Beatrice Prior lives with her family in (dystopian) Chicago where people are grouped into factions based on personal beliefs and values. Her and her fBeatrice Prior lives with her family in (dystopian) Chicago where people are grouped into factions based on personal beliefs and values. Her and her family are Abnegation in which people consider selflessness and moderation the most important qualities for a successful society. The other factions are Candor (Truth and Honesty), Amity (Friendship, Peace, Harmony), Erudite (Scholars, Knowledge), and Dauntless (Fearless, Bravery). Those who doesn’t belong to a faction are considered factionless and live a very difficult life. They are the ones who do the jobs no one else wants to do and often struggle for food and shelter.
Beatrice is at the age where she is going to have to choose what faction she will align herself with for the rest of her life. Even though she was born into Abnegation, she doesn’t have to stay there. In order to help the young people choose, they are given an Aptitude Test, a virtual simulation that takes them through several scenarios to show their true nature. Beatrice’s test wasn’t very helpful. Instead of revealing one clear faction to join, it only rules out two – leaving her three factions to choose from. She is Divergent and is warned to keep her results a secret. Being Divergent is dangerous.
Beatrice must decide between Abnegation, Dauntless, or Erudite. Can she leave her family and join another faction, never to see them again? What is so dangerous about being Divergent? She has never felt like she belonged in Abnegation and has always secretly envied the Dauntless. Needless to say, the night before the choosing ceremony is a stressful one.
Beatrice takes the name of Tris when she plunges into Dauntless initiate training. A new life deserves a new name. Struggling with feelings of guilt for leaving her parents, Tris throws herself into training and experiences things she never thought possible. Getting to know people from the other factions provides some challenges, but the physical and mental trials are even more trying. Life becomes a little more complicated when she begins to have feelings for one of her trainers, Four. Tris comes alive in the Dauntless faction, in more ways than one.
Tris’ world is turned upside down when she learns of a possible conspiracy involving two of the factions. Will she be able to uncover the truth and keep the fact that she is Divergent a secret at the same time? Will she have to do it alone or will Four be able to help?
DIVERGENT is a thrill ride. There isn’t a moment when the story doesn’t hold tight to the reader. The mixture of drama, mystery, suspense, and romance is perfect. I can’t wait for the sequel, INSURGENT, due out May 2012.
Visit the Facebook page to take the faction quiz. Where would you belong? ...more
NOTE: It is important to read THE LINE before jumping into this book. Click HERE for the link to my review from January 2010.
Rachel is in the Away. YNOTE: It is important to read THE LINE before jumping into this book. Click HERE for the link to my review from January 2010.
Rachel is in the Away. Years of reading about it on the net books didn't prepare her for the actual experience. The thing that occupies most of her thoughts is her father. Pathik knows him, but won't tell her anything about him. She feels hopeful, but worried at the same time. When they finally reach the camp, most aren't thrilled to see her. As a Reg, she isn't welcome since she is a reminder of what the government did to them when they activated The Line. The Others have been forced to live for generations in the wilds of Away by primitive means. Rachel is amazed. It is hard for her to imagine life without electricity and modern conveniences like running water and medicine.
After delivering the antibiotics to the people looking after Malgam (Pathik's father), Rachel tries to remain patient for news of her father. Finally, after Malgam is out of the woods, Indigo explains what happened. They suspect Daniel has been taken prisoner by another group of people called The Roberts. The Roberts are a violent and vile group that split away from them when the children in the camp started developing "gifts." It will take careful planning to rescue Daniel, but Indigo promises to do everything he can to get him back.
In addition to the stress of living away from home with a group of people she's long feared, Rachel is also coming to terms with her feelings for Pathik. She is forced to alter her lifestyle without having time to prepare. She worries about her mother, Ms. Moore, and Jonathan who are still on The Property. Have Enforcement Officers come for them yet? Will they be safe now that she "ran away?" Will she ever see her mother again?
