Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth Book Review


Divergent by Veronica Roth
US Release Date: May 3rd 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Purchased through Barnes and Noble
Genre: YA Dystopian
Rating: 5 out of 5
Buy it: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five 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.

Plot: Yes this is another dystopian novel but it's different. Instead, it is not plainly obvious that this society is corrupt. There are hints at is but for the most part you don't think of how cruel the government is and the way it operates. Most of the novel is focused on Beatrice as you watch her grow and develop in this society that can't adjust to her and people like her. It is full of action and surprises. While reading this I honestly did not know what to expect and there was always something exciting on the next page.

Pacing: Perfect! Not too fast, not too slow = just amount of world building + action
I did read this book fast but the pace wasn't over whelming in how quickly I had to get through everything.

Characters: Beatrice was a phenomenal protagonist. The development you see her under go through out the novel was extremely well done. She starts off as a pensive and self-consious girl who doesn't know her place in her own society and ends as a strong (both physically and mentally/emotionally) woman who has begun to learn understand who she is and what she must do to protect those she loves and what she thinks is right.
Four is a wonderfully gorgeous onion! He has so many layers and is so much deeper then the hot brute he seems to be in the beginning. The relationship that he and Beatrice share is awesome because they are both human and they both have weaknesses that they help each other with.
All of the other characters really add depth and life to the story. From the terrifying Eric to Beatrice's gentle brother, each character is unique and specific and you grow attached to them despite the fact that they are not major characters (well maybe not Eric).

Writing: Veronica Roth's writing was a lot more then I was expecting. Honestly, with dystopian/modern set novels I don't usually look for flowy language and detailed descriptions but Divergent had that (kind of) and made it work. Maybe flowy wouldn't be the right term but the way she described how Beatrice was feeling and her thoughts and the way she viewed the world was really interesting and added a whole new dimension to the novel.

Overall: Divergent was fantastic! There was action, adventure, romance, drama, suspense, and everything else you'd expect from a fantastic YA novel. But what gave it that extra umph was how it made me think about the way our society works. In between the ass-kicking and the surprises I thought about what something like "factions" would do to a society and how we've almost already developed our own factions in the way we think of ourselves and the people around us. Plus it's about figuring out your place within society.
But putting all that analysis-janx aside it was pretty flippin' fantastic!

 5 out of 5 stars

Should you read it?
If you loved Hunger Games you will love this. If you love action you will love this. If you love dystopian novels you will love this. 

Should you buy it?
This a book I know I will want to read again and again and again...and again.

Top Ten Tuesday #10

This weekly event is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This weeks theme is...

Top Ten Books I'd Like To See Made Into A Movie

I am a movie fanatic. I love movies as much as I love books (which is a lot) and if I could I would have a book for every movie I loved and a movie for every book I loved so I could read/watch it whenever I wanted to. So the idea of creating some of my favorite books into movies just makes me happy. :)
P.s. This is of course in an ideal world where they don't make the movie any different from the book.

1) Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
   I loved the first movie and I cannot wait till they make the next two! I personally believed Jennifer Lawrence was fantastic as Katniss and I thought Josh Hutcherson was wonderful as Peeta. Plus I like how they transformed the book into the film because you were able to understand everything that was going on plus we got an extra look into the Capitol with those scenes with President Snow (played by the amazing Donald Sutherland). So I can't wait to see how they translate the next two books into the movies.

2) Divergent by Veronica Roth
    This book is full of action but still has some great dramatic moments. I would love to see who would play Tris and Four not to mention Eric. I admit the Divergent Headquarters would be a tricky set to make but I think the opportunities for actors and all the actions would be too tempting to pass up.

3) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    This book has such raw love and sadness. It doesn't sugar coat or romanticize cancer but it also shows the strength in the characters and how the sickness has made them stronger. The characters are so full and human and to see it on film would be absolutely stunning, but only if they stayed exactly to the book.

4) Daughter of the Forest by Juliette Marillier
    This book is simply stunning! I would love for a film adaptation (with the quality of the lord of the rings) of this story because the world and the characters are all so wonderful. Sorcha's strength is remarkably and I ADORE Red and to be able to see them on screen along with the beauty of the Seven Waters would be fantastic!

5) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
    This book is basically a romantic dramedy in novel form. The characters are witty and sharp and the storyline is simply adorable. They don't make movies like this novel anymore and it would be very refreshing to see something like this on the big screen in stead of simply visualizing it in my head.

