Monday, December 8, 2014

Explore the Scriptures

(Editor's note: This is a book summary I wrote for an assignment. Since I am so behind on writing articles on this blog I decided to post it. Hope you find it helpful!)

How do you summarize the most important book in history? Where would you even start? Well, In his commentary Explore the Scriptures: An Overview of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, John Phillips does an excellent job outlining, condensing, and evaluating each book of the Bible.

 Each chapter in this book starts out with a basic outline. It highlights the major chapter divisions in the book and gives references to every bullet point. This is helpful if you are just looking through and need to find a major idea, theme, or event. Every point is alliterated which makes these short outlines horribly helpful.

Phillips also does an excellent job of condensing each book of the Bible into a manageable fashion. Each chapter is only about three or four pages long. Only the main points are highlighted in Explore the Scriptures, so it is very easy to get a broad idea of the point of the passage. There are also very useful maps and diagrams which help the stories to come just a little bit more alive.

The final aspect to highlight is the evaluation from Phillips. It seems that Mr. Phillips takes a very traditional approach to the searching of the scriptures. When he comes to a controversial passage he give several of the popular interpretations of the passage and lets you decide which is the closest to scripture.

Over all I thought Mr. John Phillips did an excellent job just giving a brief survey of the book we stake our life on. He wrote very useful outlines, helpful summaries, and good interpretations. No book can replace the Bible, but if you want to better understand your bible and get the big picture, this is an excellent resource.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Books on the Internet and Technology



In the last few months, I've spent time thinking about how I approach the gargantuan behemoth of the information, entertainment, and communication source which we collectively call the Internet. It's something which I think a lot of us take for granted, and perhaps we don't give it enough thought and consideration. Some who know me may have noticed that I'm not around on social media anymore, or just not as much. This has been somewhat of an self-experiment, and honestly it doesn't feel like I'm missing out on anything.
So I've been reading. A lot. And these are the different books which collectively gave me a better understanding and the "big picture" of how we as both an individual and as a collective culture use and are used by this new technology. Some of these are new, some are older. Some are really good, some are not as good. This are just a list of what I've absorbed, and whether I think you will get a lot out of it as well.

Onto the books!

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

The Shallows is part neuroscience, part social science, part history. It gathers a lot of fascinating scientific data and studies surrounding our minds, attention spans, intelligence, and motivation. The conclusion it comes to is easy to see coming (read the subtitle of the book maybe?), and yet it still will have a significant impact. I agreed with the thesis, and it definitely made me approach the problem from a different angle.

As for the book itself, it is a fairly quick read, never slows its pace, and is interesting all the way through. I HIGHLY recommend you find a copy to read, even if you don't think you'll find the subject matter interesting. It'll make for a good conversation in the very least. 

This book is probably the most different from any other on this list. Rather than focusing on the affect the internet has on a person, Morozov documents the affect that the internet has on the people, or entire cultures, or nations even. In the last ten years especially, it's easy to look at significant world events and credit them to the progress of technology. Morozov fights against this idea, and instead argues that the internet might actually be hurting the status of democracy than helping it.

Although it's pretty compelling in places, I think it maybe was a bit too long. He kept repeating his main thesis pretty often, and I think that the lack of differing viewpoints made his views seem a little one-sided. I'd still recommend it if a political-tech book sounds appealing.

Postman, one of the greatest social critics of the twentieth century, is more well known for another book on this list. This book is a history of how the progress of technology has been reflected in the culture's attraction and usage of said technology. There isn't much to say about this - just go read it. It's actually a good preface to any of the other books here. It's a quick read and you will enjoy it.

Hamlet's BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age by William Powers

This is one I was recommended to by none other than the internet. IRONY HAHA!!
But I found the title funny, liked the subject matter, and thought it would be a good addition to this library. It had a good introduction, and his main point was solid. Powers basically says that he's found a better life by using the internet sparingly, only as a tool, and not relying on it for everything.

