January 29, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday: Alien Invasions + Big Brother is Watching

Being sick last week got in the way of my WIRW posting, but I did get a lot of reading done!  I have two great books to share with you today!

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancy
Rating: 4/5 stars

Sci Fi is not usually my favorite genre, but this book had so many good ratings that I decided to give it a try.  In The Fifth Wave, teenager Cassie tells about what happens to her and her family when an alien spacecraft descends from space and hovers over Earth.  First, all power on Earth is killed.  Second, a horrific plague kills the majority of the population.  Then, the children are all rounded up and taken away, including Cassie's little brother.  Cassie vows she will get her brother back and finds herself in a fight for both her brother and her life.

I have to say, I had a hard time getting into this one.  I don't love anything with aliens (which makes it strange that I read this in the first place), and I had a hard time connecting with Cassie as a character--she is pretty intense, and her biting sarcastic tone was a bit abrasive.  The first half of the book dragged for me...but I am SO GLAD I stuck with it!  Somewhere around the halfway point, I really got into it.  The book jumps between characters, and I loved trying to connect the dots and figure out the truth about what was happening with the aliens who'd yet to show their faces on Earth.  I could barely put it down--as slow as the first half was for me, the second half was that fast!  I definitely recommend it, even if aliens aren't normally your thing.  Trust me, they aren't mine!!

The Circle by David Eggers
18302455Rating: 4/5 stars

I was intrigued by this book since I first heard about it awhile back.  Set in the not too far off future, protagonist Mae is offered a dream job working in Customer Experience at the technology company that has come to dominate the modern world, The Circle.  The Circle has taken over Google, Facebook, Paypal...basically everything on the internet and then some.  Mae feels like she has hit the jackpot...until things start to get weird.  The more you read, the more you realize how creepy the extreme surveillance at The Circle is, and how any sort of privacy has disappeared.

I flew through this book, getting more and more creeped out by the lack of privacy and the insane new "initiatives" introduced by The Circle.  One of the criticisms of The Circle is that it's one big soap-box-cautionary tale.  It's a little over the top at times, but I still thought the message was an important one.  It would make a good book club book--there are so many questions raised by this book, especially regarding the line between good technology and too much technology.  Very interesting read!

What have you been reading this week?

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