I read prodigy in trade back and found the formatting different and fun. Depending on who was telling the story the font would be either blue or black. I haven't decided if I enjoyed reading the font this way, but I do think it makes the book pretty. Once you stare at the blue ink for enough pages when you flip to the black ink it turned brown. It all as to do with the color receptors in your eyes, but I did not find this part specifically pleasing. I am glad to own the trade version, but wish I would have read the book on Kindle.
I loved the first book in the series - Legend. I liked the second. The second book focused a lot more on June and Day's relationship. While this should have been a good thing, it was too much like insta-love and not enough depth to the relationship. There was also a lot of conflict in their relationship. Although, I still found them compatible based on their thought process and skill alone. They are the only ones that could keep up with each other and make each other happy. I found myself cheering for their relationship and also being annoyed by it.
There was also a situation with June, that I will not get into due to spoilers. In the context of Prodigy the situation did not fit. I have since read Champion - the third book - and it was brought into context. Even with that, I felt like it should have been smoother. It should have served some purpose in Prodigy and helped push the book to be better. Instead it just felt flat. I felt similarly about some of the patriots. Their characters were not unique to me. There were actions that did not make sense based on who I thought they were. It just did not feel as polished as it could be.
I started dragging while reading. I was a bit broken hearted since Marie Lu has moved into one of my favorite authors and I loved the first book in the series. Then the book did a complete turn. I was caught back in. The ending was intense. I was left with my head spinning and my response was - WOW!! I was so caught back up that I started Champion almost immediately after finishing.
The Poppy War is set in a world that is full of Gods, these Gods can be used to grant a person special power. Although, this is only known by the few left who still believe. The story mostly follows Rin, a war orphan taken in by a drug dealer, not out of mercy but due to government intervention. It was a tough life. To escape it Rin studies for a test that will allow her to escape her small town to train at an elite military institution.
This is a coming of age story, one that does not paint the world in perfection or even black and white strokes. The world, and the people in it, are complex. The plot is less so. It is about war and power.
While I enjoyed The Poppy War and the characters found in it, I did not outright love it. I found it to be a little to dark.
Read on Kindle purchased during Amazon Deal of the Day.
The Things They Carried is written as a collection of short stories that combine to make a mostly unified novel. It is a look on the Vietnam war from the perspective of a soldier and his unit.
From a literary perspective, this book is amazing. The writing is well played out. The chapters could mostly read exclusively on their own, yet they combine together to create a picture of a unit in the Vietnam war. Yet it is a fuzzy picture purposely left to make the reader wonder how much of this novel is fiction and how much was based on "facts." It is impossible to understand a war unless you were there, yet O'Brien utilizes this writing style to help the reader to understand. Even then I know it only helps to a small degree. Even with his vivid writing, the various perspective of the members of the unit, and showing Vietnam from multiple perspectives I am left knowing that I will never understand what it was like to be in Vietnam.
This novel is a work of art. I understand why it is taught in schools as both an amazing novel as well as a way to help students understand Vietnam.
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