My Thoughts on the End of “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth

So, I tried to title this so that no one would accidentally click this but just in case…

warningWARNING. SPOILERS WILL HAPPEN.

Now that that is out of the way…

A while ago, I read Allegiant by Veronica Roth and added it to my long list of reviews to write. As I thought about it, I realized that my entire review was being warped by my response to the huge backlash that followed the edge of the series. I know I’m late to the party, but I still want to talk about this because I’ve been using Allegiant as an example of something in a lot of conversations lately.

I am the first one to tell you that I like happy endings. Sad books make me … sad, of Allegiantcourse, and really unhappy. When I get invested in characters, I want those characters to make it. I want those characters to survive. I want their endings to be tied up in the end with a bow and–if I’m lucky–a wedding and seven kids. So of course that’s what I wanted to for Tris and Four.

However, here’s the thing about that ending: it’s what I expected.

What struck me–after I was done sobbing over the end–was exactly that fact. If Tris hadn’t made the choice she did, THAT was what would have thrown me and made me upset.

Authors have the unenviable task of appeasing their readers and staying true to their characters. Sometimes, those wishes coincide and everyone leaves happily. Sometimes, this is not the case and the choice the author makes will have the biggest impact of the entire book/series/what-have-you. For me, it is more of a betrayal to have the characters betray themselves then “betray” the ending the readers would want.

Tris wouldn’t have been Tris if she had let Caleb sacrifice himself. Veronica Roth–thank God–understood that. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it was to write that scene, when I’m sure she too just wanted Tris and Four to run off into the sunset. If this had not been the ending, I think my overall impression of the series would have been “good.” But because Roth stood by her characters like this, I think I’ll have to give it a “great” recommendation simply based on how much I respect this decision.

Okay, disclaimer time. Much of the motivation to write this post comes from my desire to talk to someone about this ending. So, seriously, comment and tell me what you think!

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ARC Review: “Once We Were” by Kat Zhang

Once We WereOnce We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles #2) by Kat Zhang

Goodreads | Amazon

“I’m lucky just to be alive”

Eva was never supposed to have survived this long. As the recessive soul, she should have faded away years ago. Instead, she lingers in the body she shares with her sister soul, Addie. When the government discovered the truth, they tried to “cure” the girls, but Eva and Addie escaped before the doctors could strip Eva’s soul away.

Now fugitives, Eva and Addie find shelter with a group of hybrids who run an underground resistance. Surrounded by others like them, the girls learn how to temporarily disappear to give each soul some much-needed privacy. Eva is thrilled at the chance to be alone with Ryan, the boy she’s falling for, but troubled by the growing chasm between her and Addie. Despite clashes over their shared body, both girls are eager to join the rebellion.

Yet as they are drawn deeper into the escalating violence, they start to wonder: How far are they willing to go to fight for hybrid freedom? Faced with uncertainty and incredible danger, their answers may tear them apart forever.

Four and a half stars

Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for this eARC! This title will be released September 17th, 2013.

WARNING: This review WILL include spoilers for the first book, What’s Left of Me. Read my review for more!

Getting a hold of an ARC of this book became an absolute necessity after reading the first book. When Edelweiss declined my first request, I requested again – basically until they let me have it. I was like a dog with a bone for this book, and with good reason. What’s Left of Me blew me out of the water and then some. Of course, after that, it was impossible to like the second one as much as the first, but the book gave me a good go, anyways!

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Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

Miss PeregrineMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

Goodreads |  Amazon

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. 

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here – one of whom was his own grandfather – were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason.

And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.

Three Stars

So this book came out a while ago, and I kept meaning to read it, and then I kept not reading it because shiny new things kept catching my eye, until finally I was in a used bookstore with my boyfriend (yep, our dates are awesome) and found a hardcover copy in perfect condition, and how can anybody resist that?

You should know that this review is a little spoilery, although it doesn’t really broach anything that I as a reader hadn’t guessed pretty early on in the book.  So, spoilers if you’re not a guesser?

