The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

*Review & Mini Review* Taken & Stolen by Erin Boman September 21, 2014

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

***I received a finished paperback from HarperTeen & Alison Linsow, I decided to review on my own. Being provided with a copy in no way swayed my opinion.***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 16 April 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, SciFi, Futuristic, Mystery (MALE NARRATOR)
Format: paperback provided by HarperTeen & Alison Linsow
Status: book one of the Taken trilogy

Summary:

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

 

 

My thoughts:

I’m pretty sure that I have Jodi Meadows to thank for Taken getting on my to read radar. She’s recommended some great ones to me. How it didn’t get read until now is a mystery. SO. GOOD. The cover is gorgeous. I would love to have prints in my office. When i was surprised by a paperback of Taken and a finished hardcover of Frozen after receiving an ARC, I knew it was time to read. I finally found time to fit it in.

I was instantly intrigued because the narrator is male. Definitely nice to read in a different perspecive than normal. I was also excited because I was jumping into another dystopian setting. I love dystopians! I know, I know. You’re thinking, ugh, just another dystopian. No. NOT just another dystopian.

Though it’s only in for a short while, I loved the relationship between Gray and Blaine. Orphaned young, they’ve only had each other and have an easy relationship. I developed a theory quickly about the Heist and I was right. Some people may be turned off from the seeming predictability, but I think Erin wrote it that way intentionally. Even though it’s in Gray’s perspective, I felt it was set up for the reader to figure things out a step ahead of Gray so it was easier to see how his choices were made by his personality.

I also liked watching the relationship develop between Emma and Gray. Emma is a strong female character to keep Gray on his toes and grounded at the same time. I’m undecided on the romance side of their relationship. It kinda feels like she has the hots for Blaine and Gray has the hots for Emma. We’ll see though.

I loved Erin’s world building. She gives enough detail and background without it being overwhelming. There is still enough left unexplained to keep you guessing and interested in continuing reading to see how everything is going to end up.

Gray is followed over the Wall by Emma. Gray is determined to find the answers to his questions. And answers he finds. Everything he thought he had an idea of being the truth is no where remotely close.

Along his journey, he meets a host of other great characters. No one is who they really seem to be and it’s hard to know who to trust. I liked Emma, but I came to like Bree too. I’m interested in learning her back story in Stolen.

I’m excited to be able to dive right into Frozen. Yes, this is another dystopian. However, that shouldn’t take away from the appeal. It’s a fantastic and quick read that will leave you wanting more. Give it a shot!

 

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date: 4 February 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, SciFi, Futuristic, Mystery
Format:
ebook, personal copy
Status: novella companion of the Taken trilogy (Bree’s POV)

Summary:

Before Gray Weathersby uncovered the truth about Claysoot and the Laicos Project, a girl named Bree came of age in the coastal settlement of Saltwater—and made her own surprising journey to the world beyond its borders. In Stolen, discover the story of Bree’s life before she was Snatched from her home, before she joined the rebellion, and before she met a boy named Gray…

 

 

My thoughts:

It feels like I’m reviewing novellas more frequently and that’s not my intention. I was on the fence about reviewing Stolen, but decided to do a mini review because it’s from a different perspective than the rest of the trilogy.

I was drawn to Bree for her fierce bravery and determination. She definitely gives Gray a run for his money in cockiness and snark. Oh, the snark that they exchange! Superb!

I liked being able to see inside another walled city. Chronologically, Stolen takes place before Taken, but I recommend reading it after. It was interesting to see a community where the boys are taken plus some of the girls.

The events of Stolen really make Bree’s behaviour in Taken clearer. It’s really heartbreaking and made me far more sympathetic towards her.

Again, Erin sets the scene beautifully and this is a super quick read. It makes me look forward to seeing Bree’s character blossom even more in Frozen and Forged.

About the author:

Erin Bowman used to tell stories visually as a web designer. Now a full-time writer, she relies solely on words. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and when not writing she can often be found hiking, commenting on good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter.

Erin is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger. She is the author of TAKEN, FROZEN, and FORGED (4/14/15) from HarperTeen. VENGEANCE ROAD is forthcoming from HMH in fall 2015.

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 1-7 June 2014 June 7, 2014

Posting this early today since we’ll be busy all day and I know I won’t get my book finished! Spending all day with the kiddos celebrating Punky’s birthday! I am really struggling with hubby gone! Eesh! I was ahead then just squeaking by. The kiddos really miss their daddy and are acting out. It makes every day interesting, let me tell ya. I live for naptimes right now! I’m going a bit crazy! It feels like all I do is say, “Don’t hit your sister. Don’t jump on the couch. Stop climbing. Don’t throw your toys. Don’t sit on your sister. Leave her alone, she doesn’t want to play.” Poor things think if they act up, daddy will come home. /: Sorry, kids, doesn’t work that way!


Completed:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (audiobook)

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton (eARC)


Currently Reading:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (yes, we’re still working on it!)

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (paperback & audiobook) 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (audiobook) 

Mind Games by Kiersten White



Read to the Kiddos:

I was bad and didn’t keep track. ):
I know a Wee Piggy by Kim Norman


New to my shelf:

I know a Wee Piggy by Kim Norman (Thanks, Imagination Library!)

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen (finished copy, Thanks HarperTeen & Alison Linsow!)

From the lovely Book Rock Betty:

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

Half Bad by Sally Green

Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore

Ask Me by Kimberly Pauley

Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

The Ring & the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 27 April – 3 May 2014 May 3, 2014

I’m working from my own laptop for the first time in AGES and it’s GLORIOUS. I’ve either been working on my posts from our desktop, hubby’s laptop, or my mom’s netbook that I’ve been borrowing. Punk and our dog Maggie killed my charge port forever ago and we’ve just now been able to get a new laptop for me. And it’s not just a laptop, it’s a 2 in1! Yay for laptop and tablet capabilities! I’m super excited about having this. The one thing I don’t like is that I can’t read my eARCs as of yet. I haven’t figured out how. My kindle app only works with my actual books and not documents. I’ve only piddled with it for a few hours so I’m sure I’ll be up and full running soon. And if not, I have my Paperwhite to read on! Or I can always steal the newly gifted Kindle Fire back from the kiddos. Haha. They’re happy to OFFICIALLY call mama’s Kindle theirs now. This week has been awesome for reading. I haven’t gotten as much work done on the blog to stay ahead, but I’m still super far ahead on paper so that’s good! It’s a beautiful day outside, so my office is our back porch until it’s time to head to a birthday party! What did you all think of the big news of Harper buying Harlequin? I’m still reeling. I think it will be epically awesome or epically bad bad BAD.


Completed:

Love Story by Jennifer Echols 4 stars.

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore (ARC) 

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen (ARC)




Currently Reading:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (yes, we’re still working on it!)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (audiobook)

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (audiobook)

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch (ARC)

 


Read to the Kiddos:

Truck Stop by Anne F Rockwell

Meet Me at the Moon by Gianna Marino

Chuggington: Snowstruck Wilsonby Scholastic Inc

That’s Not My Meerkat by Fiona Watt

Pretendby Jennifer Plecas

That’s Not My Train by Fiona Watt


New to my shelf:

Taken & Frozen by Erin Bowman (Thanks, Alison Lisnow and HarperTeen!)

17 First Kisses ARC by Rachael Allen (Thanks Alison Linsow and HarperTeen!)


From the library:
audiobooks, lots of them! (:

 

 
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