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!

Waiting on Wednesday: “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

AllegiantTitle: Allegiant (Divergent #3)

Author: Veronica Roth

ETA: October 22nd, 2013

Blurb from Goodreads: One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Why: I know this is going to be a popular one in coming WoWs, but I DID just preorder my copy from Amazon, so … now I officially can’t wait!

Waiting on Wednesday #11

Waiting on Wednesday is a feature hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) (Click for Goodreads)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Expected Publication Date: June 5th, 2012

Summary from Goodreads: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Why I’m Waiting: There are times when I hate putting that subject header there, because it’s like you guys didn’t just read that summary and already know the answer to this question. I mean, seriously. I have been desperately looking for something new and unique, and this looks like it could be it! The reviews I’ve seen so far have been amazingly positive all around, so that counts for something. Plus, I REALLY WANT TO READ THIS. That is all. (Plus, Veronica Roth blurbed it. DUDES.)

Top Ten Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This one is a hard one! Let’s see if I can get to 10, shall we? (Any links go to my reviews.)

1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

OHMYGOD GUYS. If you haven’t read this yet, what in the world is wroooong with you? Just plan on it sometime. 😛 This, as Rae Carson said over Twitter, is rather “as YA as my coffee table” beside the fact that it has teenage narrators, but it is just so amazing. I laughed. I cried. I cried some more. And loved it so much.

2. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Not one of his books has touched me in such a way as this one. I was literally bawling my eyes out towards the end, but I COULDN’T STOP READING. I just had so much love for this story.

3. Annie John by Jamaica Kinkaid

This is one of the few classics I have ever really liked, and the only one from my readings for school this year that I think should have been kept in the cirriculum. The teenage angst in this book is almost picture perfect, pulsing off the page. (Like my alliteration? Yeah, I’m using big words!)

4. Countess Below Stars by Eva Ibbotson

Another classic I enjoy for being a classic. I love Eva Ibbotson books in general, but this one has always been my favorite.

5. The Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Few dystopians feel, to me, like classics. This would be numero uno. Plus, they are just freaking amazing, and that alone should require much reading in the next 30 years.

6. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Yeah, yeah, I know, this is probably on EVERY list you’ve stopped by today. I don’t care, because that’s how true it is!

7. Any and all books by Cassandra Clare

What? If, 30 years from now, they don’t know how to have fun, then they are really screwed up. No set of books makes me laugh as hard as EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE.

8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

If someone can manage to capture falling in love, being in love, the troubles of love, etc, so perfectly, they should at least be honored with a really long shelf life for their work!

9. Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

Classic historical fiction right here, which really takes a new view into the lives of two of the most memorable queens in Egyptian history. Any lover of historical fiction at any time should read these.

10. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

What? I’m a Sparks fanatic. You can’t tell me this isn’t a powerful novel in its own right about a very real thing in American culture. So READ IT, FUTURE.

Review: “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth (Click for Goodreads)

5 stars

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Given that I never reviewed Divergent on this blog, I should probably mention that I LOVE THAT BOOK. I love it. Love. Lovelovelove. Which, honestly, is what makes this review so hard to write.

How in the world do I not make it all gibberish in CAPS lock?

I know that reviews have been mixed on whether or not this is better than Divergent, and honestly I think that’s because Divergent and Insurgent are two very different types of books. It’s really hard for me to explain it, but–having reread Divergent directly before diving into this one–I FELT it. Depending on your preference, that’s going to influence a lot of opinions.

Personally, I felt that Insurgent was even better. For me, Divergent was a lot like all those other dystopian books where there is this world and it’s falling apart and there is this person that’s different and is having all this self discovery out of a community of sameness and all that jazz. There’s nothing WRONG with that, and I did think the book was fantastic and a cut above all the over books like that, but Insurgent really set it above the bar for me.

