Friday, May 25, 2012

COVER REVEAL: Days of Blood & Starlight

I love that it matches the first one, but uses a different color. I don't know what I was expecting, actually-- I guess I hadn't really thought about it that much-- but the "blood" part definitely goes with the red. When I saw this I literally did one of those obnoxious gasps that people do when they're being overdramatic about something. OH WELL. It's exciting.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

They're tryin' to tell me how to feel

White People Embracing by Nicholas Sparks
A guy out there was meant to be the love of your life, your best friend, your soulmate. The one you can tell your dreams to. He’ll brush the hair out of your eyes. Send you flowers when you least expect it. He’ll stare at you during the movies, even though he paid eight dollars to see it. He’ll call to say “Goodnight” or just because he is missing you. He’ll look in your eyes and tell you you’re the most beautiful girl in the world. And for the first time in your life, you’ll believe it.
-Nicholas Sparks
Maybe I'm just looking for something to argue with seeing this is a Nicholas Sparks quote and I think his books are highly overrated (to say the least), but come on, man.
I hate that he assumes that all girls want the same thing, how he lumps us all together like that. Are we supposed to be reassured by these things he's saying? Because they're making me want to poke an eye out.
First of all, "meant to be." What does that even mean? Meant to be, by what standard? I still have trouble with the concept of one-person-for-everyone because of how many people there are in the world. Am I supposed to believe that location is factored into this destiny stuff? Like, my so-called soul mate can't possibly live on the other side of the world, because that means I will never meet him. If that's the case, doesn't that make my pool of possible "soul mates" pretty limited? And what makes you think everyone believes in soul mates anyway?
"The one you can tell your dreams to." First of all, you just ended a sentence with a preposition, therefore I cannot take you seriously as a writer. But that's okay because I never really did in the first place. But back to the point: I sincerely hope there is more than one person with whom I can discuss my dreams. And you failed to mention whether or not he tells his dreams to me. I'm not a big talker, so I'd prefer someone who can keep up their end of a conversation.
"He'll brush the hair out of your eyes." Okay, but if there's hair in my eyes that probably means it's tangled in my freakish eyelashes, in which case it would be awkward for anyone but me to brush it away. So thanks but no thanks.
"Send you flowers when you least expect it." NOT ALL GIRLS LIKE FLOWERS. If he's going to send me something, make it books. Will also accept chocolate.
"He'll stare at you during movies..." One: creepy. Two: I hate it when people stare at my profile because I am self-conscious about my nose. Three: I go to the movies to watch movies, and I don't really want to feel like I'm dragging someone else along when they find it so boring that they'd rather stare at my face.
"He'll call you to say 'goodnight' or just because he is missing you." I don't like talking on the phone.
"He'll look in your eyes and tell you you're the most beautiful girl in the world." Well, I'll know that he hasn't seen all the girls in the world, so his argument will be invalid. And don't presume to tell me that I'll believe it, because I will not.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't like it when [middle-aged, cheeseball] men [who can't tell a story that doesn't involve someone dying] attempt to tell girls what they want and how they will inevitably feel about certain things. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Just DO IT.

You know what? I feel a rant coming on.

I am getting SO SICK of seeing people on Goodreads/Tumblr who are big fans of Anna and the French Kiss, asking if it's "worth it" to read Lola and the Boy Next Door.
JUST READ THE BOOK. Exactly how long did it take you to read Anna? It will take you THAT amount of time to read Lola. The only way to determine for yourself if it's "worth it" is by reading it yourself, but let me tell you why I personally think you should stop asking and just do it:

