust me, it’s a great book. Or, you can try a sample from here:
Tags: Divergent, Dystopian, Veronica Roth, Young Adult
In a society split into 5 factions, a girl decides against staying with her family and chooses a more daring future, but as she learns the ropes of this new life, she discovers love, friendship, and what it means to be yourself.
The world created by the author is at times a little weak, which made identifying with the main character Tris a little hard at the beginning – but once I saw this new world of risks and threatening tasks through her eyes, I was hooked. The plot only starts three quarters into the book, since most of the story is about training to become a Dauntless and forgetting what it is to be Abnegation. Maybe its structure was to fully develop the love subplot between Tris and Four? Regardless, it worked for me.
It’s dark, a little implausible and a lot dangerous, but being a divergent would suit me just fine. I want to dive from a building and live in the Pit, I want to get tattoos to prove that I’m tough and kick boys in the face. Divergent is not only a thrill to read, but it made me want to do something, to get up and run.
The Army completely irradiated this book from America. I probably have the only copy left. No wonder, the heroine not only rebels against her faction, but she risks everything to be who she is – which, for most people living in the Macro-Cities, means something other than joining to fight on the fronts.
Tags: Books, Dystopian, Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
This is a very short novel about the courage of your convictions and how far you can go to protect a piece of History. The protagonist struggles with what’s right and wrong, he fights against society and its crazy scheme to control everyone, and he realizes all his life has been spent destroying precious knowledge. His life ends when he starts to read.
The strong message is overshadowed by weak subplots – what could have been a true masterpiece ends up being a tough read: not with its content but in its execution. I understand the revolt, the need to do something against burning books, the want to change it all – but to see this man alone in his corner makes me wonder about the depth of this world created by the author. I wanted to see more than superficial scenes between this man and his wife, I wanted to understand how he could live with his conscience after years of destroying the written word.
The Army confiscated this book because it speaks of rebellion against a society that burns every piece of History – like they are doing by burning books like this one.
Tags: Books, Dystopian, Lois Lowry, the Messenger, Young Adult
This third and final continuity of the Giver and Gathering Blue makes it even harder for its characters to find peace. The villagers are selling their souls to have more success in love and money – and as they become rich in beauty and health, they vote to refuse entry to refugees from other villages and erect a wall to enclose it. Matty lives with Kira’s father (characters from Gathering Blue) while the Leader (the sole survivor of the Giver) tries to keep everything under control in a time of racism, hatred and greed. But they have powers: Matty can heal, the Leader can see the future, and Kira sews it into cloth.
I don’t know why, but this novel didn’t grab me as did its two predecessors. Maybe the sub-plot of the villagers turning to what is morally wrong with our society wasn’t strong enough a premise for the story to hold onto? Or maybe the characters’ powers felt superficial? It wasn’t as magical as the Giver and certainly not as heartfelt as Gathering Blue, which left me a tad sad.
The Army lets young readers have this novel because no one dares wander in the Forest – everyone stays within the borders of the path, like good soldiers.
Tags: Dystopian, Secret Friend, Young Adult
After a three night stay at the hotel, it broke my heart to put Julie back into that awful house – but, as she said, it’s her home. Her mother seemed relieved to see her again, as did her grandma, who baked cookies but half were stolen by the famished herd of kids living with them. With the money I gave them, they’ll be able to move into a private unit next week, closer to their jobs and the civic center. Julie smiled, which made me happy.
I left the warm sea shores for colder ones. I transferred at Boston and slept all the way through to Seattle. I was exhausted. Taking care of my friend ate everything I had, but I do feel like I’ve done something right. Would she have done the same for me? She knows she wouldn’t need to since I have Dad and Uncle Roger to take care of things. So, probably not.
Dad said I’ve changed, that I look older to him, now. Maybe he’ll trust me more, now, and my decisions? Like the Army.
Tags: Dystopian, Secret Friend, Young Adult
Julie and I were at the laundromat. The place was so hot, I almost fainted. And Julie was being difficult, saying she could do everything herself when clearly, she couldn’t. She burned her hand on the iron and fell on the floor trying to put heavy, wet clothes in the dryer.
