Top 5 Wednesday: Books You Felt Betrayed By

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is: Books You Felt Betrayed By: Beware the Ides of March! What books (or characters) did you feel betrayed by, for whatever reason…big or small.

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1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth. First of all, I kind of have the Twilight Effect with this series- I really loved Divergent (and even Insurgent) when I first read it, but going back and re-reading I find it really underwhelming. Anyways, I was so excited for Allegiant and it ended up being probably the worst series ender I’ve ever read. Not just the controversial death, but it made me really dislike Four and the plot was just so convoluted and didn’t make any sense!

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2. Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer. I loved the Elemental series and was excited to finally get Michael’s POV. And I was really enjoying this book – right up until the very abrupt end! Part of the problem was my sneaky ARC, but I felt like there were just SO MANY loose ends and this was supposed to be the series finale. Since then, Kemmerer has said she is continuing the series, but no date has been announced as to when that will happen.

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3. The Rose Society by Marie Lu. Every review I read for this series raved about how “dark” it was supposed to be and how the main character was supposed to be so villainous. However, I did not feel that way at all about it. There were maybe a couple of darker moments, but I felt way more sorry for the main character than scared of her, which was a major disappointment. I still haven’t read the final book in the series yet.

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4. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. So I gave this a pretty favorable review when I first read it, but the more I got away from it, the more disappointing I found not just this final book, but the whole series. Though I will always love the characters, the story just doesn’t make a lot of sense! I especially find the conclusion of the Glendower plotline to be particularly ridiculous and unsatisfying. I’m not even very interested in the upcoming Ronan spin-off.

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5. Kate in Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld. She kind of ruined everything between her and her husband, who I loved, with one stupid choice. The fact that it seemed so abrupt and not anything that the story had been “leading up to” made it even worse.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Disappointing Reads of 2014

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is a Freebie! I’ve decided to go with my Top Ten Most Disappointing Reads of 2014. Click on the links for my review (if applicable) or the Good Reads page.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. It seems like everyone in the blogosphere is obsessed with this series. I just don’t get it. I gave this book 1 star.

Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1 - 0.4)

2. Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth. I was hoping that this book would in some small way make up for Allegiant. Or make me fall for Four again. It did not.

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

3. Just One Day by Gayle Foreman. Yet another book the blogosphere loves that I did not. I just don’t get it, guys.

The Dancing Master

4. The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen. I really enjoy Klassen’s novels, but this one was pretty bad. Especially the parts where she actually plagiarizes herself from another book!

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes

5. All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant. This book had so much potential, but just didn’t live up to it. I really wish it would’ve focused more on the reality show plotline.

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1)

6. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. While it started out interesting enough, it had super unlikable characters and became very confusing.

We Were Liars

7. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I think this book suffered from too much hype. It had a good twist, but it did not make up for the rest of the book.

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)

8. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. Don’t get me wrong, this book was cute! But it was definitely my least favorite book of the series.

The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending, #1)

9. The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris. I love the fake relationship trope and had been looking forward to this book for a long time and it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

The Archived (The Archived, #1)

10. The Archived by Victoria Schwab. Yet another beloved book in the blogosphere that just didn’t do it for me. I found it way too slow and pretty boring until the end.

What Top Ten Tuesday topic did you choose? What are some of your most disappointing reads of 2014?

Taylor Swift Book Tag

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I’ve been a bad blogger lately since I’ve been spending most of time on NaNoWriMo instead of reading (books, I miss you!), so I looked through some “book tags” and decided to go with the Taylor Swift Book Tag. Feel free to tag yourself if you’d like to do it!

1. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: Pick a book (or book series) that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. I loved the first book! And liked the second! I was sooooo looking forward to the conclusion of the series, and then Allegiant came along and I HATED it! It ruined my enjoyment of the series as a whole and I was not excited at all anymore for the movies.

2. Red: Pick a book with a RED cover.

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

3. The Best Day: Pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I was just as naïve about things when I was in high school as Lara Jean is in this book.

4. Love Story: Pick a book with forbidden love.

Forbidden

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. I mean, it’s right in the name in everything. (While it’s a forbidden romance, I don’t think the song would be appropriate for it at all!)

5. I Knew You Were Trouble: Pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – The Darkling!

6. Innocent:  Pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.

Sentinel (Covenant, #5)

Sentinel by Jennifer Armentrout. No one ruined the ending, per se, but finding out about the spin-off before reading this book definitely gave some things away.

