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review 2017-11-20 06:56
Spannender Auftakt mit starken Protagonisten
Die Bestimmung - Veronica Roth,Petra Koob-Pawis

Die Gesichte wird aus der Sicht von Beatrice erzählt. Sie gehört der Fraktion der Altruan an und muss sich mit 16 Jahren für eine endgültige Fraktion entscheiden. Bei dem Test läuft etwas schief und bereits da muss sie ein großes Geheimnis mit sich tragen. Denn sie ist eine Unbestimmte und das darf auf keinen Fall jemand erfahren.

Das mutige Mädchen wählt die Ferox, wo sie zunächst einige Prüfungen bestehen muss und schließlich lernt, wie man kämpft und überlebt. In ihrer neuen Fraktion hat sie aber nicht nur neue Freunde gefunden, sondern muss auch oft um ihr Leben kämpfen. Ihr Ausbilder Four spielt dabei eine große Rolle, wobei auch die Gefühle nicht zu kurz treten.
Ich habe die Filme schon mehrmals gesehen und liebe sie. Da mir das Buch jetzt wieder einmal empfohlen wurde, musste ich es einfach lesen und bin mit hohen Erwartungen dran gegangen. Zum Glück wurde ich kein bisschen enttäuscht. Mein Kopfkino war natürlich bereits vom Film geprägt, aber es war interessant, im Buch noch die Gedanken und Ängste von Beatrice kennen zu lernen, die man im Film nicht mitbekommt.
Obwohl ich den Ablauf der Geschichte bereits kannte, war ich zu keiner Zeit gelangweilt. Besonders zum Ende hin war ich unheimlich gefesselt und habe mit den Protagonisten gelitten. Jetzt ist das Buch zu Ende, aber ich werde die Folgebänder auf jeden Fall noch lesen.
Besonders freue ich mich auch auf den 4. Band, in dem wir Fours Geschichte erfahren, denn ihn würde ich gerne noch besser kennen lernen. 
Beatrice ist eine starke Persönlichkeit. Besonders, wenn man bedenkt, dass sie gerade mal 16 Jahre alt ist und bisher als selbstlose Altruan aufwuchs. Sie hat Kampfgeist und beweist des öfteren große Stärke
Der Schreibstil hat mir sehr gut gefallen. Auch, dass das Buch aus der Ich-Perspektive erzählt wird. Denn so konnte ich mich sehr gut in die Hauptprotagonistin rein versetzen.
Das Cover finde ich perfekt gewählt. Mit dem Zeichen der Ferox und der Stadt passt es perfekt zur Geschichte.
Das Buch war echt klasse und obwohl ich die Filme mehrmals gesuchtet habe, wurde ich wunderbar unterhalten. Klare Leseempfehlung.
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review 2017-09-05 15:42
Book #858 - 345,427 Pages Read
Divergent (Divergent Series) - Veronica Roth

Another dystopian novel that I've been wanting to try, and this one was pretty good....not Hunger Games good, but good in its own right. The bureaucracy of this world divides up and coming adults into one of five "factions", for the good of societal contributions (how creepy is that?). The main protagonist, Beatrice (Tris) Prior, is discovered to be "divergent", not fitting into any one faction. Keeping this a secret and declaring for Dauntless faction, Tris then falls into a world of training, developing trust and relationships, and preparing for upcoming treachery concerning her friends and family. Entertaining and thought provoking, I would recommend this novel for all who enjoy futuristic dystopian adventures...

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review 2017-08-07 00:00
Divergent - Veronica Roth Rating: 5 Stars

Awesome, just awesome!

Full review coming soon!
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review 2017-08-01 13:30
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Carve the Mark - Veronica Roth

This book was way different from Divergent, but not in the good way. I was a fan of Roth's other series and I even remember enjoying Allegiant during some parts (definitely not as much as the other two books), but I just couldn't get into this one.


When I picked this book up I had no idea that it was controversial. I hadn't read any reviews or really looked up the book at all, I just saw that Veronica Roth had written it and thought that I would give it a try. I am not claiming to be an expert of racism, but I don't really see why this book is so controversial. Yes, there are two groups of people of different races that are at odds, but it makes sense for the people from Thuvhe to be lighter skinned because of the climate they live in. People in colder climes tend to have much lighter skin because their skin needs to be able to absorb more vitamin D due to the fact that the sun isn't as strong (please don't quote me on this, I'm just trying to remember what I learned from classes I've taken). The Shotet live in a much milder climate, so it makes sense from them to have darker skin. Am I an expert? God no, but I'm struggling to understand why this book is so controversial. 