1. Same. Author. Her sense of humor and skill at romance did not change in between the two books. They are COMPANION NOVELS. Which brings me to my next point:
2. Anna and St. Clair are in Lola. That alone should be enough to make you pick it up.
3. Lola may not be anything like Anna, but that is not a bad thing. Remember all that time Anna spent trying to convince herself that she didn't feel a certain way, and then acting how she's expected to act? Lola does not do that. Sure, she misdirects her feelings plenty, but she doesn't spend a lot of time being who anyone else wants her to be.
4. The supporting characters in Lola are just as interesting as those in Anna. Lola's best friend is obsessed with Nancy Drew and detective work. Cricket's sister is a professional figure skater who loves her brother to a fault. Lola has two dads, and a biological mother with serious issues. And then there's Max, who is the magnetic bad-boy... All you see are the good things about him, until Lola herself starts seeing the bad things too.
5. Cricket Bell Cricket Bell Cricket Bell. Okay, so here's my thing: I realize how easy it is to swoon over Etienne St. Clair. Even to fall in love with him, if you like the dreamy, charismatic type. Me, I like the brooding, adorable, slightly nerdy type. [Anyone who's read Lola is now questioning my sanity for calling Cricket "brooding," but just hear me out] Cricket's been living in his sister's shadow for his entire life, silently and patiently dealing with his family's apparent neglect, because he supports his sister. He's not a complainer. He's talented, but down on himself because he doesn't think he makes useful inventions-- and there's that whole "my ancestor took credit for someone else's invention" thing. There is exactly one person for whom Cricket Bell wears his heart on his sleeve, and that is Lola Nolan. He's direct with her about his feelings, but respectful of hers as well. He stands up for himself when it comes to her, too-- both when he thinks his sister is being unfair to Lola, and when Lola leads him on. He knows the difference between Lola putting up a front, and Lola being her eccentric self (example: he makes sure to get on her parents' good side, because he knows she secretly wants their approval; he does NOT accuse her of being fake for wearing costumes all the time). I could go on and on about Cricket Bell, but please just take my word for it: you're going to love him.

Stephanie Perkins always talks about how difficult it was to wrench this book out of her. But I'm telling you, the struggle was worth it. This book is just as good as Anna and the French Kiss. So do Stephanie and yourself a favor and just read it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Another book survey

1. Who’s your favorite book character and why?

This is such a difficult question to answer, because I love a lot of book characters equally but for different reasons. It's hard to compare them. I think maybe I'll pick Augustus Waters.

2. Do you read magazines and comics regularly? Which ones?

No. I get Entertainment Weekly in the mail, but I don't read the whole thing. Also, I look through it backward because the Bullseye is the best part.

3. What was the worst book you’ve ever read?

I'm really uncomfortable with this question. "Worst" is subjective, and I don't think it's fair to put that label on someone's work... I mean, I could go with the obvious choice of New Moon here, but I won't. I can tell you my least favorite book I've ever read [and finished] was Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma. I know a lot of people love that book because of the writing, but for me, beautiful writing is not enough. The book has to have plot and character development and at least one character who isn't completely odious. Imaginary Girls had potential to be really cool, but it left too much to be desired.

4. Who do you think is the most underrated author?

Well, I don't know of all the authors out there, but I don't think Jennifer Donnelly gets enough attention. As for authors who get a lot of attention but not enough of it positive, Cassandra Clare. People are way too quick to jump on the "bash Cassandra Clare because her books are popular" bandwagon-- and let me tell you, this woman is no Stephenie Meyer. She knows how to spin a phrase, and she knows how to break your heart, and she knows how to write characters whose actions always make sense in the context of their lives, if not in the context of real life. And people freely criticize the Mortal Instruments and decide that because they didn't like those books, they don't like any of her writing. Those people should probably be attacked by clockwork automatons or something. *wink*

5. What’s your favourite genre to read?

YA... lately I'm on a contemporary kick because a lot of the dystopian/fantasy/paranormal I've been trying just isn't cutting it.

6. What’s your favorite nonfiction book (if any)?

What is this 'nonfiction' of which you speak?