Teri Hall has written a satisfying sequel to a great dystopian series. I couldn't rate it a 5 Glasses for a couple of reasons though. We needed more of the dystopian/government control part of the story. There are only a couple of instances where we see government officials at all. While I enjoyed reading about Away I still felt like I needed to know what was happening in the Unified States on the other side of The Line. Also, I think the very end of the book was great. It really leaves the reader ready for the next installment of the series, but the part leading up to the end I was where I was a little disappointed. I think Teri Hall could have done something different and still ended up where she wanted.
All that said, I couldn't put the book down. I loved it and can't wait for the third. Of course, I'll probably have to wait over a year for it like I did AWAY. Grrrr. ...more
It all starts with a suicide. Nora Vogel transmits her death live on a video website and David just happened to stumble upon it while he was surfing tIt all starts with a suicide. Nora Vogel transmits her death live on a video website and David just happened to stumble upon it while he was surfing the Internet. When word gets out that he was one of the kids to watch, his parents and the school counselor become worried about the amount of time he and the other teens spend isolating themselves with technology. The school counselor suggests to his parents a Companion from Sakora Industries - a robot meant to encourage healthy bonds to treat dissociative disorder.
Rose is created to be David's Companion. She has flawless skin, flowing red hair, and a direct satellite link to Sakora for instant information about the world around her. She has been designed specifically for David. He is HER BOY. Her job is to make David happy and teach him the importance of "human" contact. Each Companion is programmed with strict intimacy protocols. Rose can shake hands with David after 2 minutes of friendship or hug after another time limit has been reached. If David attempts to touch or kiss before the allowed time he is given a horrible shock. Even though he is extremely frustrated and doesn't want to wait for intimate contact, he soon realizes he enjoys spending time with Rose and finds himself developing deep feelings for her.
Just when things are going great, David discovers something about the Companions that sends him over the edge. In a fit of anger he abandons Rose at a party and leaves with another girl. He doesn't care where Rose goes or how she survives.
Charlie lives across the lake from David. They've known each other for a long time, but have never been friends. David has teased Charlie on multiple occasions because he is poor and an awkward loner and once even ran him off the road and almost killed him. If it hadn't been for Rose, David wouldn't have even stopped to check to see if he was okay.
Charlie finds Rose and gives her a place to stay after David kicks her out of his life. During her time with Charlie and his father she begins to develop her own personality, thoughts and opinions - something that could be very dangerous for her if Sakora Industries finds out. Companions should only do what they are programmed to do. Independent thought wouldn't be a good selling point for their rich clients.
GIRL PARTS is a fascinating story. The technology John Cusick created for the Companion robots is super fun. While not all the characters are completely developed, the reader does get to know and sympathize with Rose. It is interesting to me that the robot in the story is the character with the most growth. The author leaves the ending open to sequel possibilities and I, for one, will enjoy finding out what happens. I rated it 5 Glasses and a Stay Awake Award simply because I couldn't wait to find out what happened in the story - not because it is the best literary quality I've come across. There is a good side story involving Charlie and a girl he wants to date. Watching Charlie's personality change because of his relationship with Rose is nice.
It’s been 18 months since Ally Ryan has lived in Orchard Hill and she is nervous about moving back. She doesn’t know how her friends are going to welcIt’s been 18 months since Ally Ryan has lived in Orchard Hill and she is nervous about moving back. She doesn’t know how her friends are going to welcome her back after she left without even saying goodbye to them.
Ally didn’t have any warning the night her and her parents left town. With her parents fighting and yelling at her to pack whatever she can, Ally couldn’t think straight. She couldn’t even process what was going on or why they had to leave. When she found out that her father made a horrible investment and lost their house, cars, and everything of value she felt bad enough, but when she realized her father had lost her best friends’ parents money as well, she was devastated.
Ally knows it might take a little while to ease back into the life she left behind, but since what her father did wasn’t her fault she has high hopes for seeing her friends again. The first thing Ally does when she and her mother arrive in town is to hop on her bike and ride over to her old house. She can’t help but reminisce about all the times she and her friends ran around their upscale neighborhood. She is surprised to see a gorgeous guy poke his head out of her old bedroom window.
