Allegiant by Veronic Roth Review

I am a huge fan of Divergent and Insurgent, I love the story plot, the characters and the way the author draws you into their lives. I was looking so forward to Allegiant answering the question of what is going on outside the fence. I must say Allegiant is nothing like I thought it would be, in some cases that is good, in this, not so much. I understand the different POV the author decided to switch too (not sure why you would switch writing styles at the end of a trilogy) but you should be able to distinguish between the two voice, I could not, in fact multiple times I had to go back and see whose point of view I was reading. Also, there were several instances that I believe the author forgot what POV she was writing on, at one point it was supposed to be Tobias POV but it could only be Tris’s POV because the person narrating is talking about looking at Tobias. Next problem, the story line, when you find yourself at nearly the end of the book trying to figure out how the author could possibly tie up all the loose ends and give the answers to all the questions because you now have a dozen more than when you started, you know a book is in trouble. How did they get the serum to Jeanine without giving themselves away, how did not one person realize her mother suddenly appeared and how did they retain their vital information (name, occupation, children) when it would have been wiped by the memory serum? Why did they just not reset all the divergent that escape the fence so that they had no memory of what they left? How did a man who was too weak to roll his wheelchair suddenly have the strength to roll it to the weapons lab and be waiting for her? Like I said to many more questions than answers. Next problem, did the author just pick up her plot outline from insurgent and regurgitate it? Think about it, Tris and Tobias are upset with the other one lying, he thinks she is being immature and goes against her advice, someone gets killed, she gets mad, they find out who the big bad leader is, she goes against the plan and decides she is the only one who can do it for the right reasons, but wait the plot changes and this time she gets killed. What bothers me about Veronica Roth killing her off the way she did was because the theme of having a choice and how upset she was that it was taking from her, was preached over and over, yet in the end they did not try and give the leaders a choice but instead decided to wipe their memory without any thought to the ramifications of doing that. There are so many problems with this book: the lack of differences in the point of views, the holes in the plot and the fact the characters did a complete 180 in a single book. Also, how is this story good for young adults and teens? The end of the story shows all but one of the “bad” characters surviving and continuing on and only a fraction of the “good” characters surviving. We lost all but Tobias, Christina, Cara and Zeke from the first book. Yet Marcus, Evelyn, Caleb, David and Peter survive. What does that teach our youth, that the good die young, evil will always survive? Tris’s “sacrifice” was unnecessary in the story line she created, had Caleb sacrificed his life, his character may have been redeemed. Also, in the plot Ms. Roth created what would it have mattered if she wiped the counsel at this one location, there were several others with the same serums, the same problems and they would not be affected. One more thing we are expected to swallow is that the man who is inoculated against every other serum fails to make sure he is immune from a memory serum that can be released against the whole complex? Sorry, too many holes for me to see the story as beautiful in anyway. I gave this book 2 out of 5 Stars. The author had so much potential to work with and she dropped the ball. A disappointing end to what could have been an extraordinary series.

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Family Harmony

One of my resolutions this year is to get the family eating at the table with the TV off. It seems that our lives are so chaotic that we no longer have simple conversations about how are days are and what we have been doing. Usually when I get home after a 10 hour day at work, I am rushing to help cook dinner, help with homework, we sit in front of the TV to eat, do the dishes, get the kids in the bath and into bed, then rush around trying to get everything in order for the next day. Of course there is always the, “Mom, I need to wear our school shirt tomorrow, it is spirit day and could you do something special with my hair?” So I spend the next hour, finding the prized shirt, washing it and putting it in the dryer before I shower and get into bed myself. It made me wonder where my life was going, my husband and I seem to just coexist in the crazy word we have created and are always rushing from one event to the next. So I decided we should all eat at the table and the TV is off. The first couple of times the conversation seemed to stutter, it would take off and then stall. After, the second time even my two-year old decided to join in the conversation, and now 3 weeks into my new resolution, we all have funny conversations at the table. I hear what my kids are doing at school, I hear their funny stories about what my oldest daughter does at recess and my 2-year-old just makes us all laugh. My husband and I decided that we would start taking the first 30 minutes after we put the kids down to bed to enjoy a glass of wine and talk about our day and remember why we were married in the first place. I noticed all of our days seem to go by smoother and I hear about needing that shirt a lot sooner than right before bedtime. Next hurdle, budgeting as a family, more on that later.

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Have we forgotten

I came into my house the other day and there was my 6 year old, exactly where I left her playing games on her tablet while watching TV, and suddenly I had, had enough. It was time to put away the games and do something creative or merely play outside. I hear teachers complaining that they need more technology to grab their students attention because they are so numb to all other forms of learning due to the games they play. I remember growing up and playing outside with my friends, we were always “pretending” to be our favorite characters in a book or movie and we had more fun imagining our backyard was a far off place then we did sitting in front of the tv. If fact, I was allowed 30 minutes of TV a day and that was it. As a child my imagination ran wild, there was nothing I couldn’t do, I could fly through the air, swim the deepest oceans, or ride my horse (bike) across the vast deserts. It was a magical time and I want my children to experience that magic. They can be the princess in the fairytale or the hero in the latest book, by using their imagination and letting it run wild. So I sat down with my family and set out the new rules, only 30 minutes of TV/Tablet per day, 1 hour on the weekends, it is time we started exploring our world again. Perhaps, if we encourage our children to play with each other, to understand their world, maybe we can help them realize that a person’s life is not like the video games, you can’t hit reset and start all over again. Live life to its fullest, enjoy the world, enjoy a good book, take a picnic, take a hike, go fishing, there are so many adventures out there waiting to be had. Think of all we have missed. Today I think my imagination will take me to a sandy beach with the ocean lapping at my feet.

