Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Review: Adorkable by Sarra Manning

Adorkable by Sarra Manning
Publisher: Atom
Released: May 24th 2012
My Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian's 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World. And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane's boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend. Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common - she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can't she stop talking to him? (from Goodreads)

What to say about Adorkable? I loved it. The main characters had to be the highlight of the book. How I would love to be as daring as Jeane! She really made me think about perceptions and how the whole world is basically based on what other people think of you – and that’s kind of sad. That’s why I admired Jeane (despite all her flaws), because it takes a lot of courage to do your own thing and really speak your mind.

Jeane was a very intriguing character. She was juggling so many things – had achieved so much by just seventeen, which was very impressive. I loved reading about her, but I think if I knew her in real life, she’d drive me crazy. But then I think that’d probably make me like her even more! She was self-centred, eccentric, kind of controlling, brave, sarcastic, generous, difficult, funny and sort of closed off to the world. She had to rely on herself (she was practically independent from an early age) and I don’t think she even knew how unhappy she was. It wasn’t until she realised what it was like to have a real family that she understood how alone she’d been feeling. She was all outspoken and confident on the outside, but she wasn’t actually anywhere near as content with her life as she claimed to me. In that way I could relate to her, because even though we were so different, I think everyone knows the feeling of struggling through life, not know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. And as much as Jean wanted to deny, she was having a hard time. Meeting Michael complicated things, and I loved the fact that the book was told from both Jeane and Michael’s POVs, because their views were so contrasting (initially) and it was interesting to see how each saw the other.

Michael started off as kind of bleh for me. I figured he’d just be the typical popular character type – kind of boring with no real personality. But as I read on, I realised I was wrong. He actually had a lot of imperfections too, and despite being the complete opposite of Jeane, they actually sort of balanced each other out. It was great to read about his relationship with Jeane and how he slowly began to realise that he actually really cared for her. Plus, sometimes their arguments were so funny. And there was this one scene where Michael made this hilarious Justin Bieber comment – well, you gotta love him after that. Though, to be honest, Michael frustrated me just as much as Jeane did, even though she was supposedly more selfish and impetuous. They were both incredibly stubborn and so many situations could have been resolved so much earlier if they had just been willing to just talk things out (but then the book would have ended after a 100 pages and that would have been a damn shame :P).

The secondary characters were ones that grew on me. I started off really disliking Barney and Scarlett but by the end, I really appreciated them! They were actually good friends, and I liked Scarlett’s transformation from wimpy and too afraid to speak to opinionated and thoughtful! What was really great about Adorkable though was that it actually portrayed teens pretty realistically. There was no pretence that these relationships were “one true loves” and would last forever. Sex wasn’t conveyed as something sacred and mystical – the things people did were pretty much the things you’d expect real teens to do (my only concern being the trip to New York – slightly far-fetced, but forgivable seeing as the rest of the book was more believable). The characters were realistic because they all had flaws and their actions were realistic because they actually made mistakes. I’ve said it before, and I shall continue to say it – perfect characters are the absolute WORST.

Adorkable was really well-paced for me, and I actually finished the book in one day. I mentioned before that I enjoyed the dual narration, and I really do think it made the book a lot more interesting. It wasn’t confusing either –sometimes it’s hard to keep up with more than one point of view, but I think things fit well together in Adorkable. I really liked the little blog posts, tweets and emails that were included too – there was just enough to give you insight into Jeane’s online personality without making the book seem like it was all about social media.

Overall, Adorkable was a very engaging book with fantastic characters, a lot of humour and a lot of drama. Recommended to fans of contemporary novels everywhere (and if you’re not a fan, give this a try anyway and see what you think :P)!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Released: June 7th 2012
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance. Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire.

Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
(from Goodreads)

I have to admit that I liked Scarlet way more than I thought I would. It was one of those special books that not only had great and complex characters, but also had an exciting plot. In a lot of books, character development is sometimes sacrificed to create a more plot-driven story, or vice versa, but Scarlet was definitely the best of both worlds.

