By: Veronica Roth

Series: Divergent, Book 1

Challenge: Dystopia Challenge

Published: 2011

# of pages: 487

Official description:

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.

My opinion: I started this book a little skeptical about how good it would actually be. I knew it was being compared to The Hunger Games, but seriously, how can anything be better than The Hunger Games!? So the beginning of the book seemed very juvenile and took me awhile to enjoy. But I eventually ended up really enjoying this book and can't wait for the next in the trilogy to be released this year!

I enjoyed imagining what faction I would be in if I lived in the world presented in Divergent. There are 5 factions. I'd be in Erudite, along with everyone in my family. Except my sister, she would definitely be "factionless." For awhile I couldn't think of what faction she fit into, but realized she already is basically factionless in this world, so there you have it. My husband read Divergent as well and said he'd want to be in Dauntless, but we figure he'd probably be assigned to Amity. :-)

So, if you've read this and know what I'm talking about, what faction would you be in?

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars: Easy & entertaining to read, good pace, interesting characters, original plot and setting. A little bit too "young adult" for me to fully appreciate, but that just makes it better for people who really are young adults!

Other reviews:
Book Nut
S. Krishna's Books
Bookfoolery and Babble
It's All About Books
Royal Reviews

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

The Sandalwood Tree

The Sandalwood Tree

By: Elle Newmark

Published: 2011

# of pages: 357

Quote: "A few months later, we bathed our new son together. We inhaled his innocence, lathered the peach fuzz on his head, marveled at the perfect whorls of his tiny ears, his starfish hands, the tender flush on his round, wet, baby belly. Martin cupped one wee foot and growled, 'Arrgh-arrgh-arrgh. Oooh, I'm gonna eat him.' He kissed each pink toe. 'Oooh, he's delicious.' Afterward, we lay in bed chuckling at our newborn, who lay snoring like an old man. . . . I watched him sleep and wondered how anything could be so sweet. I thought I might die from insulin shock." -Evie, pg. 40

Official description:

A sweeping novel that brings to life two love stories, ninety years apart, set against the rich backdrop of war-torn India.

In 1947, American historian and veteran of WWII, Martin Mitchell, wins a Fulbright Fellowship to document the end of British rule in India. His wife, Evie, convinces him to take her and their young son along, hoping a shared adventure will mend their marriage, which has been strained by war.

But other places, other wars. Martin and Evie find themselves stranded in a colonial bungalow in the Himalayas due to violence surrounding the partition of India between Hindus and Muslims. In that house, hidden behind a brick wall, Evie discovers a packet of old letters, which tell a strange and compelling story of love and war involving two young Englishwomen who lived in the same house in 1857.

Drawn to their story, Evie embarks on a mission to piece together her Victorian mystery. Her search leads her through the bazaars and temples of India as well as the dying society of the British Raj. Along the way, Martin’s dark secret is exposed, unleashing a new wedge between Evie and him. As India struggles toward Independence, Evie struggles to save her marriage, pursuing her Victorian ghosts for answers.

Bursting with lavish detail and vivid imagery of Calcutta and beyond, The Sandalwood Tree is a powerful story about betrayal, forgiveness, fate, and love.

My opinion: I loved this book! I think Newmark did a great job with her descriptions of both the characters and the setting. I was especially impressed with her descriptions of motherhood from the viewpoint of a biological mother and a mother through adoption. Absolutely beautiful!

I was also intrigued with the story and the setting. It was interesting from an historic standpoint (British/Indian conflicts in both 1856 and 1947) and how the two story lines tie together. I definitely recommend to lovers of historical fiction and anyone looking for a well-written novel.

I can't help but post more of my favorite quotes from the book at the bottom of this post...

Why I gave this book 5/5 stars: Well-written, unique story, good pace, interesting setting.

Other reviews:
S. Krishna's Books
life by candlelight

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

More quotes: "I spent most of the hour cajoling the children into letting me hug them. In the end, shy smiles turned into giggling fits, and eight pairs of enormous black eyes crinkled with mirth. They didn't learn Bs that day; it was much better than that." -pg. 189

"I held him under the kissing ball & when I pecked his tender cheek, he grabbed my hair to pull my face to his. It was the finest Christmas gift I have ever received." -pg. 308

4th Blogiversary

How times flies! The past few years have been crazy but I'm hoping that I'll be able to read more this year AND blog more. Stick with me because there will be many more years of book blogging to come!

posted under | 2 Comments

Dystopia 2012 Challenge

What It’s All About

The Dystopia challenge is for those who love it and for those who have never tried it. From negative utopia to plain ol’ totalitarian, there’s much to love about Dystopia and many ways it can be written.
If you’re not sure what it is check out Diva Schuylers’s post and learn all about it, but for a quick run down think of unpleasant living situations, pure dystopia being when an entity or social force is involved, but you can think outside the circle with this one.
Here’s one of our Must Reads lists for some inspiration.

The Deets

  • Running Dates: 1st of January – 31st of December 2012
  • When Can I Sign Up: All the way up to the last two weeks of December 2012!
  • Crossover Genres: Our Dystopia challenge also includes Post-Apocalypse and Ecotopia (environmentally dystopian).
  • Mr Linky: To use the Mr Linky you’ll need to click on the graphic then enter your link. These will be updated and posted into this page every couple of weeks or so.
  • Further Details: Crossover challenges are fine, you can change levels at any time, this is eBook, short story, and graphic novel friendly, and you don’t need a blog to join in (read further for details).
Level: Asocial - read 5 books

2. Fever by: Lauren DeStefano (Chemical Garden Trilogy: Book 2)
3. Fahrenheit 451 by: Ray Bradbury
4. The Maze Runner by: James Dashner
5. World War Z  by: Max Brooks


posted under | 0 Comments
Newer Posts Older Posts Home


About Me

My photo
Wife, mother, bookworm.
This is a place where you can read book reviews, discover links, and learn about the reading challenges in which I'm taking part.


my read shelf:
Andrea's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Annual Goal

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Andrea has read 0 books toward her goal of 60 books.

Recent Comments