Review: Insurgent

Insurgent by Veronica Roth will be released in the U.S. on May 1, 2012 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by Katherine Tegen Books, the print edition is 544 pages.

Insurgent is the second book in author Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. The third book, as yet untitled, is slated for release in 2013.

Goodreads description:

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

***

Faction before blood. But what if your faction was divided? What if you didn’t know who in your faction to trust? What if you couldn’t be the person your faction needed you to be? What if you chose wrong?

Everything is falling apart. One faction is divided, one faction nearly destroyed, two factions undecided and one faction seeking control over them all.

Without an alliance there will be no way to fight back. Without the Divergent there will be no chance to win. Without uniting with someone thought to be your enemy there will be no chance to be Insurgent.

And without trust everything will be lost.

But how can you fight an enemy when they can render you powerless in an instant? How can you admit to being Divergent when everything in you screams to keep it secret? How do you fight alongside strangers when you don’t know what they’re fighting for?

And how do you trust someone else, even someone you care about, when you can’t even trust yourself?

***

A highly anticipated sequel, Insurgent will not disappoint. This electrifying and absolutely riveting second book in author Veronica Roth’s incredibly imaginative dystopian series is suspenseful and action-packed with a lightning fast pace that will make this five hundred plus pages story fly.

Right from the start, readers will be catapulted back into this world of factions and the factionless. Where the struggle for power pits faction against faction, turning allies into enemies and forcing everyone to choose a side. To a world where the wrong choice could be deadly. Where no one is safe. And where being Divergent may just be the only hope for survival.

After the attack that left so many dead – many who she knew, several who she cared about – Tris is still in shock and struggling to come to grips with everything that happened and everything she was forced to do to survive. But the war isn’t over. The factions are still in disarray. And the fight for control is still being waged.

No longer sure who she can trust, not even sure if she can trust herself, Tris is forced into hiding until Four can come up with a plan. But unless they are able to gather enough forces to stand with them against their enemies, any rebellion they may incite will have no chance at victory.

With one faction in ruins and one faction divided, they will need all the help they can get. Even if it means relying on an unlikely ally whose motives are suspect. And even if it means that Tris will have to take matters into her own hands to find the answers she needs.

Author Veronica Roth has elevated her story to an entirely new stratosphere with Insurgent. The world is broader, the characters more intriguing, the action more nerve-wracking, the surprises more jaw-dropping and the love story more heartrending.

Even with as quick a pace as this story had, and with the amount of action jam-packed onto its pages, the writing retained its beauty and flow, inviting readers to connect with the characters, discover the fascinating world and uncover all of its secrets.

Full of twists and turns, heartbreak and betrayal, Insurgent is an emotional roller coaster of a read that will keep readers ensnared until the very end. And with all it promises and all it delivers, this is a sequel not to be missed.

Reviewer gives this book….

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

On a personal note:

What an unbelievably amazing, out of this world, everything you could have asked for multiplied by a million kind of sequel this was. I did not want the story to end. I wish it hadn’t ended. I could have just kept on reading for days and days.

And oh how I miss those characters. Already. I haven’t been able to pick up another book since I put Insurgent down because I don’t want to connect with any other characters than Tris and Four. I don’t want to be transported to any other world than the one in Veronica Roth’s series.

I am going to have to re-read Divergent and then Insurgent again when it releases next week because I won’t be able to get this story out of my head unless I re-read it. And possibly read it once more after that.

I loved Divergent. And I mean loved, loved it. How could I not? It was awesome. But my love for Insurgent went so far beyond that. I don’t know if it was the fact that I was so wary about Divergent because of the hype when I picked it up or if I just felt pressured because I was rushed to finish it on time, but I didn’t make a connection to that first book in the series anything like the one I made to this second book.

This sequel had everything. And I mean everything I could want in a book. There was a ton of action. I don’t think the characters had a moment to breathe. I know I didn’t. The pace was insanely fast. The pages were practically turning themselves they were flying by so quickly. The emotional roller coaster I was on nearly killed me. From heartbroken to hopeful, from elated to devastated, from anxious to relieved, I was all over the place. Up. Down. Sideways.

And then there was the suspense. It kept me on edge for the entire book. I could barely fight off the urge to turn to the last chapter to hopefully find just a tiny bit of relief. Just. Barely. Resisted.

