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Review: Necessary Ill

illTitle: Necessary Ill
Author: Deb Taber
Release Date: March 1, 2013
Pages: 352

First Line: “At ten thirty on a weekday morning the restaurants are as empty as they’ll ever be.”

“Jin, the neuter protagonist of Necessary Ill, begins the novel as a designer of plagues intended to set the world back into balance—a balance of population and resources, creation and destruction, choice and certainty—a balance more important to it than any individual life, including its own. Sandy, a young woman thrust violently out of her farm life into the dispassionate science of neuters like Jin, discovers her own need for balance—a balance of safety and adventure, art and science, self-protection and love. But Jin and Sandy find that human life is full of change, and as the world is thrown off balance for all, each questions their ruling assumptions and must learn to see in new ways for the survival of friends and enemies alike.” – from

My thoughts: Good to read something for adults every once in a while. I liked this book, but the way Taber switches between past and present tense for each chapter kind of bothered me. I’m not the kind of person that hates present tense, but I had to get used to it every other chapter, and I’m not sure why. Interesting story though!

My Ratings:
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Subject: 3/5
Originality: 4/5
Kept me interested: 3/5
Overall rating: 3/5

Review: Animal Wise

animal wiseTitle: Animal Wise
Author: Virginia Morell
Publisher: Crown
Released: February 26, 2013
Pages: 267 (minus notes)
First Line: “Animals have minds.”

“Did you know that ants teach, earthworms make decisions, rats love to be tickled, and chimps grieve? Did you know that some dogs have thousand-word vocabularies and that birds practice songs in their sleep? That crows improvise tools, blue jays plan ahead, and moths remember living as caterpillars?

Noted science writer Virginia Morell explores the frontiers of research on animal cognition and emotion, offering a surprising and moving exploration into the hearts and minds of wild and domesticated animals.” – from

My Thoughts: As an animal lover and vegetarian, I might be a little biased on this subject, but I really enjoyed this book. I’m glad that researchers are actually putting time and resources into the study of animal cognition, because only by understanding them better can we make others realize the hurt they are causing through the terrible treatment of animals. They are not robots, and they deserve better.

Morell did put a lot of effort into telling the stories of the researchers as well. Some may think this takes away from the important subject at hand, but I liked getting to know the people who take this issue seriously enough to really study it, apparently most of time even though it’s not considered valid by other scientists. People are just as important as the animals themselves in the fight for animal rights.

I also learned a lot of cool stuff about different species, but of course, as a dog lover, the last chapter “Of Dogs and Wolves” was definitely the most relevant and interesting to me. In fact, I told my husband, even if he doesn’t read the whole thing, he should at least read that chapter. But the whole book is definitely worth it too, and Morell makes even the scientific stuff a smooth, easy read.

Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Subject: 5/5
Originality: 4/5
Kept me interested: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Loved it!


Review: Reached

Reached_final-cover-image  Title: Reached
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched (#3)
Publisher: Penguin
Released: 11/13/2012
Pages: 512
First Line: “Every morning, the sun comes up and turns the earth red, and I think: This could be the day when everything changes.”

Reached is the third book in the Matched series. In this book, Cassia, Ky and Xander are all playing different roles in The Rising, waiting for them to come in and take over the Society. The Plague is their cue. At first, everything seems to be going as planned, but then the Plague starts to mutate, and even The Rising starts to run out of answers. Cassia, Ky and Xander are then asked to play key roles in the discovery of a cure.

My Thoughts: To be honest, I’m not even sure why I decided to read this one. I like Matched okay, but I was not at all a fan of Crossed. While the story in Reached was at least a little less disappointing than Crossed, I still found myself not really caring what happened to the characters, and mostly just waiting for it to be over. I think there is a lot that could have been taken out. In fact, I think Crossed and Reached could have been combined into one book. It seemed like not a lot really happened. The love triangle wasn’t really working for me in the last two books either. Maybe because I didn’t particularly like any of them all that much, so I didn’t understand why they loved each other so much. After the first book being pretty much all romance, there wasn’t much in this book at all.

Writing: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Plot: 2/5
Originality: 3/5
Kept me Interested: 2/5
Overall Rating: 2/5