Book Review: “Divergent”, by Veronica Roth

Book Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date Published: 2011
Type of Book: Young Adult Fiction; Identity; Family; Courage; Social Classes; Science Fiction.

Recommended By: An Online Reading List

I Received this book from/at: Barnes and Noble. Care of someone who knew me well and gave me a gift card. Thank you.

Plot: “In future Chicago, sixteen year old Beatrice Prior must choose among predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.”

I Would Recommend this Book (to): Anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games, Enders Game, The Giver, or The Uglies series. (12+)

20140117-123201.jpg Consider yourself warned that the proceeding may contain a few very very small spoilers.

OK so the above is pretty much the record I keep of all the books I read. That is, that is the format I record it in, minus the plot, I usually write my own plot summary. However as you notice from the quotations, I quoted the summary in the book.

I was fortunate when I bought this book, to have picked up the extra content version. It includes an interview with Veronica Roth, a study guide, and all the faction manifesto’s in them. (If you haven’t read it yet you probably don’t know what I’m talking about.)

I have to say I enjoyed the extra content. Usually I skip over it but it was nice to ‘pick’ her brain on her book/series. Yes this is a three part series. I don’t know why young adult authors like their 3 part series books? It’s interesting that it turns out that way. And also trains…
20140117-123344.jpg
I thought that this book was well done. It didn’t seem too over the top and yet had that futuristic/sci-fi(ish) feel. It’s the same kind of feeling that you get when reading about dystopian futuristic societies. And like Veronica said in her interview, which I whole heartedly agree with, we love to read about societies like this because it allows us to think about what steps it took to get from where we are today to where this story is. (summ.) I would also go on to add that we can, for ourselves, evaluate or minds and hearts and decided where we would be in the society. In one such as this where we choose the faction to belong to, what would I choose? And after things fall apart, where would I stand? What is right?
We can also identify with the chosen ‘hero’, so to speak. I guess really it’s the protagonist of the story, since it is easy to find another in the story line to be the ‘hero’ of the society. Now the main character we follow is Beatrice, or Tris as she is called through most of the book. I think it is interesting that most of these books I have read about dystopian societies have a female protagonist. But maybe that’s because they are written by females?(IE: The Hunger Games, The Uglies) Which would make sense since the male lead characters of the same type are written by mostly males (IE: Enders Game) Although The Giver would be an exception since it’s written by a female and features a male protagonist.

Back on point now, after finishing the first book, there is of course going to be at least a sequel since our main characters are left out of their homes after fleeing for their lives when one faction decides to usurp the balance and eradicate almost an entire faction while using another to do their dirty work.

My concern is that the next books will not be as good as the first (sorry Veronica). I should really say that the third will not be. Usually, from experience, the second is very well written and has great plot and character development, but the third, when it comes to the end of a story, is rough or feels rushed. But who can blame the author? Endings are hard. Have you ever tried to write a story? Beginnings are easy, middles are a cinch, but the ends? And to end a book of this type without being all mushy and gushy “Happily Ever After” is difficult. There are rules! OR is suppose there are… I would assume that they would be something like this:

1. No “Happily Ever After”. When you set your story in a time where society got so bad that they pretty much erased everything and started over and “forced” people into certain classes, then it is impossible to put the bandaid of ‘a happy ending for all’ on it. It didn’t start that way, it didn’t ever look that way in the story, and it certainly can’t end that way.

2. They can’t all die. There is no “They all died. The End. Scar.” (that’s an old Harry Potter book 7 joke btw). Seriously there can’t be an ending where they set of a nuclear bomb and all the people died and no one was there to learn from the past. If they didn’t do it when society first fell apart, they can’t do it now just cause it fell apart again.

3. It can’t stay the same. Obviously. If the first time around it didn’t work, it’s probably not going to work again. It’s got to be different. Or else we are left pulling our hair out. Like in The Hunger Games. I’m sorry, I had to say it. For those that read the books the ending pretty much has the important people of the revolution deciding that the hunger games will continue but with the Capitols children, so they can know what it feels like. Really!? REALLY! I was not happy with that. How does it make the new government better if they do the same things? The answer is, it doesn’t!

