Discussion- Divergent by Veronica Roth

A Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Written in 2012  by Veronica Roth.

A Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Written in 2012 by Veronica Roth.

*Note- This post continues the writing from the Book Summaries page. Please read for previous details.*

Once again, another book that I seemed to have fallen in love with. If only I weren’t so ADD, I could read one author then move onto the next, but where would the fun in that be?

Divergent was interesting because, I am not sure if you have been there, but it is based in Chicago. They don’t really hint at the time frame or what happened to Chicago as we know it, but this makes the setting easy to visualize. I think the details the author uses throughout the book are so specific that the movie is going to have a tough time keeping up to par. I did read a movie review though that said the director’s focus was on maintaining the structure of the book and creating similar details so that readers would be proud of his work. Personally, I refused to read many more reviews than that because I plan on watching the movie here shortly now that I have finished the book.

So, here are my questions for those that have watched/planned on watching the Divergent movie and read the book. I would like to see a variety of opinions regarded the movie/book and if you have seen both that would be even better. The following are my discussion questions for those Divergent fans out there. Please feel free to answer one or all if you can!

  1. Do you think that you would’ve kept it a secret as well as Beatrice did if you were a Divergent?
  2. Do you think the book would’ve been better/worse with a third person narrator instead of Beatrice?
  3. Which faction do you think you would’ve fit with the best? As a reminder, they are Abnegation(the selfless), Amity(the peaceful), Candor(the honest), Dauntless(the brave) or Erudite(the intelligent).
  4. Which was better: the book or the movie? Why?
  5. What are the main differences from the book compared to the movie? Which contains more details for the viewer/reader?
  6. Due to all the Hunger Games controversy of them being the same content, did you think this book/movie was better than the Hunger Games?

 

If you have any other questions that come to mind, to hesitate to ask them. It is a discussion after all!

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

A Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Written in 2012  by Veronica Roth.

A Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Written in 2012 by Veronica Roth.

I finally did it. I finally conformed with the norm for once! After battling at the library for weeks, I got my hands on Divergent from one of my friends. Did I mention this was my first actually book from my blog series that was not an e-book? That might have had a thing or two to do with my insatiably fast reading skills this time around, or maybe it was the content. I can proudly say that I finished this book in three short days. When I first started my blog, this meant I had no job and needed an outlet for all my built up energy. Now, I am steadily managing three part-time jobs and dominated Divergent.


This book is a must-read! It doesn’t matter if you prefer romance, comedy, action, drama or maybe even picture books because Divergent is for everyone! I can honestly say I believe any age/gender can read this book with excitement and hate to put it down… why else would they be making it a family film?!

So, time for the main plot to talk you into reading it, if I haven’t done so already. Beatrice, a girl from the faction Abnegation, is the main character. On the day that she turned 16, she was finally allowed to take an Aptitude test. This test suggests to members of all factions where they would best belong. Since Beatrice was not the most selfless person, which Abnegation was known for, she expected to find a different result to her test. This would mean that she could leave her family and switch to be initiated into a different faction. Each faction has a duty they do: whether it be control the government, assist with farming or provide means for military personnel.

Beatrice did not even come close to predicting what result she would get. As the book is so cleverly named, Beatrice was told on Aptitude testing day that she was what they call Divergent. This means she does not belong in one particular place but instead contains a mixture of multiple talents and personality traits.

In my mind, this would be a great thing to have. People that tend to advance in the world are good at multiple tasks and can’t thrive with one talent. However, if you are Divergent, it is not something to be proud of. It is like a birth defect or a disease that you have to keep hidden… or else (Dun dun dun…). But really, being categorized as Divergent in the past has led to people being murdered since they are seen as outcasts and superior to the rest. Beatrice has a tough decision to make on which faction she wants to commit her life to. She could stay at home and be unhappy her whole life, or she can make a change that will hopefully be for the better.

What will Beatrice choose? Will her “secret identity” stay a secret?
I can’t wait to discuss this book with you on my discussion/spoilers page to follow!

Spoiler- The Racketeer by John Grisham

A Legal Thriller Written in 2012 by Josh Grisham.

A Legal Thriller Written in 2012 by Josh Grisham.

