Thursday, 31 October 2013

Best Of The Bunch: October 2013

 

Best Of The Bunch is a monthly meme hosted by Always Lost In Stories. It's a way for you to showcase all the books you've read that month and then award your favourite the Best Of The Bunch Award! 

This month is a great month to start with as I actually reread and reviewed a few of my all time favourite books, hence the large quantity of 5/5 ratings! Will pick a book I read for the first time for the award I think, makes more sense.



This month I read and reviewed:

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)Time After Time (Time Between Us, #2)Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
4/5 Stars


Pawn by Aimee Carter
4/5 Stars


These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
4/5 Stars
Alienated (Alienated, #1)Forbidden

The Sight by David Clement-Davies(reread)
5/5 Stars


Alienated by Melissa Landers
5/5 Stars


Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma(reread)
 5/5 Stars
Divergent (Divergent, #1)Noughts and Crosses

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
 1/5 Stars

 
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman(reread)
 5/5 Stars

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
Divergent by Veronica Roth(reread)
 5/5 Stars


Insurgent by Veronica Roth(reread)
 4/5 Stars


Allegiant by Veronica Roth (for spoiler filled review go here)
0/5 Stars

 Not all covers shown, as I couldn't fit them all in. As you can see there are quite a lot here with 5 star ratings, that's because I read and reviewed some of my favourites. And then at the other end of the spectrum we have the 0/5 star review that goes to Allegiant, the worst book I've read all year.


And the winner is:


Alienated (Alienated, #1)Alienated by Melissa Landers

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. 
Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.
Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.
But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. 
Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realises that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

I actually ended up really loving this book, even though it was one of the books I was least looking forward to reading. I was almost 100% certain that it wouldn't be for me and I would hate it. But in fact I ended up absolutely loving it. For full review go here.




Some of the others are actually favourites I have had for years and would recommend them all until I am blue in the face. But thought it would be better to give the award to a book I loved the most that wasn't a reread. Would highly recommend, great book.



Wednesday, 30 October 2013

W... W... W... #5

WWW_Wednesdays4 



This is from ShouldBeReading and is simple to take part in. All you need to do is answer the following three questions:
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finished reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?


The Naturals
Currently Reading:

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Have just started but after reading Allegiant anything would look good and so far I am absolutely loving it. Probably because it is fast paced, with actual character development and it isn't putting me into a coma.

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)
Recently Finished:
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The most boring book I have ever had the displeasure of reading. Ruined everything I had come to love about the first two books and made me have to write a spoiler free and spoiler filled review. For spoiler free review go here. And for spoiler filled go here.


Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)

What I will read next:

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

This is so I can read Crash Into You.


On The Blog:
I reviewed:
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Allegiant (SPOILER FREE) by Veronica Roth
Allegiant (SPOILER FILLED) by Veronica Roth
Also on blog:
My weeks book haul.
My Feature and Follow Friday.
My musing for Monday.
Also my laptop has died so that's why I haven't been as active on the blog. Should hopefully have a new one on Friday.


Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent #3): The (Spoiler FILLED) Review

Allegiant
by
Veronica Roth
Title: Allegiant (Divergent #3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
(Don't) Buy This Book: Amazon

Warning: This review contains spoilers, lots of them.
 For a spoiler free review go here.

Allegiant picks up where Insurgent left off. Tris and Four now know that the city is only there, they are only there because generations ago they were placed there by whatever and whoever is outside the city. Now they want to do what Edith Prior has asked of them, leave the city to help those who are outside. But with Evelyn trying to take control of the city and get rid of the factions for good, and an uprising beginning to overthrow her it may be harder then they think.

Now I have already done a spoiler free review, but this book got 0 stars and I feel I need to point out exactly why that was. So for me to do that I have to have spoilers. So this will point out everything that I found wrong with this book and made me mark it down.
So be prepared: SPOILERS NEXT!

So let's start from the beginning. Insurgent left us with Jeanine Matthews dead and Evelyn and the factionless basically taking over. Now here lies my first problem with this book, that storyline is basically just the same. We have gone from one crazy woman trying to control everyone to another one, exciting stuff! So will there be an exciting war, a battle between those who appose the factions and those who want them. Short answer, no. Instead of dealing with that whole issue/story line, instead we shall create an almost identical one outside the city.

So here we go, Tris, Four and a group of others have joined forced with the Allegiant (terrible name) who want to get rid of Evelyn and bring the factions back. Tris, Four and the group will leave the city to discover what is out there and who Edith Prior wants them to go help. But Evelyn doesn't want anyone to leave so that's going to be a problem, maybe a showdown of some kind. Well no, because to put even one little bit of real action in this book is just too much to ask for. Instead it is all too easy for them to jump on a train and make their way to the city limits. But they are followed, and they are completely aware of this but decide to do nothing. And then seem completely shocked when they are shot at, resulting in just one of many pointless character deaths. So Tori dies and I pretend like I care, I do not. Why, if you know you are being followed, do you do absolutely nothing about it?
>
Following pointless character death that could probably have been prevented if any of these people had one ounce of intelligence, they are now outside the city. Nothing stopping them, even though it is so important to Evelyn that no one leaves she hasn't actually set up a way to prevent them from leaving. During this time Four suddenly decides to tell Tris about Amar, the initiate who trained him and just so happened to give him his nickname. Even though, in book one when asked about how he got his nickname we have no mention of this Amar. Well Amar just happened to also be Divergent and although he could help Four hide his own Divergence, he couldn't hide his own. Of course not, and so he was killed. Or was he? I mean, why the sudden mention if he isn't just going to pop up and be like "Hey I'm alive, but of course you didn't see that coming!". Well we did. 