4. Those that bring about the catalyst of change, are never in charge at the end. (SPOILERS I’m actually half way through book 2 as I write this). And let me say that I find it odd. In my mind the ones that start the change should be at the top, but it never works that way. They usually go crazy…(spoiler)
Part of me thinks that’s not fair, but another thinks that that’s the way it has to be. Part of what we love about the protagonist is that they don’t want to leadership, but they find the courage within to do what is right and do something to change the situation. I would say that we love that because deep in all of us is the hope that when we are faced with difficult things in our life, we would have the courage to do what is right and stand up for those we love, even at the risk of dying ourselves.

Well that’s all I have for the individual book right now, it kind of took a life of it’s own. I will review book 2 and 3 together next time (Insurgent, Allegiant).

Tell me your thoughts on the first book (if you’ve read it).

And if you have any book suggestions for me please let me know! I am always looking for more books to read!

Happy reading and DFTBA
Becky

Advertisements

The Magic is in the Words

Have you ever thought about reading? Not like the action of reading, like ‘you should read a book’ or something like that. But the actual action of reading. Like what it is, how we process it. We memorize 26 letters. Then the letters are strung together to create words and we memorize those. And in those beautiful words are deep meaning, and understanding, and emotion. And these words we have learned by heart, when put together, can evoke such emotions in us. They can make us laugh, and cry, and hurt, and angry, and confused. They can spark ideas. They can spread understanding. They touch you in ways that you don’t even understand.
Reading is beautiful. Books are beautiful. People who can use these words to change the world, or even one person, are beautiful.
br />20140114-141852.jpg

I love to read. I always have. I love to walk into a book store. I smell books. I collect them and display them. I re-read books. I carry a book with me everywhere I go, just in case. I read 3-5 books at a time. I never think I have too many books, just not enough space. I read every kind I can get my hands on.
20140114-141547.jpg

I once read over 200 books in 3 months. I was about 7 or 8. I kept the list of all the books I read too. I read picture books, chapter books, fiction, non-fiction, anything. And I am still the same.

I like to read all kinds of books. The majority are fiction, but even in that there are tons of types! I read Young Adult Fiction, Juvenile Fiction (there is a difference between the two, like the difference between Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Hunger Games. I read Adult Fiction, I read books from other countries, Drama, Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Historical Fiction, Westerns, Christian, Classics. Everything. I can’t help it. My soul cries out for books and books and more books.

When people ask me what I would do if I didn’t have to do anything, I usually say read. I would. Honest. I have been to midnight release parties, I have stayed up past bedtimes, I eat and read at the same time. And I keep a record. I have a journal of books I’ve read where I write down things about the book, so I can go back and look again. I have missed doing that on a few books here and there, but I try to get them all.

There are so many quotes and things about books and readers that I have found on Pinterest that I totally agree with and completely describes me. I would post them all but I won’t, for your sake really. I will attach my link to my board though, so maybe you can find some things that are the same for you, if you are a reader, or discover some things about readers.

And for those of you that wonder, if there are any of you out there, readers like myself are the easiest to buy for. Seriously. Books. Or anything to do with books. How happy would a reader be to get more bookshelves!? We never have enough space for our books. Or bookmarks. I have tons of bookmarks but I hardly ever use them cause I never can find them when I need them. I end up using receipts and gift cards. Or book ends, we love book ends. Or a book care kit. Or a personalized book embosser for their own books?
20140114-141926.jpg
I was originally going to share the book I just finished. However this post is long enough I think. I will therefore wait for my next post to review the book I just finished, Divergent by Veronica Roth. And I will link it to here when I do.

Until then!
DFTBA
Becky

Oh and always ALWAYS read the book for the movie. And If you can read it before you see the movie. The book is always better and it will help you understand the movie so much more if you do.20140114-141528.jpg

Twilight Day

Before we start in our journey to the wonderful world of Twilight I have to give a HUGE shout out to Kimberly and Liz from the Quality Inn in Port Angeles! When they found out I was a Twilight fan Kimberly went on a hunt for me to find all the Twilight related activities for me to enjoy during our trip. Information on tours and shops and even a special Twilight sale on collectable and retail Twilight merchandise! Super thanks to them!