*Note- This post continues the writing from the Book Summaries page. Please read for previous details.*

So, we left off with Malcolm wanting to use Rule 35 to his advantage. Well, he did it! Malcolm gave the full story of his old inmate, Quinn Rucker, who confessed to bribing the judge to submit the verdict in his favor. As you can probably guess, odds were not in his favor considering he was in prison with Malcolm. The judge took the bride, sentenced him to jail and kept the cash without any record or proof of it happening. Quinn wanted revenge for the judge’s thievery so he escaped from prison, hid out under a different name, killed off the judge and took his cash. The only proof the FBI had as Malcolm’s testimony and then Quinn’s confession that he repeatedly recanted.

As for Malcolm, once he gave up his side of the story, the prion let him go free, supplied him with plastic surgery, provided him with the reward money of $150,000 and helped him settle in to the witness protection program under the name of Max Bannister. The feds quickly found out that Quinn was tracking Malcolm and wanting revenge by having his brother kill him so there is no testimony against him. Malcolm did not trust the government, considering he was sentenced for ten years even though he was not guilty, and fled from them begging for them to not follow him and draw more attention to himself.

Max finally had the time to meet up with Vanessa, enjoy white sand beaches and commence his secret plan he had all along since years before his freedom. It is clear soon after that Max and Vanessa have had this planned for years. Max sets up a fake production company and targets Nathan Cooley, an ex-inmate that had a brother killed by the DEA. Max, who is unrecognizable from Malcolm, tells Nathan that he is doing a documentary on the DEA’s corrupt system and he is 100% in from the start.

As things progress, Max flies Nathan out on a private jet for a business trip to Miami. On the flight, Max drinks Nathan under the table and then drugs him once he is passed out. When Max awakens, he is in a Jamaican hospital surrounded by cops questioning him about his stash of drugs, a gun from his bag, his fake passport in his pocket and no sign on Max.

Max, after a day had passed, found Nathan in prison and said that there was a huge storm, blamed the pilot on not filling up with more gas, that they had an unexpected landing in Jamaica and that he will try to get him out as soon as possible. Nathan, a white man, was brutally attacked in prison and odds were not in his favor of lasting more than a week in the horrendous conditions of the Jamaican jail. He pleaded Max to go to his house, find a stash of hidden gold in his back yard, send some to bail him out and in return Max could get half of the gold Nathan had.

Well, Max/Malcolm knew that Nathan had this gold since he was actually the one that knew the judge had money hidden in a safe. Quinn was in on the scandal the entire time and played the part of the criminal well. Max recanted his claim of Quinn being the criminal and promised to share with the FBI the true story now that the gold was in his possession.

In the end, Max, Vanessa, Quinn and Dee Ray (Quinn and Vanessa’s brother) all were in on the plan and split the gold… all $8 million of it. The murdered judge actually was given the gold for a case dealing with a huge mining company and Nathan was just a greedy neighbor boy who found out about the stash and wanted it all for himself. It doesn’t state how things ended with Nathan but hinted that he would easily take an American jail sentence over his situation in Jamaica.

This story was great to see how the government works with criminals! I would highly suggest this to many reader out there… which explains why it was under the “popular books” tab.

Share any thoughts you had on this book. I would be glad to discuss it more or supply more details.

The Racketeer by John Grisham

A Legal Thriller Written in 2012 by Josh Grisham.

A Legal Thriller Written in 2012 by Josh Grisham.

After years borrowing books through my mother’s Kindle or buying books myself, I finally made a trip to the public library and am an official member. Now, the options are endless on what I would like to read. With no clear direction, I clicked a tab that led me to the most popular books currently. I really wanted to read the Divergent Series but these were unattainable… I was around 200 on the waiting list.

Therefore, I read The Racketeer. Since I clearly have no criminal or law background, this book was quite the educational experience for me. I read the author’s note at the end and realize that this is a fictional book, but it is insane to see what life for a convicted criminal would be like.

The book begins with a man named Malcolm Bannister who was a lawyer in Virginia that was caught up in a huge scandal. Malcolm truly was innocent, but since there were government officials caught up in the scandal and proven guilty, he was not going to walk away easily. With a ten-year jail sentence, Malcolm filled his time “practicing” law by advising his fellow inmates on how to plead their cases to get out of jail early. He also managed the library as his career in prison, so between the two he kept his mind fresh on the practice and all that is happening outside the prison walls.

