Thursday, January 30, 2014

January reading round up

Okay, back at these again in 2014!

The Divergence series is, dare I say, better than the Hunger Games. Yes. I said it. This series was recommended to me by a friend. I devoured the 3 books in a 2 week span and am dying for the first movie to come out in March. The premise of the 3 books is that in a dystopian Chicago everyone lives in 5 factions that represents a virtue. We meet the main character, Tris, who on choosing day switches factions.  As her initiation goes on their world is thrown into chaos as the factions begin to rise up against each other. The 3 books tell the story of what happens, essentially, when one group of people views themselves as better than another for a small insubstantial reason. The characters are so richly written I felt like I knew them and could relate to them. Beyond impressed with this series and I never saw the ending coming, which in my world of reading is the sign of an excellent series/book.

This started off slowly, but I was drawn in more and more as the story unfolded. Julia's father up and leaves his family one day, and is said to have returned to his native Burma. The family finds old love letters of his, written to a Burmese women, and Julia decides to drop everything and travel around the world to find out more about her father's mysterious past. The book is written in two voices. One is Julia's and the other is the mysterious U Ba, a man she meets in her father's home town. He unveils more and more about her father's life. At first, the 2 voices confused me, but then I was enveloped more and more in U Ba's tale. It's a remarkable story of passion and resilience that I am happy to report I enjoyed more than I thought I would.
This book was really sweet and special. I picked it up at Powell's while in Oregon in the "must reads for teens" section, but the summary peaked my interest. The book follows 12 year old Willow, a genius who is obsessed with nature and has her share of other quirks, one being counting by 7s when she's anxious or upset. She's never had many people to whom she is close, and suddenly, after her parents suddenly die, her life is forced to change. The book takes an uplifting turn as Willow's new journey through life begins, changing not only hers, but the new surrogate family she suddenly finds herself in the midst of. I really, loved this book. It may be written for teens, but it tugged at my heart strings and really could be a favorite read for anyone.

Now...onto the next book in my stack of reads!
Little by Little

17 thoughts on the matter:

Rainey said... {Reply}

Thanks for the reading suggestions, Tamar! These all look great and I will definitely be picking them up this year.

Buckeroomama said... {Reply}
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Buckeroomama said... {Reply}

I've read Divergent, but will have to check out the other two. I'm currently on Lisa Gardner marathon... been reading her crime novels. I tend to go on streaks. If I find an author whose book I enjoy, I try to get my hands on as many of her/his books as possible. (Gotta love our public library!) :)

Nancy Claeys said... {Reply}

My reading has fallen off in the past couple of weeks. These sound like great reads -- thanks for the recommendations. :)

tiarastantrums said... {Reply}

okay now, I did see those first three books and ALMOST purchased them - but, well you know. But now, I may have to get them since you state they are so great. What happens when I read though - if I enjoy the book, I will literally stay up ALL night and devour the book. then the next and the next and be completely sleep deprived for a week! haha! Thanks for the recommendations

Kim said... {Reply}

Great book list! I'm so behind on personal reading. I fear this is my life for awhile, but one day I will begin to tackle all these great recommendations!

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said... {Reply}

I've been wanting to try that Divergent series. So many people have recommended it!

Nicki said... {Reply}

good to know - I enjoyed the Hunger Games, but am ready for something more.

Leanne Coppola said... {Reply}

I loved the Art of Hearing Heartbeats as well.I didn't have any expectations and i think that's why I loved it. It was a story that stuck with me. My 12 year old just read the first Divergent book and LOVED it. He's begging me to read it! Thanks for always sharing great posts with us!

tinajo said... {Reply}

Now I´m curious, I´ve read the Hunger Games but haven´t heard of these books - I´ll have to find them! :-)

Anonymous said... {Reply}

Book 2 sounds very interesting, but I can see how the first series might become popular!

Anonymous said... {Reply}

Oh I have been wanting to buy this series but have hesitated in the fear that it would disappoint. Now I know I'll be picking it up. Great info...

Kim Stevens said... {Reply}

Hmmm, I bet my daughter would love that series!

Deanna said... {Reply}

Oh thanks for that good recommendation on the series. I have the first one downloaded on my kindle but haven't started it yet.

Karen said... {Reply}

I love reading "young adult" books. They just seem to hit me more emotionally. (The Fault In Our Stars....AAAAAGH!). I, too, flew through the Divergent series. It has been the perfect winter for reading :)

Danelle M said... {Reply}

I am reading The Art of Healing Heartbeats right now. Love your book recommendations!

Life with Kaishon said... {Reply}

Thank you for sharing these with me. I am going to try to get Kaish the Divergent series this weekend. : )

I am the book club picker next month and I am so nervous. I hope I can come up with something that everyone loves.