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!

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.

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!

 

 

Spoiler- 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.

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

So, where to start, where to start… How about the two main character’s love life?

Vi and Liam started out again by hitting it off fairly well. Vi was a bit thrown off to see that he was with a child now and had married before, but tried to work past that. What she couldn’t seem to overcome was Liam’s search for the family gold. She found Liam in her Nan’s yard with a metal detector of sorts scanning it for traces of gold while she was inside cleaning the place up for sale. The story of the family gold has been told for so many years that Vi thought it was foolish for him to be so aggressively hunting, yet alone, on her property.

What Vi did not know at the time was that Liam’s company back in America was going under water quickly. There was a scandal with a co-worker of his stealing money for personal use and a lawsuit was quickly filed verse the entire company. Liam needed this gold more than anything to help his pocketbook as well as his pride.

Vi, dauntless and determined, tried to ignore the aspect of the gold hunt from their relationship but this was hard to overcome. Finally, the two joined forces when they searched a local castle that an American couple recently fixed up and opened to the public. As rumored, there were  secret passageways in the walls of the castle that the two found to lead to a room for the gold. Vi, a witch of sorts, could hear the gold speaking to her when she touched the walls there. However, to keep the suspense moving, the gold was all gone and had been relocated or found out by someone before them.

This run-in at the castle also brought  back memories for the two lovers. This was the place that they first made love to each other. As Liam brought this up, Vi suddenly became overwhelmed with emotions and was very distant to Liam. What he didn’t know was that Vi had become impregnated that night many years ago. It was somehow being born inside on of her organs so she had to have it removed for the sake of her own health. This surgery left Vi being unable to bear children ever again.

This all was going too fast again for Vi: being around Liam, remembering their ‘almost child’, seeing him with his new child and just rekindling their flame. Vi was finished with Nan’s property and finally was ready to go back to her home in Ballymuir so she left. Without more than a note, she drove back home and went back to her painting.

When her Nan’s furniture arrived at her house a few days later, Vi found herself wanting to paint these to fix them up. Liam left back to America to fix things up with his company and try to get out with as little debt as possible. After a few weeks of him missing, Vi found some jelly stuck to her Nan’s furniture that she threw at Liam’s head in anger before he left. As she was scraping it off, she could hear the same sounds from the furniture that she did in the castle a while back. It was the GOLD!

After scraping off the coat of paint that she had done and another that Nan probably did, she found that pieces of the furniture were made of gold. She didn’t want to tell anyone of her find but did have a little piece checked for authenticity. This was it! There was also a note attached mentioning where Nan had hidden the rest of the gold so Vi dug it all up and finally hit the jackpot. Knowing that it was partially Liam’s, she  did not want to do anything rash just yet.

When Liam came to visit, she finally was able to tell him the story of her infertility, he confessed about his corrupted business and this finally allowed her to tell him the happiness of her finding the gold.

Liam and Vi lived happily ever after (didn’t see that one coming, did you?). They sold most of their gold to a museum while keeping some pieces to continue the story of the lost gold.

So, we have finally made it! This is the last of the Ballymuir Series. A sad end but a new adventure awaits us. If anyone has suggestions on what to read next, please comment below. Otherwise, I think I plan to read Divergent since the movie will be coming out soon and I love comparing books to movies.

Spoiler- 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.

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

Two of my favorite plot twists from the book came from the first two house guests ever since the remodeling of the rooms for visitors. One was Jenna’s sister, Maureen, that was a rich, daddy’s girl, who found herself in a bit of trouble and ran to Jenna’s to hide. Maureen was dating a celebrity who seemed to be cheating on her one day. Maureen panicked in anger and threw fish at him in the middle of a crowded restaurant. With him being a celebrity, the paparazzi covered this and she was seen as a crazy girl making a scene.

The second guest was Dev’s mother. Dev casually mentioned his visit to Ballymuir to his mom on the phone, not including any business endeavors. His mom, having grown up in Ballymuir, missed the town and decided she needed some change in her life. So, she packed up and headed to Muir House to stay for a while to escape her uneventful life back home without informing Dev.

The two finally ran into each other one night when Dev just had some joyous, love-filled hours in Jenna’s room and he headed downstairs in Muir House to grab them a snack. His mother was there, looking at him with no socks, no shirt and a huge grin on his face from his love upstairs. If this wasn’t awkward enough, wait until you hear who his mother had been seeing.

