Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Divergent Series – Veronica Roth

Divergent-series-by-Veronica-Roth

Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up.

I originally bought Divergent for my mother for Christmas, but the first thing I see when I get in her car is a copy of Divergent and she’s halfway through it already. Oh well, just another book for me I guess. I started reading it over the holiday and was quickly transfixed, along with most of the nation, by Roth’s dystopian Chicago. I also found joy in trying to pin point the locations that she was referencing through out the books since I had lived there for eight years, and honestly I couldn’t get them all.

It is refreshing in Young Adult novels to have a female lead who can hold her own and doesn’t need a man to hold her up. The journey from quiet Abnegation Tris and balls to the wall Divergent Tris is slow, and yet believable. She grapples with the choice of leaving her family behind to join a different faction. A feeling, I’m sure, that most college bound kids have; that feeling of finally being free but grappling with the thought of “did I make the right decision?”

Roth did not stick to the “normal” format of story telling she throws curve balls left and right and keeps you guessing right up until the end. You become emotionally invested in characters that you loathed when they first appeared and vice versa with others. I liked the twists because it kept me guessing and thirsty for more. I do know that most people were appalled at the ending…I hate giving things away so I won’t discuss it in much detail here; but I thought it was a gutsy move and not one that many authors would think of pulling. I tip my hat to you Ms. Roth.

All in all, I enjoyed reading all three of the books. They are YA so they are easy to read, but they get the point across and you become entangled in the plight of everyone involved, of an entire civilization really. She definitely kicked off a genre though because now wherever you turn there are dystopian YA novels. What Meyer did for the vampires Roth did for the dystopians.

 

 


The Jane Austen Book Club – Karen Joy Fowler

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You’ve done so many things and read so many books. Do you still believe in happy endings?

I, like many other bibliophiles out there, like to read the book before I see the movie adaptation. I say adaptation because that is exactly what it is, they are not taking the text word for word and creating a visual companion they are taking the story and creating their spin on it. I hasten to mention Winter’s Tale. LOVED the book but the movie was just meh, but this is neither the time nor the place. Today we speak only of Jane Austen.

One lonely weekend back in January my fiance was out of town and I pushed The Jane Austen Book Club to number one in my Netflix queue. I opened a bottle of wine as a decent sized snow storm raged outside and settle in to probably hate this romantic dramedy. In truth, I actually enjoyed the movie. It made me want to join a book club so I could talk to actual people about the wonderful things I was reading and squabble over silly nuances in text, instead of just sitting by my lonesome behind a screen telling you all my opinions on literature.

I actually owned two copies of JABC and decided to donate the hardcover back to a local thrift store when we moved from Chicago. Since I enjoyed the movie I was planning on enjoying the book just as much, if not more. Which I did. It’s a short easy read told from the point of view of a nameless woman in the book club and every chapter is centered around which Jane Austen novel they are reading at the time. Short and to the point, I found Fowler’s novel engaging and still emotional enough for me to rally behind these women and wish them well in all of their personal endeavors. Unlike many book to film adaptations this one stays fairly faithful to the end. Both the book and the film are short and sweet and sometimes that’s really all you need.