Except... that it really isn't that good of a book. It reads like a blog post that went on for 250 pages. I really almost didn't finish it due to the repetitive middle section. I'd say instead, go read The Shallows and form your own opinion of how you should live your cyber-life. Don't recommend.

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

This one is kind of crazy. It's a economic science-nonfiction social discourse. Yeah, that probably didn't make any sense. Basically Lanier has created a massive theory on how our future is going to progress due to the internet, and especially how it affects the economy. I wasn't completely sure what I was getting into when I picked it up, but I still found it refreshingly readable. The style and tone of the author is mostly what sets it apart. I'm still not sure whether I can recommend it - it's definitely not for everybody. I'd say go check it out if you are interested.

This is the big one. Originally published in 1985, what can this book about television have to do with the internet?


I'm not kidding when I say that this book has probably increased in relevance even from when it first was released. Postman brilliantly provides an explanation on how the style and presentation of television has massively impacted both how we think as an individual AND as a people. He explains that instead of Nineteen-Eighty-Four happening, we've instead gone in the reverse direction and have been polluting ourselves with the garbage of what we think we love. Alex Huxley's Brave New World is his comparison point instead.

If there's one book your read on this list, make it this one. I read it in a single afternoon because it was so absorbing and horrifying. I truly think that it's probably the most relevant thing I've read on this list. Read this book!

Wrap up:
I hope you enjoyed reading this write up. If you like the format of this multi-review, leave a comment and tell me. I liked doing this more than any of the other reviews I've done. Thank you for reading!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

App Time!


            This is the ultimate app for Book nerds. I like to call it Netflix for the intelligent individual. But whatever you call it, it is amazing. Basically it is a digital book catalogue. There are several places within the app to discover new books. There are some unique categories of books that are constantly changing such as Dystopian YA or Best YA Fiction. They also have the typical biography, fiction, cooking, arts, and much more. My favorite section is Classic. I have found so many good books there.
            My favorite part about the app is the fact that it is not just a catalogue. You are encouraged to rate the books by giving them stars and writing reviews about them. (I usually don’t write there because I post reviews here!) It is also nice to read what your friends or other authors and experts have to say about a book you are thinking of reading.
            The reason I compare Goodreads to Netflix is the instant queue. Just like Netflix you get to customize your list of books by marking books: Read, To-read, and Currently reading. But you don’t only have those lists, you can make many more to get a high level of personal personalization. Some of the ones I have on my account are To-re-read and school, plus a number of traditional categories.
            The final feature I would like to highlight is the challenges. This is a newer feature I believe, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. This year I am working on the 50 books in one year challenge. I’m just about halfway done, but I hopefully can get cranking and knock out the last 25 books.
            Well I hope this has been a help to you! I know I love Goodreads and I hope you will too. It is the perfect app to organize and prioritize your reading list.

Until Again,

         Lance Fillmore

Think Smart

It is said that the human brain is only able to access 10% of its capacity imagine what you could do with 100%. Just kidding the book that I'm reviewing isn't about being able to stop the world or learn Chinese in five minutes or anything like that, but it is about neuroscience so lets get started.
 Think Smart is written by Richard Restak M.D. and let me just start out by saying I really did like this book. Its purpose is to give a prescription for improving your brains performance. It lays out different strategies for helping to improve your brain. Now some of you may be thinking that this sounds boring, but it is actually a quite enjoyable read, granted I personally am fascinated by the study of the brain and cognitive development so I especially found this book intriguing. But even if you are not super into neuroscience this book is still enjoyable, mostly because of the writing style. Richard Restak does an excellent job of combining easy to understand vocabulary and really good information. Overall it is a well written, informative book, I would highly recommend it to any one.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Go Get 'Em!