A man is continually mentioned talking to Jenna, dining at the restaurant and finally talking to Dev’s mom. He is a father of three from Ballymuir- all of which are from different mothers. However, the man did not know that he actually was the father of four. Dev’s mother fled the country when she found out she was going to be an unwed mother. She met a man in Northern Ireland, fell in love and he accepted Dev as his own born child.

And if this isn’t enough drama for Muir House, how about we add a bit more. Maureen’s ex-boyfriend finally tracked her down and showed up on the steps one rainy afternoon. After a few days outside her window with serenades and begging, she finally seemed to forgive him once she realized he was there for love and love is what she needed. He apologized for the misunderstanding and that he in fact was not cheating on her. The two took things slowly by him traveling back to film while Maureen stayed put to make sure she wanted him in her life.

As time goes on, Dev continually comes and goes from work in London back to Ballymuir for pleasure. Suddenly, it is sprung upon him that Muir House is officially chosen for the resort destination and next week the board will investigate the area and begin groundbreaking.

When Jenna finds out, she felt betrayed and ashamed that she let Dev in for him to just trample all over her life and ruin everything. However, the two pushed through after some tear-felt nights and created a plan containing diversions to lead the board away from Ballymuir. By strategically placing directional signs in a never-ending loop to letting all the sheep loose on the streets making it unbearable to drive, the two successfully made the town seem impossible to live in. And what better way to celebrate than a wedding between Dev and Jenna.
What did you think of this book?
There is only one more left in the Ballymuir Series and then off to the next one. If you have any suggestions, feel free to contact me or comment below!

Spoiler- 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.

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

We left with Kylie’s little secret she has always kept quiet: her rape. But she is not the only character that has kept secrets over the years. Michael, who went to jail for murder, was actually no murderer at all. He did the time for a different crime. In a private discussion with Kylie and throughout his thoughts within the book, we finally can see the true story behind Michael.

Michael had a girlfriend back in the day who he supposedly loved. She, however, did not seem to have the same intentions. One night when they were out together with another mutual friend named Brian, the whole thing unraveled. Cops showed up and found explosives to create a bomb hidden in Michael’s car that were placed there by his ‘girlfriend’. Brian, the so-called mutual friend, was actually making love to Michael’s girlfriend on the side and the two were using Michael for transporting the explosives. The girl was killed that night but Brian did his time in jail for the crime as well. Knowing that Michael was out of jail, Brian tried to contact Michael by calling Vi’s house with threats to kill his family and his new love, Kylie.

Kylie and Michael had a tough enough time meeting up with their own busy lives despite their own personal reputations throughout the town. The two tended to meet up for a casual dinner at Kylie’s house, right down the street from Vi’s. However, Kylie’s friend and grandmother figure, Breege, fell while living alone and needed someone to look after her as per request of the doctor. So, Kylie took Breege in and Michael was not able to come over as often. Michael did see benefit in this though by finding a place to do construction work in Breege’s barn down the street. Also, Kylie partnered up with Vi to host an art event by the students at her school and found herself working with Vi some nights. Then, yet another hurdle came in the lover’s path: Michael’s much younger twin brothers came in town. These two ran away from home in need of an escape from their crazy mother. After a bit of convincing, Michael saw this as a positive aspect of his life by being able to befriend more family members as well as use the boys for help with his construction work.

One night, Michael received another personal threat on Kylie from Brian to kill her off so Michael took matters into his own hands. He traveled to a nearby city that was known for a shady bar where past inmates would meet up and trouble went down. He covered his tracks with Vi and Kylie by leaving a hotel location written down and said he was on a business trip. They just didn’t know what bad business he was getting into. Michael found Brian and the two fist-fighted in an alley beside the bar Michael tracked him down at. Ready to strangle and kill Brian, Michael found courage to walk away after realizing how killing Brian would affect his future with Kylie. So he walked away with a busted lip and his head held high while Brian was struggling to breathe and making threats that he will regret not finishing him off then.

When Michael got back to the hotel, he was surprised by Kylie at the door of his room. She thought it would be a nice surprise but was more shocked to see his mangled face. Michael told her the whole story and confessed to lying to protect her, which she seemed to understand. Then he surprised her with a ring that he bought earlier that day and proposed to Kylie; she exuberantly said yes.

