Sally is murdered during a farm massacre in Northern South Africa, but she doesn't leave. Instead, she watches over those she cares about from the aftSally is murdered during a farm massacre in Northern South Africa, but she doesn't leave. Instead, she watches over those she cares about from the afterlife, following one story thread after another. She watches her sister, Adele, whose guilt over banishing Sally from her life eats away at her. She watches her brother-in-law, Liam, the man Sally loved but could never have. She watches her daughter, Gigi, now living with Adele, Liam and their children, Bryony and Tyler, as she tries to battle through her grief. She even watches the neighbour, Lesedi, a witchdoctor who tells Sally that the darkness has not yet left her family. The shadows are a warning: Bryony's life is in danger.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has an overall dark feel to it, as it focuses on the brutal murder of Sally and the aftermath, but the darkness does not consume the entire book. There are moments of happiness - mostly through flashbacks - woven throughout the story to balance out the darkness. Narrating from the afterlife has been done before, but not quite in this way, with the victim being drawn back to her family by story threads that demand to be heard. The book was very well-written and flowed nicely. It had a nice, quick pace, and the flashbacks to fill in the gaps in the storyline were cleverly placed. The introduction of the witchdoctor, or sangoma, was at first puzzling to me as I didn't see the point of the extra character, but it all pieced together in the end. Overall, good story!
I happily received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. ...more
In a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Chicago the population is divided into five factions, each responsible for emanating a specific virtue: Candor are hIn a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Chicago the population is divided into five factions, each responsible for emanating a specific virtue: Candor are honest, Dauntless are brave, Erudite are intelligent, Amity are peaceful, and Abnegation are selfless. At the age of sixteen each society member must choose which faction they will belong to; they may choose the faction they grew up in, or one of the other four. To help them make the decision, all sixteen-year-olds go through a simulation to see which faction they most have an aptitude for. Beatrice Prior is torn, and her aptitude test only provides further confusion. Her test was inconclusive, and she is warned not to speak of it to anyone. So when she decides to leave Abnegation for Dauntless, she thinks that keeping her secret and surviving the dangerous Dauntless initiation are all she has to worry about, not knowing that there's a much more sinister plot about to unfurl.
This is a very suspenseful book. It did not take me long to read as I couldn't put it down - I HAD to know what was going to happen next. The Divergent world with factions is a new and creative approach to the dystopian idea. The citizens believe that their society is balanced and good if everyone falls into one of five factions each promoting an honourable trait, but the faction system is flawed, as our main characters find out. I really liked Tris as a character and the narrator. Roth has that knack of creating those characters you can't help but love and root for, and those that you can't help but hate and wish horrible, horrible things for. The writing isn't remarkable by any means, but it does the job to get you hooked and carry you along to the end. This book had quite a lot going on: there's danger and excitement, murder and sacrifice, friendship and romance, all rolled into this fast-paced story. I've also been to Chicago before, so it was interesting to read about places I've seen being described after it's been destroyed by war. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read it once soon after it came out and then read it again before going to see the movie, and have since read the rest of the trilogy. I would recommend this to fans of "The Hunger Games" or anyone looking for a good dystopian book....more
Veronika, Caroline, Isobel and Eleanor are completely identical except for the differing hair colours of blond, brown, red and black. The four girls aVeronika, Caroline, Isobel and Eleanor are completely identical except for the differing hair colours of blond, brown, red and black. The four girls are alone on an island with their two caretakers, Robbert and Irene. Every day is much the same as the day before, filled with classes and walks during which they are to observe their surroundings and report what they see. But one day something changes. While out on one of their individual walks, Veronika finds a girl that had washed up from a shipwreck. The new girl, May, is very different from the other girls, and it prompts the girls to ask questions they had never before thought to ask. The world they knew is about to be turned upside down.
This was a very different type of book. The overall premise of the book was interesting and unique, but its execution left a lot to be desired. This story began and ended in the middle of a much larger, complex story, and I don’t believe there are any sequels planned to finish filling in the holes. Usually when you start in the middle of a story, you’re given the backstory throughout the book, and then everything comes to a conclusion. That was not the case here. You don’t discover all you need to know about the past, and the book ended at an awkward “in limbo” place. I did like how Veronika was the narrator. You were able to understand a little more about these girls just by hearing her basic, logical thought processes. Bit by bit you start to puzzle through the differences between the four girls and May, though sadly you are never given enough pieces to form a complete picture. I would recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t need all the answers to be satisfied with a story, or is looking for a quick, easy read with minimal attention....more