Allegiant by Veronica Roth • Magan Reviews

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth [twitter • website]
Previously Reviewed Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 526
Target Audience: Young Adult
Keywords: dystopia, trilogy, books to movies
Format Read: Hard cover purchased.

Summary: (borrowed from Goodreads) Dual narration by Tris Prior and her beloved Tobias. Their faction-based dystopian society is broken by violence and power struggles, scarred by loss and betrayal. Beyond the fence is even more alarming. Old discoveries are meaningless. Explosive new truths change those she loves. Again she faces impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

• • •

I’m just gonna say right now this is going to be much less of an ordered, typical review (and it’s completely spoiler-free). I need to get out my feelings so maybe then I can move on. But you know what? Moving on after clinging to a series for SO long really hurts.

Allegiant really was the end of an era for me. Roth really opened the flood gate in this last installment of the Divergent series. Of course I knew something big was happening. (In fact, someone spoiled what was going to happen on Instagram (grrr) so I stayed away. My heart was really struggling with finishing the series because I’m so, so bad at goodbyes. They seem so final and I often don’t have enough closure to move on. And if I didn’t read Allegiant, then everything was fine and peachy, right? Wrong.

That’s probably why I had a major, major book hangover after finishing Allegiant. I can’t say that I was absolutely, 100% pleased as punch with how everything wrapped up, but when you invest THAT much in characters and see them fighting so hard, that final page is never going to be enough. I cried and cried (for probably an hour after closing the book). When my husband came home, I tried shoving the book in his hands and told him I needed him to read it immediately. (He couldn’t — stupid grad school.) I was desperate for someone to talk things through with; I felt so isolated!

And that makes me wonder — without being spoilery at all — how Veronica Roth felt having to make some pretty tough decisions in this book. I’m sure there were parts she didn’t want to write, and remembering back to Allegiant’s release date, there was a lot of uproar and disappointment. Going out on a limb here, I applaud Roth for being bold and writing things that absolutely sucked to read about, but ultimately did feel authentic to the story. It can’t be easy to not give your readers what they’re wanting or expecting.

January was the month I wanted to set aside for finishing all of the series I have abandoned. I’m so thankful I didn’t suffer break-up after break-up after break-up. I don’t think I would have ever climbed out of the cavernous valley of depression from saying repeated goodbyes. But hopefully I’ll get around to more of them throughout the year because sometimes goodbyes are necessary.

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Add ALLEGIANT to Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble

Magan: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Warning: There will be Divergent spoilers in this review, so please DO NOT proceed if you haven’t read this book yet!

book cover for insurgent by veronica roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 525
Target Audience: Young Adult
Format read: ARC received from TLA
Why I read it: It’s the sequel to one of my favorite books (ever).

Summary: Insurgent picks up where Divergent left off – after the Dauntless have been taken over by a simulation serum. Abnegation was attacked. Tris’s parents risked their lives, selflessly, to help save hers; she lost friends. Tris grapples with figuring out where she belongs and how she can stop future attacks that are sure to rip the factions apart.

I feel as if my hands are hovering over the keyboard, not quite sure where to start and what to say other than WOW.

I read Divergent days after its release date last year, so I knew I’d need to refresh because Veronica’s world is so dense and structured. I couldn’t have been happier that I decided to re-read it; there were so many details that I would have been questioning in Insurgent. Veronica springs right into action and doesn’t provide a lot of back story. I think it’s expected of her readers to be well-versed in the characters and story. (This is probably my biggest piece of advice. Re-read Divergent, your notes, a blog… something that provides the ins and outs of all the chaos that goes down before you begin Insurgent.)

Insurgent is full (FULL) of twists and turns. Tris makes a lot of decisions that I didn’t always relate to or understand, but I don’t think she always knew why she was making them either. She’s searching, relentlessly, to find out who she is. Is she factionless? Is she Dauntless? She’s never been very selfless, but maybe she should have stayed in Abnegation. Because of all these uncertainties, there was a lot of friction between Tris and Four.

I know. Friction?!

I wish I could say to expect only the hottest, steamiest goodness from these two, but they’re both packing a lot of baggage. As they each have their own issues, more depth and complexity introduced itself. Sometimes it was hard for me to decide if Tris or Four was right. They both presented persuasive arguments for why they felt one way or another. My heart felt so torn. Maybe shredded is more appropriate. Tris and Four had so much trouble connecting – they were very hit or miss. I must admit that this part was hard for me to read through; sure, it’s only logical that when faced with so much turmoil, the romantical parts of life might be less… romantical, but somehow in Divergent, they always found a way to have sweet, tender moments. (And yes, I hereby instate romantical as a useable word. Go forth and prosper.)

