Young adult

Four (A Divergent collection) – Veronica Roth

fourTitle: Four (A Divergent collection)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 285
My rating★★★★✫

It has been a while since I have read the Divergent trilogy. That must have been somewhere in December 2013 and January 2014. Still when this book came out, I needed to have it. It has been sitting on my bookshelf ever since. I was a little scared that I wouldn’t get into the story, because it would have been too long ago.

What the book is about

Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future–and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

What I think about the book

My fears turned out to be unjust. I got back into the world of Divergent again really quick, even though the narrator for these stories was Four. I like his thoughts, it was also great to learn where he came from, from his own perspective. So if you liked Divergent, this novel is definitely worth reading. So once again I find myself wondering what kind of situations would appear in my own fear landscape (maybe I should write my ideas about that down in another blog post?) and what faction I would have chosen. I think I would have gone for Dauntless as well, because as a teen I was definitely reckless like that.

Even though most of the stories in Four happen before the actual story of Divergent, I would recommend to read the rest of the series first. At some points in Four Veronica mentions situations from Divergent or Insurgent, and you’d have no idea what that would be about if you haven’t read those yet.

That does mean, that you already know how the whole story will end before reading Four. It makes the book less exciting than the first three books in the Divergent series. You can see this part more as some background information, from Four’s point of view. If you look at it like that, it’s a fun read. It completes the story. In my case it makes me want to re-read the whole series again, because I noticed that there is a lot that I don’t remember anymore.

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

FangirlTitle: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 461
My rating★★★★★

When I heard the title Fangirl for the first time, I honestly had to think of my friend Fabi. The world of fanfaction is not one I am really familiar with, I don’t think I have the ‘fangirl’ gene myself, but to see others soooo in love with certain characters is quite intriguing. She is the one who has told me all that I know about that world. It has made me curious. I have always wanted to know what that would feel like, so that was the first reason for me to pick up this book. It has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while now, so it was about time to actually read it.

What the book is about

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

What I think about the book

I just loved reading Fangirl from the very beginning. I immediately fell in love with Cath as the main character, but the other characters (her twin sister Wren, her dad, her roommate Reagan and of course Levi) are great as well. The story is easy to read and I was sucked into her new world at college immediately. Somehow it made me feel like I would love to go back to college myself, because the fiction writing classes Cath is taking sound amazing to me. (Maybe I should just search for such a class myself, they are probably available for non-college students as well)

Cath has trouble fitting in at college, she loves being on her own and tries to avoid contact with other if it’s possible. Well, she has gotten pretty good at that. I can relate to that until some extend, but not entirely. I love being on my own, but I need people around me as well. But, with all that Cath has been through in her life and with her mother leaving them when she was young, I can imagine that she’s scared to get too attached to other people. Her drive to be independent is one I do understand, as is getting lost in fiction. With this novel it felt like I was actually sitting next to Cath on her dorm room bed, listening to the stories she’s writing and the thoughts in her head. I like that.

So what else can I say? Other than that the book was way too short for me (come on, I want to read more!) I have no negative feedback. All I want is to lay my hands on more books written by Rainbow Rowell, so that I can see if they are just as good as this one. Yes, I am excited!

As for writing fanfiction… I still don’t think it’s something I would do. I would love to be able to create my own world and my own characters. Not that I am any good at it, but I am willing to give that a try.

Bloodlines – Richelle Mead

BloodlinesTitle: Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 421
My rating★★★★★

In 2011 I have read the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead and I was instantly in love with the world she has build, the characters and her style of writing. I have read other series by Richelle Mead ever since and I love her awesome characters and stories. Back then I wanted to dive right into ‘Bloodlines’, but I have decided to wait until the last part of the series was there. That time has come. I finally have ‘The Ruby Circle’ on my bookshelf so it was about time to start reading Bloodlines.

What the book is about

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty – a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning…

What I think about the book

I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to get used to reading the story from another perspective, because I was such a fan of Rose, but the point of view by Sydney works really well for me. It is time to get to know her and other characters from a different angle. I must admit that I thought that the Alchemists were a bit annoying during Vampire Academy, but now that I am getting to know Sydney better I am starting to love her too.

Sydney is moving to Palm Springs to protect Jill Dragomir. It would have been obvious to assume that Jill would be in danger during the story, but instead Richelle Mead has chosen a different angle for the first part of the series. It is the mature and responsible Sydney who keeps getting herself in trouble somehow. She needs to proof that she is loyal to the alchemists in order to protect her little sister from getting send there instead. Her alchemist ‘friend’ Keith is making that nearly impossible for her. And then there is the mysterious Lee. He seems to be so nice, but can they really trust him with Jill or is he he too good to be true?

What I loved most of all is the chemistry between Sydney and Adrian. Lazy old Adrian is the opposite of Sydney in every way you can imagine and still there seems to be some kind of understanding between the two of them. Besides, Adrian’s sense of humor is just great and he made me laugh several times.

As soon as I had finished ‘Bloodlines’ I jumped right into ‘The Golden Lily’, so if you are missing me, that is where I will be.

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