Hello there and welcome to The Turndog Review: the books I read, reviewed.
I aren’t a professional critic, instead all I offer is my honest opinion into everything I read. However, I do this with a difference, as I don’t only offer my personal views on the Writing, Plot, and Story, but also the Book Cover, Book Marketing, and Author Website.
We live in a modern world where being a writer is different to years gone by, and I feel the whole experience of the book matters. This covers everything from the initial find, the actual read, and everything that follows. Therefore I hope this review not only offers a great insight into the book and author, but also into my own mind and what makes me tick.
So without further ado let’s begin, and today I focus on Divergent by Veronica Roth
Read: March 2012
Discovered: Via the Goodreads March Book Challenge.
I’d never heard of Divergent before coming across as it part of my Goodreads monthly challenge, but I’m really glad I did. It’s set in a futuristic world where people are part of one of five sects: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite.
The plot follows Beatrice, a young girl who has to choose where her future lies. Will she stay with her family in Abnegation, or go to a new sect, and therefore into a complete unknown?
She and her brother decide to leave Abnegation and face a life of mystery, but they choose different paths and Beatrice is thrust into the brave and violent world of Dauntless. Does she have what it takes to be part of Dauntless? Will she pass her initiation and become a member, or will she fail, or worse, die, somewhere along the way?
It’s a young adult novel for sure, but like so many these days this is a story that people of all ages can enjoy. It’s fast paced with loads of action, and you find yourself really falling for the quite charming, albeit in a moody sort of way, Beatrice.
Just a really well written, fast paced story. Veronica Roth creates some great characters, and some truly great scenarios. Not a million miles away from the Hunger Games, where you emphasis with a teenage group having to do something they don’t quite agree with.
It was clear from the offset this would become a series (and indeed book number two is nearly out as I write this), and I feel Veronica does a great job in setting up a truly larger than life journey. I want to read more, and this is exactly what all authors need to try and achieve.
Not a great deal in all honesty. It’s a great read that flows fast, and overall does exactly what it sets out to achieve.
If I was being picky it would be to say it can be a little simplistic at times, but seeing as it’s primarily aimed at young adults, this is more than likely a purposeful move.
I certainly feel this cover is more attractive for the ladies out there, which is a shame, because this book is equally as attractive for guys too. It’s a pretty cover though, and certainly captures the story well.
The text is a tad small though and hard to read, which certainly hurts its stature on the Kindle store. There is another cover though, which is much more neutral and stands out a great deal. What that lacks is the depth and emotional attachment of this one, so I suppose you can’t achieve everything with one cover.
Overall the marketing within the book is a little disappointing. Considering Veronica has a large online community, there are no links to her sites from the book. I find it crazy, because Veronica is a great communicator and it’s a shame this isn’t brought over to her book
It just seems a tad lazy and short sighted, which is surprising I must say.
Author Website & Engagement:
As good as the story is, this is where Veronica Roth comes in to her own. She is an avid Blogger, and as soon as you enter her site you see promotions for the next instalment ‘Insurgent’.
Promoting it is one thing, but this is something else. She aims to reach 35,000 pre order sales, and if she achieves this a special scene will be released. It’s a scene from Divergent, from the POV of Four (another main character), a move I find genius.
It all came about via engagement, when Veronica did a Blog post stating the initial draft was in the POV of Four. As you can imagine her fans wanted to know more, see samples, and eventually read an entire book about Four. As all good marketers do, Veronica and her publishers listened, and now her fans hold the key as to whether this great story will come to light.
This is the power a modern day writer can hold, and I feel Veronica Roth is a great example of what can be done.
As for her website, well it’s a rather simple Blogger account, and rather than open up a new one she simply uses this platform. It’s not an amazing looking site, but the engagement within it is superb.
There are also links to eight, yes that’s right, eight fansites. This is a great move by Veronica, because it’s not always about communicating to your own fans, but allowing them to communicate with each other. This is where Harry Potter saw so much of its success, and I feel Veronica and her team are a very proactive bunch by following suit.
Overall it’s hard not to be impressed with this book and everything that goes with it. Veronica is young and part of a new breed, and although she’s published, she clearly has an Indie mentality to her. This I feel is the key going forward, because people are beginning to expect engagement, and for their idols to reach out and engage.
Gone are the days of the reclusive author (well, for the most part. I’m sure there will always be some exceptions).
As for the score, well the story is a solid one, but when you add together the marketing and Veronica Roth as a person, it has to be…
5 Turndogs out of 5
Thanks for reading this version of The Turndog Review. I review every book I read, not only for the writing, but the marketing, website, and general communication from the author.
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