Review: Divergent


Divergent
Divergent by Veronica Roth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So a kind of weird thing happened: I ended up enjoying this book. For me the story started out exceptionally slow and I kind of struggled to care about it at all for a long time. The popularity of this series kind of boggled me a little and even irritated me. I was probably a little bitchy about it. I can’t say why (and by “why” I mean why I wasn’t enjoying the book, not why I was bitchy – that I know the answer to). Perhaps it was not my scene. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for it. Perhaps the beginning is actually kind of slow. But something happened during the last third of the book that took my rating from a 2 to a four. I can’t even quite explain it exactly, but I think there suddenly seemed to be a point to it all. I started to understand it a little better and it even kind of made me feel hopeful. Tris grows into a being of substance which is quite refreshing. I tend to read these sorts of books with my pre-teen daughter in mind. Am I ok with her learning from the protagonist of this story? Sadly the answer to that question is often no. But today it got to be yes. And that’s pretty cool.



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Review: The Girl in the Flammable Skirt


The Girl in the Flammable Skirt
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m giving this book a 5 because I think that being the type of person who writes these sort of weird and confusing – for – most – people stories is kind of important. About 4 years ago when I read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake I did not love it as I expected to. I have kind of evolved since then. I have become more open to obscure voices sharing beautiful content. I have learned to set aside expectations and receive what I am given instead of bemoaning what I have not. I cannot help now but envy Ms. Bender. How free she is in spirit. How unconventionally wise. How odd. How exquisite. How real.



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Review: An Invisible Sign of My Own


An Invisible Sign of My Own
An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Feeling humbled by the (to me) unpretentious quirk that is Aimee Bender. How glorious when reading feels a little bit like falling in love – something that you instinctively understand but could not possibly explain. I must admit that for this novel a lot of the charm lay in the reviews of others. Indignant school teachers offended by an inaccurate portrayal of teaching and children. Fussy readers who cannot cope when a story is not “just so” – as if being “realistic” and “structured” is the only way to be when it comes to putting yourself on paper. And yet here I sit, grateful for strange minds that take me to different worlds, and especially grateful that my own mind allows for me to be taken there.



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