Top Ten Books in the Sci-fi Genre

TTT BannerTop Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their amazing blog here!

Today’s TTT topic is: Top Ten All Time Favorite Books in X Genre. I’ve chosen science fiction, since the last time I did this one I think I chose fantasy. Most of you probably remember that I was on a gigantic sci-fi kick for the first two months of 2014 – here are some of my favorites!

1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This was the first sci-fi book I ever read, and it’s still one of my favorites. It was the book that inspired me to be a writer – I wanted to inspire others just as Bradbury had changed me!

2. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Another book that changed my way of thinking and opened up so many possibilities as far as how I considered problems. 

3. Control by Lydia Kang. While this one had some faults (which I’ll talk about when I review it next week), the basic ideas that Kang started as far as the genetically-linked abilities really has some potential and I’m very excited to see how they develop in the second book.

4. Altered by Jennifer Rush. For sure an underrated series – and Andi agrees with me! There’s some romance, some action, and a whole lot of mysterious genetic tricks going on.

5. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. While Cinder was a great start to the series, Scarlet is really what sold me on the whole thing. I loved the fiery nature of Scarlet, and with the Lunar tech involved, I couldn’t put it down. 

6. Avalon by Mindee Arnett. Well I know that half of you don’t like the similarities to Firefly, but I freaking LOVED it. The characters, the adventures, the space – PERFECT!

7. The Program by Suzanne Young. This one has a bit more contemporary in it, but the basic ideas are sci-fi based. It’s an interesting take on depression and mental illness as well – I highly recommend it!

8. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. This is like fantasy and sci-fi blended, and while I haven’t read the second or third books, this one had some technology that kind of reminds me of that new book coming out this month called Elusion. I’d have liked to see more of the tech, but the fantasy bits were great as well. 

9. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Okay, I know it isn’t pure science fiction, but there’s enough of it in there I think. To be honest I just really wanted to include this book because I’m watching the movie right now and it’s just fdjakslfjas;fed *flails*

10. The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau. More dystopian than sci-fi, but it has some sci-fi roots as far as the technology and such. It’s race-based, but the beginning and the school parts are really interesting, despite the fact that the characters are just sitting at desks.

That’s my list for this week – link me yours below!

Top Ten Tuesday: Could Have (and Wanted to!) Read More

TTT BannerTop Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their amazing blog here!

Today’s TTT topic is: Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels (they were complete stories but you just could have read more and more about these characters or set in that world)

I would have loved to read more of:

1. Left Drowning by Jessica Park. I just finished this one two days ago, and haven’t even put my review up yet, but it was just so incredible. I’ll save my gushing for later on, but I could have easily continued reading about these characters. Maybe a novel for each main character after the events of Left Drowning? Hey, Jessica Park, get on it!

2. Harry Potter by JK Rowling. Let’s just get this one out of the way right now, yeah? I told you it would show up on most of my lists. While there is a part of me that says to just leave Harry with these seven books, and enjoy them as they are, the truth is that I would inhale any new material from Hogwarts.

3. The Espressologist by Kristina Springer. You can read my review here, and while I wasn’t raving about the book, it left off on a really sweet note, and I would have loved to see the developing relationships that only budded in the final page.

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I loved the ending, but I could have easily followed Charlie’s story, at least through the end of high school!

I don’t have any more to list, because a lot of the books that I’ve really enjoyed recently are series! Hooray for me! Anyway, I’m going to put my own spin on this topic and tell you about some series that I wish would have stopped after a certain point.

5. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I loved Eragon, and still do. I approached with caution for Eldest, and begrudgingly trudged through Brisingr. I still haven’t touched Inheritance. Paolini relied on too much deux ex machina and really random plot points that seemed like they were pulled from the stratosphere, and my rabid love for his series quickly waned.

6. The Program by Suzanne Young. I loved this book, as you can read here, but ultimately I think a stand-alone book would have been strong enough on its own. (Of course I’ll still buy all the sequels – I’m not that snobby!)

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. It’s the same situation as the Inheritance Cycle. Lisbeth Salander is one of my top ten favorite female protagonists ever, but I feel like her incredible character was overshadowed by the political grumbling of the later two books.

8. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. This one is entirely unfounded, since I haven’t even read the second book. But, with as many books as there are in the series (I think the sixth is coming out next year?) it can very easily derail and lose its chutzpa. I’m just hoping this doesn’t happen, because I purchased the entire series and they’re waiting on my shelf.

So there we have it – only eight this week. Sorry! Comment below and share your lists so I can check them out!

The Program

Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Pages: 405
Genre: Dystopia, romance, YA
Series? Yes – #1 of The Program series
Publisher: Simon Pulse (2013)
Rating: 5/6 – I loved it!

Synopsis from cover: Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone – but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they’ve made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in.

And The Program is coming for them.

My Initial Thoughts/Rambling: I love me some solid dystopia, and I wasn’t disappointed with this one! I heard about it a few weeks ago, and it’s been on the top of my wishlist since then. I finally had the extra cash, so I drove myself to Barnes and Noble, plunked down the $18, and sat at Starbucks for an hour and read half of the book. If you remember my rambling from this post, you’ll know I must have really wanted the book if I bought it in hardback instead of waiting for paperback.

What did I think about the characters? The best part about this book was the fact that James and Sloane were already established as being in a relationship: we didn’t have to waste 100 pages getting to their “I love you” moment. With a pre-established romance, I fell in love with these characters in an instant. They’re perfect complements to each other, but are solid characters on their own as well. Sloane, at times, can be a bit whiny, and cries a lot, but she pulls it together in the second half of the book and actually starts looking past her own issues and looking to help her friends.

And the concept and plot? Concept: A+ on this one! The idea that suicide is an contagious epidemic is intriguing, to say the least. However: if (in this version of society) suicide and depression is a tangible and spreadable illness like a cold (I’m ignoring my personal opinions on this topic and writing as if that fact was true), why can’t they identify what causes it? I mean, they have pills that can target and erase your memories. It’s a bit of a stretch for me to imagine that they can create that, but not identify a trigger for depression and suicide. I would have liked a bit more world-building, because the whole book is confined to the school, The Program, or the river. 

Plot: While it took a different turn than I was expecting, I was along for the ride the whole way! It was fast-paced and thrilling, never slowing or meandering through useless territory. Every page counted, and I enjoyed it from cover to cover.

What about the writing style? One word for you: compelling. Young has a way of sucking you in and gripping you even after the final page is finished. 

Anything else you’d like to add? I think I might have screeched a bit at the cliff-hanger ending. When I bought the book, I had no idea it would be a series, so you can imagine my surprise! And this book just came out in April too… It’s going to be a long wait. I’ll definitely be buying the next one, and probably other books from this author as well!