Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Choice & A Million Suns

I'm reviewing two of the books I read for the read-a-thon today. I know it's a little odd why I'm doing them together. The Choice is well, obviously about a choice. A Million Suns is about many--those that have been made in the past, those that need to  or must be made, and those that are still yet to be made.  How each choice leads to a another. How choices affect choices.

The Choice Summary from Good Reads:
Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life -- boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies -- he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style.
That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him...and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn't help. Despite himself, Travis can't stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen.
Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, The Choice ultimately confronts us with the most heart wrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

As yall have possibly gathered from some of my other Nicholas Sparks reviews, his books are very hit or miss for me. (Most of the time, at least. A Bend in the Road was an exception). The Choice was a hit.
I loved the romance between Travis and Gabby and how she learned to love him. I loved that they ended up together, because I thought the choice was going to be Gabby choosing between Travis and her long-time boyfriend. I had no idea how harsh and agonizing the choice (the actual one) was going to be.
I suppose that was the only real problem I had with the book, that Part Two didn't seem to fit with Part One. I really liked Part One and wished that Sparks had continued on to when Travis and Gabby got married and how she had had to make a choice for Travis ohhhh and then he had to make a choice for her years later! But Gabby's choice wasn't really elaborated on much, which I wanted. I wanted more of how they actually came to be. Together.

I'll leave you with two questions:
How far should you go to keep the hope of love alive?
How far should a person go in the name of true love?

Think on it.

And here are two alternative covers that I liked.
The Choice      The Choice

Moving forward.

A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)
Summary from Beth Revis's website:
Godspeed was once fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.

It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to enact his vision – no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that’s growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

I want to say one thing first, before I say anything else. I think it is the best idea to read Across the Universe and A Million Suns back-to-back or consecutively. Because I read ATU in September 2011 and I didn't remember that much except Amy was frozen with her parents and supposed to wake up 300 years later on a new planet but was woken up early and that there was a guy named Harley who painted and a boy named Elder who wanted to lead with the morals of right and wrong and of a controlling, corrupt leader named Eldest who was in charge of the ship, Godspeed.

AMS takes place three months after ATU has ended. Amy has come to terms that the life she lived on Earth and all that she knew is over. Gone. Now all she sees are walls. That keep her trapped. She misses her parents and her home and wishes she had never left it.

But there is Elder, who loves and cares for her and is determined to lead Godspeed without lies or Phydus. He wants to give people choices, but when he does the people hate that they are limited. But on board a space ship that is crumbling, how could the choices NOT be limited? Limited choices also go for Amy, not just the others on Godspeed. Here's a quote:
"Love without choice isn't love at all. 'Just that I don't want to be with you just because there's no one else.'"

As for the plot, there were things I liked and didn't like. I found it far far far too obvious who was behind the sabotage. I also didn't like how so many people DIED. Especially this one person who was carrying a child. A woman who had been through much and deserved to live. That really made me irritated. I liked how Orion was still a big part of the novel even though he was frozen and I wonder what happens when he gets out. I thought the best and most fascinating part of the novel was Amy hunting for the clues that Orion had left behind and Amy found out. Although, I don't think Orion was very smart in letting Amy make the decisions for the very reason he thought she should make it. Of course Amy would make the choice she did.

So overall, I felt like the plot became just a little bit too predictable with the ship's engine and the big secret. Although, I did mostly enjoy it there was a lot that irritated me, especially with the random deaths, the rebellion, the sabotage, and the big secret. Oh and the ending. It's a cliff hanger.

Here is where I will spoil the book so don't go any further. But I do have one last piece of advice. Google search "contengency plan" and "sentient definition." It will help if you do. Now don't go any further, unless you've already read AMS.

Amy and Elder decide to go to the new planet. The planet they are meant to be on. Home. They have reached their goal. They have done what they set out to do. Although at great risk. They do not know what is on the new planet. They don't know if they will live or die. They only know that to live in a world without walls is worth it.

So now I ask. Would you--would I--have made the same choice? To go to the new planet or to stay on Godspeed?

I have also found some other very good reviews of A Million Suns that I would like to share.
Reading After Midnight
The Life of Fiction
Jess Hearts Books

That's all I got! And seeing how it's almost midnight I'm going to finish this. Thanks for reading yall and have a good weekend!