Guest Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Note to Reader: Almost a year ago a friend of mine reviewed a book for me, that now another friend has reviewed. I thought it would be interesting to post reviews from different people, and so you can see the first review here.

DivergentSynopsis:  In a dystopian Chicago, the population is divided five different “factions”. Each faction is known for a specific attribute/virtue. When they turn 16, every member of the population submit themselves a special-high tech exam that helps them determine which faction they should devote the rest of their lives to, starting the next day.

The main character, Beatrice (later “Tris”), discovers that she is “Divergent”. Meaning she doesn’t fit into anyone faction, but has attributes of several. Unknown to her, a war is brewing.

Author:  Divergent is the New York Times Best Selling debut novel of Veronica Roth.

Cover: The cover reminds me a lot of “The Hunger Games” series. Like the Hunger Games, this series takes place in a dystopian setting with teenagers at the centre of the plot. In fact, someone recommended I read Divergent because I like “The Hunger Games”. However, the similarities in the covers between the two series is a little obvious. I feel this series could stand on its own merits and doesn’t need any help.

Pacing: The pacing of the novel was quite good. It was fast, and my attention was easily held. However, I felt too much time was spent on certain parts (such as Tris’ training). Though I understand this was needed to introduce subplots and character traits, it still felt drawn out.

The main conflict, the one that the book has been building towards, only begins in the last 75 or so pages of the book (I was reading on an eReader, so I can not be sure). We finally get to this point only to discover that the action continues in the next book (literally, it doesn’t skip a second in the timeline).

Plot/Subplot: The key subplot (at the start), involves the Divergent, the people like Beatrice, who do not fit in any one faction. The reader and Beatrice are told immediately her status as a Divergent is something that should be kept secret, no one must know. Eventually the subplot merges with the main plot to become the focus of the conflict. I felt that this should have been a bigger part of the main plot to begin with –possibly because the name of the book is “Divergent”. However, it is believable (as believable as any plot in a dystopian novel can be), and it wasn’t in the story for filler by no means.

Character/Character Development:  The character that stood out most was the main character, Beatrice (Tris), whose point of view the story is told from. She is a strong character that has been fully developed by the author. Her changes through out the novel due to her choice of a new faction are something Beatrice really struggles with. She believes in order to be happy with her decision she has to change herself. But her inner struggle shows she is still herself, and makes her actions later in the book believable.

Unfulfilled Promise: In the book the characters have electricity, technology, food, and clothing. However, it is said that they live within the walls/fences surrounding what was once Chicago. It is briefly mentioned that there are farms outside of the walls. However, it would have been nice to know how does the food get to them? How is it processed? What about the electricity, how is it generated? How about the textiles? With all the time spent on faction traits it does seem surprising that my concern is fluffed off or not addressed at all.

Quote: “A brave man acknowledges the strength of others.”

The Verdict:  I read this book because it was on an eReader I borrowed from my local library, and the staff member told me that because I like The Hunger Games, I probably would like this series too. I did enjoy the book, it was a nice easy read. I am currently reading the sequel and will probably read the third book due out next year. But I doubt I will read it again. Some books I feel the immediate need to run out and buy, so I have a copy to read again and again, with this one, I do not.

~Hil~

Teaser Tuesday (Aug-2)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

Divergent by Veronica Roth

“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”

“Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”

Book Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

crescendoBeccaFitzpatrickSynopsis: Patch won his wings back and is now Nora’s guardian angel, yet Patch has started spending all his time with Marcie, who hates Nora with a passion. To fill her time, Nora got a part-time job and begins hanging out with Scott, but soon realizes he is hiding a secret that just might lead to Nora’s death. And if things couldn’t be bad enough, Nora keeps seeing her dad even though he’s been dead for over a year.  Nora is sure there is something that connects Patch, Scott, and her dad, so she is going to do what it takes to find out what is really going on.

Plot: This story continues with the mystery surrounding Nora’s existence. She’s a descendent of the Nephilim, which means she is surrounded by death and danger all the time. People keep trying to kill her for various reasons, but this time the stakes are higher because Patch’s future is on the line.

Character: Rixon is Patch’s fallen angel best friend who is now dating Nora’s best friend Vee. While Patch and Nora are on the outs, Patch asks Rixon to watch over Nora for him and, more than once, Rixon has had to come to the rescue. He is also the person that Nora starts turning to for answers because Patch is always too busy with Marcie.