7. Everything has Changed: Pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Juliette throughout the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi.

8. You Belong With Me: Pick your most anticipated book release.

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

Fairest by Marissa Meyer. Out January 27th!

 9. Forever and Always: Pick your favourite book couple.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

The Raven Boys + Blue. They aren’t technically a “couple” but they’re all kind of love in with each other and me with them!

10. Come Back, Be Here: Pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.

Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. It’s one of my all time favorites and has a signed bookplate sticker in it.

Reviewing the Unreviewed: August

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

Act Like You Love Me (Accidentally in Love, #2)

Act Like You Love Me (Accidentally in Love #2) by Cindi Madsen. Read August 11-12. 3 stars.

Not as cute as the first book in the series. This one had an Importance of being Earnest theme that annoyed me. But it was still kind of cute.

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Meade. Read August 2-13. 3 stars.

It took me until the final chapters to really get into this book. Most of the book was a 2 star read for me, until *SPOILER* Adrian and Sydney were reunited and they got married!

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins. Read August 14-15. 3 stars.

In most ways this book was just as adorable as the rest of the series. However, it was also pretty heavy on the over dramatic. I thought Isla and Josh’s relationship was a little too intense for their level of maturity. Their problems were all self-inflicted, but I like that it led both of them to learn more about themselves and for Isla especially to learn to accept herself and realize how hard she is on herself. The cameos of the other couples in the series was way too short, though there was a nice moment for Anna and St. Claire. Overall, it was a cute book for sure, but not my favorite of the series.

Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1 - 0.4)

Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth. Read August 14-17. 1 star.

I was hoping that this book would in some small way make up for Allegiant. Or make me fall for Four again. It did not. *Sigh*    

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BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

Ruins (Partials Sequence, #3)

Ruins (Partials Sequence #3) by Dan Wells. Got it once again from the library and it expired before I got to it.

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed by Michelle Knight. Whether you’re from Northeast Ohio, like me, or not, you’ve probably heard about Ariel Castro and how the 3 girls he kidnapped were finally freed last year. I don’t usually read much non-fiction, but since this story is so close to home, I wanted to read it. I didn’t get very far in this before I stopped. For one, I think it could use a lot more editing. The narrative sounded a little too childish and almost painful to read – not even taking into account the content. The second was this Note to Readers in the beginning of the book: In recounting the events in this memoir, chronologies have been compressed or altered and details have been changed to assist the narrative… Is this the norm for non-fiction books?? To me it almost sounds like the details of what happened are not going to be accurate. However, I still want to eventually read this.

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RE-READ

Too Good to Be True

Too Good to be True by Kristan Higgins. After reading Forbidden, I needed something light and sweet to read. Kristan Higgins always does the trick.

Monday’s Minutes

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Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next

WHAT I’M READING

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)

I’m still reading Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead. I got distracted by a couple books since I started it. I’m still having a hard time getting into it, though. Not a whole lot has been going on yet.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1 - 0.4)

Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth. I honestly wasn’t going to read this since Allegiant kind of ruined this series for me. But it was at the library, so I thought I’d give it a try. I also just finally watched Divergent this weekend and while I didn’t think the movie was as great as everyone else did, it reminded me how much I liked the first book. And how much I liked Four before books two and three happened.

What are you reading?

Last Chance to Enter my 1 Year Blogaversary Giveaway!

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In case you haven’t yet, there’s still time to enter my 1 Year Blogaversary Giveaway! You can win a free kindle or Nook book copy of any book I’ve reviewed! You can enter it here until 6/27/14 at 5:00 PM (EST)!

MY TOP 5 VIEWED REVIEWS

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sentinel (Covenant #5) by Jennifer Armentrout

Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Check out my review page for a full list of reviews!

 

2013 Year in Review


So I started out 2013 with a goal to read 25 books. I kept adding 10 to my goal and finally stopped extending it when I got to 85. I ended up reading 169 books (though there’s still a few days left so this number could go up by one or two). I thought I’d call attention to some of my favorites – and my not so favorites.

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR – MYSTERY/SUSPENSE: LINWOOD BARCLAY

Never Look Away  No Time for Goodbye  The Accident

Linwood Barclay is not a new author, but I just discovered him this year. So far I’ve only read the above 3 books, but they were all consistently good. It’s not just great mystery. He writes really great, relatable characters, too.

