I’m about ten books behind on my book review posts and about a million things behind on my things-I-should-be-doing-instead-of-posting-book-reviews list. But if you’re like me and there is currently a countdown to The Hunger Games movie on your refrigerator (don’t lie) then you are probably feeling desperate for a good read to tide you over . And so posting these reviews is much more important than, say, doing those dishes I left in the sink last night. I’m just doing my civil duty here. Or at least, that’s what I’m going to tell Jeff when he asks why there are no clean towels.
Remember how when I read The Hunger Games, I was all “I don’t read this genre?” And then how after I read The Hunger Games, I was all “I LOVED THEM GIVE ME MORE TO READ IN THIS GENRE!” That’s when I read these two books:
Divergent by Veronica Roth. Several people recommended this one and I think it is almost as good as The Hunger Games. In Divergent, society is divided into factions based on virtues and each person is required to choose the faction in which they will spend their lives. They have to make the choice on their sixteenth birthday. I thought this sounded like a terribly boring premise for a book but the story was excellent. I ended up finding it incredibly compelling. It moved forward quickly and I liked the subtle love story and the mystery playing out in the background. I loved Beatrice and the realness of her character, she’s both immensely strong and intensely vulnerable without being stereotypical. It’s well written, creative and sometimes a bit hold-your-breath-while-you-flip-the-page. And the best part is that the sequel is coming out in May, so you don’t have to wait forever and three days for it.
Variant by Robison Wells. The book focuses on Benson Fisher, who thinks he is going to a private prep school called Maxfield Academy. He’s pretty stoked about this until he gets there and discovers that no one ever actually leaves. And also that if you break the rules, you die. Which would make anyone a bit uneasy about boarding school I think. Obviously there is a secret at the school and Benson attempts to uncover it. But the intrigue and relationships between the characters keep the story flowing well. And the ENDING. Oh my gosh, I’ve never hated and loved an ending so much. Thankfully the sequel to this one is coming in the fall. Because it’s definitely a cliffhanger, one that made me go back and reread the entire book to see if I somehow missed THAT coming.
If I had to pick one, I’d recommend Divergent. Both are first time authors but Veronica Roth’s writing is a little more polished and little bit more realistic. Plus, the ends wraps up well so that it could serve as more of a stand alone book, so while I am eagerly anticipating the sequel I do feel as though the first part of Beatrice’s story has been told. Whereas with Variant I’m all “WHAT?! WAIT WHAT?! I NEED TO KNOW MORE RIGHT THIS INSTANT!” and it’s driving me crazy.
Any other recommendations? I’ve put my love of Amish Fiction on hold for some YA dystopian thrillers. They are really similar genres. No they’re not. Also, thanks to Swagbucks for funding my kindle e-book habit, I lasted exactly three days on the wait list at my library before I gave in and bought Divergent. I have no patience. See above paragraph.