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Category: Reviews
Tags: Book review

Divergent, by Veronica Roth, tells the story of a young girl, who while trying to figure out where she fits in, makes a choice that will change her life. As a result of her choice, she figures out how to overcome obstacles and face her fears.

††††† This story takes place in a dystopian Chicago, where society is divided into five factions. These factions are each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtueóCandor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). At the age of sixteen, teenagers must choose one of these five factions to commit themselves to for the rest of their lives. As the main character, Beatrice (Tris), struggles to find who she truly is, she finds herself making a choice between the life sheís always had with her family, and a new and exciting life. She also discovers a secret about herself that she doesnít yet fully understand.

†††††† Tris has always been part of Abnegation, the selfless faction, but she feels like she isnít exactly good enough to fit into this community. She finds that itís a challenge to be as self-sacrificing and unselfish as her family. When the time comes to make the choice between a new life and her family, however, she realizes that she doesnít necessarily want to say goodbye to her family and the familiar life sheíd leave behind. If she makes the choice to leave, she most likely will never see them again. When Tris takes the aptitude test in which the community gives her a faction recommendation, she discovers a dangerous secretósheís Divergentó which means she doesnít †fit into any conventional category; but she doesnít realize the full extent of danger this label can put her in.† After choosing her faction, she faces a highly competitive initiation, and struggles to determine who her friends truly are and what being Divergent can actually mean for her. She also uncovers a plot that threatens to change society as she knows it, and how powerful her secret can actually be.

†††††† What I enjoy most about Divergent is the suspense. There is not one boring or dull moment in the whole book, and it kept me reading and almost experiencing the feelings and emotions of the main character myself. The only thing I didnít particularly like about the book was the ending. I think it was a little rushed and that it could have been much better if it wasnít for that. But overall, it was a great, well-written book, and I recommend it for fans of the Hunger Games.

If It Aint Broke, Don't Fix It!
Category: Reviews
Tags: Kindle nook e-readers books amazon

If you love to read, you know very well the excitement you feel when you purchase a new book. Thereís something about holding it in your hands, smelling the crisp pages, and feeling each page as you turn it thatís almost as important as the content of the book. When you read, itís not just the words that captivate you, itís the entire experience.

However, it seems that now-a-days, everyone is insisting that books are going the way of the dinosaur, and e-readers have risen to the top. With Barnes and Nobleís Nook and Amazonís Kindle for sale at relatively low prices, more and more people are making the switch every day. Not that there arenít some advantages for using e-readers. Thousands and thousands of books are available for your download from pay sites, library sites, and free sites; and you never have to leave home. With a click of a mouse you can have that newly released novel youíve been wanting instantly. Itíll be on your reading device in a couple of seconds. You donít have to go to the bookstore, or the library, or wait 5 days to get it in the mail. Iíll admit, that sounds pretty appealing.

My parents and my sister all got Kindleís recently, and while on vacation, there was this sci-fi book they downloaded. I read it, partly because I didnít have anything else to read, and partly because it looked interesting. It was a great book, it really was. I enjoyed it immensely, and at the end I wished it had continued on forever. It was the very first time I had ever read a book in its electronic form, and honestly, I didnít think much about it.

Weeks later, I was at the library. There was a book on the end cap and I picked it up because it looked like something I might enjoy reading. After skimming the paragraph on the back cover, I realized it was the same book I had read on the Kindle only a month ago! I quickly flipped through the book, looking at the font, the size, the layout of the page, and after a few moments, I realized to my dismay that I didnít even recognize the book. It was foreign to me. How could a book that I had read so recently and loved so much be unknown in my mind?

Thatís when I realized it was because I had missed out on the full experience of the book. All the comfort and emotion you find by having a physical copy of a book cannot be translated through a cold, hard computer. Every book on the Kindle is the same. Itís a page of text within a piece of machinery. Books have personalities that are portrayed through the formatting and the fonts, and each book is very unique. When you read a book, you not only get to know the characters and the story, but you get to know the book itself. Itís not so when you read things on a Kindle.

What if by the time my kids are ready to start reading and loving the wonderful things books can bring them, hard copies have become obsolete and e-readers are the only way new books are available? What if my grandkids never get to enjoy the smell of brand new printed pages and the comfort of turning a page and seeing that the story continues and the world youíve grown to love lives on? How could I expect them to discover the same love for reading I have by looking on computers instead of paper?

Some things are sacred.

And in a world where everything is becoming computers and technology, some things should be left alone.

Review: I Kissed Dating Goodbye
Category: Reviews
Tags: i kissed dating goodbye joshua harris dating and marriage i kissed dating good bye joshua harris dating

(This review is by homeschool teen, Coan Payne, who, in addition to writing book reviews, also†writes wonderful poetry. Be inspired: check out his blog.)

I Kissed Dating Goodbye is written mainly to teens and young adults who are unmarried, not just specifically Christians. Joshua Harris points out why dating is a bad idea. He discourages dating but doesn't tell you you absolutely can't date.

As a 16 year old who has not dated at all, this book has given me several reasons why I do not want to date. Focusing on a relationship, and being involved in a relationship at a young age, can change your priorities. Your focus can easily be taken off God and put solely on the person you are involved with. It can cause rifts between family and friends that can affect your relationships long term. He also points out that if you do decide to date then it is important not to be intimate because "the joy of intimacy is the reward of commitment". By this he means intimacy is meant for married couples only, and quotes Scripture relating to this.††

In our culture today it is quite difficult to stay sexually pure in a relationship. There is a lot of peer pressure to have intimate relations with just about anyone you date now. Joshua says that our society's mentality is basically to have fun while you still can. Purity and commitment don't matter is what we often hear from our peers and on television, movies, and in books. The danger involved in that is that we end up severely hurting someone. It explained to me that girls put way more emotionally into an intimate relationship than I would, and she can be extremely hurt when the relationship ends. As a Christian young man, I feel like I need to wait until God shows me that I am able and ready to make a long term commitment.
Joshua Harris shares some of his past defective dating experiences. While doing so, he subtly brings out the Gospel. By the end of the book he has explained why dating is a bad idea and why staying pure is so important to God and your spiritual walk.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is single and currently dating.
I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for free in exchange for my honest review.
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