Books I've Read

Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth (spoiler free)

Happy Halloween everyone! Hope you have something fun and spooky planned for this evening!

Before I get started, I just want to say that this review will be spoiler free. There are many people who I know read this blog who are big fans of this series and who haven’t had a chance to read Allegiant yet. I was accidentally spoiled on Twitter right before reading the end of the book and, while it didn’t ruin it completely for me, it certainly changed the experience. So no spoilers here, and no spoilers allowed in the comments. Any comments containing spoilers will be deleted. You have been warned.

Now on to the review.

allegiant

It’s hard to really talk about plot points without spoilers, so I will just say that this book picks up right where Insurgent left off. We do get to see what’s on the other side of the gate (which was nothing like what I expected) and we do get to find out a little bit about what’s been going on in the rest of the world (since before we could only see Tris’s city, Chicago). The closest thing to a spoiler I will say is that there was a character death that is a bit shocking. That’s all I’m going to say about the plot.

Now, here’s what I thought of the book as a whole. I enjoyed reading it, although I thought the middle got a bit repetitive and long winded. It tied up the loose ends, which is what you want the final book in a trilogy to do. I will agree with a lot of the detractors when I say that I thought this was the weakest book in the series. To be honest, I thought the first book was excellent, and then they started going a bit downhill. That’s not to say that this was not a good book! It was good, don’t get me wrong, just not as good as Divergent was.

But here’s what I really want to discuss today, and that has been the horrific reactions of other people reading Allegiant. There are some people out there who are taking this to such extremes as threatening to punch Veronica Roth in the face if they saw her walking down the street. There have apparently also been DEATH THREATS! These are people who claim to be fans of her work, who are so disappointed in the final installment of the series, they are making Roth’s life hell right now.

Really, people? Really?

First off, I completely understand feeling a deep connection with a series of books. I get that. And I understand being devastated when a beloved character dies. Trust me, the final Harry Potter book almost sent me into therapy. But here’s the deal – authors are not responsible for your happiness. They aren’t responsible for you at all. They have a story that they want to tell, and that’s it. Do you know what else? They are not REQUIRED to write it. They are giving us these stories to love and enjoy and, while we are perfectly within our rights to not like it, there is no reason at all to attack an author personally. None at all.

For example, I have said, both on this blog and on Bibliophiles Anonymous, that I really did not enjoy The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Fine. End of story. I didn’t like it. No big deal. I’ll just go read something else. I would never say that Grossman is untalented – he’s a very good writer over all and there were parts of the book and story world that I really liked. And this is the only book of his that I have read, so maybe there’s something else he’s done that I would like better. But that’s on me, not on him. I didn’t like this book, but other people did. Okay. Fair enough. That’s how the world works. We all have different opinions and different things that we like and dislike. That’s okay. I would NEVER even THINK of attacking him personally or making threats, just because I thought that Quentin was a jerk in the book. That doesn’t even make sense to me!

Do you know what happens when you push an author like this? Sometimes they decide to stop giving you all the fun stuff that you want. This happened with Mercedes Lackey when people started going insane with her Diana Tregarde series. SHE STOPPED WRITING THEM. Now all the fans who liked her series have to suffer because a smaller group of people, who again claimed to be fans of her work, decided to severely misbehave.

Unfortunately, the Internet makes this a bigger problem because we feel so anonymous out here. You aren’t making comments to a flesh and blood person with real feelings, you’re making comments to a blog post or a Twitter feed. I doubt that most people would say any of these things to Veronica Roth’s face, just because it’s harder to do that sort of thing in person, even though it’s easy to type on a keyboard.

That’s all I really wanted to say, which isn’t really a review of the book so much as a review of the reactions to the book. I still thought it was important to say though. Here are a few links to articles if you want to hear more about this. I’ll let you know which ones have spoilers, but if you don’t want to be spoiled, I would avoid the comments sections on these if I were you. Just to be on the safe side.

Bibliofiend article (no spoilers, plus bonus Tweets from John Green and Maureen Johnson): http://bibliofiend.com/2013/10/24/veronica-roth-briefly-responds-to-allegiant-backlash-other-authors-come-to-defense/

Veronica Roth’s official response on her blog (spoilerific, so read at your own risk): http://veronicarothbooks.blogspot.com/2013/10/about-end-of-allegiant-spoilers.html

Flavorwire article (spoilers ahoy!): http://flavorwire.com/421731/readers-reactions-to-allegiant-are-an-online-fandom-horror-story/

Please let me know if you’ve read Allegiant yet and what you thought. Remember, out of respect for those who haven’t read it yet, no spoilers in the comments here. Let’s give it a few weeks before we talk details, shall we?