No surprise then that as they leave the city a truck pulls up with none other than Amar in it. I mean "WTF, OMG, SHOCKER!!!", it's not as if this was utterly predictable and bound to happen. This book made me long to reread Harry Potter, where something that seemed inconsequential and unimportant in book one suddenly made so much sense and was relevant to the story in book seven. I miss that kind of planning to a series. This just felt sloppy. I am so saddened that within the first 50 pages or so this book managed to ruin everything I ever loved about this series. Divergent is one of my all time favourite books, this doesn't even register in my mind any more.

Amar explains how he didn't really die, well obviously otherwise how are you standing here. Maybe you're some kind of ghost boy. He explains how Divergents have been escaping the city. Not quite sure how they so easily managed to fake that many deaths, but why does it matter when it's just a long list of things in the books that won't be properly explained to you. But at least this finally makes me understand that this book is about to get a whole lot more predictable and pretty soon we will see an appearance of Tori's dead brother George. If you did not see this coming there is something wrong with you. Here we have someone attempting to tug so hard on our heartstrings that it's really quite sad. Of course now that Tori is dead we will find out that her brother is alive and then be expected to sob at how sad it all is that they can't be reunited. Nice try but maybe try a little harder next time.

I am just so confused why the big reveal of the outside world was so anticlimactic. Insurgent left us with this big revelation of the outside world. I am sure I was not the only person who was dying to see what was outside the city and the journey they would need to take to get there. Well turns out it will take about five pages and five minutes worth of walking. Nothing exciting happens, no huge discoveries are made. They are met by a truck and just taken straight to where they need to go. Such a waste of what could have been something a lot more exciting and engaging for me as a reader. Instead at this point I am not only dozing off but upset that I just wasted £9 on this trash.

Amar drives them to the Bureau of Genetic Welfare in what used to be O'hare airport. Exciting, now we shall finally get some answers and see what all the fuss is about. Sadly though, this is just another let down in what is, essentially, a book filled with them. So here at the Bureau they are told that what Edith Prior told them was only a half truth, well really a no truth. They are not needed to help the outside, there's no epic battles going on or wars being waged. It's all calm and all they are in fact is an experiment. Yawn, I am so bored right now and why am I still reading. Divergent and Insurgent, even when I was rereading them, got devoured in hours but this I actually had to struggle through, had to force myself to finish.

The city is just an experiment. The government, who knows how many years ago, decided they wanted to try and eradicate certain behaviours within peoples genes, like the 'murder gene', ooooh scary. But of course it did not go as planned and instead made everything so much worse. This led to genetically damaged people who the genetically pure people were not happy with. So what to do to change it? Separate them into different cities, let them go about their business and over hundreds of years hopefully they would breed out the genetically damaged and be left with pure people. Makes perfect sense right? No I didn't really think so either.

This was something I also had a problem with. That explanation was just so meh. At the Bureau they have genetically damaged people working there so there isn't anything too horrifically wrong with them. So why the need to leave them in the city. How does the breeding out of negative genes work? If two genetically damaged people reproduce how is it curing the damaged genes? And why take a kick ass dystopian world and make it just some crappy experiment? It was all so stupid to me and didn't match up to anything that had been revealed to them by Edith Prior. Now that's supposed to be because Edith Prior was a naughty little liar. But was I the only person who felt this book wasn't really planned out, it just sort of fumbled along. I feel like nothing that happens in book three makes any sense to what we learned in the last two books, about the world, about the characters and about being Divergent. What a let down.

This whole book to me feels rushed, whether that was to please a publisher or to please a studio who needs material to make a third film if the first one is successful, I don't know. But I can't believe that this was what Divergent was leading up to, 500+ pages of talking and boredom and a rushed 20 page ending that, by then, I didn't even care about.

So we learn that at some point a Purity war waged between genetically damaged (GDs) and genetically pure (GP) people. Much like the war between the factionless and the factions in the last book. Yawn, tired, bored. So now I'm beginning to realise that everything I was told to care about in the first two books, the city, the factions and the uprising raging at the minute is not important. We are now supposed to care about an uprising of GDs against GPs we've just met and don't really care about. So at least I've learnt how to write an ending to a book series if I am obviously having writers block - take my main storyline from book two - uprising between factionless and factions and just change the names of the fighting groups to GPs and GDs and there you go a completely (un)original and exciting(boring) storyline to satisfy(put to sleep) my loyal readers.

The Bureau reveals how the genetically damaged came forward to have their genes altered. Altered to what and if they could alter them why not try and cure it completely. With all the apparent technology they have and brain power why wasn't this something they would want to work on. Their meddling with the genes had led to ridiculously smart people of the Erudite faction, why not get them working on a cure or something. I have about 1million issues with this book it is actually unreal. But it does annoy me that the explanation to the city, the thing I have been dying to know, makes zero sense.

We learn that their city is one of many but it is the most successful because of the factions. This sounds interesting, why are the factions so important. I don't know but as you wrote the book I expect you know and will tell me. Well no, you don't, the factions just make everything better for some reason. The best way to fix damaged people is to split them into separate groups with only other people like them and then if they display signs for another faction they can leave, but it means leaving behind their whole family.