Jake Graydon moved to Orchard Hill after the scandal and doesn’t know much about Ally except what he’s heard in passing from his friends. His friends just happen to be Ally’s old friends. It is almost like Jake stepped in and took Ally’s place in the Cresties (the kids that live on the Crest, a.k.a. the rich kids).
Ally and her mother don’t have much money and can only afford to live in a condo down the hill from The Crest. Living in this part of town makes her a Norm and needless to say, Norms and Cresties don’t mingle.
Ally’s friends don’t give her a warm welcome. They freeze her out, play pranks, and are verbally abusive. To make matters worse, Ally can’t stop thinking about Jake – the least available boy in school (to her anyway).
SHE’S SO DEAD TO US is told in alternating points of view – Ally’s and Jake’s. The story takes place over the course of Ally and her friends’ Junior year. Kieran Scott does a wonderful job creating a realistic high school world including all the drama that goes along with it. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with Jake – a lovable yet flawed character. Kieran Scott leaves the reader with some questions at the end of the story, but not so many that the reader will be unsatisfied....more
Before Nick Gautier was a Squire for Kyrian Hunter and way before he ran into trouble with Ash, he was a ninth grader on a scholarship at prestigiousBefore Nick Gautier was a Squire for Kyrian Hunter and way before he ran into trouble with Ash, he was a ninth grader on a scholarship at prestigious private school. He is willing to put up with the constant harassment from his classmates because of the ridiculous clothes his mother buys for him and the fact that they don't have two nickels to rub together, but he draws the line at cracks at his mother. Nick is willing to do anything for his mother. The fact that she is willing to dance at an exotic club every night just so they can have a roof over their heads and food on their table drives him to try to be a good person - even though it takes everything he has to maintain his control.
Nick is special. The amount of power he is capable of is unknown - especially to him. It isn't until he meets Kyrian Hunter that he is even aware of a world other than the one he knows.
New Orleans is full mysterious people and traditions, but zombies are new for Nick. Students at his high school have started attacking and attempting to eat one another. It started with only one, but quickly spread across town. It is up to Nick and a group of friends (some new and some old) to find out how it started and make New Orleans safe once again.
INFINITY is an entertaining read, but not what I would call quality literature. There was one thing in particular about Kenyon's writing style that got on my nerves with this book that I didn't notice so much in the Dark Hunter novels. I may have noticed it more because I listened to INFINITY on audio book, but it seemed like Nick talked to himself too much - asked himself internal questions all the time.
Kenyon introduced a couple of the important characters from the Dark Hunter series like Kyrian, Ash, Simi, Tabitha, and a couple of the Peltiers from Sanctuary. They didn't play a major role, but Kenyon definitely set it up for people who aren't familiar with her Dark Hunter/Were Hunter/Dream Hunter series.
Something I thought was really funny was Kenyon created a character named Bubba, a self proclaimed zombie hunter, who closely resembled Tallahassee from the movie Zombieland. Kenyon even incorporated Columbus' #2 rule (reworded a little of course) - Double Tap. All in all INFINITY was fun and I will read the next one in the series. I do wonder why Kenyon chose to write for young adults though. There are about a million books out in the adult series that I can't imagine she needs any more money.
What about everyone else? Have you read this one? If so, have you read any of Kenyon's adult novels? How do you think this one compares?
Be on the look out for INVINCIBLE: Book 2 on February 1st, 2011....more
Unlike the previous two books in this trilogy, this story takes place in the city where people have been eeking out a living ever since the Return. EvUnlike the previous two books in this trilogy, this story takes place in the city where people have been eeking out a living ever since the Return. Even though life is dangerous and difficult - the people have been relatively safe from the Unconsecrated. While there are some wandering around, someone who knows how to fight can take care of them.
Annah's life is full of regret. She regrets leaving her sister behind in the forest. She regrets the event that left her scarred for life. She especially regrets allowing Elias to leave.
Annah has had to manage life on her own for over three years - ever since Elias left to join the Recruiters. Everyday she hopes he'll show up and she can feel complete again - maybe even relax a little since she won't have to survive alone.