Our first stop was the Elks Naval club where this amazing sale of all things Twilight was going on. There used to be a store in Forks and in Port Angeles called Dazzled by Twilight. The owners suddenly closed up shop and left all their stuff behind along with $4000 in rent payments due. So the Elks Naval club, who was renting to them, collected all the merchandise and opened up a garage sale type store on Saturday. There were some pretty cool things. Lots of awesome t-shirts, tons of books, and cool collectables! Including Jacob Barbie dolls and Bricks of the Forks high school façade.

Here are some of those awesome t-shirts we saw!

                 

I know it’s blurry but it’s awesome!

Not that Twilight related but funny!

The Jacob shirt

Next stop was the lovely town of Forks.

We stopped in at the chamber of commerce where we picked up a Twilight packet including a map with all the important Twilight spots highlighted and a Twilight trivia activity. During the summer they run Twilight tours more often full of outdoor activities, but winter it’s pretty slow AND pretty wet! Here are some interesting facts I learned:

  1. Forks gets 10 FEET of rain annually!
  2. Stephanie Meyers never visited or lived in Forks before the book. She Googled the place that gets the most rain to give her book the most depressing setting she could, and came up with Forks.
  3. All the tour sites marked on the map and the trivia are based on THE BOOKS! Which they should be.
  4. Nothing in the movies was filmed in Forks (I already knew that but I wanted to let you know that too)
  5. It is wet and depressing. Seriously.
Enjoy these wonderful Forks sights! WARNING! The pictures may be watery! (from the rain, get it!)

Pins from all the people who have visited Forks in the U.S.

And all the people from all over the world. There are even some pins in the Seychelles

And all the people from the Oregon/Washington area

       

After touring Forks we headed up to La Push the neighboring Native American reservation that Jacob and the rest of his werewolf friends live. It was just as wet and depressing as Forks, minus the beautiful ocean view it had. It was pretty awesome that even in the rain it was beautiful. I didn’t snap any pictures of it cause the rain was coming down pretty hard. Here are some others of La Push that were pretty awesome though.

Just so you know...so check your trunks!

Good to know the threat is down!

It’s really cool to see these towns embrace the cultural icon that is Twilight with good humor.

Later that night we went to none other than Bella Italia, which happened to be about 5 minutes from our hotel, for dinner. This is the restaurant that Bella and Edward had their first date.

They do have the Mushroom Ravioli that Bella ordered in the book, which is now labeled as Bella’s Mushroom Raviloi. Of course thoughs that are not familiar with the Twilight stories think it’s just a restaurant specialty that in on the menu, but those of us in the know know better!

To end our tour here is the theater that Bella and Jacob went to , or believed to have went to , in the second book. We didn’t go but I took a picture for you guys.

So there you are on our Twilight tour. Wasn’t that fun?

I’m sure you are wondering if I saw any vampires or werewolves on this magical tour. Well I would love to tell you that information but the Volturi will come after me if I divulge that information. (And if you don’t know who they are you should read the books).

Becky

Reading Rules

I love to read. And I’ve read a lot of books in my life. I remember when I was in elementary school and around 2nd or 3rd grade or so we took a trip to the school library. The librarian explained about how books were categorized and organized, how to find them using the Card Catalog, yes….I learned the card catalog …

 

She taught us how to use the catalog to find the book we are looking for, how to treat a book and how to pick a good book.  Or at least a book that is interesting to you.

 

She said to pick a spot in the book, best done in the first part of the book and read about a page or two. If you like what you are reading and you want to read more, then it is probably a book you will enjoy.

 

I tried this a few times but I didn’t like just picking a spot in the book and reading because it gives away things or doesn’t make sense when I read that part. So instead I came up with my own system or rule for picking a good book. In fact I have a few rules for reading books. Mostly just for myself.

1. Read at least the first chapter or two.

If I’m not into a book by chapter two, it’s probably not going to hook me anytime soon.

Being forced to read a book you don’t like is the reason people don’t like reading books.

