Tag: Veronica Roth

Nov 01

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Dystopian, Young Adult Fiction 33

Howdy, Bookworms!

Last month I read Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I, along with thousands of other greedy readers, waited in anticipation for the final installment of the series, Allegiant to be released. I’ve been toying with the idea of how to put this review together while still avoiding spoilers, so I’m going to do my best. I will not be spoiling this book specifically, but if you haven’t read the other books, there may be some spoilage. Soooo- here’s  a weak little SPOILER ALERT just in case.

allegiant-book-cover-high-resI was so excited when this book was released. I absolutely loved Roth’s initial tales of a dystopian Chicago ruled by factions, each faction valuing one personality trait above all else. I mean, I just HAD TO KNOW what was going to happen with the factions and Tris and Four and their luuuurve. So I started reading. Things started a little slow, but I had high hopes they’d pick up once the CONSPIRACIES were uncovered.

The conspiracies were actually fairly satisfying. What wasn’t satisfying was Roth getting heavy handed with the moral lessons. I am ALL ABOUT equality and diversity and all that good stuff, but you know how grouchy I get when I feel like I’m being preached to. LUCKILY, though she walked the line very closely, Roth didn’t QUITE go into full preach. That’s good, because I didn’t want to have to throw a temper tantrum.

Tris and Four and their little tumultuous romance kept on keeping on. At one point, Tris had this great epiphany about her relationship with Four. She realized that when you’re in love, you have to choose each other every day. At this point I had to remind myself that Tris is only supposed to be 16. She obviously hadn’t attending 8 zillion weddings with her husband as videographer, so she wouldn’t know that her little speech sounded just like this cheesy poem about marriage we used to hear ALL THE TIME.  (It’s right up there with First Corinthians and anybody quoting Wuthering Heights on their wedding programs on the list of Things That Annoy Katie.)

There’s a huge thing that happens at the end of the book that has a lot of readers freaking the frick out. Now, I don’t always NEED a perfectly happy ending. I mean, I LIKE a happy ending, but I can be satisfied with a well done sad ending. I just… I’m confused about how I feel about this whole darn book. I didn’t hate it by any means, but I didn’t love it either. I so badly wanted to love it. It felt rushed, and now I feel confused. This is me right now:

feelings

(Source)

Have any of you Bookworms been left confused or bereft by the conclusion of a series? Disappointed? Heartbroken? I don’t know what my feelings are doing, help me out here!

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Divergent, Insurgent, or Allegiant by Veronica Roth (or all three) please consider using these links. I’m an affiliate with Book Depository and make a teensy weensy commission if you make a purchase. We all know the proceeds are going to be used to feed my book addiction… Enablers :). 

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Sep 09

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Coming of Age, Dystopian, Young Adult Fiction 28

Greetings, Bookworms!

Last week I talked about how much I enjoyed Divergent by Veronica Roth, and in true Katie fashion, I began the second book IMMEDIATELY after finishing the first. I’ve been completely sucked into this world, so Insurgent and I got along juuuuuust fine.

insurgentI said the other day that the second book in a trilogy is often sacrificed as the Jan Brady of books. (Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!) There were quite a few of you Bookworms who mentioned that Insurgent was a disappointment to you, but I didn’t have any problems with it. Since it’s downright impossible to discuss the second book in the triology without spoiling the first, I’m going to go ahead and issue a big fat SPOILER ALERT!

When we left Chicago, the wicked Jeanine, leader of Erudite, had turned Dauntless into a faction of zombie mind controlled soldiers. She had them attack Abnegation and murder a bunch of important government leaders. Because Tris is Divergent, she wasn’t susceptible to the computer chip implant and… Neither was her new boyfriend Four! A little convenient perhaps, but I love their little romance so I’m cool with the dual Divergence.

After a whole lot of heartbreak, the deaths of Tris’s parents, and the reappearance of Tobias’s (AKA Four) abusive jerkface father, Marcus, our small band of refugees hops a train out of town to Amity’s compound. Amity! We haven’t heard much from them yet, so getting to see their compound and some of the questionable tactics they employ to keep the peace was pretty sweet. Eventually they head out of Amity to discover that once the Dauntless army came out of their trance, they split in half: one half bunking with the Candor crew and the other sticking with their Erudite brain masters. Families are torn apart. And in between all of this? Tris keeps taking stupid risks and putting herself in danger, which TOTALLY pisses off Tobias. Trouble in paradise, but at least, thank HEAVEN, NO LOVE TRIANGLE!

