YA Book Club: Allegiant

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Allegiant by Veronica Roth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To be totally honest, I was initially a little disappointed with Allegiant. The beginning, as many people have already mentioned, was a little slow-moving, and after that ending to Insurgent, I expected something a little more explosive than what ended up happening. Fortunately, things did eventually pick up, and I enjoyed the back half of the book a lot more because it was a lot more like the previous books.

As far as the alternating perspectives, I wasn’t sure at first as to the reason for that, but it didn’t bother me too much because I ended up liking Four’s chapters more than Tris’s. It was interesting to get inside his head more and learn more about him, as well as watch him wrestle with his demons.

What I really want to talk about, though, is the ending. I know all the signs pointed toward Allegiant ending the way it did, but it still caught me by surprise. But not in a bad way. I think having things end the way they did was actually the most appropriate ending; it suited the tone of the series, and ending things any other way would’ve just felt like a cop out. (I mean, I probably wouldn’t have minded, but it wouldn’t have felt completely right, either.)

After having some more time to think about it, I formulated some further thoughts about the ending. [You can read my full review with spoilers here.]

Allegiant wasn’t my favorite of the books, but it’s still worth reading for the ending alone.

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YA Book Club: Taken

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YA Book Club is an online book club hosted by Tracey Neithercott. This month we read Taken by Erin Bowman, so if you’ve read it, feel free to join in!

I was so excited about my copy I had to take a picture with it. It happens.

I was so excited about my copy I had to take a picture with it. It happens.

I loved Taken so much, I stayed up an hour past my bedtime to finish it. It started off a little slow for me, but once it got going, it didn’t let up. Since the premise was unique and I didn’t have too much of an idea of the plot beforehand, the twists really caught me off guard – which I appreciated, what with my strangely predictive powers and all. There was one I had guessed at because I’d already seen it done in a certain book I won’t name because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else (review with spoilers can be found here), but aside from that I had no ideas.

The main character, Gray, wasn’t the most likable character. He was impulsive, needs to work on his temper like whoa, and does a couple really jerktastic things. In this case, though, it wasn’t a death sentence because he so obviously cares about the people in his life – particularly his brother, Blaine; his niece, Kale; and some of the people he comes to meet throughout the course of the story. While there were some times I wanted to sit down with him and have a serious talk with him about some of his questionable decisions, I felt like the whole caring about others (even if he doesn’t always play nice with them) thing was a pretty huge redeeming quality. Also, he’s a teenage boy, so it’s not like he was unrealistically portrayed.

I wasn’t as into the love triangle as I was hoping to be. Honestly, I just didn’t feel it with Emma and Gray, because I just didn’t see why Gray would be into Emma in the first place. They just didn’t seem to fit to me, plus Emma wasn’t as interesting a character to me as Bree was.

The end of the book hints at more world building in the next one, which I’m super enthused about. While Taken wasn’t perfect, I still need the next two books, like, yesterday. I can’t wait to see where Gray’s adventures (and impulsiveness, let’s be honest) will take him next!

YA Book Club: Just One Day

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Today is a glorious day, for after far too long it is time for another installment in YA Book Club, hosted by Tracey Neithercott. This month’s selection was Just One Day by Gayle Forman. (Book cover links to Goodreads page.)

12842115I absolutely adored Just One Day, to the point where I stayed up until one in the morning to finish it – which is a feat I rarely accomplish anymore because I’m a Premature Old Person. Initially I read it in bits and pieces at work during lunch, but I realized quickly that bits and pieces wasn’t going to do Forman’s descriptions of England and Paris justice – she did such a great job creating settings that really came to life and made me so jealous of Allyson/Lulu’s adventures (and not just because she was running around with a cute Dutch boy, but that sure didn’t hurt).

It took a little while to get into what I felt was the meat of the story, but I didn’t mind because I was so busy enjoying the settings. But what I loved the most about this book was Allyson’s discovery of Lulu, her fearless alter-ego, during her one day in Paris with Willem, followed by the following year in which she struggled to find Lulu again – and realize that Lulu and Allyson are actually the same person. I think what struck me most was how honest Allyson’s struggles were – her struggle to figure out what she wants now that she has the power to decide is something a lot of us could probably relate to at that age, and I feel like this perfectly captures what the whole New Adult thing is about.

For me, the romance wasn’t nearly as important to the book as Allyson’s self-discovery, but I still loved it. I loved how Willem brought out the more fearless side of Allyson, and I spent the entire second part of the book rooting for them…although I can’t really go into it too much more because spoilers. Suffice to say, I can’t wait to read Willem’s side of the story.

Have you read Just One Day? Go join the discussion at Tracey’s blog!