Another major issue I have is about to rear it's ugly head. the Bureau has had access to all the security cameras in the city the whole time. So essentially this means they watched on as the Erudite used the simulation to make Dauntless kill most of the Abnegation. What this tells me is that the Bureau doesn't really give a crap about the city, if they don't mind hundreds of them dying. So why then does the city even matter, why is the city even necessary? The answer: it isn't. It means absolutely nothing so I am just so confused as to why it is there. This story line and explanation for the city and it's existent and the reasoning behind the Divergent is one of the least thought out story lines I have ever seen in a book series before and hopefully will ever encounter.

Tris learns that her mother was from the outside and agreed to be sent in as she had some remarkably pure genes and they wanted her to go forth and multiply. But this raises a whole other set of issues. If she was sent in to the city, where everyone seems to know everyone how did no one notice? Oh of course, memory serum. The go to answer for anything in the book that doesn't add up right or make sense. But their reasoning is that they only had to use memory serum on a couple of people, a couple, really? What about a whole faction? The school she's supposed to have gone to? I don't get how erasing the memory of "a couple" of people made it possible to just add a random girl into a faction and no one notices. I don't get it because it doesn't make sense. But now at least we can learn her mothers sob story, because every single secondary character that we are introduced to in this book will have a stupid sob story that we don't care about. I'm not exaggerating, you will see. So her mother watched her own mother stab her father and then ran away from home and somewhere along the way killed someone herself. Oh dear, I'm choking up right now as it's all just so sad.

Next we will meet a character called Matthew, don't learn anything about him but don't worry he has a sob story too(YAY!) but we don't hear about it till later. Do we care? We don't care. I might care about the other secondary characters from books one and two that I came to love. Where's Uriah or Christina? Well those characters, the ones with actual personalities, disappear and we are left with Four and Tris arguing constantly and a long list of new, undeveloped secondary characters being introduced. I am literally dying of boredom by this point and have probably set my kindle down a hundred times.

So Matthew wants to test their genes because of this next shocker. Just because you seem Divergent and show signs of being Divergent it doesn't mean you're Divergent. It's just your genes being sneaky of course. Again, makes no sense but I am not even going to get into it because what's the point. If I went in to detail about every little thing in this book that makes no sense and is never truly explained then I would be hear all day and already this is ridiculously long! With this revelation comes the quite obvious realisation that good old Four is still genetically damaged. Oh well, who cares? Well apparently we do, or at least we are supposed to. This gives Four something to be broody, moody and generally act like a child about and also something to cause one more in a long line of pointless fights between him and Tris. Their romance was something I really loved in book one, it came across as real and quite mature. In this book it kind of feels like watching two ten year olds playing make believe.

By this point I am only 44% in but according to my notes I already feel like killing myself. Seriously, my notes say: "44% in + I want to kill myself". That just about sums up how mind numbingly dull but unbelievably frustrating I was finding this book. I'm almost halfway and nothing has really happened except for pages and pages and pages and pages of talking.

So now we are on to the part where Four meets up with Nita. Nita is some lab tech who doesn't really matter, she's just a silly plot device allowing Four to act like an idiot and Tris to get jealous. So Nita explains she is part of a GD uprising, the outside the city version of the Allegiant. She reveals how the Bureau treats GDs as second class citizens and how the GDs are not happy with it. So on she talks about everything that the Bureau did and this and that and blah, blah, blah. Stop talking now please, can something happen - anything! PLEASE!

But alas, just more talking. Nita wants Four to join the uprising and help them break in to the Weapons Lab to steal memory serum before the Bureau uses it to reset the memories of every one of the experiments. But he can't tell Tris. Why would he anyway as they seemingly never talk anymore, just argue sometimes and then randomly make out for no reason when five seconds ago they were having some silly petty fight about something that doesn't matter. In half a book Allegiant has managed to destroy everything that I actually loved about this series. Basic point of meeting is Bureau have used Nazi style propaganda to convince everyone that GDs are the bane of the earths existence and need to be cured. They are obviously the cause of all war and everything wrong with the world.

Four tells Tris, they meet Nita and some other secondary character that won't be developed and we won't care about. They show proof that simulation serum was given to Jeanine Matthews by the Bureau. Tris doesn't trust Nita and refuses to help and tells Four he shouldn't either. But Four goes behind Tris' back and does it anyway - otherwise what would they have to fight about next? So now I'm expecting something big to happen, they have to get in the lab and steal it, could get quite exciting. Nope. It takes all of about five pages to resolve itself.

Four goes along with it.
Matthew reveals they wants death serum not memory serum.
They blow hole in wall right next to Uriah who suddenly reappears again so that he can add to the list of pointless character deaths and reasons Tris & Four have to fight.
She prevents them getting serum.
The End.
(Sadly not the end of the book though!)
 
Four is hated by everyone and so just sits and watches the city on the surveillance screens. Now we get to see what is happening in the city, the place where it probably would have been better to stay as this Bureau is boring as hell. Marcus and Johanna basically just want the factions back and need to overthrow Evelyn. I knew this already, so why waste my time with it. But this does lead us to a ridiculous moment of Four trying to be all brooding and thought provoking and me wanting to vomit.

I need to share a quote that I wrote in my notes next to many large HAHAHAs. Which is this: "The Allegiant are the enemies of the new enemies, the factionless.". This made me laugh so much as it sums up the utter ridiculousness of this book.

