Archive | June, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth

18 Jun

When I went to see The Hunger Games in the theater for the second time, I was surprised to see an ad for Veronica Roth‘s Insurgent pop up during the pre-movie “entertainment.” Insurgent is definitely one of the bigger spring/summer YA releases this year, but it still surprised me since it was the first time I had seen a book previewed like that at the movies. That plus the bajillion holds placed on it at my library made me realize I should probably read the first book, Divergent (Katherine Tegen Books), to prep me for it so I wouldn’t be the lamest/most clueless librarian ever. It was a Goodreads reader’s choice whatever, is hugely popular, and constantly gets lumped into “If you liked The Hunger Games…” lists, so I had high hopes. High hopes that were shattered into a million not-so-dazzling pieces.

Beatrice Prior lives in a future Chicago where society is divided into five “factions” meant to cultivate a different virtue: Candor (honesty), Dauntless (bravery), Abegnation (selflessness), Amity (…friendship? Being nice? Peacefulness? I don’t know), and Erudite (Smartassness). Every year, all the sixteen-year-olds of the society must choose their faction, which often means leaving their families to go to a NEW faction. Before this happens, though, they are administered an aptitude test which supposedly shows them which faction they would do best in. However, the ultimate choice is still that of the sixteen-year-old (haha, I wrote “sexteen” at first. Appropriate!), so that there is still an element of free will when it comes to the teenage version of choose-your-own rest of your god damn life. Anyways. Beatrice’s test results are “inconclusive,” which means she is “divergent,” which is apparently even worse than being a Slytherin, so much so that she is told to keep it a secret or she’ll be killed. Anywho, Beatrice chooses a faction, renames herself “Tris,” starts lusting after her hunky and oh-so-broody instructor, Four, and as she undergoes the brutal Dauntless initiation she begins to unravel a dark conspiracy that is corrupting the foundations of her society.

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Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

14 Jun

So, about a month-ish ago before I lost my mind trying to move all my crap for the umpteenth time this year, I reviewed Melina Marchetta’s Finnikin of the Rock. I loved the crap out of that book and was chomping at the bit for the sequel, Froi of the Exiles¬†(Candlewick Press). I think that, in an alternate universe, I will write a paper about the psychological state of a person delving into a much-anticipated installation in a series versus that of a person cracking open a standalone or a first book. Totally different experiences, and if any of you are academic types I give you permission to steal my genius ideas and go win the Nobel. Anyways, I was excited, and alas, while I did really like Froi I didn’t LOVE it the way I did Finnikin.

It’s been three years since Finnikin and Isaboe reclaimed Lumatere from the imposter king, and both the land and its people are still healing. Froi has spent the past three years working the land with Lord August, studying with the Priest King, and training with the King’s Guard. When Froi is sent on a mission to infiltrate the royal court of Charyn so he can assassinate the king who orchestrated the Five Days of the Unspeakable, he finds himself drawn into the tragedy of the mad princess Quintana. You see, Charyn has its own cute little curse: no child has been born or conceived there for eighteen years. Quintana, through her own oracular proclivities, long ago claimed that she was the only one who could break the curse, and so has been essentially whoring herself¬† out to royal d-bags for her entire young adult life in order to save her country by producing a child. As Froi struggles to find a way to fulfill his mission, he slowly loses himself into the twisted workings of accursed Charyn, and each twist brings him closer to finding out what his destined role in all the madness is.

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The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

6 Jun

So I haven’t written a post in forever and a day, and for that I apologize. See, I did this thing recently, in fact I’m still doing it, and it is called “moving.” I hate “moving” with the fire of a thousand hells. It’s really hard to find the time or the motivation to write when all of you free time is devoted to organizing your life via the filling and emptying of boxes. I have yet to figure out how to get my office chair up the stairs into my adorable attic bedroom, so that is an added challenge. Argh. Anyways, let’s get right into it.

Mary Pearson’s The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Square Fish Books) was first recommended to me by a coworker who is a huge jerk and told me what it was about before I read it. I didn’t realize what a jerk she was until I started reading and realized “this would be a hell of a lot better if I didn’t know what this book was actually about!” So, I am going to try really, really hard to sum up and review without giving away key plot elements and TWISTS so that you are actually SURPRISED and feeling the SUSPENSE if you choose to read it.

Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox wakes from a year-long coma with no memories. None. Nada. Zilch. She doesn’t know anything about her life prior to her accident, which means she also has no idea who she, Jenna Fox, is. As Jenna unravels the mystery of her own identity by watching videos of her extensively recorded life, the nature of her coma and her present life come into clearer focus, leaving her to question not only who she is but what she is.

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