Tag Archives: 2011 Debut Author Challenge

Divergent by Veronica Roth


  Divergent by Veronica Roth

Own Signed Copy.

★★★★★ 5/5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):  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.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Holy wow.

This may be the best dystopian novel I have read since The Hunger Games series. Veronica Roth is an amazing writer. Period.

I felt like I really connected with all of these characters in the sense that I could feel what they felt. Everything about this book was beautifully written. Beatrice is a wonderful heroine who really proved herself over and over throughout the book. She is an entirely new person by the end of the novel.

The characters have to choose whether to stay with their original faction or go into a new faction once they reach a certain age. They then have to go through the factions initiation in order to officially join that faction. Veronica Roth does a wonderful job of showing how not every character is going to make it through the initiation with all of the same effects. She shows how some miss their original factions, how some can’t handle initiation, and how others do really well in initiation.

If you haven’t picked this book up yet, I highly recommend you do soon!! I can’t wait for the next one!


Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal


Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

★★★★☆ 4/5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads): “When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York–and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn’t think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari’s family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.

When misfortune befalls Blake’s family, he pulls away, and Ari’s world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?”

I liked this book a lot! Although I found the very beginning a little slow, Lorraine does a fantastic job of writing and it flows really well. I had friends like Summer, always had a boyfriend and some of them seemed more like arm candy than real relationships. I went all of my High School years without a boyfriend, so Ari got me beat there! Ari does get so wrapped up in Blake that she forgets about her other friends. I have felt left out by some of my friends when they get that wrapped up in their boyfriends, but then I am the friend who picks them up, and Ari didn’t seem to have a friend who would do that for her. Not having that friend to pick her up made her struggle with the breakup even more, and forced her to become more dependent on herself when she finally decided it was time to move on.

Ari’s relationship with her mother reminds me a lot of my relationship with my mom. In the sense that it is good, but talking to her about certain things, I just can’t do. I also relate myself to Ari in the sense that I often keep things to myself even if other people tell me to talk about it and to not bottle it up. It was nice to see her open up to someone after months of refusing to.

Ari’s sister Evelyn I can also relate to one of my cousins. She had a child before she was married, and had a rough time for a while. She now has three kids and is working on her second marriage. She is doing a lot better than previous years, as is Evelyn in this story. I loved watching all of these relationships unfold into something better, even through their rough spots. (Clearly I relate character’s in books to people in my personal life a lot.)

I would definitely recommend this book to a lot of teens. Maybe they would see that your first love, while unforgettable, may not be the right one.