DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

First of the Divergent trilogy by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth.

Written in POV of sixteen-year-old girl Beatrice Prior, in a dystopian future where everybody is part of one of five factions, each said to believe in a different reason the world is so corrupted, and they try to fix that problem. The factions are:

  1. Candor: Here they believe dishonesty is the main problem, and are all supposed to never tell a lie. Faction Colors: Black and White
  2. Amity: They believe unkindness corrupted the world, and are all very kind. Faction Colors: Red and Yellow.
  3. Eritude: Here they believe that knowledge is the most important thing. Faction Color: Blue.
  4. Dauntless: They believe weakness is the main problem, so they train to be strong. Faction Color: Black.
  5. Abnegation: Here they believe in selflessness being the best quality. Faction Color: Gray.

Beatrice is a part of Abnegation, where she has been raised to be quiet and selfless, always putting others’ needs before her own. Beatrice believes that she is not good at this, and in a week she will have her Choosing Ceremony. The Choosing Ceremony is when the sixteen-year-olds of every faction come together, and they can choose a different faction to stay in for the rest of their lives. To help them decide whether they want to change factions or not, they all have to do an aptitude test to show which factions the sixteen-year-olds have an aptitude for. Beatrice is terrified of going for her aptitude test, and when she completes it, she gets the shock of her life:

She is DIVERGENT.

Her examiner, Tori, tells her this means she has aptitude for three factions, not one: Abnegation, Eritude and Dauntless. Tori explains that this is extremely dangerous and that she shouldn’t tell anybody. Beatrice is confused, but agrees.

Beatrice chooses her faction at the Choosing Ceremony, and her choice shocks everyone, as does her brother, Caleb’s choice- he chose Eritude.

In order to reach her new faction, Beatrice has to do things like get onto a moving train, and also jump into a really deep hole. Beatrice is the first jumper, and when asked what her name is by an instructor,

“A new place, a new name. I can be remade here.

Tris’ 

Tris is soon settled into her new faction, with its exhausting training and tough work. She makes new friends and soon forgets the fact that she is Divergent. But when she learns that her faction leaders are looking for the Divergent and will try to kill them, she realizes how dangerous her Divergence is…

This is one of the best books I have read. It’s amazing, and I read it cover to cover in an hour! It’s good for ages 11-14. The only problem I have with it is the beginning is slightly slow, and the ending is a bit predictable. But otherwise, it’s awesome!!

Next in the trilogy: Insurgent

 

@EeshaGrover – Reviewers twitter handle

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BLOOD RANSOM by Sophie McKenzie

Sequel to Blood Ties by Sophie Mckenzie.

Blood Ransom by Sophie Mckenzie

In Blood Ransom, Rachel and Theo have both been relocated to different places so RAGE (Righteous Army against Genetic Engineering) can’t find and kill them. However, to keep in touch, Rachel and Theo meet once a week in different chat rooms. When Rachel misses her weekly chat, Theo is worried, and when researching, he comes across an article saying Rachel killed herself.

He travels to Scotland immediately, certain she has been kidnapped. Meanwhile, Rachel is still alive, and is on a near suicidal mission to save Daniel, another young clone of Elijah who Rachel thinks is about to be killed. A clue leads Theo to Elijah’s hideout, where Rachel is being held and the sinister Aphrodite experiment is being carried out. Theo is also captured and he and Rachel have no idea where they are, or what the Aphrodite experiment is. But when Rachel stumbles across the lab where Elijah has been disappearing to every day, she realizes that the stakes are higher than ever…

What is the Aphrodite Experiment? Where are Rachel and Theo being held? And where has Daniel gone?

This book was better than the first in some ways, but it was also flawed- I think Rachel changed way too much in the second book- Rachel used to be a really shy, quiet girl, and now she’s much more girly, and her personality has completely changed. There isn’t much flow between the two books. However, the books are still quite good.

Good for ages 11-14.

 

@EeshaGrover – Reviewers twitter handle

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BLOOD TIES by Sophie McKenzie

First of a two-book series by Sophie Mckenzie.Blood Ties by Sophie McKanzie

Blood ties is about Rachel and Theo, two 15/16 year old teenagers who have never heard of each other. However, that all changes when Theo begins asking his mother questions about his father, who he believes was a genetic scientist who is now in hiding in Germany.

Rachel knows nothing about this; she is just a girl who is bullied at school. But one night she gets a text from her dad saying, “goddess still safe in heaven”. This confuses her, but when she questions her father about the text he tells her it was a mistake and that Rachel should forget about it. He avoids answering who the text was intended for, making Rachel suspicious.