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR – ROMANCE: KRISTAN HIGGINS

The Next Best Thing   The Best Man (Blue Heron #1)   All I Ever Wanted   Just One of the Guys

I read Just One of the Guys early in the year because it was a free nook book and I enjoyed it. I recently just went on a Kristan Higgins splurge and read every book that she has published. They all pretty closely follow the same outline, but I love them all. I love her character development – particularly her “flashback” style of writing -, her quirky secondary characters, and that it’s romance without being erotic.

FAVORITE RETURNING AUTHOR: RAINBOW ROWELL

Fangirl

Ok, I’m going to share a very unpopular opinion. I did not love Eleanor and Park. It was only just ok for me. But I still love you Rainbow Rowell! And she gave me another excellent book to read this year in Fangirl. Cath and Levi. Sigh.

FAVORITE COUPLE (ADULT): MARTIN RILKE & IVY THAXTON RILKE

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)

I don’t think I can ever say enough how much I love Martin Rilke.  He and Ivy were my favorite characters in The Passing Bells and I absolutely loved them together.

FAVORITE COUPLE (YA): DAEMON & KATY

Onyx (Lux, #2)

Of course this has to be Daemon and Katy from Lux. They’re sarcastic and adorable.

BEST CHARACTER GROWTH: JOHN TOMASETTI

Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder, #1)

Tomasetti of the Kate Burkholder series starts off as a barely functioning alcoholic and prescription drug addict that’s just hanging on to his job and recovering from the murder of his wife and daughters. Throughout the series he sobers up (more or less), returns to being the agent he once was, and becomes the stable one in his relationship with Kate.

FAVORITE CAST OF CHARACTERS: THE RAVEN BOYS

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah, and Blue. I love the interactions between this group. What really draws me into this series is the characters. I wish I would’ve come up with them.

BEST FREE BOOK: BACK ON MURDER

Back on Murder (A Roland March Mystery, #1)

I discovered The Roland March series by J. Mark Bertrand because the first in the series was a free nook book at Barnes and Noble (you can get it for FREE here). Bertrand is a solid writer and I gave all three books in this series 4 stars.

FAVORITE NEW SERIES (YA): LUX

Obsidian (Lux, #1)  Onyx (Lux, #2) Opal (Lux, #3)  Origin (Lux, #4)

I’ve probably mentioned Jennifer Armentrout and her Lux series in this blog more than any other author or series. I love the writing, the characters, the banter, the mysteries, and the action.

FAVORITE NEW SERIES (ADULT): THE KATE BURKHOLDER SERIES

Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder, #1)  Pray for Silence (Kate Burkholder, #2)  Breaking Silence (Kate Burkholder, #3)  Gone Missing (Kate Burkholder, #4)  Long Lost (Kate Burkholder #4.5)Her Last Breath (Kate Burkholder, #5)

I have to say that part of me loves this series because it’s based in Holmes County, Ohio – not far from where I grew up. But I also love the characters and the mystery.

LIVED UP TO THE HYPE: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

The Fault in Our Stars

I did not believe that The Fault in our Stars would make me cry. I was wrong. But it was also sarcastic and funny and wonderful.

DIDN’T LIVE UP TO THE HYPE: THE SILENT WIFE

The Silent Wife

I kept reading things about how this was this summer’s Gone Girl. It was not. It took me about a month to finally finish it.

MOST DISAPPOINTING SEQUEL: THE ELITE

The Elite (The Selection, #2)

This book actually made me angry. I really enjoyed the first book, but this one was just horrible. America becomes unbearably annoying. Aspen is a doormat. Maxon is a dick. And the rebel subplot… Here’s hoping the end of the series makes up for this book.

MOST DISAPPOINTING END OF A SERIES – RUNNER-UP: REQUIEM

Requiem (Delirium, #3)

Ugh. This story went so down hill for me in this book. The love triangle in Requiem‘s is the reason I hate them. And though Lena’s choice is obvious, she never actually “picks” him. And half the book was given to Hanna’s POV, who I could not care less about (seriously – I can’t even tell how much I DON’T care about Hanna). I felt like the end was left open for future books instead of concluding the story of Lena. It turned into an obvious and poorly done social commentary on how we need to love.