Will Scarlet, our heroine, was brilliant. It took me a while to get used to the way she spoke (all the “was”s being replaced with “were”s was a bit difficult to read at first) but I think it added to Scar’s personality in the end. A foul-mouthed thief and the best knife handler around, she was everything I wanted in a main character. She had a tough, fierce exterior, but what a lot of people (her friends included) failed to realise (at least, until later on in the book) was that she was actually quite selfless and self-sacrificial to the point of being almost self-destructive. Her past remained a mystery until the later part of the second half, so we didn’t really know why she acted the way she did for a large portion of the book. She often skipped meals in order to give food to people she thought were more worthy of it, and Robin (quite understandably) got angry with her for doing so. Starving herself like that was clearly stupid, because without food, she’d have no strength to fight or steal – and then how could she help people? It definitely made me wonder about her past and why she seemed to feel like she was so unworthy and unlikeable. She was a flawed character, but we all know those are my favourite kind. Perfection is boring, after all. I also loved the way Scar was her own person, and did whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. Asking for permission was alien to her, and she hated it when people treated her like she wasn’t an equal, or like they owned her. Scar may have done and said some stupid things at times, but no-one could accuse her of being a weak girl just waiting for someone to rescue her.

Rob was probably one of the most intriguing portrayals of Robin Hood I’ve come across. I’m not an expert and only vaguely familiar with the story of Robin Hood, but I’ve seen a film or two and a few episodes from that BBC series and I have to say, Rob in Scarlet was quite fascinating. He wasn’t exactly merry (though the book was still really funny – but more on that later) and while he was a hero, it was like...I don’t know. He wasn’t just a hero for the sake of it, he didn’t just help people because it was the right thing to do (though of course, that did play a part). It seemed like he was helping people to make up for past mistakes. He regretted a lot, and sometime the things he had done years ago made him feel sick with himself, and trying to better the lives of other people was the only way he could atone for what he’d done. Of course, he could see that the people were being treated so unfairly, and would have helped them even if he weren’t trying to make up for his past – but I think the reason he did it all with such fervour was because of his guilt and even perhaps disgust for himself. He, too, was far from perfect. Rob’s relationship with Scar was also great to read about. He clearly cared about her, but didn’t seem t want to because it would disrupt the band. He got jealous and upset when John showed an interest in her, and then accused Scar of toying with people’s feelings, when he was the one who was constantly hot and cold. I thought I’d hate the whole love triangle with Rob, Scar and John, but I actually didn’t, mostly because it wasn’t really a love triangle. True, John did show an interest in Scar, but she never really reciprocated and it was obvious she liked Rob from the first page.

John was the most difficult character, for me. I liked him and thought he was funny, but he was also kinda sleazy and didn’t exactly help himself when he spoke to Scar :P. He did care about her though and helped her out when she needed him to (or when she needed to talk to someone). Much was awesome, and was like a member of Scar’s family. I liked the way Scar helped him with his weapons and the way Much was always kind and logical. One of the best parts though, was the conversations the band had with each other. They could be so funny – so funny! The situation with Jenny Percy made me laugh so much and another hilarious part was when John was talking to the rest of the band about Scar. So many funny moments, which I really didn’t expect.

I only had one real problem with Scarlet, and that was with the ending. It felt like it was just cut-off, like it wasn’t really finished. This would be perfectly fine if there’s going to be a sequel (and I really hope there will be), but if not, then I feel like not everything was as wrapped up as it could have been. I could have done with some more Scar and Rob moments and I wanted to know what the villainous Gisbourne was going to do next! But apart from that, Scarlet was a great read.

Overall, I really enjoyed Scarlet and would recommend it to anyone who likes retellings and really strong heroines who don’t take orders from anyone. 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Tales from Planet Print #3

Tales from Planet Print is a new feature on the blog. It centres around the daily lives of books here on Planet Print, and the sorts of things they get up to when they think no-one is looking. Each week involves different books and the different situations they get themselves into. At Planet Print, we believe all books are entitled to freedom and happiness. We stand for justice and we stand against shelving. Free books are happy books.

Morganville 1: City, you're so cool!
Morganville 2: Wow, what's it like to be so famous?
Morganville 3: I LOVE YOU!
City: Erm, thank you...?
Morganville 4: Let's be friends forever!
Morganville 1: Can I have your autograph?
Morganville 3: LOVE ME.
Misrule: Oh my God, look at them, all crowding round City like that.
Carpe: I know, right! They're such sheep. And don't even get me started on City...
Misrule: She thinks she sooo cool just because she's famous.
Carpe: She's just like the rest of us! I mean, sure she might be trade paperback, but it's not like she's a hardcover...
Misrule: I can't believe how they fawn over her like that. What's so great about her anyway? All she does is stand there and look pretty.
Carpe: I don't even know WHY she's famous.
Morganville 3: LOVE ME!
Misrule: Erm...do you think Morganville 3 is okay?
Carpe: Just ignore her. I'm sure City is used to all these rabid fans.

