This book follows life in a small North Carolina town after an EMP. In case you aren't familiar with the term, an EMP is an electromagnetic pulse, and...moreThis book follows life in a small North Carolina town after an EMP. In case you aren't familiar with the term, an EMP is an electromagnetic pulse, and there has been a lot of talk over the last few years about the threat to us from such an attack. It has been said that it could feasibly be caused by someone detonating a nuclear warhead high above the earth. Doing so could wipe out all electronics within the reach of the blast.
This book was a hot topic when it came out, even discussed within the walls of the Pentagon as a foreshadowing of a previously unrealized threat. With a foreword by Newt Gingrich, this book provides a very real depiction of what life would be like after an EMP, and underscores the fact that every American should be aware of and prepare for such a threat.
My final word: Very realistic and timely, this book should be a wake up call to the world regarding a potential threat-- whether caused by man or nature. This story is hosted by very believable characters fighting to survive and overcome very real events. Everyone should read this book, and do what they can to prepare for any event, be it for an EMP, solar flares, hurricanes or floods. Allow this book to the be the hand on your shoulder that moves you to action. And I am happy to mention that this book is currently in development as a major motion picture! I'll be looking forward to the movie version!(less)
Beatrice is an well brought up Abnegation girl. And, of course, it is assumed at the Choosing Ceremony that she will choose to remain in her Abnegatio...moreBeatrice is an well brought up Abnegation girl. And, of course, it is assumed at the Choosing Ceremony that she will choose to remain in her Abnegation faction. However on the appointed day she shocks her family when she chooses to switch factions, leaving her family and everything she has ever known behind. Then begins a brutal initiation process which she doubts at times she will survive.
I will preface this review by disclosing that I usually find YA novels too superficial, and so I don't read them very often. But I like post-apocalyptic and dystopian, so I decided to give this one a try.
If I approach a book like this from the standpoint of a 40+ year-old woman who really loves quirky literary fiction and southern gothic, then a book like this can be a bit of a let down. Very simple characters. Superficial interactions. Straight-forward writing. Not the type of prose I've come to love.
But if I approach it from the 17-year-old I once was, and try to simply lose myself in the "story", the plot, the fragmented city that once was Chicago, then I can see the appeal. In the beginning I found the book was a bit of a letdown, even though I was simply looking for a light read-- something a little mindless. But then I shifted my mind into that teen-mode and tried to be more superficial in my expectations, and found that I could enjoy the story a bit.
Tris (formerly Beatrice) didn't seem very realistic to me. On the one hand, she is portrayed as this very plain, non-extraordinary girl. Then she is portrayed as this extremely brave girl who is terrified of everything, and at the same time fearless. I felt as if she was all over the place. Perhaps this was because she was "divergent" and couldn't really be pigeon-holed, but she just didn't feel very real to me.
Most of the other characters were very one-dimensional and didn't really have any impact on me. Other than Four, whom I actually liked, even though he also didn't make much sense to me, being kind and sensitive and cruel all at the same time.
My final word: In the end, I was left with an "okay" story. It had its moments, and it had potential with an interesting premise, but it was too loosely executed and just didn't pull it all in together. I was left a little bored by the whole thing, but perhaps would have loved it at 17? So this one gets an "eh" and a shrug, and I'm not sure whether or not I will give Insurgent a try. Not right now. Too many great books to read!(less)