[ARC Review] Parasite by Mira Grant

Parasite
(Parasitology #1)
Author: Mira Grant
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: October 29th, 2013
Pages: 608 (ebook)
Genre: Adult – Science Fiction

From New York Times bestselling author Mira Grant, a high-concept near-future thriller.
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.
We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.
But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives . . . and will do anything to get them.

Review

Okay so this is the first time I have ever read an adult book, (a zombie one at that) and I must say that overall, it was a positive experience.

To be honest, the beginning was rough to get into and I felt confused reading this. There were like TONS of medical terms I don’t understand (mind you, I’m only 14) such as proglottids, anaphylactic, and parasites Latin names. ESPECIALLY THE MIDDLE PART, this book actually sounded just like my biology text book! I was like what what WHAT there were SO MANY words I even never heard before!

Our protagonist, Sally Mitchell had a severe accident when she was 20. The doctors had claimed that she was clinically brain dead, but Sally miraculously survived after a tapeworm was implanted in her body. Unfortunately, Sally lost ALL of her memories before the accident and she had to relearn everything again, including English. Now six years after that, Sally is still getting therapy and medical check-ups at SymboGen, her health is constantly monitored by the company and her parents. Everything is fine…until one day, some people start transforming into empty creatures (*cough* zombies *cough*) and lose their humanity.

At first I thought Sally was going to be the cliche protagonist when she starts comparing her appearance with her younger sister. But I was so glad cause there’s no physical appearance talk after that! One thing that I found weird was how she can speak so eloquently even though she has only been learning it for six years. I mean, recalcitrant? Altruistic? Indubitably? O_O Possibly because her boyfriend is a doctor or because this is an adult novel but anyways, this could be just my issue cause I’m not a native and therefore my vocab is limited.

The first half was all mystery, the plot moves slowly that I felt bored and I was getting more questions than answers. However, when you hit the second half, things start to make more sense (there are even more biological terms in this part, I tell you again) and the book actually gets creepier and creepier and OMG THERE’S A TWIST I NEVER SAW COMING!! Really, I couldn’t close my mouth for the next few pages!!

Leaving the scientific terms aside, I did enjoy Parasite, especially the second half – I was sooo engaged I couldn’t stop reading! Plus, it’s such a breath of fresh air to see a love interest that actually has brain. I assume medical students would understand this book better but really, anyone would die because of those crazy plot twists. Parasite was a darkly terrifying, eerie and incredible read, once you get sucked into the book, there’s literally no way out until you have reached the last page.

One more advice, DO NOT GOOGLE ANYTHING!!! I was so curious that I googled tapeworms and oh my god they were soooooooo disgusting I might have been traumatized!! Well, I have learned my lesson. (Silly me, WHAT DID I EXPECT THEM TO LOOK LIKE?)

Thank you, Orbit and Netgalley for the review copy, this doesn’t affect my opinions or review at all. 🙂

[DNF] Linked by Imogen Howson

I read this book on PulseIt.

Linked

(Linked #1)
Author: Imogen Howson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BfYR
Publication Date: June 11th, 2013
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA – Dystopia, Sci-Fi

Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere. Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes. Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed. Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world. Riveting, thought-provoking and utterly compelling, Linked will make you question what it really means to be human.


Review:

This is my second DNF this year and I tell you what – it was really bad. I really want to finish this book, just to see perhaps the last third of the book is at least good enough. Well, as you can see, my original plan failed and I DNFed it when I was 59% of the book.
I don’t know how to put this to words but basically, Linked was soooooo boring that I had no link or connection or whatsoever with any of the characters (see what I did there?) Elissa and Lin – they’re really dull and unlikable. Their chemistry or relationship (or whatever it is) came out as fake to me and I wouldn’t care if they died. Elissa seemed too perfect… too kind? Or too innocent? I hated her.

“Stop it! I can’t – if you don’t see how awful it is to put all those people in danger and not even think about it, not even care, I can’t talk to you. I don’t know what to do with you.”

 – Elissa to Lin

Is it just me or that line does sound cheesy/insincere/fake?

And there’s Lin. This girl has been through a lot so she was quite tolerable at first, but gradually I started to dislike her too. She has this “superpower” called electro kinesis. And she forgets about it when she needs it the most. Wonderful! *That’s sarcasm, obviously* She gets really selfish in the middle of the book and that annoyed the hell out of me. (15 or 16 people are in danger because of YOU, girl. Thank God she finally listens later.) She rarely listens or obeys the order – wait, Elissa doesn’t listen in the beginning either. Elissa is also inconsistent because she wants Lin to stop “killing people” (translation: stop using her electro kinesis, I guess?) but then a few pages later she wants Lin to use her power to get them out of the bad situation?? That happens a few times.

The other characters, like Cadan (I’m sure he’s the love interest) was pretty dull too but he was still tolerable. He’s Captain Jim Kirk from Star Trek wannabe. GAHHH, to put it in short sentence: I didn’t care about the characters. Couldn’t connect with them at all. I rarely hate characters so much but this book… It made me want to scream every existing and made-up swear word at the characters!!

I’m sorry guys if this review is very confusing and doesn’t make any sense because this book was a mess in my opinion.

The worldbuilding is very confusing and there were chunks of paragraphs of info dump about the history of Sekoia – don’t know how it’s spelled correctly but it’s the place where Elissa lives. Don’t ask me anything about worldbuilding cause I understood NOTHING. The pacing is unbelievably slow for a book which is about running away from the government.

All these issues probably come from the writing. I guess it’s meant to be like beautiful prose but it came across as boring and repetitive and too distracting? There are A LOT of paragraphs without any dialogues at all. I got tired of reading it that I skipped a few sentences/paragraphs and I DID NOT MISS ANYTHING IMPORTANT. If you like this quote then you’ll probably enjoy the book more than I did:

“She landed on her side, with a jolt that knocked the breath out of her, and before she could even gasp, before she could even register that she’d landed on the roof, that she was okay, she hadn’t missed it and gone plummeting through miles of empty air – before she could even register the clang that meant Lin must have landed as well – she was sliding. Down and down over cold smooth metal, no handholds, no friction, completely out of control, down and down and around and around, the sky and the sun and the silver flashes of steel spiraling with her, faster and faster, around and around and down and down. Every moment she expected to go flying off the edge, flung out into the empty air.”

 — Elissa after she falls off a roof or something (I already forgot about it.) 

Can anyone explain what the hell is happening??
Linked failed to impress me in any freaking area I couldn’t help but to DNF it. I didn’t connect with the dull characters, I didn’t like the dull writing, confusing worldbuilding and slow pacing. I did not enjoy this book. 59% — that’s all my brain could take. I was in the verge of punching my laptop screen and I couldn’t torture myself any longer. This book didn’t work for me.

Rating:
1 Cake (DNF)