Sophomore Slump

Picking up Divergent by Veronica Roth well over a year ago was another one of my impulse buys akin to my urge to pick up The Hunger Games. In fact, at the time, many people were touting certain books as “The Hunger Games Hangover Cure” and Divergent was one that satisfied my appetite beautifully. Insurgent, though it picks up immediately where Divergent leaves us, had me wondering when I would feel the same high I felt before.

 Insurgent

Okay, so I don’t dislike Insurgent. In fact, I found it pretty agreeable. There were a few choices that were made that made me question the direction the story is being taken… Such as *SPOILER* killing the major antagonist (yay for the good guys!… but seriously? There’s a whole ‘nother book!) and *ANOTHER SPOILER* a lot of people being divergent besides Tris (So… she’s not really special after all…?). What I did appreciate was a closer look at the inner workings of the other factions. Perhaps that’s really what this entry in the series was about: fleshing out the society a bit more, hinting at what could possibly be going on outside of the city. It seems as though there’s going to be a revolution within the revolution… which reminds me of the Matched trilogy. This entry still felt more like it was bridging a gap.

Throughout this book, I felt like the scenes were sort of cut and paste next to one another. One scene everyone is talking, talking, talking… Then there’s a lot of action and guns and running… Then back to talking and talking etc, etc. I wasn’t as interested in this book as I was when I first read Divergent – I found the world and premise fascinating, with simulations and faction hierarchy. In Insurgent, I felt like some of the rules were bent a bit: “Oh, you don’t remember what happened? It must have been a simulation.” *shrug*

That said, I am still looking forward to finishing up the series with Allegiant. I still enjoy the characters and their tensions/relationships. (BTW, definitely didn’t see the twist with Caleb coming!) It may be a while before I get around to Allegiant, but I have high hopes!

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Battle of the Books

People may think my book choosing methods are strange, but honestly, I just find it amusing. Considering my lack of interest in sports, a book bracket may be as close as I get to some type of Fantasy League. Here’s the breakdown:

I chose two books from eight different categories, yielding sixteen titles total. (Well, six. I doubled up on two categories.)

  • Stephen King Classics: Cujo vs Misery
  • Travel: A Year in Provence vs PTown
  • LGBT fiction: Will Grayson, Will Grayson vs The Brothers Bishop / In The Line of Beauty vs Hero
  • YA series (having 3 or more titles): Insurgent vs Rebel Heart / Beautiful Darkness vs Reached
  • Kindle Books (fiction): Ten vs Better Nate Than Ever
  • Fiction: Little Children vs Dogs of Babel

Once selected, I set the titles against one another in their respective categories and flipped some coins and followed the paths of the bracket tree. The resulting list will govern the order of the books I will read over the course of the next year. With my recent acceleration in reading (like reading 35 books in 14 weeks for class) I imagine this will be a breeze. I may push a title to the front of the list as an audiobook becomes available through OverDrive or my library.

  1. Reached
  2. Insurgent
  3. Cujo
  4. Dogs of Babel
  5. Hero
  6. Ten
  7. The Brothers Bishop
  8. A Year in Provence
  9. Rebel Heart
  10. Beautiful Darkness
  11. Will Grayson, Will Grayson
  12. In The Line of Beauty
  13. Misery
  14. Better Nate Than Ever
  15. PTown
  16. Little Children
Battle of the Books
Battle of the Books

Here we go!