We are living in a time where being lazy is normal. It's not even that were always lazy. We're just not always Go-Getters. I heard about The Go-Getter from Dave Ramsey. He said it was a required read for the members on his team so I decided to give it a shot. And let me tell you I was not dissapointed! Peter Kyne, the author, was very popular when he was writing in the early 1900's. He is well known for his book about the three wise men translated into a wild west tale, but he is perhaps most famous for his short story character Cappy Ricks and how he finds a Go-Getter.

This is a very short story with some very powerful principles. I really don't want to tell you much about the parable because it is so short, but I will tell you you don't want to miss reading this! And right now you can get The Go-Getter from Dave Ramsey's store for only $5.00! It's normally $15 so you don't want to miss this deal! Whether your young or old all of us can learn so much about how to do more and be a Go-Getter!

Until Again,
Lance Fillmore

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Phantom Tollbooth

A while back I was listening to the quiz show Wait, Wait Don't tell me and I heard an interview with the author Norton Juster. The Book he was discussing was called The Phantom Tollbooth and it sounded fascinating! I decided then that I wanted to read the book, but I had a hard time finding it. Well this year we moved to another city and that meant another library to scour. The first book I checked out - Well one of the first. Who goes to the library and just checks out one book?- Anyways the first book I checked out was The Phantom Tollbooth. So after years of waiting I finally read it. So let's dive into the content.
The Watchdog

The story is about a little boy named Milo, who never wants to be where he is, but never cares to go anywhere else. One day he finds a toy toll booth in his room that transports him to a magical land filled with all sorts of amazing creatures. There is a WatchDog, Spelling bee, Math-a-magician and many other people. Milo sets off on a quest to rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason. Along the way he encounters many perils and learns to use all his senses. He discovers that there are many wonderful things in the world and he can explore them all. It is a delightful  story and masterfully executed.

The book focuses on wordplay and is very fun to read especially if you enjoy a good pun. There are many quotable lines throughout the story and some very thought provoking statements. One of my favorite lines from the book is said by Princess Reason, "What you can do is often a matter of what you will do." Another one by the same person is, "You often learn more by being wrong for the right reason than being right for the wrong reason." Both statements are simple yet so profound. Though it is a children's book, there are many lessons for adults to learn as well.

Stylistically the book is crafted well. The use of many adverbs really gives you the feel of being in the new land. The dialogue is well written and like I said the use of words is very appealing. Milo, himself, develops much throughout the story, but the rest of the characters are fairly flat and static.  But I think you'll find that doesn't really matter much especially as you approach the end of the book.

Over all I was very impressed. I half expected to find a cheesy kids book, with juvenille jokes, but I am happy to say that I was wrong. The humor is elevated making this book a wonderful read for children and adults alike.

 Until again,
Lance Fillmore

You can grab your copy of  The Phantom Tollbooth here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Chris, Crichton, and Castles (Don't Judge Me for Alliterating)

The past can often seem very distinct and separated from the present. We, humanity, often glorify even the bloodiest of battles. We make heroes of villains and change the facts as we chose. Often it doesn't matter because we don't have enough facts to make an accurate judgment of the past, yet we do it anyways. My point is we often make history what we want it to be.  Well what if we didn't have to. What if we could travel to the past and observe what really went on in the pages of our text books. This is part of the premise in Michael Crichton's sci-fi adventure novel about the past.

Chris, Stern,Kate, and Marek are part of a archeological team unearthing the ruins in the Dordogne river valley of France. Professor Johnston, one of the leaders at the site, has been visiting the mysterious ITC, the company funding the dig, hedquarters in New Mexico. But when the team in France doesn't hear from him at the scheduled time, they begin to get suspicious. Their suspicions are founded when they discover a 14th century manuscript with the words "Help Me" written in perfect English. Through a series of events, (I'm trying so hard not to reveal to many details.), the team is sent back to 14th century France to save the professor. The only catch... They just have 37 hours to complete the task. That might not seem to hard, but don't forget the is a dark period in history. Slaughter abounds and it is a whole new world. This book combines so many aspects that different readers will enjoy such as: Archeology, Knights, Castles, Science Fiction, and a heartless CEO.

