ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth

…okay, where do I begin for this one? There is so much I want to talk about and so much I can’t give away, no matter how much I’d love to…but for those of you who haven’t read this, considering it’s fairly new, I will warn you where there’s a spoiler alert. But for now, you’re safe 🙂

So, it’s the last in the trilogy by Veronica Roth. I had the date in my (virtual) calendar for months. And, well, I was disappointed.

I can safely say that Divergent is one of my favorite books. I’m not saying that lightly, because I am a huge bookworm, as I’m sure you’ve gathered. Divergent went past The Hunger Games. It was right up there with my all time favorite books, the ones I reread countless times. I got the collector’s edition of Insurgent while I was anticipating Allegiant. I spent all my spare time on Veronica Roth’s blog looking for quotes, hints, anything for Allegiant. On the 22nd, the release date, I went out first thing and dragged my poor mom to six or seven bookstores looking for it. I finally found it and read it all, that night.

I really sympathize with Veronica Roth. She had a deadline. She had all these readers, waiting. But I was reading the Amazon reviews for the book a few minutes ago, and it’s quite sad to see that a lot of people agree with me: the book really isn’t as good as we all hoped. In the couple of days that followed, I tried to convince myself that I loved it. I really, truly did. And I was all set to write a great big load of praise for how amazing the book was, and I wish I could! But I realized, yesterday, that I was trying to convince myself because I spent so much time waiting for it.

*spoiler alert from here onward*

The books were split onto Tris and Tobias’ POV, right? And, well, if you’re reading this bit I’m assuming you’ve read the ending: so it’s safe to say this was needed unless we wanted to end on the note where Tris dies.

But, and this is just my opinion: you couldn’t differentiate between the two. It became confusing. I had to go back to the start of chapters to remember who this was, because it all sounded like Tris! I mean, each character should have it’s own sense of identity, right? If you look at Noughts and Crosses: it’s in different POVs. But you can tell, just by each character’s manner of speech, who it is. But here? I couldn’t tell, and it became irritating(I can tell this is going to be one of my longer posts: there’s so much to say).

And, well, this whole “outside the fence” world…I was hoping for something really different, something that would kick start the real plot. I was hoping for some of the danger, some of the beauty of the other books – some of the perfect moments that make it Divergent. I felt like the whole book was a filler. I was bored, for crying out loud. And I think I was hoping, the whole way through, that this wasn’t all the book was going to be.

Tris is supposed to be from Abnegation. In Divergent, we see her slowly letting go of that in “Somewhere inside me is a merciful, forgiving person. Somewhere there is a girl who tries to understand what people are going through, who accepts that people do evil things and that desperation leads them to darker places than they ever imagined. I swear she exists, and she hurts for the repentant boy I see in front of me.

But if I saw her, I wouldn’t recognize her.”

And really? I was fine with that. She wrote Tris letting go of Abnegation slowly. But still, through Divergent and Insurgent, she is still Abnegation inside. She really is. Not in the asking-questions-is-not-allowed way, but in the forgiving way. In the good way. And if I show you a few more quotes from Divergent:

“Abnegation is what I am. It is what I am when I’m not thinking about what I’m doing. It is what I am when I am put to the test. It is what I am even when I appear to be brave. Am I in the wrong faction?”

“Tori was the only one in the tattoo place, so I felt safe getting the symbol of Abnegation—a pair of hands, palms up as if to help someone stand, bounded by a circle—on my right shoulder. I know it was a risk, especially after all that’s happened. But that symbol is a part of my identity, and it felt important to me that I wear it on my skin.”

She is Abnegation through and through; and in Divergent, there’s so much ‘bravery and selflessness are the same thing’ that the transition from Abnegation to Dauntless is smooth. Come Allegiant, suddenly she’s overbearing and she’s not the Tris I grew to adore. And the book felt boring because when out-of-character-Tris and sounds-the-same-Tobias weren’t arguing, there were more bad rebellion ideas that they still went along with. And Tori: her death felt so…insignificant. I didn’t feel anything until we met her brother.

Deaths…sometimes they’re necessary. They happen. They happen in Noughts and Crosses with Callum. They happen in Harry Potterwith Fred and Tonks and Lupin and so many others. They happen here, but I felt Tori’s was unnecessary. Uriah’s, I think, was the only one that worked for me. Uriah’s death broke my heart.

And that brings me onto the biggest part of this review…Tris.

She is- was our main character. To quote Divergent…”that is death – shifting from is to was.” And, well, I think this was the most horrible way to end the book.

Oh, she wrote it well. The way her mother appeared…and you can finally see why Tobias’ POV was needed. But I don’t think she really needed to die.

