16/01/2015

Review: The Body Electric {Beth Revis}


Written by Beth Revis
Amazon | Book Depository 

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift to help others relive their happy memories. Soon, the government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience and influence the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love – even though Ella has never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing . . . someone has altered her memory.Ella’s gift can overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, then how can she even trust her own thoughts?

Ella Shepherd has lost entire chunks of her life and, until recently, she hadn't even realised. It painted the perfect setting for a sci-fi adventure that would keep me guessing until the end, unsure of who to trust right alongside Ella. Unfortunately, this was a case of so much potential and a mediocre execution. The second half of this book was simply me powering through, wanting to finish it for no other reason than just to finish.

The main problem was the plot, which felt both predictable and boring, never venturing around any exciting areas and constantly spraying me with cliché twists that never quite managed to surprise me. So many things made so little sense, as though Revis was too focused on making the plot seem futuristic instead of plausible.

Ella is our daring heroine whose story we follow alongside Jack, our fearless leader of the rebels. It was hard to tell Ella apart from any other character I've read about and the focus seemed to be more on Ella's parents and their significance than on Ella, so no real effort was made to establish Ella as an individual

Jack also seemed far too immature and focused on Ella to be anything other than a love-struck teenager. His ex-girlfriend's feelings seemed to matter more than the safety of his friends or his mission to discover the truth about the what was happening to the people of New Venice.

Most frustrating of all, is how little I was invested in Ella and Jack's relationship. As a focal point of the book and a catalyst for Ella's internal dilemma and her newly life-threatening situations, I wanted to care about the two of them as a couple. Unfortunately, I felt no spark between them and every interaction they had felt contrived and slightly dull. I couldn't connect with them any more than I could with the story as a whole.

Of course, there were interesting parts: the idea of being able to hack into someone's mind, or even of stepping back into a memory and reliving it so vividly. There were so many parts of the book I thought had the potential to be fascinating, but none of them were explored enough and more interesting points seem to be glossed over so we could focus on Ella debating whether or not to trust Jack.

In a sea of dystopian novels regurgitating the same evil government plot, this book brings nothing new to the genre. It's a story I've read time again, with the only originality stemming from a more substantial focus on the science side of sci-fi. Having read so many fantastically original stories that take the time to create unique and multifaceted worlds and characters, I found this one lacklustre in comparison.

"The sea is a dangerous place because it makes you believe in forever." 
 
  

Allie seriously suspects she has overdosed on cake this past week, which she would have never thought was possible. She's trying to apologise to her body by eating lots of cucumber with houmous and watching Angel re-runs. Because houmous solves most things, and David Boreanaz solves the rest.
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34 comments:

  1. This is why I didn't enjoy A Million Suns and have dnf-d it twice halfway through. I'm just so. freakin. bored *yawns* Wait wait wait waiiiit what? The guy is a leader of some group in this one too? Sigh. Sorry you didn't find the characters intriguing or didn't love the romance :/ The stepping into a memory and reliving it vividly seems like HP :D I'm sorry you didn't love this one, gorgeous!

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    1. I haven't read that one, but I can't say I'm even tempted to. I feel awful saying this, but I feel like it's so rare for YA authors to get sci-fi done right, with the exception of people like Marissa Meyer of course!

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  2. I just saw another review for this the other day and it was rated very similar. I am so sad this wasn't a better read for you.

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    1. Yeah, I just think I'm going to have to stay away from sci-fi for a while, because it seems to be letting me down a lot!

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  3. Ugh. This does not sound good. And it is long too, isn't it? I can't deal with a long book that is also boring! It sounds like it had potential with some of the different sci-fi elements, which is a shame. Also, in 482 pages (I looked it up haha) you'd think there'd be some room to delve into some of that. And then add unlikable characters? Pass. Great review though, I am thinking this book will not be for me!

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    1. It could have been chopped a lot more, definitely! It's much thicker than I realised. I mean with 482 pages (haha) I would've thought it'd be less explanation and more exploration. Alas, no!

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  4. Oh goodness gracious D: This is the third review this day I've seen for this book and the first negative O.O I was feeling pretty excited but now I don't really feel like reading it anymore if it's predictable and boring... the romance makes me worried, too. The last thing I want to read is an immature whiny teenager! Sigh, at leas thte world-building is ok? Is it?

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. You know me, Faye. ALWAYS AGAINST THE GRAIN ;)

      The world-building was decent enough. But to be honest, I just found myself not really caring much. That sounds awful, I know, but I couldn't keep an interest

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  5. CREYS It's ok, we differed but I still love you muchly <3

    You're right though, Ella wasn't exactly an individual character, unfortunately. Rather bland, which was a tad sad. I want to say something more but man, MY MEMORY. I need on of those machines. I cannot, for the life of me, remember what happened in this book. But I liked it. The pacing sucked though :///

    We need more multifaceted worlds, characters, anything. MORE. I demand it.

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    1. OPPOSITES ATTRACT, MY LOVER <333

      See though, that's what I'm saying! You liked it and even you can't remember it LOL. It's just not . . . well, memorable :P

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  6. Darn it! I adored the author's Across the Universe series and was looking forward to the book (and grabbed an eARC eeeek) and now I iz worried. I do not like cliches but I do think they can be done well.

    I do not like the idea of an immature love interest though. Blagh.