While I enjoyed reading this book there were just a few things that bugged me. My biggest problem was with the story's main villain. He seemed almost cartoonish in his wish to exploit and control the archeology and the surrounding land. Maybe I'm just misreading his intents, but them seem very juvenile and not really deserving of his end. On the other hand his passive attitude about death and those he injured was disturbing and well crafted and justified his end better than his plans for exploitation. I also found a few of the characters just sort of lackluster. Yet there was good character development throughout the story which I think makes up for it.

A big part of my enjoyment of this book was the science aspect of it. While the author gives enough detail for you to know what's going on. He doesn't drown you in a sea of useless information. He is quick and to the point.

While there are a few downsides to the book, there is much more to be gleaned from it about our view of history and the time in which we live. As much as we enjoy history, We're never going back the past is in the past, so we must do all we can to make the most of the present.

Lance Fillmore (PSEUD)

Get Timeline Here

Author's note: If you enjoyed the book... Do not watch the movie version!!!! That is all.- 07/16/14

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Code of Silence

        When a group of three friends witness the masked robbery of their favorite restaurant, attempted murder of the co-owner, and are threatened with the murder of them and their families by one of the thugs they decide to enact a Code of Silence. This means that they will not tell anyone about what they have seen, especially the police, for fear of a dirty cop. They will have to lie to parents, teachers, police, and pretty much everyone they come in contact with until they can come up with a plan. But it is not as easy as you may think, for as the book says living a lie comes with a price.
          This is the dilemma that the characters face in Tim Shoemakers book Code of Silence. A few weeks ago I came across this book while at the library it sounded interesting enough so I decided to give it a try, and I’m glad I did. While the whole premise is intriguing and the action is really suspenseful what I really liked were the relationships between the three friends, it was written in what I would call a third-person omniscient point of view so you really got to know the thoughts and feelings of every character. Another thing I really enjoyed was how developed all of the characters were. Each of them had their own personal feelings about what they were doing. Their turmoil over what they are going to do is evident. In times of trial you can see the points of each character so it does not feel unjustified when a character acts a certain way. Also all of the main protagonists had good solid backstories which helped make them to be more believable. 
          This book also excellently delivers on action and suspense. I don’t want to spoil anything but let’s just say it can get very intense. I can’t recall anything that I really did not like about this book. One thing that is interesting is the relationship with God in this book, mainly that there isn't much of one until the end, through character foil you can see those who run to God during trials, and those who run away from Him. The way this was delivered seemed realistic and relatable. Also just to clear it up I wouldn’t necessarily label this book as “Christian fiction” because the focus is on the mystery and the lies, with the relationship with God as an underlying theme.
          Overall this book is well-written, realistic, with relatable characters and suspenseful action; this is one to put on your reading list. 

Monday, June 16, 2014


 (Editor's Note:  Please welcome to the Booket Blog, our good friend Benjamin Reich. He enjoys writing and offers keen literary analysis. He will be posting on the blog more frequently, so that means more content for you the reader! All right on to the article.)
 When Karl Huber decides to run away from home he makes the decision to go to another world, a virtual reality video game world. Now his family and some newfound friends have to track him down in the video game world to find out where he is in the real one, all while facing the perils and other players in the world that is Olympus.