At a council meeting we find out that Evelyn has got her hands on tons of death serum. Thank god, maybe she will kill everyone and the book will end and I will be saved from this mind numbing boredom I find myself in whenever I read it. We also find out that Chicago was once reset completely because of a factionless uprising. Tris would rather reset Bureau but Weapons Lab is set up with aerosol death serum that will kill anyone who gets in without pass code. Now at this point I didn't know how the book ended but I could guess. Tris would go after that serum even if it meant dying because she's that much of an idiot.

At this point my notes quite rightly say this:
80% in and NOTHING has happened!!! YAWN!!!

Now we get Matthews pointless sob story. He was in love with someone genetically damaged but she was beat up by the GP and died a year later during surgery. Oh no, I am crying. NOT. Why do I care? Why do I need to hear about all these pointless sob stories by pointless characters I do not know or care about? Why have all the secondary characters from the last two books who actually have personalities disappeared?

Now we get to hear their brilliant(boring) plan. Four and the others, except for Tris and Caleb, will head back to the city to give a select few people an antidote to the memory serum if Caleb and Tris fail. Four also decides to erase the memory of one of his parents as it will solve all conflict in the factions. I'll go along with it at this point because I don't really care about anything in this book anymore.

Caleb by this point has an actual redeeming moment. He offers to be the one to go in the Weapons Lab, to die to save everyone else. Yes, now this I can get behind. The whole reasoning behind why he betrayed Tris in the first place never made sense and you end up just thinking he's a bit of a *insert whichever insult/swear word you like here*. But now he might just be able to redeem himself in my eyes, might be able to show he isn't a total *again insert word of your choice*. But on the way to the lab Tris decides it would be better if she does it because she just might live but really the girl has some senseless need to always be the martyr and I'm bored of it.

But low and behold she is immune to the evil death serum, rejoice! However, David pops up and shoots and kills her. Sad times all. Not for me. At this point this book has ruined everything I love about this book and series that I'm singing: CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON!!! Finally it is over, I don't have to listen to her whine or fight with Four. And FINALLY something has actually happened in this book. As she dies she sees her mum and is happy to go to her. What have you accomplished, not much and you will leave people devastated. Her big sacrifice would have been okay if it made sense. To be honest, the ending didn't bother me because at that point I didn't care. Books don't need happy ever afters all the time, but don't just do something for shock value. That's all this was, a way to try and make the series unique to all others. A big 'Look at me, I'm so edgy and different because I killed off my main character'.

But the most laughable moment of the whole book goes to: Evelyn. When Four goes to see his mother she has a random personality switch. Suddenly she decides nothing but Four matters. Where this sudden maternal instinct comes from, we shall never know. This is the same mother who left her son with a man who beat him. Great parenting right there.

Then the worst bit is having to deal with Four being all melodramatic for a couple of chapters and then it ends.

FINALLY

I am 100% disappointed with this book. I can think of no good part in it other than when it ended. This felt like some badly written fan fiction. It didn't add up with the other two books and just left me utterly perplexed. Surely this is just some draft copy that has accidentally been published by mistake. Surely the last book in the epic Divergent trilogy wouldn't be so unbelievably boring and lacking in any action.

The main issues I have with it are simple: The dual narratives were the exact same. The only way to distinguish between the two was by the name at the top of the chapter. Such a let down, should have just stuck to Tris' whiny rambling the whole time because giving me two identical narratives from two separate characters was utterly infuriating. The story line was flat and boring and most the time didn't make sense or wasn't believable. The characters had no depth to them and all  the amazing things we loved about them in the first two books seemed to disappear.

I know everyone goes on and on about the ending. But I feel they are just letting it distract them from just how awful the rest of the book was. This book put me to sleep and it was nothing compared to it's predecessors. Completely disappointing in every way.

I am also fed up of seeing so many people comment on how brave Roth was for doing what she did. How is this in any way brave? She is not the only person to ever kill off a main character at the end, in fact the only thing she's brave for is for doing it in the worst way possible. That ending was nothing more than a desperate attempt to differentiate this series from any other. But it just comes across as forced and it doesn't feel right. If she wanted to kill Tris, that's fine but make sure it makes sense when you do. Don't force it because you don't want to live up to the expectation that this will have a happily ever after.
 
0/5 Stars
 
If you haven't read it then I would actually beg you not to. All this did was ruin the whole series for me and that is disappointing. I loved Divergent and this just made me question why that was.

 I will treat Allegiant the same way I treat the last series of Dexter or the ending to Mass Effect 3 - as if it NEVER happened. Because we as readers, viewers and gamers deserved more, it's as simple as that. We deserved more than a regurgitated storyline, zero character development and one epic let down of an ending.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent #3): The (Spoiler Free) Review.

Allegiant
by
Veronica Roth
Title: Allegiant (Divergent #3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
(Don't) Buy This Book: Amazon


Allegiant picks up where Insurgent left off. Tris and Four now know that the city is only there, they are only there because generations ago they were placed there by whatever and whoever is outside the city. Now they want to do what Edith Prior has asked of them, leave the city to help those who are outside. But with Evelyn trying to take control of the city and get rid of the factions for good, and an uprising beginning to overthrow her it may be harder then they think.


Hmmm, where do I begin. I am not quite sure how to put the disappointment I feel into words. I managed to read Allegiant without seeing any spoilers. Don't get me wrong, I had heard people were less than happy, or infuriated by the ending but that was all. So I was expecting to get to the end and be shocked, upset and maybe annoyed. What I wasn't expecting was to be so bored by the end that I wouldn't actually care how it ended as long as it just ended. When it did it just felt like FINALLY!

