Sometime in the not so distant future, the United States as we know it is gone. Beatrice lives in a versi...moreDivergent By Veronica Roth Call # YA ROT 5 Stars
Sometime in the not so distant future, the United States as we know it is gone. Beatrice lives in a version of Chicago in which each individual belongs in one of five factions dedicated to a particular virtue: Candor are always honest, Abnegation are always selfless, Erudite always seek knowledge, Amity always seek peace, and Dauntless are always brave. Beatrice was raised as Abnegation, but she is now sixteen and must face the aptitude test and Choosing Ceremony at which she’ll decide to stay in her own faction or disown her family and follow a different virtue. Beatrice has never felt selfless, so when the results of her test come back inconclusive, she realizes she can no longer stay with her family and pretend to be something she is not. But can she survive life as a Dauntless? And what do the results of her aptitude test really mean for herself and those she loves?
Divergent is the perfect example of why I try to avoid reading series. I am a terribly impatient person, and now, having read and thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series I must endure the long wait for book number two. I will inevitably forget just about everything in Divergent, thus having to reread it in order to have any kind of chance of connecting the two stories. Luckily, rereading Roth’s series starter won’t be too much of a hardship. Divergent has everything I love in a book. It’s a dystopia. It’s fast paced and interesting. There is a budding romance between two likable characters. There’s a secret plot brewing just underneath the surface. And, with little effort at all, I can see the storyline playing out in my head like a movie. It reminded me a lot of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series with a strong female protagonist and a battle against a corrupted governmental system. If you are a fan of gritty adventures, definitely consider Divergent by Veronica Roth. (less)
After a tragic car accident took the life of her father, Amy’s life has been turned upside down. She hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel of a car...moreAfter a tragic car accident took the life of her father, Amy’s life has been turned upside down. She hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel of a car since, her brother is in the Carolina’s at a rehab facility and her mother is setting up a new home for them in Connecticut. When it comes time for Amy to leave her home in California and meet her mother across the country it is decided that an old childhood friend will drive her in the family car. Enter Roger who is exactly what Amy needs despite dealing with baggage of his own. The two teenagers set out on a road trip filled with detours, conversations, new friends, and experiences that help them come to terms with their grief and open themselves back up to life.
This book is pretty much filled with all of my favorite elements (minus fairies, trolls, and goblins). I totally heart stories with road trips. I get to see the country along with the characters, and author Morgan Matson does an amazing job including facts about each state Amy and Roger travel through, their musical playlists, and a scrapbook from their adventure to really pull the reader into the journey. I really liked Amy. Not to sound horrible, but sometimes characters who are grieving can be really annoying. Amy never appears over dramatic. Her grief feels real, and in several parts you feel yourself grieving with her. Roger is pretty darn wonderful too, and his musical tastes are swoon worthy. I totally made a few of his mixes. If you’re in the mood to see the country, definitely consider Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. (less)
I'm not a huge fan of poetry, and I have to be in a mood for novels in verse, but Cynthia Rylant's Ludie's Life was a pleasant surprise. Chronicling t...moreI'm not a huge fan of poetry, and I have to be in a mood for novels in verse, but Cynthia Rylant's Ludie's Life was a pleasant surprise. Chronicling the life of a women from the coal camps of Alabama, Ludie's story is one of hard work, frustration, and contentment. Ludie marries at the age of fifteen to escape her neglectful step mother and enters into a life with a kind, hard working man named Rupe. Ludie's dreams pushed aside, she raises six children, and many more grand-children, in West Virginia. The story often broke my heart. Ludie is a woman of integrity and vigilance, but is afraid to see the ocean because she doesn't want to long for it once she's back home. Rylant does an amazing job creating a setting and life with so few words.(less)
Ever since her parent’s news making divorce, Mclean Sweet has traveled from city to city with her father, a former chef who now works for a company th...moreEver since her parent’s news making divorce, Mclean Sweet has traveled from city to city with her father, a former chef who now works for a company that revitalizes failing restaurants. She likes all the moving. In each city she can be someone else, someone different from the girl whose world crumbled a few years before. When they pull into Lakeview for the first time, Mclean wonders who she’ll be in this particular town. Cheerleader? Student council president? Drama geek? She doesn’t expect to be is Mclean Sweet, especially since she has no idea who that is anymore. But after meeting her neighbor Dave, and planting roots for the first time in forever, she realizes that maybe it’s time to find out…warts and all.