I had no idea what to expect for most of the read. I didn’t know what was real and what wasn’t. I didn’t know who would survive and who wouldn’t. I didn’t know if each and every moment Tris spent with another character would be the last moment she spent with them. I didn’t know who to trust. I didn’t know who or what to believe. Practically everything was a surprise. And it was absolutely, deliciously tormenting.

I was hooked from the moment I picked up this book. Putting it down for even a second was pure agony. Everything that happened made me want to know what would happen next. There was no obvious place to pause. And I didn’t want to.

I loved everything about this book. I loved what happened in the beginning. Then there was all that stuff that happened in the middle. And I can’t forget about that ending. Oh my gosh that ending. I loved all of it. Of course, I can’t talk about any of it because that would spoil everything. And I wouldn’t want to do that.

But I can talk about my two favorite characters in this series.

I didn’t think I could love Four more than I did in Divergent, but I did. Even though he was maddeningly frustrating at times. He was the hero. He was the protector. He was the voice of reason. He was quiet, calm and strong. He was willing to do what needed to be done. For his faction, for the people who relied on him, but mostly for Tris.

And while I definitely considered him the good guy, when he wanted to be, he could be absolutely lethal. Which made him an unpredictable but incredibly entertaining character and the perfect match for Tris.

Tris, who is becoming one of my very favorite heroines. I absolutely adored her in Insurgent. Even though she was just as frustrating as Four was. Maybe more so. She was reckless and stubborn and secretive. She could hardly be trusted. But she was also strong and smart and brave and fragile and wounded.

With everything that happened and continued to happen to her and around her, she was never truly defeated. Because whether she knew it or not, she was a fighter. And because of that I rooted for her every single step of the way.

Insurgent was so off-the-charts good I don’t even have a rating that will do it justice. As someone who does not always connect to books with a dystopian setting, I fell head-over-heels-and-back-again in love with this book. And I have no clue how I will be able to suffer the year-long wait for the third book in this series.

***

I have so many favorite passages in this book. They number in the double-digits. There are the sexy ones, the heartbreaking ones, the nerve-wracking ones and the shocking ones, most of which I think should be discovered within the story.

But I couldn’t narrow it down to just one. And so I chose two. This one, which I found to be incredibly meaningful:

People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them.

And this one, which is absolutely, achingly tormenting:

“What else do you want me to say?”

He just shakes his head. “Nothing, Tris. Nothing.”

I watch him walk away. I feel like a space has opened up within me, expanding so rapidly it will break me apart.

***

Book trailer for Insurgent:

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This review is based on an ARC I borrowed from another blogger.

My Reading Pile #58

I only received one book this week – though I didn’t check the mail on Friday – and it’s only in my hands temporarily. But it’s such an amazing book that I just had to share it. Plus, it is at the top of the pile this week, so I couldn’t just sneak it on past.

As I am sharing what I received in my mailbox this week, I’m giving credit to Kristi at The Story Siren who came up with the idea of sharing what’s in her mailbox each week.

 

The amazing Jaime from Two Chicks On Books was so generous and shared with me her copy of Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Which I’ve already started to read. While it’s only just over a week until release date, getting a chance to read this book early is so amazingly awesome.

Especially since I haven’t had the long wait that some have had since they read Divergent. That is one book that is still fresh in my mind since I read it at the very end of 2011.

And while I will be sending this one back to her, I have my eBook pre-ordered so that I can read it again and again and again. Which I just know I’ll be doing after hearing how awesome this sequel is. And this time I do believe the hype.

So, yes this lone book from my mailbox is one of the books on the pile this week, but I do have another one I plan on reading….

Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

(April 22 – April 28 2012)

***

First up on the pile is Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I am taking full advantage of the chance to read this one early. Even though it’s just a tiny bit early. In fact, I’ll probably be finished with it before I’m technically supposed to be starting this week’s pile.

But I loved Divergent and I can’t wait to see just what is going to happen next with the factions, with Tris and Four. All the buzz with the publisher’s online promotion has made me super anxious to read this next book in the series and from hearing the chatter, Insurgent is even more amazing than its predecessor.

I am anxious about the impending war, I’m dying to know just what secrets will come out and curious to see what sides will be chosen. And in just a few hours I hope to have all those answers. Though I’m nervous about what Tris may end up losing. Especially when the description does mention heartbreak.

Next up on the pile is Endlessly by Kiersten White. I received a copy through a trade last week and I’ve been absolutely dying to read it. This is one series finale that I don’t have any dread about devouring.

I can’t wait to find out what happens with the war between the faerie courts. I am super curious to see just what happens with Evie, Lend and Reth. And if the story is full of “suspense” and “unexpected twists” as the description promises, then I really can’t wait to be tied up in knots trying to puzzle out just how this story will end.

