To Read or Not to Read … Read! – February 2020

Posted February 24, 2020 by Sophia Rose in To Read or Not to Read / 22 Comments

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Sophia's To Read or Not

Each month, I will post up a pair (or more) of books.  I would like you to vote on a choice.  Yes!  You will have the job of telling me what to read from my pile each month.  I welcome your vote no matter what reason you choose (frivolous, serious or otherwise) that particular book and do share your reason in the comments just because I’m nosy.  I will of course share my thoughts on the book itself in my review post.

Young Adult is the genre theme this month.  

Candidate #1

Divergent by Veronica Roth
#1 Divergent
YA Dystopian

Blurb:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). 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 a 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 her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Candidate #2

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
YA Contemporary

Blurb:

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan..

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

This poll is no longer accepting votes

Which book should Sophia read?
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Nadene
9 months ago

I voted for Divergent. It sounds intense and would love to hear your views. Happy Reading.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Nadene

It really does sound exciting. Thanks, Nadene!

Lover of Romance
9 months ago

I hear both of these are fantastic so I hope you enjoy whichever one you grab up!

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

Yes, there are lots of high review ratings for both and I have a feeling I’ll be happy trying either author. 🙂 Thanks, Renee!

Carole's Random Life in Books

You picked two pretty popular books this time. I read Divergent when it came out and enjoyed it. I have had Fangirl on my tbr forever it seems like so I voted for that one. I hope you enjoy whichever book you end up reading.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

Oh yeah, couldn’t decide between them, Carole. Very cool that you already read and loved Divergent.

Lorna
Lorna
9 months ago

Fan Girl is a fantastic book and I think you would love it. I never wanted to read Divergent for some reason. I guess it’s just not my type of book. Whichever I hope you enjoy!

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Lorna

Always glad to see when someone enjoyed the book vote offerings already. Yes, I do love YA Dystopian stories for some reason when I don’t rush to grab them in the adult genre though there are exceptions. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

While I loved Divergent, I never picked up the rest of the series after reading reactions to the 2nd and 3rd books. Just couldn’t do it. I haven’t read Fangirl, but I’ve had a copy forever and I’ve heard so much praise for it. I just looked on GRs and it does have an overall lower average than Divergent, but more of my GRs “friends” that I really trust loved it. I should see if there’s an audio copy and request it. Hope you love either book you choose, Sophia Rose! 🙂

Sophia Rose
8 months ago

I think my SIL felt the same way when she continued the Divergent series though I liked the movies and she said the books are better in places… That is fascinating how your GR friends group rated a book higher than the overall. I’ve noticed that happen a few times for me and found myself falling in with my friends in general when its my turn to rate rather than the group overall average. Though, that said, I’ve had a very different reaction at times, too. LOL Hope you enjoy it if you get the chance to snag it at… Read more »

Lola
8 months ago

I read Divergent years ago and read it back then, although I enjoyed book 2 less and never finished the series after someone spoiled the ending for me. I voted for Fangirl as i heard great things about it and look forward to hearing your thoughts about it.

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Lola

You’re not the first person I’ve encountered who liked the books less and less with each release. Oh yes, Fangirl was a favorite of many when it released and I’ve even heard that the characters and stories she fans over is now a book, too. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
8 months ago

Fangirl was my vote. I watched Divergent on tv and didn’t think it was all that great.

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yes, it looks good. Thank you, Mary! LOL, I enjoyed the first Divergent show, but was ticked off by the last one- binged them with my SIL who wanted to see them one summer.

Carole Rae
8 months ago

I vote for #2! Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell! 😀

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Fannin’ for Fangirl!!!

Sam@wlabb
8 months ago

Honestly, I really liked both books, but knowing where the Divergent series goes, I would say read Fangirl.

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Sam@wlabb

Now, that sounded ominous. 🙂 I was warned that I probably wouldn’t like the last book in the Divergent series. Thanks, Sam!

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

I loved Divergent and read it when it first came out. So I’m voting for that one. I haven’t read Fangirl, but I’ve heard great things about it. I think either way, you can’t go wrong 🙂

Sophia Rose
8 months ago

Yes, they both sounded good when I was sorting books on my shelf to make my picks. Oh neat that you really enjoyed Divergent, Lindy!

Jen
Jen
8 months ago

I’m not a YA reader, but both sound interesting. I think I’m over the strong heroine post-apocalyptic trilogies… so maybe Fangirl is the best choice!

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Jen

I think I read it a half dozen times a year when I get a strong urge. LOL, yeah, the strong heroine post-apoc is a bit trite, but I didn’t get into it when it was running strong so I can still go for it. 🙂
Thanks, Jen!