Meanwhile, Theo has learnt that Rachel’s father worked with his own father, and starts to try to find Rachel. He finds her and asks her for a meeting with her dad. Rachel tentatively agrees to take him to her house until Rachel’s father comes home.

When Rachel’s dad does reach home, he says they can discuss the matter over dinner. Theo is feeling really awkward there, and as Rachel’s dad isn’t telling him anything of use, he leaves soon.

Theo enlists Rachel’s help to get him to his dad, but as he has a bodyguard, Roy, he is finding this hard. Rachel comes up with the idea to escape from he school’s disco because it will be crowded there. Theo agrees.

Theo believes his dad is James Lawson. But when Theo and Rachel are taken by a man called Lewis, they start asking questions.

Who is James Lawson? How are Theo and Rachel connected? How are they different from others? And how does Elijah fit into the story?

This book is amazing. It’s good for 11-14, though you can read it if you’re slightly younger too.

 

@EeshaGrover – Reviewers twitter handle

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REACHED by Ally Condie

Third and final book in the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie.

REACHED by Ally Condie

This book is told from the point of view of all three main characters: Cassia, Ky and Xander. The book starts in Xander’s POV, and he is a medic in Central helping to cure people from the Plague, as he is an Official. He is with his friend, Official Lei.  They are administering the cure for the Plague with others, in the Central Hospital.

Ky is with Indie, and they are flying together. They are working together for the Rising, following orders of the Pilot. When they are put together, Indie rightly guesses that it is time for them to do their job for the Pilot.

Cassia is with the Rising. She is wearing a red dress she traded with the Archivists, and is waiting by the river for Ky to come meet her at night, but as Ky has now got his job, he never comes.

All three are part of the Rising, and are working to bring the Society down.

When the three are reunited, the Pilot takes them to work with some Anomalies to cure the mutation of the Plague that has broken out. On the way, Ky finds out that though Cassia and Xander are immune to the Plague mutation, Ky is not.

Shortly after they reach, Ky gets the mutation and falls into the immobilized state. Xander and Cassia begin to work on the cure, Xander in the actual making area and Cassia helping in the sorting work. They try many cures, and none of them work. This only causes them to redouble their efforts, and they come across many potential ingredients, but they seem to be missing one.  One thing, an unknown flower, which will cure the Plague mutation.

They know that if they fail, Ky’s and thousands of others’ lives will pay the price…

This is a good, realistic end to the Matched trilogy. It, like Crossed, can’t compare to Matched, the best book, but unlike Crossed, this one was really enjoyable to read. It’s the longest of the books by far, and the second best of them. The trilogy is good for ages 11-14.

 

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CROSSED by Ally Condie

CROSSED

Second in the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie.

Ky has been taken away to fight the Enemy in the Outer Provinces, and Cassia is determined to find him. She leaves to find him after Ky is taken away, with the blue tablets and other items Xander gave her before she left. When she leaves, she meets a girl called Indie, who helps her hide her blue tablets when she is searched. The girls become friends fast.

Meanwhile Ky has escaped from the camp he was taken to, with two friends, Vick and Eli. They escaped to the canyons together,  where Anomalies are rumored to live. Meanwhile, Cassia has posed as an Aberration to find Ky, but when she learns that he has escaped, she follows him in to the Canyons with Indie.

When in the Canyons, Cassia and Indie are so short of food that Cassia takes a blue tablet, believing it will save her life by not allowing her to die of starvation. Indie doesn’t know this, but Indie knows the truth about the blue tablets: they will make you go still, and if someone does not help you, you will die. Ky also learns this from his friends.

Soon after, Cassia feels sick, but insists that she and Indie should keep on going. When Cassia fails to get better in a few days, Indie demands to know what she ate. Cassia admits to eating the blue tablet, and Indie is furious, though she knows it’s not Cassia’s fault. She explains how the blue tablets are dangerous, and is astonished at how Cassia kept walking through the tablet that should have immobilized her. Cassia hopes this means she is immune to the red tablet as well.

Finally, the girls find Ky, Vick and Eli. Eli reminds Cassia of her brother, and she takes a liking to him. Vick is soon killed by the poisoned water in the stream, which Ky learns was poisoned by Society. He is depressed at his friend’s death, but agrees that they should keep moving.

So now, things are getting more and more dangerous. But when they reach the Rising, Ky and Cassia find that their problems are only just beginning…

This book was actually quite disappointing, because it is very slow- it’s quite a letdown after fast-paced Matched, which is definitely better, whereas here it is set mostly in the canyons, with little opportunity for anything exciting. However, it’s still quite a good read, and answers some of the questions left hanging at Matched, though at times it does get boring. Good for ages 11-14.