7. If you could live the life of any book character, whose would it be?

OH boy. Anna Oliphant was the first one to come to mind, because first she went to an American school in PARIS, where she made awesome friends, and then she moved to SAN FRANCISCO, where she studies film.
Or Bria Sandoval from Wanderlove...
Or maybe Bev [last name?] from The Disenchantments, minus the making-out-with-girls-and-random-dudes.
[please note that I did not pick any of these for their love interests, but for their actual lives.]

8. Have you ever written/tried to write a book or short story? What was it about?

I have written several short stories. The most recent, and probably my favorite, was about a girl who met her brother once when she was 8 and then, at 16, has to go across the country for his funeral. It's better than it sounds.

9. How do you usually discover new books?

Goodreads or from people on Tumblr talking about them.

10. Is there any book that you’ve been meaning to read for ages, but still haven’t gotten around to?

Haha yeah, the last 5 Harry Potter books. But I'm doing it now.

11. If you could pick one film to be turned in to a book, what film would it be?

The Yellow Handkerchief. When I watched the movie, I thought it would've made a better book.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Hey! My blog now has exactly 5,000 pageviews! [Special thanks to all of the people who google "Hunger Games Dictionary" and come here because I'm the only person who's been clever enough to make one]

But right now, I must start talking about City of Lost Souls. I am not done with it yet, so I'll probably edit this post tomorrow when I will most likely finish it, but keeping it inside has not been good for my health.

All those sticky notes? Those are all the Infernal Devices references/clues I have found so far. I had to keep track of them because I MUST FIGURE THIS OUT.
But, backing up. Let's start with the first one:
Clary's in the library at the New York Institute, and she finds "a pendant in the shape of an angel whose wings were clockwork cogs and gears" in the world did Tessa's angel end up in the New York Institute? Why did she take it off? Why give it to Shadowhunters? Why do they keep it in the library like it's some kind of important historical artifact?
Clary and Jocelyn are talking about Clary's birth ceremony, and Jocelyn says, "A Silent Brother was present, someone sworn to secrecy, and a female warlock who took the place of the Iron Sister." And then Clary asks who the female warlock was, but Jocelyn doesn't answer. I mean, obviously it was Tessa. I love that Tessa is a part of Clary's life somehow, even if it's not in a very important way (or maybe it is). Also, the Silent Brother who was there...
Jace says, "Technically, my family is British..." Lol. Yeah, so stop disowning the Herondale name, por favor.
Brother. Zachariah. Okay, this is a big theory-- I almost don't even want to say it, but I have to-- but... I am seriously getting the vibe from this book that Brother Zachariah is Will or Jem. He has high cheekbones, slender fingers, and dark hair. Now, before you go thinking, well Jem doesn't have dark hair, he has silver hair! let me just tell you why I think it could be Jem. Jem is Asian. The only reason he has silver hair is because of the drug that's killing him and keeping him alive. If he became a Silent Brother, he wouldn't need the drug to keep him alive anymore. His hair could go back to its regular color. At the same time, I don't think it's an accident that the Silent Brothers have their eyes sewn shut-- the color of someone's eyes could surely give away their identity. Specifically if you have unforgettable blue eyes. Another thing that gets me is that Brother Zachariah is always going on about his "ties" with the Herondale family, and saving the Herondale bloodline. Now, the "ties" part makes me think more of Jem, because of the parabatai oath and tying their souls together or whatever, but the focus on saving the Herondale name is surely more of a Will concern. I'M SO CONFUSED. Oh, and... if Brother Zachariah is either Jem or Will, would he have been the Silent Brother at Clary's birth ceremony with Tessa? HMMM???
When Brother Zachariah says, You are the central point about which his world spins. That has not changed. I cannot tell if this is more of a Jem-like or Will-like thing to say. But it kills me all the same.
Magnus, you're killing me. "God knows we're all drawn toward what's beautiful and broken. I have been," (WILL), "but some people cannot be fixed. Or if they can be, it's only by love and sacrifice so great that it destroys the giver." (JEM)
"I know about parabatai. I've known parabatai so close they were almost the same person. Do you know what happens, when one of them dies, to the one who's left--" STOP IT RIGHT NOW. I don't want to think about this right now.
Jace hates ducks. Not really a clue or anything, I just think it's worth noting.
When they're giving their happy memories to Azazel, and Simon sees Magnus's memory: "the corner of a satin dress that belled out as its wearer spun, a glimpse of Magnus's face, a boy with blue eyes" ...I love that it seems like Magnus's memories are so tied up in Will's life. The satin dress... happy memory... blue eyes... it makes me think things.
BROTHER ZACHARIAH. I was once a Shadowhunter like you. I lived like you do. And like you, there were those I loved enough to put their welfare before anything else-- any oath, any debt.
And try not to let fear for Jace devour you. He is a Herondale, and they are survivors--
Oh yeah? Herondales are survivors? Got any examples of that? Because, um, I'm pretty sure Jace is the only one. Unless you know something I don't, Brother Zachariah. Care to share?
And then Maryse asks him if he had kids, and he says No, no kids. I mean...
Page 386. I can't even.
Clary wants Jace to read to her. Jace picks up A Tale of Two Cities, of all books. OF ALL FREAKING BOOKS. The inscription: "With hope at last, William Herondale." I'm dead. Hope? Will? Those two things don't often come together. It makes me feel simultaneously optimistic and pessimistic. And then:
He unshaded his face after a little while, and spoke steadily. "Don't be afraid to hear me. Don't shrink from anything I say. I am like one who died young. All my life might have been."
"No, Mr. Carton. I am sure that the best part of it might still be; I am sure you might be much, much worthier of yourself--"
Of all the passages, of all the books. Will compares himself to Sydney Carton. Worthier of yourself. The person is telling him not to give up on himself. Someone surely is going to say something like this to Will, right?
And then Clary goes and says, "Oh, I do remember this story now. Love triangle. She picks the boring guy." There has to be a reason Clary's reaction was written that way. I mean, she's obviously disappointed. Which makes me feel-- and I might be leaping here-- like the author was disappointed. So maybe she wants to rewrite A Tale of Two Cities, and have her not pick the boring guy.
Needless to say, I'm done reading for the night. I can't handle this anymore. Also, I'm sorry I don't actually care that much about the actual TMI characters/plot. I'm too invested in their ancestors.