    I am sorry you didn't have better luck with this one, Allie! :(

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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    1. I've never read that so maybe I'm just not a Beth Revis fan? I think if you liked that, give this a shot, because I imagine it's pretty similar. Like the author's style and the way she chooses to tell the story. I was just . . . IDK, I couldn't get in the mood when I was reading this. It didn't excite me or draw me in!

      The love interest wasn't so much immature in the way where he acted like a kid or anything. It was more that he couldn't see past his girlfriend and her feelings and I was just like 'DUDE. Potential world-ending / country-ending situation where lots of people have died and could die. Can you quit worrying your ex has broken a nail?'

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  7. Thanks for sharing. I've never read anything by this author...but I'm sorry to hear this one wasn't all that original or engaging. I appreciate your honest thoughts though. :)

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    1. Yeah, this was my first Revis read aaaand it may be my last. I think I'm just not a fan of the author's style. But, hey, lots of other people are so I'm a bit of a black sheep I guess :)

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  8. To be completely honest I started reading Beth Ravis other series a few years back and just couldn't get into it. I DNF'ed that one at about 15% in. PRETTY EARLY HUH?

    So i'm not at all surprised this one wasn't an Allie book either. Doubt it will be a "lily" book. Maybe Beth's books just aren't for us?

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    1. Yet another sign we're meant to be, Lilykins <3 WE THINK THE SAME.

      I would've DNFd this one tbh. Like, I was really tempted to, but I felt as thought it was a bit of a personal mission to finish. I didn't want to start the new year with a DNF right off the bat. If I'd have read this in February or something, I don't think I would have bothered to finish. Which is a sad thought :(

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  9. I actually enjoyed this one slightly more, but not by much. I had the same issues Allie, there was nothing distinguishable about it from all the other sci-fi / dystopian type YA flooding the shelves. It could have been absolutely glorious, more sinister and seeing into others minds through technological advances? It SHOULD have been a winner. Sorry you couldn't have enjoyed this one more Allie, but incredible review! <3

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    1. YES it could have been SO amazing and sinister and wonderfully sci-fi, but it was just so 'same old' to me. I wish she would've focused more on the mind exploring and less on the evil government plot because that story has been done to death

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  10. Aw man, I just read a glowing review about this one! It sounds like this one has fairly mixed reviews, I love the sci-fi concepts in it especially the memory and hacking (wow!). But yeah, this genre feels like it's been overdone which is unfortunate. Great review Allie!

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    1. I just think I'm sick and tired of this 'evil government' business, Jeann. It's such a boring and convenient plot device and there's so much more that could have been done in this book. But because it focused so much on that aspect, I was just yawning

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  11. Oh noes. I was going to request this one but I'm glad I didn't, because as much as I LOVE the idea of entering in dreams, it's saddening to see the lack of a good plot. Oh well :( I hope your next book is better Allie!

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    1. It's just a plot I've seen before and it's sad because this had such unique aspects that were never explored enough / didn't reach their full potential because we had to have some pointless conspiracy :(

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  12. I did not like Beth Revis's other book (A Million Suns) but had seen some okay reviews for this one. To hear it is the same dystopian plot I might have to pass on it.

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

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    1. I get the feeling that if you didn't like A Million Suns, you probably wouldn't like this, as I've read excerpts from AMS and the way the story is told (with pacing etc.) seems very similar (which I suppose it would be, given that it's the same author).

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  13. It's really a shame about this one, although your thoughts coincide with other reviews I have read so I will probably be skipping out on this one. The characters alone sound fairly frustrating, and since I prefer a character driven story I could see myself easily getting annoyed by Jack's immaturity and how Ella seems so generic. I can definitely see how you weren't able to get behind the romance. Nice review, though!

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    1. Really? I felt like a total black sheep writing this; everyone else seemed to love it! I think what annoyed me most was how much potential there was that was just lost

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  14. Hmm it's a shame that you didn't find this one to be anything special at all. I still need to read something by Beth Revis, but I hear that her Across the Universe isn't all that spectacular either :|

    Lovely review, Allie <33

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    1. This was my first and (sorry) last Beth book, I'm afraid. She seems to really like writing sci-fi stories, which normally I'd love, but I just don't feel like I mesh well with her style of story telling

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  15. So sad this wasn't for you, Allie! I still want to give this a shot, but lowering my expectations a bit. I don't read much sci-fi so maybe I wouldn't see it as unoriginal? Thanks for the honest review :)

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    1. Yeah, I wouldn't say to avoid it, just don't go in thinking it's an epic sci-fi like I did, because it's far more same-old dystopia than original sci-fi IMO

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  16. Even though I never finished Beth Revis' other series, I've been curious about this one but I keep seeing negative reviews. I honestly don't think it's something I'd enjoy but I might look into it a bit more. ><

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    1. Hmmm, it's a tough one if you didn't like her other series either. This was my first Beth book and it's put me off exploring more of hers. Not because she's a bad writer, just to make that clear, her writing is fine! It's just the WAY she tells the story and the tropes she uses . . . it just didn't appeal to me. So many people love this book and her other stuff though, so I'd say to just give it a go if you're curious

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  17. I have this, but I haven't read it yet. This is one of those books where the the reviews seem to be split between Love/Hate. I adored the Across the Universe books, so I am hoping that is a good sign I'll like this one. I have my fingers crossed.

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    1. I think if you adored Beth's other books, you're sure to like this one too. It all comes down to preference in the end, and I just don't think I mesh well with the way she approaches her stories :)

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