I have recently started a new teen sci-fi novel because they are an abundance of them and I might as well read them. While I do like ridicule this genre for being overdone, Quarantine by Lex Thomas is excellent so far. I haven't gotten too far in yet but I can already tell that this is going to be a grittier, more honest, and more realistic view of our teen generation in high school. The plot so far (just setting, no plot development) follows a junior in high school who used to be the football captain and own the school. After his mom died in a car wreck however, he goes into depression. This depression costs him his girlfriend, who had been cheating on him with an old teammate of his. After getting drunk at a party he violently attacks this old teammate and get thrown out of a party. School starts the next week and he now has to lead his freshman brother and help him through high school. Just as the day begins, the a bomb goes off spreading a disease killing all adults. They are quarantined.
I have not been able to find a copy of my next book I want to read so I have returned to and decided to finish Insurgent. My last blog about this book was a review that was less than positive, talking about how the plot development was rather boring. Since then the action has heated up a bit and the plot is finally moving along. Significant plot events include (no spoilers) kidnappings, sad deaths, really unexpected (and confusingly illogical) character decisions, and characters changing sides of the fight. While its nice to finally see some plot development, it seems rushed and therefore not well thought out. The decisions the characters make are terribly inconsistent with their previous actions and statements. While possible, they seem extremely improbable and therefore make the story more unbelievable. It is also distracting from the novel, as the reader tries to make sense of what happened instead of continuing reading with full comprehension. Overall I think I may just grind it out to the end just to say I did, but I highly doubt I'll try my hand and mind at the third book in the series.
Decided to reread this book a little since the movie came out recently. I always like to reread books when their respective movies come out to give me a more recent idea of the book to make my unfair judgments and criticisms over. While I have yet to see the movie, I read the book freshman year and wanted a refresher. Get it? Freshman, refresher? Anyway, this book is still an excellent perspective on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. While many war novels and movies focus on the war side of things, few go in depth about the effects of war. "American Sniper" shares the protagonist's, Chris Kyle, insight and experience with the wars affects on his family life, his relationship with his wife, and his addiction to serve. He mentions the fact that anytime after his first deployment he felt useless in the U.S. and wanted to be back over seas serving his country. While this devoted patriot is admirable, this had a alienating affect on him and his wife, and the choice was clear that he wanted to be in the fight rather than with her. The segments that she wrote are particularly insightful and honest, as she writes about her sadness and jealousy for the war, and her constant fear that she may never see him again. This is also the first book that I have read while the author was still alive and after he died. This is definitely food for thought as it gives the average U.S. citizen real appreciation for the sacrifices our troops make for our freedom. 5 stars no doubt.
This second book in the divergent series is, in my opinion worse than the first. I was never truly hooked with either book though. My main issue with Divergent was the fact that the majority of the book was creating the setting with little to no plot development until later on in the book. My problem with Insurgent is similar. While the plot development is mildly more active, it's repetitious. Every plot point is Tris and Tobias either falling less in love, which was interesting at first but the point was made long ago, or the rebel Dauntless moving from compound to compound. The writing style was also strange, with less focus on smoothness and flow and more centered around rapid, jagged timing, which was confusing and, in my experience, restricted the amount of information the reader was able to retain and feel. I eventually gave up on this book and quit 2/3 of the way through.