I finished City of Lost Souls this morning. There was one more Infernal Devices reference that juuust about killed me. Also, I figured some other things out.
The last reference:
Oh, Clary, you're onto something. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.
Okay, so after going back and reading the first description of Will in Clockwork Angel, I've realized that the description of Brother Zachariah-- angled cheekbones, slender fingers, dark hair-- is not the kind of similar you can ignore. It's blatantly similar, like either Cassie's trying to mislead us into thinking Brother Zachariah is Will, or she's giving us hints that he actually is Will.
I mean, there's the physical description. There's his focus on saving the Herondale name. There's the "two people" he would have died for. The fact that he knows Magnus. The "no kids" thing... I mean, he could be lying because if he said he'd had kids, Maryse might have asked him who they were, and he'd have to be like, Actually, they're your son's great-great-great grandparents. Or whatever. That would make sense because, as far as we know, Will doesn't have Herondale cousins, and he'd be the only person who could pass on the name. But it would also make sense if he weren't lying, because Tessa supposedly can't have kids (and let's face it, he's one of those "one woman for them, or no one" kinds of guys). And maybe he does have cousins. But why would one of his cousins' however-many-great grandchildren have his first name as their middle name?
We know that of Will and Jem, if you think about what Magnus said, one of them dies. And the other one, maybe, becomes a Silent Brother. But why would Will become a Silent Brother? To be immortal with Tessa? Something else? Is there something Will-related that will be resolved in Mortal Instruments-time? If you become a Silent Brother, can you ever go back? It doesn't seem fair that Will doesn't get to really be Will anymore. You can't see his eyes, he can't be sarcastic, he can't even talk. I can't decide if  my sadness at that fact would outweigh the relief I'd feel that Will's being Brother Zachariah would mean he survives.
Also, does he ever see Tessa? Where in the world does she live, anyway? There has to be a reason for them to both be in New York so often. Do the Silent Brothers have some kind of secret life, where they get to be normal people, and the sewn mouth and eyes are some kind of magic that allows you to hear their words without their actually talking?