So there’s a big fat WAR going on. A war of the factions, a war in the city. The freaking FACTIONLESS threaten to rise from the ashes! People return from the dead. I mean, all bets are off. It’s insanity. We’re left with a ginormous cliffhanger at the end of this book. And I’m all…

Needless to say, I have SUPER high expectations for Allegiant which is due out October 22. I wish I’d waited a bit longer to start the series so I didn’t have to SUFFER in ANTICIPATION like this! Gah! Anybody out there in this boat with me?!

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Sep 05

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Coming of Age, Dystopian, Fantasy, Frightening, Young Adult Fiction 61

Hey There Bookworms,

I have been putting off reading Veronica Roth’s Divergent for quite a while now. I really enjoy a good YA dystopia, but the market has been rather saturated with them lately. After reading and not loving Ally Condie’s Matched series, I was skeptical to try again… It’s a darn good thing I did, because right now the Divergent series only ranks below The Hunger Games in my personal ranking of YA dystopias. I KNOW!

Divergent hc c(2)

Alright. We begin in what I can only assume is a post apocalyptic Chicago. Lake Michigan has dried into marshland, and a mere sliver of the city is inhabited. The rest is in ruins. (I enjoyed this book all the more because I’m familiar with the major landmarks and buildings in the Windy City. I grew up in the Chicago burbs, and while I won’t call myself a native,I know Navy Pier from Millenium Park and the Sears Tower from the Hancock building. “Willis” Tower my foot.)

Anyway. The new civilization inhabiting Chicago is split into five major factions. The factions are sort of like fraternities and sororities on steroids. They each value a different virtue above all else. I imagine that Roth named her factions specifically to expand teenage vocabularies (for which I salute her!) Erudite values knowledge, Candor values truth, Abnegation values selflessness, Amity values kindness, and Dauntless values bravery.

Beatrice Prior has just turned 16. She was raised in Abnegation, the, uh Amish equivalent in this society. Not really Amish, I guess, but they’re very modest and focus on the needs of others before themselves. They’re big on feeding the poor and service. A very nice faction, on the whole, but they are discouraged from looking in mirrors and their lives are really regimented. Beatrice, like all the the 16 year olds in the community, is on the precipice of a huge decision. She is about to choose her faction. Being born in Abnegation doesn’t mean she has to stay there. Each student is given an aptitude test to determine where they are best suited, but they have the option to choose a different faction.

The students get to choose where they will go, but they’re not guaranteed acceptance. They have to go through a training and initiation phase, and not everyone makes it. Those who don’t are cast out to live among the “factionless.” The factionless work menial jobs and live in poverty, so it behooves the students to do their best to choose wisely. The problem Beatrice is facing is that her aptitude test was inconclusive. She has to embrace ONE faction, but her test results indicate that she’s got an aptitude for THREE. She’s considered “Divergent” as a result and that is a dangerous thing to be. DUN DUN DUN!

I don’t want to talk too much about this book, because it’s hard to discuss without getting super spoiler happy. I like this book too much to spoil it! Roth does some awesome world building in this novel. Her dystopian Chicago is well drawn and disturbingly lifelike. I love the implications of the faction system. I think it offers some good lessons on the gray areas of life and the importance of seeing things from other people’s perspectives.

After having read this book, I couldn’t help but imagine myself in a faction! Much in the way I dubbed myself a Ravenclaw after reading Harry Potter, I’ve done a lot of thinking about what faction I’d have landed in. I’m so confused! They’re all so flawed, but they’ve all got good qualities too. So far, the only two I’ve been able to rule out are Dauntless (because I’m a giant chicken) and Candor (because even though I suck at lying, I think living in an environment of CONSTANT brutal honesty would be REALLY bad for my overly sensitive self.) This leaves me with Erudite, but I don’t know if I could even go there because despite my inherent bookwormy nerdiness, they’re SUPER science-y folk, and that’s never been my academic forte. I think I’d flunk at Abnegation, because I rather like mirrors and though I’d like to be selfless, I know I’m not that perfect. I suppose I’d chill in Amity, because they grow stuff (I like to garden) and they’re all about being nice to each other… Then again… Maybe I’m Divergent between Erudite, Amity, and Abnegation. I’m all kinds of complicated.

What faction do you think YOU would land in, Bookworms? Where do you see yourself fitting in?

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