Divergent earned a 5/5 review from me and instantly became a favourite of mine, so it is actually gutting to be so disappointed by it's conclusion. The blurb/synopsis/summary alone gets to me now. It talks of how it is told from a "riveting dual perspective" and that it brings the Divergent series to "a powerful conclusion while revealing secrets of the dystopian world". Wrong, all wrong.

Let's start with the whole "riveting dual perspectives". When I heard that I would finally get Four's point of view, I was sooooooo excited. Four is my favourite character and I absolutely love him. So I couldn't wait for kick-ass Fours perspective on things. Sadly though, Four's voice and narrative was the exact same as Tris'. So there was no individual personality in it at all, if I had to put the kindle down half way through a chapter, when I picked it up again I had absolutely no idea which character was narrating until they encountered one another. This was unbelievably frustrating but also a huge let down. Why give me dual narratives and perspectives when they are basically the same?

Also why turn one of my all time favourite male leads into a fumbling, confused, scared little boy who just needs mummy to love him. Four, the same guy who confronted his fears over and over again, but now he is going to act like Tris, making stupid, irrational decisions and basically getting on my nerves. 

Allegiant didn't have to be some amazing, epic conclusion but could something, anything happen in the 500+ pages that was actually worth reading. That's really not that much to ask for, seriously. I am disappointed more in myself, that after the first disappointing 100 pages I actually continued on. I subjected myself to hours of boredom. But hey, along the way I did discover the cure for insomnia, so that's won win.

I feel like I am ranting more than anything but I can't help myself. Let's break some of the disappointment down!

Dual narratives: were basically the exact same, I could quite easily confuse the two. If I am being told I am going to get a dual narrative than I am going to expect one. Not just Tris or Four at the beginning of each chapter, because that was the only difference.

"revealing the secrets": Okay another huge problem I had with this was how it answered all the questions the last two books brought up. It didn't, much. That's not to say it didn't have explanations, it's just that they either didn't make sense or I didn't really understand why they mattered. There were so many holes in them it was actually laughable.

Nothing happens: This book has the amazing ability of tricking you into thinking that something is happening. It isn't. It's basically 450 pages of characters talking about everything that is going to happen, but it doesn't. Not until the last 20 pages or so and then it's just rushed and by then I didn't really care.

It's the same storyline I read in the last book: Seriously, it was. All that has changed is the names of the fighting groups and the uprising. I wanted an exciting conclusion, something original that felt as amazing as Divergent did. But this fumbled along like it never really knew where it was headed. I am just so confused by the whole thing. If anyone can shed light on what the point of this book was, please enlighten me!

The end: Everyone seemed so angry by this I was surprised by how much I DIDN'T CARE. I literally just wanted it to end. I was so unbelievably bored by the end, I was in a care coma. All my feels were gone and I couldn't have cared less about anything or anyone in this book. Seriously, I think she could have killed every single character in this book and it wouldn't have bothered me. Mainly because to me, this book never happened.

I loved, loved, LOVED Divergent, such a great start to a series and Insurgent was also a good book, a solid sequel. It is so disappointing to find that the EPIC FINAL was just a regurgitated version of the same old story lines we have seen in the others books, it's just that the names of the fighting groups changed. YAWN!  

 I will treat Allegiant the same way I treat the last series of Dexter or the ending to Mass Effect 3 - as if it NEVER happened. Because we as readers, viewers and gamers deserved more, it's as simple as that. We deserved more than a regurgitated storyline, zero character development and one epic let down of an ending.

0/5 Stars

It gets no stars because it honestly didn't earn any. This book treated me like I was stupid, like all it's readers were stupid in fact and we wouldn't recognise that it's the same old storyline just with a few name changes. The ending seemed like it was forced, overly dramatic to make up for the fact that the rest of the book was lacking in any kind of action.


Note:
It is really hard to explain all the reasons I hated this book with no spoilers. So for once I will be posting a spoiler filled, point by point explanation of why I didn't find any enjoyment in this book. That will be up within the next few days.


Musing Monday #6

This is a weekly meme hosted by shouldbereading, which is where you can post your musings of the week. This can be describing a reading habit, what books you've bought, what books you want, what you're reading or any rant you can think of book related.


So today I would have loved to give you a long interesting post, but alas this week is not my week! My laptop charger died last night, may he rest in peace, or pieces as the case may be. So I am having to quickly type this up whilst trying to eat lunch at work on a public PC. Not good. I feel kind of lost without the use of my laptop, as I can't blog without it and that is actually rather devastating. Luckily, I have an amazing sister who is coming down to meet me for lunch after work tomorrow and bringing a spare plug lead that should hopefully work! 

So if you comment or follow the blog and I don't get back to you, this is why. I will get back to you all as soon as I get my laptop up and running again, fingers crossed it's tomorrow!

So that will be my musing for today. Has anyone had this happen to them?

Leave a link to your own MM and will get back to you as soon as I can!

Friday, 25 October 2013

2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

 
This will be my first ever challenge and I am quite excited. Go over to Bookish to find out more. Basically it will help me get through my never ending TBR list and I am aiming for the 50+ books level. 

So the most books I have ever read in one year is just over 200. Have no idea what happened that year but it's probably never going to happen again. So my main aim is to read 100 books every year. I'm ahead of schedule this year so hopefully I can do it. For this challenge I will aim to read 50 books - as they have to be 2013 or before reads and there's a good chance I will want to read a lot of 2014 releases as well. 