I have missed Evie’s sarcastic sense of humor. I miss Tasey. And I am happy and sad to see them this last time in this much anticipated series ending book.

Wishful Thinking reads:

I would love to read Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. It sounds seriously creepy and wildly entertaining. Why? Zombies. An army of zombies to be exact.

I haven’t read too many books about zombies but I’ve seen more than my fair share of films about them. And I would love to dive into this upcoming book and see whether the Spirit-Hunters are able to keep the zombies out of Philadelphia, whether they do in fact have Eleanor’s brother and whether a love story develops between Eleanor and the swoon-worthy Daniel.

Those left behind:

I actually read both books from last week’s pile. And did manage to write a couple reviews, though I am still behind on a few. I still need to read The Girl Who Was On Fire, but I plan on doing that just as soon as I finish Insurgent. I just felt the need to read the entire Hunger Games trilogy first.

I also hope to sneak in Shine later this week, but that is one of the series-ending books I’m nervous about. I’ve already heard chatter about one of my favorite characters in the series, so I’m approaching that last book expecting to have my heart broken. I just hope I can muster up the courage to do so this week.

NetGalley Pile Adds:

I have steered clear of NetGalley this week, though I plan on adding one of my NetGalley reads to the pile next week. I just hope when I go to grab it I don’t end up taking a look around at some of the other books on offer.

But at least this week I’ve been good.

***

I still feel bad for not catching up on all my reviews, but I did write a few reviews and a book thoughts post this week. So I don’t feel as guilty as I did last week. I’ve just been enjoying simply reading the books I love without the immediate need to review them. It’s a hard habit to break.

I can’t wait for May to begin because I plan on taking a few months to catch up on overdue reads and reviews and adding in quite a few “me” reads. I have only accepted a few books for review, two of which would have been on my pile no matter what, so it’s nice after so long to finally have that chance.

Anyway, I hope this week’s mailbox has been amazing and that you have some awesome books on the pile. Happy reading!

***

Do you create a reading pile?

If so, what’s in your pile this week?

I Choose Team Erudite

After much back and forth, yesterday I came to a decision. And that was to pledge my support to TEAM ERUDITE. While my closest blogger friends are on Team Candor, I never really felt that connected to that faction. Not that I don’t believe in honesty, I just tend to be a bit more private with my opinions.

And while Team Dauntless has an amazing group of supporters, and the choosing ceremony labeled me as Dauntless – YES! – I feel that they are the faction to beat. And as some of you know, I tend to favor the underdog.

Though it is my proclivity to choose the tougher path, that still wasn’t enough for me to commit to TEAM ERUDITE. It was actually the slogan I saw on Bookalicous’ Blog – Reading is Sexy – that won me over.

Reading is most definitely sexy. I have always believed that to be true. There is nothing sexier than someone seeking to educate themselves. And the Erudite are all about learning. So, it seemed like the perfect faction for me.

THE PERKS

While I chose TEAM ERUDITE simply to help support this awesome faction and am not looking for any of the perks, there are actually quite a few amazing perks for joining in and showing your support.

Check out this post on Bookalicious.org – Announcing the Erudite Faction, Erudite Facts and Giveaway! – for what you can enter to win and how you can show your support.

And check out this post on Bookalicious.org – Join the Erudite! – for how you can join and what you other amazing prizes you can win.

See? Those are some seriously amazing prizes!

THE TEAM

The faction leader for TEAM ERUDITE is Pam of Bookalicious. Follow her on TWITTER if you want any up-to-the-minute news about TEAM ERUDITE.

But she’s not the only one helping to support the team! There are nine other amazing blogs that were chosen to represent TEAM ERUDITE. Be sure to check them out for posts and other news!

Book Chic
Book Twirps
The Bookanistas
Read Breathe Relax
Reading Lark
Strangemore
Book Swarm
The Non Reluctant Reader
YA-Sisterhood

You can also find the latest news on the Erudite Faction News tumblr blog – HERE.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!

By tweeting using the combined hashtags – #TeamErudite #DivergentNation – you can help get TEAM ERUDITE one step closer to victory.

And by clicking on this link each day of the event – http://bit.ly/choose_erudite –  which takes you to the Insurgent page on publisher’s website, it will tell the publisher that you support this faction. (Clicking any of the images in this post will also take you to that page.)

