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!


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.

The Brightest Flame in Ballymuir by Dorien Kelly

The Third of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2012 by Dorien Kelly.

The Third of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2012 by Dorien Kelly.

Sorry it has been a while since my last post. I am finally getting the ball rolling with interviews and such.

The Brightest Flame in Ballymuir is all about Vi Kilbride. For those of you that have read the previous posts/books, Vi is the sister of Michael Kilbride (the main character of book one). Vi is an artist who enjoys being in her own little world painting and creating perfect pieces of art.

Vi spent most of her summers as a child/teen with her Nan in Duncarraig. Sadly, this book is based around her Nan’s passing. Nan left her house to Vi a while back, but Vi never had the time to clean out the house or the heart to put it up for sale. Finally, the time had come to visit Duncarraig, empty the house and ready it for the market.

Within the first day of being in town, Vi ran into her past lover, Liam Rafferty. Each time Vi used to spend the summers with Nan, she ended up spending a good chunk of her time with Liam. Liam was her first love and left her with a broken heart to go travel to America. At first, their reunion was a bit rocky, but they rekindled the flame right where they left off.

However, since the last time the two have seen each other, Liam has been married and created a child. He still ‘works’ in America and his now ex-wife has been called to duty so he took his daughter to Ireland to escape a bit. Liam thought being back would help him raise his girl, Meghan, with all the family around, but he also had his own secret motive to be back home. Liam is on the hunt for his family’s gold.

The story has been told that the Rafferty gold has been handed down from father to oldest son year after year. One time, a man in the line had to leave for a bit and trusted his lover to guard the family gold. This lover was an ancestor of Vi’s. Therefore, Vi and Liam are the two descendants alive that deserve the gold, if it were to still be passed down. However, the story states that the gold has never been found and is still out there, unclaimed and waiting for its’ owner to uncover it.

Will the flame between Vi and Liam ignite once again as the title states? Will Liam find the treasure he came to Duncarraig for? Continue reading the Spoilers page for more information.

The Boldest Man in Ballymuir by Dorien Kelly

The Second of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2012 by Dorien Kelly.

The Second of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2012 by Dorien Kelly.

Another book in the Ballymuir Series successfully completed! Even though I read the first of the three books, I would not think that you would have to read the books in order to understand what is happening in this particular series. If you would like a quick recap simply scroll down to my blog entry called The Last Bride in Ballymuir.

So, book two, The Boldest Man in Ballymuir, is mainly focused on a woman named Jenna who owns a beautiful building called the Muir House. She is an American living in Ireland and exposing its citizens to fine dining at her restaurant that now doubles as a place to stay the night. Jenna is finding success in her building until a man named Dev comes into town to try to buy her property to create a new location for a resort.

This would not be a problem for Jenna if she actually owned the building. The fact of the matter is that she never could obtain ownership because the owner was an odd woman. All that Jenna had to her name was a lease that could lead to the ultimate downfall of Muir House.

The second problem in the situation was the connection between Dev and Jenna. From the start, each of them felt a connection and yearning for the other; everyone in town could see it. Jenna tried to keep her guard up, knowing that her house and restaurant were at stake. All she could do now was try to claim ownership and keep positive.

Dev, on the other hand, had his own struggles. He has always been a bold man, never caring about other’s feelings and always closing the deal or getting the girl. Will he get either of these this time around?

The Last Bride in Ballymuir by Dorien Kelly

The First of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2003 by Dorien Kelly.

The First of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2003 by Dorien Kelly.

After reading more than enough about crimes, murders and mysteries, I decided to take a break for a while to a different genre of books. My mother suggested The Ballymuir Series and said it was about love, happiness and Ireland. What else do I need to convince myself. Therefore, I started off the series of three books with The Last Bride in Ballymuir.

The story mainly focuses on a man named Michael Kilbride who recently was released from jail for murder (so much for getting away from the crime stories, mom). Michael’s mother still will not look or talk to him since the incident so he went to live with his sister, Vi, in Ballymuir. Vi is a well-known painter who owns her in shop in the middle of town. That is why Michael is a hot topic around the city as soon as he arrives.

The second Michael hits the streets to roam and look for work, the town is gossiping about his past and making generalizations about him not being a good fit for the town. All the locals are outright rude to him and it seems as if work will be hard to come by.

Then, while walking from the town to Vi’s house, Michael spotted a gorgeous woman working in a field moving rocks. He politely joined and helped her for a bit without either talking much at all. After a while, the lady, Kylie, invited him in and they hit it off. She accepted him for who he is and they quickly became close friends.

We find out later that Kylie is a school teacher and well-known throughout the town as well. Her father went to prison for knowingly borrowing money to create hotel properties but instead designing his own mansion-sized house and going in debt still. What the town doesn’t know is that Kylie’s dad was so desperate that he whored her out to get out of their debt. Kylie was raped by her father’s business associate and has never been touched by a man again– until now.