Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Title: The Hunt
Author: Andrew Fukuda
Genre: YA, dystopian, action, slight romance
Star Rating: 2/5 stars

Taken from 'Goodreads', "Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood. 

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?"

'The Hunt' is a quick read with a slightly similar storyline to the Hunger Games.  The idea behind the 'human hunt' is that the human population be controlled through means of a battle royale (of sorts) between the thriving alien species and the remaining human population.

As far as covers go, I like the cover design on 'The Hunt'.  It's an engaging cover with some fun elements.  I love the ripped cut out showing the two lead characters.

In all honesty, it's not my favorite dystopian read.  The pacing was off through the entire novel.  The beginning felt slow and the ending felt rushed.  I wasn't surprised at the big reveal 200 pages in, either.  I had it pegged very early on.

The world was crafted well enough and, unlike some dystopian worlds, I had no problem figuring it out.  The world has some unique bits that separate it from other dystopian titles, but also suffers from having too much backstory.

The long and short of it?  While the idea was an interesting one, for me, 'The Hunt' just didn't hold up.  'The Hunt' wasn't my cup of tea and gets 2 out of 5 stars from this little blog.

Review: Meet Samantha by Susan Adler

Title: Meet Samantha
Author: Susan Adler
Genre: Juvi, historical fiction, friendship, growing up
Star Rating: 5/5 stars

Taken from Amazon, "Samantha Parkington is an orpan who lives with her rich grandmother in 1904. There are many servants in Grandmary's busy, bustling household, but there is no one for Samantha to play with. That's why she's so excited when Nellie moves in next door. Nellie has come to work so that she can send money back to her family in the city. Even though their lives are different, the two girls become good friends. One day Samantha discovers that Jessie, the seamstress, is leaving. No one will tell her why. So she and Nellie plan a secret midnight adventure to find out."

It is rare that two hobbies of mine collide, but that is exactly the case with 'Meet Samantha'. An avid doll collector, Samantha is one of my favorite American Girl dolls. Like many, I read this book series back in the early 90's when I was scrimping and saving my pennies for Pleasant Company's American Girl dolls. 2012, it seems, has been a year of re-reading for me, and I thought what better to re-read than Samantha's story?

Set in 1904, 'Meet Samantha' introduces us to 9 year old Samantha. Rich and upper class, Samantha is far from your typical socialite. She's full of spunk and not afraid to get dirty or speak her mind. This first book in this six book series is, for the most part, an introduction to the characters and settings. That's not to say there isn't a story, because there is, but a lot of this book concentrates on relationships.

What I love most about Samantha's story is the setting. 1904 was a time where you could realistically see cars and horse drawn carriages sharing roads. New things were being invented every day. Can you imagine?

I will forever recommend the Samantha book series to young readers.  They are great stories with great themes (ie: friendship, confidence, etc).  Even after all these years, I had a blast reading 'Meet Samantha' and your young reader will, too!  Because of that, this blog gives 'Meet Samantha' 5 out of 5 stars.

You can find 'Meet Samantha' at your local bookstore or library.