Being in prison for five years already, and with five more to go, Malcolm was desperately craving a woman’s touch. His wife left him soon after his arrest claiming it was too hard for her and their son. One woman who visited her brother in prison, Vanessa had a mutual attraction to Malcom. (Keep her in mind for later on in the story.)

One day, since Malcolm had been following the local reports, there was an article about a federal judge being murdered at his lake house on the weekend. There was evidence of a robbery due to an open safe, but other than that there were no prints or methods in which the FBI could track down the criminal. This was Malcolm’s one and only shot of getting out! He claimed to know the name and alibi behind a past inmate that supposedly killed the judge. According to Rule 35, if an inmate gives up information to a larger crime, their sentence length could be renegotiated. Malcolm decided the time has come to rat out a past inmate that asked him for legal advice and shared a motive with him so that he could, in return, be freed from the government’s arms.

So, things to keep in mind before you read…
Will Malcolm successfully be freed from the prison?
Will his past inmate come after him for revenge?
Will Malcolm finally get to be in the relationship he eagerly craves?
What will happen next!

I can’t wait to discuss the happenings of The Racketeer! Please view the spoilers page to read on about what happens as the plot thickens!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

A Historical Fiction Best-Seller Written in 2007 by Markus Zusak.

A Historical Fiction Best-Seller Written in 2007 by Markus Zusak.

This book was a lot different from the past books I have read and blogged about. For one, it is not a series. Second, it is a serious, historical fiction novel. My feelings about it… absolutely loved it!
First, I think you need a little insight about me. I am not the most serious person in the world, I enjoy a good laugh and you will never catch me winning, or even competing in, a history competition. I do not enjoy history – never have, maybe someday will. This book, which again, I enjoyed, contained serious, historical references and made me feel for each character individually. It made me realize how it felt to be involved in World War II and the Nazi movement. I absolutely enjoyed this book and recommend it to everyone as a must-read! Therefore, this summary may be different from those I have written in the past.

I decided that this is a book that I do not want to give much away, so my backgrounder will brief.
The Book Thief, as you may have already guessed, is about a girl who likes to steal books. Shocker! Liesel found a passion in books, and the concept of them overall, even when she did not have the capabilities to read or write. Somehow, the look of a book spoke to her and she found her true passion.
I know what you may be thinking… “Sounds like a boring book. A girl who just reads books that she steals.” You could not be more wrong. The Book Thief is about finding a true passion and a focus amidst all things depressing and despairing.  Liesel lost her biological family, lived in Germany during the Nazi revolution, befriended a Jew and lived off of nearly nothing with a poor family. Her father, who had a fourth grade reading level, stepped up and taught her how to read so that she could find some peace throughout all this chaos.
The Book Thief was an inspirational story that is well-worth the read. I would hate to spoil any of the plot on this fantastic page turner, so I will end my preview there.
I hope you read this book and contribute to my discussion page once you have done so. I am eager to discuss some serious questions with you all, and I can’t wait for this journey to continue with all The Book Thief has to offer.

Discussion- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

A Historical Fiction Best-Seller Written in 2007 by Markus Zusak.

A Historical Fiction Best-Seller Written in 2007 by Markus Zusak.

So, I would like to have a real discussion about this book instead of spoil it for those that are too lazy to read.

I did not know until after I read it that it is a movie now. This leads me to my first question:

1. Is this book comparable to the movie? Does it leave out a lot? Does it do it honor?

2. Did you enjoy how Death was the narrator or was this depressing? I found it quite interesting and unique. It seemed to answer a lot of unanswered questions regarding the plot for me.

3. What would you have done if you were Liesel or her father when they marched the Jews through the town? Would you have acted out in the same manner or would you stand by and watch like most of the crowd did?

4. What did you think of the ending? Too many people dying? I thought this was a refreshing change from normal… not your regular happy ending but still a realistic and somewhat happy finale.

Please feel free to start discussion on any other questions you found throughout the book or that seemed to activate something in you by the end. Thank you so much for your participation and I hope we have a meaningful discussion!