In absolutely no way does this book fall prey to second book syndrome. It DOESN’T STOP MOVING. Ever. In the good way. Also a literally way. Tris is traveling all over the place, and I liked being able to see more of the other factions. I loved the suspense underlying everything, because no one’s allegiances were clear and even people I thought I understood came back to surprise me. Every character was diverse and round. A lot of questions were answered, but of course even bigger ones were posed. Basically, I’m pretty sure this book is everything people could have wanted it to be.

Well, maybe that’s not true. There is the lack of Four/Tobias and Tris romance scenes. I understand some people didn’t like the fact that they were at odds for a lot of the book. I … loved it, actually. See, here’s the thing: Tobias and Tris are a real couple. They are in a real, deadly situation and they haven’t known each other for all that long. I love how Tris admits that she has never really seen Tobias outside of one environment, and I love how they take the time to grow together and really trust each other. This couple is REAL. So there was a lack of kissing scenes. *I* wanted to kiss Veronica Roth for giving me REAL romance. (Okay, not really. But a tackle-hug would work.)

To be honest, unless this book has been absolutely horrible, Insurgent already had an automatic five stars from me. There are very few series right now where my inner editor shuts off and I just enjoy the ride, and the Divergent series is one of those. They are action packed, have hints of humor and they are refreshingly REAL. I trust Roth’s world building, I enjoy her characters and I believe in her plot. There aren’t many authors who give me that trifecta.

Excuse me for a moment while my inner crazy fan girl comes out: VERONICA ROTH I COULD KILL YOU FOR THAT ENDING OHMYGOD HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TALK ABOUT A CLIFFHANGER OHMYGOOOOOOOD.

Ahem.

Now, onto the big question: WHEN CAN I HAVE THE NEXT ONE? (It’s slated for a 2013 release, no date or title as of yet!)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Play Hooky With

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

When I think of playing hooky, I think I better have a darn good reason. (Yes, I’m responsible. For the most part…) Anyways. If you’re going to play hooky, you have to do it right: with the best friends you can find; the kind you KNOW you can laugh and have fun with. So here are my top ten books that I would stop everything to go hang out with, again. (All title links will go to Goodreads.)

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

You may or may not know how I feel about Cassandra Clare. Basically, the important thing is I LOVE CASSANDRA CLARE. Out of the entire Mortal Instruments series, City of Glass is probably my favorite. There is Alec/Magnus love, Jace/Clary love, Simon being badass and just general all around awesomeness. Plus, Clare is SO QUOTABLE. My brother and I can have Mortal Instruments quote wars. It’s a beautiful thing. I wasn’t a real big fan of City of Fallen Angels, but I’m still excited for City of Lost Souls to come out May 8th!

Demon Glass by Rachel Hawkins

Far and above my favorite book in the Hex Hall series. I do usually prefer conclusions, but I’ve made my feelings about Spell Bound clear. Demon Glass had a bunch of awesome magic, a load of snarky Sophie and–my favorite–the best Archer/Sophie scenes ever. Archer and Sophie have some of the best lines EVER WRITTEN. What can I say? I love me some snark!

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

This may be devolving into a list of the best snarkiest characters ever, but hey. Rose Hathaway is both snarky and UTTERLY KICKASS. Plus, in this one the love drama was intense and there is plenty of battle scenes. Plus, Rose/Dimitri love. Guys. I have never shipped a couple as hard as I have shipped Rose and Dimitri.

Squire by Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors of all time, just fyi. Her Protector of The Small series has grown on me like nobody’s business. Though there is nothing wrong with the finale book, Lady Knight, I have just always had a soft spot for Squire. There is a lot of humor, some romance, great friendships and a great storyline. Oh, and battles and griffins and centaurs and a whole bunch of other awesome stuff. You can’t go wrong.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

If you haven’t seen my review of this book yet, you’re about to be in for a surprise. ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER RIGHT HERE. I reread this just a few weeks ago and thought it was possible that I’d become immune to this book’s awesomeness. I was so wrong. I tried to take a drink during one of the bunch lines and nearly spurted it all over. This book is ADORABLE and HYSTERICAL. READ IT, ALL OF YOU.