I may add a list of planned reads soon but I have almost 400 books that are in my TBR pile - 250, give or take some, are ones I've bought and never read (What is wrong with me?), then about 65 from the library (eeeeek!) and way too many to count waiting on my kindle. So I have to go through them and try and decide where to start. 

The blog is going to host monthly Read-A-Longs with prizes, giveaways and monthly wrap-ups that you can link too. Sounds like a lot of fun so I am quite excited. 

Anyone got any challenges planned for next year? Or any plans to get through those never ending TBR piles we all seem to have?


Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #2): The Review

Insurgent 
by
Veronica Roth
Title: Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
Buy This Book: Amazon

Note: If you have not read Divergent yet and plan to then don't read this. Will contain spoilers of the first book. 


Tris is struggling to deal with the guilt she feels in the aftermath of the Erudite attack on the Abnegation. She has lost her parents and is responsible for the death of her friend Will, that knowledge is not easy to deal with. Those that were under simulation have to live with the knowledge that they killed innocent people. There is definite unrest between the factions, between those who want to fight against Jeanine Matthews and the Erudite and those who don't. If Tris and Four are going to take down Jeanine, then they need help and this is where the factionless come in. They will have to work together, factions and factionless alike in order to get back control of the city they love. But there are secrets that the Erudite will do anything to protect and Tris will be risking everything to uncover it. 


The sequel to Divergent, one of my all time favourite books, is packed with a lot more nail-biting action than it's predecessor. I find sequels can be very hit and miss, you have high expectations because you loved the first book and you don't want that love ruined by a horrible sequel. Thankfully Insurgent didn't disappoint me. But I like to give honest reviews, so I can't lie to you lovely people. And so, I must admit that I did not like this book as much as the first one. But not because it is a terrible book, I actually really enjoyed it but found some parts infuriating. 

Tris is struggling to deal with her grief and as such she is making reckless decisions. Now, I feel like maybe I should be able to sympathise with her but I really can't. Her parents both gave their lives for her and for the future of the city and she repays them by recklessly risking her own life whenever she can. But not only that but she takes it out on Four and if you have read my review of Divergent, I love Four! This was not acceptable in my mind and I kind of wanted to reach into the book and slap some sense in to her. So it does make a book harder to like when you spend so much of it infuriatingly angry at the main character.

Four is still my number one favourite character in this series. And he is also my favourite thing about this book. I just can't help but love him and it takes a lot for a romantic interest in a book to do this to me. But Veronica Roth struck gold here, Four is everything I could possibly ask for. But the poor guy, in this book he has to deal with a lot, especially from Tris even though he is doing all he can to help her. I really wish that we could have got Four's POV for at least some of the book, or even one or two chapters. I would have really loved to know what he was thinking and what was happening to him in more detail. I think that would have bee really great.

Jeanine Matthews is a perfect villain for this book. So cold and calculating; I loved it. Every good series needs a great villain! It's quite nice having someone to openly hate and hope bad things happen too. It's quite nice having someone else to be angry at other than Tris.

I worry my "Tris is so whiny!!!" parts of this review may put you off reading it but don't let it. I just want to be honest, otherwise there would be no point in me doing a review at all. This really was a great sequel and took the series somewhere I wasn't expecting. This book had me feeling so many different emotions, anger, sadness, shock; I loved it! It had those moments where I was scared to turn over the page because I worried what I might find. 

For anyone who read and loved Divergent make sure you read Insurgent, it's well worth it.


4/5 Stars

Now for Insurgent; I have managed to avoid all spoilers, YAY! My expectations are ridiculously low as everyone else seems either angry or upset. So maybe be prepared for a ranting, 1 star "I HATE YOU" review soon. Fingers crossed though.


Feature & Follow Friday #3

Increase Blog Followers 
Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, each of whom feature a chosen blog of the week. It is a way for blogs to gain exposure but also so you can check out and follow other blogs

If you want to take part you must follow both hosts and both featured bloggers. Then add your own link and go visit and follow some bloggers. If someone follows you, you follow back. Simple.


This weeks question:
Bookagram: Photograph your favourite read in a funny place?

I had such great plans for this, unfortunately I have been sick and stuck indoors! So other than putting a book somewhere in my house, which isn't very funny, my options were kind of limited. So instead I will show you my reading buddy, the wonderful Sephy who is more a hindrance at times than a help!
You shall not read the paper until you stroke me!
But there's nothing better than snuggling down on the sofa with a good book and this cute kitty curled in my lap. Perfect.


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Book Haul #6

In My Mailbox & Letterbox Love
 IMM is something that was started on TheStorySiren so click on the link and check out her blog if you want to find out more about it and how to participate. Letterbox Love was started over at NarrativelySpeaking and is a more UK based version of IMM. This is basically a way for me to show what books I have received, borrowed or bought each week.
http://shouldbereading.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/fridayfinds_bringontheink.pngSTSmall
 
Also check out Friday Finds over on ShouldBeReading and Stacking the Shelves over at TyngaReviews, I am in love with all of these as I love finding other blogs to follow and books to read through these! So check them all out and see what you find, Stacking the Shelves has a lot of participants as well which is great.
 
 
 
 
This week I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't go book crazy; well I lied!
 
 
This week I bought:


Allegiant (Divergent, #3) 
Allegiant (Divergent #3)
by 
Veronica Roth
 
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.

Got this on my kindle and stayed up till twelve waiting for it to arrive. Have not had it spoiled for me but have seen some less than positive reactions and now I am truly scared!!!



