Archive for the ‘Young Adult’ Category

Book Review – Insurgent

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

What I’ve recently finished:

**Insurgent by Veronica Roth**
GoodReads
Amazon
World Catalog

What is it about?
I read Book I in this series earlier this year for a book club and enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. This is a sci-fi series set in a dystopian version of Chicago. This society is divided into five strictly segregated factions. At the age of sixteen, every kid must pick a faction in the annual ceremony. The Five Factions are listed quite well in this site here. The book’s protagonist, Tris Prior, in the first book selected the Dauntless faction who believe that cowardliness is at the root of society’s problems. Interestingly enough, she was raised inĀ  the Abnegation faction that values selflessness. For more information about the first book, check out Divergent on Goodreads
Often with second books in a trilogy, the book serves merely as a gap between a big start and grand ending. I believe this book had more of a foundation to it – You see the main character struggle with current life decisions and ones she made in the past. Her society is in the middle of quite a revolution and this story is about each character’s motivation to side with one particular view. I think this society is starting to realize, one can not be all of one faction too.

Why did I read this?
Like I stated before – I read Book I for a book club. This book was rather thick….500 some pages but even with that, it was a quick read. So, when Book II (Divergent) came out, I wanted to see what would happen next!

What impressed me about this book?
I appreciated how thoughtful Tris was. In the previous book, she did and witnessed some things that take a lot of time to get over. I read the Hunger Games Trilogy and wondered how Katniss can go through such experiences and then be OK making TV appearances for Panem. Yes we see that both she and her fellow survivors struggle with it but I never got how they affected her specifically. Tris is more thoughtful and the reader starts to understand her feelings during and afterward.

What disappointed me about this book?
…then again, Tris is still a sixteen year old girl, who, at times, can be a little self-absorbed. So yes, there were times when I was rolling my eyes at her. But really, that is a phase, like it or not, we all go through. ;-)

Historical Relevance:
Non-applicable seeing as how this was set in the future ;-)

What reading challenge(s) did this book apply to?

Overall Grade?

Rating: ★★★★☆

Book Review – Revolution

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

In addition to my resolution to write more reviews, I have been finding all these great reading blogs, especially ones on historical fiction. YAY! My favorite so far is Historical Tapestry and I’ve certainly added some blogs to my Google Reader account.

So I’ve been finishing books more frequently and now I can share my review of “Revolution”

What I’ve recently finished:

**Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly**
**GoodReads**
**Amazon**

What is it about?
Seventeen year old Andi Alpers experiences the death of her younger brother and witnesses the unraveling of her family. Her father leaves and her mom simply can not handle it. Andi is left to take care of her very distraught mother while she works on her private school’s senior project. Because she’s angry and doesn’t know how to cope, her grades suffer to the point where the principal threatens to expel her unless she can develop an outline for her class’ senior project.
Her father steps in and tells Andi that she can work on this project while they’re both in Paris France. They stay with some family friends who are trying to prove that a heart they found belongs to Louis XVI, the son of Louis XV and Marie Antoinette through DNA testing. Andi comes across the diary of a woman two centuries prior who writes as the tragic events of the French Revolution are occurring. And she writes more specifically about her many failed attempts to rescue Louis as well. Andi develops a bond with this character, Alexandrine, who was almost a nanny to young prince. The readers gains an inside look at what the events of the French Revolution did to society’s “normal” folks.

Why did I read this?
My friend Carol recommended it.

What impressed me about this book?
The research!
The French Revolution always confused me in school. So to read a book that switched between two rather complicated teenagers during separate centuries, it had to be done well and Jennifer Donnelly did it fluidly. You can see how these two young girls were different but you can also see how Andi could relate to her. I won’t lie….there were times when I was googling a “French Revolution Timeline” so I can get some perspective but once I did that, I was able to appreciate the 18th century diary components and understand it better.
I also liked the character of Andi. This is a side note really but when she wasn’t being such a drama queen, she’s quite a funny kid! Teenagers will be dramatic teenagers, ya know?

What disappointed me about this book?
Ever watch a movie and say “great movie but if they only shaved a half hour off….?” Well, that’s the feeling I had about this book. It goes on for a while.

What reading challenge(s) did this book apply to?

 


Overall Grade?

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