The ride Roth takes us on in Insurgent is intense. I felt as if I were making the decisions right along with Tris. Her strong, rigid exterior was completely broken after the simulation attacks. She emotes so much more vulnerability and mourns the loss of Will and her parents. She takes on what I’d like to call a “savior complex” and feels like she needs to sacrifice herself to honor those who died. There were times when I felt like I, as a reader, was intentionally kept in the dark, though. I’d have questions about the whereabouts of people or how certain things happened, only to have Roth brilliantly explain them later.

There are people, solutions, and questions along the way that constantly left me guessing. Who is to be trusted? Is X person manipulating Y person? What side is that faction really on? The debates are endless.

There’s no doubt that this was my most anticipated book for 2012. I tried to slowly read through it so I could cling to every ounce of goodness, but yet again, I feel as if I should re-read this soon because I couldn’t contain myself. Somehow Roth always stumps me with her impeccable writing and I’m left thinking, “WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED THERE?” or feeling like I missed something big because surely that’s not the way that just went down. The ending, to be sure, left me flipping back through the final pages several times as I was quite flabbergasted.

I hope you love(d) Insurgent by Veronica Roth as much as I did. Please, please link up your review in the comments below because I need to FEEL and empathize with other readers.

Goodreads | Amazon

weekly feature focusing on the books we bought, borrowed, and received from publishers

Estelle: Shelve It (4/29/2012)

weekly feature focusing on the books we bought, borrowed, and received from publishersJust a quick note before we launch into this week’s meme. This week has been quite a whirlwind in the blogging community when it was leaked that Kristi a.k.a. The Story Siren plagiarized work from another blog. This is an offense that Magan and I take very seriously, as we both work in fields were plagiarism would greatly affect our jobs and our well-beings. While we both acknowledge how much Kristi has done for the YA blogging community, it is a professional decision and not a reflection of anything personal that we will no longer take part in In My Mailbox. After much discussion, Magan and I settled on using our own meme called “Shelve It” to discuss various bookish happenings during the week.

And now on with the show…

Yes. I talk Bieber and my cat meows in the background. Get excited!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUZ_x6P5Rjc

Books mentioned:

In the mail:

Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgans (Goodreads | Amazon) — thanks to Katie at Little Bird Publicity!
Enchanted by Althea Kontis (Goodreads | Amazon) — thanks to Jenny at Harcourt Children’s!

From the library:

Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker (Goodreads | Amazon) — thanks to a mention from April of Good Books & Good Wine.
The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg (Goodreads | Amazon) — thanks to a tweet from Ginger of GReads!
I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Goodreads | Amazon) — thanks to a review from Tahleen at the Broke and the Bookish!

Borrowed:

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Goodreads | Amazon)

Bought:

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley (Goodreads | Amazon)
Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger (Goodreads | Amazon)
We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han (Goodreads | Amazon)
Thou Shalt Not Roadtrip (Goodreads | Amazon)

ALSO: Support your local bookstores! Here’s the one we visited in Mystic, CT: Bank Square Books.

This week on the blog:

Another 4/24 book release: a review of Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers.
Magan gives you the dirt on TLA (the good kind) + provides some tips for those hoping to attend future conferences.
Melissa C. Walker wrote it and Toni Braxton sang it. Magan shares her love for Walker’s Unbreak My Heart.
A book that kept me up VERY late one evening: a review of new release, Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf.

Have you read anything ah-mazing this week? Let us know! We’re all ears!

In My Mailbox: 14

Happy Sunday! How was your week?

We’re still amazed that it’s April and that this year is passing by so quickly! I’ve got some great books to share with you in this week’s In My Mailbox, a feature hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It’s a feature where we share which books we received from publishers, borrowed from the library, or happily purchased.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu-aDoRCMt8&context=C438b241ADvjVQa1PpcFPzV6O8aSpau79jGlhRxQYTIvBgHfxTbto=

Currently Reading:

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Goodreads | Amazon

Purchased:

Variant by Robinson Wells
Recommended by Jennifer
Goodreads | Amazon

Divergent by Veronica Roth (this will be a re-read to prep for Insurgent!)
Goodreads | Amazon

Gifted to me by Estelle:

The List by Siobhan Vivian
Review by Magan
Goodreads | Amazon

Received from Simon & Schuster:

Seeing Cinderella by Jenny Lundquist
Goodreads | Amazon

Fun Purchases:

Just in case you missed anything on the blog this week, here’s what we shared:

Tell us what you received in your mailbox!