 

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HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay

Third and final book in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games: MockingJay.

Katniss and Peeta, with some other victors, escaped the Hunger Games. District 12 has been destroyed and Katniss, Prim, their mother, Gale and some others have escaped the bombing of their home. Finnick, Katniss and Beetee made it out of the arena, but the Capitol took Peeta. In district 13, President Coin makes a deal with Katniss- Peeta will be offered immunity if Katniss agrees to be the Mockingjay.

Katniss becomes the Mockingjay, and finds out that Peeta is being held in the Capitol being tortured to find out information about the rebellion with Johanna. When Katniss finds out, she panics and needs to be sedated. When she wakes, she finds that a mission to rescue Peeta and Johanna is taking place. Finnick tells her this, and Katniss is distraught.

The mission is a success. Katniss immediately goes to visit Peeta. She runs for him and hugs him, but Peeta tries to strangle her… Katniss learns that the Capitol hijacked his memories with Katniss so that he saw her as a mutt. She is horrified, and then starts to believe Peeta might be seeing her as she really is- cruel, manipulative and deadly.

In order to join missions, Katniss has to go for training, which she has been skipping until now. She and Johanna go for training, and eventually get to the same team as Gale, Finnick and some other soldiers from District 13. Their leader is called Boggs, a man Katniss respects because he believes she deserves to live when President Coin wants her dead. Soon Peeta is brought to join their squad, and Jackson comes up with a way to help Peeta determine which memories are real, and which are hijacked- called “Real or not real”. When Boggs is killed, he makes Katniss squad leader. She tells her squad that they were meant to assassinate President Snow, so the squad set out for the Capitol to try and find the rebellion’s worst enemy…

This is a great end to the Hunger Games trilogy. It is slightly confusing with so much going on at first, but later on everything makes more sense. The series is great for 11-14 in general. Amazing series!!

 

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HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

Second of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have survived the Hungercatchingfire Games, but they are still in danger. President Snow visits Katniss’ house and tells her he knows she kissed her friend Gale… and that several Districts believe Katniss’ ‘berry trick’ was an act of rebellion, not love. President Snow tells Katniss that she will have to marry Peeta and convince him that she loves Peeta… or there will be consequences.

Katniss tells Peeta and Haymitch about this, and Peeta is upset- he really loves Katniss, and wanted it to be real. In a live interview, Peeta proposes and Katniss accepts. Soon Katniss gets wedding gowns said to be approved by President Snow himself. Katniss is upset about this, as she realizes she will never be able to have a life of her own- she will have to marry Peeta, and be on camera all her life.

One day, in town, Peeta, Katniss and Haymitch find Gale being whipped by a new head Peacekeeper. Next to him is a dead turkey. Katniss runs in front of him and the next lash hits her face. Peeta and Haymitch come to help her and stop Gale being whipped. They take Gale to Katniss’ house and Katniss’ mother heals Gale. When Gale is at her house, Katniss realizes she loves him.

Soon, her prep team comes to her house to take pictures of her in wedding gowns. There are six dresses, and each requires its own setting, lighting, makeup, hair and jewelry. Katniss is exhausted by the end of it. The next day, on TV, she sees the photos of her in dresses. After this, President Snow comes on the show to read the Quarter Quell- as it is the 75th Hunger Games, a twist will be added to the rules. This time, the twist is:

On the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the Capitol, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors

This means Katniss and either Peeta or Haymitch are going back into the arena. At first, Katniss is upset. Then she decides she wants to go talk to Haymitch. She finds him in the pub, drinking. She asks him to help her keep Peeta alive this time. He agrees, and Katniss gets drunk as well. She goes home and wakes up with a hangover. Peeta is mad at her- he tells her they can’t afford any drunkards right now. Peeta says they should train like the Careers, and they do.

They get ready. At the reaping Katniss and Haymitch are chosen, and Peeta volunteers. At the opening ceremony, Katniss and Peeta meet their competition. Katniss meets Finnick, a victor from District 4.
This year they go for training again, and Katniss shoots so well in front of everyone that almost everyone requests her for an ally. Katniss refuses.

They enter the arena again, and Katniss finds that Haymitch allied her with Finnick without telling her. At first she is annoyed, but then he becomes a friend. The arena is deadly as ever, but it becomes so much worse when Beetee, another ally, forms a potentially deadly plan to break them out of the arena…

Catching Fire is another amazing book, though the first book seems better at first because Catching Fire can be quite confusing. In the trilogy the first book seems best, though when you reread them they are all amazing.

 

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