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

If you’re wondering about this book’s inclusion to this list, you also missed my review of this book, didn’t you? Guys. The Angelfire series is some of the best stuff ever. The main character is a kickbutt girl with, what else, snark, the guy is droolworthy and the mythology is A+. I chose Wings of the Wicked for this list because I can’t stop rereading it. SO MUCH HAPPENS, and–guys–ALL THE WILL AND ELLIE. I drool, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Adrian. Guys. Adrian. His presence is worth the inclusion to any list such as these. He is THE BEST. I had my opinions about Bloodlines as a book, but Adrian has ALWAYS been awesome, throughout the Vampire Academy series and now into the Bloodlines series. Pretty sure these books could turn awful and I would still adore these books because of Adrian’s lines. I can’t wait for The Golden Lily to come out soon!

Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce

Pierce’s The Song of the Lioness series will always, always have a spot in my heart. They are one of those pieces of my childhood I just can’t live without. Abosutely no vacation is complete without these books. I enjoy the series as a whole, but all in all I’ve reread Lioness Rampant the most.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I walked into Divergent so, so wary, because I was sure there was NO WAY it could live up to HALF the hype it got. You know what? It actually met most of the expectations. Obviously, no book is perfect, but color me impressed. I even got my brother into this series. Anytime I need to lose myself into an interesting world with action and adventure, Divergent is always my go to book.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

There is no way we couldn’t finish off this kind of list the way we started it: with Cassandra Clare. The Infernal Devices series is, in some ways, even better than the Mortal Instruments. I chose this book because GUYS. THE WILL/TESSA/JEM STUFF GOING ON IN THIS BOOK. Even with none of the other awesomeness, that takes the cake any day. I just recently discussed how they are the ONE love triangle that works for me, and BOY DO THEY EVER.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Spring To-Be-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Okay, I have to face it, my to-be-read list is SKY HIGH. Picking ten for the spring is going to be … death defying. Let’s give it a try! (All links will go to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.)

1. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

In case you missed my Waiting on Wednesday post last week, I WANT THIS BOOK. If Amazon’s shipping department wasn’t the worst, I’D HAVE IT BY NOW. But I don’t. And the wait is KILLER.

2. The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

Really, as far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with this book. It’s historical fiction in the fact that it takes place in Russia circa 1888. It’s fantasy because the main character is both a Duchess and a necromancer. This book’s blurb caught me on the first look, and I can’t wait to read it.

3. Die for Me by Amy Plum

Okay, Anna and the French Kiss maaaay have made me have an instant love of books set in Paris, which I discovered at line 2 of the blurb. Then I read the REST of the blurb and went DUDE. Let’s see if the plotline is cool enough to overcome the star-crossed lovers thing! You can bet you’ll hear which way this one goes as soon as I get my hands on it.

4. Balthazar by Claudia Gray

I’ll admit, my interest in the Evernight series continued to wane as the books went on, but it seems that this one is completley unrelated to the Evernight books and characters except for Balthazar, so sign me up! I was a huge sucker for this guy, and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

5. The Selection by Kiera Cass

Okay, this is one book where I read the blurb and I went I WANT NOW. NOW. I have no idea why, but I just fell in love right there. Plus, the CW is making it into a TV series so DUDE. I have to at least read the book so I can watch how much the series messes with the plot line. 😛

6. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

GUYS. GUYS. CASSANDRA CLARE. THAT IS ALL.

7. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

This is the sequel to Divergent, which I thought actually lived up to a lot of the hype it got. Enough is said.

8. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

MORE VAMPIRE ACADEMY WORLD. MORE ADRIAN. GIVE ME NOW. If you don’t believe the CAPS is pertinent, read my review of Bloodlines!

9. Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers

Girl escapes arranged marriage, becomes assassin. Seriously, do I need to tell you anymore? Also, for the life of me I can’t get this cover to actually show up here, so you’re just going to have to click the link to check it out. 😛

10. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I am a horrible person who judges books by their cover–only literally, I swear! However, CHECK OUT THIS COVER. Then CHECK OUT THE BLURB. Really interested in getting my hands on this one!