MOST DISAPPOINTING END OF A SERIES: ALLEGIANT

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

I was soooo disappointed by this book. I didn’t think it was possible for an ending to disappoint me more than Requiem did, but this one really took the cake. While Allegiant wraps things up in a way Requiem does not, I was still more disappointed with it because I loved this series so much and was so, so expecting it to be amazing. It wasn’t just the fact that I didn’t agree with the ending. It was just poorly done.

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR – RUNNER UP: UNRAVEL ME

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)

I loved the first book in this series and this one got even better. And even though I hate to admit it, the love triangle in this book actually works. I don’t feel like there’s a clear choice for Juliette and I get that she has feelings for both of them because I have feelings for both of them. Just when I’ve decided I’m Team Warner, she runs into Adam and I suddenly feel conflicted. Because of course I’m Team Adam. But then there’s Warner…

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR: THE NIGHT CIRCUS

The Night Circus

This wasn’t at all what I was expecting it to be. It’s super descriptive which I don’t usually like, but it was done so beautifully in this book that I loved it. The emotional connection I felt to these characters were greater than any others I’ve read this year.

Veronica Roth discusses the end of Allegiant

If you’re read my review of Allegiant, you know that I was not happy with it. Not just because I didn’t like the ending, but because I didn’t feel it made sense. Veronica Roth wrote a post on her blog today (shared below) discussing  how she reached the conclusion and why she felt it was the only way (you can see her full post here).

Beware of SPOILERS

Veronica Roth wrote:

In my college creative writing program, we had a rule: during workshop, when your story is being critiqued, you aren’t allowed to say anything. This is to give your peers the freedom to interpret your work and point out the flaws in it without you shouting them down; it’s also because your defense doesn’t actually mean anything, though you might think it does. If your explanations and intentions are not clear to the reader, buried inside the text, that isn’t the reader’s fault, it’s the author’s.

Responding to readers’ comments about the Divergent books has always felt the same way to me, like it would just be me shouting other people down when I should be letting them speak freely, and as badly as some criticism hurts (and it does, because I’m only human, after all), I never, ever want that.

So that’s not what I’m trying to do here. A lot of people have been asking me why Tris died at the end of Allegiant, and what I do want to do here is answer that question as well as I can. But if you’re concerned about my voice imposing itself over your own, please stop reading this post– that’s the last thing I want. I don’t want to tell you how to read these books or even to tell you there’s one right way to read them. I just want to offer you some insight into how I personally found my way to this ending, if you’re interested in hearing it.
Before I get into it, I’m going to say a few things, though:

1. You are allowed—encouraged!— to continue to feel however you want to feel, or think however you want to think, about the ending, no matter what this blog post says. I’m the author, yes, but this book is yours as well as mine now, and our voices are equal in this conversation.

2. Just because I try to do something with my writing doesn’t necessarily mean that I do it well, so there is also room to say “Okay, I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t think that what you were trying to do worked.”

I’ve said before that this ending was always a part of the plan, but one thing I want to make clear is that I didn’t choose it to shock anyone, or to upset anyone, or because I’m ruthless with my characters—no, no, no. I may have been ruthless with other characters, in the past, but not with her, never with her. And I wasn’t thinking about any readers when I wrote this book; I was thinking about the story, because trying to meet the expectations of so many readers would be paralyzing. There’s no way to please everyone, because that mythical book with the ending that every single person wants can’t exist—you want different things, each one of you. The only thing I can do, in light of that fact, is write an honest story as best I can.

What happened to Tris’s parents at the end of Divergent was in some ways the catalyst for the rest of the series. Before that point, Tris had rejected her parents’ values and beliefs in a very tangible way by choosing Dauntless. She struggled throughout Divergent to reconcile two identities: her Abnegation identity, which Four points out to her, and her Dauntless identity. It’s just before her mother gives up her life that Tris figures out how those identities fit together, combining selflessness and bravery and love for her family and love for her faction all together under one umbrella: Divergent. It’s a moment of triumph followed by a moment of total devastation, when Natalie dies so that Tris can escape. And then Andrew follows soon after.

Tris’s parents’ deaths were revelatory moments, both for Tris and for me. For Tris, they seemed to awaken her to the power of self-sacrifice out of love; she later handed over the gun to Four rather than kill him, essentially giving her life rather than taking his. She said something in that moment about the power of self-sacrifice, but her actions don’t quite apply that power in the best way—letting herself get killed, at that time, was maybe noble from a romantic perspective, but wouldn’t have saved the Dauntless from being simulation-controlled zombies, and wouldn’t have saved Tobias from his own simulation.

