Insurgent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I remember being wowed by this book the first time through, and maybe even the second. It has been several years now since I've read the series, and I have read a lot of other books in between. I think that's why even though I still like this series and world, I started to see a few more flaws in the storytelling and world building.
There are gaps that aren't filled in that should be, because they would make the story richer. I found myself thinking about what happens in the movie to fill those gaps, when typically it should be the opposite. The movie should be a partial view of everything that occurs in the book.
Anyway, long rambling story made short, I wish I could find my original review of this book, but I guess I never tagged it onto Goodreads. All I know is that while I liked this story, I found myself stopping a lot in the second half, instead of racing through. I also listened on audiobook and spaced out so many times that I was starting to frustrate myself. Now, it could have been that I wasn't in the right mind frame to read, but I think this just didn't capture my full attention upon rereading, which is too bad, as it's still an interesting concept overall.
Book 345 read in 2018
Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It's short. It's fun if you like Four.
It's very angsty and drama-filled.
You won't get much new out of this one, but if you like the series, you will probably want to read it. I did drop one star on my second read. I guess the initial excitement and glow wore off a bit over the past few years, but I still enjoyed it.
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I actually liked this better the 2nd time through, and on audiobook, though I have to confess, I was one of the rare few people in the universe who understood and accepted the ending on my first read through.
Now is the part where I start saying a whole bunch of SPOILERS, so if you hate SPOILERS, then don't be reading this review.
POTENTIAL SPOILERS ALERT:
Life would be spectacular if love was never crushed by tragedy, especially before a couple really got to revel in their relationship. But while life is often spectacular, love is always complicated and if it doesn't end in heartbreak, then it usually ends in death, which is it's own brutal form of heartbreak. I wish it wasn't so people, but it's just the truth. And yes, reality does suck sometimes.
Since I live in reality, I tend to prefer when my books end happy, instead of end drowning in epic grief, as there is enough epic grief to deal with outside of books.
Like many readers, I wanted nothing more than for SPOILER ALERT REMINDER, Tris to live and build a life with Four in the new world. However, I also completely understand why that didn't happen, especially based on the themes of this series, which were established way back in book one. Now, I think those themes could have been meaningful and achieved even if Tris had lived....but the emotional impact on me, personally, would have been very different than it was when she died. It made me absorb everything on a whole different level than I would have if I'd been partying it up because she miraculously lived.
Since I like an extreme amount of emotion, even when everything hurts all over, I understood this choice. It did affect me, and the messages that it sent were effective, even though I've gone away from the novel pretty heartbroken and depressed (again).
The audiobook version made it easier to differentiate the POVs, which still aren't that distinct, in terms of voice, but it went down smoother. It helped that there were 2 different readers.
Also, I didn't mind the strange path this one took. It seems so weird and out of place when I was in the moment (5 years ago), but it all made a little more sense this time through. I'm actually glad they ventured out, so that I could gain a better understanding of the rest of the world, even if it was a bit random at times.
I think that what the 3rd book suffers from the most is that it has to address things that might not have been as well-thought out when they appeared or occurred in the first book. In its attempt to logic all of that out after the fact, it sometimes loses its way just a bit.
Also, some of the issues between Tris and Four that have existed since book one keep occurring in book three, and it would have been nice for them to show just a bit more growth in their relationship. However, in their defense, I was an idiot with relationship well into my late twenties, so I can hardly blame two teenagers for their relationship deficiencies.
Previous review still stands.
Book 348 read in 2018
Overall, I enjoyed the final novel in this trilogy, but it took me time to really commit. I was slow to fall in love with it. The story went places I didn't expect to go and sometimes didn't want to go, but it also made me do a lot of thinking. I loved that we got to see the black side of the world, the white side, and all the gray areas in between. The way it explored the concepts of nature vs. nurture captivated the teacher in me.
The biggest adjustment for me was the alternating POV, and the funny thing is that I shrugged people off when they complained to me about it. I love alternating POV, and I love Four. Who doesn't? I figured it would awesome.
What surprised me once I started reading was how similar the two voices were. Sometimes I got confused about whose brain I inhabited at the moment, and it was always a jarring realization. In other alternating POV novels, like Under The Never Sky, I've skipped reading the name at the start of each chapter, because I could always tell who I was following. However, in fairness, Tobias and Tris are much more similar than Perry and Aria.
I easily resolved my confusion by pausing at the start of each chapter to let the POV character sink into my brain for several second before reading on, even though that went against my impatient nature. It wasn't a major crisis by any means, and as a writer, I understand why she chose it for the last book.
Since I waited a couple of months to read the novel, I heard a lot of complaints from students and teachers about the ending of the story, even though I refused to listen to specifics.
SPOILER ALERT: I’ll try to be vague, but people can usually read between the lines...
For me personally, the ending was almost perfect. There were a few events leading up to it that seemed a bit too easily handled (Marcus), a few things that concerned me or felt overlooked (decide for yourselves), but overall, I loved the way every decision and action had a significant meaning attached to it.
The big epic event that has everyone so worked up was painful, gut-wrenching, and misery inducing, which in my mind equals well-written. With all the foreshadowing for the past two books, I expected something similar to happen, and it allowed for a lot to be said about humanity. Grief is hard to live through and hard to write, but Roth definitely captures it in way that makes me ache.
Overall, my favorite characters were true to themselves, and they made choices that I felt were right for them, which made me proud.
We Can Be Mended by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This works for me, even though it didn't seem to work for everyone else. Because moving on is good, even if it takes a long time, and even if you're moving on in a direction that you never expected to take.