The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)
by
Julie Kagawa

My vampire creator told me this:
'Sometime in you life, Allison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being. The question is not if it will happen, but when. Do you understand?'
I didn't then, not really. I do now.
In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. She must decide what - and who - are worth dying for. 

I picked this up because of the amazing cover, it looks and feels gorgeous. And the blurb actually sounds really interesting, hoping I can get to this soon.



This week I borrowed:


The Eternity Cure (Blood Of Eden, #2)
The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)
by
Julie Kagawa

Click on the title for a description. I'm not providing one as I haven't read the first book, if I read the blurb I'll spoil it! 


Romeo & Juliet & Vampires
Romeo & Juliet &Vampires
by
Claudia Gabel

The Capulets and the Montagues have some deep and essential differences. Blood differences. Of course, the Capulets can escape their vampire fate, and the Montagues can try not to kill their undead enemies, but ultimately their blood feud is unstoppable. 
So it's really quite a problem when Juliet, a vampire-to-be, and Romeo, the human who should be hunting her, fall desperately in love. What they don't realise is how deadly their love will turn out to be - or what it will mean for their afterlives...

Well you've got to love Romeo and Juliet. I have been given this by a young girl who comes to the Teenage Reading Group at work, and told I have to read it. I will have to get around to it before the next meeting or I'll feel bad.



Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Scarlet
by
Marissa Meyer

Click on the title to get a description - haven't read the first one and don't want any spoilers!
 


Tiger Lily
by
Jodi Lynn Anderson

This is a love story unlike any you've ever heard...
Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings... until she meets Peter Pan in the forbidding woods of Neverland. Immediately she falls under his spell - holding him like a secret in her heart.
Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Reckless and brave, he both scares and enthrals her. She will risk everything - her family, her future - to be with him. 
But Tiger Lily soon discovers that the most dangerous enemy can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

This sounds like a really great read but also like a sad one. I know this book will probably make me love Tiger Lily and then rip my poor heart out by having Wendy come in and ruin everything. Don't make me hate Wendy!



Blood Family
by
Anne Fine
 
Locked away by his mother's monster of a boyfriend, Edward is seven years old before a neighbour spots his pale face peering through a crack in the boarded-up window. Rescue comes, but lasting damage has been done.
Years on, it's clear to Edward's adoptive family that something in his past haunts him still. Then Edward catches sight of a photograph that shocks him to the core.
Could there be yet another monster in his life who has been waiting to break out all along?
 
Sounds interesting, but one that will probably make me sad too. Why do I do this to myself? Why?
 
 
 
Hurt
by 
Tabitha Suzuma
 
At seventeen, Matheo Walsh is Britain's most promising diving champion. He is wealthy, popular - and there's Lola, the girlfriend of his dreams. 
But then there was that weekend. A weekend he cannot bring himself to remember. All he knows is that what happened then has changed him for ever. 
Matheo is faced with the most devastating choice of his life. Keep his secret, and put those closest to him in terrible danger. Or confess, and lose Lola completely. 
 
I loved, loved, loved Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, I reviewed on the blog and it is one of my all time favourite reads. So when I saw she had a new book out I had to get it. Excited for this one. 
 
 
 

This week I received for review
 

  The Switch
by
Dawn Pendleton and Andrea Heltsley


Honor and Faith haven’t switched places since they were kids. When Honor begs her twin sister to go on a date with her boyfriend, Cameron, Faith reluctantly agrees. The problem is that she lets things go too far. Now Honor and Cameron have broken up and he won’t stop calling Faith, claiming he felt something more for her. The scary thing is, Faith felt it too. The problem, however, is the one rule that sisters and best friends abide by: don’t date their exes.
Honor has her own problems. Breaking it off with Cameron was the right thing to do, but now his best friend, Parker, won’t leave her alone. The more time they spend together, the more Honor starts to heal. Suddenly, Honor sees Parker as more than just a friend who cares – and she wants more.
Neither sister wants to complicate things further and cross those boundaries, but they can’t stop their emotions for the guys in their lives. Turns out, the switch is the one thing that has changed them forever.


Not sure about this one, but I thought I would give it a try!




On the blog last week:

I reviewed:

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Divergent by Veronica Roth

And also:
My Feature & Follow Friday.
Getting to know me.
My Top Ten Tuesday Post.
My WWW post. 




Also a big thank you to the following lovely people that followed me. 

 
Thanks so much!
 
 
Leave a link to your own hauls so I can come check them out!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

W... W... W... #4

WWW_Wednesdays4 
This is from ShouldBeReading and is simple to take part in. All you need to do is answer the following three questions:
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finished reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?


10616322Currently Reading:

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Pretty sure a lot of people are reading this right now. I was rereading the first two, and stayed up till 5am finishing of Insurgent so I have only just started it. So excited to see how it all ends.




Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Recently Finished:

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

This was a reread in time for Allegiant, as I have never posted a review for it on the blog that will be coming soon.





The NaturalsWhat I will read next:

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
 
I have a lot of options, but I want to get some ARCs out the way. So I think, not completely sure, but think I will get The Naturals out the way. 






Since last Wednesday I read and reviewed

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Also on the blog:

 My weekly book haul.
My Feature & Follow Friday.
Getting to know me.
My Top Ten Tuesday Post.


Leave a link to your own WWW post and I'll come check it out!


