I know I promised beachy reads this week, but let’s just say plans change when tropical storm Beryl severely ruins your memorial day. So, these book choices are for the reader who wants to escape to a different world for a while.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Divergent series in general is about a teen girl living in a city that is divided into factions. The factions are very much isolated, but each faction supplies crucial elements to all the rest. Each year in a Choosing Ceremony, all 16-year-olds decide upon one of the five factions (Candor, Amity, Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless) to seek admission into. To help them decide which faction to enter into, the teens undergo an aptitude test. Tris’s test goes a bit wonky, and the plot thickens.
Without spoiling details from Divergent, (haven’t you read that yet? You haven’t?? Go read it, crazy!) Insurgent is about a teenage girl grappling with her decision to take on a leadership role, remain loyal and deal with utter grief. It’s a dystopian novel, but there is plenty of difference in this one to not have you thinking, “Haven’t I read something like this before?”
I like that this book deals with the element of grief in Tris without making her an insufferable character. Her relationships are believable, and the story is plotted well enough to still surprise you. Also, let’s just put it out there that the author is only 23. So, this clearly makes me wonder what the heck I’m doing with my life.
You’ll like this if: you’re a Hunger Games fan and you’re up for something a little different with equally dark twists.
Quote: “Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind.”
Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire Book #1) by George R. R. Martin
I cannot describe how much I love this series. It’s definitely a more “mature” choice in terms of fantasy literature, but I think it does it an injustice to say that it’s like Harry Potter for adults. (Don’t get me wrong, though – I love Harry Potter). As an avid reader, I truly appreciate Martin’s approach to the fantasy genre. You are never sure who is good or evil, if those in danger will actually make it out alive (they frequently don’t), and when a “bad guy” will do something redemptive or a “good guy” something terrible. I hadn’t really heard of this series until I watched the HBO show. On a whim only a book reader can appreciate, I purchased the entire series in an ebook deal. So, I read the first book and kept reading (and reading and reading) until I had caught up to A Dance With Dragons. I’m talking over 4,000 pages of commitment here.
These books pull you in and keep you in the magical Westeros for days. Martin is fantastic with detail (so much so that when I watch the series it’s like watching my own imagination). There are dragons, witches, zombie-like creatures fighting it out in a world filled with lust, power, greed, incest, and all sorts of adult themes. I would highly recommend you pick up the books. I don’t believe I’ve successfully convinced anyone to take the plunge yet, but if you do I think you’ll love it! (P.S. Avoid googling character names before reading. MAJOR spoilers are out there)
You’ll like this if: you’re not afraid of long books, you enjoy the show, and you’re in the mood to get swept away into a fantasy world like no other.
Quote: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… the man who never reads lives only one.’” (A Dance with Dragons)