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My 2013 First Quarter Book List

As stated in the, About Me, section I am an avid reader. I truly enjoy reading and love to get caught up in a book. I like to let the author sweep me away into another world and during the time I am reading I become the character. I am very excited about this group of books I will be reading and reviewing of the next few months and hope you will be to. So without further ado:

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So let me know what you think. If there are other books that follow these same type of genres, please feel free to suggest them to me and if you are an author who wants a new book reviewed, feel free to send it to me, I am able to read electronic copies. I hope you all will enjoy this journey with me.

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The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

The Kissing Booth is a young adult book written by Beth Reekles. The story centers around Rochelle (also known and Shelly or Elle), Noah and Lee. Rochelle is best friends with Lee and has been since they were young. Her crush is Lee’s older brother Noah, who, as the protaganist describes it, is a violence junkie. They pretty much just played around with each other until he kisses her at the carnival kissing booth. She and Noah start a relationship in secret and then it all comes out. I normally try to let myself just go with the flow of the book but I was unable to find any flow with this one. I believe the main problem I had with this book is the fact that the book seems to rush along, stall and split off in a different direction. The author repeatedly uses the same descriptions, rock hard abs, totally hot, everything was hot. The other problem is Noah’s obvious jealousy, to the point he was telling her what to wear and how not to look at people. Maybe being a parent and adult color my perception of that, but usually a controlling/jealous person is not good news, especially when they have a tendency to violence. I find it hard to believe that the protagonist simply continues on when Noah has lied to his brother, resorted to physical violence when someone looks or says something against her, wouldn’t let anyone else near her but takes her virginity with little fan fare and when he gets mad, disappears for a week and comes back expecting everything to be forgiven. I won’t give away the ending but needless to say in my mind it did not redeem the book. Let me know what you think?

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

So I decided to go for a little different book this time, with Throne of Glass, by the way if you click on the link, it takes you to the book on amazon.com. This story is somewhat Paranormal in that it deals with the mystical Fae and Sorcerers but the story centers around a young Assassin named Celaena. She was taken in by the King of Assassins as an eight year old when he found her clinging to life after jumping into an icy river to escape from whomever killed her parents. At the beginning of the book she is serving her sentence in Salt Mines of Endovier as a slave, serving out the sentence handed down on her from Adarlan’s King. She is giving a chance by the Crown Prince Dorian to take up a challenge to be the King’s Assassin and earn her freedom. She is taking to the King’s Castle made of glass, like our modern day buildings the glass is only on the outside of the building, the inside is still stone, where she meets the other candidates for the King’s Assassin. We follow her training with Chaol, Captian of the Guard, and watch her struggle with her identity as she wars with her natural instinct to kill the Crown Prince and the Captian of the Guard and her feelings that grow for both. She also finds a friend in the rebellious Princess Nehemia, who is from another land that was taken by the King or Adarlan. As if it wasn’t enough that she was fighting killers and brutes much larger than she is, there is a dark magic haunting the castle and a Queen from the past who demand her attention as well. Will Calaena become the King’s Assassin or will she succumb to the dark magic that wishes to claim her?
I enjoyed this book for the constant adventure and the turmoil you find Caleana in. She finds herself struggling to put into perspective what is right and what she was trained to do. She also struggles with her identity and hiding who she really is. Magic has been banned from the country and if they find out who she really is, being sentenced for being an assassin would pale in comparison to what she would suffer if they found out her true identity. The only part I really did not enjoy about the book is her constant thoughts in the beginning of how she would kill someone who angered her, the first few times it was ok but then it seemed to go on and on. What do you think?

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent series written by Veronica Roth. It picks up where the first book left off, we find Tris, Tobias, Marcus, Peter, and Caleb in the Amity compound. Tris is trying to come to grips with her parent’s death and Will’s death. Meanwhile the world is not giving her time to grieve, the Euridite faction led by Jeanine is seeking them out, Marcus and the leader of the Amity, Johanne are exchanging secrets and they know not who they can trust. When the Euridite come to the Amity compound seeking them out, they make a run for it and Marcus and Peter are separated from Tris, Caleb and Tobias. Tris, Caleb and Tobias head back to the city to find out what is going on and end up meeting up with a group of factionless people, including Edward, who Peter stabbed in the first book. We meet a person from Tobias’ past that is very important, as well as get our first look into the faction of the Candor. There are many more twists and turns to go, and Tris and Tobias are rushing toward saving the information the Euridite have that may explain the importance of the Divergent, while the factionless want to destroy all information, we also explore the thought of why would a gate to protect the factions be locked from the outside, is it keeping someone out or keeping them in? I personally can’t wait until the third book. I find Tris as a heroine, tough and gritty but still showing the signs of a young girl. Unlike Katniss of Hunger Games, she is not hiding from reality until she is jerked into it but instead is seeking the truth, exploring who she is and discovering what you think is the best for you may not be. What do you think?

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