Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Number of pages: 240
Genre: sci-fi, young adult
Book Number/Goal: 37/52
My Rating: 5/5

The perfect world of the future consists of small communities where everything is regulated by strict rules to ensure the well-being and happiness of the citizens. Young Jonas is anxiously waiting for the annual celebration when the children of his age are assigned their jobs for life, carefully chosen to match their psychological profiles. He's surprised to get the unique and honorable job: the Receiver of Memories. But learning the truth about his world pretty much destroys his life as he knows it.

Despite the lack of violence, it's one of the darkest dystopias ever. Somehow it's easier to cope with the straight evil than with the sugar-coated one; everything is done for the higher purpose and for the global good, but look how it turns out... Just when you think you've heard it all, more and more horrifying details come up, introduced in a casual way as they appear normal to the citizens. The ending is unimpressive, but it's a small flaw, compared to the rest of the story. A must-read for all dystopia fans, no matter young adults or not.
Title: Deadly Intruder
Author: Anne Kelsey
Number of pages: 292
Genre: thriller
Book Number/Goal: 38/52
My Rating: 1/5

Brent is generally satisfied with his life, due to a successful job, a beautiful wife and a good friend, until he signs up for a weird Internet game and becomes a target for a dangerous hacker.

The idea of the game (betting on celebrities' death) is cute, and it even has a promo web site to go with it: dieordietrying.com. Unfortunately, there's nothing thrilling about the story itself. There's a lot of trivial, boring conversations between Brent and his friends/coworkers, and bickering with his nagging bitch of a wife, with whom we're apparently supposed to empathise. The hacker's threats sound monotonous and annoying, not to mention that I couldn't care less about what happens to Brent and his family. The "computer security for dummies" infodumps also fail to add any excitement.
Title: The Final Hours of Portal 2
Author: Geoff Keighley
Genre: non-fiction, games
Book Number/Goal: 39/52
My Rating: 3/5

The book provides a peek into the Portal 2 development - in particular, what was the original concept, why it didn't work, and how the game evolved into its current stage. The story comes together with a cute interactive presentation (on Steam), containing video clips, slideshows, 3D models and other clickable stuff, inspiring nostalgia.

However, it also includes loads of useless boring gossip, such as anecdotes from the developers' personal life (as for me, I'm interested in technology and ideas, not in people!) and hype about Valve being the best workplace ever (which only makes me depressed and bitterly envious).


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