And if you want to show even more support for TEAM ERUDITE, be sure to tweet the link each day, with the combined hashtags asking others to help support your faction.

THE BOOK

Insurgent, the second book in the series by author Veronica Roth, will be released on May 1st. If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Divergent, it is one you won’t want to miss. And now’s the perfect time to start because, for those of us who have read it, the wait has been absolutely torturous.


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Goodreads description:

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

***

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The description states that one choice can either transform or destroy you. So choose TEAM ERUDITE to be transformed…or if not transformed, then at least have the chance win some amazing prizes!

The Crush List #7

Here are five books that I’m crushing on big time

Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent is a brand new crush and one that I never imagined having. I’m not one who easily gets attached to new characters in a series as I typically give my heart only to the first characters I meet. But Kori and Ian changed everything.

And while I may have read this book a month ago, I can’t stop thinking about it, it is still holding me captive and my crush is worse than ever.

Why I’m crushing: It’s dark, it’s seductive, it’s dangerous, it’s heartbreaking. It’s sarcastic, it’s funny, it’s beautiful, it’s devastating. There’s unbelievable chemistry. There’s incredible strength. There are moments that are breathtakingly poetic.

And oh that tension. It will make you sigh. It will make you grin. It will make you sigh some more. Your heart will take up permanent residence in your throat. It will leave you breathless… And that’s all before you even get near that ending.

Divergent by Veronica Roth is a new crush that should have been an old one. The guilt of not having been crushing on this book for as long as I should have been is just eating me away.

I didn’t think I’d be crushed by this book. I didn’t really believe the hype. Well, my hesitation cost me big time and now I’m suffering a brand new crush where my crush should have been an older, less painful one by now.

Why I’m crushing: The unknown. The danger. The world. The possibilities. And the tantalizing thrill of it all. The characters – intriguing, inspiring, heartbreaking. The action – riveting and exciting. And a lead up to an unforgettable ending that will leave you wanting more, more, more. And definitely some more after that.

But it’s Tris, the amazingly brave heroine, and Four, the undeniably swoon-worthy hero, that will make this crush nearly impossible to recover from.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer is another totally unexpected new crush. I do not crush on fairytales. I rarely crush on science fiction. I certainly do not develop crushes on stories that have both…. until now.

But there is just something so endearing about Cinder and something so magical about Kai that made this not quite so happily ever after fairytale one that has crushed me big time.

Why I’m crushing: It’s incredibly sweet. It’s equally chilling. The world is dark, deadly and disturbing. The lovable characters will make you laugh, they’ll make you smile and they will make you cry. And those that aren’t quite so easy to love will make you nervous, make you angry and keep you guessing.

There is a mystery. The story has twists and turns. And this is one fairytale that does not end quite like the original.

Death Sentence by Alexander Gordon Smith is a completely anticipated and much welcomed crush on a series I’ve been crushing on for ages… okay, months. This crush just feels like a crush I’ve had forever.

And while it may not be such an old crush, it will be one day, because this book and series are already counted among my forever crushes. Even if I wanted to, I will never in this lifetime be able to rid my memories of the horrors implanted there courtesy of Alfred Furnace and Warden Cross.

Why I’m crushing: Devastation. Unbelievable heartbreak. Despair. Anguish. Horror…. Bone-chilling horror. And that’s only in the first few pages. It’s darker. It’s scarier. It’s way more gruesome. It’s downright evil. And it’s not afraid to end badly. Very, very badly.

It may make you panic. It may make you cry. But it is certain to leave you shivering and looking over your shoulder to make sure a berserker isn’t coming after you.

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand is a new crush on an existing series crush that I’ve had ever since I read Unearthly. I thought I’d been crushing on this series pretty badly. But that was before I read Hallowed.

Now my crush has grown by leaps and bounds and has turned into one of those crushes that knocks the wind out of me every single time I think about it. And due to the fact that not only did this book make me cry, it made me sob, Hallowed may be moving to Heartbreak Row very, very soon.

Why I’m crushing: Breathtaking and beautiful and incredibly sad. Surprising and suspenseful and wonderfully twisty-turny. Christian… definitely Christian. And Tucker, too.

But of the many things to crush on in Hallowed, it’s the loss, the heartbreak and the inability to do anything to change what’s meant to be that makes this a crush that will be felt for years to come.

***

Because I missed this post in January, I’m catching up on some of my older crushes before I get to my latest crushes. And yes, I’m still crushing on all of these books – I’m no short-term crush kind of girl!