Eventually, Annah gives up and decides to leave the City, but on her way out she glimpses someone that looks just like her - her sister. She made the immediate decision to turn around and find her. Annah lost Abigail once - she wasn't going to do it again.
The Horde is forcing people to the City to look for safety. The City with its walls and bridges and guards have been relatively safe for years, but it has never been assaulted by the number of Unconsecrated that have awakened and are on their way to the City.
Annah searches the City high and low looking for Abigail only to discover she has been taken to the Recruiters' island headquarters. After running into Catcher and reuniting with Elias, they make their way to the island to get Abigail - but mostly for safety since the Horde has breached the City walls.
Instead of being a safe haven, the island turns out to be a prison as they are held against their will. They come face-to-face with nightmares that shouldn't be possible with the humans around them. Annah especially sees the monster in the Recruiters and devotes her time to finding a way off of the island. She convinces her sister, Elias, and Catcher that life can continue away from the City.
THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES is a perfect conclusion to the trilogy. Annah's point of view is fascinating. Life has never been easy for her, yet she is able to maintain hope and instill that hope in others. The damage she has (inside and out) really makes it difficult for her to feel wanted and loved by others. Her insecurities cause her to put up walls, making her seem tough on the outside. It is heartbreaking to read her inner thoughts - to see what she really thinks about herself and her scars.
As for readers that are new to this trilogy, I highly recommend you read all three of the book in order. THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES, and THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES. This way you'll have a full understanding of the world you are reading about. I feel THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH gives the best descriptions of the Unconsecrated whereas in THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES we need to use what we already know to help us complete the picture of the Horde breaking into the City.
The way THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES ends is great. Very hopeful! I can see another off-shoot series developing with the way things are at the end. I'd love to read the novels that could follow this trilogy. Let's just hope Carrie Ryan isn't sick of the world she has created. Even if she is, maybe she'll come back to it one day and let us know how everything turns out....more
Scarlett and Rosie survived the unthinkable when they were just young little girls. A big bad wolf, disguised as a salesman, forced his way into theirScarlett and Rosie survived the unthinkable when they were just young little girls. A big bad wolf, disguised as a salesman, forced his way into their Grandma’s cabin, brutally killed her, and then moved on to attack the girls. Scarlett, determined to save Rose, grabbed a shard of glass to fights for their lives. She killed the wolf, but not without damage to herself. Horribly injured and scarred for life, Scarlett makes it her life’s mission to hunt and kill the Fenris – the Fenris that roam, always searching for their next victim.
The Fenris are wolves that can appear human in order to mingle among the humans and stalk their prey. They are attracted to young, beautiful women, sweet-smelling skin, and the color red. Scarlett and Rosie use these traits to their advantage when on the hunt. They bathe in flowery soaps, put on makeup to accentuate their lips and eyes, and always wear bright-red, hooded cloaks. The girls frequent dark and secluded places hoping to lure the Fenris out of the shadows. Since Scarlett is horribly scarred, Rosie is usually the bait.
Rosie has never felt drawn to the hunt like her sister and since Silas, their long-time neighbor and best friend, has returned from a trip to California she has even more doubts. She doesn’t want her life to revolve around the Fenris and she doesn’t want to be bait for the rest of her life, but she feels indebted to Scarlett for saving her life when they were children and feels trapped in her life. Silas forces her to reexamine her decisions and if she admits her growing love for Silas, she feels she is betraying Scarlett.
When a rash of killings in Atlanta appears to be doings of the Fenris, Scarlett, Rosie, and Silas pack up and move in order to start hunting there. What they discover threatens to tear their lives apart.
SISTERS RED is fantastic. It is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year. The story is told in alternating chapters from Scarlett and Rosie’s perspectives. Jackson Pearce masterfully creates her characters in such a way the reader is pulled into the story and emotionally involved in their lives. I laughed out loud, felt the suspense of the hunt, and cried for the characters. I can honestly say I didn’t want this story to end. This is a wonderfully creative retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. The wolf, the Grandma, the woodsman, and the little girl(s) in the bright red cloak are all present. This is absolutely a MUST READ!!!...more