For me, Tris’s parents’ deaths made me realize that though Tris had tangibly abandoned her parents’ faction, she was never quite able to separate herself from them, never quite wanted to; that the true struggle of her character, the one she had never been able to let go of, was to figure out how to honor her parents while still maintaining her distinct identity. That was her struggle in Divergent in a more subtle way, but it was also her struggle in a far more obvious way in Insurgent.

Tris spent Insurgent warring with grief and guilt in light of her parents’ deaths and of her hasty actions in shooting Will to save her own life (which is the opposite of what she does for Tobias, further showing that Tris hadn’t quite figured out how to be selfless at that point). The “selfless” acts she thought she was performing in Insurgent—charging upstairs during the Erudite-Dauntless attack unarmed, spying on Max’s conversation with Jack Kang without a weapon, and then handing herself over at Erudite headquarters even when she’s asked not to—were more self-destructive than anything. She rationalized those self-destructive acts by calling them selfless, but when she was about to be executed, she realized that her parents didn’t give their lives for her just so that she could die when it wasn’t necessary. She realized that she wanted to live.

She emerged from that near-execution with new maturity: she valued her own life, she wanted to solve problems without resorting to violence, she sought truth over destruction. That Tris had not quite figured out what selflessness was to her, but she had discovered what it wasn’t: self-annihilation.

That was how Tris was at the beginning of Allegiant. She was no longer risking her life for no reason. She was still struggling with her beliefs about selflessness—but this time, she was wondering whether Caleb, when he volunteered to go on the one-way mission to the Weapons Lab, was motivated by love or guilt. She struggled with whether it was ethical to let Caleb’s sacrifice happen throughout the rest of the book. And while she was struggling with his decision, she was also struggling with her own identity; her constant questioning about what selflessness is was inextricably linked to her sense of self, as it had been for the past two books. This struggle finally came to a head when she and Caleb were running toward the Weapons Lab, and she said this: “He is a part of me, always will be, and I am a part of him, too. I don’t belong to Abnegation, or Dauntless, or even the Divergent. I don’t belong to the Bureau or the experiment or the fringe. I belong to the people I love, and they belong to me—they, and the love and loyalty I give them, form my identity far more than any word or group ever could.” (455)

After that, Tris entered the same role her parents played when they died for her. She loved and gave her life for Caleb even after he betrayed her, the same way her parents loved and gave their lives for her after she left them for Dauntless.

But this time, unlike in Insurgent, the act wasn’t self-destructive. Tris’s peculiar relationship to the serums was that she was able to overcome them (like the Dauntless fear simulations and the Candor truth serum) unless on some level she wanted them to work (like with the Amity peace serum). So when she passed through the death serum outside the Weapons Lab and it didn’t kill her, that suggested she wasn’t seeking her own destruction. She was truly acting out of love for Caleb.

At the end, she had a conversation with David where she told him her beliefs about sacrifice, that it should come from love, strength, and necessity. That was a Tris who knew what she believed about selflessness. Who knew who she was. Who knew what she wanted to do. In each book she tried to emulate her parents’ sacrifice, and in each book she didn’t seem to understand what that sacrifice really was, until Allegiant. And it’s only in Allegiant, when she had a strong sense of identity, when she had a keen understanding of what she (and her parents) believed about selflessness, that her journey was over.

I thought about reaching out with my authorial hand and snatching her from that awful situation. I thought about it and I agonized over it. But to me, that felt dishonest and emotionally manipulative. This was the end she had chosen, and I felt she had earned an ending that was as powerful as she was.

In Insurgent, before she’s “executed,” she screams into nothingness, “I’m not done yet!”

In Allegiant, she asks her mother, “Am I done yet?”

And her mother says, “Yes. My dear child, you’ve done so well.”

I understand being upset about the loss of a character you care about, and I’m so glad you care about her, because I do, too. I am proud of the way this ending mirrors those of the other books, of the way it reflects the realistic (given the dystopian, dangerous setting) losses of those books, the way it shows what Tris is truly made of, and the way it concludes her hard-earned transformation. I think her love for her brother is beautiful, powerful.

I have heard a wide range of reactions to the book, and I accept and respect all of those reactions as valid. But my personal feelings about the ending haven’t changed. I will miss her, that Tris voice in my head. But I’m so, so proud of her strength.

