Thursday, June 19, 2014

Reading in 2014; A Long Way Down & Divergent

Earlier this year, I committed to a 2014 reading list. I put together a list of 10 books I'd like to read by the end of the year and I thought it's about time I did a little update on where I'm at, what I thought of what I've read and what I'm planning to read next.

So far I have only finished two books this year, which could mean I only get through 2 more through the rest of the year, OR the cancellation of television happening in our house right now could leave me with enough free time to read a few more. :)

The first book I finished was A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. I'd read a couple of Nick Hornby's books before - Smash and About A Boy and I really liked the way he wrote - light and easy, but with some darker undertones and seriousness. He tells good stories about real people in a real world.

The characters and interesting and all so very different. They come off as a bit one dimensional in the beginning, and it was a bit tough to work through that.  I did have a kind of tough time with their chemistry. That may sound weird. It's just that these four people have something huge binding them together and they don't realize that they want each other in their lives (well, most of them don't) until the very end. They all seem very "well, I could take them or leave them".

They're turning it into a movie coming out July 11. I'd like to go see it. Though, as expected, it doesn't look like the movie is much like the book at all. Frankly, it looks a little better - like it has characters you like and who like each other.

The second book I read this year has also been made into a movie, which came out a few months ago; Divergent. A lot of my friends read it and loved it.

It's a suuuuper easy read. I read the bulk of it on the couch in a weekend, but it took me about a week and a half to get through altogether.

I've heard of a lot of people comparing Tris from Divergent to Katniss from Hunger Games, and they are similar - teenage girls, dystopian society, fighting to survive and turning into revolutionaries. They're both coming of age stories, but I spent a good part of Divergent thinking of Tris as naive and weak, whereas, while Katniss didn't really seem to understand people (or herself, for that matter) and ended up making some questionable choices, she is a strong young woman from the get-go.

That said, I do see the appeal of these books. I am enjoying the series thus far - about halfway through the second book. Though it's definitely an easy read, it is still interesting to watch the characters grow, learn, and change. I do think they're a tad more self aware than most folks in real life though. :P
Maybe that's what makes it fun?

What do you think? Have you read A Long Way Down or Divergent? Did you love them or hate them?

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