Monday, May 7, 2012
Using dictionary terms, David Levithan, tells the story of an anonymous couple's journey through love. Their names, ages, appearances are not important because in a lot of ways their love story is everyone's love story. Certain aspects of their relationship may not be applicable to you but many are sure to be relatable. By the end you are unsure whether or not the relationship endures but it does not really matter. The focus is of the exciting beginning and sometimes boring middle stages of a relationship. It makes you think about yourself, your partner, your coupledom. It makes you remember the indescribable nascent feelings of love and how fun it is to get to know someone more intimately than you have ever known anyone. It also makes you think of those times when you grate on each other's nerves to the point of snapping. Intimacy - it is both a gift and a curse.
I really enjoyed The Lover's Dictionary. It certainly made an otherwise mundane commute fly by. Incidentally, it is an incredibly fast read. I read the whole thing in under 90 minutes.
Posted by Denise at 5:10 PM
Thursday, May 3, 2012
I lied. I could not wait for the rest of the series to come out so I pre-ordered Insurgent and read it with the rest of Veronica Roth's rabid fans.
I almost feel guilty saying it but I was disappointed. Right off the bat, I enjoyed Divergent quite a bit more. I can mostly attribute this to the fact that the first book was like starting a new adventure and everything was fresh. That is not to say that Insurgent was less action-packed but I felt like I knew where the story was going and that made it less exciting.
The conclusion of Insurgent, in my opinion, was completely predictable. In fact, looking back on the series as a whole, with the exception of the factions, a lot of what is supposed to be provocative seems familiar.
I knew that their society was "The Village", as in, the M. Night Shyamalan movie. I had an inkling while reading Divergent but I was absolutely sure that would be the result when I was about 25% into Insurgent. Every time they mentioned the fence and "outside" all I could think was - duh - they are a control group for some kind of social experiment. And I was right! But you know what? I think humanity would be a lot happier if we realized we are incapable of all being peaceful or all being smart or all being selfless, etc. Humanity cannot be one thing, we are everything. We are good. We are bad. We are violent. We are gentle. We are the same but we are different and we cannot all conform to one ideal. Utopia FAIL.
It is revealed to the faction-aligned and factionless that they are an experiment (the key to which, are the Divergent) to discover how humans can peacefully coexist. They learn this as they are taking a short reprieve from killing one another. Ironic, no?
On a continuity note (or lack thereof), I found some of the story-telling to be a little sloppy. There was one point about one-third through the book where Tobias (Four) said that Zeke had helped him clean up in the Candor headquarters. At that point in time, Zeke was still considered a traitor and he does not enter the scene until a couple of chapters later. I believe that Uriah, Zeke's brother, was the intended helper. I also found it weird that the two times Beatrice (Tris) found herself in Amity she had no interactions with Robert, her former classmate/friend from Abnegation.
I did get a pleasant shock in the form of Caleb's betrayal. I did not see that coming so it certainly provided some excitement and disappointment, of course. I disliked the discord between Tobias and Beatrice throughout Insurgent. I mean, really, love does not need to be that dramatic. I find their inability to confide in each another about their divergent (no pun intended) strategies debilitatingly frustrating. Apparently, they are under the impression that people in love should not disagree so they lie by omission to spare each other's feelings. But what is the point? We all know the truth will come out and then things get even murkier and more contentious. Stupid teenagers.
I still want to complete the series but honestly, I am not nearly as enthralled as I was by the end of Divergent. It was good. It was readable. I still like the characters I liked in the last book. I still like the direction of the story. I still want to see what happens next, but not as much. Something felt a little off and maybe it has to do with Roth rushing to complete Insurgent.
Posted by Denise at 5:50 PM