After the two were back home, rumors seemed to spread once again at the opening of the art exhibit that Vi and Kylie have been planning. The cops came in demanding for the arrest Michael for the murder of Brian. This outraged Kylie since she trusted Michael and knew he wasn’t the one to finish him off. After a few days in prison for Michael, the cops discovered a hammer in a nearby trash can with the prints from a drug dealer that worked with Brian. Turns out, Brian wasn’t doing his share and this was his punishment.

So, the happy ending that books should have finally came along in my fourth book this year. Michael and Kylie were going to live happily ever after in Breege’s old house and the two were wedded in the last scene of the book. Kylie’s father was working on becoming a successful man one day at a name and received no help from Kylie. Vi sold her work to a wealthy American and continued to pursue her love of art.

 

What did you think of this book? Share your thoughts below.

Spoiler- Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

2009 Murder Mystery by Gillian Flynn

2009 Murder Mystery by Gillian Flynn

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

Since this was such a long book compared to the others, I will just jump right into this.

First, Libby went to visit Ben in prison to see his side of the story. After 24 years of not seeing his sister, Ben was excited to talk to her and just to see her in general. Libby came with her prerogative though of asking questions to get to the bottom of this. She left knowing a few things: Ben was innocent of the murders, he had a tattoo of a ‘olly’ or ‘ally’ on his arm and that he was comfortable being in jail for something else he has done.

Libby though, but didn’t hope she was right, that this tattoo was the name of one of the girls from when he was claimed as a child molester. Maybe he was actually dating one of them or serious with them and their father’s went to kill her family for Ben’s mistake. She contacted Krissi, the main girl claimed of being molested. She admitted, after a few days, that she made the whole thing up. It started as a silly game with her friends and turned into a big fiasco. Krissi said that she admitted to her parents that night that it was a misunderstanding and her mother and father were so ashamed they tried to ignore her. Well, at least the child molestation charges were cleared, but what about these murders?

Runner, Libby’s step father, was the next stop on her quest to find the truth. He was living in a sewage dump and made nothing of his life .He owed a lot of people money due to his drug dealing business and was last seen by the family the day of the murders begging for money. Libby quickly realized Runner was too dumb to commit such a crime and actually get away with it so she decided to ask him a couple of questions instead while she was there. Runner said that he saw Ben with two friends, Trey and Diondria the night of the murders. Ben secretly asked him for cash to support Diondria with since she was pregnant and they were going to run away to escape people finding out. Due to Runner’s poor money streak, this was not an option for Ben, but this story gave Libby two more suspects.

Diondria was found in a search engine as a missing persons report. She went missing a few weeks after the night of the murders and hasn’t been seen since. This seemed like a dead-end so Libby pursued Trey. Trey owned a farm supply company and was easy to talk to about the night of. He confirmed that Diondria was indeed pregnant but hasn’t seen her since the murders unraveled. He did mention that she liked to go by secret names and that she probably did escape and live under a different name. One, Trey mentioned, that she liked to go by was Polly Palm. This sparked a memory of the tattoo on Ben’s arm. Diondria was alive and living under the name Polly.

After searching online, Libby found one result for the name Polly Palm. She arrived at the door greeted by Diondria excited to meet Libby after all this time. Diondria had a daughter named Crystal who was eager to meet Libby as well. After talking for a while, Libby started joking around about how her sister, Michelle, would have loved to have known about this pregnancy since she was the gossip queen back then. Both Diondria and Crystal acted very suspicious after that and suddenly Libby was knocked out by a cast iron. As she slowly came back to, she tried to escape while the two were talking about guns and killing Libby for finding out their secret.

Libby got away after spending the night in the cold and finally made it to a police station. After confessing that Diondria killed Michelle, another development occurred. Libby was informed that her mother, Patty, signed a contract for a man to kill her that night of the murders. Patty was broke, they were losing their farm, and she thought the future seemed bleak for their children. She figured this is the only thing she could give her children: insurance money. While Patty was being murdered, Debby caught a glance and the man did not want any witnesses. He spur of the moment killed Debby as well.

Therefore after 24 years, Deondria went to jail for murdering Michelle, Debby was murdered by the man who arranged the death of Patty and Ben finally was released from prison.

Now if you saw any of this coming, I think you should receive therapy or stop reading murder mysteries. I think this book is well worth the read even though it is longer compared to others by Flynn. What did you think?