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday for October 30th

www_wednesdays4

Good morning and Happy Wednesday! Half way through the week! Today’s post is brought to you courtesy of MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Three questions, three answers. Go!

What are you currently reading?

Still reading The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long over at “Chapter’d.” It’s slow going, since I’m trying to keep up with it through the blog – I now have more respect for the people who do this on a regular basis! It’s not easy! The main book I’m focusing on right now though is The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

What did you recently finish reading?

Well, I recently finished reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth, the much anticipated final installment of her Divergent trilogy. And I have some things to say about it, oh boy, do I have some things to say, both about the book and about the response to the book.

What do you think you’ll read next?

My current plan is to start reading White Cat by Holly Black after I finish The Maze Runner, and then start The Magician King by Lev Grossman when I finish The Treachery of Beautiful Things. That will be my next book to do on “Chapter’d.” It should be interesting, since I really didn’t enjoy the first book of that series all that much.

Also, a quick addition to yesterday’s post about scary stories for Halloween. I completely forgot about a book I read this year that would be perfect – Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake! I saw this on someone else’s list and couldn’t believe that I left it off. That’s part of the problem with a Kindle – I was looking around my bookshelves for inspiration, and obviously, that book is not on my bookshelf. Oh well. Go read it! It’s a wonderfully scary read!

So there are my answers for WWW Wednesday! Please leave yours in comments!

Teaser Tuesday · Top Ten Tuesdays

Teasers and Top Tens – October 29th

Teaser Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone! Kicking things off with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by the lovely MizB from “Should Be Reading.” Here’s how to play:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“Night will be falling soon enough. I – I’m asking for help. Please, Robin Goodfellow, help me and I will owe you a debt.”

Puck turned back and gave a gracious bow. “I’ll listen to your terms then, Jack o’ the Forest.”

The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long

This is the book I’m reading over at “Chapter’d” and so far, it’s really good. As you can see, there are some elements from A Midsummer Night’s Dream here, which makes me a little concerned for Jack. No one should owe a debt to Robin Goodfellow.

wpid-toptentuesday.jpg

Top Ten Best Books To Read For Halloween

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted at “The Broke and the Bookish,” is a tricky theme for me, simply because I don’t read many scary books. I’ve never really been into the horror genre at all, although I have branched into it occasionally. I did do  list like this last year and was only able to come up with five books. You can see that list here. Since I already gave you five books there (and I still maintain that they are excellent choices for this time of year), I will give you five more today.

(In case you don’t want to click the link, my other five choices were Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Feed by Mira Grant, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. For further details, check out the post.)

1. The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allen Poe – Really, you could pick anything by Poe, but this is a really good collection. No one tells twisted scary stories like Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart being one of my favorites. This is an author who really likes to mess with your mind.

2. The Inheritor by Marion Zimmer Bradley – This book is much less popular that Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, and it’s also very different. A modern tale of music, witchcraft, power and possession, most people wouldn’t consider this a scary book, but it is very intense and definitely has some touches of horror to it.

3. Scar Night by Alan Campbell – This is the first book of a series that I really need to finish at some point. Full of angels, good and bad, set in a wonderfully precarious setting (a city that is suspended over a large pit by huge chains), this book is fascinatingly creepy.

4. The Shadow World series by Dianne Sylvan – Yes, this one will be on my list again. Sorry, I can’t help it! It’s so good! This is for people who like a little snark and sarcasm with their scary stories. Definitely more urban fantasy than horror, but these aren’t fluffly Twilight vampires. Their world is bloody and fraught with danger. Good stuff.

5. The Time Quartet by Madeline L’Engle – I’m adding this because, hey, not everyone wants their scary stories to be huge gore fests. These books are enchanting, technically children’s literature, but still enjoyable by adults. And yes, I think they can be very scary – I still remember not being able to sleep after finishing A Wrinkle in Time!

So there is my continuation of good Halloween stories. Please leave your lists and teasers in comments!

Drabbles

I can has new phone!

No review today, but there should finally be a new post up over on “Chapter’d” today at some point. Seriously, last week was the WRONG week to start a new project. Getting back into the swing of things. Hopefully.