Misrule: Hey, where's City going?
Carpe: Ooh, she's just abandoning all her fans? 
Misrule: Let's follow her!
Carpe: Really? Follow her? When did you become a stalker?
Misrule: I'm not a stalker, I just want to see what she does when she's not being doted on by her adoring fans.
Carpe: Ugh, I don't want to do this.
Misrule: Come oooon. We might find her doing something scandalous...
Carpe: And then we could RUIN her.
Misrule: Exactly!
Carpe: MwahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHA.
Misrule: ...Don't get carried away.
Carpe: (clears throat) Sorry.

Misrule: Who is that guy? I feel like I've seen him somewhere before...
Carpe: No idea.
1.4: (to City) Heeey baby. 'Sup?
City: Oh. Hi, 1.4.
1.4: How's my favourite giiiirrrrl doing?
City: Fine. What do you want?
1.4: Oooh cold as ice! That is hoooootttt.
Misrule: Is it me...or is he an idiot?
Carpe: He's an idiot.
City: Look, I'm busy. Did you need something from me?
1.4: Just your sweet lovin', baby!
City: No. Go away.
Misrule: Wait a minute. WAIT. He's that guy!
Carpe: What guy?
Misrule: That guy on TV! You know, that notorious womaniser. He was in some crappy reality show...
Carpe: And you know this because you watched it, right? Why am I friends with you again?
Misrule: This is serious, Carpe. He's not a nice guy. I feel like we should help her.
1.4: Why you playin' hard to get, lovely? I know you want me.
City: Yeah. I want you to get lost.
1.4: Oooh, burn!
Carpe: Okay, maybe we really should help her...
City: If you don't leave this second, you're going to really regret it.
1.4: Bring it on, babycakes!
Misrule: Babycakes?
Carpe: Right, let's get over there and teach him a lesson -

Carpe: Oh, wow.
Misrule: Guess she didn't need our help...
Carpe: Was that just...kind of badass?
Misrule: It was.
Carpe: I think we misjudged her.
Misrule: Me too.
Carpe: You scared right now?
Misrule: A 'lil bit.

Carpe: Hey, City. We just saw what you did...
City: Oh God, you did? This is so embarrassing, please don't tell anyone I -
Misrule: What are you talking about? It was AWESOME.
City: Really?
Carpe: Hell yes! You think you can teach us to fight like that? 
City: Well...I guess I could...
Misrule: Where did you learn, anyway? That was some impressive move.
City: Oh, that was something my sensei taught me.
Carpe: Your sensei?
Misrule: That is AWESOME.
City: Yeah, he was really cool! I guess I can teach you a few things if you really want. Just some self-defence stuff -
Carpe: I wish he'd shut up.
Misrule: So you'll really teach us? Can we start now?
City: Er, sure! You want to come to my house?
Carpe: Your house? You mean...your mansion?
City: If you feel uncomfortable, we can always -
Misrule: No. We're coming. Definitely.

Carpe: So what was your sensei like?
City: Oh, he was amazing. Seriously, so fast! He taught a whole class of us, girls and boys...
Misrule: And you were the best, right?
City: I can't really say -
Carpe: You are sooo amazing.
Morganville 3: LOVE ME!
Misrule: Did you hear that?
Carpe: Where is she? Where did that come from? Weird...
Misrule: So, who else did your sensei teach?
City: Loads of us! You heard of Clockwork Angel? She and her brother Clockwork Prince were the best pair fighters we had. 
Carpe: Man, I wish I could have seen you all fight...
Misrule: Sounds awesome...
Carpe: So how much longer until we get to your house, City?

Books (in order of appearance):

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare
Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires #1) by Rachel Caine
The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires #2) by Rachel Caine
Midnight Alley (The Morganville Vampires #3) by Rachel Caine
Feast of Fools (The Morganville Vampires #4) by Rachel Caine
Lord of Misrule (The Morganville Vampires #5) by Rachel Caine
Carpe Corpus (The Morganville Vampires #6) by Rachel Caine
1.4 (Point 4 #2) by Mike Lancaster

I got the first six Morganville books for £4.99 (excluding delivery). Can you say bargain?!

What books did you get this week?

Many thanks to The Book People, Egmont UK and Waterstones.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Mini Break

Helllloooooooooo! This is just a little note to say that, unfortunately, exam period has come around once again, so I'm going to be busy studying and the like. Taking a little break from blogging until exams are over (which is the end of June), so the blog is going to be less active and I won't be around as much to comment and things. Will still try to post reviews as often as I can, but (as you can already tell), there will  be considerably less than usual. However, will be reading and reviewing like crazy come July to catch up, so hopefully I won't get too behind. Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #46

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Eve and Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant
October 2nd 2012
Find it on Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, EmmaRose, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible.

