Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenbalm
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
This is a post-apocalyptic story about a world where robots have taken over the world to save humans from themselves, supposedly. It stars 3 teen siblings fighting to rescue their parents, who were taken by robots. The premise is decent and action interesting. I actually really loved the re-education portion of the book where the robots talk about humans as their creators and gods but ultimately flawed and pitiful. I wish there had been more of this philosophical argument and less of the kids being idiots. The oldest brother does all these ridiculous, stupid things which propels the plot forward but made me wish he’d just die already. In the end, there’s actually no resolution, which surprised me after all that time. The book reads like the first in a trilogy though so no doubt the author is dragging out the drama. However, I’m not sure I’ll continue with the series. The writing is decent but the characters didn’t grab me. I appreciated the lack of romance though.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This is set in the future US where love has been diagnosed as a disease and all people must be “cured” on their 18th birthday. The book never explicitly explains the cure but it sounds like a lobotomy. The main narrator, Lena, is all for the cure until she falls in love in the months before her 18th birthday. She discovers why love is so powerful and worth dying for. The premise is interesting even though the descriptions are pretty classic dictator-run military state. There’s not much deviation in the set up but enough to keep it interesting. I like the writing a lot as it’s smooth and engaging from the beginning. The dramatic touch at the ending also had me excited to read the next books. My only caveat is that Lena is insufferable most of the time. She’s afraid of absolutely everything, she reacts in the worst possible way every single time – in this she is extremely predictable and annoying – and everyone accommodates her instead of slapping her when she deserves it. It’s a real credit to the story that the writing overcomes such an unlikable main chick. Im curious to see where this series goes.
Why is it a recurring theme in YA books that the main characters are total idiots? Is this because teens are supposed to be stupid and make mistakes? I don’t mind the immaturity and ridiculous decision making (to be expected to some extent), but sometimes I really think these characters are TSTL. Yet, they’re ubiquitous in these books so it has to be a conscious choice. I find the most creativity in post-apoc settings in the YA genre but the main characters would never have survived truthfully.
2 thoughts on “Non m/m update…”
I wonder if it’s because authors are often older and we remember our own youth? I’m sure I was not nearly as savvy and aware as my daughter is. Or maybe I have an exception but I don’t see a lot of her friends making stupid decisions, not major anyway. Most seem to have a good head on their shoulders and are very aware of how things relate and work.
Of course, if the author is 24, no excuse then. LOL I suppose they also feel it will appeal to the shaky self-esteem many teens have where you are sure EVERYONE is prettier, smarter, stronger, etc. than you. So if the character has major flaws, you’ll relate to her/him? Those characters just piss my kid off though and she hopes they die by the end, much like the brother in the first book. LOL Mind you, unless someone dies at the end of the book she’s just not happy anyway.
That’s a good point and I don’t necessarily have a problem with appealing to wider audience in making the lead character flawed and problematic. After all as you said, so many perceive themselves that way. I’m just wondering why authors don’t make the characters smarter and more aware. Perhaps they can have flaws to appeal and be relatable but then make them a hero of sorts, instead of always doing the wrong thing.
It doesn’t bother me greatly since I don’t read this genre to relate to the characters. Most of the time I roll my eyes at the idiocy and root for their death and/or destruction. But that’s entertaining for me. I’m not invested in these characters so they don’t drive me insane, for the most part. I just think they’re stupid.
Considering most of these authors began the series or books in their 20s (although they may be older now), I think they’re just idealizing the flaws of the youth. Making them easy targets to move the plots forward without having to figure out clever ways to ensure the book moves. Just a guess tho…