Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Recommendation: Divergent by Veronica Roth


Divergent is about a society in which people are placed into one of five factions: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Erudite, and Dauntless at age 16 where they must live for the rest of their lives. These factions are divided by certain values in life which include selflessness, bravery, intelligence, peace, and honesty.

It doesn’t sound so bad to start off with, but the people in this society are required to seamlessly fit into only one of these groups, and those who fit into several ones are considered dangerous, and labeled Divergent, just like the main character Tris is.

I personally enjoyed this book, for one, because I, love dystopian books, and two, I really liked the characters. No one wants to read a book where you can’t stand the main character. It’s stopped me from reading a book before, and I personally really like all of the characters in Divergent, even the annoying ones.

None of them were overly stereotypical or completely weird, but they all had realistic flaws and strengths. From Tri, Caleb, Jeannine, Christina, Al, Peter, Will, Eric, Four, and Uriah, Lynn, and Marlene (who I am very upset got cut out of the movie adaptation), all of the characters, no matter how annoying, were all well developed with detailed personalities, which was something I appreciated about it.  The main character Tris, although not my favorite character in the book *SPOLIER* decides to leave her family in Abnegation to pursue a life in the Dauntless faction.

Although she has some troubles adjusting the new life style at first, she does lean to fit in eventually, and eventually becomes the top of her peers, which was the one thing that annoyed me about the book.

Tri came from the Abnegation faction, which is the faction based off of selflessness, which meant she was deprived of many of the things in life most people enjoy, such as flavorful food. This also mean that although not in Amity, the peace faction, she did not have much training in fighting and physical things along these lines. The fact that she out of nowhere became the top of her class in fighting wise and “facing her fears” over the Dauntless ones who have trained their whole lives for the initiation, just seems unrealistic and thrown into the plot just because she was the main character.

The book is not only entertaining, but also sends a deeper message to the readers. This book shows how people in society are sometimes required to think in narrow-minded ways, and certain people who are stereotyped aren’t allowed to think in ways other than the way society thinks they should.

A movie adaptation of this movie is scheduled to come out sometime in early 2014. The trailed is already released, and although it looks accurate, as I mention earlier, I am still upset that they cut my three favorite characters, Uriah, Marlene, and Lynn out of the movie.

If you plan on reading this book, this is the perfect time to pick it up since the third book in the series, Allegiant, just came out!

~K.M.D

Friday, October 11, 2013

Young Adult Literature Today: Dystopian


Dystopian is probably one of the most popular genres in young adult literature today. After the huge success of the series of The Hunger Games, many other dystopian novels followed in its afterglow including Divergent, The Maze Runner, and Delirium.

Although some zombie novels could come under the same category as being dystopian, I consider zombie novels as a separate genre in itself and therefore will not focus much on them in this segment. 

One of the major qualities of a dystopian is a post/pre apocalyptic society is which there is usually a corrupt government system that enforces rules and regulations that would be looked down upon in modern day society.

Most dystopian novels are satires, that will mock certain elements in society be making fun of them in either a humorous or serious way. One of the classic dystopian books is 1984 by George Orwell. In this society people are constantly watched by the government authority called “big brother” and must submit to all their rules, or else they will be forced to. This book deals with many aspects of society including lies, fear, and anti-institutionalism.

One of my favorite aspects about dystopian literature is that the possibilities for dystopian books are really vast. The amount of things that could stem a dystopian society can come from anywhere. With all of the things that are wrong in society today, people can come up with many things to write about.

Dystopian books also tend to portray a deeper meaning within them, which is another great aspect of this genre.

With all of the positives being said, there are also some downsides to the dystopian genre. Since dystopian is a very large and popular genre, it is also become very clich├ęd, just like the paranormal romance genre. Although dystopian books don’t have their own section the bookstore yet, like the paranormal romance genre, it won’t be very long before it does. Following the huge success of The Hunger Games, many authors saw its success and want to jump on the bandwagon in order to gain the amount of success it gained.

The other thing that is my pet peeve about dystopian books is that every single dystopian book gets one way or another compared back to The Hunger Games. This is basically because The Hunger Games was the first dystopian book that ever got a lot of popularity so people feel the need to compare every single dystopian book back to it because apparently comparing it back to The Hunger Games measures its success or something. A lot of the popular dystopian books such as The Maze Runner and Divergent are very often compared back to The Hunger Games just because they are dystopian books, and really have nothing in common other than their genre.

Dystopian is one of my favorite genres of literature, not only to read, but to write as well and I am hoping to write a dystopian novel sometime in the near future!

~K.M.D.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ask the Author! #3

Today’s question comes from Sylvanie Van Huesen.


If a movie was being made, 1) Would you want to be involved, 2) How would you want to be involved(actor, director, producer, costumer designer) and 3) Given the choice, who would you cast as the characters?

I absolutely love this question just because it’s something I’ve thought about many times before. 

I’m going to answer this question in regards to The Unusual Isles.

Firstly, yes, I would definitely want to be involved with it; probably mostly as a screen writer to make sure that they don’t screw anything up like they do to most book adaptations. That’s why I think that this book in particular would work better as a mini TV series because there is a lot of action in the book and not a whole lot that you can take out without it majorly affecting the plot in some kind of way. I also think being an actor would be cool, just because I would love to get to experience something like that. I would be happy playing any of the characters, but if given the choice, I would want to be Ellary just because she is the main female lead in the book, and she’s also one of my favorite characters.

For the twin brothers Luke and Bryce, I would want Dylan and Cole Sprouse to play them, just because they fit the physical description so well.

For Keane, I would want Dayo Okeniyi, who played Thresh in the Hunger Games to play him. Keane’s character is similar to Thresh in terms of personality wise so I think he would do a good job at playing him.

For Maddie, I think Anna Kendrick would do a good job playing her. Although she doesn’t match Maddie’s physical description, I think she would do a good job playing her character wise.

For Ellary, I’m not really sure who I would want just because she’s one my favorite characters and I’m really particular about her. The person I think who would do the closest job of what I would want form Ellary would probably be Diana Argon.

Harvey I would love to see played by Woody Harrelson. I think that he would be great at playing the crazy character that Harvey is and also bring a bit a comic relief to his character.

For Brooke, I think Vanessa Marano from Switched at Birth would be the best for her character.

*note: I do wish that most of these actors would be younger so they were actual high school age, or at least around that age.
**You can find some descriptions of the characters on an earlier blog post or on my Facebook page.
I have thought about who I would want cast, at least for certain characters.

The rest of the character I can’t think of anyone to play them at the time, or just don’t really see any well known actor playing them.

~K.M.D