While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything... until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and Emma-Rose may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely.
(from Goodreads)

This sounds so cool! I like a good sci-fi and I'm an so intrigued by this one: simulation creations, fast healing, biotech labs - who wouldn't want to read about that? Plus the cover. LOOK at the cover. I adore it. It is so clever and pretty and awesome and just makes me want to read the book ten times more.

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Tales from Planet Print #2

Tales from Planet Print is a new feature on the blog. It centres around the daily lives of books here on Planet Print, and the sorts of things they get up to when they think no-one is looking. Each week involves different books and the different situations they get themselves into. At Planet Print, we believe all books are entitled to freedom and happiness. We stand for justice and we stand against shelving. Free books are happy books.

Shadowland: Oh, cruel world of tyranny and injustice, impale me with your spear of hunger and hatred...
Fire: (to Redd) Ugh. Look, it's Shadow being all emo again. I mean, what is with that girl? And why does she speak in bad poetry?
Redd: Hey! Shadowland's cool. I kind of like the way she speaks.
Fire: Oh, so you like being spoken to in riddles and depressing metaphors, do you?
Redd: I don't know what your problem is. I think she's a nice girl.
Fire: ...You like her! Oh my God, you LIKE her!
Redd: So what if I do?
Fire: But...but. I mean...well, I just thought that maybe you li-
Redd: I'm going to talk to her.
Fire: WHAT?
Redd: Yeah. I'm gonna ask her out!
Fire: No! You can't!
Redd: Why not? Not everyone is content with battles and fights, Fire. You might like that fierce kind of life, but I just want to settle down and live peacefully.
Fire: You know what? Fine, whatever. Go do what you like. She's a hardcover though, she's WAY out of your league.
Redd: Oh, thanks for the vote of confidence.

Redd: Hey Shadow!
Shadowland: Good evening.
Fire: (muttering) It's morning, for God's sake.
Redd: Uh yeah. Um, so how are you today?
Shadowland: How am I? That is the question. What is "I", or rather, what is the "self"? Is it an illusion? Does it exist? Am "I" the one experiencing this cold, harsh reality which stabs me in the heart with its sharp, shattered fragment of icey glass? How am I, indeed.
Redd: Riiight. So, er, what are you doing?
Shadowland: What is anyone doing? We are all pawns in a game of chess. Are we responsible for our actions? Or are we controlled by the dark, bleak surroundings in which we must carry out our meaningless lives? To search for meaning is as futile as a searching for life in a graveyard...
Redd: That's deep. So, do you want to go out some time?
Shadowland: I rarely venture outside. Who knows what dangerous fate awaits me in the murky depths of tomorrow?
Redd: Er, no, that's not what I meant...
Fire: (to herself) Right, I have to stop this -

Grammar: Hello, Shadow. I hope I find you well this evening.
Fire: It's MORNING. What is wrong with you people? And who is this guy?
Shadowland: Grammar! I yearned to see you. My heart ached to -
Redd: Wait. Waiiiit a minute. Shadow, who is this guy?
Shadowland: My paramour. I live, I breathe, and all for -
Redd: Wait, so you already have a boyfriend?!
Fire: She has a boyfriend. Wow.
Shadowland: Indeed. He is my soulmate, my eternal love, my -
Redd: But - how are you going out with him? I mean, he's non-fiction! He's your complete opposite!
Shadowland: He understands me. 
Fire: You hear that, Redd? He understands her.
Redd: But I...I...
Grammar: We must depart, Shadow. I want you to meet my parents.
Shadowland: Oh heavenly angels above! I cannot. The darkness in me will surely turn them against me forever.
Grammar: It matters not, for I will always love you.
Shadowland: Oh Grammar, your glorious light shines so bright, I feel the darkness leaving my broken soul...
Grammar: Shadow, my love!
Fire: This is sickening.
Shadowland: Let us leave, Grammar, and together we shall face the unknown!