I already have my next five crushes picked out from the books I’ve read so far in 2012, some of whom were clamoring to be included in this post. But they’ll just have to wait their turn.

As I stare at my latest pile of “to be read” books, I just know already that there are quite a few that will be crushworthy and I’m just dying to start crushing on them now. I absolutely love developing new crushes.

But not to worry. It doesn’t matter how many crushes I have on the books I love, because there will always be room for more. Always.

Do you crush on books?

What makes a book crushworthy for you?

The Extras: The Teasers #10

There are so many amazing books out there – released or soon-to-be-released – that have certain passages that just captivate.

Here are just a few of those that caught my attention in the past couple of months.

Of course there were two books that I read in the past month that I would love to tease, but because both aren’t close to release I can’t quote from them.

***

I could easily tease ten or more amazing passages from Divergent that just stuck with me. I included one of my favorites with my review, but it wasn’t my absolute favorite.

I actually do have one of those, but as I said then, it has to be read in context so I won’t tease it here.

But this one makes my breath hitch just a little….

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Tris about Four…

His straight eyebrows are drawn low over his eyes. My stomach writhes, partly because I know he makes a good point but I don’t want to admit it, and partly because I want something I don’t know how to express; I want to press against the space between us until it disappears.

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And this one stops me from breathing altogether….

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Tris about Four…

It isn’t the height that scares me–the height makes me feel alive with energy, every organ and vessel and muscle in my body singing at the same pitch.

Then I realize what it is. It’s him. Something about him makes me feel like I am about to fall. Or turn to liquid. Or burst into flames.

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For such a dark book there were surprisingly quite a few gorgeous passages in Hushed that created these beautiful moments amidst the darkness and violence.

I chose one of my favorites to include with my review, but I just knew I’d be including at least one more for this post.

It was a tough choice, but once again I went with a beautiful passage rather than a dark one.

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Archer and Evan…

Archer’s vision blurred. The damned tremors found their way back into his hands, and he curled them tightly against his own chest. Evan’s forehead touched his. So close, they were sharing breath. “I can’t stand it when you look at me like that,” Evan whispered.

Archer curled his hands tighter, nails biting into his palms. “Like what?”

“Like your heart is breaking.”

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On a Dark Wing is another book that had so many amazing passages and quotes to choose from. I don’t know how many I flagged, but they take up nearly two pages of my typed review notes.

There is one that I really want to tease, but I won’t. While it’s not spoiler-y, it is important to the story and should be discovered during the read, not outside of it.

And while I chose a passage about Nate for my review, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tease a quote this time. And to be just a bit cruel, I won’t reveal who the speaker is.

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… to Abbey

“I want you to know. The time I’ve spent with you has meant everything to me. Whether I face an eternity of nothing or it all ends tonight…” He looked up from the fire and fixed his beautiful blue eyes on me. “You were worth the risk, Abbey.”

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I love teasing passages from Alexander Gordon Smith’s Escape from Furnace series. There are so many chilling ones to choose from, and Death Sentence is most definitely not the exception.

I chose to tease one about Alex’s encounter with the warden in my review, but I saved this longer passage specifically for this post.

And yes, the last (and best) two sentences are missing from this. This is a teaser after all.

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Alex’s thoughts…

And then he was gone. With no hand to block it, the floodgates opened once again and the mayhem cascaded into my head. I fought it, I fought to remember who I was and what had happened to me. But the film on-screen was a tide of violence that consumed me, and as I drowned in the endless parade of bloodlettings and bruisings I realized I could no longer remember what I looked like. 

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There are just so many stunning and beautiful and heartbreaking passages in Everneath, though most of them are spoiler-y and can’t be teased. I mean really, really spoiler-y.

And while I did tease a passage in my last Teasers post it was the same one I included with my review. So I think it’s more than fair that I get to tease another one. Especially since I did read Everneath a second time in early December, well within the timeframe for the reads for this post.

And while this one could be considered a spoiler, since I won’t say who said it or who it’s about, I think it’s perfectly safe.

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…to Nikki…

“Trust me, Becks. I know exactly what loving you looks like on a person. And he loves you.”

My face went warm and I looked away.

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Cinder is filled with so many quotes and passages that just made me grin. Even a few that made me laugh out loud. But my favorite passages and quotes were those between Kai and Cinder.

And if I could have teased this entire scene I would. But then it wouldn’t really be much of a teaser, would it?

So I decided to take a few sentences from right in the middle. To find out what comes before and what comes after? Well, I will say that it’s in the book, just waiting to be read.