   This is the premise given to us in Scott Somerville’s book Olympus.  Having read this book twice I can say that I thoroughly enjoy it. In the book the video game Olympus is played inside of a cyber-suit which transports the player into the video game world. This allows the player to be fully immersed in the videogame world, and in the case of some more advanced cyber-suits even live in it. This alone brings up some interesting questions about how real video games should be, especially since technology similar to this is already being developed.  The book also brings out intriguing questions surrounding alternate reality, about the morals involved in a fake world where there are no “real” consequences.
    As far as negatives go at times it can feel a bit “preachy” against video games and a few other things, but for the most part there are two sides to the argument. Sometimes the dialogue can fall a bit flat, but for the most part it’s well written.  One of the biggest details I noted both times I read that just kind of bothered me is that when they are in Olympus only one of the characters has a suit that can simulate pain, yet there are a few instances where it seems the other characters are in pain. For example at one point a few characters are underwater and it make mention several times that their lungs were bursting, that just makes me think “, Why can’t they just take a breath in the real world?”  At moments like that it just kind of takes me out of the moment.

    Overall it is a good read with well written characters, intriguing story arcs, as well as interesting looks between the real world and the video game one. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to give it a read.


Monday, June 2, 2014

A Podcast?

Yes this is an article on a book blog about a podcast, but I know you'll want to hear about it. I'm talking about the Read to Lead podcast hosted by Jeff Brown. Over the past two weeks I was painting a house and needed something to listen to and this was one of the first podcasts I found. Jeff Brown interviews authors and other leaders with an emphasis on being an intentional reader. Each episode Jeff asks the interviewee for a good book recommendation. I use the podcast as a way to beef up my own reading list, by learning from the best. It is by far my favorite podcast on iTunes and I'm sure you'll enjoy it as well. You can Check out his website at this link or subscribe directly on iTunes and be sure to tell us what you think of this podcast in the comments.

Lance Fillmore (Pseud)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Artemis Fowl

Do you love fantasy stories? Do you like stories based around Super-Villans? Well than Artemis Fowl is just the book for you! The popular teen fantasy series came out around 2001 and received much well-deserved attention. Eoin Colfer weaves tales of fairies, dwarfs, and trolls with the modern world in a very believable manner.
Journey with Artemis as he kidnaps a fairie from the illustrious LEPrecon unit and watch as the human and fairie worlds collide with what could be devastating results.
The story is very engaging and well written. I will definitely continue to read the series through the end.
Lance Fillmore (PSEUD)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wicked Review: No One Mourns the Wicked

Recently (just this year, even) I really got into the musical Wicked. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a prequel to L.Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which focuses on that story’s main antagonist, The Wicked Witch of the West (or, as she’s named in this story, Elphaba). If you haven’t heard it before, then go pick it up and listen to the entire thing. Because it is BRILLIANT. The music, the lyrics, the story, the characters, the plot. All of it is stunningly dramatic and fantastically memorable. After listening to it about forty thousand times, I decided to pick up the book on which it based and give it a read.

In short, the novel was… supremely disappointing, especially when compared to it’s musical adaptation.

The story deals with the struggles of Elphaba, who is born with green skin, ferocious teeth, and an aversion to water. Throughout the story she is treated like a monster because of the fear associated with her strange condition. She goes to school with Galinda (later renamed to who we know as Glinda), a higher-class student who initially doesn’t want to be even seen with Elphaba. Eventually, though, they become friends, and begin to help each other out in difficult circumstances. The rest of the plot connects periods through Elphaba’s life as she meets others, helps a revolution in Oz, and learns how to approach a world that hates her.

The main theme of the book is the nature of evil. Throughout the entire story questions are asked of the characters (and by extension, the readers), such as

“Are we born good or evil?”

“Do we have the ability to choose our own morality?”

“Do good intentions with bad results equal good or bad?”

While any of these questions could most definitely fuel a story, this book fails to marry the concepts to the narrative. No matter how many different answers or viewpoints are provided, Elphaba never changes as a base character. There are no monumental turning points or arcs for her. Even the musical, which marked it’s very act breaks with pivotal character moments (Think “Defying Gravity” and “No Good Deed”) was able to nail this down.

Besides the lack of character arc, the book is just far too lengthy to really provoke any emotional moments that it might have been able to show. There are some shining parts of the story, I swear, but they’re buried between many layers of wordy and pulpy drivel that they really doesn’t lend itself to being very memorable.