Romance: The relationship between Nora and Patch starts out as you would expect a new couple to be, but then Nora tells Patch she loves him and Patch tells Nora that angels aren’t allowed to be in love. This makes Nora feel that everything she thought to be true nothing but a lie, and things grow steadily worse between them. Patch tries to be there for Nora when she needs him, he is her guardian angel after all, but it is hard for both of them to be fighting on a personal level and having to be in contact on a spiritual sphere.

Note to Reader: While this book could stand alone from its predecessor, it helps to have read the previous novel of this series first. Also, it absolutely kills me that each book ends on a cliffhanger and you absolutely need to know what happens next, so be prepared to die of impatience for the next book that doesn’t come out until fall.

Quote: In saying the oath you give up your right to a guardian angel and announce that you accept your fate –without heaven’s help.

The Verdict: The great thing about the novels in this series is that even when it appears like nothing bad is happening, you sense that there is something hidden going on… and there usually is.

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Organizing Pages

For those of you who do not regularly check on some of my other various pages, I’ll let you in on a little secret:

I have overhauled the  “My Edits” tab.

You have to admit, that page was getting a little long and many of you  probably stopped scrolling by the time you got halfway down the page. Am I right? I found it a bit aggravating myself and figured out a way to fix that little issue.

Honestly, I have no idea why I didn’t think of it before. I probably didn’t really consider the fact I would have edited so many books, but after a year and a half they do kind of add up. So now that page is divided into four sections, and in time that list may grow depending on what kind of work I get in the future.

So check it out, click around, and hopefully you’ll discover some new books you’d love to read!

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Simple Smile Saturday (July-5)

As promised I have some new books out! Okay, so technically they aren’t “mine” but rather books I worked on with the author in the role of editor… and honestly, it’s the best job ever!

Sorrow11First up, we have the next part of the serial I’ve been editing this past year called Sorrow 11: The High Bloods. Once again, I have to say that if you haven’t started reading these novellas go do it! I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy reading them when I as assigned to the authors, but I’m telling you these books are addictive.

andersen ancestryNext up, released a week later, is the second book of Addie J King’s Grimm series called The Andersen Ancestry, which brings back all the fabulous characters of The Grimm Legacy plus a few new ones. This series is wonderful, and if you like old fairy tales by The Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen, you’ll want to get your hands on Addie’s books.

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Book Review: Hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

hush_hush_becca_fitzpatrickSynopsis: Both of the two hot transfer students seem to be interested in Nora Grey. Patch is tall, dark, and mysterious while Elliot is tall, blond, and mysterious… the catch being that one of them may be trying to kill her. Someone keeps following Nora everywhere she goes, and bad things keep happening around her so Nora doesn’t know whom to trust. Nora has a choice to make, but will it be the one to save her?

Author: This is Becca Fitzpatrick’s debut novel and has become a bestseller. She has known she wanted to be a writer since grade school, but never started writing a novel until her husband signed her up for a writing class as a birthday present.

Plot: The story starts out like any other young adult novel of an ordinary high school girl being paired up with an annoying classmate for a school assignment. As the book progresses, nothing is normal. Instead of regular teen angst, there is danger, mystery, the paranormal, and more.

Hook: Why would an angel want to fall and is there anyway for them to be forgiven and not one of the forsaken?

Character: Vee is Nora’s best friend; if they weren’t friends then Nora would be extremely jealous of Vee’s curvaceous, blond bombshell looks. Vee is your average boy-crazy high school girl who daydreams about boys, flirts with boys, and dates a lot of boys. She thinks she likes a little bit of danger in her men, but she will soon realize it isn’t so great.

Character Development: Patch seems like a somewhat aggravating teenage boy, which is nothing new. But just as you begin to think he is the love interest, you begin to suspect that maybe he is the bad guy; when Nora begins to think he’s the bad guy, you wonder if just maybe he’s the good guy.

Romance: At first Patch and Nora have one of those love/hate relationships where the teenager thinks she hates a guy, but only because she is fighting her attraction for him because she doesn’t want to be. Nora then starts to date Elliot, mostly at Vee’s request, but just isn’t all that sure about him and ends up dating Patch anyways.

Quote: Archangel… It means high-ranking angel. The higher up, the harder the fall.

Verdict: I picked this book up because of a growing interest in novels surrounding angels. I can’t say it is my new favourite YA novel, but I did find it interesting and will be picking up the second book in this series in about two minutes…

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