And then I heard it, as she lay spread out on the floor. Louder than in Seattle, we both froze until an old lady with a fan shouted to get out and find the closest shelter. She said enemy planes had been spotted, although I have no idea where she got the information. Maybe she saw them? I didn’t stick around to find out.
Julie is skinny but the panic made her impossible to lift into her wheelchair. When she finally sat down, I ran to the street, pushing her. Complete chaos. Cars and trucks sped up and down, making it impossible to cross. So I kept to the same side, following people toward an old church, long transformed into a bunker.
We got to use the elevator to go down and arrived just in time: already full, they had to close the door on some people. They screamed and cursed, but the space was filled up and no one else could get in. Julie had a panic attack, the people standing around her so close, she had no air. Even me, almost a head taller than everybody, I found it hard to breathe.
Tags: Dystopian, Lies: a Gone novel, Michael Grant, Young Adult
The third book in the Gone saga brings characters back from the dead (oh yes, zombies!), glimpses at parents waiting outside the FAYZ bubble, and shows how lies can obliterate the precarious lives of a bunch of teens running some crazy town.
Dark and violent as ever, this chapter of the Gone novels might not be as strong as its predecessors, but it still satisfies with plenty of action. The battle between the Freaks and the Human Crew erupts, fuelled by a council doing nothing in a time of need. Fire spreads through the town, of course Caine is involved, and powers are subdued by a strange flu going around. Chaos.
It would be impossible to remain unaffected by this saga: the characters feel so real, the drama is so entertaining. More often than not, I find myself keeping my breath in until the trouble dissipates. I love to hate the baddies and sometimes hate to love the characters that make stupid mistakes. I highly recommend this saga for anyone who hasn’t read it yet.
No wonder the Army confiscated every edition of this series. It shows how to rebel against one’s government, to do what feels right even if sometimes, it’s wrong.
So I’ve been sheltered all my life. I know this, I’m aware of it. I’ve seen veterans who wished they’d died on the fronts, I’ve met kids my age who were orphans because of war. But never before have I lived like they do. I thought it wasn’t that bad, that they had fun stuff to do, places to see, things to learn. I was wrong.
Julie has to fight everyday to meet with the only therapist available to her and about twenty other kids that also had ‘accidents’ to avoid the War 5 fronts. She has no prospects for a good paying job since she can’t go to school anymore. Her grandmother works at the recycling factory, an Army-based operation that – from what I’ve noticed – pays very little for the amount of work. Her mother works two jobs, one to pay the rent and the other to pay for food. Her grandmother’s pay is for the medical bills, which are enormous.
I gave them my entire bank account. It wasn’t much but enough to provide good therapy for Julie and maybe a new place for her family. We don’t know each other very well, I don’t owe her anything, but seeing her life, a life with absolutely no future… it’s heartbreaking.
Ok, so Julie was clearly disappointed and her mother a little insulted, but what did they expect? They didn’t have enough room or food for me, so when I told them I was moving to the closest hotel, I had to bring Julie with me. The kids living with her begged me to stay, even lured me with their small portions of food – as if I’d ever take it away from them. They looked so malnourished, my heart aches just thinking about them, now.
I wanted Julie to come with me to the hotel and I didn’t feel like it at the same time. Taking care of her was such hard work: too weak to move on her own, I had to help her in the bathroom, roll her around town, and make sure her stumps were always up to help the drainage. I didn’t ask, so I still don’t know what THAT means.
My only friend never asked about school, Eric, my dad, her old life in Seattle. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say she was close to letting herself die. What kept her alive? Why did she want to live such a life?
Julie used to chat about stuff, she used to read as much as I do and go to parties that ended early in the morning. She used to love to gossip and eat too much ice cream. She had crushes on dozens of boys all at once and dated a few. But now, that part of her life is over – and she’s only 15.
Now, she only hopes. She hopes war will be over soon, that the country won’t need the Army so much and the people can start making decisions, too. She hopes the money her mother lost in taxes will come back and she and her family can move into a real house with no one else living with them. She hopes to be able to afford prosthetics, eat more to gain back muscle, be independent again. She hopes to have a life, and get back all that she lost with what she calls her ‘experience’.
Julie never said a word about what she dreams at night, but I can see it in her eyes.