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While I’m glad Roth took the opportunity to respond and applaud her attitude about the whole thing (because you know she’s taken a whole lot of crap for this book), I have to go with the #2 response she listed above: “Okay, I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t think that what you were trying to do worked.”

Allegiant by Veronica Roth – 2 stars (out of 5)

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

Read a synopsis here.

I was SO excited for this book. I had already decided that it would be wonderful. I wonder if I would’ve disliked it as much if I had lower expectations for it. Because I really didn’t like it. 2 stars is being generous, but since I loved the beginning of the series I just couldn’t bring myself to give it less.

Before I start with the spoilers – because I really can’t honestly discuss this book without spoilers – I want to comment on the writing style. As we all know by now, multiple 1st person POV is my favorite. Allegiant is told through alternating chapters from both Tris and Four’s 1st person POV. It did not work. The voices were not different at all. When they were in a group and not just in their own head, I had trouble remembering who’s POV it was. Even when they were just in their own heads, Four still sounds exactly like Tris.

While I liked having Four’s POV for the sake of getting more story, the multiple 1st person just didn’t do it justice. I also didn’t  like that it meant so much of the story was told from Tris and Four being away from each other. More on this to follow…

For those that don’t want to be spoiled, I will just say this. Allegiant starts out fast paced, but then slows down. If you’ve read the series so far, I would still recommend that you read it, but it’s one of the worst endings to a series I’ve ever read.

SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT!

Back to the thought from above. Four (this book has me thinking of him as Tobias, but I liked Four from Divergent better, so I’m going to refer to him as such) and Tris had a lot of strife in Insurgent, but seemed to reconcile at the end. I was not looking for more strife between them in this book, but that’s what I got. Yes, they ultimately reconciled and that was good, but so much of this book was them spent away from each other or fighting when they were together. And it all seemed so pointless. They act like adults in every other area of their lives, but when it came to their relationship, they really are just teenagers.

I started to dislike Four a bit in this book. He stopped being the damaged but strong guy we all fell in love with and just focused on being damaged. So much of the time was him feeling sorry for himself. Yes his parents suck and obviously left him with scars, but he was such a great character because even though he still struggled, he was able to overcome it and became this really great, smart, thoughtful, strong guy. In Allegiant he just totally backslid for almost the whole book.

I felt like most of the time there was just too much going on. New characters. New government. Genetic Damage. Revolutions. Experiments. Serums. The Fringe. Lies, lies, and more lies. And none of it was really done that well, either.

I also thought Tris’ death was totally uncalled for. First off, I think it’s dumb to kill the main character in any series and that it was basically done for shock value. The whole second book was basically dedicated to Tris trying to sacrifice herself to make her parents proud and then realizing that was wrong. And then in this book she does just that. There was a lot of lead up to this, a lot of talk about sacrificing for the greater good and that it’s only worth doing if it’s in the name of love. So she takes Caleb’s place because she loves him even if she can’t forgive him for his earlier sins and that’s supposed to make us feel like her death is very meaningful. But it’s not. The whole memory serum plan and the need for a sacrifice just seemed so contrived. I really do not see the purpose of killing her off at all.

So overall, I was super disappointed with Allegiant. I felt like the biggest questions – about the Divergents and the Edith Prior video and their world in general – were answered almost right away and then a new, way less interesting plot took over. I didn’t think  it was possible for the end of a series to disappoint me more than Requiem (the Delirium series) did, but I think this book did it. So read this book if you’ve already invested in the series, and then go back and read Divergent and pretend Allegiant doesn’t exist. That’s what I plan on doing.

Monday’s Minutes

MM

Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post about what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

Another Little Piece

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn. So far I’m a little disappointed by this book. I thought it was going to be a kind of psycho-thriller, but it turned out to be paranormal. Which doesn’t make it bad, it’s just not what I was expecting (or wanting). I thought about giving up on it early on, but I’m far enough in now that I’m interested to see how it ends. And as far as I can tell it’s a stand-alone and not a series, which I’m happy about because I have far too many series already on my plate to start a new one.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

ALLEGIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It comes out tomorrow. It’s the first book I’ve ever pre-ordered. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to start it. Apparently there are some people who already got it somehow and are posting spoilers galore so I am steadfastly avoiding anything regarding it online. So excited.

What are you reading?