6) The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa
    I love these books so much! Im currently on the third one and it's great! I remember reading the first one and being enthralled by the world and the characters. I imagined everything to be so colorful and vibrant and if i got to see it come to life on the big screen I would... I would...idk what I'd do but I'd be so happy. Oh and to see Ash and Puck go head to head...yeah I think I would like that. (P.s. Go puck!)

7) Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes 
    I've read this book so many times. I loved the romance and the intensity that is so potent in such a short novel. This makes it ideal for a a movie because it isn't very long but there is so much an actor could do with each role all the characters are so complex.

8) Shatter Me by Tahareh Mafi
    Another one of my favorite books that i would probably freak out if they made into a movie. BUT, I'd be a little worried because one of my favorite things about this book is Tahareh Mafi's writing style with all the crossed out words. If they did that write (maybe BBC Sherlock style with the words on the screen?) It would be so cool!

9) Graceling by Kristen Cashore
    You guys already know that Graceling is one of my favorite YA novels so I would be super excited if they made it into a movie. However, the reason why this is so far down on the list is because if they changed even the slightest I would probably go crazy. So, for their safety it's probably best if they didn't make a movie unless they signed a contract in their own blood saying they wouldn't change anything.

10) Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
      Take almost everything I said in the above post and copy and paste it here...then times it by a thousand. That equals: it could be one of the most awesome movies ever IF they made it the right way.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #9

This weekly event is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This weeks theme is...

Top Ten Favorite Literary Characters

1) Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    I personally think she is one of the strongest female characters ever written. No, she doesn't display the physical, kick-ass strength of heroines today but emotionally and morally she is incredibly strong. I guess you could say she's some what of a hipster. She was tough before it was cool for women to be tough. lol 

2) Jenica from Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
    Once again she is a strong woman who isn't afraid to do what she must to protect her family. She's as beautiful as her older sister or as smart as her younger but she has a strong heart and knows the difference between right and wrong. She doesn't give up what she wants for her family even though it would make things easier. 

3) Finnikin from Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
    Finnikin is a fantastically human character. He has an overwhelming sense of what is right but he still battles the demons that lurk in his mind. He cares immensely for his loved ones and will do anything for them and still fears that he may one day harm them. He is a fantastically complex character the likes of which I have rarely encountered in modern literature.

4) Dustfinger from Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
    I love characters where you never quite know if they are good or bad and Dustfinger is definitely one of them. Part of him wants to help Mo but that part is in constant conflict with the part of him that just wants to return home. He is a wonderful character that adds a certain color to the Inkheart trilogy and my personal favorite.

5) Tyrion from Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
   Tyrion is so flippin' fantastic! First of all he's a dwarf and second of all he's really complex. He claims that he isn't honorable, and he isn't in the conventional term, but there are some moments when his honor shines through. Then he's super clever and sarcastic. He's the only good person in the Lannister house in my opinion.

6) Po from Graceling by Kristin Cashore
    Po is probably my ideal guy. He's good looking, smart, nice, and funny. I love how much he cares for Katsa and respects her strength plus how much he cares for his family. With his skills and grace he could have so much power and be a king or something but he doesn't want to. Instead he wants to enjoy a simpler life of love and beauty. Why aren't real guys like him? 

7) Peeta from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    No, I'm not going to go into the Team Peeta vs. Team Gale competition that has transformed The Hunger Games but instead I have to say why I like him and why he is one of my favorite characters. Peeta does what he promises in the first book and he doesn't let the Capitol change him despite all of the horrible (seriously horrific) things he go to.

8) Holden Caufield from The Catcher in the Rye
    He's crazy. Completely and utterly crazy, but still frickin' hilarious (in a pitiful, depressing sort of way).  Plus is (insane) view on life kind of makes you think about the pressures and lies of society. Plus some of the things he says are really funny.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Im participating in "Waiting On Wednesday." A weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine where I tell you about an upcoming book that I'm excited about. 

This week the book I'm waiting on is...

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Publication Date: May 1st 2012

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith Book Review

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
US Release Date: January 2nd 2012
Publisher: Poppy/Little Brown
Author Info:
Source: Purchased through Amazon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5
Buy It: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A. 

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.


