Divergent by Veronica Roth
Young adult dystopian fiction is all the rage, and I just couldn’t resist starting another series after hearing so many good reviews. I could not put this book down, and cannot wait to see where the series goes. Set in Chicago, teenagers are required to choose which faction they will join, each led by a different virtue: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). The story follows a teenager named Tris as she goes through initiation by her faction, and of course falls in love for the first time, as is always the case in young adult lit! If you liked The Hunger Games I think you’d really like this series, I just hate having to wait for the next books to be released!
A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
I was too young at the time to be aware of the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard in 1991. However I remember the news of her being recovered after spending 18 years living in her kidnapper’s backyard, the mother of two children, one birthed when she was 13, the other when she was 16. Her memoir is very well written for someone who only had a 5th grade education. She recounts the kidnapping and early years in captivity in striking detail. And while she glosses over some details as I’m sure they are just too painful to discuss, she does share many of the horrible details of her life as a prisoner and basically a child sex slave to a pedophile…and his wife. Anyway, this book is very interesting but heartbreaking at the same time. She does not share much about her daughters, as she clearly wants to protect their privacy and shield them from the public eye. One can assume they were likely molested and raped by their father/captor as well but that is not discussed. While the details of this peculiar crime story are what most read the book for (I know I did), you really come away with a great appreciation for the resiliency of Jaycee. If ever there were an argument for harsher penalties for sex offenders, this is it. This man got away with everything but murder, even though neighbors reported suspicious behavior/structures on his property and his home was regularly visited by parole officers and law enforcement.
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
More YA Lit! It took me a few chapters to get into this book and figure out the quirky characters, but it heats up quickly and I didn’t put it down until I was done. This is a story about first love, grief, sisters, family, music, and creative expression. Heavy at times but funny and very sweet at others. It is an emotional story and a very unique one. I highly recommend it.
The Mercy by my homegirl, Beverly Lewis
Her books are like an addictive, shameful drug that I just cannot quit. I don’t read any of the “imitations”, Beverly Lewis is THE ORIGINAL cheesy Amish romance novel writer. This was the final book in the Rose Trilogy and it was one of the better series she’s written in recent years. Not as good as Abram’s Daughters, but that 5 book series was epic in the world of Amish romance novels. She set the bar high for herself. I hope you are not reading any sarcasm in my words as THERE IS NONE. Okay, maybe just a little 😉 In my infinite wisdom, I realized this book had been released last week at approximately 10:30pm last night, made the mistake of downloadng it, and didn’t stop until I finished at 1am. Yeah I was dragging today. Like I said, addictive and shameful, but always satisfying! I even cried, and that’s rare. Maybe it was just the fatigue. More likely the Beverly Lewis spell, it is powerful guys!