 

2. Read at your own pace.

I am not a speed reader, at least not compared to some of my other friends. I’ve attempted it but it doesn’t work with me. So I read at my own pace, which is how I eat. I don’t devour I chew slowly savoring every bite. Mmmm-mmmm good.

 

3. Finish a book.

If I’ve got past the 2 chapter mark I need to finish it. Starting a book is like starting a relationship. I finish a book just like I finish conversations with my friends. Again don’t force yourself to read a book that you really don’t like.

 

4. Reread.

If I like a book I should re-read them. I discover new things, sometimes hidden plots and clues, sometimes grammatical errors. This is why I have a small library. Cause I like to reread and lend out books too. (as long as you are nice to my books.)

 

5. Not every book is for everyone.

I won’t like all books I’ve read and not everyone will like the books I read.

And you know what!?

That’s ok.

 

These are my guidelines that I read by. I don’t impose them on anyone else but me. I want to stress that if you force yourself or others to read a certain book that really doesn’t interest you or them,  you could kill the love of books. Don’t do that. And don’t make reading a punishment. It’s easy to do that, especially to kids but there are other ways to distract and conquer kids undesirable behaviors. I know adults who have lost the love of reading because they were punished that way. So please don’t do that.

Sincerely,

Becky the bookworm

 

The Hunger Games

Novemeber 18th, 2010

So I recently read the book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and my assessment of it is AWESOME!!

My brother Alex recommended the book to me and let me borrow it. The fact that Alex is reading and recommending books is amazing in itself. No offense to my brother, but I never have seen him as much of a reader. And that is probably due to the fact that growing up I read pretty much everything to him, from signs and books, to comic books. Alex had a lazy eye and it made it hard for him to read so myself and our other brother Ben did most of the reading to him growing up. Thankfully we have a super fantastic mother who really helped Alex out as well as the eye specialists  in Silverton, and now he is an amazing reader!

 

So Alex told me about this book earlier this year and I finally got it about a week and half ago and I read it in one week.

This book is really fantastic! It jumps in and keeps you intrigued the whole time.

It follows the life of a young girl, Katniss Everdeen, taking care of her younger sister and mother in a post apocalyptic-type time in Northern America. Essentially Northern America has been destroyed and all that remains is a perverted society, known as Panem, the Capitol surrounded by 13 districts, 12 of them active, the 13th was destroyed by the Capitol as a demonstration of their power after the 12 districts tried to rebel against the dictatorship of the Capitol.

So now every year the Capitol holds a “Hunger Game” where 2 people, a young boy and girl, or two tributes as they are called, are chosen and taken to the Capitol where they are well dressed, well fed, paraded around, taught basic fighting and survival techniques, then thrown into an unknown arena where they battle to the death till one tribute remains for the entertainment of all to see. A way to keep the districts in line and keep them from rebellion saying, “Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do.” (pg 19).

(see how trained I am in proper paper etiquette!)

Anyways this book is deliciously well writ with a hint of everything. Friendship, fiendishness, cunning, love, romance, danger, death, life, wit…mystery….suspense…drama…

It’s really very good and easy to read. And it’s not too much of any of these. It’s just all around even. I haven’t read the next books in the series but I really want to.

Seriously y’all, check it out!

~Becky

 

Heart of stone

I saw this heart shaped hole in this pillar today.

It figures that I move out of my hometown of little ‘ol Canby and they get a movie theater…

The first picture is of the brand new theatre that just opened on Friday.

(The other pic is of a hole I found in this pillar today.It has nothing to do with the movies.)

But that’s okay since I don’t live that far away and tickets are only $6!!!
My dad gave Brandon and I two free tickets for the movies last night. We saw “Cirque details Freak: The Magicians Apprentice. ” It was pretty good, definitely a movie from a book. I’d like to read the series of which there are 7 in the series. Hopefully they will make at least one more in the movie series because this one was left WIDE open at the end. If they don’t then don’t bother seeing it cause it will confuse you and leave you hanging off a steep cliff of endless confusion and dissatisfaction, which may end your faith in the capability of the movie industries ability to produce quality book to movie translations that satisfy our reasonable desire for quality entertainment.