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Kai and Cinder…

Her body simultaneously yearned to close the gap between them and push him away. The anticipation that warmed her lips made it impossible to do either. “Your Highness?”

She tilted her face toward him, the subtlest of movements. She listened to his wavering breath and this time, it was his eyes dropping to her lips.

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Somewhere during the month of December I managed to sneak in another read of Shattered Souls and was reminded again of just how many things I loved about this book. Especially Lenzi’s thoughts.

I did tease a nice long passage months ago in my Teasers post after I first read it and a shorter one was included with my review. But, because there were just so many passages and quotes that I noted, of course I found one more to tease.

And yes, even this one has a touch of sarcasm mixed in.

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Lenzi and Alden…

I loosened my grip and shifted so that I faced him. I’d never felt this charged and confident. The resolution was a huge rush, and my strange, unearthly attraction to him was more than I could resist. I entwined my fingers in Alden’s thick, silky hair, and before I thought through what I was doing, I kissed him on his gorgeous mouth. Not a gentle kiss, either.

To my astonishment, he laughed. I pulled back, mortified.

“Well, you wanted to be friends,” he said, eyes twinkling. “That was friendly, I suppose.”

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One of my more recent reads was Hallowed, so all my favorite passages and quotes are fresh in my mind. So much so that I still tear up when I think of them. Though I didn’t include one of those heartbreaking passages along with my review, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to include one here.

And while I couldn’t tease any of my most favorite heartbreaking ones, as they are completely spoiler-y, there were plenty I loved that weren’t quite so revealing.

Ones like this one…

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Clara about Tucker:

I pick a seat way in the back of the bleachers. I shouldn’t be here, I know, shouldn’t be away from home right now, when no one else knows where I am. But I want to see Tucker. Part of me thinks that if I can just lay eyes on him, I’ll find myself again. I’ll know.

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And although I’ve been trying to fight the urge not to tease my favorite non-heartbreaking one, I think I might have lost that battle. But to be fair, I’m only revealing just a few lines from this five paragraph scene that just makes me melt.

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Clara and…

I stop. We’re both breathing heavy, snow clinging to our hair, melting on our clothes. I stare down at him. Snow floats around us….

He sucks in his bottom lip for a second, the quickest, tiniest motion, to moisten it.

All I would have to do is close my eyes and let go.

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***

Once again I decided to stop after teasing just eight books. While I have a few more reads with passages that will definitely tease, I’ll save those for the next time. And since I have been reading more books lately, I’m sure my next teasers post will be sooner rather than later.

While these teasers may not all be my absolute favorite passages from each book, they are passages that I love, love, love. And if I were to reveal those favorites here, I think I’d be ruining the very best parts of the story. And that wouldn’t be a tease. That would be just mean.

Review: Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth was released in the U.S. on May 3, 2011 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins, the print edition is 496 pages.

Divergent is the first book in a new planned trilogy by author Veronica Roth. Insurgent, the second book in the series is slated for release on May 1, 2012 and is available to pre-order in hardcover or eBook formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Divergent is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

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Goodreads description:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

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Beatrice Prior was born into a faction that required selflessness. One that required putting the needs of others in front of her own. One that demanded silence when she would have rather spoken and inaction when she would rather have taken it.

But being part of one faction didn’t mean staying a part of it. And at sixteen, the choice would be hers. Remain with her family and the faction she was born into, or leave them all behind and embrace something new.

And while Beatrice wasn’t selfish, she’d never really fit into her family’s faction, and she knew she’d never be able to always put others first.

So she chose.

To leave her home. To say goodbye to her family. To take the risk that her new faction might not be the right one. And to face the very real possibility that she could become factionless if she failed the initiation. Or that she just might not even survive.

***

Divergent is the incredibly imaginative, beautifully written and completely captivating first book in author Veronica Roth’s new series set in a dystopian Chicago. Filled with heart-stopping action, danger and suspense from cover to cover, it is unputdownable.

This story immediately grabs, introducing readers to this society which separates itself from the outside world and further divides itself up into five very different factions of like-minded people – Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite. The hope is to create balance, equality and keep the peace. The reality is something much different.

As the main character, Beatrice Prior, reinvents herself as Tris and tries to fit into her new world, she quickly learns that just because she wants a new start doesn’t mean that she’s ready to let go of everything from her past. And that being a part of it doesn’t mean she has to.

