Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Favorite Book We've Reviewed This Year

I could put a LOT of things for this post, mainly because we've reviewed a few of my most favorite books (Peeps, Pride & Prejudice), but I don't feel like that's the point of this post.  I feel like I should be picking my favorite book out of the ones I hadn't previously read.  So, with that criteria out there, Unwind by Neal Shusterman is easily my favorite.

This book surprised me the most out of all the ones we've read.  I wasn't expecting to like it NEARLY as much as I did.  I was really expecting an overly political book, pounding it into your head that abortion is wrong and why would you ever do that, you horrible person you.

It really didn't come off that way, though.  It drove the point home without banging it over your head.  And... honestly, it didn't even really take a SIDE to the abortion issue. It just highlighted that people should have a choice.  The book was all about giving people a choice.

I remember talking to my Dad once and he mentioned that the voting age used to be 21.  And then the Vietnam War hit and he said they changed it to 18 because men were being sent off to war, but didn't even have a say in the person who was sending them there.  I think Unwind is a perfect example of this.  These kids were being destroyed, essentially, and didn't even have a say in the protocols that put them there.  They had no choice in anything.  They were simply at the whim of their parents.

I also LOVE Shusterman's writing, much more than I ever imagined I would.  The scene where one of the kids was going through the unwinding process was one of the best, most powerful things that I have ever read in my entire life.  And that's saying a lot because, damn, I read a frick ton (I'm at 75 books already this year.)

I know we've reviewed (and recommended) a lot of books this year on the blog, but this is one I think you should throw at the top of your TBR pile.

I have a perfect three-way tie for my favorite, with a very close second. The three-way tie is between World War Z, Unwind, and Divergent, with Starters as the very close second. Since Cassy discussed Unwind, and Starters is - though very close - still in second place, I'll pick one of the other two... Let's go with World War Z.

How do I love thee, World War Z? Let me list the ways.

I like fast zombies. Shambling, moaning ones make good sense, but so do fast ones if you're taking an infection approach, as opposed to some supernatural reawakening approach (which hardly anyone does anymore).

You get lots of different perspectives in a cohesive story. Sure, two kids camping in the woods have a unique perspective on a zombie apocalypse, but so do the doctors... and the military (which was surprisingly fascinating to me)... and villages in the middle of Africa. Brooks covers so many different viewpoints, many of which I've never seen in zombie literature.

It feels real enough. Obviously, it isn't real. But it seems like it could be. If you take the zombie infection as written, every single other thing he writes seems like what would really happen in that situation. If we ever have a zombie outbreak, this wouldn't be a bad model to follow. (You know, if you skip all the beginning stuff where we screwed things up, and get to the parts where we figured out the right stuff.)

Those are the big reasons I liked it. I even liked the movie, though not nearly as much as the book, but only because there's so much more to the book. They're two totally different approaches to the same event, and what I love most about the book is the multiple perspectives. But in the movie, you follow confident, smart, beautiful, white male American Brad Pitt around everywhere. Still... not a bad movie.

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