Category Archives: Reviews

Divergent, A Book I’m Using As A Diversion From Everyday Stresses

First, it must be credited that my good friend (from Kristinaradke) mentioned this book to me many months back. While I put it on a “To-Be-Read” list in my head, that, like most things in my life, became cluttered with other nonsensical mismash. So, while I “discovered” the title for myself by browsing the iBookstore, it did technically come highly recommended by a person of substantial reading reliability 🙂

The first book in the Divergent series.

So, I shall refrain from going into the ENTIRE soliloquey that is my grown-up-life stress. For those of you who are young, living with roommates, paying bills in a big city, and owing a great deal of money to the Student-Loan Sharks, I’m sure you understand that life has been daunting (*pun unintended but amusing)/tiresome/frustrating/emotionally draining. Therefore, last Fall, The Hunger Games became my escape from reality, and a temporary reprieve from responsibility (ironic). When that ended, I roamed aimlessly in the land of historical romance (no judging you book snobs :P), humor audiobooks, and a little manga. Nothing, however, could fully relieve me from my everyday worries and anxiety.

Then comes Divergent. Now, I will in no way claim this to be as-good-as OR better than The Hunger Games. As it is the first book in a trilogy, and I still have 1/4 of the ebook to read, I cannot justify such a monumental statement.

However, consider these factors:

  • This is a debut novel. I generally find debut novels to be lacking, mostly because the author is trying so hard to say so much, their work often times comes across as exhaustingly complex.
  • This is a rapidly growing sub-genre. YA Dystopian novels are explosive right now. This is not in any way a NEW sub-genre, but thanks to some of the titles that have come out these last couple of years, it is gaining speed and attention for many readers, especially adults. In my experience, 80% of the titles that come out in a “new” or “popular” sub-genre are COMPLETE crap. This, in my opinion, isn’t one of them.
  • The author is 22. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have to momentarily put aside both your astonishment that anyone at that age has the skills to NOT bore you with mellow drama, as well as your not-so-subtle loathing for someone else accomplishing something so monumental as being published at such a young age. This is an impressive piece of work for someone so young and so new to the game. Color me envious.

The characters are relatable, the storyline is interesting and exciting, and the social structure created w/in this futuristic world is rather engaging. I have to say, I’m seeing a lot of promise for both the series and the young author. So if you want to escape for a bit, try Divergent by Veronica Roth.

BTW: This was the first ebook read on my new toy, the iPad. Gotta say, love the experience, but STUNK to try and read outdoors. Will still be keeping/using/loving my Kindle…they’re like my two children: I love them equally, just in varying ways.

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Filed under Digital & Mobile, Ebook, Fiction, Picks by nycbookgirl, Recommendations, Reviews, YA & Children's, Young Reader

Eating Crow, the Literary Interpretation

Fair Warning: I’m posting this via my new toy, my iPad. So if you find some mistakes and notice a lack in special/fancy styling, it’s NOT because I’m going back to the good-old-days of bare-necessity blogging; I’m just using the app and haven’t figured out all of the tricks.

This is my official apology/tweet-retraction: I was wrong.

Confused? Here’s the story: a couple months ago, I bought the ebook (Kindle edition) for The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons. I was pretty pissed to find out that I’d bought yet another edition of a book I already owned, and all of the fun endnotes (a styling thing for this particular author) were in a completely separate doc, and there were NO links to all the articles and videos the author mentioned (which he had made available on his site when the print edition first came out).

So in my anger, what did I do? I tweeted about how disappointed I was in Random House for their piss poor attempt at publishing a digital non-fiction title. I got some agreement and interaction, but overall, I was pleased for serving justice to the public.

Then I bought the iPad, and had to eat some over-cooked crow. I checked out the iBookstore, downloaded a sample of the same Simmons ebook, and prepared for disappointment.

It never came.

Much to my surprise, they’d linked the endnotes into the text, fashioning them so that you could return to your reading location, having NOT completely left the text. Also, there was the addition of a link to the webpage that the author had set up with the article links, video clip links, and additional information. Now this is not to say there aren’t still flaws (which my supervisor at work took time to point out as well): the the endnote numbers are TINY, making it probable that you’ll miss hitting the number; the endnotes are all living on one ongoing list, making it a bit confusing to locate which note you want when; it is NOT intuitive that you have to tap the number again to return to the page you’d left; and the link to the additional information takes you outside the text.

Putting all that aside, I have to set the record straight. I jumped the gun and called the major pub company out on not taking a sports book masterpiece and making it into a HIGH quality ebook. So, I apologize for my HIGH expectations for an ebook of style and elegance from one of the BIG 6. Oops, my bad.

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Filed under Ebook, Non-Fiction, Picks by nycbookgirl, Reviews, Sports