What Happened to Goodbye is classic Sarah Dessen, heartfelt, introspective, and gritty without being too rough or angsty. She’s romantic without being fluffy, and despite where you are in life, you identify with her characters in some way. I can definitely understand the appeal of starting over in a new place with the opportunity to be whoever you want to be, and I absolutely appreciate the sentiment of loving other, and yourself, warts and all. I highly recommend Sarah Dessen’s new book What Happened to Goodybe. (less)
Following the adventures in "The Frog Princess", Emma and Eadric have transformed from their froggy forms and are once again human. Emma's aunt, Grass...moreFollowing the adventures in "The Frog Princess", Emma and Eadric have transformed from their froggy forms and are once again human. Emma's aunt, Grassina, has been reunited with her long lost love Haywood, but trouble is brewing. A neighboring kingdom is threatening Greensward and the resident witch, Grassina, is too distracted by Haywood to be of any help. Emma and Eadric embark on a journey to change Haywood from otter to man (a nasty spell put on him by Grassina's mother) and save the kingdom.
Emma remains a courageous, heartfelt heroine who is slowly growing into her powers and womanhood. I look forward to finishing the series, and definitely recommend it to fans of fairy tales.(less)
Have you ever asked yourself what would happen if a plane crashed and marooned beauty queens on a desert...moreBeauty Queens By Libba Bray Call # YA BRA 4 stars
Have you ever asked yourself what would happen if a plane crashed and marooned beauty queens on a desert island? To be honest, I have never asked myself that question, but I’m really glad Libba Bray contemplated such an absolute tragedy. Beauty queens, apparently, are terribly resilient. Determined to make the best of their horrible situation, Miss Texas, Taylor Hawkins, names herself team leader and kicks her fellow Miss Teen Dreamers into shape. First, according to Miss Texas, you practice for the Miss Teen Dream Pageant, and only after you’ve worked on your dance routine and judge’s questions do you hone your survival skills. Not only do the girls survive, but they learn that there is more to the world than just beauty…and their island. Strange lights appear in the distance and men in black shirts haunt the jungle. The Corporation, sponsor of the Miss Teen Dream Pageant (and just about everything else), is hiding a big secret, and the beauty queens have learned a little something about fighting back.
I’ve decided that I must make Libba Bray my new best friend. She fiercely imaginative, laugh out loud hilarious, and wickedly sarcastic. Beauty Queens is an absolute riot! Reading Bray’s novels are kind of an acquired taste in my opinion. They take time to read, but she packs so much into every line, but they are absolutely worth the effort. Beauty Queens is filled with moral dilemmas, deep questions, and hilarious teenage angst. If you have ever really asked yourself how beauty queens would survive on a desert island, consider Bray’s fun novel for an exceptional answer.
P.S. BEST. LINE. EVER. (pg 250)
“Adina’s been teaching us stuff at Smart School. Like about geography and real estate companies and feminism,” Tiara explained to the pirates.
“Cool,” said George.
“Yeah. It is.” She squinted in thought. “Do you think my new feminism makes me look fat?”
Pete Hautman might just be my favorite YA author. I love how Blank Confession was written, alternating between past and present, Mikey and the interro...morePete Hautman might just be my favorite YA author. I love how Blank Confession was written, alternating between past and present, Mikey and the interrogation room. Hautman did a great job of building tension and setting the seen. I was a little disappointed in the ending, or maybe just undecided. Shayne Blank just didn't seem real, but I guess maybe that was the point. Good read though! (less)
I know I’ve mentioned before, but I’m a huge fan of dystopias. I like the concept of imagining a maybe world. Dystopias, of course, are not happy imag...moreI know I’ve mentioned before, but I’m a huge fan of dystopias. I like the concept of imagining a maybe world. Dystopias, of course, are not happy images of a maybe world…they’re more doomsday images…but those kinds of stories make you think about what we’re doing physically and emotionally to the world and ourselves. So imagine a world in which all decision has been taken away. Where the Society tells you exactly what to eat, what to wear, and who to marry. Cassia was so excited the day of her match, to find out who she would be paired with, build a future with, and when it turns out to be her best friend, she can’t help but be elated. But when she views his data card another face appears, another face she knows. Should she love Xander, her match, just because the Society tells her to, or should she trust the feelings that are beginning to grow for Ky, the mysterious boy with a past so haunting that it will change how she views the world forever?
Matched by Ally Condie is a sweet love story about following your heart and opening yourself up to the possibilities of the world. It’s also a story about tyranny, mistrust, and fear. Decisions are hard to make, but at the core of being human is the ability to make those decisions for ourselves. Could you live in a society where that freedom was taken away? The audiobook is excellent, and I’m sure the reading experience would be just as entertaining. I highly recommend Ally Condie’s Matched. (less)