All of this said, the possibility of Will being Brother Zachariah makes me really happy that Brother Zachariah seems to be becoming a bigger part of all the Mortal Instruments stuff. Like maybe City of Heavenly Fire will focus on him getting his happy ending too.

**UPDATE: Another theory floating around, which I entertained for a little while, is that Brother Zachariah is Stephen Herondale, aka Jace's father. This really throws a wrench in things. There was some reason I dismissed him, but at the moment I can't recall what it was, and that bothers me. It would make sense for Zachariah to be Stephen, because he's a Herondale-- which would explain the resemblance to Will-- and he knew Stephen's middle name, and he's concerned about Jace, and he's a fairly young Silent Brother. And the "no kids" thing would have been him covering his own identity, because once again, if he'd said he had kids, Maryse could have asked who his kids were. And he'd have to be like your son, actually. Also the "two people" he would die for could have been 1) His wife and his ex-wife, or 2) One of his wives and Jace.
The thing that still makes me feel more like it's Will is the you are the central point about which his world spins. I mean, I don't know if that's the kind of thing Stephen would say, but it's definitely the kind of thing Will would say.

**UPDATE #2: So I've been mulling over the information, and I've come to the conclusion that the most likely possibility for Brother Zachariah's identity is Stephen Herondale. I know I just said I feel more like it's Will, but that was over a month ago. Looking more objectively, it seems like Cassie wants us to think it's Will. Because he's the only one we actually know anything about, and she knows we're all curious about what happens to him. All of the clues point to Will-- but she also said that some of the clues are intentionally misleading. Which can only mean that it's not Will, right?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bored and Divergent

Divergent Questions

                 Have you finished Insurgent yet?

Yes, the day after it came out.

.                 Which faction do you admire the most? 

Abnegation. I could absolutely not tolerate being that selfless all the time, or being told I’m selfish if I do something like walk down the stairs too loudly or wear clothes that actually fit.

.                 Which faction do you think suits you the most? 

Erudite… but I honestly hate reading nonfiction/textbooks/boring things. Candor would probably make me happier because they’re good at reading people and I wouldn’t have to tell someone if I’m not in the mood to talk to them.

.                 If you had to create another faction, what would their trait be? 

Those with magical powers, obviously.

.                 How high would you rank in Dauntless initiation?                                                            

Well, I hate being outranked, and I’m built like Tris (and have an attitude like Four)— so I could play the whole “go ahead and underestimate me because I look like a little girl” card— so I have to say I’d force myself to be ranked high. Probably not highest though.

.                 Would you leave your family to join another faction? 

There are so many other factors to consider I can’t even answer this. Do I like my family’s faction? Is there one faction that’s calling my name and I’d do anything to join them? Do they expect me to pick faction over blood?

.                 If you got a tattoo in Dauntless what would it be and why? 

Um, I think the tattoo I already have is kind of Dauntless. “Long live the walls we crashed through” …yeah. If I had to get one that was like a picture or something, I’d maybe find some way to combine all the faction symbols into one picture, because I’m most definitely Divergent.

.                 What is your favourite book? 

People need to stop doing this to me. It’s a toss-up between The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay and The Fault in Our Stars. [And yes, I do read books that are not popular. But there’s a reason these ones are.]

.                 What do you look for in a book? 