To sum up my opinion, there are far too many books out there to waste time reading this. I certainly didn’t hate Wicked, (Hating anything really is just not a good idea), but there was so much potential here that didn’t amount to anything. I wholeheartedly attempt to dissuade you from reading this.

Instead, go listen to the musical!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

Understanding Comics is a comic book about comic books. "Wait!", I hear you interrupting, "Comic books are just for kids, right? They're not *real* literature."

But seriously, if you have ever thought that, this is definitely the book for you. This is a dissertation on the art of the comic, an exploration into why and how we read them, an explanation of what separates them from other mediums.
Comic art is not a recent thing - Scott McCloud in this book takes the reader through the long history of how graphic narrative came to be how it is today - from the ancient Egyptian iconography, to the political illustrations of the 19th century, to the Mass-market super hero stories we often think of.
McCloud explains with an obvious passion for the subject - the entire book is fascinating, funny, and very thought-provoking. It's also fantastic that this book is itself a comic - it allows for examples of the terminology and visual demonstrations of the very message he is trying to get across.
If any of this sounds even somewhat interesting, I encourage you - no, I insist - that you go and give this book a read. Even if you don't think of yourself as a "comic-reader", I still would recommend it. It's truly a must read.
You can buy Understanding Comics here.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

This semester for a Literature class I read through a book called ‘Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry’. It was written by Mildred D. Taylor in 1976 and deals with the struggles of the South during the Depression - and the rampant racism which was integral to the culture. While it was written targeted towards younger readers, winning a Newberry award in 1977, the story itself deals with heavy topics in a more mature manner than many “adult” books. It remains accessible, but challenges the reader to think. The vocabulary, characters, and themes are rich in detail, and continue to be engaging throughout the entire book.

The story is about a 9 year old black girl named Cassie Logan, along with the rest of her family, as they endure struggle after struggle. From paying taxes to avoid losing their land, to dealing with the horrible racism in their school, to learning to stand up for what they believe is right, the problems encountered here are truly fascinating. Cassie is of naïve of the prejudices against her, is always stubbornly standing for equal treatment, and is a natural leader for her younger siblings. The other characters are also given a lot of personality, such as TJ, a persistently obnoxious but well meaning friend of the Logan family.

I'd really recommend giving this book a shot, it'll really make you think through the issues presented. The fact that this book takes place in the 20th century really hammers home that this is not an outdated issue! Racism and segregation is still very common in many places, and despite the nature of the topic, this story opens up a very thorough discussion.

You can find this book here

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Giver

I had heard a few things about The Giver by Lois Lowry and it sounded like a unique plot, so I gave it a try. That was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The Giver is a masterfully crafted work. The characters are developed well. Literary devices are used carefully and the diction is used to invoke the necessary feelings.  The Giver is the best book I've read in a long time and I hope this discussion will give you a desire to read it.

Character development is difficult. The writer must let the audience know what the character thinks and feels without just saying it, but making them feel it. Sometimes characters can seem shallow with not enough information to make the reader feel complete. Other times there are so many characters that it feels as if the reader knows a little about everyone, but still there is not enough development to have an emotional connection with the character. And still some authors bog the character down with to much detail. Jonas, the main character, has just enough. The reader knows what he needs to, yet there are still unknown parts of his life. The only other character that is given insight into is the Giver. The rest of the 'cast' if you will is just there to support the story. Just like a movie cast not every character is given an in-depth back story. They are there to move the plot along and support Jonas and the Giver. The Characters play an important role as in any story, yet some of the real magic lies in the literary devices used in the story.

