Saturday, December 21, 2013

Resist (Breathe #2) by Sarah Crossan

I thought the first book had potential but lacked character development. This book stills lacks character development but the plot is absurd. Not enough is explained, the action doesn't flow well from one scene to the other, and some parts don't make sense. I had way too many questions at the end. The story starts where Breathe (book 1) left off with Quinn, Bea, and Alina being tossed out of the pod and looking for Sequoia, another oasis to get oxygen. Or is it? Jazz, Bea, and Quinn are fleeing when Jazz falls down a manhole breaking her leg so badly the bone goes through the skin. Quinn is forced to leave them and get help. Alina is with another group that is headed for Sequoia and they get there first finding out that things are not all that they seem.

Spoiler alert*
Ronan, a minor character in the first book, gets his own point of view in the chapters. He is just like Quinn. Rich boy who rejects his upbringing and never acts selfishly. He's willing to give up his wealth because he doesn't agree with the government's inequality. His motivation to change is because his father is cruel and he's traumatized from burning down the Grove and killing innocent people. The mom and sister love their lifestyle. Because the characters lack depth and are shown one-dimensionally, I am not convinced that Ronan would completely turn his back on his lifestyle. It seems more like the author is telling the reader how to act toward injustices in authoritarian governments rather than showing a complex personality in a character. Because of that, Ronan lacked authenticity for me. The point of views are all written in first person narration and if you don't read the book nonstop it can be confusing who is speaking when setting it down and picking it up in the middle of the chapter.

Vanya is just like Petra who is her sister, but more maniacal. She is not explained at all. We don't know why she gave up her kid or why she has started a breeding program or why she and her sister had such a severe falling out with each other. One of my favorite dystopia books, "The Handmaid's Tale," by Margaret Atwood explores the concept of women used for breeding. If you want to see this idea explored in a psychological, creepy way I highly recommend it. Alina is paired with the villain, Maks, and the way he is presented you would expect him to rape her, but he doesn't after the Pairing Ceremony. The women seem to be at the mercy of men physically. Bea has a rape scene too. It's supposed to show her being naive and then turning into someone with a reason to kill another human being, but if was more manipulative than in-depth character change. Many times it felt like the author was dropping in some big event and eventually so many got plunked into the plot it began to feel absurd. I realize that dystopia and fantasy push the boundaries of believability but this seemed like too much from pushing a bone back into place to escaping with a bunch of babies. When Alina dies at the end I didn't even feel sad.

I had so many questions at the ending that felt rushed. What happened to Jazz and Vanya? Why did she give up her daughter? Why did she experiment on people to breed kids who could survive on less air when she already had a process that worked with adults? Why didn't Vanya give the adults any freedom? Why would the adults agree to it? Why did Abel like Sequoia? Why didn't the author have Maude reuniting with Bea? What happened to Quinn's mom? What happened to Nimh? Don't bother with this book.

2 Smileys

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