Characters instead of people-who-things-happen-to, plot instead of a-bunch-of-things-happening, subtle messages instead of I’m-going-to-hit-you-over-the-head-with-this-theme, romance instead of insta-love, etc. You know, things that make a book good.

.                 What’s the most recent book you read for the first time, other than Divergent/Insurgent?

One Moment by Kristina McBride. 

.                 What do you hope will happen in the next book/the rest of Insurgent? 

I cannot wait to see the world outside Chicago. And I hope that Tris and Four stop fighting so much. And I want more of Tris on Amity medications, but I don’t think that will happen. sadface.

.                 Favourite Divergent character? 

I’m choosing from secondary characters because we all know that Tris and Four are fabulous. So… Peter, the sadistic pansycake. I love watching the crap he gets himself into, and how he makes up for it, and then how he gets himself into more crap. I may hate him, but I like his style (even though an eye for an eye means he’s going to be wearing an eyepatch soon).

.                 What would be in your fear landscape?

Um. Giant bugs/worms, and math problems that I can’t solve, and all of my favorite book characters dying (oh and my family too probably), and a room full of people expecting me to give a presentation or something.

.                 If you were Tris, would you stay with Four?

Uh, obviously

.                 What did you think was going to happen in Insurgent?

I didn’t really think about it. I knew there was going to be fighting between Erudite and Dauntless, and that Tris & co. would have to stay in Amity for a while, but that’s about it. 

.                 Favourite part of DIvergent?

The end. The end the end the end the end. And I don’t mean that in the same way that the end of Pandemonium was my favorite because finally something worthwhile happened— I mean that the end of Insurgent just TOTALLY AMPED UP EVERYTHING.

.                 Would you survive dauntless initiation?

I like to think so.

.                 What faction would you get in your aptitude test?

According to the one on Facebook, Candor.

.                 Who do you dreamcast as four?

Meh. I’m not big on fancasting. I like the Four in my head.

.                 Favourite quote from either divergent/insurgent?

“I am his, and he is mine, and it has been that way all along.” and “’That’s why you like me!’ I exclaim. ‘Because you’re not very nice either! It makes so much more sense now.’”  (I stole these from the person who took this before me)
also “‘We don’t need you as an ally,’ says Tori. ‘We’re Dauntless.” and “By the time the fight dies down, my clothes are more paint-colored than black. I decide to keep the shirt on to remind me why I chose Dauntless in the first place: not because they are perfect, but because they are alive. Because they are free.”

.                 Did you cry reading the books?

No… is that something that people do? They’re not really tearjerkers.

.                 Are you for or against having the books made into a movie?

Against. I don’t want to hear people comparing it to Twilight/The Hunger Games/whatever other series goes from book to movie. And there’s always that feeling of “but the characters are different in my head! I don’t want them to look like that!”

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

After a year of waiting, Insurgent:


I've discovered that I'm not so good at writing reviews or talking about books in a completely spoiler-free way, but I'm going to do my best with this one because it only came out yesterday so the majority of people haven't read it yet. That said, anything spoilerish, I'm going to hide behind the Read More cut at the bottom and label it with a number. You can choose to ignore the number, or you can choose to click on the Read More and see to which thought the number corresponds. But the numbers DO indicate spoilers, so be warned.

