In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. (from Goodreads)
Divergent is one of those stay up way past bed time books. I gobbled it up and when it was over I was exhausted and exhilarated. I also had a strong desire to get a tattoo, and jump off a moving train.
I was initially skeptical about this book. I'm more of a contemporary girl and the whole Fraction thing sounded a little odd to me. I picked it up though and was sucked straight into Tris's story.
I absolutely loved Tris, she has to fight and claw her way through everything, and I mean EVERYTHING and it was such a great journey to follow. Veronica Roth is not afraid of putting her characters through hell. Nor is she afraid of doing the unexpected, which made this such an ignore everything, nail biting read.
And there is a boy ~ because there is always a boy in books I really love ~ Four isn't my usual crush. He's tough and silent and actually a little scary, but I love him I do.
I can not wait for the next book to see the consequences of Tris's actions in Divergent.
I'm also hoping we will learn more about Tri's world and the different Fractions because when I'd calmed down from the non-stop action i found I had quite a few unanswered questions.
If you're missing that Hunger Games high I suggest you check out Divergent.
The Secret Life of an Avid Reader is having an Elizabeth Scott Week to celebrate the publication of Between Here and Forever. As I adore Elizabeth Scott's book I had to join in.
So Elizabeth Scott and me.
I picked up my first Elizabeth Scott book in Barnes and Noble in Georgetown (oh Georgetown I miss you!). It was on one of my first forays into the YA section. I'd just finished The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen and was looking for more of her books.
I ended up buying a book she'd blurbed instead ~ Something Maybe.
The cover caught my eye, the title made me smile (sounds like an Oasis song), the blurb made me pick it up, and the first line hooked me. It's "Everyone's seen my mother naked" in case you haven't read it. Bet you want to now.
I gobbled up Something Maybe, which is adorable ans heart breaking, and went straight back and bought Bloom and Perfect You.
Perfect You ended up being my one of my all time favourite books. I just love it.
I was lucky enough to meet Elizabeth at ALA and get a signed ARC of Grace. She is wonderfully sweet and was very kind while I babbled at her.
Anyway why do I love her? Let me count the reasons.
Her books make me laugh, and swoon, and revisit my high school days.
The girls ~ I love her characters. Some I can imagine being friends with (Kate, Hannah, Dani) and some I want to hug (Amy) and some I get cross with (Lauren!) but I understand them and root for them all.
The boys ~ Will, Finn, Patrick, Evan, Greg. La sigh! I adore them.
Friendship ~ she just writes about friends - losing them, making them, longing to have them so beautifully.
The kissing ~ Oh the kissing scenes, gold star kissing scenes!
Wonderful parents, I really love how her parents have lives that effect and influence their children.
She's surprising ~ that the author of Perfect You and Grace are the same person still makes me pause
She's prolific (I actually think she may have cloned herself!) but that's fine as it means we have two new books to look forward to this year! Yay!
If you've never read an Elizabeth Scott I recommend you start with Perfect You and Stealing Heaven. I feel Stealing Heaven gets over looked, but is just wonderful and the kind of book I want to write some day.
If you've been reading NEB for a while you may remember this Pier. I posted about it here and here. I seem to have a thing about it. I know I'm going to use it as a setting for a novel one day. A novel about time travel ~ that's all I know though. Anyway while visiting my Mum I dragged everyone down to it again so I could take it with the Hipstamtic app on my Iphone ~ it's perfectly suited I think.
Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out. (from Goodreads)
What I thought
When What Happened to Goodbye arrived I wanted dive in straight in, but I didn't, because a Sarah Dessen novel should not be read in snatched moments and fits and starts, it should be savored. So I waited and then spent a weekend relishing being back in Lakeview.
The thing about Sarah Dessen is you know what you're going to get ~ a gorgeously written coming of age story, with a relatable main character, sa-woony guys (usually with tattoos), interesting secondary characters, parents who have their own problems, but care about their children and an atmospheric setting. I would say you also get summer, but it snows in this one (yes, snow, in a SD novel!).
As well as all that you get that magic that truly amazing writers have. I sink into Sarah Dessen's books and lose myself. So that even though many of them have the same ingredients they all have their own unique flavour. It's like the difference between a North Carolina beach and a Caribbean beach - water, sand, blue sky - completely different experience.
What Happen to Goodbye is her tenth novel, and though I could have done with a little more romance (you know I love the kissing), a little more of Deb (she deserves her own book) and some backstory on Jason (oh what happened to him, has me intrigued!) it is a summer must read for fans of YA.
What Happened to Goodbye releases 10th May in the USA and 2nd June in the UK.