2013 Book Challenges: July Edition

*Does happy dance* I have finished one of my challenges! Finally! Goodbye, Début author challenge! Even though I’ll probably continue to read other Débuts just because.

2013 Reading Challenge

Goal: 100

Read: 11

Total: 64

Freaking out by Polly Wells

Beyond Parallel by Matthew Turner

Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell

Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential#1) by Kara Taylor

Proxy (Proxy#1) by Alex London

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

The Bone Season (Scion#1) by Samantha Shannon

Siege and Storm (The Grisha#2) by Leigh Bardugo

Clean by Amy Reed

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Running Lean  Diana L. Sharples

2013 Debut Author Challenge

Goal: 13

Read: 6

Total: 13 (I’m done here! YES!)

Beyond Parallel by Matthew Turner

Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell

Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential#1) by Kara Taylor

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

The Bone Season (Scion#1) by Samantha Shannon

Running Lean  Diana L. Sharples

2013 TBR Pile

Goal: 50

Read:2

Total: 13

Clean by Amy Reed

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

2013 YA Contemporary Challenge

Goal: 30

Read: 5

Total: 14

Freaking out by Polly Wells

Beyond Parallel by Matthew Turner

Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential#1) by Kara Taylor

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Running Lean  Diana L. Sharples

2013 Sophomore Challenge

Goal: 20

Read: 1

Total: 2

Siege and Storm (The Grisha#2) by Leigh Bardugo

How are your challenges going? Send me links so I can check them out!

Book Review: Gated by Amy Christine Parker

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Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Publisher: Random House

Genre: Contemporary, Cults and young adult

Release Date: August 6, 2013

Pages: 224 (Hardcover)

Gated

In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:

Pioneer is her leader.

Will is her Intended.

The end of the world is near.

Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound’s underground fortress–the Silo.

Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she’d rather think about a certain boy outside the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Random House for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

I was honestly expecting a lot more from this. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched and read a lot of articles and documentaries about cults and religious groups that I was expecting a lot more. Especially from Lyla, I was hoping that over time, her character would change, not already be changing.  Amy Christine Parker does a fine job pushing the limits, showing readers what the inside of a cult might look like but I felt like she could have pushed it more and made it more…darker? Sinister? Sadistic? Something like that.

Getting into the book is a bit tough, everything feels very stiff and boring. I couldn’t relate or feel anything for the characters nor did it grab my attention like I wanted it to. The romance in gated feels very contrived and unrealistic to me with how everything ends up, almost like a happily ever love story. It also has an insta-love type of feeling to it and I don’t like insta-love at all. I wish there was more information about Pioneer and his tactics, what’s wrong with him and how he became this way because he changes and there isn’t enough information to leave me feeling satisfied about it.

Nonetheless, I love Pioneer’s character. He’s scary and well-developed, going from sweet and trusting to something else in such a short span of time.  The pacing is also very well done, most of the novel didn’t feel rushed or too slow and the suspense builds up to make a gruesome ending. As far as endings go, Amy Parker does bring her game and gives readers something insane to read about, it’s gory, confusing, and definitely dark. I love it.  I had to close the book a few times just to get a hold of myself!

Gated is not a bad book, it just falls short of my expectations around a topic so serious like this one. But I know that a lot of people will like this book because of the genre that it’s in and to have an insight of how easy it is for some people to take advantage of others when they’re most vulnerable and will believe just about anything.

Three Clouds
Three Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Favourite Book Quotes of the Week#33

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A list of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read in the past week. Leave a comment telling me what your favourite quotes are! I’ll be sure to check your post out too!

Clean by Amy Reed

9491739Favourite quotes:

1. How is feeling like a failure supposed to help me? The way I see it, they should invent some pill that just makes you forget whatever you want, some pill that makes you numb and functional.

2. Everybody has fucked-up families, even normal kids, even the ones who aren’t in here. There’s no magic math equation that makes us addicts, nothing that separates us from everyone else.

3. She had no idea there were so many different kinds of lonely. But she does not want your pity. She just wants you to understand what can happen when you’re a million kinds of lonely at once, when you find yourself among identical strangers you do not want to get to know.

4. Normal people can keep promises they make to themselves.

Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential#1) by Kara Taylor

13411546Favourite quote: Being brave isn’t the same as not being scared, though, it means going through with something even if it totally terrifies you.

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

15752340Favourite quotes:

1. “But even lambs have to be lions sometimes.”

2. If you really love someone, you have to be prepared to do what’s necessary to help them learn and grow, even if it’s painful for the both of you.

3. Pain’s not bad. It teaches you things. I understand that. (Charles Manson)

4. If a sky this dark can still be peppered with so much light, maybe this world can be too.