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Is a weekly feature here at The Hopeful Heroine where I give short and sweet reviews of books I’ve read. I don’t always have the time to sit down and do a full review for every book I read, but I still want to share my thoughts! Plus, many of these reviews are of books I read prior to staring up the blog and wish to share with you!

Up this week
[Each image will link you to the book’s Goodreads’ page]

Divergent by Veronica Roth

"In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago
world, society is divided into five
actions, each dedicated to the
cultivation of a particular virtue--
Candor (the honest), Abnegation ( the
selfless), Dauntless (the brave), 
Amnity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the
intellegent). 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 alongside her 
fellow initiates to live out the choice
they have made. Together they must
undergo extreme physical tests of 
endurance and intense psychological
simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation 
transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really 
are--and where, exactly,a romance with a sometimes fascinating,
sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But 
Tris also has secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because 
she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest 
and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect 
society,she also learns that he secret might help her save those she
loves...or it might destroy her."

                                         source: Goodreads' synopsis

Review: Divergent was the first book I read this year and I can think of no better way to have rung in 2012 than with this read. I was on my dystopian kick at the time, and boy did it give me everything I wanted from a book–crazy world, action, serious characters, suspense, & surprise. This is a read I went into almost completely blind. I had not read anything about the story, and I only had the book jacket to guide me. One part I absolutely loved about the story is that it is set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago. I absolutely love the city, and since the author is from the area, her setting was extremely realistic. Visually, it was a fabulous story–and the character merely added to that fabulousness. Though I was a fan of Katniss as a kick-butt heroine, Tris definitely tops my list. Not only is she physically capable of keeping up with the boys–but mentally, she is strong and she is the type of heroine who makes her own choices. Fate is in her hands.
Overall, Divergent is a fabulous read and as far as dystopian novels/series go, this one tops my list. If you are a fan of the genre it is a must read.
Published | Publisher: May 3rd, 2011 Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 487
Age Group | Genre: YA | Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Action, Romance

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

"Once a century, one person is chosen
for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two 
princesses, the one who has never done
anything remarkable. She can't see how
she ever will. Now, on her sixteenth 
birthday, she has become the secret 
wife of a handsome and worldly king--
a king whose country is in turmoil. A 
king who needs the chosen one, not a 
failure of a princess.
And he's not the only one who seeks her.
Savage enemies seething with dark magic
are hunting her. A daring, determined 
revolutionary thinks she could be his
savior. And he looks at her in a way
that no man has ever looked at her
before. Soon it is not just her life,
but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who
need her most. If the prophecy is
fulfilled. If she finds the power deep    
within herself. If she doesn't die young.
Most of the chosen do."

                                            Source: Goodreads' synopsis

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns was another one of those books I picked up due to hype. It has been all over the blog world this year, and so I decided to give it a try when I found it in my library. However, despite the character of Elisa, I just was not a huge fan of the story. Elisa is definitely a kick-butt heroine and she comes into her own as the story progresses, but like most women in today’s society, Elisa has some major self confidence issues and for awhile they drove me crazy. Her constant thoughts about herself  for the first part of the story were very negative, and I did not like the vibe they gave off. Eventually, she does become more positive especially as she discovers her inner heroine. The story itself was original and interesting–but there are definitely lots of religious undertones in the story. The theme-ishness of religion did not bother me, nor did I feel it hindered the story at all–I just found it very striking that it was a major 3 ratingpart of the story.
Overall, this is a decent read and a pass it on book–I never got caught up in the hype nor do I see myself rereading/teaching/discussing this story. It isn’t a bad read, and if you enjoy fantasy or kick-butt heroines, this is probably a read for you.
Published | Publisher: September 1st, 2011 | Greenwillow
Pages: 424
Age Group | Genre: YA | Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

Hopeful Reading!