I’m going to say it right up front: the reason I did not like this book had nothing to do with the ending.
Well, almost nothing. The ending was what she was building up to, and since I had a problem with the build-up itself, I sort of do have a problem with the ending by extension, but that’s just semantics. Actually, I was so burned by this series after Insurgent that I wasn’t looking forward to reading this book at all, so when I accidentally spoiled myself over THAT THING before I had even cracked the spine on my brand new copy, it had the opposite effect on me it had on most readers. It actually made me more excited to see how she was going to pull it off. And I was still disappointed. Sigh.
I do have to give Veronica Roth credit. She may have fumbled the execution (a lot, in my opinion), but I do think she had her priorities straight. She was dedicated — perhaps too much so — to seeing out her themes and serving the narrative, as opposed to taking the easy way out in the way she ended her story, which is what her readers wanted her to do. The problem here is that the structure of this third act in the story is just a big old mess, and the way she crafts her words and her sentences and her dialogue, I think, actively worked against the goals she was shooting for.
From here on out, be warned, spoilers ahoy.
Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: Tris totally bites it. She croaks. She is annihilated. She goes belly up. She buys the farm. She’s checking out the grass from underneath. She goes the way of the dinosaurs. She’s popped off. She’s permanently out of print. She’s shuffled off the mortal coil.
Because reading one YA novel dealing with cancer this year simply wasn’t enough. I had to have more. And effing eff, am I glad I read this book. Of course, everyone else in the world already has read it, so you all know how bloody wonderful it is. But don’t let that stop you reading my full review. It’s on my blog here.
**Finished my third Cannonball!!! I actually finished the last book in early December, but I’ve been slacking on my last couple of reviews. It was a pleasure to read everyone’s reviews this year and be part of this community.
Cannonball Read V: Book #52/52
Genre: Young Adult
Tessa is dying from leukemia and decides to make a list of things she wants to do before she dies. She enlists of one of her friends to help her and eventually brings her neighbor into the fold as she grows closer to him. Some of the things on her list are what you’d expect from a teenager – sex, fall in love, etc. But most of the things on the list were kind of weird, such as shoplifting. Who wants to shoplift before they die?
I had a hard time with this book. Some parts of it were very good – such as her family dealing with her illness and now her rebellion just before she dies (she stays out all night, jumps into a freezing river, joyrides without a license in her dad’s car – just to name a few). The ending was also beautifully written. Even though you know what’s going to happen, it doesn’t make it any less emotional.
Cannonball Read V: Book #51/52
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
This is going to be a short review because this series has been reviewed to death already and this is a re-read for me. I wanted to read it again before I saw the movie since I already forgot half of what happened since I last read it several years ago. I’m not going to re-hash the plot, because if you don’t already know it you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past two years.
I haven’t posted multiple reviews in one post before today. One could argue that the Trilogy is really one long book, but hey with five days left in 2013 and one more book to go, I’m erring on the side of hurry up and finish. Write the three reviews together and dive into that last book!
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games works by itself or as the beginning of the trilogy because it comes to a relatively satisfying conclusion. The book introduces Panem, a country that exists in the ruins of what was once the United States. The Capitol tightly controls 12 districts and demands retribution from each district for a rebellion it crushed 75 years ago. The retribution is the Hunger Games in which each district must send two children (male and female) over the age of 12 to compete to the death until one victor remains. The Games are televised and are literally “must see TV,” citizens are required to watch the fate of the children.
The story is told in the first person by Katniss Everdeen, a 16 year old from District 12, the mining district. She lost her father 5 years ago which caused her mother to suffer from severe depression. Katniss was left to fend for her younger sister, her mother and herself. Katniss is angry with her mother, she’s become a hunter and a loner except for her friend Gale. Continue reading →
“St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger…
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.”
When I finished this book and it was added to my Goodreads update feed, my friend dryly asked, “Is this Twilight?” My answer, at the time, was “I haven’t read Twilight, so I can’t honestly say,” but I thought it might be a fun exercise nonetheless to compare Vampire Academy to what I know about Twilight.
I am pretty sure that both have “good” vampires and “bad” vampires and the “good” ones don’t kill humans.
Twilight banks on pseudo-chaste UST, and Vampire Academy is much less oblique about sex. The romantic leads don’t get it on though — not yet.
This book’s cover girl is a second-string Angelina Jolie, and the other one has Kristen Stewart.
Arguably, in Vampire Academy (or in the first book in the series, anyway,) the power couple is a pair of best girl friends, not any kind of romantic pairing.
Both series give vampires weird abilities that aren’t exactly part of traditional vampire canon, e.g. sparkly skin in Twilight; in Vampire Academy, bending, basically (in the “Avatar The Last Airbender” sense.)
Rose, the VA protagonist, is the prototypical snarky kickass PNR type, and Bella, well… we know about Bella.
Both have scenes in the woods, I’m pretty sure
Both are in high school, kind of
Allegedly the VA series does develop love triangles or pentagrams or whatever
I know none of that really tells you how I felt about the book, so to summarize that: the Goodreads plot write-up up top and cover are pretty WYSIWYG, it was fun enough, if you’re into lightweight vampire stories and sarcastic heroines you’ll be in luck.
Disclaimer! Harlequin Teen granted me an ARC of this through NetGalley in return for a fair review.
This is the third in the series of books (both excellent) about troubled teens who become attracted to their seemingly complete opposite. Previous books’ characters appear or are mentioned, but the book works fine on its own too. If you are interested in starting at the beginning, though, start with Pushing the Limits.
Isaiah Walker should be living in foster care, but is secretly living with his best friend Noah (the hero of Pushing the Limits, who’s the only person he really feels close to. However, rent money is hard to come by and if they can’t find enough cash, Noah will have to move into subsidised college housing, while Isaiah has to go back to the indifferent foster parents he was so relieved to escape. He agrees to drive a car in an illegal street race to get extra money, and that’s where he first meets Rachel. More on my blog.