I read a lot. You know this. Like, A LOT-A LOT. I like all kinds of books. Young Adult, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Biographies, Sci-Fi, Romance, whatever. If someone suggests a book to me or lends me one, odds are I am going to read it. I have no prejudices with my reading material. Wait. That's a lie. I have pretty much refused to read any and all books by Jodi Picoult or Nicholas Sparks. I don't read to cry. I read to be transported to new worlds, not to become depressed. So, they are always on my "No thanks" list.
So, aside from those two authors, I am pretty much game for anything. I may hem and haw about starting a book (like I did with The Hunger Games) but I will eventually get around to it and love it (like I did with The Hunger Games). Which brings me to the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. The first book (Divergent) came out in 2011 but I first heard about it from my niece, Emily, last year. She was reading it with her friends. Let me do a little sidebar for just a quick minute... for those that don't know; Emily is obsessed with The Hunger Games. She loves that book series so much that she found it really hard (much like how I was after Harry Potter) to pick up and start reading a different book when she was done with it. So that made it difficult for her to get into Divergent. Throw in the fact that the story is somewhat along the same lines as HG and you have a frustrated girl. Long story short, she gave up on it so I didn't give it a second thought. Until. Until I saw that they were making a movie out of it (to be released March 21, 2014). My curiosity was piqued. Then Em's super cute BFF, Jules (who also loves The Hunger Games) kept talking about how fantastic the series was. Then my friend, Bill decided to read it and I was sold. So I broke down and bought the first book.
Quick, basic summary of the story without giving spoilers:
It is set in a Dystopian Society arranged into 5 different Factions. 16yr old Beatrice Prior has to decide if she wants to leave her original faction (Abnegation) or choose one of the other four (Dauntless, Ammity, Candor or Erudite) and move on from the life she has always known.
That's the most simple synopsis I can present you, without giving anything away. I always think the blurbs on the backs of books tell too much of the story when you read them, so I'm not going to quote that on here. Just know that I loved this book and the sequel (Insurgent) a whole heck of a lot. It's not very often that a book or series can get my mind racing and my heart pumping like this one did. Just like with Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games and The Night Circus, I was absolutely, completely enthralled by this story. Immersed in it. It has so much heart and a whole lot of action and it makes you question the type of person you really are. It made me think and it made me connect to the characters so much that it left me hungry for more. It is absolutely similar to HG but it's also very different. The third and final book in the series (Allegiant) comes out on October 22nd. I'm pretty excited about it. They are also releasing a series of four short stories told from the perspective of one of the other characters in the book. I would tell you which character the stories are told from but that would give things away. IF you choose to start the series, you will probably be able to figure it out without googling it.
Anyway, that's today's recommendation. Divergent by Veronica Roth. Also, let me mention that once I finished reading those first two books in her series, I decided to do what any social media savvy gal would do and seek out as much information about her as I could (without being stalker-y) and I discovered that she is 24 years old. She is 24 years old. I know I just repeated myself. That is how much my mind is blown that someone in her early 20's could write such a fascinating story and have it published by the time she was 22. 24 years old and there is a movie being made based off of HER book. HER idea. HER story. Boggles my mind. My mind is boggled. I am amazed and wowed and envious and 100 percent admiring of her talent. So inspiringly awesome.
It also makes me feel like I have failed at life.
Sticking with this book themed post...
I watched The Host last weekend. You know, the movie, based on the book, by Stephenie Meyer? I read the book after it first came out. It was a decent read. I would never read it again. It had an incredibly slow start but I ended up really enjoying the overall story. I always thought it would do better as a movie than a book because the story's progression is so slow. Yeah... not so much. Snoozefest. They fast forwarded the story but kept it just as slow and mundane as the book. I liked the characters. It looked good. It was just boring. There were times when I had no clue what the people were saying because they were speaking so quietly. That does not make for a thrilling movie, let me tell you. So, I guess if you were a fan of the book, go ahead and give it a watch but otherwise... ZZzzzZZZZzzzzz
I am currently reading Austenland by Shannon Hale. It's about a girl who is obsessed with Pride and Prejudice and Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy. She goes on vacation to a resort of sorts in England where she is immersed in the world of Jane Austen. I'm only a few pages in so far but I'm enjoying it. Also, they made a movie based on the book last year and it stars Keri Russel (whom I adore).
And finally, the last few chapters of Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban are open on Pottermore. I will admit, I am still in the beginning part of Chamber of Secrets because I got so frustrated with how slowly they were opening the chapters that I kind of gave up. I still love it. I still think it's brilliant but I hate being on a roll and cruising through the chapters, only to get to the end and have the next one locked. I'll get back into it eventually. Maybe I'll wait until Goblet of Fire opens and I'll have some time to cruise through a bunch all at once.