Tuesday, November 17, 2015

MARTians

MARTians. Blythe Woolston. 2015. Candlewick. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Did I enjoy reading Blythe Woolston's MARTians? Yes, for the most part. Not wholeheartedly perhaps. But I can see some definite strengths, which is a reason to recommend it, in my opinion!

MARTians is a YA novel that will appeal to lovers of dystopian novels mainly. Also to those perhaps who really enjoyed Ray Bradbury's science fiction. Though don't expect MARTians to be as amazingly wonderful and as complex as Bradbury's fiction. I definitely got the feeling that the author was inspired by several of Bradbury's stories. And since I love Bradbury too, I felt at times a kindred spirit with the author.

The heroine of MARTians is a young teen girl named Zoe Zindleman. The novel practically throws you right into the action, for better or worse. On the day the novel opens, Zoe learns that she--and her whole class, the whole school, I believe--is being graduated early, several years early in fact. She is curious as to why. But is trying to adapt as best she can. She knows that in a day or two, she'll hopefully be offered a job, start training, and go to work. She's not sure what job she'll be offered--though she knows she'll have a choice between two jobs, a rare treat in this futuristic society. But that's not the only change in her life--school to full-time job. No, her mom received news as well. And as a result, essentially abandons Zoe, trusting that Zoe is now old enough to be on her own. Zoe, for a few days at least, will be all on her own in a house that won't sell, in a neighborhood that's been abandoned--none of the houses will sell--and trashed. She feels very much alone. Until she meets someone who offers to help her so long as she agrees to always lend a helping hand to others. She agrees, and her new life begins...for better or worse.

Much world-building is done in MARTians, but, still enough is left mysterious and shadowy. Readers definitely get the impression that this society is not all-happy despite the focus on materialism and shopping.

I definitely found this a compelling read, and, a quick read.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
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  • fantasy
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  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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