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ARC Review: “Gold” by Talia Vance

GoldGold (Bandia #2) by Talia Vance

Goodreads | Amazon

Descended from an Irish demigod, Brianna has fled to Ireland to escape destruction at the hands of her sworn enemies, the Sons of Killian. Taking refuge at the estate of her former nemesis, Austin Montgomery, Brianna discovers a rift in time that opens to an era before the feud began.

Wrestling with her newfound feelings for the more innocent Austin, Brianna begins to wonder if she can alter the past. But when Brianna and Austin learn that the Sons are raising an army of mythical beasts, the pair will need to use their magical strength in the present to avoid a tragic end.

Four stars

Thanks to Flux and NetGalley for this eARC! This title will be released September 8th.

WARNING: This review WILL contain spoilers for book #1. Please see my review of Silver for more!

If you read my review of book one, then you know that I died in all the right ways during Silver. I had so much fun with the action and the sexiness (both books have a PG-13 rating for sure), and I was completely depressed when it ended. When Gold popped up on NetGalley, I hit the request button so hard I thought my mouse would break. Whatever I expected out of Gold, though, was not what I got–but in a (mostly) good way.

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ARC REVIEW: “THE DREAM THIEVES” BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER

The Dream ThievesThe Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

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Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Four and a half stars

Thanks to Scholastics and NetGalley for this eARC! This title will be released September 17th, 2013.

Warning: this review will contain spoilers for The Raven Boys. See my review of the first book HERE.

Given my last review, it will come as no surprise to anybody that I love this book. If the writing was only good instead of awesome and the plot was only so-so, I would adore it for the characters alone. But the writing is amazing—maybe the best yet. I had to resist the urge to quote random sentences at literally everybody.

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ARC Review: “The Morning Star” by Robin Bridges

The Morning StarThe Morning Star (The Katerina Trilogy Volume III) by Robin Bridges

Goodreads | Amazon

Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, wants to be known as a doctor, not a necromancer. But Tsar Alexander III forbids women to attend medical school; his interest in Katerina extends only to her ability to raise the dead. Twice now, Katerina has helped him by using her power to thwart the forces of darkness—vampires bent on resurrecting the lich tsar Konstantin Pavlovich so that he can take what he sees as his rightful place on the throne. Katerina thought she had bound Konstantin to the Greylands, the realm of the dead, but he has found a way out. Now he is searching for the Morning Star, a sword that will allow him to command a legion of supernatural warriors.

Katerina must find the sword before Konstantin does—and she must travel to Egypt to do so. Along the way, she puts up with unwanted attention from her former fiancé, the nefarious Prince Danilo, and struggles with her feelings for her true love, George Alexandrovich. But with the looming threat from Konstantin, Katerina’s focus remains on the sword. Russia’s fate will be determined by whoever wields the Morning Star—and delivers the final blow.

Three and a half stars

Thanks to Random House and Delacorte Books for Young Readers for this ARC! This title will be released August 27th, 2013.

WARNING: This review WILL have spoilers for volumes 1 & 2. See my reviews of The Gathering Storm and The Unfailing Light for more! Don’t forget to also check out my interview with Robin!

Well, this is it. The end of Katerina’s journey through legions of the supernatural and an (intentionally) lopsided love triangle. She has raised an army of the dead and fallen in love and fought fiercely to be allowed to be a doctor. Will Katerina get everything she desires, or will she let go of her dreams and her love for the sake of the lives of friends and family? Well, I know how this all turns out, and I was fairly pleased with the result.

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Review: “Vortex” by S. J. Kincaid

VortexVortex (Insignia #2) by S. J. Kincaid

Goodreads | Amazon

The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.

Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process.

Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?

Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humor, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.

4 stars

WARNING: This review WILL contain spoilers for the first book, Insignia. Read my review of that one HERE!

I already knew, when I started reading this book, that there was no chance of me having the ridiculously enthusiastic reaction that I had to the first book. Still, I was excited to open the pages and get into a story I was sure to make me laugh. What I found was a plot in two, strange parts.

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