Divergent

by Kasia  | Category: Reading Lounge
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Divergent cover imageThe novel Divergent is by Veronica Roth begins when Beatrice, a sixteen year old girl is getting ready for an aptitude test to see which of the five factions she should pick to live in. In Beatrice’s city, everyone is divided into five faction by their personality. One can choose which faction they would like to live in, but one also takes an aptitude test to help with their decision. Once one chooses their faction, one cannot change it. When Beatrice receives the results, she is is told that she doesn’t completely belong to any of the factions and she is “divergent”. She is also told to keep this information to herself because it puts her life in danger. Being divergent means that she belonged in than one faction. At the ceremony, Beatrice chooses to leave Abnegation, the faction she grew up in, and live in Dauntless. There, must survive the initiation while protecting her secret.

One theme from the book is to not be limited to things in life. In Divergent, there are five main traits and you had to pick one that you agreed with for rest of your life. But that system did not work out because there were people that belonged in more than one area. And it eventually lead to chaos on the story.

The story contains a lot of events that have occurred in history. One example would be how there is a war because of the leaders of a country. In the the book, Erudite leaders wanted more power over the other factions. So the leaders of Erudite struck a deal with another factions to build an army. This reminds me very much of World War II. One reason is because in the 1940s, Hitler wanted power so he convinced others that he was a great leader and what he was doing was going to improve the lives of residents. Just like the novel, the leaders were strong and using their knacks, they build an army. Also similar to real life, the leaders were defeated by rebels or other people from different parts of the world who believed in good morals.

 

The Hobbit

by Joseph S  | Category: Reading Lounge
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The Hobbit cover imageThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is a classic high fantasy tale and serves as one of the greatest books of all time. Known by almost everybody, the book serves as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings series.

The story is about Bilbo Baggins, a friendly but boring Hobbit living in the Shire. Hobbits are small humanoid creatures, only about 3 feet tall, that love food and peace. One day, Bilbo’s life is changed forever after a visit by a great wizard, Gandalf the Grey. Gandalf leads 12 dwarves to Bilbo’s small home and they whisk him away on a quest to find the dragon Smaug and steal his treasure.

Along the way, Bilbo encounters many dangers and perils, and has to rely on his wits and the help of his new friends to make it through the challenges. When the company is being chased by trolls, Bilbo encounters a strange creature named Gollum, who holds a ring that he has sacred to him. To escape Gollum, Bilbo steals the ring, which makes the wearer invisible, and escapes. Eventually, the company finds Smaug’s layer and has to battle the dragon. But that’s nothing compared to the Battle of Five Armies the world has to endure at the climax of the book.

This is one of my favourite books because it’s such a classic and it’s such a good book. It has action, adventure, suspense, and most importantly, it’s very intriguing. The main theme is definitely going into the unknown, and how even though there may be unexpected twists and turns along the way, it is important to keep going no matter what. It also teaches how far courage goes in life, and how we need it to experience new things. Also, that friendship is very important, as seen when Bilbo and the dwarves start to like one another.

And as Mark Twain once said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.”

The Sky is Falling

by Kasia  | Category: Reading Lounge
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The novel The Sky is Falling by Kit Pearson takes place in a lot of different locations. The book begins when one of the Nazi’s planes crash in a field where the main character Norah and her brother lived. As soon as they discover it, Norah and her brother Gavin are immediately shipped off by their parents from England as a war guest as their parents though their home was soon going to become a battlefield. When they arrive in Canada, Gavin is accepted into a family, but the social workers didn’t want to separate the siblings. So after a handful of begging and compromising, Norah is also taken in. Norah immediately hates Canada and dreams of returning to England to see her parents. Especially since she had gone from the intelligent popular girl that people looked up to at school in England, to a lonely “nobody” at school in Canada. Additionally, her new guardians are very demanding of her since she is the old sibling. Norah must find way to deal with her new life and still keep in touch with her family in Europe.

Unlike many novels revolved around war, Kit Pearson wrote the book in a very unique way. It allows readers to see a different perspective of the war from a young child’s mind. A mind that is carefree and full of innocence. And it’s not only about the thoughts on the battling or peace, but also how it affects its victims mentally. I recommend this book to those who enjoy reading historical fiction. Although it is a novel, it may spark new questions on what actually happened in the war in real life. Also, I would recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed any of the stories written by Kit Pearson as her books are very similar in terms of the plot.

Eleanor and Park

by Teresa  | Category: Blog for Hours, Reading Lounge
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“This is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.” -Eleanor and Park.

Eleanor and Park is a New York Times best seller written by Rainbow Rowell. It stars our main character Eleanor, who’s recently moved to a new town with her mother, her four siblings and her horrible stepfather. On her first day of school, she sits beside Park, a green-eyed half Korean boy and the only one that doesn’t make fun of her. They become fast friends soon, through comic books and music until they realize they are in love. They start dating and suddenly it feels as if they don’t have a care in the world, and they only need each other, but the feeling ends quickly with Eleanor’s family problems at home, all surrounding her stepfather that she continues to wish is just temporary. But Park sticks by Eleanor for as long as can, just so he can be there for her.

Eleanor and Park is, hands down, my favourite realistic fiction/contemporary book. It shows the unlikeliness of staying with your first love, real life family problems and of course, there is heartbreak. It makes a point of showing that girls aren’t perfect in how they look, in fact they never are, and that guys can wear eyeliner if they want and in fact, they’ll look great it in. It makes readers realize things are never perfect like other realistic fiction books portray them as, and book characters might have as many issues as you do in life.

I would recommend Eleanor and Park to people that loved The Fault In Our Stars. I found Eleanor and Park way more heartbreaking even though it had less casualties, Rainbow Rowell makes readers fall in love with the characters and their relationship only to make you add to your list of “fictional characters to cry about.” So if you liked The Fault In Our Stars I think you’ll definitely love Eleanor and Park.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)

by Teresa  | Category: Blog for Hours, Reading Lounge
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cover imageThrone of Glass of the first book in the Throne of Glass series and is written by Sarah J. Maas. Celaena Sardothien is an 18 year old known has Ardalan’s assassin who has been convicted for her crimes and has been serving in Endovier salt mines for the past year. However, when the king of Ardalan has a competition to find a royal assassin to be his Champion, Crown Prince Dorian sponsors Celaena as all members of the king’s council are to sponsor someone. She agrees because if she serves the king for three years, after that she will be granted her freedom. Since she was always an anonymous assassin, everyone is surprised to find out Celaena is a teenaged girl to be in the competition against many male thieves and assassins. To hide her identity from the rest of the people in the castle, she takes the name Lillian Gordaina and pretends to be a lady visiting Dorian. However, most of the time she is training with the captain of the guard, Dorian’s long time friend, Captain Chaol Westfall or befriending the princess of Eyllwe, Nehemia Ytger. But soon, some of the other contestants are being found dead one by one, killed by an unknown source. Celaena is determined to find out who the killer is before she becomes a victim but the more she finds out the more mysteries she uncovers about the castle, and her friends including Dorian and Nehemia.

Throne of Glass was recommenced to me by a close friend, and once I started reading I was hooked. Celaena is an amazing character with her fierce personality in which she catches the interest of both Crown Prince Dorian and Captain Chaol Westfall. Throne of Glass has an awesome plot with twist and turns at each corner in the amazing world Sarah J. Maas has created.

I would recommend Throne of Glass to mystery fans and fantasy fans, and maybe fans of the Hunger Games too though at the same time is quite different from most dystopia books. I hope that many of you will pick up Throne of Glass and love it as much as I do now, and eagerly await the next book in the series.