Her and Tobias fought so much; it was the kind of relationship that needed to end with ‘We were broken, but we were perfect.’ They had such a broken relationship that it needed redemption. But there never was any.

The rest of it, considering what had happened, was beautiful. That, I think, was the only return to the Divergent I knew and loved. After Tris died.

And I think that’s really quite sad.

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WONDER by R. J. Palacio

This one is by R.J. Palacio, and it’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read.

It’s not horrendously complicated. It’s not a billion words long. It’s simple, and short, and incredibly (sorry if this sounds sappy) moving. It’s about a boy called August, and he’s ten years old. The quote on the blurb is “My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”He was born with rare genetic disorders, and his face is like a horror mask (not my description!), and it’s all about how people adapt, how people react, and how August takes it.

The characters were beautifully three-dimensional- even August’s older sister, Via, isn’t a cardboard-cut-out sister who is fine with her brother. She’s an amazing sister. But she has those moments, where she’s ashamed, and it just adds to the layers. The book is split into different POV’s, and that just adds to it; you see how the “normal” people adjust to August’s appearance, because really he’s just a normal ten-year-old boy. So there’s a section for Via, and a section for August’s friend (and I found this one really interesting, because it showed how kids react).

It’s a very easy read, so giving it an age would be hard; a ten-year-old could probably read it. But hey- teens can read it too, and I know some people who are reading years later and still loving it. It’s…perfect, seriously, and this is a must-read.

 

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THE FAULT IN OUR STARS BY John Green

This is by John Green, and it’s amazing. It’s about a girl- Hazel Grace- and she’s got cancer, and she falls in love with a boy called Augustus Waters, and it’s really…wow. It is gorgeous and if you haven’t read it…well, go read it…

The thing is- and I don’t know if this is just me- I didn’t find it as amazing as everyone’s been raving about. It’s definitely a very heartbreaking book, but it’s not- well, not as brilliant as everyone told me. I bought it on a recommendation, and it’s definitely one that will stay on my bookshelf- but it’s not quite as ‘you will start crying, seriously’ as I was told.

I’m not saying it’s bad, don’t get me wrong. But there was something about it that didn’t quite work for me. I loved it anyway, though that might be because I’m obsessed with sad books. The ending was amazingly horribly heartbreaking, but…if I’m honest, somehow it seemed predictable. But overall, I loved it!

Age: 14-ish.

I’m not going to spoil the plot for everyone, and I’ll end up ruining the ending if I start talking about the storyline. There are some quotes from that book I love, and one of them is “my thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” There is something about that quote, and some of the other ones, that I love. And though it might not be as perfect as I expected, it was definitely worth a read.

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BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Second book in the Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohil. It carries on from the last amazing book, Beautiful Creatures. Macon Ravenwood, Lena’s Incubus uncle, is dead- (so sad) he died while fighting Lena’s Dark mother, Sarafine. The night Macon died, on Lena’s sixteenth birthday, one of her eyes turned yellow, the other green. Usually when a Caster is claimed they turn Light or Dark- Light meaning green eyes and Dark meaning yellow- but Lena’s sort of half- and- half.

After Macon dies, Ethan is getting worried about Lena- she’s stopped writing in her journal and she’s become all distant. She’s even stopped Kelting with Ethan (like… talking through their minds.) and blocks him out instead. And Ethan’s started having these strange dreams which involve Macon and a woman called Jane, who Macon seems to be madly in love with.

On the last day of school, Ethan, Lena and Link are at the lake because of a school incident. After kissing Ethan, Lena runs into the forest and jumps onto the back of a Harley with a stranger. Ethan’s confused, duh.

So then, Ethan and Link meet Ridley, the Dark Caster Siren (power of persuasion). Ridley is with a guy- John Breed, who happensto be the guy Lena ran off with.

Ooh! And at his job at the library under Marian, Ethan meets Liv. Ethan and Liv are friends, and Lena sees them eating lunch together when she drives past and jumps to the wrong conclusion. At the County Fair, Ethan and Lena are talking. Lena’s wearing Ridley- style clothes. Liv turns up, causing Lena to go psycho. The three (Ridley, John and Lena) disappear.

For help, Link and Ethan go to the Lunae Libri, the Caster Library. Ethan hears a laugh and finds Liv, who explains that she’s a Keeper- in- training and knows about the Caster world. Determined to find Lena, Link, Ethan and Liv go through the Caster tunnels to find them. After a while, they figure out that Sarafine is trying to pull the seventeenth moon out of time so Lena has to claim herself early…

Amazing. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Not as great as Beautiful Creatures, but brilliant anyways. Age 12… I guess.

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