Plot: The plot for this novel is very simple. It's about a boy and girl who are both going through a rough time in their life and they meet on a plane and fall in love but also help each other. It's simple but it's still thought-provoking and there are a couple surprises and twists and turns that you don't expect. In the plot you get the perfect balance of romance, comedy, and depth.

Pacing: Even though this book takes over a 24 hour period it doesn't seem like it. The pacing is swift but not so fast you read through it and don't remember what's going on. It's a nice even pace the keeps you moving but takes the perfect amount of time to let you think about Hadley and Oliver and their situations. 

Characters: The main character, Hadley, is exactly like a real person. She makes mistakes, she is sometimes selfish, and can loose her temper. But you also see that she is loving and kind and you understand the hurt she has felt because of her father's leaving. She's a normal girl with normal thoughts and hopes and doubts and it is very easy to relate to her even if you haven't gone through what she has gone through.
Oliver is also a real person. He is not the perfect, charming, flawless guy that you see too often in young adult fiction. He is kinda quirky, a little weird, sometimes gets a bit befuddled or looses his temper. But he is still nice and handsome (in a human way not an unearthly vampire/greek god/faery sort of way).
The chemistry between Hadley and Oliver is the kind of chemistry I think almost every girl would love. It's not fueled by physical passion but more like understanding and friendship and the fact that they truly click. They laugh and joke and talk about serious things. They don't just stare intensely into each others eyes but get to know one another like normal people.
All the minor characters also seem like actual human beings, not card board cut outs that just stand around for a while. They also all play an important part within the plot and Hadley's and Oliver's life.

Writing: The writing was masterful. Its told through Hadley's POV but you still see how she interacts with the world around her and how it acts towards her. Smith makes everything very easy to visualize and understand exactly what Hadley is thinking.

Overall: I adored this book! It's basically the perfect romantic dramedy in book form. The romance was sweet, the characters were easy to relate to, and it was light hearted with just the right amount of depth to make you think. Hadley and Oliver's relationship just makes you smile because they are so incredibly adorable and even though it takes place over 24 hours it still seems like something that could happen in real life. (Sigh. I was on a plane shortly after reading this but I didn't meet any hot and nice British guy.)
I haven't read any of Smith's other books but after reading this I definitely think I will check it out. She has incredible talented and has created a truly lovable characters that are flawed and hopeful and put them in a romance the just makes your heart flutter.

5 out of 5 stars

Should you read it?
If you love romantic comedies that make you smile, laugh, cry, and think then this is definitely the book for you.

Should you buy it?
Yes! Not only is the story great but the cover is beautiful as well.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another Announcement

Im back (in case you didn't notice)! Now I am going to say flat out that it may take me a bit to get back into the swing of things. I have been reading like crazy but reviews are taking longer to turn out (especially the video kinds). Hopefully I will have another video, if not then at least a regular review, up tomorrow.

I was planning on doing a review today but I got a little distracted because I have begun (well, maybe begun isn't the right word because now I am almost finished with) Divergent and all I've wanted to do all day is read that and not anything else.

BUT, I will put aside the epicness that is Divergent long enough tomorrow to give you a review on one of the books I read before my vacation. Either that or I'll just finish it. lol

Anyways! Thanks for your patience :)

Top Ten Tuesday #8

This weekly event is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This weeks theme is...

Top Ten Tips For New Book Bloggers

Since I am still pretty new at this whole blogging thing I am only going to do a couple tips that I have found very helpful as a new blogger.

1) Read other book blogs - This really helped me figure out what a true book blog entailed. It also allowed me to find out about new books coming out that would be good to read.

2) Participate in challenges - Participating in challenges like the 2012 Debut Author Challenge hosted by the Story Siren or the To-Be-Read Challenge hosted by Evie-Bookish has really got me motivated in reading. When I read a book that is a part of the challenge I feel like I've really accomplished something. 

3) Read books you enjoy - This is probably the most important tip that I thing most bloggers would agree on. If you're reading books you don't think you will like you wont want to read them then you wont do a review. If you read a book you think you will like or appeals to you or are in a particular genre  that you like you are more likely to read, finish it, and review.

4) Do something to keep it interesting - Like a weekly meme like this for example or participate in give aways. This will keep it lively and entertaining instead of a chore, or something that you feel you have to do not something that is fun to do.

So these are the tips I have so far that have worked best for me. Tell me what you think or any tips you have for me, they would be greatly appreciated!