Saturday, October 26, 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (NO SPOILERS!)

I finished this book the day after it was released. I had been anxiously awaiting its arrival; annoying everyone in my family by counting the days. Its taken me a week to formulate and digest my thoughts enough to be able to write this review.

Let me start by saying I LOVED Divergent! I thought the characters were well developed. For a middle book in a trilogy, Insurgent was better than most.

I did not like Allegiant.

My dislike is not based at on the twist ending. I enjoy stories that surprise me. An ending that is not your typical happy ending or even an ending that I disagree with makes me think and analyze and question. My dislike is solely based on the writing. 

The choice to write from alternate points of view is tricky and Roth did not do it well. The voice of each character did not shine through. I very often found myself having to re-check the beginning of  each chapter to see whose POV it was. There was no distinguishing voice between Tris and Tobias. 

I also felt the writing was boring. The short sentences that flowed so well and were so engaging in the previous two books, fell short in this one. There was not flow to the story and it seemed very repetitive and dull. The word choice was basic and boring. 

The story itself was repetitive, uprise-share the truth-overthrow, and the plot twist at the beginning involving the United Comonwealth was very contrived. I found myself muttering, "Are you kidding me?!?" many times.

I am disappointed  that such an anticipated novel was such a spectacular disaster. My disappointment had me asking many questions. Were the first two books flukes? Did the popularity of the first two go to her head? Was she too focused on the making of the movie? Did she want to distance herself from the wildly popular series? Did Roth actually write this book???

Whatever the answers, I know that I cannot recommend this book to anyone. With that being said, when I am advising on what great books to read, I will still recommend Divergent and Insurgent. I will tell readers that making up what happens next is all the fun of reading.

As of now, I am referring to Allegiant as The Book That Must Not Be Named.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

If you are a fan of Hunger Games and Divergent, this book needs to be moved to the top of your "To Read" list!

The world has gone through wars, earthquakes, bio-terrorist attacks and other disasters. The nations have fallen apart and the United Commonwealth is in charge.

The story starts with Cia getting ready for her graduation day. She is nervous because she wants to be chosen for the Testing. Only a fewTesting candidates are chosen from each colony  to compete to be able to go to University. Cia's colony, Five Lakes, has not had any candidates chosen for a long time. Cia's own super intelligent brothers were not chosen.

At the graduation, there is no official, so no one thinks that anyone made it to the testing. However, the next day, an official shows up, after having mechanical trouble, to tell 4 students, Cia included, that they have been chosen as Testing candidates. They are required to leave the next day.

Before she leaves, Cia's dad, who has gone through the Testing, pulls her aside and tells her his thoughts about the Testing and that she should trust no one! People who have gone through the testing don't remember it, but suffer through nightmares and flashes of memory. His information turns her thoughts about the Testing to a new level!

From the moment the candidates are picked up, the Testing begins. Cia picks up on this. No one realized that the testing just wasn't on paper, but the Testing is about being what the United Commonwealth considers a good leader.

I reccommend this book for ages 10 and up. There is some violence but it does not detract from the story.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

No easy way out

No Easy Way Out

Dayna Lorentz' second installment in this series is just as engaging as the first. No Safety in Numbers introduced to a group of people who get caught in a disasterous situation. They all thought they were going to have a wonderful Saturday at the mall, but ended up being quarantined in the mall after being exposed to a biological bomb.

In No Easy Way Out everyone seems to have accepted the fact that they may be there awhile. The riots are over, and the Senator is trying to create order out of the chaos. There are assigned jobs, homes and duties. Of course, there are some rebels. The senator wants to keep the teen rebels in order so enlists the aid of one of them to help her keep tabs. But things against the new order are still happening? Is it just the teenagers? Or are there other factions out there?

Who can be trusted?

I recommend, of course, reading the first book. This book reminded me of a modern day Lord of the Flies. Fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer will enjoy this book. There is some violence and sex, but it does not detract or over power the story.