Anyway, moving on from that. This book was not at all what I expected. Divergent was a faced paced thrilling story, while Carve the Mark seemed to drag on forever. The first chapter was extremely difficult to get into. So many names are thrown around. There's a lot of confusion and it felt kind of like a mess and I was so close to just stopping there because it was that unappealing. It was too much all at once, but at the same time it seemed to move at a snail's pace. While the rest of the book definitely improved from the first chapter, the pacing did not and honestly my overall confusion wasn't really cleared up.Time seemed to fly by in a matter of pages, but it didn't feel like it and it was sometimes hard to remember that however many years had passed. I think at one point during the book it was mentioned that Akos was fifteen when he started training with Cyra, but like I'm pretty sure he was older than that when it was mentioned and I didn't realize that Akos and Cyra had known each other for years now. It was really odd and confusing. 


The characters weren't bad, but they also didn't stand out. Cyra was alright, but I dreaded reading Akos's chapters. They were so boring and honestly I didn't really care much about Akos in the first place so I didn't really want to read about his POV. I did think that Cyra's currentgift was the most interesting part of the entire book. I definitely liked the idea behind currentgifts and the current, but I kind of wanted a little more explanation. Also I saw the romance between Akos and Cyra coming from a mile away. I wasn't really insta love, but it also didn't feel believable. When they first kissed it kind of felt like it came out of nowhere. 


And now for the plot. For maybe a little less than half of the book, I kept asking myself "where is the plot?" It was basically nonexistent for a large chunk of the book and this left me feeling like there was no direction to the story for awhile. Once the plot did get going though I did enjoy it, but it wasn't really original.


Overall, I'm really disappointed by this book. I was a fan of Roth's other series so I was expecting a lot more from this book, but it didn't deliver. I probably won't be picking up the next book, unless it gets really good reviews.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-19 00:00
Carve the Mark
Carve the Mark - Veronica Roth I made a point of tracking down a copy after all the controversy. Some folks were going around saying it was racist and promoted self-harm, and that it should be boycotted. Which, imho is going a little far - censorship and book banning are terrible things whether it's the right or the left calling for it, and it's important for all of us readers to be responsible and read and think for ourselves. (Informative reviews that mention potential issues are good though.) Ok, public service message over, on to the review!

While I've seen the movies, I've never read her breakout divergent series, so I didn't know what to expect. I gave this a 3/5 stars for some really interesting and well-developed ideas that... I totally didn't enjoy reading about. Yeah. It just felt dark and like a lot of work from the start. Partly that's because it's scifi with a ton of detailed worldbuilding, which pays off. But it also doesn't resolve much and goes on to at least one more book, and this one was freaking long enough. However, if you're a scifi fan, more patient or into worldbuilding than I am, or just want to see what all the fuss is about, I'd encourage you to check it out. There's some good character driven emotional resonance, complex personalities and an intricate examination of social and familial influence, trauma and fate. But is it racist?

No, quite the opposite in fact. Some readers seem to have picked up on the fact that the female protags skin colour is indicated as darker than others' and extrapolated that her entire race is black or at least nonwhite/POC. This is major spoilers, but the other race (nation?) male protag. shares her heritage and it turns out there's some kind of secret about her birth so her background is in question. Other members of her race are described in visually diverse terms including blonde. Characters and races within the book do act racist and express racist opinions about one another, but the author takes great pains to point out the complexity of stereotypes versus the actual history and how it's shared by each race. Horrible things have become a part of the female protags national behavior, but as you read on its developed that this is a result of recent power hungry dictatorial leaders, not innate in any way. Far from being an offensive racist text, I think it brings out some timely discussions on understanding the history that informs today. Some parallels to middle eastern countries in particular where much of the west fears and denigrates people and cultures without understanding the way their own countries have contributed to unrest there and how violent leaders have corrupted things more recently and dominate their own people as well as attacking others.

So, not racist. On the other charge, promoting acceptance or veneration of pain, I do think it's been blown out of proportion. But sure, trigger warning for cutters and self harmers, I guess. There's more of a message about how accepting and owning your experience and uniqueness can change a perceived weakness or victim mentality into self awareness, power, confidence, responsibility etc. The idea that suffering can be character building isn't all that controversial and I don't think it promotes pain so much as recognizes the value of overcoming challenges. Cutting and specifically scarring is a key story element and integral to the female protags culture and the title. When we first encounter it, it's explained as a kill mark, but (spoilers) we later find out its historic and home culture originally saw it as a type of mourning and ritual of remembrance. While outsiders see it as a mark of barbarism, that's a result of violent leaders warping society to their own ends and other cultures misunderstanding and judging a people who never intended such a thing. It elegantly encapsulates the nuanced examination of race, culture and power and proves a fitting title.

Racism is terrible. Discrimination based on appearance, nation or ethnicity is terrible - and often political. Glorification of pain and violence is terrible. I'd argue that that is exactly the author's point, which is why she works so hard to explore these topics. Far from being banned, more readers should engage with this work, although I have to admit it was a dense read with so much going on!
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