Grammar: Shadow!
Shadowland: Grammar!
Grammar: Shadow!
Fire: I'm going to kill them.
Redd: I can't believe she already had a boyfriend...
Fire: Er...well. Um. I'm sorry that you, you know. Got er...
Redd: Hit by the Cruciatus curse?
Fire: I was gonna say dropped like a hot potato, but yeah, that works too.
Redd: Potatoes don't accurately portray how torturous that situation was.
Fire: Well...if it's any consolation...I think you're cool. Way cooler than that Grammar guy.
Redd: Thanks, Fire. But obviously Shadow didn't think so.
Fire: Well, she's clearly got a few pages loose, if you know what I mean.
Redd: Ha, yeah. You're a great friend, Fire. Thanks for trying to cheer me up. But I just want to be alone right now.
Fire: Oh. Sure. No problem. What are friends for...

Fire: Idiot...
Inspired by every teen movie that exists, Beezlebub (the anime) and of course, Harry Potter.

Books (in order of appearance):

Shadowland (The Immortals #3) by Alyson Noël
Fire (Graceling Realm #2)
Seeing Redd (The Looking Glass Wars #2) by Frank Beddor
My Grammar and I by Caroline Taggart and J. A. Wines

And that is all for now! What books did you get this week?

Many thanks to The Works (discounted books rule).

Friday, 4 May 2012

Review: Surrender by Lee Nichols

Surrender (Haunting Emma #3) by Lee Nichols
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Released: December 6th 2012
My Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

After a devastating battle at headquarters in New York, the ghostkeeping world is in shambles. When Emma and Bennett return home, they are determined to defeat the wraithmaster, Neos, forever. But it's not going to be easy. Bennett's parents kick him out when they realize he is still using drugs to enhance his powers. Emma is convinced her aunt has come back from the dead to warn her of a new threat. And worst of all, Neos is using wraiths to possess the students at Thatcher Academy. If the ghosts manage to take over the entire school, even Emma won't be strong enough to stop them. But if either she or Bennett sacrifice his or her powers, they might be able to save the ghostkeeping world once and for all-and break the "ghostkeepers lose their powers when they fall in love" curse. The question is: who will be the one to surrender all power?

Fast-paced and romantic, this conclusion to the Haunting Emma trilogy will thrill readers as it brings the ghostly mystery to a close.
 (from Goodreads)

Surrender was a great conclusion to the Haunting Emma series. While I wasn’t entirely happy with the ending, I enjoyed it overall, and I’m a little sad the series is over!

Emma was under a lot of pressure in Surrender. Everyone was relying on her to defeat Neos when the time came, and she wasn’t sure she was powerful enough to do it. She kept doubting her abilities and wasn’t confident at all. On top of that, Bennett was getting more addicted to Asarum and was refusing to get off it no matter what anyone told him. Emma knew that Bennett was hiding something from her, that he had some sort of plan, but he wouldn’t tell her what it was. Their relationship was getting more and more strained. Bennett was getting worse every time Emma saw him and it was definitely affecting them both. They clearly loved each other but Emma couldn’t stand to see Bennett hurt himself that way and Bennett wasn’t listening to her. So they definitely had a lot of problems. Despite that though, there were still some awesome EmmaxBennett scenes. And by awesome, I mean hilarious. First Bennett’s parents walked in on the two together, then Emma’s parents walked in on them together. I would have felt bad for them both having to experience such embarrassing situations, but I was too busy laughing. It was just so damn funny! They had the worst luck :P.

I didn’t know what to think about Bennett in this book. To some extent I felt really bad for him because all he wanted to do was protect Emma, and he knew that at some point, to be with her, he’d have to lose his powers. At the same time, however, I thought he was being reckless and stupid, and while things did work out in the end, I didn’t agree with the methods he took to ensure they did. He could still be charming at times though, and I loved his romantic scenes with Emma. I am glad the two got to have a happy ending, even if the bits in between were really messed up.

One thing I loved about Surrender was that even though there was a lot of serious and scary stuff going on, there was also still a lot of humour. Harry was as funny as always and I loved reading the banter between him and Emma. He was one of my favourite characters and I think he was a great friend to Emma (even Bennett said so). The ghosts’ conversations with Emma were great to read about too – and Emma herself said or thought some things that were hilarious! Like at the beginning, when she had this realisation about the greatness of bad boys. I was cracking up! :P

My only complaints are that I felt the whole fight with Neos was a little anticlimactic as things happened so quickly, and the ending seemed a little rushed and unbelievable. I love happy endings, but I felt the ending of Surrender was almost a little too happy? What happened just seemed so convenient, and no-one really had to sacrifice anything. I mean, I still liked it and I was glad most people got to be happy, but it seemed a bit unrealistic that everything would turn out so well. Still, I really enjoyed the book overall! Surrender was never boring and was well-paced, and I loved finding out more about the ghostkeepers (especially the bit at the end with The Rake, which was awesome).