So. Let me start off by saying that this is not a bridge book. It is the second book in a trilogy, but it is not a bridge book.
By "bridge book," I mean a book that mainly serves as a vehicle for character development and not much else. Sometimes the second book in a trilogy can lean this way because the third book is going to be completely explosive and epic, but a lot gets put on the backburner in the process. Sometimes the second book completely changes the set of characters from the first book, to stage their comeback in the final installment. [Heck, sometimes the second book even changes narrators, or adds a new narrator-- I'm looking at YOU, Timepiece and Crossed]. Sometimes there's a new setting, unfamiliar to both the characters and the readers.
Insurgent does none of the above. The only missing characters are the ones who died in the first book, and frankly, I didn't care much about them anyway (1). It starts off pretty much where Divergent left off, so there's not really time for the entire set of characters or the setting to change, and it wouldn't make any sense to change the narrator. 
What this book DOES is move the story along. There is so much happening in this book I found myself having to reread pages because I wasn't sure which storyline we were talking about (2). It turns out, the pages pretty much turn themselves when you have no idea who you can trust and who you can't. Not to mention, we got a deeper look at the other factions that we didn't really see in Divergent: Candor, Amity and Erudite. Learning the good and bad traits of each one is really interesting, and it says something about Tris as a narrator that she can see that Candor may not know how to fight when fighting seems useless, but they also know how not to get carried away. That she realizes that while Amity may be selfish in remaining uninvolved in pretty much everything, there is a peace to their lifestyle that none of the other factions have. That she acknowledges that Erudite may have members who use their knowledge against everyone else, but they're not all like that, and their existence is necessary for the survival of the other factions.
[Side note: Tris + Amity "medications" = hilarity.]
I absolutely loved the characterizations in this book. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to scream at Tris, but you don't have to agree with a character in order to like them or respect them. She is one of the most respectable characters since Katniss Everdeen (3). I love that she won't stand for anyone else underestimating her, even when she sometimes underestimates herself. I love that she's selfless, smart and brave, but still has her weak moments-- that's what makes a good character. People are weak sometimes, but it doesn't change who they are.
And Four-- GOD, Four. Sometimes I wanted to yell at him too. But even though he wasn't the one narrating the story, I often felt like I understood his motivations better than I understood Tris's (4). Still, Tris and Four balance each other out well. Even when it's not all roses and rainbows between them, they're there for each other. Their relationship develops so much in this book, I can't even. (5) They both realize where their faults are in their ideas of each other, and it all culminates at a point where you're kind of teetering on the edge. If it goes one way, it means the third book is going to have a lot of repair work to do, and if it goes the other, at least that is resolved.
Oh, and I have to mention Peter. Peter, the sadistic pansycake. He is one of those villains that I love to hate, because it's so much fun. And also... he has his moments. [Oh, Peter, you may be a ruthless, butterknife-yielding psychopath, but I like your style. Careful, though: an eye for an eye means you're going to be wearing an eyepatch soon.]
Other characters from Divergent make their returns, and I won't tell you who they are, but it's good (6).
As for the plot, um, yeah, I already mentioned that it hooks you. But the end is my favorite part. I can't tell you about that though (7).
And the setting... it is a bit different, because we get to see every faction. Personally I liked the Dauntless headquarters as a setting because it was exciting, but it makes sense that, because this book was no longer about Tris's initiation, it couldn't solely take place there.
One thing I just want to get off my chest: the Abnegation names. I'm sorry, I just really hate them. I don't want Tris to be Beatrice (not that she is, really), and I don't want Four to be Tobias, because frankly I'm not even sure how to pronounce that. Ugly names are distracting when you're reading a book. Plus, their Dauntless names say something about who they want to be. They can't go reverting back to who they once were, no matter how much more intimate it is to call someone by their real name. [Side thought: it would've been really cool if Tris had started going by Six. But I get that that wasn't really possible, because everyone already knew her as Tris or Beatrice.]
But that's probably my least favorite thing. Everything else is... let's just say, I want the third book now. Unfortunately it doesn't even have a title yet (unless you want to go with V. Roth's working title Detergent). My bet: the third book will be called Emergent.
"'We don't need you as an ally,' says Tori. 'We're Dauntless.'" 
"By the time the fight dies down, my clothes are more paint-colored than black. I decide to keep the shirt to remind me why I chose Dauntless in the first place: not because they are perfect, but because they are alive. Because they are free."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