Literary devices, such as plot, foreshadowing, and foils, can often be cumbersome and boring to discuss, but really there are many devices that carry this book through till the end.The plot is the biggest device in the story, one that no story can do with out. The Giver is a Utopian/Dystopian novel and a Bildungsroman (coming of age story). The plot revolves around Jonas a young boy living in an ideal world. There is no pain, war, rebellion, or crime. The families are loving and there are strict rules that better the community. The citizens are in a state of what they call sameness. But for Jonas it all changes when he is chosen as the next receiver of memories. He begins to see some of what the world was like before sameness and longs for more than memories. With exquisite simplicity the plot keeps you on your toes with plenty of twists. There are also elements of foreshadowing that you may not catch, but really enrich the story. One example is when Jonas and his sister refer to children from another town as animals not really knowing what it means. Later Jonas receives the memory of an elephant hunt and his heart broken to see the elephant die. Now he knows better what an animal is and it changes how he sees other people throughout the book. Foils are the last device I'll mention even though there are many more. I was surprised how many foils there were for just one person in this book. Jonas as the main character is compared and contrasted with almost everyone, his friend Asher, sister Lilly, his father, and the giver. The comparisons really help you understand who Jonas is and how he feels and why he acts as he does. I know I am going a bit long, but I have just one more point I'd like to make.

The Diction used in The Giver is what I believe makes the book so special. How would you describe a rose? How about love? What about snow? Now try to describe those things with out the color red, without family, or without temperature.  Hard isn't it? Well in the book those are some of the objects Jonas knows nothing about. Imagine sledding down a hill for the first time or feeling real love for the first time. Lois Lowry waxes eloquent with the words and phrases she uses in describing, well everything. Through Jonas' eyes you see for the first time. You feel love and pain with new senses. It is really something you have to experience for yourself!

Well, I hope you are now inspired to go and read The Giver. It's not a long book, yet it is very powerful. I know I was a bit long winded, and still I didn't even analyze some of the deep meanings and themes inside. I guess you'll just have to find out those for yourself. I hope you enjoy the giver as much as I did!

 Lance Fillmore (PSEUD)

Comment and let me know how you like it. If you've already read it comment your favorite things about it. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Morals in a Story

Divergent. The name intrigued me, yet as I read the book jacket I was very skeptical. "This is just going to be a Hunger Games knockoff," I thought to myself. A Female, teenage protagonist is upset with the current government system, so she helps in a revolt to over through the system. I am glad to say that I was very much mistaken.

This Book brought a somewhat fresh view to the Dystopian novel. Beatrice Prior lived her life without challenging the government because there was no need to do so. In Divergent the city of Chicago is divided into five factions (or character traits.) When a teenager turned sixteen they were required to decide which faction they would spend the rest of their life in. In many novels the government is intrinsically evil, but because of the way the factions are divided those who don't care for power possess it. This creates a balance in the government of the city. Each faction has their specific tasks and they stick to them. All in all the system is pretty unique and the concept of a few Divergents slipping through the system works well in the plot. That being said I did have quite a few issues with. 

While I initially enjoyed reading Divergent, overtime it lost some of its thrill. There were many spots where it just fell flat. I would read for a few pages and then have to re-read because my mind had wandered. (Maybe it was just me so don't hold it against it though.) It also felt very reminiscent of 1984. having to be careful what you say, where you go, what you let them know that you know and very gray and colorless. My major problem was the moral aspect. Morality is something very lacking in today's culture and after reading this book I'm not surprised why. Tris 'falls in love' with Four just by watching him. There was not much getting to know about him or his character, but just a physical attraction. The kisses they shared seemed very sensual and inappropriate for a sixteen year old girl. While nothing to physical happened there was plenty of opportunities and innuendos.

So what did I think of the book? Well, I think Divergent is an thrilling story with a unique plot and many surprising twists and turns, but it contained quite a bit of material that I found inappropriate and some of the setting seemed old and overused. I hope you found my opinions helpful, but sadly I would have to say I would not recommend Divergent.

I rate it 2 out of 5 faction tattoos

Lance Fillmore (PSEUD)

 Divergent has been turned into a movie that will be released sometime this year. Click below for the trailer.