Book Reviews

In keeping with my current young adult novel obsession, here are the three being reviewed today.

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Divergent

So the dystopian novel train has successfully squashed the vampire fad and are getting churned out like clockwork these days.  Divergent was not a particular departure from the typical formula for a utopian novel; it was an entertaining read but not particularly thought provoking. A few aspects I enjoyed were the separate factions and the picture of extremes that everyone was. And the obvious truth that trying to embrace only one aspect of moral character just doesn’t work. Unfortunately I think she missed the mark on giving Dauntless a point, which is unfortunate because that was a big part of her story.  I like a good romance intertwined, but hers felt forced and too “tween cliche”. (pet peeve side note: if you’re giving your character a nickname, please don’t make it a number.) Still a fun read, but would have appreciated more depth.

Overall: I enjoyed the book and the series enough to continue reading it. A light, entertaining read with some interesting concepts, but nothing revolutionary.

Favorite line“Sometimes, the best way to help someone is just to be near them.”

The Uglies

Unfortunately I felt like the story was too far fetched to really work, and the “secret” of how society managed to function like it did was much too neat. Perhaps it’s the limited scope of my imagination. Also the dialogue was absurd at times, even for this level of fiction, and I wish authors know that you don’t really have to talk down to teenage girls in order for them to enjoy the story (The Hunger Games, for instance, had much better dialogue and is exceedingly popular). But as usual a light, fun read, and of course a good “warning to society”.

Overall: Kind of a silly book really. But I always enjoy a good troublemaker, and the main character gave you that in spades.

Favorite line“The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit. Of course, Tally thought, you’d have to feed your cat only salmon-flavored cat food for a while, to get the pinks right.” (side note: how can you not like a book bold enough to describe the sky as cat vomit? It’s just awful enough to work.)

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Of the three listed here this was probably my favorite. As a general rule I hate any story where someone cheats on a spouse and I would rate this book much higher if that had not happened, regardless of what extenuating circumstances caused it. However, there is reconciliation, joy, humor, fun characters, quirky people, good, bad, ugly, crazy, and lots of love in this book and that made it worth the read. The writing was fun, witty, and flowed easily.

Overall: I recommend it. A  fun read, you get attached to the characters & root for them despite their overwhelming flaws.

Favorite line: “My heart started racing, not the bad kind of heart racing, like I’m going to die. But the good kind of heart racing, like, Hello, can I help you with something? If not, please step aside because I’m about to kick the s*** out of life.”

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