So lately, it seems that I've hit a serious book rut.
And by "rut," I don't mean that the books I'm reading are bad. Or that I haven't been reading much (we all know that's not the case). What I mean is that all of the books I've been reading have had endings that didn't necessarily thrill me.
I like the kind of ending that makes me cry, or jump up and down, or sigh and smile contentedly. I don't like an ending that's just like, narrator-figures-it-all-out-but-nothing-is-really-fixed. Nothing you want fixed, anyway.
First, there was A Long, Long Sleep, which I reviewed on this blog, and it's safe to say that I wasn't too excited about the ending. I mean, long-lost love interest is new love interest's grandfather. Not much can be done there.
And then I read 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and I really loved Keith. Like, I really really thought he was awesome. You could certainly tell he came from Maureen Johnson's head, because he is hilarious and spontaneous and says what's on his mind even if it's totally rude and/or unexpected. I thought he was perfect for Ginny, who's always thinking about whether she's doing something wrong. She thinks through everything she does, and yet trouble follows her around. I loved that he called her Mad One, when obviously he was the Mad One in that relationship. But then at the end, they only decided they were "kind of something." More on this later.
After that I read The Story of Us, which had an ending that was kind of beautiful but it also was NOT satisfying. It had the same feeling as the end of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series when Lena and Kostos are all "someday." Someday IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. The end of The Story of Us left me wanting both a sequel and the same book from Janssen's perspective. I wanted to know what was going on in his head, because the only things we know about him are the things Cricket tells us. He's not even in the book. His dialogue is in italics instead of quotes, because at the one scene where he's actually there with her, Cricket is reflecting on what happened rather than relaying the actual scene to us. It's not FAIR.
While I was reading The Story of Us, I also started reading the Hourglass sequel, Timepiece, because I got it on NetGalley. I haven't finished it yet, but I'm already a little bit disappointed because of the change in narrator. We've already established that I don't like change, and I can hardly say I like Kaleb as a narrator. He's so angry and chauvinistic and... sterotypically male. Granted Emerson was angry too when she narrated the first book, but with her it was kind of endearing, because she was constantly doubting her own mental stability. With Kaleb so far it's only distanced me from him as a character, which makes it hard to get through the rest of the book. I've been reading it since Thursday [I think] and I'm still not even to page 150 yet.
Finally, I also read The Last Little Blue Envelope on Sunday/Monday and... [spoilers ahead]
OIF;OASIDHF;ASDHFKL. Maureen, there's a lot I don't understand about the way your mind works, but usually I like it. This, I did not like. Keith suddenly turned into kind of a jerk in this book-- I mean, he was still the same Keith, with his outbursts and craziness and calling Ginny "Mad One," but he seemed to lack any regard for anyone else's feelings, especially Ginny's. He knows how she feels about him, but he doesn't tell her he has a girlfriend. Then he volunteers to go on this adventure with Ginny, but doesn't think twice about letting his girlfriend come with them. He flirts with Ginny the whole time and leads her on, but his girlfriend is a perfectly good person and he's not going to break up with her either. I was pretty disappointed in his character and probably would've rather left it at the first book. In addition to all this, Ginny kind of ends up with Oliver, who I never really liked either. Their connection didn't seem real to me-- they were hardly even friends first, had no romantic tension, no romance either, and Oliver as a character was... bland. Throughout the whole book he was smoking, flaunting his superior intellect, fighting with Keith, or making Keith look like a jerk. Bleh. I prefer the Oliver in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.

And now I'm reading Insurgent, and Tris and Four are all distant from each other, and I don't like it. I get the sense that they're going to break up, or something is going to happen that makes one of them doubt the other, and then the third book is going to have to bring them back together somehow. But that won't come out for another year! MEHHHH
So now I feel like I need recommendations for a book that's going to leave me satisfied. Maybe I'll read Lola and the Boy Next Door again.

Anyone who reads this: if you have suggestions for books with the kind of ending I prefer, tell me in the comments. I BEG OF YOU.