Friday, July 18, 2014

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: dystopian, YA fiction, books to movies

I finally decided to jump on the Divergent bandwagon and see what all the fuss was about...

Divergent is set in dystopian Chicago- the city is divided into five factions based on personality types, in the belief that personality conflicts, not race, religion or politics, is the root of evil and corruption: Amity (friendliness), Erudite (intellectuals), Candor (always honest), Abegnation (selfless), and Dauntless (brave). But like all human labels and categories, there is friction and tension between the factions.

Beatrice Prior has lived in the Abegnation faction her whole life but has never felt like she belonged. Unfortunately, she has never been able to talk to anyone about her feelings since the Abegnation are so selfless, they never talk about themselves. Ever. When she turns 16, Beatrice undergoes an aptitude test that will determine in which faction she will spend the remainder of her life. Her aptitude test goes awry and Beatrice finds out that she is a Divergent. She is told this classification is dangerous but not why. At the Choosing ceremony, Beatrice must decide whether she will stay with what is familiar (and chance being unhappy) or if she will choose a new faction (and a new family). Beatrice's choices will uncover family secrets and she'll learn that selflessness and strength come in many forms.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Title: Out of the Easy
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Genre: young adult fiction

Ruta Sepetys is becoming one of my favorite young adult authors; it's hard to believe she's only written two novels! Out of the Easy was just as gripping as her first novel, Between Shades of Grey. This was the July selection (picked by moi!) for the book club I'm a part of.

Josie Moraine has big dreams of getting out of The Big Easy. She lives above a bookshop in order to stay out of her abusive mother's reach and she cleans the brothel where her mother works (the madam is more protective of Josie than Josie's mother). Josie dreams of attending college up north where she can shed the "daughter of a whore" reputation that has clung to her for her entire life. She laboriously saves her money in a secret hiding spot. A chance encounter with a bookshop customer and her mother's possible role in a crime threatens her dreams... Add in a gangster and a tentative love triangle,and you have a smart yet fun read about the life in the underbelly of New Orleans in 1950.