This weekend was exciting because . . . I finally upgraded my phone! I am now the proud owner of a brand new iPhone 4S. True, it’s not the brand new, latest model, but it’s light years ahead of what I had before. Plus I got a really good deal on it, so I’m happy all around. It’s taking some getting used to, but that’s okay. We all gotta start somewhere. 🙂

Speaking of starting somewhere, I also talked my mom into stepping into the smart phone world! She got the iPhone 4, since she doesn’t need quite as much space as I do. The main thing for her is that she takes a lot of pictures. In truth, she is the main reason I have any pictures of my kids. She always liked the way I could immediately post a photo to Facebook, so now she can do it too.

We are now modern women! Well, mostly anyway.

Books I've Read

Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went

To start with, this review will include some slight spoilers for If I Stay. You have been warned.

This book starts three years after the end of the first book, but instead of following Mia, it follows her boyfriend, Adam. Except . . . he’s not her boyfriend anymore. Mia survived, went to Julliard, and is now a rising star on the classical music scene. Adam and his band, Shooting Star, have made it big. Adam has fame and money, but he doesn’t have Mia. They didn’t even really break up, they just sort of drifted away from each other.

Adam’s life has started going off the rails. He’s successful in every way, but he’s miserable at the same time. He never fully got over the fact that Mia is out of his life. He is angry, bitter, and generally unpleasant to be around. Shooting Star’s now platinum album, Collateral Damage, is full of songs that Adam wrote about his relationship with Mia and it’s painful for him to sing them any more.

And then, a chance meeting in New York City. Mia is giving a concert there and Adam is stuck there waiting to head to London to start his tour. When they are finally face to face again after three years, there is an explosion of emotions. Love, hate, anger, adoration, passion, isolation. I really couldn’t get over how well this emotional roller coaster was portrayed. Adam and Mia’s feelings toward one another are confused and twisted by all the things they have gone through. It was fantastically written.

I have to say that I enjoyed Where She Went even better than If I Stay, and I was not expecting that. Both books are excellent though, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Books I've Read

Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Before I start with this book review, a little update from yesterday. On Tuesday, commenter Annie @ Book Blather mentioned that Allegiant was coming out this week instead of next month, which is what I thought. Turns out, she was right! This is great news! So now Allegiant is now on my Kindle and I am reading it. 🙂

Now on to the review.

If I Stay

This book was different from anything I’ve ever read before. The main character is Mia, a teenage girl who is in a massive car accident. Her parents and her younger brother are all killed. Mia, however, is in a coma, and as such, she is in limbo, between being alive and being dead. As her . . . spirit? soul? . . . follows what’s going on with her physical body, she’s also remembering her life and trying to make a big decision: should she stay or should she go on to whatever comes next.

Mia is an interesting character. She is devastated, of course, about what happened to her parents and her brother, although she can’t fully mourn them given her current situation. Staying in the land of the living means giving them up, but at the same time, she has a lot to live for. She has her grandparents and her friends, but also her boyfriend Adam, who she loves very much. She was also getting ready to study the cello at Julliard. A brilliant, beautiful future that still could be hers, if she wants it.

This book is fairly short, only 262 pages according to GoodReads, which is part of why I read this in one sitting one Sunday afternoon, curled up in my bed. I also just had to know what Mia would decide. This book really makes you think about how you would feel in this situation, what you would think about your life if you were ready to leave it. I heard from several people that this book made them cry, and while it is sad, there’s almost no time to BE sad, if that makes sense. So it didn’t make me cry, but it did stick with me for a really long time.

This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in a long time. If you want a book that you will always remember, give this a read. Check in tomorrow, when I review the sequel, Where She Went.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday for October 23rd

 

WWW Wednesday is another feature hosted weekly by the lovely MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Three questions, three answers. Go!

What are you currently reading?

A bunch of stuff, actually. I’m reading The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long for my new blog, “Chapter’d.” I’m also reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner along with the blog “Reading With A Vengeance.” She’s being a little bit harsh with her criticism, but I think that’s just her style. Her posts are funny though. I’m enjoying them and the book. And I’m also reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth, because . . . well, I don’t need a reason, now do I. 🙂

What did you recently finish reading?

Recently finished Divergent by Veronica Roth, obviously. I also recently finished The Magicians by Lev Grossman. This was a re-read for a book club, and you know what? My opinions haven’t changed, even after giving this book a second chance. I still hate the main character and want to slap him. You can read my original book review here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I after I finish Insurgent, I might get started on The Magician King by Lev Grossman. Yes, it’s the sequel to The Magicians, which I didn’t really like, but I’m curious as to where this story is going. The ending was left pretty wide open, and the main character seems to have mellowed some. Maybe he’ll be better in book two. If I don’t read The Magician King, then the next book on my shelf is White Cat by Holly Black, the first book in the Curse Workers series.

Please leave your WWW posts in comments!