But if she thought that choosing her new faction and leaving her family behind would be her toughest challenge, she’d have been wrong. Because choosing a faction offered no guarantee she’d become a part of it. And with a limited number of initiates who pass, the competition is fierce. Deadly even.

Even more so for her. Because Tris has a secret. A secret she must keep hidden as she faces each round of the initiation. A secret she can’t reveal, not even to the boy who seems familiar to her, who seems to know her better than anyone and who seems to be on her side.

Because the secret she’s keeping is dangerous. And the price she’d pay for its discovery could be her life.

Author Veronica Roth has created an utterly riveting start to this series in Divergent. For a book that is nearly five hundred pages, the pace is lightning fast. The action is non-stop, the characters are easy to connect with, the society is as intriguing as it is disturbing, and the plot propels readers further and further into its depths.

For fans of books with a strong, likable and relatable heroine, an exciting, danger-filled and action-packed plot, a society on the verge of upheaval and a hero with secrets of his own who is fascinating and mysterious, then Divergent is an absolute must read.

Reviewer gives this book…

On a personal note:

What an unbelievably amazing book this was. I expected something so totally different than what it actually was. I imagined it would be this cold, clinical dystopian society. Something that felt very alien and difficult for me to connect with. It’s why it took so long for me to start reading it, even though it caught my eye over a year ago.

I thought the idea was absolutely intriguing, but thought that I couldn’t fall in love with a story that hinted of societal unrest and talked of warring factions and initiations. And I never imagined I could ever like, let alone love, a boy named after a number. Oh how wrong I was.

This story was so enchanting and it was just so easy to get caught up in this world. From the second I read the first paragraph I was hooked. I could not stop reading it, until I was forced to. And the second I could return to the story I did.

I couldn’t wait to get back into this world, to see just what Tris would be faced with next. And to learn all I could about this mysterious boy, Four.

I fell in love with the characters almost instantly after meeting them. Well, the lovable ones anyway. Tris especially. Four, definitely. But it was Tris I connected with the most. As much as I loved Four, it was nice to see a heroine be the strong one, to be the amazing one.

I found myself sighing, a lot, when reading the scenes with Tris and Four. I found myself tearing up when certain heartbreaking events came to pass. I did not expect to be so emotionally connected to this story. But I was.

This story felt so incredibly real. Which is not typical of a dystopian, for me. The characters, too, felt very real. The sacrifices made, the loses endured and the issues they faced were believable and scary and chilling, but true to life and refreshingly realistic.

I loved the fact that Tris’s friends weren’t insta-friends. That they did turn against her and weren’t always in her corner. That they felt jealous and selfish and petty and envious.

And I loved that the relationship between Tris and Four was also not an immediate one…. I won’t talk any more about what I love about the two of them, because that paragraph would be a complete spoiler.

While there were a few guesses that I made correctly, there were a few unexpected surprises. The biggest of course being how much I loved this book. And now, along with the rest of the universe, I am dying to read the next one.

I cannot wait to find out where this series is headed. Though the title of the next book gives me some idea. I am almost glad I waited until now to read this first book, because the wait until Insurgent is so much shorter. I feel kind of lucky, actually.

One thing is certain, though. I will not be waiting seven months to read Insurgent. I read Divergent ten days ago and I already miss Tris and Four. That sequel will be read on release date. No question.

***

I have a favorite passage. It’s actually an amazing quote by Four. But because I think it’s best discovered in context, I will not reveal it here. There are so many beautiful passages that made me sigh, but as I can only reveal one here, I choose…

I have only one memory of getting here, and even that is just a single image: black ink curling around the side of a neck, the corner of a tattoo, and the gentle sway that could only mean he was carrying me.

To get a nice long look inside Divergent courtesy of the publisher, CLICK HERE.

Book trailer for Divergent:

Top 10 Books I’ve Read in 2011

Today is the first day of Top 10 of 2011.

Top 10: A Week of Looking Back….
                                ………and Looking Forward.

If you haven’t yet signed up, there’s still time to participate. Just click on the banner above to read the details in the original post and sign up with the Linky.

I was so excited to be invited by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound By Books to co-host this event along with my very best blogger friends Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books.

Of course I didn’t really think about what this would entail. Especially as I’m not someone who’s really very good at putting together top ten lists. This post has caused me sleepless nights – yes, it’s true – and took over four hours to actually pull together.

I don’t really think of books in order of most favorite to least favorite, they’re either favorites or they’re not. So, this was definitely a challenging way to end the year.