 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth: The Review

Divergent
by
Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
Buy This Book: Amazon


Beatrice 'Tris' Prior has recently turned sixteen and is now expected to make the most important decision of her life. She lives in a society that is divided into five factions, with different beliefs and ways of living: Dauntless believe in bravery, Candor believe in truth, Abnegation believe in selflessness, Amity believe in peace and Erudite believe in knowledge and intelligence. All Tris has to help her make her decision is the aptitude test everyone her age will take, it will show her which faction she is best suited for. What Tris doesn't expect to be told is that she is in fact Divergent, that she has equal aptitude for three factions. She is told to tell no one about this, all she knows is being Divergent is something that could get her killed. 
Not knowing where she belongs, Tris decides to leave her faction and leave her family and chooses Dauntless. But she still has to make it through initiatin, otherwise she will end up factionless and that is something she definitely doesn't want to be. Dauntless initiation will test Tris and push her further than she could ever imagine. Here she will meet Four, who will train the initiates and help them to make it into Dauntless. But with tensions building between Erudite and the Abnegation, the one thing Tris is supposed to hide might be the one thing that will help her save the people she loves. 


I don't really know what I can say about this book that hasn't been said hundreds of times before. But as it's one of my favourite book series and I have just reread it in time for Allegiant, I am going to review it for the blog anyway. 

Divergent is an amazing read, at least in my opinion. It gave me everything I could possibly ask for in a book, an amazing dystopian setting, a kick-ass female lead who just so happens to be short (as a fellow short person, I like this!), a great male lead who even I can fall for and twists and turns I don't see coming. Not to mention some rather amazing secondary characters that I really came to love.

As far as main characters go, Tris was kind of perfect as far as I'm concerned. I think the reason I loved her so much was because of how hard she had to work. She wasn't amazing from the get go, she wasn't the best initiate, it was something she had to work for. I really liked that about her, it can get frustrating having characters who are the best at everything all the time. Plus, as I've said she is also tiny which is nice to find in a lead character! 

Next I must talk about Four - Four, Four, Four, Four!!! As far as love interest and male lead characters go, Four is actually swoon worthy to me and I never swoon. He was tough, mysterious but also caring and funny. I totally fell for Four in this book and Four will always be Four to me - I don't care if it's a nickname! As far as secondary characters go, Veronica Roth can really do no wrong. She gave me Tris' friends to love, her enemies to absolutely despise and those characters that keep you guessing.

Dystopian fiction is my favourite genre and I can't seem to get enough of it. The factions in the book were something I really enjoyed and found really interesting. Even if I would have liked a tiny bit more explanation on them - when they were formed, why they were formed and how it all works. One great thing about this book, no stupid, annoying, frustrating love triangle. I am surely not the only person who is fed up of seeing these in books.

Divergent is one of my all time favourites and the ending gets me every time I read it. This book was completely heartbreaking to me at times. When you finish it leaves you needing to know what happens next, thankfully all three books are out now so you won't have to wait. 

5/5 Stars

If you're looking for dystopian fiction with amazing characters, kick-ass action and a great romance then this is definitely for you!

Top Ten Tueday: Unusual Character Names

 
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke & The Bookish. Each week they host a different top ten topic. This weeks is:


Top Ten Unusual Character Names

Now I can probably think of a list as tall as I am so I will just think of the first ones that pop into my head!



Forbidden
1. Maya & Lochan

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma is filled with unusual character names. But the main leads are called Maya and Lochan, which at first I wasn't too sure about but then starting to fall in love with. Lochan was definitely a name I had never come across before.



Noughts and Crosses 
2. Persephone (Sephy)

When I first came across this name when I was about ten in Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman I instantly loved it. It was very unusual to me and I also adored the shortening of it to Sephy. I ended up naming my cat after the character as well.

Here is the cat, proving fruit bowls aren't just for fruit.



Northern Lights (His Dark Materials, #1) 
3. Lyra & Pantalaimon

From the wonderful Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, this book made me fall in love with the name Lyra. When I first read the book, about age 10, I told my mum that that's what I wanted to call my daughter if I had one. I eventually settled for naming my Mass Effect character it! Panatalaimon, I heard that name and instantly adored it - so unusual and who doesn't want their own Pan?



Matched (Matched, #1)
4. Cassia, Ky & Xander

Matched by Ally Condie is full of unusual and interesting names, the three main characters all have unusual names that I really quite liked.



Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) 
5. Hermione Granger

When I first read HP1 I was about seven or eight and had never come across the name Hermione before. Well I could not for the life of me figure out how I was supposed to pronounce it so I had to ask my thirteen year old sister.


Divergent (Divergent, #1)


 6. Four

So yes technically Four is just a nickname for a character in Divergent by Veronica Roth but I actually really came to love the name Four. As far as I am concerned, Four is always going to be Four to me. 



The Sight

7. Larka & Fell

The names of two wolves in The Sight, Larka is a white wolf and Fell a black one. This book, still to this very day, makes me want to get a pure black German Shepherd and pure white German Shepherd and name them after those two.


These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)
8. Tarver

This was a name I came across recently in These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and I really liked the sound of it.





A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)9. Daenerys Targaryen

Game of Thrones is full to the brim of strange and unusual character names. But I have quite a soft spot for Daenerys, I mean, the girls got dragons!


10. Tyrion Lannister

I adore Tyrion, he is such an amazing character in these books and has so many hilarious, witty moments.



So that's just a few. Leave a link to your own TTT so I can kick myself over the ones I forgot!



Last week on the blog:

My Wednesday WWW.
My review of How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff.
 My weeks book haul.
 My Feature & Follow Friday.
My Liebster award post.
My review of Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman.
My Musing for Monday.


Thanks also to Spiced Latte Reads & Pages of Comfort for following me!