Overall, Surrender was a great, compelling read and a fabulous end to a series. Definitely recommend this trilogy to fans of ghost stories and funny characters.

May the fourth be with you!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Released: May 1st 2012
My Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

War looms in sixteen-year-old Tris’s dark dystopian world as disputes between the factions grow. Tris must now fight against all odds to discover the truth that can save her and the people she loves. Sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge – and the choices she makes will have devastating and unexpected consequences. (from Goodreads)

I warn you now that this review will probably be incoherent and completely unstructured and just generally me rambling as I rock back and forth trying to figure out my feelings.

Insurgent was just...amazing. I mean, it was such a great continuation of Divergent. In that excellent way that only an awesome series can pull off. I have to admit, I did enjoy Divergent a bit more, so I’ve been torn over the rating of this book. In the end I gave it a 5, because even though I did like Divergent slightly more, this book was still just too good to be rated anything less.

Tris. Guys, Tris. This girl. I mean, I liked her in book one. I really did. I loved her flaws. I loved how different she was from a lot of other heroines. I loved the way she spoke her mind, I loved her bravery and her selflessness. But I think I loved her even more in Insurgent. I mean, I can’t really even explain it. In book one, Tris was still making the transition from Abnegation to Dauntless. She was still used to hiding her feelings and bottling things up. And while for the most part, that remained true in Insurgent, we got to see little trickles of emotion escape from her. I predicted after Divergent that Tris would have to face the consequences for killing Will, her own friend. And let me tell you, she did. She was consumed by guilt. It was all she thought about for the first half of the book, and I could just feel how terrible she was feeling. We saw a different side of Tris – one that was scared to admit what she’d done, one that was sick from remembering it and too afraid to even hold a gun. I felt so bad for her, and I could understand why she felt so guilty. But I also loved her for still trying to do what was required of her. After all, she was still Dauntless. Still Divergent. And she had things she had to do. She always did what she thought was right, even if it meant hurting people she loved. And that’s what made Tris a great character.

Speaking of great characters...Four. Or Tobias (though I must say, I do prefer Four :P). He was back. And things were different. Some stuff happened (awesome, awesome stuff) and the Dauntless lot started to lose their respect for him. Four was quite understandably frustrated and angry and determined to show them he was still the fearless leader they thought he was before (even if he didn’t believe that himself). On top of that, his relationship with Tris was difficult. It wasn’t sunshine and rainbows and “now we know we love each other, we can sip lemonade and be happy forever!” No, it was hard. It was rocky. They disagreed, they argued, the kissed, they talked, they disagreed some more. And I loved it. Relationships, especially ones in a dystopian world where each day could very well be your last, are not easy. And I think Tris and Four’s relationship portrayed this perfectly. They loved each other, that was easy to tell. But they struggled. They both had strong personalities. They both wanted to protect each other. Sometimes they clashed. And it seemed very realistic and believable. Sometimes it is hard to be with someone, no matter how much you love them. Sometimes things go wrong. To quote Shakespeare, “the course of true love never did run smooth”.  I loved Four and Tris so much, to the point where they’ve become one of my favourite YA couples of all time. Honestly, you won’t understand the amazingness until you read this book yourself.

Plot-wise, there were a lot of surprises. Little ones, big ones, medium sized ones. So much happened in those five hundred pages! Tris did some awesome things. She also did some stupid things (one thing in particular) that made me want to pull my hair out and cry. We got to see Candor (my least favourite faction, just saying) which I loved reading about. A lot of drama occurred in Candor, as you can imagine. We also got to see the Factionless, which was one of my favourite parts, probably because what happened there was completely different to what I expected. Everything about Insurgent was just not what I imagined. Even the villains, the supposed “bad guys” were hard to work out. In Divergent, it was quite clear who the villains were, and who the good guys were. In Insurgent, the line between good and evil was blurred. It was hard to tell who was truly evil. I mean, with some people it was obvious, but with others – well, you’ll see :P. The ending though, was the true “WTF” moment for me. I had suspected something like that would happen, but oh wow. It was one hell of a cliffhanger. And left me mindboggled. Literally. I spent about an hour DMing Cait, basically flipping out and demanding that she answer my many, many questions. Looking back, I can’t help but laugh at how freaked out I was! :P.

Overall, Insurgent was a brilliant sequel to Divergent. This is definitely now one of my favourite series and I absolutely cannot wait for book three. I need more!