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Today’s topic, “Top 10 Books I’ve Read in 2011” was the hardest for me. It was so tough for me to pick, that I decided to cheat the system.

Forget about honorable mentions, I’ve created two lists – Top 10 Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011 and Top 10 Non-Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011.

Not that it made it much easier, but there was just no way I could narrow it to only ten. I’ve listed my Top 10 Debut Books below and my Top 10 Non-Debut Books will be revealed in my post on Fiktshun’s Ramblings tomorrow for the Top 10 Tuesdays meme I participate in on that blog.

While there are a few books that I absolutely loved, that are top-of-my-list favorites like Angelfire, Unearthly and Delirium, apparently I read all of those in 2010 and can’t list them in either post.

So, here is my attempt at narrowing my list of favorite debut books down to just ten….

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Top 10 Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011

1.

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

If anyone didn’t guess I’d pick A Touch Mortal as my number one debut book I’ve read in 2011 then they really don’t know me too well. I think I’ve talked about this book endlessly. I’ve read it umpteen times. Yes, that is a word and umpteen is just how many times I’ve read it.

2.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

This book slaughtered me with its awesomeness. I was not able to instantly recover after reading it. So I had to read it again. And it killed me. Again. I listed it as my number two book, because it’s still clinging to me. Making my heart ache.

3.

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

You may have heard me ramble on and on about my love for this book and its jaw-dropping ending. If you haven’t, then we just met this past few months. Because I could talk of little else but this book from the moment it landed in my mailbox until months after I’d read it. Seriously kick-a**.

4.

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

I fell so in love with this book earlier in the year when I read it. It has turned me into a slightly obsessed Jennifer Armentrout fan. And she has many of those. Well, I am one of them. Half-Blood is amazing and her heroine Alex is seriously awesome. Of course Aiden is no slouch either. Yum.

5.

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

Yes, this is a 2012 release, but I’ve read it in 2011 so I have to list it here, even if I haven’t yet reviewed it. This is another book that clings to me. I cannot even think about some of the passages in this book without it feeling like my heart is being squeezed. And so, there was no way Everneath would be left off my list of top 10’s this year.

6.

Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

I live in torment awaiting the sequel to Witch Eyes. I want to head back to Belle Dame, okay not in reality because that place is seriously dangerous, but as it exists for me as a reader. I want to get enveloped once more in the beautiful writing, find out who has demon eyes and see just what sorts of hell the author will put Braden and Trey through in book two.

7.

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

How could a book full of snark, sarcasm and beauty not make my top ten list? It couldn’t. This book is gorgeous from its cover to its story to its characters. Lenzi is all sorts of amazing. I don’t think I smiled or laughed out loud – yes, it’s not just an expression – when reading a book quite as often as I did while reading Shattered Souls. Talk about a great character and story to connect to.

8.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

I am still asking myself what’s wrong with me. This was on my original DAC list for the year and I only read it this past week. This book was, is and always will be full of win. I love the world – not that I’d want to live there – and I love Tris. Yes, everyone goes on and on about Four, but Tris is so much more awesome than he is. It’s really nice to meet a super strong heroine that gets to take center stage instead of the boy every so often.

9.

Die for Me by Amy Plum

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

Who knew I could love beings, aside from vampires, that weren’t exactly alive? I didn’t. Revenants are so much sexier than zombies. And Jules and Vincent are two of my very favorite revenants. I haven’t been able to get this story – but even more so its characters – out of my mind since I read it those many, many months ago. And I’ve been dying for the sequel ever since.

10.

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

Oooh, I loved this book. I loved the gods and goddesses and loved the promise of what is still to come in Dreamless. The ending – as is the case with most of my favorites – has left me in torment. I can’t wait to read more. I read this book three times this year and loved it each and every time.

***

If I could pick just two more books they would have to be Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton and Dead Rules by Randy Russell. Oh I hate all things ten. I really do.

If you’d like to see what my Top 10 Non-Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011 are, head over to Fiktshun’s Ramblings tomorrow.

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This event runs through Friday, and each day I will be posting a different list of top ten favorites. Tomorrow’s topic will be Top 10 Book Covers of 2011, which will be a much easier list to come up with, though sorting them is an entirely different matter…. (And, no. I did not create tomorrow’s list yet.)

If you’d like to see what the rest of the topics will be, check out the original post or the update post for more details.

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NOTE: this is the SAME Linky on each of the Co-hosts Blogs, so please only enter your Name, Blog Name and the URL for YOUR Top 10 post of the day on one blog. Thanks!